Saturday, April 27, 2013

Hour 19 Mini Challenge: Picture Break

For this challenge The Bookish Diaries wants photos of the books I've read, the books I have left, the food I'm eating, and the place I've been reading in.

Books I've Read:

Books left (that's my Nook on top):

Where I'm reading - the couch now instead of the bed so my husband can get some sleep:

The snacks I started with that are now gone:

Hour 18 Mini Challenge: Cover Me

From Stacy's Books, this challenge involves choosing your favorites from the 2013 books Stacy has selected across 9 categories.  She also encourages everyone to pick their own that may not be on her list.  Here are mine:

Category 1: Best Tile
From her list: The Blue Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee by Carolyn Brown
My "independent" choice: Ettiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

Category 2: Best Dressed
From her list: The Elite by Kiera Cass
My "independent" choice: One Good Earl Deserves a Lover by Sarah MacLean

Category 3: Cutest Couple
From her list: Star Crossed by Jennifer Echols
My "independent" choice: None - I don't have a better one than that for 2013

Category 4: Most Delicious Cover
From her list: Bake it Like You Mean It by Gesine Bullock-Prado
My "independent" choice: Her choices really are the best although The Paleo Slow Cooker cover is starting to look pretty darn good, but that may be because I'm entering that tired = hungry stage.

Category 5: Cutest Animal
From her list: A Little Book of Sloth by Kay Cooke
My "independent" choice: Naw, I can't top that one - it's sooo cuuuute!

Category 6: Cutest Kid
From her list: I'll Take What She Has by Samantha Wilde
My "independent" choice: Although I do love the little feet on Child of Mine by Judy Walters, the Wilde's cover baby grin is fantastic.

Category 7: Best to Avoid in a Dark Alley
From her list: Dark Triumph by Robin LaFevers - she looks like a woman with a grudge and a knife - way scarier than a guy on a horse with sword
My "independent" choice: Lover At Last by J.R. Ward

Category 8: Best Tatto
From her list: Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
My "independent" choice: Falling Blind by Shannon K. Butcher

Category 9: Best Cover
From her list: The Last Camellia by Sarah Jio
My "independent" choice: The Winter Witch by Paula Brackston

Hour 17 Mini Challenge: Six Word Celebration

From Esetella's RevengeYour challenge is to creative a six-word celebration of Dewey's Read-a-Thon. 

Hmmm, six words.  I hope I'm doing this right.  Here: Tea, Snacks, and Stacks of Books.

I'm getting sooo sleepy - good thing I saved my favorite author for the midnight hours.

Hour 16 Mini Challenge: Turn the Page

From Reflections of a Book-A-Holic, turn to page 32 of the book you are currently reading and fill in the blank with the most entertaining phrase to complete the following sentence:
"I would rather read than ______ and day!"

My sentence from Fool for Love by Eloisa James:
"I would rather read than see him play off the airs and graces of their neighbors any day!"  Sorry, it either that or "die in childbirth".  Yay, historical fiction! :-)

Hour 14 Mini Challenge: The Casting Couch

This mini challenge is brought to you by My Little Pocketbooks.  Basically, you assign a real life actor to play the role of a character in the book you're reading.

Book I'm Currently Reading: Fool for Love by Eloisa James (and it's great - I love Eloisa's writing!)
Character name and description: Simon Darby is the famously/notoriously well-dressed heir to a title and a fortune unless his sister-in-law is pregnant with a boy. He's also the sole guardian of his two very young half-sisters with troubling behaviour issues since his father and step-mother's death.  He needs a wife with a fortune and mothering inclinations fast.
Actor: Richard Armitage
Why: Because after North & South you know he can pull off an exquisitely dressed gentleman of the 1800's while coming across more fierce and determined than dandy-ish.

Hour 13 Mini Challenge: Cooking the Books

This challenge is from Azuki's Book Cafe - thanks, Azuki!  I'm supposed to take a popular book title and twist it into a cookbook them with a revised title and introduction.  While it's really difficult to be creative at this point in the challenge (oh gosh, what am I going to be like at 3 AM??), here's mine:

Hard-To-Miss Fowl (original title: Artemis Fowl): Follow along with Ireland's famous 12-year-old genius chef as he explores the ins and outs of cooking chicken and not-chicken as he finally shares his secret "Fairy Dust" spice blend.

Okay, I tried.

Hour 12: Mid-Event Survey

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?
My eyes aren't tired but I am getting sleepy.

