Sunday, March 31, 2013

Currently: Easter Dinner

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y
(as written on Sunday afternoon)

Listening: TV background noise. Not my favorite thing to listen to but it happens. Earlier we were blasting The Piano Guys Pandora station. That was awesome! Also this week I listened to the new (I think new anyway) album by One Republic on Spotify. I liked it! I'm guessing that I may perhaps probably be a One Republic fan!

Eating: We have an Easter dinner in progress. I'm hungry and can't wait! The Easter bunny didn't bring a whole lot of candy this go around, but there are some Cadbury chocolate eggs!

Loving: that it's spring break this week. Well, at least I think I'm going to love it. My kids all went separate ways and left me and their dad home! We are going to have an at home, without kids, spring break. I see movies and and lots of reading in my future.

Reading: This week I finished The World's Strongest Librarian. It's a memoir by a library that works at the big library in Salt Lake. I will review when it gets closer to its release date, but I loved it. Awesome story. Now I've started Pivot Point by Kasie West. I'm also re-reading I Am the Messenger by Markzus Zusak for book club this month. Did I already mention this? Ha. And yes, I'm going to tweet some quotes and thoughts as I go along. #IAmtheMessenger. Hey and did you see that Mr. Zusak responded to a Book Thief convo I had on twitter last week? It was pretty funny! We got him riled up talking about the "bad" language in it!

Feeling:  hungry. I may have mentioned this.

Watching: I watched a lot of The Wiz this past week, all by the school's middle school kids including my daughter. It was fun! I had BRAND NEW DAY stuck in my head for pretty much the whole week. Love that song really. I haven't watched much TV this week. I did catch a little bit of the voice and was wowed by the smolder look from Adam Levine. May have to keep watching just for that!

Wanting: my Easter dinner to hurry and cook!

Thinking: that it's time to go read now. See you!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

It's Time for Once Upon a Time!

I didn't want you all to miss this!

ONCE UPON A TIME VII brought to you by Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings!

Here are the "rules":

Rule #1: Have fun.
Rule #2: HAVE FUN.
Rule #3: Don’t keep the fun to yourself, share it with us, please!
Rule #4: Do not be put off by the word “challenge”.

But as always there ARE different quests you can choose to take. I choose:

...which means I will read five books by June 21 that fit the Once Upon a Time category, loosely listed as fantasy, folklore, fairy tales or mythology. Easy, peasy, right? I don't know what they will be yet, so I'll tell you at the end. Deal?

So, who's with me? Link up here!

Book Shout Out: A Girl's Guide to Fitting in Fitness by Erin Whitehead and Jennipher Walters

Book: A Girl's Guide to Fitting in Fitness by Erin Whitehead and Jennipher Walters
Genre: NF
For: Review
From: NetGalley

Somehow I ended up with this book on my Kindle to review. Not quite sure how it happened, it was one of those tricky things! But it looked fun and cute and I thought, why not.

However, I ended up just skimming it because this is a fitness book that truly is geared toward the teenage girl... which, as much as I feel like one still, I am not. Thus, this is not a "real" review, but a shout out for those interested in such a thing!

In my skimming, I could see it has a lot of fun information, mostly just the basics, perhaps maybe for a girl who hasn't thought much about fitness before, but now wants to make some goals and get healthy. It talks about fitting in the time for changing habits, even with a busy life of school and friends and all that goes along with being a teenager. There are suggestions for what to eat and workout ideas and all sorts of specific helps along with the general overview, which is something I really appreciate.

Other subjects included are: how to stay fit during the summer, or during the weekend, or when you are really busy at school. How to deal with stress. How to take fitness to the next level. And of course, how to eat well and exercise.

Scattered throughout are myth busters, which I really liked, and quotes from other teens and their experience.  Very cool.

I could tell that the "real" book would have an awesome look and layout, but that is something that didn't come through on an ereader, or at least the ARC version that I had. My suggestion would be to get the print book for this one, because much of the cool stuff and "teenager-y" feel of it will be lost on an ereader.

Bottom line: I think this would be an awesome gift for a young girl looking to get fit and healthy. It's geared specifically to her and she'll love it.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Read These Books!

The question this week over at The Broke and the Bookish is what books do we find ourselves recommending, like, a lot. So this is interesting because you'd think I'd just be telling everyone to read my favorite books, yes? But really, some of my favorites may not be the ideal books to recommend to most people. Make sense? Like for instance, I really like Wuthering Heights and The Grapes of Wrath, but I won't be recommending them to most people, right? But yes, some of my all time favorites do still end up o this list as you will see!

