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!  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

B.O.B MASH

Today's mini challenge for Bout of Books 14 is hosted by Sarah at Rocky Top Real Talk an is a throw-back to the 90s...M.A.S.H.  What?!  I'm so excited for this one :)  Here are the rules
  • Create a MASH game. My go-to categories as a kid were significant other, car, city (I would live in), # of kids, job, and pet, but you can choose what categories you want - this is just for fun. Don't forget to put MASH at the top!
  • Fill in your categories with choices - I always did 4 per category. You can do 3 or 5 or how ever many you want. Here's where you can get creative! I chose to pull my s/o's from books (Braden from LA Candy, Daemon from Lux series, Adrian from VA/Bloodlines, and Jason from Heroes of Olympus), however, you can choose to live in fictional places or have fictional pets, etc. Pull from your favorite books as much as you want.
  • Now you need a number...draw a spiral and fill in the spaces. Make tally marks and stop randomly. Use a random number generator. It's up to you. Once you have your number, it's time to officially play.
  • You can start at MASH or at your first category. I always did the first category. Count your number. Mine was 8. I crossed out the 8th item. Then I continued through the categories and the letters in MASH until one option from each category was left. Once a category only has one, you skip it when counting.
 Here's how mine panned out...


I never really did the spiral counting thing (I always did tally marks, but those don't really work when you're creating your own MASH), so there's that.  All of my S/O's are from books and everything else is pretty decent.  Normally, I would require that one choice in each section be a really bad one, but I didn't do that this time.  It's my MASH future, right?  Haha

Here are the results...
I live in a MANSION in VIENNA with my s/o LORD MACCON (from the Parasol Protectorate Series) and our 0 kids.  But we do have a pet IGUANA.  I drive an AUDI A3 and I work as a PROFESSIONAL TRAVELER.
So...when do I get to have this MASH future because it sounds pretty legit!

What is your MASH future?

Happy reading!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  Broken Monsters
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:
"He could hear a rasping breath.  Shadows moved in the mist, or maybe it was all inside him, his own breath.  He kept his hand on the truck because the fog was so thick he didn't know if he would be able to find his way back if he let go.  His fingers were numb.  The flecks of paint marking the tree started wriggling into the wood like maggots.  They burned from inside, spreading to other trees." --page 42
          Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Creepy!

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Auto-Buys

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 Authors Who Are On My Auto-Buy List.  You always have those authors who, no matter what the book is about, automatically end up in your shopping cart and on your bookshelf. 

These are mine:

Chris Bohjalian
  • I love everything Bohjalian writes.  It's all so good.  Seriously, he has become one of my all-time favorite American writers.  Recommendation:  Midwives
Alexander McCall Smith
Cecelia Ahern
  • For light, easy reads, nothing beats a Cecelia Ahern book.  They're so good.  Recommendation:  One Hundred Names
John Boyne
  • A more recent discovery that has led to my auto-buying his books when I come across them, Boyne weaves beautiful tales of love, tragedy, and the human experience.  Recommendation:  The House of Special Purpose
Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Safran Foer is a genius and pure brilliance.  I wish he wrote more than he does... Recommendation:  Everything is Illuminated
Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Though it took me a while to "get" how brilliant Jeffrey Eugenides is, I am now on that bandwagon.  Such a skilled writer.  Recommendation:  Middlesex
Heather Gudenkauf
  • Gudenkauf's stories are heart-wrenchingly good.  You can always count on her for unique stories that destroy your soul.  Recommendation:  The Weight of Silence
Chelsea Handler
Chuck Palahniuk
  • Northwest represent!  But seriously, Palahniuk is a demented genius.  Sick and demented and awesome.  Recommendation:  Haunted
Nora Roberts
  • Awe...there's nothing like sinking in to a good ole Nora Roberts romance.  They're light, easy, and predictable.  Great for mindless entertainment when your brain needs a break.  Recommendation:  Rising Tides (Chesapeake Bay #2)
So, who are some of your auto-buy authors?

Happy reading!

Monday, August 17, 2015

B.O.B Fictional World Travel

Bout of Books 14 kicked off today (I'm super excited!) and today is also the start of the mini-challenges!  There is still time to sign up for the reading challenge as well.  Simply go here!
Our first challenge is hosted by Between Library Shelves and is focused on travel...something else I totally love :)  Here are the rules for the challenge:
List 3-6 books of fiction that take place in countries other than where you are currently residing.  Post on whatever media outlet you have access to and display your post as creatively as you feel inclined to.  Don't forget to link back to BLS!
Here are my fictional travels...

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden...set in Japan 


44 Scotland Street by Alexander McCall Smith...set in Scotland

The House of Special Purpose by John Boyne...set in Russia

Girl with the Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier...set in the Netherlands

The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian...set in Syria
 
Golden Boy by Tara Sullivan...set in Tanzania
 
A world map showing each place in relation to each other...all of the settings are in red.  Clearly, I need to visit South America...


So, where have you traveled with your reading?

Happy reading, fellow Bout of Bookers!

Friday, August 14, 2015

B.O.B 14 TBR

Bout of Books 14
So, with the start of Bout of Books 14 just around the weekend, here's what I'm planning on reading:

Broken Monsters by Lauren Beukes

Checked this out from the library a while back, along with about six other massive books, and it's the last one left on my coffee table.  Hoping to get it started this weekend!
 
Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick

I haven't read an Amanda Quick book in a very long time.  Saw this one at the library and thought it sounded good...and maybe unlike others of hers I have read.  We shall see :)

A Dance with Dragons by George RR Martin

I've been slowly working on this one (on and off) and would like to make some progress in it.  We'll see if this actually happens during the challenge.

Here's hoping I can get through the first two and make some progress in the last.  If not, I have The Paris Wife by Paula McLain on the back burner if I need something a little more light.

There's still plenty of time to join in if you're interested!  Simply go here and sign up :)

Happy reading!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Beyond the Books: Where I Blog


This week's topic is:  Blogging?  Where do you do it?  Well, let me tell you!

I have two separate places where I tend to blog...

At Home
I work on a laptop when I'm at home.  Often, you can find me sitting on the couch, hunched over, typing away on my 2006 Dell (yeah...) while it's sitting on the coffee table.  It's not super comfortable, sometimes, but it gets the job done.  It also allows me to take breaks easily, as in watch some mindless entertainment on the tube and get snacks, and it's easy to pick it up, place it on my lap, lean back, and relax a little.  However, my lap gets kind of hot doing this.  One day, I'll have a spiffy new laptop to crush the blog on and maybe, just maybe, an actual office where I can work on stuff!  Ah, dreams...

At Work (shhhh....)
When I have downtime at work (or when I need to take a break from data entry and whatnot), I'll work on the good ole blog.  This happens more often in the summer months (mainly August) than at any other time during the year and it's often done in spurts of activity. 

Where do you blog?

(Sorry...no pics today, lovelies)

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

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  The Rocks

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:
"As the salt spray dried on her warm thighs and stomach and the thrumming vibration of the ski made itself felt in every muscle of her body, she felt tremendously sexy.  She gazed steadily, despite the bumps, back at him." --page 264
          The Rocks by Peter Nichols

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted a teaser...

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Most-Read Authors

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 Authors I've Read the Most Books By.  Woohoo...great topic!

Here are mine:

Nora Roberts
Janet Evanovich
Heather Graham
VC Andrews
Jude Deveraux
  • Books Read:  14
  • Favorite Book:  Days of Gold (Edilean Series #2)
JK Rowling
Italo Calvino
Roald Dahl
Cecelia Ahern
6 from each of the following:
Too Many to Count:
  • RL Stine
  • Ann M Martin

So...I might have gone a little overboard, but I think that's okay.  No?  Anyway, who are some of the authors you've read the most from?

Also, look for next week's top ten:  Authors Who Are Auto-Buys For Me

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Beat the Heat Read-a-Thon

This will be my second time participating in the Beat the Heat Read-a-Thon hosted by Novel Heartbeat and Phantasmic Reads and I'm super excited for another successful three weeks of reading! 
The Rules
  • The Beat the Heat Readathon runs from August 24th at 12:00 AM to September 6th at 11:59 PM. What does this readathon entail, you ask? Well, read as much or as little as you want – the main point is to READ! You set your own goal, and for three weeks you read as many books as you can/want to reach your goal!
  • There will be mini-challenges throughout the Readathon for participants, along with a grand prize giveaway at the end!
  • Sign up here at Novel Heartbeat or over at Phantasmic Reads. You may join whenever you like, but to be eligible for our grand prize giveaway, you must sign up by August 28th.
  • To join, all you have to do is make a sign-up post – even if it’s just a “Let’s do this!” thing – and add your post URL to the linky below! You can put your goals and progress (will be required for the final giveaway) in your sign-up post, or you can make it separate. Totally up to you! (You are welcome to use the template we provide in the kick-off post as well.)
  • In order to enter for the grand prize, you must have a post to keep track of your progress so we can see that you participated.
  • Follow along on Twitter and share your progress with the hashtag #BtHReadathon!
I haven't decided what my ultimate goals are as of yet, but overall I hope to read a ton and participate in several mini challenges!  I'll post my reading choices when the challenge gets closer.

If you are interested in participating, you can sign up here!

Beyond the Books: My Pet


This week's topic is:  My Pet.  And, without further ado, here goes...

I have never been the biggest animal person in general.  We always had cats and dogs growing up, but they just weren't for me.  Don't get me wrong, I have no real problem with pets in general, but I was never one to seek the comfort of a pet out.  I was always more of a cat person, though.  Because of this, I always had a cat that was "mine" as a kid. 

First, there was Lucky; a beautiful Russian Blue who was damn lucky to be alive.  I got him in 2nd grade as a rascally little kitten and he was so cool.  One day he climbed into the engine of my mom's van and broke his back leg.  He had a pin until the day he died (several years later).  I believe I was a Junior in high school when he was hit by a car on the highway... 

After Lucky, I rescued a Calico kitten the summer before my Senior year.  She wasn't even old enough to go to the bathroom on her own or open her eyes.  Needless to say, that Summer was a busy one in terms of kitten rearing.  Callie, as she was so aptly named, was a beautiful cat, though she would get crazy at night tearing through the house.  When I went away to college, she became very sick, quickly.  It was discovered that she had a heart condition that should have killed her when she was fixed as a kitten.  She passed away during my Sophomore year of college.

Once Callie died, I didn't get another pet until very recently...so I was pet-less for a good 10 years or so.  Last year, on Father's Day actually, my boyfriend and I decided to adopt a kitten.  I had been searching and searching for one that I really fell for and I finally found her in a Craigslist add.  She was a 6-week old Calico (yep) and adorable.  We picked her up after dinner with my family and we haven't looked back since.  Of course, deciding on a name was a hurdle since we both had very different opinions; I wanted something random like food or a character from a book and he wasn't on board.  We finally settled on Penelope, but have come to call her, aside from her actual name, Kidden or Peen-uh-lope (it's from Club Dread...look it up!).  She's a feisty little bugger and a weirdo, but we love her.
And now, we've been toying with the idea of getting a dog.  What's become of me?

So, what about your pets?

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

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Fairytale Retellings

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 Fairytale Retellings I've Read/Want to Read.  Oh man, oh  man.  What a great topic!  Fairytale retellings have become HUGE recently and there are so many great ones.  Here are my choices:

Retellings I've Read
Cinder by Marissa Meyer 
Based on Cinderella

Scarlet by Marissa Meyer 
Based on Little Red Riding Hood

Cress by Marissa Meyer 
Based on Rapunzel

Retellings I Want to Read
Winter by Marissa Meyer 
Based on Snow White and the Seven Dwarves

Briar Rose by Jane Yolen 
Based on Sleeping Beauty
 
A Curse Dark as Gold by Elizabeth C Bunce 
Based on Rumpelstiltskin
 
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George 
Based on The Twelve Dancing Princesses

Entwined by Heather Dixon   
Based on The Twelve Dancing Princesses
 
Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George 
Based on Cinderella

Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George 
Based on Little Red Riding Hood

Clearly I need to step up my fairytale retelling reading game!  Wow!  What are some of your favorite fairytale retellings?

Also, look for next week's top ten:  Authors I've Read the Most Books By

Happy reading!

Monday, August 3, 2015

B.O.B. 14

Bout of Books 14
It's just around the corner (August 17th-23rd) and I'm so excited to participate once again. 
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, August 17th and runs through Sunday, August 23rd 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 14 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
Goals for this round of the challenge:
  • Read, read, read!  (Duh)
  • Post a review (an actual review) of all the books I finish
  • Participate in mini-challenges and Twitter parties
  • Connect with fellow bloggers
  • Keep up on my normal blogging activities (of which I have been slacking)
Whew...that's probably more than I can do, but I'm gung-ho this time around!

Feel like participating?  Here's the sign-up link!