Saturday, January 31, 2015

Lost in a Harem

My Thoughts:

-    Many of you don't know, but I'm a HUGE Abbott and Costello fan! To me, they will be the greatest comedy team of all time.

-    Of all the Abbott and Costello movies, and there are a lot, this one is my most favorite. It was my first Abbott and Costello movie, and I'm a bit nostalgic about it. My sister and I watched it all the time. We had a lot of laughs. 

-    I'm a tad biased, but I do enjoy the parts with Jimmy Dorsey. I named my clarinet after him.

-    This movie is pretty darn old, but I still find enjoyment out of it. Costello falling down and getting slapped never gets old.

-    Of course this has a few classic Abbott and Costello skits in it. My favorites are the magic trick and "SLOWLY I TURN!" 

-    I also like that this takes place in the middle east somewhere. The costumes and settings are fun. 

-    If you like slap stick and witty humor, and if you don't mind old black and white pictures, I highly recommend this one! 

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Series Series

Today I'm participating in The Series Series hosted by Bookmark Dragon.
She is spending a couple a weeks just talking about book series!

Jump over to see my guest post!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods

19162613From Goodreads:    A publisher in New York asked me to write down what I know about the Greek gods, and I was like, Can we do this anonymously? Because I don't need the Olympians mad at me again. But if it helps you to know your Greek gods, and survive an encounter with them if they ever show up in your face, then I guess writing all this down will be my good deed for the week. 

So begins Percy Jackson's Greek Gods, in which the son of Poseidon adds his own magic--and sarcastic asides--to the classics. He explains how the world was created, then gives readers his personal take on a who's who of ancients, from Apollo to Zeus. Percy does not hold back. "If you like horror shows, blood baths, lying, stealing, backstabbing, and cannibalism, then read on, because it definitely was a Golden Age for all that."
Dramatic full-color illustrations throughout by Caldecott Honoree John Rocco make this volume--a must for home, library, and classroom shelves--as stunning as it is entertaining.

My Thoughts:

-    I really enjoyed this! I learned and laughed a lot.

-    I love that Rick Riordan made this companion book of the Greek myths. It is really fun to read about the Gods we've been getting to know from his other books. 

-    The God's stories are being told by Percy, and it really adds a lot of humor to the book. I love a lot of Percy's snide comments and modern references. 

-    Although I am familiar with a lot of these stories, I still learned a few things. I like how Percy made a disclaimer that there are a lot of variations on these myths, and he was telling the ones that made sense to him. 

-    I loved the beautiful/colorful illustrations throughout the book! I wish there had been more of them.

-    I like how the chapters or sections are each designated to a different God. I thought the book was very well planned and layed out. 

-    I wish I had had more time with this book. I had to rush through the last couple chapters to get it back to the library, sorry Dionysus. 

-    This is definite must have companion book for the Percy Jackson series! I can't wait to read the next book about Greek heroes. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Club Books

Top Ten Books I'd Love to Read with My Book Club

Love this topic! I hope my book club friends see this!

5303373 2893607
Memoirs of a Geisha 378
David Copperfield (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 11594337
7613 5771014
The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business Chasing Brooklyn

Monday, January 26, 2015

We Bought a Zoo

My Thoughts:

-    Suey said Jenni and I had to watch this movie, especially since we're animal lovers. She has been wanting us to watch this for a while, so on our movie night, we watched Chocolat AND this. It was a long but awesome movie night.

-    Despite Matt Damon, I liked it. It was cute, heart-warming, and fun. 

-    I loved that little red head girl. She was SO adorable!

-    I want to buy a zoo!

-    The tiger broke my heart. He was in pain and super old. It was hard to see that.

-    The father/son relationship was frustrating. The kid needed a kick in the butt, and the dad was being too lax. I sort of liked how they resolved it, but it took way too long. 

-    I liked Scarlett Johansson a lot. She did good, but she needs a new hair style.

-    I LOVED all the animals. Thinking about that bear taking a stroll through town still puts a smile on my face. 

-    Overall, this is a great family friendly movie. If you have a tender heart, watch it with a tissue. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Illusions of Fate

19367070Goodreads Says:    “I did my best to keep you from crossing paths with this world. And I shall do my best to protect you now that you have.”

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

My Thoughts:

-    It was good, not as good as I wanted it be, but good.

-    I liked and didn't like Jessamin. I wanted to like her, but something about her made me not like her. "I can't put my foot on it right now."

-    There was a lot of Howl's Moving Castle elements in this book. It kinda had the same feel as well, but not as amazing. I want to call it a rip off, but it really isn't. 

-    I feel really wishy washy about this book.

-    I'm not exactly sure what happened in the end. I liked the little twist though.

-    I love the cover! I think it is perfect for this book.

-    This is probably the best Kiersten White book I've read. Her writing seems different than the Paranormalcy trilogy. To me, her writing has grown and improved a lot. 

-    Would I recommend it everyone? I don't know, but I'm glad I read it, and I'd probably read it again.

Friday, January 23, 2015

What Really Happens on Girls Night Out

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!


Thursday, January 22, 2015


My Thoughts:

-    Suey wouldn't stop talking about this movie for several weeks. Jenni and I decided we had better watch it, so we got together and had a movie night! 

-    It was good. It wasn't amazing, but it was good. 

-    The story is basically like Footloose but with Chocolate.

-    There needed to be more Johnny Depp. His face is all over the cover and everything, and he wasn't in it very much. It took forever for him to be introduced!

-    The cast was perfect. Everyone was wonderful in their roles, especially Judi Dench. She is always amazing.

-    The story was very interesting. I liked the dynamic of the towns people and Vianne. 

-    There was a lot to take away from this movie. There were a  lot of messages, and I think this movie will speak to a lot of different people. 

-    Things to be aware of: there is a sex scene with a side boob, a lot of skin, and some humping. I don't recall any swearing or physical violence.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

North and South Read Along: Chapters 19-35 Discussion Post Answers

1.    Have your feelings changed towards Mr. Thornton during this section of the book?
Nope! Still swooning hard!

2.    Have your feelings towards Margaret changed? Not really, I think my perspective of all the characters comes from the BBC mini series, and I like them all. 

3.    What do you think about the riot and how Margaret and Mr. Thornton reacted?  I thought Margaret was very bold to ridicule Thornton and tell him to go out there. I thought she was brave for going out there herself to try to calm the people. I LOVED Mr. Thornton's reaction to Margaret getting hit. It was one of the best moments in the book.

4.    Do you think Boucher's anger and actions were justified?  I can't blame the guy for being concerned and scared. I think his overwhelming emotions came out in anger. I don't think joining the riot was the right thing to do, but I feel bad for him and his starving children.
5.    Did Bess's or Mrs. Hale's deaths effect you in any way?  I felt really bad for Mr. Higgins and Mary. They obviously loved Bess very much. I think Bess's death effected me more than Mrs. Hale's. I think the book prepares the reader for Mrs. Hale's death.

6.    Were you surprised to learn that it wasn't common for women to attend funerals? What are your feelings on that tidbit? I thought it was pretty weird. I didn't even know it was an issue. They didn't go because they didn't want to show emotion? That is strange to me. It is okay to mourn.

7.    Now that we've met Frederick, do you like him? Are you sympathetic to his predicament?  I like Frederick. His story intrigues me for some reason. He needs his own book. I want to know more about him, the mutiny, Dolores, and his life in Cadiz. He seems like a nice fellow.

8.    What are your feelings on Mr. Thornton's proposal?
If Margaret won't marry him, then I will! 

I thought it was a hasty proposal. He didn't even take time to court the girl. He didn't really know how she felt. He speculated about her feelings a lot, especially after the riot incident.

I also think Margaret is SO BLIND! How can she not notice his watchful gaze and kind acts of service?

