Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Goodbye to Weekly Geeks

Back when I was a newbie blogger, I came across a fellow book blogger named Dewey. I thought she was the rock star of all book bloggers. (I know now that we were actually about the same age blogging-wise. Wow.) She knew what she was doing. And she went out and made things happen. The rest of us followed along enjoying the ride. One of the things she created was a meme she called Weekly Geeks. The idea behind this meme was to come and see what the topic or assignment was for that week, then work on it throughout the week, put a post up, and then visit other people's posts. The difference between this one and the many others that are (or were) out there, was that you had to actually WORK for this one. It was a blogging project every week. I loved it! It made me think, it made me be creative, it was so much fun participating. Some of my favorites from Dewey's day were:

The Cover Guessing Game
Author Pictures
The Scavenger Hunt
Asking for Review Questions

Just to name a few!

When Dewey died in late 2008, some of us came together to make that Weekly Geek meme live on in her honor. I was happy to be part of that effort and it's been fun these past few years to try and think of something "Dewey-worthy" to put out there as a Weekly Geek assignment. Some of my favorites that we've all come up with have been:

A Character Conversation
Writing a Book Poem
Trivia Questions
Author Fun Facts
A Cover Study

Now, after nearly three years of keeping this meme alive, we've decided it's had its day and can be officially, but sadly, retired. I'm going miss you Weekly Geeks! It's almost like saying goodbye to Dewey all over again. Thank you to everyone who has participated over the years! It's been a blast! Be sure head on over to the Weekly Geek site to read our final tribute to Dewey and check out other Geeksters' goodbye posts.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR Books

So this week the list prompt over at The Broke and the Bookish is awfully similar to the list I did a couple of weeks ago for my freebie. Then I did Top Ten TBR books, and now it's Top Ten Fall TBR books, which, technically, could be the same list. But since my TBR list is really never ending, I'll make yet another Top Ten TBR list that doesn't include any books from the first list and are books that I hope to read next... after that first list. For the most part anyway. Whew. Make sense?

Top Ten Fall TBR Books

(Books that are coming out)

1. Crossed by Ally Condie
2. The Death Cure by James Dashner
3. The Fox Inheritance by Mary Pearson
4. All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin

(Books for book club)

5. Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
6. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (a re-read) by Betty Smith

(The ongoing quest)

7. The Path of Daggers by Robert Jordan

(For RIP perhaps)

8. Overbite by Meg Cabot
9. Kiss Me Kill Me by Lauren Henderson

(Finally just one sitting here... waiting waiting waiting!)

10. Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson

And once again I ask, have you read any of these that you think I should really REALLY concentrate on and push to the very very top?

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Way of Kings Read Along: Part Four Questions

The Way of Kings read along continues, but is rapidly coming to a close. Only one more section after this and it's only 50 pages long! Wow. I've loved this book and am amazed at how fast these pages have flown by. Very fun stuff.

Kailana was in charge of questions this week, so here they are with my answers. If you are interested in other answers (believe me, they are all much MUCH more thorough and intelligent than mine!) you can click on over to our read along site. And as always where these read along things are concerned, BEWARE THE SPOILERS!

1. One thing that I have thinking about during the course of this book is what Brandon Sanderson is trying to say about religion. Jasnah is an atheist. Shallan believes, but is still trying to find herself. Dalinar believes strongly in the ‘Old Ways’. What do you think of this idea?
I just think he portraying that there's all kinds of people who are on all different levels, or pathways, of religious belief. It's very much what's in our real world, don't you think?

2. The relationship between siblings is an important part of this book. Adolin has always been at the forefront of Dalinar’s two sons, but Renarin is important, too. What did you think of the two brothers? Going back a generation, what do think of Dalinar and our glimpses of his brother? Then there is Kaladin who joins the war to protect his brother and fails. And Jasnah whose brother is King. Or Shallan who puts herself in a dangerous situation to help her brothers out following her fathers’ death. What do you think of these relationships? Did any stick out for you?

Awesome question! I hadn't thought about all these relationships much, but there is a lot going on with them. The one that sticks out the most for me is of course Kaladin and Tien. Heart wrenching to finally experience the moment Tien is killed. How awful. And the whole "let me take his place" thing was a bit like Hunger Games, yes? I wonder if Brandon Sanderson has read that? :)

I am curious to learn more about Renarin. I don't see much interaction between him and Adolin at the moment, but maybe there's more to come there. I hope so.

The back story of Dalinar and Gavilar is very intriguing! A brother love triangle? And why did she choose Gavilar? Hmmm....

3. Kaladin has been included in every section. Why do you think this was? Did you wish to have a break from him, or did you enjoy knowing he would be explored with every section?

Oh, I've been glad there's been no break for him. I would have missed him terribly! I think he is in every section because he is the MAIN main character, and that this whole series will center around him. Sort of like Rand and the Wheel of Time. He's the one that's gaining those old magic powers, and stuff is going to happen! Well, I guess we'll see...

4. One of my favourite characters in the book is Syl. What do you think of her and her development throughout the course of this book?

She got big suddenly! What's up with that? Interesting. I've loved watching her character development. She reminds me a little of Tinker Bell... anyone else? I think that much (more than much really) of Kaladin's success is thanks to her. She's proven to be a very good ally. Let's hope nothing happens to jeopardize that. I really look forward to seeing where her character goes throughout the series.

5. And, the big question, what do you think is going to happen in the last section? Any predictions?

Oh man, I have no idea! Kaladin will pair up with Adolin and Dalinar. Shallan will become a true ward of Jasnah. Szeth will kill everyone, and next book, we will start all over! :) I really have no idea. Like I said, I'm the worst predictor of plots ever! 

As much fun as I've had with this book, I'm glad to move on to some short fast books for the next little bit. Just for bit though, until I pick up the next big fat one that's waiting for me!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Music Stuck in My Head: Erasure plus more

A little blog schedule switch up here for those of you paying attention. Usually I post a music thought now and then on a Friday, but I've decided to try Saturday instead. I thought they'd go hand in hand being as that Saturday doesn't get many readers same as my music posts! Ha! It's a perfect match!

And hey! I could call it Saturday's Song, or something. But I kinda like Music Stuck in My Head still too. What a dilemma.

This week, a song that has been SO stuck in my head to point of making me a little crazy is this one called Always by Erasure:

I don't know what it is about this one, but it really really sticks. Let me know if it sticks to you and starts making you crazy too. And what a funky music video too, don't you think? :)

Another song I absolutely love and want to pass on is this live acoustic version of the Eagles playing Hotel California. Wow, don't you just think it's simply lovely?

