Monday, January 17, 2011


Mailbox Monday is a weekly bookish meme originally hosted by Marcia over at The Printed Page, but this month it is hosted by Rose City Reader! 

Sooo, I actually did get a couple of books in the mailbox this week!  With the exception of this one:
Cutting for StoneCutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese which I ordered from an Ethiopian website for adoptive parents.  It came just before Christmas and I haven't started it yet.  But low and behold I am seeing it EVERYWHERE in the book blogosphere!  So I guess it must be pretty good!  I love the cover, and the story just sounds beautiful:
A sweeping, emotionally riveting first novel — an enthralling family saga of Africa and America, doctors and patients, exile and home.

Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother’s death in childbirth and their father’s disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics — their passion for the same woman — that will tear them apart and force Marion, fresh out of medical school, to flee his homeland. He makes his way to America, finding refuge in his work as an intern at an underfunded, overcrowded New York City hospital. When the past catches up to him — nearly destroying him — Marion must entrust his life to the two men he thought he trusted least in the world: the surgeon father who abandoned him and the brother who betrayed him.

An unforgettable journey into one man’s remarkable life, and an epic story about the power, intimacy, and curious beauty of the work of healing others.

And I have to send a HUGE THANK YOU to Simon and Schuster Canada for sending me the two following books!  The first on is a  memoir that I had read about a few weeks ago, and I'm looking forward to reading it:
Bird Cloud: A Memoir

BIRD CLOUD by Annie Proulx
"Bird Cloud" is the name Annie Proulx gave to 640 acres of Wyoming wetlands and prairie and four-hundred-foot cliffs plunging down to the North Platte River. On the day she first visited, a cloud in the shape of a bird hung in the evening sky. Proulx also saw pelicans, bald eagles, golden eagles, great blue herons, ravens, scores of bluebirds, harriers, kestrels, elk, deer and a dozen antelope. She fell in love with the land, then owned by the Nature Conservancy, and she knew what she wanted to build on it—a house in harmony with her work, her appetites and her character, a library surrounded by bedrooms and a kitchen.

Proulx's first work of nonfiction in more than twenty years, Bird Cloud is the story of designing and constructing that house—with its solar panels, Japanese soak tub, concrete floor and elk horn handles on kitchen cabinets. It is also an enthralling natural history and archaeology of the region—inhabited for millennia by Ute, Arapaho and Shoshone Indians— and a family history, going back to nineteenth-century Mississippi riverboat captains and Canadian settlers.

Proulx, a writer with extraordinary powers of observation and compassion, here turns her lens on herself. We understand how she came to be living in a house surrounded by wilderness, with shelves for thousands of books and long worktables on which to heap manuscripts, research materials and maps, and how she came to be one of the great American writers of her time. Bird Cloud is magnificent.

And the next one I am WEIRDLY excited about!  I actually laughed my ass off when I pulled it out of the box...

A Shore Thing

(I'm reading it so you don't have to! Ha!)

Okay, for REAL... this is just too good in the worst way not to read!  The only thing that had me slightly disappointed was that it was not her memoirs, I was totally hoping for juicy tid bits about GTL (gym, tan, laundry) and some awesomeness about her ba-donk. 

I have never ever watched an episode of Jersey Shore, but when I saw her on Letterman, despite myself I found her hilarious.  Stupid Snooki.


And an added bonus, here be a brilliant reading of an exerpt from Ms. Pollizi's book by a comedian pretending to be Morgan Freeman. (and quite well I might add!) from a recent episode of Craig Ferguson.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading, and anyone can play along!

  • Grab your current read
  • flip to a random page and select 2 teaser sentences from anywhere on that page
  • try not to include any spoilers
  • Don't forget to include the name of the book and the author so we can all add it to our ever growing TBR piles!
  • If you do not have a blog, you can certainly leave your TT in the comments section!
My teaser this week is from:

HIS LAST LETTER by Jeane Westin:

"Robert wondered how Bess could bear the cold even under lap furs.  But when she looked back for him, as she did often, her face shone with all the joy she had been denied for her twenty-five years of life."

For more teasers click here!

