Saturday, October 31, 2009

October Reading in Review


 Happy Halloween Everyone!

How was your October?   We had some pretty terrific weather here, and a great month reading-wise (thanks to the 24 hour Read-a-thon). Unfortunately, (or fortunately, depending how you look at it), I acquired more books than I donated or read. This is something that is going to be a major project for me to work on in 2010. I am going to get rid of books that I do not think I will read, and hope to only acquire books that I plan to read.

In October I read (20) books (6 during the read-a-thon)). The quality of my reads was pretty good.  My favorite book was, Abraham Verghese's: Cutting for Stone .


Of the (20) books I did read, (7) were review books. I read (4) non fiction books and listened to (2) audio books. (11/20) books were from my stacks, and 9/20 came from the library. Here is a summary:

October

150. A Change in Altitude ; Anita Shreve- 3/5 (review) 
151. No Time to Wave Goodbye; Jacquelyn Mitchard - 4/5 
152. The Brutal Telling; Louise Penny - 4/5 (review)
153. What the Dead Know; Lippman (audio) 4/5
154. The Magician's Elephant; Kate DiCamillio - 5/5
155. Evil at Heart; Chelsea Cain - 4.5/5
156. Tortilla Flat; John Steinbeck - 4.5/5
157. Mathilda Savitch; Lodato - 4/5 (review)
158. Baking Cakes in Kigali; Parkin - 4/5 (review)
159. Solace: Finding Your Way Though Grief; Temes - 4/5 (review)
160. A Duty to the Dead; Todd - 4.5/5
161. Gift from the Sea; Lindbergh - 5/5
162. Zen and the Art of Happiness; Prentiss - 4/5
163. Runaway Mummy; Rex - 4.5/5
164. Miss Smith and the Haunted Library; Garland - 4.5/5
165. Sworn to Silence; Castillo (audio) - 4/5
166. Haunted Island: True Ghost Stories from Martha's Vineyard; Nadler - 3/5
167. Cutting for Stone; Verghese - 5/5
168. The Time of My Life; Swayze and Niemi - 4.5/5
169. The Recipe Club; Israel and Garfinkle - 4/5 (review)
170. The Christmas Cookie Club; Pearlman - 3/5 (review)


Completed Challenges (October)

  • John Steinbeck Mini Challenge
  • RIP IV Challenge
Open Challenges

  • A-Z Challenge - 24/26
  • Read Your Own Books Challenge - 95/100
  • War Through the Generations WWII - 3/5
  • Fall Into Reading Challenge – 6/15
  • Clear Off Your Shelves Challenge - 11

    Hope you had a good month as well!
 
Have a great weekend and a Happy Halloween Everyone!

Friday, October 30, 2009

170 - The Christmas Cookie Club; Ann Pearlman




(Prologue)...."I AM THE HEAD COOKIE bitch and this is my party. The Christmas Cookie Club is always on the first Monday of December. Mark it on your calendar. Twelve of us gather, and thirteen dozen cookies wrapped in packages. Home-made, of course We bring a dish to pass around and a bottle of wine".......

The Christmas Cookie Club, is a tradition started some sixteen years earlier.  Marnie (the head cookie bitch) and eleven of her closest friends, have kept this tradition going. The friends share how they met, their joys, their struggles, their disappointments, and more. They laugh together and cry together. Their stories are told in twelve alternating chapters, each of which includes a tasty sounding Christmas cookie recipe for readers to try.

My Thoughts: Certainly the message in this story is not a new one: close friends help each other through tough times, and are there to share the good times as well.  Personally, I've read a few too many stories about friendship over the years.  None of the characters were memorable or even the least bit endearing.  I did enjoy the recipes, and I do see how some readers who enjoy light fiction, might think this was a great holiday read.  For me, there just wasn't enough depth to the story, and you never really get to know any of the women.  I understand that CBS Films has picked up the movie rights, and a sequel to this book is in the works as well.  If you are looking for a quick, light holiday read, and enjoy stories about friendship, give this one a try.

(This book was sent to me for review by Simon and Schuster).

