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when dialogue is key

image from Ginger at GReads!

you guys, this is my fave meme. and it's not just because i think Ginger is amazing or because tons of bloggers are linking up each week or because the image is so cute. it's not even because i love the word meme (which i pronounce may-may in my head). it's because some seriously rad questions are asked and everyone provides some insightful and funny responses. yeah, it's pretty cool.

this week the lovely Ginger asks:

Banned Books: How do you feel about the censorship of the freedom to read? Do you think the education system needs to be more strict on what children are exposed to in books?

this is a tough one. and timely too, as it IS banned books week and all!


but then, if i take .5 seconds to absorb the question, i realize that not all ages are ready for all reading materials. and that's where censorship comes in and that's where things get hairy.

do i think Harry Potter is going to turn children into witches? no. 
do i think video games are going to make children violent? no.
do i think reading about paranormal romance is dark and sends an anti-feminist message? no. well, sometimes, but mostly no.

for me this always comes back to the parents. parents should know what their children are reading. and more importantly, they should be encouraging their children to read all the time! for example, one of my coworkers sets a timer every night for her daughter to read for 20 minutes. her daughter dreads this, but the coworker makes her do it anyway. last month, she found a book she absolutely ADORRRED. pretty cool, right?

but wait. there's more. 

the daughter went to the library to get another book by that author and was thrilled to start reading it. but then it was talking about 'drinking' and 'virginity' and the daughter was disgusted! things like that are GROSS and she wants no part of it. 

and then, the best thing ever happened - the daughter told her mom (my coworker) about it and how she did NOT want to read it. mom said "okay", and they found a new book.  let's go over that again. the daughter TALKED TO HER MOM about her book. in this case, the reader made the decision about what's appropriate and what isn't - which i think is largely due to solid parenting.  the mom thought she was ready for the book and the daughter didn't. they are both more aware of the reading comfort level and the communication between the two of them is open. i love it and i hold it as an excellent example. 

as far as part two of the question, i don't think the education system needs to be more strict on what children are exposed to. if a school board deems something as not okay for my kid to read, but i deem it okay, we'll just read it at home. i realize there is a whole can of worms inside of the 'the system telling us what to read' idea, and that's a larger problem than i'm willing to tackle today (or ever, probably.)

ultimately, i think it comes down to dialogue between the parents and children. 

but what about you? what are your thoughts? let me know in the comments and be sure to link it up over at GReads! and don't forget to celebrate banned books week!

Patrick Ness Interview and Book Chat

you guys, you are witnessing my dreams coming true. Tracy at Candlewick Publishing asked if i'd like to be a part of a blog tour for A Monster Calls. <insert hysterical laughter here>

obviously, i said yes. quite emphatically.

if you're not aware of my complete and total adoration for Patrick Ness's work, please peep my reviews. warning: i am an unabashed fangirl.
The Knife of Never Letting Go
The Ask and The Answer
Monsters of Men
A Monster Calls

i suggest y'all read the interview all the way to the end. 

Lisa: Patrick Ness! First, thank you so much for sharing the opportunity for me to pick your brain about your work and your inspiration to do what you do. I was honored (well, first ECSTATIC and then more humbly honored) to receive an email from Tracy at Candlewick to send some interview questions your way about your latest book, A Monster Calls. I did some digging around for other interviews in order to think of fresh questions that still allowed me to investigate my personal inquiries into your writing. So, without further ado:

Who - Something I adore about your writing and Siobhan's novels are the characters. They are authentic, flawed, and absolutely real. The reader hopes for them and you feel a connection with them almost immediately. This is most certainly true with Conor and the rest of his family in A Monster Calls. How do you create and craft characters that jump off the page like this?
Patrick: I always just want them to be like the people I meet and know, rather than Characters In A Book, if that makes any sense?  With Todd and Viola, for example, it was a conscious decision to move them away from the stereotype of the slightly thick but brave boy and the brainy girl with glasses who have adventures together.  I just wondered why couldn't they be equally brave and equally smart and equally make mistake and be equally afraid.  True, they're individuals, but why couldn't they be like the complicated boys and girls I know personally rather than what's expected from a book character.  To me that's more real and more interesting.  Same with Conor and his family.  I kept asking, how would they really react, not how a reader mightexpect them too, but how'd they act if they were real people.  The grandmother in particular.  He says straight out she's not like grandmas in stories like this, and that makes me interested in her.  And my cardinal rule, if I'm interested in her, then maybe a reader will be, too.
Lisa: What - The blend of fantasy and reality is absolutely one of my favorite means of storytelling. Conor's world is grounded firmly in a dark reality, yet has infiltration of a world beyond our own comprehension. What was your inspiration for this delicate balance of 'what's real' and 'what's real to Conor'?
Patrick: Well, it's what any story is, isn't it?  That's why we read them, I think.  We can feel truth (as opposed to 'real') and explore different outcomes and how me might react in a variety of ways.  Also, it's a HUGE theme of the story that we're complicated beings and that that's okay.  Who doesn't feel regularly that they've got one foot in this world and one foot in whatever's going on in their mind?  And who's to say what's more real?  How we experience reality is just as real as whatever objective reality is, isn't it?  Anyway, that's what's interesting to me about a story: your boundaries can (and should) blur.
Lisa: When - Grief is with us throughout our life, coming at expected and unexpected times. To be with Conor is his confusion and grief was heartbreaking, but also held kernels of healing and hope and perseverance. How did writing a novel about such heavy and emotional pieces of life through the perspective of a very young adult shape the story?
Patrick: It didn't in an important way.  I never thought, what would be the perspective of a young adult.  I only ever thought, What would Conor's perspective be?  It really is that specific.  If I can get at the absolute truth, as best I can, of this one boy going through this specific experience, then all those themes you talk about are going to be there, I hope.  I just kept asking, what's the truth of Conor?  What would he really feel?  How would he really react?  And I find as I write that if I keep pressing and pressing like that, you get surprising and often really interesting answers.

Lisa: Where - Some of my favorite scenes and interactions were with Conor at school. He is desperate for things to be normal and to be treated the same, and no one can do that...except the bully. You take a character who could easily be one dimensional and give him depth and purpose in Conor's tale. Which of the minor character's in this book are closest to your heart? 

(Chaos Walking Trilogy minor spoiler to follow)

Patrick: Well, I kind of like them all.  I'm never one who hates even my villains.  I try to understand them as humans.  You know, I think even the Mayor could have been redeemed in Chaos Walking.  Here, I've got a soft spot for the grandma, because she makes sense to me.  Also, she makes me laugh.  I also had a kingergarten teacher who I adored called Mrs Nishimoto, so she's slightly in the book in a different nationality as Miss Kwan.  But minor characters tend to be where I put all my private jokes and affections, and so that's probably why they live for me.

(End spoiler) 

Lisa: Why - In an interview with Publisher's Weekly in June 2011, you lightly touch on why you write for teenagers. You said "...I just somehow had to get back to that place like I did when I wrote my first book, which is, no one will probably ever read this book so it can go where it wants to go. Then it became a private conversation between me and [Siobhan's] story, her idea. It was a fun place to be even though it was sad. I wanted it to be true. Not hopeless, but true. That's an important part of my writing for teenagers because it was what I wanted as a teenager but rarely got. For me, it is really important to have a story with blood in the veins, there are bad tempers and good tempers. It's visceral, physical and not just one color because that's not how people are." Can you share some more about why you write young adult literature?
Patrick: Feeling liberated is the best place for me to write.  If I can set aside all expectations, then I'm freest and my stories are at their most vivid for me.  And it turns out, to my pleasant surprise, that that feeling of liberation comes in great waves when writing for young adults.  Certainly doesn't mean I won't write for adults again, but I just decline to see all that much difference between the two.  And if I can feel so free in writing for young adults, all the while still writing about all the stuff that's important to me, what a combination!  What a great place to be writing from. 
(Chaos Walking Trilogy spoilers to  follow)

