Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Night Flight a mini review

Night Flight was no Little Prince. Yet it was definately an intelligent book. Set in the Andean Mountains, the mail flights must continue day and night. The night flight is a tale of pilots during an incoming cyclone and the managers on the ground who arrange the mail flights. I was slightly dissapointed in the conclusion, which didn't seem like an ending.
If this book is anything like The Little Prince, I am certain I would like it more with a second read. However, for today I give it a 2.5 out 5. I finished it, but do not love it. I kept hoping for greatness, and was given a decent story about human nature moving between a series of men involved the flying of mail. It was cerebral, yet not in a classically beautiful sort of way.

2.5 out of 5

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Doctor Who

Saturday Movie Review

This last week I did not watch any new movies. So I'm switching up the review to share with my readers about my favorite television series. Doctor Who first ran from 1963-1989 on British television. It has spanned the generations and continues to endure through the conviently imagined regeneration of the doctor. 
Doctor Who on BBC America

My 1st Cents: The writing is clever, brilliant in fact. When BBC Wales revived the Doctor Who television series the 9th Docor, played by Christopher Eccleson brought the charisma of the Doctor back to life with a new instensity. I remember running across him on the Syfy channel. He was wonderful and vibrant. I fell in love with him along with his companion Rose. And then the first series ended and he regenerated. I was a bit devestated. I researched Doctor Who and found first the Doctor regenerates as a way to heal. Secondly, I found a whole world of Doctors from the earlier three decades. My favorite of the earlier Doctors is played by Tom Baker. Each Doctor is the same, yet also distinctly different.

My 2nd Cents: Series 2-4 are played by David Tennant, the 10th Doctor. He was a most wonderful Doctor. His eyes carried the depth of the Doctor's long live, while his frenetic interactions provided a youth and vitality to his portrayal. His cobbled together Tardis and Time Lord technology, brings a journey of epic proportions to the viewers. And yet somewhere in the journey we learn about the value of all sentient life. Always valuing life, always looking for the greater good, the Doctor and his companions journey throughout time and space.

Final Thoughts: Series 5 began this April on BBC America. The 11th Doctor, played by Matt Smith is adventuring on a whole new seriess of journeys. I haven't scene it yet because I don't get BBC America, but I'm told it is fresh, sassy, and downright brilliant.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures was written by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. It was published in December 2009. The book is set in Gatlin North Carolina.

Summary from Goodreads: "Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she’s struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps, and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever.
Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town’s oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them.
In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything." 
Review: I loved reading this book. The plot moved steadily forward in a lovely spiral that reminds me of the vines intertwined on the book cover. I started it in hour 22 of my readathon and after about 50 pages, set it aside. I could tell that the book was being done an injustice. I was much to tired to capture the intricate details layed out before me within the text. After being well rested, I read the first 350 pages of the book over the next few days. Once I got to page 351 I did not stop reading even though each minute stole from a good night's sleep. I absolutely loved reading the story of Ethan and Lena.

As many have said before references to To Kill a Mockingbird abound in the book. Additionally the presence literature played in the bookwas beautiful. There were parts of the book that were predictable, and parts of the book that seemed a bit stretched, yet I did not mind. Overall the story called me forward. As I finished the story, I was not disappointed.

Final Thoughts: I loved how the authors brought in so many literary references. I loved how we got glimpses into the confederacy reinactments and southern small town life. I loved that the book included family trees. I referred back to them multiple times.

4.5 out 5 stars (I'm super stingy with 5's)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Random Dozen

Enjoy. Maybe you'll learn something new about me.

1. Ever had any run-ins with the "library police?" Yeah, lots in college. I was always too loud, even in the group study rooms. (And to make it worse I worked there.) The duty librarian would tsk me extra hard.

2. Do you have a special organizational plan and place for wrapping paper, gift bags, etc., or do you just purchase whatever you need as you give gifts? I have files of home made cards, tissue paper, and wrapping paper, as well as a stack of bags. So I guess I'm stockpiled and organized.

3. Have you ever been in (first-hand witness) a natural disaster? Yes. The Earthquake in Washington State that cracked the capital building.

4. What's your favorite Barry Manilow song? Um, I'm not sure if I can even name a Barry Manilow song. OK, I googled him, and I guess then Copacobana, since that's only one I recognized from the titles.

5. What's the best costume you've ever worn? Two years ago for a Spielberg themed birthday party. I was the blue fairy as imagined in I-Robot. It was fantastic. I got to wear a medieval like dress with huge sleeves, and then gigantic fairy wings.

6. Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus? Definately the Thesaurus. I'm always looking for a better word to express my thoughts. 

