Saturday, April 28, 2012

Book Review - Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I know that the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling has been read, devoured and reviewed many times over.  Perhaps millions of times but I'm still going to review it now.  One because I never have, two because I reread this book for the 2012 British Books Challenge.  And three, most importantly to me, I read it for the first time to my children and hearing the book and experiencing it through their eyes made it all new for me.

So, what can I say about Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets that hasn't already been said one hundred or one million times? Well, I'll tell you this, my child said, "Mommy, the book has a lot more details than the movies."  She's right, of course, and most people (book lovers, anyway) love all the details but I loved hearing my child say this.  I love that she not only realized this but appreciated it.  Another thing about all of the details is that I got to revisit some of the ones that I had forgotten in the years since I last read this book.  J.K. Rowling  is a master with details that add to the rich and imaginative world of Harry Potter.

Also, the book, even while having definite dark elements, is funny! I can not even begin to tell you how many times my kids and I laughed during this book.  My kids even learned a few new words that perhaps I wasn't ready for them to learn but they're not the end of the world, either.  For example: Git.  Here is the definition according to dictionary.com: British slang noun - a foolish or contemptible person.  So you see, not necessarily a word I'd have taught them but oh so applicable to a certain character name Gilderoy Lockhart in the book.

Now my kids and I are on to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  They are loving this one too and I'm sure I'll review it from their perspective as it's quite wonderful as well.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Review - The Lost Duke of Wyndham by Julia Quinn

Jack Audley is the very charming lead male character of Julia Quinn's The Lost Duke of Wyndham.  The man who was once a soldier for Britain is now a highwayman.  And in the tradition of Robin Hood - he is robbing from the outrageously snooty rich and giving to those less fortunate.  One night, as he endeavors to rob the coach of yet another aristocratic family - his life changes in ways he had never anticipated.  It turns out, he's the heir to one of the very wealthy families he normally disdains.  Oh, and he may very well be losing his heart to the companion of the nasty-tempered Dowager Duchess of Wyndham.

Grace Eversleigh is the companion of the Dowager - a trying job on the best of days.  The job takes a toll on Grace's spirit on the worst of days.  And one of those worst moments actually turns out to be one of the best of her life.  She is surprised by the attraction she feels for the highwayman robbing them and even more surprised when he kisses her.  Then she is struck speechless to learn that the Dowager is convinced - on sight - that this charming rogue is the never-known son of her long-dead son.

Julia Quinn outdid herself with this book.  It is full of her trademark humor and tender feelings of developing love.  Jack is not keen on becoming the Duke but he is quite keen on Grace.  While Grace finds herself falling in love with Jack - she is very sad by this development.  because she knows that if he is indeed to be the Duke - there is no hope of a future for them.  There is quite a bit below the surface of these characters and all is revealed in a really heartening and appropriate manner.  I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to those who haven't yet read it.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Teaser Tuesday's - The Witness by Nora Roberts


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

- Grab your current read 
- Open to a random page 
- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser. 

My teaser this week is from page 83 of Nora Roberts' The Witness:
She was never alone.  She, who'd once longed for companionship, now found the lack of solitude more confining than the four walls of her room.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Musing Monday's - Distractions

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing asks:


Other than working at a job, what is your biggest interruption to reading? What takes you away from your book(s)?


Myself.  I am my own biggest distraction from my reading.  I also write, crochet and spend a bit too much time online.  As much as I love reading - I often allow myself to be distracted by other hobbies and pursuits.  And of course, I love spending time with my family.  However, there are the pesky chores that require constant attention.  Oh how I'd love to have a magic house elf to do the chores and focus that time on family and hobbies.  Oh well.  

I tend to read at night.  There aren't as many interruptions - self-induced or otherwise - when the house is quiet and it's just me and my book.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Readathon Wrap Up

As stated in a post from yesterday, I was quite late getting started with the Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon yesterday.  However, the night - and into the early morning hours - turned out really good for me.

I finished Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights which was a definite goal all along for this go round of the RAT.  I forgot to mention in my beginning post yesterday that my kids and I have been listening to Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling.  We managed two more chapters of that through the craziness of yesterday.  We also read some of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Once my kids were asleep last night, and after spending some time with my husband (don't want him feeling neglected) - I started Nora Roberts' The Witness.  Oh my, what a great book! This is the one that kept me reading until the end of the read-a-thon.  I'm one-third of the way through it already.  I don't want to read it too fast but at the same time I don't want to put it down.  It's extremely engaging and a really well written book.

I also participated in a few mini-challenges which are always fun.  I'm already looking forward to the next installment of Dewey's 24-Hour Read-a-Thon - in October.  Hopefully there won't be so much going on that keeps my girls and I from our reading.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Readathon Challenge - Me and My Book

So, here I am, trying to get a picture of me and my latest book.  As if you couldn't tell these were self-taken photos - right? Ha! Anyway, here's me and Nora Roberts' latest - The Witness.


This mini-challenge is being hosted by One Literature Nut

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

Well, here we are, at the start of hour fourteen of the readathon.  And I am just getting started.  Sigh.  It's not twenty-four hours for me this go around as life had very different plans for my Saturday.  Oh well.  I'm still going to participate; simply because I had been so looking forward to it.  My goals for this evening: Finish Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte for myself, finish reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl to my children, and hopefully start Nora Roberts' latest, The Witness.  I believe these are doable in the time remaining.  At least, I hope so.  Oh, and of course I'll be checking in on the remaining mini challenges in hopes of doing some of those.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Musing Monday's

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing asks:


What are you currently reading? And, is it better, as good as, or worse than your last read?


I am currently back to reading Wuthering Heights.  This book is so different from the last book that I read - Mr. Cavendish, I Presume by Julia Quinn - that I don't feel I can compare the two.  I will say my previous book was an easier read but that's not necessarily a good or bad thing; the two books are just completely different style-wise.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Teaser Tuesday - Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas


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

- Grab your current read 
- Open to a random page 
- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser. 

My teaser this week is from page 115 of Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas:


"It's -- creating art with light.  A way of sharing how you look at the world.  Emotion made visible."

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Teaser Tuesday's - Scandalous by Candace Camp


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

- Grab your current read 
- Open to a random page 
- Share two “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 list if they like your teaser. 

My teaser this week is from page 1 of Candace Camp's Scandalous
He looked dazed and exhausted as he swayed, muttering, "Help me."  Then he collapsed at her feet.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Musing Monday's - Book Clubs

Musing Monday's is hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. This week’s musing asks:
Do you belong to any book clubs — face-to-face, or online? If so, how long have you been with the group(s)? If not, why?
When I was pregnant with my first child I belonged to my first book club.  We found each other through the Oprah book club online.  I loved it.  I read several books with them that I probably never would have picked up on my own.  In fact, I find that to be true for any book club.  My husband and I moved when our baby was small and I lost touch with the women in that group.

After our second child was born I belonged to another that was teeny tiny but still fun and informative.  One of the other women moved and that group.fizzled out too.  Around the same time I went in search of an online book club and found one! It's linked with the Baby Center website and I still belong to it.  I've been with this one for about five years and absolutely love the constant camaraderie of other book lovers.

Additionally, one of my closest friends and I have our very own 'book club'.  I put it in quotes because it's just her and I.  We've tried to get others involved with us but people are just not interested or too busy.  That's all right though because we have fun with it.  Plus, discussing the books gives us a great excuse to get out together every few weeks.  Even though the books aren't all we talk about when we go out - it's still super nice to have the book talk and adult friend time away.  We've been doing this for a couple of years now and I don't see it ending any time soon.  Thank goodness!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Personal Writing Challenge

April is the month that the same people who put on NaNoWriMo do an event called Script Frenzy.  The idea is to write a 100 page script during the 30 days of April.  I've known about this April creative endeavor for three years and each year I've contemplated doing it.  I have also decided against it (chickened out) each year. This year is no exception and really, I don't want to write a script at this point in my life.  I feel that I may want to someday but not right now.

What I am going to do is challenge myself to a half NaNoWriMo.  In November (and this year during June and August) the goal is to write 50,000 words over a one month period of time.  So, during April, I'm giving myself a writing kick in the butt and going for at least 25,000 words.  If I write more than that, great, but I'm aiming for at least the 25,000.  I need to do this because I've been in a major writing rut.

A bonus for me is that I had a great idea for a new story today and have already started it.  I have 1,076 words completed toward my goal.  I feel I'm off to a nice beginning and hope very much to stick with it this month.  Is anyone else participating in Script Frenzy this month? Or are you perhaps challenging yourself to another writing goal?