Monday, June 30, 2014

Book Blogger Quiz

Sometimes you need a little quiz action in your life :)  Courtesy of Amanda @ Amanda's Nose in a Book, but discovered through MizB @ Should Be Reading and Alicia @ Awesome Book Assessment, here's a little Book Blogger Quiz.  Participate in you feel so inclined!

Top 3 Bookish Pet Peeves
  • My biggest one...when I let people borrow books and they don't return them...or they treat them horribly!
  • When I check out books from the library and there is stuff spilled between the pages causing them to stick together.  I don't know what that substance is!  Gross!!
  • When books are not alphabetized at bookstores.  It makes it very difficult to find what I'm looking for.  However, it does add to the "hunting" aspect.
Perfect Reading Spot
  • I can read just about anywhere; a desk, couch, bed, stopped at a railroad crossing, an airplane, etc.  But my favorite spot to read would have to be a comfy chair in a coffeeshop.  I love that there is an infinite supply of coffee and snacks at my disposal and, when I need to take a little reading break, I can people-watch!  I also love reading on airplanes :)
3 Bookish Confessions
  • I have more books on my personal bookshelves that I haven't read versus ones that I have.  Like, more than twice or three times as many.  Two six foot bookshelfs that are both double-stacked, with additional books shoved across the top of each shelf...I think I might have a problem!
  • I LOVE breaking the spine of a book (if it's my personal copy) and dog-earing pages.  To me, breaking the spine is a cathartic release and helps with readability.  There's something so satisfying about that resounding crack.  I only do this with my paperback copies because hardbacks just don't offer the same satisfaction.  Also, bookmarks are incovenient for me and have a tendency to fall out too easily.  If I dog-ear the page, I know exactly where I'm at.
  • I am unable to walk out of a bookstore empty-handed.  It's just not going to happen.  Even when I know I shouldn't be getting anything, I still do.  Those books NEED homes, dangit!
When Was The Last Time You Cried During A Book?
  • I am not a very emotional person, but when it comes to books I have definitely shed some tears.  I think the last time I cried while reading a book was A Silence of Mockingbirds:  The Memoir of a Murder by Karen Spears Zacharias.  Though the book reads more of a "woe-is-me" by the author, because I personally knew Karly and know her father, this really struck a cord.  I won't go into it, but you can check the book out if you feel so inclined. 
How Many Books Are On Your Bedside Table?
  • There are currently six books on my bedside table.  Oy vey!  Two I am currently reading, Belle Cora and Greetings from Somewhere Else, and the other four are ones I will soon be starting (the Divergent Series and a cheesy romance novel).
What Is Your Favorite Snack To Eat While Reading?
  • Chocolate...dark chocolate.  But really I prefer to drink coffee or tea while reading instead of eating.
Name 3 Books You'd Recommend To Everyone
Write How Much Books Mean To You In 3 Words
  • This.  Is.  Home.
What Is Your Biggest Reading Secret?
  • I love romance novels.  I tend to read a lot of "literary" books and whatnot, so it's really nice to take a break from thinking while reading and dive into a mindless romance novel.  They always end happily and make you smile. 
Who Are You Tagging?
  • Anyone who would like to participate :)
Happy reading!

Musing Mondays 4

Musing Mondays #4

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 I'm thinking about today...
I'm currently reading Belle Cora by Philip Margulies.  I've had this book sitting on my dining room table for a while now (checked it out from the library about a month ago...the university where I work doesn't really have due dates for staff members) and have finally gotten around to starting it.  I'll admit that it was a little slow to get into, but it's picking up and getting super interesting.  I'm a little over halfway through with the hefty 600+ pages and I really want to see how Belle/Arabella/Harriet/etc. got to be where she is.  The book is loosely based on a 19th century prostitute, Belle Cora, and written in memoir-ish form in two volumes.  It's very intriguing (not overly sexual at all).  I'd recommend it so far! 

What are you currently reading?

Happy reading!

Friday, June 27, 2014

F.B.F: Max und Moritz

Flashback Friday:  Max und Moritz

Flashback Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies and it's a way to show a little love to those books that hold a special place in our hearts. There are no set rules aside from the fact that the book must be at least five years old.
For today's flashback, I'm taking you back to high school (again) and talking about the very first book I ever really read in German.  When I started high school, I simultaneously enrolled in both Spanish and German because I wasn't sure which language I would like more; these were the only two offered at my high school unless you wanted to go to the other high school in town for one period to take French or Japanese.  After a year in both classes, I discovered that I really enjoyed learning German.  The language sounds angry and awesome and the culture is fascinating.  As a junior, after three years learning the language, we were assigned H.C. Wilhelm Busch's Max und Moritz:  Eine Bubehngeschichte in sieben Streichen (in English...Max and Moritz:  A Story of Seven Boyish Pranks). 

Though technically a book for children, the black humor and moral lessons were not lost on us third year German high school students.  It is an illustrated story told entirely in verse (rhymed couplets to be exact) and was published in 1865.  The story follows Max and Moritz, two friends who continually commit horrible pranks on various members of their community that escalate in severity until the very end.  I won't give away what happens at the end, because it would ruin it.  Suffice it to say that the two boys get their comeuppance. 

Culturally relevant in today's German-speaking nations, Max und Moritz are continually referenced in pop culture and the media.  It is a story read to children even today.  I loved this book because it was dark, funny, and horrific all at the same time.  If you want to read the story, you can find it in translation through Amazon in various version.

What moral books/stories are important to you?

