Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's Readathon Day!

My first chance to participate in Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon is finally here! Yay!

I didn't wake up for the official start time (makes me miss my old east coast time) but I am showered, breakfasted and I'm in my first book.

I'll be keeping track here throughout the day and breaking in my new twitter account (@hoardingbooks). 

Update - 13.5 hours gone

Completed: 2 hours 40 min listened. 420 pages read.

In the middle ofM is for Magic by Neil Gaiman (audiobook) and The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski and Mozart and the Whale by Jerry and Mary Newport. They are giving me a good mix.

Finished: Raven Girl and I think I will be able to finish The Winner's Curse before I fall asleep.

Right now: I'm tired but I want to keep going. Now I am wishing that I woke up with everyone else for the official start time and had logged more hours...and that would have also included not spending my first waking hour catching up on twitter instead of reading. As my nephew would say, I made "poor choices."

And: Since this is the only day that I get to see my husband and it is almost over, I am going to go to bed with him and then finish my reading with my sweet Ikea bed light.

Update - 8 hours gone

Completed: 1 hour 50 min listened. 210 pages read.

In the middle ofM is for Magic by Neil Gaiman (audiobook) and The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski but I think I may be switching back to Mozart and the Whale by Jerry and Mary Newport soon just for a change of pace.

Right now: I have a headache for some reason. We are trying to come up with dinner plans which is pulling me from reading and just really irritating but hopefully the food with help with the headache.

And: I am loving M is for Magic but I think short stories were a poor choice to listen to while catching up on posts and other stuff. You space out for a minute and miss a lot because there is so much packed into so little space. I already want to buy the book and reread it. I was hesitant in the first place because I love reading Gaiman I think I am an official convert to having him read to me. He is an all-around amazing storyteller.

Update - 3 hours gone

Completed: 1 hour 33 min listened. 44 pages read (WHAT? that's pathetic!) Part of that is because my family doesn't understand what I am dealing with today. I have already planned a set-up of two awesome yet single people and given job advice.

In the middle of: M is for Magic by Neil Gaiman (audiobook) and Mozart and the Whale by Jerry and Mary Newport.

Right now: I just want to get really in this.

And: I think I am going to head to the coffee shop in a bit for a pick me up and to cut down on distractions. I am also debating picking up a new book right now (cuz that's my attention span at the moment) and none of the ones I'm looking at were even in my initial pile.

Friday, October 17, 2014


I have wanted to be a part of Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon basically since I started this blog but up until two months ago every job I had since I started working at age 15 has required me to work Saturdays and I have had to miss out on the apparent joys of the readathon. When I finally realized I would have the day off and be able to participate, I was so excited...and then my husband came home and told me he bought concert tickets for us.

Sweet thought, bad timing.

Well the poor guy has come down with a terrible cold and though I feel so bad for him, I'm secretly (not so secretly) relieved that our tickets are apparently going to waste. I did a last minute sign-up on my lunch break today and then I even made the giant leap onto Twitter and spent the night lost in feed.

So, my first readathon is last minute thrown together but I'm partaking and that is what counts and I can't wait. I'm sure it is going to be a learning process in what to read and what to eat but that just means that I get to perfect it for next time. Here's my stack:

I have already started a few of them and added them to the pile with the hope that the readathon will give me the push I need to get deeper into them.

The Diviners by Libba Bray
The Returned by Jason Mott
Raising My Rainbow by Lori Duron
Mozart and the Whale by Jerry and Mary Newport
Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Some Halloweenish reads:
The First Fear by R.L. Stine
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Dark Souls by Paula Morris
Raven Girl by Audrey Niffenegger

And comics to break up my time:
Captain America 

See you tomorrow for updates throughout the day!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Gone Girl - Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl
by Gillian Flynn

What can I say about Gone Girl that hasn't already been said? Actually I'm not sure about the answer to that because I have done quite a good job of keeping away from all spoilery type things without even trying. I wasn't even sure I was going to read the book until this month. At some point I saw a lonely copy on my library's sale cart and picked it up for $2 (finding an inscription that made me smile). So, the movie came out and Shannon at River City Reading posted this post which I allowed myself to read the first paragraph and then tucked it away until I had finished the book. After I started the book I found myself in a conversation that went like this:

Friend 1: I don't like the way it ended.
Friend 2: I think it ended the way that it had to.

