January Wrap-Up

Every month I intend to create a bloggie wrap-up.  I swear to myself I’m gonna do it next month.  Then, the first of the month rolls around and I read Fyrefly’s and DevourerofBook’s, among others, and I say, “Ah CRAP! I forgot to do a wrap-up post!  Dang it!  Okay, I’ll do it next month, I swear…”  And you’ll know how many times I’ve actually followed through on that when I say, “Yay! This is my first monthly wrap-up post!”  LOL.

K, I have ADD bad.  I get distracted so very easily.  Sometimes it’s TV or gardening or doing stuff with the kids, and sometimes it’s computer games like SecondLife or World of Warcraft or the latest, face book apps.  SecondLife pulled me away from everything for about 5 months straight, and now I can’t remember the last time I was on.  With WoW, I’d learned a thing or two from SL, and so I didn’t go so long or so deep, but still I was absent for a while, traipsing through Azeroth.  Facebook games are so getting old, and I’m down to a few that have to be tended daily:  Farmville, the café game and the pet games.  I’m mostly still doing those because my mom is actually on facebook, SHOCK! and the kids play, too, so I play with them.

Where was I even going with that?  Oh, ADD… lol, I swear, that wasn’t on purpose!  Okay, I’m lost now… that was funny, and I laughed, and lost my train of thought.  Oh well, must not have been too important.  That’s why I like to outline things, and why I hate stream of conscious storylines.  I get lost enough in my own thinking, I don’t need to do so in a book!

Moving on…

I decided during Bloggiesta, that the best way to do a wrap-up post was to write it all month long, keeping track of commentors and other things that happen, so I started this post about a week after Bloggiesta, because I got distracted and it took a while to get back to it.  Maybe that’s where I was going with that up there. 😀

Maybe ADD is why I hate long paragraphs?  It feels like being trapped in a room with no windows.  I often skim through the middle of them, or just read the first and last lines of it and move on.

Moving on…

During the Month of January I:

Started my first book challenge, The Welsh Reading Challenge, because I wanted to read more books relating to my own heritage, but needed a little prod to do it and keep on track. The fact people joined the challenge was GRAVY 🙂

Joined a total of 13 reading challenges, 11 of which are being tracked on my Reading is Challenging! page, as well as two more at LibraryThing:  The 75 Book Challenge, and the Books off the Shelf ChallengeThe Sookie Stackhouse Challenge was in progress, though I don’t know if I can call it progress, since I have YET to pick up the first book. Actually, I picked it up, read 2 paragraphs, then put it back down… don‘t tell BethFish :-D.  This is the most challenges I’ve ever participated in, and I don’t expect to complete them all, realistically, but I’m hoping!

Spent a total of 21 hours working on blog improvements as part of Bloggiesta.  Thanks, Natasha! And after all the work everyone else did and the mini-challenges I wanted to do but didn’t get to, I now have a longer to-do list than when I started!

Created The Welsh Reading Challenge blog.  After reading how other bloggers who host challenges have found a separate blog is a better way to keep it all organized, I started the blog for TWRC during Bloggiesta, and had it open and ready for visitors about a week later.  We’ve also got a couple sponsors, some mini-challenges in the planning stages and some prizes on the way 🙂 Too cool!

Started a weekly award called The Kool-Aid Flavor of the Week.  I’m still trying to figure out the exact criteria for this, but right now it’s been for people who are doing something to make the world better.  Presenting Lenore received my inaugral award for her International Book Blogger Mentor Program, and She’s Too Fond of Books received the second for her post about Kiva.org and how micro-lending requires so little of us and can make such a difference in the life of someone overseas.

Joined the Tolkein Readalong.  I’ve been wanting to read the Lord of the Rings for a long time, but just needed the push.

Books read and reviewed in January:

Of Bees and Mists by Erick Setiawan ~ A magical and fantastic adult fable about love, self-respect and self-confidence, about doing what’s right and forgiveness.  I gave it 4 stars.  It counted toward my ARC Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge, and POC Reading Challenge.

Fruits Basket, Volume 5 by Natsuki Takaya ~ I love the Furuba series, and volume 5 introduced Kisa, the tiger, and Hanajima’s little brother.  I gave it 5 stars.  It counted as a food title for my What’s In a Name?3 Challenge, Manga Challenge, and POC Reading Challenge.

