The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories by O.Henry

This book is my first introduction to O.Henry and his mischievous twists of fate to all his story endings. I was forewarned about these twists and tried to guess throughout all the stories - but I was always surprised. I found this quite delightful. This book is a compilation of his short stories written between 1906 - 1911 including:

- The Gift of the Magi
- The Cop and the Anthem
- Springtime a la Carte
- The Green Door
- After Twenty Years
- The Furnished Room
- The Pimienta Packages
- The Last Leaf
- The Voice of the City
- While the Auto Waits
- A Retrieved Reformation
- A Municipal Report
- A Newspaper Story
- The Ransom of Red Chief
- A Ghost of a Chance
- Makes the Whole World Kin

I truly enjoyed The Gift of the Magi (a story about love being more powerful than earthly possessions), The Cop and the Anthem (actually made me laugh out loud), Springtime a la Carte (I’m a sucker for love), The Pimienta Pancakes (so funny and ironic), The Last Leaf (because it was beautiful), and The Ransom of Red Chief (hilarious). The other stories weren’t to my taste but still interesting enough to read. I don’t want to give you more than that so I don’t ruin them for you, but it was a very quick and entertaining read.


For your viewing pleasure

The new Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince trailer has been released:

Tuesday Thingers

Today's question- Blog Widgets.
Do you use them? Do you have them on your blog? Do you know what I'm talking about? :-) A blog widget is that list of books "From my LibraryThing" and such, that you'll sometimes see on someone's sidebar. If you use it, do all of your books show up or do you have it set to only show certain books? Do you have a search widget, which would allow your blog readers to search your library? Have you ever made a photomosaic of your book covers? You can find widgets and photomosaic information on the "Tools" tab in LibraryThing.

My answer:
I absolutely love Widgets. Although I am not a member of Library Thing, I am a member of Good Reads and I use their widget for Book Cover Montages. I love it. It brings color and character to my blog. It also shows anyone who drops by the books I have recently read and if they choose to actually click on a book cover they can see my review and book info through Good Reads - so that's a plus in itself. I also use plenty of other widgets (i.e. clock, human calendar, countdowns, etc.) Like I said, these things make my blog a nice experience for anyone who passes through, maybe even enticing them to come around more often :)


From the Stacks '08 Challenge Wrap-Up

Well, I have completed the From the Stacks Challenge. I gave myself a goal of 8 books for this challenge and (hooray) I was able to finish them. Here is the original post link with my list of books. From there you can click on the links to my reviews for each book. This was fun and actually helped me read some of the books that I just had sitting on my nightstand - glaring at me.

Now off to finish my holiday reading list

Belong to Me by Marisa De Los Santos

In Belong to Me we are able to visit with Cornelia, Clare and Teo again. This book is set about 2 ½ years after Love Walked In. In this book we are also introduced to Piper (who would fit well as a character in Desperate Housewives) and Dev (a 14 year old genius). The author is fairly skilled at communicating the complex emotions and reactions that accompany both minor challenges and catastrophe (yes, there were a few tear jerking moments). The characters are lovable and real (personality flaws, bad decisions and all). I loved that the author spoke in the narration of a 14-year-old boy, then switched to a 40-something suburban wife, and so forth. Ms. De Los Santos once again enthralled me with her words... she writes in such a style that I can’t help but just want to keep reading and reading. This is one of those books where you totally get immersed in their world and are sad when you have to leave it.


The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans

The Christmas Box is one of the most beautiful stories I have had the pleasure to read. It is about taking the time to smell the roses. As a parent, you can't help being busy and not taking enough time to watch our children grow. This book makes you rethink your priorities. It is written which such depth and simplicity that it is quite a joy to read not only throughout the holidays, but a story worth remembering year round.


I have a date tonight with a man vamp named Edward.
7:00 p.m.

Can't wait!

I just got home from the movies and I really liked Twilight. Yes, there were some parts that I thought the acting wasn't all that great, it felt a little rushed, and they did change some things around, but mostly it stayed very true to the book. I wish there would've been more focus on Edward and Bella's love story but I guess they have to leave that for the three upcoming movies. I thought that it was great that Stephanie Meyer had a cameo... very Stephen King/M. Night Shyamalan of her. But over all, the movie itself was great and I recommend to all you "Twerds" to go watch it.

Current book-in-progress: Belong to Me
Current movie/tv obsession: Twilight
iTunes Loop: Gravity - Sara Bareilles

2nds Challenge 2009


This is a great way to combine 1st in a Series with this one. The only thing with 2nds is doesn't have to be a series book. It can be a book from an author you've just read one book from before.Here are the guidelines:

1. Anyone can join. You don't need to have a blog to participate.
2. Read 12 books by authors that you have only read once. It doesn't have to be a series.
3. You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2009. Don't start reading until January.
4. You may list your chosen books any time during the year. Change the list if needed.

This sounds like a great challenge for me. Although I will not be joining the 1sts challenge, I think this one will work well to get me to read more books from authors I've recently begun reading and liked. :)

2009 YA Challenge

Guidelines for 2009 Young Adult Book Challenge:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
2. Read 12 Young Adult novels. You may list your chosen books any time during the year. Change the list if needed.
3. Challenge begins January thru December, 2009.
4. You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2009.