Thursday, October 29, 2009

169 - The Recipe Club: A Tale of Love and Friendship; Andrea Israel and Nancy Garfinkle


After falling in love with Julie and Julia, I was thrilled to have received a copy of : The Recipe Club: A Tale of Love and Friendship. (This book was received from Caitlin Price at FSB Associates).

(about the book--from amazon.com)

Lilly and Val are lifelong friends, united as much by their differences as by their similarities. Lilly, dramatic and confident, lives in the shadow of her beautiful, wayward mother and craves the attention of her distant, disapproving father. Val, shy and idealistic—and surprisingly ambitious—struggles with her desire to break free from her demanding housebound mother and a father whose dreams never seem to come true.

In childhood, “LillyPad” and “Valpal” vow to form an exclusive two-person club. Throughout the decades they write intimate letters in which they share hopes, fears, deepest secrets—and recipes, from Lilly’s “Lovelorn Lasagna” to Valerie’s “Forgiveness Tapenade.” Readers can cook along as the girls travel through time, facing the challenges of independence; the joys and heartbreaks of first love; and the emotional complexities of family relationships, identity, mortality, and goals deferred.
But no matter what different paths they take or what misunderstandings threaten to break them apart, Lilly and Val always find their way back together through their Recipe Club . . . until the fateful day when an act of kindness becomes an unforgivable betrayal.

Now, decades later, while trying to recapture the trust they’ve lost, Lilly and Val reunite once more—only to uncover a shocking secret. Will it destroy their friendship, or bring them ever closer?

My Thoughts:  I generally like epistolary style novels, and I thought this book was very good. I enjoyed the friendship aspect of the story of these gals, polar opposites, who began as pen pals, writing letters, and exchanging recipes at an early age. As the girls entered adulthood, letters turned into emails, and the carefree life and secrets of childhood, became real life problems and stresses of adulthood. I also enjoyed the way some 80 recipes were included, along with photos and illustrations.  I actually tried the Starry Night Scampi and the Stuffed Peppers (which we enjoyed), and hope to try the Peanut Butter Blondie bars soon too.  If you are looking for something more in a novel than a story about the trials and tribulations of friendship, then this book may be worth a try.
RECOMMENDED

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

168 - The Time of My Life; Patrick Swayze and Lisa Niemi








I was so looking forward to this memoir by Patrick Swayze and his wife, Lisa Niemi, and I was not disappointed.  The memoir begins with a brief overview of Patrick's diagnosis and 20 month battle with pancreatic cancer, which began in January of 2008. But this story is not all about his illness, in fact just the beginning and the end talk about his battle with cancer.  Instead, The Time of My Life, is really more a story about Patrick Swayze's life.  From his humble beginnings, to his love for family, to how he met his wife Lisa, who was the love of his life for some 34 years. Patrick Swayze's successful career on stage, screen and television is described in detail, and it is easy to see how he became one of the most loved actors of his time.

The last section of this memoir touches a bit more on Patrick's cancer battle, his treatment, and the struggles with the disease he, with his wife at his side, endured. Initially I was a bit concerned that this memoir might be too sad for me, as pancreatic cancer has touched the lives of two of my family members, but that was not the case. This book was more of a celebration of Patrick's life, and it does not dwell on his illness nor his death. Patrick Swayze died with his family by his side on September 14, 2009, at age 57. This memoir, The Time of My Life,  is a beautiful tribute to his life. RECOMMENDED
.

167 - Cutting for Stone; Abraham Verghese

 Cutting for Stone is a multi-generational family saga that transports the reader all over the world: Africa, India, Europe, and the United States (New York City). The story has a heavy dose of medical science, often graphic in detail, but extremely interesting. Much of the action in this story takes place in hospital settings, beginning at Missing Hospital in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Ethiopia is also in the midst of a revolution.

Marion and Shiva Praise Stone are conjoined identical twins, born to a nun from Madras, named Sister Mary Joseph Praise. Sister Mary Joseph Praise bled to death giving birth, and the father of the twins, Thomas Stone, had not even been aware that she was pregnant. Thomas Stone is a British surgeon, who cannot deal with all that has just happened, and as a result, he flees the country.

