Review NEVER A DULL MOMENT by David Hepworth @davidhepworth @HenryHolt

The publisher Publisher of the media / book has provided me with a review copy at no cost. Opinions are my own. Review NEVER A DULL MOMENT by David Hepworth @davidhepworth @HenryHolt1971 - Never a Dull Moment: Rock's Golden Year by David Hepworth
ISBN: 1627793992
Published by Henry Holt and Co. on June 7th 2016
Genres: Humor, Memoir, Music, Non-Fiction
Pages: 320
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars

A rollicking look at 1971 - the busiest, most innovative and resonant year of the 70s, defined by the musical arrival of such stars as David Bowie, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Joni Mitchell
On New Year's Eve, 1970, Paul McCartney told his lawyers to issue the writ at the High Court in London, effectively ending The Beatles. You might say this was the last day of the pop era.
The following day, which was a Friday, was 1971. You might say this was the first day of the rock era. And within the remaining 364 days of this monumental year, the world would hear Don McLean's "American Pie," The Rolling Stones' "Brown Sugar," The Who's "Baba O'Riley," Zeppelin's "Stairway to Heaven," Rod Stewart's "Maggie May," Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," and more.
David Hepworth, an ardent music fan and well regarded critic, was twenty-one in '71, the same age as many of the legendary artists who arrived on the scene. Taking us on a tour of the major moments, the events and songs of this remarkable year, he shows how musicians came together to form the perfect storm of rock and roll greatness, starting a musical era that would last longer than anyone predicted. Those who joined bands to escape things that lasted found themselves in a new age, its colossal start being part of the genre's staying power.
Never a Dull Moment is more than a love song to the music of 1971. It's also an homage to the things that inspired art and artists alike. From Soul Train to The Godfather, hot pants to table tennis, Hepworth explores both the music and its landscapes, culminating in an epic story of rock and roll's best year.

 

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About the Author

David Hepworth is a music journalist, writer, and publishing industry analyst who has launched several successful British magazines. He presented the definitive BBC rock music programWhistle Test and anchored the coverage of Live Aid in ’85. He has won Editor and Writer of the Year awards from the Professional Publishers Association and the Mark Boxer Award from the British Society of Magazine Editors. He is the radio columnist for the Guardian and a media correspondent for the newspaper.

 

MY THOUGHTS

review

I wasn’t quite expecting for this to be a book that would I would really enjoy, but it turns out that Hepworth weaves in his personal experiences with fact and makes for a very compelling read.  I love reading anything music related and while I was just a pre-teen during 1971, I had older brothers and a sister that constantly played the newest music. I have read so many books about the individual artists named and had access to all of the music, but his spin really makes the whole thing personal.

He uses a clever month by month account for each chapter to cover a distinct artist.  While you might not agree with this list, he does offer some valid reasons for the ones he picked.  He also cover those huge bands like the Stones and Beatles and what was to become of their second life acts.  I tend to agree that some of these bands like Sly Stone were overlooked for their contributions but this book will shine a light on them.

 

four-half-stars

Review ELIGIBLE by Curtis Sittenfeld @csittenfeld @randomhouse #EligibleBook

The publisher Publisher of the media / book has provided me with a review copy at no cost. Opinions are my own. Review ELIGIBLE by Curtis Sittenfeld @csittenfeld @randomhouse #EligibleBookEligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld
ISBN: 1400068320
Published by Random House on April 19th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Family & Relationships, Humor, Love & Romance
Pages: 512
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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four-half-stars

This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.
Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.
Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .
And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.
Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, ELIGIBLE both honors and updates Austen’s beloved tale. Tackling gender, class, courtship, and family, Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today.

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Sittenfeld has written several of my all time favorite books with American Wife topping the list.  I think I have read nearly every adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and this one will be in my top five of retellings.   It clearly follows the plot and pacing of the original yet puts an original spin on setting and characters.  I have seen Darcy as a rock star, a zombie assassin, a teen and as a banker, so being a doctor isn’t a far stretch. And who knew Cincinnati was so cosmopolitan?

