Friday, October 31, 2014

October 2014 Reading Recap

A kitty GIF!

It's been another awesome reading month. Here's my list of books read:

 Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw: A memoir about the author's experience living and coping with a debilitating disease by using humor and positive thinking.

 All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill: Our characters travel back in time to stop the creation of the time machine which has messed up the world.

 Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: The life of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini and his experience as a POW in Japan during World War II.

 Maus II y Art Speigelman: The second part of the story of this author's father who survived the Holocaust.

 The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey: The sequel to The 5th Wave wherein our heroes are trying to find a safe place to hideout from the alien invasion.

 Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney: Gregory has yet more adventures in middle school, including the Valentines Dance.

 Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater: Blue and her wonderful boys are still trying to find the dead king and they end up doing a lot of cave exploring.

 The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson: Hayley has settled down with her dad to live a normal life and go to her senior year of high school, only things still aren't quite normal.

Favorites of the month: Unbroken and All Our Yesterdays. Such awesome books!!

Plans for November:
  • re-read Catcher in the Rye for book club
  • read A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
  • read Alantia by Ally Condie
  • read The Unhappening of Genesis Lee by Shallee McArthur
  • finished the skinwalker book and Save the Cat
  • and if I get that much done I'll be doing great since I'll also be spending a lot of time writing!
How about you? What was your favorite book of the month? And what plans do you have for November?

Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Walking Dead Discussion: S5E3 Four Walls and a Roof (Spoilers!)

And this week's episode... MASSACRE!

Oh my word, but people are getting ruthless! But wasn't it deserved? Yes? Or should he have let him go?

And by he I mean Rick and by him I mean Gareth. "I have a promise to keep." So sinister! And by the way, I say to the above question.

Yes, in this episode, Bob comes back with his leg missing and also admitting to a walker bite. I knew it! And he is a goner but before that happens, the gang is off to find the Termites. As they go around one corner, the bad guys come around the other to find and get (ie. eat) our heroes. However, Rick has thought it out and BAM, he's there to the rescue! Let the slaughter begin! And close your eyes!

Then we watch Bob die, which was sad sad sad. We also learn about the priest and how he kept the doors locked while all his congregation was zombie-fied. Which makes him not so likable.

Bye bye Bob.

And then suddenly, our group is breaking up again as a few of them head off without the others because a certain couple have disappeared.

And then... suddenly, there's a noise in the trees. Michonne goes to investigate. We are all scared! But... sigh... it's Daryl. Michonne says... "Where's Carol?" and he says... gesturing to the trees..."Come on out."

Sheesh! WHO IS IT!???

Stay tuned for next week. Finally, we'll get a Beth episode and find out what's going on with her.

And did you watch Talking Dead after the episode? What did you think of the real life Gareth? Hmmm??? Oh my word.

The real life Gareth....
Okay.. discuss in comments....

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney

Book: Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
Genre: MG Graphic Novel
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
For: Readathon
From: Bought from... somewhere

Short Synopsis: How to summarize these books?! It's more of Gregory and his life... this time with stories about his bum of an uncle coming to live with them, getting paired up for dancing in PE, finding a date to the school dance, going on a date with two boys and one girl, chicken pox, and I can't remember what else.

My Response: Fun as always, but I maintain that they are not as funny as the first ones. Silly silly fun though and perfect for the readathon!

Bottom Line: Kids will keep loving them. Adults might start getting tired of them! Did you know there's another coming out? :)

Let's Talk About: I seriously don't really know what to discuss regarding this book! I think middle school/junior high is crazy, but not as bad as these books make them out to be. That being said, they also strike at the truth so much! It's an interesting line between exaggeration and truth, don't' you think?

Other Reviews:

I don’t know if I’ve never really grown up or if I’m going through my second childhood, but I just love these books. From BermudaOnion's Weblog

These books never get old. From ReadingJunky's Reading Roost

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween-y Books

Here's some books I think would get you in the Halloween spirit! Some of my favorite, while maybe not scary books exactly, but books with a really nice dark and creepy atmosphere.

Top Ten Good Halloween Books

1. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
2. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
3. something by Stephen King... obviously!
4. Dracula by Bram Stoker
4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
5. Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
6. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
8. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
9. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
10. Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn

Have you read these books? Do you agree with my atmosphere assessment?
What would be on your list? Link up over at The Broke and the Bookish!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Maus Vol. II: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman

Book: Maus Vol.II: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman
Genre: Graphic Memoir
For: Fun 
From: Bought for my daughter for school years ago

Short Synopsis: This one started where the other one ended, with our family getting thrown into Auschwitz. We are taken through all the experiences they had here, being separated, figuring out ways to see each other, using skills to his advantage and how much it helped, and sometimes hurt, all the worries about the ovens and the showers. And how it all ended.

