Tuesday, December 31, 2013

I Love LIbrary Books Reading Challenge 2014

Last year I participated in the challenge hosted by Dragon's Lair and I really enjoyed it, even though I didn't meet my goal. :(

I think this is a great challenge because the focus is on libraries- an often over looked treasure. Libraries make books and knowledge accessible to everyone.

Books are expensive. As much as I love to read, I really can't afford all the books I'd like to read. (Who can?) Thanks to inter-library loan, I can read most of the books that I love for free. I just go online to my library's website, type in the title and see if it is available. Our PINES system searches the entire state, not just my own local library. The books are shipped to my library where I pick them up and return them when I am finished. (Did I mention this is free?!?!!?)

This is why I have again decided to join Dragon's Lair's 2014 I Love Library Books reading challenge.

I am setting my goal at 18 books. (Surely I can do that....right???)

So, who's going to join me? You don't need a blog- just a love of reading.

Monday, December 30, 2013

2014 TBR Reading Challenge

OK..so last year I didn't meet my goal. Changing jobs really kicked my butt. No other way to say it.
Still...I am totally joining up again. I'm just going a little easier on myself this time.
This time I am trying for A First Kiss- 21-30. Surely I can meet that one without screwing up. Ya think?!?!

Southern Literature Challenge 2014

Southern Literature Reading Challenge hosted at The Introverted Reader

I've found a reading challenge that is right up my alley, y'all! What books do I love best? That's right- southern fiction! I'm in for the most- 4 books. Love me some southern lit!

Why have I never seen this challenge?!

It's Monday- What Are You Reading?

Welcome to It's Monday! What Are You Reading? -a weekly meme hosted by Book Journey.
Today I am reading 3 books- a nonfiction, a memoir, and a fiction novel.

So far, they are all all great! I hope to have reviews up soon!
So...It's Monday- What are you reading?

Sunday, December 29, 2013

October Library Books Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

Notice this October wrap-Up is in December. I am THAT behind...(so ashamed).....

In October the  only library book I read was The Witch of Little Italy by Suzanne Palmieri.

November was a big ZERO...we will see what I can accomplish for December by Tuesday...
Beth :)

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stacking the Shelves

Finally!! A little time off from work so I can catch up on my reading!!! I got a B & N gift card for Christmas from one of my students (all A's for her!!) LOL. (I'm saving the card for the release of Sarah Addison Allen's Lost Lake in January.) 

Meanwhile I nabbed the following on a visit to the library today:

The Gilly Salt Sisters  by: Tiffany Baker

Forgotten Bookmarks by: Michael Popek

The Book of Fred by: Abby Bardi

Harpsong by: Rilla Askew

The Last Time I Was Me by: Cathy Lamb

On Grandma's Porch by: various authors

Redemption Song by: Bertice Berry

Trespassers Will Be Baptized  by: Elizabeth Emerson Hancock

Friday, December 27, 2013

Waking Kate

Title: Waking Kate Author: Sarah Addison Allen Publisher: St. Martin's Press Pages: 38

I own this book in Kindle format.

From Amazon:
From Sarah Addison Allen, the beloved author of Garden Spells, comes Waking Kate, a story about a woman who soon will face an unforeseen change in her life. One sticky summer day as Kate is waiting for her husband to come home from his bicycle shop, she spots her distinguished neighbor returning from his last day of work after eighty-six years at Atlanta’s oldest men’s clothing store. Over a cup of butter coffee, he tells Kate a story of love and heartbreak that makes her remember her past, question her present, and wonder what the future will bring.    

I devoured this novella as if it were made of chocolate. (This is my reaction to everything by Sarah Addison Allen.) I was immediately drawn into the Kate's story as she sees and oddly familiar man on a TV interview and then realizes he is actually her neighbor. As he reveals his own story to Kate she begins to question her own relationship and life choices.
It is hard for me to fully review this novella and the preview of the upcoming Lost Lake that follows without including spoilers. Let me say that it left me waiting on the edge of my seat for Lost Lake to arrive!
If you have never read a Sarah Addison Allen novel, you should really start today!

