Saturday, June 30, 2012

The Last Boy by Jane Leavy




Release Date:
November, 2010

Synopsis from

Jane Leavy, the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller Sandy Koufax: A Lefty's Legacy, returns with a biography of an American original—number 7, Mickey Mantle. Drawing on more than 500 interviews with friends and family, teammates, and opponents, she delivers the definitive account of Mantle's life, mining the mythology of The Mick for the true story of a luminous and illustrious talent with an achingly damaged soul.

Meticulously reported and elegantly written, The Last Boy is a baseball tapestry that weaves together episodes from the author's weekend with The Mick in Atlantic City, where she interviewed her hero in 1983, after he was banned from baseball, with reminiscences from friends and family of the boy from Commerce, Oklahoma, who would lead the Yankees to seven world championships, be voted the American League's Most Valuable Player three times, win the Triple Crown in 1956, and duel teammate Roger Maris for Babe Ruth's home run crown in the summer of 1961—the same boy who would never grow up.

As she did so memorably in her biography of Sandy Koufax, Jane Leavy transcends the hyperbole of hero worship to reveal the man behind the coast-to-coast smile, who grappled with a wrenching childhood, crippling injuries, and a genetic predisposition to alcoholism. In The Last Boy she chronicles her search to find out more about the person he was and, given what she discovers, to explain his mystifying hold on a generation of baseball fans, who were seduced by that lopsided, gap-toothed grin. It is an uncommon biography, with literary overtones: not only a portrait of an icon, but an investigation of memory itself. How long was the Tape Measure Home Run? Did Mantle swing the same way right-handed and left-handed? What really happened to his knee in the 1951 World Series? What happened to the red-haired, freckle-faced boy known back home as Mickey Charles?

"I believe in memory, not memorabilia," Leavy writes in her preface. But in The Last Boy, she discovers that what we remember of our heroes—and even what they remember of themselves—is only where the story begins.

My thoughts:

I’m a huge Yankee fan. My father grew up during the Mantle era, I grew up in the 70’s. I heard so many amazing things about Mickey Mantle and he was a great player. No denying that, but as a person, he was human. He cheated on his wife, who continued to stand by him until his death knowing that he cheated on her. He drank to the point of destroying his health. He ignored his children during the years they needed him the most.

It’s really a sad story. Mantle found out too late what was really important in life. From the sounds of the book, Mantle had quite a few regrets in life. Very very sad.

None of the stuff was really new to me. I had heard about all of it at one time or another, but I’m from New York and we hear about everything.

However, I liked the way the story unfolded in the audio version. The narrator alternated between the author and John Bedford Lloyd. Both of them kept my interest as I listened to this in the car. Once the book was over, I just felt sad. The man wasn’t a hero, he was a flawed human being.

For reading challenge:

2012 Audio Reading Challenge

FTC Disclosure: I took this book out from the library for my own enjoyment.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Book Giveaway


I'm happy to announce, with the help of Rafflecopter, that we have a winner for this book. The winner is...


An email has been sent.

Thanks to all who participated!


The Friday 56

This is a fun meme to do hosted by Freda's Voice. If you'd like to join on the fun go to The Friday 56.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

It's that simple.

This week I'm reading...

"Pardon the interruption," she said to Brenda sue. "I just really wanted to tell Maria again how sorry I am about Rusty. A mother should never have to bury her child."

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Follow Friday Four Fill In Fun Blog Hop - Week 69

This is a fun meme and it's hosted by Hilary at Feeling Beachie. Check out her lovely blog, if you'd like to participate.

This week’s statements

1. My cats make me laugh

2.  Thinking about the recent loss of my kitty Geiger makes me sad

3. My cats look very happy after I return home from work.

4. When I hear music (oldies) I feel so calm.

Theme Thursdays - TREES Plant; Shrub

Theme Thursdays

This is a new meme hosted by kavyen at Reading between Pages.. “Theme Thursdays” will be open from one thursday to the next and anyone can post it. The rules are simple:

* A theme will be posted each week (on Thursday’s)
* Select a conversation/snippet/sentence from the current book you are reading
* Post it and don’t forget to mention the author and the title of the book
* Since we may take a few days to finish a book, this event is open for one whole week

This will give us a wonderful opportunity to explore and understand different writing styles and descriptive approaches adopted by authors.

This week’s theme is – TREES Plant; Shrub

I'm reading....

Near the back of the greenhouse she spotted a large area cordoned off with rope. Inside were rows of shrubs, a few she recognized as oleanders by their pretty white flowers. Beyond those were large pots of unfamiliar vines.

