Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Black History Month Hop: Urban Interest


Reflections of a BookaholicThe lovely ladies at Reflections of a Bookaholic and Mocha Girls Read are hosting a month long event spotlighting people, events, websites, and books concerning people of color.






Black interest or Urban Interest

I never really liked the name of the genre "Black Interest". I don't maybe I felt like we were being put in some sort of category and that no one else beside us would be interested in these books.  I always liked the idea of being called Urban Fiction or something. Upon further investigation, I see that the genre is called Urban Fiction these days or African American fiction. 


While I haven't read the genre in ages, there are some amazing novels that I read in my teenage years that are worth highlighting.


The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah
AmazonGoodreads

This book right here is the creme de la creme of this genre. It was my first in the genre and I hold it as the standard for what Black interest should be. If you're even remotely entertained by books like these, this must be at the top of you TBR list. The follow up "Midnight", however, I do not recommend.



Addicted by Zane
Amazon | Goodreads
Um. Yeah. If you like steamy romance novels, you have GOT to read this particular Zane book. Like, right now.


Eric Jerome Dickey books circa 2000s

I may or may not have read all of these books that Dickey wrote. We passed around a few books when I was in high school. We were intensely intellectual but wanted to give our brains a break from dense textbooks and formulas with some entertaining romance books. Click on the images to check them out on Amazon.



Pimp by Iceberg Slim

Now, I never read this, but always saw this sitting on my Dad's nightstand. It looked like a book I wasn't supposed to read so I never did! But now that I'm an adult, I think I'm going to read all of the books he wrote.

Glad I got to participate in this hop finally! Just made it by the skin of my teeth. Be sure to check out the other blogs who have contributed posts to this awesome hop :)


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tuesday Tuesdays {7} : The Lovely Bones

Teaser Tuesdays is a fun and exciting meme hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. The cool button is from Once Upon a Twilight!

The rules are that you take a teaser from the book you're reading but make sure there are no spoilers!! Check out mine from Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones!




My Teaser:
Page 47: "He nodded seriously and kissed my father's cheek. Something so divine that no one up in heaven could have made it up; the care a child took with an adult."

My God, this book is...incredible. Why have I waited this long to read it? Absolutely breathtaking.





Thanks for stopping by! Leave me a comment and link me to your Teaser if you have one! 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Libraries!

Happy Monday guys! I just read THE most AMAZING article on Huff post that showed 10 breathtaking libraries from around the world.


Adel Zakout writes:
"...our libraries are being replaced by the internet as a primary research tool by students and book-reading is on the decline. In my opinion we mustn't let libraries slowly disappear from our cultural landscapes; we need to redefine their roles to ensure that they are relevant in providing that kind of entertainment and food for the mind that the digital world never can. So what can we do, from an architectural point of view, to keep libraries alive and most importantly, meaningful?"

Here are some of the fantastic photos:

Liyuan Library {source}
New Stuttgart Library {source}


Vennesla Library {source}


What do you guys think of these pictures? And do you believe your local library is  making strides to stay current?

Friday, February 24, 2012

Follow Friday!

Hosted by Ginger @ GReads!

Required Reading: Which book from your school days &
do you remember reading & enjoying? 

Is there a book published now 
that you'd like to see in today's curriculum for kids?


There are two books I remember reading that have stuck with me. The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett and A Gathering of Old Men by Ernest J. Gaines. Both of these were tremendous books that made a great impact on me. Click on either for more info.


I think The Giver by Lois Lowry would make a great addition to Middle School curriculum or even the beginning of High School.


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Hosted by Alison @ Alison Can Read
Parajunkee @ Parajunkee.com

Q: Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most...

This is a sunset that I was lucky enough to catch while I was in Santa Monica a few months ago. I find this picture (that I took myself, btw) to be awesome. I would imagine myself on a boat in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (which that was btw) reading into the night.

How about you guys??

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Book Review: The Walk by Richard Paul Evans

Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Format: Hardcover
Genre: General Fiction/Inspirational
Pages: 289 pages
Where I Got It: Borrowed from NYPL - Mid-Manhattan Branch
Check it out on: Amazon | Goodreads


What would you do if you lost everything—your job, your home, and the love of your life—all at the same time? When it happens to Seattle ad executive Alan Christoffersen, he’s tempted by his darkest thoughts. A bottle of pills in his hand and nothing left to live for, he plans to end his misery. Instead, he decides to take a walk. But not any ordinary walk. Taking with him only the barest of essentials, Al leaves behind all that he’s known and heads for the farthest point on his map: Key West, Florida. The people he encounters along the way, and the lessons they share with him, will save his life—and inspire yours.

When does Richard Paul Evans ever disappoint? His stories are heartbreaking and truthful. He embodies the realest emotions that you can imagine all in a short amount of pages. I could probably read a 5000 page book of his and never blink once. I can't get enough. But enough about my love for the author's works, let's talk about The Walk.

Alan has a great life with his wife and his business. But just in the blink of an eye it all goes away. And he takes his unbelievable walk. He runs into a bunch of people that leave their mark on him and his biggest lesson is yet to be learned.

I found that this was a pretty quick paced read until Alan took his Walk. To be completely truthful with you, I got to about 3/4 of the way through and found it hard to finish. There were just too many new characters and the journey he was taking was so overwhelming, that I couldn't bring myself to read it. But isn't that what Evans has cleverly planned? There are no cut scenes in real life. There's no montage with a calendar quickly flipping pages as it shows our MC Alan walking forward and meeting people in the blink of an eye with clever music in the background. No, this is about as realistic as it gets. Evans has solidified his place as one of my favorite authors of all time.

I highly recommend this and any Richard Paul Evans book to you. This one is heartbreaking, inspiring and bold.

Other books by Evans that I loved:


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Monday, February 20, 2012

It's Monday, What are you Reading?? {9}


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! Thanks for visiting!









Still Reading:
 The Walk by Richard Paul Evans

Just Finished:

 Stolen by Jinx Jamison

Up Next:
Swollen by Melissa Lion

Sunday, February 19, 2012

In My Mailbox #1

Hosted by Kristi @ TheStorySiren.com
Delicious Button by Ginger @ Greads
Happy Sunday! So of course this isn't my 1st In My Mailbox, but I'm rarely lucky enough to get new books weekly!! This week I treated myself by going to Barnes and Noble on Valentine's Day! I also got a couple books on my Kindle Fire. Check em out :) 

From B&N: 
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
Chasing The Night by Iris Johansen

From Amazon on Kindle:
Honeymoons can be Murder by Connie Shelton
Reunions can be Murder by Connie Shelton



Hey! What's in your mailbox this week?? 

Book Review: Scream by Mike Dellosso

Publisher: Realms, 2009
Format: Kindle
Genre:Suspense/Christian Fiction
Pages: 320
Where I Got It: Purchased on sale from Amazon
Check it out on: Amazon | Goodreads


While talking to his friend on the phone, Mark Stone is startled by a cacophony of otherworldly screams. Seconds later, a tragic accident claims his friend’s life. When this happens several more times—screams followed by an untimely death—he is compelled to act.


Battling his failure as a husband and struggling with his own damaged faith, Mark embarks on a mission to find the meaning behind the screams and hopefully stop death from calling on its next victim. When his estranged wife is kidnapped and he again hears the screams as she calls from her cell phone, his search becomes much more personal and much more urgent.

Overall thoughts:
YOWZA!!!! What a crazy ride this book was! It was my first Christian Fiction book and I will definitely check the genre out again.


The funny thing about reading this book was that I didn't put together all the biblical references and screams from Hell that our MC Mark would quote/hear. I'm actually Christian I almost got a little put off by the moral of the story before I realized that this is Christian Fiction duh! It has completely opened my eyes to what these books could be like. I do think that next time I read though, it won't be a suspense novel because I don't exactly like mixing the two.

This story had everything, a sinister mystery man, a leading man we can sympathize with, and major twists and turns. There are a few parts that move a little slow, but the action scenes makes those slow parts worth it. I would highly recommend this book to any one who reads Christian Fiction and loves a good suspense novel.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Mini Challenge #2: New to me!

So far, I'm having a blast discovering all these new bloggers and pages! Thanks to everyone who has stopped by already and commented and even grabbed my button for their sidebars (I'm talking to you Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment, hey boo!! ::waves::) Looking forward to spreading more love!


New to me bloggers so far:
Hannah Lorraine @ In the Best Worlds (YA lover and avid reviewer)

Kayla @ Simply Kayla's Book Reviews (super cute girl, spicy books!

Beckie @ Bittersweet Enchantment (my new BFF)

Rachel Brooks @ Rachel Brooks (YA and MG novelist who tells it like it is!)

Jillian Dodd @ Glitter, Bliss, and Perfect Chaos (Love that title!)