2) What have you finished reading?
Special A, vol. 12 by Maki Minami

Sweet Deception by Heather Snow
Wild Ones, vol. 3 by Kiyo Fujiwara
Wild Ones, vol. 4 by Kiyo Fujiwara

3) What is your favorite read so far?
Sweet Deception by Heather Snow - it was also the longest so far.

4) What about your favorite snacks?
Waffle fries my husband brought me from Chick-Fil-A & the hummus he made me (not together though)

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!
I've posted links to everyone hosting a mini-challenge, but I've also glanced over the following:
Sherry Ann's Book Blog
Fighting Dreamer
When Books Attack

Hour 11 Mini Challenge: Picture It!

I promise didn't skip Hour 10 - it was a quiz on Bart's Bookshelf and the answers had to be turned in on the site vs. your blog.

So for Picture It!, hosted by The Book Monsters, I've got a picture of the book I'm currently reading and where I'm reading it:

Seen in this picture:
Fool for Love by Eloisa James
Reading journal
Reading pillows
Read-A-Thon Flipping Huge Big Gulp
Stuffed animal from my son to keep me company

And yes, I made the bed before I took the picture. :-)

Hour 9 Mini Challenge: Clear the Cobwebs Yoga

Thank you Elizabeth-Michelle, that was exactly what I needed!  No books for this - she let me made me do yoga.  And I did all of the poses listed in a row.  The part where you go between the cat and cow poses felt like it did the most for my muscles, although I was very glad my boys had left the house for it.  The most dangerous one for me was the Legs-to-the-Wall pose - I almost fell asleep it felt so good!  My yoga break was about 15 minutes long.

Hour 8 Mini Challenge: Book Sentence Challenge

A joint challenge by Midnight Book Girl and The Fake Steph, for this one I had to create a complete sentence using book titles, then post a picture of it.  And this was way harder than the book title poetry challenge!

My sentence:

If you can't see the picture, the sentence is "Darkness unleashed the dangerous lord to die for your wicked ways in the woods."  Thank you Linda Howard for starting a title with a preposition!

Sweet Deception by Heather Snow

5 out 5 stars

Oh, this was so good!!  I loved this heroine - she's smart, quirky, and too honest for her own good - but still  kind.  I love her love and loyalty for the hero, Derick, she's known since childhood and the mathematical equation she devises to solve the problem of convincing Derick to stay in their home county of Derbyshire: S(A+B+C) = D2. That little 2 is supposed to be squared, (Derrick in Derbyshire).  S = Seduction, the rest you'll have to read the book yourself for.  This was the perfect blend of history and romance, sweet and steamy.  The third book in this series, Sweet Madness, is going straight on my to-read list.

Hour 7 Mini Challenge: Best and Worst Covers

Reading My Way Through Life is hosting this mini-challenge: choose a book you're planning to read for the Read-A-Thon and post what you think are the best cover edition of it and the worst.

I chose Chocolat by Joanne Harris.  My favorite cover version is the one I own - it's bright, magical, and yummy looking:

My least favorite cover is the hardcover edition, because, seriously, this cover tells you nothing - certainly nothing enchanting or chocolate-y.

Hour 6 Mini Challenge: Book Puzzle

Thanks to the creative mind of One Librarian, this hour's challenge is a book puzzle - see her site for a deeper explanation of what exactly that is, but basically, it's a kind of "guess the title" with picture clues.

Here's mine - it's easy-peasy:

And the book is..... 

Eloisa James's Fool for Love!  

Told you it was easy.  Sorry about the image for The Fool totally giving the clue away, but when I did an image search for joker cards all I got was Batman-inspired stuff.

Hour 5 Mini Challenge: Self-Portrait

This one's The Estella Society's fault.  :-)  The things I'll do for Barnes & Noble gift card...

Hour 4 Mini Challenge: Re-Title Your Current Read

I know, I know, I'm falling behind.  But I didn't want to stop reading to post!!  Sweet Deception by Heather Snow is SO GOOD, definitely worth waiting for.  But for this mini-challenge it needs a fitting new title - I don't know if I can do "clever" while still thinking about the last scene I read before putting the book down to check the Dewey blog, where the heroine gets her first real kiss from the hero.  Yummy.  Ok, new title: Smart Chick Gets the Boy Next Door Who Teased Her Mercilessly When They Were Little.  Historical romance revenge is sweet. Now leave me alone, the next chapter promises to be even better.

Thank you, Geeky Blogger,  for easy mini-challenge while I'm so lost in a book. :-)

Hour 3 Mini Challenge: Book Appetit

The Challenge: come up with a menu to go with your current read - thanks Book Journey!

My Book: Sweet Deception by Heather Snow

Well apparently, I'm reading the worst book in the world for food inspiration.  So far the hero & heroine haven't eaten or drunk anything.  This is a historical romance set in the 1800's British countryside, so we'll be drinking tea for our literary feast.  Derick (the hero) smells like bergamot and man to Emma (the heroine), and she smells like lavender and woman to him.  So we'll leave out the man and woman smells, and create a black tea with bergamot and lavender - I'm naming it The Derbyshire Blend in honor of the (real) county the book takes place in.  Okay, so we still need something to eat.  Other people have been eating around the main characters so we'll go with what they got: warm and hearty stew, served to the (Chapter 3 Spoiler Alert!) didn't-go-so-well search and rescue mission volunteers.  For the math genius heroine's sake, I'll make it with perfectly matched proportions of vegetables.

Hour 2 Mini Challenge: Book Spine Poetry

Thank you, Scuffed Slippers & Wormy Books for a fun mini challenge! I went with a romantic theme for my book spine poetry:

Back to the reading pile then!

Special A, vol. 12 by Maki Minami

This series about a group of over-achieving high school students always make me feel like a total slacker, so I figured staring with this one would help motivate me for a 24-hour project.  I'ts been a few months since I read vol. 11 and I'm very grateful for Minami's cast of characters at the beginning of each book.  I love reading the Japanese names in "real" manga, although the nicknames, honorifics, and switching between first and last names gets confusing.  For example: Hikari Hanazono could be called Hikari by family, Hanazono by friends, Hikari-chan  by her best friend, and Hana-san by classmates who need her help.Four names and variations of those for one character - and this manga has 10 main characters so far.  Add reading right-to-left to the mix and you get why reading manga after reading a "regular" book is like switching to an analog watch after using a digital one.  Sometimes I think I can feel the gears in my brain shifting. :-)

This volume's story lines were pretty convoluted with the main story line (of Kei's grandfather pressuring him to leave Japan and, more importantly, Hikari in order to take over the family company in London) not continuing until the final third of the book.  There's one truly beautiful moment where kids from a rival school threaten Hikari (the heroine) as a way to get to Kei (the hero) as they see her as his only weakness. Kei complete turns the tables on them, leaving the bad guys knocked to the ground begging for mercy. In a great frame series with blazing eyes and flowing hair from both hero and heroine, Kei informs the trouble-makers "Who said Hikari's my weakness?  Hikari makes me a thousand times stronger."  Sniffle.

Read-A-Thon: Starting Out

So at 8 AM I snuggled into my reading pillow in bed with my read-a-thon breakfast of champions: a cup of black tea with cardamom and a bowl of mashed potatoes.  As I clicked on the bedside lamp, I announced to my still-in-bed-enjoying-his-Saturday-morning husband, "The Read-A-Thon is now in progress!"  "Great," he mumbled as he pulled the covers over his head, "Now you better not interrupt me while I cheer you on over here."  Fantastic start! :-)

Read-A-Thon Hour 1 Intro

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Virginia Beach, VA

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Sweet Deception by Heather Snow - it has been so hard to not start this book early!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
The curried lentil stew I made last night after reading the blogs warning about needing real food on hand. Thank you, read-a-thon veterans!

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
Ummm, I like to read?  Well, you probably figured that out! Ok, I LOVE reading!  And my husband and my son.  And video games and hiking and kayaking, although I do way less of the last two since I started becoming allergic to everything.  S'okay though, I'll ALWAYS have books.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
This is my first read-a-thon, and I'm most looking forward to getting some of these books of my to-read list.  I'm also looking forward to bragging about participating in the read-a-thon. ;-)

Friday, April 26, 2013

It's Tomorrow!! <-again, not a book title

The 24-Hour Read-a-Thon starts tomorrow at 8 AM.  My nook is stocked and ready!

I've had several people ask me how many books I can read in 24 hours of straight reading - I really don't know!  I do have several manga books which are faster reads, so I'll at least read those 5.  I'm thinking of using my completed amount as a base line for raising money in October's Read-a-Thon.  For example, people could pledge a dollar or two for every book I read over my April number.  The Read-A-Thon recommends donating any money raised to literacy programs or your local library.

I do have a scheduled long break in the evening tomorrow because Dr. Who is on at 8 PM - this is date night for me and my husband.  If it's a re-run then I've agreed to keep our date by watching an episode of Black Books, which is perfect as it's set in a bookstore.

I keep telling myself to get some sleep but I know I'll just lie there checking my clock every hour to count down the time to 8 AM.  Squeee!!