Thursday, February 26, 2015

Campbell's Soup and the Kama Sutra

Note: This is a repeat of a blog post from several years ago when the blog wasn't totally dedicated to books and book related things. It is book related though.

One of my most embarrassing hearing mistakes so far happened when I was working as a book clerk at Media Play years ago.

A woman and her teenage daughter came in when it was almost closing time. So, the book department was pretty much empty except for me and my ride home. The woman approached me at the desk and at the time we had a pocket size guide to sexual health that some company was pushing for the holidays on the counter. She glanced at the book and then asked me for what I thought was the Kama Sutra. I was thinking, "Wow. She must have some open relationship with her daughter if she can look at a book like that with her in tow."

I didn't repeat the title like I usually did. I just walked her over to the section and pointed out where the Kama Sutra books were. She looked at me blushing and puzzled. It dawned on me. I said, "That wasn't what you asked for, was it?"

"No. The Campbell's Soup book. The cookbook." 

I was thoroughly embarrassed. At least she wasn't totally offended and I knew where the book was that she wanted. So, she walked out a satisfied if slightly embarrassed customer. And I lucked out that she wasn't offended enough to complain to management about my showing her and her daughter books on sexual health when all she wanted was as cookbook. 

After that I learned to repeat back whatever title people gave me before I showed them the book or search results. Didn't totally stop mistakes, but it lessened the really embarrassing ones.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #75 - Day Shift by Charlaine Harris


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. 


This week I am waiting on the second book in the Midnight, Texas series by Charlaine Harris. Day Shift is due out May 5. 2015.

Synopsis from Goodreads.com: 

There is no such thing as bad publicity, except in Midnight, Texas, where the residents like to keep to themselves. Even in a town full of secretive people, Olivia Charity is an enigma. She lives with the vampire Lemuel, but no one knows what she does; they only know that she’s beautiful and dangerous.

Psychic Manfred Bernardo finds out just how dangerous when he goes on a working weekend to Dallas and sees Olivia there with a couple who are both found dead the next day. To make matters worse, one of Manfred’s regular—and very wealthy—clients dies during a reading.

Manfred returns from Dallas embroiled in scandal and hounded by the press. He turns to Olivia for help; somehow he knows that the mysterious Olivia can get things back to normal. As normal as things get in Midnight…

Why am I waiting on this book? I read book one in the series, Midnight Crossroad, and enjoyed the story and the cast of quirky characters. Olivia was very much an enigma even in book one. Manfred had the point of view of an outsider since he had just moved to Midnight in the first book. I'm curious if he is more accepted now in book 2, and what kind of problems the unwanted attention he draws to the town will cause. 

What book are you waiting on this week? Leave a link or a title in the comments so we can check it out too. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Teaser Tuesday - Process by Sarah Stodola


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading.
Anyone can participate. just do the following.
Rules:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t  give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

Published January 20, 2015
by Amazon Publishing
On Joan Didion 41% through on my Kindle:

In writing workshops, participants are often provided with a "writing prompt", a picture or a trinket that can be used as the catalyst for a story. For Didion, this concept is key.

Stodola is talking about Didion's process of taking something from a newspaper or other source and springboarding into writing. "For example, she read an account where a man was on trial for killing his farm's foreman. Her novel Run River starts with a murder on the banks of a California river."

The book is quite interesting. It talks about the writing lives of  several authors with different styles of work habits and writing. From pantsers to plotters, there is a variety to choose from.

What's your teaser this week? Share it or a link in the comments below so we can check it out. And Happy Reading!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Do you listen to audiobooks?

Sometimes I listen to audiobooks in lieu of reading a book or to revisit an old previously enjoyed book. It's also good practice if you have a Cochlear Implant.They're great for the occasional one-hour commutes or longer trips as well.

I mostly take out the audiobooks from my local library system or borrow them from friends. Currently, I am revisiting A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. 

From Goodreads.com:

Charlie Asher is a pretty normal guy, the kind of fellow who makes his way through life by being careful and constant. And Charlie's been lucky. He's married to a bright and pretty woman who actually loves him for his normalcy, and who is about to have their first child.

Yes, Charlie's doing okay. That is, until the day his daughter, Sophie, is born. Just as Charlie turns to go home, he sees a strange man in mint-green golf wear at his wife's bedside, a man who claims that no one should be able to see him. But see him Charlie does, and from here on out, things get really weird. . . .

People start dropping dead around him. It seems that everywhere he goes, a dark presence whispers to him from under the streets. Strange names start appearing on his nightstand notepad, and before he knows it, those people end up dead, too. Yup, it seems that Charlie Asher has been recruited for a new job, an unpleasant but utterly necessary one: Death. It's a dirty job. But hey, somebody's gotta do it.


