Monthly Archives:: April 2013

Apr 30

Top Ten Tuesday: Key Words/Topics

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PhotobucketTop Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Buy/Pick Up A Book (thanks to Karin at My Life In Books for this topic & graciously letting us use it)

 

Actually this is a top six list today.

Jennifer E Smith This is What Happy Looks Like1. Cute

If you know anything about me you know that I LOVE cute books. I am that easy. In fact I’m pretty sure that at least 50% of my books are “cute” and the other 50% is everything else.

 

Mike Mullin Ashfall2. Natural Disasters

Another thing that I also love is natural disasters. They are fascinating and I love to read about them (natural disasters are better in books).

Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games3. Dystopian

I know a lot of people are tired of dystopian but I still love them. I love how they can be creative and different without being so far out there that I can’t picture it.

Kendare Blake Anna Dressed in Blood4. Ghosts

I freaking love ghosts. Happy ghosts, sad ghosts, murderous ghosts, it doesn’t matter. I love them all. I especially love when ghosts appear when I’m not expecting ghosts to be in the book. That is the best ever.

Miranda Kenneally Stealing Parker5. Sports

I love when sports are in books (not books about sports). It’s especially awesome when it’s about football but I’ve read books that have baseball, hockey, soccer, etc and they are all good too.

Gillian Flynn Gone Girl6. “Effed Up”

If anyone tells me that a book is effed up I will definitely want to read it.

 

 

Kimberly


Apr 29

Book Blogger Confessions: What Do We Owe Authors?

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Book Blogger Confessions is hosted by For What It’s Worth and Midnyte Reader. On the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month they will pose a question for book bloggers to answer and discuss.

Special edition! We have an extra Monday this month and thought we’d address some hot topics in the book blogosphere. Pick one – or answer them all! It’s up to you.

What do we owe authors? I (Karen at For What It’s Worth) read this interesting post the other day. An author had tweeted that if you get all your books from the library it deprives an author of income, another suggested using this fun little graphic to help readers spread the word about a book they love.

 

This is certainly a loaded question! As a reader I owe the author nothing except for common courtesy and respect (talk about the book not the person, etc). I purchase most the books I read because I want to, not because I have to. This is my personal choice, but I know that it is not for everyone. Some people can’t afford to buy books. Some people don’t really care if they own the books they read or not. It doesn’t matter because where you get your books from is your choice.

I think its sad that some authors are against libraries when they should be supportive of them as it puts books in the hands of people who might not read it otherwise. I may not be a big library user, but I do use it on occasion, especially if I am going to read a book that I am not certain I will like. I hate wasting my money on books that I don’t like. Last year I made a deal with Andrea from The Overstuffed Bookcase to read Cinder, a book that didn’t interest me at all. While I did end up liking the book I can guarantee that I would have never purchased it, so if it wasn’t for the library I probably wouldn’t have read it.

As far as promoting goes… I promote the ones I like (or don’t like) as I see fit. I don’t need an info graphic for that as it’s something that just comes naturally.  I wish gush about books I like and recommend them to the appropriate people if I want to. I don’t like the idea of a checklist at all! There is no “right” way to promote a book as a reader – in fact you don’t have to promote the book at all!

Tell me, what are your thoughts on the issue?

Kimberly


Apr 27

Random Thoughts on Books * My Problem With Audiobooks

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PhotobucketRandom Thoughts on Books is going to be my new feature. It sounds exactly like what you think it is – my random thoughts on anything book related.

I recently wrote a post on how I’ve recently become an audiobook lover and how amazing they are. And audiobooks are amazing. They allow me to “read” while I’m at work which is pretty awesome.

But I do have a problem with audiobooks. Why don’t they give you a list of names? Places? Magical things? Anything that I can’t reasonably spell.

A just listened to A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness (which was amazing!) but there were so many names and places that I couldn’t exactly tell what they were saying, so how could I even write it.

Throughout the entire book I thought Matthew’s mothers name was Isabel, because even though the narrator was pronouncing it kind of funny, that is what it sounded like. Turns out her name is Ysebeau.

