Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!!!


Watch out for ghosts and goblins!

My friend captured me trying to  decide how to carve the pumpkin.    Photo credit.
I couldn't pass up this shot of my cat in the window!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

2 Year Blogiversary!! And a Giveaway!

I can't believe my little bloggy baby is already 2 years old.  Time does fly!

Blogging, of course, would not be what it is without all you awesome folks to share it with so to celebrate my anniversary and say thanks I have a giveaway!

In keeping with my hoarding theme, I can't just give away one of my books.  Luckily, my hoarding tendencies have caused me to pick up some duplicate books along the way.  So, here is the deal...

One lucky winner will get to choose between these three books:

The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros - I read this book in college and loved it so when I came across it sitting on a table at a used book store I had to save it.

The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller - I haven't read this and I actually have no idea how I ended up with two copies because I don't even remember buying one but it is one of the books I am determined to read before I die so apparently that causes copies to flock to me.

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton - I haven't read this yet but I have heard such great things about it that when I saw a copy for $1 I had to pick it up.

Giveaway details:

You can have up to 3 entries:

* 1 entry just by leaving me a comment on this post with your email address so I can contact the winner.
* 1 entry if you subscribe to my rss feed or follow me via blogger (new or current subscribers).
* 1 entry for spreading the word about this giveaway (in your sidebar is okay).

Open to entries from US and Canada only.

The deadline to enter is November 2.

Good luck!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page.

This month's Mailbox Monday blog tour is hosted by Savvy Verse & Wit.

Check out the blog and post all the new books you acquired last week.

The Countess: A Novel of Elizabeth Bathory by Rebecca Johns (from publisher)

From author's website:
Was the “Blood Countess” history’s first and perhaps worst female serial killer? Or did her accusers create a violent fiction in order to remove this beautiful, intelligent, ambitious foe from the male-dominated world of Hungarian politics?

In 1611, Countess Erzsébet Báthory, a powerful Hungarian noblewoman, stood helpless as masons walled her inside her castle tower, dooming her to spend her final years in solitary confinement. Her crime—the gruesome murders of dozens of female servants, mostly young girls tortured to death for displeasing their ruthless mistress. Her opponents painted her as a bloodthirsty škrata—a witch—a portrayal that would expand to grotesque proportions through the centuries.

In this riveting dramatization of Erzsébet Báthory’s life, the countess tells her story in her own words, writing to her only son—a final reckoning from his mother in an attempt to reveal the truth behind her downfall. Countess Báthory describes her upbringing in one of the most powerful noble houses in Hungary, recounting in loving detail her devotion to her parents and siblings as well as the heartbreak of losing her father at a young age. She soon discovers the price of being a woman in sixteenth-century Hungary as her mother arranges her marriage to Ferenc Nádasdy, a union made with the cold calculation of a financial transaction. Young Erzsébet knows she has no choice but to accept this marriage even as she laments its loveless nature and ultimately turns to the illicit affections of another man.

Seemingly resigned to a marriage of convenience and a life of surreptitious pleasure, the countess surprises even herself as she ignites a marital spark with Ferenc through the most unromantic of acts: the violent punishment of an insolent female servant. The event shows Ferenc that his wife is no trophy but a strong, determined woman more than capable of managing their vast estates during Ferenc’s extensive military campaigns against the Turks. Her naked assertion of power accomplishes what her famed beauty could not: capturing the love of her husband.

The countess embraces this new role of loving wife and mother, doing everything she can to expand her husband’s power and secure her family’s future. But a darker side surfaces as Countess Báthory’s demand for virtue, obedience, and, above all, respect from her servants takes a sinister turn. What emerges is not only a disturbing, unflinching portrait of the deeds that gave Báthory the moniker “Blood Countess,” but an intimate look at the woman who became a monster.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Thoughts on a movie - Red

I don't review movies but I picked up Red from redbox and about 15 minutes into the movie my husband made a comment that I knew I had to write about so the rest of the movie I kept laughing about scenes, thinking "oh man, people have to know about that too." 