Finally, guess what? Another concert tonight. Outside. Please no rain. This time, we'll be off to see Brian McKnight. I don't know him well, except that he's got an awesome deep voice. And I know that he sang Bridge over Troubled Water with Josh at a David Foster benefit concert thing:

Yeah, I think I'm going to like it just fine!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Review: Middlemarch by George Eliot

Book: Middlemarch by George Eliot
Genre: Classic
Rating: B+
For: Book Club
From: Hmmm.. I have no idea.... some store I'm guessing!

I remember loving this book the first time around, but sadly, it seemed to drop in points just a bit for me this time. I think my brain capacity to "get" these classic books has diminished! Oh boy, we could go on and on speculating the reasons for that assumption! An idea for another post perhaps? Ah, perfect. I need ideas!

BEWARE: SPOILERS IN THIS REVIEW (that's because I assume most people reading this post have probably already read the book, so I'm giving the whole plot away... okay? Okay.)

So, here's the thing. The story itself is fun and interesting. There's this girl who decides to marry this old guy. She has a bunch of romantic notions about how wonderful it's going to be to help him with his scholarly pursuits. Of course that's NOT how it shakes down and he ends up acting like she is in the way all the time and brushes her off constantly. Why he ever wanted to marry her in the first place, I don't know. A trophy wife? Anyway, now she is sad and then in walks the gorgeous (dark and curly headed, hello) cousin and bam, the sparks start flying. But they hide them, they don't acknowledge them.  At least they thought they didn't. But Mr. Old Husband totally gets it and suddenly he's jealous, so when he dies, guess what he goes and does? He says that if she and the cousin get married, she gets no money! And that's a lot of money to not get.

Meanwhile, there's this doctor, newly come to town, and he marries the rich spoiled girl, again I have no idea why. But actually, he truly loves her I think. But then financial trouble ensues and she mopes and he worries and they get mad at each other and things are bad. But when the above mentioned cousin comes over to sing with her, she perks up!

Meanwhile, there's another old dude that dies and in the midst of his will reading excitement this stranger shows up and suddenly, he's getting all the money. Then he (I think it's him, or is it another guy? I got mixed up.) realizes that there's a connection between the above mentioned cousin and the banker dude in town, and that the banker dude was a bad bad man... but in the past. Oh, and then when he lends money to the above mentioned doctor just after he helps the stranger, who of course dies, everyone ponders what REALLY happened. So now everyone and everything is all messed up.

Meanwhile, our heroine sees the cousin and the rich spoiled girl singing together. And then holding hands! Oh no! But she couldn't be with him anyway, so what does it matter? Nevertheless, she is devastated!

Meanwhile, there's Fred and Mary who are truly the only normal people in this whole story, but they don't show up very much really. So that's sad too.

And suddenly, everything gets fixed and all is well! Don't you love it when that happens!?

So see, the story is kinda fun and crazy and the reading of it goes all just fine when stuff is happening...when there's conversation...when we are being shown what the characters are feeling. But when we start being TOLD what's going on, that's when my reading eyes glaze over. Wow, there's lots and lots and lots of in between rumination. So it was like things would happen and get crazy, then they would slow down and get boring, then crazy, then boring, over and over again for 700 pages.

Obviously, I'm over simplifying this story and I know there's lots of deep down wonderful literary stuff to chew on here, but this time through, I just didn't appreciate it much and by the end, just wanted it over. It's sad to admit this, but there you have it.

Bottom line: I loved the crazy parts, and suffered through the boring ones.

Other Reviews:

Nishita's Rants and Raves
Things Mean A Lot
That's What She Read
Alternate Readality

Tonight, I plan to watch the whole made for TV movie, all seven hours, with a few brave book club members who are crazy enough to join me. It's going to be a blast! I guarantee it! :)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Dear UPS Man: Please come!

I'm dying for this book to arrive today.

I don't normally sit at the window waiting for the UPS guy to come, but today, I'm finding myself doing this very thing. I don't even have plans to read it the very minute it arrives either, though those plans may quickly change! But I just want my collection complete. Ten again, maybe my collection is just really getting started because I keep having this small tickling of an idea that's forming telling me it would be fun to collect all the different versions/covers/printings of his books. Someone should stop me now!

Perhaps I'll be back later with an update if it actually arrives in the next little bit. Wish me luck on willing that UPS guy to get here soon!


(Sorry, it took me awhile to actually update and add this lovely picture! So now it's really three hours later or something. Off to read fold clothes!)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How To Start a Book Club

Okay, so it appears I'm in a bit of blog idea slump. It's weird how some weeks I feel like there's so much to write about I could do two posts a day easy, and then there's weeks, like now, where I can't think of ANYTHING book related to discuss!

But remember that thing I did a long while back called BIP Bingo? We had a list of tons of blogging ideas for the Blog Improvement Project, remember? One of them was to post a how to article, and I thought since my sister is contemplating starting up her own book club, I'd post my tips for that to help her and anyone else thinking about it. Book club is something I've been doing for seven years now and like the picture says, I totally love it. So, are you ready?

How To Start a Book Club

1. Find interested people. Talk to people at church, in the neighborhood, at work, the bookstore, the library, other moms at the park, or the preschool. If you are a blogger, you can find other bloggers in the area (something that has been a blast for me!) and gather them together. I'd say you really only need three or four people to get it going. Some clubs cap it off at a certain number too (probably around 10 or so) but I find an open enrollment policy is much nicer. It's also fun to get new people to stir things up a bit now and then.

2. Decide on a set place and time. I think in order for a book club to be successful, you need to pick a day and time and stick with it every single month. People need to not wonder every month... is it happening? Or, when is it happening again? Our book club is every third Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (Thus our name, The Third Thursday Book Club!) Of course there are instances where we need to be flexible and change up the time, or move it to the next week or something, but I think that ends up happening only once or twice a year. As far as place goes, I find it works to have it at the same place every month too. Many book clubs rotate houses, or restaurants and this is really fun, but it means you'll need to be especially organized to make sure everyone knows where.

3. Decide what sorts of books to read. Do you want to stick to a certain genre? Or read all sorts of things? Do you want to read new books, or classics? Do you want to included children's books or YA, or ban them altogether? Is non-fiction allowed or is that all you want to read? Will you be okay with huge fat books, or will everyone drop out if you read big ones? This decision, of course, can be anything your unique group of people will want to do.

4. Decide how to get the books. Will you leave it up to the book club members to get their own books. The library? Buy them? Borrow them? This is all pretty much the normal route. But, you may want to check your library and see if they have book club sets. We are very lucky here to have two libraries that have a huge selection of book club sets. I check out the whole set (12 to 15 copies of the book) and then hand them out to the book club. They check out longer than regular books in order to give us plenty of time to read them, discuss them and get them back to the library. It works amazingly well, and hopefully there's more libraries out there doing this same thing.

