Tag Archives: book reviews

The Lincoln Lawyer

1 Sep

I read this a million years ago over a month ago, but as usual I’m late in giving you a review. I had heard good things about this book and it didn’t disappoint.

The Lincoln Lawyer, by Michael Connelly, tells the story of Mickey Haller, a hardcore, big shot criminal defense attorney. He rarely worries himself over small potatoes like innocence or guilt, but rather defends anyone who can pay him the big bucks. One day, he learns that a young man from Beverly Hills has asked for him specifically in a case where he was accused of attacking a woman after an encounter at a local bar. Haller knows this means a big pay out for him and gladly accepts the case. The lawyer can’t believe his luck as he finds more and more information, making the case seemingly the easiest one to date. Then someone close to him is murdered and it turns his world upside down. How will it affect the case? How will it affect his practice of law?

You’ll just have to read and find out! I’d give this book 3 out of 5 stars- very entertaining and I’d recommend it to a friend (that’s you.).

If you’d rather not read and feast your eyes on some Matthew McConaughey, the movie was decent, too. Of course, the book is better, but it’s worth popping this movie in for a date night in. That’s what we did.

Happy reading (or viewing)!

The next review coming up: From Baghdad With Love

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The Local News & Baby Wise

29 Jul

I haven’t been reading as much lately aside from a text book that is mostly review for me. When I do pick up a book to read, I often drift off to sleep within a few minutes. I’ve been so tired and I might as well sleep when I can, right? Still, I have a few to report back to you on:

I checked this book out at the local library after much deliberation. The Local News by Miriam Gershow tells the tale of Lydia, a young high school student who is dealing with the disappearance of her older brother, Danny. Unlike her brother, Lydia isn’t popular. She skated through adolescence with the help of one close friend and their bonding over all things intellectual and awkward. When Danny disappears, Lydia is thrown into the spotlight with Danny’s friends embracing her under their wings. With this new attention comes struggles of wanting her brother back, but also remembering their rocky relationship status. She becomes an afterthought to her parents who become obsessed with locating Danny. This book really dives into the complexities of family life. Lydia, the narrator, is intelligent and witty. In fact, there were times when I was focused on what a weird character she was…and that’s really saying something! I didn’t like this book as much as I had hoped. I really found it difficult to finish because some of the parts were so slow. Overall the characters were interesting, but the plot needed a little more of a kick to get it jump started.

I also read this:

It was recommended to me by several mothers. The book focuses on getting the baby on a healthy sleep schedule no matter if your breast feeding or bottle feeding (examples are given for both options). It discusses the importance of sleep for the infant and encourages an eat, play, sleep routine from the start. The book provides examples of healthy feeding times for the breast feeding mother and many resources for parents of the fussy baby. I really liked it! I think this book will continue to be a resource to me for many months to come. Let’s just hope it works its magic on sweet Baby K!

I’m currently reading: The Lincoln Lawyer

What about you? Any good books you’ve read lately that I should know about?

books-a-trillion

9 Jul

I have been a reading machine lately. This is partly due because I had a class that required us to read a book a week, but I have also managed to sneak in a few I wanted to read, too. This can only mean one thing around here-

It’s time for a book review!

I read these:

Oh, and this, too-

But I only recommend the following that I will give reviews for:

I’ll start with fiction because I just love fiction.

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness was really, very good. Her website gives this description:

When historian Diana Bishop opens a bewitched alchemical manuscript in Oxford’s Bodleian Library it represents an unwelcome intrusion of magic into her carefully ordinary life. Though descended from a long line of witches, she is determined to remain untouched by her family’s legacy. She banishes the manuscript to the stacks, but Diana finds it impossible to hold the world of magic at bay any longer.

For witches are not the only otherworldly creatures living alongside humans. There are also creative, destructive daemons and long-lived vampires who become interested in the witch’s discovery. They believe that the manuscript contains important clues about the past and the future, and want to know how Diana Bishop has been able to get her hands on the elusive volume.

Chief among the creatures who gather around Diana is vampire Matthew Clairmont, a geneticist with a passion for Darwin. Together, Diana and Matthew embark on a journey to understand the manuscript’s secrets. But the relationship that develops between the ages-old vampire and the spellbound witch threatens to unravel the fragile peace that has long existed between creatures and humans—and will certainly transform Diana’s world as well.

This book is to be a part of a series. I was very happy to read that after I finished this book because there was so much left up in the air. The book is excellent! It appeals to the magic, vampire nonsensical side of me, but it is very intelligently written. Try it out!

Sail by James Patterson is a page turner. I think all of his are, though. If you want a quick read that you don’t want to put down, then pick this book up. Here’s an exert from his website:

Only an hour out of port, the Dunne family’s summer getaway to paradise is already turning into the trip from hell. Carrie, the eldest, has thrown herself off the side of the boat in a bid for attention. Sixteen-year-old Mark is getting high belowdecks. And Ernie, their ten-year-old brother, is nearly catatonic. It’s shaping up to be the worst vacation ever.

