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Be sure to scroll down the page today

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There are TWO posts today...Sorry about that :)

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Suddenly Sunday: It's Holiday time!!

Good Morning Readers!  I hope this finds you well this Sunday after Thanksgiving here in the U.S. And thus, the madness begins, of both Christmas and the shopping season.  Not for me on the shopping bit.    I enjoy baking, decorating, and spending good times with friends and family.  But hey, whatever floats your boat.

Currently Reading: Bleak House and enjoying it.  Why did I wait so long to read Dickens?  The length is a bit much, but the characters, oh my they are a trip.  I also started reading The Grail King by Joy Nash for a change up during Dickens.  It's Nash's version of Druids and the holy grail before King Arthur.  Very easy, light reading, and helps to play off the chunkster that is Bleak House.  By the way, if you are currently reading Bleak House because of the read-along or just because, there are some conversations happening over at #bleakalong on Twitter  jump on in :)

Knitting: Almost finished a cardigan but still need to find buttons.  I will probably end up buying them online because there are no fabric shops close to me, and AC Moore sucks for buttons.  I also decided to knit my dog a sweater because the weather is turning colder, and baby is short haired, so she feels it more than I do.  I have some yarn that's perfect for her, and why not?  I knit for other people might as well knit for my dog.  Oh and here's a picture of my two best friends and I at Stitches East back in October.  I'm in the middle in case you didn't know.  I don't post a lot of photos of myself because I hate how they turn out.

What is Stitches East you ask?  A weekend filled with yarn buying fun for knitters and crocheters.  Lets just say I have enough yarn for quite some time.  It was a crazy weekend and I had tons of fun.

School:  Can't wait until this semester is over.  Professor Jenny needs a break!

Work: I keep getting suckered into projects, however when one of the big wigs keeps looking at you when he says he needs participants, you don't say no.  Smile say yes, and shit pants later.  Whatever, keeps me busy.

Nutrition and Fitness: ha-ha-ha no seriously, I'm doing alright.  Lost about 15 pounds, but want to lose like 10 more. Hard getting to the gym because of previously mentioned cold doggie, but at least I walk. If I didn't walk, lord only knows.  Holidays will be tough, but after eating pretty decent for the past few moths, I hate to eat bad food.  Sounds a bit snobby, I know, but apparently I've made changes to my eating psyche, so that's good.

And last, but certainly not least....Pin It and Do It Challenge for December: this is being hosted by the lovely Trish.  I am doing the Timid Pinner at 1-3 pins.  I'm always looking for recipes and I already found one to try so I'm on my way.  Not sure how sucked into Pinterest I'll get, because I'm already spread thin, but some of the photos are gorgeous and inspiring for sure.  So, if you are new to Pinterest like me, and curious about what it's all about, try this challenge.

I think that's enough from me for today.  That was a lot!  What have you been up to lately?  Hope everything is well in your neck of the woods and see you around the interwebs :)

© Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

TLC Tour Stop and Book Review: Lucky Bunny by Jill Dawson

 From TLC Book Tours:

Daring, clever, and alluring, Queenie Dove has spent a lifetime developing the skills of an accomplished thief. Born into a criminal family in London’s East End during the Great Depression, and trained by a group of women shoplifters during the Blitz, Queenie soon graduates from petty street crime to far more lucrative heists and the seedy glamour of the city’s underworld. But giving birth to a daughter will make Queenie finally try to go straight . . . until the opportunity to take part in one last, audacious robbery tempts her back to the life of danger and excitement she once lived to the fullest.
Told in Queenie’s captivating and singular voice, Lucky Bunny is a richly colorful tale of trickery, adventure, and heart.

What worked for me:
  • The overall story of a child from the wrong side of the tracks, growing up during some of the most turbulent and changing times in history.
  • Glimpses of life in London during the blitz, and the underside or street life way of living.  People will do anything to survive and even during the most terrible times some things never change. 
  • How children were sent out to the country during the Blitz.  I can't even imagine.  Both parents and children were scared half to death.
  • Nature vs. nurture affecting how children grew up.  Queenie and her brother dealt with their issues differently yet, in some ways were similar.  Crime was a way to get by, and I can understand that.
  • Queenie’s various escapades   How people stole things, getting the key money, basically saying you will sleep with a guy but you need money for a room first, then taking off with the money, and of course, the grand finale.
  • Where bad teenagers go.  Any type of home or jail is scary even to adults.
  • Getting to see Queenie get to a good point in her life, when at times I didn't think that was going to happen. 
  • This story and it’s characters were easy to visualize and there were some moments when I felt Queenie’s quick breaths or how scared or nervous she was. 

What didn't work for me:

I hate to say it, but Queenie herself.  I never clicked with her, and it’s hard to put my finger on.  It started off well, but as she was growing up and life happened to her, I just couldn't connect with her.  I don’t think it’s that I disliked her.  I wasn't that truly invested in her, if that makes any sense.  Yes, I wanted things to turn out better for her, but I didn't anxiously await that to happen.  At times I felt that for as smart as Queenie could be, she never stood up for herself or was strong.  But I think that was because she had no role models growing up or stable parents to support her.
However, now that I think about it, maybe she was strong but I didn't realize it.  She wasn't one of those people who blame their parents for making them the way they were.  You know the type, “I was poor so it’s not my fault.”  Queenie takes what life has dealt her and does her best.  I know people that have grown up in similar circumstances and turned out the best they can be, so Queenie really was a Lucky Bunny in the end.

Final Thought:
Overall this was just okay for me, but you may have a different opinion.  Please visit the other tour stops below and see what they thought.

