Posts Tagged ‘ Mondays ’

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! And if you are a lover of YA and children’s books like I am check out Teach Mentor Texts for more fun reads!

I’ve been busy making progress on my next YA novel as you can see by the word count widget on my sidebar. In between actual writing, I’m researching and planning Pitchapalooza (more on this soon!), so my life seems to be encompassed by writing of late. I love it! Yesterday, I ran the inaugural Super Sunday 4-Miler in Morristown, NJ. In conjunction with other Super Hero runs, it helped to raise money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The course was hilly but gorgeous with lots of music and fun at the end (including free beer at a nearby bar in honor of the Super Bowl, but I didn’t stick around for that). A great way to kick off Super Bowl Sunday – not to mention the Giants won!!! So it was a great, great weekend. 🙂

  Frost by Marianna Baer – A purportedly haunted house, a group of friends who decide to live there, and a blanket of mysteries surrounding it all. Sounds like the recipe for a good book. The cover caught my eye and that couple with the premise of the story and I was hooked. To be honest the protagonist wasn’t someone I connected with, nor did I connect with the guy who was her love interest. While I appreciate that the author worked to craft a tale of mystery and intrigue it went a bit too far with the way the guy was kind of creepily obsessed with his sister. Even if it did add an extra layer of complexity to the novel, I could have done without it. Especially since, in the end, it was really just that and not tied into the mystery behind the house.

  The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick – I was terribly overdue in reading this highly touted, Caldecott medal winning by Brian Selznick. Not only did I love the book, and it’s delicious illustrations, but it managed to live up to all the hype. Part graphic novel, part written and all brilliant, readers are taken into the world of Hugo while he endeavors to find his way to what he thinks will bring him peace. In the end, what we want and what we get are often two separate things, but, as in life, the ending is even better than our stinted imaginations. A must read!

  The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – Another YA book that lives up to the hype, TFIOS is one of the best books I’ve read recently. Green always seems to capture the awkward yet joyous moments that make up teenaged existence and this latest is no exception. While I don’t know much about the ins and outs of having cancer, I didn’t feel out of place while reading this book. Not overly maudlin or depressing, Green manages to take the good and the bad and the ugly and smoosh them all together in one amazing, must-read novel.

  Amnesia by Dwayne Harris – I have to admit I wasn’t a big fan of this graphic novel. Recommended to me by a colleague, it is the story of a man who wakes up with amnesia that has not only affected him but seemingly everyone else on the planet too. It felt as though there was too much crammed into a thin book – a team of subversive military agents who want something the main character has, but doesn’t realize he has, zombie-esque people who try to attack him and his family, and solutions that come too easily to help the protagonist out. And, I’m sorry, but I expect excellence when a graphic novel is published. Not only were the illustrations overdone and flat, but the writer/illustrator spelled the guy’s name one way in certain panels and then another way in others! Shame on him.


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! And if you’re into reading YA and MG books like I am, check out What Are You Reading: From Picture Books to YA @ Teach Mentor Texts.

I’ve had a great week. I decided to take a couple days off work to finally get some writing done and run errands I kept putting off! So despite the days being busy, they’ve also been very productive. I added a new work in progress widget to my sidebar. It’s been a lot of fun seeing it creep forward, even if it doesn’t happen overnight. 🙂 Now I’m enjoying football playoffs in front of a crackling fire while it’s in the low 20s outside. Ahhhh…. 🙂

Sparks by S.J. Adams – Follow the (almost) holy quest of Debbie as she follows her new found friends Emma and Tim in an attempt to find her best friend Lisa. Complicating matters is Debbie’s realization that she has a major crush on Lisa and needs to tell her before Lisa takes her relationship with her boyfriend to the next level. Filled with made-up religions, quirky characters and awkward situations that make YA novels so much fun, Sparks is a great, fun-filled read.

  Death Comes to Pemberley by P.D. James – Renown for her engrossing mysteries, James is now touted as Austen incarnate with her latest novel. My current book on CD, James’ novel is set six years after the conclusion of Pride and Prejudice, Pemberley is thrown into a whirlwind of murder, mystery and mayhem. Mystery and English drama? Sign me up! 🙂

Not a very busy reading week due to my writing goals, but it’s been enjoyable nevertheless! 😀

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!

I had a wonderful weekend. Went to a baby shower, watched football, read, and did some hiking. The temps here were warmer than in Florida (!) and we took full advantage. Even took the dog to the very muddy dog park. He loved it of course. 🙂

As for reading, I started a new slew of books this week. Yay!

