Friday, December 30, 2011

Alright fine I'm doing it: 2 Day Read-a-thon

EEEK. I have 5 books to go before I reach my goal of 100 books this year. I *think* I can do it. Admittedly, two of them are going to be children's books (hey, those are books!) but you gotta do what you gotta do. So here's my list:



  • Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan (41% done!)
  • Happy Birthday Moon by Frank Asch (not started)
  • The Immortalists by Kyle Mills (21% done!)
  • The Land of Oz by Frank Baum (page 58 of 274!) 

I know that's only four...ummm, maybe I will find one more?!?

Wish me luck! And head on over to Squeaky Books if you want to sign up..you have like a day and a half left in the year you can totally do it!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Follow Friday Memes

TGIF is hosted by Ginger at GReads!
This week's question: 
First & Last: What was the first book you read in 2011 and the last you finished in 2011? How do you feel about these books? Would you recommend them to other readers?


The last book I plan on finishing this year is: Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan.

At this point, I'm kind of just skimming through it since I'm more than half way finished with it. I'm not as into it as I thought I'd be because I don't like Norah's character that much. I know, I know, you all liked it and now you're offended but what can I say?! Every book isn't for everyone!!


First book I finished this year was Here Lies Bridget by Paige Harbison 
I unfortunately thought it was barftastic. I don't have anything nice to say about so I will just point you to my short review of it. Check it out here.







Question of the Week: The New Year is here -- and everyone wants to know your New Years Blogging Resolution! What are you going to try to revise, revamp and redo for 2012 on your blog?

Well, as you can see, I went public with my name and everything. Generally, I plan to become more visible and infuse a lot more of my personality (opinionated Brooklyn girl who happens to be a classical musician) into my posts. But here's a short list for those of you skimming hehe!

1. Definitely going to BEA: I was so sad that I had to miss it this year. I'm right freaking here in NYC!!

2. Post more often and have a clear schedule: I'm hoping that I get organized enough to have a set schedule this year. And if I don't, I won't beat myself up about it!

3. Read outside of my comfort zone: If you guys catch me reading more than like 5 James Patterson books in a row, just call me on it.

Thanks for stopping by! Drop me a comment so I will know you were here and i will do the same!

Book Review: Mr. Monster by Dan Wells

Title: Mr. Monster by Dan Wells
Genre:YA Horror/Paranormal
Where I got it: Purchased from Barnes and Noble
Read it in: 3 days
I killed a demon. I don’t know if it was really, technically a demon, but I do know that he was some kind of monster, with fangs and claws and the whole bit, and he killed a lot of people. So I killed him. I think it was the right thing to do. At least the killing stopped.


Well, it stopped for a while.

The 2nd in the John Cleaver trilogy does NOT disappoint. This review is a bit of a spoiler for the first in the series so if you haven't read I Am Not a Serial Killer, and plan on it, you might want to skip this review.

For those of you who are still with me HOLY MOLEY. Did you think it was gonna go all the way there?? I most certainly didn't. Given, okay, it took Wells a little longer than I'd like to get to answering the burning question of who the killer is this time around, once we find out, it's nonstop awesomeness from then on.

I still like John. Potential psychopath or otherwise, his constant struggle for understanding emotions and accidental hero are what makes this book so captivating. If Wells made about 4 more books with John in them, I wouldn't mind.

Bottom line, Mr. Monster is a very cool follow up to I Am not a Serial Killer and I sooo look forward to how it all ends in the 3rd book even though I don't want it to end. Graphic, Character Driven and Imaginative.

Hogwarts Reading Challenge 2012 (Master Post)

I don't know if you guys know this but, I'm a huge Harry Potter fan, like unnatural. Anyway, I tried this challenge and failed miserably last year, so here we go again! Nita at Worth Reading it? is hosting this epic challenge again for 2012. Official Rules here.





Hogwarts Reading Challenge 2012 Jan 1 to Dec 31

In the Hogwarts Reading Challenge you are a student of the school. You will be sorted into houses. Each book you read must fit in to the subject of one the classes. You do not have to read books that fit all the subjects. Each book equals one point (toward the house cup).