5. Choose specific book titles to read. My main suggestion in this is two fold. First, make sure everyone has a say in what books you choose. Many book clubs have members take turns choosing the book and hosting the meeting. Others create a list of potentials and then take a vote. This is my favorite way so far. I'ts a blast to see what people come up with! The second suggestion is to plan your reading list quite a bit ahead of time. For us, this is so we can reserve those book club sets (some are extremely popular and hard to get!) But it's also great for people if they are buying books in order to keep their eyes open for a sale, or suggest them as gift ideas, or request from online swaps, etc. It's good to have some time to get your hands on them.

6. Be organized. Create an email list, keep it updated. Decide how you will remind everyone about meetings. A newsletter? A Goodreads group/Facebook group/or blog? Phone calls? Old fashioned paper invites? (I love to do this now and then!) Keep track of books you've read as a group, and books people talk about for potential reads. Make a list of book discussed and email it back to everyone. (I discovered this one last year and we had lots of fun with it.) Make lots and lots of lists!

7. Talk about books! This might seem obvious, but this is one of the hardest things about book clubs... staying on topic! Of course it's okay to talk about other things and that's all part of the fun of the whole night out, but the main focus should be the book you are there to discuss and then books in general. Have questions and thoughts ready to throw out to people (there's tons of places online to find questions), but let things go where they may for the most part... regarding the book anyway! It's an interesting balance and I like it when that balance seems to be... well... balanced.

8. It's not book club without food. Suddenly, there's lots of books and websites out there that will help you pick a food to serve that goes with the theme of your book!Very fun to try, but might get some book club hosts stressed out just a bit. So I say it's fun to have some themed months, some months with very simple snacks, and maybe even some months going out somewhere for food. You can take turns bringing food, or have potluck snacks or have a holiday theme instead of a book theme for some months. The ideas for food at book club is endless.

9. Be consistent and persistent.  When I first started a book club, the first few months, lets say the first year actually, was a bit dicey. There were moments when I thought it wouldn't fly, and it was discouraging. But I kept bugging people and inviting people and then made sure it actually happened every month, even if just one other person showed up. There will be moments like this, but just keep it up and before you know it, you'll have so many come that you won't have enough seats for them!

10. Have fun! Don't worry if everyone doesn't actually read the book. Everyone won't usually read every book. No worries. And especially don't worry if everyone doesn't like the book. Enjoy everyone's different tastes. Book club is the best when everyone doesn't agree and there are opposing points of view shared.

Well, for what it's worth, those are my book club suggestions! I hope it will help those of you who are thinking about getting one started. Back to school time is a perfect time to go for it! Let me know how it goes. Also, let me know if you are a seasoned book clubber and can think of other suggestions that I missed. I would love to know what you do and get some new ideas myself.

If you are interested, here is the list of books the Third Thursday Book Club has read (and is planning to read) to date. Maybe it will give you ideas for books to read if you are stuck with that particular part. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Non-Reviewed Books

Today over at The Broke and the Bookish we are talking about books we loved but never reviewed. For me, this would cover a lot of  my all time favorites list of books I read before blogging, so I'll take you through some of those, even though many of them I don't remember a whole lot about except that I loved them!

Top Ten Books I Didn't Review (aka. on this blog as Extreme Mini Reviews)

1. The Far Pavilions by M. M. Kaye: I loved this book, and I always wonder why nobody else ever talks about it. This is one of the first books I read about India and it was fascinating. A sweeping saga sort of book. (You'll see that I seem to love the sweeping sagas!) And the most incredible romance I've ever read I think. It blew me away. I would love to read this one again sometime.

2. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: This is one of those books that I loved but everyone else hated. I loved it because it told this heartbreaking story so so well. I felt it, really really felt it. And that shocking ending? I will never forget.

3. Circle of Friends by Maeve Binchy: I went through a Binchy phase a long time ago and look back with fond memories. This was one of my favorites. A very soap opera sort of book with all kinds of misunderstandings that needed sorting out. Great fun.

4. Moonstone by Wilkie Collins: If you've never read a Wilkie Collins book, this is good one to start with. So much fun! The wittiness of this author is fabulous!

5. Pope Joan by Donna Wolfolk Cross: Anyone else remember when this was making the rounds and the buzz? Wow, an intense book about a girl who pretends to be a guy first in order to save herself and then in order to keep learning in the monasteries. It's an awesome story and another one with an ending that leaves you reeling.

6. The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz: This book is told as if it's non fiction, but I'm still not sure if it really is. But regardless, it's a fascinating tale about a bunch of guys that escape from prison in Siberia and make their long walk over tons of rough land to freedom. It's one of those crazy survival stories that's intensely inspiring.

7. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card: This book, on the surface, is about a genius kid who is recruited to participate in a study where they get to play games every day... intense sometimes violent games. On a deeper level, it's about humanity as a whole, and oh so much more.

8. Chesapeake by James Michner: One of these sweeping sagas I mentioned earlier. This one about the settling of the Chesapeake Bay area, which is a place I'd never given a second thought to before this book. But it was very interesting and I remember hating to see that book come to an end even though it was huge.

9. Sarum by Edward Rutherford: The above sweeping saga reminded me of this one... it's about the Salisbury Plain area in England, including the building of Stonehenge. I loved it.

10. The Forsyte Saga by John Galsworthy: I got so involved in this one when I read it I couldn't think of anything else. Then I watched the PBS movie and it got even worse! Basically, it's a Victorian soap opera, which is really all you need to know.

Well, that's just a few of favorite books I read before reviewing days! You should read them. Really.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Way of Kings Read Along: Part Three Questions

When I saw the amount of pages in Part Three for this week's assignment, I thought there's no way I can get through that! But once again, I felt like I flew through them. This book, though big, is easy quick reading, and very much a page turning middle of the night sort of thing.

Today's questions are brought to us by Memory over at Stella Matutina. If you are interested, all the discussions and posts for this read along are linked up over at our main read along page found here.

1. Part III reunites us with Shallan, who we haven't seen for a few hundred pages, and separates us from Dalinar and Adolin for a few hundred more. How do you feel about leaving characters behind for such long stretches? Did you lose any of your connection to them during the break?
I really enjoyed that Kaladin had a little run in with Adolin, and it made me wonder, hmmmm, what's he been up to? Saving prostitutes apparently. Mostly, I'm so wrapped up in what ever story I'm reading that I don't really miss the one I'm not reading. Make sense?

