Sunday, March 31, 2013

Library Books Challenge 2013- March Wrap-Up

It's time for my March Wrap up for the Library Books Reading Challenge 2013, hosted by Dragon's Lair.
Sad to say but the only library book I read (and finished) for march was:

 Wild Things by Clay Carmichael. 

I have a stack of library books in my TBR basket right now, so maybe I will do better next month.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

It's Feature and Follow Friday! This is a meme hosted by Alison Can Read & Parajunkee. What a great way to learn about new books and meet new bloggers!

Today's Question:

Q: Tell us about the most emotional scene you’ve ever read in a book – and how did you react?

A: The most emotional scene that I remember lately was in The Good Dream when the doctor discovers how much the little boy has actually been abused.  I cried and cried. That book really tore at my heart strings. Us Southern Girls love our babies...   Can't wait to read everyone's answers!  

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

TBR Challenge 2013 March Wrap-Up

Is it the end of March already? Yeesh! I can't believe it! I didn't get through as many books as I planned this month. My job is changing, I'm busier with my writing...and on it goes...

My March reads are:

The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club

Title: The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club: A Frankilee Baxter Story Author: Lynda Stephenson Publisher: Outskirts Press Pages:357

I received this book from the author.
From Amazon:
Sassy, Witty, And Painfully Honest, Frankilee Baxter Will Steal Your Heart With Her Nerve And Verve...The year is 1958, and schools in the South are rebelling against the 1954 Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education. In the beginning, Frankilee Baxter, a freshman at Athena College, is not concerned with racial issues. Instead, she is determined to improve her looks, pledge a sorority, find a steady boyfriend and make her name as a journalist at the college newspaper. Her plans are changed, however, when she befriends Eleanor Wilson, the only Negro student on campus. Eleanor is the daughter of a northern minister who is a prominent leader in the NAACP. When life becomes almost more painful and confusing than they can bear, Frankilee and her friends in the dormitory form The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club, and they invite Eleanor to join. The BGPC members stand together to protect Eleanor from acts of discrimination. The story also deals with the blossoming love of Frankilee for Trace Godwin, a popular star basketball player and the pledge trainer of his fraternity. When a boy in Trace's fraternity is seriously injured during a campout, the narrative takes a dark turn of mystery and deceit. More complications arise when Frankilee spends Easter weekend with Trace's wealthy, dysfunctional family. A quirky story of love, discrimination, forgiveness, and redemption, The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club follows Frankilee and her friends during their freshman year.

I admit, it took me a minute to get into this story, but once I got into it, I couldn't put it down.
Frankilee Baxter is a lovable character. A little naive, but lovable. A college freshman in 1950's Texas, Frankilee longs for womanhood, while at the same time,  she is still a little girl in many ways. When small-town Frankilee falls in love with a rich boy from Houston, there are bound to be differences. Add this to the fact that Frankilee befriends, and becomes roommates with, the only black student on campus, and sparks are bound to fly.
A budding journalism student, Frankilee becomes deeply involved when a fraternity student is badly injured during a hazing incident. And who is making harassing phone calls to their dorm each night?
Although the story has some intense moments, it is told with a sense of humor. (I laughed out loud several times.) It realistically portrays college freshman life and the ins and outs of making it in the (semi) real world.
I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the next episode in Frankilee's crazy life.

 Read this story if...
*you love southern fiction.
*you love stories that take place in the 1950's.
*you love stories about racial issues and integration.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews.  What a great way to find out what everyone else is reading!

This week I got...

from the author:
The Southern Chapter of the Big Girl Panties Club
by: Lynda Stephenson

from Amazon:

River Witch
by: Kimberly Brock

Out of the Easy
by: Ruta Septys

from the library:

by Tim Westover

by: Susan Woodring

Man in the Blue Moon
by: Michael Morris

Friday, March 15, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

It's Feature and Follow Friday again! Hosted by Alison Can Read &Parajunkee, this is an awesome way to meet other book bloggers and gain followers for your own blog.
You can sign up on either of the above links to participate. The rules are on both blogs.

