Tuesday, October 30, 2012

November's 50,000 words

Okay, this is definitely perfect for Halloween because it scares the hell out of me, but here goes. November is NaNoWriMo which stands for National Novel Writing Month. Every year, these guys host a challenge to write 50,000 words in the month of November and finish out the month with having written a novel. I'm going to try this...the novel won't be shared with anyone (at least not yet) and I'm not even sharing too much about what is about...partially, because I'm going to wing it somewhat. So, no, you cannot see it...and other than asking how it's going, you cannot ask me about it. I know it sounds odd and suspicious but my writing is very private. If I complete this challenge, though, I may consider sharing it, but don't hold your breath. 

So friends and family, I'm not blowing you off if I am not in touch as often...I'm just writing like crazy! Wish me luck. I"m going to need it.

Hosted, by The Broke and The Bookish, this is this week's Top Ten Tuesday.

Top Ten Favorite Kick-Ass Heroines

1.) Josephine March from Little Women
2.) Scout Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird
3.) Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games
4.) Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series
5.) Meggie Cleary from The Thornbirds
6.) Jane Eyre
7.) Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility
8.) Hester Prynne from The Scarlet Letter
9.) and 10.) Minny Jackson and Aibileen Clark from The Help

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Sundays In Bed With...

Hosted by Kate @ Midnight Book Girl, what are you reading today? Ah, stormy weather. The winds are picking up in good ol' Richmond, Va. We have prepared for Sandy somewhat. Laundry done (not put away yet), we have a kit of nonperishable food (the husband plans to live on Captain Crunch for days), a crapload of water, candles, flashlights, lanterns and...well...books! 

I have downloaded two books to my Nook - Lonesome Dove and In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. I wanted Trinity by Leon Uris but it isn't available for Nooks yet. Oh well. And yes, I know my Nook won't stay charged forever so I have some paperbacks to read too. The comfort book - Little Women. The book still haven't read - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and another comfort book - Wuthering Heights since after Sandy, it may be like walking through the moors. 

I was kind of hoping I wouldn't have to work tomorrow but the business of direct mail marketing doesn't stop regardless of if a tree falls on you. My biggest concern is power. Last year, we lost power for 6 days and my husband and I contemplated divorce after 3 days (no, not really). I'm cleaning the house sorta in case we lose power but eventually I'll sit down with one of my books. 

I am supposed to attend a function tonight for an event I'm involved with but with the weather and with the start of a cold, I don't know. So Kate @ Midnight Book Girl, you can beat me up later if I don't make it tonight. (Blowing a kiss, "Love You" Mean Girls style) ;)

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

A Review: The Trial of Fallen Angels

Coming to shelves near you is the brilliant book by James Kimmel, Jr., titled The Trial of Fallen Angels. This book tackles the afterlife, justice and forgiveness. Brek Cuttler, a lawyer, wife and mother, has a good life but she suddenly finds herself in an abandoned station (train or subway, I don't remember). She is bleeding and confused. A man, Luas, comes to tell her that she will be presenting cases of those who have died and who are awaiting final judgment. She, then, realizes she is in heaven when she runs into her grandmother and the house where she grew up. It's quite a shock to her, obviously. Later, she begins her work in the afterlife. While researching these cases, she finds out that these clients have had an impact on her life without ever having known them and that's where the story gets good!

This book is thought-provoking, frightening, illuminating, disturbing, strange and highly poignant. It does not delve into any particular religion but encompasses them all. Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, etc... It is not like The Shack except for the main subject of the afterlife. 

Kimmel does such an excellent job of creating the main character's memories and then using those memories to build the characters she meets in the afterlife. He also, brilliantly, has Brek actually live her clients' lives - their memories are hers too, including sights, scents, feelings, prayers and their lives as a whole.

I found this book hard to come back to. If I could have had a few days to just read, this wouldn't have been a problem but there is so much going on that if you have to leave the book for a day or two, you are lost when you come back to it. I had to re-read a chapter or two to catch up. It does go back and forth between Brek's living days, clients' previous lives, Brek's afterlife, etc. and can be a little confusing, however...

...I do think this book is great for group discussions...I plan to recommend it to my church. In conclusion, I am in awe of Mr. Kimmel's first novel. Well done!

Top Ten Books To Get In The Halloween Spirit

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this is Top Ten Tuesday. This week is...

