What I’m Reading Right Now

What I'm reading right nowI’ve been tossing back and forth between books since finishing Juliet. It was such a good book and I was having trouble deciding what I wanted to read next. There were quite a few books I wanted to read, but my budget wasn’t allowing me to go nuts and buy them all right now. And they are on “wait” at the library, so I had to decide to either read a “real” book that I already had on the bookshelf at home, or an existing book already on Beatrice.

I got lucky and Barnes & Noble had a Free Friday book that looked promising. I’m hooked now. Big Girl is reading a library copy of the same book, which is fun because we can talk about the story as we go. 

There are six (or seven?) books in the series, so I am sure B&N will get their tithe at some point, unless we get lucky and find them either at a used bookstore or the library. I may just go ahead and purchase the “real” book so that Big Girl and I can share them more easily. She likes to take her books to school and read them when she has free time and I’m not too keen on letting Beatrice take a trip to school.

So, now I am reading Septimus Heap, Book One, Magyk which, although, I think, a children’s book, is really very entertaining.  It’s about a family of wizards who adopt what they think is an abandoned baby girl but who turns out to be a princess who was rescued just as her mother, the queen, was killed.  It’s all twists and turns and lots of fantasy and magic, but it’s a nice escape from reality right now.  The story is engaging and the characters are interesting, if not too deeply developed (so far).

Big Girl is really enjoying it, which I love, and hates to put it down at night when it is time for lights out. I think it will be fun to read together and have something to share, especially if she makes it past the first book and on into the others in the story.


Who knows, maybe some Harry Potter will be in our future one day?

What are you reading right now?

What I’m reading right now

There were two things I hoped to do over my holiday break (in addition to the usual Christmas-y things we had planned) and those were scrapbooking and readingWhat I'm reading right now.

I got to do both – and I consider that a successful holiday! In spite of the nasty cold/flu bug that got ahold of my body just in time for Christmas, I managed to do quite a bit of reading (or maybe because of that? I sure didn’t feel like doing much else)

I managed to start and finish quite a few books. Most were quick, cotton-candy-ish reads, but they were perfect for this time of year and for my cold-medicine-hazed brain.

I read:

Cover ImageThe Lost Recipe for Happiness (Barbara O’Neal)

This was a really good book. I love cooking (and food) and I love love stories – this was all of that wrapped into one. The main character would smell someone’s “essence” – or whatever the food was that described their character. I loved that little tidbit – kind of wish the author had actually expanded on that a little more.

The story revolves around a chef who lands a job opening a new restaurant for a famous Hollywood director.  She is a wounded soul (as is he) and they find more in common than the opening of the restaurant.

You know from the get-go that they are going to fall in love and live happily ever after, but the author does a good job keeping you entertained along the way.

I also read another book by Barbara O’Neal:

Cover Image The Secret of Everything (Barbara O’Neal)

This was based on a photographer (another wounded soul) who leads adventure-based vacations. She goes to New Mexico to check out a locale for a potential vacation retreat and ends up uncovering all sorts of things from her childhood that she has forgotten/repressed.

Again, there’s the love story angle, but I really like how O’Neal develops her characters – and this character is gifted with a special touch with doggies. Since I’m a doggie-lover myself, I liked this angle.  There were also recipes and a food focus in this book as well.

Honestly, I think O’Neal is missing an opportunity to write some type of story about a character who has these “gifts” and actually knows it and uses the gifts. She dances all around them, but doesn’t really do much with them.

The books were great to read while I was sick, though. Lightweight but entertaining.

Now, I’m reading this book:

Cover Image

Juliet (Anne Fortier)

It’s based on a girl named Juliet who finds out (upon her great-aunt’s death) that she is really named Guilietta and is a descendant of the Guilietta who was better known for the Romeo & Juliet story. She goes to Italy to find a “treasure” left to her by her great-aunt and embarks on a journey to discover her history.

I’m only about 100 pages into the story so I don’t know a whole lot yet, but I am really enjoying it. It is well written and I’m looking forward to finishing the story – I see a few late nights in my future…

So, did you get any reading in this holiday? What’s on your night stand?

What I’m Reading Right Now

I caught up (a little) on some reading over the Thanksgiving break.What I'm reading right now

I managed to read A Simple Amish Christmas and finally finish The Venetian Betrayal  (that book seemed to never end!)

The Amish Christmas book was charming. While it was very formulaic and pretty predictable, I liked the characters and was sad when I finished. I am hoping the author has some others to offer. It was a nice light read – perfect at the end of the busy holiday days.

I started Private by James Patterson last night.  So far, it looks good.


It’s about a private investigator, former CIA agent, who finds out his best friend’s wife has been murdered.  He pours all of his agency’s resources into finding her killer (along with the other open cases they are handling) and I don’t know much else yet – hey, I just started it yesterday!

I’ll let you know how it turns out. There were good and bad reviews online, so I’m holding out my opinion until it’s done. But, it interested me enough that I made the purchase after my free sample on the Nook.

What are you reading right now?
Any recommendations?

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What I’m Reading Right Now

What I'm reading right nowHaven’t had too much time to read lately. Work has been busy and between that and after-school activities, my evenings are filled to the brim. By the time I finally slow down in the evenings I may read a page or two and then my eyes are at half-mast and I’m ready to crash for the evening.


Here are a few books on my to-read list.  Ones I am hoping to get to in the coming weeks – as things (hopefully) slow down a bit at work and the kids’ activities take a hiatus for the holidays.

Heaven is for Real by Todd Burpo: Book Cover Heaven is for Real : A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

This book my mom told me about yesterday. I promptly downloaded it to Beatrice and am hoping to read it this weekend.

It’s the story of a little boy who has a life-threatening medical situation and apparently goes to Heaven. While he is there, he meets God, Jesus, his great-grandfather and the sister who was miscarried by his mom.  He returns and recovers and begins to share his memories with his family.

The book is written by his dad and includes quotes from the little boy. I’m fascinated and can’t wait to read it.


The Grace of God by Andy Stanley: NOOKbook Cover

The Grace of God

This is written by the pastor of my church.  Any book of his I have ever read has been thought-provoking, challenging, and an excellent read.






A Simple Amish Christmas

I downloaded this one for free from B&N. Looks like light reading and an interesting storyline about an Amish girl who has been living with “the English” and is now returning home.









Child of the Northern Spring

This was another B&N download to Beatrice.

Looks to be a very good beginning to a Guinevere trilogy. The story focuses from her perspective and this first one on her growing up and becoming Arthur’s wife.








Realistically, I will probably not make it through more than one or two of these, but you never know.  Those are just a few of the books on Beatrice waiting to be devoured.  I have over a hundred books on there now. 

If I could only figure out how to get someone else to do all my “chores” so I can focus on reading!

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What I’m Reading Right Now

imageWell, not really reading.

More like listening.

It’s an audio book.

But it’s really good.

So, I thought I’d share.

The book is “Russian Winter.”  I downloaded the audiobook from audible.com. Love that I can do that – it allows me to “read” while I knit, drive, cook, or do other things where my eyes must be otherwise occupied but my brain needs some stimulation.


The story is about a Russian ballerina, Nina Revskaya, and her decision to sell her jewel collection at auction.

There is mystery and memories aplenty in the story as we are flashed back in time to Nina’s youth as she recalls her time in the Bolshoi ballet and living in Russia under Stalinist rule.

Other principal characters are Drew Brooks, the young woman who works for the auction house hired to sell the jewels and Grigori Solodin, a professor who believes the jewels hold secrets to his own past.

I am finding the story very engrossing and hate to stop listening when it is time to do other things.  So far, I’m only a few chapters in, so I can’t really spoil the plot for you, but I can in good conscience recommend the book to you.


What are you reading these days?

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My Nook is Getting a New Look?

I love Beatrice Nook.  I think you already know that.

I found out some cool things today as I was messing around on the internet.

There are some beautiful skins for the Nook.  And pretty matching covers/cases.

What more could a girl want for her Nook?

Here are a few I’m trying to decide between.  Which one do you like best? Help me decide.