Happy reading!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

B.T.T: Anticipation

Booking Through Thursday:  Anticipation

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Deb @ Booking Through Thursday. Every week she posts a book related prompt/question, you answer the prompt, and then link back to the original. Here's this week's:
Question/Prompt:  Anticipation
Do you still get excited about new books as you did when you were little?  In general?  New books in particular, like from a new author?  Or do you look at it all new, unread books with the same level of anticipation?
I am a book junkie.  Books do not have to be brand spankin' new for me to get excited about them.  Honestly, I get excited when I pick up a 50 cent book from a garage sale or thrift store.  I just like the fact that it's new to me and I get the privilege of reading it soon.  One of my favorite things to do is peruse used bookstores; they offer the aspect of hunting for buried treasures.  Perhaps I'm a little spoiled because I happen to live about 50 minutes away from the largest new and used bookstore in the world, Powell's Books in Portland, Oregon.  And there are so many independent used bookstores in the surrounding area that I am bound to find loads of treasures just waiting to be nabbed.  When it comes to new books, I do eagerly anticipate their arrival; especially if it's a series that I'm impatiently waiting to finish, like The Lunar Chronicles or The Lorien Legacy

What gets you excited about books?

Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

W.O.W: Falling Into Place

Waiting On Wednesay is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to highlight upcoming releases they are eagerly awaiting.
Here's what I'm anticipating:

Title:  Falling Into Place
Author:  Amy Zhang
Publication Date:  September 9, 2014
Page Count:  304

Summary via Goodreads
On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.

Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.

This book just sounds awesome with a capital A!  Granted, science isn't necessarily my thing (especially physics), but this book seems like so much  more than that.  How do our decisions effect those around us?  Such a great question.  This is a book that seems like it could transcend so many boundaries and genres.  I hope it lives up to these beliefs.

What are you excited about reading?

Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The Book of Tomorrow: A Review

Cecelia Ahern's The Book of Tomorrow

Title:  The Book of Tomorrow
Author:  Cecelia Ahern
Published:  January 1, 2009
Publishing Company:  Harper/Collins
Page Count:  320

Summary via Goodreads
Tamara Goodwin has everything she ever wanted and she never has to think about tomorrow. But suddenly her world is turned upside down and she has to leave her glamorous city life for a new one in the country. However, Tamara is soon lonely and longing to return home.
Then a travelling library arrives in the village, bringing with it a mysterious leather-bound book locked with a gold clasp and padlock. What Tamara discovers within its pages takes her breath away and everything starts to change in the most unexpected of ways...

My Thoughts
This was, by far, my least favorite of Ahern's books.  Tamara is unlikable, spoiled, and a brat to boot.  The story is unbelievable (not because of the magical aspect, as is present in nearly all of Ahern's books).  The "change" that Tamara goes through is unbelievable.  Every time she opens her mouth, I rolled my eyes.  It's not very often that I completely dislike a main character (unless it's a book written by Flaubert, though his books are awesome despite that), but this one did it.  Positives...the writing is good and engaging, very Ahern.  It's quick to read.  However, I wouldn't recommend this as being a book to begin with if you haven't read Ahern.  It's too much of a disappointment.

Three stars on Goodreads.  I'd probably have given it 2 1/2, but that's not an option.

What books can you think of where you dislike the main character?

Happy reading!

S.L.C: Read-a-Thon Wrap Up

Summer Library Challenge:  Summer Library Read-a-Thon Wrap Up

Hosted by Kate and Kristen @ The Book Monsters, the Summer Library Challenge is a two month long event all about discovering what your library has to offer to its patrons.  Within that challenge, they host mini week-long challenges.  This last week (June 16-22) was the Summer Library Read-a-Thon in which you read as much as you can from books you've check out from the library (preferrably).  Here's how I did:

Heartless by Gail Carriger

Nearly Finshed
Timeless by Gail Carriger

I had fewer than 100 pages to finish up in Timeless, but wasn't able to get it done on Sunday.  I did finish it yesterday though...a day late.  So there's that.  The Summer Library Challenge continues and I'm looking forward to seeing what's next on the agenda and finishing more books, naturally :)  Just started Belle Cora by Phillip Margulies.

Happy reading!

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  Belle Cora

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:
"Jenny was running down the street away from the intersection where the church had exploded.  Harriet screamed out her name, and her daughter turned and ran toward us, weeping with relief.  She thought that finding us meant she was safe."  --page 13
          -----Belle Cora by Phillip Margulies
I'm very excited to read this book :)
Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Cover Trends I Like/Dislike

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:  Book Cover Trends I Like/Dislike.  I haven't really given much thought to this before, but there are definitely a few things that draw me in to a book.  If I don't like the cover art, I'm very hard pressed to pick up a book and read the synopsis. 

Here are a few things I like:
  1. I gravitate toward darker covers that have pops of color (black, white, and red are really dynamic).
  2. I think steampunk covers are pretty awesome.  They're gritty and have Victorian aspects that immediately draw my eye.
  3. Clean, simple covers also do the trick. 
  4. Font is also important...if it looks too childish (hello, Comic Sans), I'm probably not going to grab that book.  I like clean fonts.
  5. If there are characters on the cover and one of them is wearing an old-time dress (Medieval, Victorian, Regent, Southern, etc), I'll definitely check it out.
And a few things that I don't like:
  1. Angels.  Whether fallen, ethereal, etc...I just don't tend to like them.
  2. Fire or flames.  Boring! 
  3. Incredibly busy covers.  If I have to search too hard to figure out what the title is, who the author is, or what the cover is alluding thank you.
  4. Speech bubbles...they look childish unless they are on a graphic novel/comic book.  I'm not drawn to them at all.  In fact, they might repel me away from a book.  Sad, but true.
  5. Abbreviations...or ampersands.  This is the English instructor in me.  I don't tend to shorten words, even in text messages.  I'll spell out "and".  I don't want to see it on a book cover.
Some of these make me sound incredibly picky!  Wow.  Honestly, I'll read just about anything that's put in front of my face.  Even if it's bad and I can't get into the book, I'll finish the damn thing because I have a problem leaving things unfinished.  I'm weird like that.  What are some of your favorite book cover trends?  Or ones you dislike?

Also, look for next week's Top Ten:  Favorite Classic Books

Happy reading!

