A Month of Reading: April 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

I saw a post called 'Reading Reflections' for the month of April from Lily @ Lily's Bookshelf. I really liked the idea, so I decided to do one also for myself. Maybe some of you would like to do this as well. Leave your link as a comment if you ever post one.

Books read:
What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell - review
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver - review
About a Boy by Nick Hornby - review
Still Alice by Lisa Genova - review
The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan - review
Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston - review
Willow by Julia Hoban - review
The Midnight Escape by Alice W. Flaherty - still writing review
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman - review

Books I Started On But Haven't Finished Yet:

(halfway through) City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Total Number of Books Read This Month:
9 1/2

Favorite Reads:
I just can't choose one, so I'll choose 3.
- Before I Fall
- The Last Olympian
- Willow

Overall Thoughts:
This was a great reading month for me. In fact it's so great that I discovered one of my favorite YA novels this month which is Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I loved this book! It really taught me a thing or two, and made me realize that this quote still holds true; "Be kind to others -- for everyone is fighting a hard battle." It taught me that one thing can lead to another, and we should be careful with our choices, decisions, and overall attitude in life.
Of course, I read The Last Olympian, which was quite a bit of a bittersweet experience for me, since I love the Percy Jackson series and it's finally over. Nevertheless, I am so glad to have discovered such a wonderful series that I can recommend to everyone of all ages.
Also this month, I read two really realistic novels that tackle two very different issues; Alzheimer's disease in Still Alice and cutting in Willow.
I also got to read The Midnight Escape, which is a non-fiction/psychology book. I don't usually go for non-fiction, but I have to admit I was a bit surprised that I really liked it. It's basically a study on the connections between writing&emotion, and writing&the brain. It was really smart, interesting, and thought-provoking.
I am also definitely interested on reading more of Neil Gaiman's works. The Graveyard Book was just an exceptionally written story, and I liked it a lot better than Coraline. Recommendations anyone? :)
By the way, I am halfway through The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. I decided to stop reading though and skip it for a while, just because I wasn't really getting into it yet. I'm definitely going to pick it up soon though, to finish it. I am still trying to be positive about this one, and hopefully I end up liking it better when I finish it.

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But that's it for this month's reading. Hopefully you had a great reading month, and discovered a bunch of awesome books. If you did, I'd like to know all about it.
Now I just can't wait for May, for a lot of different reasons. How about you, what do you look forward to in the month of May? What are your reading goals? Do share. Thanks everyone, and have an awesome Friday!

Hopping again!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Hi everyone! Welcome to my blog! If you came here from the Book Blogger Hop over at Crazy-for-Books, thanks for visiting! I'd love to check your blog out as well, so please leave your link here if you can :)
By the way, if you have time, do check out my meme called Top Ten Picks. This week's topic is on our favorite Young Adult novels, so if you want to add your own top 10 list to share, Mr. Linky will be there as usual. Thanks everyone! Have a great Friday.

Write Right Now.. errr, help?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

I try to find inspiration in little things; words, photos, music, art, people.. among many others. One of the many things that motivate me is this innocent fortune that says, "You are a lover of words. Someday you will write a book." As innocent and simple as this is, it has the power to pick me up during times that I feel discouraged. It gives me a little nudge -- and a whisper -- to keep trying and keep going, as I try to reach for my main goal. Believe it or not, it really does make me feel a lot better everytime I feel stuck -- when I feel like I'm not moving or like I'm not going anywhere. Do you ever feel that way?

This picture below though, is a pretty accurate depiction of how I've been the past three days.

As some of you might already know, the main goal I'm referring to is to be a published writer. I know I have a really, really long way to go still, but this year, I aim to accomplish part 1 first -- out of so many! -- of this said goal; to finally finish the story.
I have written several stories before -- would they count as novels? I don't know. What I do know is that I feel really good about the one I've been and what I'm working on.
I have to admit, it's a bit surreal to let other people know this life goal of mine. For years, I've been usually quiet and secretive about the whole writing thing. But now that I've finally said it, I feel as if there is a sense of finality -- like it's for real and for sure this time. It's as if a little voice is telling me, "This is it. You've finally told everyone. Go write. No excuses. No turning back now."

