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

I think maybe this week it should be what am I NOT reading because I cannot seem to get into anything!  I AM plugging away at The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson, but it is a book to be read slowly, to savor, and therefore is not ‘grabbing me by the nose hairs’ as it were.  I desperately need something to grab my nose hairs and not turn me loose until the final page!   So I’m begging you, I am PLEADING with you, what can I read that will do this for me!??!?!  Because I am getting desperate!!!   What books have grabbed you and not turned you loose until it was done?  What was the last book you read in one sitting?  What do I need to drop everything and read?  Please help! 

I did manage to read one book last week, Bayou Vol. 1 by Jeremy Love, which was AMAZING.  I should have a buddy review of that very soon.   And I am still listening to The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton which is just lovely and also extremely long.  I *think* I will finish it this week.  (God, I hope so.) 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week? is a weekly event to list the books  finished last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finish this week. It was created by J.Kaye’s Book Blog, but is now being hosted by Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through a World of  Books.!

2011 Reading Challenges

It’s almost impossible to believe I am already planning my reading year, but I am. Bloggers are starting to issue their challenges for next year and I have already signed up for one; A Year of Feminist Classics!

A Year of Feminist Classics is a reading project started by Amy, Ana, Emily Jane and Iris! There is a different book to read every month. I’m not promising to read every single one, but I will certainly try! I’ve read a couple of them already and look forward to revisiting them. Here is the planned list:

January: A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollestonecraft – Amy
: The Subjection of Women by John Stuart Mill and Harriet Taylor Mill – Ana
A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen – Emily
Herland by Charlotte Perkins Gilman – Iris
A Room of One’s Own by Virginia Woolf – Ana
The Feminine Mystique by Betty Friedan OR The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer – Amy
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir – Iris
The Women’s Room by  Marilyn French – Emily
September: The Beauty Myth by Naomi Wolf – Amy
Ain’t I a Woman? by bell hooks – Iris
November: Gender Trouble by Judith Butler – Ana
Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde – Emily

If you look to my side bar, you will see that I have challenges listed from three different people; Chris (from Stuff Dreams are Made Of), Debi (from ) and Nymeth (from things mean a lot)!  We four have challenged each other to read 5 books apiece this coming year.  Here are the 15 they have challenged me to read:

-Looking for Alaska by John Green
-Bone (One Volume Edition) by Jeff Smith
-Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
-Green Angel by Alice Hoffman
-The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett

-Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
-A Fine and Private Place by Peter Beagle
-The Horse Boy by Rupert Isaacson
-The Screwed Up Life of Charlie the Second by Drew Ferguson
-Atlas by Katrina Vandenberg

-Flora Segunda by Ysabeu S. Wilce
-No Name by Wilkie Collins
-The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson
-Saplings by Noel Streatfeild
-Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith

And they all sound wonderful!  I can’t think of better challenges, than to read the 5 books my friends think I will love, especially because they all loved themselves.  I can’t wait to get started!  To round out the group, I have 5 books I have challenged myself to read next year:

-A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin.
-Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell.
-If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino
-The Agony and the Ecstasy by Irving Stone
-Midnight Becomes Her and In Ashes Lie by Marie Brennan

I’m sure as more challenges are introduced, I will join more.  I just can’t resist.  But these are special and  I can’t wait to get started!   What fun challenges have you joined so far?

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

I have decided to start this week with a clean slate!  That isn’t to say I won’t finish what I was reading,  I just need to move on for a bit.  I feel a bit like I’m spinning my wheels here.  I did finish one book last week, Delirium by Lauren Oliver and might I say “wow?”  Because WOW.  That girl can write my friends.  Look for a more indepth review soon.

I am still listening to The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton.  Caroline Lee is the lovely, amazing, lyrically fantastic reader for this one and I am enjoying it immensely.  I’m about 2/3 through it and it’s hard to stop listening.  The only problem is that Ms. Lee almost soothes me to sleep every day on the drive home.  Not. Good. 

As for the clean slate, I started a gorgeous little book called The Fox Woman by Kij Johnson.  You will find out why tomorrow, but it as a lot to do with Nymeth.  Seriously though, the writing in this book is gorgeous.  Absolutely beautiful.  I can tell I will love it already.  Not sure what I will start next, maybe my first Pratchett?  Finally?  Because I have NATION from the library!!!  Woot!

