Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday - September 30

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My "can't-wait-to-read" selection for this week is:

Under the Dome by Stephen King

Release: November 10, 2009

I have read Stephen King since I was a teenager and this sounds really good. It's going to be a big one too - goodreads says 1120 pages! Wow. I absolutely cannot wait.

About the book:

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when -- or if -- it will go away.

Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens -- town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -- even murder -- to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.

So what are you waiting on this week?

Book Review: Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

My rating: 5.0/5.0
This is a completely engrossing book.

About the book:

Clay Jensen returns home from school to find a mysterious box with his name on it lying on his porch. Inside he discovers 13 cassette tapes recorded by Hannah Baker his classmate and crush who committed suicide two weeks earlier. On tape, Hannah explains that there are thirteen reasons why she decided to end her life. Clay is one of them. If he listens, he'll find out how he made the list. Through Hannah and Clay's dual narratives, debut author Jay Asher weaves an intricate and heartrending story of confusion and desperation that will deeply affect teen readers.

My Review:

I sat down really unsure if I wanted to read this book. At it's core is a teen suicide and I didn't think I would like a book that sounded that depressing. But it has lots of great reviews so I checked it out from the library and then sat down to read it. I'm glad I did because this book is wonderful.

At the heart of this wonderful young adult novel is a set of tapes that is going around between the people that Hannah Baker thinks was responsible for her giving up on life. The book begins when Clay Jensen receives the tapes and starts listening to them. Through the tapes we learn about the big and little things that caused Hannah to make the decision to commit suicide.

It's very eye-opening and I think all ages (teenager and above) can get something out of this. I think it shows so well that even the little things we do matter to someone else. I know I was moved by this book and it's message and story will stay with me for a long time to come.

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Review Copy Arrival: The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice

The Church of Facebook: How the Wireless Generation Is Redefining Community

The Church of Facebook by Jesse Rice

This timely release explores the community-altering phenomenon of social networking sites and what it reveals about friendship, God, and our own hearts.

With hundreds of millions of users, social networks are changing how we form relationships, perceive others, and shape our identity. Yet at its core, this movement reflects our need for community. Our longing for intimacy, connection, and a place to belong has never been a secret, but social networking offers us a new perspective on the way we engage our community. How do these networks impact our relationships? In what ways are they shaping the way we think of ourselves? And how might this phenomenon subtly reflect a God who longs to connect with each one of us?

The Church of Facebook explores these ideas and much more, offering a revealing look at the wildly popular world of online social networking.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

ARC Arrival: The Last Word by Kathy Herman

The Last Word: A Novel (Sophie Trace Trilogy)

The Last Word by Kathy Herman

Received from Audra Jennings at The B&B Media Group.
Publisher: David C. Cook
Release: October 1, 2009

Police Chief Brill Jessup is being stalked by an ex-con she helped convict fifteen years earlier for second degree murder. Since being released from prison, he’s attacked four people. Two are dead, including her former partner and one of her detectives. Law enforcement agencies in the region have joined forces to find him before he can make good on his courtroom threat to get even with everyone involved. Meanwhile, Brill’s 20-year-old daughter Vanessa comes home from college for the summer and reveals a shocking secret that turns her family’s life upside down. Brill and her husband Kurt struggle to deal with the shattered hopes and dreams they had for their daughter, and things get worse when Vanessa's psychology professor disappears without a trace and Brill finds out he's deceived Vanessa—and she could be in danger. An FBI friend uses his vacation time to watch Brill’s back, but the ex-con determined to kill her has been unstoppable each time he has gone after a target. Brill must face her own mortality and trust that God’s plan for her life will unfold exactly as He has ordained. Based on Romans 1:16. "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes…"

ARC Arrival: The Blue Umbrella by Mike Mason

The Blue Umbrella: A Novel

The Blue Umbrella by Mike Mason

Received from Audra Jennings at The B&B Media Group.
Publisher: David C. Cook
Release: October 1, 2009

An orphan faces an evil magician in this literary fantasy for readers of all ages that probes the depths of good and evil.

The life of ten-year-old Zac Sparks changes overnight when his mother is killed by lightning. He's sent to live in Five Corners with his Aunties, two cruel old hags who obviously don't like him. It isn't long before Zac knows something really strange is going on. Five Corners is populated with weird characters--a midget butler, a girl who doesn't speak, a blind balloon seller, and a mysterious singer who is heard but not seen. Then there's the Aunties' father, Dada. Zac's first encounter with Dada is so terrifying he faints dead away.

The one bright spot is Sky Porter, the proprietor of the general store across the street, a friendly soul who encourages Zac--when the Aunties aren't looking--and shows him a kindness that is sadly lacking from his dismal life. But Sky isn't what he seems either, and when Zac learns Sky's amazing secret he realizes, to his dismay, that this wonderful man may have a very dark side as well.

Discovering that Dada is an evil magician who has found a way to live forever, Zac knows many lives are at stake, including his own. With time running out, he must turn to the one person who might be able to help: Sky Porter. Can Zac trust him?

Fall Into Reading Challenge 2009

The Fall Into Reading Challenge is hosted by Callapidder Days and can be found here. At her blog you can find the rules (pretty much make a list of your books, make a post, submit the link to mr. linky and read).

