Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Stand-a-long

So I know that I mentioned already that I'm planning on joining in on Trish's read-a-long of The Stand by Stephen King. And I'm SUPER excited about it because it's a read-a-long AND with Trish (for one) and two, I feel like this book has been on my TBR list for FOREVER. Seriously, I'm intimidated. But who isn't at this point??? It is HUGE!!!! (and yes, I know that I'm using tons of capitals and exclamations but I can't help myself) I need to say this again..it is ENORMOUS!!! I'm reading the uncut version that I checked out from the library and it is hideous. Seriously old and nasty looking. I could care less though because I'm too excited/scared about reading this book. I think that I might end up buying it though because I'm gonna hate having to return it to the library 1/2 way finished. So we will see on Friday if I can resist snatching up my own copy of it. Anyways, I thought it would be fun since I'm officially joining in to answer Trish's questions:

1. What makes you want to read The Stand? Honestly, I'm not sure. I added it to my TBR list too many years ago to really remember why I wanted to read it in the 1st place. But that has only piqued my curiosity so now I just can't resist the chance to read it!

2. Describe your preconceived notions of The Stand. That it is long. And probably scary. And long. And scary. When I think of King, I think of the Friends episode and Joey hiding the book in the freezer. So I'm a bit nervous if I do say so myself.

3. What was the last scary(ish) book you read or movie you saw? I don't do scary movies. AT ALL. I have been watching a few episodes of The Walking Dead which might count. And if Mira Grant's Deadline (zombie novel) counts as scary then that is the last book. But I didn't think that it was actually scary so there you have it.

4. Which version of the book will you be reading from? The uncut ugly library version. If I buy it, I will still be reading the uncut version but hopefully it won't be so nasty looking :)

5. What are you previous experiences with Stephen King? Umm..a long time ago (pre-blogging) I read The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon. And I've always wanted to try and read The Shining but I'm too scared to even try. Yet, I want to read The Stand. Go figure.

6. Anything else you'd like to add (bonus points for being extra random). If I have nightmares from this book, you guys are ALL going to know it. Just saying... If you are on the fence about joining in, then just do it! You know you want to! And it will be fun. I think :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What I've Been Doing....(besides not blogging)

I know I've been alluding to the fact that I'm hoping to make some changes on my blog. I haven't been around as much as usual the past two months for various reasons but the main reason is spring. Spring is here and summer is on its way. In fact, I believe summer begins for my oldest in less than a week. Aack! Where does the time go??? I'm trying to ignore the fact that it means he will begin 4th grade in the fall. The fact is, life has gotten crazy lately as I feel like our family lives at the baseball diamonds anymore :) My significant other has gone back to work after over a year on unemployment. The littles have returned to daycare after staying home with their dad the entire time that he was off. Both of us working again has brought some major changes and our entire family is adjusting. It is isn't a bad thing at all...it is rather exciting if I do say so myself (although my littles aren't liking the daycare factor too much). But with everything going on lately, it has been VERY easy to push both reading and blogging to the side.

I hate not finding the time to read and blog though! Reading is a stress relief for me. Not reading during a VERY stressful time hasn't been a good thing. I need to figure things out a little more just so I can add more bookish time to my days. I NEED this. But my house also has to be clean, laundry needs to be done, food needs to be cooked.....you get the idea. Adjustment. It's not my favorite thing. Blogging is one of my favorite things for so many reasons. But I've been blogging for awhile now and I'm finding that my interest level in blogging about the same old things is dwindling. I need some change here even if I don't know exactly what that means yet. I DO know that it means more personal posts and less bookish stuff at times. I understand if some of you aren't here for that but right now it is what I need and want. So that's what I'm going to do :) Because I don't want blogging to ever be a chore. And I need sometimes to step back and REALLY remember why I started blogging in the first place. It wasn't to read the newest books. It wasn't to read the most books or the fastest. Or to keep up with what everyone else was reading and read those books too (which is next to impossible). I began book blogging for the sense of community. To have the chance to talk books with others. The relationships that I have already formed and the ones that could begin are the reasons why I keep blogging year after year. And I need to remember that.

Long story short, I'm still around. I may not be posting as often as usual for awhile until I find my groove but I guarantee that eventually I will figure everything out. I want to thank all of you who always take the time to read and comment on my posts. As you can see from the pictures, even amid all of the craziness, I have been getting plenty of fun family time with the kiddos. Life is good!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Library Loot - Mood Reading

Library Loot is hosted by Marg and Clare and asks us to share our latest library finds.

I've been in a mood lately. Maybe you would call it a reading funk since I had such an amazing month of reading April. I don't know. I do know that for whatever reasons, I'm feeling the need for change. Change is inevitable and maybe this is just one of those times that I need to embrace it. There is lots of change going on in my life right now so I guess that I shouldn't be surprised that it is carrying over to my blog. I think I need a new blog design. And to put all of my thoughts down in a "coherent" post after I'm done mulling it all over. So to be continued... Now, because I'm in a slight reading funk lately I've been browsing the library shelves like crazy. Because everything and nothing sounds good to read. (I know that doesn't make any sense but seriously, that is how it feels) I seem to be drawn to romance and horror so I went with it and grabbed a bunch of books off of the shelves at the library. I'm hoping that one of these jump kicks my reading or else I'm going to my stand-by of J.D. Robb. Something is going to get me reading again. I'm just now sure what yet. And just because I don't want you to think that anything bad is going down, all changes in my life right now are for the good. It is just a matter of adjusting :) So without further ado, here is what I have picked up from the library lately.

