Monday, January 31, 2011

Review: The Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart

Book: The Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart
Genre: NF
Rating: A
For: Review request and personal NF challenge
From: ARC sent for review

Here's the subtitle for this book: How Three Totally Wired Teenager (and a Mother who Slept with Her iPhone) Pulled the Plug on Their Technology and Lived to Tell the Tale.

That's all it took for me. I wanted to know HOW they survived THAT! :) She took it all away from them, their phone, iPods, TVs, computers, video games, for SIX months!

And not surprisingly, they DID survive and learned quite a bit from the experience.

Being a journalist, much of her motivation for The Experiment was to have a fun thing to write about, but she was also concerned about their mutual dependence on all their devices. Sound familiar to anyone? I know at our house, we pretty much live for our computer time. And music of course. And we enjoy lots of TV and movies too. I'm sure it's quite obvious from the posts I write here. And I'm not sure we could disconnect and live to tell the tale!

Anyway, scattered in between their personal experience with this (in the form of diary entries of sorts) she analyzes our psyches and what makes us love our electronics so much, and how things have changed over the years. She talks about technology and our devices as it relates to:

  • homework
  • feeling connected with other people
  • our desire for information
  • connection to real life friends
  • developing other interests (or not as the case may be)
  • the way our brains have changed over the years
  • multi-tasking and is that good or bad
  • our dependency and attachment
  • our fear of boredom
It's all a blast and really very funny! She has a wonderful writing style that I totally loved and enjoyed. There's lots of pop cultural references scattered throughout that was fun to catch and laugh at. Very fun!

Some of the positive things that happened due to the experiment:
  • they talked more
  • they read more
  • they cooked more
  • they gathered in the kitchen, and around the piano and together in  bed
  • they developed other talents
  • their grades improved
I was talking about how fun this book was and my 11 year old daughter was so intrigued, she has nabbed the book from me plans to read it for her "informational" book requirement! I let you know how that goes! (I'm afraid it's a little over her head, but who am I to say?)

Bottom line: I loved it!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Sunday Salon: It's Book Fair Week!

At first, I thought I'd just do this sort of post just now and then on a Sunday, but everyone seems to be enjoying it, including myself, so for now I'll keep it up.

Outside my window: it's dark because it's currently Saturday night... again. How'd that happen... again? Man the weeks fly by fast.

I am listening to: silly kids.
I am watching: Castle! This past week I watched several episodes of season one while stapling book fair flyers. Love him! The solving of the murders? Yeah, that part is just okay. But Castle? He's awesome of course. Oh, and I watched The Vampire Diaries on Thursday after their big break. Oh. My. Word.

I am thinking: January went by just plain too fast. I am thinking I can't keep up!

I am grateful for: my sweet little job at the library.

I am reading: Hush by Kate White. Almost done! And then I hope to finish The Winter of Our Disconnect... and then hopefully finish The Way We Live Now. And then start... hmmm.... I don't know for sure what'll be next!

I am photographing: sadly, nothing this week really.

I am listing: nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I am creating: a scrapbook for my son...the letters he's been writing to us these past couple of years, the letters we've been writing to him, and all the mementos he's sent home for us to save. It's not very fancy, but it's a scrapbook!

On my iPod: there's nothing new. Same as last week and the week before.

To live my faith: I will eliminate negativity.

I am hoping and praying: that book fair goes smoothly this next week. Did I tell you it's my last one? After ten years of being the book fair chair?

Around the house: we've been moving junk from one spot to another! A junk shuffle of sorts. But, we did throw away a computer.. the first one we bought after marriage in fact from the 80's! It was actually sort of sad. I have a hard time getting rid of stuff. I can attach a sentimental value to pretty much anything.

From the kitchen: ICE CREAM! We are officially addicted. No, we didn't make it, but we just got home from buying it. And it's not the first time this week.

One of my favorite things: reading in bed, in the morning.

The children this week: will be doing a lot of taking care of themselves!