I joined in the Spring Reading Challenge as I was just restarting my blog so I am looking forward to being a part of the Fall Reading Challenge. So check out my list and then go check out Callapidder Days blog for more lists and join in yourself. After I finish this post I'm off to start checking out lists so I can add to my want list :)

I'm only listing my first 20, I'll add more as I think of them. I'll link to reviews here as I finish them.
  1. The Season by Sarah MacLean - read 9/23/2009
  2. Only In Your Dreams by Cecily Von Ziegesar - read 9/24/2009
  3. Give Up the Ghost by Megan Crewe - read 9/25/2009 - review
  4. Luv Ya Bunches by Lauren Myracle - read 9/26/2009 - review
  5. Silent Killer by Beverly Barton - read 9/28/2009 - review
  6. Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain - read 9/30/2009 - review
  7. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis - read 10/2/2009 - review
  8. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith - read 10/4/2009 - review
  9. Against All Odds by Irene Hannon - read 10/5/2009 - review
  10. Stretch Marks by Kimberly Stuart - read 10/7/2009 - review
  11. Blue Bloods by Melissa de la Cruz - read 10/8/2009 - review
  12. Would I Lie to You by Cecily von Ziegesar - read 10/8/2009 - review
  13. Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris - read 10/9/2009 - review
  14. Hell's Gate by Stephen Frey - read 10/12/2009 - review
  15. The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane by Katherine Howe - read 10/18/2009 - review
  16. The Last Word by Kathy Herman - review - read 10/18/2009 - review
  17. See Mom Run: Side Splitting Essays from the Worlds Most Harried Blogging Moms by Beth Feldman - read 10/20/2009 - review
  18. Nine Dragons by Michael Connelly - read 10/20/2009 - review
  19. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare - read 10/22/2009 - review
  20. Love You To Death by Shannon K. Butcher - read 10/23/2009 - review
  21. The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson - read 10/24/2009 - review
  22. Spinning Forward by Terri Dulong - read 10/24/2009 - review
  23. Maze of Bones (39 Clues book 1) by Rick Riordan - read 10/25/2009 - review
  24. Always Watching by Brandilynn and Amberly Collins - read 10/26/2009 - review
  25. Purity in Death by J.D. Robb - read 10/27/2009 - review
  26. Last Breath by Brandilynn and Amberly Collins - read 10/27/2009 - review
  27. Sex, Drugs and Gefilte Fish - read 10/28/2009 - review
  28. The Betrayal of Natalie Hargrove - read 10/30/2009 - review
  29. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins - read 10/31/2009
  30. Austenland by Shannon Hale - read 11/1/2009 - review
  31. The Sugarless Plum - read 11/2/2009 - review
  32. The Christmas Clock by Kat Martin - read 11/3/2009 - review
  33. Love's Reflection by Carol North - read 11/4/2009 - review
  34. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney - read 11/5/2009 - review
  35. The Clique by Lisi Harrison - read 11/5/2009 - review
  36. Best Friends For Never by Lisi Harrison - read 11/6/2009 - review
  37. Revenge of the Wannabes - read 11/7/2009 - review
  38. A Courtesan's Scandal - read 11/11/2009 - review
  39. Invasion of the Boy Snatchers - read 11/12/2009 - review
  40. The Secret of Joy by Melissa Senate - read 11/13/2009 - review
  41. Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz - read 11/15/2009
  42. The Cutting by James Hayman - read 11/17/2009 - review
  43. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis - read 11/18/2009 - review
  44. I Heart Bloomberg by Melody Carlson - read 11/19/2009 - review
  45. Love Finds You in Lonesome Prairie, Montana by Tricia Goyer and Ocieanna Fleiss - read 11/20/2009 - review
  46. Sole Survivor by Dean Koontz - read 11/20/2009
  47. Fatal Gamble  by J.P. O'Donnell - read 11/22/2009 - review
  48. Sins of the Flesh by Caridad Pineiro - read 11/25/2009 - review
  49. 13 1/2 by Nevada Barr - read 11/27/2009
  50. One False Note by Gordon Korman - read 11/29/2009 - review
  51. Matters of the Heart by Danielle Steel - read 12/5/2009
  52. Tempted by P.C. and Kristin Cast - read 12/7/2009
  53. Revelations by Melissa de la Cruz - read 12/9/2009
  54. Blind Sight by James H. Pence - read 12/10/2009 - review
  55. The Magic Warble by Victoria Simcox - read 12/11/2009 - review
  56. A Precious Jewel by Mary Balogh - read 12/12/2009 - review
  57. A Blue and Gray Christmas by Joan Meldicott - read 12/13/2009 - review
  58. Southern Lights by Danielle Steel - read 12/14/2009 - review
  59. Wisdom Hunter by Randall Arthur - read 12/15/2009 - review
  60. The Sheriff's Surrender by Susan Page Davis - read 12/18/2009 - review
  61. A Highlander Christmas by Janet Chapman - read 12/19/2009 - review
  62. Once A Witch by Carolyn MacCullough
  63. The Maze Runner by James Dasher
  64. The Well-Behaved Child by John Rosemond
  65. The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
  66. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Review and Giveaway - Luv Ya Bunches by Lauren Myracle

Luv Ya Bunches: Book One Luv Ya Bunches: Book One by Lauren Myracle

My rating: 4.0/5.0
A very cute book meant for tweens. I remember how important friends were in 5th grade so I really enjoyed this book.

About the book:

What do Katie-Rose, Yasaman, Milla, and Violet all have in common? Other than being named after flowers, practically nothing. Katie-Rose is a film director in training. Yasaman is a computer whiz. Milla is third in command of the A list. And Violet is the new girl in school. They’re fab girls, all of them, but they sure aren’t friends. And if evil queen bee Medusa— ’scuse me, Modessa—has her way, they never will be. But this is the beginning of a new school year, when anything can happen and social worlds can collide . . .

My Review:

Ms. Myracle takes four girls who differ in race, family and even religious beliefs and makes a story where through a challenge they become friends. I believe the age group this is intended for can learn a lot from this book about who your real friends are. And I believe that girls reading this will be well entertained. I know I was. I really liked each of the characters and liked how they brought their own set of problems to the table. Even the perfect popular girl had problems and I think this can help younger girls see that no one is perfect and everyone wants to have good friends that they can count on. I do hope this is the beginning of the series because I look forward to learning more about Katie-Rose, Yasaman, Violet and Milla.

There are a couple of questionable to me passages that made me laugh out loud, but I'm not sure I want to explain them to my child at that age. But those would be my only problem with the book.

Unfortunately I have boys so I can't pass this on to them, but I am sure that any 4th or 5th grade girl that enjoys reading will enjoy reading this book.