Bundle Monster Barnes & Noble Nook Synthetic Leather Case Cover Jacket + Skin Sticker + Screen Protector Ebook Accessories Combo - Fit 3G and Wifi Version

or maybe

Bundle Monster Barnes & Noble Nook Synthetic Leather Case Cover Jacket + Skin Sticker + Screen Protector Ebook Accessories Combo - Fit 3G and Wifi Version

or maybe blue?

Bundle Monster Barnes & Noble Nook Genuine Leather Case Cover Jacket + Skin Art Decal Sticker + Screen Protector Ebook Accessories Combo - Fit 3G and Wifi Version

I really like that one – and the cover is leather, not synthetic. I think it is my favorite so far.

But most definitely not this

Product Details

Eek! I would have nightmares!


There are too many choices, what’s a girl to do?

Too bad I can’t order one of each. That would be a little excessive, wouldn’t it?

The bundles are all from Amazon and come with screen protectors and the skins and cases. 

I’m thinking this might be a nice birthday gift for a girl who’s got a birthday coming soon.

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What I’m Reading Right Now

What I'm reading right nowCarrying a book around is a rather bulky endeavor – especially when it’s a hardback book of 600+ pages.  So, my most recent book is languishing on my nightstand because I refuse to lug it everywhere I go. It will probably take me a while to finish reading it, but that is OK. I have Beatrice, my nook.  

I started reading a new book on there this weekend – The Girl Who Chased the Moon, by Sarah Addison Allen. Now, I don’t know if you have ever read any of her books before, but they are yummy confections for the mind.  I swear, I feel like I should gain five pounds just by reading.  She has a way with words, with painting pictures in your mind – but she does such a great job of evoking not only the images, but the sounds and smells of the environment she creates for you.

Here is an example:

There was a teenager on the balcony. She was just standing there, as still as snow, staring into the woods behind Vance’s house. She was willow-branch thin, had a cap of yellow hair, and a sad sort of vulnerability was wafting from her, making the night smell like maple syrup.

I love the imagery there!

Or this (love it)

“Some men you know are Southern before they ever say a word,” Julia said as she and Emily watched Sawyer’s progress, helpless, almost as if they couldn’t look away.  “They remind  you of something good – picnics or carrying sparklers around at night. Southern men will hold doors open for you, they’ll hold you after you yell at them, and they’ll hold on to their pride no matter what.”

She has written a few other books that I just gobbled up as soon as they were released: Garden Spells was the first, and The Sugar Queen the second. LOVE them.  All of her books weave in some magic and mystery that seems altogether plausible, even normal, in the stories. 

The Girl Who Chased the Moon is no exception in this regard.

The Girl Who Chased the Moon: A Novel

In the book, a young seventeen year old, Emily, arrives in Mullaby after her mother’s death.  She is to live with her maternal grandfather, Vance Shelby who is a real-life giant.  Emily realizes soon enough that there are lots of things about Mullaby that are not like other towns.  From her home, where the wallpaper in her bedroom changes with her moods, to the lights she sees in the woods at night, things are just a little bit different.

Emily befriends Julia Winterson who is the current owner of a local barbecue restaurant and baker extraordinaire.  Julia’s cakes have become well-known throughout Mullaby and although she is only biding her time before she leaves town and sells her late father’s restaurant, she feels the pull of the town of Mullaby, (and it’s magic) too.

I’m not very far into the book, but I am mesmerized.  I can’t wait to finish and yet I am trying so hard to read slowly because I don’t want the book to end.  That’s usually how it is with Allen’s books for me.  They are like your favorite dessert – you can’t wait to gobble it up and relish the goodness and yet you want to savor every single mouthful.

Need a book to read? Go get one of Sarah Addison Allen’s. They’re so worth it.

What I’m Reading Right Now

What I'm reading right nowI am actually reading a BOOK right now.  Shocker, I know, since I have been so hooked on Beatrice (the Nook) lately.  But I had purchased a few books right before Beatrice entered our lives and I felt like I really should go back and read those before purchasing any more books on the B&N website.  

That is the only downside I have found with my Nook.  It makes quite a dent in my “disposable income” budget without me even realizing it. I see a book on there that I want, I press “purchase” and blam! it’s there on Beatrice. Painless and quick. Until I look at my bank statement. (eep!)


