April 30, 2013

April Reads

I had an awesome reading month in March, and the trend continued in April. I finished 15 books. This puts my 2013 total at 51 books read so far toward my goal of 100. (I may have to up my goal if I keep reading at this pace!) Of the books I read, 4 counted for a genre challenge. I read 2,234 pages and listened to 53.98 hours of audio in April. 

5 Star Reads
Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo 
The Giver by Lois Lowry (re-read)
Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy
What Learning Leaves by Taylor Mali

4 Star Reads
Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone
It Takes Balls: Dating Single Moms and Other Confessions from an Unprepared Single Dad by Josh Wolf
Dash and Lily's Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
Saving June by Hannah Harrington
Someone  Like You by Sarah Dessen

3 Star Reads
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Palace of Stone by Shannon Hale
Fire by Kristin Cashore
Size 12 and Ready to Rock by Meg Cabot (review)
Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry

In other news, this month my husband and I celebrated our 2nd wedding anniversary and his birthday! Also, I attended a library conference this month and learned about  using Zinio for digital magazine lending, using Pinterest for libraries, opening a library technology center with digital creation suites, and using Google Docs/Drive for library statistics and ready reference. I always tend to choose the technology-focused sessions!
How was your April, and what did you read? 

April 25, 2013

Size 12 And Ready to Rock by Meg Cabot

DescriptionSummer break . . . and the livin' ain't easy! Just because the students at New York College have flown the coop doesn't mean assistant residence hall director Heather Wells can relax. Fischer Hall is busier than ever, filled with squealing thirteen- and fourteen-year-old girls attending the first ever Tania Trace Teen Rock Camp, hosted by pop sensation Tania Trace herself--who just happens to be newly married to Heather's ex-boyfriend, heartthrob Jordan Cartwright. But the real headache begins when the producer of a reality TV show starring Tania winds up dead . . . and it's clear that the star was the intended victim. Grant Cartwright, head of Cartwright Records, wants to keep his daughter-in-law (and his highest-earning performer) alive. So he hires his oldest son, black sheep of the family and private investigator Cooper Cartwright--who just happens to be Heather's new fiance. Heather should leave the detecting to Cooper. But with a dorm full of hysterical mini-divas-in-training, she can't help but get involved. And after Tania shares a really shocking secret with her, this reality suddenly becomes more dangerously real than anyone ever anticipated.

My Review: Meg Cabot is one of my favorite authors, and I was lucky enough to get to meet her when she came to Indiana on her latest book tour! Size 12 and Ready to Rock is the fourth book in the Heather Wells mystery series. The best way I can think to describe the series is part chick lit/part mystery. The latest book could be read as a standalone since a lot of the plot points from previous books are summarized, but I would recommend reading the other three books anyway because they are so much fun! Plus, it's always interesting for me to see characters grow over time and their relationships with other characters change. Heather is a charming, quirky character, and it's satisfying to see her overcome some hurdles and find happiness in her personal life. I felt that a few plot points in this one were predictable, but I was able to overlook that because I loved the characters and I enjoyed watching them unravel the mysteries.

April 24, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (9)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Description: "Author of Catching Jordan, Miranda Kenneally’s Racing Savannah, about an underprivileged girl training to be a jockey while working in the barn at a high-stakes horse farm whose on-again, off-again relationship with the owner’s son has an upstairs/downstairs effect on race day."

I've loved everything by Miranda Kenneally so far, and I'm sure this one will also be great! And it comes out the day before my birthday. :)

What book are you waiting on? 

April 23, 2013

Top Ten Books I Liked More/Less Than I Thought I Would

Interesting topic! Like other bloggers, I'm going to split my list in half and share five I liked more and five I liked less. 

Books I liked LESS than I thought I would

I really wanted to like this one. I read it once in print and then tried it again in audio, and it was just not a very enjoyable read for me. I decided not to continue with the series.

I think the only reason I finished this one was because I had a 19 hour layover in an airport in London, and it was helping me pass the time. I mean, it was mildly entertaining, but it didn't live up to all the hype.

