Thursday, July 31, 2008

New web address for The Printed Page... I've moved to wordpress

** my f2f book club group our information will migrate in '09. continue to use this site until then **

The Printed Page here are Blogger is relocating to wordpress. Please update your readers, blogrolls and links to reflect the change in site host.

Stop by and check out the new home of The Printed Page.

There are some features at wordpress that attracted me and I decided a change was needed even though I've spent hours updating this site. I'll think of this site as my 2nd home and if for some reason things don't work out at my new primary home I can always move back. At last these homes are recession proof. It's always nice to have someplace to come home to.

There will be no changes at Up For Grabs

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Novel Action ... changing the way book lovers share books

Literally I just came across this site and thought I'd post for all you booklovers who swap, mooch and trade to check out.

Novel Action

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music by Steve Lopez

The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music
Steve Lopez
Putnam Adult, 2008
288 pages

From Amazon: Starred Review. Scurrying back to his office one day, Lopez, a columnist for the L.A. Times, is stopped short by the ethereal strains of a violin. Searching for the sound, he spots a homeless man coaxing those beautiful sounds from a battered two-string violin. When the man finishes, Lopez compliments him briefly and rushes off to write about his newfound subject, Nathaniel Ayers, the homeless violinist. Over the next few days, Lopez discovers that Nathaniel was once a promising classical bass student at Juilliard, but that various pressures—including being one of a few African-American students and mounting schizophrenia—caused him to drop out. Enlisting the help of doctors, mental health professionals and professional musicians, Lopez attempts to help Nathaniel move off Skid Row, regain his dignity, develop his musical talent and free himself of the demons induced by the schizophrenia (at one point, Lopez arranges to have Ayers take cello lessons with a cellist from the L.A. Symphony). Throughout, Lopez endures disappointments and setbacks with Nathaniel's case, questions his own motives for helping his friend and acknowledges that Nathaniel has taught him about courage and humanity. With self-effacing humor, fast-paced yet elegant prose and unsparing honesty, Lopez tells an inspiring story of heartbreak and hope.


This is one book that I couldn't wait to get posted to my blog. It touched me on so many levels and in so many ways. I won't even attempt to put into words how I feel about this book because honestly I don't have the skills to get my thoughts and feelings across like I'd like to. It made me laugh, cry, believe, have faith and hope. It made me look at myself and those around me. It's one of those stories that I want to shout from the rooftops about. Talk about to everyone I come in contact with. I'm not a wordsmith like Mr. Lopez. I don't have the god-given musical ability of Mr. Ayers. But I do have my blog and I simply want to share it. It's a rare gem in a crowded field. Please read it, share it and pay it forward in any way that you feel is fitting.

Book Giveaway...Before I Wake: A Novel by Robert J. Wiersema

New book giveaway at Up For Grabs. Check here for details

Before I Wake: A Novel by Robert J. Wiersema

From Amazon: In this impressive debut, Wiersema crafts an intelligent, contemplative supernatural thriller replete with well-rounded characters, artless dialogue and a plot that, while imbued with the unexplained, develops organically, revealing its secrets at just the right pace. In the novel's opening pages, three-year-old Sherry Barrett, an only child, is rendered comatose in a hit and run accident. What follows could have been a typical thriller full of cartoonish villains and escalating peril; it also could have been a treacly fairy tale about God's miraculous healing power. Happily, Wiersema steers clear of these well-traveled roads and, by way of multiple first-person narratives, tells an engrossing story of flawed but genuinely good people who must bear up under the stress of loss, betrayal, unwarranted miracles and unconventional spiritual warfare. Particularly well-imagined is the purgatory of sorts that Henry, the truck driver, must endure after he fails to come forward after the accident. Reminiscent of Wim Wenders's film Wings of Desire, Henry's nature, longings and environs paint a poignant picture of souls in need of redemption. While some readers may find one of the novel's final revelations less original than the rest of the story, Wiersema gets nearly everything else right, and the result is an engaging, emotionally resonant read.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mailbox Monday

