Monday, April 17, 2017

Spring Into Horror Read-a-thon

Spring Into Horror

My goal is to read Joe Hill's NOS4A2. From Goodread's:

NOS4A2 is a spine-tingling novel of supernatural suspense from master of horror Joe Hill, the New York Times bestselling author of Heart-Shaped Box and Horns.

Victoria McQueen has a secret gift for finding things: a misplaced bracelet, a missing photograph, answers to unanswerable questions. On her Raleigh Tuff Burner bike, she makes her way to a rickety covered bridge that, within moments, takes her wherever she needs to go, whether it’s across Massachusetts or across the country.

Charles Talent Manx has a way with children. He likes to take them for rides in his 1938 Rolls-Royce Wraith with the NOS4A2 vanity plate. With his old car, he can slip right out of the everyday world, and onto the hidden roads that transport them to an astonishing – and terrifying – playground of amusements he calls “Christmasland.”

Then, one day, Vic goes looking for trouble—and finds Manx. That was a lifetime ago. Now Vic, the only kid to ever escape Manx’s unmitigated evil, is all grown up and desperate to forget. But Charlie Manx never stopped thinking about Victoria McQueen. He’s on the road again and he’s picked up a new passenger: Vic’s own son.

I just bought this at a library sale and figured it would be a good one to read for the spring challenge! I enjoyed listening to his Heart-shaped Box story last Halloween so I am looking forward to this one.

To sign up head over to Michelle's site and have fun reading!!

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Week in Review--Color Festival

Lots of rain and cold here in the land of Utah. We had a little bit of sun so my son and I did a quick hike. We also did a fun walk around our neighborhood to look for birds and new flowers. This weekend our local Hare Krishna temple hosted their Holi Color Festival so we all headed out there and had fun throwing colors around and eating some wonderful Indian food.

Books Finished: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot. Fascinating book. Part biography and part history of cells and the science around them. Skloot knows how to write up a good story and she did it with sensitivity and heart. I'm excited to see the new miniseries about Henrietta Lacks and her cells.

Currently Reading: Everything You Never Wanted Your Kids to Know About Sex (But Were Afraid They'd Ask): The Secrets to Surviving Your Child's Sexual Development from Birth to the Teens by Justin Richardson and Mark A. Schuster, The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman, and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Listening To: I just started Kindred by Octavia Butler and it's really good so far! Political podcasts to keep up with all the crazy. I have to take breaks, though, or insanity starts to set in....

Watching: The Golden Girls, of course, and the new season of Grace and Frankie. Girls movie night was Life. That was a fun sci-fi/horror! Good times in the theater! I also watch Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, John Oliver's show and Bill Maher's show as soon as they come out. I catch up on clips with Seth Meyer's show.

Looking Forward To: Vacation. Son is having his spring break next week and we are taking off down south to see the sights and hike! The rest of the week will be devoted to local sights like the museum and the planetarium. It's a much needed break around here.

Making: I made soda bread for St. Patrick's Day! I've been trying to cook more this week. Made some steak kebabs and some stuffed Gouda chicken this week.

My Week in Pictures:
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2017-03-26 12.52.13 HDR

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Monday, March 20, 2017

Weeks in Review--Birthday and St. Patrick's Day

Last week DH had his 44th birthday! I set up a big dinner at a local Mexican restaurant that serves amazing drinks. Cuz that's what it's all about when you're turning the big 4-4! I ended up getting sicker that weekend so no posts were put up last week so trying to catch up.

This week I healed up. Did some spring cleaning by giving a ton of stuff to charity and selling a few things online and organizing the pantry.

For St. Patrick's Day I made bangers and mash and soda bread. Then DH and I headed over to a friend's house for some St. Paddy's celebrations with Irish cheese, stew, Jameson, homemade Bailey's, and fun by the fire.

Today is the first day of Spring! Spring Equinox and I plan on celebrating with Kebabs on the grill, homemade Easter bookmarks with the child, and planting seeds and watching them grow inside so we can plant them on May 1st/Beltane.

Books Finished: Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly. It was a very informative book on lives I never knew anything about. Which is just a shame. I think I might have enjoyed reading it rather than listening to it. The stories melded together and I had a hard time remember who was who since I listened to it over the course of a few weeks. I'm looking forward to the movie to bring it all together for me.

Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe by Greg M. Epstein. This one has been on my list for a long time and I finally got to it this month. A great resource and history on Humanists throughout time and ways to form communities today.

Currently Reading: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, The Genius of Birds by Jennifer Ackerman, and Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Listening To: I've been listening to RadioLab this week

Watching: The Golden Girls and PBS Newshour. Also saw Get Out last week and it was a very smart and funny horror movie. I will watch again and look forward to owning it.

My Week in Pictures:

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At the local Aquarium!
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DH's bday partay!
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DS loves reading with his Shadow
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Scientific experiment to see if he could catch a leprechaun....

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Cat Thursday- March 9, 2017

Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s)

Hosico the cat of cuteness and fluff. According to Bored Panda Hosico loves new toys and gets bored of them in a week. He's been compared to "Shrek's" Puss in Boots and Garfield.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Week in Review: Sick Kid

2017-03-05 07.08.31I don't know how long I can come up with a pithy phrase every week which sums it all up so neatly...but yeah. DS was sick with a fever and sore throat from last Sunday to Wednesday. Well, the fever broke Tuesday...This is has been the Winter from Hades and I mean the sheer idea of spending 6 months down there. Doesn't sound found at all and this winter has not been fun...sick cats, death, and sick humans and add in plenty of days we couldn't leave the house due to bad air.

So March didn't start off with the bang I was hoping for but hey the weather is warming up! And I have tiny yellow crocuses trying to break forth from Mother Earth despite having heaps of snow and freezing temperatures every other day...

Books Finished: I finished To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. An all-time favorite. I haven't read it since high school and it still spoke volumes 20 years later; it seems like history continues to repeat itself. And I can only hope we figure out our sh*t one day soon.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Also another timely book. I read this one a few years ago but it didn't scare me quite like it did this time.

Currently Reading: Good Without God by Greg Epstein, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (with DS)

Listening To: I've been catching up with Hidden Figures on Audible. Very interesting and fascinating information. I'm looking forward to the movie putting more of a human and personal spin into it.

Watching: I saw Logan and it was amazing. It really was a great film and superhero film. I can't wait to see it again. Truly touching.

I'm also watching a lot of Golden Girls on Hulu. It's the only thing that has been keeping me sane during these last few weeks of death and illness.

My Week in Pictures:

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DS had a great run doing community basketball. His last game was Saturday and he learned a lot and made some friends, which is what I think team sports should be about.

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My friend came into town this weekend and we painted and ate some great food. She wanted to get her first tattoo so it was great to be there with her! Getting out with friends was much needed this week.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Cat Thursday March 2, 2017

Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s)

Here's a funny cat video of a cat slipping off the table. Poor kitty. Cats of dignity and having those papers in the way...such indignation!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Cat Thursday- February 23, 2017

Welcome to the weekly meme (hosted by True Book Addict) that celebrates the wonders and sometime hilarity of cats! Join us by posting a favorite LOL cat pic you may have come across, famous cat art or even share with us pics of your own beloved cat(s)

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Here are my 3 cats: Shadow, Frankie, and Nala. It's been a tough start to the year for two of my kitties. And Frankie will not be with us for too much longer. He has stomach cancer and is terminal. So we're giving him lots of loves and cuddles and trying to keep him as comfy as possible until the end.

Earlier this week was National Pet Appreciation day and so I wanted to tell my sweet kitties how much I love them. Shadow had some intestinal issues earlier too and had to have a focal ultrasound to check it out so she's bare bellying it!

I hope your kitties and pets are all safe and sound.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

My Meow Week in Review--Sick Cats and the Flu

2017-02-01 09.36.56This year has not been kind to me, relatively speaking. My cat Frankie was diagnosed with stomach cancer. We started him on steroids and that worked for a couple of weeks but the cancer has evolved and they are no longer effective. We know we are going to have to let him go soon, probably this week, and it's just devastating.

2017-02-02 11.17.39-1My other cat Shadow also started up with uncontrollable vomiting around this same time...her situation we learned is treatable, but scary. She's doing fine but she has intestinal issues that will be ongoing, unfortunately.

But my son celebrated his 8th birthday last week! I can't believe it. Where does the time go? We took him to a fun center where him and his friends went crazy and many children were lost for certain amounts of time but then found...whew. We have learned to never do that again! Ha ha. We survived. But then I got the flu and was out all last week and only started feeling human again Friday.

So my goals have been hit and miss these last few weeks, between life, cats, and sickness.

I started a bullet journal. I'm enjoying this a lot. It helps me think about my day, even if I hardly got a thing done. It's about keeping a record of my daily life. It's boring but hey. I'll take what I can get.

I'm excited about March. March will be amazing. I just know it!

Books Finished: Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West.

Currently Reading: Good Without God: What a Billion Nonreligious People Do Believe by Greg M. Epstein, The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Listening to: This week has been a lot of Dan Carlin's Hardcore History -The Destroyer of Worlds. I also catch up a bit on all-things politics right now: On Point, The Weeds, Slate's Trumpcast, FiveThirtyEight Politics, Code Switch, NPR Politics

My Week in Pictures: OK the fun highlights. I don't take pictures of myself looking miserable. Maybe I should. But it would be weird...I haven't been cooking much either. The last thing I made my son said it was too bland and he didn't like much for homemade mac n'cheese. Le sigh....

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Looking Forward to: Not being sick. I'm getting a massage next week too!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West

2017-01-06 15.27.12Lindy West comes out swinging. She's hitting everything home. She's funny, she apologizes when she needs to, but mostly no f*cks are given. I loved reading her journey. Her ability to accept her body and to advocate for others is inspiring. How she has dealt with and continues to deal with deh Trollz aka people who are miserable human beings, is astounding. I look forward to reading more from her in the future. I'm definitely a Lindy fan!

"I also love being fat. The breadth of my shoulders makes feel safe. I am unassailable. I intimate. I am a polar icebreaker. I walk and climb and lift things. I can open your jar, I can absorb blows--literal and metaphorical--meant for other women, smaller women, breakable women, women who need me. My bones feel like iron--heavy, but strong. I used to say that being fat in our culture was like drowning (in hate, in blame, in your own tissue), but lately I think it's more like burning. After three decades in the fire, my iron bones are steel."

"It's hard to feel hurt or frightened when you're flooded with pity. It's hard to be cold or cruel when you remember it's hard to be a person."

"We're all building our world, right now, in real time. Let's build it better."

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The Handmaid's Tale--A Resistance Read-along

Michelle from True Book Addict is hosting a read-along for The Handmaid's Tale in light (or dark) of what's been going on in America. She is hosting it at her other blog Gather Together to Read. I read this one a few years ago and feel it's a good time for a reread. I'm excited to join in.

Resistance Read-along

This will take place from February 1-February 28 with two discussions, one in the middle and one at the end.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye by Tania Del Toro

WarrenEye_Cover_72dpiWarren comes from a long line of other Warrens. In fact, he is number 13. Warren the 1st laid out the plans for the family hotel and Warren the 2nd built it. The hotel was booming for quite a long time until his parents died and his uncle came to take care of him and the hotel. He is not good at either. He married a very wicked woman Annaconda who treats Warren as a slave. So now his home/hotel are run down and his only friends are Bunion the chef and his old tutor.

Rumor has it the hotel hides a treasure called the all-seeing eye and his new aunt Annaconda and her witch's coven plan to find it and steal it and soon others are on their way to look as well.

It's up to Warren to find the treasure and save his family's hotel.

This was a delightful mystery with vivid images and a great locale. The world of Warren the 13th is dark and mysterious with witches and pirates and ghosts, and even octopus guardians in the basement.

There are fun visual nuggets placed throughout the book so kids can hold up pages to mirrors and read secret messages.

It's also a story of the importance of family and friends and learning to work together. This story has plenty of fun fantastical elements and sci-fi to appeal to many readers.

I read this with my son and he loved it. He asked when we could read the next one and was disappointed to learn it wasn't out yet!

*I received this book from the publisher Quirk Books as part of their book tour in exchange for an honest review.

Friday the 13th image
Warren and the Unlucky Day
As part of the tour the author Tania Del Toro has written a short story about Warren called Warren and the Unlucky Day. Also included are some activity pages for kids. Just click on the link under the pic.

Link to the official Warren the 13th website:
Link to the official book page for Warren the 13th and the All-Seeing Eye:
Link to the official book page for Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods:
Goodreads link to Warren the 13th and the Whispering Woods:

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

I Am Not A Serial Killer by Dan Wells

2017-01-02 19.13.12John Wayne Cleaver is obsessed with serial killers. Is it because he's a sociopath and has dreams of being one someday? He definitely has sociopathic tendencies and it is really hard for him to feel much empathy but he has rules to keep his 'monster' in check. That is until an actual serial killer pops up in his small town.

I really wanted to like this one. I read Dan Wells' The Partials last year and had a good time. His story was interesting but it was executed badly. The inner psychology of John just didn't ring true. The pacing was a bit clunky. Also the middle took a weird turn and I'm not sure what kind of book he was going for. His world was just a tad confusing. It just wasn't his best work. He did write three sequels so I hope they got better.

Update: I just watched the made-for-tv movie based on this book. It wasn't any better. I was hoping with music and an interesting setting, etc that the story would flow better. Unfortunately, it didn't.

Monday, January 2, 2017

2017 Reading Challenges: The Classics Club

I need to do this. I've bought so many classics over the years but I haven't decided to just sit and read them.

Click on the Classics Club to find out about all the rules and how to join up. Basically I pick at least 50 classics to read over 5 years. I'm picking my list based on what I already own and then I will go on from there. There are also re-reads on my list because it's time.

So in no particular order....

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. I read this in junior high and I loved it. So it's definitely time for a re-read.

2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. This will also be a re-read. But I've never read the full unabridged version. I got the abridged version as a gift when I was in elementary school and enjoyed it but never got around to the full version.

3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Russian classic and I've been told this is one of the best literary novels period.

4. The Odyssey by Homer. I've read parts in school but never the whole thing.

5. The Iliad by Homer.

6. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. The one full novel I have never been able to finish. But it's her most mature work and I need to get 'er done.

7. 1984 by George Orwell. I've been meaning to read it forever. Our culture entangles so much from this story. It's about time I get to it.

8. Animal Farm by George Orwell. It's short and pretty straight-forward so I shouldn't have any trouble....

9. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. I also read this in high school. I didn't understand it and so I didn't like it. I've grown a lot since then and would love to reread it under a new light.

10. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf.

11. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf.

12. Don Quixote of La Mancha by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. Spanish hasn't changed as much as English since Cervantes wrote this book. I know a little Spanish and if I'm up to it, I may try this one in Spanish....

13. Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. I've been wanting to read this since I saw the movie back in the day.

14. A Brave New World by Aldous Huxley. I feel like 1984 and this one go hand-in-hand.

15. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence.

16. Common Sense by Thomas Paine.

17. The Stranger by Albert Camus.

18. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad.

19. On the Origin of Species by Charles Darwin. I bought an annotated version to help me out even!

20. The Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois.

21. Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas by Frederick Douglas.

22. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte.

23. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde.

24. A Vindication of the Rights of Women by Mary Wollstencraft.

25. The Awakening by Kate Chopin.

26. Journal of a Solitude by Mary Sarton.

27. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvior.

28. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut.

29. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger.

30. The Epic of Gilgamesh.

31. Middlemarch by George Eliot.

32. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

33. Walden by Henry David Thoreau.

34. The Canterbury Tales by Chaucer.

35. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

36. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame.

37. Ulysses by James Joyce.

38. Sophie's Choice by William Styron

39. Richard III by William Shakespeare.

40. Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

41. The Histories by Herodotus.

42. The Peloponnesian War by Thucydides.

43. The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

44. Cosmicomics by Italo Calvino

45. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain.

46. The Trial by Franz Kafka.

47. Meditations by Marcus Aurelius

48. Giovanni's Room by James Baldwin.

49. If On a Winter's Night a Traveler by Italo Calvino.

50. Moby Dick by Herman Melville.

51. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe.

52. I know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou.

53. The Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan

54. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathon Swift

55. Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen

56. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens

My goal is to finish this list by January of 2022...whoa...that seems so faraway!


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