Thursday, February 28, 2013

I Don't Want to Be a Drunk Unicorn!

I tend to go all out with things. Start a new blog, start a new Twitter account, start a new Facebook page, start requesting ARCs on NetGalley. My word. Overwhelm.

When I first starting blogging way back in 2007, I did it just for me. Never thought about pagehits or followers. I didn't know what they were and I didn't think that anyone but my mom would read anyway. Over the years, I built up a loyal reader base. I am still friends with a few of those readers! But it is hard not to get jealous of the super bloggers out there that have massive amounts of followers who comment on their posts. Those super bloggers who have a stack of crazy good ARCs from publishers every.single.week.

Then I read Kat's wonderful blog post on Five Reasons Why Stats Don't Matter. Go read it and then come back because you won't understand what the heck I'm about to say. Go on. I'll wait.

Still waiting....

You back? Awesome. Let's carry on...

I don't want to be a drunk unicorn. I don't want to poop rainbows. I don't even really LIKE rainbows! I am once again realizing that I do this blogging thing for me and don't really give a hoot if only one person* reads. And the ARCs? They are amazing and so appreciated but get too many and it becomes less fun.

And you know how much I love my pictures in every post but Google "drunk unicorn" at your own risk. Some things you can't un-see. Just sayin'

*my IRL BFF, Jennifer. After hearing me talk about book blogging so much, she started her own blog here  Show her some love if you wanna. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga - (audiobook) Thoughts

Title: I Hunt Killers 
Author: Barry Lyga (website)(Twitter)
Pages: listened to audiobook...9 hours, 30 minutes
Narrator: Charlie Thurston

Rating: the best mix of humor and chills. Can't wait for the sequel!
Why read: I listened to the audio version after reading Irish's review here.

Source: purchased (!) audiobook

Summary from Goodreads:

What if the world's worst serial killer...was your dad?

Jasper "Jazz" Dent is a likable teenager. A charmer, one might say.

But he's also the son of the world's most infamous serial killer, and for Dear Old Dad, Take Your Son to Work Day was year-round. Jazz has witnessed crime scenes the way cops wish they could—from the criminal's point of view.

And now bodies are piling up in Lobo's Nod.

In an effort to clear his name, Jazz joins the police in a hunt for a new serial killer. But Jazz has a secret—could he be more like his father than anyone knows?

First let me say that the author is a nice looking man. Go look him up on The Google. Go ahead, I will wait. You know you want to see what he looks like now that I mentioned it. You back? On with the review then.

The author's looks aside, the man can write. I loved this story and am glad that I listened to it. Narrator Charlie Thurston made me shiver every.single.time he said "wakey wakey" and he was dead on with the creepiness that was Jasper's "dear old dad".  His range in voices is amazing.

It had been awhile since I had read a good thriller and this one kept me guessing with each twist in the story. Jasper was a multi-layered character that was both likeable and highly unlikeable at the same time. This conflict is a testament to Lyga's incredible writing skill. As his history is revealed - how his father trained him to be a serial killer - it is easy to be conflicted as to whether or not he can be a killer. Is he what his father thinks he is or is he not?

The wide cast of characters was fantastic. Howie is my favorite character. He is funny and so loyal to Jasper. A true friend to the end. 

I look forward to reading (or listening to) the sequel!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Auto-Buy Authors


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. Visit here for this week's list of participants and to link up. Today we talk about our top ten auto-buy authors.

 I am not sure that I can even come up with 10 auto-buy authors but let's roll...

(in no particular order)

1. Leigh Bardugo: a went total fangirl on Shadow and Bone. My review can be found here. This was one of my favorite reads...ever! Plus she invented my literary boyfriend, the Darkling. Swoon.

2. Gayle Forman: She is a new to me author...I just finished Just One Day. My review is coming soon. I have read good reviews of all of her books so I'm a fan for life now. Just One Year can't come soon enough!

