To Do!

When we bought our house, I figured that since it was "turn-key ready" and we didn't have to do a single thing (not even paint!) that we would be quickly settled. WRONG. It seems as though we still have endless things to unpack and put away. My garage is filled with stuff that we have (and need) but that we don't need right now... and my basement is a disaster. We are going to convert it into a bar & den on one side and the other side will be my craft room and the laundry room. Right now I just have piles of boxes of my craft stuff. Ugh. It is a task I am not yet ready to face.
I have been reading right along though. What has fallen behind has been my reviewing and blogging. I just haven't been keeping up to date and I have a slew of books that are ready for review... my goal this weekend is to get them written, as well as start in on the back reviews I have that need to get published! No more lazy blogging here- I am going to plan & post & schedule my reviews so I don't get behind like I am now.

Here are the books that I need to get reviewed / posts I am planning:

  • Notes to Self by Avery Sawyer
  • Harry Potter (thoughts on re-reading the series)
  • Beyond Harry Potter (thoughts on all the HP tie-in books)
  • The Hunger Games (thoughts on the series & phenomenon)
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
  • Ancestor (or, why I'm obsessed with Scott Sigler)
  • And all those other books from 2011 that I never did get around to reviewing

I know I've said this (or something similar) a million times. However, I feel like this time is different- I no longer have cable (making the conscious choice to be a TV-free family & only use our TV for movie nights) so I won't get sucked in to la-la-land and pass hours mindlessly. I also have a Kindle Fire and am beginning to try out blogging with it- so far, I am liking the portability and ease. Oh, and Bear is working Thursday and Friday night, plus he picked up a double on Saturday... so it looks like I will have a few evenings to dedicate to my blog!

Here's to better blogging intentions! :)

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Liebster Award

I've been awarded the Liebster Award (twice!) and would like to truly thank both Beckie at Becca's Book Bug and Carson at A Reader with Voice for nominating me! The award is for bloggers with less than 200 followers and is designed to encourage networking.

Award winners share 11 facts about themselves, answer 11 questions (as posed by the award givers), nominate 11 bloggers and pose 11 questions for them to answer!
Phew. That is a LOT.

With my life being so incredibly busy, I am going to say THANK YOU and ask my fellow bloggers to check out both Beckie & Carson's blogs {they're both fab, btw}... also, check out their Liebster posts here and here and visit all the wonderful blogs that they nominated.
Unfortunately with a full-time job, new home (that I am STILL unpacking & organizing), and a TON of blog posts and reviews to catch up on, I just don't have time for awards. I am completely flattered and feel quite honored that such awesome bloggers think so highly of my blog!
Thanks girls!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Blog Hop

Hello Friday Blog Hoppers!
Jen at Crazy-for-Books asks us a blogging question this week:

What is one thing that your blog readers probably don't know about you?

Hmmm... I'm pretty open, so much of my life is blogged about at some point on here. I guess one thing my bloggers don't know is that I am a really good cook. Yep- I am tooting my own horn.  Cooking is something I love to do and am great at... I make everything! Also, being Italian, I have some killer family recipes. 

One of the biggest factors in buying our home recently was the kitchen... I wanted space and I wanted a quality gas range- and after months upon months of house hunting, we found the perfect house with a pretty damn near perfect kitchen (hello almost brand-new stainless steel amazing appliances!) 

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Kindle Fire

Oooh happy day. I officially joined the Kindle club!! A little less than 2 weeks ago I got a Kindle Fire... Barrett got a nice little bonus in his check and knew that I was dying to buy one, so he took me to the store and we got it! I was super excited. I've been busy trying to figure it all out and adding books to my library. Now that I have a Kindle, my reading (hopefully) with increase... I am going to use the formula of one paperback and one Kindle book to read more than one at a time.. and maybe even throw a bulky into the mix and go for three at once!

So far, the thing has barely left my side... I got a pretty little cover and a cute Harry Potter cozy for it as well, both from etsy. I also invested in the matte screen protector- it makes reading it outside much easier since it is back-lit and the matte protector keeps the sun from glaring off it.

My cover from the etsy shop Sew it Girl
My Harry Potter cozy from etsy shop Life Geekery

So, Kindle users... what great sites can I find free books & whats the deal with lending and borrowing books on a Kindle?

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Book Sale!

I love a good book sale... as a book hoarder, I thoroughly enjoy pawing through  piles and stacks to find the perfect additions to my to be read pile. I don't go to book sales too often- mainly because I don't have the space & I feel  a bit guilty snatching up books that will sit on my TBR shelf for ages before I get to them.

Two weeks ago Barrett and I stopped in to this book sale downtown in an old warehouse. The sale was benefiting Action for Older Persons -- hardback went for a quarter and paperback went for a dime. What a steal!

Here is a picture of the warehouse (and let me tell you, it was HOT up there):

And my book haul ($1.55)
Thankfully, I only brought $2 worth of quarters with me in order to save the TBR pile from toppling over.

I think it was a GREAT haul

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

Blog Hop

Happy Friday & Happy Hop Day!
Jen at Crazy-for-Books is our wonderful Book Blogger Hop Hostess
This weeks question is:

What's the one super hyped book you'll NEVER read?

Easy: Twilight.
I read the synopsis, I saw the reviews, I watched 5 minutes of the movie on TV once... and I will NEVER EVER read it (or any of the other ones).  I just think that Bella as a character is so awful, and the whole story line just isn't my thing. I am definitely anti-Twilight.

Can't wait to see what everyone else has to say on the subject!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Blog Hop

Oops! I've been a bit busy this week & didn't post my Blog Hop! (this is why I need to re-plan posts!)
The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Jen at Crazy-for-Books
This weeks question:

How long does it take you to read a book?

Typically, I read about 1 book per week... I'd LIKE to read 2 a week, but with my busy schedule that just doesn't seem possible most weeks.

I can't wait to hop through & see other book bloggers numbers!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


The Fifty Shades Trilogy

Fifty Shades Trilogy from BN.com
Back in May I wrote a quick write-up about my experience with Fifty Shades of Grey... I normally shy away from the hype, but I was intrigued due to the sheer amount of hype and discussion that was fluttering around this book (and series as a whole). It was on the radio, on TV, whispered between colleagues and friends... I figured that if I wanted in on the discussion I better crack it open.

I didn't immediately like Fifty Shades of Grey. I thought the writing was weak and the characters too cookie-cutter. I was desperately waiting for a story... but was disappointed when the same things kept happening over and over again. I got sick of Ana's whining and sick of Christian's bullshit. I knew there was depth to him and his control freak tendencies, but EL James didn't give much more than a few hints as to why- which seriously annoyed me. What I did find redeeming was the ending of Fifty Shades of Grey - I liked the cliff hanger and I had to admit that I wanted to keep pressing on.

So I did, a few months later... a colleague at work let me borrow her copy of Fifty Shades Darker and promised me that although the writing does not improve (and the cliches keep coming) the story begins to have a bit of depth. True, it does. Fifty Shades Darker is just that- darker and it explores more of the characters and their histories, specifically Christian. The addition of some new villains added to the experience as well, although I thought it was highly predictable. I finished out Fifty Shades Darker and purchased Fifty Shades Freed just so that I could finish the series. I must admit that the ending to Fifty Shades Darker didn't leave me hanging as much as Fifty Shades of Grey did, but I still wanted to press on.  And besides, I have pneumonia... there isn't much else I can do- so laying around reading was about it. 
gotta say that I struggled to finish Fifty Shades Freed. I wasn't impressed and I wasn't interested anymore. The same plot lines kept coming up, the same cliches and sex scenes, the same of whining Ana and controlling Christian, and the same predictability. Oh and stop with the childish "my sex" (goddammit call it your clitorisvagina! whatever!... just stop with the "touching my sex" and "my apex" bullshit). I just got so tired of the same... it was very repetitive. 
However, I'm glad I pressed on and finished the series- just so I can say I did and have intelligent conversations about the trilogy. I know that MANY women loved it and MANY women loathed it. I certainly enjoy all the conversations I see happening surrounding this book... and I gotta say I am interested to see if the whole "50 Shades Babies" predictions will come true... hmmm, a late 2012/early 2013 baby boom? Hahaha... just as long as people don't name babies Anastasia and Christian left and right!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Blog Hop

Happy Friday! It is that time of the week again- Book Blogger Hop!  

Hosted by Jen at Crazy-For-Books, our question this week is:

If you could be a character from any book, who would it be?

I can't say that I had to think too hard about this, and my apologies for once again coming back to Harry Potter... but I would have to be Hermione Granger. In a previous Book Blogger Hop, I told you all of how she is my favorite character and why... all of that rings true and is a huge influence on me as to why I would want to be her.  I think that she is strong (and stubborn), caring, smart, and full of complexity. Her growth and change throughout the series is also a factor here. I've always loved Hermione and her adventures... besides, I would REALLY love to attend Hogwarts!

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow


Why I love TeeFury

I love Teefury. It's a website that has a daily t-shirt by a featured artist for sale for $10.... every day the t-shirt changes to a new design, and if ya miss it- it's gone! I check the site from my phone every day to check out what the new design is... and often, there are really cool mash-ups, memes, and bookish shirts.  We have a pretty good collection in our house... here are a few of my favorites.

Harry Potter & Banksy mash-up
Bear's Redrum shirt (hard at work at the bar)
Hunger Games weaponry
Bear's Lion-o and my Planet of the Snapes

write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow

What A Week!

Just a quick post to say that I am still alive (although barely)... the new house is going well and internet is finally hooked up. I'll be back to regular blogging soon. Since we moved in, I've barely gotten to any reading- it has been go go go.. and on top of that, I have once again been diagnosed with pneumonia. I'm on a pretty heavy course of meds (as this is my 3rd go around with pneumonia) but still feeling pretty awful. Pneumonia fatigue is horrible- I'm beyond exhausted. On the upside, since I can't manage much more than 5 minutes of standing (or doing anything for that matter) I'll probably get some reading done. Hopefully I'll be good to go soon... and once I've got some energy I'll unpack the computer & load up some pictures and hop around the blogosphere! Xox Jenna