Thursday, December 31, 2015

B.O.B 15

Bout of Books 15

I'm totally getting a late start on signing up and getting organized for the next round of Bout of Books, but I will definitely be participating!  There is still time to sign up, if you're interested.  Here's the link you'll need.

What is Bout of Books, you ask?  Well, here's a little blurb from our esteemed hostesses:
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 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure.  There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.  For all Bout of Books 15 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. --From the Bout of Books team

It's such an exciting event and really low-key, which is something I am definitely in the mood for!

Here is what's on my tentative agenda:
  • Read as much as possible (duh!) without obsessing about it
  • Participate in challenges
  • Actually tweet about it...and participate in Twitter chats
  • Have fun!
Possible Books:
  • Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie (this will count for B.O.B. and my Bookish Bingo reading challenge...hello, fruit on the cover!)
  • TBD...
Happy reading, fellow Bout of Bookers!


Friday, December 25, 2015

Where'd Ya Go?!

Sorry for the lack of posting these past two months, dear Readers.  I spent the entire month of November, and the majority of December, out of my office doing high school recruitment events for the university I work and, wouldn't you know it, my laptop decided to take a vacation at the same time!  So...no office time and a lack of computer doesn't really help in the consistent posting department.  Also, I worked quite a bit of overtime and didn't want to look at a computer or think very much once I plopped myself down on the couch.  Ha.  Regardless, I received a shiny new HP laptop/tablet thingy (clearly technology is my forte), on which I'm typing away, for Christmas.  This should significantly help my posting habits!  Word. 

Things to look forward to in the future: 
  • Getting back into posting in conjunction with other blogger memes/events
  • More book reviews
  • Visiting bloggers.  WHAT!  That's right :)
  • Some original writing
  • And anything else that strikes my fancy...maybe some recipes...crafts.  The possibilities are endless!
In the meantime, happy reading, fellow bloggers!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Writer's Workshop: I swear there was a ghost...

I grew up in the country...in a pseudo-farm house that had been built in the early 40s by distant relatives, one of whom still lived next door in another house he and his father had built together when he was younger.  When we moved in, the previous owner (not related to the family in any way) claimed that she would wake up in the mornings and cupboards in the kitchen would be open, the coffeepot would be on, and the toaster would be down.  My parents thought nothing of it. 

I, on the other hand, am convinced that the house was definitely haunted based on several personal experiences.  Footsteps in the upstairs hallway were a constant occurrence when everyone was downstairs; everyone said it was just the house settling, but I knew different.

Incident 1
Fast forward a few years and my sister and I were probably in late elementary school; I was about 10 or so and she was 8.  It was summer and we were sitting at the kitchen table coloring when all of a sudden we both felt like we had been scratched.  Looking down, we had three identical scratch marks on one of our legs.  Spooky, right? 

Incident 2
Middle school brought about another encounter.  While sitting in the living room during the holiday season, the fully decorated Christmas tree began shaking violently.  Just the Christmas tree.  The dog was by my mother and the cat was in front of the fireplace.  Everyone else brushed it off, but you tell me that's not eerie.

Incident 3
Also in middle school, though perhaps a bit later as my sister and I were home alone, we were watching TV one evening when the pots and pans in the kitchen started rattling.  Nothing else was moving and we were the only ones home.  Those pots and pans were also fully enclosed in a cupboard.

Incident 4
This was definitely my most terrifying encounter with whatever was in the house.  It was summer between 9th and 10th grade.  I was sleeping downstairs on the couch because my waterbed hurt my back too much.  The window was open and I could hear the combines out in the fields.  I could also hear someone coming down the stairs and thought it was just my dad or brother.  When I glanced over toward the stairway, all I saw was the dark shadow of a large man (neither my dad or my brother are large men) standing in the doorway looking toward me.  He didn't move from that spot.  I closed my eyes and pretended he wasn't there.  I have never been more terrified in my life.

