Monday, December 19, 2011

Getting all ADD!

When I'm coming down to the wire on my 2011 challenge, it's no time to be starting and stopping books all over the place!





I had 2 going that I'm absolutely in love with but I was going to have to hurry through to make it by the new year and then BAM! I find a book I pretty much can't resist (for one thing a cute guy recommended it) and now I'm toying with 3! All the worse because my newest is the chunkster Pillars of the Earth at 1007 pages!

I'm 50 pages in (which sure would have gotten me closer to finished with either of my other two) and now I LOVE this too!!! Simply never enough time :)

Sometimes having this many great books to choose from feels like what I imagine rolling in 100 dollar bills would feel like :)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Giveaway winner!!

It's giveaway day!! WOOT!

As generated by Random.org
The lucky winner is: 6

Ariel that's you!
Please visit her blog here! It's a great blog that I hadn't come across before until my giveaway so I'm a winner too :)

http://thelibrariansbookshelf.blogspot.com/

Thanks to everyone that entered! I wish I could give you all a prize I really really do!!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Follow Friday Thankfulness! And my giveaway!

This weeks Follow my book blog Friday is all about Thankfulness..click above to read this weeks post and join the fun!

What am I thankful for??
REMISSION!!1
My daughter has beat Leukemia and 8 months in the hospital paid off. My heart is light as a feather yet so full of care for all the kids still fighting!
And my blogging family that went through it with me over those long stays in the hospital. We were always reading something!

Also, come on over and register for:
a $20.00 Amazon gift card!! :) Click here or above

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Moving....on and on...



Moving day is 11 days away!

On our way here:
There is a room through a set of pocket door off the living room that is soon to become my dream library! wooot!

And the give-away is under way :)


Have you registered? Go to this post and leave a comment! That's all there is to it and someone will get an early Christmas present of a $20.00 gift card to Amazon as a celebration of getting 100 followers.

I've been reading, but haven't finished much and a couple books behind on reviews.
After The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (which I still can't get out of my head!!) I read
1984 (which took me forever)
Tuesday's With Morrie.

Neither one lived up to expectations. 1984 was a re-read and I think I had better recollection of the emotional involvement with Winston. I didn't really connect with him this time which threw the whole thing off for me. Of course I do love that it was a groundbreaking, genre setting piece of work. Iconic and world changing, but I'm just not really Orwell's style of writing anymore I'm afraid. 5 stars for premise 3 for literary merit.

Tuesday's With Morrie - I enjoyed for what it was. I wasn't blown away from any of the revelations. I think we've all heard them and know them. It was a 'preaching to the choir' sort of book. Morrie himself is what I liked. He seemed like a great person and full of life, love and fun and anyone would have been blessed to have known him. And I wondered who was in my life like that I may be taking for granted and better still, was I like that for anyone? If not, why not? Could I strive to be a better person that way? All in all TWM warmed my heart and made me feel good for the time I felt I got with Morrie so I gave it 3.5 of 5 stars. The strivings of Mitch Albom for deep meaning and earth-shaking revelation seemed a bit trite to me.

Right now I'm in the midst of The Reader. I hadn't even read the blurb when it was recommended and lent to me by my coworker. I must say it wasn't what I expected but I am liking it.

Forgive me if you I bow out for a few days until the move is over. and if I don't make it here to let you know...I wish all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Time for a give-away! $20 Amazon Gift card


I passed the infamous 100 followers mark!! 
Woot! I LOVE my followers and fellow bloggers! I can't wait to keep up with all your blogs and also to meet lots more! It is an amazing community!

So for the giveaway... hmmm lets see....
how about.....

A $20.00 Amazon gift card? :) 

HOW TO ENTER
Just comment here. 
1 entry/comment per person.  
I will use a random number generator to pick one of yous guys to give this token of my appreciation...not that I don't appreciate all of you... well you understand :)

I'll leave this open until Dec 1st.

Thanks again to all and any of you who read my blog. I do truly love books and am so glad for this forum to be able to share that love!

Good Luck!! :)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Review The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern 5/5

Title: The Night Circus

Author:  Erin Morgenstern

Pages: 387

Why I Read This Book: Well, to be honest the cover made me curious then I started seeing it reviewed on some blogs and I put it on my TBR list and then wandered by the Jim Dale Audiobook  at the library. We usually don’t get new releases that fast so I was pretty excited!

