31 March, 2012

The Hunger Games Movie

Tonight we are going to see this!

Yay! So excited!!!

Yesterday a friend and I went and saw this:

Oh my lord, did we laugh! Well worth going, even if the two of us at 40+ were the youngest people in the theatre!

29 March, 2012


I have the perfect place for this in my house - I sooo want one!!

Source: Moggit

26 March, 2012

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Is a meme hosted by Shelia over at Book Journey. A weekly check in to see what you are currently reading and what is coming up. Head over to Shelia's blog to see what others are reading this week.

 What am I reading now.

I was sent this by the publisher to read for a book tour in a couple of months. My first book tour!! I'm very excited!!

I usually only listen to audio in the car and since I can't drive at the moment, I haven't made any progress with this.

Blog recommendation this week.

I love blogs, am addicted to them, so each week I will highlight a blog I love.

This week I thought I would look at a blog that highlights my other love - quilting.

Sampaguita Quilts is written by the gorgeous Emma, who I met in an online parenting group when we both pregnant with our now 6 year old! She designs, pieces and quilts the most beautiful quilts for gifts and her etsy shop. She has had several pieces published in Australian Patchwork and Quilting. I strongly recommend popping over and checking out her gallery.

This shows off her incredible quilting talent. Source: http://sampaguitaquilts.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/little-possum.html

What I read last week.

The good news from the surgeon last week was that I am allowed to start bearing weight on my leg, but it's still limited. However, the extra freedom is wonderful! Three finishes this week.

Wyrd Sisters - Terry Pratchett - continuing the love affair
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins - a reread in preparation for the movie
Sonoma Rose - Jennifer Chiaverini - the most recent Elm Creek Quilters book

What's next?

Not sure. More Pratchett?? I also need to finish my re read of the Harry Potter series - only The Deadly Harrows left to go. Only problem is it's not on Kindle and so unwieldy!

So what are you reading? Leave a comment, I'd love to know!

23 March, 2012

Sonoma Rose

Title: Sonama Rose
Author: Jennifer Chiaverini
Genre: Fiction
Series: Elm Creek Quilts
Audience: Adult
Format: Book - Library

From Goodreads: As the nation grapples with the strictures of Prohibition, Rosa Diaz Barclay lives on a Southern California rye farm with her volatile husband, John, who has lately found another source of income far outside the Federal purview.
Mother to eight children, Rosa mourns the loss of four who succumbed to the mysterious wasting disease currently afflicting young Ana and Miguel. Two daughters born of another father are in perfect health. When an act of violence shatters Rosa’s resolve to maintain her increasingly dangerous existence, she flees with the children and her precious heirloom quilts to the mesa where she last saw her beloved mother alive

What I thought: This is the 19th book in the Elm Creek Quilts series. I must admit I love these books. Easy reads and good stories. I have also mentioned before that one of the other reasons I love these books is that even 19 books in, I've yet to feel like I have re-read the same book. The Goodreads description actually leaves a lot out as Rosa flees her home and goes in search of a cure for her sick children.  With her is Lars, her first love, who is determined to protect Rosa this time. Together they end up in the winery region, trying to start again. While this was a lovely story and there is a link to the Elm Creek Quilters, it's a tenuous one. There is also very little quilting in the book. Apart from the two quilts Rosa takes with her when she flees and a brief mention of quilts she intends to make for her children, there is no quilting in this book. My feeling is Chiaverini wanted to write a story based around prohibition, but wasn't comfortable enough, or allowed to by her publishers, to put it out without the Elm Creek Quilters banner. It doesn't affect the story, but readers who are drawn to the quilting aspect of these books will be left disappointed.

22 March, 2012

Hunger Games

Title: Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins
Series: Hunger Games
Genre: Dystopian Fiction
Audience: Young Adult
Format: Kindle

From Goodreads: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.
Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

What I thought: I first read The Hunger Games in September 2010. You can read my original review here.  I decided to re-read it before I go see the movie.
One of my fears in re- reading a book is finding it wasn't as good as I first thought. I'm glad to say I enjoyed this just as much if not more than the first time. The world Suzanne Collins created is believable and terrifying. The characters are beautifully built and you want to invest time in their fate. It sets up perfectly for the second book in the series. Really glad I too the time to re-read this. Now I can't wait to see the movie!