So did you mooch a book this week? Maybe you swapped one or two? The ARCs caused a flood in your mailbox and the mail carrier cruses your name! If so let us know what books you got last week.
My mailbox last week gave me Swimming With Strangers by Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum. It's a collection of short stories. I'm not really a short story kind of reader but I'll give this one a fair shake.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Reading Journal ... the latest from the library

The First Patient
Michael Palmer
St. Martin's Press, 2008
384 pages
Mystery, thriller
My impression: This is the first book by Mr. Palmer that I've read in years. After enjoying this one so much I'm wondering why I haven't kept up with his work. I definitely will read more of his back list. There was more than enough medical mystery, emerging technology and thriller to keep me turning the pages long after I should have been asleep. The sign of a good book for me is the length of time it takes me to read it ~ 2 days with limited reading time. Must have been a page turner.

The Map Thief
Heather Terrell
Ballantine Books, 2008
272 pages
Mystery, historical fiction
Book provided by Authors on the Web
My impression: This is a mystery within a mystery built around astonishing historical detail. Mystery one is the theft of the map itself and returning it to it's rightful owner. The second mystery revolves around which country lays claim to having completed the first world map ~ China or Portugal. This book is rich in historical detail and interesting facts woven around a real life mystery. I found the story of Zhi and his life fascinating and the most intriguing. The Portugal story line was less developed but played an integral part in history. The mystery of finding and returning the map didn't keep me on the edge of my seat as I felt it was pretty low key and didn't carry any real suspense. This is Ms. Terrell's 2nd book staring Mara Coyne. I intend to go back and read The Chrysalis as I did enjoy this one and would like to know more about the lead character's background. This was another one that only took me 2 days to get through with limited reading time

Friday, July 25, 2008

Friday Finds! ... 7/25/08

Friday Finds! is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading

I actually came across two of my Friday Finds! this very morning at 5 Minutes for Books

Winter Haven by Atol Dickson

My Heart Remembers by Kim Vogel Sawyer

The Wishing Year: A House, a Man, My Soul A Memoir of Fulfilled Desire by Noelle Oxenhandler

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tuesday Thingers ... Recommendations

It's Tuesday which means Tuesday Thingers hosted by The Boston Bibliophile. Today's topic: Recommendations. Do you use LT's recommendations feature? Have you found any good books by using it? Do you use the anti-recommendations, or the "special sauce" recommendations? How do you find out about books you want to read?

When I first signed up at Librarything I looked at the recommendations but didn't really find anything useful as it was mostly books I'd already read or had in a TBR pile. I was more curious than anything else. I also spent a lot of time on the Connections page looking at the books others were entering into their libraries to see if anything caught my interest. I've found that I don't use LT for recommendations. I find books that interest me through the blogs of fellow book bloggers, dedicated book websites, newsletters, magazines, newspapers, and my local library.

** I'm using new "Blogger in Draft" features so things go a bit haywire I apologize.

Reading Journal ... the latest from the library

What Angels Fear: A Sebastian St. Cyr Mystery
C.S Harris
Signet, 2006
432 pages
Historical fiction, mystery
1st in a series
My impression: A solid historical murder mystery set in England in early 1800s. Not a cozy by any means ~ there are vicious murders and rape. I enjoyed this book start to finish and plan to read the others in this series.

Nora Roberts
Putnam Adult, 2008
Womens fiction
464 pages
My impression: First of all I'm a big Nora Roberts fan ~ her mainstream fiction and the "In Death" series written as J.D. Robb. That said this one didn't grab me like most of her others have. Her writing style from the "In Death" series is starting to bleed over into her womens fiction work and I'm not sure that it suits these type of story lines. I'm glad I read it but I'm not raving about it. I'm also wondering if she's starting to write too much in a year and writing to meet deadlines.

Mailbox Monday

Once again Monday is upon us and it's time to check those mailboxes. What did the mail carrier bring you last week? Maybe an ARC you forgot you requested? That giveaway book you won a month or so ago? Something you've been craving from Amazon?

My Mailbox Monday brought me two books this week.

