Category Archives: Books

Any Little Excuse

My work was kind enough to give us the day off.  I guess to properly recover from any New Year celebration revelry that may have lapsed over into Sunday/Monday.  Long overdue renovations and repairs began in our home today.  Let me tell you, five adults and two children is entirely too many people to have in one little house, especially when three of those adults are trying to move ladders, tubs of paint, scrapers and various other equipment throughout the rooms.  So I decided it was THE perfect excuse to take the kiddos and go explore the going-out-of-business sale at the outlet mall’s bookstore.

Oklahoma City was lucky enough to have a beautiful, brand spankin’ new outlet mall open up just a few months ago.  I’m not quite sure why the bookstore is already going out of business. I find that to be a sad state of affairs in the world (curse you e-books!), but that’s a topic for another time.  And really…any excuse to go to a booksale is a-ok with me.

I was surprised by the quality of the selection.  I was fully expecting just stacks of remainder books, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction titles, and best of all, an entire food writing section!   Here’s what I purchased – for a mere $14, I might add 🙂

1.  Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict – Laurie Viera Rigler –  I’ve had this on my TBR list for some time, but my local library doesn’t stock it. So yay for finding it for dirt cheap!

2.  Horsemen of the Esophagus: Competitive Eating and the Big Fat American Dream –  Jason Fagone – I’ve been eyeing this one for some time. So glad to find a copy.

3.  Alone in the Kitchen With An Eggplant – Edited by Jenni Ferrari-Adler –  I LOVE this book, and have checked it out numerous times from the library. I must admit, I did a little happy dance and accompanying squeal when I saw it on the shelf!

4.  On The Threshold: Home, Hardwood & Holiness – Elizabeth J. Andrew – I thought this looked super intriguing.  A book of essays about home & faith, very timely in my life.

5.  Familyhood – Paul Reiser –  I’ve been a Paul Reiser fan for many, many years, and adding Familyhood, his newest, will complete my collection, which also consists of Couplehood and Babyhood.

6.  Someday My Prince Will Come:  True Adventures of a Wannabe Princess – Jerramy Fine – This looks super cute. I can’t wait to read it!

7.  Life, Death & Bialys:  A Father/Son Baking Story – Dylan Schaffer – Have I mentioned my weakness for food writing?

8.  Bright Lights, Big Ass – Jen Lancaster – I LOVE Jen Lancaster.  She never fails to crack me up:)  And although I’ve already read this one, I went ahead and picked up a copy to gift to someone.

9.  Spoon Fed:  How Eight Cooks Saved My Life – Kim Severson – See aforementioned food writing writing.

In my opinion, some excellent finds!  Now, if you’ll excuse me…I’m off to read.


The Sci-Fi Experience 2011

I spent the last month of 2010 reading….wait for it….keep waiting…..ok, I’ll tell ya — science fiction.  *gasp* I know, right?? Not exactly the words you would ever expect to hear come out of the mouth of this romance/mystery/chick lit/food writing/travel memoir lover.  But as I’ve mentioned before, sometimes certain books just find their way to you when you need them most.  I needed something different.  Refreshing.  Unique.  Enter the Sirantha Jax series by Ann Aguirre.

Let me say, in the interest of full disclosure, that some may not consider these books “sci-fi”.  But they take place on foreign planets, in space itself, and in spacecrafts. Wars rage.  Jax (a heroine who kicks much ass, I might add) literally jumps through space, navigating from beacon to beacon, while linked in with her pilot March (the dark, brooding hero that you can’t help but love.)  And I’ve gotta say….if these aren’t sci-fi, with a healthy dollop of romance thrown in, of course, then I’m not quite certain what is.

Which is exactly why I’ve decided to participate in the newest experience (Isn’t that word lovely? Induces much less pressure than ‘challenge’, I believe) being hosted by the fantastic Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings.  All you have to do is sign up, read some sci-fi, and talk about if you’d like.  No need to read a certain amount of books — just between now and the end of the February, treat yourself to some good books.  That’s my kind of deal.

