Thursday, July 26, 2012

Mini Summer Break!

So, I've been trying to juggle a new job and our big move (downsizing is hard!) and I've made the executive decision to take a mini-break from the blog. 

Never fear!  I shall be back shortly, but lately my days are comprised of: eat, sleep, work, pack, and welp...not much else.  I figure if I take a break from the blog I'll actually have time to read (well, a little) and then I can come back with all sorts of reviews!  Also, normally I'm a pretty frequent commenter and I've sadly fallen behind on this as well.  I think it's a sign a break is in order when I can barely find time to post, not to mention visit my friends' blogs! 

When I come back I'll be sure to host a giveaway to show my appreciation for all of you loyal followers.  Feel free to post suggestions for the giveaway in the comments below!  Happy summer!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Vivid Settings

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this week's topic: Top Ten Most Vivid Worlds/Settings in Books.

1. The land of Terre d'Ange in Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey

2. Unity, Massachusetts (in particular, the Cake House) in The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman

3. The Four Corners of Civilization in The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

4. The crumbling castle in I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

5. The desert in The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

6. NYC in the late 60s/early 70s in Just Kids by Patti Smith

7. The Cornish coast in A Cottage by the Sea by Ciji Ware

8. The beautiful-sounding Muskoka region of Ontario in The Blue Castle by L. M. Montgomery

9. Mullaby, North Carolina in The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen

10. The Brakebills Academy in The Magicians by Lev Grossman

Monday, July 23, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.  We share books that we've read over the past week and those we hope to read this week. 

Last Week:
Last week I finished For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund and Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy for my Sci-Fi book of the month.  I also read and loved Daughter of the Blood by Anne Bishop and (thanks to Anne's great recommendation) The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman.

This Week:
I hope to read Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi and The Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly.  What are you guys reading right now?

Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday Follow Along!

Happy Follow Friday!  Click on the pic to be taken to a whole slew of new book blogs.  The question of the day:

Q: Christmas in July! Someone gives you a gift card for two books (whatever that costs). What two books will you buy?

Oooh, what to choose!?!  I would buy the newly released paperback of The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach because I've heard TONS of praise for this book from very reliable sources.

I would also purchase the new paperback of The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern...I can't believe I still haven't read this one!!

There you have it!  What would you guys pick?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Just gettin' over the sickies...

Hey y'all...sorry for the radio silence.  I just got struck down with a seriously nasty case of the stomach flu and I'm finally on the mend!

Anyways, I should be back in the swing of things now - time to catch up on packing and blogging!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Adventures in Packing: Vintage Illustrations

Here are some illustrations from my collection of vintage books...I decided to catalogue a few of these before I boxed them up.  Feast your eyes folks!
King Lear and Cordelia - Shakespeare
The Murders in the Rue Morgue - Edgar Allan Poe
Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
Midsummer Page 1
Midsummer Page 2

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Adventures in Packing: The Most Prized Book in My Collection

After packing up my regular hardcovers and paperbacks it became time to delve into my antique book collection.  While I love many of these musty novels my favorite vintage book is Talks to Girls by E. A. H. (Copyright 1891).

Not only is the cover pretty, the inscription says:

This little book is dedicated to LULU, 
who once said that she wished I "would 
write a book on purpose for girls and
for nobody else," by her friend E. A. H.

STILL, the biggest reason why I love this book: it has been passed down to the first-born girl in my mother's family since my great-grandma Katie!

Stay tuned for more "Adventures in Packing" - get ready to nerd-out tomorrow at the illustrations from my vintage book collection!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Packing Dilemna

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this week's topic: (Anything You Choose) I'm Not Packing These Suckers Til the Last Minute!

So, I'm moving after 5 years in my lovely little bungalow...eek!  We're not actually doing the deed until August - but as many of you know, excessive bookish hoarding requires early planning.  My hubby said that step 1 of our moving process needs to be books.  So the wall of my dining room is currently lined with a huge amount of little boxes (think beer case size for weight purposes...thank goodness for living in a college town)!  ANYWAYS here are the books that I can't bring myself to pack because "I might want to read that this month!"

1.  Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

2.  The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson

3.  The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey

4.  The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

5.  The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett

6.  A Poisoned Season by Tasha Alexander

7.  Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty

8.  Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

9.  The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman

10.  A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

Friday, July 6, 2012

TGIF! Comfort Reads

Ginger over at GReads created this fantastic TGIF meme featuring a question and a weekly recap. 
This Friday's Question:
Comfort Reads: Which books do you go to for comfort & familiarity?  
Is there a type of book you seek out when you're needing that extra bit of comfort in your life?

I looove rereading L. M. Montgomery's The Blue Castle for a comfort read (especially on a rainy day).  It has beautiful descriptions of Canadian landscapes as well as a darling little romance.

Anything by Sarah Addison Allen is a great comfort read - Southern settings, magic, and relationships all rolled into each book.

Foodie Fiction books! A particular favorite is The School of Essential Ingredients by Erica Bauermeister.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Latest Review: Scarlet

Goodreads Summary:
Many readers know the tale of Robin Hood, but they will be swept away by this new version full of action, secrets, and romance.

Posing as one of Robin Hood’s thieves to avoid the wrath of the evil Thief Taker Lord Gisbourne, Scarlet has kept her identity secret from all of Nottinghamshire. Only the Hood and his band know the truth: the agile thief posing as a whip of a boy is actually a fearless young woman with a secret past. Helping the people of Nottingham outwit the corrupt Sheriff of Nottingham could cost Scarlet her life as Gisbourne closes in.

It’s only her fierce loyalty to Robin—whose quick smiles and sharp temper have the rare power to unsettle her—that keeps Scarlet going and makes this fight worth dying for.

My Thoughts:
I've always loved the tale of Robin Hood - it was even my most favorite Disney flick.  So, when I heard there was this new re-telling with a fierce female character (and this amazing cover) I scrambled to get my hands on a copy.

While it was fun to relive some Robin and Little John exploits and it was neat to see how the author reinterpreted the characters, Scarlet just didn't live up to my expectations.  Now, it wasn't a bad book by any means but the "big plot twist" was quite obvious to me pretty early in the story.  Also, it really bugs me when main characters are super obtuse without a good reason for this character flaw.  Scarlet's inability to understand her relationships with others had me tearing my hair out and saying "it's so obvious!"  One final negative strike against the book - love triangle stuffs (I personally rarely like reading about them). 

Still, it was a fun book and certainly enjoyable if you go into it with moderate expectations (read: my overblown expectations had me doing a happy dance thinking this would be a fave of the year).  Also, perhaps some of the elements that bothered me wouldn't bother Scarlet's intended audience - younger readers.

3.5/5 stars

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Author Recommendations

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this week's topic: Top Ten Books For People that like Author X (I did a mix of authors for some variety - enjoy)!

1.  If you liked Graceling by Kristin Cashore....then you should try Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder or Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo.

2.  If you're a fan of epic fantasies like Patrick Rothfuss' Kingkiller Chronicles books....then you might like Kushiel's Dart by Jacqueline Carey

3.  If you liked The Book Thief by Markus Zusak....then you should try another moving YA WWII like Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein.

4.  If you enjoyed Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See...then you might like The Secrets of Jin-Shei by Alma Alexander.

5.  If you liked The Postmistress by Sarah Blake....then you should try another great WWII historical fiction book like Skeletons at the Feast by Chris Bohjalian

6.  If you're a fan of dystopian YA like Divergent by Veronica Roth...then you should try Enclave by Anne Aguirre.

7.  If you enjoy books by John Green...then you should try Sarah Dessen's novels (like What Happened to Goodbye).

8.  If you're a big Jane Austen nut...then you definitely have to check out ANY novels by Georgette Heyer (especially Grand Sophy - my fave).

That's all I've got for this week!