Saturday, July 2, 2011

Shelving Saturday - #10

Welcome to Shelving Saturday

Shelving Saturday is a weekly blog event I have started here at Eastern Sunset Reads.   Each week I will post a shelving dilemma or question and you can join me in the response.
Please feel free to post on your blog and link back here, please be sure to post the link to your response in the comments so I can come and check your Shelving day out!
So this last week we started re-organizing our shelves. Did you all figure out how you are going to organize them? Lets see your progress.
I decided to organize by genre and then alphabetize.  I got my little bookshelf done.  After some considering I decided to move the photoalbums to an air tight box to protect the pictures. So that opened up an extra shelf.  I decided to move some of my middle reader horse series over to that shelf as well.
So this is what I started with

After some serious dusting, a few trips down memory lane and a couple paper cuts  . . .

I choose not to alphabetize the children's books because the book sizes were so off that it looked like a mess

The next shelf is double deep to fit the entire Saddle Club series on one shelf.
Then I had space for a tiny shelf and put the Unicorns of Balinore series and the Secret of the Unicorn Series on the shelf, along with my Marguerite Henry Books. Also on the shelf is my book marks and some small note pads with notes on books and wishlists.

So lets see your shelves! Any issues that I should help you address in the coming weeks?

Friday, July 1, 2011

Bedtime Story: The Giving Tree

Synopsis from Goodreads: "'Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy.'
So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.
Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk...and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.
This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return."

My Review: This was another book I don't recall my parents reading to me or my brother, but I do love it! It is such a touching story but one that in our current times can be a reminder that we just take and take from nature and don't remember to give back until it is too late.  I love the simple drawings of the book, they convey the message beautifully. This is one I will definitely be reading to my own family.

My Rating:  I love everything about this book so can't give it any less than Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

Good Night, Sweet Dreams

Review of Aurelia by Anne Osterlund ~Spoiler Alert~

 Synopsis from Goodreads: "Princess Aurelia is next in line to rule the kingdom of Tyralt, but she would rather be one of the common folk, free to learn and roam and . . . not marry the next tyrannical prince that comes courting. Naturally, the king wants Aurelia to marry for political power. Aurelia wants to marry for love. And someone in the kingdom wants her . . . dead. Assigned to investigate and protect Aurelia is Robert, the son of the king's former royal spy and one of Aurelia's oldest friends. As Aurelia and Robert slowly uncover clues as to who is threatening her, their friendship turns to romance. With everything possible on the line her life, her kingdom, her heart Aurelia is forced to take matters into her own hands, no matter the cost."

My Review: I loved this book! The people seemed real, they had real reactions to events and made mistakes. I don't think everything was laid out as well as it could have been, but that could have been what Anne Osterlund was going for, the secrets of court life. I really fell in love with Aurelia, she is such a strong and gutsy character. I also really liked Robert, always thinking on his feet and never backs down from a challenge, what more could you ask for in a hero. Aurelia has so many twists and turns, you think you have it figured out but you really don't!
OK Here is the Spoiler so Avert your Eyes!!

Now I normally don't give spoilers in my reviews but I couldn't help this one! I absolutely love how Aurelia chose to be an exile not for Robert or for anyone else but for herself! I really, really must get my hands on book 2, Exile!

My Rating: Aurelia definitely deserves Four Paws. It probably could have used a little more filling out of the history and motives but the characters were easy to connect with.

Follow Friday~In My Mailbox~July RAK

  1. (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Host { } and any one else you want to follow on the list
  2. (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers -
  3. Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. LINKY TOOLS IS BACK! I paid for the subscription - finally so now you can add the links to your own post!!! To add the code to your own post click on GET THE CODE here under the list of names.
  4. Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say hi in your comments
  5. Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don't just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don't say "HI"
  6. If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love...and the followers
  7. If you're new to the follow friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog! 

Q. ACK! Your favorite book/movie character (example Hermione Granger played by the Emma chick) just walked into the room! Who is it and what would be your first reaction? You get extra points if you include visual stimulation.

This is a tough one for me, I don't really pay attention to books to movies or actors.  The first one in my head was Jasper from the Twilight series, probably just because I saw those movies more recently. The next one who came into my mind was Ned Stark from the Game of Thrones, I thought they picked the perfect actor to play the part in the series, he was exactly what I had pictured.  And then I thought of James Caviezel playing Edmond Dantes in the Count of Monte Cristo, but I decided on  . . .

Daniel Day Lewis as Nathaniel Poe aka Hawkeye. I honestly don't know what I would say other than "You can rescue me at any time."  Honestly I haven't read the book yet but fully intend to in the near future because the movie was fantastic!


   In My Mailbox is a weekly event hosted by The Story Siren that I have decided to participate in.

How IMM works:
Make your own IMM post! You can post about books you've bought, gotten from the library, received for review... books don't have to arrive via your mailbox. 
I post every week, but you don’t have to. You can do one week out of the month or every other week it’s up to you. 
You don't have to call your post In My Mailbox... (some people don't even have mailboxes!)
I post my IMM on Sunday, but choose a day of the week that works for you.
Once you have your IMM posted, come back to The Story Siren on Sunday and add your link to the list. 
Try to post a comment on other bloggers IMM posts. I don’t expect you to post a comment on every single one, but pick a few!