Read this novella if...
*you LOVE Sarah Addison Allen
*you love southern fiction

Feature and Follow Friday

I am SO GLAD I can finally participate in Feature and Follow Fridays again!! I have missed this!! 

Feature and Follow Fridays is a book meme hosted by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read. It is a great way to gain new followers and learn about all the great books (and book blogs) out there!

How does this work?

The goal is to increase blog followers and make friends. First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools — keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them “hi” in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you! What sets this Hop apart from others, is our Feature. Each week we will showcase a Featured Blogger, from all different genres and areas. Who is our Feature today? Find out below. Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy. How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to WordPress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don’t have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be followed. All features are chosen randomly to be the feature. They are not chosen by content or name.

This weeks Question:

Merry Christmas! Happy Holidays! What books did Santa stuff your stocking with this holiday season? Do a holiday book haul for us! If you don’t celebrate just show off your books that you got this week. Pictures!!!

I am so sad to say I didn't get ONE BOOK for Christmas!! One of my student's DID give me  a Barnes & Noble gift card (All A's for her this year...LOL). I plan to use it ASAP. Right now I am reading the same stuff I was reading before Christmas... :(

RULES To join the fun and make new book blogger friends, just follow these simple rules:
    • (Required) Follow the Follow My Book Blog Friday Hosts {Parajunkee & Alison Can Read}
    • (Required) Follow our Featured Bloggers
    • Put your Blog name & URL in the Linky thing. You can also grab the code if you would like to insert it into your posts.
    • Grab the button up there and place it in a post, this post is for people to find a place to say “hi” in your comments and that they are now following you.
    • If you are using WordPress or another CMS that doesn’t have GFC (Google Friends Connect) state in your posts how you would like to be followed
    • Follow Follow Follow as many as you can, as many as you want, or just follow a few. The whole point is to make new friends and find new blogs. Also, don’t just follow, comment and say hi. Another blogger might not know you are a new follower if you don’t say “HI”
    • If someone comments and says they are following you, be a dear and follow back. Spread the Love…and the followers
    • If you’re new to the follow Friday hop, comment and let me know, so I can stop by and check out your blog!

Thursday, December 26, 2013

My Favorite Reads of 2013

I'm wrapping up the year by recounting my favorite reads of 2013.

The Spirit Keeper

Title: The Spirit Keeper Author: K.B. Laugheed Publisher: Plume Pages:341

From Amazon:
This is the account of Katie O’Toole, late of Lancaster Co., Pennsylvania, removed from her family by savages on March the 2nd in the year of our Lord 1747

The thirteenth child conceived of miserable Irish exiles, Katie O’Toole dreams of a different life. Little does she know that someone far away is dreaming of her.
In 1747, savages raid her family home, and seventeen-year-old Katie is taken captive. Syawa and Hector have been searching for her, guided by Syawa’s dreams. A young Holyman, Syawa believes Katie is the subject of his Vision: the Creature of Fire and Ice, destined to bring a great gift to his people. Despite her flaming hair and ice-blue eyes, Katie is certain he is mistaken, but faced with returning to her family, she agrees to join them. She soon discovers that in order to fulfill Syawa’s Vision, she must first become his Spirit Keeper, embarking on an epic journey that will change her life—and heart—forever.

I loved this book. I fell into the story immediately. Young Katie O'Toole is caring for children in the attic room of her crowded pioneer home when she hears the blood chilling battle cry. Her family is being attacked by Indians.. She can do nothing but wait upstairs as she hears the chaos outside. Slowly she hears the warriors making their way toward the stairs...
Katie, her mom and sister are taken captive along with a few children. But why do two of the Indians (who look so differently from the others) stay so close to her and treat her preferentially? She soon learns that one of these braves is a visionary who saw her in a vision as a creature of fire and ice (red hair and blue eyes) and treks across the country to take her to his home. Katie must make a decision. Should she continue with the braves or return to a french fort with her mother and sister? Having suffered brutality every day of her life at the hands of her family, Katie takes her chances with the warriors. The story of their journey will leave you unable to put this book down. I learned so much about early pioneer life as well as early Native Americans. The juxtaposition of the two cultures as they make their way across a young America is fascinating. I wasn't ready for this book to end! 

