Category Archives: Musings

2013 – Welcome and Goals


As we wave good-bye to 2012 (so long sucker!!) and ring in the 2013, it is a time to think of the year past and the year to come…and to make those (sometimes dreaded) New Years Resolutions…

So what are my resolutions for 2013 – I’m going to divided them up into reading/blogging resolutions and non-reading resolutations.

Reading/Listening Resolutions:
– read at least 12 books of my 50 classics in 5 years challenge list (HERE)
– read at least 1 non-fiction/biography/memoir a month
– finish up at least 2 of the series that I currently have in progress (series TBD)
– finish up the Middle East part of my trip around the world reading (7 countries to go – Cyprus, Lebanon, Kuwait, Oman, Palestine, Qatar)
– Participate in at least 1 group read each month in one of my groups
– Try at least 20 new audiobook narrators during the course of the year
– Finish Les Miserables – I got part of the way through Book 3 before I got distracted
– Finish the Moby Dick Big Read – Chapter a Day

Blogging Resolutions
– Write reviews for my blog for at least 50% of the books I read in 2013
– Write reviews for all new narrators that I listen to
– Not request more ARC’s to review than I can handle (even if they are oh so pretty!)
– Comment on at least 5 other blogs each week
– Participate in at least one meme a week

Non Reading/Blogging Resolutions
– Finish my dissertation
– Survive (and finish) the Beach to Battleship Half-Ironman in October

What about everyone out there – what are your resolutions for 2013?

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Posted by on January 1, 2013 in Musings



In Memoriam – Bryce Courtenay (1933-2012)

There aren’t a lot of authors who I would write this kind of post for, but Bryce Courtenay is one of them. I remember when I picked up the first book I ever read by him, back in grade eight – Tandia – set in South Africa where he grew up. After that I went through a period of reading, where I read pretty much all of the books that he had released up until that point in time. One of the most poignant was April Fool’s Day – which was the story of his son, Damon who died from medically-acquired AIDS after suffering from Haemophilia his entire life. I remember having a box of tissues sitting next to me as I bawled my way through it.

Earlier this year, Bryce announced that his soon to be released book, Jack of Diamonds would be his last because he had been diagnosed with terminal cancer. The book was published 2 weeks ago (November 12, 2012). Today while I was checking my facebook, I saw that his publisher, Penguin Australia, had published the notice of his death. He was 79 years old.

While his books have never been widely known in the US, in fact, the only book, I can find of his with regularity is The Power of One. I can only hope that with the growing popularity of ebooks and audiobooks that many readers will experience his writing in the years to come. It is going to be weird, knowing that I won’t have that new yearly released by him to anticipate for Christmas (since my mom has been oh so awesome at giving me his books for gifts over the years. While i have yet to read all of his books, those that are left, as well as re-reads will give me something to look forward to in the future.

RIP Bryce. I look forward to reading Jack of Diamonds when my copy arrives and will remember all your books with fond memories :)


Posted by on November 23, 2012 in Musings


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Banned Books Week – Mid-Week Update

So, I had this huge list of posts that I wanted to do this week…but as the saying goes, c’est la vie…

I am currently reading 1984 in support of Banned Books Week, but also because it fits my classics challenge. However, I am trying to savor it, because I have a feeling that once I read it, I don’t know if I will ever read it again, and if I do, it won’t be the same as my first time…

So in addition to that, I also picked up Places I Never Meant to Be which is a series of short stories written by various authors that have been on the banned and challenges lists over the last few years – and edited by the brilliant Judy Blume (yes, I do believe that my gushing qualifies me for the JB fan club).

How are you doing on your plans for Banned Book Week?

