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The Love of my Life <3

The Love of my Life <3

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Take A Chance Challenge #3

Last year, I signed up for the Take A Chance Challenge among other challenges that I thought I'd complete. I was so excited with the thought of competiting with my fellow book bloggers while reading many books. It was a win win in my book. But life, who does not care for my wishes, decided to make it busy; new baby, school, moving, etc. So, I have decided that this will be MY ONLY competition this year. I have always wanted to play and it looks so fun!

If you too would like to enter, this is the place to see! Jenners is an amazing person and her blog is a wonderful place to lose track of time! (So being the extreme lazy person that I am, I am coping her rules and pasting them here.) I highly recommend you join! It's a perfect challenge for the New Year!

Several of you asked if I’d be hosting the Take A Chance Challenge again. At first, I wasn’t sure, but once I started thinking about it, I got all excited. So here are the details for the 2011 version of the challenge.

Basic Information
  • The concept of the challenge is to take chances with your reading by finding books to read in unusual or random ways. I’ve listed 10 different ways to find books below. Feel free to complete at many as you want. However, anyone completing all 10 challenges by December 31, 2011 will be entered in a prize drawing to win a book of their choice from Amazon.
  • The challenge will run from January 1, 2011 until December 31, 2011.
  • Crossover books from other challenges is fine. You can read books in any format.
  • On January 1, 2011, I will post pages for each of the 10 challenges so you can link up your completed posts.

The 2011 Challenges

1: Staff Member’s Choice: Go to a bookstore or library that has a “Staff Picks” section. Read one of the picks from that section.

2: Loved One’s Choice: Ask a loved one to pick a book for you to read. (If you can convince them to buy it for you, that is even better!)

3: Blogger’s Choice: Find a “Best Books Read” post from a favorite blogger. Read a book from their list.

4: Critic’s Choice: Find a “Best of the Year” list from a magazine, newspaper or professional critic. Read a book from their Top 10 list.

5: Blurb Book: Find a book that has a blurb on it from another author. Read a book by the author that wrote the blurb.

6: Book Seer Pick: Go to The Book Seer and follow the instructions there. Read a book from the list it generates for you.

7: What Should I Read Next Pick : Go to What Should I Read Next and follow the instructions there. Read a book from the list it generates for you.

8: Which Book Pick: Go to Which Book and use the software to generate a list of books. Read a book from that list.

9: LibraryThing Pick: Go to LibraryThing’s Zeitgeist page. Look at the lists for 25 Most Reviewed Books or Top Books and pick a book you’ve never read. Read the book. (Yes … you can click on MORE if you have to.)

10: Pick A Method: Pick a method for finding a book from the choices listed below (used in previous versions of the challenge).

  • Random Book Selection. Go to the library. Position yourself in a section such as Fiction, Non-Fiction, Mystery, Children (whatever section you want). Then write down random directions for yourself (for example, third row, second shelf, fifth book from right). Follow your directions and see what book you find. Check that book out of the library, read it and then write about it. (If you prefer, you can do the same at a bookstore and buy the book!)
  • Public Spying. Find someone who is reading a book in public. Find out what book they are reading and then read the same book. Write about it.
  • Random Bestseller. Go to and, using the True Random Number Generator, enter the number 1950 for the min. and 2010 for the max. and then hit generate. Then go to this site and find the year that generated for you and click on it. Then find the bestseller list for the week that would contain your birthday for that year. Choose one of the bestsellers from the list that comes up, read it and write about it.

Good Luck!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Time Traveler's Wife

Imagine that you could go back in time. See events replay themselves out, and you could get different viewing perspectives each time you went back. The catch is - you cannot chose when and where you go back, and you cannot stop it.

Henry DeTamble has that problem. He is a time traveler. Although his past and future are intertwined, crossed, and tangled it is not always clear where he is going, and where he has been.

He meets his future wife, Clare Abishire, when she is six in 1977. When they first meet, he is 36, and has already known Clare in the future - is already married to her. The friendship they forge will last years and Henry weaves in and out of it.

Clare though, must struggle to live a life where Henry pops in and out of it. She has to deal with peer pressure in high school - the controversy that surrounds her - is she gay? Straight? Where are her boyfriends, or girlfriends?

These two must endure both the test of time and love. Is their love strong enough to withstand those tests?

This book is amazing! We often wish we could be time travelers, but we never stop and think of the consequences. We never stop and think how horrific it could be! Henry must relive some horrible events in his past, and he cannot escape them! Imagine reliving an embarrassing moment, that you can never let fade away in the past. I enjoyed being a part of their love story! It made me think of my own relationship to my husband, and how much I cherish every second with him - how I hate when he's away and cannot wait to see him again. It is hard for me to imagine my husband popping in and out of my past and future, never knowing when he will be gone, and for how long.

I have one small issue with the book. When Ms. Niffenegger would have two dates, like November 23 1988, and July 12, 2000 she would not separate them. Hm. I'm trying to think of a better example because obviously when Henry time travels backwards the music and cloths would change. There were some dates that would run together and I wouldn't necessarily be able to tell present from past.

The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. New York: A Harvest Book (c) 2003.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Never Slow Dance with A Zombie

Last year, October 2009, E. Van Lowe and Ms. Princess of A Park-Avenue Princess were holding a Twitter competition to see who could coin a nice catch phrase with the title of Mr. Lowe's book. Mr. Lowe's name has been hyperlinked to the page on his blog where he mentions the first winner, ME! :)

I was so happy when I won! I now can say, I'm happy I got a chance to read his book! IT WAS FANTASTIC!

Margot Jean Johnson made a pledge that she would change her life. She would become popular and have a hot, popular boyfriend. Her best friend Sybil is going to help Margot attain that goal.

Friends though, don't always see eye to eye. On the night of the big carnival Margot and Sybil get into a big fight. They don't go to the carnival, instead assume the other is having fun at said carnival.

When the girls arrive the next day something seems strange. The students have a green tinge to their skin, and the most popular girl at school - well she looks like she has seen better days. All the students have turned into flesh eating zombies! Trying not to become among the living dead, they head over to the principal's office (since he clearly is among the living). The principal asks for a huge favor. Could they possibly NOT tell anyone about the student zombie population, and act as if nothing has happened. Class would continue like normal.

At first the girls enjoy their new status: popular AND alive! Soon though they begin to tire, and think about trying to help the student body. Will they give up their newfound popularity though?

I absolutely LOVED this book! I was laughing all the time, and I think I got strange stares from my fellow peers as I rode the campus connector to my classes. I enjoyed the descriptions of the type of zombie you could become (according to which clique you were in when you were alive.) At one point Margot thinks "Uh-uh! No way! I do not want to become a Goth-although black is slimming." (Lowe 63)

This story was peppered with snarky remarks like that all through out the story. It did have a serious side. Margot has the tough question (we all face) Is it really worth it - to be Queen Bee of high school?

If you want a funny, sweet, mysterious coming-of-age book then I suggest this one!!

Never Slow Dance with A Zombie by E. Van Lowe. New York: A Tom Doherty Associates Book, 2009.

Red Ted and the Lost Things

I first saw this book on the Graphic Classroom's site. I knew instantly that I would have to get my hands on this book.

It was such a cute little story, with beautifully done pictures!

One day Ted (the little bear) has been left behind by his owner. A police man puts Ted away with all the other lost items. Ted asks Mr. Crocodile where he is, and is told that is in the place for Lost Things. Ted though, is determined to find his owner agin and devises a plan. Of course Mr. Crocodile does not want to be left behind, so he joins Ted. On their journey, they befriend a cat who helps them located Ted's home.

I hope everyone gets a chance to read this to their young ones! It is such a cute story, and I wish I had a crocodile toy that looked exactly like the one in the story.

My son, who is almost 6 months would look at this book and listen as I read it to him. From what I gather he enjoyed it very much! Of course this book is for older children, the Graphic Classroom says between the ages of

"Rating: Emergent reader and older
Publisher’s Rating: Preschool and older" (Chris Wilson)

Red Ted and the Lost Things by Michael Rosen. Illustrated by Joel Stewart. Candlewick Press, 2009.

The Strangers Outside

Thank you so much to Vanessa Morgan for allowing me to read her short story The Strangers Outside!!

Can I just say that it was a wonderful thriller? Late last night when I was reading it, I totally began to get scared that I had to finish it this morning - and even in the bright hours of the day I was still scared.

It begins with two sisters, Jennifer and Louise, who are on their way to the beach resort. The resort is comprised of "independent structures connected to a large

parking lot by meandering pathways that shone white in the waning darkness. ‘Military

bunkers’ their grandmother used to call these brown houses with low flat ceilings. Even the

long, narrow gardens looked exactly alike." (Morgan p.9)

The girls begin to dance in excitement when suddenly Louise stops. There are strange men looking their way. Fear begins to make itself known, and Louise and Jennifer quickly go into the cottage. The strange men do not leave, and it is starting to get dark. When Jennifer goes to wash her face, a small problem arises - there is not any water! Louise quickly dashes out to the shed to turn on the water and has the prickly feeling of fear again. When she looks out into the falling darkness again she sees those strangers.

She runs back inside and tells Jennifer to hurry up. The strangers are getting closer to the house and Louise has no idea why. Suddenly they are knocking on her front door and peering in through the back sliding glass door. Louise has to decided then and there what to do. Does she fight or let herself be taken by these strangers from outside.

Even now, after reading the story, I cannot get the chill out of my spine!! When Ms. Morgan described their faces as being "lagers than they should be"(Morgan p.11) I could not help but picture these huge eyeless, noseless, mouthless blobs for faces. When they were at Louise's back door and the eyes started popping up I could not help but imagine them as RED CREEPY eyes! I'm glad it's still the day time!

I thoroughly enjoyed how she made the details vague enough to let your own imagination take over! I was slightly disappointed at the end. I got so caught up in the drama and suspense of the strangers and why there were there that the ending seemed to come too rapidly. It is probably my own taste. The story was wonderfully suspenseful and totally chilling!

The Strangers Outside by Vanessa Morgan. (c) 2010