Friday, November 30, 2012

Virtual Advent - Decorating the Tree

Click HERE to visit. 
I'm so excited to be participating in this year's Virtual Advent Tour. The challenge for me every year is deciding exactly what to post. This time around I wracked my brain a bit until it finally just dawned on me!

It's been several years since I've put up a proper Christmas tree. My mom typically puts up small trees -- one dedicated to her beloved schnauzer and another that she made for my grandmother when I was a child. These small trees have a place in our hearts, so the big tree, and all the work associated with it, fell to the wayside for a while.

This is the first year that I'm living in my own house at Christmas (since my son was born), and my mom was kind enough to loan the large tree to me. I whipped it out earlier this week, and as soon as I started placing the ornaments, I knew I'd found my Virtual Advent post. :)

Before ornaments. 
Growing up, the putting up of the tree always got me into the Christmas spirit. We usually started decorating the day after Thanksgiving, and it was a magical time for me. This year I could relate to my mom more. With a small kiddo in the house, the work and heavy lifting were on me. But he had a blast once the tree was set up.

This is the first year Greyson has really "gotten" that there are Christmas activities in which he can participate. I asked him to help me decorate the tree, and he took it upon himself to be the carrier of the Christmas ornaments, shuttling them to me from the boxes as I hung and secured them. I can't even tell you how many times he said, "More!!!" and handed me an armload of ornaments. So stinkin' cute.

The Christmas tree has always been a collection in my house. There's no grand "theme" or overwhelming type of ornament. We're not terribly color-coordinated. We have Christmas balls of all colors, special commemorative ornaments from when I was growing up, and small wooden Christmas trinkets that fill in the spaces between. It's always seemed a homey, cozy type of tree to me.

I think Greyson must feel the same. He was quick to plop down on a quilt and watch TV by the tree's glow.

And without further ado, this is my favorite ornament on our tree. We've had this little girl angel playing a flute for as long as I can remember. There are tons of angels on our tree, as my mom often chose those when she was having ornaments customized with my name when I was a little girl.

One of the things I'm looking most forward to is making sure Greyson has special Christmas items that reflect his age as he grows up. It's one of the best parts of remembering and reminiscing while decorating -- feeling like I (and now he) was always first at Christmas.

How do you decorate for the holidays? Is it a highlight or a chore? What are your favorite decorations?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Recap and Bookish Goodness!

Well hello there, kittens. I'm back from a Thanksgiving vacation to rival all Thanksgiving vacations. It didn't start out so great, but it ended strong. 

On Friday the 16th I came down with a persnickety stomach bug that didn't know if it wanted to stay or go. All told, I was sick for about 6 days. After 5 days I gave up, went to the doc, and got medicated. That was the beginning of improvements. The worst part about it is that I had to send Greyson away because I was just too sick to function and chase him around. I also desperately did not want him to catch it! It's a good thing I went to the doc because in addition to the persnickety bug, I am REALLY anemic. No wonder I've been so tired! I'm scheduling a follow up for this week, and I cannot start those darned iron supplements soon enough.

With my "sick time" and the Thanksgiving break, Greyson was with Chuck and the Rockets for 10 days. I missed him horribly and was plagued by guilt, but he had a great time, and the family got to spend some extra time with him; everyone won.

Thanksgiving day, David, his mom, and I all took off to Austin to visit with his dad, sisters, and their families. Boy, can this bunch entertain!!! We started with afternoon appetizers -- homemade queso, chips, taco soup, guacamole, and some baked brie. Then we moved on to the main event in the evening with turkey, ham, dressing,  fresh green bean casserole (no canned beans here), fruit salad with homemade whipped cream, sweet potatoes, rolls, pecan pie, pumpkin pie, and a homemade Italian Cream Cake (OMG!). There may have been more, but I can't remember, and isn't this enough???!!! It was SO GOOD. 

Friday, we had a leisurely (code for huge) brunch. David's dad (also named David) helps his sister cater, and he's quite the chef. Our brunch consisted of scrambled eggs, boiled eggs, sausage, ham, leftover fruit salad, homemade whipped cream, sparkling cider, juice, coffee, breads, cookies, cakes, pancakes and homemade raspberry syrup. I was seriously full.  

With brunch consumed, we headed out for an evening in San Antonio. It's only about an hour's drive. David's dad drove, we picked up two of his nephews, met up with his sister and her family, and we were off and running. A little later than expected, but we didn't let it hamper our good time. We were just in time to walk around a bit and take in the Christmas tree lighting outside the Alamo. 

With the Christmas tree lit, we decided to hunt down some Mexican food in the marketplace. It had to have been a two-mile walk, but we made it to Mi Tierra Cafe and Bakery, and the carne asada tacos were worth the hike.

We arrived back in Austin very late, but it was worth the trip!

Saturday was a little more of a relaxed, laid back adventure. We stayed close and explored some local Austin spots for Small Business Saturday! My #1 destination was BookPeople! I've heard about this store for YEARS, and it was fun to actually go in and explore after hearing so much hype. I grabbed a copy of Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, so I can attempt to read it before I see the movie.

We also stopped by a local garden salvage shop, cruised through Central Market for some macarons and bread, and had a quick bowl of chili before we were back out the door for a dusky drive past the capital, a stop at Half-Price Books to scope out the clearance section, and some exploring on South Congress Avenue.

This is a sizeable village of food trucks on South Congress. Including one with a spinning cupcake on top, cajun food, thai food, and a "cone truck." David and I first saw The Mighty Cone truck on a Netflix food show, so I felt a little like I'd encountered a celebrity. 

Finally, I know you're wondering what I snagged at Half-Price. You guys know I can't leave that joint without grabbing some clearance goodies...

  • The Devil Wears Prada by Lauren Weisberger -- loved the movie but haven't read the book
  • Shadow Tag by Louise Erdrich -- because I haven't read Erdrich and I flaked on this one when I checked it out from the library earlier this year
  • The Secret History of the Pink Carnation by Lauren Willig -- because it looks super fun
  • Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter by Tom Franklin -- because everyone loves it
And The Tiny Book of Tiny Stories, vol. 2 is for review. FYI: I read it last night. Review coming this week!

In closing, I picked Greyson up yesterday afternoon, and got home early last night. As much fun as I had in Austin over the last four days, it's always good to get home, make a nest, and get back into the usual routine. And settle down with all these new books, of course. 

How was your Thanksgiving??? 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Pre-Holday Pinning and a Holiday Recipe

Hey folks! I'm a little late to the party, but I've been looking forward to starting on Trish's Holiday editon of the Pin It and Do It challenge!

My family celebrates Thanksgiving early (or late) almost every year. I have a relative in the medical field who often works on holidays, so we're perfectly content to jump the gun or lag behind just a little. Yesterday's feast included (we're all about indulgence on holidays!)...

  • Spiral cut ham and a gravy made from the drippings
  • Onion-roasted potatoes
  • Broccoli, rice and cheese casserole
  • Baked beans
  • Whole kernel corn
  • Rolls
  • Veggie tray
  • Cream cheese, ham, and green onion spread with crackers
  • A meat and cheese tray
  • Buttermilk pie
  • Banana pudding (the best ever)
  • Pecan pie
And my two contributions were sausage dressing (stuffing NOT stuffed into anything) and corn casserole from the crock pot! The Crock Pot Corn Casserole, recipe compliments of the Crockin' Girls, is my first pin for the Pin It and Do It Holiday Challenge, and I have to say, it was a winner!

  • 1/2 cup butter (melted)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 can whole kernel corn (16 oz)
  • 1 can cream-style corn (16 oz)
  • 1 small package of cornbread mix (I used Jiffy)
Mix all the ingredients together, dump it in the crock pot, and cook for 2-3 hours on high. I did mine closer to 3 hours. I also recommend putting a folded paper towel over the crock top and putting the lid down over it to catch any condensation that might make it mushy. It just creates a nice little barrier. 

The casserole is a little like a corn pudding. It sets up nicely, but it has a soft, silky texture, and made a nice sweet'ish side with all our other savory items. 

You might also want to explore my Completed Pins board. These are some of my favorites!

Since I haven't made much headway in my reading, check back tomorrow for the sausage dressing recipe. It's one of my family's faves!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Head Rush!

Wow! What a week. So last week I had a phone interview for The Awesome Job, and today I had an in-person interview for The Awesome Job. I think the interview went really well. I enjoyed talking to the committee and think I would fit in nicely there. Now we'll just have to wait and see!

In the meantime, Thanksgiving is nearly upon us! This Sunday we're having Thanksgiving for my family at my mom's house. I'll be preparing the Sausage Dressing of Wonder. My official title for it. And I'll be crockin' up a corn casserole. There will be ham. There will be deviled eggs and veggie trays and broccoli/cheese/rice casserole. And pies. Can't forget the pies.

