Saturday, January 30, 2010

One World One Heart 2010 Giveaway

I've decided to take part in the One World One Heart Contest for this year.

So another year has gone and here we are with another One World One Heart event. Organised by the lovely Lisa.

It all kicks off today and my giveaway will end on 15th February at 1pm GMT.

So what is OWOH - Well Lisa started this huge event in 2007 - A meeting of minds, talent and fellow bloggers.

Friendships are forged and new blogs discovered. All you have to do is create a giveaway, it can be anything you like, whatever inspires you, whatever is your passion. The event is open to everyone all over the world.

The rules and details can be found HERE.

I will be giving away the book The Christmas Pearl by Dorothy Benton Frank.

Theodora is the matriarch of a family that has grown into a bunch of truculent knuckleheads. While she's finally gotten them all together in South Carolina to celebrate, this Christmas looks nothing like the extravagant, homey holidays of her childhood.

What happened to the days when Christmas meant tables groaning with home-cooked goodies, over-the-top decorations, and long chats in front of the fire with Pearl, her grandmother's beloved housekeeper and closest confidante?

Luckily for Theodora, a special someone who heard her plea for help arrives, with pockets full of enough Gullah magic and common sense to make Theodora's Christmas the love-filled miracle it's meant to be.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Book Review: Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer by James L Swanson

Title: Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer
Author: James L. Swanson (Read by Richard Thomas)
Genre: Fiction
Challenges: 101 Books in 1001 Days Challenge, Book Around the States Challenge, US Presidents Reading Project, Monthly Mixer Mele, Read and Review Challenge 2010, 2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge, 100 + Reading Challenge, Audio Book Challenge 2010, Pages Read 2010, American Civil War Challenge,
Rating: 4/5
No. of Pages: 367
Published: 2006

Back Cover: The murder of Abraham Lincoln set off the greatest manhunt in American history – the pursuit and capture of John Wilkes Booth. From April 14 to April 26, 1865, the assassin let Union cavalry troops on a wild, twelve-day chase from the streets of Washington DC, across the swaps of Maryland, and into the forests of Virginia.

At the very center of this story is John Wilkes Booth, America’s notorious villain. A confederate sympathizer and member of a celebrated acting family, Booth threw away his fame, wealth, and promise for a chance to avenge the South’s defeat. For almost two weeks, he confounded the man hunters, slipping away from their every move and denying the justice they sought.

Manhunt is a fully documented work, but it is also a fascinating tale of murder, intrigue, and betrayal. A gripping hour-by-hour account told through the eyes of the hunted and the hunters, this is history as you’ve never read it before.

Mine: What an intriguing book, I’ve always been interested in anything Lincoln, but was a wonderful way to learn more about the background of JW Booth. Too learn he was a southern sympathizer and had plotted to try to kidnap Lincoln before he finally killed him. That he led them on such a long chase and the troops were so close several times. Fate helped Booth in that he actually went the wrong way up the river in the beginning and was able to hide out longer.

The key player of the day - Seward ran the military and set the wheels in motion to have Booth captured. The Vice President was reluctant to take on the role of President and did let Seward go after Booth. There was a great plan to kill several other key officials, but the conspirators couldn’t go through with they assignments.

Book Review: Corrigans Pool by Dot Ryan

Title: Corrigans Pool
Author: Dot Ryan
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 3/5
No. of Pages: 424
Published: April 24th 2009

Back Cover: Ella Corrigan has the weight of four generations laid solely on her shoulders. After her mother's accident, her father drifted to alcohol, leaving Ella to manage Greenpoole. She runs the plantation efficiently and treats her slaves with dignity. But marriage, expected for a belle of her standing, eludes her.
When Gentry Garland rides into Savannah from Texas, Ella's life brightens. Despite a contentiuus start, he and Ella fall in love. When Gentry exits her life as abruptly as he had entered it, Ella, brokenhearted, and with feelings of shame for having loved him, hastily marries Victor Faircloth-a man whose proposals she has long avoided.
At Faircloth's plantation, Ella witnesses depravities of the human spirit that stun her. Her own gentle family has owned slaves for generations but now she questions that institution for the first time, feeling a strange kinship with Victor's empty-eyed servants who are beginning to escape his cruelty one by one. Thrust upon her heart is the knowledge of how they disappear without a trace . . . when the mystery of Corrigan's Pool on her family's neighboring property is finally revealed.
Struggling against her husband's dictates and blackmail, worsened by bitter memories of Gentry Garland, Ella must bargain not only for her own survival but that of her family and the slaves she has come to pity. As Sherman's Union troops burn their way across Georgia and swarm onto her property and then into Savannah, Ella musters strength that she believed she no longer possessed. Can she save herself and those who depend on her? What will she do when the past she has long blamed for her wretchedness steps unexpectedly out of the darkness to face her?
Mine: I had never heard of the book or author, so was intrigued to read this book. It was a little slow to start and did drag some during the middle. I did like the fact that Ella tried to treat everyone with respect. It’s story that takes place during Civil War time and after. The story is about what love and family can really mean.

