Saturday, August 27, 2011

This Book Room

I'm staying on my reading schedule, despite a busier work month than normal, but I will be glad when life returns somewhat to normal. Here's what I read this week:

Summer is a magical time in New York City and Carrie is in love with all of it—the crazy characters in her neighborhood, the vintage-clothing boutiques, the wild parties, and the glamorous man who has swept her off her feet. Best of all, she's finally in a real writing class, taking her first steps toward fulfilling her dream.

This sequel to The Carrie Diaries brings surprising revelations as Carrie learns to navigate her way around the Big Apple, going from being a country "sparrow"—as Samantha Jones dubs her—to the person she always wanted to be. But as it becomes increasingly difficult to reconcile her past with her future, Carrie realizes that making it in New York is much more complicated than she ever imagined.

With her signature wit and sparkling humor, Candace Bushnell reveals the irresistible story of how Carrie met Samantha and Miranda, and what turned a small-town girl into one of New York City's most unforgettable icons, Carrie Bradshaw.

Additional notes: This is the second book in the Carrie Diaries series. This series is ongoing.

My thoughts: I loved SATC, the show, and didn't so much care for the original SATC, the book. I really enjoyed the first book in this series, but the second book... was okay. Since all the original characters have now entered the scene, I think the third book is poised to be the best yet. This book is best for young adults (a little too mature for teens).

Clark Howard is a media powerhouse and penny-pincher extraordinaire who knows a thing or two about money. A lifelong entrepreneur who is now the hugely popular host of a talk radio program and television show and the bestselling author of several books, Clark consistently delivers expert financial advice to his wide and devoted fan base.

Living Large in Lean Times is Clark's ultimate guide to saving money, covering everything from cell phones to student loans, coupon websites to mortgages, investing to electric bills, and beyond. In his candid and friendly next-door-neighbor manner, Clark shares the small, manageable steps everyone can follow to build a path towards independence and wealth. Chock-full of more than 250 invaluable tips, the book outlines how to:
* Locate missing and unclaimed money in your name
* Lower your student loan payment
* Find legitimate work-at-home opportunities
* Get unlimited texting and e-mailing for less than $10 per month
* Know what personal info not to post to social media sites
* Determine the best mortgage rate, and much, much more

As Clark demonstrates, there are myriad ways to reduce debt, buy smarter, and build a future. Follow his lead and he'll get you there.

My thoughts: This book was referred to me, and I had never heard of Clark before. I'm a far bigger fan of Mr. Dave Ramsey and Miss Suze Orman, however, his book had some good points. The best part of the book was in the beginning. I would not recommend reading the entire book - just pick the chapters that relate to you (I read the entire book and much of it did not apply to me - for instance, I do not own a home, nor do I plan to anytime relatively soon).

How could I choose between my sexuality and my spirituality, two of the most important parts that made me whole? High school senior Paul has dated Angie since middle school, and they're good together. They have a lot of the same interests, like singing in their church choir and being active in Bible club. But when Manuel transfers to their school, Paul has to rethink his life. Manuel is the first openly gay teen anyone in their small town has ever met, and yet he says he's also a committed Christian. Talking to Manuel makes Paul reconsider thoughts he has kept hidden, and listening to Manuel's interpretation of Biblical passages on homosexuality causes Paul to reevaluate everything he believed. Manuel's outspokenness triggers dramatic consequences at school, culminating in a terrifying situation that leads Paul to take a stand. Lambda Literary Award-winning author Alex Sanchez tackles a subject ripped from the headlines in this exciting and thought-provoking exploration of what it means to be both religious and gay.

My thoughts: Okay, here's my thing: I believe, quite literally, what the Bible says. But, it's not my place to judge anyone! I love everyone, and I think love is a wondrous thing. This book had really good points, like - how can love ever be a bad thing? And is the story of Sodom really what the mass majority interprets it as? If you care about understanding all people, this book is one you should read.

Maggie Singer owns The Seven Year Stitch, an embroidery specialty shop in the small town of Tallulah Falls, Oregon. Trouble strikes when an elderly woman brings an antique piece of embroidery into the shop-and promptly dies of unnatural causes. Now Marcy has to stitch together clues to catch a crafty killer.

Additional notes: This is the second book in the Embroidery Mystery series. You can read my view of the first book here. This series is ongoing.

My thoughts: This series is current (this book came out earlier this year), but the writing style is very old fashioned. This doesn't really bother me, but the writing style doesn't always match to the characters. Marcy, the main character, is really in her late 20s to early 30s, but she talks like she's in her 50s. It's kind of disconcerting. Anyway, this is a cute series, despite that.

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