Thursday, July 31, 2008
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
In the past couple of weeks, this lowly little blog has been bestowed the honor of a couple of blog awards. I've been remiss in my duties as owner to thank everyone....and I'm going to do that right now!!
Marg from Reading Adventures has been a friend for a long time. In fact, it was in part due to Marg and her blog that I actually started this blog! She has wonderful book reviews and great taste, so I always love to stop by and see what she is saying!!
Biblioatrist from Bibliolatry is smart, sassy and has excellent reviews as well. I feel honored to make her list of blog award winners!
Amy from The Sleepy Reader is another blogger that I have been following since, well....since I started this blog. Her blog also has great reviews, and lots of book related "stuff". She's a really nice person to boot. What more can you ask from a blogging buddy??
Carrie K. from Books and Movies and Wisteria from A Bookworm's Dinner are both relatively new-to-me bloggers. Both have wonderful, book-related blogs and have been added to my ever-expanding blogroll. I actually feel the most honored to be nominated by these two since I don't know them that well....and they felt my blog deserved an award. Well that just gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling!!
So...THANK YOU!! THANK YOU!! I'm am honored, and to be honest, rather humbled. When I started blogging, it was to keep all my book reviews in one spot. To rant a little. And maybe pass on some decent information. But I can honestly say I didn't really have any expectations for other to actually READ it. And now that I know you do, I will try to do better....and maybe post a little more often!!
Now....to pass on the love:
Once an award is received, the rules are as follows:
1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate at least seven other blogs.
4. Add links to those blogs on your blog.
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blog.
This is really hard. Because I love all the blogs that I frequent, and I always feel like I'm leaving someone out. But, rules are rules, so I'll pass these awards on to just a few of my blogging buddies:
Nicola from Back to Books. Nicola's blog is filled with wonderful book reviews, both for adults and YA's. I love finding great recommendations from her. She hasn't steered me wrong yet!
Bobbi from Bobbi's Book Nook is a relatively new-to-me blogger. But from reading her numerous and wonderful reviews, we seem to be very like-minded in our reading. She has great diversity in her reading, and I can see my TBR pile growing a lot from just visiting her blog!
Rhinoa from Rhinoa's Rambling is like a reading "soul sister". I love her taste in books, I love the look of her blog. And let's face. She's just plain cool!!
Tammy from Rambling's by Tammy is a relatively new blogger. But I've known Tammy for a lot longer since we've been involved in a book club together. She is smart, sassy and funny. She has great reviews. And you need to check out her blog!
Laura from Reading Reflections is another fairly new blogger. She has a very pretty blog with wonderful reviews. She's also a challenge addict like me!!
Tanabata from In Spring It Is the Dawn has a beautiful blog. Besides the great book reviews, she is a kick-ass photographer, and there are always wonderful pictures to see. A definite must-read blog!
Finally.....there is Debi from Nothing of Importance. There are days I honestly think Debi and I were separated at birth!! She is smart and funny. Has great taste in books. Wonderful reviews. And lots of great family pictures. Debi's a great mom, with great kids and a great love of reading. And when I say Challenge Addict....she's right up there with me!
That's it. I could go on for hours. But I won't. Share the love!!
Monday, July 28, 2008
Sunday, July 27, 2008
Well...I guess it's that time again!! Sunday night and I'm just now posting my Sunday Salon. I'm giving myself props for actually making it 3 weeks in a row!!
It was a busy weekend here in the Toland household. Lots of work.....a couple of movies and even two finished books! I went to see Mamma Mia yesterday. I have a secret love of ABBA music. Damn. I hate admitting that. But it's like a disease. For some reason, those songs just seem to worm their way into my brain, and I can't help but love them!! It was a really good movie, and now I really want to see the live version. Meryl Streep is wonderful, as always. And Amanda Seyfried, as Sophie, was, in a word, incredible. Colin Firth is just so adorable. Not so much Pierce Brosnan though. I think someone told the man he could sing. They lied. Still, it was fun....and Dancing Queen has been in my head ever since!
We also watched Gone Baby Gone on video. Very good movie. I was really impressed with Ben Affleck's screenplay and his first Directing attempt. One of these days I'll have to read the Lehane novel.
I finished up reading du Maurier's Jamaica Inn. I was really impressed by this one. For a novel that is over 70 years old, it reads easily and has lots of excitement....even a little romance. It's a classic "Gothic" novel. When I read Rebecca, I enjoyed it....but I was a little disappointed. I expected to be "wowed". And I wasn't. It's one of those books I've heard so much about....and then it just didn't live up to the high expectations I had. With Jamaica Inn, on the other hand, I didn't have any high expectations.....and I really loved it.