1 ~ The Map Thief by Heather Terrell
2 ~ Soul by Tobsha Learner

Sorry I can't include book covers and links but Amazon is refusing to cooperate.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Reading Journal ... catching my breath ... July Blowout Challenge update #7

It's been rather busy here between The Printed Page and Up For Grabs. A good kind of busy but busy so I thought I'd take this time to catch up and see how much I've accomplished over the last 6 weeks or so.

1 ~ Up For Grabs (UFG) is starting to take off. A small, loyal following of supporters are helping to spread to word and I truly appreciate them. UFG is holding it's first book giveaway in some shameless site promotion. The book is The Heretic's Daughter. There's also a bonus of an Amazon gift card if you enter, win and blog about either the book giveaway or UFG itself.

2 ~ I also started a new book event called Mailbox Monday (this link takes you to post from Monday 7/14). I know there are plenty of book events we participate in throughout the week but Monday was looking lonely and because Mondays seem to be the most dreaded day of the week I wanted to bring some fun to the start of our week.

There's nothing better than venturing out to your mailbox and finding books! We all love books especially those we've won through a giveaway or requested as an ARC. I won't have books to list every Monday but that doesn't mean that one of you hasn't gotten some little gem in the last week.

So if you've gotten some book love from the postal service, UPS, Fed Ex, Amazon or wherever in the last week let everyone know. You can post a comment with either a link to your blog and just leave the book titles.

Just today, Saturday, I got some book love in the mail but you won't find out what it is unless you check Mailbox Monday next week.

3 ~ July Book Blowout Challenge status. First off it's hosted by Mrs S over at Blue Archipelago. My personal goal was to read 13 books for the month of July. We're halfway through the month and I've read 8-1/2 books for a total of 2,861 pages and I'll be starting book #9 tonight. I'm doing much better than I anticipated given everything I have going on.

4 ~ I just realized I never posted June's stats after looking at my July update. For the month of June I read 10 books, no DNFs and 4,387 pages. See why I had to challenge myself to 13 books for July. My average is 10-12 a month so I had to set July's goal high.

I don't think there's much else books going on in my world so I'll sign off for today get back to reading.

Take care,

Friday, July 18, 2008

We have a winner for Apples & Oranges by Marie Brenner

And the winner is... Debbie!

To claim your book please contact me using the email contact on the right sidebar of my blog.

Thank you to everyone who entered. I will be hosting another giveaway over at Up For Grabs. The book is The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent. Details can be found here

Random Sequence Generator
Here is your sequence:

Timestamp: 2008-07-18 17:44:47 UTC

Friday Finds! ... 7/18/08

Friday Finds! is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. It's a place to list all the great books new to you you've come across during the last week.

My Friday Finds! this week:

The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society by Beth Pattillo

Beat the Reaper by Josh Bazell

Soul by Tobsha Learner. This is actually downloaded on my Kindle waiting to be read.

The Street of a Thousand Blossoms by Gail Tsukiyama

Books 1 & 2 I found through Mailbox Monday. The Sweetgum Knit Lit Society is courtesy of Alessandra and Beat the Reaper is courtesy of Kathleen.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Reading Journal ... the latest from the library

The Innocent
Posie Graeme-Evans
432 pages
Historical fiction
1st in a trilogy
My impression: started slowly almost to the point of boring but picked up speed towards the end. I'll most likely read the second book.

The Warriors, Book 1: Into The Wild
Erin Hunter
288 pages
Young adult, fantasy
1st in The Warriors series
My impression: I don't read much, if any, young adult or fantasy outside of Harry Potter. I've wanted to read this series for a while now as my manor has 7 kittypets and 1 clan member. Loved it and plan to read everything in all three Warrior series, four if you include the Manga books.

Reading Journal ... blogging and books

Over the past several months something had been bothering me regarding my reading and I wasn't sure exactly what it might. Just a niggling feeling that something was off. Maybe it was my reading selections ~ were they all running along the same genre, was there not enough variety? Maybe it was the pressure to read X number of books in a year ~ I had signed up for a lot of challenges and book-a-week group and this from a person who is not a goalsetter. I never have been nor do I ever intend to be one. Maybe it was feeling like just more thing I have to do along with everything else in my life. The top 3 biggies, of course, being working, eating, sleeping but in addition there are chores, blogging, getting the shows cleared off the DRV and this daily thing called living. Now was I going to let reading become just another thing on my mental to do list? Then it came to me ~ after reading all these wonderful book blogs from very talented people I was feeling pressure, self-imposed, I can assure you that I needed to come up with something insightful to post on my blog about all these books I was devouring. I mean why else blog, especially if it's out there for public consumption, unless you have something to say, really say?

I realized I was letting my blog get the upper hand. Letting my posts interfere with my reading pleasure. This blog started out as one thing and morphed into something else, taking on a life of it's own. Now I'm not a writer, that's my big brother's job and his blog is a sad thing to behold, (forgive your little sister please! I'll offer bribes next time I come visit) and I'm pretty certain that if an English teacher or two got a hold of my blog posts that they'd grammatical shred them. They'd also break down my thoughts and impressions about the books I read just to make sure I'd covered all the relevant points so that my readers could make informed decisions. I never set out the write book reviews. There are plenty of bloggers who do an outstanding job of it already. This was just a place I would use a reading journal to give my brain a little tap and remind myself what a book I'd read was about. Maybe it's just a matter of the semantics, or is that syntax, that I use for labeling some of my blog posts (book reviews). So for now I'm changing how I post to suit where I am in this blogging world. I'm also finding that I don't always have something to say about every book I read. Just maybe I want my reading to be for reading's sake and not because there's an underlying motive.

Yes, it's still a book blog ~ my book blog. It won't be going under drastic changes, no major overhaul. Just minor adjustments, baby steps. I'm giving myself permission to change course and see where the path takes me. The only thing I hoping to accomplish is getting back to reading purely for pleasure.

That's it for the pity partying this week. Two pity party posts are quite enough. I don't usually hold pity parties but I just needed to get a couple of things cleared out my brain so I could move past 'em. Done!


Monday, July 14, 2008

A very big apology to readers of The Printed Page

To those of you who have stopped by and left a comment here at The Printed Page over the last few months my humblest apologies are being offered here to you. I've broken a major rule of blogging and I think I've always known that. I just didn't know what the proper etiquette was, and, still, most often, is. Except for one person in my immediate world who blogs very little I have no one around who blogs nor reads blogs so I've been stumbling blindly trying to figure out the many pieces of this pie that make up blogging and blogging etiquette.

I truly haven't meant to ignore your comments nor offend you. I didn't understand the proper form of response and had no one close to ask for help. I've tried tracking down email addresses and responding that way. I've gone to blogs to look for appropriate posts to respond on and feel uncomfortable responding on just any post. I didn't realize it was proper to respond by leaving a reply to your comment on my post. I'm mending my ways and ask, in advance, forgiveness if I step on toes somewhere in my blogging journeys.

Tuesday Thingers ... Book-swapping: Do I or Don't I?

I'm actually going to play early this week. It's 15 minutes before midnight so it's still technically Monday night. Usually I don't get my post written until very late on Tuesday nights. The details are this: Marie at The Boston Bibliophile hosts Tuesdays Thingers. This week's topic: Book-swapping. Do you do it? What site(s) do you use? How did you find out about them? What do you think of them? Do you use LT's book-swapping column feature for information on what to swap? Do you participate in any of the LT communities that discuss bookswapping, like the Bookmooch group for example?

The answer: Once upon a time I swapped. Now that I read exclusively on my Amazon Kindle I don't have books to swap anymore unless I receive one from a publisher or book rep and those I tend to giveaway. I have contest going right, until the 17th, see left sidebar. Sorry I digress, a bit of shameless site promotion there. When I was swapping I used Bookins. I'm sure I came across the site while surfing the net a little over a year ago. I signed on with them because they made everything so easy. Post the books you have for trade, wait for notification that someone wants your book, print postage & package book, drop in any mailbox. I'm all about easy and no hassle. Bookins fit the bill for me for when I was swapping.

BTW ~ If someone out there is a Bookins user I have 266 points just sitting there. If you'd like them let me know. If I get more than one response to the offer I will split them up as equally as I can among those who respond. Please comment by Saturday the 19th at 11am MST. I'll figure out the details and post an update.

I don't use LT's book-swapping column nor do I participate in any book-swapping community discussions.

Mailbox Monday

There's nothing better than venturing out to your mailbox and finding books! We all love books especially those we've won through a giveaway or requested as an ARC. I won't have books to list every Monday but that doesn't mean that one of you hasn't gotten some little gem in the last week.

I know there are plenty of book events we participate in throughout the week but Monday was looking lonely and because Mondays seem to be the most dreaded day of the week I wanted to bring some fun to the start of our week.

So if you've gotten some book love from the postal service, UPS, Fed Ex, Amazon or wherever in the last week let everyone know. For right now you can post a comment with either a link to your blog and just leave the book titles. I'll be investigating Mr. Linky for upcoming posts.

Take care,

P.S. feel free to use/copy/link the mailbox picture

July Book Blowout Reading Challenge ... update #6 ... includes The Where's Your Book Set meme answers

First an update on my challenge status and then on to the meme answers (6-1/2 books read).

book #6
The Innocent
Finished - not raving about it

book #7
The Warriors, Book 1: Into The Wild
Started it last night. I've been wanting to read this series for a while now and decided to take a break from my steady diet of historical and popular adult fiction. As I'm a humble servant to 8 lords and ladies of the Larsen manor I thought this would be an appropriate choice.

The Where’s your book set? meme

1. Title and author of the book: The Warriors, Book 1: Into The Wild by Erin Hunter

2. What year is the book set in? Could be current day as there isn't a year specified

3. What happened on this day in that year? Go to google and type in the date ie 13 July 1952 and see if you can find a news item for that day: N/A

4. Where is your book set? The wilds beyond the twoleg houses.

5. Have you visited that place before? If yes tell us something about your trip. If no, look the location up on google and tell us an interesting fact about the city/country. N/A

Friday, July 11, 2008

Friday Finds! ... 7/11/08

Once again Friday has rolled around and it's time for those gems I've come across this week to make themselves known to others.

The Accidental Santera
Irete Lazo

Bitter Sweets
Roopa Farooki

Sarah's Key
Tatiana de Rosnay

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Book Giveaway...Free ARCs...Read It Forward...Random House

The Printed Page has moved to Wordpress. The new blog address is: The Printed Page

Now that probably caught your attention. I know just the scent of free books makes me light headed and I have to head directly for the laptop and say "yes please, sign me up!" My email this morning held a pleasant surprise ~ a newsletter for the Read It Forward program from Crown Publishing via Random House. Well you don't have ask me twice if I'd like free books. I mean did Hell freeze over last night?

This month's books are:
Murder at the Bad Girl's Bar and Grill by N. M. Kelby

The Tenth Gift by Jane Johnson

The Spiritualist by Megan Chance

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Plane Insanity: A Flight Attendant's Tales of Sex, Rage, and Queasiness at 30,000 Feet by Elliott Hester

Plane Insanity: A Flight Attendant's Tales of Sex, Rage, and Queasiness at 30,000 Feet
Elliott Hester
St. Martin's Griffin
256 pages

Speed and altitude notwithstanding, flying in a commercial jet is not much different than riding in a Greyhound bus.
~ Something Smelly in the Air, Chapter 1, and so begins Plane Insanity ~

It's hard to believe that the stories in Plane Insanity, the hilarious book by Elliott Hester, are true. But they are. Before you read even a single page, you know you're in for a wild ride just from the subtitle: A Flight Attendant's Tales of Sex, Rage, and Queasiness at 30,000 Feet. Hester has encountered just about everything in his 15 years of flying the skies or "riding tin," and he recounts these laugh-out-loud encounters with plenty of attitude and self-deprecating humor. Not to spoil the fun, but a few juicy tidbits include Hester as the hapless victim of a child's projectile vomit, chasing a sparrow around the cabin, mistakenly putting a woman on the wrong flight, and recalling the unfathomable account of an inebriated man defecating atop a liquor cart, to the horror of passengers and crew. Just when you think the stories can't get anymore outlandish he outdoes himself with the titillating antics of amorous couples who vie for membership in the infamous Mile High Club.

