Friday, March 15, 2013

GoodBye Over Here Hello Over There!

I have been blogging on this site for about 4 or 5 months and in that time I have already learned a ton! I have spent a great deal of time reading other blogs trying to pick up tips and tricks. I was reading thru some old posts on a site and the person said it would be a good idea to try out more than one blogging site. I thought that sounded like a great idea so I did it. I started my blog over on word press and well I think I really like it at least or now. I enjoy the ability to customize stuff over here but the rest of wordpress so far seems to be a better fit. So having said that I am moving some of the content that I put up over here over there and all the new stuff will appear there from now on. If you happen upon this site and like what you see feel free to come on over to booksandbackstreetboys on wordpress.

See you there!!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday

This weeks Top Ten Tuesday is
Top Ten Books At The TOP Of My Spring 2013 TBR list!
Go on over to The Broke and the Bookish to check out this weekly meme they created

So this was a bit difficult as I am watching Sean possibly make a huge mistake on the Bachelor and that is pulling some of my blogging attention! It was also diffucult because I have so many books on my Spring TBR that this could be a top twenty or more instead of just a top ten.
So here is today's list of top ten books but next week it could shift all around and I may remember some other book I just have to read now.
I decided to go with books I want to read and not books that will be released this Spring as I rarely read new releases.

10. Meridian by Alice Walker
The fact that I haven't read anything by Walker is so embarrassing for me. I found this at a used book store and picked it up  just based on the fact that it's Alice Walker. This might be the very next book I pick up.

9.The Warmth Of Other Suns by Isabel Wilkerson
I have recently been interested in all things dealing with the great migration. How come this isn't something that's covered  in history class? Did I miss that day or what? Anyway the book I am reading right now (Long Distance Life by Marita Golden) is also dealing with the great migration. I just can't get enough of this subject. 

8. The Cutting Season by Attica Locke
This has everything I need in a book. Antebellum mansions in New Orleans, an old mystery surrounding a missing slave, a dead body with no explanation. I have really high expectations for this one.
7. NW/On Beauty by Zadie Smith
To be honest I am ready to read anything by Zadie Smith. I hear really amazing things and I am ready to dive into something that I think will be pretty great.

6. The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln by Stephen L. Carter
This book sounds awesome to say the least. This is a what if Abraham Lincoln survived the the assassination and then 2 years later is dealing with an impeachment trial. Abigail Canner a 21 year black woman becomes part of his defense team and later becomes involved in the murder of Lincolns lead council. I have read one other Carter book and his writing is not for the faint of heart. He can be wordy but if you pay attention it is worth it in the end.

5. Kindred by Octavia Butler
I have read maybe a handful of Sci Fi books in my life and I can honestly say it's not my genre of choice. However, the premise of this book is so intriguing. Dana a women living in modern day California is somehow jerked back to antebellum south. There is more to it of course but just that alone made me want to read this book.

4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
I have had this one on my TBR literally for years like more than
 I can't exactly say why it's taken my so long to read it but I think I have always felt that it might be boring. I think what has pushed me to really go for it and read it is the fact that I want to read the Eyre Affair and I heard from several people that there are spoilers in it. So I will be reading this soon so I can read that soon.

3. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
Why haven't I read this one yet? I saw the movie forever ago and I watch it anytime it comes on I even own it. ROUS'S anyone!! I think I am scared that this won't be as amazing as the book and I will be disapointed in it. I hope I am wrong and I will be finding out in the next month or so I think!

2. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Seriously why haven't I read this one either? I really don't need to say anything about this one. If you haven't read this you have probably seen the movie or at least know of it. If you haven't seen the movie though what are you doing stop and go watch it now!! 

