Sunday, April 27, 2008
Here are the basics from his site.
1. Every week there’ll be a different theme. One week might be “catch up on your library books” week and the next might be “redecorate your blog week” or “organize your challenges” week or “catch up on your reviews” week. It’ll be fairly bookblogcentric, but not exclusively.
2. Everyone who joins agrees that they will try to check each week to see what the theme is, although they DO NOT have to participate each week, only when they feel like it.
3. Everyone who joins is welcome (encouraged, begged!) to send me ideas for weekly themes via email, comments, whatever. The more ideas, the better.
4. I will post the weekly theme each Saturday, but you can check in any time it’s convenient to find out what the theme is.
5. If you post about your progress with that week’s theme in your blog (whether you were wildly successful or didn’t get around to any of it) then you can come back and leave a link to that post in the comments for that theme.
6. The next week, when I announce the new theme, I will also post a mini-carnival-like blurb, with links to everyone’s progress posts. Either way, you’ll have a link to your blog every week you participate, which will hopefully help other participants find their way to your posts.
7. In order to motivate participants to spread the word, anyone who posts promoting this challenge is guaranteed to be able to choose the theme for one of the weeks this year (their choice of week, first come first served). No need to pick a week now; just let me know when you have a theme idea and you can pick your week then. In addition, each participant who writes a promotional post by the end of April will have their name entered in a drawing for this chocolate monkey. If any of your readers sign up and leave a comment saying they heard about it from you, you get two entries for the chocolate monkey. You may never again have the chance to say to your friends and family, “Yeah, the internet gave me this chocolate monkey.”
I finished listening to Dracula, my first audio book. I loved it! My review is here. I highly recommend listening or reading it if you have not already. I was pleasantly surprised.
- Bel Canto by Ann Patchett: It is awesome. I am flying through it. Thank you to everyone who suggested I pick it up next.
- The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I'm having so much fun. It is different from the version you see on TV. I'm at the part where Dorothy falls asleep in the poppies. BUT the Wicked Witch has not made an appearance yet!!!!! I've made a little challenge to myself to listen to the entire series of Oz stories.
- Thorn by Vena Cork
- Half a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
- The Zookeeper's Wife by Diane Ackerman
- One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
- A Field of Darkness by Cornelia Read
- Brainless: The Lies and Lunacy of Ann Coulter by Joe Maguire
- The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hays
- A ~ Z Reading Challenge (H Title)
- Spring Reading Thing
- Historical Reading Challenge
- Banned Book Challenge
- Orbis Terrarum Challenge
- Book Awards Reading Challenge
- Decades Challenge (1980)
- Book Around the World
Thursday, April 24, 2008
- China (Beijing, Shanghai, Qingdao)
- Italy (Rome, Florence, Venice, Naples)
- San Francisco
- Las Vegas
- Grand Canyon
- Geneva on the Lake (Ohio)
- New York City
- Ohiopyle (PA)
- Presque Isle (Erie, PA)
- Playa Del Carmen (Mexico)
Well, here where I live, Spring is sprung–weeks early, even. Our lilac bush looks like it will have flowers by this time next week instead of in the middle May as usual. The dogwood trees, the magnolia trees–all the flowering trees are flowering. The daffodils and crocuses are, if anything, starting to fade. It may only be April 24th but it is very definitely Spring and, allergies notwithstanding, I’m happy to welcome the change of season. What I want to know, is:
Do your reading habits change in the Spring? Do you read gardening books? Even if you don’t have a garden? More light fiction than during the Winter? Less? Travel books? Light paperbacks you can stick in a knapsack?
Or do you pretty much read the same kinds of things in the Spring as you do the rest of the year?
I must admit, I did just buy a gardening book. BUT, I won't be sitting down to read it from cover to cover. It is more reference material then anything else. Now that we own a house I decided I better learn what that heck to do with everything outside it.
As soon as the weather gets nice my reading time goes down as my hubby and I do "outdoor" things. We get such "cabin fever" from being cooped up all winter that if we can be outside we get out. I do enjoy reading outside so a lot of my outside time IS reading time.
