Thursday, December 17, 2015

Curio by Evangeline Denmark

Curio by Evangeline Denmark
432 pages, Hardcover
Publishing Date: January 2015, Blink

Source: NetGalley, provided by publisher for review

Grey and her family are different and it is being noticed. They do not require the chemists tonic to help them digest food as all others do. They can survive without their rations and make sure to help those who are unable to get theirs. A raid at their house causes Grey to have to escape and where she escapes to is not what she expected. 

Her blood seems to be the key into an entirely different world within her grandfather's Curio cabinet. The "people" within are made of porcelain or clockwork and she appears to be the only human there. 

How did she get here and how is she to get home? Who is the Mad Tock? 

This is only the second steampunk book I have read. I have to say, I kind of like the quirkiness of the characters and the world that was created here. It's an interesting mix of a dystopian world and the steampunk world within the curio cabinet.  Very enjoyable read.

Happy Reading!

Monday, December 7, 2015

Charlie Brown Christmas Live!

I am so excited for this! 

The San Francisco Symphony will be performing the music from A Charlie Brown Christmas and Jodi Benson (aka, The Little Mermaid) will be there for a Christmas sing-along! We are taking the little girl to this instead of Peter and the Wolf, which we have gone to the past couple years. 

I really enjoy sharing my love of the symphony and of classical music with the little girl. It is hopefully fostering a love of it in her, too.

More info if you click on the picture. Shows begin December 18th and run through December 24th.


Saturday, December 5, 2015

Current Read: Curio by Evangeline Denmark

"Movement flickered inside the case. She bent closer. It must've been a shadow." page 1, Curio by Evangeline Denmark. (Advanced Reader Copy)
Publication Date: January 5th, 2016 by Blink
Look for my review on December 17th.
Happy Reading!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Christmas Knitting

I thought I would do some Christmas knitting this year. Try and pump out some quick knit hats for some family and friends. The hubby thinks I can get six more knit before Christmas. We shall see. Going to be using the same pattern for all of them and just switch up the yarn being used. 


Pattern: Sockhead Hat by 
Needles: US2 circulars
Yarn: Socks that Rock in Flower Power
Wandering Wool, High Peaks Sock in Deep Amethyst

Above are the adult hats for myself and a friend. Below are the matching hats for our girls. :)


Happy Knitting!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks

The Player of Games by Iain M. Banks
293 pages, Paperback
First published August 1988, Harper Prism

I really love the diversity of books we read in my book group. This was chosen by our lone male at the moment. Science Fiction is not a genre I usually read. There have been some I have read and enjoyed on recommendation by the hubby but I don't usually read them on my own. Glad to have read this one, too.

It's an interesting premise. A master game player, Jernau Gurgeh,  is recruited to travel to the Empire of Azad to play the ultimate in games- the game of Azad. The winner becomes Emperor. What is the point of Gurgeh going and participating? Is it for his entertainment, a mission by The Culture to infiltrate Azad? It is hard to know when everyone is playing a game.

This book had me so enthralled. I listened to it in the car and read my copy when I was home. So much going on behind the scenes of such a quiet book. I never knew who to trust, or who was who. I will be reading more of Banks' Culture series. 

December/January Book Choice: Dead Mountain by Donnie Eicher

Happy Reading!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Current Read: The Player of Games by Iain Banks

"This is the story of a man who went far away for a long time, just to play a game. The man is a game- player called 'Gurgeh'. The story starts with a battle that is not a battle, and ends with a game that is not a game." page 1, The Player of Games by Iain Banks.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley
Hardcover, 636 pages
Published May 2015, Atria Books

Source: NetGalley

The Seven Sisters is the fourth book I have read by Lucinda Riley. I am a fan. I really do enjoy the time jumping between different generations of families and the historical settings. This one didn't disappoint. In one book, I traveled to Buenes Aires, Paris and Geneva in present day and the 1920's.

The story follows Maia, one of seven adopted sisters. With the death of their father, they receive clues as to where they are from and there biological family histories. In this first of seven planned novels, Riley takes the reader to Brazil in search of Maia's ancestry. 

There is mystery and intrigue, love and heartbreak. So much to keep you reading to the end. I enjoyed every page of it. Looking forward to the next book in the series which comes out in the Spring.

Happy Reading!

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Current Read: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

"Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, of number four, Privet Drive, were proud to sat that they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. They were the last people you'd expect to be involved in anything strange or mysterious, because they just didn't hold with such nonsense." page 1, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling.

