Thursday, May 29, 2014

To infinity and.... somewhere other than here. Day 4 the Borders 
It’s time to step outside your comfort zone, outside your borders, or outside of your own country or culture. Tell us about the books that transported you to a different world, taught you about a different culture, and/or helped you step into the shoes of someone different from you. What impacted you the most about this book? What books would you recommend to others who are ready or not ready to step over the line? In essence, let’s start the conversation about diversity and keep it going! 

 I've been a boy on a deserted beach trying to tame a big black horse,.
I've been a headstrong girl scribbling away in my attic writing nook,
I've been a family of children living in an abandoned railcar scrounging little plates and chipped cups. I've been a wump running from the pollutions.
I've gone on a grand adventure with a guy named Frodo
and I've seen terror with a weird dude named Edgar.

These are the books and stories that have taken me away. The ones that when I think of them I still get a feel for WHERE they are and all the attending details of time, place, season, location, culture etc. With these (and many more)
I've been to the past and to the future.
I've been home and far, far from anyone's home.

This sedentary transportation is why I read! It thrills and delights, terrifies, and consoles. But above all, it warms my heart. Both in the travel... but especially. ..In the coming home.

PS~ in case you're wondering: The Black Stallion, Little Women, The Boxcar Children, The Wump World, The Hobbit, All Edgar Allen Poe. 

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Long and short of shorts... or sumthin'

Novellas/Short Stories 
Now it is time to give a little love to those little stories in your life. Share your love for your favorite shorts of any form. What is a short story or novella that doesn’t get the attention that it deserves? Recommend to readers what shorts you would recommend they start with. How about listing some short story anthologies based upon genres or authors? 

Since I seem to be the resident Stephen King number one fan  fanatic, I have to say that some of favorite stories and my favorite novella are from this super prolific author.

I became a fan through his short stories and I'm old enough that the first collection I read WAS his first collection.

Stories like: Jerusalem's Lot, Graveyard Shift, The Mangler, Trucks (which became Maximum Overdrive the poorly done and overly brutal movie), Children of The Corn (Same fate, yet an Iowa favorite! lol), and the one that scared me forever... The Boogyman.

From there I stumbled upon one of my favorite novellas every. My Sci-Fi book club sent me an anthology called Dark Forces which contained a new novela called The Mist.

This was classic King and classic novella.
no. clear. ending.
I LOVE that :)

Short stories to me are drinks from a sweet river not the history of where that river starts, passes and stops.
While King, as I say often, isn't exactly high literature, he gave me such an appreciation for the short tale, and the short story. ... most of which I DID go one to find in more literary veins (like the amazing Olive Kitteridge, each chapter a stand alone short story) but still not nearly as much fun as not being able to sleep because of a well crafted creepster :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Day 2 ~ Let's talk Authors... yes, lets, indeed. myes.

Author Interaction 
Let’s talk interacting with authors IRL (in real life) or online. This is your opportunity to talk about your favorite author readings that you have attended. Or, you can feature your favorite author fan moment (i.e., an author sent you a tweet or commented on your blog). Maybe you even want to share how your interactions have changed since becoming a blogger or share your own tips that you have learned along the way when interacting with authors as a blogger. 

This is going to be a super hurried post because it's 9:03 and I just got home for the day.  (I actually had to go look at a retail space for my book store! so exciting! unfortunately it's not going to be "the one" but hey it's a start)

So authors... 
Having Iowa City, Iowa so close has afforded me the opportunity to see quite a few author talks over the years. and some AMAZING ONES... there are author readings almost every week at the famous Prairie Lights bookstore and the Iowa Book Festival where the author talks are non-stop!!

But it was a totally different reason in Iowa City. It was a connection through University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics Children's Hospital that I connected with two authors...

At 17 my daughter had to be in the hospital for 7 months fighting Leukemia. Much of the time she felt decent but  had no immune system. I spent as much time as I could with her but as a single mom traveled back and forth. Aside from the internet, she needed ways to keep occupied. (we just aren't tv people). The hospital actually has an amazing library and we would go up often. During one trip my daughter found a galley on the shelves. Excited that it was a galley she checked it out and read it in like 2 days. She then posted a quick review on Goodreads. 
A couple days later she gets a Goodreads email. From the author. His name is Alexander Maksik and the book was You Deserve Nothing.  I read it too and corresponded with him a bit. I tried to get my daughter to agree to let him come and have coffee with her, but she wouldn't. I did get the hospital Library Director and Xander in contact with one another to (hopefully) put together a writer's clinic there at the hospital someday. Although I doubt he remembers any of this, his communication with my daughter and with me was unforgettable.  

Another event that happened at the  hospital... I write a little (not enough but that's a different post) and was working on a project. One of the nurses sort of asked what I was up to. When I told her she said "OH that reminds me of Heather Gudenkauf, Have you read her?" It turns out that her child had fought this horrible battle as well and she spent time there too. While she was there she worked (and finished) her projects. I read one and got online and emailed Heather through her website. She emailed me back and we corresponded a few times.  Iowa City Book Festival was only a couple weeks away at this point and when I saw the author line up... low and behold. Heather was going to be there. So I went to her reading and book signing. 

Well when I handed her my book copy I said, "Hi Heather, I'm Laura. my daughters on 3JCP" which was the cancer unit... she stopped, stood up and came around the table and saying... Oh hon I have got to give you a hug. 

Her newest book, Tender Mercies, is due out in June.

And that's how I've crossed paths with two the coolest, biggest hearted authors on the planet!!

And my daughter is in remission now and attending the University of Iowa. As an English Major. :)

Monday, May 26, 2014

BEA14 Intro! Woot Let's Do This!!

Hi all,
Sooo excited to get to take part this year... so here goes!


Question 1)
although this seems like 5 questions right here!... I'm Laura and my blog Bunny Tales is an offshoot from a decorating/crafting/up-cycling blog I started a bazillion years ago called The Shabby Rabbit.

I suppose I've been at this about 5 years with greater or lesser verve. I got into blogging... book blogging... because of my overwhelming love of books and my sheer joy that there were things like 'reading challenges' going on in cyberspace! I just HAD to join in...

So thank Callipider Days (which I can't find anymore) for my first accidental step into book blogging :)

I'm from a wee town in Eastern Iowa called Maquoketa. There's usually a bit of debate about the exact meaning of that Mesquakie word (pronounced Mah-coke-a-tah), but it's usually pretty close to say it means Bears were here. But they're not anymore.... I don't think?

Question 2)
My blog in one sentence...
The personal adventures of a non-trad blogger through the literary world as she records her knee jerk reactions to everything from classics to the worst recommendations at a steady-by-jerks pace.

Question 4)
Favorite book last year....
I had a very good reading year last year so choosing is a tad bit...well.. impossible so here are my ties for favorite last year

And for this year so far... two have really caught me this year... the literary Olive Kitteridge was one and I wish I'd read it sooner! But the one that really made me happy was..
I was well pleased with how he handled the transition from The Shinning to a grown, independent, a tad effed-up Dan Torrence. and the story was so King!

Question 7) My blogger buds!
These two have been my constant readers and I am inspired by their blogs as well! We've never met in person, but I consider them both friends..

Go say hi!! They'd enjoy the visit :)

Question 8) Favorite reading related quote
I'm such a fan... I can't help it :)

Now.... off to read and CHEER! :) Let's be BOOKISH!!!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Sunday Salon. Memorial Day & BEA Rev Up

First. I want to have the proverbial moment of virtual silence for those who served and those who gave all. From the bottom of my heart. Thank you. Oh Thank you so much!

Now.... on to that event that makes me want to jump up and down and squirm in my seat and feel perfectly giddy...

I can't even do my normal Sunday Salon layout because I'm too excited!!

This it such a big deal to me because I'm working hard to be able to open my bookstore and Book Expo America is the most important event to the book selling industry. Not to mention SUPER COOL!!!!

The Expo itself takes place in New York City. And this year... with every dime going towards the book store and well... life, actually GOING to NYC was out of the question..

Thats where Armchair bea comes in... and Thank God for that!!

Go to their link. Get involved. This is not just a booksellers' event!!! Bloggers UNITE! Readers UNITE!! Armchair bea is for anyone who LOVES the written word! 

Like me. And if you're reading this.. you too! So come one and go with me ok??

Now, on with the Salon

Time // 12:50
Eating // Made some real-popped popcorn. I gave up microwave popcorn a couple years ago.
Drinking // coffee... and shhhhhh I'm cat-less!! They must not realize I'm sitting down!

Weather // Gorgeous!! 
I loved this book at the start... but not having BEEN to England, now that I'm I'm 2/3rds through it, it is all sorta of running together. Bad weather, good food, or bad food, good lodging or bad lodging. Place to place to place

LISTENING TO // I finished Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge... which I LOVED!!! and I'm getting ready to start Dean Koontz ~ 77 Shadow Street
 I come into this audio book with no other preconcived ideas aside from Koontz's other work, some I didn't care for some, like Odd Thomas, I loved!! So I'm very anxious to get going on this.
Still working on...

Beth Moore's ~ So Long Insecurity ~ chipping away but not very enamored with it.