For more information about The author, Jill Dawson, please visit her website:

My Rating: 82/100

PublisherHarper Perennial (October 30, 2012)
Genre: Fiction
Trade paperback, 384 pages 
Book Source: TLC Book Tours

Jill’s Tour Stops

Tuesday, October 30th: Peppermint PhD
Thursday, November 1st: Unabridged Chick
Monday, November 5th: A Reader of Fictions
Thursday, November 8th: A Library of My Own
Thursday, November 8th: Walking With Nora
Friday, November 9th: Tina’s Book Reviews
Monday, November 12th: The House of the Seven Tails
Tuesday, November 13th: West Metro Mommy
Wednesday, November 14th: Reflections of a Bookaholic
Thursday, November 15th: Jenny Loves to Read
Friday, November 16th: Creating Comfort

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for my review copy!

 © Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"

Monday, November 12, 2012

TLC Tour Stop and Book Review: Blood Line by Lynda L a Plante

From the author's website:

Under the watchful eye of DCS James Langton, DCI Anna Travis takes charge of an investigation for the first time. But is it purely a missing person’s case – or a full blown murder enquiry? An ominous pool of blood and no victim lead Anna on a desperate
hunt for a man who has disappeared without trace.

As Anna becomes obsessed with seemingly irrelevant details, Langton fears that she
is losing control. They still have no body and Anna is under increasing pressure to
make an arrest…

My Review:

DCI Travis is back to work shortly after the murder of her fiance.  She does this because grief has a strangle hold on her, and work can help her forget about that big hole in her life for just a little while.  Travis also needs to return to work to show her superiors that she was worthy of the new position they gave her.  It's not easy being a female DCI.  Travis is asked to investigate a presumed missing persons case, and she does so begrudgingly.  This case is eight weeks old, mind you, and she is not pleased.

The more Travis tries to turn this missing persons case into a dud, the more things don't add up, leading her to believe the victim is not missing of his own accord.  Someone wanted him missing, possibly murdered.  There are so many questions, and the case becomes multi-faceted with quite a few dead ends.  Just when Travis thinks she has her suspect, something comes along to derail her case.  As infuriating as this case may be, it winds up being the best therapy Travis' emotional wounds.

So here is what I liked and worked well:

  • How the murder inquiry played out and finished.  I didn't think this case would ever get solved!
  • Anna Travis - liked her immensely and could relate to how she threw herself into her work
  • All of the other characters were well drawn and easy to picture
  • My love of British based stories; hello BBC America, this would make a great special or something
  • This book is part of a series but was totally stand alone.  No worries.
So here is what I didn't like:
  • I felt the story took too long, like we meandered for a bit there.  I don't think
    I would have minded so much, if there wasn't quite so many repetitive parts.
  • The repetitive parts.  Every time a suspect was brought in for questioning or someone had to be brought up to speed, it felt like every fact was repeated.  I understand that has to happens to a certain extent, but towards the end of the book, I knew all the facts by heart because I read them so many times.  I knew what the characters were going to say in the interrogation room.  
Overall, I liked DCI Travis and would definitely read another story with her as the lead.  As a matter of fact, a check of  La Plante's back-list shows a few older books with DCI Travis.  Also, La Plante's the author of Prime Suspect, and inspiration for the popular British version, and not so popular U.S. version.  (Not surprised, our TV rating system sucks, and hello, pseudo-reality TV).
Anyway, point being I liked Blood Line enough that I would check out her other works.

For more information about Lynda La Plante, here is a link to her website:

And this book is out on a new imprint called Bourbon Street Books.  Visit their Facebook page here.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for my review copy.

My Rating: 90/100

Publisher: Bourbon Street Books (Harper Collins)
Genre: Murder mystery, detective novel
Large paperback, 465 pages
Book Source: TLC Book Tours

tlc tour host.png

 © Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"

Thursday, November 1, 2012

And so it begins....The Bleak House read-a-long aka The Bleak-a-long

So today kicks off our reading of Bleak House by Charles Dickens.  For details about this read-a-long, please visit the announcement page.  You can join up at any time, or if you have read previously read this classic, and would like to add your comments please do.  The more the merrier. 

Now I admit, I started early, because as hostess I felt that I should.  Plus, I couldn't wait, to be quite honest. I  had a break in my schedule and I pounced.  I am over 100 pages in and enjoying it quite a bit.  More than I thought I would to be honest.  I like the characters, and damn you Charles, you make me smirk as I read your story.

The only insight I can provide you as you begin your Bleak-along, is to keep track of the characters you encounter.  Either make a list or print this list from Cliff Notes as a guide.  I also sensed some recurring themes, so I read up on Mr. Dickens here at PBS.  Quite interesting and confirmed my suspicions of Dickens being concerned about social injustices, which I think are important in Bleak House.

Lastly, the Chancery Court which figures prominently in the beginning and probably throughout the whole book.  Don't try and figure it out, because you can't.  The Chancery Court is a joke, and I believe that is the point.  I only mention this because it was driving me crazy, like what is it's purpose, and then I realized that is exactly what Dickens wanted me to think and feel.  Sorry if you think this is a spoiler, but I felt it had to be said.

That's all for now.  I may post some observations in two weeks, around the 16th or so, only because I have accumulated quite a few to date.  However, I don't want you to feel as though you have to as well.  I didn't want to burden participants with having to write all these posts to participate.  I just want you to read and enjoy.  If you want to do your own post, great.  Put a link in the comments.  If not, no worries, join in on mine.  All my posts will be labeled as Bleak House, so you can zero in on those.

Until then, happy reading and have yourself a cup of tea :)

 © Jenny Girl - 2012 "All Rights Reserved"