I found this and it cracked me up.
Have a great Thursday.

Current book-in-progress: Belong to Me
Current movie/tv obsession: Grey's Anatomy
iTunes Loop: Hot n Cold - Katy Perry


Love Walked In by Marisa De Los Santos

I really enjoyed this book. It is a wonderful romantic story about not getting what you want, but getting what you need. The story is split into the different and distinct voices of Cornelia and Claire. This is a sweet story, but it's not overly done; it's a romantic-comedy, in a fresh and satisfying kind of way; it's an orphan story for the twenty-first century. The serious themes of mental illness, abandonment, divorce, death, and true love are all handled with a light touch. I loved the movie references by Cornelia, the literary references by Clare, but most of all I loved the author’s lyrical sense of style... she’s a poet so she definitely knows how to play with words. I found her writing style to be very entertaining to read. This is one you won't want to put down until you've finished! I didn’t want it to end - so next on my list : Belong to Me.


Tuesday Thingers

Popular this month on LT:
Do you look at this list? Do you get ideas on what to read from it?Have you read any of the books on the list right now?
Feel free to link to any reviews you've done as well.
Here's the list and my answer:
1. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
2. Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World by Vicki Myron
3. Nation by Terry Pratchett
4. Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
5. Anathem by Neal Stephenson
6. American Wife: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld
7. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
8. The Story of Edgar Sawtelle: A Novel by David Wroblewski
9. Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland
10. Eclipse (The Twilight Saga, Book 3) by Stephenie Meyer

It seems I've only read 4 of the above listed books. I don't have a review of Eclipse because I read it before I started blogging (hehe). Out of the remaining 6 I only have The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in my TBR list. I'm not interested in reading any of the others.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading:
- Grab your current read.
- Let the book fall open to a random page.
- Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
- You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
- Please avoid spoilers!

"Be not afraid of parenthood; some are born parents, some achieve parenthood, and others have parenthood thrust upon 'em."

And yes, cheese-shop snafu notwithstanding, I know enough about William Shakespeare to know that this is not how the quotation actually goes.

- Love Walked In by Marisa De Los Santos - Page 106


Romance Reading Challenge '09

Read on for the rules:
1. Now, "Romance" isn't limited to steamy Harlequin novels. There is a huge selection of books in this category such as contemporary romance, historical romance, romantic suspense and paranormal romance to name a few. As long as the story has romantic love between the two main characters your selection will fit this challenge. The novels do not need to have a happy ending either, there can also be unrequited love.
2. Choose at least 5 novels read them between Jan 1st though Dec 31st 2009. You can change your choices at any time. Crossovers between other challenges are fine.
3. Read them at your own pace in 2009 then come here and post the link to your review(s).

Themed Reading Challenge 2009

The Rules:
1. Books should be chosen from the reader’s TBR pile (this may be an actual physical pile or a virtual pile). The challenge will from February 1, 2009 - July 31, 2009.
2. The goal is to read 4 to 6 books linked by theme.
3. Overlaps with other challenges are allowed.
4. Readers may change their list of books at any time.
5. Readers may choose three different levels of participation:

- Read at least 4 books with the same theme.
- Read at least 5 books that share at least TWO themes.
- Read at least 6 books that share MORE than two themes.

My Theme: all these books have been (or will be) adapted into movies.

Musing Mondays

I'm jumping on the bandwagon, or at least trying to. This is my first Musing Mondays. Hopefully, I did it right. :)

Today's Musing Mondays from Should Be Reading is as follows. For full rules and other answers click here.

1. What are you reading right now? I'm reading Love Walked In by Marisa De Los Santos.
2. What did you recently finish reading and what did you think about it? I recently finished reading The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. (click on the link for my review). I loved it.
3. What do you think you'll read next? Testimony by Anita Shreve (because I've had it for a couple of weeks and everyone is raving about it).
4. Will you read any holiday-themed books soon? Yes, I have a few that I should be receiving from Amazon throughout the week and I just bought On Strike for Christmas by Sheila Roberts.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The adventures of Nobody "Bod" Owens while having the run of the graveyard... this was such a simplistic and enjoyable read. It felt like a very long short story - only because it was written in a way that each chapter was a story of it’s own--even though it dealt with the same characters. There was a thread that ran through them all, but it was mostly in the background. Yet the end tied it all in and left me very satisfied with the outcome. I loved that we watched Bod being raised, nurtured and educated by the denizens of a cemetery. What I loved most about this book is how attached I became to some of these characters. I really hope Gaiman writes a sequel... or at least writes Silas’ tale... something. I totally want to hang out at a graveyard now.

Here is a trailer to The Graveyard Book narrated by Neil Gaiman. Supposedly a movie is also in the works - I can't wait to hear more about it, it's all hush-hush right now.


The weekend is sadly over and I'm back to sitting at my desk dwindling down my piles of work. I had a good weekend. My hubby took me to the Miami Book Fair - which was so much fun. I actually didn't get to buy anything because everyone wanted cash and I decided to take a debit card. So the joke was on me. So although I didn't get as much accomplished at the book fair as I would have liked, I did have a great time seeing all the books and chatting around with all the vendors. I got a lot of great suggestions so hopefully I'll be buying those within the next couple of weeks.