There is nothing that could have made me get that name on my own. Nothing.

You know how CD’s have the inserts that tell you things? Audiobooks should have those. It would be so helpful to me, the listener.

What are your thoughts? Should audiobooks includes a list of names/places?

Kimberly


Apr 25

Review * Prodigy by Marie Lu

Reviews 10 ★★★★

Review * Prodigy by Marie LuProdigy by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #2
Published by Putnam Juvenile on January 29, 2013
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 371
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Legend, Champion
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
June and Day arrive in Vegas just as the unthinkable happens: the Elector Primo dies, and his son Anden takes his place. With the Republic edging closer to chaos, the two join a group of Patriot rebels eager to help Day rescue his brother and offer passage to the Colonies. They have only one request—June and Day must assassinate the new Elector.

It’s their chance to change the nation, to give voice to a people silenced for too long.

But as June realizes this Elector is nothing like his father, she’s haunted by the choice ahead. What if Anden is a new beginning? What if revolution must be more than loss and vengeance, anger and blood—what if the Patriots are wrong?

In this highly-anticipated sequel, Lu delivers a breathtaking thriller with high stakes and cinematic action.

What I Thought…

  • Prodigy is a lot different from Legend, but not in a bad way. June and Day are on a mission to save Day’s brother and get to the Colonies so that they are out from the Republics watchful eye. Day believes that the Colonies will be the answer to all his problems. June wants to fix the Republic rather than leave it. They fight about this a bit as they both want different things, but in the end they both went in the same direction.
  • As I expected the Colonies aren’t filled with the happiness and perfectness that Day and June were expecting. I don’t want to go into to much detail but in some ways it’s actually worse than the Republic. The path that the Colonies chose was actually quite frightening at times.
  • I really enjoyed June and Day’s relationship. I enjoyed their little patches of jealousy and arguments. Their intimate moments were so sweet. They were both self aware of their situation and their actions. They trusted each other to make the right decision, even if they couldn’t see what that was.
  • Day is a little obtuse at times, especially when it comes to June and Tess, but I chalk that up to typical male behavior. I really like that Day appreciates that June doesn’t need him to save her. She is fully capable of handling herself and doesn’t need a knight in shining armor to rescue her all the time.
  • Tess is a bit different in Prodigy. She has been with the Patriots since the end of Legend and has grown up quite a bit. Her crush on Day is much more obvious to day in Prodigy and makes him a bit uncomfortable. Her actions were the biggest surprise for me in Prodigy.
  • I didn’t care for Thomas in Legend and I certainly didn’t like him in Prodigy. I can’t stand when people follow orders blindly giving no thoughts whatsoever to the consequences. And he’s just a jerk and I can’t stand that.
  • The new Elector Anden is quite interesting. He has a bit of a thing for June, which is mildly creepy because she is only 15, but she behaves/acts more like she’s 17 so that’s less creepy. He is also completely different from his father. He really wants to change the Republic for the better but is lacking the support to actually do it.
  • The Republic is lying considerably more than I thought they were in Legend. Their lying knows no bounds. There were a few things they were lying about that I picked up on, especially the big lie, but there were other little surprises as well.
  • Razor is the leader of the Patriots and helps June and Day out and sets up a plan to save Day’s brother. Razor is a pretty shady leader. He isn’t the nicest guy either. Neither June nor Day fully trust him but they have no choice to rely on him because they have no where else to turn.
  • Just like in Legend the world building is fantastic. The remaining questions I had of how the Republic and Colonies were formed and what happened to the rest of the world were answered and I really like what Lu did. I love how they came to be and their struggles and all about the rest of the world and the role reversals that took place.

 Notable Quotes

“You know, sometimes I wonder what things would be like if I just … met you one day. Like normal people do. If I just walked by you on some street one sunny morning and thought you were cute, stopped, shook your hand, and said, “Hi, I’m Daniel.”

“Love is illogical, love had consequences–I did this to myself, and I should be able to take it.”

Kimberly


Apr 23

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Liked More/Less Than I Thought I Would

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by the awesome people at The Broke and Bookish, who love lists as much as I do!

