Monday, March 31, 2014

Top Ten "Gateway" Books

It's time for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week's theme: Top Ten Gateway Books

1. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon: I had reached a significant lull in reading when I picked up this book.  Spark re-ignited!

2. Stiff by Mary Roach:  This opened me to the door of unusual non-fictions.

3.The Brethren by John Grisham: This book made me realize that John Grisham's books are actually phenomenal.

4.The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald:  This made me realize,there are far too many classics I don't even know the plot to!

5.Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick: this was my first Quick book, and I have since read them all.

6. Harry Potter and the Socerer's Stone by JK Rowling: This book is on my radar for a different reason than most.  This was my first Jim Dale narrated book.  I want him so badly to read EVERY book now.

7. I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella:  This is the book that made me realize maybe romance novels aren't all bad.

8. There's a Wocket in my Pocket by Dr. Suess: My very first Dr. Suess book!

9. Welcome to Dead House by R. L. Stine: This man is owed a lot of credit for my love of reading.

10. The Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree by 

Making Up For Monday: Villians

It's time for Making Up For Monday!

Today's question is: Who is your favorite fictional villain?

Mine is a fairly popular one: Dracula

I like Dracula becuase he wasn't this socialite who went through parties and met girls and was handsome and suave.  He was a recluse who hid and sneaked around and got you without you even realizing that is what happened.  Ugh...scary! 

Check out more from Making Up For Monday!  

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Rabbit is Rich: 1 Star

Rabbit is Rich by John Updike

Ugh..... I was really close to leaving my review at just that.

Rabbit is Rich is a Pulitzer Prize winner so I read it as part of my challenge. It is actually the third part of a four part series following Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom. After what seems to be a troubled past (which happens in the first two books), Rabbit has finally settled down and seems somewhat satisfied in his life.

Rabbit owns a Toyota dealership during the gas crisis of the 70's. Even though the rest of the country seems to be struggling financially, Rabbit is actually doing pretty well. He's somewhat happy in his marriage (I guess happier than he was).  He even has made amends with those in his life he once had a rocky relationship. Then his son comes home from college in hopes of working at the Toyota dealership and Rabbit isn't sure his son has worked hard enough to deserve such a job.

I did not like this book at all and that is for two big reasons:

1.  Nothing happens!  The book is so unbelievably boring.  What does happen in this book is just mundane and boring, and frankly I just didn't care.

2. I hated Rabbit. Ugh, he was a male chauvinist pig. Every time he met a woman, his first few thoughts were "I wonder if her pubic hair is the same color as her hair?" or "I wonder what her vagina looks like/smells like/tastes like?".  EVERY WOMAN! It was disgusting.  Then he cheats on his wife several times like it nothing.  I hate cheaters.  But on top of it, the sex scene were explained in disgusting detail and they did nasty things like pee on each other.  I felt like I was reading and poorly executed porno.  Ugh.

I will never read Updike again.  Ugh!

Rating:  X (Seriously vivid sex scenes)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

4 Years Today.....

That's right everyone, I have been married to my best friend for 4 years today!

As a way to celebrate, I thought I'd tell you the story of how we met.

In August 2009, I was living in Portland OR.  My sister came to visit me for a week and my roommate and I decided to throw a party. I invited a ton of people, including my boyfriend at the time. My roommate also decided to invite a ton of people.  The party started and my boyfriend didn't arrive. When the party was drawing to a close, he finally showed up and thought this was the prefect time to break up with me. Yep, he was a gem. Frustrated and angry, I went to leave the room and my roommate decided to stop me to introduce me to her friend and the friend he brought. I was not interested and simply said "I hate men!".  Little did I know, the friend that her friend brought last minute to our party was my future husband.

We didn't formally meet again until November, all he remembered was that I hated men. We were dating by January. March of the following year, we were married.

My husband is the funniest, weirdest, coolest guy I know. He's unpredictable and I love it! He makes life so much fun and never ceases to amaze me. I am thankful everyday that the phrase "I hate men" only sparked his interest in me. I can't imagine life without him.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List

 It's time for the Broke and the Bookish's Top Ten Tuesday. 

This week's theme: Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List (could be blogging related, book related etc. -- meeting authors, reading x many books per year, finishing a daunting book, etc.)

I decided to start out with my blog challenges:

1. Reading 125 books this year:  Last year I read 116 books, so this isn't much more, but I am struggling to keep up.  I guess I better buckle down.

2. The Pulitzer Prize list: I am reading through the fiction list of Pulitzer Prize winners. I am hoping to get through this in two years.

3. The Classics Club: I joined the Classic Club and have a list of 50 books I am trying to get through in the next five years.

4. Reading every John Grisham book: I am not a huge fan of the super popular mystery writers that pump out novels faster than you can blink, but I read one of his books in college on a whim. I LOVED it.  He is a phenomenal writer.

5. Meeting Jim Dale: Jim Dale is the best audiobook reader. I want to go to a book reading of his. 

6. Reading Atlas Shrugged: 1168 pages of whopping intimidation. I hear great things, but man it is so intimidating. Its HUGE!

7. Reading War and Peace: Speaking of HUGE....1424 pages is a lot of pages.

8. A Brief History of Time: Ok, so I hear WONDERFUL thing about this book....but is is weird that I am worried I won't understand it?  I mean, it is written by a genius.

9. The Shining: I had a bad experience with Stephen King (the whole 11-year old orgy thing), but I want a good scare and I hear this book will do the trick. Once I can look past the past, I'll read it.

10.  Gone with the Wind: One more large book for the list, topping out at 1037 pages.

Making Up For Monday: Library Requests

It's time for Making Up For Monday!

Today's question is: What books do you have on request at the library?

I don't know about all of you, but I tend to always be requesting books from my local library. 

Right now I have three books on hold and am waiting to pick them up.

The War of the Worlds by HG Wells

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junet Diaz

The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson

I can't wait!

Check out more from Making Up For Monday!  

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sycamore Row: 4 Stars

Sycamore Row by John Grisham

In the latest Grisham novel, we see something we have never seen from him before: a sequel. Sycamore Row is a sequel to A Time to Kill, his very first novel.

The book take place a few years after the Carl Lee Hailey case.  Lawyer Jake Brigance is not doing so well financially. He is still in battle with his insurance company over his burned down house and he hasn't had a decent case in quite awhile. Until he gets a letter in the mail from a man he has never met.

Seth Hubbard is a lonely white man who is twice divorced and never sees his adult children or grandchildren. He was dying of cancer when he decided to hang himself.  He wrote a letter to Jake just before he died with a new handwritten will, asking Jake to defend this will until the end.  What's the big deal?  Seth is worth $24 million and he cut out his children and grandchildren completely.  He has left 90% of his estate to his black maid.

The fight begins. 

This story is much slower paced than A Time to Kill. It is more about Jake's battle to find out all he can with those involved, while trying to not be financially deprived and keep his old business partner, Lucien Wilbanks from re-taking the bar ad becoming a lawyer again, making Jake's life miserable.

I really enjoyed this book. I was caught a little off-guard by the slowness of the book, but once I understood the pace, I really enjoyed it.  We even got a little shout out from The Last Juror by the mention of Willie Trainer, who also lives in the fictional town of Clayton.

Rating: PG

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Inkdeath (Inkworld #3): 3 Stars

Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke

As the third and final part of the Inkworld series, Inkdeath take us to where we left off in Inkspell. Mo, Meggie, Resa, and Farid are all trapped in the book Inkheart still after being read in by Orpheus, who is there now as well. Dustfinger has died and Elinor is still in the real world. Farid has vowed to find a way to bring Dustfinger back, and being in love with him, Meggie wants to help.  Mo, the other hand, is still stuck being the Bluejay and wants to right the wrong done in Inkspell by writing the three words in the white book that will kill the now immortal Adderhead.