And yesterday was my friend Jennifer's Baby Shower. Which was so pretty. I didn't stay for too long because I had a major headache but I had a great time while I was there and the food was delicious.

The rest of the weekend was just the normal stuff: groceries, cleaning, washing/drying/folding clothes, some reading, etc. We've decided to have Thanksgiving dinner at our house again this year so we've begun preparations for that. And that's it - weekend's over. Back to work - bleh.

Current book-in-progress: Love Walked In
Current movie/tv obsession: Pushing Daisies
iTunes Loop: So What - Pink


Bookworm Award!

BethF over at Beth Fish Reads tagged me for this Bookworm Award. I feel so honored and I'm excited of course, since this is my first Award of any type since I started blogging. I'm fairly new to blogging and it was quite thrilling when I suddenly stumbled upon this whole book blogging community that I didn't know existed. People.Just.Like.Me!!! So I won't be able to tag anyone back since I don't really know many people on here yet but I will glady accept this award.

Here’s how it goes:
- Open the closest book to you, not your favorite or most intellectual book, but the book closest to you at the moment, to page 56.
- Write out the fifth sentence, as well as two to five sentences following there.
The book nearest me at the moment is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It's in my purse - since I never leave home without a book :)

"You can't touch us," said Bod. All you can do is scare?
The twining voices sounded petulant. FEAR IS A WEAPON OF THE SLEER.
Bod looked down at the ledge. "Are those the treasures of your master? An old brooch, a cup, and a little stone knife? They don't look like much."
- Page 56, The Graveyard Book

Call Me Dewey

Nely's Dewey Decimal Section:
457 Italian language variations
Nely = 4525 = 452+5 = 457

400 Language

Linguistics and language books.

What it says about you:
You value communication, even with people who are different from you. You like trying new things don't mind being exposed to unfamiliar territory. You get bored with routines that never change.
Find your Dewey Decimal Section at

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

This book was adorable, fun and just plain girly. It’s the story of four BFF’s and their first summer apart from each other. I thought it was great how each girl was totally different from the other yet they had the perfect friendship - they made each other complete. Lena the shy one, Bridget the impulsive one, Tibby the honest one, and Carmen the latina and self-conscious one. I became instantly attached to the characters and couldn't put the book down. I just had to know what would happen in Greece with Kostos, how Bailey was dealing with her Leukemia, if things were heating up with Eric, and how Carmen's 'new family' was doing. I saw the movie a while ago and was pleasantly surprised when I saw the differences in the book. I think women of all ages can relate to this story in so many ways. We can relate to the friendships, first loves, and different personalities. Now I can’t wait to get my hands on the other three books.


New Author Challenge 2009

The Rules:
1. The challenge will run from January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009.
2. Since this is an author challenge, there is no restriction on choosing your novels. They can definitely be from other challenges.
3. I want this to be an easy challenge, so you state how many new authors you want to try this year and then that’s your challenge. For me, I’m trying another 50 new authors. If you want a number given to you, try for either 25 or 50.
4. Add your name to the Mr. Linky below. If you do not have your own blog, you can join the group blog here.
5. Bloggers or Non-Bloggers alike are welcome
6. When you read a new author, write your review (either at your site or the group blog) and then come back here and post a link to your review.
7. If you’re looking for some ideas, check out the Author page.

This sounds like an easy challenge for me considering all the challenges that I'm in now - but I will only commit to 25 new authors for the moment. I'm sure there might be more, but better safe then sorry.


I watched the CMA Awards last night on tv. And can I just say that I am madly in love with Brad Paisley (my husband is not the jealous type). Yes, Brad Paisley is a total hottie. I saw him in concert last year and after seeing him perform last night... I wanna see him again. So what if there are a couple of hundred people between him and I. Just the fact that we are in the same county, is good enough for me. So last night was all about gee-tars and great music for me.

I didn’t get much reading done. But I plan on making up for it tonight. Well maybe, since tonight is Grey’s Anatomy. Not much else is going on. I have to shop for a dress or something nice to wear for Jen’s baby shower on Sunday. I also already got the thumbs up from the hubby to taking me to the Book Street Fair at the Miami Book Fair on Saturday. So I’m stoked about that.

I’m still reading The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. I’m about half way through - and I’m sure I would have finished it already if I had more time to read.

Oh well, I’m off to get some of this work done. Tootles.

Current book-in-progress: The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
Current movie/tv obsession: Grey's Anatomy
iTunes Loop: Love Story - Taylor Swift


Grace by Richard Paul Evans

This is one of those books that just pains you to have to put it down. It was a very emotional, intense and sad tale. The characters are charming. Important issues are addressed in a delicate manner. I felt the ending was a bit rushed but it definitely pulled at the heartstrings - of course, making me shed a tear or two. This is my first Richard Paul Evans book, but now I am intrigued by his much talked about The Christmas Box.

I was happy to hear how RPE is using his income to help out abused children through various charities. You can sign up for his mailing list at before December 31,2009 and $1 is donated by Operation Kids to The Christmas Box International to help abused and neglected children.

