Leslie's Bookcase

celebrating and recommending unforgettable books

Category: For Fun (page 1 of 2)

Books people bring to jury duty – from my day as “book detective”

Jury duty…one of the few places in today’s world you will see ALMOST EVERYONE carrying a book. Why? Because electronic devices (even e-readers) are not allowed in the courtroom and potential jurists know they may have LOTS of downtime. Therefore, even people who haven’t picked a book up years may be reading.

I actually like jury duty and not just for the chance to read – ha! However, this time around I reported on Monday for a very short time and was never called back during the week (darn it!!).

During the half hour or so I was in the jury room on Monday, I was playing “book detective” trying to see what books people brought. Would it have been creepy to obviously look at the books and jot down titles? I thought so. So my list below only includes the books I could reasonably and non obviously look at and also remember until I was released and had time to make notes (this was difficult!!) Oh how I wish I could have continued this “study” throughout the day and week!

Is this a recommended reading list? NO. Although I did find a couple I may buy for myself or others.

As you probably know, in the courtroom, jurors are anonymous and only identified by a number. Therefore, the potential jurists reading these books will also remain anonymous and are only identified as Jurors 1-6. Also I need to remember to use “carrying” not “reading” as I have no evidence they were actually reading the book (as we never got to the “downtime) please let the record show these books were only carried in by the person 😉

Here are the books I spotted at jury duty:

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What do people REALLY ask Google?

I stepped away from my summer reading list to read (quickly!!) some non-fiction: Everybody Lies: Big Data, New Data, and What the Internet Can Tell Us About Who We Really Are.

The author, Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, spent several years analyzing Google data.

What is Google data? It is that phrase or question you type into the search bar in the privacy of your own computer or device.

Would you tell people everything you ask google? Probably not. And thus the appeal of this book (to me anyway). I wanted to know what people are asking Google!! Stephens-Davidowitz takes it further, of course, to explain how this data can be used.

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Win a book from my summer reading list!

We’re halfway through summer, and I’m about halfway through my summer reading list. That means it’s time for a giveaway!!

One lucky winner of my raffle will be able to choose ANY BOOK from my summer reading list, and I will ship it directly to the winner (continental U.S. only).

HOW TO ENTER:

  1. Peruse my summer reading list at this link or below. Note that I have added my own reviews on several of the books already.
  2. Choose one that you are most excited to read.
  3. Complete the steps below in my Rafflecopter giveaway.

I will contact the winner to confirm which book he or she would like.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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New TV show about a young Shakespeare – Will

I was “accidentally” eavesdropping on a conversation the other day – it looked like a first date and I just couldn’t help myself because I was well within earshot! Well thank goodness because that’s how I heard of this new show on TNT, Will, about a young Shakespeare.

The girl said she and her roommates or friends were getting together to watch it later that evening (this was Monday – it airs on Monday nights on TNT and is also “On Demand” if you have Comcast.)

Oh how I remember those fun days when I would watch my shows with friends! But now I prefer everyone to be in bed before I even start my show, so I can enjoy the TV to myself in the dark – ha!!

But I am soooo thankful to this girl for turning me on to this show which I checked out last night.

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Magpie Murders – so much fun!

I am thrilled (pun intended) to give the latest recommendation from my summer reading list: 

Magpie Murders!

Billed as a mystery/thriller especially for fans of Agatha Christie books, this book shines because of its clever use of intertextuality (don’t be scared of that word – instead just click on that word to read my previous post on this literary technique!). It is a book within a book.

For the record, I have never read anything by Agatha Christie, and I still loved this “tribute” to classic British crime novels.

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Evelyn Hugo and her seven husbands

Evelyn Hugo came from nothing and climbs to the top of her profession in old Hollywood. In The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, she tells her life story to one specific journalist handpicked for a reason that doesn’t become clear until the end.

This book and especially the character of Evelyn Hugo were so engrossing I sometimes forgot she was a fictional character. I felt like she was really sitting there telling me her life story of how and why she married seven times, which turned out to be different from the reasons I expected!

Hanging on every word of this woman who is characterized as a cross between Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, I also enjoyed the snippets from tabloids scattered throughout the novel that referred to the “truth” of the situations she is revealing.

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Why I love new books – a Blogoversary post

For my very first blog post on LesliesBookcase.com one year ago today, I wrote about why I love old books.

Before this blog, I had not read “new books” in many years because I had been working on my M.A. in English Literature, specifically studying Joyce’s Ulysses, and after that I was trying to read through my bookcases.

So for several years, decades even, best sellers and new releases were not on my radar, but now…

In the past year thanks to this blogging adventure, I have discovered how much I ALSO LOVE NEW BOOKS.

So in honor of my “blogoversary” here are  5 reasons I love new books. I apologize to my old books; please do know I still love you and plan to read you too (but maybe not as much).

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For all you thrill seekers: The Perfect Stranger

Last year for Leslie’s Bookcase’s very first official book review I read All the Missing Girls: A Novel by Megan Miranda.

You may remember that I loved the book and recommended you clear your schedule and read this book immediately!

This year I had the opportunity – thanks to NetGalley – to download Miranda’s latest novel, The Perfect Stranger, in exchange for another honest review.

In this mystery/thriller, a failed journalist, Leah (though her failing is one  a reader can sympathize with), runs into an old friend “Emmy” and decides to move away with her for a fresh start. When “Emmy” disappears soon after their move, Leah realizes that  — on paper or the world wide web — the Emmy she knows doesn’t even exist. Leah’s credibility is once again at stake and she even becomes a suspect in Emmy’s disappearance. Thus Leah must work to uncover the truth herself.

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A Man Called Ove warmed my heart

I read once that (paraphrase here from my memory)  it is impossible to hate someone if you know his or her story.

At first, I didn’t really like Ove, a grumpy and routine-based elderly man featured in A Man Called Ove: A Novel though I did find him an amusing character. Here’s a sampling of Ove:

“Ove is the sort of man who checks the status of all things by giving them a good kick.”

and

“Ove doubts whether someone who can’t park a car properly should even be allowed to vote.”

Likewise, I knew Ove would not be a fan of me, exampled by this:

“How can anyone be incapable of reversing with a trailer? he asks himself. How? How difficult is it to establish the basics of right and left and then do the opposite? How do these people make their way through life at all?”

However, as Ove’s “story” was revealed to me, I started liking him. And I felt that his character would eventually become tolerant of me as well…though I am 99% sure I’ll never learn to back-up a trailer, also a disappointment to my husband!

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If you miss watching Downton Abbey read this!

Recently I discovered a book by Julian Fellowes, the creator of Downton Abbey. His book Belgravia is set a century before the Grantham family, so many of the themes of class are even more stringent.

Fellowes begins by noting that regardless of time period, similarities exist:

“Ambition, envy, rage, greed, kindness, selflessness, and above all, love have always been as powerful in motivating choices as they are today.”

For me, this book was completely engrossing. Like Downton Abbey, the plot moves around the themes quoted above plus new money vs. old money and upstairs (aristocracy) and the downstairs (their service help). Like in Downton Abbey, I loved most of the characters and hated a couple.

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