Today's Question:

Activity! Hopefully warm weather for most of us is here soon…so tell us about your favorite outdoor reading spot. Or take a picture.

My favorite reading spot is anywhere outdoors. I have one swing on the back porch and another swing out in a shady area of the yard. (We southerners are bog on swings.) If my daughter is playing outside, I love to read in a sunny spot where I can also watch her play. 

I can't wait to read your FAF's!! 

Beth :0)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wild Things

Title: Wild Things Author: Clay Carmichael Publisher: Boyds Mills Press Pages: 240

From Amazon:
Stubborn, self-reliant eleven-year-old Zoe, recently orphaned, is forced to move to the country to live with her strange and bad-tempered uncle. In this moving coming-of-age novel, an ALA Notable Children's Book and Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year, Zoe and her uncle learn about love, trust and the strength of family ties.

Eleven-year--old Zoe is brilliant-and street smart. Having raised herself, (with no help from her drug- addicted, mentally ill mother or her mother's endless series of lowlife boyfriends) she trusts no one. When her mother dies unexpectedly she is placed in the care of her father's half-brother, an ex-surgeon turned artist. For the first time in her life, Zoe has a home and stability. At this same time, she begins to befriend a feral cat living in the woods near her new home. Like Zoe, he learned long ago not to trust anyone and to rely upon himself. The story of how the two of them learn to love and trust is heartwarming and insightful. Young readers will be drawn to Zoe's independence and her vulnerability at the same time. 
I really enjoyed this book. The cast of characters is colorful and unique. I highly recommend this book for young readers.

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a meme hosted by Mis B of Should Be Reading

Anyone can play along! 
  • Grab your current read.
  • Open to a random page.
  • Share two "teaser" sentences from somewhere on that page. DO NOT include spoilers! (Don't use sentences that give too much away and ruin it for everyone else.
  • Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists.

    My Teaser:

    But it wasn't until she crossed the dirt yard and stepped inside the cabin that she felt something was really wrong. Someone had been here, she thought, inside this very cabin. It was the stillness that spooked her. Not the kind of emptiness that comes with actual vacancy, but a rather kind of strained quiet that was trying too hard, a tightness that comes when someone somewhere is trying very hard to be still, to restrain every twitch and wayward breath.

    The Cutting Season 
    by: Attica Locke
    p. 14

Monday, March 11, 2013

It's Monday- What Are You Reading?

It's Monday- What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey. This is a great way to find out about wonderful books you may not have known about! What a great way to add to your TBR list!

This week I am still reading:

Wild Things by Clay Carmichael

a novel for ages 9 & up

From Amazon:
Stubborn, self-reliant eleven-year-old Zoe, recently orphaned, is forced to move to the country to live with her strange and bad-tempered uncle. In this moving coming-of-age novel, an ALA Notable Children's Book and Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book of the Year, Zoe and her uncle learn about love, trust and the strength of family ties.

I am also reading:
The Cutting Season
by: Attica Locke

From Amazon:
Attica Locke’s breathtaking debut novel, Black Water Rising, won 

resounding acclaim from major publications coast-to-coast and from respected crime fiction masters like James Ellroy and George Pelecanos, earning this exciting new author comparisons to Dennis Lehane, Scott Turow, and Walter Mosley. Locke returns with The Cutting Season, a second novel easily as gripping and powerful as her first—a heart-pounding thriller that interweaves two murder mysteries, one on Belle Vie, a historic landmark in the middle of Lousiana’s Sugar Cane country, and one involving a slave gone missing more than one hundred years earlier. Black Water Rising was nominated for a Los Angeles Times Book Prize, an Edgar® Award, and an NAACP Image Award, and was short-listed for the Orange Prize in the U.K. The Cutting Season has been selected by bestselling author Dennis Lehane as the first pick for his new line of books at HarperCollins.

