Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday Snapshot-The Couch Potatoes

I was visiting At Home With Books and saw Alyce has an adorable pic of her kitten posted today. I didn't really have anything bookish to say today and when I looked up from my laptop this is what my living room floor looked like. So, borrowing her idea I took a pic of my hounds. Now mind you, they just woke up about an hour ago, ate breakfast and are now are back in their beds. Can you believe they can actually run up to 45MPH? Well, maybe not after living a couch potato lifestyle. We do go for walks down on the village green and around the neighborhood, but fortunately, racing is in the past. Hopefully, they will never get loose. Hang on to those leases!!

PS...Well as far as can see one of my 10 bookshelves that are scattered around the house. LOL

Happy Saturday! It's beautiful in Connecticut.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Friday, July 30, 2010

Happy 75th Anniversary Penguin & Giveaway

Today is the official 75th anniversary of the launch of Penguin Books. Wow! Congratulations Penguin!!

To help celebrate, Penguin Books asked me to select a book from a list of 75 titles. I was so thrilled to see that one of the choices was The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. (see contest details below)

As I have said before, this is one of my favorite books and I am so happy that I can offer it as a giveaway. Please take a look at their dedicated website for more details about their summer celebrations. I want to thank Penguin for this giveaway opportunity and again Happy 75th Anniversary!

Contest Details:

Contest ends on August 21, 2010.

Contestants must be from the US and provide an email address for notification.

Comment why you would like to win this book. (one chance)

Tweet about the contest. (one chance)

Become a follower of Bookworms Dinner. (one chance) Mention this contest on your blog. (two chances)

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Thursday, July 29, 2010

All About Children Thursday-Interrupting Chicken

I promised you my first book to kick off this new meme I am hosting called All About Children Thursday. You can read about it in my previous link. I'm excited to share books for children with you and can't wait to see what everyone is reading.

Interrupting Chicken
David Ezra Stein
Candlewick Press

My first book is Interrupting Chicken. This is funny, just hilarious as it reminds me of all the times you read to kids and they want to jump in and tell you what happens. That is exactly what happens when Papa chicken reads to the little red chicken. His bedtime stories are Little Red Riding Hood, Chicken Little and Hansel and Gretel, but little red chicken can't help but get involved to help along the story. You will chuckle and really enjoy reading this to kids at home or at school. Stein's illustrations and text bubbles leap off the page with brilliant colors and expressive characters. Have fun reading this one. I did.

Disclosure: This book was sent to me by the publisher. My comments are original and honest without bias.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

New Meme-All About Children Thursday

All About Children Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Bookworm's Dinner, to share our love of children's literature. This is the place to share the YA literature, picture books, series chapter books, and anything other books for kids. There are so many great books published, soon to be released and maybe just your favorite of all time. Let's hear about them! Now's your opportunity to pass these treasures along. All you have to do is sign in with Mr. Linky and link your blog post. What books for children or YA did you read this week or recently that you want to shout about?

I have a book to share with you that recently came to me called Interrupting Chicken, by David Ezra Stein. I will share it in my All About Children Thursday post once I make sure this works.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wordless Wednesday, July 28, 2010

"Wizard" Storytime

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Teaser Tuesday, July 27, 2010

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

One of the books I'm currently reading is The Gift of Rain, by Tan Twan Eng. His prose is so beautiful, I savor his writing and linger on pages, as I often read passages over and over as I reflect on an image that appears or work through a thought that jumps off the page. This weeks teaser is more reflective, but still a tease as to what you can expect from this author:

"Who can look back and truly say all memories are happy ones? To have memories happy or sorrowful, is a blessing, for it shows we have lived our lives without reservation." page 80

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Mailbox Monday, July 26, 2010

As most of you know Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Thank you once again Marcia for hosting this weekly event. :)

I received quite a few books this week and a couple of them total surprises. Don't you just love surprises? The Eternal Ones landed on my front porch out of the blue and I devoured it in one day. That usually doesn't happen to me. I am so grateful for the new books I received from publishers and authors, they all look so good. What did you receive of interest this week? I don't know about you, but I have a difficult time deciding what to read next.

From Library Thing Early Reviewers
The Good Daughters by Joyce Maynard

The House on Salt Hay Road, by Carin Clevidence

Emma and the Vampires, by Jane Austen and Wayne Josephson

The Eternal Ones, by Kirsten Miller

By Fire, By Water, by Mitchell James Kaplan

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Weekend Cooking for the Greyhounds

Weekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, fabulous quotations, photographs. Thanks to Beth Fish Reads for hosting this event.

This is my first post for Weekend Cooking. I am the kind of cook that experiments often. I don't write things down and change a lot of my recipes from time to time, so this will be a challenge for me to share some of my cooking with you. Watch just kidding.

