Monday, June 30, 2008

Read-a-thon Summary Survey

Thanks Dewey for hosting the 'thon and Hanna for orginizing all the prizes and all the work you are going to do in the next few days to close everything out!! Helping with the organization I see how much work it is!! Thanks for putting the time and effort into it to make this a fabulous read-a-thon!!

Here are the post-event survey questions:
1. Which hour was most daunting for you? 3:00 am! That is when I started to get really tired!

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Life as We Knew it - Susan Beth Pfeffer

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
My suggestions are how I would approach it differently and I would change my expectations of what I can get done!! :)

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I thought it was very well orginized - it was great to win prizes and read and build a community with other readers. I have added about 10 more people to my google reader!! It was already busting at the seems!

5. How many books did you read? only 2, but I did some cheering and organization too - time just flew by!!

6. What were the names of the books you read? Sugar Queen and Hidden

7. Which book did you enjoy most? Hidden, but I really liked them both

8. Which did you enjoy least? none I liked both of my books!

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? Nope I thought they were awesome!

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? Absolutely I would participate next time! I think I would probably do the same roles, but I would expect less reading and I would also try to do more prep before the 'thon.

Read-a-thon Summary

*Number of books read : 2
Hidden - Shelley Sheppard Gray
Sugar Queen - Sarah Addison Allen
(I must have had a 3 name author thing going on!! :) )
*Total of pages read since you started: 548
*Total of time spent reading since you started: at least 9 hours, but it could be more. I was awake most of the 24 hours. I took a 1.5 hour nap in the wee hours of the morning about 4:00am. :) I also gave Trish (my reading buddy) a crash course on blogging! I also cheered and helped coordinate which is why my reading time is low.

*Mini-challenge: 5ish

*Posts: 23

*Other participants visited: 62ish

*Prize you’ve won: 1
*Would I do the Read-a-thon again? Absolutely!! I think I will start with different expectations though...and also I would not schedule so much to do before the read-a-thon (I had a physical book club meeting) and if I am not reading at home I will scope out places to read with free internet access before the read-a-thon starts. Also if I coordinate I will know that the first couple of hours (or earlier) are dedicated to that. :)
*Summary of Hubby - My hubby did great with our little girl. They had a lot of fun and bonded a lot, so it was good for the whole family that I went away for a couple of days!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Read-a-thon Hour 24!!!

FINISHED!! I finished Sugar Queen!! Whoo hoo with 30 minutes to spare. I am going to pack and get home now! I am missing my family!

Btw- Hubby did really good with our little girl and I think it was good for them to have some bonding time!! :)

I'll do a summary later today! Thanks for all of you cheering me on!! I lucked out and read 2 great books!! :)

Read-a-thon Hour 22

Whoo hoo 39 pages this hour!! 60 to go - if I keep this up I can finsh by the end!! Better get back to it!!

Read-a-thon Hour 21

Pathetic...only 15 pages read this hour...lots of organization stuff going on since the 'thon is starting to wind down.! :) LOL!

I am determined to finsh this book before the 'thon is over I have almost 100 pages to go - so I am putting my nose in the book!! :)

Read-a-thon Hour 20

I read this hour!! :) Trying to finish Sugar Queen which I am really enjoying! 28 pages read, which isn't much - I'll see if I can do better in hour 21! ...also somewhere between 3:00 am and 5:00 am I read 30 pages that I didn't record! :O) I will blame that on sleep deprivation!

Read-a-thon Hour 19

What hour is it? 19? where have the hours gone?? No reading this hour...some breakfast and I made 10 more comments on people's blogs! I am wondering if my totals are correct now...I think I am actually counting less than what I am commenting on! LOL! oh well.... 23 more to hit my 100 total

I also won a prize this hour!! 5 Book mooch points!! Whoo hoo!! It pays to stay awake in the wee hours - less competition for prizes (well...really I slept for 1.5 hours!)

Ok - 1 hour of solid reading coming up!! :)

Becky is Awesome!!

If you haven't gone to Becky's site then you are missing out! She reads like a mad woman! And I have found if she likes a book it's a fact that I will love it too!! She has introduced me to Life as we Knew it - ABSOLUTELY FABULOUS!! And Stephanie Meyer! She also hosts a online book club and July's pick is The Host for all of you wanting to read this (I can't wait to get started!) if you have a Costco nearby mine had it for a little over $11 - for hardback!! I have added 3 books to my TBR pile from her posts just tonight!! I just can't say enough good about her!!