Katherine Dunne had hoped this trip would bring back the togetherness they’d lost when her husband died four years earlier. Maybe if her new husband, a high-powered Manhattan attorney, had been able to postpone his trial and join them it would all have been okay….

Suddenly, a disaster hits–and it’s perfect. Faced with real danger, the Dunnes rediscover the meaning of family and pull together in a way they haven’t in a long time. But this catastrophe is just a tiny taste of the danger that lurks ahead: someone wants to make sure that the Dunne family never makes it out of paradise alive.

And now on to the non-fiction…

To my counseling buddies, you should check out Competent Christian Counseling and Effective Biblical Counseling.

I would also recommend Boundaries in Marriage for anyone who finds themselves with an ole ball and chain 😉

I also thought The Anxiety Cure would be useful for someone suffereing from panic attacks and severe anxiety. This book attempts to describe the physiological etiology of such issues while also addressing the spirituality issue that many secular theorists and psychologists ignore.

The rest were not so good. Ha! I’ll try to do these more often so as not to bombard you with a bunch of titles.

What are you reading these days?

One Mississippi

11 May

Pregnant With Laughter is on hiatus today. I figure you’re all babied out for now due to my last post.

Instead, I promised you a book review so it’s high time I come through with that.

I was perusing the local library in search of parenting books or dog training saviors, but I found myself gravitating toward the fiction section once those were in hand. I really like a good story and I didn’t feel as if either of the books in my hand were going to satisfy that.

The online card catalog was nearby, but I didn’t feel like using it. I enjoy entertaining the idea that books find me instead of me finding them so I just walked with my index finger sliding across the shelves, picking up dust- no doubt. When my feet stopped, my left hand rested on a Mark Childress book called One Mississippi.

Childress is a writer of Southern fiction stories.

This book follows a time period in Daniel Musgrove’s life that is full of turmoil, mischief, and opportunities to learn many life lessons. Forced to move to Mississippi just before his junior year in HS, Daniel is less than thrilled with his new surroundings. He begins to give this new state a chance when he meets a new friend, Tim Cousins. The two become best friends, bonding over their various similarities. One of these is their disdain for the star football player who often bullies both of them. They soon find themselves mixed up in a crime involving the linebacker and the first black prom queen in the history of their school. Daniel’s world slips out of his control as the lie engulfs him.

I liked this book because of the seemingly never-ending chain of events. There was always something exciting going on. The excitement was often dark, however, as this book was set in a time of racial conflict. There is no social faux pas that goes undiscussed in this book. Each character has skeletons in their closets that are itching to get out. I would recommend this book, especially to those who are looking for a good crime scene story.

Happy Reading!

Try It Out Tuesday

19 Apr

I haven’t posted one of my try outs in quite some time, but after I tasted the yummy dinner I prepared last night. I knew today would be the day! Because let me tell you…

You’ve got to try this easy yet flavorful recipe!

I also finished the book I’ve been reading today so you’ll want to try that out, too.

Grilled Chicken with Spinach and Melted Mozzarella

Recipe print off options found here.  The best part? It’s low in calories and high in protein! If you click on the link, you’ll be redirected to Gina from SkinnyTaste.com. If you’re on weight watchers, it’s your lucky day because she provides the point information for many of her recipes.

I would never tell Captain J that what he consumed last night was good for him. He might not like it as much anymore! Of course, I added the pasta and bread, but the noodles were whole wheat! He really enjoyed it. I did, too especially because I just had some more for lunch today. It makes for tasty leftovers!

I’ve been cooking a lot more lately. In an effort to save time and money, I’ve begun to plan out our meals for each week and only make a trip to the grocery store one time. I despise the grocery store, but I will say that it is much more fun now that I’m printing coupons. I go to coupons.com and use their printable options. When I don’t find what I’m looking for there, I browse around google looking for specific product coupons. Target has a lot of great options, too for cleaning supplies and basic grocery necessities. It’s rewarding to see how much I have saved at the end of the receipt when I check out. Not only am I feeling better about saving a few dollars here and there, but I’m also impressing the Captain. I usually step outside my comfort zone of tasty country cookin’ to try to make a wide variety of meals he might enjoy. I think he’s really embracing this new side of me.

Enough about food, let’s talk literature…

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

This book by Beth Hoffman sat on my shelf for awhile, just waiting to be plucked from the masses of unreads in my lineup. It stole my heart! I’ve always been a sucker for southern literature. Here are a few quotes from others describing this novel:

“Anyone in need of a Southern-girl-power fix will find {this book} engaging.” – People

“Charming, disarming, sweet as the scent of magnolias on a Southern summer night.” – Mary Kay Andrews

and my favorite-

“A peach of a novel.” – Ladies Home Journal

I like the latter most because that’s exactly how I would describe it.

