Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sunday Salon-May 31st

Hmm, where should I start? This week's been full of ups and downs here in the Caldwell household. I didn't get my usual "let me sleep in" time on Monday (my husband wakes up with the kiddo on Mondays, because we had to be somewhere. I should have known from the start that things weren't gonna work out for us. After running our errands our car started to act crazy. *yay* Then my husband utters a string of colorful words under his breath. Then I look at the dashboard and realize that our car is overheated...sooo we sit parked on the side of the road for almost 30 minutes. My son is bored. I am bored and tired and worried. My husband is grumpy of course. The car is a fun place to be right then and there. Luckily it all turned out okay. After conversing on the phone with my father about this situation, he helps us figure out the problem. *And we had a big DUH moment* (Turns out the water tank that looked quite full was in fact bone dry. How we overlooked that I will never be able to explain)

On to the good parts! I had a very busy mailbox week! I got a good handful of books (both ARCs and Wins and swaps) I'm always a happy girl when I go to the mailbox and find something other than bills! *hint hint ;)* My mail carrier is certainly going to hate me as I think I have close to 20ish books coming in soon. My desk is full, my book fetish is sated and my geeky smile could not be ..well geekier.

I am currently working on getting my associates degree completed so I can move on in school. The financial aid process is always a fun time but this time it's gone by rather smoothly. I'm very thankful and count this as one of the better things that has happened this week. If you've been to school and had to deal with financial aid stuff then you know how much of a pain in the you know where it is!

Reading-wise I have gotten a good chunk of books read and two reviews done (thats my goal)so I am pleased with this!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Friday 56-May 29th

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

"Anyway, because of her weakness, my mother had her own set of rooms right down the hall from my father. As much as she might have wished to sleep beside her husband, I think she was grateful for her own space. My father's personality could be a bit overwhelming at times-I mean, he was Death."
pg. 56 from Death's Daughter by Amber Benson

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Review-Easy on the Eyes

Amazon Description
At 38, Tiana Tomlinson has made it. America adores her as one of the anchors of America Tonight, a top-rated nightly entertainment and news program. But even with the trappings that come with her elite lifestyle, she feels empty. Tina desperately misses her late husband Keith, who died several years before. And in a business that thrives on youth, Tina is getting the message that her age is starting to show and certain measures must be taken if she wants to remain in the spotlight. It doesn't help that at every turn she has to deal with her adversary--the devilishly handsome, plastic surgeon to the stars, Michael Sullivan. But a trip away from the Hollywood madness has consequences that could affect the rest of her life.

My Review
I have to admit I was a little skeptical about this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed it! It would have been perfect if it wasn't for a couple of minor details. I really wanted to say that this book was a refreshing view on aging and attitudes towards the subject, especially with women. Tiana is a very likable character that most of us can relate. She's aging (even though she's barely 38 years old) and is being pushed out of her position because of this. In her line of work you are considered elderly at 28, unless you get some work done. Basically, people don't want to watch a woman age on TV. Her ratings are going down and her producers thinks she would be "helped" by getting a little work done. She doesn't want to do this, in fact she likes her face the way it is, but she still feels the pressure. Hollywood apparently is cut throat and if you aren't young you aren't important. Porter really knows how to write a female character that isn't too perfect but isn't boring either. Tiana is a strong female character that most women will be able to relate to and sympathize with. She has strong and loving friends that support her and give her very good advice. They steer her in a good direction and give her a shoulder to cry on when she needs it. The story is very strong and I really enjoyed myself while reading it. I honestly didn't want to put it down, as cliched as that sounds!
Now on to the negative....
Near the middle of the book, Tiana meets someone special. I won't ruin it but he is someone that is highly involved in philanthropy and helping children in Africa. This is a life changing occasion in Tiana's life and it's a very emotional part of the book. Sometimes though, Porter sounds as if she is really writing an after school special, or a commercial about donating money to orphans. Her intentions are honorable, but the way she states them interrupts the flow of the story.
For me this was a decent book. I liked it and really do recommend it. It has its flaws but I believe the book in whole is worthy of a read. I give it a 4/5 stars.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Teaser Tuesday-Easy On the Eyes

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

~ Grab your current read
~ Open to a random page
~ Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
~ BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
~ Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My current read is Easy on the Eyes by Jane Porter. Here ya go a little tempting tidbit!

