Monday, September 26, 2011

Storm Front - Week 2 Questions

Week two's question are here and I'm moving right along with finishing the book up. I couldn't wait any longer and continued reading. It is getting GOOD! Anyways, here are my thoughts on the middle portion of the book :)

1. What are your thoughts on the pop culture references Butcher includes in his work, largely coming from Harry himself?

Hmm...this question has me pondering and wondering what I missed. Because I'm drawing a blank other than the council reference that Carl made in the previous questions. I honestly don't know how to answer this question other than to say that I'm sure I'll find it interesting to read other participant's answers to this question :)

2. As I finished part two of Storm Front I realized that each section of the book thus far feels like a distinct act in a three act story arc. How do you compare the events in this second section of the book with what happened it part one? Is there a mood or theme or such that you feel is embodied by part two of Harry's adventures?

There is a definite different feel to the second part of the story. Harry is getting caught deeper and deeper into events and mysterious happenings that he cannot control. I'm definitely getting a different experience by rereading it this time around. I feel like all of the different directions that Harry is being pulled in make more sense this time and are really making the book that much more enjoyable for me. I'm still surprised by how much of the book that I've forgotten but by rereading it, I'm slowly starting to remember more and more. It has been an interesting reading experience so far!

3. One of many things Jim Butcher demonstrates in Storm Front is a healthy sense of humor. Share with us your thoughts on one (or more) of the humorous moments in the story thus far.

I loved the scene with the Harry, Susan, and the demon. It was over the top but not in a bad way and I couldn't help but chuckle while seeing Harry try to get out of all the trouble that he was in. Bob continues to be a favorite character of mine and I'm curious to see if we get to hear about what he did with his "free time". I'm guessing that he got into some kind of trouble that we will hopefully hear about :)

4. Our hero Harry had disastrous interactions with the women in his life in section two of the book (Four by my count). For first time readers, were you surprised by any of these and what are your thoughts? For those who've read the books before, had you forgotten about any of these? If so, or even if not, share your thoughts on Harry's luck with women.

Unfortunately (or fortunately, however you look at it), I had forgotten about all of these so I found it to be just like I was reading it for the first time with an "idea" of where the ending was going. I was surprised at how fun I found Harry's interactions with Susan to be. This could be because of everything that happens to them in that scene but I really enjoyed it. And I had forgotten how sad it was to see Murphy and Harry at odds with each other. I didn't like it and had to remind myself that she continues to play a role in future books. Harry just seems to have rotten luck when it comes to women and doesn't seem to be entirely comfortable with them either.

5. A few other popular characters have been brought up in the first round of discussion about Storm Front. What books, films, tv shows, etc. does this story/these characters call to mind and why?

I heard references to Harry Potter in the previous discussion which didn't really surprise me that much considering they are both wizards using magic (and the name of course). Honestly though, I'm having a hard time coming up with another book that has a main character like Harry Dresden. I think that his character makes the book unique which makes this book even more pleasurable to read. The loner aspect to Harry along with the unique abilities that he has reminds me a tiny bit of Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz but I really find Harry to be the more satisfying of the two characters. And saying that makes me realize how long it has been since I've read that series. Hmm...

6. For new readers, what is your overall assessment of the story thus far? For re-readers, what have you picked up on this time that you either forgot about or don't remember seeing from your first trip through the book?

Since this is my 2nd time reading this book, I feel like even though I don't remember a lot from reading the book the first time, I am able to see all of the threads that the author has created more clearly. It has allowed me to see how they relate to each other and to appreciate this book even more. I'm having a hard time putting this book down and can't wait to see what everyone thinks when they finish!

Until next week...

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Randomness

Whew! It has been a busy, busy week here and I've been running around nonstop. I haven't been reading all that much, haven't been blogging, and haven't been commenting. Life. It get's in the way sometimes ;) As the rest of September and October don't look much better, I thought I would take the time to share some of the randomness that is floating around in my head. Does anyone else find that when they don't have time to blog they come up with tons of ideas for posts?? Seriously, all week long I've been toying with ideas of things I want to post about but haven't found the time to do any of them. Go figure, right???

For one, I'm WAY overdue on sharing my August reads post with all of you. And at the rate it is going I'm thinking that maybe a combined August/September post will be the way to go. Which caused me to realize that I've only finished 3 books so far this month. Three. So August may have been my best reading month of the year and September may be my worst. Nice. I've also been toying with starting to share a monthly post on the books that come in and out of my house. I don't usually do mailbox posts but I would like to keep track of how many books I bring home in a month and how many I end up getting rid of (and that wouldn't count library books...or maybe it would). I haven't decided yet. Would that be boring for all of you??? I still have at least 10 reviews that I need to write. Catching up on those isn't going well at all. And I always have a library loot post that I could share. Plus, I have SO many new books that I've added to my TBR list lately that I would like to do a wishlist post sometime soon. And I still haven't posted pictures of the 1st day of school for the oldest (even though that was a month ago). I'm just happy that they have been uploaded to my laptop :) Other posts that I've considering are related to my son and the books he reads. I have been considering sharing more about the books he reads, that we read together, and just posts that could help me come up with more ideas for books that he would enjoy reading. Because I can only get him excited about reading sometimes and would like to see that grow more. These aren't the only ideas that I've got rolling around in my head but you get the gist.

In other reading news while I may be having a crappy month of reading in September, I am reading. I just recently finished Long Gone by Alafair Burke. It was a solid thriller and (hopefully) I will share my thoughts about it soon. I'm still in the midst of rereading Storm Front by Jim Butcher which is most excellent. I think that I'm going to go ahead and keep rereading the series until I catch up to where I left off. And finally I've just begun Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent. I really have enjoyed her werecat series so I have high hopes for this book. Now if I could just carve out some solid reading time this week then I would be happy.

But instead of reading I plan on spending my Sunday catching up with all of you. And watching the Bears game of course!! There is a pot of chili in the crockpot and fresh chocolate chip cookies to munch on. Life is good! Happy Sunday to all of you :)

Monday, September 19, 2011

Storm Front - Week 1 Questions

I'm in the midst of rereading Storm Front by Jim Butcher as part of a readalong for the R.I.P. VI Challenge hosted by Carl. I've read the first 3 or 4 books in this series (and enjoyed them all) but kind of stalled out on the series after that. I thought it would be fun to reread this one and then continue on with the series. Here are my thoughts on the questions for week one.

1. What are your first impressions of our main character, Harry Dresden?

Harry is one of those characters that you can't help but like. He is old school, gallant, and completely eccentric which makes me like him even more. One of the things that I noticed was that he wasn't completely sure of himself and even though he is a wizard, he has a healthy dose of fear for some of the individuals and things that go bump in the night. Harry isn't perfect, and I like him all the more for it.

2. In the first section of the book we are introduced to a large cast of characters. Some in support of our main character and others who are involved in the multiple investigations with agendas unknown to us. Are there any of the these characters who stood out to you?

Murphy stood out to me but of course that could be because I've read this book and a couple others before so I know what an important role she plays in the series. I was surprised at how much I had forgotten about this book but it was interesting to be "reintroduced" to some of the characters that play important parts in this series or are featured in other books. Bob, the talking skull, is my favorite character for sure though :)

3. Did you ever watch the Syfy channel's Dresden Files TV adaption? If so did it effect how you approached the novel? Were there positive and/or negative differences that stood out to you?

Nope, I didn't even realize that there was a TV adaption. I'll admit that I'm curious as to how it played out and wouldn't mind seeing an episode or two if they are still playing.

4. Any thoughts on Jim Butcher's magic system, Harry's Watcher, and/or the White Council?

You can already tell that Harry's relationship and role in regards to the White Council is both complicated and dangerous. I'm curious to see what the White Council is going to think about the different dealings that Harry is getting caught up in (and I honestly wish that I could remember exactly what happens.) As it is, I guess we will all find out as we read further into the book :)

5. Lastly, Any guess on were Dresden's multiple plot threads will lead and/or any favorite scenes the first section of the book?

I've got a vague idea as I have read this book before but because my memory is faulty and it has been a few years, I'm not exactly sure. I don't have any favorite scenes yet although the scene with Toot was fun to read about. I'm looking forward to continuing on with Harry's adventures!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Library Loot- RIP Challenge Edition

Library Loot is hosted by Claire and Marg and asks us to share what we've recently picked up from the library.

I've been in the mood for creepy and dark, thrillers, and horror for months now. As soon as Carl posted about his challenge I went to my library website and started requesting books to fit with this challenge. This is my favorite challenge of the year and you can see why :) Look at all of those books! I'm super excited to read them all so let's share what I picked up recently. (And for the full extent of my library craziness check out my Library Thing widget in my sidebar)

Every single one of these is a perfect fit for the challenge. Now the question is how many of these can I read before RIP VI finishes up?? I haven't had a chance to check out the review blog yet and see what everyone else has been reading but you know I will. And more books will be added to my wishlist/holds list :) Books are addicting and this is my favorite time of the year!

Happy spooky reading!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

BBAW- Readers

Today's the 4th day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Man, this week is just flying by already! Today's topic is readers and says:

"Book bloggers blog because we love reading. Has book blogging changed the way you read? Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging? Choose any one of these topics and share your thoughts today!"

Dear blogging,

Let me count the ways that you've affected my reading starting off with my reading tastes. Prior to book blogging, I was a moody reader (still am) but stuck mainly to mysteries and books that I found browsing the library shelves. And then I found book blogging which opened me to new worlds of books. I found the paranormal and urban fantasy which I love (thanks to Jackie at Literary Escapism) and I began to branch out in other areas of my reading as well. Now I have a TBR list with hundreds of books on it and and it has no signs of getting any smaller. Thanks to blogging I can find a book to fit any mood that I'm in and that is something that just makes me happy. I've found readers and bloggers with both similar and different tastes than mine and I'm the richer for it. Blogging has changed everything for me when it comes to reading and the best part is that it has helped my love of books grow even more. I will never not have a book to read and you've gotta love that :)

I'm a bit late in the game and missed posting for the topic yesterday but I thought I would share just a bit since I still think that community is so important. I keep connected through commenting and feel that it is one of the most important things to build community in the blogging world. With so many blogs out there, it isn't possible to comment on every blog, every post, every day. I have a tendency to comment on my favorite blogs regularly and I always star those posts in my reader. But I also enjoy finding posts of books that I've already read. Nothing makes me happier than talking about books with someone who has already read the same book. And this allows for me to find new blogs while building community with the blogs that I already follow. So if you've ever read a book that I've read...send me the link. I would love to see what you thought and chat with you about it. I hope everyone is having a wonderful week and enjoying the community that we are building together!

P.S.- Felt like it has been awhile since I shared a cute pic of the little ones...I'm trying to enjoy this time when they get along with each other so well because someday I'm sure it will be different :)

Monday, September 12, 2011

BBAW- Community

Book Blogger Appreciation Week is upon us and I'm excited to get the chance to participate again this year. I'm especially excited because the theme this year is of creating relationships and community between readers. I think that the relationships that bloggers can develop with one another is one of the absolute best things about blogging :) I'm looking forward to finding some new-to-me blogs this week and making new bloggy friends. The topic for today's post says:

"While the awards are a fun part of BBAW, they can never accurately represent the depth and breadth of diversity in the book blogging community. Today you are encouraged to highlight a couple of bloggers that have made book blogging a unique experience for you. They can be your mentors, a blogger that encouraged you to try a different kind of book, opened your eyes to a new issue, made you laugh when you needed it, or left the first comment you ever got on your blog. Stay positive and give back to the people who make the community work for you!"

There are so many AMAZING bloggers that I've met through my blog and events such as these. Unfortunately, I'm a wimp and just cannot single out certain blogs. Because for every blog that I might choose, there are 3 or 4 more that fit in as well. I'm lucky enough to have found multiple blogs that fit my varied reading tastes and moods that I read daily. Instead of singling out blogs, I'm going to thank each and every one of you that visit my blog. That takes the time to comment on my blog or respond back to one of the comments that I have left them. Thank you for listening to me, being patient with me when I needed breaks, and always coming back to visit me again. It is a joy to talk books with all of you and to have people that understand my love of reading. I hope that everyone gets a chance to build new relationships with bloggers this week. If your a lurker, talk to me this week. It may take me awhile to comment back but I always do :) Happy blogging and hope everyone has a wonderful time participating in BBAW!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

In the Heat of the Bite by Lydia Dare (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Chivalry is far from undead...

Matthew Halkett, Earl of Blodswell, is one of the few men in the ton who can claim to be a knight in shining armor- because that's precisely what he was before being turned into a vampyre. When he spies a damsel in distress in the midst of a storm in Hyde Park, his natural instinct is to rush to her aid...

But not every woman needs to be rescued...

Weather-controlling witch Rhiannon Sinclair isn't caught in a storm-she's the cause of it. She's mortified to have been caught making trouble by the imposing earl, but she doesn't need any man-never has, and is sure she never will...

But when Rhiannon encounters Matthew again, her powers go awry and his supernatural abilities run amok. Between the two of them, the ton is thrown into an uproar. There's never been a more tempestuous scandal.."

My Thoughts:

In the Heat of the Bite was an enjoyable read and I'm glad that I had the chance to pick it up. I didn't realize when I picked it up that it was the 2nd book in a trilogy and am happy to say that it never affected my enjoyment of the book. Rhiannon is a witch and part of a coven of other witches. She was a fun main character to read about as she had a lot of spunk to her even though she hasn't had the easiest life. The romance that develops between Rhiannon and Matthew was unique and amusing as they face many different obstacles throughout the book. This book made me smile at times when I was reading it as it was just one of those books that you couldn't help but like. The main characters were good, the plot was different than a lot of similar books out there, and it was just a solid read. The only problem that I had with it was Rhiannon's accent drove me a bit crazy at first. Now I'll admit right off the bat that this was a personal thing and didn't bother me by the end of the book. The beginning was a different story though until I got used to it. And while this wasn't my favorite read, I did find it to be a really good romance and a series that I want to read more of. I definitely will be picking up the first book in this trilogy to see how everything all started :) Recommended to fans of paranormal romance!

Bottom Line: A solid read with characters that I want to read more of.

Disclosure: I was lucky enough to be sent this book for review by the publisher.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Chime by Franny Billingsley (thoughts)

Chime is Briony's story, a self-proclaimed witch with many hidden secrets. Briony has been taught many different things growing up as a pastor's daughter but the one thing that really has stuck with her is that witches are evil, and the reality in the swamp where she lives is that anyone found to be a witch is hung. This is where her story begins...

This book instantly swept me into its' pages from the first page. At the very beginning of the book, Briony tells us that she is a witch and that because she is a witch her anger causes her to hurt the ones that she loves. This is her secret that she carries with her and that plays a huge role in this book. Even though Briony shares her "horrible" secret with the reader, well...I couldn't help but like her. She was one of those characters that I instantly connected with and the relationship that she had with Eldric just felt real to me. Both the characters and the storyline were well developed in this novel. The author's writing had a magical quality to it that spoke of fairy tales while being both haunting and captivating at the same time. It was a book that I couldn't get enough of and found myself wrapped up in throughout. The ending was satisfying and unexpected which made the book all the better in my opinion. I really enjoyed reading this book and would highly recommend it!

Bottom Line: A wonderful read that swept me away in its' pages!

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review from the publisher. My thanks!

**In other news, I'm back and hopefully ready to catch up on reviews. So expect all reviews until I catch up except for when I share about my August reads. And maybe I'll post a review of my latest library finds for the RIP challenge (with more to come of course). Or I could post pictures from the first day of school like I've been meaning to for a week or two now. But I WILL catch up on reviews while I'm at it :) Sorry that I haven't been around visiting your blogs...I'll try to remedy that this week. Did I tell you that there is another readathon that I'm thinking about joining??? I'm kind of addicted to them now. Hope you are all having a wonderful week and I'll be by soon!