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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.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Break

Faith makes all things possible,
Hope makes all things work,
Love makes all things beautiful,
May you have all the three for this Christmas.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Simply Divine A Guide to Easy, Elegant and Affordable Entertainment by Lisa Vanderpump

*** courtesy of Running Press Books


Lisa Vanderpump has become the breakout star of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Her unique mix of sparkling glamour and down-to-earth style has appealed to thousands of fans. On the show, viewers can see her hosting dinner parties and running her popular Beverly Hills restaurant Villa Blanca with what can best be termed “easy elegance.” Now Lisa shares her tips and tricks for creating the perfect gathering: whether you’re hosting a cozy winter dinner for six, throwing a poolside BBQ, or just hanging out with your closest friends, Lisa has just the menu and entertaining hints that will make it both simple AND divine.
Lisa Vanderpump is the witty and charming Brit on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. She was born and raised in London, and lived in the South of France for a number of years before moving to California. She owns two restaurants: Villa Blanca, which has been called “the sexiest restaurant” in Beverly Hills and Sur in West Hollywood. She is known for her passion for style and entertaining, and writes a monthly column in Beverly Hills Lifestyle magazine. Married to her husband Ken for almost 30 years, she has two grown children. The most famous member of her family is her pup Gigolo (Giggy), who has his own agent at Creative Arts Agency.

My Review Comments:

I received this book as a courtesy from the Publisher to review and it was my pleasure. I have to admit that I really didn’t know much about Lisa Vanderpump except, what I have seen of her in the reality tv show, “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” After reading it I felt like she became like a close friend to me with all of her wit and tips and great advice that was sprinkled throughout this book. It was like taking a stroll along an English countryside with an old friend, I had no idea that she writes a column for, “The Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine”, and that she owned 26 restaurants. This is not just a book of how to entertain but, more like a lifestyle book which includes some wonderful recipes as well. I for one can’t wait to try, “Roast Turkey with Lattice Bacon and Pork and Walnut Stuffing.” The image of it is breathtaking and will be very impressive to serve to your guests. The only thing that I can say, as a negative is that I wish she would have included more images/pictures which is what would have taken this book over the top for me. The images/pictures that she did include are amazing. My hope is that she comes out with follow up books to this one in the near future. They will be treasured for years to come to her readers.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Canvas 4 Life - Product Review and Discount Code

When I was first contacted by Canvas 4 Life to do a review of one of their canvases, I pretty much jumped out of my seat with excitement! An opportunity to have a gorgeous print made out of one of my pictures that I have taken of a wonderful memory. Of course!

The only difficult part of the ordering process was trying to figure out which picture to choose! The website walks you through each step carefully, so at the end, the canvas print is *exactly* what you want. Each canvas is made from 100% cotton, has corner wedges and real artist stretcher bars. You have the ability to choose the depth of the frame as well as between three different coating choices. And not only do they have great prices, they also include FREE shipping, choice of coating, frame depth, image enhancing, gallery wrapping, red eye removal, instant online image quality detection checker, and a money back guarantee if you are unhappy.

The turn around time was really fast and I was notified as soon as it shipped! I was expecting to receive a pretty good product, but I was honestly blown away by the quality. Now I'm sure you're wondering where you can get your own beautiful canvas? Canvas 4 Life has been very generous and is offering my readers a 10% off coupon! All you have to do is go to Canvas 4 Life and enter the coupon code "bookend10" at checkout!


This would make the *perfect* gift for anyone this upcoming holiday season!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

I want to personally thank all of you for following my blog site, it means so much to me. My wish is that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family and loved ones.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

*** Courtesy the Author


Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.
Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.
Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.
Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.
Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.
In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women--mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends--view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

My Review Comments:

I was so excited to receive a copy of this book to review and it didn’t disappoint me in any expect of the storyline. I absolutely loved this book, and the movie that was produced after it was even better. It stayed close to the original story line and it made the characters come alive from the pages to the movie screen. You will laugh and cry and have a better understanding of the lines that divided whites and blacks in the deep heart of Mississippi. You will also, have a better understanding of the roles that the black maids took over as surrogate Moms for their white employers children. The deep-rooted connection that was established carried over into adulthood with the children that they raised. Unfortunately, that message was lost on many of them. They became the complete opposite of what they had been taught by their much beloved Nannies and they eventually turned on them as their Mothers did and treated them quiet poorly. What I found so incredible about this book was the very last page, which explains why the author was inspired to write it. I don’t want to give too much away, but it explains volumes about why she wrote this story.

