"Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, 'What! You too? I thought I was the only one.'" ~ C. S. Lewis

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Random Things That Make Me Happy

I saw Joan has done a couple of these and some other blogs I have popped onto, so I decided to do my own. I will do somewhere between 5 and 10 and will exclude obvious things like Lost and Family and Books to the more obscure things that most people don't know about me.

1. Ever After - I tend to forget this movie when I am naming my favorites, but it is my all time feel-good movie. I absolutely adore the sound track, too and put it on when I am stressed and it almost immediately soothes me.

2. Chicken - Yes, you read that right. I love chicken. I could eat chicken every single day and never be tired of it. I had some for dinner tonight. It was delicious. mmmmmmm

3. Lemony Snicket - I love the Series of Unfortunate Events and every other bit of anything at all loosely related to Lemony Snicket. I am minorly obsessed with it. I am very sad that the series is over. I signed up for the e-mail updates and have all of them saved in their own Lemony Snicket folder.

4. Classic Pooh - Makes me happy just thinking about it. I really like the classic stories and poems done by Milne, with the illustrations by Shepard. I have quite a collection of knick knacks, books and other assorted items. I visited Harrod's when I went to London because it is the store where A. A. Milne bought the original Pooh bear for his son.

5. Seattle's Best Whipped Cream - I am not a big whipped cream fan. Most of the time I can't stand the stuff (Cool Whip is another story all together) but I love Seattle's Best whipped cream. I could eat an entire cup full of it by itself. Mmmmmmmmm...

6. Pens - I like pens. Colored pens, felt tip pens, ball point pens, marker pens, highlighter pens, gel pens. They all give me a tingly feeling inside.

7. Calenders - I currently have 6 calendars around my room. My bedroom. My one small room. What is there not to like?! It's like a poster that changes every month! How amazing is that!? Or in the case of the day by day ones, that changes every DAY! Calendars I currently have: Lost (duh), Classic Pooh (see #4), New Moon (Yes, I am one of THOSE people. No, I am not obsessed or crazy. No, I cannot stand Edward), Dilbert day by day (This mimics my job WAY too often), one of those funeral home calendars that they send our church every year (with the funeral home advertisement cut off. It's really pretty pictures of landscapes with Bible verses- pretty!), Play With Your Food (amazing scenes made entirely out of fruits and vegetables. It inspired me and my sister to create an entire story).

8. Blogging - I never planned to do this. I opened an account simply so I could post on Nikki Stafford's blog. Then this empty space was just sitting here calling me, so I thought, sure I could post a couple things. And I wrote about Lost and about books and then about other random stuff and now, if a week passes where I haven't written it kind of makes me sad. Who cares that no one reads the stuff (Okay, Blam and Joan and AchingHope, you aren't no one), I read it and I write it and I have fun with it and that's all that matters to me :)

9. Pictures - photographs, paintings, drawings, posters, whatever I love them all! Every square inch of wall in my room is plastered with frames, posters, pictures and other random items. I am the reason we have stuff hanging in the living room, dining room, hallway and other places around the house. I like creating them and displaying them.

10. L. M. Montgomery - Probably my all time favorite author. She is know for writing Anne of Green Gables but her scope was so much larger. I love some of her lesser known works the most. She is a serious contender for a thesis (once I get to that point). I have so many favorite books of hers, but one of the top ones is definitely Jane of Lantern Hill. It amazes me how she can create an entire, captivating story built out of simple every day moments. There is nothing earth shattering in her plots. No major villains, few major tragedies, but her characters live and breathe in a way that makes me immensely jealous as an author. There are times that I read something she wrote so long ago that still catches me up in emotion and thrill and I despair that I will never write a sentence worth publishing. But it also pushes me to keep going, to strive, to never think anything is beneath writing about. One of my life dreams is to have the chance to go to Prince Edward Island and visit all the places she wrote about.

So there you have it, 10 random things that make me smile. :)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Batcabbage VS Humanebean

This is probably the MOST ridiculous 2 minutes of video you will ever watch and is the kind of thing that happens when my sister and I spend WAY too much time together talking about blogs and Lost and stuff.

Pretty much no one but the people on Nikki's blog are going to get any of this - it's basically a giant inside joke - but here's the basic background for those of you who missed it.....

