Monday, January 31, 2011

Against All Odds: A Novel, by Irene Hannon

I read this book over the weekend.  It was a free download on Kobo (and also here on Barnes and Noble). 

This book intrigued me, as it was an author I had not heard of.  The plot sounded like almost any suspense movie that tries to also attract women with a bit of romance.  While parts of the story were predictable, others were not.  The characters were believable and realistic.  Overall, the story was entertaining and held my attention.  What I enjoyed most was the fact that there was a religious aspect to the story, but not so much as to detract from the primary story line.  The language was completely free of vulgarities, slurs, innuendos, etc.  There were a couple of scenes that, while still clean, were not suited to children.

This author's writing style and subject matter (the combination of faith/spirituality, suspense, and romance) reminds me of Dee Henderson.  If you enjoy any of Ms. Henderson's novels, you will likely enjoy this one as well.  And the reverse is also true.  If you enjoy this novel, check out some of Henderson's novels.

My verdict:  I would suggest this book to a friend.  So, friend, read this book!  :-)  Actually, I do encourage you to check it out, especially while it is available as a free download. 


Sunday, January 30, 2011

The eReader Debate

I love books.  I love holding a book, smelling the ink of the print, feeling the weight of the author's effort, eagerly turning a page to see what happens next.  I just love books.  That having been said, I'm becoming more practical as I age.  As it is right now, I have one area of the largest room in the house devoted to books.  I have seven full-sized bookcases there.  All of the bookcases are full.  They are actually beyond full, with sets (like Harry Potter, The Wimpy Kid books, and Twilight) "displayed" on top with bookends.  There are also boxes of books waiting to be put on the shelves in the floor in front of them because I have no room on the shelves.  These are just the books I have now.  I have four moving boxes full of books in the attic.  Those are the books that I would like to have out, but don't use regularly or they are my reference materials... some are even books I was assigned to read in middle school, high school, and college.  Since I am taking over the house one bookcase at a time, I needed an alternative.  I used the library for a while, but the library in town is not located near anything I do, so that made it difficult to make a special trip across town.  Until I started my job, I didn't have access to the MTSU library, so I've been in the habit of not using it.  (which is probably a good thing.  When I start back taking classes, I don't need to be thinking about pleasure reading when I'm using the library!)  So, how to solve this problem?

My first solution was to download the Barnes and Noble eReader app on my iPhone.  They offered free books with the download (classics like Pride and Prejudice and Dracula), as well as a large selection of free downloads.  They also have an extensive group of books under $5.00, which is great.  They had more books that I was interested in than Amazon offered in the Kindle store (which also has an app that I downloaded).  On new releases, Barnes and Noble has regularly come in with a cheaper price for the eBook than Amazon or Sony or Borders/Kobo.  For a while, I thought I would purchase a Nook (Barnes and Noble's eReader device) since it was a color reader, had instant downloading, and was also able to read PDF files (you can occasionally download eBooks as PDF files from other vendors).

What stopped me from purchasing a Nook?  My husband.  For my birthday last year, Dave bought me the Sony eReader Pocket Edition.  I read about it.  It had a battery that would last up to two weeks without needing a charge.  It would hold hundreds of books.  It had an anti-glare screen so you can read outside or under a light.  I was in love.  I set up a Sony account and began perusing the online bookstore.  I purchased some books, I downloaded the one available for free, and life was good.  It was a little annoying to have to connect the device to my laptop to shop for books and download them to the Reader, but that was okay.  It was frustrating to have to use a book light to read in darker areas because the screen wasn't back-lit, but I managed.  Things were good.  I still used my apps on my iPhone because, as I mentioned, the free selections were better on Barnes and Noble.  And I still purchased books on there.  Then Apple released iBooks, their own bookstore app for all things i.  Their selection wasn't huge at the time, but they had great free books (like the Winnie the Pooh collection).  So I added that app.

Jump forward a few months to right around Thanksgiving.  I've had my Sony reader about six months (Dave gave it to me about six weeks after my birthday; it was back ordered).  Suddenly, it won't hold a charge more than a few days.  I'm concerned, but it's okay because I can plug it in and charge it.  Then it freezes and won't let me turn a page.  I reset it.  It won't load my library.  I reset it.  It loads my library but freezes.  I reset it.  It won't even power on.  I charge it.  I reset it.  I research and learn I am not the only one with these issues.  My Reader is fried.  I'm not pleased.  Dave is not pleased.  We are out of the warranty on it.  I am now back to using my apps exclusively, but cannot access the books I purchased from Sony.

After much research, I have decided which Reader I will purchase next.  The Apple iPad.  The iPad has apps for Barnes and Noble, Kobo/Borders, Amazon, and iBooks.  Sony is in the process of creating an app for the iPad.  I can transfer ALL of my books to the iPad.  Plus, the iPad will stream Netflix, go online, let me write documents, and play games.  For the price (starting at $499), it is a much better deal than the exclusive readers.  Those readers cost around $200-250, but will only read books from their own store.  With the iPad, I can shop each store to find the best price on a book or find the best free books to read.  Just as an eReader, that's a better deal.  Factor in the other things that the iPad will do and it's far more useful and financially sound.  I had already planned to get one at some point; I'm hoping now to get one for my birthday this year.

If you have an eReader, let me know your experiences with it.  If you haven't purchased one yet but you're wanting one, I hope this has helped some. 


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

One of the first books I read this year was Beth Hoffman's Saving CeeCee Honeycutt.  This is a gem of a novel.  It's a little over 300 pages and very sweet.  It's a Southern coming-home, find-yourself novel.  I loved how real the characters seemed, how familiar the settings were, and how clean the language and scenes were.  This is a book I wouldn't cringe to see my child read.  It's a book I would (and did!) lend to my mother without worrying what she would think.

This falls under the category of "vacation books" in my mind.  It's an easy read, it's lighthearted, and it's fun.  Perfect for a day on the beach, a rainy/snowy day on the couch in front of a fire, or your next flight out of town.  It's definitely worth the read and a great impulse buy at the book store.  This is a book you will want to lend to your friends or put in a care package for a girlfriend.

Click here to buy from Barnes and Noble.

Let me know what you think of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt!



This is just a brief note to welcome everyone to my blog.  

My plan is to write a short review of each book that I read and post it on here.  Ideally, I'll also post purchasing information in the review.  I read a lot, so there should be a lot of posts.  Feel free to comment on the books I post, let me and anyone else who reads the blog know what you thought about it as well.  

I have no problem with anyone sharing this blog address with others who may benefit from it.  I also have no problem with people sending me suggestions of books to read - so please do!  

If you are an author and would like for me to read and post about a book you have written, let me know.  I will be glad to post purchasing information for you, even if the book is not available everywhere.  I love finding local authors and encouraging my friends to read their work!

Happy reading!