Here’s what I’m reading right now… I purchased it at a discount at the drug store – they had a big bin of hardbacks marked down to $5 each and I couldn’t resist. I bought this one and a couple others which I haven’t read yet (but plan to read soon)

Sepulchre (Languedoc Trilogy, #2)

And, as I just downloaded the image from the Barnes and Noble website, I see that it is Book #2 in a Trilogy! Egads!  Now I’m going to have to download Book #1!! (Labyrinth is the title)

The book, so far, is engrossing, although I haven’t quite figured out the plot yet. However, now that I know that I am really starting in the middle of the story, that might explain a few things – like why I can’t figure out the plot yet!  (note to self – look for Labyrinth on the Nook tonight)

Here’s what Barnes & Noble had to say about Sepulchre:

In 1891, young Leonie Vernier and her brother Anatole arrive in the beautiful town of Rennes-les-Bains, in the Pyrenees of southwest France. Born and raised in Paris, they've come at the invitation of their widowed aunt, whose mountain estate, Domain de la Cade, is famous in the region. But it soon becomes clear that their aunt—and the Domain—are not what Leonie had imagined. For starters, Tante Isolde is no graying dowager—she is young, willowy, and beautiful, but with a melancholy air that suits the strange, slightly sinister Domain de la Cade. Leonie discovers that the house has long been the subject of local superstition. The villager claim that the Devil walks in the forests of the Domain, and that Isolde's late husband died after summoning a demon from the old Visigoth sepulchre high on the mountainside. A book from the Domain's cavernous library describes not only the spell used to bring forth the demon, but the strange Tarot pack that is part of the ritual, a set of…

I am not even 100 pages into the book yet – can’t tell you much other than I am looking forward to reading more. I am enjoying the writing style and have already been sucked in to the story – I want to know what is going on – and I want to know what is going to happen to Loenie and Anatole.  Anatole seems (on the surface) to be somewhat shallow, but I am reading hints of more depth to the character and to his story.

I’ll keep you posted as I read through it – It’s a big book (~600 pages) so it will probably take me a week or two to finish.

What are you reading?

I love new book suggestions – got any to share?

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On the Nightstand

I’ve been doing a lot of reading this summer. I made a conscious decision at the beginning of summer that I was going to watch less TV and do more reading. I’ve got a ton of shows on TiVo and, surprisingly, I don’t even care if I don’t catch up on them.  BUT, I am really enjoying reading again.  I have been devouring books like they were bon bons and spending lots of time curled up on the sofa with a glass of iced grape kool-aide and my faithful kitty cat, Scooby Doo.  (aka Gabriella Pussycat… the nickname is a story for another day)

My new Nook (named Beatrice Nook by Big Girl) has been a constant companion, too. I have been really enjoying it and the fact that just about ANY book is accessible to me anywhere (even 38,000 feet in the air as I flew to/from San Francisco a few weeks ago).  I have also been enjoying being exposed to new writers (that I probably would never have considered) as I have been taking advantage of the Free Friday eBooks on Barnes & Noble’s website. Why not try a book if it’s free? Nothing to lose, right?


If you have been considering a Nook (or Kindle) you can read my review of Beatrice here.  She is my new best friend (and Big Girl’s, too)

Here are a few of the books I’ve read in the past few weeks:

Weddings Can Be Murder by Christie Craig: Download Cover

Weddings Can Be Murder
Christie Craig

This was a Friday Freebie.  I would’ve probably not bought it otherwise.  It was light, cotton-candy reading.  Predictable plot, although great escapism.  Not too crazy about the language in the book (lots of F-words) but I just skimmed them and kept reading.

Basic plot is centered around murders of brides-to-be who all share the same wedding planner (who is killed in the first 100 or so pages) and the Cop/PI brothers trying to solve the murders and save the girl.  There’s also a sub-plot which was focused on Kate (the bride) and her fiancé and best friend.  Without spoiling the story, that’s about all I can tell you.

Would I read it again? Probably not.  But it was good, escapist summer reading – and for free, that’s not bad.

