The Redhead Bibliophile

What are you reading?

Finally slowing down…

I have been procrastinating writing lately and I’m not sure why.  I have no outside obligations and I’m not working right now, so I should have plenty of time to write, right?

Well, for some reason, I’m at a loss for words.  I have read many books since I finished internship and graduated with my degree in Information and Library Sciences.  So there are plenty of reviews to write.  But, I hesitate.

Will anyone read what I write?

Does it matter?

I just need to write for myself, right?

I have a book review blog.  I have a memoir blog.  I also have an adoption blog.  There are so many things to write that I don’t know where to start.

Anyone else know what I mean?

So now that I have all the time in the world and the kids are out of school for the summer, I should not have any trouble writing.  But I do.

We are in a new stage of life with kids coming and going and careers changing.  I just have to be patient and see what God has in store for this family.  He has a plan, I just don’t know what it is yet.

In the meantime, I will keep reading, catching up on books I wanted to read while spending six years in college and working.  Hopefully I will stop dwelling and having a pity party and just write.  Because if I don’t now when I have time, I won’t have time when I want to write.

Sorry for the whining, I just wanted to get some thoughts out on the screen and hopefully awaken the sleeping writer inside.

Here’s a picture of one of my very favorite places in the world, The Cliffs of Moher in Ireland.

My hubby and I in Ireland.

My hubby and I in Ireland.

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Bout of Books 9.0

Bout of Books

Well, it’s been awhile.  I neglected this blog the last four or five months because I let life get in the way.  I had good reasons, mind you, but I let it happen all the same.

When we got back from Germany, I started a new job the day after we landed at a high school as the Resource Center Specialist and Attendance Clerk.  I was still a bit jet-lagged and unsure the first few days but then I got into the work routine again and time flew by.  A few weeks later, I started four online classes for my Library Sciences Degree.  That took up a good deal of time.  Throw in our daughter’s cheer, dance and school routines with lots of homework (I don’t remember THAT much homework in 6th grade!) along with my mother and our 18 year old son moving out, and now here we are at Christmas Break.  It’s been a crazy few months since our fantastic vacation in July and I forgot how great it was to step back and truly relax.

Let me just say how happy I am I work for a school.  Having two weeks off during Christmas is the best thing ever!  Normally, I would have gone back to work for a few days, taken New Year’s off, and then go back again.  I didn’t realize how great it is to stay home, in my pajamas or sweats, and do what I want to do all day.  How liberating!   I highly recommend it!

So, now that I have had some off-time and finally getting back into reading and blogging again, I thought I would participate in this fun Reading Challenge I saw on one of my favorite blogs, Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile. 

You can find this great blog here: http://www.hopelessbibliophile.com/2013/12/bout-of-books-90.html

You can sign up for this great challenge here: http://boutofbooks.blogspot.com/2013/12/bout-of-books-90-sign-up.html

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 6th and runs through Sunday, January 12th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 9.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Here are the details of my challenge:

Time Devoted to Reading:
I will be reading all week.

My Goals:

I plan to read 4 books during the week of January 6th-January 12th, 2014

Books to Read

1.  Finish Under the Jewelled Sky by Alison McQueen

2. Finish 11/22/63 by Stephen King

3. Good Tidings and Great Joy: Protecting the Heart of Christmas by Sarah Palin

4. Christmas Bliss by Mary Kay Andrews

5. Winners by Danielle Steel- this one I threw in there just in case I have more time!

I will try to update daily, but if not, I will update as I finish each book.

There’s so much more to write about!  My new job, my classes that I did not finish as well as I wanted to, the memoir I still need to write, and other goings-on.  But, that’ll have to wait until next time.

Go check out the Book Challenge!  I can’t wait to get started!

Happy Reading!

Chandra

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Review of Facing the Music and Living to Talk About It

Facing the Music

I received this electronic ARC from NetGalley.

I had the pleasure of reading this book in one sitting, on the train from Germany to Rome this summer. First of all, I have to admit I have been a Backstreet Boys fan for about 18 years. Now, my daughter is also a fan. I have followed the Backstreet Boys with their ups and downs and even Nick Carter’s struggles with addiction. I never watched his unsuccessful Reality TV show with the rest of the Carter clan but I know that it displayed the everyday life of a dysfunctional family. Nick has gone through many personal traumas, including the death of his beloved sister and addiction, all while maintaining a TV show and a music career.

What I enjoyed most about this book is the honesty that Nick shares with the reader. Not everyone would be so open about their addictions and demons. Nick shared his thoughts and feelings as he was going through the dark times of his life in a very honest way. He gives the reader a very real glimpse into his world as a superstar that has everything he ever wanted, even drugs and alcohol. No one told him “no” and he fell deeper and deeper into his addiction.

Nick hit bottom and the band was trying to decide what to do about him, he finally sought help at the insistence of his Backstreet brothers. Being a superstar at the young age of twelve, Nick had everything and fell into the same types of problems that many young stars face, but he picked himself up, dusted himself off and he is now able to live a healthy and successful life. He went through rehab and came out on the other side with a bright future and a healthy outlook on life. Now he is touring again with the Backstreet Boys and is engaged to a beautiful girl, Lauren. He is helping others with the same problems by writing his own story and sharing his painful past and successful comeback. We can enjoy his music and the Backstreet Boys once again.

The honesty and ability to help others through his experience is a blessing to anyone reading his story. Nick’s candid advice and experience will help anyone going through the worst experience of their life and struggling with addiction.

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Review of Love You Forever

Love You ForeverLove You Forever by Robert N. Munsch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Love, love this book! A must-have for all parents to read to their children and grandparents to read to their grandchildren. Every child must know this story.

This book has special meaning to our family because my grandfather read this book to his mother every day while she was sick until the day she died. It brings a tear to everyone in our family even now. You need to know you’re loved whether you are young or old and this book will tell you in the most wonderful way.

View all my reviews

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Review of The Missing Manuscripts of Jane Austen by Syrie James

This is the story of the discovery of the lost memoirs of Jane Austen.  Samantha buys a poetry book and finds a letter that she suspects is written by Jane Austen.  In this letter, Jane eludes to another story that she has written, but misplaced.  Samantha’s adventure to find the missing manuscript takes her to London where she meets the owner of the property that is mentioned in the letter and finds more than just the manuscript.

I loved this story!  I must admit, I have not read any of Jane Austen’s novels.  I know what you’re thinking, how can you call yourself a bibliophile and not read any of her novels!  I know, I should have by now.  I can tell you, since I have read this book, I bought 3 of her novels.  Does that help?

This book is a work of fiction.  But, if the author got Austen’s tone and writing right, I loved the way Austen writes!  I was skeptical that the author could write a story that could pass off as Austen’s while writing in the present about Samantha’s discovery of the manuscript.  I will have to read Austen’s novels to decide if the author is believable writing in Austen’s style.  The way the conversations were written in proper English, which I think would be great to go back to, were easy to follow.  The setting was easy to imagine and her use of words was perfect.  I love her characters too.  The story of the lost manuscript is great and I think the author did a great job tying in the manuscript and the story of Samantha’s adventure together.

If the author’s knowledge of Jane Austen is correct, then the helpful hints towards the way Austen wrote makes Austen’s books easier to read than I thought.  I was afraid I would be stuck in the mire of the proper English language and not be able to follow the story.  Truth is, I enjoyed the Austen story within the main story better.  I wanted the author to get back to Austen’s story rather than on Samantha’s story.  But without Samantha, you would not know about the Austen manuscript.  So she’s kind of essential.

If you like Jane Austen, you might like this book.  I give it 4.5 stars!

Pick it up at Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15765147-the-missing-manuscript-of-jane-austenLost Manuscript of Jane Austen

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Book Review- Home Front by Kristin Hannah

Product Details

I loved this book!  What an amazing story of a military family.  This is not a traditional military family, instead the mother gets deployed to Iraq instead of the husband.  The husband is not supportive but stays to take care of his children.  This story deals with the emotional toll the war takes on the entire family, not just the person deployed.  It also deals with PTSD, a real disorder that affects the person for life.  The author does an excellent job of giving details that make the story come to life.  It makes you realize the hard job the military has to provide our freedom while still being real people with real problems.  I laughed, I cried, I sympathized because I was also a military wife with a husband that was deployed.  Thankfully, he was in the Navy before 9/11 and we were not at war.  If you want to know the truth about the soldiers and sailors that fight for us overseas and the family that is left behind, read this book!

