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Hello, my name is Kelly and I welcome you to the Bookend Diaries book blog. I created this blog to share my own reviews of existing and new books, to discuss with other readers what we’re currently reading, update you on my book club picks, and of course, to ultimately support the work of the authors we all enjoy. I am addicted to reading and I thought this would be a great way to reach out to other readers who are as obsessed with books as I am.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

My Giveaway

My Giveaway:

This is a giveaway for a wonderful gift package. It includes the latest novel, “Shanghai Girls” by Lisa See, a bag of Hershey’s Bliss smooth & creamy milk chocolates, and lastly a bookmark. This is to be given out to one lucky winner.

Here's how to enter:

All you have to do is become a follower of my book blog and leave a comment in the comment section on what you are currently reading, along with your e-mail address. How easy is that?

Competition ends on June 4th, and the winner will be announced on this blog. Good luck to everyone!
(This contest is only available to be shipped within the USA ).

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mailbox Monday

The Long Way Home by: Robin Pilcher
book courtesy: St. Martin's Press

Miss You Most of All by: Elizabeth Bass
book courtesy: the author/Elizabeth Bass

Claude & Camille by: Stephanie Cowell
book courtesy: Harper Crown Publishing Group

One Amazing Thing by: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
book courtesy: Harper Collins Publishers

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Devil In The Junior League by: Linda Francis Lee

***Purchased through Barnes and Noble


Former Junior Leaguer Linda Francis Lee has crafted a scandalously delicious novel that takes you deep into the heart of Texas blue-blood society. The Junior League of Willow Creek, Texas, is très exclusive. Undesirables need not apply. Fredericka Mercedes Hildebrand Ware (Frede to her friends) is a member beyond reproach...until her life begins to unravel. When her husband betrays her, steals her money, and runs off to places unknown, it's something Frede would prefer to keep under wraps. The last thing she needs is to become fodder for the JLWC gossip mill. And to make matters worse, there's only one person in town who stands a chance at helping her get revenge—Howard Grout, a tasteless, gold-chain-wearing lawyer who has bought his way into Frede's tony neighborhood. But there's a price: She has to get his tacky, four-inch-stiletto-and-pink-spandex-wearing wife, Nikki, into the Junior League. The crème de la crème of Southern royalty should sit up and take notice, and hang on tight for this irresistible tale of getting in and getting even.

My Review Comments:

I loved this book. Sometimes you need a good light chick lit book that has a lot of laugh-out-loud moments throughout the book. This book takes you inside the Junior League with all their rules and expectations they place on their members. It also describes menus and the do’s and don’ts in entertaining and dressing with fashions and etiquette. Of course everything is nicely wrapped up in their signature Junior League pearls. Frede, who was a former debutante, ends up losing everything around her perfect world and the only way to come back on top is to turn an ugly duckling into a swan. Will she be able to meet the challenges that are laid out to her to get her money and lifestyle back, with help from an attorney? Or, will she even want it when it is offered to her? Will she learn that money doesn’t buy love and happiness? Will she choose love in the end? Lastly, will she finally come to realize who her true friends are and who will stick with her through thick and thin? These are just some of the many questions you will be asking yourself. You will just have to read the book the find out all the answers.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

At Home with Carolyne Roehm

***Purchased through Barnes and Noble


Thumbing through this sizable tome is like having an all-access pass to the sensational events Carolyne has hosted at her Connecticut, New York and Paris homes. With a keen balance of creativity, natural elements and practicality, Carolyne elevates the simple to superb-on any budget. From a shimmering Christmas party with a 13-foot, tinsel-draped pine tree to a cozy pondside picnic with fried chicken, this collection of menus, recipes, venues and tablescapes is sure to inspire. The breathtaking photography will pull you in and make you feel as though you can smell the bountiful bouquets and bubbling culinary delights on every page.
Former fashion designer Carolyne Roehm is renowned for combining a keen appreciation of beauty with practical know-how. Now, with this gorgeously illustrated guide, readers can go behind the scenes of her memorable parties, learn her entertaining secrets, and visit the glamorous homes where she has dazzled her prominent guests.