Rating: 5/5

Synopsis From Goodreads:
The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des Rêves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway—a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors.

My Review/Opinion:
 Reading the pages (or in my case listening to the pages) of The Night Circus was like falling into the most comfortable cozy bed and snuggling in. It had me from the start and I instantly was reminded of J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter. The wonderful turns of phrase and pace were so pleasantly similar that for awhile I thought I WAS reading Rowling. Honestly, I thought this might have been a pen name and had to do some research just to make sure.

And all the more respect to Erin for being able to create a world so boldly as The Night Circus. It is simply the most enchanting place to come along in such a long time. I loved all the characters and ached for them and the circumstances they came into as well.

The style jumped between two moving time frames that crept closer together as the story progressed and I had a little bit of a hard time with the time frame jumps. Especially listening to it. But I got the hang of it. And I have always enjoyed multi-viewpoint stories.

The circus itself made me want so much for it to be real I wanted to wake up one day and hear rumors of black and white tents appearing outside of town. I had favorite tents, I wanted to hear about each and every one! I wanted to spend time in them I wanted to watch the most incredible clock every turn hour after hour. I wanted to run with Widget and Poppet and Marco. 

I say I ‘read’ this, but I was indeed listening to it read by Jim Dale. Jim is amazing and may be why I was so struck by the similarity with Rowling since he is who read Harry Potter as well.  I absolutely adored listening to him and hearing his take on voices and emphasis. I couldn’t imagine anyone else could do such a magical job!

All in all, if you’ve missed the experience of discovering a magical world for the first time and the need to to find out all about it as fast as possible, The Night Circus IS that experience. It WILL be one of those books you put in everyone’s hands and which you’ll wish you could read again for the first time to recapture that feeling of delighted discovery. You'll feel this book for years to come.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Top Ten 'shallow reasons' Tuesday

Today's Top Ten Tuesday Topic :


 Our friends over at The Broke and the Bookish have asked us this week:
Top Ten Books That Whose Titles Or Covers Made Me Buy It (or at least read it..as is my case)

Going to try to make this post as quickly as I can. Although I haven't purchased all of these yet, I certainly would! There are so many books that catch my eye with attractive or intriguing covers and quirky or lyrical titles...here are my tops

Books I've already read...


The Help - Kathryn Stocket. Great colors, beautiful layout, meaningful arrangement of birds. From the first moment I saw it I knew I'd lover it.



The Night Circus - Erin Margenstern
I'm going to review this very soon, just have to find enough glowing adjectives so I can TRULY convey how much I loved this...all the curlie ques got me! and the stark black, white and red.

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle - Barbara Kingsolver.  The cover had me with that adorable handful of what ever that is! This was my introduction to Ms. Kingsolver. I could go read it again tomorrow!

The Thirteenth Tale - Diane Setterfield - Can any self respecting bibliophile resist this cover???


The Cabinet of Curiosities - Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child - The cover is interesting but it was the title that made me...welll...curious!


The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - with a title like that wouldn't you just Have to know?


The Cat Who books.... - Lilian Jackson Braun - another title that got me...but I'm a cat person so anything with 'cat' in the title catches my eye

Some that have been wooing me that I haven't gotten around to yet are:

A Thousand Acres - Jane Smiley - Title again... because I was writing a story with the same title...rats.

The Cookbook Collector - Allegra Goodman - BOTH!! Such a beautiful cover...the title just SCREAMS to me!

And finally...the cutest cover ever!

A Walk in the Woods - Bill Bryson - I want to own a copy just for that fuzzywuzzy face!!

Running a day behind by the time I got this finished. Schucks but better late than never!

Can't wait to read yours, I'm sure you'll remind of some I missed!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Forgive my absence

I haven't posted for a few days because we are very close to leaving the hospital....FOREVER!!! I am very much thinking she will be discharged tomorrow. That will be one very amazing!

A triumph of Faith, Love, Perseverance, Science, and Heart.

We will have to come back in a week and get a bone marrow check to see if she is still in remission, but all indications are that she should be and she has beat this!

Now her precious life can go on.

