Sunday, March 21, 2010

Why is my Mother Getting a Tattoo?


Despite her forty years and a successful career as a rock journalist, Jancee Dunn still feels like a teenager, especially around her parents and sisters. Looking around, Dunn realizes that she’s not alone in this regression: Her friends, all with successful jobs, marriages, and families of their own, still feel like kids around their moms and dads, too. That gets Dunn to thinking: Do we ever really grow up?

Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo? explores this phenomenon–through both Dunn’s coming to grips with getting older and her folks’ attempts to turn back the clock. In a series of hilarious and heartwarming essays, Dunn conspires with her sisters to finagle their way into the old family homestead, dissects the whys and wherefores of her parents’ obsession with newspaper clippings, confronts the seamy side of the JC Penney catalogs she paged through as a kid, and accompanies her sixty-something mother to a New Jersey tattoo parlor, where Mom is giddy to get a raven inked onto her wrist. And Dunn does it all with humor and insight.

This book by Jancee Dunn is so funny. I just loved it. I read this book for the ManicMommies March book club. The ManicMommies book club gives away the book club selection every month and I had the privilege of winning this one. We had a book club call on the 17th with Jancee. She was funny, we couldn’t stop laughing. The call was scheduled for 45 minutes and we finally ended (even though no one wanted to) after 90 minutes.

Every chapter of the book I was able to relate to myself except one. For example, she writes a chapter about her parents sending her articles. The articles sent from her mom could range from anything and everything and from her father “if you don’t heed this article, prepare for a grisly mishap in your own home” type of articles. I loved that chapter because it reminded me how many times my mom would send me local articles. Most of the time I could figure out why but sometimes I did not get them at all and would have to call home. This started for my mom and I when I went away to college. It just became her way and continued on. Every now and then my Aunt will send me articles or my Uncle will email them. They have no one how much I love receiving them.

I recommend this book even if you can’t connect to every chapter. It is a fast and easy read. It is the perfect pick up and put down book, perfect for a busy mom. I am going to get her other two books from the library: But Enough about Me: How a Small-Town Girl Went from Shag Carpet to the Red Carpet and Don’t You Forget about Me. I hope you get them out and enjoy the read!

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Boy Next Door


To: You (you)
From: Human Resources (
Subject: This Book
Dear Reader,

This is an automated message from the Human Resources Division of the New York Journal, New York City’s leading photo-newspaper. Please be aware that according to our records you have not yet read this book. What exactly are you waiting for? This book has it all:

Cooking tips
Great Danes
Heroine in peril
Dolphin-shaped driftwood sculptures

If you wish to read about any of the above, please do not hesitate to head to the checkout counter, where you will be paired with a sales associate who will work to help you buy this book.
We here at the New York Journal are a team. We win as a team, and lose as one as well. Don’t you want to be on the winning team?

Human Resources Division
New York Journal
Please note that failure to read this book may result in suspension or dismissal from this store.

*********This e-mail is confidential and should not be used by anyone who is not the original intended recipient. If you have received this e-mail in error please inform the sender and delete it from your mailbox or any other storage mechanism.*********

My Review:  This was my first Meg Cabot book. I read it years ago. I still recommend it people all the time. I love the format of the book – all done in email format. We met the characters and the story develops through emails between characters. Don’t skip the To, From and Subject, otherwise you may be lost. Like all of Meg Cabot’s books, this is a very fast read and great for the summertime (or anytime).

Other books that have the same format (email) and carry over some characters are: She Went all the Way, Boy Meets Girl, and Every Boy’s Got One.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Can You Keep a Secret?


Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets: Secrets from her boyfriend: I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken. Secrets from her mother: I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur. Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world: I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is. Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.…Until Emma comes face-to-face with Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her...

Everyone tells little white lies but how many of us tell them to our new boss, without knowing he is our new boss? Well Emma does, on accident of course. This is a very humorous, especially when all the white lies come out. The author, Sophie Kinsella makes you believe Emma is one of your best friends. This is a must have book for any book lover. It is the perfect book for a quick read or looking for a book club book for the month, this is it! You can’t put the book down. This is my favorite Sophie Kinsella book. I have purchased it for many friends to read.

