Monthly Archives: December 2011

2011 Where Are You Reading Final Counts

Here it is!  The final counts of where I read for 2011.  I had a lot of fun with this.  I did not read intentionally… just wherever, but it was interesting to see where it all landed on the map.  Some states, apparently make great settings for books.  :D

To see my map – it is here.  To see the layout – see below:

Alabama 
Alaska  1
Arizona
Arkansas
California  9
Colorado
Connecticut  2
Delaware
Florida  2
Georgia  2
Hawaii  1
Idaho
Illinois  9
Indiana
Iowa  1
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana  1
Maine  5
Maryland
Massachusetts  9
Michigan  2
Minnesota  5
Mississippi  3
Missouri  1
Montana
Nebraska  1
Nevada  2
New Hampshire  2
New Jersey  2
New Mexico
New York  15
North Carolina 2
North Dakota  1
Ohio  2
Oklahoma  1
Oregon  2
Pennsylvania  5
Rhode Island  1
South Carolina
South Dakota  2
Tennessee  1
Texas 4
Utah  2
Vermont  2
Virginia  2
Washington  4
West Virginia 1
Wisconsin  1
Wyoming  1

Australia  1

China 2

England 3

Ethiopia 1

Israel 1

Kenya 1

Montenegro 1

London 5

Monte

Nepal 1

Poland 3

Romania 1

Saudia Arabia 1

Singapore 1

Spain 1

Southwest Pacific Waters 1

Switzerland 1

United Kingdom 3

Books that were “out of this world” or dystopia types that gave no clue where they were from are not on the map… or are any books that mention no where they are located such as Small Town Sinners, The Black Shard, and Cut.

I missed 13 states but look forward to seeing how 2012 will turn out!  Its fun to get excited about the setting of a book and my book club laughs when we are talking books and I ask what state it is in :razz: 

If you participated in this challenge in 2011, and have not already done so, please link your wrap up post below.

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Click here to enter your link and view this Linky Tools list…

If you want to participate in 2012 and have not signed up yet, you can do so here.

Morning Meanderings.. The Countdown is ON!

Good Morning!  How is everyone doing this last day of 2011?

I stayed up WAY too late… I think I went to bed about 1:30 a.m.  I have been reading our January book club pick, Henry’s Sisters… and honestly – I can’t seem to put it down!  I am really excited for this review! 

BUT – put it down I must because it is tradition around here that the first book of the year is a big deal – and every January 1 I finish a book I have been planning and hope it is wonderful to kick off the New Year!  (That book will be revealed tomorrow)

In the meantime, I thought I would post a few of our pics from last weekend for Alyce’s Saturday Snapshot meme.

One of my gifts - this sign says FRIENDS. I love it!

 

Al (hubby) opening up the boots I picked out for him

 

 

Justin opening his "large" gift. The boys always get several smaller priced gifts and then one larger one.

 

Justin (College Son) loves his new KINDLE!

 

Brad, (Navy Son) will be here this next weekend (WWWOOOOO HOOOOO!!!) for a couple of weeks.  Our little Christmas tree will remain up so we can do Christmas with him once he gets here… we are thinking maybe next Sunday and hopefully Justin can come back for this too :)

 

One more picture…

Yesterday was our first real snow accumulation of the season. When I was leaving our driveway I thought the tracks looked like two hearts. I like that.

 

I will probably have three posts today… I need to put up my WHERE Are You Reading map finals for 2011 and I have so many reviews piling up due to my posting about other things… like challenges, and recaps, and “best of’s”…. :razz:

The Final Counts Are In!

This is the post I have sooooo been looking forward to… but also dreading, as I knew it would take some work.  The recap of the year as far as counts, and challenges…

Looking at the chart above that put me at a total of  140 for the year.  With a combo of books and audio, in most months I was able to listen to more audio then I was to read.  Actually, some of the months surprised me at how little I had read. 

 

As for 2011 Challenge Wrap Ups…

Success!  AT 140 I achieved and over achieved this challenge!!!