My breath catches in my throat and my heart falls. Not him, not tonight. I can't cope with him on a night like this. Gorgeous, famous Michael O'Sullivan, plastic surgeon to the stars. And the hopefuls. And the has-beens. pg. 8 Easy on the Eyes

Review-I'm So Happy for You

From the Back Cover
What if your best friend, whom you've always counted on to flounder in life and love (making your own modest accomplishments look not so bad), suddenly starts to surpass you in every way?

Wendy's best friend, Daphne, has always been dependably prone to catastrophe. And Wendy has always been there to help. If Daphne veers from suicidal to madly in love, Wendy offers encouragement. But when Daphne is suddenly engaged, pregnant, and decorating a fabulous town house in no time at all, Wendy is...not so happy for her. Caught between wanting to be the best friend she prides herself on being and crippling jealousy of flighty Daphne, Wendy takes things to the extreme, waging a full-scale attack on her best friend-all the while wearing her best, I'm-so-happy-for-you smile-and ends up in way over her head.

Rosenfeld has a knack for exposing the not-always-pretty side of being best friends--in writing that is glittering and diamond-sharp. I'M SO HAPPY FOR YOU is a smart, darkly humorous, and uncannily dead-on novel about female friendship.

My Review
Where to start with this book? I know of many women (including myself) that would fit the descriptions of some of the main characters in this book. I know I've had friendships that were EXACTLY like the ones described on the pages of this book. Who hasn't felt little twinges of jealous at a friend's seemingly "perfect" life? Had silly spats with best friends about stupid things? Had their feelings hurt by someone they cared about? This book was a very honest view of the friendships and roles women take in life, not only with themselves but with each other. The relationships were real and the main character, Wendy, was someone I could relate to. The only real problem I had with the book was the strained relationship between Wendy and Adam. They really didn't seem like a very stable and loving couple, but then I think that was the point. The ending was a little predictable but played out well enough to satisfy me. I think what I am trying to say is that I really enjoyed this book and am glad I got the chance to read it! It was realistic with a touch of humor at the way some women..okay most of us..act around each other. I give it a 3.5/5 stars!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

In the Mail-Saturday May 23rd

Sweet! More books! My day is AWESOME! Got two new groovy looking books from Hachette to read/review! Gonna be BUSY!

I am such a happy girl lol *off to get reading!*

Bookstore Buys and other Loot!

I'm really addicted to bookstores and bookswap websites (who isn't right?) So here are my acquisitions for this week!


Other Loot
**Already read this one! It's a cute book!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Random Funnies

These just made me giggle a little bit! It's been one of those mornings!

No  really.....

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading
and asks you to :
1. Grab your current read
2. Open to a random page
3. Share 2 "teaser"sentences also citing the title of the book and the author and in that way people can have great recommendations if they like the "teaser.
4. Please avoid spoilers!

"Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday have now passed in review before the reader; the events of each day, its hopes and fears, mortifications and pleasures have been separately stated, and the pangs of Sunday only now remain to be described, and close the week."
pg. 68 Ch. 13 of Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Monday, May 18, 2009

Musing Mondays

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about early reading…

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading? Was it from a particular person, or person(s)? Do you remember any books that you read, or were read to you, as a young child? (question courtesy of Diane)

PLEASE LEAVE A COMMENT with either the link to your own Musing Mondays post, or share your opinion in a comment here (if you don’t have a blog). Thanks

Well I can remember when I was a little little girl, sitting on the couch with my Mother while she read to me. I think I was 3 when I first started reading (little books of course) and by the time I was in school my reading level was pretty high. I remember her reading to me Thomas books, Little Women (which is still one of my favorite books,) and various other board books. Sometimes she would read on the couch while I sat down and "read" my books too. She was always reading something when I was younger so I was surrounded by books. By the time I was about 9 I had a collection of books myself. I remember being the ONLY kid in my class to have read Shakespeare (and understood it!) and always having the teacher ask (as he was assigning a new book to read) if I had already read it. (Which I usually had already.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Review-The Betrayal

To start, this was an impulse purchase for me. It's usually not my cup of tea but I thought the back summary sounded intriguing and fun. Boy was I wrong! *sigh* I hate writing bad reviews but I just cannot help it! This book was full of half developed characters, a half developed plot, and sadly not even a good ending. (I won't spoil it just in case!)

