The Time of My Life

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The Time of My LifeThe Time of My Life by Patrick Swayze
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been meaning to read this book for years but just never got around to it. I grew up with Dirty Dancing, Red Dawn, The Outsiders, and Roadhouse so I was definitely a Patrick Swayze fan. I was upset by his cancer diagnosis and eventual death, but it wasn’t until a few years ago when a friend of mine was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer that I realized just what that diagnosis had meant for him.

What I liked most about this book is that is focuses on his early life and his career up to his diagnosis. I didn’t realize that Swayze had danced ballet professionally, though I knew he was a dancer. I enjoyed reading about his experiences while working and why he chose to make the films he did. He definitely wasn’t as prolific as some actors and it’s because he make movies he really believed in, even if they weren’t mega blockbusters. He could have made many more movies if he had allowed himself to be typecast but he really didn’t want that. He liked to make different kinds of films to stretch his abilities and to learn new things.

I also enjoyed reading about his relationship with his wife. They had their problems but they worked things out together through it all. In a time when a lot of Hollywood marriages don’t last more than a few years, it’s refreshing to read about a couple who truly loved, respected, and supported each other.

I have always enjoyed memoirs and autobiographies. Call it my nosy nature but I like the behind the scenes info people share about their lives that I wouldn’t otherwise get to know. I would have liked a bit more background on his family and I certainly felt that the loss of their baby could have gotten more than a couple of paragraphs but I imagine that even all those years later, it must have been incredibly difficult to write about.

Overall, I’m glad I read the book but it makes me sad too, to think of the loss of such a talented man, gone much too soon.

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Backstage with the Original Hollywood Square – DNF

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Backstage with the Original Hollywood SquareBackstage with the Original Hollywood Square by Peter Marshall
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I grew up watching Hollywood Squares and loved it. It was definitely one of my favorite games shows and as an 80’s kid I was a game show junkie. I was excited when I found this book on Kindle Unlimited but at 24% done, I’m adding it to my DNF shelf and giving it up. I am bored. to. death. reading this book. It’s not that I was expecting any shocking revelations or anything but this book is as dry as Aunt Suzy’s meatloaf. I’ll stick to finding old clips of Squares on Youtube.

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To Count or Not To Count

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I’ve seen a few different blog posts and articles over the past few days that question whether or not one should set a yearly reading goal  so I thought I’d weigh in with my two cents. Or maybe four cents depending on how long-winded I decide to be.

I admit it, I’m a big fan of Goodreads. I’ve been a member since 2007 and I have shelved every book I’ve read since then by the year I read it. I’ve also participated in the Goodreads Reading Challenge every year since 2012 by setting a goal of how many books I want to try to read. I also participate in other reading challenges such as the Ultimate Popsugar Reading Challenge which sets out parameters for books to read. For example, in the 2017 Popsugar challenge, I am supposed to read a book with a red spine, listen to an audiobook, and read a book written by more than one author, among other things.

My goals vary from year to year and sometimes I even change them throughout the year. Some years, if I’m particularly busy or going through a depression that causes me to be unable to focus on reading, I read far fewer books than in other years. If Goodreads lets me know that I’m behind in my goal reading, I don’t let it bother me. If I catch up, great. If I don’t, maybe I need to lower my goal.

In 2016 my original goal was 100 books. I haven’t read that many books in the past couple of years and I wanted to read more this year. When I hit 100 books, I upped my goal. No stress. Some books I read in a day or two. Some books I read in a week. Some books I’ve started months ago and not finished yet. I’ll pick them back up later. Reading is my relief from stress not a source of stress!

I’m sure there are other people out there who feel pressured by the goal but for me it’s just fun for myself. Sure, I can always use how many books I’ve read in a meeting where we’re forced to tell some ice breaking fact about ourselves and, yes, it’s always fun to see the look on people’s faces when I say I’ve read 317 books so far this year, but the fact is, I read for my own personal enjoyment so I track what I read for my own personal enjoyment too.

I also don’t stress out about the length of the books I read or the seriousness of the topic or whether or not I read only classics or great literature. I read mass market paperbacks and I’m proud of it! I even occasionally buy books at the grocery store or the drug store. (I’ll post more on book snobs at a later date.)

