Sunday, February 27, 2011

And the Oscar goes to...?

So tonight is Oscar night and I'll be watching with my bestys as we chomp on pizza, chat about who's wearing what, and make a night of celebrating all the movie magic

I love movies just as much as books. It's all about the storytelling for me and the more someone does it well enough for me to lose myself in it, the better! 
I can mark time by movies I've seen and songs I've heard, so watching award shows are just another facet of that enjoyment for me. We've made a tradition, my friends and I, of spending Oscar night in, with comfy couch pillows, drinks, carbs and cheap talk, LOL! So I'm really looking forward to tonight's 83rd Academy Awards and rooting for a couple of favorite flix. I think it'll also be interesting to see James Franco and Anne Hathaway host. I hope they're funny though because one thing I need is plenty of good jokes to break up any monotony.

This year there are so many nominees for Best Picture that I didn't get to see them all yet. 
Usually I make it a point to have seen all those before the awards but I just didn't have enough time and money this year. I did manage to see all but two though, which is pretty good. I lack seeing True Grit and The Fighter but did finally manage to see Black Swan after tons of cancellations *whew*
I didn't want any spoilers so I just saw it tonight! I'm still reeling from the crazysauce that it was lol :D

In any case, I can't wait to see what film scores the little gold man in that category. They were all so good! It's rare that I'm able to say that about all the films in Best Picture category but I have enjoyed this year's picks immensely.
So happy movie watching everyone! Hope your night is as silly and fun-filled :)

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper

Happy Release Day! for:

Title: How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
Author(s): Molly Harper
Reading Level/Genre: Romance -Paranormal
Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages
Publisher: Pocket (February 22, 2011)

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf, book1 in Molly Harper's new Naked Werewolf series, is a lighthearted and funny story. There are a few serious moments but overall I'd label this more in the chick-lit genre than I would in paranormal romance. 

Mo Wenstein is a 29 year old woman trying to finally break out on her own once and for all, away from her overbearing parents that can't seem to maintain healthy boundaries. The effort lands her in Grundy,Alaska with colorful small-town characters and a werewolf boyfriend to boot. Though it starts off a little slow it picks up as Mo creates new friends as she starts becoming a true Grundy citizen. And of course when Cooper the werewolf enters the fray her life becomes a lot more quirky!

I love Harper's sense of humor and enjoy reading her books on my work and school breaks when I need a quick escape because I know I'll be dragged back to drudgery soon, and her Naked Werewolf book was perfect for that:) Mo's crazy wisecracks and the easy going narrative are exactly my favorite kind for getting my mind off stressful things and having a laugh. So if you're looking for a fun romance with good surprises and a happy ending definitely pick it up :D

Friday, February 11, 2011

GEtting GraPhic: The Night Bookmobile by Audrey Niffenegger

Title: The Night Bookmobile
Author(s): Audrey Niffenegger
Reading Level/Genre: Graphic Novel
Hardcover: 40 pages
Publisher: Abrams ComicArts (September 1, 2010)

I picked this one up because it's about a library and I saw the nice blurb by Neil Gaiman on back. Unfortunately I didn't find it at all to be a story "perfectly told".

The Night Bookmobile is the first of a larger work being titled The Library, as explained by the author in the "after words". Because of this I feel it's possible that my understanding of the story is in fact out of context until I read the completed book. But since it is published here as a single book, I also find it fair to review it based on itself alone.
About the length of a child's picture book, the story follows a woman named Alexandra from a random night in her early adult life when she comes across a mysterious and almost magical-seeming bookmobile. She becomes obsessed with it's existence, its strange librarian Mr. Openshaw, and with finding it again when she realizes its visits are inconsistent. However the story never really makes sense. We never find out why Alexandra gives up so much of her daily life to pursue this bookmobile, or share enough time with her to fully connect. 

