Friday, November 30, 2012

November 2012 Reading Recap

Oh boy, I'm not sure it's worth even doing a recap this month. Sad sad reading month, and I have no idea why! Was it THAT busy? It had its moments but I didn't think it was this bad. Wow. And there's not even a big hard book to blame it on either. What is going on with me?

Anyway, here's what  I did mange:

Not Exactly a Love Story by Audrey Couloumbis: A cute retro love story set in the 70s from a guy's point of view. (Review of this to come next week.)

The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima: The second book of this awesome fantasy series where our heroes are going to a wizard/magic/soldier school.

 Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman: The story of a girl who marries a Canadian policeman and goes off into the wild north and has adventures.

Insurgent by Veronica Roth: The second book of the series which has Tris and Four trying to figure out how to defeat those leaders trying to take over.

Favorite of the month: The Exiled Queen for sure.

Plans for December:

  • finish A Tale of Two Cities. Almost done! Really enjoying this one... it's crazy how much easier it is to understand as an adult than it was as a 14 year old!
  • finish The Hobbit before movie day!
  • re-read Unwind for book club
  • read Unwholly for book club too maybe.
  • Check out The Summer I Turned Pretty from the library and read it so I can discuss with Jenny
  • Finish The Devoted, a  review book.
  • Maybe read Dragonfly in Amber, which I have on my Kindle from the library.. but it's HUGE!
  • Read Reached, which I should have read already by now.
  • and that's probably way more than I can handle, sadly.
Hopefully you all did better! Here's to next month!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Movie Review: Life of Pi

Movie: Life of Pi
Genre: Drama
Starring:  Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan and Adil Hussain
Rating: PG
My Rating: Two thumbs up!

I loved this book. Loved. So when I heard it was going to be a movie I was nervous. Then, when I saw the trailers, I felt much better. It truly looked like it was going to be amazing! And I couldn't wait to see it!

So over the Thanksgiving break I managed to fit it in. (Strange how hard it is to get out to a movie sometimes.) And it really was amazing!

Of course, as we would expect from those awesome trailers, the cinematography is spectacular. I can't even describe how beautiful everything looked.

Then there's the story which the movie sticks to the book amazingly well. (I read it a long time ago, so I may have missed details, but my son who just read it for school was very impressed.) I love how a story about a boy on a boat with a tiger can be so much more than that!

Then there's the acting. The kid playing Pi was fabulous! Perfect for the part.

And then there were the special effects. We ended up seeing it in 3D which I loved. I know some people would rather not, but when the ship sinks and we end up in the water with Pi, it totally felt like we were IN THE WATER with him! There were actually many moments like that, the feeling of being right in the movie. But the tiger? Was it real or wasn't it? If it wasn't real, it was the best not real animal in a movie I've ever seen. If it WAS real, wow, how'd they get it to do that? No, I think it wasn't real, but it was such a good not-real tiger that you will totally think it's real. Or at least wonder like me!

Of course the music was also awesome. How could it not be? :)

I worried about the ending. The ending is a pretty crazy one, at least for some of us readers. But they did an awesome job with it too, and you leave the theater thinking... wait, what? Just like the book. And from there it gets you thinking about all sorts of other things. I love that.

Bottom line: I loved it. I laughed, I cried, I was wowed.

The trailer yet again, just in case:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

My Favorite Things of 2012

In the tradition of Oprah, I give you MY FAVORITE THINGS of this past year. These are the things that I either discovered for the first time this year, enjoyed to the fullest this year, or re-discovered this year. If I had a show, like Oprah, these are the things I'd love to give away to you all!
I spent my hard earned money 
on a sub-woofer for our TV!
And now we can make the whole house 
vibrate while watching movies!
I love it!

We are late to the Netflix game, but this year
we've realized we are truly addicted.
At work I have a blast making
 custom cards for personnel
using this awesome easy program.

One of my favorite flavors!
Lovely new album by
 a lovely rockin' group!

I had no idea what I'd do with this app, 
as it turns out I take TONS more pictures now!

 Best new-to-me artist of the year!

This ice cream flavor is to die for.
A staple product at our house
 and I'm beginning to
worry they will discontinue it.
Best new gadget of the year, hands down!

I joined Pinterest at the end of last year, 
and this year I wondered what I ever did without it.

A new Spider-man?
 Yes! And an awesome good one!