On-sale Date: October 1, 2009

Also I would like to give away my copy which is an arc. I will open the contest today through October 5th. US and Canada residents only please. Please enter by:

  • Commenting on my blog, make sure I have a way to contact you. (+1)
  • Become a blog follower or let me know if you are already a follower (+2)
  • Have you read any books for tweens? What is one you would recommend? (+3)
  • Tweet about this review and giveaway, use @cfulcher in the tweet so I can find it (+3) (1 tweet allowed per day)
  • Follow me on Twitter (or let me know if you are a current follower) (+2)
  • Blog about this contest and let me know the link (sidebar or post is fine) (+1)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mailbox Monday - September 28th

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. To see this weeks list of participants go here.

ARCs of:

Wins I received:

Sunday, September 27, 2009

***I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any other way except receiving the book for free.  I do not receive money for my amazon links since I live in NC (something about some law), so they are up purely for my readers to have a place to check out the book.***

The Sunday Salon - September 27

Another busy week - we had FIL over on Wednesday night to celebrate his birthday and then the usual school and kids things along with me having a MRI done on Thursday morning. It's a quiet weekend though with my parents keeping the children, so I have read and sewn and spent time with DH. It's been nice.

I read several great books this week, mainly young adult. Here's what I finished:
  • The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (library)
  • Beyond the Highland Mist by Karen Marie Moning (audio)
  • The Season by Sarah MacLean (library)
  • Only In Your Dreams by Cecily von Ziegesar
  • Give Up The Ghost by Megan Crewe (1-Arc-Tours)
  • Luv Ya Bunches by Lauren Myracle (review)
All the books I read this week I really enjoyed. I am so glad I tried out the Highlander series by Karen Marie Moning finally - I really liked this one and can't wait to read the next one. I am also anxiously awaiting Catching Fire to see what happens next. I got my gossip girl fix, read a historical young adult novel, a tween book and also a paranormal young adult. It was a very interesting reading week.

I'm currently reading:
  • A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve (review)
  • Silent Killer by Beverly Barton
  • Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris (audio)
  • The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (audio I listen to with DS in the van)
  • Season premiere of House on Monday
  • Survivor on Thursday
  • 4 episodes from House season 2 Friday night
  • 3 episodes of Friends Season 3 Saturday while sewing
  • 4 episodes of Project Runway, the current season, I had to catch up, while sewing
That's pretty much it for my week. I've been organizing books and rethinking my tbr piles. I'm a planner but I never seem to follow through - I'm working on that though.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Win Arrival: Vampire Diaries: The Awakening by L.J. Smith

I won this through a twitter contest with the publisher and I'm excited. Somehow I missed these when they were first published and I was actually a teenager. But the new tv show on the CW has reignited the interest in this series and brought them to my attention and I can't wait to read them.

A deadly love triangle

Elena: beautiful and popular, the girl who can have any boy she wants.

Stefan: brooding and mysterious, desperately trying to resist his desire for Elena . . . for her own good.

Damon: sexy, dangerous, and driven by an urge for revenge against Stefan, the brother who betrayed him.

Elena finds herself drawn to both brothers . . . who will she choose?

ARC Arrival: Nibble & Kuhn by David Schmahmann

Nibble and Kuhn by David Schmahmann

Publisher: Academy of Chicago Publishers
Release Date: November 1, 2009

Two likeable newcomers learn the ropes of corporate law at Nibble & Kuhn - and fall in love - just as that most proper of Boston's venerable firms comically tries to 'rebrand' itself for the Google era. Pompous and arbitrary, the ruling junta of partners at N&K saddles Derek Dover with a high visibility lawsuit just weeks before trial. The diligent young attorney arranges things so that Maria Parma, his sassy aristocratic girl friend, also gets named to the case. Maria can't keep her hands off Derek...but it's complicated because she's engaged - and has been engaged - to another pedigreed European; it's painful because she will not consummate the relationship yet does nothing to discourage Derek's powerful attraction. As Derek prepares his arguments on behalf of seven young victims of industrial polluters, his anxieties about his career and his torments over Maria's mixed messages only increase. Have his eccentric WASP superiors handed Derek a 'toxic' case to ruin any shot at becoming a partner? How can he get his opponents to settle - the outcome the presiding judge all but demands - unless his unorthodox 'expert witnesses' perform with enough gravitas to match that of the other side with its Harvard Medical School scientist? Ultimately, Derek sets in motion a line of inquiry that spins events entirely out of the control of judge, jury, and any and all attorneys. "Nibble & Kuhn" presents a clever, eviscerating critique of lawyering and corporate politics at a self-important 'white shoe' firm, with its two appealing main characters trading repartee as they negotiate law and love.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Review: Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

rating: 4.0/5.0

Book Descripiton:
In this Jane Austen-inspired comedy, love story, and exploration of identity and destiny, a modern LA girl wakes up as an Englishwoman in Austen's time.

After nursing a broken engagement with Jane Austen novels and Absolut, Courtney Stone wakes up and finds herself not in her Los Angeles bedroom or even in her own body, but inside the bedchamber of a woman in Regency England. Who but an Austen addict like herself could concoct such a fantasy?

Not only is Courtney stuck in another woman's life, she is forced to pretend she actually is that woman; and despite knowing nothing about her, she manages to fool even the most astute observer. But not even her love of Jane Austen has prepared Courtney for the chamber pots and filthy coaching inns of nineteenth-century England, let alone the realities of being a single woman who must fend off suffocating chaperones, condomless seducers, and marriages of convenience. Enter the enigmatic Mr. Edgeworth, who fills Courtney's borrowed brain with confusing memories that are clearly not her own.

Try as she might to control her mind and find a way home, Courtney cannot deny that she is becoming this other woman-and being this other woman is not without its advantages: Especially in a looking-glass Austen world. Especially with a suitor who may not turn out to be a familiar species of philanderer after all.
I enjoyed this book. I liked the Courtney is thrown back in time to the era she adores in literature. I also loved her humor as she navigated a completely foreign world without daily bathing and simple hygiene that she was familiar with. I also really liked the way she dealt with Jane's mother.