I decided to pass on a recipe I got from my friend Donna's mom. She would make this recipe for her dog Rusty and she kept telling me how much he loved it. Well, having three greyhounds, who normally have very sensitive stomachs, I was reluctant to try this recipe for Frosty Paws. I have seen similar recipes online, so I don't know where this originally came from. Here is the is sooooo easy.

1-32 ounce container of plain yogurt
1-banana-ripe is better
2-T peanut butter
2-T honey

Combine all the above ingredients in a blender and mix until it is blended like a smoothie.

When done you have to freeze this in cups or something for your dogs. At first, I thought of using ice cube trays. This works ok, but when I gave them these they gobbled them up in two bites. So I began to think about alternatives. I remembered my recycling bin where I had plastic cups left over from prepared pudding. I save these to root plants and plant seeds in, but I had so many saved. After rewashing them, and using a 12 cup muffin pan for support, I placed a plastic cup into each spot. This makes it easy to fill, freeze and serve.

I was so excited the first time I gave them these in the plastic cups. They were so happy as they caressed their cups and went to town licking their yummy treats. Now of course, every time I go to the freezer they think it is Frozen Yogurt treat-time. This is Lion with his treat, who sometimes thinks the cup is to be eaten as well.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Sunday Salon-July 25, 2010

Happy Sunday Salon Everyone!!

It's another hot day for the greyhounds in Connecticut. Wow! This has really been a hot and humid summer hear. I don't know about the rest of you, but fans and air conditioning are working overtime. While I love the comfort of air conditioning, I also love the freshness of having the windows open with what little breeze the fans can muster. So, as I read today, I have opted for the fresh air. I'll probably head to my family room, which is always cooler and the fur-babies love to sprawl on the carpet. It looks like wall to wall greyhound.

I just finished reading The Eternal Ones, by Kirsten Miller. This is a fabulous suspense YA novel about love at first sight, reincarnation, and deja vu. The underlying theme is about faith, love and trust. The publisher claims: "You will not be able to put it down." I can truthfully say, that is true. You can check out my thoughts here.

I'm in the middle of reading The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng which as I discovered has a setting in Penang. For those of you who know Alice, from her blog, Hello, My Name is Alice, this is where she just moved. I found that so ironic when I started reading it. This is a historical fiction from 1939 as World War II began. Look for my review this week. The author has a beautiful writing style that sends me off into space sometimes.

Anyway, today will be a quiet, relaxing day reading mostly. It's starting to really cook outside, so I might opt for the air conditioning. What are you doing or reading today? In any case, whatever your plans, I hope your Sunday is a bright and happy one.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

The Eternal Ones, by Kirsten Miller

by Kirsten Miller
Razorbill, Penguin Group(August 10, 2010)
432 pages
ISBN 9781595143082
Ages 12 and up

Synopsis from the bookcover:

Haven Moore has always lived in a tiny town of Snope City, Tennessee. But for as long as she can remember, Haven has experienced visions of a past life as a girl named Constance, whose love for a boy called Ethan ended in fiery tragedy.
One day, the sight of notorious playboy Iain Morrow on television brings Haven to her knees. Haven flees to New York City to find Iain an there, she is swept up in an epic love affair that feels both deeply fated and terribly dangerous.

My thoughts:
The Eternal Ones arrived in my mailbox on Friday. I sometimes peruse through books I receive for review just to get a sense of the book. When I read the first few paragraphs, I became engrossed, planted in my chair for hours. The skeptic in me says there is no such thing as love at first sight. The woman in me says perhaps there truly is. With my daily schedule put on hold, I was held captive by this romantic suspense. Kirsten Miller creates the perfect mystery with surprise twists in this tantalizing story that keeps the reader engaged, crazy with curiosity. A menagerie of memorable characters offer just the right humor to move this story forward at breath-catching speed. With refreshing originality, this YA novel will no doubt slip quickly to the top of booklists everywhere. Lends well for sequel possibilities. Don’t miss it!

About the author from the bookjacket:

Kirsten Miller grew up in a small town in the mountains of North Carolina, At seventeen, she hit the road and moved to New York City, where she lives to this day. Kirsten is the author of the acclaimed Kiki Strike books, which tell the tale of the delinquent girl geniuses who keep Manhattan safe.

