Posts Categorized: Books

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

September 15, 2014 Books, Meme 10

So, in this first post with my new blogging sensibilities, I’m going old school. So no graphics. This is like my early years of blogging, like, almost 10 years ago! It feels SO GOOD. Seriously, making pretty pictures can stress me out.

So, y’all. As I contemplated all the things this weekend, I also did a bit of reading. You see, I went to the library for the FIRST TIME since CHRISTMAS last year and got some books. Which means I got graphic novels. So, when I finally finished Will Storr vs. the Supernatural, which was great, perfect RIP read, highly recommended, and yes he comes to a conclusion, no I’m not telling you what it was, I went on a mini-graphic novel binge. I read, in quick succession: BLUFFTON by Matt Phelan (OMG I LOVE HIM), BATTLING BOY by Paul Pope, and ROBOT DREAMS by Sara Varon. Bluffton was exactly what I expect from Matt Phelan, which is a touching story with AMAZING art. Battling Boy was a great story, and not so great art. Sorry, just not a fan of the art. Robot Dreams was absolutely charming and now I want to read everything Sara Varon does. Just like Matt Phelan. Did I mention I love him?

I love him.

In other readings, I’m still working through the book on childhood anxiety. But in other news, I think I figured out part of the girl’s problem. Her best friend moved a couple hours away and she was missing her! She didn’t even realize it, until I set her up with texting on her Touch. Now they are talking all the time again and she has been so much more like her old self. You can imagine my relief.

Since I finished the Will Storr, I need another RIP book. I haven’t figured out what that book is yet.

In the meantime, I started a book of short stories by Neil Gaiman; Smoke & Mirrors. The first story, hidden in the introduction is a brilliant play on The Picture of Dorian Gray and marriage. I LOVED IT. I love him. Come to think of it, this might fit in the RIP parameters…. Hm….

Now that A More Diverse Universe has started (YAY!!!!), I plan to start a book by a person of color. Like, as soon as I get off the computer. I will report back on that later.

How was your weekend? What are you reading this week?

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Hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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How Do You Solve a Problem Like Blogger Burnout?

September 14, 2014 Books 14

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Firstly, I want to thank everyone who took the time to comment, email, and otherwise comfort a very high strung Heather last week. Your words meant the world to me and reinforced what I needed to know where true; I can’t leave this community. Not for a minute. And thank you to all of those who wrote posts on the virus that seems to be spreading throughout the book bloggerdom, especially Amanda at Fig and Thistle, Andi and Estella’s Revenge,  and Shannon from River City Reading.

So this leaves me with some work to do, which is, mainly, figure out how to make this work. I’m afraid if I take a hiatus to figure out my schedules, my schedules might wind up not finding the time to write. So, I have to lay a few ground rules. These is my plans:

1) Find the time in unusual places. Write in unusual ways.

1a) Get your butt up earlier in the morning. I may feel boa-constricted by routine (yuck), but I have to give it a try.

1b) Post whenever a post is ready. Quit worrying about making that special midnight post time. If the post is for Tuesday and it’s not ready until 3:00, go ahead and post it. Or like right now, at 8:10 on Sunday night.

1c) Go back to pen and paper. I used to write up a lot of my posts before I typed them up. This worked well. I don’t know why it fell to the wayside. There is now a notebook and a few pens in my reading spot. Note takings have already begun.

TWO) Stop stressing if a review book gets read and/or written up or not. I just can’t deal. It literally crashes my reading.

3) Stop trying to follow a formula. I just can’t write that way and shouldn’t have to. I’m gonna write from the heart, damn the consequences. Write for myself and hope everyone else, how ever many there may be, enjoys it.

D) FREE RANGE READING. It rules, yo. If it ain’t catching on, I WILL throw it at the wall. Figuratively, of course. Well, unless it deserves it. I’m looking at you Beatrice and Virgil.

and 5) Embrace the blogging and freaking have fun.

OH, and SIX. STOP CHECKING THE STATS.

So, sorry y’all. Yer stuck wif me. And thank you again, from the bottom of my anxiety-ridden heart for the love and support. And thanks for sticking with me on this journey.

Photo credit: Flickr

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The Brain Needs to Purge

September 10, 2014 Books 18

I have so many thoughts going around in my head, whenever I sit down at my computer. I hardly know where to begin. I know earlier in the week, I sounded hopeful that I would adjust to my new schedule, that I would find the time to blog, and things would go on like they were.

And then I find myself wondering what’s the point. I can’t find the time to blog. I can’t find the time to read. And I find myself without the interest in much of anything to do with the computer, blogging, or read. I can’t seem to find The Sparrow interesting, NOT for lack of trying. Tiny Beautiful Things only holds my attention for about 1 story. I’m enjoying Will Storr vs. the Supernatural, yet here I am, as I have been for a couple of hours, goofing off on the internets instead of reading.

