Happy holidays, everyone!

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I came across The Listener by Shira Nayman serendipitously while browsing a book site. It looks really good. The description on the author's website says:

TWO YEARS AFTER THE END OF WORLD WAR II, a mysterious figure, Bertram Reiner, appears at Shadowbrook, a private asylum whose elegant hallways, vaulted ceilings, and magnificent grounds suggest a country estate more than a psychiatric hospital. At first, the chief psychiatrist -- as genteel as his aristocratic surrounds -- considers his charismatic patient to be a classic, though particularly intriguing, case of war neurosis. But as treatment progresses, Dr. Harrison's sense of clarity clouds over, and he is drawn into Bertram's disquieting preoccupations.

Then, late one night, an intruder is sighted on the hospital grounds, the first in a series of uncanny events that appear to the doctor to be strangely linked; clues abound, yet the truth about Bertram seems always to slip away. Meanwhile, Dr. Harrison's own long-buried troubles reemerge with brutal force. As the careful contours of his existence begin to waver, the doctor is plunged into dangerous, compulsive territory.

When Dr. Harrison finds himself spying on his head nurse, Matilda, even following her one midnight through the underground tunnels that join the hospital buildings, he knows there is no turning back. He is desperate to get to the bottom of the intertwining mysteries connecting Bertram, Matilda, and himself, and senses that everything in his life -- and theirs -- is at stake.

Set against the backdrop of the insanity of war, The Listener explores the havoc historical trauma plays with the psyche, and illuminates the uncertain boundary between sanity and insanity. Shira Nayman's storytelling is mesmerizing. The Listener is a riveting tale of madness, mystery, and passion that excavates the dark corners of the human heart and mind. It is a work of rare depth and power.

Publication date: September 29, 2009
Publisher: Simon and Schuster

Tuesday Teaser

Tuesday Teasers is hosted by Should Be Reading. The rules are as follows:

Grab your current read and let the book fall open to a random page. Share two sentences somewhere between lines 7 and 12 and the title of the book that you’re getting the teaser from. Please avoid spoilers! Read the official Tuesday Teaser Rules.

My teaser is from Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier (please keep in mind that this is from an ARC and the book will be published January 5, 2010) from page 58:

Straightaway I saw the teeth, just below eye level. They weren't in even rows, but all a jumble between two long dark pieces that must have been the creature's mouth and jaw.

Book Blogger Holiday Swap

This was the first time that I've taken part in the book blogger holiday swap. It was fun and just the thing to kick of the holiday season. I chose to go international and so last week I received a package of goodies from Brussels!

It was a very pleasant surprise when I got home from work to find this box. My daughter encouraged me not to open it until Christmas Day but I knew I wanted to compose a blog post about it so I compromised and took a picture of the contents still wrapped in the paper they came in. I can't tell you how difficult it was (and is) not to rip open that paper! Nevertheless, I didn't (and haven't), but the box, due to customs regulations, lists the contents so I know there is a mouth-watering treat in there too. There is also a very nice note which I did open. It mentions that choosing a book for someone who owns a bookstore proved to be a challenge. I actually hadn't thought of that before now but yes, of course it would be! Whatever the book is though - just the thought that it's come from someone in Brussels is so much fun. So, thank you, thank you to the kind, generous person who sent this gift to Canada!

Next week, I will post another picture with the contents revealed!

We caved....

Yes, we did.

My husband and I brought one of the two abandoned cats to our bookstore. We'll keep the little bruiser there for the winter months. The other cat, Gracie, (we started calling them George and Gracie) is holed up in a large-ish hollowed out piece of foam insulation (actually it looks better than it sounds) and seems to be okay staying there at night. She crawls out in the mornings and runs through the snow to my front door for breakfast.

I'm crossing my fingers that both arrangements will work out for George and Gracie!

ETA: Our landlord at the bookstore has told us we can't have a cat there. So after four days we had to bring him home. It's too bad because the cat had got quickly used to the store and people seemed to like him quite a bit. Well, back to the drawing board.

Review: HER FEARFUL SYMMETRY by Audrey Niffenegger

Twins Julia and Valentina inherit a London flat from an aunt they’ve never met. To satisfy their aunt’s last will they must live in it for one year before they can sell it. They settle in and discover London, their neighbours and the local cemetery which their flat abuts and which is where their aunt is interred.