Top Ten Most Recommended Books... By Me

1. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak... of course guys! Of course!!
2. Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford... for a great love story mixed with WWII history.
3. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson... for  sweet uplifting story.
4. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins... I love this not so well-known author and am always trying to get others to see what I mean.
5. Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi... a more recent YA that I thought was so unique that I'm now on its bandwagon.
6. The Hollow City by Dan Wells... I actually may be hesitant to recommend this to certain people, but if you are a adventurous reader, you will love the ride.
7. Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson... I recommend this one to those who might not like the high epic fantasy stuff, and want things just a touch toned down...though having said that, this book is pretty "far out" too!
8. Eats, Shoots and Leaves by Lynn Truss .... it blew my mind how a book about grammar could be so funny and when it was the buzz, I remember helping to spread the word.
9. Life of Pi by Yann Martell... because it's so unique and everyone should read it!
10. Katherine by Anya Seton... yes a favorite, and one I tell people to read to experience historical fiction.

What books are you always telling people to read?

Monday, March 25, 2013

My Bloggiesta Experience

Since my brain is fried, I thought I'd do a stream of conscious Bloggiesta wrap up. Enjoy.

Bloggiesta crept up on us quickly this time around. Suddenly, it was only two weeks away and we'd done nothing! We quickly got the word out and some wonderful lovely bloggers signed up for doing challenges, and thank you to you all! They were awesome! But we have since been getting this feedback... LET US KNOW SOONER! We know we know! We will be better! And then, Danielle's husband surprised her with an anniversary getaway and suddenly, she is gone for Bloggiesta weekend! Oh my word! But April came to the rescue and helped with manning Twitter and leading a chat. Thank you April! But there was the issue of the Bloggiesta blog.. which is on WordPress... which I can't seem to do! I just don't get this whole WordPress thing! It's HARD! I am STUPID! I don't know. Maybe I'll get the hang of it one day! But somehow I got posts up on there and all was well for the most part. Then you all started signing up and we had about 100 participants all with amazing to do lists. Awesome. And the Twitter chats were rip roaring fun and we trended every time. Awesome. And then I tried to make a new header for my blog, as you can see, but I hate it. So that is not awesome. But I will keep trying. I'm stupid in this area too. Gah. Nothing like Bloggiesta to make a person feel so dim, even after six years of blogging! Sheesh. And then I added some links and pinned some reviews, and updated the archives and played with Feedly and Bloglovin (and wrote a post about it) but no, I did not weed out people. Of course I didn't! I added them instead! Oh, I forgot that I wrote a challenge post too. Did you do it yet? You have until Wed. to write a post and enter for the prize. But if I click on your link and find you didn't write a post... it's a no go. Too bad so sad. Just sayin'. So, that's about all I did on my own blog. Messed up my header and added links. Oh, and I did clean out email...again. Ugh. I have such a problem with that! Then I did Bloggiesta stuff like make a feedback form (did you do it?) and a Facebook page. And you have all had such wonderful ideas, my Bloggiesta work is now cut out for me! And Danielle when she comes back, and anyone else who wants to help us! And now I'm tired and I'm sick of my blog and I just want to read, and you should see the week that I have coming up in my real life this week. Oh, boy.

And that's been my Bloggiesta weekend! How was yours? I hope you all had fun. Thanks for hanging out! Be sure to link up over at the Bloggiesta blog! And take the feedback survey!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Getting to Know Love at First Book and The Book Wheel

I think I'm going to have to go with two new-to-me bloggers for my own Getting to Know You challenge, mostly because I get the feeling these two do everything bloggy-ish together! So how could I do one without the other?

Rebecca from Love at First Book

It looks like Rebecca has been blogging not even a year yet! It will be a year in July. Wow, and you should see the things she is involved in. Tons of events and things going on , running book clubs and challenges and projects. The thing that really stood out to me was the 50 Bookish Things Bucket List that she and Allison came up with. AWESOME! It's one of those things that you think,  now, why didn't I think of that! But they challenge us all to come up with our list, so I plan to. It's going to be fun.

I also noticed Rebecca because she was a strong participator in all our Twitter chats during Bloggiesta. I love that, when people are so involved and have lots of advice and questions and things to say.

Go check out her blog!

Follow her on Twitter.
Friend her on Facebook.
Friend her on Goodreads.

Allison from The Book Wheel

I became aware of Allison when she signed up to do a mini challenge for Bloggiesta. Did you see it? The one about bookish charities? Something I would have thought about for a challenge and yet such an awesome idea that everyone has loved. Thanks Allison! She also has done her 50 Book Bucket List. And she is also involved in so many projects it will make your head spin...and yet also inspire you! Just try to not get excited about books and reading while looking through her blog!

I can't find how long she's been blogging, but from the looks of her blog, proably for quite awhile. And I think I saw somewhere that she is currently living in Denver? I think so. If this is wrong info, she will correct me and I will fix it!

But, at any rate, go check out her blog too!

Follow her on Twitter.
Friend her on Facebook.
Friend her on Goodreads.

I feel like I could have a great connection with both of these bloggers and I am so excited to have found them through Bloggiesta!

Please don't forget to write up your post about a new blog connection and link up for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift certificate!

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Battle of the Feed Readers!

