Friday, June 29, 2012

Remembering Nora Ephron

“Reading is everything. Reading makes me feel like I've accomplished something, learned something, become a better person. Reading makes me smarter. Reading gives me something to talk about later on. Reading is the unbelievably healthy way my attention deficit disorder medicates itself. Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real. Reading is grist. Reading is bliss.”  
- Nora Ephron I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being a Woman
The movie world lost a great woman this week. Nora Ephron passed away Tuesday night after battling leukaemia. You may not recognize the name but you'll recognize some of the amazing movies she was a part of - When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, Julie & Julia, Bewitched, and more. She was a writer, a producer, and a director.

I had made plans to watch as many chick flicks as I could this week (my boyfriend was away on vacation and I decided to claim the TV for my own). Once I heard that Nora Ephron was gravely ill my Tuesday night movie choice was made for me - You've Got Mail. Sadly, the news of Ms. Ephron passing came through before the final credits rolled. I then decided every other movie I watched this week would be some of Ephron's finest.

You've Got Mail is my favourite Nora Ephron movie. I think it has to do with the bookishness of it :) I've worked for a chain bookstore before and I didn't think it was evil but there's just something about the "shops around the corner" that really appeal to my bookish nature. 


Wednesday was all about When Harry Met Sally. Who doesn't love that movie? I live in a townhouse and we all have sliding glass doors and depending on the volume of the television we can hear what our neighbours are watching. Imagine my slight embarrassment after I thought about this after the famous diner scene! Ah well. The neighbours can think what they want! hehe. There's something about this movie that's just so awesome. Maybe it's the idea that things will always work out in the end. That the love of your life could be staring you in the face for years but you both need time to get to the same place. Who knows. What makes you love this movie?

I'll have what she's having.
Thursday night led me to my last Ephron film (that I own) -  Julie and Julia. While it's not one of my favourite movies, I adore Meryl Streep. I love the idea of the movie and how it combined two different stories in a wonderful way. And can I just ask - when am I going to get my book deal from this blog? :) But seriously, the screenplay is great.

I must admit that I haven't read any of her books - and she has many! I plan to change this soon as I have heard lovely things about them and her writing. I'm not sure where I'll start. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Which Nora Ephron movie is your favourite? How will you remember this amazing woman?

Rest in peace Nora. We will miss you.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Blog Tour: Lust on the Rocks


A few weeks ago I wrote a review for Jennifer's Garden by Dianne Venetta as part of a blog tour hosted by A Cozy Reader's Corner. I really enjoyed that novel (you can read that review here) and was looking forward to the next book in the set, Lust on the Rocks, which features Jennifer's best friend. I was not let down as I really enjoyed this one!

Here's the synopsis:
One case away from partnership, Samantha Rawlings is forced to share her high-profile case with a sexy younger man, whose eyes are on a different prize. In the best interests of her client, Sam opens the door to his strategy. Turns out, a little too far...Victor Marin has ulterior motives. The defendant in her case holds the key to his revenge and his last chance for justice. But as he chases old demons, he uncovers a powerful woman with no inhibitions, one he wants to possess for himself. But decidedly single, Sam wants no part. Until Vic walks away.
I really liked Samantha. She's smart, sassy, sexy, and spunky. It was great to read about her because she pretty much has everything in life totally figured out. She's amazing at her job as a lawyer which means she has a kick ass apartment with a gorgeous beach view. She's got a large, crazy, and loving family. The only kinks she needs to work out have to do with relationships - even though she thinks she's doing just fine. This is the issue she had to work through in the book and it was great to see her grow and realize how she needed to change.

I had enjoyed reading Jennifer's Garden and knew I would be reading the next book soon after. I was a little worried that I wouldn't like it as much or that I would miss Jennifer, as I always am when I read a series that focuses on different characters who are connected. It turns out I didn't need to worry as I actually liked Sam's story better and I may even go as far to say that I liked Sam better than Jennifer. There was more pep to Sam and I think that helped me enjoy the book more. This novel was a little steamier and the side plot wasn't quite as heavy.

Overall, I really liked Lust on the Rocks. I think fans of chick lit and romance alike would enjoy it as well. I will definitely be looking forward to what Dianne Venetta writes next!

Happy reading :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

June Chick Lit Challenge Read: The First Husband


I had heard about The First Husband by Laura Dave awhile ago but it took me some time to finally get around to reading it. I'm so glad I did! It was fun, sweet, and had some wonderful characters. I decided to review this one for my June read of the Chick Lit Plus Challenge.

Here's what this novel is all about:
Annie Adams is days away from her thirty-second birthday and thinks she has finally found some happiness. She visits the world's most interesting places for her syndicated travel column and she's happily cohabiting with her movie director boyfriend Nick in Los Angeles. But when Nick comes home from a meeting with his therapist (aka "futures counselor") and announces that he's taking a break from their relationship so he can pursue a woman from his past, the place Annie had come to call home is shattered. Reeling, Annie stumbles into her neighborhood bar and finds Griffin-a grounded, charming chef who seems to be everything Annie didn't know she was looking for. Within three months, Griffin is Annie's husband and Annie finds herself trying to restart her life in rural Massachusetts.
The synopsis makes Annie and the story seem a little...crazy. Marry someone three months after meeting them? Almost everyone would think that's a little quick. But, when you're reading about Annie and Griffin and their relationship it just makes sense.

I was so wrapped up in Annie's story that my heart hurt for her when she was realizing she had to make a very difficult choice. I could see that she wanted the one outcome but was not emotionally able to make that happen. So, even though I wish she hadn't decided to do what she did, I'm still glad she did as it led her to the outcome I wanted for her to begin with. Confused? I know it's vague but I don't want to give anything away! Point is, Annie has to make a lot of tough choices and since she doesn't think she can make the choice she does what she does best - relocates.

I've mentioned before that travel writers as heroines seem to have the best built in drama. They "obviously" have commitment issues since they never stay in one place for very long (but it's for work, they'll say). I really liked how Dave played with Annie's issues and her job. It seems to be the reason she's never really settled but is that really it or is she using it as a crutch? It was interesting to see how Annie evolved and learned about herself.

I really liked Griffin. He was funny, sweet, caring, and a real guy. Bonus: he's a chef. Who wouldn't want to marry a chef? The romance between Griffin and Annie started out so smoothly but quickly ran into some problems. They both had some issues to work out and I enjoyed reading about their journey.