  Brewmaster’s Art by Charles Bamforth – This is one of the Modern’s Scholars books on CD and the first I’ve ever tried. The series features lectures of a variety of topics taught by learned people in those respective fields and are taken out often from my library. With Brewmaster’s Art not only is the topic interesting to me, as you may have gathered from my post yesterday, but Bamforth is very knowledgeable and makes his lectures very engrossing. If you’ve ever wanted to know more about beer and the art of brewing, check out this book on CD!

  Three Shadows by Cyril Pedrosa – The illustrations struck me first with their sharp contrast and dreamlike quality. This beautiful little graphic novel begins with a happy family living a happy life in the countryside when three horsemen appear on the horizon. The story becomes about the quest of a parent’s love for their child and what they are willing to do to save the ones they love.

  Death and the Lit Chick by G.M. Malliet – This is the second in the St. Just mystery series. I really enjoyed the first in the series and had to grab the second right away. When the “wildly successful darling” of the chick lit world winds up dead at a writer’s conference, suspects are around every corner as the darling wasn’t quite so darling after all…Oooohhhh! I’m already hooked! 🙂


I just found out about an awesome shoot off of Book Journey’s Monday Reading meme for YA and children’s books. Check it out!

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!

I decided it was time to return to finish a couple of books I’d started, but put down in part because of their girth and part because new releases kept distracting me. 🙂 While I love reading new books by debut authors or returning favorites I realized I need to return to the classics and make a point of reading those as much as I read newer novels. So, hence Les Miserables. There are others that I can’t even bear mentioning because I should have read them long ago and thus will return to during this holiday season/new year. Starting my resolutions early! 🙂

  Wheel of Time # 6: Lord of Chaos by Robert Jordan – Whenever I need a hands-down great book to escape into, I turn to Robert Jordan. If you love epic fantasies, you’ll love Jordan’s Wheel of Time series. It’s one of the reasons I’ve taken my time with reading the series. Also, aside from an autographed book from Brandon Sanderson after a talk he gave about picking up Jordan’s tale after the famed author had passed away, I love finding the books (mostly in paperback) at used bookstores around the country. It’s like a treasure hunt. 🙂



  Les Miserables by Victor Hugo – A classic centered around the French Revolution, this tome is both roman a clef and a beautiful, albeit tragic, portrait of the lives touched during this time. I’d read most of Les Mis before I picked up Jennifer Donnelly’s novel Revolution and was glad I had as it made for a great reference to her vivid novel on the same topic. Hugo’s novel is a must read both for its rich descriptions and storylines and its historical significance.



  Brewed Awakening by Joshua Bernstein – I’m really enjoying this new non-fiction book all about beer. It covers a range of areas on the topic including great beers to try, the home brewing movement, and what goes into the making of a good beer. I’m interested in trying to brew my own beer and in looking into the topic, stumbled upon this book. While it’s not so much about beer recipes, it’s teaching me a lot about what makes a brewery and a beer great.




Hope you have a great last week in November! 🙂

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 lovely weekend filled with family, fun and happiness. My niece’s fourth birthday party was on Sunday. My sister-in-law is very creative and for the rainbow themed party she had all the family members wear a different color and stand in ROY G BIV order for a picture. And she made a birthday cake with six rainbowed layers. Amazing!

I’m still listening to The Marriage Plot and am really enjoying Eugenides narrative style. I finished Everybody Sees the Ants and if you haven’t read it, you really need to grab a copy. Very, very good.

Here’s what I’m reading this week:

  Making Sanity Out of Vanity by Stanley D. Gale – The Biblical book of Ecclesiastes is not the easiest nor the most lighthearted book to read. It speaks of the meaninglessness and the vanity of life. I’ve found this to be a fascinating read as Ecclesiastes is multi-layered and not as easily interpreted as the more narrative Biblical stories. If you’ve ever wondering what Ecclesiastes is all about, Gale takes an in depth, exegetical look at a complicated book of the Bible that’s worth reading.




  The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – This magical tale is about old rivalries and new love. Although I’m not far along in this novel yet, I’m already really enjoying it. Morgenstern has a gift of telling a story in a way that both engrossing and intricate. Her characters are multidimensional and her timeline goes back and forth forcing her readers to stay engaged in where the story is going. A wonderful blend of fairytale and literature. 🙂




Hope you have had a fun reading week! 😀

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!

Man, oh, man have I been having fun. I got to see one of my favorite authors A.S. King at the Clinton Book Shop in Clinton, NJ, this past week. She’s even cooler in person than I imagined from reading her books. And completely crazy in a dance groove queen kinda way, so of course I loved her immediately. I went with my friend and author, also amazingly awesome, Alissa Grosso and we happily bought King’s latest book Everybody Sees the Ants and listened to her read excerpts from her books and generally regale us with tales. I’ll post more about her latest book later this week, so stayed tuned.

I also just got back from a great trip to the Finger Lakes, NY, where we rented a cabin for the weekend. There were three little ponds surrounded by colorful trees on the property, plus a great outdoor patio with a fire pit and Adirondack chairs. The cabin was located just West of Canandaigua Lake (took me a while to even pronounce that!), and rolling hills on fire with changing leaves. We went to wineries, local artisan shops, wooded hikes replete with waterfalls, and charming cafes. The perfect weekend. 🙂

In other news, here’s what I’ve been reading:

  Everybody Sees the Ants by A.S. King – King does it again with a story that is at the same time gut-wrenching and hopeful. Somehow her books always make me want to go on adventures and be a better person, not sure how she manages to do all that through her books. And while this particular book is about bullying, it also touches on an gamut of other topics, including the Vietnam War. If you’ve never read King, pick up one her books, you won’t regret it! 🙂



  Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicholas and Micah Sparks – This is probably my new favorite book by Nicholas Sparks. I’m listening to this raw, emotional story of his childhood that is interspersed with a present day trip around the world with his brother. What surprised me most was how rough his childhood was and the tragic events that shaped his life. Also, his evolution in writing and quick rise to success is amazing. The narrator is great and Sparks reads the introduction which is fun as well. Definitely worth listening to or reading!

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!

Snow in October! ARGH! Normally I do my long runs on the trails close to my house because they are relatively flat and stretch for miles and miles. But with the snow and the frozen crust of ice on it that formed overnight, there’s no way the trails will be clear for my run today. So I decided to hit the gym, although 9 miles on a treadmill is not fun :(, only to get an email that the Y is closed until noon! What a bust! Meanwhile I had a shindig planned Saturday that had to be postponed until Sunday afternoon, so I need some time to prep for that so my time is sadly limited. Oh well, best laid plans and all that. 🙂

I’m still listening to The Marriage Plot by Eugenides and really enjoying it. It took a little while to get used to Eugenides style of narration, but once I did I quickly got sucked into the depths of the novel. I highly recommend the book or, rather, the book on CD.

Other than that, I’m only reading one (only one?!?) book this week:

  The Taker by Alma Katsu – I’m enjoying this debut novel by Katsu with it’s unique story about a doctor that has a chance run in with a woman who has a mysterious past. The present is interspersed with flashbacks of who the woman is and how she came from 1817 to live to today. The novel reads almost like a fable or a fairytale, which feels fresh and unique.

I hope you are enjoying your readings this week as much as I am! 🙂

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!

It was another beautiful day here on the East Coast. My half marathon is fast approaching (Philadelphia Half Marathon, Nov. 20) and I’ve been working to get those runs in so I’m ready for the big day. Today I ran 8 miles on a trail close to my house. It was like running through a postcard it was that picturesque. Absolutely beautiful. It definitely didn’t feel like 8 miles with that scenery all around me! 🙂

I’ve been reading some great, great books, hope you have too!

  A Trick of the Light by Louise Penny – I love, love Louise Penny. Even her name is perfect for a mystery author – Louise Penny. Perfect. I’ve been reading Penny since she wrote her first book and I was amazed by both her great writing skills and her skillful gift at telling a good mystery story. Now, she’s getting well known and, as it is with every famed author, her name is beginning to dwarf the title of her book. 🙂 But good for her! I think everyone should read her novels, starting with the first Still Life as they build on one another, and am happy that she’s gotten so much acclaim. Her latest in the Three Pines series deals with the art world which is my background and previous life so I enjoyed all the art references. The only disappointment is finishing as I will have to wait again for her next brilliant novel.



  The Clockwork Girl by Sean O’Reilly and Kevin Hanna – A great little graphic novel filled with beautiful illustrations and a great story about love and acceptance.





  The Marriage Plot by Jeffery Eugenides – I’ve never read Eugenides before, but picked this book on CD up based on his previous popularity. So far the story is interesting and the narrator does a good job as well. The story follows a girl through college in 1982 as she majors in English and researches the role of marriage in literature. The primary thrust of the story however deals more with her pursuit of men and how those relationships both bud and wither. Eugenides paints a great picture in regards to the multiple layers that relationships hold and how these in turn affect one’s life. It’s a little too narrated though, but maybe once I understand where Eugenides is taking his readers, I’ll appreciate the story more.



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!

I had an amazing weekend. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, so I took full advantage of it by driving up to Storm King in the Hudson River Valley, NY. If you are ever around the NY area and want to see something incredible, head to Storm King. It’s a beautiful sculpture park set on acres and acres of perfectly landscaped hills and trees. Massive sculptures by artists like Richard Serra, Maya Lin, Andy Goldsworthy, and Alexander Calder dot the land, rising up like bandersnatches of metal and rock. Absolutely breathtaking. I’ll post some pics tomorrow of its grandeur. 😀

My reading week has been no less grand. I’m on an excellent book streak that I hope continues for a long time!

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin – Ever since I saw the undulating widgets counting down to the release of Hodkin’s debut YA novel, I’ve been entranced. So of course as soon as I could get my hands on a copy I snatched it up and gobbled it down. And I’m still entranced! Hodkin’s has a brilliant way of spinning on tale of intrigue yet believability.  And while there is romance, I appreciated that it didn’t overshadow the wonderful mystery that surrounded Mara. And I also loved how Mara’s family made her character even more well-rounded, adding to the story instead of being a nuisance to the heroine’s quest like in some other books I’ve read. Mara Dyer is a definite must-read!


  Echo by Terry Moore – I love, love, love Terry Moore. I think he is one of the most brilliant graphic novelist ever. His Strangers in Paradise series is one of my favorites. His Echo series is turning out to be just as amazing. After a horrific accident, Julie finds herself in possession of powers beyond her understanding. Filled with government secrets, heartless villains, and likable heroes and heroines, Echo should be read by everyone who loves a great story and gorgeous illustrations.



  Machine Man by Max Barry – I love the idea of this book. Man has a limb-losing accident, man, already obsessed with technology, builds himself some new limbs to become a bigger, better version of his old self. But it’s not all roses and butterflies when others begin to view him not as a man but as something more sinister.




  50/50 by Dean Karnazes – Karnazes is one of the most impressive long distance, ultra, runners in the world. He has inspired millions through his previous Ultramarathon Man book, his blog on Runner’s World, and his outspoken candor on running. His latest book and documentary on running 50 marathons in 50 states in 50 days. I’m listening to Dean read this book on CD and I find it interesting how much he loves to run. It gives him energy and keeps him sane even in the midst of the chaos that surrounds his quest to run his latest challenge.



Hope your reading week is as good as mine! 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!

The weekend was quite Fall-y so I spent a lot of time outside enjoying the weather (in between rain showers) and snuggling up with a good book at night. We also were able to go to a Cider Mill in Chester, NJ, to pick pumpkins – for future Halloweenie fun – and nosh on fresh, warm pumpkin cider doughnuts. Delicious! 🙂 A perfect autumn weekend.

Didn’t get a lot of writing done on my novel this week, but did get to read a lot of graphic novels. Here’s what I’ve been enjoying:

  My Boyfriend is a Monster by Paul D. Storrie – A great little graphic novel with fun illustrations about a girl and her Frankenstein-ish boyfriend. There are three others in this series so far – My Boyfriend is a: Vampire, Faerie, and Zombie. This is the first one I’ve read and I’m definitely enjoying it for it’s witty writing and fun storyline.




  Revolver by Matt Kindt – This was a great graphic novel with an intriguing plot. Sam is a loser living an average life with no aspirations or drive. But then when he goes to sleep one night he wakes to find the world in mass chaos with bombs and diseases ravaging the world. He is forced to change overnight and fight to make sense of this turn of events. But then the next day he’s back in the original world. His days continue alternating until Sam finally has to decide which world he wants to live in permanently. I really loved this graphic novel. It was thought provoking and I’ve been ruminating about it every since I turned the final page.

  Empire State: A Love Story (Or Not) by Jason Shiga – I especially loved the unique, quirky illustrations colored in either blue or red. When two friends are separated by a new job and a journey from CA to NYC, Jimmy decides to leave his bubble of sci-fi and life with mom and take a bus to visit Sara. He is wowed by all the new wonders that the city presents, but isn’t sure NYC is for him. A fun take on relationships and what constitutes as risk taking.




I love reading graphic novels because they are so interesting, quick reads, and vastly different from one another. I need to bone up on my comic knowledge to prepare for my trip to NYC Comic Con next week. 🙂

Happy Reading!