In accordance to the FTC guidelines, I must state that I make no monetary gains from my reviews or endorsements here on Confessions of a Literary Persuasion. All books I review are either borrowed, purchased by me, given as a gift, won, or received in exchange for my honest review of the book in question.

29 August, 2015

Stacking the Shelves. #2

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

This week continues to be a mix of required texts and books being shared by fellow Bookcrossing members.

The Required:
  • Keys to Teaching Grammar to English Language Learners: A Practical Handbook by K. S Folse
  • Workbook for Keys to Teaching Grammar to English by K. S Folse

The Fun:
  • Mirror Sight: Book Five of Green Rider by Kristen Britain
  • An Ice Cold Grave [Harper Connelly #3] by Charlaine Harris 
  •  Women of the Outback by Sue Williams 
  • Trunk Music by Michael Connelly 
  • Return of the Hood by Mickey Spillane 

24 August, 2015

Bout of Books Final Tally!

Bout of Books

I wasn't able to get online for a day 7 progress entry due to company. So, here is my final tally:

Books Finished:
  1. The Seduction of  Emily by Rachel Brimble 
  2. The Rockin' Chair by Stephen Manchester
  3. Stealing Home (Diamonds and Dugouts #1) by Jennifer Seasons
  4. Lenore: Swirlies by Roman Dirge
  5. My Neighbor Seki Vol. ! 
  6. Double Whammy by Carl Hiassen
  7. Steeped in the World of Tea Edited by Sharon Bard, Birgit Nielsen, and Clara Rosemarda

Books started but not finished during the Read a Thon:

1. You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day 3 hrs 32 min remaining.
2. Winning Mars by Jason Stoddard 280 pages remaining.

Not bad. I finished 3 physical books, 3 E books, and one audiobook over the course of the week. 

22 August, 2015

Bout of Books 14 Day 6

       Bout of Books

Books in Progress:

1. You're Never Weird on the Internet (almost) by Felicia Day

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!
If you want to find out more about Stacking The Shelves, please visit the official launch page!

This is my first post for Stacking the Shelves. I should be holding back on books as classes start next week. But I've managed to pick up more than a few books this week.

The required textbooks for classes:

  1. Authentic Assessment for English Language Learners: Practical Approaches for Teachers by J. Michael O'Malley & Lorraine Valdez Pierce
  2. Language Assessment: Principles and Classroom Practices by H. Douglas Brown & Priyanvada Abeywickrama
  3. Do You Speak American by Robert MacNeil
The Fun:

I've been wanting to reread this series and the library had 5 of the 7 books in their book sale room:

  1. Dragon Wing (The Death Gate Cycle, #1) 
  2. Elven Star (The Death Gate Cycle, #2) 
  3. Serpent Mage (The Death Gate Cycle, #4) 
  4. Into the Labyrinth (The Death Gate Cycle, #6) 
  5. The Seventh Gate (The Death Gate Cycle, #7) 
I have had a few books trickle in from other bookcrossers as I seem to have won the July/August edition of the tea, books, and chocolate sweeps (eep!)

  1. Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill by Dimitri Verhulst
  2. The American Film Industry by Tino Balio (Editor) 
And I grabbed a few free e-books this week:
  1. Land: A Stranded Novel by Theresa Shaver
  2. In Too Deep by Tracey Alverez
  3. Lady Gone Bad by Sabine Starr

21 August, 2015

Bout of Books 14 Day 5

Bout of Books

Books in Progress:

1. Steeped in the World of Tea Edited by Sharon Bard, Birgit Nielsen, and Clara Rosemarda

Books Finished:
  1. Double Whammy by Carl Hiassen 

20 August, 2015

Bout of Books 14 Day 4

Bout of Books

Not so much reading done yesterday. However progress is getting made in my audiobook :)

Books in Progress:

  1. Double Whammy By Carl Hiassen 5 hrs 27 min. remainin
  2. Steeped in the World of Tea Edited by Sharon Bard, Birgit Nielsen, and Clara Rosemarda
Books: Finished:

  1. My Neighbor Seki Volume 1 by Tonari Seki-kun

  2. 19 August, 2015

    Bout of Books 14 Day 3

            Bout of Books
    In Progress:

    1.  Double Whammy by Carl Hiassen
    2. My Neighbor Seki Volume 1 by Tonari Seki-kun


    1. Stealing Home (Diamonds and Dugouts #1) by Jennifer Seasons
    2. Lenore: Swirlies by Roman Dirge

    18 August, 2015

    Bout of Books Challenge: Bookish Scavenger Hunt

    Book Scavenger Hunt:
    1. A Book that begins with “B”  (for Bout of Books!)

