"No one can be lonely who has a book for company." ~ Nelle Reagan

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Leave of Absence Book Trailer

A story that will touch your heart.....

Coming May 6 - guest post by author Tanya J. Peterson (author of Leave of Absence)
May 7 - Book review of Leave of Absence
May 8 - Q & A with author Tanya J. Peterson


When this library in Walnut Creek opened July of 2010, visitors were greeted with this bigger than life reminder to be quiet.  
Pretty cool.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Review: Margaret Fuller - A New American Life by Megan Marshall

Margaret Fuller
A New American Life
Author:  Megan Marshall
Published: March 2013
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Pages: 496
Category:  Biography
Format: Trade paperback (Advanced Reader's Copy)
ISBN 9780547195605

Thank you to the publisher and to TLC Book Tours for a complimentary copy of Margaret Fuller - A New American Life.  Receipt of such did not influence my opinion nor this review.

From an early age, Margaret Fuller dazzled New England’s intelligent elite. Her famous Conversations changed women’s sense of how they could think and live; her editorship of the Dial shaped American Romanticism. Now, Megan Marshall, whose acclaimed The Peabody Sisters “discovered” three fascinating women, has done it again: no biography of Fuller has made her ideas so alive or her life so moving.
Marshall tells the story of how Fuller, tired of Boston, accepted Horace Greeley’s offer to be the New York Tribune’s front-page columnist. The move unleashed a crusading concern for the urban poor and the plight of prostitutes, and a hunger for passionate experience. In Italy as a foreign correspondent, Fuller took a secret lover; wrote dispatches on the brutal 1849 Siege of Rome; and gave birth to a son.
When all three died in a shipwreck off Fire Island shortly after Fuller’s 40th birthday, the sense and passion of her life’s work were eclipsed by tragedy and scandal. Marshall’s inspired account brings an American heroine back to indelible life. (summary from TLC Book Tour site)
My Thoughts:
Megan Marshall's Margaret Fuller - A New American Life is a well researched and written biography of a rare lady, writer and early feminist.  Through correspondence and diaries amongst other sources, Margaret Fuller's extraordinary childhood and development to womanhood and beyond is written with meticulous attention to historical facts while giving life to the story of a woman who was amongst the trailblazers of her time.

Though her life was cut short at 40, Margaret found much success and helped pave the way for women everywhere in the work force.  A wife, mother, writer and genius; Margaret Fuller did find herself after struggling to find her own identity and remains an example to women everywhere to be and do what their heart desires.  

For lovers of memoirs, influential women in history, and/or inspirational biographies, Margaret Fuller - A New American Life is highly recommended.

MEGAN MARSHALL is the author of The Peabody Sisters, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Her work has appeared in The New YorkerAtlanticNew York Times Book Review, and Slate. A recipient of Guggenheim and NEH fellowships, Marshall teaches in the MFA program at Emerson College.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Doug MacDonald's ReORGANized Quartet (jazz cd review)

Good jazz – you know, that melodic, swingin’, creative, flawlessly executed, feel-good, ageless,
fun-to-listen-to-music – is alive and well and escaping from the strings of jazz virtuoso Doug
MacDonald’s guitar on his latest CD offering, Doug MacDonald’s ReORGANized Quartet (BluJazz Records).
The new CD is the culmination of a year’s work by MacDonald as composer and leader,
realizing a goal to “write more for this ensemble and get it out there,” he said. The group features
the guitarist along with Bobby Pierce on organ and vocals, Clarence Webb and Roger Neu-mann
on tenor sax, and drummer/vocalist Harold Acey, offering new material as well as tunes that
were delivered by the foursome in a 1997 recording called “Organizing.” MacDonald announced
the revival of the organ quartet last year, referring to the revitalization of the original group as
Doug MacDonald’s ReORGANed Quartet is available through CDBaby
(http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dougmacdonald8) as well as Amazon and iTunes. Additional info at

My Thoughts:

You light the candles, the table is set for a cozy dinner for two, the mood is soft and in the background a melodic jazz CD sets the tone.  This jazz CD is Doug MacDonald's ReORGANized Quartet.  It's not the loud rag time jazz, nor is it bluesy.  This CD is easy on the ears and a palatable accompaniment to a romantic evening.

Thirteen numbers shift through easily, without disruption of pace or feeling.  A couple numbers are accompanied by vocals, which are nice though one is a bit drowned out by the instruments.  A nice tenor sax breezes through a few numbers (I do love a good saxophone!).  

If a romantic easy listening jazz CD is what you are looking for to put the finishing touches on a romantic evening or just to relax with at the end of the day, perhaps with a book in hand and your favourite drink nearby; then Doug MacDonald's ReORGANized Quartet is just the CD for you.

Note:  a copy of Doug MacDonald's ReORGANized Quartet was supplied for the purpose of presenting an honest and unbiased review.  My thanks to Doug and to Bostick Communications for the copy.  This in no way influenced my thoughts nor this review.

