Saturday, October 18, 2014

Fall Dewey Update #3

Boy am I pooped, and have been struggling to read. It might be the fact that my hubby suddenly decided to be conversational this evening.  Oh well, I am fading fast after such a busy day, but I will be up again before the end!
So here is my update so far:
Currently reading:  Cricket on the Hearth (1hr), Confessions of a Scary Mommy (pg 46)
Books finished: Winter Lights, Happy Halloween Little Critter, A Porcupine Named Fluffy, The Note, Santa's Ninja Elves, Kissing Santa, Christmas Carol GN
Pages read: 146
Time Listened: 1 hour
Running total of pages read: 579
Amount of time spent reading: about 2 hours
Running total of time spent reading: 9 hours
Snacks: nothing
Reading Spot: hitting the bed since I can't even keep my eyes open
Up Next:
some sleepy time and then up again with Munchkin to read Paddington Bear

A very special thanks to all the wonderful cheerleaders who have been stopping by my Twitter to keep me motivated!

Fall Dewey Readathon #2

Wow those 5 hours went by far too fast! Someone please tell me where this day is going, I wanted to do so much more reading but I guess we still have a little more than 12 hours left.
So here is my update so far:
Currently reading:  Cricket on the Hearth (1hr), Confessions of a Scary Mommy
Books finished: Winter Lights, Happy Halloween Little Critter, A Porcupine Named Fluffy, The Note, Santa's Ninja Elves, Kissing Santa
Pages read: 137
Time Listened: 46 minutes
Running total of pages read: 433
Amount of time spent reading: about 2.5 hours
Running total of time spent reading: 7 hours
Snacks: had a delicious diner from Carrabba's
Reading Spot: Time to finally kick back and relax on the couch with a beverage and some quiet time.
Up Next:
Hopefully a nice evening reading with a glass of wine!

A very special thanks to all the wonderful cheerleaders who have been stopping by my Twitter to keep me motivated! I will definitely keep me going as the hours begin to wane!

Dewey's Fall Readathon Kick off!

I am here ready to kick off my readathon today.  It will be a busy one and I will have to be bouncing in and out of here between my reading, work and Children's Book Festival!
I will try to update here on the blog every few hours, but will try to keep up more often on my twitter ( @EasternSunset9 )
It is 8:00am here in Rhode Island and I have just a few minutes to read with Munchkin before hitting the road.
First books on today's list:
Then I am on my way to the Children's Book Festival accompanied by the audio book
While I wait in lines or am seated waiting for the presentations I have
(and of course I will have the books waiting to be autographed)
After that quick adventure it is off to work and I should be able to post an update for you from there.  So expect a post here in about 4 1/2 to 5 hours.
Good luck on all your reading adventures!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Bedtime Story: Meet My Cats by Lesley Anne Ivory

Synopsis: "The author introduces her many cats."

My Review: For some reason I remember this book being so much better as a kid. Maybe it was the illustrations (which I believe is the author's main job as she talks about one of the cats being her favorite subject to paint). The brief one page and disjointed descriptions of the cats doesn't really allow you time to really develop affection for them. All I could keep thinking as the author described all the cats was please spay and neuter your pets! That said, the illustrations were beautiful and Munchkin enjoyed making up who was the Daddy Kitty and Mommy Kitty and looking at the pictures.
My Rating: I find it interesting how a book I adored so much as a kid, did not appeal to me as an adult. Usually there is at least some kind of sentimentality to stay the enjoyment, but not in this case.  This is a book to get purely for the artwork.  I give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!
A note: I feel like I need to make myself clear so that there is no confusion.  I have absolutely no issues with anyone having many cats, as long as they are well cared for. I also do not have an issue with responsible breeding of cats, but there are enough cats and kittens that need homes.  After working in a shelter for many years, specializing in the cats, so many pregnant cats and litters of kittens were brought in that could have been prevented by simply spaying and neutering pets.  Okay I will now get off my soap box.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

After Dark Review/Re-read of The Goddess of the Sea by PC Cast

I have added After Dark Reviews to my blog as a way of notifying you of a review of a book with Adult themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for late night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)
Synopsis: "On the night of her twenty-fifth birthday, alone in her apartment, Air Force Sergeant Christine Canady wished for one thing: a little magic in her life. After drinking way too much champagne, she performed, of all crazy things, a goddess-summoning ritual, hoping that it would somehow make her life a little less ordinary...but she never believed the spell would actually work.

