What’s On Your Mind?

I’ll tell you what’s on mine, the WEEKEND! I only worked three days this week but man, it sure feels like twelve.

I am still trying to come up with my “one word” for this year. Last year I chose Simplicity and for the most part, I did manage to pull some of it off. I can continue with that but my mind just isn’t focused enough to come up with a decent word for this year. Don’t say ‘focus’. Hahaha. I’d be a big failure if I went with that word.

After my forced reading break I have read four books so far this year. Once I was able to, I really dove in. Feels good to finally be reading again. I need that time to balance me out and trust me, if you asked my kids or Hub, they’d agree that I was a bit off for over a month. I am going to try to do whatever errands I need to do tomorrow so I can relax come Sunday.

The Hundred-Foot Journey

Tonight? I am really craving a lettuce-wrapped burger and fries and then hopefully I will get to watch The Hundred-Foot Journey. Sometimes, I cannot convince my family to see these types of  movies but when I am successful, they usually agree that they are very good. The Girl is a challenge, she always wants a Rom-Com and The Teen will either want slapstick comedy or an action flick. I have a hard crowd to please.

So, what’s on your mind? Any plans for the weekend? I have the new Stewart O’Nan book (West of Sunset) and I am dying to read it this weekend.

Best of 2014: My Favorites

My Faves for 2014

The new year is just around the corner so it’s time to wrap-up 2014. Here are my top ten books read this year.

I kind of had a hard time coming up with books because I liked many of them but there were a few that really made me think.

Here’s my list in no particular order:

The Last Days of California by Mary Miller
Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Mr. Lynch’s Holiday by Catherine O’Flynn
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Dept. of Speculation by Jenny Offill
We Are Called To Rise by Laura McBride
The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
The Painter by Peter Heller
Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel
Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Happy New Year to you all. Here’s to another year of reading!

2015 – A Good Year For Books

2015 seems so far off but in reality, it’s two weeks away. Being the book lover that I am, I wanted to see what’s coming out in 2015 and now I am super excited about the coming year. These are just a few of the books that I am excited about.

This is coming out in January:

Binary Star

Binary Star follows a young woman battling an eating disorder who takes a road trip with her alcoholic, long-distance boyfriend. Through their desperation, the very lost pair happen upon vegananarchism — what they think will give them some meaning. (Bustle.com)

It’s getting a lot of buzz. Read an excerpt here.

This comes out in February:

I'll Meet You There

I’ll Meet You There is the type of YA book I like. I don’t read YA all that often, but when I do, they tend to be stories like this one.

If seventeen-year-old Skyler Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage-months of summer. Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings them together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper. (heather.demetrios.com)

This comes out in March:

The Buried Giant

Not much info for The Buried Giant except that it’s about lost memories, love, revenge and war. Can’t say I am a fan of the cover but Ishiguro? I am so there. I tried to get an ARC and was shot down again. Sadness.

This comes out in June:

In the Unlikely Event

It’s based on a series of tragedies in the town I lived in when I was growing up, and the terrible time it was for the adults and the children, although the adults never talked to the children about it, no one I know had an adult talk to them about it, so we invented scenarios of what this all meant … And at the same time, life goes on, you go to school, you meet a boy, you fall in love, all the time that this is happening. (Blume for Bustle.com)

Doesn’t it sound good?

Book #2 of King’s Mr. Mercedes series is rumored to come out in June 2015. It’s called Finders Keepers but the cover has yet to be revealed.

What books are you excited about? I’m sure I’m missing some big ones since I’ve been out of the loop lately with what’s coming out.

Sign Me Up: The Bag of Bones Read Along (BOBalong)

Bag o Bones Read Along

Because Revival was not as exciting as I had hoped it would be, I am going to revisit one of King’s older books. Why? Mostly because Trish announced it and made it sound like fun. I mean, no one wants to be left out when there is a read along to be joined. Plus, I’ve already made my reading goal for the year so this is just the icing on the cake.

If you’d like to join us, check out her post for all of the details but basically you have all of December to read it and it’s readily available from the library since it’s an older title. I seriously just downloaded the library e-book and there were many copies for the taking.

Come on. Join us. You know you want to.

Something Wicked Read-Along Update – Part One

Something Wicked

Our read along for Something Wicked This Way Comes is in full swing! By today, 10/10, we should be wrapping-up part one, Chapters 1-24. What do you think so far? Here are my thoughts and then I have some questions for you to ponder:

  • Super quick read. The first 24 chapters flew by.
  • Very atmospheric. Think dark clouds, wind, dry leaves and the smell of ozone.
  • Odd narration. The language is a little stilted. Almost like a regional thing but not quite. Didn’t take long to get used to though.
  • Two main characters, boys, Will and Jim. Too much alike. Hard to determine who is talking sometimes.
  • CRAZY happenings involving a carousel and a weird little ‘nephew’ of one of the neighbors.
  • Right now, I am totally sucked into the story which promises to be very strange from what I’ve read so far.

Now, a couple of questions for you from Shmoop.com:

  1. We have a third-person narrator in this novel, but how much of this narration is influenced by Will and Jim’s way of looking at the world? That is, how “close” is the narrator to our main characters?
  2. What do you think is the target audience (age group) of Something Wicked This Way Comes? How might its meaning change for readers of different age groups?

Everyone on Twitter (#EnterTheRingmaster) has mentioned the narration. It’s a little odd. One blogger said the flow was a little difficult to pick up, but once she got over the hump, she was totally into the story. For me, the third-person narration is not an issue but the language, prose, whatever you want to call it, was a little disjointed at first. It did kind of add to the story though because it felt to me as if I was listening to someone from another part of the country. How close is the narrator to the boys? I’d say pretty close, almost too close because I am having a hard time keeping the two boys separate in my mind.

The target audience? Good question. Although the main characters are young boys, I’m not sure that’s the intended audience. There is something going on with Will and his father, something that maybe only an adult can appreciate. There is the whole old versus young thing too. I’m not sure a young person can appreciate youth when they have it. Do you?

My feeling right now is that the fun is just beginning. Part one dealt with the arrival of the dark carnival and part two is titled Pursuits.

If you want to still join us, it’s not too late. It took me one sitting to read through chapters 1-24. The biggest challenge will be finding a copy.

Next up on the schedule?

  • Finish Section 2 (Chapters 25-44) by Friday, October 24th
  • Finish Section 3 (Chapters 45-54) by Friday, October 31st

If you wrote-up a post, just add the link in comments or feel free to comment away here or on Twitter using #EnterTheRingmaster as the hashtag.

The Sunday Salon: What a Week

Sunday Salon

It’s been a rough week. The Girl was sick-ish last week and guess what? Even with my excellent preventative measures, I am a walking petri dish right now. I can’t really figure out how I caught what she had because I hardly ever catch colds but I did. Monday, I knew I was a goner but was in denial and Tuesday was much worse but since I was alone in the office, I figured I’d tough it out and drown myself in cold meds and tea and hope for the best.

I am still sick though. The low-grade fever continues to linger which is not bad enough to make me bed-ridden but just enough to throw me off my game. I can still read but not without a lot of Sudafed. I’d go to the doctor but everyone seems to have this same head cold. There’s nothing that can be done. I just need to let it run its course.

But, the kids got through their first round of auditions for Annie. The callback list comes out Tuesday afternoon. Let’s hope they get to go another round. The Girl was coming off of her head cold, so her voice was a tad scratchy but I think for the most part, she got through it okay.

What am I reading?

I am still reading The Bone Clocks and finishing up Fahrenheit 451, which I started for Banned Books Week. But soon, I will be reading Something Wicked This Way Comes. More details on that below.

What am I cooking?

I am so done cooking! I made five dozen brownies for the choir bake sale and twenty or so fruit loop necklaces. I do have to go to the store later because I think my kids are sick of cereal and I have a tiny craving for Chicken Alfredo.

What am I watching?

I watched an adorable movie that just happened to be on, Definitely, Maybe. It was so darn cute! Ryan Reynolds, Isla Fisher, Abigail Breslin. Adorable. Not sure what I’ll watch today.

Now for some exciting news.

Read Along Info:

Something Wicked This Way Comes button

Our read along for Something Wicked This Way Comes (hashtag #EnterTheRingmaster) starts this Wednesday, October 1st. Did you find a copy? Did you sign-up? Because there is still time to read this Bradbury classic with Sandy and I.

Something Wicked cover

Here is a little taste of what it’s about:

The carnival rolls in sometime after midnight, ushering in Halloween a week early. The shrill siren song of a calliope beckons to all with a seductive promise of dreams and youth regained. In this season of dying, Cooger & Dark’s Pandemonium Shadow Show has come to Green Town, Illinois, to destroy every life touched by its strange and sinister mystery. And two boys will discover the secret of its smoke, mazes, and mirrors; two friends who will soon know all too well the heavy cost of wishes. . .and the stuff of nightmares (Indiebound). 

How can you resist?? Freaky carnival action? I am so there.

Banned Books Week: Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451

I have been sick all week. Just a bad head cold but bad enough to make me miserable. SO miserable, that when I was in bed and realized that I left my copy of The Bone Clocks downstairs, the mere thought of getting up to get it was too much. So, I looked at my nightstand and I pulled out my old, worn copy of Fahrenheit 451. It is Banned Books Week after all.

Now, I have read this book many times. I think, at least three times but never in my life have I shed tears over the writing. I have been all choked-up while reading it. Published in the early 50’s, this book was way ahead of its time. The world within these pages is just so similar to our world today. The large TV screens (4th wall), the ear shells (ear pods/iPods) and the constant stream of noise that is a part of our daily lives. It’s overwhelming and scary and every night this week I have been staring wide-eyed into its pages and just wondering, what’s next?

In case you haven’t read this classic, it’s about firemen and how their main purpose is to destroy books by burning. In their minds, they’re doing everyone a favor. Too much information is dangerous. I can’t even begin to fathom living in a world like this but take this week as an example, there are school boards out there who have decided to ban books this week! Yes! During Banned Books Week!! How insane is that?

Pretty insane.

Have you read the Bible? The stories in there will curl your toes! Just sayin’.

Anyway, I am enjoying my week with Fahrenheit 451. Maybe the cold meds have a lot to do with how emotional I’ve been while reading it but the passages… oh! Some of the passages are just so lovely and powerful. I want to print them all out and hang them around my house.

Are you reading a banned book this week?

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