Saturday, April 30, 2011

April Reading Recap

I feel behind. How does one feel behind in reading for fun? I'm trying to "catch up" but not sure if I succeeded as of yet. Here's what I read this month:

Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan: Rand continues to gain followers and make powerful enemies. Perrin is back to help, Mat continues to evolve into an unlikely leader, the Forsaken plot like mad and the girls rise in the ranks.

 If I Stay by Gayle Forman: After a fatal car accident, Mia reviews and ponders her life while hanging onto life support. 

Skellig by David Almond: A young boy discovers a strange being in the old beat up garage of his new house.

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare: Clary meets the Shadow Hunters, becomes one herself, is especially attracted to Jace, and learns all about a whole new world.

Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness: Todd and Viola fight to keep the peace against the tyranny and craziness of the Mayer and the unfamiliar culture of the Spackle.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley: Flavia becomes a master sleuth as she forages around for clues to the death of the strange man in the garden.

The Pun Also Rises by John Pollack: A study on the history of puns and how they are important in society as a whole.

While I enjoyed all of them, none of them really particularly stand out! What's up with that? If I Stay perhaps does a little. City of Bones had its moments. But so did Lord of Chaos and Monsters of Men. Skellig was different enough to stand out a bit too. Hmmmmm.... hard to really say a favorite this month!

Plans for May:

  • Read A Wizard of Earthsea for book club
  • Finish up The Name of the Wind, which I am half way into and totally immersed with at the moment!
  • Perhaps get a start on the next Wheel of Time? 
  • UTAH AUTHOR MONTH!! (More details on that tomorrow!) But I hope to read a ton of Utah authors this month including, but not limited to:
  • Reiyalindis by Cory Poulson
  • Back When You Were Easier to Love by Emily Wing Smith
  • Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George
  • I Don't Want to Kill You by Dan Wells
  • The Princess and the Bear by Mette Ivie Harrison
  • Forest Born by Shannon Hale
  • The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
  • Band of Sisters by Annette Lyon
  • The 13th Reality Book Three by James Dashner
  • The Candy Shop War by Brandon Mull
  • ....for starters. 
It's going to be a fun month! I hope you join me for the celebration!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Music Stuck in My Head: Les Miserables

This past week we saw Les Mis, performed at the high school by kids we know. They did an awesome job! It was amazing really. That night, the music was so stuck in my head I couldn't sleep! There's something about these songs that really truly STICK! Sometimes that's a good thing, and sometimes it can make a person crazy!

It's hard for me to pick favorite songs from this production. Every time one starts I think... Oh, now THAT one is my favorite! Here's a few I really love:

As you know, I have a soft spot for Javert, the tortured "villain" and this song says it all:

When Jean Valjean and Javert confront each other, it's so intense:

A beautiful sad song, and I love watching Michael Ball sing it:

But I really really like watching Michael Maguire as Enjoloras most especially:

and of course there's the big production numbers:

GAH!! And every other song in this show! Empty Chairs, Bring Him Home, On My Own, I Dreamed a Dream, Master of the House even!

Mark this down as my most favorite musical of all time. And our recent Les Mis blitz isn't over yet. We get to see the touring professional show in June! Looking very much forward to that too.

What are your Les Mis feelings? Seen it? Like it? Hate it? Have no idea what I'm talking about? 

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Review: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness

Book: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness
Genre: YA Dystopian
Rating: A-
For: Fun, plus this also counts for the Twenty Eleven Challenge
From: Amazon

After the way the second book in the series wrapped up, I was anxious for this third book to see if anything could be salvaged! Wow, talk about despair and destruction!

First, a quick and hopefully spoiler free summary of this series: We have Todd, who has been raised on this new planet, yet that very society has become corrupt. He breaks away, joins a girl, Viola, who has just arrived on the planet. They hope to fix things. But when they come to a new settlement, the bad guys have only made things worse. And they get even worse. And then even worse! Meanwhile, the indigenous species on the planet begins to get involved and then things REALLY get worse!

So this third book opens with three different groups all fighting each other. The Spackle (who lived there first), the Mayor's guys (who want to take over everyone) and the new group led by Todd and Viola (who just want peace!) It appears there is no way for any one of them to win.

Needless to say, this first bit of the book, with all the fighting and no resolution in sight, made me very frustrated. I was really ready for things to get solved. I hoped for things to get solved. I started worrying that things would never get solved and that I'd invested all this emotion into these very heart wrenching books for nothing! It scared me a little!

But this is the last of the trilogy, and I knew that things simply had to get solved. And the that all happened is the heart of this book and it's very surprising and fascinating and good. However, there were some moments when I felt it was a bit Avatar-ish, if you know what I mean. And I love Avatar! I just didn't want it to drift to having an agenda, or being the same old story. So that worried me a couple of times too. Alos, there are lots of hard questions asked throughout, and these kids, young as they are, must make some pretty intense decisions. It does bring up some interesting concepts, without getting too preachy, mostly.

In the end, I loved it too, just like the first couple of books. I love the series. I recommend it to everyone. It's really quite different. Very emotional. And finally over!!

Bottom line: I worried through the first half, and loved the second half.

Other Reviews:

There's a Book
Rhapsody in Books
Fyrefly's Book Blog
One Librarian's Book Reviews
Book Harbinger

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Blog Tour Review: The Pun Also Rises by John Pollack

Book: The Pun Also Rises by John Pollack
Genre: NF
Rating: B+
For: TLC Blog Tour
From: The publisher (Gotham Books/Penguin)

First let me just fill you in the subtitle, because that basically tells you what this book is all about. How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics.

Who knew the pun was so important!

Yes, I am fascinated with anything having to do with language, the spoken word, the history of words, etc. etc. So I knew I would need to be checking out this fun book! And yes, some of it went over my shallow head. It was a little deep for me. But I enjoyed the stories, and the punny examples, and the history.

Here's some of the things you'll learn if you read this book:

  • What is a pun anyway?
  • When did people start using puns?
  • Who uses puns?
  • Are puns even funny?
  • Why do we also groan after a pun is told? (Do you groan? I do.)
  • What is the purpose of a pun?
  • The history of the phrase "pun not intended." (Okay fess up, have you ever said that?)
  • The history of words, language and how the brain understands them.
  • ....just to name a few things!
Now perhaps that sounds extremely boring to you. Maybe to a lot of you. But really, it's quite interesting. I promise.

