Sunday, October 14, 2012

New Blog

Hello Everyone! This is a friendly reminder that I have moved my blog to www.adventuresinneverneverland.com. The feed is http://feeds.feedburner.com/AdventuresInNeverNeverLandadventuresInNeverNeverLand
If you want to continue getting updates on my posts please update your feedreaders. You can also subscribe by email. Thank You!!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

New Website

It still needs a bit of work but I have transferred my blog to WordPress the URL is http://www.adventuresinneverneverland.com/. Please update your feed readers.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Zombies: A Field Guide

zombies guide

From Goodreads:In the myths, legends, and folklore of many peoples, the returning, physical dead play a significant role, whether they are the zombies of Haiti or the draugr of Scandinavia. But what are the origins of an actual bodily return from the grave? Does it come from something deep within our psyche, or is there some truth to it? In Zombies, Bob Curran explores how some of these beliefs may have arisen and the truths that lay behind them, examining myths from all around the world and from ancient times including Sumerian, Babylonian, Egyptian, and Celtic. Curran traces the evolution of belief in the walking cadaver from its early inception in religious ideology to the "Resurrections" and cataleptics of 18th century Europe, from prehistoric tale to Arthurian romance. Zombies even examines the notion of the "living dead" in the world today???entities such as the "living mummies" of Japan

My Review: When I first got this book I thought I was getting a  Zombie Field Guide that explains the zombies we know in the movies and books. What I actually got was a history most of it concerning religious history of what people have thought about people returning from the dead.

I tried to put aside my misgivings and focus on what the book was and not what I thought it was. If you are looking for explanations of what people thought was the reason for some people seemly coming back from the dead then this book is for you. It covers the classic Haitian Zombie, how people in the Middle Ages thought that the dead could come back either with evil intent or just to be around family. It also goes into detail about the Body Snatchers in Victorian England. Once I adjusted my thinking I did find these bits of history somewhat fascinating. I just wish the book had been more aptly titled.

While reading this book I could see how we got the rise of the modern zombie that is shown in movies and books.I also learned that even in cultures far from us like the middle east or the far east each had their own versions of what constituted a zombie. I had never thought outside of these paragrams before so it was interesting to see that cultures that did not really cross also had stories and myths related to the dead coming back in what ever form they may. Some believed they came back in Corporal form and some believed it was a more spiritual form. Some came back with evil intent on their minds and some just wanted to be around loved ones.

There is a verity of cultures studied here so one gets a good sense of what each time period and each part of the world believed.

Aside from the misnomer of a name if you like zombies and want a historical and religious history of them then this book is for you.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bout of Books Goals

 

 

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon
 
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 13th and runs through Sunday, August 19th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 5.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. -From the Bout of Books 5.0 team

Time Devoted to Reading

I will be reading all week.

My Goals

  • To read seven books

Books to Read

Updates


Monday
Number of books I've read today:
Total number of books I've read:
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Tuesday
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Wednesday
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Books:
Thursday
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Total number of books I've read:
Books:
Friday
Number of books I've read today:
Total number of books I've read:
Books:
Saturday
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Total number of books I've read:
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Sunday
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Books:

*Goal post template provided by Bout of Books

Monday, July 30, 2012

Ready Player One

ready player one

From GoodReads:

It's the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune--and remarkable power--to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday's riddles are based in the pop culture he loved--that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday's icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes's oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt--among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life--and love--in the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.
A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?

My Review: Being a geek I loved this book! I know I cant be the only one who read about immersion rigs wished that we had them RIGHT NOW to play World of Warcraft with. That would be the unltimate trip.

This book was so full of geekdom that I squealed with joy at each reference. It took me down memory lane to the 80’s and 90’s. It made me wistful for the time I DID play Dungeons and Dragons the old fashioned way.

This book is written to resemble a game. You have a quest, bad guys even some power ups. Reading what was happening was like watching a real live game. I have never read this sort of book before and it thrilled me.

The charterers were believable. It wasn’t to hard to make the leap into what the world in the book was like. Cline did excellent world building. From the world running out of fossil fuel to the widespread poverty and the new kind of ghetto’s it felt 100 percent real.

There are twist and turns in this book that will keep you on your toes. There was one point when I thought all was lost but the end redeemed itself.

It is also about good in evil in a uncertain world.In the quest we find that some people will do anything to win, including murder.

I would recommend this book to all the geeks in the world. Especially if you grew up in the 80’s and 90’s

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Born On a Blue Day

From Goodreads:born on a blue day

One of the world's fifty living autistic savants is the first and only to tell his compelling and inspiring life story - and explain how his incredible mind works.
This unique first-person account offers a window into the mind of a high-functioning, 27-year-old British autistic savant with Asperger's syndrome. Tammet's ability to think abstractly, deviate from routine, and empathize, interact and communicate with others is impaired, yet he's capable of incredible feats of memorization and mental calculation. Besides being able to effortlessly multiply and divide huge sums in his head with the speed and accuracy of a computer, Tammet, the subject of the 2005 documentary Brainman, learned Icelandic in a single week and recited the number pi up to the 22,514th digit, breaking the European record. He also experiences synesthesia, an unusual neurological syndrome that enables him to experience numbers and words as "shapes, colors, textures and motions." Tammet traces his life from a frustrating, withdrawn childhood and adolescence to his adult achievements, which include teaching in Lithuania, achieving financial independence with an educational Web site and sustaining a long-term romantic relationship. As one of only about 50 people living today with synesthesia and autism, Tammet's condition is intriguing to researchers; his ability to express himself clearly and with a surprisingly engaging tone (given his symptoms) makes for an account that will intrigue others as well

My Review: This is a book that was recommended to me by a friend. I had heard of Daniel Tammet but did not realize he had a book out so needless to say I was curious to read this book.

Daniel is a high functioning autistic savant. He is one of only 50 living savants in the world and the only one that can explain his thought processes. This makes him remarkable in more ways than one.

This book is his autobiography and in it he details his life growing up knowing that he was different but not knowing how. He tells us how difficult school was and how he had a hard time connecting with other children.

The book was dry but nevertheless I found it a fascinating account of how he explained how his brain works. He has Synthesia which allows him to visualize numbers and letters as images. These images helps him memorize to such a degree that he broke England's record for reciting the most digits in the number PI.

He can also learn languages in just a week. He explains how for a TV program they asked him to learn Icelandic in just four days. After conversing in Icelandic for four days he was able to give an interview all in Icelandic. The way he learned it was amazing.  I wish I could do that. I struggled to learn French.

This a rare account into the mind of an autistic savant. No other savant can communicate such details to us.

