“A Book That You’ve Read More Than 3 Times” – 30 Day Book Challenge

Today's Book Challenge topic is “A Book That You've Read More Than 3 Times”. Again, this is a tough one for me to answer – I get attached to books and love reading, re-reading and re-reading again.

But as I have to narrow it down to a single book that I have read, I figure that I will post about Lucy-Anne Holmes' 50 Ways to Find a Lover.

Sarah Sargeant is an actress who rarely gets a decent role and is even unluckier in love. After her parents sign her up for a dating reality show, and being rejected by a balding man with a paunch (who informed her that he would rather stay in and watch the Narnia movie on DVD than go out with her) Sarah decides to start a blog (!!) called '50 Ways To Find a Lover', documenting the outrageous lengths she attempts to find her love.

“I feel like a failure. It's now been 351 days since I had sex. That's a carnal drought. If Bob Geldof knew about it he'd hold a concert.”

I have read 50 Ways to Find a Lover over 3 times this year just because of the hilarity involved. You know reviews that you roll your eyes at that say “Laugh Out Loud”? This book actually does make you laugh out loud!

What about you? Share which book(s) you have read more than three times in our comments section!


This challenge comes from That Little Book Blog 🙂

 

“Best Book You Read Last Year” – 30 Day Book Challenge

What a tough question straight out of the docks, especially as we are so new into the year and I have a huge array of books I might classify as “Best Book I Read Last Year”!

Definitely at the top of my list are:

Holes by Louis Sachar

The Gatecrasher by Madeline Wickham

The Help by Kathryn Stockett


And somewhat irritatingly, they are all so different, making it hard to choose just one to list as “The Best”.

Holes was a great Teen/YA book that really makes you think. I haven't come across many books of this genre that actually encourage new thought instead of continue along the stereotypical rite of passage path of many books of this genre (*waits for books to be thrown at me in protest at blanket statement*). It has a great narrative that draws you in and then flits away, leaving the reader thinking “oh I just HAVE to keep reading to find out what happens next!”; a prerequisite of a “Best Book”, in my eyes.

Next on my list is The Gatecrasher, which was the quintessential chick-lit read of the year. Madeline Wickham is actually the real name of Sophie Kinsella, an author synonymous with women's literature. I thoroughly enjoyed The Gatecrasher for a number of reasons, but namely because it didn't 'feel' like chick-lit. It was light, refreshing and entertaining on one side (all expectations of chick lit), but on the other hand it was mysterious and not clichéd in its narrative, making this a highly entertaining but relaxing read!

Last on my short list of best books is The Help, which is definitely a popular novel and was even turned into a major motion picture. The Help is an energetic mix of voices, all proudly proclaiming the same message of equality among races. While it deals with an extremely touchy subject, it is humourous and soulful, making you feel almost spiritually fulfilled as you read. This was a magical read, with the language sucking you right in – I found I could literally 'hear' the characters speaking to me in their accents – no mean feat, given I live in Australia and a 'southern' accent is not something I come across regularly!




If I am forced to chose, I think my Best Book would have to be The Help – although I would willingly recommend all of these books to anyone willing to ask, I think The Help's universality is what really makes this a stand-out. No matter your race, age, sex or religion, chances are that you will relate with this book, and what's more, will love it.

If you had to pick, which book would you say is the best one that you read last year? Share your thoughts in our comments section!

 

This challenge comes from That Little Book Blog 🙂

 

Sugar Daddy by Lisa Kleypas

Sugar Daddy – Lisa Kleypas
My Rating: Rainy Day Read
Suggested Audience: Adults (women)
Page Count: 371
Publication: 2007

 

Background

Liberty grows up on the wrong side of the tracks at the Blue-Bonnet Ranch Mobile Home Estates in the town of Welcome, Texas. Falling in love with town heart throb Hardy Cates, Liberty envisions a happy future – but Hardy does not want to let love stand in the way of his ambitions to leave Welcome forever.

“The late afternoon sun was as round and white as a paper plate tacked to the sky. Heat seemed to come equally from below as above, uncurling in visible waves from the cracked ground. Time moved at a crawl in Welcome, where people considered anything needing o be done in a hurry wasn't worth doing…”

After a tragic incident, teenage Liberty is left to raise her infant sister alone. Determined to make them a better life, Liberty moves to the big city and studies to be a hairdresser, befriending billionaire tycoon Churchill Travis. Will this new friendship be the start of a whole new life for Liberty, or will her past come back to haunt her?

