Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Award Time, Part 2

It is now time to post and pass along two more awards that I've received from two great bloggers. I apologize to both of you for being so late with this.

I received this beautiful award from Nikola at Nikola's Book Blog. He has a fantastic blog and I encourage everyone to visit and say hi.

I would like to pass this along to 5 fantastic bloggers who are must stops for me on a daily basis.

Bella at A Bibliophile's Bookshelf

Celia at Adventures of Cecelia Bedelia

Beth at Beth's Book Review Blog

Carolyn at Book Chick City

Wendi at Wendi's Book Corner

I received this award from Ceri at Not in the Pink. She has a wonderful blog that I can't stop visiting so I highly encourage anyone and everyone to to go over and say hi!

Here are the rules for this award:

1. Each Superior Scribbler must in turn pass The Award on to 5 most-deserving Bloggy Friends.

2. Each Superior Scribbler must link to the author & the name of the blog from whom he/she has received The Award.

3. Each Superior Scribbler must display The Award on his/her blog, and link to This Post, which explains The Award.

4. Each Blogger who wins The Superior Scribbler Award must visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List. That way, we'll be able to keep up-to-date on everyone who receives This Prestigious Honor!

5. Each Superior Scribbler must post these rules on his/her blog.

So I would like to pass this along to 5 bloggers who always entertain, enlighten, and encourage their readers. They all have strong personalities and distinct voices that are always a treat to experience.

Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books

Jaime at Revenge of the Book Nerds

Elena at With Extra Pulp

Jennifer at Rundpinne

Carol at Carol's Notebook

Favorite Fictional Characters --- Fran Fine

She was working in a bridal shop in Flushing, Queens,'Til her boyfriend kicked her out in one of those crushing scenes.What was she to do? Where was she to go? She was out on her fanny...So over the bridge from Flushing to the Sheffield's door.She was there to sell make-up, but the father saw more. She had style! She had flair! She was there.That's how she became the Nanny!

Who would have guessed that the girl we've described,Was just exactly what the doctor prescribed?Now the father finds her beguiling (watch out C.C.!).And the kids are actually smiling (such joie de vivre!).She's the lady in red when everybody else is wearing tan...The flashy girl from Flushing, the Nanny named Fran!

Doesn't that song alone bring a smile to your face? A big grin from ear to ear that threatens to consume your entire being? Well if not, it should. For 6 years Fran Fine, played by the wonderful Fran Drescher, came into my living room and made me smile in a way only she could. Besides, how can you not love a character devoted to Barbara Streisand?

She was loud, boisterous, flashy, sexy, and charming all in one package. From the moment she walked into the Sheffield's life, magic happened. She brought a new energy and vibrancy to the their lives and they were blessed and happy for it. The children blossomed under her care and tutelage, Maxwell seemed to start enjoying life more, Niles gained a partner in crime, and C.C. learned she had no chance with Maxwell. By the end of the show Fran and Maxwell were married and had children of their own and I couldn't have been happier for them.

I was sad when the show finally ended but I was grateful for the opportunity to watch a brilliantly funny show produced by and starring a great actress and comedian.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Award Time, Part 1

I am so thuroughly backlogged on getting these posted and given out that I'm slightly embarrassed by it. I have so many that I'm going to have to do a few at a time over the next few days. I'm really sorry to all of those who gave me these awards that I haven't acknowledged it until now, please forgive me.

I received this really cool looking award from two great bloggers and I want to thank them. Michelle at Red Headed Book Child and Zia at My Life In Not So Many Words. They are wonderful bloggers/people and I encourage everyone to visit them immediately.

Here's what it's all about.

The Dragon's Loyalty Award is an award for the loyal fan/commenter, whether the recipient is a fellow blogger or just a someone who follows and comments regularly.Here are the rules:* If you have a blog, post it on your blog with a link back to the site who gave it to you.* Leave them a comment on their site, email, etc. to let them know.* If you don't have a blog but have a website, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter or other type account, post there with a link back.*

Pass this on to 3-10 loyal fans. So I choose to pass this along to a group of wonderful bloggers who have shown me nothing but kindness and friendship.

Deb at Bookmagic

Melissa at My World

Krista at Life or Something Like It

Michelle at The True Book Addict

Melissa at Scuffed Slippers and Wormy Books

I received this great award from two great individual bloggers and one fantastic group of bloggers. Alyssa, Jake, and Gregory at Teens Read and Write, Nikola at Nikola's Book Blog, and Michelle at The True Book Addict. They all have great blogs and I hope everyone stops by and discovers that for themselves.

I would love to pass this on to some wonderful bloggers who whether it's on their own blogs or through the comment's they leave on mine, bring a smile to my face every time I read what they have to say.

Michelle at Red Headed Book Child

Zia at My Life In Not So Many Words

Phyl at Bookishgal

Ceri at Not In The Pink

Staci at Life In The Thumb

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Here is how it works.

Grab the book you are currently reading
(anything at all)
Open the book to any random page.
Share 2 "teaser" sentences from anywhere on the page.
Please Make Sure They Are Not Spoilers!(Don't Give Too Much Away)
Just enough to pique our interest.
List the book and author so other participants can get their hand on it
if they choose to read it as well.

For This Week:

Lupie pulled back his eyelids ... and gasped in astonishment as she watched the completely white, film eyeballs -- the eyes of the dead -- transform suddenly back to the eyes of the living with a pair of pupils appearing like the dot that used to grow on old TV screens. The piercing monotone coming from the ECG screen next to the bed suddenly beeped back to peak-and-trough life.

From the story "Baby Homeless Broken Hearts Club" from the book Let Slip the Dogs of Love: Suburban Legends of the Living and the Dead by Eugene Kachmarsky

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mailbox Monday for September 28th, 2009

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

The only book I bought this week was The Man with the Golden Torc by Simon R Green. I bought this hardcover off the bargain table at Barnes & Noble.

