Friday, November 21, 2014

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (Audiobook Review)

For my frequent readers, you know that we moved AGAIN this last summer.  That meant I was in the car with my kids for three days.  The kids do not have electronics, so that translates to me having to get creative in keeping the kids entertained while on the road.  And, of course, my first thought was to get an audiobook to help pass the time.  The choice was really no contest.  I had to give Percy Jackson a try!

The Lightning Thief is the first of Rick Riordan's series, Percy Jackson and the Olympians.  We get to meet Percy and his good friend, Grover.  We are there when Percy discovers that his father is the god of the sea, Poseidon.  We stand back and observe while he is accused of theft by Zeus himself and finds himself fighting creatures he only read about , yet never believed existed.  And, we fall in love with this kid prone to all sorts of trouble!

The Lightning Thief was fun, adventurous, and left us all laughing.  My son requested that we listen more and more, and we were sad when the story came to an end.  Of course, we went out and bought the next book in the series to fill that void!

On another note, we also watched the movie after we were settled into our new home.  Though some parts are similar, many things were also changed.  All of us were a bit disappointed, but still enjoyed the movie overall.  It was just another case of the book being better!

Have you had the pleasure of meeting Percy Jackson?  What was your favorite part of the story?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: The Lobby of the Capital

Welcome to Wordless Wednesday!

This is another shot from the photography workshop that I attended back in August.  It was taken in the capital building in Helena, Montana, peering at the lobby from the second floor.


For more Wordless Wednesday, check out the blog.

Do you see those starbursts?!?  What else catches your eye in this shot?

Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Maunder: Revival Readalong


This last week, I finished up a couple of different books . . . Dark Places by Gillian Flynn and The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch.  And, since the timing was perfect, and I have a hard time passing up a new Stephen King, I decided to jump in on a readalong for his new novel, Revival.


Here are just a few notes about the Revival Readalong . . .

  • It will run November 11-November 30, and is hosted by one of my fave bloggers, Ti of Book Chatter.
  • Most of the conversation will take place on Twitter using the #ReviveMe2014 hashtag.  
  • The chatter will be completely informal.  No set questions.  No set posting dates.  My kind of readalong at this point in time!
I am not very far into the book at this time, but I will say that the opening paragraphs are some of my favorite.  I can't wait to read further into the story!

For the full readalong details, be sure to hop on over to the official announcement post.

I will be back next week to share with you more reading and writing updates.  Until then . . . 

What are you reading this week?  Any King fans wanting to join in on this readalong with us?

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (Audiobook Review)

His story began with death . . . the death of his cat caused by a man that inflicted death upon himself.  The young boy wanders down the lane and ends up sitting at the neighbor's kitchen table with Lettie Hempstock and her family.  During this difficult time, the young boy finds refuge in this home.  He finds a friend like he has never found before, one that understands him.  He also discovers a world he never knew and an evil that lurked within his own walls.

Our story began with death ... the young boy, now a middle-age man, traveling back to his hometown to attend a funeral.  He finds himself wandering yet again, remembering the past that he had forgotten and the friendship that was like no other.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a tale of fiction and a bit of fantasy, but it feels so real.  Hauntingly real.  The end was one that left me with a mix of emotions, and possibly even a little confused.  Just the feelings that death typically leave you with in real life.

Neil Gaiman put on a brilliant performance, both in his writing and in his reading.  However, this is a story that I also feel I need to revisit . . . in writing . . . to more fully appreciate all this story has to offer.

What were your thoughts and feelings after reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane?  Did you read it or listen to it?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Guest Post: Postertext and Perfect Literary Gifts

Today, I am excited to share a special guest post with you from Peter Kao, the founder of Postertext.  With the holidays just around the corner, these could be the gifts you are looking for for the book lovers in your life.  Read on for more information!

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These Book Posters Make 
the Perfect Literary Gifts for Book Lovers

Bibliophiles need holiday gifts too! With the holiday season fast approaching, chances are you’ll be shopping for the perfect gift for your book loving friend.

“Well, I’ll just buy a book for him/her!” is what you might be considering. Don’t do it. 

As a book lover myself, reading is a great passion and hobby of mine. I love buying books, but receiving a book as a gift or giving a book as a gift is a stressful experience for me. First, unless you have access to their reading collection you can’t be sure if they haven’t read the book you’re giving – let alone knowing whether or not they’ll enjoy it (reading can be a very personal thing!). Second, it is way too obvious as a gift; even if the recipient loves the book you’re giving, there’s a good chance that it’ll be the nth book they’ve received that holiday. Your gift suddenly becomes not so thoughtful after all.

So, what should you gift book lovers if not books? It will certainly have to be book or reading related. Bookish people (obviously) love books, but they also love bookish things that show off their love for books. This is why I started my business over 4 years ago. Postertext designs book posters, and they make perfect gifts for your bookworm friend – even better if they have extra wall space to fill or are interested in decoration or art. Postertext designs art prints for book lovers which are made entirely out of text from your favorite book! And they look absolutely gorgeous if I may say so myself.

These literary posters will put a smile to any avid reader’s face while making fantastic conversation pieces for your home or office.

From afar, you can enjoy the illustration in elegant silhouette form. From up close, you can read your favorite lines from the book.

Check out Postertext at http://postertext.com. And don’t be shy in sharing these art prints with your friends or family if you want to be gifted these beautiful art prints for book lovers this holiday season!

Happy Holiday shopping!

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Thank you so much to Peter Kao and the Postertext staff for sharing this wonderful holiday idea!  I can personally say that I adore the Sherlock Holmes and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the works of Edgar Allan Poe and ... well, I will stop there.  Needless to say, these are definitely on my holiday wish list!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Monday, November 10, 2014

Monday Maunder: The Latest Reading and Writing Updates


Last week, I shared a lot of details with my monthly review and RIP challenge wrap-up.  This time, I'm keeping it short and sweet with two little updates:  my latest reading and writing updates.

Let's first start with what's the latest on the reading front.  Last week, I finished Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  I also finally finished the audiobook of Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld.  Now, I am in the middle of Dark Places by Gillian Flynn and started the audio of The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch. In respective order, here are the four words/phrases that I currently associate with each of these titles:  unbelievably amazing; mixed feelings, messed up; and emotional.

On the writing front, I am currently participating in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).  This is my second official year, and I can say that I am already feeling better about this year than I have in the past.  My numbers are not where they should be, but I am feeling more invested in my story and have an amazing support group cheering me along and helping to keep me accountable.  For those wanting numbers, my current word count is 2174.  I am hoping for an amazing week to catch up in my word count, especially with some extra writing time on Tuesday.  

I will continue to share random updates throughout the month of my writing journey as well as my reading updates.  Until then, I will be buried in the pages!

What are you currently reading?  Are you participating in NaNoWriMo this year, or have you in the past?

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker (Audiobook Review)

Wecker takes us back in time, filled with reality and fantasy, with her debut novel, The Golem and the Jinni.  As the title suggests, the story introduces us to two mythical creatures in a world not their own.

The first is Chava - a golem - a woman made out of clay that was brought to life by a rabbi.  She was to have a master that she protected, but he died and left her alone to fend for herself only moments after being called to life.  She drifts among the streets of America until someone recognizes her for who she really is and takes her in.

The second is Ahmed - a jinni - a man made out of fire that was trapped in a copper flask.  A tinsmith frees him from his prison, shocked by his tale, and yet willing to assist him in leading a new life.

Both Chava and Ahmed struggle to find their place in the world, appreciating the kindness surrounding them, yet wanting to break free.  One night, the two creatures unexpectedly meet, recognizing their differences in an instant - the differences that only a few can see.  This one meeting turns into multiple meetings, and the two develop a very unlikely friendship.  If only the two could know how that one night would change their lives forever . . . and help to explain the past.

Wecker has developed a beautiful, yet enigmatic story.  It is filled with details, sometimes beautiful and sometimes heavy, that bring an angle to the story that I have never read before.  However, it was not just the story that won me over.  It was more the narrator, George Guidall that hooked me into the story.  His voice, his tendency to project such emotion and uniqueness into the characters was hypnotizing.  If I were simply reading the story, I think I would have gotten bored and frequently set the book aside.  Instead, I could not wait to get back to listening to Guidall read to me and take me back into the world that Wecker created.

Have you read Wecker's debut novel?  What were your thoughts on Chava and Ahmed?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: A Little Pretty

Since we have welcomed in November, I thought I would share a little pretty from this summer.  It's one of my favorite shots!


For more Wordless Wednesday pretties, click here.

Are you enjoying the fall weather, or imagining pretty summer days instead?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Literary Link Love: October 2014


I know that it is no longer October, but alas . . . I got a little behind in my schedule last week, so I'm here to share a little link love a little late!  Here's a list of short goodness for you.  Hope you enjoy!

Looking to add a little book art to your home decorating?  Here are 15 pieces of furniture made out of books!

I can relate to these signs of being a book addict!  "Just one more chapter" or laughing (or crying) while reading a book and getting weird looks or using random slang in everyday conversations or so many more!

Being a book addict, I can also relate to these annoying comments.  Seriously?!?

Looking for a good nonfiction read, especially for Nonfiction November?  This little list of books from the 50 states may be a good place to get you started.

Finally, I left my readers with a fun little literary pumpkin carving.  Personally, my favorite is a toss-up between the Harry Potter and the Poe.  Simply brilliant!

What good links did I miss this month?  Want to share your thoughts on any of these links?