We went to this store for the first time
 while visiting Arizona.
And now.. it's coming here!

These taste just like the
 Girl Scout thin mints. Love them!

As you can see, there are no books on this list. That's because you all know the favorite books list will be a post of it's own in about a month!

Until then, tell me what some of your favorite (non bookish) things of the year have been!! Maybe I can use them for Christmas gift ideas!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Next Year's Books!

What books am I looking forward to next year? You know, most of the time I don't know until it happens! I'm so clueless with what's coming out that when y'all start talking about something, I'll say, "oh yeah! Me too!" But since that's the prompt this week for the top ten list at The Broke and the Bookish, I did some research and found me some books I want to read next year!!

My Top Ten Most Anticipated Books of 2013

1. Everbound by Brodi Ashton... Jan. 22
2. Through the Ever Night by Veronica Rossi... Jan. 8
3. Transparent by Natalie Whipple... May 21
4. Fragments by Dan Wells.. Feb. 26
5. Mind Games by Kiersten White... Feb. 19
6. Requiem by Lauren Oliver... March 5
7. The Runaway King by Jennifer A. Nielsen... March 1
8. The next Raven Boys book by Maggie Stiefvater... Fall 2013?
9. The next Stormlight Archives book by Brandon Sanderson... Late 2013?  I have my doubts on this one.
10. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson.... May 14

AND bonus round:

Bridge of Clay by Markus Zusak!!!
(well, that is IF it ever comes out! Here's hoping for 2013!)

Well, that's a start anyway. I'm sure there's a bunch more I can't wait for!

I love looking forward to another reading year! What's on your list for next year? 

Monday, November 26, 2012

Book Review: Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Book: Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Genre: YA Dystopian
For: Fun
From: Borrowed

I've had my hands on this book for quite some time now and have been really anxious to fit it in, but only this weekend did I finally buckle down and concentrate on it. And then, once I did, ah man, it was a chore to finish it! Ugh, I hate to say it, but yes.

So I remember liking Divergent just fine. I mean, it was good, but I wasn't overly ecstatic about it or anything.(My review from back then found here.) I guess I really did quite like it, though I did mention in my review that it felt a bit like the same dystopian story told over again. Anyway.....

This book, number two in the series, was looked forward to earlier this year with much anticipation. I think I expected wild and fantastic things from it! And I didn't get that. It took me much longer than normal to remember who everyone is and then once I thought I had that figured out, I had a hard time remembering what the plot problem was. Who was wanting to take over whom, and why? And all those factions kept getting muddled in my head!

And then, once I finally got that down, I felt not at all invested. I just didn't care. And nothing was happening. And it was boring. There was internal conflict yes, and I'm usually great with that, but for some reason, not so much this time.

Ugh, I hate doing reviews like this, which is why you don't see it very often around here! BUT, I feel that when I do read a book that I felt yawn-y over, you need to know, right? You need to see that this even happens to the one who reads everything with rosy glasses! Or something.

By way of a quick summary, for those interested, we rejoin our main characters Tris and Four, who are basically refugees in a society (future Chicago area) where things have gone crazy. The factions that people are divided into have begun to crumble and the lines between them are all blurry now. Everyone must decide who's side they are on, and if that's the RIGHT side or not. And let's just say, that's no easy thing.

I think finally toward the end there I felt some excitement and I felt a little worried for the characters, for crazy Tris who put herself in a most unsavory situation. I looked and it was around page 350 when I thought.. "finally!" And I remember Divergent being so exciting and page turning! So what happened? Was it me or the book??

And yet. AND YET! The end was awesome! (well if you like cliff hangers anyway!) Dang, I'm going to have to read the next book now after all

Bottom line: While I enjoyed Divergent, the first book in this series, I found this second book, Insurgent, to be quite boring, at least until the end.

