Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Lowcountry Spirit

Title: Lowcountry Spirit Author: Ann Hite : Publisher: Pocket Star Pages: 99

From Amazon:
A haunting historical eNovella about three slave girls with mystical powers living on an eerie island off the coast of Georgia, whose lives intertwine in their quest for freedom.
Meet Emmaline, Celestia, and Liza, three slave girls on a haunted barrier island in Georgia lowcountry.

Emmaline is a mouthy, stubborn young woman who has magic in her blood and conjures the strongest spells with hardly any effort. Celestia was ten when her mother was sold and taken from the island. She’s never stopped longing for her, even when the talking chain—a verbal underground railroad—sends word that her mother has been taken to a plantation in North Carolina. By the time she turns sixteen, she can no longer bring her mother’s face to mind, but she can still hear her urging Celestia to be thankful and keep safe. Liza was a birthday gift to the plantation’s mistress. Her mama was killed for throwing a spell on her master. Before she died she gave Liza her book of conjures, so she could protect herself. And when Liza hatches a plan for all three of them to escape, the three girls’ lives collide. What they don’t realize is that their chances of successfully escaping are slim, and the possibility that all three will die before they leave the island is more likely...

I enjoyed this book, although I kept getting the three main characters all mixed up. They all seemed so much alike. However, this was still a great story. I still am not sure what a storycatcher is or is supposed to be. I know it is someone who catches and untangles other's stories but...I'm just not sure what that entails, exactly... I still look forward to Hite's upcoming The Storycatcher. I loved Ghost on Black Mountain. Hite is a great story teller. I love her simple style. And, hey, If I kept mixing up the characters but still enjoyed the story, that tells you something...

Read this story if...
*you love southern fiction
*you love historical fiction
*you love stories that take place in Georgia
*you love stories that take place in the antebellum south

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A to Z Bookish Survey

I was doing some Sunday morning blog cruising- something I've had too little time for lately- when I came upon this survey on Perpetual Page Turner. I love reading about what other avid readers love (and hate). I thought it looked like fun so I jumped right in...

Author you’ve read the most books from:

I knew the answer to this but I double checked by checking Goodreads. I was right- Lee Smith. Is there a better storyteller anywhere? No, I don't think so.

Best Sequel Ever:

Usually sequels are a big let down, but Getting to Happy  was really good. (It was the sequel to Waiting to Exhale, just in case you may have been vacationing on another planet and, by the way, rumors of a movie are circulating). I also have loved every book in Karen White's Tradd Street series.

Currently Reading:

The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls by Anton DiSclafani and Lowcountry Spirit by Ann Hite

Drink of Choice While Reading:

I'm a southerner, so iced tea, I suppose...

E-reader or Physical Book?

definitely a physical book
Nothing beats the feel of holding a book in your hands, the smell of a book.... I do own a Kindle, but "real" books are the best.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Well, considering the fact that I was a kid with kid preferences...I guess it would be a kid character from a kid book LOL, none of which are coming to mind right now. However, as an adult, Jack Trenholm from the Tradd Street series seems mighty fine.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

Out of the Easy by Ruta Septys. Not much of a YA fan, but this one was awesome.

Hidden Gem Book:

Miss Dreamsville and the Collier County Women's Literary Society and Whistling Past the Graveyard

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

Blogging has given me a way to celebrate books and to meet other avid readers as well as some awesome authors

Just Finished:

Whistling Past the Graveyard by Susan Crandall and Jeannette Walls' Silver Star.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

Anything with a vampire in it (besides Interview with the Vampire)  
I love the supernatural but it has to have at least a tad of credibility. I've tried to get in on the vampire craze, but I kept finding myself making that phhht noise and rolling my eyes. Once the phhhting and eye rolling starts, it's ovah, dahlings.

Longest Book You’ve Read:

Gone with the Wind  & Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All, both of which I read eons ago

Major book hangover because of:

Anything written by Lee Smith, particularly Oral History

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Well, there is one beneath the staircase, one that takes up nearly an entire wall in my bedroom, one I gave my daughter for her own room (so technically, that isn't mine anymore)...and of course the stacks and piles in baskets and on end tables throughout this entire house...

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

Oral History  by Lee Smith
This is my favorite book ever. I will read it again...and again...