But the best part of this whole book? Trying to find the puns scattered throughout! There's tons of them! And I'm sure I only caught just a smattering. It's kinda of like trying to find the mouse in Goodnight Moon. Quite the game. And boy do I wish I could have filled this review with pun after pun after pun. But my brain is barely functioning enough to write anything remotely coherent at all, so we'll not worry about that part, okay?

There's a lengthy introduction that tells the story about why the author, John Pollack, is qualified to write this book... namely he won the big world "pun off" championship. It's fun to see how one of those works. Other info about him: he is a journalist and former Special Assistant and Presidential Speechwriter to Bill Clinton. He has written for publications such as the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, Advertising Age, and the Associated Press. He has also written speeches for corporate and public-sector leaders such as Jeffrey Katzenberg, Carly Fiorina, John Glenn, David de Rothschild, and actress Goldie Hawn. He currently works as a speechwriter and consultant for ROI Communication, an internal communication consulting firm.

Bottom line: I enjoyed this book a lot, despite the the "over my head" parts.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wheel of Time Buddy Review: Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan

Book: Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan (Book Six Wheel of Time series)
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Rating: B+
For: Personal Quest (and buddy read with Polishing Mud Balls and Chersti)
From: boxed set from Amazon

Almost a year and a half ago now I started the Wheel of Time quest. The mission? To read the entire series, 11 huge books, so I could read the last books (three huge books) Brandon Sanderson is writing to finish up the series for Robert Jordan, who died before he could do it himself. Along the way, in searching out other reviews, I meet Ibeeeg (Deanna) who had set out on the same quest about the same time I did. Since then, we’ve been cheering each other on, and have talked about doing a buddy read, which finally, for this book number six we made official. Chersti also joined us for this buddy read, but she is still working on it (believe me, it's quite the project!) and we will hopefully be back to discuss things with her when she is done.

But what a blast it is to have that motivating factor of reading a book together to keep you going! I needed it bad this time around. This book was hard to get through. There were many times I wondered, “now, why am I doing this again?” But I couldn’t slow down, I had to keep up with Deanna because she was smokin’ through it!

We’ve decided, for our review, to have a conversation of random thoughts which we will share with you, our readers. My thoughts are here, with Deanna’s response to them, and her thoughts are on her blog, with my response to them. If you are a fan of these books, or have interest in reading them, or are starting your own quest, please be sure to check out both spots!

General Thoughts

I had a tough time pushing through this one, I must admit. It seemed that there were so many names being introduced that it made my head spin. What made me especially crazy was whether or not these were people I really truly needed to remember! And then, it seemed like everything was an establishing shot, which I thought was crazy being at book number six. I mean, we were established already. Right? I was anxious for something to happen. Finally at about page 500, half way through, stuff started happening. Rand started throwing his weight around, the Aes Sedai began to make their big move, Min and Rand met up again, Perrin finally FINALLY, rejoined the story. Yes, in the end, I was hooked once again.

Our Random Thought Discussion

Suey: I was happy to have a kid in the story this go around. It made me realize that there’s been no kids at all. All these people in this book and no kids? So finally, we have Olver, who, I think will add something interesting to the storyline and I really hope he sticks around and has a bigger role as we go along. Speaking of kids, finally it was mentioned how old some of our characters are! I think before it’s just been alluded to. But Nynaeve is 26... and Elayne is only 18, along with Egwene. Only 18? Sheesh, they are just kids really then too! And Rand, Mat and Perrin... what are they? About 20? Anyway, I find it interesting that ages were actually mentioned this time.

Deanna: It never occurred to me that there were no children within the story. I guess I figured they were there, but just not seen by us. Olver has not sparked a real huge interest for me, but when he does appear, I do find that he adds a new twist into Mat’s life thus a new twist for the reader. I did, however, notice that the ages were mentioned. The ages of the characters was something that I thought about more in the beginning of the series than I do now. I thought Elayne and Egwene were a bit older, but not by much. I was surprised that Nynaeve was as old as she is, not that 26 is old, but her character does not seem much more mature than the girls. The boys, well, I pegged them at around 18 or 19 when the series started so the age 20 sounds right to me. It is a curious thing as to why Jordan mentioned their ages at this point in the story.


Suey: Deanna mentioned this a bit too over in her post, but I must add that the women characters are simply annoying for the most part. I find the boys much more interesting, and am always glad when the point of view shifts to them. Which, by the way, there’s a lot of shifting points of view in these books! But yes, when it’s Rand, Mat and Perrin’s turn to have their say, I’m always giving a bit of a cheer. The women always seem irritated by the men, and the men seem always baffled by the women. And some where along the line I hope they just talk and get things worked out. And be friends and help each other. I want everyone to be happy! Ha. And then what would Robert Jordan have to write about in five more 1000 page long books! :)

Deanna: The women do tend to be far more irritated by the men than vice versa. Actually, it is the whole attitude of dominance, and lack of respect towards the men that bothers me the most, and the men already seem respectful. Anyway, I found this book less irritating with the women than the prior books. They seemed more focused on a mission rather than petty stuff. However, I will say, I do think one of my biggest annoyances is that the characters do not communicate with one another; mostly the female/male relationships although not exclusive. If they would actually communicate then many of the conflicts could be avoided or resolved. But, oh wait, then we would not have a huge book, right? :) Overall, I found the women’s storyline in this book, on the whole, to be far more interesting than the prior books so I really did not mind the shift to their POV as much except when it came to the last few chapters when I wanted to feverishly know is what was happening to Rand.


Suey: I’m fascinated by all the different cultures in these books. And how each culture has a different way of dressing, talking and presenting themselves. I’m trying to get them all straight, but it may take until the final book before that happens. And even though the the amount of names makes me crazy, I’m fascinated by them too. And how many of them are familiar names with a twist... spelled just a bit different, leaving a letter out here or there, adding a letter here or there. Some of them are so weird that I’ll never remember them. Some of them are so awesome that they’ll stick with me for awhile.