This could have been a good book. It had potential. If the book described on the back cover would have panned out on the actual pages, then this would have just rocked my socks. The characters acted randomly. The main female character inexplicably goes from being aloof and distant to madly in love with the main male character. The main baddie is a total slut and the theme of Vampirism is just ...*sigh*

I should have listened to my husband when we were in the store. He took one look at the cover, read the back and flipped through the pages and said "This is going to be lame!" The ONE time he's right! I will be more careful from now on.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
~ Grab your current read ~ Open to a random page ~ Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page ~ BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!) ~ Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My current read is "The Betrayal" by Pati Nagle.

"A footfall on the forest floor below brought Eliani's head up sharply. The scroll in her hands curled back into itself..."

Non Book Related

Here is my biggest reason for NOT reading as much as I want to..I think its worth it don't you? :)

This is his ducky. He named it Pineapple Tree.


Okay after a while I have to admit defeat. Outlander just wasn't for me. I couldn't get into it and no matter how much I forced myself to read I just ..well I had a decision to make. It was a library checkout so I said if I didn't have it finished by the time it was due I just wouldn't renew it. That's right folks! Outlander defeated me! :(

I don't like giving up on books, but I don't like to make myself read something that I am not into. I gave it almost 200 pages before I finally just put up my white flag.

So I move on. Today I am feeling a tons better (if not still a bit tired) so I will focus on my current read "The Betrayal" by Pati Nagle. I saw this in the bookstore and thought it sounded like the perfect quick read. So far I'm enjoying it! After that I will work on getting my monthly TBR list whittled down.

I have goals people!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Sorry you guys

I've not been able to post (or read much sadly) lately. My whole family has had this icky, coughy, blah bug all week so I've been trying to get them and myself better. I've been able to do little quicky posts but nothing like what I wanted to. I do have plans this week to pump up the action on this blog so crossing my fingers all goes well!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday Thunks

****I stole this idea from At Melissa's Bookshelf!

1. Why the heck did you come back this week to do this meme?
I thought it was something to do while I sipped my coffee and watched Winnie The Pooh with Mr. Trent :)

2. Ever whiten your teeth?
yeah I did a BzzAgent campaign for some whitening strips about 40 of them..didn't work as well as I hoped!

3. Do you drive the speed limit?
It all depends. If Mr. Trent is in the car then I am as slow as a Granny, if he's not then I do drive over the limit lol

4. Did the dog eat your homework?
Nope but my cat did once!

5. How many bites does it take to get to the center of a watermelon?
Erm..I'm not sure how to answer this. We usually buy ours pre-cut in little chunks..

6. Did you eat paint chips as a child?
No, but I've always wondered about my little sister...

7. If someone rang your doorbell/knocked on your door at 1am, would you answer it?
Not sure, that is what peepholes are for!

8. "Amazingly Smooth" makes you think of what?
Sadly I think of peanut butter first! I hate chunky!

9. What was the last stupid thing someone said to you? (not counting this meme's questions)
I can stop playing anytime I want..but just give me one more game...(courtesy of my husband and his xbox addiction)

10. Would you eat a stick of butter for $100?
Sure! I'm not afraid of butter! I have a few bills that could be paid by that 100 lol

11. Find the nearest fabric tab, not counting your clothing you are wearing. What does it say the object is made of and where was it made?
this is a bit hard to do..i just grabbed mr. trent's shirt..its 100% cotton made in the USA

12. What is the strangest name you've ever heard someone name their child (or a person you met... however you want to answer it)?
hmm well this might not turn out so well over the internet but I have heard of a woman named shi-thead...(see why that looks weird?) it looks like a curse word and sounds like shy-thead

13. Why is some toilet paper really soft and others are really hard?
The more expensive the TP the better it feels for some odd reason! :(

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Awesome Contest!

Follow this link and enter into a contest where the prize is an AWESOME Sherlock Holmes book set! I've always wanted to read these books and here they are in a beautiful set! Woot!

