Thursday, September 30, 2010

Blog Tour: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon

Amazon.com:
The year is 1945 and Claire Beauchamp Randall, a former British combat nurse, is on holiday in Scotland with her husband, looking forward to becoming reacquainted after the war's long separation. Like most practical women, Claire hardly expects her curiosity to get the better of her. But an ancient stone circle near her lodgings holds an eerie fascination, and when she innocently touches one of the giant boulders, she's hurtled backward in time more than two hundred years, to 1743.

Alone where no lady should be alone, and far from the familiar comforts of her other life, Claire's usual resourcefulness is tested to the limit. The merciless garrison captain so feared by others bears an uncanny resemblance to the husband she has just left behind. Her own odd circumstances expose her to accusations of witchcraft. And the strands of a political intrigue she doesn't understand threaten to ensnare her at every turn.

But of all the perils her new life holds, none is more disquieting than her growing feelings for James Fraser, the gallant young Scot she is forced to marry for her own protection. Sworn by his wedding vows to keep her from harm, Jamie's passion for Claire goes beyond duty. As she struggles with the memories of another lifetime, she is forced to make an agonizing and fateful choice, and learns ultimately that a man's instinct to protect the woman he loves is as old as time. 

Let me start off by saying this is not a review, because I couldn't finish the book. While I enjoyed parts of it because of it's length I couldn't convince myself to see it through like I would other books (but other books aren't 800+ pages usually), I got about 330ish pages into it, it's an estimation because most of the part of the book I did read I actually listened to as an audio book.

So I'm going to talk a bit about my thoughts on the part of the book I did read and I know this book is beloved by many so please feel free to share your thoughts on it in the comments, love it or hate it!

I really enjoyed the beginning of the book, Claire reunited with her husband after the war and getting to know each other again. I really enjoyed the dialogue specifically. But once Claire goes back in time to 1743 the plot really became to slow even more than it had been to begin with. I think I was under the impression that this story was heavy on the romance and honestly I really didn't want all the historical stuff, all the rough and tumble men grunting, really didn't care.

Of the men I was glad to learn it was Jamie that Claire would begin a relationship with, but when that relationship began I for some reason felt uncomfortable with it. I loved Jamie and Claire's friendship but when there was more to it, it just felt strange, the chemistry they had before was missing.

And that is pretty much where I stopped. I've heard from numerous people this is a love it or hate it book. So feel free to share your thoughts. Are the other books in the series better, do you like where the story goes. Share away!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Weekly Dose of Crafts!

For more crafty goodness be sure to stop over at WIP Wednesday!


This week I worked a little bit on everything and started a few new projects. Always a fan of Attic24 projects I was interested in her "Lucy Bag" reading through the raverly forums one crocheter decided to make it as more of a basket instead of a bag and I thought that sounded like a perfect idea! I ended up using some Lily Sugar 'n Creme Cotton I already had so the colors aren't my best.

Here is the yarn I used:

Country Red
Hot Orange
Yellow
Hot Green
Light Blue
Country Mauve
Rose Pink?

Sunday I hit up the craft stores to take part in a few sales, I went to different locations than I usually do and fell in love with the texture of Red Heart's Moon and Stars. I didn't end up buying any that day because I had no idea what I could make with it and I'm trying not to buy yarn without a purpose. I found some great options, blankets, hats, socks and then I realized I was wearing a pair of slippers that feel not unlike the yarn I had just be lusting after and that's when I realized the yarn had the potential to be perfect for the slippers I made awhile back. So I went back the next day and got some colors!


Turns out I was right! Since the yarn is sort of fuzzy you really can't see your stitches when working with it but since I had done the pattern previously I made it through by sort of blindly stabbing into the yarn and they are so so so comfortable, much more comfortable than the yarn I used the first time around. So far I've only made 1 slipper.


I'm not sure if I've mentioned it before my Crochet Today is my favorite crochet magazine by far, it's bi-monthly and I knew the new issue should be arriving soon and it came yesterday! One of my local yarn stores also called yesterday evening to say the colors of Berroco Comfort DK I had ordered about 2 weeks ago had come in so guess where I went this morning!

I also got some more yarn for a scarf and hat pattern I had been searching for some yarn for. I had been hoping to pick up two worsted skeins to match some I already had for another scarf I underestimated how much yarn I would need for, but they didn't have the color, oh well! It's not like I don't have enough to work on now!

Now that I have all the yarn I wanted for my next blanket I've really begun thinking about what I want to make. Originally I was going to make another granny square blanket but decided it might be more fun to try something like this! But with black instead of white and make it into a blanket! What do you think?

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hardcover vs Paperback 100

Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani

Hardcover

Paperback


Adriana Trigiani's bestselling novels are beloved by millions of readers around the world. From the Big Stone Gap series to Lucia, Lucia, each is a sumptuous treat as Trigiani tells hilarious and romantic stories that we want to return to again and again. 

