Sunday, October 19, 2014

OH my wow...

This is a really long 24 hours and I am fading fast. But here is the last survey

  1. Which hour was most daunting for you? 22
  2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?Well I only really was able to read 4 but I loved Secret of Pembrooke Park
  3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nah, I loved it
  4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I loved how even though I was a late comer I still had some cheerleaders and was able to fully participate
  5. How many books did you read? 4
  6. What were the names of the books you read?  Return of the King, War and Peace, The Secret of Penbrooke Farm, Prince Caspian
  7. Which book did you enjoy most? That is hard because they were all different but I did love finally finishing War and Peace
  8. Which did you enjoy least? Probably Prince Caspian Because it was in the last hours
  9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
  10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I most definitely will and  I would love to maybe host a mini-challenge 

It is Finished!

I have made it to hour 20! and what is more....

War & Peace - More Accurate Book Titles, lol! I will admit I had to make up my own non-Russian names when reading this. Regardless, beautiful literature.


I READ ALL OF WAR AND PEACE!!! THAT HUGE BOOK THAT NO ONE HAS EVER READ? YEAH I READ THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yeah I feel accomplished...


Why do I read?

Or when you must stay where you are...So the question has been posed as to Why do I read?

To be honest I haven't seriously thought about it too hard. It is just a key and core part of who I am. I am a reader and it makes me happy and it is something that I just need.

I also think that it is something that is just a genetic part of my makeup. I was talking with my wonderful Grandmother one time and she seemed to be the only one who understood that it really was hard to walk away from a book to do dishes, talk to people, sleep or eat. It just wasn't something that she could easily do. After hearing that I remember thinking "Finally!!! Someone who understands" She told me how her mother didn't really get it and how it seems to be something that skips generations. It made so much sense, and it made me so happy to know that there were other people who understood how important a fictional world could be.

It is a place where I can learn, where I can reach the heights and depths of humanity without having to tread there myself. Like what I found in the wonderful story Between Shades of Grey (Not to be confused with the horrible thing with a similar title) It helps me to grow and expand as a person. It opens up new ways of thought and introduces me to culture and language that isn't my own.  Like in The Stolen Girl. It to me seems to be a duty to read, to come to know the world around you and to try and understand how other people think.

It is also how I can escape from the world that surrounds me. Whether it's due to stress, to anxiety to just wanting to travel, I have a bunch of little black marks on a paper that can take me to any place, any time and can even help me to enter any mind. Who wouldn't want this kind of super power. I can stop being a stressed out college senior for a second and can travel into a wonderful romantic post WWII England with Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society or I can go to Russia and try to make sense of a madman and the internal struggles that many will face with Crime and Punishment.

So I just want to tell everyone to:
                                

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Hour 16 and Finally!!!

I FINALLY FINISHED A BOOK!!!

Goodness that took longer than expected....But what with the fact that I picked a nearly 500 pager to start out with, had to work, talk to people and took a couple of naps what is to be expected...



20665064I love Julie Klassen novels, and was really sad that I missed 2 when I was gone on my mission to Argentina, but! I am so glad that I got the chance to read the advanced readers copy. I will leave my full review up a little closer to when it gets published...BUT IT WAS WONDERFUL!

So glad that I got to read it and so glad that I chose this to be my first true readathon book!

Just keep reading, just keep reading, just keep reading, reading, reading...What do we do? We read, read, read!


So happy, and now...on to homework. War and Peace is calling...at least 100 pages of it...But it is a phenomenal book and so maybe I will just finish it off. I only have 300 pages left after all.

See you in a little bit!

HALF WAY THROUGH!!!

i knowSo we have hit the halfway mark. Hour 12...where on earth does the time fly? I have to admit that I was a little dozy for a while there but now I am up and ready to go...I just hope that it can last, I really don't feel as young as I once was :P

Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now?
Secret of Pembrooke Parke
2. How many books have you read so far?
Just 1 - Finished up Return of the King Work and volunteering have really gotten in the way this time around
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Mere Christianity It is one that I have been wanting to read for ages!
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Oh so many....I just let them slide, depending on who they are from. There aren't that many people here now that understand that when I am reading...you don't talk to me. But it is all good, can't get too mad at your friends right :)
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How tired I have been. I have been an absolute sleepy-head. Hopefully when I get home, get some caffeine in me and get in the groove I can make it the whole night. 