The main character and book namesake, Cecilia Honeycutt, had a troubled life. Growing up in the North with an eccentric mother who clung to her days of growing up in Georgia and the life she had built herself there as Vidalia Onion Queen left its toll on young CeeCee. When tragedy strikes her household, she has no where to turn and is forced to leave the only life she’s ever known to live with an aunt she has barely met.

CeeCee’s character is one of a very strong and sweet girl who is attempting to navigate through the mess of feelings she has for her mom and dad. Disappointment and embarrassment are not uncommon for her, but what evolves from her story is much different. Perseverance, love, and a little Southern hospitality help to change CeeCee’s world, yet again.

All the characters in the book are each interesting in their own way. Hoffman’s words leave you wanting to know more about each one. This is definitely a chick read, but it’s a good one all the same. Let me know if you try it out!

Love,

splendid sun

8 Apr

Instead of frantically searching craigslist for a job so the hubby and I don’t have to hit the poor house (due to the pay freeze), I’m chillaxin in a comfy chair in a breezy, beautiful place and perusing failblog and failbook. They make me giggle.

Jenn and I have had a great time here doing absolutely nothing. The weather has been beautiful since that one rainy day and we’ve taken advantage of it, relaxing in the sun. In an effort to save money (due to the pay freeze), we prepared all of our food here (except for that tee tiny trip to the bagel place).


I’m anxious to find my way back to Georgia to the arms of my husband. Today, he told me: “I’ve completely forgotten how to function without you.” Apparently, he’s been living off of ramen noodles and Pizza Hut delivery. Bless his bones! I’ll be home soon, babe 😉

While away, I worked really hard to finish the book I was reading. Do you see the sarcasm here? I actually wasn’t working hard at all. I was reading on the beach, day after day, to bring you this book review:

Khaled Hosseini crafted the words in a new favorite read of mine, A Thousand Splendid Suns. I had heard so many good things about this book and finally found it at a repeat store in Columbus for a little over a dollar. I found a jewel with that purchase! I will say that the book might get you fired up! It might make you sick to think of the injustice in the world. It might make you see a tiny glimpse of the heartache that many Afghanistan women have endured over the last 40 years.

The novel takes you into the lives of two women, Mariam and Laila. Both grew up in separate towns in Afghanistan, but later find their lives intersecting in a most unwelcome way. After understanding that they only had one another, they began to bond over crushed dreams, day to day heartaches, and past wounds. Their story is one of oppression, but also one of compassion.

I don’t want to give too much away. You should read this book, though. I won’t promise that it won’t infuriate you or make you wonder if there’s hope at all for them, but it’s one that you don’t want to miss. It kind of puts this whole pay freeze into perspective. Sure, it’s annoying. But we’re so much better off than so many people in this world!

31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well

We’re headed “home” tomorrow. Wish us safe travels and we’ll chat again soon!

Love,

some books to add to your shelf

3 Mar

In an effort to not think about the fact that my husband won’t be home until late tonight, I thought I’d write a post.  I suppose I could tell you about how ridiculous I looked earlier when I put on an old baby doll style dress, forgetting that my big pregnant belly was large and in charge. I could tell you about my busy, eventful day of grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, and scrubbing toilets, but that’s boring, huh? Perhaps you’d rather hear how I’m currently watching a Miley Cirus movie? Oh, yes…my life is very exciting today!

Instead, I’ll fill you in on some books I’ve read lately:

Guilty Pleasures by Laurell K. Hamilton is another one of those darn vampire stories. Luckily, those are some of my favorite kind of stories! Anita Blake, works for the police as a zombie raiser. The supernatural world collided with her world long ago. Her history with the supernatural ties into a brand new twisted plot that she finds herself smack dab in the middle of after what seemed like a fairly innocent night of celebrating with a friend. If you like the vampire novels, you should feed your addiction with this. If not, I wouldn’t recommend it to you. The book was enjoyable, but not in a rock my socks off kind of way.

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil is really interesting, especially if you’re able to visit Savannah and see the streets and homes the book discusses. Written by John Berendt, this nonfiction work is centered around the murder of Danny Hansford. Jim Williams, a prominent antique dealer is accused and tried for his murder, all while claiming his shots were fired in self defense. I really liked this book and there’s a movie, too! I haven’t gotten a chance to watch it yet, though.

I’m always drawn to those stories of people who claim to experience Heaven. What awesome stories of faith! This is precisely why I had to get Heaven Is For Real by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent. Todd tells the incredible story that his son Colton rehashed to him over several years. A health problem lands Colton in emergency surgery. He claims to have gone to Heaven briefly during the procedure. Amazingly, Colton could tell his family exactly what each of them were doing while he was under the knife. His incredible knowledge of biblical characters and happenings are inexplicable for his four year old self which leads me to believe that this miracle really happened. Loved this quick read.

Now, I’m reading America By Heart by Sarah Palin.

That’s enough for now. Don’t forget…tomorrow I have a special review post so be sure to come back then and check it out!