Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Award Time!

Beautiful Blogger Award from Al at Publish or Perish

and from Velvet at vvb32 reads:

Thanks to Emma of Emma Michaels for creating said pic.

I'd like to send this out to all of my followers...it'll take awhile, but I will send this one out once a month or so! So I'm passing both awards to all of my followers!!!!

If my followers so choose, they can pass it on too. Just make sure to add this footnote with link on your blog post:

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
please note: award was created by Emma Michaels
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++




1. Miss Remmers of Miss Remmers' Review
2. Laura of Laura's Reviews
3. Kim of Chapter Chit Chat
4. Devon of Devon's Quiet Corner
5. Renee of Black 'n Gold Girl's Book Spot
6. Ruth of Music of the Heart
7. Returning it back to Velvet of vvb32 reads since she's such an awesome follower!
8. Kals of At Pemberley
9. Colette of A Buckeye Girl Reads
10. Nicole of Books and Bards

Thanks again to Al and Velvet for handing over these awards and for those who are my followers! I really appreciate it!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Monday Movie Meme & 5 Word Movie Reviews


Feature Presentation...
MONDAY MOVIE MEME
hosted by Molly and Andy of The Bumbles Blog

All about sidekicks! What movies have some awesome sidekicks!!!???

1. The Emperor's New Groove (2000): Patrick Warburton plays Kronk...who just happens to be the best sidekick ever! If you haven't checked this one out do so just for him! He's hilarious.


2. The Italian Job (2003): A great ensemble/sidekick cast to Marky-Mark, I mean Mark Wahlberg...


3. A Knight's Tale (2001): We have two great sidekick to Heath Ledger with Paul Bettany (who isn't shy about cheek) as Geoffrey Chaucer and Alan Tudyk as Wat. Both are hilariously funny!!!
 

5 Word Movie Reviews

1. The Princess and the Frog (2009): Actual role model as Tiana!


2. Astro Boy (2009): A bit contrived, but fun.


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Bibliomania!!!!!

Did you know . . . that Last week was Bibliomania Day? On March 20, 1990, Stephen Blumberg of Ottumwa, Iowa, was arrested for stealing over 23,600 books worth $20 million and weighing 19 tons. So look out for the "bookey-man"!

Like many book thieves, Blumberg was also a book lover. "It was his habit to read constantly through the night, cat-napping, waking, reading, dozing, waking, reading again, never fully sleeping. "

Hmmm . . . sound familiar?
Are there any books you would like to beg, borrow, or steal?
Yeah, Like all of them! I go to the library and wish I could just keep all of the ones I'm borrowing. I really love books on language/languages, but they're pretty expensive so they're on my list as well!
Are you addicted to trips to Borders or the public library?
Oh, yes. I head up to the library at least once a week whether it's for books or some DVDs. I also make way too many runs to my local bookstore, Walmart, and Barnes and Noble...online I like to do Goodreads Bookswaps where you only have to pay shipping for a book and Amazon.com and Book Depository.
Do you have a way to remember what books you have read?
Goodreads and Shelfari are my favorite spots to record what I want to read, what I'm reading, and what I've read/my reviews...along with my blog!
When did your love of books begin?
I've always been an avid reader since I was a kid. I started young!
What is a favorite book? Author?
Jane Eyre is one of my favorites. I also love the Harry Potter series, Gone With the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, Persuasion, To Kill a Mockingbird...just to name a few! Also the respective authors that go with these books! Check 'em out if you haven't yet.
Do you still have in your possession a book borrowed, but not returned to its rightful owner? I think I still have a couple from my dad, but I returned most of them a couple of weeks ago. And I have a couple from a friend that I have yet to read.
What's the most in library fines you have owed? 16 bucks!
Do you loan books out to others? I'm a little paranoid about it,but I do it!!!! How do you keep track of them? I just don't lend out too many at a time and then I can remember them!

A big thanks to Kim of Queen Bee for tagging me with this fun survey!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

Genre: non-fiction, memoir, African-American studies, Women studies
FTC Disclosure: bought from Barnes and Noble
Published: 1861
Pages: 229
Content: PG-13 for violence
Reading Challenges: Women Unbound Challenge, Black History Month Mini Reading Challenge


It's really surprising that this book was published in the late 1800s and by a black woman, no less! Yeah, for abolitionists! It was a terrorizing account of Harriet Jacobs experience as a slave in the American South and what she did to get to freedom and guarantee the freedom of her children. She was very heroic and went through so many things both physically, spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Though, the account is tragic it ends with hope and inspiration.

It just kept hitting me that this was a true story...it took me awhile to get through it because of the theme. I feel it's important to remember our history so we can learn and thus make the world better. I highly recommend this one for any who have a love of history, especially the seedy side. Well, I recommend it for everyone...

Rating: 4/5

Monday, March 22, 2010

Monday Movie Meme

Feature Presentation...
MONDAY MOVIE MEME
hosted by Molly and Andy at The Bumbles Blog.

Sex Sells!!! What are the crazy sex scenes in movies you've seen? Not that I agree with sex selling...

1. Titanic (1997): The car scene with the hand and the steam was really, really cheesy...not my favorite movie, for sure.


2. Gone With the Wind (1939): The scene where Rhett takes Scarlett up the stairs says a lot...but what? We know she loved him though, she wouldn't admit it...was this a scene of marital rape? It's been awhile since I've read the book so I'm not sure how it's portrayed there, but I've always been uncomfortable with this scene...

3. Juno (2007): Definitely not my idea of some hot first loving...but it was sweet at the same time...but remember protection!!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta

Genre: young adult, Australian fiction
FTC Disclosure: borrowed from library
Published: 2003
Pages: audiobook
Content: PG-13 for language and adult themes


This is the first Australian fiction I've ever read and it was wonderful! I listened to the audio book and it made the story jump out for me. The narrator did a great job and really pulled me into Australia. Since it was an audio book that I usually listened to in the car and I wasn't able to write down some things...like a lot of Australian words and phrases. So nothing specific, but it was fun to listen to!

Francesca is heading off to an all boy's school that has just allowed girls in for the first time. She's struggling with her mother's mental breakdown and struggling with trying to figure life out. It's an amazing coming of age story. Marchetta really knows how to weave a beautiful story together. I really cared about all of the characters. The language never felt forced or contrived, which was really refreshing.

The only thing I would I would say I didn't like was the light treatment of mental illness. It's still a huge stigma everywhere and it would've been nice had the author chosen to make it less of one...

But other than that I absolutely loved this book! Read it!

Rating: 5/5

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wondrous Words Wednesday


Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bermudiaonion's Weblog where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  If you want to play along, grab the button, and join the fun!  (Don’t forget to leave a link in the comments if you’re participating.)

From Game Change by John Heilemann

1. p.160 "but many of her shots were so maladroit that Obama found them easy to slough off."
Maladroit: lacking in adroitness; unskillful; awkward; bungling; tactless.

From I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr. by Michael Eric Dyson

1. p. 283 "...nonstop verbal tirades that brilliantly illumine a subject through his panoramic new and exhaustive exegesis."
Exegesis: critical explanation or interpretation of a text or portion of a text, especially of the Bible.

Friday, March 12, 2010

North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Genre: young adult
FTC Disclosure: borrowed from library
Published: 2009
Pages: 373
Content: PG-13 for language and thematic elements
Reading Challenges: 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge

This was an amazing book on overcoming life's adversities! It was a touching and thought-provoking story.

Terra Rose Cooper was born with a port-wine stain birthmark along her entire cheek and spends her days trying to cover it up with heavy make-up and long hair...she also spends her time avoiding her verbally and emotionally abusive father. She thinks she's so lucky, though, to have found her boyfriend Erik, that he somehow thinks she's worth his time...though, he doesn't have a clue who she really is or what she really needs.

Taking a trip to Seattle with her mother they literally run into Jacob and his mother. And Terra and her mother's lives change forever.

Jacob was born with a cleft lip and has a scar to show for it...they soon find strength in each other's struggles. Jacob's mother also helps Terra's mother find her voice and her own strength as well.

It's a beautiful story, one that can inspire anyone who reads it and especially with the teen books out these days I feel this is a great one for young teens.

It was a little slow at the beginning and it was really hard to read about her jerk of a father and how they weren't dealing with it, but that has nothing to do with the awesome writing and the way Headley eventually wraps you up into the lives of Terra, Jacob and their mothers and how they all learn and grow and find their own beauty within.

Here are some quotes I found amazing:
"[beauty] it seeps into you. It doesn't make you forget yourself; it connects you with everything and fills you with awe that you share the same space with something that glorious...and then suddenly...you have this epiphany that there's more to the world than just you and what you want or even who you are."

"I didn't have the language to communicate...to this little girl--or to communicate that beauty--the real everlasting beauty--lives not on our faces, but in our attitude and our actions. It lives in what we do for ourselves and for others."

"Let the glossy spreads have their heart-stopping, head-turning kind of beauty. Give me the heart-filling beauty inside. Flawed, we're truly interesting, truly memorable, and yes, truly beautiful."
Rating: 5/5

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Happy Birthday to My Devoted Husband!