Hour 9

Ok, I am ensconced in the Main Hall of my school (an old hotel from the 1800s) no one knows where I am and the cell phone is turned off. There is nothing to get in between me and my books. Though while working it was great to get the chance to listen to Return of the King and finish the novel that way. Goodness I love that book.

So, for the count:
Books Read: Return of the King...

Goodness:
time

Hour 5 already???

So true!So as we are moving right along I find myself in a rather lame position because I have had to work, clean my church building (it's gotta be looking good for Sundays you know) and now finally I have a chance to sit and read...oh wait...I have to work for the next 4 hours....Oh well, I have been listening to Return of the Kingn the next...10 minutes...

This really is the story of my life right now...oh well..

READ-A-THON

Whoo-hoo!! So that time of year has come around again and it is the 24 hour readathon!!! I am so happy that this year I can participate seeing as the last couple circumstances haven't let me. But wonderful! Today I will be trying to read my little heart out because I have a lot of catching up to do.

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Buena Vista, Virginia
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
The Secret of Pembrooke Park3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Muddie Buddies!!! and Pomegranate seeds...they are my favorites and have been hard to find for the past year and a half as I have been in Argentina.4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I am just about ready to graduate from college and also love to knit and have a giant collection of Christmas sweaters. Also my friends say that if I was a disney character I would be Vanellope from Wreck It Ralph5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
Well it isn't my first but it has been a while. One thing that will be a little harder is figuring out a place to read, there are lots of loud people in my house who are wanting to get my attention...so probably going to head over to a neighboring college whose library never closes.

So my reading goals:
The Secret of Pembrooke Park by Julie Klassen
Catching up in War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
Little Pink House by Jeff Benedict
Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis
(The Purple ones are for school
 And If I make it through those then we will keep going on my kindle reads because I have a lot that need to be read!

I hope I can get a lot done today, it is a bit of a problem that I am working again and have a lot of other obligations, but well I have some books on tape on my phone and so that should help me through right!

Well love you all and hope that you have a wonderful day and readathon!

Monday, October 6, 2014

Misc Monday - Driftwood Tides

Driftwood TidesDriftwood Tides

By: Gina Holmes
Genre: Christian
Rating 3.5 stars
Summary:He made himself an island until something unexpected washed ashore.When Holton lost his wife, Adele, in a freak accident, he shut himself off from the world, living a life of seclusion, making driftwood sculptures and drowning his pain in gin. Until twenty-three-year-old Libby knocks on his door, asking for a job and claiming to be a friend of his late wife. When he discovers Libby is actually his late wife's illegitimate daughter, given up for adoption without his knowledge, his life is turned upside down as he struggles to accept that the wife he'd given saint status to was not the woman he thought he knew.Together Holton and Libby form an unlikely bond as the two struggle to learn the identity of Libby's father and the truth about Adele, themselves, and each other.


My Thoughts:
"And wasn't that what humanity was really? Nothing by weeds in God's garden, waiting for the day they would be changed into flowers."

This is one of my favorite quotes from the book, and one which I believe wonderfully describes the content. It is a book of people growing and overcoming the natural flaws which they have. All of the characters are flawed (some far more than others) but it was nice to get to know them, see them in their flaws and like them anyway. It was a good Christian novel in the fact that it wasn't preachy, it was just normal religious people letting their belief in God show. I like those far more than some of the others I have read.

A lot of elements come together to make this a sweet read - the stormy relationship between Libby and her mother, along with the confusion of two worlds colliding and the toll which it takes on Libby's relationships.

It was a sweet read, one that left me feeling happy and content with how everything turned out. It was relaxing and enjoyable and good if you have some time and just want a feel-good, warm fuzzy novel.



Thursday, September 25, 2014

Historical Thursday: The Legend of Sheba

The Legend of Sheba: Rise of a QueenThe Legend of Sheba: Rise of a Queen


By: Tosca Lee
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4 stars

Summary:

 In the tenth century BC, the new Queen of Sheba has inherited her father’s throne and all its riches at great personal cost. Her realm stretches west across the Red Sea into land wealthy in gold, frankincense, and spices. But now new alliances to the North threaten the trade routes that are the lifeblood of her nation. Solomon, the brash new king of Israel famous for his wealth and wisdom, will not be denied the tribute of the world—or of Sheba’s queen. With tensions ready to erupt within her own borders and the future of her nation at stake, the one woman who can match wits with Solomon undertakes the journey of a lifetime in a daring bid to test and win the king. But neither ruler has anticipated the clash of agendas, gods, and passion that threatens to ignite—and ruin—them both. An explosive retelling of the legendary king and queen and the nations that shaped history.

My thoughts:

This was really well done. Thoughtfully researched and crafted. There was much description and help to make the world come alive. Technically speaking I loved it. It was an enjoyable read.

She was so fun to get to know - witty, powerful and easy to empathize with - I loved her. And her relationship that developed with Solomon rich deep and complex. This goes far beyond what the Bible ever gave us. I loved being transported to Saba and to Jerusalem. 

It would have got 5 stars had there not be as much sexual content (no worries nothing explicit, but still it's there) and coming from a purely Christian background and not knowing that there were in fact, other accounts of the Queen of Sheba, it was a little hard to swallow her relationship with Solomon. But as I read the historical background at the end of the book everything tied together and it was good. I just wish I had read that part first so that I could have enjoyed the whole thing.

All in all I would say it was good, and if you like historical fiction, it is a great read!

I received a copy in exchange for a fair and honest review**

Friday, September 19, 2014

Just for Fun Friday - The System

The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football

The System: The Glory and Scandal of Big-Time College Football


By: Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian
Genre: Non-fiction, Sports
Rating: 4 stars

Summary:
COLLEGE FOOTBALL has never been more popular—or more chaotic. Millions fill 100,000-seat stadiums every Saturday; tens of millions more watch on television every weekend. The 2013 Discover BCS National Championship game between Notre Dame and Alabama had a viewership of 26.4 million people, second only to the Super Bowl. Billions of dollars from television deals now flow into the game; the average budget for a top-ten team is $80 million; top coaches make more than $3 million a year; the highest paid, more than $5 million.
     Celebrated investigative journalists Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian were granted unprecedented access during the 2012 season to programs at the highest levels across the country at a time of convulsive change in college football. Through dogged reporting, they explored every nook and cranny of this high-powered machine, and reveal how it operates from the inside out. The result: the system through the eyes of athletic directors and coaches, high-flying boosters and high-profile TV stars, five-star recruits and tireless NCAA investigators and the kids on whom the whole vast enterprise depends.
My Thoughts:
First off -- warning, this book uses the language of the locker room - meaning not for all ages and it has some graphic scenes.
Ok that is out of the way. I really wasn't sure how I would like this book when I was given it to read - I mean it is about football. You see the books I read...is football a part of that? Not at all. However, I loved it. I attend a little school, football is here but it is NOTHING like what goes on in the real NCAA football.
This book captured all of the different aspects, ones that are completely forgotten yet still hold crucial parts. The tutors, athletic directors and even the hostesses and janitors. It was amazing to get a closer look at what is going on in the college football scene. I loved it and was really excited to do this homework assignment.
Now would especially be a good time - with all of the NFL drama that is playing out off the field it would be good to take a good look at the program which develops them into who they are. I would most definitely recommend this for those who are wanting to understand more about the biggest and most notable part of our college culture. 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Misc. Monday - The Stolen Girl

The Stolen GirlThe Stolen Girl

By: Renita D'Silva
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating 4.5



Summary:
‘Your mother has been arrested. She stole you.’