How was your reading week?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week? is a weekly event to list the books  finished last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finish this week. It was created by J.Kaye’s Book Blog, but is now being hosted by Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through a World of  Books.!

The Monstrumologist Giveaway

Settle in for a terryifying ride with The Monstrumologist and The Curse of the Wendigo!

Y’all, The Monstrumologist has been on my radar for a really REALLY long time.  From the first review, I knew I wanted to read it.  So, when the opportunity came for me to get a copy (and giveaway two at the same time!) I just had to snatch it.  I mean really, a girl has to have standards.  Not only am I giving away two copies of The Monstrumologist, I’m giving away two copies of the sequel as well – The Curse of the Wendigo!  So what are these books about, you say?


These are the secrets I have kept. This is the trust I never betrayed. But he is dead now and has been for nearly ninety years, the one who gave me his trust, the one for whom I kept these secrets. The one who saved me . . . and the one who cursed me.

So starts the diary of Will Henry, orphan and assistant to a doctor with a most unusual specialty: monster hunting. In the short time he has lived with the doctor, Will has grown accustomed to his late night callers and dangerous business. But when one visitor comes with the body of a young girl and the monster that was eating her, Will’s world is about to change forever. The doctor has discovered a baby Anthropophagus—a headless monster that feeds through a mouth in its chest—and it signals a growing number of Anthropophagi. Now, Will and the doctor must face the horror threatening to overtake and consume our world before it is too late.

Read the first chapter:


While attempting to disprove that Homo vampiris, the vampire, could exist, Dr. Warthrop is asked by his former fiancé to rescue her husband from the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, which has snatched him in the Canadian wilderness. Although Warthrop also considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and rescues her husband from death and starvation, and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo. Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied? This second book in The Monstrumologist series explores the line between myth and reality, love and hate, genius and madness.

Read the first chapter:

Rick Yancey is the author of The Monstrumologist series (Book #1 of which won the Michael L. Printz Honor Award in 2010) as well as the critically acclaimed series Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp. He has also written several novels for adults including The Highly Effective Detective and A Burning in Homeland. He earned a BA in English from Roosevelt University in Chicago, and worked as a field officer for the Internal Revenue Service before turning to writing full time in 2004. Rick lives in Florida with his wife Sandy, three sons, two dogs and one lizard. Visit him at for more info.

Many thanks to Big Honcho Media for allowing me to take part in this giveaway.

Something Different – Mini Reviews

I’ve seen where people do these things called “mini-reviews?” When they are way behind on books, or feeling lazy or just don’t have that much to say about a book? Well, I am in the midst of a mini blogging slump (to go along with this unending reading slump) (I’m nothing but a big lump of slump).  A blogging crisis. I just can’t think of what to say, or a way to say anything and make it in any way entertaining. I guess I’m having a conflict of confidence, which happens quite a lot, but I miss blogging dagnabbit so I’m going to post something, no matter how bad it is! And that something is mini reviews!  So here are a few! Enjoy!  Dagnabbit, let’s see how concise this ole windbag can be, shall we?

Lolly Willowes – or the Loving Huntsman by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Y’all, when I got this I wasn’t sure what to expect. I just knew my blogging buddy Amanda loved it and my other blogging buddy Nymeth had gotten herself a copy. I managed to score a pretty decent copy on PaperbackSwap and it seemed the perfect fit for both the readathon in October AND RIP V. And it was a very quick read. And also a strange one. But such a strange, lovely, quirky little journey it was. Lolly is a spinster aunt and is tired of being the “find somewhere to stick her” member of the family.  So she moves.  To a remote little country town, a town where everyone is a witch.  Lolly soon finds she is quite happy there, until her loving nephew comes to visit. So Lolly goes and visits the devil. Ooooooooooo…right?  I loved the inference that women do not need to have a distinct ‘purpose’ to simply exist (like we don’t have to married or mothers or what have you just because others think we should) and that one can be happy doing what one wants, not what everyone expects.  Great fun and highly recommended.

Not bad eh? Let’s keep going!

