Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Goals for 2015

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's topic is:  Top Ten Goals/Resolutions for 2015.  I've never been one to set or keep goals, but here goes nothing!

Without further ado...
  1. Read the books that are already on my personal bookshelves instead of buying new ones or checking out more books from the library.
  2. Vow to read fewer books for the Goodreads challenge...but still read a lot!
  3. Catch up on my reviews.  I am woefully behind...
  4. Finish the multiple series I have begun BEFORE starting new ones.
  5. Get back into the groove of blogging.
And some not so bookish resolutions...
  1. Get caught up on my scrapbooking projects.  I am years behind...literally!
  2. Purge my home of unwanted/excessive items (clothing, books, knick-knacks, crafting supplies, etc)
  3. Take more "me" time and NOT feel guilty about it.
  4. Finally take my sewing machine out of its box and USE it.
  5. Make more of an effort to keep in touch with people more often.
I think these are goals/resolutions that can be attained in some shape throughout the year. 

What are some of your goals or resolutions for the coming year?

Also, look for next week's Top Ten:  2014 Releases I Meant to Read But Didn't Get To

Happy reading!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Bookish Bingo: Holiday Edition (Updated)

Yes!  Bookish Bingo Holiday Edition is going live on October 1 and I'm ready to go!  I had so much fun doing the Summer Editon of Bookish Bingo, hosted by Great Imaginations, and I'm feeling like that awesomeness should continue. 
Here's the Bingo Card

 
Here are the rules:
What we need from you:
Sign up by leaving a comment on this post with a link to your Goodreads, Booklikes or blog
Read read read! You have all of October, November and December to cover as many squares as possible
One book per square. So while Shutter has a creature on the cover and is a autumn release, it can only count for one square
There will be a giveaway at the end of December. Each bingo earned gets you extra points! To enter, write up a wrap up post with links to your books read and plug it into the Rafflecopter.
*Books do not have to be reviewed*
Signups close October 15th
Have fun :D
I'll continue to update this post as I finish books/Bingos.  Let's get this reading extravaganza started!

Bingos
1.  B1, B2, B3, B4 B5
2.  B5, I4, FREE, G2, O1
3.  B3, I3, FREE, G3, O3
4.  O1, O2, O3, O4, O5
5:  B4, I4, N4, G4, O4

Finished
B1:  Reread:  Wait Till Helen Comes (A Ghost Story) by Carol Downing Hahn
B2:  Romance:  Taming Natasha by Nora Roberts
B3:  Set on Halloween:  The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
B4:  Birds on Cover:  Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts
B5:  Witches:  Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

I1:  Green Cover:  Haroun and the Sea of Stories by Salman Rushdie
I3:  Snow on Cover:  Hold the Dark by William Giraldi
I4:  Mystery:  One Hundred Names by Ceclian Ahern

FREE SPACE
N4:  Set During Christmastime:  The Twelve Clues of Christmas by Rhys Bowen
N5:  Orange Cover:  Little Bee by Chris Cleave

G2:  Native American MC:  The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
G3:  Black Cover:  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
G4:  Set in Space:  Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

O1:  Horror:  Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
O2:  Red Cover:  Dark Witch by Nora Roberts
O3:  Serial Killers:  The Dead Will Tell by Linda Castillo
O4:  A Book That Was a Gift:  Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and his Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
O5:  Steampunk:  Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Want Under My Tree


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!

This week's topic is:  Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Bringing This Year.  This list will be a smattering of new and old releases, so here goes:

Though some of these have been out for a while, a lot of them don't come out until after Christmas.  I guess I can dream that they will magically appear under my tree, right?  Right!

What books are you hoping to get during the holidays?

Look for next week's Top Ten:  Goals/Resolutions for 2014/5 (bookish, blogging, or otherwise)

Happy reading!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Writer's Workshop: Worst Gift

Worst Gift...EVER!
Sadly, the worst gift I ever received during the holidays is easy to remember.  I think I was in high school and we were at my grandparent's house (my dad's father and his third...or fourth...wife).  Now, my step-grandmother has never been the best at gifting, and her "real" grandkids we never subjected to her delightful gifts the way we were.  But this one took the cake. 

Upon opening the box, wrapped in Sunday comics, I discovered the following:
  • Pens and pencils (I didn't mind that)
  • Men's cologne from the Dollar Tree.  I am not now, nor have I ever been, a man...
  • A box of assorted safety pins...yeah
  • Other various small items
Safety pins!  Men's cologne!  What?!?  I think everyone was slightly horrified.  Even my brother was like "what the f*@%".  How do you even respond to that?  Naturally, I thanked them for the gift but I will never forget that...

She's also given me underwear...but that's an entirely different (and infinitely more traumatizing) story.

Writer's Workshop is hosted by Kat at Mama's Losin' It

Bout of Books 12

As a few reading challenges are wrapping up (GoodReads and Bookish Bingo Holiday Edition) and new ones are starting, I'm so excited!  There are currently 17 days until the next round of Bout of Books begins (January 5-January 11).  This will be my third time participating in the challenge and I have a wonderful time in doing so. 

Here are the rules:
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
 Reading/Participating Goals:
  1. Read as much as possible!!  Isn't this always the goal of reading challenges?
  2. Participate in Twitter Chats
  3. Do some of the mini-challenges hosted by various particpants
  4. Have an AWESOME time!
1 and 4 I've got covered and do every time I particpate in Bout of Books.  2 and 3 were more challenging last time, but I'm hoping I'm able to join in more often this go-round.  Needless to say, I can't wait for January 5th to arrive. 

