Walking Down Memory Lane

As readers, it’s fun to re-visit or at least ponder the books we read when we were younger. I know my reading tastes have changed quite a bit but I thought it would be fun to share some of the books I read when I was younger. Kay’s post from the other day reminded me just how fun those reading years were so be sure to check out her post as well.

These books are in no particular order:

Nancy Drew

I read every single Nancy Drew book in the series and then moved on to the Hardy Boys. Girl detective, a mystery to solve, a handsome boyfriend. I was all over these books.

Sweet Valley High

Sweet Valley High was a favorite. There were several books in the series, all of them good. Twins, in high school. Two totally different personalities. Fun stuff.

Flowers in the Attic
Flowers in the Attic. A family is forced to live in the attic of their wealthy grandparents’ home after their father is killed in a car accident. It’s a bizarre story and there were at least four other books in the series. Talk about dysfunction!

The Outsiders

The Outsiders. I still love this book. Ponyboy, a Greaser, tries to figure it all out with his brothers as they deal with the aftermath of a fight which leaves a young man dead. I read this on my own, then in middle school we read it together as a class and then watched the movie. I handed it to my son at a time when he absolutely would not read a book and he loved it, too.

Harlequin Presents
Harlequin Presents. I am a little embarrassed to even say I read these but I could not get them into my hands fast enough. There was this bookstore inside the mall and my friends and I would head over with our pocket-money to spin that wire rack and take a new book home for the weekend. I was maybe eleven or twelve at the time. Oh la la! Actually, they were pretty tame.

Carrie
Carrie and Stephen King, in general. I read many of his books when I was young. Carrie was just one of them. I also read many of his short story collections during this time. The library had several copies, always available so I never had any trouble getting a copy. Except for the librarian who took it upon herself to give me a lecture every time I checked one out. Apparently, a young girl should not fill her mind with such horrible things. Tsk. Tsk. I mean, look at me. I turned out okay, right?

What books do you remember from childhood or from your early teen years?

Bookmark Love

I collect bookmarks. Did you know that? Some were made for me, some I’ve made for myself and some came to me from book lovers like you.

Have you ever received one of these?

In My Book Bookmark/Card

I received one of these bookmarks/greeting cards from another blogger years ago and I had never seen them before. But since then, I’ve seen them all over the place. Robin, the President and founder of In My Book teamed up with an illustrator and developed these lovely bookmark/greeting cards.

You write your note inside, seal it up in the envelope provided and off it goes. Once received, the recipient can use the entire card as a bookmark or tear it at the perforation, and just keep the illustrated part.

What’s great is that they really work as bookmarks. You know how some bookmarks are pretty but they slide all over hell while in the book? These don’t. They are made with lightweight but sturdy watercolor paper, which means that they actually stay in the book and they are super affordable as far as bookmarks go.

If you’d like to see all of the available designs, check out the website.

Robin was kind enough to send me a card and sample and she’s offered to give three of them away! If you are within the US or Canada, please complete the entry form for a chance to be one of the three lucky winners. Ends Sunday, 3/15/15.

Click Here to Enter the Giveaway (US/Canada only) (Giveaway is now closed!)

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.

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