Thursday, January 31, 2013

Foodie February 2013

It's time again for my Foodie February event! Last year I decided to start a themed Foodie February month and I'm bringing it back around again.  Previously, I read and reviewed some greats like Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquival, Bittersweet by Sarah Ockler, The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen, and more.

 Here's my TBR for this delectable month (in no particular order):
  •  The Lost Art of Mixing by Erica Bauermeister
  • The Last Chinese Chef by Nicole Mones
  • Dinner: A Love Story by Jenny Rosenstrach
  • The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
  • The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila
  • Vanity Fare by Monica Caldwell
  • Bread Alone by Judith Hendricks
  • Jamie Oliver's Meals in Minutes by Jamie Oliver

If anyone would like to join in and read some mouth-watering books, please do!  At the end of the month I will host a foodie book giveaway to win one of the books that I reviewed this month.  Yum, I can't wait to start!

If you want to join in the foodie fun, please feel free to add foodie reviews and/or giveaways any time this month in the linky below (you get +5 entries in the giveaway for taking part too!).

Monday, January 28, 2013

Towering TBR

I know many of us suffer from the problem of out-of-control TBRs...but when I saw that my Goodreads TBR list now tops 900 I had a slight freak-out moment. 

Here are some recent additions to the NEVER-ending list:

The Passion of the Purple Plumeria by Lauren Willig (yay, Gwen finally gets her own book!)

The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits

Huntress by Malinda Lo

Girlchild by Tupelo Hassman

The Crane Wife by Patrick Ness!!!!

Swimming in the Monsoon Sea by

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Foodie February Fun

I am starting to get super amped about Foodie February!  Tom Haverford is my favorite TV's his hilarious food soliloquy just for fun:

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Super Shorty Review Catch-Up

Self-Challenge: Can I create tweet-sized reviews of some recent reads?  You be the judge:

Touch of Power by Maria V. Snyder

Awkward by Marni Bates

The Missing Manuscript of Jane Austen by Syrie James

Wow, that was much harder than I thought it would be!  Do these reviews make sense or is it simply ridiculous to try and condense opinions regarding a book into so few characters?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My 5 Self-Challenges for 2013

I haven't joined any challenges this year mostly because I want to meet my own, very specific, goals for 2013.  Hopefully I can look back at this year and be proud that I accomplished what I set out to read for the year.  Here are my 5 Self-Challenges for 2013:

1.  Read at least 100 books.  Last year was a slow reading year for me due to a bunch of life changes.  This year, I hope to get back on the reading track and put a dent in my towering TBR list!

2.  Read some chunksters that I've been avoiding - I'm looking at you Art of Fielding, The Game of Thrones, and The Mists of Avalon.

3.  Read all of my purchased e-books.  Lots of times I'll buy e-books due to a great sale/deal and then they'll just linger on my e-reader...I want to make sure I've read all of these suckers by the end of 2013!  So look out for reviews of Feed, Scorpio Races, Skellig, Kindred, The Goose Girl, And All the Stars, Mudbound, The Apothecary's Daughter, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, The Girl with Glass Feet, and Major Pettigrew's Last Stand.

4.  Read at least half of my Foodie TBR shelf for Foodie February 2013!

5.  Read more from my shelves at home...sooooo many MUST READ books.  How about American Gods or Handmaid's Tale??

What about you guys/gals?  Anyone have a specific self-challenge for the year?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Latest Review: The Sea of Tranquility

Goodreads Summary:
Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay.

Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space.

Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to.

The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

My Thoughts:
I read this due to the review from Allison at The Allure of Books (who always has amazing, under-the-radar recommendations).  This book had me turning the pages feverishly right from the start and overall I really enjoyed The Sea of Tranquility

I loved the cast of characters in the novel and it had superb dual narration.  Not only were the main characters awesomely unique and empathetic, but there were some well-drawn secondary characters too (which is a super-rare quality in a book). Seriously, character-driven novels are pretty much my favorite.

My only gripe is that the drama rose to soap opera-ish levels (maybe that's why the author references General Hospital?).  Granted, some extremely disturbing and upsetting things happen- but towards the end it just all seemed to pile up.  It was just one crazy event on top of another to the point where I was feeling a little eye-rolly.  BUUUuut there are lots of books out there where IMHO the drama levels are too high and most other people LOVE them.

So, take my criticism with that in mind.  If you are sensitive to this sort of thing like I am (for example...most of the time love triangles bug me), then you may get annoyed at the latter part of the book but still like it despite that fact.  If not, I think you will be absolutely enamored with this unique love story.  Overall, no matter where you fall on the drama-dramz spectrum, this is definitely a book worth checking out!

4/5 stars

Disclosure: I received a copy for review via NetGalley.