This is a book I think everyone should read if just for the educational opportunities it affords.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

ElectroBoy

From Goodreads:eb

Electroboy is an emotionally frenzied memoir that reveals with kaleidoscopic intensity the terrifying world of manic depression. For years Andy Behrman hid his raging mania behind a larger-than-life personality. He sought a high wherever he could find one and changed jobs the way some people change outfits: filmmaker, PR agent, art dealer, stripper-whatever made him feel like a cartoon character, invincible and bright. Misdiagnosed by psychiatrists and psychotherapists for years, his condition exacted a terrible price: out-of-control euphoric highs and tornadolike rages of depression that put his life in jeopardy.
Ignoring his crescendoing illness, Behrman struggled to keep up appearances, clinging to the golden-boy image he had cultivated in his youth. But when he turned to art forgery, he found himself the subject of a scandal lapped up by the New York media, then incarcerated, then under house arrest. And for the first time the golden boy didn’t have a ready escape hatch from his unraveling life. Ingesting handfuls of antidepressants and tranquilizers and feeling his mind lose traction, he opted for the last resort: electroshock therapy.
At once hilarious and harrowing, Electroboy paints a mesmerizing portrait of a man held hostage by his in-satiable desire to consume. Along the way, it shows us the New York that never sleeps: a world of strip clubs, after-hours dives, and twenty-four-hour coffee shops, whose cheap seductions offer comfort to the city’s lonely souls. This unforgettable memoir is a unique contribution to the literature of mental illness and introduces a writer whose energy may well keep you up all night.

My Review: I have a confession to make. I myself have bipolar and discover the gem of a book when I was first diagnosed. I went to the library and asked to check out books related to bipolar and this is one of those they gave me. This is also one of my favorite memoirs related to bipolar disorder. This is also on my yearly re- read list

This book brings a lot of comfort to me I read it to know that I am not alone. That some one else went through worse than I did and survived and is now functional.

I feel it is important to have books such as these to know what bipolar really is like. The doctors fail to explain in depth what it is and there is so much misinformation out there related to bipolar. It is important to have as accurate information as possible.

One reason I like this book is that he conveys what happened to him in a humors light. There are so many doom and gloom tales of mental illness that it is refreshing to have one that is downright funny. I laughed all thorough this book.

He tells about his journey with medicines and their side effects. The meds did not work well for him so he and his doctor decided to try electro shock therapy. That’s is how he got his name. He explains how he his memory was affected and how he lived through the side effects. This is an honest portrayal of what electro shock therapy is like. There is no glamorizing here. In fact there is no glamorizing in any of this book. This is a raw gritty account of what bipolar is.It expresses the manic highs and the lows and the rage that comes with it.

Overall I feel this is a must read book. even if you don’t have bipolar you can get enjoyment out of this book and learn about it at the same time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Procrastination Equation

pe

From Goodreads:

The world's leading expert on procrastination uses his groundbreaking research to offer understanding on a matter that bedevils us all. Writing with humour, humanity and solid scientific information reminiscent of Stumbling on Happiness and Freakonomics, Piers Steel explains why we knowingly and willingly put off a course of action despite recognizing we'll be worse off for it.
For those who surf the Web instead of finishing overdue assignments, who always say diets start tomorrow, who stay up late watching TV to put off going to sleep, The Procrastination Equation explains why we do what we do — or in this case don't — and why in Western societies we're in the midst of an escalating procrastination epidemic.
Dr. Piers Steel takes on the myths and misunderstandings behind procrastination and motivation — showing us how procrastination affects our lives, health, careers and happiness and what we can do about it. With accessible prose and the benefits of new scientific research, he provides insight into why we procrastinate even though the result is that we are less happy, healthy, even wealthy. Who procrastinates and why? How many ways, big and small, do we procrastinate? How can we stop doing it? The reasons are part cultural, part psychological, part biological. And, with a million new ways to distract ourselves in the digitized world — all of which feed on our built-in impulsiveness — more of us are potentially damaging ourselves by putting things off. But Steel not only analyzes the factors that weigh us down but the things that motivate us — including understanding the value of procrastination.

My Review: I admit I was skeptical when first reading this book. You see, I have this huge problem with procrastination. I have read other books on this topic and the all spouted some theory or such that did not really resonate with me. Not so with this book. I was pleasantly surprised when I started reading this book and recognized myself in the examples. This book is supposedly based on real scientific theory. I did not check the sources but everything made sense.

The author explains the three profiles of procrastinators.He explains in detail why we procrastinate. then he gives us a way to beat that procrastination. For example he says that people work harder the closer they get to a deadline. I know I Procrastinate on this blog so I made a schedule to give myself a “deadline “ for book reviews. I am just now putting this into practice so we shall see how well it works. He also said that people work better with schedules. So I also implemented that into my plan.

The book was easy to read and very accessible. There were not many jargon words. If there were he explains in detail what he means.

I would recommended this book to anyone interested in seeking happiness (improving procrastination is on that list) and anyone who wants a sound book on improving efficiency.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Sunday Salon

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I was reading a book on Procrastion because well I procrastinate a lot. This book had some really good ideas. One was to schedule a set time to do everything. I thought I practice that by scheduling to write all my posts on Saturday. I find it hard to get in the writing and reviewing mood everyday but once I start writing my reviews I could do it for hours so hopefully this will help me be more consistent with when I review books. I also thought of keeping book notes on ever note to help me remember what I read during the week. We shall see how well this pans out.

Speaking of writing, I read The Artist Way last summer and one of the things that it said to do was to write morning pages of 750 words every morning. I have started doing that again. I am hoping it will help jump start my creativity. Since I cant exactly read my own hand writing I decided to use Penzu.com to write them in. So far I am loving it. I can also type faster than I write so this helps keep up the flow of words writing that the morning pages are supposed to be.

Also I never scheduled before when to read books but I was having so many e books from the library that expires that it was getting frustrating so I decided to make a schedule in Google Calendars of when e books expires. So far this has helped me add some needed structure to my reading.

I have also discovered my new music obsession, The Vitamin Quartet. They are a classical music group that covers todays most popular songs in the classical music content. So you have Lady GaGa but in a classical way. It is wonderful music to write to. I listen to them for hours on Spotify.

I also came across this website IDreamBooks. It is like a Rotten Tomatoes for books. I like it. It helps me see which book I really want to read next. It gives you the top critics review for each book. They cover all genres.

Since I am back in my own apartment and I have my medicine and all. I am going to start trying to read a book a day. We will see how it goes this week. I read Tolstoy and the Purple Chair and thought it was a good idea. I just want to see if I can do it.

That’s all for today. I am going to be spending the rest of today reading Zombies: A Field Guide and drinking Iced coffee. Have a good Sunday everyone!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Sunday Salon

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It has been as hot as I ever experienced here in America this week. I haven't felt temps this hot since I was an aide worker in Africa. I stayed inside where it was nice and cool thanks to the AC.