What gives?

I can’t decide if it’s the beginnings of a slump, dissatisfaction with what I’m reading, or just a general life malaise.

And now, after Andi’s post yesterday, I almost didn’t even write this up. Because I can’t even find it in me to blog. I have two half-reviews written and I didn’t care to finish them up. Because who cares. No one reads them. My hits have plunged in the last few years. I do good to break 100 hits a day now. I’m boring. Blogging is boring. I don’t want reading to become boring too.

I’m not sure where this train of thought is leading. That’s a lie. Yes, I do. It sounds like I want to quit, doesn’t it?

I don’t really want to quit. But I’m not sure I want to keep going the way I’m going. And no, I’m not looking for comments. I just needed to get this out. See, even at this point, I wonder what is the point in posting even this? Does anyone even care? I may NOT even post this, but just for the moment, let my brain purge, because it needs to. It needs to find the reason, the desire, the POINT, of continuing on. I know I would miss it. I know I would still read other blogs.

Maybe I just need a break.

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

September 8, 2014 Books, Meme 13

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Y’all. It’s another one of those days. I have to check the ole Goodreads to see what I’m reading because I HAVE NO IDEA.

And I totally just typed that is DIEA.

So, what am I reading? The one book I know for sure, because it’s the one I’ve been concentrating on, is Will Storr vs. the Supernatural by Will Storr. It’s pretty interesting. This guy, Will Storr, decides to investigate ghosts and the supernatural and decide for himself if it is real or not. He’s British, so he’s interviewing all the ghost societies and such. It’s obviously for RIP IX.

I just started listening to The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell for Trish’s read along yesterday. I haven’t gotten very far into it yet, but I’ve made it farther than I’ve ever made it while trying to read it. So, progress! I finished Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon Friday and OMG it was so creepy and good.

I’m still working through the book The Opposite of Worry: The Playful Parents Approach to Childhood Anxiety and Fear by Lawrence Cohen. As someone who has had lifelong anxiety and fear issues, you’d think I’d know how to handle this. Of course, I honestly never thought I would have to. I thought my issues were a result of my early childhood experiences. My daughter has had a much more stable and relatively calm life compared to mine. It’s looking like this may be a hereditary thing, as she’s starting to exhibit all the same symptoms I have. Will that dreaded P word coming on (PUBERTY!! AHHHH!!!!), I’m afraid this is the tip of the iceberg. This book has been great though, and we’re making progress on helping her learn how to control and deal with these feelings. Score one for Mama!

Lastly, I’m still working through Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. I can only read a couple letters at a time, because most just break my heart. Talk about giving yourself fear and anxiety! Reading this book could do it!

On tap for me: getting into The House on Haunted Hill by Shirley Jackson more, some more nonfiction (not sure what yet), and gearing up for A More Diversiverse soon! I also really want to read The Shadow Hero by Gene Luan Yang and Sonny Liew before I have to take it back to the library.

On a more personal front, MY BABY TURNS SEVEN ON WEDNESDAY. SEVEN. We had his birthday party on Sunday and it was a blast. A Pokemon blast. He had a ball. The new job is going swimmingly. I love it. I seriously love it. I’m learning new stuff everyday and it’s FUN. Yes, FUN! I’m still working out how to blog more with less free time, obviously. Posting will be sporadic until I figure it out. :(

What are you reading this week? Tell me what’s good!

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Hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

September 1, 2014 Books, Meme 7

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Happy Labor Day and the Unofficial Ending of Summer!!!

I know some are sad to see Summer end, but Fall is my FAVORITE. Plus, I’m ready for the humidity to take a freaking hike already.

I had high hopes to read and do laundry all day (bet you can’t guess which one excites me more) but the kids came up with a Family Game Day, so I have to judge that. I still hope to do some of the reading though. Heck, I’ve already read Lumberjanes #5, so I’m doing pretty good on the reading front! This week, I’m also reading a book on anxiety in children called The Opposite of Worry by Lawrence Cohen (research for the daughter, who is having some issues), Will Storr vs. The Supernatural: One Man’s Search for the Truth About Ghosts by Will Storr (I found it while cleaning up yesterday!), still dipping in and out of Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed, and I started listening to Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. MY RIP IX is in full swing!

Edit: I totally forgot I started The Haunting of Hill House this weekend! Doh!

Whew! I think I have enough on MY plate! What are you reading this week?

