Archive for the ‘ Monday Reading Blogs ’ Category

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

This weekend seemed like a small sampler of how buy my June is going to be. Not only is it one of the busiest months for me at work, but I already seem to have plans piled up around my ears. Lots of it will be fun just not as laid back as these past couple months have been. Saturday I got to see Olympic hopefuls for the U.S.A. Equestrian Team compete at a course in Devon, PA. Today, went to a christening for the son of close friends that took up almost the entire day. While it’s great to see friends and enjoy the beautiful weather, I also thrive on my alone time to write, read, and relax. 🙂

I can’t complain too much as I have been reading a lot lately. Here’s what’s new:

  Flash and Bones by Kathy Reichs – I’ve been on a Reichs kick lately and have devoured her last three books. She’s a perfect summer on the porch read. Her books are filled with detailed mysteries, heart pounding plot twists, and great characters. Also perfect for a day at the beach!

  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley – This is another book that I should have read a long time ago, but for some reason never had. I appreciated this book, but felt as though it would have been more profound if I had read it when I was younger. I remember reading 1984 when I was young and it just blew me away. This one, not so much. It’s a thought provoking concept of the future and playing with the idea of a utopia (kind of) society. If you haven’t read it, it’s definitely one that should be on your TBR list.

  Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed – When a colleague of mine saw this book she exclaimed, “Oh, that sounds like a horrible story!” I was confused as I had read the blurbs on this memoir and thought the idea of a woman hiking to find herself again sounded like a great story. But what she thought when she read the title was that this woman got lost literally and then was found literally. I could see how the tagline would be a little confusing without any prior point of reference. Regardless, I’ve been listening to this one on CD and loving it. I love memoirs to begin with, but combine one with soul-searching and the outdoors and it doesn’t take much to win me over.

  Jubilee by Robert Kirkman – I picked up this graphic novel because it was penned by Robert Kirkman and I’m a huge fan of his Walking Dead series. So far though I’ve been a bit disappointed by the lack of wow factor. While the story progresses, it’s not very exciting and definitely not what I would consider a good representation of Kirkman’s work. Still, it is a fun, fast read.

Hope you have a great week! Happy reading! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

 Americus by MK Reed and Jonothan Hill – This was a great graphic novel. When a conservative mother makes it her personal crusade to rid her town of sin and evil, which comes in the form of a well-loved novel featuring dragons and magic, chaos ensues. Parts made me mad because I know there are actually people like this woman out there who want to censor books that libraries carry because of their personal beliefs. A very good read though with great subplots threaded throughout.

 Aunt Dimity and the Village Witch by Nancy Atherton – I really enjoy this series featuring a woman who inherited an English cottage in a small town from Aunt Dimity, a friend of her mother’s whom she never met but speaks to in the form of a journal. What’s great about these books is that they aren’t dark and murderous, they’re set in the English countryside, and, despite trials along the way, always have nice resolutions. Purely an escape novel, which can be so nice.

  The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells – I’m listening to this sci-fi tale on CD. It’s another novel that I should have read a long time ago. When the protagonist, through a series of unfortunate events, comes to the island he is disgusted by the grotesque creatures that inhabit it. Only as he sees and learns more does he realize the true madness that has captured the island and fears for his life. The only bad thing about this CD is that I’m certain I’ll miss a turn one day because I’m so entranced with this nail-biting tale.

  The House of Silk by Anthony Horowitz – An adult novel based on a case of Sherlock Holmes. I hope he plans on writing more as I am thoroughly enjoying this novel. Filled with the spirit of Doyle plus twists and turns that will keep your heart thupping until the last page.

 

 

I hope you’re reading week is just as enjoyable as mine is! Happy reading! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

We had a beautiful, albeit windy, weekend here in NJ so I spent as much time as I could outside. There was a town wide garage sale that was a lot of fun to walk around, although I didn’t find anything I really wanted/needed and only spent $1 on a little kids lemonade and cookie stand – totally worth it! 🙂 Went to my first baseball game of the season this weekend as well which is always a great time. It’s one of those local baseball teams with tickets for $10 and anywhere is a great seat to watch the game. I love it because it gives me a chance to be outside while supporting a family-friendly baseball team.

As for reading, I’ve been doing much of that as well. I ripped through one book, Grave Mercy, in a couple of days it was that good. It’s hard for me to find a book that captures my attention so fully these days, so it was very enjoyable. I’m already excited for the second in the series, although it’s not being released until Spring 2013. Bummer! Also, my good friend and author extraordinaire, Alissa Grosso, has her second book coming out on May 12. I not only get to attend her release party (YAY!), but she’s doing a blog tour and will be stopping by to guest post on my blog sometime mid-May. Stay tuned! Giveaways ahead! (Her first book Popular was amazing, if you haven’t read it you should, and her second Ferocity Summer is bound to be just as awesome.)

