The Versatile Blogger Award~


Thank you so much to Petra over at Hazel The Witch for the Versatile Blogger award!

Here are the rules that go along with this
award:
1. In a post on your blog,
present at least 5 fellow bloggers with the Versatile Blogger
Award.
2. In the same post, add the
Versatile Blogger Award.
3. In the same
post, thank the blogger who nominated you in a post with a link back to their
blog.
4. In the same post, share 7
completely random pieces of information about yourself.
5. In the same post, include this set of
rules.
6. Inform each nominated blogger
of their nomination by posting a comment on each of their blogs.

The Blogs I Chose:
Little Book Owl
Epic Chocolate Fantasy
Book Reaper
Carabosse's Library
I Heart Books


7 completely random pieces of information about yourself.
1. I work out everyday
2. my favourite foods are sushi and popcorn ( hence why i work out everyday)
3. my birthday is in July
4. I love storms
5. I played the trombone in high school band class
6. I'm planning a trip to Argentina
7. I dont own a pair of heels
So much to say! I've been putting off this post until AFTER we had book club so I could tell you about it.

Being in a book club was seriously on my bucket list. I crave talking to people about books. It is one of my one true passions in life. Obviously you guys share the same passions as well or else you wouldn't be reading this. I love blogging, and having this online community who understands my love for books and participates in that, so to sit with a group of people face-to-face and do it is really a dream come true for me.

We read Sara Gruen's Water for Elephants. I didn't particularly LOVE the book ( 3/5 id say) so I was a bit nervous about our discussion. I had a hard time believing in the love between Marlena and Jacob and found the characters to be lacking. To be honest, after reading The Night Circus, no circus will ever be able to compare. And, if you're looking for an Elephant fix, the movieOng Bak 2tops my list. So really, after reading Water for Elephants, I found it only sub-par.

The women at the book club however seemed to just LOVE it. I didn't want to be the Negative Nancy of the club, especially on my first meeting.

Once we got to talking about the book I was SO into it. We didn't just say who liked it/didn't, we actually talked about certain aspects of the characters, and themes of the books. Hearing the ladies thoughts and perspectives was fascinating to me. It didn't end up being a question of whether the book was good or not, but more of the whole picture.

This didn't really change my initial opinion of the book itself. It's still not really my style of a read, but it definitely helped me to appreciate the book more, and also to gain a bit more perspective. I was so satisfied just to be able to discuss a book, good or not!

And with that, I'll leave you with the Goodreads synopsis for Sara Gruen's Water For Elephants.


Though he may not speak of them, the memories still dwell inside Jacob Jankowski's ninety-something-year-old mind. Memories of himself as a young man, tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. Memories of a world filled with freaks and clowns, with wonder and pain and anger and passion; a world with its own narrow, irrational rules, its own way of life, and its own way of death. The world of the circus: to Jacob it was both salvation and a living hell.

Jacob was there because his luck had run out - orphaned and penniless, he had no direction until he landed on this locomotive 'ship of fools'. It was the early part of the Great Depression, and everyone in this third-rate circus was lucky to have any job at all. Marlena, the star of the equestrian act, was there because she fell in love with the wrong man, a handsome circus boss with a wide mean streak. And Rosie the elephant was there because she was the great gray hope, the new act that was going to be the salvation of the circus; the only problem was, Rosie didn't have an act - in fact, she couldn't even follow instructions. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and ultimately, it was their only hope for survival

Paperback, 335 pages
Published April 9th 2006 by Algonquin Books

Sparkling Giveaway!

Just wanted to quickly mention the most F(bleep)ing AWESOME giveaway that Sparkling reviews is having for 2000 followers ( incredible).Check out Sparkling Reviews at http://www.sparklingreviews.com/Funny that I'm saving up for a new TV and Xbox... this is right up my alley!

Ramping Up the Reading List!

Sorry about the lack of posting lately. It's coming, I'm reading a lot, I have just been really busy this week. I wish I wasn't so busy, but somethings you just can't help.

I had a question for you all however! I love my little list of blogs that I read dearly, but I was wondering if you guys know of any good non-YA or not all YA review blogs? Since my little blogging circle seems to be all YA. Like to be in the know about some other books too! If you have any good suggestions, please share!
The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Hardcover, 451 pages
Published February 10th 2009 by Amy Einhorn Books/Putnam

Goodreads Synopsis:
Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step.Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone. Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken. Minny, Aibileen's best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody's business, but she can't mind her tongue, so she's lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own. Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed. In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women - mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends - view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope, The Help is a timeless and unAdd Imageiversal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don't.

I honestly didn't hear about this book until the movie was out ( helllooo where was I?), but as soon as I saw Emma Stone's face, I knew I had to get my hands on a copy. I love that girl!
I also love books written in this time period about this subject. As hard as it is to read about it's not only an important part of history, but a topic that needs to be talked about.

I loved Stockett's characters in this book. I felt a real connection with Skeeter, thinking differently than her friends. I loved Minny the most and her whit. I also loved to hate Hilly Holbrook and what she stood for, and I was hoping someone would punch her in the face, but the 'Terrible Awful' was pretty sweet too.

The book isn't terribly fast-paced, but having three POV's to follow makes it move along quite smoothly. I highly recommend this book , and I am excited to watch the movie because from what I've seen in the trailer, it follows pretty close to the book. it took me MONTHS for my turn to borrow it in the library but I'm so glad I got the chance to read it. I really enjoyed it.

4.5/5

So I just finished reading Winter's Passage by Julie Kagawa. The 1.5th book in her series which is only available as and e-read.
I do NOT have an e-reader yet, and although I kinda want one ( because everyone else has one) I can't see myself spending money on one. See, I read in the bath, while I eat, at the beach etc, and those are all places very dangerous to the e-reader. I like to read library books where you can see where someone spilled their coffee, or stopped reading and turned down the corner. I like to briefly imagine what was going on/why someone else did those things, and I also just love knowing I'm reading something that some other pair of eyes have seen. Especially when it's a really good book.

That's my e-reader rant. I still do really want one.

So then Julie Kagawa's Iron Fey 1.5 was only available as a PDF from the library and I had to wait FOREVER to get it, but I got and read it all in one very quick sitting. I love this series so much. The characters are all interesting ( and there are a lot) and I'm in love with Ash also, so that helps along with the liking of the book.

This 59 page novella was great for someone like me who has to wait a while for the library to obtain me a copy of the book. I can't read straight through a sCheck Spellingeries unless I buy it, and with all of the 'in between' books sometimes you just need a little 59 pager to get you back into the swing of things. It brings you back to book one, has a little mini adventure and leads into book two all in 59 pages. Brilliant!

I was contemplating skipping these ".5" e-reads but I definitely think ( as a fan of the series so far) it's worth it to read them. I tell you for sure after I read the official book 2!
4/5

Winter's Passage
ebook, 59 pages
Published June 1st 2010 by Harlequin(first published May 20th 2010)

Goodreads Synopsis:

Meghan Chase used to be an ordinary girl...until she discovered that she is really a faery princess. After escaping from the clutches of the deadly Iron fey, Meghan must follow through on her promise to return to the equally dangerous Winter Court with her forbidden love, Prince Ash. But first, Meghan has one request: that they visit Puck--Meghan's best friend and servant of her father, King Oberon--who was gravely injured defending Meghan from the Iron Fey.Yet Meghan and Ash's detour does not go unnoticed. They have caught the attention of an ancient, powerful hunter--a foe that even Ash may not be able to defeat....

Another one of my resolutions was to FINALLY read all of Harry Potter! I just finished book two! I can't believe it has taken me so long to read these books. They truly are wonderful and magical, and even though the second book isn't as exciting as the rest of them, I was still flipping pages like a mad fool to finish it. It's has been a while since I've even seen the Chamber of Secrets movie and I had completely forgotten what was in the chamber of secrets. Well I know partly was was there of course, but I don't want to spoil anything so I will stop there. So now we sit and wait for book three to show up at the library. Harry is pretty hard to get hold of in these parts. Actually ordering anything in to the library seems to take much longer these days. Which brings me to why I bought Water for Elephants.