My Response: I loved the flashing back and forth between the dad "now" as an old grandpa and dealing with his son and his wife that left and old age, and the dad as the young guy surviving in a concentration camp. The contrast is really amazing between the onery old guy and the competent and resourceful young one. Anyway, such a sad and crazy story, as they all are and once again I'm always left wondering how people made it through these things. I truly did enjoy this graphic art way to tell the story. Quite effective really, and I was surprised how well I actually enjoyed this method.

Bottom Line: Read this.. first the first one and then the second. Just do it.

Let's Talk About: The old Vladek is pretty ornery and mean. But do you blame him? How would you expect a survivor of the Holocaust to act during the rest of their days? I mean... really.

Other Reviews:

Overall, however I think this set of novels is unmatched when it comes to the history of WWII from the perspective of the common Polish Jew. I will be forever marked by it. From You've GOTTA Read This!

Spiegelman adds to the documentation of Holocaust survivors with his father's story, and in the end, makes the story even more real by including a copy of an actual photo of his father. From Bookish

Reading it reminded me of an interview I did with a holocaust survivor when I worked at a daily newspaper. I remember being shocked by how angry he was. In my naïveté I assumed he would feel only gratitude for the fact that he survived, but there are some wounds that you can never truly forgive. From Avid Reader's Musings

If you thought the first one was heart-felt and moving, wait until you get to this one. From Becky's Book Reviews

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Currently: Same Old Same Old and New Song


(written late Saturday night)

Listening: 80s favorites on Spotify! Woot! But this week I've been making a fun playlist of my favorite Zumba songs and also, I discovered that Bill Boyd (aka Pippen) has a band (Beecake) and this is so far the favorite song that I've discovered:

Watching: Same stuff as last Currently post... The Walking Dead, Survivor, Parenthood and Arrow! Sigh. TV. It's so fun and so time consuming! I need to finish the available Arrow episodes before Nano starts.

Reading: The readathon went well last week and I read three books. Now so far this week, I've read nothing. Trying to finish up Save the Cat and and Hunt for the Skinwalker. I also started The Impossible Knife of Memory, but it's not grabbing me very fast. Oh, wait. I did read Blue Lily, Lily Blue this week. It was good but so very strange!

Writing: I've been trying to finish some bits of last years Nano book so I can start on this years. And then I need to just forget about it for awhile. I'm not doing too well wrapping it up for the time being. I just open it up and stare at it. Looking forward to the Nano experience again though!

Blogging: We started a Facebook group for Bloggiesta. Come find us and join! Not much else exciting is happening with blogging. Oh, unless you count authors stalking bloggers. A crazy story indeed, but I don't plan to get all freaked out about it and stop blogging or reviewing or whatever. Oh, and by the way, I did pick a winner... KATY... for my Heir Chronicles series giveaway.. just in case you wondered!! Congratulations to her! Hopefully she'll be seeing that in her mailbox soon.

Eating: Going out too many times! It's not good for the counting calories thing. Though.. wait for it... the scale said I did finally lose three pounds! I'm afraid to get on again to confirm... I'm sure it was a fluke. I've been LOVING doing Zumba these past few weeks. Getting pretty hooked to that. Any other Zumba people out there? What's your favorite method? Live classes? Wii game? DVDs? Let me know! Anyway, doing Fitbit challenges this week with my daughter-in-law has been fun and has actually helped to keep me motivated. We'll see how if that continues!


  • Wow.. the weather here. It's been so so nice! They say it's going to change this week. I guess we'll see.
  • I have a bunch of author events coming up! Kiersten White today, Ally Condie next week, and Shallee McArthur the week after that. I'll probably take pictures to share!
  • Well, and I guess that's all I have to report. I need to go read. Or go to bed. Or something!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Prepping

I had a blast last year writing updates here on the blog about how my Nano experience was going. Hopefully some of you, my fellow Nano participants at least, will find it fun to follow along this year with whatever thing I feel the need to vent about. I'm thinking maybe Saturday will be a good day to blog about this as it feels like that's normally a pretty dead day around here. So we'll see how that goes.

