Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday Salon - Changing face of reading and Church

A couple of weeks ago, while sitting in church, I counted the number of electronic devices that people were using to read their bible off of. As you can guess, I am a regular church goer and hence I notice these sort of things and I am also a user of several e-devices and couldn't help noticing that sort of thing.  I think I counted about 10-15 devices within the area I was sitting in.

It used to be that people would bring their Bibles and it was basically one or two different versions and now I don't know how many versions people are reading off of when I am listening to a sermon (knowing my church, it probably is still one or two versions, as we have switched to primarily ESV).  Most people in church are probably reading off their iPhones or whatever smartphone they have, but there were a few that were that had their Bible on a tablet of some sort or an e-reader.

The availability of books on e-readers and tablets has changed the way people read and interact with books and I would think that there are people have multiple devices that they read off of whether they have a smartphone and an e-reader or a tablet of some sort that they do their reading.  And I think that has changed how people read and interact with their Bibles, as they can choose what app they download to read and even if they have multiple Bible apps, depending on the features that the app that they use has (the app that I primarily use doesn't have much in form of features in terms of maps, etc. and am considering at least getting another one for my iPhone so that I can at least access those sort of things that my current app doesn't have).

It will be interesting to see how churches and publishers will adapt to people using smartphones and tablets to read the Bible.

No reviews this week.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Booking Through Thursday - Carry-Ons

This week, Booking Through Thursday asks:

Do you bring the book(s) you’re reading with you when you go out? How?Physically, or in an e-reader of some kind? Have your habits in thisregard changed? (I know I carried books with me more when I was inschool than I do now–I can’t read while I’m driving to work, afterall.)
It really depends on where I am going.  If I am going somewhere where I know I won't likely be able to get any sort of reading done, I don't bring anything, just to resist the temptation.  But since on one of my e-readers I have downloaded a Bible app onto it, the temptation is always going to be there.  But for the most part I do bring a book with me, whether it be on one of my two e-readers (one is like a tablet and one is a more traditional e-reader) or a physical book.  I even bring a book with me to church, in case I get bored with the sermon and need to concentrate on something else.  My habits really haven't changed in bringing a book with me, because I never know how long I am going to wait for something or somebody (I even bring my tablet e-reader into a movie theatre because I read through most of the "ads" before the movie trailers and as people are filing into the movie theatre) and I sometimes bring a book to a family event because I never know if I am going to get a bit bored and need something to do. If I was going to the opera or something like that, I wouldn't bring a book; it would just be rude, but since I have a Kobo app on my phone, there is nothing really preventing me from reading something at any moment.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

WWW Wednesdays (Sept. 26)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading.  To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you'll be reading next?

1) What are you currently reading?
I am currently primarily reading Wuthering Heights and A Farewell to Arms.

2) What did you recently finish reading?
A Race to Splendor by Ciji Ware (review)

3) What do you think you'll be reading next?
I probably will be reading Quiet and The Queen's Vow.

What's on Your Nightstand? (Sept. 25)

Can't believe that the end of September is already here and that in about a week and a half, Canadians will be taking part in the annual gorge fest that is Thanksgiving (Canadians celebrate their Thanksgiving the second Monday in October).

Anyways, its been a couple of months since I last posted here, but life got in the way last month and I didn't do it (I think I forgot).  At the moment I reading A Farewell to Arms for my book club and Wuthering Heights for a read-a-long, along with the usual books that I have been reading throughout the year.  I am going to have A Farewell to Arms done by Saturday, well at least I hope so.

Here are the books that I have completed since the end of July:
1) The Turning of Anne Merrick
2) The Rebel Wife
3) Canada at War
4) Henry V
5) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass
6) Lady of Milkweed Manor
7) Fire
8) The Crown
9) A Race to Splendor

Talk to you in about 4 weeks!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Sunday Salon - A Bunch of Randomness

Before I start, I hope that everybody is having a nice, relaxing Sunday, whatever you are doing today.

I really don't know how to describe this week.  The reason that I don't know how to describe the week is because I wasn't feeling well for most of it (got a nasty cold) and therefore didn't get much reading done this week, even though I did manage to get a book done yesterday, but most of the time I spent playing games on my Facebook account, hoping that I would be able to get out during the last of the warm weather out here on the west coast, which I was unable to do, due to the cold.  But I am hoping that I can get some more reading this coming week.

On another front I signed up for Katrina's (Callapidder Days) Fall Into Reading 2012.  I have been looking forward to this for some time and finally the sign up was available.  I didn't put much down, as I know that most of the books that I will read during the next few months will be primarily those that I just read on a hunch, but I do have a few that I am planning on reading.

Besides my reading, I am looking forward to tonight's Emmy Awards and I don't know who I want to win for best drama, since I have a couple of favourites that are in the category (Mad Men and Downton Abbey), but I am secretly hoping that Downton Abbey wins it, as I think its a better show than Mad Men, even though I still really like that show.  So for its hard to decide who I want to win, at least in that category.

And yes, I am feeling much better and should be fine next week...

1) A Race to Splendor by Ciji Ware (review)

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall into Reading 2012

I have been looking forward to this for a number of weeks and had been thinking about it since sometime in late August.  And now it is back!  Yay!

This fall looks like a a busy reading few months for me, between the two books for my book club this fall and the Wuthering Heights readathon.

I also have library stuff I would like to read, but that is largely dependent on my due dates for the books and what else I have on my plate and it seems that with my e-reader, the list has grown even more.

Anyways, here are the books I am for sure planning on reading:

• A Farewell to Arms
• Wuthering Heights
• Mansfield Park

I am probably going to work on completing on these books as well:

• Bleak House
• Anna Karenina
• The Taming of the Shrew (just saw a production on Friday afternoon and would like to read the play)

But those aren't a sure thing that I will get them done, but who knows with my trip to Edmonton in the next few weeks.

Have a great fall of reading everybody!

A Race to Splendor - Ciji Ware

Title: A Race to Splendor
Author: Ciji Ware
Pages: 526
Published: 2011
Genre: Historical Fiction
Challenge(s): Support Your Library, Historical Fiction
Edition: Trade Paperback
Source: Library

Description:  "Blindly, she inched along a floor pitching as violently as the deck of a boat in a midwinter storm. Her hands touched the threshold opening onto the ninth floor foyer at the instant the glass transom over her head exploded into a thousand pieces. Reflexively, Amelia cast her right arm in front of her face, but not before blood spurted from her scalp and ran down her checks. She crumpled beneath the doorframe, curling into a ball. Amelia screamed again as a twenty-five-foot expanse of wood paneling and masonry pitched outward and plunged nine stories to Montgomery Street below. She knew that no structure on landfill, no matter how well built, could withstand much more shaking without collapsing.
Then, just as suddenly, the convulsions subsided."
Early in 1906, the ground in San Francisco shook buildings and lives from their comfortable foundations.
Amidst rubble, corruption, and deceit, two women-young architects in a city and field ruled by men-find themselves racing the clock and each other during the rebuilding of competing hotels in the City by the Bay.
Based on meticulous research, A Race to Splendor tells the story of the audacious people of one of the world's great cities rebuilding and reinventing themselves after immense human tragedy. Filled with courage, passion, and conflict, Amelia Bradshaw's spirit will capture your imagination as she strives to redraft her life amidst the ruins with both help and hindrance from a wayward son of privilege who pulls her into worlds she'd never have known. (from
Thoughts: For the most part the book was pretty good and was easy to get into and I enjoyed it, but thing I didn't like about the book is that the author turned the book into a romance.  Sure I don't mind it when a book has a bit of romance in it to move the story along, but when the romance becomes the overwhelming driving force of the book, it can turn me off.  And this book did turn me off slightly with that sort of mindset.  I would have liked to see more of Amelia's struggle as a female architect rather than her falling in love with somebody who comes across as her boss.  It was also a story that should have taken me a few days rather than three months to read.
Bottom line:  I would recommend the book for those readers that like having a bit of romance mixed in with their historical fiction.  Despite its length, one should get through it in a few days, if you fully concentrated on it.
Rating: 3.5/5
Pages for 2012: 17730

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Booking Through Thursday - Quick!

This week, Booking Through Thursday asks:

Quick–what are you reading right now? (Other than this question onthis website, of course.) Would you recommend it? What’s it about?

As I post this, I am reading A Race to Splendor by Ciji Ware.  Its a fairly quick read due to the fact that the action is fast-paced and fairly easy to read (language is fairly simple).  Its about a woman, Amelia Bradshaw, and the rebuilding of her grandfather's hotel after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.  Since  I have been working on it for a while, I don't know if I would at this point.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

WWW Wednesdays (Sept. 19)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading.  To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you'll be reading next?

1) What are you currently reading?
Quite a bit, but I am mainly reading A Race to Splendor and Wuthering Heights

2)What did you recently finish reading?
Nothing this past week.

3) What do you think you'll be reading next?
Not really sure.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Salon - Progress

I am writing this latest Sunday Salon post when I am half-bagged and feeling like I should be in bed already.  Anyways, as some of you know that I am reading Les Miserables this year and for some reason the reading of that particular book had somewhat stalled, well at least until this past week.  For some reason I felt the urge to start it up again and managed to get Volume 2 completed.  I am hoping that I can get Volume 3 done in a few weeks time, but what lands up on my plate in regards to books will say a lot about whether it happens or not.  In the meantime, I am hoping to read The Taming of the Shrew, as I am going to see a performance of the play this coming week.

No reviews this week.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Blog Hop

The question for this week is: What hyped up book do you think was not worth all the hype?

For me it was The Night Circus.  I found that it was going back and forth quite a few times during the course of the book and felt that by the end that I really didn't care for the book at all.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

WWW Wednesdays (Sept. 12)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading.  To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions:

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you'll be reading next?

1) What are you currently reading?
• A Farewell to Arms
• Anna Karenina
• Bleak House
• A Race to Splendor
• Wuthering Heights
• The Taming of the Shrew
• Les Miserables
• The Queen's Vow

2) What did you recently finish reading?
Its been a while since I did this, so I am just going to list the last two that I just reviewed.  If you wish to view what I have reviewed since late June, just go through the reviews, and you'll be up-to-date.

1) Fire by Kristin Cashore (review)
2) The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau (review

3) What do you think you'll be reading next?
Probably some of my library books....

Sunday, September 9, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Sept. 10)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey, in which we share what we've read and reviewed and what we plan on reading in the coming week.

A better week of reading last week; guess it was no coincidence that I was back at work this past week and on the bus and hence reading more than I have been this past summer.  But all told didn't get as much as I wanted to, but that only means room for improvement.

What I reviewed this week:
1) Fire by Kristin Cashore (review)
2) The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau (review

What I am planning on reading this week:
• A Farewell to Arms
• Anna Karenina
• Bleak House
• A Race to Splendor
• Wuthering Heights
• The Taming of the Shrew
• Les Miserables

I realize that it seems like a lot, but I am not planning on completing every one of the books mention, with the exception of A Race to Splendor.

Musing Mondays (Sept. 10)

This week, Miz B at Should Be Reading asks:

Do you take notes while your read?

Generally no, but depending on what the book is about, I may take notes, but if I have a library book, it is a little more difficult to do that.

Sunday Salon - Back to the routine...

This week has seen me back to work and off vacation.  Honestly, its nice to be back to work, as it also means that I will likely be reading more than I have been over the past couple of months, especially August, which saw me not complete a lot and feel discourage with my lack of completing books.  While I was able to complete a few books during the month of August, it wasn't at a rate I had expected.

This past week saw me complete one book, but also getting a couple of reviews up and working on a number of books that I need to work on.  I also hit 50 books read for the year and I still have about 3 months left until the end of the year.  Guess I am getting my reading mojo back ;)

1) Fire by Kristin Cashore (review)
2) The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau (review)

The Crown - Nancy Bilyeau

Title: The Crown
Author: Nancy Bilyeau
Pages: 409
Published: 2012
Genre: Historical  Fiction
Challenge(s): Historical Fiction, Support Your Library
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: Joanna Stafford, a Dominican nun, learns that her favorite cousin has been condemned by Henry VIII to be burned at the stake. Defying the sacred rule of enclosure, Joanna leaves the priory to stand at her cousin’s side. Arrested for interfering with the king’s justice, Joanna, along with her father, is sent to the Tower of London.

The ruthless Stephen Gardiner, Bishop of Winchester, takes terrifying steps to force Joanna to agree to spy for him: to save her father’s life she must find an ancient relic—a crown so powerful, it may hold the ability to end the Reformation. Accompanied by two monks, Joanna returns home to Dartford Priory and searches in secret for this long-lost piece of history worn by the Saxon King Athelstan in 937 during the historic battle that first united Britain.

But Dartford Priory has become a dangerous place, and when more than one dead body is uncovered, Joanna departs with a sensitive young monk, Brother Edmund, to search elsewhere for the legendary crown. From royal castles with tapestry-filled rooms to Stonehenge to Malmesbury Abbey, the final resting place of King Athelstan, Joanna and Brother Edmund must hurry to find the crown if they want to keep Joanna’s father alive. At Malmesbury, secrets of the crown are revealed that bring to light the fates of the Black Prince, Richard the Lionhearted, and Katherine of Aragon’s first husband, Arthur. The crown’s intensity and strength are beyond the earthly realm and it must not fall into the wrong hands.

With Cromwell’s troops threatening to shutter her priory, bright and bold Joanna must now decide who she can trust with the secret of the crown so that she may save herself, her family, and her sacred way of life. This provocative story melds heart-stopping suspense with historical detail and brings to life the poignant dramas of women and men at a fascinating and critical moment in England’s past. (via

Thoughts: I actually quite enjoyed the book and being a fan of English history, especially the history of the period around the time of Henry VIII.  Partly it has to do with the fact that the political climate in the country changed so much in such a short time and also because so much has been written about that particular time period. I suppose the TV series The Tudors had something to do with that fascination as well.  But what I like about the book is that the action is quick throughout the book and it doesn't lack for any sort of slow down, a thing that sometimes makes me less engaged in a book.  Another aspect of the book that I enjoyed about the book is the development of Joanna.  While I sometimes got the impression that she was this sort of superwoman type, you also the humanity in her actions.

Bottom line: Overall its a pretty good book and would recommend the book to those that have an interest in English history, particularly around the time of Henry VIII.  While it is a 400 page book, it is a fairly quick book and keeps the reader engaged.  Recommended.

Rating: 4/5

Pages for 2012: 17204

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Fire - Kristen Cashore

Title: Fire (Graceling Relm #2)
Author: Kirstin Cashore
Pages: 461
Published: 2009
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy fiction
Challenge(s): Support Your Library
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Library

Description: It is not a peaceful time in the Dells. The young King Nash clings to his throne while rebel lords in the north and south build armies to unseat him. The mountains and forests are filled with spies and thieves and lawless men.

This is where Fire lives. With a wild, irresistible appearance and hair the color of flame, Fire is the last remaining human monster. Equally hated and adored, she had the unique ability to control minds, but she guards her power, unwilling to steal the secrets of innocent people. Especially when she has so many of her own.

Then Prince Brigan comes to bring her to King City, The royal family needs her help to uncover the plot against the king. Far away from home, Fire begins to realize there's more to her power than she ever dreamed. Her power could save the kingdom.

If only she weren't afraid of becoming the monster her father was. (via

Thoughts: Thought that this particular book was the best book in the series so far (am comparing this with Graceling) and the story in this book was fairly straight forward.  There wasn't anything mentioned from Graceling that made it feel like you had missed too much from the previous book.  As the subtitle on the cover suggests, it seemed to be more of a companion piece than a sequel to Graceling.  And while there were times that I felt like that I had lost the storyline, it was always quickly found again and one could make their way back into the story.  It was coherent enough that I am seriously considering finishing off the series.

Bottom line: As with Graceling, this is for individuals who like their fantasy in a medieval type of world and would also recommend it for those that have read the Song of Fire & Ice series (Game of Thrones) and would like something similar.

Rating: 3.5/5

Pages for 2012: 16795

Booking Through Thursday - School Books

This week, Booking Through Thursday asks:

We all had to read things in school that we didn’t like … but whatabout something you read for a class that you ended up liking (orloving)? An author you discovered that you might not have found? A genre you hadn’t thought about?

I remember my Grade 11 English teacher chose A Tale of Two Cities for the final book of the year.  I had only really read A Christmas Carol (okay, watch the Alastir Sim version of the movie), but hadn't really been exposed to anything significant of Dickens' work up until that book.  I ended up loving the book and has ended up as being one of my favourite books.  I actually read it a few years later and still enjoyed reading it and probably a little more so.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Top Ten Books on my Fall TBR list

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish, where book bloggers share their Top Ten lists on everything bookish.  This week its the top ten books that are going to make it on my Fall TBR list, even though Fall is still about a few weeks away, but whatever.

1) A Farewell to Arms - book for my bookclub meeting this coming September.

2) Mansfield Park - another bookclub meeting book for this coming fall.

3) Wuthering Heights - readalong selection for Unputdownables

4) Les Miserables - need to read more of the book so I can get it done by the end of the year

5) The last three books in the Harry Potter series - I have somewhat stalled on the Order of the Phoenix and would like to get the series completed by the end of the year.

6) Anna Karenina - would like to get this book done before the movie comes out this coming fall

7) Bleak House - same reason as Les Miserables

8) The Sweet Far Thing - I have been wanting to read the final book in the Gemma Doyle series and would like to get it done before the end of the year.

9) Mockingjay - I read the first two books this past spring and would like to get the third book in The Hunger Games series completed.

10) A Race to Splendor - I have been trying to get this book completed during this past summer and just  was unable to complete it during the summer months.

Monday, September 3, 2012

#ldrat wrap-up post

Overall, there were a couple of days that were great and considering everything, I did okay.  I started reading Wuthering Heights on Saturday afternoon and haven't picked it up since, but I should be able to pick it up tomorrow and read what I need to before Friday morning.

I did get about a quarter of A Farewell to Arms completed and that I am happy with.  Also I got a huge portion of The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau completed.  I also got Fire by Kristen Cashore completed; now I just have write the review.  And I also started a book that I picked up on Friday afternoon, At the Mercy of the Queen.

Considering that I just found out about the readathon the day before it was to start, I did okay and should set me up well for the rest of the week.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Musing Mondays (Sept. 3)

This week, Miz B at Should be Reading asks:

Have your ever considered writing a book before?  What genre would you write?

I have considered writing a book a few times, but they never got beyond the idea stage.  If I did write, it probably would be literary.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Sept. 3)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey, in which we share what we've read and reviewed and what we plan on reading in the coming week.

That was a much more stressful week than I anticipated.  Well, I guess without kids you can't feel much stress, but I suppose anxiousness is more like it.

I managed to get one book completed this week (still have to write that review), along with some reviews that needed to be put up from some books that I completed the week before.

What I reviewed this week:
1) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (review)
2) Lady of Milkweed by Julie Klassen (review)

What I am planning on reading this coming week:
1) The Crown by Nancy Bilyeau
2) Wuthering Heights
3) Les Miserables
4) A Farewell to Arms
5) Anna Karenina
 and probably some others; just don't know what I will want to pick up...

Sunday Salon - August Review

August was a bit wacky, to say the least.  I didn't read/review much this month and honestly I don't feel great about the month either.

Part of it had to do with the fact that I felt a lack of motivation to read, especially reading so much during July that I wanted to just take a bit of a break and before I knew it half the month had passed me by.  A part of it also had to do with the fact that with the London Olympics going on, I didn't feel much motivation either to read; that and my days that I watched a lot of coverage didn't exactly start until about 2 p.m. Pacific, when live coverage had basically finished and there was nothing but repeats on.

My lack of reading was also partly the result of the weather, which for some strange reason couldn't decide whether it wanted to be really cruddy or really hot and couldn't for some reason be in the middle.   Also included in this factor was that I was doing quite a bit of traveling and spending time in the car.  While I can read while traveling in various modes of transportation, sometimes I can't help myself from looking out the window as the scenery changes between my hometown and where my parents live (hi mom & dad, if you are reading this), which is about 3 and a half hours.

But despite all these factors, I did manage to get a number of books done and almost hit my goal of reading 50 books within the calendar year (I have since upped it to 60 and it looks like I may make that as well).  I also hit my target of reading 15, 000 pages and am now aiming to read 20, 000 pages.

Even though it wasn't August, this week I decided to join the Wuthering Heights readalong on Unputdownables and plan on reading the Sparknotes on the book while I read so that I know what is going on (last time I read it, I couldn't make sense of the book and felt I was reading through a fog).

Hope everybody is having a relaxing weekend.

1) Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (review)
2) Lady of Milkweed (review)

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Wuthering Heights Readalong

I am doing a readalong for September and October through Unputdownables.  Its actually pretty an easy reading schedule, which I am going to post below.  If you wish to join, you can click the cover and sign up.  Be sure to read through the ENTIRE post, as they mention some things about the readalong that you will want to take note of. I hope that you will join me.


Beginning Friday, September 1st and ending Friday, October 26th. 
Week #/ Where to Stop (For example, in week one STOP and place your bookmark at Chapter V.)
Week One/ Chapter V
Week Two/ Chapter X
Week Three/ Chapter XII
Week Four/ Chapter XVI
Week Five/ Chapter XX
Week Six/ Chapter XXIV
Week Seven/ Chapter XXX
Week Eight/ The End

Post #/ date post should be up on blog:
Start up Post/ Today!
Week One/ September 7th
Week Two/ September 14th
Week Three/ September 21st
Week Four/ September 28th
Week Five/ October 5th
Week Six/ October 12th
Week Seven/ October 19th
Week Eight/ October 26th (Final Review)
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