Book Love

Reblogged from Angels With Attitude Book Reviews:

Discussion Widget & BookLikes Theme Store

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Stay busy and chatty and let your blog guests know where you talk about books. Widget with your most recent discussions is ready to go online on your blog page.


New Discussion Widget can be found on Goodies/Widget. If you participate in many discussions, you can choose how many discussion your widget should present.


Discussion widget

The widget reveals link to discussion threads you took part and your most recent post. Discussion title, on the other hand, will take you to user's Discussion statistics.


To add widget to your other webpages, get the code and paste it into your page's HTML. 

To add widget to your BookLikes blog, get the code and paste it into Widget Area in Customization Tab. Remember to Save. 




Go wild with your blog designs. On BookLikes you can choose from 5 free blog templates and 10 paid themes. Pick them in BookLikes Theme Store and Customize with new background, colors and layout. 


You can also create your own theme and share it with BookLikes Community (add new theme). If you have any questions or would like to partnership with us, just drop us a line at


Have a look how some of the themes look online. And if would like to share your blog look, leave link to your BL blog in comments :)



Custom Colours Blog Theme - customized 


OnMyShelf Blog Theme


 Sketch Blog Theme


 Notebook Blog Theme - customized


 Smart Causal Blog Theme - customized


 Bundled Blog Theme - customized


 Bundled Blog Theme - customized


Gentle Spirit Blog Theme - customized


Ribbon Bliss Blog Theme


Flower Power Blog Theme



Clouds Blog Theme


And more at BookLikes Theme Store.

8 Ways to View Your Dashboard

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Dashboard is a place where many book-likes things happen. You see updates from blogs you follow, bookshelf news, reviews, quotes, pictures. Now you can switch between 8 views of your Dash and decide which activities see first.


Your Dashbord has just received several views which present different activities of your Followings. You can switch between them and keep up to date with reviews and bookshelf updates or quickly find inspirational quotes and pics.


We’ve divided Dashboard into eight sections:

- Reviews - all texts marked as a review;

- Text - all published texts;

- Photo - published Photo Posts;

- Quote - published Quote Posts;

- URL - published URL Posts;

- Video - published Video Posts;

- Activity - bookshelf updates and other activity.


Once you select a given view, your Dash will present content from selected section. You can also choose All to see updates from all sections gathered in one place. 



Tag search box works in every view so it will be easy to find e.g.: a given title in a Reviews Dash view. 




To make your Reading Challenge visible on your other webpages go to Goodies/Widgets page, get the code and add it to your webpage's HTML. 



To make Reading Challenge visible on your BookLikes webpage ( go to Goodies/Widgets page, get the code and add it in  Widget Area spot in Customization Tab.


You can place more than one widget code in Widget Area, just paste the codes one under each other. 


Future hint: We do plan some updates for the challenge, e.g. a spot presenting books in a given challenge.


Pic source: via

Empty Mansions

Empty Mansions: The Mysterious Life of Huguette Clark and the Spending of a Great American Fortune - Paul Clark Newell Jr., Bill Dedman

5 Stars - Non Fiction Favorite!!

A glimpse into the past of self-made millionaire WA Clark and family including an elite circle of the mega rich during America's gilded age.  This book follows the eccentric and fascinating, Huguette Clark, and was hard for me to set aside.  It wrapped me up in the story and had me thinking 'Just Imagine...'  

A non fiction book that you don't want to miss!  




The No. 1 New York Times bestseller. Best nonfiction books of the year at Goodreads,, and Barnes & Noble. One of the New York Times critic Janet Maslin's 10 favorite books of 2013.