Good luck to all those that enter (even though I'm crossing my fingers it'll be me! LOL)

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

~ Grab your current read
~ Open to a random page
~ Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
~BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
~Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Okay so as my previous post stated my current read is James Patterson's 1st To Die

"Sensational headlines announced the handiwork of a sadistic, deranged, completely new kind of killer. Out-of-town news crews buzzed around the Hall. Tragic wedding pictures and wrenching family scenes were the lead on every TV newscast"
taken from page 160

Tuesday's Book Review

Taken from
Editorial Reviews Review
The Women's Murder Club pits four San Francisco women professionals against a serial killer who's stalking and murdering newlyweds in bestselling author James Patterson's newest thriller. Lindsay Boxer is a homicide inspector who's just gotten some very bad news. She deals with it by immersing herself in her newest case and soliciting the personal as well as professional support of her closest friend, who happens to be the city's medical examiner. The two women, along with an ambitious and sympathetic reporter and an assistant DA, form an unlikely alliance, pooling their information and bypassing the chain of command in an engaging, suspenseful story whose gruesome setup is vintage Patterson. "What is the worst thing anyone has ever done?" the killer muses to himself early in the narrative. "Am I capable of doing it? Do I have what it takes?" Answering his own question, he embarks on a murderous spree that takes him from the bridal suite in a Nob Hill hotel to a honeymoon destination in the Napa Valley and thence to a wedding reception at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio. Dispatching his victims on the happiest day of their lives, he purposefully leaves enough clues for his distaff trackers to discover his identity and put him behind bars. But just when the women think they've got the case all wrapped up, the killer turns the tables on them in a bloody denouement that even the most discerning reader won't see coming. Patterson, author of the popular Alex Cross mysteries, promises future adventures for the Women's Murder Club, which may give him an opportunity to develop his heroines' characters more completely and win new fans among those who prefer their detectives in high heels and lipstick. --Jane Adams --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Library Journal
Fans of Patterson (Along Came a Spider) will not be disappointed with his latest effort. A killer is murdering recently married couples, and police detective Lindsay is stumped. Off duty, she forms a murder club comprising three of her friends: an assistant district attorney, a newspaper reporter, and a coroner. The four women use everything at their disposal to figure out who the killer is before he can strike again. Their lead suspect is a world-famous writer whose plots resemble the murders. Deploying Patterson's usual short chapters, the book is exciting to the last page. One hopes that it is the first installment in what deserves to be a new series; Patterson should give Alex Cross a rest and concentrate on these four women instead. 1st to Die will air as a miniseries on NBC in May, so expect demand. For all public libraries.
- Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition

My Review:

Okay so I'm not usually drawn to this genre. I admit I'm more of a Fantasy/Horror/Generic Fiction type of gal but after checking out a game based on the book I was intrigued. I picked my copy up from so I figured if it wasn't all that great I wasn't really out of anything.

First thing I noticed when I started were the short VERY short chapters. Some of the chapters are only about a page long (does that even really count as a chapter?) I'm probably very strange but that sort of annoys me. I think its kind of a pompous way of padding the book down..calling it a chapter when a page break or a new paragraph might suffice (hope that makes sense?)

The second thing that came to mind, after I got over the chapter thing. This book is very good! I at this time (11:00 am) am only a little under the halfway mark and cannot put this down. Well obviously I put the book down to type this out. I'm pleased so far. The characters are (so far) realistic, no one does inexplicable things, and the plot is moving along very smoothly.

Okay to continue my review of this book...after the initial "Woo I'm reading a thriller!" wore off I really started to pay close attention to the details. Patterson isn't a horrible writer. To me he seems to know how to write a decent female character, which is more than I can say for some male writers. They interacted just about the same way my friends and I hang out. That was a plus mark in my book.

Now on to the meat of the book. The plot. It seems to run so very smoothly from the start but then snags near the ending. The ending? I won't give any sort of spoiler but let's just say that I had already figured it out so the "twist" wasn't all that twisty for me. Don't get me wrong I was pleased at this choice. The novel was decent and I did enjoy stretching out past my usual comfort zone with this one! Will I re-read it? No..probably not. I'm going to post it on my account in just a few moments. Would I suggest it to my friends? It all depends on whether they like this genre or not. What is my rating? I'd give this one a 3.5/5 stars simply for the awkward twist near the end.