Deanna: Yes, I too am very fascinated by all the different cultures, most especially the Aiel. I do believe that Jordan has developed the culture of the Aiel far more than the others which makes me feel that I understand them more. For instance, Perrin is not of the same culture as Faile, but for the life of me, I am not certain what the difference is between their cultures. Their differences do exist, and I think this may be one reason as to why Faile responds the way that she does towards Perrin. Suey, when you get a handle of the cultures, would you please clue me in? Thanks. As far as the names are concerned, they are interesting, but I have not thought about them much except that I misspell them constantly, and I have no real idea on how they are pronounced until I started listening to the audiobooks. Hopefully the narrators are saying their names correctly. You have made me curious though about familiar names with a twist, I have not caught onto that, would you give me an example?

Suey: Examples are Juilin (which I always see as Julian), Olver (with the i missing), Mat (with the t missing), Melaine (which is very close to Melanie), Logain (which is close to Logan), Artur (Arthur of course)... and so on.


Bottom line: In the end, I enjoyed even this book! Number four, The Shadow Rising, remains my favorite, and I’m a little nervous for what lies ahead as just this week Brandon Sanderson myself said that books four through six are his favorite... but we’ll keep on going! I’m understanding that this one is the longest too, and that the ones to follow won’t be quite so bad page-wise. Let’s hope so. A good sturdy 600 page one sounds nice! So why am I still plugging through it you may wonder? Well, because it is GOOD really! It is! An amazing story! Besides, we are to the point where I need, really need, to know what happens.

Don't forget, more thoughts on this book over at Polishing Mud Balls!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Book Club Report: What We Thought of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

Book: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
Genre: Mystery
Suey's Personal Rating: B+
For: Book Club
From: the library's book club set

Now here's a cute book with a feisty 11 year old heroine! She is one smart cookie and when she discovers a dead body in the garden of the old English manor where she lives, she sets off to figure it all out. And she doesn't do too bad a job at it either. In the process, she learns a bit of background on her dad that she didn't know before, and which I'm guessing she wonders if she really wanted to know. You know how these things go sometimes.

So we read this for book club this past month, and as book club picks go, I think it was a pretty perfect one. Everyone seemed to enjoy it quite a lot. It was easy to read and to finish. Here's some random thoughts I picked up during our discussion:

  • Pretty much everyone agreed that the protagonist was the best and most fun part of this book.
  • Most of us enjoyed the "British-ness" of the book, and found it interesting to learn that the author is not British at all.
  • We discussed whether or not the things and thoughts this 11 year old girl has are realistic for her age. We basically decided that some things were, and some things weren't.
  • Many of us aren't big on mysteries, so we thought that part we could take or leave. A few of us enjoy mysteries, so that part was just as much fun as the rest of the story.
  • We all loved the many literary references that are thrown in, which one wouldn't "get" unless one was familiar with quite a good many books.
  • We found it fun that during the course of this book we learned a lot about chemistry, magic, stamp collecting, and British history... just to name a few.
  • We didn't like the neglectful parenting that was going on here!
  • Someone pointed out the interesting names and wondered what, if anything, was behind the thought process in choosing those particular names.
Bottom line: It was enjoyed by all!

Other books we randomly discussed during the evening:
Up next month: A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. le Guin.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Sunday Salon: Happy Easter!

Happy Easter to all celebrating! Here's my musings for the day:

Outside my window: It's actually a beautiful sunshiny Easter day! Who knew it could come through for us!

I am listening to: Josh Groban, yes. This very moment it's Weeping, awesome song.

I am watching: Nothing at this very moment, but this weekend we watched What's Eating Gilbert Grape, and that was really quite fun. Later today we'll watch The Amazing Race and keep cheering our cowboys on, even though they keep messing up! And then we'll probably stick in Tron, which the Easter Bunny brought this morning. Or even maybe Tangled.

I am thinking: that it can't possibly be the last week of April already.

I am grateful for: celebrating Easter and all it means to me.

I am reading: A book for a TLC tour this week called The Pun Also Rises... so far it's a fun history on word play and jokes and such. Also, I just started The Name of the Wind, and yes, it's being great so far too!

I am photographing: Well, we took pictures of the kids with their Easter baskets last night. The traditional shot. Some how it's not quite the same when they are all big teenagers.

I am listing: books we talked about in book club this past week. Blog post to come soon!

I am creating: a lovely Easter dinner! Hopefully.

Around the house: nothing new and interesting. We mowed our lawn for the first time this season though! That's always exciting, right?

From the kitchen: We boiled a bunch of eggs yesterday, which means the kitchen will see lots of deviled eggs and egg salad sandwiches this next week! Yummy!

One of my favorite things: The song Stars sung by Javert in Les Mis. It could possibly be my favorite in this play. I got to see the high school do this play this past week when the 6th graders went on a field trip to the dress rehearsal. Then we went back last night to see it "for real" but it was cancelled because a pipe broke and drenched the guys' dressing room! We are hoping to try again tomorrow night. But let me just say, the kids (many of whom we've seen grow up on the stage!) are doing an amazing job! I love this musical! I don't know what it is about it exactly, but it gives me non-stop chills throughout the entire thing!

The children this week: One kid finished finals at school this past week and will now be bored to tears unless she can up her hours at work, and/or find some sort of project to do. Another kid had two tennis matches. Lost one, won one.

Plans for the week: We hope to see Les Mis tomorrow night, Wed. night we'll be seeing Young Frankenstein in SLC, Thursday night I was wanting to go to Emily Wing Smith's launch party at The King's English, and then there's the weekend with no plans that I know of.

On this date: Eight years ago, on this date, we were heading to England! Or maybe we were in transit, asleep over the Atlantic? Hmmm.... what a fun trip that was. Can we do it again?

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

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Weekly Geek 2011.14: An ABC Author List

Our Weekly Geek idea this week is to create an ABC favorite author list. That way, we don't have to think of just one favorite! Awesome!

