Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Month in Review: August '11

AUGUST '11

Books Read: 43

That's not as impressive as it may sound - there are a number of children's books on this list.

Opposites by Emma Dodd
Counting by Emma Dodd
Rainbow Fun by Emma Dodd
Playtime by Emma Dodd
Sounds by Emma Dodd
Busy Day by Emma Dodd
Birthday by Emma Dodd
On the Farm by Emma Dodd
Shapes by Emma Dodd
Little Bat by Klaartje van der Put
Little Reindeer by Klaartje van der Put
Little Snowman by Klaartje van der Put
Little Spider by Klaartje van der Put
Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare (audio. reread)
All We Know of Heaven by Jacquelyn Mitchard
Clone Codes by Pat McKissack
Alien in the Family by Gini Koch
Black Night by Christina Henry
Working Stiff by Rachel Caine
Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
ARC: All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (audio. reread)
Ryan Heshka's ABC Spookshow by Ryan Heshka
Welcome to Monster Town by Ryan Heshka
Miss Smith and the Haunted Library by Michael Garland
The Day Z Went First by Alethea Kontis
H is for Halloween by Alethea Kontis
I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll
Dinosaur vs. the Potty by Bob Shea
Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair
The Butter Man by Elizabeth Alalou
Skippyjon Jones Lost in Spice by Judy Schachner
Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclair
An Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair
Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet by Carol Carrick
Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
ARC: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair
Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian
Vampire Academy graphic novel by Richelle Mead
Red Butterfly by Deborah Noyes
The Legend of Banzai Maguire by Susan Grant

Reviews
Delirium: The Special Edition by Lauren Oliver

Yep, I know that is incredibly lame, but it's been a crazy busy month! In addition to all the usual August mayhem, I have also been working practically nonstop for the last week or so on my submission for a creative contest by Beth Revis, which I just finished today.

My Entry for Beth Revis's Creative Contest


PLEASE STOP HERE IF YOU HAVE NOT YET READ ACROSS THE UNIVERSE BY BETH REVIS. THERE WILL BE SPOILERS. NOW, GO READ THE BOOK! :)

As you may have heard me mention several times on this blog, Beth Revis is hosting a Creative Contest this month. The grand prize? An ARC of A Million Suns (!!!!) and a beautiful, handcrafted charm bracelet with symbols from Across the Universe (which I have been salivating over for the last couple of months).

I decided to make a quilt.

Front

Back
I started quilting in the first grade with the Girl Scouts, and all of our quilts were then donated to various charities that support moms of new babies who need a little help. We even got to visit the NICU ward at a local hospital one year and talked to some of the moms who had received our quilts. It was such a powerful experience. The point of the story is that quilting has been a part of my life for a long time (16 years!), and, although I have yet to master all the skills, it is something that I love doing. I had so much fun making this quilt!

I started off with these fabrics:

Ah, the prettiness!

I had to take this picture with an ARC of ATU because my finished copy is off visiting a librarian friend of mine, who wanted to check out the awesomeness of the book without taking a fabulously circing copy off library shelves.

The white fabric, which actually has some sparkle to it, is for the Godspeed logo, which was appliqued to the quilt backing. the purple, blue, turquoise, and pink fabrics are for the quilt squares. (I felt like I was in an early/mid-90s flashback - all of my clothes growing up were those colors!) The silver lamé and the blue, yellow, and orange patterned fabrics above that are for the appliqués on the front, which are all symbols from Across the Universe. The pretty blue patterned fabric looked like space, to me at least, so that is the border around everything. And finally, the blue and purple plaid flannel is the backing and binding. It might not look like much yet, but it's getting there!

The next step was to choose the symbols from the book. I had a vague idea of what I wanted to do at this point, but it also needed to be feasible. So, I found basic templates of a light bulb, water droplet, star, and koi fish. The stars went onto the silver lamé, because I think stars should be shiny. (That's a terrible explanation, but, sadly, that was my thought process for that decision. The rest are better, I promise!) The light bulb and water droplet went respectively onto the yellow and blue patterned fabrics. If you'll notice from the picture above, these fabrics are very geometric and so the design is very controlled. That made these fabrics perfect for the two elements of the story that are so controlled by Eldest: the light bulbs, which are supposed to be actual stars that show just how far the Godspeed has come in her journey, and the water, which has been drugged to keep the general populace in line. Finally, the koi fish went on the orange batik fabric. This print is very free-flowing and artistic - none of the pieces I found were exactly alike. That uniqueness made it a perfect fabric for Harley's koi and all of the artistic people aboard the Godspeed who had been made to believe they were insane.

