Thursday, September 30, 2010

Think About It Thursday 9/30

Think About It Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by yours truly. It's just a fun way to discuss topics related to reading and literature. Please join in and add your voice to the discussion.

Today's question is:
Tell us about your usual reading environment. Big cozy chair? Out in the yard? On the bus? Complete quiet or ambient noise? Where do you do most of your reading? 

I am unemployed and stay home with 3 kids so I do most of my reading at home during the day. It doesn't matter how rested I am, if I read on the couch I WILL pass out. So, I usually read in the armchair in the living room. I like it there because it's next to the front window and bright with a nice breeze from outside. I'd love to say it's quiet as well but I did mention that I have 3 kids. So, I usually read with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse playing in the background.

So, tell me. Where do you get your read on!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Teaser Tuesday and #100

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of ShouldBeReading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers! 
Mine comes from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy which I started yesterday. I'm hosted a casual read-a-long of the book, reading one section each week. It's not to late to join in! We just started part 1 yesterday. This comes right from the beginning, pg 4. 

Anna Karenina (Oprah's Book Club)
"There was no answer, except the general answer life gives to all the most complex and insoluble questions. That answer is: one must live for the needs of the day, in other words, become oblivious."

Ok, so link me to your teasers so I can go check them out and grab Anna Karenina and read this massive book a long with me and a few others. Everything is easier when you do it in a group! Check out my post on it here.

One last note. This is my 100th post! Woot! So I'm taking a second to celebrate.

Ok, done now. Have a great Tuesday!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Anna Karenina Read A-Long

Anyone wanna read Anna Karenina with me? It's a massive book so I thought it might be nice to have company while I pushed through it. If you're interested, I plan on starting on Monday and am hoping to stick to a schedule of one part a week. That's 8 weeks, which I think is fairly leisurely. Let me know if you're interested in reading along. Should be fun!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Friday Blog Hop 9/24

Book Blogger Hop

In the spirit of the Twitter Friday Follow, the Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTY is an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs to read! So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start HOPPING through the list of blogs that are posted in the Linky at Crazy-For Books. 

This week she asks:
When you write reviews, do you write them as you are reading or wait until you have read the entire book?

I usually write my reviews right after I finish the book. I try to get to it as soon after completion as possible while everything is still fresh in my mind. 

Now head over and get your name on the linky and join in the fun. 

Think About It Thursday 9/23

After a brief hiatus last week, Think About It Thursday is back in action. This little meme is meant to meant to ask fun sometimes deep questions but I'm worn out this week and we're going to keep things light and easy today.

I want to know if you have kids (or nieces, nephews, grandchildren, whatever) do you read to them and what are your favorites?

I am going to admit that the question is for purely selfish reasons. My kids are 9, 6 and 4 and we've been blazing through Harry Potter trying to finish the series before the new movie comes out. I'm trying to look towards the future and get some ideas for books to start when we're finished. I respect all of your opinions so who better to ask right?

 Feel free to link to your post in the linky list or in the comments and as always, please shoot me an email if you have a question suggestion for future weeks.

Thanks for playing! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

#35 The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje

The English PatientAlrighty, this one might be difficult as I read The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje over the course of a busy two weeks at the pace of a few pages every other day. A lot of it is not exactly fresh in my mind but I'll try the best I can.

The title character is a very badly burned soldier near the end of WWII who is being cared for by a nurse named Hana in run down abandoned villa. The building had served as a hospital of sorts during the war but everyone has left. The burned man whose identity is unknown was too injured to leave and left behind with Hana.

Soon, they are joined by an old friend of Hana's father named Caravaggio, a thief whose talents were put to use by the army. Caravaggio tries to convince Hana to leave but ends up sticking around when she refuses to leave her dying patient. Rounding out their little group is an Indian soldier trained in bomb disposal. He sets up camp and sets about checking the surrounding areas for landmines or unexploded bombs. This odd assortment of people forms a makeshift family of sorts and each ends up learning things about themselves and each other while caring for the burned man.

I really did enjoy the book. I can't say I totally loved it but I did really like it. I enjoyed all the interactions between the four characters and watching the story of the mystery man unfold. It was a lovely story and for anyone whose life is NOT busy and complicated, it would be a quick read at only 301 pages. I would recommend it to almost anyone. Now, I'm waiting for Netflix to send me the movie since I've never seen it but have heard it's great.

Here's hoping my next book takes less time to read or else this list will never even come close to completion.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

And we're back!

