Bout of Books 10.0 Final Update

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Bout of Books

The end is here! The end is here! Unfortunately I was unable to finish 3 books as I had hoped. I had a busy week, yet unproductive reading week. I was able to read over 500 pages, not too far off my goal of 750 pages read. Unfortunately I only got through 1 and a half books. Still, I had a mighty fine time. 

I am loving Looking for Alaska right now. I love the Colonel. Miles’ “Pudge” roommate. And, Alaska of course. But, the Colonel is great. I really like that Miles is searching for his Great Perhaps. I like that concept. I’d like to imagine that’s sort of what I have been doing these past few months. But, that’s another story to be told one day. 

How did YOU do with your Bout of Books?

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Bout of Books Update #2– a catch up of the days

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Bout of Books

I have been a bit behind with my updates; and my reading, in truth. Finally, though, I found time to read 240 pages of The Devil in the Corner, thus finally finishing. A full review will be posted with the next couple of days. I enjoyed it. It was an engrossing read. I liked how Maud, the protagonist’s, addiction to Laudanum was portrayed, although I think there could have been more with “The Devil in the Corner” plot. The book focused a lot on a love arc, and on her needy cousin by marriage instead of entirely on her addiction that I expected it to. But, I was still satisfied.

Tomorrow, I will try to start, and possibly finish Looking for Alaska by John Green for my book club on Thursday. That book has been on my TBR list for four years, five years now? I was very happy to finally have a push/reason to further my John Green education.

If you are participating, how goes it for you? Have you reached your goals yet?

Good luck and happy reading!

Bout of Books Read-a-thon 10.0 Update #1 Day 3

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It’s Day 3, or my Day 1 and it has come to a close. Today I was able to read 120 pages. Not too bad. I did do a decent amount of BEA planning in between and took a nap. I am read The Devil in the Corner by Patricia Elliott still. It is really good. The chapters are short, which is nice. The book is a little over 400 pages long. The action is just starting to happen; very interesting developments. Although, my one MINOR complaint is “I love you” was said too soon on one character’s part too soon, I feel. I am hoping to finish it by Friday. I will be busy for most of tomorrow, so won’t have enough time to devout to it. I was hoping to read more today, but it froze on my. Sometimes ARCs do that. Oh well.

I do think I will only be able to finish two books, but hopefully make progress on three in total. I will keep all you lovelies posted, of course.

Happy reading!

P.S. If you are participating, check out today’s challenge. It’s a good one. I’m just too tired to participate. Maybe tomorrow.

The Truth about Emily Bronte: Solsbury Hill by Susan M Wyler Book Review

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Solsbury Hill

By: Susan M Wyler

Read by: Kate Reading

Released: April, 2014 by Blackstone Audio

Length: Seven Hours and 40 minutes

Genre: Fiction– Gothic

Rating: Four Stars

Acquired: audible.com

What do you do when you find you boyfriend with another woman? You answer your phone and fly to England to visit a dying relative you barely know. There, your life really begins. And, there, you meet the ghost of Emily Bronte and the secrets of your family begin to reveal itself.

 

Eleanor Sutton Abbott’s life is about to change. When she finds her fiance with another woman, she doesn’t know what to do. Then she receives a sudden phone call from her estranged Aunt’s partner to come visit her in England because she was very sick. Devastated by her fiance, she decides to fly to England without a real plan. There, her life changes. She meets Meadowscarp MacLeod, a Scot who her aunt raised from birth.  He quickly ignites something inside her; as well as the mysterious woman she keeps seeing– the ghost of Emily Bronte. Wuthering Heights lies in the background of this modern Gothic novel, as Eleanor searches for Emily’s hidden letters to ease her pain over choosing her brother over the love of her life Robert. Soon Eleanor discovers her own family secrets, one involving Emily herself.

Listening to this book on audio was great. The voices the narrator did were fantastic. I loved hearing her change from narrator to characters.  The novel itself was alluring and drew me in immediately. Although I was a little misled; I thought it was going to be a retelling of Wuthering Heights. However, I loved the novel regardless. The mysterious connection between her and Emily Bronte was great. It was fascinating, drew me in, and was creative. I secretly wished it was true. It brought out a new side to Emily Bronte.

Meadowscarp (Mead) was my favorite character. I liked how he was looking for his Catherine. I liked everything about him, really. Eleanor was also a very strong character. I loved all the characters, minus the cheating Miles who I always yelled out.

This book got me involved. I would be vocal at most parts. Especially when Miles would appear. I would highly recommend this novel. Especially if you have any love towards or fascination with Emily Bronte. Although I prefer Charlotte, I enjoyed ghost Emily’s arc. The revelations, too. Oh my!

This is one of my must read summer books. A great choice. It didn’t take me long to get into and finish the book. Only two or three days. I hope you pick it up!

Happy reading!

Bout of Books 10.0 Read-a-Thon: My TBR

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It’s time for another read-a-thon. I am a day late, but so what?!? 🙂 I love these kind of events because they force me to really read. I have too many days where I don’t read. Bad, bad, bad I know. So, while I am INTENSELY planning for BEA in 15! days, I will be participating in yet another fun read-a-thon.

boutbooks10

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, May 12th and runs through Sunday, May 18th 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 10 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

My Goals:

Reading Goals:

Three Books–

Devil in the Corner by Patricia Elliott  (Currently reading)

Looking For Alaska by John Green  (for my YA book club next week)

The Collector of Dying Breaths by MJ Rose It’s part of a series, but I haven’t read the other 5. I hope I don’t have to go in order. Oh well.