Right away I have to say I enjoyed this book. It was well-written and the story of the twins and their forays into London pulled me right in. As a matter of fact I felt that London with its parks, hills and cemetery was a character in and of itself.

I loved the debut novel by Audrey Niffenegger, The Time-Traveler’s Wife, too, so I was a definitely a bit biased towards liking Her Fearful Symmetry and it didn’t disappoint. Like the first book, Her Fearful Symmetry also has an element of fantasy that is fully fleshed out and is an integral part of the plot.

I thought the story line took some time to evolve but it was done nicely and kept me interested and turning pages. I’ve seen other reviews which are somewhat negative in terms of the plot taking too long to get into but I didn’t have that problem at all. As a matter of fact I enjoyed reading it so much that that’s all I wanted to do – stay home and read this book. I kind of resented having to go into work. Don’t tell my boss.

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I'm really looking forward to Shades of Grey by Jasper Fforde. Publication date: December 29, 2009.

From the publisher's website:

An astonishing, hotly anticipated new novel from the great literary fantasist and creator of Thursday Next, Jasper Fforde.

As long as anyone can remember, society has been ruled by a Colortocracy. From the underground feedpipes that keep the municipal park green to the healing hues viewed to cure illness to a social hierarchy based upon one's limited color perception, society is dominated by color. In this world, you are what you can see.

Young Eddie Russett has no ambition to be anything other than a loyal drone of the Collective. With his better-than-average red perception, he could well marry Constance Oxblood and inherit the string works; he may even have enough red perception to make prefect.

For Eddie, life looks colorful. Life looks good.

But everything changes when he moves with his father, a respected swatchman, to East Carmine. There, he falls in love with a Grey named Jane who opens his eyes to the painful truth behind his seemingly perfect, rigidly controlled society.

Curiosity--a dangerous trait to display in a society that demands total conformity--gets the better of Eddie, who beings to wonder:
Why are there not enough spoons to go around?
Why is everything--and everyone--barcoded?
What happened to all the people who never returned from High Saffron?
And why, when you begin to question the world around you, do black-and-white certainties reduce themselves to shades of grey?

Part satire, part romance, part revolutionary thriller, this is the new world from the creative and comic genius of Jasper Fforde.

Teaser Tuesday!

Tuesday Teasers is hosted by Should Be Reading. The rules are as follows:

Grab your current read and let the book fall open to a random page. Share two sentences somewhere between lines 7 and 12 and the title of the book that you’re getting the teaser from. Please avoid spoilers! Read the official Tuesday Teaser Rules.

My teaser is from page 60 of The Apple by Penelope J. Holt:

Herman took his mother's arm. Isydor helped Uncle Avram and Aunt Hannah, who were struggling to keep up with the press of bodies that flowed like a torrent, driven by shrill, incessant commands, towards the assembly points and railroad siding.

Mailbox Monday

This meme is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page and Kristi at The Story Siren.

Last week I received Remarkable Creatures by Tracy Chevalier.

The description of Remarkable Creatures on the author's website reads:

In 1810, a sister and brother uncover the fossilized skull of an unknown animal in the cliffs on the south coast of England. With its long snout and prominent teeth, it might be a crocodile – except that it has a huge, bulbous eye.

Remarkable Creatures is the story of Mary Anning, who has a talent for finding fossils, and whose discovery of ancient marine reptiles such as that ichthyosaur shakes the scientific community and leads to new ways of thinking about the creation of the world.

Working in an arena dominated by middle-class men, however, Mary finds herself out of step with her working-class background. In danger of being an outcast in her community, she takes solace in an unlikely friendship with Elizabeth Philpot, a prickly London spinster with her own passion for fossils.

The strong bond between Mary and Elizabeth sees them through struggles with poverty, rivalry and ostracism, as well as the physical dangers of their chosen obsession. It reminds us that friendship can outlast storms and landslides, anger and and jealousy.

I'm really looking forward to reading this book over the holidays!

And The Winner Is......

My contest for a CSN bookcase ended yesterday. I used to choose a winner and the first number that came up was 22. So, that means the winner of the bookcase is:

Literary Feline!

Please email with your contact information at persianpickle at hotmail dot com.

Thanks to all who entered and congratulations Literary Feline!!

Don't forget!

Don't forget to enter my contest for a chance to win a CSN Bookcase!

The contest closes at the end of today at 10 p.m. I will choose a winner using Good luck!

Books Bought

My friend Cindy hosts this weekly meme profiling books bought recently. You can see her recent purchases here.

I know I shouldn't buy any books with the holidays coming on but I've tempted fate and went and bought one. The Twentieth Wife by Indu Sundaresan attracted me at first glance because of its cover and then by the description on the inside flap:

She came into the world in the year 1577, to the howling accompaniment of a ferocious winter storm. As the daughter of starving refugees fleeing violent persecution in Persia, her fateful birth in a roadside tent sparked a miraculous reversal of faimily fortune, culminating in her father's introduction to the court of Emperor Akbar. She is called Mehrunnisa, the Sun of Women. This is her story.

I enjoy historical fiction and I'm looking forward to reading this book!

Abandoned Cats...

These poor cats were abandoned and (against the advice of some) I gave them food. They were starving and ate that food so fast! Now the orange one found a small gap under my enclosed front porch and stays there at night. I don't know where the black one goes. I can't let them in my house - I have a dachshund and two house cats already. But it's getting cold out and I'm afraid they'll freeze. On the bright side though, they both look a bit healthier than they did when I first started feeding them two weeks ago. I just have to figure out something for the cold winter months ahead.

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

This book, The Private Patient by P.D. James was just released on November 24th. This is the sort of mystery I love and I'm looking forward to getting it!

The description of this book, taken from reads:
With all the qualities that P. D. James’s readers have come to expect: a masterly psychological and emotional richness of characterization, a vivid evocation of place and a credible and exciting mystery.

When the notorious investigative journalist, Rhoda Gradwyn, books into Mr. Chandler-Powell’s private clinic in Dorset for the removal of a disfiguring, long-standing facial scar, she has every prospect of a successful operation by a distinguished surgeon, a week’s peaceful convalescence in one of Dorset’s most beautiful manor houses and the beginning of a new life. She will never leave Cheverell Manor alive. When Adam Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate the murder – and a second death occurs – even more complicated problems than the question of innocence or guilt arise.

Tuesday Teasers

Tuesday Teasers is hosted by Should Be Reading. The rules are as follows:

Grab your current read and let the book fall open to a random page. Share two sentences somewhere between lines 7 and 12 and the title of the book that you’re getting the teaser from. Please avoid spoilers! Read the official Tuesday Teaser Rules.

My teaser is from Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger. From page 180:
Marijke put it on her kitchen table and spent some minutes hunting for a Stanley knife as the package was almost completely covered with tape and beseechments to HANDLE WITH CARE. It looks like it's from an insane person.

Books Bought

My friend Cindy hosts this meme of books bought during the past week.

I bought these two books:

A Shilling For Candles by Josephine Tey's book description of A Shilling For Candles:

When the body of famous screen actress Christine Clay is found on a beach on the southern coast of England, Inspector Alan Grant is faced with too many clues and too many motives. It seems the world is full of people who wanted Christine Clay dead.

Bitsy's Bait & BBQ by Pamela Morsi

The description of Bitsy's Bait & BBQ from

While Emma Collins wonders who in their right mind would use her hard-won divorce settlement to purchase a bed-and-breakfast down in the Ozarks, her free-spirited sister Katy fantasizes dreamily about how this move to a small town will be just the thing for her six-year-old son, Josh.

And, as usual, Emma is right. But it is not until they drive to Warbler Lake, Missouri, to take over Bitsy's B & B that they realize just how right she's been. In this part of the country, B & B stands for Bait and BBQ! The girls know little enough about running a bed-and-breakfast, but a bait-and-BBQ?

With their money and futures sunk into a run-down, roadside rattletrap, the girls have no choice but to roll up their sleeves and get to work. But as they settle in and get to know the difference between fatheads, night crawlers, mealworms and shiners, no one is more surprised than they are when they actually get the place up and running.

But trouble is brewing. Katy's ex-husband is having second thoughts about the custody arrangements for Josh, and he fully intends to get him back. With the prospect of losing the little boy, the sisters face another challenge, only this time it's Katy who proves that she, too, can solve a problem.

Secret Santas!!!

I can't help it, I love the holiday season!

There is more to it than presents though. The atmosphere of it - the snow, the decorated houses, the vacation, family and food. I could go on and on. I know it's a busy time of year for many people and if you've got school-aged children, even more so. There are the holiday concerts and teacher gifts to arrange. And don't forget if you're involved with organizing fundraising or even holiday baskets for families in need. But one of the things I remember from when I was a kid was the Secret Santa event. I loved it then and I love it now! So, I've entered not one, not two, but three Secret Santa events this year - one for book bloggers, one being hosted by LibraryThing and one at work.