It's probably no surprise that the big topic this Bloggiesta is which feed reader to choose now that Google Reader is going away. We are all up in arms about this and feeling a bit of a panic as to how best to manage our hundreds of blogs that we read each day! (You DO read hundreds a day, right?)

Anyway, I had already been using Feedly a little and liked it for the most part. Sometimes I get confused on what I've read and what's new to read. It puts things up in a strange order, unless you go and pick your layout. But it really is pretty. And it looks cool on my Kindle. I haven't tired it for my phone yet. But you do have to nab the (free) app.

I figured this would be my choice of reader, but then everyone was really talking Bloglovin' up during the chats too. And that we needed to "claim our blog!" So I've just now gone and created an account and claimed my blog! Not sure what that all means now, but I'm liking the looks of this reader too!

So I can't decide! But I think I'll just play with the both of them and hopefully settle on one or the other. Or then, again, maybe I'll just read with whatever I'm in the mood for at the moment! Who says I have to actually choose one over the other!

How about you? Have you decided yet?

(Posting this is part of the doing a Bloggiesta mini challenge over at The Picky Girl! She has may other reader options listed, so go check them out and having fun playing with them!)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Bloggiesta To Do List

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Bloggiesta starts now! Time to work on fixing up the blog and catching up with all that stuff that we always seem to put off and off and off. Check out the official website for all the details, to join up and share your own to do list.


My Bloggiesta To Do List

  • look in to changing my header. I'm so sick of it! Changed it, but not sure it's staying. Ugh. I wish I could figure out something that's just right!
  • as usual, the ongoing task, update all the links!
  • clean out Reader, play with Feedly
  • delete emails... again
  • draft some posts for later use
  • participate in a couple or three mini challenges
  • comment and make new blogging friends
  • host two Twitter chats! (I'll be hosting Friday and Saturday, Danielle will be hosting Sunday. Scratch that... APRIL will be hosting Sunday! Danielle is having a get away!)

That's it this time around! It seems like a small list, but really, it will keep me plenty busy.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Bloggiesta Mini Challenge: Getting to Know You

Yes, it's required that you click the play button on this video while reading. Have you done it? Okay! Onward!

One of the best things about participating in Bloggiesta is meeting new-to-us bloggers. (If you are not familiar with the Bloggiesta event, click over to the main site here to learn all about it.) It could be someone just starting, or someone that has been blogging for a long time but you've just learned about through Bloggiesta.

Maybe they were a mini challenge host and you loved the look of their blog, so you clicked around and decided , hey I really like this one!

Or maybe you participated in a Twitter chat and there was another blogger on at the time and you seemed to be saying to each other, "hey, me too!" a lot!

Maybe you liked a comment you saw on a blog and clicked over to see who made it and decided.... now this is an awesome blog!

Maybe you clicked through the list of those that signed up at the starting line and found someone there and you thought...hey, this blogger is just my style!

No matter how we discover and find each other, there's always someone (or two) at the end of each Bloggiesta that you've added to all your lists and plan to stay connected with even after the event.

For this challenge, I want you to make a conscious effort to find at least ONE new (new... as in someone you've never been in contact with before) awesome blogging connection. I want you to learn a little about that person and their blog, and then write a quick, no stress post, on your own blog to introduce the rest of us to your new friend.

Be sure to let us know the following hings (all of which you can do just by clicking around on their blog):
  • the name and URL of their blog
  • where we can find them on Twitter/Facebook/ Goodreads, etc.
  • what sorts of things they blog about
  • where they are from, if you know
  • how long they've been blogging
  • and most importantly, what stood out to you about this blogger that makes you want to get to know them better.
Be sure to let them know you are planning to highlight them!

Then come back here and link up your post so the rest of us can get to know them too.

Hopefully, you can post about your new blogging friend during this actual Bloggiesta weekend, but I'll give you a few more days past the event to do so... we'll say until next Wednesday March 27. On Thursday, March 28 I'll pick a random winner from the links listed at that point, and that person will win a $10 Amazon gift certificate.


Now, off you go to meet new bloggers!

Wahoo, Random Time!

I really wanted to throw up a post today, but I'm coming up blank. (Even though I did have a Character Connection idea, I'm just not feeling it for today!) So, when that happens, it's time for some random! Yes? I haven't done one of those for awhile, unless you count Sunday posts, but they are somehow sort of different then a true random, I'm thinking.

So, speaking of thinking, here's my random thoughts for the day:

** Book club is today! Now, while book club is going really great, I feel like we've lost a lot of members lately. Wondering if it's time to recruit again. Yet, that makes me a little more nervous than it used to, and I'm not sure why.

** Losing favorite characters on TV shows makes me crazy. Why watch Vampire Diaries without Jeremy? Or Amazing Race without Dave and Conner? Or Parenthood without Mark Cyr? (I'm holding out hope that it's not over with Jason Ritter yet. Please let him come back! I've developed a major crush!) Or even Dr. Who without David Tennant? Thought I think I'm finally warming up to Matt Smith.