If you would like to participate (and I highly recommend it), here's the sign-up link.  Let the reading commence!!!

Happy reading!

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Brief Absence...

Hello lovely readers!

I do so apologize for my absence from blogging these past few weeks.  Work has been crazy, loco, insanely busy and I'm desperately attempting to play catch up.  I will start posting regularly again once I am caught up in the office, am not so exhausted, and when I can stand sitting in front of a computer again.

Cheerio...and happy reading!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays:  Shadow Spell

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!
Here's today's teaser:
"She needed to set it aside for one bloody night, she told herself.  Connor, Cabhan, her mother, the whole of her family.  One quiet night, she decided, in her pajamas--with a thick layer of one of Branna's creams on her face.  Add a beer, some crips or whatever junky food she had about, and the telly.
She'd opt for no more than that.
Opting for the beer to begin--it wouldn't be the first time she'd taken a cold beer into a hot shower to wash away the day--she started toward the kitchen, and someone pounded on the door" --page 135 
          -----Shadow Spell by Nora Roberts

Happy reading!
 

Top Ten Tuesday: New Series I Want to Start

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's topic is:  New Series I Want to Start Reading.  I'm going to go with series that I want to start in general though...not just new ones.  In no particular order, here's my list:

Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • Because I love Scotland...and miss Scotland...and like historical stuff.
Legend by Marie Lu
  • This sounds like a fun series.  Similar to lots of dystopian series out now, but fun regardless.
The Selection by Kiera Cass
  • I love the cover art on this series.
Caster Chronicles by Kami Garcia
  • Saw the movie, Beautiful Creatures, and it was decent.  I would like to see if the books are as good as everyone says.
The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  • Again, would like to see if they are as awesome as everyone claims they are.  I haven't seen the film, but I would assume I'm not missing much seeing as how the reviews weren't stellar.
All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness
  • Witches, mysteries, and vampires.  This sounds pretty sweet!
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
  • The series got rave reviews from a lot of people when it came out.  I've always meant to read it.
The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
  • Same with this one.  Great reviews.
Finishing School by Gail Carriger
  • I just love a good Gail Carriger book.  They're fun, funny, and entertaining.
The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch
  • This series was recommended by a friend and I love the cover art.  They look awesome.
Not too many upcoming series, but ones that have been on my TBR list for awhile.  Maybe it will be my goal to start plowing through these.

Look for next week's Top Ten:  Characters I Would Want to Be for Halloween or Books/Movies to Read/Watch to Get in the Halloween Spirit.  Verdicts still out on which I'll choose!

Happy reading!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Places Books Have Made Me Want to Visit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's topic is:  Fictional or Real Places Books Have Made Me Want to Visit.  I love a good setting when reading and the following worlds/places are ones that I would love to visit:

Hogwarts...Hogwarts, Hoggy, Hoggy, Hogwarts!  Who the heck wouldn't want to go to the best wizarding school in the world?  I'm impatiently awaiting my letter!

Narnia.  I wish I had a wardrobe with a magical entrance to another realm.  It would be so...magical! 

Dublin through the eyes of Leopold Bloom :)  While I've been to Dublin a couple times, I think it would be fascinating to visit on Bloomsday and explore the city like Joyce's character.  And the Bloomsday Festival in general would be pretty awesome.

Wildwood would be an interesting otherworld to visit as well.  Meloy's imagination has talking animals and interspecies wars.  Kind of cool.

King's Landing...but only on peaceful days and only if I didn't live in Flea Bottom and only...only...only.  So many stipulations.  Basically, I want to be in a protective bubble, maybe invisible, so I don't get slaughtered by the masses.

Emerald City and all it has in it.  Baum is an imaginative genius!

Neverland because I never want to grow up!

The Shire...pretty self-explanatory to me :)

Avonlea because I want to live at Green Gables and Anne "with an E" Shirley should be my best friend!  I suppose Gilbert and Diana can come along as well. 

Camp Halfblood because I want to have mock battles with demi-gods and because it looks like so much fun!

So...most of mine ended up being fictional aside from Dublin.  My dreams may never come true! 

What fictional or real place would you like to visit?

Look for next week's topic:  New Series I Want to Start

Happy reading!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books for People Who Like Character Driven Novels

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's topic is:  Character Driven Novels.  Characters, to me, make the story.  Yeah, a good plot is necessary, but it's the characters that most readers connect to.  For me, these are my top ten recommendations for character driven novels:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • A brilliantly sensitive book placed against the backdrop of WWII.  The story revolves around Liesel Meminger and her adoptive parents in a small German town.
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • This is a fantastic book.  The characters are fleshed out and stand for something...even if you don't agree with their stance.
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  • This really needs no explanation.  It's full of well-developed characters.  So many characters!
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  • Unlike GOT, this has one main character; two if you're getting nit-picky, which you probably should.  Both Richard Parker and Pi are leads in this adventurous tale of awesome.
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • My favorite Austen novel, both Lizzie and Mr. Darcy are guided by their wonderful characterization. 
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
  • Multiple characters with interesting/sad backstories that mean something in the environment. 
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
  • Brilliant characters, brilliant story, all-around brilliant. 
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
  • Francie drives this story.  Without her, this would be a dull, lifeless, lackluster book.  But Francie...oh Francie :)
The Walking Dead by Robert Kirkman
  • This is all about character relationships.  Yes, there is a lot of action...and zombies...but it's the characters you become attached to.  What drives them and where they're going matter.
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Another brilliant novel about personal and familial discovery.  This book is just great all around. 
What are some of your favorite character-driven novels?