In a Nutshell:

My rating:
Very good-excellent-(quick enjoyable suspenseful)
First time reading this author: Yes
Chances I would read more by this author: High

Disclosure: The copy of this book was sent to me by Penguin Young Readers Group. My review is my honest opinion without bias.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Friday, July 23, 2010

Review-My Name is Mary Sutter

by Robin Oliveira
Viking/Penguin Group
$26.95/$33.50 Can; 384 pages
ISBN 13 978-0670021673
May 13, 2010

Mary Sutter, shared the womb with her sister Jenny, but in her words her life is more in “competition than cooperation” with her neonatal twin. Mary has followed in her mother’s footsteps as a midwife. Considered by many to have far surpassed her mother’s talents, Mary is competent and popular, regarded with high esteem. However, she wants more. Following her life’s passion to become a surgeon, she seeks admittance to the Albany Medical College. Facing gender prejudice, her application is denied. With an indomitable spirit she seeks alternatives to learn to become a surgeon. She is called upon to help deliver a breach baby where she meets James Blevin, a surgeon. Although impressed with Mary’s technique, he denies her request to become her teacher. When the Civil War breaks out, Dorothea Dix forms an organization to hire a corp of nurses. Mary travels to Washington, DC to answer the ad, but is denied because of her age. With a fiery determination and unshakable resolve to fight prejudice in her way, she finally ends up insinuating herself upon Dr. Sipps another surgeon. He works in a retched, unsanitary, disease filled overcrowded hospital. Sipps is overwhelmed with the wounded and sick but reluctantly allows Mary Sutter to assist, watch and listen. She is witness to bloody battlefields where she must step over the dead and seriously wounded, maimed and diseased. What she learns is more than she ever expected as she is faced with difficult choices. The battle between the North and South, is a metaphor for her own guilt over family, career prejudice, love and reconciliation.

Mary Sutter is an unforgettable character, a role model of distinct strength. With determination and raw nerve she overcomes not only the prejudices that seek to impede her goal to become a surgeon, but she presses her own character beyond the limits of human tolerance. This is a graphic and brutally honest depiction of the massive carnage that resulted during the Civil War when canon artillery combined with limited medical knowledge and inadequate supplies decimated hundreds of thousands of men. Even still, Robin Oliveira’s storytelling is captivating and is a welcomed addition of historical fiction for anyone interested in reading about this period. A dramatically compelling story, tearful and tragically real, sure to produce deep breathing and serious pondering of the past. With my highest recommendation, this will be a top ten of 2010.

Disclosure: This copy was sent to me by Viking Press. This review is offered without bias and is my honest opinion.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin on Audio Downloud - Free Audio

Have you heard about Learn Out Loud? Maybe you have and you have forgotten about it. Want free sources you can download and listen to on your own MP3 player? There are so many titles on this website right at your disposal. The site is well organized, has an excellent search engine, offers social network sharing and thousands of freebies as a bonus. Every month I get an email with a FREE download featured. It also serves as reminder about this great online bookstore that allows me to browse, kick back and listen to choices or download a new book. As a media specialist, I am really amazed at the offerings that include famous speeches by notable people, for example, below is a link to Susan B. Anthony's Right to Vote speech.

You can subscribe to this website, but it is not necessary to listen to some of the audio books. However, if you want to buy or download any free files you will have to subscribe. No big deal really. The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin is this months feature. I included a link for The Scarlet Letter as well. There are a number of pages to navigate through at the top of the site that link to Kids, Downlouds, Podcasts, Blog, Free Stuff and others.

The Way to Wealth by Benjamin Franklin on Audio Download - Free Audio

The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne on Audio Download - Free Audio

Speech on Women's Right to Vote by Susan B. Anthony on Audio Downloud - Free Audio

I hope you check it out. Let me know if you find anything interesting.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Secrets of Newberry by Victor McGlothin

by Victor McGlothin
Grand Central Publishing/Hachette Book Group
$13.99/$16.99 Can; 373 pages
ISBN 13 :9780446178136

Full Description from the Publisher
"For Ivory Bones Arcineaux and Hampton Bynote, life in 1950s New Orleans couldn't be sweeter. Friends since they met in an illegal gambling house in Newberry, Louisiana, they have their pick of all the fine women, good food, and hot nights they can handle. They seem to have it made-especially Julian who begins to make a new life for himself after meeting the beautiful, classy Magnolia Garbo at a social. But both men are about to find out that letting the good times roll can be deadly when a simple robbery goes wrong and Julian witnesses Bones murdering a man in cold blood."

Just when you think you have everything figured out, this story will take an unexpected turn to keep you engaged as you can’t help but turn to the next page. Pearl Lee works as a supervisor in the washhouse, delegating soiled linens and underclothes among the other black women who work on the Delacroix Plantation. The women share a secret, a secret agreement between the white men in this powerful family and the black women who serve and live in the rows of slave shacks next door. They all know and suffer with the agreement. Their husbands are in the dark, the secret is unspeakable and unseemly, but all agree it is necessary to keep their men safe, so they endure.

Characters who comprise this complicated story are unforgettable. Magnolia and Pearl Lee are strong women who demonstrate the depth of their emotions when they back it up with actions. Hampton struggles to provide a good life for his family. He lives on a tightrope intent on staying straight with the law, but his balance is not always steady.

Are there some secrets worth dying for? Is murder ever justified? Suspense, mystery, racial inequality and the backdrop of Jim Crow Louisiana in the 1950’s accompanied by a superb realistic story with intrigue will more than satisfy historical fiction fans. Victor McGlothin’s storytelling will force you to ponder life questions of faith and belief. Masterfully told and highly recommended.

Disclosure: This book was sent to me at no cost from Hachette Book Group. This review is my own unbiased true opinion of The Secrets of Newberry, by Victor McGlothin.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Teaser Tuesday-July 20, 2010

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

From my current read: The Secrets of Newberry, by Victor McGlothin-historical fiction from 1950's New Orleans

"I'll see to the work all right," she whispered, leaning in closer to Pearl Lee's ear. "I'll see to it just like I seen that rascal Trotter Delacroix easing out your back door this morning." Page 42

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].

Monday, July 19, 2010

Sunday Salon-Monday Recap-July 19, 2010

My cousin Russ came to visit on Thursday night and so I was busy, busy, busy hanging out with him. So, please excuse this Sunday Salon on Monday this week. I didn't get a lot of reading done over the weekend but did pick up a couple of books and wanted to tell you about my trip to the FDR Library and Museum and Val-Kill in Hyde Park, NY. In Connecticut, it has been unbearably hot and humid. The humidity is really the killer for me, bad hair days and uncomfortable sticky icky weather. Russ and I were going to go kayaking on Friday, but when I looked at my kayak, there was a hole in the bottom that needs to be patched. No problem, Russ brought his bike and so we took a 10 mile ride up to Kent, CT along the river. What a beautiful ride. It was so much fun and so pretty, we repeated the same trip on Sunday morning, biking a little further on the second trip.

Along Our Bike Route-CT Americana

Biking Along the River-July
On Saturday we went to the FDR Library and Museum and Eleanor Roosevelt's Val-Kill Cottage. I get so inspired by this woman's legacy. She was an amazing woman, a powerful political figure and as I walked through the doors to her home I couldn't help but reflect on the history surrounding me. This modest cottage in the country was a retreat for Eleanor and her family, not only Franklin, but her children, and many grandchildren. Think about this, she entertained countless heads of state at Val-Kill in the country, including John F. Kennedy, Nikita Khrushchev, Haile Selassie, Marshal Tito and Winston Churchill to name just a few. The park guides mentioned that she would often tell her staff to expect 4-5 guests for lunch only to learn that twenty or more would show up. She would just set up card tables and portable folding chairs and make do. If you are ever in this area of New York, the Roosevelt Historic Site is well worth a look.

Photos-Hyde Park, New York-The Roosevelt Historic Site

The Mansion or as they called it.....The Big House

A chat with Franklin and Eleanor even on a bad hair day!

FDR's Childhood Books (one by Randolph Caldecott on right)

WPA Project-Traveling Mobile Library ( Photo taken inside Library)

A Collage of Mrs. Roosevelt's Books (Never knew there were so many!)

Naturally I picked up a couple of bookmarks!!

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010]

Mailbox Monday, July 19th, 2010

As most of you know Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. Thank you once again Marcia for hosting this weekly event. :)

I had a busy weekend that took me to Hyde Park, NY where I visited the FDR Library and Museum and Val-Kil. I will blog a bit for Sunday Salon..although it will be Monday. I picked up two books at the gift shop about Eleanor Roosevelt. Eleanor and Amelia Go for A Ride is a special picture book I used to read to my classes in both middle school and elementary school. It is a wonderful little known story about Amelia Earhart and Eleanor Roosevelt (my two favorite heros in history) and the night Amelia took Mrs. Roosevelt for an airplane ride. They were friends and they managed to escape the Secret Service tail in order to enjoy a whimsical night of riding in Eleanor's roadster and Amelia's plane. I love this book and never had my own copy. Thanks to my sweet cousin I now have my own copy.

I also received:

Eleanor Roosevelt Her Day, A Personal Album by A. David Gurewitsch, MD.

From Sourcebooks:
Elizabeth Captive Princess, by Margaret Irwin
Wicked Company, by Ciji Ware
Lady of Hay, by Barbara Erskine

From the author, Roxane Tepfer Sanford I received,.....All That is Beautiful the sequel to The Girl in the Lighthouse. I can't wait to read this one. The Girl in the Lighthouse was a moving and heart stopping read that I reviewed on my blog last year.

Happy Mailbox Monday to all! What did you get and which do you think you would like the best out of my mailbox?

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].