Other Reviews:

And the pace? Totally break neck. Seriously, there is never a moment where I am like if this book was a TV, I would change the channel. And it’s not like I felt overwhelmed by the fast pace either. Nope, I ate it up with a spoon. From Good Books and Good Wine

There were moments when I had to put it down and step away from the weight of this book, which makes me think about the book more. From YA Book Nerd

But middle books of trilogies are often disappointments. Thankfully, however, they are not bridges to nowhere, but with good luck will lead us, along with the characters, to a better place in Book Three. From Rhapsody in Books Blog

One of the things I really enjoyed about this book is the way we get to see how some of the other factions live. In fact, by the end of the book, Tris has spent a little time living in each one. From Creativity's Corner

While it might sound like I’m doing a lot of complaining about the book, I assure you that it is worth your time! LOTS of crazy things happen – people are dying, other people aren’t who they seem, there’s fighting, kissing, and SO MANY other things! From Reading in Winter

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Currently: A Little Marx and a Little Hex

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y

(as written on Saturday evening)

Listening: to Christmas music! No, actually I haven't got it out yet, but I think I will tomorrow. I heard Richard Marx had a Christmas album. How did I not know this? I will have to check that out.....

Eating:  a little bit of leftovers today, but no pie sadly. I think, though, tomorrow, we'll make another one.       Yogurt I think

Loving: making hexes! I'm actually quite surprised. Who knew??

Reading: Insurgent. Gah... this book... I just don't know. I'm sad to say... boring! 

Feeling: sad that the the four days of wonderful sleeping in has come to an end. Back to the routine!

Watching: Life of Pi! I thought it was awesome! I will do a full movie review this week. It deserves the space and time.

Wanting:  to find someone who would like some pet mice. Anyone? Please? 

This isn't our picture, but they look
very much like this!

Thinking: about Christmas, and lists, and tree decorating, and blogger holiday swaps, and upcoming parties, and wow, is it truly time again? 

Stalking: I've hardly done any blog reading this week, let alone stalking someone. Need. More. Time.

Enjoy this last week of November! Let the festivities begin!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Books Discussed at Book Club

For awhile there I was in the habit of listing other books we've mentioned at our book club meetings, besides the topic book. But I've been neglectful of that these past few months, so here's an attempt at catching up.

Books We've Talked About:
(links to blogs if applicable and Goodreads)

Jessica A
-- Harry Potter on audio
-- The Middlesteins by Jami Attenberg
-- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
-- Gone Girl by GillianFlynn
-- The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
-- Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell... hard
-- The Giver by Lois Lowry
-- Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh
-- Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr... loved
-- Alcatraz series by Brandon Sanderson
-- The Book of Mormon Girl by Joanna Brooks

-- A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness... over hyped
-- Everneath by Brodi Ashton.. enjoyed the mythology

-- Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs
-- The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith
-- Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger... gritty
-- Sulan by Camille Picott.... loved
-- Emma by Jane Austen... least favorite Austen
-- My Ridiculous Romantic Obsessions by Becca Wilhite
-- Unbreak My Heart by Melissa C. Walker... cute
-- Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson....dark and depressing

-- Edenbrooke by Julianne Donaldson... loved
-- Variant by Robison Wells...need Feedback!
-- Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi

Jenni Elyse
--Partials by Dan Wells
-- Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen... loved
-- Dune by Frank Herbert... loved
-- The Savage Grace by Bree Despain... good ending to the series

-- The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
--The Scientist and the Crib by a bunch of doctors!

--Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
--Partials by Dan Wells
-- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

-- Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins.... enjoyed

-- Freshman for President by Ally Condie.. good
-- Change Your Brain, Change Your Life by Daniel G. Amen

-- The Blue Notebook by James A. Levine.... ruthless

We love talking about all sorts of books at book club!!

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Every year I make list at Thanksgiving of things I'm thankful for. I'm guessing those lists are starting to sound the very same each year! But still, it's fun to revisit the topic, even if they are all the same.

Here's what's on my mind this year:

**I'm thankful for being able to connect here with other readers. It's weird to think back to a time where I was just my own lonely self, reading and reading, with no one to talk and gush with. It's awesome this technology for sharing our interests. I hope we never take it for granted.

**I'm thankful for people who share their talents. The dude there at the top of my post for one, the authors who write the awesome books, the fellow book bloggers who end up sharing quilting tutorials, the amazing pictures I see on Instagram, the performers who I love to go watch in the theater... and on and on.

**Speaking of that, I'm thankful for all the many ways we can express creativity. Being able to create is an awesome thing, and I love that we have this aspect in our lives. It would be a dull awful life without it.

**I'm thankful for food, even it it's the bane of my existence. Stupid yummy food!

** I'm thankful for those people I spend all my time with... family, friends at work, IRL book friends... because we all know this is what it's really all about.

** I'm thankful for the ability to travel. We haven't gone to very many exotic places, but we we do get out and about to see the country now and then and it's awesome out there! I wish we could do it more, but maybe that time is coming, I hope.

** I'm thankful for health. That's a pretty big one, yes? Here's hoping it continues to stay good!

Well, so there's tons more I could list, but I'd say these are the main ones I'm pondering this year! Here's wishing you all a wonderful fun holiday weekend!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Where in the World Are You Reading November: With Who?

This question this month for the fun meme Where in the World Are You Reading... is.... WHO are you reading with? Who's your reading buddy?

Well, for the most part, I'm usually found reading  alone. But every night before going to sleep, this is what you'll see at my house:

Yep, reading with my husband, Mr. Stuey!! Sweet, yes? 

Come play with us and link up this time over at Kailana's place, The Written World.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Books/Authors I'm Thankful For

Today's list from The Broke and the Bookish is to list books and authors that we are thankful for. I decided to approach the list a little differently, since my list of actual books and authors would be all my favorites that you've seen here a gazillion times.

Books and Authors I'm Thankful For


1. I'm thankful for books that make me think.
2. I'm thankful for books that make me feel.
3. I'm thankful for books that are true sagas.
4. I'm thankful for the old classic books that will stick around forever.
5. I'm thankful for books that are mind-blowing, page-turning, and gasp-inducing!


1. I'm thankful for authors who try new things and think outside the box.
2. I'm thankful for authors who write unforgettable characters.
3. I'm thankful for authors who connect with readers.
4. I'm thankful for authors that don't give up.
5. I'm thankful for authors that can write a complete story in one book!

What books and authors are you thankful for?

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book Review: Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman

Book: Mrs. Mike by Benedict and Nancy Freedman
Genre: Historical fiction/romance
Rating: ★★★★☆
For: book club
From: the library

We've been trying to read this book for book club forever, or nearly. Once I had it reserved, but there was a glitch and somehow we didn't end up with it. So finally, this past month, it worked out and we got our hands on the book club set and read this popular, well-loved book.

I hadn't even heard of it until we were choosing it for book club. But once I began reading it and talked around, I DID find out that it's quite popular and well-loved. So where was I when everyone else was reading it at school or in their teens?

While I liked this book a lot, I think I would have liked it even more as a teenager. Not sure why exactly. I just think I would have been very much caught up in the adventure and romance, whereas now, perhaps I've read too much at this point and the book felt lacking in parts. I just needed MORE!

So we have this very young girl who leaves her family to go stay with her uncle in Canada. Shortly after arriving, she meets this hunk of a guy, 11 years older than her (she's 16, he's 27) and bam they up and get married! The romance here was quaint and funny and sweet, but oh so very fast!

He's a Canadian Mountie (policeman) and the year is 1907. So he takes her off with him to wherever he's been assigned, which is very very north, and very very cold, and very very remote. And there's lots of Indians! So let the adventures begin!

I can't even imagine... first... being 16 and living this story. And second being the mom of a 16 year old and having no idea what's happening with your kid. But... it was a different day and time, I suppose. Which only means that they didn't have much choice.

Anyway, stuff happens. Some good, some bad. Some really very bad. Your heart breaks for this girl. At one point, it even appears that she gives up. But no worries, because we all know that this book wouldn't be well-loved and popular if THAT was how it ended!

Bottom line: Sweet story, with a touch of romance and a lot of western frontier adventure.

Some thoughts discussed at book club:
  • What a rough life! Wow! We could never do it.
  • Is this a romance or a survival story? Marketed as romance, but there was very little of that... and more of the adventure and survival bits.
  • Lots of funny moments too though.
  • We could never live with out the medical care that they had to do without. It's hard to imagine a world and life without that luxury we often take for granted.
  • Much discussion about vaccinations and are they good or bad? What diseases (such as diptheria which plays a big role in this book) have we truly wiped out? And which ones are actually making a come back? Whopping cough seems to be at least.
  • Is this book YA? Seems to be actually, but marketed as adult I think. Interesting. Though it was published in 1947 and then there was no such thing really as a YA/ Teen market. 
  • Reminded us of These Is My Words and there was something else, but now I forgot! 
Other Reviews:

If you like a sweet romance and a historical book that will make you laugh and cry, then this is a great book for you. From Good Clean Reads

A book that almost anyone of any age could enjoy--if historical romance is their genre of choice. From Becky's Book Reviews

Mrs. Mike is no simple love story – nature is cruel, and Kathy and Mike suffer many losses at the hands of a harsh climate and people. From The Brazen Bookworm

How much of it is actually true has been debated. Regardless, it's a delightful adventure. From 2 Kids and Tired Books

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Currently: Too Much Food, Not Enough Lee Pace

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y

(as written on Saturday evening)

Listening: Hans Zimmer station on Pandora... currently this most awesome Batman song:

Eating:  Oh boy. The eating these past few days! Chocolate pie and apple pie (got a head start on the pie thing) and some awesome greasy cheesy dip for book club, and out to eat at Goodwood and Kneaders and I can't remember where else! Oh, and cake and ice cream of course! Wow, it was a bad bad eating week around here. 

Loving: that I'm officially one year old as of this past week. NOT!! JK!! Ha. In the words of my grandma, getting old sucks. (Wait, maybe she doesn't use that exact word, but that's what she means!)

Reading: Finished Mrs. Mike for book club this week. Now, I'm just needed to work on the other books I've started this past month and never finished. That is, unless I start something new again anyway, despite the fact there's already unfinished things to read!

Feeling: It's been a crazy week, but I'm feeling kind of sad that's over, because it was all fun craziness. I guess I should be feeling excited about an upcoming holiday and kids home and sleeping in!

Watching: We saw Breaking Dawn part 2 on Friday! Yes, it wasn't bad at all! Still the awkward cheesy moments, but the ending was satisfying and good in my opinion. We also got The Amazing Spider-man on DVD and watched that again.... AWESOME movie! Love that one. And just this evening I got caught up on Survivor and The Vampire Diaries for the week. Favorite Damon quote:"It's a long story... buy the ebook!" What a dude. Love him.

Oh, speaking of vampires and Breaking Dawn, I have a new favorite: Lee Pace as Garrett:

Yes? I think so!
Speaking of Lee Pace, he's also going to be in The Hobbit!!!

Wanting:  more time, you know? Just more time please. Oh, and could someone just send me four Twitter followers? So I can get to freaking 1000 once and for all!!! :) 

Thinking: that it's weird to be here on a Saturday night with absolutely no kids around. A taste of the future, a memory of the past? But weird I say, very weird.

Stalking: Marissa from Rae Gun Ramblings who I meet this week at the Reached event. Now, here's a girl who gets into her launch parties! Wow, click on over to see what I'm talking about and enter her giveaway. 

Happy new week everyone! Let's get lots of reading done!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Meeting Authors Jennifer Nielsen and Ally Condie

Can you believe it? I've got two more author signings I'd love to tell you about!

Jennifer A. Nielsen, The False Prince

A couple of weeks ago Jennifer A. Nielsen came to the Orem Library and gave a presentation and signing. She was a blast to listen to and I loved her presentation. I even took a couple of notes!

She asked questions like this, and then we discussed the answers:

Why do authors write? For fame? No! Because it's easy? No! Because they love the art or writing?
YES! And because they are born with stories embedded in their DNA!

What is it like to be a writer? First of all, you are by yourself a lot of the time, and you need to enjoy that. And then, you have to switch over to being with lots of people at lots of events. Being a writer means dealing with lots of ups and downs, like a roller coaster. (She told us about one of her very best ups...when the editor of the Harry Potter books toasted her at a Scholastic event and told everyone to remember her name and that they "knew her when" because she was going to go on to be BIG!)

Where do you get you ideas? Steal them? No! Pay you kids to think them up? No! From everywhere in life? YES!

Why should kids read? Because your teachers make you? No! So you don't have to do chores? No! Because it makes you smarter? Yes! For the adventure and chills and friendships? YES! (Then she told us about studies that have proven that if kids are readers they are better communicators, have more success, are more logical, can concentrate better, have strong family bonds, have a higher IQ, and a better vocabulary, etc. etc.)

Afterwards I was just going to slip on out. I had her book, The False Prince, but had loaned it out and hadn't got it back yet... plus it was already signed from the bookstore where I got it. But, then I said what the heck and came back and bought another to get personalized! And chatted with her for a bit. I told her I thought Sage reminded me of Gen from The Queen's Thief series and had she heard that from others. Yes, she said, a lot!

Anyway, now I'll do a giveaway for that other copy sometime, so stay tuned. I know you'll all be so excited!!

Ally Condie, Reached

Then, just the other night, Jenni Elyse and I went to the launch party hosted by The King's English for Ally Condie's final book in the Matched series... Reached. We met my sister, Megs (from Sweet and Sour Sassiness) there also! Wahoo!

But first, Jenni and I got to participate in a blogger shindig with Ally before the actual event. There we were able to participate in a fun informal chit chat with Ally along with three other bloggers, Jessica from Books a True Story, Kimberly from The Broke and the Bookish and Jessica from Cracking the Cover. How fun is that??? Fun I tell you!

We asked her things like:

--how do you feel about being done with this series. (A little sad, a little excited, and like it's not really real yet.)

-- what's next? (another dystopian sort of science fiction-y series that feels a lot like our world)

-- why the name change? (from Allyson Braithwaite Condie in her first books.... because it looked better on these covers! And now it's also a distinction between her first local market books and the national market ones.)

-- what have you read this year that you loved? (Michael Phelps' biographies! It appears she has a bit of a crush on him!)

-- and lots of things about Reached. (look for music references, she didn't know for sure who Cassia would end up with until writing Reached, people die!..... and I can't remember what else!)

We talked about all kinds of things, for nearly an hour! It was very fun and hopefully I'll be able to go to more such events in the future.

Then we went to the main presentation where she had us listen to the first page of the book as read by the guy playing Xander. And then she answered more questions.... lots of them from kids in the audience.

Then we (Megs, Jenni and I) got our picture taken in the bubble!

And our books signed!

I've been having a blast going to all these events these past few months. Here's hoping it continues!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Must Read Faster!

Awhile back I read a blog post by a certain favorite author that I can't seem to get out of my head. Well, he's actually written a few posts recently that have stuck with me, but this one post particularly because it's all about books.

This author, Dan Wells, shared a mathematical formula for how many books we will most likely read before we die. Click on over to his post to read it and see this formula. But basically you take your age and minus that from how long you think you'll live, and times it by how many books you normally read a year.

Using a life expectancy of 80 and an average figure of 90 books a year (obviously that number will go way down as I get older, but for now, that's where I'm at!) I get the number of 2970.

Does that sound like a lot? Or hardly any?

Here's what it makes me wonder:

-- what books should I be spending my time reading? All the classics? All the new books? All the books by my favorite authors? And what about the never ending re-reading question? Should I even "waste" my limited number of books by doing re-reads?

--and if you tend to think that I should only be reading "good" books and don't waste time on the "bad"... how would we even define that? A book is mostly good or bad simply depending on my mood....

-- does this mean I have all the more power to DNF a book if I want? No guilt? No regrets? No apologies? Ah, but still, what if that book ends up being a favorite if I stick with it? What if it's just my mood again?

-- should I try to up the amount of books I read? Read less chunksters and more littles? Or more chunksters and less littles?

In the end, I've decided there's no use feeling stressed by this! And I'm sure I won't change my reading habits in any significant way, except for maybe being easier on myself for not finishing a book that's just not working... or at the very least being okay to put it down and try it again later.

So... what's your number and what do you worry most about when you see it? Or does the thought even worry you at all?

Anyway, bottom line? GET READING! :)

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Going to a Deserted Island

If I was spending a long amount of time on a deserted island, what ten books would I want with me? I'm thinking ten books that I'd love to read over and over and over again!

Ten Books I'd Want on a Deserted Island

1. Complete works of Jane Austen (this is not cheating, is it?) Yes, I would be fine reading these books over and over again.

2. Something by Markus Zusak, of course. Duh. But which one? You know, I think reading The Book Thief over and over again would be a little depressing, and I feel like I Am the Messenger is much more uplifting and all happy-making, so perhaps that one? Yes, let's say that one!

3. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I've only read this saga once, but I think I could handle it a few more times on my island!

4. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens. I've read this one twice already. The first time, I didn't understand a word (I was only 14), the second time I loved every bit of it. If I could read it over and over and over again, I think I would love discovering new things about it every single time. This book has EVERYTHING!

5. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Just because it's so beautiful.

6. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.... ditto. So beautiful.

7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. I know! Don't even say it! But I love this book!

8. Clarissa by Samuel Richardson. I bet I would have time to get through this one! And it would be nice to have a big huge book there that I've not yet read.

9. Okay fine, I should have my scriptures there too. Maybe I'd even read them!

10. Some survival book, and/or deserted island cookbook. Please? Can I include that here?

What books would you take on your trip to the island? Come join in over at The Broke and the Bookish!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Book Review: The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima

Book: The Exiled Queen by Cinda Williams Chima
Genre: YA Fantasy
For: Fun
From: Bought at Amazon for birthday last year

I loved the first book, The Demon King, and have been anxious ever since to get to this second book. Finally, I just dropped everything else I've been trying to read so I could read this one. It took me a bit to get into it and remember the details, but it went really fast after that.

But here's the thing. We were left at the end of the first book thinking that Han and Raisa would be together all during this second book, at a sort of Harry Potter school. But, wow, it took awhile for that to happen! Of course, it DID happen, which is not a spoiler because you KNOW it's going to, but still. It took a long time!

Anyway, so we have Han aka. Cuffs coming to this school to learn how to be a wizard, and Raisa coming to learn how to be a soldier. Of course she is in disguise, no one knowing that she is in fact the princess. Except sweet Amon, who I absolutely love! Things back at home are still in quite the turmoil and there's lots of politics to explain all that. Poor Raisa, having to figure all that out!

But then she does run into Han, who has no idea who she really is. And the sparks fly of course. All sorts of kinds. Han asks her to tutor him in princely manners, which is really quite fun. He is also being tutored in magic by some mysterious wizard dude in the dream world (this reminded me so much of the Wheel of Time books! Ah, will I ever finish those?) and I'm hoping we learn soon what's going on with that.

But it wasn't to be in this book. Han and Raisa's (well Rebecca in this case) time together is short lived and pretty soon, they are both off to solve the kingdom's problems! Sort of. We'll see.

I continue to love this story. It's very engaging and enchanting. And like I said, quite Harry Potter-ish in this particular book. But, the story is not the same actually. Anyway, I hated to see the book come to an end, so luckily, there's more and I found myself at the bookstore buying the next one! Too bad I can't just jump right into and keep reading! Sadly, it must wait...but only for a little while.

Bottom line: I love this story and these characters!

Other Reviews:

This is epic high fantasy at its best. Chima has created a rich, detailed, and deep world here with customs, prejudices, cultures, and history so complete it is like an alternate reality. From One Librarian's Book Reviews

Cinda Williams Chima is a master at world building, and the setting in this book is almost like another character that moves and grows with the story. From Emily's Reading Room

Han is truly awesome. He reminds me of Kvothe, with his latent abilities and rough hewn, hard-earned status. He also reminds me of a hotter, more badass Harry Potter, just as he also reminds me of what I’m pretending is his namesake, my favorite stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder – that is, Han Solo. From The Book Smugglers

The quick pacing, difficult-to-predict storyline, and complicated heroic characters are sure to captivate readers, as are the perfectly hateable villains From TeenReads

The list goes on when it comes to these two main characters but as you can see this hero and heroine are completely different and yet when they cross paths with one another, they couldn't be any more than perfect for each other . . . ahhhhh . . . I just adore them so, so much! From Tales of the Inner Book Fanatic

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Currently: Dreaming of Pi

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y

(as written on Saturday evening)

Listening: to my Shakira Pandora station. Yep. I know. Anyway, I love the songs that come on this station... dancing while I clean the kitchen and now while I blog. You should see it. NOT! 

Here's an example:

A lot of Enrique shows up on that station too. 

Eating:  Cafe Rio Pork Barbacoa Salad!

Loving: that it snowed! It's so pretty!

Reading: I finished The Exiled Queen and went right out and bought The Gray Wolf Throne. But I'm not reading it yet. First I've got to read Mrs. Mike for book club. 

Feeling: tired from doing a TON of driving today, hauling the kid to a far away dance performance, then to a far away birthday party, and then retrieval from said party. Whew. Good thing it stopped snowing for tonight.

Watching: Today I started season 2 of Parenthood. What a show.

Wanting:  new movies at the theater! Ugh, it's been months since something new came out that I actually wanted to see. Life of Pi for Thanksgiving! Finally.

Needing: my kids to make Christmas lists. I asked them about it and their response is... Mom, I already have everything I need. Hmmm.... not sure how to take this.

Thinking: this next week won't be quite as relaxing as the past week. There's stuff every single night. You might even hear all about it!

Stalking: This week I'm learning about my Christmas ornament exchange partner, Stephanie from Life is Better With Books.


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