Continued Sarah Addison Allen Library Loot

I got other books too, don’t worry!

But yes, looking back over my recent library loot posts, I’ve gotten a Sarah Addison Allen book each of the past 3 times! This will have to be the last…only because she hasn’t written anything else yet *pouty face* Just kidding, I’m actually totally not one of those demanding readers even when a book in a series ends on a cliffhanger like whether or not the heroine may have accidentally killed her potential love interest while he was magically disguised *narrowed eyes in KMM’s direction*

Anywhoooo, yes I am a new SAA fangirl (maybe some reviews-ish/thoughts in a post to come soon? Garden Spells worked a little better for me than Sugar Queen but I adored both) and I’m excited for her 2011 release, mentioned on her website, “I’m now working on my fourth book, a novel of superstition, romance and, interestingly enough, peaches. It will be released in 2011.”

Check out all of this week’s lusty loot!

The Girl Who Chased the Moon, Sarah Addison Allen: When Emily travels back to the house in NC where her mother grew up she’s surrounded by mysteries like unknown family members, wallpaper that changes based on your mood, magical cakes, and dancing ghosts.

The Daughters, Joanna Philbin: I posted about this one as a new release last month, and have had it on hold at the library since then!

How to Knit a Wild Bikini, Christie Ridgway: Y’all, I have been trying to borrow this one from the library since MARCH 18TH. You know how I know that date? It’s the day I read AnimeJune’s A+ review of this book and just knew I had to get it for myself! Obviously other people like it too since it’s ALWAYS been checked out. My library does this thing where you can’t put mass market paperbacks from the “popular fiction” section on hold. So I just had to check those shelves anytime I was in the library and it has never been there until this week! Yay! Hope the wait was worth it ;)

Not Quite a Husband, Sherry Thomas: looking at my finished reading list I only read this book for the first time a bare 7 months ago, but I liked it so much, and speed-read it, that I felt like re-reading it again so soon.

Library Loot is a weekly meme hosted by Marg and Eva.

Hotter than Brad Pitt

Successful relationships have a healthy dose of compromise. One such area in my household is our Netflix queue. Hubby does not enjoy romcoms, disney movies, musicals or most historical dramas. Woe is me.

I do not enjoy horror, gory war, or immature/toilet humor movies, or very manipulative drama with sad endings (ex: Mystic River, Gran Torino…[apparently all Clint Eastwood films?]). Woe is him.

We have only found a few films that make it to the coveted center of our Venn diagram of preferences: any baseball movies, most Judd Apatow, and I randomly enjoy mobster movies.

Since those that meet both our tastes are few and far between we’ve solved our netflix conundrum by taking turns picking the next movie we get. Hubby did throw out the suggestion of bumping up our netflix subscription so we could get two movies at the same time, but nothing is more depressing sounding to me than both of us going to separate rooms in the house and spending hours watching TV apart from each other. We’re still newlyweds – and even when we’re not I hope we don’t become that type of couple.

So. We take turns with netflix. Last week was hubby’s turn. He rented Inglorious Basterds...yeah. I didn’t need to look up any spoilers, between knowing the director was Tarantino, and I heard they scalped Nazis (PS: they edited in the SOUND of scalping, the sound of the knife sawing through the skin and hair *gagging*), and just from the snippets of commercials were all enough for me to be SURE this was not my type of film.

Of course hubby wanted my company and tried to convince me to watch with him. As I stubbornly refused for the 8th time with my arms petulantly crossed he said with a canny smile, “I know what will convince you! If you watch it, you’ll get to see hot Brad Pitt for 2 hours!”

My body jerked with shock and my mouth dropped open. It’s like every time I think he knows me I realize we can always learn new things about each other.

“Um, I don’t think Brad Pitt is hot. He doesn’t do it for me at all.”

Now it was his turn to be shocked.

Yep, sorry y’all but who so many consider to be the Paragon of Gorgeousness, the reigning champ of handsome, the denizen of Hotness City leaves me feeling a little…cold. A little m’eh, if you will. Neither Clooney, nor Smith Jared from SATC, nor Daniel Craig nor many of the other supposed hotties push my buttons.

So who holds that place in my lusty little heart? I shared some of the leading men in MY personal Book Of Good Looking Gentlemen with hubby and now I will with you!

I think my tastes go for more of the “cute,” and “charming,” and “normal looking-but-boyishly-handsome” look. And I’m sure subconsciously the actors’ personalities factor in a teensy bit. Brad Pitt types maybe just remind me of all the popular hot guys who were mean to me in my youth.

I figure posting these pictures on my blog are the grown-up-21st century-version of tearing them out of Teen magazine and putting them on my wall in 90’s-middle-school-style:


Oh Jake-ie-poo, I want to hug you and cuddle you and never let go.

Dear John, you are so cute I want to squeeze you ’till your heads pops off. Love, Lusty. PS: especially when you give the camera your “Jim Look”

Casey Affleck needs to be in more movies! I really only liked him when he had long hair in Good Will Hunting but my residual crush is alive and well!

I’m so sorry I didn’t know who Mark Valley was before I saw Human Target on TV this year. Not pictured: how fucking built he is! Pictured: just LOOK at those dimples! I watched this TV show every week, and it was ok, but I really just wanted to stare at him.

I need a time traveling DeLorean so I can go back and pinch the young-Michael J. Fox’s cheeks. Three words for him: a. dor. able!


And now for my favorite to end all favorites, my reigning champ of my Book Of Good Looking Gentlemen:

Oh Matt, your smile makes me all tingly inside. I think I kissed you on my TV screen when I first watched Good Will Hunting.

So peoples, these are my men. I think they are all WAY better looking than Brad Pitt. Will you commence the rotten tomato throwing, or does anyone feel the same as me?

Library loot: all the pretty little covers

Instead of the stacks I usually make in my library loot posts I just HAD to share these adorbs covers with you. Except Beauty, that is a hideous one, n’est-ce pas? But it’s the only cover my library had!

The Sugar Queen, by Sarah Addison Allen – This is her second book, I read her first one (Garden Spells, they are both standalone novels) last week and fell in love with her characters, the deft way she handled multiple points of view, and the hints of magic in their lives. I also have her recently released third book on hold at the lib too!

Stay, by Allie Larkin – ok the author’s name sounds sooo familiar to me. I facebooked her, googled her, thought maybe I went to college with her??? nada. Just a familiar name I guess, but it drove me crazy. Anywhoosits I read a review of this book in People magazine as a Great Read for Animal Lovers and a Feel Good Book. What an appealing description for my preferences! Also it has a german shepard on the cover and I had 2 (not black ones) growing up. Also it looks a little like my mutt, just 100 lbs bigger. So of COURSE I have to read this :)

Gimme A Call, by Sarah Mlynowski – who posted about this one? was it you? I’m sure I heard about it on someone’s blog but I can’t remember where! i was intrigued by Reeder Read’s review. I thought the premise was really cute, senior year Devi just got dumped by her boyfriend of 4 years, and she had slowly lost all of her friends through high school too. When she drops her phone into the mall fountain after wishing she could change her high school experience the ONLY person the phone will call is her freshman year self. When she tries to fix/change the past/future hijinks, temporary tragedy, and life lessons ensue!

Beauty, by Robin McKinley – ok I only just “liked” Sunshine, which is the McKinley book people rave over, so I want to try more by her to see if I can find one of her stories that would be a better fit for me. I think Beauty was her debut novel back in 1978 and is a YA retelling of Beauty and the Beast.

Library Loot is a weekly meme hosted by Marg and Eva.

Going Too Far, by Jennifer Echols

  • Title: Going Too Far
  • Author: Jennifer Echols (author website here)
  • Published: March, 2009
  • Pages: 245 pages (paperback)
  • Genre: Young Adult
  • Standalone or series: Standalone.
  • Why I read it: Um, have you NOT heard the buzz about how awesome this books is? It seems like every book blog I read last year sung it’s praises, but I only just got around to reading it.
  • Source: Library.
  • This book is ABSO-FECKIN-LUTELY as fabulously wonderful as everyone said it is. READ IT NOW. Why haven’t you read it yet?! Yes you (I see you!). Recommended for anyone who likes literary fiction, any type of YA, chick lit, and romance novels. This is a book you could recommend to pretty much ANY female in your circle of family, friends, and acquaintances. I would also recommend it as a book club read. While it is labeled as Young Adult there is quite a bit of sex and drugs raciness as well as seriousness surrounding death, phobias, and diseases.

    There was nothing I didn’t like about the book. Literally nothing.

    I’m usually not a fan of first-person narratives, especially in romantic types of stories, I want and need to hear both perspectives of how they fall in love, but Echols’ character development was so deft, detailed, and poignant that the clues were all there to pick up on, even if we only heard 17 year old Meg’s point of view.

    I also really connected with Meg, even with her dyed-blue hair, living in a trailer, working for free at her parent’s greasy spoon diner, sleeping with the town’s rich-boy-druggie…someone SO different from me the reader, I connected with her. This is no mean feat. But being inside Meg’s head, listening to the way she describes herself, the way she sees people around her, the way she observes the world – I got her. She was refreshing and cynical at the same time, a very mature 17 year old that’s for sure.

    One of the ways the writing enables us to connect so well with Meg is that she almost has running inside jokes with us, the reader. The book opens with her getting arrested for drinking and trespassing on dangerous railroad tracks on a bridge. Her punishment is to miss her senior year of high school spring break, the first time she would ever get out of her bumblefuck Alabama town, and spend the week riding with the cop who arrested her.

    She first thinks he is much older than he is, he’s so big and built and his uniform and confident way he holds himself confuses her on his age. She imagines his kids at home reading comic books, his wife cooking fruit cobbler, and anxiously listening to the police scanner while she waits for him to come home.

    While Meg finds out her cop (and he does become her cop more and more!), John, is actually 19 she still has that inside joke with us about the fruit cobbler. Every now and then she’ll bring it up, but relating it to herself.

    Here is one of my favorite passages, giving you an idea how fun it is to be inside Meg’s thoughts, and how she sets up scenes, inside jokes with us, and describes things so we can really connect with her:

    Before this I’d entertained a miniature thought of what might happen if I saw John when my official punishment was over two nights from now. The small thought had not become a large thought because it had no room to grow. Currently John was pouring Miracle-Gro on the thought. I was just getting out the hedge clippers to cut the thought down when he parked in front of Martini’s…

    [John walked into the bar to break up a potentially dangerous fight]

    I gripped the front of the seat with both sweaty hands to keep from jumping out of the car and running to him. And then I got completely freaking furious with myself. I did hope that I was not entertaining a plot to somehow date Johnafter? I cranked up the chain saw to cut down the plot made by Miracle-Gro.

    He got back into the car with much clinking of the weaponry attached to his belt. “What’s wrong?”…

    I pressed one finger between my eyes, still concentrating on the chain saw. Feel the chain saw. Be the chain saw…

    The chain saw had run out of gas.

    Life hasn’t been easy for Meg, and she hasn’t made it any easier for herself either. Her baggage and reasons for her rebellious nature are a few of the many layers of this amazing book. I turned each page super fast just to peel away each layer from both her, and John. Even though we’re in Meg’s POV she still keeps some secrets from us and when they are revealed, and when John finally reveals some of his own…well you won’t be unaffected, let’s just say that. Not everyone is a crier like me, but there is no way to read this book and be unaffected.

    This was my first Jennifer Echols book and I can’t wait to read more by her. As a lover of all things romance and stories that affect me on a deep emotional level I couldn’t ask for more than what I found in Going Too Far.

    All my fave bloggers have read and reviewed (and loved!) it too:

    Because of YOU Karen Marie Moning!

    Thanks to Kelly Clarkson and team for creating this song so I could change the lyrics and dedicate it to Karen Marie Moning. Because of HER I’m addicted to the Fever series after just reading all 4 published books in 2 days.

    Original lyrics here and video below.

    I will not read any other books besides yours
    I will not let myself
    Cause my heart so much misery
    I will not break just like Mac didn’t
    She fell so hard
    She learned the hard way
    To never lose her sidhe-seer hope

    Because of you
    I never stray too far from your
    message boards
    Because of you
    I learned to play
    Mac vs Shades; now I can’t do work
    Because of you
    I find it hard to trust not only Barrons, but everyone else around Mac
    Because of you
    I am addicted

    I lose my way
    And it’s not too long before you point it out
    I cannot sleep
    Because you write such cliffhangers in your books
    I’m forced to read
    your blog, your interviews for any hint
    My heart can’t possibly take
    Any other ending beside Mac & Barrons

    Because of you
    I never stray too far from the lights
    Because of you
    I learned a new vocab of Gaelic and Fae terms
    Because of you
    I find it hard to trust anyone besides Dani around Mac
    Because of you
    I am pri-ya

    I watched the beast die
    I heard a cry at night under the garage
    Mac was so young
    She didn’t know better than to lean on Barrons
    She never thought of outside Georgia
    She just learned of pain
    And now she hunts in the middle of the night
    For the same damn Book

    Because of you
    I keep rereading the lusty scenes from Dreamfever
    Because of you
    I learned to make up crazy theories so Mac ends up happy
    Because of you
    I try my hardest just to forget everything (that came before the Fever Series)
    Because of you
    I don’t know how to wait until
    Because of you
    I’m ashamed I took so long to read your books
    Because of you
    I am addicted

    Mid year review blitz and home alone

    A of all, it’s June! How can the year be half over?

    B of all, no I’m not reading Home Alone the book, I don’t think there even is one. And even though it’s one of my favorite movies of all time I don’t think a book version could compare to the awesomely entertaining visuals of that movie!

    So back to A. I can’t believe the year is half over already. I’m still writing 2009 as a date…ok let’s be honest sometimes even 2008. (*sidenote* I just hired someone in my HR database with a birthdate of 1990!!! If I’m still working as a recruiter in 10 years and hire someone born in the new millenium? I’ll just want to shrivel up and die right then and there)

    So far this year I’ve read 61 books. This includes re-reads. I’m not sure where that puts me on track for the rest of the year because I typically get a lot of reading done around holidays and vacations with all the travel time. So I think I should still get close to the 156 I read last year.

    Not only is 61 a pretty good number for 6 months of reading, but another not-quite-so-good number is 3. I’ve only written THREE reviews since January. *hanging head in shame*

    I love the blog world for it’s discussions  on books and community of similar tastes, but I just don’t like writing reviews. I just like to read and enjoy the book and not think too much about it or analyze it.

    But I still want to TALK about it and I think review posts are a good way to initiate that. I’m still NEVER going to be a “reviewer,” but I have about 10 post drafts half written and I’m going to try to get better about finishing them and hitting the “publish button.”

    Which brings us to B. I’m home alone for the weekend as hubby’s at ANOTHER bachelor party (he just got back from Vegas 2 weeks ago and will now be in NYC. Yes we have 6 weddings of good friends in the next year!) As much as I love him and his cute-currently-bearded-face, I do so enjoy when he’s out of town so I can watch Enchanted  and 17 Again and Real Housewives of… and read romance novels and blog all to my heart’s content.

    This weekend I’m going to try and put together a mid-year review blitz including my thoughts and reactions on:

    • Lead Me On, by Victoria Dahl
    • Hot Stuff, by Carly Phillips
    • Mistress by Mistake, by Maggie Robinson
    • and Going Too Far, by Jennifer Echols

    If I’m really motivated I might discuss a few more…we shall see.

    I’m also dedicating many many hours to reading Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series as I have the first three sitting in a nice stack on my nightstand right now. I’m excited to glom them all in a row, frantically search for the 4th (dangit, still on hold at the lib!) and then wait in agony with the rest of y’all for the final book in the series to come out later this year.

    Hope the rest of you have fun weekends planned too!