In other news, potty training is in full swing here. Ok, about half-swing. He's doing well at daycare, but I (me, the guilty mother) need to get my act together and go full-on underwear and give up the idea of Pull-Ups. Everyone tells me they truly do not work. SO, I'm scared. That's that.

In the Land of Books (and this blog is the Land of Capital Letters), The Count of Monte Cristo is rocking my socks. I'm on page 200 or so. Hotty McEdmond has regained his freedom (not a spoiler, everyone knows he regains it) and I'm ready for him to REVENGE all the wrongs against him. Is that really going to take 1,000 pages?

And why didn't anyone tell me that Jim Caviezel played Edmond in the 2002 adaptation??? I slept through 2002 apparently. Had no idea.

... He's cute.

And that is all. I'll be back with something more formidable and cohesive to say.


I hope.

Until then, what are you reading??? I need to add more to my stacks (ha!). 

Monday, November 12, 2012

Birthday Recap, Monday Reading, GOOD NEWS!

Helloooo everyone! I had a super fantastic birthday weekend filled with great company, great food, and good books! What more could a girl ask for, really? Here's a recap (and click the pics to see the bigger version)...

David came up Friday to meet Greyson, and we took him over to spend the weekend with Chuck and the Rockets. We proceeded to my night class where my student did not show up. Grr. And from there, we visited the Chinese Lantern Festival at Fair Park. The lantern festival was nothing short of spectacular! If you're in the Dallas area, be sure to check it out. 

Click to embiggen. A peacock vignette.

"Temple of the Fairies" -- over 50 feet tall!
Saturday we were up relatively early. We spent some time opening gifts and chatting before we headed out for brisket and egg breakfast tacos at Taco Cabana (a quick fave of mine), and onward to Dallas for what can only be described as a birthday-sized "book store crawl." 

We hit up the flagship Half Price Books store (huge, awesome) and my favorite indie, A Real Bookstore in Fairview. In between there, we also made a stop at my favorite bakery, La Rosette, to grab a couple of cupcakes (cookies and cream for me, carrot cake for him) and some Oreo bonbons to share with my mom and her boyfriend, Rick. 

After that it was off to my mom's house for dinner. She cooked up a comfort food bonanza of Salisbury steak, loaded mashed potatoes, buttered corn, sweet Hawaiian rolls, chocolate cake, and Shock Top Pumpkin Beer. OMG, I haven't been that stuffed in a while! It was so so so so good. 

And while gifts are SO NOT THE MAIN EVENT, my family and friends spoiled me rotten. I appreciate all they do and that they really know me well and pay attention. I was thrilled!

David has been listening to me complain about not having anything to blend with! I've wanted to start making homemade veggie/fruit/yogurt smoothies to get some more vegetables in on Greyson (and myself), so he got me a Magic Bullet set!!!!  I also plan to start ordering bulk produce from a local vendor so I'll have an influx of tomatoes, jalapenos, and other goodies in my possession. Sounds like salsa to me! David also got me a Kohl's gift card (not pictured) which I plan to use to buy some new wall art for the house or maybe some kickass new pieces for my closet. 

Mom surprised me with a Visa gift card just as we were leaving for the bookstore. She also fed my owl addiction with an owl hook set for my keys and two owl storage bowls with tops. I love love love them, and can't wait to use the bowls and hang the hook set. 

Rick gave me two bottles of wine. He knows I'm not big on the dry, so I received a bottle of sweet red and a bottle of sweet white. Yay! 

My sweet friend Katy, who worked with me at my previous job, surprised me with a gift card for I bought a super awesome "Litograph" print for Greyon's room -- a blue and green depiction of "Jack and the Bean Stalk." The print is actually made up of the Grimm's fairy tale text arranged in such a way as to make the picture. I have another one for the office from Great Expectations

Heather surprised me with an e-book copy of Magic for Beginners from my birthday wishlist. :DDD

And I know you're wondering what I snatched up at the bookstore. It's been almost a year since I bought any physical books. Maybe one or two here and there, but no major hauls. Well that embargo is officially broken...

