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Wednesday, February 29, 2012

"The Smartest Woman I Know"

by Ilene Beckerman, NF, 2011, 103p, rating=3
Source: won from Sarah @ Sarah Reads Too Much

It 's been said there 's nobody as smart as an old woman. That 's Gingy 's grandmother, Ettie, though she had no more than a third-grade education. She dispensed unforgettable wisdom to Gingy and her sister, Tootsie, as well as to the customers at her and (her husband) Mr. Goldberg 's stationery and magazine store, where customers ranged from Irish nannies to Sara Delano Roosevelt to Marlene Dietrich. Clever about life and love, food and men, Ettie had advice for everyone, and it didn't hurt that she got some of her best ideas from talking things over with God, out loud.
Known for bringing wit and emotion to issues that concern women, depth and poignancy to subjects as seemingly trivial as clothes, beauty, and bridesmaids, Gingy now magically brings the irrepressible Ettie Goldberg to life. (Goodreads)

A darling read.  Ms Beckerman's grandmother, Ettie, is a hoot!  I probably missed a bit of the inside jokes not being Jewish but in general Ettie was a grandmother you certainly will find interesting.  This book is filled with Ettie's cute adventures and wisdom about love and life that the author recalled while she lived with Ettie since she was twelve years old.  Also included was Ettie's brief history ..Russia, New Orleans, then New York --the setting for this book starting in the late 1940s.  Four main characters here are Ettie, Mr. Goldberg (Ettie's husband), Tootsie (author's older sister) and Gingy (the author). 

Check out a few excerpts:
  • "A husband is like buying new shoes.  You might see something you fall in love with right away, but if it's not a good fit, it will never make you happy."
  • "You got a minute, God?  I'm not really complaining but it says in the Talmud that a man has 613 mitzvahs to do but a woman only has 3.  So how come i am busy from the minute I wake up in the morning until I go to bed at night, and Mr. Goldberg (her husband), who has 613 mitzvahs to do, has enough time to go upstairs at four o'clock every afternoon and take a nap?"
  • "Everyone needs to believe in something.  I have always been able to count on my faith in the power of Vaseline, chicken soup, and the Talmud"
  • "So you listening, God?  Boils, blood, lice, wild beasts, pestilence, hail, locusts, darkness, slaying the firstborn --that's nothing compared to what I go through in a week with Mr. Goldberg."
  • But Mr. Goldberg could be fun too, check this out --"Oy, oy, oy.  It hurts.  I can't breathe.  I'll have to wash the and iron the sheets again."
  • And my favorite --"So I'll give you some free advice how to lose weight.  Don't eat so much."

Simply a light, funny, and miss-your-grandma kind of read. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Leap into Books Giveaway: $20 Amazon/TBD and Water for Elephants

{hop=list (below) of participating websites that are giving away books or such}

Happy Leap Year!  I'm so excited to co-host this giveaway hop with Kathy @ I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.  ~An extra day is great!  Now if someone can come up with extra hands to help me with my errands! ;)

Now on to the giveaway!  Here is what's up for grabs (one winner per prize) ..

Prize #1:  $20 e-gift card to or $20 shopping spree to The Book Depository (make sure they ship free to your country)

Prize #2: Gently used paperback copy of "Water for Elephants" by Sara Gruen (U.S. destination only, since I'm mailing this out myself)

To enter:
  • Must be a follower of this website
  • Must be at least 13 years old
  • Fill in the form below
  • Extra entry for following my Facebook Page
  • Extra entry for tweeting this giveaway (click twitter icon at end of post or compose your own sure to include @jinxtweet)'s an example that you may want to copy/paste .. "Enter to win Prize #1: $20 Amazon GC or $20 Book Depository; Prize#2: Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen @jinxtweet"
Contest ends March 5th 11:59pm PST.  Winner will be informed via email and announced in this blog within 3 days post end of contest.  Winners will have 72hrs to claim their prize or new winner(s) will be chosen.

    Thank you for entering and for the follow! Happy "leaping" and good luck!!

    I'm starting my giveaway early (afterall, it's the 29th at the other side of my hemisphere) so not all the participants' giveaways are up yet.  As the participants post their giveaway a " ~ " will be placed before their name on the linky so look for those.  The linky should be 100% accurate by tomorrow morning.

    Monday, February 27, 2012

    RAK Giveaway Hop Winner!