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Eating Well After Weight Loss by MS, RD, LD Furtado: Download Cover

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Eating Well After Weight Loss Surgery
MS, RD, LD Furtado

I picked this up on the airplane heading out to San Francisco. ON THE PLANE. At 38k feet. How cool is that? LOVE it.  Love my Nook.


Very, very informative book. I thought I had learned pretty much all I needed to know about life after surgery already but was pleasantly surprised to find that this book had tons of good information for me. Particularly about carbohydrate intake, protein needs, etc. 

I’m still reading it – I have to be in the right frame of mind for this type of book – but I am really glad I bought it. If you are a WLS patient, I strongly suggest making the investment.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millennium Trilogy Series #1) by Stieg Larsson: Download Cover

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Stieg Larsson

Is anyone not reading this book (or one of the books in this series)?

I mean, really, everyone seems to have this book on their to-read list these days.

I have started it. I haven’t finished it. I keep getting distracted with other books. The story just hasn’t grabbed me yet.

Anyone have any thoughts about it? I’m wondering what all the fuss is about, since I can’t seem to get going on the book. Maybe I just need to get over my ADD and focus on reading it for a few days and see if it gets better.

Darkfever (Fever Series #1) by Karen Marie Moning: Download Cover

Karen Marie Moning

This was another Friday Freebie (which is probably why I can’t seem to finish the Dragon story!)

I was a little skeptical that I’d like it, but once I got into the story (in about three chapters) I was hooked.
I read this in about 2 days. 

It’s a sci-fi/paranormal story (not a romance at all) and focuses on this stereotypical Southern Blonde whose sister is mysteriously killed while attending an exchange program in Dublin, Ireland. She goes over to pressure the police about finding her sister’s killer and finds herself embroiled in the world of the Faery, magic and mystery.

There are five books in the series. I have already downloaded #2 & 3 on my Nook. I can’t wait to read them. The stories are engrossing and the dialogue and plot are very well done.  I really had no clue what was going to happen from page to page – which is really important to me.

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert: Download Cover

I started this a long time ago. Really, really enjoyed it.

Then I got the Nook and got all sorts of distractions.

I am stuck somewhere in India.  At an ashram. Maybe that is why I haven’t finished?
I WANT to finish it. It’s a really good story about finding oneself and growing up.

I WILL finish it.

Maybe after the kids are back at school.

And, then, finally, I am reading this –

Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer: Book Cover

I got re-hooked into the saga after seeing the new Twilight movie last week. I’m already more than halfway through the book (started reading it Saturday night) and I just HAVE to finish it to see where things go.  Didn’t think I would get sucked back into the Twilight series again, but here I am, reading like a crazy woman.

Like I said, I’ve been devouring books lately. 

What are YOU reading?

Anything I should add to my wishlist?

I have a new toy

I have been thinking about getting an eReader for a few months now.  I couldn’t decide between the Kindle and the Nook and I have been reading reviews and asking people that have both what they think of them. But, I still hadn’t made a decision.

Did I really need a digital book thingy? I mean, really?

And, would I really like it?

My mom and I are both voracious readers. I am usually reading two or three books at the same time. I keep one in the car, one by my rocking chair, and many on the nightstand.  That way, no matter where I am, I have a book to read.

My brother had mentioned the iPad to my mom when he was visiting in June.  I have seen so many people who’ve gotten one… but I just can’t seem to get past the high price tag and large size.  If I’m going to spend that much money, I just want to buy a new laptop – something I can do some digital scrapbooking and other things on – not just read and surf the web.


I am going on a business trip next week – and I have been trying to figure out how I was going to pick a book to read to take on the trip – since I have three I’m currently in the middle of. What if I finish one early on the trip? I don’t want to buy another book on the road when I have two more at home waiting to be finished. But, I don’t want to carry a bunch of books with me, either. That is just too much extra bulk and weight! (my mind never rests – it’s always tossing and turning on these silly conundrums – does your mind do this, too?)

