Sunday, 31 January 2010


We made it to 200! Thanks everyone!
As promised, I'm giving away 2 prize packs!

And the winners are:

1. Regina D. (Texas)

2. Sharli M. (Costa Rica)

I've sent you an email confirming your mailing address and I'll be mailing your Prize packs next week.

Keep checking back for more giveaway's here at The Sweet Bookshelf!

winners were chosen using

Saturday, 30 January 2010

Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Title: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Author: John Boyne
Publisher: David Fickling Books
Reading Level: YA
Rating: 4/5

Berlin 1942 When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.

I knew this book was about The Holocaust. I knew it was about a boy. I could guess the outcome. It sure has the wow factor for an ending. This book is told through the eyes of a nine yr old boy who meets a boy across the fence. He has no idea what he is doing there nor why he is wearing striped pajamas. It is an innocent book throughout his eyes. I was shocked with the ending. It is stories like this that help us always remember where we came from, so we will never go there again. It is a very quick read and kept me thinking. Great book.


"Bruno: We're not supposed to be friends, you and me. We're meant to be enemies. Did you know that? "

Friday, 29 January 2010

50 Books That Changed the World

Over at OEDb (Online Education Database) they have an article about the 50 Books that changed the world. Among them are:

1984 by George Orwell
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by JK Rowling

The Bible

Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

In the article they have the top 50 split into categories:

Politics & Government


Science, Math, and Geography


What books would you choose to put in each category?

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Almost there!

We are almost there folks! If there are 15 more followers by Sunday I'll give away 2 prize packs! Tell your friends! I'd love to have 2 great winners!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Review: A Good Woman

Title: A Good Woman
Author: Danielle Steel
Publisher: Bantam Press
Reading Level: Adult
Rating: 3/5

Annabelle Worthington, 19, lives a fairy-tale life thanks to wealthy and doting parents. Then she gets the flu and is unable to accompany her family on vacation. Unfortunately, the Worthington clan has booked passage on the newest luxury liner, the Titanic. Her father and brother die when the ship goes down, and although her mother, Consuelo, survives, she is traumatized. As for Annabelle, she throws herself into work as a medical volunteer at Ellis Island. There she meets Josiah Millbank, a gentle, loving man who’s old enough to be her father, and marries him. But Josiah has a scandalous secret, and after their divorce, Annabelle is unfairly relegated to life as a pariah. Embarrassed and disillusioned by the treatment she receives from her acquaintances and so-called friends, Annabelle leaves for war-torn France to put her medical skills to good use in a female-run hospital on the front. But fate has even more in store for Annabelle.

This was my first Danielle Steel. The woman has written nearly 100 novels and I've not read a one of them! So I thought it was time. I chose something new that had an old setting. I love the period drama's. It had a WWI setting but contemporary issues. I kept waiting for something good to happen, that wasn't. Some parts were written too fast when I wanted more detail. Overall it was a good book. Interesting story, and a heroine that has a lot of independence, heart, and intelligence. It was good.

I would like to read another Danielle Steel. Anyone know of a really good romantic one?

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Review: These is my Words

Title: These Is My Words
Author: Nancy E. Turner
Publisher: Harper Perennial
Reading Level: Adult
Rating: 5/5

A special Thank you to my sister Becca for sending me this book. I loved it!

A moving, exciting, and heartfelt American saga inspired by the suthor's own family memoirs, these words belong to Sarah Prine, a woman of spirit and fire who forges a full and remarkable existence in a harsh, unfamiliar frontier. Scrupulously recording her steps down the path Providence has set upon her-from child to determined young adult to loving mother-she shares the turbulent events, both joyous and tragic, that molded her, and recalls the enduring love with cavalry officer Captain Jack Elliot that gave her strength and purpose.

Wow. There are no words.

I have just finished this book and am sitting here full of tears running down my face at this amazing story. It is beautiful, heart-wrenching, moving, exciting, and unforgettable. Sarah must be my favorite heroine to date. She is so strong, smart, loving, and fearless. Bravo to author Nancy Turner. I have never felt so connected to a story and character in all my life. Brilliant.

Oh, and I'm in love with Jack.

I have heard there are 2 more books to this story. I will HAVE to buy them tomorrow. I NEED them.