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Last Boyfriend: A Review

Nora Roberts' The Last Boyfriend

Title:  The Last Boyfriend
Author:  Nora Roberts
Published:  May 1, 2012
Publishing Company:  Berkley Trade
Page Count:  319

Summary via Goodreads
Owen is the organizer of the Montgomery clan, running the family's construction business with an iron fist - and an even less flexible spreadsheet. And though his brothers bust on his compulsive list-making, the Inn BoonsBoro is about to open right on schedule. The only thing Owen didn't plan for was Avery McTavish...
Avery's popular pizza place is right across the street from the inn, giving her a first-hand look at its amazing renovation - and a newfound appreciation for Owen. Since he was her first boyfriend when they were kids, Owen has never been far from Avery's thoughts. But the attraction she's feeling for him now is far from innocent.
As Avery and Owen cautiously take their relationship to another level, the opening of the inn gives the whole town of Boonsboro a reason to celebrate. But Owen's hard work has only begun. Getting Avery to let down her guard is going to take longer than he expected - and so will getting her to realize that her first boyfriend is going to be her last...

My Thoughts
I love Nora Roberts.  Though formulaic and predictable, her stories never disappoint me.  This is the second book in The Inn Boonsboro trilogy, and it's probably my favorite in the series.  Both Owen and Avery are the two most likable characters in the series; they each have their quirks, but those quirks are decidedly endearing for the reader.  Avery is a spitfire who rolls with the punches and Owen is a straight-laced numbers guy.  Opposites attract, right?  Rekindling their junior high romance, though not planned on, is charming to read.  If you're looking for a quick read that leaves a warm feeling in your heart, I would definitely recommend The Last Boyfriend...or anything by Roberts, really.

Four stars on Goodreads.  A satisfying read.

Who are some of your favorite romance writers?

Happy reading!

Of Mice and Men: A Review

John Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

Title:  Of Mice and Men
Author:  John Steinbeck
Published:  1937
Publishing Company:  Penguin Books
Page Count:  103

Summary via Goodreads
The tragic story of the complex bond between two migrant laborers in Central California. They are George Milton and Lennie Small, itinerant ranch hands who dream of one day owning a small farm. George acts as a father figure to Lennie, who is a very large, simple-minded man, calming him and helping to rein in his immense physical strength.

My Thoughts
I have to be honest...I did not love this book...or particularly like it all that much.  Yeah, it's good.  But kind of boring.  Don't get me wrong, I get why Steinbeck is considered one of the greatest American writers (and I'm not a huge fan of American writers), but this was such a letdown.  So many people have raved about this book and I just don't get it.  I did feel for the characters, especially Lennie, but I don't blame George at all for what he did.  Admittedly, I was a little shocked by his choice, but it makes sense in the long run.  Overall...Steinbeck isn't for me.  Though I haven't read anything else by you never know.

Three stars on Goodreads.  It's well written and can be engaging, but boring...

What do you love about Steinbeck that I'm missing?

Happy reading!

The Outsiders: A Review

S.E. Hinton's The Outsiders

Title:  The Outsiders
Author:  S.E. Hinton
Published:  1967
Publishing Company:  Speak
Page Count:  192

Summary via Goodreads
According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.

My Thoughts
This is a really fantastic book.  The message and rivalries transcend time and place when it comes to The Outsiders and the influence it can have on people could be highly beneficial in today's society.  For a book written in the mid-60s, the themes of loyalty and right and wrong can easily be applied to life today.  Ponyboy, the youngest in the greasers' group, is faced with gut-wrenching decisions after one of his fellow greasers kills a rival soc.  He shows that sometimes loyalties have to be tested in order to make the right decisions, despite the consequences that those choices might cause.  It's a brilliant look at social dynamics and growing up.  If you've never read this book, I definitely recommend it.  Also, I should probably get around to watching the film version...

Five stars on Goodreads.  A great book.

What are some of your favorite "tough choices" books?

Happy reading!

The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao: A Review

Junot Diaz's The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao

Title:  The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao
Author:  Junot Diaz
Published:  September 6, 2007
Publishing Company:  Riverhead Books
Page Count:  335

Summary via Goodreads
Things have never been easy for Oscar, a sweet but disastrously overweight ghetto nerd, a New Jersey romantic who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, most of all, of finding love. But he may never get what he wants, thanks to the fuk├║ — the ancient curse that has haunted Oscar's family for generations, dooming them to prison, torture, tragic accidents, and, above all, ill-starred love. Oscar, still dreaming of his first kiss, is only its most recent victim - until the fateful summer that he decides to be its last.

My Thoughts
I absolutely loved this book to the moon and back!  I read this while vacationing in San Francisco two years ago and couldn't put it down.  Even thought it is interspersed with Spanish (of which I have a very limited vocabulary), I was able to follow along and fully appreciate Oscar's story.  Oscar becomes one of those characters who you fall in love with immediately.  He has this innate ability to endear himself with readers; such a wonderful character.  You really feel for his plight (both in terms of his obesity and his quest for love).  He is a character you root for despite knowing how his story will end.  So wonderfully written!

Five stars on Goodreads.  This is a fantastic book!

Who are some of your favorite Latino/a writers?

Happy reading!

P.S. I Love You: A Review

Cecelia Ahern's PS, I Love You

Title:  P.S. I Love You
Author:  Cecilia Ahern
Published:  January 5, 2005
Publishing Company:  Hyperion
Page Count:  470

Summary via Goodreads
Holly couldn't live without her husband Gerry, until the day she had to. They were the kind of young couple who could finish each other's sentences. When Gerry succumbs to a terminal illness and dies, 30-year-old Holly is set adrift, unable to pick up the pieces. But with the help of a series of letters her husband left her before he died and a little nudging from an eccentric assortment of family and friends, she learns to laugh, overcome her fears, and discover a world she never knew existed.

My Thoughts
I love just about everything Cecelia Ahern has written, aside from one book (more on that in an upcoming post), but I put off reading PS for ages for one simple reason...Hilary Swank.  Yes, the book came out prior to the film, but her casting in the film version rubbed me the wrong way (I'm not a HS fan at all).  Also, they made the main character American!  NO!  Becuase of this, I not only refused to watch the film, but I refused to read the book for the longest time.  About two years ago I came across a copy in a used bookstore for two dollars.  It didn't have the Hollywood cover (I abhor movie covers), so I caved and bought it.  God damn if it wasn't a great book.  It makes you laugh, cry, and rage on multiple occassions.  Ahern's descriptions are relatable and beautifully written.  It's a wonderful story of grief, acceptance, and personal growth that deserves the accolades it's received.