I adored Grimspace, Wanderlust and Doubleblind, and will be delving into the fourth Jax novel just as soon as I get my hot little hands on it.  And I have no doubt that I’ll enjoy it enormously.  But what I want to know is – will I enjoy titles that may be  considered more mainstream sci-fi?  When you take away the lusty bits (as my friend Lusty Reader  so aptly calls them), will I still enjoy the essence of the science fiction experience?  That’s the big question.  And if, as I hope it is, the answer is a resounding yes, then I’m looking forward to having a vast new selection of books to partake in!

So, fellow Sci-Fi Experience readers, do you have any suggestions as to which direction I should take? Any particular titles or authors that might be good beginning efforts for a self-proclaimed sci-fi virgin like myself? 🙂


Posted by on January 12, 2011 in Aguirre, Books, Sci-Fi Experience 2011, Sirantha Jax



Every couple months, in an attempt to empty out my overflowing brain, I like to list some of the titles that I’m super excited about reading.  Some are recently released, and others are upcoming in the foreseeable future.  Here are the current “books wanted” floating around in my head.

1.  Happy Ever After: Book 4 of the Bride Quartet Series by Nora Roberts – (TBR 11-10) This series makes me smile with its loveable characters and romantic world of weddings.  But being the last book in the series, its release makes me happy and sad all at the same time.

2.  It’s All Relative:  Two Families, Three Dogs, 34 Holidays, and 50 Boxes of Wine by Wade Rouse – TBR 02/11- Really, truly – if you have not read Wade Rouse’s book “At Least in the City Someone Would Hear Me Scream”, go now.  Go now and buy it.  Go to the library and check it out.  Doesn’t matter how–just get it! Now that that’s over– suffice to say that I’m very excited about this upcoming release.

3. The Great Typo Hunt:  Two Friends Changing the World, One Correction At a Time by Benjamin Herson and Jeff Deck  -HAHAHAHA! Must read!  I’m such an editing geek, I know I’ll get a kick out of this one. 

4.  My Formerly Hot Life:  Dispatches From Just the Other Side of Young by Stephanie Dolgoff  – I totally should have written this!

5.  Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris – It’s David Sedaris –there’s not really much more that needs to be said here.

These are just the first few that pop in my head. *whew!* It feels good to get those out of there. More room for more books, I say!  What about you? Anything upcoming that you’re looking forward to reading?


Posted by on September 2, 2010 in Books, To Be Read


Dear Kristan Higgins

Dear Kristan,

I apologize if I seem presumptious by referring to you by your first name, but I feel as if we are already the bestest and dearest of friends, who hang out at kitschy coffee shops and discuss So You Think You Can Dance and Nora Robert’s newest release.  I blame this fantasy friendship solely on your lovely interaction with your fans via your Facebook page, which is what triggered a near panic attack in me this morning.  Let me explain…

I clicked onto this morning to locate the release date for your upcoming title, All I Ever Wanted.  (Side note: It’s being released near my birthday! Happy Birthday to me!!). While perusing, I noticed a book listed under your name titled Fools Rush in, which, GASP– I HAVE NOT READ!  How can that be??  As I mentioned here back in March, when I disappear from my blog for periods of time, it’s often because I’ve discovered a new (to me) author, and am drowning myself in the backlist.  You were the author I was referring to in that post.  For about three weeks, I devoured every book I could find by you, but somehow I missed FRI – thus, the aforementioned panic attack.

Fast forward to this afternoon when I drove past a little, used bookshop.  I decided to stop, thinking maybe, just maybe, they would have Fools Rush In.  I entered, inhaled the slightly musty smell of books, and walked directly to the romance section – and there, faced directly at me, was Fools Rush In.  The only book they had by you in stock (because, really, who parts with their KH books??), just waiting for me.

It was a wonderful book day – when the stars and book spines magically aligned to create a cloud of Jessica Happiness.

I really must go now — Fools Rush In is awaiting, and I can’t possibly wait another single minute.  And as soon as I turn the last page, I’ll be eagerly counting the days until All I Ever Wanted hits the shelves.

Your (hopefully not-creepy and un-stalkerish) biggest fan,


Posted by on July 8, 2010 in Books, Kristan Higgins


Everything Austen II

I’ve been neglecting the OB for far too long.  In searching for something that will get me out of my funk, and hopefully dissipate this cloud of unhappiness that’s been hanging  over my head, I’ve found a goal that will not only make me smile, encourage me to make new friends, and work steadily towards an accomplishment — but will also be the catalyst to read some literature that I’ve been meaning to read for years.  Introducing, the Everything Austen Challenge II.

