Friday Finds – July 1st

800 A.D

Andi’s husband shared this list of 23 Audiobooks to Get You Hooked on Facebook and I can’t resist sharing. I’ve read and/or listened to 13 of them and agree whole-heartedly. Adding the rest to my list of books I want to read!

Speaking of audiobooks, Trish has a great post on How to Fit Audiobooks Into Your Day. Check it out!

I plan on going on a comic book tear this weekend, which reminded me of HOW MUCH I WANT this Ramona Flowers figure. I have Scott Pilgrim 5 and 6 waiting for me at home.

I can’t get enough of food in bowls and this Rosemary Chicken Salad with Avocado and Bacon recipe is on my list to try VERY soon.

Got Litsy? I hope you do, or will very soon! Check out this conversation Beth Fish Reads had with Co-Founder Todd Lawton! PS: it is coming to Android VERY SOON. Yay!

I am totally crazy about Simon’s Cat on YouTube. Here is my favorite:

Happy Canada to all my Canadian friends! Enjoy your poutine!

And don’t forget The Fireman readalong! It starts today!

FiremanAlong

Monthly Wrap Up – June 2016

Monthly Wrap Up

I hate to say it June, but I’m with Zelda on this one. While we did a lot of reading together, nothing really grabbed me by the nose-hairs. It was a snooze. A dud. A yawn, if you will. Here’s what was read:

70. Descender, Volume 1: Tin Stars by Jeff Lemire
71. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, read by Neil Gaiman
72. Basil & Victoria: Sati by Yann
73. Mother Tongue: My Family’s Globe-Trotting Quest to Dream in Mandarin, Laugh in Arabic, and Sing in Spanish by Christine Gilbert
74. Giant Days, Issue 15 by John Allison
75. Basil & Victoria: Jack by Yann
76. The Idiot Girls’ Action Adventure Club by Laurie Notaro, read by Hillary Huber
77. Toil and Trouble, Issue 1 by Mairghread Scott
78. Toil and Trouble, Issue 2 by Mairghread Scott
79. The Mermaid Girl by Erika Swyler
80. This is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison, read by Susan Boyce
81. Peanuts: Volume 1 by Charles Schulz
82. Outcast: Volume 1 – A Darkness Surrounds Him by Robert Kirkman

I enjoyed the heck out of my reread of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. My hunch was right; that book gets better with rereading. Mother Tongue was fun. So was The Idiot Girls’ Action Adventure Club. And my free month of Unlimited on Comixology resulted in QUITE a few comics being read. Yet, the one thing I wanted – another Regional Office is Under Attack, Sleeping Giants, or The Fireman didn’t happen.

Here’s hoping July brings some really gripping reads!

What did you read in June? Anything really grab you? Or did you yawn a bit too?

Top Ten Tuesday – The Best of 2016 – So Far

Top Ten Tuesday

Since I missed the prompt last week, my favorite reads so far this year, I decided to do it this week. Yay me!

Without further adieu….

  • Mr. Splitfoot by Samantha Hunt
  • The Sculptor by Scott McCloud
  • My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman
  • Sweetgirl by Travis Mulhauser
  • Stoner by John Williams
  • The Fireman by Joe Hill
  • The Wander Society by Keri Smith
  • The Regional Office is Under Attack by Manuel Gonzalez
  • The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel

These are in no particular order. I don’t think I COULD put an order to them. They are all SO GOOD. As soon as I want to say The Fireman was my favorite, I want to change it to The Sculptor. But then Sweetgirl completely blew me away. Mr. Splitfoot was soooo trippy, in the best way. Sleeping Giants was magnetic. Stoner moved me in so many ways. I can’t get enough Fredrik Backman. The Wander Society inspired me to put the phone down and get out to see the world, without the lens of the camera. I was SO SAD to let the Raven boys go with The Raven King – which was an incredible end to an incredible series. And damn if The Regional Office is Under Attack was just not the most fun ever.

If it’s this hard now, I can’t wait to see what the end of 2016 is like. This is quite the year for books.

topten

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. More HERE.

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday!

I don’t often struggle to finish books; I usually ditch them. Yet, for some reason I’m pushing through Thorn Jack by Katherine Harbour. It’s…well, it feels done before. Probably because it’s a fairy tale retelling and I read another fairy tale retelling of Tam Lin that was very similar to this book. This one is just darker.

I started Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll yesterday. I’m reading it with Andi, who is on vacation (lucky duck). I think it’s going to be hard to put down, which is EXACTLY what I needed. I was on the verge of a major slump.

The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee is my current audiobook and wow, it is really making the work hours fly by. Thank goodness.

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

 

Currently // Where Did That Week Go?

START (3)

Right this minute | I’m watching Pee Wee’s Big Adventure with my daughter. Again. *pokes at eyeballs* *tests plucking them out*

Feeling | Bored? lol

Reading | I started Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll today, to read it with Andi who went on vacation. I’ve already read about 50 page and will be diving back in soon!

Listening | I started listening to The Queen of the Night by Alexander Chee last week and I’m really enjoying it. It’s been too long since I read any historical fiction. The reader, Lisa Flanagan, is fantastic.