At this point, I thought all the hard parts were over, and the rest would be easy going. Boy, was I wrong. I tried time and again to find a pattern that worked well, but everything ended up too forced. I finally resorted to assigning a number to each of the four fabrics and using a random number generator (www.random.org) to create the pattern. I had to tweak it slightly were there were big patches of one color, but otherwise what you see is the pattern as it was generated.

Now things started to move swimmingly. The symbols were cut out of their coordinating fabrics and machine-appliquéd onto the squares with metallic silver thread. The detail on the light bulbs (threads) and koi fish (whishers and eyes) was done freehand. The squares were then sewn into strips, and those strips were sewn together, and so on and so forth until the final quilt top emerged.

Now for the really hard part: the Godspeed logo. Whoever designed that logo must have some kind of superpower with parallels and angles, because that just about put me over the edge! I spent hours working on the template, only to discover that I hadn't thought it all the way through and should have done it flipped backwards because of how the template would iron onto the white sparkly fabric. DOH! It worked out in the end, even if it did involve several extra layers of fabric and fusible webbing. The logo was then ironed and machine appliquéd onto the quilt backing, but just with regular silver thread this time because the sparkly stuff kept snapping.

From there it was once again easy going: I just had to make the "quilt sandwich" (put batting between the top and backing), bind it, and stitch in the ditch - but on an angle to make it extra special. I am so very happy with how it turned out, and I hope you like it too!

:: happy dance ::

I would also like to mention that I did most of this work while listening to the audiobook of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. This is by far one of my favorite books, and I still have the first copy I ever read (which was first my dad's, from his childhood). But the audiobook rocks too! If you're wondering why this is relevant, go find the secret page (and the password for it!) on Beth Revis's website.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: The Finish Line

Today is the last day of the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon! Thanks to Amanda @ On a Book Bender for hostng such a wonderful event.

I haven't gotte any reading done yet today, but overall this has been a very successful read-a-thon. I had a ton of fun! Hopefully my fellow read-a-thoners also enjoyed themselves.


My Totals
# books completed: 7
# pages read: 1,183
# hours listened: 6
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly, Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet by Carol Carrick, Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan, Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair, Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian, Vampire Academy graphic novel by Richelle Mead

Books started but not yet completed: The Legend of Banzai Maguire by Susan Grant, Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre


My Week in Books (45)

Credit for IMM goes to The Story Siren
-----------------------------------------------

Books bought

The Legend of Banzai Maguire (2176 Series, #1) Day of Fire (2176 Series, #2) The Shadow Runners (2176 Series, #3) The Power Of Two (2176 Series, #4) The Scarlet Empress (2176 Series, #5)

The 2176 series:
The Legend of Banzai Maguire by Susan Grant
Day of Fire by Kathleen Nance
The Shadow Runners by Liz Maverick
The Power of Two by Patti O'Shea
The Scarlet Empress by Susan Grant

Pre-order arrivals

Llama Llama Home with Mama Torn (The Missing, #4) The Power of Six (Lorien Legacies #2) Possess Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1) Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel

Llama Llama Home with Mama by Anna Dewdney
Torn by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Power of Six by Pittacus Lore
Possess by Gretchen McNeil
Bloodlines by Richelle Mead
Vampire Academy graphic novel by Richelle Mead & Leigh Dragoon

What I read this week

An Accidental Goddess Grimspace (Sirantha Jax, #1) Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet Glow (Sky Chasers, #1) Games of Command Memoirs of a Goldfish Vampire Academy: The Graphic Novel

An Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair
Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet by Carol Carrick
Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair
Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian
Vampire Academy graphic novel by Richelle Mead & Leigh Dragoon

Books I started but haven't finished (yet!)