Four stars on Goodreads.  Probably 4 1/2 if I'm being honest.

What are some of your favorite novels about overcoming grief?

Happy reading!

Musing Mondays 3

Musing Mondays #3

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 I'm thinking about today...

I'm lamenting the fact that I didn't get to read as much as I wanted to this weekend.  While I was able to get a good chunk read out of my book on Friday evening after work, Saturday was taken up by a funeral and a grand re-opening of a local spirits establishment, and Sunday was dominated by a severe migraine (and watching the USA v Portugal game through squinted eyes).  Whoa is me.  Because of this, I wasn't able to get through the book I'm currently reading and start on the last book I have checked out from the library for the Summer Library Challenge Read-a-Thon that ended on Sunday.  Luckily the Summer Library Challenge goes until the end of July.  I'll finish up my current read early this week and start on my last book...hopefully finishing this weekend or sooner. 

What are you musing about this week?

Happy reading!

Friday, June 20, 2014

F.B.F: Night

Flashback Friday:  Night

Flashback Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies and it's a way to show a little love to those books that hold a special place in our hearts. There are no set rules aside from the fact that the book must be at least five years old.

This week I'm flashing back to tenth grade when I read Night by Elie Wiesel.  I remember being shocked and appalled by this book...and fascinated.  Published in 1958, the short book chronicles the harrowing experience of a Nazi Death March in which Wiesel was a victim.  His description is fluid, heartwrenching, and angering.  Perhaps one of the best known and most widely read works of Holocaust Literature, aside from The Diary of Anne Frank, Night bears witness to the atrocities inflicted on the various peoples victimized by the Nazi regime.

The book opens with a horrifying scene that involves Nazis, rifles, and babies (I will spare you the details) and continues on in its atrocious manner.  Taking place in Auschwitz and Buchenwald, two of the most aggressively extreme concentration camps, Wiesel chronicles his and his father's time spent during the year of 1944-1945.  It's fragmented and sparsely linked together, touching on not only their personal experiences, but also on his loss of faith in humanity and God.  He also discusses how his relationship changes with his father.

Night is the book that started my studies of the Holocaust and its literature.  It had such an influence on my education in terms of which direction I eventually pursued for both my undergraduate and graduate degrees.  And for that I am incredibly indebted to Wiesel.  If you have yet to read this novel, all 115 pages of it, I highly recommend doing so.  You're worldview will be changed; I promise.

Are there any books that have shaped your future?

Happy reading!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

B.T.T: Format

Booking Through Thursday:  Format

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Deb @ Booking Through Thursday. Every week she posts a book related prompt/question, you answer the prompt, and then link back to the original. Here's this week's:

Question/Prompt:  Format
All other things being equal, what is your favorite format for reading?  Hardcover?  Paperback?  New Book?  Old Book?  Leather-bound first edition?  E-book?
For reading, I am old school.  I love a paperback book above all other mediums.  As an avid spine breaker, there isn't nearly the same satisfaction in reading other formats.  I know, shame on me for breaking the spines and ruining the structure/integrity of a book, but I want my books to look like they've been read.  No pristine books on my bookshelves!  While there are some instances where I like hardcovers, mainly in series form because they look nice all lined up together on a bookshelf, I hate how hefty a hardback is since I always, ALWAYS, carry a book or two with me.  When it comes to old vs new books, I'm an equal opportunist.  I love the way books smell...old, new, and in between.  However, if I purchase an "old" book, it's more than likely going to be a hardback/leather-bound copy...not trade paperback...because I'm purchasing it as a collector.  I do own an e-reader though, and I quite enjoy it.  Never intending to purchase one, I received it as a Christmas present from my parents (I'll admit that I asked for one...).  While it is nice to have because of all the features (Kindle many functions), I will still choose and actual book over my e-reader.  Call me old-fashioned.  Essentially, I like all forms.

What is your prefered format for reading?

Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

W.O.W: The Vanishing Season

Waiting On Wednesay is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to highlight upcoming releases they are eagerly awaiting.

Here's what I'm excited for:

Title:  The Vanishing Season
Author:  Jodi Lynn Anderson
Publication Date:  July 1, 2014
Page Count:  256

Summary via Goodreads
Girls started vanishing in the fall, and now winter's come to lay a white sheet over the horror. Door County, it seems, is swallowing the young, right into its very dirt. From beneath the house on Water Street, I've watched the danger swell.

The residents know me as the noises in the house at night, the creaking on the stairs. I'm the reflection behind them in the glass, the feeling of fear in the cellar. I'm tied—it seems—to this house, this street, this town.

I'm tied to Maggie and Pauline, though I don't know why. I think it's because death is coming for one of them, or both.

All I know is that the present and the past are piling up, and I am here to dig.I am looking for the things that are buried.

From bestselling author Jodi Lynn Anderson comes a friendship story bound in snow and starlight, a haunting mystery of love, betrayal, redemption, and the moments that we leave behind

I love a good, creepy ghost story and this one sounds like it would be awesome!  There seems to be an intriguing premiss and a nice little mystery to it as well.  Good things for sure.  Plus, the cover art on the different editions is quite well done.   

What are you looking forward to reading?

Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  Heartless

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:
"Alexia backed toward the open door, lifting up her parasol in a defensive position and pressing her thumb against the appropriate lotus petal in the handle, arming the tip with one of the numbing darts.  She wished she had not left Ethel behind; guns, by an large, were far more threatening than parasols"  --page 101 
  --Heartless by Gail Carriger
Nearly done with the Parasol Protectorate series!  One more to go. 