Overall, I think all chick lit lovers would enjoy The First Husband. I plan on checking out some of Laura Dave's previous works and I look forward to what she comes out with next.

Happy reading :)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Just Finished: I Couldn't Love You More


I have to start off by sending a huge thank you to Amy Bromberg for contacting me about I Couldn't Love You More by Jillian Medoff. I had already heard a few things about this book before she asked me to give a review so I was intrigued. Happily, all those things I was hearing were true. This book is fantastic.

Here's what the novel is about:
Eliot Gordon would do anything for her family. A 38-year-old working mother, she lives a conventional but fulfilling life in suburban Atlanta with her partner, Grant Delaney, and their three daughters. The two older girls are actually Eliot's stepdaughters, a distinction she is reluctant to make as she valiantly attempts to maintain a safe, happy household . . .
Then Finn Montgomery, Eliot's long-lost first love, appears, triggering a shocking chain of events that threatens to unravel everything she's worked for. How Eliot survives-and what she loses in the process-is a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever loved a child. With hilarious honesty, wrenching depth, and a knockout twist, I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE illuminates the unbreakable bonds of family and reveals the lengths we'll go to save each other, even as we can't save ourselves.
Those of you who follow Jennifer Weiner on Twitter may recognize this as a book that she's been promoting the heck out of. (And those of you who aren't following her - why not? Click here and follow away. She's hilarious!) Now that I've finished reading I Couldn't Love You More I totally see why she wants everyone to read it. It's amazing. In fact, I tweeted as such as soon as I finished the book and SHE ACTUALLY REPLIED. I get a huge thrill any time an author I've read replies to me on Twitter but this was Jennifer Freaking Weiner. And since I was so excited about it I have supplied the screenshot of that Tweet. Because I'm cool like that.


I don't find it that surprising that Weiner is loving this novel as I found Medoff's story and writing to be quite similar to Weiner's. The story focuses on a family issue, which is common in Weiner's works. Eliot is funny, flawed, and, most importantly, real - like all of Weiner's heroines (at least the ones I've read about, anyway).

I was so involved in Eliot's life and story that I felt tied up in knots when I was reading about what happened. This is a huge indicator for me. If I'm physically affected by the character's story, it means I am loving it. I felt for Eliot and I was hoping like crazy that things would work out for her in the end.

My reviewing system goes like this: I read the synopsis, agree to review the book, then a little while later I'll read the novel without rereading the synopsis. This allows me to be surprised all over again when I'm reading. In this case I was really glad this is the way I work because it gave me some more surprises than I would have had otherwise. I started reading this expecting one outcome and I got something completely different - and I loved that. There's so much going on in this book but it never felt slow or too jam packed. Everything gets explained and resolved in due time, which was great for me.

There's so much I could say about this book but I can't seem to find the words to explain how wonderful I Couldn't Love You More is. It has wonderful characters - you can't help but love Eliot's large and slightly dysfunctional family - as well as a plot that grips you and doesn't let you go. I read half the book in one sitting because I couldn't put it down. Yes, it's that good. I would highly recommend this book to everyone.

Intrigued? Good because I some exciting news for all of you! I have an extra copy of I Couldn't Love You More up for grabs! Thank the publisher (Hachette Book Group) for accidentally sending me two copies. Instead of being greedy and giving it to one of my friends (I know many of them would love it) I have decided to hold my very first giveaway! Yay! Also, Jillian has agreed to send a signed book plate to the winner! I'm making it very simple for you all to enter. Leave a comment with your email address (you can use AT and DOT to avoid spam) before midnight on Friday June 29. It's open to anyone in Canada and the US (because I HATE when contests are US only). If for some reason you're having issues commenting, mention me on Twitter (@KaleyS23) and I'll include you in the draw. I'll choose a winner and contact them over the weekend. How does that sound to everyone? Good, I hope! Comment away!

Happy reading (and commenting!) :)

***Congrats to Bethie! She's won a copy of I Couldn't Love You More!***

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: On My Summer TBR List



Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme created by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish. They created this feature because they're "particularly fond of lists" and since I also enjoy lists, I've decided to participate in this fun feature. This week we're to list the top ten books on our summer to be read list. This will kind of be an extension of a recent list, Neglected Books. And by the way, I admit that I kind of did that week wrong. I had it written down as a freebie week but it was really a week to redo a previous week. Ah well. :) Some of these books are ones that I've been waiting for, others have been waiting for me, and still others I don't even own yet (and I shouldn't buy those as my shelves are overflowing). Let's hope I get through all of these this summer! :) Don't forget to check out their blog for a full list of everyone participating.

1. Shadow of Night - Deb Harkness
Without a doubt this is the book I am must excited about this summer. It's the next instalment in the All Souls Trilogy that started with A Discovery of Witches which I LOVED and you can read my review here if you missed it :) And extra awesomeness - I *just* got a NetGalley copy of this book and I am SO EXCITED!

2. Where We Belong - Emily Giffin
Coming in at a close second is Emily Giffin's latest novel. I love love love her books and I can't wait to see what the next one will be like.

3. The Lucky Dog Matchmaking Service - Beth Kendrick
I've mentioned numerous times that I adore Beth Kendrick so I'm looking forward to being able to read her new one...once I buy it...

4. The Last Boyfriend - Nora Roberts
Nora Roberts is my romance guilty pleasure author. Her books are light and sweet and I'm really looking forward to the second book in the Inn Boonsboro Trilogy!

5.  A Life That Fits - Heather Wardell
I've been working my way through Heather's works and I'm almost caught up. I'm hoping to get this one finished so I can get my way to her latest which I'm really excited for!

6. The Singles - Meredith Goldstein
Is there a better time than summer to read a book that features weddings? I didn't think so. Plus I've heard amazing things about this one so I'm really excited about it.

7. Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen
One of the two Austen books I have yet to read. It's definitely not "light" reading but I really need to finish reading Austen's novels!

8. The Wedding Beat - Devan Sipher
See #6.

9. I Couldn't Love You More - Jillian Medoff
I've got this to review for the 21st and I'm really excited about it because it's supposed to be amazing. (Jennifer Weiner has been tweeting and talking about it for weeks). And bonus - for some reason the publisher sent me two copies so you will see Books Etc.'s first giveaway in the future...