Top Ten Books I Thought I’d Like MORE/LESS Than I Did

 Books I liked MORE than I thought I would

Nora Roberts The Return of Rafe MacKade1. The Return of Rafe MacKade by Nora Roberts

Way back in high school I was catching up on the backlog of Mary Higgins Clark and John Grisham books when I ran out of books. My mom gave The Return of Rafe MacKade to me and said I should try it. I was like “Hell no! I’m not reading any romances.” But I did. And I loved it. And thus my love for all things contemporary was born. (Side note: I am so glad that contemporary romance covers have improved in their looks.)

Beth Revis Across the Universe2. Across the Universe by Beth Revis

Prior to a few months ago I would have been adamant about the fact that I don’t read science fiction. I only picked it up because of a book signing and I flew right through it. Loving every minute of it, even if it did take place in space.

 

 

Sarah Waters Fingersmith3. Fingersmith by Sarah Waters

Fingersmith is what I would consider literary fiction and I’m not a huge fan of literary fiction. This was our book club selection though so I buckled down and pushed through it. It turns out though that I didn’t actually need to do that much pushing. I started to enjoy the story early on, but then there was a huge, gigantic WTF moment and I was sold from there till the end.

 

Suzanne Collins The Hunger Games4. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I had no desire to read a book about kids killing kids. It’s just not my thing right? Wrong! I not only enjoyed The Hunger Games I devoured it. I read all three books in less than a week. Collins really knows how to grab your attention!

 

Fiona Paul Venom5. Venom by Fiona Paul

I’m not that big on historical fiction, but while I was at BEA the ladies from Penguin said Venom was amazing and their favorite among all the upcoming releases so I picked it up. I put off reading it for a long time because 1. It’s historical fiction and 2. There was a lot of pressure (internal) like it. It turns out I needn’t have worried. Paul tells a fabulous story and the best part (for me anyway) is it wasn’t too historical feeling.

Books I liked LESS then I thought I would

John Stienbeck Grapes of Wrath6. Grapes of Wrath by John Stienbeck

I read Of Mice and Men my sophomore year in high school and really enjoyed it so the following year when I saw The Grapes of Wrath on the reading list I was pretty excited. Turns out that The Grapes of Wrath is the worst book ever. I hated every single minute of reading it. Even after all these years this is still the worst book I’ve ever read.

Sophie Kinsella Remember Me7. Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella

I love Sophie Kinsella and I pretty much devour all her new releases as soon as they come out. Remember Me? however was a huge disappointment. I liked it, but compared to all her other books this one sucked. There was just nothing in it that kept me into the story.

 

Francine Pascal Sweet Valley Confidential8. Sweet Valley Confidential by francine Pascal

Who didn’t love the Sweet Valley High books? I read so many of them back in the day and I was really excited to see what’s up with Elizabeth and Jessica today. Sweet Valley Confidential was a total mistake! It ruined all the things that I loved about Sweet Valley High and the gang. If you have love for Sweet Valley like I do then stay far far away from this book!

Susan Beth Pfeffer Dead and Gone9. The Dead and Gone by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I really enjoyed Life as We Knew It so I was excited when my cousin loaned me the second book. Unfortunately The Dead and Gone was just OK. I liked the survival parts but I had trouble connecting with the main character. It also had a much different feel from Life as We Knew It and I was expecting the same kind of book.

Cath Crowley Graffiti Moon10. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

I really expected to love this one. It was my favorite genre (contemporary) and everyone said they loved it. Unfortunately for me I didn’t find that love. It was a good book, it just didn’t strike the feelings in me like it did for other people.

 

Kimberly


Apr 21

Sundays in Bed With… A Discovery of Witches

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PhotobucketSunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

Deborah Harkness A Discovery of Witches

Ok, I’m still reading Fragments (it’s a BIG book!) but I thought I would feature the other book that I’m listening to right now.  I’m currently listening to A Discovery of Witches at work. So far I’m really enjoying it but last week was a busy week and I didn’t get to listen to it much.

Have you filled out my blog survey?

