Sunday, December 26, 2010

Book Week 52 - Z for for Zip

Hello my darlings!  We are down to the last week.  Our year has just flown by, it seems to have just zipped on by.   I discovered some amazing books and authors this year as well as came across a few snoozers.  I had fun in the process and my wish list grew by leaps and bounds.  Many new and interesting books to choose from in 2011.  So how did you do?

Did you reach the goal of 52 books?:

If you didn't, how many did you manage to read?:

What was the last book you read?:

Did you read from a list and fly by the seat of your pants choosing a different book each week?:

Did you learn something new about yourself, an author, an topic?:

How many classics did you read?:

Did you discover a new author or genre?  Did you love them or hate them?

Name your top ten favorite reads:

Name your bottom ten least favorite reads:

Name a book you simply could not finish:

Name a book you expected to like but didn't:

Name a book you expected to not like but did:

Thank you to everybody who joined in and to those who have been following our progress. No matter how many books you read this year, you succeeded in the challenge.  If you discovered something new or a new to you author or just enjoyed your reading time then I would call that a success. There aren't any failures in reading challenges.

I had a lot of fun, hope you did too and next year will be even more of a blast.  If there are any topics or books or mini challenges you'd like to see added, please let me know. 


Link to your last book and/or your wrap up post for the year:

Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm participating in 2011

 Sign up to participate with Mr. Linky.

2011 Read 52 books in 52 Weeks

Sticky Post: Scroll down for current posts

2011 52 Books in 52 Weeks Reading Challenge

This past year has been awesome and I've had lots of fun.  2011 is almost upon us and time to start thinking about new goals.  Are you ready for another year and challenging yourself to read 52 books in 52 weeks.   

I am going to spice it up a bit this year and blend in several mini challenges, including the Mind Voyages challenge I created in 2010.   I worked rather hard to create the Mind Voyages blog and don't want to see it go to waste. So the blog will remain up so folks can refer to the links for their voyages.  All the mini challenges are optional and offered to help you meet the 52 books goal.  

1)  Mind Voyages is a science fiction / fantasy challenge to explore the hugo and nebula winners, take side trips through the different decades reading the nominees, check out Philip K. Dick and Robert Heinlein.   Also, Since I can't  possibly imagine a reading challenge without exploring new releases that come out in 2011, we have the all inclusive Pluto challenge. Links to all the voyages are available on the Mind Voyages blog.  

Moon Voyage :  Read at least 6 winners on the Hugo Winners List

Sling shot back to Earth:  Read at least  3 winners on the Nebula Winner's List

Venus Voyage:   Philip K. Dick Quest  - Read at least 2 of his books

Mercury  Voyage:   Robert Heinlein Quest - Read at least 2 of his books

Mars Voyage:   Read at least 6 winners on the Hugo List and take a side trip through the 21st century and read at least 4 nominees.

Go into Warp Drive and visit the other planets

Jupiter Voyage:   Go side tripping 90's Style

Saturn:  Go Side Tripping 80's Style

Uranus: Go Side Tripping 70's Style

Neptune Voyage:  Go Side Tripping through the 50's and 60's

The I'm going to Pluto because Pluto is still a planet as far as I'm concerned Voyage:   Mix it up, choose the number of books you want to read from each voyage, include some new books you pick up along the way and enjoy the ride. 
2)  Read around the World:   I probably did read around the world last year but didn't pay much attention. So this year I'm paying attention to setting. Keep track of where the story takes place and see how many places you end up. 

3)  Ireland Reading Challenge: or just stick with one country such as Ireland and read books set in Ireland, written by Irish Authors or with an Irish theme. Pick 2, 4, 6, or 12 books to read.

4) Jane Austen Mini Challenge: Read Jane Austen's books -Emma, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Northanger Abbey, Sense and Sensibility and Persuasion. All can be found online here.