Lisa: How - Reflecting back on The Chaos Walking Trilogy as I read A Monster Calls, I recognized that they are clearly two different ideas but they share an emotional intensity and the powerful writing that's signature to your work. From the courageous Viola to the heartbreaking Davy Prentiss, Jr. to Conor's grandmother, you create real characters and real stories and real situations that break your heart while slowly infusing hope. And I know that with excellent writing, the story takes on a life of it's own and that the characters and the plot are their own creation...but seriously, how do you deal with where your story takes them? I still mourn the loss of Davy, and it's been years!
Patrick: It's an interesting thing, this, because of course there's lots of sadness in writing a sad storyline (like poor Davy, who deserved so much better), and I definitely feel the sadness when I write them (I always say that if you're not crying, why would you ever be arrogant enough to assume that your reader would?).  But when writing a storyline that also feels true, that also feels new and fresh, that also feels like a new place for you as you write it, that sadness comes side-by-side with the joy of writing.  When everything's working (often as a complete surprise), there's no feeling like it on earth.  And so Davy's fate is terrible, yes, but the storyteller in me could also feel how right it was and there's a kind of joy in that. 

(End spoiler) 

It was more harrowing with Conor, because I cared so much about him, but if I felt I'd be a coward if I didn't follow him every step and invest myself with everything he was feeling.  It would have been a disservice, and most importantly, I think a reader could spot from a mile away that I'd emotionally stepped back.  Plus, all Conor wants is to not be alone while he's going through this stuff.  So I had to be there, too.  It's worth it; he (and Siobhan) deserved the right story, and it's my job not to shy away from that, no matter how hard it sometimes is. 

Thanks to Patrick Ness for sharing so openly about his process and more about his amazing books. seriously, the simplicity of his answers is what makes his writing and his characters so incredible and endearing to me. the whole "well, I did this because that's how people are" mentality is EXACTLY why i resonate with his books so much. plus, the plots have me wrapped around his little finger. 

and Candlewick is making sure i can share that awesomeness with you. OH THAT'S RIGHT. i'm giving away a SIGNED copy of A Monster Calls and Monsters of Men. SERIOUSLY.

contest closed. 

i've reached the pinnacle of book blogging with this post. there is nothing as amazing as reading great books and having the chance to talk to the publisher, author, and fellow readers about the books and THEN giving away a signed copy. this is the dream i want to live forever.

Reckless Blog Tour

hello bookish peeps! i'm thrilled to be part of the Reckless blog tour hosted by Little, Brown Publishing.

the book in a nutshell:

Beyond the mirror, the darkest fairy tales come alive. . . .

For years, Jacob Reckless has enjoyed the Mirrorworld’s secrets and treasures.
Not anymore.
His younger brother has followed him.
Now dark magic will turn the boy to beast, break the heart of the girl he loves, and destroy everything Jacob holds most dear. . . .
Unless he can find a way to stop it.

Cornelia was a total doll and took the time to answer some very pressing questions from yours truly! 

Lisa: I saw you wrote this book with Lionel Wigram, and that you loved it and that you'd definitely work with someone again to write a book. How did two minds help shape this story in a way that yours alone couldn't?

CorneliaI always compare it to two painters. One is painting a brilliant Yellow, the other a beautiful Blue but only together they suddenly paint Green! It was wonderful to work with a man and discuss scenes between the female and male characters, or to be enchanted by the 19th century because Lionel loves it so much. It was incredibly inspiring to not just discuss plot in my own head but with another person, fighting over plot twists and dialogue with two imaginations and voices, bringing both our lives, fears and passions to the table. I still prefer to for a few months write alone just listening to the story's voice- sometimes a dialogue can be too loud to properly listen to it- but I love to in between drafts to sit down with Lionel and discuss everything I made from our ideas and discussions, every path I found in the story's labyrinth and then together come up with ideas to make everything even richer.
Lisa: Which character is your favorite, and why?

CorneliaI guess from Reckless? I think I am Fox although Lionel says that I write the Dark Fairy and the Empress far too well to not be them as well:) And then there is of course Jacob, my male alter ego, who allows me to be thoughtless, impatient, irresponsible, but also completely fearless. In fact he is very much like my son :)

Lisa: You can only read three books for the rest of your life - which three are they?

