Thursday, December 31, 2009

December's Book of the Month

Hello Everyone! I chose the picture posted above because it reminds me of reading to my daughter Mareena when she was little. Every afternoon until she was about eight or nine years old, we would take one of her books that she wanted to read or that she was reading and we would curl up together on my big bed. 

We would spend an hour or so reading a chapter of her book, and then take a nap together. Her absolutely favorite author at that time was an English author named Enid Blyton. Ahh, nice memories...

My picks for 'Books of the Month' will be decidedly more adult these days, but they will be from almost any genre. December's Book of the Month is: 




The Basement by Bari Wood
Published as: The Basement in May 1995
Publisher: William Morrow and Company


Birth Name: Bari Eve Wood
Born: 31 December 1946 in Jacksonville, Illinois

Canonical Name: Bari Wood
Pseudonyms: None

The Basement by Bari Wood was the thirty-sixth book that I read in 2014. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since December 1, 2009 - although the book was Mareena's 'just because' gift for December of 2009, because I had misplaced my first copy. The second reading of this book took me five days to finish. This book is a definite keeper for me.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Bari Wood - The Basement

36. The Basement by Bari Wood (1995)
Length: 290 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 25 December 2009
Finished: 30 December 2009
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 December 2009
Why do I have it? I like horror and Mareena got this for me as a " Secret Santa" Christmas present.

Wealthy Connecticut housewife Myra Ludens is well aware of the inexplicable fear most people experience upon entering her cellar. While she knows that other people may feel dread, Myra truly believes that she is living in her dream house. However, her dream is about to turn into a nightmare...

For what Myra doesn't realize is that the recent remodeling of her basement has reawakened an evil presence that demands vengeance. Researching the history of her house, Myra discovers that in 1695, a woman by the name of Elizabeth 'Goody' Redman was hanged for witchcraft. Goody Redman's body was subsequently buried on Myra's land. To release the tormented spirit, Myra performs an impromptu exorcism - to her detriment.

In my opinion, this was an excellent book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. Ms. Wood really knows how to create a chilling atmosphere, and I also appreciated the slow and steady increase in the horror - which was sustained throughout the story. I give this book a definite A+! - it's certainly a keeper for me!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Robert Goddard - Painting the Darkness

35. Painting the Darkness by Robert Goddard (1989)
Length: 446 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Started: 15 December 2009
Finished: 22 December 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 November 2009
Why do I have it? I like historical mysteries and Robert Goddard is a new author for me

I just finished reading Painting the Darkness by Robert Goddard. It's bit of an involved plot, but I'll try to explain it. One mild autumn day in 1882, William Trenchard sits smoking his pipe in his family home. When a stranger approaches him, he is puzzled but not overly worried. Trenchard cannot know what havoc will be wrought on his life and all he holds dear.

The stranger announces he is James Norton - but is, in reality Sir James Davenell - former fiance of Trenchard's wife, Constance. He disappeared 11 years ago and was declared a suicide. Now he's back to claim his inheritance and Constance. Sir Hugo, James' brother, and his mother Lady Catherine, are convinced that James Norton is an imposter and force Trenchard - who fears the loss of his wife - into an uneasy alliance against him. But Trenchard must plumb the depths of his despair before he can uncover the shocking secrets of the Davenell family.

I thought this book was really well-written, although the plot was very convoluted it was very good. I give this story an A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, December 14, 2009

Margaret James - The Haunting of Sara Lessingham

34. The Haunting of Sara Lessingham by Margaret James (1978)
Length: 337 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Started/Finished: 14 December 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 November 2009
Why do I have it? I like historical mysteries and Margaret James is a new author to me


Someone is out to drive 17-year-old Sara Lessingham mad. Sara is now living with her relatives in Victorian England after she lost her parents in a fire that she might have set. I read this in one day and it was very good if a little silly in parts. I give this story a B+!

B+! - (89-85%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Judith Guest - Errands: A Novel

33. Errands: A Novel by Judith Guest (1997)
Length: 335 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 12 December 2009
Finished: 13 December 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 November 2009
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Judith Guest is a new author for me.

Somewhere along the highway, just past the small farming community of Au Gres, Michigan, the Browner family is on their way to take a vacation. This has been their routine for the past six years, and they know it like the back seat of their family's old station wagon. Just north of Bay City, Michigan, taking the highway past Au Gres, leads to a stunning view of Lake Huron.

Keith, Annie, and their three children have rented the same cottage here every summer for the past six years. However, a shadow has fallen over this particular trip; Keith has recently been diagnosed with terminal cancer. While this is a diagnosis that Keith has accepted as his fate, Annie steadfastly refuses to accept what is an inevitable conclusion. She honestly cannot accept that their lives together are coming to such an abrupt end; she absolutely will not accept such a fate.