Very Valentine, an instant New York Times bestseller, introduced the contemporary family saga of the Roncalli and Angelini families, artisans of handcrafted wedding shoes in Greenwich Village since 1903.
As Brava, Valentine begins, snow falls like glitter over Tuscany at the wedding of her grandmother, Teodora, and longtime love, Dominic. Valentine's dreams are dashed when Gram announces that Alfred, "the prince," Valentine's only brother and nemesis, has been named her partner at Angelini Shoes. Devastated, Valentine falls into the arms of Gianluca, a sexy Tuscan tanner who made his romantic intentions known on the Isle of Capri. Despite their passion for one another and Gianluca's heartfelt letters, a long-distance relationship seems impossible. 

As Valentine turns away from romance and devotes herself to her work, mentor and pattern cutter June Lawton guides her through her power struggle with Alfred, while best friend and confidante Gabriel Biondi moves into 166 Perry Street, transforming her home and point of view. Savvy financier Bret Fitzpatrick, Valentine's first love and former fianc√Če who still carries a torch for her, encourages Valentine to exploit her full potential as a designer and a business woman with a plan that will bring her singular creations to the world. 

A once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity takes Valentine from the winding streets of Greenwich Village to the sun-kissed cobblestones of Buenos Aires, where she finds a long-buried secret hidden deep within a family scandal. Once unearthed, the truth rocks the Roncallis and Valentine is determined to hold her family together. More so, she longs to create one of her own, but is torn between a past love that nurtured her, and a new one that promises to sustain her. 

Brava, Valentine, Trigiani's best novel yet, delivers a hilarious and poignant mix of colorful worlds and unforgettable characters as only she can create them. 

Nooooo! I hate when the first book in the series comes out in hardcover and paperback with the same cover and then the second comes out in hardcover with the same look and for the paperback it's totally changed. WHYYYYYY! I love the hardcover, it's more sophisticated to me. The paperback is fun but far less exciting than the original look.


Have you spotted a Hardcover vs. Paperback you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Flash Your Stash 2

If you like my crafty posts you might remember a month ago I first flashed my stash for Tami's meme, well it's time to do it again! And it seems my stash has changed and grown (oh no!)

A. This is what's left of the Summer Garden Granny Square yarn, which I've gotten back to this week a bit. I'm using it to join the squares and then will make some kind of border from it! (Mostly Vanna's Choice)

B. Here is all the yarn for the Ripple blanket, I just bought a few more skeins that were on sale, might get a few more this week too! Look at all the colors! (A mix of Vanna's Baby, Loops & Threads Impeccable, and Vanna's Choice)


C. This weekend I started on a yarn bag/basket based on Attic24's pattern, I thought it would be a good way to use up some of my cotton yarn. And then it happened to go on sale yesterday and good thing too because I don't think I would have had enough to finish the basket. Not my best color palette but I just wanted to use what I had. (Lily's Sugar' n Creme)

D. This is the yarn for the scarf I showed off last week, got a long ways to go on that one! (Plymouth's Dream Baby DK)

E. This yarn I picked up today, after seeing it in Joann's yesterday I thought and thought about what I could make with it and decided it had the potential to work wonderfully for the slippers I made awhile back. So I got it in like almost every color I could find. So far so good! (Red Heart Moon & Stars)


F. My mom bought this yarn so I would make her one of the plaid scarves I made a few weeks ago. (Vanna's Choice)

G. Originally this didn't have a purpose but once I get 2 more skeins I think it will work wonderfully for this scarf. (Berroco Comfort Worsted)

H. Some crochet thread for this, this, and another thing. (Aunt Lydia's and Royale)

I. This is for a cute pair of Bunny Slippers from the Happy Hooker. I had to special order some of that yarn and it came in about 2 weeks ago. :) (Lamb's Pride Worsted & La Gran Mohair)

J. This is the yarn I have been collecting recently for this pattern. (Berrocco Comfort DK)


K. This is some random and left over yarn. (Red Heart Designer Sport and other stuff)

L. I bought this forever ago to knit a pair of mittens but now I have this scarf in mind (raverly link). (Paton's Classic Wool)

M. More random yarn, the green Homespun I've been working on a scarf for my sister for (but not since the spring oops!) (Fun Fur, Homespun, Sensations, and Full 'o Sheep)

N. More cotton (Lily's Sugar' n Creme and Lion Brand Cotton)

O. Leftover yarn from completed projects (Vanna's Choice etc)

P. Random yarn and some yarn from abandoned projects. (Loops and Threads Impeccable and Bernat Satin?)

So come on, flash your stash!

A Mysterious Delivery

Remember a few weeks ago when I got a special delivery in the mail? Well today I got something totally bizarre in the mail! Like holy crap awesome this is so weird cool.

I got an old beat up copy of Life of Nathaniel Hawthorne by Moncure D. Conway in the mail. Two of the pages were bookmarked with these strange drawings, that seem to be circling words and letters. I tried to make the images large enough so that if you click them maybe you can read the pages (click the image and then click it again to zoom in more) and see if you can figure out what they say. I'm going to try to figure it out too!