All book bloggers are welcome, while I’d like to keep the theme to YA literature it’s NOT a requirement.

There is no right or wrong way to do In My Mailbox, you can vlog, you can take fun picture, you can use the books cover art, it’s up to you!

Most importantly HAVE FUN!
Well as I pointed out last Shelving Saturday, my TBR pile is out of control so guess what that means?  No books in my mailbox this week :(  I know, sad, right?!


Book Soulmates
Time for July RAK!

• Sign up each month that you'd like to participate.
• Show off your participation by grabbing our RAK button :)
• Create a wish list (on Amazon, Goodreads, or your blog etc) and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wish list and contact that blogger for their address.
• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

 So head over to Book Soulmates to Sign up!

As for last month, I sent out two books (I'm not sure if they have been received yet or not so I wont spoil the surprise by spilling the beans.  I did send out a copy of The Summer I Turned Pretty and The Last Unicorn, but I won't say who will be receiving them ;)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Review of Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund

Synopsis: "Astrid Llewelyn is now a fully trained unicorn hunter, but she can't solve all her problems with just a bow and arrow. Her boyfriend, Giovanni, has decided to leave Rome, the Cloisters is in dire financial straits, her best friend's powers seem to be mysteriously disintegrating, and Astrid can't help but feel that school, home, and her hopes of becoming a scientist are nothing but impossible dreams.

So when she's given the opportunity to leave the Cloisters and put her skills to use as part of a scientific quest to discover the Remedy, Astrid leaps at the chance. Finally, she can have exactly what she want--or can she? At Gordian headquarters, deep in the French countryside, Astrid begins to question everything she thought she believed: her love for Giovanni, her loyalty to the Cloisters, and most of all her duty as a hunter. Should Astrid be saving the world from killer unicorns, or saving the unicorns from the world."

My Review: Well that was interesting. I honestly don't know what to make of Ascendant. I don't know if Diana Peterfreund just tried to fit too many plot lines into this book or if I just am not following it properly. There seemed to be a lot of half formed ideas with no real conclusion. After Rampant I was expecting a lot more but didn't get it unfortunately. The characters weren't as strong either. I still love the whole idea behind the story, but things got a little convoluted. I still have Errant to read and am hoping it will clear some things up for me.

My Rating: So unfortunately Ascendant just didn't do it for me so I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Camp Nanowrimo - Help me decide . . . ?!

 Before I get into my novel ideas I first want to direct you all to the
 So come join me!!

Anywho, on to some ideas for this writing adventure. I have so many story ideas boiling in my head but I need to pick one and focus on it.  So I am coming to all of you for some help on which one I should work on now (the others can wait until November but I will eventually get to them all).

Most of my ideas come from dreams I have had or day dreams. When I get an idea I jot down clips of conversations or descriptions or a quick outline. A lot of times I don't know exactly where the story will go (heck in my story from last November a character I thought would just be a throw away ended up being a main love interest for the main character).

So here are my three ideas, I would love your opinion on which one I should focus on this month.

New Old Home
This is a romancish story about a girl who wins the lottery and what she does with it. I used a lot of the places and descriptions from my own life and what I would do with the money.  She travels far and wide trying to make her dream of building an authentic medieval castle and making it into an experience vacation site (like a dude ranch only with castles, complete with towers, horses, rushes on the floor and bread trenchers).

Night Rider
This would be a YA type novel with a touch of romance and of course horses. Alice is a recent high school graduate who is a very accomplished competitive rider in Hunter/Jumper, Dressage, and Western/Rodeo. Her parents had arranged for her to attend a private college on the east coast geared specifically to equine professions. However, Alice wants to focus on her studies in English Literature. When she arrives at the college she hides her riding abilities, but can she keep her talent and love of horses hidden?

The Princess Bs
Bonnie, a recent divorcee, returns to the small town she grew up in, broken and discouraged. She runs into an old close friend Tyson, who himself is in a rocky relationship with the mother of his three kids. Tyson's girlfriend is away with his son for a weekend. He promised his girls a magical weekend and with Bonnie's help makes his daughters princess' for a weekend. An old friendship flourishes and if allowed to could become so much more, but at what cost? (horses are again included- seeing a trend?)

So?! What do you think?! Please help me choose!

Booking Through Thursday - Library Size & Soundtrack

Booking through Thursday is a weekly event hosted by Deb at BTT

This weeks Question is:
What’s the largest your personal library has ever been? What’s the greatest number of books you’ve ever owned at one time? (Estimates are fine.)
Is your collection NOW the biggest it’s ever been? Or have you down-sized?
What’s the fewest number of books you’ve ever owned (not counting your pre-reading years)?