5)  Well Educated Mind Mini Challenge:  The Well Educated Mind written by Susan Wise Bauer is a guide to reading the great works.  Read 3 books from each category: Fiction, autobiography, history, drama and poetry.  

6) New Author Mini Challenge:   Read at least one new to you author per month.

7) Try a new genre challenge: Read at least one book in a genre you've never tried before. 

8)  E-Book reading challenge:   read at least 3, 6, 9, or 12 e-books this year. 

9)  Chunkster Challenge:  Chunksters are considered books that are over 500 pages in length.  Read one chunkster a month.  

10)  Read 12 classics in 12 months 

A new year, a fresh slate.  Time to discover some new friends and rediscover some old friends. Make the challenge as easy and casual as you want or spice it up and challenge yourself. Explore a bit, but most of all have fun.  

The rules are very simple and the goal is to read one book (at least) a week for 52 weeks. 

  1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011. 
  2. Our book weeks will begin on Sunday.  
  3. Participants may join at any time.
  4. All forms of books are acceptable including e-books, audio books, etc.
  5. Re-reads are acceptable as long as they are read after January 1, 2011.
  6. Books may overlap other challenges.
  7. Create an entry post linking to this blog. 
  8. Come back and sign up with Mr. Linky in the "I'm participating post" below this post.
  9. You don't have a blog to participate.  Post your weekly book in the comments section.
  10. Mr. Linky will be added to the bottom of the weekly post for you to link to reviews of your most current reads. 

    I'll be changing the header and modify the theme a bit, so don't mind the dust for the next couple weeks.

    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    Book Week 51 - The beginning of Winter and Christmas Tidings

    Ajudante De Papai Noel by Murilocardoso

    Tomorrow is a once in a life time day for us with the beginning of winter coinciding with a lunar eclipse.  The last time this happened was 1554 AD.  According to NASA:

    The luster will be a bit "off" on Dec. 21st, the first day of northern winter, when the full Moon passes almost dead-center through Earth's shadow. For 72 minutes of eerie totality, an amber light will play across the snows of North America, throwing landscapes into an unusual state of ruddy shadow. 

    The eclipse begins on Tuesday morning, Dec. 21st, at 1:33 am EST (Monday, Dec. 20th, at 10:33 pm PST). At that time, Earth's shadow will appear as a dark-red bite at the edge of the lunar disk. It takes about an hour for the "bite" to expand and swallow the entire Moon. Totality commences at 02:41 am EST (11:41 pm PST) and lasts for 72 minutes. 

    If you're planning to dash out for only one quick look -­ it is December, after all -­ choose this moment: 03:17 am EST (17 minutes past midnight PST). That's when the Moon will be in deepest shadow, displaying the most fantastic shades of coppery red.

    With the beginning of winter, Christmas is upon us and I found a movie last year that told the nativity story beautifully:
    The Nativity Story

     I just discovered Angela Hunt wrote the companion novel that goes along with it.  

    The Nativity Story by Angela Hunt

    And two of my favorite books we love reading every Christmas besides the Christmas story are:

    The Night Before Christmas
    Saint Nicholas: The Real Story of the Christmas Legend

    Merry Christmas to you and yours!

    Link to your reviews: 

    Sunday, December 12, 2010

    Book Week 50 - X is for xenization

    Hey, don't be a xenization

    Xenization - To walk as a stranger or exist as a stranger.  

    Words. Our vocabulary and our books are made up of millions of words and over the years, some of the those words are disappearing.   Save the Words is doing their best to save the words by having people adopt a word and use it every day or in their writings.    Today, I adopted and saved Xenization.   So don't be a snobographer, it's time to resarciate and before you venundate or inveteratist this Christmas,  find some lubency and be a squiriferous, adopt a word or two or three.  