A very cute, amusing story and I was always wondering what would happen next. Was Mr. Edgeworth a good man or a scoundrel? Will Courtney return to the 20th century. Can she love again after being left by her fiancee? It was a very enjoyable story that produces swoon-worthy moments and laugh out loud moments.

For those that love Jane Austen books - this is a fun book and a fun look at Austen-era society.

Binding: Trade Paperback
On-sale Date: May 2008
Publisher: Plume
Pages: 304

Review Copy Arrival: Defenders of the Scroll by Shiraz

Defenders of The Scroll by Shiraz

Publisher: iUniverse
Release: June 29, 2009

A teenage boy.A dark wizard.A mystic scroll. And the fate of a world hangs in the balance. . . When Alex "the Axeman" Logan is pulled from his world to help young princess Dara save her kingdom from the Shadow Lord, he thinks there has been a mistake. He's a teen guitar player close to failing 11th grade, not some defender of the realm. All he has are some school books, his wits, and his love of fantasy movies. Overnight his life is history. Alex must confront the Shadow Lord and his minions when he is thrust into a land that has changed from a magical paradise to a barren, hopeless, helpless realm invaded by a dark army. But Alex is not alone. He has the help of Dara, a magic scroll, and a band of unlikely companions drawn from his own history books: a hardened Roman Legionnaire, a swift Japanese Samurai, a mighty African Warrior, a fiery Amazon Archer, and a spirited Shaolin Monk. Can Alex become more than he believes and lead his small band of Defenders to the Hall of Shadows, the birthplace of the Shadow Lord? The fate of the realm and everyone in it rests on him.Winner in the Fantasy category of the 2009 National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist in the Action-Adventure and Young Adult Fiction categories of the 2009 National Indie Excellence Awards Finalist in the Multicultural Fiction and Best Overall Design Fiction categories of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards Honorable Mention in the Sci-Fi category of the 2009 New York Book Festival Honorable Mention in the Sci-Fi and Teenage categories of the 2009 Beach Book Festival Honorable Mention in the Wild Card category of the 2009 San Francisco Book Festival

About the Author
Shiraz was raised just outside Toronto, Ontario and like the characters in this book, currently has no home. His life as a software developer has allowed him to live on four continents and keeps him moving almost every year. While he has had a passion for writing since he was eight, this is his first published work.

Review Copy Arrival: The Well-Behaved Child by John Rosemond

The Well Behaved Child by John Rosemond

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Release: October 13, 2009

A parenting workshop in a book!

The biggest frustration felt by today's parents is in the area of discipline. Family psychologist, best-selling author, and parenting expert John Rosemond uses his thirty-six years of professional experience working with families to develop the quintessential "how to" book for parents. Rosemond's step-by-step program, based on biblical principles, traditional parenting approaches, and common sense, covers a wide range of discipline problems applicable to children from toddler to teen.

Sections include:

  • Essential Discipline Principles
  • Essential Discipline Tools
  • Perplexing Problems and Simple Solutions
  • Not Your Everyday Problems
  • General Questions and Answers (Troubleshooting)

Filled with real-life examples that anyone who's ever been around children can relate to, this book is sure to be one of the most valuable, helpful resources parents have ever stumbled across.

Review Copy Arrival: Ecoholic by Adria Vasil

Ecoholic (when you're addicted to the planet) by Adria Vasil

Ecoholic is an eye-opening guide to separating the green from the greenwashed in the maze of products lining our shelves. Unlike other eco guidebooks, Ecoholic names names and gives you the dirt on what not to buy and why, as well as the dish on great clothes, beauty products, home supplies, and more.

We all know that the earth is in trouble, but we’re often left scratching our heads over how to change things. How do we avoid poisoning the planet and ourselves with the products we slather on our scalps and squirt onto our floors? And what safe alternatives actually get the job done?

Filled with tips on everything from which seafood is safe to eat to getting the hormone disruptors out of your kids, your carpets, and your love life, Ecoholic is a witty and indispensable guide to the small ecochoices that make the biggest difference.

A bonus article from the author:

Green Report Card: Is Your Child's School Flunking the Environment?
By Adria Vasil,

Author of Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products & Services

You'd think schools would be role models for good behavior now wouldn't you? Oh sure they might talk a good game about the importance of recycling paper and protecting polar bears, but are they walking the walk? Not if they're leaving the lights on day and night, spraying the school grounds with toxic pesticides and mopping up with hormone-disrupting chemicals! Here's a subject-by-subject breakdown on how your kid's school might be failing the planet, as well as some pointers for helping them boost those grades.

Grassy school yards see a lot of activity, so no matter how old the students (and teachers) are, toxic pesticides shouldn't be sprayed on school grounds. Many are linked to cancer, neurological damage, and developmental problems. Youngest kids are the most vulnerable because their organs can't easily eliminate toxins from their systems and their nervous systems are still developing. After several incidents of chemical pesticides like Roundup wafting into school vents, kids swallowing insecticide granules, and fumigants making students sick, the federal government was kicking around a bill (the School Environmental Protection Act) that would force schools to notify parents when pesticides were used on school property, but the bill didn't get enough votes to pass.

Room for improvement:

  • Ask your school/school board about their pesticide policy. Demand that students and parents be notified before bug-killing chemicals are used.
  • Press school leaders to establish an integrated pest management policy that looks at switching to safer options. The Environmental Protection Agency recently asked schools to do so by 2015 (google School IPM 2015 for details), but if you want it to happen sooner, you'll have to push for it.
If your child's school says it's too cash-strapped to bring on earth-friendly changes, remind them that going green can actually save them serious coin. One out of every four dollars that schools spend on electricity is needlessly wasted on inefficient boilers and leaving lights on, according to the US Department of Energy. Check if your school has an action plan for cutting back on excess energy use.

Room for improvement:

  • Make sure programmable thermostats are set no lower than 75°F in the summer and no higher than 70°F in the winter.
  • Be light-bright: switch to ultra efficient compact fluorescent, T8 bulbs. Install motion sensors and timers to save even more.
  • Post signs above monitors and switches reminding students to switch off computers and lights at lunch and recess. Consider installing motion sensors or timers on lights.
  • Get schooled on the benefits of upgrading computers: Energy Star models can save up to $55 a year in energy. For more tips, see the US Department of Energy's

No doubt, kids are messy, but did you know each student churns out about half a pound of garbage per school day? Multiply that by all the students in America and we've got some serious landfill clogging going on.

Room for improvement:

  • Are there recycling bins in every class and hallway? The easier they are to find, the more likely they are to be used.
  • Are printers and photocopiers loaded with 100% recycled paper high in post-consumer content? Ask about a paper-saving policy for teachers and students.
  • Is the school composting? Organize food scrap bins in the cafeteria and build a composter outside. Students can spread all the highly nutritious soil it generates on school grounds. Teachers can even work with their classes to build a composter from scratch, as described at
  • Is the cafeteria handing out disposable cutlery and plates? Make sure reusable forks and dishes are promoted and try to ban hard-to-recycle plastics like polystyrene from your cafeteria.

If your older child's school has a cafeteria it's probably serving up a bounty of tantalizingly fresh, local ingredients, right? Fat chance. It probably serves more frozen fries and greasy burgers in a day than you can count. You might have trouble convincing your school to spend more cash on organic goodies, but you may be able to persuade the powers that be to cook with local ingredients (especially in prime harvest season!).

Room for improvement:
  • Encourage the school to set up a farm-to-school program (it's already in 9000 schools!).
  • Look into the possibility of getting students to plant an organic food garden on school property.
  • More and more schools are already serving up certified organic options. Talk to your school about including organics wherever possible.

Gone are the days of teachers cleaning mouths out with soap, but kids are still taking in questionable chemicals every time their school gets cleaned. Petrochemicals, bleaches, and caustic solvents found in industrial cleaning products have been linked to asthma, hormone disruption, and allergies. Back in the 80s, one school janitor collapsed and later died after cleaning a bathroom floor with a product that contained butyl cellosolve (an ingredient still used in professional cleaners today) without any ventilation.

Room for improvement:

  • We've got to be realistic here: your school's not about to switch to baking soda and vinegar. Instead, give school officials a list of eco-friendly institutional cleaning products approved by trusted third-party certifiers like Green Seal (

Getting your school to go fully green can be about as easy as getting a class full of 5-year-olds to sit still. It's even harder when you're just one person, so join forces with a group of like-principled people. Some school boards already have parent environmental networks -- be sure to ask.

Room for improvement:
  • Junior and senior high schoolers can form an environmental club (e-club) with the help of a geography or earth sciences teacher. They can do stuff like assess their school's impact on the earth by measuring its ecological footprint (learn how at
  • Start a Green PTA. If the local PTA isn't keen on going green, concerned parents can start their own coalitions with other conscious moms and dads who want "idling-free" zones outside, Energy Star computers in classrooms and organic milk in the cafeteria.

©2009 Adria Vasil, author of Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products & Services

Author Bio

Adria Vasil, author of Ecoholic: Your Guide to the Most Environmentally Friendly Information, Products & Services, is a best-selling author and journalist for Canada's NOW, where she has been writing the "Ecoholic" column for five years. She lives in Toronto.

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Review Copy Arrival: Love Your Body, Love Your Life by Sarah Maria

Love Your Body, Love Your Life
5 Steps to End Negative Body Obsession and Start Living Happily and Confidently
By Sarah Maria
Published by Adams Media
November 2009;$14.95US/$17.99CAN; 978-1-60550-153-6

Eating Disorders. Steroids. Plastic Surgery.

We'll do anything to look better -- and yet we still feel bad about how we look. Self-loathing has reached epidemic proportions. But there is a way to end self-destructive thoughts and behavior. In Love Your Body, Love Your Life, noted body-image expert Sarah Maria presents her proven five-step plan anyone can use to overcome negative body obsession (NBO). She helps you:

  • Commit to change
  • Identify and detach from negative thoughts
  • Discover who you really are
  • Befriend your body
  • Find your purpose
  • Love your body, love your life
Complete with exercises, case studies, and testimonials, you can learn how to stop obsessing over food and your body and achieve permanent peace with both. You'll banish NBO forever, and feel healthy, radiant, beautiful, and desirable -- every day!

Author Bio
Sarah Maria, author of Love Your Body, Love Your Life: 5 Steps to End Negative Body Obsession and Start Living Happily and Confidently, is the founder of Break Free Beauty (, a company dedicated to helping people love and accept their bodies and discover the beauty that they already are. She is a body-image excerpt, speaker, and coach who speaks and writes on the topics of body image, self-esteem, health, success, and spirituality. Her mission is to empower people of all ages, races, and body sizes to embrace the bodies they have been given and learn to love themselves so they can live their dreams. She has studied and trained with many well-known spiritual and self-help teachers, including Deepak Chopra and physician Dr. David Simon, the co-founder and medical director of the Chopra Center for Well-Being in Carlsbad, CA. She lives in Carlsbad, CA.

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Here is a bonus article by the author:

Go Ahead and Pamper Yourself
By Sarah Maria,
Author of Love Your Body, Love Your Life: 5 Steps to End Negative Body Obsession and Start Living Happily and Confidently

Gone are the days when self-pampering was considered overly-indulgent, self-aggrandizing or narcissistic, right? Well, if those days aren't quite gone for you, hopefully they will be gone by the time you finish reading this post. Here we go:

Many of us have been raised with what I call delusional thought patterns. These are any thoughts that prevent us from knowing and experiencing ourselves as the inherently beautiful, perfect, glorious beings that we are and always have been. These are the thoughts that make us think we shouldn't pamper ourselves. Maybe we don't quite deserve it; maybe we haven't worked hard enough. Maybe we will do it after we have finished this project; perhaps after we take care of everyone else. Maybe then we will pamper ourselves . . .

Here are some of the stories you might be telling yourself:

"Pampering myself is too expensive."

"I should be working instead of playing."

"I should be taking care of the kids."

"I don't really need whatever I think I need."

"I don't deserve to give myself what I really want."

"I should be exercising."

"I should be doing something productive."

