May 24, 2010

Shelf by Shelf #4

Thaaaat's right, folks! It's time for another episode of 'What's on Abby's shelf?' also known as this blog's only regular feature, Shelf by Shelf.

Shelf by Shelf #2

This is one of my 2 'favorites' shelves:

L-R, even though the pictures always go R-L:

1, 2, 3.] CHICKEN SOUP books (WRITER'S SOUL, CHRISTIAN SOUL, and SOUL OF AMERICA) by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, and various - I love Chicken Soup books because they tell uplifting, hope-filled stories, but some of the stories are sad and make me cry, so I really have to be in the mood to read these. To be honest, I haven't picked these up since late HS/early college, so rereading would probably be like reading them for the first time. 

4.] THE SECRET HISTORY OF THE PINK CARNATION by Lauren Willig - Spies. History. Thrills. Romance. Contemporary, not-your-usual heroine Eloise Kelly grapples with her own complicated personal life while unearthing the identity of the best-kept spy of the Napoleonic era - the elusive Pink Carnation. LOVE Lauren Willig's debut, as well as the rest of the books in the series.

5, 6.] THE MASK OF THE BLACK TULIP and THE DECEPTION OF THE EMERALD RING by Lauren Willig - PINK II and III continue Eloise's historical digging, as well as advances her maybe-relationship with Mark Darcyish Colin Selwick. Vivid characters, plots that keep you guessing 'til the last chapter, and a relatable narrator in Eloise.

7.] IN HER SHOES by Jennifer Weiner - Saw IN HER SHOES the movie. Loved it. Found out it was based on a book. Read it. And Jennifer Weiner became my new favorite author.

8.] IN HER SHOES by Jennifer Weiner - A signed copy Jen sent me as part of a deal she offered fans who preordered Sarah Pekkanen's lovely debut THE OPPOSITE OF ME back in March.

9.] GOOD IN BED by Jennifer Weiner - The dangers of judging a book by it's title. I would have skimmed right past this book in B&N thinking it was all about sex had I not already read IN HER SHOES and given the book a second look because of Jennifer Weiner's. The story of sarcastic reporter Cannie Shapiro, whose life is turned upside down when her skeezy ex-boyfriend writes a column in a popular magazine detailing his relationship with a plus-sized woman - Cannie!

10.] GOODNIGHT NOBODY by Jennifer Weiner - Former fast-paced New Yorker Kate's frustrating, lonely life in Connecticut becomes a lot more exciting when she discovers a neighborhood Queen Bee murdered and decides to investigate.

11.] LITTLE EARTHQUAKES by Jennifer Weiner - Four mothers navigate their pregnancies, babies' arrivals and first months, all while dealing with cheating husbands, meddling mothers-in-law, miscarriages, and life compromises. Sounds like a downer, right? But it's not. A great read, even for a non-mom.

12.] THE GUY NOT TAKEN by Jennifer Weiner - If Jen writes engaging novels, it would follow that she would write equally engaging short stories, right? Right.

13, 14, 15, 16.] TWILIGHT, NEW MOON, ECLIPSE, BREAKING DAWN by Stephanie Meyer - Despite my love-hate relationship with the TWILIGHT juggernaut (was disappointed by the end of the series... greatly anticipate the eventual release of MIDNIGHT SUN [she's got to finish at some point, she's sitting on a major cash cow there]... always get excited about the movies... and then go, 'Meh.'), it  entertained me and gave me something to connect with with millions of people (women love to talk about how much they love or hate it, men like to talk about how baffled they are by it).

17.] THE MISCHIEF OF THE MISTLETOE by Lauren Willig - An ARC Lauren generously gave me. Received in the mail recently and will be reading soon.

18, 19, 20.] THE SEDUCTION OF THE CRIMSON ROSE, THE TEMPTATION OF THE NIGHT JASMINE, and THE BETRAYAL OF THE BLOOD LILY by Lauren Willig - the awesome thing about Lauren's PINK series, of which these books are numbers IV, V, and VI, is the vast network of characters who overlap from book to book, creating a satisfyingly real fictional ton.

21.] CERTAIN GIRLS by Jennifer Weiner - Cannie's back! But it's 13 years later and Cannie's daughter, Joy, has grown into a popular, lovely, thin preteen - everything Cannie never was. Told alternately from Cannie and Joy's POV, CG navigates their mother-daughter relationship through adolescence, new beginnings, tragedy, and just how much truth a novel really holds.

22.] BEST FRIENDS FOREVER by Jennifer Weiner - Jen combines a realistic male perspective in lonely cop Jordan with former best friends Addie and Valerie to narrate a wacky, bittersweet would-be-unbelievable-if-it-were-written-by-anyone-else romp.

23.] SCARLETT by Alexandra Ripley - A testament to the odd placement of books on my shelves (some are arranged alphabetically, some by size, others by color, others by how much I like them) is the GONE WITH THE WIND books. The authorized sequel to GWTW. Some people hate it. I love it. Ireland. Ballyhara. Kat. Colum. Scarlett. Rhett. Just having the chance to be in that world again makes me happy, and the new additions are (almost) as wonderful as the originals.

24.] RHETT BUTLER'S PEOPLE by Donald McCaig - This book did what I thought impossible: make me empathize with Belle Watling and show Melly as something other than meek and naive. And I love it for that. But beware, RBP does not account for SCARLETT (for instance, Rhett's sister has a different name and a completely different back story in the two sequels), so if SCARLETT and GONE WITH THE WIND run together in your head the way they do for me, this will be a slightly confusing, but worthy, read.

25.] GONE WITH THE WIND by Margaret Mitchell - A classic. A gem. The only book I love as much as HARRY POTTER. This is my lovely, tattered paperback copy. I've always wanted a signed first edition - maybe that's what I'll buy myself if I ever get a book deal.
Shelf by Shelf #4 results:


Added together with my previous Shelf by Shelves, the total stands at:

I've read ~71% of the books I own on shelves 1-4.

What are you reading right now? Have you read any of the above? Any new recommendations?


Sarah Enni said...

Love this. And I totally agree with what you're saying about Twilight. Love/Hate, but more than anything just fascinated by the whole phenomenon.
Don't hate me but I haven't read Gone with the Wind! (*cringe*) Hurts to admit. But I WILL read it this year.

Anonymous said...

It's very interesting to read these! I think I will definitely check out at least one novel by Jennifer Weiner now! :)

Angela Ackerman said...

What a great idea for a blog series!

Right now I'm reading Going Bovine. Not sure what to think quite yet. Thanks for sharing all your reads. :)

Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

Pam Harris said...

Wow, this is such a cute idea! I would totally steal it if my bookshelf wasn't such a mess. :) Right now, I'm reading The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott. I'll probably finish it in the next day or so, then it's on to The Forest of Hands and Teeth. :)

Abby Stevens said...

Thanks, Sarah. :) And I wouldn't hate you! It's a long read but worth it, I think. Let me know what you think of it if you do read it!

Sandy - I love Jennifer Weiner. Her sense of humor is so sarcastic, she always makes me laugh out loud.

Angela - Hi there! Thank you! I LOVE The Bookshelf Muse so I was so excited to see you commenting. I enjoyed the Gemma Doyle trilogy so I will probably read GOING BOVINE eventually, too. It just seems like such a strange story, I haven't been in the mood to read anything quite like that lately.

Pam - Thanks! I read FOREST a few weeks ago and it was amazing. I'm sure you'll love it!

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