Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge 2011

This Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge  is right up my alley.  It is being hosted by Carolyn at Book Chick City.  Here are the details:

Timeline: 01 Jan 2011 - 31 Dec 2011

•Rules: To read TWELVE (12) mystery & suspense novels in 2011 (12 is the minimum but you can read more if you wish!)

•You don't have to select your books ahead of time, you can just add them as you go. Also if you do list them upfront you can change them, nothing is set in stone! The books you choose can crossover into other challenges you have on the go.

•You can join anytime between now and the later part of next year.

•At the beginning of Jan 2011, you will find a link to specific month to add your reviews. There will be a monthly prize too courtesy of the lovely Simon & Schuster - you must be signed up to the challenge and add the link to your review to be entered into the monthly prize draw.

As I said, this is right up my alley.  Twelve mystery books (especially since they can be of any sub-genre) will be enjoyably easy for me to achieve.  LOL So, if this sounds like fun to you - head on over to Book Chick City and sign up.  Oh, and there is the added bonus of an ARC from Simon & Schuster for participating in this challenge.  Full details on this nice feature are at BCC.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

After completing NaNoWriMo (full details to be posted on Wednesday) I will be in the mood for lots of books with a wonderful Christmas theme.  Luckily, I just discovered The Christmas Spirit (the blog, that is) and this reading challenge.  Thank you Debbie at The Friday Friends

Here are the details (taken straight from the snnouncement/sign up post at The Christmas Spirit) for the challenge:

- challenge will run from Friday, November 26, 2010 (Black Friday) through January 6, 2010 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany).

- cross overs with other challenges is totally permitted AND encouraged!

- These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore or a book of Christmas short stories (sorry, no children's books, but YA novels are okay).

visit this POST (which takes you to The Christmas Spirit blog) for a list of new Christmas books for 2010. Also, Richard Paul Evans has a new book out this year, Promise Me. His Christmas books are among my favorites during the Christmas season.


--Candy Cane: read 1 book

--Mistletoe: read 2-4 books

--Christmas Tree: read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level...LOL!)

.That's it.  Join in the fun if you are in the mood for Christmas reading!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Book Blogger Hop: Nov. 26 - 29, 2010 - Cover Love

Book Blogger Hop This week's Book Blogger Hop question is:
What is your favorite book cover?
This is a simple but great question.  However, the answer is difficult for me.  I am a book cover lover.  I am not going to read (or not read) a book solely based upon the cover - but I do always pay attention to the cover art of my books.  I really can not choose only one favorite cover.  Two series of books whose covers I love come to mind, though.  One is the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling.  The book covers were done by Mary GrandPre and they are all just fantastic.  Another series whose covers I love is The Bride Quartet by Nora Roberts.  Each cover is wedding related and they all are so romantic and beautiful.

How about you? Are you a cover lover, too? And if so, which are your favorites?

A Christma Carol: Stave One - Marley's Ghost

"Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again.  "Mankind was my business.  The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business.  The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!"
I love this quote from Jacob Marley.  To me, it sums up the book right there.  I am thoroughly loving Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol already.  Admittedly, the language is quite different from what I'm used to (but this is often the case with the Classics).  I am finding Dickens' prose to be quite poetic.  There have been many passages that I have gone back to read a second (and third) time simply because I like the flow of the words.

I like reading the book because there is more in regard to Scrooge's thoughts and opinions on what is going on around him.  Although he doesn't want to believe what he is seeing in Marley's ghost - and does, rather hysterically try to sum it up to indigestion - he is quite frightened by the situation.  Especially when he sees Marley fly out the window and join the other tortured souls bound in chains and misery.

I am anxious to get back to the book.  Although I technically know what happens next I am excited for the richer details of the book.

How are you liking the book so far? Also, I wrote this post with my opinions rather than questions because I haven't been able to find discussion questions for the book.  If you have questions you'd like to present, please feel free to do so.

And finally, Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Americans.  Happy Thursday to all else.  Have a wonderful weekend and enjoy the start of the Christmas Season!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Booking Through Thursday: Borrowing

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading. This weeks question:

Who would you rather borrow from? Your library? Or a Friend? (Or don’t your friends trust you to return their books?) And, DO you return books you borrow?
This is a wonderful (set of) question(s). The majority of the books I read come from the library. I do buy some books still but have cut way back on my book purchasing. There are reasons I borrow from the library more so than my friends. One reason is the general selection. Another reason is the fact that I can borrow a book from the library for a total of six weeks if necessary.

This is not to say that I never borrow books from friends; in fact, I do.  Just not that often.  I don't have a lot of real-life friends that read (sad, but true).  Of my reading friends, there is only one that I see on a regular basis with similar reading taste.  And actually, I do have a book of hers on loan right now - Eat, Pray, Love.  I really should read it and get it back to her but I've been so busy.  I've been reading the same book for two weeks now, which is so unlike me.  I will read the book and get it back to her soon, though. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Schedule for A Christmas Carol Read-a-Long

I can not believe it is already the middle of November.  It has been such a crazy month! With the Dickens read-a-long beginning next week - I realize it would be a good idea to post the schedule. 

First, here is the original post if you would like to sign up.  It is not necessary to sign up to participate, though.  If you want, you can just come here each week and post your thoughts or reply to the questions and others' responses.  This is not meant to be stressful - just fun.

Second, I had no idea that A Christmas Carol was such a short book.  Five weeks may be a little long considering the book is less than 100 pages but it is a busy time of year.  So, I want to stick with the original dates..  That being said, each week I will post questions and my own thoughts on each section of the book.

November 23, 2010 (posted on Tuesday rather than Thursday due to American Thanksgiving) - Stave One: Marley's Ghost.

December 2, 2010 - Stave Two: The First of the Three Spirits

December 9, 2010 - Stave Three: The Second of the Three Spirits

December 16, 2010 - Stave Four: The Last of the Spirits

December 23, 2010 - Stave Five: The End of It

This will take us right up to Christmas.  And hopefully a deeper understanding/perspective on the many movie versions.  Plus, it will just be nice to say we've actually read the book.  I am looking forward to doing this read-a-long with all of you.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Blogger Hop - Nov. 12 - 15, 2010: Series

Book Blogger Hop This week's Book Blogger Hop question is:
"If you find a book that looks interesting but is part of a series, do you always start with the first title?"

No, not always.  A perfect example is the "In Death' series by J.D. Robb.  I love this series and am, in fact, reading the latest installment called Indulgence in Death.  However, I was quite afraid of this series of books before I started reading them.  J.D. Robb is a pseudnym for Nora Roberts - whom I adore.  I knew about the 'In Death' series but was leary to read stories about a homicide detective.  I thought they would be too gruesome for my taste.  Then, in 2003 (I believe) she released a book called Remember When.  The first half of the book was written as Nora Roberts and the second half as J.D. Robb and the stories intertwined a mystery over 50-ish years.  It was really quite a clever move from a marketing stand point as I'm sure it pulled in a lot of new readers for both of her writing personalities.  I loved the book and was captivated by the 'In Death' characters.  At which point I went back to the beginning of the series and read it in order.

Another thing with me and series is that I tend to get bored with them.  It's sad but true.  Unless the writing is exceptional and I love the characters for whatever reason - I find it hard to stick with a lengthy series.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Green Books Campaign

I was just visiting Kelly's France Blog and she has an amazing post about the Green Books Campaign.  I had no idea such a movement even existed.  It makes sense, considering how many people are environmentally conscious.  My family recycles because we feel like it's the right thing to do.  I know it's not for everyone but it feels good to teach my kids about something easy they can do to help the environment.

That being said - I do sometimes feel a little guilty about all of my books and the paper used to print them on.  I admit that it's not guilty enough to not buy them (although I have started using the library a lot more) but I do think about this issue.  So I am quite glad to learn that there are books being printed on recycled and eco-friendly papers.  Hopefully, with more awareness, this will become commonplace rather than selective.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

A Christmas Carol Read-a-Long


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens is a book I've been meaning to read for a long time.  Every year around this time I tell myself that I am finally going to read it.  And every Christmas when the movie plays on television I kick myself for yet again NOT reading the book.  Well, not this year, no way.  I admit that I love the movie but as a self-professed bookworm it just seems wrong that I have never read this book.
Right before Thanksgiving (in America) I am going to read the first part of this book.  By Christmas I will have read the whole thing, darn it.  Who wants to join me? This is my first time hosting an online read-a-long but I know this will be fun.  Each week, I'll post a few questions about the section we've just finished and we can blog about it together.
If this sounds like fun to you too - then please sign up below to participate.  And feel free to invite other friends to come and participate with us.  Oh, and don't forget the button I made just for this event.  LOL I had fun making the button and would love to see it around on your blogs!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Free Holiday Cards

I love the word 'free' and I also love a good deal.  Shutterfly is promoting what I consider a really fabulous opportunity.  They are offering their 2010 Holiday Card Collection to bloggers.  All you have to do is create a post about the promotion and earn 50 5 x 7 Holiday Cards.  Of course, you are responsible for the tax and the shipping and handling but this is a deal not to be passed by.  The offer expires December 31, 2010.

This is where to go in order to fill out the application and to learn more.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Book Blogger Hop Nov. 5 - 8, 2010: Followers

Book Blogger Hop This week's Book Blogger Hop qyestion is: 

"What are your feelings on losing followers? Have you ever stopped following a blog?"
I have only recently started blog networking and hopping. It has been a lot of fun and I am enjoying 'getting to know' and follow other bloggers. I also like that I have received new followers. That being said, I believe I would be a little bummed to lose followers. I understand that not every one is going to enjoy every post written on a blog they read but I just think it would be a bit of a bummer to see my followers decrease.

As for leaving a blog I've started following - I have not done that.  I also don't believe that I would do that.  It seems tacky to me.  Of course, if someone were to be obnoxios and rude to me on a personal level, I probably would stop following.  However, if it was just a matter of deciding I didn't love the blog - I'd still stay on as a follower.  It just seems right to me for some reason.

It will be interesting to see how others answer this week.  I hadn't thought about this and wonder if others have and how they feel.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Heatwave in November

First, let me say that I know it is completely uncool of me to complain about the weather.  Especially since I am about to do it on my blog that is about books and writing.  That being said, I apologize, but I am indeed going to complain and rant about the darn heat right now.  It is nearly 10:30 at night and it is 74 degrees.  Our high today was 95 degrees.  It's Novemebr for God's sake! It should be cooling down.  I should be wanting a light blanket at night, not air conditioning.  Which, by the way, ours is broken.  I assure you - that is adding to my cranky mood.  My poor kids and I have heat rash.  heat rash, people! Do you know how miserable that is?

Yes, I know the (American) East coast is experiencing winter typre temperatures already.  I have a friend who lives back there and told me the temperatures were in the 30's already.  I'm sorry, I really am.  It's too early to be that cold back there.  Maybe Mother Nature could give both ends of our country a break and compromise with te,peratures in the 60's? That sounds wonderful to me.

On a positive note - and to show that I'm not entirely petualant and whiny - my husband brought home dinner.  Which meant no need for an oven or a stove top burner tonight.  He also brought home frozen yogurt.  I'm going to get some right now.  Okay, whiny session over and done.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

NaNo Update and A Christmas Carol Read-a-Long

There are a couple of things I'd like to blog about this afternoon.  One, I want to report that NaNoWriMo is going quite well.  yesterday was tough (no time to write until the little ones went to bed) but today has gone a lot better.  I rearranged my schedule to better suit the needs of everyone in my family and it has worked wonders.  At least for today.  I hope it continues.  Also, I am ahead in my word count which always feels good.  Plus, it makes my husband happy because I can watch a movie with him tonight.  Truthfully, that makes me happy, too.  AND, I'll actually be able to read my book tonight before going to sleep.  The simplest things make me happy.  LOL

The other thing on my mind is doing a read-a-long for Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.  I posted about wanting to read it the other day in my Musing Monday's post.  Debbie commented that she wants to read it, as well.  That got me to thinking about doing an online read-a-long, book club sort of deal for this.  The thing is - I've never done one of these online and I'm not certain how to get it started.  Does anyone have any suggestions? I'm going to figure this out because now that it's in my head, I REALLY want to do it.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Teaser Tuesday's: Indulgence in Death by J.D. Robb

Teaser Tuesday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading.    To play along, do the following:

Grab your current read -

Open to a random page -

Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page -

BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

J.D. Robb's Indulgence in Death (book number 31 in this series) was just released today and I was shocked to be able to get it from the library.  I've only had time to read a few pages but will be going back to it after reaching my NaNo word goal tonight.  Here is my teaser from page one:
She had to remind herself that the trip had been her idea - love was another killer - but how could she have known driving in western Ireland meant risking life and limb at every turn?

Monday, November 1, 2010

Musing Monday's: Holiday Themed Books

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading.  Today, she asks:

Do you have any special reading that you do as it gets closer to Christmas? If so, tell us about it! And, if not, tell us why not!

I am a sucker for books with a Christmas theme! I've started seeing them on the shelves at the bookstore and the library already.I can't wait to read some of them. In case anyone is wondering, even though I love the Christmas-themed books, I won't read them until after Thanksgiving (the end of November in America). I know the reason I like the holiday books so much is because I'm guaranteed a happy ending. Everything is always, well, tied up in a nice pretty bow. LOL The books are escapist brain candy at its finest and that's usually what I'm in the mood for in December.

I do want to read Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol this year.  My husband and I love the movie and always watch it together but I've wanted to read the book for a long while now.  This is the year I'm finally going to do so.