Tuesday, February 16, 2010

To Read Someday

Oh boy...this list could get me in trouble!  There are so many great books on my shelf, on my ipod, on my reader and in the bookstore.  Where do I find the time?  See Shelfari on the left for books I want to read and books I have read.

Review Policy

My review policy is very simple, but first, some things you should know....the review is my opinion and my opinion only.  I am not compensated for reading any materials or encouraged in any way to post a review I do not 100% truly agree with. 

Must Read:  A book that would be 5 starfish out of 5.  I want to read it all night long and take a day off work so I can just keep reading!

Great Read:  A book that would be 4 starfish out of 5.  I want to read it all night long.

Good Read:  A book that would be 3 starfish out of 5.  I am enjoying my reading time.

Okay Read:  A book that would be 2 starfish out of 5. This would be a book that I stopped reading approximately 1/3 through it and it is not "grabbing" me.  I have too many other books I would rather get to.

Not My Kind of Read: A book that would be 1 starfish out of 5. This would be a book that I couldn't past Chapter 3.

My Favorite Books



Blogs I Follow

Here are a few of my favorite book blogs that I follow:

Bookworm with a View

Peace, Love & Scrapbooking

Write Meg

Stephanie the Bookworm

Chick Lit Reviews and News

Chick Lit Central

Outnumbered 3 to 1

The Broke and the Bookish

A Sea of Books

Booking Mama

Manic Mommies® Media, Inc.

Welcome / About me

Welcome to Seaside Book Nook

My perfect reading place would be on a big wrap-around porch over-looking the ocean. The waves would be crashing into the shore, seagulls talking, and the sun shining. Since I live in western NY, this blog has become my "perfect reading place."

A Little About Me

I love to read, among many other things, but never seems to have the time - work just seems to get in the way. My three kids and husband make my life complete, even when things are stressful or crazy. I also love to scrapbook, make cards and knit. Just like reading, there just aren't enough hours in the day. My dream is to one day own a store that is divided into thirds: a quaint bookstore, scrapbook retreat and a knitting nook. Of course this is after I win the lotto!

My Sister's Keeper

New York Times bestselling author Jodi Picoult is widely acclaimed for her keen insights into the hearts and minds of real people. Now she tells the emotionally riveting story of a family torn apart by conflicting needs and a passionate love that triumphs over human weakness.
Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate — a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now. Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister — and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.
My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life, even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less? Should you follow your own heart, or let others lead you? Once again, in My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult tackles a controversial real-life subject with grace, wisdom, and sensitivity.

Years ago when this book first came out, it blew me away. I absolutely loved it and recommended it to everyone. My neighbors, family members, and friends also loved it. The end of the book has such a twist to it, I never saw it coming. For those of you who may have seen the movie (great movie, but not like the book, especially the ending and the story about the brother), the book is a thousand times better. Jodi Picoult is an amazing writer and known for tackling controversial issues that make us really challenge our thinking. The book is somewhat made up of 5 books within in a book as each main character takes turns telling the story from their point of view. I loved this book so much, that when Jodi visited my favorite bookstore in Dayton (www.booksandcompany.com), I had to call at once and request a signed book (of course it was my sisters keeper). I now own two copies and someday will pass a copy to down to each daughter.

Another favorite Picoult book of mine is Nineteen Minutes.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Holly's Inbox

Meet Holly Denham. It's her first day as a receptionist at a London investment bank and inexperienced Holly is struggling. Take a peek at her email and you'll see why: Holly's inbox is a daily source of drama.

Publishers Weekly
Holly Denham, the lead of this epistolary novel (and yes, the name of the author), is an overwhelmed receptionist at a major British bank. The reader's access to Holly's frantic life is via her e-mail inbox-the entirety of the novel, in fact, is e-mail messages sent by, among others, her gay best friend (a chick lit necessity), her brassy co-workers (another requirement), her meddling mother (check, again) and, of course, her would-be paramour (ditto). The plot runs along very traditional lines, and in the end overreaches for a happy ending, but this overlong novel's saving graces are its fast pacing and very funny writing. Some of the best exchanges are between Holly and her grandmother, who sends e-mails that just read "TESTING" and signs her up for annoyingly spammy Web services. Despite the limitations inherent in an e-epistolary novel, the book is populated by vibrant, endearing characters, and Denham manages to juggle a dozen story lines at once. The ending's contrived, but feel-good, which, in these gloomy times, might be enough to do the trick.

The entire story is told through the email of the main characters. I found it very easy to read and was often running late, because I just wanted (needed) to read one more email to find out what happened. It’s an addictive format. This is a standard chic-lit book. It is a cute updated Bridget Jones type of book. I think it could have easily been written by Meg Cabot or Sophia Kinsella, whom I adore. I LOVE their chic-lit. The book is funny and somewhat predictable. You will laugh and want it to continue. I was disappointed when it came to an end and I could no longer see what Holly was up to. The grandma in the book is hilarious.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

THe Notebook

Every so often a love story so captures our hearts that it becomes more than a story-it becomes an experience to remember forever. The Notebook is such a book. It is a celebration of how passion can be ageless and timeless, a tale that moves us to laughter and tears and makes us believe in true love all over again... At thirty-one, Noah Calhoun, back in coastal North Carolina after World War II, is haunted by images of the girl he lost more than a decade earlier. At twenty-nine, socialite Allie Nelson is about to marry a wealthy lawyer, but she cannot stop thinking about the boy who long ago stole her heart. Thus begins the story of a love so enduring and deep it can turn tragedy into triumph, and may even have the power to create a miracle...

The Notebook is an oldie but goodie. I wanted to write a post about it, since I have a story to share about Nicholas. Back in 1996 when the book first came out and Nicholas was not known as an author, I was in the Walden’s Bookstore in the Avenues Mall in Jacksonville Florida. I was at the counter purchasing something when the manager handed me The Notebook. It had just been released the day before and she said I must buy it. She read it a day and LOVED it. I was a little skeptical, but she said, if I didn’t like it, she would refund my money. Now she had me curious. I week later I went back to the bookstore and bought 4 more for some friends who I knew would love it and my mother. My mom and I both fell in love with Nicholas (he is really cute). So, Fall of 1996, the Book Nook (also in Jacksonville, FL), had Nicholas in their store for a book signing. I couldn’t believe it. Of course I went (left work early) and there was 4 (yes 4, as in 1, 2, 3, 4) of there. Like I said, he was not even known yet. We sat right down with him in folding chairs and talked for over an hour. He showed us pictures of his wife and kids (the twins were not born yet). I feel head over heels. He also told us that there was a final chapter to the book that was never published. Over the years, I have purchased Nicholas’ books day one when they are released. Some I like more than others, but I do like them all.

When I moved to Ohio, I was so excited, there is a book store (the best book store EVER) called Books & Co. (www.booksandcompany.com) and they would have Nicholas in twice a year for book signs. It had become so crazy, that my numbers (they give out numbers for the book signings) have been 275, 406, 387, 319 and 5!! I was number 5 when my mom came to town for one of his book signings and sat in line outside the store while I was at work. I brought us dinner when I got off work. We had a blast. The first 20 people got select seating right up front. My mom loved it and was so excited to meet him. Every time I went to a book signing of his, I would remind him that I was one of the 4 that sat at his first book signing in Florida.

So, what can I say about the book – fantastic. If you haven’t read it, pick it up today, you will not be sorry. If you have seen the movie – the book is 100 times better. This will always be my favorite Nicholas Sparks book, but I would recommend them all. As far as books that have been made into movies, they are all great, but the books are much better. My favorite movie is Message in a Bottle (filmed in Maine!) and A Walk to Remember. The soundtrack from Message in a Bottle is still one of my favorite.

Look for other posts since I have a lot of stories regarding Nicholas and his books!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Summer House by Jean Stone

She made a life with one man--but always loved another at...The Summer House.

Jean Stone captured readers' imaginations with the "graceful prose, vivid imagery and compassionately drawn characters" (Publishers Weekly) of novels like Tides of the Heart and Places by the Sea. Now, in her latest novel, she reveals the public scandals of a family destined for political greatness--and the private secrets of a woman who traded her childhood dreams for a role she was born to play....

As a young girl, Liz Adams always knew that her father, Boston power broker Will Adams, had big plans--dreams and schemes that would bring Liz's older brother all the way to the White House. But when fate deals the family a tragic blow, Will is forced to change his picture-perfect plans--and place the family's political future squarely on Liz's shoulders.

Two decades later, Liz has married the man her father molded into the perfect presidential candidate. But weeks before the election, tragedy strikes again--and this time Liz can't hide the pain of a life lived by someone else's rules. Seeking refuge at her family's home on Martha's Vineyard, Liz finds only painful memories of the past--and the long-lost love she let slip away. Now, as her family's darkest hour looms, the woman torn between two men will finally discover what her heart has known all along....

My mom bought this book several years ago at a library sale in Maine, because she loved the cover. It was the first book that we both read by Jean Stone. Subsequently we read all hear books. This book was great. It remind me of the Kennedys. I love the way Jean describes Martha's Vineyard and all the little details. I would love to vacation there some day (all of Jean's book do a great job describing the islands). This is a quick read with twists that I didn't anticipate. I just wanted more and more - I didn't want it to end.


Grayson is Lynne Cox's first book since Swimming to Antarctica ("Riveting"-Sports Illustrated; "Pitch-perfect"-Outside). In it she tells the story of a miraculous ocean encounter that happened to her when she was seventeen and in training for a big swim (she had already swum the English Channel, twice, and the Catalina Channel).
It was the dark of early morning; Lynne was in 55-degree water as smooth as black ice, two hundred yards offshore, outside the wave break. She was swimming her last half-mile back to the pier before heading home for breakfast when she became aware that something was swimming with her. The ocean was charged with energy as if a squall was moving in; thousands of baby anchovy darted through the water like lit sparklers, trying to evade something larger. Whatever it was, it felt large enough to be a white shark coursing beneath her body.
It wasn't a shark. It became clear that it was a baby gray whale-following alongside Lynne for a mile or so. Lynne had been swimming for more than an hour; she needed to get out of the water to rest, but she realized that if she did, the young calf would follow her onto shore and die from collapsed lungs.
The baby whale-eighteen feet long!-was migrating on a three-month trek to its feeding grounds in the Bering Sea, an eight-thousand-mile journey. It would have to be carried on its mother's back for much of that distance, and was dependent on its mother's milk for food-baby whales drink up to fifty gallons of milk a day. If Lynne didn't find the mother whale, the baby would suffer from dehydration and starve to death.
Something so enormous-the mother whale was fifty feet long-suddenly seemed very small in the vast Pacific Ocean. How could Lynne possibly find her?
This is the story-part mystery, part magical tale-of what happened . .

As I was reading this book, I kept thinking to myself, oh how I would have loved to be able to being swimming along the side of the baby whale. Lyne does a wonderful job describing what it was like to swim for four hours in the ocean. I was right there besides her. I plan on reading this to my 6 yr old daughters and 8 yr old son this summer. They all love the ocean and whales and dolphins. I gave this book to many people as a gift. It is just a magical book.



Must think happy thoughts. Julie Andrews dancing. Cadbury's chocolate Easter eggs. But no amount of positive thinking changes the fact that Jeremy—the man of my dreams, the man I would marry, the man who should spend his whole life worshipping me and lavishing me with kisses—went to Thailand to find himself.
Obviously I'm not as cute and witty as I thought I was, since while I've been sitting around every weekend, he's been sleeping with half of Thailand. And then he found Someone Else. That someone not being me.
I have been pathetic.
But now I will date. I will become the queen of dating. I will forget all about him.
Single in Boston, that's me. But not for long…!

Description: milkrun\'milk run\ (plural) milkruns noun
1. a routine and often slow journey esp. taken from the delivery of milk 2. The process of dating to no avail why am I on the milkrun and not the express?!

Loved it! This is a chick lit book, which is a genre I enjoy escaping too. I laughed out loud at some of situations the characters get themselves into. The relationship between all the friends…..ah to be twenty something again! This is an easy, laid back, funny read. I would also recommend Fish Bowl by Sarah as well. I am looking forward to reading Monkey Business and Me vs. Me.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas

If you have not read James Patterson book, Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas, you need to put it on your "must read" list. This book is on my top 10 of favorite books. This is not a typical James Patterson book. I hate Matt in the beginning of the book due to assumptions I made. By the end all it all comes together and you finally understand what Matt is going through. This amazing book that grabs your attention straight from the beginning and you won't be able to put it down.

Katie Wilkinson has found the perfect man at last—but one day he disappears from her life, leaving behind only a diary for her to read.

The diary is written by a woman named Suzanne and is addressed to her new baby boy, Nicholas. In it she pours out her heart about the joy he has brought her.

The Middle Place

As I was reviewing the "coming soon" selection, I noticed that Kelly Corrigan has a new book coming out March 2, 2010, Lift. Kelly has a way of telling a story and keeping you wanting more. She has a gift for you wanting more. I had a hard time puting the book down. By the time I was done, I wanted to belong to the family. After reading the book, I believe the "middle place" means that place where we are the parent, raising our own kids and the child still needing our parents. Through out the book Kelly goes back and forth between being a mother, daughter, sister and wife...her middle place. Even though she takes us on her journey of being diagnosed with breast cancer, treatment and surival, it is not a sad cancer memoir. It is a wonderful story of family.


For Kelly Corrigan, family is everything. At thirty-six, she had a marriage that worked, two funny, active kids, and a weekly newspaper column. But even as a thriving adult, Kelly still saw herself as the daughter of garrulous Irish-American charmer George Corrigan. She was living deep within what she calls the Middle Place—"that sliver of time when parenthood and childhood overlap"—comfortably wedged between her adult duties and her parents' care. But Kelly is abruptly shoved into coming-of-age when she finds a lump in her breast—and gets the diagnosis no one wants to hear. When George, too, learns that he has late-stage cancer, it is Kelly's turn to take care of the man who had always taken care of her—and to show us a woman who finally takes the leap and grows up.

Kelly Corrigan is, more than anything else, the mother of two young girls. While they're at school, Kelly writes a newspaper column and the occasional magazine article and possible chapters of a novel. She is also the creator of CircusOfCancer.org, a website to teach people how to help a friend through breast cancer. Kelly lives outside San Francisco with her husband, Edward Lichty.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Kids Are All Right Review

I just finished a wonderful book - The Kids Are All Right by Diana and Liz Welch. It was amazing. It is a very quick fast read that grabs you right away. This book is told by all four siblings from their point of view. I absolutely love the reflection of the 80's....the music, clothes, hair, carefree living. This book had me laughing, crying and laughing again. I was up until 3 am reading it. Even though these 4 people had to endure so much pain in their younger years, they don't seem to pity themselves. They were amazingly supportive to each other. My heart just went to Diana for being so young and feeling like her family betrayed her. Also, I am in awe of Liz's strength to keep the family intact, especially at such a young. Again, this is a must read.

A special shout out to my sister MJ for recommending the book to me! You rock!

From the Publisher
"Perfect is boring."Well, 1983 certainly wasn't boring for the Welch family. Somehow, between their handsome father's mysterious death, their glamorous soap-opera-star mother's cancer diagnosis, and a phalanx of lawyers intent on bankruptcy proceedings, the four Welch siblings managed to handle each new heartbreaking misfortune in the same way they dealt with the unexpected arrival of the forgotten-about Chilean exchange student—together.All that changed with the death of their mother. While nineteen-year-old Amanda was legally on her own, the three younger siblings—Liz, sixteen; Dan, fourteen; and Diana, eight—were each dispatched to a different set of family friends. Quick-witted and sharp-tongued, Amanda headed for college in New York City and immersed herself in an '80s world of alternative music and drugs. Liz, living with the couple for whom she babysat, followed in Amanda's footsteps until high school graduation when she took a job in Norway as a nanny. Mischievous, rebellious Dan, bounced from guardian to boarding school and back again, getting deeper into trouble and drugs. And Diana, the red-haired baby of the family, was given a new life and identity and told to forget her past. But Diana's siblings refused to forget her—or let her go.Told in the alternating voices of the four siblings, their poignant, harrowing story of un—breakable bonds unfolds with ferocious emotion. Despite the Welch children's wrenching loss and subsequent separation, they retained the resilience and humor that both their mother and father endowed them with—growing up as lost souls, taking disastrous turns along the way, but eventually coming outright side up. The kids are not only all right; they're back together.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Welcome to the Seaside Book Nook. Welcome to my book tour blog. If you are like me, you love to read a good book. In my dream world, I am sitting on a beautiful big wrap-around porch in the most comfortable outdoor chair, over looking the ocean (or a big body of water), the sun is shining, it is about 70 degrees and I am reading a great book.

Reality, I live in New York, I don't have a big beautiful wrap-around porch and my view is not the ocean or any other body of water! It for sure is not 70 degrees (more like 10 degrees today), but I am enjoying a great book.