Category Archives: books

Read Any Good Books Lately?

16005232549_6890385e34_mA friend was asking for book recommendations on Facebook the other day. ¬†And I realized that I’m often sharing my favorite books, over and over again.

Figured it might be easier just to create a list and share them all in one place. And please forgive my lack of descriptors and reviews. There’s a reason I read the books and don’t write them. ūüėČ

These are in no particular order…

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet: A Novel

I think this is one of the best reads I’ve read in a while. It’s a big of a historical fiction as it flashes back to the time of the Japanese Internment Camps during WWII. I loved the back and forth between the past and the present. And seeing how the main character’s well, character developed from those that were important in his life.

The Offer

This is a light, easy-to-read, read-it-in-one-day kind of book (even though I do believe I took two days to enjoy it). I think I personally would have liked a bit more raunch, but it worked for me.¬†It has a sweet storyline.¬†I’d recommend it if you’re looking for light and enjoyable.

Mr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore: A Novel

I really loved this book. It was a book club selection and not something I would have grabbed to read on my own. But really, it was oh, so good. It’s got touches of magic and¬†fantasy, engineering and typography, love story, and technology all mixed in. It really is a smart read. And one you won’t be able to put down.


The Girl on the Train: A Novel

This is¬†being touted as the next Gone Girl. Which I can totally see. But at the same time, it’s not. But like Gone Girl, be sure give it a good 30% read through knowing that it’s going to get real interesting any page now.

Gone Girl: A Novel

By now, I’m sure you’ve either seen the movie, or heard the twists and turns. ¬†But trust me, read it. While the movie was a great adaptation – and the new ending was perfect for it – the book really freaks you and and leaves you thinking. Long after you’ve put the book down, you’re still in that “what the fuck?!?!” frame of mind. It’s that good. And that different from the movie.

 The All Souls Trilogy

I received The Discovery of Witches¬†in a holiday, white elephant, book swap. It has everything I love in a book…romance, intrigue, magic, a splash of sex with a good amount of raunch (what can I say?), time travel, vampires…you get it, right? ¬†And it was well written. I immediately fell in love. And since I was on winter break, I devoured it (notice a pattern here yet?). I immediately went out and picked up the second book, and even pre-ordered the third…which I then, again, immediately devoured. Some folks said they couldn’t get into the third book, but I think she did a great job bringing it all together.

The Red Tent: A Novel

I think it’s one of my all time, top 5 books of all time. Well, counting series (like The Wrinkle in Time as one, that is). I’ll admit, it had a slow start. I mean a really slow start. And at the time we read it (it was one of our first¬†book club reads – back when I read everything we picked), I hadn’t met anyone else that read it. So I powered through. But when it turned and got interesting, it got really, really good. I couldn’t put it down.

Big Little Lies

I totally stumble upon this one by accident. I think at the time I read it, no one I knew had yet to read it. Next thing I know, they’re making it into a movie. I liked it. It was a light enough read, with a bit of a mystery. And the characters were complex. I think it will make a good movie.

His Wicked Games

I’ve devoured everything Ember’s written over the past couple months. But I will say, the Wicked Games series is awesome. Just the right mix of engaging story and great smut. Tell me how many times you reread the scene where she tries to figure out his favorite work of art. And no, that’s not a euphemism. Oh and the pool scene in The Secret to Seduction (The Fontaines)? Yep, I think you’ll love that one also. You can also follower her on Facebook to stay in the loop of up and coming books.

Jade Calhoun Series

I’m also slowly working my way through Deanna Chase’s stuff. She writes mostly more of the supernatural type of romances, so I’m taking a little longer to read everything (I can only take in smaller doses as that’s not my fave genre). But, her Jade Calhoun series I really, really like. And all of her stuff is quite easy to enjoy – and devour in a day.


Again, these are in no particular order. And I realized I write some crappy reviews. But if you’re looking for a good book to read, here’s a great place to start.¬†Hope it helped.

I’d love to hear about your favorite books or suggestions for what to read next. I have a slew of things waiting for me on my Kindle. I’ll no doubt have more than enough to get me through summer break.

On Being Creative For the Sake of Being Creative

Lately, I’ve noticed two things…1) I’ve barely been taking the time to write here, in this blog. ¬†And 2) that I’ve been really focusing a lot of time and energy around being creative. You know, doing art for the sake of art.

Funny how when you think about it, both are so closely related. ¬†I mean, writing is clearly a form of expressing ones self creatively. Yet for some reason, while I’ve managed to write a weekly newsletter and weekly blog posts over on my business side of things, as well as create two books over the summer break, I’ve not carved out time to write over here.