Pampering, love, affection, adoration, as if any of this had anything to do with merit! It does not. You don't deserve to be pampered because you have earned it any more than a baby deserves to be fed, clothed, and changed. Consider a baby -- would you ever say "Okay, I am going to feed you because you have been a good baby." You would consider this parent to be completely deluded. You feed a baby simply because that is what should be done when a baby is hungry.

And yet this is the way we think we should love ourselves -- that love and pampering should somehow be based on merit. We think that somehow we should only pamper ourselves when we have done something to deserve it. Wrong! There is no deserving of pampering -- there is simply love longing to be realized. In the same way you would feed a hungry baby, so too should you give yourself what you need and honor the brilliance that you are. Love and pampering should be given to yourself with unlimited abandon -- joyously, endlessly.

And how do you pamper yourself? Give yourself what you need in each moment -- moment by moment. Do you need rest? Plan for rest. Do you need inspiration? Read the books that feed your soul. Do you need relaxation? Get a massage. Do you need clarity? Spend time in silence. Do you need support? Reach out to friends and loved ones. In each moment, life will tell you what you need. Listen. Listen and follow the guidance, the inner-wisdom that is always at your disposal. In every single moment, you have everything you need to give yourself what you need in that moment.

There is nothing more important than your well-being. The better you feel the more you can live the life you want to live. You cannot climb a summit if you are feeling depleted -- you cannot conquer your inner-demons with a fragile and exhausted mind. The most effective people are not those who have been denied love, either by themselves or by others. Study after study demonstrates that the healthiest, most effective people are those who love with abandon. Deserving to be loved, pampered, and cherished doesn't end when we become adults.

Consider this quote from Sri Nisargadatta Maharaj, who has influenced me most profoundly and whom you will see me quote often, since his wisdom is worth hearing again and again:

The unlimited is already perfect. You are perfect, only you don't know it. Learn to know yourself and you will discover wonders. All you need is already within you; only you must approach yourself with reverence and love. Self-condemnation and self-distrust are grievous errors. Your constant flight from pain and search for pleasure is a sign of the love you bear yourself; all I plead with you is this: make love of yourself perfect. Deny yourself nothing -- give yourself infinity and eternity and discover that you do not need them; you are beyond.

You are love yearning for the perfectly lovable, and you, yourself, are the perfectly lovable that you long to experience. Give to yourself with unlimited abandon and you will discover that what you once considered selfish turns out to be the epitome of selflessness, for when you know yourself as love, you love everyone, unconditionally, unboundedly, eternally. You will discover that there never was anyone more deserving of love than you, no one more perfect than you, and no one to love other than yourself. Perfect your love of yourself and you will love everyone and no one perfectly.

©2009 Sarah Maria, author of Love Your Body, Love Your Life: 5 Steps to End Negative Body Obsession and Start Living Happily and Confidently

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Win Arrival: Dark Hunger by Rita Herron

Dark Hunger by Rita Herron

I won this from Nely at All About {n}. Thank you Nely for offering this giveaway.

From Goodreads:

Telepath Quinton Valtrez wants nothing from Annabelle Armstrong except her luscious body. One peek into her mind, however, and he knows that that this CNN reporter has uncovered his identity as a government assassin and is determined to expose all of his dark secrets, one by one. He'll never let that happen, his uncontrollable hunger for her be damned. But when a bomber strikes as they're both in range, killing hundreds, Annabelle devotes herself entirely to the story. Thrown together by danger and desperate to stop the violence, Quinton and Annabelle uncover that the serial bomber is a supernatural attack, perpetrated by an evil force that exerts mind control over people and turns them into killers. But when the forces of evil unite to overpower them, targeting Annabelle in order to ensnare him, Quinton must face his own destiny as one of the Demonborn and join forces with his brother Vincent (from Insatiable Desire) to save Annabelle and fight the evil threatening to overtake them.

Review Copy Arrival: The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks

I received this from Miriam Parker at Hachette Books

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publish Date: September 8, 2009
Seventeen-year-old Veronica 'Ronnie' Miller's life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father ...until her mother decides it would be in everyone's best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie's father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story about love in its myriad forms - first love, the love between parents and children - that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that deeply felt relationships can break our hearts ...and heal them.

Booking Through Thursday - September 24

btt button

Here is this week's Booking Through Thursday question:

What’s the saddest book you’ve read recently?

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

It's an amazing book and it's sad and I could not put it down. I will be putting up a review later this week.

Book Review: The Alibi by Terri Woods

Alibi Alibi by Teri Woods

My rating: 3.5/5.0

Book Description:
Two men think they've found the perfect opportunity--a chance to rob the stash house of Simon Shuller, one of Philadelphia's biggest drug lords. But their plans are spoiled when one of Shuller's men catches them as they break into the stash house. Temperatures flare as the men capture Shuller's worker, Poncho, and force him to show them the goods. What they didn't expect was for Poncho's partner to be armed and very dangerous. An altercation breaks out and when the smoke clears, Nard, Poncho's accomplice, is the only one left standing. Thinking quickly, Nard cleans shop and makes his escape, but not before being spotted by a few neighbors. Not wanting to kill anyone else, he makes a mad dash for the streets but wonders if the witnesses will give up his identity. What he needs now is a plausible alibi. If he doesn't come up with one fast, it could mean life in prison, or death on the streets.
My Review:

This is an interesting review to write. Why? You might ask. Well because I read this book and didn't really enjoy reading it, yet in the end I felt I really got the message of the book. So time was definitely not wasted reading the book and my dislike of it should not factor in because I feel it was one of those that truly didn't appeal to me but I am sure someone else (and maybe everyone else) will love it.

Why didn't I like it - first the language was horrible, and I know it was needed - it was showing a different life than one I am use to, one of a prostitute who was involved with drug dealers. This is not a gentle life and I know it's a tough life and this book gave me some insight into that, but I had a hard time with all of the bad language. Second, it jumped around a bit to much for me. In the end I see where everything was going and it was brilliant, but I couldn't figure any of it out during the book - it all seemed very unrelated. But again that may have been just me.