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  His Fair Assassin: Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers -I couldn’t put this YA book down. That rarely, and sadly, happens anymore. I saw it come through the library and after reading the inside jacket flap decided to check it out for myself. Usually, I find books through buzz or recommendations posted by other bloggers or readers, but I must’ve been under a rock because I didn’t hear anything about this book until it was right under my nose. I love how the heroine is snatched away at a young age from a horrible marriage and taken to a convent where she is trained to be an assassin for Death. But on a mission she begins to realize that not everything is what it seems. Also, there’s a great love story that slowly unfolds without that being the main emphasis of the story. Nor is the heroine so wrapped up in the guy that she loses sight of her mission and who she is as a woman. My favorite kind of story. A must read!

 

  I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga -This is an intense YA book. Very dark. Actually, I’m more surprised that a book like this, don’t get me wrong, I really love this book, isn’t under fire because of its dark content. I guess sex attracts more red flags than murder. The protagonist, Jasper, is a teenager whose father was a notorious serial killer who, although now caught and in prison, raised his son in the art of killing. While Jasper doesn’t want to be like his father he’s also intrigued with death and killing more than a normal teenager should be. So when a young woman is found murdered in his home town with all the markings of a serial killer’s handiwork, Jasper is drawn to find out who is killing and why. All this is heightened by Jasper’s conflicting desire to not become his father and as he thinks, if you had a gift of running really fast, wouldn’t you be a runner? Some days it’s all he can do not to use the gifts his father taught him.

 

  Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne – I’m sad to say that I haven’t read many of the great sci-fi classics. Verne is a writer I’ve always admired and know the stories of, but haven’t actually read his original versions. So I’m listening to this great novel on CD and want to continue listening to more of the sci-fi classics after this one.

 

 

 

  Everlast by Chad Michael Murray – I wouldn’t necessarily pick out a book written by an actor, unless it were a memoir, but this graphic novel by the star of the TV series One Tree Hill caught my attention. The illustrations are dark and gritty, matching the tone of the book perfectly. What if (and this made a great unintentional reading parallel), someone discovered that the center of the earth was actually hollow? What if the Eden of the Bible were a place of peace and happiness and the chosen few could escape Earth and travel to its secret core? Thus, Everlast and others are bound to seek the people destined for this “heaven” before the end of the world as they know it. A great premise for a novel and I’m loving it already.

 

I hope you’re reading week is just as enjoyable as mine is! Happy reading! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

Another wonderful weekend with great running weather. Hope you were able to get out and enjoy the weekend too! The nerdiest part of my weekend was when I took my long-haired dachshund Jackson to the local pet store to get his caricature done. It proved to be very entertaining. Lots of dogs of all shapes and sizes were there and Jackson had a great time checking things out. I’m still on the fence as to whether this was okay to do or if I should get out more…Regardless, I have a great picture of my pup now. 🙂

When I’m not playing the eccentric dog-owner, I’m reading and working on my novel. Here’s what I’m reading now:

  Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet -Daniel is an autistic savant born into a world that doesn’t quite understand what autism is yet. He falls on the highly functioning side of the spectrum and chronicles both his fascinating view of the world as well as how he learns how to become more socially at ease. It always interesting to me to hear stories of how differently people think and see the world. For example, Daniel has a unique relationship with numbers where he visualizes them differently than others, so to raise money for an epilepsy foundation he memorizes over 22, 000 numbers in pi. !!! I’m lucky if I remember my phone number most days. I listened to this book on CD and it was very well done.

  Some Assembly Required by Anne Lamott & Sam Lamott -I’m also listening to this memoir on CD which is read by both authors, although mostly by Anne. She has a great dry wit that really catches me off guard, so I find myself laughing a lot (which probably looks pretty creepy to passing drivers, but oh well). This story chronicles her son’s first son. Sam is only 19 and dealing with school, a young girlfriend, and a new baby aren’t always a recipe for blissful peace. Listening to this one makes me want to read her memoir of Sam when he was young called Operating Instructions as I’m sure it’ll be just as entertaining.

  What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami -I’m long overdue in reading this highly touted memoir by novelist Murakami. He writes in a journal-like style with jotting down his thoughts on different dates and giving readers an inside look into how he thinks, why he runs, and how he became a novelist. It’s an interesting running book as it delves more into the day-by-day workings of a man’s mind rather than on a longer narrative. If you’re a runner or a writer, then you will like this little book.

  Why Be Happy When You Can Be Normal? by Jeanette Winterson – So said Winterson’s mother to her in regards to her daughter being gay. Adopted and raised by a domineering mother who prayed fervently and would alternate locking her daughter in the coal cellar or outside all night, this memoir captures Winterson’s unique voice perfectly. Readers walk with Winterson as she comes to terms with her upbringing and how those experiences shaped her life as a person and a writer today.

I just realized that all of these are memoirs! I love reading about people from different walks of life and the stories they have to tell, but this week was especially memoir-centric. All well worth reading too. Happy reading! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

This past week was a great one for reading on my porch. Sunshine, warm breezes, the smell of spring, ahhh… So while I got a little distracted and had to go off and play disc golf every once in a while, it was a great week for springtime reading.

