Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: DEATH COMES TO PEMBERLEY by P.D. James

is hosted by Jill from

Join in and tell us . . .

What are you waiting for?

My pick for this week is . . .

Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/6/2011
ISBN-13: 9780307959850
Pages: 304

Description (from the publisher):
A rare meeting of literary genius: P. D. James, long among the most admired mystery writers of our time, draws the characters of Jane Austen’s beloved novel Pride and Prejudice into a tale of murder and emotional mayhem.

It is 1803, six years since Elizabeth and Darcy embarked on their life together at Pemberley, Darcy’s magnificent estate. Their peaceful, orderly world seems almost unassailable. Elizabeth has found her footing as the chatelaine of the great house. They have two fine sons, Fitzwilliam and Charles. Elizabeth’s sister Jane and her husband, Bingley, live nearby; her father visits often; there is optimistic talk about the prospects of marriage for Darcy’s sister Georgiana. And preparations are under way for their much-anticipated annual autumn ball.

Then, on the eve of the ball, the patrician idyll is shattered. A coach careens up the drive carrying Lydia, Elizabeth’s disgraced sister, who with her husband, the very dubious Wickham, has been banned from Pemberley. She stumbles out of the carriage, hysterical, shrieking that Wickham has been murdered. With shocking suddenness, Pemberley is plunged into a frightening mystery.

Inspired by a lifelong passion for Austen, P. D. James masterfully re-creates the world of
Pride and Prejudice, electrifying it with the excitement and suspense of a brilliantly crafted crime story, as only she can write it.

Click here to read an excerpt.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays: ALL THESE THINGS I'VE DONE by Gabrielle Zevin

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Miz B. of Should Be Reading.

Want to play along?  Here's what to do:
  • 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 and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"People go crazy, not because they are crazy, but because it's the best available option at the time. In a way, it would have been easier to lose my mind because then I wouldn't have had to be there anymore."

-- page 132 (advanced readers copy)

Birthright (Volume 1)
by Gabrielle Zevin

Click here to read an excerpt.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thankfully Reading Weekend 2011: The Wrap Up

Well, I wrapped up my Thankfully Reading Weekend in the middle of night as I completed ONE HUNDRED AND ONE NIGHTS by Benjamin Buchholz. What an intense story!

I'm really happy with my overall reading for this past weekend. I read a total of 3 books, which was my goal. I just ended up substituting SPONTANEOUS HAPPINESS by Andrew Weil, MD for WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON by Grace Lin. That's because I had wanted to read some of the Grace Lin book with my niece and nephew and that didn't work out; and also because I picked up SPONTANEOUS HAPPINESS because the other two books I was reading were not the cheeriest of reads and I needed a break. I liked it so much, I raced through it on Saturday.

Here's the breakdown for my weekend of reading:


THE INVISIBLE ONES by Stef Penney; 416 pages
SPONTANEOUS HAPPINESS by Andrew Weil, MD; 288 pages
ONE HUNDRED AND ONE NIGHTS by Benjamin Buccholz; 368 pages

Wasn't able to get to:


I wasn't able to visit too many other blogs -- well, I was reading! But I know I'm not the only one who had a great time with this challenge. Thank you, Jenn, for organizing it. Can't wait to do it again next year!

Hopefully, I'll get all three reviews posted this week (and a couple of giveaways, too!)

Sunday, November 27, 2011

TBR Pile Challenge 2012 Hosted by Adam at Roof Beam Reader

I'm joining the 2012 TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Adam at Roof Beam Reader.  This challenge really appeals to me because I've been thinking a lot about all the unread books on my shelves (and nightstand) (and desk) (and floor) (and the way back of my car!). Most of us can't get to all the books we'd like because there are just too many books and not enough time. I have another problem, and I wonder if any of you might suffer from this affliction, too. Sometimes I "save" books. I really want to read them and feel confident that I'm going to love them, but I let them sit and save them for some future time. What am I thinking? That there will be a book drought and I have to hold some in reserve? Am I afraid that as much as I think I'll love a book that I'll be disappointed? Why am I denying myself these books? I don't know, and it's easy to get distracted by all the new and wonderful books that come my way.

