28 April 2011

Hop & Follow Friday! (8)

"Follow My Book Blog Friday" is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee where you can join in the fun and meet lots of new bloggers!  Check out her blog to join in the fun!

This week's question from Marla at Starting the Next Chapter:

Keeping with the dystopian and apocalypse theme that seems to be running rampant on parajunkee.com, I have one very hard question for you: If you were stocking your bomb shelter, what books would you HAVE to include if you only had space for ten?

Um...only 10?!  I believe that my husband and I are currently planning on building a library/cellar bomb shelter....but just for fun and to play along. :-) [And I'll not include my NookColor...although I would *obviously* take it.  Also, I'm sticking with books that I currently own...]
  1. Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  2. The Diplomat's Wife by Pam Jenoff
  3. The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig
  4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
  5. Walk with the Wind by John Lewis
  6. The Red Scarf by Kate Furnivall
  7. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
  8. Elizabeth by David Starkey
  9. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  10. Archaeological Study Bible :-)
And out of curiosity I asked my husband what he would take (what? two people = 20 books, right?):
  1. Bible
  2. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  3. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  4. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows
  5. Medieval Europe: a Short History (Hollister)
  6. Edgar Allan Poe: the Complete Works
  7. Gilbert of Sempringham and the Gilbertine Order (Golding)
  8. The Hobbit
  9. Amber, Gold, & Black: The History of Britain's Great Beers
  10. Storm of Swords (Martin)
Book Blogger Hop

The "Book Blogger Hop" is a weekly book party hosted by Jennifer at Crazy for Books.  Join in the fun and link up at her blog!

This week's question...

Summer is coming quickly - what 2011 summer release are you most looking forward to?

Hereafter by Tara Hudson
Release date: 7 June 2011

Drifting in the dark waters of a mysterious river, the only thing Amelia knows for sure is that she's dead. With no recollection of her past life—or her actual death—she's trapped alone in a nightmarish existence. All of this changes when she tries to rescue a boy, Joshua, from drowning in her river. As a ghost, she can do nothing but will him to live. Yet in an unforgettable moment of connection, she helps him survive.

Amelia and Joshua grow ever closer as they begin to uncover the strange circumstances of her death and the secrets of the dark river that held her captive for so long. But even while they struggle to keep their bond hidden from the living world, a frightening spirit named Eli is doing everything in his power to destroy their newfound happiness and drag Amelia back into the ghost world . . . forever.

Happy Friday! May your weekend be filled with books!

YA Book Review: Darklight by Lesley Livingston

Darklight by Lesley Livingston
(c) December 2009 by HarperTeen

Goodreads description:

Much has changed since autumn, when Kelley Winslow learned she was a Faerie princess, fell in love with changeling guard Sonny Flannery, and saved the mortal realm from the ravages of the Wild Hunt.

Now Kelley is stuck in New York City, rehearsing Romeo and Juliet and missing Sonny more with every stage kiss, while Sonny has been forced back to the Otherworld and into a deadly game of cat and mouse with the remaining Hunters and Queen Mabh herself.

When a terrifying encounter sends Kelley tumbling into the Otherworld, her reunion with Sonny is joyful but destined to be cut short. An ancient, hidden magick is stirring, and a dangerous new enemy is willing to risk everything to claim that power. Caught in a web of Faerie deception and shifting allegiances, Kelley and Sonny must tread carefully, for each next step could topple a kingdom . . . or tear them apart.

Thoughts, Ramblings, Musings...

As an up-front warning, I try really hard to keep my reviews spoiler-free, but this is the second book in the Wondrous Strange trilogy and I can't guarantee that something I write won't be construed as "spoiler-y" in terms of the first book.   There.  Now you know...read at your own risk! If you're interested in the series, check out my review of the first book!

Let's start with this: if you haven't read book one (Wondrous Strange) in this series, then don't pick up this one.  This is definitely the type of series/trilogy that requires you to start with book one and work through the rest.  Book two wouldn't make sense without book one (and really, book two isn't complete without book three).

I mentioned in my review of Wondrous Strange that I loved Kelley's independence and fiery personality.    That's definitely still true in this book and I enjoyed watching her develop and learn what it really means to be a faery princess (and the daughter of Auberon and Mabh no less).  She stands as one of my current favorite female protags as of late (no Bella syndrome here, thank goodness).