    My sweet little girl has been sick since Friday so time was even more limited in getting a winner announced. As I mentioned before, I was overwhelmed at the immense response to the RAK question I posed and needed more time to go through the replies. Wow, I was touched by the wonderful random acts of kindness that was noted. It's humbling and certainly wonderful to know that good people are out there!  I wish I could write them all down for you.  In general, there were many kindness done towards the elderly, surprise treats/chores done for their family/roommates, and simple to complex stories about kindness to strangers, $50 tip for no reason!  Someone mentioned blood magic ..I don't know what that is ..hmm.  Oh, one shared a website that I thought was pretty cool ..

    Thank you everyone for sharing your wonderful acts of kindness.  I have been inspired and look forward to doing more random acts of kindness.

    Okay, now for the winner ...

    Using the services of, the winner of my RAK Giveaway Hop is
    Paul T.

    Congratulations Paul!  Your prize, a book of your choice from The Book Depository (up to $12), is yours if you reply within 72hrs to the email I sent you or a new winner will be chosen.

    Thank you to all those who entered and for the follows when you didn't have to.  You are awesome!! :)

    Friday, February 24, 2012

    I Did Not Forget

    (source: Google image search)

    I have not forgotten to announce the winner of the RAK Giveaway.  I'm overwhelmed with the immense response to the extra entry question and I haven't had the proper time to go through them all.  I am touched at the wonderful random acts of kindness that you have noted and it just warms my heart ..and I haven't even read them all (400+)!!  It looks like that I'm going to need the weekend to go through it all properly.  Please be patient.  I will have a winner.  :)

    Thursday, February 23, 2012

    "Too Clever"

    by Julia E. Antoine, illustrated by Frankniell Concepcion, YR, 2010, 64p, rating=2
    Source: won from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

    Too Clever is the first in the series of the too clever kids. These are kids who are adventuresome, curious and inquisitive. They have very inquiring minds and are always looking for solutions to life’s many situations. They have their own ideas on how things should be, and will go to great lengths to prove a point, to learn a lesson or to accept the inevitable. Come meet them, and see how they go about trying to prove or disprove the obvious.(Goodreads)

    This book has great potential.  The stories were charming but needed more follow through.  The idea of using characters that were autonomous was great but most of the adventures they went through weren't developed enough to really sustain my interest.  I did enjoy Megan's Troublesome Pronouns because that was a practical lesson.  Other than that, the stories in general didn't captivate me.

    The presentation of the book as well needed some work.  The illustrations didn't appeal to me and the binding of the book was not attractive wasn't like the usual picture book binding but like a soft book handout you'd get from a seminar.  I would not have picked this book up but the blurb did sound interesting.  Bummer that it wasn't.

    Granted this is written for young readers but I think even they might find this book confusing at times.  Perhaps the author could concentrate on one story and develop it well.  She's got the right beginings ..she just needs to see it through in full bloom.  :)

    "Total Memory Workout"

    by Cynthia R. Green, NF, 1999, 239p, rating=3
    source: library

    The fact is that everyone forgets.
    It can happen at any age. What most people don't know is that you can exercise your memory just like any other part of your body. For years, Dr. Cynthia Green, director of The Memory Enhancement Program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, has been helping people--from busy parents and CEOs to retirees--achieve maximum memory fitness.
    Total memory workout--8 easy steps to maximum memory fitness
    In this remarkable book, Dr. Green outlines her simple and effective program to achieve maximum memory fitness in just eight easy lessons. Each lesson focuses on one aspect of memory followed by a series of specific "memorcises" designed to build memory muscle.(Goodreads)

    If you're a regular to this blog, you know that I'm queen of forgetfulness so I thought I'd do something about it.  Hence, I browsed the nonfiction aisle late last month in the library and this book jumped at me.  It was a quick read for a nonfiction.  It was outlined quite nicely so it was easy to skim as well.  But was it informative?  Sure.  It contained simple-practical tricks to memory building, addressed factors that decrease or enhance memory, and much more.

    Did it help me?  Hmm, I didn't take notes so I don't recall the exact steps therefore I can't say I'm exercising all to build memory muscle that the book outlined. BUT, I did take out something that stuck and the part of memory that concerned me most (involving daily habits; not concerned about having to memorize a poem or such).  Basically, I learned to be conscious about being focused and to have a specific physical/mental place for certain things I don't want to forget.  That's all, you ask?  Baby steps .. reading one book will not magically cure me of forgetfulness.  Yet, just from that I have noticed that I'm a little more focused or notice when I wasn't.  Plus, I haven't lost my keys in awhile. :)

    In short, this book is a good outline for self-help and I believe that the reader can find something useful and specific to his/her memory concerns. 

    Monday, February 20, 2012

    Must Read Monday: No Country for Old Men

    Here's a meme that's quite fun and clever .. Must Read Monday by Fans of Fiction. Go HERE for details and to join the fun.

