Showing posts from September, 2016

5 Unique Bookshops You Don't Want To Miss

Last week I reviewed The Bookshop on the Corner. In the novel, the main character re-invents her life and follows her dream to open a bookshop. But instead of opening a regular bookshop, she buys a huge van and makes a bookshop out of it. That got me thinking: What kind of unusual bookshops are out in the world? So I did some googling and came up with a few. Check them out:

Magdalena, Colombia 
There is no doubt that Biblioburros is one of the most unique bookstores in the world. It was started by a local teacher who wanted to give local children access to books they might not have otherwise. 

New York, USA
Wouldn't you love to see this truck pull up! 

I have a running list of reasons I want to go to the UK and this book barge is reasons one through ten. The Book Barge travels from England to Wales currently. And is definitely a unique bookshop.

I have yet to see one of these in my neighborhood, but I LOVE this idea. 

What a fabulous idea! You would get quite a workout hauling …

Review: Simply Dickens

Title: Simply Dickens Author: Paul Schlicke Publisher: Simply Charly Published: May 9, 2016 Ebook ASIN: B01EDAWD34 Genre: Biography Source: Publisher
The quintessential Victorian author, Charles Dickens not only created some of the most vivid characters in English classic literature, but he also lived his own life with a zest and drama that were novelistic in their intensity. In Simply Dickens, author Paul Schlicke explores the fascinating link between Dickens the writer and Dickens the person—a dynamic and driven social reformer who worked to improve the living conditions of the poor.
My Thoughts Simply Charly is a fantastic publisher that likes to "explore history's greatest movers and shakers." They publish books about authors, scientists, artists, and so on. Though I'm sure several volumes could be filled on each distinguished person, Simply Charly condenses the information down to an informative but short book. Each book is written by a knowledgeable aut…

Secret Places Revealed Book Blast Tour

Publication Date: September 16, 2016 Paperback: 342 pages Genre: Inspirational Romance ISBN-10: 0989969150 ISBN-13: 978-0989969154 ASIN: B01M0GXCGB

About The Book
A broken man, a woman on the run, a love that won’t be denied. Single—and very content—real estate developer Aaron Blackman is determined not to become involved in another relationship. He’s experienced enough drama to last a lifetime. The only thing garnering his attention now is his growing business. And he plans to keep it that way. Then Simone Herron waltzes into his life, beautiful and confident. Fighting to keep his promise to himself—to remain single—he soon discovers that when it comes to love, some promises must be broken. After losing her fiancĂ© in an untimely death, Simone Herron relocates. She desperately needs to put the past behind her and start a new chapter in her life. While love is the farthest thing from her mind, she experiences an attraction to the handsome Aaron Blackman that frightens her. She's built a wa…

Last Week In Review (25)

What I'm Currently Reading
I started reading this book a few weeks ago, but I had to put it aside because of previous book commitments. It's good so far. There's a big secret that's about to be revealed. 

What I Finished Reading
This is such a delightful novel! You can read my review here--though it doesn't do the book justice.
What I Plan To Read Next
What I'm Watching
I watched Downton Abbey a few weeks ago on PBS' pledge drive. I missed quite a bit of the series while it was on. So I decided to watch it on Amazon Prime. I can't lie. I love this series.
Reading Challenge Update
I read this as part of my Classic Lit. Challenge.
New Books
What's next in your TBR?

THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER Review, Excerpt, and Giveaway

THE BOOKSHOP ON THE CORNER By Jenny Colgan William Morrow Paperbacks September 20, 2016 ISBN: 9780062467256; $14.99 E-ISBN 9780062467263; $9.99
About the Book
Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.

My Thoughts Jenny Colgan is known …

Review: Chakana

Title: Chakana Author: W.E. Lawrence Published: December 2015 Paperback, 346 pages ISBN: 978-1519518057 Genre: Romance, Action and Adventure Source: Author
Summary Can a romance save the world? Maybe this one could. Chakana is a historical romance novel filled with action, adventure, suspense, and intrigue.

In 1939, before the start of World War II, James Fleming, the original British secret agent, races on a high-stakes chase to track down the ancient lost treasure of King Huascar of the Incas. He must recover it before the Nazis do or the whole world will be in imminent danger.

But this is no ordinary treasure hunt. The Incas have proven their cunning and intellect in not only how they hid their treasure, but how they protected it. Fleming joins forces in the remote ruins of Peru, South America with Kate Rhodes, a policewoman on leave from the United States, her archaeologist brother, Nick, and their college professor, Dr. Charlie. Together, they must decode, interpret the clues, a…

Now Scheduling . . .

I'm happy to announce that To Read, or Not To Read is once again open for interviews and guest posts. As some of you may know, I lost my mother-in-law to cancer earlier this year. I had to scale back here and there during that time and after. Life is settling down a bit and now I'm able to take this back on. The forms for New Books on the Block and Guest Posts, Interviews, and Giveaways can be found on the For Authors page. Or you can sign up here. Please feel free to tell others about these features.