Annie's once stable, secure and blissfully happy marriage to Keith soon comes to an end after seventeen years together. After his death, Annie finds her entire world turned completely upside down. Her three children have inexplicably become sources of nagging frustration for her. Consumed with her grief, struggling against mounting bills, and facing an onslaught of once-simple everyday tasks that now seem insurmountable, Annie fails to comprehend that her family is actually beginning to come apart. 

Annie's sister, Jess, does her best to comfort her, yet she has also begun to realize that the boundaries of their own close relationship are being stretched to their limits. Annie's three children are also dealing with their father's loss in their own ways; whether for good or ill. Thirteen-year-old Harry, the eldest of the Browner children, has slipped into a strange new attitude, brooding and angry, roaming the streets with a rebellious new friend. Julie, the youngest child at nine, starts to lie about her whereabouts, although she keeps a secret journal that reveals her true feelings.

Jimmy, forever sandwiched in the middle at eleven-years-old, has always been the peacemaker of the family. It is a role that he can no longer stand for himself, as the pressure of such a placement is becoming so much more overwhelming for the child. As each child moves toward his or her own level of acceptance, a second threatening life event will transform the children as well as Annie herself - teaching them all that, even with the devastating loss of Keith, they are still a family - albeit a different family, yet one which is no less loving, real, and enduring than they had been with him as their husband and father.

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. In my opinion, it is a touching and poignant story that really drew me into its flow and pace. This was such a well-developed plot, peopled with a variety of intriguing characters and an excellent storyline. I give this book a definite A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, December 11, 2009

Stephen Piziks - Exorcist: The Beginning

32. Exorcist: The Beginning by Stephen Piziks (2003)
Length: 256 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 9 December 2009
Finished: 11 December 2009
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 9 December 2009
Why do I have it? I like horror and Mareena was nice enough to let me read this book first, before her.

I just finished reading Exorcist: The Beginning (call it a pre-reading) last night. My daughter received it from Paperback Swap. Lancaster Merrin comes back from World War II physically and spiritually drained. He decides to take a sabbatical from the priesthood and goes far from his native Holland to Africa to excavate a Byzantine Church found buried in pristine condition on the day it was completed.

Directly beneath the Church, Merrin finds an ancient crypt and also finds himself face-to-face with Evil. As madness descends on the natives and a British contingent of soldiers sent to guard the excavation site, Merrin watches helplessly as atrocities of the war are repeated on another village - atrocities that he hoped to never see again. And the horror has only just begun. I give this novel an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Jerry Oppenheimer - Martha Stewart Just Desserts: The Unauthorized Biography

31. Martha Stewart Just Desserts: The Unauthorized Biography by Jerry Oppenheimer (1997)
Length: 399 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction
Started: 3 December 2009
Finished: 9 December 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 20 November 2009
Why do I have it? I like unauthorized biographies and have always been curious about Martha Stewart's life.


I just finished Martha Stewart Just Desserts: The Unauthorized Biography by Jerry Oppenheimer. I thought that this book was great; it is a must-read for anyone who wants to know the 'dirt' on Martha Stewart. I give it an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Norah Lofts - The Lost Queen

30. The Lost Queen by Norah Lofts (1969)
Length: 302 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 28 November 2009
Finished: 2 December 2009
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 14 April 2009
Why do I have it? I like Norah Lofts as an author and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

This is the story of Queen Caroline of Denmark and her love affair with Doctor Struensee. Princess Caroline-Matilda was King George III's sister and married King Christian of Denmark. This historical novel is based on fact and brings to life eighteenth century Denmark. I love Norah Lofts as a writer and give this story an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Reading Wrap-up for November at Moonshine and Rosefire


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Rosefire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog. I originally posted my reviews over at my daughter's blog, Emeraldfire's Bookmark but am now in the process of transferring them all over to my own blog. My daughter makes blogging look like so much fun that I thought that I would try it out for myself! :)

Anyway, I started out November with 631 unread books lying around the house and ended the month with 628 books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from Paperback Swap and a Library Book Sale that we went to on the 20th.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile 


Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- The Magic Cottage by James Herbert
- One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens
- The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Dear Doctor Lily by Monica Dickens
- The Unholy by Michael Falconer Anderson
- The Sweet Taste of Burning: A Novel of the Occult by Paul Andreota
- Whitethorn Woods by Maeve Binchy
- The Hampton Sisters by Bernard F. Conners
- Wife Found Slain by Caroline Crane
- Woman Vanishes by Caroline Crane
- The Visitor by Jere Cunningham
- Mary Anne by Daphne du Maurier
- The Haunting of Sara Lessingham by Margaret James
- Hollywood's Greatest Love Stories by Dick Kliener
- Celebrity Detox: (The Fame Game) by Rosie O'Donnell
- Martha Stewart Just Desserts: The Unauthorized Biography by Jerry Oppenheimer
- Ruin Creek by David Payne
- Winter Solstice by Rosamunde Pilcher
- Blessings by Anna Quindlen
- The Perfect Summer by Luanne Rice
- Moment of Truth by Lisa Scottoline
- Demon Summer by Elaine Booth Selig
- The Stars Shine Down by Sidney Sheldon
- Change Baby by June Spence
- Blind Eye: How the Medical Establishment Let a Doctor Get Away With Murder by James B. Stewart
- The Forbidden Zone by Whitley Strieber
- False Witness by Dorothy Uhnak
- Blood Sisters by Judith Henry Wall
- Painting the Darkness by Robert Goddard

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Spartina by John Casey
The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth
Peyton Place by Grace Metalious

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, not a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 3
Pages Read: 797
Grade Range: A! to B+!

So, there you go! The reading month that was November. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, November 30, 2009

November's Book of the Month

Hello Everyone! I chose the picture posted above because it reminds me of reading to my daughter Mareena when she was little. Every afternoon until she was about eight or nine years old, we would take one of her books that she wanted to read or that she was reading and we would curl up together on my big bed. 

We would spend an hour or so reading a chapter of her book, and then take a nap together. Her absolutely favorite author at that time was an English author named Enid Blyton. Ahh, nice memories...

My picks for 'Books of the Month' will be decidedly more adult these days, but they will be from almost any genre. November's Book of the Month is: 




One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens
Published as: One Pair of Feet in January 1942
Publisher: Harper and Brothers




Birth Name: Monica Enid Dickens
Born: 10 May 1915 in London, England
Died: 25 December 1992 in Reading, Berkshire, England

Canonical Name: Monica Dickens
Pseudonyms: None

One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens was the twenty-eighth book that I read in 2009. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since November 12, 2009 and it took me six days to read. I sent this book off to another good home on March 16, 2010.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, November 28, 2009

James Herbert - The Magic Cottage

29. The Magic Cottage by James Herbert (1986)
Length: 394 pages
Genre: Horror
Started: 24 November 2009
Finished: 28 November 2009
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 21 November 2009
Why do I have it? I like horror and James Herbert is a relatively new author for me.


The cottage was so peaceful; maybe a little rundown, but so magically quiet. But then there was an alternate side; the bad magic. I loved this book and give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Monica Dickens - One Pair of Feet

28. One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens (1942)
Length: 224 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction
Started: 18 November 2009
Finished: 24 November 2009
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 12 November 2009
Why do I have it? I like non-fiction and I remember reading this book in college.

I just finished One Pair of Feet by Monica Dickens. It's semi autobiographical of Ms. Dickens' time as a nurse in England during World War II. I loved this book and give it an A! I thought it was a little dated now, but still very good.


A! - (90-95%)


Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Philip Roth - The Ghost Writer

27. The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth (1979)
Zuckerman Bound Series Book 1
Length: 179 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 15 November 2009
Finished: 17 November 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 15 September 2009
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Philip Roth is a new author for me.

I just finished reading The Ghost Writer by Phillip Roth. Nathan Zuckerman was a 23 year old up-and-coming writer with four stories published and an author profile in the Saturday Review. He has already ruined his relationship with his family by his autobiographical work, and his relationship with his girlfriend is on the rocks because of adultery and honesty.

Visiting his reclusive idol in the Berkshires, Nathan has a chance to evaluate his life and work and finds himself turning his problems into metafiction. I found this book funny in parts and very well-written. I give it a B+!

B+! - (89-85%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Reading Wrap-up for October at Moonshine and Rosefire


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Rosefire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog. I originally posted my reviews over at my daughter's blog, Emeraldfire's Bookmark but am now in the process of transferring them all over to my own blog. My daughter makes blogging look like so much fun that I thought that I would try it out for myself! :)

Anyway, I started out October with 633 unread books lying around the house and ended the month with 630 books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from Paperback Swap.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Re-reads
- A Place Called Saturday by Mary Astor 


Changes to the TBR pile 


Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Forgive Me by Amanda Eyre Ward
- Firebird by Janice Graham

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- The Lady in the Tower by Jean Plaidy

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- Bloodstream by Tess Gerritsen
- Ghosts: Washington's Most Famous Ghost Stories by John Alexander
- Bitter Medicine by Sara Paretsky

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 3
Pages Read: 833
Grade Range: A+! to B!