After that, nothing seemed to happen in the house.  I moved away for college and was only back intermittently.  However, a few years ago we had a house fire and the entire structure was gutted down to the studs.  My mother's friend, Tammy, was in town from Texas visiting her family and wanted to see the progress being made during the rebuild.  As soon as she walked in she stopped and said "Your ghost is gone.  He's not here anymore."  When my mother told me that I knew I had been right all along, even though nobody believed me.  And Tammy was right.  The house doesn't feel the same at all.  It's much more welcoming...especially when you're alone at night.

So...what are your thoughts on the paranormal?  Have you ever had a haunting experience?

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

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  Furiously Happy:  A Funny Book About Horrible Things
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. 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:
"That's the moment when I realized how incredibly lucky I am to have spent eighteen years with a man who can laugh at bad gun-control jokes while a severed bear head is lying on his pillow" --page 76
          Furiously Happy:  A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson

I have been eagerly anticipating Lawson's second book since she announced it was in the works and I have not been disappointed!  And I'm super stoked that she doing a book tour and actually coming to Powell's in Portland.  Yeah, buddy!  If you've never heard of Jenny Lawson, I highly recommend her blog, The Bloggess, and her first book, Let's Pretend This Never Happened:  A Mostly True Memoir.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  Shadowgirl
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. 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:
"Anger rolled up inside her and heat pulsed from her hands to her feet.  She tried to calm down, tried to break its hold, but the image of fire flashed in front of her eyes and all at once, it exploded out of her." --page 54
          Shadowgirl by Kate Ristau

I'm really enjoying this little nugget of awesome from a PNW author.  I'm normally not very into fey stories or the like, but this one's pretty good!

Happy reading!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Beyond the Books: Worst Movies


This week's topic:  The Worst Movies I Have Ever Seen

Oh man, oh man!  I love movies.  Like, love them!  But, boy, have I seen some doozies!  Here are a few that rank among the absolute worst I've seen:

Maybe I would appreciate this film more now, but when I first saw it as a child I hated it...with a passion.  Parts of it scared me.  Parts of it were so freakin' boring.  I didn't like it one bit.  Because of these reasons I have yet to bring myself to watch it again.

I don't know why I hate this movie, but I do.  Maybe it's Andie MacDowell...or John Travolta in this particular role...

I like Jack Black.  I dislike Gwyneth Paltrow.  Plus, this movie is so offensive on so many levels that I just can't take it.  Bad movie!

A lot of people love this movie and, while it has some great scenes (peanut butter), it's overall pretty bad.  It's awful that I find the bus scene hilarious. 

Hands down, the worst Adam Sandler movie; and there have been some bad ones.  This one is just ridiculous and so outrageous.  Please, if you haven't seen it, don't waste your time.  If you've already seen it, I'm sorry!

I hate this movie.  I can't exactly pinpoint the reason why this particular film is so bad, but it grates on my last nerve.  Maybe it's because it's a remake of a German film called Wings of Desire and that film is brilliant.  I don't know.
 
Badly done, Hollywood!  You took a quickly-paced, thrilling book with a STRONG female character and turned it into a Tom Hanks-hero movie.  No!  And I like Tom Hanks!  Boo!!

So...what are some of the worst movies you've ever seen?

Beyond the Books is a weekly event hosted by Karen at Kissin Blue Karen.  Feel free to join in!  

Writer's Workshop: 10 Reasons I Love Fall

Fall is definitely my favorite season of the year.  That honor used to belong to Spring, but it's all about Fall now.  I just love it!  Here are a few reasons why:

Crisp, Cool Weather
I am not a fan of warm weather, so Fall is the perfect foil for the horribleness that is Summer.  I love stepping outside and breathing deeply of the fog filled morning.  It's refreshing and feels oh-so-good on my lungs.