Last year, I read about others exploits and adventures in this challenge, but didn’t take the initiative to join.  Well, no more, I say!  I’m ready!  The rules of this challenge are simple and straightforward (necessary requirements in my world).  Simply read, watch or participate in any six Austen related projects from July 1, 2010 through January 1, 2011.   Really — could it get much easier than that?  Stephanie over at  Stephanie’s Written Word is graciously hosting this adventure, so please go visit her page to join this challenge as well.  It’s guaranteed to be a bloody good time. Haha! Look at me….already using British lingo:) 

Here are my picks for the challenge, although I reserve  the right to edit/change my selections at any time (and I’m sure I will).


Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen

Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler

Jane Austen Ruined My Life by Beth Patillo

Scones and Sensibility by Lindsay Eland

Confessions of  Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler


Lost in Austen

I’ve had my eye on some of these titles for a few years, things that looked interesting  to me – but I thought it might be best to read them after I have actually read an Austen work.  Some of the titles, and the movie, came to my attention after reading fantastic reviews around the blogosphere during EA1.   I’m really looking forward to this challenge.  Off I go to start my Austen Adventure!


Posted by on July 5, 2010 in Books, Challenge, Everything Austen II



40: Upcoming

In an attempt to empty out my overflowing brain, I thought I would jot down a quick post listing some titles that I’m super excited about reading.  Some are recently released, and others are upcoming in the foreseeable future.  Sometimes a girls just gotta empty her head:) 

1.  The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen – Released 3.16.10- I adored SAA’s first two titles, Garden Spells and The Sugar Queen.  Her works often include an element of magic to the storyline, reminiscent of Alice Hoffman’s Practical Magic.   I highly recommend her works if you haven’t already discovered them.

2.  My Fair Lazy by Jen Lancaster – To be released 5.04.10- No one, with the possible exception of my bestie DeAnna, makes me laugh like Jen Lancaster does.  Simply hilarious!!  My husband knows that if a new JL books hits the shelves that I’m pretty much out of commission for about 12 hours.  Don’t speak to me, and don’t expect to have clean clothes or dinner available.  You’re on your own, children and husband.

3.  Just Let Me Lie Down: Necessary Terms for the Half-Insane Working Mom by Kristin van Ogtrop – To be released April 2010.  I think the title says it all.

4.  Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts (Bride Quartet Series # 3) – To be released 4.27.20 – I usually enjoy Nora’s trilogies, and this quartet of books is proving to be no different.  Fun, light-hearted, yet touching storylines.

Those are just the first few that pop in my head. *whew!* It feels good to get those out of there. More room for more books, I say!  What about you? Anything upcoming that you’re looking forward to reading?


Posted by on March 25, 2010 in Books, Uncategorized, wishlist


24: The Library is My BFF

Tonight marked the opening preview event of  the annual Friends of the Library sale here in Oklahoma City.  I’m sure many cities have similar sales, but OKC’s is truly exceptional.  The sale occupies an entire building on our state fairgrounds, literally thousands and thousands of titles selling for a song (only 50 cents for paperbacks, one dollar for hardcovers).  If you purchase of Friends membership (also available for next to nothing), you can attend the Friday night “preview” event, rather than attend with the general public on Saturday and Sunday, which is free and open to all.  This marks the fifth year (I believe) that my friends and I have made it an annual Friday night journey.  And this year, as with the past preview nights, I walked away with many goodies.

A shot of my finds this year:

I purchased all 25 of these titles for a mere….drumroll, please….$16!  OH YEAH! That’s what I’m talking ’bout!

I’ve found that my purchases tend to vary every year.  Some years I go for titles I’ve already read that I know I’d like to own.  Sometimes I buy a lot of gifts for others.  This year, I thought I purchased quite a variety of items, but I did tend to lean more towards the romance/urban fantasy/paranormal titles.  My favorite find though is the Kristan Higgins book that I’ve actually been searching for and have been unable to find in any nearby stores.  It was literally the third book I saw when I entered the building.  Excellent find, if I do say so myself:)

So I’m off, to do some reading, of course.  What about your area?  Does your city/town offer any type of annual library sale?


Posted by on February 19, 2010 in Books, FOTL, Kristan Higgins