Thursday, July 31, 2008

Review: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Book: The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

Genre: YA Romance

Rating: A

For the YA Romance Challenge

So I'm officially in love with this author now. This was the second book I've read of hers now, and I loved it, just as I loved the first one (Just Listen.) I know she's been around awhile and I'm kind of late "discovering" her, but that's cool because I still have lots to pick from and catch up on!

This one was about a girl who's struggling with her father's death. Both her and her mom aren't dealing with it too well, not talking about things and such. She tries to be perfect for her perfect boyfriend, but learns that really isn't the way. During the summer, while he's gone to "brain camp" she meets some new friends that help her to see things a little differently and help her to break out of the rut she's put herself in since her dad died.

Wonderful story. I really look forward to catching up with all her other books!

Booking Through Thursday: Endings

Booking Through Thursday

I had a couple of people (Readerville and Nithin) leave me suggestions in response to last week’s post on Beginnings, but this one was already on its way! I mean, it was the obvious next question….

What are your favourite final sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its last sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the last line?

Well, hmmm. Last lines just don't really stand out for me. The only one that comes right to mind and that I absolutely love is yet again from A Tale of Two Cities: "It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known." Man, I love that one!

But other than that one, I can't think of any. I'll have to go look! BRB.....


So, I just picked up a few of my favorites that happened to be laying around and here's some last lines that I've found:

"If you do, you start missing everybody." (From The Catcher in the Rye... which I just finished)

"And he leaned down once more to press his cold lips to my throat." (Twilight... of course!)

"I am haunted by humans." (The Book Thief... what a book.)

"As Mo had said, writing stories is a kind of magic too." (Inkheart... when's the third book coming?)

"No name can be read there." (Les Miserables... need to re-read)

Okay, so that was fun.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Ten Thought Tuesday

In which I list some extremely random thoughts:

1. We saw The Dark Knight last night. Wow, Heath Ledger deserves all the praise he's getting! He was amazing. But the movie itself? Very violent and yep... dark. But still, I loved it.

2. We were without the Internet for a few hours this morning. I think we all felt like panicking, but controlled ourselves quite well!

3. School starts in THREE weeks!

4. My first book give-away is coming up here pretty soon. I'm nervous. Will any of you comment and enter the drawing?

5. The summer library program is over. They had their big finale last week. But I think I may still go today... but not to check out any more books... to solve a problem where they think I still have something that I actually turned in last week. Hate it when that happens!

6. I have a friend who said she'll pick up a Breaking Dawn book for me this weekend, since I'll be gone fishin'! Thanks Camran! Hopefully you won't ALL have it read before I get back! Anyone going to a midnight party?

7. I've got a new header up. But I still need to figure out how to center it. I'll have to call on the husband to help me with all that HTML jibber jabber!

8. I haven't read as much this summer as I usually do. What's up with that? Too much time on the computer? No, that can't be it.....

9. I ran out of thoughts at #8. This not a good sign.

10. Bye for now. I'm off to go to go read. Or maybe clean the kitchen... take your pick.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Review: The Little Prince by Antoine de SAint Exupery (with some Weekly Geek questions)

Book: The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupéry

Genre: Classic

Rating: A-

This was the first book I read from my list for the Classics Challenge. I wanted to read it because I've heard so much about it. Some people re-read it over and over again for constant and continual inspiration. So what'd I think? Hmmm.... it was interesting. It was not what I expected at all. It was different. I could tell there was some major symbolic stuff going on, but not sure I understood it all! But I enjoyed trying!

It's about this guy who gets stranded in the desert when suddenly, this Little Prince appears. The Little Prince tells the guy of his adventures planet hopping and all the things he's seen and learned from that. He meets some strange people. Mostly people who are full of themselves and think that what they are doing is the most important thing in the world.

Some final Weekly Geek questions:

From Tasses: What message, or central theme, did you take away from The Little Prince? Do you think it deserves the high praise it has received?

I think the main theme of this little story is about how we see things differently when we grow up, and how kids can look at life in a simple way, in a way that we lose as adults, which is quite sad. I do think it's a quaint little story that does deserve the praise it's received, though I think I'd have to study it all a bit more to understand everything.

From bookchronicle:I've always heard so much about but have yet to read The Little Prince. How does the artwork and text intertwine? Do you consider it a classic for adults and children alike?