You must read at least 5 books (audio books counts) before you are enter in to the drawing. At the end of the Challenge one person will win a $15 Amazon Gift Card and one house will win the House Cup (purely a pride thing).


_________________________________________________________________________________
Transfiguration - read any book that has trans or figure in its title, is about shape shifting, has a shape shifter in it, or is about anything having to do with changing one thing into another


Defence Against the Dark Arts - read any book that has defence(defense), dark and/or art(s) in its title, read any book that is about self defense, war, history of war/marital arts, murder mysteries
1. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness
2. Scream by Mike Dellosso

Charms - read any book that has charm in its title, any book that deals with gives something or someone a new aspect (for example the nerdy guy become a handsome doctor)

Potions - read any book that has potion in its title, cookbooks count but you must cook at least one recipe out of the book

Astronomy - read any book that has astronomy in its title, books about planets, stars, etc, sci-fi
1. The Immortalists by Kyle Mills
2. Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix

History of Magic - read any book that has history or magic in its title, books about magic, witches, etc

Herbology - read any book that has herb in its title, again cookbooks count and again you must cook at least one recipe out of the book

Arithmancy - read any book that has arithmancy in its title, any book with a number in its title, any book that deal with numbers or math

Ancient Runes - read any book that has ancient or runes in its title, books about historical places like the pyramids, Stonehenge, great wall of china, or any book about symbols

Divination - read any book that has divine in its title, any book about psychics or psychic abilities, tarot reading etc

Care of Magical Creatures - read any book that has magical or creatures in its title, about supernatural beings
1. Cherry the Cake Fairy by Daisy Meadows
2. Nia the Night Owl Fairy by Daisy Meadows
3. Ava the Sunset Fairy by Daisy Meadows
4. Anna the Moonbeam Fairy by Daisy Meadows
5. Honey the Candy Fairy by Daisy Meadows
6. Sabrina the Sweet Dream Fairy by Daisy Meadows

Muggle Studies - nearly any book works here, what better way to understand Muggles than to read what they read
1. Sam's Letters to Jennifer by James Patterson 
2. Stolen by Jinx Jamison 
3. Timothy Tunny Swallowed a Bunny by Bill Grossman

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Book Review: Miracle on the 17th Green by James Patterson and Peter De Jonge

Travis McKinley's life has drifted sideways. His job, his marriage, even his children all feel disconnected and distant. Has he really accomplished nothing of consequence in his life? One Christmas Day, Travis plays a round of golf and finds himself for the first time in the zone--playing like a pro. In astonishingly short order, Travis is catapulted into the PGA Senior Open at Pebble Beach, where he advances to the final round. And while his wife, his children, and a live television audience watch, a miracle takes place that changes Travis, and his family, forever.



First of all, I don't know anything about golf and I loved this. I felt like the narrator was some guy I knew telling a really good, personal story. The best part about this hopeful book, was that it was short, sweet and to the point.

With the good come the bad though. There are moments that you feel sort of let down because of the style of story-telling. While Travis tells the story like a man's man who is looking in on his life in disbelief, sometimes you want him to move the action forward instead of remarking about it in such a plain way. This is only a minor set back however since the story is so solid.

Somehow, Patterson and De Jonge make you care about this dude, and fast. They also take you on a wave of emotions that you didn't think would be pulled out of you. I rooted for Travis from beginning to end. I highly recommend this for anyone who loves books that tug on the heart strings and fans of golf! Comedic, heart-warming and inspiring.

LazyGirl Reads is now...

What's up everyone! I've already received a couple of emails of concern that LazyGirl Reads was no more. I'm still here but this time I'm going public!

This is all still a work in progress while I figure out my new look, but I figured it was time to change my name and be myself, not a LazyGirl!! Hehe :)

Some things you should be seeing from my new page:
  • Weekly memes, original and borrowed 
  • Book reviews
  • Discussions
  • Featured bloggers/highlights
  • Vlogs!
I'm also bringing back my Mini-Challenge and other challenges to be announced! And there will most definitely be prizes!

