Thursday, July 31, 2008

AH-HA! I Plan To Redeem Myself Now!

OK, so I was perusing some favorite book blogs of mine and came across Book Escape who had posted this list of 100 movies. (greatest or not, I have no idea)

But with this list, I plan to redeem myself of how pathetic I appeared with the measly 6 books I had read.... so, like I said... AH-HA~!

I'm bolding the movies I've actually seen:

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)
2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)
3. Titanic (1997)
4. Blue Velvet (1986)
5. Toy Story (1995)
6. Saving Private Ryan (1998 )
7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
9. Die Hard (1988 )
10. Moulin Rouge (2001)
12. The Matrix (1999)
13. GoodFellas (1990)
14. Crumb (1995)
15. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
16. Boogie Nights (1997)
17. Jerry Maguire (1996)
18. Do the Right Thing (1989)
19. Casino Royale (2006)
20. The Lion King (1994)
21. Schindler’s List (1993)
22. Rushmore (1998 )
23. Memento (2001)
24. A Room with a View (1986)
25. Shrek (2001)
26. Hoop Dreams (1994)
27. Aliens (1986)
28. Wings of Desire (1988 )
29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)
30. When Harry Met Sally (1989)
31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)
32. Fight Club (1999)
33. The Breakfast Club (1985)
34. Fargo (1996)
35. The Incredibles (2004)
36. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
37. Pretty Woman (1990)
38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
39. The Sixth Sense (1999) (No freaking way!)
40. Speed (1994)
41. Dazed and Confused (1993)
42. Clueless (1995)
43. Gladiator (2000)
44. The Player (1992)
45. Rain Man (1988 )
46. Children of Men (2006)
47. Men in Black (1997)
48. Scarface (1983)
49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)
50. The Piano (1993)
51. There Will Be Blood (2007)
52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988 )
53. The Truman Show (1998 )
54. Fatal Attraction (1987)
55. Risky Business (1983)
56. The Lives of Others (2006)
57. There’s Something About Mary (1998 )
58. Ghostbusters (1984)
59. L.A. Confidential (1997)
60. Scream (1996)
61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)
62. sex, lies and videotape (1989)
63. Big (1988 )
64. No Country For Old Men (2007)
65. Dirty Dancing (1987) (One of my favorites!)
66. Natural Born Killers (1994)
67. Donnie Brasco (1997)
68. Witness (1985)
69. All About My Mother (1999)
70. Broadcast News (1987)
71. Unforgiven (1992)
72. Thelma & Louise (1991)
73. Office Space (1999)
74. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)
75. Out of Africa (1985)
76. The Departed (2006)
77. Sid and Nancy (1986)
78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
79. Waiting for Guffman (1996)
80. Michael Clayton (2007)
81. Moonstruck (1987)
82. Lost in Translation (2003)
83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)
84. Sideways (2004)
85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)
86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002)
87. Swingers (1996)
88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)
89. Breaking the Waves (1996)
90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
91. Back to the Future (1985)
92. Menace II Society (1993)
93. Ed Wood (1994)
94. Full Metal Jacket (1987)
95. In the Mood for Love (2001)
96. Far From Heaven (2002)
97. Glory (1989)
98. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)
99. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)

Whoohoo 43!! Not bad, way better than the books read. But I'm still working on that :-)

How did you all do?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult

I simply devoured this book. Jodi Picoult writes in a such a way that you become transfixed. I went through a series of emotions throughout this story of a man on death row who is wanting to donate his heart to the sister of his victim, after he's executed. The storyline captivated me instantly and from page one, I was engrossed. The death penalty has been brought up in conversation a few times lately and this book definitely brought more questions to the surface of why we have the death penalty and what does God think about it?

I was caught quite off guard with how much religion played a part in this novel, and by religion I mean ideas from Christianity, Judaism, Catholicism, Agnosticism and even Atheism. Jodi Picoult clearly conveys the struggle between all the various characters, with all their various religious beliefs and how they deal with their views on grace, forgiveness and God. At times I found myself agreeing with what was said and then moments later, strongly disagreeing. At the same time it was intriguing to see how someone else processes a particular controversial situation from a completely different religious perspective.

It was a fascinating novel and I found myself itching to get back to its pages. Jodi Picoult's latest novel delivers to my highest expectation!

