Library Book Sale

Well, I think some of you know by now how much I love books. So, when I found out that the Appleton Public Library was having their book sale I was thrilled. When we lived in Manitowoc they always had books for sale, but in Appleton they only have a sale two or three times a year.

My hubby had his hours cut at work...perfect he was done working at noon. We took Grace to school and then headed over to the library with Ella. And I got some really good books for a VERY reasonable price. Here is a list of the books that I got:

The Facts Behind the Helsinki Roccamatios by Yann Martel

About the book:

Here are four unforgettable stories by the author of Life of Pi. Written earlier in Martel's career, these tales display that startling mix of dazzle and depth that have made Yann Martel an international phenomenon. Inventive in form and timeless in content, each story is moving and thought-provoking. A Canadian university student visiting Washington, D.C., experiences the Vietnam War through an intense musical encounter. Variations of a warden's letter to the mother of a man he has just executed reveal how each life is contained in its end. A young man's fascination with the mirror-making machine he finds in his grandmother's attic is juxtaposed with the reminiscences it evokes from his grandmother. And, in the exquisite title story, a young man dying of AIDS joins his friend in fashioning a story of the Roccamatio family of Helsinki, set against the yearly march of the twentieth century.

This is not a picture of the book I have - I actually got the hardcover for $1 in excellent condition. I have never read "The Life of Pi" but always wanted to. I thought it was a good buy - will let you know after I read it.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

About the book:

At the heart of Joseph Heller's bestselling novel, first published in 1961, is a satirical indicement of military madness and stupidity, and the desire of the ordinary man to survive it. It is a tale of the dangerously sane Captain Yossarian, who spends his time in Italy plotting to survive.

This was a paperback, and not in great shape, but for 10 cents I thought it was worth it. Haven't ever read it so it's another one for the TBR pile. Have any of you read it? If so, what did you think?

Killing Me Softly - Various Authors

This is a large paperback book (can't remember what these are called). Got it for 50 cents -again, not sure if I will like it but for 50 cents I'll take a chance.

The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie

About the book:

Just before dawn one winter's morning, a hijacked jetliner explodes above the English Channel. Through the falling debris, two figures, Gibreel Farishta, the biggest star in India, and Saladin Chamcha, an expatriate returning from his first visit to Bombay in fifteen years, plummet from the sky, washing up on the snow-covered sands of an English beach, and proceed through a series of metamorphoses, dreams, and revelations.

I actually got this one in hardcover so the picture isn't the same. I have never read a book by Salman Rushdie - if you have, what did you think? This one was also only $1 - a bargain for a hardcover book, in my opinion.

The World Below by Sue Miller

About the book:

From the author of While I Was Gone, a stunning new novel that showcases Sue Miller's singular gift for exposing the nerves that lie hidden in marriages and families, and the hopes and regrets that lie buried in the hearts of women.Maine, 1919. Georgia Rice, who has cared for her father and two siblings since her mother's death, is diagnosed, at nineteen, with tuberculosis and sent away to a sanitarium. Freed from the burdens of caretaking, she discovers a nearly lost world of youth and possibility, and meets the doomed young man who will become her lover.Vermont, the present. On the heels of a divorce, Catherine Hubbard, Georgia's granddaughter, takes up residence in Georgia's old house. Sorting through her own affairs, Cath stumbles upon the true story of Georgia's life and marriage, and of the misunderstanding upon which she built a lasting love.With the tales of these two women--one a country doctor's wife with a haunting past, the other a twice-divorced San Francisco schoolteacher casting about at midlife for answers to her future--Miller offers us a novel of astonishing richness and emotional depth. Linked by bitter disappointments, compromise, and powerful grace, the lives of Georgia and Cath begin to seem remarkably similar, despite their distinctly different times: two young girls, generations apart, motherless at nearly the same age, thrust into early adulthood, struggling with confusing bonds of attachment and guilt; both of them in marriages that are not what they seem, forced to make choices that call into question the very nature of intimacy, faithfulness, betrayal, and love. Marvelously written, expertly told, The World Below captures the shadowy half-truths of the visible world, and the beauty and sorrow submerged beneath the surfaces of our lives--the lost world of the past, our lost hopes for the future. A tour de force from one of our most beloved storytellers.

