Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30 | Currently Reading

It's almost the new year! I hope those of you who celebrate Christmas had a fantastic week last week. My tree is still up. This is a record for me. I never make it to the new year. I start itching to get everything put away on Christmas day. Terrible, I know.

I haven't been posting much since I'm still in my big Harry Potter reread. These books are so huge. I'm currently in the middle of book 5 - The Order of the Phoenix. Once the new year starts I may have to break for some of the awesome new releases. January is always a huge month for book releases.

I did take a quick break for Neil Gaiman's Fortunately the Milk when my library got a copy. I couldn't resist. It was cute. I think my kids will love it.

Did you meet your goals for the year? Are you trying to squeeze in any last minute books this week? Be sure to let me know what you are reading this week in the comments or leave me a link!

This post is being shared as part of Book Journey's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


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Friday, December 27, 2013

My Favorite Books Read in 2013

Where did 2013 go?! It was an awesome, albeit stressful, year for me. With a new baby and a new home, it's all a bit of a blur, but I did read quite a few awesome books this year. Most of them were not published this year, but that's how it goes.

In no particular order:

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (Review)

This book surprised me, and I still think about it all the time. It's a great mix of science fiction and horror. If you've been passing it by, consider giving it a read.

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch (Goodreads)

This is the second book in the Locke Lamora trilogy. I love when a series only gets better.

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White (Goodreads)

THIS BOOK. This book is now forever in my favorites of all time. READ THIS BOOK.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill (Goodreads)

My FAVORITE book of the year. I was seriously blown away. If you need something epic to read... NOS4A2.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente (Review)

This first Fairyland book was a beautiful and imaginative read. If you love books like A Wrinkle in Time, I highly recommend this book.

The Spark: A Mother's Story of Nurturing Genius by Kristine Barnett (Goodreads)

The Spark was my favorite non-fiction read of the year. I judged the hell out of the mother the whole way through, but I was so captivated. I could not tear myself away from the pages.

Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill (Review)

Dreams and Shadows was another surprise read for me. It was a really great dark urban fantasy. As soon as I'm done with this Harry Potter reread, I'm diving into the sequel to this gem.

Thank you so much for spending another year with me. I appreciate each and every person who takes the time to read my blog. I hope 2013 was an awesome year for you, and I hope you will join me in 2014.


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Monday, December 9, 2013

Currently Reading | December 9

Greetings and salutations!

It has been a while since I have posted an update. I've been partly on hiatus, partly slumping, and mostly crazy busy. I don't have much to report, but I was in the mood to say hello.

I hope those of you with snow are enjoying yourselves and staying safe and warm.

Since my last update post I've only managed to finish Anna Dressed in Blood and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Pretty sad, I know. I'm currently in the middle of Chamber of Secrets. I may just read Harry Potter through the holidays and get back to ALL TEH BOOKS after the new year. It's wonderful to revisit Harry Potter, and I could really do with some stress free reading.

Are you in the middle of reading anything fantastic? Be sure to let me know what you are reading in the comments or leave me a link.

This post is being shared as part of Book Journey's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts {4}

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts is a random posting of what's on my mind bookish and otherwise. Sometimes 10 things, sometimes less, always hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.
  1. Oy, my life is so swamped with life stuff instead of all of the reading of the books right now. The only reading time I've gotten (other than reading to my kids at bedtime) is the middle of the night insomnia reading resulting from the life stuff. It's not quality reading time folks. Anna Dressed in Blood is the book winning my attention, though, and making it even harder to fall back to sleep. That book is turning out to be a surprise win for me. Could my heart be opening up to YA horror? We'll see.

  2. So the Divergent trailer was released yesterday. Are you excited? I'm actually a little disappointed, but it's entirely possible my disappointment in the series is affecting how excited I am for the movie now. I feel like something is missing. The trailer wasn't tense enough for me. Those initiation scenes in the book - like having to jump off the wall - were so tense. I was most looking forward to those moments in the movie and without any build up, just a jump in the trailer, I just didn't feel it. I'm hoping the full version will be a different story.