Description: The acclaimed #1 New York Times bestselling author presents a spellbinding tale of a mother's tragic loss and one man's last chance at gaining salvation. Can we save ourselves, or do we rely on others to do it? Is what we believe always the truth?

One moment June Nealon was happily looking forward to years full of laughter and adventure with her family, and the next, she was staring into a future that was as empty as her heart. Now her life is a waiting game. Waiting for time to heal her wounds, waiting for justice. In short, waiting for a miracle to happen.

For Shay Bourne, life holds no more surprises. The world has given him nothing, and he has nothing to offer the world. In a heartbeat, though, something happens that changes everything for him. Now, he has one last chance for salvation, and it lies with June's eleven-year-old daughter, Claire. But between Shay and Claire stretches an ocean of bitter regrets, past crimes, and the rage of a mother who has lost her child.

Would you give up your vengeance against someone you hate if it meant saving someone you love? Would you want your dreams to come true if it meant granting your enemy's dying wish?

Once again, Jodi Picoult mesmerizes and enthralls readers with this story of redemption, justice, and love.

Issues regarding the death penalty, blended families, weight, mothers and daughters, sexual abuse, organ donation and religion

Rating: *****

Recommend: Those who enjoy courtroom suspense and discussing controversial issues.

Friday, July 25, 2008

I've discovered the book-blogging community does these regular posts on Fridays called "Friday Fill-Ins". Here's my attempt at completing one!

1. I believe whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger!

2. If you're good at something, then be willing to teach others.

3. Why so blue?

4. Something is out there, it's freaking me out.

5. If my life were a sitcom, it would be titled "Hanging With Grandma Scribbles."

6. Sitting on my back porch [if you don't have one, use your imagination] I see the ghetto apartments that I'm praying will eventually be torn down.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I’m looking forward to dinner out with the girls at Wild Ginger, tomorrow my plans include completing my Daring Bakers Challenge, hanging with my hubby and cleaning the house and Sunday, I want to catch up on two weeks of Dancing with the Stars and read!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

100 best reads of all time - how many of you read?

There's a list circulating the web of the top 100 reads of all time posted by the The Big Read, claiming that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books on this list.

Sadly, I know I haven't read many of these myself. How many have you read, post a comment & let us know!

I've bolded the one's I've read below.

1. Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2. The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5. To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6. The Bible
7. Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8. Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9. His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11. Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13. Catch-22 - Joseph Heller
14. Complete Works of Shakespeare
15. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16. The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (uh-hum! Didn't exactly finish this one for SOME reason)
17. Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18. Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20. Middlemarch - George Eliot
21. Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22. The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24. War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27. Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28. Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32. David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33. Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34. Emma - Jane Austen
35. Persuasion - Jane Austen
36. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
37. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38. Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39. Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40. Winnie-the-Pooh - AA Milne
41. Animal Farm - George Orwell
42. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
43. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
45. The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46. Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47. Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49. Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50. Atonement - Ian McEwan
51. Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52. Dune - Frank Herbert
53. Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54. Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55. A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57. A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
59. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61. Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63. The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64. The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65. Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66. On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68. Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69. Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70. Moby-Dick - Herman Melville
71. Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72. Dracula - Bram Stoker
73. The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74. Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75. Ulysses - James Joyce
76. The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77. Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78. Germinal - Emile Zola
79. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80. Possession - A. S. Byatt
81. A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82. Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84. The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85. Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
86. A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87. Charlotte's Web - EB White
88. The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90. The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92. The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
93. The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94. Watership Down - Richard Adams
95. A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96. A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97. The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100. Les Miserables - Victor Hugo

Yup, 6 on the nose for me. Too bad we can't count the ones we've watched as movies!!

Now I feel a little pathetic. Oh well.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Christmas could come early!

Ok, so Hachette Book Group is doing ANOTHER 14 book giveaway and I'm telling you what, if you enter to win this, it will be like Christmas coming in early!!!

The drawing is August 10th, so go to Bookroomreviews weblog in order to enter!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Lord have mercy I struggled so much with this book. The only reason I picked it up was at someones suggestion. It really, really isn't my style of writing. I feel like I'm committing some sort of heresy saying this, but I seriously can't stand these type of classics. And why on earth did I feel compelled to read this in a British accent? (Not aloud of course, but in my head.)

