Saturday, October 31, 2009

A Couple New Challenges

Challenges are so much fun, and I've found a couple that I'm really looking forward to participating in. First up: The Fall Into Reading 2009 Challenge hosted by Callapidder Days.

This challenge actually started way back in September, but it runs until December 20th. I figure between now and then I'll be getting plenty of reading done. The cool thing about it is that it's up to you which books you read for the challenge! Here's my tentative list:

I'm hoping to be reading a larger number of books than what is on this list, but I wanted to give myself plenty of breathing room.

The second challenge I'll be joining is Women Unbound: A Reading Challenge. The challenge will run from November 1, 2009 to November 30, 2010, but you're welcome to join anytime you like. The purpose of this challenge is to encourage participants to read nonfiction and fiction books related to the rather broad idea of ‘women’s studies.’ That sentence is a paraphrase from the challenge website.

For this challenge I've decided to be a Philogynist and commit to read at least two books, including at least one nonfiction one. After looking at the list that Eva from A Striped Armchair compiled, I'm currently thinking about reading The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls by Joan Jacobs Brumberg and Beauty by Robin McKinley. They both sound really interesting!

How about you? How are your current challenges going? Have you found any new ones recently?

Book titles are Amazon affiliate links

Friday, October 30, 2009

What Do You Think?

Yesterday, while dropping off A Walk to Remember at the library (The fee wasn't as bad as I thought!) the librarians told me that the copy of The Time Traveler's Wife* I had on hold had finally come in. I was incredibly excited as I've been waiting for it a couple of months.

I've seen several reviews of this book, and the thing I am both dreading and anticipating is it's heartbreaking ending. I've been thinking about the ending a lot, and I've thought of almost every heartbreaking thing I can imagine. I'll have to wait and see if I'm right. As I was drumming up possible endings, I began thinking that if knowing the type of ending will destroy a bit of my enjoyment of the book.

Since I know the ending is heartbreaking, will I be steeling myself through the entire book for the experience? How about you? Have you ever found an ending to be less climatic than you expected after knowing the type of ending it had?

*Amazon Affiliate link

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks

This book was due at the library over a week ago (ack!), but I wanted to post a few of my thoughts before rushing back to the library. I rush because my parents occasionally threaten to take away library privileges until I learn to be more responsible and get things back on time. Sigh. I'm working on it, I swear. It hasn't actually happened (the library privileges being taken away), but I don't want to test them too much. Anyway...

Set in 1958, A Walk to Remember* tells the story of Landon Carter. Despite having a pretty much absentee father, Landon's had a good life in the small town he's grown up in. Finally a senior, he decides to take Drama. It was either that or Chemistry II. There he meets Jamie Sullivan. Of course, this isn't the first time he's met her, but he's beginning to see her in a new light. She'll teach him things he never thought he needed to learn and give him a whole new outlook on life.

The reason I decided to give this book a try is that I had seen the movie* a very, very long time ago. By a very long time, I mean around the time I was eleven. I absolutely adored the movie, so I thought I'd give the book a try. Why it took me so long, I'm not sure.

In the beginning of the book, the book says that the book will first make you smile, then make you cry. I did a lot of smiling while reading this book. It's a sweet story. I didn't cry, but then I can't remember the last time I cried while reading a book although I did come close to crying while reading Under this Unbroken Sky.

Overall, I'd say that this book would be perfect for someone who has a lazy day off, looking for a book to sink into for a couple hours.

Question for those of you who've read the book. Do you think that Landon Carter ended up becoming a preacher?
End of spoiler

If you'd like a few good reasons to not read Spark's writing, or at least not his most recent book, check out The Book Lady's challenge experience. It had me laughin'.

And now, off to the library.

*Amazon affiliate links

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (3)

Hazel Louise Mull-Dare has a good life, but it's so dull. With an adoring father who grants her every wish, a place in the Kensington School for the Daughters of Gentlemen, and no pressure to excel in anything whatsoever, her future looks primly predictable.

But on the day of the Epsom Derby -- June 4, 1913 -- everything changes. A woman in a dark coat steps in front of the king's horse, in protest at the injustice of denying women the vote. She dies days later, bringing further attention to the suffragist cause. Young Hazel is transfixed. And when her bold new friend Gloria convinces her to take on the cause, Hazel gets her first taste of rebellion.

But doing so leads her into greater trouble than she could have ever imagined. Such great trouble that she is banished from London, all the way to where her family fortune originates -- a sugar plantation in the Caribbean. There Hazel is forced to confront the dark secrets of her family -- secrets that have festered, and a shame that lingers on.