There was a good bit of character development in this book, which I really enjoyed.  We get to know our main characters (Kelley and Sonny) quite a bit more.  We started to get to know the Fennrys Wolf more.  I totally dig his character.  As the reader, you wonder at his intentions at times, and if you're like me, you'll want to tell him--"Back off!  She's Sonny's girl!"  (Or maybe that's just me and I'm way too invested in fictional relationships)  This was definitely the highlight of this book for me.  I felt like Livingston took the characters that I met in book one and really let me get to know them.  Even the faery kings and queens get a bout of character development in this one.

Beyond character development, I have to admit that I felt like this book dragged just a little.  It all leads up to this huge cliffhanger reveal at the end, but it felt like a long time getting there.  This book strikes me as a bridge between books one and three.  You get to know the characters.  There is just enough plot line to keep you going.  However, the end (and really the whole story) definitely leads you into the third book.  I understand wanting to leave a cliffhanger to pull readers into the final book, but I guess I would have liked a little more plot development here.  Take it a little further, that's all I'm saying.

If you like the series, get more information at the author's website. Also, enjoy this book trailer. :-)

27 April 2011

Hunger Games Casting: Take 7

Tributes from District 3!

 Ian Nelson and Kalia Prescott

I can't say much about these castings because they are pretty minor characters (if my mind serves me correctly). What I do have to say is that the girl in the above advertised picture looks SO much different than this one...

I'm sure it's a lighting/makeup thing (maybe?) but the first time I saw this pictures I thought: "That's not even the same girl!"  Oh well.  I'm starting to see the similarities now, but I was totally confused at first.  And isn't Ian Nelson cute?! (...in that cute little brother sort of way...)

Also, as a follow-up to "Take 6," (my blog post from earlier this week) they are saying today that the John C. Reilly casting rumor is really just that at this pint--a rumor.  He has NOT been offered the part officially, which gives me hope that they are still looking at others because I was NOT a fan of that rumor. 
 (*HUGH LAURIE* pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease)

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly event hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we share upcoming books that we're eagerly awaiting.

I'm Not Her by Janet Gurtler
(c) 1 May 2011 by Sourcebooks Fire

Goodreads description:

Brainy Tess Smith is the younger sibling of the beautiful, popular, volleyball-scholarship-bound Kristina. When Kristina is diagnosed with bone cancer, it drastically changes both sisters' lives. Sometimes the things that annoy us the most about our siblings are the ones we'd miss the most if we lost them.

You have to admit that this sounds beautiful in that "cry your eyes out" way.  I really enjoy reading these occasionally (not too often because...well...I don't actually ENJOY crying all the time when I read).  I think it hearkens back to a minor obsession with Lurlene McDaniel's novels when I was much younger. Also, I've kind of been in that kind of mood since reading If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

What are you waiting on this fine Wednesday?

26 April 2011

Tween Tuesday: Green by Laura Peyton Roberts

"Tween Tuesday" is a weekly meme hosted over at GreenBeanTeenQueen.  If you're looking for a good middle grade book or have a review to share, be sure to check it out!

Green by Laura Peyton Roberts
(c) Jan 2011 by Random House Children's Books
Goodreads description:

Lily's thirteenth birthday starts off with a bang. Literally. A present explodes on her porch . . . and soon after, a trio of leprechauns (yes, leprechauns) appears in her bedroom. They whisk her away to a land of clover, piskies, a new friend, a cute boy, and lots of glimmering, glittering gold. A world of Green.

It turns out that Lily—as her grandmother was before her—is in line to be keeper for the Clan of Green, in charge of all their gold. That is, if she passes three tests. And she has to pass them. Because if she doesn't? She may never get to go home again. She'll be stuck with the Greens.


Thoughts, Musings, Ramblings...

I picked this book up on a whim from the library. (You know those times when you don't really know what you want so you walk up to the J Fiction "New Books" section and just pick one?  That was me.) I've been trying to read more books for the 8-12 crowd. (I work in the library but I'm only REALLY proficient at YA reader's advisory...I'm trying to fix that.) I tried to read this one last fall, but it couldn't catch my attention amidst my overwhelming amount of homework.  Anyway, getting to the point--I'm glad I picked this one up (again).  It was a cute, quick read!