I won In the Woods by Tana French from Michelle at Red Headed Book Child.

The last three books I recieved all came from the authors for review.

The Winner of Under This Unbroken Sky

Using I drew the winner of the ARC of Under This Unbroken Sky.

And the winner is........



I have emailed the winner who has 48 hours to respond. If there is no response a new winner will be picked.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Adventures in Babysitting

I absolutely love this movie. I think I saw it for the first time in 1987, the year it came out and I've watched it almost every year since.

What is there not to love? Babysitter is asked to babysit two kids while parents attend a party in the city. Older boys sex crazed best friend comes over and make a nuisance of himself. Babysitter's best friend calls from a bus station down town, desperately needing help so the babysitter packs all three kids in the car and heads downtown.

What ensues is nothing but lots of fun and chaos. There are gang fights, mechanics that look like Thor, car thieves, chases, prostitutes, frat parties, blues musician Albert Collins, even some scaling of a building trying to get to the parents in their high rise party.

This is one 80s movies that I don't think gets enough attention and acclaim. This is one of those movies that watching it once will turn you into a lifelong lover of cheesy 80's cinema.

Synopsis From Back Cover:

Christ Parker (Elisabeth Shue of Cousin Bette, Leaving Las Vegas) agrees to babysit after her "dread" date stands her up. Expecting a dull evening, Christ settles down with three kids for a night of TV...and boredom. But when her frantic friend Brenda calls and pleads to be rescued from the bus station in downtown Chicago, the evening soon explodes into an endless whirl of hair-raising adventures! Babysitter and kids leave their safe suburban surroundings and head for the heart of the big city, never imagining how terrifyingly funny their expedition will become.

Friday, September 25, 2009

44 of the Most Random Questions

I saw this at another blog and Matt seemed like he had fun doing it so I thought I would give it a try myself, that and I'm just a little bored right now.

1. Do you like blue cheese? If Gorgonzola counts than yes, if it doesn't then no I don't.

2. Have you ever been drunk? If my younger days, more times than I can count. Now that I'm a little more mature and grownup, not really. I rarely have a drink now and when I do I only drink 15-20 of them, not even close to drunk stage for me. Just kidding, at most I will have 2 drinks in a evening anymore.

3. Do you own a gun? No, never have and never will. I think the world would be better off without them and I would like to see them all melted down for flower pots.

4. What flavor of Kool Aid was your favorite? a kid what flavor didn't I like, Kool Aid rocked. Now the few times I buy it for my son it's normally Tropical Punch or Orange.

5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Since I still hate going to the doctor, yes.

6. What do you think of hot dogs? They are OK and I only like them 3 ways. First is with mustard, onions, relish, and sport peppers. Second is with mustard, ketchup, and mayo. Then you put crushed potato chips and mozzarella cheese on top of that. Then you put it on a two sided electric grill to melt the cheese, so gooooood. Third way is cooked on a stick over a campfire.

7. Favorite Christmas movie? Oh gosh another long answer. Christmas in Connecticut, White Christmas, The Ref, Nightmare Before Christmas, the ABC Family Channel movie Snow, The Tangerine Bear: Home in Time for Christmas, The Christmas Toy, How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Cartoon version), The Year Without a Santa Claus, Rudolph's Shiny New Year, Nestor The Long Eared Christmas Donkey, Frosty's Winter Wonderland, Twas' the Night Before Christmas, Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July, A Charlie Brown Christmas, He-Man and She-Ra Christmas Special, Jack Frost (Rankin & Bass animated version), Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Frosty the Snowman, Frosty Returns, and The Little Drummer Boy.

8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? Milk, orange juice, water, or hot tea.

9. Can you do push ups? Yes all the time and I hate it.

10. What’s your favorite piece of jewelry? Silver Italian horn necklace.

11. Favorite hobby? Well since I started a book blog I would have to say reading.

12. Do you have A.D.D.? No

13. What’s your favorite shoe? I have two pairs of Merrell Chameleon 2s I really like and I just got a pair of Auri Gulfstream in green that I love.

14. Middle name? Michael

15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment? That this is taking longer than I thought it would, my left shoulder is hurting, and I'm loving this pistachio ice cream.

16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Hot tea, water, and cranberry juice.

17. Current worry? If my son will feel better in the morning.

18. Current hate right now? Those who belong to the Birther conspiracy, people who need to talk about who they are sleeping with on their cell phones while they are standing in front of me in a line, my headache that seems to be never ending, and eggplant.

19. Dum da dum dummmm what is that? A really annoying sound that I wish would go away for ever.

20. How did you bring in the new year? At home sick on my couch eating popcorn with my then 5 year old.

21. Where would you like to go? Bangladesh, South Africa, and American Samoa.

22. Name three people who will complete this? Anyone who wants to.

23. Do you own slippers? Yes, nice and furry ones.

24. What color shirt are you wearing right now? Purple

25. Do you like sleeping on Satin sheets? No, I can't stand the feel of them. I love high thread count cotton and then flannel in winter.

26. Can you whistle? Yes, but not in tune.

27. Favorite color? Almost any shade of blue and green.

28. Would you be a pirate? Not if I had to wear an eye patch and have a peg leg. I also hate parrots and need to shower at least twice a day, so I'm thinking no.

29. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't

30. Favorite Girl’s Name? Ehlana

31. Favorite boy’s name? Aidan (of course) or Damian

32. What’s in your pocket right now? Nothing, I empty them when I come home.

33. Last thing that made you laugh? Picturing myself as a pirate.

34. Best bed sheets as a child? Mikey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Daisy Duck, and Goofy at a County Fair.

