Friday, December 30, 2011

Abducted by 2012 Challenges

Well, it is time to start looking forward towards some new challenges for my reading in 2012.

My challenges proved to be somewhat unsuccessful in 2011, but with my New Year's resolution to quit procrastinating, I know that I will be able to get way more done in 2012. Way More. Easy!

So, I'm going to write a quick post for some of the challenges I plan on shooting for in 2012.

I'll be updating this post as I find new challenges to join but here are the ones I know I want to join now:

This challenge is hosted by Annette and, as you may have guessed, is about finding those amazing books you can read in just one day! Should be fun, and I have a lot of short books on my shelves just waiting to be read. I think for now I am going to go for Level 1, which is 15 books, but I'm hoping to get closer to Level 2, which is 25 books.

This challenge is all about tackling those towering TBR piles, with an awesome mountain theme! I'm going for Mount Kilimanjaro, which is the challenge to read 50 books that you've owned prior to January 1st 2012! I have tons of books I have already spent money on so this challenge is perfect for me!

I'll also be doing this challenge, which is geared towards reading a series! I'm going for Level 3, therefore I will be finishing 3 series!
I already have C.S. Lewis Space Trilogy and Douglas Adams' Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Christopher Pike's Final Friends series in my TBR pile! I have read none of the books in any of those series so I'll be starting from the beginning on all of them. But I'm also hoping to complete the Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz and the Georgia Nicolson series by Louise Rennison. So that is a lot of reading to do!

And don't forget about my challenge: 

Come on! It is only 15K pages! You know you can do it! Just sign up!!! It will be awesome!!! 

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Abducted by Tim Curry

***sign up for my 2012 challenge to read 15,000 pages HERE

Well, it is Christmas, and I hope it is proving to be a joyful one for all of you!

I have had my Christmas morning planned for weeks now, because I'm big on planning things!

When I was a kid, we spent our Christmas morning having my dad make pancakes. The entire house would smell like coffee and bacon, and then we would go ripping through presents.

This year, we had to have our present opening on Christmas Eve evening, so I decided to spend Christmas morning making pancakes myself and listening to the audio recording of Tim Curry reading A Christmas Carol!

It was perfect!

Can you think of anyone better suited to do an audio book! He gave the narration the perfect balance of apathy and empathy, and that creepy frightening quality this ghostly tale deserves. Even though I've heard this story what feels like hundreds of times, and feel as if I have seen just as many film adaptations, when Tim Curry read the part where Mr. Cratchit is mourning the passing of his son, Tiny Tim, I cried like a baby. And yet when Tim Curry read the part where Scrooge wakes up jovial on Christmas morning, I laughed out loud. Curry truly did an amazing job with this timeless classic.

A Christmas Carol is a story of redemption with a Christmas backdrop. It is a story that reminds us that having drive and ambition is good, but we shouldn't use it as an excuse to not show compassion and generosity to those around us. It is important to have balance in life and not be so consumed with thoughts of personal gain.

As I mentioned earlier, there are countless adaptations and reinventions of this seemingly simple tale, but my favorite is Scrooged with Bill Murray! I love the crazy ghosts and the funny moments with Bill Murray dressed up as a dog, the sweet moments between him and Karen Allen, and I especially love when the cast breaks out into the musical number at the end! It get's me all chocked up!

Bill Murray is hysterical as Frank Xavier Cross, the Scrooge inspired main character.  Christmas is the one time of the year that I love to watch all of the campy-corny-cheesy-made-for-tv type movies, but it is fun to mix it up with something a little darker and sarcastic, and Scrooged is perfect!

A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens and read by Tim Curry gets an abduction rating of:

And again, I just want to say, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to you all!!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Don't for get to sign up for my 2012 challenge to read 15,000 pages!

I'm currently working on putting up a button on the top left hand side of my home page.

At the time when I am writing this, the picture image is all messed up, but hopefully by the time you are reading this it will be perfect! And I will have done it all by myself!!!

I know some challenges get hundreds of people to sign up but I'll be happy just by keeping it a small group of us. Especially since it is my first time doing a challenge and I want to be a good hostess.

So spread the word because I am hoping to get at least 4 more people to sign up. It is an easy challenge and there will be at least 2 prizes at the end of the year!

Here is the link for more information:

Friday, December 16, 2011

Abducted by Unbearable Lightness

Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain is a book by Portia De Rossi that I finished a couple of weeks ago. I was listening to the audio version, which was amazing because it was read by Portia herself.

The story mainly centers around two great struggles in Portia's life. One being her own struggle to accept that she was gay and the role that would play in her life in Hollywood. The other being her growing eating disorders.

The story jumps around a lot, between her childhood, her relationships, and the time she spent acting on Ally McBeal. But even with all the jumping around, the story actually comes off seamless. Portia does a fantastic job of giving you the information that you need to know, when you need to know it, in order to best understand how her eating disorders came to be.

