Friday, March 16, 2012

Spring Giveaway!

*And the winners are: Tatiana & Trish!! Congrats ladies and thanks to everyone for participating. I hope to host another giveaway in the next couple of months and stay tuned for my next cocktail and book pairing coming up next Friday, April 6th*

Spring is finally almost here and to celebrate I'm hosting a giveaway for these advance reader copies that will be published in the coming months.  Two lucky winners will be chosen randomly.  Here are the details of these young adult fiction titles (pictured from left to right):
  1. Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough, published by Candlewick Press, July 2012
  2. Dreamsleeves by Coleen Paratore, published by Scholastic Inc., April 2012
  3. Drowned Cities by Paolo Bacigalupi, published by Little, Brown, May 2012
  4. 172 Hours on the Moon by Johan Harstad, published by Little, Brown, April 2012
To enter, just click on the link at the very bottom of this post that will take you to the entry form, and if you are so inclined:
  • show some blog love and follow me 
  • "like" The Nostalgic Librarian on Facebook 
  • tweet the following "RT @msbibliotecaria is hosting a #teenbook #giveaway on Please RT!", or 
  • mention this giveaway on your own blog
Winners will be picked at random, and entries are valid only for United States residents. The deadline for this giveaway is March 25th, 2012 at 11:59pm (PST). Winners will be announced right here on this post on March 30th. Good luck everyone!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Book Review: Summer and the City by Candace Bushnell

HarperCollins, 2011; 409 pages; ISBN 0061728934
My Goodreads Rating: 4.5 stars

For my review of the first book in this series, The Carrie Diaries, read this post. Summer and the City picks up from when Carrie arrives in New York City and is greeted by Samantha, who just happens to be a cousin of Carrie's former frenemy Donna LaDonna from high School. I think I actually loved this one better than the first, but that is probably because it appealed more to my "adult" sensibilities. This time around Carrie is finally able to pursue her dreams of becoming a writer in Manhattan. She begins a writer's course and is taken under the wing of Samantha. At first she rooms with a fellow student and writer in a typical tiny New York apartment where her "room" consists of a small cubicle space cordoned off by dividers. That situation doesn't last long as Carrie gets kicked out by the grumpy landlady. Carrie also meets Miranda, who is immersed in feminist politics and has no qualms about voicing her opinion to everyone. After getting kicked out of her room and board Carrie goes to live with Samantha who at this point has her own place and is actually engaged to someone. The friendship between Carrie, Miranda and Samantha starts to emerge, as well as other relationships Carrie has with her classmates from the writer's course. Early on in the story she also begins a romantic relationship with a well known playwright who is at least 10 years older than her, which sort of hints at how Carrie is constantly attracted to older men in her later years. Actually Carrie's interest in sex and relationships is a lot more evident in this installment of the The Carrie Diaries and although I really enjoyed reading this aspect of her character, I was left wondering if the portions of the book that went into sexual details were appropriate for teen readers. Nevertheless, I did enjoy the writing style and characterizations. Carrie's wit and charm go a long way, and for fans of the TV series, this is a great way to get to know Carrie before she became Carrie Bradshaw, author of the Sex and the City column. I look forward to whatever comes next in young Carrie's teenage/young adult adventures.

Photo: From website

Friday, March 2, 2012

Read a Book, Sip a Cocktail No. 15

Photo from
I think Confessions of a Shopaholic may have been the book that first turned me onto Sophie Kinsella (the pseudonym for Madeleine Wickham) and I haven't looked back since.  The movie version is a complete bore and waste of talent because I normally love Isla Fisher.  In the book Becky Bloomwood is a bit obsessed with shopping. Well actually she is a complete shopaholic-freak and despite her mounting debt, she cannot resist the urge to bust out her plastic and spend, spend, spend!  She has an entire relationship with the various bank managers and credit card account managers completely through correspondence and suffice it to say, she uses her elaborate imagination in order to keep them at bay.  But her most endearing characteristic is her panache, her charm, and her big 'ole heart.  Becky may be caught up in whatever scarf or handbag is currently in style, but she still has a heart of gold.  For this book, and series really, I came up with a little tiny twist on the modern Cosmopolitan Martini (which is NOT really a martini, it is just served in a martini glass).  Instead of regular vodka I chose a watermelon tinged one and used a cranberry/raspberry juice blend and fresh lime juice.  The result is a very refreshing cocktail with lots of watermelon flavor, a bit sour and a bit sweet.  Also, since I used the light juice blend from Ocean Spray which only has 50 calories per 8 ounces, in total the drink will only set you back about 106 calories. Yay!

Shop 'til you Drop Cosmo
1 1/2 oz. Watermelon vodka
3 oz. Cranberry/Raspberry juice*
The juice of half a lime

How to: Prep your martini glass by sticking it in the freezer for about 5 minutes.  In a cocktail shaker mix ice, vodka, juice, and triple sec.  Shake for at least 20 seconds. Serve in your ice cold martini glass. *If you have fresh watermelon, I think watermelon juice would make this even better and I think I'll be trying it out once the weather heats up and watermelon is back in season at the grocery store.

Thank you to Carrie Bradshaw, another infamous shopaholic, for aiding in the rise of popularity of the Cosmo as well.