Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Top Ten Books That Feature Animals as the Main Characters

This weeks feature is Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who _____ I actually had a hard time coming up with a theme for this one.  I tried to think of books that I read that have the same kind of themes while also being unique.  At first, I was going to modify the prompt and go with top time travel/parallel universe books but I couldn't even think of ten that I've read even though I know I have.  I just had a hard time brainstorming so then I came up with books that use animals as the main characters.
There are other books out there that feature animals as the main characters either as told from the animals point of view or as support to a human character but for the sake of this post, I only stuck to books that I have read and loved.
Top Three Recommended// Moduc, The Story of Edgar Sawtelle & His Dark Materials Trilogy
Have you read any of these?
Linking up with The Broke and the Bookish

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fri-YAY! 4.24.15

I feel like I always talk about the weather on my Friday posts but yesterday I woke to quite the surprise. SNOW! *insert multiple angry face emoji here* I mean, does Mother Nature not know that it is the end of April? It's just cruel at this point.  At first, I just thought there was frost on the trees but nope, snow. I just keep thinking about how short the summer is going to be because of how long this weird not winter, not spring weather has been lasting.
That's the end of my rant.  On to Friday favorites.

O N E// Favorite Moment
The notice just went out for this years Sunrise Ascent on Mt Washington with Adaptive Sports Partners. I am so excited to be participating again this year. Last year was my first year participating in this awesome fundraising event for Adaptive.  I can't even put into words how humbling and inspiring it was.  This blurb from the website explains it pretty good.
"At sunrise, on Sunday, August 2nd, teams will ascend the Mount Washington Auto Road, determined to reach the 6,288-foot summit of Mount Washington.  Each team will include an adaptive athlete and a team of “mules” who will help those athletes needing assistance, or accompany other independent athletes as they climb the 8 miles to the summit.  Together the teams will be inspired by the beauty of the sunrise, majesty of the Presidential Range and the determination shared amongst them.​"
Really, it starts before sunrise and you end up being about a quarter of the way up when the sun starts peaking over the mountains.  Last year I was on the team assisting a young girl named Abby.  She has a degenerative eye disease but there are several teams who are assisting athletes who are in wheelchairs.  They are literally pulling them up the mountain.  Last year was the first year that they had two people who were in wheelchairs but were able to wheel themselves up.   It makes me chocked up just thinking about it and the sheer determination they had to reach the top.  I also want to mention that by summiting the auto road, it is longer than if you actually chose to hike up Mt Washington. 
This is towards the beginning of the hike.  There are several teams pictured here.

Sun just starting to come up over the mountains.
The two wheelchair participants. 
Above the clouds
Final push to the top.  Even though they started before us, they were the last to make it to the top. Everyone met them at the last incline to cheer them on.
Completed! Hiked 8 miles all before 9am.
T W O// Favorite Mistake
Ya know how I'm rereading Harry Potter?  I've only mentioned it a time or two.  I realized that I'm missing book 5 of the series.  No clue where it is because I did own it at one point but I must have loaned it out and never gotten it back.  Perfect reason why I hate loaning books out.  You never get them back unless you hound the person for them.  Anyways, I went to order book 5 but I mistakenly ordered book 6 instead. The order already shipped so now I'll have two Half Blood Princes.  I might just put my older one on the free table at work. 

T H R E E// Favorite Funny
I guess this technically wasn't this week since it happened on Friday but I didn't do a weekend recap so I'm counting it for this week. My blog, my rules. Friday we hung out with some friends and played Cards Against Humanity.  There were about 10 of us playing and I had such a good time.  I'm glad I ended up deciding to go because I had had a shitty day at work and wasn't really sure if I was up to being social but I decided it was better than throwing myself a pity party. The girl that was hosting had the huge expansion version so there were a lot of cards that I hadn't seen before.  I drank waaay too much and was hung over for like rest of the weekend because #oldladystatus but it was worth it. And it was exactly what I needed.

