Saturday, August 31, 2013

August 2013 Update

I have read 16 books in August which is quite good. I have taken part in 2 Read-a-Thons Beat the Heat Readathon and Bout of Books and I reached my goal in both. All in all I have read 4935 pages in August. And I have joined another 3 challenges, I think I am quite addicted by now.

My list of books:
  1. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
  2. Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs
  3. Magnificent Devices by Shelley Adina
  4. Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva 
  5. Eternal Vows by Chrissy Peebles 
  6. Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson 
  7. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach
  8. The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa 
  9. Fins by Ashley L. Knight 
  10. I Bring the Fire: Part I Wolves by C. Gockel
  11. Life of Pi by Yann Martel 
  12. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  13. Dorothy: The Darker Side of Oz by Scott Stanford
  14. Watership Down by Richard Adams 
  15. Fathom by Ashley L. Knight
  16. Everblue by Brenda Pandos
My posts for August are HERE.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Everblue by Brenda Pandos

Best friends share everything with each other. Or do they? Seventeen-year-old Ashlyn Frances Lanski is tired of her boring, single life. Spending time with her best friend Tatiana, dreaming about kissing Tatiana's twin brother Fin, and swimming competitively are her only sanctuary. The girls plan to leave their drab lakeside town far behind for college. But when Tatchi fails to return home after a family emergency, and no one knows where the family has gone, Ash chooses to do something drastic to find them.
Ashlyn is about to discover what she’d thought to be true her whole life, wasn’t, and the truth, too fantastical to imagine. Secrets lurk beneath the deep blue waters of Lake Tahoe, secrets that will change Ashlyn's life forever.
From Goodreads.







A different take on the mermaid story and I like that it is possible for humans to become mermaids but also that mermaids can become humans. But all is not well in the mermaid world and I am looking forward to the continuation in the next books that I have just bought.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (mermaid)
Author Alphabet Reading Challenge
Setting Alphabet Reading Challenge
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 24th of May 2013)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fathom by Ashley L. Knight

Since being blessed with becoming the ruler over all the merpeople, Morgan James has moved to New York with her fianc, Thayde, to begin her studies at the university. But her plans to resume a normal life are put on hold when overpowering thoughts start to take control of her and a terrible disease called The Shadow slowly begins to jeopardize Thayde's life. Faced with overwhelming odds, will Morgan, who has suddenly been thrust into being both the leader and protector of her species, collapse under her own insecurities or rise above the challenges that threaten her, producing consequences she never could have imagined?Plunge into Fathom - the sequel in The Fins Trilogy. From Goodreads.





A very good continuation of the Fins Trilogy. I always like it when things don't turn out as expected and this one has a twist. I won't say more as that will give it away. The romance / bonding of Morgan and Thayde continues.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Sequel Reading Challenge
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (mermaid)
Author Alphabet Reading Challenge
A Book A Day Keeps the Boredom at Bay Reading Challenge

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon 8.0 Finished

Hosted by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal.

My goal was to finish 3 books:
I wanted to finish Life of Pi and Unwind, and one other from a list of three.


I reached my goal as I finished 4 books all in all.
  1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
  2. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
  3. Dorothy: The Darker Side of Oz by Scott Stanford
  4. Watership Down by Richard Adams
If possible I will take part in the next Bout of Books 9.0 - 1/6/2014 -- 1/12/2014

Watership Down by Richard Adams

'Hazel - the danger, the bad thing. It hasn't gone away. It's here - all round us... We've got to go away before it's too late.'
Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren - he felt sure of it. So did his brother Hazel, for Fiver's sixth sense was never wrong. They had to leave the warren, and they had to persuade the other rabbits to join them. And so a small band of rabbits began a long and perilous journey. Not one of them could have imagined the terrors and dangers that were in store for them in this dramatic and totally gripping story that has become a classic and an international bestseller.
From Goodreads.





My husband has wanted me to read this book forever and I finally did it. It is a very good book. Hazel and Fiver are two very different but strong characters and they need each other for this adventure. Definitely a book I can recommend. I might have to read Tales from Watership Down as well.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Mammoth Book Challenge
Bout of Books Read-a-Thon 8.0
Author Alphabet Reading Challenge
Setting Alphabet Reading Challenge
A Book A Day Keeps the Boredom at Bay Reading Challenge

Friday, August 23, 2013

Dorothy: The Darker Side of Oz by Scott Stanford

As Dorothy awakes in Oz there's no sunshine in Munchkin country, just a twisted race enslaved by the Eastern witch, and a crooked path of yellow bricks she has to take to the mysterious Emerald City, a place ridden with sinister secrets. To get home the orphan girl treks the magical land, sometimes beautiful though often deadly, seeking help from the great wizard of Oz. The young girl struggles through a vast land of new sights, unfamiliar villages, and endures the dark forest, finding strange friends along her way. Cautiously trusting a peculiar scarecrow, he accompanies Dorothy through Oz, finding a tragic tin-man on their travels, and the cowardly lion; a victim to Mr Jack's infernal carnival. The animal's only hope is to be saved by Dorothy and her friends, but the ringleader and his obscure show have other plans for them. Dorothy's enchanting journey takes her through new, peculiar and amazing countries as Oz unveils itself. The strange friends must fight to overcome the rivers of mist, the deadly poppy fields, and beyond; whilst Kalidahs, Hammerheads and other macabre creatures stand in their way...and if they reach the Emerald City, they my find more than they bargained for. To get back to Kansas the young girl must survive the dangers of Oz, find the mysterious great wizard, and most of all, avoid the dead-lands of the West, where the evil witch Outika breeds her carnivorous pets, and watches the strange friends' every move. This isn't the Oz you know, and Dorothy may never leave. From Goodreads.