Imparting fresh ideas and inspiration for knockout events on any budget, At Home with Carolyne Roehm follows the calendar’s seasons to provide year-round suggestions for place settings, floral arrangements, and menus. Emphasizing creativity and natural elements, Carolyne Roehm’s tips are not exclusively geared toward elegant functions: Picnics, cozy fireside meals for two, afternoon teas, and formal dinner parties are treated with equal verve. Drawing on ingredients and imagery appropriate for spring, summer, winter, and fall and all the major holidays, this handsome collection yields a trove of simple but sophisticated recipes along with perfect tabletop and decorative accents to accompany them. Biscuit sandwiches of Mustard-Glazed and Smoked Cheddar; Shrimp and White Bean Salad; Zucchini and Watercress Soup; and Fudgy Rum Chocolate Cake are just a few of the delicious and easy-to-prepare dishes. For successful festive occasions that friends and family will remember for years, from a grand New Year’s Eve gala to a spring brunch with a floral theme, At Home with Carolyne Roehm is itself glorious cause for celebration.

My Review Comments:

This is one of my favorite books to escape into and it is a feast for the eyes. I have found more enjoyment from the ideas and useful recipes out of this book. This is a gorgeous book, showcasing Carolyne’s impressive collection of china, silverware and glassware. There is so much inspiration filled in this book for beautiful tablescape ideas for entertaining, recipes, floral arrangements, etc. One of the many gems from this book is the recipe for brussel sprouts with pancetta and cream sauce, my sister-in-law requests this dish every year for our Thanksgiving dinner menu. Another recipe that I have been dying to make is her, “baker’s chocolate pecan pie bars.” The book it is loaded with indoor and outdoor entertaining ideas. What a wonderful way to spend an evening to relax and unwind with this book and a nice cup of tea. You will not only be inspired by it but, it will be a book you turn to again and again. It’s a wonderful coffee table book too, and I love to decorate with stacks of books on shelves and tables.

Friday, May 14, 2010

On Folly Beach by: Karen White

***Received an advance copy courtesy Penguin Group


Folly Beach, South Carolina, has survived despite hurricanes and war. But it's the personal battles of Folly Beach's residents that have left the most scars, and why a young widow has been beckoned there to heal her own. To most people, Folly Beach is simply the last barrier island before reaching the great Atlantic. To some, it's a sanctuary for lost souls, which is why Emmy Hamilton's mother encourages her to buy the local book store, Folly's Finds, hoping it will distract Emmy from the loss of her husband. Emmy is at first resistant. So much has already changed. But after finding love letters and an image of a beautiful bottle tree in a box of used books from Folly's Finds, she decides to take the plunge. But the seller insists on one condition: Emmy must allow Lulu, the late owner's difficult sister, to continue selling her bottle trees from its back yard. For the most part Emmy ignores Lulu as she sifts through the love letters, wanting to learn more. But the more she discovers about the letters, the more she understands Lulu. As details of a possible murder and a mysterious disappearance during WWII are revealed, the two women discover that circumstances beyond their control, sixty years apart, have brought them together, here on Folly Beach. And it is here that their war-ravaged hearts can find hope for a second chance.

My review comments:

I personally love this author and her books never seem to disappoint me. This one was very special since to me it took on a Nancy Drew element in tracking down secrets and figuring out old mysteries from the past all through hand writing messages in the margins of famous books, then putting them all together like a puzzle piece one at a time, until it takes shape and shows the picture underneath. The story is also told in two different perspectives. The main character Emmy is trying to get over the loss of her husband, who died in the war in Afghanistan 2009, by trying to find a new way to go on and live her live without him. She moves to Folly Beach and takes over a book store business. She is then introduced to the other character Lulu that is holding keys to a story that has many secrets that happened during WWII, that she is trying to hide from her family so that there is no chance it will tear them apart. But after all the truths come out, you are left with a sense of relief and much needed forgiveness with southern grace. I loved the imagery and discovery of bottle trees thoughout the book, the little messages that were placed there to be discovered and the beautiful sounds the bottles would make by the wind blowing through them. Lastly, this is a great beach read, which would be perfect for summer. This book is sprinkled throughout with mystery, romance, forgiveness, friendship, and perseverance.

The bottle tree's origins can be traced back to Africa. Evidently, it was believed that shiny objects placed around the home would attract evil spirits away from the family. With the tragedy of the slave trade, the tradition found its way to North America and continued to evolve into the hanging of bottles in trees to "trap" the evil spirits.