Look for next week's topic:  Top Ten Places Books Have Made Me Want To Visit (Fictional or Real)

Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays:  The Unbearable Lightness of Scones

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!
Today's teaser:
"Grown-ups spoke as if the world were simple; as if people behaved nicely to one another.  But Bertie knew that they did not.  When you were a boy, as he was, and saw the world the way in which boys saw it, it all looked very different.  Olive and Tofu would fight because that's what people like that did:  they fought.  And it would end up with Tofu spitting on Olive, and Olive screaming and perhaps even trying to stab Tofu with the syringe from her junior nurse's kit." --page 88-89
          -----The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Book That Were Difficult To Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's topic is:  Books That Were Difficult To Read.  There are always those few books that are pesky to get through for various reasons.  These are the ones I had trouble with:

The Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder by Karen Spears Zacharias
  • Difficult to read because of the subject matter and my personal connection to those involved in the events discussed in the book.  Good overall...aside from the author's writing style and sense of attack toward certain people and woe-is-me attitude.  I also don't like how Spears changed the title recently in an effort to garner more sales...or something.
The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
  • A good read overall, but the Shakespearean lines interspersed throughout made the book clunky.  Also, I didn't really care for any of the characters that much; in fact, they were kind of deplorable for the most part.  I only liked one of the sisters...
Room by Emma Donoghue
  • Sad...horrific.  Good book.  Hard to read because it is told from the perspective of a five-year old boy who has had no formal education or exposure to the outside world.
Howard's End by EM Forster
  • Boring.  Just plain boring and I didn't like any of the characters...except for the house.  Haha.  Maybe I should give it another go since it's been about 10 years...
New Moon by Stephanie Meyer
  • Worst of the four books, not that any of them are great, and the editor should be fired...IMMEDIATELY!
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • Too choppy and "manly"...if that makes sense.  I don't get the appeal of Hemingway (and I've read a lot of his stuff).  From now on I'll stick to his short stories because those are great.
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss
  • This book has gotten so much praise and I just don't get it.  The story sounds awesome until you've read it.  Krauss was trying too hard to write like her husband, Jonathan Safran Foer (he's amazing), and she failed miserably.
Pure by Rebbecca Ray
  • One of the absolute WORST books I've ever read.  I rarely assign 1 star to a book, but this one garnered that rating.  I'd have given it a zero if it was possible.  Bad, bad, bad.
Push by Sapphire
  • Great book.  Seriously.  Hard to read because of the subject matter. 
A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
  • Horribly pedantic and elementary.  Sparks is a terrible writer.  I've struggled through two of his books and refuse...REFUSE...to read anything else he writes.  I will, however, watch the movies based on his books because those are great :)
What books were difficult for you to get through?

Look for next week's installment:  Top Ten Books for Readers Who Like Character Driven Novels

Happy reading!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Bookish Bingo: Summer Edition Wrap Up

Bookish Bingo hosted by Great Imaginations has come to an end and I loved participating in this challenge.  Over the course of July, August, and September I was able achieve three Bingos and plow through the following books:

3 Bingos Completed
  1. B1, B2, B3, B4, B5
  2. B5, I4, Free, G2, O1
  3. B2, I2, N2, G2, O2
Books Completed
B1: A Stand-Alone Novel: Belle Cora by Phillip Margulies
B2: Starts with S, U, M, E or R: The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
B3: A Series Finale: Allegiant by Veronica Roth
B4: A Blue Cover: In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen
B5: Music/Dance Themes: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
I2: A Thriller: The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero
I4: A Summer Release: Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich (released June 17th, 2014)
N2: Set on a Boat: Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
N4: Strong Sibling Relationship: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
G1: Set During Summer: That Summer by Lauren Willig
G2: Asian MC: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
G5: Set in Europe: Scotsmen Prefer Blondes by Sara Ramsey
O1: Pink Cover: The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne
O2: A Middle Grade Novel: Stuart Little by EB White
O4: Set on an Island: Greetings from Somewhere Else by Monica McInerney (technically, Ireland is an island)

What a great challenge!!  Here's hoping I can do even better for the Holiday Edition!

Happy Reading!

Bookish Bingo: Summer Edition (Updated)


Another month/season, another challenge!  Though I'm still participating in the Summer Libary Challenge hosted by Kate and Kristen @ The Book Monsters, another book event has popped up on my radar and it looks like too much fun to pass up (plus, they will work together).  Discovered through The Book Monsters, but hosted by Kara, Lyn, and Bekka @ Great Imaginations, Bookish Bingo is a reading challenge with set guidelines for each square on the grid.  The goal:  knock out the squares to get a bingo (or more!).  Sounds like a rip-roaring good time to me!

Here's the Bingo card










Here are the rules:
  1. One square per book.  For instance, Mockingjay starts with M and is also a series finale, but can only count for one square.
  2. All reading must be done during the months of July, August, and September.
  3. Enter the giveaway!  Multiple Bingos gets you more entries and a fully covered card gets you five extra entries.  Woohoo
  4. At the end of September, provide a link with your reviews during the Bingo Wrap-Up.
If you want to sign up or just check it out, here's the link.  Sign-ups close on July 14th.  I will keep track of my progress on this post.