This book sounds really intriguing to me! It comes out on November 10, so there's not that much longer to wait. (Ocotober's almost over. Where'd the month go?) I don't think I've read any books about the suffragist cause. The mystery sounds really cool too. And I absolutely love the font on the cover.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Nick of Time by Ted Bell

Nicholas McIver's life is about to get a lot more interesting. During the eve of World War II, his life will finally become like those in the books he has read. Ted Bell creates a world where Nick experiences time traveling, "birdwatching', and sets him up for a lifetime of heroism.

Since the book has a tag line that says, "An Adventure through Time" I assumed that the time traveling would happen a lot sooner than it did. It took over 150 pages for the actual time travel to start. Before that, we get to know a lot about all the characters and their life on Graybeard Island, as well as the specifics of time traveling.

Although I was intrigued by the McIvers' birdwatching, codeword for watching the Nazis, I was more than ready for the actual time travel to begin. The book really took off during the middle portion. It alternates between Nick's adventure through time and Kate's (his little sister) adventure with the Nazis.

My favorite character in this book was Hobbes. He reminded me of a butler, even though he was one of the most important men in the British Royal Navy Intelligence. His manners and the way he carried himself made me smile.

With both an epilogue and a postscript I felt that the ending was too long. Although I enjoyed parts of this book, it wasn't quite for me. However, I believe that Nick of Time would appeal to older children and tweens looking for an adventure story.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Amanda from Bookshelf Monstrosity

Today, I have my very first interview with Amanda from Bookshelf Monstrosity! Thanks for stopping by, Amanda.

What prompted you to start your blog?
I initially found a book blog while looking for book reviews. I don't even remember which book it was now. That's when I stumbled upon the wonderful world of book blogs. I read them off an on for about a year before I even entertained the notion that I keep one of my own. I took the plunge about a month ago, and I'm really loving it. The book blogging community is an incredibly intelligent and kind one. Everyone is so wonderful!

When did you decide you'd like to be a librarian?
You know what? I really think that it was in the stars for me. I pretended to be a librarian from the time I could hold a book. My mom is a librarian and my dad is a voracious reader also, so I was blessed with a book-nerdish family. I went to college for a music degree, but found that I only wanted music (piano and organ playing) to be a hobby. Reading, however, could only be a way of life for me! I'm halfway through the graduate program and am loving it! I can't wait to be in the library full-time.

What's your favorite genre in books?
Seriously? Gees. I love so many genres. I love historical fiction, biography, literary fiction, the classics, young adult literature, some mysteries...I could go on. I have a pretty eclectic taste in literature. I love stretching out of my comfort zones and discovering whole new areas of literature.

What do you think you'll enjoy most as a librarian?
I am doing an internship at a public high school right now, and there is absolutely nothing like a student telling me that they just loved a book! I love connecting students with more books that they'll enjoy and giving recommendations. Although I'd love to work in any age group, I hope to get a job in the high school age group. I love YA literature.

Do you ever listen to music when you read? If so, what kind?
No, not really. I like to fully concentrate on the book. But, since we're off onto music are some of my favorites in no particular order:

talking heads, bob dylan, white stripes, black keys, bela fleck, ella fitzgerald, billie holiday, bjork, neil young, beatles, warren zevon, built to spill, frank sinatra, david bowie, hank williams, ben folds, beck, phish, arcade fire, the decemberists, kate nash, ghostfinger, liz phair, thelonious monk, fiona apple, tori amos, sufjan stevens, david bowie, broken social scene, pink floyd, velvet underground, blind melon, herbie hancock, the band, radiohead, portishead, seu jorge, dizzy gillespie, imogen heap, of montreal, gillian welch, beatles, cat power, mates of state, neko case, new pornographers, neutral milk hotel, regina spektor, rolling stones, smiths, sonic youth, yeah yeah yeahs.

Okay. I'm stopping now.

If you could tell everyone in the world to read one book, what book and why?
You're killing me! Okay, the book that I'm a bit of an evangelist for has to be The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.
This book was talked about quite a bit last month during Banned Book Week, so maybe some of you guys have heard of it or read it already. It is amazing. I suggest you read it. It's an epistolary novel, which I'm not usually wild about, but the format really works well for this one. You will fall for Charlie; he's a wonderfully written character. Fans of Catcher in the Rye should really check out this book.

Closing comments?
Thanks so much for interviewing me. Great questions, Melanie.

Thanks for coming, Amanda.

Be sure to check out Amanda's blog, Bookshelf Monstrosity! Don't forget, if you're a bookish person and would like to be interviewed, just send me an email:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Read-a-Thon Mini-Challenge Entry

Bart from Bart's Bookshelf is currently having a pretty cool mini-challenge! I didn't realize how few of my books had verbs in the title!