F O U R// Favorite Chitty Moment
This weekend Errol was playing around with this rc buggy thing he bought.  It goes something like 40 mph so it's pretty zippy for a toy. He decided to drive it towards the cat and Chitty did not like it at all.  In fact, he was pretty much petrified of it.  At one point, I guess it got too close for comfort because all of a sudden we look over and he's 30 feet up a tree!
He jumped/fell shortly after I took this picture and he about gave me a heart attack.  I thought he had seriously injured himself.  He took off into the woods and a little while later I tried to get him to come out but he was just meowing off in the woods.  At this point, I still thought he might be hurt or something.  I had to go and get him out of the woods.  He was sitting in a puddle of water under a bush and wouldn't even come out to me.  I felt so bad.  He was attached to my hip the rest of the day.  So needless to say, there will be no more rc driving while he's outside.  And while I was pretty worked up when he got down from the tree, I still can't believe that he climbed that far up the tree.

F I V E// Favorite Song

See you Monday!

Linking up with A. Liz Adventure


Karli at September Farm

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Currently 4.21.15

Reading// Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and loving it.  I feel like from book 4 onward is where the series really gets good. I don't think my hearts ready for book five though. 
Watching// Finding Carter & Teen Mom OG.  Based on my watching and reading choices, you would think I was a 14 year old.  But I mean have you seen Finding Carter?  When I first saw the preview for it last year, it sounded like that book Girl on the Milk Carton or whatever but man, this series does not disappoint.  It keeps me guessing.  Carter is always finding out some secret that her family has been keeping.  There's also some great eye candy too like Crash, who's the bad boy love interest and Max, who is kind, caring and has the perfect man bun.
I gave up watching Teen Mom but when they announced that the original girls were coming back, I knew I had to watch.  Mostly because I love to hate Farrah.
Wanting// To do some serious spring clothes shopping.  I've been holding off because I literally have three huge bags of spring clothes plus 4 totes of sandals that I need to cycle into my closet and get rid of the winter stuff.  Plus pretty much wherever I get a new job, I will need to buy some new work clothes.  I am contemplating trying a capsule wardrobe but I just don't know.  I mean the idea sounds great but I'm still on the fence. But I am trying to be more mindful of my clothing purchases and buying less "in season" stuff and more lasting pieces that I can mix and match.
Listening// My CCR & 90's Alternative Pandora stations have been getting a lot of play lately. 
Hungry// For these Jalapeno Cheddar Burgers. Yummy.  I might have to add them to my meal plan next week.
Planning// A surprise 40th anniversary party for my Mom & Dad in May. I'm super excited to be planning this event for my parents.  They obviously deserve it and anytime I can celebrate love, I'm in! I mean, it's not everyday that you celebrate being married for 40 years.
What are you currently up to? 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Top 10 Favorite Authors

So I've had this idea written in my blog notebook pretty much ever since I started my blog (2 months ago ) and then I saw Kristin's link up for Top Ten Tuesday with The Broke and the Bookish and the theme was favorite authors so I knew I had to put a quick post together.  I actually had a hard time thinking of ten authors.  Sure, there are authors out there that I like and I have read all the books they have out and would pick up their next new release but are they my favorite?  Probably not. I have two all time favorite authors and then I have authors I like who consistently put out books that I think are good.

Alice, because I feel like we are on a first name basis, is truly one of my favorite authors.  I have read every book she has written with the exception of a couple of her elementary age ones. She has more books than I can count and I don't own them all.  I can't even remember the first book of hers that I read but I remember I got it from the library and then proceeded to devour her others.  I even requested the ones they didn't have from other libraries.  Her writing is so magical and the way she uses similes is part of her draw for me. I have her newest book on pre-order and it doesn't come out until August.
Truth: I haven't even read all of Irving's books but he is still my favorite author.  I own all his books and I have them sporadically placed on my tbr bookcase.  The only book of his that I have read and didn't love is Until I Find You.  I finished it but I struggled with finishing it.  I love that his books read like autobiographies and that he's not afraid to write about controversial topics. My two favorite books of his are World According to Garp, which was the first book I ever read by him, and The Cider House Rules. I also really like that he has consistent themes within his books.  I like to find and compare them to his other works.  I can understand why he would not be everyone's cup of tea.  His writing can be lengthy and his topics might be touchy for some but you can't read one of his books and not connect to it.
I've yet to read one of her books that I've been disappointed with.  Her books are pure fluff for me but I've read and enjoyed all of them.  I like to read a fluff book every once and again as a kind of "palette cleanser" after particularly heavy reads. Her writing style reminds me a lot of Hoffman's earlier fiction.  Great for beach/vacation reading.
If you haven't heard of Jodi Picoult, you've probably been living under a rock.  I've read and own all of her books. I wouldn't say she is my favorite but she does write consistently good and engrossing books.  I first heard about Picoult when I worked at a small independent bookstore.  Picoult is from my state and she would often come to our sister store and do signings. I feel like in the last 10 years, her popularity has definitely taken off. 