I you like young adult books then Becky's site is the place to be!! :) Do you have a site that you love and who adds to your TBR pile? If so let me know!!

Read-a-thon Hour 18

Well I took a little brief nap (1.5 hours) and feel much better! No reading this hour but I did write some comments on posts - so my comment total is 67 (including my updates) - I want to hit 100 before the 'thon is over so I think that is a doable goal.

I also want to finish Sugar Queen I am on page 134 and it ends at 276 so even with my slow reading this should be completely doable!! Though my total page count will be low!! HA! Maybe Dewey has a prize for the slowest reader!! :)

Next hour: some breakfast and coffee....

Read-a-thon Hour 15

Still awake at 3:00 am EST. I only got 13 pages read, but I took a shower and posted some and Did the Wikipedia mini-challenge that Dewey is hosting. : ) I am noticing I have to get up and walk around more to stay awake, but the shower helped a lot. I really am liking the Sugar Queen which helps a lot too!

Read-a-thon Hour 15 Mini-Challenge

I am at Bald Slope, North Carolina. It is a fictional place but there are bald slopes in NC...Wiipedia says balds are mountains covered with thick native grass or shrubs occurring in areas were forests would be expected - no one knows why they are bald. There doesn't seem to be one called bald slope and I think the picture is misleading because in the book Bald slope is actually a skiing mountain...the picture looks more like a cross country mountain...

Facts about Bald Slope
* They have a bald headed festival (for bald people)
*The ski resort was founded my Marco Cirrini (the main character - Josey's father)
* The Cirrini house is the most prominent and unique house in the town
* There is a restaurant called the Eat & Run
* There is a eccentric woman living in Josey's closet (who seems a little imaginary to me - for example she thinks nothing of wearing 16 layers of clothes, never seems to eat, is getting more and more translucent, etc.)

Read-a-thon Hour 14

I am still awake and I think I am posting for Hour 14? Anyway got in about 1 hour and 20 minutes in from my last post and 60 pages. Still on the Sugar Queen and really enjoing it!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Read-a-thon Hour 12 Mini-Challenge

Here are the questions to answer in your blog:
1. What are you reading right now?
Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen

2. How many books have you read so far?
A measly one!

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
Reading, reading, reading

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
Yes - my friend Trish and I went to a hotel. It's my first time away from my 21.5 month old, so my hubby is super Dad this weekend. I was a little concerned early on when he told me he didn't realize our daughter signing (with sign language) Juice AND going to the fridge was an indication that she wanted something to drink- but he seems to have done well. Thanks to the Romps whose house he went to (they have kids too)! But really he is a good Dad and I am happy they have had this bonding time. I know my daughter and she will find a way to let him know what she wants! :)

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
Not too many once we got settled at the hotel - none of our kids around!

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
How fast an hour goes!! I look up after reading 10 pages and 30 minutes have passed...were did the time go?? Also since I so rarely get to read a book cover-to-cover I forget how fun that is!!

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
I think the only suggestion is to have more lead time as the date. It is an effort to get the weekend off Mom duty. : ) But then on the other hand I could barely wait for the weekend to get here!

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
I think that I would probably break the time out into Cheerleading hours and reading hours because time really does go fast! Also I would get settled where ever I was going to be earlier - it was inevitable today that I couldn't get to Georgetown until 12:30 (I live 1 hour away and had a physical book club meeting - since I organize and it's new I really can't miss) - so this cut about 2 hours off my reading time.

9. Are you getting tired yet?
Yep - my normal bed time is 8:30's now 11:20 and I am feeling it - I have started the coffee. I am hoping to get a second wind around 3:00 or 4:00 my usual waking time!

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
Not that I can think of - but I love the tips others are leaving. The one things that is nice is reading with Trish - every once in a while we stop and talk a little bit that helps keep us awake. :) I think next year that I will call it the 'thon like Dennis at Bart's Bookshelf!

I LOVE these 14 book prizes - where else can you get 14 books for free!! :) Go Dewey!! And if we haven't said this enough tonight - thanks for having this brain child and having the guts to do all the work to start it!! And whew is this a lot of work!! I can't believe you did this all by yourself without going insane last time!! :)

Read-a-thon Hour 11

I started reading the Sugar Queen this hour. I don' t know if I am slap happy at this point (I don't think I am THAT tired) or this book is just my humor! Has anyone else read it who has found it funny?

I do have one problem with it is the story of a "thick" girl (Sarah Addison Allen's word not mine) who loves candy. From another thick girl who loves Candy I can assure you that the size 2 girl on the cover of this book is NOT in any way shape or form - thick! Does it drive you crazy when the people on the cover don't match the description in the book - or is it just me?