Top Ten Books To Get In The Halloween Spirit

Excellent topic but first a quick story: When I was in Kindergarten, Star Wars was big. All the boys were either Luke, Hans or Chewie, so of course I wanted the boys' attention so I wanted to be Princess Leia. My mom put me in a cream-colored robe and did my hair up in "ear buns" which I am sure was not an easy
feat. I went to school all ready for the party but when I got there, all the boys pointed and laughed at me so I went home early with a stomachache. This was my first lesson in "Boys are stupid."


I don't do a lot of Stephen King (it's too much for me) so this is a challenge. 

1.) Mary Shelley's Frankenstein - it's more intense and gruesome than it is scary but they whole wedding night scene can spook you and the writing is amazing!
2.) All Edgar Allen Poe
3.) Carrie by Stephen King - okay, I did read this one in high school initially and I tried not to be a bitch to girls for fear that they would kill me at prom
4.) Christopher Pike anything - I read a lot of his books in high school, too. He's pretty damn decent at creeping me out - even today.
5.) Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz - I picked this up at the beach in middle school and freaked myself out.
6.) The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree - one of my favorite books from childhood.
7.) The Legend of Sleepy Hallow - okay, I never read the book but the cartoon version on tv used to scare the bejesus out of me
8.) The Hunger Games trilogy - freaky!
9.) All Harry Potter - wizards, witches, magic and He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named
10.) 50 Shades of Grey but that is only due to how scary the writing is...

Happy Halloween!!!!!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sundays in bed with...

Hosted by Midnight Book Girl - Sundays In Bed With... begs the question, what are you reading this Sunday?

Well, this Sunday should be a little less hectic than last Sunday - hopefully. Since I have finished Harry Potter #5, I can devote myself to my book club's selection, Anna Dressed in Blood. I have only just started it so I can't say much about it yet but it looks like it will be a good pick!

I only have six days to read it so I better get hoppin'.

Friday, October 19, 2012

FF: What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?

Hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read, this Friday is featuring Angela's Anxious Life and Book Liason. The question this week is:
What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? Is it to one day become an author yourself, just for fun, maybe get some online attention, or maybe something very different?

I would love to one day be an author myself but the time isn't right. I do this primarily as an outlet for my thoughts on books I have read or are reading. Now, I did get a free book last month from a publisher wanting my opinion on said book which is AWESOME, so if anyone else wants to send me books for my review, feel free. :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday

Hosted by The Broke and The Bookish, this is a weekly question for book bloggers. This week is 
October 16: Top Ten Favorite Authors In X Genre. 

(NOTE: Admittedly, I kind of read the question differently and instead of doing a list of authors who have done a series, I did this...forgive me.) The genre that I chose is autobiographies/memoirs. So here we no particular order:

1.) Bill Bryson's A Walk In The Woods
2.) The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman
3.) Elie Wiesel's Night
4.) Cheryl Strayed's Wild
5.) Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air
6.) Richard Wright's Black Boy
7.) Abigail Vona's Bad Girl
8.) Augusten Burrough's Running With Scissors
9.) Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl
10.) Cupcake Brown's A Piece of Cake

There are so many more...Lucky by Alice Sebold, Autobiography of Malcolm X, Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie, Me by Katherine Hepburn, A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer. 

When in doubt on what to get me for gifts, always go with memoirs and autobiographies...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sundays in bed with...

Hosted by Midnight Book Girl, what book are you curled up on this Sunday...

Well, unfortunately, I did not read a damn thing. After I left the readathon at hour 12 yesterday, my eyes were killing me, my head was pounding and I now realize it was from spending 12 hours reading my Nook. I love love love my Nook but for a readathon, I need something that doesn't resemble a computer screen (especially after working overtime proofreading at my job during the week). Also, I chose Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix to read at readathon which c'mon, I love HP but that is a long-ass book. I read A LOT of it yesterday but never had the satisfaction of finishing it before my head started to explode. I'm like 15 chapters from the end but today, I needed to work and then rest my eyes. But tomorrow, its back to HP!!!!

sentence challenge

Hosted by the incomparable Kate @ Midnight Book Girl
Take three or more books and create a sentence using only the book titles and take pictures.

Harry Potter Pledged Atonement
Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter Lit The Only Girl In The Car

Saturday, October 13, 2012

End of 24? (I mean 12)-hour read-a-thon

Okay, I'm signing out for a while. I'm heading home from my wonderful friend, Kim's @ On the Wing of Books who is a great hostess and all-around awesome chick! And thanks to my girls, Kate @ Midnight Book Club and Steph @ The Fake Steph Dot Com for keeping me entertained. (Sorry I couldn't hang longer but these eyes have to proof tomorrow.) 