Plans for the week: The only plan I have is to survive the book fair. And somehow manage to fit it around work at the library. Oh, and make sure a birthday celebration of sorts happens on Friday for the nearly 16 year old son!

On this date: last year, I was rambling. Imagine that! Wait! Two years ago I was also rambling! No way! Oh, but THREE years ago, I wrote a review!

Thanks to Ibeeeg of Polishing Mud Balls for the inspiration for this post's layout.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Don't Interrupt Me While I'm Reading a Book!

We love Julian Smith at our house... especially the kids. They said to me, "Mom, you really need to post this on your blog!" So, what could I say? Anyway, I love it too, so here it is. He creeps me out a little in this song, but in a fun sort of way! Besides, that's the point I'm sure. (I saw this posted on someone else's blog already, which was actually the first place I saw it, but I already forgot who it was! ) He's a crazy dude, he is!

Happy Friday to you all! Enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Review: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson

Book: Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: A
For: The other book club
From: a Christmas gift

Ah finally! Now I know what everyone has been raving about regarding this book! What a lovely lovely story. Some of you who crave adventure and action would say... "but nothing happens!" Yes, perhaps, but it's a sweet love story, the likes of which I don't seem to be reading much these days.

In February I'm celebrating LOVE month with  Michelle over at Fluttering Butterflies. I should have probably saved this review to kick that off, but I can't wait that long!

Yes, it's a love story. Between a "mature" (or should we just say OLD) couple. And as "shocking" as that is, the more shocking part is that he is a distiguinshed traditional dyed-in-the-wool English gentleman. Like Mr. Darcy perhaps as a nearly 70 year old.... or the butler perhaps from Remains of the Day.... or maybe Father Tim even, if he was English! But the problem comes when he falls in love with a lady from Pakistan. Actually, she's born and bred in England, but her family and religion are from Pakistan. People in the village tolerate her. They like her well enough. But they tend to keep their distance. Then one day she suddenly shows up on Major Pettigrew's doorstep and something clicks.

It's wonderful! But all the problems that ensue? That's where the "stuff" of this story happen. Poor Major Pettigrew is really sick of some of the people he's lived around his whole life. He's tired of people telling him what to do, or not to do...including his grown up son.  He's tired of being alone.

It's a wonderful sweet story, even though there's lots of big issues being dealt with at the same time. And it probably comes as no surprise that I myself, fell in love with Major Pettigrew! More on that in another post.

Bottom line: I loved it. And P.S.: what an awesomely creative cover!

Other Reviews:

Rhapsody in Books
Write Meg!
Lit and Life
An Adventure in Reading

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You're Up Then You're Down

Okay, so I admit... I'm still peeking at that silly subscription number over there in Google Reader! You know, that one that supposedly tells me how many people subscribe and maybe read my blog? I should just ignore that thing, I know, because it makes me just a little bit crazy.

Lately, (and by lately I mean for the past year) it's been "stuck." It used to go gradually up, but now, it's on a major plateau of some kind! And then I get excited when it bumps up a number or two. And then the next day, it will go back down. Even big blog events like BBAW and/or Bloggiesta don't make it change at all anymore.

Which brings me to my point of this post... and makes me wonder, why would someone unsubscribe? I mean, what could possibly be unpleasing about me? :)  I had fun thinking about this, and came up with the following list:

Reasons to Unsubscribe to This Blog

1. I talk too much about music.
2. Specifically, I talk too much about Josh G.
3. Which possibly means, I talk too little about books, which, after all, this blog is all about.
4. Perhaps my reviews are too boring.
5. Especially since I like everything I read (almost) and give all books A's, A-'s, or maybe B+'s.
6. And I also read too much YA (though I know many of you have this same "problem"!)
7. I ramble too much.
8. I post too much, maybe even twice a day sometimes!
9. I am informal and inarticulate.
10. I'm behind on the new books.

Ha! That cracks me up! It's very fun to analyze oneself (or blog) trying to see it from someone else's eyes and what they might be seeing happening here!

Well, anyway, I doubt much of the above stuff will change. Thanks to those of you that do subscribe despite the above list. I hope you stick around, and we'll have some fun!

(And thank you Katy Perry for letting me borrow your song lyrics!)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: A Kid's Wishlist

Over at The Broke and the Bookish today, they are asking "What ten books do you wish you had read as a kid?" Since I can't really come up with a list for this particular question... I'm changing it up just a bit to ask:

"What ten books do you wish were AROUND for you to read when you were a kid?"

In other words, books that came to be after I was an adult that I would have loved to read as a kid. Get it?

1. Harry Potter and all its sequels, which pretty much goes without saying.
2. The Percy Jackson series. I've read the first two now and liked them okay, but I think as a kid I would have LOVED them.
3. Same goes for the Fablehaven series
4. The Unfortunate Event series
5. The Dear America books
6. Andrew Clements books
7. The Queen's Thief series
8. Gail Carson Levine books
9. Twilight, when I was 15 or so. Wow. Would I have loved that or what?
10. Inkheart by Cornelia Funke and series

Hmmm... that sort of turned into an author/series list instead of a book one. I guess that works though!

What books would you put on this list?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Review: Sapphique by Catherine Fisher

Book: Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
Genre: Dystopian
Rating: A-
For: Fun
From: purchased from Amazon

After reading Incarceron, I knew I wouldn't be waiting long to get to this one, the second book in what I think is just this pair of books. (You never know, she may decide to keep on going!)

Spoilers ahead for Incarceron!

This one started with Finn trying to get used to living Outside, and it not being quite cracked up to what he thought it would be. In fact, he is pretty sullen about everything because first, he doesn't really want to be a prince and second, his friends are still Inside. So his main objective is to figure out how to get to them, with Claudia and her tutor, Jared's, help.

Claudia, though she does want to help, wants more to turn Finn into the prince, whether he is or not, which is something that's quite up in the air. And also, she's a little concerned about father who has disappeared Inside.

Meanwhile, Attia and Keiro are running for their life back in Incarceron because the prison itself is fighting against them. Then underneath it all is the problem of Sapphique and what he, if anything, has to do with it all!

So, what did I think? While I still really enjoyed these characters and the setting, I didn't love it quite as much as the first one. Mostly because much of what was going on I didn't get, especially the whole thing about the prison trying to get a body. Yeah, I didn't get it. And I was disappointed that there was a little more (any actually) love story going on and weaved in and among all the stress these characters were having. I thought this book would have a little of that, but there was still really nothing. So that made me a little sad I suppose.

Still I think it's a fascinating tale, one where you really never know what's going on and things do not appear to be what they are.

Bottom line: I liked it a lot!

Other Reviews:

One Librarian's Book Reviews
The BookBind
Alison's Book Marks
Beyond Books

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Bloggiesta: Final Report

Well, I guess I got some stuff done! Click on over to my to do list page to see what I crossed off!

And I learned some things such as:

  • Bloggiesta-ing makes me very tired and my eyes buggy. Anyone else?
  • When mom's at the computer, there's always a kid over her shoulder wanting something.
  • Labels make me CRAZY!
  • But I figured out that in Blogger, you just need to make your post list up to 300 items long and then you won't have to keep flipping pages back and forth while you are editing labels. It made a world of difference. I didn't quite get done, but I think I can see the light at the end.
  • It's kinda scary deleting stuff from your sidebar that's been there forever!
  • Many many people have some really awesome looking blogs!
  • I can't face the Reader mess OR the email confusion. I just can't do it!
  • I hate unsubscribing to people and their blogs. 
  • I'm not good at following with that Friend Connect/Blogger/Google thing either.
  • Tweetchat is an awesome way to follow Twitter hashtag conversations. 
  • But I still feel like I'm talking to myself a lot on Twitter. It's like being in a big noisy room, and if your voice isn't loud no one can hear you! My voice isn't loud in real life OR on Twitter! :)
  • It's hard to eat nachos at a computer. Greasy hands and all.
  • Almost four years blogging and really, I still know nothing about this. I've been winging it this whole time!

So, what did YOU learn this time around during Bloggiesta?

Now, I just really want to read. Adios amigos!

The Sunday Salon: Bloggiesta Weekend

These thoughts written on Saturday evening the 22nd:

Outside my window: It's blustery and trying its very hardest to snow.

I am listening to: Adam Lambert's Acoustic Live... love love love. Especially Soaked.

I am thinking: that Bloggiesta is very fun, but it makes my head hurt.

I am grateful for: my blog. Is that weird? I remember back when I started it I was scared to death. And now I can't imagine my life without this place to purge my thoughts and bookish fanatics and all sorts of other strangeness.

I am reading: I started two new books last night! Hush by Kate White for an upcoming TLC tour and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson for the "other" book club coming up this week. Very different books from each other, but I think I'm going to really enjoy them both.

I am photographing: more gigs. Today was a school event in which Moder played in yet another band. I took pictures and photos galore. They sounded great by the way!

I am listing: all sorts of goals and accomplishments as part of my Bloggiesta adventures.

I am creating: a mess of my blog! Well, hopefully there are some good changes, but I'm not sure.

On my iPod: hmmm.... what have I been listening too? I think I listened to a random playlist this week which included Adam Lambert, Kris Allen, Yaz, Hans Zimmer, Dr. Mabuse, Depeche Mode, Muse, Josh Groban, and many others....

To live my faith: I will embrace this new change coming my way tomorrow, I hope. (I find out what my new church job will be! I've been teaching the 11 year olds, but now we'll see what's next.)

I am hoping and praying: that Toto's little friend that got deathly sick this past week and ended up in the hospital will get better soon.

Around the house: things are sort of clean actually. That's because it was book club this week and I cleaned up for the event!

From the kitchen: the girls made Rice Krispie Scotcheroos to take to the bake sale today at the school. We got Cafe Rio this afternoon, but we did bring it home and eat in the kitchen! :)

One of my favorite things: Pork Barbacoa Salad from Cafe Rio!

The children this week: should all be doing normal routine things. I look forward to a fairly calm week.

Plans for the week: There's the other book club, an ear doctor appointment (yes my ears are a little weird sometimes,) an event for daughter Toto, a party with the other library on Saturday (they invited the employees of my library to go party with them) and I can't remember what else!

On this date: I answered a BTT question about books I love that no one seems to have heard of, I reviewed the book The Moon Below by Barbara Bickmore, and I posted a random Sunday Salon post.

Thanks to Ibeeeg of Polishing Mud Balls for the inspiration for this post's layout.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Bloggiesta Update: What I've Accomplished So Far

Well, I feel the need to report my Bloggiesta doings, but at the same time, I feel like I haven't done much!

First of all, I wanted to point out that I've zapped some stuff off my side bar and made them pages instead. I don't know if this is good or bad, but we'll go with it for now.  My new pages are:

Authors Pick Five: a link list of the authors I've asked my question to
My Top Tens: a link list of the top ten bookish categories I've thought of so far and I think I'll add my year lists too.
Characters I Love: a link list of the character posts I'm trying to do
Music Stuck in My Head: a link list of the music posts I seem to be doing more often lately.

I've also copied Melissa from One Librarian's Book Reviews and organized my labels into categories on the side bar. I love this, but am sad since it's only been the last year that I've actually assigned my reviews a genre. What was I thinking? So if I ever get the energy and if Blogger ever makes it easy to edit labels, I will eventually assign all my reviews a genre.

Other stuff I've been doing:
-- deleted my special features page
-- deleted my challenge slide show
-- added all my favorite blogging events/features/memes/challenges to one slide show on side bar
-- updated my challenge pages for 2011
-- created and added my Books Read for 2011 (a big three on that list right now!)
-- changed my profile picture
-- I've gone through my Reader just a little but it hardly counts
-- updated my Reviews by Author and Reviews by Title pages. Whew, that was crazy.

Now... I want to brainstorm ideas, and do some writing.

I'd love to know what you think of any of these changes. Do you think I should leave my lists on the sidebar instead of putting them on their own page? Or are the new pages fun? Or is it too much? 

Friday, January 21, 2011

New Profile Picture Revealed!

One of the things I've been anxious to do is change my profile picture because it's been a few years now that I've been using that other one. I wanted a change, yet  I also wanted to keep it bookish looking. Comparing this to my old one, it's not that much different so I've concluded I'm not that creative in making up bookish profile pictures! But whatever. It's a change, and so I'm going with it! Do you like my sign? I made it a few years ago to go in my library corner. I thought it would work well in the new picture.

Now the next project will be going around to all my "places" and changing it there. I don't even know if I can remember them all!

Running Total for Books Read in 2011


1. The Fires of Heaven by Robert Jordan
2. The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
3. Sapphique by Catherine Fisher
4. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
5. The Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart
6. Hush by Kate White


7. I Am Number Four by Pitticus Lore
8. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
9. Princess at the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George
10. A Madness of Angels by Kate Griffin
11. 84, Charing Cross Road by Helene Hanff
12. Open Country by Kaki Warner
13. The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
14. Paranormalcy by Keirsten White


15. Wither by Lauren Destefano
16. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
17. Beyonders: A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull
18. Mr. Monster by Dan Wells
19. No Going Back by Jonathan Langford
20. I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
21. Room by Emma Donoghue
22. My Jane Austen Summer by Cindy Jones


23. Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan
24. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
25. Skellig by David Almond
26. City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
27. Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
28. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
29. The Pun Also Rises by John Pollack


30. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss
31. Reiyalindis by Cory Poulson
32. Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith
33. Forest Born by Shannon Hale
34. I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells
35. Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
36. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. La Guin
37. City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
38. Wolves, Boys and Other Things That Might Kill Me by Kristen Chandler
39. Bruiser by Neal Shusterman


40. Ship Breaker by Paolo Bacigulapi
41. Birth Marked by Caragh M. O'Brien
42. The Last Chance Texaco by Brent Hartinger
43. Happy Birthday to Me by Brian Rowe


44. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
45. The Forgotten Locket by Lisa Mangum
46. The Book Blogger's Cookbook by Christy Dorrity
47. What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen
48. A Crown of Swords by Robert Jordan


49. Illusions by Aprilynne Pike
50. Middlemarch by George Eliot
51. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
52. Possession by Elana Johnson


53. The Underdog by Markus Zusak
54. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
55. Divergent by Veronica Roth
56. The Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy
57. Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson
58. The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
59. Everneath by Brodi Ashton
60. All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
61. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
62. Can You Survive the Call of the Wild? by Ryan Jacobson
63. Underdogs by Markus Zusak


64. Miles from Ordinary by Carol Lynch Williams
65. The Home Ranch by Ralph Moody
66. Entwined by Heather Dixon
67. Crossed by Ally Condie
68. Red Glove by Holly Black
69. The Demon King by Cinda Williams Chima
70. Under the Dome by Stephen King
71. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
72. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
73. Variant by Robison Wells


74. The Death Cure by James Dashner
75. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
76. Tattoo by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
77. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern


78. The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
79. Blood Red Road by Moira Young
80. The Iron Daughter by Julia Kagawa

Mark, Get Set, Go Bloggiesta!

Ah, finally! I've been very much looking forward to this weekend of Bloggiesting so I can get lots of blog stuff done! I hope it goes well and that I can actually find time to do a good chuck of my list. There's a few life thing I'm going to have to work around, but it should be okay and I'm thinking everyone has the same sort of issues.

For more information on the whole Bloggiesta event, be sure to visit Maw Books Blog for all the details and list of mini challenges and link ups and answers to everything. If you haven't signed up yet, and you want to play with your blog this weekend and have fun at the same time, you can still join us!

Okay, so the first order of business is to share my to do list. Here's what I'm hoping to accomplish:

  • create Books Read 2011 page
  • update review links for massive review list pages
  • revamp challenge links on sidebar
  • update event slide show
  • possibly create a Character Connection sidebar link
  • send Authors Pick Five requests to authors
  • change up the Special Features page
  • change up the blog roll
  • ponder the future of the Bookword Game
  • create Music in My Head page?
  • clean up Reader, once and for all
  • clean up labels, the never ending job
  • try to fix header, needs to be smaller!!! I don't know how!!!
  • write rainy day posts
  • go around to other blogs and follow people who are following me
  • update all other pages with main links
  • get reader feedback
  • participate in some mini challenges with tasks that I haven't even thought of yet!
How's that for starters! I can't wait to get going. But first, I must put in my four hours at the library. So I'll see you when I get back!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

BTT: Periodically

It's been awhile, so I thought I'd do a Booking Through Thursday question today, in which we are asked:

What magazines or journals do you read?

What magazines do YOU read?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Delurker Day: Better Late Than Never!

Last year, on January 14, I stumbled upon a bloggish sort of celebration called Delurker Day. I posted a random post begging people to delurk and wow, it turned out to be one of my most fun blogging moments! So I looked forward to that day to come around again.

But wouldn't you know it, somehow I missed it! Either no one was begging us to delurk, or I've been neglecting my blog reading duties and didn't see it if you did!

So then I thought, okay fine. I can still do a delurk post right? Right? Even if I'm a few days late? I'm guessing the blog police will not track me down if I do.....

So now is your chance you wonderful LURKERS! I'm not being subtle here... I'm asking, begging, pleading for you to delurk just for today and say hi and let me know you are out there! We bloggers tend to think that our commentors are the only ones reading, which for me is about ten of you... maybe 15. So I'd love to know if there's anyone else out there, who you and what you think!

And keeping with the tradition I started last year, here's a few questions to help you with your comment:

1. Do you play a musical instrument? If so, what? If not, what would you like to play?

2. What are three adjectives that describe you?

3. What book are you reading right now?

4. Tomatoes: thumbs up or down?

5. Are you going to check out the new American Idol that starts tonight?

Okay, that's enough of that! Now it's time to let me know you are here! And if you comment all the time already, by all means, you are welcome to answer the delurker questions too!

Happy Late Delurker Day!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Weekly Geeks 2011.2: The Printz Award

In honor the awards that were announced last week, Weekly Geeks asks us about our feelings and/or plans regarding book awards. The option I'm choosing to answer today is this one:

Choose an award (like the Printz and Newbery) and look at the list of previous winners/honors. Which books have you read and enjoyed? Are there any that you hated? Share a few 'favorites' with your readers. (If you haven't read any lately, maybe you might want to write up a post listing a few you'd be interested in reading soon.)

Once, nearly two years ago now, I got all excited about the Printz Awards and even started a Printz Project (mostly Jessica from The Bluestocking Society started it, but I cheered her on!) and I said I would read lots of Printz books! But then, it never really seemed to happen, so one of my reading goals for this year is to re-commit to reading some Printz books. I have a bunch just sitting here waiting for me!

But first, let me share with you some of my favorites from that list, and then I'll list some of the ones I'd really love to read.


Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta
One Whole and Perfect Day by Judith Clarke
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Vol. 1 by M.T. Anderson
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I Am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
A Northern Light by Jonnifer Donnelly
The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Hope to Read:

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Vol. 2 by M. T. Anderson
Nation by Terry Pratchett
Skellig by David Almond
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt
Going Bovine by Libba Bray
how i live now by Meg Rosoff
Monster by Walter Dean Myers

Which Printz books have you read and loved? Which ones do you think I need to add to my list?

Monday, January 17, 2011

Review: The Lost Saint by Bree Despain

Book: The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
Genre: YA Paranormal
Rating: B+
For: Local Authors
From: Bought it from Amazon 

This is the continuing story of Grace Divine, her friend Daniel, and her brother Jude... which began last year with The Dark Divine. In this sequel, Grace is working to perfect her newly acquired powers and is getting herself in all sorts of trouble trying to find her brother Jude. She and Daniel also seem to be having issues that are perplexing and causing her a bit of grief. Oh, and there's a new guy on the scene!

My problem, if you could call it a problem, is that it seemed slow to me in the beginning. I felt like nothing was happening. There was a lot of explaining or helping us to remember the first book (which is good sometimes since I tend to forget, but also boring if overly down.) Remember months (okay so it was way last year) ago when I vented my feelings on sequels? Yes, this one seemed to be doing that for me.

But, once things got going and the story for this particular book was on a roll, I was page turning again. The ending was particularly intense and the very very ending.... well.... sheesh. Seriously? :)

This book has some new and interesting takes on the popular paranormal genre. In this book we are introduced to more crazy creatures, and learn a lot more about their background. What imaginations you authors have to think this stuff up! All very interesting.

Bottom line: I enjoyed it, especially once it really got going.

Other Reviews:

One Librarian's Book Reviews
Reading with Tequila
Debbie's World of Books

More from author Bree Despain's official site.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

The Sunday Salon: What I'm Doing Today

It's Sunday! And another week bites the dust! Here's what's going on in my life today and this week:

Outside my window: It's drippy... rainy... dreary. BUT, all the ice we've been dealing with for two plus weeks is finally melting! This makes me quite happy!

I am listening to: nothing! That needs to change! I hear a movie from downstairs, and a TV from the other room, but nothing where I'm at. Hmmmm..... I choose William Joseph!

I am thinking: that this post is going up too late in the day for anyone to even see it now. Does anyone else find that posting late means less readers that day?

I am grateful for: a warm cozy house on these gray dreary days.

I am reading: This week I finished The Fires of Heaven finally, as you may know if you've been around. Today I finished The Lost Saint, sequel to The Dark Divine. Next I think I'll start Sapphique.

am photographing: the gigs of yesterday!

I am listing: things to do during Bloggiesta next week. That post to come later. I've been saving up all sorts of tasks. Now, here's hoping I really truly find time to do it.

I am creating: a movie of the gigs my son played in yesterday, but am having file conversion troubles. I hate having to convert files. So frustrating!

On my iPod: the playlist currently up is Josh Groban Favorites. Now, you may think, so what's new about that? Well, since last week when I reported uploading the Tron sound track, that's mostly been what's on the iPod this past week, that and a couple other newly "purchased" songs (credit from Amazon really.) But then I was in a mood and needed Josh songs the other day, so he's been back on the last few days. Seriously, it's been awhile and it's been nice having him back. :)

To live my faith: I am making family top priority!

I am hoping and praying: that the plans we are making for the summer are fun... and not stressful.

Around the house: things looked quite well lived in. There's a piano keyboard lying all across the family room floor and a couple of amps. I'm thinking "someone" needs to put that stuff away!

From the kitchen: we made omelettes and blueberry muffins today for brunch. It was wonderful. My son hopes to create some sort of shrimp concoction for dinner later today. I'm not a fan of shrimp, but I'll let him have at it.

One of my favorite things: is wrapping myself in tons of quilts and blankets, knowing everyone is home safe from all their activities, and settling in my warm cocoon to read until late.

The children this week: I'm happy to report we survived last week. The driver's road test is over and passed, two gigs are over with one to go this coming Saturday. Student council began for the sixth grader, book fair plans began, and just lots of school stuff going on.

Plans for the week: I will be working more on book fair, and doing Bloggiesta this coming weekend! (In between other family events of course.)

On this date: Hey look at that! I reviewed The Book Thief! That was 2008. Oh, and hey, in 2009 I reviewed Wuthering Heights! Cool! So what was I doing last year? It's a Sunday Salon Rambling post! So fun to look back!

Happy New Week to you all!


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