Monthly Archives: September 2013

It’s Monday. What Are You Reading? 9/23/13

what are you reading meme

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It’s a great way to see what others are currently reading?

I finished 600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster. Marvelous!


Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishugiro.

If you read Unwind by Neal Schusterman, you will like this book.  If you haven’t read Unwindread itThis 2005 dystopian science fiction novel was shortlisted for the 2005 Booker Prize (an award Ishiguro had previously won in 1989 for The Remains of the Day), for the 2006 Arthur C. Clarke Award and for the 2005 National Book Critics Circle Award. TIME magazine named it the best novel of 2005 and included the novel in its TIME 100 Best English-language Novels from 1923 to 2005.

The Insanity of Zero by Michael Offutt. When an unforeseen event brings about the end of the world, a powerful artificial intelligence is born. Its task: save humanity from extinction. To understand those it must rescue, the computer decides to assimilate human emotions. But what happens when an omnipotent computer begins to fear its own death.

The Wisdom of No Escape: And the Path of Loving-Kindness (Shambhala Library) by Pema Chodron. It’s possible to say yes to life in all its manifestations, Pema Chödrön teaches—by embracing all the happiness and suffering, all the intelligence and confusion that are a natural part of our existence. Doing so opens a wellspring of courage and love within our hearts. In this gift edition of her first book, Pema presents traditional Buddhist wisdom that anyone can relate to.

Edward Adrift by Craig Lancaster. Sequel to 600 Hours of Edward.

It’s been a year of upheaval for Edward Stanton, a forty-two-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome. He’s lost his job. His trusted therapist has retired. His best friends have moved away. And even his nightly ritual of watching Dragnet reruns has been disrupted. All of this change has left Edward, who lives his life on a rigid schedule, completely flummoxed.

But when his friend Donna calls with news that her son Kyle is in trouble, Edward leaves his comfort zone in Billings, Montana, and drives to visit them in Boise, where he discovers Kyle has morphed from a sweet kid into a sullen adolescent. Inspired by dreams of the past, Edward goes against his routine and decides to drive to a small town in Colorado where he once spent a summer with his father—bringing Kyle along as his road trip companion. The two argue about football and music along the way, and amid their misadventures, they meet an eccentric motel owner who just might be the love of Edward’s sheltered life—if only he can let her.

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First Amendment Rights / Writes! Banned Book Week.

“What if you had no right to read” should be foremost in Americans minds in the fight for our First Amendment rights.

BBW13_300x250This week is Banned Book Week The ALA, American Library Association, and this topic brought to my attention by The Librarian Who Doesn’t Say “Shhh”.   Disappointment and incredulity prevails when witnessing how U.S. First Amendment rights are continually trampled and disdained.

An entire list of Classic books that are banned can be found at the ALA website. (Accessed September 22, 2013)

I read Harper Lee, John Steinbeck, George Orwell and William Golding as a child. Aside from the beauty of the literature, I broadened my horizons and knowledge. That these and other books have been banned or are banned at a minimum makes me sad.

 I saw the movie and then read the book Farenheit 451 as a child too. The impact of Ray Bradbury’s work was not lost on me. The descriptor “What if you had no right to read” should be foremost in Americans minds in the fight for our First Amendment rights. In 7th grade our civics teacher took us on a field trip to see The Lord of the Flies and Soylent Green, apparently I was a fortunate student.

Take a look at these classics that have been banned. Look further for books banned in the past year, I have only cited from the ALA 3 – more than enough to make my point.

Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
The Grapes of Wrath, by John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
The Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
1984, by George Orwell

Disappointment and incredulity prevails when witnessing how U.S. First Amendment rights are continually trampled and disdained.

Some of the books banned in 2012 – 2013:
Totally Joe Atheneum Books for Young Readers by James Howe.

Marked for removal in the Davis, Utah School District (2012) because parents might find it objectionable. The title character, a thirteen-year-old boy, writes an alphabiography—his life from A to Z—and explores issues of friendship, family, school, and the challenges of being a gay teenager. Source: July 2012, p. 156.

The Family Book from Little, Brown by Todd Parr.

Banned from an Erie, Ill. Elementary school’s shelves (2012) because of a line
that reads, “some families have two moms or two dads.” The district also banned
 everything furnished by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network), including learning materials and various programs aimed at preventing bullying. Source: July 2012, p. 157; Sept. 2012, pp. 202–3.