"But Jack, you're just a Captain and I'm the General. I order you not to go.
He tried to smile, . . . .These orders, he whispered, come from the Commander in Chief."

"A nice girl should never go anywhere without a loaded gun and a big knife." ~ Sarah Agnes Prine"

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Review: YOU on a Diet

Title: YOU on a Diet
Authors: Dr. Mehmet Oz. & Dr. Michael Roizen
Publisher: Free Press
Reading Level: Adult
Rating: 4/5

According to Roizen and Oz, waist measurement, not weight, is the most important factor in mortality related to obesity, and understanding the relationship between chemicals and hormones influencing hunger and those signaling satiety is the key to ending yo-yo dieting. Most diets fail, Roizen and Oz conclude, because body chemistry overrules the best plans and intentions. To restore the body's natural ability to balance hunger and satiety and offset the effects of stress on food choices, they list foods and supplements that fight fat, decrease appetite and combat inflammation that causes disease. Roizen and Oz pack in a lot of material—quizzes, "factoids" and "myth busters" along with diet and exercise plans, recipes and a two-week "rebooting" program—in bite-sized portions, giving readers a chance to absorb and apply what they learn.

GREAT diet book. Well, it's more of a healthy lifestyle book for idiots. Like myself. They break it down from medical terms into plain English. The plan is simple. Something you can stick with your whole life. Walk 30 min every day. Nothing about joining a gym and getting a personal trainer to kick your butt, just 30 min of walking. EAT! 3 meals per day plus snacks. I can't tell you how many yrs it's been since I've eaten 3 whole meals per day plus snacks.

I'm already incorporating many things, and I've just started! It's so easy. I'll let you know how much I lose and how it's working for me. I think this book was just what I need to kick start the weight loss for this year. I need to take off what I gained last yr. The cycle continues. Hopefully with the knowledge I've gained from this book I can make some great changes in my lifestyle. This book was worth the money.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Featured Author: Jane Austen

I need to highlight her because she such a classic. Many people have never read any of her works just because she isn't current. I can't tell you how current she really is! She has created the love themes in our favorite books and movies today. She is one of my very favorite writers and she writes romance like no one can! My favorite is Persuasion. Let me introduce you to Jane Austen.

Biographical information concerning Jane Austen is "famously scarce", according to one biographer. Only some personal and family letters remain (by one estimate only 160 out of Austen's 3,000 letters are extant), and her sister Cassandra (to whom most of the letters were originally addressed) burned "the greater part" of the ones she kept and censored those she did not destroy. Other letters were destroyed by the heirs of Admiral Francis Austen, Jane's brother. Most of the biographical material produced for fifty years after Austen's death was written by her relatives and reflects the family's biases in favor of "good quiet Aunt Jane". Scholars have unearthed little information since.

Jane Austen was a major English novelist, whose brilliantly witty, elegantly structured satirical fiction marks the transition in English literature from 18th century neo-classicism to 19th century romanticism.

Jane Austen was born on 16 December, 1775, at the rectory in the village of Steventon, near Basingstoke, in Hampshire. The seventh of eight children of the Reverend George Austen and his wife, Cassandra, she was educated mainly at home and never lived apart from her family. She had a happy childhood amongst all her brothers and the other boys who lodged with the family and whom Mr Austen tutored. From her older sister, Cassandra, she was inseparable. To amuse themselves, the children wrote and performed plays and charades, and even as a little girl Jane was encouraged to write. The reading that she did of the books in her father's extensive library provided material for the short satirical sketches she wrote as a girl.

As a young woman Jane enjoyed dancing (an activity which features frequently in her novels) and she attended balls in many of the great houses of the neighborhood. She loved the country, enjoyed long country walks, and had many Hampshire friends.

Jane's Books:

Northanger Abbey

Sense and Sensibility

Pride and Prejudice

Mansfield Park



Never read any Jane Austen? It's time you did. She is AMAZING. Best love stories EVER.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

The Club Scene

It is the New Year! Is a Book Club in your future?

Ever want to join a book club but didn't know where to find one? Here we will discuss how to start your own Book Club or help you find a local group near you.