    Link to your reviews:

    Sunday, December 5, 2010

    Book Week 49 -- W is for Wishes

    Courtesy FreeBird4

    Yes, it is that time of year and my son is insisting I write up our Christmas list of wishes for the family and everyone else so we can go shopping.  He's been insisting since the day after Thanksgiving.  I really couldn't wrap my mind around Christmas until November was over.  He had a huge list of things he'd written up on a piece of paper, filling it up from the front to the back.  I told him to narrow it down to 15.  We usually buy him three things from his list.  Santa sometimes brings him things from his list.   He has already emailed Santa at and has received an email letter back.  Cool website, by the way, with lots of games and stories and of course, the Santa Tracker. Well worth checking out.   

    I still haven't written my Christmas list yet, because I really don't need anything.   I have more than enough books waiting in the TBR pile, but everyday I come across a blog talking about a book that just sounds so good I add it to my book wish list.   My Amazon list is pages long and my Barnes and Noble e book wish list is slowly catching up.  At the beginning of this year, I did the unthinkable.  I deleted every single thing on my wish list, because it was too long and just too many choices and I couldn't  remember half the reasons I added them in the first place.   I've been a bit more selective this year.  Of course, I keep forgetting to use Amazon's nifty feature of adding a  note to remind who I got the idea from and why.  *sigh* 

    What books do I have on my wish list you ask?  Books about writing, teaching, tweens, and fiction of course.  I have such an eclectic list from classics to mysteries to historical to romance to paranormal, it's amazing.   Some of the fiction books I have on my list are

    Around the World with Auntie Mame by Patrick Dennis.   This one has special meaning because last month on my 51st birthday, my parents remembered that this is the book my dad was reading to my mom while she was in labor with me.   

    Immanuel's Veins by Ted Dekker  

    Surface Detail by Iain Banks 

    A Man Called Outlaw by K.M. Weiland 

    Saving Cee Cee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman

    The Snake's Pass by Bram Stoker

    The Clovis Incident by Pari Noskin Taichert

    Have you started your christmas list or wish list of books for 2011?  What books and authors do you have on your wishlist?


    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    Book Week 48 - what happens when we combine u and v

    Book Week 48

    Photo courtesy of AZRainman

    My... this year has flown and we only have five weeks left.   Are you close to making the goal of 52 books?  Did you have fun reading or discover some new to you books, some amazing reads or just enjoy some old favorites.   Are you ready to do it all over again in 2011?   It's that time of the year to start thinking of new goals and challenges.  Where will 2011 take us?  It will be interesting to find out.
    I'm combining U and V this week, since I just looked at the calendar and realized if we were going to end the year with Zest, Zing, and a Zowie, I needed to adjust a bit.  What begins with U or V?  Lots of things, but I decided to go with a random word and see what popped up in the book department.  The random words I picked are 'undertow' and 'violin.'   Some very interesting books popped up which I've added to my wishlist. 
    Sue Grafton's Undertow from her A-Z Mysteries

    Elizabeth Bear's  Undertow

    Mary Daheim's Saks and Violins

    Michael Romkey's Vampire's Violin

    Pick a U or V word at random and see what interesting books you discover.

    Link to your reviews: 

    Sunday, November 21, 2010

    Book Week 47 - T is for Thanksgiving

    ~Happy Thanksgiving~

    For the hay and the corn and the wheat that is reaped,
    For the labor well done, and the barns that are heaped,
    For the sun and the dew and the sweet honeycomb,
    For the rose and the song and the harvest brought home --
    Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

    For the trade and the skill and the wealth in our land,
    For the cunning and strength of the workingman's hand,
    For the good that our artists and poets have taught,
    For the friendship that hope and affection have brought --
    Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!

    For the homes that with purest affection are blest,
    For the season of plenty and well-deserved rest,
    For our country extending from sea unto sea;
    The land that is known as the "Land of the Free" --
    Thanksgiving! Thanksgiving!
    Author Unknown


    Link to your reviews.  If you have multiple reviews, link to your blog with (multi reviews) after your name.