CorneliaThe Once and Future King, Ovid's Metamorphosis and.....hmmm, Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere.

as if the book trailer and the author interview wasn't awesome enough, Little, Brown is really bringing the awesome by giving a copy of Reckless away to one of you! 

sorry, yo.

thanks again to Little, Brown for sharing this book with me and for inviting me to be a part of the tour! y'all, i am a huge fan of Little, Brown and love supporting them in any way possible. MUCH LOVE.

please be sure to check out the rest of the tour!
Monday, 9/26 – Mundie Moms Book Reviews
Tuesday, 9/27 – Lisa is Busy Nerding
Wednesday, 9/28 – WORD for Teens
Thursday, 9/29 – Tiger's All-Consuming Books

Review: Eve by Anna Carey

in a sentence or so: after discovering everything she's been taught is a lie, Eve is desperate to escape the true fate that awaits her. can she discover what's true and what isn't, even if she has to rely on the biggest enemy of all - men?

Eve's grown up in an all-girl boarding school and had zero contact with the outside world. not that she'd want to, after the plague that killed off her mother and a solid chunk of the population and all. she's thrilled to be the top of her class and head off to study painting in the glamorous City of Sand and be part of the new generation and never worry about men manipulating and dominating her life.

but Eve discovers a secret.

a secret that shakes her.

a secret that changes everything and what everyone means to her.

this secret unravels her perspective on the world like a loose string being pulled on a sweater. with some vague instructions and a little help from an unlikely ally, Eve tries to make her way to safety across an unpredictable wilderness. she is surprised to discover friendship, and safety, in a group of boys living underground. even more surprising, they're not all awful.

but with Eve being hunted down by the most powerful man in the country, can the boys risk keeping her around? can Eve really put all of them at risk, despite the support and connection she finds with them?

i was all about this book from the very start. seriously, boarding school provides the ideal isolation for a solid dystopian opening. you KNOW you have an unreliable narrator on your hands. and if you know anything about me as a reader, you know i adore an unreliable narrator. it's a mystery that i love to solve and a character i love to watch develop.

but the love for this book doesn't stop with my personal fangirling. oh no. i needed a partner with me to fangirl. and i found that fangirl in Anna from Anna Reads.  here's a spoiler-free compilation of things we love about the book (in list form, DUH):

- crazy ass conspiracy theories
- redeeming characters!
- underground dwellers!
- tears. so many tears.
- dystopian set in the scary woods
- solid friendships between girls
- Lord of the Flies reference!
- serious stuff happens and serious consequences happen as a result
- crazy cool codes!
- explorations of love on all sorts of levels

i hope y'all are ready for me to pimp this book like CRAZY for the foreseeable future. i fell in love with this read and with Eve and with the crazy dark future Carey paints for us. this is a book that goes by quick, but leaves you pondering (and in my case, FANGIRLING) for quite awhile. this book has found a home in the top five books of 2011. oh yes, i went there.

fave quote: "That may be what we're called," I answered. "But that's not what we are." (104)

fix er up: there are a few details about post-plague survival that didn't really add up, but they weren't enough to keep me from falling in serious infatuation with this book.

title: Eve (Eve #1)
author: Anna Carey
publishing info: October 2011, HarperTeen
genre: Dystopian

[ftc notice: i received a copy of this book from the publisher as part of the book blog tour hosted by The {Teen} Book Scene. thanks, HarperTeen!]

for full tour details, check The {Teen} Book Scene image below.

challenged by challenges

image from Ginger at GReads!

you guys, this is my fave meme. and it's not just because i think Ginger is amazing or because tons of bloggers are linking up each week or because the image is so cute. it's not even because i love the word meme (which i pronounce may-may in my head). it's because some seriously rad questions are asked and everyone provides some insightful and funny responses. yeah, it's pretty cool.

this week the lovely Ginger asks:

Reading Challenges: Did you sign up for any this year? How has your progression been?

in fact, i DID sign up for several reading challenges this year. you can peep the detailed progress on my Reading Challenges page. for the sake of summary, i'll recap them individually for you and remind myself of where i need to focus my bookish energy!

Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge hosted by The Book Vixen. y'all, i kicked this one's ass from here to next WEEK. no problemo outdoing myself from last year at ALL. holla!

