Saturday, December 31, 2011

I'm so good at Resolutions because...

Except for maybe, possible I could stand to read more books!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Blogiversary and 50+Books in 2011 Giveaway

Hello Everyone!

In honor of my Blogiversary and in honor of the fact that I've read 60 books this year!!! (Thank-you Nook, Goodreads and Blogs I follow for making this possible!) I'm hosting a giveaway. Hopefully the way to rack up points is simple enough and the lucky winner will receive a book of your choosing from my 2011 reading list or view all 60 here!!!.

This is my first giveaway please excuse any blunders and mishaps! Thanks so much Peggy Ann's Post for the Rafflecopter suggestion!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Crushes I've Had On Male Characters from Songs...

I was out blog surfing one day and come across this fun little post (Crushes I've Had On Female Characters from Songs) and thought I'd give you my own list of male characters that have made me swoon...now, mind you some of these characters I started crushing on when I was a kid, so be prepared for a crazy ride. After reading through my list, I can see why I never dated in high school.


The Dan Fogelberg from “Same Old Lang Syne" by Dan Fogelberg
Why: He's a sentimental kind of guy who, even after becoming famous, still pines for the one that got away.
Clincher Lyric: “Just for a moment I was back in school/And felt that old familiar pain/And as I turned to make my way back home/the now turned into rain." I love a good bit of nostalgia and this is definitely it.
Why It Wouldn’t Work Out: He's already deeply in love with someone else, obviously, and one day she will leave that architect and where will I be?
Daniel from “Daniel" by Elton John
Why: He's a war hero who is probably misunderstood. 
Clincher Lyric: “Daniel, you're a star in the face of the sky". If a brother can look up to someone that much, he must be some kind of awesome.
Why It Wouldn’t Work Out: War heroes have BIG scars and this war hero got injured to boot, not sure he'd really be thinking of me at all, besides he's in Spain.
Jesse from “Jesse's Girl" by Rick Springfield
Why: He's attractive, but humble. He's sincere, yet self-deprecating. He listens. He's unlike every other boy. 
Clincher Lyric: “Jesse is a friend/Yeah, I know he's been a good friend of mine." Geez, even guys like him.
Why It Wouldn’t Work Out: Um, he's taken, by someone pretty awesome, it would seem.

The spoon playing man from “Spoonman" by Soundgarden
Why: He's a Gen-Xer who loves everyone and everything and is probably good with his hands, which means he probably gives great massages...and, builds things.
Clincher Lyric: “Feel the rhythm with your hands". I also feel that Spoonman can sing and is quite talented at all things right-brained.
Why It Wouldn’t Work Out: He's a Gen-Xer who plays spoons for a living...spoons for Pete's sake.
The young quarterback from “All Kinds of Time" by Fountains of Wayne
Why: He is a jock who thinks. Sigh.
Clincher Lyric: “He thinks of his mother/He thinks of his bride-to-be/He thinks of his father/His two younger brothers/Gathered around the widescreen TV.
Why It Wouldn’t Work Out: He actually plays sports, I can barely sit through a whole sporting event...unless it's baseball.

Not quite my type...
Sue, Bad Leroy Brown, any guy from an Eminem song                                               They fight way too much, go to prison, get their children taken away and still come out swinging...not cool.
Any guy from a Beyonce song                                                                                Either they're crazy possessive, too mushy and in my business or jerks.      

Who are your song crushes?                                                                                                

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

50 Books in a Year: Book #59 Ten Things We Did (And, Probably Shouldn't Have)

I don't know how long this will last, but you can buy this for your eReader for 99 cents...

Anyway, I bought 10 Things We Did (and Probably Shouldn't Have) while waiting in the car for my mother to get finished with her shopping in BN. We were taking turns because the kiddo was asleep in the back seat; in her defense it was naptime. In our defense, one time we took her out when she wasn't fully awake yet...doing that with a baby (easy), doing that with a 12-month old (with a stroller=easy), doing that with a two-year old (stroller or not...hard as H-E-double hockey sticks!).