Starting your own Club:

1. Get together a core group. This can be just a group of friends, neighbors, co-workers, people you go to church with. It can be anyone who likes to read and some who don't yet! You might find enough people immediately for your club, but sometimes it can take a little persuasion to get your group started. An ideal size club is 8-11 people, but you can make it whatever size you feel most comfortable with.

2. Set a regular meeting time. Set up a regular meeting time with your core group. There can be conflicts in time, but the best thing to do is find the best time for your core group and set a time in advance. This gives your members time to plan for the evening. Not everyone will be able to come every month and this is OK.

3. Advertise your book club. If you have a core group of 3-4 then word of mouth is the best way to get your club members!

4. Set ground rules. These can be how books are chosen. Who leads discussions? Where the meetings are held, etc.

5. Meet. If your group is small at first this is OK. Just keep inviting and holding your club meetings. More will join as time passes.

Joining an already established club:

1. Book Club Meet up Groups

2. Check your local library

3. Ask friends, family, co-workers, etc if they know of any.

4. Join a web based Book club. A quick search on the internet will bring up countless online book clubs.

Barnes & Noble Book Clubs

Oprah's Book Club
The Reading Cub UK
Austen Knows Best Book Club
A List of Online Book Clubs

Are any of you members of a book club? Tell us of your
experiences and tips!

Thursday, 14 January 2010

International Prize Pack Giveaway!

It has been awhile since we've had a contest here on The Sweet Bookshelf, sorry guys! I'm gonna make it up to you in a big way. I'm giving away a Prize pack!

Fablehaven by Brandon Mull, Forest Born by Shannon Hale, and The Maze Runner by James Dashner

What do you have to do to be entered? It's easy here at The Sweet Bookshelf!

Just enter your name, email, and mailing address in the link below and you'll be entered.

If I hit 200 Followers by the end of the contest I will give away 2 prize packs! Tell your friends!

This is an International giveaway!
Anyone can enter!

Ends: Sunday January 31st!

Fablehaven- For centuries mystical creatures of all description were gathered into a hidden refuge called Fablehaven to prevent their extinction. The sanctuary survives today as one of the last strongholds of true magic. Enchanting? Absolutely. Exciting? You bet. Safe? Well, actually, quite the opposite.
Kendra and her brother, Seth, have no idea that their grandfather is the current caretaker of Fablehaven. Inside the gated woods, ancient laws keep relative order among greedy trolls, mischievous satyrs, plotting witches, spiteful imps, and jealous fairies. However, when the rules get broken -- Seth is a bit too curious and reckless for his own good -- powerful forces of evil are unleashed, and Kendra and her brother face the greatest challenge of their lives. To save their family, Fablehaven, and perhaps even the world, Kendra and Seth must find the courage to do what they fear most.

Forest born-Rin is sure that something is wrong with her…something really bad. Something that is keeping her from feeling at home in the Forest homestead where she’s lived all her life. Something that is keeping her from trusting herself with anyone at all. When her brother Razo returns from the city for a visit, she accompanies him to the palace, hoping that she can find peace away from home. But war has come to Bayern again, and Rin is compelled to join the queen and her closest allies—magical girls Rin thinks of as the Fire Sisters—as they venture into the Forest toward Kel, the land where someone seems to want them all dead. Many beloved Bayern characters reappear in this story, but it is Rin’s own journey of discovering how to balance the good and the bad in herself that drives this compelling adventure.

The Maze Runner- When Thomas wakes up in the lift, the only thing he can remember is his first name. His memory is blank. But he’s not alone. When the lift’s doors open, Thomas finds himself surrounded by kids who welcome him to the Glade—a large, open expanse surrounded by stone walls.Just like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they got to the Glade. All they know is that every morning the stone doors to the maze that surrounds them have opened. Every night they’ve closed tight. And every 30 days a new boy has been delivered in the lift.Thomas was expected. But the next day, a girl is sent up—the first girl to ever arrive in the Glade. And more surprising yet is the message she delivers. Thomas might be more important than he could ever guess. If only he could unlock the dark secrets buried within his mind.

Concerned about your privacy? Read my Privacy Policy.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Happy Birthday me! I'm 30! I can't believe I'm the big 3-0! This is so cool! I've had an amazing go of my 20's and know my 30's will be even better!

