Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer Read-A-Thons

WW Read-a-Thon

The Wicked Wildfire Read-A-Thon is a time when we all get together to dedicate the days of June 7-14 to as much reading as possible. You read as much as you can in order to get yourself a little further through that huge to-read pile! We know real life gets in the way and even if you can’t participate more than one day, you’re welcome to join in on the fun!
In the meanwhile, we will be hosting book-related challenges where you can win some awesome prizes and have a Twitter party at the hashtag #WWReadathon! You can posts updates on your blog, Twitter, Goodreads or Facebook — as long as the profile is public and we all can enjoy your reading progress!

Okay, so you may have noticed my lack of updating with my yearly challenges (I'm working on it!) so you may be thinking why on earth I would try this week long challenge. It's because there's this month long reading challenge during the summer at my library. You read as much as you can and you can win a prize. It starts on June 8th so I figure why not? I plan on reading as much as I can anyways so I might as well sign up for this challenge. I do not have a list of books I want to read yet. That will come before the challenge starts.

Created by: Rie of Mission To Read 
Cohosted by: Melissa of Harley Bear Book Blog, Lindsay of The Novel Life, Kathrin of StackedNPainted, Angela of  and Melina of The Pretty Nifty YA Reader

The summer solstice is the longest day of the year.  And you know what that means...

So no matter where you are on the planet we want you to celebrate the first day of summer with us in a 24 hr read-a-thon!  Just think of all those summer reads you've been waiting to start!  

1. Create a sign up post on your site saying that you're planning to join in the read-a-thon on the 21st.  You can post a goal list of books you want to read that day, but it's not mandatory.  Include the read-a-thon button and this blurb:

Summer Solstice Read-a-thon is a 24 hr event taking place on the longest day of the year...June 21, 2013.  It was created by Rie @ Mission To Read and is cohosted by Melissa of Harley Bear Book Blog, Lindsay of The Novel Life, Kathrin of StackedNPainted, and Melina of The Pretty Nifty YA Reader.  The goal of this read-a-thon is to take advantage of all the extra daylight and read as much as you can!  Mini challenges and a giveaway will be happening this day so make sure to check out any of the host's blog's the day of for more information.  Don't forget to chat with us at the twitter party 12pm CST #SSRead. 

2. Add the link to your sign up post in the linky.

3. Check back to any of the host's blogs on the 21st for mini challenges and a chance to win a giveaway!

4. Read till the sun goes down

Doesn't this Summer Solstice challenge totally remind you of Avatar the Last Airbender? Anyways I remember reading so much my first 24 hours of the New Year so I decided why not try it again at a different time. It's random but I like that about it. Challenge book list will also come the day before the challenge starts. I wonder how much I can read in 24 hours... I also plan to read mostly outside because it is the longest daylight out after all.

Well it’s that time of year. The sun is out, the kids are running around, your grill is always going, and the fun never truly stops. It’s summer! For us book lovers this equates to reading on the beach, at the park, on the deck, and occasionally, on our vacation cruise. And what better way to enjoy those reads than with a read-a-thon?!
The big brains here at Read-a-thon Central came up with a week long read-a-thon, outfitted with daily author features, daily giveaways, daily challenges, and a final 24 hourGrease Lightnin’ round! What is this fantabulous read-a-thon called you ask?!
Summer Lovin’!
That’s right! We’ve come up with an actual Grease inspired read-a-thon! And  we’ve come up with a lot of prizes, fun challenges, and author features just for your enjoyment!
Prizes include:
2 US winners will receive a box of assorted books featured throughout the read-a-thon
2 INT winners will receive one $35 giftcard to Amazon/Barnes & Noble OR The Book Depository
Didn’t win the Grand Prize? No big deal!
Everyday there will be a challenge and everyday there will be an additional winner!
Didn’t win the daily challenge prize? No problem!
On the final day Summer Lovin’ we’ll host a Twitter Bingo! We’re talking 24+ winners just from BINGO!
And who’s to say we don’t have a few other surprises up our pink sleeves!
So sign up, and  get in on some of this awesome!
As you can see I like to be busy reading during the Summer so this other random read-a-thon- should be fun. I really wish i could make up lists for them now but I can't because I don't know what I'll be reading before then. This read-a-thon helped me find others so you might want to check it out just to see what else is going out there.