Not much said here but this HAUNTED ME. All through the book I was going back and forth. Analyzing and then reanalyzing. What do I want to happen? What do I not want to happen? What do I think is the only thing that CAN happen? I got to page 80 and realized I had to do something I never do in works of fiction. I wrote in the book. I wrote all over this thing. I listed my guesses on the very last page and placed hateful comments and smiley faces throughout.

So now, I am going to give you a glimpse into my mind and share with you some of those comments.

Spoilery things lurking ahead (cuz it's Halloween-time obviously)

On the Blue Book plant: Awwe, memories. 
Maybe that's the point, her intention.
Yeah! HA! no...
I'm over this disposable phone. Just tell us who it is already or stop ringing. 
WTF! I want to punch this book in the face. When did he become okay with being suspicious?
On page 193 "Hey, Nick": Just got a flash of Double Jeopardy when she "comes back from the dead" his name was Nick too right?
Shit! Is Boney on to Amy?
Why is she making us hate her now?
I hear that!
On page 338 "Something bad was going to happen. My wife was being clever again." :)
Amy and Nick both do that, maybe they were meant for each other after all. 
That's what I was thinking!
On page 399 "Nick and me (the correct grammar): This actually makes me happy. She can point it out and it's not the author being annoying because it is Amy and it fits.

And all of my speculation on the back cover:

At page 110: He hired hit man, she found out and set him up. He thinks he murdered her but she is framing him. 
Page 136: She is pregnant. (while I was correct...sort of, the reason I guessed it was because the cops kept asking about her still being a size 2 which was actually about the panties hinting at cheating)
Page 341: Is Amy going to say Desi kidnapped her? (BAM!)
Page 372: I think the only ending I'll hate is if it all goes back to normal and all is forgiven between them. 
Page 394: Now I don't know what ending I'd be happy with. Nothing sounds like a good way to go. Maybe Amy getting found out. 
Dude! I like the end, as of right now. Right before the last entries for Nick and Amy I was...unsettled/irritated/bored. After Nick I was okay because it was pathetic but almost closure in a sick way. Then I read Amy and I was glad it ended with an uncertain psycho comment. It seems more...real? It just seems to fit. 

I'm making this part of my Halloween Reads

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Haunting of Hill House - Shirley Jackson (readalong)

The Haunting of Hill House
by Shirley Jackson

Spoiler alert below

Let me start with a disclaimer about how big a chicken I's shameful. I don't know how I can claim Halloween as my favorite holiday when I can't watch actual scary movies (and haven't been able to since freshman year of college when I saw The Ring followed by Texas Chainsaw Massacre in the theatre and swore them off for good). My "scary" Halloween movie is Scream....classic! Why am I telling you all this except to air out my Halloween theme shame? Well, I was too chicken to read this book after dark...but I would catch-up on Walking Dead episodes...yeah, that makes sense... In my defense, my husband works at night so I am all alone with my crazy ass cat at night and it's not the murderers of the world that freak me out but the scary ghost stories.

Surprisingly, I would have been able to read this book at night if I had only known. It didn't turn out to be the scary story that I thought it would. The end especially was more sad than scary. All the moments that would have been more scary didn't carry as much punch as I was expecting. The moments seemed to speed by and then were followed by jokes or drama. It wasn't bad, it just wasn't what I was expecting. I actually really enjoyed the way the suspense was more in the build up than the actual event.

The story had such a wonderful way of hinting at the eerie without actually having anything freaky happen at that moment.

[...] watching something unseen move slowly across the bright green hill, chilling the sunlight and the dancing little brook. "What is it?" Eleanor said in a breath, and Theodora put a strong hand on her wrist.

"It's gone," Theodora said clearly, and the sun came back and it was warm again. "It was a rabbit," Theodora said.
pg. 39

I mean for the length of the book (174 pages) the number of pages it took for something to actually happen with any sort of substance was surprisingly long. I was expecting shaking and footsteps and apparitions by page ten. While that didn't happen, there was a haze of eeriness that clung to that pages and kept me on edge at every questionable step around an unknown corner.

With a lack of any "real" events, the tension built and I became more and more suspicious of the actions of certain characters. As Eleanor slowly lost her mind I thought I was losing my own. What was happening to everyone and why were they treating her like she was the self-centered one?

I loved when Dr. Montague's wife arrives. I was reading it while it was getting dark outside and I was wanting to put the book down for the night but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. She has such a clear voice and she was able to make the creep status funny in a way that I really enjoyed. I think I will have to read this again next year and see what else I can take from it now that I know what to expect.

