Monday Musings

Musing Mondays (13)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading. Each Monday, she asks a book-related question and we blog our answers, then link back to her original post. (You can find this week’s post by clicking on the above image).

This week’s musing asks…

Do you snack while you read?  If so, what is your favorite reading snack?

(question courtesy of  http://collettaskitchensink.blogspot.com)

You know, I’ve never really thought about it.  Occasionally I might snack, but it’s probably something small enough that I could pick at (like chips, popcorn or Ritz crackers).  But I tend to read most at night in bed, and I rarely have a snack in bed (I don’t like crumbs in my bed!)

So that was my semi-long-winded way of saying, I normally do not snack when I read.

What about you?

Monday Musings

Musing Mondays (12)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading. Each Monday, she asks a book-related question and we blog our answers, then link back to her original post. (You can find this week’s post by clicking on the above image).

This week’s musing asks…

What are you currently reading? Is it any good? Would you recommend it?

I’m kind of reading a few different books right now.  My long-term is The Count of Monte Cristo. But I guess I shouldn’t say I’m “currently” reading it since I haven’t picked it up in a month or so.

I’m also taking a hiatus from The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, which is a compilation of all 5 books.  I’m about halfway through book 3. Books 1 and 2 were very entertaining but I’ve hit a little wall with it. (It was our June read for the book club on Goodreads you can see in my right sidebar…our first book, and I think maybe slightly ambitious for me to think I could finish all 5 in a month…on top of my other reads).

But I’m reading a book called Plague of Coins by Aiden James. I found this on Amazon (Kindle) and am planning to use it for the What’s in a Name? Challenge.  I’m halfway through it.  Not sure how much I really like it, though.  I’ve come across some very basic grammar mistakes and I really don’t care for the main character all that much….

I also just started Little Bee by Chris Cleave last night.   I borrowed this from my old manager months and months and months ago and it’s been sitting on my shelf.  I asked her about a book I lent her month and months and months ago and then realized that I still had one of hers, but still hadn’t read it.  I figured I might as well at least try the first chapter before giving it back to her.  I read about 1.5 chapters before I went to bed, and I haven’t decided whether to continue reading it or not.  (I forgot to bring it to work today, so I have another night to read a bit more if I choose).  So I don’t have an opinion yet.  Though my old manager said that it was a tough book to get through and she really wasn’t sure which character to “root” for, so I was kind of expecting to not be able to get through the first chapter, but I did.  We’ll see.    Has anyone read it?  Any opinions?

Yay!  Posting my first weekly meme in a while 🙂

Monday Musings

Musing Mondays (11)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Each Monday, a book-related question will be posted and we blog our answers, then link back to the original post. (You can find this week’s original post by clicking on the above image).

This week’s musing asks…

Do you have a reading goal for the year? Such as __ books? Why or why not?

Before this year, I’ve never set a reading goal.  I started my blog at the end of last year, so when the end of December came around, I decided I wanted to participate in reading challenges and then set a book goal for myself for 2012.  This year my goal is 75.  I think that’s a pretty good goal.  Last year I read about 30 books in the second half of the year, so I kind of based it on that. Plus I saw the reading goals thing on Goodreads, and thought it would be fun to track.

Next year, I don’t know if I’m going to set a goal. We’ll see how I feel at the end of this year.

(this is going to be my only normal weekly meme this week as I am participating in ArmchairBEA and posting daily posts with them.  You should join!)

Monday Musings

Musing Mondays (10)

 

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Each Monday, a book-related question will be posted and we blog our answers, then link back to the original post. (You can find this week’s original post by clicking on the above image).

This week’s musing asks…

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop and look it up right away?

What a great question!

When I was little, I would ask my parents what a word meant and they would tell me to look it up in the dictionary.  I didn’t always do that, though. If I couldn’t figure out the word using the context, I would usually just let it go.  Most  often, I was on a train or somewhere where a dictionary was not readily available, and then I would forget to check it out later.

