Monthly Archives:: November 2008

Two Brothers – One North, One South

November 28, 2008 Book Reviews, Books 7

Two Brothers by David H. Jones

Two Brothers by David H. Jones

Two Brothers: One North, One South
By David H. Jones
Copyright 2008
Staghorn Press – Historical Fiction
317 pages, incl. appendix
Author’s website

What led you to pick up this book?

Even though I haven’t read much of it lately, I love Historical Fiction and the War Between the States is one of my favorite time periods to read about. 

Describe the book without giving anything away.

Two Brothers is a fictionalized story based on the real lives of the characters.  Obviously, there are two brothers who fought on opposing sides of the war.  William and Clifton Prentiss from Maryland fought against each other – William was the Confederate and Clifton the Unionist.  At the end of the war they are both in the same hospital with horrible wounds.  The poet Walt Whitman is a visitor to the hospital and winds up comforting William through his final hours.  Afterward, Clifton and his remaining brothers, invite Walt to his bedside to share what he had learned of William before his passing.  Between these recollections are stories of the many women who worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help the Maryland Battalion of Confederates keep up a supply of firearms, uniforms, flags, mail from home and essentials, and risking their lives to do so.

What did you like most about the book?

There is a tremendous amount of detail.  It is very well researched.  I learned quite a few new things about the Civil War that I didn’t know previous to reading this book.

Is there anything you didn’t like about the book or topic?

Despite the terrific premise, the writing felt wooden and forced.  Many times I was frustrated by the encyclopedia-life dialog coming from the characters mouths.  Too often a character would bring up a specific date, month, year and time in conversation and it felt very unnatural.  It felt like they were reading from a textbook.

What did you think of the characters?

Even though I was frustrated with the way they were written, I found them pretty interesting and even cared what happened to them.  I enjoyed learning about their lives and the little extra details thrown in about them. 

In general:

There is an abundance of history to learn here and it makes for a pretty enjoyable read; if you are willing to tough it out. 

Recommended?

With reservations.  It’s definitely not for everyone.  I would recommend it more to history buffs and Civil War enthusiasts.

Incidentally…

I just love that cover.


Click HERE to read an excerpt.

Please enjoy the rest of the tour! David Jones’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, November 3rd – Strategist’s Personal Library

Wednesday, November 5th – My Adventures in History

Friday, November 7th – Kathleen’s Book Reviews

Monday, November 10th – Bobbi’s Book Nook

Tuesday, November 11th – The Bell Rang

Wednesday, November 12th – Random Wonder

Friday, November 14th – Confessions of a Real Librarian

Monday, November 17th – Civil War History

Monday, November 17th – Military History Blog

Wednesday, November 19th – Bookfoolery and Babble

Friday, November 21st – Literarily

Monday, November 24th – Ready When You Are, C.B.

Tuesday, November 25th – In the Shadow of Mt. TBR

Wednesday, November 26th – TOCWOC – A Civil War Blog

Monday, December 1st - wig-wags

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A couple more…

November 25, 2008 Miscellaneous 2

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

quotes from The Sugar Queen.  Because I can’t resist…

She looked over her shoulder at him and smiled slightly.  His breath caught.

He felt a strange stirring, something he hadn’t felt in a very long time.  It felt like when a limb falls asleep but then slowly, surely, there’s a tingling, an almost uncomfortable sensation… of waking up.

and…

Josey smiled.  “It was the best first kiss in the history of first kisses.  It was sweet as sugar.  And it was warm, as warm as pie.  The whole world opened up and I fell inside.  I didn’t know where I was, but I didn’t care.  I didn’t care because the only person who mattered was there with me.

Just wanted to share a little more of this lovely novel, with hopes it will make you read, and love it, too.

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The Sugar Queen

November 24, 2008 Book Reviews, Books 7

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

The Sugar Queen
By Sarah Addison Allen

Released May 20, 2008
Bantam Fiction
276 pages
Author’s Website

What led you to pick up this book?

I adored Garden Spells, by the same author, when I read it several months ago.  I recently started going to the library again and The Sugar Queen was one of the first books I checked out.  I had a feeling I would love it just as much as GS and I was so right!

Summarize the plot but don’t give away the ending.

It’s a lazy day, so here is the description available on Amazon.

Product Description: In this irresistible novel, Sarah Addison Allen, author of the New York Times bestselling debut, Garden Spells, tells the tale of a young woman whose family secrets—and secret passions—are about to change her life forever.

Josey Cirrini is sure of three things: winter is her favorite season, she’s a sorry excuse for a Southern belle, and sweets are best eaten in the privacy of her closet. For while Josey has settled into an uneventful life in her mother’s house, her one consolation is the stockpile of sugary treats and paperback romances she escapes to each night…. Until she finds her closet harboring Della Lee Baker, a local waitress who is one part nemesis—and two parts fairy godmother. With Della Lee’s tough love, Josey’s narrow existence quickly expands. She even bonds with Chloe Finley, a young woman who is hounded by books that inexplicably appear when she needs them—and who has a close connection to Josey’s longtime crush. Soon Josey is living in a world where the color red has startling powers, and passion can make eggs fry in their cartons. And that’s just for starters.

Brimming with warmth, wit, and a sprinkling of magic, here is a spellbinding tale of friendship, love—and the enchanting possibilities of every new day.

What did you like most about the book?

I think this question would be better put as “What didn’t I like?!” I loved everything about this book.   The story, the characters (see below), the whole atmosphere of the book was wonderful.  It was one of those books that you just feel at home with, as soon as you open the cover and read the first page.  I loved the magicalness of it. 

What did you think of the characters?

I adored the characters.  Josey felt like a best friend by the end of the book.  All the women were fantastic; well-drawn, strong, and resilient.   But Chloe, with her knack for ‘finding’ the right book at the right time stole the show for me.

Share a favorite scene from the book:

My favorite was when Chloe encounter all the books that had been trying to get her attention through out the book sitting in her bathroom door, just barely touching the bathroom floor.  Right before that it was said that books never came to her in the bathroom and then she turns around and there they are, putting a “toe” in, so to speak.

Thumbs up?

Oh my goodness yes.

In general:

I definitely have a new favorite author and I can’t wait for The Girl Who Chased the Moon.  I just wished I could get it before it comes out in MAY! :(  Hear that Bantam????

Now reading:

Almost finished with Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer for Estella’s Revenge.  Then I have The Magician’s Book, This One is Mine and all my other review books waiting.  And I have quite a few out from the library too.  I foresee lots of reading while cooking this week!

Favorite Quotes:

She stuck her head out and took a deep breath. If she could eat the cold air, she would. She thought cold snaps were like cookies, like gingersnaps. In her mind they were made with white chocolate chunks and had a cool, brittle vanilla frosting. They melted like snow in her mouth, turning creamy and warm.

and

She looked over to the door and locked eyes with Jake. The force of it nearly knocked her over. As much as Julian could do, as much as he wanted to do, he could not affect her the way Jake could. It was the difference between a tickle and a punch.

Jake walked toward her, Adam on his heels. They got caught in the group of shiny women on their way. Walking through that group was like walking into a sudden dust devil. They emerged on the other side looking rumpled and windblown.

and best of all:

“Books can be possessive, can’t they? You’re walking around in a bookstore and a certain one will jump out at you, like it had moved there on its own, just to get your attention. Sometimes what’s inside will change your life, but sometimes you don’t even have to read it. Sometimes it’s a comfort just to have a book around. Many of these books haven’t even had their spines cracked. ‘Why do you buy books you don’t even read?’ our daughter asks us. That’s like asking someone who lives alone why they bought a cat. For company, of course.”

Also reviewed by:

Bookfool (and thanks for the review format! lol) | Lisa at Books on the Brain | Magical Musings | Julie at Girls Just Reading | Taminator at Under a Blood Red Sky |

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By Request…

November 20, 2008 Photos 5

Looking sharp!

Looking sharp!

Want a leaf? Have a leaf! Come on, take it! Take it!

Want a leaf? Have a leaf! Come on, take it! Take it!

An oldie but goodie.  Ellie at 8 months.

An oldie but goodie. Ellie at 8 months.

Do these look norma to you? When I edit the post, they look grainy, but when I preview, it they look fine.  I don’t know what’s going on!

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Kreativ Award!

November 19, 2008 Miscellaneous 5

I am Kreativ!

I am Kreativ!

Man, I am just raking in the awards this week!  Here is my second and believe it or not, I have one more to go!  I’m saving it for tomorrow

Thank you to Andi for bestowing this wonderful award on me!  These awards mean the most when they come from someone I admire so greatly. 

Here is the accompanying meme:

7 things I did before
1. drove a stick
2. had lots of cats (well, 2)
3. kept all my books
4. didn’t thing about what I or my family ate
5. ate out too much
6. reread a lot of books
7. slept all night

7 things I do now
1. drive an automatic (and I MISS THE STICK!)
2. don’t have any cats and want one so much!
3. give most away on BookMooch
4. get fresh stuff from the farmer’s market
5. cook more than go out
6. read new things
7. wake up several times a night

7 things I want to do
1. loose these last 10 pounds
2. have another kid. Maybe. 
3. learn to sew already dagnabit!
4. get totally off the processed and canned foods
5. cook more than I do
6. read more than I do
7. sleep more than I do

7 things that attract me to the opposite sex
1. patience
2. easy-going
3. humor
4. creativity
5. intelligence
6. curiousity
7. gentleness

7 Favorite Foods
1. rice
2. eggrolls
3. Asiago and Peppercorn bread (oh my God, y’all it is so good)
4. anything potato (soup, baked, fried, loaded, sweet, in a bread bowl, yum!)
5. cheddar biscuits
6. fried chicken
7. grilled tomato and cheese sandwich

7 Things I Say Most Often
1. I love you.
2. Honestly!
3. Wesley, no!
4. Ellie, let go of your brother!
5. Sorry!
6. Seriously!
7. Ellie, put down your brother! (There are really endless variations of Ellie stop doing something to your brother!)

7 More Kreativ Bloggers:
1. Iliana - Not only is she an avid reader, reviewer and blog poster, she makes gorgeous books.  I should know, I just bought one for my friend Andi and it was beautiful!  Check out her Etsy store, you won’t regret it!
2. Carl - I just love browsing through Carl’s site.  He has fascinating posts on books, authors, artists and I have found some of my favorite Etsy stores through him.
3. Bookfool - Ah, how could I not include the Bookfool?  She writes fantastic reviews and posts gorgeous pictures.  A woman after my own heart, she is.
4. Stu - Stu is a great writer (and I’m not just saying that because he contributes to Estella *wink*).  His blog posts, articles and poetry are well written and always make me think.  Can’t ask for more than that.
5. Melissa – Another blogger after my own heart.  Anytime I need a YA or Kid Lit recommendation, I just head on over to Melissa’s blog.  She reads the best stuff!  I just wish I could read as fast as she does and she has more kids than I do!!!
6 & 7. Dewey / Amy - These two do so much to bring our not-so-little-anymore community of book lovers together.  They give so much, how could I not give a little something back?  Thank you ladies, for all you do.

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Bookworm Award Meme

November 18, 2008 Books, Quotes 5

Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer

Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer

Stacey at Book:Thirty was so sweet to tag me with this award/meme. These kind of memes are some of my very favorites, as I love quotes and seeing what others are reading.

Here are the rules:
Open the closest book to you—not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment. Turn to page 56 and write out the fifth sentence as well as the next two to five sentences. Pass this on to five blogging friends.

The only book I have with me at the moment, since I’m at work, is Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer.  I’m reading it for Estella’s Revenge, so check December 1st for my review.  Anyway, here is my quote:

‘It was only because you look so kind, sir, and – and talked to me last night – But it was wrong of me to ask you to take me up in your carriage.  Pray don’t regard it!  My – my affairs are not your concern, and I shall do very well by myself!’

He ignored the hand she was resolutely holding out to him, but picked up her portmanteau, and said: ‘We cannot stand talking in the road!  I don’t promise to take you to London, but at least I’ll take you to Farnborough!  As I remember, there is a tolerable inn there, where I can procure some refreshment for you, and where we can continue this coversation at our ease.  Come along!’

Sadly, I haven’t read this far into the book yet, but as I am enjoying it, it gives me the curiosity to continue on.  It kind of reminds me of Jane Austen’s work.  I have only ever read Pride and Prejudice (cringe) though, so I don’t have a lot to base that on.  But still, it does.  This is my first Heyer!

Oh, and my tags are:

Andi at Tripping Toward Lucidity
Amanda at The Blog Jar
Stu at Stu’s Place
Bethany at bbexlibris
Nancy the Bookfool

Novel update: 22,064 out of 50,000!  I’m behind, but don’t care.   This is the best I’ve ever done!

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Still plugging away…

November 12, 2008 Books, Miscellaneous 5

I like to NaNo, NaNo...

I like to NaNo, NaNo...

I’m up to 15,590 words!  That actually puts me slightly behind, I should be at 20,004 by the end of the day.  But I’m still very, very pleased with my word count.  The actual quality of the writing and the story, mind you, may not be great, in fact I’m sure it’s not!, but there is something very satisfying about seeing that number climb everyday. 

BSo please forgive me for not posting much.  This time of year is always insane at work and other commitments.  Taking on NNWM is insanity, but I just can never resist trying.  I am usually my most creative when I have too much going on.  I have several review books coming up soon, so don’t give up on me yet!  I have a stop on the Two Brothers: One North, One South Blog Tour (Nov 28), I’m reading (when I have time – as in treadmill time and bath time!) a wonderful book and I have a couple more waiting in the wings.  Things should be back to normal soon!

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Go Vote.

November 4, 2008 Miscellaneous 2

Go Vote!!!

Go Vote!!!

Be sure to go exercise your rights today and go vote.  No matter who you like or don’t like, pick a side and do it.  Too many people have died for, and so many continue to defend, that right.  Use it or lose it.

Visit Vote411.org to find your polling place!

Also, the November edition of Estella’s Revenge is up!  Go check it out!  It’s has lots of yummy reviews, interviews and features to read!

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