Saturday, August 13, 2011

This Book Room

This week was a big week in books! It helped that some of these were extremely easy, quick reads. Here's one quick tip for those of you who have trouble finding time to read: take a book wherever you go. Keep one in the trunk of your car in case you have car troubles or are waiting on the person you're meeting for lunch, etc. Keep one in your handbag and read it while you wait in the line at the grocery store. Whenever you have a spare moment, grab your book and read a few pages. Those pages will add up, and you'll be finishing books quickly!

Here's what I read this past week:

Billed as "100% Official," this very generously illustrated autobiography chronicles the early years and dizzying success of this teen-pop hearthrob in his own words and pictures. The staggering dimensions of his story should silence any skepticism about the worth of any autobiography of a 16-year-old: Since being discovered just three years ago, this small-town Ontario boy has gone platinum with his first album; drawn more than 70 million YouTube hits and four million Twitter followers; and caused crowd scenes and near riots on his World Tour. Sometimes just too cute for words.

My thoughts: I'm a Belieber - I'm not ashamed to admit it. Justin's life story is inspirational - to have a dream as a kid and have it come true and then some. It's really sort of a fairytale. I also watched his DVD two months ago or so and found it interesting and a good addition to this book. If you like his music at all, you'll enjoy the book and DVD.

For fifteen years, she fought for respect and footing in the masculine world of firefighting. Now she would finally put everything on the line. Ellie Karlson is new to Deep Haven. As the town's interim fire chief, she is determined to lead the local macho fire crew in spite of their misconceptions about her. But when someone begins setting deadly fires, Ellie faces the biggest challenge of her life. Especially when sparks fly with one of the volunteers on her crew: Pastor Dan Matthews. Dan's idea of the perfect woman is thrown off balance by this beautiful spitfire. Surely Ellies not the answer to his prayers for a quiet, supportive wife. But he can't seem to get her out of his mind... As Ellie battles to do her job and win the respect of her crew, she finds that there is one fire she can't fight--the one Dan has set in her heart.

Additional notes: This is the third book in the Deep Haven series. You can read my reviews of book one and book two here and here. There is a fourth book in this series so far, and this series is ongoing.

My thoughts: While I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in the series, book two was not the greatest, and book three was even worse. I'll keep going with the series because I really started the entire series because book four sounded good. But I'm not impressed at all and do not plan to read any other book by this author outside of this series.

The success stories speak for themselves in this book from money maestro Dave Ramsey. Instead of promising the normal dose of quick fixes, Ramsey offers a bold, no-nonsense approach to money matters, providing not only the how-to but also a grounded and uplifting hope for getting out of debt and achieving total financial health. Ramsey debunks the many myths of money (exposing the dangers of cash advance, rent-to-own, debt consolidation) and attacks the illusions and downright deceptions of the American dream, which encourages nothing but overspending and massive amounts of debt. "Don't even consider keeping up with the Joneses," Ramsey declares in his typically candid style. "They're broke!" The Total Money Makeover isn't theory. It works every single time. It works because it is simple. It works because it gets to the heart of the money problems: you.

My thoughts: Jason first read Dave's book a few years ago, and this book, along with Dave's radio show and The Suze Orman Show, changed our ways of viewing money. I'm glad I read this book, if only to solidify my current viewpoints. The stories included were incredibly inspirational.

Hell on earth. That’s what it’s like for Luce to be apart from her fallen angel boyfriend, Daniel. It took them an eternity to find one another, but now he has told her he must go away. Just long enough to hunt down the Outcasts—immortals who want to kill Luce. Daniel hides Luce at Shoreline, a school on the rocky California coast with unusually gifted students: Nephilim, the offspring of fallen angels and humans. At Shoreline, Luce learns what the Shadows are, and how she can use them as windows to her previous lives. Yet the more Luce learns, the more she suspects that Daniel hasn’t told her everything. He’s hiding something—something dangerous. What if Daniel’s version of the past isn’t actually true? What if Luce is really meant to be with someone else?

Additional notes: This is the second book in the Fallen series. The third book recently came out, and as far as I know, this series is ongoing.

My thoughts: This book was intriguing and odd. I feel the need to note this is one of Jason's favorite series out right now, and he was so anxious for me to read the second book (he read it last summer) so we could discuss it. Really, that's part of what makes this series so fun for me - being able to discuss it with Jason. A great series, though, and one that far younger adults could read (10 and up).

