Posts Tagged ‘ Monday ’

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading is brought to you by the wonderful Sheila over at Book Journey. Stop by!

This weekend I worked, I played, I drank coffee, it was wonderful. My girlfriend and I joined the YMCA last weekend and we love it! It’s so much fun to not only have a lot more equipment (treadmills, free weights, machines, etc) at our disposal but to be around people of like mind. At the gym in our complex, where I worked out before, I was typically the one female lifting weights at all as the few women I saw there were more interested in the cardio machines. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, but I felt out of place. At the Y however, I’m a little fish in big pond. Everywhere I look there are women doing personal training or lifting free weights or using the weight machines. Now I feel like I fit in more as I’m far from the only female interested in building muscle. Yesterday after an hour or so of cardio and stretching, we walked downstairs in the complex where the gym is to a really great bagel place. I can definitely see this as our new Sunday routine! 🙂

But enough about me, let’s talk about books! Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Blameless by Gail Carriger – I’m a big fan of Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series. I think the characters are that perfect mixture of foolish and cunning, good-natured and whiny, good and evil. While I’ve gotten burned out on vampires, werewolves and the like, Carriger manages to keep her story lines and characters fresh and fun. These are books that just don’t take themselves too seriously and I love that. I think (you heard it hear first) that it would make a perfect BBC TV series as it’s practically written for the small screen. Besides there aren’t any steampunk adaptations on TV that I know of, so it could be the first of a new trend. 🙂 Read this series, you won’t be disappointed.

Confessions of the Other Mother: Nonbiological Lesbian Moms Tell All! edited by Harlyn Aizley – Families aren’t a mom, dad and two point five children anymore. More often family is defined as those you may live with, or not, that you love and support no matter what. This is a collection of stories based on lesbian couples who decide to have children and all the delights that come with building a family.

Matched by Ally Condie – There has been a lot of hype surrounding the latest  novel by Condie. Set in a dystopian world where every aspect of society is dictated by a higher organization, the protagonist, Cassia, begins to question the way things are done when she accidentally gets matched with two different boys. While I like the premise of this book I found the pace a little slow for my tastes. And there was something about the events happening in the novel that didn’t quite ring true. I think it has something to do with the fact that there really isn’t much fear in the book. Everyone just goes along with whatever the Officials tell them to do and how they should live. So, while it’s a quick read, it wasn’t my favorite read.

Well, that’s it for me this time. 🙂 Happy reading!

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Pop on over to Sheila’s blog @ Book Journey and see what all the fuss is about!

Now that the crazy holiday season is over, I finally have time to sit down with my blog (and my books) and update you all on what I’ve been reading. Yay! 🙂

American Vampire by Scott Snyder, Stephen King, and Rafael Albequerque – One of the most beautifully illustrated graphic novels I’ve ever read, this tale is not for the faint of heart. Touted by the king of macabre as taking back vampires and returning to their heartless, blood-lusting origins, Stephen King is true to his word. Originally created by Snyder, he brought King on to write and plan the storyline for this new series that takes vampires back to the late 18th – early 19th c. The story is engrossing and made even more vivid by Albequerque’s representation of the story in graphic novel form. If you don’t have a queasy stomach, I highly recommend it!

The More I Owe You by Michael Sledge – A novel of historical fiction, Sledge writes in captivating prose about the poet Elizabeth Bishop and her journey to Brazil. Her two week holiday turned into a seventeen year stay when she falls in love with architect and socialite Lota de Macedo Soares. Wrapped in the wonderful and tenuous dichotomy of a turbulent political era in Rio de Janeiro and the beauty and creativity of the women’s lives, both together and as individuals, Sledge manages to hit a perfect pitch that will appeal to all readers.

The Complete Book of Running by Amby Burfoot – As a huge fan of Runner’s World, both the website and the magazine, I had to grab their publication of all things running. Burfoot asks the experts and inserts her own words of wisdom throughout this book. Topics range from injuries to training programs to cross-training to women’s running to nutrition. If you’ve ever had questions about running, this is the book for you!

Live to Tell by Lisa Gardner – I’ve never read any of Gardner’s works before, but am excited to finally be listening to her latest on cd. Suspense surrounds Detective D.D. Warren as she embarks on her latest gruesome case. Disturbed children, a murdered family, a psychic and a burgeoning love interest rest in the heart of Gardner’s latest thriller. I love crime shows and crime novels and am looking forward to how Gardner’s intriguing story unfolds.