**Source: Library copy

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Caving to RIP IX

I haven't done a challenge in a long years. But I decided that my favorite holiday was a good time to jump back into them. I love picking out books for Halloween (in fact I have a special shelf just for them) and I delayed signing up for this challenge because of my total inability to finish a single Halloween book last year. But today I am making the leap. Maybe it is the excitement of a cool cloudy day, maybe it is the pumpkin candle I am burning or the delicious soup I'm having for dinner but I'm all in for this Halloween awesomeness. 

So here's the deal:

Readers Imbibing Peril runs from September 1 - October 31 and you basically just pick books that you think fit into the creepy, mysterious, delightfully horrible theme, have some fun reading them and then link your posts to the review site which is put on by Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings

The good thing is that Carl has given us options. The bad thing is that some of those can overlap so I am partaking in multiple parts of the challenge...and a readalong. 

Peril the First means I will be reading four books for the challenge. I have put together the following list to chose from. 

The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury
The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Dark Souls by Paula Morris
The Turn of the Screw by Henry James
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
The Supernatural Enhancements by Edgar Cantero
Peril on the Screen....because I would be doing this anyway. At the very least I will be watching my annual favorites: Hocus Pocus and The Nightmare Before Christmas.

I have wanted to read The Haunting of Hill House for a long time and have already started it in anticipation. 

Lastly, can we just take a moment and appreciate the beautiful banners created for this challenge. The artist is Abigail Larson and after visiting her shop I want to spend lots of money on things like this and this. Oh hey and this

Well, I'm already behind on this month so I better get reading. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Music: Mako - Our Story

Okay you guys, I have to share some awesome music with you. Full disclaimer...yes I'm probably biased because it is my cousin I am talking about but that doesn't make it any less awesome. I have been listening to his music for years now. He actually wrote two, yes TWO, songs for my wedding and he is pretty much a musical genius.

I am so excited that he finally has a music video for one of my favorite songs and I am sharing it with you. He and his talented DJ friend Logan are Mako and they have a chance at being on MTV so if you like the video then be awesome and go vote on MTV's The Freshman for Mako 'Our Story' (hint: it's the second option down).

At the very least, watch the video because seriously, they are amazing. I'm super proud of him. My cousin, Alex, is the one playing the piano and singing. He graduated from Juilliard and lives in SoCal and I get to see him every November (when he isn't too busy) at our family reunion at his parent's house. Yes, I am a lucky girl. Surrounded by so much talent doesn't at all give me a complex...

It's a good thing I love that guy.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Cuckoo's Calling - Robert Galbraith

The Cuckoo's Calling
by Robert Galbraith

Oh J.K. you write such good mystery. Is Snape good or evil? Was Lula Landry's death murder or suicide? And if it was murder, who killed her? I can't wait to find out what happened to Owen Quine.

So if you don't yet know, Robert Galbraith is the nom de plume (a year of college French and that's what I got) of J.K. Rowling. And if you are just now finding this out, then welcome back from the cave you have been living in. Take moment to step away from the computer, get some sun, stretch your legs, then pick up The Cuckoo's Calling and come back and we'll chat. It's about a British veteran PI named Strike who investigates the death of a model while trying to keep his temporary, yet remarkably clever, secretary in the dark about the fact that he is living in his office after his breakup with a woman way out of his league.

Did I mention it is written by J.K. Rowling?

Mine too Jo!

So of course I was going to read it but I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading things like:

"Jus' celebratin' my fiancee zengagement," he said, raising his eleventh pint in an unsteady toast. "She shou' never've left'm. Never," he said, loudly and clearly, "have. Left. The Hon'ble. Jago Ross. Who is'n outstanding cunt." -pg 301

It's so adult, so not Harry Potter.

So anyway...I loved the book and I was concerned that my expectations were going to be too high so I think that says a lot. It's funny, every time Strike went to the police and gave them a tip about the murder I was thinking "what are you doing!You never bring the cops back into it." Apparently I have been ruined by TV and movies.

As the mystery unfolded, I was struck by how much I didn't hate the little hints Strike dropped that never went anywhere. It was just enough to let me think I was piecing it together but not enough to make me try so hard that I really thought I knew whodunnit (which was good because I was all over the map). It reminded me of a teacher dropping hints for the students to figure out the answer for themselves but then becoming distracted by something else before actually answering. Then I finally got to the part where it was all being laid out and...I had to go to work... Gah! This is why I shouldn't read during breakfast. But work only lasts so long and I was able to finish it tonight...and I already have the sequel...

**Source: Purchased from a local bookstore with my own sweet loot.