Friday, July 1, 2011

Friday Finds: July 1, 2001

During Friday Finds, you're suppose to showcase any great books that you have found during the week. I do it a little different, instead of highlighting books that I have discovered during the week. I highlight books that I am adding to Mount TBR. I have discovered these books with the help of all the great book bloggers on the worldwide web.

On to this weeks finds:

The first two books are courtesy of A Book Blog. Period.

Battle Royale by Koushun Takami

Description (from

Battle Royale, a high-octane thriller about senseless youth violence, is one of Japan's best-selling - and most controversial - novels. As part of a ruthless program by the totalitarian government, ninth-grade students are taken to a small isolated island with a map, food, and various weapons. Forced to wear special collars that explode when they break a rule, they must fight each other for three days until only one "winner" remains. The elimination contest becomes the ultimate in must-see reality television. A Japanese pulp classic available in English for the first time, Battle Royale is a potent allegory of what it means to be young and survive in today's dog-eat-dog world.

Bonjour Tristess by Francoise Sagan

Descriptions (from

Endearing, self-absorbed, seventeen-year-old Cécile is the very essence of untroubled amorality. Freed from the stifling constraints of boarding school, she joins her father—a handsome, still-young widower with a wandering eye—for a carefree, two-month summer vacation in a beautiful villa outside of Paris with his latest mistress, Elsa. Cécile cherishes the free-spirited moments she and her father share, while plotting her own sexual adventures with a "tall and almost beautiful" law student. But the arrival of her late mother's best friend, Anne, intrudes upon a young girl's pleasures. And when a relationship begins to develop between the adults, Cécile and her lover set in motion a plan to keep them apart...with tragic, unexpected consequences.

From Leafing Through Life comes a book that was reviewed way back in January.

The Financial Lives of The Poets by Jess Walter

Description (from Google Books)

What happens when small-time reporter Matthew Prior quits his job to gamble everything on a quixotic notion: a Web site devoted to financial journalism in the form of blank verse? Before long, he wakes up to find himself jobless, hobbled with debt, spying on his wife's online flirtation, and six days away from losing his home. . . . Until, one night on a desperate two a.m. run to 7-Eleven, he falls in with some local stoners, and they end up hatching the biggest—and most misbegotten—plan yet.

From Red Adept Reviews, which reviews mostly indie author works.

The Angel & The Brown-Eyed Boy by Sandy Nathan

Description (from Google Books)

A visitor from a dying planet, Eliana's people put her where she needed to be to complete her mission . . .New York City on the eve of Armageddon, in the late 22nd century . . . perhaps Mistaken for a Russian ballet dancer, the angelic Eliana finds her destinationżthe Hermitage Academy, a famous high school for the arts. Soon she discovers that this Earth is a strange and violent place, where people live in fear, and where her very presence makes some want to protect her and others want to hurt her.It is a century after the second Russian revolution, when technology was outlawed and Tsar Yuri took over most of world, ushering in the Great Peace. For the U.S. president, Lincoln Charles, peace is doable . . . just focus on the positive, project a trustworthy image, and make sure that dissenters are taken care of quietly, permanently. Something terrible, though, is about to happen; and for Eliana, not much time remains to find the Golden Boy.

Review from: Red Adept Reviews

The last Friday Finds is a nonfiction piece that I stumbled upon from White Readers Meet Black Authors.

The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander

Description (from Google Books):

As the United States celebrates the nation's "triumph over race" with the election of Barack Obama, the majority of young black men in major American cities are locked behind bars or have been labeled felons for life. Although Jim Crow laws have been wiped off the books, an astounding percentage of the African American community remains trapped in a subordinate status - much like their grandparents before them.

In this incisive critique, former litigator-turned-legal-scholar Michelle Alexander provocatively argues that we have not ended racial caste in America: we have simply redesigned it. Alexander shows that, by targeting black men and decimating communities of color, the U.S. criminal justice system functions as a contemporary system of racial control, even as it formally adheres to the principle of color blindness. The New Jim Crow challenges the civil rights community - and all of us - to place mass incarceration at the forefront of a new movement for racial justice in America.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: June 28th

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

One of the downsides of reading ebook editions is that there are no pages to flip. So, I had to use my Nook slider Go To Page function to participate in this weeks Teaser Tuesdays.

From "page" 284 of The Raising by Laura Kasischke. Warning Strong Language.

And how she slapped him hard when he started to laugh.

Even then with his dick seven inches into her, Craig couldn't remember her name, and he'd told her that.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Mailbox Monday: June 27th

Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
There hasn't been many books coming into my place in the past month or so. I am trying to read some of the books that I have sitting in boxes and the ones housed on my Nook.

On Sunday, I took a trip to my local Target to return a couple of items. While browsing for stuff to by, I stopped in their book section to see what they had. I found this:

Now, I sort of have a love-hate relationship with Zane. I use to read her books and really enjoyed them but than I read Nervous and decided to give her books a rest for awhile. I couldn't even finish reading Nervous, that is how bad it was to me.

So, when I saw this in Target, I wasn't sure but the blurb intrigued me and I decided to take a chance with her once again.

Blurb from back of Book:

Waitress Brooke Alexander is in love with Patrick Sterling, one of the most prominent attorneys in Washington, D.C. On his good days, Patrick is the man of every woman's dreams. On his bad days, he's a complete nightmare...

Compassionate and honest, Damon Johnson worships the ground his wife, Carleigh, walks on, while she treats him like a trophy husband and views his life aspirations as a joke. He's beginning to wonder if he made the right decision when he asked for her hand in marriage...

When a tragic event brings Brook and Damon together, they see truths about their relationships they never wanted to accept. Sometimes two people meet by pure chance, but sometimes it's... a total eclipse of the heart.

What's in your mailbox?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Booking Through Thursday: Own or Borrow

This week Booking Through Thursday ask:
All things being equal (money, space, etc), would you rather own copies of the books you read? Or borrow them?
If I had the space, money and all the other things that I needed in order to house books. I would own.

I have always had the dream of owning my own library. It dates back to when I was a kid. My grandmother was a reader and brought a lot of books. She use to have books shelved in milk crates that lined the landing of the stairs. Whenever I walked up and down the stairs all I would see is books housed in their square plastic crates. I think because of that experience I have a desire to have my own collection.

Maybe one day.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Promises she Keeps by Erin Healy

Rating: 3 Stars
Pages: 329 (Paperback)
Genre: Fiction (Christian Suspense)
Series: No
Publication Year: 2011
Source: Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists

Synopsis (From Back Cover):

Promise, a talented young singer with a terminal illness, is counting on fame to keep her memory alive after she dies. Porta is an aging sorceress and art collector in search of immortality.

When Promise inexplicably survives a series of freak accidents, Porta believes that she may hold the key to eternal life.

Enter Chase, an autistic artist who falls in love with Promise and fascinates her with his mysterious visions and drawings.

Soon, all are plunged into a confrontation over the mystery and the cost of something even greater than eternal life... eternal love.


When I received an email from Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists about review The Promises She Keeps, I was intrigued and agreed to review it. Neither the email or the back blurb prepared me for this book. First, I was expecting Christian Fiction and second I was expecting something more suspense and romance. There is some romantic love but I didn’t find it very suspenseful.

The plot revolves around Promises and how Porta quest for eternal life effects a lot of people. Some whom have never met. I liked the basic plot, it was interesting by itself. Since this was a Christian fiction novel there was a struggle between Porta's occult religious views and Chases Christian beliefs. There was some overt religious references in the books, quote from scripture and such, but it didn't distracted me from the story for the most part. Towards the end there was a section dealing with Chases twin sister, Chelsea, and his mentor, Wes, that did pull me out of the story a little.