Thanks for reading my review!

James Patterson-1st to Die 3.5/5

Monday, May 4, 2009

Not having fun!

So this weekend was supposed to be filled with reading and reviewing and getting this blog nice and started, but nope..never happened. *insert sad face* My son started to get this gunk in his left eye (so much so that it matted shut in the morning.) So we were fearing the worst! Pink eye *shudder* So I called the hospital's hot line and spoke with a nurse about it. She said it could be just an irritation. So after that information I spent a good chunk of my weekend looking up his symptoms on the Internet, scaring myself half to death over it too! Let's just say we almost went to the ER about 500 times because of my paranoia. Needless to say his eye looked better by Sunday night and today it's just back to being the most adorable thing I've ever seen!

BUT...Now I have a doctor's appointment myself today. I woke up with a slight sore throat. *sigh* Ain't life grand?

Oh and I guess I forgot to mention the unnecessary stress of living in the South during tornado season!? Yeah, along with the worry about his eye and dreading my upcoming appointment (needles make me cringe..) we have about 3 hours of nerve-wracking weather. My husband was at work, we live in a trailer...yeah not fun!

Long story short, I gained a few gray hairs, lost a little bit of my sanity, my nails are nubbins now and I have a sore throat. Woo hoo! So hopefully I can get some reading done today at the doctor's office and after.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Yay! Finally!

I just found out that one of the best, most depressing (but wonderful) books ever written is about to have a movie! The Road by Cormac McCarthy finally be released!!! It was supposed to be released last year but it got pushed back..*booo*

Here is the story:

Dimension Films and 2929 Productions have finally announced that they will be releasing John Hillcoat’s adaptation of the Cormac McCarthy novel The Road, on October 16th 2009.
The film was originally set to debut during the 2008 Oscar season, but was supposedly pulled due to visual effects issues. Many speculated that the Weinsteins were starting to doubt the dark film’s award potential. Many had expected the film to be dumped in the first quarter dumping ground, but an October release shows that the studio still has some confidence in potential award consideration.

Academy Award nominee Viggo Mortensen, Academy Award winners Robert Duvall and Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce and 12-year-old Kodi Smit McPhee star in the the story of a man (Mortensen) and his young son (Smit-McPhee) traveling through a desperate, post-apocalyptic world. The flap jacket on the book describes the setting as “burned America”.

The 56

* Grab the book nearest you. Right now.
* Turn to page 56.
* Find the fifth sentence.
* Post that sentence (plus one or two others if you like) along with these instructions on your blog or (if you do not have your own blog) in the comments section
* Don't dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Mine is:
"Suddenly Gorgrael let the arrow go and Skraefear sagged to the floor. Gorgrael grimmaced in disgust. He needed a more reliable lieutenant. "

Now it is your turn! Post in comments or on your blog with a link back! Come on you know you wanna!

First Post to Pop My Blog's Cherry...

So what shall I say here? My name is Melissa but if you want you can call me the Booklady! Wherever I go and whatever I do I am very rarely without a book or two. If I have down time I'm usually found in my favorite comfy chair reading with a steaming cup of coffee! Yum! Sounds relaxing doesn't it?

Like most Moms though, I rarely get that chance as often as I like. So I like to challenge myself. I set a goal for what and how much to read each day. Sorta like a homework assignment but funner! As I was sipping my cup of coffee this morning and reading Enchanter by Sara Douglass I got the brilliant idea to blog about it! Thus in one insane and spontaneous moment Must Read Faster was born! My plans for what this blog will evolve into aren't quite set in stone yet, but I'd like for it to eventually have a book club type of feel to it. Again though, its not set in stone. For now though, I'm thinking I'll read the books and review them on my own.

I like all sorts of books. My least favorite genre would be romance but I'm not afraid to be seen in that aisle at the bookstore! I find myself gravitating around the Fantasy section more often than seems to be the "kick" I'm on at the moment. This year however one of my main resolutions were to read more "classics."

My book list for May is on the right. These are the books I hope to read this month and review. Expect one review per book but many daily posts.

Well that is my first post for now! Later today I will probably post something about Enchanter as I have a few thoughts about this series!