If you are a fan of dysfunctional family humor, you will not be disappointed with Augusten Burroughs.  His memoirs are laugh at loud funny while at the same time heartbreaking. Part Sedaris, part Jeanette Walls of Glass Castle fame. I would suggest starting with Running With Scissors.  All of his memoirs/essays are great reads.  His brother also wrote a memoir called Look Me In the Eye about his life with Asperger's.
Continuing along the humorous essay/memoir theme, you can't leave out Sedaris. I've read a large portion of his books and they do not disappoint.  Again, laugh out loud funny.  Him and Burroughs are great audio listens as well.

Pierce Brown is a new and definitely upcoming author.  His first book in his Red Rising Trilogy came out last year and the much anticipated sequel was released in January.  The writing talent his guy has is more than I have in my pinky toe.  If you are a fan of dystopian or science fiction, RUN and pick up Red Rising! The story of Darrow and his journey to avenge the Red's is above and beyond any Hunger Games or Divergent book.  The writing, the characters, the world building. This series has easily been added to my top all time favorites.  Fair warning, you will have all the feels with these books and they will leave you crushed. Out of any of the books mentioned in this post, these are the ones you MUST read! The last book in the trilogy is due out early next year.
Ethan Frome is my favorite book, ever.  It was assigned reading for one of my English classes in high school and I just fell in love with it.  I reread it every couple of years.  It's depressing and sad but for some reason, it remains my favorite.  "Wharton combined her insider's view of America's privileged classes with a brilliant, natural wit to write humorous, incisive novels and short stories of social and psychological insight."
I can't not include Rowling and the Harry Potter series on this list.  I mean, her writing opened up the magical world of reading for a lot of young people.  I dare you to read HP and not fall in love with it.
Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle should be required reading, especially Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. I actually just finally read that one last year and it was eye opening.  If you are a fan of food documentaries like Food Inc, you should be reading this. It also seriously made me contemplate living and eating off the land.  My parents have a pretty big vegetable garden every year and I saw a lot of Kingsolver's practices in how they farm and eat.  It really made me want to get back to those roots of knowing where my food comes from.
Do we share any favorite authors? 
Linking up with The Broke and the Bookish


Friday, April 17, 2015

Fri-YAY! 4.17.15

I think it's safe to say that spring might have finally reached us here in NH.  The weather was decent every day and a couple days it was even in the upper 60's.  I can't even tell you how nice it is. I've sat out on our front porch most nights reading, waiting for Errol to get home from work.  I had the doors wide open, even Chitty has been enjoying it.  Since the weather has been so nice, I've been leaving him outside while I'm at work.  I think the whole family had a slight case of cabin fever. Now if my door yard would just dry up so I didn't have to wear boots to work, that would be great. What a difference a week of nice weather makes though.
Onto Friday favorites.

O N E//
I just want to talk about my post for Steph's link up of Show Us Your Books. I had more comments on that post than any of my other posts so far.  I love it!  I loved interacting with everyone and talking about one of my favorite things, books!
 The past few months I have been working on reading all the books that I own that I haven't read.  I've kinda self imposed a book buying ban because I literally have a full bookcase of books I haven't read.  But it's so hard because there are so many amazing sounding books that come out every week. Just so you can understand the amount of books I own but have not read, I've included a picture.  It's packed. My system, so I don't get overwhelmed by all the choices, has been to just read books from one shelf.  I'm still on the first shelf.  I'm definitely a mood reader so I need atleast some kind of choice.