Challenges: Ebook Challenge, Dystopia Challenge

19 March, 2012

Wyrd Sisters

Title: Wyrd Sisters
Author: Terry Pratchett
Series: Discworld
Genre: Fantasy/ Comedy Fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Kindle

From Goodreads: Meet Granny Weatherwax, the most highly regarded non-leader a coven of non-social witches could ever have. Generally, these loners don't get involved in anything, mush less royal intrigue. but then there are those times they can't help it. As Granny Weatherwax is about to discover, though, it's a lot harder to stir up trouble in the castle than some theatrical types would have you think. Even when you've got a few unexpected spells up your sleeve.

What I thought: Whenever I need a read that will guarantee I will laugh out loud, I turn to Pratchett. The man is pure genius! In Wyrd Sisters we get to meet three witches from the Ramtops. Granny Weatherwax, a woman who gets out of the way for no one or nothing (witches don't get out of the way, things get out of the way of them!), Nanny Ogg a witch who is the matriarch of a large clan (so many she's not even sure who they all are) and Magrat the youngest of the three who is trying (fairly unsuccessfully) modernise the coven. Throw in a murdered king, a hidden prince and a travelling theatre troupe and you've got a rollicking read.
It doesn't take long to realise Pratchett has drawn much inspiration (fodder?) from Shakespeare and half the fun of this book is recognising which plays are being sent up. I know this  isn't the last book that stars the witches and I can't wait for more!

Challenges: Ebook Challenge

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? Is a meme hosted by Shelia over at Book Journey. A weekly check in to see what you are currently reading and what is coming up. Head over to Shelia's blog to see what others are reading this week.

 What am I reading now.

Love my Pratchett and this one is sooo funny!

I usually only listen to audio in the car and since I can't drive at the moment, I haven't made any progress with this.

Blog recommendation this week.

I'm going to introduce this to my weekly "What are you Reading" post. I love blogs, am addicted to them, so thought each week I would highlight a blog I love. To kick it off I'm going to go with PostSecret. I discovered this blog a couple of years ago and love it! There is only one post a week on Sunday, which means I usually get it on Monday, being in Australia. From Wikipedia: 

PostSecret is an ongoing community mail art project, created by Frank Warren, in which people mail their secrets anonymously on a homemade postcard. Select secrets are then posted on the PostSecret website, or used for PostSecret's books or museum exhibits.
I love reading the secrets each week. Some will make you laugh, some will make you cry and some will make you cringe! And every now and then, it will be your secret and you know you are not alone.

 This one made me laugh this week. Source: http://www.postsecret.com/ 17 March 2012
What have I read recently
I'm (hopefully) almost at the end of my 6 week confinement to the couch! I see the surgeon tomorrow and hopefully he will tell me I can start bearing weight on the ankle I broke 6 weeks ago. Despite the high level of couch time, I haven't read nearly as much as I thought I would! This is what I have read since I last did a Monday post.

The Complete Peanuts 1965 - 1966 - Charles Schulz
Sourcery - Terry Pratchett
The Secret History - Donna Tartt
The Mayor of Casterbridge - Thomas Hardy
Article 5 - Kristen Simmons

What's next?
After the disappointment of Article 5 (click the link above to read my review, but be warned, I wasn't impressed!) I have a desire to re-read the Hunger Games, especially before I go see the movie. My husband and I are also watching season 6 of Dexter, and I'm thinking I need to reread the first 3 and move on to whatever comes after.
So what are you reading? Leave a comment, I'd love to know!

16 March, 2012

Article 5

Title: Article 5
Author: Kristen Simmons
Genre: Fiction - Dystopian
Audience: Young Adult
 Format: Kindle

From Goodreads: The Bill of Rights has been revoked, and replaced with the Moral Statutes.
There are no more police—instead, there are soldiers. There are no more fines for bad behavior—instead, there are arrests, trials, and maybe worse. People who get arrested usually don't come back.
Seventeen-year-old Ember Miller is old enough to remember that things weren't always this way. Living with her rebellious single mother, it's hard for her to forget that people weren't always arrested for reading the wrong books or staying out after dark. It's hard to forget that life in the United States used to be different.
Ember has perfected the art of keeping a low profile. She knows how to get the things she needs, like food stamps and hand-me-down clothes, and how to pass the random home inspections by the military. Her life is as close to peaceful as circumstances allow.
That is, until her mother is arrested for noncompliance with Article 5 of the Moral Statutes. And one of the arresting officers is none other than Chase Jennings—the only boy Ember has ever loved