So today, we are ONE WEEK away from November 1! Can you believe it? That means ONE WEEK to get ready! What do I need to be doing this week?

1. Finish last year's story! Yes, all year I've been going through it getting alpha reader feedback and fixing a few things but mostly figuring out the big things that need fixing. But I didn't quite get through it! And.. I never quite actually finished to the point of writing THE END. Sadly, I don't think it's going to happen this week. Sigh.

2. Figure out who my characters are in this next book. I've got an idea, and I've got a basic thought for some of their "things" but not totally. I'm hoping much of this will come when I start writing. But I need to make some more lists, especially for ideas for side characters and family situations and stuff.

3. Have some blog posts scheduled. I might do the BookBlogWriMo prompts... as featured over at Book Bumblings.  Or I could get really ahead in Top Tens. and catch up on reviews, I have a couple to write. But for the most part, I think I'll be winging the blog as I go this month. Last year I seemed to keep up okay, but we'll see.

4. Stock up on easy to make food and plan a few crock pot dinners. For the most part, my family doesn't care about dinners anymore, but still, it would make me feel better if I have a few things planned. Besides, I won't be writing very well if I'm starving.

5. Plot out a schedule of sorts. I'm usually quite the fan of doing stuff whenever it fits and not forcing a schedule, but I've recently (within the past couple of weeks) been doing tons better with the Zumba thing (I should blog about that one of these days. I want to find out who my fellow Zumba-ers are!) and I know for a fact that I'll write better if I manage to continue fitting that in. So.. how to do it? I've got to figure it out, that's all I know!

6. Research some more! My book will be set in the 80s and I want to be sure to include actual events that happened then, and so I've been making lists. But I want to feel good about those lists and like I'm not forgetting something really huge and obvious! What happened in the world during the school year of 82 to 83 (Sept 82 to May 83) that I simply can't forget? Any 80's children out there? Let me know!!

I'm sure there's more stuff, but those are the main things in my brain at the moment. Wish me luck this week with all the plans! Seriously, I'm so excited I could explode... or something.

P.S. I'm thinking I need some motivating helpers too:

Friday, October 24, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Book: Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater
Genre: YA Paranormal
Rating: ★★★☆ ☆
For: Review
From: Received for free from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own. 

Short Synopsis: This is the third book in the Raven Cycle series where Blue, who lives with her clairvoyant aunts, has befriended a bunch of boys from the local prep school. These boys have mission.. find the burial spot for a dead king. Well, one has the mission, the rest are on a mission to help him. In this book, they are getting so very close! And they go cave exploring and find... all sorts of other things, but not the dead king. And Blue's mom is missing and so they also need to find her. Meanwhile there's bad guys and bad.. things... trying to stop them every step of the way.

My Response: Okay. I love these characters. LOVE them. But I had no idea what they were trying to do in this book and I had so many questions. Maybe my brain was just on low function this week, but this book had me so confused. I love the writing style and the feeling we get of these characters through this style, but sometimes it feels so cryptic to me that I feel like we are left guessing exactly what's going on. And I have no idea what's real and what's the all mysterious weird stuff. Know what I mean? 

Bottom Line: I will keep reading and so should you if you love these boys! Gansey is GOING to find that king if it... dang it.. KILLS him! Sigh. I just wish I remembered why he wants to find him in the first place. One book to go and I'm nervous!

Let's Talk About: The book fog... that's what I call it when you are reading something that you just aren't getting. . . and you feel like the true thing that's happening is being obscured from you. I mean, it's not that it's that complicated, but the author is being so vague and/or poetic that you are just... say what? Do you find this happening much? Does it make you crazy or do you just roll with it and enjoy the beautiful words? 

Other Reviews:

Mysteries and magic, complicated friendships, myth and murder, trust and betrayal, psychics and dream thievery all blend together. From A Garden Carried in the Pocket

I am in love with the characters, the tone, the unexplained magic of it all. From In Bed With Books

Like the other books, this one has an ending that will leave you saying "Wait, what?" and then wanting the next book immediately. From Read This Instead

It's a heady experience giving yourself over to one of Maggie's novels and not a decision to be taken lightly. From Angieville

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Book: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Genre: NF Memoir
For: book club
From: I read a library copy, but I have my own book too!

