Friday, October 31, 2014

October 2014 Reading Recap

A kitty GIF!

It's been another awesome reading month. Here's my list of books read:

 Laughing at My Nightmare by Shane Burcaw: A memoir about the author's experience living and coping with a debilitating disease by using humor and positive thinking.

 All Our Yesterdays by Cristin Terrill: Our characters travel back in time to stop the creation of the time machine which has messed up the world.

 Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand: The life of Olympic runner Louis Zamperini and his experience as a POW in Japan during World War II.

 Maus II y Art Speigelman: The second part of the story of this author's father who survived the Holocaust.

 The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey: The sequel to The 5th Wave wherein our heroes are trying to find a safe place to hideout from the alien invasion.

 Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney: Gregory has yet more adventures in middle school, including the Valentines Dance.

 Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater: Blue and her wonderful boys are still trying to find the dead king and they end up doing a lot of cave exploring.

 The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson: Hayley has settled down with her dad to live a normal life and go to her senior year of high school, only things still aren't quite normal.

Favorites of the month: Unbroken and All Our Yesterdays. Such awesome books!!

Plans for November:
  • re-read Catcher in the Rye for book club
  • read A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
  • read Alantia by Ally Condie
  • read The Unhappening of Genesis Lee by Shallee McArthur
  • finished the skinwalker book and Save the Cat
  • and if I get that much done I'll be doing great since I'll also be spending a lot of time writing!
How about you? What was your favorite book of the month? And what plans do you have for November?


Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Walking Dead Discussion: S5E3 Four Walls and a Roof (Spoilers!)


And this week's episode... MASSACRE!

Oh my word, but people are getting ruthless! But wasn't it deserved? Yes? Or should he have let him go?

And by he I mean Rick and by him I mean Gareth. "I have a promise to keep." So sinister! And by the way, I say to the above question.

Yes, in this episode, Bob comes back with his leg missing and also admitting to a walker bite. I knew it! And he is a goner but before that happens, the gang is off to find the Termites. As they go around one corner, the bad guys come around the other to find and get (ie. eat) our heroes. However, Rick has thought it out and BAM, he's there to the rescue! Let the slaughter begin! And close your eyes!

Then we watch Bob die, which was sad sad sad. We also learn about the priest and how he kept the doors locked while all his congregation was zombie-fied. Which makes him not so likable.

Bye bye Bob.

And then suddenly, our group is breaking up again as a few of them head off without the others because a certain couple have disappeared.

And then... suddenly, there's a noise in the trees. Michonne goes to investigate. We are all scared! But... sigh... it's Daryl. Michonne says... "Where's Carol?" and he says... gesturing to the trees..."Come on out."

Sheesh! WHO IS IT!???

Stay tuned for next week. Finally, we'll get a Beth episode and find out what's going on with her.

And did you watch Talking Dead after the episode? What did you think of the real life Gareth? Hmmm??? Oh my word.

The real life Gareth....
Okay.. discuss in comments....

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney

Book: Diary of a Wimpy Kid The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney
Genre: MG Graphic Novel
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
For: Readathon
From: Bought from... somewhere

Short Synopsis: How to summarize these books?! It's more of Gregory and his life... this time with stories about his bum of an uncle coming to live with them, getting paired up for dancing in PE, finding a date to the school dance, going on a date with two boys and one girl, chicken pox, and I can't remember what else.

My Response: Fun as always, but I maintain that they are not as funny as the first ones. Silly silly fun though and perfect for the readathon!

Bottom Line: Kids will keep loving them. Adults might start getting tired of them! Did you know there's another coming out? :)

Let's Talk About: I seriously don't really know what to discuss regarding this book! I think middle school/junior high is crazy, but not as bad as these books make them out to be. That being said, they also strike at the truth so much! It's an interesting line between exaggeration and truth, don't' you think?

Other Reviews:

I don’t know if I’ve never really grown up or if I’m going through my second childhood, but I just love these books. From BermudaOnion's Weblog

These books never get old. From ReadingJunky's Reading Roost

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Halloween-y Books


Here's some books I think would get you in the Halloween spirit! Some of my favorite, while maybe not scary books exactly, but books with a really nice dark and creepy atmosphere.

Top Ten Good Halloween Books

1. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
2. The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
3. something by Stephen King... obviously!
4. Dracula by Bram Stoker
4. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
5. Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
6. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
8. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
9. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
10. Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn

Have you read these books? Do you agree with my atmosphere assessment?
What would be on your list? Link up over at The Broke and the Bookish!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Maus Vol. II: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman

Book: Maus Vol.II: And Here My Troubles Began by Art Spiegelman
Genre: Graphic Memoir
Rating:★★★★☆
For: Fun 
From: Bought for my daughter for school years ago

Short Synopsis: This one started where the other one ended, with our family getting thrown into Auschwitz. We are taken through all the experiences they had here, being separated, figuring out ways to see each other, using skills to his advantage and how much it helped, and sometimes hurt, all the worries about the ovens and the showers. And how it all ended.

My Response: I loved the flashing back and forth between the dad "now" as an old grandpa and dealing with his son and his wife that left and old age, and the dad as the young guy surviving in a concentration camp. The contrast is really amazing between the onery old guy and the competent and resourceful young one. Anyway, such a sad and crazy story, as they all are and once again I'm always left wondering how people made it through these things. I truly did enjoy this graphic art way to tell the story. Quite effective really, and I was surprised how well I actually enjoyed this method.

Bottom Line: Read this.. first the first one and then the second. Just do it.

Let's Talk About: The old Vladek is pretty ornery and mean. But do you blame him? How would you expect a survivor of the Holocaust to act during the rest of their days? I mean... really.

Other Reviews:

Overall, however I think this set of novels is unmatched when it comes to the history of WWII from the perspective of the common Polish Jew. I will be forever marked by it. From You've GOTTA Read This!

Spiegelman adds to the documentation of Holocaust survivors with his father's story, and in the end, makes the story even more real by including a copy of an actual photo of his father. From Bookish

Reading it reminded me of an interview I did with a holocaust survivor when I worked at a daily newspaper. I remember being shocked by how angry he was. In my naïveté I assumed he would feel only gratitude for the fact that he survived, but there are some wounds that you can never truly forgive. From Avid Reader's Musings

If you thought the first one was heart-felt and moving, wait until you get to this one. From Becky's Book Reviews


Sunday, October 26, 2014

Currently: Same Old Same Old and New Song

CURRENTLY

(written late Saturday night)

Listening: 80s favorites on Spotify! Woot! But this week I've been making a fun playlist of my favorite Zumba songs and also, I discovered that Bill Boyd (aka Pippen) has a band (Beecake) and this is so far the favorite song that I've discovered:



Watching: Same stuff as last Currently post... The Walking Dead, Survivor, Parenthood and Arrow! Sigh. TV. It's so fun and so time consuming! I need to finish the available Arrow episodes before Nano starts.

Reading: The readathon went well last week and I read three books. Now so far this week, I've read nothing. Trying to finish up Save the Cat and and Hunt for the Skinwalker. I also started The Impossible Knife of Memory, but it's not grabbing me very fast. Oh, wait. I did read Blue Lily, Lily Blue this week. It was good but so very strange!

Writing: I've been trying to finish some bits of last years Nano book so I can start on this years. And then I need to just forget about it for awhile. I'm not doing too well wrapping it up for the time being. I just open it up and stare at it. Looking forward to the Nano experience again though!

Blogging: We started a Facebook group for Bloggiesta. Come find us and join! Not much else exciting is happening with blogging. Oh, unless you count authors stalking bloggers. A crazy story indeed, but I don't plan to get all freaked out about it and stop blogging or reviewing or whatever. Oh, and by the way, I did pick a winner... KATY... for my Heir Chronicles series giveaway.. just in case you wondered!! Congratulations to her! Hopefully she'll be seeing that in her mailbox soon.

Eating: Going out too many times! It's not good for the counting calories thing. Though.. wait for it... the scale said I did finally lose three pounds! I'm afraid to get on again to confirm... I'm sure it was a fluke. I've been LOVING doing Zumba these past few weeks. Getting pretty hooked to that. Any other Zumba people out there? What's your favorite method? Live classes? Wii game? DVDs? Let me know! Anyway, doing Fitbit challenges this week with my daughter-in-law has been fun and has actually helped to keep me motivated. We'll see how if that continues!

Miscellaneous:

  • Wow.. the weather here. It's been so so nice! They say it's going to change this week. I guess we'll see.
  • I have a bunch of author events coming up! Kiersten White today, Ally Condie next week, and Shallee McArthur the week after that. I'll probably take pictures to share!
  • Well, and I guess that's all I have to report. I need to go read. Or go to bed. Or something!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

NaNoWriMo 2014: Prepping

I had a blast last year writing updates here on the blog about how my Nano experience was going. Hopefully some of you, my fellow Nano participants at least, will find it fun to follow along this year with whatever thing I feel the need to vent about. I'm thinking maybe Saturday will be a good day to blog about this as it feels like that's normally a pretty dead day around here. So we'll see how that goes.

So today, we are ONE WEEK away from November 1! Can you believe it? That means ONE WEEK to get ready! What do I need to be doing this week?


1. Finish last year's story! Yes, all year I've been going through it getting alpha reader feedback and fixing a few things but mostly figuring out the big things that need fixing. But I didn't quite get through it! And.. I never quite actually finished to the point of writing THE END. Sadly, I don't think it's going to happen this week. Sigh.

2. Figure out who my characters are in this next book. I've got an idea, and I've got a basic thought for some of their "things" but not totally. I'm hoping much of this will come when I start writing. But I need to make some more lists, especially for ideas for side characters and family situations and stuff.

3. Have some blog posts scheduled. I might do the BookBlogWriMo prompts... as featured over at Book Bumblings.  Or I could get really ahead in Top Tens. and catch up on reviews, I have a couple to write. But for the most part, I think I'll be winging the blog as I go this month. Last year I seemed to keep up okay, but we'll see.

4. Stock up on easy to make food and plan a few crock pot dinners. For the most part, my family doesn't care about dinners anymore, but still, it would make me feel better if I have a few things planned. Besides, I won't be writing very well if I'm starving.

5. Plot out a schedule of sorts. I'm usually quite the fan of doing stuff whenever it fits and not forcing a schedule, but I've recently (within the past couple of weeks) been doing tons better with the Zumba thing (I should blog about that one of these days. I want to find out who my fellow Zumba-ers are!) and I know for a fact that I'll write better if I manage to continue fitting that in. So.. how to do it? I've got to figure it out, that's all I know!

6. Research some more! My book will be set in the 80s and I want to be sure to include actual events that happened then, and so I've been making lists. But I want to feel good about those lists and like I'm not forgetting something really huge and obvious! What happened in the world during the school year of 82 to 83 (Sept 82 to May 83) that I simply can't forget? Any 80's children out there? Let me know!!

I'm sure there's more stuff, but those are the main things in my brain at the moment. Wish me luck this week with all the plans! Seriously, I'm so excited I could explode... or something.

P.S. I'm thinking I need some motivating helpers too:


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