When Pulitzer Prizewinning journalist Bill Dedman noticed in 2009 a grand home for sale, unoccupied for nearly sixty years, he stumbled through a surprising portal into American history. Empty Mansions is a rich mystery of wealth and loss, connecting the Gilded Age opulence of the nineteenth century with a twenty-first-century battle over a $300 million inheritance. At its heart is a reclusive heiress named Huguette Clark, a woman so secretive that, at the time of her death at age 104, no new photograph of her had been seen in decades. Though she owned palatial homes in California, New York, and Connecticut, why had she lived for twenty years in a simple hospital room, despite being in excellent health? Why were her valuables being sold off? Was she in control of her fortune, or controlled by those managing her money?
Dedman has collaborated with Huguette Clark’s cousin, Paul Clark Newell, Jr., one of the few relatives to have frequent conversations with her. Dedman and Newell tell a fairy tale in reverse: the bright, talented daughter, born into a family of extreme wealth and privilege, who secrets herself away from the outside world.
Huguette was the daughter of self-made copper industrialist W. A. Clark, nearly as rich as Rockefeller in his day, a controversial senator, railroad builder, and founder of Las Vegas. She grew up in the largest house in New York City, a remarkable dwelling with 121 rooms for a family of four. She owned paintings by Degas and Renoir, a world-renowned Stradivarius violin, a vast collection of antique dolls. But wanting more than treasures, she devoted her wealth to buying gifts for friends and strangers alike, to quietly pursuing her own work as an artist, and to guarding the privacy she valued above all else.
The Clark family story spans nearly all of American history in three generations, from a log cabin in Pennsylvania to mining camps in the Montana gold rush, from backdoor politics in Washington to a distress call from an elegant Fifth Avenue apartment. The same Huguette who was touched by the terror attacks of 9/11 held a ticket nine decades earlier for a first-class stateroom on the second voyage of the Titanic.
Empty Mansions reveals a complex portrait of the mysterious Huguette and her intimate circle. We meet her extravagant father, her publicity-shy mother, her star-crossed sister, her French boyfriend, her nurse who received more than $30 million in gifts, and the relatives fighting to inherit Huguette’s copper fortune. Richly illustrated with more than seventy photographs, Empty Mansions is an enthralling story of an eccentric of the highest order, a last jewel of the Gilded Age who lived life on her own terms.



The Orchardist

The Orchardist: A Novel - Amanda Coplin

5 stars.....directly added to my 'favorites' list.


I gave this book 5 stars not because it was a feel good read, but because of the descriptive setting and characters, or as one reviewer stated "magical words". I come away from this experience knowing that it's going to be hard to choose my next read; nothing is going to touch this one! I'm thinking perhaps it's time to re-read 'Lonesome Dove', 'The Thorn Birds' or maybe James Clovell, Ken Follet, or even going back as far as 'Mistral's Daughter'....only an epic read remembered with great fondness will be able to follow this one.

The descriptive nature of this author's words just touched my heart and senses. The brutality contained within this story, the sadness, and Yes....the quiet joy. 

I agree with other's who said that the first half of this book was so gripping, it kept me riveted to the pages. The second half was slower moving, but in a way even more gripping for me.....anticipating the outcome even as I knew what it had to be in one way or another. 

I have tried to curb my habit of buying books....only because I have too many already; stored in totes and overflowing bookshelves. This is one book that I will have to add to my collection; I am already anticipating a re-read in order to catch all the nuances I missed the first time. For me the sign of 5+ stars! 


"There was a type of heat and light that was direct and overhead and bleached the orchard of color. The orchard at noon on the hottest days. And then there were mornings when the air was blue and soft, and the leaves of the trees looked like velvet." 

"Della continued to cry until she discovered that the voices on the porch were conspiring with the moon and stars through the trees, and the wind that covered it all, and those powers knew where the kitten moved in the orchard and would inform her, if she just went to sleep, of its location the first thing in the morning. All that was required of her was to sleep. And so she did. At once, suddenly, as if stepping off a cliff."

....the words as simple as:

"They walked to the cabin, shadows bounding before them. Down in the field, the men had lit fires. The horses spread to the forest, shifting and reshifting under the moonlight."
"The night air came through the cabin door and crossed the threshold of the outer room and reached the bedroom where she lay, her faced turned to it. She could see the darkness off the porch. The air was cool, with an edge of cold, even. She could hear but not see the trembling leaves." 

Caroline Middey's simple, wise advice:
"My dear, she said. There is one thing I want to tell you, and I hope you carry it with you to the end of your days."
"No matter how bad you feel, said Caroline Middey, glancing at the girl now, or how bad you think your situation is, there is always somebody else who is feeling worse than you are, who is in worse shape. And so you should never, ever complain. Never." 