The Legend of Banzai Maguire (2176 Series, #1) Wanderlust (Sirantha Jax, #2)

The Legend of Banzai Maguire by Susan Grant
Wanderlust by Ann Aguirre

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: Day 6

Today is Day 6 of the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon! I am posting this way late - it has been way too busy today. That said, I have the house to myself for another few hours, so I am hoping to get a decent amount of reading done before going to bed.

Updates: Day 6

Yesterday's totals

# books completed: 7
# pages read: 1,183
# hours listened: 6
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly, Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet by Carol Carrick, Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan, Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair, Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian, Vampire Academy graphic novel by Richelle Mead

10:30 PM

Very early this morning, I started The Legend of Banzai Maguire by Susan Grant. It's the first in the 2176 science fiction romance series written by Susan Grant, Kathleen Nance, Liz Maverick, and Patti O'Shea (which arrived in my mailbox Friday afternoon, making me one very happy girl). Now I'm off to pick it back up again!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: Day 5

Today is Day 5 of the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon - past the halfway mark! Very exciting! I hope everyone who's participating is having lots of fun and reading some great books!

Want to join in the fun? Head on over to On a Book Bender to sign up! The read-a-thon will last until Sunday the 28th.


Updates: Day 5

Yesterday's totals
# books completed: 4
# pages read: 1,010
# hours listened: 5
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly, Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet by Carol Carrick, Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan, Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair

8:00 AM

Nothing to report yet, other than it is too dang early to be up and about yet. There is nothing I'd love more than to head on back to bed, but, alas, I have to go to work. Boo. On a brighter note, my copy of the Vampire Academy graphic novel arrived in the mail the other day, so that will be easy to knock out later tonight.


8:30 PM


I read a cute kids' book at work today: Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian. And I finally finished the audiobook of Angel Burn! Woot! Also working my way through the Vampire Academy graphic novel.


# books completed: 6
# pages read: 1,039
# hours listened: 6
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly, Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet by Carol Carrick, Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan, Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair, Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian

11:45 PM

Just finished the Vampire Academy graphic novel. Having read the "real" novel first, I was unimpressed with the adaptation, which seems to be my usual reaction to graphic novels. They just miss all the subtext and humor.

# books completed: 7
# pages read: 1,183
# hours listened: 6
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly, Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet by Carol Carrick, Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan, Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair, Memoirs of a Goldfish by Devin Scillian, Vampire Academy graphic novel by Richelle Mead

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: Day 4

Today is Day 4 of the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon! I am still way busier this week than I had originally intended, but I have been carefully carving out blocks of time here and there, so I am finding moderate success. I hope my fellow read-a-thoners are faring well also.

Want to join in the fun? Head on over to On a Book Bender to sign up! The read-a-thon will last until Sunday the 28th.

Updates: Day 4

Yesterday's totals
# books completed: 3
# pages read: 485
# hours listened: 5
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly, Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet by Carol Carrick, Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

12:00

I ended up staying up until about 2 AM to read a big chunk of Games of Command. Awesome!

# books completed: 3
# pages read: 618
# hours listened: 5
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly, Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet by Carol Carrick, Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan, Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair

11:30

Just a few pages away from finishing Games of Command. Going to call and record it now so I can go straight to sleep after finishing. This one wasn't my favorite of Sinclair's books to date - I much prefer the non-military environment. Still good, though.

# books completed: 4
# pages read: 1,010
# hours listened: 5
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly, Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet by Carol Carrick, Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan, Games of Command by Linnea Sinclair

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: Day 3

Today is Day 3 of the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon! I keep overestimating the amount of time I have to read, but it turns out I'm getting an extra night alone with Boyfriend on an extended business trip, so I will probably pull an all-nighter. Nothing new there.

Want to join in the fun? Head on over to On a Book Bender to sign up! The read-a-thon will last until Sunday the 28th.

Updates: Day 3

Yesterday's totals:
# books completed: 0
# pages read: 260
# hours listened: 4
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

1:30 PM

Well, I slept in today. It was awesome. I finished Grimspace after waking up, which was also quite awesome. Then I cleaned up several hairballs, for which I blame my cat.
Cute, isn't he? Until you realize he's EVIL!!!
Anyway, I'm headed out to work on my crafty submission again. I will get back to reading sometime this evening.

# books completed: 1
# pages read: 312
# hours listened: 4
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

11:50 PM

Ah, uninterrupted reading time, how I've missed you.

I had about an hour of travel time to work on that audiobook again, which was nice. It's almost to the end now, woohoo! In addition, I read a cute little picture book called Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet, and I just finished my ARC of Glow. I really wanted to like it, but something just didn't work for me. Maybe it was the religion bit, or the characters . . . I'll have to think on it before writing the review. Anyway, I am very excited to move on to my next scifi adventure with Games of Command. I also picked up some new (to me) scifi books in the fantabulous used section at Schuler's, which had a ton of the out-of-print titles I've been trying to track down recently.

I will stay up for a while longer tonight reading, but those books will go on tomorrow's post.

# books completed: 3
# pages read: 485
# hours listened: 5
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly, Patrick's Dinosaurs on the Internet by Carol Carrick, Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: Day 2

Today is Day Two of the Bout of Books Read-a-Thon! Woohoo! I should have much more time tonight than yesterday to read, and I can't wait to bury my nose in a good book.

Want to join in the fun? Head on over to On a Book Bender to sign up! The read-a-thon will last until Sunday the 28th.

Updates: Day 2

Yesterday's totals:
# books completed: 0
# pages read: 103
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre

8:00 AM

Today's another early day. Lots of errands to run, then it's off to work on my submission for Beth Revis's contest again. I should have some time in the early afternoon, because my doggies can't be locked up all day, and then I'm off again to Schuler Books in Lansing for a Carrie Vaughn signing event. Yay!

In terms of books, I'm hoping to finish Grimspace today, then either finish the ARC of Amy Kathleen Ryan's Glow that I started last week or start the next Linnea Sinclair book, Games of Command.

11:30 PM

Today has been one of those days where you know you've been busy and running around all day, yet you still feel like nothing has actually been accomplished. Le sigh.

I was very fortunate today to meet the lovely and talented Carrie Vaughn at Schuler Books in Lansing. The drive to the signing sucked (2.5 hours instead of 1.5), but the event itself was lovely. She read an excerpt from her short story in the upcoming anthology, Down These Strange Streets, did a Q&A session, and was then nice enough to sign all of the 17 books that I brought. (Yes, 17! That is including the 2 that I bought at the store but not the other 2 that I couldn't find from my own stash!) If you have an opportunity to go to one of her events, I highly recommend it. She's a great public speaker.

This was the highlight of my day. However, the rest of the day seems to have been spent running errands or driving somewhere -- not exactly productive! I did read some of my audiobook of L.A. Weatherly's Angel Burn* that I picked up at BEA, as well as more of Grimspace while waiting for the event to begin. Hopefully I can knock the rest of that out before passing out for the night.

* I read the British version of this long before BEA. This is such a great book! An original concept with evil angels and a hot boy - what's not to love?

# books completed: 0 (LAME!)
# pages read: 227
# hours listened: 4
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

Morning of Day 3

I was too tired to update this last night, but I dug a little further into Grimspace.

# books completed: 0 (STILL LAME!)
# pages read: 260
# hours listened: 4
Titles: Grimspace by Ann Aguirre, Angel Burn by L.A. Weatherly

Monday, August 22, 2011

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon: The Starting Line

The Bout of Books Read-a-Thon starts today! I am so excited! This is my last full week before classes start, and I would love to get some serious reading in before the craziness begins again. (And let's not even talk about how bad I've been about writing and posting reviews lately! Yikes!)

Want to join in the fun? Head on over to On a Book Bender to sign up! The read-a-thon will last until Sunday the 28th.

My Starting Line

Read-a-Thon Goals: At least one book per day

Books to Knock Out: No specific titles, but definitely something by Linnea Sinclair. I am having a total fangirl moment for her lately!

How Much Time I Intend to Read: This isn't something I ever track, but hopefully as much as possible!

Updates: Day 1


8:00 AM

I ended up starting right at the midnight starting line as I finished my book last night (An Accidental Goddess by Linnea Sinclair) and wasn't ready to go to sleep yet. So, as the next Sinclair book was downstairs and I was not, I lazily grabbed Grimspace by Ann Aguirre instead. What a wonderful choice! I got about 100 pages in before the words started swimming in front of my face, but I only needed to get to the end of the first chapter before I was hooked.