    Library loot: I’ve got a Fever

    Even though I recently shared my distasteful history with our inner city libraries, I can’t just NOT GO to the library! I mean, I read 156 books last year, there is no way I could afford to buy that many. But I am lucky(?) enough to work in Northern Virginia so I can enjoy their nice suburban 0nes. In fact I’ve been to the library twice in the past 3 days as I’ve had a couple of holds come through.

    I put the whole KMM Fever series on hold, but OF COURSE the lady(man?) who has the first book the series is taking forever to return it. Quel irony that the 2nd and 3rd books in the series are available but whoever has the first one is just sitting on it for over a month, n’est-ce pas?

    I was getting kinda worked up about this (in case you can’t tell) but my grousing and fuming was interrupted by a sliver of hope – maybe the library has it is Large Print? I’ve done this before in other Extreme Circumstances where imusthavebookNOW and was thrilled to find Darkfever was indeed in the LP section!

    This series came recommended by Smexy Mandi following my disillusionment of long series as the Fever series clocks in at 4 published and the 5th and final coming out this December. I can also now happily add Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series to my list of “approved length” series as I just found out it’s “only” going to be 6 long with the final one coming out this year too!

    But of course my library loot didn’t end there, check out my great stack this week (catching the last rays of sun yesterday on our balcony when I came home): 

    Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen: sisters, magic, the South, and family ties all sound like things I want to read about! This is an author I have seen good things about all over the place, so I have her other books on hold too.

    Going Too Far, Jennifer Echols: I’m reading this one first, sorry Fever series! But the hype and promise of this book is too good to ignore!

    Twenties Girl, Sophie Kinsella: caught my eye on the new release shelf, even though it’s been out for a year, but Kinsella is a reliable, likeable popcorn/lighthearted read for me.

    Darkfever, Bloodfever, Faefever, by Karen Marie Moning: saving these for the weekend so I can read about MacKayla’s discovery she is no ordinary 21st century woman all in a row.

    Library Loot is a weekly meme host by Marg and Eva.

    random stuff on my brain

    Attention. This is a PSA announcement, please be aware this is not a real blog post. Thank you for listening, you may return to your regular blog reading.

    Hey folks, today I just have a bunch of junk rattling around in my brain and it’s too much to fit in Twitter…

    One of my pet peeves is when someone says, “Ugh, I have this song stuck in my head! It’s so annoying!” And then they look at you expectantly for you to say, “What song” And then they tell you, or even worse, sing it for you. And 90% of the time then YOU get it stuck in your head! Argh. I would really prefer my friends suffer in silence and not drag me down.

    But here on the internet, you can’t stop me! Guess what is stuck in my head?! “That’s How You Know” from Disney’s Enchanted. I watched it TWO WEEKS ago people, and I still hear Amy Adams in my head. One of my tried and true ways of dealing with a song stuck in my head is to listen to it over and over. Don’t ask me how it helps, but somehow it does. So if you’d like to join me, here is the clip.


    Secondly I just finished reading Spirit Bound the latest Vampire Academy book by Richelle Mead and OH MY GOD it was awesome! I have been trolling the internets looking for Team Adrian badges, but haven’t found any good ones. Then I messed around is MS Paint for a little while before i remembered my atrocious paint/photoshop/anything creative skills. sigh. I did see this awesome t-shit on Richelle’s blog from one of her recent signings: 

    Sorry I am SO OVER Dimitri. I won’t get to spoiler-y here, but I totally gave up hope on him and cannot change my mind back. Plus Adrian is such a fascinating guy! I really really really wish Rose would like him more :( I know you can’t help who you love, but I’m all for her and Adrian! Only one more book in the series left, right?!??!!!

    As an even further random aside into what’s going on in my brain – as much as I fall in love with books, characters, and the worlds they live in, a badge for my blog, or maaayyybe a t-shirt is as far as I will go. Getting REAL tattoos like the ones described in the book? (The Guardians in the VA books get one each time they kill a “bad” vampire, and get one for initiation) That is weird and going way too far into taking fiction a BIT too seriously for me.  Besides the VA books, I saw people did that for Phaedre’s marque from the Jacqueline Carey books. I don’t know why, but it just doesn’t sit well with me. I can’t explain where the line should be drawn, like why being a fan of the Yankees and getting their symbol tattooed is ok, or getting your favorite cartoon character as a tatoo, but something from fiction literature that has never been drawn in real life before? Squick. Sorry!