That’s what I’ve been reading – what have you been reading?

🙂

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading is hosted by the fabulous Sheila over @ Book Journey. Come check out what everyone’s reading!

This weekend I went to the Media Theatre to see a production of Annie with Wanda Sykes as Miss Hannigan. The theatre had the classic character befitting its long history as a performing arts center. The cast was wonderful, the songs performed flawlessly and the scene changes were both minimal and creative. It was a great holiday treat! I hope your weekends were fun too. 🙂

Here’s what I’ve been enjoying in the world of literature:

Dust of 100 Dogs by A.S. King – My friend and new author Alissa Grosso introduced me to A.S. King’s novels just recently. I loved the premise of King’s story where a girl is cursed with the dust of 100 dogs and is forced to live one hundred dog lives before returning to the world as a human. With all her memories still in tact, she vows as a child to return to the scene where she was cursed and the love of her life was murdered. How’s that for a book opener?! I’m already wrapped up in both the story and the characters and can’t wait to find out what happens.

 

Ultimate Galactus Trilogy written by Warren Ellis – If you’re a fan of Marvel comics and the superheroes that band together to fight evil, you must read this graphic novel. The Ultimates, X-Men and Fantastic Four must unite to prevent Earth from being completely annihilated by a cosmic force. The illustrations are both classic and contemporary pulling you into its gripping tale.

 

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan – I’m pretty sure I’m the last YA/MG reader to pick up this book. Despite all the great reviews its gotten, it’s still taken me a while to pick it up. I’m sure it won’t disappoint.

 

 

 

That’s all for me. What about you? What have you been reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is a great meme hosted by Sheila @ BookJourney. Stop by and tell us what you’re reading!

I just came back from a wonderful weekend in upstate NY where the leaves are turning gorgeous shades of reds and oranges and yellows. The grass was verdant from the recent rains the East Coast has been getting and the skies were a brilliant blue.

It was chillllly, but so beautiful. My girlfriend and I went with some friends of ours and got to walk around Cooperstown and visit Doubleday Field – the home of baseball. I even found a flat penny machine that printed a picture of the historic stadium – sweet!

My favorite stop was the Ommegang brewery where they were having a great festival with food, an awesome band, and even a puppet show. We went on a great tour of the brewery – I love going on brewery tours – and were able to have free tastings of all their finest brews at its conclusion.

Afterward, we all sat in the sun sipping on our brews and noshing on waffles (yes, waffles, and they were amazing!) and wood-fired pizzas. It was the perfect day. 🙂

But I digress…

This week in the reading world I picked up some great new reads. 🙂

The Search for WondLa by Tony DiTerlizzi – From the creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles comes another incredible tale of mythical proportion. I’m really looking forward to this novel as DiTerlizzi is not only an amazingly talented and imaginative writer, but incredible artist as well. WondLa features many of his sketches including some two page spreads. And, as if that weren’t enough to capture your attention, if you have a webcam at your disposal, you can hold some of the sketches up to the webcam to gain further information on the protagonist, Eva Nine and her world. So cool! It really is amazing how books are melding with technology these days. It reminds me of the book I always coveted as a child that Penny, Inspector Gadget’s niece, owned to help solve all sorts of dilemmas in the cartoon.

Candy Girl by Diablo Cody – I’m a big fan of memoirs. Especially ones that are filled with quips and snarky comments throughout. This memoir was written by Cody before her rise to fame as the writer of the Juno screenplay and, although I’m only a few chapters deep, looks to be an interesting read. Cody drives to Minnesota for a guy where she decides to shed her stay-at-home and play Scrabble persona and tries her hand at stripping for a year. Now, I’m not at the point yet where she reveals how stripped she gets, and I think how she handles this documentation of her experience will make or break the book for me. I’m hoping it’s not graphic as I’m not a fan of that profession as I feel it’s degrading to women (personal opinion, no soapbox). But I think that’s also why I will keep reading, because I enjoy reading perspectives that are different of my own, thus gaining a more rounded view of the world.

I’m still plugging away at some of the books I posted last week, so that’s all the new books I’m reading for now.

What are you reading this week??

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is brought to you by Sheila @ Book Journey. Head on over and join the fun! 🙂

Since my computer has been in the Apple store for most of the week this is the first time I’ve been able to blog since last Monday. Computer seems running fine (knock on wood), which is good since I was going through a bit of blogging withdraw!

I’ve been reading a lot of great, great books this past week, seeing as I had some spare time from not being on the computer. Here’s what I’ve been up to:

i know i am, but what are you? by Samantha Bee – I just started reading this one and so far, so good. Bee is a news correspondent for the Daily Show and takes her wit and sassy ways to novel form. I love reading memoirs of people, especially if they have a convoluted way of looking at life. Bee’s novel looks to follow in this vein and I’m looking forward to reading it.

Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman – I listened to this on cd in about two trips as it’s a very short middle grade novel. Gaiman is the King Midas of the novel world and he is brilliant in whatever he sets his pen to, whether it’s for adults, young adults, graphic novels, or middle grade readers. It’s astounding really. Odd is a little boy who has had a rough life. While in the woods he meets three animals that led him on an adventure that will change his life forever. And while this may not be a complicated plot, the way Gaiman tells a story is so wonderful, that you’ll forget that it’s for middle grade readers and enjoy it thoroughly.

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union by Michael Chabon – I’m listening to this book on cd now and really enjoying it. I really appreciate Chabon’s novels. He has an amazing skill with words which inevitably pulls me into whatever book of his I’m reading. If you’ve never read any of Chabon’s works, his memoir is one of my favorites, but you should read his Pulitzer Prize winning tome – The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay, if you are going to read any of his books. He has also written Wonder Boys and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, both of which have been made into movies. This particular book centers around the imaginative world where Jews live in Sitka, Alaska, having had escaped the atrocities of WWII. Chabon is a deft hand in making you understand his characters and this novel is no different. So while there is a mystery in the center of this novel, it’s really the unique characters that make this novel great to listen to.

And of course:

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins – One of my favorite parts about the Monday group of bloggers is getting to read reviews about whichever books they decided to read this past week. And last week a lot of blogs I visited were hyped on Mockingjay and its release on Tuesday. I’m assuming many have since read this last installment in Collins’ riveting Hunger Games trilogy and am super excited to read other reviews on it! As for me, I thought it ended the way it was supposed to end. I was satisfied, saddened, thrilled, and ultimately pensive after I finished the last page of the final book. It’s really hard to say anything about what I found to be sad, satisfying and thrilling without giving away key plot points, but I will say that there was so much going on in this book that I felt it could have easily been made into another two or three books with no problem. I understand that Collins stuck to her vision of wrapping it up in the third book, but I felt, well, rushed, even though it was a satisfying ending.

That’s been my week. 🙂 Have you read any good books lately??

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Gotta love Mondays! It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by the great and wonderful Sheila at Book Journey. Head over and check it out!

This week I’ve been started a couple new books of the urban fantasy/paranormal genre and I threw in a couple non-fiction too! I need to hurry or else I may need to postpone finishing these books because Mockingjay comes out tomorrow!! Very exciting 🙂

Labyrinth by Kat Richardson – I have been reading Richardson since she first came out with her Greywalker series. She is a great writer and I love her strong, female protagonist Harper. Readers follow Harper as she comes into her gifts and the subsequent dangerous situations they lead her into. Harper has the ability to walk into a kind of layer between realities and this not only allows her to see things differently than anyone else, but it attracts many strange cases, she’s a PI of sorts, and individuals to her. This latest novel is even more intricate than the previous and strays away from the PI bit and focuses more on Harper’s developing talents and strange occurrences that are leading her down a dangerous path. While I wish Labyrinth was less complicated and more like the earlier novels in the series, I can’t help but become deeply engrosses in this fast paced novel.

The Passage by Justin Cronin – I’ve been waiting to read this for a long time and am excited to finally have it in my possession. Cronin’s tome has been getting a lot of buzz and supposedly it’s already been optioned as a movie. I’ve only just begun, but can tell that I’m going to get lost in the world that Cronin is creating very quickly. His layers of details and descriptions of his characters and places add a tone not unlike the classics of the Brontes or Austin, with the dark depths of Dostoevsky.

Bicycle Maintenance & Repair by Todd Downs – A perfect book for anyone who loves to ride bicycles of any kind and hates to pay the hundred plus dollars it takes to get a tune up at a repair shop. Illustrations and easy to read instructions help even a beginner (ie. me) learn how to work on their bike. This is a library book, but I’m probably going to have invest in my own copy so I can refer back to it as the need arises.

Runner’s World Guide to Injury Prevention by Dagny Scott Barrios – It’s sad that I need this book, but as a runner I am constantly plagued by injuries. I need expert advice on how to not only care for injuries when they do arise, but how to prevent further injuries from happening. This book also guides runners on strength training, stretches, and training to maximize performance and decrease the likelihood of injury. Definitely the best book I’ve ever read for anyone who runs – even if you’ve never been injured!

