Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bad Day

Having a very, very bad day. I am in a lot of physical and emotional pain right now. Good news is after much debate, I am reading The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. I read a review on another blog recently saying it had a lot of rape and sandwich making. And a friend of mine said it had a lot of product placement but I should still read it. So, I am gonna get started on it. Maybe I'll finish most of it tonight.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Review: The Emerald Atlas

The Emerald Atlas
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Summary from Goodreads:

John Stephens' aptly-titled new fantasy trilogy begins auspiciously with a nimble, fast-paced tale of three siblings. Kate, Michael, and Emma have suffered through ten years of odious orphanage "care"; now they have slipped into the care of the eccentric, disturbingly mysterious Dr. Pym. While exploring their new home, the children discover a magical green book. With that discovery, a decade of tedium dissolves into cascades of dangerous time travel adventures and struggles with a beautiful witch and decidedly less attractive zombielike Screechers. High early reader marks for strong characterization and battle scenes.

My Review:

I finished this right before Christmas so I didn't get a chance to write up a review right away. And I had a bit of trouble during the first few chapters. It didn't seem to catch my attention. But then I found myself drawn into the story. Kate, Michael, and Emma are just like any other trio of siblings. They fight, they squabble, but they love each other so much they can't bear to be parted. Each has there own distinct personality. John Stephens did a great job fleshing out his characters. This book focused mostly on Kate and I assume the next books will deal with Emma and Michael.

I loved the setting. The magical town of Cambridge Falls made me feel like I was right there along with the children. As the action increased I was waiting with every paragraph. I found myself needing to go back a few times because I was reading with such speed. There are a lot of details in this book and the story was wonderful. It wraps up nicely but still leaves you aching for the next book.

Overall, I say young readers, and adults as well, will enjoy this magical tale of three siblings who find out their destiny within the world.

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Free Ebook Alert! Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

For those interested ereading bookworms out there a few days ago I stumbled upon FREE ebooks of Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey. I haven't had a chance to read this particular book yet. It is available on both B&N and Amazon.

NOOK Book (eBook):

Sadly it is not free on Kobo Books. But I'm sure if you have a Kobo, you can get the ebook for free from B&N and then sideload it to the Kobo.

Referring Sites on Traffic

Open Question to anyone who may stumble upon this.

How in the world do I get rid of (do not go to this site it is SPAM!) as a referring site on my traffic? It and one other spamming site appear to be the most traffic I have. So yea that means I seriously have no followers. :( That's ok I guess cause I don't really put a LOT of effort into this. But it has me thinking maybe I should....

So anyone got any suggestions for what content would spice up this old joint? I deleted a LOT of older posts. Like seriously, I went through a very bad time when I was sick and this blog helped me through but I decided it was best for people to NOT see what I went through. It really had me at my knees. 

So if anyone hears me gimme a shout! Just to let me know I've not gotten lost in the great abyss of the interwebz. Here are some things I'm thinking about doing more.

  • History
  • Archaeology
  • More Book Reviews
  • Book Related Stuff I Run Upon
  • Updates on What is Going on in the Truck

My First NetGalley Review: A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle

Title: A Greyhound of a Girl
Publisher: ABRAMS
Imprint: Amulet Books
Publication Date: May 01, 2012
ISBN: 9781419701689

Author: Roddy Doyle
Category: Fiction - Juvenile: Other

Summary and Author Information: 
Mary O'Hara is a sharp and cheeky 12-year-old Dublin schoolgirl who is bravely facing the fact that her beloved Granny is dying. But Granny can't let go of life, and when a mysterious young woman turns up in Mary's street with a message for her Granny, Mary gets pulled into an unlikely adventure. The woman is the ghost of Granny's own mother, who has come to help her daughter say good-bye to her loved ones and guide her safely out of this world. She needs the help of Mary and her mother, Scarlett, who embark on a road trip to the past. Four generations of women travel on a midnight car journey. One of them is dead, one of them is dying, one of them is driving, and one of them is just starting out.

Roddy Doyle is the author of nine novels. He won the Man Booker Prize in 1993 for Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha. His novels have been made into popular films, including The Commitments and The Snapper. He lives and works in Dublin, Ireland.

A Greyhound of a GirlA Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book was wonderful. It really captured the sadness of losing a loved one. I felt myself relating to the characters, I cried when they cried, and laughed at Mary's cheeky comments. I adored the moments between daughter and mother. The author was great at bringing about touching scenes without making them come across cheesy or cliche.

The amount of dialogue used was sufficient I feel for the setting of the story. I loved the language used by the characters and how they played off each other. I do not know much about Ireland or it's language but to me the setting seemed very realistic even though there was a ghost involved.

The love felt by the four women and their acceptance of the beginning and ending of life. Even though Mary is just on the edge of womanhood, she has a mature nature that shows she will be a strong woman once she grows up. The parallels between Mary's excitement of coming womanhood and Emer's apprehension about her impending death reflected each other in a subtle but moving tribute to the processes of life and death.

There wasn't anything spooky about this ghost story. It was more of a reflection on the different stages of life. The author provided a well paced and touching story that spans through each characters lives. Their childhoods, their adulthoods, and for two of them, their deaths. I felt the flashbacks where written in a subtle yet effective way. They tied the story together beautifully and left no questions unanswered.

I will definitely be looking for more works by Roddy Doyle.

View all my reviews

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wow I am a Science Nerdfighter (hope the code works)

What Type of Nerdfighter are You?
Your Result: You are a Science-type Nerdfighter
You love to learn! Especially about how things work. Logic is just plain fun for you and you probably own either a telescope, a chemistry set, or some non-fiction science literature! Maybe you have it all :)
You are a Writing-type Nerdfighter
You are a Games-type Nerdfighter
You are a Music-type Nerdfighter
You are a Nerdfighter In Denial
What Type of Nerdfighter are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Short Reviews: Before I Fall, Once in a Full Moon

Before I FallBefore I Fall by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Imagine dying. Imagine getting the chance to right the wrongs you have done. Imagine that your efforts still do not stop you from reliving the same day over and over.

View all my reviews

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I felt the story could have been fleshed out better. But I think the concept was still spectacular. And the author brought forth an original take on the werewolf genre. This is not seen a lot. 

Review: The Tommyknockers

The Tommyknockers
The Tommyknockers by Stephen King

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This review is by my husband, Mike, with me typing it out. If there are spoilers I apologize as he is not used to reviewing without giving away the plot.
Mike: This book kept me in suspense. It held my attention. I really liked the flashbacks. It has a good story base. I especially liked how they made all the weird gadgets and *censored*. I think it is a must read book. I laughed a lot while listening to this audiobook.

Minda: Mike, what did you think about the characters Bobbi Anderson and Gard?

Mike: Bobbi was a laidback, scared of her family, sort of a black sheep. She did what she wanted to though, so I give her respect for that. Gard was crazy, mixed up, fought his own inner demons, but was quite the hero which was surprising.

Minda: Why do you think Bobbi was so scared of Anne?

Mike: Anne was the type who ruled everything. she was a *censored*.

Minda: What about the references to nuclear fallout, did you think they mirrored what was happening in Haven?

Mike: Yes. The connections between the two were very evident.

Minda: What is your opinion of the townspeople?

Mike: The townspeople were idiots. They seemed like backwood hicks.

And after those questions he had to concentrate on the road cause we were in rural Illinois and our GPS was trying to send us down restricted roads.

I liked the book and really appreciated that Stephen King went indepth about the towns history and all the weird happenings that occurred. I was shocked quite a few times at the physical changes to the Havenites. Especially when Bobbi's sister came to "visit".

View all my reviews

Monday, December 19, 2011

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Save a Tree, Read an eBook

Save a Tree – Read an e-book Button

Almost every book I read is an ebook. This is partially by choice (love the ease of ereading) and partially by necessity (riding with my husband in a semi-truck, not much room for reading material).

I even make little cutesy pictures celebrating my ereader love. 
I understand some people GREATLY dislike ebooks. It cannot replace the look, feel, smell, and pure JOY of holding a real book in your hands. But I take these criticisms in stride. I had a nice sized library of real books. I had two bookshelves brimming with books. Favorites, TBR, Just Purchased, and Textbooks from my college classes.  It was magnificent. Sadly due to circumstances beyond my control...every single one of my books......were lost. Gone. I mourned the loss of my wonderful books. But I recovered.

My brother, sometime around September last year (2010) purchased me a B&N Nook. I was in love. I immediately filled it up with free books, library books, and proceeded to go reading crazy. I read novel after novel. Sure I didn't have the physical books in my hands. I couldn't smell them. I couldn't treasure the gloss of the cover, the roughness/smoothness of the pages, and I couldn't put a bookmark in between the pages. But it was going to be ok. I had my books with me. They were by my side.

It also allowed me to truly treasure the real books I received. And believe me books are coming a long way visually. When was the last time you saw a consistent out pour of such BEAUTIFUL coverart?

*Run down to your nearest book store and just LOOK at the covers!!!*

I am writing this post because I too wish to Save Trees, Read ebooks, and treasure the simplicity in ebooks. And because I totally dig the widget (look at the very top) which I found at For the Love of Reading.

So if you love ereading or books in general head over to For the Love of Reading, subscribe, and enjoy.

Dystopian Book Challenge 2011 FINISHED

I have completed the Dystopian Book Challenge of 2011!

The dystopian books I read were:

  1. Feed
  2. The Year of the Flood
  3. The Knife of Never Letting Go
  4. Catching Fire
  5. The Giver
  6. Divergent
  7. Delirium
I did not count more than one book per series. I think the majority of these I did review on Goodreads/Minda Ink. *scratches head trying to remember*

So I completed the level of Asocial

Overall it was fun. I love dystopian books and even though I didn't read any of the classic dystopian novels I was originally planning to read, I did enjoy myself. 

The Dystopian Book Challenge of 2012 is now posted on Bookish Ardour. So if you missed the chance to take part this year you can always take part for next year's challenge. Bookish Ardour usually has some pretty great challenges and I might take part in this one again. (Maybe this time actually reading the classic dystopian novels I set out to read....)

Review: Beauty Queens

Beauty Queens
Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So funny. Beauty Queens does not take itself seriously and neither should you. Every pageant stereotype (and girl stereotype) is found in this book. You will find the smart ones, dumb ones, straight ones, gay ones, and the best thing is you get to know them all not based on their looks but who they are and what events shape how they see the world.

My husband even enjoy the book. I think it was the laugh out loud moments that got him. The villian is evil, the girls are kick-ass, and once again talking heads miss the entire point.

Libba Bray really delivers and does a darn good range of accents as well. (audiobook)

I found myself disliking a few of the characters. Simply because they were trying way to hard to be something they naturally could never be.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Review: The Misanthrope's Guide to Life:

The Misanthrope's Guide to Life:
The Misanthrope's Guide to Life: by Meghan Rowland

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I am not even gonna lie....I wanna marry this book. Seriously if you like tongue in the cheek humor and don't mind a little bit of offensiveness (and if you do then lighten up) you need to read this book soon. It's free on Barnes & Noble and Amazon so you have no excuse NOT to go get it, download it, and read it. (Other than having no which case how in the world are you seeing this review????!!!!


View all my reviews

Friday, December 9, 2011

Still Rocky But Getting Better

Well my dad is out of the hospital, turns out his medication has been effecting his liver. He is home now and hopefully they can make it to SC soon. My brothers, husband, and I took about 75% of the belongings in the house to SC on Tuesday/Wednesday. We were extremely exhausted when we got home. We just threw the two remaining mattresses on the floor and slept like squatters haha. Closed off every other room in the house and hooked the remaining tv up to watch movies and I don't think we even made it halfway through The Hangover.

My brother has a cell phone account with my mom and me on it as well as himself. Well the night before we started packing everything in the moving truck, the phones were turned off cause he owed the bill, all his money had been spent getting stuff ready for the move. So he had to borrow money in order to pay it. Now my mom doesn't have the money on hand to get another moving truck for what is left.....we always have rotten luck. And my bro is out of a job cause he worked his last day Friday and my dad had a seizure Saturday. So that's a problem as well. We are hoping to get everything back on the plan, but everytime we plan things go wrong. my head hasn't been in the reading mindset lately. Too much worrying and stress...which has also thrown my Lupus into a flare. The good thing is cause my Lupus makes my antibodies attack healthy tissue, I rarely get an actual cold. Its like my body has such a high immunity that it turns on itself....I know some parts of Lupus are still a mystery to most doctors so I guess this is just one of those things. And I should have gotten sick cause I was right there with my two hacking, coughing, sore throated brothers for two/three days. And I think we mixed up sodas at least once in the confusion. Oh well. But besides the not getting a cold I have gotten "Lupus sick" which means I have swollen feet that feel like I'm walking on shards of glass and pillows, sore as hell from head to toe, and a tiny bit of the malar rash starting from sun exposure. Plus my standard digestive problems have increased.

I am kind of afraid to take OTC pain relievers due to my dad experiencing liver damage from tylenol.....I don't really wanna push my luck. So I'm suffering in silence. Oh and I've passed out (napped for 3 hrs) many times in the last five days...yep...Lupus is exhausting.

So that's about all I've got going on lately. Back in the truck now with Mike making monies....hurrah for monies.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Things Have Got to Start Looking Up

We are supposed to be moving to South Carolina this weekend. Mike's trucking company delayed us by messing around and giving us a load to Kansas. Then yesterday things started to look better because they assigned us a load heading toward home. So everything was set to move when we got there.

But my dad had three seizures back to back last night and had to be taken to the hospital. He stopped breathing and they had to tube him. When he got to our "band-aid" station of a local hospital, they were keeping him unconscious so he wouldn't pull the tube out. They transferred him to a hospital in another town. He is in ICU and they said ammonia is coming out of his liver.

My father is in his 70s and physically disabled. (Car accidents, a gun shot to the leg, and he broke both legs in 93' resulting in plates and screws in his legs) He has to take pain medication everyday for the severe arthritis in his legs and sometimes takes Tylenol on top of that medication, which already includes Tylenol. So we think the Tylenol is destroying his liver. He still has the tube down his throat and I am 600 miles away from the hospital.

I need to be strong and I need to keep it together but this is scaring me. Mike and my brother have plans to take the majority of our belongings to SC. Then I guess we will wait until my father gets out of the hospital to move the rest? I'm falling apart cause my dad is seriously sick, all plans we've made are falling through, and I have no idea what the future holds.

I can't even read a book to take my mind off of things. It just makes me zone out and start thinking about them. I have no close friends to talk to about this stuff cause the closest friend I had, we grew apart. And her family makes me not want to be around them. And there is no way to keep away from her family and still be friends with her. Cause I don't want to risk them finding out what is going on in my life and twisting it around and gossiping about it. It's too dangerous.

All I have is my brothers, Mike, and my parents. I don't even know what to do anymore. I'm falling down the rabbit hole.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Some Pictures From the Road

I am always talking about how I'm traveling with my husband in a Big Rig and I just realized I haven't shared ANY of the photos I've taken. He just got me a new Digital Camera (well it was from a pawn shop....yea I'm not a fan of buying brand new when I can get slightly used) so I haven't been able to take pictures the WHOLE time we've been out. But here are some of the bests.

I don't know who this is a statue of, I don't think it is the Sam Houston Statue in Huntsville, TX. I can't remember who it is...
Raleigh, NC - Armadillo Grill BEST TACOS EVER!!!!

City Hall in St. Louis, Missouri

Look at that Architecture on the City Hall, so beautiful.

Just to prove it is a City Hall and not Dracula's Castle HaHa

A burger restaurant called The CookOut, great burgers. You should check them out.

Yea I saw this while I was reconnecting to Broadband going down the road. I think someone was playing a joke on WiFi thieves. LOL.

This was in Texas. I thought it was interesting. Took forever to get a good enough picture of it. I kept getting cars tops and light poles.

The Mausoleums in New Orleans....Oh My Gosh. I'm a big fan of old cemeteries and I've been known to just stroll through a cemetery contemplating what the residents could have died from. 

And believe it or not I caught these pictures of the mausoleums while going down the interstate fast. I was basically snapping constantly. There were soooo flipping many and I wish I knew which particular cemetery this was, I'd love to see it up close some day. 

Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans

ST. Louis Public Library. I WANT THAT SIGN! I think it is so neat. "the Library" 

And I think this was somewhere in North Carolina. I thought the clock was really unique. I want one of these for my house HAHA.

Evernote Clearly

Evernote Clearly Night Mode
If anyone has Google Chrome and you read a lot of news articles or blogs online you should seriously consider trying the Evernote Clearly extension. It takes away all the ads and other bull off the page and gives you just the text. It's crisp, clean, and even has a setting for night viewing. And it is easy to switch back to the webpage standard view. Takes hardly any time to switch from one view to the next.

This is what a Yahoo News Article looks like using Clearly

This is what a Goodreads Review looks like when using Clearly

Friday, December 2, 2011

Review: The Lightning Thief

The Lightning Thief
The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I tried many times to listen to this book on audio, finally I gave up and decided I will just read it. How convenient as well that my husband and I were stuck in a bus station until the bus arrived. So with hours to kill I read the book aloud while he listened.

He was glued to the pages. I was glued to the pages. The story is entrancing and pulls you in. You want to know what happens next and it is very hard to put down. Now he wants an ereader of his own, we travel a lot and an ereader is the best option for us. Any book that can make my non-reading husband want to pick up a book and start reading definitely gets four stars in my book.

Yes I know it is targeted toward young adults. But as an adult I can admit it made me feel like a kid again. The magic of the story drew me into the world and now I want to continue with the next book. The writing was funny and I can see why this was such a hit series a few years ago and why the spin off series have received good reviews.

Percy Jackson is coming to terms with the new found knowledge that he is the son of a Greek God. And not just any Greek God mind you, he is the son of one of the BIG THREE, Poseidon. See back in WWII the Big Three (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades) agreed to father no more children with mortals. Their children were too powerful. Percy was never supposed to be born and there are a lot of beings who would like to see him dead. When Percy is accused of stealing the Lightning Bolt of Zeus, he is given a quest to clear himself of innocence and save the world. Through many dangers and obstacles Percy and his companions uncover a plot to overthrow the Olympians.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I Have Been Bad

I have so been neglecting my books lately...well actually I HAVE been reading. See my husband drives a semi-truck, I ride with him, and to pass the time I have been reading books to him. But he only likes funny books. So we read, Sh*t My Dad Says and We Thought You'd Be Prettier, nothing wrong with that...but....I have a HUGE pile (list) of books I have been wanting to read. So I went to my Goodreads account and looked at my list of books I have not read on there. I've compiled a "tentative" list of books I want to read in the next well....months. So here goes the list.

THE LIST (cue dramatic music)
*And yes I copy/pasted it from Goodreads*

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)

The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series #2)

The Emerald Atlas (The Books of Beginning #1)

Winter Challenge 2011-2012 (Something Borrowed)

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, #1)

Winter Challenge 2011-2012 (Something Old)

The Maze Runner (Maze Runner, #1)

Graceling (The Seven Kingdoms, #1)

The Iron King (Iron Fey, #1)

Winter Challenge 2011-2012 (Group Love)

Winter's Passage (Iron Fey, #1.5)

Winter Challenge 2011-2012 (Winter Book)

The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey, #2)

Eragon (Inheritance Cycle #1)

The Dead-Tossed Waves (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, #2)

The Dark and Hollow Places (Forest of Hands and Teeth Series #3)

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1)

The Thief (The Queen's Thief, #1)

Looking for Alaska
Plan to Read Jan 3rd to Jan 10th

Winter Challenge 2011-2012 (Valentine)

Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Plan to Read Jan 3rd to Jan 10th

Firelight (Firelight, #1)