The original writer of the book, Fenoglio, is still there but has gone a bit insane and doesn't write anymore. So in order to change the story and bring back Dustfinger, Farid is working for Orpheus. Orpheus is slowly changing things about the world but won't bring Dustfinger back until he can meet with the Bluejay. 

Mo, who is now kind of enjoying being The Bluejay, and Orpheus meet.  Oprheus says he can bring back Dustfinger if he dies in the process.  What this actually means his Orpheus will call the White Women to come take Mo to the world of death to bring back Dustfinger.  Of course Meggie and the now pregnant Resa just think he has died. 

In the death world, Mo meets Death. Death agrees to let Dustfinger go back as long as Mo goes and actually writes the three words in the white book to kill the Adderhead or else he will bring Dustfinger, Mo and Meggie back to the death world forever. Now Mo must save them all by killing the evil and decaying Adderhead.

This book, like the other two, had one major flaw.  It was WAY too long. I really felt like it could be cut in half without missing much of the plot.  There is so much filler in these books, that I find myself drifting off and not really paying attention.  I am not sure how kids are supposed to stay focus on this story when as an adult, I barely can.

Other than that, I liked this one better than the other two because we finally got to know Mo.  He was kind of an unknown character in the first two, even though he was a main character.  He was just so stiff and emotionless, I didn't feel like I knew him at all.

Dustfinger is still my favorite character.  He is clever and deep in back-story. 

Rating: PG

Monday, March 17, 2014

Top Ten Books On My Spring 2014 TBR List

It's time for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and The Bookish!

This week's theme: Top Ten Books On My Spring 2014 TBR List

1. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan: I am almost done with the Percy Jackson and The Olympian series (just one more book).  I can't wait to get to this series.  I listen to the audiobooks, and this series has a new reader which is great because I HATE the current reader.

2. This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper: I saw the preview for the movie starring Jason Bateman (who I adore) that is coming out in September and decided I wanted to read the book first.

3. Game by Barry Lyga: This is the second in the Jasper Dent series, which I kinda liked.

4. Paper Towns by John Green:  It's time for me to brave another John Green now that The Fault in Our Stars is out of my system.

5. World War Z by Max Brooks:  I am so embarrassed how often this is at the top of my TBR list.  Ugh.

6. Killing Floor by Lee Child: I have been meaning to start the Jack Reacher series and I just picked this up from the library.

7. Miles to Go by Richard Paul Evans: I just read the Walk and liked it, so I want to read the next in the series.

8. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding:  This has been on my list for awhile and I do want to read, but I think the cover keeps bugging me so it keeps moving downward.

9. The Princess Bride by William Goldman: Again, this has been at the top of my list for too long.

10. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver: Yet another that has been n my list way too long.

Making Up For Monday: Favorite Character

It's time for Making Up For Monday!

Today's question is: Who is your favorite character?

There are so many "favorite" characters that it is really hard to narrow it down to just one.  So.....I narrowed it down to three.  Here we go:

3. Pat Peoples:  I LOVED Silver Linings Playbook, in case you haven't heard me mention it about a thousand times. He's just so real.  I love it.

2. Julian Carax: Without really knowing much about him in the book The Shadow of the Wind until the end, I had an enormous crush on Julian throughout the book.  He was genius and talented all wrapped up into sad and tormented.

1. Atticus Finch: No words are needed for this character.  I just plain love him.

Check out more from Making Up For Monday!  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Liebster Blog Award

Last Friday, Tiffany at Beneath the Jacket nominated me for a Liebster Blog Award. The Award is designed as an opportunity for smaller blogs to get some love and recognition, and I am super excited to be nominated!

Here are the rules:
  • List 11 facts about yourself.
  • Answer the 11 questions asked by whoever nominated you.
  • Ask 11 new questions to 9 bloggers with less than 200 followers. You cannot re-nominate the blog that nominated you.
  • Go to their blog and tell them that they have been nominated!
11 Facts About Me:
1. This month marks my four year anniversary to my very best friend.

2.  I am the sixth of ten children. While this was not my favorite thing as a kid, as an adult we have become each others' best friends and are constantly hanging out.

3. I am a HUGE Atlanta Braves fan, and have been since I was a very young child.  The weird thing is I have lived in the Pacific Northwest my entire life and never been to Georgia.

4. Ever since adoption my pitbull, I have been very interested in ending all Breed Specific Legislation.  My dog is no more dangerous or aggressive than any other. When cornered by my 2 year old nephew (of whom she is terrified), she fights back by licking his face until she can run away. She does not even growl.

5. I have 10 nieces and 3 nephews and one more of each on the way.
6. I love shoes but not heels or flats. I am one of few girls with an extensive shoe collection of tennis, running, and street shoes.

7. On that note, I was told several times that boys would not like me or want to date me because I was not girly enough.  But instead, I found someone who liked me as I am. His favorite outfit that I wear is a hoodie, jeans, and skater shoes.
8. I love pizza so much that I think I could eat it every single day.  I have pizza every Friday as a way of limiting myself to once a week.
9. I think I could give up chocolate long before I could give up meat.  I love a good steak.
10. Instead of going to my college graduation, I went and saw a baseball game in Seattle.  I still don't regret it.
11. My love of books is thanks to my parents who always read to me as a child and even when we were poor, bought me books when I wanted them.

11 Questions from Tiffany: 
1. If you could be a book character, who would you be?
This, for me, is easy. I'd be Scout Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird. She's adventurous and bold and has an amazing father. 

2. Which country would you most like to visit?
England. I have been once, about 11 years ago and really want to go back. 

3. Is there a book you have read that you could not stand?
The Old Man and The Sea.  Snoozefest! 

4. What about blogging do you find the most challenging?
Keeping it up consistently.  I tend to go in waves.  Sometimes I can't write enough, other times writing is a challenge.  

5. Who is your favorite author?
Right now.....probably John Grisham, but my favorites change a lot. 

6. Favorite book character ever?
I feel a little repetitive, but Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird.  He has integrity and humility.  He's amazing. 

7. Do you have any pets? If not, would you ever want one?
I do indeed.  I have a pitbull named Codex. She is a rescue dog and my constant companion. 

8. What do you do in your spare time other than blogging?
My hobbies are ever changing. I love hiking and baseball. I also love movies and television and food!

9. What is your favorite movie?
Favorite?  Oh man.....I guess I don't have one.  But I really enjoy  Citizen Kane, Love Actually, Serenity, and Ocean's Eleven.

10. When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone?
As far as reading, I am CONSTANTLY stepping out of my comfort zone. Sometimes it pays off, other times it does not. 

11. What is your current occupation?
I work from home culling medical records. 

11 Questions from Me: 
1. Why do you blog?
2. If you could meet with one historical figure, who would it be and why?
3. Do you have a favorite book?
4. What is the last movie you saw in the theater?  Was it good?
5. What is your favorite food?
6. If you could describe yourself in just one word, what would it be?
7. How long have you known your best friend?
8. What is the last thing you do before bed?
9. Do you like chocolate?
10. What kind of car do you drive (if you drive)?
11. What is one place you would like to go but have never been?

Nominated Blogs: 
1. Tina @ Pages of Comfort
2. Stormi and Kathy @ Books, Movies, Reviews, Oh My!
3. Hannah @ Broc's Bookcase
4.  Michelle @ Book Hangovers Blabs Books  (she has already been nominated, but I love her blog so I couldn't resist)
5. Kathy @ My Nook, Books, & More
6. Page @ Never Enough Shelf Space
7. Ellen @ Ellie's Reading Nook
8. Terri and Kristen @ Twin Spin
9. Sarai @ Sarai's Nerding Out Again

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Latest Distraction: Wedding Fun

I wrote a few blogs this last week and scheduled them ahead of time because I knew I wouldn't have much time this last weekend.  My little sister got married! 

Here are a few of the pictures that were taken:

The happy couple's first dance

The bride added her own flare to the wedding

The cake!

Fixing the updo

Me and the hubsters