When her military plane crashes into the ocean, CC's mission overseas takes an unexpected turn. She awakens to find herself in a legendary time and place where magic rules the land—occupying the body of the mythic mermaid Undine. But there is danger in the waters and the goddess Gaea turns this modern, military gal into a beautiful damsel so that she can seek shelter on land.

CC is soon rescued (literally) by a knight in shining armor. She should be falling in love with this dream-come-true, but instead she aches for the sea and Dylan, the sexy merman who has stolen her heart."

My Review: I read this one a few years ago and have decided to re-read it. I found that it wasn't as good as the first time I read it. It seemed to be really drawn out unnecessarily. I still really enjoyed the characters, especially Dylan and CC. I found the ending to be great and rather emotional. It was a very interesting take on the little mermaid fairy tale.
My Rating: I enjoy retellings of fairy tales and myths, and this one intertwines them with a modern twist. It did drag a little at points and seemed longer than it needed but the good parts were good enough to smooth everything over. I give it a rating of Three Paws.
A little chit chat about this book and series:
I read this book and several other books in this series some time ago. I remember really enjoying them, but this one wasn't as good as the first time, maybe I am just too distracted to really sit down and enjoy all the elements in this book.  With that said this book kicked off a very fun series and really got me interested in myth/fairy tale retellings. I love putting modern women into these ancient situations to really shake things up!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Review of From My Heart to Yours by Michelle Zarrin

Synopsis: "Sofia, a young woman from a sheltered upbringing, is in for an unexpected ride when she marries Earl. As their stable union twists unnervingly through health issues, betrayal and shattered hearts, Sofia sheds layers of naivete, deepening her perspective of life. Beautiful life lessons learned from preschool children may heal her scars; but can they help her to endure the greatest tragedy of all? This story offers a powerful and inspiring journey into the soul.

"Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly. "-Anonymous"

My Review:  It was an interesting story about Sofia's struggles and triumphs in her adult life. I think many people can connect with her struggles and emotions (though maybe not all the exact same situations). I enjoyed Zarrin's writing style, it was very descriptive and flowed beautifully, it really kept the pages turning and made me envy the beauty Sofia found in the world around her. While I did enjoy how she handled the struggles in her marriage, and sought out the good in each day, I felt like the last two chapters really rushed through her healing process and then started to really suddenly push a particular meditation method and ideology. I don't want to give away too much and spoil the book for anyone else who might read it. The writing and the story are wonderful stories, I just would have preferred not to have included the last two chapters.
My Rating: I am having a hard time rating this book because it really was beautifully written and had some strong subject matter, but then it really rushed through a couple important events and then spent the entire last chapter on a meditation method. So I am going to have to give it a rating of Three Paws.
From My Heart to Yours was sent to me by the author for an honest review.
You can find out more about Michelle and her work on her Goodreads Page.
You can obtain your own copy in both digital and print format on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Reviews & Discussion of the Song of the Lioness (Alanna) Series by Tamora Pierce

This series has been listed by so many people and blogs as being the one that was their introduction to reading, and/or the fantasy genre.  I am no different.  I gobbled these books up as fast as the library could obtain them, and once I was old enough to have my own money and books, they were some of the first I purchased for my collection.
I took some time to re-read these books and found them almost as thrilling and exciting as I did before. I still remembered what was going to happen but I still couldn't wait to read the next page and the next.
Alanna the First Adventure
My Rating: The characters are still so rich and real and the adventures were just as heart pounding and exciting as the first time I read it so many years ago. Definitely a Four Paw book and one that will always remain on my shelf.
In the Hand of the Goddess
My Rating: This one lagged a little for me (even though we got to meet Faithful). With that said though it was still a good book and one that was needed to develop all the characters, including the sub-characters.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
The Woman who Rides like a Man
My Rating: This was another mostly emotional book and a lot about Alanna finding herself. It was a needed book in the series as was the one before it. It was still an enjoyable book, I did find it interesting how quickly in just 3 books Alanna went from 11 years old to almost a new adult type book.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.
The Lioness Rampant
My Rating: I think this might be my favorite of the series. It was a wonderful combination of adventure and emotion. I give this one a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag.
This series was just as good this time around as it was the first time around! The greatest part was you really didn't have to say goodbye to the characters you loved because while Alanna's story was the focus another series started up Protector of the Small (there are also several other series in the Tortall world) and if I read correctly Ms. Pierce is planning to release 2 more books next year in the Tortall world too!
So was this one of the series that you read? Or was there another particular book or series that you can look back on and pinpoint 'that is where this all started'?

