Saturday, January 30, 2010

The Sunday Salon - Where Did January Go?

Seriously, where did January go?? I didn't even realize that it was over until I started seeing wrapup posts for January. Yikes! Apparently, I've lost track of time since going on maternity leave. Hmm...let's talk about my reading for this month. January has been a SLOW reading month for me. Obviously, a lot of that has to do with the fact that I was huge and pregnant for most of the month and now I've been dealing with a newborn, two year old, and my oldest who is 6. Not complaining but it does explain why I'm reading at a much slower pace than usual :) This month I finished two books:

1. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

2. Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin

Both books were really good so that made January that much better! I'm currently reading Spindle's End by Robin McKinley and am almost finished. I'm thinking that I will be able to finish today at some point since I only have about 100 pages left. I like this one but I'm not loving it. I'll share more of my thoughts when I finish. I am also still reading The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins but at a VERY slow pace. I have a bad habit of setting it down and not picking it back up for a week. Not quite sure why as I do like it so far.
In other reading news, I've added a ton of books to my TBR list this week as I have been plowing through my google reader. I haven't been commenting as much as usual but I'll get back to that today. Here are a few of the books that I added to my TBR list from all of your reviews:

1. Deadtown by Nancy Holzner

2. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

3. Red Hot Fury by Kasey Mackenzie (LOVE this cover!!)

4. Pastworld by Ian Beck

5. Happy Hour of the Damned by Mark Henry

Looks like I added a bunch of urban fantasy but really I added quite a few nonfiction titles and regular fiction as well. I just loved these covers which is why I chose most of them to share :) I'm off to start a few hundred loads of laundry but I'll back to see what you are all up to later today. And here is to hoping that February is a much better reading month for me!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Library Loot- Library Bug

I haven't been to the library in over a month. It has been hard but I really wanted to finish off some of the pile that I already had checked out plus with the baby coming...I didn't want a bunch of overdue books. But the baby was down for a nap and my fiancee said he was good with watching him so off I went with my daughter in tow. I'd like to say I showed a ton of restraint at the library because I know that my reading has slowed down due to the baby. But really it was because my daughter was with me which meant VERY limited time browsing before she loses patience (what can I say, she's two :P). I found two that I'm really excited about though so here they are:

1. Tainted by Julie Kenner
2. The Iron Hunt by Marjorie M. Liu

Both books are 1st in series and both are new to me authors that I've heard really good things about. I also put one book on hold but I'll share that when it comes in. For now, suffice it to say that I've caught the library bug again so we'll see how long it takes before I have another huge stack of books checked out.

P.S.- In baby news, he is doing wonderfully. I couldn't ask for more and I'm excited that he is such a perfect addition to our family. Thank you for all of the kind words and well wishes. I might still be around less (haven't quite figured out when I'm supposed to find time to shower by myself) but I'll be here. Thanks again!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Quick Break

I'll be back in a bit when life settles down but I'm happy to announce the birth of my son. He was 8lbs and 1oz and is doing wonderfully!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The House at Riverton by Kate Morton

Can I start off by saying that I loved this book? The House at Riverton introduces us to Grace, a 98 year old former servant, who used to work at the infamous House of Riverton. The house is infamous because of its' previous occupants and the mystery that surrounds the death of a famous poet who shot himself at the house during a dinner party. The book begins with Grace being visited by a film director who is basing her next movie on that dinner party and what might have happened. It leads Grace into reminisces of the past and the reader gets to experience Grace's memories firsthand.

This book was a real treat to read. Not only does the reader get to delve into Grace's memories of working at Riverton but we also get to know Grace and her life after Riverton. The book is told in two parts: Grace's current life and then also it goes back into her memories of living and working at Riverton. She tells the stories of Hannah and Emmeline who lived at Riverton and whom she was the maid for. I'm going to admit to loving all of it. Grace was a great main character and her story itself was interesting enough to read about. Add to it that she is also telling the story of Hannah and Emmeline and leading into the answers surrounding the mystery of the poet's death and I was hooked. I instantly was caught up in the story and the lives of all of the characters, plus I loved the historical aspects of this novel. We got to experience how the war affected living at Riverton as well as the family that lived there. I just let the author take me for a ride while reading this book and I enjoyed every second of it. The ending was perfect in my opinion and took me by suprise as I thought I had the mystery figured out.

All in all, this was an amazing read for me and I cannot wait to read more by this author. Anyone who enjoys historical fiction will enjoy this novel as well as someone who just enjoys a good story. As for me I can't recommend this book enough!

Disclaimer: I checked this book out at the library! Love my library :)
*I read this for multiple challenges including:
New Author Challenge
Historical Fiction Challenge
100+ Books Challenge 2010
Support Your Library Challenge
"M" Author for A-Z challenge (personal)

Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Sunday Salon- 1st Books of 2010

Happy Sunday to all of my fellow Saloners! It has been a bit quiet around my blog this week as I've been busy with work and all that fun stuff that goes with it. I'm happy to report that I finished my first two books of 2010 though. Last week I read:

1. The House at Riverton by Kate Morton - This was a great read and a wonderful way to start off 2010. I'm hoping to post my thoughts on this one later this afternoon.

2. Once Bitten, Twice Shy by Jennifer Rardin- May I just say that I'm suprised that I haven't heard more of this author and this series as I loved this 1st book. Cannot wait to pick up the next will be coming at some point this week.

I'm currently reading Spindle's End by Robin McKinley. I'm not very far into it at all (maybe chapter 2) so I've yet to form an opinion. But I have heard good things about this author so I'm expecting to enjoy it. Plus, it will fit in with a bunch of my challenges which is always a good thing. Speaking of which, that makes 3 out of the 3 books that I've read this year are new to me authors. I LOVE discovering new authors so I'm happy with that :)

I only added a couple of books to my TBR list this week as I've been a bit remiss in reading all of your posts. My doctor cut my hours back at work (since I'm due in a week...not because everything isn't going smoothly) so I should have more time to work on my google reader this week. I will get it under 1000+ at some point...LOL! The books I added are:

1. The Accidental Demon Slayer by Angie Fox- sounds like a fun new paranormal series for me to check out

2. Soulless by Gail Carriger- This book is labeled as "steampunk"...a genre that I've been hearing more and more about lately. Plus, the summary of the book just sounded good so on to the TBR list it went.

Well, that is it out of me for today. I'll be by to see you all at some point this afternoon. Gotta keep working on that laundry pile. I should probably accomplish something as I'm feeling a bit lazy today :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The Sunday Salon- Brrrr....

Morning Afternoon everyone! It is a beautiful, sunshine filled day that is absolutely freezing! Perfect day to stay inside and work on my enormous pile of laundry that seems to grow by the minute. Don't worry as I'm also planning on fitting in reading time with all of the other projects that I should be working on. I spent a lot of yesterday reading through your posts in my Google reader but it still looks like I didn't even make a dent. I still have 1000+ posts...oh my goodness! So part of my day might be working on getting that number down especially when my daughter goes down for her nap :)

I'm currently reading The House at Riverton by Kate Morton. This is my 1st read of 2010 and I'm still working on it. It's close to 500 pages (not quite) and I'm over 300 pages in. Good so far, it has been keeping my interest and I find myself caught up within the story. That being said I've been reading it more slowly than usual which is probably for multiple reasons. Life just gets in the way sometimes.

Up next, I'm hoping to read Dead Girls Don't Dance by Rachel Caine before it is due back at the library. It is the 2nd book in the YA Morganville Vampire series and it has been awhile since I read the 1st book. You aren't going to believe this but I haven't been to the library in like two weeks. I REALLY need to go and soon as I believe I'm going through withdrawals...LOL!

Some books that I added to the TBR list for this week are:

1.Spider's Bite by Jennifer Estep

2.The Semantics of Murder by Aifric Campbell

3.Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel

Plus, a bunch more...of course! But I thought that I would share a few that I'm really excited about. Let me know if you've read of any of these...I'll be requesting them from the library asap. And how in the world does everyone else make the spacing of their pictures look so nice and mine this? (Edited to add: looks better when I publish it then it did on the screen...maybe I just need to play with it more) I'm off to start another load of laundry but I'll be visiting you all soon. Have a great week of reading!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

From Barnes and Noble website:
"Melinda Sordino busted an end-of-summer party by calling the cops. Now her old friends won't talk to her, and people she doesn't even know hate her from a distance. The safest place is to be alone, inside her own head. But even that's not safe. Because there's something that she is trying not to think about, something about the night of the party that, if she let it in, would blow her carefully constructed disguise to smithereens. And then she would have to speak the truth."

My thoughts:

Wow! This book really struck a chord with me and even though I read it a couple of months ago, I'm not having any problems remembering the reasons why. The main reason that I enjoyed this book was because of Melinda. Melinda was such a realistic character and one that I, as the reader, couldn't help but connect with. She had her reasons for not speaking and sadly there was no one around her that really picked up on the fact that she was talking less and less or really not at all. Her parents were absorbed in themselves and their own problems and with her friends not speaking to her...well, there wasn't anyone that she could really turn to. I loved that she began to find an outlet to express herself in art. I just plain loved Melinda. She reminded me of the teenager I once was and while I didn't have the issues that she did, I still was easily able to relate to what she was going through. Which is what makes Laurie Halse Anderson such an amazing author as she has created such a realistic character that the reader understands. I couldn't help but understand why Melinda was acting and reacting the way she was especially as I read further into the story. Such an amazing book!

All in all, this was an amazing read and one that I will be reading again in the future. Even though I didn't make a top ten for 2009 (too lazy), this is definitely one book that would have been on it. I'll be recommending this one to any teenager that I come across as well as to all of you book readers out there :) And I will definitely be checking out this author's backlist and reading more by Anderson.

Speak was an honor book for the Printz Award in 2000.
P.S.- I read this one last year but am working on catching up with some of the many reviews that I have left over from 2009. I'm still currently reading The House of Riverton by Kate Morton for my 1st book of 2010.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Beginning of 2010- My Reading Goals

Happy New Year's to everyone! What a busy and crazy end to 2009...I couldn't keep up at times. And I'm pretty sure that my lack of blogging reflected that but what can you do? So I'm really excited about 2010 and have high hopes that my reading will go off in some great directions. I've joined a BUNCH of challenges...probably way too many but that isn't stopping me from joining a few more. LOL!

So my reading plans for this year are mainly to just read. And blog of course. But as my 3rd child is soon to make it into this world...well, finding the time to read will be a big thing for me. I've joined some challenges this year that will hopefully help to expand my reading and take it into different directions. At some point in the near future I will be posting a list of my 2009 reads so that I can put a link in my sidebar. I will also be working on getting a list of books that need to be reviewed from 2009...and my goal is to eventually review all of them. That is going to be a project unto itself but I'll take my time. I stopped taking review copies last year but still have a pile that needs to be read and reviewed which is a project that I will be working on as well. My apologies to the publishers on that one.

Hmm...what else? I would love to make it to 100 books in 2010. I'm going to continue reading the authors and series I love as well as work on finding new authors. I would also like to work on my perpetual reading projects and knock some books off of those lists. Lots of plans, huh? :) A huge thanks to all of my fellow readers who inspire me everyday in my reading and in blogging. I hope you all have a great 2010!

P.S.- Some of the other challenges I am joining that I haven't posted about yet are the Suspense/Thriller challenge, the Speculative Fiction challenge, and the Orange Prize Project (which is a perpetual challenge). And I'm going to work on the Notable Books project as well which I have been neglecting. So many challenges, so little time...

Edited to add: OMG! Another challenge just popped up in the blogsphere and this one is a must join for me even though I fail miserably at it each time that I join. I'm signing up for the Book Awards IV challenge. Yay! And may this be the time that I actually finish :)