2. So far, how would you compare this to other epic fantasies you've read? Does it remind you of any other series?
I do think it's quite similar to The Wheel of Time, but maybe that's just because I'm really tuned in to looking for those similarities at the moment. However, it's more readable than that one... pages fly by much quicker.

3. How do you feel about the masculine and feminine arts? If you're female, do you think you'd be content to stick to scholaly pursuits, or would you rather do something physical, like go to war? If you're male, would you be willing to forgo learning to read, even if there were women around to read to you? What about the food? Does the spicy for men and sweet for women restriction fit your own tastes?

Well, it's actually not much different than our world really, don't you think? Whether we want to believe it or not there are certain things that mostly guys do and certain things that mostly women do. I myself would be perfectly happy to pursue the scholarly arts and let the guys go fighting... perfectly happy. But I do think the guys have the really bad end of the deal in this story with the whole not reading thing.

That being said, I don't like that there isn't much of a choice for these men and women. Even if there are particular things that they might lean toward, there should still be a choice.

As far as the food goes, um, no. I want both sweet and spicy please! Interesting concept this is, very interesting!

4. What do you think of the flashbacks to Kaladin's childhood?

I really enjoy them, it's fun to see the things that have made him who he is. Sad things though. Reading about what actually happened out there on the battlefield and later on in the room was extremely heartbreaking. Ugh, no wonder Kaladin has some issues!

5. Do you have any theories yet as to where the story is headed? What do you most want to see in the last quarter of the book?

Well, I want to see Kaladin escape, that's for sure. And I'm wondering about Shallan and Kaladin meeting... I think she is going to come to the front with Jasnah and meet him. But that won't work if he escapes. Hmmmm. But yes, I would like to see a little more romance. I mean, I don't need a ton, just a little more, know what I mean?

But I'm terrible at predicting and so I have absolutely no idea what's going to happen or what I think will happen. Dalinar needs to figure out what's going on with his visions at least.

On to the next section! I really look forward to it. I hope to find time in the middle of all the back school craziness to keep up with things. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Sunday Salon: Let School Begin!

It's been a crazy week. Something every night. Some nights, several somethings. I also had an anniversary... 24 years! Whoa. I am so not that old. Am I?

Outside my window: Saturday night here right now, so it's dark, and quite breezy since a pretty awesome storm blew in awhile back. It didn't last long enough though, so that was sad. And I actually missed the rain part because I was in a dumb store.

I am listening to: Hmmmm, sounds like someone is watching Remember the Titans on TV at the moment.

I am watching: Just watched another Dr. Who episode.. season two now which means I'm on to the David Tennant shows finally! Yes everyone, I agree, he is really cool.

I am thinking: and wondering about the internet and all the places I play there. It makes me crazy. Anyone else? Crazy like, I enjoy it and have fun, but at the same time, it makes me depressed and.... crazy. Anyone? Anyone?

I am grateful for: lots of stuff really. You know, all the stuff. Yeah, all this stuff in my house? Turns out I'm grateful for it after all.

I am reading: I had a goal to finish Middlemarch today, but it did not happen. I'm so so close. I should be reading that now instead of doing this. It would only take a good concentrated sitting to get it done. Most of the week I've been reading The Way of Kings, finishing part three this morning. Wow, what a crazy fun fantasy this is being!

I am photographing:

Onion rings from Good Wood.

Hawaiian Shaved Ice... banana and strawberry flavor.
So why am I photographing such things? Only to have fun adding pictures to Four Square, which I seem to be getting into lately. I know, NERDY!

I am listing: nothing really. But I am looking back on previous lists I made and realizing, there's lots to do!

I am creating: Did I tell you I finished the scout scrapbook? That felt nice. Now I've just got to plan a Court of Honor. This Eagle business never ends I tell you.

I am hoping and praying: that everyone adjusts well to this school year. Lots of changes going on around here, lots. We could be in for a ride!

Around the house: a minute ago there were lots of kids! Lots of big teenage boys! And all my kids were home too, which felt nice. But now, I'm not sure where every one went. They don't stay in one place for long you know.

From the kitchen: Oh man! That reminds me! I was going to make cookies tonight for a thing tomorrow. Is it  too late? Gah, I really don't want to deal with it now!

One of my favorite things: Going to a Josh Groban concert I would say is pretty much one of my favorite things... maybe my most favorite thing. Maybe.

The children this week: Oh boy, it's going to be an interesting week, this one coming up. We will cut our kid amount right in half! One kid off to one college, and moving out for the first time. The other kid off to another college and moving out... again... after only being here the summer. The other two kids will be starting school this week too, one of them in 7th grade, which means lots of new things, and she is nervous. And I will have my free moments back, which doesn't mean much because I probably STILL won't accomplish anything.

Plans for the week: Accomplish something with my free moments!

On this date: Four years ago, I was raving about Markus Zusak! Go figure! :) Last year I posted family pictures.

Here's to a new week! Happy Back to School!

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

Friday, August 19, 2011

Another Concert: Christopher Cross

Because one concert in a week isn't quite enough, I found myself going to another concert last Monday! This one was held at our local outdoor theater, and featured Christopher Cross, a guy whose soft and mellow music reminds me of the 80s, slow dancing, a movie called Arthur and General Hospital.

The 80s: This is the one people wanted to hear the most and kept calling out to him to play. I think he got a little annoyed, but turned it into a joke, which we (the audience) went with the rest of the night. He closed the show with it and it was so so good.

This on is one of my favorite songs of high school times! Lots of slow dancing memories!

From the movie Arthur...I should really watch that one again sometime... and what a wonderful song:


 This song is about a girl he knew that was killed at 19 years old, but General Hospital ended up using it for the whole Luke and Laura thing, remember that? Anyone? When he sang it at the concert, I got chills:


Obviously, these aren't videos of my concert (the top two I mean)... BUT I did actually take a few of my own videos which didn't turn out too bad even. Here's one I'll share of a new song of his that also gave me chills, which I why I whipped out my phone to try and capture it:

It was a really fun night, no rain even, sitting there listening to this really calming mellow music. I loved it! Up next on the concert line up... Brian McKnight!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Utah Book Bloggers Summer Social

If you live in Utah, and you blog about books, or maybe you live in Utah and you write books (published or almost published, or hope to be published) or perhaps you live in Utah and you sell and promote books, then YOU are hereby invited to our:

Saturday, September 10 at 6:00 p.m.
at Vivian Park in Provo Canyon at the small pavilion
(800 North in Orem to Provo Canyon, 5.8 miles up the canyon, park is on the right, pavilion is on the right after turning into the park)

Drinks and meat will be provided.
Bring a potluck dish to share.
Bring a book to swap.
Bring extra chairs if you can.
Families invited!
Bring a fishing pole if you have kids under 12 that would like to fish.