I think currently my collection is the largest my library has ever been, but I don't have an exact count. I think currently I have roughly 550 to 600 books.  I don't ever remember not being surrounded by books or a pre-reading time. Even when I was a kid I had books and my parents had books.

Because I missed last week's question again:

What, if any, kind of music do you listen to when you’re reading? (Given a choice, of course!)

I listen to such a wide variety of music I can go from listening to country to hard rock, alternative to classical all in the same week.  Generally though when I am reading I like instrumental music. I listen to a lot of soundtracks and musical scores to movies.  I have made my own mixes from:

Musical Score to Twilight, New Moon & Eclipse
Soundtrack to August Rush

Also that same CD is:
Night Castle by Transiberian Orchestra
Amore by Andrea Bocelli

And my absolute favorite is
Rigoletto Soundtrack
If you ever get a chance to listen to this CD or see the movie take it! The movie is my absolute favorite!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Camp Nanowrimo!

Get your Camp Nanowrimo survival kit at the OLL Store

Are you guys participating? Getting those typing fingers ready? Cause its almost time for Camp Nanowrimo! Now we don't have to keep our ideas locked up until the dreaded month of November, which always seems way to busy to actually be able to write 50,000 words.  So for the month of July I will be participating in Camp Nanowrimo.  

See my fun little word count guy?!

He is going to help me keep track of my word count and keep me motivated.  If you  want to follow my progress I will try to post bi-weekly updates and little (coffee bean?) man will be located at the bottom of my page at all times.   If you want a bean man of your own head over to Writertopia.

So get your ideas together and join me in another attempt to write a novel (maybe one of these times I will actually finish)!

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill from Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
My Pick:
The Dragon Who Loved Me by G.A. Aiken
Expected Release Date: September 6, 2011
Synopsis from Amazon: "I was raised for battle. And as the first daughter of a warrior family, I've earned my reputation the hard way. Yet now I fight alongside uncivilized male Northland dragons who think a female is only good for breeding and waiting back home in the cave. But it's the foolish and foolhardy who would try to stop me, Rhona the Fearless, from doing what I do best - destroying the enemies of my kind. So the smartest thing wily barbarian Vigholf the Abhorrent can do for me is stay out of my way as we risk all on a deadly mission in enemy territory. I don't care if he's fascinated by me, even though he is as attractive as he is resourceful. He's having far too much fun putting me in difficult situations and testing my sense of duty to the limit. And I'm going to enjoy challenging his insufferable confidence, outwitting his schemes, and making him surrender in the wildest ways... "

Another great book in the Dragon Kin Series! Love this series, what could be sexier than dragons that turn into handsome warriors?!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My Teaser this Week comes from Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

"That was interesting," Sam said cautiously.
"Bill's speech? Yes," I said, just as cautiously.
"Do you have feelings for him?"
After all the indirection, Sam had decided to storm the main gate.

So let's hear some more teasers! 'cause I obviously don't have enough books in my TBR pile :P

Monday, June 27, 2011

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? - #2

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

I decided to join in this meme for my sanity and your own to keep track of what books have bookmarks in them!

What I Read Last Week:
Links will take you to my review
Wyoming Brides by Debbie Macomber
Guess How Much I Love You by Sam McBratney
Currently Reading:
Ascendant by Diana Peterfreund - On my Nook - still at page 20 of 741
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris - On my Nook - page 130  of 331
A Clash of Kings by George RR Martin - on my Nook, page 20 of 1439
Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder - Paperback - page 32 of 256
Next Books to be Read:
Errant by Diana Peterfreund  - YA/Fantasy
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein - Children's/ 2011 Challenge
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson - Middle Reader/ 2011 Challenge
Aurelia by Anne Osterlund - YA/ Fantasy
So how about you? What are you reading?

Review of Belle: A Retelling of Beauty and the Beast by Cameron Dokey

Synopsis from Goodreads: "Belle is convinced she has the wrong name, as she lacks her sisters' awe-inspiring beauty. So she withdraws from society, devoting her time to wood carving. Secretly, Belle longs to find the fabled Heartwood Tree. If carved by the right hands, the Heartwood will reveal the face of one's true love.

During a fierce storm, Belle's father stumbles upon the mysterious Heartwood—and encounters a terrifying and lonely Beast. Now Belle must carve the Heartwood to save her father, and learn to see not with the eyes of her mind, but with the eyes of her heart"

My Review: I really enjoyed this book. I liked that it was written kind of as a conversation/story telling, but it did seem to get a little lost at times. I also liked how the beauty and the beast part of the story wasn't the main story line, it was just the means in which she came to understanding her own beauty and value. The scene and character development was great and you could really connect with Belle. The pain the Belle feels when she isn't noticed when standing between her beautiful sisters, or at feeling so ordinary when surrounded by beautiful people.  One can understand how it would be easiest to withdraw from society.  The book has a lot of wisdom that many people could use in today's world, that beauty isn't always easy to see.

My Rating: I absolutely loved this book, even though it took me a little while to complete. It has been placed amoung my favorites so couldn't give it any less than Four Paws and a Stump Wag.