I had to read this one for a literature class in undergrad. Not only did I not enjoy it, but I also had to discuss it and write essays about it. Blah!

My friends and I read this as a book club pick, and none of us liked it. It confused me more than anything. I would like to watch the movie adaptation to see if I understand the characters/plot better.

Teens convinced me to read this, but it was painful to get through. I couldn't stand the main character!

Books I liked MORE than I thought I would

I wasn't expecting much from this one, but it pleasantly surprised me. I read it really quickly. 

I know, I know, I joined the Harry Potter bandwagon WAY too late. But when it first came out, I didn't think I would like it because I didn't read much fantasy fiction. I'm so glad I gave it a try! Now I'm obsessed with both the books and the movies, and I read a lot more fantasy novels than I used to.

This is another one that I didn't think I would like. But everyone kept saying it was awesome, so I picked it up and started the series right before the final book came out. Loved it! 

My husband actually bought this one, and at first I didn't think I'd want to read a book about a school shooting, thinking it would be too disturbing. Well, a lot of it was disturbing, but the book was so well-written and well-researched that I couldn't put it down. It dispelled a lot of the myths around what happened.

This was a book club pick that I probably would have never picked up on my own. It was really enjoyable, and I have since picked up other books by this author.

April 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday (8)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Time After Time by Tamara Ireland Stone

Calling Anna and Bennett’s romance long distance is an understatement: she’s from 1995 Chicago and he’s a time traveler from 2012 San Francisco. The two of them never should have met, but they did. They fell in love, even though they knew they shouldn't. And they found a way to stay together, against all odds. 

It’s not a perfect arrangement, though, with Bennett unable to stay in the past for more than brief visits, skipping out on big chunks of his present in order to be with Anna in hers. They each are confident that they’ll find a way to make things work...until Bennett witnesses a single event he never should have seen (and certainly never expected to). Will the decisions he makes from that point on cement a future he doesn't want?

Told from Bennett’s point of view, Time After Time will satisfy readers looking for a fresh, exciting, and beautifully-written love story, both those who are eager to find out what’s next for Time Between Us's Anna and Bennett and those discovering their story for the first time.

I just finished Time Between Us so I was really excited to learn there is another book coming out that continues the story of Anna and Bennett! I can't wait to read it.  

April 1, 2013

March Reads

I had a REALLY good reading month in March! I finished 20 books. This puts my 2013 total at 36 books so far toward a goal of 100. I read a total of 4,379 pages and listened to 33.74 hours of audiobooks in March. That seems like a lot, but remember that we don't have cable, and I do a lot of reading while my husband is working nights or away at drill for several days a month. Plus this month I used an Amazon gift card toward a Kindle Paperwhite, and I think my fascination with my new gadget helped me get much more reading done!
Of the books I read, 6 counted for the genre challenge. I didn't read any presidential biographies, but I am starting one on Thomas Jefferson for April. Other informal goals I've been working on are reducing my pile of owned books that I need to read and catching up on favorite series. 

5 Star Reads
The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Homeward Bound: Why Women are Embracing the New Domesticity by Emily Matchar
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green (re-read)

4 Star Reads
House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
Stealing Parker by Miranda Kenneally 
Things I Can't Forget by Miranda Kenneally
Requiem by Lauren Oliver
The Chronicles of Downton Abbey: A New Era by Jessica Fellowes and Matthew Sturgis
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America by 
Erik Larson
Burning the Page: The eBook Revolution and the Future of Reading by Jason Merkoski
Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King
Butter by Erin Jade Lange

3 Star Reads
Life As I Blow It: Tales of Love, Life, and Sex...Not Necessarily in That Order by Sarah Colonna
Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton
That Summer by Sarah Dessen
I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman by Nora Ephron
The Summer Garden by Paullina Simons
Indigo Blues by Danielle Joseph 

In other news, my niece was born in March!

And my Doberman pup is getting huge! 

What did you read in March? 


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