Monday, May 18, 2009

Musing Mondays

This is from the blog Just One More Page: Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about early reading…

Do you remember how you developed a love for reading? Was it from a particular person, or person(s)? Do you remember any books that you read, or were read to you, as a young child?

I remember very clearly how I gained my love for reading. My grandmother, who was agoraphobic and hardly ever left her home, would come over for holiday dinners at my parents' house. She was a quiet woman who had been through raising two children alone while her husband who had been off in the Navy and working for Amtrack. She suffered from severe depression as well. But that's not what I remember about her as a child.
I remember her walking through the door of our house, while the wonderful smells of food permeated the house, and walking to one of the recliners where she would sit ever so quietly. Immediately, I would go hug her and then run off to grab a book. It didn't matter what it was, usually a book filled with short stories and then run back to ask her if she would read to me. She always said yes to the request because she read a lot. With much haste, I'd climb into her lap to show everyone grandma was occupied and was not to be disturbed while she read to me.

My parents have a picture of one of those few times that I ever got the chance to sit in the lovely woman's lap and listen to her soft voice spin worlds around me. I'd love to put it up here, but my parents are in RI and I'm in FL. The sad thing is that my grandma passed away when I was in sixth grade. It hurt to realize I'd never be able to sit cozily with the woman who was more stranger to me than family due to her illnesses and have her read to me.

My aunt, my grandma's daughter, decided she would buy me books for Christmas and birthdays since my grandma was no longer around to read to me. My aunt read a lot too which gave us common ground. My father also started reading aloud to me and my sister after my granmother's passing. He knew it wasn't the same, but he wanted to continue that tradition.

As I got older, reading became my way to escape. My mom always tells the story of how she would ask me to clean my room and how an hour later she'd find me in a corner, with a book in hand, reading quietly. It drove her crazy that my room wasn't clean, but it made her proud that I loved reading so much. We laugh at these stories now because, really, that is just funny.

One great thing about my love of reading is that I've passed it on to my sister. She hated reading as a kid, but now that she's older, married, and working full-time, she realized it was a great way to relax. She told me as we got our nails done last summer, "I never understood what you got from books. You always had one with you and you loved to read," she pulled out a chunkster of a book from her huge purse and placed it on the counter in front of me and smiled, "I totally get it now!"

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Contest Winner!!

Sorry about not doing this Friday night. You know how real life can get in the way!

The winner of Amanda Ashley's A Darker Dream is: ibeeeg!


I've contacted you by email. Please email me privately with your snail mail info!

Bitten By Books Give Away

If you're a fan of Keri Arthur and the Riley Jensen series, here's your chance to win one of 15 copies that Keri is giving away. I'm a huge fan of the series and own every book except the new one! I must have it!! :)

Go here and enter:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sherrilyn Kenyon Signing

I've been tweeting about this most of the day, which is rather pathetic, but I'm totally excited about going to see Sherrilyn Kenyon at BAM tonight for a book signing in Tampa. I missed her last year when she was in Orlando to sign for Acheron due to just coming back from RI (I'm originally from there) and having a tropical storm rolling through the area. I didn't want to drive 2 hours in the pouring rain while still exhausted from my flight. I knew she'd be this way again sometime so I let it go.

Tonight, hubby will be coming with me to the signing. He's never read one of SK's books even though I tell him he would like them and perhaps get some interesting ideas *winkwink*. He loves reading about vampires so SK's DH series would be a great fit for him, plus it's a new take on something that's been done a million times before.

I will be posting pictures of the event. I'm hoping to get a picture with SK, but I'll take one with just me standing there while she signs. She is one of my must read authors no matter the pen-name she uses. She is also an inspiration for me as a writer. I love the humor she uses in her books and her writing style. I'm usually up late devouring her books and can read them in about a day or so.

This will be a great night for me no matter if I come home with really sore feet and back from standing in a long line waiting to see SK.

Now, I must ask everyone out there, what authors would you drive for 2 hours to see because you just love their books so much?

