Ambassador of Books ~ Book Club Madam ~ Blogger Gal

Thursday, September 18, 2008

House and Home

Before going any farther, take just a minute to watch this book trailer (if you're in Google Reader you'll have to click over to my site I think). It starts with the first paragraph of the book, and boy! that last sentence of the excerpt will catch you.



Ok, so ... what did you think of that?

House and Home by Kathleen McCleary is not a book I would have picked up on my own* but I completely enjoyed it. Let me tell you why.

The main character, Ellen, has just separated from her husband of 18 years. In order to survive financially, she must sell her beloved house and downsize. She is NOT happy about this. My marriage is just fine, thank you. And my house is certainly not beloved. In fact, if you told me that I had to sell it tomorrow, I might even say Thank You.

Ellen is very organized - personally, financially, in her business, everywhere. Yeah, I'm SO.Not. organized.

House and Home is chick lit (good chick lit, but still chick lit). I don't read chick lit. But maybe I just won't admit that I like it because I'm "too smart" for it? Naw, I'd rather just say that this was a lovely book. Yeah, it's just that the book is really good, that's it. It's not me, it's the book!

Seriously though, I couldn't put this book down. I picked it up as a reprieve from the Salman Rushdie book I was slogging through (Midnight's Children, fyi) and found that I just COULD.NOT. put it down. I finished it in two days.

The characters in this book are so alive to me! I "get" them, I know people like them, they could live next door to me (oh please, could they?! They'd be better than some of the crazies in my neighborhood!). Like Ellen, my mom is a thrift store junkie. For me thrifting is torture.** For my mom and the rest of my extended family, it's therapy. My mom even had a room in an antique shop where she would sell her treasures, similar to Ellen's store.

McCleary is in the middle of a book blog tour this month and she's doing guest posts all over the place so you're bound to hear more about her (click here to check out some of her posts). But I get to share something that NO ONE ELSE can: I get to report on her panel at the Baltimore Book Festival on 9/26! Ok, so it's not an official report but she'll be at the same Book Fest where I'll be speaking (albiet on a different day - I'm set for 9/28) and I plan to attend her panel. Maybe I'll have a chance to meet her and get her to sign my book! I can just about guarantee that there will be pictures now that I have a lovely new camera.

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So, to summarize ...
  • Come back for pictures of the author and notes on her panel (it will be some time after 9/28)!
  • Check out more posts about this lovely book!

  • And if you want a glimpse at what life is really like for a newly published author, go read this.
Get it?
Got it!
Good.

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*I read it because the editors of TLC Book Tours asked me to participate in on of their first book tours; since they are both wonderful blogging friends of mine, I agreed.

** For the record, I don't object to thrift stores nor to buying 2nd hand items. What I hate is the time and effort it takes to find things. Some people thrive on it. Me, I DIE from it.

10 comments:

Anna said...

Sounds like an interesting book. Can't wait to see what you have to say about the panel, and congrats on participating in a panel yourself!

Ti said...

This book has been on my radar for awhile now. Thanks for posting the trailer. I had not seen it.

Off topic (sort of) what kind of sweet camera did you get?? I got a really nice "point and shoot" Canon SD 1100IS and it is fabulous because I can fit it in my purse but I am thinking for Xmas that I may want an SLR. What did you get?

Heather J. said...

Anna - Thanks, I'm quite excited about both events!

Ti - Here's link to the camera I purchased. Can I tell you how much I love it?! I can take photos from across a large room (like my church hall) without the flash while using the zoom, and they come out beautifully! I'm so thrilled!

Lisa said...

I would also say that I don't read chick lit, but I have heard good things about this book and I may have to give it a try. Thanks for the review!

Kathy McCleary said...

Heather: It's great you liked the book so much and I love your review. And believe it or not, I don't read chick lit either. I GUESS I write it, but I prefer to think of it as what the Baltimore Book Festival has titled it: "Classy women's fiction." (Sounds great, doesn't it?) I hope your review will encourage others who might not have picked it up to give it a try. Thanks!

Yasmin said...

Okay you got my attention...so much so that even tho' I don't normally blog about books by non-African Americans on my site (because it's an AfAm Lit site...lol)...I had to share this book, your review and the trailer with my team...lol. Thanks for turning me on to another author and another book.

Heather J. said...

Lisa - let me know if you do read it, I'd love to know what you think about it!

Kathy - It's a GREAT book! Thanks so much for stopping by. I look forward to meeting you at the Book Fest.

Yasmin - HA! Now THAT'S why I'm the Ambassador of Books! Thanks for your comment, it really means a lot to know that I got your attention; you have a fabulous blog over at APOOO.

Yasmin said...

Thanks Heather and I heart your reviewing style! Your personality really shines and come through in your reviews! Yes, you definitely earned the title the Ambassador of Books. I plan to attend the B-more Book Festival next week, check out your panel so hopefully we can meet and I can give a big ole APOOO xoxo!

Heather J. said...

Yeah! I look forward to meeting you Yasmin!

Nicole said...

I am so intrigued by this book's premise. I love a lot about my apartment but not enough to destroy it. I think I must not have enough history with it! Very interesting, thanks for the great review.

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