According to Word, I have written 14,319 unedited words so far. I am working on a slow pace, but I feel that this is what works best for me. Despite the busy schedule, I always manage to sneak in a much-needed writing time. In fact, I actually felt like I was on such a roll -- you know that awesome feeling? When you're going on a steady pace and feel incredibly motivated and inspired. Suddenly though, out of nowhere, something takes that away from you.

Writer's Block.
Where did that even come from in the first place? How did that happen?

To put it simply, I am and have been having a really severe case of it. My writing state has been really horrible for the past few I-don't-even-know-anymore. In fact, I don't even think I'm in a writing state at all. I have to admit, this is kind of driving me crazy. Please tell me, how do you overcome it? I am very curious.


Advice? Tips? Thoughts? Yes please!
Thanks everyone.

Books I've Read So Far in 2012

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
2. Liesl and Po by Lauren Oliver
7. A Million Suns by Beth Revis
9. Fifty Shades of Grey
10. Between Shades of Grey by Rudy Sepetys

Waiting on Wednesday! (1)

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill @ Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.
Never done this meme before, but I think this is the perfect time to do it, because I really can't wait for this one to be released!

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Summary from Amazon.com
"Since their mother’s death, Carter and Sadie have become near strangers. While Sadie has lived with her grandparents in London, her brother has traveled the world with their father, the brilliant Egyptologist, Dr. Julius Kane.
One night, Dr. Kane brings the siblings together for a "research experiment" at the British Museum, where he hopes to set things right for his family. Instead, he unleashes the Egyptian god Set, who banishes him to oblivion and forces the children to flee for their lives.
Soon, Sadie and Carter discover that the gods of Egypt are waking, and the worst of them--Set--has his sights on the Kanes. To stop him, the siblings embark on a dangerous journey across the globe--a quest that brings them ever closer to the truth about their family, and their links to a secret order that has existed since the time of the pharaohs."

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians is one of my favorite series. Having finished the final book, The Last Olympian, I'm quite sad I won't be able to read about Percy Jackson and his friends' adventures anymore. At the same time, I'm quite excited that there is a Camp-Half Blood series 2 coming up! It's not to be released until Fall of this year though. The great news is: that I'm still going to get my dose of some good writing and awesome story telling from one of my new favorite authors, Rick Riordan. When, you ask? Well, very soon, actually.
This time, Rick Riordan generally centers his new series, The Kane Chronicles, around Egyptian mythology -- another one I find so interesting aside from Greek mythology. The first book in the series, The Red Pyramid, is to be released on May 4, 2010. That's next week already! I'm very excited for this one, and just can't wait!

Check out Rick Riordan's website and his blog.

Top Ten Picks: Favorite Young Adult Novels

Top Ten Picks is a meme here in Random Ramblings where I would be posting just about that -- my top 10 picks! Every week, there will be a different and specific topic given. I will then choose 10 of my picks from that given category, create the list, and post them up here!
For this week, I will be doing something I've never done before; a video blog! Hopefully it turned out alright.

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If you'd like to skip watching me talk about each book in detail, you can fast forward it to 8:03 where I just show them all real quick again.

video

My reviews for some of the novels included:
1. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
2. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
3. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
4. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
5. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

And if you really don't want to watch me ramble, here's a list of the books in no particular order:

1. Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
2. The Diary of A Young Girl by Anne Frank
3. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
4. Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
5. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
6. The Lightning Thief [Percy Jackson series] by Rick Riordan
7. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
8. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L' Engle
9. The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
10. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

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Again, if you would like to join in, all you have to do is:
1. Do a post, listing all your answers. Like I already mentioned, you do not have to include pictures, descriptions, or explanations, but if you would like to do so, feel free! And if you would like to do your own video blog, that'd be awesome ;) And series can be considered as one book.
2. Please sign the Mr. Linky box below with the specific URL of your post.




Can't wait to hear what you all have to say! :)

Top Ten Picks Topic this Week!

Monday, April 26, 2010

For this week for Top Ten Picks, the topic will be on our favorite Young Adult novels. I'm a little excited for this one, but at the same time, I know it will be a bit challenging for me to pick just 10. There are just so many! But personally, I find that the challenge is part of the fun. Let me know what you think about the topic, and if you think you'll be participating this week!
Also, I decided that from now on, I am going to give everyone a heads up about what the new topic will be at least a day [if not more] before the actual Top Ten Picks post. It's probably a good idea so that we can all think ahead and even have more time to prepare our lists. But that's it for this update. Hope you're having a great Monday so far.
Oh and by the way, how do you feel about video blogs? I'd like to know what you think ;)

Willow

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Genre: Young Adult
My Source: Library
Rating: 5/5
Summary: Seven months ago, Willow was driving the car that took both her parents' life. Stricken with grief, guilt, and the drastic changes in her life, Willow seeks to find refuge and solace. She finds this in a metal blade.
Now Willow is a cutter. She is unable to stop, as her whole life falls apart. And then she meets a boy named Guy, and maybe -- just maybe -- he can teach her how to change everything, if only she would allow herself to.