    This week's topic: A character you love to hate.

    My answer (part 1):  I originally chose Steve from "The Gift" by Richard Paul Evans because it was fresh on my mind last week when this topic was suppose to be up ... 

    Steve was the female protagonist's ex-husband.  A self-centered shallow man.  A man with no scruples.  He definitely gets my dander up!  Grrr!!!

    The Gift

    (My review)    

    So sad and frustrating to hear
    That this type of guy roams the
    Earth.  He's a louse to attempt to capitalize on his dying son!
    Very selfish and no scruples indeed.
    Eggs, I'd like to throw eggs at him (okay, maybe something else).  ;)

    My answer (part 2):  ...but "The Gift" wasn't really a must read yet I left it posted here because I already did the acrostic and liked it.  Anyways, I then remembered Chigurh, a character from McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men" and thought it more fitting!  Please see my review for details.  This man definitely was disturbing!!!

    No Country for Old Men

    (My Review)


    Heads-Up: Free Read - Divergent by Veronica Roth

    (Go HERE for blurb and my review)

    Haven't read Divergent?  Well, here's your chance.  Thanks to Harper Teen you can read it HERE for free!  How cool is that?! 

    Thanks Lisa @ Lisa's Loves (Books of Course) for the heads-up. :)

    Saturday, February 18, 2012

    Mail Giddy

    Look what I won from Becky @ Stories & Sweeties.  Yeay, my first winning of the year!!  Much thanks Becky ..and author Megan Crewe/ Big Honcho Media!

    I can't believe how much stuff can fit into this 3.5in x 2in x 2in pouch (16 items!).  And I didn't dig far enough! I missed pulling out the tampon and nail file that's not pictured here!

    Go to the author's website HERE to find out more about the book and HERE for info and to purchase a Miniemergency Kit of your own.  Wow, they've got kits for all sorts of stages of life!

    Friday, February 17, 2012

    TGIF: Book Blogger Pride

    Who's ready for the weekend?! I know I am! I'm introducing a new(ish) feature for Fridays to re-cap the week's posts & to propose a question for my followers. Feel free to get involved by linking up at the bottom. If not, I'd love to read your responses in the comments. Thanks! (Ginger @GRreads)

    This Friday's question:
    Book Blogger Pride: What do you take pride in when it comes to blogging?

    My answer:
    I spend too much time in writing my reviews (though it may not seem like it) so I take great pride in them because the words/thoughts are mine and often carefully chosen.  It's a great feeling of accomplishment when a review has been posted.  I take pride in the reaching even one person to be moved by a post I made.  I take pride in my effort to inform, encourage, and be a positive example to this wonderful book blogging community.  I take pride in the associations I've made through blogging.  I take pride in the many things I've learned from this blogging experience. 

    Blogging is time consuming and hard work but rewarding.  It's a great self-esteem booster. :)

    My Week's Recap (2/10-2/16):
    • TGIF: Love Stories
    • Misc.: Librarian Button
    • Book Review:  The Gift by Richard Paul Evans
    • Misc.:  Valentine Treats
    • Author-Book Profile:  Taste by Kate Evangelista
    • RAK Giveaway Hop

    Thursday, February 16, 2012

    RAK Giveaway Hop


    Welcome to my stop in this hop!  A big thank you to our hostesses I A  Reader, Not A Writer and Read For Your Future

    I'm making this stop quick and simple.  I'll be giving away a book of your choice from your wish list (up to $12 value).  And since this is a random acts of kindness theme, my giveaway is open to everyone and no following is necessary but certainly appreciated.  You must however be 13yrs or older and book destination be in a country that The Book Depository ships to.

    To enter, just fill out the form below.  An extra entry to those who tells me a RAK that he/she has done or will do (other than gave/give a book away ..we all must have done that at one point).  I suppose I'm fishing for ideas of how to spread some love. :)

    Thank you for stopping by and may this hop inspire us to do a random act of kindness to those around us simple as giving someone a smile.


    Thank you for entering. Now head on over to the list below and enjoy some random acts of kindness!