How to Buy the Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson; read by Renee Raudman

Well…I don’t think I can do this one concisely.  This book is the complete opposite of concise.  In fact, there is no way in the world to be concise about this book.  Let’s just say I really really liked it.  And we’ll come back to it later.  Oh and I adored the reader.  Renee Raudman totally made this book the fun that it was.  Not to say it wouldnt’ be fun to read, obviously, I just really enjoyed her reading.  Gah, I better stop while I’m ahead.

White Cat: The Curse Workers #1 by Holly Black; read by Jesse Eisenberg

I’ve been going through something of an existential crisis in that my beloved YA books have not been so beloved this year. I have not read many, have not wanted to read many, and those I have read haven’t exactly tripped my trigger. I needn’t have worried about Miss Holly Black because, as usual, she knocked my socks off. This book was just plain fun y’all. People are born with the ability (well, some are) to work curses, but it’s illegal so everyone keeps it secret. Everyone and I mean EVERYONE wears gloves to avoid contact. Curse workers are somewhat like the mafia, with the control, riches, and such. Cassel is from a family of curses workers, but he can’t work the magic himself. He’s a pretty decent kid, despite being from such a criminal family of curse workers, if you ignore the fact that he’s the school bookie, and that he killed his best friend Lila three years ago. And Jesse Eisenberg’s reading was what really made the book. He was fantastic and I can’t wait for the next book, especially if he reads it.

Oooo, I’m on a roll, so let’s do one more!

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Surely you all know what this is about by now, right? So we’ll just say I’m on the LOVE IT side of the fence. I thought every bit of it was perfect, totally in character, and the ending, which while incredibly sad, was also absolutely fantastic.

Wow, that was fun! I’ll have to do that again sometime. If this blogging funk holds, it may be next week!

All links lead to Barnes & Noble, where I am an associate.  All books, except for How to Buy the Love of Reading, were bought by me.  I received HtBtLoR from the author, but then elected to listen to the audio, so technically, I bought that one too.

Book Review: Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry


If there is one story I have grown up with, besides Laura Ingalls Wilder, The Secret Garden, Anne of Green Gables, and Narnia, it is Lonesome Dove.  Which probably sounds strange, to lump Lonesome Dove in with those beloved children’s books, since admittedly it is far from a children’s classic, it is a classic and a product of my youth, so there it is.  My uncle absolutely loves, no adores, no… something stronger than that… I don’t know how to describe it.  He can quote the movie from beginning to end.  I think he secretly wishes he had been a cowboy.  And he reveres Gus.  So, it goes without saying that I grew up listening to the vast wisdom and wit of Captain Augustus Mcrae, one of the immortal cowboys of Lonesome Dove.  

When I was about 14, and prone to reading long, epic novels of vast scope and ideal, (I’m trying to be witty myself here, can ya tell?), I decided I would read Lonesome Dove.  Get all the details of the story, so to speak, so I could give my uncle all the little details he didn’t get from the movie.  I don’t think I had even watched the movie, I knew most of the story because of my uncle.   I got my hands on a copy and I started the trip.  And my, my, what a trip this book is.  I raced through the book, like 14 years are able to do, and went on to read the rest of the series as it came out.  

Lonesome Dove is about so much. It is more than a western, more than a work of historical fiction, more than romance, more than an epic road trip, more than an adventure.  It comes down to two men and their strange friendship, for two men are less alike than Gus and Call.  The book starts in the dusty little down of Lonesome Dove, Texas down near the borderlands and moves steadily north through prairie, desert, Indian infested land, snakes, buffalo and takes you all up to the wilds of Montana on a cattle drive.  The characters in this novel are unforgettable.  I can rave about Gus all day (and I’m sure any woman who has ever read this book came away a little bit in love with him) but there are other amazing characters living in these pages.  Heroes.  Outlaws.  Indians.  Whores.  Ladies.  Settlers.  This book is the story of the Wild Wild West and is beautifully written, dramatic and unforgettable.  I dare you to read this book and not laugh, cry, and fall in love.  

I just can’t get enough of Gus and Call and all the boys (and girls!) of Lonesome Dove.  

And I still can’t.  When Amy (of My Friend fame) challenged her readers to join in a readalong of Lonesome Dove, I knew I had to join in.  I have since seen the movie, several times, and this story remains near and dear to my heart.  I worried about exactly how I would do it, with RIP going on, and all the other review books that are stacked on my desk (cringe), but then I remembered.  One of the first audiobooks I ever got from Audible was Lonesome Dove!  And I had never listened to it.  Problem solved!  So I decided to listen to the audio, read by actor and western novelist himself, Lee Horsley.  