Review: This novel has two important and great strengths; its ultimate message and the main characters. The message reaches out to a vast number of people, going through a difficult time -- who feel as if their life has gone down the drain. Those who seek refuge, but can not find it. Those who feel there are no other solution. We can all pretend, fool, and blind ourselves into thinking these people and these kinds of situations don't exist, but the fact is, they do. This book shows that, we never really know what's going on in everyone's lives, behind closed doors. And the message is delivered by none other than the main protagonist; Willow.
Willow is extraordinary to me; complex, believable, real, and strong -- despite everything.
The other main character, Guy, is also someone that I personally look up to from now on -- perfectly flawed, but strong and kind-hearted. He shows compassion and understanding, which are both traits we subconsciously often forget.

As for the writing, I found it to be incredibly real. The prose is beautiful, and the dialogues between the main characters are believable, that I feel like I am really listening into an actual conversation. Never did it seem that the author was trying a bit too hard and/or pushing it too far.
That being said, I give this credible and realistic novel a 5 star rating. It is a sad book, but to me, it also is in a way, quite uplifting. It is an emotionally moving, touching, and sometimes overwhelming story. It is the type of book that has the power to inspire and quite possibly, make a significant change in someone going through what Willow did. I think any book that can do this needs and deserves to be read.

Giveaway Results!

The contest was held for two months, and now it's over. This of course means there is indeed a winner already -- picked through a randomized drawing. If you want to find out who won.. please watch the video right here!

video

Congratulations again!

As for the winner's answer to the giveaway question, "Pick any book you have read that has stayed with you long after you finished it, inspired you, and made an impact in you and your life. What exactly was it about the book that made that happen for you?" it's:

"I have now read Kaye Gibbon's Charms for the Easy Life at least 4 times now. I have loved this book since I first read it a few years ago. I'm now 22 years old and I just love it even more! It's about a group of southern women: mother, daughter, and grandmother. It's all about girl-power and sticking together.
The women are so very different, yet all love each other despite their differences. I laugh, I cry when I read this book, and I relate to their lives. The book inspired me to be proud of my "womanhood." Like the main character, the daughter Margaret, I'm also close to my mother and grandmother. Yet like her, I had to find my own path and make my own life. All the women in this book are strong and proud of their strength, and this book inspired me to be the same."


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But that is it for that giveaway! I had such fun reading all of your entries! Thanks everyone! :)
Oh, and just in case you were wondering what song I used, it's Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy by the Andrew Sisters.


Wannabe Writers (2)

Wannabe Writers is a writing group/meme for the unpublished by Sarah @ Confessions of the Un-Published. It's a place where writers can ask questions, share stories, and get feedback.

Where I am in the writing process: Like I said in my previous post, I was still in the beginning/outlining process. I think it is safe to say that I am, actually, still there until now. On Tuesday though, I finally started doing the actual writing on paper. I typed it out, and according to Word, I have written 4,120 words in four days.
I am working in a very small pace, but I think that's what works best for me. I try not to force myself to write if I already know I'm not in the right mood, because this way, words just come freely and don't appear contrived in any way whatsoever. I also don't feel pressured and/or rushed when I try to take my time.


My current problems:
Thankfully, no problems right now!


Sarah's question this week: "What do you give up in order to write?"
I don't think I give up anything that huge to the point that it affects my daily life; routines, activities, and general lifestyle. The thing is, writing is a part of all of those. It is completely natural, and something that I always have time for.
However, I can't deny that there are definitely some nights that I had to give up sleep. The crazy thing is, I don't really seem to mind lacking sleep if it means getting some writing done.
There might be little things also, that I might be doing subconsciously. One example would be those many times where I would forget that I have food in front of me for lunch at work because I'm so caught up with what I'm writing.. or missing dinner because I am too busy scribbling away to even go to the kitchen.. things like that, haha.

Books I Read This Week

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Willow by Julia Hoban
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Library
Review: Still writing.

Seven months ago, Willow was driving the car that took both her parents' life. Stricken with this event, she finds solace and refuge with a metal blade.
Cutting is the only way for her. She is unable to stop, as it gives her an escape, though temporary. And then she meets a boy named Guy, and maybe -- just maybe -- he can teach her how to change everything.

The Midnight Escape by Alice W. Flaherty
Genre: Non-Fiction/Psychology
Source: Gift from someone
Review: Still writing.

This is an interesting non-fiction book that is written by a neuroscientist and a writer. The book is mainly about 'the drive to write, writer's block, and the creative brain.' The author looks into this with her research connecting writing&emotion, and writing&brain.



The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan
Genre: Fantasy/Adventure Young Adult
Source: Purchased
My Review: Read it over here.

This is the final book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians. The long-awaited battle against Kronos and his army is finally here.





Happiness Sold Separately by Lolly Winston
Genre: General Fiction
Source: Library
My Review: Read it over here.

Ted and Elinor is a couple in crisis. They have been through two years of unsuccessful fertility treatments after another. All the stress, heart break, disappointments, and pressure makes their marriage seem like a job. Eventually, everything starts to fall apart between them. But Elinor never expected that her husband will ever cheat on her and resort to an affair with someone else.

I started on:

The City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Genre: Fantasy Young Adult
Source: Purchased

I am halfway through this book, but felt the need to skip it for now. It's not exactly because I wasn't enjoying it, but maybe I wasn't feeling it just yet. I am definitely looking forward to picking this up again though.






Currently Reading

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Genre: Children's Fantasy
Source: Library










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There you have it for this week. I only managed to read 4 1/2 books, but hopefully next week I'll have more time to sneak in some more! How about you? Thanks everyone and happy reading!

Changing previous post!

So if you read my post before this, I listed the books that I read the past week and what I am currently reading. I realized that Sheila of One Persons Journey Through A World of Books already had that meme called "It's Monday! What are you reading?" Ah.. oh well! :) I'm going to head over and delete that entire post, but post a new one with almost the same content. Thank you to Jennifer and MarceJ for clearing that up for me.

hop, hop, hop!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Welcome to my blog! If you came here from the Book Blogger Hop over at Crazy-for-Books, thanks for visiting! I'd love to check your blog out as well, so please leave your link here if you can :)
By the way, you still have 2 days to enter my contest, where I am giving away TWO items! Check it out over here if you'd like! Thanks everyone, and happy Friday!

Happiness Sold Separately

Synopsis: Ted and Elinor is a couple in crisis. They have been through two years of unsuccessful fertility treatments after another. All the stress, heart break, disappointments, and pressure makes their marriage seem like a job. Eventually, everything starts to fall apart between them. But Elinor never expected that her husband will ever cheat on her and resort to an affair with someone else.

Review:
Having read and liked Lolly Winston's novel, Good Grief, I picked up this book and expected that I would enjoy this one as well. For starters, I liked the premise. Even though it has been done multiple times before, the author does a great job showing its complex sides by giving it a new twist. It's not the typical, 'husband cheats on wife with hot & attractive mistress,' because in this novel, it's not only the married couple's point of view that is showed, but the mistress's as well -- a very interesting take.
Another good thing about this book is that it is a fast read. It is also, as expected, very well-written. The author writes in a way that her readers get to sympathize and empathize with the characters and their situations. And for a character-driven book, I believe this is crucial. Though I did like and root for most of the characters, I feel as if the author failed to develop them more. To me, they were still the same people as they were from the first chapter. There's no growth or maturity. Now I don't know if I like that very much. If you read Good Grief, I have to admit the character and plot development there was much cleaner than in here.
Another negative aspect about this book is its ending. I will warn you now, if you do not like ambiguous endings, you should probably skip this. I for one, was left a bit unsatisfied. I felt as if there was so much build up in the story and then -- bam -- it's done. There was no chance to give a more 'proper' or appropriate conclusion. As I think about this though, maybe that is the point of the novel -- that there's always loose ends and no perfect endings. I do get that, and I appreciate the author's purpose, but maybe like I said, the ambiguity was just not for me.
To sum up this review, I have to say that overall, this is a good read and is well worth the time. For me, I did not like the ending. Maybe if the author tweaked and changed it more a bit and gave more of a direct conclusion.. maybe it would have been better.

