Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grieving and Soap Operas


I lost My De the first of this month. It wasn't a shock, as she had been ill a long time. But theres really no way to be prepared for the loss of someone you love. You think your ready. Your a sensible person, you know theres no cure, but still it stuns you when it happens. The idea of our parents dieing just seems unthinkable. And yes, De was my parent. The world would view her as my grandmother, but she helped raise me and was a mother to me as much as my mom is. My mom is the more free spirited one, who taught me to be independent. My De was the over protective mother. She worried about me, fussed over me, did all those things that make you crazy but make you feel loved just the same. I was My De's first grandchild and I spent a good portion of my life living with her. That parent who thinks their child is perfect? That was how My De was with me.


For the past few weeks I have been back and forth to Texas, spent the last week of her life with My De and been through a memorial service in a town I hoped never to go back to. The whole thing has been a bit surreal. I have felt like I have been cast in a play or TV show that someone forgot to give me the script to. I've just felt a bit out of step, a bit off. Things that would normally worry me haven't really upset me as much as they normally would and the things that would usually make me ecstatic just haven't affected me as much. I was able to speak at her memorial and I will always be glad I did. To say I love My De doesn't cover it. I adore her. She was my best friend and my confidant. She was someone I could call up and tell her anything and know that she would still love me. That's a precious and rare thing and I know how blessed I am to have had that. I was glad I spoke about De as I knew her, not some person other people made her out to be. My De was spunky and full of fire. She was a pistol and hard to handle and proud of it. She was far from the stereotypical grandmother and that's part of what made her so special.


So now I am back to my "normal life". Things are going along, I'm working with my foster cats, working on bringing others in, doing all the things I'm supposed to. I keep thinking about grieving. Have I done it? Am I doing it? I'm honestly not sure. In some ways I feel like I have been grieving off and on for years, since she first became sick. I had times of being so angry this illness was happening to her and times where I would cry so hard blood vessels would break in my face. Maybe that's why I haven't cried as much as I thought I would after the fact. Maybe it's because I'm not ready to mourn and will do it when I am. I'm not sure.


Since being back home I have found comfort in an odd place: Soap Operas. Well, one soap opera precisely. When I was 12 I was home schooled for a year. I can't say that year did much for my academic life but it did give me and De a chance to start watching Soap Operas. There were three we liked, two of which have gone off the air, but our true love was one in particular: Guiding Light. Over the years I got busy and stopped watching, though I always had a soft spot for it. Last week I found myself watching it again and thinking about De. The funny thing is the couple we watched all those years ago who was in such romantic turmoil is the same one I am watching now. Josh and Reva are still star crossed lovers who we all know belong together but there are obstacles in their way. De thought Josh was so handsome (Eh, not really my type.) and she always liked Reva (She rocks in my book.) Alan's still there causing problems and I read today that Philip will be back next year. For an hour a day I watch GL and that time when De and I would lay on the bed in her room and watch the show together doesn't seem that far away or that long ago. Maybe it's because it struck me this year that there are shows I'll never get to watch with her that she would have loved. (She would have loved to laugh at Bones and would have thought David Boreanaz was good looking. And One Tree Hill would have drawn her in. I know she would have been a Nathan fan just like me.) It may seem silly to mourn over shows you can't share but it's not the shows so much as the sharing. It's something we always did and sadly can't do anymore. But with GL we can in a way. Soaps really don't change much over the years and theres a comfort in that, especially now. I feel closer to My De when I'm watching GL and it makes me feel better. That's priceless for me. So for now and the foreseeable future, I'll be getting my daily dose of soap. It's an hour out of the day that's just about De and me, just like old times.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

End of the Event Meme

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?

Hour 21, the last one I did.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?

Under The Duvet
The Devils' Arithmetic
Some of Tim Myers Candlemaking Mysteries

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Nope, it's great!

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?

Everything

5. How many books did you read?

I finished two and started two more, one of which I almost finished.

6. What were the names of the books you read?

Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes - Finished
Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handelhan - Finished
Eating My Words:An Appetite For Life by Mimi Sheraton
The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolan
Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

7. Which book did you enjoy most?

Any Given Doomsday & The Devil's Arithmetic

8. Which did you enjoy least?

Eating My Words-It's a good book, but not as good as Garlic and Sapphires

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?

N/A

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?

Definitely as a reader!

End of Hour 21

I'm calling this hour a bit early as I am tired and heading off to bed.

The Devil's Arithmetic - 8 pages

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 8

Total pages read: 254

Minutes Read: Aprox. 677

I only have 36 pages to go in my book but I am too tired to keep going. It's bed time for me.

End of Hour 20

The Devil's Arithmetic - 22 pages

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 22

Total pages read: 246

Minutes Read: Aprox. 661

End of Hour 19

Dead Until Dark - 12 pages

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 12

Total pages read: 224

Minutes Read: Aprox. 608

Spent some time reading with Muzzy, our 16 year old foster kitty and then with the foster boys (and Katie) in Richard's office. My eyes are beginning to feel like they are crossing. I'm trying to keep going a bit longer.....

End of Hour 18

The Devil's Arithmetic - 9 pages

Dead Until Dark - 8 pages

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 17

Total pages read: 212

Minutes Read: Aprox. 569

Had a snack of a bagel with cream cheese, to give me an energy boost. It worked!

End of Hour 17

The Devil's Arithmetic - 16 pages

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 16

Total pages read: 195

Minutes Read: Aprox. 530

End of Hour 16

The Devil's Arithmetic - 3 pages

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 3

Total pages read: 179

Minutes Read: Aprox. 487

The games almost over and my boys are kicking LA butt! Will pick up my reading speed when the games done.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

End of Hour 15

The Devil's Arithmetic - 4 pages

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 4

Total pages read: 176

Minutes Read: Aprox. 469

Not getting much reading done as Houston Dynamo is playing and they are my boys.

End of Hour 14

The Devil's Arithmetic - 6 pages

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 6

Total pages read: 172

Minutes Read: Aprox. 430

End of Hour 13

The Devil's Arithmetic - 5 pages

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 5

Total pages read: 166

Minutes Read: Aprox. 397

Took a bit of a break, watched some soccer, did some mini-challenges and visited a few blogs.

The Very Mini-Library Cat Challenge

Mac
Everett Library
Queens University of Charlotte
Charlotte, NC

Spencer Public Library

Puss in Books,

Dewey Readmore Books

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?

The Devil's Arithmetic

2. How many books have you read so far?

Finished two that I had started before the challenge

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Reading more of The Devil's Arithmetic. So far it's a very good book.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

Not really anything special, just made sure to keep the day free.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

Meals and the cats getting into stuff.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

How tired reading can make you!

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

I wish it started later. I know it's the same it is to try and be the best for all time zones but I am just not a morning person.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

Nothing.

9. Are you getting tired yet?

Yes! Am taking a bit of a break, watching a soccer game and getting some caffeine in me.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?

A change of scenery works wonders. We went out to dinner at a local cafe where we could eat and that gave me a boost.

End of Hour 12

The Devil's Arithmetic - 5 pages

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 5

Total pages read: 161

Minutes Read: Aprox. 382

Read during dinner at Panera

End of Hour 11

The Devil's Arithmetic - 14 pages

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 14

Total pages read: 156

Minutes Read: Aprox. 363

Read during dinner at Panera

End of Hour 10

The Devil's Arithmetic - 11 pages

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 11

Total pages read: 142

Minutes Read: Aprox. 327

Off to get some dinner now.....

End of Hour 9

The Devil's Arithmetic - 6 pages
So far I am really enjoying this book.

Dead Until Dark - 12 pages
Not too sure about this one yet.

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 18

Total pages read: 131

Minutes Read: Aprox. 305

End of Hour 8

I spent the first 15 minutes listing my new books on Shelfari, ect.

The Devil's Arithmetic - 25 pages

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 25

Total pages read: 113

Minutes Read: Aprox. 263

End of Hour 7

I spent the last part of this hour figuring out what to read next. Since I finished two today I started two new books as well.

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland - 26 pages Finished it!

Books Finished - 2

Pages this hour - 26

Total pages read: 88

End of Hour 6

Time for lunch, so this hour I only read a little over 30 minutes.

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland - 11 pages

Books Finished - 1

Pages this hour - 11

Total pages read: 62

End of Hour 5

Under the Duvet by Marian Keys - 11 pages Finished it!

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland - 9 pages

Books Finished - 1

Pages this hour - 20

Total pages read: 51

End of Hour 4

Under the Duvet by Marian Keys - 5 pages

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland - 11 pages

Pages this hour - 16

Total pages read: 31

Read-A-Thon Introduction Meme

Where are you reading from today?

So far, the couch in our living room. I'm sure I'll wind up reading in our bedroom a bit and we have planned dinner out at a local sandwich place where we can read while we eat.

3 facts about me …

1. I'm a scattered reader, reading from multiple books at one time.

2. I turned the heat on for the first time this year since it's chilly and I want to be cozy to read.

3. My cats think this read-a-thon is wonderful, as it means both myself and Richard and lounging in the living room today.

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?

Way too many! But I like to have choices.

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?

I want to finish two of my books I am currently reading (Under the Duvet & Any Given Doomsday). I like easy, attainable goals!

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time?

This is my second read-a-thon. I guess the thing I find helpful is to take short breaks when I feel burnt out and to have multiple books going so I have plenty to choose from.

End of Hour 3

I got a late start on the read-a-thon. I tried to get going on time but it was impossible for me to get going at 8 a.m. Here's what I read this hour (the first hour for me, third for everyone else.)

Eating My Words by Mimi Sheraton - 4 pages

Under the Duvet by Marian Keys - 6 pages

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland - 5 pages

Total pages read: 15

The Jury by Fern Michaels


I finished this book early on this month and am just now getting around to posting it (A bit of housekeeping before tomorrow's read-a-thon). This is the fourth in The Sisterhood series and my least favorite so far. It felt a bit disjointed to me. Having said that, I love this series and it came as such a surprise to me. I was not expecting to be sucked in by it and yet, I have been! Since I started the series back in June I have always had one of the books going. I rarely do that with a series, preferring to space them out. But I have been so intrigued with the characters and the whole premise of the books (A group of women who seek revenge on those who have done them wrong and whom the justice system has failed to punish.) that I have kept reading. I am currently reading the next in the series, Sweet Revenge, along with four other books. If I wasn't reading other books at the same time I could have quite easily finished the series by now. I am so glad there is a follow up series that is currently being written. I will have more books to read in the Sisterhood series for quite a while to come!

Bridget Jones Diary & A Change in Challenges


I tried to read Bridget Jones in September. I made it to page 60 and found I just really wasn't enjoying the book at all. Since life is too short and there are so many good books out there I gave up on it.

This book would have counted towards two challenges (New Classics & Book to Movie Challenge). However I have found I really only enjoy the challenges that have very loose guidelines. Otherwise I feel pressured to read certain books and end up not enjoying them. I do best with challenges like the Cozy Mystery Challenge and the July Book Blow out, where I set the number and chose the books. Otherwise I seem to lose the joy in reading. So from now on I am going to be a lot more selective in challenges and most likely will not finish the two mentioned above. I never was very good at reading books I was told to read so this should come as no surprise! Since reading for me is all about enjoyment I know this is the right decision.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

24 Hour Read-A-Thon

This Saturday is another 24 Hour Read-A-Thon. I have quite a few books I am close to finishing up so I should be able to finish them off on Saturday. I am in a reading mood at the moment so hopefully this will be a good Read-A-Thon for me. Of course, Richard will no doubt outread me! I also have a few posts I need to make on here about some books I have finished. Last time was great and this one should be a fun day.



Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Cozy Mystery Challenge Wrap-Up

My goal for this challenge was to read three cozy mysteries. I didn't really make a list to start with, just chose some likely candidates. I did read one book I mentioned (Snuffed Out, second in the candle series) but did not read any by Laura Childs.

I read:
The Big Nap by Ayelet Waldman
Home Again, Home Again by Susan Rogers Cooper
Snuffed Out by Tim Myers

I enjoyed all three books and can't wait to do this challenge again.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Snuffed Out by Tim Myers

I finished Snuffed Out by Tim Myers today.
Just in time for the challenge deadline!
It was a good, easy read and I was never completely sure I had the "bad guy" figured out. My hunch was right but that didn't spoil it for me. It was a great cozy mystery.