And what a fantastic journey it was, all over again.  It was even more, for me, reading it again almost 18 years later.   The things that jumped out at me!  The treatment and lives of the women of the old west were especially interesting.  There is so much to this story, I know there is no way I can hit on it all.  You become invested in these characters along their journey.  Gus and Call and all the boys came alive in Lee Horsley’s voice.  Now, this isn’t the best audio production I’ve ever heard.  It was the first time I heard background noise in any audiobook I have ever listened to.  I didn’t care.  Mr. Horsley made these characters live.  And breathe.  And love and hate and kill and walk and talk and more.   I’m sure I have no adequately described this book, but I know I have described how it makes me feel.  Lonesome Dove is on my all time favorites list, will you add it to yours?  As USA Today says:  

“If you read only one western novel in your life, read Lonesome Dove.”  

*Note: Amazingly enough, I cannot find an audio CD of Lonesome Dove anywhere, they only have *gasp* cassette tapes.  I downloaded my copy from Audible.  Either way you read it, I still highly recommend it.  The copy I link to here is a new edition that came out in June of this year.  The edition in my upper picture is from 2000.  The one below is the new edition.  Isn’t the new cover gorgeous?  It looks like all of McMurtry’s books got a similar treatment and I find myself wishing I didn’t own my copies, so I could get the new ones!  Silly me….  

*Also Note: If you have read this book, be sure to follow along with the discussion at My Friend Amy’s blog.  

*Yet another note: If you are curious about the evolution of this book and how McMurtry came to write it, you should read the Wikipedia entry on Lonesome Dove.  It is very fascinating.  

*One last note, I promise:  I also highly recommend the movie.  Robert Duvall is magic as Gus; it was a part he was born to play.  

 Lonesome Dove: A Novel by Larry McMurtry
Genre: Western, Historical Fiction
Paperback: 864 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: June 15, 2010
ISBN: 978-1439195260
Rated: 5/5  

Other varying opinions:  

books i done read and lots of posts from the readalong… 

 Buy yourself a copy at Barnes & Noble

 I am a Barnes & Noble affiliate and will make a very small profit if you buy a book through one of my links.

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

Okay y’all, guess what.  I finished not one, but TWO books last week!!  Can I get a halleluiah?  I finally (finally!) finished listening to Lonesome Dove which was absolutely fantastic. I already miss the exploits of Woodrow F. Call and Augustus Mcrae like crazy.  That is one huge epic of a book.  I laughed.  I cried.  I wanted to go on a huge cattle drive. Okay, I’m not quite that crazy, but I really love that book.  Look for a more thorough review soon.

I also finished Nightshade by Andrea Cremer.  I have a lot to say about that one, so I’m going to hold myself back and review it later.  Maybe even this week! 

I am now listening to We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson, which is quite good.  I adore the reader already; Bernadette Dunne.  I hope she has read many MANY more audiobooks because she is awesome!  Oooo, it looks like she has!  Fantastic, she read Memoirs of a Geisha!  I have been wanting to reread that.… guess what I’ll be listening to soon?

I started the fairy tale collection My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me yesterday.  It is a collection of modern fairy tale retellings (one of my favorite things!) collected by Kate Bernheimer. She also edited the collection Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Women Writers Explore Their Favorite Fairy Tales which I thought very highly of.  I’ve only read the introduction and forward to My Mother so far.  I’m going to try to take it one story a day.  We’ll see how it goes.  I also started The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey, which promises to be fantastic.  I’m 20 pages in and am already thankful that I have the next book in the series waiting for me to keep going.   Lastly, I’m still reading The Best American Travel Writing 2010 on Jack, my nook.  I adore travel writing and these are definitely some of the best I’ve ever read.  There is one story, about Transylvania and Dracula that is beyond fascinating.  I recommend the book on that one alone! 

So….how was your reading week?  Read anything amazing?  I’d love to hear about it!

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading This Week? is a weekly event to list the books  finished last week, the books currently being read, and the books to be finish this week. It was created by J.Kaye’s Book Blog, but is now being hosted by Sheila from One Person’s Journey Through a World of  Books.!