Which I did understand, fully! I don't think I've ever really put much thought into how someone grows into having an eating disorder. I guess in some naive way I just assumed that someone would wake up and just decide to stop eating. Okay, I realize how crazy and small minded that sounds, but like I said, I've just never really thought about it. But in listening to this autobiography, I really enjoyed hearing about how it started as something she did to prepare for photo shoots and other jobs, and then became an means to have more control in her life.

One of the stories that she told that made the biggest impression on me was this one about her eating an entire pack of gum.

So, on this totally normal day, Portia goes to work on the set of Ally McBeal and then stops by a shopping center on her way home to pick up some clothes or something. After she is done shopping she heads to her car and when she gets in she has a piece of gum. She chews it briefly and then spits it out. She never allows herself to really eat a lot of gum because it is one of those little things that add to your calorie intake that she just can't tolerate. After spitting out the first piece of gum she decides to go ahead and have another, and then another, and then another. And before she knows it she has finished the entire pack of gum. Her anxiety gets the best of her and she ends up running laps in the parking garage, weaving through all the other cars.

But the part that really bothered her was not that she looked like a crazy person to all the other shoppers, no, it was that a perfectly normal, uneventful, carefree day could end with her losing control. If you know what events are going to trigger you to lose control, you can avoid them, but if you lose control over nothing, what is going to stop it from happening again. That was one of the biggest meltdowns in the book and I remember when she was reading that part, I stopped what I was doing and was just staring at my laptop. I just couldn't believe she was really going so nuts!

The hardest part about reading the book is that the entire novel is devoted to her struggle and the epilogue is the only part devoted to her recovery. I knew how long the audio book was, and as I was watching the time running down I was starting to plead with her to "JUST GET BETTER ALREADY!!!" Only because it was so heartbreaking to listen to, not because it was boring or anything like that, by any means. But I will say that the epilogue was entirely satisfying.

In the end, Portia was so honest and open about her life. It was a great novel and very captivating to listen to.

I would give it an abduction rating of:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Abducted by Glow

 Before we get started:

 Don't forget to sign up for my 2012 blog challenge by clicking on the pic

 And check out my new blog HERE

Quite a few months ago, my friend Andrea read an advanced readers copy of the book Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan, and she LOVED it. Basically it was her favorite book she read all year and she can't say enough positive things about it.

So, she loaned it to our friend Tracy, who also loved it!

So, then, she loaned it to me. My reaction was more along the lines of: "Uh...okay"

It took me over a month to finish it, when Andrea and Tracy both read it in a matter of days, and after many weeks of processing the book, I still have no idea how to rate it.

Let's break it down shall we,

To start off, the story Glow is about two ships, the Empyrean and the New Horizon, they have left the Earth we know today behind so that they can travel through deep space (an 80 year journey) to arrive at New Earth. Along the course of the journey problems arise, one that leaves the people on New Horizon unable to conceive children. In order to quaruntee their own survival New Horizon commandeers the Empyrean, taking hostage all the young girls.

Was the book well written?

Yes, absolutely. That is to say at times I couldn't believe how intricately woven the story was. It was throughly detailed and extremely clever. But there were a few times where I felt the dialog was a little on the weaker side.

Was the story original and interesting?

With out a doubt, Yes! The basis of the story is heavily rooted in science fiction and yet I didn't feel that the entire book was a science fiction story. There are so many layers to the story that it is hard to say it fits into one genre. Plus, there are a ton of surprises and twists and turns along the way.

Did I like the characters?

This is the part that I really struggled with. I love books with great characters. Whether or not I love a novel is entirely dependent on there being at least one character that I can connect to. I don't have to love the main character but I need to at least like them, care about them, root for them. I do understand that this criteria isn't as important to other readers, but it is what I need to enjoy a book.
Now, Glow is told through the perspective of two teenagers. A girl named Waverly and a boy named Kieran. Waverly tells the story of what happens to the girls when they are taken aboard the New Horizon, and Kieran tells the story of what happens to those left behind on the Empyrean.
I really liked Waverly. When I was reading her parts of the story I couldn't get through it fast enough. Not just because I liked her, but also because the whole idea of being taken hostage only to be treated like a baby making machine is terrifing!!! Although, towards the end there were things that she did that left me scratching my head, and by the very end I found myself completely frustrated and irritated by her.
Kieran, on the other hand was like a teeter totter through out the whole book. I didn't like him from the beginning, then I felt sorry for him, then he started to get pretentious, but then he became a good leader. He also fought with this other guy, Seth, the whole book. Those scenes became a little too much like Lord of the Flies for my taste. I found it very easy to put the book down and walk away for a couple of days (weeks) when it came around to the boys' perspectives.
By the end of the book I did not like Seth, I wasn't too happy with Waverly, but I was rooting for Kieran.

Would I recommend the book? 

Yes, I would. I would tell someone that the book is clever, unique, intriguing, and surprising. And because I was so perplexed by the book I would want to encourage others to read it just to see if they had the same issues as I did or not. Plus, I do think it is the mark of a truly deserving book to leave me, as the reader, questioning so much. This isn't the kind of book that you are going to forget about as soon as you close it, it lingers with you.

