I’ve decided to hold a read-a-thon event! We’re now over a quarter of the way through 2014, so it’s a great time to assess where you are with your reading goals and progress for the year.
How can I join?
- Anyone is free to join! Please REBLOG this post if you are interested in taking part in…
I’m so excited to be taking part in TreesofReverie’s celebration of reading, the first official April Read-A-Thon!
Registration closes tomorrow, so don’t forget to reblog this post to let everyone know you’re taking part!
“Never chase love, affection or attention. If it isn’t given freely by another person, it isn’t worth having.”
Cherry Blossoms in the Capital!
“Thanks so much for following!”
Thank YOU for being awesome!
A Book Tag
I was tagged by the supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Sylvia. I’m actually stealing some questions from THIS post she made a couple of days ago because I thought they were too hilarious too pass up.
The 11 Things Tag :)
1. List 11 facts about yourself.
2. Answer 11 questions chosen by the person who nominated you.
3. Ask 11 new questions to 11 bloggers.
1. I’m really looking forward to getting started with container gardening this spring!
2. I love documentaries, especially ones dealing with adoption. I cry.
3. Last year I rang in my birthday by seeing my favorite 80’s cover band with a friend.
4. I am deathly terrified of bugs of all kinds. Butterflies! Ants! Flies! I had two ladybugs find their way into my bedroom last summer, and I had to construct a blanket fort in bed to protect myself. Shit got real.
5. I spend a lot of time day-dreaming about having a pet Corgi named Mustaches.
6. I played the drums in high school.
7. My sister is convinced I speak fluent French. She has always thought this. She has taken French in school for the past 3 years, and she has told her teachers every year, “You should meet my sister, she speaks French!” I do not speak French. It’s a very weird situation, and I have no idea where this idea originated from.
8.Today I bought some light sabers. Just because.
9. I have been to Disney Land on 3 different continents. My favorite ride is the Haunted Mansion.
10. I’m currently watching Freaky Eaters on Netflix, and all I want to do is eat the exact things that the show’s saying are terrible. Really, this show is a horrible influence. A show about a woman who eats cheesy potatoes for every meal of every day sounds like HEAVEN. WAIT - the cheesy potato addict’s HUSBAND called a dietician and a psychotherapist to corner her in a fast food parking lot? That’s messed up. Choose the cheesy potatoes, woman! You don’t need your husband! They just made her dump a bunch of raw potatoes on the road and then cover them with shredded cheese. Now the therapist is holding her as she cries at the pile of potatoes and cheese and is asking, “What do you want to say to these potatoes?” This show is whack, and I’m still hungry.
11. I’m SUPER EXCITED to go to DC tomorrow to see the cherry blossoms! I try to see them every year.
Questions from ifyougaveagirlabook:
1. Do you have a favorite classic? What is it?
Gone with the Wind! I love the book and the movie.
2. What is/are your favorite genre(s)?
Lately, it’s been GAME OF THRONES. Not fantasy, just GAME OF THRONES ALL THE TIME. It’s ADDICTIVE. The guys who sit next to me at work are obsessed with the show, and obviously, I’m haven’t gotten to the parts in the stories that they’re covering in the TV show, and the guys spend large quantities of time talking SPOILERS when I’m trying to work. I think they’re catching on as I pop my head above my cubicle, glare at them, and angrily put on headphones during their conversations. This is going to ignite some kind of interoffice battle.
3. If half of your body was sewn onto half of an author’s body, which author would you pick and why? (you would still be alive)
I spend a lot of time imagining what it’d be like to travel back in time, kidnap someone from the 1800’s, and drag them back to the future to watch their mind explode. I would say Jane Austen. She’d be a fun one.
4. Name a favorite childhood book.
Chicken Soup with Rice. It’s actually kind of freaky-looking, in retrospect.
