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!