Sunday, November 27, 2011

2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge

I've decided to participate in another challenge for 2012, in addition to the YA Challenge.

Update 4/30: The blogger who was hosting the YA challenge decided to quit blogging, so there's that. I'm adding my books for the YA challenge here, except the books released this year.  I am also upping the amount to {41-50 - Married With Children} level.

Update 11/8: I've accomplished my goal. My current count of finished books is 46. I haven't been really updating as much because 2 of the last 3 wrap ups weren't posted and it seems like this challenge lost steam and so have I with participating in yearly challenges. It seems like they are put on the backburner after a few months and it's frustrating.

Here's the guidelines via Bookish

Challenge guidelines: 

  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 - Dec 31, 2012.
  2. As we would like to see quality reviews linked up to our monthly wrap-ups, only bloggers can enter. Sorry about that!
  3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that's been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge (You need to include the info + host list + challenge button. You can also grab the button code and add it to your sidebar!)
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  8. At the end of each month one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it's unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It's open to INTERNATIONALS. For participating in the mini-challenge you will get +1 entry.
  9. If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice - we will be checking ;)
  10. December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you'll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway - 12 books, 12 winners, INTERNATIONAL. 
  11. You don't have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of us to be entered in giveaways!

1-10 - A Firm Handshake
11-20 - A Friendly Hug
21-30 - A Sweet Kiss
31-40 - Love At First Sight
41-50 - Married With Children

Evie from Bookish - @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Read - @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Home - @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life - @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading - @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read - @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea - @alouetteuette
Christa from Hooked On Books - @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction - @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision - @mermaidvisions

I'm taking the {11-20 - A Friendly Hug} level challenge

My books are:
  1. Stoner & Spaz by Ron Koertge - Finished 18 Jan
  2. Now Playing: Stoner & Spaz II by Ron Koertge - Finished 18 Jan
  3. Mister Ray by Adam Perry - Finished 15 Mar
  4. Jane Was Here by Sarah Kernochan - DNF
  5. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Slayer by Seth Grahame-Smith - DNF
  6. One For the Money by Janet Evanovich - Finished 26 June
  7. Two For the Dough by Janet Evanovich - Finished 4 August
  8. The First Husband by Laura Dave - Finished 28 July
  9. Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick - Finished 5 Feb
  10. Crescendo (Hush, Hush #2) by Becca Fitzpatrick  - Finished 9 Feb
  11. Silence (Hush, Hush #3) by Becca Fitzpatrick - Finished 11 Feb
  12. The Iron King (Iron Fey #1) by Julie Kagawa - Finished 22 Mar
  13. The Iron Daughter (Iron Fey #2) by Julie Kagawa - Finished 29 Mar
  14. The Iron Queen (Iron Fey #3) by Julie Kagawa - Finished 9 Apr
  15. The Iron Knight (Iron Fey #4) by Julie Kagawa - Finished 15 Apr
  16. City of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) by Cassandra Clare - Finished 23 Apr
  17. City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments #2) by Cassandra Clare - Finished 4 May
  18. City of Glass (The Mortal Instruments #3) by Cassandra Clare - Finished 15 May
  19. City of Fallen Angels (The Mortal Instruments #4) by Cassandra Clare - Finished 17 May
  20. The Maze Runner (Maze Runner #1) by James Dashner - Finished 22 June
  21. The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner #2) by James Dashner Finished 23 Aug
  22. The Death Cure (Maze Runner #3) by James Dashner Finished 25 Aug
  23. Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater- Finished 14 Aug
  24. Linger (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #2) by Maggie Stiefvater- Finished 15 Aug
  25. Forever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls #3) by Maggie Stiefvater Finished Aug
  26. *Added* Lemon Meringue Pie Murder by Joanne Fluke - Finished 27 Jan
  27. *Added* Fudge Cupcake Murder by Joanne Fluke - Finished 1 Feb
  28. *Added* Sugar Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke - Finished 19 Feb
  29. *Added* Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison - Finished 23 Feb
  30. *Added* On the Bright Side, I'm Now the GF of a Sex God by Louise Rennison - Finished 1 Mar
  31. *Added* The Help by Kathryn Stockett - Finished 12 Mar
  32. *Added* Delirium by Lauren Oliver Finished 24 May
  33. *Added* Still Alice by Lisa Genova Finished 24 May
  34. *Added* Fifty Shades of Grey by EL James Finished 11 June
  35. *Added* Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin Finished 18 June
  36. *Added* Touch of Frost by Jennifer Estep Finished 20 June
  37. *Added* Kiss of Frost by Jennifer Estep Finished 20 June
  38. *Added* Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake Finished 31 August
  39. *Added* Fallen by Lauren Kate  Finished 3 Sept
  40. Marked (House of Night #1) by PC Cast - Finished 17 Sept
  41. Betrayed (House of Night #2) by PC Cast - Finished 10 Oct
  42. Untamed (House of Night #4) by PC Cast - DNF
  43. Chosen (House of Night #3) by PC Cast - Finished Oct
  44. Choke by Chuck Palahniuk - DNF
  45. Love, Lust, & Faking It by Jenny McCarthy - Finished 12 Sept
  46. Smashed by Koren Zailckas - DNF
  47. *Added* Fifty Shades Darker by EL James - Finished 29 Jun
  48. *Added* Fifty Shades Freed by EL James - Finished 15 Sept
  49. *Added* Across the Universe by Beth RevisFinished Oct
  50. *Added* Three to Get Deadly by Janet Evanovich - Finished Nov
  51. *Added* Peach Cobbler Murder by Joanne Fluke - Finished Nov
  52. *Added* Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell ZuckoffFinished Nov
  53. *Added* Where the Truth Lies by Jessica WarmanFinished Nov
  54. *Added* As I Wake by Elizabeth Scott Finished Nov  

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes [Review]

The Secret Life Of CeeCee Wilkes 

528 pages
Published 1 Jan 2008

In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared. Twenty years later, her remains are discovered and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. But there is no sign of the unborn child.