Please fill out the form if you'd like to have your book featured on New Books on the Block.


Or if you'd like to sign up for an interview, guest post, or giveaway, then fill out the form below. Don't worry if you don't have a topic in mind for a guest post. We can always talk it out and come up with something.


Review: Literary Starbucks: Fresh-Brewed, Half-Caf, No-Whip Bookish Humor

Title: Literary Starbucks: Fresh-Brewed, Half-Caf, No-Whip Bookish Humor Author: Jill Poskanzer, Wilson Josephson, and Nora Katz Publisher: St. Martin's Press Published: August 23, 2016 Paperback, ARC Pages: 240  ISBN: 9781250096791 Genre: Humor/ Parodies
Summary:From the creators of the eponymous viral Tumblr comes a single day with your favorite authors in one Twilight-Zone-esque Starbucks...

Ever wonder which intricate, elaborately-named drinks might be consumed if your favorite authors and characters wandered into a Starbucks? How many pumpkin lattes J.K. Rowling would drink? Or if Cormac McCarthy needed caffeine, which latte would be laconic enough? Look no further; LITERARY STARBUCKS explores such pressing matters with humor and erudition. Set over the course of a single day, and replete with puns and satirized literary styles, the three authors go darker, stronger, and more global than the blog in book format, including illustrations by acclaimed New Yorker cover artist and cartoon…

Last Week In Review (24)

Last week was another slow week for me. I didn't get as much accomplished as I had hoped. In fact, I made little or no progress in any of my reading challenges or just plain reading. My tbr is stacking up quite a bit, but I hope this next week will be much better.

Here's what I'm currently reading

I'm still listening to this gem. I did manage to get a little farther along in this book. Which is great, by the way. Please don't think just because it's taking me forever to get through this that I don't like. Because I really really do.

I'm loving this book so far too.
Instead of boring you with a bunch of snail pictures in the rest of the usual categories, I'll just share what I did do. 
Last weekend I watched Season 1 of Downton Abbey again. Because I love it. And it was also my birthday! So I celebrated with taking some time off. I also ate some cupcakes. Not all of them mind you, but I did eat a few. Two spaced by several hours and one by a day. No …

Bedmates Excerpt Reveal

We are thrilled to get to bring to you the first two chapters in New York Times Bestselling Author Nichole Chase's BEDMATES, the first standalone novel in her new American Royalty Series!

From the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly Royal comes the first in a sparkling new series about America’s favorite royal—the First Daughter. Everyone makes mistakes, especially in college. But when you’re the daughter of the President of the United States, any little slip up is a huge embarrassment. Maddie McGuire’s latest error in judgment lands her in police custody, giving the press a field day. Agreeing to do community service as penance and to restore her tattered reputation, Maddie never dreams incredibly good looking but extremely annoying vice president’s son, Jake Simmon, will be along for the ride. Recently returning from Afghanistan with a life-altering injury, Jake is wrestling with his own demons. He doesn’t have the time or patience to deal with the likes of Maddie. The…

Last Week In Review (23)

This should be accurately titled: Last Two Weeks In Review. My schedule has been a little crazy over the last few weeks and I haven't had a lot of extra time. I haven't made a lot of progress with any of my challenges or in the book review world in general. But that will change this week.

What I'm Currently Reading
The Two-Family House by Lynda Cohen Loigman
Brooklyn, 1947: In the midst of a blizzard, in a two-family brownstone, two babies are born, minutes apart. The mothers are sisters by marriage: dutiful, quiet Rose, who wants nothing more than to please her difficult husband; and warm, generous Helen, the exhausted mother of four rambunctious boys who seem to need her less and less each day. Raising their families side by side, supporting one another, Rose and Helen share an impenetrable bond forged before and during that dramatic winter night.

When the storm passes, life seems to return to normal; but as the years progress, small cracks start to appear and the once dee…

Death at the Paris Exposition Spotlight and Giveaway

Death at the Paris Exposition by Frances McNamara Publication Date: September 1, 2016 Allium Press Paperback; 276 Pages
Series: Emily Cabot Mysteries #6 Genre: Historical Mystery

Amateur sleuth Emily Cabot's journey once again takes her to a world's fair--the Paris Exposition of 1900. Chicago socialite Bertha Palmer is named the only female U. S. commissioner to the Exposition and enlists Emily's services as her secretary. Their visit to the House of Worth for the fitting of a couture gown is interrupted by the theft of Mrs. Palmer's famous pearl necklace. Before that crime can be solved, several young women meet untimely deaths and a member of the Palmer's inner circle is accused of the crimes. As Emily races to clear the family name she encounters jealous society ladies, American heiresses seeking titled European husbands, and more luscious gowns and priceless jewels. Along the way, she takes refuge from the tumult at the country estate of Impressionist painter …