And so, now, what do I rate it...

I'm torn between a 3 or a 4.
4 because I really want others to read it and I do think it was clever.
3 because I didn't love the characters and because it was sooo easy for me to walk away from it at times.

But based on my own definitions given for my rating system, I'm going to have to go with...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Abducted by Nano...and other matters

Well, I have officially given up on Nano this year. 

I just wasn't feeling it. It is a little disappointing and it was really hard to let go of it, but in the end, trust me, there was nothing to be done.

I am going to go back and tie some stuff up and try to get to a full 30K, but then I am definitely calling it quits.

I hope everyone else had a more successful year then I had!

Well, actually, I can’t call this year’s Nano completely “unsuccessful” because during this last month I have come up with an absolutely superb idea for next year! Which is one of the things I wanted to talk to you about today.

Next year, my Nano project will be about a girl and her search for love. And in preparation for this project, I am going to be doing some searching in my own life as well. Starting today, for one year I will be praying for love, for change, for hope, and for the future. And I am inviting you to join me.

I have started a new blog called “Courtney’s 29thYear” and I would love for you to follow me. I will still be writing my book reviews and other stuff for this blog, but my other blog will serve as a place to reflect on the many things I will be learning about myself this next year.

I’m really excited (and yet also completely terrified) so please join me!


I just want to mention that I have started the sign up for my blog challenge for 2012. The challenge is to read 15,000 pages next year. And if you really sit down and think about it, this is probably something you are going to end up doing anyway, so you might as well sign up and be entered to win some cool prizes!

Click on the pic above to learn more about the challenge and sign up

I think that is all for today, I’m hoping to get my post up for my review on the book Glow by the end of the week, so I’ll be seeing you soon!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Abducted by 2012 Challenge

I'm officially announcing that I will be hosting a challenge in 2012!

The challenge is to read 15,000 pages in 2012!

Basically, in the year 2011 a lot of my reading centered around reading graphic novels and listening to audio books. So when I was thinking about how I wanted to challenge myself in 2012, I decided to challenge myself on how many pages I read.

It will break down like this...

read 41 pages a day
read 100 books of 150 pages 
read 75 books of 200 pages
read 50 books of 300 pages
read 30 books of 500 pages
read 15 books of 1000 pages

Do you see how easy this will be?


1. You have to actually read the pages, i.e. no audio books but I will include e-books since you are actually reading the words. Just look up the book on goodreads or amazon to get a page count number and I trust you to be fair.
2. Graphic Novels are not including because a majority of this genre is centered around the graphics and not the text.
3. You can only include the pages you read between January 1st, 2012 and December 31st, 2012.
4. You can only include the pages you actually read, so if the book has appendixes but you choose not to read them, don't include them in your final tally.

A lot of the rules I will have to trust you and your conscience on whether or not you actually follow them. But I figure, this is a book challenge for avid readers and it is meant to be fun. So I don't really expect a lot of cheating to be going on.


One prize will be given out at the end of the challenge to the person who reads 15,000 pages using the least amount of books.
Another prize will be given out to the person who reads 15,000 pages using the most amount of books.
And if enough people sign up, I'll even give away a prize to whomever has read the most amount of pages by June 30th. 

All you have to do is fill out your information below with your name, email address, url, and let me know how you will be keeping track of your page counts.
So blow the dust off your TBR pile and get ready because 2012 is just around the corner!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Abducted by Nostalgia

A long long time ago (three and a half years to be exact) my friend Kate and I started an online book club. It really only consisted of myself, Kate, and our friend Amanda, but the idea was for others to join in. These days Kate and I are both in our own seperately successful book clubs. However, Kate has recently decided to restart our online book club called The Midnight Book Club. We'll each post about the books are clubs are reading that month and hopefully start some good online discussions about them.

But that is not all I wanted to share today!

What I really wanted to share is that, all those years ago, Kate and I had two completely different blogs then the ones we present to you today! Kate was able to find the links to them and sent me mine and I've had so much fun looking over my old blog posts that I felt I just had to share them! So for the next couple of weeks I'm randomly going to re-post some of the highlights from that first blog of mine. Starting today!

The summer that all of this was going on was also the summer that I moved into my first solo apartment. I had moved out with roommates before, but now it is just me, myself, and my dog Riley. And in that first summer I didn't have cable or internet or anything, so I had to rely on dvds to make up my entertainment. Which isn't so different from how I live now, if I'm totally honest.

Anyway, so Kate loaned me the entire series of Felicity on dvd to help pass the time. And one of my first posts was about the tragedy that was the relationship of Julie and Zach in the first season...

