2011 Challenge Wrap Up

Each year I’ve participated in few challenges. In 2011 I signed on to:

The 2011 Reading From My Shelves Project

The Reagan Arthur Books Challenge

The War & Peace Read Along

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So these were very relaxed challenges.If you click on The Reagan Arthur Challenge link above you’ll see I read only two books this year. One was sent to me by the publisher and the other I bought. I enjoyed both books.

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The War & Peace Challenge was supposed to end today but several weeks ago I received an email saying it would be extended to mid-2012. That’s all I needed to hear! Since I’m on page 1061 of 1215 I hope to finish it well before June.

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Now lets talk about the 2011 Reading From My Shelves Project. I’ve joined the past couple of years and was content with the 20+ books I cleared off my shelves each year. Silly me. I think for every book I cleared off the shelves four more appeared. How does that happen?!! That is the reason I’ve decided to make 2012 the year of reading mostly from my shelves. I’ll read a few review books but only books I really, really want to read.

That’s my plan. Thank you so much for visiting Bookfan this year. I love your comments and book suggestions, etc.

I wish you all a New Year filled with good health, good friends, and good books to read.

Happy New Year!

Trouble at the Wedding by Laura Lee Guhrke

Title:  Trouble at the Wedding

Author:  Laura Lee Guhrke

Genre:  Historical Romance (series)

Published:  December 2011 – Avon

About:  (back of the book) Annabel is about to marry the perfect man… The last thing Miss Annabel Wheaton desires is true love. She learned the hard way that love makes a woman foolish and leads only to heartache. That’s why she agreed to marry an earl who needs her money. He’s got a pedigree and a country estate, and he won’t ever break her heart. There’s only one problem…

Christian isn’t about to let her marry that pompous prig… Christian Du Quesne, Duke of Scarborough, thinks the stubborn heiress is about to make the biggest mistake of her life, and he’s determined to stop her. Tempting beautiful women is Christian’s forte, after all. When her family offers him a nice sum of money to stop the wedding, he’s happy to accept. Falling in love with Annabel was never supposed to be part of the bargain…

My take:  Trouble at the Wedding is the third book in the Abandoned at the Altar series. If you haven’t read the first two books don’t worry – this can be a stand alone novel. The primary characters are all new. I do recommend you read the other books just because they are so good.

I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. I love the 1904 time period and it was fun reading a historical romance with an American heroine. Annabel is beautiful and has a strength of spirit and will that charms the reader. That said, she does suffer from the wish to be accepted by old money New Yorkers. She’s a “new money, Mississippi nobody” – and they don’t let her forget it. So when she has a chance to move up in the social world by marrying an English earl she grabs it. She doesn’t want to marry for love anyway. Her father never loved her mother which made her mother miserable. Annabel refuses to make that mistake. What she didn’t count on was meeting Christian…

Laura Lee Guhrke has a gift for creating strong yet flawed characters. I enjoyed how Christian and Annabel worked through their challenges. There are a few scenes that made me laugh out loud and one or two that were quite emotional. It’s a historical romance so you know there’s a HEA. The fun is in how they get there.

Recommended to fans of historical romance and the author. I look forward to reading more of Laura Lee Guhrke’s books.

Source:  Avon

Disclaimer:  See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.

Mailbox Monday – December 26



Hosted in December at Let Them Read Books

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The Book of Holiday Awesome by Neil Pasricha – a giveaway win from the publisher via Jenny at Take Me Away. Thanks, Jenny!

Charlotte Figg Takes Over Paradise by Joyce Magnin (Kindle freebie)

Murder of a Bookstore Babe by Denise Swanson (I bought it)

Angel’s Rest by Emily March (giveaway win from the publisher)

What was in your mailbox?

The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures by Caroline Preston

Title:  The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt: A Novel in Pictures

Author:  Caroline Preston

Genre:  Sequential Art; Historical Fiction

Published:  October 2011 – Ecco

About:  (from the book flap):  For her graduation from high school in 1920, Frankie Pratt receives a scrapbook and her father’s old Corona typewriter. Despite Frankie’s dreams of becoming a writer, she must forgo a college scholarship to help her widowed mother. But when a mysterious Captain James sweeps her off her feet, her mother finds a way to protect Frankie from the less-than-noble intentions of her unsuitable beau.

My take:  I’ll just start by saying The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt is one of my favorite books of 2011. It is Frances Pratt’s story told through her scrapbook. Caroline Preston compiled a wonderful array of 1920s memorabilia from the US and France. Each page is a feast for the eyes that conveys Frankie’s story as she moves from high school graduation to Vassar to New York City to Paris and back home again.

I was surprised by the emotional connection I felt to Frankie given the unusual style of this novel. Frankie’s notes, photos, souvenirs, etc. tell a personal and complete story of the first part of her adult life that demands re-reading just to take it all in. I love that! This is definitely one for my keeper shelf. Recommended.

Source:  I bought it.

Disclaimer:  See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.

Book Blogger Holiday Swap – Secret Santa gifts

Several days ago I received a package from my Book Blogger Holiday Swap Secret Santa. Inside I found three books that have been on my wish list for a while. I’m really looking forward to reading them in the new year.

Click each cover for more information.


Thank you to my Secret Santa: Barbara.

I also want to thank the coordinators of the BBHS:


Mailbox Monday – December 19



Hosted in December at Let Them Read Books

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The Shell Keeper by Robin P. Nolet : I bought it after reading this review. Thanks to Dar for bringing it to my attention.

Unraveled by Courtney Milan: It’s the third in a series – can’t wait to read it!

Hometown Girl by Mariah Stewart: Giveaway win from the publisher and Kaye at PudgyPenguinPerusals. Thanks, Kaye.

Lady of the English by Elizabeth Chadwick: a Christmas exchange gift from my friend Sherri.

The Misremembered Man by Christina McKenna: a Kindle Daily Deal, one of the few I’ve picked up but couldn’t resist the Ireland setting.

What was in your mailbox?