Happy Reading!

Thursday, November 5, 2015


Well, we have reached the end of RIP X. With the ReadaThon and a couple of RALs- I have to say that I had a very successful reading experience. Lots of books were read and finished...

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Harry Potter Readalong

Couldn't pass this one up. I dug my books out of the boxes I had packed them in and have put them back on my shelf. I started Book 1 last night. It really has been too long since the last time I read them.
Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Current Read: The Hidden Child by Camilla Läckberg

"In the stillness of the room, the only sound came from the flies. The buzzing as their wings beat frantically. He wasn't actually a man anymore. Not if you defined a man as a living, breathing, sentient being. By now he was reduced to a food source, a haven for insects and maggots." Page 1, The Hidden Child by Camilla Läckberg. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Quick Review: Definitely Dead and All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

 Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris

Wasn't hard to pick up where I left off many years ago. Harris does a great job of refreshing the readers memory of what has happened in the previous books. This is Book 7 in the series and as usual focuses on Sookie. This time she is summoned to New Orleans to clean out her cousin's apartment and of course gets caught up in solving a murder, and witnessing a new one. She does get a new love interest out of it all. A Were-Tiger named Quinn.

Fun, quick read, as usual. Perfect book for the readathon and for RIPX

All Together Dead by Charlaine Harris

Book 8 of the series begins a few months after Hurricane Katrina. Louisiana is still in recovery and the Queen is feeling the brunt of it as well. She lost vampires to the storm and her headquarters and she is also going to trial for the killing of her husband. Sookie travels with the Louisiana delegation of Vamps to Rhodes, up North, for their annual summit and will also be the sole witness in Sophie-Anne's Trial.

As you can imagine, it doesn't go very smoothly. This book was just okay for me.

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Salem's Lot by Stephen King

Another October, another R.I.P., and another King Read-a-long.

This time I joined Melissa , Trish and Care in reading Salem's Lot

This was a first time read for me, believe it our not. This book has been on my bookshelf for over a decade and this was the first time I actually read it. So glad I did. It had really proper creepy vampires.  Yay!

I was seriously yelling at my book and feeling anxiety for these characters when they wouldn't get things done before sundown. Why don't they get their vampire killing on first thing in the morning? No, they wait until half an hour before the vamps are to awaken. Agh! Way to get my heart going really fast, King!

But that is why I read these, right? 

So here is the tease they give for the book:

Thousands of miles away from the small township of 'Salem's Lot, two terrified people, a man and a boy, still share the secrets of those clapboard houses and tree-lined streets. They must return to 'Salem's Lot for a final confrontation with the unspeakable evil that lives on in the town.

So, did I miss the final confrontation? 
I know they go back, but I don't really remember a confrontation. 

Okay, ladies, what's next on our list of King books. :)

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Readathon Wrap-Up Post

Hey all. Did you survive 24 hours of reading on Saturday? 

I read for about 12 hours, which is pretty good for me. I have a five year old who required transport to a birthday party at a Chuck-E-Cheese 30 miles away from here. We also had to drive the hubby to the airport and then I drove the little girl to her grandparents house to spend the night. After all that I was finally free to read. Yay.
In the morning I finished the last 100 pages of Salem's Lot by Stephen King. I started and finished Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris -324 pages. I started and fell asleep reading All Together Dead, also by Charlaine Harris- 54 pages.
With the little girl, we read a couple books before we were off for the day. She chose two Christmas themed books for us to read. Auntie Claus and Auntie Claus: The Key to Christmas by Elise Primavera.  
So, not too bad. I finished a couple books, I participated in a couple of challenges, and I really had a great time connecting with other readers on Twitter. All in all, a very successful Readathon. 
Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

The Taco Cleanse

The Taco Cleanse by Wes Allison, Stephanie Bogdanich, Molly P. Frisinger, Jessica Morris
Published by The Experiment, December 2015

Source: NetGalley, publisher for review

There are so many diets and cleanses going around that claim to be the best thing for you- they will "Change Your Life" they say. Well, so far this is the only one that the hubby and I have happily jumped on the bandwagon for. 

The Taco Cleanse!

"The Tortilla-Based Diet Proven to Change Your Life"


The hubby and I basically lived on this "cleanse" for nine years when we lived in Austin.  Funny that the writers are all Texans, some Austinites. Seriously, the taco should be the official state food of Texas.

Anyway, without even making a recipe from here I am completely, 100% a proponent of this cleanse!