Recently I heard about Susan Hill's book, HOWARD'S END IN ON THE LANDING in which she chronicles the year she spent reading only her own books. I'm not ready to go to that extreme, but I do intend to make reading through my own TBR pile a priority for 2012. Adam's challenge specifies that you can only read books that you have owned for at least one year - so they must have been published prior to January 1, 2011. This requirement will force me to pick some books that have been languishing for far too long. Also, I only have to read 12 books - but I must specify which ones (along with 2 alternates in case something turns into a dreaded DNF). I also like the idea of signing up with Adam's challenge because he is a new-to-me blogger and it's fun to connect with new, like-minded people. I'm not discounting the possibility of signing up for other challenges that encourage me to read my own books, but this one is for sure.

Click here to get more information about the 2012 TBR Pile Challenge or to sign up.

Here's my "official" list. Books can be read in any order. I'll link each title to my review as I post them.

1,   THE SPIRITUALIST by Megan Chance
2.   THE LAST DICKENS by Matthew Pearl
4.   DOWN THE NILE by Rosemary Mahoney
5.   KISSING GAMES OF THE WORLD by Sandi Kahn Shelton
6.   THE GOOD THIEF by Hannah Tinti
7.   THE ROSE OF YORK: LOVE & WAR by Sandra Worth
8.   THE PROFESSORS’ WIVES’ CLUB by Joanne Rendall
9.   PEONY IN LOVE by Lisa See
10. SERENDIPITY by Louise Shaffer
11. CLEAR SPRINGS by Bobbie Ann Mason


2. SEA OF POPPIES by Amitav Ghosh

Now that I've done this, I can hardly wait to get started!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Thankfully Reading Weekend 2011: What Book Are You Thankful For?

I'm participating in Thankfully Reading Weekend 2011 hosted by Jenn at Jenn's Bookshelves. Click here to join in or check it out.

This post is my response to the challenge What Book Are You Thankful For?

A Flavia de Luce Mystery
by Alan Bradley

Ooooooo! I love this book! I LOVE this series!! To answer the question, What Book Are You Thankful For?, I thought for only a short time before I hit on my favorite little detective, Flavia de Luce. I thought, what book would I be happy to read and re-read a few times if I was stranded somewhere for awhile. This PIE has a slice of everything I enjoy most in a book: an historical setting with rich detail (1950's); British locale; mystery and detection; intelligence and wit; and a wonderful main character. Particularly, I love that 11-year-old Flavia is so unaware of her genius. Though brilliant, she never talks down to anyone - she seems to take it for granted that everyone else has the same capacities and capabilities as she. But on that point, she's mistaken - she's in a class by herself!

I'm particularly thankful that so far I have only read the first two books in this series and that there are two more available in the U.S. and another two waiting in the wings! Oh, Joy! Thank you, Mr. Bradley! Thank you! Thank you!

Thankfully Reading Weekend 2011 - Day Two Update

I'm participating in Thankfully Reading Weekend hosted by Jenn at Jenn's Bookshelves. This is my first update. Click here if you'd like to join in or just catch up with the rest of us.

Well, I've just completed a plate of Thanksgiving leftovers as well as my first book: THE INVISIBLE ONES by Stef Penney; 401 pages. I found it compelling despite its dreariness. I'll definitely be recommending it when I write my review. There was one passage that sung to me from the page and, though my reading copy is an arc and might differ from the final version, I'm sharing it with you here: 

"On impulse, before she comes back, I pick up her glass, with its delicate red wax print, and drain it of the sweet ice-melt. The scent of rum vanishingly faint. Just so I can press my mouth to the ghost of hers." -- page 316

Wow, huh?!