Preferred Place To Read:

on the front porch or on the swing in my yard- anywhere outdoors

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

From Beth Hoffman's Looking for Me: Never tie your happiness to the tail of someone else's kite.

Reading Regret:

(1) that I can't afford to buy every book on my Amazon Wishlist
(2) that there aren't more great southern writers out there because great southern fiction is rare these days

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

I need to read the very last of the Tradd Street series
I couldn't finish the Mad Fat Girl series. The first was hilarious. The second fell flat.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

Oral History by Lee Smith
Their Eyes Were Watching God by: Zora Neale Hurston
Devil's Dream & Fair and Tender Ladies by: Lee Smith
Saving CeCe Hunnicutt by: Beth Hoffman
(Woops- that's 5 isn't it?)

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

southern fiction, Appalachian fiction

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

The Songcatcher by: Ann Hite

Worst Bookish Habit:

a three-way tie:
Overdue library books
staying up too late to read and feeling yucky the next day
spending too much on books

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

Out of the Easy by: Ruta Septys

Your latest book purchase:

Lowcountry Spirit by: Ann Hite

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Silver Star by: Jeanette Walls

Sunday, August 11, 2013

TBR Challenge 2013 July Wrap UP

Here is my Wrap up for July 2013.
What?! It's only, like, 11 days late!! 

The Midwife of Hope River

Swim to Me


You can still join the challenge! It is hosted byEvie at Bookish. Check it out!
Beth :o)

Library Books Challenge July Update

OK, so I am only about 10 days late with this... starting a new job will do that to a person....

The library books I read for July are:

Silver Star by Jeannette Walls

Swim to Me by Betsy Carter

The Midwife of Hope River by: Patricia Harman

These were all great reads and I highly recommend them. If they appeal to you, please check out my reviews and, by all means, leave comments!!! I love comments!!

Whistling Past the Graveyard

Title: Whistling Past the Graveyard Author: Susan Crandall Publisher: Gallery Books Pages: 321

I read this book on my Kindle.

From Amzon:
In the summer of 1963, nine-year-old spitfire Starla Claudelle runs away from her strict grandmother’s Mississippi home. Starla hasn’t seen her momma since she was three—that’s when Lulu left for Nashville to become a famous singer. Starla’s daddy works on an oil rig in the Gulf, so Mamie, with her tsk-tsk sounds and her bitter refrain of “Lord, give me strength,” is the nearest thing to family Starla has. After being put on restriction yet again for her sassy mouth, Starla is caught sneaking out for the Fourth of July parade. She fears Mamie will make good on her threat to send Starla to reform school, so Starla walks to the outskirts of town, and just keeps walking. . . . If she can get to Nashville and find her momma, then all that she promised will come true: Lulu will be a star. Daddy will come to live in Nashville, too. And her family will be whole and perfect. Walking a lonely country road, Starla accepts a ride from Eula, a black woman traveling alone with a white baby. The trio embarks on a road trip that will change Starla’s life forever. She sees for the first time life as it really is—as she reaches for a dream of how it could one day be.

I enjoyed this book. Taking place (mainly) in Cayuga, Mississippi in 1963, this novel follows Starla Claudelle as she runs away from home in a split second decision that will change the direction of her life, as well as the lives of many others.
Abandoned by her mother, Starla lives with her Mamie- her father's mother- while he works at an off shore oil rig. Mamie plainly hates Starla as well as her absent mother and spends most of her time making Starla miserable. When Mamie's cruelties, as well as those of her small town, finally push her over the edge, she runs away, hoping to find her mother in Nashville. On the way, she meets Eula, a black woman traveling in a beat up truck with a white baby. Eula takes Starla home with her. What happens next (I won't include spoilers) sends the three of them on an adventure that will force them to face the hard, cold realities of life and will teach them the true meaning of love and family.
My heart went out to Starla. A young girl who was clearly unloved and unwanted by those around her. Her mother wasn't the only one who had abandoned her. Those around her had clearly abandoned her as well. Although it had some harrowing moments, this story warmed my heart. Crandall gets deep inside the minds of her characters and the motives behind their actions. I look forward to reading more of her books.

Read this book if...
*you enjoy southern fiction
*you enjoy books about racial issues 
*you enjoy stories that take place in the 1960's
*you enjoy stories that take place "on the road"