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books On My Summer 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 Summer TBR List.  Now, this is very similar to last week's post, Books That Will Be In My Beach Bag, so I'm going to change it up a tiny bit.  Instead of focusing on my Summer TBR pile, I'm going to expand it and lay out ten more books that I really want to get through in my TBR pile in addition to those I listed for the beach bag list :)

Here goes:

The Swan Thieves by Elizabeth Kostova
  • I have had this on my bookshelf since the day it was published in 2010.  I absolutely loved The Historian and I couldn't wait to read this.  I'll finally get to it this year. 
How the Scots Invented the World:  The True Story of How Western Europe's Poorest Nation Created Our World and Everything In It by Arthur Herman
  • When I moved back from Scotland in 2008, I was incredibly sad about having to leave.  I picked this book up in an effort to help keep me tied to the country.  I couldn't bring myself to read it at that time, so I never cracked the spine, and then it got pushed further and further down on my TBR pile.  I'm going to remedy that this year! 
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • A fellow National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) participant, so I had to show her some love.  I've been excited to read this book for a long time.
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
  • Rushdie is one of those writers who sticks with you.  After reading Midnight's Children, I sought out everything he had written.  This is his most controversial work and I am excited to read it.
The Unbearable Lightness of Scones by Alexander McCall Smith
  • Number 5 in the 44 Scotland Street Series, I need to pick this one back up.  I plowed through the first four and loved every minute of them.  Bertie is calling my name :)
Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple (audiobook)
  • For being a book giver for World Book Night 2014 (my third year participating), all givers received three free audiobooks from  This is one I chose and I've heard good things about it.
The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
  • I'm being superficial on this one...I originally chose to buy this book because of its cover.  For some reason I love the cover art.  It sounds good, too.
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
  • I haven't been able to bring myself to read this yet.  I'm still, years later, obsessed with Harry Potter and I'm terrified that I will compare this book to those.  I will get over it and read this book!
Lies My Teacher Told Me:  Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen
  • I picked this up in a used bookstore for several reasons, but mainly because it sounded awesome.  I love history and I'm excited to finally read this book.
The Ghost Map:  The Story of London's Most Terrifying Epidemic--and How It Changed Science, Cities, and the Modern World by Steven Johnson
  • This book just sounds rad to me.  Again, tying into the history aspect, I'm also kind of intrigued by macabre things.  Put those together and I'm sold. 
I noticed a fairly distinct pattern of non-fiction books in this list.  I'm okay with that, though it definitely is not part of my normal repertoire.  All of these books are currently on my TBR bookshelf...double-stacked because I have a book buying habit (never a problem!).  What are some books you're looking to clear from your TBR pile?

Also, look for next week's post:  Book Cover Trends I Like/Dislike

Monday, June 16, 2014

S.L.C: Summer Library Read-a-Thon

Summer Library Challenge:  Summer Library Read-a-Thon

Today is the kick off to the Summer Library Read-a-Thon hosted by Kate and Kristen @ The Book Monsters.  It's in conjunction with the Summer Library Challenge, a two-month long event meant to show love to your local libraries.  Such an awesome idea! 

Here are my goals for the week:

To Finish
*Heartless by Gail Carriger (currently on page 224 of 374)

To Read
*Timeless by Gail Carriger
*Belle Cora by Phillip Margulies

The two by Gail Carriger are the last I have to read in the Parasol Protectorate series, so that's exciting.  Once I finish these three books it will be time to pop over to the library and pick up some more!  I believe that I can finish these three this week...despite the continued awesomeness of the World Cup going on. 

What are you reading today?

Happy reading!

Musing Mondays 2

Musing Mondays #2

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 I'm thinking about today:
Yesterday was the last day of the Library Books Read-a-Thon hosted by Rachael @ Rachael Turns Pages.  While I didn't read nearly as much as I wanted to, I was able to finish one book and get a little over halfway through a second one.  I, I reading was hindered by the start of the World Cup on Thursday of last week and Father's Day on Sunday.  Despite my lack of finished books, I am still counting the event as a success because I actively participated.  Yep.  I'm still participating in the Summer Library Challenge hosted by Kate and Kristen @ The Book Monsters, so there's still hope to finish all the books I currently have checked out from various libraries; their read-a-thon kicks off today.  Yeah, buddy!

In other news...I got a kitten this weekend :) 

Meet Penelope...she's 6 weeks old.

What are you musing about today?

Happy reading!

Friday, June 13, 2014

F.B.F: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

Flashback Friday:  The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle

Flashback Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Lisa @ Bookshelf Fantasies and it's a way to show a little love to those books that hold a special place in our hearts.  There are no set rules aside from the fact that the book must be at least five years old.

This week, I'm taking everyone back to my elementary school days again.  Avi's The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle is probably one of my all-time favorite books.  It's the book I've read the most times throughout my life and it's the book I have bought the most copies of...because I lend it out and never get it back (this is why I keep track of who I lend my books to now).  The first time I read this book was in elementary school and I fell in love immediately.  Published in 1990, Confessions is the winner of multiple literary awards, including the Newbery Honor in 1991.

The book follows thirteen-year-old Charlotte during her journey from England to Rhode Island after she has completed finishing school in England.  Set in the 1800s, it was common for well-off Americans to send their children to Britain for finishing school and Charlotte was no exception.  However, the voyage back to America was anything but ordinary.  Traveling without the pre-arranged chaperones, Charlotte is forced to take part in activities that most refined young girls would never imagine.  Befriending Zacharias, a crew member of the ship, she is placed in unimaginable circumstances and must adapt to life aboard the vessel.

I don't want to give anything away about this book because I feel that EVERYONE should read it; it's that good.  I re-read Confessions just last year and it was everything I remember it being.  Seriously, if you haven't read it yet, please do so.

What are some of your favorite ship-faring books?