I blame part of it on Facebook. ¬†Before we had social media, the main way that bloggers shared our thoughts with the world was to blog about them. ¬†And well, that took some time to do…you had to write it out, find photos (because they kept telling us that we need photos or our posts won’t ever get read), format it, pretty it up, and post it. ¬†Then you had to wait for folks to find it and fingers-crossed, read it and leave a comment.

Then we had Facebook (which I’ll admit, I was way slow in getting into), where we could share whatever we wanted, whenever we wanted with our friends and we had¬†instantaneous¬†feedback in the form of comments or likes (or back in the good ol’ days, even dislikes). ¬†And on Twitter, we had an even bigger audience to share anything and everything (as long as it was 140 characters) with the entire world. ¬†Much like with our blogs, anyone could follow along. ¬†Things went by so quickly on Twitter that it really didn’t matter if folks commented or retweeted or whatever, as long as you had those followers, you were golden.

Which is really just my way of saying that I kind of left the more personal side of blogging, for my social networks. ¬†In particular, for Facebook. ¬†You know where I could share any photo, story, article, or random thought.* ¬†It’s so easy. Oh, how I love me some Facebook *sigh*

As for that “creativity” thing…this is something that I’ve actually been leaning into for the past couple years. I’ve read books. I’ve taken a couple classes. ¬†I’ve picked up art supplies to play with. ¬†I’ve taken my camera everywhere (and now I’m rarely without one thanks to my iPhone). I’ve written, drawn, stamped, colored, painted, taped, glued, and sparkled.

Yet, I still find that I struggle with this concept a bit.

Lately, I’ve gotten more comfortable with the fact that while I might never call myself an artist (let along an artiste!), as an entrepreneur and a writer, I AM creative. ¬†When you think about it, one can’t create a business if they’re not creative. ¬†The mere process of running your business, setting up the systems, creating the products and services…that’s all a creative, artistic process.

I don’t think I really understood that fully until I read Tara Gentile’s The Art of Earning. ¬†She goes into a lot of explanation how the very process of earning income, is an artistic process. ¬†Essentially going on to say that when you get down to it, living life is a creative process.

And this makes sense to me.

As a teacher, I think it’s really important to get our children comfortable with creativity. ¬†Not just art and music. ¬†But the outside of the box thinking that is necessary to succeed in life and business. ¬†The sports, the dance, the story telling, the critical thinking. ¬†All of it. It’s all part of embracing your creativity.

If you’d like to dig a little deeper and learn more about your creative side, I’d recommend you pick up Tara’s book (it’s only $3 for the digital copy – less than a latte at Starbucks). ¬†I think it might get you looking at your daily experiences a little differently.


* if you’d like to follow along my FB journey of randomness, feel free. I don’t friends folks I don’t know, but you’re more than welcome to “subscribe” (and I do share things regularly that my subscribers can access).

Are You Looking for Mr Right?

If so, you might want to check my friend, Lisa Steadman’s new book, If He’s Not The One, Who Is?: What Went Wrong – and What It Takes to Find Mr. Right.

It’s a brilliant book that can walk you through what you need to know to find Mr. Right, not Mr. I-Can-Make-Him-Love-Me, Mr. Right-Now or Mr. Why-Doesn’t-He-Love-Me.

She knows her shit, trust me.

Oh and if you buy today, you can get BUCKETS of freebies to go along with the book.

[amazon-product alink=”0000FF” bordercolor=”000000″ height=”240″ tracking_id=”onstantchatter-20″]1605503584[/amazon-product]

Free Audible Audiobook Giveaway


Who doesn’t love free?

Who wouldn’t love a free audiobook?*¬† I know I sure would.

The fine folks at are giving away one free audiobook as their way of showing thanks this season. The best part, it’s totally free. You do have to sign up, but it’s not a trial (so no credit card info).¬† It’s completely and totally free.

I’ve been meaning to try, but I just wasn’t sure I was someplace where I could listen long enough to get into it. But now, I think I’m going to have to give this freebie thing a try. I mean you can’t go wrong with free, right?

Now it doesn’t cover every book in their library (they have thousands), but it does give you a good enough sample to choose from.

I remember having loved The Great Gatsby so I think that’s what I’ll go with.¬† Click HERE for your free audio book.

*As one would expect, there are a few limitations on this Thanksgiving freebie…offer not open to current AudibleListener members. Limit 1 audiobook per customer. Some audiobooks may not be available outside the United States and Canada. Offer expires November 26, 2009 at 11:59pm ET.

Do You Read On Your iPhone?

Or any smart phone for that matter.

I’ve been noticing more and more people talk about downloading books on either the Kindle app or the Eucalyptus app and happily, enjoyably reading books while they’re traveling.¬† Or while they’re waiting in line at the doctors or post office or whatever.

When I travel, I like to bring books (and magazines).¬† I can’t imagine not bringing a book.¬† For one reason, my husband will always, without doubt (unless we can’t get a connection and that’s now nearly improbable) be on his computer doing something or other.

But…I can also see how freeing it could be to not carry a book (or magazine) when traveling.¬† I don’t travel enough to warrant a Kindle or other e-reader.¬† Plus, I actually enjoy borrowing books from both friends and the library (or even buying second hand) so I’m not sure it would be worth the expense.

So, that all being said…do you use an app to do any sort of reading on your iPhone/Droid/Pre/Smartphone?¬† Do you enjoy it?¬† Is it worth the storage space it will undoubtedly suck up? Or would it be better to just try an audio book?

I’m very interested in seeing what you might have to say on this topic.¬† Very interested indeed, so please share away.

ETA:¬† ooooh, you can “buy” trashy Kindle novels on Amazon for free.¬† Might be worth it just for that ūüėõ

What’s Better Than a Good ChickLit Book?

A fun movie based on good chicklit!

I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but the Lifetime Movie Network has been going through some changes. And I’m lovin’ it!

No more woman scorned, woman suffers, woman barely survives movies here. They’ve taken to making movies based on the best selling chicklit books.

I shouldn’t be too surprised. I remember a year a so a favorite author of mine, Liza Palmer, mentioned that she was talking to the Lifetime folks. I remember at the time thinking what an odd match. Her books were fun, Lifetime movies were depressing.

Not any more. If you haven’t had the chance, be sure to check out Killer Hair (on repeats now) and Hostile Makeover (starting this Sunday). The two movies are based on the books by Ellen Byerrum. Now I can’t say that I’ve ever read Ms. Byerrum’s books, but the movies sure were fun.

I don’t know if this is a summer only sort of thing, but either way, I’m loving it. So I have to say, next to my guilty pleasure reading fun chicklit books, I now have the added guilty pleasure of watching fun, chicklit-like movies. Woohoo!

Looking for Business Book Recommendations

I’m in the process of buying a book on Amazon, and of course, I’m $6.50 short for the free shipping.¬† Since this is being paid out of my biz account, I would like something else to qualify the order, but it needs to be a biz expense.

What are your favorite biz books?
I’ve already read (or own) all the Seth Godin and Michael Gerber books.

In return, I’ll share a couple of my favorite biz and biz-related books:

Any other must read suggestions?

I’ve Been Bamboozeled! Good Book, My Ass!

Let’s talk books.¬† I’ve posted a time or two before when I was looking for new books to read (and despite what you’re about to read, I’m always open to suggestions).¬† This time around though, I’ve got a huge stack of books to be read and just want to comment on the one I just finished reading…Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld.

I was warned that it would be very angsty.¬† But I was also told that it was awesome.¬† Imagine my disappointment when I found out that it wasn’t all that awesome.¬† While I could handle the emo-filled, teen angst, I just couldn’t get over how slow moving it was.¬† It was downright boring.¬† Once again though I stuck it out.¬† I figured if it’s getting rave reviews it’s got to be good, right?¬† Um…not so much.

You’d think by now that I’d realize that if I hear nothing but raves for something…for months or in this case, years…that maybe I just shouldn’t bother.¬† I’ve found that rarely do the books and movies live up to the hype.¬† Especially Forrest Gump.¬† My god I hated that movie. Or I just need to stick with what I know and love…my chicklit.¬† Rarely does it disappoint.¬† It’s the perfect amount of escape needed in a book.

So I ask you two things…

One, have you ever watched or read something that got such rave reviews that you just felt compelled to read or so, only to be left feeling like you were bamboozled?

Two, do you have any suggestions for teen books? My thirteen year-old niece is finishing the Twilight books and I’d like to get her something else to read.¬† Part of me wants to go with the Gossip Girl series since I know she watches the show.¬† On the other hand, if she’s digging the whole vampire thing (and it is its own genre nowadays), maybe I should stick with that.¬† Any suggestions?

Have You Read a Good Book Lately?

For this Sunday’s book club we’re all supposed to bring a couple of suggestions for next year’s list.¬† While I’ve read some good books this year, most have either been way fun and chick lit-y or they’ve been business books.

So I ask you, have you read any good books lately?  Care to recommend something?

Have You Read These Books?

I need to pick a book to bring with me on the plane to BlogHer.¬† Well, since the folks at Elle Magazine have provided me with a stack o’books, I thought I’d ask y’all.

So have you read any of these?¬† Any recommendations?¬† Which would you choose (they’re all hardbacks) if it was up to you?

  • The Abstinence Teacher by Tom Perotta
  • Ellington Boulevard by Adam Langer
  • Willing by Scott Spencer
  • All We Ever Wanted Was Everything by Janelle Brown
  • The Seamstress by Frances de Pontes Peebles