Friday, June 30, 2017

Book Blogger Hop: June 30th - July 6th


Name a book that changed your life. - Kristin @ Lukten av Trykksverte
I first came to The Giver in the 4th grade. I remember being in the school library and it just calling to me. I avoided it at first (old man on the cover, male protagonist), but eventually it was too much. I had to read this book. And then, well, the magic that is The Giver happened.

No illness of any kind. No hurting. No anger. No sadness. As a kid, that idea of some sort of utopia where everyone is happy and healthy all the time is very appealing. Then Lowry pulls the rug. It was mind-blowing for my 9 year old self.

Granted, there are certain... weirdnesses that, as an adult, don't add up, but I was 9 and didn't notice such things. I still reread this one and it still holds a lot of the same power for me.
Please note: I have read the second and third books of this "quartet" and I have very strong, negative feelings about them. I'm not going to go into that here. I just don't want any well-meaning recommendations for them.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bookish (and not so bookish) Thoughts

This post contains an affiliate link.
Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).
1. Bought a sale book on kobo* a couple of weeks ago. I accidentally hit the wrong account through paypal and ended up getting hit with an Non-Sufficient Funds fee. I hit up the bank chat and asked if it was possible to get the fee reversed because it was an accident and the original charge was less than a dollar. (It was 99¢ total.) The representative then gave me "courtesy fee waive" (her words).
Seriously, it never hurts to ask. πŸ˜‰

2. They finally came on Friday to fix the air conditioner. Unfortunately, whatever is wrong with it is not an easy fix and a part has to be ordered. It took them forever to come fix it, but now that they have been here, they went above and beyond. They brought us a temporary A/C unit and offered us fans. Since I had already gone to my dad's to borrow two, we opted to not borrow theirs as well. The part should be here on Tuesday. D:

3. Yay for easy Swagbucks SWAGO boards! It's just ncraves. A bit tedious, but not a whole lot of "work" to get a minimum of 74SB per day without really trying. I tend to go on and off on this site. Come on, book fund! *^-^*

4. Getting started bullet journaling again. I did really well with a notebook, but when I switched to a traditional planner... I got stuck. I think I've figured out my main issue and am trying normal pages instead of premade calendar ones. Mostly I switched to a planner because I wanted to be able to take the pages out and move them around as necessary.

5. A/C fixed on Wednesday.

Until next time! .~*πŸ’˜Shannon

*affiliate link

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

My Favorite .. Book Movie Adaptation


My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme.

This week's topic: Book Movie Adaptation 






Stardust - Neil Gaiman

It's been too long since I've read or watched either of them, so I don't feel properly equipped to give a solid review/comparison.

My main issue was not caring about the book characters which is an important component for me when it comes to romantic stories. I had no such issue with the movie.

I didn't hate the book, but I didn't like it either. I absolutely adore the movie.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Tell Me Something Tuesday

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion created by Rainy Day Ramblings.
To request or not to request: how do you limit ARC requests?
I am the wrong person to ask. While I did recently hit up netgalley, I gave it up for quite a few years because my shelf quickly became out of control and I was completely overwhelmed.

I came back to it a couple of weeks ago because I really wanted to read The Last Neanderthal. I ended up just throwing a few extra books on there that I was interested in. I figured I'd only be approved for one (indie), and the traditional publishing houses would reject me outright. I was wrong. I went in requesting 4, expecting 1. I came out with 3. (Not to mention: I was just approved for an impulse request that I put in two weeks ago. EEK!)
This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it was definitely a wake up call. No, four TBR books is not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but these are in addition to other books I own or want to borrow!

And the point of all that jumbled up mess up there?
There's not really. Since restarting this blog, I very much want to start utilizing ARCs again. I just need to find a balance that works.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Sword-Dancer by Jennifer Roberson

This post contains affiliate links.

Summary (from goodreads): He was Tiger, born of the desert winds, raised as a slave and winning his freedom by weaving a special kind of magic with a warrior's skill. Now he was an almost legendary sword-dancer, ready to take on any challenge--if the price was right...or the woman pretty enough.

She was Del, born of ice and storm, trained by the greatest of Northern sword masters. Now, her ritual training completed, and steeped in the special magic of her own runesword, she had come south in search of the young brother stolen five years before.

But even Del could not master all the dangers of the deadly Punja alone. And meeting Del, Tiger could not turn back from the most intriguing challenge he'd ever faced--the challenge of a magical, mysterious sword-dancer of the North.
.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.

Edition Read: kobo*
Where (else) to buy: google play, amazon*, nook*
Disclaimer:
The book was published in 1986. It is Roberson's counter to the dude-bro fantasy that was churned out at the time.
Bit o Background:
I first read this series somewhere between 2003 and 2005. I remember enjoying the series, but don't remember anything about the plot. I'm going through a (slow) reread because Roberson released a 7th book in 2013 after a 11 year hiatus. I want to read the latest volume, but I need to reread the rest of the series to justify that purchase.

Thoughts:
Reads as if it were published piecemeal in a magazine and put together as a novel later. This is largely due to the repetitive padding. Most of it is dedicated to Del's sword, but also the dangers of the desert, Del's attractiveness, and Tiger's constant ego stroking. Tiger and Del make extremely stupid decisions, fall into trouble, manage to escape certain doom (usually by luck, not skill), and continue on to make more bad decisions. They are surprisingly well-rounded for such a short book and grew on me as more layers were peeled back. They aren't on some grandiose, epic quest to save the world. They just have a singular mission. In and out. One and done. Tiger will get his payment, Del will restore the honor of her family. Win-win.

The result is a fun ride I was able to easily put down after finishing a chapter or two and pick right back up later. (This is helpful for work breaks and dealing with children.)

Verdict:

Breezy read that can be read in chunks. Recommended if you enjoy fantasy and can take the Fair for It's Day approach to combating sexism.

Quibbles:
I forgot what total douche Tiger was. If this was filmed, he'd be played by Vince Vaughn (probably photoshopped onto Dwayne Johnson's body wearing He-man's costume). It is plot relevant, but was still off-putting at times.


*This is an affiliate link

Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Blogger Hop: June 23rd-29th


 If you are at a really good point in a book and the phone rings or the door bell rings, do you stop reading or let the phone or door bell go unanswered? Elizabeth @Silver's Reviews
I really wish I could say that I would leave it unanswered, but that is decidedly not true.

For the phone, I look at the caller ID and if I don't know who it is (or if I know the person isn't calling for anything urgent), I'll just leave it. However, the fact that I looked at the phone counts as having stopped reading. It's not really customary for people to call just for the sake of chatting anymore, so if I get a phone  call... it's likely something of some kind of importance.

For the door, almost no one knocks on our door unless we know they are on their way.

I have two kids, so I've gotten used to be interrupted somewhat frequently. I anxiously await that bittersweet time when they don't pester me for every little thing. 

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).
1. Funny thing that sort of carried over from last week. I got my dates mixed up and thought Father's Day was last Sunday on my daughter's recital. So I didn't bother taking off work this week. Oops. πŸ˜“

2. Worked open to close on both Saturday and Sunday. It's not a problem since this is just what I'm available to work right now (also πŸ€‘), but I've had a series of events where I've had to take at least one day off each weekend for a while. I forgot how rough two 10+ hour shifts in a row are. I will adjust, it's just been a while.

3. Trying to switch to a lower carb diet for my daugher's T1D. She's been alright with our normal pre-diabetes diet, but the past few weeks not so much.
  • Monday: Spaghetti Squash Jambalaya.
    Verdict: It was okay.
    I found I like spaghetti squash, but the daughter doesn't. (Especially unfortunate because she loves pasta.) She liked it sans squash, but I wasn't super impressed. It was edible, but not my taste. Of course, I am on an antibiotic this week and it's been causing major heartburn. πŸ”₯πŸ”₯πŸ”₯ This didn't help. 
  • Tuesday: Low Carb Caulifour & Broccoli Cheese Soup.
    Verdict: Pretty damn delicious. πŸ‘
    The only thing I didn't really love was the texture. I suspect this is on my end because I don't own an immersion blender or a potato masher. Instead I spooned a little bit at a time and used my food processor. (Yes, this was messy and tedious.) Broccoli and cheddar soups is one of my daughter's favorite meals and she approved this version. I wouldn't say it's 1 for 1 with Panera (and diy knock offs), but it's close enough that I feel comfortable using this recipe instead of my old one! 
4. Somehow both kids caught a cold even though it's the second full week of summer vacation. Okay, okay, I know it's not how illnesses work, but ... come on!!!

5. The air conditioner stopped working Tuesday night. I put the work order in on Wednesday.... Here's hoping they will come today.

Until next time! .~*πŸ’–Shannon

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Favorite .. Evil Book Character


My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme.

This week's topic: Evil Book Character 

This one was pretty hard. I don't really read a lot books with a Big Bad anymore. Instead I just went the most recent one that struck a cord with me.



 Serena Joy
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood


I've never liked the phrase "the road to hell is paved with good intentions", but it definitely suits her.



Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Tell Me Something Tuesday

Tell Me Something Tuesday is a weekly discussion created by Rainy Day Ramblings.
   Are you on the offense or defense when it comes to your blog?
I'll be honest in saying I don't fully understand the question. I assume it's asking if I am more concerned with gathering followers or building content.

While I am putting it out there a little bit, I am currently focusing on content. I have been reviewing books on and off for several years, but this specific blog has just six entries and only one of those is a review. I can't expect anyone to read something that isn't even there!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Mailbox Monday


Mailbox Monday is a meme started by Marcia of To Be Continued. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. 
Note: These are actually from 2 weeks ago, but I didn't have my blog set up.

I probably won't be posting this every week. I'm just getting back into reviewing and I've never had a high turnover rate so I try to keep my requests and purchases to a minimum.

June 7th (Wednesday)
From Netgalley
  • The Aldar Dominion – Katherine Bogle
  • The Last Neanderthal – Claire Cameron 
  • Urban Enemies – multiple authors including Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Jeff Somers
June 15th
Wishlist sale purchase: kobo
  • The Heretic's Apprentice – Ellis Peters (Cafael #16)

Friday, June 16, 2017

Book Blogger Hop: June 16th-22nd


How do you organize your blog in terms of what is in your side bar? Do you have categories and defined sections in your side bar? -Elizabeth @ Silver's Reviews
Outside of blogger's standard tags labels and archive, I don't organize my blog over there. I do have my current goodreads challenge, what book/s I'm currently reading, and a couple of other buttons and badges over there, but it's not so much for organization as it is for an "at a glance" on my reading progress.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Bookish (and Not So Bookish) Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things they’ve encountered during the week, etc.).


1.My daughter had her gymnastics recital on Sunday. She has type 1 diabetes, which means I have to be backstage. I love my kids, but being a backstage parent sucks. I think it could be fun if I were one of the literal “backstage” people, but being a large, echoing room babysitting 50+ loud and rambunctious girls?! Yeah, not my thing.
--Plus I got stuck with snack duty aka stand by the boxes of snacks and police a mob of hungry girls and tell them they can each only have one bag. (It went as well as one can expect it to.)

2. I did enjoy watching my daughter's performance! (albeit from the side) I am so proud of her. This year was her first doing gymnastics. There is such a drastic improvement from when she started and now. She was on point!


3. My crockpot was lost somewhere during our last two moves and I finally have a new one! This will be a huge help in general, but especially on the evenings I have to work.

4. The husband and I had a date last night to see a rerelease of one of my absolute favorite movies, Some Like It Hot! I've seen this movie so many times, but it was still so wonderful to see it on the big screen.

5. I finished a book, updated it to goodreads and my little counter said I am now only 2 books behind!. The following day, it went back up to 3. :(  I mean, I know how it works, but I still wish it would have been a little bit longer!

6. Just got an email from the library that one my daughter's library books is very overdue. This is mostly on me because I just took her word for it that she only checked out 3 books. I was positive she had 4 and I didn't double check online. She's at a sleepover right now, but as soon as she gets back, she's finding that book.


Until next week! πŸ’–.~*Shannon

gifs from giphy and © their respective copyright holders

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

My Favorite .. Thriller


My Favorite.. is a weekly meme hosted by Maureen’s Books. In this meme we share every week something we love with each other. Because let’s face it.. The world can be a dark place and it’s time to share something positive. For more info: My Favorite Meme.

This week's topic: Thrillers! 

I was not able to pick just one, so I'm giving you two. *^-^*


Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

The first part was a slog, but the unreliable narrator kept me hooked. I was not disappointed. I am one of the few people I know who was okay with the ending.

It's not without issues (not getting into that right here), but the characters deserved their fates.




11/22/63 – Stephen King

I am unsure if this technically qualifies as a “thriller”, but it had my adrenaline pumping and I never wanted to set it down.

The series on hulu is pretty fantastic, too. It's both faithful to and different from the book. Enjoyable, but still suspenseful and surprising.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

A Dog's Purpose by Bruce W. Cameron

Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote
Summary (from goodreads): This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog's search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here?

Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey's search for his new life's meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8 year old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog. But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey's journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders, will he ever find his purpose?

Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh out loud funny, this book is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog's many lives, but also a dog's eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend. This story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.

.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.~*.*~.


Edition Read: Overdrive from local library
Where to buy: kobo, google play, amazon, nook

Bit o Background:
I made a literary faux pas* and saw the movie first.
*Or should I say faux paw. You knew it was coming, I had to go there.

Thoughts:


Cry-fest: party of me... and this book.

Okay, okay, it's not all crying. (but it is a lot.)

This is very much a book of feels. I knew it going in and it still hit me harder than I thought. It's sweet, funny, charming, sad, and even upsetting at times. Which is pretty damned impressive for a (not even)300 page book.

It made me miss every pet I've ever loved and I just wanted to run to the nearest shelter to adopt a new furry creature.
(Rest assured, vigilante animal lovers, I did not. I will one day, but I'm not in a position to do so right now.)

Verdict: 

Highly recommended, especially if you love animals. *^-^*

Movie Quibble: I have no idea why the movie chose to handle the police dog story line the way it did. It should have been wrapped up or excluded altogether. (They did invent an adorable extra life for the movie, so I don't understand what they were thinking with Ellie.)

Credits:
Gif from giphy.com
Tobias crying in the shower ©the people who own Arrested Development.
Book cover taken from goodreads and resized by me to 200px width

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