Completed Bingos
  • B1, B2, B3, B4, B5
  • B5, I4, Free, G2, O1
  • B2, I2, N2, G2, O2

Updates/Progress
B1:  A Stand-Alone Novel:  Belle Cora by Phillip Margulies
B2:  Starts with S, U, M, E or R:  The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
B3:  A Series Finale: Allegiant by Veronica Roth
B4:  A Blue Cover:  In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen
B5:  Music/Dance Themes: Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

I2:  A Thriller:  The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero
I4:  A Summer Release:  Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich  (released June 17th, 2014)

N2:  Set on a Boat:  Zeitoun by Dave Eggers
N4:  Strong Sibling Relationship: The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

G1:  Set During Summer:  That Summer by Lauren Willig
G2:  Asian MC: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
G5:  Set in Europe: Scotsmen Prefer Blondes by Sara Ramsey

O1:  Pink Cover:  The Girl in the Road by Monica Byrne
O2:  A Middle Grade Novel:  Stuart Little by EB White
O4:  Set on an Island: Greetings from Somewhere Else by Monica McInerney (technically, Ireland is an island)

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays:  That Summer


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!
Without further ado...
"Tentatively, Julia jiggled the pasteboard panel.  When tentative didn't work, she gave it a good yank.  Whoever it was had stuck the false back in good and hard.  The panel popped free, Julia staggered back, and something plopped heavily into the cavity of the wardrobe, raising a heavy cloud of dust" --page 90
          -----That Summer by Lauren Willig

So many treasures to be found...

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books on My Fall TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's theme is:  Books on my Fall TBR List.  I was kind of hoping that the fall version of Bookish Bingo (hosted by Great Imaginations) would be posted by now so that I could coordinate the two lists, but alas.  Regardless, here are the ten books I'm hoping to get through this fall (my favorite season) and all happened to be housed on my personal bookshevles!  No excuses...right?

Gillian Flynn Gone Girl
  • With the movie coming out very soon, and with all the great things I've heard about it, this is definitely a must read for this Fall.
Cornelia Funke Inkspell and Inkdeath (two for one)
  • I've been meaning to finish this series for a while and figure that now is a great time to snuggle in and do it!
Alice Hoffman The Dovekeepers
  • I think this book looks fan-freakin-tastic and have been excited to read it for a long time.
George RR Martin A Dance with Dragons
  • I've been putting reading the fifth book in the series off because I don't want it to be over and I don't want to wait for the sixth book.  Sigh...
Jessica Mitford The American Way of Death Revisited
  • I taught an excerpt from this book years ago when I was teaching an introductory college writing class and have always meant to read it.  Perhaps Halloween would be a good time to do so :)
Erin Morgenstern The Night Circus
  • Fall reading also falls during National Novel Writing Month (which I always attempt) and this book is a product of that great writing extravaganza.  Must support fellow writers!
JK Rowling  The Casual Vacancy
  • Still putting this one off because of my years-long Harry Potter hangover...
Alexander McCall Smith The Unbearable Lightness of Scones
  • I don't know why I quit reading this series and hadn't picked it up again, but I feel that I need to show a little love to my beloved Scotland since they lost the independence vote.
Adriana Trigiani The Shoemaker's Wife
  • A book that nearly everyone in my various book clubs has read and raved about.  It's about time I read it so I could join in on the fun.
Leslye Walton The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender
  • I won this one in a Goodreads giveaway and it sounds pretty awesome.  Reason enough to read it in my book.
What are some of the books on your Fall TBR?

Also, look for next week's installment:  Top Ten Books That Were Difficult to Read

Happy reading!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I've Only Read One Book From

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's theme is:  Authors I've Only Read One Book From But NEED to Read More.  It's been a while since I've done a Top Ten Tuesday, so I'm getting back in the swing of things.  Here's my list for this week!

Gillian Flynn
  • I've read Sharp Objects and really enjoyed it.  Gone Girl is on my TBR list for sure...I've heard fantastic things and, since the movie is coming out soon, I should probably get on that!
Margaret Atwood
  • While I wasn't super impressed with Cat's Eye, I've heard fantastic things about Atwood's other works.  Particularly The Handmaid's Tale.
John Boyne
  • I recently discovered the brilliance that is John Boyne when I read his latest work, The House of Special Purpose.  I now NEED to read EVERYTHING he's written.  So good!
Cornelia Funke
  • Having read Inkheart and purchased books two and three in the Inkworld series, this one is a must.  It's such a wonderful book!
Sara Ramsey
  • I downloaded a free copy of one of Ramsey's books, Scotsmen Prefer Blondes, and quickly discovered a great new romance writer.  It was the second book in the Maids of Mayfair series, so naturally I have to read the rest.
Elizabeth Kostova
  • The Historian is probably one of my favorite books and I have heard great things about Kostova's other publications.  I have The Swan Thieves, but have yet to crack the spine.  Soon...
Audrey Niffenegger
  • Anyone who writes about a time-traveling love story is alright in my book.  Can't wait to read Niffenegger's other books.  If they're anywhere near as good as The Time-Traveler's Wife, I'll be a happy camper :)
Ian Rankin
  • While I don't normally gravitate toward crime novels, Rankin holds a special place in my heart for his Detective Rebus character.  Having only read Fleshmarket Alley, I know that I need to explore more of his works.  Plus, it gives me wonderful glimpses of Edinburgh.
Leo Tolstoy
  • Anna Karenina is one of my all-time favorite books...ever...EVER!  I have to set aside the time necessary to delve more into Tolstoy and his awesomeness.
Jeanette Winterson
  • When I first read The Passion it was as an undergrad in college.  I should probably re-read it at some point, but I remember that I loved the writing style and the fantastical story of the mythical world of Venice.  Her other works have garnered much praise, so I keep meaning to check them out. 
Have you read any other works by these authors that you'd recommend?