Watching | See Right this minute. Ugh.

Blogging | Not much. Summer weeks are not made for blogging around here. I have to figure something out. n

Loving | I’ll be loving Wednesday. My kids, who are on separate vacations, come home that day! I CANNOT WAIT.

Hating | The humidity!

Eating | I gotta find something – I’m hungry.

Anticipating | My own vacation, NEXT MONTH!!!! T.T

Have a great week!

 

It’s Monday! What are you reading?

IT'S MONDAY!

Good morning and happy Monday!

I am having one of those days where I’m not quite sure what I’m reading. I know I’m reading Under the Dome by Stephen King. I started it yesterday and read 87 pages! I don’t know the body count any more; I lost count. I also know I’m “reading” Jack Thorn by Katherine Harbour, but it’s super long, it doesn’t seem like much is happening (I’m about halfway through) and I’m losing momentum. I’m also reading Mort by Terry Pratchett, but it’s a reread and I really seem to be taking my time. I meant to start Before the Fall by Noah Hawley, instead of Under the Dome, but, well, you see how that went. I’m still looking for a good audiobook. It may be another day of podcasts for me!

What are your plans for the reading week? Reading anything good this week?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

 

Currently // Happy Father’s Day!

START (2)

Right this minute | I am home. Currently alone. I have piles of books assembled and I’m getting ready to dive in somewhere. It’s quiet. All I need are snacks and a cat to cuddle. There’s one around here somewhere…. Zelda usually comes when I whistle. Ah, there she is.

Feeling | Pretty excited!

Reading | I am currently into Thorn Jack by Katherine Harbour and Monk by Terry Pratchett. I’m getting ready to add to that! I’ve noticed I seem to have a tradition of picking a huge Stephen King for my summer reading – Under the Dome is currently sitting next to me.

Listening | I finished This is your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison on Thursday and had a day of podcasts on Friday. Now I have the Reading Music Spotify playlist on. Michael Giacchino is currently playing. <3

Watching | Not a thing! It’s glorious.

Promoting | The Fireman Readalong for July! It’s gonna be hot.

Loving | The peace and quiet.

Hating | The peace and quiet – in a few hours, I’m sure. lol

Eating | Cheerios and milk for breakfast to get some iron.

Anticipating | My walk later; if it’s not too hot! And lunch with my uncle, who is the only father figure I have left on this mortal coil. Don’t worry, the kids and I did Father’s day with my hubby yesterday!

Have a great Sunday!

The Fireman – A Readalong

FiremanAlong

Or, a #FiremanAlong

I’m just going to lift this from Care, because she said it all so well.

Spontaneous combustion of book thoughts on Twitter resulted in eruption of readalong endorsements for The Fireman by Joe Hill. It’s the hot book right now.tfbyjh

The hardback is 768 pages; the audiobook is 22 hours and 20 minutes.

FiremanAlong1

Starts in July.

Thus giving you all time to secure a copy? I hereby declare myself as Captain of this Fire Squad with Heather as Co-Command – due to locale (when can we do lunch?) and the fact she just read it but wants to reread it on audio. Ti and Melissa and Jen and Trish are the Platoon Leaders. Michelle and Katie are Advisors (they already read the book!). ALL ARE WELCOME OF COURSE. Just wanted to mention those who participated in the twitter-firestorm about it.

Follow hashtag #FireManAlong

I have also made a list so you can find the entire crew on Twitter. If you want to join us and please do, all are welcome, please let me know your Twitter handle in a comment and/or link to a post or whatever. I might also want your snail mail address if you want correspondence (send me an email or private msg) — I am not promising anything. This is a quick and informal readalong. It’s a “Join in if you want to, no rules” kind of readalong…

I thought better of looking for a hot firefighter person to display, because 1) sexist inclinations and assumptions on my part sad to say, and 2) no legal usage rights to the ones that appealed to me the most. You know how to do your own search so feel free to act on that. OR, to see professionals of all genders, you canclick on THIS SEARCH. Not sure what the most ethical of decisions it is to provide a link to all images in a search result with parameter ‘not filtered by license’. Probably not ‘best’. Oh well.

I will be audiobooking. Here’s the link to Audible: fma3                    The bookcover at the top of this post links to goodreads and the Twitter convo links to the hashtag #FiremanAlong. I’ll make a Twitter List, too, so feel free to subscribe to it.

pieratingsml

And please remember to tweet any pie references!!!

Really. Don’t forget the pie. Head on over to Care’s post, since she started all this and sign up! It will be my SECOND read this year and honestly. I can’t freaking wait.

The Fireman by Joe Hill

The Fireman by Joe HillThe Fireman
by Joe Hill
Published by William Morrow
on May 17th 2016
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Pages: 768
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Goodreads
Amazon
five-stars
From the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author ofNOS4A2 and Heart-Shaped Box comes a chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman.

The fireman is coming. Stay cool.