Now it's 8:00 and I need to run off to my internship, then to help my mom defrost her freezer, and finally to keep working on my submission for Beth Revis's current contest. Reading may or may not resume later tonight.

# books completed: 0
# pages read: 103

10:00 PM

I stumbled into bed after a long day and managed to eke out about another 50 pages of Grimspace before my eyes refused to continue working. So tired . . .

# books completed: 0
# pages read: 158

Sunday, August 21, 2011

My Week in Books (44)

Credit for IMM goes to The Story Siren
-----------------------------------------------


Books received for review

ALL THESE THINGS I'VE DONE
(Birthright #1)
by Gabrielle Zevin
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Source: Publisher (THANK YOU!!!)
To be released: September 6, 2011

In 2083, chocolate and caffeine are illegal, water is carefully rationed, books are scarce, and New York City is rife with poverty and crime.

And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. But when she finds herself falling for the son of the new assistant district attorney, and her ex-boyfriend is poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures, Anya is unwillingly thrust into the spotlight - in the news, and more important, within her mafiya family.

Gabrielle Zevin introduces readers to an unforgettable teenage heroine in a groundbreaking new series.


Books bought


Trickster's Girl (Raven #1) Wildfire Run Falling in Love with English Boys Songs of Love and Death: All-Original Tales of Star-Crossed Love The Clone Codes Cyborg (The Clone Codes)


Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell
Wildfire Run by Dee Garretson
Falling in Love with English Boys by Melissa Jensen
Songs of Love and Death by George R. R. Martin
The Clone Codes (HC) by Pat McKissack
Cyborg by Pat McKissack




Some cute kid books . . .


Miss Smith and the Haunted Library Ryan Heshka's ABC Spookshow Welcome to Monster Town I Need My Monster


Miss Smith and the Haunted Library by Michael Garland
ABC Spookshow by Ryan Heshka
Welcome to Monster Town by Ryan Heshka
I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll


AlphaOops!: The Day Z Went First AlphaOops: H is for Halloween: Midi Edition Dinosaur vs. the Potty


The Day Z Went First by Alethea Kontis
H is for Halloween by Alethea Kontis
Dinosaur vs. the Potty by Bob Shea


And my fall semester textbooks (except one backordered one)! I am such a nerd...


Introduction to Public Librarianship, Second Edition Developing Library and Information Center CollectionsApplications of Social Research Methods to Questions in Information and Library Science


Introduction to Public Librarianship by Kathleen de la Pena
Developing Library and Information Center Collections by G. Edward Evans
Applications of Social Research Methods to Questions in Information and Library Science by Barbara M. Wildemuth


Pre-order arrivals


The Shattering Second Grave on the Left (Charley Davidson, #2) The Death Catchers Envy (Empty Coffin, #1)


The Shattering by Karen Healey
Second Grave on the Left by Darynda Jones
The Death Catchers by Jennifer Anne Kogler
Envy by Gregg Olsen


What I read this week


Kiss of Snow (Psy-Changeling, #10) All These Things I've Done City of Ashes (The Mortal Instruments, #2) Ryan Heshka's ABC Spookshow Welcome to Monster Town Miss Smith and the Haunted Library


Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh
All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare (reread. audio. yes, again!)
Ryan Heshka's ABC Spookshow by Ryan Heshka
Welcome to Monster Town by Ryan Heshka
Miss Smith and the Haunted Library by Michael Garland


AlphaOops!: The Day Z Went First AlphaOops: H is for Halloween: Midi Edition I Need My Monster Dinosaur vs. the Potty Finders Keepers


The Day Z Went First by Alethea Kontis
H is for Halloween by Alethea Kontis
I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll
Dinosaur vs. the Potty by Bob Shea
Finders Keepers by Linnea Sinclair


The Butter Man Skippyjon Jones Lost in Spice (Skippyjon Jones, #5) Gabriel's Ghost (Dock Five Universe, #1)


The Butter Man by Elizabeth & Ali Alalou
Skippyjon Jones Lost in Spice by Judy Schachner
Gabriel's Ghost by Linnea Sinclair


Books I started but haven't finished (yet!)


Archangel's Consort (Guild Hunter, #3) Glow (Sky Chasers, #1)


Archangel's Consort by Nalini Singh
ARC: Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan