Stuff I Love Saturday (4)

Being that it is Halloween weekend, I thought I would feature my favorite Halloween and/or fall favorites of the week.


1. Owl cupcakes! 2. Trick or Treat banner 3. Glow Stick Lanterns 4. Halloween Pudding 5. Pumpkin Fire 6. The Great Pumpkin is coming! 7. Ghost Poop! My kids. This. It would slay them. Oh the hilarity. 8. Book Fairy, or, what I would be if I didn’t already have a costumer. 9. Pumpkin cake. I love this idea. 10. Pumpkin fudge. *drool* 11. Vampire Pumpkins! 12. If I’d had the time…. 13.If I’d had the skills…. 14. If I’d found it before yesterday! 15. Eek! 16. This is Halloween, This is Halloween…


That last one makes me want to go watch The Nightmare Before Christmas. Happy Halloween everyone!!

Quotable Monday

I don’t think I’ve said this enough lately; I love Terry Pratchett!

The stories never said why she was wicked. It was enough to be an old woman, enough to be all alone, enough to look strange because you have no teeth. It was enough to be called a witch. If it came to that, the book never gave you the evidence of anything. It talked about “a handsome prince”… was he really, or was it just because he was a prince that people called handsome? As for “a girl who was as beautiful as the day was long”… well, which day? In midwinter it hardly ever got light! The stories don’t want you to think, they just wanted you to believe what you were told…

From The Wee Free Men. I think it’s high time I read another Terry Pratchett.

Stuff I Love Saturday (3)

Yeah, on a Sunday. Brought to you by read-a-thon hangover….

1. Mulled Apple Cider – one of my very favorite fall drinks. 2. Eleventh Hour Scarf – on the needles now and oh so easy! 3. I loooove this picture. 4. I will figure this out. 5. Mr. Darcy. *sigh* 6. Never, Mr. Lewis 7. Homemade buttah! 8. Pumpkin. Cheesecake. 9. Read More Books! 10. Vanilla Peach Jam. I am so making this next year. 11. Love. 12. Also love. 13. I love fall. 14.  I really love fall. 15. Brussell Sprouts! Yum! 16. WANT.


Dewey's Read-a-thon – October 2011

One of my favorite days of the year is here! It’s time to get our read-a-thon on y’all, and I’m so excited I couldn’t sleep last night. Seriously, I think I was up until 2:00, which is bad form, but there it is. Let’s hope I can make it the long haul today. In my defense, I finally had the opportunity to watch the ONE Doctor Who episode I’ve never seen; A Christmas Carol. I knew I wouldn’t be able to watch it today, sooooo…. C’est la vie, mes amis.

Dewey’s read-a-thon has always been my favorite community building activity the lovely and amazing Dewey left us with. It’s so hard to believe this is the fifth year of this event! If you don’t know the history of this event, you should definitely check out the history page on Dewey’s Read-a-thon page. For some of us, this is as much as celebration of Dewey as it is reading. Thank you Dewey, for your amazing spirit. We love and miss you so much! I still hate that I was just getting to know you, when you left us.

So, you GUYS. This is my first year participating as a cheerleader too!

I am NOT a cheerleader sort at all. I’m lame at coming up with rhymes. But I have great enthusiasm for reading and blogging, so I thought what the hey. Those cheerers always look like they are having SO MUCH FUN. And that is something I love. So I’ll be reading and cheering. I’m on Team Lucky Charms and, well, you know Lucky Charms ARE the best. Come to think of it, I wish I had a box. Hm…

This will be my official Readathon post for the day. Any updates I have will pop up here. I’m starting the day out on Twitter, trying to rally the troops, then I’ll start reading at 8, with The Dead of Night by John Marsters. See you soon my dears!

Update 1 – 3:30 PM

WELL, things were going GREAT until my husband got up. He suddenly decided, and unfortunately he was right, that we needed to go to town to get the kids Halloween costumes. Sweetie that he is, he agreed to drive, so that I could read as much as possible. So now, we’re home, with a leopard and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle costume (and some pumpkin doughnuts!) and I’m ready to get down to business.

Books read: The Dead of Night by John Marsden; 278 pages
Hours read: 4 hours
Snacks: 1 Pumpkin Doughnut
Time spent cheering: About an hour before start time, going to visit a few of my readers now.

Starting Shivers, Whiskers, and Wolves.

Update 2 – 9:00 PM

Y’all, I ain’t doin’ so great. I’ve only finished one book! It was an excellent book, but still! And here it is, 9:00! Eek! I have work to do. I’m going to go settle down in my reading chair with a bag of Cheese Doodles and some water and bang out another book, dang it.