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Hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril IX

August 31, 2014 Books 7

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At last. Here it is. The air is not yet crisp here. The leaves are still green. I can’t pull out the sweaters and the boots, the soups and hot chocolates. Yet the Reader’s Imbibing Peril event, better known as RIP, brings with it the promise of my favorite season and of thrilling, terrifying, and strangely comforting, reading. I can’t believe that RIP is IX, and I can’t believe I’ve participated all IX times. As always, a huge shoutout to Carl, from Stainless Steel Droppings, for putting on another event. It would not be the start of fall without it.

I am excited to get started today.

My first read will be the read along that Andi and I are hosting on The Estella Society:

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I started it this morning. I sort of began live-Instagramming it also. I just couldn’t help it, so sorry for the spam if you follow me, but I was just so darn excited.

Since I’m taking part in Peril the First, I will read four books from the designated categories:

Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.

Some of my potential picks are:

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Dark Souls by Paula Morris
The Witch’s Daughter by Paula Brackston
Frankenstein by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe
The Boneshaker by Kate Milford
The Silent Land by Graham Joyce
The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero
White is for Witching by Helen Oyeymi
The Removers by Andrew Meredith

And my now annual reread of Dracula by Bram Stoker. I bought a fantastic edition in Texas when I visited Andi in March and I’ve been holding on to it for just this occasion.

I also want to attempt Peril of the Short Story, in which I hope to read lots of short stories. I will pick from these two collections:

American Supernatural Tales by S. T. Joshi
Haunted Castles by Ray Russell

Do you have plans to participate? What are you reading? Do you have any books to recommend?

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Monthly Wrap Up – August 2014

August 30, 2014 Books, Monthly Wrap Up 5

SHUT UP. August is over? What the heck? Where did that go?

August was such a big month for me! I left the job I’ve pretty much had for the last 14 years for something new, exciting, and scary. Don’t worry, so far I’m loving my job at the university, but everything new comes with a bit of anxiety. August brought the start of school (THANK YOU GOD) and 5th graderness and 1st graderness. And one very irritable boy. He does not do well with changes in routines.

And, August brought reading craziness. Let’s see. What exactly DID I finish in August?

71. Spoiled Brats: Stories by Simon Rich
72. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg
73. Blood of My Blood: Jasper Dent #3 by Barry Lyga
74. East of Eden by John Steinbeck, read by Richard Poe
75. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, read by Stephen Fry
76. Lumberjanes #1 by Noelle Stevenson
77. Lumberjanes #2 by Noelle Stevenson
78. Lumberjanes #3 by Noelle Stevenson
79. Lumberjanes #4 by Noelle Stevenson
80. Displacement by Lucy Knisley
81. Sweetness #9 by Stephan Eirik Clark
82. Sweet Tooth #1: Out of the Woods by Jeff Lemire
83. Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, read by Lauren Fortgang

HOL-E-E COW. Course, a good bit of that is comics and graphic novels, but STILL. I think I had a fantastic August myself. Favorites include Spoiled Brats, The Paper Magician, Blood of My…oh, who am I kidding. Everything was awesome

On the plate for September:

I’m reading The Sparrow with Trish for her readalong.

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There’s A More Diverse Universe with Aarti mid month.

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And then OF COURSE, there is RIP IX (more on that soon) and the Estella Society’s reading The Haunting of Hill House! OMG, September, you will be so busy! I love it!

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How was your August? What’s on tap for September? Are you joining in any of these bookish shenanigans?

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Top Ten Tuesday – Books. Gotta Have Them. Need them RIGHT NOW.

August 26, 2014 Books 9

I have to limit myself to ten???? Okay…here goes! Sorry for the stripped down post, but, you know, TIME!

The Angel Maker by Stefan Brijs – OMG what a creepy cover.

Gretel and the Dark by Eliza Granville – I must have the jones for reading creepiness.

The Witch: and other tales re-told by Jean Thompson – Seriously.

Vixen by Rosie Garland – I don’t even remember why I want to read this one, I JUST MUST HAVE IT.

A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from my Kitchen Table by Molly Wizenberg – I just love her.

The Graveyard Book, all three graphic novels by Neil Gaiman – BECAUSE IT’S MY MOST FAVORITE BOOK EVER AND IT’S NOW A GRAPHIC NOVEL??????

The Slow Regard of Silent Things by Patrick Rothfuss – the man? That title? That whole world? Finding out more about AURI? YES PLEASE.

The Paying Guests by Sarah Waters – BECAUSE I LOVE HER.

The rumored new Tiffany Aching by Terry Pratchett – Because it’s more Tiffany Aching????

The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness – Such a long wait!!!!!! T.T

That’s my top ten must have RIGHT NOW of right now, because it could change in 5 minutes. What are you looking forward to?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week?