I also finished Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson. It's a YA book about the life of a senior boy named Tyler. Tyler was a kid that spent all of jr. high and most of high school being picked on. But by his senior year, he was 6'3" and all muscle. He also got into some trouble, was on probation, and now finds himself considered "dangerous". The thing about Anderson is she really knows how to write like a teen. I was impressed by Speak when I read it a few months ago....but I think Twisted was even better. Reviews to both books are forthcoming!!
Other than that, I'm still taking my time walking the Appalachian Trail with Bill Bryson. The man is nothing if not hilarious. And I'm also reading an ARC by DeLaune Michel. I haven't gotten too far into it yet, but so far so good. Maybe I'll also start on of my Vine books. I need to keep on top of these ARC's, that's for sure.
So.....now I'm off to read a little more. Happy Sunday....and Happy Reading!
Saturday, July 26, 2008
1. In your blog, list any books you’ve read but haven’t reviewed yet. If
you’re all caught up on reviews, maybe you could try this with whatever book(s)
you finish this week.
2. Ask your readers to ask you questions about any of
the books they want. In your comments, not in their blogs. Most likely, people
who will ask you questions will be people who have read one of the books or know
something about it because they want to read it.
3. Later, take whichever
questions you like from your comments and use them in a post about each book.
I’ll probably turn mine into a sort of interview-review. Link to each blogger
next to that blogger’s question(s).
4. Visit other Weekly Geeks and ask them
- Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (just finished. Will review in the next few days)
- A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
- The Safety of Secrets by Delaune Michel
- Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson
That is my list. If any of you faithful readers have questions you would like me to answer as part of my review.....Go for it!!
Now....do any of you post reviews on Amazon?? I am involved with a Yahoo group that promotes Reader Reviews. It was actually this group that got me interested in starting this blog in the first place. And after reading the first few reviews that I posted, I can see how much better I've gotten!!
Anyhoo, have you heard of the Amazon Vine program? Since I do post reviews on Amazon, I got an invitation to join the Amazon Vine program. What is this you ask?? Oh, just another way for me to get free books!! Of course, it's also more obligation to review, but regardless of that, I'm pretty excited about it!
When I clicked on the invitation, here is what it said:
As one of our most valued customer reviewers, we would like to offer you a special invitation to join an exciting new Amazon program called Amazon Vine. As a member of this exclusive community, you will have access to pre-release and new products across all Amazon categories, and the opportunity to be among the very first to review them. There is no cost to you to participate or to receive Vine products. We are simply asking for your time in writing reviews for the products you select from the program.
Here's how it works -- Each month we will email you a newsletter of new products covering a wide range of product categories, including items that have been targeted specifically to you based on your past purchase and review history on Amazon.com. The number and types of
products featured in your monthly newsletter will vary, but you can be assured that we will send you products that we think you will be most interested in. Browse the selection and request items that appeal to you. We will ship those items directly to your doorstep - free of charge - and they are yours to keep. Once you write your review, we'll
post it on the product detail page on Amazon.com with a special badge and header so that it stands out (you'll turn your friends green with envy). As always, Amazon will not edit or modify your opinions, nor share your personal contact information with vendors.
Just way too cool, no?? Every month there is a newsletter and you get to choose things : books, cd's movies, grocery items, electronics, etc. First come, first serve kind of deal because there is a limited number per item. And you can get up to 4 items at a time. You have to review 3 out of every 4 items or you can't get any more. Still sounds fun!
My picks for this month:
Is anyone else involved in this program? I am hoping for a lot with this, and I was just wondering if it all pays off!
Later!! Tomorrow, Blog Awards and maybe a review!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Hosted by the beautiful Bellezza from Dolce Bellezza, the rules are easy. Read three books of your choice. They can be a novel, a work of poetry, a children's book, graphic novel, biography or autobiography.Read them between July 30, 2008 and January 30, 2009.
I was going to throw in a Graphic Novel or two, but decided against it. I FINALLY came up with a reading list, so here it goes:
Spring Snow by Yukio Mishima
After Dark by Haruki Murakami
Out by Natsuo Kirino
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
I'd love to hear from you if you've read any of these !!
Sunday, July 20, 2008
The answer to that question would be a resounding NO!! Not for lack of want, but so little time this weekend. Friday was the only day this last week that I had completely off (ie, not working either job!) So, my husband and I took the kiddies to see The Dark Knight. And out to dinner. So...it was all family time.
On Saturday, my daughter Bella had her end-of-the-season softball tournament. Now....we really only expected to play the one game. Not that we didn't have a lot of faith in our girls, but they had a lot of odds stacked against them. First of all, in a league of 7 - 9 year olds, our team was ALL 7 year olds and 1 9 year old. Let's just say, all of the other teams were LOADED with older kids. I'm not sure who divides them the way they do, but we kind of got screwed from the beginning. Now, I had actually requested the coach, because Ray coach Bella last year and really liked him. And truthfully, it's not really a competitive league anyway. The "Lassie" division is more educational, a place to learn the basics. But through the season, we really struggled against some of the other teams. And we were actually picked to finish dead-last.
But our little band of girlies pulled out a victory in the first game and took us to another game!! We played for 3rd/4th place this afternoon. And although we lost by 1 run, our girls finished 4th out of 10!! We couldn't have been prouder!
On the reading front, I finished Good Omens last week, and I'm almost done with both the Bryson and the du Maurier. Hope to have both completed this week. I also want to join the Japanese Reading Challenge....but I haven't taken the time to figure out what I want to read yet! Yet another "to do" on my list.
So.....I guess this is a short Salon. Happy Sunday and Happy Reading!!
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Thursday, July 17, 2008
"Crowley always found [Satanists] embarrassing. You couldn't actually be rude
to them, but you couldn't help feeling about them the same way that, say, a
Vietnam veteran would feel about someone who wears combat gear to Neighborhood
"There had been times, over the past millennium, when Crowley had felt like
sending a message back Below saying, Look, we may as well give up right now, we
may as well shut down Dis and Pandemonium and everywhere and move up here,
there's nothing we can do to them [humans] that they don't do themselves and
they do things we've never even thought of, often involving electrodes."
"I don't see what's so triffic about creating people as people and then gettin'
upset 'cos they act like people," said Adam severely. "Anyway, if you stopped
tellin' people it's all sorted out after they're dead, they might try sorting it
all out while they're alive."
Monday, July 14, 2008
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Well....this is my first ever Sunday Salon!! At the beginning of the year, I wasn't reading very much. So I tried to find lots of book-related topics to post about. Now....I'm reading a lot more, but it seems that I am blogging less. Hence, joining the Sunday Salon. I'm trying for a happy medium!! I'm sure there's one out there. I guess the trick is to find it.
I am already behind on reviews. Man...that never happens to me. Hopefully, I will get one up, maybe tomorrow, for This Charming Man by Marian Keyes. I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by this one. I opened the book thinking it was going to be a "fluff" filled "Chick Lit" novel. Now that's not a bad thing, mind you. Sometimes I NEED some fluff in my life. But this book was WAY more than that.
At the moment, I'm knee-deep in 3 books. The first is Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett. I'm over half way through, and I already know, without a doubt, I'm going to HAVE to read the Discworld series!! I'm already head-over-heels with Neil, but I just know alot of the wit and irony in this novel has to come from Pratchett. Hands down, a hilarious novel.
I've also reading A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Another incredibly funny book. I had no idea there were so many ways to die by bear attack!! It's the non-fiction journey of Bryson as he walks the Appalachian Trail.
Finally, I'm reading Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier. She is definitely the queen of the Gothic novel, and so far, so good. It starts on a gloomy, storm-filled night. (What good Gothic novel doesn't?) I haven't gotten to far, but I was captivated by the open paragraphs. Du Maurier has such a wonderful style of writing. I just love it!!
I guess that's all for now. Happy Sunday!! And Happy Reading!
Friday, July 11, 2008
Slowly, but surely, I'm finding my way through a vast number of challenge books!! My year in reading started out very slow. I think I only read 2 books in January and 2 in February...if that. But in June, I managed 6, and I've already read 3 in July. Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen is my first book read for Maggie's Southern Reading Challenge. What a treat it was!! What is it about me and books dealing with magic??
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
- The Safety of Secrets by Delaune Michel
- Sisters of Misery by Megan Kelley Hall
- Gilding Lily by Tatiana Boncompagni
- The Strand Prophecy by J.B.B. Winner
- The Loveliest Woman in America by Bibi Gaston
- Where Memories Lie by Deborah Crombie
- What If....? by Steve N. Lee
- Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot
- This Charming Man by Marian Keyes
Looks like I can just about complete the ARC change that Teddy is sponsoring with this list!!
Saturday, July 5, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
For all my neighbors to the North, Happy Canada Day!! In honor of the holiday and my friend John, from the Book Mine Set, I decided to once again take part in his Canadian Book Challenge. Last year, I read one book (mind, you it was a great book!!! A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry). But sadly, only one.
So here it is again: Starting July 1st, 2008 and running to July 1st, 2009, I challenge you to read (and write about) 13 Canadian books (by Canadians and/or about Canadians).
This year, I already have a head-start on the game because I'm almost done with my first selection, Crow Lake by Mary Lawson. So, here are my selections, a few left over from this year:
- Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
- Lullabies for Little Criminals by Heather O'Neill
- The Dreaming Place by Charles de Lint
- Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood
- The Time in Between by David Bergen
- Runaway by Alice Munroe
- The Summer Tree by Guy Gavriel Kay
- A Jest of God by Margaret Laurence
- Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
- The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston
- Fall on Your Knees by Anne-Marie MacDonald
- Clara Callan by Richard B. Wright
- Monkey Beach by Eden Robinson
Sounds like fun!!