For as long as thirteen-year-old Diya can remember, it’s always been just her and her mum, Vani. Despite never staying in one place long enough to call it home, with her mother by her side, Diya has never needed anything else. 

Then, in an instant, Diya’s fragile world is shattered. Her mother is arrested, accused of abducting Diya when she was a baby…

Vani has spent a lifetime looking over her shoulder, determined to make the best possible life for her daughter. Now she must fight for her child, re-opening the door to her childhood in India and the woman who was once as close to her as a sister.
Aarti had everything she could possibly want and lost it in the blink of an eye. She has spent these last 13 years hunting for the daughter she refused was lost.

My Thoughts:
Well after having been out of the book reading world for so long I was so glad that this was my first read. I loved it. It kind of took over my Saturday, work? homework? grad school prep...who cares! I need to figure out what on earth is going to happen here.

Right off the bat I had fallen in love with Diya for her down to earth personality and Vani for the immense love which she wasn't afraid to show her daughter. 

The story really reminded me of the work of Kate Morton. If you haven't read any of her works yet I would highly recommend The Distant Hours. Both authors have a way to make the world come alive and add a true texture not only to the characters, but I have never wanted to eat Indian food as much as I did while I was reading The Stolen Girl.

I love how the story of the past and present are woven together to help shed light on the truth. D'Silva manages to develop this empathy not only for the heroines of the novel, but also includes for the 'villain.' I was worried how she would wrap everything up - I had fallen in love with two of these women and wanted the 3rd to come out all right yet I couldn't figure out how she was going to do it. But do it D'Silva did and it was wonderfully done.

Overall I am so glad that I have found this new author, I will be running to check out her others books The Forgotten Dauther and Monsoon Memories...After I catch up on everything that was put on hold this weekend.

**I received this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

So....I am back

Hey there everyone...I am betting that anyone who ever read this ever have already moved on with their lives wondering what on earth had happened to the book addict, or perhaps not. Either way, I have been in Argentina for a year and a half and not really able to read nearly as much as I liked or really use the internet. But I am now back! Happy day!

So I have been gone for a while. What are the great books that have come out this last year and a half. Let me know. And I would love to hear what books I need to put on my READ NOW! list.

Have an adventure for me, be that in this world or a fictional one!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Short-Straw Bride


Short-Straw BrideShort-Straw Bride

by: Karen Whitemeyer
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating 3.5 stars

Summary:
No one steps on Archer land. Not if they value their life. But when Meredith Hayes overhears a lethal plot to burn the Archer brothers off their ranch, a twelve-year-old debt compels her to take the risk.

Fourteen years of constant vigilance hardens a man. Yet when Travis Archer confronts a female trespasser with the same vivid blue eyes as the courageous young girl he once aided, he can't bring himself to send her away. And when an act of sacrifice leaves her injured and her reputation in shreds, gratitude and guilt send him riding to her rescue once again.

Four brothers. Four straws. One bride. Despite the fact that Travis is no longer the gallant youth Meredith once dreamed about, she determines to stand by his side against the enemy that threatens them both.

My thoughts:
I love Witemeyer. She manages to get enough of the romance in that it is the perfect book for when you are having a blah day that you just want to perk up. Now do I wish that there was some more communication between everyone? Yes, naturally. But then we wouldn't have much of a story now would we?

Travis and Meredith might have started off with marriage but it is fun to read about how their friendship grows throughout the novel. Something I especially liked was how Travis learned the necessary lesson of how no man is an island and it's necessary to draw on others for help when you need to.

I have read the rest of Witemeyer's work (see Head in the Clouds and To Win her Heart) and while this one wasn't my favorite it really was up to par with her previous work. I can't wait to see what else she comes up with.

This book was given to my by Bethany House Publishing in exchange for an honest review.


Sunday, October 14, 2012

Cutting out early

There is no way for me to healthily stick with this so I will cut out 2 hours early.

It has been quite fun and I shall prepare better for future Readathons.