9.    If you were in Mr. Thornton's place, having seen the person you love with a stranger late at night, then finding out that person was questioned by the police and lied, would you do the same thing Mr. Thornton did? Would you protect that person even though you think they have done questionable things? I would be angry. I don't know if I would help that person. I'd have to love them an awful lot, but then I'd feel a bit betrayed. I don't know.

(gif) Wait for his smile!!10.  Do you think Margaret's feelings towards Mr. Thornton have changed? Why? I think she is warming up. I like how last night someone mentioned losing Bess and her mother humbled Margaret and bit, and she is more open or sensitive to Mr. Thornton's actions. I like seeing her opinions change. I think she noticing him a lot more. 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

North and South Read Along: Chapters 19-35 Discussion Post

We are 2/3 of the way through! I don't want it to end! I also can't wait to watch the mini series with everyone!


Twitter Chat has changed!!!!
It will be tonight!
Tuesday, Jan 20 @ 6:00 PM (MST)
Sorry for any inconvenience. We'll try to announce it throughout the day on twitter.
We'll be using #NorthSouthRAL

Discussion post for chapters 36 - the end will be hosted by Suey on January 31.

We'll be watching the BBC mini series on February 6.
Let us know if you'd like to come.
If you live far away, you can still watch along and tweet with us.


1.    Have your feelings changed towards Mr. Thornton during this section of the book?

2.    Have your feelings towards Margaret changed?

3.    What do you think about the riot and how Margaret and Mr. Thornton reacted?

4.    Do you think Boucher's anger and actions were justified?

5.    Did Bess's or Mrs. Hale's deaths effect you in any way?

6.    Were you surprised to learn that it wasn't common for women to attend funerals? What are your feelings on that tidbit?

7.    Now that we've met Frederick, do you like him? Are you sympathetic to his predicament?

8.    What are your feelings on Mr. Thornton's proposal?

9.    If you were in Mr. Thornton's place, having seen the person you love with a stranger late at night, then finding out that person was questioned by the police and lied, would you do the same thing Mr. Thornton did? Would you protect that person even though you think they have done questionable things?

10.  Do you think Margaret's feelings towards Mr. Thornton have changed? Why?

Make sure to link your answer post below! I look forward to reading them!
I'll be posting my answers tomorrow.

Monday, January 19, 2015


6764756Goodreads Says:    From the artist of BSC Graphix comes this humorous coming-of-age true story about the dental drama that ensues after a trip-and-fall mishap.

Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached. And on top of all that, there's still more to deal with: a major earthquake, boy confusion, and friends who turn out to be not so friendly.

My Thoughts:

-    I'm sure a lot of teens (and adults) can relate to this story. It nails the self conscience aspect of being a teen, and it nails everything awful about getting braces. Yes, I had them too. 

-    I love the cartoony illustrations. The facial expressions were so funny, and conveyed the characters emotions perfectly.

-    I love how many times I said to myself, "I felt the exact same way!" or "That was me too!"

-    I can't wait to read this to my daughter. Maybe if she gets braces in the future, I'll give her this book as a present. 

-    This was a really cute graphic novel with a great message in the end. 

-    This book made me smile! One of the best graphic novels I've read!

My Re-Read Thoughts:

-    This book is SO fun! It is still one of my favorite graphic novels. 

-    I really noticed Raina's friends this time around. They were jerks, big jerks! I'm glad she finally ditched them for better ones. 

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Into the Woods

My Thoughts:

-    This was a good adaptation of the play. I enjoyed it.

-    I usually only watch the first half of the play. Everything ends nice, and all the good songs are done. Plus the whole play is super long. I was glad they shortened the last half. They cut out quite a bit. 

-    The cast did amazing! Everyone was perfect for their role. I didn't know Chris Pine and Emily Blunt could sing. Red Riding Hood is my favorite.

-    I laughed a lot. The humor seemed magnified in this movie. It was great. 