I don't change what I read or what format it is in. I pick what I'm in the mood for or what is up on one of my challenges. I am logical about it though. I don't take the 700 page hardback on the plane with me, I take a paperback.
This post is making me look at House of the Spirits and how long it is taking me to read it. I think instead of blogging I'm going to read some of it now.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Audio Book: from LibriVox
This is my first review for an audio book. You wouldn't think it would be different than writing a review for a regular novel but it is! I just realized I've never seen the characters names written!
I must admit that I am impressed! Not by the fact that this was an audio book but by how well written the novel was. The story just seemed to "flow" so smoothly and Stoker was descriptive without being too wordy. Everyone "knows" about vampires but I had never read the book before. I had no idea how the original vampire stories began. I thoroughly enjoyed just sitting and listening to Stoker describe the events as they unfolded. The novel is told through the journal entries of the main characters. Originally I did not think I would enjoy this format but it ended up giving you insight to what each character was thinking and feeling in a way that is different from most novels.
If you haven't read (or listened) to Dracula I would highly recommend picking it up. I was very different from what I was expecting. Even if you think it might "not be your style" it may be worth giving it a try!
I was surprised by how long it took me to actually listen to the book. I kept falling asleep. Not because it was boring, just because I was tired.
Want to read it online? Go here. I found this online version from Literature.org
Monday, April 21, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Hello Camera Critter Friends!
This week my picture is the one I used for the entry in a Spring Theme photocontest. This is best picture I've taken of Otis in A LONG TIME. He is smiling and is filled with such joy at finally being able to run around outside in the nice weather that I just had to use it again for everyone to see again today.
If you would like to vote for Otis (PRETTY PLEASE) you can go here to vote. The voting is open until tomorrow. We keep losing to a field of bluebonnet flowers. ;) I though my friends at CAMERA CRITTERS might help me out with some voting since every one there (here) loves animals!!!!
Well my second Sunday Salon is no where near as exciting as the first. I'm still working on House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. I'm on page 164 of 433. It started VERY slowly and I almost re- shelved it. Bookgal left me a post encouraging me to keep reading and that it got better. It is better but still not the best novel I've read. If it wasn't covering several challenges for me I would probably return it to the shelf.
I'm also getting ready to return to teaching. I've been off since March 5th after breaking my foot so much more of my time has been devoted to preparing material for class and grading papers. the weather has also improved so I've been outside more and not stuck in bed.
I'm on the last chapter of my audio book Dracula. It has been phenomenal. I didn't realize how well written Dracula was. The narration leaves a little to be desire but since I downloaded it free from Librivox I can't complain. When I finish Dracula I'm moving onto some of the books from the L. Frank Baum Oz Series.
WHAT AM I READING NEXT?
I can't decide. Either...
- Bel Canto by Ann Patchett or
- The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
- Dracula by Bram Stoker
- The Frantic Woman's Guide to Life (Rulnick & Schneider)
- The Lost Painting (Jonathan Harr)
- Anna and the King of Siam (Margaret Landon)
- Gardening Success
- Beneath It All (Versel Lewis)
- The Immortal (Angela Hunt)
- The Reluctant Fundamentalist--for my husband
Saturday, April 19, 2008
Friday, April 18, 2008
Why did I pick this picture for the contest? Otis just so looked so happy in this picture. It was actually taken today (Friday 4/18). With my broken foot I haven't had a chance to take him outside too much but today was so beautiful we went out for a little bit. Springtime for us is finally getting to go back outside for walks. I can read his mind too.
I get to sit in this bed of daffodils AND mom is throwing me cashews??? THIS is the life!!! I love springtime!
If you like my picture and Otis please go vote for me (shameless plug). I would appreciate it! You can vote here.
This next picture is not an entry but here he is thinking "Where in the heck is my next cashew?"
These were my runner up options!