T W O//
So now that the weather is finally getting nicer, I have been in full blown spring cleaning mood and at the top of my list is our screened in porch.  I have a indoor/outdoor rug that I got with a blue and green pattern that I am trying to use as the jumping off point.  I've been scouring Pinterest for inspiration and some diy projects.

I love the trunk that has been repurposed as a side table.  I love the eclectic mix of decorative accessories.  This is pretty much what I'm looking for as a patio set as well.  Plus a separate little table area so we can eat dinners out there. I like the one below.  It seems like a pretty simple project.  Obviously no umbrella since it's on a porch.


I love this.  I love the bright, colorful, airy feel it has.  I like that the rug is the strong point.  I love fun graphic designs.  My porch is wood so I'm leaning towards light color furniture.  Also because I love the contrast of the light against the bright colors in the rug I'm using.

T H R E E//

This is one of my all time favorite songs. When the weathers nice, I love to put this on with the volume cranked and the windows down and just sing along at the top of my lungs.  I love Steve Miller Band and the last couple days have been listening to this station on Pandora. You can't not be happy when you listen to their music.

 F O U R//

Shay at Great! Now What? referenced these recipes last week and they looked so good that I had to add them to my meal plan this week.  We even broke our grill out for the season to make the chicken kebobs. Both the kebobs and salad were so good.  At her suggestion, I used the left over bean salad over my greens for lunches this week.  The only thing I added was some seasoned grilled chicken for some protein. The kebobs had a good spice to them.  I added some extra sriracha sauce and slightly less lime because I wasn't sure how strong it would be.  Both of these were definite winners!

Honey, Lime & Sriracha Chicken Skewers via Once Upon a Chef 

F I V E// 

 My Insta snaps of the week.
porch sitting & drinking//motivation//colorful life & #treatyoself//big ass salad//porch sitting & drinking vol 2//breakfast at the Water Wheel

I have a big to do list to tackle this weekend.  Wish me luck that I get even half of it done.

Linking up with A. Liz Adventure


Karli at September Farm

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Random Rambles

// I started re-reading the Harry Potter series.  It has been a solid 7+ years since I read the series.  The last time was right before the last book came out. (Sidenote: I worked at a bookstore when the last book came out.  It was the most insane thing.  We had people waiting outside the store before we opened and I can't even tell you how many hundreds of books we sold that day. We decided to dress up as Hogwarts students for the day.  We had robes and wands and everything.  Also because we got the books before it officially released, we got to secretly take them home and read them before anyone else.) I have fallen in love with the books all over again.  The writing and story is just so magical.  I may be almost 30 but I still wouldn't be opposed to getting a letter from Hogwarts.  I may or may not have a HP post brewing.
PS I don't consider you a real reader if you have not read HP.  It's not just for kids. 

// Let's talk about the job search for a second.  I'm trying so hard to not get discouraged but when you look everyday and there's really no prospects, it's hard not to.  Either it's jobs I'm under qualified for or factory work.  I know that I still have some months left until it actually matters but when you know the other two people in your department are also leaving sooner rather than later and one of them already has a job offer, it's hard not to feel pressured.  I also don't want to be the last man standing. 
The one highlight is that we just got our yearly reviews and I knocked it out of the park. It's always nice when you are recognized for all the hard work you put in. Always put in the extra effort. It doesn't go unnoticed. 

// We had some friends over the other night and for some of them, it was the first time seeing our new place. One of my friends always likes to comment on how lucky I am and 98% of the time, I shrug her off because isn't the grass always greener? But ya know what, this time I really listened. It's no secret that I've been riding the struggle bus hardcore lately and it's really easy to fall into the comparison trap but when I did stop to think about it? I am lucky and there are a lot of things in my life to be thankful for. I need to stop and appreciate all those things a little bit more. 

// On the topic of friends and friendship.  Here's the ugly truth, I've always struggled with keeping and maintaining friendships.  During middle school and high school, I would cycle through friend groups every year or two.  I don't know if it's because I'm an only child and a loner at heart but I've always felt like an outsider. I struggle with forming that invisible bond that a lasting friendship has and it's not for lack of trying.  Maybe I don't open myself up enough or put myself out there, I dunno.  In the last few years, it's been increasingly harder for me to make/find friends. I'll reach out to people and make plans and then they either fall through or I get ditched. It's not a great feeling.  I just feel like at this point in life, most people have their core group of friends and don't need or want anymore,     especially where I live.  People my age have had their friends since kindergarten and you couldn't possibly have changed since you knew someone 10 years ago. Do you find it hard to make new friends as an adult?

What's on your mind today?

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

March Book Review

March started off slow for reading but I ended up reading 9 books in March, putting me at 30 books total for the year so far.  I read some really great books this month but also some not so great books.  I was disappointed in a couple books that I read because I had high expectations but what can you do.

Rating System
5- Loved it! All the feels and flails. New favorite
4- Really liked it
3- Decent.  Could have been better/something missing
2- Would not recommend. Ehh
1- Did not like.  Didn't finish. Gave book away.

Rating: 4

John Irving is one of my favorite authors.  My first Irving novel was The World According to Garp which I read about 10 years ago and still stands as my favorite of his to this day.  In One Person is his newest book and is a classic Irving.  It contained his usual themes like father figure issues, sexual awakening, New England private schools and wrestling.  No bears this time though! 
The novel is written and narrated as an autobiographic story of the "sexual suspect" Billy.  The story spans half a century starting with his first introduction at the town library and to Ms. Frost.  Ms. Frost ends up being the most influential person in his life even though he only knows her for a short time.  The story is very much about his evolution and acceptance of his sexuality.  During a section of the novel, we are exposed to the AIDS crisis during the 80's and the horrific nature of the disease. This is a must read for any Irving fan.
For new readers to John Irving, I would recommend to start with World According to Garp or his more popular fan favorite, A Pray for Owen Meaney.

Rating: 3

Sutter Keely is the life of the party.  He is a senior in high school and living and partying like one. Until he meets Aimee one day when he wakes up on her lawn with no memory of how he ended up there.  Aimee is social awkward and could use the help so Sutter thinks he is doing her a favor by befriending her. 
I thought this was a book I was really going to enjoy but I could not connect with the main character and I actually found myself disliking him towards the end.  Sutter is selfish and a borderline alcoholic.  The whole time in his relationship with Aimee he thinks he is helping her by giving her confidence and social help.  I just couldn't help thinking him as anything more than a tool and I couldn't see how Aimee didn't see that he didn't care about her.  His actions proved it time and again. Aimee as a character was a push over and never stood her ground with him. The ending proved this and I wanted to punch Sutter in the face by the end. I could not connect with any of the characters in this book so for that reason, I gave it a less than favorable rating.  The book has a 4 star rating on Amazon so I can see that I am in the minority of disliking this book.

Rating:  4.5

This was definitely one of the favorite books I read this month.  I still find myself thinking about the story and characters and to me, that is the sign of a great book.
The novel takes place on the Hawaiian island of Moloka'i where the quarantined leprosy settlement of Kalaupapa is. This is the story of Rachel who at 7 is taken away from her family and sent to the settlement.  This novel was so heartbreakingly beautiful.  Rachel ends up spending the majority of her life quarantined on this island until a treatment is discovered in the 1970's. Even though she is taken from her family, she ends up making a family of her own while living at Kalaupapa and even marries.  She finds out that she is pregnant and must give her daughter up for adoption due to the regulations of the government.  The way this disease was treated and regulated by the government was so sad.  Instead of being viewed as a disease which should be treated, people sent to Kalaupapa were shunned by their families and viewed as a problem.  The many heartbreaks that Rachel endures is enough to break anyone but only serves to make her stronger.
I was particularly moved by the section where Rachel is able to meet her daughter who she has not seen for more than 20 years when she initially had to give her up. I also enjoyed the Hawaiian folklore that was woven into the narrative.

Rating: 3.5

Judd Foxman's life is falling apart.  He catches his wife in bed with his boss, his father dies and he's newly unemployed. The story begins with his father's death and that his final request was that his family sit shiva.  The story takes place over the 7 day shiva period.  
I was late to the party on this book but I thoroughly enjoyed it.  It was a funny, emotionally raw novel with an honest look at life.  It was funny and sad all at the same time and made me just want to go home and hug my family fiercely.

Rating: 3.5

This was another book that was just so heartbreaking to me.  I love reading about different cultures and religions.  This book centered around the Jewish orthodox faith. The description on Amazon nails it. "A beautifully crafted, emotionally gripping story of what happens when unwavering love, unyielding law, and centuries of tradition collide". I live in a town that has a large Hasidic Jew population during the summer and I actually felt like this book gave me a behind the scenes look into their life.  Sometimes it's so easy to judge a population when you know nothing about their culture and beliefs. And while there are customs/beliefs that I don't agree with, it was interesting to see that perspective.  I have read books before centered around the Jewish faith but this one had a lot of background on customs especially in regards to "coming of age".
The story is intertwined with two families.  When Josef is 5, he witnesses the murder of his family by the Romanians.  He is rescued and taken care of by their Christian maid.  She poses him as her son to protect him.  A few years later, he rescues a young Jewish girl names Mila from being killed during the war.  She is taken in by a man named Zalman Stern who is a respected leader in the Jewish community.  Mila is "adopted" into the family and Atara becomes her sister.  Mila decides to follow the path that is set before her and is expected of a women in the Jewish community, while Atara is more strong minded and curious. Mila ends up marrying Josef years later. The story centers around the paths and choices they make and how it connects to the Jewish faith, particularly Mila.
The heartbreaking part for me is that characters in this story were punished and denied happiness for the sake of religion.  They were denied their family because of religious laws.  I have such a hard time with accepting that line of belief, that you are not allowed happiness for the rest of your life because of something written in a book ages ago.  And in the case of this book, denied because of some choice your grandmother made. Markovits actually grew up in Satmar community and was asked why she didn't choose to write about someone leaving the faith like she did and she said that she wanted to write about the ones who choose to stay and find solace in religion and how that path is hard as well.

Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
Rating: 2.5-3

This book was actually the inspiration behind the topic from this post. I had high hopes for this book because I have enjoyed Sittenfeld's previous novels but this just fell flat for me and there was a turning point in the plot where I actually became disgusted with the main character.  I had issues with her to being with because she was more concerned with what people thought of her that actually living her life.
Daisy and Violet are identical twins who share a psychic ability.  While Violet fully embraces her gift, Daisy has chosen to hid hers and pretend it doesn't exist.  Violet makes her living as a medium while Daisy is a SAHM. After a minor earthquake happens, Violet goes on national tv declaring that a much larger, stronger earthquake is coming. Daisy or Kate as she has chosen to go by, is mortified while also scared that the premonition is true.  The story leads up to the day that Violet has predicted the earthquake.  On the night of the supposed earthquake, Daisy makes a decision that alters her life. And this is where I was turned off by the book. 
I did initially like the book for the twin aspect because I am an only child.  I like to see the bonds that siblings share because I have never experienced that. I just found the characters in this book so unlikeable. Daisy was so uptight, rigid and prudish while her husband seemed too perfect.  It was hard to connect to Violet, who I actually probably would have liked, but because the story was told from only Daisy's POV, you never really get to know her. Overall, this book was a disappointment.

Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
Rating: 2.5

So I'm ashamed to even admit this but this was my first Vonnegut novel.  I actually own several of his works but this is the first that I have gotten around to reading.  I was so let down by it.  I thought I was going to like, if not love it and it just didn't happen.  There are so many outstanding reviews on this book that I kind of felt like what am I missing?
I did like the satirical, dry and sarcastic prose.  It was more the plot/storyline that I had trouble with.  I don't like to have to read into books or find the meaning behind them and I feel like this is what I was supposed to be doing with this book.  That being said, I will still read Vonnegut's other works because you can't judge an author based on one book.