I love travelogues. What better way to see the world when vacation is a distant blur on the horizon. There are some truly humorous stories in this book. What an insightful look at human behavior, especially when we aren't always at our best and having a beautiful, shining moment. It's the bad antics and boorish behavior that make this such a fun book to read. I might have taken this book in smaller doses instead of reading it straight through. It isn't a single story that flows from one chapter to another. It is a book filled with short snippets of outlandish human deportment. If you want to know just how the seemingly quiet person in the seat next you might behave when they've had one too many or their luggage doesn't fit in the overhead bin read this book.

** If you've read the book and posted a review on your blog feel free to leave the link in a comment on this post for others to check out **

July Book Blowout Reading Challenge ... update #5

Through 5-1/2 books. I DNF'd a book. Usually I give a book 50+ pages before I do that but I just knew it wasn't going to get any better so I ditched it after the first chapter. Here's where I'm at since the last update.

Narrow Dog to Carcassonne (Kindle edition)
DNF'd it

Plane Insanity: A Flight Attendant's Tales of Sex, Rage, and Queasiness at 30,000 Feet (Kindle edition)

The Innocent (Kindle edition)
Just starting

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Tuesday Thingers ... Summer plans?!

Tuesday has rolled around again which means it must be time for Tuesday Thingers hosted by Marie at The Boston Bibliophile. This week is all about summer plans, specifically: Vacations, trips? Trips that involve reading? Reading plans? If you're going somewhere, do you do any reading to prepare? Do you read local literature as part of your trip? Have you thought about using the LT Local feature to help plan your book-buying?

Summer in our household is spent just like fall and spring ~ eating, sleeping and working. The only difference being my husband starts planning our annual winter vacation which for the past several years has been spent on the Mexican Rivera lazing around the pool, enjoying white sand beaches and snorkeling in beautiful crystal clear, blue water. Actually I let him do the all the reading and research about where we're headed and what we'll being doing once we get there. He actually enjoys it while I dream about parking myself in a lounge chair, pulling out the MP3 player, striking up the classical music, sticking my nose in a book while occasionally dragging myself into a handy pool or for a dunk in the ocean.

This year the only difference will be that I can pack as many books as I'd like and they'll only weigh 10.3 ounces ~ absolutely have to love that. See I bought myself an Amazon Kindle a couple of months ago with this in mind. No more heavy luggage and deciding what I have to leave behind because of those oh so many precious paperbacks snuggled at the bottom of my suitcase and stashed in my carry on. I'm sure he always wondered when the airline personnel were going to catch on and start charging me heavy baggage fees. I've managed to escape without paying over the years but not by much. Another key selling point for the hubby ~ I can download his travel books to Kindle and he'll have everything he needs right at his fingertips, bookmarked pages and all. Smart thinking on the wife's part.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Scene of the Grime by Suzanne Price

Scene of the Grime (A Grime Solvers Mystery)
Suzanne Price
256 pages

I was crouched on an expensive Oriental rug under an antique walnut table outside Mr. Monahan's room, thinking.
~ First sentence, Chapter 1, and so begins Scene of the Grime ~

In her mid-30s and recently widowed, Sky Taylor left the big city for Pigeon Cove, a hamlet off the Massachusetts coast. Sky is re-adapting to single life-with a newspaper column and her knack for creative cleaning increasingly in demand. Then she discovers a patron of the Millwood Inn permanently checked-out.

Now Sky's juggling the police chief's questions with advances from the newest-and handsomest-crime reporter in town. But if she wants to clear her name, she has some scouring to do.

This was just an OK cozy mystery for me. Nothing special to write home about. My favorite character was Skiball the cat and he didn't play a very big part. None of the characters really jumped out and grabbed me. They didn't entice me to come back and visit again. I didn't think that the "character" of the murder victim was in keeping with the story. Also, too bad the murder wasn't related to his book collecting as much as it was related to his previous line of work. If the second in the series ever comes out in Kindle format I might wander over but not any time soon. Only makes the so-so section of my reading list for this year.

** If you've read the book and posted a review on your blog feel free to leave the link in a comment on this post for others to check out **