Showing posts from January, 2013

Through Angel's Eyes by Steve Theunissen

I have added a new review to the Alabama Letters blog!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters EVER

As always, "Top Ten Tuesday" is brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish! Check them out!

Today's top ten...and I love it....

Top Ten Most Frustrating
(and/or Annoying) Characters EVER:

Note: I have extending the topic of my list to include annoying characters, too. I know that many people will not agree with me, but...oh, well! I will be ordering these as a true top ten for, I will lead up to my #1 most frustrating character. :)

(Lily Dale in A. Trollope's The Small House at Allington. Ugh. Source: Public Domain.)
10. Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games. I just don't like him that much. He bores me.

9. Stone Barrington from Stuart Woods's Stone Barrington novels. Why? Read here.

8.Alice Quinn in The Magicians. A Hermione Granger wannabe. I really dislike her.

7. Lavender Brown in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Reasons clear enough.

6. Lily Dale in The Small House at Allington. Ugh. This one. She is so clueless and just stagnates.

(Pip in C…

Books, Dallas, and other things

Right now, I am in the middle of reading two books. One is Through Angel's Eyes, which is about the Civil Rights movement in 1960s Birmingham, and the other is a novel about the Borgias. In spite of my best efforts, I found I needed a break in between Augusta Evans Wilson novels! I am reading her stuff out of order, too, because I need to shake things up a bit. I will be reading Infelice soon.

I am dragging a bit today because I was up late watching the double episodes of Dallas. It is great to start a new season, and Larry Hagman is just brilliant. I know I will cry when he dies on the show! I just love him. No one could ever play JR, and I am glad that the writers decided that making his death real on the show was the way to go. I do love the character of John Ross Ewing, JR's son! Wow! He has potential to sort of fill in the enormous gap left by JR. He is excellent!

As many of you know, I am a big Dallas fan! I used to watch the show when I was a little girl (when the origi…

Lost Auburn

Just posted my review of Lost Auburn: A Village Remembered in Period Photographs, at Alabama Letters!

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Settings I Would Like to See More of in the Future!

Top Ten Tuesday is a blog prompt brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish! Check them out!


Cities or Countries.... 1. Oxford, England. (I can't ever get enough.) 2. Prague, Czech Republic. 3. Mobile, Alabama. (Specifically, eighteenth and nineteenth century settings.) 4. Mexico (in general...and nothing about cartels!!!) 5. Thailand (in general).
Places/events/ etc... 1. Seminaries or other religious schools...odd, I know, but I would really love to read a grownup "school" novel in this setting. 2. More books set during the Borgia papacy!!! The books out there are not always wonderful, and I am totally obsessed with the show. 3. Ranches... and I don't mean romances set on ranches or hard-core westerns set on ranches. I want something that appeals to the Pioneer Woman in me (but that won't make me gag). 4.  Edwardian-era settings. 5. Archaeological sites. (And no Mayan doomsday novels.…

About a Boy, by Nick Hornby

Title: About a Boy
Author: Nick Hornby
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Date of Publication: 2002
Where to Buy It:, Barnes and Noble

From Amazon (and the back of the book):

Will Freeman may have discovered the key to dating success: If the simple fact that they were single mothers meant that gorgeous women—women who would not ordinarily look twice at Will—might not only be willing, but enthusiastic about dating him, then he was really onto something. Single mothers—bright, attractive, available women—thousands of them, were all over London. He just had to find them.
SPAT: Single Parents—Alone Together. It was a brilliant plan. And Will wasn't going to let the fact that he didn't have a child himself hold him back. A fictional two-year-old named Ned wouldn't be the first thing he'd invented. And it seems to go quite well at first, until he meets an actual twelve-year-old named Marcus, who is more than Will bargained for...
I have had About a Boy on my shelf fo…

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Debuts I Am Looking Forward to Reading


As usual, this "Top Ten Tuesday" is brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish! Check them out!
Note: My list includes authors who are not debuting work for the first time...not sure if that is a "requirement" of the list, but these are new novels for 2013!

1. Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger. I can't wait to read this one! I love her Soulless series!

2. Habits of the House by Fay Weldon

3. Nameless: A Tale of Beauty and Madness by Lili St. Crow

4. Beauty's Daughter: The Story of Hermione and Helen of Troy by Carolyn  Meyer

5. Stoker's Manuscript by Royce Prouty

6. Blood and Beauty: The Borgias, a novel by Sarah Dunant

7. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Seaby April Genevieve Tucholke

8. A Darkness Strange and Lovely by Susan Dennard

9. Omens: A Cainsville Novel by Kelly Armstrong

10. The Age of Ice by J. M. Sidorova

Another review is up at Alabama Letters!

I have posted my review of Augusta Evans Wilson's Beulah at my Alabama book blog, Alabama Letters! Also, I posted it at my Victorian book blog, "One Word More," because it is included in my "Classics" reading list.

The Butterfly Tattoo by Philip Pullman

NOTE: This book is also published under its previous title, The White Mercedes.

Title: The Butterfly Tattoo (The White Mercedes)
Publisher: Pan Childrens, 2001
Length: 160 pages
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Chris falls in love with Jenny the moment he sets eyes on her at an Oxford ball. She's beautiful but secretive and he can't help but want to be with her. But fate is cruel and, as their relationship blossoms, tragedy and violence wait in the wings. Chris's boss has a shady past that won't stay hidden. And his ruthless enemies will use two innocent teenagers to exact their revenge on him ...
Wow. What a reading-filled weekend I had! I finished up Augusta Evans Wilson's Beulah, and then I picked up the short novel The Butterfly Tattoo last night and finished it. Neither book is lighthearted reading material, and, for fans of Philip Pullman, don't pick up The Butterfly Tattoo and expect to get the same story as The Golden Compass (though the…

The Lux Series

Have any of you read the Lux series? I am hearing really good things about it. I have the first one (shown above) on my iPad, because it was offered really cheap (maybe it was even free...I can't remember) on at one time. I haven't read it yet, but I do remember downloading it because I read an excellent review. There are 450 ratings for the book on Amazon, and most seem positive. Anyway, just curious...

