Monday, April 26, 2010

Beastly

Saturday whilst at the movies I was treated with a preview of the movie Beastly.  I was happily surprised as I had recently read Beastly by Alex Flinn and didn't know it was being made into a movie.  And the preview actually looks good (I also saw the Sex and the City 2 preview and all I can say is "AIDEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" in girlish, squeeish delight).

Beastly is a modern day version of Beauty and the Beast.  The beast (Kyle) in this tale is a hot, rich and jerky prep school boy, while the beauty (Lindy) in question is pretty, smart, poor and not socially relevant to the upper east side girl.  Kyle manages to piss off a witch and is turned into a horrible beast (from the movie preview this is where the book and movie don't see eye to eye, the book describes Kyle looking more animal like, whereas in the movie preview Kyle looked more like an extra from The Matrix meets Deep Space Nine).  From the book:
A beast. Not quite wolf or bear, gorilla or dog but a horrible new creature who walks upright—a creature with fangs and claws and hair springing from every pore. I am a monster.
 So the witch gives Kyle a magic mirror and a certain amount of time to find true love (the blind as a bat kind of true love).  I heart the magic mirror, because it shows you anyone you want to see.  After running into Lindy again on Halloween, Kyle begins to spy on her.  Now here's my question for any of you that might have a magic mirror- Does it really show everything? I mean it's cool if you want to spy on me, but I think bathroom visits and the marital bed should be off limits.  I guess I need a really prudish magic mirror.

Getting back to the story, Kyle's dad can't handle his son's new beastiness so he hires an awesome maid (Magda) and a blind tutor (best part of the movie preview? Neil Patrick Harris is the tutor!!), locking his son away with only their company.  After spying on Lindy for awhile, Kyle (now going by the name Adrian) pretty much buys Lindy from her drug addict dad.  I swear it's more romantic and less creepy than it sounds.  But only by a little bit.

Beastly follows the Beauty and Beast tale well, and I really love the modern update.  I read this book in a day because it was a quick and easy read.  It's not the type of book you sink into, but for any fairy tale lover out there it's well worth your time.  Alex Flinn has a new book about Sleeping Beauty out and I think I'm going to have to break down and get that soon (despite my groaning TBR shelves- well, shrieking more than groaning now). 

Beastly gets a Midnight Book Rating of 11pm because it's part midnight magic, part Gossip Girl, and all fairy tale. 


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Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Post With The Most (Books)

So this week brought a windfall of books.  I first got my BookSwim package with 3 of my book pool selections, and then I got four books from my writing buddy, Susan, and then yesterday I attended the Richmond Friends of the Library Book Sale and got a ridiculous amount of bookage.

Here's the list:
BookSwim: 
  • The End of Alice by A.M. Holmes (I've been wanting to read this book for months and months!)
  • Need by Carrie Jones
  • Peeps by Scott Westerfield
Friend:
  • Deja Dead by Kathy Reichs
  • Cross Bones by Kathy Reichs
  • Deadly Decisions by Kathy Reichs
  • Atmospher by Michael Laimo (I hope his last name is pronounced like Lame-O because that is awesome)
Library Sale:
  • Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary (feeling a bit nostalgic since seeing the preview for Beezus and Ramona movie)
  • Death Dines at 8:30 by various mystery authors (it comes with recipes!)
  • The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (completing the holy trinity of book ownership, I now have it on audio, Kindle and paperback)
  • Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy
  • The Third Eye by Lois Duncan (loved this book when I was a teen and have been wanting to re-read for awhile!)
  • Murder on the Prowl by Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Pie Brown
  • The Wish by Gail Carson Levine
  • What's a Ghoul To Do? by Victoria Laurie
  • All That Remains by Patricia Cornwell
  • The Mushroom Man by Sophie Powell (the cover sold me on this one)
  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, a play by Tom Stoppard
  • Post Grad (audio book) by Emily Cassel
  • Heart and Soul (audio book) by Maeve Binchy (I loved this book and can't wait to listen to it!)
  • The Kite Runner (audio book) by Khaled Hosseini
I also found a little book journal called Smart Women Read Between the Lines.  The very first page was partially filled out by the previous owner, so now I have to read Last Night At The Lobster by Stewart O'Nan.  I downloaded the sample of it on my Kindle last night and I liked what I read.  I had never heard of the book before and honestly it's not something I would normally read, but I feel compelled to finish that first entry by whoever owned the journal before me.  It's like finding a great book at your vacation rental, it's fate!  

I have no idea when I'll get to all these books, I'm still finishing up Middlesex and doing The Stand read-a-long, but there's no high quite like that of buying new used books. 
                    
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The Stand Read-A-Long Check-In 2

Technically I came late to this read-a-long so this is actually my first check-in, but it's the second of the read-a-long.  I should have posted this Thursday but I've been super busy.  So without further ado, let's get talking about The Stand by Stephen King. 



Where are you currently at in the book (e.g., page, chapter, description)?

Chapter 39, 30% into the book, Kindle locations 8215-20


What are your thoughts so far?



I forgot how much I love this entire book.  I've re-read parts in the past, but it's been years since I read cover to cover.  I'd forgotten some characters (Lloyd's awesome lawyer) and scenes (Flagg getting his new papers from that dude)The last chapter I read, chapter 38, is one of my all time favorite chapters.  It describes the second wave of deaths after the superflu has done it's damage.  It reads a bit like the Darwin award books, and I love it.  I was lucky enough to read The Stand for the first time after they re-released the complete and unabridged version, so I've never had to miss out on all those special parts that were cut out.  It's been nice hanging out with characters I know so well again, I missed Stu and Nick and Fran.  I did not miss Harold, although I'm more sympathetic to him this time around, I still find his manner of speech to be ridiculous and pretentious.  One thing I didn't catch the first time or two around was that the time period of the book is a bit wonky.  King originally wrote the book in the 70's and the unabridged version got updated in the early 90's, but a lot of things got left in there that hints to the 70's (Vietnam for one) that it distracts me now and then.  Which is fine, I love the story well enough that I don't care that Stu is still young but somehow was in the Vietnam war.  I don't get why the decision was made to change the year in the book, but I can roll with it.  Although I'm only so 30% thru the book at the moment, I'm surprised by how many characters haven't shown up on the pages yet, but I'm full of anticipation.  M-O-O-N, that spells anticipation! 
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

20th Century Ghosts

Yes, Joe Hill is the son of Stephen King.  And yes, he's a chip off the old block and this apple landed pretty close the King tree.  But Hill is his own writer, and although his genre is similar to his famous father's, he is unique and a master of the craft of short stories in his own right.

20th Century Ghosts is a short story collection that's just awesome.  Every story is different, but all of them are page turners. There's something for everyone here- from the Kafka lovers (You Will Hear the Locust Sing), to those that like a little bitter with their sweet (Pop Art), super hero with a twist (The Cape), or your standard thriller (The Black Phone).  I can honestly say that Hill has written some amazing short stories, and even the ones that fall short of amazing are still pretty damn good.  I dare you to read Pop Art and not cry.  Go ahead, I'll wait.

(pause)

I told you it'd make you cry.  Don't let the name of the book fool you, there's so much more than ghosts and horror (and I use the term loosely, it's no late night slasher film on Fear Net) here, there's a lot of dark beauty.  Writer's will tell you, short stories are hard to write.  Joe Hill makes it look easy.  Add it to your TBR pile, move it to the front, thank me later.  Or wait for October's readathon, if you can, because the tales 20th Century Ghosts will blow your mind and you won't be able to put it down.

20th Century Ghosts gets a Midnight Book Rating of full on, breathless reading, Midnight.  The clock has struck the hour and you're under you blanket reading with a flashlight held in trembling hands.


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Saturday, April 17, 2010

UR here

One of the first things I downloaded for my Kindle was the novella UR that my main story man Stephen King wrote exclusively for Kindle users.  I love short stories, I wish more of my favorite authors wrote them, and I always look forward to Stephen King short stories and novellas.  In UR a young professor orders a Kindle out of spite after getting dumped.  His ex accused him of being technologically out of touch (her question;- "why can't you read books on the computer like everybody else?") and he fantasizes about her coming across him as he reads his Kindle and he is ready with a snappy, stinging comeback. His Kindle arrives the day after he orders it, although he didn't request overnight shipping, and because it's a Stephen King story, the Kindle is pink... so immediately something is afoot.

For those unfamiliar with Kindles, in addition to being able to download books from Amazon wirelessly, the e-reader also has an Experimental section.  Right now this consists of basic web services (you can access Kindle books free, but if you want to look at Wikipedia it'll cost you a bit).  In UR, the pink Kindle has a few extra experimentals.  Soon our hero is discovering that in alternate realities some of his favorite authors have written quite a few more books (or less, it all depends on what reality).  He basically gets to live every book lover's ultimate fantasy (What if Margaret Mitchell had written her own sequel to Gone With the Wind, what if you're favorite writer was more prolific in another reality?).  And it's not just alternate books he's discovering, but newspapers too, and this is where the adventure really begins.

I loved this story, and I don't think you have to be a Kindle, Sony E-Reader, or Nook owner to appreciate it.  It's got humor, drama, revenge, tension, mystery, sword fights, true love... wait, scratch the last two- that's the Princess Bride.

UR gets a Midnight Book Rating of Midnight, perfect for the witching hour and a perfect length for a good night's read.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Blog Hop Fridays

Despite the fact that I messed up posting my link (I'm going to go with the excuse of Not Enough Coffee Yet), I'm participating in The Blog Hop over at Crazy For Books.  It's a great way to not only find new blogs, unheard of blogs, and oldies but goodies blogs, but it's also a way to show blogging community support.  And I'm all about that these days. I FINALLY figured out the whole google reader thingy, so I'm not missing out on blogs that I'm following.  I discovered lots of new blogs during readathon as well, and I'm beginning to comment more and more.  So, here's some of the blogs I found through the Blog Hop today:


a thousand Books with Quotes  - a new blog, with a gorgeous blog pic.  This blogger covers a bunch of different genres, which I appreciate.

She Is Too Fond Of Books - how could you not want to read this blog, just based on name alone?  Plus one of her literary crushes is Atticus Finch! Reviews mostly fiction.

Always with a Book  - another great blog name (I have a thing for great blog names, obviously).  Blogger reads Chick Lit, Romance, Women's Fiction and Mystery.  I'm super into mysteries right now and I definitely need suggestions although I am reading the Stephanie Plum series right now.

Lori's Reading Corner - an absolute gorgeous blog!  She reads Mystery, Women's Fiction, Romance/Thriller, which as I've said is right up my alley these days.

WhatMissKelleyIsReading  -Reads YA (she's a middle school teacher).  I actually read a lot of YA books too, which is something I used to be ashamed of, but thankfully writers like JK Rowling and Stephenie Meyers made it okay to read outside my age group.  It makes sense, I read so many adult books when I was a young girl, and now I get to read quality YA books- they've come a long way, baby!

That's all for now, I must eat before I pass out- one cup a coffee does not a breakfast make.  I'll probably visit some more today, in which case I'll edit. I really encourage you to visit the Blog Hop!

Updated blog visiting:

The Bookshelf Sophisticate -is it okay to be jealous of all these other great blogs?  Or is it a sign that I need to work on mine?  Another great site that appears to specialize in YA, which I've established is my no longer dirty little secret.

The Plum Bean Project - Okay, first of all it's got a cute name, and maybe because I've just started the Stephanie Plum series I was easily swayed into this blog.  I like the writing on this blog- it's not just book reviews and memes, it's a blog about writers and life and books, and it's written in an easy, flowing style. 

guitless reading  -cute fun blog with great pictures and links (a headboard made from recycled books?  I'm there!).  Full of book related stuff- bookmarks, headboards, origami books- everything a book nerd would love to discover.

Puss Reboots - Another blog that I found today thru my comments section (yup, that's right- you comment, I visit!).  Lots of reviews on this site (including kid's books which I don't read enough of since the Hubs and I are without little ones, but since my newest niece will soon be in the learning to read stage I need to know what new books are out there.  She might be too young for Bunnicula and Sideways Stories from Wayside High). 








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Thursday, April 15, 2010

Readathon Book Reviews

I really should have done this earlier, but I'll make it quick and simple, and I'll go in order of what I read:

I started with the comic/graphic Lenore: Noogies by Roman Dirge.  I've read it before, and I love it.  It's morbid and funny and there's a lot of twisted takes on fairy tales/nursery rhymes.  Lenore is a cute little dead girl who has a tendency to be a little rough with the people and a
animals she encounters.  She's still adorable though!












Christopher Pike is one of my favorite authors and his books dominated my tween and teen years.  I bought a used copy of Tales of Terror since my original copy was lost to fire years and years ago.  I was so excited when it came in, and the collection of short stories didn't disappoint.  As always Pike has a way with characters and plotting... he's amazing.  Plus, he brought back Marvin Summers from Master of Murder, one of my all time Pike books.  In fact, Marvin's short story- The Fan From Hell was probably my favorite.  It's like a cross between Misery and Wild Things.  Loved it!  This book might be hard to get since it's no longer in print, which makes me sad.







I really enjoyed Twilight the Graphic Novel Vol 1, adapted from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight by Young Kim.  It was beautifully drawn and was true to the book.  Of course it only goes up until shortly after the meadow scene (cue sparkling vampires) but it's something I'm happy to add to my sad little group of graphic novels. 












I ordered several other Pike books just for the readathon (I didn't get to Scavenger Hunt and Spellbound didn't show up until too late) but Tales of Terror #2 was actually the first book to show up.  Again it's a great collection of short stories by Pike, and again we get another Marvin Summer story- this one with a supernatural edge- The Burning Witch.  Tears of Teresa was probably my favorite in this group, because while I thought I had figured out the twist ending, I only did so partly.  I like being surprised as long as the author doesn't cheat the ending, which Pike doesn't.  Again, this book is out of print so maybe not the easiest to get.  However, you can always find cheap used copies if you look hard enough.






 I can be a bit of a morbid reader.  I'm drawn to books that are moody and or terrifying.  Impulse by Ellen Hopkins is more on the moody side.  I didn't quite finish this during the readathon, but I'm still counting it.  Impulse is the story of three teens who end up in a treatment center after each makes an attempt on their own lives.  It took me awhile to figure out which character was speaking since it switched often (although the speaker was clearly announced each time I guess I missed it a lot in the beginning), but eventually the voices distinguished themselves from each other.  As usual, Hopkin's teens don't fair well in the book, they all have unhappy backgrounds and have been through a lot.  The reasons behind their suicide attempts unfurls slowly, and their friendship grows throughout the book, as do they.  If I were to say this is a cross between anything, then I'd have to pick 13 Reasons Why and Girl, Interrupted.  I don't know why I feel compelled to compare books/movies but I do.



All of these books get Midnight Book Ratings of Midnight since they helped me stay awake (for the most part!). 







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Booking Through Thursdays- The Start or the End?

Booking Through Thursday

Today's question: In general, do you prefer the beginnings of stories? Or the ends?

I almost always prefer beginnings.  There is a certain magic to a really well written opening chapter.  It's like buying a fresh new notebook, it's full of unknown promise.  Book endings either leave me sad that the journey has ended or disappointed with how it wraps up.  I think the reason I love reading series so much is because the end is further away.  I tend to get very attached to my books, which is why I buy and keep so many of them, and I re-read a lot.  I don't like saying goodbye, I like saying hello and hello again.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Joining the Stand Read-A-Long

I always have the best intentions when it comes to blog challenges, but since I'm still something of a newbie I tend to fall off cart before the horse leaves the stable... if that makes any sense.  But then I saw a twitter from Tif Talks Books about The Stand, and followed it to her blog where she's hosting a read-a-long for one of my all time favorite Stephen King books!  So, better late than never, I've decided to give this one a go. I'm a little behind, but here's my first post:




  1. Will this be your first read of The Stand by Stephen King or a re-read?  If you are choosing not to read  this book, why?  Does just the word King make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up?  :) No, I've read The Stand several times, but not in recent years.  
  2. If this is a re-read, what has drawn you back to the book for a second (or more) time? The Stand is probably one of my all time favorite Stephen King novels, although I have several, and it's a book I can always curl up with on a dark and windy night.  The uncut version is just a work of art!
  3. Whether you know the story or not, which location would you prefer if you were a survivor of a gruesome plague:  Boulder, Colorado or Las Vegas, Nevada? I am a Mother Abigail girl all the way!  Plus I will always take cold over hot. 

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Monday, April 12, 2010

Midnight Monday Musings

So Dewey's Read-a-thon is over and I'm still recovering.  Not physical so much as mentally.  I had so much fun twittering with everyone and visiting new blogs and picking up new readers (Hello, all you beautiful followers, new and old!), that I'm feeling the symptoms of withdrawal.  Maybe I need to get out more?

My reading plans for this week are to finish Impulse by Ellen Hopkins (which I'll do today), finish Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides for my Book Club, and start The Girl Who Chased the Moon.  It's so weird to not be saving books for readathon, but rather to actually start putting them back on the shelf.  So sad.  October can not come soon enough.

Last night I trolled around the sites and found book bloggers comments about Dewey.  I never had the pleasure of meeting Dewey or knowing her, but without her I would never have become a book blogger.  I'd stumbled across the readathon several years ago but couldn't participate, but still the idea burned in my brain.  One day while cleaning up my bookmarks, I found the Readathon page, and that's what prompted me to start my book blog.  I'm so grateful that Dewey joined the book blogging community, and that she worked so hard to make it what it is today, and that so many of the people she touched continue on in her name.  It's simply amazing, she was amazing.  You are all amazing, and I'm lucky to be a part of this community.

On a lighter note, this Midnight girl is facing yet another birthday this coming May.  So I'm going to host a giveaway!  I'm still working out the details, but I promise it'll be good.  It'll also be my very first one, along with my very first author interview, all to celebrate turning (yuck) 33 on the 22nd of May.  I believe in celebrating the entire month of May, just like I celebrate Halloween all of October, it's just more fun that way.  Why limit myself to one measly day? Honestly, it takes 9 months to prepare for our births, I think our birthdays deserve at least 4 weeks of celebration!

 During readathon I picked up a bunch of new blogs to follow, so my new goal is to visit at least 5 a day, if not more, and to blog more often.  I need the experience since my reviews aren't what they could be.  I really feel the need to find my own style and voice, which will only come with lots of blogging.  And I also follow anyone who follows me, although with my numbers that's pretty easy to do, but I need to strive to comment more.  I know how much seeing comments on my posts means to me. 
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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Readathon Update #12- 4am-8am

Title of book(s) read since last update: Still on Impulse by Ellen Hopkins, should have stuck with the Pike books...

Thoughts on current read: It took me awhile to get use to 2 different MC's but now I'm digging it.  Plus they always end in mini cliffhangers and the characters are hiding so much,

Number of books read since you started:5 and 3/4s

Pages read since last update: 240 pages

Running total of pages read since you started: 1238
Mini-challenges completed: End of Readathon Meme


Prize you’ve won: A book of my choice for being a good commentator.




Links:
Official Read-a-Thon page is here


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End of Readathon Meme

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Between 1am and 2am, I was really dragging, but it was hard to admit that I needed some sleep.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? I really liked started with graphic novels, it made me feel good about my progress- so Twilight the Graphic Novel and anything by Ellen Hopkins.  And Before I Wake- haven't read it yet, but half of readathoners seemed to be devouring it.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Hmmm, maybe a single post that announces the winner's of competitions that gets updated hourly?  It was so hard to search through the posts to see who won what.  But that could just be my own freaky hang up.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Everything on twitter, and I really thought the challenges were a blast.  I also liked that certain blogs were picked for us to visit.  And even though I know we were low on cheerleaders this year, I thought they did a brilliant job.  

5. How many books did you read? 5 and making my way thru book 6.

6. What were the names of the books you read? American Vampire (graphic novel) by Stephen King et al, Twilight the Graphic Novel by Stephenie Meyer and Young Kim, Lenore: Noogies by Roman Dirge, Tales of Terror #1 and Tales of Terror #2 by Christopher Pike and Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

7. Which book did you enjoy most? The Christopher Pike Novels

8. Which did you enjoy least? Weirdly enough, the American Vampire graphic novel, it had some confusing bits in it

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? N/a

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I will 100% do this next time.  Only I'm taking off the day prior and the day after readathon so I can be well rested.  I think next year I'll sign up for a couple hours of cheer- especially the later hours.  I did a lot of unofficial cheering, and discovered there are a lot of people that really need that extra push, especially the newbies.  And I'd really like to donate a prize to go along with the next readathon mini-challenge, whether I get picked to do one again or not.  I had a blast hosting my drabble challenge, and winning a book just for being commenter!  Nothing is better than readathon... except maybe getting your hands on a time-turner so you can catch up on your tbr pile....


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Readathon Update #10- 2am-4am

IN WHICH NOT A DAMN THING CHANGED DUE TO THE SUDDEN NEED TO FALL ASLEEP


Title of  book(s) read since last update:


Thoughts on current read:


  Number of books  read since you started






Pages read since last update:


Running total of  pages read since you started:






Amount of time  spent reading since last update: 






Running total of  time spent reading since you started: 




Mini-challenges  completed:




Other participants you’ve visited (running list  from start to finish - this way I can easily find my way back to all the  new blogs!):




  Prize you’ve  won:




Links:
Official Read-a-Thon page  is here






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Readathon Update #9- 12am-2am

Number 9, Number 9, Number 9, Number 9  (sorry, it's late and I can't resist a Beatles reference)

Title of  book(s) read since last update: Still reading Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Thoughts on current read:It's good, and I'm engaged, but I might be taking a nap here soon.

 Number of books  read since you started:5 and 1/2


Pages read since last update: 126

Running total of  pages read since you started:998


Amount of time  spent reading since last update:  Over hour again.



Running total of  time spent reading since you started: N/A


Mini-challenges  completed:


Other participants you’ve visited (running list  from start to finish - this way I can easily find my way back to all the  new blogs!):

Literarily Speaking
http://literarilyspeaking1.blogspot.com/

BrownGirl Speaks
http://www.browngirlspeaks.com/index.html

  Prize you’ve  won: The one from last update, for being a good commentator- back when I was less sleepy.




Links:
Official Read-a-Thon page  is here






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Mini-Challenge from Literarily Speaking

The challenge:

In this mini-challenge, I'm asking you to tell me about the first book you remember loving. I'm talking, soul-searing, blood-boiling, can't-get-enough-of-it love. This book doesn't have to be from your childhood but it can be.

Just write up a quick post telling me what the first book you absolutely loved was and why you loved it. If you want to include some stories about your history with this book, please do!


Okay, so this is going to seem weird, because this book is from my childhood and it's not really childhood material, but the first book I remember loving is Fire-Starter by Stephen King.  Which actually explains a lot about me.  I had dyslexia, I guess I probably still do, but it was caught early on (they tried to hold me back in 1st grade but waited until the end of the school year to inform my parents that I couldn't read- Dad went ballistic, so I wasn't held back).  Instead I got to spend a summer getting my IQ tested (quite high, thank you very much, George Mason Uni) so my parents got me a reading tutor (Mrs. A) and by the time I returned to school I was at a reading level high above my grade.  But for years English class was not fun for me, it was all grammar, and I had to fight my way up through the reading group levels every year because the school had me pegged as a poor reader.  Bastards.  But my Dad, God bless his soul, was a voracious reader, and more importantly he was a bathroom reader.  Books were always there waiting for me, most didn't catch my interest at all- a lot of Dick Francis and Tom Clancy.  But one day, I think I was in between 3rd-4th grade, but I can't swear to it, Fire-Starter was awaiting me.  I'm not going to lie, I didn't get a lot of the book the first time I read it, but I clearly remember it and more importantly I remember how empowering it felt to read an adult book, it was like giving the literary finger to Dick and Jane.  My love for reading only increased from that moment on, and Stephen King has had my undying readership since them.  Thanks for letting me ramble!

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Readathon Update #8- 10pm-12am

Title of book(s) read since last update:Started and am still reading Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

Thoughts on current read: I really like her style of writing.

Number of books read since you started: 5
Pages read since last update: 112

Running total of pages read since you started:871

Amount of time spent reading since last update: Just a little over and hour maybe,,, I visited several blogs and once again the allure of Twitter proved irresistible to me.

Running total of time spent reading since you started:No clue

Mini-challenges completed:  1- I did the blog commenting challenge



Other participants you’ve visited (running list from start to finish - this way I can easily find my way back to all the new blogs!):

Diary of an Eccentric
http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.com/

How Novel!
http://misskindle.wordpress.com/

Meet Cute
http://mtqt.wordpress.com/

The Words of a Writer
http://brittanylandgrebe.com/

SMS Book Reviews
http://smsbookreviews.blogspot.com/

readerbuzz
http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/

Prize you’ve won: !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I WON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! for commenting on blogs.  I got to choose a book, so I picked The Midnight Guardian.  Seriously, I thought I was all cool about the prizes, and I am, but I just love winning. I love that I get to announce this in my Midnight update!






Links:
Official Read-a-Thon page is here

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Readathon Update #7- 8pm-10pm


Title of  book(s) read since last update:Tales of Terror #2 by Christopher Pike

Thoughts on current read: About to start a new book

  Number of books  read since you started: 5

Pages read since last update: 109

Running total of  pages read since you started:651



Amount of time  spent reading since last update: No clue


Running total of  time spent reading since you started: No clue anymore.


Mini-challenges  completed: None


Other participants you’ve visited (running list  from start to finish - this way I can easily find my way back to all the  new blogs!):

Book-a-rama
http://www.chrisbookarama.com/

Reviews by Martha's Bookshelf
http://marthasbookshelf.blogspot.com/
  Prize you’ve  won: None




Links:
Official Read-a-Thon page  is here





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Readathon Update #6- 6pm-8pm


Title of  book(s) read since last update: I'm half way through Tales of Terror#2 by Christopher Pike

Thoughts on current read: Still loving it.

Number of books  read since you started: 4 and 1/2

Pages read since last update: A measly 36, but I've had lots of distractions and Twitter is like a drug.

Running total of  pages read since you started:651 pages

Amount of time  spent reading since last update: Maybe half an hour

Running total of  time spent reading since you started:  I don't know, not as much as I should have


Mini-challenges  completed: None, but I did pick a winner for my drabble challenge, so in a way I contributed to a win!


Other participants you’ve visited (running list  from start to finish - this way I can easily find my way back to all the  new blogs!):
Confessions of a Bibliophile
http://www.bookconfessions.com/

Not-Really-Southern Vamp Chick
http://not-really-southernvampchick.blogspot.com/


  Prize you’ve  won: None






Links:
Official Read-a-Thon page  is here





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Readathon Update #5- 4pm-6pm


Title of  book(s) read since last update:American Vampire Vol. 1 Graphic Novel by Scott Snyder, Stephen King and Rafael Albuquerque.

Thoughts on current read: Currently reading Tales of Terror #2 by Christopher Pike- more good short stories.

  Number of books  read since you started: 4 and 1/3rd



Pages read since last update: 95

Running total of  pages read since you started: 615



Amount of time  spent reading since last update: 



Running total of  time spent reading since you started: Another hour or so.


Mini-challenges  completed: Your guess is as good as mine


Other participants you’ve visited (running list  from start to finish - this way I can easily find my way back to all the  new blogs!):


Ashley's Library
http://www.ashleyslibrary.blogspot.com/

Lavender Lines
http://lavenderlines.wordpress.com/



  Prize you’ve  won: It's been fail in the win department.






Links:
Official Read-a-Thon page  is here





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Mini Challenge #9- Ashley's Library

For this mini-challenge we were asked to re-create a scene from a book with a photograph, so here's mine:

From the book New Moon by Stephenie Meyer- Jacob (in werewolf form) snarling at Edward.
That's my Emmy dog giving her best tweenwolf snarl (she was actually half yawning/licking her lips but whatever works)
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Readathon Update #4- 2pm-4pm

Title of book(s) read since last update: Twilight the Graphic Novel #1 by Stephenie Meyer, adapted by Young Kim.

Thoughts on current read: It was beautiful, with lots of great and different graphic techniques, mostly in black and white, but when color was used it was done so perfectly. 

Number of books read since you started: 3

Pages read since last update: 224 pages

Running total of pages read since you started:520 pages! (thank you, Twilight graphic Novel!)

Amount of time spent reading since last update: I read for about an hour and 20 mins

Running total of time spent reading since you started: I'll add it up all later

Mini-challenges completed: Um, none this time, I had to finish mine and get it posted.


Other participants you’ve visited (running list from start to finish - this way I can easily find my way back to all the new blogs!):

Carol's Notebook
http://carolsnotebook.wordpress.com/

Jayne's Books
http://jaynesbooks.blogspot.com/

Books and Needlepoint
http://booksandneedlepoint.blogspot.com/




Prize you’ve won: Still working on a goose egg, but I'm having a blast. 




Links:
Official Read-a-Thon page is here

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Hour 8 Readathon Mini-Challenge: Drabble Time

 8 hours into readathon and you all are still awake!  Congrats on that!  But if you need a little break from reading, why not stretch you imagination a bit with a drabble challenge?

Some of you might be shaking your heads wondering what in the heck a drabble is, so let me explain- rather let me rip off from Wikipedia:

A drabble is an extremely short work of fiction exactly one hundred words in length.

Your mini-challenge, should you choose to accept it, is to write a drabble based on a book /book series OR you can do a drabble based on your Readathon experience. Your drabble does not have to be true to the book- maybe you want Bella to pick Jacob, maybe you want a Valentine's drabble between Snape and Harry Potter (I've read a drabble or two based on that, you'd be suprised!)  It's all about being creative, but it must be a complete story in 100 words.  

Okay, just joking, I'm willing to give you a 10 word leeway so make your drabble 90-110 words long, but shoot for 100!
Looking forward to reading your drabbles!   The winner (picked at random) will receive:
2 books of their choice from the Prize list, OR one of the 2 book prize pack

Drabble example: 
Readathon Book Buying Binge

As I stood in line watching my total increase as the cashier scanned book after book, I felt flushed with guilt.  Didn't I already have enough books wasting away on my TBR shelves at home?  Why would I ignore those books in favor of books I just met?

But then I realized,the books that were draining my bank account deserved a home too.  Why should they be left out of the readathon fun?  The clear answer is that they shouldn't be.

I left the bookstore, both my conscience and my wallet felt lighter. 



Want to know if you have 100 words?  You can use this site, just copy and paste!
You can post your drabble on your website and leave me a link in the comments, or if you want you can just post your drabble there (especially for those of you that don't have a blog :)   









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Readathon Update #3- 12pm-2pm


Title of  book(s) read since last update: Tales of Terror #1 by Christopher Pike

Thoughts on current read: Better than I remembered!

 Number of books  read since you started: : 2

Pages read since last update: 111 pages

Running total of  pages read since you started: 296


Amount of time  spent reading since last update: Did a little better this time, I spent about an hour and a half mostly just reading.



Running total of  time spent reading since you started: I'm gonna guess I'm probably up to almost 4 hours.


Mini-challenges  completed: The ongoing story one with The Reading Teen.


Other participants you’ve visited (running list  from start to finish - this way I can easily find my way back to all the  new blogs!):


Fiction State Of Mind
http://www.fictionstateofmind.blogspot.com/

Linus's Blanket
http://www.linussblanket.com/

Reading Teen
http://www.readingteen.blogspot.com/?
Prize you’ve  won: We are still at a grand total of diddlysquat.



Links:
Official Read-a-Thon page  is here





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Readathon Update #2- 10am-12pm

Title of book(s) read since last update: Still working on Tales of Terror #1 by Christopher Pike

Thoughts on current read: Pike is just so masterful at writing.  His books are the only teen thrillers from my younger years that have really held up to the test of time.

Number of books read since you started:1 and one half.

Pages read since last update: A pathetic 26 pages...

Running total of pages read since you started:185 pages

Amount of time spent reading since last update: Less than half an hour, I've been busy doing challenges and visiting blogs.  Plus I wanted to finish my post for Mini-Challenge 8 since I'm hosting that one.


Running total of time spent reading since you started: Probably almost 2 hours?  Good question!


Mini-challenges completed: 3&4 (Bart's challenge really defined the word, but I love it!)


Other participants you’ve visited (running list from start to finish - this way I can easily find my way back to all the new blogs!):
Dangerously Cold Tea
http://dangerouslycoldtea.blogspot.com/

A Literary Odyssey
http://aliteraryodyssey.blogspot.com/

Luvvie's Musings
http://luvviesmusings.blogspot.com/

Reading In Texas
http://www.elsi123.net/~elsi/reading/blogger.html

Bekah's Bytes
http://thoughtsonbekahslife.blogspot.com/

itsJUSTme
http://itsjustme-wendy.blogspot.com/

'Til We Read Again
http://tilwereadagain.blogspot.com/2010/04/the-nominees-are.html

Bart's Bookshelf
http://www.bartsbookshelf.co.uk/2010/04/10/my-read-a-thon-mini-challenge-2/comment-page-1/#comment-4945


Prize you’ve won: Oh, we're still at zip, zero, zilch, but I've won several new followers which beats a prize any day!  Thank you new and old followers!!




Links:
Official Read-a-Thon page is here

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Mini-Challenge #4- Bart's Bookshelf

I remember this one from last year!  Mine this sucks even worse this time, and I know as soon as load it up I'll find a better sentence... but you know I love it!  Check out the challenge here!


So here's my sentence:

One door away from heaven, the idiot girl and the flaming tantrum of death, falling into the dark.
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Mini-Challenge #3- 'Til We Read Again

 Challenge 3!  I have a feeling this one's gonna be hard... lol

This challenge comes from 'Til We Read Again

Please list the books in which the characters reside;)

Favorite Female Character in a book: Drusilla from The India Fan by Victoria Holt

Favorite Male Character in a book: Odd Thomas from Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz

Favorite Side Kick in a book: Link from Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia

Favorite Couple in a Book: Sookie and Eric from the Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris
 
Favorite Book Series: Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz

Favorite Author: Stephen King

Favorite Book Cover: The Idiot Girls' Action Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro

Favorite Book of 2009: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins






I was right, that was hard!  Just picking one author, one character, one couple!  But it was a lot of fun!







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Readathon Update #1 8am-10am

Title of book(s) read since last update: Since this is my first update, I've read Lenore: Noogies a graphic novel by Roman Dirge and I started Christopher Pike's Tales of Terror #1.

Thoughts on current read: I forgot how much I loved Pike's short stories!  So far I read the first short story that was inspired by his Remember Me series and now I'm reading a short story featuring one of my favorite characters from Pike's books, Marvin Summers (aka Mack Slate from Master of Murder). Loving it!

Number of books read since you started: 1 and 1/3rd.

Pages read since last update: 158 pgs

Amount of time spent reading since last update: 158 pgs

Running total of time spent reading since you started: Since I've been tweeting too much, probably only about an hour and 15 mins ish.  I meant to keep better track, but you know, the best laid plans...

Mini-challenges completed: I've done Hour 1 and Hour 2 challenges.  Have to make sure mine is prepared to go for hour 3....


Other participants you’ve visited (running list from start to finish - this way I can easily find my way back to all the new blogs!): Oops... wasn't keeping track!  Dammit!  Okay, from now on I will. 


Prize you’ve won: Zip, zero, zilch and other z words that mean none won.  :) 

 


Links:
Official Read-a-Thon page is here

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Mini-Challenge #2: Miss Remmer's Review

Hour two is half way done!  Here's my response to mini-challenge # 2 from  Miss Remmer's Review

Q: What have you surrounded yourself with for these early hours of the challenge besides your books? :  At the moment I'm still at my computer desk, surrounded by your tweets and my book pile.  My dog and cats have managed to make their way into my office and are all curled up sleeping- show offs!  There's an empty cup of coffee and an empty glass that held my morning smoothie.  Still hungry, so I guess it's time to pop those mini-quiches into the oven!  I plan on moving around a lot today, but right now I'm too excited to leave my computer for any real length of time.  I'm also listening to my iTunes library, although it's on super soft because otherwise it's too distracting. 

 My book pile









 My Emmy dog







 My Joey and Riley cats
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Mini-Challenge #1: Dewey's 24hr Readathon

For the first hour mini challenge I need to answer these questions:

Where are you reading from today?  Richmond, Virginia

3 facts about me … I'm contrary, I like horror movies even though they scare the crap out of me, and I love all of you because you love books too!

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? 11 physical books, 4/5 on the Kindle and an audio book to get me through the few chores I might be forced to do.
Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? I want to stay up the entire time and get at least 5-6 books read.  I think that won't be a problem... I think.


If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time? I participated last October and I really had no clue what I was doing, so my advice is to visit other people's blogs and see how they set it up.  And don't be afraid to ask questions on twitter, trust me we want you to join in the fun so there will be a rush of answers.  I am better prepared for this readathon because I took the time to really understand what it was all about, and because I've been dreaming of it since the last one.



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Friday, April 9, 2010

Readathon: Rise of the Book Piles

Okay, so I finally feel ready to share my book pile because 2 or the 3 books I was hoping to arrive in the mail came today.  So here's a pic of the non-Kindle pile:

Please excuse the picture of me, my husband an Chris Martin from Coldplay and my ever present tube of chapstick, it's called an addiction, okay? 

The books from top to bottom:

  1. Tales of Terror #1 by Christopher Pike 
  2. Scavenger Hunt by Christopher Pike
  3. Tales of Terror #2 by Christopher Pike
  4. Twilight the Graphic Novel Vol. 1 by Stephenie Meyer, art and adaptation by Young Kim
  5. The Idiot Girl and the Flaming Tantrum of Death by Laurie Notaro 
  6. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins
  7. Thirst No.2 (The Last Vampire Series) by Christopher Pike
  8. Fire by Kristin Cashore
  9. Bran Hambric: The Fairfield Curse by Kaleb Nation (awesome blogger, btw)
  10. The Mammoth Book of Best Horror Comics by lots and lots of peeps
  11. Lenore: Noogies by Roman Dirge
Impulse looks big, I know, but it's written in verse and I've always found Ellen Hopkin books quick reads.  I'm not sure if I'll even crack open Fire this weekend but I am going to try to at least start Bran Hambric. I'm starting with Lenore: Noogies because it's funny, morbid, and quick, which is how I like my graphic novels.

Okay, now for my Kindle list:

The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen




I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells








Wake by Lisa McMann





The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin -same cover of the book I had when I was a kid that was lost to fire :(




Truck Stop: A Psycho Thriller by Jack Kilborn & J.A. Konrath










and a few dozen more books that I've got in my Kindle... I had no idea I'd been downloading so much!  No wonder we're poor... but at least we're rich in literature and when zombies finally rise up you want lots of guns, supplies and books.

Okay, and now for the most important part of the Readathon: Snacks

I'm going to be making 2 kinds of Smoothies, one healthy, one not so healthy:

Strawberry and Orange Smoothie
1 1/2 cups orange juice
1 cup plain yogurt
1 1/2 cup strawberry yogurt
2 cups frozen strawberries
1 large frozen banana

Raspberry Chocolate Smoothie
2 cups frozen raspberries
3/4 cup low-fat milk (2%)
6 ounces non-fat vanilla yogurt
3 tablespoons chocolate syrup

In both recipes combine the ingredients and blend until it's the consistency you like.  If you want to use fresh fruit then you'll want to add some ice.

Other snacks:
Home made no-bake chex mix
Grasshoppers ( you know, the chocolate mint cookies, yummmmmmmmmm)
Cheese and crackers
Snickerdoodles
Shrimp (which I had steamed and seasoned with Old Bay)
Tombstone pizza (for dinner since I have to feed the Hubs at some point)
V-8 Fruit Juice (the Acai Berry one)
Coke (the liquidy brown goodness, not the put me behind bars kind)
and lots and lots of water!!!


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Thursday, April 8, 2010

24 Hours- The Readathon Song

I occasionally write song parodies- I'm no Weird Al, but I am weird.  So in honor of Readathon, I parodied the song 24 by Jem (who in turn was inspired by the tv show 24 when she wrote it) to describe the joys, the heartache, the drama that is Read-a-thon!


24

Been given 24 hours
to be a book nerd
to read the most words
My tweets said it all
My TBR pile will fall
Sunday my sleep'll be absurd
Head spinning round, 
Can't put this book down
Just want to 
Read and read and read
Be careful they say,
Don't throw books away
Now I've one day!

And I can't believe
How I've been wasting my time
In 24 hours they'll be
 Reading Flowers
In the Attic, it's not over tonight
I'm not fearing, no I
Need your cheering
And your promise to read free
Please do it for Dewey

Is there a story or plot
To keep me awake?
A book that I bought?
Now I can see
What matters to me
It's the snacks that make or break you
The carbs I've ate
The hour grows late
The plans that I made
start to fade
The sun's gone to bed
It's sleep that I dread
Won't you read to me?

And I can't believe
How I've been wasting my time

In 18 hours they'll (still) be
 Reading Flowers
In the Attic, it's not over tonight
I'm not fearing, no I
Need your cheering
And your promise to read free
Please do it for Dewey

In 13 hours they'll be
 Reading Flowers
For Algernon, it's not over tonight
I'm not fearing, no I
Need your cheering
And your promise to read free
Please do it for Dewey

I'm not alone, I sense it, I sense it
All that I think, I tweet it, I tweet it

In just 8 hours they'll be done
 Reading Flowers
For Algernon, it's not over tonight
I'm not fearing, no I
Need your cheering
And your promise to read free
Please do it for Dewey

In just 1 hour they'll be
 Reading Flowers
From the Storm, it's not over tonight
I'm not fearing, no I
Need your cheering
And your promise to read free
Please do it for Dewey

So here's a link to the true Jem song and lyrics if you're interested.  It's a pretty cool song. 






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The Mortal Instruments Trilogy

I read the first book, City of Bones by Cassandra Clare, this past summer while on vacation.  I enjoyed it and picked up the second book, but got distracted by thriller writer Tess Gerritsen.  Recently I finished the second book, City of Ashes and the final book, City of Glass.  I was a bit confused when I started up again, because I've been reading so much YA fantasy lately that some of the characters and story lines had begun to bleed together in my mind. But it didn't take long to get back into the rhythm of the story.  The book follows average New York girl Clary as she discovers that the life she knew before was based on lies.  She is a Shadowhunter, humans with angel ancestry.  Shadowhunters protect the world by slaying demons, and they don't much like Downworlders (werewolves, vampires and fairies).  Soon Clary is running for her life after her mother is kidnapped, and torn between best friend Simon and bad boy Shadowhunter Jace.  And then she finds out that not only in her father alive but a real baddie to boot.  And to add insult to injury, soon after her first kiss with Jace, they discover they are brother and sister.  So begins the so wrong but so tempting Flowers-in-the-Attic love story... just joking.  But it is a bit icky for awhile.  There's lots to enjoy in this series, the werewolves are pretty awesome, the vamps are dangerous and the fairies are kind of bitchy and tricky (no sweet Tinkerbells here). Clary and Jace's baddie daddy is named Valentine, which I love.  In fact, I love all the names in this book, Clary is my new favorite.  I really don't want to give much away, if you like YA fantasy/adventure/romance/fairytale then odds are you'll like these books.  Just don't wait so long between book 1 and 2 like I did!


The Mortal Instrument Trilogy by Cassandra Clare gets a Midnight Book Rating of 10:30pm,  they aren't the best books I've ever read, but I like the story and I like the vast majority of the characters.  And now that YA books are as grossly priced as any other book, no matter size and content, you get quite a bit of story for your 10 bucks.  Plus if you've ever rooted for Luke and Leia to hook up, then this series is for you.


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