Happy reading!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

B.T.T: R-Rated

Booking Through Thursday:  R-Rated

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Deb @ Booking Through Thursday.  Every week she posts a book related prompt/question, you answer the prompt, and then link back to the original.  Here's this week's:

Question/Prompt:  R-Rated Content
How do you feel about explicit detail in your reading?  Whether language, sex, violence, situations, and so on...does it bother you?  Faze you at all?  Or do you just read everything without it bothering you?
Honestly, I'm not very disturbed by r-rated content in my reading as long as it makes sense in the frame of the story.  I read just about anything under the sun, from YA to Romance and Adventure to Literary Fiction.  Sometimes, r-rated content is necessary to the storyline and other times it's simply gratuitous.  Even when it is excessive, I am not bothered by it.  I guess you could say I have a pretty open mind.  Naturally there are some times when the nature of the r-rated scene will bother me (mainly if it's any kind of violence toward children), and then I cringe while reading.  I thought the Fifty Shades series was a little over-the-top, but I still read it voraciously (don't judge me).  True stories that are violent in nature are a little more disturbing.  One that comes immediately to mind is The Silence of Mockingbirds: The Memoir of a Murder...but that's because I was close to the Karly and her dad.  Regardless, r-rated content isn't something I steer clear of when I choose books.  We see most of it so frequently on tv and in movies, why shouldn't it appear in our reading?

How do you feel about r-rated content in your reading?

Happy reading!

How to Buy a Love of Reading: A Review

Tanya Egan Gibson's How to Buy a Love of Reading

Title:  How to Buy a Love of Reading
Author:  Tanya Egan Gibson
Published:  May 14, 2009
Publishing Company:  Dutton Adult
Page Count:  400

Summary via Goodreads
To Carley Wells, words are the enemy. Her tutor's innumerable SAT flashcards. Her personal trainer's "fifty-seven pounds overweight" assessment. And the endless reading assignments from her English teacher, Mr. Nagel. When Nagel reports to her parents that she has answered "What is your favorite book" with "Never met one I liked," they decide to fix what he calls her "intellectual impoverishment." They will commission a book to be written just for her-one she'll have to love-that will impress her teacher and the whole town of Fox Glen with their family's devotion to the arts. They will be patrons- the Medicis of Long Island. They will buy their daughter The Love Of Reading.

Impossible though it is for Carley to imagine loving books, she is in love with a young bibliophile who cares about them more than anything. Anything, that is, but a good bottle of scotch. Hunter Cay, Carley's best friend and Fox Glen's resident golden boy, is becoming a stranger to her lately as he drowns himself in F. Scott Fitzgerald, booze, and Vicodin.

When the Wellses move writer Bree McEnroy-author of a failed meta-novel about Odysseus' failed journey home through the Internet-into their mansion to write Carley's book, Carley's sole interest in the project is to distract Hunter from drinking and give them something to share. But as Hunter's behavior becomes erratic and dangerous, she finds herself increasingly drawn into the fictional world Bree has created, and begins to understand for the first time the power of stories-those we read, those we want to believe in, and most of all, those we tell ourselves about ourselves. Stories powerful enough to destroy a person. Or save her.

My Thoughts
I'll admit that it took me a bit to get into this book.  I was attracted to the cover art (so judgmental!) and the synopsis did sound promising, but I was not enthralled once I began.  It wasn't until I got a good way into the story that I began to enjoy myself.  Once that happened, it was quite good.  Carley is likable because of her continuously pointed out flaws.  The reader really feels for her, despite the fact that she does not like literature (SACRILEGE).  Hunter is likeable in an unlikable kind of way.  He treats Carley better than anyone else does, sees her for who she truly is, but has some personal demons that he needs to confront.  It isn't until things get seriously/dangerously out-of-hand that he's able to do that.  Bree, the storyteller, is an innocent bystander in the game that the rich members of Fox Glen continuously play.  She is constantly trying to satisfy Carley's parents while attempting to forge a much needed bond with Carley.  Their relationship is actually quick wonderful to watch.  Overall, it's a pretty good book and I'd recommend it.  It's a quick read as well.     

Four stars on Goodreads.  Perhaps if it had drawn me in a bit more right off the bat, it would have garnered a five star rating.  Alas...

What are some of your favorite book-related books?

Happy reading!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

W.O.W: Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands

Waiting On Wednesay is a weekly meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that allows bloggers to highlight upcoming releases they are eagerly awaiting.

Here's what I can't wait to get my hands on!

Title:  Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands
Author:  Chris Bohjalian
Publication date:  July 8, 2014
Page Count:  288  (fairly short for Bohjalian)

Summary via Goodreads
Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands is the story of Emily Shepard, a homeless girl living in an igloo made of garbage bags in Burlington. Nearly a year ago, a power plant in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont had a meltdown, and both of Emily's parents were killed. Devastatingly, her father was in charge of the plant, and the meltdown may have been his fault—was he drunk when it happened? Thousands of people are forced to leave their homes in the Kingdom; rivers and forests are destroyed; and Emily feels certain that as the daughter of the most hated man in America, she is in danger. So instead of following the social workers and her classmates after the meltdown, Emily takes off on her own for Burlington, where she survives by stealing, sleeping on the floor of a drug dealer's house, inventing a new identity for herself, and befriending a young homeless kid named Cameron. But Emily can't outrun her past, can't escape her grief, can't hide forever-and so she comes up with the only plan that she can.

I love, love, love Chris Bohjalian.  Everything he's written has been fantastic!  Told from multiple perspectives, his writing sucks readers in and doesn't allow you to walk away.  It forces you to question what your actions would be in the given situation and makes you think about which narrator you believe along the way.  So good!  If you haven't read anything by Bohjalian, I suggest starting with Midwives or Skeletons at the Feast...though you really can't go wrong with any of his books.

A little eye candy.
In other anticipating news...the World Cup starts tomorrow!!!!!  EEK!  This is, by far, my absolute favorite sporting event (along with the Euro Cup) and it only comes around every four years.  For those not in the know, the World Cup is a month-long soccer/football tournament.  Woohoo!  My team:  GERMANY (followed by Spain and the US).  Along with this, is the return of the beloved Michael Ballack (formerly of the Deutsches Bundesliga and Chelsea Football Club) as a studio analysist.  Bestill my heart :)

What are you eagerly anticipating?