5. Are there other bookworms in your family?
My sister is DEFINITELY not, despite my yearly birthday book gifts for her. My dad reads history books every once in awhile. My mom used to read those horrible Harlequin romances when I was a kid, but then she stopped for about 10 years, and she has just recently picked up chick lit.
6. Least favorite book?
This honor will always belong to The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake!
7. If you could make a book come alive and have its characters pour out from the pages, which book would you choose?
Any of the Sookie Stackhouse books. That would be so interesting (and Eric? Unf.)
8. Which fictional character would you love to have a sleepover with? (I’m running out of ideas.. haha!)
Rhett Butler ;)
9. Who is your favorite literary parent?
Molly Weasley, of course!
10. What book did you read in school that you HATED?
The Bridge of San Luis Rey; a bunch of random people are crossing a bridge in South America, and it suddenly collapses. What a wonderful book to remind your freshmen students of how fragile their young lives are!
11. Read any good books lately? Let me know!
I’m currently struggling to keep up with A Clash of Kings and Chelsea Handler’s Uganda Be Kidding Me. I’ve been SWAMPED at work, but thankfully, I’ve got a beach vacation coming up in a few days, so hopefully I get a chance to catch up on my reading then!
My questions (very random and not very book-ish, I’m afraid):
1. Who is your celebrity crush?
2. Do you have any tattoos/do you want any?
3. What’s the best book you’ve ever given as a gift?
4. What’s your favorite magazine?
5. When did you get your first kiss?
6. What’s your favorite article of clothing you own?
7. What’s your favorite classic Nickelodeon TV show?
8. Where will you be going on your next vacation?
9. How did you meet your best friend?
10. What was your most recent disappointment?
11. What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
Anyone who wants to do this! I feel like people get annoyed when I tag them, even though I love being tagged in things myself!
You just made my day, you wonderful woman!
Top Ten Tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is an invention created by The Broke and the Bookish in which they give a prompt asking fellow book lovers to fill out a top ten list. This week’s theme is…
Top Ten Most Unique Books I’ve Ever Read
- Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple
The writing was adorable and quirky, the plot was so interesting, and the little mystery at the end was AWESOME - this book is in a world all its own.
- Room by Emma Donoghue
Currently only $3 for your Kindle!
Emma Donoghue took a crazy media case - a woman who was kidnapped, imprisoned, and treated as a personal sex slave - and brought it to life in this book. Reading cases like these in the media is shocking but almost doesn’t feel real, and Donoghue really overcame that. Donoghue’s telling of the story from a little boy’s perspective was as unique as the plot, and I loved this book.
- Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
This book really took the world by storm a couple of years ago, and it’s no wonder: it’s a psychological thriller that really gets you in the head of the psycho, which is something I personally hadn’t read before. This is one of my all-time favorite reads.
- Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman
Only $6 on your Kindle!
The uniqueness of this book comes from the premise: it’s a memoir of a white, middle-class woman as she is sent to a women’s prison for a pithy crime she committed ten years before. Sure, someone can write a similar story, but the uniqueness of this book comes from the fact that it’s all real. Kerman - normal, clean, easy to relate to - makes you wonder how you could survive incarceration.
- Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
Only $6.50 for your kindle!
Okay, I don’t read too much about business, and I don’t read too much about women’s studies, so this book probably isn’t unique to most lovers of those genres, but it was very unique to me. I loved how the book spoke straight to me as a young woman entering the business world and informed me of some of the pre-existing prejudices against my gender that might hinder me as I try to advance. To have this advice come from someone as influential as Sheryl Sandberg makes it even more unique.
- Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
This is a book I read only a few months ago, compared to high school for most people, so it’s still pretty fresh in my mind. The diary of a mentally disabled boy faced with the prospect of genius is SUCH a unique premise, and this book really made me think about disabilities in a new light.
- The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
Walls was raised by nomadic artists in a childhood that was less than idyllic, and her memoir is both captivating and chilling. Even more unique, Walls is a journalist who is able to recount these memories without strong emotion, leaving the readers to feel them for themselves. This is also one of my most favorite books.