Short Synopsis: Louis Zamperini was a wild child... but when his brother got him into running he was able to focus his energy and he became one of the best runners ever. He went to the 1936 Olympics after only training for a couple of years. He had dreams of going back in 1940 and taking the gold. But before that could happen, WWII started and Louis enlisted and became a bombardier, flying in planes over the Pacific. One time when he was asked to go on a search for a missing plane, his own plane also went down. He, along with two other guys, survived on a raft for 47 days (well, one of the other guys didn't make it.) And then, he was captured by the Japanese and held as POW for two years. He did make it home, but he never made it back to the Olympics.

My Response: Wow, what a story! It's taken me so long to get to this one and I feel bad about that...but we've had plans for years to read it for book club and so I was waiting until that happened. It finally happened! And just in time for the movie this Christmas! I knew the story would be a pretty unbelievable one but still, I was surprised at the things this guy had to endure and am so impressed that he came out of it so well. I found it interesting that he still struggled, that it took him four years or so of crap before he could pull himself out it and live again. It's quite the inspirational story.

The writing is amazing too and I will read anything this author writes. She blows me away with her ability to take a story and make it so readable. And all with such thorough and overwhelming research. I don't know how she does it. I wonder what subject she'll be writing on next?

Bottom Line: Everyone should read this. Everyone. If you have't done it already, put it one your list!

Let's Talk About: If you HAVE read this book, what's the most amazing thing you think he had to survive? The POW stuff? The sharks? Being shot at? Starving? Disease? What's the biggest worst thing? It's hard to pick, don't you think?

Here's Louis with Angelina Jolie who directed the movie.
He died just this past July at 97 years old. 
Here's Louis the runner. 
Here's Louis going to war.
And here's Louis finally coming home, hugging his mom.
This picture makes me tear up!

Other Reviews:

Hillenbrand is a gifted author, one who carefully uncovers the essence of what it means to be human in the face of cruelty, degradation, and hopelessness. Although graphic at times, I could not stop reading this amazing book. From Caribousmom

I admit I wondered if there was some exaggeration in the book, too, but by all accounts the author did flawless research. From Books on the Brain

You will want to cheer for Louie; cry for him; fight for him; and save him. From Alison's Book Marks

What I didn't quite expect to be as emotional was the final section which focuses on his return to the States after the war is over. Those months and years where he had to get on with his life, to return to a "normal" life, his mental and emotional struggles. From Becky's Book Reviews

Here's the trailer for the movie which looks amazing and makes me weepy especially after reading the book:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Walking Dead Discussion: S5E2 Strangers (Spoilers!)

My random and scattered thoughts on this weeks Walking Dead episode: Strangers. Beware the spoilers (though I'm actually pretty vague this go around!)  Let me know your thoughts!

It was nice for awhile, wasn't it? Sitting in the church, hanging out, laughing a little, catching a breath. But just that let us all know that it wasn't for to be!! But, did you notice baby Judith hugging up to her daddy Rick? So cute! :)

So they came upon a priest. Did he make you nervous from the very beginning? What do you think he's story is? I'm anxious to find out!

And then there was the water logged zombie scene. GROSS!!! And I thought Bob was bitten. Was he bitten? Later, he went off to cry by himself, and I was sure of it. But then, worse things happened. So, I'm still not sure what was up with the going off and crying bit.

BETH!! So Carol and Daryl go running off after a car and that's all we hear of them this episode! Seriously? You can't do that to us!

But... but... guys... YOU SHOULD HAVE KILLED THEM ALL!!! Oh man, you are going to be so sorry you didn't. GROSS GROSS and triple gross. Gareth is the new Governor.. or the worse than the governor. And I knew, I just knew that Tyreese didn't really kill that one guy. Of course he didn't!

Yes, the survivors are now worse than the zombies. This is the scary part!

What did you think?

P.S. I loved all the slow-mo in this episode. Lol.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: I Want To Start These!

Here's a few new (ish) series that I'd like to start. If only there was time!

Top Ten Series I'd Like to Start

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
2. Splintered by A. G. Howard
3. These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman
4. Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
5. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
6. Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch
7. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
8. Incarnate by Jodie Meadows
9. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
10. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Did I pick some good ones? Which ones should I be adding to my list? What's on your list? Check out everyone's links over at The Broke and the Bookish!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review Discussion: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Book: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Genre: YA SciFi/Dystopian
For: Fun (readathon pick)
From: bought at Amazon

Short Synopsis: (Spoilers for the first book, The 5th Wave ahead!) We pick up shortly were we left off. The kids are holed up in a hotel and wondering what happened to Evan Walker. Ringer heads off to check out some caves they've heard about and where it might be safe to stay. Things do not go well for her. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, there appears to be an intruder and all hell breaks lose. Also, there's a new weapon of sorts that the bad guys have set loose and causes even more grief for the kids.

