nancy's book blog

Reading is dreaming with open eyes

Waiting On Wednesday Movie Edition: Maleficent

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
This week, I am “waiting on”:

MALEFICENT

I am SUPER excited about this movie!! It’s Disney’s adult retelling of their classic cartoon Sleeping Beauty starring Angelina Jolie as Maleficent and Elle Fanning as Aurora.  I am a huge Disney fan, so I hope this does not disappoint.  It doesn’t release until March 2014, so I will be “waiting on” it until then.

Below is the photo of Angie in her evil sorceress garb, followed by a movie still of the original.

What is everyone out there Waiting on this Wednesday?  Books, films or otherwise.  Post a link or comment below.
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Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is being hosted this month by Burton Book Review

Click over to add your link and check out other bloggers’ mailboxes!

Books that came in my mailbox this week:

BETWEEN YOU AND ME  by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus

WHEN I LEFT HOME by Buddy Guy with David Ritz

What did you find in your mailbox this week?  Post a comment or link below.

Happy Reading!

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My Guilty Summer Pleasure… A review of Mini-Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella

Like most other peeps, I have a guilty Summer pleasure.  For some it’s ice cream cones, for others it might be skinny dipping.  For me, it’s chic-lit.  Specifically British chic-lit.  My ULTIMATE guilty pleasure is a Sophie Kinsella novel.  My absolute favorite chic-lit!  If Kinsella has a new book out, I will buy it and keep it on my shelf until Summer so I can indulge outside on my hammock which is my favorite Summer reading spot.  This Summer was no exception.  I picked up the paperback version of Mini-Shopaholic (which is Book 6 in the Shopaholic series for those of you playing at home) back in April just waiting for the perfect lazy weekend.  This Summer, I get TWO Kinsella novels to read because her stand alone book I’ve Got Your Number which came out in February is on it’s way to my house right now.

FROM AMAZON.COM:

Becky Brandon thinks that having a daughter is a dream come true: a shopping friend for life! But two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping. The toddler creates havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. Her favorite word is “Mine!” and she’s even trying to get into eBay! On top of everything else, Becky and Luke are still living with her parents (the deal on house #4 has fallen through), when suddenly there’s a huge nationwide financial crisis.

With people having to cut back, Becky decides to throw a surprise party for Luke to cheer everyone up. But when costs start to spiral out of control, she must decide whether to accept help from an unexpected source—and therefore run the risk of hurting the person she loves.

Will Becky be able to pull off the celebration of the year? Will she and Luke ever find a home of their own? Will Minnie ever learn to behave? And . . . most important . . . will Becky’s secret wishes ever come true?

MY THOUGHTS:

I’ve read all the other Shopaholic books and this one did not disappoint.  Yes, it’s chic-lit and yes, there is a formula but it works.  Becky Brandon nee Bloomwood is one of my favorite characters.  I have even jokingly said to myself in the past while shopping “What would Becky do?”

Kinsella writes great characters.  It was fun to catch up with Becky, Luke, and Suze.  Even Jess and Danny both had a fair amount of scenes.

Becky hasn’t changed one bit and now she has a partner in crime: Two year old Minnie who gives her a real run for her money.  As usual there were a few Lucy Ricardo-esque shenanigans going on including an attempt at online bartering at the suggestion of her eco-friendly sister Jess.  She also invents a unique sales pitch that stealthily boosts the sales of her personal shopping department at The Look that has a few snags.

There was an unresolved secret and the ending leaves an opening in the series for another book.

All in all, a good solid fun beachy read.

Four cupcakes for me!

Are you fans of chic-lit?  Do you have any guilty pleasures?  Post a comment below and let me know.

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Spring Fever

Hello blogosphere!!

I sincerely apologize for my absence from this blog. The fact of the matter is, I have been struck with a terrible case of Spring Fever! That, and I felt that I fell into a bit of a blogging slump.

I’m super excited to be attending Book Expo America as well as the BEA Bloggers Conference this coming week. I am sure I will return rejuvenated with much to blog about.

I’ll share some photos of what I was doing in lieu of blogging:

Reading with the Little Girl

Quality time with my husband and teen son.

Soaking up some sun.

And most importantly….

Making a dent in my too long TBR pile!

Are you going to BEA next week?  Comment below and let me know. I’d love to say hi.