    Wednesday, February 15, 2012

    Author-Book Profile: Taste by Kate Evangelista

    I'm for supporting author friends. A fellow Filipino is an added bonus.  So please welcome to a book cover reveal for Taste by Kate Evangelista. Sure looking forward to getting my hands on this one!  Maybe she'll provide me a copy for review. ;)

    Find her:
    Official Author Website

    When Kate Evangelista was told she had a knack for writing stories, she did the next best thing: entered medical school. After realizing she wasn't going to be the next Doogie Howser, M.D., Kate wandered into the Literature department of her university and never looked back. Today, she is in possession of a piece of paper that says to the world she owns a Literature degree. To make matters worse, she took Master's courses in creative writing. In the end, she realized to be a writer, none of what she had mattered. What really mattered? Writing. Plain and simple, honest to God, sitting in front of her computer, writing. Today, she has four completed Young Adult novels. (website profile)

    Here's the pretty book cover:

    At Barinkoff Academy, there's only one rule: no students on campus after curfew. Phoenix McKay soon finds out why when she is left behind at sunset. A group calling themselves night students threaten to taste her flesh until she is saved by a mysterious, alluring boy. With his pale skin, dark eyes, and mesmerizing voice, Demitri is both irresistible and impenetrable. He warns her to stay away from his dangerous world of flesh eaters. Unfortunately, the gorgeous and playful Yuri has other plans.

    When Phoenix is caught between her physical and her emotional attraction, she becomes the keeper of a deadly secret that will rock the foundations of an ancient civilization living beneath Barinkoff Academy. Phoenix doesn’t realize until it is too late that the closer she gets to both Demitri and Yuri the more she is plunging them all into a centuries old feud. (Goodreads)

    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Valentine Treats

    Happy Valentine's Day! 

    Once in awhile I try to be creative.  Here's the treats I made for each of my kids' teachers (apple-n-dip)and classmates (brownies; cupcakes--not pictured).  It took some preparations but it was fun!  I'll have to do this kind of stuff more often ..not too often ..I've got a pile of dishes to wash now.   :) inspired
    In jar: caramel-cream cheese mix topped with caramel & toffee bits

    Jinky's Accidental Fudge-Strawberry Marble Brownies
    It doesn't look pinkish in this picture but it has a slight hue of pink

    Monday, February 13, 2012

    "The Gift"

    by Richard Paul Evans, AF, 2007, 332p, rating=4
    source:  own

    Nathan Hurst hated Christmas. For the rest of the world it was a day of joy and celebration; for Nathan it was simply a reminder of the event that destroyed his childhood until a snowstorm, a cancelled flight, and an unexpected meeting with a young mother and her very special son would show him that Christmas is indeed the season of miracles.
    From the beloved author of the international bestseller The Christmas Box comes another timeless story of faith, hope, and healing.  (book cover)

    Chances are that if I'm reading a Richard Paul Evans book, I'm trying to get out of a reading slump. His books are my comfort reads. This applies in this case. I had not picked up a book in a week!  Unfortunately when I finished this one, I was back on the slump again !  Oh well.

    This book did not disappoint.  The characters were vivid.  I distinctly knew who I like and did not.  The storyline was tender.  Another classic Evans tale with purpose and message.  You'll need a box of Kleenex for this one.  Why?  Because Collin, a 9yo boy with leukemia, has a gift of healing by touch but each healing causes him to get sicker.  Collin also has the gift of characterizing people's aura.  Collin is quick to heal those that are good.  Collin then gets very very sick.  In the process, those around him learn about the strength of love and moving on amidst the sorrows and disappointments. 

    Simply a feel good book.  

    Rating: comments

    Saturday, February 11, 2012

    Librarian Button

    Saw this at a friend's FB page and thought of some of you.  Yeay for On-line catalog but I occasionally still need librarians to physically find certain books.  Thanks guys!!

    P.S.  I've been in a reading slump again.  Ugh!!  Any quick pick me up suggestions?  Perhaps maintenance techniques as well?  ~Thank you. :)

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    TGIF: Love Stories

    Who's ready for the weekend?! I know I am! I'm introducing a new(ish) feature for Fridays to re-cap the week's posts & to propose a question for my followers. Feel free to get involved by linking up at the bottom. If not, I'd love to read your responses in the comments. Thanks! (Ginger @GRreads)

    This Friday's question:
    Love Stories: What are some of your favorite fictional love stories?