By finishing this book I completed the Cozy Mystery Challenge. I set my goal at three books and I completed three books. I enjoyed all three and had a great time with this challenge.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Home Again, Home Again

I finished Home Again, Home Again by Susan Rogers Cooper.
It was a very good book, in my favorite cozy mystery series.
This one was a bit different than the other two I have read in the series, as it is told from both EJ's POV and her husband's. It kept me guessing and while I was close to guessing who the "bad guy" was, I wasn't dead on perfect. This series is set in Texas Hill Country and it always makes me miss home. It was a great read. This is the second book I have read for the Cozy Mystery Challenge.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Big Nap




I finished The Big Nap by Ayelet Waldman. This counts toward The Cozy Mystery Challenge. This was a good book. It kept me entertained and I didn't figure it out till they told me who the "bad guy" was. I actually enjoyed this a lot more than the first is the series (Nursery Crimes).

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Garlic and Sapphires

I finished Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl yesterday. It was a wonderful book that I hated to finish. The author rights about food in such a way that you envision it and practically taste it. She is the first person to ever tempt me to try Sushi, something I thought unimaginable. I took my time with this book, reading little bits here and there, not wanting it to end. Sadly it did, but this book is definitely a keeper so it will be with me for a long time to come.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

J&R Personal Read-A-Thon Wrap Up

It was a fun day of reading. I never read as much as I think I will (I have a horrible habit of getting distracted by noises, by the babies, ect.) but I got quite a bit read. I finished up one book I had been drawing out (Garlic and Sapphires), got a bit read on one I had been reading for a bit (Under the Duvet) and got a good start on my two newest books (The Big Nap and Bridget Jone's Diary.) The TV was never on, except for when I took a short break and played Wii for a half hour or so. All the kids enjoyed having us home (What better combo than a cat and a book.) and it was a much needed relaxing day for Richard and a nice break from all the craziness of normal life for us all. All in all I think it was a successful day.

J&R Personal Read-A-Thon Hour 12

Hour 12

Final Hour

Under the Duvet-3 pages
Bridget Jone's Diary-10 pages
Total for this hour-13 pages
Total pages read=159 pages

J&R Personal Read-A-Thon Hour 11

Hour 11

Dinner Time

The Big Nap-5 pages
Under the Duvet-2 pages
Total for this hour-7 pages
Total pages read=146 pages

J&R Personal Read-A-Thon Hour 10

Hour 10

Part of this hour was spent trying to sort out dinner.

Bridget Jone's Diary-6 pages
Under the Duvet-11 pages
Total for this hour-17 pages
Total pages read=139 pages

J&R Personal Read-A-Thon Hour 9

Hour 9

I finished Garlic and Sapphires this hour. I'll post and review it tomorrow.

Garlic & Sapphires-14 pages
Under the Duvet-5 pages
Total for this hour-19 pages
Total pages read=122 pages

J&R Personal Read-A-Thon Hour 8

Hour 8

Garlic & Sapphires-4 pages
The Big Nap-10 pages
Total for this hour-14 pages
Total pages read=103 pages

J&R Personal Read-A-Thon Hour 7

Hour 7

No reading done, took a break.

J&R Personal Read-A-Thon Hour 6

Hour 6

The Big Nap-12 pages
Total for this hour-12 pages
Total pages read=89 pages

J&R Personal Read-A-Thon Hour 5

Hour 5

Lunch time

Garlic & Sapphires-4 pages
The Big Nap-7 pages
Total for this hour-11 pages
Total pages read=77 pages

J&R Personal Read-A-Thon Hour 4

Hour 4

I only read for the first half of the hour. I took a little cat nap for the last half hour.

Bridget Jone's Diary-13 pages
Total for this hour-13 pages
Total pages read=66 pages

J&R Personal Read-A-Thon Hour 3

Hour 3

Didn't read as much this time as I spent the first part of the hour getting caught up here.

The Big Nap-11 pages
Under the Duvet-5 pages
Total for this hour-16 pages
Total pages read=53 pages

J&R Personal Read-A-Thon Hour 2

Hour 2

The Net is back up and working so I am good to go.

The Big Nap-22 pages
Total for this hour-22 pages
Total pages read=37 pages

J&R Personal Read-A-Thon Hour 1

Hour 1

I am up on time and ready to read! However out Internet was down so I am blogging this from my handwritten notes.

Garlic & Sapphires-4 pages
Bridget Jone's Diary-11 pages
Total for this hour-15 pages
Total pages read=15 pages

Monday, September 01, 2008

Plans for tomorrow

Richard took the day off work tomorrow and we are planning our own little read-a-thon. Starting at 10 am we'll be reading the day away. (Those of you who know me are laughing at me doing anything functional at 10 but I swear I am going to try!) Since I started reading The Jury yesterday (It's the next in the Fern Michaels Sisterhood series-I couldn't resist.) and started two books for challenges today (Bridget Jone's Diary & The Big Nap) I have plenty to read. I'm currently reading six different books, though I am very close to finishing Garlic and Sapphires (I hate to see it end.) Hopefully I can get quite a bit read and there will be hourly or so updates tomorrow on my progress.

Vendetta by Fern Michaels


I finished Vendetta today. This wasn't for a challenge or anything, just a series I enjoy reading. This is the 3rd if the series and I am already looking forward to the next book in the series. (I have a lot to read for challenges and such so I am debating whether to read it next or not.) These are quick, entertaining books with characters you really get to care about. I started reading the first in the series, not sure if I would like it at all as it wasn't my usual kind of book. I read it very quickly and was onto the next in the series. I usually don't read books in series back to back, as I like to spread them out. But with these I just wanted to know what was going to happen and how it would all turn out. The next book is in a box in the room next to me.....I'm not sure I can resist the temptation!

Finishing this means I read two whole books in August. Not a lot, but I read lots of parts of other books too. It's not about the numbers with me, it's about the enjoyment of reading.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Book #1 New Classics Challenge Black Water


I finished Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates late last night. I wanted to like this book, I really did. I thought the concept was interesting. It was obvously supposed to be about Ted Kennedy and the Chappaquiddick incident. Unfortunately I hated the book. It was repetitive and had a very odd writing style that just made it hard for me to get that interested in the story. There were whole paragraphs with only one period right at the end. It made me a bit crazy.

The one thought I really got from it was how sad it was, that this young girl was so flattered that this man was interested in her that she was willing to change all her plans to go with him. She didn't dare say she thought they were lost as she didn't want to upset him. She was so thrilled to be "the one". In the end she lost her life because of it. It's a concept I can understand intellectually (having seen it in some of my friends) but not emotionally. I was raised to believe in my worth as a human being. I wish more girls were. I wanted to grab Kelly and shake her and tell her how much better she could do than this old, skeezy man. This aspect of the book left me feeling sad, frustrated and angry. But at least it made me feel, which is more than I can say for the rest of the book.

Here's hoping I have better luck with the next book I read in this challenge.

Cozy Mystery Challenge

I am taking part in yet another reading challenge. This one is a good one for me as I love cozy mysteries. I don't want to overwhelm myself though, as I have quite a few challenges going on. So I am going to make a goal of 3 books for this challenge. Hopefully I can wrap up some of the other books I am reading now before September so I can be on track to get reading some cozy mysteries!

I have the second in the candle series my Tim Myers and quite a few by Laura Childs. I have a lot of cozy mysteries to choose from so it will be fun to pick when the time comes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Started the New Classics Challenge

I started reading Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates yesterday, as part of the New Classics challenge. So far, so good. It's a bit of a strange writing style but it moves pretty quickly and has kept my interest. It's not a long book and even with the other books I'm reading (Doesn't everyone read 5 books at a time?) I should be able to finish it in August.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Book to Movie Challenge


I'm taking part in this challenge. Between Sept 1 and Dec 1 I have to read three books that were made into movies. My choices are:


1. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
2. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
3. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

I have seen only one of these movies (Practical Magic) so will definitely plan on watching the movies as well.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

July Book Blowout Book #5


I finished Lydia Cassatt Reading the Morning Paper by Harriet Scott Chessman last night. It was heartbreakingly sad but very beautiful. Mary Cassatt is my favorite painter so I really enjoyed this book. It's a keeper and will never be leaving my house.

So in finishing this book I made my goal of five books for the month of July. Woohoo! I finished two books that had been hanging around forever and read faster than I normally would. I enjoyed the challenge and hope to do another.

Friday, July 25, 2008

July Book Blowout Book #4


I finished The Lottery Winner by Mary Higgins Clark. I have been reading this off and on for months now and finally finished it this morning. I am just not a fan of short stories so it took me longer to finished than it should have. It evens by book count for this month out to four. One more book to go for the months goal.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

July Book Blowout Book #3 1/2


I enjoyed At Wick's End much more than I thought I would. I didn't figure out who the killer was for quite some time and even then it was just a hunch, I wasn't sure till right near the end. Even then there were enough suspects to make you suspect a lot of people. It was a light read but an enjoyable one. I definitely plan on reading the rest of the series.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

July Book Blowout Book #3


I started and finished Letter from the Inside by John Marsden this week. What a disappointment. I love his series and was looking forward to this book. I found it depressing and the ending was sad and horrible. Definitely not a keeper for me.

(Technically this is book 2 1/2 since the first book I finished I had started in June. I didn't realize that when I started though and Book 2 1/2 sounds silly.)

Monday, July 14, 2008

July Book Blowout Book #2



I finished Hickory Dickory Stalk by Susan Rogers Cooper last night. It was a wonderful book and I didn't figure out who the killer was till they told me. I love that! This is the second book in this series and I can't wait to read the rest of them.
This is the second book towards my July Blowout challenge of 5.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

The New Classics Challenge

I am taking part in another challenge. Here is the list of books that Entertainment Weekly has chosen as the New Classics. I have bolded the ones I have already read (sadly, only one, though I did make it half way through The Lovely Bones) and have indicated the 6 I plan to read and review by January 31, 2008 by turning them lilac.

Edited 7/24/08 I realized I only chose 5 books so came back to choose a 6th.

1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
4. The Liars' Club, Mary Karr (1995)
5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
20. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)
22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)
24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)
25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)
26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
31. The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990)
32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
36. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)
41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)
47. World's Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)
51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)
53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)
58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)
62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)
66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)
90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
98. The Predators' Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)
99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)

July Blowout Meme

1. Describe yourself in one sentence A crazy redheaded cat rescuer from Texas who now lives in NC and loves her husband, her dog, her cats and books.

2. What book will you start the challenge with? I'm going to finish up the ones I have been reading first. Since I am late getting to this meme I finished Nursery Cries by Ayelet Waldman first.

3. Where is your favourite place to read? Laying across my bed.

4. What is your favourite book of all time? The Stand by Stephen King

5. Remind us all of your challenge target 5 books

Thursday, July 03, 2008

July Book Blowout Book #1


I finished Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman late last night. It was a good book and a fun read. I did figure out who the killer was about half way through but I think that's due to me reading so many mysteries. This is the first book towards my July Blowout challenge of 5.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Post Read-A-Thon Survey

1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 15. I was burnt out on reading. Also the last few hours of the challenge. I was trying so hard to finish Nursery Crimes and there just wasn't enough time.

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Any of the Sisterhood novels by Fern Michaels.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope, it's great as is.

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Having all sorts of mini-challenges. They were great to do when I needed a break from reading.

5. How many books did you read? Almost two

6. What were the names of the books you read?
Payback by Fern Michaels
Vendetta by Fern Michaels
Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman
The Lottery Winner by Mary Higgins Clark
Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl
I am now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
Payback by Fern Michaels

8. Which did you enjoy least?
I am now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
N/A

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Very, very likely. A reader, for sure.

Summary of the Read-A-Thon

Over all I read:
I read 243 pages in 6 different books.
I read for 591 minutes.
I finished one book and almost finished another one. I started one book I discarded as I was not enjoying it.
I took part in three mini-challenges.
I won one prize.

By book I read:
Payback-52 pages. Finished this book.
Vendetta-7 pages. Started this book, read the prologue.
Nursery Crimes-146 pages. Almost finished this book.
Garlic and Sapphires-10 pages. Only read when eating.
The Lottery Winner-16 pages. Finished the short story I was reading.
On the bright side, I am now the Girlfriend of a Sex God-12 pages. Started and discarded this book.

It was lots of fun, much more tiring than I thought and I got nowhere near as much read as I thought I would. I can't wait to do it again!

Hours 22 - 24

I got up around 9:00 to get some reading in. Between 9 and 12 I was able to read:
47 pages in Nursery Crimes.
I read for 126 minutes.
I was hoping to finish off Nursery Crimes but just ran out of time. I have about 30 pages to go.

Out of here

OK, I am off to shower and then to bed. I hope to get some reading in tomorrow before the end of the Read-A-Thon. Good luck all you crazy readers still up out there!

So tired

I am debating with myself about going to bed soon. I have to get up and head out tomorrow morning to pick up our cats from adoption center, drop them off at home, pick up another foster kitten and go to an adoptathon from 1-4. I'm on page 131 of my book and it has 215 pages so that's 85 pages left. No way will I finish it tonight, as my eyes are way too tired. I may post on some blogs and look around a bit but I think I am done reading for tonight. Maybe I can fit in some reading tomorrow on the way to pick up the kitties, which will be before the 12 pm cutoff.

Hour 15 Mini Challenge

Where is your current book set? If it’s a real place, go to wikipedia and find five interesting facts about the place and post about it in your blog.

My current book (Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman) is set in Los Angeles. I have never been there, even though I lived in San Francisco for almost three years. So, 5 interesting facts about L.A.:

1. It's the home of the L.A. Galaxy, my soccer teams arch rivals. Boo!

2. In West Hollywood it is illegal to declaw your cat. Yae!

3. It has 25 sister cities, one of which is Saint Petersburg, Russia.

4. The Cobb Salad was invented in L.A.

5. The Los Angeles Public Library has over 6 Million Volumes and has 71 branch locations. (I had to get a book fact in here!)

End of Hour Fourteen

Time 1:57
I read 10 pages of Nursery Crimes.
Total pages read: 196
I read for 33 minutes.
Total minutes read: 465
Books finished: Payback by Fern Michaels
I am finding it harder to concentrate and I had a distraction as well. My baby foster kittens (8 weeks old) were crying to be fed. I went up and fed them and like a good momma stayed with them so they could run around a bit. Reading with kittens jumping over your legs is not the best for concentration!

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now? Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman

2। How many books have you read so far? One but I had started it before today.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Vendetta by Fern Michaels, which I started today, but have only ready the Prologue. Not sure if I will start a new book, though I might to keep me motivated.

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Not really. We did decide not to go out for a optional trip.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? A few, not many. One email I needed to answer and going out to get the kitties. Just did what needed to be done and came back to my book.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? It's harder than I thought it would be. Fun, but tiring.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope, it's great as is. Though I also think it might be cool to do it twice a year, instead of just once.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I might have spent more time researching what I wanted to read. I didn't have a lot of time to plan this year.

9. Are you getting tired yet? Yep.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? I jot down all my notes in my spiral bound journal (Pages read, minutes read, ect.) and then post it to my blog.

End of Hour Thirteen

Time 12:53
I read 22 pages of Nursery Crimes.
Total pages read: 186
I read for 37 minutes.
Total minutes read: 432
Books finished: Payback by Fern Michaels

Saturday, June 28, 2008

End of Hour Twelve

Time 11:57
I read 10 pages of Nursery Crimes.
Total pages read: 164
I read for 20 minutes.
Total minutes read: 395
Books finished: Payback by Fern Michaels

End of Hour Eleven

I took a break this hour...watched the end of the soccer game (a tie), played around on the computer and watched some T.V.

End of Hour Ten

Time 10:04
I read 4 pages of Garlic and Sapphires while eating our dinner of delivery pizza. I also read 7 pages of Nursery Crimes.
Total pages read: 154
I read for 37 minutes.
Total minutes read: 375
Books finished: Payback by Fern Michaels
I ate some dinner and dealt with a pregnant kitty situation via email during this hour, and still managed to read a bit.

End of Hour Nine

Time 9:03
I read 3 pages in Nursery Crimes. I also read 7 pages in Vendetta by Fern Michaels.
Total pages read: 143
I read for 37 minutes.
Total minutes read: 338
Books finished: Payback by Fern Michaels
It's time for the Quakes soccer game, which makes it a bit harder to concentrate. So I started the next in the Sisterhood series which is quick and easy to read. I love this series!

End of Hour Seven & Eight

Time 8:00
I read 8 pages in Nursery Crimes.
Total pages read: 133
I read for 21 minutes.
Total minutes read: 301
Books finished: Payback by Fern Michaels
I ended up not reading anything while we were out, so only got to read for a short while after we got back.

End of Hour Six

Time 5:58
I read 21 pages in Nursery Crimes.
Total pages read: 125
I read for 42 minutes.
Total minutes read: 280
Books finished: Payback by Fern Michaels
It's time for a short break now, as we need to head off to get two of our foster cats from the adoption center. I'll probably take a book with me in the car to read just a bit.

End of Hour Five

Time 5:00
I read 2 in The Lottery Winner, finishing the short story I was reading. I also read 18 pages in Nursery Crimes by Ayelet Waldman.
Total pages read: 104
I read for 55 minutes.
Total minutes read: 238
Books finished: Payback by Fern Michaels
I had started Nursery Crimes before but hadn't read too much into it. It's a pretty easy read. Not sure if I am going to keep reading it this next hour or try something new. I should keep plugging away at The Lottery Winner but short stories just kill me. I'll finish it eventually.

End of Hour Four

Time 4:01
I read 10 pages in The Lottery Winner. I also read 12 pages in a new book called On the bright side, I am now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison.
Total pages read: 84
I read for 46 minutes.
Total minutes read: 183
Books finished: Payback by Fern Michaels
I discarded I am now the Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison after starting it. It wasn't what I expected. I was thinking it was Chic Lit and it was YA. I love YA but found the main characters voice in this book annoying.

End of Hour Three

Time 3:02
I read 16 pages in Payback and finished it. I also read 4 pages in The Lottery Winner.
Total pages read: 62
I read for 53 minutes.
Total minutes read: 137
Book finished: Payback by Fern Michaels This is the second in the Sisterhood series and was a fun read. I am enjoying these books much more than I thought I would. Next I am going to finish the short story in The Lottery Winner that I am reading and then possibly take a break with another book. Short stories are just not my thing.

End of Hour Two

Time 2:00
I read 10 pages in Payback.
Total pages read: 42
I read for 24 minutes, the other time was spent updating my blog and trying to get my feed to work.
Total minutes read: 84
Book finished: So far, none.

End of Hour One

Time 1:14
I read 6 pages in Garlic and Sapphires and 26 pages in Payback.
Total pages read: 32
Minutes read: 60, give or take a few. I answered the meme which took some time away from reading.
Book finished: So far, none.

24 Hour Read-A-Thon Introduction Mem

Where are you reading from today?
My couch, for the most part. I may read on the bed for a bit and possibly in the car if we go out.

3 facts about me:
• It's a perfect reading day as I am tired and am looking forward to a day in. Plus we just got our AC replaced on Thursday after being without it for two weeks.

• Barring a miracle my husband will read more than me today.

• I could do a 24 hour read-a-thon for the next month and still have too many books to read!

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
19, counting the three I am already reading. I don't think I will get through half of them but I like to have choices.

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
I want to finish at least two of the books I am currently reading and would love to get another one started and/or finished.

Any advice for people doing this for the first time?
I'm one of those first timers, so no.

Almost Time.....


to start the read-a-thon. I have a bagel here to eat and am ready to go. I will read a little of Garlic and Sapphires with breakfast then switch to Payback. Hope everyone else is as excited as I am.

Getting ready for the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon


I am very excited about the read-a-thon which starts tomorrow. (Well, technically today but it doesn't start till 12 my time.) I have one book I am almost done with, 50 or so pages to go. I'll read a bit tonight before I go to bed (I almost always do, thank to my Book Wedge.) and whatever I haven't finished I'll read tomorrow. I also have three other books going, one of which I am not going to try to finish. I am enjoying it so much I want to draw it out. The other two though, well one I am about half way through. It's short stories, which I am really not fond of. If I break it up I can probably finish it. And the other I am not too far into so it depends if I want to keep reading that tomorrow or start something new. I have a box by me on the couch all ready with some books to choose from. These are all books I had here at home, waiting to be read. Most are shorter books but all have been in my TBR boxes of which I have way too many. The funny thing is that Venus thinks the box is wonderful, and has decided the space between me and the box is the coziest spot in the house. Guess who will be my reading buddy tomorrow?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

July Book Blowout


July Book Blowout

I have hundreds of books waiting to be read. So, in order to challenge myself to read more I am taking part in the July Book Blowout. I am going to challenge myself to read five books in July. I usually can make it through two, so upping to five will be a challenge.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Read-a-Thon

I am taking part in a 24 hour Read-a-Thon on Saturday!