October 24, 2011

Musing Mondays - Audiobooks

Musing Mondays is hosted by Should Be Reading
This week's question is: Do you listen to audiobooks? Why or why not? 

Yes! I absolutely love audiobooks. I used to listen to poetry and short stories in audio form, but I never really tried listening to a full length audiobook until about a year ago. I was looking for ways to pass the time on my long commute to work, and I needed to finish a book for a grad school class but was stressed because I didn't think I'd finish it in time. Someone suggested I check out the audiobook version and listen to it on my commute - something I had surprisingly never considered before. I enjoyed it so much that I kept checking out audiobooks and I still do! (If you're wondering which was my first audiobook - it was Bog Child by Siobhan Dowd.)

I love audiobooks because they entertain me when I'm doing something boring like cleaning, working out, or driving to and from work. I love how a great narrator can really bring the story to life. A lot of people say they have trouble concentrating on audiobooks, but I don't have that problem. I actually have trouble concentrating when reading in print most of the time - my eyes glaze over and I tend to reread the same pages several times or forget where I was on the page...sometimes I even fall asleep while reading in print! So I like to switch it up and listen to audiobooks in addition to reading print books and eBooks. 

I check out audiobooks on CD but sometimes those still skip (even though I know my library cleans every single disc when they are returned - the ladies in Multimedia are awesome!). Lately I've been downloading a lot of MP3 library audiobooks through my phone's Overdrive app. I even signed up for a free trial of Audible, and I will probably stick with it. 

Here are some of my favorite audiobooks: 

 - The Help by Kathryn Stockett
 - Saving CeeCee Honeycutt by Beth Hoffman 
 - The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
 - The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
 - The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 
 - Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen
 - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling

I could go on, but I'll stop gushing now! I rarely meet an audiobook I don't enjoy. 

October 23, 2011

Virals by Kathy Reichs (audiobook)

Tory Brennan is the niece of forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan (the main character of the Bones novels and the television show based on them). Tory, 14, is the daughter of a marine biologist. She has lived with him ever since her mother died, but she barely knew him before. They live on a secluded island on the South Carolina coastline. She and her friends decide to rescue a dog from a research lab on a nearby island. They don’t know that the dog is infected with a new, experimental strain of parvovirus that is able to transmit to humans. Tory and her friends soon start to experience strange symptoms and heightened senses as well as superhuman powers. When they discover human remains on the island, they find themselves in the middle of a murder mystery—and someone out will do anything to prevent them from solving it. 

Virals is an action-packed read with mystery, suspense, and adventure. It’s refreshing to read about teen characters who are so interested in science(and who also know how to use the library!). Tory is a strong heroine. I enjoyed listening to the audiobook and thought the narrator did a great job of capturing Tory’s personality. There were also some sound effects (which I’m not used to hearing in audiobooks), and they added an interesting element to the listening experience. I recommend this book for fans of Bones or anyone looking for a fast-paced mystery. 

October 21, 2011

Friday Five (2)

1. There are tons of cool things coming up at the library that I'm looking forward to. Next week is our annual Zombie Fest lock-in for teens. I'll be manning the Thriller dance station again. I need to get my costume ready! We also have the Teen Film Festival soon and NaNoWriMo author visits/write-ins to look forward to. It will be a busy but fun fall. 

2. Speaking of work, my library is participating in Geek the Library. It's fun, and our patrons love telling us what they "geek"!  

I've been making weekly Geek of the Week displays to highlight different staff members and library supporters. The first one featured me (yes, it was weird to make a display with my own picture on it, but I was encouraged to go first). I geek music. I didn't choose books because that's what you'd expect a librarian to say!
3. I joined the Biggest Loser competition at work, but I'm not doing very well. I lost 3 pounds but then I gained a pound back. I'm going to the gym regularly, so why am I gaining weight? Mostly I blame my lack of willpower and desserts like this (I mean, how can you resist?): 
Pumpkin break frozen yogurt with graham cracker crumbs, pumpkin spice, and candy corns (from Orange Leaf)
Yummy Applebees dessert split with friends
4. I'm getting a haircut tonight! It's about time. My mom is a hairdresser, and she's always been the one to cut my hair - I don't go anywhere else. But she lives two hours away, and I have to schedule an "appointment" with her that's outside her regular work hours since I'm not a paying customer. So after work I'm driving down  to get a much needed cut plus hopefully some color and a Keratin treatment. I don't really have a plan...we usually just wing it. Sometimes she surprises me. She knows I don't want any really dramatic changes though, so I trust her!

5. I haven't used KodakGallery.com in quite a while, but I logged back on this week and was impressed with all the updates and improvements. I can now upload photos directly from my phone or import them from Facebook albums in addition to uploading from my hard drive. (I'm sure you can do this on other photo sites as well, but I have a ton already on Kodak Gallery and don't feel like switching to a new site). I think I'll back up all my photos on there and then order archive DVDs as an extra backup. Then I can delete all my photos from my laptop and free up space. More space means I will finally be able to back up my mobile devices and then upgrade them to iOS 5. Woo! This nerd is excited. 

Happy Friday!

October 20, 2011

Our first home!

The other day I took some pictures of our new house since our friends and family have been asking for them. (I skipped the garage and one of the spare bedrooms since those have yet to be organized!) There are a few pictures of my bookshelves - I had fun reorganizing them after the move. My collection is starting to outgrow them, though. I would love to get another tall bookcase, but I'm not sure where to put it. 

I love our house and the big backyard. We are getting it fenced in soon, and I'm sure our dog will appreciate all the space to run. She makes a few appearances in the slideshow too. :)

October 19, 2011

Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern

Twenty-eight-year-old Justin found himself living at home with his seventy-three-year-old dad, Sam, after being dumped by his long-term girlfriend. Justin started a Twitter feed where he shared his no nonsense, foul-mouthed dad’s best sayings. This book expands on those hilarious quotations and gives insight into the father-son relationship between Justin and Sam. While Sam’s choice of words can sometimes seem harsh, he genuinely loves his son and wants the best for him. If you’re not offended by foul language, you’ll find this to be a laugh-out-loud read. It’s comedy with heart.

This is one of the many books my husband bought me for Christmas last year, and I wish I hadn't waited so long to read it. It was a quick read, so I will probably end up re-reading it at some point! I’ll end by sharing one of my favorite quotes (and one of the few that is blog-appropriate!): 

"The worst thing you can be is a liar. . . . Okay, fine, yes, the worst thing you can be is a Nazi, but then number two is liar. Nazi one, liar two." 

October 17, 2011

Heaven is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent

Colton went through a remarkable experience when he was only four years old. As he underwent emergency surgery, he also went on a journey—to heaven. His parents were astonished when Colton was able to tell them what they had been doing in the waiting room during his surgery. Over time, Colton slowly revealed details of what he saw and who he met while he was in heaven. He also spoke of meeting a sister in heaven (although his parents had never told them about their previous miscarriage), and he met a grandfather who had passed away 30 years before Colton was born. As months passed, Colton gave many more vivid descriptions of what heaven, Jesus, and the angels were like. In this book, Colton’s father, a small town pastor, tells the story of his son’s experience. 

While this book may not appeal to skeptics, I found it to be an inspiring read not only because of the religious elements, but also because of the story of how Colton’s parents dealt with his illness and recovery. It provides a picture of a family that went through a difficult situation and came out of it full of hope. 

It's Monday: What Are You Reading? (40)

What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted over at Book Journey where bloggers gather to share what we have recently read and what we are currently reading. 

I finished: 

Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

Somebody, Please Tell Me Who I Am by Harry Mazer and Peter Lerangis (ARC)

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (audiobook)

I am currently reading: 

Croak by Gina Damico (ARC)

Something Blue by Emily Giffin 

The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons 

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K Rowling (re-read, trying the audio version this time!)

Next up: 

Hate List by Jennifer Brown

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

What are you reading? 

October 16, 2011

In My Mailbox (59)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story SirenIt's a time for everyone to share what books they acquired over the course of the week. I'll share what I received in the mail, bought at bookstores, downloaded to my Nook/iPad, or picked up from the library.


What's in your mailbox this week? 

October 14, 2011

Friday Five (1)

Long time no blog! It's been a crazy month.

1. We moved in to our first home and have spent a lot of time getting unpacked/organized and decorating. We're having our backyard fenced in soon which will be great for our dog. It's a little more expensive than we hoped because our backyard is pretty big, but I think it will be worth it. 

The house has 3 bedrooms with TONS of closet space. For once we actually have enough room for our wardrobes plus all of his police and military uniforms/gear. And I'm loving all the extra cabinet and pantry space in our kitchen. I do not miss apartment living at all! I'll post some more pictures soon. I reorganized my bookshelves and I think they look pretty. :)

2. We had several weeks without cable and internet, but AT&T finally came to set it up. The signal seems to go in and out a lot, so I hope they can get it fixed soon. It would be nice to catch up on my favorite shows on the weekend! I'm looking forward to being able to DVR a show in one room and watch it in another - we didn't have this ability with our last cable provider. And the ability to DVR up to 4 shows at a time is awesome. :) While waiting for the cable to get fixed, I have watched season 6 of The Office on DVD in its entirety, including the deleted scenes. Oh, how I love that show!

3. I feel like I'm in a style rut. I wasn't able to go shopping during grad school, so I made do with the clothes I already had. But now I have a full-time job and a little extra room in the budget for shopping. I need some new outfit ideas. What are your favorite everyday fashion blogs or websites? I need outfit ideas that are cute and stylish and appropriate for work. 

4. My husband has been away for the past 4 weekends in a row. He works every other weekend for the police department (night shift), and he has drill for the Marine Corps one weekend a month. That leaves one free weekend. This month on his free weekend he threw a bachelor party for his best friend out of town. I miss him. :( He says he'll be back on Sunday afternoon, so we can hopefully have date night!

5. I've been reading a lot of books lately, but I haven't written any reviews. I have a few reviews due to VOYA next week, so that is my first priority. Having a deadline is actually motivating! Maybe I need to set a deadline for myself for blog reviews too so that I actually get them done...


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