I like to try to read more this year than I read last year. I like to read a variety of different genres. I like to read about different topics, people, events. I just flat-out like to read. I read paperback books, hardback books, and e-books. I read YA books, kids books, adult books, novels, anthologies, short stories, books published by major publishing houses, and self published kindle books. I read good books, average books, amazing books, terrible books, and books I don’t finish (because life is too short to read a book you hate).

If setting a goal stresses you out and making reading less enjoyable for you, don’t set a goal. But if you can set a goal and have fun with it, do it. Just read!

2016 Reading Challenge

2016 Reading Challenge
Cindy has
completed her goal of reading
300 books in
2016!
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April Monthly Challenge

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This is another challenge I am participating in over at the Crazy Challenge Connection message board on goodreads.com.


Using the letters in the month of “April”, read a book that corresponds to each letter. You may use the first letter of the title, the first letter of the author’s first name, or the first letter of the author’s last name. As a bonus, read a book with “April” in the title, or a book with a main character named “April” (spelling does not have to be exact).


The challenge runs from April 1, 2012 through April 30, 2012. If anyone would like to join me in completing this challenge just leave me a note in the comments. I’d love to have some more friends joining in.


So, here is my list of books for April.



A – Animal Farm by George Orwell


P – Push by Sapphire – read 4/8. read my review here.


R – Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe


I – In Cold Blood by Truman Capote


L – Lord of the Flies by William Golding


Bonus: undecided

One Hit Wonders of the 80’s Challenge

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Hey Mickey you're so fine you're so fine you blow my mind hey Mickey!

I came across a great challenge over at goodreads.com in a group that I joined called Crazy Challenge Connection.

Being a child of the 80’s, this challenge evoked a bit of nostalgia for me. Actually, it made me set my 80’s playlist on iTunes on repeat for three days. I’ll be tracking my progress here as well as on the group message board. Now, I think I need to go find the video for Mickey on youtube…

♥  ♥ ♥

The decade that brought us Cabbage Patch Dolls, Pac Man, Rubik’s Cubes, Dallas and MTV now brings us a new reading challenge. Slap on your neon jelly bracelets and leg warmers, dust of those parachute pants, and look for the biggest shoulder pads you can find.

If you think you’re already signed up for too many challenges, that’s like totally bogus, fer shur!! So don’t be a dweeb, sign up! I’m like totally spazzing because this is going to be so rad. The categories are gnarly, and it’ll be a totally tubular time! Sorry, my inner Valley Girl took over there for a moment. (Like, gag me with a spoon!! As if!)

Here are the details:

Duration: One year from sign-up date.
No. of Books: 1-24, you decide!
Rules: You may choose as many (or as few) categories as you like, but only folks who read all 24 will have a totally tubular time and get to wear the keyboard tie! The books may be from any genre, unless specified otherwise in a category. Re-reads are allowed as are books used for other challenges. You can post your list up front or as you go and you can make changes as you go.

You can start this challenge whenever you like. Once you decide to start you have one year to complete it.

♥ ♥  ♥

Challenge Dates:  3/11/12 – 3/11/13

√ Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners ~ Read 1 book with: a character or author named Johnny, Ray, or Eileen (or a variation of the name) -OR- a book set in England –OR- a predominantly blue cover: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton 3/17/12

Tainted Love by Soft Cell ~ Read 1 book with: a vampire or werewolf as the main character -OR- the word ‘love’ or ‘heart’ in the title -OR- a heart depicted on the cover

Walking on Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves ~ Read 1 book with: characters who finally admit they love one another -OR- the sun or waves on the cover -OR- a predominantly yellow cover

She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby ~ Read 1 book with: a character who is a scientist (main character or supporting character) -OR- with a blindingly hot bod on the cover

Take on Me by A-Ha ~ read 1 book with: a character that rides a motorcycle -OR- a scene that takes place in a diner -OR- a predominantly black and white cover

99 Luft Balloons by Nena ~ Read 1 with: a post-apocalyptic or war theme -OR- a setting of Germany or a character of German heritage -OR- with a cover showing balloons (any color) or another child’s toy