Two completely different books and both sound good for different reasons.

Both authors that I've been wanting to try.

And two books that I've read great reviews for (thanks Darlene!)

To make matters worse, I may be crazy but I'm joining in on a read-a-long of EPIC proportions. Trish from Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity is going to be hosting a read-a-long of The Stand by Stephen King. I must read this, I simply must!!! It has been sitting on my TBR list for what feels like forever so I'm joining in for sure. I instantly put the book on hold at the library (which is why I'm including it in my loot) BUT because it is so large...I may just have to buy it. I haven't quite decided yet but I'm going to be reading it for sure! And I think that all of you should join in on the fun!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs by Molly Harper (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"Maybe it was the Shenanigans gift certificate that put her over the edge. When children's librarian and self-professed nice girl Jane Jameson is fired by her beastly boss and handed twenty-five dollars in potato skins instead of a severance check, she goes on a bender that's sure to become Half Moon Hollow legend. On her way home, she's mistaken for a deer, shot, and left for dead. And thanks to the mysterious stranger she met while chugging neon-colored cocktails, she wakes up with a decidedly unladylike thirst for blood."

My Thoughts:

Nice Girls Don't Have Fangs was a fun beginning to this paranormal romance series, and I'm eager for more! Jane is an unlucky librarian who wakes up as a vampire after going on a drunk bender. She's at a crossroads in her life when she becomes a vampire which makes her dealing with all of her new vampire traits that much more interesting. Jane has to deal with how to tell her family that she is part of the undead, finding a job that will fit her new lifestyle, and so much more. And the entire time she does it with both spunk and wit which I really enjoyed. Everything didn't come easily to her and I really appreciated that the author made her work for the things that she wanted. The relationship that develops between her sire, Gabriel, and her is both steamy and fun at the same time. I liked that they were basically dating and taking the time to get to know each other rather than just diving into bed right away. In fact, I think that one of the things I liked most about this book is that the author wasn't afraid to take her time with building this series. Things happened slowly at times but I have a feeling that it is all leading up to the next book in this series which is happily already sitting on my shelves. The mystery part of this book was interesting but a bit obvious. I didn't care though as I was more interested in watching Jane adjust to her new life as a vampire. And I can't wait to see what happens in the next book!

Overall, I found this to be a solid beginning to this series! It had everything that I look for in a good paranormal romance including fun, well-developed main characters, a storyline with a bit of a twist, and of course a steamy romance :) This is my first book by this author but it won't be my last. I'm looking forward to continuing on with this series but I'm also hoping to begin her other series at some point. Definitely recommended to fans of romance!

Bottom Line: A paranormal romance with spunk and character. I want more!

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book for review from the publisher. My thoughts are my own :)

Friday, May 4, 2012

On My Nightstand: May Edition

So far this year I've managed to read 25 books which is a solid start to the year (in my opinion). And the one thing that I've really discovered so far in my reading is that I have LOVED all of the books for my Seconds Challenge. The Seconds Challenge is a challenge geared to reading books from authors that you've only tried once before. I have a tendency to read a lot of new authors each year but many times I never go back and read another book by authors that I love or even have enjoyed previously. Examples you ask....well how about My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier?? Loved, loved, loved Rebecca by her and then went for years without trying anything else by her. Feed and Deadline by Mira Grant. Most recently Phoenix Rising and The Janus Affair by Pip Ballantine and Tee Morris. These are just examples for this year. So in May I have four books that I really, really want to read and all four will be my 2nd book by those authors.

Yep, some amazing choices I have ahead of me. Now I'll just have to find the time to read them all :)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

March and April In Review 2012

(This picture cracks me up because he looks so serious!)

Somehow I have lost track of time because here it is the 2nd day of May, and I haven't even written up my post on my reads from March let alone April. Yikes! I'm sure that you all noticed I took another blogging break last week. I couldn't help it. Last week was one of the first times that I've ever been sad to be a blogger. I don't need to explain it, you all know what I'm talking about. There was SO much negativity last week that I feel like a lot of people lost track of what was actually important. I'm not going to say more than that as I want this to be an upbeat post (and I'm tired of talking/thinking/reading about it. Really, I am.) In other news, March and April were both just okay months of reading for me numbers wise. I suppose that this is because there is so much going on lately. I just haven't been finding as much time to read. It happens. But if you combined the two months it would add up to a stellar amount of reading...for one month that is. LOL! And quality of reading was there for sure so I can't complain. Here are the books that I read in March first:

There wasn't a bad one in the bunch of them. Silver-Tongued Devil would have to be my favorite read of the month but you should all know how much I love this series by now. Fantastic! It was great to read another book by Barbara Michaels and it reinforced why I enjoy her books so much. These are all authors that I will be reading more of in the future...that should tell you how good of a month of reading I had! In April, I went on a rereading spree at the beginning of the month. It was much needed. I read the following books in April:

OH MY GOODNESS! If March was a great month of reading then April was an AMAZING month of reading!!! I LOVED each and every book that I read this month (hence all of the capital letters). The Key Trilogy by Nora Roberts was a reread but was just as good as I remembered. It was wonderful to dive back into these books and read them again. Deadline was my ABSOLUTE favorite book of the month! Just thinking about it makes me want to go back and reread it and Feed again. And The Janus Affair was amazingly good as well. Seriously, if I gave star ratings other than on Goodreads these would all be 5 star books for me. The last two books will be on my top ten reads list for this year. I can pretty much guarantee it.

I may not have read a lot of books in the past two months but I have read some pretty f**king fantastic reads. Here is to hoping that May brings about the same thing :)