"the Pink Guy" and the Pink Power Ranger

  • Mood:heartbroken betrayed dissapointed hurt
  • Music:No music this time, just season one of Felicity episodes 7&8
Why Zach, Why!?!
Zach just raped Julie!! I can't believe it! I mean how could he? He was perfect, I loved him, I was rooting for him!! He was so adorable being all shy and cute. He was a film geek, I love film geeks!! I mean really Zach you couldn't have taken it slow? That's all Julie wanted. I mean hell, that girl sat through Solaris TWICE for you. Granted the first time she watched it in parts and the second time she fell asleep but hey, the effort was made. You guys were so cute together.
Okay I know I know, I have got to get a grip. I can't completely fall apart over a show that aired a decade ago. And Julie and Zach weren't even the main couple of the show (for that we turn towards the tortured triangle of Felicity, Ben, and Noel) but I loved Zach! And may I point out that in the first SIX episodes of the first season of Felicity, the start of the Zach and Julie disaster, the only abusive thing Zach does is aggressivly handing her her popcorn after she got done ripping his movie apart. So how could those #%$*&^~ writers turn my sweet adorable lovable Zach, into a rapist!?! It's just not fair. NOT FAIR I TELL YOU!!! I DEMAND a re-write.
Alright to be honest, I knew it was coming. I was 15 when Felicity first was on tV. The thing was though that Felicity just kept really pissing me off. She kept crossing the line with all her friends and breaking promises and telling secrets. So after the first half of the first season I just gave up on her. I had seen enough to know that this would happen to Julie. And when I first saw Zach with his pink laundry I suspected that he would be the one. I hoped that I was wrong. But alas, nothing can be done. It is over, they are over. But thanks to my friend Kate, I can now watch Felicity, the whole series, from start to finish. And maybe by the end of it, I will have forgiven Felicity for all her faults and watch as Julie finds another love."

Nice, right? Does it sound like me? I think so! I was really torn up about all that drama! 
Just wait, later this week I will re-post the letter I wrote to J.J. Abrams discussing the ending of the show. 

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Abducted by NaNo part 3

Dear Mother Nature,

I wanted to write you a letter to let you know that I really appreciate all that you have done to keep me motivated lately. I mean the simple fact that you would send all of those natural disasters my way, means more to me then you can know!
I mean the flash flood warnings weren't much of a big deal. That happens pretty much every time their is moisture in the air in my neighborhood. 
Nonetheless, the tornado coming through Oklahoma in NOVEMBER! Now, that was pretty incredible.
But I must say, the pièce de résistance has been all of the earthquakes you've been sending me. Now those have been a real nice touch!
Each time the ground started rumbling was a moment when I was on my computer and not working on my NaNo. How, you have come to know me so well, is beyond me! 
And as much as I love how much you care, I must say that it is starting to make some people around here a little nervous. 
That is why, I'm writing you now. I wanted to inform you that all of those motivation techniques of negative reinforcement are no longer needed! Yesterday I wrote 10,000 words in ONE DAY! Can you believe it? It was incredible! I couldn't have done it without you!
Perhaps if you would consider sending some "positive reinforcement" my way, I would really love to see some little white snow flakes falling down around me soon! You know, just a suggestion!
Anyway, thank you for all you've done. And it comforts me to know that you will be there, watching over my shoulder, ready with a volcanic eruption or something, should I fall behind again.

Yours affectionately,


P.S. I'm trusting that if the whole "2012" thing is going to happen, you'll let me know. 


Now, in other news! I want to send a shout out to Lori of Imagination Designs! Those of you who are reading my post in your Google Reader may not have noticed, but Lori has completely redesigned my blog! Does it not look fantastic!?! The final look that she created for me goes so far above and beyond what I originally had in mind that I can't even believe it!

Thank you, Lori, it looks amazing!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Abducted by NaNo part 2

Well, let us just say that my participation in the Epic Write-a-thon was an EPIC failure!

I think in total I only wrote like 1500 words!

I went in to work for "just a quick trip" and ended up staying there 3 HOURS!

However, I'm not worried. If there is one thing I have learned from the few episodes of Top Chef I've been sucked into, it is that the only win that matters is the last one.

So, yeah, I wasn't successful today, but as long as I complete NaNo in the end...well then, I'm still a winner.

But I do want to send a big shout out to Steph for being such a great hostess! She puts a lot of work into running that blog and she does a great job

Thanks Steph!

I think when New Years comes around my resolution for the next year is going to be to get better at my time management skills.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Abducted by Nano part 1

So today is Day 5 of NaNoWriMo and so far I'm not doing so well.

I only have 264 words! And those words are completely made up of the title of my novel, the lyrics to the song I titled my novel after, and then 25 pages that provide my 25 chapters with titles.

However, even though I'm only 264 words into my novel, I have already earned myself FOUR of my NaNo badges!

The first one is for NaNo socializing, #3 in the pic above. I went to the kick off party on the 30th, then I posted in a forum for us to meet at Panera Bread on Wednesday night and 8 people ended up coming!

The second badge is for procrastination, #2. I think the simple fact that it is day 5 and I have 264 words should explain why I gave myself that badge!

The third is for padding my novel, #8. I earned that one by including the lyrics to the song I used to title my novel.

And the last one is for having that Eureka moment, #6! Even though I haven't actually started the whole writing process, I have figured out some key moments to the story. Now if only I could get them down on the page!

I took a picture of the badges on my computer but my stupid phone wouldn't let me save the image, so I threw it across the room.

Now for those of you who are curious, I'm using the song Another Day by Paul McCartney as the inspiration for my novel.

I love that when you read the lyrics it is actually a really sad song, but the melody provides this overwhelming  feeling of resiliency and hope.

So, anyway, today is Steph's Epic Write-a-Thon! As of now, they are in the middle of hour 4. I have been on board for participating since the date was first set. However, I woke up this morning at 7 to let the dogs out and I had the worst headache! After I put all the dogs outside I went back to bed for another 2 and a half hours. But now I'm up again, and coffee is made. I still feel, like I could come down with a cold in the next day or two. But I plan on getting to work now so I don't waist the entire day.

My goal for the day is 10K words. If I could somehow manage to squeeze out 15K I'll be thrilled! But 10K will be perfectly acceptable. Anything less will be dismal, only because I'm so far behind.

Okay, I'm getting to work now. I'll be back to update you on my progress later in the day.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Abducted by Obsessions 10.29.2011

I started a meme a while ago that I was going to do once a week. However, because the read-a-thon was last Saturday, and I had so many other posts going up on that day, I decided to hold off on that one.

But I'm back now, so here's what three things I've been obsessed with...

1. Coldplay's Mylo Xyloto!

Coldplay's new album was released on itunes and amazon on Monday but the physical cd wasn't released until Tuesday. I waited the extra 24 hours so that i could buy the actual cd with the cover art and graphics and all that good stuff! There are very few bands that I insist on buying the actual cd's for and Coldplay is one of them. U2 and Dashboard Confessional are the other two. The first time I listened to Mylo Xyloto my reaction was; "Yeah...ok...sounds like Coldplay." But the more I listened to it, the more the songs started to amaze me! Now, I love it! It goes from my home, to my car, to my office, back to my car, back inside my house. And this video had me cracking up at the end! It is hysterical!

2. United States of Tara

I've been interested in watching this show and it has been on my netflix queue for a long time, but I only just started watching it this past week. The first few episodes were nothing special but slowly it is starting to grow on me. And although I do love Toni Collette and John Corbett, it is actually the performance of Keir Gilchrist that has me hooked. Toni Collette plays a woman who has multiple personalities, she has gone off her medication in an effort to understand her alternate personalities and work through why she needs them. The show focuses on how this affects her and her husband (Corbertt) and her two children; Marshall (Gilchrist) and Kate (played by Brie Larson).

In the middle of season 1, one of the alternate personalities betrays Marshall in just the cruelest way possible. Marshall reacts by burning down the shed in the families backyard. There is a scene when the rest of the family comes running out to put out the fire and Marshall is just sitting on a lawn chair, completely blank. I had chills running up and down my arms when I was watching it, Gilchrist went beyond impressing me in that moment. And I had seen him in another movie that really didn't move me at all, so I've just been in awe watching him on this show.

and last but not least!

3. BABIES!!!

Many of you who know me well, will also know that becoming a mother is not necessarily something I have planned for my future.

Becoming an Aunt, however, I'm all about! And one of my best friends, Mary, just told me this week that she is pregnant!

I am so excited! I've known Mary and her husband for a long time. I've had the privilege of knowing them before they were a couple, I saw them get together, I was a bridesmaid at their wedding, and now I get to watch them become parents! And I know that they will be incredible!

I started suspecting something was going on last Sunday, but Mary and David were waiting to tell people until after their doctors appointment, which was on Thursday. Ever since I found out I have been obsessed with planning a baby shower! I have two really good ideas for games and I know where I want to get the cake. Of course, the shower wont be until May, because she is not due until June, but still I like to plan early!

And it is perfect that my post is going up today because today is Mary's birthday!

Happy Birthday Mary! Congratulations and I love you!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Abducted by the end of Readathon :(

Well, last night, after my fabulous book club party, I tried to read through a rather short graphic novel but I completely passed out!

So my end results for this October readathon are as follows:

Last 60 pages of I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason

Last 4 hours of In The Company of Cheerful Ladies

First hour and a half of Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain

and 68 pages of the quick text graphic novel edition of Jane Eyre!

I had a lot of fun, even though I was pretty stressed most of the day. I can't wait until the next readathon in April. I for sure wont be hosting book club that month so I should be good to go!

Now we have about two weeks until the next marathon called The Epic Write-A-Thon, which is 24 hours of writing and is hosted by Steph over HERE!

That marathon is on November 5th, which is right during the beginning of Nano so I will totally be participating. I will be working on my Nano novel but also working on some review posts for my blog. That way if I get a little too bogged down with my Nano project in November, I will already have some posts ready to go.

I hope everyone has a great day of recovery! Catch up on all your much needed sleep!

I'm going to finish that graphic novel real quick and then take a shower.

Abducted by Readathon hours 10-?

I've completely lost track of what hour we are in!

Hold on let me do some quick math....

7:00pm would have been hour is now midnight here in that makes this hour 17!

I can't believe it has already been 8 whole hours since my last post!

Okay, so book club started at 6 and, like I said, it is now midnight so book club lasted for 6 hours!!!

Yep, that is just how our book club rolls!

We had so much fun, it was a total blast!

I was able to get my entire apartment cleaned (or at least the important parts...don't ask about my bedroom!) by 5 and then Mandy showed up early, just as I was starting to get the food ready, and helped me prepare the chicken! Actually, she cooked the whole thing! Which was awesome! She totally cooked the dinner and then when we were done eating everything she cleared all the plates and then loaded and started my dishwasher for me! How amazing is that???

I have the best friends!

For dinner we had Parmesan Crusted Chicken (the Hellmann's recipe) with angel hair pasta and tomato sauce, and garlic bread. I tried to make a salad, but when I opened the bag of lettuce it had already started to brown, so we had to just throw it out. Then for dessert we had chocolate fondue with angel food cake, pretzels, mint chocolate marshmellows, strawberries, and cheesecake bites!

Do I really have to say how good it all was, or are you already jealous :)

We also drank four bottles of wine. Because my book club girls and I, we like our wine!

Then, after we discussed I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason by Susan Kandel, we played a murder mystery game.

This is Andrea (the bad boy Ralph Rottingrape), Me (the detective Bud Wizer...I have a pipe in my mouth so that is why I look like I'm making an odd face), Amanda (the vineyard care taker Papa Vito) and Holly (the German wine merchant Otto Von Schnapps)

And these were the ladies! Tracy (the neighboring vineyard owner Hedy Shablee), Ame (the vineyard pageant winner turned movie star Marilyn Merlot), and Mandy (the seemingly innocent wife of Ralph Rottingrape and former fiance of the victim of the murder, Bruce Underwood).

We also gave a trophy to whomever came most in character. Amanda won for two reasons. One, because she looked adorable. And two, because after we all voted on who we thought the killer was, it was revealed that her character was the killer, but no one had voted for her! So, basically she got away with murder!!!

Now, after I've written all of this, it is 1am. I'm really going to try to start a graphic novel and see if I can read it quickly before I pass out. I do want to attend mass in the morning so I already know I can't pull an all nighter. But we will just see how far we get.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Abducted by Readathon hours 7-9

We are getting close to the end of hour 9 in the readathon.

In the last three hours I cleaned my kitchen, cleaned out the freezer, mopped the floors (in spite of the fact that my trusty mop would grip on to the wet cloth thing properly), I cleaned out my dog feeder, dusted my bookshelf, and even wiped down the blades on my ceiling fan.

I also listened to the last two and a half hours worth of In The Company of Cheerful Ladies : The #1 Ladies Detective Agency and started the audio version of Unbearable Lightness : A Story of Loss and Gain.

Book club starts in just over two hours, I'm not dressed and I still need to dust and vacuum the living room!

Not to mention the fact that I still have some cooking to get started. I'm a little stressed and I feel a panic attack coming, but I'm determined to keep calm and just keep moving. That is why this post is going to be really short.

I hope everyone else is having a great readathon experience.

I wont be able to post another update until after book club so keep up all the hard work and I'll check back soon!

Abducted by Readathon hours 4-6

Well, these last three hours I've been running around like a crazy person!

I did some more laundry (movie clothes from my apartment to the washer, washer to dryer, dryer back to my apartment and so on and so on and so on)

Then I took my dog up to Moore, went to my parents house to borrow some extra chairs for tonight, went to Target to get strawberries, and went to my favorite Mexican restaurant, Qdoba's, to get lunch! 

They make the most insane burritos! My friend Shavonne took me their for dinner almost a month ago and now I crave them all the time!

So, with all of that going on I tried to listen to my audio book but was only able to listen to an hour and a half of it.

Now it is 1:00 pm and I just finished eating. In the next three hours I plan to continue listening to my audio book while I clean my kitchen and vaccum the living room.

Abducted by Readathon hourse 1-3

1st hour of readathon: I read two pages out of I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason by Susan Kandel and fell back to sleep.

2nd hour of readathon: I had two rather large cups of coffee, did two loads of laundry and read another 20 pages. Whilst listening to the Ben Folds Five/ Nick Hornby cd titled "Lonely Avenue"

3rd hour of readathon: more laundry, more coffee, and I FINISHED I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason whilst listening to My Chemical Romance.

Now I will be listening to In The Company of Cheerful Ladies: The #1 Ladies Detective Agency while running some errands and putting up all the laundry I was doing this morning and checking in on all my readathon buddies!

PS: Dad came by and couldn't figure out what was wrong with my car. It is overheating but has plenty of fluid. So I'll have to take it to Kwik Kar next weekend and see what they think it is. But it was nice to see my dad for a bit. He came in and played with Riley. 

Abducted by the Start of Dewey's Readathon!