** There was wind this morning, and all the garbage cans tipped over, and there was garbage blowing all over the neighborhood. It felt very apocalyptic.

** Did you know Bloggiesta starts tomorrow?! I hope some of you will be joining in the fun. You have stuff to do on your blog, right? Might as well do it this weekend, you know.

** I did tell you about that Coursera class I'm taking, right? The one about nutrition? Yeah, well, I'm sick of it now! It's been a too bit science-y and we all know I'm not much for the science. Anyway, once started, I hate to just quit and there's only a couple of weeks left, so I hope to hang in there. Good thing it's not a REAL class though.

** Instagram is really fun, but I can't seem to stick with those picture a day projects anymore! What's up with that?

** I "made" my son buy The Way of Kings for his iPad yesterday. Should we take bets on whether he reads it or not!? It's only $2.99 right now though, you know. In the mood for an epic fantasy? Then you also should buy it!

** The shower needs cleaning, but I'm not doing it!

** Speaking of book club, coming up next is I Am the Messenger. I'm pondering tweeting it as I re-re-read....thoughts, quotes, etc. Would that be cool or boring?

** They say I need to let my kids grow up. Not sure if I can do this. What do you think? Should I let them grow up? I really wish someone would have told me this in the beginning! I mean, who knew?

Okay, well, now that I've got all that off my mind, it's time to go do something a bit more productive.

Enjoy the day!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot

Book: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
Genre: NF
Rating: ★★★★★
For: Book Club
From: Library book club set

I feel like I'm late to the party with this book. I've been wanting to read it forever, but you've all probably read it already and therefore know how awesome it is.

But just in case, this is the fascinating story of a family whose mother's cells (taken from her cancer tumor in 1951) are the famous HeLa cells that have been growing in research laboratories ever since that day. Those immortal cells have made it possible to discover all sorts of cancer medicines and cures for other diseases and many many other important scientific things.

The best thing about this book, though, is not the science bits, but the human bits. First of all, we truly get to know this lady.. this lady who went unknown for more than 20 years after she made such a contribution to science, if unknowingly. And then, we get to know the terrible impact all this has had on her living family. And you really really feel for them.

In fact, there were a lot of things this book made me feel.

It made me feel sad, especially for the family, who did not at all understand what happened with their mom and what it meant that her cells are now forever living.

It made me feel angry that people didn't stop long enough to explain to them, and to make them feel better by giving recognition to their mom.

It made me feel really really angry when after Henrietta died, her kids were handed over to an abusive aunt who pretty much proceeded to destroy the life of the baby.

It made me feel grateful to the author for tackling such a subject and making it readable and understandable and like I said above, so human.

It made me feel proud of the smart people, who even though they may have gone about it in the wrong way, are able to take cells and figure out things that will help us all. The science is actually very cool.

It made me feel creeped out to learn that they save all sorts of things that they take from or off our bodies and keep them just in case! EWWWW!!

It made me feel interested and invested because it was like the author became a character in the story and we were there right along with her discovering all the things.

It made me feel happy for having finally read it!

Bottom line: I loved this book! If you haven't read it, do put it on your pile and do NOT be scared of the science of it, because it is very well done as far as making us "normal" people get it.

Other Reviews:

Where The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks shines is with the personal stories and history of the Lacks family. From Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity

Skloot is a gifted science writer who has the ability to explain what this story means effectively and colorfully. From Sophisticated Dorkiness

The story itself wrenched my heart, while at the same time educating me on so much, which is a difficult balance to pull off. From Avid Reader's Musings

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is one of those books that came with extremely high expectations, almost always certain to leave me at least a little disappointed no matter how good the book is. This book was an exception; it is every bit as good as I was hoping. From Lit and Life

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I HAD to Buy!

Ah... books I bought because I just HAD to and still haven't read! There's tons of them. I'm going to list some that I haven't listed on other lists lately, just for some variety.

Top Ten Books I Bought but Have YET to Read

1. People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (heard awesome things)
2. A Long Fatal Love Chase by Louisa May Alcott (someone recommended)
3. The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende (love this author!)
4. Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal (met her last year)
5. The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Vol II by M.T. Anderson (loved the first one, needed more)
6. The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson (a companion to the Mistborn books)
7. Eon by Allison Goodman (people rave about this fantasy)
8. Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson (first one ended in a cliff hanger)
9. First Light by Rebecca Stead (meet her and so bought this one for a signing)
10. Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler (massive blogging buzz awhile back)

.... just to name ten! As you all well know, there's so many more!

Have you read these? Which ones am I crazy for not dropping everything to read NOW?

Here's to reading ALL DAY LONG for a YEAR just to catch up!!!

What books are on your list today? Link on up over at The Broke and the Bookish!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Book Review: Fragments by Dan Wells

Book: Fragments by Dan Wells
Genre: YA Dystopian
Rating: ★★★★★
For: Fun and to support (ex) local authors! :)

From: Bought from Amazon

I was so very excited to read this book, part 2 of Partials. When I started I was a bit distracted by so many other things that needed reading, and so I couldn't concentrate. And then, it seemed a bit of a slow start. I mean, I needed and wanted Samm, and after the first chapter, he was not there! (I flipped through the pages and knew he was coming again, but wow, I was anxious!)