1. Jubilee by Margaret Walker
This is the true story of Margaret Walkers great-grandmother Vyry.
Vyry was the daughter of a white plantation over and his black mistress. I just happened upon this one in a used book store and the cover lured me in and then the story made me buy it. This is maybe the one I am looking forward to the most.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Mini Reviews

In the months of January and February I read a couple of books that while I like didn't do enough for/to me to warrant a whole review so here are just some short thoughts on them

Anne Of Avonlea
L.M Montgomery
#2 In the Anne Of Green Gables Novels
Click here  to read the synopsis on goodreads
Click here to see it on Amazon

I read Anne of Green Gables sometime in 2012 and unfortunately I was underwhelmed. I say that because I had my expectations super high maybe too high. I absolutely unabashedly love and adore the Anne of Green Gables miniseries with Megan Follows. I watched that when I was a very little girl and fell head over heels in love with everything about it especially Gilbert Blythe. So I had my expectations unrealistically high and the books were bound to be at least a bit of a let down.
Anne Of Avonlea picks up right where Gables left off. I won't say much as it's a sequel and could ruin some plot points for people. The bottom line is these books are sweet. Maybe too sweet in fact. I think the problem is how earnest Anne is which isn't a bad thing especially considering when they where written it's just so in your face that it becomes a teeny bit annoying at times. I will continue on with the series because I love the idea of Anne and Gilbert and I want to know how the book ends their story. I think this is a case of reading the books at the wrong time in life. I know that had I read these when I was in grade school or before I watched the miniseries I would feel differently. I feel like I missed out on what these books could have been to me and that makes me kind of sad.

Outside Beauty
Cynthia Kadohata
Click here  to read the synopsis on goodreads
This is one of about 4 books I have read in the last 2 months that deal with both not so great parents and that is classified as a coming of age book This deals four sisters and their beautiful mother and a family tragedy of course. Theirs is not a good mother or an attentive mother she in fact is just plain bad at being a mother. Each girl has a different father each father is completely different from the others. Their mother spends most of her time collecting and then discarding men. She is obsessed with being beautiful and having men  fall in love with her and give her things. The story is really about these four girls and the unshakeable bond they have with each other. As with most coming of age stories there is a family tragedy that shakes up the world these girls live in and tests the bonds they share with each other and their mother. This was entertaining and had some really great side character's. One of the girls fathers was an interesting and likable character and I would have loved to have more of him in the book. I really enjoyed the book but the end kind of fell flat for me it was tied up to neatly.  Overall I enjoyed the book and I will probably pick up other books by Cynthia in the future.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Ten Ways To Anger the Backstreet Boy Fan In Your Life

Here is my list of ten different things you can say and or do to anger (ok ok P!$$ off ) the Backstreet Boy fan in your life.  Well at least this one anyway.
Hell hath no fury like a Backstreet fan scorned!!

1. Refer to them as the backdoor boys or backstreet girls or any number of unfunny names designed to put them and ultimately me (the fan) down
Ha Ha we get it and we've heard it. It wasn't funny 20 years ago when they first started and it ain't funny now. Not to mention (except ima mention it) it's not even original anymore.

2. Tell me THEY sound like One Direction, The Wanted or any other new(ish) group out there
What you might mean (if indeed you think they sound alike) is that One Direction sounds like the Backstreet Boys since they were touring the world before Harry could walk.

3. Ask me when they got back together
For the record they NEVER BROKE UP! Kevin left the group 7 years ago but the other 4 stayed together. Why do I have to keep saying this people?? WHY???

4. Tell me all "Boy" Bands sound the same
Really? I can't ! I don't! Really? Just NO!!

5. Bring up the whole Paris Hilton thing as some sort of statement about Nick as a person and BSB as a group
Yeah we know he dated Paris Hilton. He is over it I am sure she is over it and we (the fans) are so over it. You should get over it too!!

6. Ask me which one is gay and then laugh like you made a joke
It's 2013 gay isn't an insult (or it shouldn't be) anymore.  Grow UP!

7.Tell me such things as they haven't released any albums or toured in years! Seriously someone said this to my face! With their face!

My pocketbook (do people still say pocketbook anymore? Besides me?) begs to differ. I sure have shelled out quite a chunk of change on these nonexistent albums and tours just in the last 3 years.

8. Tell me no one buys their music anymore
For the record ( I am putting a lot of stuff on the record today y'all) every Backstreet Boy album including the collab album with NKOTB has debuted in the top 10 on the charts. Just let that sink in. No really let it sink in before you continue. Also 130 million + albums sold so there's that!!

9. Tell me they are too old to still be doing this
First of all there is no age limit on good music. Second of all they aren't old. Third of all ever heard of the Rolling Stones, or Tina Turner. Fourth of all Gwen Stefani is 40. I rest my case.

10. Give me the old "They don't make real music" line
Really cuz they really sing it with their real voices and it's really live when they are in concert! What exactly is real music anyway seriously can someone explain that to me?? Their music has really lasted 20 years. I would say it doesn't get much more real than that!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Book Review #7 Squalor, New Mexico

Squalor, New Mexico

Written By Lisette Brodey
Published March 18th 2009
Published By Saberlee Books

Darla McKendrick is nine when she first hears her mother and her aunt Didi secretly discussing their younger sister, Rebecca, speculating about her life in squalor. From the moment Darla asks to know more about her mysterious aunt, she is offered nothing but half-truths, distortions, and evasions.
As Darla grows into her teen years, her life is oddly yet profoundly affected by this woman she has never known. She can't help but notice that Rebecca seems to exist only in dark corners of conversations and that no one ever wants to talk about her - with Darla.
Squalor, New Mexico is a coming-of-age story shrouded in family mystery. As the plot takes twists and turns, secrets are revealed not only to Darla but to the "secret keepers" as well. Darla learns that families are only as strong as the truths they hold and as weak as the secrets they keep
(synopsis from goodreads)

I came across this book on Amazon and thought based on the title that it would be about New Mexico. It isn't. 
This is a coming of age story and it's the 3rd one i have read this month it's also my favorite of the three. The story is told from the point of view of Darla starts when she is nine and ends when she is 17. She lives with her mother and father and is really close to her 3 cousins named April,May and June. One day Darla walks in on her mother and aunt discussing their little sister Rebecca and this peaks an interest that Darla can't let go of. Rebcca seems to have some strange hold over the entire family including Darla's aunt and uncle the mother and father of her three cousins. With the help of Darla's 3 cousins and best friend Melanie the secrets surrounding Rebecca gradually come to light and ultimately all the secrets are revealed towards the end of the book.
I can't really say more than that (and there is so much more) as it would ruin all the awesome dark family secret stuff.
This book was excellent it made me angry, sad, frustrated and happy I even laughed out loud in several places and cried at the end. Darla is a pretty typical teenager melodramatic and bratty at times but overall she tries to be a good person most of the time. Her three cousins seem on the surface to be almost too good to be true especially for teenage girls but, there is so much more to them. The parts of the book that made me frustrated actually had to do with both sets of parents. Darla's mother and father were kind of pathetic. Her father is a giant stick in the mud and not in the way that every teenager thinks their father is a stick in the mud but for real!! Her mother seems to have no backbone and is more concerned with appearances than real life. Darla's aunt is a stage mom to April, May, and June and is only concerned  with the next show the girls will be performing in. The girls father is basically non existent in their life and lets his wife push him around. Seriously every book I have read recently has terrible parents in it! 
The central plot revolves around Rebecca the secret aunt even though she lives somewhere else and none of the girls have ever met her. Darla spends her time thinking about this secret aunt and it sort of takes over her life and the lives of her entire family without anyone even being conscious of it. Darla enlists the help of her cousins and her best friend Melanie to uncover the secrets of Rebecca and this takes her entire family on this crazy emotional journey with results no one could have seen coming.
There is so much more to the book than that but to give any more detail would ruin things for you. At times I thought I had the secret of Rebecca figured out but I didn't although I was in the ballpark. The end of this book was so good and emotional I just loved it. This is a book I will probably re-read at some point and I think I might love it even more when I do. 
Bottom line read this book because it is amazing.
I gave it 5 out of 5 stars on goodreads.

Friday, March 1, 2013

We Are Getting A Star

Photo taken from

A star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame that is. I say we but I mean the Backstreet Boys of course. I am not actually getting the star myself or anything. April 20th 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of the Backstreet Boys and on April 22nd they will be given the star in a fancy pants ceremony. In order to celebrate the star there will be about 4 days of as of yet unrevealed festivities in L.A.  The only thing we know right now is there will be a party to celebrate on anniversary day and the star ceremony on the walk of fame. Hopefully they will also be doing some kind of performance maybe along the lines of the acoustic events they have held in the past. Either way I hope to be there to celebrate right along with a bunch of other die hard fans. Whatever happens it should be UHMAZING! You can sign up here to receive up to the minute information regarding the 20th anniversary celebration fun.
Read more here and take a look at all the latest Backstreet News!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Book Review #6 Silver Sparrow

Silver Sparrow

 Written By Tayari Jones
Published 2011 by Algonquin Books

This photo is from Oprah's website where apparently it was one of the books they loved in 2011
This was a book on the clutch magazine's 2013 reading challenge at #25.
It was also the group read for January but I was a bit late. 

Set in a middle-class neighborhood in Atlanta in the 1980s, the novel revolves around James Witherspoon's two families;the public one and the secret one. When the daughters from each family meet and form a friendship, only one of them knows they are sisters. It is a relationship destined to explode. This is the third stunning novel from an author deemed one of the most important writers of her generation  (Synopsis from goodreads)

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It made me sad in places and there were several things in the book that made me want to pull my hair out. The subject matter is something I find incredibly interesting and while I have watched several movies surrounding it I have never read anything on it.
So the story is split into two parts told from the perspective of both of Jame's daughters. The first half told by Dana Lynn the secret daughter and the second told by Bunny the" legitimate" daughter. James meets Dana's mother (Gwendolyn) after he has been married to Bunny's mother (Laverne) for 10 years. Gwendolyn is well aware of the marriage but starts a relationship anyway. From the time Dana is little she is aware that her father has another family and that no one can know about her or her mother. The only other person who is truly aware of what's going on is James best friend Raleigh. Raleigh helps keep James secret and fills in for him in Gwendolyn's and Dana's lives. Dana and Bunny are born only months apart and grow up in close but separate circles. Eventually they meet and that has some major consequences for everyone.
Throughout Dana's life she takes a back seat to Bunny without Bunny even knowing. At one point Dana wants to go to a science camp but can't because Bunny is already going. Later Dana decides what college she wants to go to and the reason it's OK is because James is pretty sure Bunny wants to go somewhere else.
I can't say that I actually liked one single character in this book. I feel sorry for some of them and I outright despise others. James is a truly pathetic father he makes no bones about the fact that he has chosen Bunny over Dana. I tried but could not find a single redeeming quality in James. Raleigh is a kind man but kind of a drip. He seems to lack a back bone and I really dislike people without spines. Gwendolyn is perhaps my least favorite character. She walked right into this situation and then allowed her child to suffer because of it. The author gives some perspective on why Gwendolyn did what she did and I can understand it what I can't understand is why she stays in the situation! Don't get me wrong James is truly awful but as bad as it's sounds I often expect men to be jerks. A mother that won't stick up for her child that I can't get behind. Laverne is a times sympathetic and pathetic. I think she might at least suspect that James is cheating but you never actually get the answer to that. She makes a decision at the end that really bothers me and makes me end up disliking her. Bunny and Dana are the real innocents in this whole story and I felt for both of them for different reasons. Neither of them was truly likable but they did come off sympathetic and I really wanted things to workout for them. 
At the end of the day I don't have to like characters to like a book. These characters may not be likable but they are well written and sometimes complex.This book caught my attention right away and I couldn't put it down. I ended up finishing this book in a day. The ending prevented me from giving this 5 stars . I felt like after all the depth the book had given up to that point it just left us with nothing at the end.
I gave this 4 stars on goodreads