The back cover mentions eternal love, and Chase falling in love with Promise. Chase falls in love with Promise after meeting her once. During the whole story Chase and Promise interact maybe five times and because of his autism those meetings are awkward. I don't understand how he fell in love with her but Chase is the character that I found it the hardest to connect with. I don't know if this was the authors, Erin Healy, attention but Chase fell flat for me especially since his character was so essential to the storyline.

Promises character, also didn't connect with me. I found her to be sometimes selfish and I wasn't sympathetic to her struggle, illness or desire for fame. The characters that I did like and could connect to were minor characters. Chelsea and Wes, their subplot and their feelings towards Chase grabbed me and had my attention. I also like Zack, he was one of the more three dimensional characters in the story. I think he should have been mention on the back cover, because I honestly don't see how the storyline could have progressed without him.

Healy's writing style was a little hard to get use to. The story seemed to go back and forth between realism and magical realism. I didn't find the book that engaging, in fact it took me months to finish it. I would sit it down and completely forget about for weeks at a time.

Pros: Plot
Cons: Characters, Writing

Overall Recommendation:

This book overall was just average. It was not bad enough to make me completely give it up. On the other had it was not good enough to keep my attention. I don't think I would recommend this book to anyone to read because it didn't standout enough for me. It was sort of forgettable.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Teaser Tuesday: June 07

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

This week I am reading The Promises She Keeps by Erin Healy.

From page 232:

"of course she does." Porta rested one of her hands lightly on Promise's head. In the past month, her hands had aged more than they had in the past decade. They had become loose and papery and fearful of Porta's loom birthday. Even now, they quivered. Porta hated them.

Do you participate in Teaser Tuesday? If so leave a link to you teaser.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Sunday Salon: Beach Reading

What is the Sunday Salon? Imagine some university library's vast reading room. It's filled with people--students and faculty and strangers who've wandered in. They're seated at great oaken desks, books piled all around them, and they're all feverishly reading and jotting notes in their leather-bound journals as they go. Later they'll mill around the open dictionaries and compare their thoughts on the afternoon's literary intake....

It's been awhile since I have participated in The Sunday Salon. If I am honest with myself it has been a long time since I have participated in the world of books and book blogging. I have done some reading but it has been spotty and I never got around to posting my reviews or reading reviews of other bloggers.

I live in Miami now, only about a 10 minute walk from the beach. I have lived in this apartment for over a year and never once spent the day enjoying the beach and warm ocean water. One of the New Years Resolutions that I had made for myself was to go to the beach at least once a week and read. It's now June, six months into the year and this is the first time that I have kept my resolution.

I don't why it took me so long. It was such a relaxing experience. I spent two hours at the beach, just laying around and reading. I think the beach made me enjoy the book I am reading even more. Currently, I am reading The Promises She Keeps by Erin Healy. I have been trying to complete it for months and have been having a problem completing it. I don't that it is all the books fault, the majority of the blame is probably me. It's hard to balance everything, work and fun. But I am trying.

This is the view I enjoyed while reading. I don't know what took me so long to walk the five blocks to the beach, but now I am hooked. Now, I am hooked and can't wait until next Sunday.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

MatchMakers 2.0 by Debora Geary

Rating: 3.5 Stars
Pages: Ebook Edition (20,000 words)
Genre: Romance
Series: No
Publication Year: 2011
Source: Free From Courtesy of Read An Ebook Week.

Synopsis :

MICK-Guppy scientist and victim of her self-inflicted dating adventures.
MIRI-Astrology whiz and promoter of steamy sex for the greater good.
DERRICK-Data genius and life idiot.

Meet the match team at, the web 2.0 online-dating service with a personal touch.

Can Mick lead her team, find a guy, and finally win Match the Loser?