But now that I have my Kindle, I can just move the cursor to whatever word I want to look up and the definition pops up.  So easy!  I’ve had the Kindle for about a year now, but only recently really started utilizing the dictionary feature.  Especially with books written a long time ago!

What about you?

Monday Musings

Musing Mondays (9)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Each Monday, a book-related question will be posted and we blog our answers, then link back to the original post. (You can find this week’s original post by clicking on the above image).

This week’s musing asks…

What do you do with the book before you start reading it?

It depends.  If it’s on my Kindle, I make sure I’m at the cover of the book and go through each page.  I don’t skip to chapters, and I rarely click on the hyperlinked chapter title/number because I always want to make sure I’m going to the first page and not missing anything.

With a physical book, I may re-read the back of the book (if there’s anything there), but usually I just jump right in.  I may look to see how the chapters are set up (character POVs, dated, formatted as letters, etc.) But mostly, I just start it right away.

Monday Musings

Musing Mondays (8)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Each Monday, a book-related question will be posted and we blog our answers, then link back to the original post. (You can find this week’s original post by clicking on the above image).

This week’s musing asks…

Do you tend to read to the end of a chapter or can you stop anywhere?

It definitely depends on how much I enjoy the book.  If I’m really into it I’ll think “okay, just ’til the end of this chapter…okay, one more chapter”.  But sometimes, I”m not able to finish so neatly at the end of a chapter.  For example, if I’m on the train to work, I will have to stop reading when I switch trains.  And of course I’ll have to stop reading when I get to work, no matter where I am in the book.

But in situations where I have control, I almost always go to the end of a chapter.  I think it’s “neater” or “cleaner” than stopping in a random spot in the middle of chapter.

Monday Musings

Monday Musings (7)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Each Monday, a book-related question will be posted and we blog our answers, then link back to the original post. (You can find this week’s original post by clicking on the above image).

This week’s musing asks…

If you were going to write a book, what would you write about? Would it be fiction, or nonfiction?

I have always wished I was creative enough to write a book.  When I was younger I wrote a few short stories (nothing fantastic).  I even wrote an ending the way I would hate a real fantasy book to end: “it was all a dream.”  Thinking back, I can’t believe I did something like that. An ending like that (whether book, movie, or TV) is such a cop-out.

Anyway, I would love to write fiction.  Historical or children’s, I think.  I love the idea of historical fiction, it’s one of my favorite genres, but I know that it is a LOT of research in order for it to be as accurate as possible.  I think children’s stories could be fun to write because I think you could have more artistic license when writing for children.  They’re willing to believe more without questioning the details (sometimes, anyway. hehe)

One of my favorite stories I wrote as a kid was called “The Shoes” and it was about a boy in middle school (I think around 11 years old) who was on a basketball team that never won.  One day when he was at the mall, he stopped in a shoe store and bought an awesome pair of sneakers and when he played in his next basketball game he was the star of the game.  When he returned to the mall to ask about the sneakers, the shoe store was gone, but there was a piece of paper where the storefront had been and it was a note to him from the shop owner who happened to be an elf.  Something to that effect, anyway. 🙂

How about you?  Have you ever wanted to write a book? Or have you?

Monday Musings

Musing Mondays (6)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Each Monday, a book- or reading-related question will be posted and we blog our answers, then link back to the original post. (You can find this week’s original post by clicking on the above image).

This week’s musing asks…

Do you listen to audiobooks? If not, why not? And, if so, what has been one of your favorites, so far?

I’ve only done a couple audiobooks.  My first attempt with an audiobook ended poorly.  In college my friend Allison and I decided to try an audiobook so we could knit while listening, since we both really liked to read and I was teaching her how to knit. (I use the term “teaching” lightly).  Anyway, the CD set we got was narrated by a man with an accent and he didn’t change his voice between narration and dialogue, or between characters; we quickly got confused and gave up.