My Thoughts

After hearing glowing reviews of Lisa Kleypas' historical romances, I was so excited to find Sugar Daddy at a school fete book sale! After hearing so much about this New York Times Best-selling author, I expected wonderful things from this novel. I was disappointed.

I initially found the novel to be tedious; it reads less like a typical chick-lit with a moving narrative, and more like a life story of Liberty Jones. Sugar Daddy slowly works chronologically through Liberty's childhood and teenage years, and left me feeling quite bored and uncertain where this narrative was going.

After Liberty is faced with a family tragedy (which, by the way, I thought was thoroughly glossed over and written in a completely unrealistic and unbelievable manner), the narrative picks up, leaving you wondering how she will recover from this adversity. And this is where the biggest issue I have with Sugar Daddy begins.

Put simply, Sugar Daddy felt incredibly set-up and convenient. All of the struggles Liberty faces are resolved very quickly in unrealistic ways. When she has no money and no prospects, her friend offers her a job. When she cannot afford to study at the beauty school, she is gifted a scholarship… This left me feeling frustrated; I wanted some plot development where the protagonist had to really work towards bettering herself, offering the reader a real taste of life. Being handed everything on a silver platter (especiciLly moments after being faced with the issue in the first place) is, to me at least, not realistic.

“I wanted a cosmetology licence so badly, I could hardly stand it. There were so many places I could work at, so much I wanted to learn. I thought I had the right temperament to be a hairstylist, and I knew I had the drive. I had everything but money” (page 149)

“'I have some good news for you, if you're still interested in attending the academy this year?'
'Yes,' I managed to whisper, sudden excitement clutching at my throat.
'It turns out that another place in our scholarship program has just become available for the fall term. I can give you a full financial aid package' “ (page 153)


While it was a highly implausible story, at the risk of sounding thoroughly hypocritical, I must say I did enjoy the simplicity of the storyline. While as I said, so e plot development would have done Sugar Daddy a number of favours, my Christmas-festivity addled head was glad of the mental reprive that is Sugar Daddy. My recommendation is that if you want something romantic and whimsical to read when you're feeling half brain-dead, give Sugar Daddy a go.

By the way – if you liked reading Sugar Daddy, you'll be excited to know that Lisa Kleypas has released two other novels following other characters from the novel (Blue Eyed Devil and Smooth Talking Stranger) with a third, Brown Eyed Girl, being released very soon!

Where Can I Get It?

To buy Sugar Daddy for a great price and have it shipped straight to your door for free, check out the Book Depository.

 

Free Delivery on all Books at the Book Depository

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Worlds Most Beautiful Embroidered Book Covers

They say you should never judge a book by its covers, but boy, there are some beautiful book covers out there!

Book cover embroidery in process

It's pretty difficult to pick out the best, but definitely among the top for me are Penguin Threads Collection. Each of these book covers were stitched over the course of 2 months by artist Jillian Temaki.

Embroidered Wizard Of Oz Book Cover

Anyone who knows me will know I adore handmade crafts, especially embroidery. Combine that with my love of reading, and you might understand why I'm drooling over these awesome book covers.

Each book cover incorporates elements of the stories into their design. For instance, on the back cover of “The Wind in The Willows”, Toady's repeated lines “poop poop” are incorporated into the design.

And for The Secret Garden, Jillian incorporates the phrase “Where you tend a rose, a thistle cannot grow” into the cover's design.
 
The inside covers show the back side of the embroideries, which I think was a very clever move, because not only does it allow sticky beaks like me see how it was done, for those not actually interested in crafts it just offers a glimpse to how involved something like this is.

Close-Up of Jillian Temaki's cover for 'The Secret Garden'

 

The cover of Little Women is made to resemble an embroidered sampler, which just adds to the old-world magic of Louisa May Alcott's story.

 

Apart from the book covers I have shown you, Jillian has also created embroidered covers for the classics Emma and Black Beauty. She clearly is an incredibly talented embroiderer, and her work is just so compelling (especially for someone who loves craft AND reading! Squee!!)

What do you think of these covers? Which is your favourite among Jillian's embroidered book cover designs? If you could pick a book to have an embroidered version of its cover created, what would it be? Share your thoughts in our comments section.