Happy 203rd Birthday, Edgar!


Edgar Allan Poe January 19, 1809 – October 7, 1849

Want to learn more about one of America’s most mysterious writers? Check out the Poe Museum located here in Richmond, VA. (credit for above photo goes to Poe Museum)
You can also read about Poe here or look for the following books in your local bookstore or library:
Edgar A. Poe: Mournful and Never-ending Remembrance by Kenneth Silverman
Edgar Allan Poe: His Life and Legacy by Jeffrey Meyers
Midnight Dreary: The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe by John Evangelist Walsh
Edgar Allen Poe: A Short Biography for Kids by Diane Phelps
And if you haven’t already (and even if you have), check out some of Poe’s work with this beautiful copy of The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe from Barnes and Noble.

DIY: Paint sample bookmarks


How About Orange: Paint Chip Bookmarks

I found this how-to on Pinterest originally. Here is a link to the blog that originally posted it: How About Orange. (It’s a great crafty blog)
I do want to note that I do not condone the willy-nilly taking of handfuls of paint chips from hardware and/or paint stores for crafting. The paint chips used in this project were left over from when the writer painted her guestroom. If you visit your local hardware and/or paint store, verify with an employee that the paint chips are free and then take only a few. No one needs handfuls of bookmarks right? (Though they do make great gifts for the readers in your life!)
Making these bookmarks is pretty simple. Just trim them to a size you like. You can round the edges as pictured, leave them straight, or you can use some scrapbooking pinking shears or edging punches to make a more decorative edge. I love using my fancy edging punches on the ones I make.
Paste two colors back-to-back with some glue or rubber cement so that your bookmark is pretty on both sides. Punch a hole in the top of the paint chips once the glue or rubber cement has dried and attach a string or ribbon. Ta-da! You have a colorful bookmark to hold your place. They’re also pretty sturdy since the cardstock that they are printed on is fairly sturdy and thick.
You can also decorate the bookmarks any way you’d like. You can write a favorite book quote with a Sharpie (make sure it is completely dry before you move it or put it in a book so it doesn’t smudge). You can use stickers to spice it up a little, or you can draw your own little illustrations on it. If you do use stickers, be careful of anything that is too thick or covered with glitter, etc.
So, make a few bookmarks, read a few books, and have a fabulous Thursday, bookworms!

And the winner is…


So, the results of the poll on which books I should re-read to kick start 2012…

#1… The Hunger Games. I started reading it on my kindle last night and should finish it sometime tomorrow or Thursday. I’ve been recommending it to everyone lately but getting back into the story myself has been great. And, I’m really looking forward to the film in March.

#2… Harry Potter. Because, let’s face it, HP is fabulous. I will definitely be re-reading the series this year. Rowling has created a world that I just cannot stay away from. But I think I’ll wait a couple of months before I journey back to Hogwarts.

#3… Percy Jackson. Despite the fact that the series consists of 5 books, they are all super fast reads and will definitely be re-read this year, though I may put them off a month or two.

#4… And not surprising, Twilight got zero votes. Though I imagine I might re-read the series before the final film comes out this year. We’ll see.

Thanks to everyone who voted. Now, I’m off to read a few more chapters of The Hunger Games before I go to sleep! Toodles bookworms ~

So many books, so little time.


So many books, so little time.

Have you ever had so many books you wanted to read that you couldn’t concentrate on even getting started on one?

I have started four books since the new year began and I haven’t even made it halfway through one. I read a bit of one and then I pick up another and read a little bit of it and then pick up another one. Ugh.

So far I have started A Midsummer Night’s Dream for my Shakespeare challenge, The Scarlet Letter, a collection of O. Henry short stories, and a memoir about the craziness of the Vanderbilt family.

I made a reading goal of 200 books this year and here it is the 8th of the month and I haven’t accomplished anything. Not a great start to the year. I’m getting a little frustrated. As soon as I start reading one book, I start thinking about the next one I need to read and I get nowhere.

Methinks I may need to revisit an old friend in order to get back into the groove. Now I just have to decide where I should go?

Hogwarts, Half-blood Hill, Panem, or Forks? (Again with the love/hate Twilight issues)

I’m really only including Twilight in the debate because they are fast reads. I could easily get all four books, five if you count the novella, read in just a couple of days. (Yes, I am justifying myself to myself on my own blog.)

So, I’m going to post a poll in a few so you all can vote on which world I should visit to get myself back in the mood to read. I appreciate the help since I am apparently unable to make my own choice at the moment; thanks in advance fellow bookworms!

Happy Birthday J.R.R. Tolkien


John Ronald Reuel Tolkien b. 3 January 1892

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.

From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.

Tolkien on wikipedia and goodreads.

2012 Reading Challenges


Here is a whole list of reading challenges for 2012 for your perusing pleasure!

2012 Young Adult Reading Challenge… go here to sign up!

Runs January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012.

The Rules:

  • Anyone can join.
  • You don’t need a blog to participate.
  • Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post on Jamie’s blog.
  • Audio, eBooks, paper, re-reads all count.
  • No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.

There are four levels:

  1. The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels.
  2. The “Fun Size” YA Reading Challenge – Read 20 Young Adult novels.
  3. The Jumbo Size YA Reading Challenge – Read 40 Young Adult novels.
  4. The Mega size YA Reading Challenge – Read 50+ Young Adult novels.

So what is the point of this challenge?  It is to try to read in each of the 50 States between January 1 2012 – December 31, 2012. Go here to Book Journey to sign up.

So how do you decide what state a book is categorized under?

1.  In a fiction read it would be the State or Country that the book spends the most time in.  (ie: If your main character is from Wisconsin but the book is all about his/her time in college in California – the book should categorize under California.)

2.  Non fiction reads categorize in whatever State or Country it is about. (ie: a book about fly fishing in Colorado is a Colorado point, and a book about women in Afghanistan is an Afghanistan point.)

3.  If the book goes from one state to another, go with the state that most of the time is spent.

How to get started:
Set up a map under Google Maps.  It is easy to do!  Every time you read a book in 2012, upload a cover picture to Picasa Web Albums (there may be other sites to use, feel free to use what works best for you). (You don’t have to use the map but it is a fun way to see “where” you have read!)

For those who have covered the 50 states by the end of 2012, they will go into a drawing for a $25 gift card to Barnes and Noble or to Amazon.  **All other areas beyond the 50 states are bonus points and we will have a drawing using random.org for those who read 10 or more books throughout 2012 in that category.

Welcome to 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge!

We all have those books. We buy them, win them, they’re gifted to us. Then we put them up on a bookshelf and there they stay, collecting dust, waiting for the time when we’ll finally decide to pick them up.
Join us on a quest to dust off your TBR Pile and read all the books you’ve been telling yourself you’ll read next time you’ll get a chance. This is your chance! And we’ve got PRIZES!

Challenge guidelines: 
  1. This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 – Dec 31, 2012.
  2. As we would like to see quality reviews linked up to our monthly wrap-ups, only bloggers can enter. Sorry about that!
  3. Any genre, length or format of book counts, as long as it is a book that’s been sitting on your shelf for some time now. Only books released in 2011 and earlier! NO ARCs and 2012 fresh-off-the-press releases allowed!
  4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the 2012 TBR PILE Reading Challenge (You need to include the info + host list + challenge button. You can also grab the button code and add it to your sidebar!)
  6. You can move up levels, but no moving down.
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  8. At the end of each month one of the hosts will post a wrap-up. Every wrap-up will have it’s unique theme, a mini-challenge, a giveaway and place for you to link up your reviews from this month. For each review you link up, you will get one entry in a drawing of one book of choice from Book Depository. It’s open to INTERNATIONALS. For participating in the mini-challenge you will get +1 entry.
  9. If you miss a wrap-up post + giveaway, you can link up your reviews next month. Do not, however, try to link up one review twice – we will be checking 😉
  10. December is a wrap-up for the whole year. All the book reviews you linked up January-November + the ones you’ll link up in December will be entered into a HUGE giveaway – 12 books, 12 winners, INTERNATIONAL.
  11. You don’t have to follow all the hosts to join the challenge, but you do have to follow all of us to be entered in giveaways!


1-10 – A Firm Handshake
11-20 – A Friendly Hug
21-30 – A Sweet Kiss
31-40 – Love At First Sight
41-50 – Married With Children

Evie from Bookish – http://www.evie-bookish.blogspot.com @SeoEvie
Nicole from All I Ever Readhttp://www.nicoleabouttown.com/ @Nicoleabouttown
Bonnie from Hands and Homehttp://www.handsandhome.ca/ @HandsHomeBlog
Donna from Book Passion For Life http://bookpassionforlife.blogspot.com/ @BookPforLife
Caitlin from WatchYA Reading http://whatchyareading.net @caitlingss
Rie from Mission To Read http://missiontoread.com/ @missiontoread
Vicky from Books, Biscuits & Tea http://booksbiscuitsandtea.blogspot.com/ @alouetteuette
Christa from Hooked On Books http://christashookedonbooks.blogspot.com @ChristasBooks
Jenna from Fans Of Fiction http://fansoffiction.blogspot.com/ @fansoffiction
Angel from Mermaids Vision http://mermaidvision.wordpress.com @mermaidvisions

Visit Evie at Bookish to sign up!

How adorable is this freaking button?!

Want to challenge yourself to read outside your comfort zone in 2012?
Like science fiction but tend to put off reading it?
Are you a total geek but never really take the time to read?

If you answered yes to any of the above, sign up for the 2012 reading challenge now! The idea is to read one sci-fi book each month, however, we all have different reading speeds so set yourself a number that you feel comfortable with. Hosted by Curiosity Killed the Bookworm. Go here to sign up.

What books count as sci-fi?

There’s more to science fiction than aliens and spaceships. The dictionary definition is: fiction dealing principally with the impact of actual or imagined science on society or individuals or having a scientific factor as an essential orienting component. So that includes dystopias, zombie viruses, genetic engineering gone awry, time travel, steampunk, extreme weather, space exploration and, of course, aliens.

Not a book blogger?

That’s OK. As long as you are willing to write some words about the book on a publicly accessible site (eg. Goodreads, personal blog) you can join in. If you’re not sure where you’ll be posting you can sign up with a social network account.

Monthly giveaways!

Yes, each book you read will get you an entry into some great giveaways throughout the year. (I love a challenge with prizes!)

The Reading Romances Challenge is not about the amount of books you read, but the variety of titles you’ll have read when the challenge is over! Our goal is to read a bit of everything related to romance and open our minds to new genres we wouldn’t usually read.

Challenge Guidelines:

  1. The 2012 Reading Romances Challenge will run from Jan 1, 2012 – Dec 31, 2012.
  2. Anyone can join, you don’t need to have a blog. Feel free to sign-up in the comments – you can post reviews to any book site (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, Librarything, Shelfari etc).
  3. I’ll post a list of romance sub-genres and a few cool themes for you to choose from each month (you can read all of them or just a couple).
  4. You can list your books before reading them (by leaving a comment on the post with the topics for that month) or just put them in a wrap-up post. If you list them, don’t feel obligated to read them, changes are welcomed!
  5. When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the Reading Romances Challenge. If you don’t have a blog, please link it to the page where you post your reviews (Goodreads, Shelfari, Amazon etc).
  6. You don’t have to participate every month, but please try to!
  7. Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2012, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.
  • I will never tell you to read one specific author, but I might suggest a few titles and authors to give you some ideas.
  • You can read the same author more than once and the books can be old or new, but they must be read during the course of the challenge.
  • Books used in this challenge may be used in other challenges.
  • Books can be in any format – paper, audio, ebook.
  • Post the button to post on your sidebar, this way others can find their way back to this post and join in the fun!

At the beginning of each month there will be a roundup post for you to add your reviews for that month. If you forget, feel free to add your reviews in the following month. It can be something simple and short, please don’t worry about it!

There will also be random giveaways during the year for everyone who is actively participating on the challenge. There might be special giveaway by the end of the year for those who read all (or most of) the topics during each month . If you are an author and want to contribute with prizes, please contact me.

Visit Reading Romances to sign up!

Hosted by Teresa at Teresa’s Reading Corner. Go here to sign up.

Welcome to the original Audio Book Challenge formerly hosted by Alaine at Queen of Happy Endings. This challenge is for Audio Book lovers as well as those who are brand new to them.

I’ve been listening to your feedback and I’m convinced that the 2012 challenge is going to be better than ever. There will still be targets for achievement, but I’m raising them a bit since many of our participants are avid audio book listeners.

Once again, there are four levels to the challenge

  • Flirting-Listen to 6 Audio Books
  • Going Steady- Listen to 12 Audio Books
  • Lover- Listen to 25 Audio Books
  • Married-Listen to +++  Audio Books

Reading Shakespeare: A Play a Month in 2012
January 1, 2012 – December 31, 2012
This challenge is hosted by Risa.

“Owning a copy of Shakespeare’s complete works had me wondering the best way I could get myself to read the entire book. I have studied only about six or seven of Shakespeare’s plays from school through college, and there have been many others that I’ve wanted to read but have been a bit hesitant about tackling on my own. So, I figured, the best way to read Shakespeare’s plays and to read it with others, was to have a read-along. Hence Reading Shakespeare: A Play a Month in 2012 was born.A poll held from 01 November 2011 till 01 December 2011 determined the 12 plays we would be reading in 2012.”

Listing the plays for 2012:

January — A Midsummer Night’s Dream
February — Macbeth
March — Henry V
April — Much Ado About Nothing
May — Antony and Cleopatra
June — Richard III
July — As You Like It
August — King Lear
September — Cymbeline
October — Twelfth Night
November — Othello
December — Pericle

I am definitely doing this challenge.  I love Shakespeare. I read Macbeth for the first time when I was in the 4th grade and have been in love with Will Shakes ever since. I am looking forward to reading a play a month and I’ve actually not read a couple of the ones that have been chosen.

There are still a ton of other challenges out there. You can use your favorite search engine (I personally use Swag Bucks because I earn free gift cards to Amazon and Barnes & Noble) and search 2012 reading challenges. Happy reading!