Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Sunday Salon: Rambling Again

Random bookish and non-bookish thoughts for this Sunday, that once again, is now almost over:

* We watched Bright Star finally last evening. We went on the very definition of a wild goose chase to find a Redbox that had it. It took us about three tries, but that was after going from one end of the city to the other! And I totally enjoyed it, though The Mr. gave up have way through and walked off.

* I have been also enjoying the first season of BBC's Robin Hood. That's a delicious show! Yummy.

* I finished TWO books yesterday! I read all morning in bed and finished The Eye of the World by Robert Jordan. Whew! What an accomplishment! Great book though, even if it did take me a whole month to read it. I am totally in love with all the characters. Then in the evening, I finished Nothing but Ghosts by Beth Kephart. I had to finally read this one after hearing so many bloggers rave on and on about it. I really enjoyed it too. Look for reviews on both coming up this week.

* Also this week I'll have a guest post by Angela Morrison. Please come by and say hi to her. She'll be answering any questions you have about her book Sing Me To Sleep. Also, don't forget to enter the giveaway. It's open until Feb. 14.

* Ah, book fair this week! They sent The Maze Runner to us! I'm so excited to promote this book too. Yay!! I'll let you know what other books fly off the shelves. It's always interesting.

* My glasses fell apart. Good thing I have my old pair on hand, but it's making me crazy because I keep forgetting to get the better pair fixed.

* I'm sad to say that American Idol hasn't been all that interesting yet. What do you think my fellow fans? Anyone stand out to you at this point?

My thoughts have run dry. Wish me luck for this upcoming week! I'll be needing it. But hopefully I'll be able to check in now and then.

Happy Sunday!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Review: Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison

Book: Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison
Genre: YA Romance
Rating: A
For: Fun and an ARC Review (sent to me by the author)

I've been talking much about this book, but have yet to really review it. I read it last year, and now that its release date is not far off (March 4) I suppose it's time to finally tell you more about it.

This is the story of Beth, a high school girl who gets teased relentlessly because of her looks. She is called The Beast and has only one friend, Scott, who has stood by her side and rescued her many times since 3rd grade. She escapes by writing her thoughts and feeling in song lyrics.

That's because, despite her outward appearance, Beth has a beautiful voice, and she lives for singing. She is in the school choir, but that is small fry compared to the all girl's choir she travels quite a distance to sing with twice a week. One day, the soloist in this choir gets sick and Beth fills in. The other girls are amazed and Beth ends up with the part. Then, before she knows it, the girls have hauled her off and given her a make over worthy of a reality TV show.

Needless to say, this causes things to change especially her relationship with Scott. Then, while on tour to Switzerland, the girls meet the guys from the most famous youth choir in the world, the Amabile Young Men's Choir, and she finds herself completely wrapped up in a passionate, intense new relationship.

It gets complicated from there. Feelings are hurt, secrets are kept, relationships are strained, friendships are tested. How will it all end up? It may surprise you!

This is a very powerful, emotional book looking at what's truly important in life, and asking the age-old question of where does true beauty lie. It tests the meaning of friendship and devotion on all different levels.

Bottom line: I loved it!

And be sure to come back next week for a guest post by author Angela Morrison as she tells us more about the real life choir on which she based this story.

Also, here's the book trailer, complete with a "Beth's Song" teaser at the end.

Other reviews:

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Twisty

Jackie says, “I love books with complicated plots and unexpected endings. What is your favourite book with a fantastic twist at the end?”

So, today’s Booking Through Thursday's question is in two parts.

1. Do YOU like books with complicated plots and unexpected endings?

2. What book with a surprise ending is your favorite? Or your least favorite?

Yes, for sure! I LOVE books with complicated plots and unexpected endings. Some of my favorites are:

-- Life of Pi by Yann Martell: the ending is one of the best ever.

-- The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield: loved both plot and ending

-- Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card: a completely jaw-dropping ending, I'll never forget the first time reading this one!