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Little Bit Wicked by: Kristin Chenoweth

***Purchased Through Barnes and Noble


A lively, laugh-out-loud journey from Oklahoma beauty queen to show biz sensation. “Life’s too short. I’m not."You might know her as a Tony Award–winning Broadway star who originated the role of Glinda the Good Witch in the smash musical Wicked. Or you may recognize her from her starring roles on TV—The West Wing, Pushing Daisies, and Sesame Street. At four foot eleven, Kristin Chenoweth is an immense talent in a petite but powerful package. Through a combination of talent, hard work, and (she’s quick to add) the grace of God, Kristin took Broadway and Hollywood by storm. But of course, into every storm, the occasional drizzle of disaster must fall, and Kristin reflects on how faith and family have kept her grounded, even in tough times. Filled with wit, wisdom, and backstage insight, A Little Bit Wicked is long on love and short on sleep. It’s essential reading for Kristin’s legions of fans and an uplifting story for anyone seeking motivation to follow his or her dreams—over the rainbow and beyond. Featuring Chenolicious recipes, Kristin’s advice for young actors, and much more!

My Review Comments:

After seeing the musical Wicked with Kristen Chenoweth and hearing her beautiful voice, I was so excited to be able to read a book all about the girl who played Glinda. She is amazing and her story was truly touching to me since it was based on her faith. What a wonderful follow up book to, Wicked and it was such a light and fun read. This book covers her entire life and explains what obstacles you need to overcome to make your dreams come true. It was so interesting to know that she was adopted and that she had struggles just like all of us, and yet she was able to achieve so much. Everything does come at a price but, she has the support of her family and friends to help her along her journey. She shares her humor and lots of delightful stories that you will get lost in. One other thing that I thought was interesting is that she included sprinkles of family recipes throughout the book too. If you have never seen her in Wicked, then I would encourage you to listen to her music. She has an amazing voice and one that you will not soon forget.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wicked by: Gregory Maguire

***Purchased Through Barnes and Noble


Born with green skin and huge teeth, like a dragon, the free-spirited Elphaba grows up to be an anti-totalitarian agitator, an animal-rights activist, a nun, then a nurse who tends the dying? and, ultimately, the headstrong Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz. Maguire's strange and imaginative postmodernist fable uses L. Frank Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a springboard to create a tense realm inhabited by humans, talking animals (a rhino librarian, a goat physician), Munchkinlanders, dwarves and various tribes. The Wizard of Oz, emperor of this dystopian dictatorship, promotes Industrial Modern architecture and restricts animals' right to freedom of travel; his holy book is an ancient manuscript of magic that was clairvoyantly located by Madam Blavatsky 40 years earlier. Much of the narrative concerns Elphaba's troubled youth (she is raised by a giddy alcoholic mother and a hermitlike minister father who transmits to her his habits of loathing and self-hatred) and with her student years. Dorothy appears only near novel's end, as her house crash-lands on Elphaba's sister, the Wicked Witch of the East, in an accident that sets Elphaba on the trail of the girl from Kansas? As well as the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the Lion? and her fabulous new shoes. Maguire combines puckish humor and bracing pessimism in this fantastical meditation on good and evil, God and free will, which should, despite being far removed in spirit from the Baum books, captivate devotees of fantasy.

My Review Comments:

I have to say, if you love the idea of finding out what really happened before Dorothy landed in Oz than this is the book for you. There was a whole new world to discovery through this book that explained the story of Oz. It was an interesting twist to learning the back story of the relationship between Glinda the good witch and Elphaba the wicked witch. It will give you a new way at looking at the wicked witch of the west and the good witch of the north. You will also learn about the story through all the other unforgettable characters such as the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion. After, seeing the musical years ago I just had to read the book that it was based on it. Besides, the fact the there is a rumor that Walt Disney is going to take the musical version and make it into a movie. Let me tell you it didn’t disappoint me at all and I couldn’t put it down. It was such a great concept to think that there actually was a world with another side to it in Oz before Dorothy landed there. I would just like to also add, that there are three other books that go along with this one in the series. They are as follows: Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, Out of Oz. The last book is coming out soon, with a fitting end which includes Dorothy to make the story complete. You will have to add these to your library.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Mailbox Monday

The Orphan Sister by: Gwendolen Gross
book courtesy: Simon & Schuster

The Dry Grass of August by: Anna Jean Mayhew
book courtesy: Kensington Books

So Near by: Liza Gyllenhaal
book courtesy: Penguin Group

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Pioneer Woman Cookbook by Ree Drummond

*** Purchased through Barnes and Noble


My name is Ree.

