Clean Away the Clutter Challenge Activity 7

The read-a-thon is hosted by Kate at The Neverending Shelf.

Today’s activity is to do a wrap-up post, so here I go.

I’ve gotten a ton of reading done, more in the first half of the week than the second half though. I still think I made out pretty good. I didn’t reach my goal of 24 hours, it was probably more like 16.

I got a bunch of posts written – at least one a day, which is great for me cause I struggle with the whole consistency of posting thing. I thought there was no way I could post everyday, but the challenges were great and really made me put the effort in to get them done each day. They were so worth it.

It was great reading everyone else’s posts. The Mr Linky’s in each activity’s post made it easy to check out what everyone else was doing, so that was fun.

Thanks for all the work you put in Kate, as well as everyone who posted challenges. You’re hard work is very much appreciated!


Clean Away the Clutter Challenge Activity 6

The read-a-thon is hosted by Kate at The Neverending Shelf and the activity today is courtesy Eleni at La Femme Readers.

The challenge today is to list the top six books that you’ve read in 2010. Yeah, not so easy. I’ve looked through my past posts and here are the books I’ve chosen in no particular order (links go to my reviews):

A Big Little Life by Dean Koontz

A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

What I Saw and How I Lied by Judy Blundell

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris


In My Mailbox (7)

Thanks to Kristi at The Story Siren and Alea at Pop Culture Junkie for In My Mailbox. All links go to Summaries are from

Last week I didn’t do an In My Mailbox post cause I didn’t get to the library, so I didn’t have any new books to share. I did manage to get to the library this week though, so here are the latest additions to my TBR pile.

Something, Maybe by Elizabeth Scott

Everyone thinks their parents are embarrassing, but Hannah knows she’s got them all beat. Her dad made a fortune showing pretty girls–and his “party” lifestyle–all over the Internet, and her mom, who was once one of her dad’s girlfriends, is now the star of her own website. After getting the wrong kind of attention for far too long, Hannah has learned how to stay out of sight…and that’s how she likes it.

Of course, being unknown isn’t helping her get noticed by gorgeous, confident Josh, who Hannah knows is her soul mate. Between trying to figure out a way to get him to notice her, dealing with her parents, and wondering why she can’t stop thinking about another guy, Finn, Hannah feels like she’s going crazy. She’s determined to make things work out the way she wants….only what she wants may not be what she needs.

Best Friends Forever by Jennifer Weiner

Addie Downs and Valerie Adler will be best friends forever. That’s what Addie believes after Valerie moves across the street when they’re both nine years old. But in the wake of betrayal during their teenage years, Val is swept into the popular crowd, while mousy, sullen Addie becomes her school’s scapegoat.

Flash-forward fifteen years. Valerie Adler has found a measure of fame and fortune working as the weathergirl at the local TV station. Addie Downs lives alone in her parents’ house in their small hometown of Pleasant Ridge, Illinois, caring for a troubled brother and trying to meet Prince Charming on the Internet. She’s just returned from Bad Date #6 when she opens her door to find her long-gone best friend standing there, a terrified look on her face and blood on the sleeve of her coat. “Something horrible has happened,” Val tells Addie, “and you’re the only one who can help.”

Best Friends Forever is a grand, hilarious, edge-of-your-seat adventure; a story about betrayal and loyalty, family history and small-town secrets. It’s about living through tragedy, finding love where you least expect it, and the ties that keep best friends together.

Clean Away the Clutter Challenge Activity 5

The Clean Away the Clutter Read-A-Thon is hosted by The Neverending Bookshelf. Today’s activity is hosted by A Passion for Books.

Today’s challenge is to de-clutter the blog – always a good thing to do. It seems like I always think of something that I should do to make things more streamlined, but it never gets done, so this is a great challenge for me.

First I will be looking over the labels and make sure that they’re all used appropriately.

Second, I have a spreadsheet going of all my posts. However, it’s not up to date. It makes things a lot easier for to, to have everything organized in one spot with all the information that I need. So I will be updating that as well.

And last of all, I have a couple ideas for posts that aren’t really enough to be posts on their own. I think I’ll combine a few of them, and instead of doing 4 or 5 posts, I’ll just do 2. I’ll get my ideas written down so that I know which ideas go together.

Thanks for the challenge today, Casey!

Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris

Summary from Goodreads:

Sookie Stackhouse is a cocktail waitress in small-town Louisiana, but she keeps to herself and doesn’t date much because of her “disability” to read minds. When she meets Bill, Sookie can’t hear a word he’s thinking. He’s the type of guy she’s waited for all of her life, but he has a disability, too–he’s a vampire with a bad reputation. When one of Sookie’s coworkers is killed, she fears she’s next.

What I thought:

First off, I have to admit that I was totally turned off by the cover when I first saw it. This is not the cover I would have chosen for the book. I’m not really sure what it is, but it just hits me the wrong way.

However, I enjoyed reading this book a LOT. I read about it on a blog (I unfortunately can’t remember which one), and thought I’d check it out, since the TV series True Blood is based on it. I thought it couldn’t be too bad if it was on TV.

Once I started I couldn’t put it down. The world of vampires that Charlaine created totally sucked me in. It was like she thought of all the little things that really made the book believable.

My favorite character has to be Sookie of course. She’s a strong woman who isn’t afraid of letting people know what she thinks and doing things for herself. She’s willing to stick up for people and do what needs to be done. I really like Sookie’s independent attitude when it’s contrasted by Bill’s old fashioned chivalry. It makes me smile.

The pacing was great – I wanted to keep reading to find out what would happen next, while feeling like there wasn’t too much going on. Knowing that it’s a series,  I was a little worried that the ending wouldn’t feel like an ending, that there would be a cliffhanger or things wouldn’t be tied up as much as I’d like, but I thought the ending was great, answering all the important questions while leaving a few unanswered to make you want to read the next book. I know a lot of people didn’t like Charlaine’s writing style, but I really did.

I’m pretty excited about reading the next one in the series, Living Dead in Dallas. In fact, I already have it on hold at the library.


Disclosure: I borrowed this book from the library.

Clean Away the Clutter Challenge Activity 4

The Clean Away the Clutter Read-A-Thon is hosted by The Neverending Bookshelf. Today’s activity is hosted by Teens Read and Write.

Is there at least one book on your growing TBR that has been there forever and (if you were honest) you could give up without to much trauma?

Yep. The third Anne of Green Gables has been in my basket for forever. By forever I mean almost a year. I’ve never read it before, but I think the first one will always be my favorite.

What is your latest “Gotta Have It” book? (That you can get once you’ve given up that one in question #1)

The Vampire Diaries: The Awakening. I watched an episode last week for the first time, and I really liked it, even though I didn’t know half of what was going on. I really want to read the books now.

What are your classics – you’re ‘comfort books’ that you never want to give up?

My Harry Potter books, Pride and Prejudice, a couple of my Stephen King ones, my non-fiction books on NGO’s/humanitarian organizations in Africa.

What are your best tips for keeping that TBR in check?

Using my book basket. I can have as many books as I want as long as they fit in the basket. If they don’t fit then some of them have to go back to the library, whether they’ve been read or not.

Clean Away the Clutter Challenge Activity 3

Today’s challenge is hosted by The Neverending Shelf. You can see the post with the challenge here.

So, we’re supposed to share three blogs that we enjoy reading and want to share with others. It’s such a great idea – there are so many blogs out there, it’s always interesting to see what other people are reading. Here are my three:

Cover to Cover

Not only is Jessica a book blogger and reviewer, she also hopes to one day be an author. I love hearing about the other side of the book, from the writer’s perspective. She’s participated in NaNoWriMo, and I’m kind of in awe, cause I want to do it next year too.

The Brown Eyed Baker

Not only do I like to read, but I’m also a big baker. I recently discovered that there are a ton of baking blogs out there in the blogosphere. Why I didn’t know this before, I have no idea, but I was pretty excited when I discovered this one. She makes a great selection of baked good – everything from breads to cookies to pies – and they all look so delicious. One of my favorite things I’ve made from her blog was doggy treats! I shouldn’t say that they were my favorite, my dog Bailey was the one who really liked them.

The Recipe Curio

I love looking at old school recipe. Anything from the sixties and older intrigues me – I find them so interesting. She  posts recipes that she’s found in old collections of recipe cards, clippings from magazine or newspapers, and even old cookbooks. Most of the time she shares a picture of the recipe card/clipping/cookbook as well as a typed version of the recipe. I LOVE seeing the old ones, they’re so cool!

I hope you enjoy the little look into what’s in my Google Reader!