Monday, August 29, 2011

Hunger Games Teaser Makes Debut

So last night on the MTV VMAs the trailer for The Hunger Games was premiered! 
If you haven't seen it, here it is:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Eddie Vedder's Ukulele Songs

I recently heard Eddie Vedder's performance of Without You on Letterman and the sweet sound of it prompted me to download Ukulele Songs
I'm smitten with the lullaby feel this album has!  
I never did really listen to Pearl Jam but this is completely different sound; his voice is soothing and lyrical in this, and its hauntingly beautiful melodies are what's sticking with me lately. Especially the little duet You Belong to Me :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Rogue by Rachel Vincent (Shifters #2)

 Title: Rogue (Shifters, book 2)

Author(s): Rachel Vincent
Reading Level/Genre: Fiction -Paranormal
Paperback:400 pages
ISBN: 9780778329145
Publisher: Mira (February 1, 2010)

Ms Vincent, I am an idiot! LOL I almost didn't see how fantastic and awesome your Shifters series is and that would have sucKed!! Thank goodness there are other readers and bloggers out there that saved me from doing that because I am well and truly hooked on your books now:D I just finished reading Rogue and by the time I was on chapter 5 I was wondering how I ever felt so "meh" about Faythe, Marc, and all the other Pride peeps. 

Faythe has won me over and I guess because I started out as not a fan, I love her that much more now that her story has drawn me in so deep. I find her relationship with her father and mother so interesting to watch as she works at building autonomy while balancing it with interdependance necessary for a shifter in a pack. It's something that definitely affects her fear of commitment to Marc too. I love Marc but just when I feel like Faythe is being dumb for not committing to him he does something over-the-top that makes me say, "well damn Faythe, you are right". 

Then there's the details of the series itself: when I read book 1 I didn't expect some of the smallest details to turn into important leads in this book. I've been so used to the routine of reading series that I thought I pretty much knew exactly what was coming but Rogue did a great job of surprising me with a couple things and I liked that. Now I can't wait to read book 3 but since I'm short on cash I have to suffer and wait my turn for it through the library! lol  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

•¸¸.•*¨*•☆ •¸¸.•*¨*•☆wishlist 08•20•2011

On My Wishlist is a fun weekly event hosted by Book Chick City and runs every Saturday. It's where we list all the books we 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.

Reading level/Genre: Biography-Humor

Hardcover: 277 pages 

Publisher: Reagan Arthur/Little, Brown and Company; 

(April 5, 2011)

Summary (via goodreads):
In her acceptance speech for Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Tina Fey announced that she was proud to make her home in "the 'not-real America'." It is perhaps that healthy sense of incongruity that makes the head writer, executive producer, and star of NBC's Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock such a cogent observer of the contemporary scene. Bossypants, her entertaining new memoir, shows that strangeness has been her constant companion. Fey's stories about her childhood in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania are only appetizers for LOL forays into her college disasters, honeymoon catastrophes, and Saturday Night Live shenanigans. Most funny read of the month; the best possible weekend update.

I think Tina Fey is one genius of a comedian and I've been meaning to get her book, Bossypants. I love her SNL skits and even her interviews are funny. I especially like when she collaborates with Amy Poehler:)

 Reading level/Genre: YA - Horror
Hardcover: 277 pages 

Publisher: Quirk Publishing - June 7, 2011

Summary (via goodreads):
A mysterious island.
An abandoned orphanage.

A strange collection of very curious photographs.

It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows.

Author Danny Marks sold me on this one, after talking about how creepy and awesome weird this book by Ransom Riggs is. Ransom Riggs is the same guy who posted this popular Youtube short and also the guy that did the book trailer for Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters (which I loved!) a couple years ago. Here's the vid for Miss Peregrine's:

Gah! no matter what I do I cant friggin' get this thing to embed so it's just the link, sorry.
Blogger has been weird ever since it changed a couple weeks ago :-/

Friday, August 19, 2011

Stray by Rachel Vincent

Author(s): Rachel Vincent
Reading Level/Genre: Fiction -Paranormal
Paperback:400 pages
ISBN: 9780778329077
Publisher: Mira (April 1, 2010)