Grace is a must read. Have your tissues ready!


Is it 11/21 yet?

I'm a Bella! I found out through Which Twilight Female Are You? Take the quiz and find out!

In honor of how excited I am about Twilight hitting theaters in 10 days - I found this quick little widget - not to mention I was bored.

What can I say, it's Tuesday. Tuesday's are boring. Especially Tuesday's that are a holiday, that there is no mail and banks are closed. That since I work in law firm you would assume would also be closed since the COURT is closed. But no siree, not I. I am stuck here at work - making believe to work - because I am boycotting the fact that we are here at work in the first place. Not to mention every time I call another firm, they are closed for the holiday. So there's not much I could get done anyway - hmph. (end rant)

Last night the hubby and I were able to hang out. I didn't get much reading done, but we were able to snuggle up and watch Journey to the Center of the Earth with Brandon Frasier. I found it to be really funny and great for any kid to watch.

The kids spent most of the night in their respective beds so we were even able to sleep without having them sneak into our bed throughout the night. It's no fun to wake up with little toes up your nose or in your mouth...

Other than that, not much else going on. I have our firm Book Club tomorrow - so that should be fun. We meet once a month during our lunch hour and pick a book to read and discuss the prior months slection. For the past 3 months I haven't been able to read the selection because I've already read it. Which is fine with me since I read so much anyway - but I'm hoping they pick something this month that I haven't read.

That's all I got. I'm off to surf the web and do some shopping. hehe. Tootles.

Current book-in-progress: Grace
Current movie/tv obsession: Journey to the Center of the Earth
iTunes Loop: A Little Too Late - Toby Keith

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by Should be Reading:

- Grab your current read.
- Let the book fall open to a random page.
- Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
- You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
- Please avoid spoilers!

This is my first "Teaser Tuesday" - so please bear with me if I do it wrong.

There are times I feel like shouting my feelings to the entire world. But I think they'd only close their windows.

- Grace by Richard Paul Evans
- Page 158



God, I have had so many posts today. Obviously, I have been doing very little work - muahahaha, buahahaha. I wasn't able to come around throughout the weekend to post so I've done all my posting today. I read two books over the weekend - I finished From Dead to Worse (book #8 of the Sookie Stackhouse collection) and I read Coraline (because I am a Neil Gaiman fan). Tonight I plan on starting to read Grace - the first of my holiday books, so that's exciting, plus it has really good reviews online.

Other than that, the weekend just went by too fast. On Saturday we spent the day at home. We put away all the Halloween decorations (it's about time) and we decorated the house for Thanksgiving. Yes, my house looks beautiful, if I must say so myself. I took pictures but I haven't had time to put them up yet, maybe tonight(?). Then on Sunday we had our friends over for a barbecue and to watch the Dolphins game. It's always nice to play the hostess. The kids ran around and had a blast. And well, that was it for the weekend. Nothing too exciting I guess.

We were supposed to go the Miami Book Fair this weekend, but then I found out that the actual Book Street Fair is this coming weekend - so I decided to wait 'till then. I'm really looking forward to it.

And well, that's it. Not much else going on. I joined the 100+ Book Challenge. It was the ideal challenge for me since this years goal was to read at least 52 books (which I have surpassed) and next years goal was going to be 100 (so this challenge is perfect for me).

Current book-in-progress: Grace
Current movie/tv obsession: The Ellen Degeneres Show
iTunes Loop: Twilight Soundtack

100+ Reading Challenge 2009

The 100+ Reading Challenge will be hosted here this year.

Here are the guidelines:
1) You can join anytime as long as you don’t start reading your books prior to 2009.
2) This challenge is for 2009 only. The last day to have all your books read is December 31, 2009.
3) You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2009.
4) If you don’t have a blog, please join our Yahoo Groups.
5) When you sign up under Mr. Linky, list the direct link to your post where your 100+ books will be listed. If you list just your blog’s URL, it will be removed.
6) All books count: children’s, YA, adults, fiction, non-fiction, how-tos, etc.
7) Feel free to post in the comment section or on Yahoo Groups your monthly progress as well as your favorite books that month.
8) If you have any questions, feel free to ask below or email me at Comments usually get a quicker response.
9)You do not have to decided on your books ahead of time. You can add or subtract from your list during the year.

