Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A to Z Blogging: ZUSAK!

I had plenty of Z ideas for the A to Z Challenge, but yeah, I'm still going with Zusak after all... Markus Zusak that is!

And how did I miss these videos that he did for Banned Book Week last year? I've not been as good a fangirl as I thought I was! So anyway, I'm sharing them now. Watch and swoon.

This first one is our favorite author telling us why he loves reading and why he feels it's important to have the freedom to read:

And in this one, he talks about his favorite book growing up, The Outsiders, and then he reads the first little bit.


 Yes agree MZ,  I bet S. E. Hinton would die if she heard that! In a good swoony, I've-gone-to-heaven sort of way! :)


We need another Zuask book.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A to Z Blogging: YYZ by Rush

How about a song today for the A to Z Blogging Challenge? The first thing that came to mind when thinking for the letter Y was this song... YYZ. It's an awesome jam song by the brilliant band members of Rush. Are you a fan of some jamming guitars and drums? If so and you haven't heard this... what are you waiting for?

Book Review Discussion: Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike

Book: Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike
Genre: YA Supernatural
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: Review
From (and FTC Disclosure):  Received for free from the publisher through Edelweiss. All opinions are my own.

Short Synopsis: So Charlotte is an Oracle and she gets visions of the future. But she has been taught to fight them and ignore them. Then, she starts having visions she can't fight and she begins to see the murders of her classmates. And finally, she decides she can't ignore them anymore and she must, whether she should or not, try to step in and change the future. 

My Response: Very suspenseful and even a bit dark. There's some pretty violent stuff happening here. It's a mystery, but one that I liked and was invested in. I sort of saw the end coming, but still, it kept me guessing. 

Bottom Line: I totally enjoyed it! Pretty awesome page turner!

Let's Talk About: So... if you had the power, would you jump into the timeline to change something in the future? What if you saw your own future? Would you do things to change it or would you like what you see and be paranoid that you would accidentally change it? Yeah. It's a crazy thing to think about. And frankly, I'm glad we don't (at least I think most of us don't) have to really answer these questions!

Other Reviews:

If you like a mystery with a bit of paranormal thrown in, give this one a read. At the very least, you’ll be entertained. From Proud Book Nerd

It follows an all-too familiar, much used, and tired cliché that fails to inject a much-needed breath of freshness into the story. From That's What She Read

I love a good mystery, and this certainly was one. From City of Books

If you enjoy watching the main character try to find herself while trying to save the people around her then you’ll enjoy Charlotte’s story. From This Blonde Reads

Monday, April 28, 2014

A to Z Blogging: Xanadu

I'm guessing only a handle of you will remember this movie (and later musical) but when it came out, my family LOVED it! We ended with the album:

... and we played it constantly.

Yep, I'm talking about Xanadu! Anyone remember this? Maybe you've seen it since? I haven't seen it since I was a kid so I don't remember much except there was roller skating, Greek muses, and awesome ELO music that I loved.

Here's a few songs from Xanadu:

Ah, what memories this music brings back! :)

  For more A to Z posts click here!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

A to Z Blogging: War Horse Review

So the other night we got to see the play production of War Horse. Oh my gosh, it was AWESOME! When we knew we'd be seeing this one, we wondered how they could do a play about a horse, on the stage.

With the coolest puppets ever! That's how. I can't describe it so let's see if there's something on YouTube....

There's three people making him work, but after awhile, you forget about them and it's just a horse, a horse that seems totally alive. It was awesome. And with our front and center seats (literally front and center) we got a very close up look at this most awesome puppet. I have no words. It really was amazing.

The kid that played Albert was awesome too. He could show emotion like you wouldn't believe.

And the war scenes. So intense! It felt like we were right in the middle of the action. Guns, and smoke and scary scary stuff.

It's a play, not a musical but there was music. Lots of wonderful  Irish folk songs, complete with the accordian and all.

It was definatley a hold your breath sort of play. I loved it. So glad to have had the opportunity to go. If you get the chance, don't pass it up. Go!

Here's a little trailer:

Deweys Readathon: Let's Read!


Well, the day is almost done here. I hope to still read into the night a bit, but we'll see. I did finish The Donner Dinner Party, which was very good. Awesome fun way to tell a historical story. The Donner Party story has always fascinated me, so that was cool to see it in a graphic novel format.

But then family came over, so we just got done playing games and visiting. Now, maybe I'll read some more. Not sure what though. Maybe I'll do a few Words of Radiance chapters and see if I can get back on the wagon with that one.



1. What are you reading right now?

I think I'll read The Donner Dinner Party now.

2. How many books have you read so far?

One and a half. I read the Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever, and I finished Sleep No More, which I started before today.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Hopefully not many more interruptions. Unless we go out to eat or something.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

I made no arrangements today. But I dream of a readathon where I truly do have the WHOLE day to read. I don't think this will happen unless I take myself away from home and hideout in a hotel room or something.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

A couple of errands need to be done, and a haircut appointment. Really, it hasn't been bad.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

It always surprises me at how fast the day goes, and how little I actually read.