Watching // I dunno.. nothing is catching my attention right now.  
Music // Back to K-LOVE
Blogging // I did my Frankenstein review and I have to do my Mayor of Casterbridge review but... with BEA on the way I've been working on writing some daily posts ahead of time so I can focus on reading other blogs during the week and being an AWESOME cheerleader!!
Acquisitions // 3 fun books from the second hand store.
Hating  //  How hard money is. I'm circling the drain here!! I need to make a move SOON! I firmly believe my best hope is to be on my own.
Loving // My youngest seems to having a marvelous time in London :)

Writing // not a great week for that.
Avoiding // Do want to see the exemplification of the writing on the wall? read back to my older Avoiding and guess what... we've hit caught up. So no more avoiding. Time to pay the piper. lol!
On a happy, happy note.... My Youngest gets back from England tonight!!! I'm so excited to hear about her trip! :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Review: Frankenstein ~ Mary Shelley

   Title: Frankenstein
Author: Mary Shelley

Why I read this: A classic and I feel classics are important

My rating: 4/5

Synopsis from Goodreads: Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature's hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

My Opinion: I admit it gets very drag-y in the middle and I have a hard time with esoteric language and writing style.. but that last part is my issue, not the book's so... with the last 1/3 of the book and the ending as boo-ya strong as it was, 4 stars is definitely called for!!

If you haven't READ Frankenstein, you DO NOT know the story of Frankenstein. Why more movies didn't stay closer to the book is beyond me (with the exception of Young Frankenstein, cuz well, that's just too funny to miss). The torment of dealing with the repercussions of what we have done, what we have let into the world, are dramatically portrayed in the both the person of Victor and the Monster. 

It shows that the love we withhold is what resonates in eternity. 

It shows that just because we regret something, we still have to be responsible for it. 

While it may never be one of my favorites per se, this is a tour de force of a novel... and she wrote it on a playful challenge!! Wow. Talent like that leaves me awestruck!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Salon May 18th 2014 ~ progress slow & steady

Time // 4:08 p.m.
Eating // Just finished a bowl of Chicken Broccoli Cheesy noodles. Home made!! :) Except the cheese... 
Drinking // coffee... with Marci on my lap. Marci is short for Mercutio. He has always seemed like a she, so we've always called him her. It's just the way it worked out. This is one of the ones we bottle fed from about a week old.  

She will sleep here for hours if I let her.
Weather // Mild. Nice actually
READING // Frankenstein ~ Mary Shelley
      I should be further in this!! 

LISTENING TO // The Mayor of Casterbridge ~ Thomas Hardy
I forgot to listen on 2 of my trips over to see my mom in the nursing home or I'd be done. Dangit!
So Long Insecurity ~ haven't picked this up in a couple days  weeks. I'm just not feeling it. This is leaning towards a DNF. 

Watching // Finally watched Food, Inc. I've been on this side of this debate for a long long time... and I know. I work in the industry. So all it did was make me shake my head yes a lot and cry that this was like 2008 and things aren't much better.
Music // Back to K-LOVE
Blogging // ok, so last week I wanted 3 posts a week and we got nada. maybe lets try 2 posts a week yaking books or bookstore stuff?
Acquisitions // A Full tote and 1 box full of books for $25.00. There were about 100 books there. They were all Crime Drama. Not my favorite but I'll have them for swaps at the bookstore. Sandra Brown, Nora Roberts, Stephen White, Ann Rule and lots that I hadn't really heard of. Not always my cup of tea, but some of them looked interesting.
One lesson I learned. Never agree to them sight unseen. I asked if they were in good shape, yes they said they were. But didn't mention they had ball point pen initials on about 1/3 of the covers. 

Hating  //  Feeling like there's nothing I can do to help someone.
Loving // My youngest seems to having a marvelous time in London :)

Writing // I did 500 words today AND I did 500 words last night! 
Avoiding // Still should tighten up on the bills for mom I suppose. 
My girl has been over in London for nearly a week now and do you think I have one lil ole photo to share with you??? Nope. nada. All this technology and not a single picture!  When she gets back next Sunday she better have scads!!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day: A Sunday Salon for 2014

Time // 7:49 a.m.
Eating // Nothing ~ and need to start eating lighter. I had two little bowls of ice cream yesterday!
Drinking // coffee... with B on my lap. 

Weather // Expecting strong storms today right about the time I need to have my baby girl (now 19) at the airport to go to England
READING // Frankenstein ~ Mary Shelley
I knew this would be different than the movies I've seen, but indeed, this makes the monster so very much more allegorical to what is going on in  Frankenstein's mind.

LISTENING TO // The Mayor of Casterbridge ~ Thomas Hardy
My girls are home so no listening to audiobooks while they're in the car

So Long Insecurity ~ haven't picked this up in a couple days.