500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures from Southwest Community Resources by Elizabeth Martinez.

Banned from the Tucson, Ariz. Unified School District (2012) along with Critical Race Theory, by Richard Delgado; Message to Aztlan, by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales;  Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement, by Arturo Rosales; Pedagogy of the Oppressed, by Paulo Freire; Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years, edited by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson; and Occupied America: A History of  Chicanos, by Rodolfo Acuña. In a district with over 60 percent of the students coming from Mexican-American backgrounds, the school board “dismantled its Mexican-American Studies program, packed away its offending books, shuttled its students into other classes,” according to a January 21, 2102, New York Times editorial because “it was blackmailed into doing so.” The Times referred to measures taken by Arizona  Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal, who threatened to withhold millions of dollars if the school district didn’t terminate the nationally acclaimed program immediately. The superintendent has spent years crusading against ethnic studies programs that he claims are “brainwashing” children into thinking that Latinos have been victims of white oppression. On March 8, 2013, a federal court upheld most provisions of an Arizona state law used to prohibit the controversial Mexican-American Studies curriculum in Tucson. Activists plan to appeal the ruling to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. Source: Mar. 2012, pp. 49, 51, 82–

The Dirty Cowboy Farrar Straus Giroux by AmyTimberlake.
Removed from the Annville, Pa. elementary school library shelves (2012) because of its illustrations, involving a cartoon cowboy taking his annual bath. The supposedly true story is of a young cowboy who needs his annual bath and instructs his dog to watch  his clothes while he bathes. When the cowboy emerges from his bath in the river,  the dog does not recognize his familiar smell and refuses to give back his clothes.
In the illustrations, the cowboy’s private parts are always covered. The book has received numerous awards, including the International Reading Association award in
2004, the Parents Choice Gold Medal, and the Bulletin Blue Ribbon from The Bulletin
for the Center for Children’s Books. Source: July 2012, pp. 153–54.

Again Cited from ALA (Accessed September 22, 2013). For the complete list go here.

Freedom of Speech is a Right Due All.

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Saturday Steals 9/21/13

Saturday Steals

Free September 22 to 26th,

The Captain’s Last Year, Fighting the Fire and Cancer: One Year to Live by Blaize Nolynne.

From the Author:  What would you do if you only had one year to live? Blaize Nolynne’s short story answers that same compelling question. Steven Williams is no different than any of us. He is a fire captain on a volunteer fire department and lives with his family in River Falls, Maine. The doctors have given him only one year to live, something that no one wants to hear. At first he denies this diagnosis of stage four stomach cancer. Treatments begin to fail and he realizes his time here is running out. The questions pop in his mind of what he should do with the one year he has left of his life.

Blaize Nolynne books are exclusively available on Kindle, but traditional paperbacks and hardcover are available elsewhere. For more:  

Also Available:
How about a freebie from the U.K.? Language in the Blood by Angela Lockwood.
Free on Kindle 9/20-24/2013. Cameron Blair would have liked nothing better than to stay in Edinburgh and marry his childhood sweetheart. As the call to arms goes out, Cameron and his pals sign up to fight for their country. They are soon delivered into the nightmare of war, and there Cameron more than meets his maker.

The story follows Cameron as he comes to terms with his new ‘life’, from his first days as a hapless vampire in war-torn France to the glamorous modern day setting of the Côte d’Azur. Along the way, he develops a distinctive taste for the finer things in life: jewels, yachts, small dogs and champagne-infused human…

Waking Up Married by Mira Lyn Kelly. Kindle FREE! From USA TODAY bestselling author Mira Lyn Kelly comes WAKING UP MARRIED, a free book in Harlequin’s brand-new contemporary romance collection—Harlequin KISS.



cover2b Irene Helenowski is giving FREE copy of her book, Order of The Dimensions. Follow this link link .  Through October 31, 2013.  Irene will also donate $1 from each download to the Susan G. Komen foundation.


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Liebster Award

liebsteraward_3lilapplesI’ve been nominated for the Liebster by Rose at blog:

The award is a way to recognize up and coming bloggers and encourage people to visit new/interesting blogs. Liebster means ‘dearest’ in German.