You would think that I would have gotten a lot of reading done. Well you would be wrong. I received my meds on Tuesday so I had my med for ADHD/Bipolar but maybe Strattera is the kind of medicine that has to build up in the brain before it works well.

I am also using the Podomoro technique to help build up my concentration. I use a mix of Getting things done and this to keep on top of things. I haven't really been diligent about implementing it so I am starting today so I will be ready when school starts up again.

Also I cant seem to find a comfy reading spot in my parents house. In my apt I have a Lazy Boy Chair that I sit and read in but not here.Also the most comfy spot I have found the couch in the living room is not so ideal after my step father gets home from work and turns the TV on. I cant read with the TV on so that an issue also. I am going back to my apt in Ohio on Friday so we shall see if that impacts my reading.

Since here in the hills of KY the library is terrible I have been using the e book Library in Ohio where I live. I found out you can only put ten items at a time on hold. The physical Library you can check or put 75 items on hold so I am not sure why there is a discrepancy there.

At the moment I am reading Eletroboy which is a memoir of mania that occurs in bipolar disorder which I have. I read these types of books to know that I am not alone. It helps. I am hoping to finish my re read today then I will start on Discovery of Witches. Lets hope that this week is a better reading week then last week.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

The Sunday Salon

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I had a great idea for a Sunday Salon post but promptly forgot it. This led me to investigate note taking services and I came across Evernote. I downloaded it to my phone and computer so that when I have another great idea I can just jot it down and Evernote will save it for me.

I had an embarrassing low reading count for June. I ran out of my Stratrattera (ADHD med) and couldn’t focus to save my life. I got a friend to go check my mailbox in Ohio (I am on vacation at my parents in KY) and guess what? Even though I told them to forward my mail until July the PO proved incapable of doing that. Luckily my friend was nice enough to mail my meds to me and I should get them tomorrow. So July should be a happy reading month for me.

The only book I have read this week is Jo Nesbo The Leopard. It was as awesome as the Snowman. I cant wait to read ALL of Jo Nebo’s work.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Sunday Salon

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It has been an interesting week and not in a good way either. Imaginary people started talking in my brain (I know they are not real and I have bipolar) so I called the dr for an emergency appointment. They increased my meds and now I walk around in a Geodon induced haze. Thankfully the voices have stopped so I can focus on my reading. It is not easy reading when you are hearing things not there. In that respect I did not get a lot of reading done so I am STILL reading The Leopard by Jo Nesbo. Nesbo novels take on a more eerie quality while you are reading it doped up. I am hoping to finish it today.

I got 4 new books from the library to download on my nook. I always seem to get the books faster than I expect but at least I have plenty of reading material!

This week I reviewed

The Snowman

On her Own

Daughter of Smoke and Bones

Go check them out and leave a comment!

I am going to go and turn the AC up high and get me some plenty of Mio Energy drink and finish reading The Leopard.

Have a happy Sunday!! What are YOU reading?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Snowman

the snowman

From Goodreads:

Internationally acclaimed crime writer Jo Nesbø’s antihero police investigator, Harry Hole, is back: in a bone-chilling thriller that will take Hole to the brink of insanity.
Oslo in November. The first snow of the season has fallen. A boy named Jonas wakes in the night to find his mother gone. Out his window, in the cold moonlight, he sees the snowman that inexplicably appeared in the yard earlier in the day. Around its neck is his mother’s pink scarf.
Hole suspects a link between a menacing letter he’s received and the disappearance of Jonas’s mother—and of perhaps a dozen other women, all of whom went missing on the day of a first snowfall. As his investigation deepens, something else emerges: he is becoming a pawn in an increasingly terrifying game whose rules are devised—and constantly revised—by the killer.
Fiercely suspenseful, its characters brilliantly realized, its atmosphere permeated with evil, The Snowman is the electrifying work of one of the best crime writers of our time

My Review: This book blew me away. I first read it on recommendation from Unfinished Person. I have to admit that I hate reading a series out of order but I did not know that it was a seris until I looked it up online. Plus it is what my library had as an ebook. I looked it up and my library has the physical books of the whole series so you know what I am going to read when I get back to Ohio.

Anyways There is this serial killer loose and Harry Hole is trying to catch him. The killer leaves a snowman in front of the house that he plans to abduct and to kill the woman. (I will never look at a snowman the same again). The snowman is symbolic as you will find out when you read the story.Harry Hole and his team go to great lengths to catch the killer which is Norway's first serial killer.  The twist and turns are such that you will never guess who the killer is before Harry does.  There are some books that proclaim themselves thriller and mystery but this one blows all other books out of the water. Nesbo even makes the Milimum Trilogy look tame.

The reader will find themselves connecting with Harry as he hunts down the killer. You will feel his frustrations and triumphs. There will be times when you think you figured out the killer only to find that it was not the killer at all.

I hesitate to say this is a stand a lone novel because there is some back story that if you haven't read all the books in order you will be left out. You can read it alone but u will miss some of the nuance of the story. I recommend reading the series in order.

This is a book (series) that I recommend everyone to read. You will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

On Her Own

on her own

From GoodReads:Barbara Zook was devastated when her husband David was killed. Will she be able to raise their four young boys and manage her beloved David's harness store on her own? When harness maker Paul Hilty arrives in Webster County, Missouri, he finds himself agreeing to help run Barbara's shop. Things are going fairly well until widower Bishop John Frey comes a-courting Barbara, and Paul's jealousy takes everyone by surprise. Will Paul try to beat out the competition or end up hightailing it back to Pennsylvania? Will Barbara marry for love or be forced to enter into a marriage of convenience?

My Review: This is a romance set in the Amish Community and with a Christian bent.

I felt sorry for Barbara  when a much older bishop started trying to court her. I did not blame her for resisting his advances. I also got mad when he stated that he wanted her so she could give him more kids. The whole thing reeked of being taken advantage of. Like all things in this kind of book though things worked out. The bishop decided he liked a woman his own age better and so ended up with her. Barbra who resisted Paul (who was her own age) advances. All she wants to do is raise her kids and work in her harness shop.

She is weak from giving birth so she accepts Paul’s help. The book goes on about how he tries to win her heart and how both wrestle with their feelings for each other then finally they end up together.

I have to admit. I felt like whacking Barbara over the head and telling her to spill her guts to Paul. I mean what's the worst that can happen? Then again I am not Amish so maybe I am missing something here. Maybe in Amish culture a woman cant be as forward with a man. While reading I did get frustrated. Other than that the book was ok. If you like romance and/or Christian books you will like this book.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

smoke and bone

From Goodreads:

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.
In a dark and dusty shop, a devil's supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.
And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she's prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands"; she speaks many languages—not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she's about to find out.
When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

My Review: This book is soooooo good! At first while you are reading it it builds up to the final climax and what a climax it is. It gives the story about Karou and how she goes to art classes and what she does with her everyday friends.

The plot is believable. I could connect with the characters and feel empathy toward them. I felt like I was walking down the street of Prague with Karou. I felt that I was her best friend and that she was sharing her life with me. At first it seems to be an ordinary life expect for the part where she works for otherworldly creatures.

Karou often wonders where she came from but no one will tell her. The reader is left wondering this also. It seems she has no parents as she was raised by a creature by the name of Brimstone. She tries to find out more about herself and what Brimstone does and what he needs with all of the teeth that he collects.

Then she meets an angel who is not like the traditional angel but rather a species from another world and she is left wondering more than ever who she is.

The reader knows no more than Karou does. It is not until the end of the book that we find out the whole truth. I cant say more than that as I don’t want to spoil the plot but when I read the last page I was like noooooooo I have to WAIT until the next book comes out?! It wont come out until November but this is one book I will be preordering.

This is a book that has something for everybody. Mystery, romance and intrigue and I am sure we all wonder where we come from and who we are at some point. So don’t miss out, read this book!

Monday, June 18, 2012

It’s Monday What are You Reading

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This week I have discovered Jo Nesbo. I first heard of him through Unfinished Person.  Lets just say not since I discovered Anne Rice have I fallen in love with an author. I went online and checked my library e books and found his two latest novels. I devoured The Snowman. I am now reading The Leopard. 

I I have to admit I do not like to read books out of order. When I return from my vacation I will go to the library and get all of his books and read them all in order.

Monday, June 11, 2012

The Right Guard

the right guard

This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review.

From Goodreads:

Over one million military weapons and equipment are missing from the U.S. military inventories across the country. Who is stealing the weapons and why? CIA operative Eric Brent, and his revolutionary light weapon invention, is used by CIA to flush out a secretive, "phantom" group hostile to a wildly spending, intrusive U.S. Administration that threatens to destroy the American economy and shrink individual freedoms.
Hamlet takes you through the twists and turns of the secretive world of intelligence as the undercover assignment goes astray. Eric exposes a far-reaching and well-planned movement and an event that could alter the United States forever. Strained loyalties arise as the "phantom" group appeals to Eric and his superiors. At the height of his infiltration, a former lover, Jill, reenters his life and places them both in danger. Loyal forces within the intelligence community struggle to learn who is involved and organize counter-moves yet stay undetected. Each question ends in surprise as personal and professional conflicts for Eric arise. He is forced to reach back into his high-ranking father’s Nazi Germany past... to solicit help.
The year is 1978, yet The Right Guard resembles the present state of the political and economic climate of the U.S. and a possible, eerie scenario and outcome.
The Right Guard is an exercise in gripping, fast-paced realism that keeps the reader mesmerized through the eyes of those who live in the intelligence world.

My Review: I have to admit it took me longer to get into this book than usual. The laying out of the story felt tedious and the newspaper clippings that head each chapter drew me out of the story. I know it was to add realism to the story but it did the opposite to me.

What gained my interest is when the story started moving along and when the love interest between Eric and Jill started heating up. Most love interests to me feel forced but this one felt authentic given the circumstances.  There is one thing about danger and love that really gets me. I don’t want to give any plot points away but I kind of wish that it was more fleshed out.

The second half of the book when things start really moving along is a fascinating look into the intelligence life. It was interesting to see how Eric penetrated the Right Guard and how he lived undercover. I kept expecting him to get his cover blown but it does not happen. Witch in this case is a good thing.

Even though the book is set in the 70’s it does not feel dated at all. It feels like something that can happen today.  Actually while reading the book the scenes were so real that I felt that with todays political climate maybe it could happen soon. Or maybe something like this did happen but we the public is unaware of it. That’s how well the author wrote this story.

I fell in love with Jill when she first appeared in the story. I felt like whatever she did is something that I would have done were I in her shoes. I also loved Eric. As I have stated before it was fascinating reading how he worked and I was so happy when he and Jill got together.

If you like reading about political stuff and suspense and thrillers then you will enjoy this book.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Sunday Salon

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This past week has been seen glorious summer weather so I set up the deck stuff yesterday. Of course it dropped ten degrees when I did so. Oh well, that’s how it goes right?

Last week I finished reading The Right Guard. I liked it ok. A full review will be up tomorrow. So check back.

Today I am going to start with Creativity by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. He wrote the book Flow and I am interested in learning his theories about creativity. Maybe it will help me tap into my own creativity more.

Today is going to spent outside reading. While I am far from my goal of reading a book a day, I have to admit that I do enjoy having all this free time to read and blog.

I have gotten into Scandinavian Crime Fiction. I think it is one of my favorite genres now. Do you Have any recommendations of books that I should read?

Happy Sunday everyone! What are you reading today

Friday, June 8, 2012

Taste Of Salt

From Goodreads:Josie Henderson loves the water and is fulfilled by her position as the only seniotaste of saltr-level black scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. In building this impressive life for herself, she has tried to shed the one thing she cannot: her family back in landlocked Cleveland. Her adored brother, Tick, was her childhood ally as they watched their drinking father push away all the love that his wife and children were trying to give him. Now Tick himself has been coming apart and demands to be heard.
Weaving four voices into a beautiful tapestry, Southgate charts the lives of the Hendersons from the parents’ first charmed meeting to Josie’s realization that the ways of the human heart are more complex than anything seen under a microscope

 

My Review: I admit that I picked up this book because it has Cleveland Ohio as a setting. I live near there so I was curious how the author would describe it and incorporate it into the story.

The city is like a character in the story. The author describes it spot on. The two main themes of this book is alcoholism and adultery.

The plot is authentic and believable. The characters draw you in and while they are messing up their lives you still root for them because you want everything to turn out OK. While I like happy endings as much as the next person, I also like authentic endings. In real life a sistuation does not always lead to a perfect resolved ending. This is the case for this book. It ends like such a situation would happen in real life.

The writing itself was beautiful. The rich detailed settings makes you feel as if you are really there. You can almost smell the ocean and see the streets of Cleveland while reading this book.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

The 6th Target

6th target

From Goodreads:

When a horrifying attack leaves one of the four members of the Women's Murder Club struggling for her life, the others fight to keep a madman behind bars before anyone else is hurt.
And Lindsay Boxer and her new partner in the San Francisco police department run flat-out to stop a series of kidnappings that has electrified the city: children are being plucked off the streets together with their nannies--but the kidnappers aren't demanding ransom. Amid uncertainty and rising panic, Lindsay juggles the possibility of a new love with an unsolvable investigation, and the knowledge that one member of the club could be on the brink of death.
And just when everything appears momentarily under control, the case takes a terrifying turn, putting an entire city in lethal danger. Lindsay must make a choice she never dreamed she'd face--with no certainty that either outcome has more than a prayer of success.