    My Answer:

    The Thorn Birds

    The Wednesday Letters

    The Notebook

    Brava, Valentine


    Dash & Lily's Book of Dares

    My Week's Recap (2/3-2/10):
    • TGIF: Book Appeal
    • Book Review:  My Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison
    • Book Review:  Rumpelstiltskin by Donna Diamond
    • Must Read Monday:  Anne of Green Gables
    • Leap into Books Giveaway Hop reminder sign-up
    • Book Review:  Charlotte's Web

    Wednesday, February 8, 2012

    "Charlotte's Web"

    by E.B. White, YR, 2006, first pub 1952, 184p, rating=5
    source: library

    An affectionate, sometimes bashful pig named Wilbur befriends a spider named Charlotte, who lives in the rafters above his pen. A prancing, playful bloke, Wilbur is devastated when he learns of the destiny that befalls all those of porcine persuasion. Determined to save her friend, Charlotte spins a web that reads "Some Pig," convincing the farmer and surrounding community that Wilbur is no ordinary animal and should be saved. In this story of friendship, hardship, and the passing on into time, E.B. White reminds us to open our eyes to the wonder and miracle often found in the simplest of things. (Goodreads)

    Mr. Arable's young daughter, Fern, could not bear to have a piglet be killed just because he was the runt of the litter.  Mr. Arable took sympathy in his daughter and agreed to her offer to take care of the little pig she named Wilbur.  Wilbur thrived and later grew enough to be sold.  Luckily to Fern's uncle, where then she had visiting privileges.  At the farm, Wilbur got to befriend a seen-it-all old goose, a rascal of a rat, and a dear spider named Charlotte.  Also there, Wilbur discovered his fate to be Christmas dinner.  Charlotte a true friend then assured Wilbur that she will save him from such demise.  Clearly the heartwarming adventure that followed gave Wilbur a lesson about the circle of life.

    This read was oozing in compassion.  Charlotte set a great standard for children and adults alike to follow.  What touching tale.  A wonderful rally for true friendship, trust, love, joy, acceptance, and everything in between!  This is a fantastic book!!

    Rating: comments

    Tuesday, February 7, 2012

    Host a Giveaway Here ...

    Just a reminder that the Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop that I am co-hosting is coming up and the sign-up is still open to link up if you want to participate in hosting a giveaway for the hop (the link sign-up is the same in Kathy and I's blog so you need only to enter on one).  Go HERE to sign-up.  ~Hope to see you there!

    Celebrate Leap Day by Joining in a Hop!

    Leap into Books Giveaway Hop

    February 29th to March 5th

    Hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer & (Me), Jinky is Reading :)

    Hop Rules:

    • Each participating blog will host a giveaway on their site.
    • The giveaway must be for something a reader, blogger or author would enjoy.
    • No more than 6 possible entries per person. 1 mandatory & up to 5 optional.
    • Offering a Gift Card or book of choice from The Book Depository is fine.
    • Any family friendly blog or site is welcome to join.
    • Your post must include the giveaway hop image, the linky or a link to the host site & must be live by 12:01 AM on February 29th.

    Please mark your calendars. A reminder email will be sent out about a week before the hop starts.

    To enter please add your blog to the linky with your shipping information in parenthesis after your blog name.

    If you have any questions email Kathy at toobusyreading-at-gmaildotcom

    Monday, February 6, 2012

    Must Read Monday: Anne of Green Gables

    Here's a meme that's quite fun and clever .. Must Read Monday by Fans of Fiction. Go HERE to join the fun.

    The goal of this meme is to find those books others are excited about to add to your To Be Read list.
    Instead of answering a question, you are basically creating intrigue for other hoppers. What makes your book so swoon-worthy? What do you absolutely have to mention so they'll read it?
    On your post, you'll make an acrostic puzzle (think of it as an overview/book blurb type of thing).
    When you leave comments on other posts, be sure to mention whether you're adding that book to your TBR pile, and what part convinced you to do so.
    It's all about powers of persuasion, people:) You might have to think a little, but channel that inner-creative goddess (or god)

    This week's topic: (a little twist) A fictional character you'd want as your best friend (the acrostic can be the name, but make sure to mention the title of the book in your post).

    Anne of Green Gables (Puffin Classics)

    (my review)

    Anne would be my choice for a fictional best friend. 
    Never a dull moment hanging out with her!
    None whatsoever.  Because see, Anne with an
    E is adventurous,

    Outgoing, imaginative, feisty, funny, and down right
    Fun!  Our days would be full of

    Giggling and chatter.  We'd be
    Right in the middle of trouble, but Anne with an
    E would be able to charm us out of it.  How
    Exceptionally cool is that!?
    Nifty I say, nifty.

    Green Gables is a great place to hang out too.
    A definite beauty of a town.
    Boys there can be mean but there's cute ones too!
    Lots of spunk this my fictional best friend Anne with an
    E because being an orphan didn't break her. 
    See, she stole my heart and she will steal yours!

    P.S. I want to give a thank you shout out to Brandi @Blkosiner's Book Blog for showing me how to cut and paste a Goodreads image (and more).  One initial question ended up to several but she was such a dear to promptly reply to all of them.  Thanks Brandi! :)

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