No one knows exactly when it began or where it originated. A terrifying new plague is spreading like wildfire across the country, striking cities one by one: Boston, Detroit, Seattle. The doctors call it Draco Incendia Trychophyton. To everyone else it’s Dragonscale, a highly contagious, deadly spore that marks its hosts with beautiful black and gold marks across their bodies—before causing them to burst into flames. Millions are infected; blazes erupt everywhere. There is no antidote. No one is safe.

Harper Grayson, a compassionate, dedicated nurse as pragmatic as Mary Poppins, treated hundreds of infected patients before her hospital burned to the ground. Now she’s discovered the telltale gold-flecked marks on her skin. When the outbreak first began, she and her husband, Jakob, had made a pact: they would take matters into their own hands if they became infected. To Jakob’s dismay, Harper wants to live—at least until the fetus she is carrying comes to term. At the hospital, she witnessed infected mothers give birth to healthy babies and believes hers will be fine too. . . if she can live long enough to deliver the child.

Convinced that his do-gooding wife has made him sick, Jakob becomes unhinged, and eventually abandons her as their placid New England community collapses in terror. The chaos gives rise to ruthless Cremation Squads—armed, self-appointed posses roaming the streets and woods to exterminate those who they believe carry the spore. But Harper isn’t as alone as she fears: a mysterious and compelling stranger she briefly met at the hospital, a man in a dirty yellow fire fighter’s jacket, carrying a hooked iron bar, straddles the abyss between insanity and death. Known as The Fireman, he strolls the ruins of New Hampshire, a madman afflicted with Dragonscale who has learned to control the fire within himself, using it as a shield to protect the hunted . . . and as a weapon to avenge the wronged.

In the desperate season to come, as the world burns out of control, Harper must learn the Fireman’s secrets before her life—and that of her unborn child—goes up in smoke. -- From Goodreads.com

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

-----

I feel like my meager reviewing skills are not up to the task of reviewing this book. I can’t find the right words to say just how much I completely and totally adored this book. There is only one other book I can think of that ranks as high with me and that is The Stand by Stephen King. How “odd” that both are apocalyptic plague novels – and that the men who wrote them are from the same family.

In both books, a deadly pandemic reduces the worlds population by millions. Both feature a pregnant woman who is a survivor of the plague, and also carrying someone who will prove if humanity will perish or not. Both feature a deaf man named Nick (saw what you did there Joe!) and, for me, I just had the same…”feeling…” that I had reading The Stand. I can’t explain it any better than that. It was a feeling and both books made me feel it. And lastly, while both books are dystopian both have an optimism that I can’t help but love. Humanity is dying, long live humanity. Perhaps that is the “feeling” I can’t identify? Do I put these books down feeling more hopeful for our future?

I hope so.

The writing is great. The characters are memorable, root-for-able, and real. The book, while long, does not feel long – which I always find to be quite the accomplishment when it happens. Kate Mulgrew reads the audiobook; which is how I plan to reread this book, and soon! I can’t say more than what is in the summary. I don’t want to say anything more than what I’ve said. The Fireman is one of those books I think one is best reading with little to go on other than, hopefully, my opinion that it is a fantastic book. I hope you believe me. I hope you decide to get it, take it on vacation this summer, and devour it. I’m ready to read it again.

Favorite bits:

“There’s something horribly unfair about dying in the middle of a good story, before you have a chance to see how it all comes out. Of course, I suppose everyone ALWAYS dies in the middle of a good story, in a sense. Your own story. Or the story of your grandchildren. Death is a raw deal for narrative junkies.”

“Death is a raw deal for narrative junkies.”

“It’s so fucking cheap when people say I love you. It’s a name to stick on a surge of hormones, with a little hint of loyalty thrown in. I’ve never liked saying it. Here’s what I say: We’re together, now and until the end. You have everything I need to be happy. You make me feel right.”

It’s easy to dismiss religion as bloody, cruel, and tribal. I’ve done it myself. But it isn’t religion that’s wired that way – it’s man himself. At bottom every faith is a form of instruction in common decency. Different textbooks in the same class. Don’t they all teach that to do for others feels better than to do for yourself? That someone else’s happiness need not mean less happiness for you?”

Currently // Just Sayin’ Hi

START (1)

Right this minute | Getting ready to go to church, but, since I had a few minutes, I thought I’d post a Currently!

Feeling | I’d really like a coffee. Like, really really.

Reading | I am reading! I am reading Mort by Terry Pratchett and The Mermaid Girl by Erika Swyler. Let’s pretend I didn’t have to look that up, shall we?

Listening | I am listening to This is Your Life, Harriet Chance! by Jonathan Evison. I am completely loving it.

Watching | Still watching Doctor Who with the daughter (and sometimes the son). I’m not sure, but I think Tennant may be beating Matt Smith in the running for her Doctor. We shall see.

Loving | That the humidity is down. It amazes me, even after living my whole life in the South, just how much humidity affects temperature.

Hating | Ticks! I pulled two off the girl last night! Nasty buggers.

Eating | I had a sausage, egg, and cheese on a GF English muffin this morning. It was glorious.

Anticipating | Leaving for church! Gotta go!

Have a wonderful Sunday!