Booking Through Thursday-First Teacher

If you'd like to join in on Booking Through Thursday, just click the button above.

This week's question...

A while ago, I interviewed my readers for a change, and my final question was, “What question have I NOT asked at BTT that you’d love me to ask?” I got some great responses and will be picking out some of the questions from time to time to ask the rest of you. Like now.

Margaret asks:

Who taught you to read?

My answer...

Good question...I have no idea. LOL Neither of my parents or my brother are into reading. I'm the only one who has ever been into reading. I'm thinking it's because I've always been an introvert and reading is something you do by yourself. I was always a big TV watcher, too. I'm thinking it was my outlet for escapism - TV and books. I just discovered them on my own.

funny cat pictures - I'm awake....
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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Cat Thursday - June 28th

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! This fun meme is hosted by The True Book Addict. Go over to her site to join in the fun.

funny cat pictures - You'd fink dey'd hab wun at da playground.
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays - June 26th

If you'd like to play along on Teaser Tuesdays, just click the button above.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week I'm reading...

"You're looking at the new permanent culinary reporter for the Ranchero Globe." Jordan McAllister bent over in an exaggerated bow.

"What? That old bat kicked the bucket?" Victor Rodriguez threw his arms in the air. "Yea!"

Musing Mondays - Reading Goals

If you'd like to play along on Musing Mondays, just click the button above to join in.

This week’s musing asks…

Do you set goals for yourself, while reading? For example, "I want to get this book finished this weekend", or "I will read __ pages today", etc. Why, or why not?

My answer... Yes, I do set reading goals mainly because of the review requests and blog tours. I'm trying so hard to catch up on all the review requests that I have that I feel as if I have to have a goal, such as "I'll finish this one this weekend." It doesn't always work, but I try.

I have a calendar that I use to track what I'm going to read each month (I never read all that's listed, but at least it shows me what needs to be done.) This is extremely hard for a moody reader like me. I like to decide what to read based on how I'm feeling. I do hope I'll eventually get back to that.

How about you? Do you have reading goals?

funny cat pictures - Anyone can look cool,  but awesome takes practice
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

For Whom The Funeral Bell Tolls by Livia J. Washburn

Cozy Mystery

EBook (also available as paperback)


Release Date:
February 2012

Divorcee Delilah Dickinson runs her own literary tour group. With the help of her daughter and son-in-law, Delilah leads groups of tourists on exciting vacations. This time, her group heads to Key West, Florida where they plan to visit the home of the legendary Ernest Hemingway.

Everyone loves Delilah’s literary tour groups, except for one small thing. Someone always turns up dead and it somehow ends up in Delilah’s lap to find out the culprit. She prays this trip will be different.

Of course, things never quite go as planned. One member of her group prides himself on knowing everything about Hemingway’s life and is so obsessed with the late author, that he appears to have committed suicide. They fear he had been trying to recreate Hemingway’s real suicide.

It doesn’t take Delilah long to figure out that this is another murder, and not a suicide, that happens on her watch. As she worries about the future of her travel company, she’s also concerned for the safety of her clients as well as herself. In the midst of the craziness, she finds herself attracted to the owner of the resort, which makes her even more anxious to discover who the murder is in order to prevent his resort from suffering from the bad publicity.

This is the fourth book of Livia J. Washburn’s “A Delilah Dickinson Literary Tour Mystery” series and what fun it is! I didn’t read the first three, although I do have them in my TBR and really need to read.

Check out these covers and titles:

“For Whom the Funeral Bell Tolls” is a quick read with a crazy cast of characters. Delilah is a strong, feisty heroine and the setting of Key West is perfect. I’ve been there myself and loved every minute of it. This book transported me back to this beautiful resort town. The plot moved along at a good pace, but I must admit, I did figure out who did it but I didn’t realize it until two-thirds of the way through.

I love the premise of these books and I think it’s a unique idea to base it on a tour group dealing with famous literary figures. I love the hobby-related cozy themes, but this was different and grabbed my interest immediately. I’m looking forward to reading the backlist.


FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own. 

For reading challenges:

 2012 Cozy Mystery Reading Challenge
Cruisin’ Thru the Cozies Reading Challenge
2012 E-Book Reading Challenge

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

This meme is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading is where we share what we read this past week, what we hope to read this week…. and anything in between! D This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from!

I finished reading...

I'm currently reading...

and listening to...

Next up? These two books are next on my list...

What are you reading?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Friday 56

This is a fun meme to do hosted by Freda's Voice. If you'd like to join on the fun go to The Friday 56.

*Grab a book, any book.
*Turn to page 56.
*Find any sentence that grabs you.
*Post it.
*Link it here.

It's that simple.

This week I'm reading...

From page 56 of the ebook...

The crazy thought that it was like a scene from a movie struck me as the two of them faced each other. I felt like the camera should zoom in on each of them in turn as they squinted at each other, while Spaghetti Western music welled up in the background.

Follow Friday Four Fill-In Fun Blog Hop - Week 68

This is a fun meme and it's hosted by Hilary at Feeling Beachie. Check out her lovely blog, if you'd like to participate.

This week’s statements

This week’s statements:

1. I love a quiet night reading.

2. If I could go anywhere I would go on a cruise around the world.

3. When I grow up, I want to be happy with the choices I've made in life.

4. The best trip I ever took was with my hubby to California.

funny cat pictures - Why can't you just read Harry Potter or The Hunger Games like all the other kids?
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Corpse in the Crystal Ball by Kari Lee Townsend (Book Giveaway! Review, Guest Blog)

Cozy Mystery

Berkley Prime Crime

Release Date:
June 2012


Sunny Meadows moved to the quaint upstate New York town of Divinity in hopes of living a quiet life away from the hustle and bustle of her parents’ New York City lifestyle. She is finally away from their conservative ways and can live the life she wants as the town’s psychic. Unfortunately, things didn’t quite turn out the way she expected when she found herself in the middle of a murder investigation and she was the main suspect. Fortunately, she has been cleared of all murder charges and is now free to begin her new life. Of course things don’t always go as planned…

Sunny’s parents send Granny Gert to live with her temporarily while Granny’s home is being repaired. Granny loves Divinity and especially loves Sunny’s cat Morty. During the day she dresses him in a new handmade bowtie everyday, at night she puts him in nightclothes complete with a night cap. Morty is tolerant of the older woman, but Sunny knows this won’t last forever. Besides, Morty is a mystical cat and just being nice.

Sunny is all set to rekindle her relationship with the sexy detective Mitch Stone, but his beautiful ex-girlfriend, Isabel, shows up in town and she’s sure she has no chance with him now. When Isabel disappears and is later found dead, Mitch becomes the prime suspect in her murder.

Against Mitch’s wishes, the police use Sunny’s psychic abilities to solve the case, while Mitch is suspended and has to sit back and watch. Not the best situation for either of them. As more twists and turns are thrown their way, Sunny is convinced she can never have Mitch’s love but that doesn’t stop her from wanting to prove his innocence. She knows he is no killer.

As the evidence piles up against Mitch, Sunny does some of her own investigating which leads to her own life being put in jeopardy. With the help of her disappearing cat, wacky grandmother and a town firmly on her side, she can’t lose or can she?

Corpse in the Crystal Ball is the second book in Kari Lee Townsend’s “A Fortune Teller Mystery” series and it’s even better than the first, which I loved. You can read my previous review here. I absolutely love the addition of Sunny’s Granny Gert. What a hoot! I love everything about this series from the quaint town to the crazy characters to the mystery to romance. It’s so much fun watching as it all unfolds. I can’t wait for the next one!


Disclosure: A review copy was provided by Berkley Prime Crime in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

For Reading Challenge:

2012 Cozy Mystery Challenge
Cruisin’ thru the Cozies Reading Challenge
Where are you reading challenge?

National Bestselling Author, RT Reader’s Choice Award & Agatha Nominee Kari Lee Townsend lives in Central New York with her very understanding husband, her three busy boys, and her oh-so-dramatic daughter, who keep her grounded and make everything she does worthwhile…not to mention provide her with loads of material for her books. Kari is a longtime lover of reading and writing, with a masters in English education, who spends her days trying to figure out whodunit. Funny how no one at home will confess any more than the characters in her mysteries!
Kari writes fun and exciting stories for any age, set in small towns, with mystical elements and quirky characters as Kari Lee Townsend. Kari also writes romantic comedies and women’s fiction with the same sense of humor and quirky characters as Kari Lee Harmon.
To find out more about Kari and all her books go to or click on the links below:

Kari Lee Townsend (Website & Newsletter & Facebook & Twitter)
National Bestselling Author of The Fortune Teller Mysteries
Best Amateur Sleuth of 2011 RT Reviewers' Choice Nominee
Best First Novel Agatha Award Nominee
CORPSE IN THE CRYSTAL BALL - June 2012 (preorder now)
DESTINY WEARS SPURS (by Kari Lee Harmon) (Kindle )
PROJECT PRODUCE (by Kari Lee Harmon) (Kindle )

Now...a great interview from the author with her hero Mitch Stone...

Kari Lee Townsend gets the Scoop from Mitch

Kari: Alright, Detective Stone, I have to ask. Do you still have feelings for Isabel or not?

Mitch: Isabel and I go way back, but our romantic involvement has been over with for a long time. We were kids when we were together. Why do you ask?

Kari: Well, because, I just talked to Sunny.

Mitch: I don’t like the sound of this already.

Kari: Why do you say that?

Mitch: Hey, she’s the one who said we could only be friends. That wasn’t easy for me to hear. I was kind of into her, you know what I mean? But a man’s ego can only take so much. I accepted it, but I’ll be damned if I’ll play nice in the sandbox now.

Kari: You men, you’re so stubborn. Can’t you see home base is ready and waiting for you to slide into?

Mitch: What are you talking about? I don’t even like baseball. I’m more of a football sort of guy.

Kari: Okay, then tackle her. Whatever. Just do something or you’re going to lose her?

Mitch: Who?e home base is dbox now. of into her, you know what I mean? But  for a long time. We were kids when we were together.

Kari: Well, you don’t have to shout. If you don’t know “who,” then you have bigger problems than I thought. Just because I’m the author doesn’t mean I should have to spell everything out for you.

Mitch: Isn’t that your job?

Kari: You of all people shouldn’t be telling people how to do their jobs. No wonder Sunny gets so frustrated with you.

Mitch: Oh, so now we’re back to her?

Kari: We never left “her,” you numbskull. I think it’s time I revisited my character sketches.

Mitch: You do that. In the meantime, I’ve got a case to solve.


Now, for a book giveaway.  Would you like to win a paperback copy of this book for your own?  Thanks to Kayleigh at Berkley, I have one copy to offer.  
To enter fill in the form below and follow these simple rules:

1) The contest runs from midnight (est), June 21st to midnight (est) on June 29th.

2) Entrants must fill out the form below to enter the giveaway.

3) US Residents only.

4) For an extra entry - follow this blog either through GFC or subscribe through email. Yes, longtime followers count, just tell me how you follow.

5) For an extra entry - Leave a comment telling us if you ever had your fortune told.

6) For an extra 2 entries blog about this contest on your blog.

7) For an extra 2 entries, check out the post for this book at my Socrates' Cozy Cafe blog and comment on it.

8) For an extra 2 entries, follow my other blog Socrates' Cozy Cafe and let me know how you follow it. Yes, longtime followers count, just tell me how you follow.

I will notify the winner once one is chosen by Rafflecopter. The winner will have 48 hours to claim their book or a new winner will be chosen.

Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Cat Thursday - June 21st

Welcome to the weekly meme that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s). It's all for the love of cats! Enjoy! This fun meme is hosted by The True Book Addict. Go over to her site to join in the fun.

funny cat pictures - Whutchu  mean ,  time  to  get  up  and  do  some  work ?
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Who Murdered the Ghost? By Ellie Oberth




Release Date:
August 2011

In the first book of the Hazel Cartbell mystery series we are introduced to Hazel and her superior Chief Rasmussen. Together, they are on the job and investigating the mysterious happenings in the small New Hampshire town.

When they are called to investigate the ghost sightings at the Old Center Cemetery, they are skeptical. They wouldn’t even have bothered investigating if the sighting hadn’t been reported by Sister Marie Catherine. At 92 years of age, the nun is not someone you ignore. So, off the two law enforcement agents went and are more than shocked to discover an actual dead body.

It turns out the victim is a young girl and a member of the wealthy Gallagher family whose patriarch recently died. Calling in help from her younger brother, who studies genealogy, Hazel and Rasmussen find themselves in the middle of a family with huge secrets. Could one of those secrets have led to murder?

This is a short story which can be read in an hour or so. It’s just as well the story is a short one, because once you get started you won’t want to put it down. However, I do admit that I wish the story was longer – I’d love to learn more about Hazel, her brother and Chief Rasmussen. The author gives us just enough tidbits to keep readers enthralled, but also wanting for more. She creates a wonderful cast of characters that I intend to revisit.

The story itself is fast-paced and, as a reader, it’s fun to unravel the story as Hazel and Rasmussen put all the pieces together.

FTC Disclosure: The author provided me with a copy of this book to review. This did not influence my thoughts and opinions in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.