Wednesday, November 10, 2010

What the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

What the Night KnowsWhat the Night Knows by Dean Koontz

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I haven't read Koontz's books in quite a while so this was a re-introduction for me.

The book as a quick read, and quite interesting. The story moves along quickly and the details are interesting. I really liked the glimpse into the making of the antagonist (Blackwood/Ruin) as that isn't always explored in thriller type novels. I also enjoyed the spiritual aspects of the story and the unexpected details that Koontz injects throughout the novel.

All in all, I recoomend this novel for Koontz's fans and those who love thriller novels. I would caution those who have issues with sex and violence being presented together that you may want to pass this book by.

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What the Night Knows will be available for sale December 28, 2010.

I received this book for free as part of the First Reads program on Goodreads.  The opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, September 20, 2010

GoD and DoG by Wendy Francisco

GoD and DoGGoD and DoG by Wendy Francisco

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The unconditional love of God and dogs are brought together in this uplifitng little book. This is a wonderful little book for anyone who loves dogs, and would make a great gift.

I do reccommend watching the video and listening to the song as it adds a little more depth to the narrative. The video can be found on Wendy's site

*I received this book for free as part of the First Reads program at

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Thankful Thursday

, originally uploaded by Racergirl1313.

Today, I am thankful that we have a week's vacation in the Smokies booked. I plan to spend as much time as I can outside destressing from the pressures of work.

I can't wait to wake up in the morning, go outside on the porch and see this. It is so restorative.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July

2009 Clawson Fireworks, originally uploaded by Racergirl1313.

Happy 4th of July everyone! Hope everyone is having a happy and SAFE holiday. Leave the fireworks to the professionals!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet

Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet Claude & Camille: A Novel of Monet by Stephanie Cowell

My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I have always enjoyed the work of Claude Monet so I was interested to read this novel. I loved the portrait Cowell painted of a young artist struggling to make a name for himself in Paris. The story of Monet and his fellow Impressionists, many of whom you will recognize, is facinating. The relationship between Camille and Claude is compelling and tumultuous as they make a life together.

Cowell uses facts and weaves a wonderful story of an artist and his muse. I recommend this novel if you are interested in Monet, Paris in the late 18th century, the life of an artist or historical novels. All in all it was an enjoyable read.

I received this ARC via Random House's Read It Forward program.

View all my reviews >>

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Babushka's Beauty Secrets: Old World Tips for a Glamorous New You

Babushka's Beauty Secrets: Old World Tips for a Glamorous New You Babushka's Beauty Secrets: Old World Tips for a Glamorous New You by Raya Ruder

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This is a great book for the DIY lady in need of some pampering. Whether you want to create your own beauty products to stay away from the chemicals in mass produced products or to save money I think you will be satisfied with this book.

There are recipes for face masks, spot treatments, moisturizers, hair masks and many more. The recipes use easy to obtain ingredients that you may already have in your pantry or fridge. She also gives tips and hints throughout the book to help you look and feel your best.

This is a book I'd recommend to anyone who wants to avoid mass produced products or wants to save money on beauty treatments. This is a book I will share with my friends and family so that we can all look our best!

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Kings of the Earth: A Novel by Jon Clinch

Kings of the Earth: A Novel Kings of the Earth: A Novel by Jon Clinch

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was lucky enough to find the ARC for this novel at the Library used book sale. I threw it into my $1 bag and I am glad I did. I haven't read Finn so I cannot compare Kings of the Earth to it. I can tell you I enjoyed this book and looked forward to reading it until I finished it. I enjoyed the method in which Clinch told the story, moving from character to character and back and forth on the timeline. In the beginning I lost track of who was who, but soon I "knew" each character and could follow the story Clinch was weaving. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and recommend it for everyone.

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Kings of the Earth will be released in hardcover July 6th, 2010 by Random House

Friday, April 23, 2010

Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok - A Small Review

Girl in Translation Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I absolutely loved this novel! This is one of those books that you just won't want to put down. It is a quick but enjoyable read. Kwok's writing brings both the characters and their environments to life. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting an emotional, well written novel.

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Sunday, January 31, 2010

WHO Bread with Raisins

WHO Bread with Raisins, originally uploaded by Racergirl1313.

I LOVE this bread! If you haven't tried it you need to.  It has honey, rolled oats, whole wheat flour, cinnamon and raisins (well mine does).  I currently have some in the bread machine and am wishing I made it yesterday so that I could have had it for breakfast today.  There is nothing like homemade bread.  Baking bread was what created my love of baking.  The bread machine makes it easier, but it certainly doesn't do all the work for you.  You still need quite a bit of knowledge about bread baking in order to be able to adjust the moisture level during the first bit of kneeding so that the doughball is just right.

I do have a word of caution for the cinnamon lovers out there.  Don't let your love of cinnamon make you add too much more cinnamon to the recipe.  It is OK to add a bit more, but too much more and the bread won't rise.  Cinnamon inhibits yeast so the bread won't rise as much as it needs to and will be quite dense. Good, but dense.  I learned this the hard way so don't make the same mistake as me and go cinnamon crazy! 

If anyone wonders, this is the bread machine I have, the Oster ExpressBake Breadmaker.  I have had it for almost 10 years and it still works great.  It is also great for kneeding and proofing dough that you want to bake in your regular oven.  My mother has a different brand, but uses her breadmaker to kneed and proof the dough for the German Stollen she makes every year and Christmas.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

My Review of "The Recipe Club"

The Recipe Club The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I really wanted to love this book. The concept of telling the story via letters and recipes was interesting to me and I couldn’t wait to read it. Unfortunately, the story shifts from letters to a traditional narrative form toward the end of the book. I found it regrettable that the authors couldn’t find a way to fully develop the story via letter method they had chosen. I was also disappointed that at the end of the story everything seems to quickly fall into place and everyone lives “happily ever after” so quickly. Truth be told, the story would have been more compelling if it had ended after the narrative section where the big secret is revealed and reconciliation begins. All in all this is a quick read that is enjoyable but it isn’t anything I’d recommend to someone looking for a book that will create a lasting impression.

View all my reviews >>

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Thought for the Day

IMG_1194, originally uploaded by Racergirl1313.

If you're always looking toward tomorrow you'll never see the beauty in today.

Saturday, January 9, 2010


Finally finished!, originally uploaded by Racergirl1313.

I just had to share this. Today my quilt is featured on the Flickr Friends Roundup on One Pretty Thing! I am so excited. I just love that site and if you are into crafting of any type (even if it is only with your kids) you will love it too.

Here's the link to One Pretty Thing and here's the link to the 1/09/10 Flickr Friends Roundup.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Books!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I hope you had a relaxing and wonderful time with friends and family.    I'll post some Christmas photos soon to my Flickr and link to them here, but for now I wanted to tell you about 2 new books I received that are on my 'to-be-read' list.

The first is No Matter What! 9 Steps to Living the Life You Love by Lisa Nichols.  I received this book from WEtv via a Twitter contest.  It is signed by Lisa herself, which is very cool! I am looking forward to reading this book.  After I found out I won I went to her website and it looks like an interesting book.  I also have to mention that Lisa looks like she'd be a fun to meet, full of life, energy and joy.

I also won another book from Goodreads' First Reads program.  The Recipe Club: A Tale of Food and Friendship by Nancy Garfinkel and Andrea Israel.  This book has letters and emails between friends along with real recipes as the vehicle to tell the story.  I am going to start this tonight.

I'll let you know my reviews when  finish the books.  Nothing like new books to make getting back to the daily grind more enjoyable!