13 books for $15 kicks some serious tail. I love love love the Half Price clearance section. These beauties were $1 each. 
  • The Gravedigger's Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates -- have wanted forever!
  • Loving Frank by Nancy Horan - started reading in the bookstore a while back
  • The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell - recommended by Les and ignored for too long!
  • Forever by Pete Hamill - recommended by David eons ago
  • The Plague by Albert Camus - classic, wanna read
  • Broken Birds: The Story of My Momila by Jeannette Katzir - received for review, then lost!
  • I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles - have enjoyed her Arthur books and Who Cooked the Last Supper?
  • Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn - good reviews from Aarti and others
  • Old School by Tobias Wolff  - wanted for a long time after I saw him interviewed
  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave - on the wishlist for a while
  • Angelology by Danielle Trussoni - recommended by Justin Cronin shortly after The Passage was released
  • Inglorious by Joanna Kavenna - loved The Birth of Love
  • The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent - local author, ignored long enough!

I also looked for a couple of books at A Real Bookstore, but the ones I wanted were out of stock (Wolf Hall, The Knife of Never Letting Go). No worries...I'll be supporting my local indie when I buy an e-book copy of I'm Down by Mishna Wolff for our next Girls Night Out book club gathering. 

I'm still working my way through The Count of Monte Cristo and the Count Readalong (#countRAL). It's slow going, but it helps that I'm both listening to AND reading this one. I saw the paperback copy at A Real Bookstore this weekend and was eternally glad I snagged an e-book copy!

Want to share what you're reading? Join It's Monday! What Are You Reading? hosted by Sheila of BookJourney!

Finally, and THIS IS BIG!!!

If you follow me on Facebook, you already know I had a phone interview last week for a PR Director position at the university where I received my BA and MA degrees. I've been quietly optimistic after the phone interview, and I found out Friday that I'm a finalist for the job and I've been invited back for a face-to-face interview!!!! That will be Thursday morning. If you're a praying person, SEND 'EM UP! If you're not, I appreciate all crossed fingers and good wishes. :) 

This is a dreamy position, wonderful university, and it's close to home, allowing me to maintain more time with Greyson and a shorter commute. I'm hoping everything will fall into place to allow me the opportunity to step into this position. It's endlessly exciting, but I'll save the details for when/if there's a reason to celebrate. :) 

No matter what happens, I am truly blessed in every way. Even though there are tough times that crop up, I have a supportive family, a beautiful child, and good friends, including all of you who read here. It doesn't get any better. 

Thank you, all of you, for everything!

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Heartbroken: Fair Trade Business In Need

Good morning, folks. It's a somber day. Yesterday a mutual friend--of Chuck's and mine--and his fiance were dealt quite a blow. Their home went up in flames early Wednesday morning, one day after returning from Africa with the fair trade goods they were to sell in launching their business. They're the founders of a fair trade lingerie company, Cherie Amie, which helps seamstresses in Cameroon  as well as providing loans for African women to start their own businesses.
Tara Smith and her fiance, Ryan Shuette, are great people. Both are smart, sweet, motivated humanitarians who want to bring awareness to fair trade and do what they can to help the world.

Read more about this story from a local Dallas news station. Visit Cherie Amie's Facebook page here. You can also view the Indiegogo campaign they used to help start their business here.

I'm not sure yet how those who adore Tara and Ryan and their efforts will organize to help. But for now, if you're moved to donate to this couple please contact me directly. We would love to be able to put together a little something for them whether it's donations of clothing and personal items or cash. They are two of the most selfless and deserving people we know and we couldn't ignore their story and their plight. I hope you'll feel the same!

Contact me here with donations, inquiries, fundraising ideas, or best wishes for this couple and their business...

Thank you to Chuck for bringing this situation to my attention, and for being a good friend to Ryan, Tara, and others.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Quotable: Barack Obama's 2012 Presidential Acceptance Speech

I believe we can seize this future together because we are not as divided as our politics suggests. We’re not as cynical as the pundits believe. We are greater than the sum of our individual ambitions and we remain more than a collection of red states and blue states. We are, and forever will be, the United States of America. 

Click here to watch the speech in its entirety. 

Anna Dressed in Blood

I'm finally getting around to reviewing my final RIP VII choice! And it was a doozy. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake was a wild card in this year's reading. I hadn't given the book much attention even though I saw reviews of it popping up in the blogosphere -- until it appeared on a gargantuan amount of Top Ten Tuesday Halloween lists a week before the holiday. My ears were finally and officially perked! I grabbed Anna Dressed in Blood from my library, and I was off and running!

Theseus Cassio Lowood (Cas) is a ghost hunter just like this father. His powerful athame (knife!) can destroy a ghost in the space of a heartbeat. However, his biggest challenge is before him when he and his mother--a kitchen witch--and their cat, Tybalt, move to Thunder Bay in search of one of the most powerful ghosts of all. The infamous and terrifying Anna Korlov, or Anna Dressed in Blood. She appears covered in veins, eyes black and terrible, her white party dress dripping blood. She shreds anyone who comes into her house. Except Cas. But the truth of the matter is that a much more terrible entity may be on Cas's trail. And he needs Anna's help to fight it.

When I picked up Anna Dressed in Blood I was somewhat apprehensive. I gave up YA paranormal fiction years ago because in the wake of the Twilight novels, it seemed that many YA paranormals became increasingly formulaic. The good news is that I hit the jackpot with Anna Dressed in Blood! Not only was it a breakneck (pardon the pun) pace right from the beginning, the writing was great, the story was fun, and the characters were unique and genuine.

This book would not have been as awesome without Cas as the narrator. Blake does a fabulous job writing a teen boy's perspective. Cas is a little bit full of himself (he's a super cool ghost hunter!) and more than a little conflicted. He's a loner but he knows how to play his classmates in each new school he visits to get information on the ghosts he needs to pursue. He has his hands full when he meets Carmel (most popular girl in school) and Thomas (witch, mind reader, loser) and actually makes some friends.

Anna herself is an amazing and enigmatic character. She's the most powerful ghost Cas has ever encountered (which is saying a lot). She's intelligent, thoughtful, introspective, and bound by a powerful spell to destroy. Can Cas help her? Can he keep from falling in love?

If you're not OK with gore, this book might not be for you. I think of it as a true horror/ghost story. There's no question about what's going bump in the night in this book. It's Anna, she's pissed, and she might rip out your intestines. 'Nuff said.

Cheers to Kendare Blake for writing a really cool, fast-paced, surprising, scary novel. I had a little trouble sleeping when I was done. I kinda thought there might be a ghost hiding in my attic. I think now it might just be a squirrel family. I hope.

If you're interested, there is a sequel to this book called Girl of Nightmares. I have the e-book (thanks, Heather!) and will read it as soon as I am ready to be freaked out again. From what I can tell, the sequel is the end of the series. It's not ANOTHER TRILOGY. Maybe. We'll see.

Snuggle (though skewering would be appropriate to the book) -- Skewer

Pub. Date: August 2011
Publisher: Doherty, Tom Associates
Format: Hardcover
ISBN-13: 9780765328656
Source: Library

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Top Ten Books I'd Dig for My Birthday!

I'm a'gonna be turning 32 on Saturday. I have managed to almost completely ignore the fact that I have a birthday coming up. If it weren't for Mom and David asking for a list of items I'd like for my birthday, I would not have thought of it at all! I'm not avoiding. I'm not scared of the number or anything, I just find as one gets older one tends to not pay as much attention. There are bills and house cleaning and meals to prepare. Jobs to find. Phone conversations to be had. Back episodes of Rules of Engagement to watch. In short, I kinda forgot.

But I was reminded this morning when I visited The Broke and the Bookish for Top Ten Tuesday! Lo and behold, Bridget listed the top ten books she wants for her birthday. And I think I'll do the same for the heck of it. I'm always delighted and surprised if I receive books for my birthday. I'm far more likely to bank a gift card which is TOTALLY fine. If I'm so lucky this year, I will use this list to guide my own buying. So here they are!

The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff -- I've had this one in my crosshairs for a while now. You may remember that I posted a "Requesting Recommendations" about polygamy a while back. Many suggestions came of that post, but I think this work of fiction remains at the tippy-top of my wishlist. 

Astray by Emma Donoghue -- This is one of the only NEW new releases you'll find on my wishlist. I'm more of a backlist girl. But I first encountered Emma Donoghue in her lovely (weird) short story collection of twisted fairy tales,  Kissing the Witch. It was only later that I tackled the uber-seller, ROOM. I'm itching to get back to her shorter pieces, and these stories are tied together thematically with instances of characters going astray. Intriguing!

The Birth House by Ami Mckay -- Another product of a "Requesting Recommendations" post on midwifery. This one has been on the radar for a good long while. 


Love Times Three: Our True Story of a Polygamous Marriage by Joe, Alina, Valerie, and Vicki Darger -- My work buddy and blog creeper, Shannon, brought this one to my attention round about the time I requested polygamist titles. Apparently these folks inspired the TV show, Big Love. Which I have not watched. But I should!

Magic for Beginners by Kelly Link -- A collection of odd, fantastical short stories. This one first came to my attention back in 2006 after Heather reviewed it. How's that for staying power on ye olde wishlist? I also seem to be seeing a short story trend emerge.

Deceptively Delicious: Simple Secrets to Get Your Kids Eating Good Foods by Jessica Seinfeld -- I can attribute the wishlisting of this book to another former colleague!!! When I was complaining about my issues getting Greyson to eat veggies, Katy suggested this one.

St. Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves by Karen Russell -- I read Russell's odd, award-nominated Swamplandia! earlier this year. It was surprisingly pleasing to the reading palette, and I knew immediately I wanted to read this unique collection of short stories.  

Medium Raw: A Bloody Valentine to the World of Food and the People Who Cook by Anthony Bourdain -- I fell in love with Anthony Bourdain many and many a year ago and quite by accident. I think it started with a random episode of No Reservations, and that kickstarted it all. I soon fell into his writing with Kitchen Confidential and A Cook's Tour. With No Reservations calling it quits, it's about time I returned to my beloved Tony. It's a scandal that I haven't read this one already. Bourdain is truly the reason I fell in love with food writing and travel memoirs. Thanks, Tony, for influencing my tastes -- both literary and culinary. 

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller -- This is the random title on the list if you ask me. While I've long been OVER mythology and Greek lore (a side effect of two degrees in English), I cannot resist the pull of The Song of Achilles. I've simply read too many good reviews and can hardly contain myself a moment longer!

Finally, the big, bad mother of the whole list. The emperor of wishlist items. Justin Cronin's follow-up to The Passage. THE TWELVE!!! Note: I will be buying The Twelve in e-book format. Who wants to lug this beast around? 

So what's on your wishlist??? Birthday or not. :)

Monday, November 05, 2012

It's Monday and I'm COUNTing!

I would've been here sooner, but the Internet has hated my guts today. And then when it did get working I was in a panic and spent the last four and a half hours grading papers and discussion forums for my online classes! A worthy cause, but blogging is much more fun.

What's new in my reading?

This book has eaten all other books...

Because let's just face it, if I don't start off with a bang and read super fast I will not finish. And that is unacceptable! Especially when I'm undertaking the Count Readalong as hosted by The Estella Society and as orchestrated by Heatheroo.

We're already having a heck of a time discussing on Twitter (#countRAL). Especially when it comes to the evil Danglars. I know, I giggle like a 12-year-old whenever I type it, too. Luckily the narrator on the audio version I'm listening to pronounces it "dang-lars." I laugh a little less.

Now, you may be thinking to yourself, "I love this book but it's SO long." Or maybe, "I just read it a couple of years ago, and I'm not sure I'm ready to revisit it." I respect all of those excuses. So why not read an EROTICIZED VERSION???!!! Gives a whole new meaning to Danglars.

I actually read this for review several years ago. Pretty naughty, but fun, and I hadn't even read Count then! Possibly a good thing. 
So what are you reading? Anything I need to hoard until I'm done with Count

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by the super-awesome Sheila of BookJourney

Friday, November 02, 2012


Happy after-Halloween, everyone! We had a fantastic time. Greyson covered my mom's street before he was ready to head back to the porch and supervise the passing out of the candy. He's quite the polite little man, except when the crowds slowed down. Then he stood on the porch and yelled over the hedges, "Hey! Come get candy!" 

At least he's ok with sharing!

One of the best parts of my reading year is always the Readings Imbibing Peril (RIP) event. This is year seven, and what a year it was! I embarked upon Peril the First, to read four books in the qualifying genres. I actually only managed to finish three books (and a short story), but I'm still very satisfied with this year's reading. 


  • Patrick Ness's heartbreaking, beautifully illustrated, A Monster Calls.
  • Vera Brosgol's fun, twisty graphic novel, Anya's Ghost.
  • Carlo's Ruiz Zafon's short story, "Rose of Fire." 
  • Kendare Blake's YA gorefest, Anna Dressed in Blood.
It's hard to pick a favorite book out of this year's RIP reading. I'd say A Monster Calls and Anna Dressed in Blood probably tie for two very different reasons. A Monster Calls was an emotional, tearful read that touched me deeply. Anna Dressed in Blood is an over-the-top ghost story with some interesting YA twists -- super fun and deserving of its own review, so watch for that next week. 

It's also surprising to see all YA titles on my list this year. I've been out of the YA loop for such a very long time. After Twilight things got extremely formulaic for a bit, but these books managed to break the mold and keep me highly entertained -- and a lot more open to future YA choices. 

As always, thanks SO MUCH to Carl for hosting this great event! I can't wait until the next one!

What was your favorite book from RIP VII

Images by Freepik