Monday, January 10, 2011


Mailbox Monday is a weekly bookish meme that was originally hosted by Marcia over at The Printed Page, but then she graciously developed it into a lovely blog tour, and this month it is Rose City Reader's turn!

Hello all!  And HAPPY NEW YEAR and all that good stuff.  This Mailbox Monday is going to include some awesomeness I got for Christmas as well as a couple of little ditty's I picked up for myself.. MERRY CHRISTMAS TO MEEEEEEEE!!!!

First off, though, the best news E-V-E-R is that my Mom was released from the care centre and is now home for good and doing FANTASTIC!!!  Life is slowly returning to normal and she is thrilled to be back at home watching football and hockey with my Dad. Life is GOOD!

ANYway, I am looking forward to jumping back into the book blogosphere as I have missed everyone!

Back to my holiday loot:

Here is what I recieved from my family:
Dog Tips from DogTown
This was top on my list and I was thrilled to get it!  At Dog Town they use positive reinforcement training as well as clicker training!  WOOT!  This is  a great book for any dog owner and very user friendly!

If you are familiar with Dog Town and the Best Friends Society at all, you will know that they have rehabilitated some of the worst known cases, such as 21 of the Vick dogs, some of which were adopted to loving homes, and others who will remain at dog town for the rest of their lives. 

I am hugely obsessed with this place, and I am an outreach volunteer, and will hopefully will be travelling down to Utah this summer with my family to volunteer with the dogs and critters at the sanctuary!

Are you sensing a theme here?  I was also super excited to get this little number, and it is full of stories of some of the dogs from the show.  Excellent! 

I also got Oogy from my daughter.  Here's the thing, I really really wanted that book and told her many times.  She was only happy to oblige!  I wanted to like it, even love it, but I couldn't.  It was one of the worst written books I have ever read.  Brutal.  The story itself is sweet, and could have been told in about a paragraph, but the "author" (and I use that term very loosely) chose to blather on with inane details about making coffee in the morning, waking his teenage sons up, an ENTIRE CHAPTER on his sons adoption which, as it turns out, had very littlel to do with the general story other than his sons related to Oogy as another adopted member of the family.  Really really bad.  And people are just loving it, according to his facebook page, so maybe it's just me, but the writing is painful to read.  The guy is a lawyer, and probably a really great one, but he should have had a co-writer or hired an outright writer and left them to do what they do best.  I never did share with my daughter my thoughts on the book, as I didn't want to hurt her feelings, so I just told her it was a cute story.   0/5 stars.

On to books I purchased for myself recently: 

KINDLE:     My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Talory Ph.D.
                   This book was FASCINATING!!  And I read it in about 3 days.  Jill Taylor is a neuroanatomist who suffered a stroke and was completely incapacitated by it.  Her book is a riveting tale of her stroke from the inside of a neuroscientist, and her insight is incredible! 

The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant

So, this book is everything that Oogy isn't.  This is a BRILLIANTLY written book by Jim Gorant who makes his living as a writer and editor of Sports Illustrated.  Some people have shied away from this book as they think it might be too disturbing.  While I will admit that some parts will make you cry, enraged, and want to throw Michael Vick's ass in jail AGAIN as fast as your arms can toss him, the majority of the book is a tale of redemption and the utter glowing spirit of these incredible dogs. 

This book is written so well that you are left hanging on the edge of your seat most of the time as the investigation is rolled out page by page, and simultaneously weaving it together with stories of the dogs themselves, sometimes from their own perspective.  Just a georgous GEORGOUS read.  I am just over halfway done and I have to say I kind of do not want it to end!  I HIGHLY recommend this book to any and all animal lovers, and I can guarantee you that once you read it, you will be INSPIRED by what you will find among it's pages, and you may even be MOVED to action.  Dog fighting is A CRIME and a hideous one at that.  Here is the trailer:

His Last Letter: Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester

I am also about halfway through His Last Letter by
Jeane Westin.  I have had this book for quite awhile, it was sent to me this past summer by the publisher.  It has been sitting in my huge stack of TBR's from publishers/authors, and when I realized how long it had been sitting there I pulled it out and immediately dove in.  What a fantastic read! 

I can't wait to post my final thoughts when I'm done.

Have a wonderful day, and for more Mailbox Monday click here.