My List:
1 Disquiet - Julia Leigh (completed 1/01/09)
2 Christmas Jars - Jason F. Wright (completed 1/02/09)
3 The Reader - Bernard Schlink (completed 1/03/09)
4 The Wednesday Letters - Jason F. Wright (completed 1/04/09)
5 Where the Heart Is - Billie Letts (completed 1/05/09)
6 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon (completed 1/07/09)
7 Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict - Laurie Viera Rigler (completed 1/09/09)
8 Blindness - José Saramago (completed 1/11/09)
9 Secret Vampire - L.J. Smith (completed 1/13/09)
10 Inkspell - Cornelia Funke (completed 1/15/09)
11 Time of My Life - Allison Winn Scotch (completed 1/17/09)
12 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows (completed 1/19/09)
13 Life of Pi - Yann Martel (completed 1/23/09)
14 The Little Giant of Aberdeen County - Tiffany Baker (completed 1/26/09)
15 Ms. Hempel Chronicles - Sarah Shun-lien Bynum (completed 1/27/09)
16 The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke (completed 1/29/09)
17 Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro (completed 2/01/09)
18 Confessions of a Shopoholic - Sophie Kinsella (completed 2/02/09)
19 No Rest for the Wicked - Kresley Cole (completed 2/05/09)
20 One Fifth Avenue - Candace Bushnell (completed 2/09/09)
21 Upon the Midnight Clear - Sherrilyn Kenyon (completed 2/10/09)
22 One Silent Night - Sherrilyn Kenyon (competed 2/12/09)
23 Outlander - Diana Gabaldon (completed 2/19/09)
24 Confessions of a Former Child - Daniel J. Tomasulo (completed 2/22/09)
25 Playing with the Grown-Ups - Sophie Dahl (completed 2/24/09)
26 M is for Magic - Neil Gaiman (completed 2/25/09)
27 The Mistress's Daughter - A.M. Homes (completed 3/03/09)
28 He's Just Not That Into You - Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo (completed 3/06/09)
29 The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - John Boyne (completed 3/07/09)
30 The Host - Stephanie Meyer (completed 3/11/09)
31 Dirty Little Angels - Chris Tusa (completed 3/14/09)
32 Handle with Care - Jodi Picoult (completed 3/17/09)
33 The Side-Yard Superhero - Rick D. Niece (completed 3/19/09)
34 Stardust - Neil Gaiman (completed 3/22/09)
35 Matrimony - Joshua Henkin (completed 3/24/09)
36 Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult (completed 3/28/09)
37 Laura Rider's Masterpiece - Jane Hamilton (completed 3/29/09)
38 Firefly Lane - Kristin Hannah (completed 4/01/09)
39 Shoot the Moon - Billie Letts (completed 4/04/09)
40 I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti - Giulia Melucci (completed 4/06/09)
41 The Lake that Stole Children: A Fable - Douglas Glenn Clark (completed 4/06/09)
42 The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane - Katherine Howe (completed 4/09/09)
43 Girls in Trucks - Katie Crouch (completed 4/12/09)
44 The City of Ember - Jeanne DuPrau (completed 4/13/09)
45 The People of Sparks - Jeanne DuPrau (completed 4/14/09)
46 One Deadly Sin - Annie Solomon (completed 4/16/09)
47 Jantsen's Gift - Pam Cope & Aimee Molloy (completed 4/20/09)
48 The Late, Lamented Molly Marx - Sally Koslow (completed 4/22/09)
49 The Blue Notebook - James A. Levine (completed 4/26/09)
50 The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton (completed 4/30/09)
51 The Prophet of Yonwood - Jeanne DuPrau (completed 5/02/09)
52 My Little Red Book - Rachel Kauder Nalebuff (completed 5/04/09)
53 The Simplest of Acts and Other Short Stories - Melanie Haney (completed 5/05/09)
54 The Dangerous Book for Demon Slayers - Angie Fox (completed 5/08/09)
55 Mother of the Believers - Kamran Pasha (completed 5/10/09)
56 Dead and Gone - Charlaine Harris (completed 5/11/09)
57 The Book Thief - Markus Zusak (completed 5/16/09)
58 Burning Wild - Christine Feehan (completed 5/17/09)
59 Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler (completed 5/19/09)
60 A Hint of Wicked - Jennifer Haymore (completed 5/21/09)
61 Mating Rituals of the North American WASP - Lauren Lipton (completed 5/24/09)
62 The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie - Jennifer Ashley (completed 5/25/09)
63 The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley (completed 5/28/09)
64 In the Land of Cotton - Martha A. Taylor (completed 5/30/09)
65 Something Borrowed - Emily Giffin (completed 6/02/09)

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

This is a delightfully creepy adventure that I'd recommend to anyone, not just kids! It is humorous, imaginative, sinister, and even downright frightening. Neil Gaiman sure knows how to play with our imagination. The artwork is downright creepy, but fascinating to look at. You won't be able to look at shiny black buttons or a needle and thread in the same way again. Button eyes.... ran chills up and down my spine.

Coraline - the movie comes out in 2009. It looks like Dakota Fanning will do the voice for Coraline and Terri Hatcher will do the voice for Coraline's mother and "other mother". I can't wait to see it - especially since Henry Selick (The Nightmare before Christmas) is directing - I am a big fan of his. Here is a link to the movie trailer teaser.

Fall Into Reading 2008 Wrap-Up

I have officially completed my first Reading Challenge. I gave myself a goal of 11 books to read and I am done! How fun! Here's the link for the original challenge post with the list of my books and links to my review of each. Since that original post I have joined several other challenges (because I have no self-control) and can now confirm that I am 100% addicted to these reading challenges. Happy Reading.

From Dead to Worse by Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris threw us some curve balls with this book, and I have to say, the surprises were good. This book didn’t have much of a mystery like the other ones. Instead they tied up a lot of loose ends that were just hanging about. They also introduced several new characters and plots lines, and like always, Sookie was somehow in the middle of all the drama, or more likely, there to save the day. I really can’t wait to see where they will go from here. I find that each book gets darker and darker and I somewhat felt a little worried and depressed for Sookie at the end of this one. But I also had several giggly-girly moments - so nothing has changed there. As for the book itself if you have been with this series from book one, I loved it and I'm sure you'll love it too. It wasn't what I was expecting at all, but I still loved it.