    2. A book you’re planning to read/currently reading for Bout of Books

    3. Blue Book(s)

    4. Books from your favorite genre!

    5. A book on your TBR shelf, or your full TBR shelves

     The bottom two shelves on the left bookcase and the second shelf from the top on the right bookcase are all TBR books.

    Bout of Books 14 Day 2

                 Bout of Books
    In Progress:

    1.  Double Whammy by Carl Hiassen
    2. Stealing Home (Diamonds and Dugouts #1) by Jennifer Seasons


    1.  The Rockin' Chair by Stephen Manchester

    17 August, 2015

    Bout of Books 14: Fictional World Travel Challenge!

                         Bout of Books

     I am taking part in the fictional world travel challenge hosted by Between Library Shelves

    The Goal of this challenge is to travel the world through the books we read. Starting from the top of the pile I can visit:

    The Snack Thief = Sicily, Italy
    My Neighbor Seki = Japan
    Brick Lane = Starts in Bengali then moves to London, UK
    The Toss of a Lemon = India
    Baghdad Without a Map = Baghdad and other points in the Middle East
    Un Lun Dun = Alternate London
    Mozart's Sister = Austria  and other points of Europe

    These are all on my books to be read pile and now that I have pulled them out I may dip into one or two over the course of the Read a Thon.  As I am in the United States these all take place anyplace but the USA.

    After taking my picture I realized that I have 7 books rather than the  3-6 book range from the challenge... 2 are set in different versions of London - one real world London and the other an alternate earth London.

    Bout of Books 14 Day 1

    Bout of Books

    So it's the start of the 14th Bout of Books Read a Thon. This week I plan on reading as much as I can since classes start for the semester next week *eep*!

    I am starting the Read a Thon with:

    •  about 100 pages left in Seducing Emily by Rachel Brimble on my Nook.
    • 8 hours and 45 min of Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen

    In Progress:
    1. Double Whammy by Carl Hiaasen
    2. The Rockin' Chair by Stephen Manchester

    1. The Seduction of  Emily by Rachel Brimble 

    12 August, 2015

    Book Review: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

    Title: The Coincidence of Coconut Cake
    Author: Amy E. Reichert
    Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Gallery
    Publication Date: July 21, 2015

    Author's Website:

     Lou is a chef who is living her dreams. She has her own  restaurant Louella's. She is engaged to a handsome up and coming attorney named Devlin. She loves her job, her restaurant is slowly becoming successful and profitable, She loves Devlin. But why has her life slowly started to feel stifled? As Devlin pushes her to move in with him, to close her restaurant, and set a date for the wedding she feel less in control of her life. Until she walks in on Devlin in his boxer shorts with a blond intern on his birthday. Suddenly her life is mangled, much like the coconut cake that she dropped on the floor in surprise.

    Al Waters, is a British transplant. A recent arrival to Milwaukee, WI he looks at his stay as a short term one. He is writing for a local paper as a food critic under a pseudo name. His reviews are pithy and usually negative. He receives an anonymous tip to visit Louella's. His visit turns into a terrible review. This review starts the slow decline of the restaurant's business.  

    Al meets Lou at a bar. They begin talking, and Lou offers to show him the real Milwaukee. This turns into a series of excursions to local museums, breweries, restaurants and festivals. While on their adventures through the city together they have a no work rule. Lou knows Al as a freelance write, while Al misconstrues something Lou says about work and assumes she works in an office job. The two become friends and both start to have romantic feelings about the other. But when Al finds out the Lou owns Louella's  and the effect of his unprofessional review he starts to wonder if they can keep this young love together when she finally discovers who he really is.

    The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is a sweet story. It has the best sort of romance in my opinion, that of friendship that slowly becomes more. I really enjoyed exploring Milwaukee from Lou and Al's perspective. This was a very engrossing and quick read for me. Perfect for a summers day.

    11 August, 2015

    Bout of Books 14 Read a Thon

    Bout of Books

    I am going to take part in this round of the read a thon!  not setting any goals other than trying to concentrate on some of the physical books on my TBR pile, as I have been focusing on my nook books the last few weeks...

    10 August, 2015

    Book Review: The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig

    Title: The Cake Therapist
    Author: Judith Fertig
    Publisher: Berkley Books
    Publication date: June 2, 2015

    Claire O'Neil, Neely to her friends, is a baker reinventing her life. After finding her husband cheating with yet another woman she is headed back to her hometown of Millcreek Valley, Ohio. Millcreek, is a town transforming itself from a blue collar factory town to a bridal paradise. It is among the bridal boutiques in the old library building that Neely opens her bakery Rainbow Cakes.