Some folks know me as The Pioneer Woman.

After years of living in Los Angeles, I made a pit stop in my hometown in Oklahoma on the way to a new, exciting life in Chicago. It was during my stay at home that I met Marlboro Man, a mysterious cowboy with steely blue eyes and a muscular, work-honed body. A strict vegetarian, I fell hard and fast, and before I knew it we were married and living on his ranch in the middle of nowhere, taking care of animals, and managing a brood of four young children. I had no idea how I'd wound up there, but I knew it was exactly where I belonged.

The Pioneer Woman Cooks is a homespun collection of photography, rural stories, and scrumptious recipes that have defined my experience in the country. I share many of the delicious cowboy-tested recipes I've learned to make during my years as an accidental ranch wife—including Rib-Eye Steak with Whiskey Cream Sauce, Lasagna, Fried Chicken, Patsy's Blackberry Cobbler, and Cinnamon Rolls—not to mention several "cowgirl-friendly" dishes, such as Sherried Tomato Soup, Olive Cheese Bread, and Creme Brulee. I show my recipes in full color, step-by-step detail, so it's as easy as pie to follow along.

You'll also find colorful images of rural life: cows, horses, country kids, and plenty of chaps-wearing cowboys.

I hope you get a kick out of this book of mine. I hope it makes you smile. I hope the recipes bring you recognition, accolades, and marriage proposals. And I hope it encourages even the most harried urban cook to slow down, relish the joys of family, nature, and great food, and enjoy life.

My Review Comments:

I purchased this cookbook, after someone mentioned it to me. It is a wonderful cookbook and is so full of beautiful images with step by step instructions on how to make the most delicious meals. I have followed her blog site and now she has added yet another feather to her cap by having her own cooking show on the Foodnetwork channel. I watch the primer show this past weekend and it was excellent. She is just such an interesting, down to earth person to watch and it is so special that she takes so much time to share with others her family life. Her recipes in the cookbook are down home style and pretty simple to make. The ingredients are things that are easy to locate and are things that you would normally carry in supply in your pantry. She has truly inspired me to make my blog the best that it can be and to cook a hearty meal with ease. I would recommend anyone that is interested in down home cooking to purchase this cookbook. I know you will enjoy it as much as I did just sitting back and looking at all the breath taking images of her ranch as well.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Mailbox Monday

From Baracelona With Love by: Elizabeth Adler
book courtesy: St. Martins Press

Left Neglected by: Lisa Genova
book courtesy: Simon & Schuster

Before Ever After by: Samantha Sotto
book courtesy: Random House

Yankee Doodle Dixie by: Lisa Patton
book courtesy: St. Martins Press

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Bronze Horseman By Paullina Simons

***Purchased through Barnes and Noble


Leningrad 1941: the white nights of summer illuminate a city of fallen grandeur whose beautiful palaces and stately avenues speak of a different age, when Leningrad was known as St Petersburg. Two sisters, Tatiana and Dasha, share the same bed, living in one room with their brother and parents. It is a hard, impoverished life, yet the Metanovs know many who are not as fortunate as they. The family routine is shattered on 22 June 1941 when Hitler invades Russia. For the Metanovs, for Leningrad and for Tatiana, life will never be the same again. On the fateful day, Tatiana meets a brash young officer named Alexander. Tatiana and her family suffer as Hitler’s army advances on Leningrad, and the Russian winter closes in. With bombs falling and the city under siege, Tatiana and Alexander are drawn to each other in an impossible love. It is a love that could tear Tatiana’s family apart, a love that carries a secret that could mean death for anyone who hears it. Confronted on the one hand by Hitler’s unstoppable war machine, and on the other by a Soviet system determined to crush the human spirit, Tatiana and Alexander are pitted against the very tide of history, at a turning point in the century that made the modern world. Mesmerizing from the very first page to the final, breathtaking end, The Bronze Horseman brings alive the story of two indomitable, heroic spirits and their great love that triumphs over the devastation of a country at war.