 

Success!!!  This challenge I had set at the highest level… OBSESSED – which was 20 audio books.  I ummmmm…. I… came in at 64.  :shock:

 

Fail:  This was such a good challenge for me and I did accomplish a couple… but old habits die hard and I found myself doing what I usually do… purchasing the coveted book… and placing it on the  “someday” shelf. :oops:

 

 

Half Fail:  This challenge was where I was suppose to find books that I really wished I had read and then do so… I started out well, but then stopped keeping track….

 

I think a fail… this did not count outdoor biking or it would have been a win!  :D

 

 

 

Success!!!  My goal was to read/listen to  30 library books in 2011.  I finished at 32.

 

My Where Are You Reading Challenge post will be a separate one as that is my own challenge.

Morning Meanderings… Its Time For The Challenges

Good morning!  :D

Sipping Earl Grey this morning… not sure why, but craved it over the sharpness of coffee today. :D

I am staring at the bottom right corner of Asus (Laptop) at the date.  12/30/11.

Really?  :shock:

I had such big plans for finishing out the year… books to complete, reviews to write, challenge recaps, plans for 2012, book and audio counts, wrap up of 2011 challenges and enter the new…. and here I am… December 30th… and so much to do.  :D

On the bright side, I have all of next week off which will be a great catch up time in many life things.  That will be helpful :D

This morning I am going to share what Challenges I will be participating in for 2012.  Why do challenges?  They are fun and stretch you in your reading experience.  They are also a great way to connect with other challenge participants and meet like minded readers.

Like I could pass on this one!  :razz:  There are four levels to this challenge:

  • Flirting-Listen to 6 Audio Books
  • Going Steady- Listen to 12 Audio Books
  • Lover- Listen to 25 Audio Books
  • Married-Listen to +++  Audio Books

I will be going for Married level.  It sounds like there will be occasional audio giveaways (SSSQQUUUEEE!!!)

The WHERE Are You Reading Challenge was so much fun last year that I will be hosting it again.  I loved watching my map fill up – reading in all the states… well, not all of them… :D

YAY!  I need this one.  My hubby bought me the NOOK E Reader last Christmas… as in a year ago Christmas.  I had read one book on it… which, he pointed out.  :shock:  SO I am trying to intentionally put more time in on the NOOK.

Levels:

  1. Floppy disk – 5 ebooks
  2. CD – 10 ebooks
  3. DVD – 25 ebooks
  4. Memory stick – 50 ebooks
  5. Hard drive – 75 ebooks
  6. Server – 100 ebooks
  7. Human brain – 150 ebooks

I am aiming for the CD level. 

They are creepy and they’re spooky…. oh, ok.. not all of them!  This is a fairly new genre for me and I am LOVING it!  I am hosting this challenge hoping it will get others to dabble in it as well. :D

Levels:

1-3 Dytstopia Books read in 2012:  beginner

4-6 Dystopia Books read in 2012:  Intermediate Post World Trainee

7-10 Dystopia Books read in 2012:  Leader of Your District

11+ Dystopia Books read in 2012:  SURVIVOR!

I am going for SURVIVOR!

I am super excited about this one!  I was just thinking of how cool a challenge would be on blogger favorite reads and then…. I found one!  Reading with Tequila has this AMAZING list of book which will be great motivation for me to read some of the greats!

The Levels:
Level I - Read 5 books from the 2011 Book Blogger Recommendation List
Level II – Read 10 books
Level III – Read 15 books
Level IV – Read 20 books
Level V – Read 20+ books

Here are the books I would like to read off the list:

1.  City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

2. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

3.  The Maze Runner by James Dashner

4.  Paranormalcy by Kiersten White

5.  A Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

6.  Black Girl, White Girl by Joyce Carol Oates

7. Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild

8.  Fire by Kristin Cashore

9.  The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

10. Wither by Lauren DeStefano

11.  The Future of Us by Jay Asher and Carolyn Mackler

12. The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa

13.  Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder

All of these books are in house except #6 and #7.

 

This one is more of a personal challenge that I am creating that anyone can hop on board with…. I am still working out the details on this but have an idea brewing… if you are interested in knowing more – click on the challenge pic and leave a comment on the original post.  I will make sure you are notified when I reveal the idea.  :D

That’s it… the only other one I would like to be a part of is a Library Challenge but have not seen one yet although I have been told there is one out there.

How about you… up to any bookish challenges for 2012?

The Dead and The Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

 

When 17 year old Alex Morales knows life has changed forever, he was working at Joey’s Pizza.  His major concerns at the time was getting elected for senior class president and keeping his grades up to get into the college of his choice.  His family owned an apartment complex and along with his two younger sisters, Alex lived there with his mom and dad.

Who knew that an asteroid would hit the moon knocking it closer to the earth and causing life as he knew it to change forever.  His father who was away at his grandmothers funeral never returns home.  His mother who was working at the hospital is not heard from either.  Suddenly Alex is fighting for the survival of himself and his sisters in what fast turns Manhattan into a deadly wasteland.

Alex tries to hold it together and make the best choices while he waits hopefully, for one of his parents to return…. but time keeps on going by and life… is not getting any easier.

 

This follow-up book to Life As We Knew It is told during the same time frame as Miranda’s story was.  The difference is Miranda was in Pennsylvania when the meteor hit, and Alex was in New York.  By reading this story you find that New York, was much worse.

A much darker tale of the human need for survival, Alex’s story is haunting.  New York is in a panic.  While Alex has food in the apartment, it quickly runs out.  No stock piling from grocery stores happened like it did in Miranda’s story.  Alex instead finds food by checking the abandoned apartments, and eventually doing a little something he calls “body hunting” with his friend Kevin where they find the fresh dead (sorry, but there it is) and take anything of value from them… shoes, jewelry, clothing, wallets… to barter for food. 

Alex’s sisters are younger, Julie is extremely needy and panicky, Bri has health issues and needs a lot of attention.

While this can leave a gruesome image (and did), I had to think what would life be like if we only had ourselves to count on.  All outside sources as gone – no stores, no hospital…Life As We Knew It and I applaud Susan Beth Pfeffer’s vision to recreate the story but this time, there are no parents to turn too, and this is not a safe community.Alex and his family have a strong Catholic faith which wavers throughout the book – but never is set aside, not even in the worst of times.

If you enjoy Dystopia, this is a series you much check out.

 

I listened to this on audio checked out from my local library

Morning Meanderings… CONFESS IT! Where Are They???

Good morning! 

*YAWN!*

Had a pretty full day yesterday, but a good one too… work, hanging out a bit with College son before he heads back to Mankato, went to the gym, had a missions meeting, and dragged myself home to read a bit.  Today I have a full work day as I am off from work after today until the 9th of January.  I rarely take time off just for the sake of doing it, but I need to get some writing done, and then mid January I will go to full-time while our office manager has her baby.

 

As I was flipping through my year in review recap, I seen a couple posts I had early 2011 that were kind of fun and I think worth repeating.  One was the “Where are they post?”

last year i did a post where you had to say where your books were and how many… this was for us to share the number of books that are lying around our homes in places other than boxes or shelves… for instance here is what I seem to have going on as I do a quick count:

kitchen table:  8 books

kitchen counters:  2 books

upstairs living room recliner:  4 books

front room by rocking chair:  1 book

downstairs family room recliner:  3 books

bedside table:  2 books

decorative hall table:  1 book

Antique buffet table in living room:  12 books

 

GAH!  I think that about does it.  That is all the books I have that are not in the reading room on the shelves, or in boxes from book sales. 

How about you?  Does your home show you are a reader?  :D

 

 

 elliptical on Monday:

 450 calories

 tread mill and elliptical on Wednesday:

 650 calories

 

2011 – The Good, The Bad, and the UGH

I have been looking forward to doing this post for WEEKS!  Yes, I know it is a lot of work to go through everything I have posted in 2011, but as of late I have been thinking “Dang.  I have read some great books lately!”  That leaves me wondering about all the books I have read this year that I am not even recalling right now but truly probably need a SHOUT OUT as the best of the year….  I also… may occasionally label a bad post… or an UGH.  :razz:

Join me now as we jump on the internet express and go back back back to…. (all pics are clickable and lead back to the posts/reviews)

January 2011

Good:  Yes it was a COLD Minnesota January when I finally caved and allowed myself a listen of an audio about a dog.  I had no idea that choice would leave me raving the rest of the year about it!  :D

Good:  If Shiver was impressive, Linger was icing on the cake.  A worthy second to this trilogy and best book of January.

Best Meandering post(s) of January:

When reading Habits Just Get Embarrassing!