    Neely's has a secret. She can sense secret feelings and images of other people's past. She uses flavors in her cakes to enhance these flavor feelings to give her customers the perfect cake for their wedding. However, her abilities are both a blessing and a hindrance to her. She starts to encounter an alarming flavor combination in her own food, and around her the biter old neighbor.  As She tries to unravel the mystery surrounding this intense flavor, Neely starts to rebuild her life. She builds a family of employees, and re-finds love as she learns to forgive her own past while helping her neighbor.

     I was originally pulled to this book by the cover. The bright layers of the rainbow colored cake made me smile when I saw it  recommended to me. But I found the story itself intriguing. Neely's story alternates with that of a very special and unique wedding ring. We alternate between the current day events of Neely's life and the day to day bakery operations and the story in the past as the ring changes hands from it's original owner to the mother of Olive and Edith "Pickle", and then to the girls story. it took a little getting used to  the back and forth nature but as they became intertwined it culminated in a wonderfully integrated way. This was definitely a quick and enjoyable summer read.

    Judith Fertig is an acomplished cookbook author,, and The Cake Therapist is her first fictional work.There will be a sequel The Memory of Lemons. My copy had a sneak preview of this in it, and I can't wait for the next book to be published.

    Judith Fertig has a website that can be found here
    She has a link to a recipie for a rainbow cake here


    05 August, 2015

    Little Free Library #5403

    Little Free Library #5403
    1630 W Catalpa Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60640
    United States

    This colorful Little Free Library is located in the Andersonville neighborhood on the North side of Chicago. It is located one block West of Ashland ave on Catalpa. It doesn't seem to appear on the official Little Free Library Map since they converted it to a new map. However, it is built in the Amish Barn Wood Cabin style LFL. It is small compared to some libraries with only one row of book space, but it has a very wide mix of book types in it. My last visit showed mostly adult fiction, though since this is a family friendly neighborhood children's books are welcome as well. There is a new addition since the top photo was taken of a mailbox lower on the post specifically for children's books. The last few times I have stopped by this was sadly empty.

    The LFL's steward had the following to say about having the LFL on their property:

    " We're almost finishing up our second year with the LFL on our front lawn, and honestly, it's been pretty uniformly an excellent experience. My husband was initially hesitant about the idea of putting this book drop on our front lawn, figuring it would be a burden that would attract riffraff who might subject it to destruction. He is first to admit that his fears have not borne out. Keeping the LFL in shape is now a family affair--the addition of a kids' annex last year brought the children even more into the sphere; we all have discovered many fantastic reads and have shared many of our own books there. The net result of all of this is that I just feel so much better connected--first and foremost to the block, of course (I had never in the previous decade of living here met such an incredible abundance of neighbors), but also to the neighborhood more broadly and its growing network of LFLs (including the "Edgewater Reads" initiative), as well as to a global network of readers and book exchangers."

    01 August, 2015

    Book review: Evensong by M. L. St. Sure

    I received this book through the goodreads first-read program. It promptly got misplaced when many of my books were packed into storage. 

    Christina, is the daughter of a once famous Austrian opera singer and a minor French aristocrat. After the horrors her parents endured during World War I they emigrated to America. There they worked a small farm in Kansas and raised a family. Christina is taught to sing by her father, and has dreams of escaping from the farm to a life of success. 

    After her father dies when the family is caught in a severe storm, Christina gets work at a hotel in town as a singer to the guests. There she meets two men. The elderly Senator Liam Caradine and the Frenchman Laurent de Gauvion Saint Cyr.  The Senator  sees Christina as a daughter while Christina loves him with her whole heart. While Laurent has fallen head over heels in love with her and is consistently rejected.

    When Christina's mother and brother fall into grief fueled drinking and let the farm fall into ruin, Christina auxins to her need to protect her younger sister Nicholette. With the help of Senator Caradine, Christina flees the country with her sister and arrives in France just before Germany invaded. The girls uncle, Philippe Petain, has been named the French Premier. He is willing to ally his country with the Nazis. 

    Christina and Nicholette find themselves thrown into war. Their uncle wants Christina to sing for Hitler. However She wants nothing to do with her uncles plans no matter the consequences. When her sister is taken by the Nazis Christina throws herself to helping Laurent in the French rĂ©sistance with the goal of rescuing her sister. 

    Evensong is the first book by M. L. St. Sure. It dives into very powerful subject matter. The story delves into the horrors of war, and the struggles and sacrifices made during the hardship of war. While the idea of love is introduced to the story, this is by no means a romantic story. As Christina travels further into war-torn Europe looking for her sister we see her grow from a dream filled girl into a determined woman haunted by the death and terror surrounding her. 

    I thought this was a strong first novel. There were times when characters and their motivations felt a little flat. However the story was intriguing and really pulled me in as a reader. It is not a happy romantic look at WWII. 
    It does however portray in a realistic way what a soldier who is living through unrealized horrors might be feeling as they are entrenched in the war.