Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Book Clean Out Challenge

I don't speak for all book bloggers when I say this but since becoming a book blogger, I have acquired even more books than I already had. Good problem to have except that looking at these stacks and stacks of unread books makes me feel really super guilty. Especially if they are unread ARCs that authors or publishers have sent to me.

Lately my reading time has changed and I'm simply not reading as many books as I was. I've mentioned before that my eyes have been bothering me. This makes it even harder to get as much reading done as I'd like.

So I'm challenging myself to get rid of some books before I get ANY more. There are some books that I know I won't read (or re-read) and these will be the first to go. Then I'm planning to separate them out a bit into must reads, maybes and keepers. I'd also love to get another book case so that they aren't double stacked.

If you've ever done a book clean out project, what did you do? Give them away? Sell them? Share some tips because I need them!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Bout of Books Ya'll!

Bout of Books

Bout of Books is my other favorite bookish event so I'm thrilled to post my intention to participate again! 

From the official page:

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

 Hopefully by May my mojo will be back. I will do a goals post closer to time. Let me know if you're playing along!

Library Loot #2

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they've checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

On Dewey's Readathon day, we were super busy but we passed by a library branch that we are never near so I, of course, had to stop to get books. Because why read books I already own right? :-) It was all young adult books again.

I checked out:

Now the question is which one to read first?

The Farm by Emily McKay (Thoughts On)

TitleThe Farm (The Farm #1)
Author: Emily McKay
Pages: 496
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Christmas gift from My Favorite
Rating: 4/5

Summary from Goodreads:

Life was different in the Before: before vampires began devouring humans in a swarm across America; before the surviving young people were rounded up and quarantined. These days, we know what those quarantines are—holding pens where human blood is turned into more food for the undead monsters, known as Ticks. Surrounded by electrical fences, most kids try to survive the Farms by turning on each other…

And when trust is a thing of the past, escape is nearly impossible.

Lily and her twin sister Mel have a plan. Though Mel can barely communicate, her autism helps her notice things no one else notices—like the portion of electrical fence that gets turned off every night. Getting across won’t be easy, but as Lily gathers what they need to escape, a familiar face appears out of nowhere, offering to help…

Carter was a schoolmate of Lily’s in the Before. Managing to evade capture until now, he has valuable knowledge of the outside world. But like everyone on the Farm, Carter has his own agenda, and he knows that behind the Ticks is an even more dangerous threat to the human race...

I was interested in this one from the first time I heard it mentioned. A different take on the (now tired) vampire theme sounded fun. I di

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dewey's Readathon Wrap Up Post

So another Dewey's Readathon has come and gone. I didn't get a single page read but I so enjoyed cheering and co-hostessing! My eyes gave out on me so I went to bed but I'm so impressed with all the people who lasted through the entire thing. You rock!

A special, huge thank you to Andi and Heather for all of their hard work making the readathon such a success. You ladies go above and beyond and we appreciate you!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dewey's Readathon - Mid Event Meme

We're almost to hour 13! And I still haven't read a page. Cheering is fun though.

Mid-Event Survey
1. What are you reading right now? nothing. nada. nothing. Sad face.
2. How many books have you read so far? zero. Have been cheering though!
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? I am wanting to start on Gated. 
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Ha! Good one. This day was crazy busy, hence the no reading part. I have been cheering instead.
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Two little cute interruptions but I'm used to the constant "Mom!" :-) Just going with the flow.
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? That I have been just cheering. Who knew?
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope, never. They are always great!
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Hope that my day isn't so full. Wowsers.
9. Are you getting tired yet? My eyes are shot and I haven't read.
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Just have fun. No stress!

Dewey's Readathon - the Holy Tweets Batman post

So I just came off my shifts at the official page and part of those duties are keeping up with the Twitter feed. Holy tweets Batman! You guys are burning it up today! Way to go.