I appreciate the nomination and I think getting exposure to other blogs is positive. Who decides or is it actually awarded? I don’t know but a nomination means someone has noticed your blog. Please visit the blogs I have listed.

The rules my nominator asked me to follow:

  • Each nominee must link back the person who nominated them
  • Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award with less than 200 followers
  • Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer
  • Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

My 10 Questions and answers:

1. What got you started blogging? Changes in my life.

2. What is your favorite hobby? I don’t have “a favorite” but I do enjoy many hobbies.

3. If you could live in any place and time where would it be? I would live now but not here.

4. What is your favorite season and why? Again with the favorites.  Spring, because I love seeing the new green leaves and flowers blossoming.

5. What did you have for breakfast? Coffee.

6. Who do you admire most? My parents.

7.  Who is your favorite singer/group? Really? Really, I do not have a favorite.

8. Do you prefer electronic or print books? Print.

9. What is your favorite color? Yellow.  Or Orange.  And Red.

10. What makes you smile? My dogs.

The 10 questions for Nominees:

  1. What is your favorite font?
  2. What is the first book you remember reading?
  3. What is the first book you fell in love with and never wanted to end?
  4. How much time do you spend on the computer a day for work?
  5. How much time do you spend on the computer a day for other reasons?
  6. Do you have an animal companion? What type of animal and name?
  7. What is the motto of your life?
  8. What do you want for Christmas?
  9. Do you like cheese? (Really, I just wanted to ask something silly).
  10. Name one person you admire.

The ten blogs I am nominating are:   Yes I am nominating Rose back. J


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Book Beginnings on Friday Meme

Book Beginnings on Friday

bookBeginningsonFridayBook Beginnings on Fridays is hosted by Rose City Reader. The idea is to share the first sentence (or so) of the book you are reading, along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author’s name.

600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster.

“To whom it may concern: This is a story of how my life changed. That is what one could call a dramatic statement.  It’s like when people find God; they say, “I found God, and it changed my life.” I did not find God. I am dubious that anyone can.  When someone says he has found God, he doesn’t mean it in the way that one would say he found a penny or something else tangible.  He is talking about inner peace or something like that, I suppose.  I don’t know. I haven’t found God, and I don’t like supposition.  I prefer facts.”
The first paragraph doesn’t do justice to what follows.  I am loving this book.  I have already ordered the sequel. I will be writing a review.

Book Summary: A thirty-nine-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10:00 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10:00 p.m.).

But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone. Over the course of a momentous 600 hours, he opens up to his new neighbors and confronts old grievances with his estranged parents. Exposed to both the joys and heartaches of friendship, Edward must ultimately decide whether to embrace the world outside his door or retreat to his solitary ways.

Heartfelt and hilarious, this moving novel will appeal to fans of Daniel Keyes’s classic Flowers for Algernon and to any reader who loves an underdog.


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Coming Soon. PreOrder for week of 9/30/13

Deadline by Sandra Brown. Available September 24, 2013.
Ms. Brown started writing in 1981 and has published over 70 novels. Her author rank with Amazon is 8th overall. A journalist traumatized by his time in Afghanistan is the subject of this new romantic suspense.


Gone (Michael Bennett)
by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge available Sepember 30, 2013.
A crime lord has declared war on America. Only Detective Michael Bennett knows why. The sixth book in the series.  Other books in the series:


The Signature of All Things: A Novel  by Elizabeth Gilbert. Available October 1, 2013. The author of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia new novel spans two centuries of the Whittaker family. Daughter Alma is a scientist and she falls in love with a Utopian artist named Ambrose.


The Noticer Returns: Sometimes You Find Perspective, and Sometimes Perspective Finds You by Andy Andrews. Available October 1, 2013.
Like The Traveler’s Gift The Traveler’s Gift: Seven Decisions that Determine Personal SuccessThe Noticer and new The Noticer Returns is a unique narrative blend of fiction, allegory, and inspiration in which gifted storyteller Andy Andrews helps us see how becoming a “noticer” just might change a person’s life forever.” What starts as a story of one person’s everyday reality unfolds into the extraordinary principles available to anyone looking to create the life for which they were intended.

Endless Knight (The Arcana Chronicles) by Kresley Cole. Available October 1, 2013.

 Possession: A Novel of the Fallen Angels by J.R. Ward. Available October 1, 2013.