So, I waited, coffee in hand and surfed through the BN deals on my new Nook Tablet (Merry Christmas to me, from Christopher=husbands can be so sweet)...I ended up buying 4 YA novels each for less than a buck, one of which was this book; a book I wanted to read, but wasn't really in the mood to pay $10 for, a book I would have borrowed from a student, only I saw no student with it...

Anyway, I would have started it then and there, but the tiny person woke up and we went into the store to look at books and wait...

I started it yesterday morning and with all that was going on yesterday (2nd family, or was it 3rd?, family Christmas) I finished it yesterday evening.

Sadly, because I teach high school, I believed every word. I believed that lots of really nice girls who make good grades drink and party (I've had said nice girls in class and some of the stories I've overheard make me never want to have a teenage daughter), I also believe that teens no longer see sex as a stigma (it isn't only party girls that have sex)...I'm not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but it is, I believe that teens understand the proper use of birth control, but not how they can still contract an STD and I believe that parents busy with living their second lives (ie. life after a divorce) don't notice the teen in the room who is screaming for them to lay down some rules and laws.

I like to think of these kinds of books, these modern day YA novels that have a teen girl protagonist, as lessons for me in how to raise a teenage girl...10 lessons I learned from this book:

1] Holy WOW! teach your kids about sex. I'll be teaching my daughter that she shouldn't have sex until she's older and mature and, hopefully, married, but I will also teach her about sex and STDs et cetera, if I don't she will learn from her friends, her teachers and life...and, I will look ill-prepared and naive.

2] I will not overshare my sex life with my teenage daughter (ick!) that's why parents have friends...

3] I will talk to my daughter like she is a person, I will ask her to tell me when she thinks she is ready to have sex, so we can talk...I will do this when she is 12, although in my head that seems a little young.

4] She will know she is loved, I will tell her often. She will know she is loved even if she does things that I do not like.

5] I will never take a job that requires me to leave her without adult supervision...even if that means I put my dreams on the back burner.

6] I will not move her away from her high school and her friends, even if that means I have to turn down a job (I have always firmly believed this!), however, if for some strange reason we have to move...she, kicking and screaming and pouting and moping, is coming with us.

7] I will trust my kid, but will actually meet parents face to face. I will not trust text, emails, running showers...

8] I will not impose year long punishments.

9] I will never get rid of my daughter's pet, even if we move overseas and said pet has to be in quarantine for 6 months.

10] I will give my daughter an allowance and have her tally up how she spent said allowance at the end of every month...what a good way to learn to budget, something I never learned...

OK, so I loved this book cussing, drinking, sex and all and heck, I'd let my daughter read it. I know I would have read it when I was a 9th grader...I read Forever by Judy Blume at that age.

If you've read this book what lessons did you learn? At what age do you think it's appropriate for kids to read?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Part II: Christmas RETURNS

So, we're having Christmas with another part of our family today...I'll be doing more catching up on blogging and, helping the Tiny Tot open more presents...God Bless Winter Break!!! Hope you all have a lovely day doing whatever it is you're doing!!!

[Source]

Monday, December 26, 2011

BAND December Discussion: Truth in Non-fiction

Kim over at Sophisticated Dorkiness (my Christmas Card Exchange partner) has another blog that she co-authors titled BAND: Blogger's Alliance of Non-fiction Devotees and if you want to participate, this is what you do...from the About Us section:
How to Participate 
Our main online headquarters is this blog and this is where you can find any updates you need.  
Each month, a different nonfiction blogger will post a topic for discussion, which we’ll post a link to here. To participate, write up a response to their topic — as long or short as you’d like — for your blog at any time during the month. Please also leave a link to your response at the original topic post so the host can write up a wrap-up at the end of the month. 
Decembers' topic