To begin with, Lily is a very "relateable" (spell check says that's not a word, but it's all my tired brain can come up with this morning) tween character.  Lily and her mom have moved around a lot so Lily doesn't have many friends and really doesn't feel like she fits in.  She goes to gymnastics class basically because her mom told her to take it.  She has one real friend, but that friend has another "best" friend, which leaves Lily alone the majority of the time anyway.  While sometimes I find characters like this a tad "whiny," I didn't ever feel that way about Lily.  She didn't whine and complain about not having friends; she just seemed kind of sad and got really excited about the one friend she did have.

The story is well-paced, although maybe a tad on the slower side for many tween readers looking for a fast-paced read.  It starts off a tad slow with Lily's descriptions of gymnastics class and plans for her 13th birthday party.  Things starts to pick up a tad when the leprechauns come and kidnap her.  I thought Lily's reactions to the leprechauns were pretty well-written.  She doesn't instantly accept their story and even as they are entering the Green meadow, she is trying to concoct an escape plan.  I appreciated that she didn't instantly accept her magical heritage.  She does eventually  accept and even embrace her "destiny."  The plot twists enough to keep you engaged as Lily battles through her three keeper tests, despite setbacks and manipulative leprechauns.

Overall, this was a pretty enjoyable tween read.  Sure, there was some cheesy dialogue and plot lines, but what else would you expect with leprechauns? ;-)  I would probably recommend this book to tween readers who like contemporary reads and a little fantasy mixed in.  With the female lead, I would tend to recommend this more to 8-12 year old girls.  A reader who enjoys the Magic Tree House books might be a good candidate for this standalone novel.

25 April 2011

Hunger Games Casting: Take 6

I'm a little late on this one, so most people already know!  However, I couldn't NOT blog about it after all my other posts (and my borderline obsession with this casting...in case you hadn't figured that out yet).

We have our Mrs. Everdeen!

Paula Malcomson

I'm going to go ahead and give this casting a "thumbs up" because to be quite honest  she looks exactly how I imagined Mrs. Everdeen. Beyond her looks, I know nothing about her as an actor. She has a lot of acting credits on her resume though and I don't doubt that she'll probably do a decent job. 

Now...for a casting RUMOR...


John C. Reilly

I'm not sure what to say about this yet...other than he wouldn't be my first choice.  I thought there were a decent number of actors with potential for this part (and my vote still goes to Hugh Laurie *sigh*)...and I have to be honest and say Reilly didn't come up.  

Thoughts? Who are you still waiting on?

22 April 2011

Hop & Follow Friday! (7)

The "Book Blogger Hop" is a weekly bookish event hosted by Jennifer over at Crazy-for-Books.  Check out her blog for more details on how to participate and meet new bloggers!

Question: If you have a book you love, do you hunt down other books by the same author?

Well, put simply - I used to.  However, it doesn't always work out for me!  What I've found is that sometimes it's the story, characters, etc. that I'm truly attached to and not necessarily the author's writing in a more general sense.  One "epic fail" that I had was with Alice Sebold.  I ADORE The Lovely Bones in an almost unhealthy way.  (Note: I did not see the movie)  It's been my "go to favorite" since about 2003-04 when my high school history teacher recommended it to me.  My husband and I both own a copy and I refuse to get rid of either.  Her memoir, Lucky, was phenomenal writing.  Gripping, moving, tear-jerking--beautiful.  So...when her next book, Almost Moon, came out, I rushed myself out to the bookstore and bought a hardcover copy of it.  Didn't read the description closely; didn't wait to read any reviews--just bought it. (Note: I don't do this anymore...burn me once) I hated it.  I could not finish it (and I finish everything I start reading, whether I am in love with it or not).  I still haven't read it.  I've tried a couple of times, but I do not like it.  The premise/story is disturbing (and not in a good way) and some of the things in it just don't make sense to me.  I hesitate now before I run out and by a book because I've loved something else by the author.  I'm still known to look more closely if I've like the author, but I'm not as impulsive about it as I used to be.

 "Follow My Book Blog Friday" (or "Feature and Follow Friday") is hosted by Parajunkee's View and is a great way to meet lots of new bloggers!
Question: What's on your current playlist?

Well, I'm kind of a Pandora junkie at work, so it varies based on my mood (you know, sometimes dance music with a Middle Eastern flare helps me work better...just sayin'...).  Today, it's my "Regina Spektor Radio" channel, so here's a sample of some of the artists I have heard and know/hope I will hear later:

  • Regina Spektor (*duh*)
  • Sara Bareilles
  • A Fine Frenzy
  • Lily Allen
  • Ingrid Michaelson
  • Kate Nash
  • Imogen Heap
  • M.I.A.
  • Universal Hall Pass
What are you up to this Friday? Leave me your Hop link so I can check it out!