The next time I tried an audiobook was earlier this year.  I listened to The History of English Literature. (see my review here).  It was a better experience, I think.  Plus, I was able to listen to it at work, which was pretty great.  It may have been easier for me since there it was a history rather than a novel.  There were no “characters” so it was easier to follow.

I would definitely like to try another audiobook sometime soon.  Any suggestions?

Monday Musings

Musing Mondays (5)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Each Monday, a book- or reading-related question will be posted and we blog our answers, then link back to the original post. (You can find this week’s original post by clicking on the above image).

This week’s musing asks…

Other than working at a job, what is your biggest interruption to reading? What takes you away from your book(s)?

Well there are a number of things that take away from my reading time, and if I’m being honest, being on here is one of them!  Sometimes I’m not able to catch up on the blog world/blogging friends until after I get home from work/at the end of the day.  Yet somehow, even though I’m in front of a computer all day long, I don’t mind jumping back on at home to catch up with everyone.

Also, there are a number of TV shows that I enjoy watching which also take time out (especially if I have to watch them OnDemand and I’m unable to fast forward…I hate that!)

And of course, hockey play-offs began last week, so I have to watch my B’s. (even if they haven’t been playing well, but they’re still alive!)

Those are really my biggest interruptions to getting my reading done.  (And sometimes, I’d rather play a few quick games of solitaire on phone while lying in bed before I fall asleep…)

What stops you from reading?

Monday Musings

Musing Mondays (4)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Each Monday, a book- or reading-related question will be posted and we blog our answers, then link back to the original post. (You can find this week’s original post by clicking on the above image).

This week’s musing asks…

What are you currently reading? And, is it better, as good as, or worse than your last read?

I have The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas up and ready to go as my next read.  I had all intentions of beginning it last night, but ended up getting sidetracked by Inside West Coast Customs (season finale, a Darth Vader build…awesome!)  And I’m not sure how much of it I’ll get done tonight since it’s Game 3 of the Bruins’ Quarterfinals against the Capitals…priorities, people, priorities! 🙂

Anyway, it’s a classic and I’m using it for my Back to the Classics Challenge and it’s a translation.  I have a feeling it will not be as good as The Night Circus (see my review here).  I really enjoyed that book a LOT.

Monday Musings

Musing Mondays (3)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Each Monday, a book- or reading-related question will be posted and we blog our answers, then link back to the original post. (You can find this week’s original post by clicking on the above image).

This week’s musing asks…

What do you think are the top 5 books every woman should read?

In no particular order

1. The Hunger Games Trilogy, Suzanne Collins

I think this is a series all young women should read. I know it’s been used a lot in a lot of book lists recently, but I think Katniss Everdeen is a great role model for girls.  She is strong and family oriented.  She is not shallow, vicious or petty.

2. MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a BFF, Rachel Bertsche

This is a great memoir about searching for a best friend in a new city.  It’s more than just that, though.  There’s a lot about what friendship is, how it is formed and not just through the eyes of the author.  We learn about research actually completed in regards to this.  (Bertsche has a blog where she posts pretty frequently about many things related to friendship and BFFs. Check it out here)

3. Maybe the Alphabet books (Kinsey Millhone series) by Sue Grafton (A is for Alibi, B is for Burglar,  etc.)

I say these hesitantly.  They have a strong female lead, but it all depends on whether you like crime novels or not.  If you enjoy crime then you will probably like these.  They’re set in the 80s, so it’s interesting to try to stay in that mindset.

4. Friday Night Knitting ClubKate Jacobs (and the later novels)

It is a great story about family, friendship, knitting and life.

5. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte

This is a classic that should be read by everyone.  Jane is actually a bit modern for her time period and a rather strong female character, despite her upbringing.  This is one of my favorite novels.

I’m sure there are “better’ options out there, but this is what I came up with.  Enjoy 🙂

Monday Musings

Musing Mondays (2)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Each Monday, a book- or reading-related question will be posted and we blog our answers, then link back to the original post. (You can find this week’s original post by clicking on the above image).