3. Elizabeth Laban: a debut author, her The Tragedy Paper blew me away. Read my review here

4. Marissa Meyer: Oh Cinder. How I loved you. I can't wait to get my hands on Scarlet. Soon. Very soon!

5. Max Lucado:  The master of Christian non-fiction books. I have enjoyed all of them I've read.

6. Sarah Addison Allen: her books are lush. I need to re-read my favorites.

7. Carlos Ruiz Zafon: I read his The Shadow of the Wind way back in 2009 and it is on my top favorites ever read list.

I am sure that I will  think of more once this list is posted but for now, that's all she wrote...


Sunday, February 24, 2013

The Kiddie Table - a review of Change the World Before Bedtime

Title: Change the World Before Bedtime
Author: Mark Kimball Moultron, Josh Chalmers, and Karen Good
Pages: 32 (as ebook)
I was given this title by the publisher via netgalley in exchange for an honest review

As a scrapbooker I wanted to take this book and use it as an example of a great page design. Each page was beautiful. The message of this rhyming story is varied: to be kind, to recyle, to give to the less fortunate, to eat good foods, etc. Unfortunately, my boys didn't enjoy the story in the least and actually left the couch to play while I was reading it.

I loved the message and the illustrations but would not be interested in a having a copy only because my kids were not interested in it. A bit girly looking maybe?

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Love-a-Thon Wrap Up

This day has been very fun and I am so glad I participated. Another big thanks to Alexa and Katelyn for all their hard work on this event! And thanks to everyone who participated, who left comments here and elsewhere, who followed me on twitter or friended me on goodreads. You've all made me a happy woman!

The things I loved:

Meeting new bloggers. So many great blogs out there and I've added a huge amount to my already large Google Reader.

Following new people on Twitter. I'm a bit nervous with Twitter because I feel like I don't really "get it" but I added quite a few people today and was followed by a few as well. 

The comments on the blog. Heartfelt and kind, they were part of the purpose of the day, of course, but it was still lovely to see the new comments.

Commenting on everyone else's blog. I tried to comment on every blog and especially those that participated in the mini challenges. That was so much fun!

The things I'd change:

Was wishing, for the love of reading, that participants would turn off their robot censors today. I always have trouble reading those letters and numbers and some people didn't get comments left because I couldn't ever correctly answer the question and so I gave up.

Participating on a weekend when my boys were at their dad's so I could sit the whole day and type away. We had previously made plans AND got stuck with a broken down car that made my time away from the laptop even longer than I had planned.

A weekend event instead of 12 to 12 so that I could go the whole 24 hours because

A shorter URL. Really. How many times can I type without giving myself carpal tunnel? Should have gone with or something similar instead! ;-)

Love-a-Thon Mini Challenge #5 - Top Blogging Moments

It's time for Mini Challenge #5 where we discuss our top blogging moments. 

I've been blogging since 2007. After a rough patch in my life I stopped blogging. I just wasn't up to it and I didn't have anything positive to blog. A few months ago, I started it back up and then decided to put all things bookish on a new blog so Little Lovely Books was born.

I haven't had many moments on this blog yet but my favorite things so far are:

1) Just getting back into the game. I took so much time off that I didn't think I'd ever get back to it but I did. And I'm proud of myself for it. I loved blogging and talking about books and interacting with my readers. And even though I am starting over again, it's still been fun.

2) This Book Blogger Love-a-Thon. I love, love, love Alexa's blog so when she first mentioned the Love-a-Thon I was all "sign me up now!" It has been such a fun day!

3) Finding such incredible new to me books. Wow, the number of new books released is mind blowing but having a few favorite book bloggers helps me narrow them down. I've found people that I know will write reviews that makes me almost know for sure if I am going to enjoy a book or not!

4) Finding such incredible new to me blogs. Oh the list goes on and on. There are such amazing book blogs out there!

