Friday Finds (Feb 27)

friday_finds1I’ve been keeping a tally all week so I could participte in Miz B’s Friday Finds again! Ever since I started paying more attention to book blogs, reviews, and yes, even making a few “friends” dare I call you, on the internet to share recommendations my TBR has grown exponentially. In the past it was usually only 2 or 3 books I picked up from the library with little or no research, and I almost always disliked at least one of them, so things are much improved these days!

Without further ado, here is what I have on deck:

From the library –

  • Never Seduce a Scoundrel by Sabrina Jeffries (no research on this one, was just on the Romance Paperback display and the blurb sounded interesting)
  • These Old Shades by Georgette Heyer (I really liked The Black Moth when I read it a while ago and wanted to try something else)
  • The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch (trying to mix things up, I have heard about this book all over the mass media and it’s in the window of every book store)

From other sources-

  • Family Plots by Mary Patrick Kavanaugh (again just to mix up my reading habits with something a little different; I was intrigued by Cheryl’s review)
  • Velvet Glove by Emma Holly (found a good review while stalking the archives of the Smart Bitches)
  • Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee (recommended by my recently engaged friend Danni while sharing wedding cake advice)

I have a feeling I won’t be good company for hubby this weekend as I really want to make a dent in these excellent finds!

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Gump’s momma might have said…

A book is like a box of chocolates in more than one way. When you open a used book you never know what notes, bookmarks, dedications, margin squiggles you might find! Maybe it’s the “voyeur” in me but I love the insight I get into other people’s thoughts.

 The not so good surprises are random stickiness (I found gum in one!), pet/people hair, and excessive highlighting/underlining/gross drawings. In my Count of Monte Cristo I got from my high school’s UBS for a class in 11th grade almost every page had a penis drawn on it. Sigh, high school boys…

One thing that I’m all over like stink on a skunk is other people’s old library receipts. I just borrowed A Summer To Remember by Mary Balogh and look what was inside:

library_receipt3

Is it weird that I looked up the other books on the list to see if I should get those also? Or that I got a sense of satisfaction or kindredship with this stranger by seeing that I also read Definitely Dead? So people, if you use the DC or Arlington libraries, please leave your receipts for me!

I Picked Up Two Lovers in Madison Square Garden

The other weekend I went to visit my bestie, J, by taking the preferred form of transportation of any hipster/yuppie going from DC to NYC – the bus. Chinatown to Chinatown is so passe, the most popular ones now that I have tried are Vamoose and DC2NY, and I haven’t had much need to complain. This trip was no different, but I had an especially good ride home since I had an excellent experience at the Borders in Madison Square Garden while waiting for the bus to come!

I marched in, TBR list in hand, proud of my recent newfound knowledge that I apparently enjoyed reading the sci-fi/fantasy genre, and had 10 minutes to find the top 2 books on my list. I found the sci-fi/fantasy section immediately but couldn’t find the books I wanted; the store was HUGE and I did not want to be late for the bus and fight the masses in line to get a good seat. So to the customer service desk I went!

There I met the most helpful, friendly, romance-knowledgeable Border’s person I’ve ever come across. She was also in her mid- 20’s, cute in a dorky way, awkward hand gestures, smudged glasses, lots of eyeliner, and a neon violet top, and was so eager to help. When I told her the 2 books I had trouble finding she replied with “OOOh that’s cuz they are in the Romance section, I love those books, have you read x,y,z yet?” Wait what? I always go to the Romance section first but my experience with Sookie Stackhouse made me all backwards! How awkward of me.

As we walked down the romance aisle she made multiple recommendations, pulled 7 books off the shelves, filled me in on the order of certain series…we were getting along swimmingly, and then…she asked if we could trade email addresses so she could share future recommendations with me.

The aloof city dweller in me immediately shot her down, gesturing to my TBR list of 30 books, giving the excuse that obvi I did not need her recs (but I’m always looking for new recs! What a sad excuse for not wanting to give out my email) She looked dejected and I was immediately sorry, but couldn’t change my mind. It was just a gut reaction and now I feel bad about it.

What is wrong with me, this is exactly why I started this blog!

But thank you anways Border’s Girl! You were a fabulous help, gave me great recs (but I couldnt buy all 7 books or hubby’d kill me, I already spent too much $$$$ in the City), and I really liked you! If anyone is ever in NYC looking for a paranormal romance, she is your gal!

So what did I leave the store with? Yes, that’s right, I picked up two lovers to entertain me: Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dark Lover by J. R. Ward. Read on for my thoughts:

Continue reading

RANDUM83

I love randomness, the little things that are just slightly out of the norm that make up the world around us. My college room-mate, now an uber successful Hill staffer, let’s call her Hill Gal (and current neighbor…well we both live in Dupont/U Street/Logan Circle area, sigh, confusing in-between neighborhood area), also loved randomness, so much so that her screen name was RANDUM83 (yes it was all caps and I never asked if she misspelled it but always assumed someone else had the screen name random83, also I’m 99% sure she isn’t on AIM anymore). So now whenever Hill Gal, J and I start an email chain with an anecdote from our fabulous lives it is usually titled something like: The most ranDUM83 thing happened…

If Einstein said: “Coincidence is God’s way of remaining anonymous,” then I say: Randomness is God’s way of entertaining a Lusty Reader.

Tonight I was walking the mutt, Kedzie, by one of my most frequented books stores in Dupont Circle, Books-A-Million (where I purchased both Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince as well as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, these events make the store a land-mark in my life) when a nice, African-American, homeless man added a bit of ranDUMness to my day. As we walked by he made eye contact with Kedzie and greeted her directly by saying, “Hello, my brother.”

Even stranger is this is the SECOND time she has been greeted in such a fashion. Yes, she is black, I wanted to reply she is even an Obama fan! But he wasn’t addressing me so I gave my usual city-tight-lipped-smile and tugged on her leash.  The sidewalks in DC are always full of entertainment!

Kedzie_Washington_Monument

Savannah Blues, by Mary Kay Andrews

savannah_bluesSo I’m just going to go ahead and review Savannah Blues, because I can’t get it off my brain! As you know my recent gleefulness has been due to the fun I have been having reading about Weezie and Bebe, thus I shall waste no more time to exclaim, this is the best readI have had so far this year! Total grade comes out to an A-, with only a few details preventing it from achieving the A+++++ Miss. Shields scrawled across the chalkboard as she exclaimed over Ralphie’s theme:

miss_shields

Google Images = God for finding this!

Miss. Shields: Oh! The theme I’ve been waiting for all my life. Listen to this sentence: “A Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time”. Poetry. Sheer poetry, Ralph! An A++++!

In my mind’s eye, whenever I lurve something I see that scene from A Christmas Story.

Back to the subject at hand; the blurb goes like this:

Landing a catch like Talmadge Evans III (see what I mean about Southern names?!) got Eloise “Weezie” Foley a jewel of a town house in Savannah’s historic district. Divorcing Tal got her exited to the backyard carriage house, where she has launched a spite-fest with Tal’s new fiancée, the elegant Caroline DeSantos.

An antiques picker, Weezie combs Savannah’s steamy back alleys and garage sales for treasures when she’s not dealing with her loopy relatives or her hunky ex-boyfriend. But an unauthorized sneak preview at a sale lands Weezie smack in the middle of magnolia-scented murder, mayhem . . . and more. Dirty deals simmer all around her — just as her relationship with the hottest chef in town heats up andshe finds out how delicious love can be the second time around.

Read on for my thoughts: Continue reading

Friday Finds (Feb 20)

friday_findsAs I count down the minutes ’till I can leave my desk I found MizB’s meme Friday Finds and thought I’d while away the last bit of time before I can head home for the weekend by joining!

This week I added the following books to my To Be Read (TBR) pile:

  • Isn’t It Romantic, by Ronda Thompson (the review on The Scarlet Corset intrigued me, but she got it at a garage sale and it looks like it’s out of print, sadness)
  • Lord of Scoundrels, by Loretta Chase (I’ve heard a million good things about it and can’t believe I’ve never read it! After seeing it has been #1 on AAR’s top 100 Romances for the past 9 years I need to pick it up ASAP)
  • Mr. Midshipman Hornblower (and others in the series), by C.S. Forester (I can’t remember how I heard about these originally)
  • Fast Friends, by Jill Mansell (recommended by a friend who just moved back from London)

When I will get around to ordering/reading these, who knows! First stop…the library! Have a good weekend ya’ll!

Bet Me and Faking It

A two for one special today kids, a lightning review round of Jennifer Cruise’s Bet Me and Faking It. I read these both a few weeks ago and have been procrastinating with my reviews, mainly because I really thought I was going to love them both after reading all the snark-free, positive reactions to them on my favoritest of all favorite book blogs Smart Bitches Trashy Books, and when I didn’t love them I wasn’t sure how to admit it.

First is the worst: Faking It

fakingitI think I was tired and not paying attention when I was reading this one, and was just skimming the words or something because I never got into it, I never got inside Tilda or Davy’s heads, I just didn’t get them or like them. My favorite character was Tilda’s sister – Eve/Louise, if I had my ‘druthers Cruise would have written her romance story with Tilda and Davy as secondary characters instead. The only thing I loved about Tilda was her Scarlet created furniture, I would just DIE for a brightly painted jungle on a dresser, or a butterfly headboard! But this is a D grade for me, sadness, sorry!

Second is the best: Bet Me 

betmeI loved both the Heroine and Hero, Min and Cal, thought their personalities, quirks, and hopes were well developed, well written, and attractive as a reader. I especially loved Min’s shoe fetish, incongruous with the rest of her demure look. I believed their attraction to each other, but the main device that kept them together was stretched far too thin and left out to dry far too long for me. Can you guess what it was?

If you guessed a BET you’d be right! This was similar to the typical “Big Misunderstanding” plot line and this bet had the stamina of the Engergizer Bunny. Overall rating: solid B, I would read it again and if anyone told me they were going to read it I wouldn’t dissuade them, but I wouldn’t recommend it as a must buy or must have.

Given that Cruise is so popular and I have heard gobs of great things about her I would definitely read other books by her in the future.

Sorry, I don’t have a third is the one with a hairy chest this week…I haven’t even read any books recently where they mention a hairy chest either, is everyone metro and waxing these days in literature?