Let us know if you have any questions. We hope to see lots of you there!

Book swapping at last year's party!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday Freebie: Top of the TBR

It's "freebie" over at The Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten feature this week. I think that means, do whatever you want! Here's a top ten list I came up with:

Ten Books at the Top of My TBR Pile

1. Divergent by Veronica Roth
2. The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss
3. Under the Dome by Stephen King
4. A Soldier's Wife by Margaret Leroy
5. Entwined by Heather Dixon
6. Possession by Elana Johnson
7. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
8. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
9. Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
10. Supernaturally by Kiersten White

Which one do you think I should go for first? Have you read these? Which one was your favorite? Is there one you didn't like at all?

Please wish me luck in getting to them!

Monday, August 15, 2011

The Way of Kings Readalong: Part Two Questions

This week for our buddy read along we read Part Two of The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. This brings me to page 563 in my mass market paperback. It's cool to see the progress! I am loving the book so far, the pages fly by and the huge length of it no longer freaks me out. I'm so glad I decided to participate!

Now, for the discussion questions which this week are provided by Carl over at Stainless Steel Droppings:

1. In a recent interview Brandon Sanderson mentioned that the interludes are meant to show us parts of the larger world since much of the action is focused in one or two places. What do you think of the first two sets of interludes? Any characters or situations stand out to you?

I'm loving the interludes, which actually surprises me because you'd think it would be annoying to switch to a brand new character and get all re-established, kind of like starting a new book or something. However, that's not happening with me, and I feel like I jump right into this new little short story of sorts and end up wishing that we actually get more of the character later on. Of course, both interlude bits had Szeth's story and this is the interlude character that most stands out for me. He is fascinating! And that last one with him, just as our assignment for this past week ended?! Oh my word! This is getting intense!

2. In small increments Brandon Sanderson is revealing the geology and ecology of Roshar. What are your thoughts on what has been revealed thus far?

It seems like a harsh, yet fascinating place. I found it interesting that we learned that the Shin area appears to be a more familiar (to us) place, yet the visitors felt like it was totally foreign and extremely bizarre, with grass and dirt and trees! I'm starting to understand the Shattered Plains a bit more than I did during the first part, I suppose since we spent quite a bit of time there this go around. It makes me think of the Arches and Bryce Canyon area we have here in Utah, and what it may have been like thousands of years ago before it was worn down to the cool formations we have today.

3. This second section of The Way of Kings featured two distinct story lines, those of Dalinar and of Kaladin. How do you feel this section of the book compares with the first section and what are your thoughts on either or both of these story lines?

Well, I'm still drawn to Kaladin the most. Dalinar's sections were interesting, but each time I was glad when it was Kaladin's turn again. And now that we are going into the third part, I'm excited to see Shallan back. With Dalinar section we are getting much more of the political end of the story, which was only touched upon in last week's first part. It's all very interesting to me, but with Kaladin we seem to be getting a more "human interest" story, and I'm loving it. I love the flashbacks too, where we are getting the insight to his background that I was yearning for back in part one.

4. In the interview set out earlier in the week Sanderson talked about the Stormlight Archive being a series about the return of magic. What are your thoughts on this, particularly in relation to the visions Dalinar is having during the highstorms?

I'm not sure I "get" this yet, so I look forward to what the rest of you have to say. It seems like the Shardblades and Plate are magic and all, so what does he mean by the return of magic? I don't know.

5. There has been a change in this second section of the nature of the quotes prior to the beginning of each chapter. What are your thoughts on the opening lines featured in both sections of the book to this point?

Interesting! I loved the quotes at the beginning of the first part chapters.... people's dying words. Very intriguing and I want to know more. The stuff at the beginning of the second part chapters was more confusing to me. I know it was a letter and would probably make more sense if I go back and read it all at once together... but I haven't done that yet.

6. In the questions for these first two sections we've talked about characters and the story lines and the world that Sanderson has created, but there are a lot of interesting flourishes and touches to The Way of Kings thus far (shardplate, spren, the actual Way of Kings book, highstorms, etc.). Talk about some of the non-character/non-setting things that you are finding either fascinating or annoying (or both) in the book thus far.

I think most of all this extra stuff is wonderfully interesting. The spren especially, what they mean exactly, who can see them and when, and which emotions have a spren and which do not. The storms are also really fascinating, and at first I thought, ah, they don't sound THAT bad, but it sounds like they really ARE that bad. Perhaps we'll get caught out in one before it's over and find out what they are really like. It is cool to see how the whole system-- people, plants and animals-- has adapted to the storms.

So, did you understand that whole communications gadget? I couldn't quite visualize it.

Okay, I think I'm done for now! Thanks for some fun questions Carl! Now off to start the next bit!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Review: Josh Groban Straight to You Tour

It goes without saying, I think, that I loved the concert. He is absolutely amazing in everything... singing, instrument playing, audience interaction, sense of humor, emotional outpouring... everything. I found myself sitting, literally, on the edge of my seat, hands clasped under my chin, holding my breath, eyes glued to the stage, for most of the evening. Yes, you could say I was enthralled!

I went with my sister, who is also a huge Josh Groban fan, in fact she is the one who, years and years ago, said to me, hey, you should listen to this kid (because he was barely 20 at the time, maybe even just 19) who has this freaking amazing voice! It took me a year or so to believe her, but she is the one to blame for this Josh thing I have. So I took her with me.

Anyway, instead of going through the event minute by minute I thought I'd just list the highlights, and yes, even some lowlights, or maybe I could call them "baffling moments."


**When he came out from the back of the arena, and hopped onto a middle-of-the-floor stage. (A stage which I was actually closer to the the big stage.) I loved how the whole floor audience, stood up and turned around before that even happened. Yes, most of us knew that he was coming from the back, but it was funny to see that.

** The song Alla Luce del Sole... it was AMAZING! I was blown away. I didn't think he'd sing this one again (sang it last concert and all) but he did and wow.

** All the times he ran up and down the aisle right by us. Sadly, I was not on the edge, so no high five for me, but it was fun to be only four people away from where he was and see him close up. 

** The song Broken Vow, with just him, the piano and an awesome trumpet solo! That was so cool! I loved it!

** Much audience interaction and heckling! (By him, not the audience.) He took three questions people texted before the show, and he answered their questions but not before he made TONS of fun of each and every one! What a joker he is. He also brought up several people to sit on his "couch" while he sang a couple of songs. Lucky lucky people. 

** One of the questions someone texted was, "Will you sing some Kanye West tweets?" which of course he did. That was fun!