I believe this might be a good book for a book group to read, since there is a lot to discuss about the period of time and the tragedies of war and how it affect all involve (slaves, plantation owners). The romance is wonderful and strongly written.

In the end this was a wonderful book to have gotten and read. Thank you to Pump It Up

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pages Read Challenge Season 2

The end of the year is coming closer and closer and I really wonder where all the months went. Wasn't it May just yesterday??? What happened to summer and autumn?But then, the end of the year also means that all those wonderful reading challenges pop up again and we have to figure out which ones we want to join in.

In 2009, I hosted the Pages Read Challenge for the first time and I will host it again in 2010, so post a comment to sign up!

The rules are easy:
1) Pick a number of pages you'll be attempting to read in 2010. It doesn't matter whether your goal is 10,000 or 100,000. You can always up your number as we go along, so you don't need to go all up high with your page count.

2) Write a blog post about it in which you will keep track of your page count.

3) Comment here with your goal number and a link to your blog post (if you have a blog - otherwise, just leave a comment with your name and the goal number). I'll then add you to the list of participants below.

4) The challenge starts January 1, 2010 and ends December 31, 2010. Only pages read after the new year has begun count in for the challenge, but any and every page you read counts for this challenge.

I don't care about re-reads, overlaps with other challenges, or e-books! Just count the pages you read, no matter what type of book you're reading :-) See, it's a really easy challenge!5) As usual: Have fun!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Buy One Book and Read It 2010

January 1 - December 31, 2010

Amy of My Friend Amy is hosting the Buy One Book and Read It Challenge in 2010.
Here's what she says:

Buy One Book and Read It was started when I realized over 50% of Americans had not read a single book in a year. This is the most disturbing news possible to a book lover like myself, so I wanted to encourage an easy fun way to make sure people read a book in a year!

And it's back! With options!

This year there are three levels of participation:
Level One!Buy one book and read it before December 31st, 2010.
Level Two!Buy six books and read them before December 31st, 2010.
Level ThreeBuy 12 books and read them before December 31st, 2010.

Options:To add a little twist to this year's challenge you are encouraged to choose one of the following options to add to your level.
Indie Option--Make sure the book or books you buy are purchased at an independent bookstore.
Book Blogger Option--Buy only books you learn about on book blogs.
To join, go to Buy One Book and Read It Challenge.

Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge In 2010

January 1 - December 31, 2010
Pearl at Pearl's World of Romance is hosting the Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge in 2010. She writes:

While searching and coming across challenges to join for 2010, I didn't find the contemporary romance reading challenge I was looking for. And what do you do when you don't find what you're looking for? You create it yourself. So here it is...and I hope you will join me in the Contemporary Romance Reading Challenge 2010!
Pearl emphasizes that by contemporary romance she means: 'straight contemporary, so without paranormal, fantasy or time-travel elements. Sexy, steamy contemporaries are eligible and so are category romances. (i.e. Harlequin Blaze, Harlequin Presents, Harlequin Super Romances, Silhoutte Desires, etc.)
Read at least 10 contemporaries
You don't have to pre-select your books, you can just add them as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed. Nothing is set in stone!
The books you choose can crossover into or from other challenges you are participating in.
Pearl will be creating review posts where you can link your own reviews, but reviews are optional.
To learn more or join the challenge, visit the post about the challenge.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Children's Classics Mystery Challenge

January 1 - June, 2010

Five Minutes for Books is hosting the Children's Classics Mystery Challenge. Here's what they say:

I'm so hyped about this particular challenge that I can barely type! Who didn't love Nancy Drew, the Dana Girls, the Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, or Encyclopedia Brown growing up!?! And who wouldn't love a chance to revisit these gems? And who wouldn't love an excuse to bring their children in on the fun and introduce them to the beautiful world of children's mystery stories where there is always a mystery to solve and yet nothing gory ever happens?!

