Wednesday, October 31, 2012

WWW Wednesdays was started by MizB over at Should Be Reading,

To play along, simply answer the following three (3) Questions:
     1. What are you currently reading?
     2. What did you recently finish reading?
     3. What do you think you'll read next?

What I am Currently Reading

Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, #3)

I can actually can say I've started this one, unlike last week!  :)  I'm loving it already and I'm two chapters in... looking forward to continuing.

What I Recently Finished

Bear Wants More

A little out of character for the blog, but I wanted to put something other than the exact same thing I did last week.  Eli and I read this last night before bed.  I have always loved the "Bear" books by Karma Wilson and I'm really excited that Eli seems to be liking them nearly as much.  

What I May Read Next

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)

I most likely will pick up Raven Boys, unless Beautiful Chaos just leaves me no choice other than to hunt down Beautiful Redemption.

Please leave a comment with either your link to your own WWW Wednesdays, or similar, post, or share your answers here (if you don't have a blog).  Thanks!  


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.  Anyone can play along!  All you have to do:
1) Grab your current read.
2) Open to a random page.
3) Share two (2) 'teaser' sentences from that page.
4) Be careful!  Do not include spoilers!!!  Make sure that what you are sharing doesn't give too much away; you don't want to ruin the book for others.
5) Share the title and author, too, so that other Teaser Tuesdays participants can add it to their TBR list if they like what you shared.

My Teaser:
Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles, #3)

"The universe really must be cracked, and me right along with it.  I hoped somehow the light was finding a way in."
~p. 123, Beautiful Chaos by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

Please a link to your own Teaser Tuesday post or share your teaser in the comments below.  Thanks!


Sunday, October 28, 2012

Back From the Grave

{This Girl Reads}
Hosted by Cheyenne at {This Girl Reads} as part of her Haunted Week Celebration.

Minutes tick by.  Days pass.  Years, even.  But no matter where you are in your life you can always recall the books that somehow touched you.  Today we are delving back into the past.  All the way back to childhood.  What books did I love as a kid?  These are just a few.

I absolutely loved this book.  I can still tell you the entire story.  And I could still pull it off my bookshelf at home!  There's something about popcorn eating bears, I guess.  :)

This story actually got me in trouble.  I would stay up late in my bedroom with a flashlight, reading.  Needless to say, the flashlight got taken away.  It's still on my bookshelf, too.

This book is super cute.  A little boy sees an alligator outside his bedroom window - singing a song about taking him home.  The alligator sings a lot during the story and I remember I would read this book out loud a lot, singing as I thought the alligator would.  

I think as a child I completely related to this story.  Not that there were animals outside of my house breaking my toys, but, probably like every other kid on Earth, I felt like I would get in trouble for things I didn't do.  I also loved, even as a kid, the illustrations.  And as an adult, seeing McPhail's illustrations in any book takes my mind right back to this one.

MISS MOPP'S LUCKY DAY by Leslie McGuire, pictures by Jody Silver (1981 Hardcover 8.75 x 7 inches, 42 pages. Parents Magazine Press, NY)
This is another one of those that I read over and over.

I can't wait until my kids are old enough to share these with them... hopefully they love them as much as I did... or even half as much!

What books did you love as a kid?  Leave your answers or a link to your own post below!


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Ghosts of Books Half-Read

{This Girl Reads}
Hosted by Cheyenne at {This Girl Reads} as part of her Haunted Week Celebration.

The challenge: Ghosts of Books Half-Read.  Although I always try to finish every book I start, as I've gotten older I realize that it's okay not to finish a book for whatever the reason.  Maybe it's not grabbing me, maybe I don't like the author's style of writing, or maybe I'm just not in the mood to (*gasp*) read.  

Here we go:

A Clockwork Orange
Oh my.  I don't even know what to say to this one.  I couldn't get past the language.  I'm all for  playing and making stuff up, but my goodness!  I picked up for varying reasons, but the main one being my brother, who is not a reader of much that isn't nonfiction, owned it.  I thought to myself, "Hey, if he likes it, maybe I will."  I won't fall for that one again.

The Poisonwood Bible
This was such a disappointment.  I had heard some great things about it at the time and wanted to get in on the greatness.  I decided the struggle to read it wasn't worth the exhaustion.

House Rules
Again, as you can see on my Skeletons on My Bookshelf post, I really am a Jodi Picoult fan.  I think the timing was just way off for this one.  My bookmark is still secure in its home between the pages (nearly literally half way) and I will eventually find out what happens in this boy's life.

Hana (Delirium, #1.5)
I started this what feels like forever ago.  The fact that I haven't finished it is in no way a put down to Lauren Oliver, though.  I kept getting distracted and was never able to really put good time into it.  I *will* read it before Requiem comes out next year, though.

Pretties (Uglies, #2)
I read Uglies and I really like it.  For some reason about half way through Pretties the appeal was lost to me.  I will probably pick it up again someday and read the entire series, though.  It wasn't Scott Westerfeld's fault.

I had to really look for a couple of young adult books to throw on here.  These were the only two I could come up with.  I wonder if that says something about my brain or about adult books?  I'm going with my brain.

Feel free to share your ghosts.  What books haven't you finished?  How do you think you'll get rid of those ghosts - read them or forget about them?  Leave your answers or a link to your own post below!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Skeletons on My Bookshelf

{This Girl Reads}

Hosted by Cheyenne at {This Girl Reads} as part of her Haunted Week Celebration.

Today is all about the skeletons on your shelf.  Those books that have been rotting away on your shelf, just begging to be read, discovered, loved, or hated.  I have probably more than I should, as most obsessive book nerds do.  I'll share a few with you.

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)
This one has only been on my shelf for almost a month, but I already am not liking the dust it is collecting.  I read Maggie's Scorpio Races and *loved* it and was super excited to get this one.  It's one of those buys I feel guilty for not having started yet because I was so excited about it.
Anna Dressed in Blood (Anna, #1)
This has been on my shelf for less than half a year but I still am itching to read it.  I was originally waiting to read it this month, while the Teen Librarian where I work was doing it for book club, but I got engrossed in the Caster Chronicles (Beautiful Creatures) by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.  So that didn't work out very well for me.  
Before I Fall
I ordered this on the tails of finishing Pandemonium, the second book in the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver.  I was reading another book by the time it came in and I have just never got around to it.
Looking for Alaska
This is probably among those that has been sitting on my shelf the longest without being read.  And it's not for a lack of love for John Green.  I've yet to read a book by John that I didn't enjoy.  Other books just grab my attention before I remember this one is sitting there.
Sing You Home
I admit: I feel really guilty about this one.  Jodi Picoult is one of my favorite authors, and has been since I discovered her around eight years ago.  I just haven't gotten to this one.  Every time I go to pick it up, I don't feel "in the mood" for it and go to another.

There are more, as I said, but I'll leave you with these.  Feel free to share what skeletons are on your shelves - leave a link to your post or share your books in the comment section!  


Thursday, October 25, 2012

In My Mailbox #2

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi over at The Story Siren.  The general idea is to share the books that you have been received,  purchased, borrowed, or that you have found.

I was super super super excited to receive an email from MacMillan Children's Publishing Group saying that I had won two books from their Banned Books Week giveaways!  I had commented on some posts of theirs which earned me an entry.

So for a nice change of pace I got books in the mail that I didn't have to pay for... my husband was pretty happy with that idea too!

The books I received were:

I'm looking forward to reading them... probably won't be today though.  :)


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesdays was started by MizB over at Should Be Reading,

To play along, simply answer the following three (3) Questions:
     1. What are you currently reading?
     2. What did you recently finish reading?
     3. What do you think you'll read next?

What I am Currently Reading

Beautiful Chaos bookcover

Although technically this is not entirely true, I am starting it, hopefully tonight.  I went to start it on my lunch break at work and that didn't work out very well for me.

What I Recently Finished

Beautiful Darkness bookcover

I finished this a few days ago.  Loved it... eagerly anticipating the next installment.

What I Think I Might Read Next

The Raven Boys (Raven Cycle, #1)

I will most likely debate between the two of these.  I hate leaving myself hanging on a series, but Raven Boys has been whispering my name since I bought the first weekend of October.  And it keeps getting louder in its demand to be read.  It will partially depend on if I'm able to get my hands on a copy of Beautiful Redemption when I finish Beautiful Chaos.

Please leave a comment with either your link to your own WWW Wednesdays, or similar, post, or share your answers here (if you don't have a blog).  Thanks!  


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Beautiful Darkness: Review

Beautiful Darkness bookcoverTitle: Beautiful Darkness
Author: Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl
Series: Caster Chronicles, #2
Publication Date: October 12, 2010
Read: October 2012
Rating: 4 stars

"It was our curse now."

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Ethan Wate used to think of Gatlin, the small Southern town he had always called home, as a place where nothing ever changed. Then he met mysterious newcomer Lena Duchannes, who revealed a secret world that had been hidden in plain sight all along. A Gatlin that harbored ancient secrets beneath its moss-covered oaks and cracked sidewalks. A Gatlin where a curse has marked Lena's family of powerful Supernaturals for generations. A Gatlin where impossible, magical, life-altering events happen.

Sometimes life-ending.

Together they can face anything Gatlin throws at them, but after suffering a tragic loss, Lena starts to pull away, keeping secrets that test their relationship. And now that Ethan's eyes have been opened to the darker side of Gatlin, there's no going back. Haunted by strange visions only he can see, Ethan is pulled deeper into his town's tangled history and finds himself caught up in the dangerous network of underground passageways endlessly crisscrossing the South, where nothing is as it seems.

All choices have consequences, and sometimes those consequences can weigh heavy on our hearts.  Lena, despite not being mortal, is no exception.  She made a choice in Beautiful Creatures; she chose to save Ethan.  She didn't know the consequence would result in the death of Macon, her beloved uncle.

"We don't get to choose what is true.  We only get to choose what we do about."

In Beautiful Creatures, we saw the struggle Lena and Ethan went through as they tried to find a way to give Lena the chance to claim herself.  We start Beautiful Darkness seeing the ramifications of the choices made.  At first, I was annoyed with the reaction Lena had, although it did make sense.  Who wouldn't feel the weight of that decision?  Who wouldn't want to push away the physical reminder of what she did?  I suppose it served it's purpose of making me feel ambivalent toward her, as well as sorry at the same time.  Ethan didn't remember; he had no clue he was so deeply attached to her remorse, her loss.  

"There's something about sitting alone in the dark that reminds you how big the world really is, and how far apart we all are.  The stars look like they're so close, you could reach out and touch them.  But you can't.  Sometimes things look a lot closer than they are."

Enter Liv.  My initial reaction: *groan*  Not another triangle!  But it was done well and I quickly forgave the authors.  They didn't overplay it and his mixed feelings were realistic.  Mortal vs. Caster.  What to do?  All of the secondary characters from the first book held true to themselves and were just as strong and important as the first time around.  Link is the best friend everyone wants to have and everyone wants to be.  Who doesn't want a friend who would enter underground mystical tunnels with you with no questions asked.

I love that the books stand on their own somewhat (so far).  Although I'm itching to read the third one, I don't feel at all disappointed.  As much as I love reading series I like when the books have a sense of closure to them, even if not complete.  I don't want to read 503 pages and be left feeling lost or empty.  There is still a lot left unresolved and we still know there's more to come.  I'm anxious to see what that is and how the characters' lives unfold.  

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

In My Mailbox

In My Mailbox was created by Kristi over at The Story Siren.  The general idea is to share the books that you have been received,  purchased, borrowed, or that you have found.

This is the first time I've done an "In My Mailbox" or anything similar to it given that I'm new to the whole blog world blog world and have just now run across it.  I think it's an awesome idea, though, so thank you Kristi!

I don't know that I get enough books over the course of the week to do this on a weekly basis, but we shall see.  The books I've gotten (all purchased) since the beginning of October...

Paper Towns by John Green
Little Brother by Cory Doctorow
Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein
The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Prophecy of Sisters by Michelle Zink
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

While I'm sure, given that "me" time is not abundant in my life, it will take me quite some time to get to reading all of these, I'm super excited about them nonetheless.  

Or at least have the option to buy the time to read it!  I just need to learn to operate on less sleep!  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Time is never on my side...

I feel I've been reading Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl for months now.  In reality, though, it's not even been a month, only about two weeks.  If only there were more hours in a day or I could operate on less sleep, I would be good to go on reading to my heart's content.  Between kids, husband, and work there's just very little time left to do what I want to do.  Unfortunately, for my reading pleasure at least, by the time I get the kids in bed for the night and do whatever else I need to do before I head to bed, it is nearly bed time for myself and all I want is to veg out in front of one of my favorite shows.  Let's be honest, tv requires a lot less mental focus and activity than a book does.  Especially when the book is as great at the Caster Chronicles series.  I don't want to rush through it and miss any of the goodness!

So here's hoping time is good to me this week and I can finish BD (I'm almost there) so I can start on Beautiful Chaos. Looking forward to discovering more about these characters and how the story continues.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Banned Books Rule!


Banned Books Week: Sept 30 - Oct 6, 2012

This year marks the 30th year of celebrating literature and the freedom to read it.  Although I'm not currently reading a book that's on the list, seeing them on there only makes me want to read them more.  :)  I think that everyone should have the choice to read what they want.  I am against censorship on a public scale; I believe that is a parent's job if they choose to do so.  As a parent myself I would not want someone else telling my child what is appropriate or not appropriate for them as everyone's views on that subject vary greatly.  Limiting access to something only fuels the desire to want it, read it.

This topic makes me sad on some level.  Sad that some of the books on these banned or challenged lists are being limited in access a lot of times and that someone out there could need that story, that connection, to help them make it through a rough time.  Do people really think that no one out there contemplates sex as a teen?  Suicide?  Mental illnesses?  I'm not an expert, I would never claim to be, but I imagine some of the information in these books is tame compared to the information kids get from their peers.  Books are a great way to take a break from reality, the stress of life.  They are just stories, works of fiction (if you are reading fiction, of course) that help us escape to a world that isn't ours.  They let you visit other places, sometimes places that really don't exist (which if you are taught the difference between reality and fantasy then you would know the likes of Harry Potter isn't real and therefore the 'magic' part would not be a reason to challenge or ban a book).

All in all, I love that we celebrate Banned Books Week.  It gives us a chance to remember all those books that have touched our lives in one way or another, even if they aren't on the list currently.  Someday they may be. One can only hope.