Here's my list:

A: Jane Austen,  Isabel Allende, Laurie Halse Anderson
B: Julie Berry, all the Brontes, Bill Bryson
C: Suzanne Collins, Wilkie Collins, Ally Condie
D: Charles Dickens, Alexandre Dumas, James Dashner, Bree Despain, Sarah Dessen
E: Simone Elkeles, Ann Dee Ellis
F: Cornelia Funke
G: John Green, Elizabeth Gaskell
H: Shannon Hale, Khaled Hosseini
I: John Irving
J: Maureen Johnson, Robert Jordan
K: Jeff Kinney, Stephen King
L: Lois Lowry
M: Robin McKinley, Stephenie Meyer, Angela Morrison, Brandon Mull, Juliet Marillier
N: Patrick Ness
O: Scott O'Dell
P: Mary Pearson, Michael Perry
Q: Sir Aurthur Quiller-Couch
R: Janette Rallison, J.K. Rowling
S: Brandon Sanderson, Neal Shusterman, Wallace Stegner
T: Megan Whalen Turner
V: Wendelin Van Draanen
W: Scott Westerfeld, Becca Wilhite, David Wroblewski
Z: Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Markus Zusak

Who would you put on your list?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Music Stuck in My Head: Pet Shop Boys

Yes, I have another 80s revival band quest going on!

So I have this station that I created on Pandora.... Eruasure. Yes, I like them okay. But awhile back whenever this station would play Depeche Mode, I'd go, wow, now they are good! Suddenly, I'm doing the same thing with The Pet Shop Boys. They also get played a lot on this station and I always stop and go, wow, they have some wicked beautiful sounding voices!

So my newest quest is to learn more about their songs, and see if I like more stuff than just the familiar West End Girls and Always on My Mind, etc. I need to get my hands on some albums. (I tried today at the library, but ran out of time.) So, instead let me YouTube for a moment:

This one is a familiar one, but one of my favorites:

Really love this one:

Here's one that I just listened to for the first time right now, and like:

Are you a Pet Shop Boys expert? Which songs/album should I check out first? Where do I start if I want to listen to more than the popular songs? 

Do you have fun re-discovering bands from the past? I would love to know which ones!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Who Is John Galt?

Today, I have questions:

First of all, really, who IS John Galt? Do you know? Do you care?

Have you read Atlas Shrugged?

If so, did you get it? Did you like it? Did you read the whole radio speech?

If you haven't read the book, do you plan to?

Hey, there's a movie now! What do you think? Did you see it? Will you see it?

Why aren't more bloggers talking about this book and/or movie? (Then again, maybe they are, just not in my circle of participation.) But I really do rarely see it on all our lists and in our discussions. Am I right?

What does this mean?

My answers:

I read Atlas Shrugged years and years ago after a radio talk show host said it was the book that wowed him the most of all the books out there. I'd never heard of it. I knew nothing. So I got it and read it. I didn't know (I eventually learned) that it was supposed to be this HUGE statement about the world. I remember enjoying it though. Do you know how long this book is? It's freaking huge! (1088 pages huge) And then I got to the radio speech that lasted for 50 pages and I just didn't get it! I wanted the story back. I'm pretty sure I skipped the whole speech. Yeah, I'm shallow like that. But what a feeling of accomplishment to have read that crazy book. I was so surprised to hear about the movie (like just last week and it's already out now... where was the buzz?) It makes me wonder if there will be a re-interest in this book. However, I highly doubt I'll be re-reading it. I do think I'll probably see the movie though, even if it is only the first third of the book, and my favorite part of the book was the last bit!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Book: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA Paranormal/ Urban Fantasy
Rating: A-
For: Fun
From: I bought it at Costco I think

Talk about a book I've heard TONS about. Sheesh, I've felt so left out of the buzz on this one! And we just can't let that happen so after a false start last summer, I finally got it read last week! Why the false start? I think when I was trying to read it back then, I was just sick of the same old paranormal story. Simple as that.

It went much better this time around, even though for me it still had a slow start but it did end up with quite a bunch of twists and turns! And breath holding moments.

First, quick summary for those of you even more out of the loop than I am! Our heroine is Clary, who stumbles upon a couple of demon hunters in action. Funny thing, she isn't supposed to see them because they are shrouded in glamor! So right off, we know that something is up with Clary and she isn't quite "normal" like she thinks she is. Then suddenly, her mom disappears, she herself is nearly killed by a demon, and so the demon hunters (wait make that Shadow Hunters) take her in and fill her in on all the bits about the world she doesn't know. (Here's the part where I started glazing over a bit... all the background story!) Anyway, and so now she is on a quest to save her mom, with the help of these new friends, Jace, Alec and Isabelle... and of course her loyal best friend Simon.

So, even though I ended up liking it just fine, my problem is that it does fit the typical formula for these paranormal books. We've got our girl who discovers she's not who she seems to be, and the world is not what she thinks it's been all her life. We've got the two boys, one blond one dark. One new and mysterious, one loyal and familiar. Choices, choices! We've got the weird parent situation, the old tutor/mentor guy, and the scary mean overlord. We've got werewolves and vampires! Oh my!

What I liked that was different was the cool world that's created here. Even though I didn't want to hear the whole back story, it is cool nonetheless. The foreshadowing about the loyal friend. (Which I'm sorry to say Jace fans, I think I'm really liking Simon... dark hair of course and there's something up with the arrows, and as you can see from my post of yesterday I'm sucker for a boy with arrows!)  The twists that I didn't really see coming (but I'm usually clueless about these sorts of things, so that's not saying a whole lot.) New and different demons... and of course, my favorite... a flying motorcycle! With Jace at the helm! Yeah, that's cool.

Bottom line: I really enjoyed it, especially the second half, despite it's familiar plot pattern. I will read the others, and see if it veers away from the "normal" paranormal experience! (Ha! Normal paranormal... did you catch that? It wasn't even on purpose either!)

Too many other reviews to list and look up, especially since I'm feeling extremely lazy at the moment. Just click on any other book blog... they've probably read and reviewed it! And probably liked it too.

And yeah, there's going to be a movie.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Rewind to Literary Crushes

Today over at The Broke and the Bookish, we get to choose a list to do from all the past lists! Yeah, like that wasn't hard! Just look at this list of lists! I narrowed it down to 7, then to 3, and then to this one of course... because as much as I talk about my literary crushes, I don't think I've officially listed them. Have I? Well, if I have, I'm doing it again because it's just so much fun!

Top Ten Literary Crushes

1. Eugenides from the Queen's Thief series because he truly is an exceptional unique kind of guy.
 (Ah man, I really wish he'd had his picture taken!)

2. Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice because what's a crush list without him?
Not a real crush list I'm thinking. 

3. Mr. Thornton from North and South because he's so full of passion.
 If you've only seen the movie, you really should read the book so you can get into his head.
 It's crazy in there.