I will be on at some point before heading to bed to post a bit more.

I am about 150 pages or so away from the end of Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix but to give Harry the respect he deserves I can't skim these last several chapters so he will have to wait till tomorrow night. Love to all book bloggers!

As for my special book bloggers: BITCHES BE READIN'!!!!!!!

More challenges and updates for Readathon

Hour 11:00 a.m.

Hosted by A Literary Odyssey, this challenge asks, "What classic book should ALL high school aged children read and why?"

I have to say that the one book I would want high schoolers to read would have to be Roots by Alex Haley. Yes, it's long, yes, it can be hard to follow the generations but the story of Kunte Kinte, born in 1750, in a Muslim African village, sold to an American plantation, his marriage to a cook and his struggle while being enslaved and while being free.

Can you tell I minored in African-American lit? ;)

Hour 12:00 p.m.

Hosted by Reflections of a Bookaholic 

Turn to page 32 in the book you are reading to find a phrase to complete this underlined part of a sentence:
"If only you knew she seemed horribly flustered, you'd run screaming into the night!"

Hosted by Book Drunkard  
"It’s simple – take the title of your current book or a book you’ve already finished today and create an Acrostic."

H= Hi
A= Am
R= Really
R= Reading
Y= Yippee!

P= Potter
O= On
T= The
T= Teaching
E= Everyone
R= Real Magic

Read-a-thon Update: 5 p.m.

Title of book(s) read since last update:
Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix

Thoughts on current read:

Longggggg book but great so far!!

Number of books read since you started: 

None yet

Pages read since last update: 


Running total of pages read since you started: 


Amount of time spent reading since last update:

7 hours

Running total of time spent reading since you started: 

8 1/2 hours

Mini-challenges completed:

Challenge #1, 3, 4, 5

Other participants you’ve visited (running list from start to finish - this way I can easily find my way back to all the new blogs!):


I am having trouble "following" people sometimes. RSS, Google Plus, by email, twitter, facebook, etc. I'm still learning so be patient because I want to follow a lot of you.


Challenge #3

10 a.m. Hour #3

Hosted by Uniflame Creates 

Snacks I am munching on:

Pop Tarts, Mixed Nuts for now and oh so much more to come...


Hour Three: 24-hour Read-a-thon

Read-a-thon Update: 10 a.m.

Title of book(s) read since last update: 
Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix

Thoughts on current read:
So far so good but this Professor Umbridge is a real bitch and where is Hagrid? (don't spoil it for me)

Number of books read since you started: 
None yet

Pages read since last update: 

Running total of pages read since you started: 

Amount of time spent reading since last update:
An hour and 15 minutes

Running total of time spent reading since you started: 

Mini-challenges completed:
Challenge #1 (Challenge #2 to come)

Other participants you’ve visited (running list from start to finish - this way I can easily find my way back to all the new blogs!):

I am having trouble "following" people sometimes. RSS, Google Plus, by email, twitter, facebook, etc. I'm still learning so be patient because I want to follow a lot of you.

Hour One: 24-Hour Read-a-thon

Okay, I am sort of awake and ready to go. So per 24-hour readathon...

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
The River City of Richmond, VA in 'Merica
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

Lover of cheese, old 90210 episodes, Star Wars, cats and books
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

I just want to survive. :)


Wednesday, October 10, 2012

24-hour Read-a-Thon!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For the very first time, I will be participating in a 24-hour Read-a-Thon! Check it out:

Kimberly at On The Wings Of Books and Kate at Midnight Book Girl got me into it and Kim is hosting this at her house starting at 8 a.m. Saturday, the 13th. Will I be there right at 8 a.m.? Dunno. Will I stay up till 8 a.m. Sunday? Doubtful and I doubt the girls want to hear me snore. Also joining us is Steph at The Fake Steph Dot Com who I am looking forward to meeting. 

I have created my pile, my fellow bloggers. Here it is!
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch
The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Chain Letter by Christopher Pike - I am starting with this one!
My NOOK: Has books 5-7 of Harry Potter, Anna Dressed in Blood and others

Looking forward to Saturday!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Top Ten Books on My TBR List for Winter

For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, it is a Tuesday Rewind, so the subject I chose is “The Top Ten Books On My TBR List For Winter."

Ah, Winter. Jammies, soft socks, a blanket, a hot cup of cocoa and a good book. 10 extra points if it is snowing outside. Even more points if there is a lighted Christmas tree in view. 