Pumpkin Everything
I have yet to order a Pumpkin Spice Latte (from anywhere...basic?), but I love all things pumpkin.  Pie, candles, pumpkin pie spice, lotion.  If it's pumpkin, I'm game.  Mmmm

Changing Leaves
Ah, science.  It's so beautiful!

Halloween!
Only the BEST holiday of the entire year!  I love spooky things and what better time to partake in things like that than Halloween.  Scary costumes, candy, scary movies, little kids dressed up so cute!  And I absolutely love carving pumpkins!  I love it all.

Snuggly, Cozy Blankets
Curling up in a cushy chair or couch with a snuggly blanket is the best.  I wrap myself in all that fluffy wonderfulness and crack open a book or pop in a movie.  It's glorious.

Sweaters
There's nothing like sweater weather.

Boots
Along with sweaters, who doesn't love a great pair of boots!  They make you feel so cozy.

Rain!!
I am in love with rain.  And storms.  The sound of rain is soothing and I sleep so much better when it's stormy.

Scarves
I have an abundance of scarves.  Maybe too many, but I lie to myself and say that's not true.  The BF refuses to buy me any more scarves.  He'll cave :)

Travel for Work
Fall marks the time of year when I'm able to get out of the office for work sometimes.  Though not my primary job, I get the opportunity to tag along with admissions counselors and participate in high school on-site admission events for the university where I work.  These are often heavily scheduled in the month of November, and we're incredibly slammed in general, but it's so rewarding telling a 17/18 year old that they CAN go to a university!

So what are some of your favorite things about Fall?

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

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Story Starters: The Scoop

 “Don’t you trust me?
“No.”
“Smart man.”
Peter quickly cleared his throat.  Sitting would be a disadvantage in this situation.  Instead he shuffled around the chair, placing his hands on the back, before returning his gaze to Jenny.  She stood across from him, coolly watching his every move.
“I’ve been thinking, Peter,” she started, examining her nails.  “When you brought your story to me, I’ll admit that I was intrigued.  Nobody accuses the Grahams of embezzlement and extortion.  Nobody.”  Jenny eased herself down into the chair behind the desk facing Peter, smoothly crossing her legs.  “This is a serious accusation and I don’t know if I’m prepared to give you free reign for the kind of investigating it would require.”
“It’s my scoop, Jenny.  I’m not backing off.”
Jenny chuckled.  “Oh, of course not.  Who said anything about backing off?”
Confusion entered Peter’s eyes.  What was Jenny playing at?  “So, I can do the story?”
“Yes,” she said.  “But don’t come to me when shit hits the fan.  And it will.  You’re on your own, Peter.  I can’t put my neck out for you and I can’t protect you.  This is on your shoulders.  Are you prepared for that?”
“Yes.”
She nodded her head.  “Then it’s all yours.”
Releasing his grip on the back of the chair, Peter turned to go.  Jenny pulled open the top drawer of the desk and grasped the pistol firmly.  “Hey, Peter?”
“Yeah?” he said, turning back toward her.
“Did I ever tell you who my grandmother was?”
“No, why?”
Jenny leveled the pistol at Peter. “Judy Graham,” she said.  And fired.
 
********
Story Starters is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm.  Every week, she will provide the beginning of the story (which I have highlighted) and it's your job to finish it.  Feel free to join in!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  If I Stay
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. 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:
"They are rough and hurried, like they don't consider eyelids worthy of gentleness.  It makes you realize how little in life we touch one another's eyes.  Maybe your parents will hold an eyelid up to get out a piece of dirt, or maybe your boyfriend will kiss your eyelids, light as a butterfly, just before you drift off to sleep.  But eyelids are not like elbows or knees or shoulders, parts of the body accustomed to being jostled." --page 63
          If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Been meaning to read this for a while now...finally getting around to it.

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Habits to Quit

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 Bookish Habits I Want to Quit/Have Quit.  I have a lot of book habits...and habits are hard to break!  Here are some I'd really like to work on:

1.  Dog-earring pages!  I am horrible at this and always manage to lose bookmarks, so I find that dog-earring a page works best.  However, I ONLY do this with books that I own!  I used to do it to library books and then I felt horrible, so I stopped.  I NEVER do it to books I borrow from friends because I am of the mindset that you return it in the EXACT same condition as it was lent to you.  I am now adopting this with library books, too.  I have recently been using a beer sticker as a bookmark (haha) because it's the perfect size and only has printing on one side (that's how I know which page I'm on).
2.  Continually adding books to my TBR list that I will probably never...ever...get to.  I try cleaning it up, but then I hem and haw over each and every book.  Because you just never know!  It's a problem.  I add books every single day, throughout the day, and I am kind of overwhelmed by the mounting number.  Sigh...
Current Count:  2758...seriously?!
This will probably be higher by the end of the day...

3.  Checking multiple books out from the library when I have an entire 6+ foot bookshelf that is double stacked and crammed chockablock full of perfectly good unread books at home.  I have no problem getting through the books I check out in time to return them, but I could totally use an intervention...or at least someone to say "NO!  Walk away from the library, Melissa!  Walk away NOW!" 

4.  Planning out my books to read (for specific challenges) from what I already own...and then throwing that list out the freakin' window because I went to the library and/or bookstore.  This ties in to the above.  It also shows that I really try to read what I already own...and fail miserably. 

5.  Feeling compelled to finish every single book I start.  I rarely, if ever, have a DNF because there is always a little voice in the back of my mind saying things like "It could get better"..."But what if something awesome happens"..."What if there's a major twist"..."If you don't finish this, you fail at life".  Okay, maybe not that last one, but I feel incredibly guilty if I don't finish a book.  Needless to say, I've read some pretty shitty books because of this 'disorder'.

6.  Along with the above, sticking to a series that has lost its pizzazz, mojo, spark.  I'm looking at you, Janet Evanovich!  The new Stephanie Plum book is coming out next month and I will read it.  I know I will.  And I will be disappointed...probably.  But I just can't walk away! 
7.  I judge books by their cover.  It's true.  If the cover does not intrigue me, I find it very difficult to pick the book up and read the synopsis.  However, if I am really into the book cover and then the book turns out to be like pulling teeth to read, then I get really angry.  Thanks for that, The Night Circus!  Beautiful cover...not so beautiful story.  I just couldn't get into it, but I finished it, dammit!  Ugh.

8.  I read to the detriment of everything around me.  My house...my boyfriend...my sleep.  It's all sacrificed for the love of reading.  Whoops!  Some may call this a problem, I call this dedication!

9.  Lending books.  I don't do it unless I really, really trust you.  I have had so many books not returned to me that it has become my policy to never lend a book to someone unless I see them regularly (like, daily) or I know where to find them if need be.  However, I have no problem recommending books like a fiend :)

10.  Silently judging people based on what they read.  It's horrible.   I know it's horrible.  But I still do it!  I'm sure people judge me based on my reading habits/preferences/choices, but oh well.  I don't voice these opinions; at least I don't think I do.  But I have a telling face...so I'm told. 

So...what are some of your reading/bookish habits that you want to quit/have quit?  Do you identify with any of mine?

Also, look for next week's top ten:  Top Ten Author Duos I'd Love to See Write a Book Together. 

Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  Code Name Verity
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. 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 had been used recently, blood still on the blade.  We stood tied together mutely, and I thought, They will make me watch.  They will kill her first and make me watch.  Then they will kill me." --page 195
          Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

I am loving this book! 

Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  At the Water's Edge
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. 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:
"Her wool coat floated, an absurd umbrella, first resisting and finally wicking water, puller her deeper.  She looked back at the landing, suddenly desperate.  If only she had a hat, she could throw is back onto the thorny gorse.  If she'd had anything that would float, maybe they'd think it was an accident and let her be buried with her daughter." --page 8
          At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen

I am so excited for this book and am rather enjoying it so far!

Happy reading :)

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR

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 on My Fall TBR.  Well...let's be honest...my Fall TBR is really a life-long TBR and (hopefully) some books I can get accomplished soon.  Regardless, here are the books that are on my immediate radar to read:

Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things by Jenny Lawson (Released today!!!)
 
In the Woods (Dublin Murder Squad #1) by Tana French (Currently on my coffee table)

The Fate of Ten (Lorien Legacies #6) by Pittacus Lore (Released September 1)

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell (Release Date: October 6)


Everything, Everything by Nicolas Yoon (Released September 1)

The Girl in the Spider's Web (Millennium #4) by David Lagercrantz (Released August 27)
 
Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (Released July 1)

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro (Released March 3)

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles #4) by Marissa Meyer (Release Date: November 1)

And there you have it!  I feel like the last could be on my Winter TBR, but since Winter doesn't technically begin until December 21st, I'm saying it totally counts for Fall!  What books are on your Fall TBR?

Also, look for next week's top ten:  Top Ten Books to Read if You Like X (haven't decided what X will be yet...)

Happy reading!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Beyond the Books: Favorite Foods and A Recipe

 
This week's topic is:  Favorite Foods and a Recipe to Share

Mmmm...food!  Let's be honest, this list could (literally) go on forever.  You could easily subcategorize several different foods, whether by ethnic traits, sweets, savory, spicy, and so on.  So, to keep things simple, I'm breaking it down like this:  Things I Like to Snack On and Main Dishes!

Things I Like to Snack On
  • Jalapeno Cheddar Cheetos
  • Blue Diamond Rice Crackers (in a variety of flavors)
  • Chili Cheese Fritos
  • Hummus
  • Dark Chocolate
  • String Cheese
  • Kit Kats
Main Dishes
  • Zucchini Bake
  • BBQ...pretty much anything
  • Fish Tacos (my uncle makes the BEST!)
  • Soups...I love a good soup
And A Recipe!
This has become my go-to dinner recipe when we have company.  It's so good, really easy to make, and a crowd-pleaser.  It may look like it takes awhile, but it really doesn't!

Creamy Chicken Enchiladas (mmmm)
1 lb Chicken Breast (cubed or shredded)
2 Cups Chicken Broth (roughly one 14 oz can)
1 Can Diced Green Chilies (4 oz can)
1 Pkg Tortillas (8-10 8-inches or so)
2 Cups Shredded Cheese (your choice...I use Monterey Jack and Jack...or whatever's handy)
1 Cup Sour Cream
1/4 Cup Butter
1/4 Cup Flour
Salt and Pepper to taste

Your choice on how to cook the chicken.  I have recently begun making it in the crockpot and shredding it instead of cubing it and cooking in a frying pan.  Done the crockpot way, I place a jar of salsa verde in (as the liquid base; 16 oz) and roughly chop an onion (not called for in the recipe, but I never really follow one exactly).  Cook on high 4-6 hours or low 6-8 hours.  Shred chicken :)

Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish and then start rolling your tortillas!  Inside the tortillas, place chicken and cheese (I also add sliced black olives because I love them), roll, and place seam down in baking dish.  Repeat until your dish is full.

For the sauce, melt the butter and then whisk in the flour to make a roux.  Add the chicken broth (I use the liquid from the chicken and salsa verde and then add chicken broth to make the 2 cups).  Whisk together and bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the sour cream and green chilies.  Pour over the pan of enchiladas and top with the remaining cheese.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes (until bubbly and cheese is melted).  Let set for about 5 minutes to cool and whatnot, then enjoy that food!  So good :)

Feel free to use more cheese if you like and add whatever floats your boat.  I'm a fan of jalapenos, but haven't added them yet because others can't handle the spicy.  Sigh...

So, what are some of your favorite foods?

Beyond the Books is a weekly event hosted by Karen at Kissin Blue Karen.  Feel free to join in!  

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  Hausfrau
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. 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:
"The longing for diversion was a recent development; her pining to be hungered for was decades old.  But both rose from a lassitude born of small-scale grudges and trifling, trivial injuries, the last ten years of which she blamed on Bruno.  From that rose boredom and from boredom particular habits were born.  This she could not blame on Bruno." --page 45
          Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum

Not sure how to categorize my feelings on this one yet...

Top Ten Tuesday: FREEBIE

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:  FREEBIE.  Yay!  So, because I missed last week's Top Ten, I am going to go with that topic...Top Ten Complete Series I Have Yet to Finish.

Here they are:

Inkworld by Cornelia Funke

Finishing School by Gail Carriger

The Chemical Garden by Lauren DeStefano

Contours of the Heart by Tammara Webber

The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Edilean by Jude Deveraux

The Tudor Court by Philippa Gregory

Wildwood Chronicles by Colin Meloy
The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff

Some of these I've only read one book in, while others are nearly complete!  What are some series you need to finish?

Also, look for next week's top ten:  Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR

Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Top Ten Tuesdays: Characters Who Don't Click

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 Characters That I Just Didn't Click With.  Oh...a doozy! 

Here are mine:

Rosemary from Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin
  • I didn't not feel bad for Rosemary at all.  I felt her character was weak and so wishy-washy.  Ugh.  This could, undoubtedly, be due to the fact that the book was written in the 60s...alas.
Emma from Emma by Jane Austen
  • Oh, Emma.  My least favorite Austen character, and book, by far.  She's whiny, manipulative, and snooty.  She didn't deserve John at all!
Celia and Marco from The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  • I just couldn't bring myself to believe or really even care for either of theses characters.  While I did like Marco more than Celia, neither impressed me too much...
Eadlyn from The Heir by Kiera Cass
  • I think the disconnect between the reader and Eadlyn is done completely on purpose by Cass.  You're not supposed to really like her because it will, I assume, make her transformation in the subsequent book so much more believable and likable.  We shall see!
Rhine from Wither (The Chemical Garden #1) by Lauren DeStefano
  • I get why Rhine acts the ways she does...to a certain extent.  Sure, her situation totally sucks to a certain point, but come on! 
Georgie from Landline by Rainbow Rowell
  • People are probably going to shoot me for this one, but I really disliked Georgie.  She was a very blah character for me.  Her sister and the pizza delivery girl were more developed and more likable in my opinion.
Carley from How to Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson
  • Carley is spoiled.  As a reader, you feel sorry for her because her parents force her to be something she's not, but that still doesn't make up for the fact that she plays the "whoa-is-me" card too often throughout the book.
Aspen from Revenge of the Homecoming Queen (Aspen Brooks #1) by Stephanie Hale
  • Aspen's supposed to be the likable character in the series, but I found her to be pretentious and stuck-up...the exact thing that she claims she's not.  Nice try, Hale, but you didn't pull it off. 
Brett and Jake from The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
  • Barf!  Barf, barf, barf!  I don't like Hemingway (aside from his short stories) and I don't believe these two characters care one iota for anyone but themselves.  Do they even care that much?
Siddhartha from Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
  • Perhaps if I read this book now, I might "get" Siddhartha as a character more than I did in my early 20s.  But, from what I can remember, Siddhartha was boring and bland as a character...and as a book.
So...what characters didn't click for you?

Also, look for next week's Top Ten:  Completed Series I Have Yet to Finish

Happy reading!

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  The Paris Wife

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by Jenn @ A Daily Rhythm. 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:
"His letters came crushed and strangled, full of deliciousness, sometimes two and three times a day.  I tried to be more reserved at first, vowing to write only once a week, but that fell apart immediately.  Before long I found myself in a real bind." --page 37
          The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

I am loving this book so far...such beautiful prose!

Happy reading!

Friday, August 21, 2015

B.O.B Update (Updated Day 4)

Bout of Books 14 Progress and Challenge Tracker
I will be keeping track of my progress for the Bout of Books 14 Reading Challenge on this page, updated daily.

Day 4 Challenge Stats:
Currently Reading:  Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
Pages Read:  118
Challenges:  None
Thoughts:  Reading-wise, day four was a real gem for me.  I really felt like I read more than I actually did, so I'm counting it as a victory.  I was so bummed that I didn't finish my book because I'm so close!  I should finish it this weekend, probably tonight.  Day five shall be a reading extravaganza :)

Day 3 Challenge Stats:
Currently Reading:  Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
Pages Read:  34
Challenges:  M.A.S.H. hosted by Sarah at Rocky Top Real Talk
Thoughts:  Though not a super successful reading day, I did really enjoy participating in the mini challenge (such a fun throwback)!  I'm hoping that today is a little more productive in the reading department as I would really like to finish one book for this round of Bout of Books.  My housework may take a back burner...and I'm okay with that...kind of.  Here's to day four!

Day 2 Challenge Stats:
Currently Reading:  Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
Pages Read:  0
Challenges:  None
Thoughts:  While day two might look like I accomplished nothing, I have a decent reason why!  I took the day off work and spent it floating the river with friends.  Though I didn't get any reading done for the day, I did come away with a pretty good tan (for me) and only a slight sunburn.  Yay for small victories :)  Day three shall be better on the reading front!

Day 1 Challenge Stats:
Currently Reading:  Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes
Pages Read:  62
Challenges:  Fictional World Travel hosted by Between Library Shelves
Thoughts:  For not getting any reading done until well into the evening, I feel that day one of the challenge went rather well.  I read quite a bit, even cleaned the house, and participated in the mini challenge for the day.  I wasn't able to get to the Twitter chat, but I still count day one as a pretty solid success!

Happy reading, fellow Bout of Bookers!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Beyond the Books: Favorite Games

 
This week's topic is:  Favorite Games

Games...who doesn't love a good game?  I am a huge fan of games in general, but these are some of my favorites:

Board Games
  • Trivial Pursuit:  I freaking love Trivial Pursuit like there's no tomorrow.  I know a lot of random, useless trivia, so I am pretty good this game.  Not to toot my own horn or anything, but "toot, toot"! 
  • Scrabble:  I like words and this is my jam :)
  • Scattergories:  A creative game of list-making.  It's great to play with a group.
Card Games
  • Apples to Apples:  A great way to have some family fun. 
  • Cards Against Humanity:  A dirty version of Apples to Apples...for adults.  This game is perfect for me because I am an awful person...
  • Nerts:  Hands down, one of my favorite card games.  It's a combination of Speed and Solitaire and you compete/use other people's piles to finish your stack first.  It can get super violent!
Computer/Phone Games
  • Trivia Crack:  Ties in to my love of Trivial Pursuit...
  • Farm Heroes Saga:  The BF got me hooked on this game.  It's like Candy Crush, but with fruits and veggies that have faces and make cute little noises. 
  • Bejeweled:  I've loved Bejeweled for years.  It's pretty much the original version of a lot of the Saga games that are out now.
  • Frozen Free Fall:  Exactly like the above two, but Frozen themed...haha
  • WordBrain:  A brain-teasing game that's pretty challenging.
Video Games
  • Little Big Planet:  Fun, cute, and challenging.  I like that you can build your own ragdoll and then work together with the other players to complete a level.  Definitely a game that promotes teamwork rather than self-serving missions.
  • Anything on the Wii:  It's just a fun gaming system...though the PS4 and XBOX1 have definitely outpaced it, I'm all old-school on this one.
So, what are some of your favorite games? 

Beyond the Books is a weekly event hosted by Karen at Kissin Blue Karen.  Feel free to join in!