7. What's your favorite breakfast food? Really good pancakes. The fluffy kind with blackberry syrup.

8. Have you ever purchased anything from an infomercial? Nope, but I did buy the water bulbs from the store.

9. Have you ever crawled through a window? Yes. My own bedroom window. That was after I left my house key inside and before my parents added an alarm system

10. Do you believe in love at first sight? Yes, but I also believe in love as it grows from friendship.

11. How man pairs of jeans do you own? 7 pairs, but only two actually fit.

12. If someone were going to bake a cake to honor/represent you, what would it be? (Think creatively, like Duff and Crew on "Ace of Cakes.") I'd like someone to bake a gigantic Library It would have my favorite books on shelves, with a lovely chair and writing desk, and globe on a stand. And the whole library built on a set of three books. Lord of the Rings, The Giving Tree, and The Long Winter.
Hosted at 2nd-cup-of-coffee

Lamb Bright Saviors by Robert Vivian

Lamb Bright Saviors was sent to me for review by Phenix and Phenix literary publicists.  Published in March 2010, this is his second novel in the Tall Grass Trilogy, which is set in  Nebraska. Publisher's Weekly called him a "latter-day Faulkner" after reading the novel I see evidences of just that. In Lamb Bright Saviors, a terminally ill itinerant preacher collects an unusual congregation for his last hours.

Summary: The story is the tale of an itinerant preacher and those who end up at his deathbed. There is the assistant Mady, who has been following the Mr. Gene around for nearly as long as she can recall. Then there are four recently reaquainted comrades who bring the preacher to the house and set up listening to his final words. Finally, there is Ms. Marion, the blind lady who home the others come to with the dying preacher. All who attend the preacher in his final hours have a broken pasts and a need for giving or receiving forgiveness. As the story plays out, we get glimpses in to past, present, and futures of the people in the room.

Review: The story was called a "gritty tale that explores themes of faith and forgiveness." If that is an intriging notion, then I would suggest one checks out the book. It has essences of Faulkner with beautiful descriptive sentences like "In the meantime the joy is simmering below your sundress inside your skin and even deeper than that: it goes so far inside it's like when you peel back the layers of an onion and it makes you wanna cry (p.10)." The text was chalk full of rich descriptions of life and transcendent ponderings of trains of thought. My greatest dislike was the quantity of vulgarity peppered throughout the book. It recalled to my mind Salinger's Catcher in the Rye. It too has a lot of profanity and yet is classic. For my reading, Lamb Bright Savior's clever use of the english language sustained it beyond the profane language. Additionally, the pervasive but not overly layered message of forgiveness and strength of character development enabled my enjoyment of the novel.

The book was dense for its 185 pages. It was not a quick read as I waded through the imagery, I found myself pausing and rereading passages to gain a more thorough understanding.

About the Author: Robert Vivian grew up in Nebraska. He has a PHD in creative writing and modern American literature, with a minor in religious studies from the University of Nebraska. He currently is living with his wife in Alma Michigan. There he is writing the third book in The Tall Grass Trilogy and teaching at Alma College.

3 out of 5 Stars. It was a definate departure from the YA books I have read in the past books. It was densely packed and determinedly intense.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Julia and Julie the Movie

Saturday Movie Review
Julie and Julia

Summary: Julie upon nearing her 30th birthday sets out to cook at 574 recipies in Julia Child's book in one year while maintaining a blog about her adventure. Meanwhile the viewers also travel back in time to Julia as she moves to France and begins her adventure with French cooking. The film flows between the Julie of today and the Julia of before as the viewers what both ladies transformed through their journeys. 

My first Cent: The movie was hilarious, and not in the laugh track don't miss the punch line kind of funny. It was the kind that one has in the living room with friends over pie. I think we all know that kind. It's when no is trying to be funny, but we are all laughing at ourselves and each other.  Julia is beautiful, so passionate about food, and determined to share her knewfound knowledge of things like beef boulangaise.  Julie is finding herself through the cooking sauces, meats, and deserts the French way. I could relate to Julie and Julia as they struggled to maintain sanity in an insane world.

My Second Cent: I wonder if there was an increase in book purchases of Julia Child's cookbook following the viewing of this movie. I imagine foodies everywhere desiring to cook from Julia's cookbook. I know I nearly went out last night to find the book at my local late nighte book store. I managed to abstain.

4 out of 5 stars.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey

I listened to this audio book. I love the Pern books and this is the book that is the start of them all. When I first read the series I devoured whichever book I could locate at my local library so this time through I have decided to attempt to read them in Chronological order. I love the relationship and eternal bond between dragon and rider. I love the charactors of Pern and after one of the mini challenges during the 24hour Readathon, I've started contemplating casting of the Pern series. So far I have only deceded on F'nor being played by Michael Shanks. Any Pern lovers out there with additional casting ideas are welcome to join in my fun. So how do I describe Pern?

There are so many great things in Pern. Dragons who speak telepathically to their riders, Harpers who both perform and teach the nation, and and otherworld agrarian lifestyle that is reminenscent of medieval times. Imagine dragons flying with humans defeating dangerous threads falling from the sky with dragon flames. Imagine vast landscapes of fields and age old stone structures with mountains in the background. Admid all that there are also duels, dragon egg hatchings, and holder revolts. All this is just in the first book. Now I have in my hands DragonQuest. The second book published. It is the on my stack waiting its turn not to patiently. I think I hear the Dragons calling to me.

If you love fantasy and have not discovered Anne McCaffrey, I urge you to give her a try and this book is an excellent book to begin your adventure.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Diary of a Wimpy Kid

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney is recieving a surprising good review. Okay this book was hilariously funny. I laughed out loud so many times I lost count. It is written in comic book style. We have Greg, a middle school student progressing through the school year. He has a best mate, Rowley, who he seems to think he is better than. He is average at school and lives with his parents and younger brother.

The first time I laughed was when he explained Reading groups in school. The teachers don't tell students which level they are, but all the students knew which group was which. The give away was the book titles."Einstein as a Child" and "Bink Says Boo"  I laughed uproariously.

The book is very quick and easy for an adult and quite popular with all ages of kids. My 9 year old friend has been reading them for over a year and my 12 year old friend owns the whole series.Check it out, and have a good laugh. If you really like it, there are more books in the series.

4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Enter to Win a Mattress

We spend up to 1/4 to 1/3 of our time in bed. So why do so many of us buy cheap and uncomfortable mattresses? My mattress is mediocre. I fugure if I had an outstanding mattress, each moment of sleep would be maximized. How would it feel to be more rested? I think to the few nights I actually do get a good nights's sleep and think it would be amazing to get that every night. After watching the Doctor's Clip on Momstart's site I am at least determined to not scrimp on my next mattress. I spend more time in bed than in my car and I don't scrimp there.

The two things that impressed me about the sleep mattress system is that I can adjust the level to my preference. I am usually a stomach sleeper, but sometimes I must sleep on my back. It would be nice to change the firmness on those occasions. The second thing I like is the clean nature of the mattress. The anti-microbial treatment to kill germs and the zipper to allow vacuuming on the inside are both wonderful.

To Enter and Win visit MomStart's Blog. The contest runs until April 30th.

Happy Dreams.

Rumors Luxe #2

Readers of my blog might remember that I had mixed feelings about Luxe book 1 of the Luxe series. Now that I have finished book two I know two things for certain. First, I love Diana Holland and want to continue to reading anything about her. Second, I hate Penelope Hayes and would like to see her downfall. I am indeed blessed because there are more books in the Luxe series. I'm quite excited about the prospects Envy might hold.

This story continues to follow all the leading charactors from book 1 as they move about in New York Society. Therefore more Diana and more Penelope. I wonder if Anna intended on the readers disliking Penelope so much, or if it is just me who feels the immense distaste for her plots and schemes.

Anna like Prologues that allude to the conclusion. That was my largest gripe in book one. However in book two she beautifully creates allusion to the conclusion, while creating a mystery around the actualities. It was utterly fantastically crafted.

4 out of 5 stars.

Historical Fiction Challenge 2010

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Voices of Dragons

Voices of Dragons by Carrie Vaughn is the best piece of YA fiction I have read in a great deal of time. I was blown away by the reviews from my fellow bloggers and just had to get my hands on a copy. So in preparation for the Dewey 24 hr Read-a-Thon, I reserved a copy at my local library.This book is much more than a library find, this is one of those books that was so magnificient that I shall have to acquire my own copy to read and reread. Ms. Vaughn did a lovely job allowing the reading to sink into the world of Kay Wyatt. I began enjoying the book from the first line. However it was on page 6 that I knew writing was going to be divine. In the description of a dragon, she wrote, "It was gray like storm clouds, shimmering to ice blue or silver depending on ow the sunlight hit it."  I closed my eyes and pictured what Kay must be seeing. And that was it, I didn't want to stop reading. I read the book straight through and sighed pleased at the ending.

Okay enough gushing, how about some intelligent critique. I found the interactions with the various government agencies and the military realistic. All the powerplays and secrets I also loved the interaction between dragon and human. It's was a wonderful echo of how lack of communication amplifies misunderstandings. Thirdly, I loved the ending. I can't say much because I'm leary of spoilers. Here's what I will say, I dislike neatly wrapped up packages like the end of a sitcom after the last commercial. This book was nothing like that.