My Response: You know, it was good, but not quite as good as the first one. Namely, I needed more Evan Walker. Because yes I totally fell in love with him during that first book! But never fear... I will tell you that he does appear! (SPOILER!) So.. if you are like me and you need him to be in the book... pick up the book! The story is told from Cassie's view, Ringer's view, and Evan's view. I think that's about it. A new guy is introduced and he's pretty fascinating too. I love this story. As I've said before, I love it when you aren't quite sure who's the good guy and the who's the bad. It's so mind bending! What a crazy world this is and I can't wait for the conclusion! Another whole year? Argh!

Bottom Line: Loved it... maybe not quite 5 stars worth, but still. Loved it. A perfect pick for powering through during the readathon.

Let's Talk About: Are you like me? Do you love to be confused on who you are rooting for? Or do you like it much more black and white and clear as a bell?

Other Reviews:

It's a middling middle after a brilliant beginning. From The Speculative Scotsman

One thing in which The Infinite Sea excelled at was plot twists and turns. From Bloody Bookaholic

I don’t know what’s happening, but I do know I love this crazy series. Rick Yancey, you simultaneously scare the crap out of me and make me swoon. From We Still Read

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon October 2014: Updates and Challenges

Hour 18 Update:

This will be me last update for the day. I plan to go to bed soon and sleep for the last six hours of the thon. It's been a fabulous day of reading around here and we've had a blast!

What I’m (we’re) reading now: I've started Lily Blue, Blue Lily. Strange little book so far and I'm not sure I'm getting it! My daughter finished Blood of Olympus, started and finished The Loser's Guide to Life and Love, and has started Under the Never Sky. Her friend finished Harry Potter #1!

How many pages read since last update: Not sure... a couple hundred?

How many pages read total: nearly 500 maybe?

Books finished since last update: Finished The Infinite Sea and Wimpy Kid #7

How many minutes/hours read since last update: several hours.. hours and hours!

What we are listening to: I put in a random CD mix... with real CDs on my real CD player. What a concept!

What we are eating: we stopped awhile back for pizza, chips and salsa. Have been snacking on the caramel popcorn I made yesterday, and candy. I feel sick!!

Distractions: the kitten continues to drive us a bit crazy... sleepy eyes are a both too, and we had some visitors awhile back which was good and needed distraction!

I took a picture of the mess we've made today:

But... where are the readers???

Pet Parade Challenge:

Color Cover Challenge:

We went a little crazy and did a few more than four! :)

************************************ Mid Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now? Just finished The Infinite Sea. So good!
2. How many books have you read so far? That makes two books finished. 
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Hmmm... I think maybe I'll start the Lily Blue book. (I can never remember how it goes Lily Blue Blue Lily... or Blue Lily Lily Blue!!! )
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Yes but not many. Way less than my normal readathon experiences go. Mostly just fighting the tired eyes!
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How freaking fast the day goes. I't CRAZY!

Show It Off Challenge:

I've showed it off before, but I can easily do it again... my most treasured book signing:

Name Your Readathon Challenge:

The Infinite Sea of Impossible Memories.

Update Hour Seven:

What I’m (we’re) reading now: The Infinite Sea.... my co-readers are reading Harry Potter and The Blood of Olympus... though they have both abandoned me but will hopefully come back soon!

How many pages read since last update: 80 or so

How many pages read total: 210 ish?

Books finished since last update: none since last update!

How many minutes/hours read since last update: probably a good hour... or hour and a half

What we are listening to: I switched to some CDs which include classical, Beatles and Lord of the Rings

What we are eating: I broke out the M and M's and Kit Kats....chocolate!!

Distractions: a shower, a cat, some family members, random life

Pausing to do some mini challenges and an update!!!


Weird reading position!!!
(not me!)

What I’m (we’re) reading now: Finished Maus and starting The Infinite Sea... I think

How many pages read since last update: Maus II was 136 pages

How many pages read total: 136

Books finished since last update: One! Maus II

How many minutes/hours read since last update: 2 1/2 hours or so...with a few stops and starts

What we are listening to: Pandora New Age station

What we are eating: coffee cake, apple juice and a banana

Distractions: the kitty!!!


The Readathon begins now! Here I'll post my updates and challenges and thoughts and whatever...throughout the day with the newest thing at the top. I can't wait to get started! I'm optimistic about getting a lot of reading done this time around. 

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?

I would have to say... The Infinite Sea. Very much looking forward to that one.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

The caramel popcorn that I made yesterday and some chocolate to go with.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I've been blogging for seven and a half years. I have four kids, two married (this past year) and two still at home. My youngest is reading with me today, along with some of her friends. I plan to participate in my second NaNoWriMo also in a couple of weeks and I can't wait for that. All these blogging/bookish/writing events make me happy!

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?

I'll be doing nothing different from all the readathon's I've already participated in. Just reading and having fun and enjoying it and without stress! I have learned to add graphic books to my pile so it feels like I'm progressing more than I normally do. :)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon Stack

Happy Readathon Eve! I'm so excited for the readathon this time around. It appears the day is truly and totally free to read. There's nothing that I have to do tomorrow but read! I'm not sure the last time that happened!

I'm also reading with my daughter who has invited her friends to join us. I think it's going to be especially fun. Like a really readathon party. Here's hoping!

Anyway, here's my little stack of books I'd like to work on:

Maus II
the two Wimpy Kid books that I have yet to read
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson from the Beehive list
The Infinite Sea that I'm dying to get to
And if I feel like some Kindle reading... Lily Blue, Blue Lily or Throne of Glass!

Get list, no? I think it's an awesome list!

Now, I'm off to make our readathon traditional treat... caramel popcorn! I'll Instagram (SueySays) the pictures.

See you bright and early tomorrow morning!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Walking Dead Discussion: S5E1 No Sanctuary (SPOILERS)

Back in the day when I first started blogging,  I remember doing a weekly update on one of my favorite shows... Heroes! Anyone remember and watch Heroes? There was always so much to talk about and so much to vent about, so I wrote venting/gushing posts every week.

Now that I plan to watch this season of The Walking Dead live with the world (sort of) I wonder about doing the same thing with that show. So I think I'll give it a shot and see if anyone comes to vent/gush/talk with me.

Of course, these posts will NOT be spoiler free. That's the whole point.. to talk freely about the show, so hopefully if you watch and discuss with me, you'll remember to watch first. :)

What do you think? Should we go for it?

All summer long the words "they're screwing with the wrong people" echoed in  my mind and I  was so excited to see how Rick and company would defend themselves and overcome when it seemed so impossible. I was so scared and nervous to sit down and watch this episode. I heard that the first few minutes were going to be RUTHLESS!

And they were! What did you think? Was it too much for TV? I had to hide my eyes of course. I hide my eyes a lot during this show. Hopefully that just means I'm normal.

I heard too, (probably on Talking Dead later) that our actors didn't really know what was coming with this blood letting/trough scene. And so their reactions are genuine and not necessarily acting. I love that.

Of course, all is well and they don't experience their own throat cutting! Whew! ( But sheesh, you never know, right? Because ANYONE could be killed off at ANYTIME!! So scary!)

And then Rick becomes his crazy out-of-control kill-all self and bam, they are out of there! But first, they must save people! Only, they save a bad guy! Dang.

Then, in the meantime, there's Carol. Were you not just totally cheering for her? I mean, I couldn't get out of my head what she was like that first season, and now. Wow. I loved it!

And then, meanwhile, back with the baby. (Someone mentioned her clothes and I agree... she looked a little too well dressed for a zombie apocalypse, don't you think?) And if ANYONE touches a baby like they are going to kill her... oh buddy. It is so over! Way to go Tyreese!

Watching all our heroes climbing over that fence... it was awesome. I was like... YES! But before that... seeing them wield their makeshift weapons on the walkers and the bad guys? Double yes!

What did you think about the back story of the people at Terminus? Did it make you feel for them? Did they have any sympathy from you at all? You know, this is what makes this show so great, showing exactly HOW people start doing these terrible things. It makes me so crazy to think that people could actually end up this bad. Do you think they can? Is it realistic to be showing that people can come to this level? Or the governor's level? Is that really possible?

And is it any justification that because they had their own bad moments they can then turn so brutally on others? Frankly, I don't think so. I just don't see it being at all okay.

Anyway, I think that was one of the main things we were meant to decide and think about after seeing this episode.

But... now... the best part. Daryl looks up. And there's Carol. And.. and... and...he RUNS to her! Ah, the swooniness! And then, not only do they hug forever, but once it's over, he looks at her and then puts his head on her shoulder. That killed me. I loved that so so much. And then Rick sees the baby. And Rick and Carl run to HER! So sweet. Life is happy! All reunited! On to Washington!

Except. What about Beth? And Morgan?

Great start to a great new season!  What did you think?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Book Review Discussion: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill

Book: All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill
Genre: YA Dystopian
For: Beehive Award list
From: the library

Short Synopsis: Ah! I don't know how to summarize this book without it sounding very complicated and giving everything away! So... the world has fallen apart and its all because of an invention that allows people to travel through time. Em and her friend have been imprisoned because she has something that the inventor, referred to as the doctor, wants from her badly. When the book opens, she discovers something that makes her think she has been here before many times, and has tried and tried to make stop this world from happening, many times. She has one more chance.

Then we flashback four years before to the story of a girl who was in love with the boy next door. Somehow, the events that happen on this particular day have something to do with what Em needs to stop. And so she has come back to stop it.

My Response: Lots of awesome twists and turns.. some I saw coming, some not so much. I loved this story... loved it! So much suspense and mind bending things. It's one of those stories where you can't decide who you should be rooting for and I love that. I fell in love with the characters pretty much instantly. Basically, I loved everything about this book! It's left me speechless and I don't know what else to say but gush gush gush.

Bottom Line: Read this one now! So good!

Let's Talk About: Time traveling books! Do you love them? Do they make your head spin trying to figure out how everything is working? Does it bother you if you they get you thinking too hard, or do you love it? I, for one, love it! What are some of your favorite time traveling stories?

Other Reviews:

The characters really jump out at you and connect, the plot is engaging, and the pace of the book is page-turning. I encourage anyone with any interest in dystopian novels, YA novels, time travel, or just looking for a wonderful read – to try this out. You won't be disappointed! From Fantasy Book Critic

All Our Yesterdays is a thrilling YA novel that test the limits of good, evil and friendship. From Books and Sensibility

I closed this book in awe last night. I thought it sounded good. I was wrong. This book is AMAZING! From Proud Book Nerd

Also, the relationships between the characters are hugely emotionally satisfying. From Bookshelves of Doom

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Places I Want to Visit

I've done this prompt a few times before, but maybe it won't come out exactly like those other ones. We'll go for it and see!

Top Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want to Visit

1. PEI (Prince Edward Island)! I say this one every time. Some day I WILL get there! (Anne of Green Gables)

2. The Island of Guernsey... I'd never heard of it before the book (you know the one with the really really long title about the potato peels and all) but now I think it would be cool to see.

3. Ireland... because of all those Maeve Binchy books I read back in the day! And other books I'm sure but I can't think of them now. 

4. Prague... all because of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. I want to see that bridge!

5. I've been lucky enough to see Paris, the setting for so many books, but we didn't have time to go see the place made famous by The Count of Monte Cristo. . the Chateau d'If near Marseilles.  Next time!

6. Pompeii and it's nearby volcano. I read a book about that once. I think it was called Pompeii! :)

7. Another place I came close to seeing, but not quite is the ruins Tintagel Castle in Cornwall said to perhaps be Camelot! What do you think? And if THAT'S not the real Camelot, I'd like to see all the other places speculated to be. Just for fun.

8. Romania...I think. (Is it safe there these days?) And all the places talked about in The Historian. Transylvania maybe? Oh, my. That sounds kinda scary!

9. Australia... not because of a certain book, but because of a certain author. Just sayin'. 

10. The Highgate Cemetery in London. Old cemeteries are the coolest ever. The one in Paris (Pere Lachaise)blew me away and next time I go to Paris, I want to spend a whole day there, not just an hour! I'm guessing the one in London would be pretty much just as cool. And what book is it from? That one really weird book...about those girls... and I forgot the name. Oh!!! Her Fearful Symmetry. That's the one! 

Guys. I am going to go to all these places. Just watch. 

What places are you dying to seeing all because of books? Link up over at The Broke and the Bookish!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Laughing At My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw

Book: Laughing at my Nightmare by Shane Burcaw
Genre: NF Memoir
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: Review
From:  Received for free from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own. (Released Oct. 14, 2014)

Short Synopsis: Shane, the author of this book, was born with spinal muscular atrophy that causes his muscles not to grow or work. This book is his story and how he's lived his life so far (he's only 22 years old or so) with an amazing positive outlook... by laughing and using humor to get through it all. Lots of stories. Lots of jokes. Lots of stuff to think about. This whole thing began after Shane started a blog one day, posting silly and funny things that he has to deal with. It became hugely popular and has now grown into a non-profit organization to help people overcome adversity by using humor.

My Response: I really enjoyed this! Granted, it has some cursing language here and there, and some sex talk and some lewd and crude stuff... but still. It's Shane just saying how it is, you know? And answering, basically, all the hard questions that people will be wondering about. So beware of that if that sort of thing makes you leery, but that being said, the message here is to live your live, no matter what it hands you, with a positive outlook. We all need this message. And the thing is, when all of us "normal" people read this (normal meaning someone who can get up and walk around whenever we want) it will be awfully hard to find ANYTHING to complain about afterwards. It will make you look at your life in a whole new light. And one more thing... can I just say.. his family is amazing. AMAZING I tell you! I mean, he talks about them a lot and you can tell he appreciates them, but I think we need to make a huge deal about how totally awesome they are. 

Bottom Line: I totally enjoyed it and took from it this message... JUST LAUGH! :) 

Let's Talk About: The power of positive thinking. Do you believe in it? Can simply thinking "I can do this thing" really help? Can the opposite be true? If you think so much "oh woe is me, I can't" actually make it come true? I tend to thing so, yes. I think it's an amazingly powerful thing!

Other Reviews:

Shane handles his situation with humor and a "you-only-live-once" perspective on life. From Teen Reads

There are so many morals you can discuss in this book, that I kind of wish I could study it in school. From Boarding with Books

And finally, here's a little look at how this all got started and what made me want to read his book:

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Currently: Gearing up for Walking Dead and Nano!

(written Saturday afternoon) 

Listening: Pandora, as usual. This time my 80s pop station playing Kenny Loggins and Footloose at the moment. Remember that one time I got to see him in concert a few months ago? Yeah? That was fun!

Watching: THE WALKING DEAD!!! Season 5 starts Sunday and I am scared and nervous and excited! Who's with me? Who can I talk to about this show? I will need to tweet and stuff! Also watched Parenthood and that show never fails to wring a tear from my eye. How DO they do that? I will be sad to see that show go once this season is gone. Oh, I'm officially addicted to Arrow having watched four episodes in one day last week. Nearly done with the first season on Netflix. Enjoying the characters and all the crazy stuff that they are doing!

Reading: My Goodreads shelf says I'm currently reading three non fiction books. What? How did this happen? A skinwalker book that I have from the library, a writing book (Save the Cat) that I bought, and Unbroken for book club. I need to start another YA nominated Beehive book soon though. I did finish one last week though, that blew me away. Review to come soon!

Writing: This week I started to get serious about "fleshing out" (that phrase... I just don't know about it!) my characters for the upcoming Nanowrimo. I'm very excited. But then, I'm not and I think all the negative thoughts again. I so wish I could get over this! BUT... anyway, I am excited for Nano again and I plan to do a weekly update here like I did last year, because that was fun. Hopefully there are a few readers out there that find it fun too. And if any of you plan to Nano this year, please let me know so we can be buddies... not just over on the Nano site (you can find me here), but let's tweet lots and chat lots and you know.. REALLY be buddies.

Blogging: The big huge blogger readathon is coming up next week. (See my post of yesterday.) I hope to participate. I have no idea what life issues will be going on that day, but I can guarantee there'll be something. In other blogging news... I have a giveaway going on. Did you enter yet? Also, I created a Bloggiesta group on Facebook (Did you come join yet?)

Eating: Not much, in fact I feel like I'm going to bed hungry a lot. That means something, right? That means I'm eating less than I'm used to which means any day now maybe I'll lose a pound. Come on!! JUST ONE POUND!!! And I've been wearing my Fitbit for a week now, and got to 10,000 steps one day (and really really close another day.) Woot! And I did Zumba for THREE days this week. See... one pound is not much to ask for, don't you think??? However, my son invited us to dinner at his house and I did make this. So, there is that problem.

Crafting: My son found a jacket he likes, but it's too big and puffy, so he took scissors to it, and now I must find the long lost crafting/sewing skills inside me to fix and it and make it wearable! Ha!

  • Our new kitty is about twice the size she was a few weeks ago. She attacks everything that moves and is getting braver and braver about exploring the house and beating up on all of us. 
  • My husband bought a new computer and has joined me in our new office/writing/creative space! This room is getting a lot of use!
  • I've done much homework helping this week and have learned all about Madagascar, the war on drugs, cancer treatments and Machievelli's philosophies. 
  • Did I mention that The Walking Dead is starting up again?


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