Thursday, April 30, 2009

What is Jason Castro Reading?

So, I just had to share my little exciting moment of yesterday.

Jason Castro, last years dreadlocked American Idol, did a little live webcast yesterday. As part of the advertising for this event, he asked people to Twitter him questions. So I did.

And if course, you all know what I asked, "What are you reading?" I also asked what his favorite books of all time were.

So yesterday afternoon, I was actually home and even remembered to tune into the webcast. At several questions in, he said, "Sue says..."

I thought, cool. Someone with a similar name!

Then he proceeded to read my question! Wahoo! (I don't know what happened to the "y" part of my name, maybe my Twitter name (SueySays) confused him?)

Anyway, it was very exciting.

Quite shyly, he admitted to being into Paulo Coelho right now, reading both The Alchemist and The Valkyries. Then he mentioned The Great Depression Ahead by Harry Dent as another one he's working on. He said he loves it because it's challenging and fascinating.

Then he glanced over at the chat screen and noticed someone suggested The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón, so he right then and there, turned his back on the camera, found a paper and wrote it down. I think he'll LOVE that one if he manages to get to it.

So, out of the gazillion of questions asked, and the only 1/2 hour of time that he was "on air," he picked my bookish question to answer! So cool!

Also, interestingly enough, someone asked him what three things he would take with him on a deserted island. Without hesitation, he said his Kindle 2, so he could have TONS of books to read! (The other two items? After deliberation, he settled on a yacht and a chef. )

Seriously, I think we have a true reader on our hands here!

(P.S. He forgot to answer the second part of the question, favorite books of all time. Oh, well.)

Oh, hey, whatdaya know... the whole thing can still be viewed on his website! Check it all out here: Jason's Live Webcast

Booking Through Thursday: Worse

Which is worse?
Finding a book you love and then hating everything else you try by that author, or
Reading a completely disappointing book by an author that you love?

Both of these are sad, but I think I'm going to go with the second option: reading a disappointing book by an author I love.

I was trying to think of examples of this instance and came up with Maeve Binchy and Robin McKinley. I love them both, but the latest books I've read by them didn't wow me overly much. But, nothing changes. I still love them both and will keep reading their stuff. I'm sure there's many other similar examples like this, if I could ponder all day about. But then this BTT would never get written!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Midweek Morsels: More Enchiladas!

Yesterday, I was trying to come up with something to make for dinner using shredded chicken leftovers. So I Googled. And found this fun food blog called Megan's Munchies. And found this yummy recipe.

So I went for it and made it for dinner and loved it. Now, I'm about ready to eat it's leftovers for lunch!

Chicken Black Bean Enchiladas

1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup shredded cooked chicken
1 can (15 oz.) black beans
3/4 cup salsa
1/2 cup cooked corn
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cups Mexican blend cheese
1 can (10 oz.) mild enchilada sauce
8 flour tortillas

Heat oven to 350 degrees.Spray 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray.Combine red bell pepper, chicken, beans, salsa, corn, cilantro and 2 cups cheese in a large bowl.Spread 1 tablespoon of enchilada sauce on each tortilla.Top each tortilla with about 3/4 cup of the bean and chicken mixture.Roll up tortillas and place seam side down in the baking dish.Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the enchiladas.Top with remaining cheese.Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes, removing the foil during the last 5-10 minutes of baking.

Your turn! Come share a recipe at Midweek Morsels on Kristina's Favorites!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays: Change

Teaser Tuesdays asks you to:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

From The Secret Keeper by Paul Harris page 113:

"Four years ago these streets had been full of fear. Once, people would have looked at him with curiosity and nervousness; white people usually meant a crisis or someone was needing help."

Monday, April 27, 2009

Review: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwodd

Book: The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood

Genre: Literary Fiction (a bit of history and SF thrown in too)

Rating: A

For: Awards Challenge (Booker Prize 2000)

This one of those books that has three different stories within the one book. First, there's our heroine, Iris, in the present. She's an old lady, dealing with the inconveniences of being old, looking back on her life, and trying to get it all written down before it's too late. This part is written in the first person, present tense.

Then, there's the story she's actually writing down, her past life. It starts with the building up of her grandpa's button business in Canada, her parents getting together, her birth, her sister's birth, all the stuff that happens in between and ends when her life all fell apart many years later. We get glimpses of her life during WWI, the Depression, and WWII. This part is told in first person, past tense.

The third part of the story is actually a book that Iris has and is sharing with us (you'll get the details about that as you go) and this book is called The Blind Assassin. It's about a pair of lovers, meeting discreetly, as often as they can. During their meetings, the guy tells the girl this strange, but oddly riveting, science fiction story. This section is told in third person present tense.

Interspersed in between the sections are several news articles and a few letters, depicting these events.

I totally enjoyed the whole thing. All the different sections held my attention. There were a couple of plot twists that threw me for a loop, which is always fun. The writing style is very poetic and descriptive, but not in an over-the-top way. Basically, it's one of those soap opera-ish stories that I love to get all involved in.

It was a sad and depressing story though. I'm ready for and uplifting and happy one now!

Other Reviews:

Farmlane Books

1 More Chapter

Caribou's Mom

Trish's Reading Nook

(Sheesh, I just realized the Awards Challenge ends soon. I thought I had until the end of the summer! Oh, well.)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

JJ Goes to Prom

Notice how green our grass is... it'll not be that green the rest of the year! JJ is grimacing a little in that top picture. Maybe 'cause it's pretty cold! But you can see the color of her dress better. The bottom picture is cuter of her, but the dress is faded. Bad lighting or something. Anyway, all turned out well, despite the rain. She had tons of fun. This guy is friend from her dance class, so when they go to dances... they really, actually dance! Very fun.

The Sunday Salon: Pondering the Next Book.... again

Why is it that on Sunday, when it's time to do A Sunday Salon post and discuss what I'm reading, I'm always between books and trying to decide what's next?

I finished The Blind Assassin yesterday morning, laying in bed, listening to the rain beat down on the roof. Perfect reading conditions! Look for a review on that one soon.

Now I need to read something a little lighter. And there's always the dilemma of do I read something from a challenge list? Or do I just read whatever feels good? Or do I read a library book sitting here in the pile?

Here's some I'm debating on:

Fablehaven #2 by Brandon Mull
The White Darkness by Geraldine McCaughrean
The Forever King by Molly Cochran and Warren Murphy
The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham
Someone Like You or Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

So, what say you? Which one needs to rise to the top? Or do you suggest I skip ALL of these and read something else entirely?

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009.15: It's All About Animals

We have a new Weekly Geek topic! This time It's All About Animals! I do love animals and become very attached to pets. When I was a kid, I had three different cats (at different times) who all died traumatic deaths. After that, I decided that it was too hard to have pets, so when I started a home and family of my own, pets were not going to be part of the plan.

But then, one day, a stray cat started hanging out at our house. We tried to ignore her, but after a month of persistence in her part, we finally decided to start feeding her. Eleven years later, that cat is still hanging out... in the house even!

Then, one son talked us into hermit crabs. I don't have much to do with these pets, but they are still quite interesting.

And last year, we up and got a cockatiel. After three months, it flew away and got lost outside. I was sick about it. However, the next day, we found him way up high in our neighbor's tree. The rescue was quite dramatic, and now, the bird has survived a complete year with us. In fact, just today, there was talk about getting him a friend to play with!

All that being said, I've never been much of an animal book person. Yet, when I do read one, I always love it. Here's TEN of my favorites. Yes, another Top Ten list from me. (Weekly Geeks keeps having subjects that lend themselves well to this new quest of mine!)

Suey's Top Ten Animal Books

1. Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand (race horse)

2. Black Beauty by Anna Sewell (horse)

3. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (dogs)

4. Old Yeller by Fred Gipson (dog)

5. Socks by Beverly Cleary (cat)

6. Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (pig, spider and others)

7. Follow My Leader by James B.Garfield (guide dog)

8. Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'dell (many different animals)

9. Stuart Little by E.B. White (mouse)

10. Eragon by Christoper Paolini (dragons)

Okay I was pushing it with that last one. I know I'm missing some and it's really going to bug me when I remember them!

Here's a couple I'd like to read someday soon:

Marley and Me
Watership Down
Dewey, the Small Town Library Cat Who Touched the World

What are YOUR favorite animal books? Which ones did I forget in my Top Ten? Which ones do I really need to read before I die?

Friday, April 24, 2009

Ramblin' Friday Thoughts

I'm feeling in the mood for another of those meaningless ramblin' posts. My thoughts for the day (with questions included... you know... to encourage all your wonderful comments!):

** Life's been crazy and I haven't had much time for reading, in fact, there's been a few days where I never read at all. Non-reading days are just strange. But, I'm still working on The Blind Assassin, which I'm really quite enjoying. If I concentrated on it a bit, I could finish it today, or tomorrow. Question: Do you ever have a day where you don't read at all?

** I got a bunch of Printz award books from the library a week or so ago. Backlash from the excitement of starting our challenge. But, I haven't read a single one of them yet. Question and shameless plug: Have you gone over and joined the challenge yet? (I give you permission because it's a perpetual one you know... no deadlines.)

** I'm jealous of all those getting to go to book festivals here, there and everywhere! But y'all have fun and be sure to tell us ALL about it! Question: Have you been to a book festival?And if so what was the best thing about it?

** The Third Thursday Book Club was at my house last night (I know it was actually a 4th Thursday, but that happens sometimes!) The book was The Secret Life of Bees. I think everyone just liked it "okay." I was surprised at that a little. I thought they'd all love it. (I loved it when I read it many years ago. I didn't do a re-read to see if my feelings changed.) We tried to plan our upcoming schedule. Here's what we've got so far: Janette Rallison books for May, summer TBA still (thinking about picking a series of some kind), The Kite Runner in October, The Hunger Games and sequel (Catching Fire?) in November, Mrs. Mike in December.

** American Idol thoughts: I'm loving both Kris and Adam. But if it comes down to the two of them in the final... I think I'd log my votes for Kris. But I think Adam will be winning this year, no matter who he goes against in the finale. I love downloading the studio versions of their songs and have a pretty good playlist built up now. My favorite from that list at this point is Mad World by Adam, and To Make You Feel My Love by Kris. Question: If you are an American Idol fan, and Kris and Adam are in the finals, who would you want to see win?

** We recovered from our snowy weather of last week, and went back to spring this week. It's been great! The Mr. is back to motorcycling to work, and we've all shed the coats and are digging out the shorts. Question: Has spring finally arrived at your house?

** I made four batches of strawberry jam yesterday, and then some syrup, and then a strawberry dessert for book club. And we STILL have a bunch to just eat. Yum. Question: Strawberries... love 'em or hate 'em?

Well, I'm thinking that's enough rambling and questioning for one day. Oh, and don't forget to go vote on the latest Bookword... poll now up at An Adventure in Reading.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Awards and More Awards!

Once again, I'm behind in my giving away awards duty. Kristina gave this one to me awhile back and passed it on by reward her last ten commenters... so that's what I'm doing to. So, here's to my last ten:

Melissa at One Librarian's Book Reviews

Trish at Trish's Reading Nook

Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit

Joy at Thoughts of Joy

Bybee at Naked Without Books

Chantele at Always Something to Read

Kailana at The Written World

Kim at Good Clean Reads

Jessica at The Blue Stocking Society

Nise at Under the Boardwalk

I've received several other awards lately too, most of which I've already passed along, so I just wanted to recognize the givers.

Thanks to Melissa (One Librarian's Book Reviews and Kim (Page After Page) for the Let's Be Friends Award.

And there was someone who gave me the I Heart Your Blog Award... but I can't find who it was. Arghhh... I hate that!

And now my question of the day: What do you think about all the awards going 'round and 'round the blogosphere? My opinion.... it's fun to get them and be sort of "singled" out, but it's hard to pass them on mostly because it takes a lot of time, but also because I like ALL my bloggin' buddies, and so I just want to give everyone an award. It's hard. And I'm especially bad because I don't go around to let people know they have one... they have to discover that on their own. But for me that's kinda fun to see who ends up finding it.

But someone somewhere recently said that they think of them as the bloggy version of chain letters. What do you think? And the biggest question of all, who starts them anyway!?! :)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Introducing: Suey's Top Tens

I thought it would be fun to, now and then, make a list of my top ten picks in various different bookish categories. And look!!! I even figured out a little button to go with it! I'm so proud of myself. I know, it's not very fancy, but still. It's a button!

Anyway, as these lists appear, I'll link to them in their own little sidebar category. Also, I'll have a master list on this post, linking to the different lists. Hopefully that makes sense. So here's what we've got so far:

Suey's Top Tens

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: On Orphans

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

Grab your current read
Open to a random page
Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

From The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood page 179:

"What's wrong with orphans?" I said. I knew what was wrong with them in Reenie's books: they didn't know who their fathers were, and that made them unreliable, if not downright degenerate.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Review: The Monster in Me by Mette Ivie Harrison

Review: The Monster in Me by Mette Ivie Harrison

Genre: YA

Rating: A-

For: Fun

Actually, this is for my ongoing quest to read all the books by the local authors... at least the ones I'm aware of. So when I saw this one just sitting there at the library, I snatched it up to go home with me.

This is a short, simple story about a girl whose mom is unable to take care of her, so she continues to get bounced from foster home to foster home. This is the experience she has with a certain family where she is finally able to confront some of the demons that haunt her.

It was a fast, easy read that I enjoyed, however, it's very very different from her other fantasy/fairy tale type books. I think I still like those better.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Sunday Salon: Spring Break Report

First of all, congratulations to all the recent read-a-thoners! It sounds like everyone had a blast and read a lot and totally enjoyed the day/night. I'm really keeping my fingers crossed that next time will work for me. Maybe if it doesn't, I'll modify and make it work somehow.

Anyway, this past week was spring break for us around here. Even though it snowed like crazy for a couple of those days.... and rained for most of the rest. We usually take off and head out of town, but this time we couldn't because, as I mentioned in a previous post... we had Wicked tickets! Also, we couldn't leave because we have a college kid and of course, his spring break didn't match up with the other kids' break. So... we stuck around.

Besides seeing Wicked, (which was awesome of course!) we saw many movies. Seven Pounds, (which I really enjoyed, though it's quite emotionally painful) , Yes Man (which I liked parts of, including the premise of not being afraid of life, but there was also too much crudeness for me), The Hannah Montana Movie (which was surprisingly enjoyable!) and 17 Again (which made me laugh a lot, but was oddly depressing for me too.)

We also pretended to be tourists in our own city and went site seeing. That's always a fun thing to do. But I was bugged that we forgot the camera! Not a very touristy thing to do.

Other events of the week: we made a cool castle cake to answer a prom invite, bought the prom dress, went to a wedding shower, ate out too many times, trashed the house, cleaned the house, went camping (the scouts in the family anyway), and listened to lots of music!

So, this is all to say that not much reading as been going on around here. BUT, I did start The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood, because it's on my Awards Challenge list, and that's the challenge that seems to get most neglected, so I decided to show it some attention.

My first impression (now about 150 pages in) is that it's a strange, but interesting one! Basically a look back on a family history, with some interesting storytelling mixed in between. Anyway, I don't think it will take me long to get through it.

What the family is reading:

The Mr.: finished Snow Flower and the Secret Fan and enjoyed it a lot... I think. Now he's just reading his latest school text book.

Bud: STILL working on The Eye of the World.

JJ: Has gone through several books lately. I made her read The Hunger Games, which she downed in a day. Also read Let It Snow, and is now reading some Anita Stansfield book.

Moder: Is working on Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson. His comment so far: "It's way funnier than I thought it would be."

Toto: Recently finished The Westing Game, and has now moved on to 39 Clues.

Oh, and what is Jason Castro reading? Well, thanks to his Twittering, I know that he's been working on The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Review: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

Book: Agnes Grey by Anne Bronte

Genre: Classic

Rating: B+

I wanted to read this one for the Classics Challenge because it's one of the last few of the Bronte sisters stack that I hadn't read yet. There's a reason it's not one of the more popular ones and that's because there really isn't much to it.

It's about a girl who decides to be a governess because her family is struggling financially. The first place she goes to is pretty awful, and she doesn't last long there. Then she ends up at another place, which really isn't much better, but enough that she stays longer. From there, it turns into a sweet, simple love story, without much emotion or drama or surprises.

So, yeah, it was cute and quaint. Everything I expected. So I totally enjoyed it. But it doesn't replace my favorite Bronte books by any means!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Spring Break!

Spring Break this year......

.... Spring Break last year!

I'd say that's the definition of depressing.

BUT.... to cheer myself up.... I will share with you what I'll be seeing tonight:

That should fix things, right?

P.S. Welcome to my 600th post! On to 600 more!

The Bookword Game: And the winner is....

Our latest Bookword creation (with 55% of the vote) is:

Marginally Challenged: a book with very little space between lines (likely, it's a public domain book/classic) giving deceivingly few pages to read

Congratulations goes out to Booklogged of A Reader's Journal for coming up with the winning word!

And now we need suggestions for a new word. The first word we had for the Bookword Game was one that describes a book everyone loves, but you hate (RecommenDud), so today, let's flip flop that and figure out a word for a book that you LOVE, but everyone else (well, almost everyone) HATES.

Okay, go for it! Suggestions in comments. And help us spread the word, our numbers are dwindling. We don't want dwindling now, do we? :)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009.14: What's Cookin?

Weekly Geeks this week is to talk about cookbooks! Well, they are books too, after all, right?

Here's what my cookbook collection looks like, housed in two shelves of a kitchen cupboard. Not so pretty, huh? The bottom shelf is what I use the most. On the upper shelf are ones I've thought about getting rid of, but just can't seem to do it. Also, there's a bunch of binders full of all my magazine recipe collections, back in the day when I managed to rip those out.

My favorite cookbooks are these two. A family collection, and a "quilter's" cookbook. I'm not sure what quilting and cooking have to do with each other, but it seems to work!
Here's the first cookbook I ever had. I LOVED this thing to death, and it shows!

One of my favorite things to do is to buy cookbooks as souvenirs from trips. One I love is from an Amish store, full of wonderful Amish recipes. I would have enjoyed buying cruise cookbooks, but they were extremely expensive, and too gourmet.

To answer some of the other questions:

-- I like to buy cookbooks with pictures. Yet the above mentioned favorite ones? No pictures.

-- I like cookbooks with easy "normal" ingredient recipes. No gourmet stuff.

-- I really like family and neighborhood/community cookbooks. Mostly because they have normal, no gourmet stuff!

And now a recipe that I just made last night that everyone nearly inhaled. It comes from the Quilter's Cookbook:

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Mixture:
1 carrot, sliced
2 potatoes, diced
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup milk
1 tsp. sage
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
2 cups diced, cooked chicken
1/2 cup frozen peas
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup soft butter
3-5 Tbsp. water
2 Tbsp. milk

1. Cook carrot and potatoes until soft.
2. Melt butter in saucepan. Add flour and cook over medium heat for one minute, stirring constantly. Add broth, milk and seasonings. Cook, stirring until thickened.

3. Stir in chicken, peas, carrots and potatoes. Pour into a 10 inch pie plate.

4. To make pastry, mix flour and salt in small bowl. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle in water and toss with fork until moist. Press into a ball.

5. Roll out onto well-floured surface. Lay over top of chicken ingredients in pie pan. Cut several slits for steam, and flute edge. Brush top with milk. Place pie pan on cookie sheet, because it's likely to run over!

6. Bake at 450 degrees for 20 min.

To make things MUCH MUCH easier I use: a can of chicken for the chicken, a prepared pie crust from the store, leftover potatoes already cooked, leftover vegetables of any kind. Last night I used canned carrots, and left out the peas. The possibilities are endless to simple it all up!

Tell me about your favorite cookbook!

Monday, April 13, 2009

A Comment or Two on Comments

The Blog Improvement Project project this week is to learn about and improve our comment situation. Or in other words, how to make our blogs more comment friendly. Kim links to a couple of great articles, full of specific advice on how to do this.

So here's the thing. I have to admit that I tend to get bouts of comment depression, even comment jealousy! And I try really hard to do much of what these articles suggest! So, what else to do to improve comments? Hmmmm....

Well, I think one of the very biggest things is that one must leave comments to get comments. And I do leave comments, but not very many really, considering how many blogs I actually read. So there's that ongoing goal! Leave more comments! (The article points out that if a post already has a lots of comments, that it scares people off. Therein lies one of my main comment problems. I won't talk if I think it's already been said, and said much better than I could ever say it besides!)

Another thing you may see me doing more to improve comments is asking questions. Sometimes this works, but I've also noticed sometimes I'll ask a question... and get ZERO comments! It's moments like this where you begin to feel like you're talking to yourself out here! But most of the time I forget about the question thing, so I'm going to try harder on that one. And hopefully sometimes you readers will answer!

Mainly, when I get down about comments, I remind myself, that blogging is fun with or without a ton of commenters. Right? Comments just make it even more fun!

My other problem about comment strategy, is that I hate to be obvious about begging for comments. (So much for that in this particular post!) Some of the suggestions in the articles border on that for me. I want to encourage comments, not beg for them.

So here's my comment situation in numbers. I can usually get a couple or three comments, sometimes five or so. Between five and ten is pretty good. Over ten and we're doing really well! Upper teens and into the twenties.... nearly unheard of around here... it's only happened a handful of times. So, to make it feel like things are improving, my specific goal would be to get over ten just a little more often. Cool!

Now, the questions for you:

Do you stress about comments? Or do you feel overwhelmed by comments? Do you do anything specific to encourage them? Do you think this blog is comment-friendly? Or is there something more I can do to encourage them?

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Sunday Salon: A Week in Review

It's been a fun, busy blogging week.

First, I'm excited to finally be part of an official challenge. Jessica, (The Bluestocking Society) and I started the Printz Project this week. We'd love for you to come join us in this perpetual challenge to read the Printz Award books.

Then, I passed on three different bloggy awards, sharing the love with a bunch of my favorite bloggers.

Oh, and we're voting on a new Bookword. Don't forget to come make a choice!

Yesterday, it was my turn to post the Weekly Geek topic, which is cookbooks. Be sure to check that out and share your cookbook collection with us.

Then there was the poem! Did you read it? Did it make you smile? I hope so.

And I had a blast from the past remembering some childhood favorites. I love looking at all those book covers.

Of course I did a couple of reviews too, both really great books. Now... what shall I read this week?

I have three books due at the library Tuesday. I may try to get them read, but of course, I can always renew. (That makes me think of an Arthur song... anyone know it? But you won't understand the renew thing unless you watch the whole thing!)

I'm really sad about the big read-a-thon next week. I'm just not sure if I'll be able to join in, and I want to so bad. I know I'm going to be feeling so left out. But, it's possible we may be doing some spring break activity. If not, I may try to join in, but most likely, I'll be doing family stuff either way. So, I guess we'll see. All you that are reading, have a blast!

Today, being Easter and all, I doubt I'll get much reading time in. We'll be doing the family dinner thing and all.

So Happy Easter all those celebrating!
Have a great day and wonderful week!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Review: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Book: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Genre: YA Historical Fiction

Rating: A

I've been avoiding this one. It's been sitting there on the nightstand, and I've been looking at for while now, being quite nervous to read it. But, finally, it's over! And it really wasn't as bad as I was expecting. Of course, it was heart breaking, but I didn't get as emotionally involved as I thought I would.

As most of you know, this is the story a nine year old German boy. His father has quite the important job with Nazi regime and has to move his family to.... a place the boy doesn't especially enjoy. That is, until one day he meets a friend at the fence. After that, things get more interesting.

The story is told very much through his eyes. He doesn't understand at all most of what is going on. He is very naive and sheltered. And I like this. It kept me more distant from the "real" story, which I think is why I handled it all better than I expected. Maybe some people are bugged by that, but I thought it was a very interesting and unique way to approach the Holocaust issue.

The back of my book says this story is about a nine year old, but isn't for nine year olds to read. But I actually thought if you are ready to teach your child (yes, an older child) about this part of our history, this book might be a pretty good place to start.

I haven't seen the movie yet. That one makes me nervous too. I don't think I'll be able keep emotionally distant from it at all. Here's the trailer if you're interested:

Other Reviews:

Friday, April 10, 2009

It's Raining Awards!

Wow! It's been raining awards around here! This week, I was deemed worthy to get both the Splash Award from Coversgirl, and the Zombie Chicken Award from Serena! And then a week or so ago, Kristina passed on the Sisterhood Award. Ah, you guys make me smile! Thanks so much.

But now the hard part, picking and choosing who to pass the award onto from here! Last time, I gave it out to some of my new blogging buddies. The time before, I celebrated some of my long time favorites. Hmmmmm... so who to choose this time?

The Splash Award

1) Put the logo on your blog/post.2) Nominate up to 9 blogs which allure, amuse, bewitch, impress or inspire you.3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.4) Let them know that they have been splashed by commenting on their blog.5) Remember to link to the person from whom your received your Splash award.

The Zombie Chicken Award

"The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all..."

The Sisterhood Award
1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate up to 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

Many of you probably already got this award! If so, congrats again! :) I love reading all your blogs. Keep it up.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009.13: Be a Kid!

Even though I did one part of Weekly Geeks already (Be a Poet!) I wanted to do the other part also: Be a Kid!

This calls for another Top Ten from me, I'm thinking.

Suey's Top Ten Childhood Favorites: Picture Books

Booking Through Thursday: Numbers Game

For something different, I’m borrowing a question from … here! One of the very first questions ever at Booking Through Thursday. Back from 2005 when Laura owned the blog but, because it was so new, it didn’t get as many responses as it does now … so, why not revisit?

Here’s the question:

Some people read one book at a time. Some people have a number of them on the go at any given time, perhaps a reading in bed book, a breakfast table book, a bathroom book, and so on, which leads me to…

1. Are you currently reading more than one book?
2. If so, how many books are you currently reading?
3. Is this normal for you?
4. Where do you keep your current reads?

Hey, good idea! I think it's fun to revisit old questions!

My answers:

1. Yes, I'm reading more than one book right now.
2. At the moment, I've got three going. That's counting War and Peace, which I neglect severely. Besides that one, I'm reading The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, and Agnes Grey.

3. Yes, it's very normal for me to have more than one book going at a time. This makes me happy. However, one usually tends to surface as the "top" book and receives most of my focus.

4. My books have a home on the nightstand when they are in the "currently reading" category. But I haul them all around with me as I come and go. I don't have different books for different locations, but I have done that before. (A couch book, a bed book, a car book and a treadmill book.)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Midweek Morsels: Strawberries!

For Midweek Morsels today, Kristina is thinking about spring foods. What makes me think spring is strawberries!

My favorite thing to do with strawberries, besides slicing them on my cereal, is to smoosh them up with a bit of sugar, pour it onto a slice of angel food cake, and dollop it with a bit of whipped cream. So, there's really no recipe for that, and I'm sure most of you do it already ... but if you don't... you really must try it!


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