The infants are successfully separated at the head, and are raised by Hema and Ghosh, two Indian physicians at the hospital where they were born. As boys the two children were close friends, as adults often rivals. Shiva was the quieter of the two brothers, and almost socially inept. Both Marion and Shiva go on to become physicians like their birth father, and the parents who raised them.

Cutting for Stone was one of those rare books that left a lasting impression. I took much longer reading this 500++ book, than most any other book I've read for several reasons. I did not want the story to end, and I was afraid that I would gloss over some beautiful passages if I hurried through this book. The novel has beautifully drawn characters, great scenery and sense of place, and a bittersweet ending, that I did not expect. This is one book that is not to be missed, and it is sure to be one of the best books I've read this year. (This review is based both on the printed version and the audio book, which was beautifully narrated by: Sunil Malhotra). HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Waiting on Wednesday - Where the God of Love Hangs Out










Waiting on Wednesday was started by Jill over at Breaking the Spine.



Title: Where the God of Love Hangs Out
Author: Amy Bloom
Pub. Date: January 12, 2010


ABOUT THE BOOK (AMAZON) ...Love, in its many forms and complexities, weaves through this collection by Amy Bloom, the New York Times bestselling author of Away. Bloom's astonishing and astute new work of interconnected stories illuminates the mysteries of passion, family, and friendship.

Propelled by Bloom's dazzling prose, unmistakable voice, and generous wit, Where the God of Love Hangs Out takes us to the margins and the centers of real people's lives, exploring the changes that love and loss create. A young woman is haunted by her roommate's murder; a man and his daughter-in-law confess their sins in the unlikeliest of places. In one quartet of interlocking stories, two middle-aged friends, married to others, find themselves surprisingly drawn to each other, risking all while never underestimating the cost. In another linked set of stories, we follow mother and son for thirty years as their small and uncertain family becomes an irresistible tribe.

Insightful, sensuous, and heartbreaking, these stories of passion and disappointment, life and death, capture deep human truths. As The New Yorker has said, "Amy Bloom gets more meaning into individual sentences than most authors manage in whole books."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Teaser


TEASER TUESDAYS (Hosted by Miz B of Should Be Reading) asks you to:

  • Grab your current read.

  • Let the book fall open to a random page.

  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

  • Please avoid spoilers!

  • (p.179.... "The tricky thing about success is, the more you have, the more you fear it will disappear.  On the surface, we had everything we'd been fighting for all these years".

    I knew this book would bring tears to my eyes, but I am so happy I decided to read it.

    Monday, October 26, 2009

    166 - Haunted Island: True Ghost Stories from Martha's Vineyard; Holly Nadler

    I've owned this book for quite a while, but I'm not a big fan of short stories so it has sat on my shelf for a while. The book features true, short, ghost stories which take place on Martha's Vineyard.  The author, Holly Nadler, known as the ghost lady of Martha's Vineyard, has won attention for her collections of ghostly accounts on the island. The island that is home to many of the the rich and famous.

    Probably the story I liked best featured The Secret Staircase. Mysterious Room #8 at a haunted inn was only accessible by a cramped hidden staircase. Strange events have been reported and recorded, including the disappearance of one guest.  The Cat at the Funeral was another one that held my interest, as well as one where a spirit was reported to have prayed in French. This collection of true ghost stories might be better enjoyed by fans of YA books.

    165 - Sworn to Silence; Linda Castillo




    Sworn to Silence is a chilling new series debut by Linda Castillo. The audio book is read by Kathleen McInerney. She does a fabulous job with different voices in this thriller.  The reader should be warned up front the the book can been pretty gory and there is a lot of violence toward women described.

    Kate Burkholder grew up in the quaint town of Painters Mill, Ohio where many Amish residents still drive buggies, shun electricity, and distance themselves from the complications of modern life.  A serial killer, dubbed The Slaughterhouse Killer, shatters the peace of this little town and leaves the residents terrified and on guard. During this time, young Kate’s life takes a fateful turn when she was just 14. She was sexually assaulted by an Amish man named Daniel Lapp. She shoots the man and seeing him lifeless on the floor, she is certain he is dead. Her father drags away the body, and the family never speaks of the incident again, and it is never reported to the police. She and her family are "Sworn to Silence". The area murders cease around the time that Lapp is killed, and the residents begin to live somewhat normal lives once again.