For the next six months, from January to June 2010, we're going to substitute our regular Children's Classics carnival (which typically takes place on the second Tuesday of the month) and replace it with a Children's Classics Mystery Challenge. What all does this entail?

Really, you are welcome to participate as much or as little as you like. The plan is to Make-Your-Own plan. Would you like to reread those Nancy Drew books you've had lying around? Trixie? Or mix and match! The choice is yours. All that we ask is that you write up an initial post saying that you and/or your children are going to be participating in this challenge and link back to this introductory post.

Then, on the second Tuesday of each month we will have a post wherein you can link up any and all reviews you have written in the previous month. For example, on January 12 you can link up your introductory post or any reviews you've completed, so feel free to start reading now. Books, movies, audio, and even video game (oh yes!) reviews may be included and are most welcome.

Why are we doing this? For a variety of reasons. First and foremost, quite frankly, I just want to visit with some old chums of mine. Secondly, this we feel this is a great way to involve our children in our reading habits and, just perhaps, introduce them to the company we kept when we were younger. Which series qualifies as a classic? Let's say anything that came into being before 1980. Maybe you know of a series that we don't, but these are some of my favorites from my younger days:

Nancy Drew, the Dana Girls (also attributed to Carolyn Keene), the Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, Cherry Ames and the Boxcar Children. I might have to pick up an Encyclopedia Brown (which my husband read but I did not) to see what those are about. Are there others I've missed?

The point is - have fun. Find your inner child in these stories and remember what birthed your love of mystery stories today. Perhaps you even have some of these characters to thank for your present addiction to the written word. Let's celebrate, remember and have fellowship with them again. I think it's about time.

By devoting the 2nd Tuesday to the challenge, we are hoping to build a community of children's mystery lovers, or provide another source of reviews for those of you looking for books for your children.

This is a fairly low-key challenge, but it's always good to set a goal. We are even trying to dig up prizes, so be sure that you look for our monthly posts on the 2nd Tuesday.

I'm excited about this challenge and I hope you will choose to join in on the fun at a pace that suits you. Leave a comment if this sounds exciting to you. If you want to write up an introductory post with your goals, feel free to link it up here or on January 12th, or any 2nd Tuesday throughout the challenge.

To join, go to Children's Classics Mystery Challenge.

American Civil War Challenge

Here's what she says:

Welcome to the American Civil War Reading Challenge.
Here are the rules:
1. Read books about the Civil War, either fiction or non-fiction
2. There are four levels of participation
- Private: Read three books
- Sergeant: Read six books
- Lieutenant: Read nine books
- General: Read twelve books
3. Read the books between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010
4. Overlaps with other challenges are allowed
5. Ebooks and audiobooks are okay, too
6. You don't have to have a reading list ready to participate in the challenge but please let me know which level you're doing

There will be a prize at the end of the challenge. If you complete the challenge and write a wrap-up post (or wrap-up comment), you're eligible.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Book Review - Froggy Gets Dressed by Jonathan London

Title: Froggy Get Dressed
Author: Jonathan London
Genre: Children’s
Challenges: PB & J Challenge, 101 Books in 1001 Days Challenge, What an Animal II, Read and Review Challenge 2010, Read Your Own Books 2010, TBR Challenge 2010, Reading From My Shelves Project 2010, Young Readers Reading Challenge 2010, 100 + Reading Challenge,

Rating: 4/5
No. of Pages: 32
Published: 1999

Back Cover: Froggy pulls on his boots – Zup! Puts on his hat – zat! Ties on his scarf – Zwit! Tugs on his mitten – Zum! But what did Froggy forget?

Mine: My nephews know I love all books that have to do with frogs, so they bought me a set of several of the “Froggy” series for Christmas.
Frogs are suppose to sleep through winter (as should everyone else), but he didn’t want to there was snow out. As he dressed to go out he forgot something – his pants. He came in and got dressed all over again and then he forgot his shirt and coat. He once again comes in to try to get dressed – what no long johns? Once more time he comes back in – it’s just too much and he decides to go back to bed.
That’s the way I feel – why else live in California. The snow is always fun and pretty, but the layers of close that are needed are often too much.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Memorable Memoir Reading Challenge

January 1 - December 31, 2010

Melissa of The Betty and Boo Chronicles is hosting the Memorable Memoir Reading Challenge. Here's what she says:

I know, I know ... you've already joined too many (me too!), you've just signed up for your very last challenge, but I would love for you to join one more. This one.
Memoirs, letters, diaries, and autobiographies count as reads for this challenge. (Basically, if you think it is the stuff of memoir, it counts.)

Overlaps with other challenges are allowed. Audiobooks and e-books are also allowed.

Participants are encouraged to read at least 4 memoirs/diaries/letters/autobiography books in 2010. Of course, more are fine!

You're not required to make a list, but if you'd like to do so, I'd love your ideas and suggestions!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Short Story Reading Challenge 2010

January 1 - December 31, 2010

Kate from Kate's Book Blog is reviving the Short Story Reading Challenge for 2010. She writes:

I hosted the initial incarnation of the Short Story Reading Challenge in 2008 and was thrilled at the number of readers that I encountered through it who proved to be already devotees of or who were willing to embrace the short story form. I took a year off from challenges this past year, but after several expressions of interest in another round, I'm feeling enthusiastic about a revival of the Short Story Reading Challenge for 2010.
There are several options for participation:

Options 1 & 2: If you're short on time, you can simply commit to reading ten short stories by ten different authors over the course of 2010. If you're relatively new to reading short stories, any ten will do. If you’ve already got a lot of short stories under your belt, make it ten short stories by ten writers whose work you have not yet read.

Options 3 & 4: If you've got a bit more time to devote to this endeavor, you can commit to reading between five and ten short story collections over the course of 2010. Again, if you're a short story novice, the world is your oyster as far as selection is concerned. But if you're a seasoned short story reader, you'll want to choose collections by writers whose short stories you have not yet encountered.

Option 5: This is the custom option under the rubric of which you can tailor your reading list to best meet your personal reading aspirations. You might wish to craft a list that focuses on a particular place, or era, or genre. Or you might wish to include reading about short stories as well as of short stories, for example, such works as Frank O'Connor's The Lonely Voice: A Study of the Short Story. It's entirely up to you.

The blog dedicated to this challenge can be found here. On it, participants can post reading lists, recommendations, and reviews of specific short stories and short story collections, as well as ruminations on and links related to the short story form more generally.

Want more information or interested in joining? Visit the post about the challenge on Kate's blog and leave her a comment.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Every Month is a Holiday - 2010

January 1 - December 31, 2010

Kim is hosting the Every Month is A Holiday Challenge again for 2010. Participants read a book a month relating to one of the themes, special days or holidays.

+books may overlap with other challenges
+you may list the books you read and where your reading wishes take you

Kim has lots of great links to give you ideas for your reading.To learn more or sign up, visit the challenge blog.

Book Review - Froggy Bakes A Cake by Jonathan London

Title: Froggy Bakes A Cake
Author: Jonathan London
Genre: Children’s
Challenges: PB & J Challenge, 101 Books in 1001 Days Challenge, What an Animal II, Monthly Mixer Mele, Read and Review Challenge 2010, Read Your Own Books 2010, TBR Challenge 2010, Reading From My Shelves Project 2010, Young Readers Reading Challenge 2010, 100 + Reading Challenge,

Rating: 4/5
No. of Pages: 32
Published: 2000

Back Cover: It is Froggy’s mother’s birthday, and Froggy wants to make her a cake all by himself! In the kitchen, Froggy finds out that baking a cake is a little harder – and messier! – than he thought. But with a pinch of imagination and an extra dash of silliness, Froggy will serve up a homemade birthday cake his mother will never forget!

Mine: My nephews know I love all books that have to do with frogs, so they bought me a set of several of the “Froggy” series for Christmas. I started with this one, since my birthday is coming up.
What a wonderful story of not following a recipe and having an exploding cake. I’m one of those that cook by the book, so this was a story about my worst fears of not following the recipe.