My Favorite Book

So if you’ve visited my Favorites page you probably already know what my favorite book is, but I just reread it, and I can’t stop thinking about it so I thought I’d write another post about it.

It is of course The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons. Chances are you’ve already read my review so I’m not going to repeat myself here. I just want to talk a little bit about what makes it my favorite book over all the other books I’ve read so far, and why I don’t think I’ll find a book to top it.

Over the years I’ve read a lot of great books, books that I love, and books that I had to push myself to get through. But never have I read a book that has drawn me in so thoroughly as this one did. I felt as if I were right there in Russia, experiencing everything Alexander and Tatiana were. I could feel their love, their pain, their incredible happiness. I could feel everything so deeply that the book has come alive for me.

I don’t know how it could possibly be that Tatiana and Alexander aren’t out there somewhere living out their love for each other.

You know how when you read a great book, you know you’re going to have to reread it, but you know you have to wait awhile to experience it again? That’s how it is for me. I have to wait in between readings so that when I go back, it’s like I’m reading it for the first time. With this book, I could have read it over again the minute I finished. And I would have too except I had the next book Tatiana and Alexander in the series awaiting my attention.

I just finished my second reading of this book which I have wanted to read again for over a year a couple of days ago, and I want to reread it again. But again I want to read the other two books just a little bit more. I have to get their whole story in before I start again. Although I could live with just this one book if I had to.

This is a book that is so beautifully written, I never ever want to put it down.

Now I want to hear from you, my lovely readers. Do you have a book that means as much to you as The Bronze Horseman means to me? Please tell me because the best book recommendations are made by those who feel so strongly about a book that they just can’t contain themselves.

The Winter Rose Giveaway

The Winter Rose by Jennifer DonnellyIf you’ve visited my favorite books page, you will know that The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly is one of my favorite books of all time. I absolutely love it and try to get everyone I meet to read it. So I thought I’d get you to read it too!

The Winter Rose follows India, a new doctor in late Victorian London, as she finds herself working in a poor hospital while trying to navigate the political arena with her fiancé Freddie. When she meets infamous mob boss Sid Malone, India creates a new enemy for herself, but is he really her enemy? Life always seems to throw things at India, and it is her courage and strong nature which get her through.

To read more about the book, check out my review here: The Winter Rose Book Review

Now for the giveaway! I love this book so much that I want to give one lucky reader the opportunity to own and read this wonderful book. All you have to do is follow the link below and enter your name and email address. You will receive an email to confirm your entry. This is to make sure that you have entered a valid email address. Once you confirm, you will be entered into the giveaway.

Once you enter, you are given a unique URL which you can share with your friends and family via Facebook, Twitter, email, and more. Each person who enters the contest through your unique URL will give you an additional 5 entries into the giveaway.

The contest ends at 11:59 PM CST on May 14, 2012. The contest winner will be randomly selected and receive an email saying he or she has won. Once the winner is confirmed, I will release the name of the winner via this blog, Twitter, Facebook, and email.

Good luck!

Click here to enter the giveaway:

http://scribblingbookworm.com/contest/the-winter-rose-giveaway

Drop Dead Healthy

Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. JacobsDrop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs was a very interesting read. This book follows A.J. over two years as he works to become the healthiest man in the world. Each chapter focuses on a different body part. The stomach, as you can imagine, shows up quite a few times.

He explores pretty much every health trend out there from a juice cleanse to the caveman workout. He tries the extremes, giving equal emphasis to each without discrimination. His writing is engaging and witty. I often found myself laughing out loud, especially when he was taking a pole dancing class.

Each chapter was devoted to making that organ the healthiest he could. It was interesting to learn more about how the human body functions. I even changed a few of my habits after reading this book.

There were a few chapters I could have done without. I learned a little bit more about A.J. than I was anticipating or wanting to know. Other than that, I really enjoyed reading this.

My friend recommended this author a while back, but I haven’t gotten a chance to read anything by him until now. I was lucky enough to receive an advance reader’s copy to read and review, and I’m certainly glad I did!

A Tailor-Made Bride

A Tailor-Made Bride by Karen WitemeyerA Tailor-Made Bride by Karen Witemeyer was a very cute read. Hannah Richards is a dressmaker and has just been given her own shop in Texas from a wealthy patron. She travels to Texas to open her shop, hoping to attract a lot of business with her well-tailored and flattering clothes. What she didn’t expect was J.T. Tucker.

J.T. owns the livery across the street from Hannah’s store and wants as little to do with her as possible. Not only did she now occupy the store he has been trying to buy for years, but she’s a dressmaker. She makes clothes to stroke the vanities of women. Unfortunately for J.T. he is constantly finding himself around her and is slowly discovering that she might be different than she thought she was.

This was a very cute book with strong characters. It focuses a lot on determination and overcoming prejudices. Hannah is a lovely character who works hard and puts her trust in God. J.T. starts off incredibly bitter, but his struggle to stay from Hannah was fun to read. This was a very fast read, and I found myself drawn into the story, wanting to read until the end. I got this in ebook form and read it while working out, but found myself at home reading it too just because I wanted to know what would happen next! This book was well-written, and the characters were well-formed. This is definitely a fun and great read!

Swept Off Her Feet

Swept Off Her Feet by Hester BrowneSwept Off Her Feet by Hester Browne told the enchanted tale of Evie Nicholson is head over heels in love with all things of the past. Evie is an antiques appraiser who spends more time imagining the stories surrounding the antique items than finding the monetary value in them much to the chagrin of her boss.

Evie comes from a family which believes that anything older than a few years should be thrown away. Evie feels the stark difference between her family’s extremely organized lives and homes. When her sister Alice offers her the opportunity to appraise an old Scottish castle called Kettlesheer rumored to be filled with incredible antiques, Evie jumps at the chance. It also helps that Alice’s boyfriend and the man Evie has a bit of a crush on will be accompanying her up in preparation for the annual ball thrown each year at Kettlesheer.

Upon arrival, Evie finds herself in love with the house and the pieces it contains. She is in paradise, imagining herself regally descending the staircase for a ball or being escorted by a handsome man. One thing she’s not so sure about is Robert McAndrew, the current heir to the castle who wants nothing more than to get rid of all the “junk” the castle contains.

I loved this book! It was playful and imaginative. Evie was comical and loveable and someone I could easily relate to. I mean what girl who’s read Pride and Prejudice or seen Downton Abbey hasn’t had a few fantasies as the female lead? I know I have. The supporting characters were great with the exception of Ingrid and Shelia whom I kept mixing up.

I liked Robert even if I didn’t always know what he was thinking or his motives. There were a lot of things I thought clarification would have greatly helped move the story along. But overall, I really enjoyed reading it. It’s a very hard book to put down!

Paper Roses

Paper Roses by Amanda CabotPaper Roses by Amanda Cabot begins with Sarah Dobbs journeying from Philadelphia to San Antonio with her little sister Thea to marry Austin Canfield, the man who has wooed her with his prosaic letters. She not only accepted his offer of marriage because of the beautiful words he wrote her but because she needed to escape the gossip and recrimination she has faced back East.

When Austin’s brother, Clay is the one to greet her, Sarah knows that something is not right. And it isn’t because Austin is dead. Sarah knows she can’t go back East. Not after what happened. She has to find a way to survive in this new town and provide a home for her sister.

Clay doesn’t know what to do with Sarah. He never wanted her or her sister to come in the first place. Clay is stuck working his father’s ranch, something he can’t wait to leave behind. But he can’t do that until he has gotten revenge for his brother’s murder.

This was a book about the importance of forgiveness. Both Sarah and Clay carry around a deep hurt and have turned that into anger at those who have caused them this pain. In doing so, they are not only hurting themselves but preventing anything from happening between them.

Both Sarah and Clay were very strong people with real problems. They had to deal with a lot and did it well. Their struggles were real and their approach was incredibly human. It took time and support to help them heal their wounds. This book had mystery and love and adventure. The supporting characters were well developed and added greatly to the story. I loved the faith woven throughout this book. It had the perfect presence without being too overwhelming. This was a beautiful story and one I heartily recommend.

The Wild Rose

The Wild Rose by Jennifer DonnellyThe Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly is the third and final book in her series about the Finnigan family, following The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose. This is the story of the youngest Finnigan, Seamus, known as Seamie. His story will Willa Aldan actually starts in the end of The Winter Rose where a terrible accident on Kilimanjaro leaves Willa without a leg and a desire never to see Seamie ever again.

The book follows them as they are separated and meet over and over again. Willa has a huge chip on her shoulder which she gained the instant she lost her leg. She has fallen into great despair knowing that she’ll never be able to climb a mountain again. Seamus moves on with his life, marrying a woman to forget Willa.

This was a really hard book for me to rate and review. I loved the first books so much that I had very high expectations and was let down in an extreme way. Neither Seamie nor Willa were characters I had any respect for. They obviously loved each and, as such, went and slept with everyone else and turned to drugs. They were incredibly selfish and didn’t care that they ruined countless lives. Their remorse didn’t even feel real to me.

This was even more disappointing because I really loved Willa and Seamie in The Winter Rose. I feel as if Jennifer Donnelly pretty much ruined them for me. What I did enjoy about this book was the updates on the main characters from the previous two books. It was nice to see glimpses into their present lives.

So what do you think? Did you read this book? Any of the others?

I’ve Got Your Number

I've Got Your Number by Sophie KinsellaI’ve Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella was such a lovely read! The moment I finished reading this book, I sent a text to my sister telling her she has to read it! You know a book is good if this happens. I’ve read a lot by Sophie Kinsella, not all of which I have equally liked. I loved this book, and actually, it’s my favorite of hers so far!

The book begins with Poppy frantically searching a hotel conference room which she has just lost during an impromptu fire drill. Her phone gets stolen, and she’s about to have a total meltdown. But then she sees a phone tossed into a trash bin, and she just can’t resist picking it up and claiming it as her own. This is when the hilarious stuff really begins.

I want to tell you all the funny parts that I absolutely loved, but I don’t want to ruin them for you so I won’t. I thought Poppy was incredibly funny and just a loveable character. She was ridiculous in a realistic way. She is a very engaging character. I had to force myself to put this book down so I could get at least a few hours of sleep. Don’t worry though because the next chance I got, I inhaled the rest of this book.

This was a real page-turner. I absolutely loved it! It had some romance, some drama, and lots of comedy! Fans of Sophie Kinsella will love it!

Catching Fire

Catching Fire by Suzanne CollinsCatching Fire is the second novel in The Hunger Games trilogy written by Suzanne Collins. This one takes up pretty much where the first one left off. Katniss and Peeta have returned to District 12 where they have settled into their houses in the Victor’s Village. They are about to embark on their Victory Tour of the other districts when Katniss receives a startling visit from President Snow who tells her that even though she has won The Hunger Games she will not be able to live a peaceful life. At least not while the threat of rebellion is upon them. Katniss finds herself having to fall into the role she thought she had left behind to keep all the people she loves safe.

This one was just as much a page turner as the last one was. I loved getting to see more of Katniss outside of the arena. This book is more intense than the first one, in my opinion. There is so much going on and much much more at stake. All the themes in the first book were amplified and seen in a different light. I got to see more of the mindset of the Capitol and a glimpse into the other districts. So many things happened throughout this book, it’s really hard to believe this was just one book and not two or three.

I had so many questions while reading this that I couldn’t possibly put it down until I had gotten to a whopper of a cliffhanger! That’s right, this ends with one heck of a cliffhanger. This is why you must have the sequel sitting beside you once you get close to finishing this one because you’ll want to start it right away. I don’t really want to say more because I would give something away, and I wouldn’t deny you the pleasure of reading it for yourself. So please go out and get this series (it’s best to have all three on hand before starting) and read them!

Until next time, happy reading!

The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsI imagine many of you have heard of this book and the series, and many more will discover it as the movie premiere draws closer. I heard about these books a while ago, but never really looked twice at them. I had no idea what they were about. It was not until I saw the link to the movie trailer posted in my friend’s status that my interest was really piqued. This happens to me often it seems. I’ve heard of a book, but only really become interested in it after I see it’s going to be a movie. I have this thing where I like to read books before I see a movie whenever possible. I almost always do so this was not much different. I watched the trailer and was immediately intrigued. I couldn’t wait to read the book and its sequels.
The Hunger Games is the first book in the series and introduces us to Katniss Everdeen, a sixteen year old girl, who is living in District 12 in Panem which is located in what was once called North America. Every year two tributes, one boy and one girl, are chosen from each district to participate in The Hunger Games, an event designed by the Capitol to punish the districts for rebelling almost seventy-five years ago. The rules of the game are simple: kill or be killed. When her younger sister is chosen as the female tribute, Katniss does not hesitate to volunteer to take her place. Katniss is whisked away from the only home she knows to compete against twenty-three other children ranging in age from twelve to eighteen.
To say I devoured this book is a bit of an understatement. The only reason I put it down was because I was so exhausted I couldn’t keep my eyes open a minute longer. This is a hazard to starting this book late at night after a busy Christmas Eve. There is so much more to this book than a teenage girl forced to fight for her life. There are so many themes and statements about the dangers of power and class systems that give this book such depth. Katniss is a strong leading character, and it is easy to walk around in her shoes and see the world from her point of view. This book is a real page turner and one I would recommend reading when you have a good chunk of time to read it all the way through because, trust me, you’re not going to want to put it down once you start. I know I didn’t.

I thought about reviewing all three books in this one post but realized that I could be giving away a lot of spoilers to those who intended to read the series. Therefore, look for upcoming posts on Catching Fire, and Mockingjay in the days to come.

Until next time, happy reading!

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