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Posted by on October 3, 2012 in Musings, Reading Events


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Books Featuring Sports

So I was going to get all caught up on my reviews before I headed out of town for a Virginia Tech football game (Go HOKIES) but like normal that didn’t happen….but while I’m sitting outside enjoying the gorgeous weather and scenery, I thought I would pose the following question to you guys:

What is your favorite sports based book? It can be fiction or non-fiction…enquiring minds want to know

For me, it is probably a toss up between Rachel Gibson ‘s Chinook Hockey series and Susan Elizabeth Phillips Chicago Stars series. Although I did enjoy the stand-alone book, Scored by Lily Harlem that I recently read


Posted by on September 22, 2012 in Musings



Group Read/ Buddy Reads

Ok, so I’m a dork (but anyone who knows me already knows this), but I was thinking about maybe doing a series read/re-read of the Anne of Green Gables books (although I’ve already done the first one) and thought I might throw the idea out there of doing a group read.

It wouldn’t be anything serious – you can just read if you want, I’ll happily come up with some discussion questions if people want to discussion…we can spread it out over the course of a month or so (re-evaluate based on the book).

Would anyone out there be interested?


Posted by on July 19, 2012 in Musings


Reading Friends – Real-life / Online or Both?

I was recently refecting on where the majority of my reading buddies reside – are they physically present in my life, or are they ones that I have developed through online relationships?

With that thought, I came to realize that with the exception of a couple of friends from work and various family members (my mom and my sisters specifically), most of my reading friends come from the social media website, Goodreads. For anyone not familiar with Goodreads, I refer to it as, Facebook for Readers and then follow that up, with saying that it is like crack. I am addicted to the website – I belong to several groups over there that I am actively involved in. I moderate or co-moderate a couple of groups (Romance Readers Reading Challenges, Nordic Noir, Outlander, Cover2Cover Challenge and Bar Belle’s), as well as being an active member in many more.

One of these groups that I am active in is Rated YA-MA. This is a group that is for adult readers who love YA fiction. The one thing I enjoy the most about the group is the ability to have in depth discussions about various YA books – either those that are super popular, or those that are less so. I especially like the fact that most of the discussions steer clear of the “OMG, Team Jacob, Team Edward, Team Peeta” discussions that seem to more often show up on other message boards that I frequent.

Another thing that I love about the group, is one of the programs that the moderators started called the Traveling Book Society. The moderators (or other members) choose a book to become a travelling book. Since the majority of the members are located in the US, they try to either get a hold of an ARC of a YA book, or one that is not readily available in the US. Members then sign-up to participate, and the book starts travelling between the members. At each stop, the members contribute postcards from the various locations the book has thus far visited, sign the book (although, I just realized that I forgot to do this for the last book) and leave notes in the book at various stages with parts that intrigue them, that they have questions etc.

I recently finished up the second book in the travelling circuit and the next person to receive the book on the list lived in the same state as me, and in fact, only lived about 45 minutes away – so it was a great opportunity for us to meet face to face. On a very hot sunday (I think it was easily 100 degrees in the shade), Evangeline and I met at a local Starbucks, to chat and hand the book over. I had a great time and look forward to meeting again in the future (since she has the next book in the travelling circuit and I’m next on the list).

Here is a picture that a nice lady, who we interrupted while she was getting her coffee took for us. I’m the one in the blue skirt.

What about you guys – do you have people in your everyday life that you talk about books with? Are you a goodreads lover? How do you think about your next great read?


Posted by on July 10, 2012 in Musings


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Winners of the Read or Listen First Audiobook Giveaway!

Thanks to Randy the Randomizer ;), all the participants names were entered into the drawing and the following 3 people were lucky enough to win an audiobook.

1. Brenda
2. Samantha
3. Michelle Bilbrey Angulo

Please email me at and let me know your prioritized order for the following audiobooks that I have for a giveaway. I will do my best to get you the book that you want.

A Lady Cyclists Guide to Kashgar – Suzanne Joinson – read by Susan Duerden
Catch of the Day – Kristin Higgins – read by Xe Sands
Reaper’s Justice – Sarah McCarty – read by Kathe mazur


Posted by on July 3, 2012 in Musings


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