Today is my second chance at participating in Dewey's readathon. I am really excited because I know it will be a fun day regardless, but I'm getting a little apprehensive and my defeatist attitude is already giving me thoughts of throwing in the towel.

I started setting aside books for today months ago, and I even asked to use some of my vacation time today so that I would for sure not get sucked into working. I thought it would be perfect because even though I knew I would be hosting my book club this month, it originally wasn't supposed to be until the 29th.

Well, that got moved. So, now I have 6 or my favorite female readers coming over tonight and I'm responsible for entertaining and feeding them! And since Halloween is coming up and we wanted to do a costume theme, tonight we are discussing a cozy mystery novel and having a murder mystery party! They are all going to be the suspects and I'm the detective! It should be really fun, and I'm trying to keep things as simple and easy as possible, but I still have so much cleaning to do!

And I just know that I'm going to be paranoid sitting on my butt reading all day when I'm hosting a party tonight. I can see myself jumping up every ten minutes thinking "I forgot to dust the picture frames!" "My books aren't organized on my bookshelves!" "There are dust bunnies all around the baseboards!"

THEN, when I came home from work today my car was doing something odd, so I called my dad just so I could tell him before I forgot about it, and I assumed he would just say; "I'll check it out when you're at the house on Sunday." or "Well, when is your next day off? I can come by then."

But no! His response was; "How early are you getting up tomorrow, so I can drive right over!"

Which, okay, on one hand, I adore my father and am grateful for everything he is willing to do for me. But on the other hand I'm like; but but but I had plans....

And at some point today I have to drive to the neighboring town of Moore to drop off my dog at the sitters so he doesn't have to stay locked up in my room all night when the girls are over for book club.

I swear if it isn't one thing, it's another!

But you know what...I'm up...I'm here...I'm ready to start reading!

Whatever the day brings...well, that is just what the day is going to bring!

My original goal was to finish five books today, but now I'll be happy with even one. Every book will be an achievement as far as I'm concerned.

I'll be posting updates through out the day. And I do have an audio book ready to go for when I'm ready for a break and want to look around at everyone else's progress, so I can't wait to see how everyone else is doing!

Have fun reading!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Abducted by Obsessions 10.15.2011

I've been thinking lately that I need to start a new meme, or something, in order to make sure I keep up with my blogging. It is hard for me though, because I don't read as much as certain friends of mine. I mean, don't get me wrong, I read by far more than a lot of my other friends, but for someone trying to keep up with a "book blog" I don't read nearly enough.

Then I remembered that one of my favorite talk shows to watch is Watch What Happens: Live with Andy Cohen on the Bravo channel. And at the end of his episodes he does a segment he calls "The three things I'm obsessed with this week"

So, basically, that's it. That is going to be my new meme. I'm thinking I'll do it every Saturday, and it will just be a chance for me to share with you all the three things I become obsessed with each week and therefore, share with you all the three things that keep me from reading each week.

Without further delay, here are three things I'm obsessed with...

1. 7 Minutes in Heaven with Mike O'Brien.

Okay, I've actually been obsessed with Mike O'Brien for a while now, but this is my first chance to write about him on my blog so I'm taking it.
Mike O'Brien is a writer for Saturday Night Live who stars as the host of this wonderful youtube talk show. Every Friday he invites celebrities to come to "his closet" for some drinks and a few laughs. When he first started the show, 2 months ago, the interviews were actually quite awkward and strange, but that was what made them brilliant! Unfortunately, now he's actually getting a lot better. The shows are funny, but I still liked it better in the beginning. He has interviewed tons of celebrities now, from Elijah Wood, Patricia Clarkson, Amy Poehler, to Christina Ricci. Just last Friday he had Ellen DeGeneres on, and today it was Jack McBrayer from 30 Rock.
I've tried to get a lot of my friends to subscribe to this one, but not everyone apprieciates how fantastic it is.
But, what can you do.

2. The Guild

I've known about The Guild for over 2 years now, but for some strange reason I never got around to watching it until this past week! Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
Don't worry though, as soon as I started watching the Guild I couldn't stop until I watched them all! And I LOVED IT!!!! Felicia Day is my new role model. I so want to be her when I grow up. Wait...huh, I wonder how old she is...hold on I'll check...okay, well, she is only 3 years older than me, but still, I want to be her someday!
The Guild is perfect! Basically, the story is about 6 gamers who come together online to form a guild, but then they end up meeting in real life and becoming friends. Chaos ensues! The acting is spectacular and the humor is undeniable.
My only complaint is that I wanted Felicia Day's character, Cyd "Codex", and Wil Wheaton's character, "Fawkes", to have been a real couple. But, oh, well, he was still awesome in the role he got to play.

and 3. Pillars of the Earth

The funny thing is that I first received the discs for Pillars of the Earth back in September from Netflix. But it took me until recently to finally start watching them. At one point, I almost considered sending them back, thinking I just wasn't in the mood for it right now, but then I thought; "No, I've held on to them this long. I better just watch them."

Oh. My. God. It was AMAZING!!! Soooo Good!!!

Every break I was forced into taking when I had to wait on the next disc to arrive, was literally painful! A part of me wanted to skip to the end just to make sure that it all ends happy, but I couldn't! That is what you get for getting sucked into an 8 part mini series. But so many of the episodes end with such sadness that you really can't imagine that things could work out the way you want them to. But on Friday night, I finally finished!
And I could not have been happier! There is a love story, a loyal Priest, family, incest, betrayal, heartbreak, murder, redemption, everything that goes into a good miniseries. Also, a good book from what I hear!

Maybe I'll become obsessed with that next year.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Abducted by Where She Went

Happy Columbus Day Everybody!!!

 Usually, on Columbus Day, I try to have a Chris Columbus marathon of movies, but this year has been an epic fail! I've just been so busy that I wasn't able to ask off work for it. And I was going to watch Adventures in Babysitting last night, but I got caught up in the second season of Heroes on Netflix. Tonight, however, I will for sure watch RENT after my work out. And then I might still try to fit in Gremlins on my next day off. 

 If you are interested in more of thoughts on Chris Columbus check out my post on

I can't believe that we are already almost half way done with October! That is crazy! And because the year is winding down and I'm running out of time, I'm going to have to do something I really hate to do...

I'm going to have to stop reading books that don't interest me.

Once I have started a book it is extremely hard for me to walk away. I know a lot of you out there will feel my pain on this. But, I'm running out of time to reach my goal of 111 books in a year, so if a book doesn't capture my immediately, I'm going to have to walk away.

Starting with The Maze Runner by James Dashner.

I checked out the audio version of this book from my local library, but I'm really struggling to get through it. It hasn't sucked me in at all. I've been listening to it for over a week and haven't even finished the first disc. It's time to walk away. I also think this is one of those occasions where I may have to actually read the book itself and not just listen to it. Either way it will have to wait until next year.

I'm also struggling with In The Company of Cheerful Ladies (The #1 Ladies Detective Agency) but I'm over half way with that one so I'll just tough it out.

I did finish Where She Went last week which was the sequel to If I Stay by Gayle Forman.

Now this is a book that I was immediately drawn into and captured by! This was also an audio book I checked out from my library and I would then listen to in my car. I don't even want to think about how much gas I waisted making extra laps around my block or taking the back roads to get to a store that is down the street from me, just so I could finish one more chapter.

If I Stay is the story of a 17 year old girl, Mia, who is in a car accident that takes the lives of both her parents and her younger brother, and leaves her in a coma. While her body is incapacitated her spirit is able to observe the world around her and therefore make the decision as to if she should stay now that her family is gone.

Where She Went is told from the perspective of Adam, Mia's boyfriend, three years later. Adam's life has gone off in a direction that he never imagined and he is still grieving all that he has lost over the last three years. He is now a rock star living it up in LA, recording music in NYC, and about to go on tour in Europe. However, his constant effort to forget about the life he lost, has put a strain on his current relationships with his family, friends, band mates, and his celebrity girlfriend.

I really felt for Adam in this book. I could completely empathize with his frustration and pain, and I wanted answers just as bad as he did. I have to really give credit to the author for this because she did an amazing job portraying his grief and depression.

I also loved Gayle Forman's inclusion of music throughout both books. Music is what originally brought Mia and Adam together and it plays a significant part in both books. In If I Stay, Mia is an accomplished cellist and for the audio book, they played little riffs of cello music in between some chapters and at the end of the discs. However, since Where She Went is Adam's perspective and he is an accomplished guitarist, it played kind of a bluesy rock piece.

Now, as far as which one I liked better, I'm going to go with the second one, Where She Went. Both stories were beautifully written and the development of the characters felt very honest and genuine. However, I felt that with If I Stay the ending was more limited. You know as you are reading that the story is going to end with her choosing between two options; she will stay, or she will die. Where as in the sequel I felt like I had no idea how is was going to end, there were just so many choices and variations. And the way that it ended did surprise me, because I didn't think it was possible for everything to tie together the way it. So having those options made me like Where She Went just that much more.

But please don't let me give you the impression that If I Stay is a limited book just because the ending is limited, because it is not limited at all! The journey that Mia takes you on is emotionally heart breaking. By the end of the book I didn't know any more whether or not I even wanted her to live! After everything she lost, all the pain she would endure by choosing to stay, it is unbearable.

 But the whole book isn't about death either. In If I Stay, Mia uses her time trying to make her decision, to reflect back on stories of her childhood with her family, how she started to play the cello, how she met her best friend, and also, of course, how her and Adam came together. And in turn, Adam uses his time in Where She Went to reflect on the time he was with Mia, how he got along with her parents, trips they had taken together, but also about how he lost touch with his music after Mia's accident. How he strayed from the band and how he let the fame go to his head.

Both books are incredible so I strongly recommend them.

On goodreads I gave If I Stay 4/5 stars and Where She Went 5/5
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