Why I did like the book - Daisy Mae - she was an exotic dancer/hooker who made the wrong decision at the wrong time and got hooked up being an alibi for someone she never met. As the tides change for Daisy Mae, she grows as a character and I enjoyed watching that growth. Her character was amazing and that is what shines the most to me for this book and why I still recommend this book to others.

I think the description of this book is a little inaccurate - it mainly describes the first 20 or so pages of the book, the real story centers around Daisy Mae who becomes Nard's alibi, and what happens to her after she makes this life-changing decision.

I hope there will be more books with Daisy Mae. If there are I will gladly read them - I would love to continue to see her growth as a person.

Review Book Arrival: Mama Dearest by E. Lynn Harris

Mama Dearest by E. Lynn Harris

Publisher: Karen Hunter
Publish Date: September 22, 2009
One of E. Lynn Harris's incomparable heroines, Yancey Harrington Braxton, is working her way back to Broadway and beyond. And this diva supreme always stirs up drama in and out of the spotlight....

New York City, you've been warned: Yancey Harrington Braxton is back. The ambitious singer and actress is fired up to move past her recent professional and personal setbacks -- including an explosive romance with NFL tight end John Basil Henderson -- and prove her talents are stronger than ever. After being out on tour, Yancey realizes what she really wants is to star in her own reality TV series, and she's even found a rich and well-connected lover to make it happen. There are, however, two women fierce enough to derail Yancey's plans with ambitions of their own: Madison B., a hot new bombshell taking the music industry by storm, and Ava Middlebrooks, who happens to be Yancey's own mama dearest.

Ava is out, about, and ready to reclaim her throne. Not even a stint in prison for attempted murder has curbed Ava's competitive nature, and it doesn't faze her in the least that her #1 rival is her own daughter. Ava is willing to do whatever it takes to make Yancey pay, including using Madison B. to turn Yancey's world upside-down by forcing her to confront the past...and making her comeback dreams more exciting and dangerous than she ever imagined.

Taking readers on a wild, passion-filled tour of the entertainment world, E. Lynn Harris's Mama Dearest delivers sensual thrills and electric plot twists -- with one unforgettable woman of radiant star power, sexual magnetism, and unapologetic ambition at the heart of the action.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

What's On Your Desk Wednesday

Yvonne tagged me for this fun meme...

What's on your desk Wednesday? is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Sassy Brit of . Check her blog out each Wednesday for the post titled What's on your desk Wednesday?

You can do one of two things or both!

1. Grab a camera and take a photo of your desk! Or anywhere you stack your books/TBR pile. And no tidying! Add this photo to your blog.Tag at least 5 people! Come back here and leave a link back to your photo in comments.
2. List at least 5 BOOKISH things on your desk (I'm thinking your TBR pile or books you haven't shelved...) List at least 5 NON BOOK things. (I'm thinking some of some of the more unusual items on your desk/table?) Tag at least 5 people to do the same. Come back here and leave your link, so we can come and visit your blog. Or add your answers in the comments if you don't have a blog.

Thanks Yvonne for tagging me :)

I don't have my camera handy - so I'll have to do the list. I'll count my desk area as the chair I sit in in the living room with my laptop to read and blog.

5 Bookish Things:

1. The Season by Sarah MacLean - my current read from the library
2. My datebook that I keep when I receive my review books and when I need to review them in.
3. A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve - my current review book
4. My laptop since I find more books to read through memes and reviews
5. A basket with one or two more books that are in my immediate to-be-read now pile (right now Ghost of a Chance and The Amen Heresy).

5 Nonbookish Things:

1. TV remote (it's in the basket - it's the one place to keep it that it seems to get back to at least)
2. Pencil box full of pens, pencils, highlighters (I use this with my datebook)
3. Sewing box (it's also my sewing chair)
4. Hand weights - okay this area also houses my weights for working out at home
5. Wii Fit (it's under the chair I consider my desk area - it keeps it out of the way and right there when I need it)

I didn't get around to doing this until later so I'm not going to tag anyone this week, but will tag 5 people next week for this.

Waiting on Wednesday - September 23

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My "can't-wait-to-read" selection for this week is:

Bed of Roses (Bride Quartet #2) by Nora Roberts

Release: October 27, 2009

I finished Vision in White last month and really enjoyed it and can't wait to read more about this group of four friends, their business and their love lives.

Florist Emma Grant is finding career success with her friends at Vows wedding planning company, and her love life appears to be thriving. Though men swarm around her, she still hasn't found Mr. Right. And the last place she's looking is right under her nose...

But that's just where Jack Cooke is. He's so close to the women of Vows that he's practically family, but the architect has begun to admit to himself that his feelings for Emma have developed into much more than friendship. When Emma returns his passion-kiss for blistering kiss-they must trust in their history...and in their hearts.
So what are you waiting on this week?

Book Review: Century: Ring of Fire Book 1 by P.D. Baccalario

Century Book #1: The Ring of Fire Century Book #1: The Ring of Fire by Pierdomenico Baccalario

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Book Description:
Every hundred years, four kids from four cities must save the world.

A mix-up with their reservations forces Harvey from New York, Mistral from Paris, and Sheng from Shanghai to share a room with the hotel owner’s daughter, Elettra. The four kids discover an amazing coincidence—they all have birthdays on February 29, Leap Day. That night, a strange man gives them a briefcase and asks them to take care of it until he returns. Soon afterward, the man is murdered.

The kids open the briefcase. In it they find a series of clues that take them all over Rome, through dusty libraries and dark catacombs, in search of the elusive Ring of Fire, an ancient object so powerful that legend says even a Roman emperor couldn’t control it.

In the first book of the Century quartet, Italian author P. D. Baccalario begins a mystery that will take four cities and four extraordinary kids to solve.
My Review:

A very fun book and very suited for age 9/10 and up. I enjoyed reading about Elettra, Harvey, Mistral and Sheng. Four kids from across the globe who happen to meet in Rome just before New Years and stumble upon a man on the run. The man presents them with a briefcase whose contents they must figure out, and then a short while later the man is murdered. The contents of the briefcase are part of a greater puzzle and it's revelation needs to stay out of the hands of the bad guys. It's a great adventure story that sets up some of the background and helps you get to know the children while they solve the first puzzle.