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

I think it's so awesome, there can't be much improvement really!

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

Not sure. I'm still dreaming about the hotel retreat!

9. Are you getting tired yet?

Not any more tired than I normally am!

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?

Nope...nothing comes to mind here!



Six Word Celebration from Estella's Revenge:

Dewey's Readathon is the best ever!

(Ha. How's that for not very creative!)


I've been enjoying Sleep No More by Aprilynne Pike. Lots of suspense here! Oh my word! But I'm still about 20% away from finishing. I had to run a kid to violin, and then go get my hair cut. But I'm good to read now for a bit... until it's time for a few easy wedding prep errands.



The Best of Your Reading Year from Lisa's World of Books

Best Story Line of Your Reading Year: Into the Still Blue by Veronica Rossi. LOVED this series.

Best Main Character of Your Reading Year: Day from the Legend series by Marie Lu. Awesomeness!

Best Setting of Your Reading Year: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. This setting has it all.
Book Puzzles from One Librarian's Book Reviews:

What book is this?

Comment with your answers!

I wasn't sure I could participate the most awesome readathon ever today, and in fact, it still could be hit and miss, but I'm going to try. And already, I "had" to sleep in. (Guys, I'm so tired! I'm not sleeping well these days!) But now I'm up and ready to read.... and whatever else needs doing today!

But the best thing? It's raining! So excited about this! (Just please, let's not have it be raining two weeks from today on wedding day number 2? Okay?)

Here's the picture I took of my stack of potentials:

On my Kindle I'll be concentrating on Sleep No More, which comes out next week from Aprilynne Pike. And she'll be here to sign books on Wednesday. Yay!

And then I copied Tif from Tif Talks Books with the Wimpy Kid idea... I'd totally forgotten about them, and as you can see, I'm a bit behind.

And what better day to finally read The Donner Dinner Party by Nathan Hale, local illustrator extraordinaire!

And... Words of Radiance. Sigh. I hope to knock off at least a few more chapters today. This book is not getting the attention it deserves from me.

Also, I need to finish Laughing Boy as it's due at the library.

And I should start Scarlet, as it's sort of borrowed from the library too. (It's a discard book, but they are letting me read it first before it goes to the sale racks. Perk of working there!)

Anyway. Those are my plans. And now I should start... you know... reading and stuff.

But first, the intro meme!

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?


2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Donner Dinner Party! 

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Eating the Trader Joe's chocolate that the Easter Bunny brought!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I have a daughter's wedding in two weeks! And... I wish I were at a writing conference today instead of reading. Gasp. And I'm going to learn how to punch my punching bag if it kills me! :)

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

This is not my first. I have no idea how many I've done now. Lots. I won't do anything differently. I think I will try to concentrate on reading more than on blogging. I'll probably be on Twitter more than I'll be here. I look forward to... reading. :)

Okay, over and out!

P.S. I'll update here on this post as I feel the need, and put the newest stuff first. Plan?

Friday, April 25, 2014

A to Z Blogging and British Isles Friday: Villages

Another thing I love about Britain is the awesome quaint villages that are scattered all over the countryside. The first time we visited there, we made it a point to get off the beaten path and see these country villages. Some of them we went to as part of a tour, some of them we went to on our own as part of looking up our own ancestry.

Oh, and the official definition of a village, by the way (according to Wikipedia) is that it has its own church, whereas a hamlet does not.

Once again, as in weeks past, I'll share a few pictures.

Aren't they beautiful?

For more A to Z posts, click here.
For more British Isles Friday posts, click here.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A to Z Blogging: Utah

Utah is a "pretty great" place to live. After all, we have:


and fry sauce

and Osmonds

and Arches National Park

and David Archuleta

and the "greatest snow on Earth"

and The Great Salt Lake

and Mormons!

Yeah, I like it here pretty much!

(Check out other A to Z posts here.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

A to Z Blogging: Skipping and Talking

Yes, I know, yesterday was S and... GASP.... I SKIPPED it!!! And I had so many ideas too. But the day got away from me and it didn't happen and oh, well.

But today... today is T. And I have no ideas.

I talk about TV too much already, so we'll...skip... that.

I could tell you about Titans, which is my high school mascot. And that has relevance since I was at a meeting yesterday "helping" to plan our reunion this summer.

I could do a Twitter tutorial of some kind. Everyone loves tutorials. I would say... "Tweet a lot, talk back a lot and don't retweet a lot." And P.S. why do people keep unfollowing me? Am I that boring?


Oh, and let's see, whose name starts with a T? Hmmm.....

Or, I could talk about treats, like Twinkies, Twizzlers, Triscuits, Twix, Tootsie Rolls, Toblerone, and.... what else?

