Friday, November 24, 2017

Review: Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay by Jill Mansell

Title: Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay
Author: Jill Mansell
Format: Ebook
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publish Date: May 2, 2017
Source: Owned

What's the Story?:

From "1. A brief encounter that could have become so much more...if only everything were different
2. Step-sisters, bitter rivals in every area except one--by unbreakable pact neither will ever steal a man from the other
3. A love triangle that starts out as a mess of secrets and mix-ups, and only gets worse from there

Friendship, family ties, crossed wires and self-discovery, second chances and first impressions."

My Two Cents:

"Meet Me at Beachcomber Bay" is yet another release by Jill Mansell. Mansell is one of my go to authors for when I'm looking for a light read with great characters to relax with. That is exactly what you get with this book. This is the story of a town where everything seems to be everyone else's business, which causes some friction in this book.

Beachcomber bay is a tightly tightknit community filled with lots of different people doing with lots of different things. There is two sisters fighting over a gentleman. When Clem meets Sam on a plane, sparks fly and then he just happens to show up to Beachcomber Bay with her stepsister (who she hates) on his arm. There's a man he finds out his birthmother maybe closer than he ever thought she was. These are the two main stories in the book and I really enjoyed both.

Both their primary and secondary characters in this book are memorable and make for a very fun read. I love books about small towns with quirky characters in this book definitely fits that bill. Overall this was a great book to relax with and definitely had me laughing and as well as really feeling for some of the characters. This was a good read.


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving! May your day be filled with friends, family, tasty food, and, of course, really good books to read!

I'll be back tomorrow with more bookish fun for you!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Review: The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona-Mexico Borderlands by Margaret Regan

Title: The Death of Josseline: Immigration Stories from the Arizona-Mexico Borderlands
Author: Margaret Regan
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Beacon Press
Publish Date: February 1, 2010
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "For the last decade, Margaret Regan has reported on the escalating chaos along the Arizona-Mexico border, ground zero for immigration since 2000. Undocumented migrants cross into Arizona in overwhelming numbers, a state whose anti-immigrant laws are the most stringent in the nation. And Arizona has the highest number of migrant deaths. Fourteen-year-old Josseline, a young girl from El Salvador who was left to die alone on the migrant trail, was just one of thousands to perish in its deserts and mountains.

With a sweeping perspective and vivid on-the-ground reportage, Regan tells the stories of the people caught up in this international tragedy. Traveling back and forth across the border, she visits migrants stranded in Mexican shelters and rides shotgun with Border Patrol agents in Arizona, hiking with them for hours in the scorching desert; she camps out in the thorny wilderness with No More Deaths activists and meets with angry ranchers and vigilantes. Using Arizona as a microcosm, Regan explores a host of urgent issues: the border militarization that threatens the rights of U.S. citizens, the environmental damage wrought by the border wall, the desperation that compels migrants to come north, and the human tragedy of the unidentified dead in Arizona’s morgues."

My Two Cents:

"The Death of Josseline" was written several years ago but in our current political climate, this remains an incredibly important read. Immigration, both legal and illegal, has become an increasingly popular topic to rail over. There are many different sides and thoughts to consider. This book tries to capture many of these sides.

This heart-wrenching books opens with the death of a young teenager who is traveling through the harsh deserts of Northern Mexico with her little brother in order to reunite with their mother who lives in California. The author explores how she got to where she was and where she was going. The author also shows things from a different angle. Not only does she seek to show the migrants' point of view but also from the Border Patrol angle.

I know that immigration is one of the topics that I have been mulling over and I feel like this book helped me to understand things a little bit better. This is a hugely complicated issue. I know how I would handle it but as this book shows: there are a ton of different opinions and points of view that are incredibly difficult to reconcile!

This book is relatively short but it packs a punch!


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Giveaway Winner: The City Baker's Guide to Country Living

Congrats to the winner of "The City Baker's Guide to Country Living:"
Danielle H.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Giveaway at Novel Expressions!

Novel Expressions is a brand new online book promotion and blog tour company that will be opening in January. It's run by two book bloggers with tons of experience so you know that your book is going to be treated right!

To get people excited for this new venture, they are giving away a $100 Amazon gift certificate. Just head to their Facebook page for instructions!

Friday, November 17, 2017

zulily and Penguin Random House Help Hurricane Victims!

zulily and Penguin Random House Host Interactive Book Fair to Benefit Communities Impacted by Recent Hurricanes 

It's easy to get wrapped up in the season. You've got a thousand gifts to buy and a tight timeline to do it in. zulily and Penguin Random House are making it easy to buy all the kids books you need while doing good for the victims of the recent hurricanes. Check out more information here!

I know I've already picked out several books for my daughters. While we try really hard not to spoil them, I always love getting them gifts that help support causes we care about!

Shop the sale here! 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Review: The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron by Bethany McLean, Peter Elkind

Title: The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron
Authors: Bethany McLean, Peter Elkind 
Format: Hardcover
Publisher: Portfolio Trade
Publish Date: 2004
Source: Library

What's the Story?:

From "Meticulously researched and character driven, Smartest Guys in the Room takes the reader deep into Enron's past—and behind the closed doors of private meetings. Drawing on a wide range of unique sources, the book follows Enron's rise from obscurity to the top of the business world to its disastrous demise. It reveals as never before major characters such as Ken Lay, Jeff Skilling, and Andy Fastow, as well as lesser known players like Cliff Baxter and Rebecca Mark. Smartest Guys in the Room is a story of greed, arrogance, and deceit—a microcosm of all that is wrong with American business today. Above all, it's a fascinating human drama that will prove to be the authoritative account of the Enron scandal."

My Two Cents:

"The Smartest Guys in the Room" is the story of Enron, which was a dynamo company in the late 80s and early 90s known for blowing expectations out of the water at every turn. Alas, what seems too good to be true often is as was the case with Enron. Enron is now known as a cautionary tale for many businesses. This book almost feels Shakespeare-like with a huge cast of characters that would be at home in any soap opera.

I was pretty young when the Enron ordeal actually happened so I didn't really understand the implications at the time. I went for my Master's in business and time after time, Enron seemed to come up as a case study of exactly what not to do. I was drawn to this book by getting a full picture of how shady business and finance practices were able to infect a company that once had so much promise. What I had kind of lost by only being old enough to sort of remember the scandal is that at one time, Enron was a top, well-respected business. The hindsight always does seem to overshadow that but appreciating just how far Enron fell makes the story all that much more stunning.

This book came out relatively soon after the scandal and before all of the punishments had been handed out. Drawing on extensive interviews and reporting that was done both before, during, and after the scandal, this book gives a rich picture of exactly what went wrong and how everything fell apart. The writing is very thorough but still entertaining. The author does a great job of bringing everything to light.


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