35. Worst injury you’ve ever had as a child? We were building a fort in our neighbors back yard and all the other kids went inside leaving me holding a board, about the size of a door, up against a fence. Well when you are 8 and bored, 5 minutes seems like a year. So I let go, turned around, and started walking away. If fell on me and the boards I was walking on had nails sticking up. So I had two nails go into the right side of my face and tear it up a little. I still have a 1.5 inch scar by my ear.

36. Do you love where you live? Love the place I physically live, I could do without the Kansas part though.

37. Revenge of the Nerds or Fast Times at Ridgemont High? Can I say neither.

38. Who is your loudest friend? We are no longer friends because of that loudness.

39. How many dogs do you have? None right now, but I really, really, really, really want an Irish Wolfound.

40. Does someone have a crush on you? The few I know about are not ones I want to have a crush on me.

42. What is your favorite candy? Jelly Belly jellybeans, especially the juicy pear and margarita ones

43. Favorite Sports Team? Denver Broncos.

44. What song do you want played at your funeral? The Lady of Shalott by Loreena Mckennitt.

The Agatha Christie Challenge --- The Man in the Brown Suit

This book was the 5th in my journey of Agatha Christie's books and by far the most enjoyable so far. I had read this book years ago, which was enough time for me to forget how like able the main character is.

Anne Beddingfeld is the type of character you long for in a good mystery. She is fearless in action, quick on the uptake, and a hopeless romantic. She is the daughter of a famous anthropologist who specialized in studying the primitive man and when he passes away she is at an impasse in her life. All she knows is that she wants to have adventures and she feels the place to start is is London. When the opportunity presents itself to move there, she jumps on it without a moments hesitation. That willingness to "just go" is what drives this entire book.

From the streets of London where she witnesses an untimely death to South Africa where everything comes to a head, Anne's drive to be the thick of things is what makes her so lovable. This is a grand adventure filled with suspense, laughter, love, and even a likable villain. I'm not sure if we will see Anne Beddingfeld again but I sure hope so.

Synopsis From Back Cover:

How odd, Ann Beddingfeld thought, that the stranger caught her eye, recoiled in horror, and fell to his death on the rails of Hyde Park Underground Station. Odder still was a doctor in a brown suit who pronounced him dead and vanished into the crowd. But what really aroused Anne's suspicion was when she learned of the doctor's link to the murder of a famous ballerina, a fortune in hidden diamonds, and a crime-lord embroiled in blackmail. And most frightening of all was the attempt made on Anne's own life. But she is unable to resist the lure of an isolated mansion that could hold the solution to a bizarre mystery-eve if she becomes it's next victim.

Reading this book I came to realize I'm probably not going to get through all of Agatha Christie's books in a year, like I originally planned. I think that will be OK though. I'm having a great time with it and if it lasts longer that I thought it would that just means I get to have fun for that much longer.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Word Verification Balderdash

Word Verification Balderdash is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through A World Of Books.

Here is what you do. You write down all the word verifications you come across as you are posting comments on other peoples blogs. You then play Balderdash with them. Now for those of you who don't know how to play, you take a made up word and come up with a authentic sounding definition for it. Do this for a week and then post your best ones every Thursday.

Here are mine for this week:

KVDeerC: Are you sick and tired of being shot down by those pesky humans? Well we have the perfect solution for you! Introducing KVDeerC, the 3rd generation of Kevlar body armor designed for the deer who wants to be safe and stylish.

Nozones: Political term referring to those areas of the U.S. Capital building were members of the opposition party, who can only say "No", like to congregate.

Astorme: Atypical thunderstorms that can be identified by the addition of small asteroids amongst the rain and lightning. They are considered very dangerous and a few hundred people across the US lose their lives to these horrific storms.

Bedues: Isses that a fighting couple will take to bed with them. They are rarely ever resolved and tend to linger for years.

Syropsi: Psychological mania identified by a uncontrollable desire to bathe in and consume vast quantities of maple syrup.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Favorite Fictional Characters --- Nancy Drew

This was a rather hard post for me to do. I wanted to post about the character who got me interested in mysterious the most. Which meant I would have to think of the character that hooked me not the character I read first. Originally I thought I would do this on Encyclopedia Brown since I think his books were the first mysteries I read. Then I considered the Hardy Boys, whose adventures I thoroughly enjoyed. I finally had to decide on Nancy Drew though for two reasons.

The first is that I probably read more of her books then the other two combined. The second was I enjoyed them more, I had more fun reading them then the others and found myself on the edge of my seat every time she was put in danger.

The star of more books than I can count and a few stage adaptations, Nancy Drew is one of those cultural icons that will never fade and will be with us forever. I read my first Nancy Drew book in the 5th grade and quickly went through every book my school library had (Minnehaha Elementary in Two Harbors, MN). After that I tackled the Two Harbors Public Library and finished off those as well.

There was just something so fearless and gutsy about her that you rooted for her and just knew she would solve the case either alone or with her friends Bess and George. Of course you can forget her boyfriend the adorable Ned Nickerson. She used her brains and wit to solve every case put before her.

For those who have never read these books before I encourage you to give them a try. Those of you who are familiar with them I hope you give the a second look and rediscover your love of them once more.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Here is how it works.

Grab the book you are currently reading
(anything at all)
Open the book to any random page.
Share 2 "teaser" sentences from anywhere on the page.
Please Make Sure They Are Not Spoilers!(Don't Give Too Much Away)
Just enough to pique our interest.
List the book and author so other participants can get their hand on it
if they choose to read it as well.

For This Week:

It was Mrs. Dashwood who acted first, even as the sailor's were still loading their blunderbusses and the coxswain was pulling the tarpaulin off the ship's cannon. She grasped a spare oar from it's rigging, snapped it in twain upon her knee with a swift motion, and plunged the sharp, broken point into the churning sea-piercing the gleaming, deep-set eye of the beast.