Author Sophie Kinsella introduces her new novel, Wedding Night

Wedding Night is out now in hardcover, ebook and audio
Read an extract on Sophie's website

Friday, April 26, 2013

Review: Driven by Robert Herjavec How to Succeed in Business and in Life

How to Succeed in Business and in Life
Author:  Robert Herjavec (co-star of CBC's Dragons' Den)
Publisher:  Harper Collins Publisher
Published: 2010
Category:  Business
Format:  Trade Paperback
Pages: 295
ISBN 9781554687091

"Robert Herjavec has lived the "rags to riches" story, from having $20 in his pocket to starting up technology companies worth hundreds of millions of dollars.  The co-star of television's Dragon's Den (Canada) and Shark Tank (US), this son of Croatian immigrants earned his incredible wealth by overcoming the odds with hard work and determination.  On television, Herjavec bankrolls the best inventions and shoots down the best of intentions.  Now, he shares his hard won wisdom in one of the most inspirational business books of recent times.

In Driven, Herjavec reveals the secrets that took him from waiting tables to growing his nascent technology company into a world class conglomerate.  The Herjavec Group, Herjavec's principles are as valuable in the living room as they are in the boardroom.  Anyone can succeed, on their own terms, by following his sage but simple advice -- if they're willing to take chances, take control of their own future and stay true to their vision."  (taken from the back cover; words in parentheses added by myself)

My Review:

This is my first post in what was supposed to be a month of dragons.  Well, it looks like it will be more like a couple months of dragons.... or a season of dragons.  At any rate, Driven is a terrific lead-in for the theme and for the aspiring entrepreneur.

Herjavec covers virtually every aspect of what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur in fifty chapters.  Written in terms that the average laymen can understand, Driven is full of advice beginning with how to "know a good deal when you see it" to knowing what to expect from finding financing to understanding the sacrifices necessary to succeed.  

With personal knowledge of what it takes to be a successful business person and owner, Herjavec speaks of the long days away from the family and how important it is to have that support at home while you build your company.   Being an entrepreneur is an investment of time, energy, willpower, sacrifice and money.

Also discussed in Driven are the statistics of success for new business.  The potential of failure, the dangers and trials and the struggles of starting and operating your own business can be daunting, and Herjavec warns the reader of just that but, not wanting to discourage you from trying, he does so to inform and forewarn of the inherit trials ahead while maintaining it can all be worth it but one must be realistic in expectations. 

Several references are made to the shows Dragon's Den and Shark's Tank and to some examples of what people did that worked and what some did that didn't work.  Each idea and advice on how to succeed in business and in life is backed up with examples.

Do you have a passion?  If you are interested in starting your own business, I definitely recommend Driven as essential reading.  It's a first step to preparation that I would consider necessary for success.  Driven is not limited to reading only for the entrepreneur, though.  Managers and parents, anyone in a leadership position, for that matter, can take away valuable insight that may help them to become and do what they desire most in life.  If you have a passion, pursue it, is his advice.

Robert Herjavec just released another business book titled "The Will to Win" now in stores near you.

Meet the Author:
Robert Herjavec launched on of the first companies dedicated to providing corporations with internet security systems, selling the company to AT&T for more than $100 million.  From there he moved on to other ventures, including the sale of a Silicon Valley-based technology company to Nokia for $225 million.  Three years later he established The Herjavec Group to provide highly sophisticated Internet security services to businesses.  The co-star of CBC TV's Dragon's Den and ABC TV's Shark Tank, Herjavec supports several charities dedicated to funding cancer research and divides his time between Toronto and Miami.  Visit him online at www.robertherjavec.com.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Pulitzer Prize Winners 2013

Congratulations are in order!!!  

Today Random House Publishers announced that The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson and Embers of War by Fredrik Logevall won Pulitzer Prizes for Fiction (The Orphan Master's Son) and History (Embers of War).

By clicking on the book title, you can read more about each of the winners.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Preview of The White Princess by Philippa Gregory


Become a fan of author Philippa Gregory on Facebook and you can read the first chapter of The White Princess (the next book in the Cousins' War series) now!  Just click on the link above.  Enjoy!

Random House and Penguin Merger Approved in Canada

The merger between Random House and Penguin has been approved in Canada by the Department of Canadian Heritage and the Competition Bureau. The merger, which is expected to be in effect this summer, was announced last fall and has been granted approval in the U.S., Australia and New Zealand.
Penguin Canada provided a press release which stated that upon completion of the merger, Beterlsmann (owner of Random House) will own 53 per cent and Pearson (of Penguin) will own 47 percent of what will be theretofore be known as Penguin Random House, encompassing both companies' publishing assets in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa, China (formerly Penguin's) and Spain and Latin America (formerly Random House).  
“Pearson and Bertelsmann believe that the combined organisation, the world’s leading consumer publishing company, will have a stronger platform and greater resources to invest in rich content, new digital publishing models and high-growth emerging markets,” the release states.
Will other publishers be following suit?

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Time Sensitive Announcement!!

Join GoodReads tomorrow, April 10/13 for a video chat with author Gillian Flynn.  Gillian Flynn is the author of the exciting thriller "Gone Girl".


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