    I got very emotional watching the Hunger Games trailer the first time. "I volunteer as tribute!" Who cares if that little sister crap was a gimmick. Gimmick me up, folks. I didn't have any moments watching the Divergent trailer. Well, other than the moments with Four... but those aren't the moments I'm getting at here. Here is the trailer if you missed it:

  3. Speaking of Hunger Games, did you see where Entertainment Weekly asked the Hunger Games cast to name their favorite YA books? Of course we could count on Jennifer Lawrence to love Harry Potter. Peeta... Peeta loves Catcher in the Rye. That's just another reason to be team Gale.

  4. The USPS is going to start delivering packages on Sunday. I'm all confused why people think this is a bad thing so I'm just going to let you read about it here at NPR and here at NYTimes.

  5. I'm on the hunt for some great book related podcasts. Do you have any favorites?

  6. A gigantic Harry Potter group read starts next week on Goodreads. I'm not sure if I'll be able to keep up the very aggressive one a week schedule, but I'm going to try. I'm planning to revisit these books on audio because I love Jim Dale's recordings of HP, and I don't think I've even heard the last two on audio yet. I tried to listen to The Night Circus on audio this past year and Jim Dale's voice kept making me think everything was happening at Hogwarts. I may be ruined for other Jim Dale recordings.

  7. I'm hoping to have my internet (and my cable TV!) hooked up this afternoon. No more tethering to my cell phone. I will make up for my lack of blogging/participating SOON!

  8. Thanksgiving planning is in full force. My niece has requested pumpkin pie this year so I am in need of a great pumpkin pie recipe. The only recipe I have ever used is from the back of the Libby's can. It's actually not a bad recipe, but I'm not an expert in pumpkin pies.

    OK, you know what - I just stole that picture from Libby's website, and it is totally making me want to stick to the Libby's recipe.

  9. A lot of the stores are starting their Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving day this year. That's pretty crazy stuff. I feel bad for retail employees having to work through Thanksgiving dinner. I, on the other hand, am one of those frugally coupon people and this whole Black Friday on Thursday thing is luring me out of my nest.  I usually stay away from the Black Friday crowd, but Mama needs all the things. What are your thoughts on Black Friday shopping? Do you partake? I usually only do my Black Friday shopping online.


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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts {3}

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts is a random posting of what's on my mind bookish and otherwise. Sometimes 10 things, sometimes less, always hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.
  1. We are finally moving into our new house so I will have very limited internet for a while. This is greatly affecting my posting and commenting. We are out of city limits so I won't find out if we can get service soon until tomorrow.

  2. I've been spending all of my spare time moving and sleeping so I've read pretty much nothing all week long. I need to download a new audiobook at the very least before the weekend.

  3. Entertainment Weekly is trying to crown the best YA novel of all time. "We’re pitting 64 young adult books against each other in a March-Madness style game to determine which you think is the best of all time." Round one is HARD already. At least A Wrinkle in Time (one of my favorites) is up against Dune (one of my least favorites). That was an easy vote. You can vote on each of the round one brackets here.

  4. The Opening Round of the Goodreads Choice Awards is also happening. I hate these awards just as much as I love them. The only categories I feel comfortable voting in at this point are horror and middle grade. I'm contemplating voting in the memoir category (for The Spark) even though I still have I Am Malala on my TBR. Do you guys only vote if you are well read in the category or do you feel comfortable voting regardless? I usually only vote if I've read at least all the books I want to read out of a particular category.

  5. While we are on a role with book awards, Publisher's Weekly has revealed their 101 best books of 2013. I'm not sure why the Children's Fiction won't be posted until next week, but you see the best books broken down by category here. It looks like a good list, but I don't think I've read a single one of their selections.

  6. Liam Hemsworth was on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno promoting Catching Fire. You can watch the first clip of Catching Fire at the end of his interview:

    Team Gale *cough*

  7. I'm wondering if anyone has signed up for Oyster yet? It's the "netflix for books" service that allows unlimited book downloads for $9.95/month. When I first heard about Oyster I thought "isn't the library already a netflix for books?" but I can now see a lot of merit in using Oyster. I do get free access to ebooks from my library, but I have to wait in line for them. I think Oyster could be an awesome asset for voracious readers. The only issue I see is whether or not the books I really want to read will be available on Oyster (which is pretty much the only issue I have with Netflix as well). You can get your first month free at Oyster. If you decide to try it out or have tried it, let me know what you think.