- The Time of My Life by Cecelia Ahern
Most of Cecelia Ahern’s books are incredibly unique, combining lovable characters with a hint of the supernatural. In this novel, a young woman is visited by her “Life,” a run-down man who has had enough of her tossing him to the wind and is staging an intervention. A great book, and a great AUDIOBOOK as well.
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Only $5 for your Kindle!
This book is an enchanting story about a magic circus, and with a unique plot and premise, this book has stuck with me longer than most everything else I’ve read in the past 3 years.
- The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender
This is the only book out of this top 10 that I ABSOLUTELY HATED. I cannot stress how horrible this book was; I spent the whole time reading it, thinking, ‘What the hell?’ but the ending was even worse than I had ever imagined. I’m even going to reveal some spoilers in hopes that you’ll never read it for yourself: the book is about a girl who can taste the feelings of whoever made her food, like when she tastes her mother’s affair in her birthday cake. In the end of the book, her brother turns into a chair. A CHAIR.
I stumbled upon this church on my way back from a road trip to Knoxville. Grace Episcopal Church of Keswick is one of six churches in Virginia that have been running since colonial times, and it’s just gorgeous.
Cinderella Ate My Daughter
by Peggy Orenstein
Buy it now!
Peggy Orenstein’s Cinderella Ate My Daughter is a feminist critique of how little girls are raised, including how toys are marketed to children, how school affects both boys and girls, and how technology is impacting the next generation of young women, from social media to sexting. Meeting with toy marketers to discuss the industry’s obsession with the color pink, visiting studies relating gender interaction in the classroom to better intergender communication in adult years, doing first-hand research at a children’s beauty pageant, and interviewing high school girls on how the internet and cell phones have impacted their social lives, Orenstein combines interviews, studies, and her own experience in a book that offers an eye-opening look at how feminism is failing our children.
Peggy Orenstein does a lot of attacking. Disney Princesses (whose founders, Cinderella and Snow White, are really only valued by their reinforcement of gender roles, such as cleaning; whose Princesses, until the recent “Frozen,” never encouraged girl-on-girl bonding; whose culture discourages creativity and power). American Girls (who claim to be a scholastic answer to Disney Princesses and Barbies and claim to be a way for mothers to bond with their daughters but simply play to the heartstrings of parents and encourage materialism in their daughters). The color pink (even if you’re buying pink tool belts and soccer balls for your daughters, you’re still telling them they’re held to a different standard than men because they’re only allowed to use one color in comparison to a whole spectrum of them).
I am a feminist, and I believe in equality between the genders, but Peggy Orenstein gave me the impression that she was one of those feminists that took things a bit too far. She did a lot of attacking and very little to respond to the challenges that face the next generation of young women. Basically, unless we homeschool our daughters, kick TV to the curb, limit their interaction with other children, and put blinders on them every time we have to run to the store, they’re going to be influenced by the marketing strategies these big companies aim directly at them. Rather than offer solutions that inspire hope, Orenstein made me feel very discouraged with what the future holds for feminism.
Some people have criticized the book for not offering a very in-depth book for gender studies students, but as someone with just a passing interest in the subject, I felt it was very thorough and well-researched for me. It got my mind analyzing marketing strategies, and I agreed with most of the research and assertations Orenstein brought to the table. At points, the book was a bit dry and Orenstein did seem to take things a bit too far, but if you have an interest in marketing, gender studies, or feminism, this book would probably be a rewarding read for you.
The estate of Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind, has authorized a prequel, being written by Donald McCaig, called Ruth’s Journey …
Such exciting news!!
just discovered that im not a fan of audiobooks at all
I love audio books, especially when I’m on the go or I’m reading a more “advanced” novel with longer words and written from another time, I find they help a lot.
they bothered me at first because it felt very different since im used to ignoring noise and voices while i read (i listen to music while reading) but its really quite nice and convenient
They bothered me at first, too (my first experience with one in my car led to me jerking the wheel and running off the road every time there was a plot twist), but I’ve grown to love them. You just have to find a narrator and a book that really clicks for you.
Audible is pretty amazing in letting you sample audiobooks before buying them and has the EASIEST returns I have ever experienced (you pretty much click a button saying “Give me back my money!” and they do - no questions asked).
I would give it another shot! They are fantastic for getting through long drives and keeping you company while you’re cleaning!
A Game of Thrones
A Song of Ice and Fire Book #1
by George R.R. Martin
Released: 6 August 1991
Buy it now! - Only $5! SERIOUSLY! $5 for 835 pages! That’s like .59 of a penny for each page!
Well, I finally read it. As most everyone on my GoodReads friend list has read this book, and after so much praise for the series in popular culture, I am afraid there’s nothing I can really say about the series that hasn’t already been said yet. But I’m going to try.
A Game of Thrones is a Medieval fantasy book following a unique set of characters, mainly the members of the Stark family, an exiled child Queen, and the youngest brother of the current Queen of the kingdoms. The book contains lots of action, lots of violence, a few twists and turns, a little romance, and a lot of adventure.
Years and years before the book begins, the Targaryen family ruled the seven kingdoms, and a brave knight named Robert fought with them to steal the throne. King Robert is now the leader of the seven kingdoms, and he has just lost the man serving as his Hand, in charge of ruling the kingdoms while he has a good time. Rumors are that the Hand was murdered by the mysterious Lannister family, to whom Robert’s Queen belongs. Tyrion Lannister is the younger brother of the Queen, and as a dwarf, is the outcast of both his family and the kingdom. Not nearly as political as his sister or her twin brother, Tyrion spends most of the book escaping trouble that his siblings place him in and opening his big mouth to tell it like it is (which lands him into even more trouble).
Despite a general hatred of the Lannisters, Eddard Stark, Lord of the North kingdom, has agreed to serve as the Hand for his old friend, and he moves half of his family to the capital to do what is expected of members of the royal cabinet. Eddard spends the book trying to figure out a motive for his predecessor’s death and trying to discern friend from foe in the capital. His wife Catelyn, meanwhile, stays in the North to teach her eldest son how to govern a kingdom and to see her husband’s bastard son off to the Wall, a massive structure dividing the seven kingdoms from the Haunted Forest and the mythical monsters of the far North. The bastard son, Jon, spends the book trying to fit in with the Night’s Watch and forget the family he loves but can no longer be bound to.
Daenerys Targaryen is one of the last two ruling Targaryens to still exist, a fact her brother Viserys never fails to remind her of. Exiled for most of their lives, Viserys and Daenerys have traveled from house to house, existing only from the hospitality of rich connections. Viserys, a sadistic jerk, is hell-bent on stealing back the crown that is rightfully his, and so he sells his little sister to a king of nomadic warriors in exchange for an army. Daenerys spends the book struggling to grow up and grow accustomed to this new group of people she is now expected to rule.
I’m not a huge fantasy person, and I have the bad habit of expecting great things from books everyone loves and winding up sorrily disappointed. This was not one of those cases. I couldn’t put my finger on what, exactly, kept me reading with such a ferocity (the strong female characters? the hint of a mystery? the sweep of adventure?), but I can say that I was thoroughly addicted to this book.
I personally do not know anyone who doesn’t like this book, which makes me think that it’s a pretty solid book to recommend to ANYONE. Perhaps the biggest recommendation for this book came from my cousin, a 21-year-old former athlete who hasn’t read anything since the Captain Underpants series he devoured in elementary school, who I caught reading the 4th book in the series over Christmas. That being said, I did take to GoodReads to read some negative reviews, and it seems that a lot of die-hard fantasy lovers aren’t a big fan of the series because they don’t think it’s fantastical enough.
Whatever. If you love adventure and don’t consider yourself the Fantasy Expert of the Internet, there’s a good chance you’ll love this book.
The Goddess Test
by Aimee Carter
Genre: YA Fiction
Buy it now!
Kate Winters has spent the last few years of 18-year-old life caring for her dying mother. As her mother passes into the terminal stage of cancer, she asks Kate to move them both from New York City to Eden, Michigan, the town where she grew up, so she can spend the last few months of her life back at home. As Kate enters the local high school and meets outcast James and popular girl Ava, she feels more out of place than ever, thinking of how trivial high school is compared to the life and death situation she’s dealing with at home.
When Ava’s jealousy of Kate gets the better of her, she tries to prank the new girl, and things go horribly awry. Henry, a gorgeous mysterious stranger, shows up in the middle of the action and tells Kate that he will help her out if she agrees to do him a favor and tells her to look at the ancient story of Persephone for guidance (please excuse the vagueness, I’m just trying to avoid spoilers!). When Henry shows up on Kate’s doorstep a few days later and asks her to spend 6 months a year with him for the rest of her life in his sprawling mansion, Kate is flabbergasted and has no idea what to think.
Claiming he is the Greek god Hades and is in need of a new wife to help him rule the underworld, Henry certainly sounds crazy. With her beloved mother dying, though, Kate is willing to do anything to prolong the life of the only family she has and agrees to join Henry and go through the series of tests his family has designed to determine whether she is worthy of being his wife. Upon her arrival at his mansion, however, Kate realizes that her new life is going to be complicated by more than just tests, as it is revealed that each of the women who Henry tried to take as a wife before were mysteriously murdered in cold blood.
Part mystery, part romance, and part action-packed thriller, this book was an interesting mix of genres. The ending had a bit too many plot twists for me to feel completely satisfied with its conclusion, but it was an interesting enough read. One thing that kind of irked me was the pacing of the book; it felt like Kate was preparing for her tests and then the book ended; the “tests” weren’t explained until the conclusion, which was kind of awkward. Kate was also a bit of a drama queen (which is something that really irks me about YA fiction: a lot of times the authors think that the only difference between a YA heroine and an adult heroine are the hormones, and a YA character must be filled with uncontrollable fits that make her lash out and freak out about the most minor of things; last I checked, being a teenager consists of a lot more than just hormones), and I was also kind of skeeved out by her relationship with Henry. She was supposed to be taking these tests to be his wife, but she’s in HIGH SCHOOL and he’s thousands of years old - ew. A lot of Greek mythology buffs had problems with the book because Aimee Carter didn’t do a ton of research before she began writing The Goddess Test. I can’t say it really bothered me, as someone whose only knowledge of Greek mythology comes from Disney’s “Hercules.”
Altogether, this wasn’t a bad read. It’s definitely not a great favorite of mine, but I enjoyed myself while reading it. This is the first book in a series, and I felt like the conclusion was fulfilling enough that I have no need to read the rest in the series; it ended in a good place. The Goddess Test is not a huge time commitment, and it has an interesting premise. I think The Goddess Test would be an thrilling read for any YA lover.
“Should I read the Sophie Kinsella books?”
Sophie Kinsella’s books are like chick flicks in book form. They’re quick, easy reads and good for a few laughs and feel-good feelings. I’ve read almost everything she’s written, and my favorite is Remember Me? (it has such an interesting premise)! I think my least favorite is Twenties Girl, just because one of the main characters was really, really annoying. The Shopaholic series is fun, but I found that after I’d been reading it, I was apt to spend MUCH more money than usual, thinking, “Hmm, my credit card bill may be pretty high, but at least I’m not as bad as THAT girl!”
If you like chick flicks and chick lit, Sophie Kinsella is pretty standard and pretty enjoyable! Sophie Kinsella is actually her pen name; her real name is Madeline Wickham, and her books under her real name are pretty good, too!