Look for next week's post:  Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List

Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays:  The Supernatural Enhancements

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!

Here's this week's teaser:
"I drank some water from the sink and glanced at the mirror.  I could see my skin with outstanding detail.  I checked the bulbs and saw the light grow brighter.  I squinted at the white glow reverberating on the sink, the wall tiles, and the shower curtain, haloing them all with an aura that seemed to corrode the outline of all objects and that of a shadow on the curtain.  Not my shadow.  A shadow behind the curtain" --page 22
          -----The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero

A creepy ghost story...that I tend to read right before going to bed...

Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays:  The Weird Sisters

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!
Here's this week's teaser:
"At this party, no one will know who our father is, or care, and the house will be dirty, with peeling wallpaper and furniture racked into slanting, exhausted postures.  There will be beer and pot and mattresses in unlikely places, and long before midnight Bean and Lyssie will be wholeheartedly 'round the bend and in the sweaty, beer-soaked arms of some boy they will forget the next day.  This adventure is possible only because Bean has always been an excellent liar, and not because our parents would ever approve of such an outing." --page 99
          -----The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

I've been meaning to read this book for a while and am finally getting around to it.  It also helps that it will knock out a square for Bookish Bingo!

Happy reading!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Beat the Heat Wrap Up


Though the Beat the Heat Readathon, hosted by Jessi @ NovelHeartbeat and Reanna @ Phantasmic Reads, ended on the first of September, I'm just now getting the chance to reflect on it.  It's been a busy first week! 

This was my first time participating in the readathon, and I like to believe that I was quite successful!  Much more successful than other challenges recently.  I was able to finish six books and read a total of 2334 pages in 3 weeks.  I had a great time participating in the reading portion of this challenge, but didn't really get the opportunity to participate in any of the mini-challenges along the way. 

Challenge Stats
  • Books Completed:  An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine, DivergentInsurgent, and Allegiant by Veronica Roth, Stuart Little by EB White, and Scotsmen Prefer Blondes by Sara Ramsey
  • Book Started: Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden  
  • Most Successful Day:  Sunday, August 17th.  Read a total of 297 pages
  • Least Successful Day:  Wednesday, August 13th.  Read a total of 38 pages
  • Longest Read:  Allegiant
  • Quickest Read:  Stuart Little (because it's so short)
I will definitely be keeping my eye out for the 3rd Annual Beat the Heat Readthon in the future, and hopefully surpass this readathon's completions!

How'd you fare in your challenges?

Happy reading!


Thursday, September 4, 2014

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts

I've been kind of MIA for the past week and a half, so there are many things to touch on today!  And, looking at my postings for August, wow...sad business.  Regardless, here goes:

1.  In my last Booking Thoughts posting, I talked about going to see Lady Gaga in Seattle (the rescheduled tour) on the 8th.  Hot Damn!  I freakin' love her.  Needless to say, the concert was amazing and the people watching was so awesome.  To have the confidence to where what some people do is astounding to me.  Props...serious props.

2.  On August 17th, I surprised my boyfriend with tickets to see a few of his favorite bands at the Cuthbert Amphitheater down in Eugene.  On the bill:  Stick Figure, The Green, Iration, and Rebelution.  All reggae bands.  There was dancing, singing, and whatnot.  Such a fun experience.
A quick shot of The Green
2.  On August 18th, we headed over to watch a Volcanoes baseball game in Keizer.  We had received tickets while attending a free concert in the park in the town where we live and chose to take advantage of that.  While the tickets were for a game designated "Kids Night", we still had a blast and the Volcanoes won!  Woohoo. 

4.  On August 24th, I hit up another concert at the Edgefield Amphitheater in Troutdale, near Portland, and caught David Gray with some friends.  If you like more smooth, easy listening tunes, then he's your man.  Such an awesome sound and chill atmosphere.  The venue does leave something to be desired though...not nearly as awesome as the Cuthbert in Eugene.
David Gray and his smooth self
5.  From August 26th-29th, I was at a work retreat helping to train our new campus tour guides for the university where I work.  It was a busy, fully-packed four days away, but I was so glad to come home and sleep in my own bed and snuggle with the bf and kitten :)

6.  Finally, on August 30th the bf and I headed up to the Crystal Ballroom in Portland to see my all-time favorite band, Brand New.  They haven't been on the West Coast for a few years...and haven't released an album since 2009.  I have been eagerly (and impatiently) waiting for them to go out on tour...and hopefully release a new album.  At least I was rewarded with one thing!  So good!!
The lyrically brilliant Jesse Lacey
Obviously it's been a concert (and event) heavy month...and my bank account is a little sad.  But it's been oh so worth it!!!
And for your listening pleasure...a little Brand New "The Quite Things That No One Ever Knows :)

What have you all been up to?

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts is a weekly meme hosted by Christine @ Bookishly Boisterous. Feel free to join in on the conversation :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Beat the Heat Readathon Updates


The Beat the Heat Readathon began on August 11th and runs through September 1st.  I was going to keep track of my progress on my original post, but I've decided to create a new updates post specifically for the challenge which I will update accordingly. 