A Guest Post about Dragons on bitten by books
Short Interview of Carrie Vaughn at YA Addict
To find out more about Carrie and her Series about a werewolf girl named Kitty you can also visit her website

Speculative Fiction Challenge 2010
Fantasy Fiction Challenge 2010

5 out 5 stars

Read-a-Thon Wrap Up

24 hour readathon  It was absolutely fantastic.

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 23 was the most daunting. It was the hour I didn't finish. Hour 24 was spent peacefully sleeping.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Voices of Dragons was fantastic. by page 6, I was enthralled.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?Hmm. I believe there is always room for growth, yet I can't think of anything apecific to share. I plan on having pre-cut veggies next time round.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I really loved the peppy videos of the last hours. They made me stop and smile, even have a laugh. Also the cheerleaders were fantastic. In the last few hours, the cheerleaders awake were very interactive on twitter. It was definately encouraging.

5. How many books did you read? I read 7 books (three from start to finish)

6. What were the names of the books you read?
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid (finished)
  • The Selfless Gene (progress Made)
  • Rumors (finished)
  • Night Flight (started and finished)
  • Voices of Dragons (started and finished)
  • Beautiful Creatures (started)
  • Magic Tree House Research Guide (started and finished)
7. Which book did you enjoy most? I would say Voices of Dragons way my favorite. I am thrilled that I picked it up for the readathon.

8. Which did you enjoy least? The Selfless Gene. I snuck it in early to try and push through as much of it as I could. I did manage 62 pages.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? Did not cheerlead this year.

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I am definately going to read again next year and cheerlead for a couple hours too.
Total Pages Read: 1023

Total Hours of Book Reading: 12 hours 51 minutes

In Closing...

24 hours Read-a-thon

Need to add 10 pages and 15 minutes to my last post. That will be my final tally.

Yep, that is all for now.
I will sleep and write up more tommorrow.
Maybe even a review.

22 hour checkpoint

Books covered:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid (finished)
The Selfless Gene (progress Made)
Rumors (finished)
Night Flight (started and finished)
Voices of Dragons (started and finished)
Beautiful Creatures (started)
Magic Tree House Research Guide (started and finished)

Total Pages Read: 1013
Total Hours of Book Reading: 12 hours 31 minutes

Food of the Readathon

Hosted by Hungry Readers, which seems quite appropriate.

Over the course of the read-a-thon I have consumed 5 cups of coffee, 2 cups of green tea, a variety of Easter candy, . I learned that too many peeps is not a good thing.
I love peeps and they were .67 a for packages of 15 peeps. I ate about 1/2 the package in an hour and a half and boy did I feel the sugar rush. I had to eat another serving of casserole to combat it. Peeps are some crazy tradition.

Balancing out all the crazy junk is the Chili, Potato, Casserole, and Bread for nutritional sustinanI prepped yesterday.

On a side note is anyone else having difficulty with an increased number of typos. I'm loosing my ability to proof my own blog posts.

Speaking of Peeps, Have you seen what others do with their peeps.

and even this

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Status Update 17 hours done

Currently Reading Voices of Dragons

Finished since last update: Night Flight

Total time reading books: 7 hours 46 minutes
Total Pages read: 639

Get the Hecck out of Here mini challenge

1.What steps did you take to ensure you’d be able to read as much as possible today?
I cleaned house, started a crockpot of Chili on Friday, baked fresh bread, moved my saturday walk to Friday, gathered beverages and snacks, and stacked all my half read and TBR books in one location.

2.Of those steps, which proved to be the most beneficial to your day?
I would say the gathering of food and the clean house were the most beneficial.

3.Is there anything you might do differently next time?
Find a local friend to at least read part of the 'athon with. Maybe a series of friends.
Get the Heck out of Here mini challenge hosted by Literate Housewife

First Book I loved? Are You My Mother?

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman. I never owned the book, but I checked it out of the church library probably a dozen times as a kid. The little bird had lost it's mother and begins asking all sorts of things if they are his mother. He even asked a crane. I loved the poetical repetition and the happy ending.
Mini Challenge Hosted at Literarily Speaking

As Part of the 24Readathon 

Once Upon a Reading: Sarah's Turn

One Persons Journey is hosting this mine-challenge.

It had been a long winter. She was alone and there was no going back on her promises. The Trickster's Choice had taken her grandmother quickly and with it all those whom she loved, Then Voices of Dragons began to call to her in the night. She pondered their meanings while, planting her garden that fateful early spring day.

The White Dragon dropped down quietly and fixed it whirling Dragonseye upon her until she looked up from her row of squash seedlings. She knew immediately that it was the dragon of her dream. Dragons really were Beautiful Creatures. The voice in her head spoke as clearly as if it had been audible. Sarah, it is time to leave The Island. Then the dragon explained the dire need and the urgency of stealth.

Springing into action, Sarah climbed the three flights of stairs quickly. Once In Grandma's Attic, she began searching for something, anything warm to wear on her Dragonflight. The dragon had said it would need to be a Night Flight. Humans take strangely to seeing them in the air and the night hid them. Searching through trunks, she found a Faded coat of Blue. She quickly put it one and took the stairs downward two at a time. She picked up her worn out duffle bag and began to fill it with essentials like shirts and Socks. Then she added a bit of Sea Glass, her mother's Chalice, and father's pocketwatch. It wasn't much, but it was a bit of home, in case she never returned to her home.

Quietly descending the steps on her porch and looked again into The Eyes of a Dragon, smiling a hopeful smile. Dusk was descending and Sarah a Dragonsinger by heritage climbed onto the large back of the dragon. This was where her father had Gone when she was only three into the battle against the ancient ones. Now she, the last in a line of singers would journey also to the Rainbow's End.


Mini Challenge for Hour 14

Books into Movies.

Here was the Mission and I chose to accept it: "Think of your favorite book – has it been made into a movie? If not (and maybe you’ll need to go to your 2nd favorite book and so on), tell me if you’d like to see it made into a movie and pick one character from the book and give me information on which actor you’d love to see cast in the part."

Dragonflight. It is the first book of the Pern series. There are so many great things in Pern. Dragons who speak telepathically to their riders, Harpers who both perform and teach the nation, and and otherworld agrarian lifestyle that is reminenscent of medieval times. Imagine dragons flying with humans defeating dangerous threads falling from the sky with dragon flames. Imagine vast landscapes of fields and age old stone structures with mountains in the background. Admid all that there are also duels, dragon egg hatchings, and holder revolts. Who wouldn't want to watch...

As for charactors. One of my favorite charactors is F'nor. His resides in Benden Weyr as dragonrider to Canth a brown dragon. His brother, the bronze wing leader is  determined and calculating. F'nor provides a tempering of his brother's guarded persona. He seems relaxed and personable, while clever and dependable. All the things a great leader needs in a wing man, which he is in more way than one to his brother. An actor who played F'nor would  need to be able to display fierce loyalty, compassionate sympathy, and cheerful lightheartedness.
I think Michael Shanks would make a phenomenal F'nor the brown rider. Below is a picture of him from his website that provides additional support. (He is known best for his work as Daniel Jackson in Stargate SG-1)

This mini-challenge is hosted by The Lost Entwife

Mid Way Survey

5 hr 34 minutes total
Total Pages read: 417

And here are the Questions and Answers

1. What are you reading right now?Night Flight by Antione Saint de Exupery

2. How many books have you read so far? I've read in three other books, completed two.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. I'm saving it for later to encourage myself to keep going.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? I moved y Saturday morning walk to Friday evening and turned down several invitations for Saturday evening events. I also cleaned my kitchen really well so it wouldn't stare at me.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Only one. My monthly art meeting is 10-1. I went to it, had a blast and came back revived and ready to read more.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? The mini-challenges are a lot of fun. I didn't know what to expect, and I am loving them.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Hmm.. Not yet I'll let you know if I do though.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I think next year I will schedule in a few cheerleader hours. It seems like a fun break from reading and I enjoy the cheering I've been recieving.

9. Are you getting tired yet? Nope, but then in my time zone it is 5pm so ask me again in 5 hours and I probably will be tired.

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?
Take the idea of musical backgrounds. It has been wonderful.

If the Cover Fits Mini Challenge

Sunshine is

Dragon Quest is

First Test is Beautiful

Infected is

Ophelia is


3:24 and all is well. Just finished Rumors and read 75 more minutes. After a hiatus from 9:45-2:05 for a monthly artists meeting.
Rumors was amazing. Look for my review in the near future. Now checking what mini-challenges are going.


Five hours in...

Five hours (or nearly so) and all is well.

Books Completed: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Books Read: The Selfless Gene: 51 pages; Rumors 170 pages

Page Read: 268
Time read 3 hours, 7 minutes

And now I am off to my second saturday art meeting. See you all in 3 hours to continue the read-a-thon fun.
(With audio book for the car)

Mini Challenge Hour 4

Hosted at Bart's Bookshelf
This was a great and somewhat active project as I darted around my bookshelves looking for good verbs.
Mine says:
Beautiful creatures in grandma's attic captivating voices of dragon out of the silent planet.

I think...
Imagine those creatures calling out, beautiful enough to captivate a dragon's voice from where silence reigns. So fun. Thanks.

It's a quarter 8 and all is well.

Time: 7:44am
pages read: 168
Time Reading: 107 minutes
Cups of Coffee 1.2

The Crazy Pile of Books

The lovely setup around my happy lime green chair.

Read-a-thon Mini Challenge #1

My coffee was prepped with push button action for the 5am go time. My first book plan was to finish the last 47 pages of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Which would provide me with an early success. I would use that to springboard myself into The Selfless Gene. The book is not a favorite, but as it is for a review, I must finish it eventually. I have snacks piled within reach on one side and the TBR pile on the other side. I also have my Glee soundtrack on pause in case I need musical inspiration. Currenty I am rewarding myself with a mini challenge and a bowl of cereal after having completed 51 pages in The Selfless Gene.

And now back to the books.

Mini Challenge Link

Readathon Link

Read-a-thion Hour 1

Where are you reading from today?

3 facts about me …
1. I am not a morning person, but I still got up at 5am to begin the readathon with a bang. (my friends think I'm a bit crazy)
2. I love studying about islands, particularily non-tropical ones. (My favorite are Jersey, Guernsey and Sark)
3. I participates in TOM's go barefoot Day on April 8th (I made cardboard shoes to go into stores)

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? I have 17 more books on my TBR pile, but I am reasonably sure I won't finish more than 10.

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? My only goal is to have lots of fun and read out the experience. I'll create goals next time based on this time

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time?
This is my first time.

Link to Read-a-thon

Good Morning Read-a-Thon

It is 5am (actually as I am writing this, it is yesterday at 11:26am) and I am ready to settle in for a morning of reading. I have coffee mug number one brewed, and am starting with finishing Diary of a Wimpy Kid. I think it is a nice light book to wake up to before I charge into something a little more heavy. After Diary of a Wimpy Kid I plan on charging through a good chunk of The Selfless Gene which I must finish at some point in order to review it. After that I will reward myself with whatever book excites me on the stack. This should take me up through the first few hours. I am super excited to enbark on this adventure. I hope I knock out a few book review needs, enjoy a few books I've found through reviews, and have an all around good time.

Happy Reading to all.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Blind Side.

If I was not the last person on earth to watch the blindside, then I say to the holdouts. "It is a must watch movie." I've watched it twice this week and currently the roommate and her friend are watching it again in the living room. The story is poignant. The acting is outstanding. The message is unforgetable.

Michael Oher, now a Baltimore Raven has a story that begins in the projects of Nashville with his drug addicted mother. Leigh Anne and Sean Touhy step into his life and all lives are changed forever. If you are a crier grab some tissue, rent the movie, or better yet buy it because you will probably want to own it.

Movie Trailor:

My weekend movie review is up on Friday because Saturday will be consumed by the read-a-thon.

5 out of 5 stars.
Each time the movie gets better.

My Book Tastes

This is in response to Debbie's World of Books. I realisez I could just keep going and going so I am going to stop and post this.

List one or more books for the following categories:
1. Books you have read more than once:
  • Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  • The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Little Prince by Antione Saint de Exupery
  • Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell

2. Books you want on a deserted island (3 maximum)
  • The Bible
  • The Voyage of the DawnTreader by C.S. Lewis
  • Lord of the Rings Trilogy by Tolkien

3.Books that made you laugh
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  • Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

4. Books that made you cry
  • The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  • The Last two books in the Harry Potter Series
  • Nightfall by Isaac Asimov
  • Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

5. Books you wish you had written
  • Not sure about one.

6. Books you wish had never been written
  • Wow, that's a harsh question. I figure usually books I dislike, some else loves, so I guess none, though I wish I hadn't been assigned to read The Scarlet Letter twice, so maybe that book.

7. Books you are currently reading
  • Rumors by Anna Godbersen
  • Jane Austen Christian Encounters
  • City of God by Augustine
  • The Selfless Gene by Charles Foster
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
  • Alanna the First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

8. Books you have been meaning to read
  • War and Peace by Tolstoy
  • Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
  • Night Flight by Antione de Saint-Exupery
  • Beautiful Creatures
  • Sea Glass by Anita Shreve
  • Eragon
9. Books that changed your life
  • The Little Prince by Antione de Saint-Exupery
  • Romans by Paul
  • Circle of Quiet by Madeleine L'Engle
  • The Sabbath of Abraham Joshua Heschel

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins: It comes around every week

Friday Fill-Ins: #171 are here. It's late Thursday, but I am posting now, because Friday may turn out to be a crazy day.

1. In 1992, I was not aware of most things that I am passionate about today.
2. Now I know that a building block of friendship is laughter and smiles.
3. Do what you can to stay loyal and true, with what you have been given to hold in your heart, where you expend your time and talents.
4. Playing at the park with my brother's family is where I'd like to be.
5. The trees and flowers are telling me spring has arrived, but I'm still cold at night under multiple covers.
6. The energizer bunny will eventually fade away, but it the grace and mercy from God that just keeps going on.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Cleaning my house, tomorrow my plans include Dewey Read-a-thon and Sunday, I want to sleep and then go to evening church!

Dewey's Read-a-Thon April 10, 2010

I've gathered my stack of books. Some to try and finish, some to check out, and some I know are sure wins. I am ready for April 10th Read-a-thon.

Some Books on My Pile:
 Beautiful Creatures
 Alanna: The 1st Adventure
Jane Austen: Christian Encounters
The faerie Path
Voices of Dragons
Northanger Abbey
The Secret History of the Pink Carnation
Lamb Bright Savoirs
The Selfish Gene
People of the Book
Sea Glass
Magic Tree House Research Guide: Rainforests
The Incredible Journey
Audio: Dragonwings
Audio: The Chosen One

I believe I will have enough variety to keep interested. Also in the plans. Crockpot Chili starting on Friday, leftover Easter candy, a variety of beverages, and a clean house to prevent distractions.

Go Barefoot April 8th

One Day without Shoes

I'm going Shoeless, but since some errands don't allow me to enter shoeless, I've constructed some cardboard sandals to wear. First it a picture of them on my feet. Second is them with one upside down. The purple straps are duct tape I had leftover.

Doctor Who and the Androids Invasion

This book has the Tardis landing with Sarah Jane Smith and the 4th Doctor in the English countryside. They almost immediately come across androids and begin to realise all is not as it appears. The Kraals are setting the stage for invading Earth and once again only the Doctor can save mankind.

The book is a quick read and  full of Doctor Who moments. The dialogue sounds like the Doctor. Besides the Doctor and Sarah Jane, UNIT, robots, and aliens all make appearances. Additionally, just like in the show, the Doctor continues to elude death and overcome insurmountable obstacles. I had great fun reading this novel. However if one is not a Doctor Who fan, this book is probably not for them. The book is not without flaws. There were many plot points that were lightly skimmed over and some jumps in the narrative that left me wishing they have fleshed out the story more. A final thought a knowledge of the Doctor Who universe is assumed in the book. Therefore it is not a starter novel. I'd try watching the 9th Doctor first 3 episodes.

3.5 out 5 stars. If you love Doctor Who and enjoy reading, then this book will be loads of fun. If you are unfamiliar with Doctor Who, this book might leave you a by underenchanted and mystified.

Speculative Fiction 2010 Challenge

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Ender's Game

How do you judge a book? I think about these things. Do I love it all the way through? Do the character's stay with me when I am not reading? Do I wonder what happens next? Does the book call to me?

Sometimes a book is not my preferred genre, yet the characters draw me on. Enders Game is one of those books. It's spends a lot of time in battles and military related life. I usually avoid books heavy on those topics. However early in the book, Ender became important to me. I trudged though military stuff to see how he would continue in the game.

Sometimes a book is only average as I am listening it, but as the conlcusion arrives, I find that I love the book. Ender's Game is this too. The conclusion is not what I expected and worth every minute I listened to the story.

In fact knowing Orson Scott Card wrote more about Ender makes me glad. I could explain why, but it would be filled with spoilers.

Ender's Game is an  experience. I understand why it has won awards and why it is on recommended reading lists. I recommend it to those who enjoy science fiction, military fiction, or are just curious enough to want to know why I loved it more at the end.

3.5 out 5 stars.

Speculative Fiction Challenge 2010

Monday, April 5, 2010

Next Blog? I mean what does it do?

I've wondered what next blog actually does for a while. So today I just kept hitting it and dicovered some interesting blogs I would not have discovered any other way.

Rose-colored A Canadian author who has some clever things on her blog. Check out her April 2nd review of Strawberried Peanut Butter MM's.

Imaginary Blog  Written by author Lynn E. Hazen Interesting blog and I'm super curious to know if her Moss art from the  March 17th post grows.

Serenehours YA book reviewer based in Vietnam

The Dangerous Kettle For starters Kettle is a fan of Dr Who, most particularily the 10th Doctor. And following they were as frustrated with Clockwork Orange's dialect as I was.

Book Clutter who is participating in the April Dewey Readathon. Hmm... That might be a fun excuse to curl up and read all day long. After all it is part of my five day weekend.

Here's what I discovered. There is some plan to the next button. The blogs usually have some connection to the previous one. Maybe they always do according to some system I cannot sort out. Also There were repeats within the 'next blog' journey. What a fun adventure This Spring Break evening.

Okay and now I return to my previously scheduled evening of Stargate SG-1 Season 3

eco-friendly craft project and organization all in one

Okay, so after reading all these lovely post of reusing and repurposing, I began saving all my cereal boxes. I gathered a group of the boxes that will stack neatly together.

I put tape all the way around the stack of cereal boxes in order to hold them tightly together.

Then I took another cereal box and taped it to the bottom of the boxes in order to create a smooth and flat surface.

Then I began cutting the box tops at a slant with a razor blade. Here is how I started.

Here is what the boxes looked like when I had finished cutting them. If I did this project again I may consider cutting these boxes before I taped them together. It was a bit challenging to cut the inner boxes.

Then I began to modpodge book pages over the outside.

Here is one view after the second layer of modgepodge.

Here is the project standing up. I've already put it into use on my desk.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Luxe by Anna Godbersen: a mini review

I found the consistent reminder of the prologue an annoyance. In fact I rather wished I had skipped the prologue. I had a terrible time caring to know more about Elizabeth. I almost gave up on the book a few times in the first chapters. were it not for the enticing reviews I would have quit. Then in chapter 10 I was given a second close-up of Diana. I knew I must read on. There was something about Diana's carefree determination that drew me into the world of 1899. In the end I was delighted with the nips and tucks the story made as we viewed the New York of 1899 from a the young and rich heirs and heiresses. I did have fun the second half of the book and tried to ignore the prologue as I read toward the end. Ultimately I am glad I read to the end. It was well concluded, though maybe a bit uninformative of how the climax was resolved.

I do mean to check out the next in the series. I am hopeful to read more about Diana who I am quite fond of.

3 out of 5 stars.

 Historical Fiction 2010 challenge

Ink Heart Movie Review

Inkheart the Movie

The movie was different than the book, but not in the annoying how could they do that to my charactors way. The characters kept true to their natures. I have learned to appreciate that films and books of the same plot must employ differences in order to create both as quality experiences. Many aspects do not translate between the two neatly. Therefore I can accept changes within reason. Meggie was even lovelier than I imagined, Cordelia was exactly as I pictured her, and most of the others were within a reasonable similarity. My only issue with casting is Farhid seemed a lot older than in the book.

Summary: Mo has a silver tongue, and that is the beginning of his problems. Dustfinger and Capricorn both want to use Mo for their own plans. As Meggie , her father Mo, and their Aunt Cordelia get caught up in the schemes and evil plans of Capricorn the world is changed for Meggie and new realities are brought to light.

If you are fond of the book, the movie is worth watching.

I would give the film 3.5 out of 5

Friday, April 2, 2010

Friday Fill-Ins:

Friday Fill-Ins: #170 a wonderful little meme that inspires creativity and helps me plan my weekends.

1. All you need is a cup of tea, a cozy nook, and really great book to weather the unexpected Spring storm.

2. Dyed Easter eggs proclaiming phrases like “eat me,” and “spare me” fills me with laughter.

3. Each generation, as it grows up, looks at the previous generation and makes choices in contrast of, though as history may tell, not always in an improvement of the choices of the generation before.

4. People not following through with their commitments is something I have a hard time dealing with.

5. A trip to hair stylist is what I need.

6. Just as I was taking the casserole out the oven, I remembered that it was the day Sarah and you get back.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to Watching my Netflixed New Moon DVD, tomorrow my plans include gardening and walking if the weather is nice, or typing and reading is the weather is uncooperative and Sunday, I want to cook hot dogs at church, watch the Easter egg hunt festivities, and remember that He is Risen!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Page (Protector of the Small book #2)

This is book two in her Protector of the Small series. Though the review will not likely have spoilers for it, it may contain spoilers of the first book.

Summary: Keladry of Mendoloyn returns to her second year full of Hope. She will continue to train on Peach Blossom, the temperamental horse assigned to her for training. Returning this year are her adversaries Joram and his gang, her companions including Merck and Neal, and her Sparrows. She acquires a personal maid and befriends a dog. With her assortment of companions she strives to excel in her Page training and prepare for her large tests. As in the first book Kel, defends the weak and small, while stirring up a whole mess of trouble for herself.

Review: I listened to this book as I did book one and love hearing the story of Kel. These books are aimed at a slightly younger age range than some of the other books of Tortall. There is an innocence to Kel that I appreciate and a simplicity to the language that I find easy to follow. I hope that I can find book three in audio format too. My one regret is while the first book spanned a year, this one spanned a longer time and so it seemed to skip a lot of details and events to avoid making the book longer than the first book. I would have loved more details. I loved the first book more, yet I will seek out the third book.

This book is part of the Speculative Fiction 2010 Book Challenge
This book is part of the Fantasy 2010 Book Challenge

3.5 out 5 stars