Anyway, so this past weekend, I decided to bag all other reading projects and stick with this book, and then it grabbed me and wouldn't let go. I was glued. And finally Samm came back and that made it much easier too! (Does that make me shallow? Whatever! He is such a cool character!)

We got one chapter from Samm's POV, and then after that it was just flipping back and forth from Kira and Marcus, who were both having their own adventures. And even though Samm did come back into the story, finally, we never got things from his POV again, which was kind of sad. Anyway, then as the story continued to go back and forth, I was always wanting Kira and Samm's story, and didn't really care much what was happening to Marcus, though that part of the plot was pretty crazy too.

Wait, summary? But beware spoilers for the first book!

So you'll remember from the first book that there's a last remaining human settlement in Long Island. They are close to discovering the cure for the disease that kills all the babies. If they don't .. end of the humans! There are more Partials currently alive, but they have an expiration date and they will soon be history too if that's not figured out.

So Kira is off searching for clues in the rubble that is Manhattan, trying to find the ParaGen offices and perhaps learn who is behind the whole crazy mess. While there, she finds a guy who has been living there on his own ever since the world ended, and she feels like this guy is going to be a big help to solve the mystery. But he also has some major issues.

Meanwhile, Marcus is fighting a new war that has started, when the Partials have invaded, mostly wanting to  find Kira, because they think she is a key to helping them and they want to experiment on her. I think. Some of the plot bits, I may have missed. The plot is a complicated one! I need to talk this book over with someone who's read it so I can see if I understood anything at all! But anyway, Marcus discovers some pretty crazy things too regarding Kira and her friends and her past.

And Samm? I'm not sure what he was doing at first, but he ends up with Kira and another girl (whose name I already forgot!) and they all end up trekking across the country (a really wasted country it is too) in search of the answers that Kira needs, and that he needs too, actually.

The crazy stuff they go through, and the crazy stuff they eventually learn?! Oh my. I was dying. THEY were dying! I loved that I could picture right where they were, having just recently driven across the country myself. That was awesome. I loved that I just read another dystopian novel that described our decaying cities and it was fun to see the differences and similarities between these two authors' visions for our future! Let's just say it's pretty much a given that Chicago will be flooded!

Then there were the moral questions brought up in this book. If you can only save one race of people, which should it be? If you need  to sacrifice a small group or one or two for hundreds and thousands, should you do it? When do you give yourself up and when do you fight for your life? Just because you have been biologically engineered, does that make you any less a person? (Did I even say that right? Let's just say if you've been created by anything other than the normal way!)

Heavy, yes?

It was awesome. I loved it. I even loved that I needed patience for the relationship part of the story. Lots of patience! It made things all the more worth it! But then.... THEN! Gah! Now we wait another whole year? Seriously?

Oh, and did I mention there were talking dogs? Creepy!!

Bottom line: LOVED it!

Other Reviews:

Fragments is a long and very detailed installment that answers many questions about the Partials and Kira's origin but leaves room for more speculation. From Little Library Muse

I can't really say more about the plot -- because it's just that good and you need to experience it first hand. From Annette's Book Spot

Elements brought in during Fragments makes the world bigger, more complicated and exceedingly more interesting. From Working for the Mandroid

We see the return of all the familiar characters from Partials, true identities are revealed and the ending? Well, it certainly sets the scene for an explosive finale! From Midnight Reads

And the very cool book trailer for Fragments that looks so eerily real:


 And the one for Partials in case you missed it, and haven't read IT yet, this should make you want to:


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Currently: Feeling Green

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y
(as written on Sunday afternoon)

Listening: Josh at the moment. Yes, it's true. Loving this new CD. Did I tell you that yet? I'm thinking about doing a post that's a review of this CD. I've never done that before now I have I. LOL, you can all look forward to it!

Eating: chicken with a garlic brown sugar sauce with rice and green beans, and homemade rolls. :) Also, I'm currently making bread because we ran out and I'm not going to the store. And we'll need sandwiches for lunches tomorrow. I haven't made real bread in forever!

Loving: that my husband just cleaned up from dinner! :) Loving also that we have a clean garage after yesterday. Whew, that was a project. But it oh so needed doing. The weather was perfect for it and we at least felt that the day resulted in something productive. Not all Saturdays do you know.

Reading: Oh my, Fragments! Loved this book. It took over Friday and Saturday's reading, (I can't wait to tell you all about it... tomorrow's post I think) and now I'm reading all about Henrietta Lacks for book club and it's been really good so far too! I love to read!! 

Feeling:  good. Yeah, really pretty good I think. And a little green. But in a good way.