Thanks for following as always!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Just for Fun Challenge: Tales of a Sixth Grade Muppet by Kirk Scroggs

On a scale of one to ten, sixth-grader Danvers Blickensderfer's life is a solid minus two. But he really hits rock bottom when he auditions for the local talent show: his death-defying hula-hooping-ninja tribute to Gonzo the Great is beat out by the world's most obnoxious middle school boy band, Emo Shun.
With his daredevil dreams dashed, Danvers goes to bed... and wakes up feeling a little fuzzy-literally! He's turned into a Muppet!

To finish up this year's challenge, I decided to read this book for fun! And I would have to say it was the best book I've read for this challenge. Let's just start with the name of the main character...Danvers Blickensderfer. I mean, c'mon!! How can you not giggle every time you read that?? You automatically know that this author is trying to make you laugh and keep you interested.

While this book is for Young Readers, Scroggs keeps the humor smart enough for an adult to appreciate while reading to their child. There are also awesome illustrations throughout. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is a fan of the Muppets and clever writing for kids.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Follow Friday Time!

TGIF is hosted by Ginger at Greads!

Dear Santa: Which books made it to your Christmas wish list this year?

You know, I didn't ask for any books this year. At all!! I got so overwhelmed with my TBR pile, that I said to myself "you MUST finish these before you even go to the library/bookstore/stoop sale".

But here are a few I would've wished for: 


Kill Alex Cross by James Patterson: This would round out my year of reading mostly Alex Cross books.

Lost December by Richard Paul Evans: Because we all need a little RPE in our lives sometimes.

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen: No I still haven't read it yet. Yes, I agree that this is weird.

11/22/63 by Stephen King: You know it's not too late for me to buy this for my Dad as a "gift" so I can go ahead and read it after him! 


Thursday, December 22, 2011

The Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge

Hosted by Book'd Out.

What a great challenge to keep me too my newly created Book Resolutions! In this challenge, you commit to reading 12 different genres in one year. Oh snap!! I can totally do this!!

Check out the official details here.


Here is the list of genres: (I will fill them in as I go along)

Literary Fiction
Crime/Mystery Fiction - The Sky is Falling by Sidney Sheldon
Romantic Fiction - Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Historical Fiction
Young Adult - The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Fantasy
Science Fiction - When She Woke by Hillary Jordan
Non Fiction -
Horror - The Moonlit Mind by Dean Koontz
Thriller /Suspense - Scream by Mike Dellosso
Classic
Your favourite genre Dystopia: Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Discussion: What are your Book Resolutions for 2012?


I just read this pretty cool post on the Huffington Post where columnist Dave Astor, lists his 10 Reading Related Resolutions for next year. Two of my favorites are:

1. I resolve not to get too upset that 2012 will be only the third year since 1997 without a Harry Potter novel or movie. Besides, that void frees up Lord Voldemort to be drafted as a last-minute candidate for the Republican presidential nomination.

and

5. I resolve to continue shopping at independent bookstores. (I'm lucky to have two in my town.) Sure, these retailers stock just a smidgen of the selection one gets online, but they happily order anything you want if you're willing to wait a few days. And independents pay local taxes, hire local people, and provide a very pleasant place to visit.

So without further ado, here are 5 resolutions from me!

My Resolutions:
1. I resolve to read books outside of my favorite genres and delve into more and more sub-genres (Space Opera and High Fantasy anyone? Suggestions are welcome!)

2. I resolve to continue supporting my local libraries and libraries everywhere in bigger and better ways.

3. I resolve to read 5 classics no matter how long they are.

4. I resolve to be able to suggest a book to a friend at the drop of a hat!

5. Lastly, I resolve to make time to read every single day.

What are some of your book resolutions? 

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop! (Intl) 12/21 - 12/27


This is my 2nd year doing the Mid-Winter's Eve Giveaway Hop hosted by Kathy at I Am a Reader Not Writer and Oasis for YA. Now let's get to the prize!

Prize:
$10 for any book from the Book Depository!