Happy Friday! May your weekend be filled with books!

20 April 2011

Hunger Games Casting: Take 5

Just a quick post to introduce you to the newest members of The Hunger Games cast!

Willow Shields as Primrose Everdeen!

I'm glad they have started casting lesser known actors for this movie.  It's nice.  Willow isn't QUITE what I envisioned for Prim, but I think they'll make it work.

Waiting on Wednesday (7)

 "Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly bookish meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we share not-yet-released books that we are anxiously awaiting. This beautiful button was created by Lindsay at Violet Hour Book Reviews and I just  thought it was gorgeous (and she provided the html so I used it!)

This week I'm "waiting on"...

Bumped by Megan McCafferty
Release Date: 26 April 2011
Goodreads description:

When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, would-be parents are forced to pay teen girls to conceive and give birth to their children, making teens the most prized members of society.

Sixteen-year-old identical twins Melody and Harmony were separated at birth and had never met until the day Harmony shows up on Melody’s doorstep. Until now, the twins have followed completely opposite paths. Melody has scored an enviable conception contract with a couple called the Jaydens. While they are searching for the perfect partner for Melody to bump with, she is fighting her attraction to her best friend Zen, who is way too short for the job.

Harmony has spent her whole life in religious Goodside, preparing to be a wife and mother. She believes her calling is to bring Melody back to Goodside and convince her that “pregging” for profit is a sin. But Harmony has secrets of her own that she is running from.

When Melody is finally matched with the world-famous, genetically flawless Jondoe, both girls’ lives are changed forever. A case of mistaken identity takes them on a journey neither could have ever imagined, one that makes Melody and Harmony realize they have so much more than just DNA in common.

I've glanced at a few reviews for this one (but really not too many because I don't want to spoil it for myself) and I think it will be a fun read.  We'll see if I can manage to snag myself a copy when it comes out next week!

Know what else I'm waiting on this week?  Reading!! Since I gave up "pleasure reading" for Lent, my blog has been pretty empty of original content.  That's going to change soon!  I can read again tomorrow!! (Yes, technically not the actual end of Lent, but I did 40 days!) *happy dance*

What are you "waiting on" this Wednesday?

19 April 2011

Hunger Games Casting: Take 4

I know it must seem like I follow this news obsessively!  I swear I don't (well, maybe just a little). I'm just getting impatient for them to cast some of my favorite characters. I don't have any *official* news this time, but I wanted to get your thoughts on the latest rumor...

Image from InsideMovies.EW.com; copyright Jason Merritt/Getty Images
Can you guess who Elizabeth Banks of possibly in talks to play?  One guess?  Think about it. Think really hard...I bet you can guess...

Effie Trinket! (You guessed it, right?)

On a slightly more official note...District 1 Tributes, Marvel and Glimmer!

Marvel will be played by Jack Quaid and Glimmer will be played by Leven Rambin.  I'm going to forgo pictures on this one and tell you to check out the Facebook page!  (largely because I can't find good images and there aren't yet a bunch of web articles--although I'm sure there will be soon enough!)

But who will play Cinna?! I need to know! LOL. :-)

Thoughts on the most recent casting decisions?!  Leave a comment!

18 April 2011

Hunger Games Casting: Take 3

Today we have...
Rue and Thresh!

Photo from CinemaBlend
Thresh is to be played by Dayo Oekniyi, who appears to be a relatively unknown actor.  Thresh is an important but pretty minor character in my eyes, so I guess there isn't really much there for me to be truly upset or excited about. 

Rue is to be played by Amandla Stenberg, a 12 year old with quite the acting resume! I think she's cute, but again, I don't know much about her acting skills.  It will all come down to her chemistry with Jennifer Lawrence as to how she is judged for this one.

I have to admit that I'm getting antsy for them to cast some of my favorite characters!  Cinna? Effie? Haymitch?  Gah! I can't wait!

Who's the most important character to you that hasn't been cast?  Who would you like to see get the part?

14 April 2011

Hop & Follow Friday! (6)

Happy Friday, ALL!  
**Friday Happy Dance**

"Follow by Book Blog Friday" is a weekly meme hosted at the super awesome blog Parajunkee's View.  Want to participate? Start there!

