Saturday, April 26, 2014

Hour 15 Mini Challenge: That Reminds Me of a Book

This challenge hosted by Doing Dewey:

I just finished Texas Splendor by Lorraine Heath (4 stars, very good), so here's a photo of Texas ranching land with big sky and a windmill since the book is based on a ranch in West Texas with multiple windmills (a favorite of Dallas - the ranch owner, not the city) and what I kept imagining in the background of every outdoor scene:

Hour 14 Mini Challenge: Name in Titles

Thanks to The Geek Blogger's Book Blog for this challenge:

I did my name in books from my To-Read list:

R - Rules of Engagement by Suzanne Enoch
E - Enchanting Pleasures by Eloisa James
B - Because You're Mine by Lisa Kleypas
E - Extreme Exposure by Pamela Clare
C - Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
C - Ciao Bella by Helena Frith Powell
A - A Different Kind of Dream by Geraldine O'Neill

Hour 12 Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now?

Texas Splendor

2. How many books have you read so far?


3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?

Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?

I just had to get my husband on board with looking after our son for the day - which he was very happy to do.

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?

A few from my son, but those tend to be quite entertaining.

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?

How fast time is flying!

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?

Can you let me know where you pull the "Roll-Call" prize winners from?  I don't understand that process.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?

Stock up on more fresh fruits and veggies.

9. Are you getting tired yet?

A little.

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?

Slow cooker food on the warm setting is always ready when you need it and delicious!

Hour 11 Mini Challenge: First Editions

Thanks to the Bluestocking Society for this educational challenge!  I love that blog name!

Looks like my copy of Lorraine Heath's Texas Splendor is a first edition:

Reading Update

I've finished:

Dagger-Star by Elizabeth Vaughan - 5 stars!!  I forgot how much I love Ms. Vaughan's writing style - the adventure! the strategy! the romance! - highly entertaining, she wrapped up the story enough to satisfy, but left me wishing the next book in the series was waiting for me on my shelf.

Inside Narnia by Devin Brown - 3.5 stars  This is an exegesis on The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - but Brown doesn't offer many original insights.  Peter Ford's Companion to Narnia is much better and quoted very often in this book.

Hour 10 Mini Challenge: The Shelfie

What is with people always wanting me to post pictures of myself on the internet on a day when I'm definitely make-up free and in comfy clothes?? Anyway, I'm being a good sport and all, so here's my Shelfie (you should be so grateful, internet people ;-):

Hour 9 Mini Challenge: On Food and Books

Hosted by A Girl That Likes Books:

I'll share my recipe for Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Pea Stew inspired by the kind of books I knew I'd be reading through today.  I've got a couple fantasy and historical romance books in my stack for today, and these kinds of books always seem to have at least one scene where the characters are sitting around a fire, sharing a hearty stew. These scenes always make me hungry, so I threw the ingredients for a "hearty stew" in the crock pot this morning and have been merely eating bowlfuls all day long!

Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Pea Stew

In a slow cooker, combine:

1 lb dried black-eyed peas
6 cups of water
1 veggie bouillon cube
3 stalks of celery, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
2 carrots, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
6-8 pieces of bacon (I used half a package), cut into 1 inch pieces

Set the slow cooker to high and cook for 3-4 hours or until peas are soft. Check your water levels at hour 3 - you might need to add another cup or two.

Hour 6 Mini Challenge

Challenge hosted by Lisa's World of Books:

Best Non-Fiction of my Reading Year - Dad is Fat by Jim Gaffigan - hysterical! I "read" the audio book which is read by Gaffigan.

Best Indie Author of My Reading Year - Tara Sivec for Seduction and Snacks - another hilarious book. 

Best Book of My Reading Year - Hyperion by Dan Simmons - very long sci-fi book, but completely absorbing!

Hour 0 - Kick Off Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

Mount Airy, NC

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

Slow Cooker Black-Eyed Pea Stew (it'll be ready in a few hours...I hope)

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I love reading!!!

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?

More reading, less blogging.  Also I'm keeping track of pages read this time!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Getting Ready for the Read-A-Thon!

The April 2014 event of the bi-annual Dewey's Read-a-Thon starts at 8 AM tomorrow! I've a got a big stack this year and the books aren't short!  Sadly, my new local library doesn't carry nearly as much manga as the VA Beach library did.  I know I won't finish all of these, but I'm hoping some of my non-fiction flies by quickly, along with the romance novels.  Once I start an Eloisa James book, I don't put it down, read-a-thon or no read-a-thon! Still, I expect plenty of book hopping may occur!

Here's my reading list:

Dagger-Star by Elizabeth Vaughan
Texas Splendor by Lorraine Heath
Three Weeks with Lady X by Eloisa James
Once Upon a Tower by Eloisa James
Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
The Fall of Hyperion by Dan Simmons - already started this one and I can't abandon it for 24 hours just because of the read-a-thon!
The Miracle of Mindfulness by Thich Nhat Hanh (probably spelled that wrong even though I looked)
Inside Narnia by Devin Brown
Loving Our Differences by George Selig & Alan Arrovo