    Some 16 years later, Kate now 30, is the police chief in Painters Mill.  She must deal with a series of brutal crimes in which the female victims are tortured and raped, and Roman numerals carved onto their stomach. These crimes are very similar to those that occurred when she was a young girl. Is this a copy-cat? Kate begins to asks herself if Daniel Lapp is really dead. She is determined to track down this killer before he strike again.

    My Thoughts:  This is one thriller that I thought I had figured out early on, but I was wrong.  It wasn't until the last third of the book that my second guess was correct. (I like when this happens in a thriller).  I thought this book was very good. There was a part where some romance was woven into the story, and my personal feeling was that this aspect, took away from the story instead of enhancing it. Despite this I would still recommend this novel I you enjoy a good thriller.

    164 - Miss Smith and the Haunted Library; Michael Garland




























    In Miss Smith and the Haunted Library, Miss Smith takes her class on a field trip to the spooky library--strange things happen.  At the library the class meets librarian, Virginia Creeper, who has purple hair, pale skin and high pitched squeaky voice.  The class sits down to listen to a few scary tales, and the characters jump out of the book and come to life --- literally. There is a Headless Horseman, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Captain Hook, and the Wicked Witch of the West.  While the party is about to begin, Zack saves the day. While Miss Creeper is passing out snacks, Zack notices one more creature is still on the loose as one story had not been read. He finishes the story and ALL of the scary characters jump back into the books until the next time.

    Very cute story, with fabulous colorful illustrations. A perfect seasonal read for teacher's to read to their classes. RECOMMENDED

    163 - Runaway Mummy: A Petrifying Parody; Michael Rex



    Once there was a little mummy who wanted to run away. “If you run away,” said Mother Mummy, “I will get you! For you are my rotten little mummy!"

    In Runaway Mummy, a little mummy gets in trouble and he begins an imaginary game running away and being chased by his mother. The Mommy Mummy doesn't flinch when her bad boy transforms into lots of incredible creature: a serpent, a gargoyle, a huge bat, and a beast.  It is only when the little mummy threatens to turn into a little boy that that Mommy Mummy begins to scream!!! If he is a little boy, that means: karate lessons, piano lessons, Spanish lessons, and more. How would he ever have time to be rotten?  

    Complete with  beautiful colorful illustrations, this is one book, I think,  that children will be asking to have read to them over and over again. If you enjoyed this author's 2008 book: Goodnight Goon, you are sure to enjoy this new book too. A perfect Halloween treat. RECOMMENDED

    162 - Zen and the Art of Happiness; Chris Prentiss


    "Everything that happens to me is the best possible thing that can happen to me".
    The author uses this powerful statement as a foundation for overcoming stress, dealing with setbacks, and finding happiness in everyday life.

    How can we change what we believe when our experience has convinced us otherwise? By creating a new experience. The author explains just how to learn to think in a new way to create more happiness in our lives, instead of gloom and depression. This book is not perfect, but it is still RECOMMENDED.


    161 - Gift From the Sea; Anne Morrow Lindbergh


    First written in 1955, this book was written on a brief solo vacation by the author. Amazingly the author used the imagery of shells as a symbol of the different stages in a woman's life.  The author composed some meditations for the various stages of life: youth, aging, love, marriage, solitude, peace and contentment.  Especially memorable was a section of "simplifying one's life", and to take to to reconcile our personal needs without feeling guilty about doing something for us. 

    For those of you who are not familiar with this lovely book, the author was a mother, and wife to pilot Charles Lindbergh. Although the book was first written some 55 years ago, the message is still important to today's modern woman  It is important to finds personal fulfillment  in life. You must find the right balance and inner peace within yourself, before you can share those qualities with others.

    This little gem of a book should be read by every woman trying who tires to do everything for everyone. This is my second time reading this book. Highly Recommended


    Mailbox Monday


    Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia from The Printed Page

    Just (3) books arrived this week:


    1. Visitors; Anita Brookner (purchase)
    2. Fasting, Feasting; Anita Desai (purchase)
    3. The Gift of an Ordinary Day; Katrina Kenison (Giveaway Win- Thanks Beth)
    What did you get this week?

    Sunday, October 25, 2009

    Sunday Salon - 10-25-09



    Since I'm typing with one eye open after completing my first 24 Hour Read-a-Thon, this post will be brief. I so enjoyed this event and would do it again (but no time soon) I need sleep.

    End of Event Totals
    • Time Reading: about 13 hours
    • Pages Read: 602 plus audio book equivalent to 336 page = 938 pages total
    • Books Read: 6
    • Mini-Challenges Completed: 7
    • Time Blogging and cheering: about 7 hours
    • Total Comments: 155
    • $100 raised for Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

    Plans for Today

    • Get some sleep - going to bed in 10 minutes (Update:...I just slept 3 hours, but still feel zonked and a headache to boot. Even the shower has not helped...LOL
    • Blog Hop (and thank other bloggers for their support)
    • Finish - The Haunting of Hill House; Jackson
    • Work on reviews for : Cutting for Stone (wonderful book) along with some mini reviews for the (6) books read during the read-a-thon.
    • Have a great Day Everyone!
     

    24 Hour Read-a-Thon - End of Event meme and Summary

    (Me..right now)

    End of event Meme Questions

    1. Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour #21.


    2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? A good audio book thriller - audio books work great for this event. I read Sworn to Silence. There was some explicit gore, but it kept my interest. Regular print books should be short!


    3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Not really (too tired to think).

    4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? The cheer leaders meant a lot to me as a reader (I did some cheerleading as well)

    5. How many books did you read? 6

    6. What were the names of the books you read? Gift from the Sea (138 pages) ; Zen and the Art of Happiness (142 pages); Runaway Mummy (30 pages) , Miss Smith and the Haunted Library (30 pages) , and Haunted Island: True Ghost Stories from Martha's Vineyard (141 pages), and one audio book : Sworn to Silence.

    7. Which book did you enjoy most? Gift from the Sea.

    8. Which did you enjoy least? I actually liked all of them in their own way.

    9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? Your role is important, comment, comment, comment.

    10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?  Loved it. I'd read and cheer, just as I did this year.  It was fun visiting other blogs as well as reading.

    End of Event Totals
    Time Reading: about 13 hours
    Pages Read: 602 plus audio book equivalent to 336 page = 938 pages total
    Books Read: 6
    Mini-Challenges Completed: 7
    Time Blogging and cheering: about 7 hours
    Total Comments: 155
    $100 raised for Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

    24 Hour Read-a-Thon - Hour #24



    Hour # 24 and I conked off for nearly two hours. I only managed to read another 34 pages of The Haunting of Hill House, since my update (3) hours ago (and I may have to reread those as I was really really tired. I'm happy a hot cup of tea got my motor going again. Here is what I've accomplished through hour 23.

    Totals
    Time Reading: about 13 hours
    Pages Read: 602 plus audio book equivalent to 336 page = 938 pages total
    Books Read: 6
    Mini-Challenges Completed: 7
    Time Blogging and cheering: about 7 hours
    Total Comments: 154


    • I've completed (6) books (little books): Gift from the Sea (138 pages) ; Zen and the Art of Happiness (142 pages); Runaway Mummy (30 pages) , Miss Smith and the Haunted Library (30 pages) , and Haunted Island: True Ghost Stories from Martha's Vineyard (141 pages). Listened to and completed Sworn to Silence; Castillio on my IPOD while I did a little cheer leading.
    • Started and stopped: The Haunting of Hill House ( read 111 pages) it's excellent! Will finish on Sunday after getting some sleep.
    • Had 2 cups of coffee and oatmeal, and 4 bottles of water, huge salad with cheese and croutons, apple and lemon yogurt, and yes, finally junk food (A Klondike Bar...yum), and (2) cups of hot tea.
    • Left the house for (90) minutes --hospital run as I mentioned earlier.
    • Spent (25) minutes heating chicken soup and eating it with hubby for lunch, and another (30) minutes fixing a quick dinner for us. 
    • Dozed for about 2 hours.
    This was great fun. Thank you all for your support.