Watching: pretty much all the same stuff I listed last week. More Parenthood episodes (only a couple more before I finish up season 4) and still trying to catch up with Revenge and finish Dr. Who season six once and for all. Amazing Race is awesome with my former next door neighbor from 35 or more years ago! First place again! We'll see what happens tonight. And Survivor with the Brandon melt down was... sad and scary. And I've even watched a little American Idol, Loving Lazaro's cuteness, but his singing is not the best. Hmmm... yeah. All the same stuff. No movies to mention though. Tried to rent Skyfall, no luck. Wanted to go see Jack, no luck. Oh well.

Wanting: a nap, like right now. 

Thinking: that even though i want to reply to ALL the people today, that wrote me a letter last month, I can probably only do a few right now, and more another day. I want, though, to do them ALL!

Oh, Happy St. Patrick's Day y'all.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Six Years and Counting

Wow, I had a great time last year with a week long blogiversary celebration to mark my five years of book blogging. This year though, I guess it's a bit of a more subdued thing and I'm just here to say, YAY! Another year down!

It makes me wonder how long I can keep this going! Do you really think I can talk about books forever? Actually, I probably can. Seeing the changes over the years, and the changes recently happening make me a little crazy and nervous though. Hopefully I can keep up with it all. I can't even imagine what things will be like in six more years. But, it's going to be fun to find out, right!? Will you all be here with me? I do hope there is such a thing as blogging in the future, you know?

It's fun to think back on that person six years ago, timidly, yet excitedly, typing out a bunch of book lists (I had a notebook from the past years for reference) and creating some sidebar links, and adding book club information (I was part of two IRL ones and two online ones at the time) and figuring out what it even meant to create a blog.

Then I wrote an About Me page (well, post at the time, no such thing as "pages") and hit the publish button on March 16, 2007. From there I started participating in memes and tags (remember being tagged?) and award things and such until I started getting a few comments here and there. And a few friends here and there. It's so awesome that so many of those first bloggers that I was getting to know are still around!

When I created this blog I truly thought it would be ALL about books. At the time I had anther blog that was more the personal thing. But of course, soon that one died and I started adding more and more personal posts here. To me, it made much more sense to just have one place to write whatever I wanted, with a heavy leaning toward the books. So, my blog which was supposed to be all about books, is now not. But still mostly. So I think it's okay. But now I have a deceiving name! Even though I did add an all encompassing subtitle!

It took a long time for me to really feel like things were happening. I think now when people start a blog, they expect followers and comments and ARCs and I don't know what all, to happen instantly...probably because the whole blogging thing is so much more BIG than it was then. For me, I remember suddenly realizing after more than a year, that there was even such a THING as subscribers. And I found out how I could tell how many and I had... and I saw that 26 people subscribed! I was DYING at that number. And it was well past a year into this! I'll never forget that!

Anyway, I could go on and on with the reminiscing. But instead I guess I shall just say, it's been great. I love it, I still love it. Sometimes I wonder why I love it, and I wonder why I keep doing it, and sometimes I feel that after six years I should be, like, bigger or something, you know, with thousands of followers and all, but then I think, no, really, I'm happy right where I'm at, and that anything more would probably make me crazy.

So, here's to keeping it real, and fun and happy and let's go for many more years!

Friday, March 15, 2013

Book Club Book List for 2013-14

Here's what the book club has decided to read next year! This line up actually starts in June with Edenbrooke!

And look at that! TWO non fiction books!

I'm very excited about The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet because I have inside information that the author will hopefully probably I think be coming to the library this fall. Awesome.

I've read most of the books on this list, but there are a few that I have not that I've been dying to read, so all is well and I'm very excited. The fun part is having the book club read and dissect some of my favorite books! I love to see what their reaction is to them. Sometimes it surprises me!

Between Shades of Gray
The Night Circus
The End of Your Life Bookclub
Agnes Grey
The Actor and the Housewife
The Forgotten Garden
The Schwa was Here
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet

What do you think? Not a bad list, eh?

What's your book club reading these days?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Book Review: Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson

Book: Strands of Bronze and Gold by Jane Nickerson
Genre: YA Historical Fiction with a gothic twist
Rating: ★★★☆☆
For: Review
From: NetGalley

I had no idea when I requested this book from NetGalley what it was about. Turns out, it's a retelling of the Bluebeard tale, a story with which I'm totally not familiar. Like, at all. So, even though it's a retelling, it was all new to me! (Which may actually be a good thing in the end.)

Our main character, Sophie, is moving in with her godfather after her father dies and leaves the family in financial distress. When she arrives, she is swept off her feet by the whole glamour of it all. He lives in a restored English abbey (that he had moved brick by brick over the ocean) on a plantation in Mississippi. This all takes place just before the Civil War, so we have the slave issue and the Underground Railroad as side stories also.

So Sophie is wooed and pampered by this guy who at first she is attracted to even though it creeps her out because he is supposed to be a father figure. But then, things change and she starts to get a feeling that all is not right.