33 pages read this hour and 2 comments on other people's posts!

Read-a-thon Hour 10

Are we really on hour 10 or is my count off?? I can't believe it! Well I didn't read this hour but I left 18 comments on other people's blogs! People seem to be doing really well and reading a lot! I think I will start a new book now...oh the choices. :)

It's 10pm and I am starting to get tired, but I am going to have a cup of coffee. :)

Read-a-thon Hour 9

Whoo hoo!! 1 book finished!! 40 pages read this hour! :) I can't remember the last time I was able to sit down and read a book cover-to-cover. Boy how I have missed it.

It's 9:00pm here and I am starting to get tired - also missing my baby girl since it is past her bed time. :) I am going to take a break and cheer for the next hour or so...

Read-a-thon Hour 8

Still reading Hidden - over 1/2 way through though and really enjoying it!

57 pages read this hour - Whoo hoo!! And I got in 1 full hour of reading! Yeah!!

Read-a-thon Hour 7

Only 8 pages read this hour :( But my friend who is an US expat living in China called - she is in the States for 1 month and we talked for 30 minutes! :) It was nice to get in touch again. I send her all of my books that I read! :) She is a speed reader and always desperate for books!

I posted comments on 3 people's sites. : ) Back to reading!!

Read-a-thon Hour 6

Pages read this hour: 37 (whoo hoo a new record!! LOL!)

Running total of pages read since you started: 90

Amount of time spent reading: 34

Running total of time spent reading since you started: 2 hours 35 minutes

Read-a-thon Hour 5

Title of book(s) read this hour: Hidden - Shelley Shepard Gray
Number of books read since you started: working on #1
Pages read this hour: 9
Running total of pages read since you started: 53
Amount of time spent reading: 1 hour
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 1 hour 55 minutes
Mini-challenge this hour: 0
Posts: 1
Other participants visited: 0
Prize you’ve won: 0

Read-a-thon Hour 4

Title of book(s) read this hour: Hidden - Shelley Shepard Gray
Number of books read since you started: working on #1
Pages read this hour: 20
Running total of pages read since you started: 44
Amount of time spent reading: 1 hour
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 1 hour 20 minutes
Mini-challenge this hour: 0
Posts: 1
Other participants visited: 0
Prize you’ve won: 0

Read-a-thon Hour 3

I actually got some reading done this hour!! Ok - only 14 pages in Hidden - Shelley Shepard Gray, but it looks like it is going to be a good one!! :)

Pages read: 14

Running total of pages read since you started: 14

Amount of time spent reading: 20 minutes

Running total of time spent reading since you started: 20 minutes

Mini-challenge this hour: 3

Other participants visited: 3
Other blog posts: 4

Prize you’ve won: 0

Mini Challenge Hour 2

I read Questionable Content Number 523 about a woman who's job it is to count things - anything people ask her to count! It is cute. I haven't seen Internet comics much but enjoyed looking at this one

Read-a-thon Hour 2

Reading = 0!!

Yikes - well we are settled into the hotel now so I am going to start reading!! :) Yeah!

Read-a-thon Hour 1

No reading :( I went to pick up Trish at her house then we ran around to find a wireless provider at a restaurant for free. Then I showed Trish how to update her blog and participate in the challenges.

Read-a-thon Mini-Challenge: Hour 1 - CLOSED

Hello Read-a-thon readers and Cheerleaders!! Our first mini-challenge is an introduction meme! Paste this meme to your blogs and change the answers to your own. This will help us get to know each other today! This challenge will be open for 2 hours!

Where are you reading from today? The Hampton Inn in Georgetown, KY (10 minutes north of Lexington). My wonderful hubby got me a hotel room for Mother's day - because my maximum normal reading time is 2 hours during my daughter's nap.

3 facts about me …
*This is the first day in my daughters 21.5 months that I have not slept in the same house with her. Not sure when I will start having withdrawal but my guess it will be in hour 2! LOL! I keep thinking - this is Mommy's mini-vacation! I have talked my husband out of taking away her pacifier (cold turkey) today, so hopefully the day will go well for them too!! (anyone have any advice on getting rid of the pacifier?)

*I am reading today with my friend Tricia...she has just started blogging so pop over to her site and leave her a comment. She only has one post up right now - but I hope to have that changed by the end of the day!!