    Lastly, what is up with character’s not really swearing in historical romances?! I mean they can say “Zounds!” And “La, sir, I don’t give a fig!” but recently I’ve been seeing, “he uttered an old anglo saxon word.” Or someone says, “some of the best words for sex are from the old anglo saxon language.” Now I totally assume they are referring to the word Fuck. Right? Are there any other swear words that are very anglo saxon?

    I love looking up root words and learning about etymology and how wars and culture shifts changed language over time. One of my favorite books for this is Bill Bryson’s The Mother Tongue. I might have to do a bit more digging into this Anglo-Saxon business…

    Bloggers in NYC and May Lusty reading list

    Much like my new favorite commercial for the NHL, there are no words to describe how much fun I had meeting various bloggers in New York City! Oh wait, you have to write words on a blog? Especially one about words in books?

     Hmm, well a picture’s worth a thousand words, right? Although I wasn’t able to go to BEA during the day since I had to work (sadface) I was super excited to meet some of my favorite book bloggers at a get together arranged by none other than The Book Smugglers Thursday night. They have a full group pic up, but here is one I was able to get on my camera:  

    Thea, Angie, moi, Anna

     The bar was very swanky and the rain outside could not dampen our mood. After I was over 30 minutes late to dinner with several DC area bloggers last month I was DETERMINED to be early, and Heather of Age30Books was too. We made eye contact as we hovered awkwardly over the reserved table and were the first to tentatively say “hi, are you a book blogger?” Saying that out loud gave me nervous butterflies at first, like what if she wasn’t? and how dorky do i sound? But by the time we greeted the 8th, 9th…person at the table it was an exciting thing to exclaim! Heather and Kristen from Fantasy Cafe were some of the few new-to-me bloggers I met that night. I also got to chat briefly with Christine from The happily ever after who I know from weekly Library Loot posts, Janice  of Janicu whose recent post on her new nook made me want to buy one for Father’s Day, and the lovely KMont from Lurv a la Mode. We had a long table so I didn’t get to talk to everyone, hope I’m not forgetting anybody!

     Then there were the women I’ve traded so many emails, guest posts, blog comments and tweets with, Angie (Angieville) and Thea and Anna (do I even need to say their blog name?). Our conversations ranged from rehashing topics we’ve talked about online, books we’re reading now, thoughts on long series and when you have to break up with them, and chatting about our significant others and our actual real lives! I also finally got to mock-scold slash thank Thea and Anna profusely for prompting me to read so many books they recommend. They said they had been hearing that from everyone they met at BEA and BBC! Hmm, I wonder why? *tapping finger against chin* They are book-pimps extraordinaire!

     It was an absolutely lovely night all in all, and convinced me that next time I really need to take the time off work and make it to the actual Book Expo!

     I also wanted to put up my May reading list – last month I read 1 YA fantasy, 2 paranormal romance, 5 historical romance, 1 contemp romance, and 2 In Death books which almost defy classification…  

    1. Loyalty in Death, JD Robb A my fave (well, tied with the first) so far in the series!
    2. Sprit Bound, Richelle Mead A-
    3. All Thought the Night, Connie Brockway A-
    4. The Windflower, Sharon and Tom Curtis A-
    5. See Jane Score, Rachel Gibson A-
    6. Witness in Death, JB Robb B+
    7. A Rake’s Guide to Pleasure, Victoria Dahl B+
    8. Pride Mates, Jennifer Ashley B-
    9. The Taking, Erin McCarthy B-
    10. Secrets of the Heart, Kasey Michaels C (did not stand the test of time, was one of my faves when I first started reading romance, but when I picked it up 12 years later it fell flat for me)
    11. Mistress by Mistake, Maggie Robinson DNF


     I’m thinking of actually writing some reviews about some of these, so stay tuned!