YA Historical Fiction Challenge hosted by YA Bliss. snaps to me for also kicking this one in the face. i knocked out those 5 hist-fics like nobodies business. and you know what? i loved every page of it. 

E-book Challenge hosted by The Ladybug Reads. i have a few more to go with this one, but with the amount of books i have waiting for me on my Kindle, this should not be a problem. also, the next Song of Ice and Fire books are on there...yes please!

Off The Shelf Challenge hosted by BA Reading Challenges. okay, here is where i start to falter. i just love buying new books and i love getting new releases from publishers and authors! there are so many incredible books just sitting on my shelf, giving me the worst kind of puppy eyes...soon, my dears! SOON.

Gothic Reading Challenge hosted by Gothic Reading Challenge. oooh that's right...i forgot about this challenge! i need more spooky castles in my bookish life. it wont' take much to knock this baby out.

The 2011 Bloody Jack Challenge hosted by Bookworming in the 21st Century. confession time - i tried to listen to the first Bloody Jack book on audio book. TRY being the key word. i just couldn't get into it. at all. and it wasn't that i didn't love the voice of Ms. Faber or her romance or the high seas...it just lacked that connection with me as a reader. i'm not swearing off the series forever...but i am throwing in the towel on this challenge. haters to the left, please.

Award Winning Reads Challenge hosted by The Reading Housewives and Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing. soooo i read one out of six, but the ONE i read blew my mind into itty bitty pieces. so despite falling super duper short of the goal, i still consider this challenge a success.

As for me...hosted by ME. i set some personal goals for myself to continue reading along in series and rereading some old favorites. at this, i am failing miserably. i even have all of these books within my grasp...i just lack the motivation to make it happen (cap'n). 

what about YOU? where are you with your reading challenges? be sure to share with me AND link it up over at GReads, please!

when HP meets internerds

have i mentioned before how i love when my nerdish worlds combine? i have? okay, fabulous.

this time, the Hogwarts houses are translated to irl nerds.

if i'm being honest with myself, i'm probably a Nooblepuff.
image from dorkly.com

full article at Dorkly.com. BE WARNED: there are Harry Potter spoilers. even in the images.

Banned Books Week: Virtual Read Out

for those of you new to Banned Books Week, the American Library Association describes the event as such:
Banned Books Week (BBW) is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and the importance of the First Amendment.  Held during the last week of September, Banned Books Week highlights the benefits of free and open access to information while drawing attention to the harms of censorship by spotlighting actual or attempted bannings of books across the United States. [from www.ala.org/bbooks]

i'm kicking off Banned Books Week (September 21-October 1) by sharing this vlog with you explaining how i first learned about banned books, and reading a couple chapters from a banned classic. enjoy!

how are you celebrating Banned Books Week? 

are there any banned books on your tbr pile? please share!

tbr tuesday [11]

the following lovely ladies have inspired this new meme for me - inspired by "a peek at my TBR" by Jen atMakeshift Bookmark, "Waiting on Wednesday" by Jill at Breaking the Spine and "Books to Pine For" by Kristi at The Story Siren.

here's a look at two books i have sitting in my To Be Read pile. i don't necessarily own these books, but they are books i intend to get around to reading soon!

Sister Mischief by Laura Goode
July 2011, Candlewick Press

A gay suburban hip-hopper freaks out her Christian high school - and falls in love - in this righteously funny and totally tender YA debut, for real.
why i'm interested: this is SO far off the beaten path for me that i'm super intrigued. and also, it takes place in Minneapolis. what up, twin cities! 

[image and summary from Goodreads.com]

March 2009, MTV Books

All Meg has ever wanted is to get away. Away from high school. Away from her backwater town. Away from her parents who seem determined to keep her imprisoned in their dead-end lives. But one crazy evening involving a dare and forbidden railroad tracks, she goes way too far...and almost doesn't make it back.

John made a choice to stay. To enforce the rules. To serve and protect. He has nothing but contempt for what he sees as childish rebellion, and he wants to teach Meg a lesson she won't soon forget. But Meg pushes him to the limit by questioning everything he learned at the police academy. And when he pushes back, demanding to know why she won't be tied down, they will drive each other to the edge -- and over....

why i'm interested: after adoring my first Jennifer Echols experience, i'm ready to give another one a shot! 