At the top of my mental bucket list sat" Join/Start a book club" and about a month ago, one of my good friends and I just started a facebook group. Were reading Water for Elephants this month. I have no idea how to run a book club but the members seem to be really excited about it. I particularly don't care to much for the subject matter of the club, just to be around other people who have read the same book I have, to drink a few glasses ( or bottles!) of wine, and to talk about what we liked and didn't like about the book are just fine and dandy to me. I am SO excited. It's finally a bridge between my online life, my free time life and my social life. I couldn't be happier.

And lastly for this post- one more thing I MUST tell you. As you may have read in my last post- I read and loved Snow Flower and the Secret fan by Linda See. I recommend that book to all women, I love it THAT much. I was skeptical to see the movie but last night I had the chance to rent it. It was the worst book-to-movie translation I have ever seen in my life. A totally abomination of the book. Yes,it focused on friendship- the main theme of the book, but the book had so much deep,and dark,and beautiful cultural aspects that the movie didn't even glance upon. I was SO appalled. I would be furious if I was Linda See. Even as a stand alone film, it was bad. I still cant get over how bad it was. I'm almost hurt that this beautiful book was totally destroyed in the movie. Ruined my Night
So that's my rant of the day. I havent had much time to write a quality blog post in a while but I just want to stay connected!
Love.

First Book of the Year/Resolutions!


Happy New Year! Although there has been nothing but soaring winds and drenching rains, I just know this year is going to be a great one- because the last one sucked! Anyways I hope you all had a WONDERFUL and safe new years. Here's a great picture of Shaun and I earlier in the night of ringing in the new near. The end of the night pics werent so pretty haha.

This year I definitely made a few resolutions/goals for a happy 2012.
1. To exercise in some way at least once a day. To keep fit.
2. To read 50 books this year. ( I have never made a book goal before so we'll see how this goes)
3. To try and not let my shyness get in the way of me having fun!
4. To save money. I am great at paying all my bills and I'm never behind, but I have a terrible time saving. So this is a big one.
5. Take LOTS of pictures
And now, to my first book of the year:

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan- by Linda See
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published June 28th 2005 by Random House (first published January 1st 2005)
Goodreads Synopsis:
Lily is haunted by memories–of who she once was, and of a person, long gone, who defined her existence. She has nothing but time now, as she recounts the tale of Snow Flower, and asks the gods for forgiveness.In nineteenth-century China, when wives and daughters were foot-bound and lived in almost total seclusion, the women in one remote Hunan county developed their own secret code for communication: nu shu (“women’s writing”). Some girls were paired with laotongs, “old sames,” in emotional matches that lasted throughout their lives. They painted letters on fans, embroidered messages on handkerchiefs, and composed stories, thereby reaching out of their isolation to share their hopes, dreams, and accomplishments.With the arrival of a silk fan on which Snow Flower has composed for Lily a poem of introduction in nu shu, their friendship is sealed and they become “old sames” at the tender age of seven. As the years pass, through famine and rebellion, they reflect upon their arranged marriages, loneliness, and the joys and tragedies of motherhood. The two find solace, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive. But when a misunderstanding arises, their lifelong friendship suddenly threatens to tear apart.Snow Flower and the Secret Fan is a brilliantly realistic journey back to an era of Chinese history that is as deeply moving as it is sorrowful. With the period detail and deep resonance of Memoirs of a Geisha, this lyrical and emotionally charged novel delves into one of the most mysterious of human relationships: female friendship

What I Thought:

Man this book was heaaavvvyyy. I am glad I am not a wife or mother because I think this book would have brought actual tears to my eyes.
It took me quite I while to plunder through this one, not because it was bad, but because I found it pretty emotionally draining.
It was so interesting to see a glimpse of what it was like to be a girl/wife/mother/grandmother in 19th century China. I cant even begin to imagine myself in this situation, as I live in a much different world where men and women are ( for the most part/in general) treated equally. This book was extremely powerful in the way it told Lily's life story and her relationships through Lily herself. This book up will stir up the deepest part of you and as a women, I can tell you it will definitely make you feel thankful and proud that we are not treated the same way now, but that we can still learn these important values of friendship and being true to yourself through great books like this one.

I had no idea this book was a movie until I was actually in the middle of reading it. However the trailer looks like they've sugar-coated the book A LOT. So I'd highly recommend reading the book first to get the story straight, or skipping the movie all together.
4/5