Saturday, January 31, 2009

We have a winner!

Using, the winner of The Shiniest Jewel is Patty!


I'll be hosting more giveaways throughout the year.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Dear Fatty by Dawn French

366 pages
Challenges - In Her Shoes and 100+ challenge

This book came out just before Christmas and there was a lot of hype about it being fabulous, so I was desperate to read it. My friend Jo over at Crafting and Allotmenting kindly lent it to me and I devoured it very quickly.

Many of my overseas readers probably won't have a clue who this lady is, but over here she is a much loved British icon. Dawn French is part of one of our most longest serving comedy duo's French and Saunders who have been making people laugh for 30 years now. Jennifer Saunders had a hit programme with Absolutely Fabulous, which I think was aired in America.
Dawn has also had a very successful acting career, her most famous role being Geraldine Granger in the Vicar of Dibley, which is one of those comfort TV programmes that you can watch over and over again, a bit like Friends, Frasier and even Only Fools and Horses.
Dawn is also married to another very famous comedian, Lenny Henry, who figured quite heavily in my childhood viewing in the late, great Tiswas. Find me a 30+ British person who never watched Tiswas on a Saturday morning whilst growing up, and I will throw custard pie at them! Only joking!
Dawn's autobiography was as good as people said it was. It had me laughing so much, that my settee would not stop shaking and my husband refused to sit next me. She comes across as a warm, lovely,kindhearted person, who you would just love to know and have as your best buddy.
She has written the book in the form of a series of letters to different people who are important to her. A lot are addressed to her father who committed suicide when she was nineteen. She also writes a lot to Fatty, who is her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders, who isn't large at all.
I loved this book completely, I loved reading about their obsession with getting Madonna on their show for the last 30 years, always being turned down. I loved reading about their Comedy Strip days which were a big part of my television viewing whilst growing up. I loved that they wanted her in Mama Mia, but her singing was beyond awful!
I hav included some pictures. The top one shows Dawn with her husband Lenny. The next one show Dawn as Geraldine Granger and the third is a picture of her with her comedy partner Jennifer Saunders.
If you are looking for a warm, light hearted read, I would definitely recommend this book.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Our first book giveaway!

The Shiniest Jewel: A Family Love Story (2008)
Marian Henley
176 pages
Received from Library Thing Early Reviewers.

I can't say enough good things about this touching, beautiful memoir. At 49, Marian Henley realizes that though she may not ever marry her longtime boyfriend, Rick, she wants to be a mother. The Shiniest Jewel details her journey to adopt her son William from Russia. Told in graphic novel format, this thought-provoking memoir made me realize how much some mothers go through to do adopt. I know it will be on my top 10 books of 2009.

As a way of saying thank you for joining this challenge, I decided to host a giveaway for all of you participating this year. To enter your name in the drawing, please leave a comment letting me know you want it. I'll randomly draw a name next Saturday.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A River of Words

Written by Jen Bryant (July 2008)
Illustrated by Melissa Sweet
34 pages
2008 Cybils nominee for best poetry

A River of Words tells of the poet William Carlos Williams' life from childhood until he's an adult. Bryant shows the reader where Williams grew up, how he fell in love with poetry, and where his inspiration from his poems came from.

This is a book for all ages. I read it to my oldest son and he loved hearing about Williams going after what he wanted, becoming a busy doctor, who still found the time to do what he loved: write poetry. The book was so nice we read it over again once we finished it the first time.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Finished 2008 "In Their Shoes" Reading Challenge

Thanks to Vasilly from 1330V for hosting "In Their Shoes" reading challenge. In this challenge, we read memoirs, autobiographies and biographies. I read seven books for this challenge in 2008!

My Selections

1) Cross Creek - Marjorie Rawlings (review)
2) Marley and Me - John Grogan (review)
3) Ecology of a Cracker Childhood - Janisse Ray (review)
4) Resistance: A Woman's Struggle and Defiance in Occupied France by Agnes Humbert (review)
5) The Faith of a Writer: Life, Craft, Art - Joyce Carol Oates (review)
6) Negotiating With The Dead - Margaret Atwood (review)
7) An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination - Elizabeth McCracken (review)

Favorite: An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken (hands down!)

A great challenge from a great blogger friend - thanks, V!