Sophie Kinsella also writes under the name of Madeline Wickham. I have several of her books under that pen name on my “to read” book shelf.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spellman Files


Meet Isabel "Izzy" Spellman, private investigator. This twenty-eight-year-old may have a checkered past littered with romantic mistakes, excessive drinking, and creative vandalism; she may be addicted to Get Smart reruns and prefer entering homes through windows rather than doors -- but the upshot is she's good at her job as a licensed private investigator with her family's firm, Spellman Investigations. Invading people's privacy comes naturally to Izzy. In fact, it comes naturally to all the Spellmans. If only they could leave their work at the office. To be a Spellman is to snoop on a Spellman; tail a Spellman; dig up dirt on, blackmail, and wiretap a Spellman.
Part Nancy Drew, part Dirty Harry, Izzy walks an indistinguishable line between Spellman family member and Spellman employee. Duties include: completing assignments from the bosses, aka Mom and Dad (preferably without scrutiny); appeasing her chronically perfect lawyer brother (often under duress); setting an example for her fourteen-year-old sister, Rae (who's become addicted to "recreational surveillance"); and tracking down her uncle (who randomly disappears on benders dubbed "Lost Weekends"). But when Izzy's parents hire Rae to follow her (for the purpose of ascertaining the identity of Izzy's new boyfriend), Izzy snaps and decides that the only way she will ever be normal is if she gets out of the family business. But there's a hitch: she must take one last job before they'll let her go -- a fifteen-year-old, ice-cold missing person case. She accepts, only to experience a disappearance far closer to home, which becomes the most important case of her life.

I loved this book and the whole series. I stumbled across the book in Barnes & Noble. The third book had just come out in hard cover. The series is very similar to Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series (another of my loves). Guaranteed a lots laughs. I love the short chapters. I am able to squeeze in a chapter between every day responsibilities. This dysfunctional family is absolutely side-splitting. The characters are so funny and I can just picture all them. My Aunt just finished the first two and she gave them a thumbs up. The fourth book is out in two weeks. I will be at the bookstore at 9 am that Tuesday (if I don’t have an early meeting –otherwise I will grab it on the way home)!

Series: Spellman Files, Curse of the Spellmans, Revenge of the Spellmans and Spellmans Strikes Again (out on 3/15/10-can't wait)!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Queen of Babble


What's an American girl with a big mouth, but an equally big heart, to do? Lizzie Nichols has a problem, and it isn't that she doesn't have the slightest idea what she's going to do with her life, or that she's blowing what should be her down payment on a cute little Manhattan apartment on a trip to London to visit her long-distance boyfriend, Andrew. What's the point of planning for the future when she's done it again? See, Lizzie can't keep her mouth shut. And it's not just that she can't keep her own secrets, she can't keep anything to herself.
This time when she opens her big mouth, her good intentions get Andrew in major hot water. Now Lizzie's stuck in London with no boyfriend and no place to stay until the departure date written on her non-changeable airline ticket.
Fortunately, Lizzie's best friend and college roommate is spending her summer in the south of France, catering weddings in a chateau. One call and Lizzie's on a train to Paris. Who cares if she speaks only rudimentary French? One glimpse of gorgeous Chateau Mirac — not to mention gorgeous Luke, Chateau Mirac's owner — and she's smitten.
But while most caterers can be trusted to keep a secret, Lizzie's the exception. And no sooner has the first cork been popped than Luke hates her, the bride is in tears, and it looks like Chateau Mirac is in danger of becoming a lipo-recovery spa. As if things aren't bad enough, ex-boyfriend Andy shows up looking for "closure" (or at least a loan), threatening to ruin everything, especially Lizzie's chance at ever finding real love — unless she can figure out a way to use that big mouth of hers to save the day.

I love Meg Cabot's style of writing. I think Meg and Sophie Kinsella are so similar. If I hadn’t met both them, I would swear one is a pen name for the other. They are two of my favorite writers. The whole series is so funny. Everyone loves Lizzie. Typical of Meg’s books, it is a quick, easy read that is perfect for the beach. This is a wild mix of humor and romance. This entire series is a great read.

Series: Queen of Babble, Queen of Babble in the Big City, and Queen of Babble Gets Hitched. Recommend them all.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Confession of a Shopaholic

Rebecca Bloomwood just hit rock bottom. But she's never looked better....

Becky Bloomwood has a fabulous flat in London's trendiest neighborhood, a troupe of glamorous socialite friends, and a closet brimming with the season's must-haves. The only trouble is that she can't actually afford it -- not any of it.

This book (and entire series) was so hilarious. I couldn’t wait to turn the page, start the next chapter, purchase the next book. You can’t help but love Becky and all the wacky situations she gets herself into. The book (and series) is a quick read for anytime, but especially on the beach! This book was made into a movie and was not nearly as good as the book. I recommend you read the book first before watching the movie.

I had the pleasure of meeting Sophie Kinsella at Books & Co. She was so charming and polite. She had on an awesome outfit with a great pair of shoes! She signed all my books and I must have had 8 of them. A lot of authors will only sign and personalize their latest one, so this was very much appreciated! I am not aware of any up coming Shopaholic books coming  out, but I can always wish!

Series: Confession of a Shopaholic, Shopaholic takes Manhattan, Shopaholic ties the Knot, Shopaholic and Sister and Shopaholic and Baby.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Secrets of My Hollywood Life


What if... Your picture was taped inside teenage boys' lockers across America, your closets were bursting with never-worn designer clothing, and the tabloids constantly asked whether you were losing your "good girl" status?  It's a glamorous life, but sixteen-year-old Kaitlin Burke, costar of one of the hottest shows on TV, is exhausted from the pressures of fame. Then she hits on an outrageously daring solution, one that has to remain top secret or it will jeopardize everything she's ever worked for.

I think the best thing about this series how it portrays a Hollywood star trying to be a “normal” girl, to be herself. Once I started reading the first book, I couldn't stop! I think it is wonderful that she stood up to all the adults in a very respectful way. It is a cute read and a great summer book for teens. The covers are very catching too! I started the series when the fourth book had just come out. I loved them all. The fifth book is due out in March 2010 (I think it is already out, but I haven’t hit the book store this past week).

Series: Secrets of My Hollywood Life, Secrets of My Hollywood Life: On Location, Family Affair, Paparazzi Princess, and Broadway Lights (March 2010).

Monday, March 8, 2010

The Princess Diaries Series

"So, what I want to know is, if my dad's an actual prince, how come I have to learn algebra?" Mia ponders this, and much more, when she finds out that her father is prince of Genovia. Living with her cool artist mom in New York City, Mia can't imagine leaving to become princess in Genovia. But because her father can't have any more kids, she is the heir to the throne. Accepting her title means getting lessons on being a perfect princess and leaving Manhattan - will Mia eventually give in to her father and become Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo?

Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors! Mia is a normal girl who finds out she's a princess of a small country. It is so funny how the story unfolds and continues through all ten plus books. The characters are so funny all on their own: Grandmere, Lilly, Mr. G, her mother, her father, Michael Boris, etc. I could picture each person so clearly. The whole series is fantastic. When I started the series, number 6 had just come out. I read all of them one after another and couldn’t wait for number 7 to come out. I can’t wait for my girls (6 years old twins) to be old enough to read Mia’s journey to becoming a princess.

I believe I mentioned before that there is an amazing book store in Dayton Ohio – Books & Co. They hold the best “meet the author” events. I had the pleasure of meeting Meg at such an event. She is absolutely amazing. She was so lovely, hilarious, and talkative. Also, she took questions from both adults and teens. I had ever book of hers (probably at least 20) for her to sign. She even personalized them all. If I could just get her to sign my Allie Finkle books now!

Series: The Princess Diaries, Princess in the Spotlight, Princess in Love, Princess in Waiting, Princess Project, Princess in Pink, Princess in Training, Party Princess, Princess on the Brink, Princess Mia and Princess Forever. I recommend

Chic-lit and chicteen-lit week!

This week I am devoting my posts to some of my favorite chic-lit and what I call chicteen-lit.  Chicteen-lit is just like a chic-lit, but for teens and "cleaner" than some adult chic-lit.  Most of them are a series and I have read all of them within the series.  I will feature the first book in the series.  I find that these times of books allow me to lay back and laugh.  They are quick reads (which I really appreciate with 3 kids and working full-time) that allow me to escape everyday life for a little bit.

Hope you enjoy!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Another give away: Alphatudes

Another give away. This book looks wonderful! Check it out over at A Sea of Books.

Best of luck winning!

Book Give Away: The Girl She Used To Be

Check out the book give away at A Sea of Books (love the name)

Good Luck