Please take a moment to fill out my survey! I really want YOUR input! It’s only 10 questions and I’m giving away one book up to $15 USD to one person (selected at random) who fills out the survey!

What are you reading today?

 

Kimberly


Apr 18

Review * Legend by Marie Lu

Reviews 6 ★★★★

Review * Legend by Marie LuLegend by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Published by Putnam Juvenile on November 29, 2011
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult
Pages: 305
Format: Hardcover
Source: Purchased
Also in this series: Prodigy, Champion
Add to: Goodreads
four-stars
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

 What I Thought…

  • I found Legend to be really intriguing, both in terms of plot and in terms of characters. Obviously as a dystopian there is an all controlling government, rebels, despair, lack of resources, etc, but Lu did them in a way that made it a bit different.
  • I thought her world building was fantastic. The world was built bit by bit over the course of the book. From the beginning you know that they are in California, but you don’t know how far the Republic extends or how it came to be formed. You learn a lot about the Republic but not everything.
  • Day was pretty awesome. He is the Republic’s most wanted criminal. He is a huge threat to the republic (in more ways than one). I really liked June as well. She is the Republic’s prodigy, and expected to be perfect and great. Both Day and June are strong, but they are not perfect. My only complaint about Day and June is that they are NOT 15. Dystopian or not they did not behave like they were 15 years old. Every time there age was mentioned I was pulled out of the story just a little bit.
  • June’s parents died in a car crash so she has been raised by her brother Metias for quite a few years. His death shook her up something fierce and put her in a position she never thought she’d be in.
  • June’s mission is to hunt down the mysterious Day, who is the #1 suspect of her brother’s murder. Throughout her hunt she begins to make discoveries about herself, the Republic and Day. Nothing is what it seems, including her brothers murder. Day is on the run from June, and making his own discoveries about the Republic. Obviously none of these discoveries are good and Day and June will need to put their discoveries together to get the full story of the Republic.
  • Other than Day and June you have the opposing sides, the Republic and the Patriots. You don’t find out much about the Patriots other than the fact that they are working against the Republic. You learn lots of stuff about the Republic, but it’s still not enough.
  • After Metias (June’s brother) gets killed Thomas becomes his successor. I did not like Thomas from the get-to and that feeling did not go away. He’s a total sleazeball. All of the higher ups in the Republic are just as sleazy.
  • In addition to the government unrest there is a plague. The upper class citizens are able to get vaccinated, but the lower class citizens are not. The government raids them often looking for people with the plague and marking their doors when they are found. Day’s younger brother has the plague and Day is trying to get a hold of the medicine used to treat the plague. His older brother and mother have not yet gotten the plague, but it’s only a matter of time.
  • Legend was pretty faced paced. There was lots of action and the dual narration worked really well.

If you like dystopians you should definitely give this one a shot.

Notable Quotes

“You’re brilliant,”he says.”But you’re a fool to stay with someone like me.”
I close my eyes at the touch of his hand.”Then we are both fools.”

“Brave thoughts, but am I ready to follow through on them?”

“I will hunt you down. I will scour the streets of Los Angeles for you. Search every street in the Republic if I have to. I will trick you and deceive you, lie, cheat and steal to find you, tempt you out of your hiding place, and chase you until you have nowhere else to run. I make you this promise: your life is mine.”

Kimberly


Apr 16

Moving to WordPress – The Good and the Bad

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The move to WordPress definitely comes with risks, but after debating about it for a while I decided it was definitely the right choice for me. Here’s the lowdown on the move.

Why I Moved

1. Google and I were starting to become frenemies

2. I want to do more things with my blog and Blogger doesn’t have the same capabilities

3. The Ultimate Book Blogger Plugin (This will get it’s own post at a later time because it is that awesome!)

The Design

I’ve done quite a bit of design work on my Blogger blog, enough that I thought I could tackle doing my own WordPress design. Because I was already spending money on a host I didn’t want to also buy a theme or framework so I worked with one of the standard WordPress ones. I made a ton of modifications to get things how I wanted them. This took a lot of time and hair pulling to get things to work right.

Everything was going along great until I was just about finished and I discovered that I was doing it ALL WRONG! Rather than start over I finished my design, but now I have to follow these crazy instructions on how to change the modified theme into my own theme so that WordPress doesn’t do an update and I lose all my changes. (For those that want to know I edited my theme’s HTML, not my child theme’s CSS).

I’m happy with my design but I will probably spend the money sometime in the future on a framework and theme and do it right. If you don’t know a lot of design stuff I recommend having someone do the design for you.

The Move

I did a lot of research on how to do the move myself and I still had a problem (I missed a step). After I got my design all squared away and imported my posts I went to make the change and immediately got a 504 error. There was definitely some panicking going on but I called Bluehost and 30 minutes later the blog was up on and running. The support at Bluehost is phenomenal. Seriously. He knew right away what the problem was and told me what I needed to do to fix it (I needed to contact the company where I purchased my url). After I took care of that problem I called Bluehost back and they walked me through the rest of the switch. The best part of Bluehosts customer service is that both people I spoke with used regular words to tell me what to do (instead of computer speak).

I think this part of the move was pretty easy, and no matter what your level of computer skills is you can do it (plus you can always call your hosting company and have them walk you through it).

Moving My Followers

This was what worried me the most. I didn’t want to lose all my followers. I found a lot of step by step instructions on how to do this and it kind of worked.

I started off with Parajunkee Design’s tutorial on how to transfer from Blogger to WordPress (I only used the parts related to transferring my feed, not the part about moving my blog). I followed all the instructions on a Friday afternoon and then settled in to wait to see what happened with my followers (Feedburner only updates the count once a day at like midnight).

I was absolutely elated on Saturday when I saw that my follower count was the same. My first scheduled post was scheduled for Sunday so the first thing I did when I got up Sunday morning was check my feed and I was relieved to see that my post was indeed in my reader :)

Then I checked Feedburner and was quite surprised to see that I only had 37 followers! I double checked all the things and everything seems set up right and some friends have confirmed that they are still getting the feed so I don’t know what the deal is.

I’ve decided not to panic about it.

Am I Glad I Made the Move?

In a word: Yes! I love all the things I can do with it, though I still have a lot to learn. I know there have been some horror stories of the move not going well but overall I would consider my move a success, even though Feedburner isn’t exactly working like I hoped.

 

Kimberly


Apr 15

Book Blogger Confessions: Blogging

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Book Blogger Confessions is hosted by For What It’s Worth and Midnyte Reader. On the 1st and 3rd Monday of every month they will pose a question for book bloggers to answer and discuss.

 

 

 

How long do you see yourself blogging for? Do you think it’s ok for a blog to evolve over time? For example: You may have started out as a book review blog but now your interest is in cooking as well. Do you incorporate that or start over?

 

I want to say I’ll blog forever, but I know that’s not very realistic, so instead I’ll say I have no plans to stop. I hope that I never lose my love for blogging.

I think its natural for blogs to evolve over time and I have no problems when blogs I follow cover other things besides books. It’s your blog so you should write about whatever you want to write about. I follow quite a few blogs that I consider eclectic and I love them just as much as I love blogs that are exclusively about books.

It’s just my opinion, but I do think that if you are going to completely change your focus (e.g. you were exclusively a book blog and now you are going to be exclusively a food blog) that you should do a post to give your readers heads up rather than just suddenly switching. For me I would just like to know that I’m going to be seeing different content so I don’t wonder why I started to follow a food blog!

Kimberly


Apr 14

Sundays in Bed With… This is What Happy Looks Like

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PhotobucketSunday’s in Bed is hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl to share with everyone what you’re reading in bed Sunday morning before getting to the days activities.

Jennifer E Smith This is What Happy Looks Like

Today I’m reading This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E Smith. This book is filled with cute! Not that I’m surprised because The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight was also filled with cute.

I really love the titles of Smith’s books, but boy are they a mouthful to say!

Have you filled out my blog survey?

Please take a moment to fill out my survey! I really want YOUR input! It’s only 10 questions and I’m giving away one book up to $15 USD to one person (selected at random) who fills out the survey!

What are you reading today?

 

Kimberly