Sunday, October 14, 2012

Read-a-thon Wrap Up

Well I faded out after Hour 18 and didn't really read anything else so here are the wrap-up questions.

1.Which hour was most daunting for you?
I think the early hours of the morning because I got to a point about 1:30 am where I just couldn't read anymore. I decided to go to bed at 3 am because I had not picked up a book again so I figured why am I still awake?
2. Could you list a few high interest books you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I read a lot of YA and Middle Grade books. The adult books I read were ones that I had been wanting to read for quite some time. I didn't read any because I wasn't feeling mystery-ish but I think shorter mysteries are also very good.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon?
I think it would be nice if at about Hour 18 or Hour 20 there could be a survey to all the still active participants. Twitter was full of people saying they were going to bed.
4. What do you think worked really well during this year's Read-a-thon?
I loved all the different min-challenges.
5) How many books did you read?
6) What were the names of the books you read?
Jennings Goes to School - Anthony Buckeridge
A Ribbon of Shining Steel (Dear Canada) - Julie Lawson
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd
Seriously... I'm Kidding  - Ellen DeGeneres
The Prairie Thief - Melissa Wiley
Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures - Emma Straub
Silhouette of a Sparrow - Molly Beth Griffin
The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour - Michael Beil
7) Which book did you enjoy most?
I'm just going to go ahead and pick two because I can't pick one. "A Monster Calls" which packed quite the punch and "Silhouette of a Sparrow" because had it not been for "A Monster Calls" that would have been my favorite.
8) Which did you enjoy least?
It isn't that I didn't enjoy it but the Dear Canada book was less engaging than the others. Possibly because I had started it months ago and so I didn't reread it.
9) If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year's Cheerleaders?
Just make sure you leave lots of comments. I love comments.
10) How likely are you to participate in a Read-a-thon again? What role would you likely take next time? That depends entirely on my schedule but assuming that is not an issue then absolutely. I might even get back to blogging sometimes between Read-a-thons!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dewey's Read-a-thon Hours 13-18

Update 12:42 am: goodness am I tired. 
Currently reading : The Red Blazer Girls: The Ring of Rocamadour very slowly.

My Seryniti has Hour 17's challenge which is about challenging books. The challenge is to pick ONE that you would like to read. Actually two of the books on her list are ones I have been reading on and off for years. "Les Miserables" (seriously years for this one) and "Atlas Shrugged" which I will get to but not right now.

So the book I choose is A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin because it is not my usual sort of thing at all and I would like to read it. I don't have it so that is my excuse for not starting it tonight. Also right now I think I can manage nothing more complicated than "Spot's First Walk" which is not a challenging book!

My word is lugubrious 

: mournfulespecially : exaggeratedly or affectedly mournfullugubrious
 brooding —

Update: 10:14 pm. Hmm it seems a lot later but then it usually does when it is dark outside. 
Books read: 7
Finished: Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures. 

Books read: 6
Currently reading: Laura Lamont's Life in Pictures  - Emma Straub
Snacked on: apple juice and tortilla chips with salsa

Mid Event Survey

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
I'm doing okay. Staring at the computer screen makes my eyes much more tired than reading a book does.
2) What have you finished reading?
Jennings Goes to School, A Ribbon of Shining Steel, A Monster Calls, Seriously...I'm Kidding, The Prairie Thief and  Silhouette of a Sparrow.
3) What is your favorite read so far?
The one that I will not forget is "A Monster Calls" which was just fabulous but I really enjoyed "Silhouette of a Sparrow"
4) What about your favorite snacks?
Well I've been craving tortilla chips with salsa for several days now so those are yummy. Also really appreciating the advice about not just eating junk food because I am very much looking forward to my apple. 
5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
I really haven't yet. I think tomorrow might be dedicated to new blog finding because like I said in question 1 the computer makes my eyes tired.

Dewey's Readathon Hours 7-12

Update at 7:29 pm
Yikes I underestimated how much time I would spend NOT reading. Oh well.
Total books read: 6
Books read since last update: Silhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin - Random fun fact about me is that I hate birds. So for me to like a book which features birds is a big deal. This is a lovely well-written book and it is the coming of age story of Garnet who meets Isabella and realizes that maybe she doesn't have to have the life that she thought she did.

Okay I have been a bit of a slacker in the blog updating department which I figured would be an issue. Anyway.

Update at 4:57
Total books read: 5
Books read since last update:
Seriously...I'm Kidding - Ellen Degeneres
The Prairie Thief- Melissa Wiley - this one did not disappoint and I thought it was absolutely adorable which is good because since I "know" Melissa online she was never going to get a negative review from me.

Other things I have done. Took a nap. Went for a walk and encountered the Wrath of a Squirrel who chattered at me in Very Angry Tones until I was a safe distance. Somehow I must have disturbed him from whatever it was he was doing.

Dewey's Readathon Hours 1-6

Update 12:54:

Books Read: 3
Book finished: A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness - I was not going to do plot summaries of every book I read but this one packs quite the emotional punch. Yikes. I might have to take a little break to recover from that.
Snacks consumed: one banana
Total pages: I have no idea.

Update at 11:54 am


Books read: 1
Currently reading: A Ribbon of Shining Steel on page 120
Pages read total: 326

Update at 10:46 am

Books read: 1
Book Title: Jennings Goes to School
Number of pages: 206

Yay it is finally Readathon time! Sure enough I was right because the book that I started was "Jennings goes to School" by Anthony Buckeridge which was not in my Stack!

Introductory Questionnaire 

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

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to today?
I think I'm going to have to say Silhouette of a Sparrow by Molly Beth Griffin

3)Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Oh that's easy enough I got a Conscious Box yesterday and it was full of yummy snacks. The timing was coincidental but I'll take it.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself.
I'm a librarian/archivist with an interest in digital preservation. Also I'm addicted to Pret a Manger which unfortunately for my budged they have right near me.

5) If this is your first read-a-thon what are you most looking forward to?
Just being able to sit down and read without feeling guilty about it.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Readathon Pile

Okay I'm getting super-excited about this and I was going to post all of the books that I have yet to read but I think that it will be better if I just post the ones that I am planning on getting too. Keeping in mind that the books I read may end up not being those ones at all because I change my mind a lot and I have a lot of unread books from the library as well as from the $5 for all the books you can fit in your bag

I like to have a lot of choice in my reading material which is eclectic and perhaps why I fail at having a YA blog. Don't get me wrong, I love YA but I cannot live on one genre alone. I do not except that I will get through all the books in either pile or both piles and there are many books that are not in the pile that I might read instead but I figured I should at least try and have some method to my madness.

These piles might have been amassed sort of randomly too so that is why they are subject to change.

So anyway this is Pile 1 the Pile that I hope to get to.

No the books are not straight because really why would I do that? Anyway since you can't read them they are from bottom to top.

Travels with Zenobia: Paris to Albania by Model T Ford - Rose Wilder Lane and Helen Dore Boyleston (yes she of the Sue Barton books fame) - I am on a Rose Wilder Lane kick right now.
Once Upon a Toad - Heather Vogel Frederick
Salvage the Bones - Jesmyn Ward
The Prairie Thief - Melissa Wiley
Silhouette of a Sparrow - Molly Beth Griffin
Seriously.... I'm Kidding - Ellen DeGeneres
A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness
A Ribbon of Shining Steel - Juliet Lawson
Exiles from War - Jean Little - These two I went through a Dear Canada phase earlier this year and these are the only two that I still have.
Behold Here's Poison - Georgette Heyer
Shakespeare's Christmas - Charlaine Harris - this one I will only get to if I like the first two that are on my iPad
A Secret Rage - Charlaine Harris

The backup pile

This is a little more diverse and reflective of my reading habits.

Happier at Home  - Gretchen Rubin
The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson - I hear the sequel is out now so I am of course just getting around to this!
Looking for Transwonderland: Travels in Nigeria - Noo Saro-Wiwa - Once upon a time I wrote a thesis on oil and corruption in Nigeria. I am still interested in Nigeria.
I have Iraq in my Shoe - Gretchen Berg
One Way of Love - Gamel Woolsey
Free Land - Rose Wilder Lane
Weird Things Customers Say in Bookstores - Jen Campbell - I'm a librarian someone needs to come up with weird things patrons have said to librarians.
Picture Perfect (Commercial Breaks 2) - P.G. Kain
When Beauty Tamed the Beast - Eloisa James - also if that doesn't work I have another Eloisa James and a Julia Quinn I haven't gotten to.
Bruno's Dream - Iris Murdoch

Plus the stuff on my Kindle including Bitterblue. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Abandon a Blog?

What me? Never. Why would I do such a thing? Actually yes I did and I realized that I read way more than I write. I am not cut out for blogging or at least not blogging about one type of book. I guess I don't have to do that either but I am not sure expanding genres would help.

Anyway I am doing Dewey's Readathon this October which sounds super-fun so the blog won't be dead for a little while.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Review: The Catastrophic History of You and Me

Title: The Catastrophic History of You and Me

Author: Jess Rothenberg

Publisher: Penguin

Year: 2012

Challenge: 2012 Debut Author Challenge

Summary from  Goodreads Dying of a broken heart is just the beginning.... Welcome to forever. 

BRIE'S LIFE ENDS AT SIXTEEN: Her boyfriend tells her he doesn't love her, and the news breaks her heart—literally. 

But now that she's D&G (dead and gone), Brie is about to discover that love is way more complicated than she ever imagined. Back in Half Moon Bay, her family has begun to unravel. Her best friend has been keeping a secret about Jacob, the boy she loved and lost—and the truth behind his shattering betrayal. And then there's Patrick, Brie's mysterious new guide and resident Lost Soul . . . who just might hold the key to her forever after. 

With Patrick's help, Brie will have to pass through the five stages of grief before she's ready to move on. But how do you begin again, when your heart is still in pieces?

Thoughts:  I actually resisted picking this up because I was unsure about the contents and thought it was going to be just another sappy love story.  The story took me a little while to get into but when I did I really liked it.  Also there is a huge twist in it which I am sure that other people picked up on well before I did because I am the kind of person who remains blissfully ignorant of these sorts of things. Seriously I have seen "The Sixth Sense" and "The Usual Suspects" and picked up on nothing. It is perfectly possible that others saw the twist coming.

Brie was an interesting character and although she was flawed I really liked reading about her. There is a part of the book where she is really mean and while I don't really approve I definitely understand because I hate to admit this but I do have a vengeful side. Also there were some very touching moments, the scenes between Brie and her dog were especially touching.  

Overall I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. 

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In My Mailbox (2)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren as a way to showcase the books you got this week. Boy did I ever get books this week.

Books I bought

Pandemonium - Lauren Oliver  - I hemmed and hawed for ages over this and finally decided that if my local bookstore had it then I would buy it. They did. 
The Fault in Our Stars - John Green - This one is signed by John Green so I had to buy it. 
Little Women and Me - Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Where it Began - Ann Redisch-Stampler
Trafficked - Kim Purcell

From the Library

There are no pictures because these were inter-library loan books and have huge ugly stickers on them.

From NetGally

Okay this is the part that needs an explanation. In my non-blogging life I am a librarian. It turns out that NetGally is really supportive of librarians and approves them. I did not know this before I started requesting books so I requested more than I would have otherwise. I also just don't want anyone to think that I got the following books because of this blog.  Yes for a librarian I buy a lot of books. I know. Anyway here they are.

Horse Camp - Nicole Helget and Nate Leboutillier - a review will be coming shortly.

These next three aren't YA but I am super-excited for them. 

Paris in Love - Eloisa James 

Summer Breeze - Nancy Thayer 

That's all for this week. Although that is rather a lot I will admit. 

Also I am a sucker for books with heroines named Gabby/Gabrielle/Gabriella so if anyone knows of any do let me know. 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

REVIEW: Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters

Title: Freshman Year & Other Unnatural Disasters

Author: Meredith Zeitlin

Publisher: G Putnam's Sons

Year: 2012

Challenge 2012 Debut Author Challenge

Kelsey Finkelstein is fourteen and FRUSTRATED. Every time she tries to live up to her awesome potential, her plans are foiled – by her impossible parents, her annoying little sister, and life in general. But with her first day of high school coming up, Kelsey is positive that things are going to change. Enlisting the help of her three best friends — sweet and quiet Em, theatrical Cass, and wild JoJo — Kelsey gets ready to rebrand herself and make the kind of mark she knows is her destiny.  
From Goodreads

Thoughts:  The summary alone made me think that I would like the book and I really did. Kelsey was a fun heroine and someone that I would have loved to be friends with when I was in high school.  I like the poking fun at the glamorous lifestyle that New York teens supposedly have and that Kelsey obviously does not have. I also really liked that while on paper some of the situations that Kelsey found herself in could be described as ridiculous somehow they did work really well. Among those there were also the all too real situations that girls can get into with boys. You really do have to kiss a few frogs.

This next thing is not a complaint but rather an observation. For me as someone who hasn't been a teenager for well let's just say quite some time it seemed like there was a lot of drinking in the book especially considering that they were all 14. I'm going to fully admit here that I was a goody-two shoes at 14 so I didn't do anything exciting. Oh except dye my hair purplish-pink but that was an accident!  However I do suspect that a lot of teens do drink and it wasn't unrealistic it was just a little surprising.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Review: Past Perfect Leslie Sales

Title:  Past Perfect
Author: Leslie Sales
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Year: 2011

Summary:  All Chelsea wants to do this summer is hang out with her best friend, hone her talents as an ice cream connoisseur, and finally get over Ezra, the boy who broke her heart. But when Chelsea shows up for her summer job at Essex Historical Colonial Village (yes, really), it turns out Ezra’s working there too. Which makes moving on and forgetting Ezra a lot more complicated…even when Chelsea starts falling for someone new. Maybe Chelsea should have known better than to think that a historical reenactment village could help her escape her past. But with Ezra all too present, and her new crush seeming all too off limits, all Chelsea knows is that she’s got a lot to figure out about love. Because those who don’t learn from the past are doomed to repeat it….
From Goodreads

Thoughts: First off this gets bonus points from me just because of the setting. I love history and the idea of working in a living history village like that would be great. As for the book itself I really liked Chelsea as a character. She was unsure of herself a lot of the time and really isn't confident in her decisions at least not initially. You can see how she grows and changes.

Also the book is really funny which is always a huge plus in my book. I think that this kind of book would appeal to fans of contemporary novels and anyone with an interest in history.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

In My Mailbox (1)

First ever In My Mailbox! Well you have to start somewhere I guess!  I wasn't going to do one because I didn't think that I had gotten any even vaguely YA books this week then I remembered the Kindle books I bought. Thank goodness for sneaky Kindle purchases I guess. In My Mailbox is a weekly Meme hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren to show off the books you got this week.

So this week I bought:

Dead is the New Black - Marlene Perez.  Amazon
It was a Kindle Daily Deal but isn't anymore.
Girl in the Arena - Lise Haines Amazon
Still cheapish for the Kindle
The School with Chocolate Air - Jenifer Rubloff Amazon
I didn't win this on Library Thing but it looked so interesting I bought it.
All-of-a-Kind Family - Sydney Taylor Amazon
Okay so the last one does not count as YA nor is it even a recent book but it is wonderful. I loved it.

That's it for me for right now.

2012 Debut Author Challenge

So I think I might have failed last years's challenge although I am not ready to admit defeat yet since I did read a whole bunch of YA Lit for my YA Lit class. That's right I took a class in YA Lit which was pretty sweet actually. Anyway if at first you fail, try again so I am participating in this years' 2012 DAC hosted by Kristi at the Story Siren. There are a lot of really cool books coming out this year and I really want write reviews. Plus I have some ARCs sitting around from the aforementioned YA Lit class that I feel guilty about not reviewing. So the ones that are definite are

1)The Whole Story of Half a Girl - Veera Hiranandani Amazon / Goodreads
2)Freshmen Year and Other Unnatural Disasters - Meredith Zeitlin Amazon / Goodreads

One of those I bought and the other I got from the library and I hope both arrive next week.


Well I fail miserably at blogging. However I have decided to try again and instead of creating a brand new blog I have revived this one.

I guess I should update on the 2011 Debut Author Challenge.  Of the books listed in the previous post the only one I read was "The Great Wall of Lucy Wu" because I got distracted with a whole bunch of other things. I did end up reading a whole bunch of YA and a lot of YA debuts including "Crossed" and I think "Birthmarked" was also one? Anyway I am going to start afresh this year and hope to do better.