Category Archives: Books
Sharing this great post I just read!
Came across this and wanted to share this great column about Jane :0)
He’s Just Not That Into You – Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo
With those six words I knew I was in for a different kind of advice book experience. This book directed at women stresses something that really is common sense, when a guy isn’t interested in you, you aren’t going to be able to magically change that and turn his feelings on. Amazing this book actually tells us something women shouldn’t be surprised to hear. The guy not calling, not having time for you; the guy who is leaving her as soon as he can but loves you and needs you, probably isn’t that into you. We all make mistakes, with dating and just otherwise navigating this thing called existence. Going after the wrong person, is I guess one of those things that can happen to smart people. This book poses questions from women, often so ridiculous and sad, yet not that unheard of and then presents the arguments women sometimes don’t want to hear or acknowledge. Behrendt is sure to address that, although not desired by this one guys we are just infatuated with, there will be someone worthy and someone who wants us just as much as we want them. Little homework exercises are presented at the end of the chapters, as well as a counterpoint to the argument Behrendt makes, but in the end it comes back to the sense it actually all makes that he’s not into you, once you really take some time to think about it. This isn’t a typical advice or self-help book, because it does have a decidedly comedic and snarky feel, that when a women is feeling down and out from dating torment, can actually provide a bit of fresh air and a laugh when needed most. Absurd as it is, the common sense approach really is uncommon sometimes.
Romance Novel Addiction
I wasn’t really a reader of the traditional “romance” novel until about two years ago. I picked up a novel that sounded cute, discovered it was romance, and was kinda hooked on the genre. I know that it does set up false expectation of how love and romance function in the real world. In real life it is a mix of timing, chemistry, and yes, hard work that make relationships and love last. The meet-cute is not likely to happen in real life. No adoring looks across a crowded room. No bonding over some silly situation. No instant heat and chemistry. No perfect Prince Charming to sweep a damsel off her feet. But hell if it isn’t a damn hoot to read. For the time while I am reading that story I get to have a little fun, keep a little of the faith, and just let go for a bit into a world of romantic possibilities. Sometimes it’s nice to step away from the world at hand and just have something a little happy and a little romantic to lose myself in, when the real world isn’t so romantic. I mix it up with more serious reading, but I find a good romantic story line hard to put down. I oooh and ahhh, laugh, and find myself taking what I like to call the “Reading Vacation,” and I am not ashamed in needing to take one every once in a while.
The White Queen – Phillipa Gregory
Having never read historical fiction before, and not being a fan of this particular period of history, I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy this novel. Elizabeth Woodville, maternal grandmother to Henry VIII, is the main focus of this novel about the War of the Roses. She is a widow with two young sons who was looking to cast her lot higher, and ends up married to King Edward IV, having ten children with him, and being a part of some major events in English history. I wasn’t to familiar with her story, so I didn’t really have much to critique when it came to historical accuracy. I will say this is an interesting story, full of intrigue, manipulation, and made this historical period a bit more interesting for me to digest. I had seen a movie adaptation of The Other Boleyn Girl, another of this author’s novels, and did expect there to be that same element of grandiose drama, which this novel definitely contains. Remember with historical fiction to take things with a grain of salt, besides any biographical facts about the historical figures, because this isn’t written as a biography, but as a novel. I did have fun reading it, and it did encourage me to seek out a little bit of information about this time period and the people in the novel, which isn’t a bad accomplishment for a story about history and those who shaped it.
Into the Darkest Corner – Elizabeth Haynes
In this fast-paced psychological thriller Catherine “Cathy” Bailey is a single girl, enjoying her life and time with her friends while she looks for her Prince Charming. On Halloween she meets the gorgeous, and seeming perfect Lee Brightman. However, it quickly turns into a tale of obsessive love and an abusive relationship. Catherine begins to feel there is something not right with the mysterious Lee. He has a job that keeps him away and that he can’t talk about, showing up at her home one night injured. Her friends don’t see it, and think she is crazy for not being grateful for the great “catch” she has in Lee . . . flash forward four years and Cathrine, now “Cathy” is battered, broken, and ill. Suffering from OCD and PTSD, she is not the same carefree single girl looking for love she once was. Checking her locks and windows compulsively, living in almost utter seclusion except for going to work, her life is not her own. Cathy is struggling to keep her sanity as she discovers Lee is set to be released soon, and she fears he is looking for her.
This was an intense read, that kept me, pardon the phrase, on the edge of my seat. The story shifts chapter to chapter between two timelines. In one there is Catherine’s relationship with Lee that starts with a simple Halloween outing and turns shockingly sinister. The second is the paranoid, broken Cathy as she struggles for normalcy. Somehow the two timelines blend well, and didn’t jar my concentration as much as I thought they would. Both follow a journey that is shocking, gripping, and suspenseful. I could truly sense the dread and shift in Catherine as she endured a violent and painful relationship with Lee, becoming who she was in the second timeline. In the end it was how she would survive that was the experience I found most intriguing, somehow finding her way back to the old Catherine to fight for her sanity and her very life. I will say I was a bit shocked by the ending, but satisfied nonetheless with the journey this thriller, and suspense novel took me on.
Second Time Around
Since I have been using a Nook I have found it very easy to go back to reread a book. I find that there are still things to discover the second time around. Although the pages haven’t changed, the characters might be the same, I still find something new in those pages and characters to enjoy. Stepping away and coming back to the story again after some time, I still find myself getting pulled into the story and enjoying the journey the characters take. I also find I like revisiting a book when I am reading current series and during the time between publication it helps freshen up my memory and get me ready to start reading when the next book does arrive. It is revisiting an old friend, an old memory of sorts, and there are some people who might feel it’s boring to reread something, but I don’t think I have that problem. Go in with a fresh eye, and it might be surprising what is there the second time around.
On the Island – Tracey Garvis Graves
My good friend and fellow blogger Steph at KitchenKM isn’t a huge fan of reading fiction, so when she recommended the book On the Island I was immediately intrigued knowing her recommendation wouldn’t have come easily. The premise does sound a tad salacious, as if The Blue Lagoon was mixed with The Mary Kay Letourneau Story. 30 year old teacher Anna Emerson is going for the summer to tutor TJ Callahan in the Maldives, where his family is vacationing. TJ is 16 years old and recently in remission from Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The two travel together to the island, and what should be an uneventful trip turns into and unplanned struggle for survival when the pilot has a heart attack the two are stranded and forced to survive on a remote island. This story of survival and what appears to be a taboo romance is handled with heart and grace. Anna is not a cougar looking for her prey, but a woman who was looking for a change in her life and ends up with more than she bargained for when she must rely on the very student she came to tutor. TJ is a teenage boy who has had to grow up fast because of his cancer, and then again when thrown into this survival situation he must face adulthood and his growing feelings for his teacher. These two people only have each other, and bond while facing dangers in their struggle to live and survive. The romance is handled over the course of time, and I think that is what softens any taboo or salaciousness of the age difference and student/teacher rolls. The relationship is not fully realized or consummated until TJ is nearly 19. This romance isn’t a quick island romp, but built out of adversity and life and death struggles that shape the bond and eventual love for each other that develops between Anna and TJ. This is a fast paced read that kept me turning pages and explores the deepening of a relationship over the course of time between characters that felt honest to me. I am glad to say my initial expectations were wrong, and I enjoyed this wonderful romance.