My Review Comments:

This is the first book of a series from this Author about an amazing love story in the middle of a terrible war. I have read all three in the entire trilogy and by far this one is my favorite since, this is the one that started it all. The other two to follow titles are, “Tatiana and Alexander” & “The Summer Garden” which are now available in the USA to purchase. I would recommend reading all of them since, it follows the power of the human spirit that endures through the greatest gift of love between two amazing people. There are so many unexpected twists and turns that highlight the horrors of what happens to a country and its people while in time of war. Tatiana and Alexander’s love story transforms each of them into the people that they were meant to become. The way it describes Leningrad during the war will pull at your heart strings. It was so detailed regarding the pain, hunger, death, and the difficulties that are caused and effects it takes on a country in WWII, and how a country has to overcome and recover from it with all the aftermath that happens. It is truly an amazing book and you will not be disappointed nor will you be able to put it down once you start reading it.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Mailbox Monday

22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson
book courtesy: Penguin Group

Last Letter from your Lover by JoJo Moyes
book courtesy: Penguin Group

Incognito by Gregory Murphy
book courtesy: Berkley Publishing Group

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Me And My Shadow: A Family Memoir by Lorna Luft

***Purchased through Barnes and Noble


The question follows Lorna Luft to this day: "What's it like to be Dorothy's daughter?" Although by appearances glamorous and truly thrilling, growing up as the daughter of Judy Garland was anything but a journey over the rainbow.
With unsparing candor, Lorna Luft offers the first-ever insider portrait of one of Hollywood's most celebrated families: a rare story of a little girl, her half-sister Liza, and her baby brother trying desperately to hang on to the mother whose life seemed destined to burn brightly but briefly. Lorna makes an extraordinary journey back into the spiral of love, addiction, pain, and loss that lurked behind a charmed facade.
Filled with behind-the-scenes dramas, hilarious untold stories, and little-known details of Garland family life, Me and My Shadows is a tribute to Lorna's victory over her own past, a story of hope, of love and its limitations, and a deeply moving testament to the healing powers of embracing one's past and charting a course of self-love and discovery.

My Comments:

My favorite actress is Judy Garland and when I saw this book, I knew that it was a must read. Especially, being able to read what life was like through her daughter’s eyes. Judy Garland was so talented and gifted and achieved so much fame. But, she also paid a high price for it and there were lots of sacrifices that she made along the way. Even with everything she went through she was a very devoted Mother and loved her family with all of her heart. It was amazing to me to read about what life was like to be her daughter, and the many movie stars that came in and out of their home on a daily basis which was common place. What was great about this book is that it went inside the studios of the Golden Age era and got you to see what they expected from their movie stars. She will always be known for movie classics such as, “Meet Me In St. Louis,” “The Harvey Girls,” “Easter Parade,” & “A Star is Born,” just to name a few. Of course Dorothy from the “Wizard of Oz,” was her most famous role. It just makes me wonder if she was ever able to click her ruby slippers together and find her own way home. I will always have admiration for the legacy that she left behind, and it's testament to the life that she lived. She has blessed us with her many talents to enjoy for a lifetime filled with our own special memories.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mailbox Monday

Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble
book courtesy: The Author

Haunted by Joy Preble
book courtesy: The Author

The Blackberry Bush by David Housholder
book courtesy: B & B Media Group

All You Desire by Kirsten Miller
book courtesy: Penguin

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mailbox Monday

The American Heiress by: Daisy Goodwin
book courtesy: St. Martins Press

Wherever Grace Is Needed by: Elizabeth Bass
book courtesy: The Author

Sisters of the Sari by: Brenda L. Baker
book courtesy: The Author

Friday, July 1, 2011

Untold Story by Monica Ali

*** Courtesy Simon and Schuster

In honor of what would have been Princess Diana’s 50th Birthday, I would like to present this book that I recently received to review. Her memory and the mark that she made on this world will never be forgotten. She was truly an inspiration for everyone’s life that she touched. I have and will always admire her and the dignity, respect, and faith that she displayed with her touch of grace. She was and will always be the People’s Princess.