[image and summary from Goodreads.com]

what books are in your ever-expanding to-read list?

Review: World War Z by Max Brooks

in a sentence or so: the human race survived a zombie war, but only just. one man interviews survivors to explain how this happened and to preserve the narrative for future generations.

recognizing the survival of the human race against the walking dead as something near miraculous, Brooks walks the reader through several phases of 'The Crisis'. starting with warnings, leading to blame, The Great Panic, the eventual turn of the tide and how the human race ultimately came out in the end. through a series of personal interviews, we learn more about how the world, and our civilized society, handled the dead coming back to life.

i've heard great things about this book, but outside of "it's good" and "it's about zombies", i wasn't sure what to expect. i was pleasantly surprised to find the interviews of different people as a way to explain motivations, details of events, and survival techniques during the war. this is a work of fiction that feels as if it's from a parallel universe, or the future. the authentic human responses and completely plausible societal challenges at a world-wide threat to existence were completely absorbing. there were events that were referenced by different interviewees that helped to connect all of their stories together and created a convincing fictional documentary.

somewhere between a documentary, a collective memoir, and a (fictional) historical document, this book perfectly balances human emotional response with creative plot and plenty of morally gray conundrums. i was seriously impressed with the writing from so many unique voices, and even more so when the plot kept propelling itself forward.

if you're looking for a book that's rich in human emotion, challenges the way you think about society, and takes the walking dead as a catalyst for complete chaos in our world, give this one a try. i have no doubt you'll appreciate what the author is doing with this book.

fave quote: "A lie? It's okay. You can say it. Yes, they were lies and sometimes that's not a bad thing. Lies are neither bad nor good. Like a fire they can either keep you warm or burn you to death, depending on how they're used." (166)

fix er up: this definitely took me longer to read than expected. there were times i wanted to skip ahead but forced myself to stick with the pace of the book. i'm glad i did.

title: World War Z
author: Max Brooks
genre: Zombie, Adult Fiction, Contemporary
publishing info: Crown Publishers, 2006

[ftc notice: I received a copy of this book from my library. YAY libraries!]

add it to the list [23]

add it to the list is my version of In My Mailbox, hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren.

Puffin Classic, May 2011 (originally published 1972)
purchased from B&N

Amulet Books, April 2011
purchased from B&N
Darth Paper Strikes Back (Origami Yoda #2)

Little, Brown, September 2011
received from publisher. thanks, Little, Brown!

bbaw crash course

for those who didn't know, this past week was Book Blogger Appreciation Week. basically, this:

Book Blogger Appreciation was started by Amy Riley of My Friend Amy in an effort to recognize the hard work and contribution of book bloggers to the promotion and preservation of a literate culture actively engaged in discussing books, authors, and a lifestyle of reading.
The first Book Blogger Appreciation was observed in the fall of 2008 and occurs every September. The week spotlights and celebrates the work of active book bloggers through guest posts, awards, giveaways, and community activities. Book Bloggers are encouraged to register their participation for inclusion in a database of book bloggers. [from www.bookbloggerapprecationweek.com/about]
since i was too busy to get around to the daily posts, i thought i'd share with you the briefest and most succinct answers i can muster. but as y'all know...that can be a bit challenging. you've been warned!
Monday: Community
for a peep at who inspires me as a blogger on the reg, check my blogroll on the right hand side of the page. the reason i adore those blogs is because they are insightful, funny, authentic and blog with integrity. they say what they mean and say it in a way that's true to who they are and blanketed in respect and sincerity. 
Tuesday: Blogger Interviews
while i totally missed the boat on this one, i was interviewed over at GReads this week, so you can peep that, if you haven't already. 
Wednesday: Community Part II
if you haven't already checked it out, you may want to read my response to "Why Do You Blog" under my 'Who Is Lisa the Nerd' page.
otherwise, i think the key to being a part of any community is being yourself. introduce yourself, be respectful, be sincere, and be patient. i blogged for years before i wanted to be part of any sort of community, but it was there and waiting for me when i was. and i'm so glad. 
Thursday: Readers
blogging has made me a more aware reader. i'm more conscience about the things the author does or doesn't do and expect WAY more from characters than i used to. i'm not sure if that's a direct result of blogging or if it's having increased exposure to incredible literature, but there it is.
and yeah, i've most certainly connected with other readers due to blogging. i've been introduced to totally new genres and introduced others to some of my favorites. which really is one of the best parts about blogging, methinks.
Friday: Blogging
three tried and true practices for every blogger: Sincerity, Passion, Respect. love what you do, man.
three new trends/tools: Blog Networking, Social Networking, Author/Publisher Interactions. as you can tell, i'm all about the relationships, yo!
to explore the rest of the BBAW, please check their website

