Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Yvonne tagged me for this fun meme...
What's on your desk Wednesday? is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Sassy Brit of Alternative-Read.com . Check her blog out each Wednesday for the post titled What's on your desk Wednesday?
You can do one of two things or both!
1. Grab a camera and take a photo of your desk! Or anywhere you stack your books/TBR pile. And no tidying! Add this photo to your blog.Tag at least 5 people! Come back here and leave a link back to your photo in comments.
2. List at least 5 BOOKISH things on your desk (I'm thinking your TBR pile or books you haven't shelved...) List at least 5 NON BOOK things. (I'm thinking some of some of the more unusual items on your desk/table?) Tag at least 5 people to do the same. Come back here and leave your link, so we can come and visit your blog. Or add your answers in the comments if you don't have a blog.
Thanks Yvonne for tagging me :)
I don't have my camera handy - so I'll have to do the list. I'll count my desk area as the chair I sit in in the living room with my laptop to read and blog.
5 Bookish Things:
1. The Season by Sarah MacLean - my current read from the library
2. My datebook that I keep when I receive my review books and when I need to review them in.
3. A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve - my current review book
4. My laptop since I find more books to read through memes and reviews
5. A basket with one or two more books that are in my immediate to-be-read now pile (right now Ghost of a Chance and The Amen Heresy).
5 Nonbookish Things:
1. TV remote (it's in the basket - it's the one place to keep it that it seems to get back to at least)
2. Pencil box full of pens, pencils, highlighters (I use this with my datebook)
3. Sewing box (it's also my sewing chair)
4. Hand weights - okay this area also houses my weights for working out at home
5. Wii Fit (it's under the chair I consider my desk area - it keeps it out of the way and right there when I need it)
I didn't get around to doing this until later so I'm not going to tag anyone this week, but will tag 5 people next week for this.
Bed of Roses (Bride Quartet #2) by Nora Roberts
Release: October 27, 2009
I finished Vision in White last month and really enjoyed it and can't wait to read more about this group of four friends, their business and their love lives.
So what are you waiting on this week?
Florist Emma Grant is finding career success with her friends at Vows wedding planning company, and her love life appears to be thriving. Though men swarm around her, she still hasn't found Mr. Right. And the last place she's looking is right under her nose...
But that's just where Jack Cooke is. He's so close to the women of Vows that he's practically family, but the architect has begun to admit to himself that his feelings for Emma have developed into much more than friendship. When Emma returns his passion-kiss for blistering kiss-they must trust in their history...and in their hearts.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Every hundred years, four kids from four cities must save the world.My Review:
A mix-up with their reservations forces Harvey from New York, Mistral from Paris, and Sheng from Shanghai to share a room with the hotel owner’s daughter, Elettra. The four kids discover an amazing coincidence—they all have birthdays on February 29, Leap Day. That night, a strange man gives them a briefcase and asks them to take care of it until he returns. Soon afterward, the man is murdered.
The kids open the briefcase. In it they find a series of clues that take them all over Rome, through dusty libraries and dark catacombs, in search of the elusive Ring of Fire, an ancient object so powerful that legend says even a Roman emperor couldn’t control it.
In the first book of the Century quartet, Italian author P. D. Baccalario begins a mystery that will take four cities and four extraordinary kids to solve.
A very fun book and very suited for age 9/10 and up. I enjoyed reading about Elettra, Harvey, Mistral and Sheng. Four kids from across the globe who happen to meet in Rome just before New Years and stumble upon a man on the run. The man presents them with a briefcase whose contents they must figure out, and then a short while later the man is murdered. The contents of the briefcase are part of a greater puzzle and it's revelation needs to stay out of the hands of the bad guys. It's a great adventure story that sets up some of the background and helps you get to know the children while they solve the first puzzle.
However the puzzle doesn't end here - it starts with this book which is Eletrra's story and takes place in Rome. I compare it as a kind of The Da Vinci Code for kids, it's simple and easy for them to understand, but complex enough that they will be kept wondering. I know I was kept in suspense through the entire book.
I will look forward to the remaining three books in the series. It sounds like the next one will center around Harvey and take place in New York. It should be good.
If you like a good quick thrill ride then this is a great book for you. If you have children say ages 9 and up, then recommend it to them if they like mysteries and suspense. I know I wish there had been books like this when I was a child.
Publish Date: September 1, 2009
From the acclaimed bestselling author of The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, a historical novel about Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of Sacagawea, and his intriguing sojourn as a young man in 1820s Paris.
Born in 1805 on the Lewis and Clark expedition, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau was the son of the expedition's translators, Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau. Across the Endless River compellingly portrays this mixed-blood child's mysterious boyhood along the Missouri among the Mandan tribe and his youth as William Clark's ward in St. Louis. The novel becomes a haunting exploration of identity and passion as eighteen-year-old Baptiste is invited to cross the Atlantic in 1823 with young Duke Paul of Württemberg.
During their travels throughout Europe, Paul introduces Baptiste to a world he never imagined. Gradually, Baptiste senses the limitations of life as an outsider. His passionate affair with Paul's older cousin helps him understand the richness of his heritage and the need to fashion his own future. But it is Maura, the beautiful and independent daughter of a French-Irish wine merchant Baptiste meets in Paris, who most influences his ultimate decision to return to the frontier.
Rich in the details of life in both frontier America and the European court, Across the Endless River is a captivating novel about a man at the intersection of cultures, languages, and customs.
Imagining the Past in Paris
By Thad Carhart,
Author of Across the Endless River
To walk in Paris is to walk through multiple layers of the past, more than 900 years of built history that awaits any stroller. Having lived here for twenty years, I've seen the city change with new roads and bridges, new museums, new rows of apartments. And yet the deep respect that Parisians have developed for what they call their patrimoine, their inheritance, ensures that old buildings are regularly restored and preserved, integrated into the flux of daily life. The look of the city changes subtly, as it has throughout history.
The biggest transformation in modern times was simply the cleaning of the stone edifices of central Paris, initiated in the 1960's by de Gaulle's Minister of Culture, André Malraux. No change could have been more surprising, or more deeply satisfying. When I was a very young boy living in Paris, I was convinced that all of the buildings were made from the same stone, black as night and so softened by centuries of wood and coal dust that the surface was a felt-like matte whose edges looked as if they would soon crumble. This was the "atmospheric" Paris of all those voluptuous black-and-white photos (what blacks and grays there were on every side), the ponderous Paris of Buffet prints and countless tourist posters.
Then the government started to clean the major monuments one by one -- Notre-Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre -- and the transformation was shocking, almost troubling in its strange newness. The buildings of Paris weren't black after all, but very nearly . . . white! It took almost two decades of careful cleaning and restoration, but Paris emerged from the process the albino twin of its former self. To appreciate the contrast, buy a vintage postcard aerial view, dating from 1970 or earlier, at one of the bouquiniste stalls along the banks of the Seine, then compare it with the present-day aerial shot: the era of dirt and grime looks like a photographic negative of the light and airy Paris that current tourists will recognize as the "real" Paris.
Walking, however, reveals just one facet of the landscape. Recently, in researching a historical novel, I needed to imagine Paris as it would have appeared in the 1820s. The first stop for any such endeavor is the splendid Musée Carnavalet, the Museum of the City of Paris, whose collection documents in elaborate and fascinating detail every step of the city's past. As I consulted paintings, prints, and manuscripts, many of the differences were obvious: in 1825 the Champs-Elysées was already a broad, fashionable avenue, but the Arc de Triomphe did not yet grace its rise; the Eiffel Tower wouldn't appear until 1889; and, of course, Beaubourg, the Pyramid of the Louvre, and the Grande Arche, all sturdy Paris fixtures today, would only appear within the last four decades.
Another clear difference was the absence of cars, though factoring them out mentally also involved imagining the presence of horses . . . lots of horses. As I examined the numberless paintings at Carnavalet, I thought a lot about the look, the sound, and the smell of tens of thousands of horses plying the streets of Paris close to 200 years ago. Merely disposing of their manure -- and Paris was very well organized in this department -- was a Herculean task daily. And, just as in our day, when playboys often drive Porsches and tradesmen more likely use vans, the paintings reveal fancy thoroughbreds ridden solo by dandies, sturdy draft horses pulling huge wagons, and bony nags hitched to battered carts.
Perhaps the biggest surprise that comes with seeking the past in the Paris landscape, especially after examining the documentary record, it to realize how little the scale of buildings has changed over the centuries. With two exceptions on the Left Bank (the Tour Montparnasse and the university's Tour Jussieu), no high-rises spoil the illusion in the center of Paris that the modern age has yet arrived. Individual facades, a modern infrastructure, and hordes of cars all tell a different story, but the look and feel of many quartiers -- the Marais and the Latin Quarter are simply the best known examples -- would feel appropriate to a Parisian of the early nineteenth century. This tenuous, heady relationship to the past is often seductive, and yet it can also feel weighty, old-fashioned, and artificial. How long it can prevail in the face of change is anybody's guess.
©2009 Thad Carhart, author of Across the Endless River
Thad Carhart, author of Across the Endless River, is a dual citizen of of the United States and Ireland. He lives in Paris with his wife, the photographer Simo Neri, and their two children.
For more information please visit www.thadcarhart.com
Publish Date: October 1, 2009
The suspenseful and emotion-filled second book in the Rayne series begins where the first book ended…with a dying man whispering four stunning words into Shaley O’Connor’s ear. Should she believe him? After two murders on the Rayne concert tour, Shaley is reeling. But she has no time to rest. If the dying man’s claim is right, the danger is far from over. Shaley’s quest for the truth leads to the mysterious and wrenching past of her mother and father. Could what happened to them so many years ago threaten Shaley’s life now?
I won this from Laura at her I'm Booking It blog. Thanks Laura!
The Gift of an Ordinary Day is an intimate memoir of a family in transition-boys becoming teenagers, careers ending and new ones opening up, an attempt to find a deeper sense of place, and a slower pace, in a small New England town. It is a story of mid-life longings and discoveries, of lessons learned in the search for home and a new sense of purpose, and the bittersweet intensity of life with teenagers--holding on, letting go.
Poised on the threshold between family life as she's always known it and her older son's departure for college, Kenison is surprised to find that the times she treasures most are the ordinary, unremarkable moments of everyday life, the very moments that she once took for granted, or rushed right through without noticing at all.
The relationships, hopes, and dreams that Kenison illuminates will touch women's hearts, and her words will inspire mothers everywhere as they try to make peace with the inevitable changes in store.