5) When Leigh Bardugo commented back to me on Twitter. Then when I went completely gushing fangirl after reading Shadow and Bone (review here) and tweeted the link, she read it and responded. Squeal.

Love-a-Thon Mini Challenge #4 - Letter to My Blogging Self

Time for Love-a-Thon Mini Challenge #4 which is a letter to my blogging self. Although I have been blogging since 2007, THIS is a new book blog so I will be writing a letter to my future self. Talking about the stuff I like so far and what I hope to accomplish in the future. 

Dear Future Dana,

First your blog is awesome. You are doing this because it is fun and because blogging keeps you from having all of your friends eyes glaze over when you gush and fangirl over your latest read. I think that you are going to have quite a few loyal readers but don't worry about that. Don't worry about the numbers. As soon as it stops being fun then take a step back.

Your favorite thing about blogging right now is meeting all these fantastic new friends in the book blogospere. And there are some really great people out there!

Keep it simple and don't forget your voice. 


Love-a-Thon Check In

Mini Challenge #3 has been posted. It's a cool playlist for books. Check it out here and be sure to visit all the participant blogs today to share the love!

I was away from the computer for longer than I expected but I'm back and commenting. Such a fun day!

Love-a-Thon Mini Challenge #2 - Spine Poetry

Mini challenge #2 for the Book Blogger Love-a-Thon is SPINE POETRY. Taking some books from our shelves, we were to make a poem out of the titles. I thought it would be fun to use just library books so here is my poem.

The Sin Eater's Confession of
Wicked Appetite in the Map of Time,
Out of the Easy
I am Hooked on Redeeming Love,
In just one day, my paper valentine
brings cinders and sapphires in
the future we left behind.

When I first saw this challenge I didn't think that I would participate but it was really fun! Another thanks to Alexa and Katelyn for putting on this awesome event!

Book Blogger Love-a-Thon Let's Go!

It's 12:09 AM and I left my warm bed to start on the 2013 Book Blogger Love-a-Thon. It's steady raining here so I'm hearing the rain come down as I type. I'm going to be commenting heavier during the waking hours since 1) I am old. 2) I have to be awake when the boys are. We'll see how long I last. No pressure today, just fun!

Book Blogger Love a Thon Interview Swap

I was fortunate enough to be able to interview the fun and sweet Lauren from Hughes Reviews. You can follow her on twitter by following @wordyhughes. Here are the interview questions and Lauren's fabulous answers:

1. What is your favorite part of being a blogger?
I love that I've found people who get as excited over books as I do!  I love getting recommendations from people who have my same tastes in books.  There are so many books I probably would not have discovered on my own, but heard about through the blogosphere.  I can't imagine my reading life without other bloggers now... it would be so empty.

2. Would you say that you devour books or savor them? (sip or gulp so to speak?)
I'm a big fan of fast-paced books, so that would probably make me someone who devours and gulps books.  I love when I get so lost in a book that I forget about the real world.  And usually if I'm lost in a book, it means my eyes are flying across the page and hungry for what will happen next.

3. How many books do you read at the same time?
When I was younger, I'd read more than one book at a time, but in the last five years or so, I've become a one-book-at-a-time kind of girl.  I find it keeps me from comparing books or favoring one over the other.

4. What are a few of your favorite book blogs?
The Fake Steph: I've read several books on her recommendation and really enjoyed all of them.  I also love her "Looks from Books" feature.
The Recovering Potter Addict: I fell for Aylee's blog based on its name because I'm also someone who felt a little lost after Harry Potter was over...  She has great taste in books and I've come to trust her reviews!
Small Review: Her Blogging Tips and Tricks were the most helpful thing ever when I was trying to get my blog going.  And she always seems to find great books that no one else has heard of.  And I love that she does a fairly equal amount of middle grade and YA because YA often seems to get all the love in the blogging world.
A Backwards Story: I love how Bonnie always talks about cover design in her reviews.  She often makes me appreciate aspects of the cover design that I never would have noticed on my own.  And a bonus is she's a fellow writer like myself!
Shooting Stars Mag: I love her blend of books, movies, TV shows, and even your occasional live theater musical!  I never know what I'm going to find each week when I stop by her blog, and I love it.