Page goal–

750 Pages

Happy Reading!!

My Day at Random House: Random House Open House

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On May 2nd, I had the pleasure of attending Random House’s Open House for the Second year in a row. Upon entering they even gave me a gift bag with five books, including a signed copy of Jenny McCarthy’s new book, plus some other goodies. There was breakfast by KInd, too.  I had so much fun. I skipped the first session because I don’t care for Jenny McCarthy, but attended everything else.  The first panel I attended was by far the best. Gary Shteyngart was hysterical. Emma Straub was adorable. The guy from twitter was annoying. Did I mention Gary Shyeyngart was hysterical yet? The panel was on how effective twitter is for authors. The twitter guy asked some good questions, but didn’t know when his company was started. He said it started in 2008 when I had an account in 2007. I looked it up. It started in 2006. Fail twitter guy. FAIL!

Here’s the three of them! Gary did a funny kissing pose in one but I was too slow to take it and missed it.

Then I actually met him!! He signed my book, too. Emma signed my advanced copy Random House gave out, too, of her latest THe Vacationers out soon. I forgot to pose with her, though.

 

Lunch time with editors was next. There was another option, but I chose this one, like last year. This picture doesn’t even show all the people crammed in the room. There were tons more. It was interesting hearing people ask questions. I got to ask one! I asked what trends they were seeing and what trends they wish they weren’t seeing. Sadly, only one editor really replied. The trend he hated, he immediately said, was vampires. And, I concur with that. Too many books! The two biggest trends, and that have been combined, as well, are Young Adult and Dystopia, with YA Dystopia which I found true. I prefer the YA side, to be honest. Not big on dystopia novels.

 

Next panel was with renowned food critic and editor Ruth Reichel and her editor. Ruth just published her first novel (based on food!) on top of her memoirs she has already written. I was considering not attending this one, but it was actually entertaining. The editor was very annoying and gave a couple spoilers, but Ruth was a lot more friendly than she is on Top Chef Masters. She did a signing, as well, but I chose not to buy her book.

There was a very inspirational panel that moved me by speaker Panache Desai about finding your Soul Signature. I have pictures but they came out weird so they are not being posted. I purchased his book and he signed it “I love you”. I asked a question, too. It was great. Really moving.

This was the final panel. I can’t remember all of the authors names, only Maggie Shipstead who is the youngest blond. I bought her book, but there was no signing. Their panel was on summer reading and NONE of them had summer reading suggestions. Did they not know what panel they were going to be on?? It was good, though. Some people asked very good questions about their writing habits, and if they ever scrap bad projects.

I would definitely go again next year if I’m not in publishing by that time. Maybe even if I am. It was really nice. They even do a quick happy hour with open bar. It wasn’t that expensive either. Plus, after each session had a new, FREE, book to take. Limited supply, though. I got two out of three I think. There was even an on-going contest where five people won nice goodie bags.

 

And the Bird Says Coo: Dr.Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets by Evan Roskos

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Dr. Bird’s Advice for Sad Poets

By: Evan Roskos

Released: March, 2013 by Harcourt Brace and Company

Length: 320 Pages

Genre: YA realistic contemporary-mental illness: anxiety, depression, cutting

Rating: Four Stars

Acquired: Gift

 

James Whitman may not be Walt Whitman, but wishes he was. It’s better than being 16, living with a Brute and a Banshee for parents; as well as having your older sister kicked out of the house for a reason not so clear, Then there’s the depression and anxiety; plus, a pigeon for a therapist. Yes, being Walt may be better, but then this novel wouldn’t be so heartbreaking and funny; or touching and true to life.

Sixteen year old James Whitman is struggling. His older sister just got kicked out by his parents, the Brute and the Banshee. He doesn’t have many friends. His depression and anxiety is getting worse; his therapist Dr. Bird can only say so much. He’s determined to get his sister back into school after she was expelled for a reason unknown to him; and, back under the same roof. The truth he discovers is not what he expected at all. His sister was struggling much worse than he ever knew. When asked by his crush, the adorable Beth, to search for his sister’s final submission to the literary magazine, he finds out something disturbing– his sister was a cutter. Her piece had become more private and focused on her cutting with pieces of razor blades attached.

This new information, and a budding friendship with Beth, takes James on a new journey of self-discovery and what is truly going on in his life that he has ignored. It is at times heart breaking, other times funny, endearing, and sometimes sweet and inspiring. It’s a touching story about growing up and about family; being there for them and what it means to be a family.

I loved this story. I have wanted to read this book since it came out last year, but never got around to it. I’m glad I finally did. Here’s my plug. For the Nook (that’s what I have. I’m anti-kindle) it is $1.99. It is worth it. A quick read, it really affected me. There was raw honesty, great character development, the plot was entertaining and engaging, and it leaves you satisfied. I highly recommend it. It didn’t feel just like another YA book. It was very realistic; and, I think even adults would benefit from reading it. You get a sense of how hard High School can be, the effects and causes of self-mutilation (all which is very real in the book), and the reality that teens can get depression and anxiety. Some people brush it off as just puberty, but it’s real. Roskos does a nice job not being too clinical about it or bashing us in the head with it. It was all done very nicely. There is also a lot of poetry by Whitman which was really good. I enjoyed reading poems of his that I didn’t know. Overall, I believe it’s a book that should be read. Especially by teens. But, it’s just so universal, I think. And, who wants to miss out reading sessions between a pigeon therapist and James?

Happy reading!

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