Read this book if...
*you love historical fiction
*you love adventure novels
*you love stories about Native Americans and pioneers

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

What's On Your Nightstand?

It's been forever and a day since I could participate in any memes. My new job (which I love) and motherhood just don't allow me to do much blogging lately. I'm even further behind on my other blog. Hang with me, peeps, I'm trying to get back into the swing of things....
I was checking out the blogs I follow and came across this lovely post by Becky's Book Reviews. Hosted by 5 Minutes for Books, this little meme seems like a great way to find out about great books others are reading.

On my Kindle right now is The Wishing Thread by Lisa Van Allen.

I am also reading The Spirit Keeper by K.B. Laugheed.

When I finish these, I have the following waiting in the wings- all from my latest library visit:
Life After Life by : Jill McCorkle
the Last Summer of the Camperdowns  by: Elizabeth Kelley
Stargazey Point by: Shelley Noble

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

My Running-Late August Wrap-Up (TBR Challenge)

Well, thanks to my new job (for which I am very grateful) I accomplished ONE BOOK in the month of August. (Hey, school starts back August 1 in the south...I had no time whatsoever...)

Spirits of New Orleans: Voodoo Curses, Vampire Legends and Cities of the Dead (America's Haunted Road Trip) by Kala Ambrose

So...there ya have it....
My TBR accomplishment for August....

The Wisdom of Hair

Title: The Wisdom of Hair Author: Kim Boykin Publisher: Berkley Books Pages: 292

From Amazon:
“The problem with cutting your own hair is that once you start, you just keep cutting, trying to fix it, and the truth is, some things can never be fixed. The day of my daddy’s funeral, I cut my bangs until they were the length of those little paintbrushes that come with dime-store watercolor sets. I was nine years old. People asked me why I did it, but I was too young then to know I was changing my hair because I wanted to change my life.”

In 1983, on her nineteenth birthday, Zora Adams finally says goodbye to her alcoholic mother and their tiny town in the mountains of South Carolina. Living with a woman who dresses like Judy Garland and brings home a different man each night is not a pretty existence, and Zora is ready for life to be beautiful.

With the help of a beloved teacher, she moves to a coastal town and enrolls in the Davenport School of Beauty. Under the tutelage of Mrs. Cathcart, she learns the art of fixing hair, and becomes fast friends with the lively Sara Jane Farquhar, a natural hair stylist. She also falls hard for handsome young widower Winston Sawyer, who is drowning his grief in bourbon. She couldn’t save Mama, but maybe she can save him.

As Zora practices finger waves, updos, and spit curls, she also comes to learn that few things are permanent in this life—except real love, lasting friendship, and, ultimately… forgiveness. 

When I fist began this book, I was immediately taken in by Zora and her escape from life with her Judy-Garland-obsessed alcoholic mother. However, as Zora embarked on life in her new apartment and began beauty school, I started feeling like this was going to be another star-crossed romance in which a woman hitches her star to the first handsome man she sees and they all live happily ever after. In her quest to "save" Winston from his alcoholism, Zora very nearly loses herself. Fortunately, she comes to her senses (but I won't include spoilers).The story also paints an excellent picture of the many facets of alcohol and it's use (and abuse). Honestly, this one didn't leave me hanging on the edge of my seat. However, it was interesting enough to continue with. I'd definitely like to see a sequel. I'd like to know what happens to Zora in the future- whether she continues with her independence or succumbs to her mother's way of "living her life like it wasn't worth anything unless she had a man under her roof."

Read this book if...
*you love southern fiction
*you love stories of friendship
*you love stories of finding strength and independence in the face of adversity