Watching // Made my oldest watch Frozen with us. :) I LOVE this movie!!
Music // My oldest has turned me on to some Lana Del Ray. Great stuff!
Blogging // I need to start making it a priority to yak books on here at least 3 times a week!! Is there such a thing as a Mother's Day resolution???
Acquisitions // 
I'm looking so forward to reading The Little Locksmith!! My daughter found these for me during move-out from her first year of college.. 
Which, by the way, how can THAT be possible!
Hating  //  Budgeting... just how many books a month CAN I reasonably say I can sell?
Loving // opportunities. ~ My daughter is going to London TODAY!!!!!

Writing // I keep thinking I'll get that 500 words a day thing going again! How about starting today..
Avoiding // I don't know.. the whole my bills, moms bills, kids bills thing is still a little wibbly-wobbly (paid but not tightly handled if that makes sense) but I'm doing a bit better with not coming in so close to the wire. 
I met with the Director of the Community Development Group for the town I'm planning on opening Among The Stacks in. 
I'm trying to find ways to get creative with my side of the financing. 
OH... and of course.. it's Mother's Day. :)
Being a mother is the BEST thing that ever happened to me and my favorite job in the world!! I could care less if they ever get me Mom's Day presents of try to act a little more conscientious about picking up after themselves on this day. I'm just SO happy they are here!
But I may not get to see my own mom on this day. I miss her, even when I do get to see her. Alzheimer's is the number one most heartbreaking thing I've ever experienced. It's so unfair. But I try not to let her see that when I visit.. I try to make it a fun and encouraging time. I hope I DO get to see her today. I'll try to make it work somehow! 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Salon Sunday is it. May the fourth.

Time // 8:51 p.m. (busy day!)
Eating // Nothing right now but just got back from Davenport, Iowa where we ate at a local favorite calle Riefe's
There is a SERIOUS reason this is a local favorite! I'd never been there before. My daughter goes to college in Davenport and she'd been there and suggested it. WOW! The food was AMAZING!  The 3 of us ate, 2 of us brought home leftovers and the whole bill was only $22! Good bye chain dining!
Drinking // coffee... but with Hazelnut creamer :)
Weather // Smidge on the cool side for May 4th. But I'll take it for the sun and calm winds :)
READING // Frankenstein ~ Mary Shelley
Making some headway but not liking it as much as earlier in the book.

LISTENING TO // The Mayor of Casterbridge ~ Thomas Hardy
Finally about half way done with this. 

So Long Insecurity ~ Beth Moore. Hit a 'meh' spot here

Watching // hmmm. I don't think I've had the tv on for 2 weeks actually.
Music // KLOVE and I did acquire a T-Mac cd :) 
Blogging // I had my big news announcement post that got me exactly zero comments :)
Acquisitions // Good day at Goodwill

7 great books!!...I'm planning a "I saw the movie" display. And the Alexander Maksik because I read this book as a galley and LOVED it! AND ended up communicating via email with Xander a bit. Missed the opportunity to meet him, but hopefully someday.
Hating  //  Not being able to help my kid.
Loving // opportunities. ~ My daughter is going to London next week :)

Writing // I wrote a power point for our Mother Daughter banquet.
Avoiding // B.I.L.L.S. (do you think I'll ever have a post where I'm not avoiding something? Do you ever have days where you can say you're not avoiding anything???? what does that even FEEL like!)
Mother Daughter Banquet at Church. This one was my idea and we our circle pulled together to make it a super fun one! 
Women of the Silver Screen was the program and we had a presentation and a play.
My friend Audrey ( seen in the 3 pics below) was the star as Momma.

My friend Jolyn is Circle president and was MC for the evening. 
Her family did sooooo much work! Dave (her husband) worked in the kitchen and her boys were our ushers!!

Mother's and Daughters of all ages on the red carpet!

And then there's lil ole me... having fun and hamming it up

 I clean up pretty good sometimes for an old gal!!

It was a blast. and even more important because it may be the last one I'm ever involved in. 
One thing I know about the group of ladies I work with at my Church, they will wish me only the best and they'll only want to know if there is anything they can do to help.

I'm blessed. Truly blessed!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

I'm planning a book store!!

Let the full fledge planning commence!!

For the last 5 months I've been playing with the idea and the numbers of opening a brick & mortar bookstore. And I've come to the conclusion...

It's worth a shot!! And actually... I think it could be a truly wonderful thing!! My location is a college town with a small liberal arts college. The population is small but the demographics are super high for per capita graduate degree holders ... even aside from students!

It's a hipster little town that believes in art, culture, coffee, environment, education, indie everything, and shopping local. And it has no bookstore!!

Of course, there are about 10 million things to iron out before this genius idea comes close to reality. But I plan on doing some ironing!!

So, please, join me in welcoming the store:
Among The Stacks

Coming Soon!!!