CONTEST: Leave a comment and I'll give away A Darker Dream by Amanda Ashley (another one of my favs!). I'll choose a winner randomly on May 15th. Please make sure your email address is included in your comment. (This is a contest only for the US, sorry international followers!)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read

  • Open to a random page

  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
    BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)

  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"I sit down at my desk and begin to sirt through Delmarr's sketches. We'll build some dress for the fall; the rest of the sketches, never realized, will be filed."

From: Lucia, Lucia by Adriana Trigiani pg. 145

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Reads for April

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin Pages: 1128 Grade: A+
A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin Pages: 978 Grade: A+
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen Pages: 276 Grade: A+
Grimspace by Ann Aguirre Pages: 312 Grade: A (Review)
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Pages: 93 Grade: A-
Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole Pages: 368 Grade: B
The Metamorphoses by Franz Kafka Pages: 34 Grade: B
Zaabalawi by Naguib Mahfouz Pages: 13 Grade: B
Swallowing Darkness by Laurell K. Hamilton Pages: 365 Grade: C

Total pages read for April: 3567

There are a couple of new authors I found in the list that I really enjoyed: Ann Aguirre and Sarah Addison Allen. They are both great writers and I will be reading more books by them.

The last 3 I had to read for a class this past month, but I did enjoy them.

The Song of Ice and Fire series is great and magnificently huge! I finished that up this month and I am eagerly awaiting the 5th book of the series by George R.R. Martin, though no one even knows when it will be finished, not even Mr. Martin at the moment.

I hope to get more reading done this month. Summer classes will start on May 11th so I may be held back on how much I can read this summer since I will have to cram 15 weeks worth of work in to 10 and 5 weeks periods for 2 classes. That means lots of reading and work. Nevermind how much writing I will have to do as well for one of my classes.

I will be posting some more reviews on a couple of books I've read on this list. Swallowing Darkness and The Sugar Queen will be reviewed for sure.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Great Contest!

This is a great contest for anyone who wants a chance to win some great prizes!

My First Book Review: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

Book Review: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

Grade: A

By all accounts, Sirantha Jax should have burned out years ago...

As the carrier of a rare gene, Jax has the ability to jump ships through grimspace- a talent that into her life expectancy but makes her a highly prized navigator for the Corp. But then the ship she's navigating crash-lands, and she's accused of killiing everyone on board. It's hard for Jax to defend herself: She has no memory of the crash.

Imprisoned and subjected to a ruthless interrogation, Jax is on the verge of madness. Then a mysterious man breaks her into her cell, offering her freedom- for a price. March needs Jax to help his small band of rogue fighters break the Corp monopoly on the interstellar travel- and establish a new breed of jumper.

Jax is only good at one thing- grimspace- and it will eventually kill her. So she may as well have some fun in the meantime...

This is the first book I've read by this author and I have to say I enjoyed it very much. I did have to search my library for it because it was hidden away in a little corner with a bunch of other paperbacks, which was a shame. At least they had it in!

Personally, I'm not a fan of the whole space thing, but I became interested after playing the video game Mass Effect (yes, that would be thanks to my hubby). When I saw a tweet about a new book by this author it peeked my interest and I decided to look her up. I found Grimspace and decided to give it a try even if it wasn't my typical type of book to read.

At first, I was put-off by the first person point of view. I'm not a fan of that writing style because, if not written correctly, it can be very limiting and can stall out a plot. I must say though that this was written very well and it worked. I felt like I was Jax and that's why this point of view worked so well in this book.

A great thing about this book is that it moves quickly and the plot is really interesting. Jax is trying to figure out why the ship she was steering through grimspace crashed, killing everyone on board but her. March rescues her from the facility that the Corp has her locked up in and she finds out that her rescue comes with a condition, which is helping to build a better jumper and release the hold the Corp has on the market.

March and Jax do have plenty of tension between them and it makes things interesting due to Jax having lost her lover in the crash. You see Jax wrestle with the idea of whether she should just go for it or if she needs more time to grieve. March has his own past he has to deal with too.

The action is fast moving and you feel like you're in the middle of it. The scenes were very well written. It was almost like watching a movie. That made the book very hard to put down.

Since I read this book, I plan on reading more by Ann Aguirre. I have Blue Diablo in my TBR pile. Once I get through all my library reads, I will be reaching for Blue D first.