A Thousand Splendid Suns: A Review

Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns

Title:  A Thousand Splendid Suns
Author:  Kahled Hosseini
Published:  May 22, 2007
Publishing Company:  Riverhead Hardcover
Page Count:  372

Summary via Goodreads
A moving story about two women set in Afghanistan. The book's story illustrates both the second class, serf-like treatment of two women and their subjection to physical and emotional brutality that was allowed, enabled and endorsed. We also get to see the bravery, kindness and self-resilience of these same two women. Despite the harsh reality of the story, the humanness and compassion shown by both women while trying to survive in such a brutal and oppressive environment is very uplifting.

My Thoughts
I absolutely loved this book!  Lent to me by a friend, I put off reading it for a bit.  But boy am I glad that I finally caved and read it.  It's a beautiful, heart-wrenching, tragic, and redeeming novel that deserves to be read.  Reminding me of Anita Diamant's The Red Tent, Suns shows the strength that women can have in the face of unprecendented cirucumstances and trying times.  Hosseini's writing is eloquent, charged, and gracefully compelling.  He draws the reader into a world of harship, faith, and survival and shows that something good can be found in nearly every situation.  The harrowing experiencees of the two women in the story are so vividly described by Hosseini that the reader feels as if they are witnessing these events first-hand.  It's brilliant and an incredibly quick read; it took me less than two days to get through it.

Five stars on Goodreads.  If you haven't read this book, do it NOW!  It's so good.

What are some of your favorite books with strong female characters?

Happy reading!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

L.B.R: My Library Story

Library Books Read-a-Thon:  My Library Story

It's day two of the Library Books Read-a-Thon and our illustrious host, Rachael @ Rachael Turns Pages, has prompted us to describe our library experience growing up.  An excellent request!

Here's my story (I apologize for the length)...

From the time I can remember, I have always had a fascination with reading and books.  My parents avidly read to my sister and I (my brother was too cool to participate) when we were small and before we learned to read on our own, normally as a calm-down before bed.  This was always one of my favorite times of the day.  When I entered grade school as a kindergartner and really learned to read on my own, a whole new world opened up to me; I could now check out books from our school's library.  I loved that library!  Though quite small, it had everything I could imagine.  Throughout grade school, I became a more-than frequent visitor to the library, checking out books left and right...even spending my breaks and (sometimes) recess there if the weather wasn't optimal (Western Oregon = rain). 

When I entered middle school, I retained my love of all things literary.  In the sixth grade we had rotating required electives and one of those was Library Science.  That was probably my favorite elective, though we spent most of the time learning how to navigate online databases (this was when wide-spread computer use and the internet was just coming around, mind you) and how libraries were organized.  We were also required to check out a book every week.  Score!  As middle school progressed, I would ask my English teachers for book suggestions and read whatever they recommended; hence my absolute love for Gone with the Wind, which I read in 8th grade.

Once high school rolled around I didn't spend as much time frequenting the library or reading.  Most free time was taken up by sports, work, and social events.  Don't get me wrong, I still read a lot, but I didn't visit the library as often.  In addition, we no longer had required library visits and when we did go to the library, it was spent working on research projects. 
Growing up, school libraries were my only option for books (unless I could convince my parents to buy a book for me until I was old enough to get a job to purchase them on my own).  We lived outside of the city limits and a public library card was a whopping 75 bucks!  No thank you.  I did not get a public library card until I went to college...

And that's my library story...for now.  What is your library story?

Happy reading!

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  Blameless
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!

And here's this week's teaser:
"The poisoned dart hissed slightly as it flew, struck one of the vampires dead center to the chest, and stuck there.  He looked down at it, up at Alexia with an expression of deep offense, and then crumpled limply to the floor like an overcooked noodle." --page 122 
--Blameless by Gail Carriger (Book 3 in the Parasol Protectorate series)

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I've Read So Far This Year

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, the Top Ten meme is quite popular around the book blogging world.  Every Tuesday a new theme is introduced for the meme.  It's a great way to see what other people are reading/have read and to expand your ever-growing TBR pile!

This week's Top Ten theme is: Books I've Read So Far This Year.  Without further ado, and in no particular order, here's my list:

Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
  • This is the only book I've read by Flynn and it was fantastically disturbing, well-written, engaging, and suspenseful.  A really great, quick read.
Cress by Marissa Meyer
  • I absolutely love The Lunar Chronicles series by Meyer and was stoked when the third installment was released.  It's such a great concept and completely worth the wait.  The final book comes out next year...ugh...
The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne
  • The first book I've ever read by Boyne and it's phenomenal.  Easily the best book I've read this year.  If you are at all interested in the Romanovs and Russian history, I would highly recommend checking this book out.
The Girl Who Fell From The Sky by Heidi W Durrow
  • Always on the lookout for books set in Oregon or written by Oregon authors, this book fit the bill.  I picked it up on clearance at the university bookstore where I work and did not regret it.  It's a quick, heartbreaking read.
A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
  • The second book in A Song of Fire and Ice series, this book is great.  It took me a bit to get through because of the 1000 page length, but it is completely worth it.
A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin
  • Probably my favorite book in the series thus far, this one includes so much.  It rips at your heart, makes you angry, makes you joyous, and leaves you wanting more!
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin
  • The forth book in the series, this has been the most trying one to get through.  Introducing new characters to the audience, Martin's approach to books four and five (which is sitting unread on my bookshelf) was to split the characters in half.  It improved the further I got into it and was great by the time I finished.
The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison
  • A psychological thriller where you know the general outcome upfront, Harrison's book is thought-provoking and forces the reader to examine their own relationships.  It's an interesting, quick read.
City of Thieves  by David Benioff
  • Set in WWII Russia, Benioff's bestseller follows the journey of two strangers forced to work together to find a dozen eggs for the wedding cake of a powerful Soviet commander's daughter.  The relationship that develops between the two men is beautiful to observe and, despite the setting, there are relative moments of hilarity.
Love Stories in This Town by Amanda Lyre Ward
  • A collection of short stories, I picked this book up at The Dollar Tree of all places.  The stories explore the notion of belonging and how we approach milestones in our lives.  It's funny, poignant, and worth the read.
And there you have it...the top ten books I've read so far this year.  What are some of your favorite books you've read this year? 