*We have snacks! I have brought Twizzlers, Starburst, a chocolate chex mix, gum, international coffee, and chai tea. Trish is bring snacks too. Btw - my daughter barley let me out of the house with the snacks...she found my stash this morning as I was packing. Starburst seem to be one of her favorites (there is nothing like being handed a wet squishy starburst!) :)

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
I brought 11 books with me - and since I am a slow reader I will probably get 3 read!! LOL! Some of them are young adult that I have discovered from the blogging community!! I will post what I am reading during the read-a-thon so check back here! :)

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
I think I read about 30 pages an hour (I know very lame compared to some others 100! But I have convince myself that being a slow reader means that I savor every word) so I would like to read:
Pages - 720 (but realistically I would like to read 1,000)
Books - at least 3

Comments on blogs & keeping my blog updated- I am going to make an even goal of 100 (including my update posts)...I'll keep count on my comments & updates!!

Any advice for people doing this for the first time?
I didn't do this last year, but my advice would be have fun and if you read the whole 24 hours great and if not then oh well. Also, take advantage of the read-a-thon. The great thing about it is building a community, so read others blogs and leave a comment - even if you normally lurk! We all love comments and you never know you might end up commenting on 100 too!!

Leave a comment here with a link to your Introduction Meme and you will be eligible for a prize of 2 books one will be Family Tree by Barbara Delinsky! You can read my review here and the other book is your choice from Dewey's list. Looking forward to hearing all your responses!

Congratulations to Aoi Sakura for winning the prize!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Girl Who Stopped Swimming - Joshilyn Jackson

Rating: 3 Will make a good movie (···)

Pages: 320

Challenges: Pub Challenge, Summer Thing

Synopsis (from
Laurel Gray Hawthorne needs to make things pretty, whether she's helping her mother make sure the literal family skeleton stays in the closet or turning scraps of fabric into nationally acclaimed art quilts. Her estranged sister Thalia, an impoverished Actress with a capital A, is her polar opposite, priding herself on exposing the lurid truth lurking behind middle class niceties. While Laurel's life seems neatly on track--a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in suburban Victorianna--everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question the night she is visited by the ghost of a her 13-year old neighbor Molly Dufresne. The ghost leads Laurel to the real Molly floating lifelessly in the Hawthorne's backyard pool. Molly's death is inexplicable--an unseemly mystery Laurel knows no one in her whitewashed neighborhood is up to solving. Only her wayward, unpredictable sister is right for the task, but calling in a favor from Thalia is like walking straight into a frying pan protected only by Crisco. Enlisting Thalia's help, Laurel sets out on a life-altering journey that triggers startling revelations about her family's guarded past, the true state of her marriage, and the girl who stopped swimming.


I really liked the characters in the book and the funny happenings with Laurel's back woods relatives. I also liked the relationship with her and her sister and I thought that the mysteries developed well!

4 Days to go!

The read-a-thon is this weekend!! I have been waiting for this day since Dewey annouced it!! Are you interested in reading for 24 hours? Don't worry the reading police aren't going to get you if you don't read for the entire 24 hours! Dewey set up a great site for fequently asked questions here.

We also still need cheerleaders -so if you don't want to commit to reading but would love to read and comment on the blogs of people who have signed up please let me know (I am orginizing the cheerleaders). Or if you are interesting in hosting a mini-challenge and getting people to visit your blog let me know that to! I have set up a blog here for cheerleaders.

Check back this weekend to see how I am doing - I have a long list of books to read! I am thrilled about this weekend since I usually only get 2 hours during my darling daughter's girl's nap - and that is only on the weekends!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Summer Thing Challenge

I joined the Summer Reading Thing! My goal is to read 26 books.
Here is my list but it is likely to change.

Here are the rules:
What: A summer reading challenge for everyone. Set your goals and track your progress. No goal is too small; no ambition too great. Feeling overwhelmed? Make your list small or use the same list from any other reading challenge. Make changes to your list as needed as desired. Finish early? Add more books (or not). Change your mind on a title? Drop it. No pressure, no minimums.Post a short review on your blog of at least one of the books you read during the challenge.

When: Friday, June 2oth through Sunday, September 21st, 2008.

Where: Sign up with Mr Linky at the Summer Thing post.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Once Upon A Time II - Final Update

I was close to not finishing this one - last night I finished the 4th book and this morning I finished the 5th! Whew! I don't like getting that close - Here are the books I read:
1) Once Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris - COMPLETED
2) Goose Girl by Shannon Hale - COMPLETED
3) The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly - COMPLETED
4) Something Rotten: A Thursday Next Novel - COMPLETED
5) Thursday Next: First Among Sequels - COMPLETED

My favorite was Goose Girl!

Goose Girl - Shannon Hale

Challenges: Once Upon a Time II tl;dr

Ani is a princess who is on her way to an arranged marriage with a Prince she has not met. Along the way her lady-in-waiting who posesses the power to manipulate convices Ani's soldiers to betray her and announce Sari as the princess. Ani survives by her wits and her "friends" animals and the wind who she can speak to. This is the story of what happens to Ani and how the incident changes her life.

I really enjoyed this book. I loved the characters especially Ani and I loved seeing her grow in adversity. The book kept me guessing about what would come next which was great! This was my first Shannon Hale book and I will read more. I am glad that she has 2 other books with some of the characters from this one Enna Burning and River Secrets.

First Among Sequels (Thursday Next) - Jasper Fforde

Rating: Don’t bet on this one…wait for the movie (···)
Pages: 363
Challenges: Once Upon a Time II

Synopsis (from
Jasper Fforde returns to BookWorld in this New York Times bestselling installment of his Thursday Next series Jasper Fforde has thrilled readers everywhere with his gloriously outlandish novels in the Thursday Next and Nursery Crime series. Now, after a two-year hiatus, the demand for Thursday Next has more than tripled. And with Thursday Next: First Among Sequels, Fforde's famous literary detective is once again ready to make the world safe for fiction. Thursday Next is grappling with a host of problems in BookWorld: a recalcitrant new apprentice, the death of Sherlock Holmes, and the inexplicable departure of comedy from the once-hilarious Thomas Hardy novels, to name just a few—all while captaining the ship Moral Dilemma and facing down her most vicious enemy yet: herself.

I have really enjoyed this series but this was my least favorite book. I was distracted when listening to this book so that may be part of it. Also I thought this book was confusing in parts there are 3 Thursdays so sometimes it was hard to keep track of them.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Spring Thing Final Update

Here is my final update for the Spring Thing Challenge - although I didn't read all the books I thought I would I read a lot more books than my goal of 11!! I did finish the Themed Reading Challenge which was my other goal. So all in all I am very pleased!! Thanks to Katrina for hosting the challenge it was a lot of fun!!

Goal 1: Finish Themed Reading Challenge
Goal 2: Read 11 books:
1. Blue Moon – Luanne Rice - COMPLETED
2. Blue Water – A Manette Ansay - COMPLETED
3. The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini - COMPLETED
*Dakota Born – Debbie Macomber (Dakota Series)
4. A Great and Terrible Beauty – Libba Bray - COMPLETED
* Drums of Autumn – Diana Gabaldon
5. The Sister – Poppy Adams - COMPLETED
6. Family Tree – Barbara Delinsky Complete - COMPLETED
* Looking for Peyton Place - Barbara Delinsky
* Lake News - Barbara Delinsky
7. The Book Thief – - COMPLETED


8.Change of Heart – Jodi Picoult - COMPLETED
9. Monsters of Templeton Lauren Groff- COMPLETED
10. Once Upon a Marigold – Jean Ferris - COMPLETED
11. Summer I Dared -Barbara Delinsky - COMPLETED
12. The Opposite of love – Julie Buxbaum - COMPLETED
13. Senator’s Wife – Sue Miller - COMPLETED
14. Drums of Change – Janette Oke - COMPLETED
15. Little House in the Big Woods – Laura Ingalls Wilder - COMPLETED
16. The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly - COMPLETED
17. The Other Bolyen Girl – Pilippa Gregory - COMPLETED
18. Something Rotten – Jasper Fforde - COMPLETED
19. Virgin of Small Plains – Nancy Pickard - COMPLETED
20. Songs for the Missing – Stewart O’Nan- COMPLETED
21 Life as We Knew It - Susan Beth Pfeffer
22 Golden Compass - Philip Pulman

My favorite book is Life as We Knew it - with The Other Bolyen Girl a 2nd place

Total Completed 22! My goal was 11 - so I am pleased :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Songs for the Missing - Stewart O'Nan

Rating: 4 Tell a Friend over a Derby pie (ääää)
Challenges: Pub Challenge

Synopsis (from BN)
An enthralling portrait of one family in the aftermath of a daughter’s disappearance
“It was the summer of her Chevette, of J.P. and letting her hair grow.” It was also the summer when, without warning, popular high school student Kim Larsen disappeared from her small Midwestern town. Her loving parents, her introverted sister, her friends and boyfriend, must now do everything they can to find her. As desperate search parties give way to pleading television appearances, and private investigations yield to personal revelations, we see one town’s intimate struggle to maintain hope, and finally, to live with the unknown.
Stewart O’Nan’s new novel begins with the suspense and pacing of a thriller and soon deepens into an affecting family drama of loss. On the heels of his critically acclaimed and nationally bestselling Last Night at the Lobster, Songs for the Missing is an honest, heartfelt account of one family’s attempt to find their child. With a soulful empathy for these ordinary heroes, O’Nan draws us into the world of this small Midwestern town and allows us to feel a part of this family.

I really liked this book and think it would be a really good book for a reading group because there are some questions left unanswered that it would be great to discuss. I think different people who read it will catch different clues. Being a parent this is also a difficult book with the central plot being that a teen ager goes missing. But I thought it was realistic and interesting how guilt plaques people and how difficult the search is.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

The Virgin of Small Plains - Nancy Pickard

Rating: 4 Tell a Friend over a Derby pie (ääää)
Pages: 351
Challenges: A-Z (V Author)

Synopsis (From

Small Plains, Kansas, January 23, 1987: In the midst of a deadly blizzard, eighteen-year-old Rex Shellenberger scours his father’s pasture, looking for helpless newborn calves. Then he makes a shocking discovery: the naked, frozen body of a teenage girl, her skin as white as the snow around her. Even dead, she is the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen. It is a moment that will forever change his life and the lives of everyone around him. The mysterious dead girl–the “Virgin of Small Plains”–inspires local reverence. In the two decades following her death, strange miracles visit those who faithfully tend to her grave; some even believe that her spirit can cure deadly illnesses. Slowly, word of the legend spreads.But what really happened in that snow-covered field? Why did young Mitch Newquist disappear the day after the Virgin’s body was found, leaving behind his distraught girlfriend, Abby Reynolds? Why do the town’s three most powerful men–Dr. Quentin Reynolds, former sheriff Nathan Shellenberger, and Judge, Tom Newquist–all seem to be hiding the details of that night? Seventeen years later, when Mitch suddenly returns to Small Plains, simmering tensions come to a head, ghosts that had long slumbered whisper anew, and the secrets that some wish would stay buried rise again from the grave of the Virgin. Abby–never having resolved her feelings for Mitch–is now determined to uncover exactly what happened so many years ago to tear their lives apart.

I liked this book a lot! It kept me wondering what the mystery was and how "the Virgin" got killed. I think it did a good job of reveling only small pieces of the story at one time so you wanted to keep going to find out what happened. I liked the main characters a lot and liked the story of 3 friends whose parents were friends to. This story pulls you in from the beginning when it leaves you wondering why a prominent Doctor would disfigure a body so it can't be identified. What he didn't realize is one of the kids saw him doing this and events start to unfold. Why was the Doctor doing this? Why did the witness parents shuttle him away so no one knew what he saw?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Harper Collins First Look

A funny story. I have been "applying" for Harper Collin's first look books for a few months and have not gotten selected. I am not a writer nor do I claim to be, but I started out how I liked other things the author had written, etc. After a couple of months of not being selected I kind of gave up and thought I will still apply but I am not going to put a ton of effort into it. So I basically said - Have blog will review and left the link to my blog. OK so it was probably a little more tactful that that but that was the jist - would you believe that this month I got not one but 2 ARC's (they call them ARE's)!!! I can't believe it! So in the future I will be reviewing:

Hidden by Shelley Shepard Gray
The Flirt by Kathleen Tessaro

I am excited to get these!! This will be interesting because I have been doing B&N's first look but keeping up with the chapters like a book club. This one will be a fun read to just review. Also Hidden is a first in a series about the Amish and I am always interested in the Amish and I tend to get addicted to series - once I read one I need to know how the series ends. If you don't believe me take a look at the series I have started or want to start.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

48 Hour Read-A-Thon - Summary

Final Updates
Pages Read: 238
Books finished: 0
Time: 5 hours and 30 minutes
I know - lame, lame, lame. The weekend got away with me - With a birthday party, church, a going away party and cleaning for guests later in the week before I knew it the weekend was gone!! I did listen to an audio book for about 2 hours while I cleaned but I don't think that counts! I will try to do better next year!!
I learned pick smaller books - I picked a book with over 400 pages because it is due at the library, but if I didn't I would have had a book read. :) Also - don't plan anything - because stuff comes up!

Saturday, June 7, 2008

48 Hour Book Challenge Update #3

Time: 7:35 AM EST
Reading time: 3 hours 15 minutes
Pages Read: 105...
At this rate I am reading 35 pages an hour - I think I read more than this - it must be that I am tired. I will have to keep track of this - if I really do read only 35 pages then I think I am going to have to take a speed reading course! :) Harvesting the Heart is 453 pages so at this rate I have 10 more hours of reading!
Also my enter key is only sporadically working - it's very annoying - the period is only sporadic too - nothing like realizing how much you use a key when it's gone! No worries I will get a new keyboard in a week or so.... :)

Awake Again!

I am back - and tired - though I won't complain I know you ladies who have been up since yesterday are more tired than I am!! :)

Time: 4:14

Book: Harvesting the Heart - Jodi Picoult (our library had only one copy of this book and a long hold list - it took over 4 months to get this book and it's due June 11 - so I need to get this one done).

I am hoping to read until 7:00am when my daughter gets up.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Hour 1 Done

Well hour 1 is done, but so am I - I am such a wimp! I am off to bed (I have been up since 4:00am)

Pages Read: 28 (weak I know) from Songs of the Missing

Hours Read: 1

I will be up bright and early tomorrow!

48 Hour Reading Challenge - Start

Start: 9:30 PM EST

Realistically I can't do 48 hours of reading.. :( Though I wish I could. So I am going to set some different goals. From tonight through the end of Sunday I would like to do:

  • 15 Hours of Reading
  • Finish: Goose Girl - Shannon Hale
  • Start and Finish: Harvesting the Heart - Jodi Picoult

Catch up with reading: Songs of the Missing

Start Dakota Born – Debbie Macomber

These are aggressive goals for me! I will keep you posted!

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Read-a-thon Meme!

In honor of Dewey who hosting her 2nd 24 hour Read-a-thon here is a Meme for all of us to pass around until the big day (June 28)!

If I had 24 hours to read, be my goals would be… read, read, read! I would like to set a goal of finishing 3 books or maybe 2,000 pages... that is about 84 pages an hour.

This is what I am going to have to do to get 24 hours of reading…I am going to a hotel! I asked for a hotel room for my Mother's Day gift. :) I know that sounds weird, but for me it's a vacation day from motherhood! My husband is very willing to take over our daughter for the day so I am lucky here (but only for special occasions or short jaunts). I have a friend, Trish who I have convinced to join me for 24 hours of reading. So I think it will be a fun time! How great that I have a friend who wants a break just to read too!!

If someone asked me for recommendations of “can’t put down” books for the read-a-thon, I would recommend:

The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory (I just got done reading this and loved it, but it's a little long probably for the read-a-thon)
Life As We Knew it - Susan Beth Pfeffer (this is in diary format and a can't put down book)
One Thousand White Women - Jim Furgus (I read this book 5 years ago and still tell people how wonderful it is - one of my all time top 10 favorites! This is also in Diary Format)

If you participated in the October 2007 read-a-thon:
For you, what was your favorite part of the October read-a-thon and why?
How many hours/ books/ pages were you able to read in the Read-a-thon?
I didn't participate in the October 2007 Read-a-thon, but watched the posts and regretted not being involved!! This time I am signed up!!
When you get done tag 5 people to carry on the Meme. I am going to tag the other read-a-thon cheerleaders:
Eva - Eva has a great post about the read-a-thon last year here if you are interested.
Natasha (I will post her blog link soon)
And Becky - who isn't a cheerleader (yet - he he) but hosts a great book club (where I discovered Susan Beth Pfeffer)
Also if anyone is interested in being a cheerleader please sign up on the read-a-thon site. I am organizing the cheerleaders and it would be great to have more! If you are wondering what this entails it can be just popping into people's sites to encourage them to keep going and/or running a mini-challenge during the read-a-thon (and like the Read-a-thon there aren't any cheer leading police to make sure you stay up the 24 hours!). There are logs of mini-challenge ideas on the cheerleader blog. If you are reading this and want to do the meme leave me a comment! I would love to see your responses!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Something Rotten - Jasper Fforde

Rating: 5 Better than a new Derby Hat and the winning horse (¨¨¨¨¨)

Pages: 385

Challenges: Once Upon A Time II

Synopsis (From
Detective Thursday Next has had her fill of her responsibilities as the Bellman in Jurisfiction, enough with Emperor Zhark's pointlessly dramatic entrances, outbreaks of slapstick raging across pulp genres, and hacking her hair off to fill in for Joan of Arc. Packing up her son, Friday, Thursday returns to Swindon accompanied by none other than the dithering Danish prince Hamlet. Caring for both is more than a full- time job and Thursday decides it is definitely time to get her husband Landen back, if only to babysit. Luckily, those responsible for Landen's eradication, The Goliath Corporation- formerly an oppressive multinational conglomerate, now an oppressive multinational religion- have pledged to right the wrong.

But returning to SpecOps isn't a snap. When outlaw fictioneer Yorrick Kaine seeks to get himself elected dictator, he whips up a frenzy of anti-Danish sentiment and demands mass book burnings. The return of Swindon's patron saint bearing divine prophecies could spell the end of the world within five years, possibly faster if the laughably terrible Swindon Mallets don't win the Superhoop, the most important croquet tournament in the land. And if that's not bad enough, The Merry Wives of Windsor is becoming entangled with Hamlet. Can Thursday find a Shakespeare clone to stop this hostile takeover? Can she prevent the world from plunging into war? Can she vanquish Kaine before he realizes his dream of absolute power? And, most important, will she ever find reliable child care?


I love this series. Part of the reason is that it's all about books and I just can't get enough of books! Also there are things I would NEVER think of in these books - for example in this book The Cheshire Cat and Yorrick Kane have a battle, but the battle is fought using literary characters where each person picks a literary character to battle the character the other person conjures. For example, Medusa versus Beowulf! How fun! And the end of this battle is great - it's a battle of inteligence for sure. I like learning how Tuesday's life is going and if she has finally beaten the evil of the world. Plus it is set in 1980...I love the 80's! I listen to these on CD and I have to say they are great...for one they got the same person to read all the novels which makes you feel like Tuesday has a voice that doesn't change and some of the names are hillarious!

May Totals

Here are my reading totals for May:

Total books: 11

Total Pages: 3,378

Audio Books: 9

Physical Books: 2

Another record month for me! Both 11 books and 3,378 pages is a record!

Totals for 2008

Fun Reading Facts (ytd)
Total books read: 29
New authors: 22
Mystery: 0
Non-Fiction: 0
Fiction: 29
DNF: 2
Audio: 15
YA: 4
Pages: 10,617

Challenge Updates

Challenge Name
Chick Lit - not started
Stephenie Meyer Mini-Challenge - not started
Spring Thing Reading Challenge 2008 - I said I was going to read 11 and I have read 18, but they are not all the ones I originally thought that I would read.
Once Upon a Time II - 2 out of 5 completed
Reading Full Circle Challenge - 4 out of 10 completed
2008 TBR Challenge - 4 out of 12 completed
1st In a Series - 6 out of 12 completed
Chunkster Challenge (+450 pgs) - 6 out of 4 completed
Pub Challenge - 5 out of 12 completed
tl;dr - 0 out of 3 completed
Novella Challenge (<>A-Z Author & Title - 23 out of 52 completed
Soups On - 0 out of 6 completed
Themed Reading Challenge - COMPLETE

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Ohter Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory

Rating: 5 Better than a new Derby Hat and the winning horse (¨¨¨¨¨)

Pages: 661

Challenges: 2008 TBR, A-Z Challenge (G Author), Chunkster

Synopsis (from

When Mary Boleyn comes to court as an innocent girl of fourteen, she catches the eye of Henry VIII. Dazzled by the king, Mary falls in love with both her golden prince and her growing role as unofficial queen. However, she soon realizes just how much she is a pawn in her family's ambitious plots as the kings interest begins to wane and she is forced to step aside for her best friend and rival: her sister, Anne. Then Mary knows that she must defy her family and her king, and take her fate into her own hands.
A rich and compelling tale of love, sex, ambition, and intrigue, The Other Boleyn Girl introduces a woman of extraordinary determination and desire who lived at the heart of the most exciting and glamorous court in Europe and survived by following her own heart.


This book was great! It is one I would highly recommend. Believe it or not I was sad to see it end at nearly 700 pages. There was only one part where I thought moved a little slow, but clearly that didn't slow me down. This book really made me want to learn more about Henry's wives. It also made me very appreciative not to be in the King's court. The money it takes, the separation from your children, the lack of value in women, and the gossip! I am going to read more of Philippa Gregory's books.

By the way, anyone watching The Tutors on Showtime? The plot with Anne Boleyn seems to follow closely with the book, which I am not sure if it is because there are common facts that happen or if Ms Gregory should get some credit for writing! I have only seen one show, so it could have just been this episode.