Here's my progess so far!

Date and Page Count
  • 8/25/14-9/1/14:  314 pages in Scotsmen Prefer Blondes (finished) and 97 pages in Memoirs of a Geisha 
  • 8/24/14:  65 pages in Stuart Little (finished) and 18 pages in Memoirs of a Geisha
  • 8/23/14:  66 pages in Stuart Little
  • 8/22/14:  147 pages in Allegiant (finished)
  • 8/21/14:  125 pages in Allegiant
  • 8/20/14:  96 pages in Allegiant
  • 8/19/14:  70 pages in Allegiant
  • 8/18/14:  88 pages in Allegiant
  • 8/17/14:  297 pages in Insurgent (finished)
  • 8/16/14:  227 pages in Insurgent
  • 8/15/14:  146 pages.  79 pages in Divergent (finished) and 67 pages in Insurgent
  • 8/14/14:  370 pages in Divergent
  • 8/13/14:  38 pages in Divergent
  • 8/11 and 12/14:  103 pages in An Unnecessary Woman (finished)
Currently Reading
Finished Books
Total Pages Read (running total)
  • 2334 pages
Look for more updates as the readathon progresses :)

Happy reading!

Friday, August 22, 2014

B.O.B. Day 4 Progress

Bout of Books Challenge Update Day 4
There are only a few more days left in the challenge, so I better pick up the pace!  Here's how yesterday went:

Currently Reading:  Allegiant by Veronica Roth...I feel like this might be the only thing I get done for the challenge...
  • Read 125 of 526 pages last night.  That puts me on page 379.
I still have hope to at least start another book for the challenge, but I'm not going to hold my breath.

Total number of pages read:  379.

Happy reading, fellow Bout of Bookers!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

B.O.B. Day 3 Progress

Bout of Books Challenge Update Day 3

Heading into the midway point of the Bout of Books Challenge and I'm feeling pretty confident.  Here's how yesterday went:

Currently Reading:  Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  • Read 96 of 526 pages yesterday.  On page 254.
Still planning on reading the books I've mentioned before.  Also hoping to finish one book soon.  Soon...

So fare I've read a total of 254 pages.

Happy reading, fellow Bout of Bookers!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

B.O.B. Day 2 Progress

Bout of Books Challenge Update Day 2

The second day of the Bout of Books Reading Challenge has come to an end and here's how yesterday went:

Currently Reading:  Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  • Read a total of 70 of 526 pages yesterday
To Read:  Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden and Stuart Little by E.B. White (will count for Bookish Bingo)

So far I've read 158 pages in the challenge.  Not stellar, but there's still plenty of time :)

Happy reading, fellow Bout of Bookers!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

B.O.B. Day 1 Progress

Bout of Books Challenge Update Day 1

Hey All!  Today is rolling in to Day 2 of the Bout of Books Reading Challenge, and here is how day 1 went:

Currently Reading:  Allegiant by Veronica Roth
  • Read a total of 88 of 526 pages yesterday
To Read:  Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden

So...read a total of 88 pages on Day 1.

I'm still trying to figure out what else I'll be reading because I'm using Bookish Bingo to kind of dictate my choices at the moment.  I'll update as I go!

Can anyone think of a great book with music or dance themes????

Happy reading, fellow Bout of Bookers!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Beat the Heat Readathon (Goals Update!)

Beat the Heat Readathon
 
I am a reading challenge junkie...and I make no apologies!  The Beat the Heat Readathon is hosted by Jessi @ Novel Hearbeat and Reanna @ Phantasmic Reads and runs from August 11th-September 1st.  Since I'm already participating in the Bookish Bingo Challenge, I thought this would coincide nicely. 

Here are the rules!
  • The Beat the Heat Readathon runs from August 11th to September 1st. What does this readathon entail, you ask? Well, read as much or as little as you want – the main point is to READ! You set your own goal, and for three weeks you read as many books as you can/want to reach your goal!
  • There will be mini-challenges throughout the Readathon for participants, along with a grand prize giveaway at the end!
  • Sign up here at Novel Heartbeat or over at Phantasmic Reads. You may join whenever you like, but to be eligible for our grand prize giveaway, you must sign up by August 24th.
  • To join, all you have to do is make a sign-up post – even if it’s just a “Let’s do this!” thing – and add your post URL to the linky below! You can put your goals and progress (will be required for the final giveaway) in your sign-up post, or you can make it separate. Totally up to you! (You are welcome to use the template we provide as well.)
  • In order to enter for the grand prize, you must have a post to keep track of your progress so we can see that you participated.
Doesn't that sound like a delightful, stress-free, fun time?  I think so!  Use the links above to sign up if you'd like to participate :)  I haven't solidified my goals, as of yet, but I'll definitely post them up as the start date gets closer. 

Goals for the Challenge!
1.  Finish An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine.  I'm about 75% done with this book, so it shouldn't be a problem at all.
2.  Read the Divergent series by Veronica Roth.  It's been sitting on my shelf and the movie just came out on DVD, so I'm going to finally plow in.
3.  Read more than I have in the past week, for sure.  I've seriously been slacking.

Happy reading!


Wednesday, August 13, 2014

B.O.B. 11 Goals

Bout of Books 11 Goals
We are very quickly approaching the start of Bout of Books 11 and I'm super excited to be participating again!  I participated in the last Bout of Books Challenge, my first time joining in, and would like to think it was rather successful for me.  However, I want to do more this time! 

