Saturday, August 1, 2015

Utah Book Month 2015: My Utah Authors TBR



It's finally time to kick off Utah Book Month! This month of August I plan to get caught up (ha!) on all the books by Utah authors that are laying around and need reading!

Here's a stack of physical books I hope to work on:

Blindsided by Natalie Whipple
Veil of Darkness by Greg Park
The Rule of Thoughts by James Dashner
Eleanor by Johnny Worthen
How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
Ink and Ashes by Valynne Maetani
The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson

And here's a list of some on my Kindle that would be nice to get to also:
(At least I think these people all live in Utah. Maybe they've moved. I don't know. At any rate, most of them do!)


Mania by J.R. Johansson (working on this one right now!)
Lost Without You by Annette Lyon
Rising by Holly Kelly
Mysteries of Cove: Fires of Invention by J. Scott Savage
Small Town Superhero by Cheree Alsop
Not Your Average Fairy Tale by Chantele Sedgwick
Lightning Rider y Jen Greyson
Heart of the Ocean by Heather B. Moore
Cinders by Michelle Argyle
Eternal Echoes by Angela Corbet

See how I'll never run out of Utah books to read? They just keep writing and writing and writing!

We have a link up for those of you who plan to read Utah book with us this month. It's over on the Utah Books blog, so be sure to link up if you read and review something Utah-ish this month.


And talk to us on Twitter using #UtahBooks. We'll have several chats going on during the month with different Utah authors (see picture above!) A schedule will be posted each week to announce them, (click here to see what's planned for the first week) and I'll be sure to let you know here and on Twitter too. We'd love for any and all to join us to chat with an author!

PLUS, there's a read along! I have a separate just for that info. Check it out here.

Let the reading begin!

Utah Book Month 2015: Read Along for Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan

We asked, you voted, we counted and the results are in. The winner of our first ever Utah Books Read Along is:


Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan


Such a fun book! Perfect for lazy summer days. I hope you join us. A TON of people voted for this book so I fully expect a TON of people to be reading along with us. Am I right?

The schedule for the read along is very simple and easy:

August 1 to 10: pages 1 to 183
August 11 to 20: pages 184 to end


We'll have a midpoint discussion post and a finish line discussion post. The whole thing end with an appearance by Amy herself at book club at my house. (If you read along with us and are local to the area, you are totally invited! Let me know so I can give you book club details!) We'll be chatting with Amy on Twitter (#UtahBooks) on August 10th at 7:30 p.m. Do join us to talk about the first half of the book then!

Make a blog post with your intention to join in the fun and then link it up here. That way we'll know who actually will be reading with us.


Friday, July 31, 2015

July 2015 Reading Recap



Favorite picture from July:
Our Spanish Steps selfie... cracks me up.
Celebrating the 4th of July in Rome!


Not a bad month considering the craziness going on around here. Most of these books were ones I started in June and finished in July. Here's the list:



The Duff by Kody Keplinger: Bianca is hurting, so she uses Wesley as her distraction. 

Animal Farm by George Orwell: What happens when animals take over the farm and become human like? Nothing too good, that's for sure.

This Shattered World by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner: A rebel and a soldier team up to solve the mystery of their world and stop a war.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare: Tessa is wanted by an evil Master for her shape shifting powers and the rest of the Shadow Hunters must thwart this plan.

Elevated by Elana Johnson: What happens when you get stuck in a elevator with the guy you've been avoiding for months? A massive catharsis that's what!

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch: Spring has taken over Winter and all the Winterians want is their kingdom back and their young king on the throne once again.

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang: A young Chinese American boy comes to terms with his heritage with the help of an old ancient legend.


Favorites of the month: This Shattered World, Elevated and American Born Chinese. Reviews on those last two coming soon. 


Plans for August:
  • Utah Book Month! (There'll be more detailed post on what I hope to read coming soon.)
  • Re-read Not in the Script for book club and our Utah Book Month Read Along
  • Read Eleanor by Johnny Worthen
  • Read How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr
I can't wait to get started... which is why I didn't! LOL!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Movie Review: Jurassic World

Movie: Jurassic World
Genre: Adventure
Starring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard
Rating: PG 13
My Rating: Two thumbs up

This movie came out the weekend before our big trip. And there was absolutely now time for us to go then. When we came back, I was worried we'd missed our window to see it on the big screen, but it was still here. And then, it took us two more weeks to find time to get out to it! But we finally did and I was pleased that all the buzz about it was correct.

So much fun!

What I mostly loved about it was all the nods to the original Jurassic Park. Not just the relics that they find lying about but, the actual story too. Very similar. Just bigger and badder. Sort of. I mean nothing really compares to that first one, right?


And as you all said, what's his face Chris Pratt was perfect! I'm liking him better and better! The girl, played by Bryce Dallas Howard... she was okay. But the boys, spot on. Loved them.


Anyway, do you want a fast summary? So, the park is back... the vision is pretty much what the grandpa from the first movie wanted. And they have bred some pretty ruthless cross breeds of dinosaurs in the time being. So, when one of them gets out... then lots and lots of bad stuff happens.

But what's his face saves the day! Because he is a dinosaur whisperer! And the girl, who was straight laced and stiff as a board.. she is suddenly all loose and her hair even went curly, right in the middle of all that fighting!
Pre-fighting
Post-fighting

And  of course, there's the music. Such awesome music. Even though John Williams didn't actually do this one, they left all the themes in. Perfect.

Here's the trailer:


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Utah Book Month Read Along!



One of the new things we thought would be fun to do for Utah Book Month (which starts this
weekend, by the way!) is to have a read along of a Utah Book. There are SO many to choose from! But we've narrowed it down to two debut Utah authors:

Not in the Script by Amy Finnegan

Millions of people witnessed Emma Taylor’s first kiss—a kiss that needed twelve takes and four camera angles to get right. After spending nearly all of her teen years performing on cue, Emma wonders if any part of her life is real anymore . . . particularly her relationships.

Jake Elliott’s face is on magazine ads around the world, but his lucrative modeling deals were a poor substitute for what he had to leave behind. Now acting is offering Jake everything he wants: close proximity to home; an opportunity to finally start school; and plenty of time with the smart and irresistible Emma Taylor . . . if she would just give him a chance.

When Jake takes Emma behind the scenes of his real life, she begins to see how genuine he is, but on-set relationships always end badly. Don’t they? Toss in Hollywood’s most notorious heartthrob and a resident diva who may or may not be as evil as she seems, and the production of Coyote Hills heats up in unexpected—and romantic—ways.  -- Summary from Goodreads


___________________________________________

Ink and Ashes by Valynne E. Maetani

Claire Takata has never known much about her father, who passed away when she was a little girl. But on the anniversary of his death, not long before her seventeenth birthday, she finds a mysterious letter from her deceased father, addressed to her stepfather. Claire never even knew that they had met.

Claire knows she should let it go, but she can’t shake the feeling that something’s been kept from her. In search of answers, Claire combs through anything that will give her information about her father . . . until she discovers he was a member of the yakuza, the Japanese mafia. The discovery opens a door that should have been left closed.

So begins the race to outrun his legacy as the secrets of her father’s past threaten Claire’s friends and family, newfound love, and ultimately her life. Ink and Ashes, winner of Tu Books’ New Visions Award, is a heart-stopping debut mystery that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page. -- Summary from Goodreads



And now, we'd love to know if you'd like to join us and then which one you'd like to read.

Tell us here if you'd like to join the read along:




And tell us here which one you'd like to read:







We'll break the book up into sections and have some discussions along the way, both on our blogs and on Twitter. We'll let you know the schedule as soon as we know which book is chosen. If you've joined us for a read along before, you know it's always a blast! We'd love to have you! Stay tuned for more info!


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds



Which characters love books as much as we do? That's the question of the day over at The Broke and the Bookish. I thought of a few. I wish I could think of more guy book nerds. I know they're out there!

Top Ten Book Nerd Characters


1. Francie from A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
2. Liesel from The Book Thief
3. Belle from Beauty and the Beast (or one of the many variations of this story)
4. Jo from Little Women
5. Hermione from Harry Potter
6. Kvothe from The Name of the Wind
7. Helen from 84, Charring Cross Road
8. Hazel Grace from The Fault in Our Stars
9. Anne from Anne of Green Gables
10. Jess and Rory from Gilmore Girls.... oh wait. Oops.

I'm sad I couldn't think of more guy book nerd characters. Who am I forgetting???

Who's on your list? Link up over at The Broke and the Bookish!


Monday, July 27, 2015

Book Review Discussion: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare

Book: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Genre: YA Fantasy (Steampunk)
Rating:★★★☆☆
For: Fun
From: own stash... bought some time ago and I forget where

Short Synopsis: Set in the same world as the City of Bones books but earlier in time, this book is about a group of Shadow Hunters who take in a girl named Tessa. This girl appears to have some pretty rad shape shifting powers and it also appears she's wanted for those powers by some high up dude who is determined to get her. It's the mission of our people to stop this from happening and find out who he is. And to hopefully not die in the process.

My Response: I felt the same way about this book as I have with the other series (of which I've only read two) and that is.. . it alternates between being a bit on the boring side to a crazy intense. Boring for awhile, then intense, then boring, then intense. Hmm... so that makes it so hard to analyze and rate and all that. Anyway. I mostly enjoyed it. And I am curious about what'll happen next. I was expecting Will to be a much more swoony boy, but he was really just not that nice. I expect there's something in his background that might explain this, but we have yet to learn that from this first book. So, not sure what's up with that. But since I have the next books on my shelf, I imagine I'll read them some day!

Bottom Line: Interesting stuff, but sometimes it gets bogged down with all the world building and explanations.

Let's Talk About: I find it so interesting that some books can have awesome worlds and magic system sand yet you don't once feel like that author is stopping everything to explain them to you. And then sometimes there are books where it feels like a complete pause in the story just to explain. And I imagine that we as readers will find some one way and some another and won't agree which is which. Fascinating.

Other Reviews:

All-in-all there are more than enough intrigues and unanswered questions in Clockwork Angel in hold a reader’s interest in the Infernal Devices and the next part of Tessa and Will’s story. From Love Vampires

In short, Will's all reckless and daring and has issues with authority as well as some MAJOR ISSUES with LIFE IN GENERAL for as-yet unknown reasons, but he and Tessa also share an immediate lurrrve that he won't admit. From Bookshelves of Doom

This new series stands on it’s own and delves into a new world of machines while keeping it’s feet dangling in the pools of paranormal. From There's a Book

There’s so much conflict with good vs. evil and with the angst between the characters’ relationships in the story. I really enjoy the worlds and stories she creates. From Jenni Elyse


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