An update on my strange New Year's Resolution...

So, several days ago, I told you about my New Year's resolution...that I wasn't going to buy any new books because I had purchased so many or received books as gifts (thank you, everyone!). I also resolved to only use the library over the next year, mainly to discover how easy/hard it is to access their services and get what I want to read.

Progress report: so far, so good! I am so busy preparing for all of my Augusta Evans Wilson-related events/assignments that I haven't had much time to even get to a library. So, considering that I usually break New Year's resolutions early on, I am quite pleased. :)

Thanks, Arabella!

Thank you to Arabella for being my 100th follower! I appreciate it!

Follower 100, where are you?

Hi, everyone! I have been hovering around 99 followers for months! Someone join and make it 100!! I promise that I will try to entertain you and introduce you to some good books.



"Waiting On Wednesday"

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a blog prompt sponsored by Breaking the Spine. Are you anxiously awaiting the publication of a new book?

I can't wait for this one:

Clockwork Princess
By Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: March 19, 2013


Don’t miss The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, soon to be a major motion picture in theaters August 2013.Danger intensifies for the Shadowhunters as the New York Times bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy comes to a close.

If the only way to save the world was to destroy what you loved most, would you do it?

The clock is ticking. Everyone must choose.

Passion. Power. Secrets. Enchantment.

Danger closes in around the Shadowhunters in the final installment of the bestselling Infernal Devices trilogy.

Augusta Evans Wilson...all the time

To prepare for my speech, the chapter I am working on, and my role in helping with the documentary about Augusta Evans Wilson, I am rereading all of her books and catching up on any new literary criticism. I hate to break it to you, but I will be all AEW, all of the time, for the next couple of months. I will post other things, of course, but that is my life for a while! In any case, I will keep you updated here and (in more detail) on my Alabama Letters blog. XO

New "Alabama Letters" Book Review Is Up!

Hi, everyone! I just posted a review of Leaving Gee's Bend by Irene Latham at my Alabama Letters blog.

So exciting! I am so happy for Malala!!!

This makes me so happy! Much love to you, Malala!

Women and Money by Suze Orman...The Most Important Book You Will Buy This Year. Period.


The million-copy bestseller is finally in paperback!

In this groundbreaking book, Suze Orman, the nation’s go-to expert on all things financial, investigates the complicated, dysfunctional relationship women have with money.

With her signature mix of insight, compassion, and soul-deep recognition, Suze Orman equips women with the financial knowledge and emotional awareness to overcome the blocks that have kept them from acting in the best interest of their money–and of themselves. At the heart of the book is The Save Yourself Plan: a streamlined five-month program that delivers genuine long-term financial security. But what’s at stake is far bigger even than money–it’ s about every woman’s sense of who she is, what she deserves, and why it all begins with the decision to save yourself.

In addition to The Save Yourself Plan, you’ ll find inside

• a thoughtful analysis of the causes and effects of reckless financial behavior
• a persuasive argument for change th…

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read in 2013

And...coming off of the last's another "Top Ten Tuesday"! A prompt brought to you by The Broke and the Bookish, of course!

Top Ten Books I Resolve to Read in 2013!!!

1.The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien. I havealways wanted to read this book (and if I like it, then I will read the trilogy). I have tried so hard to do it before, but I just need to suck it up and read. I am only committing to one book, though!

2. Lesley's Guardians by Augusta Webster. 3. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence. 

 4. Chance by Joseph Conrad. 5. My Antonia by Willa Cather.
6. The Well and the Mine by Gin Philips.

7. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen.
8. Big Fish by Daniel Wallace.
9. Light in August by William Faulkner.

10. Lie Down in Darkness by William Styron.

A New Year's Resolution

Usually, I think New Year's resolutions are crap. I mean, all of us go in with good intentions, but we know that a month later (if that long) we probably have fallen off the wagon. I recently heard that one reason resolutions fail is because we try to do too much. I think this is true. But, in spite of my personal feelings, I decided to make a resolution this year. :)

I have decided that this is the year that I will not buy any books. GASP.

Yes, I know.

But I received so many book gift cards (already redeemed, of course) that now my to-be-read list is huge.

NOTE TO ALL: Don't get me wrong. I LOVE GIFT CARDS. :)

But I need to get through this pile of books! So, I am reading only what I have. Also, I wanted to make this resolution because I think the public should make use of the public libraries more often. Ours is always busy, but usually the people in there are engaging in tutoring sessions or meetings. I used to get all of my books from the public library, but I just haven&…

A New Year! A New Review! (The Chocolate Money by Ashley Prentice Norton)

Hi, everyone! I am sorry that I haven't been around that much, but I needed to "unplug" from the internet and technology for a while. It was time to recharge. But, it is now a new year and tomorrow it is back to work for me. I feel ready to take on new challenges and projects and feel a lot of creative energy right now. (Wow. I just sounded like a horoscope. Geez.)

Anyway, speaking of challenges, I didn't quite make my goal of 50 books for my 2012 Goodreads challenge. That is fine, though, because I finished my dissertation and graduated. :)

I did join the 2013 Goodreads challenge, because  now I can actually read what I want (for the most part...I do have some projects that require me to read certain things). So, even though I didn't meet my last goal, I upped my book goal to 75. This means that I won't be reading a lot of really long books, of course, but I am determined to succeed!

I actually have already read one book: The Chocolate Money by Ashley Prent…