-- The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: while the ending isn't really a twist, it sure is memorable

-- When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead: the recent Newbery Award winner has quite an unexpected end too.

-- Bel Canto by Ann Patchett: did you expect this ending?

What would be on YOUR list?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Lists Needed For Book Club Suggestions

It's a fact, I love making lists. Peter does too. He's the guy that started a book list site called Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations, where you can find lists of lists of lists... of books! Anyway, so he is asking for bloggers (or anyone) to help come up with more fun creative lists for book club suggestions.

Here's what he says:

Open Call for Lists of Book Club Recommendations!

Hello and happy new year from Flashlight Worthy Book Recommendations -- where you can find books so good, they'll keep you up past your bedtime. ;-)

It seems the book club community has recently discovered my book club recommendations. From the feedback, not only are the list very much enjoyed, but people are clamoring for more.

That's where you come in. While I've read plenty of books, I'm looking to book club members to contribute new lists -- themed, annotated lists of highly discussable books.

Can you name and describe 5+ flashlight worthy, discussable books that follow a theme? Maybe '7 Great Books that Revolve Around Food'? Or '6 Women's Memoirs That Will Start an Argument'. How About '5 Discussable Novels Set in Africa'?

Take a look at the lists I have and give it some thought. If you're interested, email me at Info AT flashlightworthy DOT com. Thanks so much and have a great new year!

(The guy who runs Flashlight Worthy)
Recommending books so good, they'll keep you up past your bedtime. ;)

So what do you think? Have any great ideas? What sort of books have got YOUR book club talking? Send him an email, or comment here, and I'll send him one! :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Classics Circuit Tour: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

Book: Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
Genre: Classic
Rating: A-

I've previously enjoyed several Edith Wharton (1862-1937) books, namely The House of Mirth, The Age of Innocence, Summer and The Custom of the Country, all very good. My favorite of the list being The House of Mirth. Tragic! So with this past month being her turn to circulate through some blogs for The Classics Circuit, I thought I would take the chance to read Ethan Frome, a short Edith Wharton novella that I've had sitting here on the TBR for some time.

The story of Ethan Frome is a very simple one. Very sad, and very simple. We flashback to learn how Ethan was caught up in a life he didn't ask for, a life trapped in small town where he had to first take care of his ailing parents, and then his ailing wife. This wife he married on impulse as a very young and lonely man. It was a marriage where no love was involved. Years later, when his wife's distant cousin comes to stay, he learns what love is. But at what cost will he pay to pres
erve it?

I enjoyed this quick and short story, even with it's tragic characters. You know I love the passionate tragedies! All of Wharton's stories seem to excel in this area, so if you also enjoy them, it's time for you to try one of her books.

There's not much else to say about this particular novel. If you are new to Edith Wharton, I would NOT start with this one, as it's quite different from what she is well known for, tragedy aside, which is social mores and issues. Try The Age of Innocence or The House of Mirth first.

My copy of this book also includes several of her short stories, which I hope to have time for some day! But I'm sorry to say I didn't get to them for purposes of this particular blog t

Monday, January 25, 2010

Book Club: North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Last Thursday, we sort of discussed North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell for book club. Mostly, we watched. Yes, it was a strange book club experience. Fun, but strange.

The best thing about book club last week was we had several new members join us. I don't know why, but getting new people to come makes me so happy. In fact, we had so many people there that several of us ended up on the floor. And several more ended up on the misfit chairs.

I tried really hard to re-read North and South in preparation for book club. I got to about page 150 or so. Then I started skimming. Then I just gave up. But I did buy and re-watch the movie. I marked all the scenes that I thought people would be interested in.

But first, we talked about the book just a little, how it starts out quite slow, then really picks up with all the different crazy stuff that happens, and when the love story really gets going. We talked about the difference between the book and the movie, and how the movie was pretty good at showing Margaret's emotion, but didn't do the book justice at Mr. Thornton's deeply passionate thoughts.

Of course, we all loved Richard Armitage (at least, I think we did!), so without much further ado, we stopped talking and started watching. Some of the scenes we hopped to: (there may be mild spoilers here, so beware if you care)

- Margaret's first impression of Mr. Thornton ( totally different from the book)
- tea time with Mr. Thornton and the un- handshake
- the rock throwing incident (we then discussed Mr. Thornton's obsession with this in the book)
- meeting Bessy and Mr. Higgins
- Mr. Thornton visits Mr. Higgins, then later, eats with the workers ( I love that part!)
- Margaret visits the mill, Mr. Thornton visits Helstone
- the trains pass... the end!!! Ah, the end.

It was very fun to watch these movie clips with everyone... at least I thought so. Hopefully everyone else, even the newbies, thought so too, even if it was a bit of a strange book club.

Up next month: Fairy Tale month in which we discuss Beauty by Robin McKinley, Beastly by Alex Flinn, Zel by Donna Jo Napoli and Golden by Cameron Dokey. I think we should have added Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale to the list, but that might be pushing it a little!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

The Sunday Salon: Hopping In, Hopping Out

It is still Sunday here, for just a couple more hours, so I can do a quick hop in and out post, right?

Last month, one of our computers got a virus, so we wiped it clean and through we tried to save stuff, you can never get it all. This weekend, our other computer decided to die, and we tried to save stuff, but I KNOW we didn't get it all. You gotta love this risky computer business! The Mr. says it's not the hard drive, so perhaps all will be well, but in the meantime, the computer just plain doesn't work, which means we are all trying to share the remaining computers, which means, when the lives of five people revolve around the computer, it can get interesting.

That's way today I spent time reading The Eye of the World (which is getting pretty intense these days) and watching a couple Robin Hood episodes (which I checked out from the library Friday) instead of blog hopping and writing posts and such. This past week I also started a book for an upcoming TLC Blog Tour called The Wives of Henry Oades. I am loving it! So I look forward to telling you all about it.

So, despite the computer stress, it was a pretty good Sunday.

Coming up this week, look for a review on Ethan Frome, and Sing Me To Sleep. Hopefully you'll want to enter the giveaway for that last one after I tell you a little more about it. Oh, and I wanted to talk a little about our North and South book club. I should have done that last Friday, but you know.... life.

'Till then.......

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sing Me To Sleep Trailer and Giveaway

Finally! It's time to start promoting this book! I read Sing Me To Sleep a few months back but decided to wait until closer to it's release date to post a review. Look for that coming up very soon.

But today, in conjunction with the
Booking Through Thursday question which asks: Who's your favorite author that other people are NOT reading? I decided it was time to start letting you know about my favorite author that you probably aren't reading,yet anyway, and that is Angela Morrison.

Last year, I told you about her first book, Taken By Storm, which I absolutely loved. This year, her second novel called Sing Me To Sleep, which is just as good if not better, comes out in March. As part of that release, Angela is going on a blog tour and will be visiting my blog on February 2 with a guest post. Also as part of her tour she is giving away a copy of this amazing book.

So I would like to open this contest up right now today, here on my blog, and invite you to first, watch this book trailer for Sing Me To Sleep, and then answer this question:
What particular song or sort of music completely inspires you, makes your heart soar, and just totally brings a smile to your face?

This book is, in part, about a very famous choir in Canada called the
Amabile Young Men's Choir. In this trailer, you can hear them singing toward the end. The song is called Beth's Song, after the main character in the book. Seriously, watch to the end so you don't miss it. Isn't it beautiful!?

So, if you'd like to win a copy of this book, comment with your answer. Double entries if you post the trailer on your blog (let me know if you do.) Please remember to leave an email address also. The contest will be open until February 14, at which time I'll pick a random number, email Angela the winner's address and she will mail you a book in March when it's released. Sorry to my international friends, but she can only open the contest to my US readers.

Authors Pick Five: Aprilynne Pike

Aprilynne Pike, author of Wings and it's upcoming sequel, Spells, picks these five books as the ones most important or influential to her (complete with her explanations):

1.) The Giver, by Lois Lowry. This is my favorite book of all time. I read it about once a year and get into arguments with people about what the ending means. This book is so transporting for me. I always feel like I am right there with Jonas.

2.) Matilda, by Roald Dahl. I do not actually remember a time in my life when I had not read Matilda because my dad read it to me before I would old enough to read it properly myself. This is the book that taught me that it's okay to be smart and to love to read more than anything else. It's a book my oldest children have either read or had read to them for the same reason.

3.) The Cradle Will Fall, by Mary Higgins Clark. Ahh, my first MHC book! This is the first real adult book I ever read, at age twelve, and I read it several times a year till I was a junior in high school or so. Not only did I love the story, I was also fascinated by the childbirth aspect of it, which I suspect played a part in me eventually being a doula.

4.) Twilight, by Stephenie Meyer. I can't not mention this book. Reading Twilight was a transformative experience for me. This was the kind of book I really wanted to read! And in turn, it became the kind of book I wanted to write. It's popularity aside, I just wanted to write a book with a girl I could relate to, and guy I could secretly swoon over, and a world that made me wonder if maybe, just maybe, it really did exist.

5.) The Chronicles of Narnia, by C.S. Lewis. I'm cheating here as this is technically more than one book.:) Along with the Roald Dahl books, these are the books I remember my dad reading aloud to me at night. For years, any time anyone would ask me my favorite book, it would be whichever Narnia book we were reading at the time. I learned to love reading from Narnia and that is a gift of greater worth than I can say.

Ah.... don't you just love those fun book memories!

If you are a fan of the teen supernatural type books, you really must check out Aprilynne Pike's debut novel, Wings. (Here's my review if you missed it last year.) The paperback version comes out on April 6, followed by the release of the sequel, Spells, on May 4. I really look forward to seeing where this story goes. So fun! Oh, and Disney bought the rights for the movie. How cool is that?

For more on Aprilynne, here's her blog.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Review: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Book: Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: A

For: Support Your Local Authors and a buddy read with Heather J.

This book is huge and looks very daunting indeed, but don't worry about that because the minute you start reading, I doubt very much you'll be able to put it down.

It's a story of world divided. One kingdom lives very plain, simple and colorless lives. Literally, colorless. They believe that color is frivolous and ostentatious. The other kingdom thrives on color and brightness and flaunts it everywhere. The first kingdom believes in an unseen god, where as the other kingdom has their gods, 25 of them to be exact, living right among them, and they cater to their every need.

The book begins when the king from the first kingdom sends his daughter to the second kingdom to become married to the highest of their gods who they call the God King. He hopes it will prevent war between the two kingdoms, but he fears he has just sent his daughter to her death.

What does this daughter, Siri, find when she arrives and meets the God King? Does she have a chance to stop the war? How will Lightsong, one of the lesser gods, get involved? He doesn't even believe in himself! Then there's Vasher, who seems mean and heartless and cruel, but is he really? And Siri's sister somehow gets herself involved but will she make things better or worse?

Oh, wow, there's so much more going on in this story, but if I summarize more, I will give too much away! It's full of wonderful imaginative characters, from the highest gods themselves, down to the lowly dregs of society. The magic system in this world, all based on colors and breath, is so very cool and unique. The background history and religion is also fascinating. There were times when it got a little political, but even that didn't bother me because it was done in such a way that the characters were not forgotten. The last few chapters were so suspenseful for me that I had to stop, look away, take deep breath (ha! Breath!) and then keep reading, several times, to get through that edge-of-your-seat craziness.

Since we are both major Brandon Sanderson fans, Heather J from Age 30+... A Lifetime of Books and I decided awhile back to read and review this book together. Here are her thoughts on a few questions we came up with:

In one sentence tell me what you thought of this book. This book is a well-written and very unique fantasy novel populated with believable and (sometimes) endearing characters.

What was the strongest part of this book for you? In addition to a magic system that is completely different than anything I've read (and honestly, how often does that really happen?), this book has some really great characters in it; for me, they are the book's greatest strength.

Do you like that this is a stand-alone novel or would you have preferred that it start a series? Although I think that there is enough in this book to start a series I’m thrilled that it is a stand-alone novel; I’ve too many series going at the moment!

Did you find yourself thinking about this book when you weren't reading it or were you able to put it aside easily? I could NOT stop thinking about this book and couldn’t wait to pick it back up again whenever I had to put it down.

What do you think about the detailed world building? Does it make your head spin, or do you get completely sucked into it? There was a lot going on, especially at first, but once I got into the story I was hooked. Most stand-alone novel affect me that way; I seem overwhelmed at first but once I’m really immersed in the author’s world, I begin to enjoy the story.

What do you think about all the political and religious talk? Interesting or bothersome? It made total sense in this book. Usually I’d say that politically-themed books aren’t my thing but Sanderson did an excellent job with it (as he did with ELANTRIS) and he really made me care about the opposing viewpoints.
Who was your favorite character and why? I’d have to go with Lightsong; I started out not liking him at all but in the end I really love him. I also really liked his high priest though.

Make sure you check out her review for more on her thoughts on this book and for my answers to some of the above questions.

And here's what Brandon Sanderson himself has to say about it: (Have you noticed that sometimes authors forget and let spoilers slip when they talk about their own books? Well, I'm only posting this because he does a great job of talking about his book but NOT giving anything away! Yeah for that!)

Monday, January 18, 2010

Weekly Geeks 2010.2: Awards!

Did you hear? Some book awards were announced today! How nice it is that for Weekly Geeks we are encouraged to talk about this announcement.

The two awards that I follow most closely and have a constant urge to read from their lists are the Newbery Award and the Printz Award.

The winner for the Newbery Award is When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead. Cool! I loved this book and reviewed it here. I'm very excited this won and I will look forward to promoting it at the book fair and other such places. It's a great book.

Honor books are:

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Grace Lin

The Mostly True Adventures of Homer P. Figg by Rodman Philbrick

None of these I've really heard of, so I'll be adding them to my reading list.

The winner for the Printz Award is Going Bovine by Libba Bray. I've heard tons about this one, but just haven't had a chance to read it yet. So looks like I'll be bumping it higher on my list.

Honor books are:

Charles and Emma; The Darwins' Leap of Faith by Deborah Heiligman

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancy

Punkzilla by Adam Rapp

Tales of the Madman Underground: An Historical Romance 1973 by John Barnes

None of these I've heard of either! I need to get reading! Sheesh, what have I been doing with myself!

Now is a perfect time to promote the Printz Project, something Jessica from The Bluestocking Society and I started last April. Come join us and read all the Printz books. This award has only been around since 2000 so the list isn't long. Once you read one, come share your review with us. It's an ongoing project, and we are very laid back and easy going over there. Some of my favorite Printz books (winners and honors) that I've read so far are:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Vol. 1 by M.T. Anderson

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

There's an ongoing project for the Newbery Award too. Head on over and check them out. This award has been around since 1922, so the list is significantly longer... but the books are short, so, might as well read them! Some of my favorite Newbery books that I've read are:

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Rules by Cynthia Lord

Princess Academy by Shannon Hale

Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata

Crispin: The Cross of Lead by Avi

Pictures of Hollis Woods by Patricia Reilly Giff

Surviving the Applewhites by Stephanie S. Tolan

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park

Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath

Holes by Louis Sachar

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

The Giver by Lois Lowry

... and I better stop at that, because the list goes on and on. There's lots of favorites on that list!

What Printz and Newbery books of you read and loved? Do you plan on reading any of these new winners?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Sunday Salon: Sunday Ramblings

It hasn't been very long since my last rambling post, but since my thoughts are quite scattered today, I thought I might as well ramble again here.

-- JJ finished reading Les Miserables awhile back. I've seen the musical several times and it's one of my favorites, if not my very most favorite, musical. So I was telling her all about it and since then she's been blasting the music all over the house. Last night we found some old VCR tapes of that amazing production they did for the 10th anniversary of Les Mis, so we sat down and watched the whole thing. It's been fun to revisit this music. Are you a huge Les Mis fan too?

-- Book club this week is North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell. So I'm trying to fit in a re-read of that wonderful book and today I hope to watch some, hopefully, most of the beautiful BBC movie. It feels like I've been looking forward to this forever, even though I've seen it already. Too funny. Are you a huge North and South BBC movie fan?

-- Which reminds me, we need bookword suggestions! What do we call a book where you can't get the movie character out of your head while reading. I'm finding I now have this "problem" with North and South. Can you blame me? :)

-- Wow! Thanks to all the lurkers that de-lurked the other day! I had so much fun learning about you all! Do I still have some lurkers that haven't de-lurked yet? You still can you know!

-- Hey, guess what! I finished some books this weekend! First Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson. I can't wait to review this for you, though it will be hard. I loved this book but am finding it difficult to tell you about it without giving everything away. Then, I finished Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton for an upcoming Classics Circuit post. It was a quick easy... but sad... book.

-- This week I learned that Tif from Tif Talks Books is also on a campaign to support local authors. She is putting together a site that lists authors by geographic area. Please go there and add your local authors to her list! Especially those of you who are participating in the perpetual challenge. That would be great. Have you signed up for Support Your Local Authors yet? You are welcome to do that anytime.

-- I'm hoping for a little Sherlock Holmes tomorrow. Keeping fingers crossed it will happen!

-- I started book fair planning this past week. I can't believe it's time for that already again. One more year, and I'll have no more kids in elementary school, which means, my book fair days will be over. What will I do with myself?

Well, I think that's plenty of rambling thoughts for one post. Have a great Sunday and a wonderful week!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lurkers.... Delurk! Please?

I don't know who starts these things, but someone out there has declared it De-lurking Day today. So I've been having fun trying to comment everywhere I go today, and even though I'm a bit late to the party, I thought I'd invite all my lurkers (I do have some, right?) to DE-LURK and say hi. Bloggers get excited when lurkers come forward and declare themselves a reader. It's very exciting.

But I opted to forgo the flasher picture for this other image I found. Because I'm weird that way. De-lurking and flashing just don't go together in my mind for some reason!

So lurkers, time to de-lurk. Do you need questions to help you?

- Do you read books? What are you reading right now?

- If you read this blog, you know my favorite singer... so... who's yours?

- Do you have a blog too and can I come comment there?

- What's your favorite ice cream?

- What are you having for dinner tonight? (Dinnertime, my daily stress moment.)

- Toilet paper.... OVER or UNDER?

Okay, your turn!
P.S. Non-lurkers are welcome to participate too... of course!

Booking Through Thursday: Flapper? Or Not?

Booking Through Thursday's question as suggested by Prairie Progressive asks:

Do you read the inside flaps that describe a book before or while reading it?

It's been awhile since I've participated in this weekly meme, but I thought I could handle this one. Mainly, I do NOT read the flap because there's usually spoilers!! Nothing could be worse than to be reading the book description and have it all spelled out for you. I hate that. However, I will usually read the author info on the back flap. And sometimes I do read the front flap maybe halfway through the book, just to see if what has been described matches at all what I'm reading, to see if I agree with it I guess. But still, I'm wary of spoilers even then.

You'd think flap writers would get it, right? The spoiler fear.

How about you? Are you a flapper, or not?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Bookword Results and a New Word

I must say, it's been a weird week for me and the Bookword Game. Firstly, I royally messed up the poll, redid it and therefore lost all the first day's voting. (Hopefully most of you came back and re logged your vote.) Secondly, I submitted an idea word, which to me is weird to begin with, but I suppose sometimes we should participate in our own game? I don't know.

So then it became a show down between my word (A Crossover Book) and Arcona's word (Auld Lang Syner.) I begged for a tiebreaker vote and suddenly, my word is the winner!

Weird. Or as the kids say.... awkward.

So.... a book that you start reading in one year, and finish up in the next year will now be known as a Crossover Book!

Moving on....

For our new word, let's think of one that describes the situation when you are reading a book, and you end up being able to only picture the character as the actor that portrays that character.

Such as will the face of Colin Firth forever be Mr. Darcy to you? Or will Harry Potter always have the face of Daniel Radcliffe, even if you read half of the series before the movie? Then there's those Twilight guys of course. Could you go back and read Twilight again without picturing them?

What should we call this particular phenomenon?

As always, comment with your suggestions!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Little TV, Books, Movies and Music

All that blogging over the weekend must have fried my blogging brain because I'm suddenly wiped out from all blogging ideas! So I thought I'd ramble today, because, it's been awhile and everyone seems to like the rambling posts, and since I want to blog, but can't think of anything, it just makes sense to ramble, you know?

HEY!! Guess what starts up again tonight? American Idol! Who's with me? Are we ready to discover some more amazing singers? I actually can't believe it's time to start it all over again. I'm looking forward to Ellen as a judge. I think she will be quite fun really.

Ah wasn't Chuck great? He's such a dude. And Lost... it's coming up soon! Then Heroes is back, as weird as ever. But I'm still hooked. Oh, then there was the Survivor finale. I was SO rooting for cute Brett. Oh, well. But the new all stars season looks like it's going to be fun. Rock on Survivor!


I haven't finished any books in, like, forever, because I'm reading two huge chunky epic fantasies! Epic I tell you! (Great word, epic.) I'm loving them both, and so far, haven't had too many problems mixing them up in my brain. We'll see how long that lasts. I can't wait to tell you all about them! And once those are done, I have classics to read. Fantasy, classics! I love 'em both!


So have you all seen Avatar yet? Thumbs up or down? Thumbs up for me. I thought it was so so cool. The 3D made me a little woozy after it was all over, but still. It was worth it. I have yet to see Sherlock Holmes and I'm dying to. Soon, very soon.


I "discovered" a "new" Josh Groban song. I have no idea what it's saying, but it makes me totally happy. You've got to listen:

But mostly it's been all about Adam Lambert around here since Christmas. It appears we all love his album, as for me, it's his mellow songs that I especially love:

So how about you? What TV are you enjoying this new year? What cool movies have you seen? What books are you loving right now? And what music is currently stuck in your head?

Okay, enough rambling. Time for spaghetti!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Sunday Salon: Bloggiesta Wrap Up and Etc.

Wow, what a blogging weekend it's been! I've had a blast focusing a lot of energy on blogging, getting much from my to do list done, but not all. I did lots of business-y type stuff but would have rather done more writing and creative type stuff, or something. I don't know. But it's been fun!

One thing I totally enjoyed was asking my readers what they (you) look for in a review post. I got about 40 responses and according those 40 people, here are the top five most important components of a review post:
  • Short summary (35)
  • Picture of the book cover (34)
  • Reason for reading (24)
  • Simple reader reaction (24)
  • Detailed reader reaction (23)

Hmmmm, it appears we are divided on the length and detail of reactions! Other important parts of a review post appear to be a reader rating, genre, and links to other reviews.

Things that don't seem to be important to you my readers are: long summary, author information, publisher information, book trailers, publishing date, movie tie-ins or the first line.

So, what do you think? Did that all shake down like you expected? It appears that the stuff I've included in my review information has been pretty much right on. Cool.

Ending stats: I spent probably 15 hours on Bloggiesta. I didn't really do the mini challenges... sorry about that. I did look at them all and learn from them though, which is a good thing. I did try to comment on a bunch of new bloggers blogs, but I probably only did a handful like 15 or so. I enjoyed the overall enthusiasm, the Twitter chat, and seeing all the stuff everyone else was doing. Let's do it again! Hopefully I'll be around for the next one in June.

Meanwhile, I've been trying to read too. I'm completely immersed in Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World. And I also started Brandon Sanderson's that's been amazing so far. Book club is in a week and a half and I'd really like to re-read North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, but not sure I'll fit it in, because I also need to read some Edith Wharton for The Classic Circuit.

Oh, and I have a blog tour scheduled, but haven't received the book! Now that's going to be tricky! :)

What the family is reading this lovely Sunday:

The Mr: New York by Edward Rutherford
JJ: A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn
Moder: Maximum Ride: The Angel Experiment by James Patterson
Toto: Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins

Now, I'm off to watch Chuck.

A Quick Bloggiesta Update: Day Three

Just dropping by to update my Bloggiesta progress. Last night, I worked until pretty late trying to clean up Google Reader. But I didn't get very far, so that's the first thing on my list for today. Yesterday, I also composed and emailed some authors for Authors Pick Five... asking them what five books are important to them. We'll see how that goes soon I guess.

Later on today, for my wrap up post I'll share the results of
my survey I put up at the beginning of Bloggiesta asking you all what you looked for in a review post. If you haven't had a chance to answer yet, please hop on over and click your answers. I won't post the results for a few hours still.

I'd like to do a fun and creative Bloggiesta task today too, so hopefully I can write some unique posts to save for later, and do some brainstorming or something.

We'll see how it goes! Hope everyone is still having fun with this and not getting too burned out. I think some were thinking that the event officially ended this morning, but I learned from our
Bloggiesta host herself that it does continue through the day.

So, party on! Ole!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Bloggiesta Day Two Begins.... Finally

Now that the day is nearly over, I'm here to Bloggiesta some more. Are there any party-ers left, or have you all keeled over yet?

And to think I figured I'd have the whole day to blog away today!

Instead, I:

  • slept in... way in, then read The Eye of the World in bed for an hour or so
  • ate waffles
  • picked up a kid from a sleepover
  • met a stranger for a ticket sale exchange
  • popped in on my mom and dad
  • went to the Calamity Jack release party and visited with Shannon Hale and Natasha!
  • also met new blogger Heather from Fire and Ice Photo.
  • went out to dinner with my mom and dad
  • drove home

And now it's now and I need to remember what I was going to do next regarding Bloggiesta!

But first, some pictures. (My husband looked so official with is camera today that The King's English people asked him if he could send them some of his pictures since their camera died! )

Shannon and her husband Dean, and their illustrator extraordinaire, Nathan.

The above three pictures are Shannon and Dean demonstrating what it's like to collaborate together, like a fiin-tuned ice skating routine! They were hillarious!

Me, JJ and Toto getting our books signed.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Bloggiesta Update: Day One

I've been having tons of fun so far at the Bloggiesta party! Here's my first day's update.

Time spent: about 7 hours give and take

What I accomplished so far:

  • challenges all signed up for, pages posted, and slide show updated

  • Support Your Local Authors now on sidebar

  • Blog Roll cleaned up... a bit

  • 2009 tab changed to 2010 and linked to new 2010 page

  • Alphabetical Review Index all updated
What everyone else is doing that I hope to add to my list:

  • labels, yuck, labels

  • write some draft posts

  • brainstorm

  • guest posts?
  • Gilmore Girls
  • YouTube hopping to find Bloggiesta music!

  • Dinner

  • chocolate cravings

  • kids, kids, kids

  • accidental deletions... dang

  • should be reading!
Mini Challenges?
  • Comment challenge
  • I tried the favicon thing... gave up

  • I tried the export your blog one... gave up

  • There was another one I tired too, and I forgot already what it was, and... gave it up too.
That being said, I'm having a great time! That's it for tonight. I'm tired and done. Hopefully I have a little left for reading. Until tomorrow then! I still have plenty to do!


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