This week’s musing asks…

Do you belong to any book clubs — face-to-face, or online? If so, how long have you been with the group(s)? If not, why?

I don’t belong to any book clubs.

When I was in college, I was part of a book club from my sophomore year through senior year.  It was led by the Director of the Academic Center (a woman I consider a good friend and mentor) and it was comprised of students from all years.  We were considered an actual club on campus and had a small budget.  Due to that, we were able to have food during our meetings, which were usually held a week night around 5ish (aka dinner time).  We got pizza and rolls for Bertucci’s.. YUM!

The club had two rules: You don’t talk about book club… (just kidding). Whatever book we read must be a first-time read for everyone participating and whatever title was chosen was the book to read (no switching). We would make suggestions which were then written on slips of paper and thrown into a paper bag.  Then someone would pick the title.  We met roughly once a month since we all had classes and other obligations, so we had plenty of time to read the chosen book.  We also had a “recommended reading list” which was all the books that we couldn’t read as a group since someone had already read it.  The director would send an updated listed via email at the end of every meeting.

I enjoyed our book club so much and it was the first real book club I had ever been a part of.  At the end of every semester, we would try to watch a movie adaptation of a book we had read during the semester, if there was a movie out.

I had tried to set up a book club with some of my family members, and we actually read two books and met twice, but with all of our busy schedules, it fell by the wayside and we never picked up after that. We had created our club (reading is sexy) on the bookmovement website.  It’s actually a pretty cool site where you have a chance to win books for your club.  We got Eat, Pray, Love that way.

Monday Musings

Musing Mondays (1)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Each Monday, a book- or reading-related question will be posted and we blog our answers, then link back to the original post.

So without further ado, here is the question of the day:

Have you ever found a book out of the blue, read it, and then had it be surprisingly good — one that stuck with you for years? If so, what book was it?”


This one took a lot of thought.  I’ve read so many books over the years that I had to think back to one that wasn’t recommended or given to me.  I actually had 4 books to choose from, two of them were recent (within the last year) so I felt that they didn’t quite fit the question.  So I finally decided on Watchers by Dean Koontz.  This is one of my favorite books of all-time. If I’m ever asked to list a few of my favorite books, this one will always appear on the list.

Good reads synopsis: On his thirty-sixth birthday, Travis Cornell hikes into the foothills of the Santa Ana Mountains. But his path is soon blocked by a bedraggled Golden Retriever, who will let him go no further into the dark woods.

That morning, Travis had been desperate to find some happiness in his lonely, seemingly cursed life. What he finds is a friend—a dog of alarming intelligence—and a threat that could only have come from the darkest corners of man’s imagination…

The above is a very brief, rather uninformative synopsis of the book.  I probably first stumbled upon it in Barnes and Noble years ago.  I’ve definitely read it enough times that the spine (it is a paperback) is all worn and creased (the sure sign of a good book!).  The book was first published back in 1987, but I was only 2 then so I clearly didn’t read it when it first came out. I probably first read it within the last 10 years.  I like to re-read it from time to time because the story is so good.

I was on a Dean Koontz kick a while back and have about 8 of his books (not a lot, in retrospect, considering how many he’s written) and I had enjoyed others (such as Lightning), so I figured I’d give it a shot.  Saw that it involved an intelligent dog so I bought it.

Never would I have imagined loving a story so much!  Or, more to the point, a fictional dog named Einstein.  After reading this book, I always looked at dogs a little differently.

My boyfriend’s aunt has a golden retriever so I lent her the book to read, because I thought she would love it.  I don’t think she’s read it yet, though, so I haven’t gotten it back.  But I think I will re-read it once I do.  It’s been a couple of years since I last read it, anyway.  It’s due for a re-read.

I was reading a review yesterday about The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green by Lauren at Book Blob and the first quote she posted from the novel was a perfect summation of how I feel about certain books: “Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”  That’s how I feel about Watchers. Again, mainly because of Einstein more than anything else in the book.