August 25, 2014 Books, Meme 5

Ho! Hey! It’s Monday! Again! And I’m here to report on my reading adventures for the week!

So, I don’t know if you heard, but I started a new job last week. There were a couple of hang ups and I didn’t get to start until Thursday. So, what did I do in the meantime?

I wish I could say it was read! You know, cause, BOUT OF BOOKS 11!!!

And I did set out too. But I picked two difficult books and, well, I felt guilty sitting on my tail at home, not getting PAID, doing nothing. So, yeah, I did other things like CLEAN and COOK and stuff. By the time I got to work Thursday, I hadn’t finished one book.

Then I finished Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and dude, it was like someone flipped a switch. I couldn’t get enough words, sentences, stories!! Only problem was, I wanted them FAST and I didn’t have the TIME. What does a girl do when that happens?

She turns to graphic novels!

And boy, did I turn to graphic novels. I read: Lumberjanes 1-4 by Noelle Stevenson, Displacement by Lucy Knisley, and Sweet Tooth by Jeff Lemire. These helped me get through Sweetness #9 because DUDE. I was JUST FEELING THE SWEETNESS. I’m almost 99.9% sure it was me, not the book. I just have that little 0.1% feeling that maybe it wasn’t. I need other opinions. And time to think on it.

So, what am I reading NOW? I’m still chugging through Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed. I can only take it at bits at a time because if I didn’t my heart would explode. I’m listening to Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys, which the only thing I can say to that is what the HECK took me so long? And, well, I’m still looking for a third book. I started Isla and the Happily Ever After because I’ve been waiting FOREVER for it and yeah, I think it’s my third book. I just decided.

Obviously, my posting is going to be a bit sporadic and weird until I get this new job and free time thing figured out. HOPEFULLY I won’t be posting at the end of the day a lot. *sigh* We’ll see.

So, what are you reading? What’s good up in your world?

Happy Reading!

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Hosted weekly by super-awesome Sheila from BookJourney.

 

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East of Eden by John Steinbeck, read by Richard Poe

August 23, 2014 Books, Reading Challenges 1

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I missed the second check in because I was behind, so I’m combining 2 and 3 into my review of this epic EPIC book.

Questions from Part 2:

1. What do you think of the characters’ growth and/or change in this section? Specifically, Adam, Cathy/Kate, and Lee have all had some big things happen.

I kind of wanted to slap Adam, punch Cathy, and hug Lee.

2. Lee is quickly becoming an important and insightful character. What do you think of his insights and his thoughts on language and his ethnicity?

I LOOOOOOVE LEE. I love everything about Lee and his story. I love the examinations of race and religion and even family through Lee. Through Lee (on the Trask side of the story), I feel we truly see what family can be. It isn’t always blood that ties us together.

3. The Cain and Abel and the importance of narrative continues to take on more prominence. How so?

4. How do you perceive Samuel now that he’s gone? Was he just a device for delivering advice?

I MISS HIM!!!!! He was a device for delivering advice, but he also helped further the story. Without him, those boys would have NEVER had names. And he’s the one who lead Adam to Cathy the evil b!tch.

5. Cathy/Kate…expound. There will probably be one of these at every checkpoint because OMGthatwoman.

That sums it up pretty well I think; OMGthatwoman.

Questions from Part 3:

1. What do you think of the twins since they’ve grown up quite a bit? They seem to take after both Adam and Charles. How do you explain that? My book club had fun with some theories recently.

Can I just say I adore Cal? BECAUSE I ADORE CAL. Because Cal is like, the ONLY, balanced character in this book. Unlike Adam and Aron, he’s not all good, and unlike Charles and Cathy, he’s not all bad. And he doesn’t really seem to want to embrace either ideal!

2. Any surprises in this section? Lee, Dessie and Tom, Adam’s business dealings? Just some ideas. :)

Adam’s business dealings were a surprise because I was all WTF are you doing Adam? It came out of left field and left right field. And then, poor Cal, went and made that money for Adam and WHAT DID THAT JERK DO but throw in back in his face? I never saw what Cal did as particularly bad. That’s just business.

Aron’s turn was surprising too. It almost felt like suicide.

3. Ugh, Kathy/Cate. Is there anything redeemable about this woman?

Oh hell no. There is no redeeming that woman. I don’t know if she thought leaving her money to JUST ARON was a good enough apology, in her misguided demented little diseased brain, but oh hell no. Not good enough.

Further Thoughts:

My further thoughts are for the audio. If you ever consider reading this book, I highly recommend the audio. Richard Poe was amazing. He really brought the book alive and dude, I don’t know if I would have made it without him.

For more insights on East of Eden, please see the collected posts over at The Estella Society. And join us for the next read, coming soon!

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