Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year!!!


...and here's to a better year in 2011 than we had in 2010, because Lord knows my 2010 was awwwwwful!


I'm hoping that things will settle down for me this year and allow me more time to center and de-stress. I'm still grieving the loss of the friends &family who passed away, but I'm slowly coming to terms with it all. I can't believe how upside-down my life went this year *shakes head*
But I made it through and somehow I still have a hopeful soul and can't help but look forward to the possibility of happiness in 2011. 


It has also officially been 1 year since I started this blog. Now that is crazy! Time sure did fly by me, I'll tell you what. Little did I know when I named my blog that it would come to mean so much to my personal life. Books and reading other bloggers posts really were my little piece of solace when I took time for myself. Granted I didn't accomplish all the things I wanted to, and distractions kept me from really spending as much time as I wanted to here, but I'm aiming to improve in 2011. I didn't get to read as much as I would have liked, but here are the books that were my top 10 this past year. So here they are in no particular order:


 My Top 10 Books of 2010

I stumbled upon this book quite by happy accident because I don't usually read Juvenile Fic too much any more, unless it's a quick and prettily illustrated picture book to pass the time on break at work. But I swept through this one in one night! Its protagonist is a 10 year old girl with Asperger's dealing with the death of her older brother, but overall it's about fitting in, working through grief, and learning to adapt when life keeps throwing you curveballs. 

Hands-down the funniest f*cking thing I read all year! At one point I was so sad I was crying almost nonstop; so I picked this up in desperation to distract myself and started reading and couldn't help laughing out loud, even as tears were pouring down my face!lol This book will always hold a special place in my heart for that.

This is my favorite of the bunch because it surprised me in the best of ways and that doesn't happen to me too much any more. It's the most beautiful of love stories, poignant and deep. Note of warning though, it's general fiction and does have bittersweet ending, not at all HEA.


Awesome middle grade graphic novel! And there aren't many for that age group, especially for girls but Smile is really fun so I had to mention it. It's about a girl, braces, and her life in them as I'm sure you've detected. 

People seemed to either hate it or love it, but I myself really felt like Mockingjay was true to the author's story. So many YA books seem to think that a completely nice and neat HEA is the only way to do it, and I'm glad Suzanne Collins didn't do that with this trilogy. It's just a nice change of pace to get that diversity. Of course, I had my hopes on things happening differently but life isn't like that. I for one loved every bit of the Hunger Games trilogy, including this one.

Lauren Oliver is definitely an author to watch; the characters in this book had so many intriguing traits and realistic voices that I felt like I knew them. A sort of Mean girls meets Groundhog Day, it comes together in a unique way and has me excited to read anything else Lauren writes:) Her upcoming book Delirium is my next read.
Oh do I LOVE this series. Mercy Thompson and all her friends make me wish I was a part of that world,lol. This is a definite *Must Read* series.


Ok, this one is a cheat because it was published in 2009 but I read it this year and LOVED it so I had to include it. Best contemporary romance I've read so far!

I love this woman's books!lol Nalini Singh writes a steamy scene and hot hero like nobody else can, and honestly I probably shoulda put Archangel's Kiss up here too:)

Wow, I can't believe I didn't write a single review for this book, not to mention any of the whole dang series! It's seriously one of my favorites and with the cliffhanger that Richelle Mead left us with on book #4, I almost had a coronary LOL! 

So that's what stuck out for me in 2010, how bout you? Anything from 2010 you wish everybody'd read? I know some these on my list still dont have a review posted but I'll be doing so soon. Happy New Year :)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night!

May you all be blessed with Happy Holidays of lovely books, warm cups of cider & cocoa, and family/friends to curl up with this Christmas :)

 And remember....



Thursday, December 9, 2010

Oprah's Holiday Book Club Selection


I've been reading along with the Oprah Book Club off and on since it began (sometime around 1998 I think?). And since this year is her last for the show I decided to jump on board and try to squeeze in a re-read of Great Expectations and A Tale of Two Cities.(that's the plan anyway,hahaha)
The Oprah edition released by Penguin is a pretty cover and includes both books. You can get it for $20 or less, and check out the publisher's page here.

I love Charles Dickens and was shocked when Oprah mentioned she'd never read anything by him. Who doesn't read Great Expectations in high school?! It just seemed everyone had to, lol. David Copperfield is another fave I read back then, too.


His A Christmas Carol meant so much to me I put it in my Scholastic Bookprint:) Seriously, that story has everything I love: paranormal, drama, romance, family, humor, friends, Christmas, and a moral to boot! It's my kind of book. Of course, I didn't actually read it till middle school. As a kid I just watched the Mickey Mouse version and the TV specials :P  



So now I must read that for the holidays too; and how I wish I could go to dear Mr. Fezziwig's Ball *sigh*
How bout y'all? Ever read Dickens? Do you have a favorite? 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

*Winners* and there are more than 5 :D

Ok so I know I'm posting this later than I intended, but I'm making it up to y'all by picking 10 winners instead of the original stated 5!
So here they are:

  • Throughthehaze
  • A Simple Love of Reading
  • Hope
  • Kaleena
  • Joyce
  • Beth S.
  • Brooke
  • Kristen@Bookworming
  • Debbie F.
  • Marcie
Some of the emails didnt show up clearly in my form for some reason so if you're one of the 10 winners listed here and havent heard from me by email on Thursday, please email me and let me know.


 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Gobble, Gobble!


I know it's been a while since I've been able post or reply to anyone on the web, so I just wanted to make sure and wish y'all a HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

*psst* my turkey & dressing never look like this, lol
I've had a crazy week that began with losing internet access last Wednesday and then then just being so busy at work that I would come home and crash, not even stopping to watch TV or call to get my internetz fixed :-s
And now I know why I was getting so tired...I woke up at 2am Sunday night/Monday morning with the craziest sore throat pain. Theraflu and Zyrtec-D  have been lifesavers but I hate hate hate being sick! I am determined to make it to my planned Black Friday sales! Oh well, at least I did get to do something fun this past Saturday.

David Sedaris was here in town for his book Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, and I was thrilled to get the chance to go hear him speak. He told some crazy jokes and says he sort of collects them. So if he comes to your city, have a joke handy! He read from his book as well, and that was funny as hell. Even if I'd heard it before, there's nothing like hearing him tell his stories. Plus he read some of his diary entries from the tour and shared hilarious observations of some of the people he's run into thus far. I didn't get to stay for the signing because I had run over right after a long day of work and the bracelets had been given out that morning already. Mr. Sedaris though, was kind enough to say that if you stayed, you'd probably get your book signed. I, sadly, was just too tired and hot (it was packed!). If you don't know Mr. Sedaris' books I highly recommend them but insist that you listen to his audiobooks to get familiar with his voice. He has a great satiric style that comes across beautifully when he reads his own stuff and never fails to make me laugh! (His sister, by the way, is Amy Sedaris.) David is one of my favorite humorists, and I always enjoy him. Oh, and sidenote: the book is illustrated by Ian Falconer from the Olivia books :)
  

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What Are You Thankful For? Giveaway: *Outlander* by Diana Gabaldon


Here in the U.S. Thanksgiving Day is just around the corner. And though this year has been one of the toughest for me, I am thankful for many, many things. 

I am thankful for my friends, who are also my family. And even when I think no one's noticed, they do; and that makes all the difference.
I am also thankful for the opportunity to continue my studies. It's not something everyone has a chance to do, and I look forward to being a full-fledged librarian.

And I'm thankful for the good books that drop into my lap when I most need them. It's as if the universe knows a particular book(s) will resonate with me, and I run into them on purpose, and that feels amazing. And I'm thankful for the new online friends/community I've met that provide a place to share the book-love, and of course all the authors, publishers, libraries, etc that make it possible :)

And because I'm thankful for all of y'all, it's time to show the love! Especially since I received a very mysterious package this week. There was no note in the box or email about it's origins. And I don't recall ever entering a contest for it (though it's possible I forgot but I doubt it). But out of the blue a box of full of multiple copies of the same book showed up addressed to me. Remember how I mentioned the universe seeming to listen and books that resonate and seem meant to read falling into my lap at just the right time? Well here's proof:
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon is a book that I've wanted to read for awhile because I've heard so many romance readers say it's one of their all-time favorites. And at the library it's almost always checked out and consistently on the holds-list for patrons. So just when I was lamenting my lack of funds to buy myself the book (it looks too long for a slow reader like me to finish in the amount of time the library gives) this box appeared. And with more than one copy. So of course this means giveaway time! 

Just one catch: I can't afford to ship the all at the same time, especially during the holidays when I'm having to save for gift giving. So I've decided to do one giveaway of 5 of the books for Thanksgiving and then the rest for Christmas! So consider this a black friday deal, lol! Enter to win by doing just 2 simple things:
  • Fill out the form below
  • Follow blog by GFC or FB 
  • +1 Bonus! In the Comments for THIS post, tell me what you're thankful for this year?
That's it. Easy Peasy right? Happy Thanksgiving!



Contest ends November 27th at noon CST. Winners have 48 hrs to respond from time email is sent or another winner will be chosen. Open to US addresses only due to shipping cost, sorry international:(

Life Is Good Award :)

I want to thank Melissa from Books and Things for this, and she has a great book blog so definitely stop by there if you haven't yet!
 
Here is what they've asked after receiving this Award:

1. Thank and Link back to the person that gave this award.
2. Answer the survey questions mentioned below.
3. Pass it on to another 15 Blogs that are fairly new and interesting to you.
4. Contact the bloggers so they know they've been chosen. 
 
This is a great refreshing idea that will be useful and fun for blogs mentioned and blogs just beginning. The questions are a neat way to find out more about fellow blogs and discover their likes and dislikes. So without further adieu, let's continue the ongoing extravaganza! 
 
 
1. If you blog anonymously are you happy doing it that way? If you are not anonymous do you wish you had started out anonymously so you could be anonymous now?
 
Nope, not anonymous. I don't think it makes a difference but I've never tried it the other way so I don't know.
 
2. Describe one incident that shows your inner stubborn side:
 
My habit of finishing books I start reading even if I don't like them and even if it takes me forever because I hate thinking I might miss something good. A few books have done that, surprised me at the end, so now it's like a curse!lol

 
3. What do you see when you really look at yourself in the mirror?
 
Is this a trick question? lol 
I just see plain ol' me.  Maybe one day I'll look and see a supernatural creature? That would be awesome!

4. What is your favorite summer cold drink?
 
Sweet Mint Iced Tea, sitting on the porch, feeling a breeze, with the dog at my feet :)
 
5. When you take time for yourself, what do you do?

Have a movie marathon at home of films or a series I haven't seen, sleep late and read in bed, or most likely get online and read book blogs and chat with authors on their blog/twitter if I'm able to conquer my shyness a bit :)
 
6. Is there something you still want to accomplish in your life? What is it?
 
There will always be something. Right now it's finishing my grad studies that I just started and also getting an internship.


7. When you attended school, were you the class clown, the overachiever, the shy person, or always ditching?
 
Shy person.

8. If you close your eyes and want to visualize a very poignant moment of your life what would you see?
 
As in a touching moment? Hmmm....my first kiss :)


9. Is it easy for you to share your true self in your blog or are you more comfortable writing posts about other people or events?

Yeah it's easy to just be myself; I can't see the point of doing otherwise because to me blogging is about creating your own little piece of space to put your thoughts down, whether others come read it or not. It's something I do for myself, a personal thing. Though it's frikkin' awesome when others come by and comment to say "omigod I loved that book too!" or "have you read this series? It's got this really sexy vampire named Bones!" lol
 
 
Passing the buck to:



Gaby at Oh My Books!




Mrs. DeRaps at Mrs. DeRaps Reads
 
 
 

All the blogs are new to me (if not technically new in the blogosphere) that I enjoy following and listed in no particular order. Check 'em out :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

I'm Late to the Party Don...

 
But I'm damn glad I came!
 
AMC's Mad Men has been on for a while now but I'm just now getting to watch it. So far I've only seen season 1, disc 1 and there is already so much to discuss! 
 
Set in 1960's NewYork, the show begins with this explanation:
 
Mad Men.
A Term coined in the late 1950s to describe the advertising executives of  Madison Avenue.
They coined it.
 
Well hell. That is just about the best description of the show's tone, its characters, and their egos I've ever heard. It's a history lesson and drama in one, done in the most entertaining of ways with nifty fashion and an appealing cinematic feel that sucks you into the world of vodka gimlets and smoking indoors. 
 
With the exception of Don Draper, the people of this series are not yet recognizable as individuals to me this early in the show. But Don is complicated enough for now. I can't wait to see what is in store for his character.

Already I've been shocked by him calling his wife's psychiatrist to get a full rundown of her prognosis and discuss her medical records as if she were his child rather than his partner. Call me naive but it never occurred to me that this was possible in the 1960s. I mean yes, that was a long time ago but still, it's not like it was the dark ages...or so I thought. And now I'm discovering there's a LOT of details I never thought about in our history. I'm enjoying this foray into the past.



Saturday, November 6, 2010

•¸¸.•*¨*•☆ •¸¸.•*¨*•☆ •¸¸.•*¨*•☆ wishlist 110610

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where you list all the books you desperately want but haven't actually bought yet. They can be old, new or forthcoming. It's also an event that you can join in with too - Mr Linky is always at the ready for you to link your own 'On My Wishlist' post. If you want to know more click here
 
 
 
The first of the cold air has blown into town, Thanksgiving is around the corner, and all of it has me reminiscing about childhood wishlists to Jolly Ol' St. Nick. Wistfulness has inspired a rather long list :)
  Werewolf in Manhattan  
by Vicki Lewis Thompson
Reading level/Genre: Romance - Paranormal
Paperback:336 pages
Publisher: Signet Book (January 04, 2011)
Emma Gavin writes about werewolves, but that doesn't mean she believes in them-not until a pack of real-life New York weres decide to investigate the striking accuracy of her "fiction". When Aiden Wallace, son and heir of the pack leader, tries to sniff out Emma's potential informant, he discovers something even more dangerous- an undeniable attraction to her. 
(product details via goodreads.com) 

And you can read chapter 1 at Vicki's website here!

  Last Sacrifice 
by Richelle Mead
Reading level/Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal
Hardcover:496 pages
Publisher: Penguin Group (December 07, 2010)
 Murder. Love. Jealousy. And the ultimate sacrifice. Now, with Rose on trial for her life and Lissa first in line for the Royal Throne, nothing will ever be the same between them. 
 (details via goodreads.com)

River Marked
by Patricia Briggs
Reading level/Genre: Science Fiction 
Hardcover:352 pages
Publisher: Ace (January 25, 2011)
Car mechanic Mercy Thompson has always known there was something different about her, and not just the way she can make a VW engine sit up and beg. Mercy is a shapeshifter, a talent she inherited from her long-gone father. She’s never known any others of her kind. Until now.
An evil is stirring in the depths of the Columbia River—one that her father’s people may know something about. And to have any hope of surviving, Mercy and her mate, the Alpha werewolf Adam, will need their help.
 (details via goodreads.com)

 Kiss of Snow
by Nalini Singh
Reading level/Genre: Romance - Paranormal 
Paperback:304 pages
Publisher: Ace (May 31, 2011)
Hawke's story in the Psy/Changling series.
 (details via goodreads.com)

Wolfsbane
by Andrea Cremer
Reading level/Genre: Young Adult - Paranormal
Hardcover:? pages
Publisher: Philomel (July 12, 2011)
Betrayal, loss, pain, fear. How many trials can love endure and still survive? 
(details via goodreads.com)


The last two are covers just released. All of them are very much coveted by moi. So exciting!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Quick Update: Nalini's Chatting at BBB!

Hey Changling/Psy Fans :D

If you'd like to chat with Nalini Singh and have a chance to win some great prizes, head on over to her Guest Blog and Contest in celebration Play of Passion at Bitten by Books NOW!!
You can read my review here .