Sorry folks, as my husband would say, that's why there's strawberry, chocolate and vanilla.

Recommend: only to those who enjoy classics or Jane Austen

Rating: **

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Jodi Picoult is calling to me....

I'm sitting here at my desk trying to find ways to waste time. I have a tendency to immediately finish a task as soon as I'm given one. I hate to-do lists lingering over my head, so at times I can be a bit of an over-achiever when it comes to work.

So to pass the time, which ticks S-L-O-W-L-Y by, I'm constantly checking my Google Reader, Goodreads and hotmail. What I WANT to be doing is cracking open that brand new beautiful Change of Heart book by Jodi Picoult that is peeking out at me from my purse under the desk.


Would it be so bad to sit at my desk and immerse myself in a novel? At least I'm not sitting here painting my nails or playing video games as most secretaries are known to do. It's just wrong. I've almost finished Pride & Prejudice which at least is in ebook format, but still, nothing compares the turning of a page, its just so satisfying.

I need to win some book booty, that would make me feel A LOT better about the day. ;-)

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Holla Another Free Book Giveaway

Oh all the free book giveaways out there!! I'm crossing my fingers that someday my ship will come in :-)

For more info on how to win a copy of A Summer Affair or Barefoot by Erin Hildebrand, click here.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Nice To Come Home To by Rebecca Flowers

I happened to be scanning the shelves of my local library on my way to pick up the books I had reserved when I found myself drawn to the cover of this book. I quickly scanned the cover and thought for sure I'll check it out to see what it would be like.

Wow, I so thoroughly enjoyed this book!! Even though it felt quite hefty in its hardback form of 320 pages, it really was an easy and quick read. I finished it in just 3 days. I'm really not that fast of a reader, but I've had the fortunate luck of coming across some fun summer novels lately that I've not been able to put down. Every time my husband left the room, I picked it up to squeeze in just one more page.

I very much identified with the main character's way of thinking, especially in my single days. She's a bit OCD like myself and loves lists, which is me in a nutshell. She also has a complicated but devoted relationship with her younger sister which reminded me a lot of mine with my sister Kris.

I loved how the story always kept my attention but didn't get overly detailed. It was really a good chicklit and fun novel, but I was disappointed to discover this was the author's first novel. I had looked forward to seeing what else Rebecca Flowers had released. I'm definitely keeping an eye out for what else Rebecca Flowers publishes in the future.

Description: In the tradition of Elinor Lipman or Marisa de los Santos (Love Walked In), Flowers delivers a smart, witty, appealing story of love, family, and community that breaks the mold of the conventional love story-and will have readers cheering. Everyone around Prudence Whistler, thirty-six, seems to be settling down. Her once single girlfriends have married and had babies. Her gay best friend is discussing marriage with his partner. Even her irresponsible younger sister, Patsy, is the single mother of a two-year-old. But when Pru panics at losing her mediocre boyfriend of two years-and begins to see the door to her traditional family life closing-she accidentally finds something even better: a new definition of family and happiness. First, it's the crazy cat who moves into her apartment. Then come Pru's headstrong sister and two-year-old niece. Then the niece's dog, the sister's ex-boyfriend, and, ultimately, Patsy and Pru's widowed mother. With the strength of her modern new household, Pru musters the confidence to open the dress shop she's always wanted in town-and discovers an extended family of sorts in the community of shop owners and devoted customers. It's only then that she ends up with the man of her dreams. Endearing, romantic, and satisfying, Nice to Come Home To is a charming, crowd-pleasing debut.

Rating: *****

Recommend: to anyone who enjoys chick-lit

Friday, July 11, 2008

Hot Diggity Dog Another Book Contest!!

I know its late notice, but I just stumbled upon another free book giveaway at Hey Lady! Whathca Readin'? The contest being hosted by Hachette Book Group USA and they're giving away 14 books up to 5 people!! The contest closes July 12th, so I know its not a lot of notice, but if your interested you can enter here.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Summer Blowout by Claire Cook

Holy cow what is going on with me!!! I've been a ferocious reading beast lately! Maybe its the warm summer sun (*minus today's nasty weather*), but I have been eating up any novel I can get my hands on!