  8. Best of luck to those participating in NaNoWriMo. For those of you who may not know, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month. The goal is to write 50,000 words during the month of November. I used to love participating in NaNo, but over the years I've fallen off participating. I was hoping to jump back in this year just for fun, but the move has made it pretty impossible to keep up. Are you participating this year?

  9. Author John Hornor Jacobs tweeted about a site called I Write Like this week. It's fun site where you paste in something you have written and the site tells you who you write like. I took what I wrote for NaNo this year (before I decided I couldn't keep up) and pasted it in to I Write Like. My result: Stephen King. First of all, I'm pretty certain I don't actually write like Stephen King, but what a badass answer. I can't imagine a better answer given my taste in books. Play around with it and see who you get. I apparently wrote this blog post like Chuck Palahniuk.

  10. That's it for this week. I'm sorry if you haven't heard from me much in a while! I'm hoping things will start getting back to normal next week.


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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts {2}

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts is a random posting of what's on my mind bookish and otherwise. Sometimes 10 things, sometimes less, always hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.
  1. Simon & Schuster is creating a new science fiction, fantasy, and horror imprint. This is exciting news! I have been crying all year about the lack of full length horror in my life. I'm really happy about the SF & F, too, but I'm hoping horror gets represented early on as well. Source

  2. THIS. This is why I feel like a double agent during real life book conversations. I have to actively stop myself from being a reading one-upper. I think extreme readers can be that way to each other sometimes (I welcome it!), but it's a bit much for mere reading mortals. I try to save up all of my overly excited bookish nerdouts for you guys. You're welcome.

  3. I have a lot of mixed emotions regarding i09's Divergent article. If you've read Divergent, there's a lot worth taking in in the article, but it has minor spoilers so stay clear if you haven't read it and are concerned. There is a telling quote from Director Neil Burger: "I think the book is really true to the essence of the script" Um, what? Don't you have that BACKWARD? The rest of the quote is spoilerish so I will let you read it there, but I really don't have a good feeling behind the changes they have made. There is a reason I have been championing Lionsgate making these films. Saving up the difficult bits of the book for the end isn't it. On the other hand, Four.

  4. It's Halloween! My son's school had a "spooktacular" Halloween program this week. It was awesome. Watching him do Thriller on stage was one of the highlights of my life. Unfortunately he got sick after we got home from the program so along with the threat of heavy rainfall, our Halloween plans hang in the balance!

  5. J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan (who wrote The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) will be writing the scripts for the Star Wars sequels! This is really great news. Every announcement that has made since Disney acquired Star Wars has been better than the last.

  6. Amazon implemented Kindle Matchbook this week. Have you looked to see how many books are available for you to match? When Amazon did something similar with music CD purchases, my Kindle cloud was filled with so much awesome music for free. I had visions of suddenly owning my favorite books in eformat, but all I got was a mediocre list of ebooks I could buy at $2.99. Let's be honest, that's how much I usually pay for my ebooks (or less) unless it's a pre-order I can't live without. I'm hoping there are folks benefiting from Matchbook much more than I did.

  7. The books for World Book Night have been selected. Are any of you signing up to be book givers? My top choices from the list are Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs, and Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow.

  8. I've hardly read a thing this week. I'm in the middle of two awesome books, but I can't muster up the brain power to pick up either one! I find when I get really stressed I can't focus on the story; I just wind up staring at the pages not knowing what I've read. I think I may just try to catch up on some sleep for a couple of days.

  9. I'm moving soon so I've been packing up all of my books. It has been really hard to box up the books I wish I were reading right now. I actually had to leave out a couple I haven't started yet JUST IN CASE.

  10. If you need some awesome music to listen to for Halloween, The 99 Darkest Pieces Of Classical Music is one of my favorites. I will be listening to it all day today.



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Monday, October 28, 2013

Republic of Thieves | Read-along Part I

If you aren't reading or haven't read The Republic of Thieves (the third book in Scott Lynch's Gentleman Bastard series), you probably don't want to read this post. Spoilers are sure to run rampant here. If you'd like to join in, you can find the read-along schedule here or feel free to jump in in the comments and let me know your thoughts!

My initial thoughts regarding The Republic of Thieves is how much easier of a read this book is versus the previous two. Is it just me? It's possible I'm getting used to Lynch's style and I do already know the characters, but there seems to be a change in how well the story flows.

  1. We get to reminisce with several old friends in this section - Carlo, Galdo, Chains. How did you like this? Bitter sweet or happy dance?

    Happy dance! At first I thought oh no, more interludes..., but I actually love the interludes right now. I love the old friends, and I love Sabetha, but I'm probably getting ahead of us here.

  2. Finally, the infamous Sabetha makes a physical appearance, albeit in Locke's reminisces. What are your impressions? How do you think the romance, if there is to be one, will play out?

    I adore how smitten Locke is with Sabetha. I am loving the interaction between those two (and Chains). I'm not sure that anything romantic will ever come of their relationship, but we do already know they are with each other as Gentlemen Bastards for a significant amount of time. At this point, Sabetha is starting to warm up to Locke. "Not today, at any rate," she said softly.

    How do you guys feel about the scheme where Locke thought Sabetha had been kidnapped? I have mixed emotions about it. The Bastards are fiercely loyal, and to me a scheme like that would dissolve so much trust. I do see it as a moment that will shape who Locke is, though. I WILL NEVER LOSE AGAIN!

  3. After trying absolutely everything to save Locke, Jean still won't give up. What did you think of that little pep talk he gave Locke concerning Patience's offer of healing?

    Wow. Jean made a strong point by using the image of Ezri burning so that they could live. Locke's reaction was immediate.

  4. Locke has a few caveats to working for the Bondsmage. Wise or just Locke grasping for some control over his life? What would you ask Patience?

    It's definitely wise for Locke to make the terms of their agreement absolutely clear. Those damn Bondsmagi pop up wherever and in whomever they want. I wouldn't want to be in their debt. I'm surprised Locke will have answers at his beck and call, but that will be a great asset for him. I, personally, would ask questions about magic. There are plenty of powers I would like to yield.

  5. At the end of this section, we see that all is not as Patience laid it out. How much do you think Patience knows of the plot to off Locke and Jean? Do you see it interfering in the rigged election?

    I don't know what to think about Patience. My first reaction is that she is unaware, but we are talking Bondsmagi here. Also, can we bring up the fact that she's the Falconer's mother? This whole Patience thing is a lot for me to wrap my head around.

Be sure to check out the rest of today's read-along posts here.


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Sunday, October 27, 2013

October 27 | Currently Reading

I'm doing my update post early this week so I participate in a readalong tomorrow. Are you guys reading anything spooky this week for Halloween? My Halloween pick this year is going to be Anna Dressed in Blood. But first...

Last week I finished reading Red Seas Under Red Skies (Gentleman Bastards #2) by Scott Lynch. I think I liked it even more than The Lies of Locke Lamora. There were some really dark moments that I loved pretty hard core.

I also read Half-Minute Horrors as part of my Anthology Month. It had a lot of spooky flash fiction from well known authors. I would highly recommend it to a younger reader who enjoys horror. I don't think that was the intended audience, but I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I were still in my Christopher Pike days.

This week I have ambitious plans for the following:

I'm also giving away a blu-ray of The Conjuring this week if you are in the mood for a scary movie.

I hope everyone has a wonderfully spooky week! Be sure to let me know what you are reading while you are here. Let me know in the comments or leave me a link!

This post is being shared as part of Book Journey's It's Monday! What Are You Reading?


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Friday, October 25, 2013

The Conjuring Blu-Ray Giveaway | 5 Things You Need to Know Before You Watch The Conjuring

Giveaway time! Are you in the mood for a scary movie? Warner Bros is offering up one copy of The Conjuring Blu-ray to one lucky Book Den reader. But first, there are 5 things you need to know before watching The Conjuring. Be sure to enter the rafflecopter at the bottom before you go!

Based on a true story, the movie tells the horrifying account of how famed paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren were summoned to help a family terrorized by a dark presence in a secluded farmhouse which they recently bought. In fighting this powerful demonic being, the Warrens find themselves in the middle of the most terrifying case of their lives!

The Conjuring on Blu-ray & DVD is available now!

The Conjuring 5 Things to know… INTERACTIVE GIFS!

Move your mouse across the GIFs to control them and read the freaky facts to prepare for the scariest movie of the year!

1) The Conjuring is directed by the acclaimed James Wan, the Australian-born director of the fright-fests Insidious and the Saw series. His Twitter handle is @CreepyPuppet. Say no more.

2) The Conjuring has been given an “R” rating by the MPAA. Not because of blood, gore, or violence, but simply because it’s just so scary from start to finish!

3) The Conjuring’s cast and crew experienced creepy events during filming. Scratches appeared out of nowhere on Vera Farmiga’s computer soon after she agreed to act in the movie, the crew were routinely woken by something in the “witching hour” between 3 and 4AM, and the real-life Carolyn Perron fell and broke her hip while visiting the set.

4) The Rhode Island farmhouse where The Conjuring is set once belonged to an accused witch, Bathsheba, who tried to sacrifice her children to the devil and killed herself in 1863.

5) Hold your applause! The Conjuring will make you terrified to clap! Whether it’s playing a traditional game of hide-and-seek by following the clapping sounds like the mother and daughter in the movie, or being terrorized by ghostly claps in different rooms of the haunted farmhouse, these claps throughout the movie will give you the creeps!

US/Canada Only. Each household is only eligible to win 1 The Conjuring Blu-ray via blog reviews and giveaways. The prize will be sent via FedEx or USPS. No P.O. Boxes please.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts {1}

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts is a random posting of what's on my mind bookish and otherwise. Sometimes 10 things, sometimes less, always hosted by Bookishly Boisterous.
  1. I love that everyone is so excited about Allegiant this week, but I only made it 15% into Insurgent before someone completely spoiled Allegiant. It makes me so sad and so angry that people would willingly spoil a book for others when they obviously couldn't wait to read it themselves. I was at the front of the library line for Allegiant so at least I made someone very happy by returning it on day 2. I'm not even going to bother reading any further. I'm going to be one of those people that will JUST WATCH THE MOVIE.

  2. I'm excited about the Republic of Thieves read-along. I love participating in blog read-alongs, and Andrea over at The Little Red Reviewer really does it the right way with discussion questions and the whole nine. I wish there were more read-alongs like it in the blogosphere.

  3. I am so over writing reviews right now. I'm trying to figure out how to talk about the books I read in a less formal way. Posts like these are part of my solution. If you have any advice or have found anything that has worked for you, I'd love to hear from you.

  4. I was going to post that my Anthology Month has been a bust so far, but I started a book last night that has renewed my anthology spirit. I have two anthologies picked out for Halloween week next week, so I'm feeling good about my endeavour.

  5. I try my best to stay anti-review copy, but I couldn't help but grab the first two A Tale Dark & Grimm off of Edeilweiss. I'm weak.

  6. There is a Kickstarter project for The Princess Bride playing cards. I love these. They doubled their goal in the first 24 hours so it sounds like they may keep growing the project. The work they did on The Call of Cthulhu deck is amazing. :nerding out completely:

    Good night, backer. Good work. Sleep well. I'll most likely kill you in the morning.

  7. i09 posted the Top 25 Scariest Science Fiction and Fantasy TV Episodes of All Time. It's a really great list with lots of great episodes to reminisce about. One of my favorite TV episodes of all time is Buffy the Vampire Slayer's "Hush". That was a perfect hour of television. Do you remember the episodes that made the list? I immediately thought of a couple that could have made the list:
    • “The Tale of the Lonely Ghost” - Are You Afraid of the Dark
    • "Imaginary Friend" - Star Trek: The Next Generation

  8. Do you guys feel strange when you have "real life" conversations about books? I do. I feel like I'm some sort of a double agent.

  9. Ana's review of Doll Bones by Holly Black over at things mean a lot has had me thinking a lot this week about why I loved that book and what kids go through as they grow older. I see my 6 year son already going through the struggles of growing up and finding his place now that he is in school.

  10. All of my son's school work this month has been ghost and goblins related. Can I just say I never want October to end? The spooky stuff is everywhere, and it really is my happy place.


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