We have been wanting to watch Red for some time now and we finally picked it up and let me tell you I was not disappointed.  I was constantly laughing and it was full of don't-take-me-too-seriously-action-packed-fun! Plus, it has a cast full of bad-asses (John Malkovich is crazy and I heart him). 

So...the moment that inspired this was when Mary-Louise Parker is in her bed, wearing her sweater, reading a book that she says is "terrible, but I love it," and I look over at my husband because he is laughing hysterically.  When I ask him what he is laughing at, he says, "that would have been you if we didn't get married!"  I can't even deny that it is true!

Seriously, if you just need something that is not too serious and you need a giggle, watch Red.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lions of Kandahar - Major Rusty Bradley and Kevin Maurer

Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds
By Major Rusty Bradley and Kevin Maurer

You may or may not know that my husband, Mike, was enlisted in the Army until last year and he had 3 deployments in Afghanistan. When I saw Lions of Kandahar on Amazon Vine, I immediately requested it. It wasn’t until received it that I told Mike about the book. He looked at the author and told me that they were actually in the same unit.

Of course, Mike snatched the book and finished it before I even had a chance to think about reading it. Just so you know, I can’t watch military movies with him because he criticizes anything that isn’t accurate. When he finished the book, I asked him if he liked the book and he said “yeah, because it was just the facts and no fluff.” I can’t think of a better recommendation from him, and after reading it, I have to agree.

Lions of Kandahar follows Major Bradley and his men as they embark on an extremely dangerous mission. It shows how the military work with the Afghan National Army and the importance of their relationship. It takes you to the heart of a battle without holding back any of the pain and trauma.

I really appreciated how the story was laid out with facts and it wasn’t until the very end that Bradley got a bit preachy about the military…but it was brief and didn’t annoy me too much. The fact is that this is a real story, not something made for Hollywood. It’s not meant to make you angry about the war or rally you to enlist. Bradley has his opinions, and they should be pretty obvious being that he enlisted, but he writes just the facts. His emotions come through to bring the story to life and show what someone in those situations thinks about. This is a book that can be appreciated by anyone who wants to get a better idea of what is happening no matter their opinions.

**Source: Amazon Vine

If you are interested in more, I recommend checking out a documentary by National Geographic called Inside the Green Berets.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia at The Printed Page.

This month's Mailbox Monday blog tour is hosted by Savvy Verse & Wit.

Check out the blog and post all the new books you acquired last week.

Life got in the way and I missed a couple MMs. I am going to school one day a week and my class falling on a Monday is really putting a damper my Monday posting.  Luckily, today is a bank holiday (Happy Columbus Day!!) so I have the whole day off before I have to get to my night class.  Here is what I have snagged in the last two weeks.

Shadows Walking by Douglas R. Skopp (for review on blog tour)

From author's website:
Johann Brenner, an idealistic physician and ardent German nationalist, has joined the Nazi Party and willingly participated in its "crimes against humanity." His Jewish childhood friend, Philipp Stein, has also become a doctor. Their lives inevitably intersect until their last, fateful meeting.

After the war, Brenner, with stolen papers and a new name, has become a janitor in the courthouse where the Nuremberg Trials are being held. Hoping to "heal himself" and wishing to begin a new life with his estranged wife, he decides that he must write her a letter telling what he has done and why.

Brenner's letter sets the theme for each chapter of Shadows Walking. Through his letter, we see him admit his choices and their consequences as he slips deeper and deeper into the brutality of the Third Reich.

Books from Book Festival:

Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Ice Queen by Alice Hoffman
Beloved by Toni Morrison

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

When there are no words...just dance

I am loving the new show New Girl and just had to share one of the best moments ever!!  The video is kind of terrible but I am just grateful that someone recorded it at all. If you aren't watching New Girl you seriously need to check it out.  Yes I am biased because she has my name AND her own theme song but still...

Umm yeah...I want to get married again so we can totally do the slow chicken dance!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Welcome October Fun!!

Who can resist a cute cutout?

 October is here and we decided to spend some time with a couple friends getting lost in the awesome corn maze at the Petaluma Pumpkin Patch.

We didn't know if we would make it out alive!

 I am in love with this Fall weather and all that comes with it.  Now I'm off to roast a kabocha squash!