Wow, not right indeed! Understatement! As she pokes around and discovers things, she starts to be "haunted" by the four former wives (all with red hair just like Sophie) who seem to be warning her to get out. Meanwhile, this guy's hold on her gets tighter and tighter. It begins to look very bleak indeed that she will ever be able to leave the house again.

Since I had no idea what to expect with this one, it felt like I was waiting and waiting for something to happen. It was slow for me in the beginning. There was a lot of building up the atmosphere. At first everything seemed cool, but it wasn't long before I could feel the sinister vibes. But those sinister vibes and foreshadowing and all that creepy feeling stuff went on and on and on and I was thinking, okay! I get it that something is not right! So, what happens next? Let's have it!

Finally, stuff did start to happen and by the end, I was totally caught up in the extreme creepiness that abounded here. So I loved that, and I loved the historical backdrop of a Southern plantation. That was an awesome touch. The writing was beautiful, if just a touch over the top descriptive.

And if I'm not mistaken, this is a stand alone "told in ONE book" book! That's something! (Scratch that, now I'm seeing that maybe there'll be a companion book? Of course.)

Bottom line: First half was okay, second half was quite exciting.

Other Reviews:

If it wasn’t so darn boring, I feel like this could have been a great book. From Book Nook

All in all, Strands of Bronze and Gold is a satisfying story that I will happily recommend to teens who enjoy a twisted, sinister tale. From Annette's Book Spot

If you don't know the tale of "Bluebeard," maybe don't read it beforehand. From Bookworm1858

The tension in this story is quite incredible. As mentioned, you do want Sophia to do something at times but it's also understandable why she is not. From Book Splot Reviews

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Bookishness Around Town

This last year I've had fun participating in the Where in the World are You Reading meme hosted by Trish, Lisa and Kelly.  But they are closing it down now with the prompt, "Bookishness Around Town."  

And so, I thought I'd compile a bunch of my bookish pictures from the past couple of years into a quick, very quick (only 30 seconds!) slide show. 

So, I give you my contribution to Bookishness Around Town:

It's been fun guys! 

Check out links to other posts here.

Oh, and P.S.

Today I'm being featured over at Jenni Elyse's blog! Come say hi there!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring TBR

So here's the thing. I'm having a bit of a struggle with the list prompt today because my spring TBR is the same TBR that it's always been. The same as my winter one, and the same that summer will be. Nothing is new, nothing is different.

What I mean to say is, I have nothing cool and and new and upcoming to list here. Most of you are so hip and with it that you are listing the upcoming spring releases that you are all gaga about. I don't have a list like this (except maybe a couple.) Instead, my "list" is (are?) the books you've seen me talking about over and over again.

So, yes, my spring TBR will consist of:

1. A couple of ARCs that I hope to read before/when they come out, like Transparent by Natalie Whipple, and The Eternal Code by Julie Kagawa.

2. Book club books like 1984 (if I decide to re-re read)  and I Am the Messenger (if I decide to re-re-re read, which I probably will!)

3. All the many books I've bought over the last few months that seem to come home and just sit there and make me crazy, like Everbound by Brodi Ashton and Fragments by Dan Wells, and tons of others. They were on the winter TBR and they'll be on the spring TBR and then the summer TBR, you'll probably see me list them again, and again, and again.

4. All the series that I want to start reading that I listed a week ago. They are on the winter, spring, summer and fall TBR  too. Oh, and don't forget all the series that I want to finish! (which I link I can't seem to find at the moment!)

5. All the books that I sort of told random not-so-well-known authors that sure, I'll read. And I mean to. This spring. Or summer. Or fall.

6. Books like Vanity Fair that I wanted to read with a read along, but can't read as fast as I'd like because of, all of the above.

7. And other classics that I want to read because I want to read ten classics a year, and that means never not reading a classic.

8. Then there's probably going to be some new read along suggested that I probably will have to join since I will probably not be able to NOT.

9. Plus, I'll probably buy more books that I don't even know about yet, and then THOSE will be on the spring TBR. And the summer. And then the fall.

10. And all the books in between everything else.

And so it goes.

What does your spring TBR look like? Link up over at The Broke and the Bookish!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Book Review: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa

Book: The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Genre: YA Paranormal
Rating: ★★★★☆
For: Review
From: NetGalley

Since the second book in this series is soon to come out both it AND the first book were available to review from NetGalley and I jumped at the chance since this is a series I've been curious about.

Reading this book consumed my weekend! I was afraid to close my eyes for fear I'd dream about vampires! Yes, it's been awhile since I read a vampire story and this was a pretty intense one!

This story went through several phases, taken our main character Allie right along with, and for awhile I wondered how it would all connect, but it all comes together in the end.

In the first part of the story, she is living as a street rat in a post apocalyptic city ruled by vampires. Her existence is a meager one, she is barely scraping by to survive, with the help of a little tiny street gang. But that comes to devastating end, and then, she is suddenly living with and being tutored by a mysterious and quiet vampire with a back story I was dying to know! He is at once scary and nurturing, strange combo for a vampire.