Wannabe Writers (1)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I just discovered this wonderful meme, so this will be my first time participating. I'll be looking forward for next week's topic/questions.
Wannabe Writers
is a meme by Sarah @ Confessions of the Un-Published. It's a place where writers can ask questions, share stories, and get feedback. Click to find more about how it works here.

Where I am in the writing process:
Beginning. Mostly though, I am still outlining. How I wish I could sit down and write for hours, but unfortunately, this week is not allowing me. I can't wait for Saturday, when I usually have the whole day to myself and can focus more on getting things done.

My current problems:
No big problems for now, but I guess the main one as of this week is actually finding the time to write. I know I have to and want to make time, as there is no other way, but like I said, it's a bit of a struggle. My other problem is trying to form the main character. I don't know the answers to these questions just yet; Who is this person? What is she like? What is she all about? Or maybe it's a he..? I am still on the 'deciding stage' and though I am nervous about this, I am also feeling very optimistic and excited as well.

Sarah's questions this week:
"Character descriptions. How do you describe a characters appearance? And how do you work it into a story without making it sound fake? How much is too much? Why can't I just say "she had blue eyes blond hair" the end? And where do you work it into a story? When your MC (main character) first meets said character? And where do you work this in for your MC? And do you even need to work this in for your MC?"

The best advice I have heard regarding this is the old saying, "Show, don't tell." I feel as though a whole chapter describing how the character looks is unnecessary. I don't want a story -- whether I'm reading or writing -- that has an entire paragraph dedicated to an About Me: What I Look Like segment. I feel as if there is a way to let the readers "see" who this character is and what he/she looks like, without going overboard with the details.
However, I don't want to sound like a hypocrite here, because believe me, I have trouble in this area as well. My main problem would definitely be consistency.
All I know though, is that I try to be as subtle as I can, by offering the reader/audience more than just basic information. Ultimately, what I aim for is for me to be able to let them see for themselves, and for them to create their own images.

Top Ten Picks: Worst Books You've Ever Read

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Note: First of all, this post is completely subjective, and I'm already apologizing for the lack of explanation for some of these books. I did this on purpose and have only written a sentence or two, as I am trying not to go overboard with my complains here -- though I might have ended up doing that anyway ;)
Second, I'm not here to disrespect or offend anyone. Seeing as this as a bit of a 'touchy' subject for some, I hope you know these are simply me being very honest about my opinions. After all, we are entitled to our own, right? If I offend anyone, sorry, but that is not at all my intention. Whether you agree or disagree, I'd love to hear what you have to say!

Top Ten Picks is a feature here in this blog where I would be posting just about that -- my top 10 picks! Every week, there will be a different and specific topic given. I will then choose 10 of my picks from that given category, create the list, and post them up here!
For this week, I will be listing the worst books I've ever read. So without further adieu, here are my picks, in no particular order:

Top Ten Worst Books I've Ever Read


1. The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown
- Hmmm.. If you have the time, please read my "review/rant" here.

2. Citizen Girl
by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
- This piece is _________ <-- insert bad adjective/word here. Seriously, there is nothing good about this book, at least to me. I would never ever recommend this to anyone. I'd hate for them to suffer with such a terrible story with terrible characters and mediocre writing.
3. The Madison County by Robert James Waller
- Oh gosh, this is quite funny. I remember a time when my friends and I would pass this book to each other, saying, "You have got to read it! It's horrible!"

4. The Soddit: Or Cashing In Again by A.R.R.R. Roberts
- Let's see what we have here.. a supposedly humorous book making fun of the LOTR series... Now I'm all up for parodies, but when it fails to capture the essence of what it's making fun of, and ends up ridiculous instead, well.. yeah.. I guess this is self-explanatory.

5. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
- This is an odd pick for me. I believe Ayn Rand is a great writer, and I believe people should try to read this at least once. I guess this is just one of those books that you either like or you don't. Unfortunately, I'm the latter. I thought it was boring and the characters were not interesting/redeeming/intriguing/well-developed in any whatsoever.

6. Battlefield Earth by L. Ron Hubbard
- This is the epitome of a long and boring book. I think it put me to sleep a couple of times in the past.

7. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
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*bring out the pitchforks! jillian's a twilight hater!*
Okay, first of all, I don't hate Twilight. I do however, hate the undeserved hype that it's getting. I think that is what truly irks me the most! Second, I'm not simply "hating" on it. I read all of them, and while I still don't see anything special about them, I have to admit they were tolerable enough. They were very painful to read, especially with the cliche and corny writing, but I guess it wasn't that painful. However, Breaking Dawn, to me, was just terrible! Actually, terrible is kind of an understatement. The ending of the book was shoved towards the readers -- without explanations or reasons or anything. The writing is mediocre as I have already mentioned, and I see no redeeming qualities whatsoever about Bella. In fact, in my opinion, she is one of the most -- if not the most -- dependent, annoying, needy, self-centered, narcissistic character ever made. Am I supposed to like her? And also..
Warning: Complains may contain SPOILERS
  • What is with the whole Jacob-Renesmee thing? Seriously!
  • So Bella's a vampire and all of a sudden, she's what, superwoman?
  • The ending: No battles, no fights, no deaths? All that preparation for just a boring conversation?! Talk about anti-climactic!
  • Who names their kid "Renesmee?!" Please tell me.
8. Coma by Robin Cook
- First thing I said when I finished reading this? "You've got to be kidding me..."
This is a book that started off with a lot of promise. It was 'kinda good.' Unfortunately, the ending made everything all go downhill. Sure, Robin Cook can write. Also, the premise is very intriguing. The main character is likable enough. But come on.. what is with that ending?!

9. The Secret by Rhonda Byrne
- Maybe it's just me. I really don't like self-help books. This one, especially, was just too much. This is one of those books that preach to no end, and tell you what do or what not do with your life. This is one of those books that say stuff like, "When you're sad, you're not really sad. You just think you're sad.. blah blah blah.." or stuff that don't even make sense like "You look at the burger and you want it, but the truth is, you don't really want it." Oh goodness.

10. Anything written by Ann Coulter
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Seriously, have you ever read her non-fiction books? If you have, I think you know exactly why she is here.

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There you have it for my picks for this week!
Again, if you would like to join in, all you have to do is:
1. Do a post similar to this, listing all your answers. You do not have to include pictures or descriptions, but if you would like to do so, feel free!
2. Please sign the Mr. Linky box below with the specific URL of your post.



Can't wait to hear what you all have to say!

a little history on novels that started my book addiction..

Growing up, I was lucky enough to have had parents that supported my love for reading. Though I can not pinpoint the exact age I was when I first started becoming a bookworm, I know for a fact that I was very young then -- around six or so. I still remember the times when my grandparents would take me, my siblings, and my cousins to the bookstore, telling us that we could pick any book we wanted. This happened once or twice a month, and every time, it felt like Christmas.

I am reminded of these fond memories and books while I was at work last week, organizing the shelves in the small library. I saw a couple of classic children's books that I used to love, but what really caught my attention the most were the chapter books. These were the ones that challenged me when I was younger and were the ones that made me feel like a real "grown-up." After all, these were my first real "grown-up" books. Here were just five of my favorites:

What were your favorite books when you were growing up?

Today's Inspiration

Monday, April 19, 2010

This is probably one of the most random posts I have -- and there's been a lot, so this must be something ;) Anyway, it's crazy blogging in the morning. I usually don't, since there's no time during the day, but today is an exception because.. well, it's my day off! I feel incredibly lucky (and excited!) since it's Monday and all and I never really get three day weekends. Even when I'm actually stuck with a lot of errands to try to accomplish today, I surprisingly kind of like it. It's a lot better than laying in bed all day -- which I did yesterday, go figure.
Later on today though, after all the errands, I plan to go to a cafe by myself, drink coffee and tea, read a book, and maybe even get some writing done. Now don't get me wrong, I looovee being around people; friends, family.. It's just that sometimes, it's also nice to treat yourself and have some alone time outside. This plan, at least to me, sounds like a dream just about now. Here's me wishing you either have a productive or relaxing day -- or hopefully maybe even both!


When I 'previewed' this before publishing, I realized how truly random and odd this post is. Ahh.. please bear with me, haha. Again though, have a great Monday -- with lots of 'you' time or reading time, hopefully? Oh, and speaking of, I'm curious, what book are you devouring these days? I'm reading City of Bones by Cassandra Clare right now, about 1/4 through it. Honestly.. I still don't know what I think of it. Have you ever read this? What'd you think of it..?