However the puzzle doesn't end here - it starts with this book which is Eletrra's story and takes place in Rome. I compare it as a kind of The Da Vinci Code for kids, it's simple and easy for them to understand, but complex enough that they will be kept wondering. I know I was kept in suspense through the entire book.

I will look forward to the remaining three books in the series. It sounds like the next one will center around Harvey and take place in New York. It should be good.

If you like a good quick thrill ride then this is a great book for you. If you have children say ages 9 and up, then recommend it to them if they like mysteries and suspense. I know I wish there had been books like this when I was a child.

Review Book Arrival: Across The Endless River by Thad Carhart

Across the Endless River by Thad Carhart

I received this from Ana Suknov at FSB Associates.

Publisher: Doubleday
Publish Date: September 1, 2009
From the acclaimed bestselling author of The Piano Shop on the Left Bank, a historical novel about Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau, the son of Sacagawea, and his intriguing sojourn as a young man in 1820s Paris.

Born in 1805 on the Lewis and Clark expedition, Jean-Baptiste Charbonneau was the son of the expedition's translators, Sacagawea and Toussaint Charbonneau. Across the Endless River compellingly portrays this mixed-blood child's mysterious boyhood along the Missouri among the Mandan tribe and his youth as William Clark's ward in St. Louis. The novel becomes a haunting exploration of identity and passion as eighteen-year-old Baptiste is invited to cross the Atlantic in 1823 with young Duke Paul of Württemberg.

During their travels throughout Europe, Paul introduces Baptiste to a world he never imagined. Gradually, Baptiste senses the limitations of life as an outsider. His passionate affair with Paul's older cousin helps him understand the richness of his heritage and the need to fashion his own future. But it is Maura, the beautiful and independent daughter of a French-Irish wine merchant Baptiste meets in Paris, who most influences his ultimate decision to return to the frontier.

Rich in the details of life in both frontier America and the European court, Across the Endless River is a captivating novel about a man at the intersection of cultures, languages, and customs.

Imagining the Past in Paris
By Thad Carhart,
Author of Across the Endless River

To walk in Paris is to walk through multiple layers of the past, more than 900 years of built history that awaits any stroller. Having lived here for twenty years, I've seen the city change with new roads and bridges, new museums, new rows of apartments. And yet the deep respect that Parisians have developed for what they call their patrimoine, their inheritance, ensures that old buildings are regularly restored and preserved, integrated into the flux of daily life. The look of the city changes subtly, as it has throughout history.

The biggest transformation in modern times was simply the cleaning of the stone edifices of central Paris, initiated in the 1960's by de Gaulle's Minister of Culture, André Malraux. No change could have been more surprising, or more deeply satisfying. When I was a very young boy living in Paris, I was convinced that all of the buildings were made from the same stone, black as night and so softened by centuries of wood and coal dust that the surface was a felt-like matte whose edges looked as if they would soon crumble. This was the "atmospheric" Paris of all those voluptuous black-and-white photos (what blacks and grays there were on every side), the ponderous Paris of Buffet prints and countless tourist posters.

Then the government started to clean the major monuments one by one -- Notre-Dame, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre -- and the transformation was shocking, almost troubling in its strange newness. The buildings of Paris weren't black after all, but very nearly . . . white! It took almost two decades of careful cleaning and restoration, but Paris emerged from the process the albino twin of its former self. To appreciate the contrast, buy a vintage postcard aerial view, dating from 1970 or earlier, at one of the bouquiniste stalls along the banks of the Seine, then compare it with the present-day aerial shot: the era of dirt and grime looks like a photographic negative of the light and airy Paris that current tourists will recognize as the "real" Paris.

Walking, however, reveals just one facet of the landscape. Recently, in researching a historical novel, I needed to imagine Paris as it would have appeared in the 1820s. The first stop for any such endeavor is the splendid Musée Carnavalet, the Museum of the City of Paris, whose collection documents in elaborate and fascinating detail every step of the city's past. As I consulted paintings, prints, and manuscripts, many of the differences were obvious: in 1825 the Champs-Elysées was already a broad, fashionable avenue, but the Arc de Triomphe did not yet grace its rise; the Eiffel Tower wouldn't appear until 1889; and, of course, Beaubourg, the Pyramid of the Louvre, and the Grande Arche, all sturdy Paris fixtures today, would only appear within the last four decades.

Another clear difference was the absence of cars, though factoring them out mentally also involved imagining the presence of horses . . . lots of horses. As I examined the numberless paintings at Carnavalet, I thought a lot about the look, the sound, and the smell of tens of thousands of horses plying the streets of Paris close to 200 years ago. Merely disposing of their manure -- and Paris was very well organized in this department -- was a Herculean task daily. And, just as in our day, when playboys often drive Porsches and tradesmen more likely use vans, the paintings reveal fancy thoroughbreds ridden solo by dandies, sturdy draft horses pulling huge wagons, and bony nags hitched to battered carts.

Perhaps the biggest surprise that comes with seeking the past in the Paris landscape, especially after examining the documentary record, it to realize how little the scale of buildings has changed over the centuries. With two exceptions on the Left Bank (the Tour Montparnasse and the university's Tour Jussieu), no high-rises spoil the illusion in the center of Paris that the modern age has yet arrived. Individual facades, a modern infrastructure, and hordes of cars all tell a different story, but the look and feel of many quartiers -- the Marais and the Latin Quarter are simply the best known examples -- would feel appropriate to a Parisian of the early nineteenth century. This tenuous, heady relationship to the past is often seductive, and yet it can also feel weighty, old-fashioned, and artificial. How long it can prevail in the face of change is anybody's guess.

©2009 Thad Carhart, author of Across the Endless River

Author Bio
Thad Carhart, author of Across the Endless River, is a dual citizen of of the United States and Ireland. He lives in Paris with his wife, the photographer Simo Neri, and their two children.

For more information please visit