Moby-Dick...a whale of an assignment

My senior paper class has me reading Herman Melville's Moby-Dick currently and I came in not excited at all. If you haven't picked up on it yet, when it comes to classic literature give me England over America any day. So knowing I had to study Herman Melville for a semester I wasn't too thrilled. But the more of his works that I read the more in love with them I become.

Thus far Moby-Dick proves itself to be a masterfully crafted work. It dives deep into human nature and spirituality. I love it (even though I am way too far behind in it) and am so glad I have this opportunity to read it. I recommend it to everyone. It IS the classic that every person should read.

A Spy in the House

A Spy in the House (The Agency, #1)A Spy in the House
by: Y.S. Lee

Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: 4.5 Stars

Summary:
Rescued from the gallows in 1850s London, young orphan (and thief) Mary Quinn is surprised to be offered a singular education, instruction in fine manners — and an unusual vocation. Miss Scrimshaw’s Academy for Girls is a cover for an all-female investigative unit called The Agency, and at seventeen, Mary is about to put her training to the test. Assuming the guise of a lady’s companion, she must infiltrate a rich merchant’s home in hopes of tracing his missing cargo ships. But the household is full of dangerous deceptions, and there is no one to trust — or is there? Packed with action and suspense, banter and romance, and evoking the gritty backstreets of Victorian London, this breezy mystery debuts a daring young detective who lives by her wits while uncovering secrets — including those of her own past.

My Thoughts:
First, let us take a moment to drool over the cover - it's even more beautiful in person. Now the story is just as good as the cover. Yeah, doesn't happen all the time but here goodness it is amazing.  

I love Mary, she is strong willed, can be a bit snarky when she so chooses and recognizes her weaknesses yet doesn't let herself be over come by them.  Her characterization is consistant and fun and I am definitely going to find time to read the rest of these novels! It's the first in the series and her storyline wasn't completed so I cannot wait to get my hands on the second one.

I picked up the book thinking that it would be more about the schooling part of her life but it breezed over it and you know what I was fine. This story is much better than another boarding school story would have been. 

I also loved all of the little Victorian details that the author kept slipping in there. I can tell that they know their stuff. As a total Victorian I approve of the research that went into the writing of the book. 

So, if you love strong female protagonists, Victorian London, mysteries and not too much romance (huge plus) Read it!

Halfway! and Now I can really start!

So finally all of my obligations are over and I can just read!

Popcorn is popping, blanket fort is made and here is my midway survey!

Mid-Event Survey
1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
Eyes are tired and feet are sore.
2) What have you finished reading?
Sadly nothing, give me another 30 minutes...
3) What is your favorite read so far?
See above.
4) What about your favorite snacks?
Those little jawbreakers that you get in those huge mix bags of candy, though popcorn is one of my favorite things on the face of the planet.
5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
Not yet, but I haven't really been looking I will later on when I feel like I can't stay awake any longer.


Ok next post will have something finished! I promise!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Ok, one more break then a solid 9 hours!

So, I got asked to a dance...very last minute and have to take a little break and have some fun on the dance floor.

I almost finished A Spy in the House so more updates to come.

Why was Homecoming This week?

So yeah, Homecoming was this week and as I am on almost every committee known to mankind I have been running around all day. So I finally get about 3 hours of total reprieve nowish...

In the minutes I have been able to catch here and there I have been reading A Spy in the House which I have been wanting to read for ages because it has pretty much everything that I could ever want in a novel (except for a consistent narrator, sometimes it's limited omniscient other times its told from the point of view of their thoughts...yeah it isn't confusing and I wouldn't have noticed it before my narrative approaches to literature class, but there you go. At least I know that I'm learning something.) it's Victorian based, has a young female spy for a protagonist and a love plot that about half-way through has NOT manifested itself...perfect!

So I will get to homework eventually....I hope.

Buried Secrets

Buried Secrets By: Rachel Good Genre: Christian Fiction Rating: 4 stars Summary: Three years after the accident that almost claimed he...