 So, this turned out to be all vegan recipes, which on occasion I do make for myself and for friends, but my husband and I are not vegan or vegetarian. We enjoy our tacos with carnitas, chicken al pastor and brisket. We like sour cream and jack cheese. But, you know, it's not a bad idea to mix in some veggie and/or vegan meals every now and then and tacos are a great way to do that. 

I really want to make the Deeply Roasted Chipotle Butternut Squash. Looks amazing and sounds tasty. The salsas and pico de gallo recipes sound on point and the margarita recipes are calling to me.

I really do miss my Austin taco staples - breakfast tacos from Taco Shack, lunch tacos at Maria's Taco Express, dinner tacos at Guero's. I think this book may help this Californian out, but I probably will add some meat and cheese for this non-vegan family.
However, I do have friends who will be getting this for Christmas!

Happy Reading!

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon- Hour 12

I, as usual, have had other things to do today, so it has not been non-stop reading for me. I read this morning and now have the last 12 hours to read-uninterrupted since the little girl is spending the night at her grandparents.Yay.

So, here is how it has been going...

1. What are you reading right now? Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris. A nice quick read.
2. How many books have you read so far? I finished Salem's Lot by Stephen King which I had already been reading, and the little girl and I read Auntie Claus and Auntie Clause The Key to Christmas by Elise Primavera.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? The Hidden Child by Camilla Läckberg
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? Many. First- sleep. :) I may have slept through my alarm. Second- Birthday Party at Chuck E Cheese. Third- driving hubby to the airport and the little girl to her grandparents. Lots of driving today. Should have gotten an audiobook.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Nothing. Still as fun as I remember. Just harder to do with a kid in the house. :)

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon

Are you all ready for Dewey's Readathon this weekend?  The hubby is taking the little girl camping for the night so I am free to read, read, read! Yay.

I know it is still a few days away, but it is time to start preparing. Pick out books, buy snacks and caffeine, prep my reading areas- get them as cozy as possible. First on my list-books! It is actually Tip #1 on my Warm Up Post for the Readathon. You can go read it on the official WEBSITE for the event. Get some tips on how to manage your 24 hours to get the most out of the Readathon.

So, here is what I have in my stack:

Salem's Lot by Stephen King (If I am not finished with it before then. I am pretty close to the end.)
The Hidden Child by Camilla Läckberg (library book that is due back very soon)
Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness ( 150 pages left! This one needs to get finished)
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (Finally ready to finish this series)
The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley (ebook, 75% left to finish)

Happy Reading!

 FTC Disclosure: Clicking on book title and/or image links will lead you to my Amazon Affiliate page.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The Quick by Lauren Owen

The Quick by Lauren Owen

About the Book

"London, 1892: James Norbury, a shy would-be poet newly down from Oxford, finds lodging with a charming young aristocrat. Through this new friendship, he is introduced to the drawing-rooms of high society, and finds love in an unexpected quarter. Then, suddenly, he vanishes without a trace. Unnerved, his sister, Charlotte, sets out from their crumbling country estate determined to find him. In the sinister, labyrinthine city that greets her, she uncovers a secret world at the margins populated by unforgettable characters: a female rope walker turned vigilante, a street urchin with a deadly secret, and the chilling “Doctor Knife.” But the answer to her brother’s disappearance ultimately lies within the doors of one of the country’s preeminent and mysterious institutions: The Aegolius Club, whose members include the most ambitious, and most dangerous, men in England.
In her first novel, Lauren Owen has created a fantastical world that is both beguiling and terrifying. The Quick will establish her as one of fiction’s most dazzling talents."

My Review

Victorian London. A forbidden affair. A random act of violence. 

The Quick begins quietly then explodes with a unexpected attack, but then quiets down again. I was a bit surprised when James and Christopher were attacked. I was not expecting the "undid". I knew there would be something. This was the Group Read for RIP X, after all. 

Anyway, what happens after this attack is the story. The arrival of James' sister, Charlotte. Her association with Ms. Swift and Shadwell and Mr. Howland who escaped "The Club" with the help of James. I especially liked this part of the story. Their planning and searching for answers on how to help James is what interested me the most. 

The journal entries of Doctor Knife slowed down the story a bit, but did give some background info to the creatures that make London their home. 

All in all, not a bad choice for RIP X. I do wish there had been a bit more interaction with other readers for this Group Read. Wasn't really sure where to do that. 

Happy Reading!