Body Surfing by Anita Shreve
Rating: 2.5

This was another let down for me but I find as whole, Shreve's books are hit or miss for me.  I really disliked her most popular book, The Pilot's Wife but I have liked several others of hers like Fortune's Rocks and Light on Snow. I didn't know before I read this book that these were part of a loose quartet along with Sea Glass. Body Surfing takes place in the same house as these other books and they even allude to some back history.  Body Surfing takes place after Fortune's Rocks and The Pilot's Wife.
Sydney is spending the summer with the Edward's family at their beach house in New Hampshire.  She is tutoring their high school age daughter.  The two Edward's boys arrive for the summer and so begins the love triangle between Sydney and them.
I found this whole plot to be so contrived. It's like we are just supposed to accept that certain events and feelings happened even though there is no lead up or explanation.  The relationship with Jeff, one of the brothers, just appears out of no where.  There was no lead up to it.  All of a sudden he showed up and announced that he had broken up with his girlfriend to date Sydney.  Like what?  This was definitely not Shreve's best work.  If you are new to her, I would not recommend this book as your first introduction.

NOS4A2 by Joe Hill
Rating: 4

I've read all of Hill's books and just finished Horns earlier this year. I was pleasantly surprised by this novel.  While I enjoyed Horns, it wasn't an outstanding book so I wasn't quite sure how this one would be.  If you don't know, Hill is Stephen King's son and I could see some similarities with this and some of King's earlier fiction.
This novel will keep you on the edge of your seat.  It has supernatural elements with just the right amount of creepy.
Victoria McQueen has a knack for finding lost things.  All she has to do is ride her bike over this rickety old bridge and within seconds, it takes her where she needs to go to find the lost item. Charles Talent Manx is the man behind Christmanland where it's Christmas every day but where only child are allowed.  He takes them for a ride in his Rolls Royce Wraith with the vanity license plate NOS4A2 where they are never heard from again.  One day Manx and Vic's paths collide.  She ends up being the only child to ever escape Manx and puts him behind bars. Manx has never stopped thinking about Vic and has set out to seek revenge by taking her son.
I loved the world building and imagination that was put into this novel.  I loved the characters who were all broken in one way or another.  While Manx was evil, the creep award goes to Bing Partridge, his side kick and henchman.  He is the stuff that nightmares are made of.

Three Must Reads: Moloka'i, I am Forbidden & NOS4A2
Three to Skip: Sisterland, Body Surfing, Cat's Cradle

Have you read any of these books? Any that you are adding to your must read list?

Life According to Steph
Linking up with Steph


Friday, April 10, 2015

Fri-YAY! 4.10.15

Can I just say that I am so sick of seeing snow.  It snowed twice this week with about 1-2 inches of accumulation each time.  Does Mother Nature not know that it is April? It doesn't help that 3/4 of the rest of the country can see their ground and is posting trees blooming and flowers budding on Instagram. At this rate, I think it's going to be May before I see green grass. It's fine. I'm fine.
Moving on...

O N E//
 Did you notice my pretty new social media buttons? I actually added them myself from Carrie Loves.  Ok, so I watched her tutorial and did it but still.  Progress, people! I didn't want to link my Pinterest page yet because it is just such a mess right now. I've been wanting to rearrange and start fresh because the boards really aren't set the way I want them and I have things double pinned. Also, I don't have Facebook or Twitter so yeah, I can't link to those.  I probably am part of the 0.001% that don't have Facebook. And neither does my boyfriend. I just don't feel the need for one and Twitter...? Well, I'm on my phone enough as it is.  I don't need another time suck.

T W O//
This song right meow. And the video is really cute too.  It's insanely catchy.  If I hear it once, I find myself singing it the rest of the day.

T H R E E//
I made this recipe for the second time, this week and it was a good as I remember.  Errol isn't the biggest fan but he'll eat it. But that's because he isn't really partial to ground turkey.  If I made this with ground beef he would be much happier but I like it with the turkey.  I think if you made it with hamburg, it would be good but I think the flavor of the meat would overpower the other flavors.  The turkey absorbs the other flavors and you really get the full flavor.  The only thing I changed is I added more than a pinch of red pepper flakes because I wanted a little more heat. I had half a pepper and a small salad for dinner and it was filling.
Via Ambitious Kitchen

F O U R//
This book. I technically finished it last week but I've still been thinking about it.  I'll have more about it on my Show Us Your Books post next week but if you are a fan of Stephen King books, you must pick this one up.  It had suspense, imagination and creepiness. Definitely check it out.  It's not like anything else out there.
F I V E//
I've been linking up with Helene's #30photosinbetween April challenge on Instagram here and there.  This was my photo for yesterday's word play theme.
Any fun things for you planned this weekend?