If you think you know that it says you can head over to Shay's facebook page and let him know, you are also welcome to make a YouTube video about your theories and label it "Nightshade" so Shay sees it! Feel free to leave your theories here as well!

Participation gives you the chance to become a character in the upcoming prequel that will be given out for free to those of us that pre-order Nightshade! You can pre-order it here.



So what do you think the pages are saying?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

This Week In Books or Someone Decides I Need Some Books


So this week I got a ton of Harper Teen books and 1 Harper book out of the blue, I was like WHOA. SO literally these are all Harper Teen books except a crochet book I bought on Sunday.

Sunday:

Crocheted Afghans by Melody Griffiths (bought at Joann's)


Monday:

Father of Lies by Ann Turner
Teeth edited by Ellen Datlow & Terri Windling
Entwined by Heather Dixon
Tempestuous by Lesley Livingston


Tuesday:


I Shall Wear Midnight by Terry Pratchett


Wednesday: nothing

Thursday: nothing

Friday:

Vampire Crush by A.M. Robinson
Steel by Carrie Vaughn
Through Her Eyes by Jennifer Archer
Emily the Strange: Dark Times by Rob Reger and Jessica Gruner
Blood and Flowers by Penny Blubaugh
Fallen Angel by Heather Terrell
A Touch of Mortal by Leah Clifford
Plague by Michael Grant
The Six Crowns: Trundle's Quest by Allan Jones and Gary Chalk

Saturday: nothing

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lookalikes 120

Plastic by Sarah N. Harvey

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (UK Paperback)

I totally imagine this photo as one of the weird stock photos I would see while scrolling through searching for a photo, and thinking what on earth would someone do with that! Well I guess they would do this lol. I definitely prefer the typography on the Uglies cover so that's going to be my pick. 

Thanks to Laina and Yan who suggested this lookalike!

Have you spotted a Lookalike you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Guest Post from Loretta Chase, author of Last Night's Scandal

Today I'm excited to welcome Loretta Chase to talk about her newest book Last Night's Scandal and what an unmarried young woman of the 19th century has in common with a young woman of today!

Dear Alea,

I was thinking a lot about what an unmarried 19th century young woman would have in common with a young woman today. I know they’d be asking some of the same questions, “What am I going to do with the rest of my life?” “Why are men like that?” But—

Ow! Olivia, this is my—

No, it isn’t. I’m the 19th century girl. You can just go back to your smelly old Books, Miss My-Name-Is-Research Loretta Chase. I can take it from here.

I may have been born in 1809, but of course I know what a Blog is. It is a collection of Opinions, Essays, Divertissements, and such. Over the Topic of How I Mastered Computing Devices, let us draw a Veil of Discretion. If my Parents find out, I promise you they Will Not Understand, and I shall be Exiled Again—to the Country, which is like being sent to Outer Mongolia or the Gobi Desert. IOW, it is a Great Wasteland where there is NO DANCING and NO SHOPPING, and the MEN talk of nothing but Sports or, worse, Pigs.

At present, I have Troubles enough. Due to my slightly higher-than-normal rate of Broken Engagements and a few Minor Indiscretions (I do not see what is so Dreadful about challenging Lord Bentwhistle to a Duel—and there is a Reasonable Explanation for the Gambling Incident—and I have no idea where those Naughty Books came from), my family have decided it is time for me to get Married. Unlike You, I am not to think of having a Career (how Thrilling that sounds!) Instead, I shall spend the rest of my life being Somebody’s Wife and Somebody’s Mother and I shall never have the Great Adventures I’d always believed were my Destiny.

Meanwhile, my dear, dear friend the Earl of Lisle has his own Family Troubles, though he is a Male, and, as we all know, Men can do as they please, and no one sends Them out to die of Boredom with cows and pigs. But Lisle is not like other Gentlemen. He lives and breathes for Egypt. Let him catch sight of a smelly, crumbling Mummy or a ragged bit of Papyrus or even one of those little Wooden People he sends me from time to time—then, even Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love herself could not obtain his Undivided Attention, even if she appeared Naked on a large Shell.

Not that I personally have tried this Experiment with him. In the first place, you would not believe how many Layers of Clothing a fashionable 19th Century Girl needs to remove. In the second place, it is quite unnecessary, since I know him as well as I know myself. He is like a brother to me—sometimes an extremely annoying brother, but a brother all the same. I assure you, there is no foolish Romantic attachment of any kind, whatever Madam Authoress chooses to Imply.

However, I cannot stand idly by while his Demented Parents embark on a Scheme I know will destroy his happiness, with possibly FATAL RESULTS. It is my Duty as his Friend to SAVE HIM. Yes, I know he doesn’t want to be saved, but that doesn’t Signify. Men never know what’s Good for them. He doesn’t know it, but we are going to Scotland—along with two slightly deranged friends of my dear Great-Grandmama, and an army of servants—to a HAUNTED CASTLE. I shall have one last Great Adventure, and rescue Lisle at the same time. Then I shall try to be content with my lot. Either that or I shall run away.

Yours sincerely,
Olivia Carsington


I also have the opportunity to giveaway a copy of Last Night's Scandal to one of you!

Here is how to enter!

Fill out the giveaway entry form here.

The giveaway is open to addresses within the US only.

The giveaway will end October 7th at 6:59 pm Central Time.

Entries left in the comments of this blog post will not be counted, please fill out the giveaway entry form.

**Prize provided by the publisher**

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Weekly Dose of Crafts!

For more crafty goodness be sure to stop over at WIP Wednesday!


Last Wednesday started off with a very exciting request! Holly asked me to make her a baby blanket for her little boy that is on his way! So I jumped at the chance to make a baby blanket and decided to try a giant granny square because that's something on my long list of things I wanted to try! And since it's a just a giant granny square there really is no need for a pattern so I winged it! Besides a bit of curving I attempted to fix with blocking (to little success I think) it came out wonderfully!

Here is the yarn I used: 

Vanna’s Choice:
Beige
Dusty Blue
Taupe
Pea Green

Vanna’s Baby:
Sweet Pea


Last week I also received my first online yarn order in the mail! I ordered from Fabric.com and over $35 you get free shipping (which is also fast shipping! they processed my order in 2 days and delivered it in the same week via UPS Ground!) What I ordered was mostly more of that Comfort DK I've been collecting over the past few weeks to get some more of the colors I haven't been able to find locally.


This is what I have so far, I'm trying to get my hands on a few more colors before I start. It is going to be another granny square blanket, see that little granny there? With hopefully a light color in the middle and a darker version of the same color around that with all the squares ending in black, this is the pattern I'm going to use. So this project isn't starting just yet, but I gotta get prepared haha!


Cause I don't have enough stuff in the works I started a scarf. No but really when you are working on blankets it's nice to have a little something else to work on from time to time. But this pattern is going to take me FOREVER! It's really pretty but seriously FOREVER. Here's the pattern I'm following for this cute scarf. And the yarn I'm using is Plymouth Yarn Dream Baby DK 0135, a little BRIGHT but oh well!


Earlier this week I became obsessed with using up some of my bulky yarn that I had purchased after I learned to knit. With the help of some twitter pals I was introduced to this cowl pattern, that not only easily sucked up my two skeins of this purple (Hometown USA Portland Wine) but required one more skein lol! Bye bye yarn! I did have to almost start over several times though, because it got twisted part way through and we just can't have that! It uses a giant crochet hook a size 15 or 16mm that luckily I had and after working with that any other hook feels like a twig in your hand!


Then I decided to use up some of my red bulky yarn (Hometown USA Cincinnati Red) to make this cute ear flap hat with this pattern. I overcompensated for my fat head (which usually is too big for hats I've made in the past) added a few extra increases and whoops it ended up a little too big, so much for trying! I also decided to make the tassels a little shorter as well.


Any finally, yesterday I got back to my ripple blanket after putting it aside for the baby blanket, I got through all my chosen colors (had maybe 4 left to do) and started back at the beginning, this is going to be so cute when it's done!

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Interview: Suzanne Gardner co-author of Don't Stop Believin' The Unofficial Guide to Glee

To celebration the season premiere of Glee Season 2 tonight I have one of the co-authors of Don't Stop Believin' The Unofficial Guide to Glee, Suzanne Gardner here today to talk a bit about what else but Glee! You can also get all the latest Glee info on her blog Gleeks United!

1. What attracted you to the tv show Glee? And the idea of blogging about it and eventually turning it into a book?

For me, the show had the perfect mix of comedy and drama and the most uncanny ability to pick the most perfect song, nine times out of ten. Glee really speaks to the underdog in everyone, and I found that even though I'm several years out of high school by now (let's not count how many exactly...!), I could still really relate to these characters, even if I was never actually in a glee club myself. I really fell for the show immediately, and since I've always been a writer, it was natural for me to decide to start a blog since I had free time on my hands and thought I might as well combine my love for the show with my love for writing. The book came along as a progression from there – a friend of mine was writing a book about True Blood for my future publisher, ECW Press, and one day she point blank asked me when I was planned on pitching my book! It didn't take much to convince me, and fairly soon after I made my pitch, I had a book contract in my hands! Trust me, this was not anywhere near to a typical experience for a first-time author!

2. What is it about Glee that get people SO excited?

I think it's the kind of show that people really do relate to – like I said above, it speaks to the underdog in everyone. I mean, even the jocks and cheerleaders like Finn and Quinn have a vulnerable underdog side to them! And I think because fans so easily connect with the show, it in turn becomes very influential and inspiring to them. I've read so many articles about glee clubs that have started in high schools because of Glee. This show truly encourages kids to be whoever they want to be and do whatever they want to do, to the extent that these kids have gone and applied these lessons to their real lives, and that blows my mind. Glee gets people excited because they relate to it, they understand it, and, on top of all that, it has the most catchy soundtrack ever. How can you not get excited about that?