CeeCee Wilkes knows how Genevieve Russell died, because she was there. And she also knows what happened to the missing infant, because two decades ago she made the devastating choice to raise the baby as her own. Now Timothy Gleason is facing the death penalty, and she has another choice to make. Tell the truth, and destroy her family. Or let an innocent man die in order to protect a lifetime of lies…

My Thoughts:
At first, I didn't think I would like this book. However, it really sucked me in. It had me in tears quite a few times too.

This was the November Clamhouse Book Club Pick. :)

Previous Review:  Bossypants by Tina Fey [here]

Currently Reading:  Strawberry Shortcake Murder (HS #2) by Joanne Fluke

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

FIR '11: Reading Question #9

If you haven't seen my list...please go check it out: HERE.
I'm making a little progress...I've finished 2 books. *sigh* I'm hoping that I can finish at least a couple more. So I don't feel like I failed.
Today's Question:
What else do you do while you are reading? Eat? Drink? Household tasks? Or do you usually put aside absolutely everything to focus solely on the book at hand?

About 90% of the time, I am solely reading. As I have gotten older, I find it harder to concentrate when there are other things going on around me - other noises. A small amount of the time I'll listen to music or eat something, but I don't like things getting on my books, so I don't do it unless I'm really hungry.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Bossypants [Review]

277 Pages
Published 5 April 2011

In her acceptance speech for Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, Tina Fey announced that she was proud to make her home in "the 'not-real America'." It is perhaps that healthy sense of incongruity that makes the head writer, executive producer, and star of NBC's Emmy Award-winning 30 Rock such a cogent observer of the contemporary scene. Bossypants, her entertaining new memoir, shows that strangeness has been her constant companion. Fey's stories about her childhood in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania are only appetizers for LOL forays into her college disasters, honeymoon catastrophes, and Saturday Night Live shenanigans. Most funny read of the month; the best possible weekend update.

My Thoughts:
Ever since her SNL days, I have loved Tina Fey. She's hilarious.

When I found out she was writing a book, I knew I would read it. I underestimated how funny it would be. I was laughing out loud, reading excerpts to my husband (interrupting him from whatever important thing he may be doing), and even noting a few things I really liked about the book.

I love her sarcasm, the part where she wrote back to her fans, her description of a typical photoshoot, and her opinions on breastfeeding.

My favorite part, however, was her talking about putting in her contacts...
"Right up until camera time, I was sweaty and green from having to touch my own eyeballs like that. If you've never had to do it, I'd say it's not as quease-making as when you lose your tampon string, but equally as queasish to a self-breast exam. If you are a male, I would liken it to touching your own eyeball, and thank you for buying this book."

Previous Review:
Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (#1) by Joanne Fluke [here]
Currently Reading:
The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain (Clamhouse November Book Club)

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder [Review]

Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (Hannah Swensen, #1)

301 Pages
#1 in Hannah Swenson Mystery series
Published 2000

Hannah Swenson already has her hands full trying to dodge her mother s attempts to marry her off while running The Cookie Jar, Lake Eden, Minnesota s most popular bakery. But once Ron LaSalle, the beloved delivery man from the Cozy Cow Dairy, is found murdered behind her bakery with Hannah's famous Chocolate Chip Crunchies scattered around him, her life just can t get any worse. Determined not to let her cookies get a bad reputation, she sets out to track down a killer. 

My Thoughts:
So technically, I'm not finished with the book. There is a novella called Candy For Christmas at the end.

I really enjoyed this book and I cannot wait for the others. I was initially drawn because I was told it included recipes. Yeah, that's right, recipes within an actual book. This one included: Chocolate Chip Crunch Cookies, Regency Ginger Crisps, Pecan Chews, Black and Whites, Chocolate-Covered Cherry Delights, Old-Fashioned Sugar Cookies and Lovely Lemon Bar Cookies.

I really love all of Fluke's characters. She made such a range of characters and I feel that they all have such a good backstory to them. The way she unveiled them was amazing. She's a very talented writer. I am excited to see what other murders happen in the following books. I think I understand a lot of the community she wrote about because I'm from Minnesota and grew up in a very small town of 350 people. :)

Previous Review:
Saving Max by Antoinette van Heugten [here]
Currently Reading:
Bossypants by Tina Fey
The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain (Clamhouse November Book Club)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

FIR '11: Reading Question #7

If you haven't seen my list...please go check it out: HERE.
Today's Question:
Is there a book that has had a tremendous impact on your life? One that made you look at life in a whole new way, or caused you to completely change something in your life?
For me, the book "A Child Called It" by Dave Pelzer is the book that had the biggest impact on my life.

Although I just went to Goodreads and found that it could be completely fabricated. *sigh* Either way, I read it when I was really young - it's the retelling of one of the worst cases of child abuse in California. It made me much more thankful for my life and my parents. I'm not big into reading life-changing books, I don't think. I usually stick to vampires :)

Bonus Question:
How is your Fall Into Reading coming along? Are you on track? Ahead of schedule? Falling behind?

This is so embarrassing, but I'm not even finished with the first book on my list :( I've been so behind in everything lately and it is sooo sad! I am about to read though right now. I'm pushing to finish my current book by the end of this week. I've been neglecting just about everything else too - like my crocheting. I finally did that yesterday and today too.