Here is what I hope to get done
  1. Finish the Divergent series by Veronica Roth (this will count for this challenge, Bookish Bingo, and the Beat the Heat Challenge I'm currently participating in).  I'm just starting the first in the series, so I should be able to accomplish this.
  2. Read Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden.  This will also count for all three challenges!
  3. Read more pages than I did for the last Bout of Books...a total of 779 pages last time.
  4. Participate in as many mini-challenges and chats as feasible!
I'm thinking this is doable. 

If you're interested, there's still time to sign up!  Here's the link.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays:  Divergent

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!
Here's today's teaser:
"It would probably be wise to be careful around Four, I realize.  He seemed placid to me on the platform, but something about that stillness makes me wary now." -- page 63
          -----Divergent by Veronica Roth

I'm finally getting around to reading this series.  I have about 40 pages left in the book I'm currently reading and then it's on to another YA adventure.

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'm Not Sure I Want to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's theme is:  Books I'm Not Sure I Want to Read.  Now, if you are a friend on Goodreads, you know that I have nearly 2500 books on my To-Read pile, and it keeps growing.  This is completely unrealistic and kind of ridiculous.  But I think I'm a To-Read junkie.  Hi, my name is Melissa and I have a problem...

Here are my choices:

Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality by Donald Miller.  I read Prayer and the Art of Volkswagen Maintenance and really enjoyed it, but I'm just not sure I care enough to read this one...

The Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell.  I love her fiction works.

Little Nuggets of Wisdom: Big Advice from the Small Star of Chelsea Lately by Chuy Bravo.  Not high on my list.

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.  I love his other stuff, but this one just seems like a mash-up of previous writings.

Humor Me: An Anthology of Funny Contemporary Writing by Ian Frazier.  Meh...

Read, Remember, Recommend by Rachelle Rogers Knight.  I feel like Goodreads does a lot of this for me.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.  I know there's been a lot of hype about this book, but I don't know if I'm feeling it.  Sad thing...I own it! 

Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert.  It's never sounded that appealing, but I felt compelled to add it to my TBR.

Trainspotting by Irvine Welsh.  Seen the movie...interesting.  I feel like I should read this since it's representative of Edinburgh's seedy drug scene and I love Edinburgh. 

Nickled and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich.  I love Ehrenreich's writing, but I've never been super sold on this book despite its popularity.  I also own this one.  Sigh...

Ultimately, I think I need to clean up my TBR list...weed out the ones I'm no longer excited about.  Maybe be a little more selective on what I include from now on.  Who knows.  Are there any here that you think I should read?

Also, look for next week's post:  Top Ten Books People Have Been Telling Me That I MUST Read

Happy reading!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts

Here's what I'm thinking about today:

In May, a dear friend and I had tickets to Lady Gaga's concert up in Seattle.  That's about a 5 hour trip (depending on traffic) for us.  It was on a Tuesday, so we both took time off work and made the trek up I-5.  Upon arriving, we hit up the Taphouse Grill for some pre-concert libations and appetizers.  Right before ordering, my friend gets an email from the venue saying that the concert had been canceled.  WHAT?!?  Needless to say we were incredibly disappointed and were at a loss as to what to do.  Do we drive home?  Do we find something else to do in the city?  Do we make hotel reservations instead of staying at one of her friend's houses if we stay out late?  Decisions, decisions!  After scouring a few "Things to Do in Seattle" websites, we decided to check the Mariners website to see if they were playing.  Lo and behold...VICTORY!  We had about 45 minutes until the game started, so we popped over to book a hotel room, where we received complimentary drink vouchers for a local bar (score!), and then headed down to SafeCo.  Our luck was picking up for sure.  We got front row parking (because the attendant was the nicest older man) and then got seats in the King's Court section, where we got free Felix Hernandez t-shirts and banners.  Nice!  It was my first pro baseball game and we won.  Yeah, buddy!  The night was capped off with post-game drinks.

So...where am I going with this?  Right here: 

Tomorrow is the Gaga make-up concert in Seattle.  Again, we're taking time off work and driving up.  We've already booked our hotel (selections were very limited and we spent way more than we wanted to) and are super excited...perhaps moreso this time. 

Then...I got this message from my friend this morning: 



Clicked on the link and saw this:
And then I read the article...

She performed in Denver last night and, afterward, got altitude sickness.  Sucky!  But, according to the article, the Seattle show is to go on as planned.  Hot damn I'm excited!!!!!  Until Friday, Gaga!!!!!

There's other stuff I'm excited about, but I'll post on that next week :)

Happy reading!

Bookish (And Not So Bookish) Thoughts is a weekly meme hosted by Christine @ Bookishly Boisterous. Feel free to join in on the conversation :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  An Unnecessary Woman

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading. Here are the rules: grab whatever you're reading, open to a random page, select no more than two sentence (NO SPOILERS), share the title and author, and GO!
Here's today's teaser:
"I long ago abandoned myself to a blind lust for the written word.  Literature is my sandbox.  In it I play, build my forts and castles, and spend glorious time.  It is the world outside that box that gives me trouble." --page 5
          -----An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

Loving this book so far!!!