4. Perrin from the Wheel of Time series because he's a gentle giant which is awfully hard to resist.
 (He hasn't had his picture taken either!)

5. Legolas and Aragorn from Lord of the Rings... they tie for my complete attention,
and how different they are!

6. Laurie from Little Women because he's so much fun and how could Jo, you know, do what she did?! Seriously crazy she is.

7. Gilbert from Anne of Green Gables because he's just cute and sweet, except when he's not of course. 

8. Sydney Carton from A Tale of Two Cities because he is one of those fine line dudes, not sure where he stands, not sure if he's good or bad, but really, how much better can he get? I need to re-read this one to see if my original teenage crush on him has held up over time.

9. Robin Hood from various stories because he's just so so so good with a bow and arrow! :)
 And just plain good too.

10. Tristan from various stories because of the whole tragic intriguing tale surrounding him.
 And who knew it was James Franco, now famous, who played him in this awesome movie?

Oh man, do I have to stop at ten?

Who would make it on your crush list?

Here's hoping we can do a rewind again soon so I can do one of my runner up lists!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: Skellig by David Almond

Book: Skelling by David Almond
Genre: YA or MG, SF/Fantasy sort of ish
Rating: A
For: a readathon book and also the Printz Project
From: I think this was a book fair purchase at some point

Another perfect book to read during last week's readathon. Quick and easy and engaging. It's about a young boy who's moved into this new house and his life is in upheaval. The biggest thing is that his baby sister was born early and is having all sorts of problem, which is throwing his parents for a loop and causing all sorts of chaos. Meanwhile, while poking around in the old garage/shed area, the one they plan to demolish soon, he finds a guy living there.

But he's a very strange guy, and the kid (his name is Michael) and his new friend Mina, have decided to figure him out and hopefully help him. But in the end, as these things sometimes go, it's quite possible that it's him that helps them instead.

What a quaint, cute, interesting and yes, weird, little book! I don't even really know how to describe it! It's kinda of a sad story, yet very uplifting and hopeful too. I loved the prose and poetry feel of the style. It was wonderful. I don't know really, what else to say about this one except,

Bottom line: I loved it! And I hope to read more by this author. (And look at that, the prequel to Skellig is out. Hmm.)

Maybe someone else can explain things better (without giving it all away I hope!)

Other Reviews:

The Book Nest
The Written World
Books, Time and Silence

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Sunday Salon: Spring Break

Outside my window: It's a cool and springy night this Saturday evening! Windows have been open all day, car windows open, wind in the hair... nice!

I am listening to: Tron Soundtrack at the moment. I didn't get the DVD this weekend, did you? But maybe soon.

I am watching: lots of stuff.... all the reality shows I enjoy are keeping me pretty much glued. Vampire Diaries is intense. I'm wanting to find Friday Night Lights, but have been unsuccessful. I watched Jane Eyre this past week, as reported earlier, and last night we rented Morning Glory. That was pretty funny in parts.

I am thinking: that after cleaning and shuffling stuff around in the basement today that my back and legs really hurt! Ugh! I want to sleep!

I am grateful for: a haircut.

I am reading: Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness. Hmmm... not sure what I'm thinking so far. I'm sick of all the fighting, and I hope now that I'm more than half way through it, things will be changing soon! Up next I think is The Name of the Wind. And Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie for book club, and The Pun Also Rises for a blog tour. Reviews this week on Skellig and City of Bones. Buddy review on Lord of Chaos coming up the week after that. I know you are dying to read what we thought of that one, right? Ha.

I am photographing: Nothing at all. But my son did upload nearly 100 pictures he took at Disneyland this past week!

I am listing: stuff we need to do to get ready for The Big Trip this summer... and stuff we need to see!

I am creating: space in my basement for my son so when he comes home next month (next month!) he will have a spot to reclaim as his own!

On my iPod: iPod? What iPod? Neglected this week!

I am hoping and praying: that everything goes well with a friend who has recently been diagnosed with and is now deep in the fight against cancer. I get weepy every time I think about it, but she is one tough cookie and can beat this thing!

Around the house: Do you ever look around your house and feel like you should be featured on one of those hoarder shows? No? Me either... of course not! :)

From the kitchen: Lots and lots of bad-for-you stuff. Ugh.

One of my favorite things: is sitting together as a family and getting into a TV show. I've never understood when they say TV is bad for the family, I mean, as long as you are watching it together, and enjoying it together, it's a wonderful family bonding thing.

The children this week: As mentioned, one kid returned home from a school trip to Disneyland. He suddenly seems much more interested in girls then pre-trip. Hmmm. The other kid is finishing up finals at school, and then will be done and bored for months until school starts again. The third kid had spring break and was pretty much bored while her brother was at Disneyland, and the rest of us went about life as normal.

Plans for the week: Book club this week! And I suppose I should get ready for Easter? I think that's next Sunday, yes?

On this date: last year, on the Saturday of spring break, we spent our last day in San Diego... at Balboa Park and museums, and eating out a hole in the wall Greek place. So fun!

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

Saturday, April 16, 2011

What the Book Club Picked!

For anyone interested, here is what my F2F book club decided on for next year's line up:

September: Summer Project: Book to Movie Experiment (read a book, watch the movie, discuss)
October: Ella Minnow Pea
November: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
December: The Wednesday Wars
January: I Capture The Castle
February: Atonement
March: The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat
April: Watership Down
May: Precious Bane

Any comments? Suggestions? Cheers? Warnings? What I love about this list is that I've only read three of them already! Perfect!

We need to figure out a fun book to movie to do for the summer, one that's not overly obvious, or familiar already. I'd love suggestions!

Friday, April 15, 2011

What I'm Thinking

I was going to write a review for today, but my brain is very very tired and would rather be more random at the moment. Are you ready for this? Here goes:

**  Yesterday I went to a Borders closing sale and got: Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel, Dragon House by John Shors, Bloodroot by Amy Greene, The Member of the Wedding by Carson McCullers.. and If on a Winter's Night by Sting! I thought that wasn't bad at all! Have you read (or listened to) any of them? Are they good?