10. The Meryl Streep Movie Club - Mia March
This one's been getting a lot of good buzz and since I'm a Meryl Streep fan I think this book will be pretty interesting! I loved Friday Night Knitting Club and the movie of The Jane Austen Book Club and since this book is compared to those I think it'll be a winner! (PS those are two very awkward sentences but my brain is tired so please excuse me :) hehe)

Hm. It appears I have a long list...better get reading! What books are on your summer to be read list?

Happy reading :)

Monday, June 18, 2012

My Thoughts on Fifty Shades of Grey


Yep. I finally gave in and read Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. I was curious to see what all the hype was about. Would I fall into the "OMG Christian Grey is sooooo hot and I LOVE these books!!!" camp or the "How the hell did this crap get published" camp? As it turns out, I kind of fell somewhere in the middle.

In case you've been living under a rock, this is what this book is about:
When literature student Anastasia Steele is drafted to interview the successful young entrepreneur Christian Grey for her campus magazine, she finds him attractive, enigmatic and intimidating. Convinced their meeting went badly, she tries to put Grey out of her mind - until he happens to turn up at the out-of-town hardware store where she works part-time.
The unworldly, innocent Ana is shocked to realize she wants this man, and when he warns her to keep her distance it only makes her more desperate to get close to him. Unable to resist Ana’s quiet beauty, wit, and independent spirit, Grey admits he wants her - but on his own terms.  Shocked yet thrilled by Grey's singular erotic tastes, Ana hesitates. For all the trappings of success – his multinational businesses, his vast wealth, his loving adoptive family – Grey is a man tormented by demons and consumed by the need to control. When the couple embarks on a passionate, physical and daring affair, Ana learns more about her own dark desires, as well as the Christian Grey hidden away from public scrutiny.
Can their relationship transcend physical passion? Will Ana find it in herself to submit to the self-indulgent Master? And if she does, will she still love what she finds?
My boyfriend's mom always shares books with the ladies at work - it's like a giant book exchange. I've become their go-to girl for book recommendations and after hearing about their latest smutty book (can't remember what it was...a Bertice Small book, perhaps?) I figured I should mention the phenomenon that was E.L. James' Fifty Shades trilogy. Boy, were they happy about that suggestion. The books quickly made their rounds through the hospital where they work and caused much discussion. She made sure the first instalment was back in her hands for the May long weekend so I was able to read it. And read it I did.

I finished Fifty Shades of Grey in one day. It's not that I couldn't put it down, more that I had to have it finished before I left at the end of the weekend. It also wasn't a difficult book to read. I can see why many people have said that it's absolutely awful but I didn't find myself bothered by the writing quality. I didn't pay much attention to the quality of Twilight either - I read that for the story, not the writing.

Speaking of Twilight - I was constantly looking for comparisons between the vampire series and Ana and Christian's story. I knew that Fifty Shades started as a fan fiction and I can definitely see some similarities. Controlling bad boy? Check. Male best friend who's in love with the heroine? Check. (PS did she really have to call him Jose and make him Hispanic? Um, Jacob who's Native? Too similar for me) Takes place in Washington? Check. Naive, clumsy, "average" heroine? Check. Hero who had a tough upbringing, was adopted, and has adopted siblings? Check. Need I go on? Even though there are tons of similarities, many people could read Fifty Shades and not see any connections. Also, I thought it was...amusing? interesting?...that I wasn't in love with Christian. I don't really see his appeal, nor do I see Edward's appeal. I just find it interesting to note how the two series are so similar yet can stand alone quite easily to those who haven't read the other.

I can't complete this post without mentioning the erotic aspect of this book. Yes, there's a lot of sex. Is that all it is? No. There is a storyline there (even if some people will tell you that it's horribly written). It just so happens that Grey has a sexual fetish that factors heavily into his relationship with Ana. Nothing really shocked me - and I'm not sure what that says about me, perhaps I'm desensitized with all that stuff "kids these days" are seeing on TV? - but there were a couple of scenes that made me exclaim "WTF?!?" (If you've read it you probably know exactly what I'm talking about). It's not for everyone, that's for sure but it didn't really bother me at all.

Like I said, I fell somewhere in the middle of the "thought it was amazing" and "thought it was awful" scale. Did I enjoy reading it? Sure. I don't think I wasted my time. Did I think everyone and their mother should read it? No, not really. It's definitely a personal choice as many people would be mighty offended by the content. I can also tell that I wasn't that into it because I finished the first book almost a month ago and have little desire to read book #2 (Fifty Shades Darker, by the by). I'll eventually get around to finishing the series because I am curious to see how it wraps up. And yes, I'll probably watch the movie when it's released.

So, fellow readers, what did you think of Christian Grey? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Happy reading :)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Guest Post: Rachael O'Bryan

I'm taking part in the CLP organized blog tour for Rachael O'Bryan's debut novel Unlocked. I reviewed the "novel in stories" last week (the review is here if you missed it) and I was interested to find out what made O'Bryan choose to write the novel as she did. She was kind enough to write a guest post that tells us all about it! Thank you to Rachael for stopping by Books Etc.!

My Decision to Write Short Stories 
By Rachael O’Bryan           


I decided to write Unlocked in a series of stories as opposed to a conventional novel because I felt that each relationship Rebecca cultivated deserved its own attention. I felt there would be too many main characters in a conventional novel.             
Also, I think the stories worked for me because for my personal relationships with each guy that the stories are based on there was a very different breaking point for each relationship. Those breaking points became the stories’ present time and then flashbacks were used throughout the story to bring in the past events. I wasn’t sure what the present time would have been had it been written like a conventional novel. I suppose that it could have worked in a setting as if it was Rebecca’s wedding day and she reflected on all her past dealings with guys in her life, but that route wasn’t really what I wanted to go for. The break points – the I’ve had enough, or maybe I need to reconsider, or maybe I missed my chance – those moments were too important to get lost.             


I really felt like each relationship needed to stand on its own, but at the same time I wanted to make them connected. Some people reappear in other stories and I wanted people to gather that there was some connecting theme there. In order to make the connections clear I wrote a poem tying the stories together and took the name of the poem as the title of my book. This idea was a suggestion thrown out in a short story writing class I took. As soon as I heard it I loved it and immediately went to work on my poem when I went home.              