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REVIEW: The Replacement Wife by Eileen Goudge, and a note to my husband

From Amazon.com

From New York Times bestselling author Eileen Goudge comes a poignant new novel that asks the question, “What would you do if you were told you had only six months to live?” For one professional matchmaker the answer is heart-wrenching: She must find her husband’s next wife.
Camille Hart, one of Manhattan’s most sought-after matchmakers, has survived more than her fair share of hardships. Her mother died when she was a young girl, leaving her and her sister with an absentee father. Now in her forties, she has already survived cancer once, though the battle revealed just how ill-equipped her husband Edward is to be a single parent. So when doctors tell Camille that her cancer is back—and this time it’s terminal—she decides to put her matchmaking expertise to the test for one final job. Seeking stability for her children and happiness for her husband, Camille sets out to find the perfect woman to replace her when she’s gone.
But what happens when a dying wish becomes a case of “be careful what you wish for”? For Edward and Camille, the stunning conclusion arrives with one last twist of fate that no one saw coming.
At once deeply felt and witty, The Replacement Wife is an unforgettable story of love and family, and a refreshing look at the unexpected paths that lead us to our own happy endings.

My thoughts:

I was so excited when I found out Eileen Goudge was releasing a new book. I’ve been a big fan since stealing my mom’s copy of “Garden of Lies” while on vacation in Maine as a teenager. I devoured the romantic story in two days on the beach. I was hooked, and with The Replacement Wife, Ms. Goudge does not disappoint.
I love a story with rich characters and great plot twists. This book has both. Goudge has mastered the art of character development. Even minor players have rich back stories and you end up growing to love these characters, for better or worse. While there were a lot of players, plot lines intertwined nicely and there was a wonderful resolution at the end of the book. It was almost like looking at an impressionist painting up close and then taking a step back. Things aren’t always what they seem!

This story really made me stop, think and take stock of my marriage. I love my husband and family dearly, and this book taught me how fragile we all are. What we take for granted today can be gone tomorrow. What we envision for ourselves can ultimately have a very different ending.

This story will make for a great book club discussion of “what if”? This is an emotional, beautiful, romantic and well written story. I was sad when it ended, which for me is always a sign of a well written book.

I recommend this book to book clubs for a rich discussion and married women to take a second and count their blessings.

Five cupcake read!

On a separate note, I want to wish my most wonderful husband a very happy 4th wedding anniversary.
I love you more than you will ever know. Looking forward to many more years of love with you. xoxo

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REVIEW: Storybound by Marissa Burt

From GOODREADS:

In the land of Story, children go to school to learn to be characters: a perfect Hero, a trusty Sidekick, even the most dastardly Villain. They take classes on Outdoor Experiential Questing and Backstory, while adults search for full-time character work in stories written just for them.

In our world, twelve-year-old Una Fairchild has always felt invisible. But all that changes when she stumbles upon a mysterious book buried deep in the basement of her school library, opens the cover, and suddenly finds herself transported to the magical land of Story.

But Story is not a perfect fairy tale. Una’s new friend Peter warns her about the grave danger she could face if anyone discovers her true identity. The devious Tale Keeper watches her every move. And there are whispers of a deadly secret that seems to revolve around Una herself….

With the timeless appeal of books like A Wrinkle in Time and the breathtaking action of Inkheart, Storybound has all the makings of a new classic. Brimming with fantastical creatures, magical adventure, and heart-stopping twists, Storybound will leave readers wishing they too could jump through the pages into this enchanting fairy-tale world.

MY THOUGHTS:

I was so excited when I opened a package this week and found Storybound inside.  I am a big fan of the new shows Grimm and Once Upon A Time, so I was excited to read a story about Fairy Tales.

Some parts of the book, and the land of Story were adorable! Talking cats, comfy cottages, ladies in training, and a boarding school that reminded me of Hogwarts for Fairy Tales.

Unfortunately, I found that there were just too many plot twists. This book is over 400 pages and I thought it could have easily been scaled down to the 300 page range. I wish Burt chose one plot, and spaced the twists into additional books in the series.

I also thought there were too many undeveloped characters, and I found myself not caring about a lot of the fates of these minor characters.  The two main characters, Peter and Una, were adorable. Other characters like Snow and the Muses fell short in my opinion.

All in all, I did enjoy this book and the genre.  It’s always fun to get swept into a fairy tale, no matter what your age.  I would recommend this book to fans of fantasy and fairy tales.

A three cupcake read.

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Feature and Follow Friday

Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee’s View and Alison at Alison Can Read. It is a great way for bloggers to make new friends and find new blogs to follow.  Go to either blog, follow ALL of the instructions and then add your link to the list.  Be sure to follow the featured blogs. This week’s they are Hesperia Loves Books and Novel Days.

This week’s question:

Have you ever looked at a books cover and thought “this is going to be horrible?” But instead, you were pleasantly surprised? Show us the cover and tell us about the book.


I have a couple! The first one is:

I would see EVERYONE reading this book a couple of Summer’s ago and think “it looks so BORING!  Sort of like a spy book”.  I finally picked it up as a beach read as a mass market paperback and devoured the whole series.

 

The second one is:

Just not my type of cover.  My initial thought was that I would just give it 50 pages, and I would allow myself to stop reading if I hated it.  Turns out, if was funny, sad, romantic and witty.  I very interesting take on an everyday subject matter.

What covers surprised you? Post a comment or link below. 

Happy Friday, and please follow my blog!

 

 

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Waiting On Wednesday – Serpent’s Kiss

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.
This week, I am “waiting on”:

FROM AMAZON:

The intriguing Beauchamp family, introduced in the New York Times bestselling Witches of East End, returns in Serpent’s Kiss, with dizzying plot twists and spellbinding magic.

Joanna and her daughters, bookish Ingrid and wild-child Freya, are just settling into the newfound peace that has been cast over their small, off-the map town of North Hampton. With the centuries-old restriction against practicing magic lifted, casting spells, mixing potions, and curing troubled souls has never felt so good for the three witches. That is, until everything gets turned upside down—from Joanna’s organized kitchen to Ingrid’s previously nonexistent love life to Freya’s once unshakeable faith in her sexy soul mate, Killian Gardiner.

When Freya’s twin brother, Freddie, suddenly returns, escaped from Limbo and professing innocence on a long-ago crime, Freya should be ecstatic. The golden boy can do no wrong. Or can he? Freddie blames no other than her fiancÉ Killian for his downfall, and enlists Freya’s help to prove it. Now Freya doesn’t know who to believe or trust.

And for the first time in—well, forever, really—Ingrid is also busy in love. Matt Noble, the handsome and charming police detective, has won her heart. But can romance work between a virgin witch and a mortal who doesn’t believe in magic? Things get even more complicated when it appears Ingrid is harboring the prime suspects in Matt’s police investigation.

To add to the chaos, a dead spirit is attempting to make contact with Joanna—but does it mean to bring harm or help? Joanna asks her sort-of ex-husband Norman to help figure it out, only to accidentally invite him to a Thanksgiving dinner with a dapper gentleman she’s recently begun dating.

As the witches pull together to discover the serpent within their midst and the culprit behind Freddie’s imprisonment, everything is thrown into peril. Will the discovery come too late to save those they love most?

Melissa de la Cruz weaves all this and more in a blockbuster sequel that is not to be missed by her fans, and one that is sure to enchant new readers of the series.

I read Witches of the East End last Summer and I really enjoyed it.  This book releases on June 12, 2012.

What books are you “waiting on”?  Leave a comment below.

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Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

FROM AMAZON:

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

MY THOUGHTS:

This book is Bossypants’ cuter, younger sister in a frothy pink dress.  Kaling does not take herself seriously, and that makes for an entertaining and laugh out loud funny read.  She speaks to the readers like we are all good friends.  She also pokes fun at herself, and makes true, hilarious observations such as how men need to sit down ( & take forever) to put on a pair of shoes, or how to make an Irish Exit.

Kaling also has great essays on marriage tips, growing up the child of Indian parents, early beginnings in NYC with Matt&Ben, an Off-Broadway show she wrote/starred in which I loved when it came out, and funny stories about THE OFFICE.

I would recommend this book to fans of Tina Fey, David Sedaris, Chelsea Handler, Jen Lancaster or THE OFFICE.

FOUR CUPCAKES

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Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted this month by Anna at Diary of an Eccentric.

Click over to add your link and check out other bloggers’ mailboxes!

Books that came in my mailbox this week:

FOR REVIEW:

 

 

 

I received quite the haul!  What did you find in your mailbox this week?

Post a link or comment below.  Happy reading!

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