Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  Heart-Shaped Box
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 turned and looked.  She was naturally pale to begin with, but now her face was bloodless, like polished bone, so she resembled a vampire even more than usual.  He wondered if it was a trick of makeup before he saw that her cheeks were damp, the fine black hairs at her temples pasted down with sweat.  She stood in pajamas, clutching herself and shivering in the cold." --page 70
          Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

This book has been on my bookshelf for a long time...figured I'd finally get around to reading it.

Happy reading!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  Flawed
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:
"I've learned that to be courageous is to feel fear within, every step of the way.  Courage does not take over, it fights and struggles through every word you say and every step you take.  It's a battle or a dance as to whether to let it pervade.  It takes courage to overcome, but it takes extreme fear to be courageous." --page 107
          Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

I'm a big fan of Cecelia Ahern's books and this is her first foray into the YA genre.  It's pretty good so are!

Happy reading!


Monday, May 16, 2016

B.O.B 16 Wrap Up

Bout of Books 16 Wrap-Up
Sadly, this round of Bout of Books has come to an end.  Though I didn't get nearly as much reading in as I would have liked, I still had a great time! 

Here are my overall stats:
Number of Books Read From
Finished Books
Total Number of Pages Read
Challenges Completed
Fun Had
I'm very excited for the next round of Bout of Books (August 22nd-28th!).  Hope to see you all there!
Happy reading!

B.O.B 16 Progress: Day 5, 6, 7 (Final Update)

Bout of Books 16

To keep track of my progress for the challenge, I will be updating this post listing what I'm reading, what I've finished (if anything), pages read, challenges completed, and thoughts on how the event is going for the week.  Here we go!

Day 7 Progress
Current Read:  Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
Pages Read: 176
Total Pages Read:  605
Books Finished:  Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist and Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Challenges:  None..whomp whomp
Thoughts:  I took it super easy on the last day of the challenge and didn't really check in on any social media.  Instead, I stayed in my pajamas and read to my heart's content, watched TV, and drank coffee.  I finally finished my second book of the challenge and dove into my third. 

Day 6 Progress
Current Read:  Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist by Sunil Yapa
Pages Read:  88
Total Pages Read:  429
Books Finished:  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Challenges:  Not a single one...
Thoughts:  I had to work on Saturday, so there wasn't a lot of down-time for reading and participating in challenges.  I did get a decent chunk read (despite having to work), but my evening was spent drinking too much beer and subsequently going to bed a 9pm.  Oye...

Day 5 Progress
Current Read:  Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of Your Fist by Sunil Yapa
Pages Read:  54
Total Pages Read:  341
Books Finished:  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Challenges:  #freakyboutofbooks Photo Challenge...Twitter and Instagram :)
Thoughts:  Not a super successful reading day, but it was a fun one!  I liked this photo challenge.

Day 4 Progress
Current Read:  Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa
Pages Read:  54
Total Pages Read:  287
Books Finished:  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Challenges:  None.  I had every intention of doing the "If you like this, then try this..." challenge, but time just got away from me.  Whomp whomp...
Thoughts:  A little more successful reading day, but still not too stellar.  I spent the majority of my evening cutting directions and registry crap for our wedding invitations...it's never-ending!  My weekend reading should be pretty good...for the most part.  I do have to work tomorrow for part of the day, but will be able to get quite a bit of reading in this weekend.  Woohoo!  Here's to a better day five :)

Day 3 Progress
Current Read:  Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa
Pages Read:  19
Total Pages Read:  233
Books Finished:  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Challenges:  Five Favorites
Thoughts:  Day three was a less successful reading day for me.  I got a few pages in here and there throughout the day, but nothing substantial.  In the evening, the fiancĂ© and I took advantage of the glorious weather and headed downtown to have a couple drinks and play some outdoor yard games at one of our local bars.  Once we made it home (close to 9pm) we caught the last half of the Blazers v. Warriors game and rooted for our beloved Rip City until the bitter end; such an accomplishment for our team considering they lost four starters after last season and weren't even slated to make it to the post-season this year.  I didn't even read when I went to bed!  Tomorrow will be better :)

Day 2 Progress
Current Read:  Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa
Pages Read:  64
Total Pages Read:  214
Books Finished:  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Challenges:  #shelfie4boutofbooks...again, check out Twitter for that
Thoughts:  While not nearly as successful as day 1, day 2 wasn't disappointing.  I moved on to a book that is a little more mentally challenging that yesterday's and I was distracted in the evening with wedding stuff...ribbon...so much ribbon...and going to the library to pick up more books!  Haha.

Day 1 Progress
Current Read:  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien
Pages Read:  150
Books Finished:  Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH
Challenges:  Introduce Yourself #insixwords...not really a blog post about this, so pop over to Twitter :)
Thoughts:  I feel really confident about this round of Bout of Books and Day 1 went pretty well.  I am confident that I will have better "pages read" days in the next week and am excited about really diving in to me selections! 

Happy reading, fellow Bout of Bookers! 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Beyond the Books: Tattoos

This week's topic is:  Tattoos.  Do you have them?  Why or why not?  Talk about one.

I actually got my first tattoo this year...and immediately followed it up with another!  It's true what they say: tattoos are addictive.  It took me a long time to finally get a tattoo because I was indecisive.  I had ideas of what I wanted, but was never totally certain on placement/exact image/etc.  I was also worried that it would be more painful than I wanted it to be.  It took my fiancĂ© making me schedule an appointment to force my decision.  And I'm glad he did because it wasn't painful (really) and now I am on the path to possibly doing a full sleeve!  YIKES! 

My first tattoo is totally FOR ME.  I specifically turned it upside down to face me (not the correct placement for tattoos) because I wanted to look at it.  It's not for anyone else's pleasure but my own.  It speaks to my nerdy-ness and my love for Harry Potter and the German language.  
The Deathly Hallows (obviously) with the house colors and "always" in German. Super fresh tattoo.

My second tattoo is, again, for me, but I did position it in the correct way (facing the viewer) and is of a Scottish thistle.  I lived in Scotland while I was working on my Master's degree and completely fell in love with the country, the people, the culture, and all that goes with it.  This commemorates my time spent there and the memories I made.
A Scottish thistle (more traditional style than the one above).
Next on the block...a portion of Gustav Klimt's Life and Death.  This one represents the following:  my love for Klimt and his work (my favorite artist), my love for Austria (I taught English for a year just outside of Vienna), my love for the German language (again), and my love for things that are kind of macabre and dark.  It's a much larger tattoo than the others I have, so that makes me a little nervous.  But it's going to be so awesome!
I plan on getting the death side of the painting on my forearm.
In general, I am of the firm belief that people should do whatever they want with their bodies.  If they want to tattoo their face, let them!  If they want fake boobs or a nose job, go for it!  Shave your entire head except your bangs?  Whatever floats your boat!  Gender re-assignment?  You do you!  Nobody should be able to tell you or have the right to tell you how to adorn your body to make yourself happy or to make yourself comfortable. 

What are you thoughts on tattoos?

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 Spring

Spring has officially begun here in the PNW...we have the allergies to prove it!  Despite the scratchy eyes, runny noses, and overall itchy feeling Spring often gives us, there is still a lot of room for love during the season.  Here are 10 reason why I love Spring!

Colorful Flowers
The abundance of flowers and colors in Oregon is astounding.  This is the best time of year to really experience a fragrant, beautiful array of eye-candy (the other kind) and freshen up any room.  My favorite is the peony :)

Warm Days (that don't get too hot)
I am NOT a fan of warm weather.  Spring (and Fall) offer the type of weather that I am most comfortable in: 60-80ish.  Though we've had a much warmer Spring so far, it hasn't been completely unbearable yet.  I'm very worried about Summer temps though...yikes!

BBQ's Galore
You really can't beat the smell or taste of BBQ.  And the fact that BBQ's are often comprised of getting together with a group of friends...that's the best!  Now I really want some BBQ...charred...mmmm

Outdoor Drinking
It's not very often that we are able to sit outside of an establishment and enjoy a nice, hoppy beer or fruity wine.  Spring allows us to do that!  Since I live in Willamette Wine Country (it's a thing...and AWESOME), the number of local vineyards/wineries with outdoor seating is astonishing.  Nothing beats a nice glass of wine and a wood-fired pizza while gazing out at the rolling vineyards.  Our breweries also offer these types of settings.

Stoller Family Estate; Dundee, Oregon

Picnics in the Park
Springtime offers the perfect setting for throwing a blanket down in the park and basking in the weather.  It's relaxing and a nice change of pace.

Fresh Cut Grass
This is, hands down, one of the best smells in the world.  While the smell of grass is a year round occurrence in the PNW, it becomes amplified during the Spring.  MMMMM

More Daylight in the Evenings
Longer lit evenings give people more time to be out and about...and you don't always notice the time during this season (Summer as well).  Having more daylight in the evenings also forces me to do more things that I would during the Fall and Winter...

Fresh Fruits
Farmers markets start popping up in nearly every town during the Spring and they are the BEST place to score local fresh fruits (and veggies).  Even small towns have them!  You really can't beat purchasing your produce from local vendors and supporting your local economy.

This is the time of year when outdoor festivals and celebrations really start gearing up in our area.  Some notable ones are:  the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival, Oregon Ag Fest, Cinco de Micro Brewfest, the Keizer Iris Festival, and the Wineries Memorial Day Weekend Open House to name a few.
Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest w/Mt Hood in the Background

The Spring Dance Concert
Every Spring, the Dance Department at the university where I work puts on a Spring Dance Concert over three days.  The concert is comprised of student pieces (graduating Seniors are required to choreograph a piece for the show), a notable guest choreographer, and a piece by the Rainbow Dance Theatre.  I've been going religiously for the past five-ish years (after taking a hiatus when I lived overseas) and it's become a tradition to attend with one of my fellow alums and dear friend, Jenna.  This year's performances were stellar; probably the best I've seen in terms of both choreography and dancing.  It was also the 40th Anniversary of the concert this year, so that probably added some extra incentive to be awesome.

So, what are some of your favorite things about Spring?

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

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

B.O.B 5 Favorites

Today's mini challenge for Bout of Books 16 is 5 Favorites!

A simple challenge where you select any categorizing topic you'd like (genre, heroines, trope, cover, anything) and highlight your five favorite books that fall into that category.  Super easy to do, but very difficult to narrow down.

My chosen topic is...My Five Favorite Books from Elementary/Middle School

This is probably one of my favorite books of all time and one I've re-read multiple times since I first discovered it in elementary school.  That's saying a lot since I rarely re-read books.  I loved Charlotte and her relationship with Zachariah and I wanted to go on adventures with them.  Her initiation into the crew left me completely on the edge of my seat and wanting to know what would happen next.  So good! 

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D Taylor
I read this in middle school during a phase I went through where I was obsessed with anything to do with the South, slavery, the Antebellum, and the Civil War.  Though the setting is significantly later than the war, the ramifications and resentments are still felt throughout the South and portrayed in this book.  I should probably read the first three books in the Logan series...

Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Again, this book falls into the "favorites of all-time category" but I've only read it twice.  My first encounter was as an 8th grader when I asked my Language Arts teacher about reading recommendations.  Since we had been studying the Civil War and I was pretty into the era (see above), she recommended this and boy, oh, boy I was hooked.  I loved EVERYTHING about this book...Scarlett, Rhett (sigh), Melanie, Mammy...everything.  I even love the movie!

This book was just fun for me.  It's not anything significant, but I was immediately enamored with it as a kid.  I mean, what young girl hasn't been completely mortified in front of her crush when she has to do something as silly as carry around a sack of sugar dressed like a baby?  No one?  Huh...

Wait Till Helen Comes by Mary Downing Hahn
This book.  What can I say about this book aside from the fact that, as an adult, I specifically searched for it in used bookstores everywhere until I found my very own copy.  Like Confessions, this is one I've re-read several times.  I was so creeped out by this book as a kid and still find it unnerving.  Creepy kids are creepy, man! 

There are so many more that I could easily add to this list, a lot were entire series of books, but I tried really hard to pare it down.  What are some of your favorites from when you were a kid?

Happy reading, fellow Bout of Bookers!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesday:  Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist

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:
"Something was happening in the street.  She saw a woman standing next to Park's horse.  Saw her touching the horse.  Saw Park's baton begin to rise." --page 54
          Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of a Fist by Sunil Yapa

I have been eagerly waiting for this book to become available at the library and finally have it in my hands!  Super excited to read it :)

Happy reading!

Top Ten Tuesday: Non-Bookish Websites

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 Websites I Love That Aren't About Books.  Let's see what I come up with here!

The Bloggess
  • If you've never checked out Jenny Lawson's AWESOME blog, please do so now.  You will laugh.  You will cry.  You might find someone you can relate to.  Her entries can be serious or completely insane...and that's what makes it so beautiful.  Jenny is a hilarious, inspiring individual.
  • A great time-waster and loads of fun...though sometimes completely ridiculous.
  • If you want to waste time, but tease your wrinkly dome, then this is the website for you!  There are brainteasers, quizzes, and fun games galore.  I promise that you will find something to completely wile away your hours.
The Huffington Post
  • Because you have to stay up on what's happening in the world, right?
  • Again, keeping informed!
  • I can spend hours virtually shopping (and not buying a damn thing).  But it's oh so fun to dream...
  • I pin the shit out of stuff.  AND!  I've actually made several things that I've pinned.  Victory!  Of course, I have waaaaay more pinned than I could ever possibly make or afford or whatever, but it's still an addictive little space.
The New York Times
  • I love reading the book reviews and whatnot...news.  NEWS!
  • As a product tester, this is where it all happens.  The more you participate, the more products your receive to test out and review.  If you would like an invite, let me know!
The Onion
  • Because it's hilarious!  Seriously.
What are some non-bookish websites you tend to visit often?

Happy reading!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

B.O.B 16

Bout of Books 16
I'm very late to the game this year, April and the beginning of May have not been the kindest to me, but I'm totally going to do this round of Bout of Books.  I need this round...badly!  Consider this my sign up post :)

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, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Book is low-pressure.  There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional.  For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team
What I hope to accomplish for the challenge:
  1. Finish The Walking Dead, Compendium 3 by Robert Kirkman.  I'm about 100 pages in as of now (5/4)...there are nearly 1100 pages.  It is a graphic novel, so there is always the chance that I will totally have this done before the challenge begins on Monday because it's super quick reading.  If that's the case, see number 2.
  2. Read Your Heart is a Muscle the Size of your Fist by Sunil Yapa.  It's been sitting on my coffee table for about two weeks while I've been plowing through some public library books that have actual return dates.  I might start it before the challenge, but I doubt I'll have it done by Monday.
  3. Work on completing books for a Bingo reading challenge that my officemates and I do every two-three months.  I'm not doing very well for this round, so I'd like to get some bingos in there soon.
  4. Participate in the daily challenges.  The topics look super fun this go-around and this will force me to do better than I did during the last challenge.
  5. Participate in Twitter parties!
  6. Most importantly...HAVE FUN!  And relax.  Get away from life for a bit.  You know, the usual ;)
On the Radar (always subject to change) 
There is still time to sign up for this awesome, low-key challenge if you're interested.  Simply head over to the sign up page to declare your intent to particpateand add your name! 
Happy Reading!