    24 Hour Read-a-Thon - Hour #20


    Typing with one eye open; hour # 20 and here is what I've been up to:

    (20)  hours into the Read-a-thon and I am starting to fade out. Here is what I've accomplished:


    • I've completed (5) books (little books): Gift from the Sea (138 pages) ; Zen and the Art of Happiness (142 pages); Runaway Mummy (30 pages) , Miss Smith and the Haunted Library (30 pages) , and Haunted Island: True Ghost Stories from Martha's Vineyard (141 pages).
    • Started and stopped: The Haunting of Hill House ( read 77pages) it's excellent!
    • Completed (1) audio book: Sworn to Silence; Castillio on my IPOD while I do a little cheer leading.
    • Had 2 cups of coffee and oatmeal, and 4 bottles of water, huge salad with cheese and croutons, apple and lemon yogurt, and yes, finally junk food (A Klondike Bar...yum), and a cup of hot tea.
    • Left the house for (90) minutes --hospital run as I mentioned earlier.
    • Spent (25) minutes heating chicken soup and eating it with hubby for lunch, and another (30) minutes fixing a quick dinner for us. 
    • Spent (220) minutes blogging and cheer leading since the read-a-thon started.
    • 568 pages read so far/6 books completed, which includes (1) audio book: Sworn to Silence (very gory/graphic, but good).
    • Participated in (4) mini challenges.
    • I feel a little doze coming up.
    Keep up the good work everyone, and thanks for all the comments and support.

    24 Hour Read-a-Thon - Mini Challenge - Wisdom of Age

     (I'm so sleepy)
    Care is hosting a Wisdom of the Age Mini-Challenge .   

    Your challenge is to think up and suggest your favorite books that feature an older protagonist! AND / OR  let’s also think up any of your favorite AUTHORS who are still writing incredible books when most people are…   not?

    Click here (to check it out)

    Some of my favorite books with an older protagonist are:
    1. Every Last Cuckoo; Maloy
    2. Water for Elephants; Waters
    3. Book of Eve; Beresford-Howe
    4. Strangers; Brookner
    5. Author - Saramago

    24 Hour Read-a-Thon - (2) Mini Challenges - Hour #17


    Chronicle of an Infant Bibliophile is hosting the Hour #17 mini challenge: Give Me Five:

    Go to your blog and post a list of five favorite children's books.  They don't have to be THE five end-all-be-all of your favorites, because then you'll just agonize over which ones to pick, and we want this to be easy.  Just list five off the top of your head that you enjoyed as a child, or that your children enjoy. Here are mine (off the top of my head):
    1. The Giving Tree
    2. Love You Forever
    3. Are You My Mother?
    4. Good Night Moon
    5. Nancy Drew #1 - The Secret of the Old Clock
     Fyrefly's Books is hosting a Dance-a-thon mini challenge. (I needed something like this to put a spark back in me). I chose: This One's For the Girls' Martina McBride. Feel like dancing?? CLICK HERE!

    24 Hour Read-a-Thon - Hour #16


    (16)  hours into the Read-a-thon and ( I came back to 56 comments since my last post 3+ hours ago~~that so helps with my motivation; thank you, thank you, thank you. Here is what I've accomplished:


    • I've completed (5) books (little books): Gift from the Sea (138 pages) ; Zen and the Art of Happiness (142 pages); Runaway Mummy (30 pages) , Miss Smith and the Haunted Library (30 pages) , and Haunted Island: True Ghost Stories from Martha's Vineyard (141 pages).
    • Started and stopped: The Haunting of Hill House ( read 33 pages and decided to save it for when I get tired. Since it is scary, it should keep me up --Peter's suggestion--thanks Peter)
    • Listening to: Sworn to Silence; Castillio on my IPOD while I do a little cheer leading.
    • Had 2 cups of coffee and oatmeal, and 3 bottles of water, huge salad with cheese and croutons, apple and lemon yogurt, and yes, finally junk food (A Klondike Bar...yum).
    • Left the house for (90) minutes --hospital run as I mentioned earlier.
    • Spent (25) minutes heating chicken soup and eating it with hubby for lunch, and another (30) minutes fixing a quick dinner for us. 
    • Spent (150) minutes blogging and cheer leading since the read-a-thon started.
    • 522 pages read so far/5 books completed/ one audio book in progress, Sworn to Silence (very gory/graphic, but good), and I'm on (disc #5).
    • Participated in (2) mini challenges.
    • I feel a nap coming up, but I'll try a cup of tea to see if that helps
    Keep up the good work everyone, and thanks for all the comments and support.

    Saturday, October 24, 2009

    24 Hour Read-a-Thon - Mid-Event Survey


    Mid-Event Survey:
    1. What are you reading right now?  I'm listening to an audio book Sworn to Silence; Linda Castillo (very good) and reading Haunted Island: True Ghost Stories from Martha's Vineyard; Nadler.
    2. How many books have you read so far? (4)

    3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? The Haunting of Hill House; Shirley Jackson


    4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Tried to but had to step out for an hour.

    5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Not too bad since it is only me and my husband, and he's been intensely involved with College football.


    6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Lots of encouragement--it's great!


    7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? This is my first year, so to me it seems great as is.

    8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Plan to listen to more audio books as, for me it's pretty easy to blog and listen.

    9. Are you getting tired yet?  Not yet

    10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?  I think the fact I have not had any junk food today is a help.  I chose to eat lighter so I would not get tired as easily, and it seems to be working so far.

    24 Hour Read-a-Thon - Update #3


    How's everyone doing ?  10 minutes short of the half way mark, and still wide awake here...a biggy for me.

    11++ hours into the Read-a-thon and here  is how I've spent my time:

    • I've completed (4) books: Gift from the Sea (138 pages) ; Zen and the Art of Happiness (142 pages); Runaway Mummy (30 pages) and Miss Smith and the Haunted Library (30 pages)
    • Started and stopped: The Haunting of Hill House (read 15 pages and decided to save it for when I get tired. Since it is scary, it should keep me up --Peter's suggestion--thanks Peter)
    • Listening to: Sworn to Silence; Castillio on my IPOD while I do a little cheer leading.
    • Had 2 cups of coffee and oatmeal, and 2 bottles of water, huge salad with cheese and croutons, apple and lemon yogurt.
    • Left the house for (90) minutes --hospital run as I mentioned earlier..
    • Spent (25) minutes heating chicken soup and eating it with hubby for lunch, and another (30) minutes fixing a quick dinner for us. 
    • Spent 105 minutes blogging and cheer leading since the read-a-thon started.
    • 363 pages read so far/4 books completed/ one audio book in progress, Sworn to Silence, and I'm on (disc #3).
    • Participated in (2) mini challenges.
    Keep up the good work everyone, and thanks for all the comments and support.

    24 Hour Read-a-Thon - Mini Challenge Eat to Read

    Beth Fish is hosting this mini-challenge, and since we just got done eating, I thought I'd participate. (I ate light for a change, as too much food will make me snooze)!  I have not been snacking yet, I 'll save that for when I get sleepy.


    Are we having fun yet?

    24 Hour Read-a-Thon - Mini Challenge Collection Obsession





    Wendy at Caribou's Mom is hosting this mini challenge for hours 8 through 10 of the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon. This challenge will close at the end of hour 10 (which is 3:00PM PST).

    Collection Obsession

    Most obsessive readers are also collectors. Besides books, what do YOU collect?

    Me, except for books, I am really not a collector. I tend to be more of a minimalist when it comes to things around my house. (My husband is a different story).  So I decide to take a picture of the one thing I did start collecting in 2009.....Pandora Bracelet and Beads.  Are these popular where you are?  They are very popular here in the northeast, and I'm crazy about mine. It's very personal with initials: (D) for me (H) husband, (B) son, and (M) daughter, and well as colorful glass beads, and others with various stones.


    What do you collect?

    Thanks for hosting this mini-challenge Wendy.

    24 Hour Read-a-Thon - Update #2




    6.5 hours into the Read-a-thon and here  is how I've spent my time:

    • I've completed (2) books: Gift from the Sea (138 pages) and Zen and the Art of Happiness (142 pages)
    • Started and stopped: The Haunting of Hill House (read 15 pages and decided to save it for when I get tired. Since it is scary, it should keep me up --Peter's suggestion--thanks Peter)
    • Listening to: Sworn to Silence; Castillio on my IPOD while I do a little cheer leading.
    • Had 2 cups of coffee and oatmeal, and a bottle of water
    • Spent 10 minutes on the phone (I do have to leave the house for the hospital this afternoon, but I will take my IPOD and listen to an audio book while I'm gone.
    • Not dressed yet, but that will happen shortly. (Oh yeh, now I'm dressed LOL)
    • Left the house for (90) minutes --hospital run as I mentioned earlier; back now and hopefully, no more interruptions.
    • Spent (25) minutes heating chicken soup and eating it with hubby. 
    • Spent 75 minutes blogging since the read-a-thon started.
    • 295 pages read so far/2 books completed/ one audio book in progress (disc #1)
    Keep up the good work everyone, and thanks for all the comments and support.

    24 Hour Read-a-Thon - Update #1




    3.5 hours into the read-a-thon and this is how I've spent my time:



    • I've completed (1) book: Gift from the Sea (138 pages)
    • Started a 2nd Book: The Haunting of Hill House
    • Had 2 cups of coffee and oatmeal
    • Spent 10 minutes on the phone (I do have to leave the house for the hospital this afternoon, but I will take my IPOD and listen to an audio book while I'm gone.
    • Not dressed yet, but that will happen shortly
    • Spent 45 minutes blogging since the read-a-thon started
    Happy Reading Everyone!!!!

    Read, Set, Go - and - We're Off Reading

    Okay, I'm feeling a bit stressed and it is just beginning. This is my first try at a read-a-thon. I know I will have to take a few time outs during the day or night, in fact I may even have to go to make a hospital run for a while, but I will take a book with me (that's another story-I'm not sick). I figure this is all in good fun and I'm not trying to set any records.

    My Worthy Cause:




    I will be donating to a cause that is near and dear to our family: Pancreatic Cancer.  (My mom died of this (11 weeks after it was diagnosed), and now my oldest brother has be battling PC for (1) year. I will be donating $1.00 for each comment left on my blog during the 24-hour period of the read-a-thon, and an additional $5.00 for each NEW follower on my blog during the same period.


    (Maximum donation to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network will be $100.00).

    The Books:



    Miss Smith's Haunted Library, Runaway Mummy, Gift from the Sea, The Tao of Beach Glass, Driving With Dead People, A Graveyard for Lunatics, Haunted Island, Half Broke Horses, Nancy Drew (1 and 2), and The Haunting of Hill House) -- If I run out of things to read (like that will happen), I know just where to go in my house to grab more books



    The reading chaise that the books are on faces the fireplace, and it's suppose to be damp and rainy, so I may have to have a fire as well.



    I know not too much caffeine, but there is decaff coffee and teas and hot chocolate here as well, and water of course.  As for food, there is yogurt, fruit, I've pre-made salad and chicken salad, and we'll probably have pizza delivered for dinner to make it easy.

    Good luck everyone, and even more important today --  have fun! Thanks to all the cheerleader, organizers, and any one else who helped in coordinating this event. I'll be stopping by to cheer you on a bit myself.

    Friday, October 23, 2009

    This is Sweet

    a friend sent this to me recently, and I just had to share it:
      
    Suryia and Roscoe - Best Of Friends 


    Friends forever.....The orangutan was in a rescue and not doing well.  This old hound wandered in absolutely emaciated and the orangutan snapped to, like his buddy had just arrived.  He stayed with the hound night and day until he was well and found a reason to live.  They are now inseparable.  Isn't that sweet?
     


     

    Doggy paddle's the order of the day here for the couple who live at the Tigers sanctuary in Myrtle Beach , South Carolina .  
     

    Suryia and Roscoe spend hours together every day - they're particularly keen on swimming. 

    The two mates see the funny side of most things.  
     

    There's always time to chill.  
     

     
    A dog's not just a man's best friend, he's an orangutan's too.