** Also yesterday I finally saw the new Jane Eyre. It was pretty good, but I'm still pretty much in love with the Timothy Dalton version. But what I really loved was how the whole theater was full of groups of ladies (us included) and afterwards, nobody got up to leave. It was little mini Jane Eyre discussions all over the theater. Seriously, a full 15 minutes later people slowly trickled out. I loved it. Have you seen it yet? And what did you think?

** It's been spring break for us this week. The most boring spring break ever, except for my son who got to go to Disneyland on a school trip and experienced his first real tour drama. Yeah, I can pass on that excitement. Have you participated in school trip/tour drama?

** Today I watched the Vampire Diaries. And then, THEN, with ten minutes left... suddenly That 70s Show started (which wasn't even the next show in the line up,) and they never finished The Vampire Diaries! So freaking maddening! What's up with that people? So, I'm hoping I can find it online soon and see how that intense crazy show ended! But in all that intensity, what I'll go away remembering about this episode is a dancing Damon! Love it. Where do you stand on the whole Vampire Diaries thing?

** I'm really not liking that Goodreads challenge thing telling me how behind I am with my 100 books goal! Chill Goodreads! I will catch up, never you fear! Are YOU behind on your goal?

** JOSH GROBAN CONCERT... four months away (as of yesterday)! And the way time flies, that's just around the corner really! Who would you be counting down to see if you were going to their concert?

** And now one song for the day. I blasted this one the other day in the car and wondered if it brings  back any memories for anyone else, like it does for me:

Ah, one of my favorite songs EVER.... are you all too young to remember this one? Is this showing you all just how freaking OLD I am? :)

Have a lovely weekend people! Read a bunch, even if it's not an official readathon!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Character Connection: Ed Kennedy from I Am the Messenger

Time once again to gush about a favorite character. It's been awhile since I participated in Jen's Character Connection, but I've been wanting to do this character for quite some time, and hopefully it's okay now.

The character I want to highlight today is Ed Kennedy, 19 year old taxi driver from I am the Messenger by yes.. Markus Zusak. As I said in my review, this boy reminds me a lot of Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye. Now, a lot people can't stand Holden, and I get why... because he is just all around obnoxious and whiny and a bit disgusting and crude.. not to mention foul mouthed. But despite all that, I felt drawn to him, like somehow I could see that deep down, all this kid needed was a friend, or someone who would just listen to him for a moment.

Ed Kennedy is much the same way. He's floundering and knows it. It bugs him. He wants to make something of his life. And in the end, he does, which is the cool and awesome thing about him and his story.

More interesting facts about Ed:

  • he faked his age so he could drive a cab
  • he rents a shack to live in
  • his "housemate" is the Doorman, a dog who he feeds coffee
  • he doesn't have a car because "in my time off the last thing I feel like doing is more driving."
  • he has "a TV that needs time to warm up, a phone that almost never rings, and a fridge that buzzes like a radio."
  • his father died, and his mom is a piece of work
  • he has "dark hair, half tanned skin and coffee brown eyes"
  • he's in love with his best friend, Audrey who "won't touch me because she likes me more than anyone else. "
  • to sum up he says ,"I cook. I eat. I wash but I rarely iron. I live in the past and believe that Cindy Crawford is by far the best supermodel. That's my life."
That's him when the story opens. After the book... after he stops a robbery, helps a running girl, saves a wife, plans a picnic, finds a daughter, mends relationships... just to name a few, he's still the same as above... and a whole lot more.

I love this kid!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I'm on Scene of the Blog!

Today, for my blog post I'm going to send you to two OTHER places. First, I am very honored to be featured on the highly esteemed Scene of the Blog over at Kittling: Books! So exciting! Though, I must say, the scene of my blog is really NOT very exciting, but go check it out anyway! And comment and ask me questions, because I'm going to be hanging out there all week long!

Second of all, I'm happy to announce that my friend Jenny, the one I talked about here, and took with me there, among many other places, has finally decided to start her own book blog! Her first post is up and you really should go read it and add her to your blog lists. You'll love what she has to say about the books she reads.

Righto then, get clicking on over to those other places!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want to be Movies

This week's list prompt over at The Broke and the Bookish is to list books we'd like to see made into a  movie.

So here's the thing.... every book I love has pretty much been made into a movie, or is in the process of being made. So, this list is harder than it looks! But let's see what I can come up with:

1. Room by Emma Donoghue... this would make a fascinating movie I think.
2. A Madness of Angels by kate Griffin... now that would be intense.
3. Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zaffon... awesome.
4. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins... for some nice romance.
5. The Wheel of Time books by Robert Jordan! Yeah, that would be a project!
6. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson... my question is, who would be a good Major Pettigrew?
7. Coop by Michael Perry... that would be a movie that would have it all!
8. The Queen's Thief series by Megan Whalen Turner... and just who would be Gen? Let's ponder...
9. Pieces of Sky by Kaki Warner.. for a fun western romance. We need some cowboys, right?
10. The Maximum Ride series by James Patterson... I thought this one was happening, but then... nothing. Do it people!

I was tempted to say The Book Thief, but I'm scared for what a movie might do to it. What do you all think, you other Book Thief fans?

What books do YOU think should be made into a movie?

Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Book: If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Genre: YA
Rating: A
For: the readathon
From: library book sale

When I was shuffling through books to figure out which ones would work for the readathon, I came across this one and thought to myself, "Wait... what? I have this book? I've been dying to read this book and I had no idea I had it!! Cool beans!" Don't you love it when that happens!

And it was a perfect book for the readathon... short and quick.... and very engaging.

It's a simple story really, about a girl who, on a snow day and home from school, goes on an adventure with her family. They get in a terrible accident, and before she knows it, she is in the hospital fighting for her life. She is there, out of her body, watching the whole thing unfold. Her grandparents coming, the nurses and doctors working, her best friend freaking out, etc. Meanwhile, seeing everyone makes her think about stories from the past, so there's lots of flashbacks to let us in on everything that's been going on in her life. At some point, she realizes that the decision is hers.... does she stay? Or does she go?

I loved it.  I loved it because there's tons of music references that I can relate to. At our house, we have a drummer who has his own rock band, and a violin player who has classical concerts and recitals. I loved it because there were a lot of bookish references too. I loved it because she's a family girl, and even said she felt embarrassed sometimes if her friends would learn that she would rather hang out with her family then them. And I'm pretty sure that my kids feel this way sometimes too. So I thought that was cool.

And then the end... oh boy. I knew it would be rough, but the circumstances were so similar to what we just went through in our family last November with my brother in law, that it was hard to read. I'm quite sure his spirit lingered for a few days and was present during all the trauma and that he could hear all the stuff we were saying to and about him. My sister in law felt it when he finally made his decision, and his presence was no longer there.... that is if he even had that choice. I have a hard time believing he would choose not to stay, and to leave behind his four young boys, but something else must have been going on that we weren't aware of, because leave is exactly what he did.

Reading the thought process Mia was going through was heart wrenching. I can't even imagine. To see what  she chooses, you'll just have to read the book!

Bottom line: I loved it, even if it did make me quite weepy.

Other Reviews:

Book Journey
Reading Through Life
Reviewsbylola's Blog
One Librarian's Book Reviews

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Readathon Wrap Up for Sunday Salon

Another readathon bites the dust! Wow, what a day. Once again, the thing that blows me away is how insanely fast it flies by! It's truly incredible.

So I got up about 6:30 a.m. to join the party,  which was about 1/2 late. And I dropped off just a little after midnight. It's lucky that,  for me, that this party lasts mostly during daylight hours, otherwise, I'd never make it. So, I did pretty much 18 hours worth. But four hours of that was going to a work party of sorts with my husband, for a co-worker's baby. Interesting it was, but lasted WAY longer than I expected! The other birthday party I thought I'd be going to didn't happen, but hopefully I'll see those birthday people today, one of them being my mom! :)

Which all means that I was actually trying to read for about 14 hours, and I probably actually read about half that time, with the other half taken up by blogging/twittering, and other various interruptions. So one thing I've decided about me and readathons.... I HATE keeping track of the numbers! I just want to read, and play on the computer and read and play on the computer and forget about pages, and hours and clocks and times and math. WAY too much math involved. Can I try that next time? JUST SAY NO TO MATH!!  :)

I finished two books... two VERY little books. Both wonderful though. I'll be giving them five stars over at Goodreads. And then I read about 80 pages more in City of Bones. I ate a ton of caramel popcorn, which is a perfect readathon snack we've decided. We're talking the crunchy BAKED kind you know, not the sticky gooey kind. Oh so good. And lots of chocolate of course. I needed to drink more water. I always forget that part. The weather was perfect for staying home and reading all day long... it snowed the entire day! And was gray and gloomy. Not one speck of sun did I see.

I wasn't that tired at the end of the day really, so I thought I'd go later. But then I decided to curl up in bed to read, and guess what? I was suddenly overwhelmingly tired! It was over. I was done! Couldn't keep my eyes open if my life depended on it. So I caved and went to sleep. But that's okay because it just so happens that I'll probably read today... and tomorrow... and all this week even! :)

Here's the official questions we are all answering today:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? 
    The first hour is hard... it's hard to get up on a Saturday when you normally sleep in.
    I didn't have sleepy hours in the middle like I usually do. That was interesting.
    And then the last hour (hour 18 for me) is hard because that's when my eyes close whether I want them to or not.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
    My mind is blank at the moment. 

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

    No suggestions really. It seems like it's pretty much all figured out pretty well. Maybe a heads up on the opening meme so we can have that done and ready to go right at the start. Maybe a list of the mini challenges from the start so we can beginning thinking on the ones that require thought....get a little head start on some of them so we don't have to spend reading time thinking about challenge tasks. Know what I mean?

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
   I noticed more of the mini challenges were just completed by commenting on the blog post. That made it easier I think, rather than having to come and do your own post to complete it. Also, I really like the interaction on Twitter and seriously, how did we do this thing without that? Dewey would be amazed at the whole Twitter thing, don't you think?

5. How many books did you read?
    Two books, from start to finish.

6. What were the names of the books you read?

    If I Stay by Gayle Forman and Skellig by David Almond

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

    They were both wonderful. I little too poignant. I was feeling a bit weepy during both. 

8. Which did you enjoy least?

    I didn't enjoy my 80 pages read in City of Bones a whole lot... still too much explaining of the world going on. I'm ready for some action. I've heard so much about this Jace dude that I want to see him DO something... so far, he's just sort of there, you know. ACTION people! Action!

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

    Not a cheerleader, really. I mean, I end up cheering people on a bit through Twitter, but I am TERRIBLE about going around to other blogs, so way to go to the cheerleaders that do that! 

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

     If life allows it, I will read again. 

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Ongoing Readathon Updates Take Two

Update Seven, Hour 18: 11:12 p.m.

So, City of Bones. On page 208, just over 50 pages further then I was last update. And I read for most of those 2 hours, I think. Except when I had to take care of the crazy kitty, and watch the fireworks that were suddenly happening over by the mountains.

I'm feeling sleepy but not mind numbingly so quite yet.

So. City of Bones. It's okay, but still not over the top awesome as some of you have reported. What am I missing? They're just about to head off to a midnight party being hosted by some warlock dude that Clary seems to have stuck in her brain. Will something happen soon?

Did I tell you it snowed pretty much all day here? And it's like really really cold. That's pretty perfect reading weather, wouldn't you say?

I think I've read about 400 pages so far, but only about maybe five or six total hours worth. How does that happen? I don't get it. So frustrating. Some of you and your whole stack of books that you read totally amaze me.

Oh, Toto finished Shimmer and is now onto Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Ugly Truth. Yes, she's still up and reading with me. I don't know how much longer she will last.

I don't know how much longer I will last! But I guess a bit more, and then I'll do one final update before I call it quits.


Update Six Hour... 16? 9:00 p.m.

So here's the deal.... I'm back now to the readathon after quite a big birthday party break. This birthday party was for a one year old baby whose dad works with my husband. They are from India, and as I understand it, the first birthday is a big big deal and a huge party is expected. So we went to support them and of course, to partake of awesome Indian food!

And now that I'm back, I don't want to do the same update template fill out the blank thing I've been doing the first part of this readathon. I just want to do random thought post updates.(Still in this same spot, new updates at top.) Because I'm having this issue with keeping track of stuff! I'll just tell you how it's going for the rest of this evening, now and then, for my updates. Is it a plan?

Since we updated last, before the party, I finished Skellig, which I loved. And it's a Printz Honor book too! How nice is that!? And now, instead of doing a small, "quick" (ha, obviously I'm not too quick this day) book, I think I'll just read some City of Bones which I started pre-readathon. I'm on page 150... so we'll go from there and see how it goes for a bit with that one.