****************************SPOILER ALERT***********************************
                                             reading beyond contains spoiler

Even so, I could have accepted all of that vague plot and thought the book strange but intriguing had the ending not included her choice at the end to commit suicide just to become a night bookmobile librarian herself. The wtf moment of that was just too insane for me. It seemed like a weak attempt to be deep without sufficient storyline and as if it glorified books over life itself at that point.
****************************SPOILER END************************************* 
On the flip side I did like the idea of everyone's life being quietly documented through the books they've read, all by librarians on the other side so to speak. Exploring the concept of books as also having the ability to become a channel for checking out of present life and losing oneself in fantasy also made sense as the darker side of loneliness and using reading to live vicariously instead. But overall I still felt this book went dark without any logic or relatable context.
So I don't it for yourself and let me know what you think. Or if you've already read it, loved it, and feel I missed something, feel free to share:) I'm really curious to hear others opinions on this one.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

New Kindle + Whispernet = BookCrazy :)

This week I have bought more books than I ever have without having a birthday or Christmas giftcard. I had a hell of a time reining myself back in. I'll share what I purchased in a bit but first let me explain where it all started... 

So after pining away for 3 years I finally got a most coveted thing, my new Kindle 3. It's the graphite wi-fi one because I doubt the 3G would actually work for me in any place I know wi-fi isn't available, like the deep woods. And honestly I like the graphite color better than white so that was cool. 

I would have gotten the Nook but several things happened:

1) I had a Target giftcard and Target sells the Kindle. I knew whatever eReader I chose, I wanted to buy it at a brick and mortar store because their merchandise generally travels in trucks rather than shipped through Fedex or UPS.  I know from several close friends that work for either those places or USPS that packages go through a ton of abuse just by the nature of process. 

At Target I would get the Kindle for $99 since I had a giftcard to pay the difference, which is a price that just sat better with me than anything over $100 ever did. Plus I would be able to look at the box and notice if I heard any rattles, AND I could return the item in person, problem free, if there happened to be issues.

2)I already had the Kindle app on my laptop and it worked for me seamlessly, unlike the B&N one. When I connected my account to the Kindle it was easy-peasy and quick as a bunny in putting all the freebie eBooks I'd been collecting right on the device. I'm a bit bummed that I can't borrow from the library too, but at this point physical books are still easier to acquire and check out from the system than the eBooks on Overdrive. That's because of funding and a still stronger demand for physical books so far; the public library system usually only buys one copy of an ebook per title. Each copy is like a physical book and you have to wait for it to be "returned". That my friends makes for a long waitlist I'm not willing to deal with. 

3) Since I tend to buy most all of my books I decided not having compatibility with Overdrive right now wasn't something I couldn't handle. Amazon usually has the best prices on books, a great selection, and bundles on series. I hate the idea of being restricted to Amazon but can upload PDFs and I think it's called ePubs(?) fine so that's been good. 

Here's some of what I bought to christian my new baby:
Beyond the Night and by Joss Ware It's only $1.99 right now(book 1 in series)
Beyond the Night
Embrace the Night Eternal by Joss Ware, also on special for $3.99 (book 2)
Embrace the Night Eternal
All Night with a Rogue by Alexandra Hawkins just $2.99 right now (book 1 in series)
All Night with a Rogue: Lords of Vice
Lords of Underworld by Gena Showalter Kindle Bundle for $9.99
Lords of the Underworld Bundle
My Wicked Enemy by Carolyn Jewel $1.99! (book 1 in series)
My Wicked Enemy
But that didn't stop me from buying regular books either; I still purchased A Werewolf in Manhattan in paperback because I love the cover and the shipping was free from B&N. I also picked up some others but I can't recall which ones at the moment....
I'm tellin' ya, I went hog crazy buying books this week and still recovering :P

Friday, February 4, 2011

Molly Harper and an Icy Inspiration! *brrr*

Did you know Pocket author Molly Harper 
(of Jane Jameson series and an author who cracks me up! seriously, follow her on FB) based her new book on a 2009 Ice Storm Experience? 

Well grab a cuppa' hot cocoa, settle in, and read on to see how her new NAKED WEREWOLF series was born one cold and wintry night:)


An ice storm. Stranded in a strange, isolated place without power. Children with an unsettling ability to win staring contests. This is how horror movies start.

Watching the news coverage as cities across the Midwest are pelted by the much-touted historic blizzard, I’m having strange sympathy pangs. In January 2009, an ice storm ripped through Kentucky, taking out power and phone lines for thousands of homes, including mine. The first night I spent camped out in my in-laws’ darkened living room with my two young children, I was sure this was just a temporary blip.  It was going to be a funny story we could tell the next winter. As in, “Remember that night we had to sleep on an air mattress in front of Grandma’s fireplace and cook on a gas grill in the garage?”

By the sixth night, I was no longer amused.

Over the next week, Kentuckians were cold, cranky and progressively ill-groomed. I returned to my dark, cold house to forage for supplies one afternoon, only to find my neighbor shaving his head in his driveway. I sincerely hoped that was related to the lack of electricity and not just a personality quirk I'd never noticed before. Neighborhood block parties have been stilted and awkward since.

But I managed to channel my cabin fever, before going the full fire-ax-through-bedroom-door and elevator-full-of-blood route. I started writing. Having recently published the Nice Girls books, a vampire romance series about an undead librarian in small-town Kentucky, I’d already decided that I wanted to write a werewolf story. And being isolated, in the dark, in an increasingly crowded, enclosed space, I decided to set the story in the frozen regions of Alaska.

While we waited for the power to come back on, I wrote about twenty pages of notes by candlelight.  What emerged was the story of Mo Wenstein, a woman who moves across the country to escape her intrusive hippie parents and make a life for herself in the remote town of Grundy, Alaska. Cantankerous neighbor Cooper has been giving Mo a hard time about her place in her new community since day one. But when Cooper stumbles onto her porch, naked, with a bear trap clamped around his ankle, she realizes there’s more to him than a surly- though attractive- surface. A series of werewolf attacks, for which Cooper may or may not be responsible, dysfunctional werewolf clan drama, and romantic hijinks ensue.

The manuscript grew over the next few months and became HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF, which is due to be released by Pocket Books on Feb. 22, wherever books are sold.  The sequel, THE ART OF SEDUCING A NAKED WEREWOLF, will follow on March 29.

So, while the encroaching claustrophobia is frustrating, make the best of your snow days. Use the milk, eggs and bread you hoarded to make French toast. Plow through the To-Be-Read pile of paperbacks on your nightstand.  Write journal entries about the sights, sounds and emotions you’re experiencing as a blizzard survivor.

You never know.  You could turn this experience into your first manuscript.


Great Advice Molly, Thanks! 
Even here in Texas we're freezing so I'd love nothing more than to curl up with Naked Werewolf right now ;)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Title: Delirium 
Author(s): Lauren Oliver
Reading Level/Genre: Young Adult
Hardcover:448 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (February 01, 2011)

From the author of Before I Fall, Delirium is a love story set in a time and place where love itself is outlawed. 17 year old Lena (short for Magdalena) is anxiously awaiting her rite of passage to become safeguarded from the deadly disease known as Amor Deliria Nervosa, aka love. People are forced at the age of 18 to go through a procedure where the brain is surgically altered to be incapable of strong emotions, attachments, and love. 

This is because society has deemed love & strong emotions to be dangerous and the catalyst for social problems like violence and hate. The solution therefore is without love, there can then be no hate, and without hate society is safe. Or so it seems...

Lena's own mother was mortally infected by the "disease", so she is hyper-aware and terrified of anything that could be a risk for it. But things change when she shocks herself and meets a boy who draws out a passion within her she never realized she had. From there her story mixes with dark adventure and incredible sacrifices that end with a bittersweet yet beautiful outcome. Overall I loved Oliver's writing and her description of the intensity of first love is perfect. Like the average teenage girl, I had a first love and it was such an intense and confusing experience, so I definitely could see how Lena's character would have a difficulty deciding between the promise of an uncomplicated life versus the chance of being hurt, tears and heartache. 

We ask ourselves all the time if it's worth putting our heart on the line. Love can at once be our greatest fear and greatest hope, and I love how well Lauren Oliver conveyed that in Delirium. It's a great YA book and I look forward to reading the next in the series for sure!

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