Got this hardcover for $1 - has anyone read it? If so, what did you think?

Blackbird House by Alice Hoffman

About the book:

With “incantatory prose” that “sweeps over the reader like a dream,” (Philadelphia Inquirer), Hoffman follows her celebrated bestseller The Probable Future, with an evocative work that traces the lives of the various occupants of an old Massachusetts house over a span of two hundred years.In a rare and gorgeous departure, beloved novelist Alice Hoffman weaves a web of tales, all set in Blackbird House. This small farm on the outer reaches of Cape Cod is a place that is as bewitching and alive as the characters we meet: Violet, a brilliant girl who is in love with books and with a man destined to betray her; Lysander Wynn, attacked by a halibut as big as a horse, certain that his life is ruined until a boarder wearing red boots arrives to change everything; Maya Cooper, who does not understand the true meaning of the love between her mother and father until it is nearly too late. From the time of the British occupation of Massachusetts to our own modern world, family after family’s lives are inexorably changed, not only by the people they love but by the lives they lead inside Blackbird House. These interconnected narratives are as intelligent as they are haunting, as luminous as they are unusual. Inside Blackbird House more than a dozen men and women learn how love transforms us and how it is the one lasting element in our lives. The past both dissipates and remains contained inside the rooms of Blackbird House, where there are terrible secrets, inspired beauty, and, above all else, a spirit of coming home.From the writer Time has said tells "truths powerful enough to break a reader’s heart” comes a glorious travelogue through time and fate, through loss and love and survival. Welcome to Blackbird House.

I got this one as a paperback for a quarter. They had many copies as it was used as a book club read. Anyone read this?

The Little Friend by Donna Tart

About the book:

Bestselling author Donna Tartt returns with a grandly ambitious and utterly riveting novel of childhood, innocence and evil. The setting is Alexandria, Mississippi, where one Mother's Day a little boy named Robin Cleve Dufresnes was found hanging from a tree in his parents' yard. Twelve years later Robin's murder is still unsolved and his family remains devastated. So it is that Robin's sister Harriet—unnervingly bright, insufferably determined, and unduly influenced by the fiction of Kipling and Robert Louis Stevenson--sets out to unmask his killer. Aided only by her worshipful friend Hely, Harriet crosses her town's rigid lines of race and caste and burrows deep into her family's history of loss. Filled with hairpin turns of plot and "a bustling, ridiculous humanity worthy of Dickens" (The New York Times Book Review), The Little Friend is a work of myriad enchantments by a writer of prodigious talent.

I got this one for $1 as well. Have looked at Amazon and it doesn't get the greatest reviews. Has anyone read it? If so, what did you think?

Gap Creek by Robert Morgan
About the book:

Oprah Book Club® Selection, January 2000: Robert Morgan's Gap Creek opens with one wrenching death and ends with another. In between, this novel of turn-of-the-century Appalachian life works in fire, flood, swindlers, sickness, and starvation--a truly biblical assortment of plagues, all visited on the sturdy shoulders of 17-year-old Julie Harmon. "Human life don't mean a thing in this world," she concludes. And who could blame her? "People could be born and they could suffer, and they could die, and it didn't mean a thing.... The world was exactly like it had been and would always be, going on about its business." For Julie, that business is hard physical labor. Fortunately, she's fully capable of working "like a man"--splitting and hauling wood, butchering hogs, rendering lard, planting crops, and taking care of the stock. Even when Julie meets and marries handsome young Hank Richards, there's no happily-ever-after in store. Nothing comes easy in Julie Harmon's world, and their first year together is no exception.
Throughout the novel, Morgan chronicles Julie's trials in prose of great dignity and clarity, capturing the rhythms of North Carolina speech by using only the subtlest of inflections. Clearly the author has done his research too--the descriptions of physical labor practically leap off the page. (Suffice to say, you'll learn far more about hog slaughtering than you ever dreamed of knowing.) Yet he resists the temptation to make his long-suffering characters into saints. Julie simmers with resentment at being her family's workhorse, and Hank flies into a helpless rage whenever he feels that his authority is questioned. In novels like The Truest Pleasure and The Hinterlands, Morgan proved his ability to create memorable heroines. In Gap Creek, he writes with great feeling--but not a touch of sentimentality--about a life Julie aptly calls "both simple and hard."

This is another one that I got for a buck. Usually I enjoy Oprah's recommendations. Has anyone read this? If so, what did you think?

Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve

About the book:

Hester Prynne never had it so good! The year is 1899, and Olympia Biddeford, the headstrong daughter of a Boston Brahmin family, has decided to test the limits of her cloistered world. Spending the summer at her father's New Hampshire estate, the teenage heroine of Fortune's Rocks is entranced with the visiting salon of artists, writers, and lawyers. She's especially captivated, however, by John Haskell, a charismatic physician who ministers to the blue-collar community in the nearby mill towns. This middle-aged Good Samaritan hires Olympia to assist him as a nurse, and their collaboration soon evolves into a fiery love affair. Alas, it's only a matter of weeks before this passionate exercise in managed care is exposed--with disastrous consequences for the young, impregnated heroine. Even her adoring father now considers her "an overplump sixteen-year-old girl whose judgment can no longer be trusted," and insists that she break off her relationship:"There is nothing more to be said on this subject," he says. She bites her lip to keep from crying out further. She holds the arms of her chair so tightly she later will have cramps in her fingers. She will refuse to obey him, she thinks. She will accept his implied challenge and set off on her own. But in the next moment, she asks herself: How will she be able to do that? Without her father's support, she cannot hope to survive. And if she herself does not survive, then a child cannot live."In the end, Anita Shreve's seventh novel is a polished, supremely entertaining variation on Wuthering Heights, with Olympia and Haskell sitting in for Catherine and Heathcliff. The author did some meticulous research for her New England background, which gives this study of one particular wayward woman some extra historical heft. Some readers may find the plot twists a bit pat. And despite Olympia's efforts to be an independent woman, she overcomes her trials largely as a result of her family's wealth and station, which takes the edge off Shreve's feminist message. Still, Fortune's Rocks is a romance in the classic sense of the word, and should be enjoyed as such, unless the reader is absolutely allergic to happy endings.

Another one for a buck. Whose read it? What did you think?

Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

About the book:

In a garden surrounded by a tall fence, tucked away behind a small, quiet house in an even smaller town, is an apple tree that is rumored to bear a very special sort of fruit. In this luminous debut novel, Sarah Addison Allen tells the story of that enchanted tree, and the extraordinary people who tend it.…The Waverleys have always been a curious family, endowed with peculiar gifts that make them outsiders even in their hometown of Bascom, North Carolina. Even their garden has a reputation, famous for its feisty apple tree that bears prophetic fruit, and its edible flowers, imbued with special powers. Generations of Waverleys tended this garden. Their history was in the soil. But so were their futures.A successful caterer, Claire Waverley prepares dishes made with her mystical plants—from the nasturtiums that aid in keeping secrets and the pansies that make children thoughtful, to the snapdragons intended to discourage the attentions of her amorous neighbor. Meanwhile, her elderly cousin, Evanelle, is known for distributing unexpected gifts whose uses become uncannily clear. They are the last of the Waverleys—except for Claire’s rebellious sister, Sydney, who fled Bascom the moment she could, abandoning Claire, as their own mother had years before.When Sydney suddenly returns home with a young daughter of her own, Claire’s quiet life is turned upside down—along with the protective boundary she has so carefully constructed around her heart. Together again in the house they grew up in, Sydney takes stock of all she left behind, as Claire struggles to heal the wounds of the past. And soon the sisters realize they must deal with their common legacy—if they are ever to feel at home in Bascom—or with each other. Enchanting and heartfelt, this captivating novel is sure to cast a spell with a style all its own….

I got this hardcover for 75 cents - thought it sounded good. Anyone read it?

Gone by Lisa Gardner

About the book:

From New York Times bestseller Lisa Gardner, author of Alone and The Killing Hour, comes a thriller that goes from heartbreaking to heartstopping in the blink of an eye.…When someone you love vanishes without a trace, how far would you go to get them back? For ex-FBI profiler Pierce Quincy, it’s the beginning of his worst nightmare: a car abandoned on a desolate stretch of Oregon highway, engine running, purse on the driver’s seat. And his estranged wife, Rainie Conner, gone, leaving no clue to her fate.Did one of the ghosts from Rainie’s troubled past finally catch up with her? Or could her disappearance be the result of one of the cases they’d been working–a particularly vicious double homicide or the possible abuse of a deeply disturbed child Rainie took too close to heart? Together with his daughter, FBI agent Kimberly Quincy, Pierce is battling the local authorities, racing against time, and frantically searching for answers to all the questions he’s been afraid to ask.One man knows what happened that night. Adopting the alias of a killer caught eighty years before, he has already contacted the press. His terms are clear: he wants money, he wants power, he wants celebrity. And if he doesn’t get what he wants, Rainie will be gone for good.Sometimes, no matter how much you love someone, it’s still not enough.As the clock winds down on a terrifying deadline, Pierce plunges headlong into the most desperate hunt of his life, into the shattering search for a killer, a lethal truth, and for the love of his life, who may forever be…gone.

I got this hardcover for 50 cents - I have never read anything by her but have heard that "Hide" was a fantastic book. What do you say?

So, I think I made a pretty good haul. Now I just have to find the time to read them, lol!

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Win a $50 Gift Card to Barnes and Noble

Ok, seriously. Does it get any better than this (unless it for more money, lol)? Barnes and Noble is one of my all time favorite stores, and if you visit Oh Amanda you will have a chance to win this awesome prize. But hurry, it ends on Friday!


Shelfsitter winner is...

Qtpies7! Congratulations, please email me at novelnoise(at)live(dot)com with your full address so I can get this out to you!

I have another book giveaway for Gods Behaving Badly at - I am giving away 5 copies so head over and check it out. Thanks!winn


Why I don't like it when Grace sleeps late

Ok, I know that it is most parents dream to have their kids sleep late. Grace just woke up, and let me tell you, every time she sleeps past 8 I fight the urge to go and wake her up. I live with the fear that some day she won't wake up - irrational or not.

We go to Children's Hospital of Milwaukee on Tuesday for her yearly checkup and I am scared. Besides her initial open heart surgery at 4 days old, her health has been good. But, I also know that she will need surgery again, at least once, at some point in her life - it could be this time. Here is some info on what she has:

The septum is a wall that separates the heart's left and right sides. Septal defects are sometimes called a "hole" in the heart. A defect between the heart's two upper chambers (the atria) is called an atrial septal defect (ASD).

She had this at birth, and although it is still there, it is not something that they are overly concerned with at this point.


The septum is a wall that separates the heart's left and right sides. Septal defects are sometimes called a "hole" in the heart. A defect between the heart's two lower chambers (the ventricles) is called a ventricular septal defect (VSD).

When there is a large opening between the ventricles, a large amount of oxygen-rich (red) blood from the heart's left side is forced through the defect into the right side. Then it's pumped back to the lungs, even though it's already been refreshed with oxygen. This is inefficient, because already-oxygenated blood displaces blood that needs oxygen. This means the heart, which must pump more blood, may enlarge from the added work. High blood pressure may occur in the lungs' blood vessels because more blood is there. Over time, this increased pulmonary hypertension may permanently damage the blood vessel walls.

If the opening between the ventricles is small, it doesn't strain the heart. In that case, the only abnormal finding is a loud murmur.

She was born with this as well. It is large enough that it is still a concern, but they don't feel the need to go in and patch it yet.


Normally the foramen ovale closes at birth when increased blood pressure on the left side of the heart forces the opening to close.

If the atrial septum does not close properly, it is called a patent foramen ovale. This type of defect generally works like a flap valve, only opening during certain conditions when there is more pressure inside the chest. This increased pressure occurs when people strain while having a bowel movement, cough, or sneeze.

If the pressure is great enough, blood may travel from the right atrium to the left atrium. If there is a clot or particles in the blood traveling in the right side of the heart, it can cross the PFO, enter the left atrium, and travel out of the heart and to the brain (causing a stroke) or into a coronary artery (causing a heart attack).

This is also something she was born with, and that they are watching closely.


The aorta is the body's main artery. It distributes oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body except the lungs. The first branches of the aorta go to the upper body (arms and head). After that, blood goes to the lower body (abdomen and legs). Coarctation of the aorta is a narrowing of the aorta between the upper-body artery branches and the branches to the lower body. This blockage can increase blood pressure in your arms and head, reduce pressure in your legs and seriously strain your heart. Aortic valve abnormalities often accompany coarctation.

This is what was repaired at birth. It was initally missed by the Pediatrician on call, and when her regular Pediatrician came back from vacation and visited us in the hospital he noticed it right away. It was severe enough that I was immediately discharged (I had a c-section, good thing or we wouldn't have seen the regular Pediatrician until her first check up) and sent to Milwaukee.

This is still a concern as there is a good chance scar tissue can form and it will have to be re-opened. I believe they could go up and do an angioplasty this time as opposed to opening her up. Not positive though.

A bicuspid aortic valve is a heart condition that is due to a congenital deformity. A normal aortic valve has three cusps to manage the flow of blood through the heart. A bicuspid valve, however, only has only two cusps. As you can see in the diagram below, the bicuspid aortic valve has conjoined cusps. This can limit the flow of blood across the aortic heart valve.

The impact of a bicuspid aortic valve significantly varies from patient to patient. There can be severe aortic stenosis at birth. Or, aortic stenosis can also develop during childhood or during adulthood. Typically bicuspid aortic valve symptoms peak around the fourth decade of life. Aortic valve leakage (called aortic regurgitation or aortic insufficiency) is less common during early childhood but can also develop over time.
This is the defect that is of greatest concern, and the one that they are watching the most closely.

Congenital Heart Defects or CHD’s is the #1 birth defect and the #1 cause of infant death related to birth defects. 1 out of every 100-150 babies born will have a CHD. (1 out of every 800-1000 babies born has Downs Syndrome).

1 in 10 of those born with CHD will have a fatal defect.

It is estimated that 1,000,000 Americans have a CHD. It is estimated that 35,000-40,000 babies born each year with a CHD.

In the US there are nearly twice as many deaths due to CHD than that of all forms of childhood cancers combined. Yet there is 5 times more research for pediatric cancer than for CHD.

The cost of inpatient surgery alone for CHD’s exceeds 2.2 billion dollars per year.

There are approximately 35 know Congenital Heart Defects.

Causes for CHD are still being studied. While there is no known definitive cause it is said that both genetics and environmental factors can play a role. Scientists have actually identified over 100 mutations that are directly linked to the heart.

There is no known cure for CHD. However the mortality rate after surgery has significantly decreased in the past 20-30 years. On average it is about 5% compared to the 30% it was.
With advances in medicine, many of those born with CHD will have their first and sometimes only corrective surgery before age 2.
Many of those living with CHD go on to lead normal to near normal lives. Those with complex CHD’s will also go on to lead longer and active lives than before. Most will have some physical limitations, but almost all learn to move pass them.


The election...I'm so glad it's over

It's official. We now have a new president. Now, it's time to start the debate. I DO NOT vote, never have and probably never will. This has been a source of many arguments among my friends and family. You are probably wondering why I don't vote. I honestly do not believe that my vote least where the Presidential election is concerned. I think that it is decided before the election even starts. And honestly, you won't convince me otherwise.

That said, if I was going to vote it would have been for Obama. The Repulicans certainly haven't proved that they have what it takes to run this country for the past 8 years. I am not saying that the Democrats are going to fair any better, but they certainly deserve a shot.

Did you vote? If so, who did you vote for and why? I'm not trying to start any arguments, I am just curious. No matter what I think we are all hoping for some change to take place in this country and maybe this is just the man to do it.


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