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Showing posts from November, 2009

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Book completed last week:
The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanLiere was a touching, quick holiday read. Click here for a chance to win my copy of this book.

Reviews written last week:
Crazy as Chocolate by Elisabeth Hyde
What My Children Are Reading This Week:
Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson and Jane ChapmanJingle Bell Christmas (The Backyardigans) by Catherine LukasThe Night Before Christmas Board Book by Clement C. MooreA Stable in Bethlehem: A Christmas Counting Story by Joy N. Hulme
Book currently reading:
Blue Christmas by Mary Kay Andrews

Up next:
The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans. I'm working on the Winter Holiday Reading Challenge #2, so the next several books I read will have a winter holiday theme. I just haven't decided what the last three will be.

Upcoming reviews:
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
When the World is Ready for Bed by Gillian Shields and Anna Currey

Book Giveaway: The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanLiere

The Christmas Shoes by Donna VanLiere is a novel that was written based on the song of the same name by NewSong. This is a touching novel about people discovering the real meaning of Christmas. The novel moves between two stories. One is told from the perspective of a lawyer who has been focused on moving up in his career and accumulating material objects to make his family happy. But he's about to lose them because he never makes time to be with them. The other story is about a poor boy that is losing his mother to cancer. The two stories intertwine into a wonderful, short read for the holiday season.

I have a gently used, hardcover copy of this book that I'd like to give away to a follower of My Book Retreat. If you're already a follower, just write a comment below letting me know. If you're not a follower yet, please become a follower and leave a comment below.

Because I'd like to get this out to the winner before Christmas, I'll only keep this giveaway ope…

Book Review: Crazy as Chocolate by Elisabeth Hyde

Izzy is about to turn 41. It doesn't seem like a momentous occasion, but to her it is. Her mother committed suicide on her 41st birthday. She wants to have a calm, relaxing birthday but her father and her sister come to visit for the weekend to help her through the big day. The story fluctuates between the present day, as she deals with her sister, father and niece, and the past as she revisits her childhood with her mother and the events that led up to her death.

Crazy as Chocolate is a decent book, but definitely not one of the best I've read recently. I had picked it up at a used book store on a whim, and although it was worth reading, it wasn't anything that will stick with me for long. I actually had a tough time getting back into the story after putting it down each time. I think I would have enjoyed it more if I had been able to read it all in one sitting. But I still don't think it would stick with me for the long term.

My Rating: 3/5

Reading group guide and d…

What My Children Are Reading This Week

I've been participating in What My Child is Reading at Mouse Grows Mouse Learns for quite some time now on my other blog, Just Playin' Around. But I've decided to consolidate all of my book reviews, including reviews of children's books, on My Book Retreat from now on. So each Saturday, I'll be sharing what my children -- C (5 1/2) and M (2 1/2) -- have been reading during the week.


This week I pulled out some of the Christmas books we have on our bookshelves around our house. One of my favorites to read to my kids is Mortimer's Christmas Manger by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. This is the story of Mortimer, a little mouse who lives in a small, dark hole in a big house. One day he spies a little house just his size, but there are several statues in it. So he moves them all out, including the baby laying in a small wooden manger, and climbs in to sleep himself. He returns each night to sleep in the manger, until one night when he hears the story of Christmas an…

Fall Into Reading: Final Update

I'm very excited to say that I've completed the Fall Into Reading challenge...four weeks before the end of Fall. I guess I should have chosen more books to read. I didn't realize I'd read so much in such a short time. So, here is my final list.

Fall into Reading Challenge
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins **FINISHEDGuernesy Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows **FINISHEDThe Help by Kathryn Stockett **FINISHEDDear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles **FINISHED
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho **FINISHED
A Map of Home by Randa Jarrar **FINISHED
Crazy as Chocolate by Elisabeth Hyde **FINISHEDI'm currently on vacation, but next week I plan to put up reviews of the books I haven't reviewed yet. If you'd like to see what others are reading this Fall, head over to Callipidder Days.

Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge

In conjunction with the Countdown 2010 Challenge I'm working on, I thought I'd join this one since I'm at the library borrowing books for my kids all the time. The 2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge is a great way to show my support to the library I use so often, and also will save me some money since I'm planning to read so many books to complete my other challenges!

I'm joining in at the Mini Level, which means I need to check out and read 25 library books from January 1 through December 31, 2010. I'll be keeping track of the books I read for this challenge here.

1. Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris
2. Lunch at the Piccadilly by Clyde Edgerton
3. My Name is Asher Lev by Chaim Potok
4. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Topper
5. The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. K. Lee
6. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
7. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
8. Not My Daughter by Barbara Delinsky
9. One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash
10. The Girls: A Novel by Lor…