Posts Tagged ‘ Monday ’

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!

Tis the season for some great books! Despite my busy schedule, I’ve been reading some amazing books. It’s a great variety right now too, so they’ve been keeping me entertained. 🙂 Hope you’ve been reading some great books and enjoying this season of giving.

I Am Half-Sick of Shadows by Alan Bradley – If you haven’t read any of Bradley’s marvelous books yet, you must pick them up! His protagonist is eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, poison aficionado and amateur sleuth. It’s remarkable to capture the innocence and perfect tone of an eleven-year-old and still make her seem sharp and savvy so the targeted adult audience won’t lose interest. Not only are the English mysteries divine, but Flavia’s character is so unique that I’m sure you’ll devour these books as I have.

Habibi by Craig Thompson – The illustrious author of the autobiographical graphic novel Blankets has given the world another gem. Six years in the making, this tome was illustrated and written by Thompson and captures many stories at once: love, Christianity, Islam, history, action, suspense, and depth of character. I don’t know much about Islam, so the story that Thompson weaves is both magnificent and informative. Beautiful.

Death Cloud by Andrew Lane – I’m listening to this on CD and it’s a lot of fun. The narrator is British, but does a wonderful American accent in addition to his array of British ones. This novel is about a young Sherlock Holmes which Lane successfully captures. Sherlock has a strong group of mentors that guide him in his early deductive skills and a web of mystery that captures his curious mind. Definitely worth reading!

One Sweet Cookie edited by Tracey Zabar – My library was fortunate enough to host a cookie program featuring Tracey Zabar as well as Tina Casacelli who owns the bakery Milk & Cookies and recently penned a cookie book of the same name. It was a fun program plus there were cookies for everyone in attendance which were amazing! Today I tried two of these recipes and my fiance tried two separate ones for our annual Christmas cookie day o’ fun. While two turned out great (the Thumbprint cookies and the macaroons), two absolutely flopped! These recipes were sent in by renown bakers and pastry chefs and supposed to be home baker friendly, but although we each followed our recipes to a T they flopped. The Snickerdoodles were too solid and the Flourless Chocolate Cookies were too runny. Blech! While I’m sure there may be other good recipes, I think I’ll switch to a different cookie book for my next batches.

Happy reading!

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading is hosted by the lovely Sheila @ Book Journey. Stop by and see what all the fuss is about! 🙂

I figured I should write my Monday post early in case Hurricane Irene decides to knock our power out. It already winked out for a little but is back on. Hopefully it will stay on! Irene has caused a lot of chaos these past few days and probably will continue to until she dissipates somewhere over the Eastern part of the U.S. But it’s better to be overly prepared and safe then to witness the wreckage that hurricanes can cause. It’s been wild that’s for sure! We’re still getting a torrential downpour and now there are tornado warnings! This is all on top of an earthquake that was felt by at least five states on the East Coast a few days ago – crazy!!!

In preparation for the storm, I stocked up on some great books and magazines. Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore – I’m a big fan of Clement-Moore’s Maggie Quinn: Girl v. Evil books, so I was excited when I heard about this latest release by the author. Although it follows a different heroine, Texas Gothic is filled with the same things I loved about the Girl v. Evil series – sarcastic exchanges, flawed characters, and intriguing mysteries. Set in Texas, the story follows a family blessed with the gift of spells, psychic connections, and mystic powers as a young college girl, Amy, learns to accept who she is while solving the mystery of the Mad Monk, a ghostly power that’s been causing havoc around a neighboring ranch. A perfect book to read while a big storm rages outside!



  Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published by Arielle Eckstut and David Henry Sterry – I mentioned this book in my post a couple days ago and am busy enjoying all the helpful tips the authors provide. While I’ve done a lot of reading and research in regards to writing and publishing a novel, I hadn’t read this guide. The authors, known as The Book Doctors, help people realize their publishing dreams through talks, one-on-one guided sessions, and Pitchapalooza events. Always interested in making myself a better writer and learning more about the trade, this is the ideal book!



  Rail-Trails: Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York – I discovered rails to trails a couple years ago and have been hooked ever since. These converted railways make for ideal trails because they don’t have motorized traffic, they’re shaded, and they stretch for miles and miles. I usually run or bike these trails and wrote about the Columbia Trail where I usually go on my long Sunday runs this time last year. It’s especially nice because the trails are very flat and make for a perfect place for my longer runs and a welcome change from my hilly neighborhood where I run during the week. While this book showcases the trails in the tri-state area, I know there are rail-trails around the country with books highlighting different areas or you can hop over to the website: Rails-to-Trails.



Have a great reading week! 😀

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Find out what everyone’s reading!

It’s been pouring here since Saturday night, which is great as most of July was very, very dry. And it makes it easier to stay inside and write and not feel guilty I’m not outside enjoying the sunshine. 🙂 Not to mention I can catch up on my nerd SyFy shows and my reading. De-light-ful!

I hope you’ve been enjoying your week of reading. Here’s what I’m up to this week:

  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – I’m infatuated with this book. It’s such a unique, clever way to tell a story, and a captivating story at that, that I’ve consumed this YA novel in a couple of days. Riggs infuses his debut novel with quirky, strange snapshots from a distant past. All, according to Riggs’ blurb in the back of the book, are real photos and he documents which one came from where. On his blog he writes that he is already beginning his second novel and photos have started flooding his In Box. The story is about a world that the protagonist believes only exists in his grandfather’s stories, until strange, inexplicable things begin to happen. Part mystery, part fantasy, all enjoyable. 🙂



  Heaven’s Shadow by David S. Goyer and Michael Cassutt – I have high hopes for this sci-fi novel. The cover was what first drew me to this book, quickly followed by its premise – huge object hurtling toward Earth bringing with it a message from an intellectually superior race. The authors also have a lot of nerd cred with Goyer working on two of the recent Batman films and an upcoming Superman movie and Cassutt producing and writing shows such as The Twilight Zone and Eerie, Indiana. I just have to stop drooling over the cover long enough to actual read it!



  21: The Story of Roberto Clemente by Wilfred Santiago – I love to read non-fiction in graphic novel form. It provides just enough information on any topic I’m interested in along with illustrations so I actually remember the facts I read. (My perfect learning scenario.) I’ve always wanted to know more about Roberto Clemente and the impact he had on baseball and America. The illustrations are both lively and heavy at once and seem to set the perfect backdrop to this inspiring and tragic tale.




That’s it for me this week. What have you been reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?



It’s Monday, What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Books, books and more books. What are you reading??

Had a marvelous weekend. Great biking, great running. Found a great farm stand just down the street from my house. I’d driven past the multi-tiered sign numerous times, but hadn’t bothered to stop in. Then, after visiting another farm stand and finding it closed, my girlfriend and I decided to pay the other a visit. We drove down the gravel driveway and stopped in front a large barn surrounded by gardens, hanging flowers, and paddocks replete with fat, furry donkeys. Inside the barn, there are big refrigerators stocked with corn, peaches, jam, eggplants, and other produce. Tables overflowing with ripe tomatoes, green peppers, fresh bunches of flowers, and tiny garlic buds flank the fridges. On a small table in front there’s a glass jar to pay via the honor system. Of course we had to have a little of everything – made for some delicious meals! 🙂

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  X-Men First Class – This graphic novel seemed appropo with the recent movie release of the same name. The illustrations are fresh and lively and make the story read with a quick energy. I’ve already put a hold on Vol 2 at the library! 🙂





  Then Came You by Jennifer Weiner – Weiner’s novels are always highly praised and this one is no different. The story centers around surrogacy and the women who’s lives are changed as a result. I’m really excited about this one!