"The stars so thick and close you could walk right into them. Those times she thought that if she could just remember the stars, she would be all right. Things might get very bad, things might be worse than she ever imagined, but the stars existed, and that was something." 

And so this book; beautifully descriptive words. 


Stardust: A Novel - Carla Stewart

Really enjoyed this book. Serious situations with just enough 'fun' thrown in to keep me interested. The setting and timeframe helped develop a picture in my mind and made the characters relatable; like I was right there with them. 

As the book begins, the main character Georgia buries her unfaithful husband and is left to raise their two small children alone with help from her Aunt Cora, her mother in law Mary Frances, and a cast of characters that are endearing. 

Will definitely be reading more books by this talented author.

The Arrivals

The Arrivals: A Novel - Meg Mitchell Moore

What to write about this book?  The summer in the life of one family, a day in the life of grandparents, feelings of a pregnant woman or a first time father, mistakes, disputes,  hope, happiness, and at the core forgiveness?  This book is all of this and more.


The characters were painted so realistically.  At times I really disliked each and every one.  I thought, "I really don't like this book!"  Then I realized the characters are flawed, they make dumb mistakes, they suffer with the same doubts that plague us all, and they are not always lovable or even nice.


Perhaps this is one of the reasons why we like to read so much; to be taken away from the 'real world' for a bit, to believe that everything can end 'happily ever after' the way it is portrayed in some stories.  Then we are hit in the face with a book such as this one that paints the struggles of one family in the real world.  I have to say it was a nice change.


By the end I was rooting for each character as I came to know them intimately.  I was glad that I was given the chance to glimpse the life of this family as I remind myself that this is only fiction! 


I will be watching for more books by this talented author and I would say to her thank you.  Thanks for reminding me that all families have problems.  Its all about overcoming the odds and remembering that family is forever flaws and all, in the end love will endure. 

Move Your Shelves

Reblogged from BookLikes:

Building or moving your shelves can be tricky, especially if your collection is quite big. But we have the solution, everything is possible on virtual bookshelf. From now on your can easily organize and move your shelves on BookLikes.  


You can move thematic shelves and put them in your own order, e.g. alphabetic, by book count, literary genres, authors, years, challenges...


Here's how: when you hover over the shelf name you'll see black arrows on the left. Click, hold and drag the shelf up or down to the desirable position. 


New shelves will be added on the top of your thematic shelves list, then you can change their position. 


So what are your shelf arrangement ideas? 



To find friends on BookLikes, connect your social media in Settings and use find friends option is Friend's Tab. You can also invite your friends - just paste friend's e-mail address in invite box and click Invite. You have 10 invitations but if you need more, just let us know :)



pic source: via

"Shelter" by Frances Greenslade

Shelter: A Novel - Frances Greenslade

The author drew me in and made me care about each character providing enough details that I formed a clear picture in my mind of each one. The setting was also given in vivid detail, almost romanticized in its beauty......and hardship....


This was the contradiction of the story for me; clear beauty filled with real life heart-breaking details that left me yearning to comfort these young girls until I reminded myself I was reading fiction. 

For me, a true 5-star read:  I became so wrapped up in this book that for a moment it all seemed real.   

The only question left is why did I leave it lingering on my shelf for so long?


QUOTES FROM "SHELTER" which show the descriptive beauty in this author's writing:


Rita talked about the deer that had been eating from her garden, a young one who came by herself.  No tin plates or bars of soap could keep her away.  "I finally just planted some lettuce and spinach for her."  Rita laughed.  "She seems to know that's her part of the garden.  She doesn't eat from the main one anymore."



I rode my bike down to Bull Canyon, where I could sit on a ledge of land overlooking the Chilcotin River. On the bank, wild roses were in bloom; pine needles baked in the sun. The river hurried past, turquoise and swift with mountain runoff.....Aspens trembled in the slightest breeze....the air shivered with the whir of hummingbird wings. No one here.



Bees darted among the wild raspberry bushes as Jenny and I filled our pails in the sunny clearing by the creek after breakfast. The raspberries were firm and juicy; we raced to see who could fill her pail fastest. When we were done, we sat by the creek eating them one by one.



