Thursday, December 18, 2014

It's Feature & Follow Friday and I'm The Featured Blogger!!!

Happy Friday everyone!  It's time for the blog hop hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee, and guess what?!  This blog's the featured blog this week!! Whoo-hoo!

Book Review: The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion

The Rosie ProjectThe Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion
★★★ ½ (rounding up to 4)

Synopsis: This hilarious, feel-good novel is narrated by an oddly charming and socially challenged genetics professor on an unusual quest: to find out if he is capable of true love. Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper. The Rosie Project is a moving and hilarious novel for anyone who has ever tenaciously gone after life or love in the face of overwhelming challenges.
In A Sentence: A pleasant and charming novel that made me giggle quite a bit.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

what Am I Reading?! A Weekly Update A Day Late

Hey folks!  I'm sorry this is a day late; I was super busy at work yesterday.  4.5 hours worth of private lessons spread out from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and 2 group classes in the evening.  Phew!  So there was no time to blog about stuff.

So just recently I made a monumental achievement: I read 100 books in one year!!!  Squeeee!  Yippee!
I know that there are many other readers out there who are probably thinking, "100? I did that back in June."  But I have never managed to read 100 books in one year (last year I couldn't even achieve 85), so for me this is a major accomplishment!

For a full list of my year's reads, click here.

Better yet, the year's not even over yet!  Here's my reading list for the remainder of this week (remember I'm doing a points-based Winter Challenge this month):

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review: Talking To Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles #4), by Patricia C. Wrede

Talking to Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #4)Talking to Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Talking To Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede
★★★ ½

Synopsis: Daystar has never seen his mother, Cimorene, actually perform magic. Nor has he ever known her to enter the Enchanted Forest in all the years they have lived on its edge. That is not until a wizard shows up at their cottage shortly after Daystar's sixteenth birthday. Much to Daystar's surprise, Cimorene melts the unsavory fellow. And the following day, she comes out of the Enchanted Forest carrying a sword. With that and little else, she sends him off into adventure. Daystar doesn't know what he is supposed to do with the magic sword, but knowing Cimorene, he's sure it must involve a dragon or two!
In A Sentence: A decent conclusion to a fun series, but the previous books were better.

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's Feature and Follow Friday!!!!

It's Friiiddaaaayyy!  Time for Parajunkee's and Alison Can Read's blog hop!

Every Friday, you answer the weekly question, then you follow as many participating blogs as you can.  In return, they will follow you!

Book Review: White Fang, by Jack London

White FangWhite Fang by Jack London
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

White Fang, by Jack London
★★★★★ and a ♥

Synopsis: In the desolate, frozen wilds of northwest Canada, White Fang, a part dog, part wolf cub soon finds himself the sole survivor of a litter of five. In his lonely world, he soon learned to follow the harsh law of the North- kill or be killed.
But nothing in his young life prepared him for the cruelty of the bully Beauty Smith, who buys White Fang from his Indian master and turns him into a vicious killer- a pit dog forced to fight for money.
Will White Fang ever know the kindness of a gentle master or will he die a fierce deadly killer?
A classic adventure novel detailing the savagery of life in the northern wilds. Its central character is a ferocious and magnificent creature, through whose experiences we feel the harsh rhythms and patterns of wilderness life among animals and men.
In A Sentence: A classic and wonderful story of survival and overcoming the odds.
My Thoughts: There is something about this story that is simple, and yet hauntingly beautiful. The writing is redundant, repeating the same words over again, and constantly re-iterating the same thing over and over again. Yet the redundancy is poetic, and it reflects White Fang’s simple, yet intelligent view on life.
The setup of this story is simply fantastic. It is full of symbolism and foreshadowing. Look at the way Jack London shows the stages of man going from being a victim of the wild, to eventually conquering and controlling the wild. Then there’s White Fang, who goes from being an animal of the wild, to completely turning his back to the wild.
(view spoiler)
My review cannot give this book justice. Suffice it to say it is very well done, and I would read it again in a heartbeat. This is one of those instances where I can’t wait when I have kids and they have to read this book in school, and I can discuss this story with them. For now, I’ll stick with trying to get my husband to read it so I can have someone to talk to about this haunting story. :)
Obviously, I would strongly recommend this read. Be warned, however: this book doesn’t hold back. The wild is shown in a brutally honest light, and the abuse that White Fang experiences can be pretty cringe-worthy at times. But it is still a great story, and worthy of being a classic piece of literature.

View all my reviews

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Book Review: A Redbird Christmas, by Fannie Flagg

A Redbird ChristmasA Redbird Christmas by Fannie Flagg
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Redbird Christmas, by Fannie Flagg
★★★★ ½

Synopsis: Deep in the southernmost part of Alabama, along the banks of a lazy winding river, lies the sleepy little community known as Lost River, a place that time itself seems to have forgotten. After a startling diagnosis from his doctor, Oswald T. Campbell leaves behind the cold and damp of the oncoming Chicago winter to spend what he believes will be his last Christmas in the warm and welcoming town of Lost River. There he meets the postman who delivers mail by boat, the store owner who nurses a broken heart, the ladies of the Mystic Order of the Royal Polka Dots Secret Society, who do clandestine good works. And he meets a little redbird named Jack, who is at the center of this tale of a magical Christmas when something so amazing happened that those who witnessed it have never forgotten it. Once you experience the wonder, you too will never forget A Redbird Christmas
In A Sentence: A cute read …*sniff* It made me cry.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Because I'm such a Potter Nerd...

Thought I'd like to share this.  On Black Friday I finally upgraded from a "dumb" phone to a smartphone (a Samsung Galaxy S5), but I didn't purchase a cover at the Verizon store because they were too boring.  So I shopped around online and found the perfect flip cover for me!

Definitely the right one for me!  It looks nice and respectable until you study it more closely...and then you see me for the Potter nerd I am!  Bwahaha!
...just thought I should share...

Book Review: Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter #1), by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Harry Potter And The Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1), by J.K. Rowling
★★★★★ and a ♥

Synopsis: Harry Potter has never played a sport while flying on a broomstick. He’s never worn a cloak of invisibility, befriended a giant, or helped hatch a dragon. All Harry knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.
But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to a wonderful place he dreamed existed. There he finds not only friends, aerial sports, and magic around every corner, but a great destiny that’s been waiting for him…if Harry can survive the encounter.
In A Sentence: A huge favorite of mine!

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Happy Monday folks!

Well, it's the first week of the Bibliophile Reading Group's Winter Reading Challenge, and I'm off to a decent start!  4 books in one week!  Here's the list and the points tally thus far:

Magic Tag= 2pts

Magic Tag+Comfort Read= 4pts

Magic Tag+Comfort Read= 4pts

Magic Tag= 2pts

I'm kinda bummed that only one book of the Enchanted Forest Chronicles is on the comfort reads list (weird), but oh well, I've got other ways to rack up points!

I still got a lot of reading to do, so here's the reading list so far:

Currently Reading:
Harry Potter And the Sorcerer's Stone, by J.K. Rowling
Magic Tag+Comfort Read= 4pts

White Fang, by Jack London
Snow on the Cover= 4pts

Upcoming Reads:
The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion
BOTM+Comfort Read=7 pts

A Redbird Christmas, by Fannie Flagg
Monthly Theme+Snow on the cover+Comfort Read=16pts

Talking To Dragons, by Patricia C. Wrede
Magic Tag+= 2pts

The Fellowship Of The Ring, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Magic Tag+Comfort Read= 4pts

Wish me luck!
Lisa the Dancing Bookworm

Book Review: Calling On Dragons (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles #3), by Patricia C. Wrede

Calling on Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #3)Calling on Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Calling On Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles #3), by Patricia C. Wrede

Synopsis: Those wicked wizards are back--and they've become very smart. (Sort of.) They intend to take over the Enchanted Forest once and for all . . . unless Cimorene finds a way to stop them. And some people think being queen is easy.
In A Sentence: A pleasant, humorous third installment in a fun children’s series.