Get the book at:  http://www.amazon.com/Home-Front-Novel-Kristin-Hannah/dp/1250023270/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1370973515&sr=8-1&keywords=home+front+by+kristin+hannah

 

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Book Review- Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah

Firefly Lane

This is not exactly the newest bestseller, but I am discovering new authors and reading everything I can by them.

Kristin Hannah is my new favorite author.  I found Firefly Lane after a friend recommended it on Goodreads.  This is a great story.  Two young girls who find a friend after being ignored by their parents.  They are complete opposites, one is a good student and has a loving family.  The other comes from a family of drunks and drug addicts.  Tully has only known isolation in her young life and just needs a good friend.  Kate is the opposite, she comes from a loving family and needs a new best friend.  The story begins in 1974 when the girls are in 8th grade, an awkward time in their young lives.  The story follows the girls throughout high school, college, career and marriage and kids.  I won’t give the ending away, but get your tissues ready.

I love the way the author keeps the reader engaged with good dialog and interesting characters you slowly start to care about.  I didn’t want the story to end!  There is another book by Kristin Hannah that is the sequel to this book called Fly Away.  It continues the story of Kate and Tully and their never-ending friendship through heartache and unspeakable pain.

I love Kristin Hannah’s books and highly recommend them if you’re a fan of chick-lit.  Firefly Lane and any of Hannah’s other novels are great for summers by the beach or pool.  The stories will take you away for a while and you won’t want to put it down!

Find Firefly Lane at Goodreads.com: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/1472878.Firefly_Lane

You can also find the author on Facebook and Twitter!

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Review- German Boy by Wolfgang Samuel

This book was one of the best books I’ve read in a while.  Having a personal connection to  war-torn Germany during WWII, my expectations were high.  This book delivered.  I was immersed into the life of Wolfgang Samuel as a small child dealing with bomb shelters and air raids during the war.  The atrocities this little boy endured while escaping from the German and Russian Army will make you cry.  No food, no clothing, no where to live, this little boy was constantly searching for the necessities that we all take for granted.  Shoes made of plastic, no coat and walking miles and miles in the snow was not the worst of it.  He didn’t understand why his grandfather was taken away and never returned.  He didn’t understand why the planes would drop bombs and destroy their house leaving them with no where to live.  He simply knew he had to take care of himself, at the tender age of 9 years old, and take care of his mother and sister as well.  Many people misunderstand the German citizens’ role during WWII by confusing them with Hitler supporters and Nazi soldiers.  Most of the citizens were not supporters of the Hitler regime, but if they resisted, they were killed.  They were treated just as badly as the Jews that Hitler tried to eradicate.  Many Germans died simply trying to survive in the brutal winters with disease and starvation being the norm.  Their experience was horrific and we all need to be grateful that we have never known the atrocities of Hitler or the Russians to the degree these German citizens did.  I highly recommend this memoir for anyone interested in German history and the families that lived through an incredibly difficult time and lived to tell their story.

Check out the details of the book at Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/242690.German_Boy

German Boy: A Refugee 's Story

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Live to Write - Write to Live

We live to write and write to live ... professional writers talk about the craft and business of writing

Head In The Clouds, Heart In The Books

Dreaming And Reading Through Life

Kristen Lamb

Author, Blogger, Social Media Jedi

planted oak

glimpses of God in the everyday

poisonedpenbooks.wordpress.com/

YOUR LOCAL BOOKSTORE, NO MATTER WHERE YOU LIVE.

J T Weaver

And in the end the love you take, is equal to the love you make. -- The Beatles

The Usual Foolishness

It's what I do

What's Broken

Madness, Magic, and the Writing of my Memoir - What's Broken, What's Breaking Down

alenaslife

My life in images, books, and words

The Day Dreamer & Candy Eater

Dreaming, Munching and Reading...

Book Journey

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