Music: Josh Groban station on Pandora.... ah... perfect.

Toto, earlier this morning.

Ongoing Readathon Updates

So my idea this time around is to update here, on the same post, all through the readathon, with the newest or most recent update at the top. We'll see if that works. Let me know if you like it or if it's bothersome.

Update Five Hour Ten: 3:26 p.m.
No way is it hour ten already! Sheesh! One hour until I'm off for a real break to go to a party!

What I’m reading now: Skellig by David Almond

How many page read since last update: 100

How many pages read total: 340

Books finished since last update: none, but I'm so very close with this one

How many minutes/hours read since last update: about 1 hour, maybe more

How many minutes/hours read total: 4 1/2 hours, maybe more

How many minutes/hours blogged since last update: none

What the family is reading: nothing

What we are listening to: Joshua Bell and Friends

What we are eating: tons of caramel popcorn, once you start, you can't stop!

Distractions: So, I had my first little nap. But it wasn't long. And I looked at TONS of tweets on my phone for awhile. And I texted my sister about working out with Wii Active2.... the normal distractions I suppose.

Mini Challenges: Book Club Suggestions, and In Other Words... I couldn't get two of them! Frustrating.

Visits Made: maybe I'll go do that now for a bit

Update Four Hour Eight 1:11 p.m.

Finished one book, started another, sent reading partner (12 year old Toto) to the first birthday party of the day. Got some fresh air, broke out the chocolate. Feel like playing more on the computer than reading. The snow has stopped. The day is still very very gray. 

What I’m reading now: Skellig by David Almond

How many pages read since last update: 50 or so

How many pages read total: 240

Books finished since last update: One book, If I Stay by Gayle Forman... I cried. Very touching and a little close to home after having lost our 36 year old BIL last year.. and having him in a similar way, and talking to him and begging him to stay. He chose not to, and we still wondering why. Dang... crying again.. :( Man... I need a happy book!!!!!

How many minutes/hours read since last update: This is when I start losing track and getting frustrated with keeping track! Umm.... I would guess about 45 min since last update

How many minutes/hours read total: 3 1/2 hours... sheesh, that's so bad....

How many minutes/hours blogged since last update: another 30 min. or so?

What the family is reading: nobody is reading with me, but college daughter is doing homework now! :)

What we are listening to: Chris Botti at the moment... sweet trumpet dude!

What we are eating: We have chocolate!

Distractions: My 12 year old reading partner has been distracting, yes. But now she off to the party. Several phone calls, a visitor, getting tired, etc. etc. etc.

Mini Challenges: Still none since last time, but I may go check out this book club one.

Visits Made: none really. I think it's either read, or visit. I can't seem to do both. Know what I mean?


Update Three Hour Six 11: 30 p.m.
Wow, the time is flying! I finally had a shower and am ready to read again for awhile, I hope. It's snowing like crazy. The birthday parties start in a couple of hours. I hope I can read in between them all.

What I’m reading now: Ummm... yep still If I Stay... almost done though...

How many page read since last update: 70

How many pages read total: 190

Books finished since last update: still none

How many minutes/hours read since last update: 1 hour

How many minutes/hours read total: 2 hours and 40 min.

How many minutes/hours blogged since last update: not much

What the family is reading: Toto's reading Shimmer still, and I just realized how similar in feel and theme our two books are.

What we are listening to: Mozart

What we are eating: caramel popcorn

Distractions: a shower! But it was nice.

Mini Challenges: None since last update.

Visits Made:None. I need to get out more.

Update Two Hour Five: 10:00 a.m.
Spent the whole of hour four making and eating waffles, and figuring out a book puzzle for the mini challenge. Come see if you can guess it really fast, because it's way easy.

What I’m reading now: If I Stay.... really liking it. Lots of musical stuff that I totally relate to.

How many page read since last update: 50

How many pages read total: 120

Books finished since last update: still none

How many minutes/hours read since last update: 40 min.

How many minutes/hours read total: 1 hour 40 min.

How many minutes/hours blogged since last update:30

What the family is reading: Toto is still on Shimmer. Stuey is probably finishing up The Blind Assassin at the moment, even though he not an official readathon participant!

What we are listening to: I'm going to start my random mellow music mix right now!

What we are eating: Ah, the waffles were wonderful. I feel so much better!

Distractions: waffles, mini challenges, desire for a shower

Mini Challenges: The Book Puzzle

Visits Made: A couple to check out other puzzles. Very fun!

Update One: Hour Three Begins.... Already?  8:10 a.m.
One thing about this whole thing, I really hate how fast it flies by!

What I’m reading now: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

How many page read since last update: 70

How many pages read total: 70

Books finished since last update: none yet

How many minutes/hours read since last update: 1 hour

How many minutes/hours read total: 1 hour
How many minutes/hours blogged: about 40 minutes worth so far. Gosh, you can spend a lot of time on the computer instead of reading!

What the family is reading: Toto just barely joined me this very second. She is reading Shimmer by Alyson Noel.

What we are listening to: nothing yet....

What we are eating: nothing yet... but I'm starving!

Distractions: I'm starving! Breakfast anyone? Also, I think a shower would be good to wake me up a bit.

Mini Challenges: I did the opening meme (see below) and have just added my place marker on the Where Are You Reading map. I stuck it right at my library (not my house, yes?) which I thought fitting.
Visits Made: not many yet, but I've Tweeted a bit!

A few minutes later:
1)Where are you reading from today? UTAH
2)Three random facts about me… I need a haircut, there's four birthday parties today, and I am already too tired.
3)How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? Eight
4)Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? Have fun! (I'd like to finish at least 2 books.)
5)If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, any advice for people doing this for the first time? Have fun!

Starting Line: 6:35 am.

I'm a bit late to the party! Forgot to set alarm to weekend mode! Went to bed WAY too late, so this could be interesting today. But I'm here now and ready to read!

What I’m reading now: If I Stay by Gayle Forman
What Toto is reading: Still sleeping at the moment.

What we are listening to: the furnace... yes, there's snow this morning...again.

What we are eating: nothing yet! Water maybe.

Distractions: Well, I feel the need for sleep!


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