It is my sweet and devoted husband's birthday today!!!! I will spare the details on how old he is!!!!




Thank you for being a wonderful husband who supports me in all my times of need. Thank you for being my best friend, the person I can turn to when adversity strikes (as it always does). Thank you for being a wonderful father that changes poopy diapers, gets up with our son in the night and takes a couple of days off work to watch Gabe while I recover from walking pneumonia. Thank you for always believing in me even when I have a hard time believing in myself and encouraging me to go forward, to look past the negative and see the good things in life.



I love you,
We love you,

your wife and son Heather and Gabe

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Alice in Whatsitland Challenge!!!

Velvet from vvb32 reads is hosting an Alice in Whatsitland Challenge March now to the 14th!


 
Prize:

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
written by: Lewis Carroll
illustrated by: Camille Rose Garcia




Are you ready?

Open to all.

The challenge:

Must create at least one blog post on anything Alice in Wonderland-related on your blog with a link back to this challenge post.

Deadline:
Send me your links in comments by March 15, 2010.

You can get extra points by checking out Velvet's Challenge!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Monday Movie Meme & Alice in Wonderland Review

Feature Presentation...
MONDAY MOVIE MEME

hosted by Molly and Andy of The Bumbles Blog.

All about the Oscars! Share your thoughts!

I actually haven't watched the Oscars for over ten years now. I love movies and all that, but they got so lame after the nineties...so my recollections will be from when I was a teenager and lived at home and had cable TV and no children! I remember when Beauty and the Beast (1991)was nominated for Best Picture...that was pretty cool...I loved that movie, but now animated films have their own category.

I remember when little Anna Paquin won Best Supporting Actress for her role in The Piano (1993). I can't even imagine winning an Oscar at such a young age.

I love Tom Hanks and it was amazing to see him win two Oscars two years in a row for Best Actor in Philadelphia (1993) and then Forrest Gump (1994). And to see him thank his high school drama teacher was very touching too. 

So I read who wins later and maybe catch a few glimpses of outfits, but for the most part...it's not for me anymore.

Alice in Wonderland (2010)


To celebrate my hubby's birthday this weekend we headed off to see Alice in Wonderland in IMAX 3-D! Wow! This one has awesome visuals and a great story, acting, etc! Tim Burton did a wonderful job with this film, so many bright colors and amazing flights over Wonderland.

I never enjoyed the 1951 animated version of Disney's; it was too creepy for me. All of the characters seemed evil and malevolent, not just crazy and good at the same time. So I have always avoided wanting to read the book, but now knowing what I really have in store for me in the book I've decided to really make the goal to read it! The Disney version was only Alice in Wonderland where Tim Burton's combines both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass...so things make better sense to me about who Alice is and what her role is in Wonderland. 

And Johnny Depp is just amazing as always and we get some wonderful voices from Alan Rickman as the blue caterpillar.  

It was the most exciting movie I've seen in a long time and well worth the 22 bucks we shelled out!
 

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Heather (etymology)

I'm going back to my roots with this post! I've really slacked off on my word posts over the past few months since I've been reading so much and have found many fun themes to fill them up with...but I figured Sundays I would leave to word and language posts, one of my many loves.

So I'll start with my name, Heather.

It's a noun meaning: low, evergreen shrub. Appeared in 1725 in the compound heather-bell with a spelling alteration influenced by heath of hathir (1335). Also in the place name of Faghadre (1600-35) and found in Old English haeddre of unknown origin.

Etymology is pretty fascinating!

I'm a Scottish shrub!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King Jr. by Michael Eric Dyson

Genre: nonfiction, African-American studies
FTC Disclosure: borrowed from library
Published: 2000
Pages: 416
Content: PG-13 for language and thematic elements
Reading Challenges: Black History Month Mini-Reading Challenge

This was a huge eye-opener for me on Martin Luther King, Jr. This book told his story warts and all. Dyson explores various aspects of Martin Luther King, Jr. in each chapter from his radical social democracy ideas, anti-Vietnam protests, to his plagiarism and multiple infidelities.

I felt Dyson got a bit preachy and his footnotes were really hard to follow and sometimes his commentary was all over the map, but overall I was overwhelmed by the true Dr. King! An amazing and complex person. I figured that was the case, but I really had no idea who he was and this book really opened that up for me.

Here are a few ideas from the book:

p.77 "Bottom line of any ideology for King was its effectiveness in analyzing and relieving human suffering...Democratic socialism...establish social justice by destroying poverty."

p. 132 "Like King, we should translate our beliefs about love into concrete action. Justice is what love sounds like when it speaks in public."

p. 136 "By acknowledging his warts, we might better understand his greatness."

p.141 "...King had a genius for knowing what intellectual and spiritual resources to bring together, and to know when such a fusion would make the most sense and the greatest impact on his hearers."

p.208 "...King's sexist beliefs were nurtured in a black religious culture that depended largely on the labor of poor and working-class and middle-class southern black women. These women infused black culture with spiritual fire and moral imagination. They also placed their enormous skills and talents at the disposal of the movement."

p.283 "Now why did Ronald Regan sign that bill? Could it be that Mr. Regan understood that the easiest way to get ride of martin Luther king, Jr. is to worship him? To honor him with a holiday that he never would have wanted. To celebrate his birth and his death, without committing ourselves to his vision and his love. It is easier to recognize a dead hero than to recognize and follow a living prophet. The best way to dismiss any challenge is to exalt and adore the empirical source through which the challenge has come."

p. 295 "But the holiday celebrations must move beyond the charismatic center of King's personality to emphasize the resistance movements of ordinary black folk in the sixties and still today."

p.305 "King meant nothing less than to change the wolrd. He was out to make America behave against its will in a way that is cherished by people who love each other enough that they argue and fight for what is right before they will tell lies and live in false peace...he is a hero who loved America so much that he became sold for a price. He is a hero who loved AMerica so much that he became full of rage and anger for our failing to treat the least to the best our nation can offer, whether that meant money or enough space to live without cramped ambitions or stunted hopes."

"Martin Luther King, Jr. is the greatest American in our history because in his life the contradictory meanings of American democracy found a perfect and healing embodiment...King's genius was the willingness to risk everything he was--a preacher, a leader, a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a black man--to make America all that it could become...He freed the American black soul to love its black self and, hence, to love itself wholly and universally. He embraced the best of America and made it better."

Dyson just says it all much better than me. Check it out, you'll be blown away!

Rating: 4.5/5

Challenge update: This is my own mini-challenge and I've completed two out of four! I wanted to finish them by the end of February, but that obviously didn't happen so my new goal is for the end of March!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Things i LOVE Friday!!!!!!


 

Receiving free books
Getting better from my pneumonia

Mom willing to babysit the little guy

Cafe El Lago

libraries

Thursday, March 4, 2010

TV Thursday- One of My Favorite Shows: Fringe

I just wanted to focus this week on one of my favorite TV shows at present and that is Fringe on Fox. I know this show isn't for everyone's taste, unless you are a big fan of the paranormal and mystery together genre...like X-files, etc. So I thought I'd share my thoughts on this great show.

The pilot episode introduces us to Special Agent Olivia Dunham who lands a case where an entire plane load of people are killed without crashing. We learn her partner/lover may be a traitor and somehow involved. Basically, we learn there is a sinister group in the world experimenting on the world. In order to make sense of what's happening and the science involved they turn to Dr. Walter Bishop, a man who's been in the insane asylum for twenty years. Joining them is his genius son Peter to help keep him from going completely bonkers. Dr. Bishop worked for the government on secret experiments called fringe science, thus the name.

The three characters work so well together along with the few other semi-regulars. I love Olivia's character...she's tough yet caring and she doesn't worry about having her hair curled and beautified every day nor tons of makeup. It's really refreshing to have a female character like that on TV. She's beautiful because of who she is, not because of what she looks like.

It's a wonderful combination of paranormal, conspiracy-theory nuttiness that I just love! The first season is on DVD! So check it out if haven't yet.

If you watch this show why do you love it? If you don't, what show on TV are you just completely in love with and why!??

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith and Quirk Books Giveaways!!!!!!

Genre: austen-inspired, zombies, paranormal
FTC Disclosure: ARC from Quirk Books
Published: 2010
Pages: 288
Content: PG-13 for zombie mayhem and violence


One Line Summary: More zombie mayhem with the lovely Bennets in tow.


Velvet at vvb32 reads let me know that Quirk Books was offering advanced review copies to all who wanted one! So I signed on up and received my own free copy of Dawn of the Dreadfuls. As part of the deal Quirk Classics is offering readers with a chance to win one of 50 Quirk Classics Prize Packs, each with a retail value of more than $100, which will also include:
  • An advance copy of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls
  • Audio Books of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters
  • A password redeemable online or sample audio chapters of Dawn of the Dreadfuls
  • An awesome Dawn of the Dreadfuls poster
  • A Pride and Prejudice and Zombies journal
  • A box set of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies postcards
And since I'm participating in their Dawn of the Dreadfuls mayhem week I am including an unashamedly fast link to their site so that you can mention my blog on it! Dawn of the Dreadfuls Reviews.  OK, I've held my end of the bargain, so now onto the review!

I liked this book. It still had lots of zombie mayhem and violence, which I always find extra delightful! This book takes place four years before P&P&Z, when Lizzie is just about to hold her coming-out into society ball. But while at a funeral the deceased comes back to life as a zombie Lizzie's father Mr. Bennett knows the unmentionables are back. He rallies his daughters together to teach them to fight like warriors! While he's trying to round up the army to fight he sends for a new master to teach his daughters the warrior ways and in comes Master Hawksworth. Lizzie feels strangely attracted to this man...and along comes a scientist doctor Dr. Keckilpenny to throw more romance strife into her life too! And poor Jane must fight off the lecherous advances of the Lord of Netherfield Park!

I enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies a little better, though. I'm it's because it already had the story I loved with some zombies thrown in. But this one can stand on its own. Lizzie is still witty, Jane is still beautiful and thinks everyone is wonderful, the rest of the Bennets are still as annoying as ever! The only thing that I didn't like was the plot inconsistencies from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (since it's supposed to be a prequel) and, of course, from Austen's beloved original. But those are minor and as a story by itself I really enjoyed it! Lots of zombie killings and beheadings and such. You just can't go wrong there!

Rating: 4/5

Don't forget to click on the links to plug my blog and enter to win some prizes! Thanks again to Tiffany at Quirk Books for this fun opportunity!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

Genre: young adult, paranormal, romance, mental illness
FTC Disclosure: borrowed from library
Published: 2010
Pages: 464
Content: R for language and violence
Reading Challenges: 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge

What can I say? This book is unlike any book I've ever read! It was so wacky and crazy and fun. It really can't be compared to any other book.

Hanna is mentally ill and has just run away from her Aunt's in order to escape the death of her father and to find her mother Rosalee. Hanna's hallucinations become real once she enters her mother's town of Portero where nothing is as it seems.

She falls in love with Wyatt who's part of the local "we kill all things that go bump in the night" gang. And there is plenty of that...giant blood-sucking leeches, haunted houses, possessed mothers, mysterious doors, Hanna's dead father coming back as a ghost....it's all there!

Her romance with Wyatt feels pretty real. They have their ups and downs and yet still manage to come out on top. She's also a really strong female character and those are always nice. And I really enjoyed that Hanna wasn't white; she's biracial and has a different perspective. Also Wyatt is part Latino. It's nice to find some diversity, especially in teen fiction when it's usually all about white boys and girls. And the cover is just lovely!

The only thing I have against this is that it's targeted toward a teen audience. The book says 14 and up...I'd say more like 18 and up. There's a lot of sex, language and violence in this one. Not something I would want my teenager reading if I had one. It's definitely an adult book and not one for the squeamish sort!

Rating: 4/5

Monday, March 1, 2010

Monday Movie Meme & 5 Word Weekly Movie Wrap-up


Feature Presentation...
MONDAY MOVIE MEME

hosted by Molly and Andy @The Bumbles Blog.

This week's theme is all about book to movie adaptations. Which ones are great? Are there any movie better than the book?

1. The Last of the Mohicans (1992): I absolutely love this movie. It has the perfect blend of drama, horror (war, etc), and romance. I was really excited to read the novel and was sorely disappointed. The movie was soooo much better!


2. The Bourne Identity (2002): I actually love the whole series and I really tried to get into the first book by Robert Ludlam and was a bit bored. So I love the movies better than the books.


3. The Secret Life of Bees (2008): Saw the movie first and then read the book. I really enjoyed both, though, the book was a bit better.


4. My Sister's Keeper (2009): I've heard a lot about the book and know how it ends. I don't like the book ending and so was really happy with the new ending in the movie! It just seemed more real and plausible and less shocking for ratings.


5. Speak (2004): I read the book and absolutely loved it! It was so poignant and emotional. The movie wasn't nearly as wonderful as the book, but it was still really well-done and it was the perfect role for Kristen Stewart.


6. Pride and Prejudice (2005): My all-time favorite adaptation of Austen's novel! The first engagement scene is to die for along with the sunrise scene at the end! Sigh!


7. Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince (2009): Still a wonderful movie but compared to the book it was really lacking in detail and the story.

 

5 Word Weekly Movie Wrap-up

1. Gilmore Girls Season Three (2002-2003): Hit road, Jess! Bye-bye!

 

2. Stardust (2007): De Niro in tights! Awesome!

 

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