So, there you go! The reading month that was October. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, October 31, 2009

October's Book of the Month

Hello Everyone! I chose the picture posted above because it reminds me of reading to my daughter Mareena when she was little. Every afternoon until she was about eight or nine years old, we would take one of her books that she wanted to read or that she was reading and we would curl up together on my big bed. 

We would spend an hour or so reading a chapter of her book, and then take a nap together. Her absolutely favorite author at that time was an English author named Enid Blyton. Ahh, nice memories...

My picks for 'Books of the Month' will be decidedly more adult these days, but they will be from almost any genre. October's Book of the Month is: 


A Place Called Saturday by Mary Astor
Published as: A Place Called Saturday: A Novel in 1968
Publisher: Delacorte Press



Birth Name: Lucile Vasconcellos Langhanke
Born: 3 May 1906 in Quincy, Illinois
Died: 25 September 1987 in Woodland Hills, California

Canonical Name: Mary Astor
Pseudonyms: None

A Place Called Saturday by Mary Astor was the twenty-sixth book that I read in 2009. I had this book on my TBR pile since 14 October 2009. This book took me five days to read and was actually a reread for me from many years ago. I sent this book off to another good home on September 3, 2013!

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mary Astor - A Place Called Saturday

26. A Place Called Saturday by Mary Astor (1968)
Length: 212 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 14 October 2009
Finished: 19 October 2009
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 14 October 2009
Why do I have it? I read this book several years ago and loved it.

In A Place Called Saturday by Mary Astor, a young newlywed named Cora is brutally raped by an unknown assailant and becomes pregnant. What follows is a story about the consequences of keeping the child when Cora doesn't know if it's her husband's or her rapist's child.

I loved this story and remember reading it years ago. I really felt for the characters and didn't want it to end. I give it an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Amanda Eyre Ward - Forgive Me

25. Forgive Me by Amanda Eyre Ward (2007)
Length: 256 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 11 October 2009
Finished: 14 October 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 15 September 2009
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Amanda Eyre Ward is a new author for me.

I just finished reading Forgive Me by Amanda Eyre Ward. Nadine Morgan is a journalist who travels the world, covering dangerous and important events and running from anything that might tie her down. After a story turns tragic in Cape Town, South Africa, Nadine doesn't go back - or open her heart; until she hears the story of American Jason Irving.

Jason was beaten to death by angry local youths during the height of the aparteid era. Now, years later, his mother has been told that Jason's killers have applied for amnesty. His parents pack up and fly from Nantucket to Cape Town for the hearing determined not to bestow forgiveness.

Nadine follows the Irvings back to Cape Town, determined to lose herself in covering the hearing and trying to forget the ghosts of her past. During her time there in South Africa, Nadine befriends both the mother of the victim and the mother of the killers, leading to serious consequences. I loved this story and give it an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Janice Graham - Firebird

24. Firebird by Janice Graham (1998)
Length: 301 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 1 October 2009
Finished: 10 October 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 August 2009
Why do I have it? I like historical fiction and Janice Graham is a new author for me.


I just finished Firebird by Janice Graham. Ethan Browne is a Kansas doctor who chooses Katie Anne to be his bride, even though he is in love with Annette who just returned to town for her mother's funeral. Ethan sets out to win Katie Anne because he believes that is what he needs to do.

Ethan is also a rancher and Katie Anne has an aversion to the land he loves. She also is aware that he is in love with Annette, but is determined to hold on to him in spite of that fact.

Janice Graham's style of writing is beautiful, but in my opinion, the plot twist at the end is a little strange. I give this book a B!

B! - (80-88%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Reading Wrap-up for September at Moonshine and Rosefire


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Rosefire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog. I originally posted my reviews over at my daughter's blog, Emeraldfire's Bookmark but am now in the process of transferring them all over to my own blog. My daughter makes blogging look like so much fun that I thought that I would try it out for myself! :)

Anyway, I started out September with 632 books lying around the house and ended the month with 627 books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from Paperback Swap and a Library Book Sale we went to on the 15th.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Re-reads
- Peyton Place by Grace Metalious


Changes to the TBR pile 


Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
- Call in the Night by Susan Howatch
- Light on Snow by Anita Shreve
- The House at Sunset by Norah Lofts

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Three-Dimensional Needlepoint by Gale Litvak
- Complete Guide to Creative Needlepoint by Jo Bucher
- 120 Needlepoint Design Projects by Charles Barnes and David Blake
- Nature in Needlepoint by Eva Brent and Meg Merrill
- Forgive Me by Amanda Eyre Ward
- The Ghost Writer by Philip Roth

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
- The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart
Call in the Night by Susan Howatch
Crown of Aloes by Norah Lofts

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 5
Pages Read: 1,685
Grade Range: A+! to C!

So, there you go! The reading month that was September. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

September's Book of the Month

Hello Everyone! I chose the picture posted above because it reminds me of reading to my daughter Mareena when she was little. Every afternoon until she was about eight or nine years old, we would take one of her books that she wanted to read or that she was reading and we would curl up together on my big bed. 

We would spend an hour or so reading a chapter of her book, and then take a nap together. Her absolutely favorite author at that time was an English author named Enid Blyton. Ahh, nice memories...

My picks for 'Books of the Month' will be decidedly more adult these days, but they will be from almost any genre. September's Book of the Month is: 


My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
Published as: My Cousin Rachel in January 1952
Publisher: The Reprint Society



Birth Name: Daphne du Maurier
Born: 13 May 1907 in London, England
Died: 19 April 1989 in Fowey, Cornwall, United Kindom

Canonical Name: Daphne du Maurier
Pseudonyms: None

My Cousin Rachel was the twenty-second book that I read in 2009. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since August 18, 2009 and it took me two days to read. This book is a definite keeper for me!

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Grace Metalious - Peyton Place

23. Peyton Place by Grace Metalious (1956)
Peyton Place Series Book 1
Length: 424 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 20 September 2009
Finished: 30 September 2009
Where did it come from? Borrowed from the library
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 15 September 2009
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and had read this book years ago and enjoyed it.


I just finished reading Peyton Place by Grace Metalious. It was written in 1956, and considered very shocking for the day. It's about a small town with several shocking secrets like suicide, illegitimacy and death. I liked it very much and give it a B+!


B+! - (89-85%)


Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Daphne du Maurier - My Cousin Rachel

22. My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier (1951)
Length: 288 pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Started: 10 September 2009
Finished: 12 September 2009
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 18 August 2009
Why do I have it? I like Daphne du Maurier as an author and several books by this author on my TBR pile.

Orphaned from an early age, Phillip Ashley is raised by his benevolent older cousin, Ambrose. A confirmed bachelor, Ambrose delights instead in having Phillip as his heir, a man in whom Ambrose shares a kindred spirit - someone who will love his grand home just as much as Ambrose does himself. However, the cozy world the cousins have constructed together is shattered, when Ambrose sets off on a trip to Florence. There he falls in love and marries - and it is there he dies suddenly.

In almost no time at all, the new widow - Phillip's distant cousin Rachel - turns up in England. In spite of himself, Phillip is entranced by her beauty, drawn to this mysterious and sophisticated woman like a moth to a flame. And yet...might she be hiding a deadly secret of her own?

I must say that I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Daphne du Maurier weaves a superbly Gothic mystery - one that is intriguing and suspenseful, and kept me guessing until the very end. I give My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Susan Howatch - Call in the Night

21. Call in the Night by Susan Howatch (1967)
Length: 239 pages 
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 6 September 2009
Finished: 10 September 2009
Where did it come from? Borrowed from the library
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 August 2009
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and do like Susan Howatch as an author

From halfway around the world, American Claire Sullivan jets to Paris on the basis of a desperate phone call that she received from her glamorous sister Gina. However, when she arrives, Gina is missing and her trail leads to a mysterious boyfriend, Garth Cooper now living in London with a secret to hide. As time passes, Claire begins to realize that Gina's sudden disappearance is not another one of her sister's harebrained stunts.

I usually enjoy Susan Howatch's books, but I think that this book was one of her weakest. I give this book a C!

C! - (70-75%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Anita Shreve - Light on Snow

20. Light on Snow by Anita Shreve (2004)
Length: 304 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 2 September 2009
Finished: 5 September 2009
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 5 May 2009
Why do I have it? I like Anita Shreve as an author and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.


I just finished reading Light on Snow by Anita Shreve. Twelve-year-old Nicky Dillon and her widowed father find an abandoned baby in the woods on a snowy winter's night in New Hampshire. This leads Nicky to question what makes a family, especially when an unexpected visitor - a young woman who's haunted by her own terrible choices - shows up at the Dillons door. The Dillons and their guests face many emotional decisions each of which could lead to heartbreak or redemption. I really liked this story; it's easy reading and a riveting storyline. I give it an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)


Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Norah Lofts - The House at Sunset

19. The House at Sunset by Norah Lofts (1962)
The Suffolk House Trilogy Book 3
Length: 366 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 28 August 2009
Finished: 1 September 2009
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 5 August 2009
Why do I have it? I like Norah Lofts as an author and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.


I loved this story. It spans the mid-eighteenth century to the 1950s through the lives of seven owners of the house. This is the third book in the Suffolk House trilogy by Norah Lofts. I think that Norah Lofts is a wonderful writer and give this story an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Reading Wrap-up for August at Moonshine and Rosefire


Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Rosefire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog. I originally posted my reviews over at my daughter's blog, Emeraldfire's Bookmark but am now in the process of transferring them all over to my own blog. My daughter makes blogging look like so much fun that I thought that I would try it out for myself! :)

Anyway, I started out August with 629 unread books lying around the house and ended the month with 625 books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from Paperback Swap and a Library Book Sale that we went to on the 1st.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile 


Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- Nickel Dreams: My Life by Tanya Tucker and Patsy Bale Cox
- Crown of Aloes by Norah Lofts
- The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve
- The Woman Next Door by Barbara Delinsky

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! :))
- Call in the Night by Susan Howatch
- Firebird by Janice Graham
- Ireland by Mark Morris and Anthony Cassidy
- Disgrace by J. M. Coetzee
- Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
- My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier
- The House on the Strand by Daphne du Maurier

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
The Hot House: Life Inside Leavenworth Prison by Pete Earley
Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 4
Pages Read: 1,359
Grade Range: A+! to F!

So, there you go! The reading month that was August. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, August 31, 2009

August's Book of the Month

Hello Everyone! I chose the picture posted above because it reminds me of reading to my daughter Mareena when she was little. Every afternoon until she was about eight or nine years old, we would take one of her books that she wanted to read or that she was reading and we would curl up together on my big bed. 

We would spend an hour or so reading a chapter of her book, and then take a nap together. Her absolutely favorite author at that time was an English author named Enid Blyton. Ahh, nice memories...

My picks for 'Books of the Month' will be decidedly more adult these days, but they will be from almost any genre. August's Book of the Month is: 


The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve
Published as: The Weight of Water in January 1997
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company



Birth Name: Anita Shreve
Born: 1946 in Dedham, Massachusetts

Canonical Name: Anita Shreve
Pseudonyms: None

The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve was the sixteenth book that I read in 2009. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since August 1, 2009 and it took me a day to read. This book is a definite keeper for me!

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tanya Tucker and Patsy Bale Cox - Nickel Dreams: My Life

18. Nickel Dreams: My Life by Tanya Tucker and Patsy Bale Cox (1997)
Length: 368 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction
Started: 18 August 2009
Finished: 28 August 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 August 2009
Why do I have it? I like autobiographies and didn't know all that much about Tanya Tucker's life.

I just finished reading Nickel Dreams: My Life by Tanya Tucker. Since the age of eleven, Tanya Tucker has been a successful country singer who has lived a hard life. This is her autobiography. I personally can't say much for this book since I had never heard of many of the record people she mentioned. I give it an F!

F! - (00-65%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Norah Lofts - Crown of Aloes

17. Crown of Aloes by Norah Lofts (1974)
Length: 303 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Started: 7 August 2009
Finished: 15 August 2009
Where did it come from? Borrowed from the library
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 August 2009
Why do I have it? I like Norah Lofts as an author and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.


This is a novel of Queen Isabella of Spain. It is based on fact and detail, presented as a personal chronicle of her life. Isabella's fortunes were varied: she knew poverty and faced much anxiety and danger. I loved this story - it was very touching at the end. I give this story an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Anita Shreve - The Weight of Water

16. The Weight of Water by Anita Shreve (1997)
Length: 263 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 5 August 2009
Finished: 6 August 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 August 2009
Why do I have it? I like Anita Shreve as an author and have read and enjoyed several books by this author in the past.

For Jean Janes, a photographer with the local newspaper, a century-old crime has held her spellbound for the longest time. In 1895, a crime of passion caused the deaths of two women and the temporary disappearance of another. Jean plans to write an article for her newspaper about the murder case, complete with photographs of the island where the bodies of the women were eventually found, and where the survivor was discovered cowering in a cave along the shore.

Posing the question to her readers: "If you take a woman and push her to edge, how will she behave?", Jean sets out to write her article. In 1995, she arrives on Smuttynose Island, off the coast of Maine and immerses herself in the details of the case. Deciding that she will make a vacation of the time she spends researching the case; Jean, her husband Thomas and their five-year-old daughter Billie plan to go sailing with Thomas' younger brother Rich and Rich's new girlfriend Adaline.

So Jean immerses herself in Maine of the late nineteenth-century and in the grisly details of the most shocking crime of the century. Although for some strange reason, she just can't shake the feeling of history repeating itself. Jean herself is entering some truly precarious emotional territory: suspicion and jealousy. The niggling suspicion that her husband Thomas is having an affair quickly flares into jealousy and distrust, and ultimately propels Jean to the verge of actions she had not known herself capable of - actions with horrific consequences.

In this riveting and deeply moving story of irresistible emotions and irrevocable actions, Anita Shreve takes the reader on an unforgettable journey through the farthest extremes of emotion. I must say that I have always enjoyed Anita Shreve's writing, and The Weight of Water is no exception. Ms. Shreve writes detail driven and emotional storylines, and I found myself completely immersed in this story immediately. I loved this book and give it an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Barbara Delinsky - The Woman Next Door

15. The Woman Next Door by Barbara Delinsky (2001)
Length: 400 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 1 August 2009
Finished: 4 August 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 August 2009
Why do I have it? I like Barbara Delinsky as an author and I have several books by this author on my bookshelf.

In Barbara Delinsky's The Woman Next Door, three women who live next door to a lovely, pregnant and reclusive widow have their lives turned upside down by their husbands' interest in her. These three wives are friends, but each can't help but wonder if her husband is the father of the baby. As a result, each woman reevaluates her life and finds out what's truly important to herself.

Amanda and Graham O'Leary have an ostensibly happy life, but infertility treatments have put a strain on their marriage. Russ Lange is a house husband while his wife travels the country to promote her juice company. Karen Cottar has dealt with her husband's infedelity before. When a crisis happens at the high school, it adds to each household's tension. I liked this story very much; the type of book women like to read. I give it an A!

A! - (90-95%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Reading Wrap-up for July at Moonshine and Rosefire

 

Hello everyone out there and I hope that you all had a terrific reading month for yourselves. I am known as Rosefire around the Internet and this is my new personal reading blog. I originally posted my reviews over at my daughter's blog, Emeraldfire's Bookmark but am now in the process of transferring them all over to my own blog. My daughter makes blogging look like so much fun that I thought that I would try it out for myself! :)

Anyway, I started out July with 634 unread books lying around the house and ended the month with 629 books unread. The only book that I actually acquired this month was one that Mareena was sent to review that she let me read first.

Let me try to break down the influx for you:

Changes to the TBR pile 


Read from my TBR pile (Yes! I am a reading machine :))
- The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Toibin
- A Paper Life by Tatum O'Neal
- A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi
- An Accidental Woman by Barbara Delinsky
- Out of the Dark by Norah Lofts

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
Medieval Castles of Ireland by David Sweetman
- Your Naturally Healthy Home: Stylish, Safe, Simple by Alan Berman
The Painter's Composition Handbook by Jan Herring
- Billy Straight by Jonathan Kellerman

Well, there it is...the breakdown! All in all, a very good reading month for me. Here's a further breakdown:

Books Read: 5
Pages Read: 1,730
Grade Range: A+! to C+!

So, there you go! The reading month that was July. I hope that you all had an equally good reading month; if not a little better. :) See you all next month! :)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Friday, July 31, 2009

July's Book of the Month

Hello Everyone! I chose the picture posted above because it reminds me of reading to my daughter Mareena when she was little. Every afternoon until she was about eight or nine years old, we would take one of her books that she wanted to read or that she was reading and we would curl up together on my big bed. 

We would spend an hour or so reading a chapter of her book, and then take a nap together. Her absolutely favorite author at that time was an English author named Enid Blyton. Ahh, nice memories...

My picks for 'Books of the Month' will be decidedly more adult these days, but they will be from almost any genre. July's Book of the Month is: 


The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Toibin
Published as: The Blackwater Lightship in September 1999
Publisher: Picador



Birth Name: Colm Tóibín
Born: 30 May 1955 in Enniscorthy, County Wexford, Ireland

Canonical Name: Colm Tóibín
Pseudonyms: None

The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Tóibín was the fourteenth book that I read in 2009. I have had this book on my TBR shelf since June 1, 2009 and it took me three days to read. I sent this book off to another good home on February 23, 2012.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Colm Toibin - The Blackwater Lightship

14. The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Tóibín (1999)
Length: 288 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 22 July 2009
Finished: 25 July 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 June 2009
Why do I have it? I like contemporary fiction and Colm Toibin is a new author to me.


This is the story of Helen Doherty and her family. Helen is told that her brother Declan is in the hospital and needs to see her. She and her brother go to their grandmother's delapidated guest house with his two friends. Declan's friends know the whole truth that Declan's family does not: that Declan has AIDS and is dying. 

Declan and Helen have sad memories of their grandmother's guest house - they had stayed with their grandmother while their father died of cancer. Their mother, Lily, had returned to them cold and remote and their relationship with her and subsequently their grandmother was seriously affected into later life - especially for Helen. I loved this book; the story was poignant and beautifully written. I give it an A+! and recommend it to anyone who likes stories about the dynamics of families.

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tatum O'Neal - A Paper Life

13. A Paper Life by Tatum O'Neal (2004)
Length: 285 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction
Started: 19 July 2009
Finished: 22 July 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 June 2009
Why do I have it? I like non-fiction and Tatum O'Neal is a new author for me.

Tatum Beatrice O'Neal is the oldest of Ryan O'Neal's four children. As the child of Ryan and his first wife - the actress Joanna Moore - she and her brother Griffin, and their half-brothers Patrick and Redmond have grown up in the limelight. Her acting career started early as she often co-starred opposite her father in some of the best-known films of the 1970's and 1980's.

At the age of ten, Tatum O'Neal became the youngest Academy Award winner in history - winning the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 1974 for her performance in the film classic Paper Moon. She was hailed by the entertainment industry as a new kind of child star - sassy and precocious - someone who resonated with the emerging generation of hip, yet cynical moviegoers. As her father's sidekick, Tatum soon became a fixture at the most glamorous Hollywood parties. Appearing on the arm of one of the most flamboyant and fashionable stars in Hollywood - the man-about-town, Ryan O'Neal - she counted celebrities from Cher to Stanley Kubrick among some of her closest childhood friends.

Yet behind the glittering facade of Tatum's very public life lay her very private pain. A life full of heartbreak: abandonment, abuse and neglect. Her mother - the actress Joanna Moore - was a struggling alcoholic and drug addict, and drifted in and out of her daughter's life. Her father - raising both Tatum and her brother Griffin - grew increasingly punitive and distant from his children as time passed. By her late teens, Tatum - despite being a working actress with ten movies to her credit - had nevertheless begun a perilous slide into self-destruction.

Then, just before she turned twenty-one, Tatum met the man who would become her husband: the legendary tennis player, John McEnroe. The couple had three children together - but their eight-year marriage was a turbulent one - and led to one of the messiest high-profile divorces on record. With the subsequent demise of her marriage, Tatum very nearly succumbed to the demons of her past. She has since emerged from the darkness - living a clean and sober lifestyle - rediscovering herself as an actress, a mother, and a wonderfully vibrant woman in what she considers the prime of her life.

A Paper Life is a story of indomitable strength and courage: telling the life story of Tatum O'Neal - one of Hollywood's brightest, yet troubled young stars. Her story is deeply personal yet unflinchingly honest, poignantly funny, and unfailingly uplifting. This is a triumphant tale steeped in Hollywood lore - and is an inspiring testament to the healing power of love.

I must say that I have always enjoyed reading autobiographies about movie stars, and Tatum O'Neal's autobiography was no exception. I really enjoyed reading this book, and was happy to learn that she was continuing to stay strong in her sobriety. This was truly an inspirational story, although I would certainly agree that Tatum holds nothing back about her various relationships. I give this book an A+!

That being said, I was saddened to learn that in June of 2008 she was in trouble with the law again. I wish her all the best for the future, and hope that she can strengthen her relationship with her father.

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Preetham Grandhi - A Circle of Souls

12. A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi (2009)
Length: 339 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 14 July 2009
Finished: 18 July 2009
Where did it come from? I commandeered this book to read for myself first when Mareena received an Advanced Reader's Copy to review from Preetham Grandhi
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 4 July 2009
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and Preetham Grandhi is a new author for me.

I was very interested in this book when my daughter received it from the author for review. I asked if I could borrow it to read it first and she said yes I could. I agree wholeheartedly with her review.

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Monday, July 13, 2009

Barbara Delinsky - An Accidental Woman

11. An Accidental Woman by Barbara Delinsky (2002)
Blake Sisters Series Book 2
Length: 544 pages
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Started: 3 July 2009
Finished: 13 July 2009
Where did it come from? From a Library Book Sale
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 1 June 2009
Why do I have it? I like Barbara Delinsky as an author and I have several more books by this author on my bookshelf.

Longtime resident of Lake Henry, New Hampshire, Heather Malone has been led away by the FBI, which claims that she fled the scene of a fatal accident in California years before. Poppy Blake, her best friend, is determined to clear her name, while facing past mistakes of her own: she still feels guilt over a snowmobile accident that killed her partner and left her paralyzed. Playing an unlikely role in both women's lives is investigative journalist Griffin Hughes, whose attraction to Poppy keeps him returning to Lake Henry, even as he is the secret reason why the FBI is interested in Heather.

To redeem himself, Griffin sets out to unravel the mystery surrounding Heather and becomes the key to freeing Poppy from her regrets and showing her a rich new future. In my opinion, this is not Barbara Delinsky's best work. There was a lot of discussion of maple syrup making which I didn't understand very well. I give this book a C+!


C+! - (76-79%)


Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight