Thursday, September 18, 2014

Bloggiesta Starts Today!

I hope a few of you are joining me for this party, I mean, fiesta! Let's work on our blogs for the next few days, together!

I'm breaking out the music (my favorite Latino singer of course!): 

And the food:

And I plan to get TONS done! Ole!!

Oh... be sure to join me for the Twitter chats. I don't want to talk to myself!!

  • Blogging and Life (Time Management): Thursday September 18 @ 2 p.m. Eastern
  • All Your Blogging Problems Solved: Friday September 19 @  6 p.m. Eastern
  • Book Blogging Basics: Saturday September 20 @ 11 a.m. Eastern
  • End of Event Wrap Up: Sunday September 21 @ 1 p.m. Eastern

See you around!!!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Maus: A Survivor's Tale Volume 1: My Father Bleeds History by Art Spiegelman

Book: Maus: A Survivor's Tale Part 1 by Art Spiegelman
Genre: Graphic NF Memoir
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
For: Book club
From: Book club library set

Short Synopsis: The author sits down and interviews his dad about their experiences during WWII. This is the stuff leading up to their imprisonment in a concentration camp. The rest of the story is in Part 2. It's all harrowing and terrible and gut wrenching.

My Response: I wasn't overly fond of the drawings themselves. I mean, I could take them or leave them. But the story was powerful and sad and crazy. My favorite parts, however, were back in the "present" (the story was written in the 70s I think) and seeing the interactions between the son and the dad. I loved the dad's cute accent. And loved that the author decided to leave that in and let us enjoy it. Some parts of the story were very hard to read. And the dad told it so matter of factly. I wonder if that's how he really told it, and if he had to distance himself from things that way just in order to get through the telling. And also, I'm with the author and feel pretty furious about the throwing away of the mom's diary. Say what????

Bottom Line: I can see why this one gets so much attention. It's yet another wonderful, terrible Holocaust tale. And yes, I'll for sure be reading the rest of the story. I think it's in my house somewhere.

Let's Talk About: What do you think about a story such as this being told in graphic (comic) form? Strange I think. Very strange. But still, I guess it can make it even more a powerful story to actually SEE it as the author would like us to see it. The animal thing I just think is weird. I don't get why he decided to do that. Just... weird.

Other Reviews:

While I read this, I found moments to laugh, but there are also many moments to cry. From Historical Tapestry

There’s a good reason Maus has won nearly every award that can be bestowed on graphic novels. From Little Read Reviewer

I cannot possibly recommend Maus I and II enough. If you are new to graphic books, this would be a perfect place to start, and if you are an old pro with the genre – why haven’t you read these yet?? From Book Addiction

To say much more would come across as trite but suffice to say that Spiegelman never trivialises Vladek’s experiences but articulates them with brutal honesty and creativity that emphasises rather than detracts from the horror whilst also presenting it through an accessible medium. From Paperback Reader

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: I NEED To Read More of These Authors!

Today's list prompt from The Broke and the Bookish is. . . what author have you read just once... and are pretty much dying to read again. I had no trouble coming up with a list:

Ten Authors I NEED to Read More Of:

Juliet Marillier
Maria V. Synder
Sarah Waters
Jandy Nelsen
Jamie Ford
Kate Morton
Anne Rice
Rick Yancey
Erin Morgenstern
Justina Chen Headley

Some of them only have the one book. Some of them just came out with another book. Some of them have TONS of books, so what am I waiting for????

What authors are on your list today?

Monday, September 15, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Skinwalker Ranch: The Path of the Skinwalker by Ryan Skinner

Book: Skinwalker Ranch: The Path of the Skinwalker by Ryan Skinner
Genre: NF Memoir
Rating:★ ★ ☆☆☆
For: Fun
From: The library

Short Synopsis: So this guy, Ryan, has a strange experience out in the middle of nowhere Utah one night. After that, he's obsessed and he learns that there's a place near Fort Duchesne Utah where strange things happen all the time. So he begins to investigate. This book is the story of what first happened to him, and what happened to him during a couple of times that he camped on the ranch. For those interested... some of the strange stuff he sees are: blue floating lights that come up out of the ground, bigger lighted orbs that circle overhead and charge at him, voices in the sky that speak a strange robotic language, a wolf that emerges out black smoke, power lines that furiously wig out, creatures that appear out of the orbs of light, sounds and lights that are there one second and gone the next, etc. etc. etc.

My Response: I'm researching skinwalkes... yes. It's crazy I know. And fairly spooky. But I wanted to learn more about how others see them, or portray them, or what they think. This ranch here in Utah is named for the Skinwalker, but the stuff that goes on there is mostly alien, UFO, other worldly related. Spooky stuff for sure, but I still haven't heard any stories that are truly about the Skinwalker, which is a Navajo folk legend about evil shape-shifting witches. So, this book was disappointing in that regard. Plus, it had many problems. No editing at all (I've never read a book with so many mistakes!) and extremely strange writing. (And what do you think about the author's last name in regard to the subject matter? Now THAT's what's weird!)

Bottom line: Interesting as far as the stories go, terrible as far as the writing goes, and the fact that I'm still not sure if he has any idea what a skinwalker is.

Let's Talk About: When it comes to other worldly phenomenon, what do you think? Do you say yay or nay? Do you believe that we have aliens among us? How would you explain the strange goings on at Skinwalker Ranch? An elaborate hoax that someone's been keeping up on for the past 50 years? Or truly a mystifying enchanted haunted place?

Other Reviews:

There really are no other reviews on blogs that I can find. But you can always check out what the people on Amazon have to say!

A little clip from a SYFY show:

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Bloggiesta To Do List September 2014

Hey everyone! Bloggiesta is happening this week! I hope you'll be able to join in the fun. Check out the website for all the information. We'll be bloggiesta-ing for FOUR days again, Thursday through Sunday. There'll be Twitter parties every day. Here's the schedule for those:

  • Blogging and Life (Time Management): Thursday September 18 @ 2 p.m. Eastern
  • All Your Blogging Problems Solved: Friday September 19 @  6 p.m. Eastern
  • Book Blogging Basics: Saturday September 20 @ 11 a.m. Eastern
  • End of Event Wrap Up: Sunday September 21 @ 1 p.m. Eastern
Here's hoping you can join in the fun!

This week, bloggers are being asked to sign up for Bloggiesta by linking up their To Do Lists. (You can find the linky here.) I actually should (SHOULD!!) have lots of time to blog during this event, with only book club on Thursday night and The Maze Runner movie on Friday in my plans at the moment.  Here's hoping the rest of the days stay free!

So here's what I hope to accomplish this go around:
  • add reviews to Pinterest
  • update the archive (as usual)
  • update Utah Authors read list
  • add events to Utah Books blog
  • fix my broken social media icons
  • update My Favorites list
  • update my blog roll
  • update other lists on the tabs
  • host twitter chats
  • visit lots of bloggers
  • write some fun posts
  • do a couple mini challenges
  • catch up on reviews

A pretty big list, but all basic stuff, yes? Here's hoping it all goes down!

I hope to see all you, my blogging buddies, joining in! See you there!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Movie Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

Movie: Guardians of the Galaxy
Genre: Superhero Drama
Starring: Chis Pratt, Bradley Cooper, Zoe Saldana
Rating: PG 13
My Rating: One thumb up

I'm not sure I understand all the hype around this movie. So I went to see what I thought.. despite the fact that the previews and trailers I'd seen made it look so so stupid to me!

So, it was less stupid than I expected, but I still don't quite get the hype. Yes, it's funny. A silly sort of parody funny. Is it trying to make fun of itself and other superhero movies? I think so. But I'm not quite sure.

The almost kiss. This is as close as it got.
And that's it for the romance!

I was surprised at the emotion it contained. It had several nearly weepy-eyed moments. Groot's face was especially expressive, which I found to be fascinating.

Did you want a short synopsis? Let's see if I can even do it! So, we have this guy who was kidnapped into space when he was a kid. He's since been living a sort of life of thievery and when he steals this thing, this orb thing, he's caught up in a battle for it. And he has no idea what it even does. But he learns and then he has to save the world! I mean, the galaxy! With the help of his trusty sidekicks... a genetically engineered raccoon, a sentient tree, a revenge filled killer, and an alien girl who has a ton of baggage. Their characters are all a bit silly, and it's amazing they can accomplish anything!

So, bottom line: It was fun. A good ride. But, nothing I'd come home and say... "you HAVE to see this!"

Here's the trailer for those who have been living under a rock:

And P.S. Why do they always destroy Lee Pace's beautiful face and make him a bad guy.. in all the movies lately?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Book Review Discussion: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

Book: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor
Genre: YA Paranormal
Rating:★ ★ ★ ★ ★
For: Fun
From: I bought this one at B and N.

Short Synopsis: This is the third and final book in this trilogy. So spoilers for the first two books may appear! In this book, the bad angels have gone through the portal and appeared in the mortal world. Karou and Akiva have joined their forces in an uneasy alliance to stop them. Many wonderful and awful things happen in the process. In the end, a whole new crazy aspect to this story is discovered and the craziness continues!

My response: The writing is so beautiful that I have no words to gush. I just love it so so much. The plot gets a bit complicated and sometimes makes my head spin, but I love it too. But most importantly, I really really love the characters Such unique characters. Angels and demons? I mean, hello. And these are not your typical angels and demons. Sometimes the angles are pretty demonic and the demons are pretty angelic. It's all a bit confusing! But makes for such a compelling story. And our resident humans, Zuze and Mik, are just the perfect touch to keep the humanity in the story. I want a whole book just about them, you know? And Ziri? Sigh. I loved him too, like, so so much.

Bottom line: I loved this book. I love this series. Totally and completely.

Let's Talk About: What is it,  for you, that makes writing... good writing? Awesome metaphors? Unique adjectives? Descriptions that are perfect and not overdone or cliche? Funny, humorous moments? Writing filled with emotion? It's all of that for me. And I wish it was something I could learn, but seriously, I think it's just something one comes with. And I just realized this author is coming to my area in a couple of weeks. Here's hoping I manage to get there to see her. Do you think if I ask her... "how do you write so well?" she'll tell me? Ha.

Other Reviews:

There is so much action, emotion, and tension packed into every page (or every minute of the mp3 in my case) that it forces the reader to race on. From My Books. My Life.

It is an investment, but you will not be disappointed. From Annette's Book Spot

The entire point of this book: peace is worth whatever it takes. A New Kind of Living is worth giving your life for. From The Book Nest

Laini Taylor has a talent for writing a modern epic story in a poetic style that is not hit you over the head poetic. This I completely appreciate and think her unique style of writing makes this story. From My Little Pocketbooks


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