This book is read by actor Fisher Stevens. It was originally released in 2006. 

Why do I like this book? Mainly because it's offbeat and funny. Occasionally, it is also thought provoking.

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Charlie had Sophie strapped to his chest like a terrorist baby bomb when he came down the back steps. She had just gotten to the point where she could hold up her head, so he had strapped her in face-out so she could look around. The way her arms and legs waved around as Charlie walked, she looked as if she was skydiving and using a skinny nerd as a parachute.” 

“It was watching Madeline Alby eat cheese with every ounce of her being, like it was the first and best time, that made him realize that he had never really tasted cheese, or crackers, or life. And he didn't want his daughter to live that way. He'd moved her into her own room the night before...He hadn't slept well, and had gotten up five times during the night to check on her, only to find her sleeping peacefully, but he could lose a little sleep if Sophie could go through life without his fears and limitations. He wanted her to experience all the glorious cheese of life.” 

“How much humanity has been spoiled for the confusion of movement with progress, my friend?” 
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are many more. I'm enjoying listening to the book. I find that there are things that I have forgotten, so it's almost like nodding at an old friend who still has a few surprises for you.

So, what's your take on audiobooks? Do you listen to them too? If not, why not? 

Or do you read Christopher Moore too? Do you have a favorite book?

Thanks for coming by. And Happy Reading!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Review: Stiff Penalty by Annelise Ryan

Expected publication: February 24, 2015
by Kensington Books
Assistant Coroner Mattie Winston has her hands full in Stiff Penalty by Annelise Ryan. This is book six in the Mattie Winston mystery series. There are 3 mysteries in the book that run concurrently. One is the mystery of who is calling her and hanging up. The second is who is following her. And the third is who killed the high school math teacher Derrick Ames with a barbecue fork through the heart. And to top it all off, Mattie is pregnant.

Harley and Richmond are the main characters that work with her. They are both police. Hurley is also her love interest. And she has to find a way to tell Hurley she is pregnant before someone else does. 

On her way home one evening, Mattie is shot at by an unknown assailant. As a result, she ends up with constant police protection for pretty much most of the book. 

Why did I give this book 4 stars instead of 5? The format was a little confusing. Part of it is told directly and part of it is told to her psychiatric counselor. Sometimes the transitions are rough. The other reason it gets 4 stars instead 5 has to do with my opinion of the ending. I wasn't as satisfied as I could have been, but it is still a good ending. It is definitely open to another  book in the series.

It gets 4 stars because the characters are well developed and interesting. The plot is good and moves well. There is humor. And the writing is good. I would read another book in the series without hesitation. I really liked the Mattie Winston character.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book in exchange for my unbiased opinion.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Waiting on Wednesday #74 - Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder


"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine where we spotlight upcoming releases we are eagerly anticipating. 

Expected publication:
February 24, 2015 by Mira
From the publisher: 
New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she's back with a new tale of intrigue. 

Once, only her own life hung in the balance… 

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek. 

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job and his life are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret—or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is—while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers. 

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous… 

Why does this book appeal to me?
This is the first book in a new series, The Soulfinders. The plot sounds good. And I like the idea of Yelena having been a former poison taster. It's different. From some of the reviews of related series, it looks like it will have some humor to it as well. Other reviews indicate that it will be action packed and fast moving. I hope this is true. Looking forward to a good fantasy read.

What book are you waiting on this week? Leave a link or the title in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Teaser Tuesday - Stiff Penalty by Annelise Ryan


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of  Should Be Reading.
Anyone can participate. just do the following.
Rules:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t  give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 

Add caption
"It was  nice to have a place to run to, but the location of the cottage meant I was only a stone's throw away from the home I had shared with David. I know this because I've thrown stones at it a time or two." Mattie Winston, our sleuth/heroine, is speaking as part of the recap before the action in this book starts. at location 55 on my Kindle.

Mattie Winston, once an ER nurse then an OR nurse, is now an assistant to the Coroner. As part of her job, she is required to look into causes of death. The setting for the mystery is small town Sorenson, Wisconsin. 

The synopsis from Goodreads.com:
Deputy coroner Mattie Winston knows a thing or two about dead bodies. That's why she's on the case of Derrick Ames, a high school math teacher stabbed to death with a barbecue fork straight to the heart. Sure, she's turned up some motives and a few suspects, but nothing adds up. Especially when the evidence points to Ames's teenage son. Newly pregnant Mattie can't believe it, even as her own long-estranged father may be following her. But one thing's certain, she'd better start figuring things out fast, or a deadly perpetrator could be subtracting two more victims from the population of Sorenson, Wisconsin.

 I'm beyond location 55 now and I am still enjoying the book. What's your teaser this week? Leave it or a link in the comments so we can check it out. Happy Reading!