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach – Felton Reinstein is used to being called Squirrel Nut and being an outsider. But one day he wakes up and realizes he is really, really fast. Soon he’s playing football and being one of the jocks. But Felton realizes it won’t fix everything that is wrong in his life. At some point he’s going to have to stop running and face bigger issues that are going on in his life. Adolescent angst and running? This is going to be a great book. 🙂

 

 

Dead End In Norvelt by Jack Gantos – The winner of the 2012 Newbery Medal and the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction, Dead End is marketed as the entirely true and wildly fictional story about a kid named Jack Gantos. (Not sure what that means, but someone clearly thought they were being clever…) The story sounds extremely entertaining however with small town eccentricities and exaggerated obituaries. I’m listening to this one on CD and its narrated by the author. A great motivation to drive to work!

 

 

  The Great American Ale Trail by Christian DeBeredetti – As a beer lover I’m constantly on the lookout for new books that center around the craft of beer making and enjoying. I also love road trips, so while drinking is driving is never good, this book is perfect for when I reach a destination and am looking for restaurants and brewpubs that serve unique craft beer selections. And more often than not, places that serve good beer, serve good food too. I’ve already taken note of breweries and/or brewpubs around my area to visit and can’t wait to try them out.

 

 

Hope you’re enjoying this spring weather as much as I am. Happy reading! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

Another amazing weekend! Not only did I get to go to my favorite trail for my long run, but I also went to NYC to watch the half marathon. Members of the American Olympic running team, Meb Keflezighi and Kara Goucher, participated as well as other amazing runners from around the world.

We got front row spots right along the finishing chute and were able to see the runners sprint (SPRINT!) past us then run back within touching distance with the flag of their countries draped across their shoulders in a victory jog. Incredible. I felt a runner’s high just from watching. 😀

I have to admit, I’ve been too distracted by bright and shiny cookbooks to finish any of the novels I posted last week. I love cooking and I wanted to integrate more seasonal ingredients into my dishes and find more fun vegetarian recipes to try. Here are some of the books I picked up this week:

  Bean by Bean by Crescent Dragonwagon – First, this cookbook might sound a little gassy, but it is chock filled with dips and stews and salads that are filled with healthy goodness that look and sound delicious! Second, how can you not read a book by someone named Crescent Dragonwagon? I mean, really.

  Cooking Light: Cooking Through the Seasons – A perfect start to more seasonal cooking, this cookbook offers a wide selection of dishes that make use of the freshest ingredients in every season. While this book offers a selection of meat based meals, it also has recipes like Roasted Baby Spring Vegetables and Banana-Rum-Coconut Cookies. Yum!

Farmstead Chef by John Ivanko & Lisa Kivirist – Highlighting foods that can be homegrown or farm fresh, the authors are the owners of the Inn Serendipity Bed & Breakfast and want to bring their passion for eco-friendly foods to people everywhere. This cookbook has recipes from pancakes to breads to pizza, pasta and sandwiches.

  Welcome to Claire’s by Claire Criscuolo – A collection of favorite recipes from Claire’s Corner Copia, a vegetarian restaurant in New Haven, CT. Some of the 350 recipes include: Spicy Thai Sunflower Noodles, Summer Tomato and Basil Quiche, and Grilled Cheese Florentine. I may need to run to the grocery store soon!

Despite all the healthy, fresh ingredients found in the pages above, all this food makes me happy I run regularly! 🙂

Happy reading!

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

Had a great weekend running around in the beautiful weather. Got to go on a much needed 7-mile run. It started as a “I think I’m going to go for a nice 3-mile run maybe longer if I feel okay” and then my legs didn’t want to stop moving! I loved it. 🙂 Mid-fifties, sunny, with a nice breeze that cooled me off without being challenging. Ahhh…

I have some great books in my reading pile too. Here’s what I’m reading now:

  The Abused Werewolf Rescue Group by Catherine Jinks – I’m listening to this YA book on CD. I have to admit I don’t immediately jump on every vampire/werewolf book that comes out because a lot of them seem so similar that it’s like reading the same plot over and over. What grabs me is a story about a boy who doesn’t know he’s a werewolf, who isn’t charming and brooding and filled with an overabundance of wolf testosterone. (Is that such a thing?) That’s how this story begins and with a title that makes it seems more like a PETA story, I’m already hooked.

 

 

  Timeless by Gail Carriger -Here’s another series that involves vampires and werewolves, but in such a quirky way I can’t help but devour each new book. There are vampires who are more concerned with fashion than blood, werewolves that act as babysitters, a preternatural that turns supernaturals mortal, and a toddler that blends all these aspects together. Not to mention the delightful steampunk elements that are threaded throughout. A perfect book for any mood.

 

 

  All There Is: Love Stories from StoryCorps by Dave Isay – StoryCorps was started in 2003 with the idea of capturing stories and preserving them for future generations. A person visits a StoryCorps booth, sometimes alone but more often with someone they love, to tell a story that they want to honor the memory of. This book is a compilation of the love stories both happy and sad from those sessions. I got choked up at almost every story just because they captured such beautiful memories of the human spirit.

 

 

I hope you’re reading week is just as enjoyable as mine is! Happy reading! 🙂