So, life is starting to calm down a little bit. One final down and one to go but the remaining is my algebra final and I swear no amount of studying will help with that one. This last week has been a bit of a rollercoaster. I had to create an entire breakfast, lunch and dinner menu for a fictional restaurant of my invention as well as build a layout of said restaurant using a blank floorplan. Of course being the evil genius that he is Chef gave us the worst building possible to build a restaurant in. I finished the menu Friday night, went up to my moms to print (I lost my printer cable) and headed the restaurant supply store to buy menu covers on Saturday. Done right?

Not at  all! Once I got home I realized I had mistakenly bought tri-fold covers went I meant to buy single folds. Naturally, it was too late to run back and exchange them. That would make life too simple wouldn't it. The store couldn't be open on Sunday either, again too simple. I spent Saturday night stretching and adding to my menu until my 4 pages became 6. There was a spot of family drama that arose late Saturday into early Sunday morning that kept me up till the wee hours of the morning so I had plenty of time to get it done. One more trip to moms to reprint and I was finally done! Both projects were turned in last night much to my great relief and now life can get back to normal.

One would think Sunday night would be filled with relaxation since everything was done and waiting to be turned in but that's not the way my life works. There was a massive wildfire on the mountains just a few miles from my house. My husband, daughter and I walked down to the corner where we could see the flames on
Machine Gun Fire - SouthImage by zacheryjensen via Flickr
the hillside. My daughter thought it looked like a volcano. It sort of did as you can see by the picture. On my return home I promptly stepped on a toothpick which inserted itself at least half an inch into the muscle of my foot. Yes, it's as painful as it sounds. One good thing came of it though. It was too painful to walk the next day so I was able to do little but sit and read and I finally finished The English Patient. Review will be coming tonight or tomorrow.

Life should be calming down now and I hope to get back into the swing of things quickly. Thanks for sticking by me through my mini-hiatus.
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Monday, September 13, 2010


Frustration (was: threesixtyfive | day 244)Image by Sybren A. Stüvel via Flickr
Just taking a quick moment to apologize for my lack of reviews this last week. I keep trying to post but I feel like I've posted more filler than substance lately.

Life is kicking me in the butt this week. I have only two weeks of this quarter left and I have to complete an entire menu for a fictional restaurant and I've discovered that MS Word and I do not get along. Formatting this thing has been a nightmare and is leaving little time to read. I just finalized breakfast and completed a rough draft of lunch and dinner so hopefully I can find some time to pick up a book soon.
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Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Blog Hop: Favorites

Book Blogger Hop

It's Friday and once again I'm blog hopping with everyone over at Crazy-For-Books. It's a bit like a giant blog party where you can meet and mingle with other book bloggers. Fun Stuff.

This week the task at hand is to share a link to our favorite book review or post from the last few months.
 I'm going to go with my review for The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. I completely loved this book so I'll pimp it whatever way I can. Check it out HERE.

Thanks for stopping by and leave me a link so I can return your hop and have a great weekend.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Think About It Thursday: Fictional BFF's

Alrighty, it's Thursday and it's time for my new and small but scrappy little Think About It Thursday meme. Each week there is a bookish question which you are free to answer.

This week is about friendships.

Hermione GrangerImage via Wikipedia

Which fictional character would you most like to have as your BFF?

I'm going to go with Miss Hermione Granger from Harry Potter. She's just awesome, brave, loyal and smart as hell. You know when you're in a jam she'll know what to do, usually with a stack of books as her source. What's not to love! Sure, she can be irritatingly all-knowing but if that knowledge is helping me out, I can forgive it. Plus, locking your keys in the car will never ever be a problem.

Ok, so now tell me all about your make believe best friend. If you have a question suggestion please feel free to shoot me an email, just click the link.

Also, I'm changing up the linky list a little this week and making it a blog hop link. Feel free to grab the list link and add it to your post and spread the love.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

8 Question Blog Tag!

Senora G at Reading, Reading, & Life posted a fun little game of blog tag and I'm a sucker for fun so I decided to join in. The premise is simple, answer the 8 questions. I think I can handle that so here goes.

1. Why did you start blogging? I've answered this many times but here's one more. I started blogging because unemployment gets boring after a few months and since I was going on 1 year+ I needed something to do other than watching endless reruns of crappy reality TV. One day I found the list at a bookstore, wanted to attempt it, and *ta-da* the blog was born.

2. If you could travel any where in the world with no restriction of costs, where would it be and why? Sheesh! Where wouldn't I go?? Italy, Japan, England, Ireland, Greece, Hawaii, New York and six million other places.

3. Did you have a teacher in school that had a great influence on your life? If so, what? Wow, I don't know if I can name 1 specific teacher that seriously impacted my life but I was lucky enough to have several teachers who were devoted and caring and kept things interesting enough that I didn't lose interest. I had a 5th grade teacher who encouraged us to learn in whatever way was most convenient for us, not him. A science teacher in 8th grade that made it fun and not boring. An algebra teacher in 10th grade that explained it in a way I actually understood. A history teacher in 11th grade who made it interesting and more than just dates and places and a dance teacher for all of high school who really cared about us all.They all helped to shape me into the person I am now and I'm grateful.

4. If you could spend the day with a famous person, who would it be, and what would you do?  I'm not sure if this is living or dead so I guess I'll answer both. Dead: I'd have to say Queen Elizabeth I, I love her and I'd just want to sit and pick her brain about that time period. Living: Uhm, I dunno. I can't think of anyone living that I'm DYING to meet or hang out with. I guess I'll go with Johnny Depp. More than just being easy on the eyes, he just seems like a crazy, chill guy and he's played some way interesting parts so I think he'd be fun to hang out with as well. I'd ask him if Tim Burton and Helena Bonham Carter are as wacky as they seem.

5. Toilet paper — over or under? I seriously don't care, nor to I really pay attention. I just change the thing without really noticing how it lays.

6. Name one thing in your life that you would do over if possible. This is a tough one. I definitely have regrets in my life but if I did things differently then my life would be different. My life is far from perfect but I have my little family to show for it so I did some things right.

7. Tell about your pets — if any. I have one cat named Dog. We call her this because she acts like a dog. She plays fetch, she's not all snotty like a lot of cats and she totally ignores her water dish, preferring to drink out of the toilet instead. She's black with a white belly and white socks. The white stripe on her belly makes a little 's' for 'supercat' and she has a little black heart on one of her back socks. She's the best dang cat ever except for one little flaw. She's a catch and release cat. She chases flies or other bugs around the house and catches them, just to release and do the whole thing over. I wish she'd just kill them and save me the trouble. Other than that she's perfect.

8. Do you live in a small town or a large town. (You don’t have to name the town.) I'm in an average size town, a suburb I suppose of Salt Lake City. I don't know if I could do small town, I don't want to live in a big city but I like to be able to visit and get that busy, exciting, big city feel when I feel like it. (Not that Salt Lake is that big but it's what I got.)

Now I'm tagging you. You're it. Ok GO! :)

It's a blog hop so leave your link!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday: The English Patient

Happy Tuesday everyone! Hope you all had a happy safe Labor day, reveling in the last day of summer.

 Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's comes from The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje pg 93

The English Patient
"The tales Hana had read to the English patient, traveling with the old wanderer in Kim or with Fabrizio in The Charterhouse of Parma, had intoxicated them in a swirl of armies and horses and wagons- those running away from or running towards a war. Stacked in one corner of his bedroom were other books she had read to him whose landscapes they have already walked through."

I just started so I don't have a major opinion yet. I guess time will tell. 

Monday, September 6, 2010

#34 The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid's Tale (Everyman's Library)I'm not usually into dystopian or sci-fi-esque type books. It's just not my thing but I highly enjoyed Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid Tale. This book takes place in a not so distant future type setting called the Republic of Gilead, which pops up after a takeover of the US. The Republic is a religious type of government who was disturbed by the prevalence of sex and promiscuity and takes over, removing the rights of all women and even declaring war on opposing religious sects.

Handmaids are the women who were proven to be fertile and who have been collected and assigned to high ranking men and their wives to be a surrogate mother of sorts. The women must produce a child in order to prove their worth as a woman and keep themselves from being sent to 'the colonies', a toxic, disease riddled, shanty town where they send undesirable people to die.

The handmaid from the title is given the name Offred, one of the first handmaids, and the book follows her story in a jumbled narrative as she struggles with her current position and is haunted by her memories of the past, before the republic took over.

This book was a bit disturbing to read but I was still engrossed. The women are all treated as inferior, as commodities and it disturbed me, though I believe it is supposed to. If it doesn't, there is something wrong with you. However, despite the subject matter bothering me, I couldn't put it down, I was far too intrigued in her story. The ending was a bit abrupt and that sort of ticked me off but I had to admit that it was appropriate within the context of the book. There is a strange little epilogue that attempts to to clear a few things up but not much.

I highly enjoyed the book and would recommend it.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Blog Hop: Cover Judging

Book Blogger Hop

It's Friday and time to hop. I took a break from the hop last week as I was busy with my oldest child's birthday. Now that the cake making and present buying are behind us I can actually participate this week.

The blog hop is an awesome meme hosted by Crazy-For-Books. If you don't know, it's kind of a big deal. She gets a ton of links every week that lead to new and interesting blogs to follow so check it out! Every week comes with a question as well, just to shake things up a bit.

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

I will totally cop to the fact that I judge books by their cover. It's not a deliberate thing but I admit, a great cover or title will grab my attention and peak my interest enough to pick it up and check it out. If a book has a blah sort of cover there is a good chance I won't bother to even read the synopsis. There are just so many books out there that checking covers is the easiest way to filter through them. This only comes into play when I'm casually browsing. Lately, I go in with a list, grab them and get out before my kids can start whining about looking at boring 'mom' books.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Think About it Thursday 9-2

Think About it Thursday is a new little meme hosted by yours-truly, mostly to just entertain myself but everyone is welcome to play along. The more the merrier right. I mean people start to worry about people who play by themselves all the time, right?

So every week there is a question to be answered. You can do so on your own blog and add your link so the rest of us can go see or you can just answer in the comments. And, if you are really ambitious and would like to suggest a question for future week then go ahead and use the 'contact me' link at the top of the right sidebar and fill me in and I'll totally give you a shout-out if I use yours.

Now, this week's question is a matter of time.

Is there a specific time period you enjoy reading about more than others? Medieval, turn of the century, great depression, contemporary, futuristic? What time frame floats your boat?

I don't know why I keep asking questions that are hard for myself to answer. Perhaps, I like making life difficult for myself. It's hard for me to pick a specific time frame because lately the list dictates my reading choices and I've been getting quite the eclectic mix of subject matter, time frames, and styles. In general though, I've always been drawn to Tudor/Elizabethan era England. I completely *heart* Queen Elizabeth I, she was bad-ass and I'm a bit fond of her mom too, she got a bad rap that one. So I enjoy most books about that time frame, even if some are historically inaccurate. *Cough* The Other Boleyn Girl *Cough*. I even discovered a while back that I am related to Cardinal Wolsey who was an advisor to Henry VIII (Played by Sam Neil for you Tudors fans) He met with an unfortunate end as well but I won't talk too bad on him, he is my lots-of-greats grandfather after all. (even if it was through a bastard child with his mistress)

Ok well I've gone off track here so I'll quit. Now it's your turn!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

End of August Progress Report

Another month has come and gone. I am a huge fan of summer so August is a particularly painful month for me to see slip away. Here in Utah, September is still fairly warm but I always equate September to the beginning of a new school year and thus, the end of summer. This week has actually been down in the 70's during the day and 50's at night so it's starting to feel like fall. My husband is reveling in what he calls the start of 'hoodie weather'. That's perfect for him, he stole my only decent hoodie and wore it to work one day last spring so now it's all dirty from the construction site and I have to go buy myself a new one. Apparently I'll have to make sure it's girly enough that he won't 'borrow' it.

But I'm getting off topic. August was a good month for me. All month I felt like I was dragging myself through books. Several took me longer than planned but I still managed to read 8 list books this month. SO I guess I wasn't going that slow after all.

This month I've read



Wow, I feel accomplished! It was a good month. I even squeezed in a non list book for some fun, light reading.

I have now read 33 books from the list, only 968 to go. The list is now 3.29% complete.

Here's hoping I can keep up this pace.

#33 The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien

The Things They CarriedThe Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien is a collection of stories loosely based on the author's own experiences in Vietnam. I had a hard time putting this book down. I would grab it, thinking I'd get a quick chapter in before doing something else and then end up reading for an hour and forgetting everything else. I'm not usually a big war story person, I'm far too anti-violence/peace-loving. However, this one dealt less with stories of actual fighting or warfare. It deals with a lot of the emotional aftermath of big events or with the boredom and stress felt by the soldiers. The stories jump around a lot and the whole thing is a bit jumbled, sometimes even confusing but it works. To me it felt organic, like I was really sitting there listening to a vet tell his stories.

This book hit home a little for me. I have never experienced war personally but my dad was special forces in Vietnam, POW/MIA and all that. I am the world's biggest daddy's girl and I kept imagining my dad in those situations. It made me think a lot about all that he, and countless others, had to go through. My dad is the most patriotic person you will ever meet and he always instilled in us deep and profound respect for the members of our armed forces. This book only helped to solidify that respect. I couldn't imagine having to go to war like that but I am damn grateful to those who did and those who are still fighting. So, I'll take a second to give a big Thank You to all our servicemen and women.

Obviously, I'm giving this book a big recommendation. Pick it up! Plus, at a mere 230 pages it's a quick and easy, yet compelling read.
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