Maybe I'll be treated like an adult now? Maybe I'll start acting like one?

Here's to a new decade!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Review: My Totally Secret Diary: Reality TV Nightmare

Title: My Totally Secret Diary: Reality TV Nightmare
Author: Dee Shulman
Publisher: Doubleday
Reading Level: 9-12 yrs old
Rating: 4/5

A special thank you to Random House UK for sending me this book to review.

Polly Price didn't think it was possible for her actress mother, Arabella Diamonte, to be any more embarrassing than on the trip to San Francisco last summer. That is until she agrees to take part in a television program called Celebrity Home Watch and a camera crew arrives at their home to film. Her mother lacks volume control at the best of times, so this is truly a reality tv nightmare - with no escape for Polly!

What a darling book! The illustrations alone are worth a look at this book. I had a little giggle on each page with the pictures. Very cute!

It is written just like a journal. Full of marked out mistakes, and taped in keepsakes. This promises to be a fun read for any tween. I enjoyed it immensely! Go check it out!

Release date: February 4, 2010

Monday, 4 January 2010

100+ Reading Challenge

I've decided to participate in a challenge. I've never done a reading challenge before, but one of my personal goals this year is to read 100+ books in 2010. So why not join the 100+ Reading Challenge 2010? Here I go!

Books read in 2010:

1. My Totally Secret Diary: Reality TV Nightmare by Dee Shulman
2. YOU on a Diet by Dr. Oz & Dr. Roizen
3. These is my Words by Nancy E. Turner
4. A Good Woman by Danielle Steel
5. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
6. Sarah's Quilt by Nancy E. Turner
7. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
8. The Star Garden by Nancy E. Turner
9. The Girl With Glass Feet by Ali Shaw
10. The 13 Treasures by Michelle Harrison
11. Wings by Aprilynne Pike
12. Can You Keep a Secret by Sophie Kinsella
13. The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella
14. Wintercraft by Jenna Burtenshaw
15. Spells by Aprilynne Pike
16. Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull
17. Radiant Shadows by Melissa Marr
18. The 13 Curses by Michelle Harrison
19. Of Witches and Warlocks by Lacey Weatherford
20. The Mermaids Mirror by L.K. Maligan
21. The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale
22. Enna Burning by Shannon Hale
23. River Secrets by Shannon Hale
24. Forest Born by Shannon Hale
25. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
26. The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
27. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han
28. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
29. Fallen by Lauren Kate
30. Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa
31. It's Not Summer Without You by Jenny Han
32. The Demon Kiss by Lacey Weatherford
33. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
34. Fairytale of New York by Miranda Dickinson
35. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
36. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
37. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
38. Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles
39. The Splendour Falls by Rosemary Clement-Moore
40. The Dark Divine by Bree Despain
41. Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles
42. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
43. Linger by Maggie Stiefvater
44. These Is My Words by Nancy Turner
45. Midnight Girls by Lulu Taylor
46. Cherry Crush: The Chocolate Box Girls by Cathy Cassidy
47. Control by Kayla Perrin
48. Once Upon a Holiday by Kimberly Kaye Terry
49. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
50. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (yes, again!)
51. I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore
52. Claire De Lune by Christine Johnson

The Newsstand {6}

The News Stand is a weekly feature. Here we will dish on tidbits, news, and important things bookies should know. So scroll down to hear what you can glean from this week.
  • Live in the Tempe, Arizona area? Jan 9th is Yallapalooza 2010, a literary musical extravaganza featuring live bands, pizza, games, prizes, and a chance to mix and mingle with your favorite YA authors and get books signed!

  • Aprilynne Pike has released the inside jacket flap summary for her new book Spells, the sequel to Wings, out May 2010! It sounds so good! I can't wait! Let me know what you think.

  • The Best Selling books of the decade were, Twilight series, Harry Potter series and The Da Vinci Code. Way to dominate Stephenie Meyer and JK Rowling!

  • Attending BEA in NYC May 25-27th? Now is the time to sign up!

  • Check out the 2010 Debutante Ball of debut authors. Are you anxious for any of these new books?

What news do YOU have for us?