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I'd Give to Readers Who Have Never Read Holocaust Literature

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish and it's a way to share what you're loving in list form. The topic changes every week, so there is always something new to discover!
This week's theme is:  Books I'd Give to Readers Who Have Never Read Holocaust Literature.  Sorry it's going to be a heavy topic, but there are so many wonderful HL books and authors out there who NEED to be read!  Some will be works of fiction, others will be survivor literature/testimony.  All are necessary!

Here goes...

Poems of Paul Celan by Paul Celan or Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew by John Felstiner
  • A Holocaust survivor, Celan turned to poetry in an attempt to cope with the atrocities he faced while imprisoned.  He is known as THE writer of the Holocaust and he's brilliant; and the poems are NOT pretty.  The first is a collection of his poetry.  The second is a biography that is fantastic.
This Way for the Gas, Ladies and Gentlemen by Tadeuz Borowski
  • Another survivor, of Dachau and Auschwitz, Borowski wrote a collection of short stories to chronicle his experiences during the Holocaust.  They are brutal and concise and completely worth reading.
Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • A work of fiction, Foer crafts a beautifully brilliant story of discovery and adventure.  The character, also named Jonathan Safran Foer, sets out to find the woman who may have saved his grandfather from the Nazis.  It's heartbreaking, heartwarming, hilarious, and just plain awesome.  The movie is fantastic as well.
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
  • If you haven't read this book, do so now!  Zusak weaves a beautiful story about Liesel, one of the most touching characters I've read in a long time, and her relationship with her foster family, a boxing Jew, and books during World War II.  Also, it's narrated by Death, so that makes it awesome.  Though technically not Holocaust Literature, I'm counting it.
Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi
  • Probably the preeminent account of life in Auschwitz, Levi chronicles his ten month captivity, sparing nothing for the reader.  Despite the atrocities, there are moments of humor to be found and it's a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.  It's a must read.
Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald
  • A fractured novel incorporating photographs in unexpected places, Sebald weaves a tale of history, loss, memory, and the Kindertransport.  It's a beautifully dense novel, written in two paragraphs...yeah...two paragraphs, that is a testament to Europe's "avoidance system" and is nearly impossible to put down.
Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
  • Incorporating his experiences as a Holocaust survivor, along with those he treated in his practice, Frankl utilizes his psychiatric abilities to convey how suffering is unavoidable but that there are ways to cope with the atrocities life deals us.  The term logotherapy, the notion that the discovery and pursuit of what we find personally meaningful is what drives us, is attributed to Frankl and he lays this out in the book.  This book will change your life if you let it.
Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian
  • Bohjalian's novel follows a group of people, thrown together, attempting to cross from Poland to the British and American lines during the last few months of World War II.  The group includes Prussian aristrocrats, a POW, and a Wehrmacht corporal (or is he?).  It is a wonderfully written novel. 
Night by Elie Wiesel
  • In Night, Wiesel lays out his and his father's experiences as prisoners in Auschwitz and Buchenwald.  A short novella, it is incredibly powerful from the very beginning.  Not only are you able to see the decline of the war, the people, and hope, you are also shown just how such situations cause a massive decline between family members. 
The Lost: A Search for Six of Six Million by Daniel Mendelsohn
  • A work that blends memoir, reporting, mystery, and scholarly detective work, Mendelsohn details how the disappearance of six family members during the Holocaust overshadows the family decades later.  Upon discovering letters written in 1939, he sets out to discover what happened to those family members.  It highlights the inconsistency between history and the stories that are passed along.
Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegelman
  • A graphic novel featuring animals instead of humans, it tells the story of Spiegelman's father and his experiences in a concentration camp.  It also highlights the relationship between survivors and their children.  The novel is groundbreaking and important and worth reading.
Okay, okay...so I have eleven listed...twelve if you're counting the first one as two (which they are...whoops), but it's too hard to narrow it down!  There are so many great options in the Holocaust Literature genre from both fiction and non-fiction standpoints.  I did not include The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank...everyone should have read this one at some point in their life already. 

Have you read much Holocaust Literature?  And, if so, what springs to mind?

Also, look for next week's top ten:  Books I'm Not Sure I Want to Read

Happy reading!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Musing Mondays #7

Musing Mondays #7

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB @ Should Be Reading and is quite simple, really. It asks you to comment/muse each week on one of the following prompts:

  • Describe one of your reading habits.
  • Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).
  • What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!
  • Tell us what you're reading right now--what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; why you are (or aren't) enjoying it.
  • Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!
  • Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books--let's here it, then!
Here's what's on my mind today...

I recently discovered an amazing book site, Book Riot, and have been pretty much obsessing over all it has to offer to readers.  If you haven't checked them out yet, please do so!  I promise you won't be disappointed.  There is so much to discover through their site:  upcoming releases, giveaways, bookish columns, book travel tips, etc.  So good!

Another awesome site:  Influenster!  I was recently invited to join this site by a friend and fellow blogger, Mandy @ The Sassy Starfish and The Rugged Bunch.  It's a great way to try new products, give honest reviews, and help consumers make smart decisions.  I'm pretty sure you have to be invited to join the site, so if you're interested, hit me up!

In other news...I think I might have to buy a new car.  NO!!  My little trusty '97 Civic is being a little stinker and overheating like crazy.  Personally, I do not like running the heater on full blast in 90+ degree weather, but that's just me.  Plus, the heater only helps for a short time.  Boo, Civic, boo!  I've given you oil, coolant, a new radiator cap, etc...why must you be like this?!?  Alas.  So, in the meantime, I'm driving a freakin' F150.  So big...I feel like a tank.

What's on your mind today?

Happy reading!