Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Getting Through the List and I've Decided On January's Challenge

Well, I've managed to finish The Candymakers, The Christmas Blizzard, and London Under in the past week.  All very different, but enjoyable reads.  Garrison Keillor always makes me laugh out loud, and reading his take on rediscovering Christmas was very enlightening in between laughs.  Makes me long for those days when shopping and hurrying around was not the focus of the season.  Driving around looking at lights, hearing beautiful Christmas concerts, and just being quiet and still with only the twinkling lights on at home.  I miss that.  

Anyway, I have figured out what my January Challenge will be for me, and maybe you can join in, too.  Since I have too many books bought and not read, I am having a Clear the Damn Bookshelves & Floor Challenge for the month of January.  Starting January 1st, I am only reading what I've got at home, with a goal of reading 10-15 books for the month.  I'm going to grab a book off the floor (or bookshelves) and read.  No dithering, pondering, or aimlessly looking at what I've got.  Just grab and read.  A new year to clear out the old shelves, give away what I have read and want to share, and keeping all those books I love and want to keep at home.  Then February will be a new month to read new books.

How is your Reading Challenge coming along?  Only 31 days left, people.  Can't believe it's gone so fast.  I have met my goal and am continuing to read, but this month I will slow down a bit.  Yes, I will keep on my challenge for next year, and maybe up it a bit.  I talked to Bud about this, and we both agreed that pushing myself to 150 books just isn't possible.  Well--it's possible if I just read all day and night, and do absolutely nothing else.  But, I do other things--work, exercise, cook, and spend time with friends and my Bud.  As much as I love to read, there has to be a balance or my social skills will disappear and I will not be able to hold a conversation with anyone that doesn't start with "What are you reading?"

Along with my podcasts, I will continue to review books on this blog, and plan on reviewing at least 2-3 times a week to keep things fresh and keep people in the loop!

So meanwhile, read some fun Christmas tales.  Revisit A Christmas Carol, or look at some wonderful kid's picture books like Snowmen at Night and The Gift of the Magi.  Or read a ooshy gushy Christmas romance.  I love reading them!  

Monday, November 28, 2011

Latest Podcast!

It's been awhile, but I finally had some time for a new podcast.  You can find me on iTunes under podcasts, then search under "bookalicious babe".  Please leave comments, so I know what to improve!

Monday, November 21, 2011

What I'm (Trying) To Read Now

It's the time of year when suddenly I am reminded once again how old I'm getting.  Working retail at Christmas (this is my 21st year at it) gets harder every year.  After a two weekend stint where the crowds aren't even frantic yet, I am exhausted.  Yesterday I could pinpoint the exact time when my mind and body both pooped out:  3:55 pm.  Yep.  Standing at the cash registers, ringing up another customer, I suddenly just got really tired.  Not a sugar crash.  Just pooped.  Ready to go home and veg.

This all means that my reading is cut back.  Not because I have nothing to read (do you really think that would ever happen to me?!), but because I can't stay awake long enough to do some major inroads into a novel.  I've decided for now to give you a taste of what's on my reading radar:

A few pages in and I'm already snickering!

A fascinating look at what's under London

A local author writes about a local legend

I have an ARC!  Lots of buzz about this one

Recommended by a fellow book lover--
kids in a candy factory--yum
It's a pretty good mix, and only a handful of the books I have at home.  I'll probably be reading a few more Christmas titles but I haven't picked them out just yet--although this one does look very intriguing:

An elf framed for murder?  Looks like fun!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Strangers on Montagu Street by Karen White

I love this series by Karen White.  The Strangers on Montagu Street is the latest book based in Charleston, SC.  Melanie is a 39 year old realtor who specializes in historic homes.  She can also see and hear the dead, but keeps it a secret so her business doesn't suffer and her reputation as a very highly organized, well dressed professional woman doesn't take a hit.

This new book in the series involves a haunted dollhouse, an elderly music teacher with family secrets, and the spirit of a young woman who stays around to protect her daughter and Melanie from an evil presence that will do whatever it takes to save the family name--even years after he has died.  But not passed on--oh no, he's still around.

You do need to read the first two books in this series, as there are developing relationships and situations that grow with each book.  I love Melanie.  She's so together, but really a mess; getting close to 40 has her trying to figure out what's missing in her life.  And there's Jack Trenholm, a devastatingly hot local author who Melanie is attracted to--but of course it's complicated!

I love this series because it's smart and combines history and the paranormal without being cheesy--and a bit of romance that is not over the top.  You'll be riding the roller coaster of emotions Melanie experiences as she tries to figure out just what she feels for Jack.    It's well written, and as I've read many of Karen White's novels, I know when I pick it up I'm in for a story that captures my attention and keeps me glued to the pages.  This book kept me occupied while waiting in airports over the weekend and made my flights go quickly.

So before you read The Strangers on Montagu Street, read the first two in this ongoing series; you're in for a treat!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Magyk by Angie Sage: A Fun Start To A Young Reader Series

This was a Free Friday pick on my Nook a few months ago, and I finally had a reason to read it this past week--a book club for young readers at our store.  I was hurriedly reading it when I found out I didn't have to lead the group, but I was enjoying this book so much I woke up extra early yesterday and finished it.  

Septimus Heap is the 7th son of the 7th son, which is a huge deal in the magical world.  It means they have the ability to work magic like no one else.  But Septimus Heap is thought by his family to have died as a baby. But is he really gone?   His father finds an infant girl in the woods, and takes her home to raise.  That girl, Jenna, is raised by the Heaps until her 10th birthday, when we find out who she really is, and why her life is in danger.  This begins the adventures of Jenna, Boy 412, Marcia, the Extraordinary Wizard of the Castle, and the Heap family.   

 I loved this book!  It was entertaining, moved along quickly, and has lots of characters--both good and bad.  All sorts of creatures pop up, and the storyline keeps you rooting for the wizards to overcome the Darknesse  that is trying to take over the Castle.  

I would highly recommend this to any young reader who enjoys magic and fantasy.  And it's going to be a movie!  Check out this website for more fun with Septimus Heap.