This week's question: Do you have anyone that you can discuss books with IRL? Tell us about him/her.

This is one of the joyous things about working (even PT) in a public library!  I have the best coworkers and guess what we talk about (more often than not)--BOOKS!  There is one fellow employee in particular who I love talking about books with because we have similar tastes and read a lot of YA.  :-)  When we're on desk together, it's the best hour + ever!  <3 book-loving coworkers. :-)

Book Blogger Hop

"Book Blogger Hop" is a weekely meme hosted at the equally awesome Crazy-for-Books!  You should check her site out because it's pretty spiffy...and you can add your link to participate in the HOP!

This week's question: Pick a character from a book you are currently reading or just finished and tell us about him or her.

So many choices!  I think I'll have to go with Jennifer/Jenna the main character in Sara Zarr's Sweethearts (which I read during Dewey's 24 Hours Read-a-Thon).  Jennifer had a tough childhood, to say the least. She lived with her single mom, who decided to go back to school to become a nurse when Jennifer was young...so she was never around.  To top it off, she was constantly made fun of at school for being "chubby" and having dirty clothes (remember, her mom was never around to do the laundry consistently...).  As luck would have it, Jennifer had one friend: Cameron Quick.  Trouble was that Cameron's home life wasn't very good/stable...and one day Cameron doesn't come to school...and the next day...and the next.  Rumor has it that he has died.  Jennifer runs home and cried to her mother, who does nothing to dispel the rumor. Fast forward to high school, where the book takes place, and Jennifer has "reinvented" herself as Jenna - the popular girl with the popular boyfriend.  Her friends, however, don't really know anything about Jennifer.  All they know is Jenna.  When Cameron reappears in Jenna/Jennifer's life, everything is turned upside down.  I loved how much Jenna/Jennifer grew in the short time that Cameron is back in her life.  She is really a dynamic character that I fell in love with. 

Leave me the link to your Friday post!  I try my best to follow and comment back (so also let me know if you're a new follower!).

Happy Friday! May your weekend be fabulous and filled with books!

13 April 2011

"Waiting on" Wednesday (6)

"Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Eve by Anna Carey
Publish Date: 4 October 2011
Publisher: HarperTeen

Goodreads description:
The year is 2032, sixteen years after a deadly virus—and the vaccine intended to protect against it—wiped out most of the earth’s population. The night before eighteen-year-old Eve’s graduation from her all-girls school she discovers what really happens to new graduates, and the horrifying fate that awaits her. 

Fleeing the only home she’s ever known, Eve sets off on a long, treacherous journey, searching for a place she can survive. Along the way she encounters Caleb, a rough, rebellious boy living in the wild. Separated from men her whole life, Eve has been taught to fear them, but Caleb slowly wins her trust...and her heart. He promises to protect her, but when soldiers begin hunting them, Eve must choose between true love and her life.
Hmmm...Hunger Games meets Romeo & Juliet?  This will either be really good...or really bad.  I'm hoping for the former!

What are you waiting on this week? 

11 April 2011

National Library Week 2011!

It's National Library Week!!
April 10-16

So, National Library Week actually started yesterday, but I didn't get around to posting anything (*fail*).  However, the main "event" for today is the release of the 2011 State of America's Libraries Report.  WHile I think that's interesting...I'm gonna guess it doesn't have wide appeal. :-)  Maybe not?  Ah well, if you're interested, the link is there.  However, I thought I'd share something I personally enjoy instead...

2010 Top Ten Banned/Challenged Books!

  1. And Tango Makes Three –– Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson.
  2. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian –– Sherman Alexie.
  3. Brave New World –– Aldous Huxley.
  4. Crank –– Ellen Hopkins.
  5. The Hunger Games –– Suzanne Collins.
  6. Lush –– Natasha Friend.
  7. What My Mother Doesn’t Know –– Sonya Sones.
  8. Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America –– Barbara Ehrenreich.
  9. Revolutionary Voices –– edited by Amy Sonnie.
  10. Twilight –– Stephenie Meyer

What are some of your favorite "banned books"?

10 April 2011

In My Mailbox (3)

IMM is an event started by Kristi of The Story Siren, influenced by Alea of Pop Culture Junkie

Small week for me!  I have a bunch coming in the mail  (actually two of them should have been here, so I'm a bit concerned) and also...I've WON a bunch here lately...but I won't tell you about them until they get here. :-)

This week, I bought these:
Delirium by Lauren Oliver, which I am SO excited to read.  I think it will be one of the first I pick up after Lent is over.  I really considered it for yesterday's Read-a-Thon, but it was a bit hefty. :-)
The Replacement by Brenna Yovanoff, which I got to start, just barely, though my email book club and can't wait to finish.
The Iron Daughter and The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa, both of which I have been itching to read ever since I read the first one (which is, also, the beauty of not starting a series until a bunch of books are out!)

Well, that's it for this week.  I'll (hopefully) be back next week with an update on the other books I'm expecting. 

Have a fabulous week!

09 April 2011

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon...STARTING NOW!

Well, it's 8:00 AM in my time zone (um...the Read-a-Thon started at 7...I like sleep) and I'm starting off my day with a delicious breakfast and my first book!

A little "about me" to begin with! (from the hour 1 post at Dewey's)

1) Today I'm reading from my little house in Prairie Home, Missouri
2) I actually broke my Lenten pledge to read today (kind of).  I should be mowing the lawn and pulling weeds.  I would rather read than eat.
3) Too many! 14 physical books and a bunch on my NookColor.  I crave variety!
4) My goal is at least 5 books.  
5) I'm a newbie to the read-a-thon!

Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
Published: 2008 by Little, Brown and Company
(This one is also a 2010-2011 Gateway Readers Award nominee here in Missouri)
Finished: 10:00 AM (book 1)

Three quick thoughts:

          • Beautiful writing
          • Heartbreaking storyline
          • Completely engrossing; quick read

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
Published: 1997 by Scholastic, Inc.
Finished: 2:46 PM (book 2)

Three quick thoughts:

          • Yes, I'm sorry that I waited forever to read this book.
          • This was a really quick, fast-paced story and I see why so many readers enjoy it.
          • I'll at least consider the rest of the series, lol.  I don't know that I was as enamored as many others, but I did enjoy myself to at least read #2.
Radiance by Alyson Noel
Published: 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin
Finished: around 5:30 (my post didn't save! book 3)

Three quick thoughts:

          • This was a really quick, fun read and I'm really glad I picked it up for DRAT 2011.
          • I loved that this was such a cute story with a snarky little female lead.  It was different than a lot of what I've read lately.
          • I would totally recommend this as a fast-paced read that still has a lot of depth.  You learn a lot about the characters in very little time.
Mid-Event Survey!!
1. What are you reading right now?  I'm just starting Burned by PC and Kristin Cast
2. How many books have you read so far? Three!
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?  Haven't really decided yet what I'm going to read...but anything is good!!
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?  Luckily for me, I actually had today off of work!!  Actually, that's the only reason I could participate! YAY!
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?  Not too many actually...my husband is working on grad school homework so it's quiet around here. :-)
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?  How dedicated some people are!  I'm actually jealous...if only I'd had the drive to get up a little earlier!
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?  Nope. :-) I'm lovin' it!
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Um...better snacks? lol...trying to keep it healthy :-)  Actually, I want to try to schedule myself more short books so I can finish a lot but still spend time cheerleading!
9. Are you getting tired yet? Nope.  But my start time was a nice early -but-not-too-early time and it's only 6PM!
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?  Actually, I really just love reading others' thoughts on this one as I'm still a newbie! :-)

    Burned by P.C. and Kristin Cast
    Published: 2010 by St. Martin's Griffin
    Finished: 10:59 PM (book 4)

    Three quick thoughts:

            • It took me awhile to get into this book because the switching POVs and not being largely from Zoey's POV weren't quite as engrossing.
            • The story was good, but it felt a little like a filler before Awakened.
            • I really liked Stark's part of story. :-)

    Ah, well, it's time for me to turn in. I got about half way through this one...

    Goodnight all!  Happy reading to those who remain!

    08 April 2011

    Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon

    Well, I think I'm going to do it!

    Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-thon...yeah...I HAD to pick this button...
    Basically ever since I found out about this event, I've been debating about whether or not I will participate.  I've gone back and forth a number of times.  If you've been following me for awhile, then you'll know that I made a Lenten pledge of no pleasure reading (except for glorious, glorious Sundays).  I've been debating breaking the pledge for about a week now, lol (I didn't last long, right?).  However, despite that pledge, I'm going to participate in this reading marathon.  To compensate, I've decided that I will give up reading this coming Sunday and the following (and I didn't read last Sunday--I'm practically in withdrawal). Basically what I'm saying--no more reading until Easter (April 24th).  *ouch*

    But, I think it will be totally worth it!  I've decided that for every book that I read tomorrow I'm going to donate $5 to a local literacy program.  I actually haven't decided exactly where I'm going to give my money yet.  I have a few ideas, but a couple recent developments may have changed my mind.  I'll post where I give at the end of the read-a-thon! :-)

    So, a little more about my read-a-thon plans...

    • Breakfast: Dark Chocolate Raspberry (or Banana Bread) Oatmeal (quick and easy)
    • Lunch: Lean Pocket (again, quick and easy!)
    • Dinner: Black-Bean Quinoa Casserole (already made and in the freezer...just have to thaw and cook)
    • Snacks: Greek Yogurt with granola, apples, canned peaches, granola bars, bananas
    • Beverages: coffee!!, hot tea, lots-o-water (the perpetually filled 32-oz bottle), and this delicious Orange-Mango zero calorie sparkling beverage (I can't remember what it's called) (...and maybe a beer or wine in the evening)

    Potential Reading List--with selections from my NookColor and physical books:
    • Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
    • The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
    • Green by Laura Peyton Roberts
    • Sovay by Celia Rees
    • The Iron Daughter by Julie Kagawa
    • The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa
    • Delirium by Lauren Oliver
    • Radiance by Alyson Noel
    • Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs
    • Switched by Amanda Hocking
    • Wings by Aprilynne Pike
    • Evermore by Alyson Noel
    • Glimmerglass by Jenna Black
    • The Mermaid's Mirror by L.K. Madigan
    • Tithe: A Modern Fairytale by Holly Black
    • Burned by P.C. Cast
    • Darklight by Lesley Livingston
    And, no, I don't plan on reading ALL of this. HAHAHA.  I'm hoping to get through at least 4-5 books. I just wanted to have a variety of books chosen so that I have CHOICES.  Very important to me, lol.  I figure I'll pile the physical books on my coffee table before curling up on the love seat with coffee and (probably) a kitten.

    If you're interested, I'll probably post a single update here on my blog to update throughout the day, possibly with "mini-musings" on books I finish (or start but abandon).  I'll try to update Goodreads as well so feel free to follow my progress there.  However, I'll probably do the vast majority of my updates on my Facebook page.  (I don't tweet at this time...still one of those things I'm considering but not ready to commit to!)

    Follow me as I read tomorrow!! Are you participating? Leave me a link with the best way to follow you and I'll try to check in throughout the day!

    07 April 2011

    Hop & Follow Friday! (5)

    YAY FRIDAY!!! 
    Welcome to my Friday blog party!

    "Follow My Book Blog Friday" is a weekly meme hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View.  Check out her site  for awesome reviews, author interviews, and so many other cool book-related things.  Oh yeah...and directions on how to join in the event!

    This week's question: Do you judge a book by its cover?

    *blushes* *looks sheepishly both ways* *shakes head yes*

    I totally do.  Guilty as charged.  I'm TOTALLY a sucker for a beautiful cover and I think a lot of people are.  Actually, we discussed this in my library materials for children class because so many library books have the unfortunately unappealing, plain library board book binding.  Would you rather pick that book up or the latest by Melissa Marr with the beautiful cover?  Very rarely will a kid or teen pick the former (unless, of course, it's a book required by school and then the cover makes them dread it even more).  I have a lot of respect and admiration for the artists/graphic designers who design book covers because seriously, they can make you pick up or pass over a book.  

    Book Blogger Hop
    "Book Blogger Hop" is a weekly event hosted by Jennifer at Crazy-For-Books.  Her site is super fun with fabulous reviews, and, oh yeah, this meme. Check her out if you haven't!

    Coming soon! (Look for this section Friday afternoon!)

    Happy Friday, fellow bloggers! May you have a fabulous and book-filled weekend!

    06 April 2011

    "Waiting on..." Wednesday (5)

    "Waiting on Wednesday" is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine where we talk about books that we are oh-so-patiently awaiting their release.  Be sure to visit the many blog that participate and add some good reads to your TBR list!

    This week I'm waiting on...(and it isn't a surprise considering my new sidebar widget...)

    The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer 
    By Michelle Hodkin
    Release Date: 27 September by Simon & Schuster

    Goodreads description:

    Mara Dyer doesn't believe life can get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. It can.                                                                                                                                    
    She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.        

    She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. She's wrong.

    And if you're not in love with the idea of this book and/or THE COVER, you can actually get a sneak peak of the first chapter at Pure Imagination!  The blog had an exclusive sneak peak and it made me want to read it that much more! *Only* 173 more days...

    What's on your mind this Wednesday? Leave your link!

    05 April 2011

    Lenten Reading #2

    One of my goals during Lent was to read 3-4 books from my church women's group reading list and/or other church-related reading recommendations.  Well, I've done a grand total of 2 now!  I'm finding that I read them much more slowly than when I pick up fiction, especially when I'm diving into a good YA fiction piece.  The reading is informative and often really interesting, but you really have to think about it a lot more. Know what I mean? 

    Moving on, the second book that I picked up for Lent was from my church reading list and I was able to get it from the University library's ILL program. Yay for finding books I can borrow!

    A Monk in the Inner City: The ABCs of a Spiritual Journey
    By Mary Lou Kownacki
    Published: 16 April 2008
    Publisher: Orbis Books
    Check it out on Goodreads!

    Let's start with this: Mary Lou Kownacki is NOT your average nun, or at least, not what I, in my apparent small mindedness, envisioned a nun to be like.  In a series of stories, recollections, and simple thoughts arranged in alphabetical groupings, Mary Lou leads the readers on a spiritual journey. Mary Lou is a Benedictine Sister living in Erie, Pennsylvania, attempting to "stretch [her] monk's robe until it embraces the suffering world."  She offers insights to a variety of topics from angels to Thomas Merton to zen wisdom and everything in between.

    Reading this was actually a lot more fun than I expected.  Sister Mary Lou is a bit of radical, at least in my mind.  She participates in peace demonstrations and gets thrown in jail.  She advocates for better roles for women in the Catholic Church.  She surprised me at every turn.  Her stories tugged at your heartstrings and made you stop and think.  I felt like she made you stop and reconsider your preconceived notions about monastic life and about religion/Christianity in general.  An enlightening read.

    Well, that marks two books of my reading list for Lent.  Next, I'm debating reading The Sacred Romance or working on another book from the church reading list, Three Cups of Tea (which would also count toward my "One, Two, Theme!" Challenge).  I guess I'll just have to see what strikes me this week (after I finish my homework, of course).

    04 April 2011

    Hunger Games Casting: Take 2

    There's news! There's news!  It's what fans have been waiting and watching for...

    The casting of Peeta and Gale!

    A variety of sources are confirming that the roles have been cast! Are you ready?

    Picture from EW
    Josh Hutcherson (left) has been cast as our beloved Peeta and Liam Hemsworth (right) as Gale! 

    I personally don't know...well...anything really about these two actors.  I'll admit that they don't necessarily look like I imagined these characters to look.  Actually, they don't look AT ALL how I imagined these characters, but really, I'm more concerned about their acting abilities.  (Oh, and PS~Thank you for not casting Alex Pettyfer)  I'm going to *hope* that Suzanne Collins is as happy with these characters as she was with Jennifer Lawrence.  If that's the case, then I'll be happy to wait and watch what happens.

    Thoughts? Feelings? Love 'em or hate 'em? Who do you want to see cast next?

    In My Mailbox (2)

    "In My Mailbox" is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi of The Story Siren, where book bloggers can share the wealth of books we picked up this past week--whether they were bought, borrowed, or obtained in some other way!

    This week is definitely lighter than last.  I'm still not reading much because of my Lenten pledge, but I couldn't stop myself from picking a few books up at the library this weekend!

    Borrowed from my public library:

    Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
    Green by Laura Peyton Roberts
    Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs
    The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

    Won from the Goodreads Firstreads program:

    The Journey by Wanda Brunstetter

    That's all I have for this week! Add those to the never-ending reading list. :-)

    As a side note,  I am considering giving up with my Lenten pledge of no pleasure reading.  It feels dumb to quit, lol. I originally did it to support my husband and I don't think that he needs the support as much now that he is so near the end.  However, I know that if I quit, he'll hound me FOR-EV-ER.  Just thinking about it.  I was considering giving "x" amount of money to my church for every book that I read between now and Easter.  Thoughts?  Ah, well, until next time...



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