Also, keep a look-out for next week's Top Ten Tuesday...the topic will be Top Ten Books On My Summer TBR List. 

Happy reading!

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest: A Review

Steig Larsson's The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

Title:  The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest
Author:  Stieg Larsson
Published:  May 25th, 2010
Publising Company:  Knopf
Page Count:  563

Summary via Goodreads
Lisbeth Salander — the heart of Larsson’s two previous novels — lies in critical condition, a bullet wound to her head, in the intensive care unit of a Swedish city hospital. She’s fighting for her life in more ways than one: if and when she recovers, she’ll be taken back to Stockholm to stand trial for three murders. With the help of her friend, journalist Mikael Blomkvist, she will not only have to prove her innocence, but also identify and denounce those in authority who have allowed the vulnerable, like herself, to suffer abuse and violence. And, on her own, she will plot revenge—against the man who tried to kill her, and the corrupt government institutions that very nearly destroyed her life.

Once upon a time, she was a victim. Now Salander is fighting back.

My Thoughts
Probably my favorite in the Millennium trilogy, Hornet's Nest was crazy!  Picking up exactly where Fire left off, the reader is sucked right into the crazy that surrounds Lisbeth.  She's been the freakin' head!  What follows is a rip-roaring adventure to solve several crimes and expose the criminal misconduct of those in power.  This is an extremely satisfying book because it allows Lisbeth to plot and enact the revenge she so justifiably deserves and the reader wants that revenge to take place just as bad as Lisbeth does.  Larsson's ability to suck the reader in right alongside his characters is pretty extraordinary and definitely makes for quick reading.  If you haven't read this series, please do so.  You won't regret it at all!

4 stars on Goodreads.  Again, I really enjoyed this book, but I didn't absolutely love it.  Perhaps this is due to the fact that I don't normally gravitate toward the thriller genre. 

Any thrillers I should definitely check out?

Happy reading!

Monday, June 9, 2014

L.B.R Goals

Library Books Read-a-Thon Goals

Today is the first day of the Library Books Read-a-Thon hosted by Rachael @ Rachael Turns Pages (as I mention in a previous post this morning).  For this week's challenge, I plan to complete the following:

*Blameless by Gail Carriger (currently on page 111)
*Heartless by Gail Carriger
*Timeless by Gail Carriger
*Belle Cora by Phillip Margulies

These are the four that I currently have checked out from the two libraries I frequent.  When I return them, I will pick up some more to finish out this week and continue on with the Summer Library Challenge.  I also plan on signing up to partipate in the public library's reading challenge over the summer. 

Happy reading!

The Girl Who Played With Fire: A Review

Stieg Larsson's The Girl Who Played With Fire
Title:  The Girl Who Play With Fire
Author:  Stieg Larsson
Published:  July 28, 2009
Publishing Company:  Alfred A Knopf
Page Count:  503

Summary via Goodreads
The girl with the dragon tattoo is back. Stieg Larsson's seething heroine, Lisbeth Salander, once again finds herself paired with journalist Mikael Blomkvist on the trail of a sinister criminal enterprise. Only this time, Lisbeth must return to the darkness of her own past (more specifically, an event coldly known as "All the Evil") if she is to stay one step ahead--and alive. The Girl Who Played with Fire is a break-out-in-a-cold-sweat thriller that crackles with stunning twists and dismisses any talk of a sophomore slump. Fans of Larsson's prior work will find even more to love here, and readers who do not find their hearts racing within the first five pages may want to confirm they still have a pulse. Expect healthy doses of murder, betrayal, and deceit, as well as enough espresso drinks to fuel downtown Seattle for months. --Dave Callanan

My Thoughts
I read this book about two years ago and it's been sitting in my draft box for ages.  I figured I should go ahead and start clearing that box up, so here goes.  Unlike the first book in the series, I was able to get into this one much quicker.  There wasn't a lot of backstory (Larsson assumes you've read the first book), so the action jumps right into play at the beginning.  Just as crazy and unpredictable as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, this book takes twists and turns that the reader doesn't always expect.  It's quite brilliant and a quick read despite the page count; Larsson's writing is engaging and easily accessible.  I really enjoyed the fact that Larrson takes the reader into Lisbeth's past and you can finally see some of what makes her she came to be where she is.  Expect to come across uncomfortable and shocking scenes (it's Larrson, afterall), but it's a thrilling ride that I would recommend whole-heartedly!  Look for my review of the last in the series, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest soon (hopefully!).

4 Stars on Goodreads.  I really liked it, but I didn't absolutely love it.

You can read my review of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo here.  It's from a while ago, so take it as a refresher :)

What are some good thrillers you've read lately?

Happy reading!

S.L.C Week 1 Wrap-Up and L.B.R Kick-Off

The first week of the Summer Library Challenge, hosted by Kate and Kristen @ The Book Monsters, has wrapped up and I'm feeling pretty accomplished.  So far I have picked up a total of seven books between two libraries and finished three.  I have also discovered that the public library is doing its own reading challenge this month (sign-ups began on the 6th) for all age groups!  Prizes include gift certificates to local restaurants, coffeeshops, bookstores, etc.  Hot damn am I excited!'s the rundown of how the first week went for the Summer Library Challenge reading-wise:

Finished Reading
*The Silent Wife by A.S.A Harrison
*The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne
*Changeless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate #2)

Currently Reading
*Blameless by Gail Carriger (Parasol Protectorate #3)

I feel like I'm doing pretty well considering I work full-time and have other obligations aside from my vast reading addiciton :)

Today is also the kick-off for the Library Books Read-a-Thon (June 9th-16th) hosted by Rachael @ Rachael Turns Pages.  I'm hoping to finish the book I'm currently reading and get through the last two in the series as well.  I'll also start the last book I have from the library and exchange all of the books I've checked out for new ones.  Needless to say it's going to be a summer of reading and I'm definitely not complaining!

There is still time to sign up for both challenges if you're interested.  Here's the info:
What are you currently reading?

Happy reading!