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Showing posts from April, 2011

Update on the Spring's Serenity Read-a-Thon

I haven't managed to do much here on the blog this week because I've been so busy reading! The Spring's Serenity Read-a-Thon, hosted by The True Book Addict, has been going on since Monday, and will end at midnight on Sunday. So far, I've read 509 pages this week. Not a lot for many book bloggers, but on a normal week, I would have read about 100 pages within that time, maybe 200 if I was really into a book or on a deadline. So I've been reading a lot more than usual! I finished Hotel Angeline: A Novel in 36 Voices . I hope to write the review within the next few days. I also read In the Lap of the Gods by Li Miao Lovett. Now I'm reading The Pharos Objective by David Sakmyster. I'll have plenty of reviews to write when I'm done with this Read-a-Thon! I hope if you're participating that it's going well and you're enjoying your reading!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Good morning. I hope you had a wonderful week. My son was on Spring Break all week, and my husband and I took some time off as well, but we didn't go away. We had a bit of a staycation, which is unusual for us. We did make it to the Museum of Art in Raleigh, and the Museum of Life and Sciences in Durham, as well as strawberry picking for the first time this season. It was a nice week. I didn't read much, though. I had thought I'd read a lot since I wasn't working, but with the whole family home, I ended up spending time with them and doing things rather than reading. I did start reading These Dark Things by Jan Merete Weiss. This was a NetGalley book, but after reading about 55 pages, I realized it just is not my style. So I let the publisher know I'm not going to review that one. I moved on to Hotel Angeline . As I explained last week, this is a book that was written by a group of 36 writers who got together for a week and wrote the novel collaboratively, li

Starting the Spring's Serenity Read-a-Thon

Well, the Spring's Serenity Read-a-Thon Starting Line is up and I've started reading. I actually read for about a half hour in the wee hours of the morning when I wasn't able to sleep, but decided to wait until now to put up my starting post. I'm working this week, and I have some obligations in the evenings, but I still plan to fit in some extra reading time. I hope to finish Hotel Angeline and read Pharos Objective by David Sakmyster. That's the plan. If I can get through those two, I'll be happy. If I finish them early in the week, I'll also try to read Blood Trust by Eric Van Lustbader. Speaking of Eric Van Lustbader, I'm hosting a mini challenge for this read-a-thon, and the winner will get a copy of his book Last Snow . Click here to enter the mini-challenge!

Mini Challenge: The Page 69 Test

Welcome to all the Readers from the Spring's Serenity Read-a-Thon . This is a week-long read-a-thon, so if you're not signed up yet, you may still have time! Just hop over to The True Book Addict to sign up ! I'm hosting my very first mini challenge. A few weeks ago, I came across a blog called The Page 69 Test . From what I've read, this test was suggested in a book by John Sutherland called How to Read a Novel: A User's Guide . Basically, he says if you're browsing books and want to find out if you'd be interested in a particular book, you should read page 69. This should give you an idea as to whether the book is right for you. So, my mini challenge, should you choose to accept it, is for you to go to page 69 of the book that you're currently reading, and leave a comment ~ or write a blog post and leave a link to it in the comments ~ telling us about page 69 of your book. What's happening on the page and does it impact the way you feel about

Earth Day Books for Kids

It's Earth Day, so I'm publishing this a day early and am going to share some of the books we read for Earth Day this year. First, I went to this list of 30 Great Books That Teach Kids to Be Green . Then I tried to find some of them at our local library. I found and borrowed three to read with C and M. I really enjoyed all of these, but I have to admit the kids were not nearly as enthusiastic about them. They were all a bit too long for M's attention span, and I think I bit above her understanding. The Great Kapok Tree by Susan K. Mitchell is a story of a man who goes into the rain forest to chop down a huge kapok tree. He chops a few times with his ax and then lies down to rest. As he sleeps, each of the rain forest creatures ~ from the boa constrictor and the sloth, to a tree frog and a little boy ~ whispers in his ear about how important the tree is. In the end, the man wakes and decides not to cut down the tree. It's a wonderful message, and would actually be a

Book Review: Moonwalking with Einstein by Josh Foer

Journalist Josh Foer went to the U.S. Memory Championships to cover the event and write an article about it. But after meeting the competitors and learning more about what they do, Foer decided to train for the next year's championship. He won. Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything is Foer's memoir of that year. He takes us with him as he learns to hone his memory skills in such a way that he can memorize a deck of cards, or sets of faces and names, or long strings of random numbers, or unknown poems ~ each in just a few minutes. He does this by using memory palaces, which are basically places in his mind (usually houses and other buildings) into which he places each of the items he needs to remember. Then he can walk through that palace in his mind, and see everything on the list. This isn't a how-to book, though. All of the negative reviews I've seen about this book are from people who go into it thinking they're going to

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Well, we survived the tornadoes that blew through our area on Saturday. That was scary! At least my one closet is all nice and clean now, since I had thrown everything out of it in case M and I had to hide in there. Luckily, we didn't. And we were also very thankful that my husband and son, who were out near the coast in a YMCA cabin for the weekend, weren't hit by any tornadoes either. Unfortunately, a few people we know did have damage to their homes and cars, but they are all safe, which is what matters most. This week, I got a lot of reviewing and blogging done, but not as much reading as I had hoped. I did finish reading Moonwalking with Einstein by Josh Foer. I'll write my review for that this week. I reviewed The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Then I reviewed The Complete Walt Disney World 2010 by Julie and Mike Neal. I actually received an email from the author after publishing my review, and she's sending me the 2011 version, which was just published, for rev

Book Review: Serena by Ron Rash

In the western mountains of North Carolina, George Pemberton returns to his logging camp with his new bride, Serena. They are now partners in this business of logging as much of western North Carolina as they can. But the government is working to put a park in that area, and they're buying up land to save it from the loggers, as the Pembertons try to beat them to the land. At the same time, the Pembertons are also dealing with the fact that George fathered a child with a woman who works in the camp before he met Serena. As Rachel struggles to raise her son alone, she soon finds herself struggling to keep them both safe from jealous Serena. Last year, one of my favorite books was One Foot in Eden by Ron Rash, so I decided to pick up another of his books, Serena . While set in a similar location as the first book I read, this book is very different in both the writing style and the characters it features. Serena is a strong woman, but that's probably too nice. She's a b

What My Children Are Reading

I missed this meme last week because I was participating in a read-a-thon and completely forgot about it! We have been reading a lot though, so I'll share some of the favorites from the past couple weeks. First, we got in our Scholastic order, which included the complete set of Diary of a Wimpy Kid books by Jeff Kinney. C had already read the first one (and you can click here to win it!) so this week, he read Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules . Now, I have not read these books, but he seems to like them a lot. I decided to get some information out of him. First I asked if he were older, would he want to be friends with Greg, the main character who is writing the journal/book. He said no. Evidently Greg is not a very likable kid. He said he really wouldn't want to be friends with any of the kids. I then asked his favorite part of this second book. He said it was when Roderick, the older brother, throws a party and Greg gets locked in the basement while getting tables and c

Book Review: The Complete Walt Disney World 2010 by Julie and Mike Neal

The Complete Walt Disney World 2010 by Julie and Mike Neal is a comprehensive resource that covers the parks, Disney resorts and other accommodations in the area, restaurants and much more. According to the cover, there are 550 color photos in the book (I didn't count) and I must say they definitely add to the experience. The book begins with a section about what's new at Disney for 2010. Because it's now 2011, I will say this wasn't as useful as it would have been last year. Books like this definitely become dated quickly. Then they go into a section on Planning Your Trip, which covers the different ticket options, dining plan, and tips on saving time and money. This is especially important for first-time visitors to Disney World. There are some great tips here. Next, the authors go into sections on each of the theme parks: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney's Hollywood Studios and Disney's Animal Kingdom. This is the section I found most valuable, especially

Book Blogger Hop!

It's time for another Book Blogger Hop ! This is a great event hosted by Crazy for Books and designed to connect book bloggers. I haven't participated in the Hop in a few weeks but I thought I'd jump back in today. The question for this week is: "Pick a character from a book you are currently reading or have just finished and tell us about him/her." I'm in the middle of reading Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art and Science of Remembering Everything by Josh Foer. It's a memoir, so the main character is the author. He is a journalist who covers the U.S. Memory Championship one year, meeting some of the participants and learning a bit about what they do. Then he decides to enter the next year's championship himself. I haven't learned a lot about Josh, except to know he considers himself a bit of a geek and is very interested in science. I also know he does end up winning the championship ~ they tell you that up front. It's an interesting bo