It's Monday- What Are You Reading?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

It's Feature and Follow Friday- a meme hosted by Alison Can Read & Parajunkee.

You can sign up at either site. After that, visit as many FAF posts as possible. Follow their FAF posts. They will follow you back. (It helps to tell them if you are a "new follower" or and "old follower.

This week's question:

What is a book you didn’t like that all your friends raved about or what book did you love that wasn’t popular?

This is easy- that whole Shades of Gray thing- hated it! That had to be the most boring, brainless bunch of silliness I've ever read- or attempted to read- in my life. I couldn't finish it. My self respect wouldn't allow it.   That being said....can't wait to read the other FAFs!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society

Title:Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society Author: Amy Hall Hearth Publisher: Atria Pages: 234

I borrowed this book from my local public library.

From Amazon:
Eighty-year-old Dora, the narrator of a story that began a half century earlier, is bonding with an unlikely set of friends, including Jackie Hart, a restless middle-aged wife and mother from Boston, who gets into all sorts of trouble when her family moves to a small, sleepy town in Collier County, Florida, circa 1962.
With humor and insight the novel chronicles the awkward North-South cultural divide as Jackie, this hapless but charming “Yankee,” looks for some excitement in her life by accepting an opportunity to host a local radio show where she creates a mysterious, late-night persona, “Miss Dreamsville,” and by launching a reading group—the Collier County Women’s Literary Society—thus sending the conservative and racially segregated town into uproar. The only townspeople who venture to join are regarded as outsiders at best—a young gay man, a divorced woman, a poet, and a young black woman who dreams of going to college.

This brilliant fiction debut by Amy Hill Hearth, a New York Times bestselling author, brings to life unforgettable characters who found the one thing that eluded them as individuals:a place in the world. Inspired by a real person, Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women’s Literary Society will touch the heart of anyone and everyone who has ever felt like an outsider longing to fit in.

Dora Witherspoon won me over on the first page. An intelligent and caring divorcee', she whiles away her days in a small town post office.  When glamorous Jackie, newly arrived from Boston, starts a reading group, Dora can't wait to attend. She and the other members of the group are largely outcasts in this small southern town. Slowly they develop a friendship that bonds them together when tragedy strikes. 
I enjoyed this book. It realistically portrays life in a small southern town, as well as how northerners are perceived in the south. A fish out of water, Jackie has no idea how her northern ways and words are interpreted by others in Collier County. The price she pays for this is a heavy price to pay, but is enlightening for all in the end. 
Hearth's writing style is easy and enjoyable. This book isn't weighted down by endless detail. She gets to the point and tells her story in an easy-going style. I look forward to reading more of her work.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Book Beginnings

This is a cool Friday Meme I've just discovered at Rose City Reader.

Share the fist sentence (or so) of the book you are reading along with your initial thoughts about the sentence, impressions of the book, or anything else the opener inspires. Please remember to include the title of the book and the author's name.

My Book Beginning:

Humans were diggers and buriers, the cat thought, like dogs.
The day the girl came, the men were digging again in the woods below the house.

These are the first two sentences of Wild Things by Clay Carmichael. I plan to start the book tonight and all I can say is, I'm already intrigued...

Can't wait to read everyone else's Book Beginnings!

Beth :)

Feature and Follow Friday

Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Welcome to Feature and Follow Friday!

This meme is hosted byParajunkee & Alison Can Read.
You can sign up at either site. After that, visit as many FAF posts as possible. Follow their FAF posts. They will follow you back. (It helps to tell them if you are a "new follower" or and "old follower".)

Today's Question:

Confess your blogger sins! Is there anything as a newbie blogger that you’ve done, that as you gained more experience you were like — oops?

My biggest mistake was not participating in memes and getting my name "out there".  I didn't promote myself or my blog as much as I should have. I didn't publish my reviews on other sites as much as I should have. I am still learning. It's an ongoing process. You live, you learn....