It was okay but I think I need to read the real Wizard of Oz soon to have something to compare with. I have only ever seen different cinema editions of it. I think I know the ending of the original and this one is different and I kind of liked that.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
Bout of Books Read-a-Thon 8.0
Author Alphabet Reading Challenge
Setting Alphabet Reading Challenge
2013 Witches & Witchcraft Reading Challenge
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 1st of December 2012)

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Unwind by Neal Shusterman

Connor's parents want to be rid of him because he's a troublemaker. Risa has no parents and is being unwound to cut orphanage costs. Lev's unwinding has been planned since his birth as part of his family's strict religion. Brought together by chance, and kept together through desperation, these three unlikely companions make a harrowing cross-country journey, knowing all the while that their lives are hanging in the balance. If they can survive until their eighteenth birthdays, they can't be harmed. But when every piece of them, from their hands to their hearts, are wanted by a world gone mad, eighteen seems far, far away... From Goodreads





A quite intriguing book which I enjoyed. I plan to read the next book in the series next month. It is about escaping the sentence of being unwound. But it is also about what part of a person is a soul. A man gets an arm and can suddenly do tricks that he couldn't before. Somebody gets part of a brain and that part of the brain doesn't know it is part of somebody else! That is the part I found intriguing.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
Dystopia Reading Challenge 2013
2013 A-Z Reading Challenge
Bout of Books Read-a-Thon 8.0
Author Alphabet Reading Challenge
Setting Alphabet Reading Challenge
A Book A Day Keeps the Boredom at Bay Reading Challenge

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon 8.0 Update

Hosted by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal.

My goal is to finish 3 books:
I have to finish Life of Pi and Unwind, and then I want to finish one of the other 3 books on my list.

1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel
2. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
3. Watership Down by Richard Adams
4. Assassin's Aprentice by Robin Hobb
5. Seas of Venus by David Drake

Monday:
I finished Life of Pi but it was hard as I thought it was a bit drawn out.
Started listening to Dreams Underfoot by Charles De Lint on audible and started reading Unwind and read 18% of the book.

Tuesday:
I am doing okay with my reading at the moment. Today I finished Unwind by Neal Shusterman.

Wednesday:
Started reading Dorothy: The Darker Side of Oz by Scott Stanford and read 46%

Thursday: 
Didn't get a lot of reading done. Just managed another 28% before bedtime making it 76% read of  Dorothy: The Darker Side of Oz by Scott Stanford. But went canoeing on a beautiful day.

Friday:
Finished reading  Dorothy: The Darker Side of Oz.

Saturday: 
Started Watership Down and reached 22%

Sunday:
Did a lot of reading today and managed to finish Watership Down.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Yann Martel's imaginative and unforgettable Life of Pi is a magical reading experience, an endless blue expanse of storytelling about adventure, survival, and ultimately, faith. The precocious son of a zookeeper, 16-year-old Pi Patel is raised in Pondicherry, India, where he tries on various faiths for size, attracting "religions the way a dog attracts fleas." Planning a move to Canada, his father packs up the family and their menagerie and they hitch a ride on an enormous freighter. After a harrowing shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean, trapped on a 26-foot lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, a seasick orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker ("His head was the size and color of the lifebuoy, with teeth"). It sounds like a colorful setup, but these wild beasts don't burst into song as if co-starring in an anthropomorphized Disney feature. After much gore and infighting, Pi and Richard Parker remain the boat's sole passengers, drifting for 227 days through shark-infested waters while fighting hunger, the elements, and an overactive imagination. In rich, hallucinatory passages, Pi recounts the harrowing journey as the days blur together, elegantly cataloging the endless passage of time and his struggles to survive: "It is pointless to say that this or that night was the worst of my life. I have so many bad nights to choose from that I've made none the champion."
The protagonist Piscine "Pi" Molitor Patel, an Indian boy from Pondicherry, explores the issues of religion and spirituality from an early age and survives 227 days shipwrecked in the Pacific Ocean.
From Goodreads.

A lot of people rave about Life of Pi, unfortunately I don't think it was as good as that. It might have been a mistake on my part to read this book only a few weeks after seeing the film. I think the film was quite true to the book so I was reading something I already knew which made me feel the book was a bit drawn out..
I usually try to read a book before seeing the film.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
NBRC Stuck in a Rut
Bout of Books Read-a-Thon 8.0
Author Alphabet Reading Challenge
Setting Alphabet Reading Challenge
2013 Literary Exploration Reading Challenge
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 8th of May 2011)
A Book A Day Keeps the Boredom at Bay Reading Challenge

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Book A Day Keeps the Boredom at Bay Reading Challenge start

A Book A Day Keeps the Boredom at Bay Reading Challenge hosted by Nothing But Reading Challenges.

Whatever the season or day: hot and blazing in Summer; grey and rainy in Spring and Autumn; or cold and windy in the Winter. They all have something in common: eventually we grow lazy, lethargic, and bored. One of the best ways to avoid it is being busy. Or better yet, being busy reading.

So, grab your books, find your perfect reading spot and let's fight the boredom one day at a time.

Duration: 1 year from the day you start

Rules:Re-reads allowed. Any format (audio, ebook, graphic novel, book, etc.) acceptable.

Boredom Levels
Sleepy Day ► Read 2 - 3 Books
Lazy Week ► Read 4 - 6 Books
Slow Fortnight ► Read 7 - 9 Books
Bored Month ► Read 10 - 13 Books
Never Ending Year ► Read 14+ Books

1 - Is the first day of the month. Read a book where the main character (MC) has a first experience of sorts. Or is a one word title. Or is the first of a series.

2 – One is good, two is better. Read a romance book or a book that has a partnership.
Subgenres of romance under the spoiler
(view spoiler)
Two can also mean repetition. Read a book about second chances.


3 – Being the third wheel is never funny. Read a book that has a wheel on the cover. Or has a love triangle. You can also read a book about three best friends.

4 – 4th of July is Independence Day. Read a book with a red, white and blue cover, or that is set on the US, or has the US flag on the cover. Or read a book where the main character is fighting for his independence or for some greater good.
 

5 - High Five. Read a book where a character is a sports fan or has a best buddy. Or read one about a character with a strong need for approval. There are five points on a star. Read a book with a star on the cover or title.

6 - In numerology the number 6 is considered a feminine, nurturing, "mother" number. Read a book where the main female character is a mother or becomes a mother.
In a biblical sense, both man and the serpent were created on the sixth day, therefore, the number six represents both man and rebellion. Read a book were the main character is a man or about a rebellion or resistance to some regimen.


7–Lucky Seven. Read a book where a character is extremely lucky or a book about anything game related (gambling, bets, poker night, drinking game, you get my point). In the Old Testament, 7 is the number of days it took for God to create the world. Read a book with a tight deadline.

8– Magic Eight Ball. Read a Magical Book or a book where a character predicts the future (visions, premonitions, tarot readings, any method counts).

9–Is the name of a film set in a post-apocalyptic future. Read a book set in, or where a character comes from, a post-apocalyptic future

10 – 10th of June is the day of Camoes, Portugal and the Portuguese communities. Read a poetry book or a book that has a writer as the main character. Or read a book where the protagonist is Portuguese or Brazilian or speaks Portuguese. Or read a book where the main character struggles to save a precious item.

11–Its etymological originates from a Germanic compound ainlif meaning "one left". Read a book with only "one left" - it can be the only option left, or the only survivor, or the last of a set of events, the last book left in a series, etc.

12– 12 days of Christmas. Read a book about Christmas, Christmas songs or that has a cumulative title, like Once Bitten, Twice Shy. 12 is also the governmental perfection. Read a book with a character or author named as one of the 12 Apostles, or set in Israel. There are 12 zodiacal signs. Read a book with zodiac or one of the signs on the cover or in the title

13– Black cats, voodoo dolls and Friday the 13th. Read a book about superstitions, bad luck or the occult. Friday the 13th is also known among programmers for causing a computer bug. Read a book about computer viruses, computer hacking or some technological challenge like in Digital Fortress.

14–The 14th amendment defines US citizenship rights, and importantly, gave African Americans the right to citizenship in America. Read a book where a character moves to the US, or is based in 19th century America.

15–The atomic number of phosphorus, which emits a faint glow upon exposure to oxygen – hence its name given from Greek mythology, meaning "light-bearer." Read a book showing the faint glow of light on the cover.


16– Sweet 16. Read a book where a character (doesn’t have to be the MC) reaches 16 or has a sweet 16 party. Or read a Young Adult book.

17–The shortest form of Japanese poetry (known as Haiku) contains exactly 17 syllables. Read something set in Japan. It takes 17 muscles to produce a smile. Read something that puts a smile on your face.

18–Number of holes on a golf course. Read a book about a professional sportsperson, or where a character plays golf, or golf is part of the title or cover of a book

19–The worst worldwide influenza pandemic ended in 1919. Read a book from the medical genre, or a book with a character who is a Doctor or Nurse, or a book where someone dies from the flu.

20–20/20. Read a “number one book”: about a top student, a perfect score, a best seller. You can also read a book where a character has one of the senses highlighted.
 

21 – Is the legal age for drinking. Read a book where someone has a drinking problem, is an ex-alcoholic or overcome some addiction. 21 can also be Black Jack. Read a book set or where the character goes to Las Vegas, or has a casino or a game of Black Jack or vingt et un is involved.

22–In French, "22" is used as a phrase to warn of the coming of the police (typically "22, v'là les flics!", "22, here come the cops!"). Read a book that is a police procedural, or has a strong police presence.

23–"W" is the 23rd letter of the alphabet. It has two points down and three points up. Half of W is V, which is the Roman numeral for 5. The "W" on your keyboard is right between the 2 and 3. Read a book with a title or series name that begins with "W." Or was written by an author with a first or last name that begins with "W."

24–There are 24 hours in a day. Read a book in one day. Or one that takes place all in one day.

25–British slang for £25 is "Pony." Read a book about a horse or has a picture of one on the cover.

26 – 26th January is the Australia day or the arrival of the First Fleet. Read a book set in Australia or aboard of a ship. You can also read an historical book with action taking place on the 18th century.

27– Is the perfect cube (3 X 3 X 3). Read a book from 3 different trilogies - yes, that means 3 books - Or read a book about a mathematic riddle or code, books like The Da Vinci Code or The Eight are a good example for this one.

28–The number of dominoes in standard domino sets. Read something with a black and white cover.

29–and holding. Read a book where the main character is about to turn 30.

30–Over the hill or don't trust anyone over 30. Read a book where a character has an abnormal life spam and is older than he/she appears (vampire, fae, warlock, elf, etc).

31 – Is the last day of the month. Read a book about last chances. Or read the final book of a series. You can also read a book about the end of a cycle or a new beginning.


It seems I just can't stop joining challenges at the moment, at least they are year long ones.

My goal is: Never Ending Year ► Read 14+ Books

Start date today 18th of August 2013 and I will finish by 17th of August 2014.

16/16 books read

1: Unwind by Neal Shusterman. -  one word title and first in a series. (finished 20th of August 2013) 
2: Playing for Time by Barbara Bretton - romance book (finished 17th of November 2013)
3: The Owl Service by Alan Garner - has a love triangle. (finished 9th of September 2013)
4: Buried Child by Sam Shepard - set on the US (finished 24th of November 2013)
5:
6: Wish Upon A Star by Trisha Ashley - where the main female character is a mother (finished 5th of December 2013)
7 :
8: Watership Down by Richard Adams - Fiver predicts the future (finished 25th of August 2013) 
9:
10:
11:
12:
13:
14:
15: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi - Read a book showing the faint glow of light on the cover. (finished 11th of October 2013)
16:
17:
18:
19:
20: Vegan, Virgin, Valentine by Carolyn Mackler - Mara is a straight A senior (finished 18th of September 2013)
21:
22:
23: The Weirdstone Of Brisingamen by Alan Garner - Read a book with a title that begins with "W." (finished 4th of September 2013)
24: Fathom by Ashley L. Knight - Read a book in one day (read 26th of August 2013)
25:
26: Life of Pi by Yann Martel - aboard a ship (finished 19th of August 2013) 
27: Shifty Business by Olivia Hardin (finished 14th of September 2013) The Witching Hour by Anne Rice (finished 11th of October 2013) Titus Groan by Mervyn Peake (finished 16th of November 2013) - Read a book from 3 different trilogies - yes, that means 3 books
28: Æsel by Kristina Stoltz - Black and White cover (finished 25th of September 2013)
29:
30: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice - Read a book where a character has an abnormal life spam (finished 2nd of September 2013)
31: The Queen of the Damned by Anne Rice - read a book about the end of a cycle or a new beginning. (finished 4th of October 2013)

Beat the Heat Readathon Finished

Beat the Heat Readathon hosted by Auntie Spinelli Reads & Phantasmic Reads

My goal for these 3 weeks of Beat the Heat Readathon came to 11 books and I reached that goal. I have had days of no reading at all but luckily also a couple of days crammed with reading.

My list of book:
  1. Frey by Melissa Wright 
  2. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
  3. Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs
  4. Magnificent Devices by Shelley Adina
  5. Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva 
  6. Eternal Vows by Chrissy Peebles 
  7. Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson 
  8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach
  9. The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa 
  10. Fins by Ashley L. Knight  
  11. I Bring the Fire: Part I Wolves by C. Gockel
I have enjoyed this Readathon. Thank you Auntie Spinelli Reads & Phantasmic Reads  for hosting this challenge, I hope you will do it again some time.

THIS is all my posts and books for the challenge. 

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon 8.0 Sign Up and Goals

 Hosted by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team.

I took part in Bout of Books 7.0 in May and knew I wanted to take part in the next one as well if I could.
Well I am ready and I have my goal set up too.

My goal is to finish 3 books:
I have to finish Life of Pi and Unwind, and then I want to finish one of the other 3 books on my list.

1. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (currently reading)
2. Unwind by Neal Shusterman
3. Watership Down by Richard Adams
4. Assassin's Aprentice by Robin Hobb
5. Seas of Venus by David Drake

Author Alphabet Reading Challenge

Author Alphabet Reading Challenge hosted by Nothing But Reading Challenges.

Goal: Going from A - Z, and using authors’ first or last names, read the alphabet. For "X" and "Z" you may use authors with those hard to find letters in their names. Unless, of course, you're a ‘purist.’

Yes, you may use an author twice, once with their first name, and again with their last.

Duration: You set the pace.


My goal is to finish this challenge in one year. My finish date will be 17th of August 2014.

24/26 books read

A: Richard Adams: Watership Down (finished 25th of August 2013) 
B: Jeanette Battista:  Leopard Moon (finished 11th of November 2013)
C: Raymond Chandler: The Big Sleep (finished 12th of September 2013)
D: Debora Geary: An Unlikely Witch  (finished 1st of January 2014)
E: Edward Abbey: Desert Solitaire (finished 28th of September 2013)
F: Ken Follett: Eye of the Needle (finished 17th of October 2013)
G: Alan Garner: The Weirdstone Of Brisingamen (finished 4th of September 2013)  
H: Jack Hamlyn: Necrophobia (finished 26th of September 2013)
I: Ilona Andrews: Magic Bites  (finished 15th of November 2013)
J: Sophie Jordan: Firelight (finished 21st of September 2013)
K: Ashley L. Knight: Fathom (finished 26th of August 2013) 
L: Charles de Lint: Dreams Underfoot: The Newford Collection (finished 28th of September 2013)
M: Carolyn Mackler: Vegan, Virgin, Valentine (finished 18th of September 2013)
N: Neal Shusterman: Unwind (finished 20th of August 2013)
O: Olivia Hardin: Bitten Shame (finished 10th of September 2013)
P: Brenda Pandos: Everblue (finished 29th of August 2013)  
Q: Quindlen, Anna: Blessings (finished 11th of August 2014)
R: Anne Rice: The Vampire Lestat (finished 2nd of September 2013) 
S: Scott Stanford: Dorothy: The Darker Side of Oz (finished 23rd of August 2013)
T: Eric Thomas:
DRT  (finished 6th of October 2013)
U: Lisa Unger: Heartbroken 
V: Veronica Rossi: Under the Never Sky (finished 17th of October 2013)
W: Jane Wenham-Jones: One Glass Is Never Enough (finished 5th of September 2013)
X: Xinran: Himmelbegravelsen (Sky Burial) (finished 11th of January2014)
Y: Yann Martel: Life of Pi (finished 19th of August 2013)
Z: Zane, Jennifer: Gnome on the Range (finished 10th of August 2014)

Setting Alphabet Reading Challenge

Setting Alphabet Reading Challenge hosted by Nothing But Reading Challenges.

Goal: Travel the world alphabetically! From A - Z use different settings and locals to read the alphabet. You may use the names of cities, counties, states, Providences, countries, lakes, oceans, mountain range, islands, national parks, etc.

For hard to find letters, like "X" and "Z", you may use settings with with the letter within the name.


Yes, you may use fictional settings.

Duration: You set the pace.


Start date is today the 18th of August 2013. I will keep going till I have finished.

26/26 books read

A: Arizona: Unwind by Neal Shusterman (finished 20th of August 2013) 
B: Brockport, New York: Vegan, Virgin, Valentine by Carolyn Mackler (finished 12th of September 2013)
C: California: The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler (finished 12th of September 2013)
D:  Detroit: Unborn by Amber Lynn Natusch (finished 26th of October 2014)
E: Europe: Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness (finished 26th of February 2014)
F: Florence, Oregon: A Cowboy For Christmas by Kristen James (finished 30th of December 2013)
G: Great Britain: Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett (finished 17th of October 2013)
H: Hampshire, England: Watership Down by Richard Adams (finished 25th of August 2013)
I: Illinois: Buried Child by Sam Shepard (finished 24th of November 2013)
J: Jutland: Ønskebarnet by Eddie Thomas Petersen (finished 24th of November 2013)
K: Kilmihil: Born in Fire by Nora Roberts
L: London, UK:
Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch (finished 14th of February 2014)
M: Manchester, UK: Elidor by Alan Garner (finished 15th of November 2013)
N: Natatoria: Everblue by Brenda Pandos (finished 29th of August 2013)
O: Oz: Dorothy: The Darker Side of Oz by Scott Stanford (finished 23rd of August 2013)
P: Pacific Ocean: Life of Pi by Yann Martel (finished 19th of August 2013) 
Q: Quebec: Death du Jour by Kathy Reichs (finished 31st of March 2014)
R: Rockville: A little Christmas Magic by Sylvie Kurtz (finished 2nd of January 2014) 
S: Sticklepond: Wish Upon A Star by Trisha Ashley (finished 5th of December 2013)
T: Tucson, Arizona: How (Not) to Kiss a Toad by Elizabeth A. Reeves (finished 16th of October 2013)
U: Utah: Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey (finished 28th of September 2013)
V: Vegas: What Stays in Vegas by Beth Labonte (finished 16th of February 2014)
W: Wales The Owl Service by Alan Garner (finished 9th of September 2013)
X: Xanadu The Menagerie by Tui T. Sutherland and Kari Sutherland
Y: Yorkshire:
It Shouldn't Happen to a Vet by James Herriot (finished 4th of June 2014)
Z: Zambia Don't Waste a Minute - A Story of Africa by Marilyn Randall

September 2013 Takeover Challenge Start

September 2013 Takeover Challenge hosted by Lisa Kay on Nothing but Reading Challenges.

Goal: Yes, it is that month again. My birthday month! So, I’m taking over this month’s challenge. Choose your books from the “Ten Things That Are On My Mind” categories below.

Duration: September 1 - 30, 2013

Levels:

Going to the Party: 1-3 books
Dancing All Night: 4-7 books
Greeting the Sunrise: 8-10 books
“Wild Card”: Since I'm the “Archduchess of Audio,” I have the power to grant you two “Wild Card”* options. Replace any two categories below with whatever you like, as long as you listen to it on audio.

CATEGORIES: Ten Things That Are On My Mind.
Latest Kick...Wrapped Up in Mysteries: I’ve been reading more mysteries lately.
   Choose a book from this genre. Or, if you read the dead tree version, wrap up several
    books in the same paper (making them all look exactly alike), shuffle them, and then
   a week later pick one to read.
Blue: My favorite color is blue. Read a book with a cover that is predominately blue.
   Check out listopia !
“V” is for...: I’ve gone vegan! It has been a whole year now. Wow. It might be
   hard to find a book with a character who has chosen a plant-based lifestyle,
   so read a book with a “V” in the title, or by an author with a first or last name that
   starts with “V.”
This Kitchen is Green Powered: Since green is the official color of vegans,
   and I love to cook, read a book with a cover that is predominately green. Or where
   the main character is a chef.
Love That Dress!: I started a shelf entitled love-that-dress. Not much on it, yet,
   so help me add to it by reading a book that shows a beautiful dress.
Animals: I’m an animal lover. Read a book with one on the cover.
   (It does NOT have to be a book about that animal.)
Beach, Mountains, Desert: I really need to sell my house and move to something
   smaller. But where to retire? The beach, the mountains, the desert? Help me by picking
   a book depicting any one of these locals.
Do You Know Jack?: My favorite hero is Jack Travis in Smooth Talking Stranger,
   by Lisa Kleypas. Read a book with a character named Jack in it. Or one written by a Jack.
Challenge Book: I love challenges on GRs, making them and participating in them.
   Read a book that is the first one for a new challenge, or helps you finish off one.
One More Time: I love to reread my favorite books, often by audio. Revisit one of
   your favorites. Or try a book via this media delivery system.

My Gift to You: I’m giving each of you, whether or not you join this challenge, an Extension "Gift Card" for NBRC Challenges. You may use it on this challenge, or any other NBRC challenge you are working on, extending it by one month. This includes monthly, seasonal, yearly, even a “You Set the Pace” one that you underestimated your time.

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I have decided to do the level: Greeting the Sunrise: 8-10 books
I have a few books lined up but they might change.

Latest Kick...Wrapped Up in Mysteries:The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
• Blue:  The Weirdstone of Brisingamen by Alan Garner
• “V” is for...:Vegan, Virgin, Valentine by Carolyn Mackler
• This Kitchen is Green Powered:
• Love That Dress!: 
• Animals: The Owl Service by Alan Garner
• Beach, Mountains, Desert: Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey
• Do You Know Jack?: Killing Floor by Lee Child
• Challenge Book: The Mad Ship by Robin Hobb I would like to finish my Tea & Books Challenge
• One More Time: The Vampire Lestat by Anne Rice

Thursday, August 15, 2013

I Bring the Fire: Part I Wolves by C. Gockel

When Loki awakes on Asgard in prison, strangely without a hangover, he has no idea what he's done wrong--this time, anyway. But he does know that Thor is lying to him, and Odin is up to something wicked.
Meanwhile on Earth, Amy Lewis just wants to get home in time for dinner, but she's on a collision course with chaos, and an old evil is awakening that threatens all the Nine Realms. If Loki remembers exactly what Odin is hiding and manages not to be too distracted by Earthly gadgets, Amy’s boobs, or three day benders, he might be sly enough to stop it – and extract some vengeance at the same time.
This first volume of "I Bring the Fire" is for anyone who suspects chaos and mischief makers might have their own redeeming qualities, and anyone who just wants a good fantasy romp through modern Earth, ancient Asgard, and beyond!
From Goodreads.


Norse mythology mixed with modern day. Amy is saved by Loki who then in return needs help from her to find out where his ex-wife and sons are. I really like Amy's Grandmother who of course just accepts the things that are happening.
My biggest problem with this book was the abrupt ending, there is no doubt I will read the next book in this series.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Mythology Challenge
Beat the Heat Readathon 2013
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 14th of August 2013)

Fins by Ashley L. Knight

Morgan James is visiting sunny Florida for two weeks before the school year begins. Right from the start, she realizes there's something strangely odd about the opulent world in which her mother and her new husband live and suddenly she is swept into another world - a world she could never have dreamed of. Follow Morgan's unbelievable journey in this magical tale of people who are something other than what they seem - OR, are they really people at all? From Goodreads.





Morgan is not who she thinks she is. Going on holiday to her mom she finds out she is half mermaid. She also meets the boy she has been dreaming about for years. It is about eternal love, jealousy and wanting power.
As part of one of my challenges this is the third mermaid book I am reading this month and again I have already bought the second book in this series.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
Beat the Heat Readathon 2013
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (mermaid)
NBRC Stuck in a Rut

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa

Ash, former prince of the Winter Court, gave up everything. His title, his home, even his vow of loyalty. All for a girl… and all for nothing.
Unless he can earn a soul.

To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.
With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.
To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.
And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.
From Goodreads.

I have really enjoyed this series of The Iron Fey by Julie Kagawa. This book, which seems to be the last of series, is about Ash and his quest to become human so he can join Meghan at the iron court.
As far as I can see, this is currently the last book in this series but it seems there is another series: The Iron Fey: Call of the Forgotten which is set in the same world starting with a book about Meghan's younger brother. I will continue with that series at some point.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
2013 Ebook Challenge
Beat the Heat Readathon 2013
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (fey)
2013 Sequel Reading Challenge
Ten Book Author Train Challenge

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Ten Book Author Train Challenge Start

Ten Book Author Train Challenge hosted by Nothing But Reading Challenges.

For this challenge, you read a book, then for your second book the author's first name has to start with the same letter as the first book's author's last name.

Example

(title) by R F DelderfielD
(title) by David neviN (DelderfielD ends with d, so this author's first name starts with d also)
(title) by Nancy FairbankS (neviN ends with n, and Nancy starts with it.)

This one is kind of tricky to plan out because lots of writers' first names start with J but almost no last names end with it, etc. But it might be a good way to whittle the TBR list!


Another interesting challenge to take part in. This is not as easy as it looks.

My train of authors:
  1. Julie KagawA: The Iron Knight (finished August 13th)
  2. Alan GarneR: The Weirdstone of Brisingamen (finished September 4th)
  3. Raymond ChandleR: The Big Sleep (finished September 12th)
  4. Rick RiordaN: Percy Jackson and The Titan's Curse (finished September 16th)
  5. Nicholas SparkS: The Last Song (finished October 15th)
  6. Stephen VolKWhitstable (finished January 8th)
  7. Kim HarrisoN: The Good, the Bad, and the Undead (finished January 26th)
  8. Nalini SingHAngels' Blood (finished February 4th)
  9. Hannah HarringtoN: Speechless (finished February 28th) 
  10. Neil Gaiman: The Graveyard Book (finished March 2nd)

Beat the Heat Readathon Update 2

Beat the Heat Readathon hosted by Auntie Spinelli Reads & Phantasmic Reads

This Read-a-Thon was meant to finish today but the hosts have decided to extend it by a week.

My goal for this Read-a-Thon was to read 7 books. Although I have not stuck to my list of books, I managed to finish 8 books.
  1. Frey by Melissa Wright 
  2. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson
  3. Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs
  4. Magnificent Devices by Shelley Adina
  5. Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva 
  6. Eternal Vows by Chrissy Peebles 
  7. Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson 
  8. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach
My goal for this extra week of the Read-a-Thon will be 3 books which will be a total of 11 books.

Monday 12/8:
Books Finished Today: The Iron Knight by by Julie Kagawa
Total # of Books Finished: 9

Tuesday 13/8:
Currently Reading: Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Books Finished Today: 0
Total # of Books Finished: 9

Wednesday 14/8:
Currently Reading:
Life of Pi by Yann Martel + Fins by Ashley L. Knight
Books Finished Today: 0
Total # of Books Finished: 9

Thursday 15/8:
Currently Reading:
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Books Finished Today:
Fins by Ashley L. Knight + I Bring the Fire: Part I Wolves by C. Gockel
Total # of Books Finished: 11

Friday 16/8:
Currently Reading:
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Books Finished Today: 0
Total # of Books Finished: 11

Saturday 17/8:
Currently Reading:
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Books Finished Today: 0
Total # of Books Finished: 11

Sunday 18/8:
Currently Reading:
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
Books Finished Today: 0
Total # of Books Finished: 11

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach

 
When Ravi Kapoor, an over-worked London doctor, is driven beyond endurance by his obnoxious father-in-law, he asks his wife: 'Can't we just send him away somewhere? Somewhere far, far away.' His prayer seems to have been answered when his entrepreneurial cousin, Sonny, sets up a retirement home, recreating a lost corner of England in a converted guesthouse in Bangalore. Travel and set-up are inexpensive, staff willing and plentiful - and the British pensioners can enjoy the hot weather and take mango juice with their gin.
The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is a brilliant comedy of manners, mixing acute observation with a deeper message about how different cultures cope in the modern world.
From Goodreads.





I saw this film just over a year ago and thought I would read (listen to) the book. As with a lot of other books that have been turned into film, this book was nothing like the film.
The film is about a small group of elderly people coming to the Marigold Hotel for their retirement. In the book the hotel is full and it is just as much about their families and what brings them out to India. I enjoyed both the book and the film.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
NBRC Stuck in a Rut
Beat the Heat Readathon 2013
2013 Audio Book Challenge

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson

Marina is a privileged girl who’s had an unusual upbringing. Traveling the world with her scientist father, doted on by her wealthy and glamorous neighbor Evie, Marina’s life seems perfect.
Everything changes in the summer of her sixteenth year when she is sent to live with her Aunt Abby and Cousin Cruz in the lovely seaside town of Aptos, California.
Only a few weeks after arriving, sixteen year-old Marina has nearly drowned twice, enchanted the hottest guy in high school, and discovered a supernatural creature. If she can manage to survive some increasingly dangerous encounters with unpredictable mermaids, she might be able to unlock the mystery of her past and appease the mysterious forces that want something from her...
And maybe even find true love along the way.
From Goodreads.




Another mermaid story. This wasn't as good as the last one, I liked the intelligent mermaids in the other one more compared to the childlike, as in behaviour, mermaids in this one. I am not in any hurry to read the next book but I still might do it at a later date.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2

Beat the Heat Readathon 2013
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (mermaid)
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 15th of July 2013)

Friday, August 9, 2013

Beat the Heat Readathon Update

Beat the Heat Readathon hosted by Auntie Spinelli Reads & Phantasmic Reads

I have been quite busy this last week but I have still been reading.

Monday 29/7:
# of Pages Read for RaT: 246
Currently Reading:
Books Finished Today: Frey by Melissa Wright
Total # of Books Finished: 1

Tuesday 30/7:
# of Pages Read for RaT: 246
Currently Reading: Listening to Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs
Books Finished Today: 0
Total # of Books Finished: 1

Wednesday 31/7:
# of Pages Read for RaT: 288
Currently Reading: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson + Listening to Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs
Books Finished Today: 0
Total # of Books Finished: 1

Thursday 1/8:
# of Pages Read for RaT: 312
Currently Reading: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson + Listening to Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs
Books Finished Today: 0
Total # of Books Finished: 1

Friday 2/8:
# of Pages Read for RaT: 312
Currently Reading: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson + Listening to Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs
Books Finished Today: 0
Total # of Books Finished: 1
 
Saturday 3/8:
# of Pages Read for RaT: 497
Currently Reading: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson + Listening to Déjà Dead by Kathy 
Reichs
Books Finished Today: 0
Total # of Books Finished: 1

Sunday 4/8:
# of Pages Read for RaT:532
Currently Reading: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson + Listening to Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs
Books Finished Today: 0
Total # of Books Finished: 1

Monday 5/8:
# of Pages Read for RaT:  921
Currently Reading: Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva + Listening to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach 
Books Finished Today:Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson + Déjà Dead by Kathy Reichs + Magnificent Devices by Shelley Adina
Total # of Books Finished: 4

Tuesday 6/8:
# of Pages Read for RaT: 1148
Currently Reading: Listening to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach
Books Finished Today: Drowning Mermaids by Nadia Scrieva
Total # of Books Finished: 5

Wednesday 7/8:
# of Pages Read for RaT: 1428
Currently Reading: Listening to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach
Books Finished Today: Eternal Vows by Chrissy Peebles
Total # of Books Finished: 6

Thursday 8/8:
# of Pages Read for RaT: 1549
Currently Reading: Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson + Listening to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach
Books Finished Today:  0
Total # of Books Finished: 6

Friday 9/8:
# of Pages Read for RaT: 1549
Currently Reading: Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson + Listening to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach
Books Finished Today: 0
Total # of Books Finished: 6

 Saturday 10/8:
# of Pages Read for RaT:1831
Currently Reading: Listening to The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach
Books Finished Today: Between the Land and the Sea by Derrolyn Anderson
Total # of Books Finished: 7

Sunday 11/8:
# of Pages Read for RaT: 2003
Currently Reading:
Books Finished Today: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach
Total # of Books Finished: 8

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Eternal Vows by Chrissy Peebles

Never marry a stranger... even if he is a drop-dead gorgeous immortal king.
Never pretend to be a princess.
And most importantly... never slip on an ancient wedding ring you know nothing about.
Sarah Larker returns to a cave where her sister disappeared ten years earlier. She walks through a portal and is mistaken for a runaway princess on the run by a dangerous immortal king in medieval times. Her plan is bold as well as daring-become this princess, wed the king, and slip on an ancient wedding ring that will unlock the portal back home. Then find her sister and run as fast as she can out of Dodge. But taking on the identity of Princess Gloria comes along with dangerous consequences; and slipping on the ruby ring comes with an even higher price.
From Goodreads.




This was interesting, the existence of a parallel universe just on the other side of a portal. Just walk through from our side to the other but to get back you need a key, the ring. This story had potential but didn't quite live up to it. This book was free but I am not hurrying out to buy the next book.

This book qualifies for:
Goodreads 2013 Reading Challenge
Serious Readers 2013
Tower Teams Read 2013-2
NBRC Stuck in a Rut
Beat the Heat Readathon 2013
2013 Ebook Challenge
2013 Paranormal Reading Challenge (immortality / shapeshifters)
2013 Why Buy the Cow? Reading Challenge (free on Amazon.uk 7th of June 2013)