When I started this book it took me quite a while to really get into it. A lot of that had to do with the main character, Faythe Sanders. Faythe is a grad student in a Texas college with no desire to deal with her werecat family. 
Tired of familial obligations and lack of privacy, she does everything she can think of to put off the inevitable issues having such a background entails. But in trying to do so she can be really immature, spoiled, and in many scenes downright unlikeable. I found Faythe's attitude to be a turnoff in the beginning but other characters (like her brothers and extended family) kept me fascinated. 
I also didn't want to stop reading because so many people have sworn this series gets so much better as it goes on. Once I got toward the end of this book I started to believe them too. I began to really enjoy the journey and understand the trials Faythe endures, and how they change her. There's some good action, interesting plot twists, and a romantic lead that really grabbed my interest enough to make me want to continue the series and grab book 2.  

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Monster Review-a-thon Mini Challenges #4

Mini Challenge #4:
Well challenge numero quattro is to work on updating review lists. bout I didn't even know what a review list is! LOL ::blushes::
If I've got it right though it's basically a page listing all the reviews you've done. Usually they seem to be organized by titles in alphabetical order. I've gotta be honest, I'm not too keen on creating one. It's a lot of work to do and there's no way I'd get it done within the week that this challenge consists of since I'd be creating it completely seeing as I've never had one:P So this is a "skip" for me right now.

Monster Review-a-thon Mini Challenges #3

Mini Challenge #3:
So I thought about how I could work on setting up future review posts and realized I had a ton of picture books that I read recently and really liked but hadn't even so much as "starred" them on goodreads. I used one to try out a basic review here yesterday, and figure it might be nice to post about the others too. I've set those up and they will be coming soon here and there between other posts.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton

Title: Shark vs. Train
Author(s): Chris Barton, Illustrated by Tom Lichtenheld
Reading Level/Genre: Children's Picturebook
Hardcover:40 pages
ISBN: 9780316007627
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers(April 1, 2010)

A while back I was lucky enough to attend an event here in town where the author read the book, talked about the creation process, and even shared some of the rejected illustrations. It was a funny story and I have to say I loved it! It's totally the kind of book I would have begged to have read to me over and over as a small child. For some reason I've always loved trains and to read about one that competes with a shark just makes good kid sense,LOL. 

Basically two boys pick toys to play with: one picks a shark and one picks a train. And of course, being little boys, the ordinary act becomes a competition to see who is better. Is it Shark or is it Train? 

Train can win a lemonade sale. But Shark can get the most Halloween candy. Both can do some things the other can't, and both can't do some things very well that the other can. But the fun is the challenge, and in imagining all the silly ways a shark and a train can compete with each other. They learn that while everybody has their strengths and their weaknesses, it matters what you make of it. It's a great book, especially for boys!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Monster Review-a-thon Mini Challenge #2

Cross-posting Your Reviews
Thanks to Kristen and Kate at The Book Monsters for hosting this Review-a-thon Challenge! You can participate even if you don't blog but review books on a social network like goodreads, so check it out:) 

Challenge #2 is to catch up on cross-posting your reviews on all the various reader social networks and sites like goodreads, Amazon, LibraryThing, etc.
Luckily this is not something I am behind on. Last summer I made the effort to get all my social book networks synched up and have been on the ball!

Actually there is one exception: Amazon. Unless you received an advance copy of the book through their Amazon Vine™ review program, no one can post a review on the site for a book until after it's release. So for any of the ARCs I've read and reviewed I have yet to post those on Amazon for that reason.

Monster Review-a-thon Mini Challenge #1

Rethinking Your Review Format
Thanks to Kristen and Kate at The Book Monsters for hosting this Review-a-thon Challenge! It came at a good time for me, so I've been inspired to tweak here and there on my blog. You can participate even if you don't blog but review books on a social network like goodreads, so check it out:) 

1. Are you happy with your review format currently?
Pretty much. 
I sometimes wish I could just do a brief opinion post with a quick # rating like I do sometimes on goodreads, but I feel like that would be too flimsy for a blog post...though it's possible I might try something like that with tumbler someday. I find the brevity of tumbler very appealing.