(Conversation pieces taken from Nikki's rewatch blog)

Nikki: I want to thank all of you for keeping up with all of this, for reading my books along the way, for offering so much insight, and for not having one SINGLE war. Not one. For a show that could create such heated debate, we somehow managed to do this from beginning to end without ever devolving into a bunch of namecalling. (Well, except for the time that Batcabbage and Humanebean had that smackdown, but that was just entertaining!!)

Batcabbage: humane must have won the smackdown, coz I can't remember it. Must have been a head shot. Also, I forgot my middle name, but I hear that's to be expected. Kudos, humane. Kudos!

Humanebean: &^%$ all you @&#$%ing $#&@*ers!!! *phew* Gosh, that felt good. Imagine waiting over 100 episodes to let out all those fabulous curses? Now, about whether Kate and Jack should wind up together ......
*sound of gunshot*
; ]
P.S. @batcabbage - oh, it was a lovely brawl. I think you bashed me with the flower pot and then I ninja-kicked you off the balcony. When the ambulance arrived and they hit you up with the ephedrine, you attempted to remove my spleen with a melon spoon. I, of course, smoked you with a double-finger-poke, half-twist and scored a solid 10.0 on the dismount.
Then, we finished the other bottle of tequila and called it a Rewatch. Ah, good times, good times...

Well, we were lucky enough to actually get that fight on tape! Luck you ask? No, just plain, unadulterated insanity.

So look if you dare.

(P.S. we're not so good with the high tech stuff so think a couple of hours with a digital camera and Movie Maker rather than the next Pixar film)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Watch Out

Castle continues to be my favorite new show. The new season just keeps getting better and better. Every episode adds more layers and more complications onto these characters and I love them even more.

The last two episodes in particular were fantastic. Last week with "A Rose for Everafter" they really gave us a good look at the real Richard Castle we all know is in that shallow sugar coating. We get glimpses of it in his interaction with his daughter and with his mom and during the season finale we saw it in connection to Beckett, but this time we got a chance to see that there is a solid man in there that wants something real and genuine. I already love the character (and of course Nathan Fillion is adorable!) but this just added to him.

This week with "Sucker Punch", not only do we get more of Castle's development, but we finally get another piece of Beckett's story. And how happy was I to see Robert Picardo reprise his guest appearance!? Stana's acting in this episode was superb. The tension, horror, resolve, and loss she showed in her expressions had me in tears. There were a lot of close ups of her face, and in particular her eyes and for good reason. They were telling the story of everything going on inside of her cool exterior. Seeing her walk away and admit that she couldn't handle it was so honest, but coming back to finish it out was completely believable as well. Then ending with her admission to Castle that she'd gotten used to him "yanking her pigtails" was utterly charming.

This show makes me happy every time I watch an episode and I am so glad it's continuing on. Here's hoping we have many seasons to go.

In other TV news, I have now become addicted to Scrubs. My sister and I caught a couple of episodes of reruns about six months ago and laughed ourselves silly. My Lost acolyte has every season, so whilst I lend him Lost, he lends me Scrubs. Can I please just say how much I love Dr. Cox!

At the end of last season I started watching the episodes online and I was so sad to think that the show was over just as I discovered it, but of course, it's back this season with additional cast and a new twist. I am loving it. Lucy makes a great "main" character, filling in for JD with just enough similarities to make her recognizable but different enough to make it fresh and new. The supporting cast continue to surprise me and it's fantastic to get to see more Dr. Cox, Dr. Turk and drop ins from JD, Elliot, Jordan and Kelso (to name a few).

It's perfect for giving me my laugh quotient for the day and I am so glad I didn't have to bid farewell to these characters just yet.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Benjamin Linus.....

In hats?

Okay, so usually when I find something LOL worthy related to Lost, I send it over to Nikki Stafford, because her blog rocks my socks. But then I thought... why shouldn't I post it here? So I will.

I regularly visit the Ack Attack, because she regularly makes me laugh milk through my nose and she had a link to this most ridiculous site about Ben Linus in Hats. The Batman and Robin is probably one of my favorites so far. Absolutely redunkulous. Go to the site for the caption and other hysterical renderings :D

“Gee willikers Ben, Commissioner Jacob said should move the island” -John “Robin” Locke

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

All right, I admit it - I am a Gleek!

I started watching this show for the music, and for a while, that was all that kept me coming back. Then they really started to layer the characters and I was hooked.

They definitely left the first part with a good question and I really want to know how it will all play out.


Although I love Emma, I didn't like being set up to hope that Will's marriage would end. But then they started to develop Terri's character and I started to sympathize with her. Did she do the right thing? Absolutely not, but Will was allowing himself to use Emma as his emotional outlet rather than his wife and Terri didn't help herself with her attitude and her lies. It was all just a big mess. Even now, although Will kissed Emma, he's still married to Terri.

One of the things that bothers me the most - not just about Glee, but about movies and tv shows in general, is how much relationships are based on feelings. Will looks at Terri and says he doesn't "feel" that spark of love for her anymore. However, he "feels" close to Emma. Love isn't a feeling. Love is an action and neither Terri, nor Will have shown love for each other for a while.

Then you have the Quinn, Finn, Puck triangle almost mirroring the adult mess.

Oh goodness, it's all a jumble, but I am hooked on these characters and really want to know how all of this is going to work out. Plus, I'm always ready for more musical numbers. They make me smile.

I bought both Glee soundtracks and made a mix for playing at work and it just makes my day a little brighter every time I put it on.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

What I Read This Year - Post 4

Wow. This is my final post. I think I'll do this monthly or quarterly instead of yearly, because this was kind of ridiculous, but I had so much fun with it. Alrighty here we go.....

71. Finding Lost: Season 1 and 2 by Nikki Stafford (A fantastic, can't live without it guide to Lost. I read this along with our rewatch over the hiatus and it was amazing and informative and hilarious. Love it.)

72. The Van Alen Legacy by Melissa De La Cruz (The fourth book in this series. Pretty good. It had been too long since I had read the first ones and it took me a bit to figure out what was going on, but I enjoyed it.)

73. In a Perfect World by Laura Kasischke (It seems like this book should be depressing when you read the premise, but it totally wasn't. A very sweet story. I really enjoyed it.)

74. Return to the Hundred Acre Wood by David Benedictus (I am a HUGE Winnie-the-Pooh fan - the original stories with the Shepard illustrations. I thought this looked fun. I was very disappointed with it. I felt that it lacked the charm and the accessibility of the originals. It seemed like the author was just trying too hard and it came off awkward to me.)

75. Heat Wave by Richard Castle (Castle is one of my all time favorite shows airing and this was like reading an episode of the show - but one written by Castle. Absolutely hysterical. I about died laughing when I saw that the "Castle" character in the book was named "Rook". If you don't get it look at the two quoted words and think geek. Yeah, I am one.)

76. Perfect Mistake by Kate Brian (Another novel in the Privileged series. Absolutely love her characterizations. I am dying for the next book in this series.)

77. Vampire Diaries: The Awakening and The Struggle by L.J. Smith (I admit I read these because of the tv show. I enjoyed them. Very different than the show, but good.)

78. Finding Lost: Season 3 by Nikki Stafford (Have I mentioned that these are the best guides you could ever hope to have when watching Lost? No? Well, these are the best guides you could ever hope to have when watching Lost! Go buy them!)

79. Tempted by P.C. and Kristin Cast (The most recent book in their House of Night series. Very interesting.)

80. Evernight by Claudia Gray (Totally not what I expected in a good way. I keep forgetting to pick up the sequel, but I am dying to know what happens next!)

81. Vampire Diaries: The Fury and Dark Awakening by L.J. Smith (Enjoyed this continuation of the series, but I'm really wondering how close to the book plot the tv show is going to be, because it's totally not at all like this right now.)

82. Finding Lost: Season 4 by Nikki Stafford (If you own season 4 of Lost, then you need to own this book too. So great! and no, Nikki pays me nothing to say any of this, but you should totally check out her blog! We have WAY too much fun over there!)

83. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (I had never read this before. I didn't have what you might call a "normal" high school experience. So now I'm going back and reading a lot of the stuff people usually read in high school. Besides, this was referenced on Lost and has like a million parallels! It was so much fun to look at that. Crazy, crazy book though. And sad.)

84. Ophelia Joined the Group Maidens That Don't Float: Classic Lit Signs on to Facebook by Sarah Schmelling (I knew she had to be an English major, because only one of us would come up with such a hysterically crazy idea as this. She took plots and characters and created Facebook feeds. So Funny. LOL moments like - Jane Eyre joined the group "governesses that love their masters" - Maria VonTrapp likes this - not word for word, but you get the idea. Great fun.)

85. Bone by Jeff Smith (This was the one volume compilation of the ten Bone books. I absolutely adored this book. It was so fantastic! I'm just starting to get into graphic novels and this one was a winner for me.)

So that does it. Wow! 85 books! I can hardly believe it. A lot of good authors and stories, a few duds, but a pretty good average. Thanks for putting up with my extreme English major geekiness and maybe you walked away with a few book ideas. Leave me any of your recommendations. I'm always looking for something good to read! :)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What I Read This Year - Post 3

Whew... This is taking more posts than I anticipated, but I love books, so I guess I shouldn't be surprised.

51. Elyon by Ted Dekker (Another title in his YA series. Pretty good)

52. Raven Rise by D.J. MacHale

53. Soldiers of Halla by D.J. MacHale (The final book in the series. It was satisfying. There was a whole lot of exposition, but there really wasn't any other way to explain all the mythology so that the ending worked. All in all a nice end to a series I thoroughly enjoyed.)

54. Thirteenth Child by Particia Wrede (Loved it. Historical fantasy? How do you make THAT work? She does. I want to read the next one.)

55. Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon (Another book our store focused on. Very dense prose. I really liked it, but it took me a while to get through it.)

56. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Absolutely heartbreaking and beautifully written. This is one of those books that will stay with you.)

57. The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf (Fascinating book with a great twist.)

58. Wild At Heart by John Eldredge (The counterpart to Captivating, this book explores God's design for and of men. Very enlightening.)

59. Sold by Patricia McCormick (A heartrending fictional account of a real atrocity - the sale of young girls and women into prostitution.)

60. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (A very good book. I read this one on the recommendation of Blam and thoroughly enjoyed it. If you like Harry Potter or Percy Jackson you should enjoy this one, too.)

61. The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (I had never read this before and now I want to know why! It was amazing and I loved all the play on words. Fun, fun, fun.)

62. Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain (I picked up an ARC of her second book, Sweetheart, quickly saw it was a sequel, so I read her first one, Heartsick first. Not my usual fare at all, but it totally sucked me in. Liked the first one a lot. Second one was okay. Third one was necessary to wrap things up, but started to feel like a repeat of the first two. I hope she moves to new characters for her next book.)

63. Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink (Not only is this book fantastic, but Michelle is one of the nicest authors you will ever meet. I am lucky enough that she is a local author and came to do a signing at our store. She is a fantastic lady and her book is wonderful. I am dying for the sequel to come out.)

64. The End by Lemony Snicket (Listened to this on audio. I've read the entire Series of Unfortunate Events multiple times. I love it so much.)

65. The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket (Another audio.)

66. A Summer to Remember by Mary Balogh (I really like the way Mary draws her characters. They are great.)

67. The Guinea Pig Diaries by A.J. Jacobs (A friend of mine recommended The Know-It-All to me a few years ago and I've been following Jacobs' books ever since. This one was fun, but I preferred his first two books over it.)

68. The Earl Claims His Wife by Cathy Maxwell (I feel really bad because I can't remember anything about this book or why I picked it up.)

69. Sweet Revenge by Diane Mott Davidson (I got this book on audio and fell in love with the author. I like a good mystery and she delivers with character, plot, humor and heart.)

70. Suspicion by Kate Brian (Another book in the Private series. I'm pretty sure Kate is a Lost fan after reading this book. Deserted islands, a character named Sawyer that always has his nose in a book... I recognize the signs :)

Well, one more post ought to finish this up. Maybe I'll get to that tomorrow.

Monday, January 4, 2010

What I Read This Year - Post 2

Now that I've actually gotten a comment by one of the authors of one of the books I mentioned/read/reviewed I'm a little scared. But I'm not gonna lie about the ones I didn't like and I want to rave about the ones I did, so if you liked a book I didn't, that's fine - after all, that's why there are so many books out there for all of us different people :)

Onward and Upward...

21. Godmother: The Secret Cinderella Story by Carolyn Turgeon (I did not like this book. I felt like the end was a major copout. The premise sounded interesting, but I was deeply dissatisfied when I finished it.)

22. Pendragon Before the War: Book One of the Travelers by D.J. MacHale & Carolyn Jablonski (I love the Pendragon series, but it had been a while since I had read the series. These prequels were interesting, but sometimes it felt like there were continuity errors from the regular stories. Maybe it was my faulty memory or maybe it was the fact that they were written by other people. I enjoyed them, but they aren't necessary at all for enjoying the series.)
23. Malice by Lisa Jackson (This came in as an ARC [Advanced Reader's Copy] and looked interesting. I really liked it. I would definitely read more by this author, I just haven't yet.)

24. Pendragon Before the War: Book Two of the Travelers by D.J. MacHale and Walter Sorrells (See 22)

25. City of Thieves by David Benioff (Our store chose various books throughout the year to focus on. This was one of them. I discovered a lot of great books and authors through that program. I liked this book overall. It was funny and heart-breaking and somehow not depressing, though the subject matter should have made it so. Too crass for my personal taste and I struggled with finishing it because of that.)

26. Pendragon Before the War: Book Three of the Travelers by D.J. MacHale and Walter Sorrells (see 22)

27. Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George (This was a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses. I absolutely adored it. Such a fantastic retelling. I would definitely recommend it.)

28. Y: The Last Man by Brian K. Vaughn (I picked this series of graphic novels up because of Lost and because one of the regular posters over at Nikki Stafford's site recommends them regularly. I enjoyed the plot line and the characters. Intriguing premise and man did I cry at the end. However, I am fairly conservative and there were too many "adult" scenes and too much profanity. It made me personally uncomfortable. Brilliant author, fantastic premise, but I wouldn't recommend it to anyone I know because of some of the other stuff.)

29. Fables Volumes 1-11 by Bill Willingham (When a friend of mine saw me reading Y, she told me I should try reading these. They were fun.)

30. Bone Man's Daughters by Ted Dekker (He has become
one of my favorite authors and this book was well done. Not one of my favorites of his, but a great thriller and I have recommended it to a number of people.)

31. Fragile Eternity by Melissa Marr (Oh Melissa. I had a chance to meet her at BEA and she was so nice. She's an amazing author, too. If you haven't read any of her books go pick up Wicked Lovely right now. I recommend them to people all the time.)

32. The Merchant of Death by D.J. MacHale (The last book in the series was about to come out, so I decided to reread the entire series. I'm glad I did, because I had forgotten a lot of the details and I enjoyed the last book even more. Great series, a fun premise. Overall a very enjoyable read.)

33. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (This book was probably my all time favorite one for the year. If you have not read it yet, drop everything and read it right now. It is such a shame that the author passed away in February, because that means she won't be writing any more books. This was another book my store focused on and I loved it so much. It has everything. You will laugh, you will cry and your life will be richer because you read it.)

34. The Lost City of Faar by D.J. MacHale (probably my favorite book in the Pendragon series.)

35. The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson (I read A Countess Below Stairs and loved it. This one was good, but not as good as that one, in my opinion. But I love her books and plan on reading more.)

36. The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan (Loved it. A great end to a fantastic series. Can't wait for his next series to start coming out.)

37. Captivating by John and Stasi Eldredge (I did this as a girl's Bible study at my church. It's an amazing book and you will not look at men and women the same after reading this. [in a good way] I highly recommend it. I found it has helped me to better understand people around me, both girls and guys.)

38. The Never War by D.J. MacHale

39. The Reality Bug by D.J. MacHale (Scary, because I could totally see our society heading toward this if we had the technology.)

40. Black Water by D.J. MacHale

41. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins (Usually when there is a trilogy, the second book is a bit of a let down. It usually feels like you're treading water, just waiting for the third and end to come. Not so with this one. I was expecting to be let down, but it was just as good, if not better than The Hunger Games. Absolutely brilliant. Please, do yourself a favor and read these books. The third one is due out later this year and I CANNOT wait for it.)

42. The Rivers of Zadaa by D.J. MacHale

43. Beautiful Disaster by Kate Brian (This is part of the Privilege series that was a spin off of the Private series. In my opinion they are ten time better. The main character and her nemesis are tautly written sociopaths and are just as good as any characterization in a regular mystery/thriller.)

44. First Comes Marriage by Mary Balogh (I never used to read anything that could be considered a romance novel. But the characters in this series intrigued me. I just skip over the, what seems to be mandatory two page bedroom scene, and thoroughly enjoy the writing and characterization. I fell in love with this family. If you should happen to see this, Mary, please, please, please, please, please write a book about their cousin! I can't stand not knowing what made him the way he is and I want to see him have a happy ever after, too.)

45. Then Comes Seduction by Mary Balogh

46. Lunatic by Ted Dekker (This is part of his YA series, which is a spin off of his Circle trilogy and Paradise novels. I enjoy them, but they definitely aren't his best.)

47. At Last Comes Love by Mary Balogh

48. The Quillan Games by D.J. MacHale

49. The Pilgrims of Rayne by D.J. MacHale (Major plot twist in this one makes it one of my favorites in the Pendragon series.)

50. Seducing an Angel by Mary Balogh

Sunday, January 3, 2010

What I Read This Year - Post 1

Last year a friend of mine from another blogosphere posted her list of books she had read over the past year. I loved the idea of actually keeping track, so I started. It was the beginning of February before I began, so I'm sure I missed a few from January or listed some that I actually read in December, but other then that I was actually very faithful at writing down each book as I read it.

The list looks really long, but I realized when looking over it that a LOT of it was what my boss calls "Brain Candy". It has no real substance, but it's still enjoyable to read. I was kind of disappointed with myself, but then I realized that I will be going to grad school and have no time for "Brain Candy" books, so this was like my year off.Since the list is so long I'm going to break it up into a couple of posts so people don't get bored and I don't get bored. So here goes....

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (One of the best books I have read in a long time. Her characters are so vivid. It's written in first person, so you become emotional attached very quickly. The premise is interesting and it is the first book that I can ever remember wanting to read again the moment I finished it. Excellent, excellent book. I cannot recommend it strongly enough. Every person who has read it, that I've talked to, has loved it.)

2. Paradise Lost by Kate Brian (One of my coworkers hooked me on this series. Not at all my usual book fare, but once you read the first one, each book ends with a cliffhanger and you feel oddly compelled to keep reading, even when you are getting annoyed with the ridiculousness of the main character.)

3. Tru Confessions by Janet Tashjian (I read this because I loved the movie that was made by Disney. One of the few cases where I actually liked the movie better. The book was all right, but the movie is amazing. If you can get your hands on the movie please watch it. It's about a girl struggling with the impact of having a twin that is developmentally disabled. Shia Labeouf plays her twin brother and is absolutely brilliant. Some of his best acting ever.)

4. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan (My sister hooked me on these books and they are amazing and fun and you need to go read them all now. The movie is coming out based on the first one. I want to see it, but do yourself a favor and read it first. Riordan has already said they've made some significant changes so I'm a bit worried, but the books are just great.)

5. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan (ditto)

6. Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (We could not keep these in stock, so I decided to read it for "research" to answer parent's questions about them. Pretty funny, but I don't know if I'd let my eight year old read it. The main character's not exactly a role model.)

7. Cinderella (As if You Don't Already Know the Story) by Barbara Ensor (I was really disappointed with this book. I love retellings of fairy tales and the back was pretty funny, but the story was drab and didn't vary much at all from the standard Cinderella story.)

8. The Little Prince by Antoine de saint Exupery (I read this because Lost 5.04 was titled "The Little Prince" and we had a copy in the house. It blew my mind with Lost parallels and started me on a little bit of a personal project to uncover and read books that are referenced by the show. Besides, it was a really fun book.)

9. Running From the Law by Lisa Scottoline (Listened to this one on CD during my commute. Back before my car got robbed and I actually had a CD player :( Ah well. A good mystery. Enjoyed it.)