Being a teenage girl with divorced parents is hard enough without discovering you're the heir apparent to a small European country, that you must have a bodyguard tailing you at all times, and that your paternal grandmother is determined to turn you into a proper princess. Mia Thermopolis faces all that and more during her year as a high school freshman, and she shares the trials and tribulations of her hilarious life in The Princess Diaries.

As the subtitle to the second book in this series suggests, Mia finds herself "A Princess in the Spotlight" when she's tapped for an interview by a world-famous woman TV journalist. She doesn't want to do the interview, which will be broadcast nationwide, feeling that her flat chest, ski-sized feet, and royal heritage make her stick out plenty as it is, thank you very much. But her protocol- and publicity-obsessed grandmother, Grandmère, insists that the interview is a great idea, claiming the exposure will give their homeland, Genovia, the sort of attention it deserves.

Unfortunately, when time for the interview arrives, Mia is nervous and unfocused, rattled by her secret crush on her best friend's brother, anonymous emails from an unknown admirer, and the shocking news that her mother, Helen, is not only dating Mia's algebra teacher, Mr. Gianini, but (gasp!) is pregnant by him. Comments made during the interview earn Mia the scorn of several classmates, and when she accidentally lets slip the news about her mother's pregnancy, Grandmère goes into overdrive planning the royal wedding of the century -- despite Helen's desire for a simple, quiet ceremony.

In the meantime, Mia debates such weighty issues as her friends' inexplicable attraction to her hick cousin, the naturalness of a certain celebrity's boobs, and the grim outlook for her future love life now that she knows the meaning behind the term "royal consort." The story unfolds via Mia's comical diary entries -- telling lists, acerbic asides, and self-focused narratives -- in a voice that somehow manages to be both refreshingly unique and quintessentially adolescent. And in the end, a royal good time is had by all.

Additional notes: This is the second book in the Princess series. You can read my review of the first book here. This series has several books, but is now finished.

My thoughts: This book picks up almost directly from where the first left off, and parts of this book were also incorporated into the first Princess Diaries movie. I really enjoyed this book and am thoroughly enjoying this series, despite being a little caught off guard with the first book. This book would be perfect for tweens, teens and adults alike.

When cartoonist Jane Harris s best friend Holly, New York Journal art director, announces that she s eloping to Italy with longtime doctor boyfriend Mark, and asks Jane to come along as her witness, Jane jumps at the chance, delighted by the prospect of her first ever trip to Europe.

What Jane doesn t gamble on is Mark s witness, New York Journal foreign affairs correspondent Cal Langdon. It s hate at first sight for Jane and Cal, and neither is too happy at the prospect of sharing a villa with one another for a week —not even in the beautiful and picturesque Le Marche countryside.

But when Holly and Mark s wedding plans hit a major snag that only Jane and Cal can repair, the two find themselves having to put aside their mutual dislike for one another in order to get their best friends on the road to wedded bliss, and end up on a road themselves —one neither of them ever expected....

Additional notes: This is the third and final book in the Boy series from Meg Cabot. You can read my review of the second book here.

My thoughts: By far, this is my favorite book out of the Boy series. I loved Jane and Cal! This series would be appropriate for older-aged teens and young adults.

The top rules of the First Love Cookie Club: No men. No kids. No store-bought. No gossip!
And no one is going to keep rule #4 now that local-gal-made-good Sarah Collier has reluctantly returned to Twilight, Texas. The once-awkward teenager has become a big-time success with her bestselling kids’ books. Now she’s come back home to grant one child a very special wish, even though her own heart was once broken by the little girl’s father, Travis Walker. This all makes Sarah wonder, even though you can go home again—should you? Every time she turns the corner, the memory of who she was hits her square in the face, and it isn’t prettythere’s magic in Twilight, Texas—the magic of friendship and the magic of love, if only Sarah would open her heart to it. . . .

Additional notes: This is the third book in the Twilight, Texas series. The fourth book is coming out soon, and this series is ongoing.

My thoughts: This book may be my favorite so far out of this series. As with most series, you don't really need to have read the first 2 to read this one, but I would recommend it as the minor characters are the same book to book. Again, I feel the need to emphasize this series is a bit smutty. So don't read it if that kind of writing offends you or doesn't appeal to you.

*all summaries courtesy of

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