Devil in the White City by Eric Larson – I started to read the novel form of this touted book a while ago and just couldn’t get into it. I picked up the book on CD hoping for a better outcome. 🙂 The premise of the book – a coldblooded serial killer and the Chicago World’s Fair – have called to me for quite some time. Can’t wait to drive to work tomorrow! 🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. A great meme to share your thoughts and your books! 🙂

It’s been hot, hot, hot. I have been making the most of this heatwave by lounging by the pool in my complex. Of course it’s only refreshing if I’m fully submerged in the water and then my fingers and toes turn to prunes. But it still feels lovely!

Here’s what I’ve been reading this week:

  Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs – Yet another fabulous read by the great Reichs. I love getting lost in her easy to read stories about love and murder and forensics. Perfect to read by the pool…if I can ever get out of the water long enough to read!




  The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan – I heard good things about Duncan’s latest book and wanted to see what all the fuss was about. While I’m over the whole vampire/werewolf onslaught of recent years, I am always on the look for new voices and well-written novels. Duncan’s prose is rich and imaginative. It passes the allure of the supernatural on page one and readers are treated to a novel about people who fight and love and life for a purpose even if they don’t know what that purpose is.



  Blood, Bones and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton – I am thoroughly enjoying this book on CD. Narrated by the author, it’s a memoir about her life with her family and how food became engrained into her life. I’m looking forward to seeing how her life progresses into the chef she is today.




I hope you’re enjoying your books as much as I am loving mine! 😀

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. A great meme to see what new books are out there. Stop by! 🙂

I’m reading and listening to some really great books right now. The weather has been behaving very nicely so I’ve been reading outside as much as possible. I read a great article in the New York Times about the self-publishing phenom Amanda Hocking and her $2 million, four book deal with St. Martin’s Press. Read the article HERE. Very inspirational.

Here’s what’s in my book pile:

  Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool – I’m listening to this on CD and the narrator is really good. It won the 2011 Newbery Award. It takes place in a small town in 1936. This book has a little bit of every part of the turmoil of that decade – racist, war, prohibition, depression. The story takes a young girl and her two friends on a journey through the past as the girl discovers more about the town’s history, her father, and a perplexing mystery.




  Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King – I’ve been wanting to read this latest book by A.S. King because I loved her first novel, Dust of 100 Dogs, so much. This Printz Award winner does not disappoint. Her story had me thoroughly entrenched from the onset with its heavy topics of absentee parents, death, and teen drama. King tells the story so well that you forget the time and meals just so you can find out what happens next.




Hope you have some great reads lined up this week! Happy reading! 🙂


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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Swing by and see what’s new!

I’ve been on a big graphic novel kick lately. Probably because of all the big superhero movies being released this summer. I’ve already seen Thor (loved it!) and am hoping to see X-Men: First Class this week. Green Lantern and Captain America are making their debuts in the coming months as well, so I’ve got my box of Junior Mints ready to go!

  Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?: Dust to Dust by Chris Roberson – While the illustrations and story were okay, I didn’t realize this was a later installment of an earlier graphic novel of the same title. It’s based on the book by Philip K. Dick which also was the inspiration for the movie Blade Runner. I like the concept of the graphic novel – robots who are built to serve man and subsequently turn against their creators – but since this was a later volume in the series, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I’m definitely going to find the first volume though!



  Gotham Central by Greg Rucka and Ed Brubaker – Sure Batman fights crime in Gotham City, a place filled with the most heinous villains around, but what about the fine policeman, detectives and other law enforcement agents who spend their days serving in the line of duty? This graphic novel takes a new perspective on the dark world that is Batman’s territory. And the gritty illustrations are a perfect match to the edgy plot.




  Green Lantern: Secret Origins by Geoff Johns – I always like to bone up on my superhero facts before the release of the movie. That way I can spew very fascinating facts to my less-than-impressed girlfriend. It’s sad, I know. Anyway, I really liked this graphic novel not so much for its unique story and illustrations (although both were done well), but because it gave a great background on how Green Lantern got to be the Green Lantern and the drama surrounding his creation. It made for a nice abridged version of a much longer saga.



  Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs – I posted yesterday about what kind of books I like to bring with me to the beach and Reichs is at the top of the list. Fast-paced, edgy thrillers that I can speed through in a day. Perfect for lounging in the sun! I’ve never been disappointed by mysteries that the protagonist, Temperance Brennan, finds herself in or the ongoing romantic and personal relationships that surround her and this book is no different.




Happy reading! 😀

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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 busy weekend for me! Got to spend time with my family in PA which I love. Sunday I went to hear editor and author, Lisa Pliscou speak at Mendham Books in Mendham, NJ. The first hour was discussion oriented with Lisa giving her insights in the writing/editing/publishing world and people asking her questions. The second hour Lisa devoted to the first five people who signed up for the class, critiquing work that they submitted previously by email. I submitted a couple chapters from the manuscript that I just finished. She had a lot of really great things to say which was really encouraging. YAY! It’s one thing to have your family tell you they like your work, it’s another to have a professional from the writing community tell you they like your work. 😀

Here are the great books I’m excited about now:

Lost & Found by Shaun Tan – I’m a big fan of Tan’s work. I had to own The Arrival because it was so, so beautifully illustrated. This latest compilation is of three stories, two of his own, that he illustrates. Once again his work is just breathtaking. I wish I could blow up the pages and stare at them, they’re that great. Even if you’re not a fan of graphic novels, this book is very short and worth checking out!

  The Liar Society by Lisa & Laura Roecker – While I only began this a couple days ago, I’m already impressed with the Roecker sisters’ writing style and the way they personalize their characters right from the beginning. Mystery surrounds the protagonist as well as angst between her and the other characters in the story as she is now a social pariah but hasn’t always been. I’m excited to keep reading! 🙂

Sapphique by Catherine Fisher – I just began this sequel to Incarceron on CD. If you haven’t heard the news, Taylor Lautner of Twilight fame, is going to star in the movie adaptation of Incarceron. When I told my sister this, she was very happy that I had recommended the book to her way before the huge fanfare starts – as I’m sure it will! If you’re not familiar with the series, it’s a great, unique concept about a world that’s laced with fantasy elements. At the center of the story is Incarceron, a living prison that thinks and plots against it’s doomed inmates. Nail-biting to the very end!

I’ll be sure to keep you posted on BEA in NYC that I’m attending this Wednesday – can’t wait! 🙂

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading is hosted by the wonderful Sheila @ Book Journey. Check it out!

I’m still working on the two blog posts I promised over a week ago (yikes!), but have been preoccupied by finishing the final revision of my second novel. Now it is ready to be released into the wild, ie. agent world. I’ll keep you all posted on how that progresses. 🙂

In other news my girlfriend and I rode in the Five Boro Bike Tour that took place in NYC yesterday. It was a 42-mile ride up through Manhattan, Central Park, into the Bronx, then down through Brooklyn and into Staten Island and covering five different boroughs of the city. The weather was gorgeous! And the only sore part of my body is my poor sunburned nose because I didn’t think to reapply my sunscreen. 😦 There were 32,000 riders and they shut down complete streets to host the event. It was a memorable, incredible experience!

That last one is me enjoying the best pb & j sandwich I’ve ever had by the Brooklyn Bridge. 🙂

And here’s what I’ve been reading:

  Bossypants by Tina Fey – I loved this book. I enjoy reading memoirs and this is the best one I’ve read in a while. Fey is candid without over sharing or being self-indulgent and I really appreciated reading her viewpoints about her life as an actor, writer and comedian. I’m even going to listen to her book on CD when it comes into the library just to hear how she meant the book to be read – something I’ve never done before. 🙂

  Daytripper by Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba – I knew I was in for a good graphic novel when many of my favorite artists/writers had their praises written on the cover.  I have definitely not be disappointed! Brazilian twins, Moon and Ba, have penned one of the most brilliantly written and illustrated graphic novels I’ve read in a long time. I’ve heard people scoff at the concept of graphic novels, mostly because they view them as juvenile or for grown men still living in their parents’ basement, but to marry beautiful art and depth of writing is a talent not to be overlooked. I highly recommend Daytripper as each chapter explores different ages of the protagonist’s life and how each vein unravels at the end of the chapter culminating in his death. This concept is pushed even further as the protagonist is constantly surrounded by death as he is an obituary writer who dreams of becoming a renown novelist like his father.

  Kit’s Wilderness by David Almond – I just started reading this book on CD and so far it’s….intriguing. I picked it up because I really enjoy reading Printz Award winners. There’s a commonality between the books in that they are uncommon books. Books like Monster by Walter Dean Meyers and Monstrumologist by Rich Yancey and Going Bovine by Libba Bray have been past honorees. They are YA and MG novels that tell stories no else has told. Seems simple enough, but I’m always amazed at how many books of a similar vein there are circulating at any given time. And the novels tend to be dark, which I also like, although not all the time.

That’s it for me, what have you been reading?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading is a wonderful meme hosted by the amazing Sheila @ BookJourney. Stop on by and check it out!

I’m one of those people who once I start reading (or listening) to a book I have a hard time not finishing it even if I really don’t like it. However, this past week was one of the few occasions that I did just that. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that I was listening to the YA book The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith. I stuck with it as long as I did – a little past midway through the book – because I kept hoping that there would be some kind of resolution or revelation that the protagonist would have that would balance the overwhelming negativity of the plot. While there may be at the end of the book there was just so much despair and repetition of how an earlier event affected the protagonist that I had to give up. Very early in the book the protagonist is kidnapping and molested by a man named Freddy Horvath. The author must have had a bet with his editor over how many times he could use the sentence “Freddy Horvath did something to my brain.” Did he have to keep reminding me that something tragic had happened to his protagonist because he thought it was such a common event that his reader might forget if he didn’t say something about it every other sentence? I get that it was a horrible event, but if the despair isn’t balanced with something redeeming I can’t look forward to the book and have to put it down.

I did finish Blameless by Gail Carriger however and loved it. Read it! 🙂

I have started some other interesting books, that I’m hoping don’t make me utterly depressed:

Bite Me: A Love Story by Christopher Moore – This is the third and final book in Moore Love Story series. Moore has a great sense of humor which makes this the perfect book to listen to on CD. If you haven’t read any of the series, start with Bloodsucking Fiends followed by You Suck. I love authors and subsequently their protagonists that don’t take themselves too seriously. If you love vampires and otherworldly tales as well as satire grab a copy of one of Moore’s many books and enjoy!

The Basic Eight by Daniel Handler – I discovered this book on a display at Barnes & Noble’s and after reading the jacket blurb I knew I had to grab a copy. I may be the last person to read this book as everywhere I turn it seems like someone has something good to say about it. It was written in 1999, along with the first of Handler’s, aka. Lemony Snicket, better know book The Bad Beginning: A Series of Unfortunate Events Book 1. What’s there not to like about a smart and witty protagonist who suffers through her senior year with her seven friends and accusations of being a murderer. But this is completely untrue, she is no murderer, she’s a murderess.

The Soul of Leadership by Deepak Chopra – Chopra’s latest book is all about “unlocking your potential for greatness.” Although I am familiar with Chopra’s philosophies and books, I have never read any of his writings. When I saw this at my library I wanted to see what he had to say on the subject, because really who doesn’t want to know the secrets of greatness? Chopra’s ideology behind this book is that a leader is the “symbolic soul of a group.” He goes into detail defining what a leader looks like and what qualities she should possess in order to become a great leader.

Quite an amalgam of books, but hopefully equally enjoyable! Have a wonderful week!

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