I've never done a Bout-of-Books Readathon and it's supposed to be the most popular. The next one goes on the week before class starts (ends on the day before class) which is an excellent start to the new school year especially since I won't be reading as much *sigh* It's a sad fact but that's what all these read-a-thons are for. To get me boosting up my reading. 

Do you have any Summer reading plans?

It's Monday What Are You Reading? #19 (Late Post)

This meme is hosted by Book Journey

Okay so it's not Monday but I was out basically all day yesterday and didn't really have a chance to post this up which I really want to do because I want you to meet someone. For two weeks now I've been harboring  a secret. And that secret is.... I have a kitten. 

Her name is Molly and she is impossibly cute. She's about 9 weeks. She sleeps on my bed because I just gave up with her and let her sleep there. Before I go to sleep that's when she gets all excited and starts playing with the covers and me. I'm usually up late because it's Summer but I'm up even more because of her. She likes to wake me up at around seven in the morning by putting her face into my face and attacking me. She loves attacking my hand. She's a biter but she's not too rough. She likes to play with one of my dogs - Bacardi who still shoves his nose at her anytime he gets. He really wants to play with her but he's like this big boy trying to play with a baby. He's never done anything to her. I did catch him nibble on her leg once while playing but he didn't hurt her. Those two are going to be best of friends I just know it. She likes to attack his tail which he actually doesn't mind funnily. Whenever I play with her and she tries to bite me she look semi-evil, adorable, and like she's laughing manically. Whenever she's really tired and I pet the back of her head her head goes backwards until she falls down and goes to sleep. I love that fur-ball.  I only wish she would grow up so more that she can use the bathroom on the grass. Oh yeah... she's the slowest pouncer ever. She thinks she's good but she really isn't. And she usually has this look about her. This concerned focus look. So without further ado here she is:

I was going to add more pictures but I know if I do this post will just be a collage of Molly. That's her playing with my dog - Bacardi's tail.

I recently saw both The Great Gatsby and Anna Karenina which I want to review soon.

I have a new blog look thanks to a friend of mine. I plan on finally updating everything with my blog like where I am with my challenges and other things. I also plan to put my button up and other blogger buttons. 

Past Reads/Reviews:

Last week I read/reviewed:

I also read:
Past Perfect

I hope to review Past Perfect this week.

showcased some picture books too:

Currently Reading:

I honestly don't know what I want to read next. I just read a great book yesterday and now I'm kind of at a stand still. I would love an opinion about what I should read next:

The options are: Send, The Wizard of Dark Street, Something Like Normal, and Erasing Time. Let me know which one you think I should read next!

I made a decision about whether or not I was going to read audio books or not. I decided I would try it out with this book:

It just feels right to start it off with this book. We will see if it works out when I actually have some quiet time to listen to it.

Book Discoveries:

Terra has never known anything but life aboard the Asherah, a city-within-a-spaceship that left Earth five hundred years ago in search of refuge. At sixteen, working a job that doesn't interest her, and living with a grieving father who only notices her when he's yelling, Terra is sure that there has to be more to life than what she's got.                                                                    

But when she inadvertently witnesses the captain's guard murdering an innocent man, Terra is suddenly thrust into the dark world beneath her ship's idyllic surface. As she's drawn into a secret rebellion determined to restore power to the people, Terra discovers that her choices may determine life or death for the people she cares most about. With mere months to go before landing on the long-promised planet, Terra has to make the decision of a lifetime--one that will determine the fate of her people.

Rosemary Bliss's family has a secret. It's the Bliss Cookery Booke--an ancient, leather-bound volume of enchanted recipes like Stone Sleep Snickerdoodles and Singing Gingersnaps. Rose and her siblings are supposed to keep the Cookery Booke under lock and whisk-shaped key while their parents are out of town, but then a mysterious stranger shows up. "Aunt" Lily rides a motorcycle, wears purple sequins, and whips up exotic (but delicious) dishes for dinner. Soon boring, nonmagical recipes feel like life before Aunt Lily--a lot less fun.                        
So Rose and her siblings experi-ment with just a couple of recipes from the forbidden Cookery Booke.                                                                                               
A few Love Muffins and a few dozen Cookies of Truth couldn't cause too much trouble . . . could they?

From Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech comes a singular story that reminds us of the surprising connections that bloom when unconditional love and generosity prevail. For when a young couple finds a boy asleep on their porch, their lives take an unexpectedly joyous turn.                                  
When John and Marta found the boy on the porch, they were curious, naturally, as to why he was there-and they didn't expect him to stay, not at first, but he did stay, day after day, until it seemed as if he belonged, running and smiling and laughing his silent laugh, tapping and patting on every surface as he made his music, and painting-with water, with paint, with mud-those swirly swirls and swings and trees.                                       
One day a young couple wakes to find a boy asleep on their porch. Unable to speak, the boy cannot explain his history. What kind of person would leave their child with strangers? All they know is that they have been chosen to care for this boy. And as their connection to him grows, they embrace his exuberant spirit and talents. The three of them blossom into an unlikely family, and John and Marta and the boy begin to see the world in brand-new ways.  

Thea Denny hates the tenth grade, and her home life isn't easy. But she's passionate about making art — and about her math-genius boyfriend, Cam, a recent transfer to her upstate New York high school from California. One day Cam mysteriously vanishes — and then things really get weird. The stars on the school flag go missing, eerily cut out. Intimate videos of Cam and Thea start going viral online — videos they never took. The FBI gets involved. And Thea can hear the voice of Melody, a beautiful, disabled girl her age, whose illness has left her mute since birth. Cam once claimed to be the world's foremost hacker. . . . Is he trying to reach her, send her a sign — or is Thea losing her mind?

Jack lives in a fantasy world. Really. He's the son of the infamous Jack who stole the magic beans from the giant, and he's working hard to restore his family's reputation. He finds the perfect opportunity when a "princess" lands in front of him, apparently from the land of Punk, as her Punk Princess sweatshirt implies. May is from our world, and she's utterly confused to find herself in the midst of the fairy tale characters she has read about. But Jack and May have more in common than they realize--and together, they embark on a hilarious and wild adventure in this highly accessible, modern middle grade fantasy novel.

So what’s the game now? This, or the life I used to know?                                                          
When Miki Jones is pulled from her life, pulled through time and space into some kind of game—her carefully controlled life spirals into chaos. In the game, she and a team of other teens are sent on missions to eliminate the Drau, terrifying and beautiful alien creatures. There are no practice runs, no training, and no way out. Miki has only the guidance of secretive but maddeningly attractive team leader Jackson Tate, who says the game isn’t really a game, that what Miki and her new teammates do now determines their survival, and the survival of every other person on this planet. She laughs. He doesn’t. And then the game takes a deadly and terrifying turn.

When eighteen-year-old Hunter Jackson and his half sister, Ashlin, return to their dad’s for the first winter in years, they expect everything to be just like the warmer months they’d spent there as kids. And it is—at first. But Chance, the charismatic and adventurous boy who made their summers epic, is harboring deep secrets. Secrets that are quickly spiraling into something else entirely.    
The reason they've never met Chance’s parents or seen his home is becoming clearer. And what the siblings used to think of as Chance's quirks—the outrageous stories, his clinginess, his dangerous impulsiveness—are now warning signs that something is seriously off.                                                                              
Then Chance's mom turns up with a bullet to the head, and all eyes shift to Chance and his dad. Hunter and Ashlin know Chance is innocent...they just have to prove it. But how can they protect the boy they both love when they can’t trust a word Chance says?

They'd love to have you for dinner . . .                  
Sasha Savage is in love with Jack - a handsome, charming ... vegetarian. Which wouldn't be a problem if it weren't for the fact that Sasha's family are very much 'carnivorous'. Behind the family facade all is not as it seems. Sasha's father rules his clan with an iron fist and her mother's culinary skills are getting more adventurous by the day. When a too-curious private detective starts to dig for truths, the tight-knit family starts to unravel - as does their sinister taste in human beings . . .

What are you currently reading?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Motherhood, Virginia Wolf, and Dancing Flamingoes

So like I promised I've got some great picture books and illustrators to show you. First up is 
Josée Masse's illustrations of the book Motherbridge of Love.

Motherbridge of Love is about two mothers and adoption. 

"One became your guiding star; the other became your sun." (Source for Image here)
It's about how both mothers are special and how they both contributed to the love in a child's life.

"One gave you a body, the other taught you games" (Source for Image here)
It's seems like such a sweet story that actually has a charity behind it that's all about bridging that gap between Chinese and Western Cultures for the betterment of those families that have adopted children.

"The first gave you a need for love; the second was there to give it." (Source for Image here)
I love what Josée Masse does. It looks her pictures are painted on the page. I love the picture above the most. One mother is pregnant and the other has the baby when she's older. They both love her. The blue is so gorgeous! I love how it's added in as shadow in the mother's dresses. (Help with the summary was gotten from here.)

(Source for Image here) Same for two below.

Josée Masse is known for her contrasting images since she has illustrated books like Mirror Mirror. There is usually a choice that the reader can make so the book is more interactive than anything. Sh'll usually have this line in the middle of a picture and have it be... well contrasting. 

Here are some other illustrations she's done. Great nature vibe.

(Source for Image here.)

Virginia Wolf is a loosely based picture book about Virginia Wolf and her relationship with her sister, Vanessa who is a painter. (Help with the summary was taken from Goodreads)

"One day my sister Virginia woke up feeling wolfish. She made wolf sounds and did strange things..." Source Image from Kids Can Press

Vanessa's sister, Virginia, is in a bad mood - a wolfish mood.

"I made a garden. .." (Source for Image here.)
So Vanessa decides to paint her sister's perfect imaginary place - Bloomsberry. 

She said,"DO NOT WEAR THAT CHEERFUL YELLOW DRESS." (my favorite dress!) Source Image from Kids Can Press
As you can see. She definitely needed some cheering up.

"when I painted her picture, she growled, "VANESSA DOOOONNN'T." Source Image from Kids Can Press
 Isabelle Arsenault illustrated Virginia Wolf. I like that her everything is mostly black and white while Vanessa and her artwork are colorful. It really puts you in a dreary mood just like Virginia's in. I also have this weird thing for her shadows. I can just imagine the black marks on the side of hand as she fills those parts in.

(Source of Image here.)
I have a thing for wolves because of my love of Little Red Riding Hood I guess. I just like them so whenever they are portrayed in a picture book I get excited. By the way. Since Virginia is in a "wolfish mood" can you guess who the wolf is? 

Check out the trailer:

I kind of love that she puts these red or just circles on her characters cheeks. it feels old-fashioned in a way. 
(Source of images above here.)

(Source image here)

Flora and the Flamingo is about a girl and a flamingo and their friendship based on dancing.

(Source for Image here.)
Guys, this book. Is the cutest thing ever. It has these flaps and is this wordless picture book that's undeniably girly and pink.

(Source for Image here.)
The illustrations by Molly Idle remind me of a pixar movie or something. Like I could see the girl as a character in a movie which I love. 

Check the trailer out:

She apparently has a thing for dancing as you can see from her book Zombelina.

And no matter what she turns up the pink and I really like that about her. 
(Both images above from Molly Idle's blog)

So this was fun although it took forever. I got some great plans for next time. See you then!