3. You wrote Don't Stop Believin' with Erin Balser, the author of gleedork.com. What was it like to write with another person?

Writing with another person is both strange and awesome, all at the same time. For someone like me who has been writing for many years, for newspapers, magazines, blogs, etc., it was very weird at first to divvy up work and write only half of it yourself. On the other hand, it was also fantastic to have someone to bounce ideas off of and to, well, share the crazy huge workload. We wrote this book in a very short timeline (all of the writing was done in about 5 months), so having someone to share that with was extremely helpful.

4. Don't Stop Believin' is extremely comprehensive – how on earth did you compile all of this information?

Thank you! We both read one HELL of a lot of interviews with the cast and crew, I can tell you that! Seriously, we both know too many random facts now. But its comments like yours that make us know it was all worthwhile. In our very first review, from a diehard gleek, he said that there were some facts in our book that even he didn't know! That's a sign that we've earned our Rachel Berry-gold stars, I think!

5. What was the hardest part of the book to write, your favorite part?

I think for me the hardest part was also my favourite! I wrote all of the analysis/commentary that kicks off each episode, and although I sometimes found it very challenging to remain analytical and to not recap the episode too heavily, it was incredibly rewarding when I got to get into some great character commentary, because I find all of these characters so interesting and love talking about the finer, subtler points of the show, rather than focusing too heavily on the very strong themes Ryan Murphy and co. often like to shove down our throats.

6. You interview a lot of the actors and actresses from the show and also fans of the show, how difficult was it to get in contact with everyone?

Getting in contact with cast members was a tough gig, as you can probably tell since we weren't able to score very many regular cast members (the biggest name we got was Heather Morris, which was a pretty sweet score, but she was only able to talk to us via email). Several times we received an initial positive reply from an actor's publicist, only to have the interview fall through later because FOX put the brakes on. It was a bit frustrating at times, but we're happy with the interviews we did get to do, because we chatted with several guest stars who we think still played a big part in shaping their particular episodes! We also really enjoyed interviewing fans of the show, because that's a perspective that I don't think we hear from enough. Glee's fans and their hardcore dedication to the show have been hugely instrumental into making the show the success that it is, and I think having their perspectives, both positive and sometimes a little bit critical, adds a really interesting element to the book that I haven't seen in other Glee-related books.

7. What are your predictions for Season 2 of Glee?

Ah, I'm not a big prediction girl, to be honest! Never been that good at that. I'm really interested to see Quinn post-pregnancy though. I've heard that she's going to be fighting Santana to be queen bee again, and that's something I'm looking forward to. I hope that Quinn's last year at the bottom of the heap really changes things for her, and maybe makes it hard for her to be the tough bitch she needs to be to reclaim her crown. Quinn's definitely not the same girl she was at the beginning of the show. I'm also looking forward to seeing Rachel and Finn's relationship play out and if they can really sustain a relationship for an extended period of time – especially when the bomb inevitably drops that they both lied about the sex they did or didn't have in "The Power of Madonna." Other than that, I'm just predicting another awesome year full of great songs, great laughs, and great drama!

Hardcover vs Paperback 99

The Sky Isn't Visible From Here by Felicia C. Sullivan

Hardcover

Paperback


Amazon.com:

Days before Felicia Sullivan graduated from college, her mother disappeared; she hasn't been heard from in more than twelve years. It was possibly the last betrayal her mother, a beautiful, volatile, deceitful drug addict, would add to those that built their relationship, which subjected Felicia to a nightmare childhood on the toughest streets of 1980s Brooklyn. Growing up in the close company of dealers, users, and a host of unsavory characters, Felicia became her mother's keeper at a shockingly young age—getting her to the hospital after her overdoses, enduring her cruelty and narcissistic rages, and accepting the abuse or indifference of numerous so-called stepfathers. Years later, damaged and ashamed of her past, Felicia invented a new, brutally hard-partying persona to show to the world: she became her mother.

Affecting, honest, and utterly extraordinary, The Sky Isn't Visible from Here is a book about secrets and forgiveness—the story of a young woman unraveling . . . and then putting her life back together again.

While I do appreciate the heaviness the hardcover brings to the equation, there is just something off about it. I get what the designer is trying to create here but it's not working for me. Paperback for me.

Have you spotted a Hardcover vs. Paperback you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Don't Stop Believin' The Unofficial Guide to Glee by Erin Balser & Suzanne Gardner

GoodReads.com:

he kids in McKinley’s high school’s glee club “New Directions” might not be the most popular in school. For every chart-topping song “New Directions” belts out at practice the glee kids are liable to get a slushie tossed in their face by a football player or harassed online by the creme-de-la-creme of the school, one of McKinley’s “Cheerio” cheerleaders. But fictional popularity aside, the television show Glee is unquestionably a runaway hit, and audiences can’t get enough of their story: from the songs to the students, and especially the wacky teachers.