To sort of clear my palate before I resume reading ONE HUNDRED AND ONE NIGHTS by Benjamin Buchholz, I've picked up SPONTANEOUS HAPPINESS by Andrew Weil, M.D. This will be a quick initial read, but I'm already planning on taking it with me for my morning trip to CVS - there are some supplements I want to try based on Dr. Weil's recommendation. This is the sort of book that you read through and then work with over a period of time. I really like Dr. Weil, so I'm excited to have the chance to read (and review) (and host a giveaway) (soon!) his latest book.

Next I'm going to pull together a quick post for the What Book Are You Thankful For? Challenge.

So, what have you been reading this weekend?

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankfully Reading Weekend 2011: Kickoff!

Hello, Everyone! Happy Day After Thanksgiving! Hope all my Americans friends had a wonderful holiday yesterday and that all my other friends simply had a wonderful day! Since I've been away from my blog for a few weeks, I thought joining in on Jenn's Thankfully Reading Weekend would be a great way to reconnect. If you'd like to join in or just "tune in" to the posts, hop on over to Jenn's Bookshelves to say hello and see who else is participating.

Jenn's listed a few blog starter questions for those who need or want suggestions, and they look good to me, especially since I feel a bit rusty! So first off, HOW DID YOU SPEND THANKSGIVING? We really didn't know for sure where we'd be for dinner until a few days before, and that turned out to be at home! My mom had hip replacement surgery a few weeks ago (one of the reasons A Sea of Books has been idle lately), but she's getting around pretty well now, so we picked her up and brought her over -- literally, Grandmother's house is over the bridge and through the woods. Fortunately, she brought a turkey with her! My sister and I managed all the trimmings. So, it was a kind of low key day, just my sister and her kids, E-Girl-8 and J-Boy-11, my mom, and me. We kept things simple so there was no stress - except E-Girl-8 was very upset when she realized there would be no chocolate cream pie (can't say as I blame her!) but of course we had pumpkin (umm!).

WHAT BOOKS DID YOU DISCUSS AT THANKSGIVING? Only one, actually, but it was quite appropriate. J-Boy-11 is reading HACHETTE by Gary Paulsen with his sixth grade class. For those of you who aren't familiar with this book, it's about a 14-year-old boy, Brian, who is stranded alone in the Canadian wilderness after the pilot of the small plane he's riding in dies of a heart attack and Brian is forced to crash land the plane in a lake. Needless to say, how Brian coped with his situation - finding food, building a shelter, trying to create a fire, his loneliness and fear - gave us plenty to talk about, especially along the lines of being grateful and appreciative of our own cozy little house, dinner, and family.

WHAT'S IN YOUR TBR PILE FOR THIS WEEKEND? It's a little pile, but a quality one! I started reading ONE HUNDRED AND ONE NIGHTS by Benjamin Buchholz earlier in the week. I think it's going to be an emotional read, so I'm going to take it slowly but, at some point when I have the house to myself, I want to read some more of it over the next few days.  Last night I began reading THE INVISIBLE ONES by Stef Penney, author of THE TENDERNESS OF WOLVES. This is a mysterious story about modern-day Gypsies, or Travellers, in England. I'm totally intrigued. And, finally, a week or so ago I bought a copy of WHERE THE MOUNTAIN MEETS THE MOON by Grace Lin.  I've wanted to read this for ages, so I'm really excited to finally have a copy. I hope to read some to the kids tonight.

HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU THINK YOU'LL HAVE FOR READING? Not enough. Never enough! As soon as I post this, I'm going to go stretch out on our sunny couch and read for a bit. But, one of my other sisters is here visiting with another one of my young nieces, and when everyone gets back from feed the llamas, I'll be putting my book away. Tomorrow and Sunday the kids will be at their' dad's house, so it'll  be pretty quiet around here. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that no surprise disasters keep me reading and blogging to my heart's content!

How about you? How was your Thanksgiving and how are you spending this weekend? What books are on your reading lists?