Any Given Doomsday by Lori Handeland ~ Atrocious, far-fetched and just plain BAD. 2 stars.  It counted toward my ARC Reading Challenge and New Author Challenge.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl ~ Filled me with warm feelings of childhood and chocolate, and was a pleasure to read cuddled up with Maggie.  I gave it 5 stars.  It counted for The Welsh Reading Challenge.

Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr ~ I read this one with Mags, and since it was a re-read for me, I had Maggie sit down and write her first book review.  I did help her with grammer and spelling, but the words and thoughts expressed are totally Maggie… lol… including her expressing how much she disliked having to sit and write a review on a snow day from school when she could be outside playing.  Mags gave it 4 out of 5 stars.  This counted towards my We Didn’t Start the Fire Challenge

Islands Apart by Ken McAlpine ~ Interesting reflection on life in our modern world and how our advances in technology are contributing to a decline in interpersonal relationships, as well as a disconnect from nature.  I gave it 4 stars.  This counted for my ARC Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge, and We Didn’t Start the Fire Challenge.

The Blue Notebook by James A. Levine ~ Reading this felt like a prolonged hug from creepy Uncle Stan at the family reunion, but was a necessary evil.  Still, I stand by my 2.5 rating, which is based more on the writing itself than the book’s subject material.  I wasn’t wowwed by Levine’s writing, though it had some beautiful moments.  This book counted toward my ARC Reading Challenge, New Author Challenge, and POC Reading Challenge.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein ~ I finished off this month with a comfort read and old friend.  Even though it was a third read through, not to mention the numberous times I watched the 1977 cartoon of it growing up, it still held my attention and kept me in suspense, a sure sign of a classic book.  5 stars for sure.  This was for the Lord of the Rings Readalong and counts toward my 451 Challenge.

People who Commented:

Bluestocking from The Bluestocking Guide
Kathy at Bermudaonion
Wendy, the Literary Feline at Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Anna at Diary of an Eccentric
BethFish at Beth Fish Reads
Kailana at The Written World
Ita
debnance at readerbuzz
Care at Care’s Online Book Club (Hi, blogging buddy!)
Mona Everett
Aarti at B O O K L U S T
Annette
Sally906 at Sally906’s Reading Challenges
Sharon at Ex Libris
Eibhlin
Lynda at Lynda’s Book Blog
Ladybug at Escape in a Book
Aastacia
Amanda at Life and Times of a “New” New Yorker
Serena at Savvy Verse & Wit
Susan Evans at Well-Mannered Frivolity
Melanie at Cynical Optimism
Shannon at Flight into Fantasy
Sheila at One Person’s Journey Through Books
Janet at Fond of Snape
Vasilly at 1330v
Snowbell
Jack at Slightly off-center
Debbie at Debbie’s World of Books
Amber at Mommy Mania
Zee at Notes from the North
Meghan at Medieval Bookworm
Gina at BookDragon’s Lair
Rebecca at The Book Lady’s Blog
Jennie at Biblio File
Amused at Amused by Books
Michelle at Michelle’s Masterful Musings
Rebecca at Lost in Books
Lenore at Presenting Lenore
unfinishedperson at Unfinished Person
Marie at The Boston Bibliophile
Dawn at She is Too Fond of Books
Rhinoa at Rhinoa’s Ramblings
Traci at Traci’s Book Bag
Laza at Gimme More Books!
Grad at The Curious Reader
Sandra at Fresh Ink Books
BookMoot at BookMoot
Jackie at Literary Escapism
Janelle at Brimful Curiosities
Novroz at Novroz’ Life
Jennifer at Rundpinne
DanaB at Windows Wide Open
Nisé at Under The Boardwalk
Alayne at The Crowded Leaf
Violet at Violet Crush
Angie at Annie’s Home
JDaniel4’s Mom at JDaniel4’s Mom
Ann Marie
Joy at Joy’s Blog
Stephanie at Bad Mom
Emerald Yomi at Emerald Yomi
Debbie at Wrighty Reads (go lefties!)
Pippi at Pippi’s Postings
Memory at Stella Matutina
Petunia at Educating Petunia
Sarah at SmallWorld Reads
Lisa at Online Publicist
Myriam Kross
Guatami Tripathy at everything distils into reading
Ariel at Sycorax Pine
Nicole at Linus’s Blanket
Kay at The Infinite Shelf
jo at attalife
Dawn at For the Love of… Eloquence 
Kimberly at A Child of the King!
Mizhelle at Life Can’t Wait
Amateur Reader at Wuthering Expectations
Keely at The Un Mom
Rebecca Reid at Rebecca Reads
Molly at my cozy book nook
uninvoked at uninvoked 
Stacey at Confessions of a Pastor’s Wife
Lisa at Lit and Life
Vicki at Reading At The Beach
Callista at SMS Book Reviews
Farmlanebooks
Meg at write meg!
Marce at Tea Time with Marce
Jenny F at Have a Happy Day
Irene at Irene’s Desk
Wordlily at Word Lily
Beth at Weavings
Laurel-Rain Snow at Laurel-Rain Snow Creations

And that’s a total of 81 commentors so far (1/25)

Other fun facts:

Kitty Litter Cake (and Cat Litter Cake), Gary Larson (and The Far Side) and qoutes for The Book Thief are the most widely used search terms that bring people by, along with Confessions of a Shopaholic and Vampire Kisses bringing in plenty, too. “erotomania” surprisingly, brings in a fair share. Uh oh, do I have a stalker?

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Joining the Bloggie World to Congratulate Devourer Of Books!

  

 
Daniel Alexander Karsbaek

After much anticipation… Daniel Alexander Karsbaek has finally arrived!!! He was born at 5:20AM this morning, weighed in at 7lbs 8oz, is 21.5 inches long… and he’s absolutely beautiful, as you can see above! Everything went smoothly and mother and baby are both doing wonderfully. Please join me in congratulating Jen and Brian and welcoming Daniel Alexander to the world! -Auntie Jill

Congratulations to Jen of Devourer of Books on her joyous new arrival.  Daniel Alexander is a strong and great name 🙂 

A Blessing to Welcome Daniel Alexander

May you always walk in sunshine.
May you never want for more.
May loving angels rest their wings
beside your nursery door.

And for the proud parents:
May God grant you
a wee bit of heaven
to cradle in your arms –
a sweet bonny baby
to hold close to your heart
A newborn babe
brings light to the house
warmth to the hearth
and joy to the soul
for wealth is family
family is wealth.
-Old irish proverb

Congrats to all young Daniel’s family! And may joy follow you throughout your life!

Viral Video Wednesday ~ Oh, Baby!

Hello and Happy Wednesday 🙂  As of this minute, Jen of Devourer of Books hasn’t delivered yet, though I’ve been keeping an eye on Twitter for the #babyk hashtags to start popping up 🙂  So, in her honor, this week’s VVW topic is:

Babies!

When I think back to when each of my kids were still crawling and cruising, I remember their discovers, sometimes with a chuckle and a smile, others with a bit of panic.  My kids all had jacks-in-the-box, and I myself remember cranking the little grinder around for hours on end.  The following clip shows baby Legend  (who would name their son that?) with his first “POP” experience.

Now, I do believe Jen is having a single, but you never know… surprises might occur and she could get double the pleasure, double the fun 🙂

And bath time can be quite fun, though it’ll be a few weeks before she’s giving him a bath. The following vid clip has a rather sagastically wise message: When making bubbles in the tub, don’t push too hard or you’ll make number two. Words to live by.

I leave you with this final clip. Little baby Damien stretches and yawns in a rather unique manner….

Next Week’s VVW topic: Dinosaurs 🙂

Now it’s your turn: Gimme yer fav baby vid clip 😀

Viral Video Wednesday ~ The Best of American Idol is the WORST!

Good morning and Happy Wednesday, everyone 🙂 Last week’s VVW was about American Idol Rejects who went on to make a career. I picked Renaldo Lapuz, better known as “The Birdman,” who is having something of a singing career and fans who want to have the picture taken with him. Not the big record deal the winners get, but still… better than 15 minutes.

This week’s VVW is all about my favorite part of American Idol. Those people who shoulda been talked off the ledge. Many of them are so bad that their “friends” who told them they’re great and should go for it deserve to be shot for cruelty. I don’t know if it’s insanity, or if they’re trying for a spot on national television as one of the worst, but at least they gave it a shot.

And now, my favorite BAD American Idol auditions

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Some people who audition are more dancers than singers. Others use the opportunity as a vehicle for bigger and better things, like Leroy Jenkins Wells here. OMG, when I first saw him on TV, Mags and I looked at each other and she said, “Is he on drugs?” If I remember correctly, he was arrested a couple days after his audition aired for outstanding warrants. Now why would someone go on national TV knowing that when the prosecutor he’s been hiding out from will see it and now know where to send the po-po? CAN YOU DIG IT? (Check out the guest judge…)

We have laughed and laughed for a year or so at this next vid clip. Sammi, my oldest daughter, loves Bohemian Rhapsody. It’s the song I sing to her when she’s in a funk. No matter how bad things are for her, she’s smiling and singing along by the end of the song. The song will always have a special place in my heart. HOWEVER, Caveman Red here gives an All-Star FAIL performance of it and won a place in Simon’s heart as the WEIRDEST Audition he’s ever heard.

The next idol-wannabe made Maggie bury her head in the pillow and scream the whole way through. It’s a funny thing how people blame Simon for their own lack of talent. Evidently Keith here hasn’t talked with Renaldo, otherwise he’d know Simon is Heaven’s Chosen. 🙂

I’m shocked James Lewis here wasn’t in the news for going on a work-place shooting spree after being encouraged (punked) by his co-workers into auditioning. He seems like such a sweet guy, but he might want to get some new friends. I couldn’t help staring at his mouth, trying to figure out what’s wrong with it… is it a palate issue? or is he just that tone deaf?

ROFL… here’s a Don’t Cha compilation… The auditon I was going to put here has turned out to be worthy of an EXTRA edition.

In honour of DevourerofBooks‘s upcoming blessing, Next week’s Viral Video Wednesday topic: Babies!

So now it’s your turn… what’s your favorite worst Idol auditions ever?

Free Books and an Award, WINNING ROCKS!

You are a winner!!!!

 

Who doesn’t want to hear those four words?  I’ve been hearing them a lot in the last couple weeks and I’ve gotten behind a bit on sharing it, not to mention I have the Great Goblins! Giveaway winner to announce!

First, I’ve got a funny story to tell…  It would seem that it has been decided by the book gods that I MUST read The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson, because I’ve won it three times now in three different blog giveaways of it (I only accepted the first one and asked the other two to draw another name so someone else could enjoy it 🙂 )  Thank you Joystory, Fresh Ink Books, and Gramma’s Reads for  hosting these giveaways 🙂

The latest book giveaway that I won was for Shanghai Girls by Lisa See from Devourer of Books.  I have both Peony In Love and Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, but haven’t gotten to them as yet, and I think I’m waiting to just have a big Asian book read-a-thon or something… lol.  Thanks Jen!

One book that I was uber-geeked out about since I first saw it’s banner in Shelf Awareness, then saw the website and trailer for it, is BoneMan’s Daughter by Ted Dekker.  So I was doing the happy dance when The Literate Housewife announced she was hosting a giveaway for the book.  When I saw my name as one of the winners, I actually screamed with joy… Missy, my little rat terrier, came running to see if her mommy was okay, even.  Thank you, Jennifer! 😀

AND I’d like to say THANKS! to texasheartland of Texas Banter Book Reviews for giving me this lovely award:

The Literary Blogger Award

Here are the details of this award:

1) Put the logo on your blog/post.
2) Nominate up to 9 blogs which make you feel comfy or warm inside.
3) Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4) Let them know that they have been nominated by commenting on their blog.
5) Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

Okay…. comfy and warm inside?  Well… I’d say winning books there makes me feel warm and comfy inside, so all the afore mention bloggers are 5 of my nominees, and for the other 4 of the “up to nine” I’m going to stretch a little 🙂

  • Lost In Books – great blog and great Twit 😀 (which is not an insult, 😉 )
  • Must Read Faster – relatively new blogger, just a month since she popped her blog’s cherry 🙂  She is learning fast, reading fast, and tweeting fast 🙂
  • Wrighty Reads – a LibraryThing friend, fellow Zombie Chicken blogger, and, most importantly, fellow left-hander!  YaY! for LEFTIES!
  • Books and Movies –  Carrie’s Blogroll is a directory of the best blogs in the blogosphere 🙂  (and yes, Mt. TBR is on it 😉 )

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And now for the Great Goblin! Giveaway winner…

I cannot tell y’all how much fun, absolute and plain FUN, I had reading Goblins!  And I was happy that there were so many entries to win it… if only I had a copy for everyone who entered!  But, alas… I only have one to give away.  And the winner of that copy is….

Carrie K.

 

There are two more book giveaways coming soon, one for The Triumph of Deborah by Eva Etzioni-Halevy and one for The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, so keep an eye out for those announcements!

Thanks to everyone who visits Mt. TBR, to my fellow LTers, BookMoochers, PBS’ers and Tweeps.  Y’all make reading and blogging so much fun!

MWAH!! Thank ya!

MWAH!! Big Kisses of THANKS!

 

THAT Brought You HERE?!?

I am about half way through Love Over Scotland by Alexander McCall Smith and decided to take a quick break and check things out.  Actually, I’ve just read the passage I want to quote for the review, so I’ve started it up and saved it, and thought I’d take a break before going back to the book.  It’s been a slow book to get into, not helped by the fact that it’s the third book in a series I’ve never read, I’m sure.  But in the last 30 pages or so, I’ve decided I really like it.

So, I was clicking around and checking out other people’s blogs, when I happened upon Devourer Of Books post THAT Brought You HERE?, and had to have a go at it myself 🙂

From what I can tell, she’s gone into her blog’s search term refferals and posted the ones she liked best.  I’ve always found some of the searches people use to find my own blog rather interesting to read… and sometimes completely bizarre… but I’ve never really gone “in depth” with my look-sees.  Here are a few that I’ve found:

booger theme wordpress -erm… no, actually, I believe it’s called “Freshy Theme”  Dunno if wordpress has a “Booger Theme”… you might have to build your own with the CSS thingamabob-doojigger.

can doctors tell if you eat your boogers – Wot?  seriously… is there something green stuck in between my teeth?  I thought it was the brussel sprouts I had for dinner….

adhd ballet students –  Wait… I’m sure I can find a video clip for that one….

throw poo at somebody – One of these days I’m going to figure out how to change the text color and then I will take over the world…. bwaa-haa-haa… 

yiddish robot – really, I just have nothing to say for this one….  Is Philip K. Dick Jewish?

why girls eat boogers – Again with the boogers?  I swear!  It’s brussel sprouts!  Though, I’m betting some people would rather eat a booger than a brussel sprout….

what is an opinion on the book the book – I don’t know, but I bet Miss Teen South Carolina does, or like such as, and then the US can help the US and such as and like osama the south asian africa such as.

on average how many boogers are in a hum – as many as can fit as long as you hum softly.  They tend to be on your lip, chin and shirt if you hum forcefully.

does cancer cause boogers?  OMG!  It’s not a sinus infection… it’s brain cancer?!?  EEeekk…  oh no… was that my brains I just blew in my hankie?

youtube – sorry, wrong address… you want http://www.youtube.com/  You took a left when you shoulda gone right.   Happens all the time. 😉

how many boogers do you produce in a day – well, on average, I try to grow between six and ten per day.  However, with this cold and all, production levels are through the roof… it’s a literal product explosion!  Currently I’m working on a marketing scam scheme to make a profit on the overstock.  I’m looking into E-bay… I saw souls and ghosts for sale and thought, “Why not my bogies?”  If I work it right, I could make an Italian flag out of my Kleenex… white, green and a little red.

food humans shouldnt ever eat – Alpo… purina…. Cow cud…  Goldfish flakes…  I could go on.

time will change it, i’m well aware – but YOU fed the baby chili and YOU will change THAT diaper…. I’m not going near that toxic DUMP.  If you’ve seen Mr. Mom, you’ll get that one.

wuthering heights i have no more busines – cuz my spel cheker has brokeded?  Don’t worry, like such as Miss South Carolina will come to osama your help such as.

So what are some of your weirdest searches? AND…. booger or brussel sprout: Which would you eat?