I Wanna Be a Cowboy by Boys Don’t Cry ~ Read 1 book with: cowboys or horses -OR- a cover showing a cowboy hat or a sunset -OR- an orange and/or red cover

Iko Iko by The Belle Stars ~ Read 1 book with: the main character’s grandmother playing a role -OR- ‘FIRE’ in the title or series name -OR- fire pictured on the cover

Pleasure and Pain by Divinyls ~ Read 1 book with: BDSM -OR- a cover showing a hot body holding a deadly weapon

I Wear My Sunglasses at Night by Corey Hart ~ Read 1 book with: a character that can’t go out in daylight -OR- a cover showing a moon -OR- a black cover

Don’t Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin ~ Read 1 book with: a happy ending -OR- that you find humorous

The Safety Dance by Men Without Hats ~ Read 1 book with: a character who is a dancer or a scene with dancing -OR- a character who acts like an imbecile -OR- a cover showing, you guessed it, a man without a hat

Kids in America by Kim Wilde ~ Read 1 book that is considered to be Young Adult -OR- with a cover that is predominately Red, White, or Blue or a combination of all three colors

Relax by Frankie Goes to Hollywood ~ Read 1 book with: a character that needs to chill out -OR- any book in the sci-fi genre -OR- a cover showing an artificial source of light (flashlight, building lights, etc)

I Want Candy by Bow Wow Wow ~ Read 1 book with: a guy who’s tough but sweet -OR- a cover featuring some serious eye candy -OR- a cover showing actual candy

√ It’s Raining Men by Weather Girls ~ Read 1 book with: a character that can control or affect the weather -OR- a scene set during a rain storm -OR- a cover showing rain or lightning: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan 4/08/12

Puttin’ on the Ritz by Taco ~ Read 1 book with: a character who is wealthy -OR- a well dressed person on the cover -OR- a character who loves Mexican food

Lady in Red by Chris DeBurgh ~ Read 1 book that is a romance -OR- that features a woman in red on the cover

Mickey by Toni Basil ~ Read 1 book with: a character or author named Mickey, Mike, or Michael -OR- any Young Adult book

Cars by Gary Numan ~ Read 1 with: a character that works with cars (driver, car designer, salesman, mechanic, etc) -OR- a car on the cover

Turning Japanese by The Vapors ~ Read 1 book set in Asia -OR- with characters of Asian heritage (ex: Lily Yu in Eileen Wilks’ series) -OR- ANY book you really love

Somebody’s Watching Me by Rockwell ~ Read 1 book with: characters who watch over and protect mortals or others of their kind -OR- a shower scene -OR- a cover featuring a great pair of eyes

Too Shy by Kajagoogoo ~ Read 1 book with: a character who’s name you have trouble pronouncing -OR- a cover that is predominantly pink

Always Something there to Remind Me by Naked Eyes ~ Read 1 book with: a character having trouble with their memory -OR- a (nearly) naked person on the cover -OR- ANY historical romance

True Story

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Today’s quote of the day from goodreads: Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore? -Henry Ward Beecher


I’m house/dog sitting for my sis-in-law this week while she is out of town for work. She and my brother have two beautiful Shelties, my niece-dogs, Twix and Snickers. Also known as the candy girls. With my brother in Iraq, when Amy needs to go out of town, I come and stay with the girls.


As a thank you gift, she gave me a $25 Amazon gift card. Add that to the $25 Amazon gift card she gave me last month when I watched the girls so she could visit family out of state, which I haven’t used yet, and I am in a state of complete and total bliss.


Fifty bucks to spend on Amazon. Just thinking of the books I could buy makes me happy. But the decisions! How will I decide what to buy? I can get books for my kindle. I can get books to hold and shelve. I can buy books for other people. I can buy a beautiful hardback book. Or several colorful paperbacks. Something I’ve already read, that I want to own so I can re-visit the characters whenever I want, or something I’ve never read; a new set of folks to visit.


For now I will just browse, much like when I visit a brick and mortar bookstore, and imagine what it would be like to be able to read them all.