2. Scrutinize it a little more, maybe compare it to other blogs you like, anything you think you might change?
Like you guys mentioned, I've always liked the idea of adding quotes or passages to the reviews too. Many times I've wanted to showcase a favorite part, or hook other readers to a book I adored with a great line from it, but I've been reticent to do so because I'm not sure of the rules. I think I heard somewhere that due to copyright you could only post a certain percentage of the book total or have some kind of permission from the publisher or something? Anyone know?    

3. Implement some basic changes and tell us what you think. Or, you can tell us one or two aspects of your reviews that you like.
The major thing I've always focused on in my reviews is no spoilers. I HATE spoilers. So I try to write the kind of reviews I myself would like to read: brief and to the point, highlighting what it's about without giving away the whole story, and doing it only for books I enjoyed. Or if I didn't really like them but I felt it was still worth reading, or that it was a book that needed discussion by virtue of its theme or something, then I might post something, but otherwise it'd be a waste of my time to give any more focus to something I absolutely disliked. I generally just keep it simple and mark a 1-star rating on goodreads and move on for those.

The main change so far is adding the thank you line when I've received a review copy from NetGalley, GalleyGrab, or the publisher/author directly. I don't know why it didn't occur to me that I could do this before! ::smacks head:: But I like being able to show that simple thanks, because I really appreciate their effort. If I bought it myself or checked it out from the library I don't see any reason to add that so I probably won't. Hmmm....actually, that's how it started that it never occurred to me to include a line of thanks previously because all the books I reviewed when I began blogging were purchases and library books only. Wow, I figured it out lol

Sunday, August 7, 2011

ASHFALL by Mike Mullin!

Title: Ashfall
Author(s): Mike Mullin
Reading Level/Genre: Young Adult - Science Fiction/Fantasy
Hardcover: 466 pages
ISBN: 9781933718552
Publisher: Tanglewood Press (October 11, 2011) 

Ashfall is hands-down the best book I’ve read this summer. I’m a fan of dystopian YA and love it when one of them really pulls me into the story so far that I can’t think of anything else. From the very first paragraph, I made an instant emotional connection as Alex (the main character) explains how he can recall exactly where he was and what he was doing “that Friday” in just the same way his parent’s recall 9/11. From that moment the book grabbed me by the gizzard and didn’t let go! 

What first drew me to the story was that the natural disaster that causes the calamity is something entirely possible: an eruption of the underlying supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park. I’ve seen the Discovery Channel and History Channel supervolcano programs and frankly, they scared the tar outta me! So of course I couldn’t get enough of the intense details that Mike Mullin wove into Ashfall. And he doesn’t disappoint.

Alex is fifteen and home alone in Cedar Falls, Iowa for the weekend while his parents and younger sister visit his uncle’s farm in the next town of Warren, Illinois. His world turns upside down in a matter of minutes when it happens and though his town is more than 1100 miles away, the effects of the eruption are so catastrophic that he is forced to deal with nightmarish conditions while journeying to get to his family. Along the way he meets Darla, and together they work toward survival and the safety of friends and family. But their trudge through ashfallen Iowa is insane! With lots of action, scary but truly possible scenarios, and realistic relationships, Ashfall is a one kick-ass dystopian YA book!

You’ll definitely wanna buy/preorder this one. Go to to read the first chapters on Mike’s website:D

Special Thanks to NetGalley and Tanglewood Press for the opportunity to read the eARC

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Kindlegraph! The Ebook Autograph

  So last week I was reading Karen Ranney's newsletter and she had one of the best things I've seen yet! I haven't seen anything like it for nook, but basically kindle has come up with a way for all of us peeps who buy ebooks to still have an author's signature/personalization. 

I don't know about y'all but I ♥ this! Especially since I live in a tiny apartment and move a lot. It's made me give away all my paperbacks and mass markets little by little as I slowly replace them with e-copies. Moving with a ton of books in hardcopy is a b*tch, lemme tell you.

I hope to see how nook and kobo work this in too, seeing as how I have a nook. Has anyone tried it and had an author sign their kindle copy via kindlegraph? I'd love to know how it looks for ya.