Matchmakers 2.0 is not a novel. The author, Debora Geary, calls it a Novel Nibbles which is a cutesy way for saying short story. I finished this short while enjoying the day at the beach with my sister and cousin. It was very light and entertaining, the prefect beach read.

Since Matchmakers 2.0 is a short story there is not a lot of room for the character development that I am use from novels. The story is told from the point of view of Mick, a scientist turned online matchmaker. Mick is corky and smart. I like the fact that Geary was able to develop Micks character in such a short story and makes the reader feel like they know her. It makes her more relate-able. In fact, most of the characters that were in the story were memorable and well thought out.

I found myself wishing that this was a longer piece. The problem with a lot of short stories is that ending seems rushed and Matchmakers 2.0 suffered the same fate. All the little storylines were wrapped neatly into a little bow. Which isn't bad since the genre is romance but I think I would have enjoyed it more if it had been dragged out a little bit more. If there had just been a little bit more “action”.

Pros: Characters, Humor, Plot

Cons: Length

Overall Recommendation:

If you are looking for a lighthearted read for the beach, lunch break, or work commute this is the prefect choice. The characters are likeable, the story enjoyable and funny.

Where to Buy:

Amazon, Smashword, Barnes and Nobles

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Frugalist Files by Natalie P. McNeal

Rating: 2.5 Stars
Pages: Ebook Edition
Genre: Self Help
Series: No
Publication Year: 2010
Source: Review Copy from NetGallery

Synopsis :

Fru·gal·is·ta [froo-guh-lee-stuh] - noun
1. A person who lives within her means and saves, but still looks good, eats well and lives fabulously.

Natalie P. McNeal opened her credit card statements in January 2008 and tallied up her loans to find that
she was a staggering five figures—$20,000!—in debt. Young, hip and gainfully (if Dilbertly) employed, Natalie loved her lifestyle of regular mani/pedis, daily take-out, shopping sprees and nights on the town. But clearly, something had to give.

And so The Frugalista Files was born. Through her Miami Herald blog, Natalie confessed her spending
habits to the world—and it turns out she wasn’t the only girl out there having trouble balancing the budget! The Frugalista Files will share the good, the bad and the ugly—how Natalie started the blog, stuck to her “no-buy month” despite a breakup that could have used some retail therapy, and ultimately discovered how to maintain her lifestyle while digging herself out of debt.

This is personal finance in peep-toe pumps—at once the inspiring story of how one woman went where no broke fashionista had gone before and your ultimate guide to living a fabulous, yet still frugal, life.


This seemed like the prefect book to start off a New Year, a book to describe how to live a fabulous life without going book. Unfortunately The Frugalista Files fulls short. This is not actually a personal finance guide, it is a look into one woman's struggle to live within her means and pay off the debt that she owes. If you a looking for a book to help you with your personal finances than look somewhere else.

The Frugalista Files is step in like blog or journal entries in month date format. I think the purpose of the format was to let readers see how McNeal struggled in her path to live frugally but most of the time it was just an overview of her day and had nothing to do with living frugally. The format made this a boring read for me. I think the book would have been better if it was done in normal chapter format. With each chapter dealing with some of the obstacles McNeal encountered in the first year of being a Frugalista.

There are a few interesting stories like her relationship with Mr. X and her co-workers. There is also a heart breaking story of her friend dying of brain cancer. These stories are few, mostly it is about her day to day life. Fear of losing her job, having people like she is broke. All done in a rather bland matter.

I didn't learn anything new from this The Frugalista Files, which is what I expect to do when I read a self help book. The only thing that might be new for some people is that bring lunch to work is cheaper than take out. Walking short distances saves gas. Ross, Marshalls, and TJ Maxx are cheaper than department stores. That's it and I already knew all those things.

Pros: A few good stories and interesting moments
Cons: No New or Insightful information, Annoying word usage (example: Heehee and LOL), Boring

Overall Recommendation:

If you are looking for a book to help you plan your finances and still live a comfortable, enjoyable life look elsewhere.