Monday, October 13, 2014

What's for Dinner? (25)

What's for Dinner is a little insight into my life for you every Monday night. I carefully plan out meals for the week ahead of time and do my shopping over the weekend.  So I wanted to start sharing with you one of the recipes or dinners I am most looking forward to each week.
So sometimes as a busy mom who works full time and takes care of all the house chores, a battle over dinner just isn't worth it and I resort to tried and tested favorites of all kids.
Mac N Cheese (especially shells n cheese) is a favorite.  Thankfully Munchkin loves his veggies and I just have to ask him what he wants that night, this time he asked for peas.  He never really liked chicken nuggets, like every other kid in the world, until we gave him Dinosaur Nuggets.  He now proudly announces to the dinosaur that he is going to eat its head or tail.  I have been having to make sure his Elmo cup is full of Apple Cider (watered down) every night otherwise there is a meltdown of epic proportions.
Of course my dinner was accompanied by the newest Scholastic Book order form! Those things are like a drug for me, so so dangerous LOL!

Monday Reading List

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!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Angels Watching Over Me by Lurlene McDaniel
Horse Crazy by Bonnie Bryant
Dinotopia by James Gurney (Bedtime Story)

Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Curious George Makes Pancakes
Meet My Cats
Goddess of the Sea
Naya Nuki
My Heart to Yours

Currently Reading:

Enchanted No More by Robin D. Owens - PB - on page 32 of 425
Cry of the Icemark by Stuart Hill - Audio - switched to HC - on page 68 of 496
Bathing and the Single Girl by Christine Elise McCarthy - Kindle - on page 62 of 310
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - Audio - 54%

 Books to be Read Soon:
Behind You by Carly M. Duncan (Requested Review)

Interesting Tidbits from the Web:



Getting myself back on track, the flu wore me out and it took some time to recover and catch up on sleep.  Then of course I had to catch up on chores, the house was filthy, there were no clean clothes and the fridge was bare. With a lot of hard work I managed to get all caught up at home and at work! I know shocking right?!  All that work will hopefully leave this week open to lots of reading! I do have a wedding to go to today and I have big plans to build a cardboard box fort for Munchkin to play with while I do Nanowrimo next month, I better get busy on that!

I hope you have been enjoying my look back at some of my favorite books from the past! So far I have revisited the Serendipity books, Lurlene McDaniel's emotional teen books, The Saddle Club series by Bonnie Bryant and Dinotopia! I have more planned for this week, including what a lot of female fans think of as their introduction to the fantasy genre!

Even more exciting is this Saturday is Dewey's Readathon! Have you signed up yet? My plans to really crack down and read all day this year have gotten blown up as I have to go into work for a few hours and it is all the Rhode Island Festival of Children's Books and Authors!! So much is going on, but I hope to still be able to read for several hours and finish several more books.  On a good note, since the boss is making me come in on a Saturday he has promised me a day off next week (and he will be away on a cruise all next week so that means a lot more reading time).

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Crafty Times (7)

Crafty Times is a new thing I am trying on the blog where I can share some of the art and crafts I have created (you can too of course). I really dabble in a wide variety of crafts and hope you can find something that sparks your interest or inspires you!
It is getting close to Christmas (I know not that close but I know things always get crazy the closer we get) so it is time to start thinking about gifts.  It can get really expensive when we have so many kids to get gifts for, so I had a moment of inspiration a couple of weeks ago.
I found these great blank books in the Target dollar bins not to long ago, I wasn't sure what I would do with them but I grabbed a bunch.  Then I saw on vacation how my little niece loved sticking stickers on pages.  So I decided for all the little kids I would make Sticker Books (because honestly you know we all had a sticker collection book as kids)!
I used letter stickers for the names on the fronts, and then I discovered Washi Tape (holy cow, I am a total convert and could easily become totally obsessed with this stuff), I decorated a few pages in the books and left a bunch blank so the kids could choose themed pages or not.
Princess Page
Construction page
Water Page
Airplanes Page
I also had Disney/Mickey Page, Music Page, Alphabet Page & Food Page.
I also raided my sticker box (I stash those free stickers you get from the Disney Movie club & Highlight Magazine fliers) and hit the dollar store, craft store and Staples for a bunch of sticker packs which I will divide up and give to each kid with a book.
It only took me about half an hour to make these books and I have 4 more to make, all in all a very inexpensive (under $5 per kid) and easy Christmas gift!