Thursday, May 31, 2012

Book Review - Speak to Our Desires by Brenda Clough

How did I come into possession of this book?
I received this book through LibraryThing Early Reviewers program.  I didn’t realize it was an e-book and I don’t have an e-reader so I read it on my phone.  This is why it took me forever to read, so now I try and avoid e-book reviews if possible, at least until someone buys me an e-reader…
What is it about?
The story centers on a detective who is presented with a missing person’s case by a very beautiful woman.  He soon finds out the missing person is this woman’s mother and they both have a special ability to read minds and thoughts of others and sometimes influence those thoughts.  The story continues in the search for her mother as well as giving the reader an in depth background of her life leading up until now.
What did I think?
I enjoyed this book.  It has the aspect of reality with the slightest touch of fantasy/sci-fi which is a genre I enjoy.  It was a bit confusing at first since you didn’t know when the story was jumping around different times.  You would be reading in current time and suddenly go back 10 years ago in the next chapter with no warning or reasoning to why you are suddenly learning about the past.  A lot of times this bothered me since it never really seemed to tie anything up.  I guess by the end if just gave you a full picture of her life, but up until then I was a little frustrated.  This was the only downside, the writing was great and I really felt for both main characters.  To my surprise I also liked the ending and the way everything was wrapped up.

Who would I recommend it to?
If I had a physical copy of this book I think it would’ve been a fairly quick read.  It’s a bit of a typical detective story with a twist.  So especially if you like detective stories I would recommend this book but I would also recommend it to someone who just wants to read something new (since I can’t quite put it in a genre of its own!).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Kentucky Wine!

One of the things I've noticed about Kentucky is the lack of users on yelp.  Yes, businesses have a page but there are usually only a handful of reviews, so I'm trying to help that by throwing in some of my own.  I thought a good place to start would be to review all the wineries we have visited since moving to Kentucky!

The first Kentucky winery we went to was Chrisman Mill's tasting room in Hamburg, see my yelp review here.  The wine was not so good, the server didn't really answer our questions but he was nice, and the tasting room was very cute, that about sums it up!  After tasting wine there we were very nervous about Kentucky wine in general and worried that we might not be able to find any that we liked.

Our next free weekend we drove out towards Frankfort to try some wineries out there and had a nice meal at Holly Hill Inn (review here).  Our first winery was Prodigy (review here) which was a good stop, not really what we expected but still glad we stopped by.  Our second stop was Equus Run which we loved, and highly recommend!

Our next wine trip occurred during RoB's birthday bash, and you can read his details about it here.  We started at Grimes Mill which was a very friendly place with good wine, and also was interested in hiring RoB (talk about a great birthday present!) he now works there and blogs for them.  From there we went to Talon, which we had a groupon for, it was a  good deal but the wine was VERY hit or miss.  Last stop that day was at Jean Ferris, where we also ended up eating dinner.  My yelp review is just pertaining to the wine tasting, which was weird.  I wish they had a separate tasting room and not just the bar in the restaurant.  Their wine is great, but the wine tasting experience there wasn't great.

One day about a month or two later we were heading to pick up Angel from doggie day care and saw that Acres of Land winery was right around the corner, so we took a detour.  The wine was just ok, but the tasting experience was a bit awkward, I really hate it when you have to pay before you taste, and that's what they did here.

That sums up my most recent yelp dump, at some point I also plan to add Blackbarn and Harkness Edwards since we went to both of those during the McConnell Springs Barrel tasting.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Book Review - Angels Chimps and Tater Mitts by Mike Ball

How did I come into possession of this book?
I received this book in an exchange for my review over on Jagged Edge reviews (this will be my first book I got from them to review!).  I liked the synopsis and thought it sounded like a fun read (not to mention the author is form Ann Arbor, total bonus points for me!).

What is it about?
This book is a collection of what I think was at one point a newspaper column.  It’s a bunch of short snippets/stories about his life, his opinion on things, or a story he has been told.  Each chapter is short and to a point making it a very easy book to pick up, open to any chapter, and enjoy reading for a couple minutes.  Some of the stories were humorous while others were touching and then there some that were just plain interesting.
What did I think?
I enjoyed all the short quirky stories in this book, if there was one I didn’t like as much I could easily head another page or two and pick up a new one.  The only bad thing was that I was trying to finish the book quickly so I could review it, if it were up to me this would be a great book to just pick up every now and then and read a few chapters.  It’s a nice change in between long novels, and it doesn’t hurt that some of the stories were about Michigan and Ann Arbor!

Who would I recommend it to?
Someone with a short attention span and doesn’t like to get involved with long books.  Or someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to read, this is great because each chapter grabs your attention quickly and it’s over before you know it and you can get back to whatever other important things you have going on in your life. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Reading Challenge? Sure!

I found out about the Semi Charmed Book Challenge through the blog It's the Journey (which is always a pleasant read!).  Here are the details:

  • The challenge will run from May 1, 2012, to September 1, 2012. No books that are started before May 1 or finished after September 1 will count.
  • No re-reads! I want you to experience new books with this challenge.
  • Each book must be at least 200 pages long, unless otherwise noted.
  • A book can only be used for one category. If you want to switch the category later, that's fine, just be sure to account for that in your point total.
  • The highest possible total is 200 points, and the first three people who finish the challenge will win a featured/guest post on my blog. If less than three people finish, the participants with the three highest scores will "win." Good luck!

The Challenge:

5 points: Read a book chosen for the U.S. 2012 World Book Night.
10: Read a book you were supposed to read in school, but either bailed on or Cliff-Noted. (If you were super studious and never did this, then read a book most people were assigned to read in high school but you weren’t.)
10: Read a memoir or narrative nonfiction book. (Examples: Friday Night Lights, When the Game Stands Tall, The Devil in the White City, etc.)
15: Read a book in one day. (Must be at least 150 pages long.)
15: Read a book that you've always wanted to read but haven't gotten around to yet.
20: Read a pair of books that have antonyms in the titles. (For example: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and The Boy in the Suitcase, or The Unbearable Lightness of Being and Heart of Darkness, etc..)
20: Read a book that is set in a place you've never been but want to visit.
25: Find a book written the year you were born that was later made into a movie. Read the book and watch the movie; compare. Or find a movie released the year you were born that was based on a book. Do the same thing.
25: Go into a bookstore or library. Pick any bookshelf. Read the third book from the left on the fourth shelf from the top. (If it's not at least 200 pages, pick the next book to the right.)
25: Read a book about which you’ve heard bad things. (Hey, you can’t knock it ‘til you’ve tried it, right? And I’m upping the points to make it worth your while.)
30: Read a trilogy. Total page count for all three books together must be at least 500 pages. (Remember, you can’t have read any of the books before! Suggestions: The Robert Langdon series, The Hunger Games, Twilight...)

I'm still trying to figure out what I want to read for each of these categories, here is my list (in the order it was listed above).  I will continue to update it as I figure out what to read, I'm also open to any suggestions so please help me out if you have any ideas!

One of these three: Bel Canto/The Book Theif/The Poisonwood Bible
Catcher and the Rye - J.D. Salinger
Three and Out - John U Bacon
Divergent - Veronica Roth (Now I just need to find a day I can devote to it!) DONE!
TBD (So many choices)
At The End- John Hennessy  DONE! and Starters- Lissa Price
My Life in France - Julia Child
The Neverending Story - Michael Ende (this movie came out in '84 and I'm super excited to read the book!)
Spring Fever - Mary Kay Andrews  DONE! (from the audio book section of my local library!)
50 Shades of Grey by E L James
TBD (Maybe Mistborn or a David Eddings trilogy, OR possibly a YA trilogy like Gone or the Sally Lockhart trilogy)

Oh yeah, and I'm also trying to get RoB to join in this challenge so you should head to his blog and try and help me convince him!