** The emotion in the song War at Home was intense. It was a definitely hold your breath moment. And then when he sang Machine, wow, another emotional powerful intense song! It's so awesome to feel so many different emotions from him for all the different songs.

** His shoes. Too cool. I thought maybe he'd be wearing boots, but no, it was stripped tennis shoes instead.

** Tons of piano playing this time around. I thought, now, do I want to see his face or his hands when he is at the piano? We had his face, and I decided that was the best choice.

** His opening act was a dude from America's Got Talent, Elew..... he was a crazy fun piano player. I was worried a long whether or not I'd be happy with my seats... 14th row on the floor, but when he played and I could see the funny facial expressions he made, I decided that it was good enough. However, when Josh came out mentioned that the first few rows were in the spit zone, I thought, yeah, spit zone would have been better! :)

** When he sang You Raise Me Up and had us be his gospel choir back up.

** The intermission song by the band... Live and Let Die by Paul McCartney. Awesome! Here's a video someone else captured of that, taken from pretty much near where I was sitting and shows you my view of the stage. What do you think? Not bad, huh?

** The ever present drum solo! Yes! I love it! Here's a video of that (not taken by me of course) all the wonderful facial expressions included.

** Every song, every single one, even Galileo!

Baffling Moments:

** Why was the AC not working? Wow, it was hot, and while I was sweating to death just sitting there, I thought what poor Josh, in his jacket, running around, and singing his heart out, must be feeling. He was hot! Ha, yeah, both uses for the word! THAT hot AND the other hot! :)

** On the way home we realized that he "forgot" to sing Hidden Away! Weird! Why did he not sing Hidden Away? The most popular song from this new album? Baffling.

** And why did he come out and sing Play Me by Neil Diamond for an encore? That was strange to me. It was awesome, and I loved it, but for his encore? Very baffling.

** Why did the floor section, full of adoring fan members, not scream and give standing O's more? Maybe it was the heat? Hmmm.... baffling.

** Even if this show was meant to have an intimate feel, why were there no jumbo-trons? I felt bad for the people in the nosebleeds, because they were pretty much were there to listen, and not see, unless they brought their binoculars. I'm so glad I could see him, really really see. Know what I mean? (Just found this video of a nosebleed "view." That would have been sad.)

** Why do they make us wait for 1/2 hour between the warm up act and the actual act? Oh my word, that was a long 1/2 hour! I guess they've got to mess around with the stage a bit, but still. Do they really HAVE to? And isn't it interesting how long that 1/2 hour is, but how very very short the following two hours are? Yeah, that's baffling, but not really. Here's one thing I did during the wait:

** I was frustrated with the whole camera thing. So, they say you can't take them in, but everyone has something... a phone particularly. But does that mean I can't take my good camcorder? So, to be safe, I didn't. Which meant I tried to use my phone, and my daughter's camera. Nothing worked, but everyone around me was getting good shots, so I didn't get it. So yeah, that was frustrating and baffling. Finally, I gave up and just enjoyed looking with my own eyes, and not through a camera and enjoying the songs instead of stressing about capturing the moment.

Here's my one not bad picture:

Here's my one very bad video... a teeny little bit of Changing Colors (opening song) before I gave up realizing I was capturing a little ghost Groban and that the camera wasn't going to do any better:

Afterwards, we decided to be true fangirls and went to find the back door where he would have to come out. Once there, we realized we are NOT true fangirls because we had no idea what was going on. Everyone was forming this HUGE line, and I thought, why a line if he just comes out and we wave and say bye and thank you etc.? I didn't get it. Finally, I decided he must often come out and actually talk to people and sign things. We didn't have anything for him to sign, so we didn't get in line, but just hung out on the edges hoping to just see him some more and watch him interact with everyone. We waited and waited. And we wondered, was this for real? Is he really coming out? What is really going on here? My sister said, what if they are fooling with us and they sneak him away? After nearly an hour from when the show ended, a dude came out and confirmed her suspicion and said, "Josh is not coming out, he has to be in LA in the morning, and he has already left!" WHAT? How did he leave and we not notice? I think he must have been in one of the normal looking cars that just pulled out and left and we had not a clue! This morning he tweeted that he landed in LA, so I think perhaps he actually flew, instead of riding the bus, so maybe he truly did have a plane to catch. Anyway, so that was kinda funny, and we were sad, but oh well! It does seem like they could have come out and told us a little sooner though. So much for being true fangirls.

Okay, well, I think this has gone on long enough, and I think anyone reading this understands that I absolutely loved this concert, even the baffling moments! If you ever get the chance to go, go. Even if you aren't a huge fan, you will be upon going to his concert, I promise.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Josh! Today!

There are no words...


.... tell you all about it tomorrow! I'm sure you can't wait! :)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Random Thoughts of the Bookish Sort... Mostly

** Hey, did you know... Markus Zusak's Underdogs is out! I need to order it still, so don't you go and get the last one! (Oh dear, did someone get the last one already? It doesn't say "in stock" anymore! What is UP?  I knew getting my hands on that first Underdog book was too good to be true!)

** Hey, did you know... if you pre-order John's Green new book, The Fault in Our Stars, he will sign it for you? I already got mine ordered, so you can go and ahead go for it...

** Here's what I know... reading long, big, fat books does not help your Goodreads number go up so you get behind in your 100 books a year goal. I am currently TEN books behind....nope, make that 11! It goes up everyday! Will I make it to 100 books this year? Ah, the suspense!

** Guess what though? I love read along/buddy reads. The Way of Kings has been really fun so far. These people really like to discuss their fantasy!

** I'm about ready to invite my book club over to watch Middlemarch with me in few weeks. Guess how long it is... seven hours! Do you think anyone will come? Do you think anyone will last the whole movie? What if I made caramel popcorn? Would that help?

**Did I tell you about how I went to Borders last Saturday with Jenny? I got five books, and hopefully some day I can even read them.

** I've been feeling really angsty all week. Angsty? Is that a word? Blah? Blech? Off? Depressed? Dumpy? Worthless?  Ennui? Oh, I love that word! Whatever the word, I hate it. Make it stop. And I know this has absolutely nothing to do with books.Well, it actually sort of does, but that could lead to much whining and complaining and I best not go there, right? Or maybe I have already? Oh crap.

** Utah Bloggers! I think we are still planning on another bash soon! Working out the details still, so stay tuned for more info! If you are newish and we aren't aware of you, time to speak up... now.

** Oh hey! Speaking of Science Fiction and Fantasy (or was it just fantasy I was speaking of?), have you seen this latest list? (I link you to Carl, because that's where you can discuss if you feel so inclined.) I have read lots of them, and have not read lots of them and have lots of the series' in progress. I feel so perfectly nerdy! Hmmm... what is the plural of series anyway?

** Ah, just finished the first season of Dr. Who! What fun! Now I know what many of you have been talking about! Can't wait to keep going. Hmmm..... now how does THAT fit in with books? Oh, science fiction...right right!

** Shall I go on? No, I think not. BYE!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: Illusions by Aprilynne Pike

Book: Illusions by Aprilynne Pike
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: A
For: Fun
From: Bought (and signed) at the book festival awhile back.

Okay, so I THOUGHT this was the conclusion of a "trilogy." But I know nothing, and yep, this is not a trilogy after all and this is not the last book. So just beware.

This book continues the story of Laurel and her boys, David and Tamani which begins with Wings and Spells. In Wings, Laurel finds out who she is, in Spells she goes to the fairy academy and learns cool stuff, and in this book she is now back going to her human high school. She's with David now, but suddenly, guess who shows up at school, looking very cool and human.... Tamani! Of course, he's there to protect Laurel because there's still some major issues that need working with some trolls and things.

Also, showing up at school is a Japanese exchange student who appears to have many fairy type attributes. This worries both Laurel and Tamani, a lot. So they are keeping a good eye on that mystery.

Meanwhile, things heat up between David and Tamani. Yes, this is definitely a love triangle book! And much of the book is about the stress and drama of this relationship. I must say though, I totally enjoyed it! The pages flew by and I couldn't wait to see what either one of them would do next. I must have been in a mood for this sort of thing.

The fairy stuff seemed to hold a bit of a back seat in this book. And just as that was all coming down to something crazy and exciting... BAM the book ends! Ugh, it's like a part 1 movie, if you know what I mean! It makes me crazy.

Bottom line: I really quite liked it... a lot! (And if you care about teams and whatnot, I think I lean toward Team Tamani on this one... too irresistible he is.)

Other Reviews:

I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read
The Broke and the Bookish
Books With Bite
Reading With Tequila

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Weekly Geeks 2011.24: Back to School

I haven't done a Weekly Geek thing for awhile, so I thought I'd try this one this week. It's a school edition and we are asked these questions:

What's your favorite bookish school memory?

I remember when we read A Tale of Two Cities as a class in 9th grade. I wouldn't have understood a thing without our class discussions, but as it turned, I loved the book! Then we watched the movie (whatever version was on PBS at the time) and I had a major character crush for sure! The same thing happened in 10th grade with The Scarlet Letter! 

I remember reading Great Expectations in 8th grade for on my own reading, and not understanding a word, but getting through the whole book, 10 min at a time, every day in English. 

I remember buying Newbery award winners at the school book fair. 

Did your teacher read aloud to you? Do you remember what book it was?

I specifically remember my 3rd grade teacher doing this and my 6th grade teacher also. I really disliked my 6th grade teacher, and he had a terrible reading voice, so this does not bring back fond memories. But my third grade teacher was awesome and we were enthralled with the books she read... but you know, I can't remember what they were!

Do you remember what books you checked out at the school library?

I remember checking out tons of Nancy Drew. One after the other after the other. And all sorts of Beverly Cleary books too. I didn't use the libraries in my jr. high and high school. Sad.

What was one of the first book reports you did for school?

It's bugging me that I can't remember what reports I did! I know I did a ton of them! 

Do you have a favorite book or author that you first heard about from a teacher or school project?

I discovered Thomas Hardy in high school. I had never heard of him before, but I loved his stuff. I know his books are depressing, but I loved them anyway.

Then there was Shakespeare of course, which I loved learning about and discussing as a class. 

What are some of your bookish school memories?

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Way of Kings Readalong: Part One Questions

This past week we began The Way of Kings (by Brandon Sanderson) read along. Check it out here if you want to still join up! The book (a mere 1200 or so pages) is divided into five parts, and each week we are to read a part. Also each week we'll be answering questions about that section of reading. I will try to make spoilers a minimum, but my guess is as we go along and get deeper into the book, there will be more and more spoilers.

First all, let me explain for those who are wondering what I'm even talking about... The Way of Kings is the first book of yet another huge epic fantasy series called The Stormlight Archive. Having heard Brandon Sanderson speak many times, I know that this book was written quite awhile ago and has been percolating and in his head for years and years, but was published just last year. I'm not sure myself what it's going to be all about yet (remember the no synopsis thing?) but I just read Kailana's first part post and her summing up of this book is AWESOME!  So now I don't even want to attempt it!

This week's questions come from Deanna from Polishing Mud Balls. Here's what she's asking:

1. Before I started reading The Way of Kings, I did have some thoughts on how I would like this story; did you? If you did, how is The Way of Kings actually comparing to those thoughts?

Well, having become a bit familiar with Brandon Sanderson's books, I was pretty confident that I would like it, and yes, so far that is true. It's very quick and easy reading, fun and fast paced.

2. What do you think of the pace of this story? so far. And what do you think of the prose? Do you think the prose is too descriptive? Not descriptive enough? Give me your thoughts on the writing thus far.

As I said, it feels pretty fast paced to me. I enjoy the prose and description. Having just finished a Robert Jordan book, I know I'll be comparing these two authors, especially in light of the fact that Sanderson is finishing up Jordan's books. So, the description reminded me a lot of Jordan's stuff, but didn't go so over the top and long. I had to laugh at the detail given to what people are wearing and such! But my guess is Sanderson was writing this stuff long before he was doing the Robert Jordan stuff. Anyway, it's interesting. But bottom line, I really enjoy the writing.

3. What was your favorite part of this first section?

Hmmm.... all the scenes about running with the bridges is especially graphic and crazy and scary. I felt like I was there. I can tell you that the army stuff/war talk/political talk will be my least favorite bits.

4. Which character(s) do you find most interesting and why?

I'm awfully drawn to Kal for sure. He seems like he's going to be a fun guy to get to know. He's in a bad bad place right now, so I hope he hangs in there! No jumping off cliffs or anything please! :) It will be interesting to see if we get some background on him soon. 

5. All right, what I really want to know is... what do you think of this book overall? so far. Are you finding the story easy to follow? Are you fascinated, interested? Is the book holding your attention? Are you Bored? Indifferent? Please share your overall thoughts.

I'm really liking it so far! Good thing considering how much of it there is! But I'm less worried about it now that I've got a got start. The story is easy to follow, even though a lot of culture and strangeness is being introduced. I'm liking that he isn't explaining that stuff necessarily, but letting the story explain it as it goes a long. Know what I mean? It may be confusing at first, but then suddenly it makes sense. I'm definitely interested and can't wait to get into it again.  (When I finished this first part, I made myself put it down to concentrate on my other book, but it was hard to do that! And so I'm anxious to get the flow going again! That tells you a lot right there!)

