Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Sunday Salon: May's Monthly Recap

Happy Sunday!

Seriously, is it the last day of May already? I guess summer is really here and I am guessing it will go by just as fast as the previous three months have gone. Hang on for the ride!

Today, I'm reading Beach Trip by Cathy Holton. I'm participating in a TLC Blog Tour for this one coming up the end of June. So far I'm enjoying it quite well.

Speaking of blog tours, this week I'll be hosting Paul Harris on my blog and his book The Secret Keeper. Be sure stop by on June 4th to see what I thought about his exciting book. I'll also be starting a new blog feature along with the review. Very exciting!

And now for my monthly recap. The month was really slow for me reading-wise, but I made up for it this past week. Here's what I read in May:

Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld: The adventures of our Midnighter kids continue when the "blue" hour starts happening at random times in the day.

The Secret Keeper by Paul Harris: Danny, who had been a war corrospondant in Sierra Leone, returns four years later after recieiving a destressing letter from his friend. (Full review coming this week.)

My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison: Savannah messes up her wish to her not-quite-fairy godmother and gets sent on a crazy adventure.

Fablehaven: The Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull: Kendra and Seth's adventures continue after they get tricked by a member of the Evening Star society.

Wings by Aprilynne Pike: Laurel moves to a new school, meets a very nice boy named David, then suddenly her world is turned upside down when she learns who she really is. (Full review coming soon.)

Just One Wish by Janette Rallison: Annika takes off to the set of Teen Robin Hood to try and get the lead actor to come visit her sick brother. (Full review coming soon.)

My favorites of the month: Just One Wish and Wings. Truly, you need to read them both.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009.20: Guilty Pleasures

Time for Weekly Geeks again! This time we are questioned about our guilty pleasures. My immediate thought is: Is it a guilty pleasure if we DON'T feel guilty about it?

Maree, who poses this question, admits to being a big American Idol fan. I've made no secret about my obsession with the show either! And I don't feel guilty or ashamed about it. I have such fun with it, that it can't be a bad thing to enjoy a TV show, right?

Speaking of TV, which I think is the main guilty pleasure of many, I decided a few years ago to stop trying to resist. This happened around the time we got our computer program that records shows (just like a DVR or Tivo, but on the computer) and I could suddenly keep up with more TV. And fast forward the commercials. And watch whenever I had time.

So I decided to drop that guilty feeling and just watch TV if I wanted to. Now, besides American Idol, I'm addicted to a good handful of shows. I think it makes life just that much more interesting to have fun with TV programs.

Author stalking is a fun guilty pleasure. I wish I had more freedom to pursue this particular hobby, but life sometimes suggests there's other things that need doing.

Science fiction movies could be considered a guilty pleasure I suppose. I was insanely excited to see Star Trek the other day. I would LOVE it if someone kept making Star Wars movies. Awhile back, I checked out Firefly and watched all those episodes and then the movie that came after called Serenity. I know there's many other science fiction shows and movies that I'm missing out on. I know I'd love them all. Maybe this summer during the boring TV season, I can rent some DVDs and catch up on some of them! What are your suggestions?

Sneaking chocolate chips from the pantry by the handful is major guilty pleasure!

I guess that's all I can come up with for now.

So, what are YOUR guilty pleasures?

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Review: Fablehaven:Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull

Book: Fablehaven: The Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull

Genre: YA/MG Fantasy

Rating: A-

For: Fun

This is the continuation of the story about Kendra and Seth and their adventures at their grandparents place, which just happens to be on a magical creatures preserve called Fablehaven. Some new and interesting characters are introduced, and right off the bat we get a feeling that one of them is hiding something.

My only problem with this book was that for me, it had a slow start. Granted, there was that sneaking around a mortuary business, and that strange dude that showed up at school. But then, it seemed like half the book was gone before anything really happened.

Then it made up for lost time and there was non-stop action and some majorly intense moments for both the kids. Some of the adventure reminded me of Indiana Jones type excitement, including lots of brain action/puzzle solving.

So, I'm quite sure I'll keep going with the series. Everyone says they just get better and better. I tend to believe them!

Other Reviews:

Becky's Book Reviews
Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-aholic

Booking Through Thursday: Unread

In the perfect follow-up to last week’s question, as suggested by C in DC:

Is there a book that you wish you could “unread”? One that you disliked so thoroughly you wish you could just forget that you ever read it?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again. The only book that I really wish I hadn't read is The Nanny Diaries. I just say nothing redeeming about that one at all. All the other books that I read, that perhaps I didn't really like, I'm still glad I read them. At least, right now, there's nothing I can think that I truly wish I hadn't read.

It'll be interesting to see what everyone else comes up with!

P.S. Happy BEA to all those who get to go! And to those who aren't, be sure to join the Twitty Party. All details about that can be found here at The Book Lady's Blog.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Weekend Movie Thoughts

This past Memorial Day weekend, we caught up, if only a little, with our movie watching.

First off, we finally got to go see Star Trek. I've been looking forward to this one forever it seems, and would have gone to see the first weekend it was out had life not been so crazy around here. But things have slowed down a bit, so we finally got to go this past weekend.

And of course, I loved it. I couldn't wait to see what Sylar, I mean Zachary Quinto, did with Spock's character, and my conclusion? He was amazing! And I loved all the other people that were cast for all the other characters. It was so cool how you could see the familiar personalities coming through, even though a different person was doing the acting.

And the action, and effects and music and... oh, everything... were all perfect. I loved it.

Then, on another day we went to Wolverine. I came late to the Xmen party, having only caught up with all three movies a year or so ago. So, knowing sort of how Logan became Wolverine, I was a little nervous for this movie. But despite some of the hard-to-watch stuff, I still totally enjoyed it. Pretty cool special effects in this movie too.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Review: My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Book: My Fair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: A

For: a bit for fun and a bit for my F2F book group

Finally. I finished a book! For book club this past week, we discussed Janette Rallison's books. Everyone just picked whichever one they could find (and that wasn't easy as they're scarce at the library) and we talked about what we found, read and though. The general consensus, we love them! This books are the best for simple, fun, light and happy.

One of my book club buddies left me with two that I hadn't read yet, two of the newest ones. The first one I picked up and read nearly instantly was My Fair Godmother.

What a fun romp through several fairy tales this was! It's about Savannah, who gets quite depressed that her sister steals her boyfriend away. One night, her quite incompetent fairy... or fair we should say... godmother shows up in her room to grant her three wishes. Off handedly, without thinking, Savannah wishes that a prince would fall in love with her and whisk her off to a ball!

Well, things go down from there.

Much mixing up of wishes, and words and people begin to happen non-stop. Savannah ends up with an amazing mess to fix. And in the fixing, things just keep getting worse.

What a fun ride this was. I loved yet another fun book that twists several fairy tales all up into one. I loved how the plot ended up being quite complex (even though I just said these are simple books!) and kept me guessing how things might turn out.

I would list this as one of my favorite Janette Rallison books so far, but I'm told that the one I have to read next (Just One Wish) is even better.

To learn more about Janette Rallison and get list of all her books, click here for her official site and blog.

Other Reviews:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009.19: Summertime

This week for Weekly Geeks, we have two topics to pick from. The topic I'm choosing is this one:

Again with Memorial Day Weekend here in the U.S. starting traditionally on Friday evening, it also is unofficially the start of summer. You've probably been asked this in other meme groups in which you participate, but do your reading habits change over the summer?

I would say that yes, my reading habits change a bit over the summer. I usually decide to step it up and read more. I like to try to take it easy, not worry so much about what has to be done, and make sure there's lots of lazy reading days mixed in with the busy run-around days.

Do you choose lighter fare? What do you enjoy to take to the beach, for example?

Yes, my lighter fare would include lots and lots of YA books. And if I ever went to the beach, it would be something easy and fun. With love stories involved.

What is the ultimate summer book?

That being said, I also think the ultimate summer book would include a big fat soap-opera-ish classics. Like The Forsythe Saga, or Gone With the Wind. Or Middlemarch. I think summer is the perfect time to read this kind of stuff. A couple on my TBR that fit this bill: Vanity Fair and Bleak House.

OR what are your favorite travel guides -- official or unofficial guides?

I'm not really into travel guides, so I don't really know how to answer this question.

Along those lines, where do you vacation? Any places you recommend or even don't recommend?

Every summer we take our trailer up to the mountains, same place every year, and "camp" for the weekend. It's the perfect peaceful getaway. I do lots of reading there, but often I just end up sitting and smelling the trees and breathing the air.

This year for our big vacation, we get to go on yet another cruise. It's in our blood now I guess. We can't avoid it! We came across a great deal, and we went for it. Now, you may think that cruises and reading go together perfectly. However, so far, in my experience, I still have to make time to read while cruising, because there is simply so much to do! And I tend to feel guilty sitting and reading when I could be .... I don't know.... participating in all the activities that are offered!

Anyway, I am very much looking forward to the summer and fitting in lots and lots of reading.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The Sunday Salon: Just Checkin' In

Well, it's been another crazy week around here. I just KNOW it's going to slow down soon! Really. It has to.

We had book club at my house on Thursday and one of my book club buddies loaned me two Janette Rallison books. One of them I finished just moments ago, and I loved it. Look for the official review to come soon. The other I plan on reading quick this week too. So maybe I'll actually have a couple of reviews to post.

I also plan on reading Wings by Aprilynne Pike this week. And finishing Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star. Really, I will finish it!

Other than that, not much in the reading department of my life. It's been slow. But things will pick up come June.

Thanks to all of you that made suggestions on a fun series to read with my book club this summer. I proposed them to the group on Thursday, and we narrowed it down to these three:

- The Lady Emily Ashton series by Tasha Alexander
- Patricia Wrede's Enchanted Forest Chronicles
- The Darling series by Megan McCafferty

So, this week, the plan is to vote on those and see which one wins for our summer reading series! I think they all look great. Anyone want to sway us in a certain direction regarding these choices?

That's it for now. I just wanted to check in and now I'm off to read some more!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A New American Idol

You know I can't just ignore the fact that last night American Idol ended for yet another season. Why am I turning into such an American Idol freak? I love it. I love seeing kids who start out with a dream, and end up being a star. I love following them through that process and becoming one of their first fans. I love discovering new singers to listen to.

It's all just plain fun.

So last night, it's amazing how it all turned out! Wow, wow, wow! I think many of you assumed I was a total Adam fan, and yes, I thought he was great. BUT, I've been voting for Kris from nearly the beginning. So I am thrilled he won. Ideally, I wish it could have been a tie. But, I just think it's so cool that Kris came out ahead in the end over the guy whose singing seemed to be blowing everyone away.

I can't wait to see them both in July. It's going to be one fun concert! And when they make cds? I'll be there, buying both their albums on the very first day.

Booking Through Thursday: A Second First Time (and a Top Ten list)

What book would you love to be able to read again for the first time?

(Interestingly, I thought that I had thought this one up myself, but when I started scrolling through the Suggestions, found that Rebecca had suggested almost exactly this question a couple months ago. So, we both get credit!)

Wow. There's so many I'd love to read again for the first time.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Hmmm. Funny how that list is looking a lot like my all time favorite list. And I could go on and on, but I think we hadn't better turn this into a 100 book list this time.

Hey, but look at that. I did just up and randomly pick ten. It's a sign. I better add this to my Suey's Top Ten compilation.

The Top Ten Books I'd Love to Read Again for the First Time

What would YOU love to read again for the first time?

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Series Suggestions Needed

So, tomorrow night is our last book club meeting at my house. Until next fall that is. We take a summer break. But, I always like to figure out a fun "summer assignment."

This summer, we've decided we'd like to pick a series to read. Of course, it can't be too long, or too hard. Something we can handle reading in three month's time and something that doesn't make us feel too bogged down.

I told everyone I'd come up with a list of suggestions. The problem is, I've been too occupied with other life matters, and haven't had time to figure out a fun and varied list.

So I'm asking you, what fun, easy, light series would you suggest for us to read this summer?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009.18: A Tour

Weekly Geeks this week is quite the fun one. Our task is to take you, our readers, on a literary tour of the part of the world where we live.

Jill includes a couple of fun questions such as:

Do you live in a place where a famous author was born? (not that I know of) Does your town have any cool literary museums or monuments? (no again) Does Stephen King live at the end of your street? (He doesn't, but a couple of Brandons who are getting more and more famous nearly do!) Was Twilight set in your hometown? (I don't live in Forks, but Stephenie Meyer DID go to school right near here at BYU.)

I can't think of any museums, or fun literary landmarks, but we do have lots of very cool authors that live here in Utah.

Brandon Sanderson: Making quite the name for himself these days after having been chosen to finish Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. I really need to read them. Meanwhile, I'll enjoy his own Mistborn series and his fun kid's series about a kid named Alcatraz. And his crazy writing podcast.

Brandon Mull: I'm reading Fablehaven #2 right now, trying to catch up, because I'm feeling left in the dust with everyone around here raving about the latest #4 Fablehaven. Last year, after he came to my kid's school for a visit, we went to his signing and stood in line for three hours. It was worse than my Stephenie Meyer experience. He was cool though. But the line was.... insane.

James Dashner: He started with a little series by the name of Jimmy Fincher. We got the very first book way back then, then all the rest that followed. My kids loved them. Then, he started another series called The 13th Reality, which is finding a much bigger audience. And now, bring on The Maze Runner! It was fun hanging out with him at Natasha's house last January too! :)

J. Scott Savage: Many of you may remember him from last summer when he blitzed the book blogging world with an amazing blog tour of his very first fantasy kid's series, Farworld. I got to go to his launch party last fall and that was a blast.

Shannon Hale: I meet her a couple of years ago when she came and talked to the kids at the library. No one really knew who she was at that point, but we all totally fell in love with her, she was a blast! And now, the rest of the world knows it too, and if she ever came back to the library, we'd have to fight for a seat and wait in a three hour line!

Sara Zarr: Sadly, I haven't meet her yet, or listened to her talk at some sort of event. Still, I own and have read both her books and look forward to more. I bet she was at the big signing event last Saturday that I couldn't go to. I will get her to sign my books one of these days! I will!

Other local authors that I've met and/or hope to meet soon:

Oh, I almost forgot! Orson Scott Card grew up just down the street! I have friends that knew him back then and they said his was a strange and unique family. Surprise surprise.

I'm sure there's a ton I forgot. But I'll never get this posted if I don't just hit the button now. I hope you enjoyed my little local author tour.

Have you read books by any of these authors? Which was your favorite?

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Pictures That Make Me Smile

We recently got our family pictures taken. Maybe I'll post the one with me it eventually. But for now, here's the kids. Oh, and in my blog hopping today, I found two others that just make me grin and grin, so I had to share them too!
My kids

My kids

Adam and Kris

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Gluttony

Mariel suggested this week’s question

Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

I would have to say a big fat YES to the first two questions.

But, getting to the third question, I must say no, I see no curbing in sight. My habits will stay "bad" for now. However, like many of you, most of my buying and/or acquiring of books are because I find the bargains. I rarely buy one at full price. Now and then yes, but rarely. (Mostly at the book fair where I'm supporting the school with my full price purchases.) Does that make it better? Not at all, it just means I actually end up with more books! Which also means that I seriously doubt that I'll ever catch up.

Only buying books when I have run out of things to read? Now that makes me laugh! Since I'll never catch up, I'll never run out of things to read, right? Funny funny.

All this reminds me. The bi-annual book sale in the neighborhood where novels are 25 cents (hardback or not) starts today! I was trying NOT to go, but I think you've convinced me. I better go "just to see" what's there!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Bookword Game: Results and a New Word

After a week's worth of voting, the results are in and our new Bookword has been chosen!

A book that we read as a result of seeing a movie we will now call: A Flick Pick! Congratulations to That's The Book! for gathering 57% of the votes with that winning suggestion.

This week, let's come up with a word to describe books you read because you think you should, in order to be well-read.

Sometimes those lists floating around make us add these types of books to our TBR pile. Perhaps we don't really WANT to read them, but we think we need do so we can feel like we are broadening our horizons and becoming that esteemed "well-read" person!

What do we call a book like that?

Comment here with your suggestions and next week we'll vote on them over at An Adventure in Reading.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Review: Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld

Book: Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: B+

For: Fun

Well, it only took me a month to read this simple YA book! But... I DID finish it!

This is the third book in the Midnighters series by the same author as the Uglies books. In this story, there's five kids who discover that at midnight, time stops for everyone else, but not for them. They get a secret hour, and during that hour they have some pretty cool powers. But also during that hour, the "darklings" come out!

In this the third book, the secret hour is starting to fall apart. It begins to happen at random times, and the kids learn that if they don't do something quick, this time when the darklings are loose will take over the normal world. It all comes down to quite a climatic, and even a bit surprising, ending.

So, even though it was good, and I still love this premise of this story and it's crazy world, I wasn't nearly as engaged with it as I was for the first two books. I think that's because there was less about the characters and more about the problem.

I love the characters in these books. There's Rex, who has the ability to understand the past, and his girl Melissa who is a mind reader. Dess, is a bit of a loner who has a thing for numbers, which are extremely important. Then there's Jessica and Jonathan. One can fly and the other can.... well.... I'm won't reveal that one! I wanted more, MUCH more, with their relationships and deep down thinkings.

But, if you liked the Uglies series, then you'll like this one I'm quite sure. So, read them and let me know what you think.

Other Reviews:

Monday, May 11, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2000.17: Mark It Down

This week over at Weekly Geeks, we're talking about bookmarks! I love bookmarks! So, yes, I use them. All kinds, all varieties.

The bookmarks I have include:
  • those my kids have made

  • those that I have made

  • souvenir bookmarks

  • random paper things that have turned into bookmarks

  • bookmarks collected at the Book Fair that I run every year

  • bookmarks I've had for years, from way way back!
Besides "real" bookmarks, I have also been known to use:
  • Kleenexes

  • library receipts

  • magazine subscription paper thingies

That's all I can come up with at the moment. BORING! But a librarian friend once told me that the funniest/weirdest bookmark she found in a returned library book was a pantie liner. Hmmmm. Nice.

My favorite bookmarks lately have simply been ones I made on the computer, just for fun, with a clever bookish quote and matching picture, then laminated. I love them.

I also really love the ones I gathered while on our England trip a few years ago. I would love to make it a habit of gathering more bookmarks of the places we visit, but I forget once I'm out and about. Oh, well.

Another idea I had for a bookmark is to take ticket stubs from concerts that I want to remember forever, laminate them, and use them for bookmarks. What do you think?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

I'm Still Here... (sort of)

Things I'm doing instead of blogging or reading:
  • enjoying a dance recital (and rehearsal all morning)
  • visiting grandparents who live three hours away
  • going to first one barbecue, then another
  • getting family pictures taken
  • planting some tomatoes
  • juggling our June schedule to try to fit in a cruise! (swine flu=rerouting=low fares=not-to-be-missed opportunity!)
  • not sleeping and therefore being too tired to read, or think what to write
  • buying American Idol tickets!!!
  • scanning pictures
  • figuring out Mother's Day
  • working, cleaning, driving, washing, buying, making, stressing......

Hopefully I'll be back to my regularly scheduled blogging and reading soon.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Graphic

Suggested by Vega:

Last Saturday (May 2nd) is Free Comic Book Day! In celebration of comics and graphic novels, some suggestions:

- Do you read graphic novels/comics? Why do/don’t you enjoy them?

- How would you describe the difference between “graphic novel” and “comic”? Is there a difference at all?

- Say you have a friend who’s never encountered graphic novels. Recommend some titles you consider landmark/”canonical”.

I know nothing about graphic novels. I've read one, Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale, which I totally enjoyed. Maybe I've read two if you count The Inventions of Hugo Cabret as a graphic novel too, which I also totally enjoyed.

Why don't I read more though? I think because I'm more of a word person than a picture person when it comes to books. Or I like that deep pondering character development bit that I just assume you don't get in graphic novels.

However, I'm quite really to admit that you can get these things with graphic novels, because as I mentioned, I know nothing about them!

As far as the difference between graphic novels and comics, my initial response would be to say that comics are those cheap, flimsy magazine things with tales of superheros! Graphic novels are hardbacks, with tales of whatever can be imagined!

But, I know nothing.

So it goes without saying that I can't recommend anything. I'll be looking forward to the suggestions from all you out there who DO know something!
(P.S. Be sure to drop by and vote for the new Bookword. Oh, and let me know if you are getting some nasty warning when you visit my blog. My husband says if so, it's nothing to worry about. But still, I'm worrying.)

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Review: Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K.Rowling

Review: Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling

Genre: YA/MG Fantasy

Rating: A-

For: Fun from the Library!

I checked this one out weeks ago, but never got to it until the day before it was due, of course. I figured I could sit and read it quick and then still turn it in on time.

So I did! Yes, in nearly one sitting... I think it was actually two sittings, in between laundry, and dinner and homework and other daily stresses.

It's a fun little book of about five "fairy" tales that wizards and witches of Harry Potter's world are told, just as we Muggles are told our "fairy" tale stories. They are simple stories with obvious morals to the tale. Each one is followed by a commentary from Professor Dumbledore, which is quite fun.

It's a fun little addition to the Harry Potter collection, though I'm quite glad I just did the library thing and didn't buy it. (However the proceeds of the book do go to a charity, right? I think so, so I do feel sorta guilty about that last bit, but I'll get over it!)

Other Reviews:

The Bookword Game: Vote!

Another week has gone by and we've puzzled and pondered to come up with some suggestions for our next Bookword. The type of book we need a name for is simple:

What do you call a book you read after you've seen the movie?

Here are the nominees:

A Screenplay with Detail Book: submitted by

A See-It Read-It Book: submitted by Cheryl

A MovieRead: submitted by Joy

A Reely Read: submitted by Bybee

A Screened Book: submitted by John

A Flick Pick: submitted by That's The Book!

Here's the official poll. Vote away!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Eight Is Enough Meme

A meme I saw on Alyce's blog: At Home With Books , which I saved for a rainy (no-ideas-for-a-blog) day:

8 Things I'm Looking Forward To:

1. Parts of the summer
2. Moving the drum set out of my craft room.
3. Buying more book shelves
4. American Idol Top Ten concert (hopefully, if we can get tickets)
5. More cruises in my future
6. Going camping in the trailer
7. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins in September
8. a new Josh Groban cd, sometime this year, I hope

8 Things I Did Yesterday:

1. Went to work.
2. Washed clothes.
3. Made crepes for dinner, with lots of strawberries.
4. Read and finished a book! (even if it was only Tales of Beedle the Bard)
5. Wrote this blog post, but never posted it, so now I have to change all the things on this part of the list since yesterday is now Monday, and not Sunday.
6. Tried to have a nap... didn't work.
7. Tried to figure out the menu for a family gathering I'm hosting in a couple of weeks.
8. Scanned tons pictures for my brother's wedding video project

8 Things I Wish I Could Do:

1. Sing
2. Lose weight
3. Keep the house clean
4. Sleep for a whole day
5. Travel more
6. Write a book
7. Banish stress and worry.
8. Make everyone happy.

8 TV Programs I Watch:

1. American Idol
2. Amazing Race
3. Survivor
4. Heroes
5. Chuck
6. Lost
7. Friday Night Lights
8. Jon and Kate Plus Eight

Now, you too can either play along, or save it up for a dead blog day! Either way, let me know and I'll be sure to visit.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Sunday Salon: Slumping Around

Last Sunday I asked for help choosing my next book. I was leaning toward a couple of the suggestions, but then I got a book in the mail for an up comping blog tour, so I decided to go ahead and get that one started. It's called The Secret Keeper by Paul Harris. Look for my blog tour stop in about a month on June 4. It's been awhile since I've done one of these, so I look forward to participating again.

But I have a bookmark in several other books too. I'm just sort of jumping around a lot these days I guess. I've read a couple of chapters in Fablehaven 2: The Rise of the Evening Star by Brandon Mull. I'm also still working on Blue Noon by Scott Westerfeld. That one is jut not grabbing me like the first two of that series did. But I'm nearly half way now. I might as well finish it, don't you think?

So, that's about it on the reading front for me. I haven't finished a book all week. Yes, I think I'm officially in another one of those slumpy type things. Life is getting in the way.

I received another book in the mail this week called Don't Call Me a Crook by Bob Moore. I decided my husband might enjoy that one, so I assigned it to him! He seems to be liking it so far. My hope is that he'll write a little review of it. And once he writes that review, you'll probably all be wondering why he doesn't have his own blog.

Happy Sunday to you all! I hope you have a great day of reading!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009.16: Review Formats

This week's Weekly Geek edition is guest-hosted by Care where she asks us to detail our reviewing system with the following questions:

1. Explain your review format - if you have one. Or maybe your rating system?

My reviews are very simple little things. But I do have a bit of format I guess. I bold the title, author, genre, rating, and if I'm reading it for a challenge, right at the top. Also, I always add a picture of the cover.

Then I usually start out by saying what led me to the book in the first place, followed by a very very brief description of the book, only a sentence or two. I'm paranoid of spoilers, and so I won't go into very much detail at all. But hopefully just enough to make readers curious to learn more.

Then, I'll say what my reaction was to the book. Did I like it, and why? Did anything bug me about the book? Was I particularly impressed with the style or any other aspect? Sometimes I'll say how it compares to others I've read by the same author, or if I plan on reading more by the same author.

My rating system is on a letter grade scale. Perfect books get an A+. Most books get an A if I really totally enjoyed them, or an A- if I just enjoyed them. B+ and B's are for okay books, good but not great. I rarely give out anything less than that, because I usually like everything at least a little!

Oh, and I try to remember to link to a few other reviews! I have a hard time remembering that little detail, and sometimes I'll go back and edit that in.

Bottom line, my format is to pretend I'm talking to a friend, one who's asked about why they should read a particular book.

2. Highlight another book-blogger's review format by linking to a favorite example - don't forget to tell us why they are a fave!

Many of you put TONS of work into book reviews. They are wonderful. But like I said, I'm paranoid of spoilers, so if I can tell that the description seems to be getting too detailed, I'll skip it, and I look for just your reactions. So, reviews that I especially like focus on this, more than the actual book.

One review I liked very recently was by Melissa at Book Nut for a book called Aurelia. She hasn't used a specific format necessarily, but she definitely gets the point across that she very much enjoyed this book. And I could tell right off, that it was the exact kind of book that I would like. (Words like "swoon" and "nail biting" and "intrigue" are all I need!) I immediately looked to see if my two libraries had it... which was NO. Well, no fair!

One thing she does do, is to share the first line of the book. I think this is fun.

3. Do a review in another book-blogger's format of your latest read.

As soon as I have a latest read, I'll do this! I'm having a hard time finishing anything this week!

4. Highlight a past review that you are particularly proud of and why the format or structure may have had something to do with it.

Hmmm... well. None of them are that spectacular. I do like the ones I put more work into (for blog tours and such) but that doesn't really show my above mentioned "format" really. Last month, I reviewed Jellicoe Road and just now re-reading that one over again, I like that my enthusiasm comes across quite clearly. If you have no confusion over whether I liked a book or not, then I've fulfilled my purpose in doing a review!

What's your purpose for reviewing books and do you have a format for that? Share at Weekly Geeks, or here in comments.

Friday, May 1, 2009

April Monthly Recap

Welcome to May! It's not REALLY May, is it? I'm not looking forward to this month. I think I'd be happy just to skip it. But that's a different story.

So, what did I read in April? Here's the list:

The Dead and the Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer: How one New York family copes during the asteroid/moon disaster that causes havoc throughout the world.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: Stories from past and present blend together at this Australian boarding school, revealing some long hidden secrets.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne: Nine year old Bruno is confused about his family's recent move to a strange place where many people in striped pajamas live on the other side of the fence.

Agnes Grey by Ann Bronte: Agnes goes to be a governess for a couple of different families and even though she doesn't enjoy it all that much, she does have one person to look forward to seeing every Sunday!

The Monster in Me by Mette Ivie Harrison: Natalie arrives at yet another foster home and wonders if this time, things will be any different.

The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood: Iris looks back on her life during the Depression, the downfall of her father's business, her marriage, her sister's problems, and many secrets.

Favorites of the month: Jellicoe Road for sure, with The Blind Assassin and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas a close second/third.

I should have been able to read more this month. I wasted a lot of reading time, replacing it with daydreaming and worrying. I've perfected the art of worrying this past month! And this coming month, I can guarantee you, my brain will have even less capacity for concentrating on reading. So, I'm not too optimistic that my list a month from now, will be very impressive. But once June hits, I'm going to be knocking books off my list right and left! :)

So, how'd you do this month reading-wise?


Related Posts with Thumbnails