All our lives can go on! :)

So, is anyone who opens a bricks and mortar bookstore in this day, age, and climate totally crazy? or does it take someone who's used to fighting the odds? >:)

Just an idea and curiosity...a thought...or maybe a dream.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Some things you don't pass up


I've been listening to The Night Circus on my commutes the last few trips here to Iowa City and I've been enjoying this book so very much! On a brief stroll through the bookstore here at the hospital the other day I had seen a copy on the New Relases shelf. Now that I've been here a couple days I was seriously missing this book. (and isn't Jim Dale just the bee's kness!!)

Hey! (I says to me) The books store has a copy, why don't you just go buy it and you can read from where you left off listening! (I mean it, I like this book!).

I held off for a bit, buuuut, then I couldn't find something for my daughter to read up at the patients library and the thought crossed my mind again, like a herd of buffalo! And there was no resisting.

So I traipsed down there and there it sat, all shiney and new and hardbacked. I almost didn't get it since I forgotten it was going to be hardback, being just released and all. But then... I saw the sticker...20% off, which made me take a step closer....and then.... I saw the other sticker!!

"Autographed Copy".

Snag.
Mine.

Now here I sit and I can't bring myself to read it. I mean really what if I hurt it? What if I fingerprint-smudge up all the pages and the dust jacket? Nope this is a keeper... but I do so want to read it. arggghhhh. dilemma!

I'm thrilled to have it however. And I'll love it..and pet it... and squeeze it...and hug it.... ;)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday Top Ten Tuesday - reReads


Top Ten Tuesday...hosted  graciously by our dear friends over at The Broke and the Bookish are asking this week what books we wanted to re-read...huh? OH..re-read yeah. Got it. Oh! You mean list them..now! Ok...

See I do have  few I can list because I have time when my attention span isn't the best and I find my mind can wander even when I'm reading something as easily as it can when I'm not doing anything.
 I know there were nuances I missed because I spaced off the meaning of the words I was reading!

I know sometimes my mind would wander off before I got to the end of a sentence. In my defense these ARE some complex sentences!! We're talking lots of commas and maybe even a semicolon! I do love the book, just want to read it when my mind is all with me...or sort of with me.

Hopefully when I get back into this book my brain will go 'Oh Yeah!' but right now it's all a blur. I've no idea. Seriously


So there are these books that may have not made the impression they should have and then there are those I read so long ago my old old mind has a hard time remembering details about what they were about.
 
 Dystopian, yeah I remember, but I want the details back!! I remember I loved this book. I remember it affected me. The plot has gotten a little fuzzy since Mr. Wooten's High School class (ironically in 1983). told ya I was old!

I really really need a refresher read on this one. It was just as long ago as 1984.

I read this in high school too. I know I loved it, but don't really remember what happens in it. For King fans...now that I know the tie in with The Dark Tower series I really really want to reread it!


And then there are those books that I didn't read really I SHOVED through to get to the end usually because I liked them and really really wanted to find out what happened or because I hated them and wanted to find out what happened....except the yucky ones I probably don't want to re-read.
 The writing was so beautiful I wanted to just read and read and read plus I had to know if he got to her! Now I want to go back and just sink into the prose like a heart broken teenage girl into a pint of Ben and Jerry's!

I think this was the first one I didn't read to my girls out loud so I had to read fast so they could read it next, plus I really wanted to know what happened and be back in the magical world again!

And then there are the loves, the ones I'd love to have time to revisit and see if I love them still like I loved them then.
I have such a soft spot in my heart for this book. I think it was the only book that ever made me realize there was a world out there weirder than mine and people dealt anyway.

It's my favorite book of all time. I adore post-apocalyptic because of it yet no other PA dystopian book has touched it. One of these days I will go back to it and re-read it. Wonder if I can get through the Lincoln tunnel scene without my heart pounding this time?

So those are my 10. There are others, like Little Women, Watership Down, The Wump World, every Harry Potter, but there are so many new loves out there to discover...that sounded bad, like I'm a lit nympho or something! ;)

My  next favorite thing to re-reading in the mean time is when I get to turn somebody on to one of my favorite books and have them love it too! Even better when its one of my girls.

Best yet is when it's both of them!! Which was true with the Dark Tower Series. We all love it, we all still talk about it and one of these days I think my youngest may just genetically engineer her own BillyBumbler (a dog size racoon/dog/cat looking animal that can talk - sort of - like a parrot but with purpose ...trust me they are wonderful!)

I'm sure you guys will remind me of some that will set my heart on fire with yearning to re-read when I go explore your lists!

Review: The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games

Author:  Suzanne Collins

Pages: 374

Why I Read This Book: Oh I’d seen so many reviews and the movie was starting to get talked up more and more and comparisons were being made that I couldn’t relate to not having read The Hunger Games and some of my blog friends had it listed in their all time favorites, so I had to go see what all the fuss was about. And I was in a spot where I needed to dead on escapism.

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis From Goodreads: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

My Review/Opinion: So I’m betting the rating I gave this comes as a bit of surprise. I’m sure most of my friends would have expected me to like it more than this. But I had issues with it…but lets do this ‘positive sandwiching style’ shall we?

( I had a hard time writing this review. My emotions toward the book still cloud my analysis of it. I hope I mange to convey my disappointment is a non-threatening way.  If not, chalk it up to raw emotions, not that I’m a prude… deal?)

The Hunger Games was the very definition of escapism when I most needed it. The world that Suzanne Collins devised for her story was amazing and believable! I loved the Muttation, especially calling them Mutts. I loved the district system and the behavior of the Capitol. That seemed very, eerily believable! I loved the black market and the defiance to go where they were told not to. Katniss, Gale, Peeta, Prim, etc… I thought about them when I wasn’t reading and wondered what would happen next.

But there was a reason I wanted to know what happened next, it is because I was not thrilled with the premise of the hunger games themselves. And I desperately hoped there would be transcendence from all the tributes. I had, in essence, a more triumphant plot in mind as I read. And as that plot didn’t materialize (I’m trying to vague to avoid spoilers) one by one, I became more frustrated with the book overall. And when that began to happen I became more critical of the writing. It had appeared flat and to the younger of young adult  despite the violence being more to the adult of the young adult and that bothered me. I know lots of folks like the simple straightforward story, but this was some bare bones telling. Prose was not a description I would attribute to it…and I love prose. Then the characters started flattening out for me. Mostly though my problem was with the ‘games’.

I will say straight up that I believe the plot I had hoped for does (or may) come to pass in subsequent books in the series…I’ve not read them, but you know what... I do plan to. I’m into the story enough to want to see if it comes to pass like I hope, to see what the heck Katniss does. Her character was very interesting and I enjoyed the nuances as they arose and look forward to seeing how some of the cliffhangers play out. 

And since one of the reasons I read this book was for some escapism, I’d have to say it achieved a 5 star rating in that respect!

On Goodreads I gave The Hunger Games 4 stars I chose to round up because there are good features to the book, because there are interesting ideas to be explored and  intriguing characters to get to know

Maybe having a teen daughter fighting for her life against cancer makes me a little more sensitive to the blasé attitude toward loss of life better yet waste of life. Or maybe I should be incensed and the more so because so few are too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - tattling on myself

So it's Tuesday again and I'm happy to be able to once again join in
Top Ten Tuesday! Graciously hosted each week by the fine folks at The Broke and the Bookish


I don't have a lot of time, or to be honest energy, this week. My daughter is still in the hospital for her last round of chemo but she had to go and scare us and ended up in ICU for a night. All is well now and I'm so looking forward to life getting back to normal in the near future....sooo ...normal for me is Top Ten Tuesday...

and this weeks topic is top ten books I'm the only one on the face of the planet who hasn't read this...

I know! I know!! 
BUT! I went a bought a copy last night because I was in dire need of escapism and this fit the bill... I got to page 95 before I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer!

A few others but I think they all pale in comparison to how far behind the curve I am with the Hunger Games...
2.

 I do own a copy though.

3.
I own a copy of this too.

 4.
And yes I own a GWTW copy too...started it once but had to read for school

5.
You guessed it... I actually JUST picked up a copy a couple of weeks ago.

6.
You know what... I have no business buying books!! really!!

7.
I promise right here and right now...the next challenge I enter will be 'read your own books' challenge

8.
I'm not even going to say it!!

9.
ANY Janet Evanovich
*whistles and looks guiltily around*

10. shew!

I DO NOT own a copy of this.... I don't think...I have some penguin classics and I guess I should double check...BUT to the best of my knowledge, this one isn't on my shelf. ;)

How about you guys??