Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Bronte & Binchy

I always forget what a busy time of year fall is. It's right in the beginning to the school year, and professors ((mine, anyway)) like to pile on the work. It makes them feel less slacker-ish come the end of the semester when we do nothing. But, man, I don't feel like I'm getting anything accomplished -- recreationally speaking.

I'm still plundering through Jane Eyre. It's such a great book, but it's a hard read, language wise. So I find I can't sit down and really dive into it when I'm at work ((which, I'm not supposed to be reading at work anyway, shhhh.)), or in between classes, or even while at the campus libraries. People are surprisingly noisy: talking on their cell phones, having conversations across the room. It's ridiculous. I usually have to reserve Ms. Bronte for the night, when I'm crawling beneath the covers and getting ready to fall asleep. Even then, I put in my iPod and listen to the audio version as I'm following along in the book. There's something fun about hearing the British accent live while I read. Plus, Jane Eyre has French dialogue in it occasionally, and I love to listen to the accent. The voice-actor ((I guess that's what they're called)) does an tremendous job.

When I can't read Jane Eyre, I pick up Echoes by Maeve Binchy. I thought this was a newer book by an author I've never heard of; I picked it up one day on a whim while at Target. I usually do that: pick up books whenever I go out. I'm like Rebecca Bloomwood, Shopaholic that way. I always have to buy a book when I'm out.

Anyway, Echoes was apparently written in 1985 and was just reprinted again, and Ms. Binchy has been around for a while. It has a pretty cover, that's why I got it. It takes place in Ireland and spans ten years. It's predominantly focused on the main characters, Daniel Power and Clare O'Brien, but Binchy weaves in many integral supporting characters. I'm really enjoying it so far. Kind of a thick book, though. May take me a bit.

That's all in regards to an update.

Happy reading, everyone! (:

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Another Random Post

From mid-morning to about an hour-and-a-half ago, I spent mowing my lawn.

I hate mowing grass. It makes me tired and sweaty and disgusting.

For the rest of the day ((hopefully)) I plan to spend my time reading, and perhaps working on a few creative writing assignments in advance. I think I'll put off the online homework until tomorrow. *wink*

Before I go, however, I'd like to pass along a couple of awards.

This first award I mentioned in my last post, but I'm only just now getting around to passing it off. I'm not precisely sure what the criteria for this award is, so I'm just gonna go with it. (:


Dixie at A Few of my Favorite Things
Jamie at Revenge of the Book Nerds
Erica at Soon Remembered Tales
Jennifer at The Forgetful Faerie
Sheila at One Person's Journey Through a World of Books

And for this awards ((which cracks me up: Thanks Misty)), I'd like to give to the following::


Amy at My Overstuffed Bookshelf
April at Good Books & Good Wine
Dixie at A Few of my Favorite Things

Recipients of this award believe in the Tao of the zombie chicken – excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all.

I hope the Zombie Chickens will excuse me for not naming 2 other people, because I've noticed that pretty much everyone else has it.

If y'all don't hear from me, it's because I was pecked to death by angry zombie chickens.


I'm having a hard time believing that United Dairy's Ultra Skim milk is actually ULTRA SKIM, as it tastes exactly like 2%. That's okay though; I'm still drinking it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


So, college has been kicking my ass...and it's only the first month. How ridiculous.

I've been distracted lately with assignments, and then the Support Stacie Auction. We raised over $20,000 dollars over a 3 day period. I think that's pretty fab, and I know it'll go along way for Stacie. So proud.

That means I'm going to be busy for a while, though, as I was one of the authors on the auctioning block. ((People actually paid money for me -- what an ego-booster.))

I completed another young adult novel for my online class. Soldier's Heart by Gary Paulsen was pretty amazing. It was really short, and I finished it in about 3 hours ((while at work)). But Paulsen did a great job at capturing the voice of a fifteen-year-old boy from the Civil War. Some scenes were surprisingly graphic, but not...startlingly so. I just hadn't expected it; I don't know why, given the subject matter.

This guy wrote Hatchet, which I was supposed to read in 9th grade, but didn't. Because I was awesome like that, back then. I think I'm going to have to check it out.

And because I'm a loser, I need to finally mention that the awesome Jessica at Despardo Penguin gave me an award...ages ago. I need to show it off, and then come back later and pass it along. Thank you, Jessica!


...This was just a post to say I'm still alive. (:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Giveaway Winner, Book Sale & Things

Allow me to get right down to business. Congratulations, Amy! Buttercup and I would like to send out High Maintence to you, ASAP. Be expecting an email from me this evening ((after I return home from work)), and then I'll get your book enroute.

Thanks, Jessica, for entering! Come back in October for the next one. (:

After class yesterday, I stopped by my local library to pick up Soldier's Heart by Gary Paulsen; it's antoher short young adult novel I'll get completed in no time.

At any rate, I headed back to the children's sections, and what do I see? Giant signs pointing down a hallway that says "Book Sale." At the risk of sounding gross: I almost peed.

I always miss book sales at the library. Never fails. They are either poorly advertised or I just can't make it due to work or school. This one caught me completely unawares, and I was so stoked.

I picked up three books ((two hard cover and one soft)) for $4.75. Heaven. All three books are by authors I'm unfamiliar with, so I'm pretty excited. My goal is to branch out, anyway.

Pink Slip Party by Cara Lockwood
The Light of Day by Graham Swift
A Perfect Day by Richard Paul Evans

The first one is going to be a fun, fluffy read, I believe. The other two, I think, will be more serious. So excited though. Anyone heard of these authors?

That's all for right now.

Amy, I'll email you ASAP. Congrats, again! And thanks! (:

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Just Some Stuff

Okay, I'm finally getting around to passing out the awards that I received last week. I'm not familiar with a lot of blogs just yet, so some of you are going to be getting the same award again, but you don't mind, do you? (:

I'd like to give this one to the following::

B: Beautiful Amy at My Overstuffed Bookshelf
I: Informative April at Good Books & Good Wine
N: Neighborly Erica at Soon Remembered Tales
G: Gorgeous Dixie at A Few of My Favorite Things
O: Outstanding Jennifer at the Forgetful Faerie

This next one represents blogs that show a great attitude, and I'd like to pass it on to::

Misty at Book Rat

Moving on real quickly, as I'm supposed to be completing an English assignment *wink*...Has anyone read A Solider's Heart by Gary Paulsen? I have to read this book next for an online class. I just picked his book at random; I was in a hurry. *shrug* I hope it's good! I'll let you know.

My first giveaway ends tonight at midnight (EST). I'll have the winner announced tomorrow, and I'll contact you for your address. The beginning of next month I'll launch a new one, this time by Janet Evanovich.

I need to pretend to be a good student now.

Have a good day, everyone!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Outsiders, Plugging & Awards

I appreciate the fact that no one warned me that The Outsiders would be a sad read. Not my sister, not my mother -- both of whom raved about what an excellent book it is, and it's true. It was wonderful; I enjoyed every minute of it. But a little forewarning would have been nice. Yeesh.

Inbetween work and babysitting a seven-year-old and a four-year-old I somehow found time to finish it. It was so difficult to put down. The tone was so real. It was easy to imagine that was how a fourteen-year-old would think. The characters were wonderful. Hinton did a really good job developing her characters. I loved how every individual of the Greasers were integral to their group. It's said a lot in novels and in real-life: how important a person is to a clique. But this was real. Everything about it was very, very believeable. I loved it.

To me, the narrator, Ponyboy, seemed so wise beyond his years. He knew he was leading a life he didn't want to live -- though he accepted it as the cards fate dealt him. He knew the things they were doing were wrong, but the sad bit of it is that he felt powerless to stop it. Until later, of course, when their group begins to dwindle.

The relationships between the characters ((not just as a group but as brothers)) was enjoyable. It was fun and sarcastic and playful and so -- as I've mentioned -- real...at times. One thing I found a bit awkward, and maybe it's because I'm not close with my own siblings, was the cuddling between Ponyboy and Soda. And the back rubs. It was odd for me. But not difficult to overlook. Every other aspect of their relationship I loved.

I can't believe I didn't read this book until now! Okay, maybe I can. I probably wouldn't have appreciated it as an 8th grader as I do now. I'm glad I waited ages.

Definitely an awesome read. It was printed in the late sixties, and while most of the time it was obvious what era it represented, I still felt that it could have transcended time a bit. At certain points it felt more modern. I love that. If you haven't read it, you should. That's all I'm saying.

With that said, I'm going to start focusing on Jane Eyre again. I've missed reading it -- sooo good. Wow.

First, though, I'd like you all to go in this direction. There is a pretty sweet, epic giveaway going down at BookMac that you should all get involved in if you're interested. ((Thanks Parajunkee for posting it in your blog this morning!!)) Loads of stuff being given away. Check it out.

And thanks again to Amy for another award. (: I appreciate it, tons! And I promise that I'm going to pass them along, too. Tomorrow, for sure, as it's my day off. Thanks again!!

...And that's all in my neck of the woods.

Good night!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Support Stacie

Dear Readers,

For those of you who are familiar with fanfiction, I'd like to point you in the direction of the Author Auction in benefit of Stacie.

Stacie's story is familiar one; we hear about it everyday. Not only is she battling cancer, but she has a mountain of hospital bills to pay back ((out of pocket, I do believe)) as she has no medical insurance. What separates her from some others is she has a large online community supporting her, but we could always use some more help. (:

I've spoken to her once, and just briefly, as we were both involved in the same fandom. She's very sweet; I'd love to do as much as I can to help her.

With that said, as I mentioned, if you're familiar with fanfiction -- or even if you're curious -- then please head over to this site ((and this one as well)) and bid on an author to your favorite fandom or even offer her a few encouraging words. Every little bit goes a long way. Bidding starts in just over a week, and the hope is to raise bunches of money for her!

Thanks so much!

Randomness, if you please

My creative writing teacher has contributed to my dislike for 1st Person narratives. Figures our first writing assignment would be a story written in -- yes -- 1st Person.

She liked it though, as did my classmates, so that's exciting! Maybe I'll be a novelist one day after all. *wink*

I finally got The Outsiders today. It's such a thin book! I'll have it finished in no time ((I hope)). I've started reading it a little before I got distracted, and I've enjoyed it so far. The tone is very much that for a fourteen-year-old boy. Very convincing; I appreciate that.

I got another award ((displaying proudly on the left-side column))!! That was sweet! So thank you to Parajunkee, and I promise to pass it around soon!

Finally, I'd like to plug another blog and giveaway. Revenge of the Book Nerds! is having a Austen-themed giveaway. I'm pretty stoked about it. Check it out, for sure!

Now, I have reading and writing to accomplish.

Good evening!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Blog Awards (Like, Whoa), New Book & Such

First, I'd like to thank Amy from My Overstuffed Bookcase for giving me my first two awards. Completely unexpected, and I'm a little giddy about it. (: Thanks so much!

Now, I'm supposed to pass along these awards to five other people. So, here goes::

Sheila from One Persons Journey Through Books
Erica from Soon Remembered Tales
April from Good Books & Wine
Dixie from A Few of My Favorite Things
& finally the blogger from Secret Forest. I have no idea his name, but he was my first comment ever, and I thought I'd give him some recognition. (:

Moving along...I'm loving Jane Eyre. It's quickly becoming one of my favorites. I've had little time to read the past week, but I keep trying -- and then I have difficulty putting it down. Reading before falling asleep is probably my favorite time. Snuggled deeply in thick covers with an engaging book for the win.

Reading Bronte's work is going to continue even slower as I've been assigned to read The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton for one of my online classes. My sister, who is now a senior in high school, mocked me because apparently she read the book in 8th grade, while I've never heard of it. Ha, ha, Sister Little, haha.

I went to the library to get it -- all three copies were checked out. Isn't that just my luck? lol. So, hopefully, my sister will remember to pick it up from her school library so that I can start on it. I have to write a paper on it as well. Doing it for a grade isn't quite as fun.

*sigh* Going back to school for a second degree probably wasn't one of my brightest moments...

Helpful Plugging!!

I'm slowly getting the hang of interacting within the blogging community. It's so much fun, and greatly addicting -- which is the last thing I need right now. *eyeroll*

While marching through the many wonderful, wonderful blogs, I discovered another blogger's giveaway for Atonement by Ian McEwan. Now, I mentioned having borrowed that book from the library -- twice -- without being able to read it; I was too embarrassed to check it out a third time. Needless to say, I'd really like to own the book, so I'm gonna try and enter. You should, too!

Check out the Book Rat's blog for details and awesomeness. It ends September 15th so be sure to get your name in before then. (:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Giveaway:: High Maintenance by Jennifer Belle

This book was published in 2001, so it's a bit dated. I don't know if you can tell, though, while reading. The timeline might be ambiguous, but I'm not sure.

Here's the blurb:

Liv Kellerman has just left her cheating husband and -- more tragically -- their
fabulous duplex with its Empire State Building views. Now Liv -- alone for the
first time in her life, with few marketable skills, and crammed into a crumbling
"fixer-upper" in Greenwich Village -- is contemplating her next move....

I'm providing a picture. This book is a little worn -- similar to that of a library book. As the arrows point, there are a few creases in the corners, on the cover. The spine is in good shape, though. Barely any creases there. And the pages seem excellent.

The best part:: it doesn't smell!! ((You can't tell me you haven't received a used book that was a little bit musty, a little bit questionable.))

I can honestly say this book is the one in the worst condition. Every other book is in better shape, if missing a dust cover.

Hope you're interested!

I'll keep this open until Tuesday, September 8th. If you're at all interested in receiving the book, just leave me a comment stating such. If I happen to get several people interested in the book, then I'll draw names from a hat. Or a bag. Or a sock, or something. Then I'll have you email me your address and your new book will be on it's way!

***Sorry, but only U.S. Residents, please.

Since this book is the most dated and not in perfect condition, I understand if no one is interested; I'll try again with a different book the following month.