    Sunday, November 14, 2010

    Book Week 46 - S is for short story

    Book Week 46

    What do you do when you have a long list of things to do?  Do you rush through it or take your time, giving each individual thing your full attention, before moving on to the next.  Some days I have a tendency to race, other day's I plod.  I'm plodding through my long list today.

    I'm currently taking a Short Story Class for my Bachelor's degree.  Short stories include myths, biblical stories,  lais, Fabliaux and fables, folktales and Fairy tales.  Just read a very interesting short story called "The Lottery" by Barbara Jackson.  A quick read, but one that makes you stop, think, go back and read it again, think some more.   It was written back in 1948 for the magazine, The New Yorker.  The response to the story was very negative.  Many people from around the world, couldn't believe the magazine would even publish such a story.  However, many people wanted to know if the story was true, and where these lotteries were being held.  The author was astounded.  She had quickly written the story and it needed little editing.  Just something that came to her mind. 

    If you haven't read it before, take a look.  Tell me what you think about the story and your reaction to it? 


    Link to your reviews. If you have multiple reviews, link to your blog with (multi reviews) after your name.

    Sunday, November 7, 2010

    Book Week 45 - R is for rootless random ruminations

    The woman in the picture, standing on the pier, looking off into space. This is me, this saturday evening as I sit, think, ponder and work on my Nanowrimo novel. Bit of random things flow through your head sometimes as you write and you don't know whether it's you, your subconscious or one of your make believe characters creating spillage in your brain. Writing is an interesting process. There is are two quotes which says it all

    "There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."  ~Walter Wellesley "Red" Smith

    "Ink and paper are sometimes passionate lovers, oftentimes brother and sister, and occasionally mortal enemies." ~Terri Guillemets
    Sometimes it flows and other times it's like pulling teeth.  During the times you feel like pulling teeth, is when the distractions win and earn your attention.   Decluttering becomes a favorite past time, then wandering about the blogosphere is another. So what did I find in my random wanderings in life and on the blogosphere that start with R.

    Two new books released this week by the queen of romance herself - Nora Roberts.  The fourth book in the bride Quartet: Happy Ever After and the latest in the In Death Series by her alter ego J.D. Robb "Indulgence in Death."   As you can imagine I sat down and read both right away.   And this evening, while perusing my TBR pile looking for something to engage my mind for a few minutes during some down time,  I picked up Robin Hobb's "Dragon Keeper," book one in the Rain Wilds Chronicles.  I started reading and quickly got lost in the story. 

    I won it several months ago during a giveaway at Literary Escapism.  If you haven't checked out Jackie's site yet, you should.  She does Fantasy and Paranormal reviews with lots of giveaways and links to all the authors.  Her latest newsletter just came out so hurry over and check it out.  Whenever I'm on her site, I have to have another browser open to Barnes and Noble Ebooks store, because invariably I'll find something I just gotta have now.  :) 

    My most recent find - Allyson James "Stormwalker" and "Firewalker."  Sometimes the covers are just so amazing, they attract my attention.  Of course, it helps that the story sounds good and the excerpt is the icing on the cake that makes me buy it.   Sometimes I don't know whether the NOOK is a blessing or a curse.  They make it so easy to buy and download a book.  *grin* 

    Well back to working on my story which just happens to fall in with this week's R theme since it does after all start with R - Red Thief.   Here a picture I drew of the cover.   Notice anything odd about the picture?    Let me know if you find it.   


    Link to your reviews. If you have multiple reviews, make it easy on yourself and link to your blog with (multi reviews) after your name. 

    Sunday, October 31, 2010

    Book Week 44 - Q is for quirky, quick, quarrellous quackers

    Book Week 44

    I love Dolores Cronin's books and even at 11 years old, my son still loves to pull out her books and read them. Poor Farmer Brown - no rest for the weary. Especially when you are dealing with a barnyard full of quirky farm animals as in Duck for President

    "Running a farm is very hard work.