5. What is the biggest tip you would give to a book blogger that is starting out?
Be meaningful and genuine in both your posts and your comments.  You know the saying "Treat others the way you want to be treated" works in blogging too.  Write the kinds of posts that you would want to read.  And write the kinds of comments that you would want on your own blog posts.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Looking forward to Book Blogger Love-a-Thon!

I am so excited to participate in the 2013 Book Blogger Love-a-Thon. Alexa and Katelyn have done so much work for all of us and it's going to be fun, fun, fun. Check back at midnight for my first post. An interview!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Heart Books

I frequently mentioned the fabulous Eva from A Striped Armchair, on my old blog. Since starting this new blog I haven't. She is truly one of my very favorite book bloggers and has such a wide variety of books that she reads that I am in awe. I want to be like her when I grow up (which is quite funny since I'm older than she is by years). Today she had a wonderful post about "heart books" - those books that change you and touch you. She asked of her readers:

In the spirit of nostalgia, I’d like to ask all of you to name a heart book, either in comments here or on your own blog (do leave a link in the comments so I can come read your post). Pass it along, chain letter style, and let’s embrace those books that resonate with our truest, deepest selves. I know they can be difficult to talk about (I actually didn’t mention the one book that has most literally changed my life; perhaps in another few years I’ll be ready), because of course claiming a book as soul-touching bares at least a bit of your most vulnerable self to the world. Yet I believe that the much of magic of book blogging lies in that combination of the literary with the personal, and that we have built a community that is supportive enough for that to take place. I look forward to hearing your stories.

 I'll talk about my newest heart book, The Tragedy Paper. It was a recent read for me and I was sucked in from the start. And I hardly wanted to start another book because it touched me so much. I reviewed it here.

The beautiful writing, wonderful characters and intriguing story within a story kept me reading but the life lessons have kept me thinking about it. It just made my heart happy. I wouldn't say it was a happy book but it certainly made me feel and made me think about life and it's meaning. It will stay with me for a long, long time. A true "heart book" for me.

Thanks, Eva, for the interesting topic to think about.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The Madman's Daughter by Megan Shepherd - Thoughts

Title: The Madman's Daughter
Author: Megan Shepherd
Pages: 420 pages
Genre: YA
Rating: I really liked it

The Madman's Daughter was one of the debuts that I was most looking forward to this year. I have read so many raving reviews that my expectations were through the roof on this one. Unfortunate.

Madman's Daughter is the story of 16 year old Juliet Moreau and was inspired by H.G. Wells's classic The Island of Dr. Moreau. She is on her own after her mother dies and her doctor father disappears following a scandal. The allegations against the doctor were never proven but she still suffers because of them. After finding out that her father is still alive, Juliet travels with her childhood crush, Montgomery, to her father's island. During the journey to the island they encounter castaway Edward who they take to the island with them. Once on the island Juliet discovers the truth about her father.

I dislike being even slightly negative about a novel like this. The author has created a whole island and characters that seem so very real. 

Things I liked: the island was so real. I felt as if I were there with them. The characters were well developed even if I didn't like them all. Lots of action and a general creepiness.

Things I didn't like: Juliet was annoying. She was critical of others for things she herself thought and wanted to do. The love triangle was unnecessary and I didn't feel it. At all. She seemed only half-heartedly interested in Edward. I don't look for upcoming twists in stories and several of these were just so obvious. I wanted more creepiness and less romance.

I will say again that I think that my expectations of this book were just unrealistic and that's why I am not fangirling all over it like I thought I would. I'm looking forward to the next in the series but will not have as high of expectations next time.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Cupid Swap

Oh be still my heart...

This is my package of awesomeness from the Cupid Swap over at Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile. Do you see that...Divergent? I squealed. Literally squealed when I saw it. And that bear? Sweetness. And the necklace? And the handmade mailbox that held cards for me AND both of my boys? Such a wonderful gift. Thank you, Secret Cupid!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

The Little Book of S*x Secrets by Nicole Bailey - Thoughts


Title: The Little Book of Sex Secrets
Author: Nicole Bailey
Pages: 140
Genre: Adult Self Help
Source: Publisher via netgalley. I received this title in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: Basic goodness 

In a nod to Valentine's Day, a saucy book of tips and tricks. Anyone who knows me, is probably raising an eyebrow right about now and wondering just why the heck I am reviewing a book about adult interaction. Umm, yeah.

Curiosity. That's it. Just curious about the title. The cover is what caught my eye as I was browsing netgalley.It's pink. The font rocks and well, I was just curious. Plus, that mask. Sigh.

This got more than one eye roll out of me to be perfectly honest but it also made me realize that the real point of the book is to be comfortable in your own skin and to have fun.

The chapters progress from tame to more erotic. It covers the basics, so to speak, as well as more advanced techniques. Be warned there are photographs sprinkled throughout.  I mostly found these to be unnecessary and quite distracting but a couple of times I wasn't sure what she was talking about and a glance at the picture would explain it.

Overall I think it is a great book to spice up your life in the bedroom and would make a fun gift for a bridal shower.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

OD on YA?

This is one of those times that my title cracks me up. Me and my randomness.

I've been reading some really great books lately but almost everything I have out from the library or have requested from the library are Young Adult books. Nothing wrong with that I guess but I don't want to OD on them either. 

Does anyone else seem to read just one genre for a while and then switch?

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

The Tragedy Paper by Elizabeth LaBan - Thoughts

Title: The Tragedy Paper
Author: Elizabeth LaBan (website, Twitter)
Pages: 304
Genre: YA contemporary 

I am going to gush. You have been warned.

From Goodreads...

Tim Macbeth, a seventeen-year-old albino and a recent transfer to the prestigious Irving School, where the motto is “Enter here to be and find a friend.” A friend is the last thing Tim expects or wants—he just hopes to get through his senior year unnoticed. Yet, despite his efforts to blend into the background, he finds himself falling for the quintessential “It” girl, Vanessa Sheller, girlfriend of Irving’s most popular boy. To Tim's surprise, Vanessa is into him, too, but she can kiss her social status goodbye if anyone ever finds out. Tim and Vanessa begin a clandestine romance, but looming over them is the Tragedy Paper, Irving’s version of a senior year thesis, assigned by the school’s least forgiving teacher.

Jumping between viewpoints of the love-struck Tim and Duncan, a current senior about to uncover the truth of Tim and Vanessa, The Tragedy Paper is a compelling tale of forbidden love.

I almost cannot put into words how much I enjoyed this book. It was amazing. I have no idea how she did it but I completely lost myself while reading. I loved the dual narratives...the story within a story was interesting and made me look forward to continuing the book without a cliffhanger at the end of every chapter like some books have. Oh how I loved this story.

Tim. I wanted to both hug him and strangle him at the same time. It seemed as if he made himself an outcast in his own mind even when people did like him. Vanessa was my least favorite character because I felt like she was so very wishy washy. Probably a typical teen girl but still. Make up your dang mind already. I didn't get a feel for Duncan until later in the book and I wanted to find out just how he fit into Tim and Vanessa's story.

While it had great writing, excellent characters and wonderful dialoge, my favorite aspect of the book was the changing viewpoints. The chapters alternated between Duncan listening to Tim tell his story and Duncan's present day. Each time Duncan "was pulled back to reality" I was as well. I was completely lost in the story and completely taken with all of the characters.

Another 5 star book for me this year and I fully anticipate that this will be one of my favorite books for the entire year. Amazing.