Thursday, October 23, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

Book: Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Genre: NF Memoir
Rating:★★★★★
For: book club
From: I read a library copy, but I have my own book too!

Short Synopsis: Louis Zamperini was a wild child... but when his brother got him into running he was able to focus his energy and he became one of the best runners ever. He went to the 1936 Olympics after only training for a couple of years. He had dreams of going back in 1940 and taking the gold. But before that could happen, WWII started and Louis enlisted and became a bombardier, flying in planes over the Pacific. One time when he was asked to go on a search for a missing plane, his own plane also went down. He, along with two other guys, survived on a raft for 47 days (well, one of the other guys didn't make it.) And then, he was captured by the Japanese and held as POW for two years. He did make it home, but he never made it back to the Olympics.

My Response: Wow, what a story! It's taken me so long to get to this one and I feel bad about that...but we've had plans for years to read it for book club and so I was waiting until that happened. It finally happened! And just in time for the movie this Christmas! I knew the story would be a pretty unbelievable one but still, I was surprised at the things this guy had to endure and am so impressed that he came out of it so well. I found it interesting that he still struggled, that it took him four years or so of crap before he could pull himself out it and live again. It's quite the inspirational story.

The writing is amazing too and I will read anything this author writes. She blows me away with her ability to take a story and make it so readable. And all with such thorough and overwhelming research. I don't know how she does it. I wonder what subject she'll be writing on next?

Bottom Line: Everyone should read this. Everyone. If you have't done it already, put it one your list!

Let's Talk About: If you HAVE read this book, what's the most amazing thing you think he had to survive? The POW stuff? The sharks? Being shot at? Starving? Disease? What's the biggest worst thing? It's hard to pick, don't you think?

Here's Louis with Angelina Jolie who directed the movie.
He died just this past July at 97 years old. 
Here's Louis the runner. 
Here's Louis going to war.
And here's Louis finally coming home, hugging his mom.
This picture makes me tear up!

Other Reviews:

Hillenbrand is a gifted author, one who carefully uncovers the essence of what it means to be human in the face of cruelty, degradation, and hopelessness. Although graphic at times, I could not stop reading this amazing book. From Caribousmom

I admit I wondered if there was some exaggeration in the book, too, but by all accounts the author did flawless research. From Books on the Brain

You will want to cheer for Louie; cry for him; fight for him; and save him. From Alison's Book Marks

What I didn't quite expect to be as emotional was the final section which focuses on his return to the States after the war is over. Those months and years where he had to get on with his life, to return to a "normal" life, his mental and emotional struggles. From Becky's Book Reviews

Here's the trailer for the movie which looks amazing and makes me weepy especially after reading the book:


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Walking Dead Discussion: S5E2 Strangers (Spoilers!)


My random and scattered thoughts on this weeks Walking Dead episode: Strangers. Beware the spoilers (though I'm actually pretty vague this go around!)  Let me know your thoughts!


It was nice for awhile, wasn't it? Sitting in the church, hanging out, laughing a little, catching a breath. But just that let us all know that it wasn't for to be!! But, did you notice baby Judith hugging up to her daddy Rick? So cute! :)


So they came upon a priest. Did he make you nervous from the very beginning? What do you think he's story is? I'm anxious to find out!


And then there was the water logged zombie scene. GROSS!!! And I thought Bob was bitten. Was he bitten? Later, he went off to cry by himself, and I was sure of it. But then, worse things happened. So, I'm still not sure what was up with the going off and crying bit.

BETH!! So Carol and Daryl go running off after a car and that's all we hear of them this episode! Seriously? You can't do that to us!

But... but... guys... YOU SHOULD HAVE KILLED THEM ALL!!! Oh man, you are going to be so sorry you didn't. GROSS GROSS and triple gross. Gareth is the new Governor.. or the worse than the governor. And I knew, I just knew that Tyreese didn't really kill that one guy. Of course he didn't!


Yes, the survivors are now worse than the zombies. This is the scary part!

What did you think?

P.S. I loved all the slow-mo in this episode. Lol.


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: I Want To Start These!


Here's a few new (ish) series that I'd like to start. If only there was time!

Top Ten Series I'd Like to Start

1. Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas
2. Splintered by A. G. Howard
3. These Broken Stars by Aime Kaufman
4. Insignia by S.J. Kincaid
5. The Young Elites by Marie Lu
6. Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch
7. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
8. Incarnate by Jodie Meadows
9. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
10. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Did I pick some good ones? Which ones should I be adding to my list? What's on your list? Check out everyone's links over at The Broke and the Bookish!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Book Review Discussion: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey

Book: The Infinite Sea by Rick Yancey
Genre: YA SciFi/Dystopian
Rating:★★★★☆
For: Fun (readathon pick)
From: bought at Amazon

Short Synopsis: (Spoilers for the first book, The 5th Wave ahead!) We pick up shortly were we left off. The kids are holed up in a hotel and wondering what happened to Evan Walker. Ringer heads off to check out some caves they've heard about and where it might be safe to stay. Things do not go well for her. Meanwhile, back at the hotel, there appears to be an intruder and all hell breaks lose. Also, there's a new weapon of sorts that the bad guys have set loose and causes even more grief for the kids.

My Response: You know, it was good, but not quite as good as the first one. Namely, I needed more Evan Walker. Because yes I totally fell in love with him during that first book! But never fear... I will tell you that he does appear! (SPOILER!) So.. if you are like me and you need him to be in the book... pick up the book! The story is told from Cassie's view, Ringer's view, and Evan's view. I think that's about it. A new guy is introduced and he's pretty fascinating too. I love this story. As I've said before, I love it when you aren't quite sure who's the good guy and the who's the bad. It's so mind bending! What a crazy world this is and I can't wait for the conclusion! Another whole year? Argh!

Bottom Line: Loved it... maybe not quite 5 stars worth, but still. Loved it. A perfect pick for powering through during the readathon.

Let's Talk About: Are you like me? Do you love to be confused on who you are rooting for? Or do you like it much more black and white and clear as a bell?

Other Reviews:

It's a middling middle after a brilliant beginning. From The Speculative Scotsman

One thing in which The Infinite Sea excelled at was plot twists and turns. From Bloody Bookaholic

I don’t know what’s happening, but I do know I love this crazy series. Rick Yancey, you simultaneously scare the crap out of me and make me swoon. From We Still Read

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon October 2014: Updates and Challenges


Hour 18 Update:

This will be me last update for the day. I plan to go to bed soon and sleep for the last six hours of the thon. It's been a fabulous day of reading around here and we've had a blast!

What I’m (we’re) reading now: I've started Lily Blue, Blue Lily. Strange little book so far and I'm not sure I'm getting it! My daughter finished Blood of Olympus, started and finished The Loser's Guide to Life and Love, and has started Under the Never Sky. Her friend finished Harry Potter #1!

How many pages read since last update: Not sure... a couple hundred?

How many pages read total: nearly 500 maybe?

Books finished since last update: Finished The Infinite Sea and Wimpy Kid #7

How many minutes/hours read since last update: several hours.. hours and hours!

What we are listening to: I put in a random CD mix... with real CDs on my real CD player. What a concept!

What we are eating: we stopped awhile back for pizza, chips and salsa. Have been snacking on the caramel popcorn I made yesterday, and candy. I feel sick!!

Distractions: the kitten continues to drive us a bit crazy... sleepy eyes are a both too, and we had some visitors awhile back which was good and needed distraction!

I took a picture of the mess we've made today:

But... where are the readers???
*************************************************

Pet Parade Challenge:




Color Cover Challenge:

We went a little crazy and did a few more than four! :)

************************************ Mid Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now? Just finished The Infinite Sea. So good!
2. How many books have you read so far? That makes two books finished. 
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Hmmm... I think maybe I'll start the Lily Blue book. (I can never remember how it goes Lily Blue Blue Lily... or Blue Lily Lily Blue!!! )
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Yes but not many. Way less than my normal readathon experiences go. Mostly just fighting the tired eyes!
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How freaking fast the day goes. I't CRAZY!

******************************
Show It Off Challenge:

I've showed it off before, but I can easily do it again... my most treasured book signing:



******************************************
Name Your Readathon Challenge:


The Infinite Sea of Impossible Memories.



Update Hour Seven:

What I’m (we’re) reading now: The Infinite Sea.... my co-readers are reading Harry Potter and The Blood of Olympus... though they have both abandoned me but will hopefully come back soon!



How many pages read since last update: 80 or so


How many pages read total: 210 ish?


Books finished since last update: none since last update!


How many minutes/hours read since last update: probably a good hour... or hour and a half


What we are listening to: I switched to some CDs which include classical, Beatles and Lord of the Rings


What we are eating: I broke out the M and M's and Kit Kats....chocolate!!

Distractions: a shower, a cat, some family members, random life

********************************
Pausing to do some mini challenges and an update!!!


SHELFIE!

Weird reading position!!!
(not me!)
HOUR FOUR UPDATE

What I’m (we’re) reading now: Finished Maus and starting The Infinite Sea... I think


How many pages read since last update: Maus II was 136 pages


How many pages read total: 136


Books finished since last update: One! Maus II

How many minutes/hours read since last update: 2 1/2 hours or so...with a few stops and starts


What we are listening to: Pandora New Age station


What we are eating: coffee cake, apple juice and a banana

Distractions: the kitty!!!


****************************************


The Readathon begins now! Here I'll post my updates and challenges and thoughts and whatever...throughout the day with the newest thing at the top. I can't wait to get started! I'm optimistic about getting a lot of reading done this time around. 

Intro Meme:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

UTAH!

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I would have to say... The Infinite Sea. Very much looking forward to that one.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

The caramel popcorn that I made yesterday and some chocolate to go with.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I've been blogging for seven and a half years. I have four kids, two married (this past year) and two still at home. My youngest is reading with me today, along with some of her friends. I plan to participate in my second NaNoWriMo also in a couple of weeks and I can't wait for that. All these blogging/bookish/writing events make me happy!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I'll be doing nothing different from all the readathon's I've already participated in. Just reading and having fun and enjoying it and without stress! I have learned to add graphic books to my pile so it feels like I'm progressing more than I normally do. :)


Friday, October 17, 2014

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon Stack

Happy Readathon Eve! I'm so excited for the readathon this time around. It appears the day is truly and totally free to read. There's nothing that I have to do tomorrow but read! I'm not sure the last time that happened!

I'm also reading with my daughter who has invited her friends to join us. I think it's going to be especially fun. Like a really readathon party. Here's hoping!

Anyway, here's my little stack of books I'd like to work on:



Maus II
the two Wimpy Kid books that I have yet to read
The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson from the Beehive list
The Infinite Sea that I'm dying to get to
And if I feel like some Kindle reading... Lily Blue, Blue Lily or Throne of Glass!

Get list, no? I think it's an awesome list!

Now, I'm off to make our readathon traditional treat... caramel popcorn! I'll Instagram (SueySays) the pictures.

See you bright and early tomorrow morning!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Walking Dead Discussion: S5E1 No Sanctuary (SPOILERS)


Back in the day when I first started blogging,  I remember doing a weekly update on one of my favorite shows... Heroes! Anyone remember and watch Heroes? There was always so much to talk about and so much to vent about, so I wrote venting/gushing posts every week.

Now that I plan to watch this season of The Walking Dead live with the world (sort of) I wonder about doing the same thing with that show. So I think I'll give it a shot and see if anyone comes to vent/gush/talk with me.

Of course, these posts will NOT be spoiler free. That's the whole point.. to talk freely about the show, so hopefully if you watch and discuss with me, you'll remember to watch first. :)

What do you think? Should we go for it?

All summer long the words "they're screwing with the wrong people" echoed in  my mind and I  was so excited to see how Rick and company would defend themselves and overcome when it seemed so impossible. I was so scared and nervous to sit down and watch this episode. I heard that the first few minutes were going to be RUTHLESS!

And they were! What did you think? Was it too much for TV? I had to hide my eyes of course. I hide my eyes a lot during this show. Hopefully that just means I'm normal.

I heard too, (probably on Talking Dead later) that our actors didn't really know what was coming with this blood letting/trough scene. And so their reactions are genuine and not necessarily acting. I love that.

Of course, all is well and they don't experience their own throat cutting! Whew! ( But sheesh, you never know, right? Because ANYONE could be killed off at ANYTIME!! So scary!)

And then Rick becomes his crazy out-of-control kill-all self and bam, they are out of there! But first, they must save people! Only, they save a bad guy! Dang.


Then, in the meantime, there's Carol. Were you not just totally cheering for her? I mean, I couldn't get out of my head what she was like that first season, and now. Wow. I loved it!

And then, meanwhile, back with the baby. (Someone mentioned her clothes and I agree... she looked a little too well dressed for a zombie apocalypse, don't you think?) And if ANYONE touches a baby like they are going to kill her... oh buddy. It is so over! Way to go Tyreese!

Watching all our heroes climbing over that fence... it was awesome. I was like... YES! But before that... seeing them wield their makeshift weapons on the walkers and the bad guys? Double yes!

What did you think about the back story of the people at Terminus? Did it make you feel for them? Did they have any sympathy from you at all? You know, this is what makes this show so great, showing exactly HOW people start doing these terrible things. It makes me so crazy to think that people could actually end up this bad. Do you think they can? Is it realistic to be showing that people can come to this level? Or the governor's level? Is that really possible?

And is it any justification that because they had their own bad moments they can then turn so brutally on others? Frankly, I don't think so. I just don't see it being at all okay.

Anyway, I think that was one of the main things we were meant to decide and think about after seeing this episode.



But... now... the best part. Daryl looks up. And there's Carol. And.. and... and...he RUNS to her! Ah, the swooniness! And then, not only do they hug forever, but once it's over, he looks at her and then puts his head on her shoulder. That killed me. I loved that so so much. And then Rick sees the baby. And Rick and Carl run to HER! So sweet. Life is happy! All reunited! On to Washington!

Except. What about Beth? And Morgan?

Great start to a great new season!  What did you think?







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