Dewey's Read-a-Thon hour 10

Ya'll! We're at hour 10! What?! Time flies when you're having fun. Still no reading here but I'm cheering, co-hostessing at the main site, and trying to keep up with Twitter. Holy tweets Batman! You guys are rocking this read-a-thon. Keep up the great work!

Dewey's Read-a-thon Hour 9!

Hard to believe that we are going into hour 9 of the read-a-thon already. Know how much I've read? None. That's right. None. Between a volunteer day at my son's school and a rescheduled egg hunt with our church, I'm just now getting home. But you know what time it is now? Read-a-thon time ya'll!

Going to do some cheering and some reading...if you need me, I'll be on my couch :-)

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Update #2

Lots of fun stuff is happening on Twitter and on the main page. Hope you're getting lots read and you're enjoying what you are reading!

Dewey's Read-a-Thon Update #1

Like I said, today is crazy busy but I'll get to reading at some point. Hope you all are having a great reading day! Check out all the happenings at the main page.

It's Dewey's Read-a-Thon Day!

Can I get a whoop, whoop?! It's Dewey's Read-a-Thon Day! This is one of my very favorite bookish events. Get all the specifics at the main page and don't forget to join me this evening when I take over the blog as co-hostess!

Here's to hoping you have an awesome day - no matter how much or little you read!

Now, let's get this party started. Readers, on your marks...get!!!

Dewey's Intro Post

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? sunny and hot, Florida

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to? I didn't plan ahead this time because I'm not sure how much time I will actually have to read. I need to be in 3 places at the same time today. Not stressing though, and will read when I can.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to? see above. I didn't plan it out at all. This one is going to be super mellow.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! I'm the mom of two sweet, adorable, funny, awesome little boys ages 5 and 7. They will be reading along with me some.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to? I've been participating for a few years now and this one will be different because I won't have much time to read. But I'll get done what I can. I'm most looking forward to cheerleading! I didn't "officially" cheer last year but signed up this year. Love visiting all the blogs and Twitter feeds. 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Read-a-thon Tips

Tomorrow is Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon. Yay! This is one of my favorite bookish events and I am co-hostessing again as well. Fun times. A few tips for the big day...

Don't stress - read as little or as much as you want. There is no "right" amount of time.

Mix it up - I've found that when I mix up the genres during the day, I'm less likely to get bored or get burned out. I tried reading only YA dystopians one time and I was completely tired of them by the end.

Try something new - this is a great time to try a new to you genre. All that reading time...fill it with fun.

Take breaks and stay hydrated - take breaks when you need them and don't forget to stay hydrated. Both will really help you in the long haul.

Maybe count pages read instead of books read - reading a super long book will make your book numbers go down so maybe decide to count the total number of pages read instead.

Don't forget why you're doing have FUN! Enjoy the day no matter how little or how much you can participate.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

Title: Fortunately, the Milk
Author: Neil Gaiman
Source: Library
Rating: very cute

This was my first experience with a Gaiman book and I now understand why he is so popular. The boys and I read this one during a "mandatory read outside day" and we all enjoyed it. When the Mom goes on a trip and leaves the two kids with their Dad, they find no milk for breakfast. When the father is gone a super long time walking to the corner store for the milk, the kids start to worry. When he arrives back home he tells them a fantastical story of why he was gone so long.

It was adorable and such a short read. Perfect for reading aloud. Due to the length, I don't have a lot to say about it but I am looking forward to trying another Gaiman. I understand that he narrators the audio version of this. I think that I'll try to get my hands on it too.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Right Now

Right is crazy busy.

Right is winding down for the year.

Right eyes are giving me a fit so reading as taken a backseat.

Right now...I am loving being outside as much as possible. Even with all the pollen!

Right now...I am so excited about Saturday's read-a-thon.

Right now...I am listening to Hillsong on repeat.

Right now...I am craving Olive Garden.

Right now...I am ending this random list. :-)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Parasite (Parasitology #1) by Mira Grant (Thoughts On)

Title: Parasite (Parasitology #1)
Author: Mira Grant (website and here)(Twitter)
Publisher: Orbit (website)(Twitter)
Source: library loan
Rating: 4 out of 5

Goodreads summary:

A decade in the future, humanity thrives in the absence of sickness and disease.

We owe our good health to a humble parasite - a genetically engineered tapeworm developed by the pioneering SymboGen Corporation. When implanted, the tapeworm protects us from illness, boosts our immune system - even secretes designer drugs. It's been successful beyond the scientists' wildest dreams. Now, years on, almost every human being has a SymboGen tapeworm living within them.

But these parasites are getting restless. They want their own lives...and will do anything to get them.

I am a huge fan of Grant's, having read the Newsflesh trilogy and loving it. I came thisclose to buying a copy of Parasite when it first came out but waited because I was a bit scared of all the science. I shouldn't have been. It *is* technical in some aspects but the story line still carries very well for me. It is creepy and scary in all the right ways. 

I love books set in the near future and this one is a dozen or so years out. The world no longer has disease thanks to SymbGen Corp which has engineered a special tapeworm. It is implanted into humans and then does all kinds of good things...until it doesn't. I'm surprised that I enjoyed the more scientific parts of the book. Book goddess Christina really helped my love for this book because she brought my expectations down a little lower. She enjoyed it but not as much as the Newsflesh trilogy. I usually agree with her how she feels about books so I went into this one with the right mindset, I think.

Sally Mitchell is the main character. She wakes from a coma and doesn't remember a thing. She wants to be called "Sal" because she doesn't remember Sally. When she goes searching for answers for some well placed questions, she finds things are not as they seem. Dun dun dun.

My favorite character was Tansy who was crazy. She really was nuts but she had the most personality of anyone in the whole book. I loved how matter of fact she was about killing you.

It is a chunkster at 500 pages and there were a couple of times when I wanted it to speed up but it held my attention for the most part. Although I wasn't in love with Sally or her boyfriend Nathan, big enough secrets are revealed that I look forward to seeing where Grant takes it in the next book.

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd (Thoughts On)

Title: A Snicker of Magic
Author: Natalie Lloyd (website)(Twitter)
Pages: 320
Source: Publisher for review
Rating: Over 5 out of 5. Goodness! 

Goodreads Summary:

Introducing an extraordinary new voice---a magical debut that will make your skin tingle, your eyes glisten . . .and your heart sing.

Midnight Gulch used to be a magical place, a town where people could sing up thunderstorms and dance up sunflowers. But that was long ago, before a curse drove the magic away. Twelve-year-old Felicity knows all about things like that; her nomadic mother is cursed with a wandering heart.

But when she arrives in Midnight Gulch, Felicity thinks her luck's about to change. A "word collector," Felicity sees words everywhere---shining above strangers, tucked into church eves, and tangled up her dog's floppy ears---but Midnight Gulch is the first place she's ever seen the word "home." And then there's Jonah, a mysterious, spiky-haired do-gooder who shimmers with words Felicity's never seen before, words that make Felicity's heart beat a little faster.

Felicity wants to stay in Midnight Gulch more than anything, but first, she'll need to figure out how to bring back the magic, breaking the spell that's been cast over the town . . . and her mother's broken heart.

The cover of this book and the overall premise is so adorable. When I got inside though, I was completely blown away. This is without a doubt the sweetest, most "spindiddly" book I Ever. Seriously. And it got me out of my reading slump. Score. 

I wish:

  • I lived in Midnight Gulch
  • I were a Pickle so I could be a part of this family
  • I were super rich so I could give a copy of it to every single person so they would smile
Felicity is a collector of words and I loved this aspect of the "magic" in the book. She sees them above people's heads, she sees them leaking down the window, she sees them everywhere. She writes them in her blue notebook and on her tennis shoes. She is wonderful. I've never liked a character as much as I liked her and Jonah.

Oh Jonah. I want you to be my best friend too. Or at the very least one of my sons. That he is in a wheelchair was a bonus. We see so few characters with such diversity in books. He and Felicity had such a sweet, age appropriate relationship. It was refreshing to see that they were just friends. They loved each other but there was no mention of kissing or anything of the sort. Not that I'm against a good kissing scene but they were so young (6th grade) that it worked better that they didn't. The Beedle is a wonderful character and I loved that he did good things for people...just true random acts of kindness.

Midnight Gulch is a character as much as the people. Full of magic and interesting people. I want to live there. But maybe the point is that EVERYPLACE has magic. Every family has magic. Everyone has magic.

The characters are well thought out and are quite varied. Usually I am overwhelmed when a bunch of different characters are introduced but in this case, I easily could tell them apart and fell in love with them all. Felicity's family is such a hoot. Southern charm is alive and well with them.

Since Felicity is a collector of words, there is an emphasis on words and language. Almost every single page of this 300+ book had a line or more that I wanted to underline. Good golly I loved it. It made me smile. It made me teary eyed. It made me want to call every person I love and tell them that I loved them.

I can't fangirl hard enough on this one. I've read many books that I've loved but none have had the impact that this one did. It is so much more than a middle grade book. It's so happy, and sweet and full of goodness that I almost can't put it into words. I cannot believe that this is a debut. My only complaint is the number of scenes where someone is smoking. Yuck. But other than that I have not a single bad word to say about this most delightful of books. I know without a doubt that I'll be rereading it very soon. I received an ARC from the publisher for review but I'm buying a finished copy for myself. I want to support Natalie and to support books like this one. It needs to be out in the world.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller (Blog Tour)


About the book: The first months and years of motherhood can be the most challenging and disorienting of your life---and faith. When you're surrounded by the happy chaos of children, how do you spend quiet time with God if the only quiet time you get is while you sleep? How can you demonstrate a solid spiritual life to your children if you don't have time to pursue one yourself?
When Julia Roller discovered that her spiritual growth had been stunted by the busyness of life with her toddler, she embarked on a yearlong journey through ten spiritual disciplines: prayer, fellowship, submission, study, simplicity, silence, worship, fasting, service, and celebration. As she focused on each discipline, she discovered practical ways to observe them---even in the chaos of her every day.

Purchase a copy and find out more about Julia at:

About the Author: Julia Roller is an author and editor. Her books include Mom Seeks God(Abingdon Press), A Year with God(with Richard J. Foster), A Year with Aslan, and 25 Books Every Christian Should Read. Working with Renovar√©, she has also co-authored four spiritual formation guides. She has written study guides for authors such as Desmond Tutu, Richard J. Foster, Henri Nouwen, Jenna Bush, and Rob Bell. Her articles have appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle, Street Spirit, Group, Rev.!, and Children's Ministry. She and her family live in San Diego, California.

Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller offers a highly relatable story and useful advice to help new moms grow in their faith as they address life changes with grace, patience, and prayer. As readers discover ten essential faith practices, they’ll learn that motherhood itself is a spiritual discipline and can be God’s most effective technique for forming a more Christ-like life.

Julia is celebrating the book's release with a fun giveaway and connecting with moms during a live Facebook author chat.

  One winner will receive:
  • A Kindle HDX
  • Mom Seeks God by Julia Roller
Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on May 1st. Winner will be announced at "Moms' May Day" Facebook Party on May 1st. Connect with Julia for an encouraging discussion on spiritual discipline and finding joy in the middle of motherhood. Win prizes, connect with other moms, and be inspired.

So grab your copy of Mom Seeks God and join Julia on the evening of May 1st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven't read the book, don't let that stop you from coming!)

Don't miss a moment of the fun; RSVP todayTell your friends via FACEBOOK or TWITTER and increase your chances of winning. Hope to see you on the 1st!