Tuesday, December 31, 2013

My 365th Post of 2013

So...it is New Years' Eve and I finally made it!  I honestly didn't think this day would come at the beginning of the year as I was running out of ideas about what to write about.  I started to kind of get into a bit of a groove at the end....I actually have quite a few ideas of what to write about the next few days.  But I will definitely be taking a bit of the break to do some planning with moving my blog forward.

For this last post I thought I would do a couple of things: what did I learn, top posts of the year, and where I hope this blog goes in 2014.

What Did I Learn

  1. That I can do this
  2. Networking really helps keep your blog ideas fresh
  3. You never know what will spark people's interests
Top Posts of the Year...these were all at least 95 views of

1. October Today Has Been A Weird Day--The weird thing about this one is that the vague curve ball reference I make.....I don't remember what that bad news was any more....so trying to protect people while helpful to them....not good for my journal keeping/memory!
2 and 3. October: General Conference Part 1 and 2--I think this is thanks to #ldsconf hashtag :)
4. April P is for Pain--Not surprising  as this was the explanation of what happened to me and the cause of all my pain--which unfortunately has not gone away.  I have an appointment first week of January...I will let you know how it goes.
5. March Seed Stitch Baby Blanket--Best thing I ever did attaching that post to the pattern :) This is my most viewed post.

Where I Hope This Blog Goes in 2014

  1. Continues to move forward--I really don't want it to just die out!
  2. My goal: Three posts a week--so planning will be good to do
  3. Gain more followers
  4. Continue to network
  5. Keep my three goals central in my planning and try not to get too caught up in one or the other...and maybe add a fourth of writing 
Kind of a lame photo but it works....

Last Minute Read-a-thon Wrap Up

It was great for me to be able to continue my momentum with reading from the #readingcram read-a-thon! Though I didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped that I would...I still feel like I got somewhere!

This is what I accomplished:
Insurgent--finished!!! (read about 100 pages)
Fablehaven 2--audio book...I am now on disc 7 of 10...so I'm more than halfway.  I think I was on disc 5 when we started the read-a-thon...so I got decently far!
Plague Legacy: Acquisitions:  I got to 13% last night after having started on this read-a-thon.

I also set the goal to catch up on reviews...while I haven't posted them I have the cued up and ready to go.

Thank you to Vonnie and Maria for a great read-a-thon!

Monday, December 30, 2013

Book Review: Jane Eyre

Title: Jane Eyre
Author: Charlotte Bronte
Genre: Classics
Rating: 3.5/4 out of 5...I'm not sure if I want to do a 3.5 or a 4...hence the slash

Why Did I Read? Part of the English curriculum and I focused on it with my honors class this past block.

Summary: Jane Eyre is an orphaned young girl living with her aunt that doesn't want her.  The aunt eventually ships her off to a boarding school.  Jane becomes a teacher at the boarding school and then a governess for Mr. Rochester's ward.  As she lives at Rochester's home of Thornhill, she begins to develop feelings for her boss.  Does he return those feelings or is he going to marry someone else? And what will Jane do when she figures out where Rochester's true heart lies?

What Did I Love: I loved how the book kept you guessing.  There were twists and turns, which helped it to be very entertaining.  I enjoyed the themes of the story as well :)
What Did I Hate: She often gets on her soap box about something and it occasionally felt like Rochester and Jane would just talk to talk---and it doesn't seem to move anything forward. I also think it is great for the seniors--a lot of good review of symbols/foreshadowing/themes etc. without feeling like it is too simple. And I have had a majority of my students enjoy the story.

Bottom Line: The reason I gave it the slash on the rating was the fact that I wouldn't necessarily recommend it--because I wouldn't recommend it to just anyone.  I would recommend it to people that enjoy classics and have maybe enjoyed Jane Austen and would like something different. 

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Remembering 2013 in Last Minute Read-a-thon

As I look back on the reading I've done in 2013....I am still disappointed with how much I have accomplished.  So I'm not sure how productive this challenge will be...but I will give it my best shot..

1. Best book of 2013: I have said it numerous times but The Storyteller by Jodi Piccoult was by far my favorite of this year!
2. Worst book of 2013: Don't really have one....
3. Favorite new author. Charlotte Bronte....I know not "new"--but definitely new to me and I want to read more of her stuff!
4. Book that surprised you: Divergent by Veronica Roth.  I am traditionally not a huge fan of the dystopian type of things.  They are sometimes too much with the shoving down your throat about how life should be better or they don't create a believable universe. This one was great. Though I'm a little nervous about starting Allegiant...I have not heard good things.
5. Book that disappointed you: Mansfield Park is what I'm going to put on here...because I have yet to finish it! I love Jane Austen and I'm disappointed that this book is not at all enjoyable...at least yet--I'm going to keep trying!

Our hosts: http://vonniesreadingcorner.blogspot.com/2013/12/last-minute-2013-rembering-2013.html
My Progress
Very low...like I don't even want to own up to it. Spent the day hanging out with the husband--it was a great day to spend some quality time together!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Love it and Hate Covers Challenge

Today's last minute read-a-thon challenge is about a love it and hate it cover.  When The Casual Vacancy first came out this was the cover that I saw....

It just didn't make any sense to me! I bought the book with this cover...and while it hasn't really shown to me why this cover makes sense.  I sure love his cover better.

I would even be good with this cover:

So yeah.....not sure what they were thinking with the original cover.