10. Yes Man by Danny Wallace (I picked up this because the Jim Carrey movie looked funny with an interesting premise. The introduction was hysterical, but it went down hill fast. I wouldn't recommend it. I found it boring and really wish I had not forced my way through the end of it. The book could have been 1/3 as long and made the same point.)

11. Blue Bloods by Melissa De La Cruz (With the Twilight craze, lots of people are looking for books to turn to once they've finished the Saga. I started reading through some of the various vampire series because I liked Twilight and I wanted to be able to give people knowledgeable recommendations. All my coworkers know I am the one to come to for recommendations for anyone from 8-18. This series was one of the better vampire ones. I found the first book a little hard to get into, but once she really started revealing the mythology I was fascinated. She ties in biblical, historical and mythical references to create something completely different than any other vampire story I've read.)

12. Masquerade by Melissa De La Cruz

13. Revelation by Melissa De La Cruz

14. Hood by Stephen Lawhead (I had been eyeing this book for a long time and finally picked it up. It wasn't at all what I was expecting, but I've never read the original Robin Hood stories, so maybe it's closer to that than to the Disney version [haha]. It was weightier than I was expecting, but enjoyable. I've been wanting to read the second one, Scarlet, but haven't had a chance yet.

15. Happy Hour at Casa Dracula by Marta Acosta (Picked this out of the bargain bin. Fun vampire romp. More adult than the YA books, but without getting into "adult" heavy scenes. I liked it and was excited to see there are a couple sequels. Got my hands on the third, but don't want to read it until I find the second.)

16. Hunted by P.C. and Kristin Cast (Another YA vampire series. It's pretty good, but a few things about it bother me. One is the godde
ss worship that is a major part of the mythos and the other was the "adult" content [though that was mainly in the first book, if I remember correctly]. I've kept up with it because I'm interested to see how the authors play everything out, but if I had to do it over I probably wouldn't read them.)

17. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (So many people were coming in for this book, from teenagers to book clubbers, that I decided to read it. Fascinating, gripping, wonderfully painful book. If you like WWII books or historical fiction you should read it. It's from the common people's perspective on the other side. Not Jewish, as has been done so many times, but the German people as they struggled to survive the war just like everyone else. The narrator is "death" literally, which is fascinating and bizarre. Good book. I cried a lot.)

18. Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan (
Tie in stories that go along with the Percy Jackson series. A lot of fun.)

19. Carrie by Stephen King (Another book I read because of Lost. My first ever
Stephen King. I didn't find it scary, but extremely sad.)

20. Finding Lost: Season 3 by Nikki Stafford (It seems fitting to end this first post of books I've read with one of Nikki's. She is the reason I started blogging in the first place. I picked up this book at work since I was beginning to really get into the show. It had her blog address on the back and the rest, as they say, is history. If you like Lost you HAVE to read her books. They are insightful and witty and amazingly perceptive. I cannot recommend them, or her, highly enough. She's literally changed my life over the past year in a lot of crazy, but good ways.)

There. Now you see why I'm breaking this into multiple entries. I haven't even hit the half way mark yet. Wasn't planning on writing mini reviews for each one, but there you go. More to come hopefully in the next couple of days.

Have you read any good books this past year? I'd love to hear some of your favorites!

Friday, January 1, 2010

New Year's Ponderings

It seems so strange to be in 2010 already.

I have a strange feeling that it will be a momentous year for me. By the fall, God-willing, I will be in grad school, taking the next steps toward my future. In August I turn 30 (a rather scary thought) and I don't know what all else will come along this year.

It's so strange to sit with an entire year waiting in front of me. Each day empty, waiting for the words I will put into them.

Some will be good, some bad, some boring, some thrilling. On some of those days I will feel joy and delight. On some I will experience sorrow. On others I will feel despondent, but those will be balanced by the hopeful.

No matter what each day brings I know it will have been given by God to live out to the best of my ability. I will succeed and I will fail miserably, but His love for me will never falter or change. that is so refreshing to know.

It is calming to my soul and peaceful for my heart.

May I embrace each day as the blessing He has meant it to be and live it for His glory.

May each one of you have a Blessed New Year and may God draw you closer to Himself with every exciting new day He provides.

God bless