Silencing Eve (Eve Duncan) by Iris Johansen. Available October 1, 2013.

Christmas on 4th Street (Fool’s Gold Romance) by Susan Mallery. Available September 24, 2013.

Born in Ice (Concannon Sisters Trilogy) by Nora Roberts. Available October 1, 2013.

PreOrder Today

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Books: Dogs Are Better People Than Us

Dogs & Our Animal Companions Are Better People Than Us.
If you are a dog lover, you already know that dogs are better people than humans. Here are some wonderful books that help make the point.

“Dogs love and share and help and care. Dogs Are Better People Than Us. Dogs Make Us Better Humans.” Andrea Geist

A Dog Walks Into a Nursing Home: Lessons in the Good Life from an Unlikely Teacher by Sue Halpern.
Funny, moving, and profound, A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home is the story of how one faithful, charitable, loving, and sometimes prudent mutt—showing great hope, fortitude, and restraint along the way (the occasional begged or stolen treat notwithstanding)—taught a well-meaning woman the true nature and pleasures of the good life.


The Possibility Dogs: What a Handful of “Unadoptables” Taught Me About Service, Hope, and Healing by Susannah Charleson.
“Charleson journeys into the world of psychiatric service, where dogs aid humans with disabilities that may be unseen but are no less felt. This work had a profound effect on Charleson, perhaps because, for her, this journey began as a personal one: Charleson herself struggled with posttraumatic stress disorder for months after a particularly grisly search. Collaboration with her search dog partner made the surprising difference to her own healing. Inspired by that experience, Charleson learns to identify abandoned dogs with service potential, often plucking them from shelters at the last minute, and to train them for work beside hurting partners, to whom these second-chance dogs bring intelligence, comfort, and hope.

Along the way she comes to see canine potential everywhere, often where she least expects it – from Merlin the chocolate lab puppy with the broken tail once cast away in a garbage bag, who now stabilizes his partner’s panic attacks; to Ollie, the blind and deaf terrier, rescued moments before it was too late, who now soothes anxious children; to Jake Piper, the starving pit bull terrier mix with the wayward ears who is transformed into a working service dog and, who, for Charleson, goes from abandoned to irreplaceable.”


Scent of the Missing: Love and Partnership with a Search-and-Rescue Dog by Susannah Charleson.
Charleson first book. In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing, Susannah Charleson clipped a photo from the newspaper of an exhausted canine handler, face buried in the fur of his search-and-rescue dog. A dog lover and pilot with search experience herself, Susannah was so moved by the image that she decided to volunteer with a local canine team and soon discovered firsthand the long hours, nonexistent pay, and often heart-wrenching results they face.


The Silence of Dogs in Cars by Martin Usborne.
“Photographer Martin Usborne is on a mission to save as many animals as he can in 365 days. His aptly titled project—A Year to Help—began in July 2012 and will wrap up next month. The quest has sparked him to travel the world visiting rescue shelters in Spain and a dog meat restaurant and a zoo in the Philippines, as well as to launch a blog chronicling his adventures. In his just-released photo collection, The Silence of Dogs in Cars (Kehrer Verlag), he aims to capture the way in which we silence, control or distance ourselves from other animals. Mission accomplished.” quote by Abbe Wright.


The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving: How Dogs Have Captured Our Hearts for Thousands of Years by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson.
“No other animal loves us in quite the same way as dogs love us. And it is mutual. Is it possible that we developed the capacity for love, sympathy, empathy, and compassion because of our long association with dogs? In “The Dog Who Couldn’t Stop Loving”, Masson considers the far-reaching consequences of this co-evolution of dogs and humans, drawing from recent scientific research. Over the past 40,000 years a collective domestication has occurred that brings us to where we are today – humans have formed intense bonds with dogs, and the adoration is almost always reciprocal. Masson himself has experienced a profound connection with his new dog Benjy, a failed guide-dog for the blind, who possesses an abundance of inhibited love. But Masson knows that the love he feels for Benjy – and that Benjy feels for all the people and animals around him – is not unique, but is in fact a love that only dogs and humans possess. With wisdom, insight, and a brilliant analysis of recent scientific research, the bestselling author delivers a provocative and compelling book that will change the way we think about love and canine companions.”

Be the Change. You can make a difference.


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