And now, since there are no more Sookie books out there, I am left anxiously awaiting the next installment (Dead and Gone) which I believe will be out in May ‘09.



Friday Pictures, Images and Photos

It's Friday. Finally! This week has dragged on for me - but finally, it's Friday. Not much planned for the weekend. The usual stuff - cleaning, washing, etc. I do have to bring out all my Thanksgiving decorations, so that should be fun. The kids love when I decorate the house so they're looking forward to that.

I think on Sunday we might be hosting a barbecue at our house - but it's not confirmed yet.

I finally started reading the last Sookie book (at least until May '09). I also found this cool website that lets you read books for free (sorta like an eBooks). So I started reading Little Women. It can be an ongoing project here at work - since I can only read while at work. So I'm sure it'll take me longer than a normal book would but at least it'll keep me entertained vs. just surfing the web like I'm normally doing.

Well that's all I got. Not much going on. Have a great weekend.

Current book-in-progress: From Dead to Worse and Little Women
Current movie/tv obsession: Grey's Anatomy
iTunes Loop: Mamma Mia! Soundtrack


USA Today's Top Selling Books List

So here’s the idea:
BOLD what you’ve read, italicize what you own, star* books on your TBR list!

1 Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone - J.K. Rowling
2 Dr. Atkins’ New Diet Revolution - Robert C. Atkins
3 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
4 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling
5 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling
6 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling
7 Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling
8 Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban - J.K. Rowling
9 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling
10 Who Moved My Cheese? - Spencer Johnson
11 The South Beach Diet - Arthur Agatston
12 Tuesdays With Morrie - Mitch Albom **
13 Angels & Demons - Dan Brown
14 What to Expect When You’re Expecting - Heidi Murkoff, Arlene Eisenberg, Sandee Hathaway
15 The Purpose-Driven Life - Rick Warren
16 The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom **
17 The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People - Stephen R. Covey
18 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
19 Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus - John Gray
20 The Secret - Rhonda Byrne
21 Rich Dad, Poor Dad - Robert T. Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter
22 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
23 Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff … And It’s All Small Stuff - Richard Carlson
24 The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd
25 Eat, Pray, Love - Elizabeth Gilbert
26 Twilight - Stephenie Meyer
27 The Notebook - Nicholas Sparks **
28 The Memory Keeper’s Daughter - Kim Edwards
29 The Catcher in the Rye - J.D. Salinger **
30 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden **
31 A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle
32 Oh, the Places You’ll Go! - Dr. Seuss
33 The Four Agreements - Don Miguel Ruiz
34 Angela’s Ashes - Frank McCourt
35 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
36 Body-for-Life - Bill Phillips, Michael D’Orso
37 New Moon - Stephenie Meyer
38 Night - Elie Wiesel, translations by Marion Wiesel and Stella Rodway
39 Chicken Soup for the Soul - Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen
40 The Greatest Generation - Tom Brokaw
41 Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer
42 The Celestine Prophecy - James Redfield
43 Wicked - Gregory Maguire
44 Good to Great - Jim Collins
45 Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer
46 Eragon - Christopher Paolini **
47 Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood - Rebecca Wells **
48 Your Best Life Now - Joel Osteen
49 In the Kitchen With Rosie - Rosie Daley
50 Simple Abundance - Sarah Ban Breathnach
51 A Child Called It - Dave Pelzer
52 A Million Little Pieces - James Frey
53 The Testament - John Grisham
54 Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul - Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Kimberly Kirberger
55 Deception Point - Dan Brown
56 The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
57 Marley & Me - John Grogan **
58 Dr. Atkins’ New Carbohydrate Gram Counter - Robert C. Atkins
59 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
60 The Brethren - John Grisham
61 The South Beach Diet Good Fats Good Carbs Guide - Arthur Agatston
62 The Innocent Man: Murder and Injustice in a Small Town - John Grisham
63 For One More Day - Mitch Albom
64 The Polar Express - Chris Van Allsburg
65 The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald
66 The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch, Jeffrey Zaslow
67 What to Expect the First Year - Arlene Eisenberg, Heidi Murkoff, Sandee Hathaway
68 Love You Forever - Robert Munsch, art by Sheila McGraw
69 Green Eggs and Ham - Dr. Seuss
70 A Painted House - John Grisham
71 The Rainmaker - John Grisham
72 Skipping Christmas - John Grisham **
73 Cold Mountain - Charles Frazier
74 The Curious Incident of the Dog In the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
75 Life Strategies - Phillip C. McGraw
76 Seabiscuit: An American Legend - Laura Hillenbrand
77 The Summons - John Grisham
78 Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt
79 The Hobbit - J.R.R. Tolkien
80 The Runaway Jury - John Grisham
81 Goodnight Moon Board Book - Margaret Wise Brown, art by Clement Hurd
82 The Perfect Storm - Sebastian Junger
83 Snow Falling on Cedars - David Guterson
84 The Giver - Lois Lowry
85 Embraced by the Light - Betty J. Eadie
86 The Chamber - John Grisham
87 You: On A Diet - Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz
88 The Prayer of Jabez - Bruce Wilkinson
89 Holes - Louis Sachar
90 Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
91 The Shack - William P. Young
92 The Devil Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger **
93 Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
94 A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
95 The Seat of the Soul - Gary Zukav
96 Chicken Soup for the Woman’s Soul - Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read Hawthorne, Marci Shimoff
97 The Partner - John Grisham
98 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
99 Eldest: Inheritance, Book II - Christopher Paolini
100 The Broker - John Grisham
101 The Street Lawyer - John Grisham
102 A Series of Unfortunate Events No. 1: The Bad Beginning - Lemony Snicket **
103 The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
104 Into the Wild - Jon Krakauer
105 The King of Torts - John Grisham
106 The Tipping Point - Malcolm Gladwell
107 The Horse Whisperer - Nicholas Evans
108 Hannibal - Thomas Harris
109 The Audacity of Hope - Barack Obama
110 Running With Scissors - Augusten Burroughs
111 The Glass Castle: A Memoir - Jeannette Walls
112 My Sister’s Keeper - Jodi Picoult
113 The Last Juror - John Grisham
114 The Devil in the White City - Erik Larson
115 Left Behind - Tim LaHaye, Jerry B. Jenkins
116 America (The Book) - Jon Stewart and The Writers of The Daily Show
117 The Red Tent - Anita Diamant
118 John Adams - David McCullough
119 The Christmas Box - Richard Paul Evans
120 The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants - Ann Brashares
121 Sugar Busters! - H. Leighton Steward, Sam S. Andrews, Morrison C. Bethea, Luis A. Balart
122 Blink - Malcolm Gladwell
123 The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle
124 90 Minutes in Heaven: A True Story of Death and Life - Don Piper, Cecil Murphey
125 The Fellowship of the Ring - J.R.R. Tolkien
126 1776 - David McCullough
127 The Bridges of Madison County - Robert James Waller
128 Where the Heart Is - Billie Letts
129 The Ultimate Weight Solution - Phillip C. McGraw
130 Protein Power - Michael R. Eades, Mary Dan Eades
131 Chicken Soup for the Mother’s Soul - Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen, Jennifer Read Hawthorne, Marci Shimoff
132 Into Thin Air - Jon Krakauer
133 Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides **
134 Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson, David Oliver Relin
135 You: The Owner’s Manual - Michael F. Roizen, Mehmet C. Oz
136 1,000 Places to See Before You Die: A Traveler’s Life List - Patricia Schultz
137 Self Matters - Phillip C. McGraw
138 She’s Come Undone - Wally Lamb
139 1984 - George Orwell
140 The Chronicles of Narnia - C.S. Lewis
141 The Millionaire Next Door - Thomas J. Stanley, William D. Danko
142 The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory
143 The Zone - Barry Sears, Bill Lawren
144 The Pilot’s Wife - Anita Shreve **
145 The Lost World - Michael Crichton
146 Atonement - Ian McEwan **
147 He’s Just Not That Into You - Greg Behrendt, Liz Tuccillo
148 Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
149 The World Is Flat - Thomas L. Friedman
150 Cross - James Patterson

My score: 42/150

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz

Firstly, I want to start by saying that if you do not understand Spanish, Spanish slang to be exact, you might not really grasp some of the neat terms used in this book. The story is told in a real New Yorker/Dominican voice - meaning lots of Spanglish. It is very graphic in nature, has a lot of cussing and has some tough patches that were a bit difficult to get through - but were needed to get gist of the story. There were huge footnotes, which tend to distract me, but had a lot of insight on the history of Santo Domingo, D.R. I found it to be hilarious, educational and brimming with "did he just write that" moments.

Oh, and if you were wondering about the title, the title of the book gets its name, from the thick-accented pronunciation of Oscar Wilde, becoming Oscar "Wao."


From the Stacks Challenge '08

- If you are anything like me your stack of purchased to-be-read books is teetering over.

- So for this challenge we would be reading 5 books that we have already purchased, have been meaning to get to, have been sitting on the nightstand and haven't read before.

- No going out and buying new books. No getting sidetracked by the lure of the holiday bookstore displays.

- The bonus would be that we would finally get to some of those titles (you know you picked them for a reason!) and we wouldn't be spending any extra money over the holidays.

- The time frame would be Nov. 1st, 2008 until Jan. 30, 2009 and there will be some small, fun prizes awarded to random participants and/or those with clever review posts.

My List:
- Loved Walked In - Marisa De Los Santos (completed - 11/19/08)
- Belong to Me - Marisa De Los Santos (completed - 11/24/08)
- From Dead to Worse - Charlaine Harris (completed 11/09/08)
- Coraline - Neil Gaiman (completed - 11/10/08)
- The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman (completed- 11/16/08)
- The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants - Ann Brashares (completed - 11/13/08)
- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz (completed - 11/06/08)
- Grace - Richard Paul Evans (completed - 11/11/08)


What's in a Name Challenge 2009

*Dates: January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2009
*The Challenge: Choose one book from each of the following categories.

1. A book with a "profession" in its title. Examples might include: The Book Thief, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Historian

2. A book with a "time of day" in its title. Examples might include: Twilight, Four Past Midnight, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

3. A book with a "relative" in its title. Examples might include: Eight Cousins, My Father's Dragon, The Daughter of Time

4. A book with a "body part" in its title. Examples might include: The Bluest Eye, Bag of Bones, The Heart of Darkness

5. A book with a "building" in its title. Examples might include: Uncle Tom's Cabin, Little House on the Prairie, The Looming Tower

6. A book with a "medical condition" in its title. Examples might include: Insomnia, Coma, The Plague.

*You may overlap books with other challenges, but please don't use the same book for more than one category.
*Again, there will be some small prizes scattered throughout. No set schedule, so just be sure to check in once a while. There will also be a prize awarded at the conclusion to one participant who completes the challenge.
*You don't need to decide exactly which books you will be reading ahead of time, though you're certainly welcome to. Either way, I'd love to see your lists of possibilities, and I'll bet everyone else would love to read them as well. To join in, simply leave a link here. Or, if you don't have a blog, simply leave your name (and feel free to share your list in the comments if you'd like).

Winter Holiday Reading Challenge

1. The Winter Holiday Reading Challenge will last from November 1, 2008 to January 31, 2009.

2. The theme for this challenge is Winter Holidays. The books that you choose to read must have a storyline that includes celebrating a winter holiday, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's, etc. (However, the holidays are not limited to just these examples.)You choose the number of books you wish to read.

3. Leave a comment at the end of this post if you want to join in on the fun.Each month, leave a comment at the end of the Winter Holiday Reading Challenge Update post that includes the book (title and author) that you read for that month and the link to your review (if you have one).

4. And finally... Enjoy your holiday reading!

My List:
1 The Gift of the Magi and Other Short Stories by O.Henry (completed - 11/25/08)
2 Grace - Richard Paul Evans (completed - 11/11/08)
3 The Christmas Box - Richard Paul Evans (completed - 11/22/08)
4 On Strike for Christmas - Sheila Roberts (completed - 12/3/08)

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

Sookie’s adventures continue within the vampire realm in this book. As always, she is at the core of all of the danger and somehow comes out [mostly] unscathed. I can’t express how much I continue to love this series. Sookie is an unexpected hero. She is holding her own against the vamps that would use her -- a great example of how to survive and thrive when life gives you lemons. I’m a bit saddened that this is already the 7th book - meaning one more to go ‘till I have to wait for April ‘09 to get the next installment. Still rooting for Eric!



I had such a good weekend. Between Halloween and the NKOTB concert on Saturday - I didn't have much time for reading - but it was sooo fun.

I'm back on the bandwagon as of this morning. I'm reading the 7th Sookie book (All Together Dead) - and I also started reading The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao over the weekend (maybe it's because I'm latin and I actually undertand some of his little Spanglish comments - but I think it's hilarious). So that's what I'm working on at the moment.

I bought a couple of books over the weekend too - so I think I'm held over for the next couple of weeks with reading material.

This time change is kicking my butt - I'm a mess - I feel jet-lagged. ugh


Current book-in-progress: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and All Together Dead
Current movie/tv obsession: Forgetting Sarah Marshall
iTunes Loop: Wicked Soundtrack


NKOTB Concert!

Can I just tell you what a BLAST I had at the New Kids on the Block concert last night. They are no longer boys I will tell you that. They were my first concert when I was 12 years old and now that I'm 30 I can say that I enjoyed this concert immensely. Jennifer and I headed out of the house around 4pm. We went to dinner at Stir Crazy, went by the book store (of course), then went to IKEA (I love that place!) and then made our way over to the stadium. There were so many people there. Mostly women. A lot of people had 80's outfits on. They looked so funny with their leg warmers and hot pink pschedelic shirts and tights. It was amazing to see everyone so excited to see these men do their THANG and let me tell you they rocked. What a great show. Natasha Beddingfield opened for them and she was fantastic too - although she didn't do my fave song (Soulmate). There was always some lady called Lady Gaga (horrible) who performed - but I spent most of the time she was on stage in line to use the restroom.

Here are some pics of Jen and I (total groupies) along with the pics we took of the "Boys" for your viewing pleasure:

This is what the stadium looked like. This is just the area directly in front of us. Imagine that all the way around. And I guarantee that about 75% were all women!

Yes, the show was about to begin!

Yes, if you're a fan, you'll recognize that little dance. You've Got the Right Stuff!

Please Don't Go Girl

TonighT - la la la la la la TonighT !

Step by Step

This is what we looked like the whole night!

and of course, there was, HANGIN' TOUGH!

and a good night to all!

And what a good night it was. Jen and I basically had no voices and our ears were ringing by the end of the night - but it was so worth it.

Current book-in-progress: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao and All Together Dead
Current movie/tv obsession: Journey to the Center of the Earth
iTunes Loop: Pocket Full of Sunshine - Natasha Beddingfield
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Blog designed by Dreamy Blog Designs using Cré@Bisontines I'm Yours Kit