Don't Stop Believin': The Unofficial Guide to Glee is for Glee fans who demand more once the curtain falls. From information about the stars, the music, the trivia, and the in-jokes, to analysis of each relationship and fashion choice, Don't Stop Believin': The Unofficial Guide to Glee is the go-to guide for all things Glee. The book is thorough enough to satiate even the most dedicated of fans, yet accessible enough that a casual viewer can enjoy it.

Don't Stop Believin' in my mind was pretty perfect when it comes to giving all the dish and facts on Glee. It starts off with a few chapters on how Glee came to be and backgrounds for all the main cast. Then it dives into the bulk of the book, breakdowns of all the episodes.

I loved how the episodes were broken up into sections, so say you weren't interested in the best Sue quotes from the episode (How Sue Cs It) then you could just skip that section, but who wouldn't be interested in that! I personally read and enjoyed all the sections, my only comment would be that it would have been nice to have a Brittany quote section, though her quotes often popped up in other sections of the recaps. I also thought it was cool that there was a section that compared Ryan Murphy's other show Popular to Glee (That's Pretty Popular), which made me decide it was about time to watch Popular again, and so I am.

I think this guide lends itself wonderfully to all sorts of Glee fans, the ones like me that want to gobble up all the information all at the same time and read it straight through, and those that would prefer to leisurely flip through when they are watching a certain episode, it's all here. There is even a small section of color photos in the middle, not so large that it eats up the rest of the book but enough to give your eyes a rest half way through.

If you are a fan of Glee, hands down this Glee guide is for you!

Don't Stop Believin' was released on September 1st
Genre: Non-Fiction, TV
5/5 Stars
Review copy provided by the publisher

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Amazon.com:

For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Hush, Hush is a hard one to wrap my head around. I loved how mysterious it was, Nora has all these unexplained events happening around her but why? And she has this new lab partner that is basically hell bent on getting to know her and is a weird cross between a major flirt and a creepy creepy dude. She knows to stay away from him but he keeps appearing and giving her rides etc so that doesn’t really happen. He didn’t seem extremely scary to me but enough to warrant her fear. But she also can’t help her attraction to him though she sure tries.

I liked Nora’s character but her friend Vee, while funny, WOW she was kind of an idiot. I could have done without her, she was just getting Nora into trouble instead of really helping her with anything.

But towards the end when all the angel stuff (yeah that’s what I’m going to call it) comes out it’s sort of contradictory. One angel tells another if you do this you will be back in heaven and do this, and then they do just that but they end up doing something else instead of going back to heaven. I know that sounds really vague but I don’t want to spoil. Also, aren’t angels supposed to be nice, not fallen angels but normal angels, they don’t seem so nice.... It was just really confusing to me. And my interest started to wain towards the end.

I will say it will be interesting to see where the story continues in Book 2 Crescendo.

Hush, Hush will be released in paperback on September 21st
Genre: Young Adult
3.5/5 Stars
ARC reviewed from publisher

Saturday, September 18, 2010

This Week In Books or A Book Gets Roughed Up in the Mail!


Monday: nothing

Tuesday:

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins (Just Showed Up Review Copy)
Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson (Purchased from the Library)
Million Little Mistakes by Heather McElhatton (Purchased from Borders)
Around the Corner: Crochet Borders by Edie Eckman (Purchased from Amazon)
200 Crochet Blocks for Blankets, Throws, and Afghans by Jan Eaton (Purchased from Amazon)
50 Sensation Crochet Afghans and Throws edited by Bobbie Matela (Purchased from Amazon)
Meanwhile by Jason Shiga (Purchased from Amazon)

Wednesday: nothing

Thursday: nothing

Friday:

Gleeful! by Amy Rickman (Just Showed Up Review Copy)

Saturday:

Allie Finkle's Rules for Girls: Blast from the Past by Meg Cabot (Just Showed Up Review Copy-this is the back of the book, Allie's face got ripped off in the mail ahh!)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Lookalikes 119

After the Moment by Garret Freymann-Weyr

The Sky Isn't Visible from Here by Felicia C. Sullivan

I really like how the title has been constructed on The Sky Isn't Visible here, something about strong typography mixed with a photo really gets me going. And the monochromatic color scheme is also really nice. After the Moment is fine but I'm not really fond of how the color scheme was pushed into that sort of over saturated yellow and the grungy border.

Have you spotted a Lookalike you would like to contribute? Send me an email!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Drinking at the Movies by Julia Wertz

Amazon.com:

In her first full-length graphic memoir, Julia Wertz (creator of the cult-hit comic The Fart Party) documents the year she left San Francisco for the unfamiliar streets of New York. Don’t worry—this isn’t the typical redemptive coming-of-age tale of a young woman and her glorious triumph over tragedy or any such nonsense. It’s simply a hilarious—occasionally poignant—book filled with interesting art, absurd humor and plenty of amusing self-deprecation. Box by box, Wertz chronicles four sketchy apartments, seven terrible jobs, family drama, traveling fiascos, and too many whiskey bottles to count.

Being a fan of Fart Party, I was so excited to see Wertz had a new book out and in this case it's a more of a whole store, a graphic memoir, instead of stripes compiled together.

I really think there was no way I couldn't like this book, Julia travels to New York to see what she thinks of it there and being a fan of New York myself I love reading about people's experiences with it.

While we might not have a lot in common hobby wise (I SO don't like beer), I feel like she's the comic voice of my generation. She perfectly describes what it's like to be a 20-something, sometimes you just have no idea what is going on with your life and it sucks. Through it all though she keeps a mostly positive attitude and finds new adventures and discovers more things about herself.

Wertz's sense of humor is great, and no it's not just a fart party people! She's funny and her illustration style is approachable, she keeps it simple and that's what I love in my graphic novels style wise. Besides the humorous bits she mixes in the hard parts of her life and the troubles with her family, to me it flows really well and it extremely honest yet she never gets to down, always seeing the hilarious side of every situation.

If you want to try something a little new and different in graphic novels and are ready to break away from the "classics" of graphic novels, give this one a try!

Drinking at the Movies was released on August 31st 2010
Genre: Graphic Novel
4.5/5 Stars
ARC from Amazon Vine

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Weekly Dose of Crafts!

For more crafty goodness be sure to stop over at WIP Wednesday!

So last week I finished my first afghan (or since I don't like that word it sounds too stuffy, blanket!!!) The only thing I really had left to do was the edging which you can see here. And in case anyone is interested in making the Granny Stripe Blanket for themselves you can find the pattern here at Attic24.

I also checked out the book, Crochet Me from the library and made this scarf! It works up really quickly though turned out rather short. If I were to make this again I'd make it like twice as long!

This is the yarn I used (already owned):
Vanna’s Choice:
Mustard
Loops & Threads Impeccable:
Aqua
Chocolate


This weekend I started another blanket, this time a Ripple blanket, surprise this pattern is also from Attic24! I haven't forgotten about my Summer Garden Granny Square blanket, just still on a break from all the end weaving etc! For this Ripple blanket I'm using mostly the same colors as the Granny Stripe (the extra yarn actually) but I'm doing it in ROYGBIV order instead of just random. Here is what I'm using:

Vanna’s Choice Baby:
Cheery Cherry
Goldfish
Duckie
Sweet Pea
Mint
Aqua
Little Boy Blue
Bluebell
Berrylicious
Pink Poodle
Vanna’s Choice:
Pink

Loops and Threads: Impeccable:
Grass
Aqua
Lavender
Grape


Last week Crochet Today's Special Must-Have Gifts issue came out, I had thought it was coming out later in the month but Tami let me know she had seen it in stores so I went out and found it. Interestingly none of the craft stores had it but Borders did! The magazine had this fun scarf pattern that was made with crochet thread and since I've never used it I jumped at the chance so I bought that specific thread which since it's made from Bamboo it's really really soft and some thicker stuff to try a coaster pattern also in the magazine. The issue is comprised of patterns from past issues that I guess are considered gift-able and luckily for me since I'm a new subscriber only one of the patterns I already had! Thought they probably should have checked the patterns over because the crochet thread for the previously mentioned coasters doesn't seem to be available in this country anymore! I also got a crochet pattern calendar that is smartly placed right by the check out line that I've eyed the last few times I was at Joann's and some Tweed Stripes yarn from Lion Brand to maybe make a scarf or something out of, haven't seen this line before!


And lastly some of my latest craft books, some of these I got recently at Half Price Books and forgot to share and the rest are part of a big Amazon order I recently placed that came the end of last week and yesterday!


Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Recent Giveaway Winners

The winner of the What is Regency Hat Girl Thinking was Virginia who said:

"As soon as his Lordship looks my way, I'll lower my eyes, blush prettily and then glance shyly in his direction. I only pray that my encouragement will not be intercepted by another! If so, I shall then faint daintily, and his Lordship will act as a gentleman and come to my aid. Wait! Perhaps he would send someone else to assist me...someone totally unacceptable! What if I accidentally tripped someone just as they approach his Lordship? Then he and I could assist the victim together! Aha...there goes someone now...a slight slip of the slipper...he's down! Oh, La! It's his Lordship's father!"

The Louder Than Words winners are:

Set of 3 - Tina
Hannah- Kaitlyn
Alexis- Victoria
Rae- Kelly

The Waxed winner is:

Shabbygeek

The winner of the Spaceheadz (and Simon & Schuster MG book pack) is:
Julie

Julie, I have emailed you, please respond with your full name and mailing address by Friday September 17th to claim your prize!

