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

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Norah Lofts - Out of the Dark

10. Out of the Dark by Norah Lofts (1972)
Length: 255 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 25 June 2009
Finished: 2 July 2009
Where did it come from? From Paperback Swap 
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 25 June 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.

Years before, Charlotte Cornwall's little stepbrother was kidnapped and found murdered. According to circumstantial evidence, Charlotte was implicated. And even though she was acquitted, Charlotte Cornwall was notorious.

Now Charlotte had a new name and a new life. She taught at Homelands - a nice school for nice young women. However, suddenly, some of the things that begin to happen around Charlotte aren't nice at all. The old suspicions are returning. And this time Charlotte is not sure that she can escape the consequences. I give this an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

Till we Meet Again, Glow Brightly as Moonlight

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Reading Wrap-up for June 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 June with about 622 unread books lying around the house and ended the month with 617 books unread. All of the books that I acquired this month came from a library book sale we went to on the 1st to celebrate Mareena's birthday, as well as Paperback Swap; I have bought books though the library book sale this month (50 cents for paperbacks, $1.00 for hardcovers. The money goes to help our library's upkeep and stocking some latest releases.) We generally try to go to the library once a month if we can.

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 :))
- A Wedding in December by Anita Shreve
- The Ice House by Nina Bawden
- To See a Fine Lady by Norah Lofts
- The Ivy Tree by Mary Stewart
- The Brittle Glass by Norah Lofts 

Added to my TBR pile (oh well, you win some and you lose some! Not too bad though, I suppose:))
- Claudia's Shadow by Charlotte Vale Allen
- My Beloved Son by Catherine Cookson
- Loose Change: Three Women of the Sixties by Sara Davidson
- An Accidental Woman by Barbara Delinsky
- Now You Know by Kitty Dukakis and Jane Scovell
- Family Treason: The Walker Spy Case by Jack Kneece
- While I Was Gone by Sue Miller
- A Paper Life by Tatum O'Neal
- Crescent City by Belva Plain
- The Letters by Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger
- The Case of Lucy Bending by Lawrence Sanders
- The Blackwater Lightship by Colm Toibin
- Horror House by J. N. Williamson
- House Sensation: Spirited and Stylish Home Decoration by Anne McKevitt
- The Doctor's Wife: A True Story of Marriage, Deception and Two Gruesome Deaths by John Glatt
- Home Decorating With Needlecrafts by Linda Lee Lindgren
- Out of the Dark by Norah Lofts

Taken off my TBR pile and sent to a new home (Yay! Happy Dance! :))
Duma Key Stephen King
Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart
The Godmother: The True Story of the Hunt For the Most Bloodthirsty Female Criminal in Our Time, Griselda Blanco by Richard Smitten
- Encyclopedia of 312 Scroll Saw Designs by John La Forge
- New Selected Poems, 1966-1987 by Seamus Heaney

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, 328
Grade Range: A+! to C+!

So, there you go! The reading month that was June. 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