The purple of Jacob's ladder pushed through ferns. Grasses poked from rock, and in breaks in the shade, patches of yellow balsamroot glowed in the morning sun. We climbed and the pines grew smaller, the aspens brushier, and the meadow opened up, green and awash with fowers. The sun poured down, lighting the Indian paintbrush, the balsamroot, and silver skeletons of pines, twisting amid the grass.  



A a cabin in the bush with the snow just melting and the Solomon's seal blooming under the trees and the tender turquoise broken shells of hatched birds' eggs cushioned in the moss.......



I recommend this book to those of you who enjoy reading about real life which is filled with heartache, adventure, happiness, and family.  It will leave you yearning for the wilds of Canada, the beauty of nature.  

"Coming Clean: A Memoir"

Coming Clean - Kimberly Rae Miller

While reading other reviews of this book there are several comments like perhaps the author is still too young to write about her experiences with her parents, there is no resolution to the problems, and the author seems to be enabling her parents time after time. 
While all of this is true, I have to say that unless you have walked a mile in this woman's shoes, you cannot judge. She clearly loves her parents while at the same time has trouble dealing with this issue. For her to 'come out of the closet' so to speak required great courage and strength. I hope that in writing this book she has found some peace.
That being said, I found this book to be very frustrating. A sad situation to be sure but with no resolutions. I am hopeful that there will be a Part 2 where each player receives the psychological help they need....that is the book I would like to read. 
I can only end by saying good luck to this author and her family. 

Dark Places

Dark Places - Gillian Flynn

First of all I have to say that this is not my usual type of read! Oh my, what a twisted story! Riveting in a sick kinda way. I read the author's other book, "Gone Girl" and enjoyed it, but this one takes freaky to a whole new level!
Right before reading this one, I read a 5 ++ book that went on my list of favorites. You know the dilemma you have trying to find a book to follow a great read? Well, this book sure cured that. It was so different, just had to keep turning the pages quickly...yes, I read it in one day, and the ending did not disappoint! 

The Secret Keeper - Kate Morton

The Secret Keeper - Kate Morton

After reading an excellent book, I get the feeling like it was the one I've been waiting for....the reason I love to read and that its going to be hard to follow! 
The story weaves effortlessly between the present and the past. I became invested in the characters, the mystery, the story.
Kate Morton has done it again! She has wrapped my heart around this story and reminded me why a good book is at the top of my list of life's pleasures.
I have to add that usually I do not enjoy a book set during WWII. I'm not sure the exact reason, if it has to do with my father being in that war and the pain I know he suffered or what. Perhaps that is why I was hesitant to read this, but I'm so glad I did. 
Don't miss this book! That's all I can say!

Along for the Ride

Along for the Ride - Sarah Dessen

As with every Sarah Dessen book I have read, I enjoyed this one, wasn't my favorite by her. The main character, Aiden, was not an easy character for me to relate to. Maybe it was her lackadaisical way of dealing with her new baby sister instead of jumping in and helping her stepmother. I felt so sorry for this new mother and the father, Aiden's father, was just a real jerk. Her mother was a jerk too!
I did enjoy how Aiden emerged from her shell so to speak with the other girls that worked at her stepmother's shop. I also enjoyed the relationship she developed with Eli and how he helped her complete her list.
The way she broke off the relationship with Eli was a bit unbelievable for me. I found myself flipping back to the circumstances because I couldn't remember the issue. Even when I re-read it, I felt like...what just happened? 

I have to add that in my opinion Sarah Dessen is one of the best young adult authors and not to be missed by young and old alike! 

Tell the Wolves I'm Home

Tell the Wolves I'm Home: A Novel - Carol Rifka Brunt

This is a heart wrenching story full of love, but also jealousy, compassion, grief, just a full spectrum of emotions. Some of the characters I just wanted to hit over the head; the mother in particular with the sister a close second. Very good book and I will be looking for more books by this author!

Some Kind of Fairy Tale

Some Kind of Fairy Tale - Graham Joyce

This story made the impossible seem possible; a little fairy tale a little real life! I became immediately interested in all the characters, the story, and where the author would lead me. It reminded me of The Stolen Child and I will certainly be watching for this author in the future.