My Review: I subscribe to several crime book blogs and I have always wanted to try the genre. A friend had this book so I borrowed it. I must say I like it better than I thought I would. This branching out this year is paying off I am discovering so many new books and genres.

This is the 6th book in the Women Murder Club series. This book can stand alone. There don’t seem to be any back story that the reader needs to know.

The main character Lindsay Boxer is a detective and she is attempting to solve several violent crimes. There are times I am rooting for her then there are times when she seems obnoxious and I hope she gets shot. Although I feel for her when she is having a hard time solving the crimes and comes up with a bunch of dead ends.

Then there is the lawyer Yuki. I hated her I thought she was so obnoxious that I was hoping she lose the case where a man shot 6 people because the voices in his head told him to. And she did lose so me and the author must have felt the same way. Throughout the whole book every time it was her turn to tell her story I would go into a rage. I know it is a fictional character but still that how obnoxious she was.

I was impressed at how well the author had done his homework on mental illness and the side effects on medication and how a person acts on it. He mentions Risperdal and I took it and it really did sedate me and other people. I would sleep for 10 to 14 hours when I took it. Although I have qualms about using a mental illness as a cover for violent crime. I feel it gives us all a bad name. I have the illness mentioned in the book and I have never had the urge to start shooting random people. To each his own I guess. I just wish that there was a disclaimer that states that violence of that magnitude is rare. Other than that and Yuki’s part of the story I felt this was a good story with good believable plot lines and good dialogue. If you like crime fiction be sure to check this book out!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Armchair BEA Introductions

                             armchairbea2

Hello everyone it is time for Armchair BEA again! This is my third year participating and it is one of my favorite events of the year. Traditionally we do blogger interviews but this year we pick 5 questions and interview ourselves. So below is the five I picked. I hope this will allow you to get to know me better.

Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?

I am going to school to get my MLIS. I live in NE Ohio. This August will make two years that I have been book blogging. I started blogging because no one I know in real life likes to read or talk about books as much as me. I commented on some blogs and liked the idea of community so I decided to start my own blog.

 

What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?

My favorite read so far is a tie between Fault in Our Stars and Daughter of Smoke and Bone. Both books left me speechless after the last page. Not many books so that but these two did. After turning the last page of Daughter of Smoke and Bones I was like noooooooooo you cant make me wait a year to find out what happens next! That is one book I know I will pre order.

 

Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.

That I am profoundly Deaf. I read about all these great audiobook narrators and it gets me a little sad that I cant hear them but other than that it does not bother me.

What is your favorite part about the book blogging community? Is there anything that you would like to see change in the coming years?

The community and finding about books that I would have never heard of other wise. For example if I had not read rave reviews on Fault in Our Stars and Daughter of Smoke and Bones I would have never picked them up. That makes me sad.

 

Have your reading tastes changed since you started blogging? How?

Before I would have never touched Young Adult books but now I love them. At first I was like what can Young Adult have to do with ME? I started reading them and I wish that that kind of writing was available for me when I was a teenager. Even now I can find some of the issues and themes that still apply to me. Todays Young Adult population is very lucky in that they have such an abundance of books to choose from that tackle real life issues in such a critical and entertaining way.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday Salon

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It has been a while since I have done a Sunday Salon. The most exciting thing that has happened is that school has ended and I received my grades and I made all A’s! This just reinforces my decision that getting my MLIS was the right career choice.

I  came to KY to spend a month visiting family and on Memorial Day weekend we went camping. There was no wi fi or anything at the camp grounds. I was proud of myself for surviving 4 days without any technology whatsoever. I spent the majority of the time reading. It reminded me that we should all take a break from technology to rewind and enjoy the simpler pleasures of life.

I am spending this month getting caught up on books that were sent to me to be reviewed. I am so behind. This fall I have got to find a better balance between school and blogging. I love both so I am thinking of ways to make this happen.

I am insanely jealous of people who get to go to BEA (I hope one day I will get to go) but I am super excited for Armchair BEA this will be my third year participating. I love meeting new bloggers and old alike. This is one of my favorite events of the year. I will be posting everyday this week regarding Armchair BEA so look out for it!

Today I am going to spend the day getting caught up with Google reader and commenting on blogs and reading “The Right Guard.” This is a political thriller and so far I like it. I am only about a 100 pages in but it has intrigue and conspiracies which I love!

I hope everyone has a good Sunday!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Blue Magic

From Goodreads:blue magic

From Goodreads:

The sequel to Indigo Springs, “A psychologically astute, highly original debut—complex, eerie, and utterly believable.”  —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
This powerful sequel to the A.M. Dellamonica's Sunburst Award–winning contemporary fantasy Indigo Springs starts in the small town in Oregon where Astrid Lethewood discovered an underground river of blue liquid—Vitagua—that is pure magic. Everything it touches is changed. The secret is out—and the world will never be the same. Astrid’s best friend, Sahara, has been corrupted by the blue magic, and now leads a cult that seeks to rule the world. Astrid, on the other hand, tries to heal the world.
Conflicting ambitions, star-crossed lovers, and those who fear and hate magic combine in a terrible conflagration, pitting friend against friend, magic against magic, and the power of nations against a small band of zealots, with the fate of the world at stake.

Blue Magic is a powerful story of private lives changed by earthshaking events that will ensnare readers in its poignant tale of a world touched by magic and plagued by its consequences.

My Review: This is a fantastic book! I loved it! I haven't read the first book Indigo Springs but I will now make sure to read it. There is enough background story in Blue Magic so the reader does not feel all lost.

The story is told from several different viewpoints. Astrid, Ev (Astrid’s mother) Juanita’s and Will Forrest’s. Astrid is trying to control the amount of magic released into the real from the unreal. When magic ( a blue liquid called Vitagua) was pushed into the unreal by magic hating fyremen it froze the people in the unreal and cursed the people in the real who come into contact with it. Astrid must walk a delicate line in freeing the people from the unreal while negating the effects in the real. If that was not hard enough she must also deal with her ex lover and former best friend Sahara Knax who when contaminated by the magic went insane and now leads a cult and seeks to rule the world. The government is also trying to find Astrid and shut down the release of magic. Astrid also must deal with the confusing love interest Will.

The theme of what is good and how far one will go to try and do good deeds in the face of impending disaster is prevalent in this book. Astrid wants to free everyone including those trapped in the unreal but she also does not want to hurt anyone who may be contaminated by the magic. In her effort to balance all of this she finds herself drawn deeper into different conflicts that lead to her ultimate betrayal.

The plot twist that happened was so good that I did not even see it coming. It added a whole new angle to to the story.

There were times I thought that all the lose ends of the story could not possibly fit together but at the end I was pleasantly surprised. The ending was even better than I imagined it.

This book is a enjoyable read. The plot was tight the dialogue was brilliant and the characters suck you into the story. This book is highly recommended.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Bout of Books goal post

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

I am attempting to read at least one book a day. I hope for more but my reading has slowed down as I get older so I try to keep it reasonable. I will be updating mostly on twitter. My twitter handle is purplemoonmyst if you want to follow me.

I have not yet decided on which books. I am just going to go with the flow. I may post here once a day to show my progress for that day.

I also hope to network with other bloggers during this event.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

The Half Stitched Amish Quilting Club

amish quilting club

This was from the publisher via NetGalley.

 

Widow Emma Yoder needs money so that she can support herself and not feel like a burden on her family, she puts up ads for a quilting class. The resulting motley crew is not what anyone expects but she believes that God brought them to her for a reason. Everyone in the class has their own problems. As the class progresses the problems come up and Emma with her faith and patience helps people to resolve them.

One thing I loved about this book was that the problems that are featured here are problems anyone could have in real life. For example a couple that comes to class has a troubled marriage and another woman feels like she does not fit in anywhere.

The plot is excellent. There are no quick fixes but rather we watch as the charecters grow and grapple with their issues. Emma uses her faith to reach out to the students in her class. It was not preachy or anything like that. It was a simple and profound faith that showed in her words and actions. This is what I like best in Christian fiction. There are some book that come off overbearing and once people find their faith all their problems are solved. That is not the case with this book. The problems are still there but with help the characters get past them.

Another thing I love about Wanda Brunstetters novels is that she portrays the Amish and the Amish faith in a positive and accurate light. There are many misconceptions that people have and it is refreshing to see someone who knows the Amish faith tell about it in her novels. I have always been fascinated by this group and Brunstetters novels help satisfy that curiosity.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Boy In the Suitcase

the boy in the suitcase

 

From Goodreads:

Nina Borg, a Red Cross nurse, wife, and mother of two, is a compulsive do-gooder who can't say no when someone asks for help—even when she knows better. When her estranged friend Karin leaves her a key to a public locker in the Copenhagen train station, Nina gets suckered into her most dangerous project yet. Inside the locker is a suitcase, and inside the suitcase is a three-year-old boy: naked and drugged, but alive.
Is the boy a victim of child trafficking? Can he be turned over to authorities, or will they only return him to whoever sold him? When Karin is discovered brutally murdered, Nina realizes that her life and the boy's are in jeopardy, too. In an increasingly desperate trek across Denmark, Nina tries to figure out who the boy is, where he belongs, and who exactly is trying to hunt him down.

My Review: I first read Scandinavian Crime Fiction with the Millmum Trilogy. Ever since I have been curious about others in the genre. I first heard about this book on a blog (I forget whose) then when I saw it in the library I decided to give it a chance. I was not disappointed.

When reading crime fiction it is important to me that the crime and the resulting story be believable. I am willing to suspend disbelief to some extent but if it is really out there then it pulls me out of the story. This book was written so that one could easily picture this sort of crime happening.

I could relate to the main character Nina Borg. Her actions were on par to what a “real” person would do. Her fears of not knowing what would happen to the boy if she returned him, the way that she went about trying to find out where he was from all flowed together seamlessly. I was rooting for her to solve the mystery of where the boy came from from the beginning. The other characters actions flowed with the story also. There is nothing worse than reading a character that does not act according to the plot. It draws one out of the story and can ruin the entire book. Even the setting was outstanding in this book. I could picture the Denmark that the authors were describing. It was if I was there watching the story unfold.

I really enjoyed this book. I think most people will so get it today!

 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 2012 Readathon Intro

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Northeast Ohio
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I am just picking books at random today. I used to pick out books but I always changed it so today I am trying out the random thing.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Fried Green Beans!!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I am a grad student in a MLIS program.
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

Like I said above, I am trying to just go with the flow with the books I pick.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Freedom

freedom
I get that this book is supposed to be about freedom and the consequences thereof, but seriously it just felt sloooooow and nothing happens for pages and pages.
This is like the epitome of character driven novels. Frazen goes into detail about each character and why they do the things that they do. I understand that this is central to the plot but seriously throw some action in there with it.
I stuck with it because it is supposed to be this “great novel” and I was hoping it would redeem itself in the end. I started to see beauty in the way it seemed that everyone was decaying but then Frazen had to go and tie it up in neat little ways. So even the end disappointed me.
I could not connect with any of the characters. I felt like punching each one and tell them to do thing differently. Especially the main character Patty. I was like what IS her problem? She spends most of the novel falling in love with her husbands best friend and wishing her husband was better in bed. I was like make up your damn mind. And this goes on for PAGES. There is a whole section where we are subjected to Patty’s thoughts on the two.
Then there was her son who I hated. He seemed stuck up and to think he knew best about everything. I wanted to punch him in the face and tell him to get over himself.
The parts I like about this novel was the talking about the issues. There was talk of overpopulation, environmental issues among other things. That was the one redeeming feature.
Just because I hated this novel does not mean you will. Most people at Good Reads liked it. So If you like long character driven novels that talk about important issues then this might be for you.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

From The Memoirs of a Non-Enemy Combatant- A Review

memoirs

From GoodReads:

High fashion and homeland security clash in a masterful debut.
Boyet Hernandez is a small man with a big American dream when he arrives in New York in 2002, fresh out of design school in Manila. With dubious financing and visions of Fashion Week runways, he sets up shop in a Brooklyn toothpick factory, pursuing his goals with monkish devotion (distractions of a voluptuous undergrad not withstanding). But mere weeks after a high-end retail order promises to catapult his (B)oy label to the big time, there's a knock on the door in the middle of the night: the flamboyant ex-Catholic Boyet is brought to Gitmo, handed a Koran, and locked away indefinitely on suspicion of being linked to a terrorist plot. Now, from his 6' x 8' cell, Boy prepares for the trial of his life with this intimate confession, even as his belief in American justice begins to erode.
With a nod to Junot Diaz and a wink to Gary Shteyngart, Alex Gilvarry's first novel explores some of the most serious issues of our time with dark eviscerating wit.

My Thoughts: This is a book that packs a political punch. We get the story from Boy perspective and we are left wondering if he is really that naïve or did he know and just did not care?

I did not agree with the whole Gitmo debacle and this book in its sometimes light sometimes dark meanderings shows why. It is easy to see how one can so easily get caught up in the wrong people and take the fall.

This book is not preachy but rather through excellent storytelling shows the reader what happens when one gets caught up in dubious circumstances. While one thinks that in America we have our freedom and protection in reality we can fall victim to circumstances.

I found myself invested in the story. I could understand that Boy wanted to realize his dreams and when the opportunity for money came along he took it. I think this is a decision that most of us can empathize with. The plot is believable. It flows effortlessly from one event to another. It gives a face to those we find ourselves criticizing.

When the story starts Boy is a strong character who proclaims his own innocence. As the story progresses we see how the system breaks someone down to the point where Boy no longer is sure of his innocence. He becomes a broken man.

This book is recommended for no other reason than this issue is one that needs to be discussed. If you like issue books without being preachy then I would recommend you read this book.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Bloggiesta Finish Line

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First of all I want to thank Suey and There's a book for hosting Bloggiesta. I had tons of fun meeting new bloggers and learning a lot about blogging. The one thing I learned was how to implement SEO onto my blog. I had no idea what SEO even was. I spent 14 hours on that task alone on Friday!. I already cant wait until September for the next bloggiesta!.

Here was my tasks that I set out to do:

Add SEO to my posts

This took me 14 hours on Friday but it got done!
Update my Review Database

I will work on this on my own as time permits.
Update my Goodreads

I updated my reviews on Goodreads. Here is my profile if you want to be friends with me there.
Get Caught up on My Reviews

I will do this today ot tommorow. I have 6 books that I have read and not reviewed yet.
Figure out how to link my reviews with Pin Interest

Here is my PinInterest if you want to be friends there!
Visit other blogs

I am bad about commenting so this weekend and from here on out I am going to make a special effort to comment, comment, comment. This was alos the most fun. I loved looking at other blogs to get ideas for my own.

I did not do very many many challenges. I will next time hopefully. I read them all though and learned a lot!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Bloggiesta To Do List

                                       blogiesta post
Here is my Bloggiesta to do list. This is what I hope to accomplish in the three days that Bloggiesta runs. If you want to find out more about this then just click the link above.
Add SEO to my posts
Update my Review Database
Update my Goodreads
Get Caught up on My Reviews
Figure out how to link my reviews with Pin Interest
Visit other blogs

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Fault in Our Stars

the fault in our stars

From GoodReads:

Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 12, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs... for now.
Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.
Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

My Review: I have heard many good things about this book. So I had to read it. I was afraid that it wouldn’t live up to the hype but I needn’t have worried. It was every bit as good as people made it out to be. Once I started reading I literally couldn’t put this book down. I devoured it in an afternoon. This is also one of the few books that have made me cry actual tears.

The characters were so believable that it was like it was two friends telling you their story. There was nothing in this book that  yanked you out of the story. The main characters were likeable and made you want everything to work out for them. While I don’t need characters to be likeable to enjoy a book I do need it to flow and show that there is a reason for behaviors. This book provided that. Even when a character was acting like a bitch the book gives details that make it seem that kind of behavior is only natural to them.

The romance in this story was sweet and even though it happened on a hurried time for how much time does two kids with terminal cancer really have?

This was my first YA cancer book so I really cant compare. It went through the range of emotions that tow kids with cancer has. I feel that it addressed all the issues that would be per taint with this. The fear that you cancer has returned. The fear that you will die before your time. The fear that you cant breathe. It does so in a way that is accessible for teens but it does not gloss over the realities of the cancer. And the realities are many and stark. Hazel is tethered to an oxygen tank and Augustus lost his leg. The book showed their limitations but also showed that even with that they are still teens going through relationships and face what normal teens face. It shows that life doesn't stop just because you have cancer or on deaths door.

I was sad at the end of this book but in a good way. It showed what really happens and does not provide some miracle that is not in real life to give a better ending to the book. I was very glad of that. I felt if it ended any other way that it would have cheapened the book. Even though it made me cry it was the only way it could have ended and stayed true to the issues that it was addressing.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tolstoy and the Purple Chair

A book review of Tolstoy and the purple chair
After her sister died of cancer the author decides to read a book a day for a year. She wrote reviews on her blog Read All Day for every book that she read. Prior to this she was trying to cram as much into her day as possible to escape her grief. Then one day she realized that to come to terms wit her grief she needed to slow down to heal.
Sankovitch and her sister shared a love of books. So it made sense that the author selected books as a way to figure out how to come to terms with her grief. And she did come to terms with it. I felt this was a moving and compelling read about that process.
I like many other people I am sure wondered how she would read a book a day and keep up with the fluctuations of daily life. She writes about this. About how it took her a few days to get in the rhythm of things. The most important thing she does is to make reading a priority. Many of us feel that we make reading a priority but do we really? In her book she explains how she always has a book with her and anytime she finds herself in a position to read she does. Waiting in line, waiting for an event or whatever she makes time for reading
In her book she speaks of the healing power of books. How reading such books taught her to live again. This is beautifully written and and can help other people attempting to learn to live with grief.

Friday, March 16, 2012

The How of Happiness

how to be happier
From GoodReads:
You can change your personal capacity for happiness. Research psychologist Sonja Lyubomirsky's pioneering concept of the 40% solution shows you how
 
My Review: This book shows you steps you can take to increase your own happiness. It explains that we have a set point for happiness and 40 percent of that is in own power to change. She gives readers a short diagnostic test that identifies in which area they would benefit the most from the happiness boosting exercise.
It lists and goes into detail several exercises that you can do. It also explains when to do them for optimal timing. That was one new thing that I learned. I thought you did them as often as possible but the author explains that some things if you do too often in can have a negative effect.
She also explains what will increase happiness and what won’t. She explains the hedonic effect. That is where we become used to what we have and it no longer gives us the pleasure that it once did. Once I read that I realized why something's I used to get pleasure from I no longer did. The way she put it made sense.
I would recommend this book to everyone. I believe everyone can benefit from inducing more happiness in their lives. This book gives clear and concise details on how to make that happen.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Spark- A Book Review

a book review of SPARK
I must admit I thought that this book was going to be about how to become more creative. Instead it is based off the radio show 360 and it talks about how famous people get their creative juice flowing.
Even though it was not exactly about what I thought I still found it an enjoyable read. I was surprised at what some of the artist went through to get creative. It seems it comes from living outside of the norm. When you experience life altering events then it stirs up the creative juices.
Reading this allowed me to get a glimpse into what creativity is in the real sense and how people use what could have been a bad experience into a creative outlet. This book would be recommended to people who want to know more about the creative process.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Bloggiesta

blogiesta

I will be partispating in bloggiesta on March 30 31 and April 1. It is weekend where you work on spiffing up your blog. I cant wait!! Go here for more info and to sign up. I hope to see everyone there!

Monday, March 5, 2012

A Book Review: Who Am I? If so, How Many?

A book review on philosophy

 Good Reads summary:What is truth? What is love? Does life have meaning? Bestselling author Richard David Precht, “the Mick Jagger of the nonfiction book” (Tagesanzeiger Zürich), has traveled the globe searching for answers—and his odyssey has become one of the most talked-about books around the world. Combining classic philosophy and cutting-edge neuroscience, Precht guides readers through the thickest jungles of academic discourse with the greatest of ease, taking on subjects as challenging and divisive as abortion, cloning, the eating of animals, euthanasia, the ethics of reproductive science, and the very future of humanity.
My Thoughts: I admit I picked this book up at the library because I was interested in happiness and the book sounded like it gave a philosophical bent on the subject. While it is not the premise of the book the book is still a fascinating look into the history of philosophy and a look at the questions of our time.
The first part of the book delves into the history an attempts to answer questions such as what is the self? How to prove God is real and other such questions philosophy have been grappling with since the beginning of time. The second part of the book is more focused on Modern questions and it does ask how to be happy (in a philosophical way). It also tackles such big questions such as abortion and not eating meat.
The chapters are short so it never feels like the book is dragging. Some chapters are only a few pages in length. The author avoids what could be a dry philosophical text and instead with skill of writing he turns it into a fun book to read. It is accessible even to people that don’t have a background in philosophy.In the end it all sums it up nicely and does include a short chapter on how to be happy.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Sunday Salon

TSSbadge2

 

It has been a while since I did I Sunday Salon. Not much has happened. My classes take up most of my time but I am experimenting with a new schedule so that I have time for everything I want to do. We shall see how it goes.

I read A Happiness Project last year and I have it on hold at the library for a re read. I have decided that starting this month (March 1 ) that I will do my own happiness project. I will be talking about it on my tumblr (click here).

I have recently become fascinated with the topic of creativity and of course happiness so I checked out some books on those topics.  I am not un happy but sometimes I feel I get so caught up in the day to day life that I miss out on the larger picture. My friends have told me to make goals but I am not sure what kind of goals I should make in order to enrich the day to day life. I have overall goals like obtaining my PH.D but other than that I am not sure. Have you ever made happiness goals and if so what were they?

I have started to use Penzu to journal stuff. I read The Artist Way last year and the author recommended that you write 750 words as morning pages every day. I find when I do that I do find solutions to things that were within me. It also helps to get it all out then I can focus on what I need to focus on.

It is a bit strange that the books I read last year are just now making me want to implement change. Maybe that is how it works for me I need to let an idea percolate in my brain for a while before I act up on it.

I hope everyone has a happy Sunday and a good week. After church I will be curled up on this grey day with a book and a good cup of coffee!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Review: 21 Ways of Finding Peace and Happiness

21 ways of finding peace and Happiness
From GoodReads:
In today's world, peace is hard to come by.
When personal desires are followed, serenity
is forfeited. By submitting one's life to God, a
peace-filled life is ensured. Maintaining peace
is a choice, says Joyce Meyer, as she discusses
how to be at peace with yourself, the importance
of having peace with God, and the paradox
that peace equals power. Joyce says peace
is one of the greatest gifts God has given us,
and is the only way to true happiness. Readers
will find 21 WAYS TO FINDING PEACE &
HAPPINESS to be a guidebook for success on
their journey
My thoughts: Joyce Myers is one of my favorite authors. I feel that her books speak to me and tell me valuable life lessons to live a better life. My reading thing at the moment is reading books on how to be more happy. It seems that this year I made up my mind that I was going to be happy no matter what. So I got some books at the library on the subject. This was one of those books.
She outlines ways to be happy that follow biblical principals. The one that stood out to me was the section that you had to pursue happiness. It doesn't just come to you. Happiness is something that you have to work on. One way to be happy that resounded with me was to pursue peace. At first I thought that I did pursue peace but as I read I realize that I do let my temper control me a lot of the times. And that robs me of peace and happiness. In it she list such things as idle talk, gossiping and other such things that can lead to loss of peace. Right now I wonder what it is safe to talk about but upon farther reflection I realize I could talk about happy things and wish people a good day and such and leave no room for drama and that in turn would bring me peace which will increase my happiness.
Like all of her books this illuminated things that I need to work on. Even if you are not a Christian I would encourage you to read this book as it has some good guidelines to follow to increase happiness.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Review: Eat That Frog

A book Review of eat that frog
The legendary Eat That Frog! (more than 450,000 copies sold and translated into 23 languages) provides the 21 most effective methods for conquering procrastination and accomplishing more. This new edition is revised and updated throughout, and includes brand new information on how to keep technology from dominating our time.
I was reading through Google Reader when I came upon Unfinished Person’s blog. He talked about this book and I thought I need to learn how to manage my time. Between Grad school and my hobbies I feel that there is not enough time in the day. So I promptly requested this book from the library.
It was interesting. Brain Tracey the author says to do the most pressing thing first. To”eat the ugliest and biggest frog” then do other things. I have to admit that I tend to do the opposite. I procrastinate until I have no choice then I feel stressed out by my perceived lack of time. Once I followed his advice and broke down what I was actually doing I found that I wasted a  lot of time on Facebook and online. So From now on I am going to do the most pressing things first then if I have time to do other less pressing things.
This book is recommended for people who want to learn how to better manage their time.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Sink Reflections

A book Review of sink reflections
I have followed Flylady for a few months now. When I saw that she had a book out I went to the Library and got it. The basic information can be found on her website but she has such a fresh and funny voice that you wont mind reading the book too.
I am the world messiest person. I had read other organizational books but none of them stuck. Flylady is all about baby steps. You don’t tackele all of your problems at once but rather you take baby steps to build routines that will get to the root of your problems. You start with shining your sink and build up from there.
What makes it even more refreshing is that Flylady herself has been where millions are now. She writes with sympathy and encouragement.You never feel that she is talking down to you but rather building you up to where you need to be.
I would recommend this book to anyone who has trouble keep a house decently clean. This book will guide you and it it is easy to follow.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Salon

TSSbadge2

These past few weeks I have been so busy with grad school that it has seriously cut into my time for blogging and reading. I feel so behind in both. On the other hand I am enjoying grad school immensely which is a good thing. I had a big project due this past Friday. I have an “easy” couple weeks coming up so maybe I can get some reading and blogging done.

I downloaded all of  Stookie Stack house novels on my nook and I am making my way through the whole series. I am enjoying that also. I will be sad when the last book comes out. I also used the university library to check out some books that were not available for the nook and found that as a grad student I can keep books for 6 months *drools* I should never have a late fee with that!

I have become interested in the whole aspect of creative thinking lately. I feel that I should be able to unleash more creativity than I currently do so I checked out some books on the topic. I hope that I learn how to unleash my creative side more. Do you have any tips that you use for creative thinking?

This Sunday will be spent relaxing and reading Sookie Stackhouse. A perfect Sunday to be sure! What are you reading today?

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