Monday, May 28, 2012

Manic Monday: Week of May 28

We all know that Mondays are typically pretty manic for us all.  Honestly, who in the world likes Mondays?!  So here's an attempt for me to organize my thoughts for the week.  Here you'll find what I'm reading, what I will picking up next, different posts that you can expect in the upcoming week, and a recap of the posts from last week!  And anything else I see fit, of course :]

Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin
I have been reading this book honestly for what feels like forever.  I'm over halfway through it and for a while I felt like I was making really good progress and then I hit like halfway and it feels like I'm never going to finish it.  Not that I don't like it, its just so damn long I guess.  After the ending of the first book I was dying to see what was going to happen to the Stark children.  I still do want to see what is going to happen, I just need a break from this.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
I picked this up from the store the other day and it looks to be a very quick read, which is what I'm in the mood for after the length of A Clash of Kings.  I haven't gotten far enough into it to really have an opinion, but I hope to finish it fairly quickly!

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What will I be picking up next?
I have no idea what I'm going to pick up next.  I'm going to pick up whatever strikes my fancy at that particular moment.  I think that is the way I'm going to operate this month.  :]

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What can you expect this week?
There really is no telling what you can expect this week.  I have to figure out what I need to write reviews on and I need to figure out if I'm going to record some video reviews and what not.  There will be no memes though, I can tell you that much.  I have so much to catch up on!

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In case you missed it....
There wasn't anything to miss!  I haven't really updated in two months and I'm really sorry!  I fell off the wagon for a week and just stayed off the wagon apparently, but I have missed it and the community and hopefully I will be able to find the time to keep this updated.  Even though I may not have the time to update every day like I used to, I hope to be able to at least 4 times a week.  For those of you that are still around and still reading, thank you!  I appreciate your support <3

Sunday, May 27, 2012

In My Mailbox (35)

And here is the return of In My Mailbox!  I have a lot of things to show off in this video!  Very exciting! :]



Saturday, May 5, 2012

Well that was a break.

Oh hi there!

The last time this blog was updated was April 8th.  Honestly, I can't really say how that happened.  I think it was a combination of a lot of different things.  My hours at work have been a little crazy, I've been there a lot more.  Overall, my life it changing in a lot of different ways, so things have been shifting around.

Like I said, work had something to do with it.  I'm also looking for another job.  I need something that pays more because I am SO READY to move.  I'm ready to get out on my own, I'm ready to be with the person that I love most and start our life together.  I was fortunate enough to have an interview last week.  I'm still waiting to hear back, but I feel like my chances are pretty good.  I have my fingers crossed, because if I get it, there are going to be a lot of changes for me in the near future.

Anyway, with all that was going on, I have had little time to even turn on my computer.  I've been around on twitter and such, but limited and most of that has either been from my ipod touch or the iphone that I got at the beginning of the week.  I've still been reading, but not as much.  That's only due to lack of time.  Believe me, there are days that all I want to do is lie in bed with a book and not do anything else.  But, life is pulling me in a million different directions and this is one of the things that has been neglected.

Like I said, I'm still reading, and starting on Monday I really want to get back into the swing of things.  I have I swear like 10 reviews that need to be posted, I have at least 3 vlogs that I need to record, and a multitude of other things.  I really miss the blogging community, and not only have I not been blogging, but I haven't even had time to read other blogs, which I hate!  I'm so out of the loop!

But, this is me, pledging to begin updating regularly as of Monday.  For those of you reading this is your feedreader or email, thank you for not unsubscribing after I fell off the face of the planet.  I promise that you will see new content soon and thank you for stocking around!  It means a lot! <3

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Sunday Salon (35) - Happy Easter!

The Sunday Salon
Or, as a coworker of mine puts it, Happy Zombie Jesus Day!

Right now, as you're reading this, I'm probably working.  I was supposed to have today off, but other things happened.
I woke up Thursday morning with some sinus pressure.  As I was at work, and continued working, it kept growing and growing and it was throwing off my equilibrium so bad that I almost face-planted on the concrete floors several times.  Finally, I couldn't take it, and I didn't trust myself to drive (everything was swimming) so I had my lovely mother come get me and take me to Doctor's Care.  I waited in there for over an hour, crying because the pressure on the left side of my face HURT SO BAD and it was making my teeth hurt.  He put me on some antibiotics for a sinus infection and sent me home.  But then the fever started.  It was a low grade fever, but a fever nonetheless, so I had the day off Friday and stayed in bed.  Read an entire book.  By 6, I still had the fever.  I was supposed to work all day Saturday.  Well, I'm contagious while I have a fever, so I called my coworkers and no one could cover me, so they just had to deal without me.  But, since I called out that day, I was supposed to have Sunday off, but I had to make up the day I missed.  YAY BEING SICK.
The only good thing:  I read all of A Wrinkle in Time Friday afternoon, and I read The Walking Dead Volumes 4 and 5 and the first volume of American Vampire on Saturday.

And I wrote a bunch of reviews and such in between naps.  That's about the only good thing about being sick.

In other life news, I'm going to be going to an employment agency sometime after this plague completely goes away and I'm going to pray that they can find me a full time job.  I love Old Navy and I love my coworkers, but I just can't do part time anymore.  I can't make a career out of it and I need to move on and get my own place and be with the person that makes me the happiest I've ever been.  So.  That's the next step in my life.

So that's all I have for today, so I leave you with this video.  The Seduction by He Is Legend.  This is easily one of my top ten favorite songs of all time. And the video is just funny.  With the puppets and what not.  Enjoy :]



Friday, April 6, 2012

TGIF: Book Series Finales.

TGIF!  Everyone loves Friday right?  This is a feature hosted by Ginger at Greadsbooks.com.  Ginger posts a discussion question every Friday and provides a post where bloggers link their posts.  It's a fantastic way to get to know other bloggers!   Interested in participating?  Hop on over to Greads! feature page and learn more and see upcoming questions!

This Friday's Question:
Book Series: Which book, from any series has been your favorite ending? What about your least favorite ending?


I'll be honest, there really aren't that many series that I've read.  I can probably count them on two hands.  But I do have some favorites.  Black Heart, the end of The Curse Worker's Trilogy was one that I really enjoyed.  Black left the ending sort of open, but that was one of the things that I liked about it.  Sometimes its good to be left wondering a little bit rather than have everything handed to you all nice and neat.

My least favorite?  That would probably be Breaking Dawn of the Twilight Saga.  The books and the entire series to me were horribly anticlimactic and while there were some good points about the series, its not something that I think I would ever read again really.

What about you?  What are your favorite and least favorite series finales?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

REVIEW: The Darkness: Origins, Volumes 1 & 2 by Garth Ennis

cover of The Darkness Origins Volume 1 by Garth Ennis
Title: The Darkness: Origins, Volumes 1 & 2
Author: Garth Ennis
Genre: Fantasy
Challenge: E-Book Challenge 2012
Rating: 5 stars (Vol 1), 2 stars (Vol 2)

Jackie Estacado is your average 20 year old.  You know, women and fast cars.  Oh, and he's also an assassin for a crime family.  You know, totally normal.  On the eve of his 21st birthday, Jackie discovers that he has a gift that allows him to control demons from another deminsions, The Darkness.  And of course, there are people that don't want Jackie to wield this gift and set out to destroy him.

These two volumes take you through the beginning of Jackie's time with this 'gift' and explains how he comes by it.  The first volume is the one that really goes through who Jackie is, how he came to be who he is, how he came to be an assassin and it introduces you to the gift and the people that actually want the gift.  Some of the people that appear in this volume are the same people that appear in the second video game.  The artwork in this volume was fantastic, that was something that I really enjoyed.

Cover of The Darkness Origins Volume 2 by Garth Ennis
In the second volume, the artwork was just as good, but this was about the best thing about the volume.  It started out where the other volume left off, but you get three issues into this volume and then suddenly you go from I think issue #9 to issue #17.  So there have been all these things that have happened between that time and you have new characters and something called a Witchblade and you're like "What the hell is going on here?"  Maybe if you're a seasoned comic book reader, you would have an idea of what that way, but I had no idea and it made me like that volume a lot less.

Overall though, I really liked the artwork, I enjoyed the story when I could follow it, and I would recommend it to anyone that enjoys comic books of that nature.

One more thing, I read both Volumes on my ipod.  I downloaded the Comixology app onto it, and you can download the volumes or issues directly to your ipod or iphone or ipad.  You can also purchase different things in the app and you can delete them and redownload them anytime you want.  And the app itself is free.  It features guided reading, which really helped me, because I think had I been reading it on a page, I would have skipped around and managed to confuse myself even more.  I think the app is pretty awesome, and you should check out the site and the app if you're a comic reader!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

REVIEW: The Waste Lands by Stephen King

book cover of The Waste Lands by Stephen King
Title: The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3)
Author: Stephen King
Date Published: First published in 1991
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Page Count: 588 pages
Challenge: The Dark Tower Reading Challenge
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

The third installment of the Dark Tower series.  You can read my reviews of The Gunslinger and The Drawing of the Three to learn more about the series.

Writing reviews of a book in a series is really hard, because you don't want to give anything away to those that haven't read it.  I will say that this one and The Drawing of the Three are two of my favorites in the entire series.  I absolutely loved it.

As with a lot of Sai King's books, this one is a little on the thicker side, but it really takes you no time at all to read it.  The plot goes quickly and is full of action from the beginning, though you do hit lulls in the action that allow for a little bit more character building.  In this book you really see Eddie and Susannah come into their own as gunslingers and Jake make his reappearance.  Of course the ending of this book, you're just thinking oh my gosh what's about to happen?!  I must go on to the next!
Of course, for those reading these as they came out, there was a six year gap in between the books, which makes me grateful that I read the series the first time after all of them were published.

I have to say, one of the reasons that I love this series so much is because of all of the connections that you find to other books that King has written, as well as the references to our world.  For example, you know that there was some sort of nuclear fallout in Lud, you know that there are elements of our world in theirs, but you don't know how they got there and you want to read on to see if you get any more clues about mid-world.

Basically, I love this book.  There are a lot of people that read The Gunslinger and can't go on to the rest of the series, but I BEG you to go on, it only gets better from there.  And of course, if you want to participate in the Dark Tower Reading Challenge, you can sign up at any time!

Other Blogger Reviews:
Adventures in Borkdom
ResoluteReader
Book Den

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

REVIEW: Black Heart by Holly Black

book cover of Black Heart by Holly Black
Title: Black Heart (The Curse Workers #3)
Author: Holly Black
Date Published: April 3, 2012
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Page Count: 296 pages
Challenge: None
Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Black Heart is the third installment in the Curse Workers Trilogy.  If you haven't read the first two, you can read my review of White Cat and Red Glove to give you a better idea of the premise of the series.  Also, this might be kind of spoilery to the series as a whole, so you may not want to read past here if you're planning on reading the series.

Synopsis: Cassel Sharpe knows he’s been used as an assassin, but he’s trying to put all that behind him. He’s trying to be good, even though he grew up in a family of con artists and cheating comes as easily as breathing to him. He’s trying to do the right thing, even though the girl he loves is inextricably connected with crime. And he’s trying to convince himself that working for the Feds is smart, even though he’s been raised to believe the government is the enemy.
But with a mother on the lam, the girl he loves about to take her place in the Mob, and new secrets coming to light, the line between what’s right and what’s wrong becomes increasingly blurred. When the Feds ask Cassel to do the one thing he said he would never do again, he needs to sort out what’s a con and what’s truth. In a dangerous game and with his life on the line, Cassel may have to make his biggest gamble yet—this time on love.

My Thoughts:  So honestly, I felt that the second book dragged.  It just wasn't that exciting to me, I don't know, I just didn't like it as much as I did the first one.  This book totally picked up and made me love the series again.
One of the reasons that I love this series so much is because of Cassel.  He's dishonest and he knows it, he knows what he is, but he still desperately wants to be a better person and he's so hard on himself that it makes you feel bad for him, you want him to get the girl and live happily ever after, even if they just rob people all the time and never get caught, or something like that.  And he's also so incredibly smart, and you can tell.  He goes from running a small betting operation at school, to working with the feds and possibly a crime family.  He knows how to keep his head above water, which I think is fantastic.  I haven't read many YA books with a male POV in them, and this is a really good one.

I also love Black's writing and I was constantly marking pages so I could put the quotes up on my tumblr page.  One of them that I especially loved was this:
“A girl like that perfumes herself with ozone and metal filings. She wears trouble like a crown. If she ever falls in love, she’ll fall like a comet, burning the sky as she goes.”
I also loved the ending.  Honestly, there were several things that were left unresolved.  It was left open, like she might be able to write another book about Cassel, but I don't think that she would.  And really, I think that was the best way that she could have ended it.  It didn't leave you going "ONMYGOD TELL ME WHAT HAPPENED!!!"  It just sort of left you thinking "hmm..."

Overall, I loved this book, I loved this series, if you haven't read it, I highly suggest that you pick it up!  4.5 out of 5 stars!

I'd also like to thank Southern Book Bloggers for giving me the opportunity to read this book early and participate in the tour! :]

Other Blogger's Reviews:
The Starry-Eyed Revue
A Cupcake and a Latte
Gone With the Words

Monday, April 2, 2012

The Dark Tower Challenge - March Discussion

Okay, so I'm a little bit late here, since it is April, BUT, life happens and here we are!  So, let's get on with the discussion for March.

My Personal Progress
I finished The Waste Lands about halfway through the month of March.  I have yet to post my review, but that will be going up this week.  As soon as I'm finished with Game of Thrones, I'm going to be starting Wizard and Glass, which is something that I'm looking forward to.
Where are you in the series?  How are you liking what you've read so far?

Book Cover of The Wind Through the Keyhole by Stephen KingThe Wind Through the Keyhole comes out this month!
Though I won't be reading this book until probably July or August (sticking with reading one of the books a month, I still pre-ordered the book, so I'll have it when it comes out!
Has anyone else pre-ordered it?  Are you excited about it?

Making Connections
No matter how far you are into the series, you have to notice the connections that run throughout Sai King's novels.  I can name countless books where the same ideas or people make appearances throughout the books.  Some examples that first come to mind are The Stand, Hearts in Atlantis, The Talisman, Black House, and Salem's Lot.  What connections have you noticed and what do you think about them?

Of course, post the reviews that you have done so far or for the month, and don't forget to post them to The Stephen King Project as well!

Manic Monday: Week of April 2

We all know that Mondays are typically pretty manic for us all.  Honestly, who in the world likes Mondays?!  So here's an attempt for me to organize my thoughts for the week.  Here you'll find what I'm reading, what I will picking up next, different posts that you can expect in the upcoming week, and a recap of the posts from last week!  And anything else I see fit, of course :]

So, in lieu of talking about what I'm reading and what I'm picking up next, I'm just going to let you watch this vlog, because it is about my April TBR pile, and I am STILL reading A Game of Thrones.  I hope to be finished with it by the middle of the week!



The Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Wizard and Glass by Stephen King
Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon
American Vampire, Vol 1 by Stephen King
The Walking Dead Volume 4 and Volume 5 by Robert Kirkman
Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
Hell House by Richard Matheson
The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker

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What can you expect this week?
++  Tuesday:  A review of Black Heart by Holly Black!  Tuesday is the release date!
++  Wednesday: A review of The Waste Lands by Stephen King
++  Thursday: A review of The Darkness: Orgins, Volumes 1 and 2.
++  Friday: TGIF!  Talking about the ending of certain books series.
++  Saturday: Free day!  There won't be a post.
++  Sunday:  The Sunday Salon.

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In case you missed it....
++  New Release Tuesday (35), featuring Cassandra Clare and The Used.
++  GoneReading!  Bookish gifts for a cause.
++  Review:  Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie
++  TGIF:  Book Blogger's Retreat
++  March Rewind! (vlog)
++  Bloggiesta Progress!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The Sunday Salon (34) + Bloggiesta Finish Line

The Sunday Salon
Alright, so Bloggiesta for Sunday was basically a no go for me.  I worked all day long and had to bring part of work home with me so that my life will be easier Monday afternoon.  But, that's okay, because I got a lot of things done Saturday anyway.  SEO is going to take a little bit of work a little bit at a time, since I have to teach myself all of it anyway.  But, I'm okay with that.  I moved some things around, deleted some things, changed my social media buttons, made some buttons of my own.  Overall, I think that I accomplished a lot over just Saturday. I did record a vlog after I got all my work done this evening that I didn't think I was going to get a chance to get to, so that was a plus.
Pedro of Bloggiesta
I really hope that I get a chance to get more reading done this week.  I spend a lot of time writing posts in advance for this blog in the evenings.  That's one thing that I really hate about working on Sundays, I used to spend that day writing all of my posts for the week, which is one of the reasons that my posts were so consistent.  And then when I started working even single Sunday, I lost that.  So I really need to find a rhythm.  We'll see how that goes in the weeks ahead.

Really, bloggiesta was the biggest thing that I had going on this week.  I wish I had more to tell you, but I don't. :/  So, I'll just leave you with this awesome song by The Damned Things.  Awesome super group with an AWESOME album and this video is hilarious.  Enjoy :]



Saturday, March 31, 2012

Bloggiesta Progress!

Pedro of Bloggiesta
So I have actually accomplished WAY more with Bloggiesta already than I ever thought I would.

So far, I have:
  • Updated my review archive
  • Updated my Excel spreadsheet
  • Transferred my reviews to Goodreads, Amazon, and B&N (not all, just some)
  • Went through ALL of my posts and did alt image tags.  This alone took me I think almost 2 hours to go through almost 400 posts.
  • Figured out the tracking code for Google Analytics and did various other SEO tweaks
  • Checked for dead links (I only had 1!)
  • Backed up my blog's template
  • Backed up my actual posts
  • Updated my challenge page and the challenge widget in my sidebar
Things I still have to do:
  • Catch up on reviews!  Seriously.
  • Write some movie reviews, that part has been seriously neglected lately.
  • Look into a custom domain.  I may not be doing this anytime soon, but I at least want to look into it.

This stuff may or may not get done this weekend, but I'm going to try really hard to get the reviews done at least!

How's your progress coming?

March Rewind!

So I didn't read a whole lot from my TBR pile for March, but I still did read quite a bit!



Black Heart by Holly Black
The Waste Lands by Stephen King
The Darkness Volume 1 by Garth Ennis
The Darkness Volume 2 by Garth Ennis
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
The Walking Dead Volume 1:  Days Gone Bye
The Walking Dead Volume 2:  Miles Behind Us
The Walking Dead Volume 3:  Safety Behind Bars
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery

Progress for the Year
Books read: 25 
Pages read: 7,624

Friday, March 30, 2012

TGIF: Book Blogger's Retreat

TGIF!  Everyone loves Friday right?  This is a feature hosted by Ginger at Greadsbooks.com.  Ginger posts a discussion question every Friday and provides a post where bloggers link their posts.  It's a fantastic way to get to know other bloggers!   Interested in participating?  Hop on over to Greads! feature page and learn more and see upcoming questions!

This Friday's Question:
Book Blogger's Retreat: If you could gather up a handful of book blogger friends to spend a weekend away talking books, where would you go? Tell us about it.


Okay, I would gather everyone up and go one of two places.  Either Charleston, SC or Savannah, GA.  Why? Because they're fracking beautiful, that's why.  Rich history, a lot of southern literature has been set in both of these places and just because these are two of my favorite places in the world.  I'd definitely choose to go in the spring, before it get unbearably hot.  These places are beautiful and I just think they would be ideal to find a restaurant or sit on a beach and just talk about books, have a few drink, etc.  I think it would be amazing :]

Thursday, March 29, 2012

REVIEW: Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie

Book Cover of Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie
Title: Evil Under the Sun
Author: Agatha Christie
Date Published: First published in 1940
Genre: Mystery
Page Count: 220 pages
Challenge: None.
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

At a seaside resort, while Hercule Poirot is on holiday, a beautiful young bride is mysterously strangled to death on a secluded cove.  It is up to Poirot to sift through the suspects and clues to figure out motive and who has committed the crime.

Once again Christie leads you through the twists and turns of mystery.  She sets you up to think that it is one person, only to find out again that you're completely wrong in the end.  I think that I should just give up trying to guess the culprit because I am almost never right.

I liked this one because Poirot was more part of the story than some of the other books that I have read.  Sometimes he can be a minor character, but he wasn't in this one.
Since it is a mystery, and I don't want to give too much away, that is all I will say about this one, but know that it gets 3 out of 5 stars.  It was a good, solid mystery.

Think you might want to give this book a try? Read other reviews or order from Amazon.com  Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

GoneReading!

Gonereading.com

What is GoneReading?
I'm really glad that you asked.

GoneReading is a non profit organization that has a philanthropic mission that benefits organizations like READ Global and Ethiopia Reads.  They do this by selling products geared towards reading and donating 100% of their after tax profits to these organizations.  A portion of their philanthropic mission reads:
"Gone Reading International, LLC was founded to counter these problems and spread the magic of reading. We believe that when people have open access to great reading materials, life always changes for the better. When libraries and reading materials are made available, people and their communities thrive through increased opportunity and self-empowerment.
That’s why Gone Reading International donates 100% of our after-tax profits to provide new funding for libraries and reading-centered non-profits. By purchasing GoneReading brand gifts and merchandise, you’re treating yourself and the world at large to a wonderful gift. All purchases from GoneReading help contribute to our philanthropic work."
 Literacy is SO important and the fact that 100% of their profits go to these organizations I think is something that is so fantastic.

They have some really great products on their website and I encourage you to check them out.  They range from journals, to t-shirts, to book lights and so many other things!  They have some really great t-shirts that I think I might be purchasing myself :]

Anyway, check out the organization and share it with your friends!  Its a great cause and every little bit helps!  Click the image below to be taken to their store!



GoneReading.com

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New Release Tuesday (35)

New Release Tuesday is a weekly feature where I share what I'm excited about in both books and music. Sometimes its release day is close, other times it can be several weeks or months in advance. I only feature one for each category, but there a LOADS of new and upcoming releases and you can find them by visiting B&N.com or FYE.com!
Title:  City of Lost Souls (The Mortal Instruments #5)
Author:  Cassandra Clare
Release Date:  May 8, 2012 
Summary:  The New York Times bestselling Mortal Instruments continues—and so do the thrills and danger for Jace, Clary, and Simon.
Can the lost be reclaimed? What price is too high to pay for love? Who can be trusted when sin and salvation collide?
Love. Blood. Betrayal. Revenge.
Darkness threatens to claim the Shadowhunters in the harrowing fifth book of the Mortal Instruments series.
Why I'm Excited:  Oh hey, look!  Its another series that I've never read!  But again, its another one of those series that I've always wanted to read.  When I went to 2nd and Charles I found several of the books in this series, but of course I couldn't find the first one, which was the one that I wanted (that happened to me a lot that day, finding everything EXCEPT the things that I went there for).  Anyway, hopefully one day I'll actually get around to getting and reading this series.  For now, everyone else can be excited and gush about how awesome it is.
Album Title:  Vulnerable
Artist:  The Used
Release Date:  March 27, 2012
Why I'm Excited:  OHMYGOOOSSSHHH.  I have been listening to The Used since I was in high school.  They're one of those bands that I think I'm going to love forever.  Through all their albums I have listened as their sound has evolved and changed and they've lost a lot of fans because of it, but it just makes me love them more to watch them progress as artists.  I'll admit that their last album left me wanting a little bit more from them, but the few songs that I have heard from the album, I think this is going to be much better.  IT RELEASES TODAAAYYY.  I'll most definitely be buying it.  Very excited.  If you haven't listened to them, check out my Sunday Salon post, one of their singles has been posted.  :]

Monday, March 26, 2012

Manic Monday: Week of March 26

We all know that Mondays are typically pretty manic for us all.  Honestly, who in the world likes Mondays?!  So here's an attempt for me to organize my thoughts for the week.  Here you'll find what I'm reading, what I will picking up next, different posts that you can expect in the upcoming week, and a recap of the posts from last week!  And anything else I see fit, of course :]

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
I'll admit, the first 50 pages of this book I kept thinking "Who the hell are these people?!"  It took me a little bit to really get everyone straight in my head.  But, once I did that I really started to enjoy it.  I love the way that the book is written with each of the chapters written from a different point of view from the character (its all in third person though).  Anyway, there's already quite a bit going on and I'm only 200 pages in.  But the book is HUGE as in not the number of pages, but just the size and the print is normal, so where I could normally get through about 100 pages in an evening, I'm lucky to get through 50.  So this one is definitely going to take some time to get through.  I hope that I can finish it before March is over!

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What will I be picking up next?
I actually don't really know what I'm going to read next.  I had a whole pile of things for March and I kind of neglected that pile and its almost April, which means that I will need to create a new TBR pile for April, and as of right now, I have no idea what's going to be on it.

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What can you expect this week?
++  Tuesday:  New Release Tuesday!
++  Wednesday:  A post about Gone Reading, a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy.
++  Thursday:  A review of Evil Under the Sun by Agatha Christie.
++  Friday:  TGIF: Talking about a Book Blogger Retreat!
++  Saturday:  March Rewind (Vlog)
++  Sunday:  April TBR (Vlog)



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In case you missed it....
++  New Stephen King Film Adaptation?
++  Abarat: Absolute Midnight by Clive Barker Review
++  Mercy By Joshua Patterson Review
++  TGIF:  Bookish Trends
++  Have you signed up for Bloggiesta yet?
++  Genre Loyalty (Discussion)
++  The Sunday Salon (33)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Sunday Salon (33)

So I seem to be back into the swing of posting!  Though I am scared to even say that, because I think if I do, I'll fall off the radar again.  Let's hope that won't happen.

So we're winding down on the month of March.  Its really hard to believe that its already spring and its already almost April.  As far as reading is going, I have made fantastic progress.  March's TBR pile got horrible neglected, but I was still reading.
Last week was the week of the comic book for me.  I read the first 2 volumes of the Darkness and then I read the first 3 volumes of The Walking Dead.  And I love it.  I always said I would probably never pick up anything like that, but here I am.

Other than that, I haven't really had much going on.  BUT.  The Used will be releasing a new album this Tuesday and I AM EXCITED.  And this is the first single I believe, so listen to it. :]




Saturday, March 24, 2012

Genre Loyalty (Discussion)

I've seen quite a few posts lately about genre loyalty.  So that just sort of got me thinking about it.

There are so many readers that ONLY read a certain genre.  I see SO MANY exclusively YA blogs around that it seems to be the vast majority of book blogs (I know that's not true, that's just what it feels like at times).  Or some people I know only read romance.  Or they only read books Oprah approves.
I just think that's a little silly.  Of course, to each their own, if you don't want to read another genre, by all means, don't.  I just think that by doing that you're seriously limiting yourself.

If you read my blog, you know I LOVE HORROR.  I can't get enough of it.  But you will also see a little bit of everything on this blog.  I used to be the sort of person that was sort of snotty with the genres that I read, like I felt that other genres weren't worth reading.  Then I picked up a historical fiction novel and completely LOVED IT.  Who knew, right?  I own A LOT of historical fiction now and I probably would never have given that genre a second thought if I had something else to read at the time.  When I got to thinking about it, I figured that there were other genres that I had never read that I might want to give a try.

I started reading mysteries, thrilllers, and even classics.  I actually even picked up a christian fiction book and liked it.  YA is actually part of this new category for me.  I didn't really read YA up until very recently and turns out I love that, too.
I was also the person that said 'I'll probably never read a comic book or graphic novel.'  Yea, I'm on Volume 4 of The Walking Dead and bought Volume 1 of American Vampire.  AND I LOVE IT.
Of course, horror will always be my 'go-to' so to speak.  Its something that I love, but when I get into slumps, sometimes it really nice to step out of my comfort zone and read something different and fresh.  It gets me back into the swing of things.

How do you feel about genre loyalty?  Do you only read one genre?  Are you all over the place?  What are your thoughts?!  I want to hear from you!  Discuss!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Bloggiesta 2012!

So last year I actually did participate in Bloggiesta, it took place right after the first of the year and at the time my blog was practically brand new, so I spent the time tweaking things and learning A LOT about blogging.
Pedro of Bloggiesta
Here I am, over a year later and its time for Bloggiesta again.

I honestly have no idea if I'm going to have the time do the full three days (March 30, 31, and April 1), though I know I have that weekend free from work.  I know I'll at least get a few hours in though, and there's a whole list of things that I want to get done in those few hours I have to dedicate to it.

  • Update my reading excel spreadsheet
  • Transfer my reviews from my blog to Goodreads/Amazon/And B&N to help generate more traffic
  • Get caught up on reviews!  I'm WAY behind on them!  I think I'm 6 or 7 down right now!
  • Check for dead links
  • Update review archive
  • Get some movie reviews to use as 'rainy day posts.'

I'm sure there are other things that I'm going to want to get done, and some mini challenges I'm going to participate in, but for right now, this is all I can think of.

Interested in participating?  You still have time to sign up and participate!  The more, the merrier! Ole! :]

TGIF: Bookish Trends

TGIF!  Everyone loves Friday right?  This is a feature hosted by Ginger at Greadsbooks.com.  Ginger posts a discussion question every Friday and provides a post where bloggers link their posts.  It's a fantastic way to get to know other bloggers!   Interested in participating?  Hop on over to Greads! feature page and learn more and see upcoming questions!

This Friday's Question:
Bookish Trends: What are some bookish trends you are noticing in the literature world today? Is there a particular trend you'd like to see more of?


There are a few obvious trends that I've seen lately.  Things like werewolves, vampires, and things of that nature have been REALLY popular lately.  Which is a good and a bad thing.  Its a good thing if it is done right, but I would have to say that a lot of the books are not done right.  Its all recycled.  And these are just from the few that I've read, so I'm making a fast judgement.  

In YA especially I've seen a lot of that.  And mermaids.  And fairy tale retellings, but its always the same few fairy tales as well.  As far as that goes, I would love to see some different fairy tales retold.  Maybe something a little more obscure so that the original stories can be brought back to light.  It's just a thought.

In books in general, there's really been an insurgence in YA.  There wasn't much specific YA when I was a kid, so I started reading my mom's adult novels VERY young.  I was in 7th grade reading Danielle Steel and Stephen King.  Yeah.  So, I think that's been a fantastic thing and I hope that it continues so that more kids can discover that they love to read with books that are better suited for them.

And those are my thoughts on it.  What do you think?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

REVIEW: Mercy by Joshua Grover-David Patterson

Book Cover of Mercy by Joshua Gover-David Patterson
Title: Mercy
Author: Joshua Grover-David Patterson
Date Published: March 2011
Genre: Horror, Zombies, Post-Apocalyptic
Page Count: 399 pages
Challenge: E-Book Challenge 2011
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

**DISCLAIMER**  I received this book from the author in exchange for a completely honest review.**

Zombies.  They have worked our way into every day culture.  It's something that we see so much of that its really becoming a cliche.  Mercy is a book about zombies.  BUT, it is not an average zombie book, and you should read it, and I'm going to tell you why.

Georgina's plane has crashed.  She is stranded on a deserted island with only a handful of survivors.  Sounds like the opening of some survivor type thriller book, doesn't it?  Well, essentially, that is what this is about, but when you throw zombies into the mix it becomes this hybrid that I really enjoyed reading.

The book is set up in the format of a journal.  Georgina finds her carry on that included the notebook that she's writing in a little while after they washed up on shore.  Georgina is trying to keep hope that she will be able to get home to her adopted daughter, Mercy.  Through her journal you learn about life on the island, the people on it, what they're doing to survive and how the crash began.  There are some tense moments in the book where you're really wondering how they're going to get off the island and how they're going to survive various other things along the way.

One of the things that I liked about this book is that it wasn't JUST about zombies.  A lot of zombie books are just that.  In this book we get a look inside several of the characters and what they think, how this insanity is affecting them.  We get a look inside Georgina as well, and her feelings towards motherhood and her adopted daughter and there are some fantastic passages about her feelings and that subject, which I thought really added to the story.

If you're a zombie fan, pick this up!  Its a great book with that gore that you come to expect from anything with the label 'zombie' but there's a lot more to it as well.  I really enjoyed it.  4.5 out of 5 stars!

Think you might want to give this book a try? Read other reviews or order from Amazon.com  Mercy by Joshua Patterson

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

REVIEW: Abarat: Absolute Midnight by Clive Barker

Book cover of Abarat: Absolute Midnight by Clive Barker
Title: Abarat: Absolute Midnight (Abarat #3)
Author: Clive Barker
Date Published: September 2011
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Page Count: 569 pages
Challenge: None
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

So in the third installment of the Abarat series, the action is really starting to pick up.  The third book almost ends where the other left off, and the Abarat in is turmoil, thanks to Mater Motley and her impending Absolute Midnight.

I would talk more about the plot of the book, but I can't really do that without giving things away, and I don't want to do that because I WANT YOU TO READ IT.  I want you to read this entire series.

I will say that we see even more in character development in this book for Candy and with other characters, and there are a few heart wrenching moments and a few that will make your skin crawl a little, but that's Mr. Barker for you.  I liked the pace that we went at, there was never a dull moment.

A poem by Christopher CarrionBut the best part of this book:  THE ILLUSTRATIONS.  Oh my gosh.  Barker did a lot of paintings to go along with this book.  Some are just random scenery, some are of the characters in the book, or some of the fantastic creatures that live in the Abarat.  I really wish that I had read the illustrated versions of the previous two novels.  There is SO MUCH imagery in these books that to have the painting go along with the words really adds to the story.  Some of the creatures are hard to visualize, or when you do visualize them they're not as horrifying as some of the painting make them out to be and I LOVED IT.

I also loved that at the beginnings of some of the parts of the book, there were little poems that were accompanied with an illustration and the poems were usually written by someone from the book and I thought that was a really nice touch.  I took pictures of those and ended up flooding Tumblr and Twitter because I love them so much.  Hence, the picture you see above.

Overall, I loved this book, it was my favorite in the series and I wish I could talk more about the plot, but like I said I don't want to give anything away, but you can read my reviews for Abarat and Abarat: Days of Magic, Nights of War and the synopsis on Goodreads for this book and decide for yourself if you would like to read it, but YOU REALLY SHOULD.  5 out of 5 stars.

Think you might want to give this book a try? Read other reviews or order from Amazon.com  Abarat: Absolute Midnight by Clive Barker

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

New Stephen King Film Adaptation?

As I think I've mentioned a million different times, Stephen King is one of my favorite writers.  I devour anything written by him, or any film adaptations of his works as well.  The classics (The Shining, Carrie) and the newer films and mini series (1408Bag of Bones).

So I got an email from Goodreads that said there were new blog posts from Stephen King, I headed on over to check it out.  The blog post announced this:
"In the spirit of Creepshow and Cat's Eye, a new motion picture anthology directed by Mark Pavia has been officially announced. Stephen King's The Reaper's Image will feature four short films including The Reapers Image, Mile 81, N., and The Monkey.With two of the stories hand selected by Stephen and two selected by Mark, the project is a solid mix of classic and contemporary King tales sure to please the Constant Reader." 
Now, I've read all of these stories, except for N.  I do have a copy of Just After Sunset, but I have yet to read it.  Overall,  I think this is going to be a pretty interesting film.  

I do however, have one problem with it.  
Mile 81.
I don't know if you have read my review, but I REALLY REALLY disliked that novella.  It was released right before 11/22/63 was released, and I think that it was just a way to hold the fans over, but either way, I thought it was lacking in many many areas.  Maybe it will translate to the screen better, but that's the only problem I have with it.

So, are you a King fan?  Did you know about this previously?  If you didn't, are you excited?  What do you think about the stories that were chosen?  Comment, discuss, I want to hear what you think! :]

Monday, March 19, 2012

Manic Monday: Week of March 19

We all know that Mondays are typically pretty manic for us all.  Honestly, who in the world likes Mondays?!  So here's an attempt for me to organize my thoughts for the week.  Here you'll find what I'm reading, what I will picking up next, different posts that you can expect in the upcoming week, and a recap of the posts from last week!  And anything else I see fit, of course :]

I fell off the map the past two weeks.  I've been dealing with some tough things, but I'm back!

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Still working my way through this one for Book Hoarders Anonymous.  I'm trying to read it slowly to make it last through the month.  As I'm reading it, certain things are coming back to me and other things feel new again.  It makes me remember my childhood though, which is one of the things that I love the most about it.

The Walking Dead Vol. 1: Days Gone By by Robert Kirkman
So I read my first comic last week.  Someone I know got the first two volumes of The Darkness and I read those pretty quickly, and then I got the first 3 volumes of The Walking Dead.  I've only read the first issue in the first volume, but I saw the first season of the show, and the first show followed the first issue almost exactly.  I was pretty surprised!  Anyway, I can't wait to read more of this.

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Alright, this is going to be my first John Green.  I've had this on my pile for the month, and I wanted to get to it a long time before now, but I had some other things come up.  Anyway, I know that based on everyone else's reviews, there are going to be things that I don't like and I know I'm going to cry my eyes out, but I really hope I love it.  And I think I will.


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What will I be picking up next?
When I finish The Fault in Our Stars, I'm going to be starting A Game of Thrones.  I think that one is going to take me a while to get through, but I'm excited to actually get a start to this series.  I can already tell that I'm pretty sure I won't finish my TBR pile for the month, and I've already read 3 things that weren't on it, but I'm still reading, so that's something!

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What can you expect this week?
++  Tuesday: New Stephen King Film Adaption?
++  Wednesday: Abarat: Absolute Midnight Review
++ Thursday:  Mercy by Joshua Patterson Review
++  Friday: TGIF:  Talking about Bookish Trends
++  Saturday: Discussion:  Talking about Genre Loyalty
++ Sunday: THe Sunday Salon

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In case you missed it....
++  Review of The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

REVIEW: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

book cover of the woman in black by susan hill
Title: The Woman in Black
Author: Susan Hill
Date Published: First published in 1983
Genre: Suspense, Mystery, Horror, Paranormal
Page Count: 176 pages
Challenge: None
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

I saw the trailer for the movie before I ever knew that this was a book, and immediately wanted to see it.  I learned it was a book shortly thereafter and went to three different bookstores trying t find it before I finally ordered offline.  I was surprised that they were making a movie out of it because it was so tiny, and I still haven't seen it, but I imagine that I will at some point.

Arthur Kipps is an up-and-coming layer in London.  When one of their clients dies, Mrs. Alice Drablow, his employer sends him to Eel Marsh House to get her papers in order.  When Kipps arrives in town, he soon learns that no one really wants to help him and there is an unnatural fear of the house and the woman that lived in it.

This is a ghost story above all else.  I found myself struggling through the beginning, probably the first half, but then you really start to learn things about the house and the occupants, not to mention that Kipps gets to spend some time there and it starts to get far more interesting.  The atmosphere just gets darker and darker as the story goes on.

I think it is the setting above all else that really helps with this story.  Eel March House is a house at the end of a causeway, in the middle of a marsh that is completely unto itself during high tide.  There are random fogs that roll through in which you can't see but a few feet in front of you, and that's one of the things that makes it so scary.  Not even scary, just creepy.  As I was reading and we got further into the book and the story of the house I keept turning around and checking my door and hearing crazy things as I was reading.  If you can do that, that's the mark of a good story.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  Its a quick read, even if it does drag through the beginning in my opinion.  I'd recommend it to those that like horror and ghost stories and I give it a solid 3.5 out of 5.

Think you might want to give this book a try? Read other reviews or order from Amazon.com   The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Sunday Salon (32)

This is rather a late post.

First of all, for my regular readers, I know I made a Manic Monday post with all of the things that were supposed to be posted this week, and as you can see, none of them actually got posted.  I apologize for dropping the ball.  I've been dealing with some things this week, and I just never got the chance to sit down and schedule the posts like I wanted to.
The past few days have been rough, I think they will continue to be and I've fallen behind in everything, reading, reviewing, posting.  But I'm going to try and catch back up.  I need some distractions from the events lately that have left me completely emotionally drained.
SO, once again, I apologize and I'm sorry that I have been absent.  Sometimes these things just can't be helped.

This week I promise that I will get back into the swing of things and actually have some posts for you guys.  I miss blogging when I'm away from it!
Now to go through my reader and catch up with everything that I have missed this week.
Have a great week everyone, happy reading! :]

In My Mailbox (34)

I have all kinds of things this week!




Books Mentioned:
Black Heart by Holly Black
The Book Thief by Mark Zusak
The Great and Secret Show by Clive Barker
The Wind Done Gone by Alice Randall
The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory
The Queen's Fool by Philippa Gregory
Hell House by Richard Matheson
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
Deadeye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut
Hearts in Atlantis by Stephen King
Bag of Bones by Stephen King

Monday, March 5, 2012

Manic Monday: Week of March 5

We all know that Mondays are typically pretty manic for us all.  Honestly, who in the world likes Mondays?!  So here's an attempt for me to organize my thoughts for the week.  Here you'll find what I'm reading, what I will picking up next, different posts that you can expect in the upcoming week, and a recap of the posts from last week!  And anything else I see fit, of course :]

The Waste Lands by Stephen King
I'm still headfirst into this one, though I'm really hoping that I will get to finish it today or tomorrow.  I said that I didn't remember a lot of things from this book and that's definitely true, but as I'm reading it, its all coming back to me.  I'm loving the evolution of Roland that we're seeing and the training of Eddie and Susannah to turn them into gunslingers.  I love this series and I can't wait to get further into it.

Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
It has been years and years since I've read this book but thanks to Book Hoarders Anonymous, I'm reading it again.  I remember reading basically the entire series when I was in some grade, which I don't remember and I loved all of them.  Sometimes its really nice to reconnect with books from your childhood.  I'll be reading this one at the same time as another one, so its going to take me a little longer to get through it.


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What will I be picking up next?
Next, I'll be picking up The Fault in Our Stars by John Green.  I have never read a John Green novel, so this one will be a first for me.  Every review that I have seen says keep the tissues handy, so even though I'm not a big crier, I think this book is going to be different and I can't wait to delve into it.


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What can you expect this week?
++  Tuesday:  New Release Tuesday!
++  Wednesday: A Review of The Woman in Black by Susan Hill
++  Thursday:  A Review of Abarat: Absolute Midnight by Clive Barker
++  Friday:  TGIF!  Promoting an underrated author.
++  Saturday:  A review of Nightmares in Red, White, and Blue (film)
++  Sunday:  The Sunday Salon.




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In case you missed it....
++  The Dark Tower Challenge February Discussion
++  February Rewind! (vlog)
++  March TBR Pile (vlog)
++  Progress and Why I Love Reading
++  REVIEW:  Red Glove by Holly Black (3.5 out of 5 stars)

Saturday, March 3, 2012

REVIEW: Red Glove by Holly Black

book cover of red glove by holly black
Title: Red Glove (The Curse Workers #2)
Author: Holly Black
Date Published: April 2011
Genre: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult
Page Count: 325 pages
Challenge: None.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Warning:  This is the second book in the Curse Worker's Series.  If you haven't read the first, I don't suggest reading this post any further.  You can read my review of White Cat here.

Installment #2 in the Curse Worker's Series.  Cassel's mom is out of jail and he's spent the summer with her in Atlantic City conning their way through different hotels and different men.  Now its the beginning of the school year, so Cassel's headed back to Wallingford with Sam and Daneca...and Lila?  Yes, Lila.
But things start to go wrong as soon as he gets there and next thing he knows, his brother Phillip is dead, with no idea who's done it.  But with Lila's dad wanting him to 'join the family,' and the feds breathing down his neck, Cassel is going to have to figure out where his loyalties lie and what he's going to do.

I listened to the first book in audio and really enjoyed it.  It was my first audio book and it was a good first one and it was a good story.  This is just a continuation of that story.  With a few more twists and turns, of course.
A lot of this book focuses on the relationship that is between Cassel and Lila.  Of the lack of one.  Or how Cassel wants to have one but he can't.

The biggest mystery in the book is who killed Cassel's brother.  Maybe its just because I read a lot of Agatha Christie, or maybe its just because I'm awesome, but I guessed who it was a long time before there were ever any real hints about the killer.  Not that it detracts from the story (well, maybe just a little).

Anyway, I enjoyed the book, and the dynamic of the relationship between Cassel and Lila and I love Cassel's friends as well and how they had an increased role in this one.  I'm really interested to see where Black takes this because of the way that this book ended, and I will get to see as soon as I get the ARC!

Good book, love the characters, can't wait to read the third, it gets 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Think you might want to give this book a try? Read other reviews or order from Amazon.com   Red Glove by Holly Black

Friday, March 2, 2012

Progress and Why I Love Reading.

So I have my February Wrap up vlog and my March TBR vlog up.  But, I was just thinking about it, and I wanted to see how my progress this year compares with my progress last year.  This got me thinking about several other things as well.

As of right now, I've finished 16 books.  I honestly didn't think that I would have that many finished already, but not all of the books have been long and I've had more time than I thought I would.  Anyway, let's get to the stats for this year.

In 2012 (From 1/1/12 to 2/29/12)
I've read 16 books.
This equates to 5,338 pages
My goal for the year is 70 books, this puts me at 5 books ahead.
Out of the 16, 7 books are print, the other 9 are ebooks.

In 2011 (From 1/1/11 to 2/28/11)
I had read 9 books.
This equates to 4,619 pages.
At that time my goal was 50 books.  That put me roughly 1 book ahead.

So, according to those stats, I'm starting off this year SO MUCH BETTER than I started off last year.  Although, I will say that several of the books that I started last year with were really large, but I had also started a few of them back in 2010.

To me, the goals aren't so important.  Its not a contest or anything like that, though I do like to challenge myself.  I started this blog to keep up with what I had read and what I thought of the books, and it has evolved into something a little more than that.  I love reading, its one of my favorite things to do and it has been since I was a kid.  For a while, reading was starting to become less and less fun for me, because of the review requests that I had undertaken, which is why I stopped taking them.  I think that's one reason that I've been reading faster this year.  I'm reading only the things that I WANT to read, not what I feel like I HAVE to read, and that's a fantastic feeling.  It also helps that I graduated college in December and now have more time.
Basically, I'm proud of my progress so far.  As silly as that may sound.  Not being in college anymore, when I read like I do, I still feel like I'm learning.  I'm constantly learning new words, new ways to look at things, new facts that are inserted into works of fiction.  That's another thing I love about reading.  You never stop learning, even if you do read strictly fiction, or YA, or whatever.  People who think there's nothing left to learn are those that have the most to learn.

If you made it to the end of this post, thanks for that.  This post warped into something entirely different that what I had intended it to be.  Originally, it was just stats, but I started thinking, and here we are.

So, I want to turn it into a discussion.  Why do you love reading?  What are your favorite parts about getting lost in a good book and looking up hours later?  Discuss!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

March TBR Pile!

Here's the books that I PLAN to read for March. We'll see how much I get done!





The Waste Lands by Stephen King
Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
The Fault in our Stars by John Green
Black Heart by Holly Black
A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
Lullaby by Chuck Palahniuk
A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie
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