Maybe I could share a song, because you all love songs, right?


Or I could talk about toast, because toast is the best. I would literally die without it I think.

Or.... maybe I could just talk about a bunch of random T words and call it good?

Find A to Z posts here. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Evertrue by Brodi Ashton

Book: Evertrue by Brodi Ashton
Genre: YA paranormal
For: Fun, Supporting Local Authors
From: Bought at the launch party

Short Synopsis: This is the third book in the series. Nikki's goal is to destory the Everneath, the world down under. She figures that if she can accomplish this, everything will go back to normal and she will be saved from the curse she's under to become an Everliving herself. Jack will help her do anything. But it remains to be seen if Cole will do anything but thwart her in her desires.

My Response: I enjoyed this one better then the second book. That one left me in quite the fog. But this one was pretty good and I understood, mostly, what was going on. I enjoy the surface much better than the Everneath scenes. That Everneath place confuses me like crazy! But anyway, there was a surprising turn of events that moved the plot along, one that just made me want to say... really? I mean, I was sort of glad about it and sort of bugged. And I'm sorry, I can't tell you more because it's too spoilery (though I know some of you would come right out and discuss this one!) Anyway. I liked how it all ended, but still, not sure if I liked the way we got there!

Bottom Line: I enjoyed it! I enjoyed the whole series!

Let's Talk About It: This series is based on the myth about Persephone, and I'm not at all familiar with that. Anyone? Something about the underworld and her spending time there to atone for... something. Anyway, I sort of wish I knew more about this to help me understand things better, but still, I'm not sure it would have helped. What do you think? Do you think that knowing the story a book was based on enhances your enjoyment of said book?

Other Reviews:

FINALLY! A trilogy conclusion that doesn’t leave me disappointed or completely disinterested! From Working for the Mandroid

In Evertrue, we get it the whole enchilada -- the romance and the scheming and the action and a little bit of angst and quite a bit of gallows humor, which I loved. From YA Romantics

I finished this book within hours and I had wished it was longer. The book is fast paced and full of action, adventure, and love. From Books With Bite

A to Z Blogging: I Love to Read

Of course my A to Z post is about Reading today. I skipped books when it was the B day, but today, I'll not be skipping Reading!

In case you wondered, I really love read.

I'll read pretty much anything and I love pretty much everything I read.

I love
coming of age stories
love stories
historical novels
vampire tales
werewolf tales
and angel tales,
I love
stories about cowboys
and Indians
and hobbits and dwarves
and people from all over the world
real or make believe.
I love stories from the past
and from the future
and from the alternate future.
I love stories based on myths
and fairy tales
and classics
and real lives of real people.
I love stories
that are hard and make you think
that are easy and fluffy
that are short and sweet
that are fat and chunky.
I love to read
and I love to read it all!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

A to Z Blogging: How About a Little QUEEN?

Have you I told you? I love Queen. Like pretty much every song. And since the beginning too, I think. When did they begin anyway? I got the 45 record (look it up if you don't know what that is) We Will Rock You for I think it was my 13th birthday and I was in heaven with that. And in 9th grade I was totally obsessed with Another One Bites the Dust. Oh my word. I loved that song.

Here's my little 45 record collection. Queen is in there somewhere.

But my all time favorite was and still is Bohemian Rhapsody. There is no way, NO WAY, you can listen to this song and not break out singing right along with them. Am I right?

 I always wonder that had I been a teenager in YouTube days would my obsessions have been different? I had no idea what these guys looked like. I'd never seen them perform live or anything. We didn't have MTV yet, or it was just new (besides it was on cable and I didn't have a TV let alone cable!) and I didn't go to concerts or anything. I was just totally in love with the music and the singing itself. Nice.

 Anyway, just because I love it so much too, I must also include Another One Bites the Dust:


What's your favorite Queen song?

 For more A to Z posts, check the link!

Friday, April 18, 2014

A to Z Blogging and British Isles Friday: Palaces

In order to combine posts today I needed to come up with an England sort of thing that starts with P. And so that's how I've ended up with palaces!

If you ever go to England (or anywhere in Great Britain.. or even anywhere in Europe) be prepared to see a lot of palaces and castles. Which, by the way, I'm not sure what the difference is except that castles make me think of old ruined buildings and palaces make me think of newer currently used buildings. Am I right? What do you think the difference is?

But regardless, here's hoping you are fascinated with seeing these buildings because it's truly a key part of any British Isles Experience!

Anyway, here's a few pictures of the different castles and palaces we've been able to visit.

Windsor Castle

Bamburg Castle

Blenheim Palace

Edinburgh Castle

Holyrood Palace in Edinburgh

Ollerton Manor

Warwick Castle

York Castle ruins
British Parliament Building
(housed in a former palace)

Tower of London
White Tower

Stirling Castle, Scotland
Buckingham Palace


Related Posts with Thumbnails