Tag: Readalong


Fall is for All the Fun Events

Posted 13 September, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook / 17 Comments

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All the Fun Fall Events

 

Fall!!!!  Doesn’t it seem like basically everyone loves fall? It’s everywhere. You can’t escape it. Perhaps it’s just that we’re all getting tired of the summer heat and are looking for a bit of change? I always loved going back to school in the fall and the excitement over new classes, new teachers, and new office supplies. Yes, really–I love office supplies. Since my girls are too little for “back to school” and I’m in an office year round, I’ll take my fall kicks where I can get them.

Luckily there are ALL SORTS of excellent fall events happening around the blogisvere. Most of these are blog/bookish related, but I’ll just go ahead and put in a plug for Pin it and Do it. You know, because it’s my blog and I’m super excited (also super excited for all of you who are super excited about its return). So…here we go!

Bloggiesta

Sept 17-20 | Bloggiesta

Bloggiesta

Bloggiesta is a long-weekend blog sprucing up party complete with mini-challenges and twitter chats. I love this event because there is so much support available! I’ve already begun amassing my own questions (like how can I add a link for comments at the bottom of my blog in addition to in the post header?). If you’re looking to do any type of blog work/design/brainstorming/draft writing, this is a fun way to do it. Sign-ups are live!  I’ll also be hosting a mini-challenge on post templates–it’ll be live on Wednesday.

 

Pin it and Do it

Sept 21/Oct 19 | Love, Laughter, Insanity (here)

Autumn 2015 Pin it and Do it Challenge

It’s back! It’s back! The premise is a super easy one–find some things that you’ve pinned to Pinterest and do them! This doesn’t have to be crafty–you can make some cookies, do some exercises, tie your scarf a new way or test out a different outfit, buy a product you’ve been pining for, organize that space or clean that fixture. Really–the options are endless! Post anytime, link up on the third Monday of September and/or October.  More information here!

 

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril X

Sept 1-Oct 31 | Estella Society

RIP X

RIP is the brain child of Carl from Stainless Steel Droppings and is now being hosted on The Estella Society. While I haven’t officially signed up yet, my next event on the list will fit in perfectly. I’m also planning to read/listen to Dracula by Bram Stoker in October and maybe squeeze in a few other creepy reads during the month. I’m also wondering if The X-Files might count for the watching portion (nope…this isn’t just a book challenge! There are all sorts of categories!). Sign-ups are live!

 

Salem’s Lot Readalong

October | Avid Reader’s Musings

Salem's Lot Readalong

The details are coming soon, but mark your calendars to read Salem’s Lot by Stephen King during the month of October. Melissa, Care, and I will be your batty hostesses (though all blog type linky stuff will be on Melissa’s blog). But if you’ve ever wanted to join a Kingalong…here’s your chance! Scary is more fun when read with friends. We’ll be using #SalemAlong on social media.

 

A More Diverse Universe

Oct 4-17 | Book Lust

Diversiverse 2015

One of my favorite events and I’m so glad that Aarti is hosting it again! The rules for A More Diverse Universe (aka #Diversiverse) are simple–read a book by a person of color and talk about it between October 4-17th. Please sign up for this important event! And think you’ll have to read outside of your comfort zone to join along (like that’s a bad thing)–Aarti has all sorts of tips on her blog for suggestions on what to read.

 

Readathon

October 17 | 24 Readathon

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

Can I get a Readathon! Readathon! Readathon!? It has been years since I’ve been able to really participate in THE 24 hour readathon and I’m planning on kicking everyone out of the house so that I can fully participate. Skittle pompoms and all. Cheering. Reading. Blogging. Vlogging. Oh…be prepared for Readathon Trish. Sign-ups aren’t live yet, but you can bet I’ll be stalking that website until they’re live. And no, you don’t have to participate for all 24 hours (this pregnant mama needs her sleep), but even if you can only participate for a little here and there this is one event you do NOT want to miss.

 

WHO’S EXCITED?? I mean, not just for the Readathon, but for All the Fun Fall Events! Or just fall in general. Or maybe you’re counting down the days until Christmas. Since it’s my due date, I’m constantly reminded how quickly that day will come (about 15 weeks if you’re curious).

Are there any other fall events you’re looking forward to?

 

hearts

In other news…

Sunday Bookish Funday

 

Books Recently Finished: Since Sense and Sensibility (say that 10 times fast), I haven’t finished anything on paper. I did finish Packing for Mars by Mary Roach on audio, though.

New Books in the House: My dad and stepmom are downsizing so I stole a copy of To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf and My Life in France by Julia Child off their shelves. Hey–at least it was only two books and they were both free?

New Books on my E-Reader: Stupid Daily Deals. Because I have very weak will-power, I added The Son by Phillipp Meyer, The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown, and Fourth of July Creek by Smith Henderson. Any of these I need to actually read this decade? Because my track record of reading books soon after purchasing isn’t so hot.

Books on the Nightstand: I’m slowly reading through American Gods by Neil Gaiman and enjoying it. Speaking of purchase to read time ratio, I purchased this book three years ago…the replace the falling apart mass market version I purchased a few years before that. So sad Trish, so sad. I’m also listening to Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. It’s also very good, but thankfully different enough for me to enjoy two fiction books at once.

What’s going on in your reading world lately? Anything excellent on your nightstand?

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Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret

Posted 2 July, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 22 Comments

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Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret

TitleAre You There God? It’s Me, Margaret
Author: Judy Blume
Published: 1970 | Pages:
Genre: Fiction (Young Adult)
Rating: Can’t believe I waited until 33 to read this one

On Amazon | On Indiebound | On Goodreads | On Audible

In Short: Margaret is almost 12, entering the sixth grade, wants a more robust bust, and isn’t always sure God is listening.

Why I Read Are You There God: More appropriately, why didn’t I read this sooner? More on that later. I read this for Kerry’s Summer of #BlumeALong.

Thoughts in General: I don’t read a lot of Young Adult fiction–there have been a few books that I’ve enjoyed, but for the most part it takes me back to a time in my life that I didn’t love experiencing the first time and don’t really care to experience a second time, even vicariously. However, I noticed as soon as I started Are You There God that I was reading more through a lens of a future mother to preteen girls rather than when I was a preteen.

Ok, my reading did make me reflect back to when I was 11 and 12 and making all sorts of discoveries about my body and self, but it made me think more about how I want my daughters’ discoveries and experiences to be different from mine.

I want my daughters to feel that they have an open door conversational policy with me. I want them to know that they can ask me anything and I’ll give them as straight of an answer as I can. As the oldest child, I felt uncomfortable asking my parents about taboo topics. This meant that before the digital age I was rarely in the know and often embarrassed about my lack of knowledge or my misunderstanding of it.

I want my daughters to embrace their bodies. While I am never 100% satisfied by my size and shape, I am very careful how I talk about beauty and weight in front of my girls. We talk about healthy eating, but never dieting (which I don’t do anyway). We talk about exercise to make our bodies strong, never to make us slimmer. Make-up is a tough one for me–while I do wear a bit (usually only on my eyes/brows as I have very light natural coloring), I don’t want my girls to think they need to wear make-up to look or feel beautiful.

I want my daughters to be able to question the world and faith without any shame. I don’t use this word often because it makes people uncomfortable, but I am an atheist (why even pretend at this point that I’m agnostic because it sounds nicer). This was one of the parts of Are You There God that hit me the hardest as Margaret is trying to decide if she wants to follow her Jewish or Christian heritage. She attends temple and church and at one point becomes so confused and lost that she calls quits on all of it. While I want my girls to have a strong moral upbringing (one does not need church for this!), I also want them to be able to talk and question beliefs openly.

I want my daughters to form healthy friendships that do not hinge on Queen Bees. This one is just wishful thinking. Some days I try to figure out what horrible thing I did in a past life to have to live through girl drama with three little girls when I lived through girl drama hell for so many years. I want my daughters to be Confident. Strong. Wise. Independent. Loving and Kind.

Has this post turned into a true confessions post? Perhaps. While the book itself was kind of a ho-hum read in my mid-thirties, it did give me a lot of pause for the events my daughters will be experiencing in the next 10 years. Amazing how when you’re in the moment these little life changes are so incredibly huge–it’s too bad there are some things we can’t experience through hindsight. I know it would have made my life so much easier.

“If you ask me, being a teenager is pretty rotten–between pimples and worrying about how you smell!”

Oh Margaret…if only that was the worst of it!

Bottom Line: If you are an 11-12 year old tween, now is the time to read this one! (Do I have any 11 year old girls in my audience–heaven help me!!). It’s a timeless classic for a reason…though what you get out of the book might depend on the time you choose to read it.

Have you read Are You There God? Did you have a favorite coming of age story when you were younger (or as an adult?)

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Misery by Stephen King

Posted 23 June, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 23 Comments

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Misery Cover ReadalongTitle: Misery
Author: Stephen King
Narrator: Lindsay Crouse
Published: 1987 | Pages: 352
Audio Duration: 12 hr, 11 min
Genre: Fiction
Rating: Holy Freakin’ Psycho Woman!

On Amazon | On Indiebound | On Goodreads | On Audible

In Short: Bestselling author Paul Sheldon is saved by his number one fan after crashing his car in a snow storm. Sweet Annie Wilkes helps nurse Sheldon back to health while he writes the next installment to her favorite book series. Bahahahahaha.

Why I Read Misery: For Care’s Misery Readalong! I can’t pass up a good King readalong. If you want to join us in some King-sized fun, we’ll be reading Salem’s Lot this fall (I think October).

Thoughts in General: Even though I never saw the movie in full, it’s hard to ignore Kathy Bates as Annie Wilkes when reading Misery. This one is written in third person so we don’t get to see Annie’s inner thoughts (which I so wish we could read this account from her perspective!), but Stephen King does a fantastic job of capturing her cookadoodie insanity–Annie really is everything that is frightening about Misery. Paul Sheldon is a dud in comparison and one of my least favorite of King’s protagonists.

Misery had a slow start for me and there were bits that I tuned out–I’m never a big fan of a story within a story (in this case, the book Sheldon is writing for Annie), but once the book picked up…I’d say right around the mark that we all think we know based on the very famous scene in the movie…there was no slow down until the very end. And while I think King sometimes struggles with his endings (I mentioned this a bit in my Pet Sematary post), I think Misery is my favorite ending of all. In fact, it might have propelled my ranking in my overall King hierarchy if the whole book had been more like this (vague, I know).

Less vague: One thing that King does well is to perfectly portray fear so that it is draped like a cloak over it’s readers (or at least this one). You know that feeling when you enter an empty and dark room and your mind tricks you into seeing something that isn’t there? The way that your body reacts–pin prickles on your neck or a cold sweat? King describes this feeling so well that I sometimes feel paralyzed when reading these accounts in the book. While I’m a chicken and don’t necessarily like being scared, there’s also something so delicious in these moments of reading. For me this is how IT was–those opening moments of the book when the little boy is walking down the stairs to the basement–classic fear! This type of moment popped up in the end of the book and I would have loved to have had more of this throughout the whole of the book.

There’s another brilliant moment in the book when Paul Sheldon is considering the mania that certain readers feel about the characters in the books they read–they mourn when they pass away as though they are real. This made me think of the books I’ve read where I laid in bed and sobbed after closing the last pages–grief stricken over what happened to my characters. I loved the way that King described this feeling and it made me feel just a little bit less alone in my bookish nuttiness…not that I’m quite the Number One Fan that Ms. Annie Wilkes is!

Bottom Line: A fun and frightening ride! If you’re looking for an introduction to King, this is a great place to start–there isn’t any horror, though there is some horrific stuff that happens in the book–it’s more of a thriller than one that will keep you up at night. Misery will keep you on your toes and it’s short enough to devour quickly. So glad to have read this one!

Notes on the Audio: I mostly listened to the audiobook so that I could devour Misery more quickly. I listened on 1.5x speed and Crouse did a fine job of narrating, but there were weird musical interludes instead of chapter breaks and I found it difficult to pop back and forth between audio and book because of this. I can’t understand why the actual chapter numbers weren’t announced in the audio production!

And a video that was shared on the twitter #MiseryRAL thread. After getting to know Annie, I was brought to tears by this video. If you’re not familiar, it might not have the same effect…Scott just looked at me like I was crazy. But see it out…the ending is the best (you could fast forward the first 30 seconds or so).

Thank you Care for a great readalong! Loved the songs you shared with us on Twitter and the poem you wrote for us on the blog.

Have you read Misery or seen the movie? You up for Salem’s Lot this fall??

 

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Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes

Posted 3 June, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 12 Comments

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Flowers for Algernon CoverTitle: Flowers for Algernon
Author: Daniel Keyes
Published: 1966 | Pages: 311
Genre: Fiction (Science)
Rating: Thought-provoking on many levels

On Amazon | On Indiebound | On Goodreads | On Audible

In Short: In his early 30s, Charlie Gordon undergoes a surgery that increases his 68 IQ to an unlimited potential. Algernon is the lab mouse who first underwent the experimental surgery to increase intelligence.

Why I Read: It’s been on my shelf for years–Care and Athira were casually reading together in May so I decided to join them.

Thoughts in General: I remember being assigned to read the short story of Flowers for Algernon in 8th grade but I didn’t recall anything about the actual story (it’s entirely possible that I didn’t actually read the story…am I the only bookworm who turned her nose up at assigned readings? Bad Trish!). The story is told through Charlie Gordon’s diary/report entries–beginning from before he has the surgery all the way through the end of the story. Through the journal entries, we see the changes in Charlie’s mental capacity and his continual intellectual growth throughout the novel. Witnessing the first hand account of these developments was fascinating and also incredibly heartbreaking.

Going to go into a little bit more detail here (no blatant spoilers, but fair warning). I was surprised by how much emotion Flowers for Algernon stirred up within me–in the beginning I felt for Charlie’s ignorance and innocence as he clearly does not understand so much of the goings on around him. His writing is cursory and riddled with phonetic spellings, but it is so easy to see Charlie’s humanity. As he gains intelligence and thus awareness of how he was treated by his “friends” my heart constantly wanted to break for Charlie. Reading through this book was a fantastic reminder of how simple gestures of kindness…or unkindess…can truly affect someone. Not only that, but Charlie’s narrative showed how inhumanely those with less are treated or ignored.

Still being a bit detailed… I appreciated the way that different types of intelligence were handled within the book–even though Charlie became incredibly book smart very easily, he quickly learned that he could not gain all of the knowledge that he needed about life from books. Because he missed out on many experiences throughout this life, he had very little social skills upon which to rely. Throughout most of the novel I felt sad for Charlie–sad for his realizations about his past and his family, sad for his inability to fit in both when he had a very low IQ and when he was beyond genius. Sad that even though his surgery opened so many doors for him, he was unable to navigate the new waters effectively. And the ending was heartbreaking just because.

“I was furious at her, myself, and the world, but by the time I got home, I realized she was right. Now, I don’t know whether she cares for me or if she was just being kind. What could she possibly see in me? What makes it so awkward is that I’ve never experienced anything like this before. How does a person go about learning how to act toward another person? How does a man learn how to behave toward a woman?  // The books don’t help much” 82.

“Now I can see where I got the unusual motivation for becoming smart that so amazed everyone at first. It was something Rose Gordon (mother) lived with day and night. Her fear, her guilt, her shame that Charlies was a moron. Her dream was something could be done. The urgent question always: whose fault was it, hers or Matt’s? Only after Norma (younger sister) proved to her that she was capable of having normal children, and that I was a freak, did she stop trying to make me over. But I guess I never stopped wanting to be the smart boy she wanted me to be, so that she would love me” 144.

“Am I a genius? I don’t think so. Not yet anyway. As Burt would put it, mocking the euphemisms of educational jargon, I’m exceptional–a democratic term used to avoid the damning labels of gifted and deprived (which used to mean bright and retarded) and as soon as exceptional begins to mean anything to anyone they’ll change it. The idea seems to be: use an expression only as long as it doesn’t mean anything to anybody. Exceptional refers to both ends of the spectrum, so all my life I’ve been exceptional” 153. 

Bottom Line: I’m glad that I was able to finally read this little book. It’s a quick read (do epistolary novels seem to read quicker to you?) and provides a lot of food for thought. I’d definitely recommend it.

It’s funny, because as I was typing up the quotes I realized that I never told y’all about my thoughts on The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. In several ways, the emotions and thoughts that were stirred up by Flowers for Algernon were the same I experienced while reading The Rosie Project (a quirky little love story about a man on the Autism Spectrum). How we learn from books versus experiences is a theme that runs through both. Though perhaps The Rosie Project was a bit more hopeful…

Have you read Flowers for Algernon?

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Pet Sematary by Stephen King

Pet Sematary by Stephen King

 Title: Pet Sematary Author: Stephen King Published: 1983; Pages: 576 Genre: Horror Rating: Golden Oldie On Amazon | On Indiebound | On Goodreads In Short: What to tell you? Of course I didn’t know what the book was about and sometimes imagination can be worse than anything you read on a page! So, let’s just say this is a tale about a sweet young family, a dangerous country road, a frisky pet cat, and the cemetery. […]

Posted 8 April, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 28 Comments
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Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser

Title: Sister Carrie Author: Theodore Dreiser Published: 1900; Pages: 400-557? Genre: Fiction (Classic) Rating: Oh the drama! On Amazon | On Indiebound | On Goodreads | On Audible In Short: Country girl goes to the city and gets wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of money, men, and society. Why I Read: Because Care was reading it and it had been a while since I’ve read something this “old” (for shame!). Honestly, I’d never […]

Posted 3 February, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 27 Comments
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Bag of Bones by Stephen King

Bag of Bones by Stephen King

Title: Bag of Bones Author/Narrator: Stephen King Published: 1998; Pages: 752 Audio Duration: 21 hr, 21 min Genre: Fiction/Thriller? Rating: Good storytelling, but not a King favorite of mine On Amazon | On Indiebound | On Goodreads | On Audible Bag of Bones In Short: A man grieving over the loss of his wife returns to their summer cottage and becomes entangled in a young single mother’s custody battle over her young daughter. Plus a […]

Posted 13 January, 2015 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 20 Comments
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Bag of Bones (King) Readalong

Bag of Bones (King) Readalong

First, let me tell you how it is doing a Google Image search for Bag of Bones: Terrifying! Probably mostly because of the movie images that pop up–but I always cringe everything I hit “search” on anything King related. The image above is the most innocuous cover image I could find. You’re welcome. Who’s ready for another readalong? Just in time for the holidays, too (notice the green and red theme in the button?). Since it’s […]

Posted 1 December, 2014 by Trish in Reading Nook / 17 Comments
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Drood. The Dudalong

Drood. The Dudalong

Droooooooooooooooooood! And this is the moment when I confess that I had to give up on Drood halfway through the book after spending three weeks of disliking the experience. Ok, so I’ve already mentioned this on twitter and told some of you on various blogs, but if you haven’t heard: the DroodAlong was the pits and even though I felt all of the guilt for abandoning this readalong, I had to keep my sanity. Title: […]

Posted 15 November, 2014 by Trish in Reading Nook, Review / 15 Comments
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DroodAlong – Midway Post

DroodAlong – Midway Post

  All by myself. Don’t want to be all by myself! True story–I was singing this for some reason while making dinner tonight and Elle said she really loved my singing. I’ll spare you with further singing… So, we are reading Drood by Dan Simmons. Except I’m not really sure who is reading…  Christina has finished the book. Jill is partway through. Melissa, Hannah, and Sharlene are at various stages with thoughts of abandoning. Sarahbeth and […]

Posted 22 October, 2014 by Trish in Reading Nook / 17 Comments
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