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Featured Author: Sue Monk Kidd

Sue Monk Kidd was raised in the tiny town of Sylvester, Georgia, a place that deeply influenced the writing of her first novel The Secret Life of Bees. She graduated from Texas Christian University, married Sanford (Sandy) Kidd, and they had two children, Bob and Ann. At the age of thirty, she enrolled in writing classes with the intention of writing fiction, but was soon diverted to non-fiction and began a career as a freelancer.

Sue's desire to write fiction returned in her forties, and she enrolled in a graduate writing course at Emory University, as well as studying at Sewanee, Bread Loaf and other writers' conferences. She wrote and published short stories in small literary journals for which she garnered several awards.

Today Sue lives beside a salt marsh near Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, Sandy, and their black lab, Lily.

Sue's Books:

When her first novel, The Secret Life of Bees was published by Viking in 2002, it became a genuine literary phenomenon. The novel tells the story of fourteen year old Lily, who runs away with her black housekeeper in 1964 in South Carolina, and of the sanctuary they find in the home of three beekeeping sisters. The Secret Life of Bees has sold more than 6 million copies, spent over 2 ½ years on the New York Times bestseller list and been published in 35 countries. It was awarded the 2004 Book Sense Paperback book of the Year, nominated for the Orange Prize in England, and chosen as Good Morning America's Read This! Book Club pick. Taught widely now in high school and college classrooms, The Secret Life of Bees is fast becoming a modern classic. It was produced on stage in New York by The American Place Theater and adapted into a movie by Fox Searchlight in 2008, which won the People’s Choice and the NAACP Image awards for Best Picture.

Sue's second novel, The Mermaid Chair, has sold nearly 2 million copies since its publication by Viking in the Spring of 2005. Set on a South Carolina barrier island, it tells the story of 42 year old Jessie Sullivan, a married woman who falls in love with a Benedictine monk, and explores themes of mid life marriage and self-awakening. The Mermaid Chair reached the #1 spot on the New York Times bestseller list and remained on the hardcover and paperback lists for nine months. Winner of the 2005 Quill Award for General Fiction, the novel has been translated into 24 languages and was produced as a television movie by Lifetime.

Check out Sue's website for more info on appearances and news!

all info can be found on Sue's website:

Friday, 1 January 2010

Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story

Title: Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story
Author: Carolyn Turgeon
Publisher: Headline Review
Reading Level: Young Adult
Rating: 2/5

Lil is an old woman who spends her days shelving rare books in a tiny Manhattan bookstore and lonely nights at home in her apartment. But Lil has an intriguing secret. Tucked and bound behind her back are white feathery wings-the only key to who she once was: the fairy godmother responsible for getting Cinderella to the ball to unite with her Prince Charming.

But on that fateful night, something went terribly and beautifully wrong. Lil allowed herself the unthinkable: to feel the emotions of human beings and fall in love with the prince herself, going to the ball in place of Cinderella in her exquisitely gorgeous human guise. For her unforgivable mistake, she was banished to live among humans, far from her fairy sisters and their magical underwater world. But then one day she meets Veronica, a young, fair-skinned, flame-haired East Village beauty with a love of all things vintage and a penchant for falling in love with the wrong men and suddenly it becomes clear to Lil that she's been given a chance at redemption. If she can find a soul mate for Veronica, she may right her wrong and return to the fairy world she so deeply longs for. . . .

I didn't know what to rate this book. The cover would suggest a super fun fairytale. It is not as advertised. The beginning and middle lead you to believe the 'real' Cinderella Story would come forth and that it will be something romantic and magical. Nope. Not in this story. It was well written up until the ending. The plot wasn't going where I felt it should, and I do not agree with Cinderella slitting her wrists with her glass slipper. Um...not what should be in a fairytale...of ANY sort. I hated the ending. No I didn't just tell you the ending. You'll see. It was a weird and confusing ending. I am not sure what really happened and which world was real. I didn't like the ending at all. I enjoyed the book up until I was about 3/4 of the way through and the storyline was just twisting and turning where it shouldn't have gone. It was a more depressing book than a fairytale. I read to escape. Not to read about someone's problems.

" I stared at myself mesmerized. I had never looked at myself this way, in human form - I had only seen myself out of the corner of my eye, on the surface of a lake or in the sheen of ice clinging to bark. We were not supposed to see ourselves like this."

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