And finally I love reading short stories, so I think they inspired me. Olive Kitteridge was definitely an inspiration. That book fell into my hands when I joined my first book club and I loved the idea of developing a character through showing different glimpses into that person’s life. I wanted to develop Rebecca’s heartbreak, her insecurities, and her overcoming them through different interactions. Whether it be the silence from Patrick on the phone or the painting of the wall to rid the feel of Rasheed in her apartment, each interaction helped shape a part of Rebecca.             


As for my other short story inspirations I can’t leave out one of my favorite authors – Jhumpa Lahiri. I still can visualize a scene from one of her short stories to this day. If my craft could ever be one fourth as a good as her’s I will be amazed with myself. I think people overlook the power of a short story and she really reinforces how amazing they can be. When I was writing I got caught up in times on the number of pages. Sometimes I would think the book isn’t going to be long enough, but when I finished I knew that concern was unnecessary. If I said all I said in those pages and made my point and conveyed what I wanted to do, the number of pages the words filled didn’t matter. The words are what mattered. To me my book of stories was more about an outpouring of emotion and the stories conveyed that and at the end of the day I’m happy with it. I hope that someone can read my stories and find the power in them.


Rachael O’Bryan keeps a personal blog at rachaelsnewyork.blogspot.com. Her book Unlocked is available on Amazon.com, Lulu.com, BN.com (for the nook), and in the iBook store. Her online magazine, Rachael, launches June 1st and you can subscribe at rachaelmagazine.com starting then.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Guest Post: Lauren Clark

This week I reviewed Lauren Clark's second novel Dancing Naked in Dixie for the CLP blog tour (check out the review here if you missed it). Lauren was kind enough to provide a guest post for Books Etc. In the post she gives us a play list for her novel! There are some great songs in here and I hope you enjoy the list as I did :) 



Dancing Naked in Dixie Top Ten Playlist

There's nothing like a little music to get a party started, and there's plenty to celebrate in Dancing Naked in Dixie.

From sultry slow-burns to five-alarm infernos, there's a song for every situation in the story--and I think that my Top Ten fits perfectly! So, grab this playlist, turn up the volume, and cozy up with a copy of Dancing Naked in Dixie to enjoy this countdown of seductive, heart-pounding, pulse-racing, blood-pumping songs.

DIXIE TOP TEN Playlist

1. Montgomery Gentry - My Town - Showcases the true pride people feel about their hometown. This song is so raw, honest, and heartfelt.

2. Zac Brown Band - Chicken Fried - There is nothing like the harmony on this song and the funky, funny lyrics that explain what Southerners love about the South.

3. Thompson Square - Are You Gonna Kiss Me or Not? - Another great song by a girl-guy duo. It's all about the heady anticipation of a first kiss -- great stuff!  Thompson Square has toured with Macon, Georgia's Jason Aldean.                                                                                                                                       

4. Sugarland a/Matt Nathanson - Run - Did you see this video from the 2011 CMA Awards? Amazing performance, amazing song. Great Chemistry between MN and Jennifer Nettles.

You turn, turn, turn, turning me on
Like a slow fire burn 
I know that it's wrong
Still I run, run, run, run right into you

5. Lady Antebellum - Just a Kiss - This makes me think about Shug and Julia ... with her leaving to go back to New York ... and both of them wrestling with admitting that they are "right" for each other.

6. The Band Perry - All Your Life - Everyone's heard "If I Die Young," but All Your Life is all about what people do for love. So romantic. The lyrics talk about "I don't want the whole world ... I just want to be the only girl you love all your life."

7. Blake Shelton - Drink On It - Okay, I included this one because Blake Shelton is awfully cute and I loved hearing him joke around on The Voice. The lyrics are adorable and have that sexy suggestion of getting together ... later.

8. Keith Urban - Somebody Like You­ - I had a hard time choosing from all of his great songs. I've seen Keith Urban in concert and he is so talented.

9. Jason Aldean & Kelly Clarkson - Don't You Want to Stay - I've loved Jason Aldean since he came onto the music scene a few years ago. He's best known for his country-rock songs, but his ballads are lovely and ache with feeling. Kelly Clarkson, of course, has a fabulous voice. Performed at the 2012 CMAs.

10. Lynyrd Skynard - Sweet Home Alabama - You can't get any better Southern Rock than this. You just can't.

What do you think? Any other great Southern songs to include on the DIXIE soundtrack?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour: Unlocked

Welcome to a stop on the Unlocked blog tour hosted by CLP Blog Tours! Through this tour I got the chance to read Rachael O'Bryan's novel. This review's going to be a tough one so I'm just going to dive into the synopsis and then we'll go from there.
In Unlocked the main character Rebecca takes the reader on a journey through a collection of short stories concerning nine guys she met while being a tutor in college for the football team. She recounts her struggles with love, friendship, self-confidence, trust, acceptance, and heartache. The stories indicate how people and relationships can really shape a person's life. 
I have to be totally and completely honest and tell you that I didn't really like this book. The biggest issue for me is that the writing really needed to be polished. There were awkward sentences and missing words and I think it could have benefited from more/better editing.

I did end up liking the way this book was laid out. It was interesting to get Rebecca's current situation, a flashback, and then her reflection on what happened and how she was going to move forward. It was a wee bit repetitive but I did enjoy that each story focused on a different guy and her relationship with them, past and present.

Speaking of her relationships with these guys - I've had crushes on multiple guys before (way back in high school which I graduated from seven years ago but it was also the last time I was single) but I didn't consider myself to be madly in love with any of them, let alone a few of them at the same time, like Rebecca did when she was in college. I couldn't quite grasp who it was that she really wanted to be with. Of course, that may not have been the goal and she really could have been "in love" with several of them at once. My point is that it didn't ring true to me and I had a bit of an issue with that.

Overall, I can't quite recommend this one. There are probably people out there who would like it but, unfortunately, I just wasn't one of them. Want to hear what others thought? Check out the tour's main page over at CLP Blog Tours.

Happy reading :)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Just Finished: Sex, Life, and Hannah


I had no idea what to expect when I was asked to review Sex, Life, and Hannah by Dorota Skrzypek. What I got was an amusing novella that chronicles a season (winter) in Hannah's life.