behind the book

guess what you guys? i'm over at GReads! today.

oh that's right. the amazing and awesome Ginger interviewed me for her Blogger Behind The Book feature. which is a really great feature, even when i'm not the one being shared.

SO. you should go and check that biz! and while you're there, peep around at Ginger's blog. you'll be glad you did.


Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week is coming up on September 21 - October 1.

School Library Journal is inviting you, YES YOU, to be a part of the action by recording a video of you, or someone you know, reading from a banned book. pretty neat, huh?

full details at the source article at SLJ.

need help finding a banned book? probably not, but here's a list to get you started anyway.

they already have some videos posted on their YouTube channel, so check that biz.

ALA Banned Books Week website

tbr tuesday [10]

the following lovely ladies have inspired this new meme for me - inspired by "a peek at my TBR" by Jen atMakeshift Bookmark, "Waiting on Wednesday" by Jill at Breaking the Spine and "Books to Pine For" by Kristi at The Story Siren.

here's a look at two books i have sitting in my To Be Read pile. i don't necessarily own these books, but they are books i intend to get around to reading soon!

Wolves, Boys, & Other Things That Might Kill Me
by Kristen Chandler
Viking Juvenile, 2010
KJ Carson lives an outdoor lover’s dream. The only daughter of a fishing and wildlife guide, KJ can hold her own on the water or in the mountains near her hometown outside Yellowstone National Park. But when she meets the shaggy-haired, intensely appealing Virgil, KJ loses all self-possession. And she’s not sure if it’s a good thing or a bad thing that they’re assigned to work together on a school newspaper article about the famous wolves of Yellowstone. As KJ spends time with Virgil, she also spends more time getting to know a part of her world that she always took for granted . . . and she begins to see herself and her town in a whole new light. [image and summary from Goodreads]

why i'm interested: this has elements of what i adore (discovering self, relationship focused) and elements i've not fully experienced (nature, wolves). a solid blend will suit me nicely!

by Michael Northrop
Scholastic, 2011

The day the blizzard started, no one knew that it was going to keep snowing for a week. That for those in its path, it would become not just a matter of keeping warm, but of staying alive....
Scotty and his friends Pete and Jason are among the last seven kids at their high school waiting to get picked up that day, and they soon realize that no one is coming for them. Still, it doesn't seem so bad to spend the night at school, especially when distractingly hot Krista and Julie are sleeping just down the hall. But then the power goes out, then the heat. The pipes freeze, and the roof shudders. As the days add up, the snow piles higher, and the empty halls grow colder and darker, the mounting pressure forces a devastating decision....
[image and summary from Goodreads}

why i'm interested: i ADORED Gentlemen by Michael Northrop, and the premise of this sounds incredible. this is what we call a win-win, my friends. 

what books are you itching to read? leave a comment down below!

Play Games. Heal Kids.

as you may or may not know, i love video games.  okay fine, you probably did know that.  and you probably know that i think teenagers and children are pretty rad.  but what you may NOT know is that i work in the business office for a health care system. and i kind of love that job.

so imagine my excitement when these loves combined into a perfect storm of awesome.

basically, i'm participating in a 24 hour video game marathon to raise money for the Children's Miracle Network.

you can join me in the fundraising goodness on October 15th.

or, you can support me in my effort to heal kids by playing video games by making a donation through the official website.