    At the end of the day, Farmer Brown is covered
    from head to toe in hay, horsehair, seeds, sprouts, feathers,
    filth, mud, muck and coffee stains.
    He doesn't smell very good either."

    But what happens when he decides to take a vacation as evidence in Giggle Giggle Quack 

    "Farmer Brown was going on vacation.  He left his brother, Bob, in charge of the animals. 'I wrote everything down for you.  Just follow my instructions and everything will be fine.  But keep an eye on Duck.  He's trouble.'  Farmer Brown thought he heard giggles and snickers as he drove away, but he couldn't be sure."

    He also has another problem.  They've learned to type as in Click, Clack Moo, Cows That Type.

    "Farmer Brown has a problem.  His cows like to type.  All day long he hears.

    Click, clack MOO.
    Click, Clack, MOO.
    Clickety, clack, MOO."

    Doreen Cronin's quirky stories about quick, quarrellous, quackers and moody cows that type will entertain every one in the family. 

    What children stories have you come across that are fun to read at any age?


    Link to your reviews.  If you have multiple reviews, make it easy on yourself and  link to your blog with (multi reviews) after your name.  

    Sunday, October 24, 2010

    Book Week 43 - big P, little p, what begins with P

    Procrastination.  Yep, I seem to be turning into the world's biggest procrastinator lately so it was fortunate for me when I stumbled across Dennis Palumbo at Bouchercon last weekend.    He was giving a short seminar on writer's block and procrastination.   I could have listened to Dennis for a couple hours.  He was a screenwriter for the first two seasons of Welcome Back Kotter back in the 70's and is now a licensed psychotherapist for screenwriters, authors, directors, etc.   His viewpoints on writers block and procrastination made a lot of sense.  I can't wait to read his book:  Writing from the Inside Out: Transforming Your Psychological Blocks to Release the Writer Within

    Dennis has three cosmic rules of writing.

    1st cosmic rule:  "You are enough."   Quit with the if only's.   Everybody thinks the party is happening somewhere else.     You have everything in you to be the writer you want to be right now.

    2nd cosmic rule:  "Work with what you are given."  Use who you are, your personal voice, your experiences and emotions.

    3rd cosmic rule:  "Writing begets writing."   Quit thinking and worrying about it, do it, write.  If you get to your computer and along the way, stumble over the cat in the morning, and then sit there and can't think about what to write.  Start with the cat.  

    Makes a lot of sense and so much of it is common sense.  So what should I be doing, instead of procrastinating?  Preparing, plotting, pondering points of prose to propose and searching for the correct pen for pencraft.  Because there is only one more week til the start of National Novel Writing Month.   I, along with thousands, perhaps tens of thousand of people around the world will be taking up the challenge of writing a 50,000 word first draft of a novel.  If you haven't tried it yet and the writing bug has been nudging you lately, challenge yourself and see what happens.   To help you, Chris Baty, the founder of NaNoWriMo has written a book "No Plot? No Problem? A low stress, high velocity guide to writing a novel in 30 days."

    I'm off to ponder plan and plot.  

    Link to your reviews

    Sunday, October 17, 2010

    Book week 42 - O is for Ocoee Middle School's Gotta Keep Reading

    Happy Sunday!  Right now I'm in San Francisco playing fan girl at the Bouchercon World Mystery convention.  Will have lots to talk about when I get back.  Thought I'd leave you with a wonderful video of the Ocoee Middle School Gotta Keep Reading video.  I love this video!  Enjoy!


    Link to your reviews:

    Sunday, October 10, 2010

    Book Week 41 - N is for National Novel Writing Month

    Three years ago in 2007 I heard about a unique challenge - National Novel Writing Month or NaNoWriMo for short in which you write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days.   Get out of here, I said.  Who can write a book in 30 days.  James Patterson maybe, but me?    I checked it out and this is what I found:

    National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing November 1. The goal is to write a 175-page (50,000-word) novel by midnight, November 30.

    Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.

    Because of the limited writing window, the ONLY thing that matters in NaNoWriMo is output. It's all about quantity, not quality. The kamikaze approach forces you to lower your expectations, take risks, and write on the fly.

    Make no mistake: You will be writing a lot of crap. And that's a good thing. By forcing yourself to write so intensely, you are giving yourself permission to make mistakes. To forgo the endless tweaking and editing and just create. To build without tearing down.
    I had dabbled periodically through life with writing, never getting much farther than a thought, a daydream, a first chapter.   The idea intrigued me so I came up with an idea and went for it.  And I did it.  I wrote my first novel.  A lousy first novel that needed a lot of work, but I discovered a new love.  Since then I've written two more first drafts that are waiting to be edited into hopefully something worthy.  And I have learned much about the craft of writing and am still learning. 

    Basically you are writing a first draft -  quickly - without letting your internal editor shut you down with worries about grammar usage, or questions about 'does that make sense, is that right?' or your brain shouting at you - NO you NEED to MAKE that SOUND better RIGHT NOW.  I've discovered there are two types of writers.  Pantsters and outliners.   Pantsters fly by the seat of their pants - they have an idea and just start writing.  Whereas outliners - outline what the story is going to be about, research it a bit and then start writing.   

    I'm sort of a pantster outliner.  I have a general outline and just go from there.   And then as you write, you let the characters take over and see where they take you.   I love the aha wow moments as I write, letting the thoughts flow from my head to the pen and onto paper.   Yes, I write longhand because discovered my thoughts just flow so much more smoothly versus typing it. I'm less prone to changing or correcting things as I write.  Because as I type, like right now, I'm seeing the words on the page, thinking it out and typing, editing, correcting my spelling, thinking about not only what I'm going to say but how it looks. 

    Did you know Sara Gruen, author of Water for Elephant's wrote the first draft of the story during nanowrimo?  Or Lani Diane Rich of Wish You Were Here who stumbled upon Nano in 2003 and wrote her very first story.  There are many published authors who use Nano each year to jump start their first drafts.   And there are many folks out there who do it just for the challenge. 

    It started out as a challenge for me, but in the back of my mind somewhere is the thought - it would be neat to see my name on the cover of a my book sitting on the shelves in a bookstore.   I'm taking up the challenge once again, for another year come November.  Meanwhile I'm learning every thing I can about editing because maybe, one day......

    So I'm clearing the decks for November and getting ready to write.  How about you?  50,000 words in 30 days = 1667 words a day.  Come on - you know you wanna do it? 


    Link to your reviews

    Sunday, October 3, 2010

    Book Week 40 - M is for Monsters

    Book Week 40

    M is for Monsters 

    Welcome to Fall and what falls in Fall - October, Halloween, and Monsters.  Bwaaahaaahaaahaa!

    The Monster Mash by Bobby "Boris" Picket

    Sorry in advance to those whose sensibilities are offended.


    Link to your reviews:

    Sunday, September 26, 2010

    Book Week 39 - L is for Julie Lessman

    Julie Lessman

    "Passion with a Purpose"

    What perfect timing that this week's theme starts with L.  I just finished reading Julie Lessman's A Hope Undaunted,(review)  book one in the Winds of Change series that continues the story of the O'Connor siblings from The Daughters of Boston Series.   I joined in on the A Hope Undaunted blog tour not realizing the book was a continuation of another series.   I enjoyed the story and the characters so much, wanting to find out more about them, so  was happy to discover I could.

    Julie Lessman's story of the O'Connors is a passionate one, but from a christian perspective so heated romance and passion without the R rated stuff. Her characters are very real and life isn't simple or always easy and wrapped up in a neat little package.  Lessman does an excellent job of portraying a faith filled family without getting overly preachy.  Faith is a part of their lives and blends in with the story.  The Daughters of Boston series is a historical romance set in the early 1900's and starts with Faith's story in  A Passion Most Pure, then Charity in A Passion Redeemed, and little sister Lizzie in A Passion Denied.   The Winds of Change series starts with Katie in A Hope Undaunted.  She is a feisty 18 year old in the 1920's who wants to be a lawyer. She has a plan for her life with a list of the perfect man and she's trying to stick to the plan even though life has thrown her a curve ball.  The series will be continuing in the near future featuring her two older brothers, Sean in A Heart Revealed and Steven in A Soul Restored. 

    If you haven't read any of her stories, I definitely recommend starting with A Passion Most Pure in order to get to know the family.  I've just downloaded it to my nook and will be reading it soon.

    To find out more about Julie Lessman and her books, check out her story here.

    Link to your reviews:

    Sunday, September 19, 2010

    Book Week 38 - J is for Jackson, Lisa Jackson

    Book Week 38

    I'm currently reading Wicked Games by Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush. I discovered Lisa Jackson a couple years ago and love her romantic suspense stories.  I'm a series person. I love series that follow a group of characters and tells each character's story. I started with her New Orleans series and fell in like with her writing, the characters, the setting.  The stories are intense and sometimes dark with spooky, creepy villains who chill you to the bone.   Creepy good stories that will keep you up reading way past your bedtime.    She not only writes romantic suspense stories, but historical romantic suspense, medievals and contemporary stories as well.  Check out her booklist and discover for yourself.

    What is your most spookiest, chilling, goose bumpiest read?

    Link to your reviews:

    Sunday, September 12, 2010

    Book week 37 - K is for the Kicken "Book Blogger Appreciation Week 2010"

    Book Week 37

    Book Blogger Appreciation Week
    September 13 - 17, 2010

    In 2008 Amy of My Friend Amy started the Book Blogger Appreciation Week (BBAW)  It has grow exponentially since then and I heard at last count that this year over 600 bloggers are participating.

    "Book Blogger Appreciation was started  in an effort to recognize the hard work and contribution of book bloggers to the promotion and preservation of a literate culture actively engaged in discussing books, authors, and a lifestyle of reading."

    Bloggers will be hosting giveaways (some worldwide, some USA only) as well as publishers and authors including:  Belle Bridge Books, Chronicle Books, Harper Collins, Penguin, and Sourcebooks to name a few.   Each day bloggers will be posting on the following topics:

    Monday—First Treasure
    We invite you to share with us about a great new book blog you’ve discovered since BBAW last year!  If you are new to BBAW or book blogging, share with us the very first book blog you discovered.  Tell us why this blog rocks your socks off and why you keep going back for more.
    Tuesday—New Treasure—Interview Swap
    Post the interview you did with your BBAW Interview Partner.
    Wednesday—Unexpected Treasure
    We invite you to share with us a book or genre you tried due to the influence of another blogger.  What made you cave in to try something new and what was the experience like?
    Thursday—Forgotten Treasure
    Sure we’ve all read about Freedom and Mockingjay but we likely have a book we wish would get more attention by book bloggers, whether it’s a forgotten classic or under marketed contemporary fiction.  This is your chance to tell the community why they should consider reading this book!
    Friday—Future Treasures
    We’ve been visiting each other and getting to know each other better…now is your chance to share what you enjoyed about BBAW and also what your blogging goals are for the next year!

    I will be hosting a couple giveaways on my personal blog My Two Blessings: Monday, a package deal - Sookie Stackhouse Southern Vampire Series books #1-9  and on Wednesday, a Mystery and Suspense bundle consisting of 6 books by authors Allison Brennan, Tess Gerritsen, J.T. Ellison, Jordan Dane, Robert Gregory Browne and John Ramsey Miller.    And be sure to check out my interview with Allison of Piling on the Books on Tuesday. 

    So don't miss out on your chance to win some free books, meet new friends and explore new blogs. 