You sound just like me, having heard a lot but never read it. When I picked it up, I didn't even realize that art work played an important part, but yes, it does, and yes, they (the art and text) do intertwine quite wonderfully together. All of the adventures are illustrated with cute little-kid type drawings. But they do add to the text to help you visualize these funny little planets the prince is trying to explain.

Yes, I would consider it a classic for both adults and children. The adults will maybe "get" what the moral of the story is, whereas the children will just have fun with cute drawings and the funny little story.

From shereadsbooks: Jumping a bit onto bookchronicle's question, did you first read The Little Prince as a child or as an adult? If as an adult, do you think you would have liked it, back in the day? If as a child, how have your impressions of the book changed? How would you classify this book, if you were cataloguing it?

I've mentioned that this is the first time I've read the book. But if I would have read it as a kid? Hmmm... I guess it depends on how old I would have been. Maybe as a quite young kid I would have liked it, but if I was older (4th grade and up perhaps) I don't think I would have understood it all and thought it was just a little weird.

I would classify it as a classic for both children and adults.

From Joy Renee:I'm interested in the technique and art of storytelling itself so anything along that line would interest me. My questions are for any or all of the fiction titles in your list:

How was Point-of-View handled? Was there a single POV character or did it alternate among two or more. Was it always clear whose eyes and mind were filtering?

At first, it's told in the first person from the POV of the guy stranded in the desert. But then it shifts to third person from the POV of the little prince as he tells about his travels.

How was language used to set tone and mood?Was the prose dense or spare? Were sentences generally simple or complex?

The language in this book is very very simple, on a kid's level.

How was metaphor used? Were associations fresh or did they tend toward cliche? Did they add to your understanding of the theme?

The whole book is a metaphor! All the planets the prince travels to are referring back to some part of our society.

What was the central or organizing theme?How does the title relate to the story? Was it fitting?
I've mentioned what I figured the theme (at least one of them) is. The title is obviously straight forward and to the point and quite fitting for the story.

Sheesh! Hard questions!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Messin' With The Blog

So, I've been noticing A LOT of people these days revising and redecorating their blog. I've been wanting to do this myself for awhile now, so today, I joined the fun and messed around with mine. Not too much, a little color theme change, which I'm still trying to decide if I like, and and a little font reduction. (I liked the big font, but it did look a bit jumbled, didn't it?) Also, I redid my blogroll to the newish Blogger format thing where the most updated ones fall to the top. We'll see what I think of that after awhile I guess.

Anyway, make sure you're on there! The blogroll I mean. (You may have to click the SHOW ALL button to check, if you haven't updated really recently.) I think I got most of the ones I regularly read hopefully ... and if you are a regular reader here, I want you on there too. But if I don't know you exist, then speak up! :)

Also, if you're on there and you'd rather not be, we can fix that too. ("I can fix that." Name the movie!)

I'm hoping to figure out a new header soon too, but that is a bit more difficult for me, but I like trying, so stay tuned for that to see if I'm successful or not.


In other news, IT RAINED TODAY! We haven't seen rain for, like, I don't know, over a month or something. So, this was exciting. I love rain and have really missed it. But, there's also a fire on the mountain, and you'd think the rain would help, but it seems to have just blown the fire smell everywhere, so we are smelling smoke MIXED with rain smell, which is a bit confusing.

And in order to make this blog post somewhat book related, my current reads are both ones that my boys have been insisting I read. My 13 year old has been begging me to get caught up on the Pendragon series, so I'm reading #3 (The Never War ) now. And my 18 year old son's favorite book of all time is The Catcher in the Rye, and so I finally decided to pick that one up and read it. Fast reading that one is, but whoa... Holden really needs to not think in swear words quite so much!

And now a song, just because I feel like it... though this isn't from the concert I was at... but is filmed by someone who obviously had a MUCH better seat than I did:

Friday, July 25, 2008

Passing Along Some Blog Awards!

Amy over at The Sleepy Reader awarded me with a couple of blog awards. How cool is that? So now it's my turn to pass the awards along to others. I'm not sure these award started out together, but somehow, they are together now!
Here are the rules for passing this award along:
Put the logo on your blog.
Add a link to the person who awarded you.
Nominate at least seven other blogs.
Add links to those blogs on your blog.
Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.

And so here's my list for some blogs I've been enjoying a lot these days.
Michelle at Hay in a Needlestack: I totally enjoy seeing what she has to say so many things, books and otherwise. Excellent blog for sure!

Julie at A Small Accomplishment: She's an excellent writer with lots of funny insights about lots of different subjects.

Kristi at Passion for the Page: A an excellent looking blog I've recently discovered (probably through Weekly Geeks or something, I can't remember!) Kristi writes wonderful reviews, and is involved with a gazillion challenges and rates her books with roses. Cool.

Kim at Page After Page: Kim also has an excellent looking blog, with lots of stuff going. I love to read what she has to say about all the books she's reading.

Lisa at Books on the Brain: I started loving her blog because of the highlights she did on her readers' book clubs. Very interesting. But she does TONS of other fun things too.

Bookfool at Bookfoolery and Babble: Another excellent blogger on all fronts, but she is especially known for her Wahoo Wednesdays! A perfect thing to read to see the postitive in life.

Jessica at The Bluestocking Society: Jessica does so much at on her blog that it makes my head spin! I love it. I think someone beat me in nominating her for this excellent award, but that's all right, I'm adding her to my list anyway.

Go check them all out and you'll see what I mean!

Review: Amazing Gracie by A.E. Cannon (including Weekly Geek questions)

Book: Amazing Gracie by A.E. Cannon

Genre: YA

Rating: A-

I picked up this book at the library a week or so ago because the author, Ann Cannon, was coming to speak at our library's summer program. So, I had to prepare, you see! She came this past Tuesday and and it was fun and she talked mostly about her new book, (Loser's Guide to Life and Love) which of course we bought and had her sign!


Amazing Gracie is about a girl who's mom is suffering big-time from depression. She (the mom) gets re-married as the book opens, and they move to a bigger city, where Gracie's younger step-brother also moves in with them. Things were supposed to get better, but of course, they get worse first.

This book won a Beehive Award... a local award given out here in Utah.

Geek Questions:

From Dewey: Do you think Gracie will be a strong role model for girl readers? Is Amazing Gracie part of a series?

Gracie is a very strong role model for girls. She's wonderful. She holds her family together. She has her weak moments, which makes her real, but she is very strong and a fun character to get to know.

This book is not part of a series.

From Melissa: Shall I throw your question back at you? Sum up the life lessons (in Amazing Gracie) in a sentence or two.

In Amazing Gracie we learn that even when things get really bad, even so bad that it feels like things will never get better, there's still hope. Hang in there!

From Joy Renee: I'm interested in the technique and art of storytelling itself so anything along that line would interest me. My questions are for any or all of the fiction titles in your list:

How was Point-of-View handled? Was there a single POV character or did it alternate among two or more. Was it always clear whose eyes and mind were filtering?

I took the book back to the library and now I can't remember if the POV was third person or first! I think it was first, so that would answer both of your other POV questions right off! We saw everything from Gracie's POV quite clearly.

How was language used to set tone and mood?Was the prose dense or spare? Were sentences generally simple or complex?

The language in this YA book was very simple, with the prose and sentences geared towards teens.

How was metaphor used? Were associations fresh or did they tend toward cliche? Did they add to your understanding of the theme?

I don't think there was a whole lot of metaphor in this particular book. Everything was pretty much straight forward in the descriptions.

What was the central or organizing theme? How does the title relate to the story? Was it fitting?

I can never figure out themes! Perseverance? Confidence? Sounds good! :) The title is very fitting to the story, because it's Gracie that manages to hold this family together. Her step-dad calls her "Amazing Gracie" there towards the end to show her how much confidence he has in her.
Thanks for the great questions people! :)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Beginnings

What are your favourite first sentences from books? Is there a book that you liked specially because of its first sentence? Or a book, perhaps that you didn’t like but still remember simply because of the first line?

My favorites are most likely the favorites of everyone else... you know... the "famous" first lines:

"It was the best of times, it was the worst of times...." (A Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens)

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife" (Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen)

"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again" (Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier)

And a couple less well-known:

"So, there I was, tied to an altar made from out-dated encyclopedias, about to get sacrificed to the dark powers by a cult of evil Librarians." (Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians, Brandon Sanderson)

"First the colors. Then the humans. That's usually how I see things. Or at least, how I try." (The Book Thief, Markus Zusak.... technically not a sentence, but a paragraph I guess... )

Though I love first sentences and am fascinated by them, they will not make or break a book for me... that's for sure.

Raidergirl listed a bunch of first line quizzes on her post... go check those out for fun when you feel the mood!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Review: Isolde, Queen of the Western Isle by Rosalind Miles (including Weekly Geeks questions)

Book: Isolde, Queen of the Western Isle by Rosalind Miles

Rating: A

Genre: Historical Fiction bordering on Fantasy or maybe it's Fantasy bordering on Historical Fiction

Here's a book I've wanted to read for quite awhile and so when I finally stumbled upon it at the library the other day, I snatched it up and immediately got lost in it. I love this story... a story as tragic and doomed as ever Romeo and Juliet was, or Arthur and Guinevere. A story about two lovers where fate has sealed them together, yet at the same time, doomed them to be forever apart. It all takes place during the King Aurthur times, but in a different part of England.

And now for Weekly Geek questions:

From Bybee: Isolde has a beautiful cover. Is this the same Isolde as in Tristan and Isolde?

Yes, this is most definitely THAT Tristan and Isolde. There's so many versions of this wonderful story. This is Rosalind Miles take on it... part one of a trilogy.

From Maree: Tristan and Isolde looks interesting. Is it historical fiction, or are there fantasy elements?

Funny you'd ask this because I completely felt like I was reading historical fiction.... as if all this really truly happened. Then I had to remember that usually these types of books are classified as fantasy, because of the magical elements that are added, Merlin and his abilities, and their mythical nature, etc. So... to answer the question, I'd guess I'd have to say it's mostly fantasy, but written in such a way as to make you forget that fact.

From Kim: I agree with bybee, Isolde has a gorgeous cover. What made you want to read this book? Is it a genre that you normally read? Is this an author you have read before? Is it historical or fantasy--it looks like it would be a fantasy by its cover. Is it a stand alone or part of a series? Are there strong male and female characters?

I LOVE the story of Tristan and Isolde. It's fascinated me since I read a book called The Enchanted Cup by Dorothy Roberts way back when I was a young teenager. Since then, I've wanted to read, watch, or learn all there is out there about these two characters.

Yes, it's a favorite genre of mine... fantasy bordering on historical fiction as I've decided to dub it today! :)

And yes, I've read this author before. She has a trilogy about King Arthur and Guinevere, which I also enjoyed. (I think I've only read the first two though, can't remember.)

The character of Isolde is a very strong female character. She is wonderful and brave and yet vulnerable too. Tristan is quite strong also, though Isolde outshines him I would say.

From Chris: I've read the first 2 of the Isolde series. Did you think Isolde's mother was over the top?

Ah... yes. Her mother. She is a bit crazy and wild. I'm not sure I "get" her. I think she makes Isolde quite crazy too. I read somewhere, I think the notes in the back of this book even, that there were queens of Ireland just like this... that this promiscuity and brazenness was quite the norm for them.

From Tasses: I have Isolde, Queen of the Western Isle, but haven't read it. How close does it stay to the original or is it a totally different thing?

So, the question here is: what is the original? The stuff Sir Thomas Malory wrote about? It does stay pretty close to that, or to the familiar version of Tristan and Isolde as I know it. Lots more detail of course.

Thanks for the questions everyone!

To sum up: I loved the book and hope to continue the rest of the series eventually.

My question to you all: What other great Tristan and Isolde stories/books/movies do you know of that I for sure should not miss?

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

An Abundance of Giveaways!

Wow, there's a lot of contests/giveaways going on around these parts! I've entered a few, and am encouraged to promote them here in order to up my chances of winning... if only I could remember which ones I entered now.

And I even won one recently! Thanks Jessica at The Bluestocking Society! I'll be getting The Questory of Root Karbunkulus by Kamilla Reid. It looks like a fun one. Jessica is also doing several other giveaways which you can read about here and here.

Lisa at Books. Lists. Life. is giving away two books AND a cool bag she made. You'll really want to see what that's about.

I also entered another wonderful contest on The Koolaid Mom's site. Check that one out too!

Then there's Stephanie at The Written Word who's giving away The Wednesday Sisters. That one looks great.

Let's see. It seems like I'm forgetting one that I wanted to let you know about. I really need to get some sort of system going for keeping track of these contest things!

Anyway, go enter if you're interested! Sometimes, you actually win!

Monday, July 21, 2008

My Experience in Pre-ordering Breaking Dawn

So, since I'll be out of town the weekend Breaking Dawn comes out, I decided I better pre-order it. So I go to Borders:

Me: I'd like to pre-order Breaking Dawn.

Borders Dude: Okay.

Me: And that means there'll be a copy here with my name on it, right?

BD: That's right.

Me: Even if I can't come and pick it up until Monday?

BD: Oh... let me check. (consults with other Borders Dude....)

BD: Umm... welll.... we can only hold it for you for 24 hours.

Me: Seriously? So.. pre-ordering is pretty much a waste for me then.

BD: Yep. Pretty much. BUT... we'll be ordering thousands. There should be plenty still here on Monday.

Me: So, it'll be different from last time then? When you ran out of Eclipse within an hour?

BD: WE didn't run out of Eclipse! That was Barnes and Noble!

Me: Well, it was right here in this store that I came last year, and we were all grabbing books from your last box you were setting out, which was about an hour after you opened.

BD: (shaking his head)

Me: (nodding mine)

Me: Well, so, anyway, you're ordering more than last time? And on Monday, you think you'll have plenty of copies left?

BD: Yep, we should.

So much for the pre-ordering idea.

Looks like I'll just have to take my chance that they really will... or that someone else will order thousands and still have copies left. I think I may go crazy that weekend wondering.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Weekly Geeks #12: Questions

This week's Weekly Geeks: To list the books we've recently read, or haven't reviewed yet and have you, our readers, ask questions in the comment about them, and then base our review on those questions. Sounds fun to me.

So the books I've read this week, and have not yet reviewed:

Isolde, Queen of the Western Isle by Rosalind Miles

Amazing Gracie by A.E. Cannon

Updated to add this to the list:

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery

Questions anyone?

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Yet Another Twilight Trailer!

So I'm sharing in case you haven't seen it yet:

Booking Through Thursday: Vacation Spots AND Doomsday

Booking Through Thursday

Another question inspired by the Bunch of Grapes on Martha’s Vineyard having burned down on the Fourth of July.
Do you buy books while on vacation/holiday?
Do you have favorite bookstores that you only get to visit while away on a trip?
What/Where are they?

Yes, I do buy books on vacation. Sometimes cook books, like the time I bought a big fat one while exploring Amish Country. And often I'll buy the "tour" books, especially after site seeing in a National Park. These are the books full of big, beautiful color pictures of all the places you've just seen. I came home with a bunch of those after being to England. It's fun to look through them. I think I bought a couple of novels in England, mostly because I thought it was cool to see the price in pounds on the back! (I think it was a Sir Walter Scott book too, so that made sense to buy while in Scotland, right?)

I don't have any particular favorite book stores that I visit. But I do make it a point to check out whatever bookstore is in the area when we are on vacation. We walked around in a really cool, eclectic one while in San Francisco. I wish I could remember the name. (I think it was this one.) I felt like I was "trespassing" though, because I had a tail of kids following me. I don't think they see many kids in there! And there's a pretty neat one on Cannery Row in Monterey, California too. When I was in Portland, I totally missed seeing Powell's. If I ever get back there, that place will be high high on my list! Oh, and when I was in England, I walked down The Strand, and in and out of a few bookstores there, just to say I did it!

And sometimes when I go to Salt Lake, which isn't really a vacation spot for me, but a day excursion sometimes, I like to walk around The King's English. Love that bookstore too.

And last week's question, because I wasn't here to answer then:

What would you do if, all of a sudden, your favorite source of books was unavailable?
Whether it’s a local book shop, your town library, or an Internet shop … what would you do if, suddenly, they were out of business? Devastatingly, and with no warning? Where would you go for books instead? What would you do? If it was a local business you would try to help out the owners? Would you just calmly start buying from some other store? Visit the library in the next town instead? Would it be devastating? Or just a blip in your reading habit?

If my library was suddenly not available, I would be lost. It would be heartbreaking. I would be travelling more often to the library in the neighboring city much more than I do now. And if there was no library available at all, I'd be buying even more books than I do now. I'd use Paperbackswap more, and I'd be checking out thrift store books more. Having no library would be really hard!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Review: It's A Mall World After All by Janette Rallison

Book: It's a Mall World After All by Janette Rallison

Genre: YA Romance

Rating: A-

I've discovered a new favorite author! The librarians recommended her books to the teen summer reading group this year, and so we checked out a couple of her books. Then I went to her book signing one day, chatted with her, and bought a couple of her books there. Then I joined the YA Romance Challenge and so I was doomed from the start!

But what a fun, fun book! It's very easy reading and takes only a couple of hours or so. Very light hearted, face-paced funny stuff. It's about this high school girl who works at the mall. She sees all kinds of things there and starts relating it too her life. But the main story is how she thinks her best friend's boyfriend is cheating on her. So she goes all out to prove it. She gets herself into all kinds of crazy jams.

I can't wait to read more.

Review: Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult

Book: Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: A-

Every summer, my book club takes a little break from our monthly meetings. However, we do assign ourselves some sort of summer reading project. This summer, we decided to pick an author to read, each of us reading whatever book by that author we could find. But we had a tie in the voting, between Jodi Picoult and Bill Bryson. So, I decided I'd read at least one book by each of them and this is the Picoult book I ended up with.

Her books make me nervous because they always deal with some "hard to read about" subject. This book's hard subject: kidnapping. However, the twist and take it took on this subject made it a little easier for me to read. I can't say much more than that without giving it all away.

The story is from the viewpoint of Delia, a thirty-something woman, who, along with her dog, works in search and rescue. She thinks her life is going quite smoothly, but suddenly, everything changes and all is turned upside down. There's an interesting love triangle going on too, along with all the other plot twists and turns.

Overall, I ended up completely enjoying this book. The style is easy to read, and the story is compelling and really moves along.

I've only read one other of her books (The Pact) and so I have a lot to go if I ever want to catch up!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Random Tuesday Thoughts

Did you see the latest EW cover? I think it's AWFUL... awful, awful, awful! And I'm thinking I'm not the only one.
However, the articles inside (one about
Stephenie and one about the movie)were quite nice.

The other day I realized I'll be out of town when Breaking Dawn comes out! Tragic!

Oh, and
here's a fun interview with the kid that plays Jacob... can't wait to see more of him!

Last night I went to the American Idols concert. Wow, that was amazing! They were all fantastic, and then when our hometown boy, David A., came on, the screams were deafening. And we couldn't stop. We screamed and screamed and screamed some more. We screamed until we brought him to tears, he was so overwhelmed. It was really really cool. And they get to do it all again for a second show here tonight. I would go again if I could!

Okay, what else? I've got a couple of reviews to do. Those will be later.

Library Day today. Those are almost over, only a couple more times. That means summer is wrapping up. What? No way!

I realized this morning that when book club starts up again, we are going to have to change our meeting day. No more Third Thursdays I'm thinking. If one of my book clubber ladies is reading this... what do you think? Are we going to have to switch days? That's going to mess us up!

Alright. Enough randomness for one post. My head hurts. I have concert hangover I think. So bye for now!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Six Quirks Meme

Wow. It's amazing how behind one can get in the blogging business (both reading and writing them) when gone for just a few days!

So Becky tagged me for the Six Quirks meme. I wish I could think of some good quirks. I think my quirks aren't quite quirky enough. Plus I want to list different things then I did for the "Eight Interesting Things" Meme from awhile back. So I asked The Mr. "What are my quirks?" He said, "too much blogging!" I said, "That's a given... everyone that reads this will have that quirk!" So he said, "You sleep with three pillows?"

Is that a quirk?

Anyway, here's the meme rules:

1. Link the person(s) who tagged you
2. Mention the rules on your blog
3. Tell about 6 unspectacular quirks of yours
4. Tag 6 fellow bloggers by linking them
5. Leave a comment on each of the tagged blogger’s blogs letting them know they’ve been tagged

1. I sleep with three pillows! One for my head, one for my legs, and one to hug! Also three blankets... those fleece things you know. They are just there too, kinda making a sort of nest.

2. I don't like going barefoot, or even wearing sandals. So even in the summer, I'm mostly found in tennis shoes of some sort. If I do go barefoot for some reason, my feet start hurting and feel so relieved when I get them back in some shoes!

3. Unlike most stereotypical girly girls, I don't like jewelry, flowers or candy (well, candy is nice sometimes) for presents. I'd much rather have what the stereotypical guy would want... techno stuff. Like for Valentine's Day I said, "Do you think I could get a new car stereo perhaps?"

4. If my fingernails get too long, which means more than a sliver of white showing, I have to peel them down. I think this basically means I bite my fingernails. Ick.

5. I work from an ongoing list. If it's not on my list, it doesn't get done.... or packed, or cleaned, or read, or sent, or bought (wait... I do buy stuff not on the list.. all the time!)......

6. Let's see. Everyone mentions food quirks. Do I have a food quirk? Hmmm... dipping graham crackers in milk? Not eating healthy such as my "just say no" attitude toward vegetables? Ketchup on macaroni and cheese? Salt on grapefruit? Any of those quirks? I have no idea.

Okay, whew. That's over. Now the tagging part. I like getting tagged, but I hate tagging. So, who feels like being tagged? If you need a blogging subject, then YOU ARE TAGGED! Let me know so I can come see.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Half Year Number Crunching and Listing

I've seen several book bloggers (but I saw it first at Lisa's Books.Lists.Life blog) doing the "half year" tally, or wrap-up, or recap, or report, or whatever you'd like to call it. Since I love crunching the numbers at the end of the year, I thought I'd see what my half-year numbers looked like. All numbers are as of the end of June.

Total Books Read: 53
of those 38 are YA books
4 are NF
and the rest (which is only 11! sheesh!) are regular old contemporary fiction. (I think this is really telling me something. )
14 of the total have been for book clubs or challenges of some sort
29 of the total have been from the library, the balance are all ones I own

Reasons I've been so side-tracked with YA books:
Justine Larbalestier
Scott Westerfeld
Maureen Johnson
Laurie Halse Anderson
John Green
.... just to name a few
.... oh and going to too many book signings and "meeting" local authors and then feeling the need to come home and read ALL their books. That's a problem too.

If I had to pick a top ten list at this point:
The Book Thief (does it count if it's a re-read?) by Markus Zusak
Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson
Stardust by Neil Gaiman
Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
The Host by Stephenie Meyer
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

Goals I seriously need to make for the rest of the year: READ MORE BIG PEOPLE BOOKS! :) (And guess what I just got from the library yesterday... handfuls of more YA books!)

Guess we'll see how it goes.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Favorite Literary Couples

Literary Feline is having a contest! To enter you need to comment (or do your own blog post as I'm chosing to do here) about your favorite literary couples. This being one of my favorite bookish subjects, I had to join in and eleborate a bit in my own post.

Many of my favorites have been mentioned over and over, but I'll mention them again just for fun:

Elizabeth and Darcy

Anne and Gilbert

Ron and Hermione

Bella and Edward

Heathcliff and Catherine

Romeo and Juliet

Some others I love:

Ash and Anjuli (from The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye)

Katherine and John of Gaunt (from Katherine by Anya Seton)

(It appears we need a movie made of this book so we can have a good couple picture!)

Edward and Elinor (from Sense and Sensability by Jane Austen)

Beauty and the Beast (my favorite from Robin McKinley's Beauty)

John and Abigail Adams

Just a few of my favorites!

Weekly Geeks #10: Magazines

Weeking Geeks this week is about one of my most favorite things: Magazines! This week's assignment is to post about the magazines we read. So here's a few of my favorites.

2. Yes, I subscribe
3. Favorite feature: Highlights on specific authors.
4. What my interest says about me: I'm a book geek!
5. I've been reading it for about three or four years.
6. The amount of reviews they have is amazing.

1. Entertainment Weekly
2. Yes, I subscribe
3. Favorite feature: I like their Top 20 Lists
4. What my interest says about me: I'm a pop culture geek!
5. I've been reading for about a year.
6. No specific quirky thing... I just like their inside scoop on stuff and how it keeps you updated on everything. And it's cheap.

1. Mental_floss
2. Yes, I subscribe.
3. Favorite feature: Oh, there's tons. The 6 degrees of Ken Jennings.... Scatterbrained... Interview with the Dead... etc.
4. What my interest says about me: I'm a trivia geek!
5. I've been reading for about a year.
6. This whole magazine is quirky. I LOVE it. It's very fun, smart, sassy and cool.

1. All You
2. Yes, I subscribe.
3. Favorite feature: not really sure.
4. What my interest says about me: I have no idea!
5. Again, about a year on the reading thing.
6. I like the recipes and all the easy suggestions for all kinds of different things.

1. Newsweek
2. Yes, I subscribe.
3. Favorite Feature: none in particular
4. What my interest says about me: I'm trying to be an informed geek!?
5. I've been reading this one about three years or so.
6. I used to read Time, then I switched to this one because it was a little cheaper, and because it seemed a bit easier to read. But now I'm not so sure.

Magazines I used to get but let the subscription run out: Real Simple, Oprah, Quilter's Newletter, Family Circle, Discover, Family Fun.

Magazines that get sent to us for free and we don't know why: Outsider, Field and Stream, Working Mother, Backpacking, Boy's Life

Magazines my kids get: Discover Kids, Girl's Life, Disney Adventures (before it died)

Magazines I'm tempted by: Writer's Digest, American History, crafty magazines

Magazines I wish wouldn't have died: Book, Pages

SO.... what magazines do YOU love?

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Fourth of July Weekend

We had a barbecue.... this was the beginning of the set up. I should have taken a picture of the finished look with way too much food, but by then, there was too much going on to think of cameras.

Then we went to a big celebration at the stadium....

.... and saw Blue Man Group....

.... and Miley Cyrus....

.... and fireworks!

Here's someone else's Youtube video of the event. This shows my favorite part... the jet flyover!

And then on Saturday, we had yet another family barbecue! Good thing we like those hamburgers!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Holidays

It’s a holiday weekend here in the U.S., so let’s keep today’s question simple–What are you reading? Anything special? Any particularly juicy summer reading?

Interesting that this question would catch me on a down day. In fact, yesterday, I didn't pick up and read a book once the entire day. How often does that happen? Hardly ever!

So, as was mentioned in a previous post, I'm nearly, not quite, to the half way point of War and Peace. Some parts of the this book I really like. Others, sheesh, I just don't get. I'm thinking this is pretty much a normal reaction, so hopefully I'm not too weird. Anyway, my goal is to finish it by the end of the year. That means a couple hundred pages a month.

Also, last week I started A New Earth... Oprah's big push this past while. Has anyone else read it yet? What do you think? Is it changing your life? So far, I'm understanding the concept but still have a tendency to do a little eye rolling as I'm reading. I'm thinking this isn't quite the reaction the author was going for, so... yeah... this book is slow going too.

And so today, I plan on starting a "real" book! (Assuming that the above mentioned books are just pretend for now.) What should it be? I could go for the Jodi Picoult book from the library that's been sitting there for a month. Or another YA romance that I just bought at the author signing the other week. Or I could start a juicy soap opera-y classic! Or get buried in a Brandon Sanderson fantasy. Maybe I should start another book on the TBR list (see sidebar). Or I could pick up something completely random that's buried somewhere on my shelf. A nice juicy summer read as suggested in the question above sounds really good about now.

I don't know. What do you think? What should my next book be?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Review: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

Book: Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: A-

This is my first book read for the YA Romance Challenge that I recently joined. However, there really wasn't much romance in it. I wanted more! Oh, well.

BUT... it was a great fairy tale, complete with princes, talking animals, bad trolls, a mean mom and an evil queen. But instead of a damsel in distress, we have "the lass" who is actually a very strong girl and gets stuff done!

I loved the hint of a "beauty and the beast" story and all the references to Norwegian culture. This one is actually based on a Norwegian fairy tale called "East of the Sun, West of the Moon" one I've never heard of.

Anyway, I loved it! Great story! Read it when you're in that fairy tale mood!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

June Recap

Here's what I read in June:

Mira, Mirror by Mette Ivie Harrison: Ever wondered what happened to the mirror after the witch in Snow White stopped coming to ask who was the fairest one of all? Well, now you can find out!

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See: Two best friends grow up in 19th century China and survive all kinds of traumatic events.

Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson: Our heroine ends up helping with the prom even though she's quite against the whole idea.

Life, Love and the Pursuit of Free Throws by Janette Rallison: Two friends want what the other one has. Do they get what they want for themselves in the end?

Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George: The story of what happens to Creel after she is sacrificed to the local dragon.

The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch: Some wonderful life inspirations.

Relocating Mia by Rebecca Lerwill: The new guy Mia is asked to work with is nice, but is he who he appears to be?

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green: Colin gets dumped for the 19th time by a Katherine. In order to forget his misery, he and his friend take off on a road trip and have an adventure where they learn tons about themselves and life.

Farworld: Water Keep by J. Scott Savage: Two kids, each from different worlds, meet up and together learn how their weaknesses are really strengths, and how that knowledge can help save the world. (Much, MUCH more on this book when it's my turn for the Blog Tour! Stay tuned!)

War and Peace progress: Yes, I made some.... progress that is. I've just passed the 500 page mark which means I'm not quite half way. I'll have this book read by the end of the year if it kills me! :)

Hard to pick a favorite of the month from this list. I guess I'll go with Snow Flower and the Secret Fan... with many tying for second place!


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