When Princess Diana died in Paris’s Alma tunnel, she was thirty-seven years old. Had she lived, she would turn fifty on July 1, 2011. Who would the beloved icon be if she were alive today? What would she be doing? And where? One of the most versatile and bold writers of our time, Monica Ali has imagined a different fate for Diana in her spectacular new novel, Untold Story.

Diana’s life and marriage were both fairy tale and nightmare rolled into one. Adored by millions, she suffered rejection, heartbreak, and betrayal. Surrounded by glamour and glitz and the constant attention of the press, she fought to carve a meaningful role for herself in helping the needy and dispossessed. The contradictions and pressures of her situation fueled her increasingly reckless behavior, but her stature and her connection with her public never ceased to grow. If Diana had lived, would she ever have found peace and happiness, or would the curse of fame always have been too great?

Fast forward a decade after the (averted) Paris tragedy, and an Englishwoman named Lydia is living in a small, nondescript town somewhere in the American Midwest. She has a circle of friends: one owns a dress shop; one is a Realtor; another is a frenzied stay-at-home mom. Lydia volunteers at an animal shelter, and swims a lot. Her lover, who adores her, feels she won’t let him know her. Who is she?
Untold Story is about the cost of celebrity, the meaning of identity, and the possibility—or impossibility—of reinventing a life. Ali’s fictional princess is beautiful, intrepid, and resourceful and has established a fragile peace. And then the past threatens to destroy her new life. Ali has created a riveting novel inspired by the cultural icon she calls “a gorgeous bundle of trouble.”

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Big Bowl of Love by Cristina Ferrare

*** Purchased Barnes and Noble


“Cristina is probably the best cook I've ever met, other than Maya Angelou and my own mother. She's cooked three Christmas dinners for 80 people, and I was sitting at the table for all of them.” -Oprah Winfrey

For New York Times best-selling author Cristina Ferrare, “family, cooking, food, and bringing people together [are] a passion.” That same irrepressible enthusiasm infuses A Big Bowl of Love, Ferrare's homey collection of more than 150 recipes for everyday meals and celebrations. Each dish has been tested, enjoyed, and cherished by Cristina's family and friends, as well as by viewers of Cooking with Cristina--a series of cooking segments that aired on the OWN network (Oprah Winfrey Network).
Cristina's natural warmth, generosity, and creativity is preserved in every bite of these dishes--and this busy professional, wife, and mother shows how to shop, set up a pantry, and use cook once, eat twice recipes to make preparing and enjoying meals easy and fun.

My Review Comments:

What can I say, this is just a wonderful cookbook. I love to cook and this book is so well executed with ingredients that are not hard to find. The images and the presentation of the food are breath taking and it will make you want to entertain and host a party and feel at ease. It has some unique recipes from her Italian background and some Greek recipes from her husband’s background. To me is great that she was able to combine the two different cultures in one cookbook. I not only will turn to this cookbook and use it as a great resource, but I will proudly display it in my kitchen. For anyone that loves to cook or loves to collect cookbooks this is a must have to add to your collection.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mermaid by Carolyn Turgeon

*** courtesy of Random House


In Turgeon's surprisingly dark retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid, two women pine for the affections of a prince: mermaid Lenia, who pulls Prince Christopher from the sea, and Margrethe, the princess of the rival kingdom, who witnesses the rescue from the convent where she hides from the war raging between their two kingdoms. Lenia, who falls instantly in love with the prince, sacrifices the sea, her voice, and her health to be with him on dry land. Meanwhile, Margrethe believes that marrying the prince would unite their kingdoms, but when she arrives to arrange it, she finds him already enraptured with Lenia. While he remains unaware that the girl he loves is also the mermaid who saved him, Margrethe recognizes her rival immediately and puts into motion a plan to send the ailing mermaid back to the sea and save her own ravaged kingdom. Turgeon has done a superb job of creating compelling characters and conflict from a story already familiar to readers.