Linking up with A. Liz Adventure

Karli at September Farm

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Confess Sesh

 // This photo has nothing to do with the post. I just liked the picture.
 // I may or may not have taken the day off yesterday so I could sit on my brand spankin' new couch.  Ok, I did! Listen, I was going to take a half day anyways to be there when they delivered it and then I figured why the hell not?  I hardly ever take a day of just cause.  I was super productive too.  I cleaned the bathroom, dusted and swept.  Plus I wrote this blog post. I mean I also read and watched 2 Teen Mom OG episodes too but that's neither here nor there.

// Sometimes I tell Errol I did something but I really didn't and then I rush to do it before he finds out I didn't do it. For example, he asked me if I dropped some packages off at the post office.  Had I? No.  But I said I did because I was planning on doing it but forgot. I then proceeded to bring said packages to the post office and he was none the wiser.

// I don't go number 2 at work.  I legit refuse to.  I'm weird about bathroom things as it is.  I have gotten better over the last few years but there's too many bad (read embarrassing) scenarios that could happen that I would rather just not. At this point, my body is trained to go when I get home.

// I get road rage easily.  If you are not going to do atleast 5 above the speed limit, get out of my way.  If you decide to stay in the passing lane just for funsies, get out of my way. If you think you're on a Sunday drive and want to slow down to see all the pretty things, get out of my way.

// I don't brush my hair.  Hear me out, I have curly hair and that kind of hair just really isn't conducive to brushing. If I even think about brushing it, it frizzes. I run my hands through it in the shower and when I put product in it but that's about it.  I'd really like to try the no 'poo thing but all of the posts I've read, the girls have straight or what seems to me, easy maintenance hair.  I can't even blow dry my hair.  It turns into an afro. So what say you? Do you think it could work for someone with curly hair?  My big incentive is that my hair is super dry by nature and because of the way my hair is, I have to wash it every day unless I straighten it.  And let's face it, I don't have time for that in the morning. So I know that less washing would be beneficial and healthier for it but I'm scared.

// I am absolutely loving Budapest by George Ezra right now.  I have had it on repeat for the last couple weeks.  I've been belting it out with my windows down and heat on of course.

Linking up with Natalie today for Humpday Confessional


Monday, April 6, 2015

You're Invited

Photograph by Meg Perotti via Bon Appetit
The spark for this post came from the movie Tommy Boy.  Random. Let me explain.  It was on the other day as background noise and I thought, Chris Farley would be someone I would invite to my dinner.  You know, the one where you have to pick 5 people to invite for your ultimate dinner? You have to take into account the dynamic of the dinner. There are so many different scenarios you could do if you think about it that way.  For this version, I chose only to select people that are not alive.

 Albert Einstein
He would provide great intellectual dinner conversation.  Obviously he's smart and has a wealth of knowledge but I think he would have great facts or questions that would stimulate and add conversation.  In my mind, this dinner would be like a salon from the 1880's where all types of intellectuals are discussing various concepts.

Chris Farley
I guess maybe Chris Farley could be not everyone's cup of tea but I don't know who those people are.  He would for sure be the comedic relief.  You can't be too serious and any good dinner party has lots of laughs.

Cleopatra was a badass B. I love a strong woman and she definitely was one.  You didn't mess around with her and she was the life of the party. And we all know she was easy on the eyes. And while I know she wouldn't show up as Elizabeth Taylor, it couldn't hurt.  Two birds, one stone?

Elvis Presley
My only requirement for this is that it has to be a younger Elvis Presley, circa the picture above. He would have to play a couple songs like "All Shook Up" and "Hound Dog".  Plus I would have to get his autograph for my Gram. 

Martin Luther King
I would be interested to see how far he thinks the country has come.  Where we need to improve? What would be his take on Obama? I would be interested to see what he thinks of the world today.  I think him and Einstein could have a lot on insight into the world of today vs the world of their time.

Well, there it is.  I had fun putting this together and thinking about who I would invite to my dinner.  I already can think of other different themes I could pick, like literary characters.

So lets here it, who would you invite to your dinner from the past?