Here's what the first volume is about:
When Hannah’s boyfriend of five-and-a-half years breaks up with her on New Year’s Eve, Hannah is shocked, and stunned…before picking up a glass and throwing it at him. Forced to search for love in the battlegrounds of L.A. she finds herself agonizing over The Ex, trying to comfort herself in the neighbor’s bed, and falling in love…again? Surrounded by a colorful cast of characters, Hannah treads the infamous waters of heartbreak and heartache.
Hannah's love life is really not going the way she planned. She's had an on again, off again relationship with The Ex that she hadn't quite realized was massively unhealthy for both of them. Even after they broke up she wasn't able to recognize that they really should not have been together and instead seems to go into a tailspin. And that was quite humorous to read about.

The format of this book was really neat. It was laid out as if it was a magazine - which was fitting as it was a totally Cosmo-esque novella. All sorts of love, laughter, life, and, of course, sex. You could look at Hannah's life as a how-to or a how-not-to, which is sort of what Cosmo is like too. Some people may not like how the book was set up but I thought it was great.

The synopsis mentions a "colorful cast of characters" and, boy, is that right. Her neighbours - and close friends - are a hilariously gay couple, who aren't really a couple any more. And there's a possibly bisexual guy living with them. Talk about a recipe for hilarity. Oh, and did I mention that's the neighbour whose bed she ends up in? Too funny.

Hannah is definitely flawed and, even though that can be frustrating sometimes, it provides an entertaining story. Even though I wasn't totally in LOVE with this book I really want to find out what happens in Hannah's life. I'm looking forward to volumes two and three so stay tuned for more reviews!

Happy reading :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Good Beach Reads



Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme created by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish. They created this feature because they're "particularly fond of lists" and since I also enjoy lists, I've decided to participate in this fun feature. This week's list contains ten books I think would be great beach reads. I chose some of them because they take place at the beach, some because the story occurs during the summer, and others because they feature traveling. It's an interesting compilation and I hope some others' favourites are on here as well - and that you might find a new favourite! Don't forget to check out their blog for a full list of everyone participating.

1. Anything by Sarah Dessen
Almost all of her books take place in Colby - a sweet little beach town that I'd love to visit. Or maybe all of them do...can't quite remember. I've been reading her books for so long it's hard to keep track! My favourites are This Lullaby and Along for the Ride.

2. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series by Ann Brashares
Friends, summer, traveling pants. Need I say more?

3. Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Along the same lines as the Sisterhood, this series follows three unlikely friends as they deal with boys, parents, summer jobs, and life in general while spending the summer on a peach farm in Georgia.

4. The Queen of Babble series by Meg Cabot
Lizzie is so hilarious and this is a light hearted and excellent series that's great for the beach.

5. What Stays in Vegas by Beth Labonte
I read this one while on a cruise and I thought it was a perfect time to be reading it. Therefore, I think it would work well for a beach read!

6. 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
I loved this book (and the sequel) and Ginny's traveling story lends itself well to the beach!

7. Spin by Catherine McKenzie
The main character, a journalist, goes undercover at a rehab facility to get the scoop on a celebrity. A fabulous book!

8. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
I love this movie and I really enjoyed getting the chance to read this book. It's so much more insightful and the love Mayes and her husband have of Italy really comes through the pages.

9. Sex and the City by Candace Bushnell
This is probably the best way to bring TV to the beach.

10. The Bride Quartet series by Nora Roberts
Roberts' books are always light and this series features four friends who have a wedding planning company so it takes place predominantly in the summer. I loved them and think they'd be perfect for poolside!


What books do you think make great beach reads?

Happy reading :)

Chick Lit Plus Blog Tour: Dancing Naked in Dixie


Welcome to a stop on the CLP Blog Tour for Dancing Naked in Dixie by Lauren Clark! I read Clark's first novel Stay Tuned awhile ago for another CLP Tour and really enjoyed it (see my review of that one here) so I was eager to sign up for this tour. Clark did not disappoint and delivered another enjoyable novel.

Here's what this book is all about:
Travel writer Julia Sullivan lives life in fast-forward. She jet sets to Europe and the Caribbean with barely a moment to blink or sleep. But too many mishaps and missed deadlines have Julia on the verge of being fired. 
With a stern warning, and unemployment looming, she's offered one last chance to rescue her career. Julia embarks on an unlikely journey to the ‘Heart of Dixie’—Eufaula, Alabama—home to magnificent mansions, sweet tea, and the annual Pilgrimage.
Julia arrives, soon charmed by the lovely city and her handsome host, but her stay is marred by a shocking discovery. Can Julia's story save her career, Eufaula, and the annual Pilgrimage?
This was the first of two books that I've read recently that featured a travel writer (the second you'll hear about later this month). Do you think the universe is trying to tell me something? Nah. I doubt it. :) So even though it wasn't a sign to switch careers, I love reading about travel writers. They seem to always have some sort of commitment issue that needs to be worked out and it allows for lots of pretty scenery along the way.

I think I needed more romance in this book. The focus of the book wasn't the love story but I think I needed just a bit more of a relationship between Julia and Shug. I knew they'd end up together but there weren't enough of those little moments for me. Or maybe it was that a situation came up that put his girlfriend out of the picture...it wasn't that he "chose" Julia as much as he liked her and then his girlfriend was conveniently out of the way. Sorry - it's hard to explain that without giving too much away!

My favourite part of this book was reading about Julia's journey. Her boss seems to know just what she needs to figure stuff out - even though he sort of has his own agenda. She's so unstable at the beginning of the book yet she doesn't quite realize that. It takes the wonderful folk in Eufaula to show her how to get back to solid ground.

Overall, I liked Dancing Naked in Dixie but I didn't love it. Have you ever read a book and wondered if you should have left it for a later date because you just weren't feeling it but knew you would normally enjoy it immensely? OK, that might just be me but that's how I felt about this one. I think many chick lit lovers would really like this one so I encourage you to pick up Lauren Clark's latest and find out for yourself. Check back on Friday when I have a guest post from Lauren!

Happy reading :)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Just Finished: Between You and Me


I was a little behind on The Nanny Diaries. I didn't watch the movie until about two years ago and didn't read the book until after that (this was backwards for me as I'm normally a read-the-book-then-watch-the-movie kind of girl). It's really unfortunate that it took me so long to get around to reading Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus' first novel because that meant it was awhile before I discovered how much I enjoyed their work. Because I did like the two Nanny books I was very happy to have had the chance to read their latest, Between You and Me, before it was released (thanks NetGalley!). It was really enjoyable and had a great storyline.

Here's what the new book is all about:
In  Between You and Me, twenty-seven-year-old Logan Wade has built a life for herself in New York City, far from her unhappy childhood in Oklahoma. But when she gets the call that her famous cousin needs a new assistant, it’s an offer she can’t refuse. Logan hasn’t seen Kelsey since they were separated as kids; in the meantime, Kelsey Wade has become one of  Fortune Magazine’s most powerful celebrities and carrion for the paparazzi. But the joy at their reunion is overshadowed by the toxic dynamic between Kelsey and her controlling parents. As Kelsey grasps desperately at a “real” life, Logan risks everything to try and give her cousin the one thing she has never known—happiness. As Kelsey unravels in the most horribly public way Logan finds that she will ultimately have to choose between saving her cousin and saving herself.

There are all sorts of secrets in this book that are slowly revealed, one by one. You think you have an idea of what happened but it turns out you really don’t. I liked that there was a build up and that the secrets weren't all given away at once. I can't say I was totally surprised by any of the revelations but they were still unexpected. For example, I knew something awful had happened between Andy and Logan when she was young. Because I was waiting for the explanation I wasn't shocked but it was still a surprise to find out exactly what happened. I hope that makes sense! Long story short - I really liked how they revealed the many secrets in this novel.

I have to admit that I wanted a different sort of ending. Everyone seems to end up as they should and there’s a resolution but it’s done in a way that left me wanting more. The epilogue is a letter to Logan from another character (I don't want to give anything away so I'm not telling you who that character is). While it lets the reader know what happened to some of the other characters, I wish I had had Logan's final thoughts. I think I would have rather seen her end up in the destination she obviously ended up in (how's that for vague), reading the letter there, and that be the end. I do really like the letter though as it shows an acceptance of Logan and an explanation from this particular character.

Part of the fun of this book is a sort of behind the scenes look at a pop princess' breakdown. Remember Britney Spears' meltdown? This is reminiscent of her spiral down to Crazytown. It was so sad to see this pop idol crash and I had the same feeling while reading this book and learning about Kelsey's story (and yes, I loved Britney when I was young and will still sing along to her songs today). At the same time, it was really neat to see what "really" happens with these types of situations. Sometimes you forget that the people who are on those tabloids are actual people with real problems, just like us. I really enjoyed that aspect of the book.

Overall, I enjoyed Between You and Me. There are all sorts of things I can talk about - the family relationships, Logan's romantic relationships and what she had to learn from them - but I think I'll just tell you all to get a copy of this book (you can probably find a ton of giveaways right now as the book is being released tomorrow) and read it yourself. I think you'll enjoy it just as I did! And lucky for me, I have a copy of Dedication to read as soon as I can fit it in my reading schedule! :)

Happy reading :)

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Just Finished: Planning to Live


First off I have to admit that this has been a ridiculously hard post to write. It’s been a work in progress since about a week after I finished Planning to Live back in April. Why was it such a difficult book to review? It’s not because it wasn’t good. I don’t think Heather Wardell is capable of writing a book I don’t like.  It’s because of the ending. I know things can’t be sunshine and roses all the time but I had a hard time dealing with the conclusion of Rhiannon’s story. Do I think you should read it? Absolutely. Do I think others will have a hard time with the ending? Most likely. I’ll keep this review brief but I encourage you to go read it yourself (you can buy it here, here, or here).

Here’s the synopsis:
Determined to lose weight for her best friend's wedding, goal-obsessed Rhiannon flees her parents' Christmas Day feast to avoid overeating but her car skids off the deserted road into a tree. Trapped and bleeding, with her cell phone out of reach, she struggles to escape, and to accept that she's spent her whole life planning but hasn't ever really lived. Will she get the chance to change that?
Through emails back and forth with Heather I learned that many others have struggled with reviewing this book as well. She even told me that she wanted to have the ending be different but couldn’t think of a way to have what we all wanted but still have a good ending. I get it. I really do. But I’m still sad.

I am happy, however, to find out that Andrew will be making an appearance in Heather’s latest, Finding My Happy Pace. I enjoyed what I read of him in this book and look forward to learning more about him.

Rhiannon’s story was  both uplifting and devastating. She struggled with many things – her weight and the death of her fiancĂ© being the main ones – but she never wanted to give up on life. It was interesting to read about her issues and see how the people closest to her tried to help.

I liked how the story was written. Rhiannon would think back to something, there would be a flashback, and then she would reflect on what happened. It was nice to see how she reacted as the event/issue/conversation was happening and also to see how she felt about it later. Well done.

I can’t really say too much else so I’ll just repeat myself – read this book. It was well worth my time and made me think about my own life a little bit too. Planning to Live will find itself among some of my favourites and Heather Wardell is still firmly in place as one of my favourite authors.

Happy reading :)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Armchair BEA: The Future of Blogging



It's the final day of Armchair BEA! It's been an awesome week and I'm so glad I decided to sign up for it. That being said...as much as I loved it I'm definitely making sure I'm at BEA next year! :) It was great to meet so many of you through this and I have some awesome new blogs to read now. Also, thank you to all my new followers and to those who left comments. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that.
For today's post we're supposed to "ask the experts" or offer our own blogging tips. As I mentioned in Wednesday's post (you can read it here if you missed it) I don't feel like I have many tips. I'm looking to grow my blog and I'd love to figure out a way to do some freelance writing as well. Do I have many ideas on how to do that? No. Would I like some tips myself? Absolutely. 
I've been looking at bloggers I admire and seeing how they do things. It helps that I've developed a good relationship with one of them and feel comfortable asking her any question I may have, even if it may be simple to her. I think I'm doing ok with making connections and participating in conversations. You never know what will result from a Twitter conversation (I was once offered a Kindle ebook because the author and I had an indepth convo about sock monkeys. Only sucky thing is that I don't own a Kindle...haha). I guess my approach has been a studious one. I've been quietly watching what my favourite bloggers have been doing and trying to emulate that. Is it working? Kind of. Even though I'm not really sure what exactly I consider a "success." Comments? Twitter replies? Review requests? Actually, I think that last one factors heavily for me. It shows that authors, publishers, publicists, or other reviewers are noticing my work and that means a lot to me. It's not even about the free books (though that's a definite perk). It's more that they think my writing and reading tastes fit with their work. What about you guys? When do you think/know you're being successful with your blog?
I have to say that I'm totally envious of those bloggers that seem to have amazing connections with authors and publishing houses. I've tried the sign up forms for doing blog tours through some of the big publishers and that hasn't resulted in anything. I have been approached by some smaller publishers and it's so awesome to create relationships with them. Would I love to get an ARC of, say, Emily Giffin's latest book? Abso-freaking-lutely. Have I found other, equally amazing, authors through challenges, tours, and Twitter? Abso-freaking-lutely. Blogging opened my eyes to the various ways books get published and promoted. Just because the author isn't well known or marketed doesn't mean they won't be awesome. This week I also made a list of seven of my favourite books I've read so far this year (here's the link). I had a couple of people comment that they hadn't heard of any but Kinsella's. That was odd to me. Then I got to thinking and realized it's because I'm so connected with some of those authors (or at least pretend to be, hehe) that I think everyone should know who they are. It was an interesting revelation for me.
I know I haven't really asked any questions or offered any tips, so thanks for sticking with me. This week has allowed me to see how other blogs work and what I like immediately and what appeals to me after looking more in depth at other sites. Once again, I appreciate all the love and comments I've gotten this week. I hope some of you stick around to see what else I write. I've got a busy summer coming up that will feature a lot of great books. Thanks for a great week and, as always...
Happy reading :)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Armchair BEA: Beyond the Blog


 
Today's an interesting sort of day on Armchair BEA. We have a couple of choices for what we'd like to talk about: tips for moving beyond the blog (monetizing, freelance, making professional connections) or sharing a fun aspect about our blog or life that may be completely separate from books. I'm doing kind of a combo deal today, so let's start with the moving beyond part, shall we?

I don't really have any tips. I'm going to be blog hopping and visiting many other blogger's posts today because I am looking for tips myself. I really love books. Everything about them. Reading them, writing about them, talking about them. I want to find a way to play with them all day long (and not work in a book store because I did that for too many years!). I have yet to come up with a brilliant way to accomplish that. I don't think I'm cut out for a library (I also used to work as a page in my public library when I was in high school). I also don't relish the idea of doing more school right now. I could try to get into publishing but the majority of publishing houses are in Toronto and I don't ever want to live in or near Toronto (sorry to those who do - I'm a small town girl at heart!). I'm trying to think creatively and have so far come up with nothing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Sometimes I wonder if I should focus more on the writing side of things. Whether that's my own stuff or trying to branch out and do some freelance work. I've always been a scribbler. I've got poems and stories from when I was a kid and teen (that are probably quite bad). I've also got a couple of other ideas right now that are rattling around in my brain. Do I dare try to put them on paper (or screen)? Through Twitter and the blogosphere I've met enough first time authors to see the absolute joy they got from getting their work published. Do I want to have that feeling? Yeah, maybe I do. Am I terrified of what kind of stuff I'd come out with? Yes. I've read quite a few first time books that have had so many problems and I don't want to be that kind of author. I know I can't be perfect but I'm a little scared of being so totally far off from perfect that I write something awful. I think the only way to get over this is to just start writing my own stuff down. Maybe I will. Someday...

So, since I don't have any tips and am clearly in need of some myself, I've been searching my brain for something fun about my life that's totally separate from books. This is difficult because books are such an integral part of my life that I feel like everything is somehow related back to them. Stumped, I told one of my closest friends that I had trouble coming up with something. Her response? "Because your fun is books." This then led into an odd train of thought process and I landed on an amusing anecdote for you all.


I'm a little biased but I think
this is pretty awesome :)

One of the courses I took in university was graphic design. It was a theory class (I was in university, not college, after all) but everyone in the class had some sort of interest and talent in design. Our final project had us create something that reflected us and our interests (and of course looked good). What did I do? I decided to make myself a book reviewer and editor (and keep in mind this was over two years before I started my blog). I created a fake book, you know the ones that have a hiding spot inside for things but it looks like a real book? It was part of a package I, as the reviewer and editor, would drop off to publishers and authors and the like. Included inside the little book were notepads (that I designed and got printed) that had "Kaley Stewart, book reviewer" on the bottom. I had totally forgotten about this assignment (like I said, this was a few years ago) and it didn't help that I wasn't able to get the final product back and have lost the electronic copy in the Land of Lost Computer Files. When I was back home for the May long weekend I came across one of the extra notepads. I showed it to my mom and we had a little laugh over it. It was cool because I had this seemingly pipe dream of being a book reviewer back in university and now I am one. Sure, it's not "official" and it's not for a publishing company or newspaper or magazine. But it's something. I had a goal and I managed to work my way to it. And that I like.

Which sort of brings me full circle. I think what this shows me is that I need to trust my gut. If I want something I need to work towards it. Think I can do it? :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Armchair BEA: Real Life Bookish Experience

Welcome to day 3 of Armchair BEA! Thanks for visiting :)

Today they suggested we talk about a positive "real life" book experience. Immediately I thought of when I got to meet my all time favourite author - Sarah Dessen!

Squee!! Me and Sarah Dessen!

Sarah Dessen made her first book tour trip up to Canada back in September to promote her latest novel, What Happened to Goodbye. I vowed to attend one of the two appearances in Toronto and one of my best friends agreed to come with me (it wasn't hardship as Dessen is her favourite author too!) On a whim I decided to enter a contest hosted by Penguin. For the life of me I cannot tell you what it was or what I had to do to enter. Cue huge surprise when the email arrived two days prior to the event letting me know I had won! I called my friend and alternated between loud squeals and speechless wonder as I relayed the news. We were going to meet Sarah Dessen! Wheeee!!!!!

I was told that the winners of the contests were to arrive a half hour early and had to check in. So, away we go to where we are supposed to be and we come to the registration area. The guy asks for my name and says something along the lines of "Oh, you're one of the bloggers." Apparently I was modest Kaley that day as I said something like, "I guess so" while my BFF totally had my back and said "Yes, she is!" After the initial surprise, I had to admit it was really awesome to be identified as a blogger by someone outside my circle of friends and family.

Our evening began with a chat with Sarah Dessen. She is amazing. Totally down to earth, funny, and super nice.

This pic was posted on her blog.

In the picture above you can see her talking with us. And no, my friend and I are not in the picture. We're just beyond the left side. Shucks. We didn't make it on her blog.

After we had our group chat, we were all told to line up so we could get our books signed. We were also given a copy of either Along for the Ride or What Happened to Goodbye and a lock and key necklace. I couldn't believe that we actually got the chance to talk to her one on one while she signed our books! Surreal!

After we wrapped up the signing, we went out to our reserved seats to settle in for the interview. It was really interesting and we learned a lot about Sarah Dessen as an author and a person. I really liked learning that This Lullaby was her favourite to write as it's my favourite book.

Overall this was probably my best bookish experience, so far! I hope to have many more experiences in the years to come. Perhaps attending BEA in person next year? Time to start saving!

All my signed books!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Neglected Books


Top Ten Tuesday is weekly meme created by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish. They created this feature because they're "particularly fond of lists" and since I also enjoy lists, I've decided to participate in this fun feature. This week's list is a freebie and we get to make a list of whatever we want! Don't forget to check out their blog for a full list of everyone participating.

I had been pondering what to do for this week's Top Ten Tuesday. I just wasn't sure what I wanted to do. On Friday night I was admiring all the birthday cards I got this year and since I have them arranged on my bookshelf I got to looking at the titles on the shelf. This then got me thinking about the fact that I haven't read any of the books on this shelf (excluding Harry Potter) and how that was just plain sad. So, I decided to list the ten that I'm most looking forward to from these shelves.

Pic was taken prior to the birthday cards.
The cards on the shelf are house warming cards!

1. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern
I won a signed copy of this one on Twitter awhile back, during the heyday of this book. I'm still looking forward to reading it but since buzz has died down I keep putting it off.

2. These Girls - Sarah Pekkanen
I only just got this one for my birthday but I'm really anxious to read it because I've heard so many great things about it! (and if you look realllllly closely at the photo you'll realize that this book isn't in the picture. That's because I took the pic the day before I got the book!)

3. The Devil Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger
If you can believe it, I've never actually read this one! Love the movie but just haven't gotten around to reading the book. This is another recent addition to my library, thanks to my mom snagging it at a book swap at work.

4. Mansfield Park - Jane Austen
One of the two Austen novels that I haven't yet read. No surprise that Northanger Abbey is the other. I consider myself an Austen fan so it is inexcusable that I have not read all of her books yet.

5. The Bake-Off - Beth Kendrick
I love love love Kendrick's books. However...I've had this one since it was released last May. Shame on me.

6. Life After Yes - Aidan Donnelley Rowley
Heard a lot about this one when I was first getting into the blogosphere and just haven't had the time to get to it.

7. Becoming Jane Austen - Jon Spence
See number 4 when I say I'm an Austen fan. :) I watched the film adaptation and would love to dive into it more!

8. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference - Malcolm Gladwell
I tend to put off reading these kinds of books since I'm a slow non-fiction reader. I'm still very interested in what Gladwell has to say though!

9. Hollywood Ending - Lucie Simone
Another book I won and have yet to get around to reading, even though I've heard many good things!

10. The Distant Hours - Kate Morton
I LOVED The Forgotten Garden (Morton's second and most popular novel) so when I was able to get the hardcover edition of The Distant Hours at 60% off in December 2010 I jumped at the chance. Obviously I was crazy anxious to read it... But! I will get to it soon and see if it is as good as The Forgotten Garden.

Time to get reading!

Armchair BEA: Best of 2012


Design Credit:
Emily's Reading Room


It's Day 2 of Armchair BEA!

Today we're sharing either some of our favourite books so far this year, and/or the books being promoted at BEA that we hope will end up among our favourites for the year. I decided to focus on seven books I've read this year (and not necessarily ones that were published in 2012) that I've really enjoyed. "Why seven?" you ask? Because 5 was too few and 10 was too many. :)

A visual representation of some of my faves!
Blank Slate Kate - Heather Wardell. Published November 2011. Read January 2012. Review.
Heather Wardell never ever disappoints. This is one of her latest novels and was full of excellent twists and turns and was a wonderful story. Think The Vow but better!

I've Got Your Number - Sophie Kinsella. Published February 2012. Read February 2012. Review.
While I didn't LOVE Kinsella's latest novel, I still enjoyed reading it. It was amusing and cute and I had fun diving into it.

The D Word - Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Published May 2011. Read March 2012. Review.
The ladies at Chick Lit is not Dead are not only great bloggers but excellent authors as well. Good story, multiple perspectives, and an all around great novel.

Favorable Conditions - Kathleen Kole. Published December 2011. Read March 2012. Review.
This is Kole's third novel and by far my favourite of the three. I loved it because it was written in such a way that I was able to connect with the main character even though she was at a completely different stage in life (divorced and with two kids in college). Great read.

How to Eat a Cupcake - Meg Donohue. Published March 2012. Read March 2012. Review (for Novel Escapes).
How can you go wrong with a title like that? Answer: you can't. This book was fantastic and had a much deeper storyline that one may expect from a sweet title like this. Definitely a must read.

Forgotten- Catherine McKenzie. Published May 2012. Read April 2012. Review.
Catherine McKenzie is one of my favourite authors so I was anxiously awaiting her third novel. It didn't disappoint! Interesting and unique storyline and great characters. I'm hoping for a sequel that focuses on the main character's best friend!

The Tall Book: A Celebration of Life from on High - Arianne Cohen. Published June 2009. Read April 2012. Review.
I was drawn to this one because I'm 6'. I wasn't sure what to expect but I ended up getting an amusing and informative look into the world of talls. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and encourage all my fellow talls to read it as well!

Fun observation: 3 of the 7 authors are Canadian! (Wardell, Kole, and McKenzie) I'm a proud Canuck and love finding amazing Canadian authors.

Hope you enjoyed the glimpse into some of the great books I've read this year. Make sure you head on over to the main link up page to check out all the other posts! Come back tomorrow for another Armchair BEA post - a positive "real life" experience with books.