Are you taking part in any traditional holiday events this year?

Review: LIPS TOUCH THREE TIMES by Laini Taylor

Thanks to Nikole at Scholastic Canada for sending me this book to review!

Lips Touch Three Times is a series of three sophisticated young adult fairy tales. The first, Goblin Fruit, tells the story of what happens when a lonely high-school girl receives her first kiss. The second called Spicy Little Curses tells the story of a girl, cursed at her baptism, who can't speak for fear she'll kill all who hear her words. When she grows to adulthood this girl must make the ultimate decision whether or not to utter her first cursed words. The third tale centers around another girl who when almost grown, finally discovers why her life has always seemed so different from other people’s.

This book is like someone’s imagination gone wild. I think the author pegs the character’s personalities down tightly. They are innocent and wise, scary and kind. I don't think any one of the characters is completely good or completely evil - they are more complicated than that and they blend well with the story lines. The plots are well developed and the stories come to the point quickly leading the reader along a well-written path.

I enjoyed all three stories. While they all had a young girl as the protagonist I found the plots to be quite different. The third tale was the longest and I thought, the scariest. I can’t imagine that any young adult wouldn’t enjoy these narratives. They encompass themes that most can relate to: first love, friendship, coming of age and feelings of alienation. They have a sort of associated ‘coolness’ in that they are not afraid to tackle themes that most young women dream about.

Each short story is prefaced by a graphic short story mirroring the one about to be told. I couldn’t quite gleam all the details from the graphic stories – there were no words at all – but they did add beautifully to the quality of this book. The cover illustration gives an idea of the drawings inside.

This would make a great holiday gift for anyone who loves fantasy and graphic novels.

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

From the Michael Crichton official website:

The Caribbean, 1665. A remote colony of the English crown, the island of Jamaica holds out against the vast supremacy of the Spanish empire. Devoid of London's luxuries, Port Royal, its capital, is a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses. In this steamy climate, life can end swiftly by dysentery — or dagger. But for a daring soul like Captain Edward Hunter, this wild outpost in the New World can also lead to great fortune, if he abides by the island's code. In the name of His Majesty King Charles II of England, gold in Spanish hands is gold for the taking and the law of the land rests with those ruthless enough to make it.

Word in port is that the Spanish galleon El Trinidad, fresh from New Spain, is awaiting repairs in nearby Matanceros. Heavily fortified, the impregnable Spanish harbor is guarded by the bloodthirsty Cazalla, a favorite commander of King Philip IV. With the Jamaican governor's backing, Hunter assembles a crew of ruffians to infiltrate the enemy island and commandeer the galleon and its fortune in Spanish gold. The raid is as perilous as the bloodiest tales of Matanceros legend, and Hunter will lose more than one man before he makes it onto the island's shores, where dense jungle and the firepower of Spanish infantry stand between him and the treasure.

With the help of his cunning band, Hunter hijacks El Trinidad and escapes the deadly clutches of Cazalla, leaving plenty of carnage in his wake. But the danger — and adventure — are only just beginning. . .

Michael Crichton was a multi-talented person who died way too young. There are two books which will be published posthumously with the first, Pirate Latitudes set to be released November 24th. This is just the kind of adventure story I love, and I can't wait to get my hands on it!

CSN Bookcase Contest!!!

Jason from CSN Bookcases contacted me recently about hosting a contest for a free bookcase on my blog. CSN sells fabulous office furniture and as a huge book collector I’m particularly interested in their bookcases. I’ve seen some good reviews about the products available from this company so I was very pleased to say yes to holding a contest!

The contest is open to US and Canadian residents. To enter simply leave me a comment along with your email address by the end of the day, Tuesday, December 8th for a chance to win your choice of one of the three fabulous bookcases pictured below. Good luck!

This is the Mylex 4 shelf bookcase.

This is the 4D Concepts 3 Tier Bookcase in Wicker and Metal.

This is the 4D Concepts Hanging Corner Storage in Cherry.

Mailbox Monday

This meme is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page and Kristi at The Story Siren.

This is a win from LibraryThing in October. From The Apple's website:

The world is captivated by a Holocaust survivor and his love story that he says began during his terrifying ordeal as an orphaned Jewish boy in the Nazi concentration camps of World War II. Herman Rosenblat is feted by the media and is a celebrated guest on Oprah who calls his tale “one of the greatest love stories ever told.” His memoir is scheduled for a major worldwide release, and the movie based on his love story is set to shoot, when trouble begins to brew as outraged survivors and historians bring forward evidence to discredit key incidents in Herman Rosenblat’s account. At the last minute, his book is canceled amidst the year’s most controversial publishing story. Now, ostracized by many in his community, Herman finds himself in the middle of an angry debate about fact, fiction and the perils of embellishing a memoir, especially a Holocaust memoir.

Based on Herman Rosenblat’s life and love story, The Apple by Penelope Holt describes how real love and the dream of love keep the character of Herman Rosenblat alive amid the death and horror of Nazi Germany and during his years of struggle after the Second World War. The book explores Herman’s will to survive the War years, how loving parents and devoted brothers sacrifice to sustain him in the camps, and why he believes his destiny was to meet and marry his wife of fifty years, Roma, and to leave a legacy of hope in the wake of a genocide he experienced firsthand.

I'm very curious about the whole 'story behind the story' and I'm looking forward to reading this book!

Mannequin Mania and bookstore update!!!

We've come a bit further with our bookstore. My husband has built one of our middle aisle shelves and it looks good. We've also installed a new counter to replace the old desk we had there before. Looks much better. There is more work to do but we're getting there for sure.

Our bookstore is located in a small but quaint shopping village. Right next door to us we have an art boutique where classes in oil painting are given almost nightly. On the other side there is a women's clothing boutique. On nice days the owner puts a mannequin outside dressed in very nice clothing. One evening after closing my husband was working late in the store. Our neighbour upstairs came by for a visit and my husband did not lock the door after he came into the store. As they were chatting, another man popped his head in the door and had obviously just come from the local bar because it took him a few seconds get his bearings before he asked them if they had seen 'it'. They looked confusedly at the man and he excitedly pointed outside. They all trooped out to see the clothed mannequin standing forlornly in its spot, the store closed and employee gone home. The three men then took it upon themselves to transport said mannequin into our bookshop where it could be seen through the window seemingly looking at our books. The only thing I regret is not having a picture of the men as they struggled to get it into the store, with its clothes and limbs intact.

Review: SECRETS OF A CHRISTMAS BOX by Steven Hornby

As Christmas Eve at the Ferguson household draws near and the family retires for the night, the Christmas tree comes alive with activity from the Tree-Dwellers, the ornaments that inhabit the tree every year before they are put away in their boxes until the next holiday. It is known and accepted among the Dwellers that sometimes an ornament will not reappear. When that happens, the other Dwellers are sad, but continue on with their lives on the tree.

This year it is Larry’s brother who does not reappear. Larry, a snowman, and his girlfriend, Debbie, an elf, decide to look beyond the tree for Terrance, Larry’s missing brother. They, along with a new Tree-Dweller called Splint and Tinsel, Larry’s pet, do the unthinkable: they leave the safety of the tree and sally forth into the far reaches of the house to look for the Christmas boxes that the ornaments sleep in the rest of the year hoping that Terrance just got overlooked as the Ferguson family was decorating the tree. As they navigate towards their destination, they encounter all sorts of household danger as well as other more sinister threats.

I have to say I’m a sucker for holiday stories. It doesn’t matter what the plot is, nor how far-fetched the story, nor how corny. I will tear up at the most eye-rolling-ly plots ever written. I just love them. So I was very pleased to receive this book to review and at just the right time of the year too. That being said I have some good things and one or two minor concerns.

First, this is a great holiday story for parents to read to their children. Whimsical hand-drawn illustrations are interspersed throughout the book and accompany the goings-on in the story. It is simply written but there are words here and there whose meanings would challenge younger readers. The story focuses mainly on the ornaments and only switches back to the family as is necessary for the plot. I liked the sections with the ornaments more, possibly because the level of reading seemed slightly more mature than the family’s. From page 5:

“Oops…!” freaked Dad, suddenly remembering something. He looked down under his shoes at the floor. “Ooh, that was lucky. Better get them off before the kids…!” He whipped off his shoes and threw them over to the door, a moment before the children clamored down the stairs. “Goodness me!” said Dad, smiling at Mom. “Now that was close!”

This is ‘Dad’s’ reaction when he realizes that he’s walked in to the house with his wet, snowy shoes on and didn’t want his children to see what a bad role model he would be. I think freaked used here is a bit out of place but perhaps its meaning is subjective.

There are a couple of chapters near the end of the book that some children might find a bit scary, but I think that depends on what kind of books they’re used to reading. Nine-year olds who read the Goosebumps (and other similar) series wouldn’t have a problem with this one.

I didn’t realize until fairly well into the story that there are 24 chapters which ideally, are meant to be read one per night, beginning December 1st. On one of the first pages, (which I noticed only after I went to the beginning when referring to the chapter titles) is a little poem:

From the start of December,
to Christmas Eve night
one chapter an evening,
wrapped up with delight.
I checked the Secrets of a Christmas box website and it says the book is meant for children ages 8 to 12. I’m not sure a lot of 12 year olds would want to be read to but for little ones I can see how reading one chapter a night would be a lovely tradition to start; like an advent calendar, just one of those things children go by to count down the days until THE DAY.

Waiting on Wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

I couldn't find a cover image for the newest Martha Grimes book which will be coming out in April 2010. It's called The Black Cat and it will be the 22nd book in her Richard Jury mystery series. I've read the first 21 and I cannot wait til this one comes out!

Tuesday Teasers

Grab your current read and let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two sentences between lines 7 and 12 and the title of the book that you’re getting the teaser from. Please avoid spoilers!

I'm not going to strictly follow the rules for this one since I'm using a book of quotes called Fighting Words edited by James Charlton and subtitled, 'Writers Lambast Other Writers - from Aristotle to Anne Rice'.

I love these sorts of books since they're easy to pick up and put down without losing the thread of a story. I usually read books like this at night when I'm too tired for anything else. From page 65:

We got along on just sort of "how do you do" terms. I remember walking back from a cricket match at Lords in London, and Maugham came along on the other side. He looked at me and I looked at him, and we were thinking the same thing: Oh my God, shall we have to stop and talk? Fortunately, we didn't.
P. G. Wodehouse, on Somerset Maugham

Mailbox Monday

This meme is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page and Kristi at The Story Siren.

I received one book in the mail last week. It's a memoir called The Opposite Field by Jesse Katz. An excerpt from the book reads:

My park is called La Loma. I have always liked the sound of that, the symmetry of those double-barrel Ls, the femininity of the final Spanish vowels, the spacey La-La Land echo, all an improvement on its stiff translation: the Hill. La Loma is prettier, softer and rounder, earthier --loamier. A park for losing yourself in. The park I went looking for myself in.

Max and I have spent nine springs and summers there, through squalls and droughts, heat waves and cold snaps, from his preschool years to the onslaught of adolescence. We have celebrated there and we have sulked there, twirling like fools across the dirt and chalk, drowning our broken hearts with fusillades of water balloons. We have made friends for life at La Loma and, I suspect, enemies for just as long. We have gone there to forget and to remember, to stop time and to grow up. The park is under our skin: season after season of bites, burns, stings, cuts, sprains, scars. Max has bled at La Loma. He has barfed there. He has wet himself. I have rinsed his wounds at La Loma, iced him, kneaded him, bandaged him, scooped him off the ground, his face streaked with sweat and clay and eye-black grease, and held him in my arms. Max has stood there, in jersey and cap, and hacked out "The Star-Spangled Banner" in front of a thousand people on his electric guitar. I have given myself to those same people, cheered and groaned alongside them, accepted their prayers and shared their beers, slipped to me in Styrofoam coffee cups. Whenever we have needed it, whenever I have felt burdened or alone, La Loma has been there. The park is always the park. Our refuge. My excuse.
I'm looking forward to reading this book - I like the way this author writes.

Tuesday Teasers

Grab your current read and let the book fall open to a random page. Share with us two sentences between lines 7 and 12 and the title of the book that you’re getting the teaser from. Please avoid spoilers!

My teaser is from page 118 of Lips Touch Three Times by Laini Taylor:
He was taunting her. Estella sometimes imagined she felt the presence of the Lord of Hell passing close in the great Fire, but she had not seen or heard him for sixty years, since she first came here fresh with widow's grief and had this awful duty thrust upon her.

Books Bought

My friend Cindy hosts this weekly meme profiling books bought recently. You can see her recent purchases here.

This is what I bought last week:

I've been eyeing this book for quite some time and I finally caved and bought a copy last week. Maybe it's the cover image giving me subliminal signals but I can just imagine cuddling up in my favourite spot, tea at hand and reading The Knitting Circle by Ann Hood.

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