I’m off to continue working on my second book and the synopsis for my first (oh joy) on this rainy New Jersey Monday. What have you been up to?

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday again! I can’t believe August is already halfway over! Yikes! Aside from a computer malfunction that forced me to take it in for repairs and miss the live feeds of WriteOnCon (the online writer’s conference I’d been looking forward to for months), my week was great! Today, it’s time for – It’s Monday, What Are You Reading, hosted by Sheila at BookJourney.

This week I’ve had some great books to read. 🙂

Tip It by Maggie Griffin -I definitely LOLed a lot while reading this book by Maggie Griffin – mother of famous comedian and star of My Life on the D-List, Kathy Griffin. I love this show and think that Kathy Griffin is stinkin hilarious. Throughout the book Kathy inserts her own comments behind her mother’s and makes the stories even funnier. And Maggie comes across as much of a sweetheart in her book as she does on TV. And she’s so funny, although I’m not sure she’s trying to be. So if you’ve been reading a lot of heavy books about teenage angst or dystopian cultures, pick up this book!

Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead – I had heard a lot of positive comments regarding Mead’s well-loved vampire series, so I decided to pick the first one up and see what the buzz was about. I’m almost finished and have been pleasantly surprised. I’ve read some YA vampire novels before and have been disappointed by their lackluster characters or sappy plots and Mead had neither. Her characters are rich and round, her plots intricate but plausible, and there’s a good balance between seeing the protagonists succeed and making sure they are imperfect. I highly recommend reading the first book and I am going to have to grab the second just to find out what happens!

And I had to throw in how INCREDIBLY EXCITED I am for Suzanne Collin’s last installation of her Hunger Games trilogy, Mockingjay, to be released August 24th. Such a good series and you haven’t read the first two yet – what are you waiting for??

That’s what I’ve been reading, how about you?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading is hosted by Sheila over at Book Journey. Check out her blog and join in the fun! 🙂

I’ve been crazy busy working on getting a final draft of my novel finished. Yikes! It’s a tricky stage for me as it’s my first book and I’m still figuring out exactly what a finished draft looks like! Of course I haven’t been too busy for reading – here’s what I’ve been up to.

 Heist Society by Ally Carter – Centered around a teenaged girl who grew up in a family of art thieves, Heist Society is a fast and enjoyable read. While it was entertaining, it was a pretty standard plot (think Ocean’s Eleven) that didn’t fully grip me in webs of intrigue. Carter has written a number of other popular books (I believe this is her fourth) that seem to center around a similar theme of the lives of covert teens. It seemed at times that this was another book in a series because I felt like I should have been privy to more info in the protagonist’s life, but wasn’t. I have to say that this was a book written for teen girls, who would probably appreciate it a lot more than I did.

 Dresden Files: Storm Front, Book #1 by Jim Butcher – I’ve heard great compliments regarding Butcher’s Dresden series and the ScyFy TV series that it spawned. I’m almost finished with the first novel and am enjoying it very much. Dresden is a wizard who has set up his own PI business and also free-lances as a police consultant. There’s just enough fantastical oddities rooted in the everyday that make the book a fun reading adventure. I also appreciate Dresden’s character as he has very human (as he is one) character flaws but he’s very good at being a wizard, so you can’t help but cheer for him as he defeats those evil powers that want to reign free. I’d definitely recommend it and am looking forward to reading the second in the series!
 52: Volume One by Geoff Johns – I had heard about 52 a few years ago when it was still being published as serials and not into a collective volume. I stumbled across a copy in the library and was excited to finally get a chance to read it. (Side note: Serials are comics published at intervals, usually monthly, that are, dependent on their popularity, often re-published into compilations. Since graphic novels are hugely expensive, I normally wait until the volumes come into the library as the library’s I’ve been a part of don’t get comic subscriptions.) 52 is about a time in the future where the classic superheroes are not what they once were having been through too many catastrophes. I’m only at the beginning, but the plot is already interesting with lots of twists and characters. The illustrations are lushly colored drawings and make reading that much more enjoyable. 🙂

What are you reading this week??

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Phew! Finished a great weekend with my Bloggiesta festivities and am ready for a new exciting week! It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by the incredible Sheila over at Book Journey – come join in the fun!

I have a whole plethora of great books waiting to be read as well as a slew of brilliant graphic novels. (If you want to read more about my infatuation with graphic novels click HERE.) Funness galore!

Here’s what’s on my reading plate this week:

Blockade Billy by Stephen King – I like Stephen King. I really do. But I rarely read his works, unless you count the witty column he guest writes for Entertainment Weekly. Why not? Mainly because I like to read before I fall asleep. And if I read his novels as I do so, I always have nightmares. I could read two novels at the same time and save his for my daylight hour readings, but I know myself too well. Inevitably I will become so engrossed in his well-crafted tale of horror and suspense that I will HAVE to read it before I fall asleep despite the fact that I know this will give me nightmares. Sad on so many levels, I know. However, that said, I picked up this book because it’s 1. A novella and I can finish it in a day and read something light and fluffy before bed and 2. It seems different from his more horrific novels. The novella is written as an interview between Mr. King and a third-base coach for Blockade Billy back in the heyday of baseball. I haven’t finished (and as daylight wanes I better get on that!), but B.B. is infamous for some reason yet unknown but one of the best players ever to have played the game. That hook alone was enough for me to grab this book and face Mr. King’s brilliant writing once more.

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray – This trilogy came before Ms. Bray’s Printz Award winning Going Bovine, but was highly acclaimed as well. My friend Alissa recommended this series to me especially since she knew how much I appreciated Going Bovine. I have just begun this book, the first in the series, but am already sucked into Bray’s amazing gift of storytelling. Because of a freak accident (or was it…?), Gemma is sent to London, away from her home in India, to go to Spence’s a boarding school for young ladies. There are mysteries abundant surrounding Gemma, her mother, and the accident that happened in India, that it’s difficult to stop driving (I’m listening to it on cd). The narrator is AMAZING so I don’t mind as much having to leave the story until my next errand or work day. I can’t wait to find out what happens!

Ex Machina by Brian K. Vaughn – As always, I have to be reading at least one graphic novel to round out my weekly reading trilogy. 🙂 Brian K. Vaughn is one (if not THE, but I hate to hurt anyone’s feelings) of my absolute, all-time favorite graphic novel writers. I try to find everything he’s ever written in the graphic novel kingdom because he has such a creative mind and unique perspective on the world that it makes me view life in whole new ways. Ex Machina is about Mitchell Hundred an average guy who became a superhero after an accident left him able to speak to machine. He turns in his superhero suit for a different kind of suit as newly elected mayor of NYC. Ex Machina takes the thrills of classic superhero comics and integrates those nuances into the realm of everyday politics. One of the reasons I love Vaughn’s works is that he has the gift of being able to build many complex layers so seamlessly that I’m constantly being surprised while I’m reading. Yet another wonderful way graphic novels is able to capture the complexities of life under the guise of gorgeous illustrations and glossy pages.

Have a wonderful week! Can’t wait to see what you’re reading this week!

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by the fabulous Sheila over at Book Journey – stop by and participate in a great meme!

I’ve been reading a lot of really great books recently. It’s so nice to grab my coffee and relax on the porch with a good book. Here are a couple of my latest reads:

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery – If you are going to read one book outside your normal reading list this summer, make sure it’s this one. Barbery introduces her readers to a series of people who live under the same roof in a series of exclusive Parisian apartments. She manages to convey all the intricacies of human life while they move through lives of blissful self-importance or philosophical turmoils of self-reflection. The cast of characters range from a young girl who is intelligent beyond her years to the concierge who hides who she is to maintain an illusion to the caring man from Japan who unites them all. I thought this book was brilliant and it resonated with me long after I read the last sentence.

The Heart of the Matter by Emily Giffin – I’m a big fan of Giffin’s works and have read all of her previous books. I think that she has a great voice as a writer and is able to portray women and the various lives they lead with an adroit pen. If you haven’t read any of her books, I recommend reading them all, but her latest is a a stand alone book. The Heart of the Matter focuses on two women and how their lives intersect when the husband of one becomes interested in the other. While I’m not a fan of reading books where the subject revolves around infidelity, I think that Giffin does a good job of showing how a marriage can disintegrate to that point. The main problem I had with Giffin’s novel is that it was too cut and dry. Yes, she depicted a insider’s look at how things got to that point in each of the central characters lives, but I felt like in the ending was too simple and that nothing was ultimately resolved. And maybe that’s the point, but it left me frustrated and dissatisfied, although the first two thirds of the book were well written.