2. Guess! My broken foot and my crutches are what I'm fed up with!
3. The next book I'd like to read is ooh, oooh I guess Bel Canto.
4. Summer vacation is what I'm looking forward to.
5. If you can't get rid of the skeleton[s] in your closet, hide them!
6. The best thing I got in the mail recently was my new mail box and house numbers.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to going to my parents house (they are playing nurse), tomorrow my plans include helping my mom make an album of her vacation pictures and Sunday, I want to not dread going back to work for the first time in over six weeks, but I know I'll dread it!
Author: Orson Scott Card
Genre: Fiction/Sci Fi/
Personal Rating 3.5/5
From the back cover:
Alvin's mortal enemy, the Unmaker, has found hearts and hands willing to do its bidding, while Alvin and the Prophet's people were making their last stand. Just across the Hio River from the town of Hatrack River was the first of the slave-holding territories - and they ran south all the way to the sea.
Both the United States and Appalachee have abolished slavery, while the Crown Colonies still deal in human flesh. But the slaves know that their hope of freedom lies just beyond the river; and the daring - or desperate - have often come within the range of Hatrack River's torch. Little Peggy is now sixteen, and has seen more of the world's evil than anybody rightly should - and when she "sees" a young girl and her infant son she isn't surprised by the cruelty the slave is running from. Peggy's father takes the risk of bringing the two back to the guest house, and in doing so creates the one path in all of Peggy's possible futures that may lead to happiness for both her and Alvin.
And so when Alvin arrives in Hatrack River to take up his apprenticeship with Makepeace Smith and learn to be a blacksmith, he finds that nothing is as he expected it to be. The would-be Maker is on his own, and the works of the Unmaker are close at hand.
Orson Scott Card's Tales of Alvin Maker have created a moving fantasy world from the dream of America and the simple magics of the people who settled her. Here is a world where folk magic is as much a part of life as hard work and religion, and where the red man and the white still have hope for living in peace with the land and each other. It is a fantasy unique to literature, yet as inevitable as breathing. It is a work that will live forever in your
Thanks goodness book three was better than book two. I was worried I had signed up using Tales of Alvin Maker for the Series Challenge after reading book two but book three turned around and in my opinion headed in the right direction.
This part of the saga focused on three main characters; Alvin, Peggy and Arthur Stuart. Peggy was the torch girl who pulled the caul from Alvin's face when he was born. They are destined to marry but Peggy can "see" they Alvin is going to marry her from duty and obligation and will resent their marriage. On the day Alvin arrives in Hatrack River Peggy runs away and "opens up" new paths into the future for everyone. Ones that may even include happiness in marriage for Peggy and Alvin.
Arthur Stuart is the little mix up boy. He is the baby of the black slave girl who ran away from her white slave owner who raped her. She used black magic and gave up her life so she could literally fly far enough away that the slave hunters couldn't find her. Alvin and Arthur Stuart become very close. By the end of the story, Alvin, Arthur & Peggy's futures paths are all crossed and dependent on each other.
This story or series will not appeal to everyone. You need to enjoy Card's style and a little bit of fantasy and magic. I am enjoying the setting which is an alternative frontier America. For example there is a large river named the Hio the represents the Ohio.
Excellent first sentence: Let me start my history of Alvin's apprenticeship where things first began to go wrong.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
13 Vegetables That Were Much Better to Throw Across the Table at My Sister Than Acutally Eat!
- Lima Beans (excellent flicking potential)
- Brussel Sprouts
- Green Beans
- Baby Carrots
- Mixed vegetables (by the spoonful)
- radishes if they were in my salad
- Onions if they were in anything else
- I would have thrown spinach if it wouldn't have been so squishy (so i just hid it in my pocket instead)
Suggested by Nithin:I'm a little embarrassed to admit that I usually just blow right by it. I usually can figure it out based on context clues from the sentence or the sentences that came before or after but I'm just a little too "unmotivated" to actually go hunting for it. The exception would be a "cool" sounding word. Wish I had an example of one of those right now but I don't. Not very teacher like of me. Of course the exception is when I am reading something for teaching when it would be pretty bad if I had no idea what Iwas talking about. I always look everything up then.
I’ve always wondered what other people do when they come across a word/phrase that they’ve never heard before. I mean, do they jot it down on paper so they can look it up later, or do they stop reading to look it up on the dictionary/google it or do they just continue reading and forget about the word?
My "favorite" is when a kid plagiarizes a paper and uses words I've never heard of before. I'll tell them that I have a Masters and I've been teaching for 10 years and have never heard of word X before and I'd love it if they could explain it to me and how they understood it enough to use it in their paper. This is usually where tears starts and I get the confession. Our kids seem to think "cutting and pasting" from Google is OK. (OK--i'm getting off topic)
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Sunday, April 13, 2008
"Well, what else were we supposed to do after Mommy comes home with her broken foot? We surrounded her with love of course!"
This is my first Sunday Salon! I wasn't really sure how to "do it" so I figured I'd just roll along and if it was wrong some kind blogger would come along and tell me!
WHAT GOT READ THIS WEEK!
- Just last night in bed I finished Prentice Alvin by Orson Scott Card. I liked it so much better than book II, which I didn't like at all. I really enjoy this one, even more than book one. I have a busy day today but the review should be up soon. I'm reading Card for the Cardathon Challenge and the Series Challenge.
- Kabul Beauty School by Deborah Rodriguez--awesome. I gave it a 5/5. My Review is Here.
- Messenger by Lois Lowry--decent. I gave it a 3.5/5. My Review is Here. I'm reading books by Lowry for the Themed Reading Challenge. Lowry is my theme
WHAT I BOUGHT THIS WEEK!--This is always so fun
- The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
- The Book of Splendor by Frances Sherwood
- Chasing Shakespeares by Sarah Smith
- The Other Side of Silence by Andre Brink (gave away)
- Kingston by Starlight by Christopher John Farley (gave away)
- The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier
- The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud (gave away)
- Immortal by Traci L. Slatton
- The Curse of the Romanov's by Staton Rabin
WHAT AM I READING NEXT?
- House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende. I'm reading this novel for several challenges: The Banned Booked Challenge, A ~ Z Reading Challenge, Spring Reading Thing 2008, Orbis Terrarum, Decades Challenge, and Book Around the World. I'm a quadruple dipper for challenges!
UPDATE ON CHALLENGES
A~Z Reading Challenge: 19 / 52
Banned Book Challenge: 3 / 5
Book Around the World: ongoing, but I've read 13 books from 9 countries
Book Awards Reading Challenge: 9 / 12
Cardathon Challenge: 3 / 6
Chunkster Challenge: COMPLETED 5 / 4
Decades Challenge: 4 / 8
Eponymous Challenge: COMPLETED 4 /4
Historical Reading: Challenge 0 / 6
In Their Shoes Challenge: 3 / 6
Just4thehelluvit Challenge: 2
Nineteenth Century Women Writers Challenge: 0 / 4
Non-Fiction Five Challenge: 0 / 5 (challenge not started yet)
Notable Books Challenge: 1 / 3
Orange Prize Project: 0 / 2
Orbis Terrarum Challenge: 2 / 9
Series Challenge: 3 / 6
Spring Reading Challenge: COMPLETED 11 / 11
Spring Reading Thing: 6 / 9
Suspense & Thriller Reading Challenge: 3 / 12 (but only need 6 for 2008)
Themed Reading Challenge: 3 / 4
What's In A Name Challenge: 4 / 6
Young Adult Challenge: 8 / 12
Books read in 2008 = 23
Pages read in 2008 = 7,723
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Ok...I've got several related pictures where the word "twist" is twisted. The first is the back of my corseted wedding gown. The laces are twisted to lace it up. Second, if you have ever tried to get into a corset you know there is a lot of "twisting" involved.
My sister and friend were ruthless getting me into that thing! Here is me twisting into my gown and my sister twisting me up!
Friday, April 11, 2008
This challenge reminded me of the "Something About Me Challenge" where participants made a list and then you picked books from their list to read. I couldn't pass this one up, but really????? can I pass up any challenge?
I just like the phrase herding cats.
How to play:
1. Make a list of ten books you love. That's the only qualification; you had to love (or at least like it) the books on the list. Ten books, a list full of ♥
Go HERE for the rest of the requirements
General disclaimer: yes I know about Something About Me and yes I asked the host permission and yes our challenges our similar but that one is totally more personal and inclusive? although that's the wrong word. It's like a nice version of The Unicorn Club while this challenge is more about chaos and cat macros and ♥'s and SPREADING ♥'s and cat macros everywhere. SUPER!6 Six doesn't exist either. SHUT UP GUYS. This video had to be linked!
MY LIST OF 10 BOOKS I LOVE
- Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil by Deborah Rodriguez (my review)
- Burn Journals by Brent Runyon (my review)
- The Giver by Lois Lowry (my review)
- Island of the Blue Dolphin by Scott O'Dell
- The Stand by Stephen King
- Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
- The Gilded Chamber: A Novel of Queen Ester by Rebecca Kohn
- Lost Names: Scenes from a Korean Boyhood by Richard Kim (my review)
- Poison Study by Maria Snydre (my review)
- Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal by Christopher Moore (my review)
THE BOOKS I'LL BE READING
- Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
- Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
2. Cereal, poptarts, cakes and cookies are foods I love to eat for breakfast.
3. It seems I'm always searching for my husbands lost keys, wallet, cell phone, and unmatched socks
4. Reading a book is a great way to end the day.
5. I think I sleep too much but laugh a lot!
6. Junk food and books is is what I've been craving lately.
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to getting my hair cut, colored and highlighted, tomorrow my plans include doing a little shopping with my friend and then hitting a house sale of her mother in law. Supposedly we'll get "the best deals" since she's "family"...we'll see! and Sunday, I want to spend my time hanging out with my girl friends at book club. We just gave up on reading books since all we do is BS and eat anyway.
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Pick up the nearest book. (I’m sure you must have one nearby.) Modern Biology--Teacher Edition
Turn to page 123.
What is the first sentence on the page? Figure 6-11 above illustrates how the light reactions in the thylakoid and the Calvin cycle in the stroma actually work together as one continuous cycle--photosynthesis.
The last sentence on the page? But the Calvin Cycle usually proceeds during daytime, when the light reactions are producing the materials that the Calvin cycle uses t0 fix carbon into organic compounds.
Now . . . connect them together….(And no, you may not transcribe the entire page of the book–that’s cheating!)
Figure 6-11 above illustrates how the light reactions in the thylakoid and the Calvin cycle in the stroma actually work together as one continuous cycle--photosynthesis. Through a series of complicated reactions occuring in the chloroplast carbon dioxide and water utilize the energy in sunlight to produce glucose giving off oxygen as a waste product. But the Calvin Cycle usually proceeds during daytime, when the light reactions are producing the materials that the Calvin cycle uses to fix carbon into organic compounds.
Not my fault my biology book is sitting out and I'm planning lessons while I'm out with my stupid broken foot! :) Did anyone actually read that?
In honor of the 0-4 butt whooping over the Ottawa Senators last night...
13 Pittsburgh Penguin Hockey Players I Would Invite Over For Dinner
- Sidney Crosy (duh!)
- Evgeni Malkin and Sergie Gonchar (Malkin doesn't speak English so Gonchar can come for free--a 2 for 1!)
- Jarkko Ruutu (master agitator)
- Maxime Talbot (cool cat)
- Jordan Staal (plays hard, longest arms I've ever seen)
- Ryan Malone (he's just cute)
- Gary Roberts (The "Ottawa Killer")
- George Laraque (Ass kicker and does ass kicking volunteer work)
- Marina Hossa (new dude, pretty good)
- Marc-Andre Fleury (can't forget the goalie)
- Ty Conklin (back up goalie--was in a long time when Fleury was hurt)
- Petr Sykora (scored goal #2 against Ottawa last night)
- Ryan Whitney (coach bitched him out publicly earlier in the year and he came back with an excellent game)