My Review Comments:

This is a summer beach read for anyone that wants to escape into a classic twist of a fairytale style book. I really enjoyed the concept of two different worlds colliding. This book is told from the dual perspectives of Princess Margrethe and Mermaid Princess Lenia. In this way she is able to place you right into the emotions of both of the main characters and truly see things from their perspectives regarding Prince Christopher. It is magical in the description of life under the sea and life above land. As all fairy tales do, this one has a moral. You will learn the pitfalls of selfishness and the virtue of selflessness. There is also an element of spiritually concerning souls and afterlife. If you grew up reading Hans Christian Anderson's fairy tales as I did, you will love the adult version by this author.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Mailbox Monday

The Silver Bowl by: Luanne Rice
book courtesy: Penguin House

The Beach Trees by Karen White
book courtesy: Penguin Group

Slow Dancing on Price's Pier by Lisa Dale
book courtesy: Berkley Publishing Group

Letters From Home by Kristina McMorris
book courtesy: The Author

Friday, May 27, 2011

Outside Wonderland by Lorna Jane Cook

*** courtesy of the Author


Alice, Griffin, and Dinah Stenen's mother and father died tragically when they were quite young. The loss haunts them into adulthood. Alice is a stage actress in New York who can't commit to a relationship. When she meets Ian she's smitten, but suspects it's Ian's four-year-old son that really captivates her. Griffin and his longtime partner are settled into a contented domesticity, however Theo's insistence that they adopt a child throws Griffin into a panic. When he refuses to cooperate, the crack in their relationship widens. Dinah, the youngest, has a short, passionate love affair that leaves her pregnant and alone when she discovers the father is engaged to someone else. The three look to each other for support during this rough period but they falter. What they don't know is that their parents are watching them from a place outside time and space—worrying, reminiscing, and perhaps guiding their children as each makes their tentative way towards happiness. In luminous prose, Cook tells the story of these tender souls and a love that knows no boundaries.

My Review Comments:

The backdrop of this story takes off from the beginning pages set in Athens, Greece, and wraps around with its language, streets, monuments, beaches and moods and light with the splashes of blue. There are lots of other places it takes you to including New York City, Chicago, Buenos Aires and Washington DC. It was a very interesting concept story to me and it reminded me of the book, “Lovely Bones”. But, it can stand on its own merit. In the book you follow the lives of the Stenen siblings and the terrible loss they all experience after both their parents die. They were raised well and lovingly by their grandmother, who was a guiding force in their lives. As they reach adulthood you will follow them through their own personal struggles and obstacles that they or trying to make it on their own and overcome. Through a twist of fate they are brought back together to depend on each other for strength and guidance and love. All the while their parents are watching over them from a far. I thought it was interesting to hear their parents take and insight into each of their children’s lives when they are in heaven looking down. It makes you think that it is possible and that there is a belief that your loved ones even when they pass away are really always looking over your shoulder resting there like angels. My favorite lines of the book were the ones at the end from their parents so I have to share them with you. Here is their message to their children: It is all new and all the same. A hundred years, a day, ten thousand moons. For them, each day indeed is brand new, full of possibility, the unknown: a wonderland. And because of three who were once ours-and now all of theirs-we cannot help but think so too. We cannot help but watch their every move when they slide into view.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Mailbox Monday

The Kitchen Daughter by Jael McHenry
book courtesy: Simon and Schuster

Dreaming in English by Laura Fitzgerald
book courtesy: Penguin Group

Violets of March by Sarah Jio
book courtesy: Penguin Group

Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
book courtesy: Random House

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How to Be a Hepburn in a Hilton World: The Art of Living with Style, Class, and Grace by Jordan Christy

To honor Audrey Hepburn’s birthday, I have a special treat to share with all of you. This is a charming book that will remind you of her grace and style and elegance. This is a special gem of a book that you will treasure.

***A Gift From The Publisher


In a society driven by celebutante news and myspace profiles, women of class, style and charm are hard to come by. The Audrey and Katharines of the world continue to lose their lustre as thongs, rehab and outrageous behaviour burn up the daily headlines. But, despite appearances, guys still want a girl they can take home to their mother, employers still like to see a tailored suit and peers still respect classy conduct. So is it possible to maintain old fashioned virtues in a modern world without looking like a starchy Amish grandma? Christy shows women how in this guide to glamorous style, professional success and true love...the classy way. Full of fun assignments, notable names and real-life examples, Christy offers a new look at seemingly 'old fashioned' advice. She covers diet, speech, work ethic, friends, relationships, manners, makeup and fashionable yet modest clothing, showing modern ladies how they can be beautiful, intelligent and fun while retaining values and morals.