Hardcover vs Paperback 98

The Sweetheart of Prosper County by Jill S. Alexander

Hardcover

Paperback

Amazon.com:

This year, Austin Gray is going to wave to the crowd from the hood of a shiny pickup truck in the annual No-Jesus Christmas Parade, and finally show the town bully that she’s got what it takes to be the Sweetheart of Prosper County! Austin will do almost anything to become Sweetheart, including joining the Future Farmers of America and raising an animal—a rooster with an attitude named Charles Dickens. She has lots of support: her oldest friend, Maribel, her new FFA friends (including the reigning Sweetheart and a very cute cowboy), a mysterious Cajun outcast, and an evangelical Elvis impersonator. But will her momma ever stop being overprotective, and start letting Austin live her own life?

Oh man, I just LOOOOOOOOOVE this book! I guess I was a little sad to see they changed the cover because I thought it was so darn cute, but I guess I could see how a rooster on a cover might not attract the girls that would enjoy this book. At least they kept the same type treatment which I also adored!

Thanks to Kelly who pointed out this makeover!

Have you spotted a Hardcover vs. Paperback you would like to contribute? Send me an email!


Monday, September 13, 2010

Degrassi: The Next Generation Extra Credit #3 and #4 by J. Torres art by Eric Kim (#3) and Steve Rolston (#4)

Missing You Degrassi: The Next Generation Extra Credit #3

Spinner has been dumped by Darcy for his cheating ways! But with God as his witness, he promises to get her back no matter what it takes - including resisting all manner of temptation, all summer long. When arch-nemesis Jay Hogart offers to help, Spinner finds himself torn between "good" and "evil." Which one will win out?

Considering what Liberty's been through recently, it's no wonder she's spending her summer vacation moping about. Her parents suspect post-partum depression, but something else is weighing on her mind. Could Liberty be planning a desperate move?

The third book in the Degrassi: TNG Extra Credit series takes us into Spinner and Liberty's worlds. I really like how this book shows what happens to Spinner over the summer so there is a bit of explanation when the new season starts and if he is or isn't back with Darcy!

I think this might have been my least favorite of the books illustration wise, some of the facial expressions were not really detailed enough and some of the wide shots were way too cartoony for me, it made for a disrupt in the story.

Overall though, another fun installment in the series!

Missing You was released on April 24th 2007
Genre: Graphic Novel/TV/Young Adult
4 Stars
Purchased from Amazon Marketplace

Safety Dance Degrassi The Next Generation Extra Credit #4

When Marco sees Dylan get into a fight with a homophobic hockey player, he's suddenly super self-conscious about the way the world looks at him. Dylan wants to take their relationship to the next level, but Marco is holding them back. What will it take for Marco to move forward? Ashley is back from merry ol' England but she's finding it hard to reconnect with her stepbrother Toby and to rekindle the romance with ex-boyfriend Jimmy. Is her talk of all things British keeping them at a distance...? Or is it her hideous hat?

Like the other books in this series, this book focuses on two characters, this time Marco and Ashley. Marco is/was one of my favorite characters so I loved that he got his own story in one of the graphic novels! I really love the author's sense of humor, bringing in the running gag through the books of Ashley's really ugly hat from the season finale of season 5. It was darn ugly!

What I liked about the artwork in this installment was how clean it was. Clean and crisp lines create my favorite types of graphic images in graphic novels!

Overall, I really enjoyed reading the Degrassi: TNG graphic novels, now that it's been a few years since these came out and there is a whole new cast of characters I would love to see a some new installments of the graphic novel series!

Safety Dance was released on May 8th 2007
Genre: Graphic Novel/TV/Young Adult
4 Stars
Purchased from Amazon Marketplace

Saturday, September 11, 2010

This Week In Books


Monday: nothing

Tuesday:

Beyond the Square: Crochet Motifs by Edie Eckman (Purchased from Amazon)
Don't Stop Believin': The Unofficial Guide to Glee by Erin Balser & Suzanne Gardner (Accepted Review Copy)


Wednesday: nothing

Thursday: nothing

Friday:

Her Best Friend by Sarah Mayberry (From Harlequin Ambassadors, if you are interested in a copy shoot me an email!)
Like I Give a Frock by Michi Girl (Purchased from Amazon)
Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy (Purchased from Amazon)
Amigurumi by Lan-Anh Bui & Josephine Wan (Purchased from Amazon)
Stitch by Stich by Deborah Moebes (Purchased from Amazon)

Saturday:

Star Crossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce (Just Showed Up Review Copy)

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lookalikes 118

Queen Geeks in Love by Laura Preble

My Life and Other Catastrophes by Rowena Mohr

What makes me giggle here is both designers decided to pick up on the pink in the sneakers for the title. I guess they are both sort of fun, the only thing I don't really like is the big purple blobby thing on the second cover, but if I'm not mistaken that's done on all the books in that series/collection, still don't like it though.

Thanks to Sarah who suggested this lookalike!

Have you spotted a Lookalike you would like to contribute? Send me an email!
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