Last night I stacked up a pile of my recent purchases from the Oregon Coast trip last week on top of my nightstand and it just keeps growing! I think it took me maybe 3 days to read this book, and I really could have finished it in two. I absolutely LOVED this book. It was like sitting down to watch a favorite sitcom or chick-flick.

The author Claire Cook also wrote Must Love Dogs, which is the movie Jason and I saw the day we got engaged, and we had absolutely loved it. So I thought surely another book by the same author would be just as good if not better. And I was so right, Claire Cook did not disappoint! I loved all the girly descriptions of all the makeup Bella used on her clients, I should have kept a running list to actually try those colors out! It was very light reading and a perfect summer read. I highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a good, fun chick-lit story.

Description: Bella Shaughnessy is addicted to lipstick with names like My Chihuahua Bites and Kiss My Lips, an occupational hazard, since she works as a stylist and makeup artist for her family's small chain of beauty salons in Marshbury, Massachusetts, along with her four half-brothers and -sisters. The owner is her father, Lucky Shaughnessy, a gregarious, three-times-divorced charmer with Donald Trump hair, who is obsessed with all things Italian and still carries a torch for his first wife, Bella's mother. After Bella's own marriage flames out spectacularly when her half-sister runs off with her husband, Bella decides she has seen enough of the damage love can do. She makes a vow: no more men.

Then Bella meets a cute entrepreneur at a college fair, and despite their bickering, they can't seem to stay away from each other. He also gives her a brilliant business idea, one that just might allow her to share her makeup expertise with the world. A small, well-tressed dog finds her way into her life, and her heart, and she decides to chance that, too. When the whole clan heads to Atlanta for a big Southern wedding, sparks fly--in a summer blowout no one will ever forget.

This hilarious, rambunctious novel is pure Claire Cook: full of juicy conflict and unconditional love.

Rating: *****

Recommend: to anyone that enjoys a light-hearted chick-lit novel.

Ooooh, Fun Contest!

I often like to peruse other book blogs for ideas on what to read, and came across this great contest by Monniblog whose celebrating her 1000th post! She's giving away some fun different prizes, and I'm planning on submitting an entry to hopefully win one myself!!

Check it out by clicking here.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Love Walked In by Marisa de los Santos

This story really centers around two main characters; Cornelia a 31 year old single woman who is hopelessly romantic and actively looking for her fairytale come true and then Clare, and 11 year old Clare who has been abandoned by her emotionally unstable mother living out a nightmare of her youth.

I really enjoyed the storyline and idea of this book. I thought the emotions conveyed on both parts were realistic and relateable. A lot of reality and growth was shown in Cornelia's character and a lot of hope and healing through Clare's. The only thing that I found difficult was the constant switching of view points every chapter. One chapter was from Clare's viewpoint and the next from Cornelia's. At times it was a bit confusing, especially once the characters had met and are experiencing the same scene from their own perspectives. But even that didn't deter me from tearing through this story.

I finished it while on vacation last week and had a hard time putting it down. Very touching and wouldn't be at all surprised if this became a movie.

Description: A tribute to classic film and true romance, Love Walked In tells the story of two women – one older, one younger – and the unexpected ways in which their lives are forever changed by chance.

For thirty-one-year old Cornelia Brown, life is a series of movie moments, and "Jimmy Stewart is always and indisputably the best man in the world, unless Cary Grant should happen to show up." So imagine Cornelia's delight when her very own Cary Grant walks through the door of the hip Philadelphia café she manages. Handsome and debonair, Martin Grace sweeps Cornelia off her feet, becoming Cary Grant to Cornelia's Katharine Hepburn, Clark Gable to her Joan Crawford. Meanwhile, on the other side of town, eleven-year-old Clare Hobbes must learn to fend for herself after her increasingly unstable mother has a breakdown and disappears. With no one to turn to, Clare seeks out her estranged father, and when the two of them show up at Cornelia's café, the lives of Cornelia and Clare are changed in drastic and unexpected ways. A cinematic and heartfelt debut that pays homage to the classic Cary Grant/Katharine Hepburn romantic comedy The Philadelphia Story, Love Walked In is sure to win over critics and readers of contemporary fiction.

Rating: ****

Recommend: For sure.