I'm going to answer this first as a teacher and then as a reader of non-fiction, as my answers for each bisect here and there, but are quite different from one another.
As a teacher, I believe that for research purposes a student must take the time to figure out if and how what he or she is reading is truth. And, I'm talking about 'truth' in how they see or perceive something. I'll give you an example. One of my students wanted to write his research paper on the conspiracy theory behind the attack on Pearl Harbor (the theory is old, but the research is new enough that there are very few 'true' books on the subject). For the record, I have a hard time being convinced of a conspiracy, but told him that I do believe that, just like 9-11, people knew and could stop it and told him so. He found some websites that I would not let him use to back up his point as they were radical, inflammatory and didn't really say anything except for to rile up conspiracy and anti-government theorist. He kept on insisting that he be able to use these websites as proof that a conspiracy existed. We went round and round about how to find a reputable site. Finally, I said find a book that says it and use that book. He, of course, sarcastically commented back, "Oh, if it's in a book, it must be true." I said, "No, not necessarily, if I read a book about the Pearl Harbor Conspiracy, I'd still want to do my own research about it's validity." To me it's easy to check if something is true at the level of research, you find a book, you read it, you research the topics of that book, you find reviews to check the validity of the author, you find reputable websites (and, for the students this means going to an online research search engine like EBSCOhost that filters out the crap) and, finally, you use your heart and mind to test it against what you know to be true.
As a reader of non-fiction, my answer is a little more simple. I read about things that I'm interested in, I don't have to check out their validity I know them to be true. I've been reading Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton book for years now, I don't research if what he's saying is true or not, I know enough about Mr. Hamilton to know that what I've read so far is accurate and therefore I assume the rest must be. When I go to Wikipedia to research a topic for it's validity (this happens more in historical fiction, than non-fiction) I believe all the cursory information I see there...really, every time. And, if I want some interesting reading I check out the references and buy books from that list...books that I read and believe whole-heartedly.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Have a Wonderful Christmas Eve...

Some excellent subway art I found on Pinterest...both are for personal use only please...

[Source]

[Source]

I framed them and I'm using them as decoration and they will be part of my table centerpiece...

Pinterest. Making Martha Stewart/Rachel Ray/Sandra Lee/Insert your favorite here...out of all of us. Sigh.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Happy Blogiversary!!!

Hoorah!!! I celebrated by shopping for Christmas presents...I'm behind in all aspects of life...

How should the blog celebrate you ask? With a giveaway, of course, I'll be posting more on that in the next week...I have to figure out how to do a giveaway...any advice would be helpful...I know what I'm going to give away...

For right now, have a virtual cupcake...I'm going to go wrap presents...


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas Card Awesomeness...

So, I received my Christmas card from the Card Exchange like 3 days ago (obviously, somebody mailed their card on the appropriate December 13th deadline) and just now have a chance to write about it.

Before I start talking about my card...you should take a moment or two or ten to check out, her lovely non-fiction focused reading blog, Sophisticated Dorkiness:

Clever title, cute South Park version of herself!

I appreciate that in the card that I received there were comments about me and my reading habits that my partner in the exchange could have only received my checking out my little blog.

I have read Cinderella Ate My Daughter and loved it, even if I don't necessarily agree with all of it. I owned Barbies growing up and just bought my daughter some Disney Princess dolls for Christmas. She loves Tangled, we watch it all the time, and I thought she needed the dolls.

I'll reply to the rest of the card in an email...I love receiving real email almost as much as I love receiving Christmas cards!!!

I'm definitely doing this exchange next year!

Thanks Kim for the card, I put yours in the mail on the 19th...just a few days late...

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Playing Catch-up and Happy Blogiversary soon!

Please stay tuned as I add in appropriate blog post in the appropriate date slot. I'm very behind on my blog post a day for the year 2011 (different goal for next year) and am also very behind on book reviews...I've read 58, but have only reviewed 45ish. However, I am a couple of hours away from being caught up on my grading...woot! You know this  means no grading during Christmas Break, right!?

I'll be spending the last few days of the year adding reviews et cetera...generally playing catch-up.



Oh and my blog will be a year old on the 23rd...that's pretty exciting...not sure what I'll be doing to celebrate, I'll think of something!


Have a lovely Sunday!!!

If you have any ideas about what to do for a 1st Blogiversary feel free to comment the suggestion below. Thanks, in advance, for your help!!!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Six Word Saturday #27

My life in six words
Our Christmas party is this evening!

Here's what I'm bringing...

Candy Cane Cake

[Source]

Hope you have a lovely Saturday everyone!!! :D





Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. The full list and linky can be found here. And, here's where I found it.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Booking Through thursday (Character or Plot?)

         From Booking Through Thursday:


What’s more important to you? Real, three-dimensional, fleshed-out fascinating characters? Or an amazing, page-turning plot?
(Yes, I know, they are both important. But if you had to pick one as being more important than the other?

     Well, since I have to choose one, I choose plot. I feel that if a plot is going along at some wonderful rate than I can ignore most unfleshed and unwanted characters. I also believe that a really great character can't really save a story. There are some wonderful characters in Vanity Fair, but you aren't going to see me talking about the book in a positive manner; the plot is so boring.




Feel free to share your answers below, on the original post (above), on FB or on your own blog!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 10

Several months ago I found this book challenge (since then I have seen many variations of it, but I like this one best!), and have been intrigued about how I would answer the questions posed. Feel free to comment with your own answer or post the challenge to your own blog.

A Book You Thought You Wouldn't Like, But Ended Up Loving



Day 01 – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just freaking end already (or both!)
Day 02 – A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about
Day 03 – The best book you've read in the last 12 months
Day 04 – Your favorite book or series ever
Day 05 – A book or series you hate
Day 06 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 07 – Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise
Day 08 – A book everyone should read at least once
Day 09 – Best scene ever
Day 10 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 11 – A book that disappointed you
Day 12 – A book or series of books you’ve read more than five times
Day 13 – Favorite childhood book OR current favorite YA book (or both!)
Day 14 – Favorite character in a book
Day 15 – Your “comfort” book
Day 16 – Favorite poem or collection of poetry
Day 17 – Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)
Day 18 – Favorite beginning scene in a book
Day 19 – Favorite book cover (bonus points for posting an image!)
Day 20 – Favorite kiss

Day 21 – Favorite romantic/sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 22 – Favorite non-sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 23 – Most annoying character ever
Day 24 – Best quote from a novel
Day 25 – Any five books from your “to be read” stack
Day 26 – OMG WTF? OR most irritating/awful/annoying book ending
Day 27 – If a book contains ______, you will always read it (and a book or books that contain it)!
Day 28 – First favorite book or series obsession
Day 29 – Saddest character death OR best/most satisfying character death (or both!)
Day 30 – What book are you reading right now?

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Top 20 Christmas Songs

I love list, I love Christmas, I love Christmas list!!!

I make Christmas CDs for my friends and family...it's my homage to the mix tape of the 80s. Here's my list of the top 20 (10 is too few) Christmas songs...

1. White Christmas by Bing Crosby
2. White Christmas by Otis Redding...seriously, I love them both!
3. This Christmas by Donnie Hathaway
4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Colbie Caillat
5. Baby It's Cold Outside by The Glee Cast
6. Little Drummer Boy by Jars of Clay
7. The Christmas Song by Nat "King" Cole
8. Carol of the Bells by The Bird and The Bee
9. Snowfall Kind of Love by Ingrid Michaelson
10. Believe by Josh Groban
11. Silver Bells by Johnny Mathis
12. Step Into Christmas by The Puppini Sisters
13. Christmas This Year by Toby Mac and Leah Nash
14. Sleigh Ride by Ella Fitzgerald
15. It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year by Andy Williams
16. Do You Hear What I Hear by Destiny's Child
17. Winter Weather by Benny Goodman
18. Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer by Burl Ives
19. All I Want for Christmas is You by Mariah Carey
20. Christmas Can Can by Straight No Chaser


What songs would you include? And, Merry Christmas Everyone!!!



Saturday, December 10, 2011

Six Word Saturday #26

My life in six words
No grading during the upcoming break!



No grading during the upcoming break!
No grading during the upcoming break!
No grading during the upcoming break!
No grading during the upcoming break!
No grading during the upcoming break!

Must get to it, again...ugh.



Want to play along? All that's necessary to participate is to describe your life (or something) in a phrase using just six words. For more information, try clicking here. Feel free to explain or not explain. Add an image, a video, a song, nothing. The full list and linky can be found here. And, here's where I found it.

Friday, December 9, 2011

50 Books in a Year: Book #54 A Study in Scarlet

The only Sherlock Holmes book I've ever read is The Hound of the Baskervilles, I read it, on purpose, in 6th grade after spending many years watching the old black and white version with Basil Rathbone. I was looking forward to reading more Holmes for The Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge, but didn't want to read The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (as I knew it wasn't the first book). Then a friend turned me on to this...

It just makes sense that after watching Benedict Cumberbatch (Hell-O the Anglophile in me loves him and his name, can we get more British with the name there?) in A Study in Pink  I'd want to read Doyle's A Study in Scarlet.

Um, yeah, while I enjoy the parallels, I should have probably read the book first...

Fun parallels:
1] The titles, of course, are adorable in comparison to each other.
2] The dialogue...there are parts in the book that are word for word in the episode (opening scene, Holmes defending why the cops need him, blood on the walls) the setting and inflections changed, which just makes it more interesting.
3] The Cabbie...of course, one is in a horse-drawn buggy, but still.
4] The choice (don't want to give anything away here).
5] Holmes still vain, still mad, still quite misunderstood by everyone except Watson, and, of course, himself.
6] The Solar System.
and...
7]They both open with Watson having PTS, wounded, back from a military tour in Afghanistan (kid you not, same opener).

A Study in Pink is...
1] Faster paced, there is a whole entire sequence, in the novel, set in The States about Mormons and scandals and murder, that I'm sure we sort of needed, but not really in a rather long chapter flashback...totally ruins the pacing and it's hard to get the pace back or care about the murders after that.
2] Has a Watson that I just adore, second only to Jude as Watson, of course.
3] Devoid of doggie-icide...I'm sure that wouldn't go over well, sick and old dog or not, with a modern audience.
4] devious and creepy, the ending is breath-taking and, well, I didn't have to go through 4 million (slight exaggeration) pages of nonsense to get to to it.

So, while I liked this book is really isn't as good as The Hounds of the Baskerville nor as fun and clever as it's modern version.

4 Stars   
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I love this book, but would not give up my first born for it...you should read it though :)

For more Holmes info check out: Holmesian Derivations

Thursday, December 8, 2011

50 Books in a Year: Book #53 Twenty Boy Summer

34 years ago my brother died in a car accident, I was  a little over a year old, he was three. I don't remember much about him, save one strange memory of him standing outside the car entertaining me while my mom pumps and pays for gas. I recall the car, the sun sparkling off of the metal on the window and the smell of the summer day mingling with the smell of the gasoline. And, of course, I have the stories, of how he called me Finnie Shell for Stephanie Michelle, how he would chase me around the house, how he could make me laugh...it hurts that I only have these stories and not their memories.

2 years ago I gave birth to a tiny person, I was a little over 33 years old, she was a surprise. I remember everything about the night I found out I was pregnant, everything about the day the doctor confirmed it, showing us the ultrasound of our little girl already 5 months in the making and every moment anxiously awaiting her arrival. And, of course, I have the stories, of how she calls me Mommy and Mom and sometimes Mommy Stephanie, how she comes to school with me on Saturday Publication work days, how she makes me laugh...it hurts to realize I used to think my life was complete without her.

It's these two people, the brother I never knew and the person I didn't know who could make me, well, a better me, that I think about when I think about Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler.
From Goodreads:
"Don’t worry, Anna. I’ll tell her, okay? Just let me think about the best way to do it." "Okay." "Promise me? Promise you won’t say anything?" "Don’t worry.” I laughed. “It’s our secret, right?"  
According to Anna’s best friend, Frankie, twenty days in Zanzibar Bay is the perfect opportunity to have a summer fling, and if they meet one boy every day, there’s a pretty good chance Anna will find her first summer romance. Anna lightheartedly agrees to the game, but there’s something she hasn’t told Frankie–she’s already had her romance, and it was with Frankie’s older brother, Matt, just before his tragic death one year ago. 
TWENTY BOY SUMMER explores what it truly means to love someone, what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every beautiful moment life has to offer.
This book has so much in it and it speaks honestly about love, friendship, family and what it means to grieve the loss of a loved one.

I am more than willing to believe that when you are still grieving the loss of someone you truly love that having sex for the first time helps to heal the wound, that blocking it out and drinking and pretending to have sexual exploits makes it a little easier to be alive and that when your child dies a piece of you dies and living doesn't even seem possible. I believe that each of the characters in this book acts how people act when their hearts hurt so much they can't feel it.

I like that the parents and other grown-ups in this book are ancillary to the true narrative. I do not mind that the girls sneak out of the house to hang out with boys, go to a party by lying and making up imaginary girl friends. I believe that grieving parents who are just as lost as their still alive children, in this case the very lost Frankie, don't know how to act or how to feel, I believe they ignore and believe what they want to believe. Here's what I don't like, here's the part that makes me sad and here's the part that I hope makes me a better parent...neither of the girls talk to their parents about how they feel and I believe Anna's parents, would listen and trying to help. While I don't need to know everything that my daughter is doing or will do I hope that she knows that she can always talk to me and she can always share her most personal thoughts with me. I hope that she knows that I love her no matter what.

Everything in this book is real and honest and tender and I wouldn't change a single word of it.

My niece is reading this book right now and I know that I'm going to make sure this book finds its way into the hands of my daughter and then we can have a talk about love and friendship and when it's appropriate to have sex and I hope that while I am not her peer she sees me as someone to go to when she needs to do so.

While I write this my daughter is singing "Happy Birthday to Mommy", it isn't my birthday until next May, but it sure feels like a celebration.



5 Stars
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This book has now become part of my foundation and is an extension of the very essence of me...I laughed, I cried [or some other emotion] and am sad this reading is over...gush, gush, gush...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

30 Day Book Challenge: Day 09

Several months ago I found this book challenge (since then I have seen many variations of it, but I like this one best!), and have been intrigued about how I would answer the questions posed. Feel free to comment with your own answer or post the challenge to your own blog.

Best Scene Ever



 When I first read The English Patient there were so many passages that I quoted and shared with anyone who would listen. However, the passage below is my favorite...it is full of the best parts any book the nostalgia and the ability to equate it with your own life instantly. I had known moments like this, at the age of 21, but those that I remember now are more meaningful in their longing.

p299-302
Now where does he sit as he thinks of her? These years later. A stone of history skipping over the water, bouncing up so she and he have aged before it touches the surface again and sinks.

Where does he sit in his garden thinking once again he should go inside and write a letter or go one day down to the telephone depot, fill out a form and try to contact her in another country. It is this garden, this square patch of dry cut grass that triggers him back to the months he spent with Hana and Caravaggio and the English patient north of Florence in the Villa San Girolamo. ...

She will, he realizes now, always have a serious face. She has moved from being a young woman into having the angular look of a queen, someone who has made her face with her desire to be a certain kind of person. He still likes that about her. Her smartness, the fact that she did not inherit that look or that beauty, but that it was something searched for and that it will always reflect a present stage of her character. It seems every month or two he witnesses her this way, as if these moments of revelation are a continuation of the letters she wrote to him for a year, getting no reply, until she stopped sending them, turned away by his silence. His character, he supposed. ...

During the evening meal he watches his daughter struggling with her cutlery, trying to hold the large weapons in her small hands. At this table all of their hands are brown. They move with ease in their customs and habits. And his wife has taught them all a wild humour, which has been inherited by his son. He loves to see his son's wit in this house, how it surprises him constantly, going beyond even his and his wife's knowledge and humour...

And so Hana moves and her face turns and in a regret she lowers her hair. Her shoulder touches the edge of a cupboard and a glass dislodges. Kirpal's left hand swoops down and catches the dropped fork an inch from the floor and gently passes it into the fingers of his daughter, a wrinkle at the edge of his eyes behind his spectacles.
Day 01 – A book series you wish had gone on longer OR a book series you wish would just freaking end already (or both!)
Day 02 – A book or series you wish more people were reading and talking about
Day 03 – The best book you've read in the last 12 months
Day 04 – Your favorite book or series ever
Day 05 – A book or series you hate
Day 06 – Favorite book of your favorite series
Day 07 – Least favorite plot device employed by way too many books you actually enjoyed otherwise
Day 08– A book everyone should read at least once 
Day 09 – Best scene ever
Day 10 – A book you thought you wouldn’t like but ended up loving
Day 11 – A book that disappointed you
Day 12 – A book or series of books you’ve read more than five times
Day 13 – Favorite childhood book OR current favorite YA book (or both!)
Day 14 – Favorite character in a book
Day 15 – Your “comfort” book
Day 16 – Favorite poem or collection of poetry
Day 17 – Favorite story or collection of stories (short stories, novellas, novelettes, etc.)
Day 18 – Favorite beginning scene in a book
Day 19 – Favorite book cover (bonus points for posting an image!)
Day 20 – Favorite kiss

Day 21 – Favorite romantic/sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 22 – Favorite non-sexual relationship (including asexual romantic relationships)
Day 23 – Most annoying character ever
Day 24 – Best quote from a novel
Day 25 – Any five books from your “to be read” stack
Day 26 – OMG WTF? OR most irritating/awful/annoying book ending
Day 27 – If a book contains ______, you will always read it (and a book or books that contain it)!
Day 28 – First favorite book or series obsession
Day 29 – Saddest character death OR best/most satisfying character death (or both!)
Day 30 – What book are you reading right now?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

50 Books in a Year: Book #52 Dr. No

OK, so this is James Bond book #6 on the list of original books written by Ian Fleming and, so far (I've read 8) this my least favorite. I enjoy campiness and, in relation to James Bond novels, I can tolerate misogyny, racism and impossible plot structures and devices. I could not do that with this book...and, I find it strange that Eon Films elected to pick this book as it's first Bond film (I like the film way loads better), I'm sure that had something to do with Honey Ryder, but I digress.

I'm trying really hard to find something that I liked about this book (and, have just successfully lowered it's stars from 3 to 2), I suppose I can start with what I didn't like.

1] Honey Ryder...there's no white bikini in this book and she spends half her time half-naked looking to James to save her. Now, usually this works and I find myself thinking, yes, James should be in charge here. However, I'm supposed to believe that Honey is so inculcated into the culture that she can live on her own, can go to this remote island alone to fish et cetera, but once James comes along she's weak and helpless...

2] The setting...a remote island off of Jamaica where Chinegros (a Fleming word, not mine...really, I would never use the word Chinegro, what a word!) work for this strange man. The only thing stopping him from taking over the world...bird poop.

3] Dr. No...he sounds asexual and weird and not in a good Blofeld kind of way...I was not scared of this man, nor could I pretend to be intimidated, I was too grossed out.

What I liked (see I knew that if I started writing about what I didn't like these things would come to me):

1] that it's set in Jamaica, I love reading about this country through the eyes of Ian Fleming. I have no desire to go to Jamaica, too darned hot, I have no desire to live in Jamaica, too darned hot, and I also dislike the beach, however, every time I read a passage describe this road or that restaurant I feel a little yearning in my heart.

2] The opening sequence and every detail seems to have been used precisely in the movie. What a fun opener...

Anyway, I could really take or leave this book...and, that makes me sad. I guess out of 14 books, I couldn't be expected to love them all, right!?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Pinterest! *fist of fury* Oh How I Love Thee!

OK, so remember my post about Christmas gifts for my department found here?

Thanks to one of my former students and dear friends, I am now on Pinterest...I have tried not to be on Pinterest because I knew I would never ever leave.

What is Pinterest you ask?


Pinterest appeals to my...
1. deep down need to be organized and my inability to do that anywhere except for on paper
2. craftiness
3. scrapbookishness
4. need to decorate the house so it actually looks like a girl lives here
5. need to make list and then categorize those list and then categorize those sublist
6. need to devote more time to me and what I enjoy
7. love of food, good food...fooooodddd!
8. love of all things seasonal and holiday
9. collecting spirit
10. my internet obsession

If you are so inclined you can follow me here.

Thanks Chrissy!!! And...


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