From: Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monster by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters

Monday, September 21, 2009

Mailbox Monday for September 21st, 2009

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.
The only book I didn't buy this week was Taken by Norah McClintock, which I won from Jaime at Revenge of the Book Nerds!

I bought three hardcover book from the Dollar Tree store, for you guessed it, a dollar a piece.

Manor House by Juliet Gardiner which is a beautiful companion book to the PBS show of the same name.

I also took a trip to Barnes & Noble for what was supposed to be one book and I left with four.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


OK, before anyone says anything to me. I know that this movie from 1980 is not critically acclaimed and a lot of people find it really cheesy. So please if that is all you have to say than that's OK too.

This has got to be my favorite movie musical of all time. How can you not love a musical on roller skates? If you don't, you are just plumb crazy. Besides, Gene Kelley is in it so it's classy, right?

There isn't really a synopsis on the back cover of my DVD and I could go to Amazon or some such website and copy/paste a generic synopsis, but I will do my own this time.

Olivia Newton-John (love her) plays one of the mythological Muses named Kira. Her and her sisters spring to live from a painted mural and start to dance. Once the dancing is over, they zip away to destinations unknown.

Kira ends up roller skating into Sonny Malone, played by Michael Beck, who is a struggling artist. He paints giant album covers to be used as AD pieces in record stores. Now since he is a true artist, he balks at the rigidity of his job and years to break free and explore his more creative side. Kira (through magical means) keeps popping in and out of his life and he can't get her out of his head.

Long story short, sort of anyway, Sonny meets and befriends Danny McGuire, played by the wonderful Gene Kelley. Danny is a down and out former club owner and big band performer. Somehow, Kira of course, the idea of opening up a new club hatches between the two of them and Xanadu is born. This was the only odd point in the movie for me. If Sonny is an artist wouldn't his Muse inspire him to be true to the art and not become a club owner? Of course if that happened we wouldn't have had the coolest final number with costumes galore, jam skaters, and the catchiest dance tune in the history of cinema!

In the meantime Kira and Sonny fall in love, they even have an animated sequence together. They then have to convince Zeus and Hera that their love is meant to be. They end up together at the end but not in the way you would have thought, don't you love twists?

Now of course all this takes place amongst wonderful songs performed by Olivia and Electric Light Orchestra, great dance numbers, and lots and lots of roller skating. So far all of you in the mood for something over the top and cheesy as all get out, get a hold of this movie and enjoy!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Who Loves Your Blog Award: Part Deux

I received this award for the second time and I'm so happy I did! I will be able to pass this on to even more great bloggers who have awarded me in the past. Krista at Life or Something Like It was very generous in presenting me with this fantastic award. She is a fabulous blogger, artist, mother, and human being. Please take the time to go over and say HI!

This award is designed with one purpose in mind.Pass this on to other bloggers who have awarded you in the past.

So this time I would like to recognize the following blogs:

Deb at Bookmagic

Melissa at My World

Michelle at The True Book Addict

Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books

Celia at Adventures of Cecilia Bedelia

These are wonderful bloggers who put serious time and effort into their blogs. Drop on by and say "How's it going?"

Working Girl

This little gem came out in 1988 and boy does the hair scream that from the rooftops! You can't tell from the DVD cover but Melanie's hair for the first half of the movie is typical Jersey Girl, teased bangs up to the sky and the sides stick out so far she could give Dumbo a run for his money.

This is one of my favorite movies from the 80's and I watch it more than I should. These were the days when Harrison Ford was still sexy, Melanie Griffith was the sweet "It" girl, and Sigourney Weaver was at the top of her game.

From The Back Cover:

Nominated for 6 Academy Awards, director Mike Nichol's witty, romantic look at life int he corporate jungle stars MELANIE GRIFFITH as Tess McGill, an ambitious secretary with a unique approach for climbing the ladder to success. When her classy, but villainess boss (SIGOURNEY WEAVER) breaks her leg skiing , Tess simply takes over her office, her apartment, even her wardrobe. She then creates a deal with a handsome investment banker (HARRISON FORD) that will either taker her straight to he top-or finish her off for good.

Now what that synopsis doesn't tell you is that Tess is just getting paybacks on her boss. Sigourney deserves everything she gets in this movie and it's so much fun to watch.

From crashing weddings to holding meetings Tess does everything she can to close the deal and get the man.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Your Blog Rocks Award

I received this awesome award from two great bloggers. Deb from Bookmagic and Grace at Books Like Breathing both bestowed this honor on my blog and I think they are Rock Stars themselves. Please take the time to go over and say hi to these great bloggers.

I would like to pass this award onto the following bloggers.

Jennifer at Rundpinne

Peter at KyusiReader

Melissa at Scuffed Slippers and Wormy Books

Ceri at Not in the Pink

Staci at Life in the Thumb

The Murder in the Magick Club by Byron A. Lorrier, Esq.

Here Is The Product Description From Amazon.Com:

“Pure porn!” the critics cry. “Throw it on the fire!” Murder in the Magick Club is an occult-themed murder mystery; perfect for your next banned-book bonfire. Murder in the Magick Club takes place in the exotic, faraway land of Tampa, Florida and offers an insider’s exposé of the “Salem of the South” . . . written straight from the spleen. Murder in the Magick Club is the first in a series wherein the victim needs killin’ and the murderer always gets away with it . . . maybe. All of the characters—moochy customers, cops, self-absorbed and wastrel staff, and the impotent, financially long suffering owner of the Magick Club—are always ready with an easy bit of slander and perhaps an easy bit of murder. Murder in the Magick Club is a ripping good read to grab on the way to the beach, or to help set just-the-right-tone before the reader jumps off the Skyway Bridge. Perfect to curl up with a steaming hot cup of mugwort tea, a bottle or two of Merlot, the beer bong &/or the hashish-stoked hookah.

I knew the day would come that I would end up reading/reviewing a book that I wouldn't like. What I didn't realize was that I wouldn't even be able to finish it to give it a proper review. I have struggled with doing the review because I feel so bad about the fact I couldn't get past page 39. I never want to say anything negative about a book because I know how much time and effort an author puts into writing and finally getting a book published.

The problem for me was that I really don't have anything nice to say about this book. I found the main character, the owner of the club, to be overly negative and sarcastic. He takes up about 15 pages ranting about his two waiters, tearing them apart and making them sound like the worst two people in the city of Tampa. There was nothing redeeming or likable about these characters. My last review proved that you can like a book and not the characters, which is rare. This book showed why liking a character, even one of them, is so important to liking a book.

The tone was just too snarky, sarcastic, and mean spirited for me to enjoy the obvious strong voice the author has. Lorrier has talent. He has a great sense of dialogue and has a wonderful way with words. I just wish I had been able to appreciate it and get over the negative aspects of the book.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Magicians by Lev Grossman

I received this ARC from Sheri at A Novel Menagerie. I had been hearing a lot of buzz about this book so when the opportunity came to read and review it, I jumped at the chance.

Here Is The Synopsis From The Back Cover:

Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A brooding and bookish senior in high school, living a predictable life in Brooklyn, he's still obsessed with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he unexpectedly gains admission to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery.

He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze and boredom. And yet something is missing. Even though he learns to cast spells, transform into animals and gains powers he never dreamed of, magic doesn't bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he thought it would. After graduation he and his friends are pursuing a dissipated, hedonistic life in Manhattan when they make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin's fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. His childhood dream is a nightmare, with a shocking truth at its heart.

At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, The Magicians is a sweeping epic that pushes the fantasy genre into uncharted territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman pays homage to the beloved fantasy novels of C. S. Lewis, T. H. White, and J. K. Rowling, and creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren't black and white, love and sex aren't simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.

If you ever wanted to know what would happen if you combined Harry Potter, Narnia, and The Secret History into one book, this is probably the closest you will ever get.

The first 2/3 of the book deals with Quentin discovering he is a magician and the years he spends at Brakebill honing his skills. I found him then and throughout the book to be a little to annoying and depressing to really like him as a character. He falls in love, discovers friends, and finds himself to be in the elite group of students. He does all this in a rather superficial way, without really connecting on any visceral level with anyone other than himself. He doesn't really come out of his own head until it's too late and tragedy has already struck.

My other slight issue with the book was that the trip to Fillory didn't take long enough. It felt rushed and more like an afterthought, like the author forgot to add it in until the last minute. I would have loved to have more of this world. It was a twisted version of Narnia with a good dose of a dark Wonderland thrown in for good measure.

Now you may be surprised, after what I just wrote, by the fact I loved this book. This was one of those rare books that you don't need to like the characters in order to like the book. I found this to be due to the author's storytelling and writing style. They kept me engaged and caring about what happens to these characters, almost against my will.

I would encourage anyone with a passion for urban fantasy to add this to your TBR pile.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Favorite Fictional Character --- Eeyore

I'm rather ashamed of myself for not blogging about my love for this wonderfully depressed and melancholy donkey before.

Eeyore has been my favorite Disney character for as long as I can remember. He is so adorably sad all the time that you can't help but fall in love with him the moment you meet him.

Being the most popular pessimist in the world can't be a easy task but he manages to do it with style and grace. Whenever I'm feeling sad or blue I just think to myself how Eeyore would act in the situation and it cheers me right up.

The sad thing is that as a 33 year old man I own 2 coffee mugs, a couple of Christmas ornaments, more than a few stuffed animals, and 2 little figurines. The hard thing is to find non-feminized versions of Eeyore. For some reason he is the only male character that Disney tends to make girly. I even own him dressed in a tutu as the Sugar Plum Fairy. One of these days Disney will realize that Eeyore is a man's man and will treat him as such.

As Eeyore would say if he were here "Thanks for noticing. Nobody ever does."

Fun Random Questions for BBAW

I'm a sucker for random questions so I can't help myself but answer all of them.

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
All the time I can't help it. Normally it's stuff like popcorn or chips. Lately it's been a lot more plums, Havarti and salami, Havarti and pears, Havarti and crackers. I'm on a weird Havarti kick right now. I also tend to like cucumbers and radishes with a little ranch dressing.
Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?Laying the book flat open?
Bookmarks all the way. I used to dog ear when I was younger but I am now out of that stage. Every once in a while I will set the book down open but I try not to do that too much.
Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?
Both, though the non-fiction I read tends to be either about politics or autobiographies.
Hard copy or audio books?
I haven't done a lot of audio books because the only time I would listen to them except in the car and then it's mainly on NPR.
Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
Just whenever I'm done reading for the period of time. If their is something really big going on I will try to get to the end of that part, but if I'm too tired I can hold off for a while.
If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
Only if I can't figure it out by the context of the passage it's in.
What are you currently reading?
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
What is the last book you bought?
3 of them from the Dollar Tree: A Shadow in Summer by Daniel Abraham, Monster by Frank Peretti, and Manor House: As Seen on Public Television by
Juliet Gardiner.
Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?
I tend to read through multiple books at a time though my main focus is on one.
Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
Whenever or wherever I can.
Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?
Both. I love series because if I love a certain character/characters I want more of them. Stand alones do a really good job or getting you to care about characters right away.
Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
Agatha Christie has to be the one author I push on everyone. A few of the books would be Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory, The Thief of Always by Clive Barker, and The Last Herald Mage trilogy by Mercedes Lackey.
How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)
When they are organized I try to do the fiction by author's last name and have the non-fiction sorted by subject in alphabetical order.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum

When I won this from Velvet at vvb32 reads I was so excited. This book sounded like so much fun that I waited for it to come everyday and when it finally did I bounced off the walls.

Synopsis From The Back Cover:

What you hold in your hand is a document from the early days of the zombie plague. Little is know about the author before his infection -- only that he was a poet. This facsimile of his actual journal recounts the events of humanity's darkest hours through the intimate poetry of haiku. Inside you'll find increasingly disjointed and terrifying three-line poems (all in the classic 5-7-5 syllable structure), and follow the undead poet on a journey through deserted streets and barricaded doors.

Experience every eye-popping, gut-wrenching, flesh-eating moment of the eventual downfall of the human race from the point of view of a zombie, and gain insight to help you survive -- if you can.

Now when I fist heard about this book I was expecting just a collection of gross haikus about eating flesh and bloody entrails spilling out on the ground. Instead I was pleasantly surprised by the reality of the book. Instead of random 3 line poems that didn't tie into together the author presented a story told through haiku. It was about a young mans journey from terrified human being to flesh eating zombie who slowly decomposed on his journey to feed his hunger.

Now as story it works on almost every level except for maybe the disjointed affect the form naturally has. Taken separately the haiku doesn't work because most are told in a narrative form rather than a pure poetic style.

Some of my favorites that do work by themselves are:

little old ladies,
speed away on their wheelchairs,
frightened meals on wheels

I loved my momma.
I eat her with my mouth closed,
how she would want it.

I encourage anyone with a taste that runs a little strange like mine does to pick this book up and enjoy. I recently discovered that the author has written a new book entitled Vampire Haiku, so I will be adding that to my TBR pile very, very soon.

BBAW Interview Swap: Spotlight on Sheila

Over the last few months I've had the opportunity to get to know a great blogger who puts a smile on my face every time I visit her blog. As many of you already know she is truly a kind person who always has a nice thing to say. So I was ecstatic when I drew her name for the interview swap. So with no further ado I would like to present to you Sheila of One Person's Journey Through a World of Books.

Sheila hard at work.

1. What started you down the road of reading?

As long as I can remember I have been a reader. I cant put my finger on the when or why... in 2nd grade I won the Bookworm award for always having my nose in a book.

2. Was there a book or books that you feel changed your life in a positive way?

Hmmm... The Betty Crocker Cook Book. LOL.... Seriously... there are so many books that I hold dear to my heart and each one for a different reason... Other than the Bible I don't think I can name one.

3. How has having a family influenced you in your reading habits? Do you read books that you wouldn't have otherwise?

That is actually funny as I started reading the Harry Potter series to see what my boys were reading. By book two, we had to have three copies of each book in the house so we all could be reading it and by book three I was finishing them faster than either of them and waiting for them to finish so we could talk about it!

4. In what way does your faith influence you in what to read or not to read?

I really enjoy almost all styles of books other than real graphic gory, a lot of strong language or sexual content type books. I think to me that is my personal preference and not really a faith decision. If a book doesn't feel right to me I would put it down. Plenty to read out there that I would enjoy! :)

5. What influenced you start your own book blog?

I started my book blog for me. I am pretty sure when I started it I didn't know it was a book blog. I thought I was just recording books that I read in an online journal format. I thought what I was doing was unique and I did it only for me. This past June when someone commented on my blog (which was unusual) I followed their link and found the book blogging world!

What a fantastic outdoor workspace.

6. How has book blogging changed your life? (reading habits, time management, that sort of thing)

I really put more time into it than I ever thought I would. I am not complaining! It is a whole new world for me and I am still at the kid in a candy store phase. I love reading about new books on blogs, I love entering the contests, chatting with fellow book lovers, helping them.... if anything I need to limit my online time as it can cut into my reading time. I really do enjoy blog hopping.

7. Has your taste in books changed through your life? Have you found yourself reading books you might now have when you were younger? Or Are there books you loved in the past and now you can't imaging why?

My book tastes have really changed. In the early adult years I read everything I could get my hands on by Dean Koontz, Stephen King, Nora Roberts and Daniele Steel. When I started our book club 8 years ago it was to expand my reading and now I couldn't name a favorite author if I tried. I have learned to really enjoy diversity in books.

8. What is your favorite genre to read?

That's tough... I enjoy women's literature, historical fiction, books on other cultures.... yet recently have also dabbled into some YA and fantasy that I am really liking as well.

9. Are there favorite authors you tend to go back to whenever they have new releases?

Yes, there are a few... Harlan Coben is a must read every time! I keep an eye on what Jodi Piccoult is doing and I still watch Dean Koontz although I do not read all of his books anymore but occasionally see one that I want to read.

10. This is a totally subjective question. What elements do you look for in a book? What makes a book a "good read"?

I like strong characters. Wimpy characters are disheartening. Strong plots - a strong cause.... causes can really get me reading. I also find I like books with not a lot of characters. This may be just me, but books with many characters can be confusing. If their names sound anywhere near alike (IE. Bart and Barty) I find myself mixing up their characters and having to back track in the book to see what is what. I like to know the characters and too many takes away from that.

Does this look familiar to anyone?

11. How do you decide what books to review?

When I get an offer for a review, I make sure that the book is something I really think I will enjoy. I look at the author and see what else they have written. I read about the book and Google it for more information on it. I still occasionally find one I do not enjoy, but it certainly isn't from lack of research.

12. Are there certain foods or drinks you absolutely have to have when you are reading?

Yes, green M & M's and only in even quantities with a diet coke at room temperature. I am kidding.... actually no ritual foods. I do like to snack while I am reading but it is usually whatever is handy, sometimes popcorn or chocolate if I was foolish enough to leave it within my reach. :)

13. How much time are you able to read in a day? How do you juggle the desire to read with other priorities?

Really depends on the day. Most of my read time is in the evening. My husband and I own an excavating company and he keeps weird hours like up at 5 am and asleep by 8 pm. I am a night owl so I read (if I am not on twitter or blogging) about two hours+ a night. On a weekend if I do not have plans I can finish a book a day. As far as juggling priorities, I work in the office so I can check postings occasionally throughout the day - make a blog comment here and there and read during my lunch break. I have mastered reading while on the tread mill or elliptical when I work out and have taken to audio books when I am traveling so I really get my book fix whenever I can.

14. What are some little known facts about yourself?

1. I have been to Honduras five times and worked with children who live in the street. I will be going a 6th time at the end of October. 2. I fell off a horse when I was 14 and was in a coma for 5 days. They told my mom I had a 10% chance of living. 3. After a house fire in 1980, my mom and I lived in Soldotna Alaska for a year with relatives and I completed 7th grade there.

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Here is how it works.

Grab the book you are currently reading (anything at all)
Open the book to any random page.
Share 2 "teaser" sentences from anywhere on the page.
Please Make Sure They Are Not Spoilers!
(Don't Give Too Much Away) Just enough to pique our interest.
List the book and author so other participants can get their
hand on it if they choose to read it as well.

For This Week:

Finally they heaved him onto his bed and tried to make him drink water and pulled up the covers over his chest. It could have been the sheer domesticity of it - it was as if Eliot were their beloved son, whom they were lovingly tucking in for the night - or maybe it was just boredom, that powerful aphrodisiac, which had never been entirely out of sight even during the party's best moments, but if he was honest with himself Quentin had known for at least twenty minutes, even as they were wrestling Eliot down the hall, that he was going to take Janet's dress off as soon as he had half a chance.
From The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Monday, September 14, 2009

Patrick Swayze, 1952-2009

I was saddened when I came home from work tonight and learned that Patrick Swayze had lost his fight against pancreatic cancer. He was an iconic actor from my youth and he will be missed.

While I was not a huge fan of all his work, Roadhouse anyone? I am thankful for the movies of his I do enjoy: Red Dawn, Dirty Dancing, Ghost, and Too Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.

I have memories tied into all those movies. Where I was when they came out, who I saw them with, and what I felt when I watched them.

Spolitght on My Favorite Bloggers for BBAW

This is the first day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week and I'm so excited that I can barely sit still long enough to finish this post.

For the first day we were asked to shine a spotlight on our favorite blogs that did not make the short list. This on the surface sounds like an easy thing to do. Pick out our favorite blogs, type up a few kind words on the keyboard, and you have a post all tied up with a nice red bow.

When I sat down to do this, reality set in. In the short time I had been blogging quite a few blogs and bloggers have made an impression with me to the point that I want to highlight them all. Now if I did that I would have to sit at the computer for 3 days and the post would be the longest in history. So I narrowed the kind words to 4 bloggers that I have grown close to as friends.

The first one is Deb at Bookmagic. Princess Deb of the Kingdom of Wordsmtihonia, Duchess of Wordsville, Marquess of Gotham was one of the first people I really enjoyed talking to over at Barnes & Noble's Book Clubs. She is opinionated, feisty and a lot of fun to talk to. So when she started her won blog I had to be one of her first followers and read every interesting post she ever put down on keyboard. She is a brilliant blogger who always has an interesting take on a book that I have grown to trust. After hearing her have so much fun I had to jump on into the pool and start my own blog. So in a way you can say she was my muse and inspiration and I owe her more than I can ever properly say. She has been a great friend and I know I can always count on her for advice and help. Please, please visit her blog and say hi if you haven't before.

The second one is Melissa at My World. Lady Melissa, Marquess of Tar Valon is another one of my Barnes & Noble friends that I have had the privilege to know over what is almost a year now. She is a lot of fun to talk to and always has a kind word to say. She always cheers me up when I'm feeling a little stressed or tired and started her own blog within the last two months. Her blog is now on my must visit everyday list and if a day goes by that I don't get to chat with her on Twitter or B&N I feel that the day is just not complete. I wish her all the success with her blog (which is fantastic by the way) and I hope she will always be there to talk to and enjoy a conversation with. Her blog is a lot of fun and I encourage everyone to visit.

The third blog I want to highlight is Krista at Life or Something Like It. Lady Carmen (Krista), the Baroness of Dinotopia is the third and final noble of Wordsmithonia from Barnes & Noble's Book Clubs to enter bloggerville and start her own blog. She is probably the most upbeat and giddiest (if that is a word) person I have known in a very long time. She always has a kind thing to say to everyone and seems to really appreciate life and all that comes with it. Her blog is one of the funnest around and I always find myself smiling every time I visit, which is daily now. How can you not smile when the background is so bright and cheery, she posts great reviews that makes you want to go buy the book that day, and shares her wonderful artwork on a regular basis. For those of you who have not visited before, please do so. It is well worth the time.

The last blog I want to highlight is Michelle at The Book Addict. I haven't know her for as long as I have the other three I highlighted but it seems that I have. She is a great friend I first met on Twitter and the day does not seem complete without talking to her. She is a fantastic person who always has a way of putting me in a good mood and making my day seem that much better. She recently started her own blog and it is on my daily to do list. She has a fabulous layout and even better content. Her reviews are always dead on and I know I can always trust them. I hope everyone goes and visits her blog and says hi.

If you want to know the other blogs I enjoy and visit on a regular basis all you have to do is look at my blog roll on the left hand side of the blog. Every single one of those blogs deserves a spotlight on them and I hope you take the time to visit them as well.

Who Loves Your Blog Award

I received this wonderful award from Melissa at My World. She has a fantastic blog and I encourage everyone to go over and say hi!

This award is designed with one purpose in mind.
Pass this on to other bloggers who have awarded you in the past.

So I would like to give this award to some great blogger that I don't thank enough.

Alyssa and the Gang at Teens Read and Write

Alexia at Alexia's Books and Such...

Grace at Books Like Breathing

Carolyn at Book Chick City

Nikola at Nikola's Book Blog

Please take the time to visit these great blogs. The are ran by some great writers with some really big hearts

Mailbox Monday for September 14th, 2009

Mailbox Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page.

I won The Virgins Daughters by Jeane Westin from Jen at Devourer of Books.

I won Zombie Haiku by Ryan Mecum from Velvet at VVB32 Reads.

I received Casebook of Victor Frankenstein by Peter Ackroyd from Beth at Beth's Book Review Blog.

I received Murder in the Magick Club by Byron Lorrier by the author for review.

I visited the Friends of the Library store in our main library during the week but I only bought two books this time.

I got the trade paperback of The List by Robert Whitlow for $.50

I got a bookclub hardcover of The Children of Hurin by J.R.R. Tolkien for $1

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pike Point by Greg Suhonen

I had first seen this book being reviewed by Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books and after reading her review I knew I wanted to read this book. I figured I would have to order it through Barnes & Noble like I normally do with books that aren't mass produced so I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email from the author asking me if I would like to review it. Needless to say I jumped at the chance and a few weeks later I'm sitting at my computer writing up a review.

Synopsis From The Back Cover:

Northeastern Minnesota - home to what may well be America's most unique national park - the Boundary Waters Canoe Area. Over one million acres of unparalleled, primitive beauty, that to this day, remains unspoiled. A great roadless area where, hundreds of years ago, Native People and French voyageur alike, navigated over the innumerable lake and rivers, using the sky-blue waters as their free-spirited highways.

It is this remarkable place where Ray Maki has lived his entire life. For thirty-three years, Ray has been surrounded by old friend, strong family ties, and uncommon natural beauty. Ray feels blessed, and his life is a happy one... until one spring morning when Ray's easy-going existence is jeopardized by a series of unexpected that will eventually test the limits of his character, and possibly bring an end to his rare way of life.

The one thing that struck me about this book was how much this area of Minnesota was one of the main characters in the book. I'm not from as far north as the setting of this book but I'm pretty darn close. My home town of Two Harbors sits right on the shore of Lake Superior and is only a hop, skip and a jump away from Superior National Forest (about 20 miles) and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area which is further north (about 75-85 miles). Reading this I felt like I was back home, sitting on my great-grandmother's porch enjoying being outside among the trees and lakes of Minnesota. There is no other spot on Earth that can compare to this area of the state and I miss it everyday. Reading this book brought me back there and I have been left with the feeling that I really, really want to go back home. The author captured the sights and sounds of the land perfectly and his genuine love for it comes through with every word he wrote.

This story at it's simplest is about a family and the land they love. It's about how one family through hard work and love built a life for themselves in some of the grandest scenery around.

Spread the Love Award

I got this rather pretty award from Melissa of My World. She is one of the kindest souls I have met and I thank her for this. Please take the time to visit her fabulous blog.

I would like to give this award to the following blogs:

Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books

Jaime at Revenge of the Book Nerds

Melissa at Melissa's Bookshelf

Tasha at Heidenkind's Hideaway

Beth at Beth's Book Review Blog

Please take the time and visit these great blogs. They are fantastic, awesome, great, terrific, excellent, fabulous, stupendous, and simply the best!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

My Top Blog Commentators Award

I was given this lovely award by Carolyn of Book Chick City. I feel really bad because it's taken me so long to get this passed on. So thank you Carolyn. If you have never visited her blog before, please do so. She is a great blogger and always has something fun going on.

I would like to pass this on to the following blogs. All 5 of them make me feel like what I'm doing is worth it and I appreciate that. 4 of them have been with me from the beginning and I owe them more than I can ever say.

Deb at Bookmagic

Michelle at The Book Addict

Melissa at My World

These are all fantastic blogs and even better bloggers. Please visit them and say Hi!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Dark Time: Mortal Path by Dakota Banks

I had seen this book around other blogs and thought "I really want to read this". So needless to say when I received an email asking me to read and review it, I jumped at the chance.

I'm so glad I did. This is the first book in a series and I found it to be engaging and fast paced. Maliha Crayne is a woman burned at the stake as a witch and given immortality in exchange for working as an assassin for a demon taken out of Sumerian mythology. Truthfully I'm not sure I wouldn't have jumped at the chance for revenge either. The way this story is told you can easily see yourself making the same deal and becoming someone you don't recognize anymore.

However when she is given a chance to redeem herself and change her life for the better she takes it with the same impulsiveness shown in the original decision. I found her to be both sympathetic and a little dark at the same time. You may not like everything she does but you understand it and ultimately forgive her for it.

My only quibble with the book was the way the character of Subedei is introduced. It's done in such a way that he starts off as a creepy stalker simply called The Watcher. Then is introduced by name when he actually meets Maliha face-t0-face. It was a strange switch of storytelling and it threw me for a bit but I quickly got over it.

Now the best part of the book for me was the end. It ended in such a way that I HAVE to read the next book in the series. I normally do not finish the first book of a series with a burning desire to find out what the ending meant. This time I did.

I urge everyone who is a fan of urban fantasy/paranormal to pick this book up and read it. You won't be disappointed. By the way doesn't the book cover remind you of a really, really good movie poster?

Synopsis From The Back Cover:

For centuries, the woman calling herself Maliha Crayne has lived a second life-as an assassin for the malevolent creature who owns her would. A haunted killer with the blood of countless victims on her hands, she has finally discovered a way to nullify the demonic pact that chains her: If she save a life for every one she has taken, she will be free. But if she fails, her punishments will be unspeakable, unendurable...and neverending.