Then suddenly, all that comes to another devastating end, and she has to leave him to begin wandering outside the city wall. It's scary out there! There are rabid vampires, similar to the virals in The Passage and The Twelve... really really scary feral things. But she comes across a very small group of people who are traveling to find their Eden, and so she joins up with them and they protect each other, and then of course she falls in love, both with the group and particular boy. This is not a good thing!

Of course, the situation ends up badly for them too, and we find ourselves in a future, flooded Chicago fighting to stay alive up against a group of really ruthless raiders all led by a really awful disgusting vampire dude/king. And then all the connections start happening, and the back stories start being revealed and its all so very intense and crazy that I couldn't stop reading last night even though the time had sprung ahead and the clock said I had to go to bed!


And now I know why many readers have been anxious for the next book. I'm so excited to be able to get right to it!

Bottom line: I was totally into this book!

Other Reviews:

Gave this a 5/5 as it kept me up much too late to finish reading. Couldn't wait to see what happened next, as Julie kept a great pace and there was something new around every corner! From Alexia's Books and Such

Within the pages of The Immortal Rules, Kagawa perfectly blends two of my favorite things, dystopian settings and vampires, and also successfully recaptures the darkness of old vampire tales. From There's a Book

I really wanted to like this book, but it just didn’t grab me, which is sad. From Reading in Winter

Definitely a new perspective of a very popular YA theme (vampires). I honestly can’t say I’ve read a dystopian style vampire book, but it was refreshing to say the least, From Book Nerd Reviews

I love when authors push the limits and don't make their characters cliche. From I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Currently: Birthday Time! (No, not mine.)

C  U  R  R  E  N  T  L  Y
(as written on Sunday afternoon)

Listening: Pandora! England Dan station. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon. You should try it. 

Eating: birthday dinner and birthday cake! Well, at least we will be in just a short while. Ham and potatoes and Skor cake! My baby is 14 today! Ugh. I mean, YAY!

Loving: the spring air this week! Open car windows! Yes! Awesome. 

Reading: I've been trying to catch up with Vanity Fair, but I suddenly found myself reading The Immortal Rules! Wow, it's quite the vampire story! 

Feeling:  the cold is gone, but the cough is still around. And it gives me a headache to cough so much!

Watching: We watched my niece star in Annie this weekend! That was awesome. I didn't manage to catch Jack yet, still hoping. I watched an episode of Parenthood (season four) each day, that makes me cry every single time! And oh! I found out that David and Conner who you may have seen on Amazing Race? Yes? David lived next door to me for several years back when he was a teenager! We loved him! He was the coolest kid. Okay, so I was a little kid (think 10 or so years old) and I thought he was just swell! And if man! I'm so scared to watch tonight to see if they have to leave the show! Anyway, I didn't recognize him but now that I know, SO COOL!!

Wanting: a most beloved neighbor who has been in a coma for more than a week, to wake up! They say he will, here's hoping they are right.

 Thinking: that I hear the sound of a vacuum in the room across the hall? Could it be? What's up with that? I thought I was the only vacuumer around here!!! 

Happy new week to you all! 

Friday, March 8, 2013

More Awesome Author Events!

Once again, I was lucky enough to attend two more author events this week, one on Tuesday and one on Wednesday. Wow, it's getting hard to keep up around here!

On Tuesday, Michelle Argyle visited the Orem Library and talked to a small, intimate, but enthusiastic audience about her experiences publishing with a small press. She told us about her books, and her upcoming plans and her writing philosophies  She gave away finger nail polish, green M and M's and copies of her books. Of course, I didn't win so I bought the books instead!

When I got there, I saw a cousin I haven't seen for awhile and said to her, "hey, what are you going here?" Well, she is good friends with Michelle! And so, once again, I had another author/cousin connection! This appears to be a trend lately!

So, it was fun to meet a "new to me" author and add to my book pile.

Then on Wednesday we (me and a bunch of crazy book bloggers and other author fans and many many other reader fans!) meet at the Provo Library and welcomed six very popular YA authors as they stopped off on a cross country tour.

The authors were:

Debra Driza, promoting MILA 2.0
Claudia Gray, promoting Spellcaster
Lauren Oliver, promoting Requiem

Dan Wells, promoting Fragments
Kiersten White, promoting Mind Games
Brodi Ashton, promoting Everbound

This event was in a panel format and the authors were asked a bunch of random crazy questions and had us all laughing the whole evening. Afterwards, it was a mass signing. I brought two books to be signed and bought two more at the event. (Though I ended up getting just three of them signed. Long long lines!)

Then, because we were hungry and these signings always seem to happen around dinnertime,  a bunch of us (yeah, I'm too lazy and tired to list everyone and link! BUT, I should have at least taken a picture!) went out for a hamburger and shake, which appears to be turning into a bit of a tradition! Who'll be joining us next time? :)


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