Tag Archives: reading

Monday Madness: The Wheres and Whys of Hollow Tree

You’re probably all wondering where in the world Lisa and I have been in the last week. We apologize for not giving you all a heads up before our disappearance. It seems both of us fell into real life with little warning.

I went on vacation with my family to the Poconos for a week, fully expecting wifi availability to post, blog, share pictures, and talk about my reading progress. I was sadly mistaken to find you had to pay per 24 hour for the wifi access, and the closest free wifi was more than 20 minutes away by car. Internet Fail.

And while my trusty phone is usually my backup plan in these sort of scenarios, I was left with zero coverage up in the mountains, except in a few spotty areas that changed by the day. Phone Service Fail.

But the week wasn’t a total bust. I did some reading for work, and managed to start and really enjoy a book called Darkborn by Alison Sinclair. I absolutely expected it to have vampiric undertones which would disappoint me, but instead, the plot proved original and fascinating. And though I’m not done, I’m already engrossed in the budding mystery and the interesting political intrigue of two societies living side by side, one that cannot live in daylight, and one that cannot live by night. Really cool stuff. Will absolutely review when I finish it, though I don’t think its considered YA.

Ms Lisa has been busy with a very exciting personal milestone, planning her wedding! *now is when you all gush and congratulate her awesomeness* She’s so creative that I have a very good feeling this is one of those weddings you’d hear about on TLC or something. Beautiful, classy, and original with lots of handmade touches. So as you can all imagine, that kind of stuff takes time and preparation.

Due to all of this, we took an accidental hiatus. But it was July 4th week and you were all probably too full on hot dogs and hamburgers to really notice, right? Right?! 🙂 Sorry guys. We promise to try and give you fair warning next time we think we might disappear, even if only for a day or two.

In the meantime, can I squee excitedly about the sequel to Darkborn which Goodreads was good enough to tell me existed?! I love finding new books to be excited about.

Now onto our regularly scheduled programming….

Book Geek Wednesday: Inundated

busy!Sorry I’m posting so late guys, the day seems to have just gotten away from me! There are a lot of things happening on this end, so I tend to forget what day it is- often! Ha ha.

Between my at-home day job, taking care of & entertaining my chubz, my new weight loss lifestyle (started Biggest Loser on Sunday), finding time for exercising, and review requests… well there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Let’s not forget that somewhere in there I’m supposed to write my YA fantasy book 3, edit book 2 with my editor, and promo book 1. Yikes!

We do have some exciting things coming up on Hollow Tree. I’ve spoken to two very different, but equally awesome YA authors about doing interviews, so I just have to find the time to follow up. Lisa also has an exciting secret interview up her sleeve which we’ll reveal soon!

In the meantime I hope to coordinate a joint review of Maggie Stiefvater’s Ballad with her. We don’t often get to read the books around the same time so it’s fun when we have something to discuss and fangirl over. Hear that, Lis? 😉 Drop me  a line.

The story I’m working on for review is titled Kinlea Keeper by E. Grace Diehl. I’m about a quarter way through and the beginning of it reminded me of The Secret Garden for some reason, but has now shifted to something different and interesting. I’ll definitely have more deets in the official review.

My ‘for fun’ reading is going to include Avielle of Rhia which has waited patiently for me to start. I really hope to get lost in it.

Help Us Celebrate

With the current release of gadgets like the B&N nook, the iPad, the Kindle, the Sony Reader, (and the list can go on), ebooks are becoming a recognizable and more mainstream form of entertainment, which is why I’m thrilled to celebrate this year’s Read an E-Book week!

I know a lot of people are still wary about trying ebooks and I don’t blame them. It’s difficult to get away from the comfort of a good book, the smell of the paper, the magic of cuddling under the covers at some unreasonable hour of the morning to finish that last chapter before bed.

I know that feeling. I’ve lived it and I love it. But what I’ve discovered is that I get the same rush from a great story, no matter the format. I’ve sat with my PDF reader on my phone and read until my eyes crossed because I couldn’t get to bed until I knew how the story would end.

That’s the magic of the written word. And I guarantee that the magic remains through the electronic format.

So if you’ve been hesitant about trying an ebook, now is a great time to try!

Do it honor of Ebook Week! :)

Book Geek Wednesday: In a Fog

Still sick. Really sick. Might get a bout of bronchitis type sick. Yuck.

Still finishing up my WIP (though there’s only one scene left!). Then it’s a quick pass-over/revision before turning it in for edits.

Still working my way through Jane Eyre and Lament.

I really have to finish something so I can start  to feel productive here. Blah.

Lisa’s Tuesday Perspective: Sick Sucks, Reading Rocks.

Photo by Ally Tippett

I’ve been sick for about the past week. A couple of those days I was sick to the point that all I could stand to do was listen to music, or read.  Thankfully, those are two of my favorite things to do.  Instead of being locked inside my boring, everyday bedroom, looking at wallpaper decor that is far, far older than myself, I spent hours locked inside the living prison of Catherine Fisher’s Incarceron, and watching Percy Jackson eviscerate math teachers and minotaurs in Rick Riordan’s The Lightning Thief.

While I’m reading, I forget about my current inability to breathe without coughing, my complete lack of control over my voice (what little is left of it) and the fact that I can’t sleep for congestion.   I’m going to keep today’s post nice and short, because to be honest I’m still not feeling anywhere near 100%, but at least I can read, and that’s more than I need to keep me entertained.

*Photo credits to Ally Tippett on Flickr.

Book Geek Wednesday: Third Time’s the Charm?

So this blog post is more of a follow up than a book review, but I thought it was important to give you all the skinny on what’s been happening in my book life.

I’ve been very frank on this blog about the epicfail that has been my attempt to read Graceling. I won’t lie. I was disappointed because I had really high hopes for that book, what with all the buzz that’s been going on about it. I picked it up and put it down more times than I care to admit. In fact, according to GoodReads, I started the book June 11 2009. *_* Wow.

Now, I know my post a few weeks ago said that it would probably end up in the DNF pile (did not finish) but I’m glad to report that as of a week ago, I picked it up for what would have been the last time, and around page 147 I found a spark of something magical. The story suddenly took flight. It was interesting, dynamic, adventurous and captivating. I read and flipped through pages with lightening speed wanting to know more about where the characters were headed and the mystery behind King Leck.

I’m now about halfway through and believe I will have a review ready for you all next week.

So I guess the moral of the story is, sometimes, you just can’t give up.Some stories start like a gunshot, fast and intense. But some are more like a boiling pot and you gotta just watch and wait until the water bubbles. 😉

Book Geek Wednesday: The Dreaded DNF

So, I’ve had high hopes to post a review of Kristin Cashore’s Graceling by now, for the past few months even, and every time I go to try and finish it, I get stuck. I’m not sure what it is about the book that isn’t really clicking for me. The characters are interesting enough. The storyline is original. The world is well thought out and feels three dimensional. So what is it that keeps me so distracted? Is it that New Year’s Ennui Lisa was talking about? Maybe. But I keep getting the feeling that it’s much more in the pacing. I’m bored. Everything is in place for a great story and yet it feels like the ingredients are mixing in my mind.

So I’m going to just leave it alone for a bit and come back to it for one more attempt. Because I just hate giving up on books. I really do. The guilt is crushing. And although this is only like the second or third time this has happened to me, I’ve decided I’ll have to add DNF to my rating system.

Did Not Finish. For those books that for whatever reason just did not make it to the finish line.

Fun Friday: Reading Habits

I just got a notice that two new books I had holds on at the library are now available for me to pick up.  I admit, this delights me to no end—even though I’m actively working my way through no less than six books at the moment.  Some people think I’m utterly insane to read this way—I’ve even had one or two people refuse to believe that I could possibly keep all those storylines straight in my head at once, but this has really never been an issue for me.  If a book isn’t memorable enough for me to remember the storyline on its own, it’ll hardly mess me up when I’m reading it alongside other books.  But I never mean to get to the point where my Currently-Reading stack gets to tottering heights—it just happens.

I think this is a holdout from my schooling days.  The fact is, I’ve always been a bit of a slow reader.  My nearly-completed goal of reading 52 books in 52 weeks has been a serious challenge for me this year, as you can probably tell by some of the embarrassing selections on that list (please don’t look too closely! haha).  In high school—and moreso by about a hundred times in college—this meant pushing and pushing and pushing myself to finish the required reading.  For a girl who liked to take 18+ credits at a time when she could, with most of them being lit. classes—that was a TON of reading.  I’ll confess here and now that I don’t think I finished three-fourths of the books I was supposed to in college.

Then when I was done, my TBR list had pretty much EXPLODED.  First there were the old classics I’d been wanting to re-read but simply hadn’t had time for, and then there were the books I’d been snapping up in bookstore sales and tucking away for the past four years, and then there was a whole other stack that was made exclusively of—yes, those books I didn’t get to finish (or read so quickly that I didn’t absorb half of) of my assigned reading.  The Russian authors alone on that list make an impressive pile of would-be-read books, and I haven’t so much as touched them yet, even though my badly water-damaged copy has been waiting eagerly for me for me since I took the class in 2004.

The ironic thing is, after I finished school I could barely stand to look at a book.  I was just burnt out.  I had to force myself through even old favorites. And by favorites, I mean ecstatic, I-could-read-this-book-forever type of favorites.  But slowly—and largely due to friendly reading challenges like the one mentioned above—I definitely got my reading groove back.  Boy did I ever.  The problem remained, though, and remains still, that I can name a couple dozen books I want to read off the top of my head at any one moment… which I guess is why I end up reading half a dozen at once.

I get very ADD about this sometimes—list the books out in my head and read one chapter as each and it as a cycle, but usually I have one book that I let myself read more of if I want to (or if I need a purse book for waiting rooms, etc!)—right now for me that book is Maggie Stiefvater’s Lament, because I just can’t put it down.  But probably other people aren’t quite as crazy about this stuff as I am.

What about you? Can you read more than one book at a time? Do you like to? Not like to? What are you reading now?

Book Geek Wednesday: Discussion

I thought I would try something a little different for Book Geek Wednesday this week.

I wanted to talk about what you-the readers- do when for some reason or another, you cannot get through a book. There are of course a million reasons why this might be happen. You might lead busy, active lives which leave little time for reading. These active lives might leave you too tired at night to get past a few pages at a time. You may be distracted, thinking about that job interview or that boy who works at the coffee shop. You might not be used to the genre or the voice (I always have to readjust when reading contemporaries, because I’m just NOT a contemporary kind of gal). The book may not be what you expected. Or… in the worst case scenario, it’s just not as interesting as you’d hoped.

What do you do? Do you continue to read or do you consider it a lost cause?

I’m someone who feels a certain obligation to a book once I’ve started it. It’s very difficult for me to just put it down and say forget it, not worth it. In fact, I can tell you how many times in my entire life that’s happened (3). It’s a rare occurence. But what if, despite your best intentions, you can’t seem to get through the book?

My suggestion: try, try, and try again. Books are such a personal thing. Often, their impact on us have to do with our own mood and head place. And often, a writer is setting something major up, and we just need to get past that ‘build-up’ to get to the good part.

This happened to me recently. I tried reading The Luxe by Anna Godbersen (I know, not FANTASY! But historical YA tends to create worlds of its own as well) and could NOT for the life of me get past the first chapter. I kept falling asleep.

A friend of mine raved about it left and right and I thought, am I missing something? So I tried again, and again. It took me 3 times and really pushing through that first chapter.  Boy am I glad I did. This book was fantastic, and the characters were so memorable. But it just took me a while to really get into the voice and the time period.

The second time this happened to me, I wasn’t so lucky. I kept struggling with A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, which I reviewed, and as you see, I wasn’t thrilled with it. But, not every book is going to be a home run.

I guess my point is, don’t give up on it, if you’re having a hard time getting through it. You may find it’s a treasure in disguise.


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