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Showing posts from April, 2012

Review: "The Drawing of the Three" by Stephen King

From Goodreads:  After his confrontation with the man in black at the end of The Gunslinger , Roland awakes to find three doors on the beach of Mid-World's Western Sea—each leading to New York City but at three different moments in time. Through these doors, Roland must "draw" three figures crucial to his quest for the Dark Tower. In 1987, he finds Eddie Dean, The Prisoner, a heroin addict. In 1964, he meets Odetta Holmes, the Lady of Shadows, a young African-American heiress who lost her lower legs in a subway accident and gained a second personality that rages within her. And in 1977, he encounters Jack mort, Death, a pusher responsible for cruelties beyond imagining. Has Roland found new companions to form the ka-tet of his quest? Or has he unleashed something else entirely? My Thoughts:  I can't believe I put off reading this for so long!  I read The Gunslinger about a year ago and then bought The Drawing of the Three soon after.  I wasn't a huge fan of T

Stacking the Shelves (1)

Stacking the Shelves is a new feature hosted by Tynga's Reviews .  It's a great way to showcase the books you picked up during the week. Hello Everybody!  I hope you are all having a great weekend.  I went kind of crazy at the library this week and wound up bringing home 7 books!  I really should be reading the books I own but I just couldn't help myself. Here is what I got:   The White Russian by Tom Bradby The Law of Dreams by Peter Behrens The Wolves of Andover by Kathleen Kent Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare The Second Duchess by Elizabeth Loupas The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly Pretty in Plaid by Jen Lancaster Did you get any fun books this week?  Leave a link in the comments so I can check out what you got!

Review: "The Lost Crown" by Sarah Miller

From Goodreads:  Olga, Tatiana, Maria, and Anastasia. Like the fingers on a hand--first headstrong Olga; then Tatiana, the tallest; Maria the most hopeful for a ring; and Anastasia, the smallest. These are the daughters of Tsar Nicholas II, grand duchesses living a life steeped in tradition and privilege. They are each on the brink of starting their own lives, at the mercy of royal matchmakers. The summer of 1914 is that precious last wink of time when they can still be sisters together--sisters that link arms and laugh, sisters that share their dreams and worries, and flirt with the officers of their imperial yacht. But in a gunshot the future changes for these sisters and for Russia. As World War I ignites across Europe, political unrest sweeps Russia. First dissent, then disorder, mutiny, and revolution. For Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia, the end of their girlhood together is colliding with the end of more than they ever imagined. At the same time hopeful and hopeless, nai

Review: "The Age of Innocence" by Edith Wharton

From Goodreads:  Winner of the 1921 Pulitzer Prize, The Age of Innocence is Edith Wharton ’s masterful portrait of desire and betrayal during the sumptuous Golden Age of Old New York, a time when society people “dreaded scandal more than disease.” This is Newland Archer’s world as he prepares to marry the beautiful but conventional May Welland. But when the mysterious Countess Ellen Olenska returns to New York after a disastrous marriage, Archer falls deeply in love with her. Torn between duty and passion, Archer struggles to make a decision that will either courageously define his life—or mercilessly destroy it. My Thoughts:  Hmmmm, I don’t really know what to say about this book.   I had to do a little bit of online research to see if I figure out what Edith Wharton’s point was when she wrote this book because I wasn’t sure if it was supposed to be a critique or not.   Evidently, it’s not supposed to be a critique but a description of the customs of the time.   Despite that f

Top Ten All Time Favorite Characters In Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic:  Top Ten All Time Favorite Characters in Books 1.) Claire and Jamie from Outlander- I don't know how anyone can read the Outlander books and not come away adoring Claire and Jamie. 2.) Tatiana and Alexander from The Bronze Horseman- Tania and Shura are much like Claire and Jamie, I can't help loving them. 3.) Kira Argounova from We the Living- I think Kira is a fantastic character; I may not have always agreed with her actions but she did what she had to do no matter what other people thought.  She also stood up for her beliefs when it was definitely not the time or place to be doing so. 4.) Guy Montag from Fahrenheit 451- I loved watching Montag's transformation from a book burner to book enthusiast; seeing him realize that what he had been doing was wrong and then taking a stand against it was awesome. 5.) Katniss from The Hunger Games- Katniss is a total BAM

Half Marathon Completed!

I did it!  I can't believe it but I managed to complete a Half Marathon and I didn't do too bad.  2:04:20 was my chip time and 2:05:28 was my gun time which averages out at 9.5 ish minutes per mile (I was so glad to get across the finish line that I didn't pay that close attention).  My goal was to stay under 2:10 so I am pretty okay with how I did.  I wish I could have done better but I really hit a wall between mile 11 and 12 and was just ready to be done.  I was so nervous before the race; I was worried I was going to get there and throw up because I was nervous.  It was chilly morning and a lot windier than I expected but I was glad that I still wore shorts and a t-shirt because there were spots where it was pretty warm.  The wind sucked (!) especially on the last big hill we were running and on the last mile.  I hate running into the wind.  Otherwise the course wasn't bad and I have run most of it at various times since I have lived here.  Oh and my feet!  I know

Review: "A Night to Remember" by Walter Lord

From Goodreads:  First published in 1955, A Night to Remember remains a completely riveting account of the Titanic 's fatal collision and the behavior of the passengers and crew, both noble and ignominious. Some sacrificed their lives, while others fought like animals for their own survival. Wives beseeched husbands to join them in lifeboats; gentlemen went taut-lipped to their deaths in full evening dress; and hundreds of steerage passengers, trapped below decks, sought help in vain. Available for the first time in trade paperback and with a new introduction for the 50th anniversary edition by Nathaniel Phil-brick, author of In the Heart of the Sea and Sea of Glory , Walter Lord's classic minute-by-minute re-creation is as vivid now as it was upon first publication fifty years ago. From the initial distress flares to the struggles of those left adrift for hours in freezing waters, this semicentennial edition brings that moonlit night in 1912 to life for a new generation

Review: "The Flower Reader" by Elizabeth Loupas

Synopsis:  In the sweeping new novel from the author of The Second Duchess, dangerous secrets lead a passionate young woman into a maze of murder and conspiracy as Mary, Queen of Scots, comes home to reign in a treacherously divided Scotland…. With her dying breath, Mary of Guise entrusts a silver casket to Rinette Leslie of Granmuir, who possesses the ancient gift of floromancy. Inside the casket, and meant only for the young Mary, Queen of Scots, are papers the old queen has painstakingly collected—the darkest secrets of every Scottish lord and explosive private prophecies prepared by Nostradamus. Rinette risks her life to keep the casket safe, but she makes a fatal mistake: she shows it to her beloved young husband. On the very day the young queen comes home, Rinette’s husband is brutally assassinated. Devastated, Rinette demands justice from the queen before she will surrender the casket. Amid glittering masques and opulent weddings, courtly intrigues and Highland rebel

Top Ten Tips for New Book Bloggers

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish . This week's topic:  Top Ten Tips for New Book Bloggers I still consider myself to be very new at blogging. My blog is almost a year old but I feel like I still have a ton to learn.  I can't wait to see what everyone's tips and here a few that I have learned along the way. 1.) Participate in Memes- This was something I did from the very beginning and it really helped me find cool blogs that I could watch and learn from. 2.) Blogging takes a lot of time- Yes, reading takes time but writing reviews, following other blogs, participating in memes, and updating your blog takes a TON of time.  I wish I had as much time to devote to my blog as I would like.  3.) Schedule posts- It took me a long time to use this functionality.  When you have some free time, write up some posts that you can schedule for a week or a month.  I feel a lot less stressed about my blog when I know I have thi

Review: "Lover Reborn" by J.R. Ward

From Goodreads:  Ever since the death of his shellan, Tohrment is a heartbroken shadow of the vampire leader he once was. Brought back to the Brotherhood by a self-serving fallen angel, he fights again with ruthless vengeance- and is unprepared for a new tragedy. Seeing his beloved in dreams—trapped in a cold, desolate netherworld—he turns to the angel to save his former mate, only to despair at the path he himself must take to set her free. As war with the lessers rages, and a new clan of vampires vies for the Blind King’s throne, Tohr struggles between an unforgettable past, and a future that he doesn’t know he can live with… but can’t seem to turn away from. My Thoughts:  I have been waiting for Tohr's book since the beginning of the series (I know I have said this many times).  I really liked him as a character from day one and after the tragedy that befell him, I wanted to know more.  He seemed like such a sincere character; he cared so much for his friend, Darius, his wi

In My Mailbox (47)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren . I only received one book this week which is fine with me.  I have been reading so slow this month, I just haven't had the time to devote to it but April is always crazy for me.  From NetGalley:   The King's Concubine by Anne O' Brien What was in your mailbox this week?

Happy Friday! (29)

Feature and Follow Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Parajunkee's View and Alison Can Read . Q: What is one book that you would be nervous to see a movie adaption of because you think the movie could never live up to the book? I have heard rumblings about movies being made of Outlander and The Bronze Horseman.  I absolutely loved these books but I don't think I could handle either as a movie.  I can't think of a single actor/actress who could do any of the characters justice nor do I think it possible for a moviemaker to show the kinds of emotions that were portrayed in the book.  If a movie was made of either of these books, I would probably see it but I have a feeling I would be disappointed.  That being said when I heard they were making a movie of The Hunger Games I was really on the fence about it and look how awesome that movie turned out.  So I guess it really depend on how true to the story the movie stays and how good the actors are. What book do you ha

Busy busy!

I know I have been gone for a few days (and probably will be for a few more) so I just wanted to give you a heads up.  Work has been insane and I have barely had time to breath so I am behind on reading and reviews.  I hope to have something up in by the end of the week.

In My Mailbox (46)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren . This week I had three holds come in at the library.  I can't wait to dive into these books. Lover Reborn by J.R. Ward   I can't wait to read this!! The Lost Crown by Sarah Miller   Historical fiction about the Romanovs, I think yes! A Night to Remember by Walter Lord   I couldn't resist this one with the anniversary coming up. I hope everyone has a happy Easter!!  What books did you get this week?

Review: "Spell Bound" by Rachel Hawkins

From Goodreads:  Just as Sophie Mercer has come to accept her extraordinary magical powers as a demon, the Prodigium Council strips them away. Now Sophie is defenseless, alone, and at the mercy of her sworn enemies—the Brannicks, a family of warrior women who hunt down the Prodigium. Or at least that’s what Sophie thinks, until she makes a surprising discovery. The Brannicks know an epic war is coming, and they believe Sophie is the only one powerful enough to stop the world from ending. But without her magic, Sophie isn’t as confident. Sophie’s bound for one hell of a ride—can she get her powers back before it’s too late My Thoughts:  This book was a littly sassy!  The dialogue was sarcastic and fun and there were some great lines.  I definitely found myelf giggling a little at the sarcasm.  This book picks up pretty much where Demonglass left off and all kinds of surprises are revealed in the first few chapters.  There is a lot of background provided on Sophie's mom and dad

Review: "The Scottish Prisoner" by Diana Gabaldon

From Goodreads:  London, 1760. For Jamie Fraser, paroled prisoner-of-war in the remote Lake District, life could be worse: He’s not cutting sugar cane in the West Indies, and he’s close enough to the son he cannot claim as his own. But Jamie Fraser’s quiet existence is coming apart at the seams, interrupted first by dreams of his lost wife, then by the appearance of Tobias Quinn, an erstwhile comrade from the Rising. Like many of the Jacobites who aren’t dead or in prison, Quinn still lives and breathes for the Cause. His latest plan involves an ancient relic that will rally the Irish. Jamie is having none of it—he’s sworn off politics, fighting, and war. Until Lord John Grey shows up with a summons that will take him away from everything he loves—again. Lord John Grey—aristocrat, soldier, and occasional spy—finds himself in possession of a packet of explosive documents that exposes a damning case of corruption against a British officer. But they also hint at a more insidious dange

The Running Shoe Odyssey

Oh my goodness....I am so sick of thinking about running shoes.  I have been having problems with my feet from running lately (after 6-8 miles, the balls of my feet start to feel not so hot) and decided to buy new running shoes a few weeks back.   They were supposed to be top of the line and they were really expensive so I figured they would be okay.  I ran 3 miles in them and then 6 miles, noticing that they didn't have enough arch support but my feet didn't hurt any more or less than normal.  Then I tried 10 miles in the fancy shoes....holy mother, what a mistake!  I was almost in tears throughout the whole run and halfway through I almost had to call the hubs to come get me.  I made the full 10 miles but went back to my old shoes and luckily was able to return the sucky fancy shoes. I rested my feet a few days thinking 'hey, maybe I'm overtraining' and then went back to my oldies.  The old shoes were fine but my feet still hurt some on my 10 mile run on Saturda

Review: "City of Fallen Angels" by Cassandra Clare

From Goodreads:  The Mortal War is over, and Clary Fray is back home in New York, excited about all the possibilities before her. She's training to become a Shadowhunter and to use her unique power. Her mother is getting married to the love of her life. Downworlders and Shadowhunters are at peace at last. And—most important of all—Clary can finally call Jace her boyfriend. But nothing comes without a price. Someone is murdering the Shadowhunters who used to be in Valentine’s Circle, provoking tensions between Downworlders and Shadowhunters that could lead to a second bloody war. Clary’s best friend, Simon, can’t help her. His mother just found out he’s a vampire and now he’s homeless. Everywhere he turns, someone wants him on their side—along with the power of the curse wrecking his life. And they’re willing to do anything to get what they want. At the same time he’s dating two beautiful, dangerous girls—neither of whom knows about the other. When Jace begins to pull away from Cl

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

Last night was insane!! KU beat Ohio State to make it to the NCAA title game and town erupted!  We live pretty close to the heart of town so the hubs and I put on our walking shoes and headed downtown to celebrate. This is the view behind us as we headed up the road. About 7 blocks were closed off so people had to head in on foot. There was a sea of people and it took a lot of pushing to get through but this is what the main drag looked like for several blocks.  People were dancing in the street, playing drums, waving flags, hollering, etc.  It was really cool! Another picture of people in the streets.  The atmosphere was completely electric and there were a ton of drunk people downtown.  If we manage to win the National title town will be even crazier than last night!

March Wrap Up

Oh March, I can't believe you are over!  March was kind of a weird month at work and at home but I still managed to read 15 books, 4 of which are books I own.  I plan to focus more on reading books I own in April (hopefully I can get more than 4 in!) and I am pretty proud to be able to say that I haven't bought a book since January.  I also am making good progress on all of the challenges I am participating in so I am pretty happy about that. I hit a few bumps in my half marathon training in March but ended the month on a high note.  I was having major issues with my feet and thought I should buy some new shoes.  After spending a bunch of money on new shoes, they just made matters worse.  After an extrememly painful 10 mile run last Saturday, I was worried I wasn't going to make it to race day.  I took a few days off, modified my route and went back to my old shoes.  Today I had an awesome 10 mile run averaging a 9.2 minutes per mile (I know it's not that fast but for