Frustration brings out my Southern, so I do apologize. Bless my heart.

Here are my answers to the Mid Event Survey:

1. What are you reading right now?

Shivers, Wishes and Wolves, a graphic novel by Lemke. I have Hotey by Josephine Bailey on deck. If you are an audiobook listener, yes, it is THAT Josephine Bailey. o/

2. How many books have you read so far?

ONE! 🙁

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?


4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

Um, obviously I SHOULD HAVE.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Went with the flow. *sigh*

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

As always, how fast it goes!

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Heck no.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

I’d make sure my day was FREE. Dang it.

9. Are you getting tired yet?

Surprisingly no, since I was up until 2 last night.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?

Nope, just keep plodding on! See you in the morning I expect. Have fun everyone!

Update 3 – 9:32 PM

I finished another book! Shivers, Wishes and Wolves was fantastic. On to something else!

Books read: 2

The Dead of Night by John Marsden
Shivers, Wishes and Wolves by Donald Lemke

Pages read:  453

Update 4 – 8:00 AM – Let’s close this baby down!

So, uh, hi there! I just woke up, like 30 minutes ago. This read-a-thon did not go at all like I expected, on the reading front, but boy howdy did I have fun cheering. Here’s my final questionnaire:

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Hour 2, when I lost the fight to go Halloween shopping. :/
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I think YA, MG and graphic novels are the way to go. I read one YA and one GN. I read the GN in thirty minutes.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Are you KIDDING? This baby is perfect!
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
Everything worked so well!  The organization that goes into this astounds me. Dewey would be so proud. Well, I just thought of one thing. A separate post for winners, after the fact, might be nice, so we don’t have to scroll through 24 posts, scrutinizing for our name. Just a thought though…
5. How many books did you read?
2 and a piece.
6. What were the names of the books you read?
The Dead of Night by John Marsden
Shivers, Wishes and Wolves edited by Donald Lemke
and 36 pages of Hotey by Josephine Bailey
7. Which book did you enjoy most?
They were all so different, it would be hard to pick!
8. Which did you enjoy least?
Neither really. If I HAD to pick, it would be the Lemke. Even though it was pretty cool.
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
Don’t try to read and cheer. It’s too hard to do both. And I’m going to have a hard time picking between the two next year! I’m pretty sure if I don’t feel like I can read all day, I’ll be cheering. It is ever so much fun. And get your hands on plenty of sugar, protein, and/or caffeine.
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
Is this a trick question? Oh, I WILL BE THERE. If I am in a good reading place, I’ll probably read. If I’m like I was this year, and in somewhat of a slump, I’ll probably cheer. Or, heck, I may do both again. I may not have gotten a lot of reading in (and I’m not really that disappointed), I had SO MUCH FUN. Cheerleading for readers rocks!

The Lantern Read-a-Long – Part 2

I am so behind, it isn’t even funny. Here is my (pathetic) part of the second discussion. Luckily, I have now finished the book, so I am more than ready to wrap it up Monday. Whew!

1. The title of this book is The Lantern, and a lantern makes an appearance in both of the stories. In Benedicte’s past, it had a meaning, but what do you think the lantern signifies in her future and in Eve’s story?

I feel like I’m cheating, or rather, can’t answer this question, since I just finished the book and know what happened. I CAN say at the time I read this, it felt obvious that it was supposed to seem like a ghost had left it there, or some other unexplained phenomenon. And perhaps it was, since there is really no clear-cut THIS IS WHAT IT IS answer.

2. Carl mentioned scents in last weeks questions, but they have been addressed even more in these sections. What significance do you think scents have in this story overall?
Scents means so much in this story. It’s tied up memories, in livelihoods, in life and more. Like all our senses, scent makes an impression on everything that happens in our lives. There are things you can’t smell and not remember something, be it vanilla for cakes, candles for birthdays, the spicy cologne of a favorite uncle or a whiff of tobacco for a grandfather. I love the way Lawrenson plays with this, as it is something I have always been conscious of.
3. What do you think of the combining storyline of Marthe? She connects Benedicte, Eve, and Rachel. What do you think will be revealed about this connection in the next sections?
I really can’t answer this, since I’ve finished the book! At the time of reading, I could tell she was going to bring it all together, but I wasn’t really sure how!
4. Now that things are beginning to move along, what do you think of the characters? Are any standing out for you? Do you particularly like any? Dislike any?
I’m trying to remember back to this…. One thing that was bugging me; what is Eve’s real name?!??! And Sabine, that woman seemed fishy. And of course Dom. I had no clue what was going on with him, but I knew I didn’t like it.
5. What do you think really happened to Marthe and Annette? What do you think the significance of the bones in the pool are to the story? Especially now that it has been revealed that Rachel is also dead.
Well, it seemed pretty obvious to me who was who. That wasn’t a big surprise.
6. Do you have any other things you think are significant to talk about? Are there any other predictions to be made for the last two sections of the book?
As I’ve finished, I guess I can’t really predict anything!
7. Lastly, what do you think of this book overall? Other than for the read-along, why are you reading it? Is it meeting your expectations?
I am/was really enjoying the book. I wanted to read it for RIP and when Carl suggested the read-along I was all for it. It didn’t quite meet my expectations, which really were unreasonable, as I was hoping for another experience like the one The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters gave me last year. That was unfair to Lawrenson, but there it is!
Join me Monday for the last bit of discussion of The Lantern. Here are my earlier thoughts on this book.

Love at First Bark by Julie Klam

I might as well say this up front.

I am not a dog person.


I said it.

I am… a cat person.

Having said that, I absolutely had no trouble identifying with Julie Klam and her novel about rescue dogs and how they have affected her life. You see, I have a rescue kitty and he is the apple of my eye, the yin to my yang, my sweetest most loving baby kitty ever:

Oh yes, he is. He’s my sweet baby boy, yes he is! 

There is something special about dogs, or, I like to think all animals (hello! cat person!), which Klam highlights in her sweet collection of stories about three of the rescue animals she has had a part in saving. And from my own experience? I think there is something extra special about rescued animals. And I tell you what, before the end of the first story, Klam had me wanting to adopt the dog, Morris, she was trying to save. Julie, and her husband Paul, found Morris tied up on a New York City street. It turned out he had been tied there all day (it was around 3:00), he had been in the sun all day, and he had gone all day without water. And he was a complete sweetheart. His only “fault?” He was a pit bull. Did she save him? You’ll have to read to find out. Did he maybe save her a bit as well? Uh, ditto.

The last two stories focuses on Julie’s family’s experiences as a foster family for animals and on rescue efforts that continue in New Orleans. These dogs are the hard cases, the ones no one else wants to touch, and Julie and the people in New Orleans are saviors to these animals. The things these dogs go through, it’s no wonder Julie can’t walk away. I couldn’t either! But so many people do and it makes me so sad. I stand amazed at the love these people have and am so thankful they have the time and resources to do something. Seriously, after reading this book, if I had the time, money and resources to foster, I would do it. I have it in my plans for the future.

How about you? Dog lover? Cat lover? Any kind of animal you can get lover? Have you ever rescued an animal?

Thank you to the publisher for providing an advanced reader copy of this little gem. I was compensated for this BlogHer Book Club review but all opinions expressed are my own.


Quotable Monday

This past week, I’ve been flying through The Wilder Years by Wendy McClure, the audiobook. It’s been awhile since I’ve listened to an audiobook so raptly. I was obsessed with Laura Ingalls Wilder when I was younger, just like Wendy McClure. It’s like my 8-year-old self has met her best friend. This quote says everything about how I feel about Laura now.

“Sometimes, Laura World wasn’t a realm of log cabins or prairies, it was a way of being. Really, a way of being happy. I wasn’t into the flowery sayings, but I was nonetheless in love with the idea of serene rooms full of endless quiet and time, of sky in the windows, of a life comfortably cluttered and yet in some kind of perfect feng shui equilibrium, where all the days were capacious enough to bake bread and write novels and perambulate the wooded hills deep in thought (though truthfully, I’d allow for the occasional Rose-style cocktail party as well).”

I am loving this book and have found a new favorite reader to boot! Teri Clark Linden is an amazing reader.

Stuff I Love Saturday (2)

Sorry guys, but the crafting bug has bit me hard this week! I’m itching to make so many things!

1. Chunky Crochet Bracelet 2. Bellflower Infinity Scarf 3. Crochet Wrist Warmers 4. Owl Toy (if ONLY I could sew!) 5. Ribbons & Buttons Bookmarks (I think these are adorable!) 6. Pumpkin Jam? (Yes please!) 7. Greenhouse (Um, I want to live here please.) 8. Missoni Crochet Skirt for kids (I must figure out how to make this!) 9. No, I want to live here. 10. C. S. Lewis was a wise, wise man 11. Bookshelf pendant? Want. 12. Pumpkin. Whoopie. Pies. Nuff said. 13. Pumpkin cheesecake! (I am so hungry.) 14. The Little Stranger, a perfect RIP read 15. Chicken Caprese Sandwich 16. This? Is genius.

I have to go eat now. I am starving! Have a great weekend everyone!