Jana @ The Artsy Reader Girl (whom I've promptly added to my sidebar)

I'm feeling the love! And don't worry blogger who aren't new to me but who have commented. The love is coming your way soon :-D 

Mini Challenge #1: Thank You Note


OMG so exciiiiiiiiiiiited. If you haven't heard about the Book Blogger Love-A-Thon, head over to Katelyn's at Tales of Books and Bands, right now!!!

Mini Challenge #1: Write a love letter to blogs who inspired you to start blogging.

Dear Crazy For Books and Book Chick City:


How do I love thee? Let count the ways.
Your buttons make me swoon, your challenges and hops are tops.
I'm a poet and didn't even know it.
Thanks for the inspiration, you've tapped into my...imagination.

On a serious note, I always wanted to blog about books but didn't know how or if it would be fun. When I stumbled upon these ladies' blogs, I found that they read books I liked (mystery, suspense, middle grader) and they had visually pleasing blog layouts!

Who has inspired you??


Thursday, February 16, 2012

Mid-Month Check In!

So it's February 16th which is actually a lot more than Mid-Month but I figure I'd make a post anyway.

What's the haps?
  • I'm currently reading 3 books at once. The Walk by Evans (78%), Scream by Pelloso (45%) & Swollen by Lion (page 40). And they are all AWESOME.

  • I'm still hosting my Borrowed Book Challenge where it's never too late to sign up!
  • I went to Barnes and Noble on Valentine's Day and had like the best time ever.
  • My friends want to start a bookclub!! Best news everrrr.
Book pile news or The Never-ending Stories or...

Ok soooooo, how come none of you told me that getting an eReader adds mountains of books to your TBR pile? I've got books on there that I don't know if I'll ever get to! But I must...I must...

Pile count on Kindle Fire: 16 new books added in the past month!

Physical Pile count from Library: 8 books that I haven't even cracked open!

Purchased Pile count: Only 2 (whew!)

Grand Total: 26 freaking new books to read. What the frig! 

Challenge Progress
I'm actually making good progress on all my challenges. I've read and reviewed at least one book for each except...

D'oh!!! Sorry Lisa! I aimed for a low three so if I read one book every 4 months, I should complete this challenge! :) 

Upcoming

  • I've got some books that I've read but haven't reviewed. I've got a lot of Middle Grade stuff to spotlight and some short stories to talk about.
  • That Vlog is coming soon so watch out for it!


How's your month going??

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

DNF: Death by Facebook by Everett Peacock (mild spoilers)


This is not actually a DNF. It's more like a RMBSE "Read Most of it But Skimmed to the End". Okay here's the thing, the premise is cool, the characters, interesting. But then the story takes a really dark, bizarre turn for the worse and never really follows through. 


There were so many different directions it could've gone! And I didn't like being jerked around in the actual directions it took. Okay, let me be more specific. The MC is dead somehow and he's narrating in a kind of funny, ironic style. I'm almost laughing with him. We're not entirely sure how he died because he isn't sure. 

Soon we meet his beloved girlfriend Janet who we feel sorry for, then we don't feel sorry for, then we're grossed out by her...then we're scared of her. Like?????? This isn't awesome story telling, this is wacky storytelling.

Then there were sentences like this: "She turned, poured six Lavas and carrying them like they were popcorn headed for the flashing red lights." What?

The not so good thing...
You would think that Facebook plays a central role in the story right? WRONG. It's like FB is this new do-dad that these out of touch people are using. The book boasts of features that FB has never had like scheduled postings. There are also seven billion different characters. I cannot keep up with all the names. There are a lot of other not so good things but I'd say those are the most unfortunate.

On the plus side...
This book kept me interested for a reason. I got well over halfway through it because I just had to know how it ended. There were parts of it that I couldn't read fast enough. The setting was very cool and I could tell the author has lived there or is living there now. Obviously Peacock is a terrific writer but maybe something a little less sinister with a tighter and more streamlined plot would be a better idea. 

Bottom line
I'm not saying don't read this book, but...well yeah... I'm kinda saying don't waste your time reading this book. It just wasn't for me. Maybe it's over my head.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

It's my favorite time of year (beside my Birthday and Halloween) and I figured I'd make a super lovefest post to some of my favorite bloggers out there.

Tanya Patrice at Girl XOXO
Tanya is so fly. She's branded her own page with a contemporary feel to it, complete with customized images for all her posts. Her book lists always rock my world and make my TBR pile double in size. Tanya is my Valentine because she's a renaissance girl with her multiple blogs (Check out intheGym.net &  i{ate}A{pie}.net to see what I mean), she's a smart girl with a PhD (what!!) and she's a mom! Girl, how do you do it?!

Small at Small Review
There's Something About Small! Have you BEEN to her page?? I've known her for like a year I'd say and have watched more and more people discover what I've always known, she's the bomb! Small has features on her blog that are very specific to her page and she always puts her own spin on more popular features (Including an older book for Waiting on Wednesday, brilliant) Small is my Valentine because she's a trail blazer & role model who is clearly blogging for the love of reading. And she's always helping bloggers out who are just starting (Check out Small's Tips and Tricks and Busting the Newbie Blues!) Small, you're the best!!


I love Lisa! I've watched her blog evolve into the cuteness that it is right now. One day Lisa was all like "I'm gonna do over my blog and make it look super awesome, and I'm going to do it MYSELF". At least that's what I imagine her saying. Visually pleasing appeal aside, her reviews and posts are blogging gold. They are easy to read, to the point and fun to navigate. I also love that she has features and readalongs that involve her followers as though we're all sitting in a big library together having a book club. She's also doing a Speculative Fiction Challenge that I may or may not have signed up for simply for the button. Have you seen the freaking buttons?! Lisa is my Valentine because she's one of the first people I started following and I still enjoy her page to this day. The evolution of her blog is inspiring and she rocks my world!

Some honorable mentions are: Alexis at Reflections of a Bookaholic, Rupierto at Bookable Reads and Nita at Worth Reading It?

You ALL are awesome and I'm glad to have bloggy friends like you! I know I don't get around to posting or commenting as much as I'd like to, but definitely know that yours are the first blogs I visit.

I look forward to meeting more bloggers and spreading more love as the year progresses!

Happy Valentine's Day to all my Gorgeous Bloggy Booky Friends! Hope this day brings you the Love you all deserve.


Monday, February 13, 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading?! {8}


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!

Currently Reading:





Just Finished:

Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix




On The (Virtual) Shelf:
Honeymoons Can Be Murder by Connie Shelton
Reunions Can Be Murder by Connie Shelton
Swollen by Melissa Lion
Destiny the RockStar Fairy by Daisy Meadows


I have no idea when I'm going to find the time to read all those books. Do you guys have a lot of books just staring at you waiting to be read like me??
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Join my Borrowed Book Challenge !
There's still time to sign up!! 


It's a 3 month challenge that promotes borrowing from your library with a couple twists! Just click here for details on the Borrowed Book Challenge 2012!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Book Review: Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Title: Double Identity by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Genre: Middle Grade/YA Dystopia
Where I got it: Brooklyn Public Library
Challenges: Borrowed Book Challenge, Dystopia Challenge, Eclectic Reader Challenge


As Bethany approaches her thirteenth birthday, her parents begin acting more oddly than usual: Her mother cries constantly, and her father barely lets Bethany out of his sight. Then one morning he hustles the entire family into the car, drives across several state lines -- and leaves Bethany with an aunt she never knew existed. Bethany has no idea what's going on. She's worried that her mom and dad are running from some kind of trouble, but she can't find out because they won't tell her where they are going.
This was a fantastic little dystopian tidbit that has remained with me long after I read it.

The intrigue, the suspense, the storytelling were all top notch in this quick read by Haddix. I'm already a huge fan of her Shadow Children series. She's definitely one of my favorite dystopian authors because I can ALWAYS see the scenarios she outlines happening in the future.

Don't get me wrong, imaginative worlds in stories like The Hunger Games, Wither and Divergent are great! But there is something so very chilling about stories like these taking place in a world that is precisely like ours.

I won't give away any of the story so if you think you'd like some YA dystopia with honest characters and easy going narrative, definitely pick this book up! Breathtaking, fast-paced and chilling.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (6) : Double Identity by Haddix

Teaser Tuesday is a fun and exciting meme hosted by Miz B at Should Be Reading. The cool button is from Miss Page Turner at City of Books.

The rules are that you take a teaser from the book you're reading but make sure there are no spoilers!! Check out mine from Margaret Peterson Haddix's Double Identity!


My Teaser:
Page 6: "I sit still for a few minutes, breathing hard staring at the back of my mother's seat. Crazy, all this is crazy. Why didn't they just let me go to school today, like usual?"

Ah! I'm love with this book and this author. She wrote the dystopian Shadow Children Series that I adore and this book is fabulous. Have you read any of her stuff??





Thanks for stopping by! Leave me a comment and link me to your Teaser if you have one! 
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Hey! Have you checked out my Borrowed Book Challenge !

It's a 3 month challenge that promotes borrowing from your library with a couple twists! Just click here for details on the Borrowed Book Challenge 2012!