Good:  This is where you recommended to me GREAT audio!

February 2011

Good:  This is the audio that made me very impressed with Anita Shreve.  Best audio of February!

Good:  A Tiger in The Kitchen was such an EXCELLENT read!

Bad:  Pro?  Con?  Why or why not?


Morning Meanderings…. The New Classics (a list from Entertainment Weekly of what the new classics are)

March 2011

Good: I cant help it – if you are looking for good audio – look no further than the Harry Potter books narrated by Stephen  Fry or Jim Dale

Good: What started out as a review to cook by for a book (coming out this March 2012!) turned out to be a pretty delicious read as well.

Good:  Polar Plunge… this pic is before I hit the water….

Ugh:  Morning Meanderings…. BUSTED by the snoring husband

April 2011

Good:  Audio love – this one rocked and the movie did too!

Good:  I heard about it… I coveted it, and then I read it.  Just as good as I had hoped.  BEST of April!

Good:  What is your most treasured book?

Bad:  I don’t care what cha all think of her…. I just don’t like her.  :razz:

May 2011

Good:  Audio book for May…

Sadly (BAD) no book stood out for me to call best of May 2011….. (this was also probably the month I read the least)

Good:  Dinner with author Beth Hoffman (CeeCee Honeycutt) while in New York

Good: Reagan (Miss Remmer’s Reviews) and I run the Info booth at BEA…..

June 2011:

Fantastic audio!  I almost fell off the lawn mower laughing!

First book I read entirely on my NOOK and best read of June!

UGH:  2 weeks after I return from BEA I seriously wipe out on my bike

Good:  A week after the bike injury I take a girls road trip to Chicago with my peeps :D

Good:  E Readers YAY or NAY discussion

A great book bloggers get together in New York for dinner!

Good:  Dinner with Adriana Trigianni in New York

Good:  Valued info I learned at the Book Blogger Con

Good and UGH:  The post where I made a you tube video of me being the Crocodile Hunter :shock:

July 2011

Good:  Fantastic memoir audio about food and more food!

Bad:  And again… no book that stood out in July

Good:  Danielle wins my Harry Potter VLOG contest!

Good:  Warrior Dash!!!

Good:  Our book club chooses a new Queen

August 2011

Good:  If you loved the book… you will love love the audio!

Good:  Awesome read!

Good:  A week at AIDS camp

Bookies 10 year anniversary!!!!

September 2011

Good:  Awesome audio of the month!

Good:  This series is so fantastic I must insist you read it!

Good: The second in the series and just as fantastic as the first!

October 2011

Good:  Certainly you have heard of this one… on audio, read by Jim Dale?  Fantastic!

Good:  Incredible read

Bookies classic review night

Bad:  We had to put our puppy of 15 years down  :(

November 2011

Good:  This was so interesting!


Good: Rounding out the series nicely – I applaud Patrick Ness

This was such an amazing non fiction read!

December 2011

Good:  Audio at its best!!!!

This was not the best audio of the month, but if I had listened to this any other month it would have beat out the other audio.

Fantastic dystopia read!

Great discussion post

So in recap here are the books of the year:

and the audio:

and over all.. best of the best:

Do you have a “best of” for the year?  I would love to hear what it is!

Morning Meanderings… are you up for a little challenge?

Good morning!

Is anyone else getting pumped up for the New year?  I really am!  I have my first book of the year all picked out (that… is another post ;) ) and I am ready to jump into a clean Where Are You Reading Map… but mostly I am looking forward to getting back in fighting shape and hopefully kicking a little booty in 2012.

I used to blog quite a bit about my work outs and what I was doing to keep fit.  Through emails and comments many of you let me know how much you appreciated that and how motivating you found it to be.  Of course, that just inspired me to write more.  :D

Then after I got hurt in June, I stopped two things I love – Group Power (weight lifting) and Kick Boxing.  I still had bike rides happening so I was doing a little something… but that all stopped in September and I have been pretty much stagnate since.  Not cool. 

I really want to make 2012 exceptional.  I completed a lot of bike rides (one 50 mile one in a cast) and hope to do even more this coming year.

So training for me…. starts right away. And of course, you are invited to join me.  :razz:  I will be updating you here each Tuesday morning going forward with calories burned, and what I did to shake it up.  I will be linking my post over at Mari’s Checkpoint meme at Bookworm With A View.  Mari is someone who inspires me so I am hoping between what I am doing here and what she is doing there will keep me on track. 

So what am I working for?  Many things…regained strength, muscle tone, and weight loss.  My big challenge will be May 19th.  Myself and three of my good friends are signed up for this:

:shock:

Yup.  I have work to do….

If you are interested in staying motivated to be sure to sign up over at Mari’s Bookworm With A View Checkpoint meme/  You can also leave me a comment here letting me know you are interested in keeping up with goals and posts…. I have an idea brewing but need to think it through a bit more.  :D

 

 

 I blew the 20,000 calorie challenge but am starting again in January….

The Black Shard by Victoria Simcox with a SIGNED giveaway!

As if Summer for a girl without many friends is not hard enough, Kristina’s parents are thrilled when Hester’s parents invite Kristina along to spend time at their horse camp.  Yes, Kristina adores horses… but everyone seems to not be getting the clue to is that Kristina and Hester pretty much loathe each other.

When a cruel prank goes wrong… Kristina finds that somehow she has found her way back to Bernovem, the magic land she has experienced before but was beginning to think that perhaps it had all been a dream.  Her friend, Prince Werrian is there to take her hand and show her around and when a chance to sail with Werrian to his homeland of Tezeral, Kristina thinks maybe this summer will not be so bad after all…

 

 

It has been over two years since I read The Magic Warble, the first book in this series.  I remember I was excited by Victoria Simcox’s writing and enjoyed her book very much.  When Victoria contacted me to read this second book I immediately said yes. 

There are several things I like about this book.  One is that immediately I get a sense of Narnia.  What I mean is I get that “other world” experience as Kristina and Werrian connect again to share an adventure.  Werrian is very “Prince Caspianish” and that.. is a good thing.  :D  I also enjoyed the story behind the Black Shard, a mysterious stone that gives off images of things happening in other places… And of course I am a sucker for the talking horses, mice, dogs and more that make this an overall delight to read. 

When I finally did get the time to sit down and read this book in the midst of the busy season, I only meant to read a little of the book.  What actually happened?  I sat down and read it from beginning to end in one sitting… finding no place safe in the book to stop reading as something was always happening ad I had to know why…

Why was Kristina constantly feeling ill?

Why was Hester so mean ALL THE TIME?

What was going to happen once they arrive in Tezerel?

WHAT is up with that crabby gnome Elzwur???

If you were ever a fan of Narnia, these books will take you back.  Be warned… I believe there is another book (there must be!) coming.  In the end – all is not resolved and while it was a fulfilling read… I find myself wondering excitedly what will happen next.

Author Victoria Simcox has graciously offered a signed copy of The Black Shard to be given to one of my readers!  Leave a comment here and you will be entered into the giveaway.  I will choose a winner later this week.

Amazon Rating

Goodreads review

The 2011 WHERE Are You Reading map has been updated to include The Black Shard

 

I received this book from the author

Morning Meanderings… WHA? Where did 2011 go???

Good morning!  Happy After Christmas!  (Really though… isn’t it?)  I mean the rush is over….  no more shopping for that (hopefully) perfect gift.  The parties, the gift exchanges, the food (oh – dont get me started on the food…. “Hello gym membership?”  :razz:)

I for one am happy to be basking in the aftermath… enjoying a snow free (SSQQQQUUUEEE!!!!) winter so far here in Central Minnesota, enjoying the down time of the season and some good reading time.  :D

Besides my lovely Cricut and cartridges from my hubby, I also received an assortment of gift cards to some of my favorite stores.  I have a lovely coffee mug from Caribou Coffee, a gorgeous engraved wine stopper, a beautiful friendship sign, gloves, a book safe, and of course…

books.

My College son plucked a couple titles off my wish list on this blog and under the tree I found this:

 

I have so much to do these last few days of 2011… my year in review post will go up with week (it has been a good reading year!)  Recap of the challenges… the good, the bad, the ugh…. the two challenges I am hosting as well as….

a fun third one too :D  Hint… it will work well with Mari at a Bookworm With A View‘s new weekly Checkpoint.  :D

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