Moby Dick kidnapped Emma and Knightley.

Fun times.

Read-a-Thon Meme

As a last minute decision last night, I decided to cheer for the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, since I'd be online all day anyway. xD

Where are you reading (cheering) from today?
Florida! And it's actually pretty cool right now. Fall has decided to stop by, although it's supposed to warm back up in the next couple of days. I like the 60s.

3 facts about me
That people may not know? I'm part Filipina. I'm an only child. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups is my favorite type of Halloween treat or anytime, really.

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
I'm going to read to read one book unofficially. That would be Of Mice and Men. Required reading for my English class. It's a lot smaller than I thought it would be.

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon?
Just to do a lot of cheering. This is gonna be fun! Go you! =)

My Soul to Take by Rachel Vincent

She doesn't see dead people, but…

She senses when someone near her is about to die. And when that happens, a force beyond her control compels her to scream bloody murder. Literally.

Kaylee just wants to enjoy having caught the attention of the hottest guy in school. But a normal date is hard to come by when Nash seems to know more about her need to scream than she does. And when classmates start dropping dead for no apparent reason, only Kaylee knows who'll be next…

This book had me on the edge of my seat from start to finish. When I finished it I simultaneously felt like it had taken forever, and I had come to the end far too quickly. My body was literally tense from all the excitement.

Rachel Vincent's writing was intoxicating, and I never lost interest for even a moment. I haven't read any paranormal books for quite some time. This book has me planning on reading more in this genre. I highly recommend it.

If you'd like to read a short prequel to My Soul to Take, you can read My Soul to Lose. The latter link will take you to a page on the author's website where you can download it for free!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Prada and Prejudice by Mandy Hubbard

Ever since Callie's best freind moved away she's basically been by herself. While on a class trip to England she's willing to do anything in order to fit in, so she buys herself some brand name shoes; Prada, to be exact. a klutz and a pair of ridiculously high heels is not a good mix. Within minutes she trips and kons her head, then wakes up in 1815.

The first word that came to my mind when I finished this book was "adorable." This book was just plain cute!

I could definitely relate to Calllie's social status. There have been plenty of times when I've stared at myself in a mirror knowin that I didn't have the looks, clothes, or attitude to be "in ." This had me rooting for her even more.

Watching her antics in 1815 was really amusing. I found out she had more spunk then I originally thought. All she needed was a reason to bring it out. This book made me smile, laugh, and then smile some more. If you're looking for a fun, quick read Prada and Prejudice is definitely for you!

Mandy Hubbard's Website

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Current Contests: October '09

Here are just a few contests going on around the blogosphere for some great prizes!

Tara Kelly is giving away a signed ARC of her book, Harmonic Feedback, plus some bookmarks and a few other books here. Ends October 23.

Michelle Zink is having a contest with a huge bag full of awesomeness, plus three books here. Ends October 25.

Yan, at Books By Their Cover, is having a blogoversary contest giving away a huge amount of books! Ends December 20th. Be sure to say that I referred you.

And last but not least, The Lateiner Book Gang is giving away a bunch of books here. Be sure to say that I referred you there as well.

That's all for now. =)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday (2)

"If she were going to die, I’d already be screaming. I’m a banshee. That’s what we do.”

The last thing Kaylee needs right now is to be skipping school, breaking her dad’s ironclad curfew and putting her boyfriend’s loyalty to the test. But starry-eyed teens are trading their souls for a flickering lifetime of fame and fortune in exchange for eternity in the Netherworld — a consequence they can’t possibly understand. Kaylee can’t let that happen, even if trying to save their souls means putting her own at risk....

This is the second book in the Soul Screamers series. After reading the first book in the series, My Soul to Take (review coming soon!), I'm really looking forward to it. This first book is absolutely fascinating, and I can't wait to read the next which will be coming out on December 29th.

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Feelin' Like a Ninja

Becca Fitzpatrick, author of Hush, Hush is having a launch contest with an awesome prize pack. You can find out info about the contest here. I thought it sounded like fun, so I went to the nearest bookstore, which just happened to be 45 miles away, with my parents. We incorporated it with other stuff we needed to do "in town" so we wouldn't be wasting gas.

Anyway, we went into the store, and my dad made me ask the lady at the register if I could. I was not planning to ask because I'm sure Becca wouldn't ask anyone to do anything illegal. Right? The lady at the register said that it would be fine... As long as Bart, the manager, didn't see me. Huh? After waiting for everyone to clear the YA section, which has just been doubled in size, I took this:

Sorry about my unphotogenic-ness, but isn't the book lovely? The store had 11 copies which is way more than the number of copies they have of most books. It looks lovely.

Then, I got to feeling a bit slap-happy and decided to take a few more pictures of other lovely books. Of course, I couldn't take pictures of the all the books, so I just picked a few that I haven't read.

First off, Struts & Frets by Jon Skovron. I really like the font on the cover. It totally looks like a much better version of something I would do on a page of my notebook. I read the author bio on the back on the book, and did you know that he plays nine instruments?! That's pretty epic.

Here, we have Pemberley Manor and Her Fearful Symmetry, although you can't really see the cover of the latter. It's the one with the 20% off sign. xD I read the first couple chapters of Pemberley Manor, and it had me gasping in shock and then laughing in relief. It certainly looks like a much darker sequel than those I have read thus far. I haven't read The Time Traveler's Wife, but I've heard many people who absolutely adore that book and have eagerly been awaiting the author's next. I may have to give it a try.

The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy sounds amazing. It's a modern P&P, with Lizzy as an attorney. Can you think of a better place for her to show off her wit? I flipped through this one, and I'm thinking of buying myself a copy of it because I love the banter between Elizabeth and Darcy, who's a judge in this book.

And last but certainly not least, Brisingr Deluxe Edition! This is supposed to have a bunch of extra stuff in it, and it sounds like a lot of fun. Personally, this is my favorite cover of the three (so far) Inheritance Cycle books. You can read my review of Brisingr here.

So, this has been my bookstore adventure. What did you spy with your little eyes last time you were in a bookstore?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Hush, Hush... When you feel like some one's watching you, it could be Patch.

Nora is not the type to fall for anyone easily. In fact, her best friend, Vee, thinks she's being a bit too picky. When Nora finds herself falling for dark and mysterious Patch, it throws her off, way more than she's willing to let anyone, especially Patch, know. Falling for Patch is dangerous, in more ways than one.

Hush, Hush is a very seductive story. It reels you in slowly, then keeps you intrigued until you don't want to leave. I myself stayed up until two in the morning in order to finish the book. It's an intense read, seeing everything through Nora's eyes, and not being sure of who was after her.

Patch is the perfect bad boy. The kind of guy you know you shouldn't fall for, but how can you help it? I had a hard time figuring out exactly who he was, as his mysterious bearings clouded Nora's view of him. Nora's a very captivating character as well. The exact opposite of Patch in almost every way.

This book was an enthralling read, and I'm already eagerly awaiting Crescendo, where things will gradually be getting louder.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Green Light

And... I'm back! The UPS guy dropped off my laptop a couple weeks ago, and after getting caught up on schoolwork, I can gladly get back into blogging! While I was gone from actively blogging I did manage to get some stuff done! Here's a rundown:

1. Take a look around. Do you see? Anna from Book Nerds was awesome enough to get me another sidebar, and Laina from Laina Has Too Much Spare Time was cool enough to create my new absolutely lovely header! Anna had to install it for me, though because I have been really technically challenged lately, even more than usual. Thank you, ladies! Is it all showing up for everyone okay?

2. With all the space a new sidebar provides, I also added some stuff like a search box, a blog roll, and I did a bunch of re-arranging.

3. I installed a new comment system, Disqus. Apparently it's pronounced "discuss." Does it work for you, or should I use a Blogger pop-up?

I've also been thinking of a couple ideas, lately.

4. I think it would be fun and interesting to have interviews with authors and bloggers. If you're an author or blogger and would like to be interviewed, email me:

5. Last, but not least, I've also decided to add movie reviews of books that have been made into movies. There are several out there, plus a few coming out. Books are almost always better than the movies, but there are a couple movies out there that I like better, or at least just as much.

There you have it! While I was gone, I guest blogged over at Sunshine Edition about the first time I ever dressed up in a costume. You can check that out here. By the way, that picture was taken at the very end of the night, and I promise the costume looked way better at, say, seven o'clock. In closing, let me say that I have plenty of posts planned over the next few weeks, and thank you for coming back! :)

Image Copyright: / CC BY-ND 2.0

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fall Photo Contest

Karen at Write From Karen is having a Fall Photo Contest! You can post a picture for the contest until October 18 at 8 a.m. Central time. Voting will begin at 9 a.m. on the same day. Click on the pic for more info.

Photo Contest at

This is Buster. He's probably the sweetest dog we own. He's also an absolute baby. The majority of the time, he's out on our porch participating in his favorite activity, sleeping. :)

Don't forget to vote when voting opens on the 18th!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Testing, testing, 123. Just disregard this post. Testing.

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