I count Winter as starting right after Halloween and ending in the middle of March because that's basically winter time in Richmond. Will we see snow this year? I certainly hope so or I'll be up in Mount Joy, PA with my in-laws to see some. 

Here are my picks:

1.) Trinity by Leon Uris
2.) Harry Potter and the Order of The Phoenix
3.) Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
4.) Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
5.) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Keeland (I started this and hated it but everyone keeps saying it gets really good so it better)
6.) The Killer Inside Me by Jim Thompson (kind of weird but want to try it)
7.) In Cold Blood by Truman Capote (no, Mom and Dad, I have never read it - even though I've  heard you guys talk about it for years)
8.) The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (my friends loved it, my niece loved it, so...)
9.) A book on Everest or the Appalachian Trail - not sure which one; I've read Into Thin Air, Wild and A Walk in the Woods
10.) 'Twas the Night Before Christmas - my husband's family had a tradition of my dad-in-law reading this to his three children every Christmas. Now, my husband reads it to me (and my parents) every year. 

Sundays in bed with...

Sundays in Bed With is hosted by the awesome Midnight Book Girl...

Sundays in bed? I wish. I didn't even remember to do this yesterday so I'm doing it today (Monday) and telling you what I did Sunday. Had so much to do yesterday in the dreary rain. I spent most of the day looking for new bedding for our master bedroom. I wanted something blue or yellow to match the beachy theme that we have going on. When I married my husband, I let him keep his hideous maroon and gold bedspread until I could find the right bedding. So this Sunday was the day to find it.

I started at Bed, Bath and Beyond. They had white, lilac, black, red...and the one blueish set was $250. Next was Kohl's...they had quilts and like 3 bedding sets that were in weird designs and were brown and/or beige. Since Target was nearby, I stopped in there. One aisle for bedding?! Only one lousy aisle. I didn't find my dream bedding there either. Okay, so I'll head over to the mall and check out JCPenny's  - not a damn thing. Finally, I went to Macy's - I found a blue and white striped Martha Stewart set on sale for $60. At this point, I was so tired of looking and it did look better than the old maroon and gold comforter. So that was most of my Sunday.

Finally, after cleaning, errands, etc. I went to my current book, The Trial of Fallen Angels by James P. Kimmel, but I was too tired to read and just switched on the t.v. instead. At least when I go to bed, I have decent looking bedding.

Friday, October 5, 2012

FF: Blog Goals

Awesome bloggers, Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read, are featuring Angela's Anxious Life, and are asking the question:

What do you hope to accomplish with your blog? Is it to one day become an author yourself, just for fun, maybe get some online attention, or maybe something very different?

Good question! Well, I started out with my book blogging as a fun way of bonding with fellow bloggers, Kate @ Midnight Book Girl and Kim @ On the Wings of Books. I didn't know if I would like it but I love it. I love love love to write and since my great novel isn't completed (or started!), this is a good outlet for me and a nice hobby. I also, of course, love reading so it's not hard to write about books. I always wanted to be a book editor at Random House or something and that is my dream job, but for right now, I'm not interested in moving to NYC or anything to accomplish that goal, so I'm a proofreader for a fabulous company in Richmond, VA by day and a book blogger and book reader by night. So far it's going pretty well...and I might (not for sure yet) start another daily blog with random thoughts and junk...we shall see.

Speaking of random, here's a pic of a little me before I could read...

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Back to the Future: Review of childhood and teen books

Well I have been a little nostalgic lately when it comes to reading, so about a week ago, I ordered a copy of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle by Betty McDonald and Slumber Party by Christopher Pike.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle was one of my favorite books growing up and I had no idea that these books were written in way back in the 40s. They are still relevant today. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle is the woman who lives in the upside-down house and she loves children. She plays with them, lets them tear up her house and she helps their parents with cures for naughtiness. Got a kid that won't pick up his toys? Then, try "The Won't-Pick-Up-Toys Cure" and he won't be able to get out of his room to eat dinner or join a neighborhood parade because his room is so cluttered. Got a little girl that sasses you all the time? Try "The Answer-Backer Cure". Sure, it means adopting a parrot but the kid never answered back again. When I was a kid, taking baths and not eating enough were two headaches I gave my mother.

Anyway, my favorites were:

- "The Radish Cure" - a grotesque little story of a girl that doesn't want to take baths, so Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle tells the mother to let her go for weeks without a tubby. Then, once she has enough dirt on her, the mother plants radish seeds in her forehead and scalp which turns into full radishes. Now, that I think about it, it's kind of creepy and I'm sure Stephen King could make it a good start to a freaky-ass novel. However, after reading the story, I don't remember giving my mother too much fuss over taking a bath.

- "The Slow-Eater-Tiny-Bite-Taker Cure" - Little Allen just doesn't want to eat or at least not as much as he should so he starts running out of energy. He is given increasingly tinier meals until the dude can't do anything because he has no nutrients. I was like this as a kid and my poor mother had to think of creative ways to get me to eat vegetables, fruit and protein.

Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle really is a timeless series of stories and perfect for a child of any age who has been naughty and needs to learn a lesson.

Rating: AH!

The next book, Slumber Party, by Christopher Pike, was apparently written in 1985? I don't remember being 10 when I started reading Pike. I think I was closer to 13. I must say I love Pike and I've got Chain Letter coming in the mail soon. This book showed up in my mailbox when I got home from work last night. I started it at 6 p.m., told my husband to get his own damn dinner, and finished it within a couple of hours. I think I had read this one before but it's been 20 years, so who knows?

6 teenage girls head to a ski resort and stay at one of the girl's parents' house. There is some bitchiness between all of them and a lot of jealousy as is pretty common with teen girls. Then, there is the memory of the last big slumber party where a tragic accident occured. The book tells us what happened that night and now, during the present slumber party, no one talks about it even though one of the girls has burn scars covering her face and is a constant reminder to everyone.

There are problems with this story, of course. Random characters that really don't have much to do with the story (Mindy), a budding romance with a guy the main character, Lara, knows for less than 24 hours... Plus, after a murder and a lot going on in the ending, it was weird how some of the characters left the hospital arguing over who got to ride with the cute boy. If a murder had happened and I was 17, I'd be wigging out and not thinking about boys.

But that's Pike and I remember reading his books on the beaches of Nags Head on family vacations and I still get goosebumps (sorry, R.L. Stine - I loved you too) during the spooky parts. I can't wait to read Chain Letter - all in one night!

Rating: Oh!

Yeah for nostalgic reads!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Old Books

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to us by The Broke and the Bookish! Check it out!

Top Ten "Older" Books You Don't Want People To Forget About

I probably should mention Voltaire or Milton or Balzac (although say Balzac slowly - I giggle every time), but I'm not because other than some basic knowledge, I wasn't a fan.

1.) Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. The woman started writing this when she was 18 which is just amazing to me. Most people think of Frankenstein as the monster but Dr. Frankenstein created the monster. The honeymoon scene is brutal. She could give Stephen King a run for his money. In fact, I should re-read this during the Halloween season.

2.) Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter. I think I was the only one in eleventh grade that loved this book. It's kind of like Days of Our Lives but without the crappy dialogue. (Hawthorne is probably rolling over in his grave right now.)

3.) And now Poe is rolling over in his grave because I mention him right after Hawthorne. They were not BFFs to say the least. All of Poe - and I mean all of him. My favorite is the classic The Tell-Tale Heart followed by The Black Cat and of course, The Cask of Amontillado.

4.) Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. This is a great classic story that I read most of on a rainy night back in college. Apart from that one crappy chapter where he uses all the math, this is a great piece of literature.

5.) Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels. Okay, I admit that I can't even remember when I read this but I remember the story and the Lilliputians.

6.) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte. This is one of my favorite books of ALL time so that's why I added it. The dialogue, the mansion, the orphanage, the madness, Mr. Rochester, Grace Poole. Just read it!

7.) Little Women by Louis May Alcott. Every girl should read this. I just want to live at Orchard House forever.

8.) Heidi by Johann Spyri. Goats, goat cheese a young girl's friendship with a sickly Klara and a boy named Peter, goat's milk, the Grandfather, goat's milk, The Alps. Did I mention the milk and cheese?

9.) The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. A little later time frame but a reminder of WWII and the attempt at breaking that girl's spirit, Anne's diary is both courageous and honest, with a little humor thrown in.

10.) Well, I have to mention him. SHAKESPEARE! It's been a while (okay it's been almost a decade) since I've sat down and really re-read any of the plays although I know Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and King Lear very well. Back in college, my favorite was a "problem play" of "Mr. WillShake": Measure for Measure, but for the life of me, I can't remember why. Dammit. I am going to have to go back and read that.

"A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow."
— William Shakespeare