People now don't believe bottles could in any way "trap" evil spirits. However, over the years the bottle tree has become a very unique Southern gardening tradition. They do make for a beautiful decoration, beside the wonderful sounds that are made through the lips of the glass when the wind blows through them.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Giveaway Winners

Congratulations to the following two winners:

* Melanie from

* Stella (Ex Libris)

I will contact you through your e-mail for your addresses and send your packages on their way. Enjoy!!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Mailbox Monday & My Giveaway Below

Secret Daughter by: Shilpi Somaya Gowda
book courtesy: Harper Collins Publishers

How to Be an American Housewife by: Margaret Dilloway
book courtesy: Penguin Group

Sweet Misfortune by: Kevin Alan Milne
book courtesy: Hachette Book Group

Friday, May 7, 2010

My Giveaway

My Giveaway:

This is a giveaway for a wonderful gift package. It includes the debut novel, “The Lotus Eaters” by Tatjana Soli, a package of Geneva cookies, a box of Blueberry and Pomegranate tea, and lastly a bookmark. The best news of all is that you will have two chances to win, since I am giving this gift package away to two lucky winners.

Here's how to enter:

All you have to do is become a follower of my book blog and leave a comment in the comment section on what you are currently reading, along with your e-mail address. How easy is that?

Competition ends on May 13, and the winners will be announced on this blog. Good luck to everyone!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Summer At Tiffany by: Marjorie Hart

To honor Audrey Hepburn’s birthday, I have a special treat to share with all of you. This is a magical, charming book that will remind you of her famous movie, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.” This is a special gem of a book that you will treasure.

***Purchased at Barnes & Noble


At the age of 82, Hart, a professional cellist, recalls 1945, when she and her best friend, Marty, students at the University of Iowa, spent the summer in Manhattan, in this pleasant but slight memoir. Failing to obtain work at Lord & Taylor, the pair, self-described as long-limbed, blue-eyed blondes, were hired at Tiffany's—the first female floor sales pages, delivering packages to the repair and shipping department, for $20 a week. Hart details their stringent budget ("1. Two nickels for subway. 2. Sandwich at the Automat: 15 cents") and describes, somewhat breathlessly, what a thrill it was to see such luminaries as Marlene Dietrich and Judy Garland shop at the fabled store. Her romance with a midshipman, the combat death of her cousin, the news of the dropping of the first atomic bomb and a vivid account of the celebration in Times Square after Japan's surrender convey a sense of the WWII era, but without adding much illumination. She does, however, evoke New York City as seen through the eyes of two innocent small town girls. (16 pages of b & w photos and illustrations.)

Saturday, May 1, 2010

The Faraday Girls by: Monica McInerney

***Purchased through Barnes and Noble


With the arrival of baby Maggie, the Faraday household increases to six girls and one hapless father, yet there is a seventh Faraday woman whose absence is a keenly felt burden. That Tessa Faraday died too young, leaving her husband to raise their five daughters, was unbearable enough, but when teenage Clementine, the youngest, announces she's pregnant and that she intends to raise the baby with her sisters' help, Tessa's absence becomes overwhelming. Though they have been locked away since her death, Tessa's private diaries prove to be an irresistible lure to Sadie, who betrays the family trust by reading them in hopes that their mother, who had achieved iconic status in death, would reveal the secrets of perfect motherhood. What Sadie discovers, however, ends up shattering the family. Decades later, it falls to Maggie to put the Faraday clan back together again. Crossing the globe, from Australia to Manhattan to Dublin, McInerney's bewitching multigenerational saga lavishly and lovingly explores the resiliency and fragility of family bonds.

My Review Comments:

This is a story about an Irish family set in the backdrop of Australia, and crosses over to Dublin, Ireland, and finally ends up in Manhattan, New York. The Faraday girls lose their mother at a very young age, and or left to live with their eccentric inventor father, Leo. He is a very secretive man who holds his late wife in high regard. Leo works out in his shed everyday on his numerous inventions while surrounded by his wife’s most valued possessions. There are five Faraday sisters with many secrets too, which secrets will eventually be revealed with the discovery of their late mother’s diaries, which will break this once close-knit family apart. The key to bringing this family back together will be their niece Maggie who is brought back upon her Grandfather’s request to do the annual celebration of “Christmas in July”, a longstanding tradition for the Faraday girls. Her Grandfather has a special surprise gift for his daughters that will bring them back to the love, loyalty and connection that they once shared, along with forgiveness. I really did enjoy this book and the different paths the lives the sisters took to find their own sense of happiness and self.