Book Review: The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe)The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien
★★★★★ and ♥

Synopsis: (J.R.R. Tolkien’s own description for the original edition) “If you care for journeys there and back, out of the comfortable Western world, over the edge of the Wild, and home again, and can take an interest in a humble hero (blessed with a little wisdom and a little courage and considerable good luck), here is a record of such a journey and such a traveler. The period is the ancient time between the age of Faerie and the dominion of men, when the famous forest of Mirkwood was still standing, and the mountains were full of danger. In following the path of this humble adventurer, you will learn by the way (as he did)—if you do not already know all about these things—much about trolls, goblins, dwarves, and elves, and get some glimpses into the history and politics of a neglected but important period.
“For Mr. Bilbo Baggins visited various notable persons; conversed with the dragon Smaug the Magnificent; and was present, rather unwillingly, at the Battle of the Five Armies. This is all the more remarkable, since he was a hobbit. Hobbits have hitherto been passed over in history and legend, perhaps because they as a rule preferred comfort to excitement. But this account, based on his personal memoirs, of the one exciting year in the otherwise quiet life of Mr. Baggins will give you a fair idea of the estimable people now (it is said) becoming rather rare. They do not like noise.”
In A Sentence: A wonderful classic!

Friday, December 5, 2014

Feature Follow Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!  It's time for the weekly meme by Parajunkee and Alison Can Read!

This is a blog hop where you try to follow as many as you can, and be followed in return.  Answer the question, post it on your blog, follow the hosts and featured blog, and then follow however many participating blogs as you want!

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Random Post: An Alphabetized List Of Goodreads' Comfort Reads List

Okay, this post is a little random, but this is for the Winter Reading Challenge I'm participating in.  One qualification to earn points is to read books from Goodreads' Comfort Reading Shelf, but the books are listed by popularity, and you can't sort them in any way that would make it easier to find a book.  So I copied the list and used Word to alphabetize them by title.  If you're a fellow Winter Challenge participant, keep in mind that it's organized by the first letter in the title, so it includes words like "A" or "The".  Hope this helps!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Book Review: Searching For Dragons (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles #2), by Patrica C. Wrede

Searching for Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #2)Searching for Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Searching For Dragons (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles #2), by Patricia C. Wrede

Synopsis: The cast: an un-ordinary king and an extraordinary princess, a couple of kooky giants, an overzealous magician, a loyal and helpful witch, and a host of evil and dangerous wizards.
The instruments: a broken-down magic carpet, a leaking magical sword, and a few buckets of soapy lemon water.
The problem: dragon-napping and magic-stealing.
And so the story begins, one fine day while King Mendanbar is taking a casual stroll through the Enchanted Forest....
In A Sentence: A fun sequel in a great children’s series

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Tuesday's Opinion: Which "Problems Of A Book Nerd" Reflects Me?

Happy Tuesday everyone!

As always, I try to say a little something on Tuesdays, but this week, I'm going to do something a little different.  Some weeks back, I looked up the blog called Problems Of A Book Nerd, and wow, I love the problems she posts!  I spent a couple of hours clicking through the phrases (some are really funny), and then submitted my own problem.  And guess what?!  She posted it a week ago!!!

This one's mine!!

I guess there's not much to be excited about, but I think it's kinda cool how we can share something over the web, and a person whom you never met before acknowledges what you say and shares it with others.  So long as it's safe and benign, it's pretty nifty.

If you look in my "Book Stuff" page, you'll notice I put a bunch of these Problems there.  These are the problems I can relate to.  I figured this week I take these problems and show you

My Top 25 "Problems Of A Book Nerd" Problems

Monday, December 1, 2014

Book Review: Dealing With Dragons (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles #1), by Patricia C. Wrede

Dealing with Dragons (Enchanted Forest Chronicles, #1)Dealing with Dragons by Patricia C. Wrede
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dealing With Dragons (The Enchanted Forest Chronicles #1), by Patricia C. Wrede
★★★★ (rounding up to 4.5)

Synopsis: Cimorene is a princess, but she is definitely not what you would call an ordinary princess. Cimorene is nothing that a princess is supposed to be. She is very tall, very tomboyish, and VERY independent. The rule is that she must marry a prince. A prince that she decides she doesn't like from the very first. Prince Therandill. Cimorene decides to run away and find the life she has always wanted. She ends up living with dragons and having wonderful adventures. Be sure not to miss this wonderful, fun, and exciting book!
In A Sentence: A very fun read for kids and adults alike!

Yay! It's December! A Recap Of Last Month, and My Reading Plans For The Next 4 Weeks

It's the holiday season!  Whoo-hoo!  Welcome to December folks!

Last month was a busy time for me but I still got some reading done! 8 books this month!