I look forward to the crazy fun journey this book and read along promise to be! Here's to epic fantasy! I must be on a kick these days.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Sunday Salon: Josh Week

Outside my window: Bright sunshine on a lazy Sunday morning!

I am listening to: Well, I talked about the Eurythmics this week already, which was fun. And we've been listening to this song a lot, a song that we discovered years ago but are having a bit of a revival with this week. But mostly, this particular week, I'll be listening to Josh, because after all, it's Josh Week for me.

I am watching: We went to yet another movie this week. Captain America. It was fun, not my favorite superhero movie though. That would be Batman, considering the chills I got just watching the trailer! Sheesh. And there was a cool trailer for the new Spiderman too, and afterwards, nearly the whole theater whispered... why another one? I don't know why either, but with Andrew Garfield in it, I''ll go. Also this week, I watched a bunch of Dr. Who episodes, still waiting for David Tennant to appear though.

I am thinking: about BBAW coming up! Yes, be sure to head on over to their site to get registered and participate! It's really quite fun.

I am grateful for: for "own" money so I can buy however many books I want!

I am reading: Yep, still Middlemarch! Getting close to the end though! Making progress! Also this week I read the first assignment for the buddy read of The Way of Kings. Very intriguing book so far. My first-part thoughts will be up tomorrow, so stay tuned. I also finished Illusions, review to come this week. I had fun with it, but am sad it ended just as things were getting going and now we have to wait for book four. Ugh.

I am photographing: nothing nothing nothing!

I am listing: things to blog about, as usual. I'm also listing potential blog names for my sister who is about ready to launch her blog! She is nervous but will be an awesome blog writer. Stay tuned, because I will be giving links and you will want to go say hi! :)

I am creating: UGH, why does this question make me crazy every week? It's like a guilt trip question! I need to be creating something, and I'm just not!

I am hoping and praying: family in Lake Powell this week have no mishaps and all will be well!

Around the house: I'm hoping to talk my husband into a remodel of our bedroom. It's actually never been decorated at all, so after 20 years in this house, I think it's time. We painted once and that's it.

From the kitchen: I haven't been cooking much. We made lasagna in the crock pot at the beginning of the week and it lasted all week long. Oh, and also lots of fresh tomato sandwiches! I love this time of year just for that!

One of my favorite things: Besides fresh tomato sandwiches? And Josh Groban concerts? And buying new books? That's it for this week I guess!

The children this week: were bored. Very very bored. Only two weeks left of this terrible boring summer!

Plans for the week: Deal with bored children some more. And get excited for the concert on Saturday. And read.

On this date: It was two years ago this week I got my bookshelves! Yes, that was fun!

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

Friday, August 5, 2011

Music Stuck in My Head: Eurythmics

This week my son introduced me to the used cd shop, Graywhale. Of course, we mused over the hundreds of very cheap used cds and I just had to come home with something. The treasure I found was:

So this week I've been remembering favorites like:

And this one that I love love love with all it's memories from high school:

And of course this most popular one:

Any new/used cd's for you this week? What fun things have you been listening to?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bookword Meme Idea

Hey everyone! This post has two purposes.... first, to find out if there's interest in reviving the Bookword Game as a simple listing meme, and second to see if I have successfully figured out how to use Google Docs like a Mr. Linky.

So, we (Raidergirl3 of An Adventure in Reading) thought it would be fun to take the list of Bookwords we all created over the past couple of years and have all those interested make lists from them to post and share in their blogs. We would pick one word each week or so, and then we would each make a list of books that fit that word for us. So, for example, if the word that week was CheckBook, I would list books that I've read where I can remember constantly checking to see what page I was on. (Usually, these are big fat books where I'm anxious to see progress.) And you, as participants, would do the same word that week, and we'd compare our lists. It's just another simple list meme using Bookwords as the prompt.

Then, since I really didn't want to deal with Mr. Linky, yet I wanted a way to make a list of blogs participating each week, I figured out how to use the forms in Google Docs as a sort of Mr. Linky.... at least I think I did. So that's where you need to help me today by filling out this form with your name and blog info if you think you are interested in this Bookword meme idea. (This doesn't mean you are committing to anything, just interested) That way, we can see if we have any takers, plus determine if my Google Linky form is working.

Once you've filled out the form, be sure to refresh the browser to see if your info appears in the bottom form below. Then you'll be able to see if it's working or not. Let me know if you encounter problems!

Make perfect sense to y'all?

Thanks for you help and enthusiasm!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A Reading Warning

My grandma is great, but once upon a time she gave me a warning. I haven't thought about this warning for a long time, but for some reason I've been thinking about it a bit recently, so I thought I'd share it and see what you think.

My grandma, a hard working farm wife who had little time for leisure, knew I loved to read and I don't know if it bugged her, or worried her, or what exactly.  I would often spend several weeks of my summer there on the farm and it was wonderful change of pace for me. I went from the oldest of a huge family of kids living in the city, to an "only" child, and a farm girl at that. I loved it, and I'm sure I would spend much of my vacation moments reading.

So one time, and I was probably 13 or 14 or so,  I remember her saying as we drove past a farm house near where they lived ... "THIS is what will happen if you read too much." Now, I never did see the inside of that house, but the outside was very run down, lots of junk everywhere, neglected yard, etc. I imagine the inside to look a bit worn and weary too, a bit messy shall we say. I remember thinking at the time that she was just bugged that this lady did not take care of things like my grandma would have. But then I thought, wait... is she really blaming this on reading? Really? She must have known that that mom read a lot, but do you think that's why this place was neglected?

I don't know, but I do know that I never forgot what she said to me that day and I've always wondered how I was supposed to interpret it. Was she saying have balance? Was she saying work first and play later? Was she saying reading is bad? Was she saying some things are more important than other things?

Well, luckily, it didn't make me stop reading, but perhaps it did instill in me the little bit of guilt I have for reading "too much." Sometimes I look around and wonder if my grandma would think that my house has gotten to the level of someone who reads "too much." So I hope not. I hope that even with all the reading there is balance. That people and other things are not being neglected. That my grandma wouldn't be getting after me!

All that being said, my grandma would also take me to meet the bookmobile when it came around to their little town. I thought that was the coolest thing ever and would check out all sorts of books, and she didn't seem to mind one bit!

So, I don't know what this has to do with anything really except that I was just thinking about it and wondered if any other readers have had a similar reading warning given to them and how it affected their reading behaviors. Anyone?


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