    Link to your reviews:

    Sunday, September 5, 2010

    Book Week 36: Random Book Title - J is for Justice

    I've traveled the world twice over,
    Met the famous; saints and sinners,
    Poets and artists, kings and queens,
    Old stars and hopeful beginners,
    I've been where no-one's been before,
    Learned secrets from writers and cooks
    All with one library ticket
    To the wonderful world of books.
    ~ Anonymous ~

    I have a mini challenge for you today:  This week's letter is J so going to do a random book title pick.   Use, Barnes and Noble, Borders or your favorite independent book store site and see what books come up.  I happen to like ordering hard bound books from Amazon and buy all my e-books from Barnes and Noble, and browsing and buying from the brick and mortar Borders or my local indie bookstore next to my business, Book Lovers Cafe.  However for this exercise, will use

    Justice is the word that has been floating through my head this week and since I like mysteries and thrillers, did a search on Amazon.  Several of my favorite authors came up which is a plus, and some authors I haven't read. 

     Sullivan's Justice by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg

    Divine Justice by David Baldacci

    Final Justice by Fern Michael

    House Justice by Mike Lawson

    Justice Hall by Laurie R. King

    Your task is to decide which book you think I should read.  Let me know either in the comments here or on the WTM 52 books week 36 thread and I will read the book with the most votes and review it for you. 

    Play along if you like. Choose a word starting with the letter J, see what book titles come up and list them on your blog or in the WTM 52 books a week thread. We'll choose which one we think you should read.


    Link to your reviews:

    Sunday, August 29, 2010

    Book Week 35 - International Thriller Writers

    Book Week 35

    I recently joined the International Thriller Writers association which actively promotes writers, debut and seasoned authors of the Thrill genre. Yes, I am one of those struggling writers hoping to get published someday.

    "International Thriller Writers, Inc., began with a dream. Until ITW, thriller authors had never organized. By nature, we tend to be loners, happy with our work and our families and a few close friends. But at the same time, because we're a relatively small community in the vast world about which we write, we also yearn occasionally for collegiality. For years, we've said to one another, "Why don't YOU organize us?" At which point, the thought was so overwhelming, the work involved so time-consuming, that we would gaze sadly around the group and shrug. There was no way."

    They found a way and in 2004 the group was born. They have grown exponentially since then and published some very interesting books.    That is how I discovered the group.  I heard through the Blogosphere about Thrillers: 100 Must Reads and since I absolutely love thrillers, had to get it.

    Edited by author David Morrell, co-founder of ITW and journalist Hank Wagner, the book is 100 essays written by well known thrill writers talking about which books influenced and have had the greatest impact on the genre.  Various authors give their thoughts on books they think were the greatest influences through out time from 1500 BC Theseus and the Minotaur to 1902 Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness to 1950 Graham Greene's The Third Man to 2003 Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code.  What intrigued me the most was Steve Berry's thoughts on Dan Brown and The Da Vinci Code and how he helped to revitalize the thriller genre.  

    "The real contribution of Dan Brown and his marvelously inventive story is the effect that both he and his publisher had on the international suspense thriller.  Together they breathed life back into something that was all but dead.  And, in the process, opened up opportunities for those of us who were out there searching for a chance."
    I happened to like the Da Vinci Code and read it twice, researching some of the things folks criticized and coming to the conclusion, things were being blown out of proportion.  It is after all - fiction.  Thrillers: 100 Must Reads is a must read and you can check out it out here and see a table of contents listing the essays included.  It's one of those books you keep going back to again and again, each time reading a new essay, discovering something new, then searching out the book they mentioned to read it.   It may take me a while to finish the whole thing.

    Other publications which I hope to read in the future are: 

    First Thrills:  High Octane Stories by the Hottest Thrill Writers 
    edited by Lee Child

    And a 2 part serial thriller written by 22 International Thrill Writer authors

    Thrillers come in all shapes and sizes from psychological to political to mystery to medical to supernatural.   Personally I favor psychological thrillers.  What type of thrillers do you like to read and whose your favorite thrill author?

    Link to your reviews: