TBRs – Pat Conroy’s My Reading Life

My Reading Life by Pat Conroy | FirstSearch: WorldCat Detailed Record

Conroy, P., & Minor, W. (2010). My reading life. New York: Nan A. Talese/Doubleday.  9780385533577

I’ve wanted to read this book ever since it hit the shelves. This is a work of nonfiction where writer Pat Conroy acknowledges the books which shaped his written work. However, I’ve not gotten around to it yet. Maybe officially posting it to my TBRs list will encourage me to change this fact.

Sarah Dessen’s Infinity

Infinity (Pocket Money Puffin) by Sarah Dessen | LibraryThing

(Written 19 January 2013)

Dessen, S. (2010). Infinity. London: Puffin. 9780141330778

Title and Author(s): Infinity by Sarah Dessen
Release Date:
May 6, 2010
Pocket Money Puffin
ISBN: 0743496728 
Pages: 33
Source: Inter-Library Loan (ILL)

Reasons for Reading: Going through Sarah Dessen withdrawals, I happened to see the title Infinity. When I saw that I could request the book through Inter-Library Loan, I did so.

Summary: A nameless heroine talks of going in circles. She now faces two daunting teen rites of passages. She can now drive. Will she be like her father and take on the town roundabout that long ago scared her mother? Also, Anthony, her boyfriend of six months, wants to make a home run. So, our heroine must decide when she wants to stop and when she wants to go on these endless lines.

One Thing I Learned from reading Sarah Dessen’s Infinity: This book was written in “British English” which made me wonder if Dessen wrote it that way or that the editor(s) added the extra “u” to certain words. 🙂

What I Liked: I liked that Dessen quickly drew me into the story. This sympathetic teenage girl faces these challenges. Also, she loves her mother even if she thinks the woman’s been silly about avoiding the roundabout. She’s sympathetic and likeable.

What I Disliked: This was way too short! I wanted to know more about the narrator. A name would have been most excellent! Come on, the silly boyfriend gets a name but she doesn’t? I also missed the references to characters from other Dessen books.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Make New Friends – YouTube

Setting : Unnamed College Town (Lakeview?)

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For more on Sarah Dessen’s Infinity, check out the following sites:

Jorie’s Top Ten Most Infuriating Characters

Top Ten Tuesday | The Broke and the Bookish

For future Top Ten Tuesday topics & info on how to participate, click here!

 Top Ten Tuesday: Bridget’s Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters EVER

  1. Charlie Grey of Anna Godbersen’s Bright Young Things Series
  2. Scarlett O’Hara of Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With the Wind
  3. The Color Man of Christopher Moore’s Sacré Bleu: A Comedy D’Art
  4. Josie Cormier of Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes
  5. Sir Hugh Swynford of Anya Seton’s Katherine
  6. Katherine Hamilton of Sarah Dessen’s What Happened to Goodbye
  7. Luke O’Neill of Colleen McCullough’s The Thornbirds
  8. Regan of William Shakespeare’s King Lear
  9. Elizabeth Wakefield of Francine Pascal’s Sweet Valley Confidential
  10. Aunt Paula of Jean Kwok’s Girl in Translation

The Sunday Post ~ sharing blog news and book haul ~ Jorie’s 21st Edition

Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer: The Sunday Gazette

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer.
~this meme was inspired in part by ~ In My Mailbox~

It’s a chance to share News.

A post to recap the past week, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up for the week on our blog.

This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little.
Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies.

Anyone can participate as long as you:

This is your news post, so personalize it! Include as much as you want or as little.
Be creative, it can be a vlog or just a showcase of your goodies.

Anyone can participate as long as you:

Enter your link on my post – Sundays beginning at 12:01 am (CST) (link will be open all week)

Link back to this post or this blog

(Please vote for your favorite books in the Revisited Challenge!)

Last week on Jorie’s Reads, I:

This week, I hope to:

  • Post my 21st edition of The Sunday Post 🙂
  • Celebrate the 200th Birthday of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice
  • Participate in The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday – Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever
  • Post reviews
  • Share a TBR
  • Finish reading: Kay Hooper’s The First Prophet (Bishop Files #1)

My Book Haul: 

  • Holy Bible: Archaeological Study Bible-NIV: An Illustrated Walk Through Biblical History and Culture 
  • Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ: A Journalist’s Personal Investigation of the Evidence for Jesus 
  • Wendy J. Glenn’s Sarah Dessen: From Burritos to Box Office
  • Libba Bray’s A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle #1)
  • Kay Hooper’s The First Prophet (Bishop Files #1)

Did Not Finish (DNF) List: 

  • Wendy J. Glenn’s Sarah Dessen: From Burritos to Box Office

January 2013 Reader of the Month – Hallie S.

Hallie S.

Hallie S.

This is the thirteenth interview for Reader of the Month.

I remember meeting Hallie for the first time in eighth grade. As students in Ms. Combs’ Writer’s Workshop, I recall thinking Hallie’s doppelgänger starred in From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. Soon after, Hallie read us a piece she wrote about looking like this young actress. Later on, we both sang in the high school choir and roomed together during trips. Of course, she’s a reader, too!

1)      What’s the best thing you’ve read in the past year?

a)      I read a lot of historical fiction this summer.  If I have to pick a favorite, I would say The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory.

2)      Do you have any quirks when it comes to reading?

a)      The only quirk I can think of is one that really annoys my husband.  While I’m reading, I flick the corners of the pages.  Most of time I don’t realize I’m doing it.

3)      What’s on your bookshelf or in your book bag?

a)      Right now, I’m reading a bunch of Christian education and reformed theology books for my certification.

4)      Who supplies your reading material?

a)      My mother-in-law via Christmas and birthday gifts and my husband via ebooks for the iPad

5)      What type of reading do you usually enjoy?

a)      When I’m not reading stuff for work, I love reading the fantasy stuff, especially books about vampires (NOT Twilight).

6)      Who are some authors that you read regardless of anything?

a)      I’m a huge fan of Jasper Fforde, especially his Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series.  I’ll also read anything a friend publishes (Sabbath in the Suburbs by MaryAnn McKibben Dana).

7)      What’s on your TBR (to be read) list?

a)      I have everything from Graced Vulnerability: A Theology of Childhood to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on my Goodreads list!

8)      Can you recall a book that changed your life? How so?

a)      In a way, every book changes my life after I read it.  Most recently Elizabeth Caldwell’s books about children and worship have changed the way I think about teaching families and churches how to incorporate children into their faith practices.

9)      What was something you enjoyed reading as a child?

a)      My mom and I read all the Little House on the Prairie books together.  I have wonderful memories of sitting on the sofa with her and imagining the characters coming to life as she read to me.

10)  Where do you like to read?

a)      Somewhere comfortable, but not too comfortable

11)  Other than reading, what do you like doing?

a)      I like spending time with my wonderful husband and exploring our new home here in NC.

12)  Where can we find you online?

a)      When I’m not working or reading, I’m usually on Facebook or Goodreads.

13)  Would you like to make a shout out to any other avid readers that are online?

a)      I want to give a shout out to my friend Amy Rork in Texas who inspired me to keep reading! She reads 50 books every year, and I aspire to keep up with her.

14)  What do you challenge people to read?

a)      I hope that people would read a genre or author they wouldn’t normally read.  Using food as an example, you can’t say you don’t like Brussels sprouts until you’ve tried them.  I can hear my dad saying “try it, you’ll like it!”

15)  How about sharing five random facts about you?

  1. I’ve been to Europe twice. I went to Italy with my Mom when I was in high School, and I went to Ireland with my husband and the Irving Chorale in 2008. I hope to go back many more times before I die.
  2. I love chocolate and peanut butter. My favorite treats are Reese’s peanut butter cups, and my mom’s Fudge Filled Peanut Butter Bars.
  3. I was terrified of dogs for the first 19 years of my life. It all started when I was playing in my yard as a very small child, and our neighbors’ pit bull ran up to me and licked me (don’t laugh, it was traumatic). Then a few weeks later, my mom took me to see a live version of “Little Red Riding Hood”, and when the wolf jumped out I started screaming. I had nightmares every night for about 6 months after that. I still have one every once in a while.
  4. I met the author Marc Brown when I was in 1st grade. He visited my school, and I presented him with some Francine glasses that my art teacher made.
  5. I love Star Wars. My husband and I considered having Han Solo and Princess Leia on top of our wedding cake. We had 2 chocolate covered strawberries instead.

Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes

Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult | LibraryThing

(Written on Monday, 14 January 2013)

Title and Author(s): Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult
Release Date: March 9, 2007
Publisher: Atria
ISBN: 0743496728 
Pages: 455
Source: Library

Reasons for Reading: I read My Sister’s Keeper several years ago. Later, I posted a review when I reread it before doing a book talk at a senior center. When Nineteen Minutes came out in 2007, I didn’t want to read about a school shooting. Yet, watching the continuous coverage of the Sandy Hook shootings, I realized the importance of understanding such situations. So, I requested the book via HCPL.

Summary: Sterling, New Hampshire is a sleepy little town where denizens settle so they can send their kids to good schools. Nothing of note really happens in Sterling until March 6, 2007. In nineteen minutes, bullied Sterling High School junior Peter Houghton hauls five guns into the high school and goes on a shooting spree. When Detective Patrick DuCharme apprehends Peter in the locker room, he finds jock Matt Royston dead but Royston’s girlfriend, Josie Cormier, stirring. Daughter of Madam Justice Alex Cormier, Josie recalls nothing. Picoult relates a tale of bullying, broken relationships, and a reeling town.

One Thing I Learned from reading Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes: Battered person syndrome is a physical and psychological condition that is classified as ICD-9 code 995.81.

What I Liked:  I liked that Picoult began with the date of March 6, 2007. This gave me an idea of the setting and attitudes to expect. Also, she fed into my preference of having a date stamp.

Also, I appreciate that Picoult deals with relevant events and offers likely reasons for characters’ motives. On the whole, this novel has believable, sympathetic characters.

While I’ve yet to read Change of Heart, The Pact, or Salem Falls, I liked that Picoult brought back characters Patrick Ducharme, Jordan McAfee, and Selena McAfee. This gives me hope that I might see friendly faces if I pick up other books by her.

What I Disliked: I did appreciate the time stamp of March 6, 2007. However, Picoult would toggle between the big event and chapters with titles along the lines of “Seventeen Years Earlier.” Couldn’t she have added “1990” to this?

Then, there was the sense that this book’s plot was “straight from the headlines.” I’d avoided this book dealing with school shootings for a long time, not wanting to be reminded of Columbine High School Massacre around the time Nineteen Minutes hit the bookshelves.

Additionally, I remember reading My Sister’s Keeper and found reading Nineteen Minutes like watching any M. Night Shyamalan movie after I’d seen The Sixth Sense. Thus, I tended to smell a rat early in the narrative. I won’t spoil the end but I wanted to know more about how certain characters were doing. Maybe I’ll see them in another Picoult work.

Three Out of Five Pearls

Song: Foster The People – Pumped Up Kicks – YouTube

Setting :  Sterling New Hampshire

You might also like:

For more on Jodi Picoult’s Nineteen Minutes, check out the following sites:

John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me

Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin | LibraryThing

(Last book review of books finished in 2012!)

Griffin, J. H., & Childs, R. (2004). Black like me. Middletown, Me.: Audio Bookshelf, LLC.

Reasons for Reading:Yet again, I sought another nonfiction eAudio work to entertain me during my work commute. I came across Black Like Me, checked it out from the HCPL Digital Media Catalog, and put it on my iPhone.

Summary: Texas Writer John Howard Griffin underwent a bold experiment like no other. He left his home in Mansfield, Texas with the intent to “pass as black.” With the help of a reticent New Orleans dermatologist, Griffin took a course of drugs, endured sunlamp treatments, and applied skin creams in order to understand the “black experience” firsthand. He also shaved his head and, later, his arms.

Then, he traveled through the Deep South as a black man. His social experiment altered the lives of many. Black Like Me is a journal of Griffin’s courageous experiment. The title comes from Langston Hughes’ “Dream Variations”

Rest at pale evening…

A tall slim tree…

Night coming tenderly

Black like me.

What I Liked: I appreciated what Griffin did. Also, I found Griffin to be a gifted writer who wanted to understand and help his fellow citizens. I liked that Griffin didn’t lie, either. He seemed to be an interesting and virtuous man.

What I Disliked:  Many versions of this book exist. I’m grateful I got an edition with an epilogue which Griffin wrote in the 1970s. As hindsight is 20/20, Griffin related the outcome of Black Like Me. It’s my feeling that this should be the version everyone reads.

Four Out of Five Pearls

Setting: Texas, New Orleans, Mississippi, Georgia, South Carolina

You might also like:

 For more on John Howard Griffin’s Black Like Me, check out the following:

Liebster Award Nomination

Liebster Award!!!

Wow! A huge thank you to Laekan of laekanzeakemp for this honor.


The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to their blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees;

3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been chosen.

4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

11 Random Facts About Me…

  1. I’ve been a Christian of the Baptist variety for over 18 years.
  2. While both of my parents are left-handed, I’m right-handed.
  3. I’m a Dallas Cowboys fan even though I grew up in Houston.
  4. Vincent van Gogh is my favorite artist.
  5. I own all of Weezer’s albums sold on iTunes.
  6. My blood type is A+.
  7. I’ve traced some branches of my family tree back to the 1400s.
  8. An expectant mother chose the name I suggested for her daughter – Ava.
  9. Thanks to my dad, I can name the capital of any state in the U.S.
  10. Thanks to my mom, I’d much rather borrow a book from the library than buy one.
  11. I’ve worked in libraries in Texas, Hawaii, and Cambridge U.K.

Questions from my Nominator:

1.       If you could have any job in the world what would it be?

I’d like to be a taster for Blue Bell Ice Cream.

2.       What’s your favorite non-profit organization?

There are so many but I must choose Product (RED).

3.       Who was your favorite teacher in school and why?

My Kindergarten teacher, Ms. G., was one of my favorites. When playing in the “doctor’s office,” the boys said I had to be a nurse because I was the only girl. Ms. G. made sure I was the doctor.

4.     Would you rather have a telescope or a spaceship?

A telescope

5.        If you could spend the day with one celebrity who would it be?

Dead – Paul Newman / Living – Bailey Chase 😛

6.     What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?


7.       If you could be one age forever, what age would you be?


8.      What’s the best movie adaptation of a book you’ve ever seen?

I realize this is a play but I’d say the Hamlet in which Kenneth Branagh starred.

9.  What are you most afraid of?


10.  What’s your favorite thing about yourself?

I am always happy to make new friends

11.  What’s your favorite ice cream?

It all comes back to ice cream – Blue Bell Homemade Vanilla

Questions for Nominees:

1.      What is your favorite snack?

2.      Do you judge a book by its cover?

3.      Where do you like to blog?

4.      If you were Snow White’s eighth dwarf friend, what would your name be?

5.      Where do you like to blog?

6.      How long have you been blogging?

7.      Who are two of your favorite authors?

8.      Do you like to read in languages other than English? If so, what are they?

9.      What genre do you want to try for the first time in 2013?

10.  Is there a book you’d like to rewrite?

11.  What is your favorite color?

My Nominees:

  1. Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer
  2. The Broke and the Bookish
  3. Je suis frenchie. | a blog about the lives of a few french girls.
  4. Alice in Readerland
  5. fourth street review | intersecting life and literature
  6. Two weeks from everywhere
  7. Roof Beam Reader
  8. Book Briefs
  9. Arukiyomi — Walk and read. Live and learn.
  11. Books Live Forever