Day 2 Progress (Yesterday)
Not a whole lot...twenty minutes or so with Fablehaven
5 pages or so with Book of Mormon

Day 3 Progress (Today)
I have gotten about 10% through Plague Legacy
3 pages or so with Book of Mormon
Thirty minutes or so with Fablehaven

Friday, December 27, 2013

Rainbow Spine Challenge

Today's challenge with the last minute read-a-thon is to create a rainbow spine book cover. This is the picture I took

Red: The War of 1812 by John K. Mahon (never read...picked up in a library sale)
Orange: Argo by Antonio Mendez and Matt Baglio (never read....bought when movie came out to read and I haven't yet)
Yellow: The Boxcar Children by Gertrude Chandler Warner (loved as a child)
Green: What Happened to Goodbye by Sarah Dessen (also picked up with a library sale...can't wait to read
Blue: A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens (great book...this is actually my teacher copy...cheap for bulk purchasing)
Violet: The Evolving Presidency by Michael Nelson (book from college...a bunch of primary sources that show the changes in the presidency...I actually really enjoyed that class)

I liked how all of these books are kind of different genres which really shows the character of my bookshelf.

Day 1 Progress
Pages read: about 100
Books finished: Insurgent
Minutes listened to: 60 minutes on Fablehaven
Other books read: Book of Mormon

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Last Minute Read-a-thon

I found out about another great read-a-thon for the end of the year. This is hosted by Vonnie's Reading Corner and A Night's Dream of Books.  I had great momentum from the last read-a-thon--I thought it would be a great way to end the year. So today's post is all about what I plan to read/goals during this time.


  1. I want to finish Insurgent....and write review
  2. Write the reviews from the last read-a-thon so I can get them up here (I never take this long!)

Other Books to Read:

  1. (listen to) Fablehaven 2
  2. Book of Mormon
  3. The Plague Legacy: Acquistions
If I get Lucky:
  1. Coiled Snake
  2. Allegiant
  3. 10 Reasons Why
We will see how this one goes!! I'm excited to keep moving forward

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I decided for today I would share some of my favorite images of Christmas
From ldssmile.com

Thank you mormonwoman.org

Such a true quote! Image courtesy of Pinterest

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings Me...

So I know that Santa isn't bringing me any books this year....my Santa actually gave me this:

Gilmore Girls: the Complete Series Collection
Complete series of the Gilmore Girls! And I am super stoked!
But it would be great if I use some of my book buying Christmas money for...
  1. Lies My Teacher Told Me : Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen 
  2. The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
  3. The Templar Legacy by Steve Berry
  4. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
  5. The Revenge of Geography: What the Map Tells Us About Coming Conflicts and the Battle Against Fate by Robert D. Kaplan
  6. How to Read Literature Like a Professor: A Lively and Entertaining Guide to Reading Between the Lines by Thomas C. Foster
  7. 40 Days with the Savior by Connie E. Sokol
  8. If Life Were Easy, It Wouldn't Be Hard: And Other Reassuring Truths by Sheri Dew
  9. The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen
  10. The Memory Keeper's Daughter by Kim Edwards
All of these are books I haven't read...but really want to read--maybe if they are in my house I would! (Ha ha ha :P)

Monday, December 23, 2013

December Classics Club Meme Question

So I have been a non-participatory Classics Club member the last little while. This question grabbed my attention this month as I started to want to move back into being more of an active member.
Let’s do this again: What is your favorite classic book? If you already answered this question in August 2012, great! Tell us what you picked then, and if your answer has changed in the last year and a half. If you are new since that meme, what is your favorite classic as of today? (Yes, you can of course list multiple books.)
Of course, I have multiple favorite classic books! I have talked about my all-time favorite book was The Blue Castle on here before.  And I have talked about A Tale of Two Cities on here too.  So I thought that for my answer today I would talk about Little Women by Louisa May Alcott.

I have always loved Little Women. I remember when I first read it from the library--I think I was in middle school. And I was becoming a bit of a romantic.  P.S. There will be spoilers if for some reason you haven't read the book. But when Laurie proposed to Jo and she said no....I was so shocked I threw the book against the wall.  I was sooo mad at her!! I was soo soo mad.  I felt so bad for Laurie and felt like he had the right to be best. I was eventually okay with how it ended with Amy and Dr. Bauer, but I still loved the Laurie and Jo relationship.

As I have gotten older, I have better perspective on Jo and I understand why she says no to Laurie and I am glad with her relationship with Dr. Bauer--but I still have sympathy for Laurie every time I get to that point in a re-read. And I have also come to love the Susan Sarandon and Winona Ryder movie---like it or not--it is cute :)

So what is your favorite Classics book?

Very cute :)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

#ReadingCram Wrap-Up

This has been a great week and a half! Even though I had hoped to get a lot of reading done and not get distracted by a lot of things around me--but considering I haven't finished two books in this amount of time in a long time, it is an achievement for me.  I am almost done with Insurgent and I still want to try to finish it this year...though my ambition to finish so much of the Book of Mormon was a bit high--though halfway through by the end of the year. I am hoping that this #ReadingCram will help me keeping going through the end of the year.

So what did I accomplish this #ReadingCram....

I finished

As an audiobook! Not sure how many pages that ended up being
Started on page 239 and then finished on 322
Currently still reading:
Started on page 72 now on page 136
Started on page 112  and currently on 268
Audiobook as well...started during reading cram and I am on disc 4

I haven't ever really done page counts...but I like how that looks.  I read 300 pages...which is like a whole book from start to finish.  Not bad considering my full-time job, tired brain, and other obligations.

One thing that I will definitely miss with this challenge is not having to come up with blog posts each day--the challenges did that for me;.  Thank you to Dana and Jenny for their efforts with that--it was great to be able to do some fun things with my posts each day!

As I look at the last week and half or so of my #365 project--I have LOTS of ideas of what to do for 2014 and a few for the rest of the year--just need to put pen to paper so I don't forget them all!