So, my mind wandered back to the Kindle/Nook question again.  I went online (again) and read some more reviews. (I love CNet.com’s reviews.  They never fail me) After church yesterday, we went out for lunch and just happened (wink, wink) to go to a restaurant in the same shopping center as a Barnes & Noble.  I managed to sneak in and get a detailed demo of the Nook from a very knowledgeable salesperson (thank you!)

I discovered that the Nook has some cool little features that the Kindle doesn’t.  They are both so similar that there isn’t really one specific feature that puts one over the other, in my opinion. I think it boils down to personal preferences.  But here is what I liked about the Nook:image

  • I love the virtual menu – a touch screen rather than physical keys (the Kindle has keys).  I like it because it turns itself off after a few seconds (you can specify how long) and then you don’t have to worry about accidentally pressing a menu key and having something happen in the middle of reading.
  • I love the eInk technology (they both have this). It makes it so easy on your eyes when you are reading – so much more easy than reading on my iPod touch or phone screen. It is black & white, so there is no color display (except the menu screen, which is in color)
  • I love the fact that I can have 1,500 books on the Nook at one time (I don’t think I’d ever worry about not having something to read again!)  And, with the Nook’s ability to add a micro-SD card, I can expand that capacity if I need/want to.
  • I can also put music on my Nook – so I can use it as an MP3 player if I choose.  Which is just a neat feature but not really something that I thought my future eReader had to have.
  • I love that I can download a book in less than a minute.  I am an impatient girl. If I find a book that I want to read, I want it NOW. I don’t want to wait to have to go to the store (maybe days from now) and now I don’t have to!  How cool is that?!?
  • I also love the fact that it stores where I left off reading in every single book I am reading – and will take me to the last point read when I open the book. No more lost bookmarks.
  • I think it is cool that it has a browser on it as well – Given, you are looking at a black & white screen (because of the eInk) and some pages look very dull in b&w, but at least you can look at the internet if the mood strikes you.  The browsing feature is a little strange (you use the color, touch screen at the bottom to scroll/pan around the larger b&w browser page) and is going to take some getting used to, but I like the fact that I can go online and look things up if the notion strikes me – and I don’t have to get my laptop out to do so.
  • I got the one with the 3G service on it. At first, I wasn’t really sure why I’d need that, but I found out in the first five minutes why, and I’m so glad I did.  The 3G service allows the Nook to connect to any AT&T cell tower (automatically, I didn’t have to do anything) and provide access.  In fact, I took the Nook out of the box on the drive home, just to see it in person, and when I turned it on, it connected to the 3G network and I was able to register my Nook and connect to B&N as we were driving home. THAT, my friends, was really cool. No waiting for a WiFi connection.  Just presto! and I was online as we drove down the highway.

Big Girl is also enamored with my new toy.  She has been very resistant to my planned reading schedule this summer and new books or trips to the library have not swayed her in her determination NOT to read.  However, the Nook seems to have changed all that. I don’t know if it is the novelty of it, or what, but she quickly asked for a book to be loaded (Percy Jackson & The Olympians: The Lightning Thief) and started reading away.

I have noticed, prior to this, that she seems intimidated by books that seem “big” or “long” and I’m wondering if I’ll be able to get her to pick stories that just seem interesting without being intimidated by their heft – since she will be reading them virtually.  I loaded the B&N eReader software on her netbook, so if I am using the Nook, she can still read her story. (As a matter of fact, if I have the B&N eReader software loaded on my phone or iPod, I can do the same and read any book I’m in the middle of on my Nook even if the Nook is not with me. I am not sure yet if the bookmarks will synch or not. Have to check that out.)Details 

As a matter of fact, she came downstairs this morning, Nook in hand, reading away.  Wow.  That’s just awesome.

So, I’m all set with my new toy and I’m ready for my business trip (just as soon as I pack).  I got a cute cover for the Nook, too – to keep it safe from scratches while it rides around in my bag. I think I’m going to name her – just haven’t decided what yet. “Nook” sounds silly – Big Girl and I both think.  And with this cute pink jacket, I think she is just begging for a name.  Matilda?  Beatrice?

Do any of you have eReaders?  Or thoughts about having one - or not having one?  I admit, I have been on the fence for a LONG time, but now that I got one, I’m so glad I did.