Elizabeth Bennet is the good daughter who tries to undo her parents horrible management even though she has moved to New York to write for a hip women’s magazine with her yoga-instructor sister, Jane.  Mary remains at home with Lydia and Kitty while the house around them is crumbling.   Her mother tries unsuccessfully to get Liz to marry her step-cousin and save the house.  Instead she becomes intrigued with Darcy  when she meets at a party.  The major attraction at the event is that the star of a Batchelor type show, “Eligible”  is Darcy’s coworker at the hospital.  Chip Bingley and his sister, Caroline (who acts as his agent), seem to have set everyone on edge as the ladies vie for his attention.

Caroline is just as hateful while Darcy remains aloof and Liz just wants him as friend with benefits at first.  Of course, there are mixed signals, lots of interference from others and silly subplots to move the story along. The writing is pitch perfect and I really didn’t want this one to end.  I can’t fully give this one 5 stars because it did drag in a few parts.  If you are a fan of retellings, you will adore this.

 

four-half-stars

#Giveaway Review LUST AND WONDER by Augusten Burroughs @augusten @StMartinsPress

#Giveaway Review LUST AND WONDER by Augusten Burroughs @augusten @StMartinsPress

The publisher Publisher of the media / book has provided me with a review copy at no cost. Opinions are my own. #Giveaway Review LUST AND WONDER by Augusten Burroughs @augusten @StMartinsPressLust & Wonder by Augusten Burroughs
ISBN: 0312342039
Published by St. Martin's Press on March 29th 2016
Genres: Biography & Autobiography, Contemporary, Dogs, Emotions & Feelings, Family & Relationships, Humor, Love & Romance, Memoir, Social Issues
Pages: 304
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
five-stars

First came Running with Scissors. Then came Dry. Now, there's Lust & Wonder.
In chronicling the development and demise of the different relationships he's had while living in New York, Augusten Burroughs examines what it means to be in love, what it means to be in lust, and what it means to be figuring it all out. With Augusten's unique and singular observations and his own unabashed way of detailing both the horrific and the humorous, Lust and Wonder is an intimate and honest memoir that his legions of fans have been waiting for.

 

 

MY THOUGHTS

I fell in love with Augusten Burroughs when I read Sellevision and it was one of those weird, quirky books that hit at the right time for me.  I quickly followed that up with the rest of his books and now wait patiently for the next one to come.  It has been a long, dry spell.  Lust and Wonder covers all those questions I had remaining after reading the other memoirs.  He found true love, still dry and still neurotic! YES!  I did find that this latest installment of his life is more a romance novel than memoir.  It was so sweet and funny at the same time.  I felt like I was sitting around a nice party where you ask a couple: How did you two meet?

I think his dream about the perfect guy (aka “Jeep Guy”), is a perfect Cinderella tale.  He dreams about his handsome prince, but in this case it is really his agent and it takes him ten years to recognise it.  “Jeep Guy”  is everything Burroughs is looking for physically and mentally but the timing is always off and the dream never ends with him getting the guy, until it does.   He goes into detail about his relationship failure and how he realizes that the perfect guy has been his friend all along, you know just like those romance books I love to read where the lead takes off her glasses and she sees the guy next to her in a different light.

Another thing that Burroughs finds is the unconditional love of dogs!  WOO HOO – I just checked out his twitter feed and it is full of dogs!  That alone made the book rate higher in my eyes.   I am such a sucker for a good romance that includes dogs.  That is really what this book turned into for me, a lovely little romance that left me full of – I guess – Lust and Wonder!
augusten burroughsAbout the Author

Augusten Burroughs is the author of the autobiographical works “Running with Scissors,” “Dry,” “Magical Thinking,” “Possible Side Effects” and “A Wolf at the Table,” all of which were New York Times bestsellers. “Running with Scissors” remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over two consecutive years and was made into a Golden Globe-nominated film starring Annette Bening. His only novel, “Sellevision,” is currently in development as a series for NBC. “Dry,” Augusten’s memoir of his alcoholism and recovery, is being developed by Showtime. In addition, Burroughs is currently creating an original prime-time series for CBS. Augusten’s latest book is called “You Better Not Cry: Stories for Christmas.”

Twice named to Entertainment Weekly’s list of the funniest people in America, Augusten has also been the subject of a Vanity Fair cover story and a Jeopardy! answer. His books have made guest appearances in two James Patterson novels, one Linkin Park music video, numerous television shows and a porn movie.

Augusten has been a photographer since childhood and many of his images can be seen on his website, www.augusten.com. He lives in New York City.

*Giveaway Ends 4.15.16 and open to all who can legally enter.
US only – must be over 18 or have your parents permission to enter.
An email will be sent and you have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.
Winner will be announced within 48 hours at the end of the giveaway. Giveaway is organized by Bookhounds and sponsored by the publisher
It has no affiliation with Facebook, Twitter or any other entitiy.
Void where prohibited.**
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five-stars

Review: JUST MARRIED AGAIN by Charlotte Hughes @Charlottehughes

The publisher Publisher of the media / book has provided me with a review copy at no cost. Opinions are my own. Just Married Again by Charlotte Hughes
ISBN: 1517713994
on November 6th 2015
Genres: Contemporary, Dogs, Family & Relationships, Fiction, Humor, Love & Romance
Pages: 236
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
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five-stars

Hilarious Second Chance at Love... The last person Maddy Kelly expects to show up at her mountain cabin for the holidays is her soon-to-be ex-husband, who was always too busy to enjoy their hideaway. Following doctor's orders to reduce stress, Michael arrives at their remote cabin, unannounced and unexpected, in the dead of night, during a snow storm. Which is why Maddy greets him with a fire poker to the head, rendering him unconscious, and with a case of temporary amnesia. As his memory returns, Michael realizes how much he loves his wife, and is willing to do anything to get her back, even if it means pretending to still have amnesia.
Add to the mix Michael's mischievous 13-year-old nephew, who has stowed away in Michael's car, and Maddy's two dachshunds Rambo and Muffin, who take an instant disliking to Michael, and you have a laugh-out-loud recipe for a romantic romp.

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MY THOUGHTS

Michael has been on a fast track career as a lawyer which has left him lttle time for his wife, Maddy.  Even though Maddy grew up rich, she is down to earth and has TWO DACHSHUNDS.   Anyone who knows me realizes I can’t resist a story with dachshund involvement, so my review will contain spoilers of a doggy nature.  Maddy acquired the dogs after she left Michael and  moved from the swanky condo her parents bought them into a country cottage with room for animal to roam.   Michael didn’t make it to the  hospital as Maddy lost the baby he didn’t know about.

These two had some severe communication issues that I think occur with all busy couples.  So when their family doctor conspires to get them together for a weekend, they are forced to talk. Now they are stuck in a cabin that both thought the other would never visit again, along with Michael’s stoway nephew.  Maddy had hit Michael in the head because she thought he was breaking in and ended up with a bit of amnesia that went away but he didn’t admit that to her.

The dachshunds did provide a bit of comic relief when they realized that Maddy was upset with Michael and decided to chew up his jeans and growl at him.   This is the perfect pick me up read that will lighten your mood.  I really enjoyed it since the character and situations felt true.   It has just  the right amount of spicy and sweet.

charlotte hughes

About the Author

NY Times bestselling author Charlotte Hughes published her first category romance in 1987, a Bantam Books Loveswept, titled Too Many Husbands, which immediately shot to #1 on the Waldenbooks Bestseller list. She went on to write almost thirty books before the line closed in 1998. Although Charlotte is widely known for her laugh-out-loud romantic comedies, she went on to pen three Maggie-Award winning thrillers for Avon Books in the late nineties, before resuming her first love, funny stories about people falling in love. She thrilled readers with her hilarious books, A New Attitude and Hot Shot, the latter of which won the Waldenbooks Greatest Sales Growth Achievement in 2003. Her books received so many accolades that she was invited to co-author the very popular Full House series with mega-star author Janet Evanovich. With that series behind her, Charlotte began her own, starring psychologist Kate Holly; What Looks Like Crazy, Nutcase, and High Anxiety, creating a list of somewhat kooky but always loveable and funny ensemble characters.
five-stars

#Giveaway Review THE DIRT ON THE NINTH GRAVE by Darynda Jones @Darynda @StMartinsPress #9thGrave 1.15

The publisher Publisher of the media / book has provided me with a review copy at no cost. Opinions are my own. #Giveaway Review THE DIRT ON THE NINTH GRAVE by Darynda Jones @Darynda @StMartinsPress #9thGrave  1.15The Dirt on Ninth Grave (Charley Davidson, #9) by Darynda Jones
ISBN: 1250074487
Series: ,
Published by St. Martin's Press on January 12th 2016
Genres: Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
five-stars

In a small village in New York lives Jane Doe, a girl with no memory of who she is or where she came from. So when she is working at a diner and slowly begins to realize she can see dead people, she's more than a little taken aback. Stranger still are the people entering her life. They seem to know things about her. Things they hide with lies and half-truths. Soon, she senses something far darker. A force that wants to cause her harm, she is sure of it. Her saving grace comes in the form of a new friend she feels she can confide in and the fry cook, a devastatingly handsome man whose smile is breathtaking and touch is scalding. He stays close, and she almost feels safe with him around.
But no one can outrun their past, and the more lies that swirl around her—even from her new and trusted friends—the more disoriented she becomes, until she is confronted by a man who claims to have been sent to kill her. Sent by the darkest force in the universe. A force that absolutely will not stop until she is dead. Thankfully, she has a Rottweiler. But that doesn't help in her quest to find her identity and recover what she's lost. That will take all her courage and a touch of the power she feels flowing like electricity through her veins. She almost feels sorry for him. The devil in blue jeans. The disarming fry cook who lies with every breath he takes. She will get to the bottom of what he knows if it kills her. Or him. Either way.

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Read an Excerpt HERE 

MY THOUGHTS

For everyone thinking that they missed the Charley boat, you get a re-do!

Charley has survived book Eight but at a cost.  She is now Jane Doerr (not quite Jane Doe) and no clue exactly who she is or what she can do.  Cookie and Bob (or Bobert) have taken her in as a waitress in their diner along with a fascinating  (old) cast of characters.  She finds herself attracted to the new fry cook who is hot to the touch, literally.  Now stuck in Sleepy Hallow, she is visited by a series of ghosts with a ghost dog guarding her as well.  She can’t remember her life with Reyes (now the hot cook) nor her purpose in life (or death). As Janey / Charley tries to figure out what happened to the guy

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I can’t say much about the plot without a ton of spoilers for the previous books or the new plot line, but Charley is still Charley even if she now goes by Janey and can’t remember Reyes.  Everyone goes along with her memory loss and lets her figure out how to cope with what has happened to her recently.  I had moments where I want to scream at the cast and say JUST TELL HER WHO SHE IS FOR GOSH SAKES. For all of my frustration over that, I truly loved the direction and sneaky plot twist in this installation.  For me, this was the perfect follow up for Eighth.

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darynda jonesAbout the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author DARYNDA JONES won a RITA Award for best first novel for First Grave On The Right. As a born storyteller, she grew up spinning tales of dashing damsels and heroes in distress for any unfortunate soul who happened by, annoying man and beast alike. Jones lives in the Land of Enchantment, also known as Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and two beautiful sons, the Mighty, Mighty Jones Boys.

 

LEARN MORE

Learn more at DaryndaJones.com
Follow Darynda on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest
Friend Darynda on Goodreads and the super fantastic fan page HERE with prizes and special things.

In case you haven’t read any of the series, I am giving away my paperback!

Giveaway Ends 1. 16.16 and open to all who can legally enter.
US only – must be over 18 or have your parents permission to enter.
An email will be sent and you have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.
Winner will be announced within 48 hours at the end of the giveaway. Giveaway is organized by Bookhounds and sponsored by me.
It has no affiliation with Facebook, Twitter or any other entitiy.
Void where prohibited.

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five-stars