What I thought: There was a couple of reasons I chose to read this. I'd read a couple of really good reviews and I really wanted something to kick off my dystopian challenge!
And here's the thing - I wasn't impressed - rather disappointed actually. At about the 75% mark I actually went looking for reviews because all I had read was positive and it just wasn't doing it for me. Thankfully I found a several reviews on Goodreads that agreed with me and convinced me I wasn't the only person on the planet who didn't like the book.
I had several issues with it, the biggest of which was the main character and narrator - Ember. The blurb says she is good at keeping a low profile, she is aware people are arrested for minor offenses and the consequences are severe - yet her behaviour tends to suggest she is oblivious to this. Her inability to understand that a harsh world may require harsh actions. Her constant judgement of Chase and again, her inability to even try and understand what he is doing and what he has gone through made me actively dislike her. Personally if I was Chase I would have let her go and see how far she got!
I also found the explanation of how the world had got to this point lacking. Why was there a war? Is it a civil war or wider ranging? Why were the articles introduced, what has lead to this massive clamp down on morality? I also found some events in the book were obvious plot devices and stuck out like a sore thumb - the encounter with the three teenagers at the truck is a case in point.
Maybe in the end the problem is I'm not 17 years old - maybe I am too old to view this in the light it should be, but I don't think so. I did find it got better in the last 10%, but I'm not sure that is enough to convince me to read the second one.

Challenges: Ebook challenge, Dystopia challenge

The Mayor of Casterbridge

Title: The Mayor of Casterbridge
Author: Thomas Hardy
Genre: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Kindle

From Goodreads: In a fit of drunken anger, Michael Henchard sells his wife and baby daughter for five guineas at a country fair. Over the course of the following years, he manages to establish himself as a respected and prosperous pillar of the community of Casterbridge, but behind his success there always lurk the shameful secret of his past and a personality prone to self-destructive pride and temper. Subtitled ‘A Story of a Man of Character’, Hardy’s powerful and sympathetic study of the heroic but deeply flawed Henchard is also an intensely dramatic work, tragically played out against the vivid backdrop of a close-knit Dorsetshire town.
What I thought: This is our March book group read and I approached it with trepidation. I don't have a good history with the classics. I struggle with them, often forcing myself to get through them. I'm so excited to say that for once, I didn't struggle! I actually enjoyed this, so much so I am likely to pick up more Hardy. I don't know what it was, but I just found the language easier than I normally do - maybe I'm finally growing up!
One thing that didn't seem to change for me is my dislike of the characters! I don't know what it is about characters in classics, but I generally don't like them! Henchard in this is a case in point. He continually bemoaned his bad behaviour and the effect it had on the outcomes of things around him, but he didn't change! Farfrae was completely insensitive, unable to see how his actions could impact negatively on someone else and as always, I find the women to simpering and spineless. Maybe I need to start reading these books without 21st century values...

Challenges: Ebook challenge,

04 March, 2012

The Secret History

Title: The Secret History
Author: Donna Tartt
Genre: Fiction
Audience: Adult
Format: Book - library

From Goodreads: Richard Papen arrived at Hampden College in New England and was quickly seduced by an elite group of five students, all Greek scholars, all worldly, self-assured, and, at first glance, all highly unapproachable. As Richard is drawn into their inner circle, he learns a terrifying secret that binds them to one another...a secret about an incident in the woods in the dead of night where an ancient rite was brought to brutal life...and led to a gruesome death. And that was just the beginning
What I thought: Last year I read a book called Reading By Moonlight: How Books Saved a Life by Brenda Walker about how the author used books to help her through cancer treatment. One of the books she mentioned that caught my attention was Donna Tartt's The Secret History. I can't remember exactly what she said about it, but it was enough for me to get the library to order it for me...and I'm glad I did.
Let me first say, it's a dense book. At over 500 pages long and small type, you have to read it. Set, I would say, in the late 60's, early 70's, there is a feeling of the Greek scholars being set apart from the rest of their class mates who are portrayed as seeing collage as one long party. Where Richard and his friends study the classics,  drink whiskey, eat out and pop prescription medication, their class mates party, drink beer, eat in the college dining hall and smoke dope. A very deliberate attempt by the author I feel to separate the Greek scholars - not so much as set them above, but set them apart. The events that happen are both fantastical and believable. The fall out devastating and inevitable. By the end of the book however, I did not like a single one of the characters. Flaws are one thing, but truly by the end I had trouble coming up with one redeeming feature between them let alone each!
Although it required concentration to read, The Secret History kept you engaged and wanting to continue. I often found I had to stop, not because I wanted to, but because I needed to absorb what had happened so far.
I would highly recommend The Secret History. I have another of hers sitting on a shelf upstairs (The Little Friend I think) which I am now sure to read. Just don't pick up The Secret History thinking you are in for  a light read!