Ways to enter:
+1 Follow my blog via GFC
+1 Leave a comment with your favorite color and email address!

It's that simple! I will pick the winner via Random.org on Dec 27th :)

Happy Holidays and don't forget to check out the other blogs!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Book Review: I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells

I Am not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
John Wayne Cleaver is dangerous, and he knows it.

He’s obsessed with serial killers, but really doesn’t want to become one. So for his own sake, and the safety of those around him, he lives by rigid rules he’s written for himself, practicing normal life as if it were a private religion that could save him from damnation.

Dead bodies are normal to John. He likes them, actually. They don’t demand or expect the empathy he’s unable to offer. Perhaps that’s what gives him the objectivity to recognize that there’s something different about the body the police have just found behind the Wash-n-Dry Laundromat—-and to appreciate what that difference means.

Now, for the first time, John has to confront a danger outside himself, a threat he can’t control, a menace to everything and everyone he would love, if only he could.
(taken from BN)
Omg, stop whatever you are doing and read this book.

The Good News:
I'm normally attracted to stories that have an intense plot with exotic locals and a strong, quirky leading man. This book has made me second guess exactly which kinds of books I love. IANaSK is the first in a trilogy (thank God! I was not ready to leave this character) about a 15 yr old who's  battling with whether or not he's psycotic. He's got a therapist, divorced parents and an estranged sister.  Not mention his mom is a mortician. Not to mention, he's obsessed with serial killers. Not to mention, there's a serial killer on the loose in his town. OMG.

The Better News:
There's a mystery element to the story. Who's the serial killer? Why does he kill? Is he among the residents of the small town? The answer will shock you. Additionally, Wells makes you sympathize with a psychopathic kid. Also, my stomach was able to handle all the embalming detail described.

The BEST News:
There is a major twist that you do not see coming. Seriously, I thought maybe the MC had lost it. Highly recommended for those who love a little mystery, a little horror and a little YA. Hold on to your hats folks and dig into this book!

Monday, December 12, 2011

It's Monday, What are you reading?! (5)

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey! It's a great way to plan out your reading week and get ideas from other bloggers as well!

Well hello there!

Just finished:
OMG. Reviews to come shortly.

Just Starting:


Yep, I cannot get enough. I'm finishing this trilogy THIS week.

What are you guys reading??

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Book Review: Cross Fire by James Patterson

Cross Fire by James Patterson

Genre: Suspense Thriller
Hardcover, 384 pages
Borrowed from BPL

Detective Alex Cross and Bree's wedding plans are put on hold when Alex is called to the scene of the perfectly executed assassination of two of Washington D.C.'s most corrupt: a dirty congressmen and an underhanded lobbyist. Next, the elusive gunman begins picking off other crooked politicians, sparking a blaze of theories--is the marksman a hero or a vigilante?

Alex Cross is back in the 17th, that's right I said 17th book in the series. I began reading all these as a challenge but now I want to know how it all ends. If it ever does.

The Good News:
Patterson has got all the ingredients for a well-rounded story here and the end result is like a perfectly baked cake. There is an old bad guy that even if you haven't followed the story, you remain interested. He also blends Alex's personal life well without giving us too much down time. There is also a side story going on that keeps involved at all angles.

The Bad News:
This is not a spoiler at all, but the last sentence in the book is "But that's a story for another time." Or something like that. He's done this before and then barely follows through. There are also a few loose ends involving whether or not certain characters are dead or alive. I won't give that away just in case you'd like to read this.

Bottom Line:
Patterson does it right this time. I think he's got his groove back in this one. Go read it!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Follow Friday time! (3)

TGIF is a weekly event hosted by Ginger at GReads.

This week's question: When You're Not Reading: What occupies your time when your nose isn't stuck in a book?



When I'm not reading, I'm performing in operas or at open mics and practicing. I'm a professional opera singer working toward my big break and practice makes perfect!

This Week at LazyGirl Reads:

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Speculative Fiction Challenge 2012


While it is hard to believe that it's already time to sign up for challenges for next year, I am beyond excited about this one co-hosted by my bloggy friend Lisa @ Baffled Books.

Some quick rules:

Anyone can join, blog or not, you just need somewhere to post your reviews to share with the world. If you have a blog, a post about the challenge would be nice! Just add your details to the linky below to sign up.


Timeline: 01 Jan 2012 - 31 Dec 2012. You can sign up from now right up until 31 Nov 2012.

Rules: The levels are back this year! Just pick your level and declare it in your post or in the comments below:
  • Nosey: 3 novels
  • Excited: 6 novels
  • Content: 12 novels
  • In Nirvana: 24 novels
  • Obsessed: 48 novels


I'm going to sign up for the Nosey Level this year. If I've learned anything from challenge sign ups it's that I tend to overshoot!

Will list them as I go along here and link you to them:

1.

2.

3,

An award for me!


Well, don't mind if I do!

The lovely folks over at Wall-to-Wall books were kind enough to give me this super cute award!! I haven't gotten an award in quite some time so I am very grateful for this one!

The rules for this award are: 
1. I must tell seven things about myself.
2. I must pass the award on to 15 other bloggers.
 
At this point, I have NO CLUE who still accepts awards so if you do, please feel free to take this one from me as your own. Make sure you let me know so I can read about lovely little you :)

Here are my 7 things (short and sweet):
I'm originally from Brooklyn, NY.

I am an opera singer (like, for real).

My favorite color is Red!

I have 1 brother and 1 cat.

I am unapologetically addicted to video games.

I love seafood!

Needless to say, I can stay in a library/bookstore for HOURS.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Book Review: Forever... by Judy Blume

Forever... by Judy Blume

Genre: YA Fiction
Paperback, 224 pages
Where I got it: BPL Central Branch
Katherine and Michael meet at a New Year's Eve party. They're attracted to each other, they grow to love each other. And once they've decided their love is forever, they make love.


It's the beginning of an intense and exclusive relationship, with a future all planned. Until Katherine's parents insist that she and Michael put their love to the test with a summer apart...
I had a friend insist that I read this. I'm not sure why.


The Good News:
It is majorly scandalous for the time. I can only imagine parents in 1975 wanting to burn this book. Also, it's the 7th most frequently challenge book of 1990-2000 according to Wikipedia. Loved the fact the same author is capable of writing this and Tales of a Fourth Grade nothing. Talk about versatility!

The Bad News:
There might not have been bad news if my friend hadn't hyped it up so much (thanks friend!). But, I just couldn't get all the way into the story. It took them so long to finally have sex. So long that I lost interest by the time it all went down and was even more disappointed than she was. 

Bottom Line:
I really wanted to love this book but I didn't. I would've enjoyed this book a lot more when I was much younger than I am now.I definitely understand why it's a controversial book and if I had a teenage daughter, I'm not sure I'd want her reading it until she was in college OR she's had the talk with me. Mothers with daughters, you might disagree, what do I know about raising a kid?! Just saying that I wouldn't want her getting the wrong idea about relationships. 

Have you guys read this? Let me know your thoughts!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Teaser Tuesday (3)

Teaser Tuesday is a lovely lil' meme hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading. I got this super cool button from Miss Page-Turner's City of Books. Feel free to grab it :)


My Teaser:
"Isn't that what all of life is anyway?
Shards. Bits. Moments.
Am I less becuase I have fewer, or do the few I have mean more?"
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson, page 80

Monday, November 21, 2011

Just for Fun Challenge: Moon Quest by Anson Montgomery

Moon Quest by Anson Montgomery
Paperback, 144 pages
Choose Your Own Adventure
Borrowed from NYPL

The year is 2053. Underneath a glass dome on the near side of the moon, the Tycho Colony thrives. Your parents are scientists in Tycho researching the moon's landscape and sustainable life potential. Your time here has been interesting, but you are curious to explore the strange places outside your protective dome. The moonscape is treacherous and most of it unknown. Oxygen is your life-line. Can you make it outside the safe colony walls and experience what life on the moon is really like? (taken from Amazon.com).

Remember Choose your own adventure books?? I remember being reallllly young and seeing these Choose Your Own Adventure magazines at the check out in the supermarket. I was lucky to get my mom to buy me one once and I loved that book! So you can imagine how jazzed I was to find a slew of these in the library!!

It was definitely a fun read and a nice way to dip your toe into sci-fi if you're curious. Recommended for those who enjoy Choose Your Own Adventure books and soft sci-fi!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

In My Mailbox (Sunday Nov. 20th!)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

I got pretty lucky this week with some awesome reads!! I got a whole bunch so I'll list them and link you up to some of them if you're curious!

From the Library:

The Land of Oz by Frank Baum
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer by John Grisham
Cross Fire by James Patterson



WON!
Auras by Edgar Cayce

"My name is Michael Vey and there's something you don't know about me; something that scares people more than you would believe. It's my secret- and it's part of the story I'm about to tell you."

Oh emm gee!! I love Richard Paul Evans so when I saw he was writing a book like this, I was crazy excited!! I ended up winning a giveaway on Tea with Marce and I got this book, Auras and her giveaway for Manufactured Identity! Who's the luckiest gal in the world??? Meeeee!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Follow Friday time!

TGIF is a weekly event hosted by Ginger at GReads.

Giving Thanks: Which books are you most thankful for receiving from other bloggers, friends, family members, or publishers?

Wow. I got some really REALLY cool books this year from bloggers and contests. One of my absolute favorite was Sweet Jiminy by Kristin Gore! Check out my review.

3 others that I'm grateful for (in no particular order):

 Michael Vey by Richard Paul Evans
(courtesy of a giveaway on Tea Time with Marce)


Alex Cross' TRIAL by James Patterson Richard Diallo

This was a gift from a co-worker. He saw that I read a lot of James Patterson and figured I might like this one. Boy was he right! This was a magnificent addition to the series that can easily be read as a stand alone. Check out my review


Thanks for stopping by :)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Book Review: Alex Cross's TRIAL by James Patterson and Richard Diallo

Alex Cross's TRIAL by James Patterson and Richard Diallo
Paperback, 400 pages
Genre: Suspense
Gift from Co-worker

The year is 1906, and America is segregated. Hatred and discrimination plague the streets, the classroom, and the courts. But in Washington, D.C., Ben Corbett, a smart and courageous lawyer, makes it his mission to confront injustice at every turn. He represents those who nobody else dares defend, merely because of the color of their skin. When President Roosevelt, under whom Ben served in the Spanish-American war, asks Ben to investigate rumors of the resurgence of the Ku Klux Klan in his home town in Mississippi, he cannot refuse.

Don’t let the name fool you like it did me: Alex Cross is not on trial, you sneaky James Patterson you! I couldn’t get through the previous book Cross Country so I just skipped ahead. So glad I did! Alex Cross’s TRIAL is a medium paced departure from the typical city based present day stories Patterson usually writes.

Good News:
I was able to immediately forget that I was reading a work of fiction. I felt as though I was transported to this picture that Diallo and Patterson paint. I was pleasantly surprised at how Patterson was able to make you love and loathe completely new characters within the first few pages. I would love to read more books where Ben Corbett is the main character.

Bad News:
Some parts might be a little too graphic without warning. But that might've just been to my taste.

Bottom Line:
This is excellent as a stand alone book since we don’t see any of these characters again and the story line is so solid. I highly recommend to readers who enjoy General Adult Fiction.

Monday, November 14, 2011

It's Monday! What are you reading?! (4)

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey! It's a great way to plan out your reading week and get ideas from other bloggers as well!

Back in Brooklyn like I never left!! Check out what I'm reading this week :)

Just finished:
I never finished Thinner by Stephen King OR House of the Lost by Sarah Rayne! I thought maybe I'd read it on the plane or something but I just couldn't get into Thinner! House of the Lost was a little slow too. Maybe I'll finish something this week!

Thinking of Starting:

I was lucky enough to win this book at Tea Time with Marce!! Looking forward to reading this!


Maybe later:

Another book I'm super excited for that I got from Marce!! Thanks Marce :)