-    I kinda wished they'd cast Bernadette Peters as the witch, but Meryl Streep did good.

-    Loved Johnny Depp as the wolf!

-    The music was great, the scenery was great, I'd recommend seeing it. 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Rump: The True Story of Rumpelstiltskin

15766776Goodreads Says:    This funny fractured fairy tale goes behind the scenes of Rumpelstiltskin. "A most magical feat," writes Newbery Honor-winner Kirby Larson, "Liesl Shurtliff spins words into gold." 

In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone's joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.

To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.

Book Trailer

My Thoughts:

-    I've really been enjoying the middle grade fairy tale retellings lately. 

-    This was a clever and humorous spin on Rumpelstiltskin. I liked it a lot.

-    I love the idea of the power of names. I always have, and I love how this story intertwines destinies with names. 

-    There were some similarities between Rump and Once Upon a Time's Dark One. I wonder if one influenced the other.

-    I was really intrigued with Red and her family. I hope there is a book about them sometime in the future. 

-    Very fun read! I highly recommend it! 

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: 2014 Releases I Didn't Get to Read

Top Ten 2014 Releases I Meant To Read 
But Didn't Get To

I didn't get to a lot I wanted to read! It was hard to narrow it down to 10.

17928184 17731926
17378508 16067008
18705209 21412202
16068780 20829994
18053060 13206828

Monday, January 12, 2015

Not a Drop to Drink

13112869From Goodreads:    Regret was for people with nothing to defend, people who had no water. 

Lynn knows every threat to her pond: drought, a snowless winter, coyotes, and, most importantly, people looking for a drink. She makes sure anyone who comes near the pond leaves thirsty, or doesn't leave at all.

Confident in her own abilities, Lynn has no use for the world beyond the nearby fields and forest. Having a life means dedicating it to survival, and the constant work of gathering wood and water. Having a pond requires the fortitude to protect it, something Mother taught her well during their quiet hours on the rooftop, rifles in hand.

But wisps of smoke on the horizon mean one thing: strangers. The mysterious footprints by the pond, nighttime threats, and gunshots make it all too clear Lynn has exactly what they want, and they won’t stop until they get it….

With evocative, spare language and incredible drama, danger, and romance, debut author Mindy McGinnis depicts one girl’s journey in a barren world not so different than our own.

Book Trailer:

My Thoughts:

-    This was a really bland book. I didn't feel any sort of sympathy or connection to any of the characters or their situation. 

-    Lynn reminded me a little of Katniss. She is a survivor. Something about Lynn bothered me though. I can't say exactly what. She isn't as awesome as Katniss, not even close. 

-    There is some heavy language and a lot of raping. It doesn't describe the rapings, or go into it at all, but it is mentioned and eluded to a lot.

-    This isn't a happy book. If you don't like sadness, don't read this.

-    The ending was really disappointing. I felt like the conflict and resolution was rushed. Wasn't surviving hard enough? Did we really need to throw in a shoot out? 

-    I would rather have had the story focus more on Lynn and her social skills improving, like letting people in, and accepting help. I really liked Stebbs and his added warmth.

-    I was really disappointed with this book. I've heard good things, but it just didn't deliver. 

Saturday, January 10, 2015

North and South Read Along: Chapter 1-18 Discussion Post

Jenni is hosting today's discussion post! Make sure to hop over there for news, questions, and linky!


1.    Is this your first time reading this? If so, what do you think so far? If not, are you like this reread so far?

This is my first time reading, and I'm loving it!

2.    Have you seen the BBC mini-series? Is the book anything like you expected it to be?

Ha! I've watched it a lot since I discovered this. . . I think it was last year. LOVE IT!!! It is where I first fell in love with Richard Armitage. The book is everything I expected and more!

3.    Why do you think Margaret refused Henry? He seems like such a nice chap.

Girls refuse nice guys all the time. Margaret wasn't interested in Henry! Plus she has to meet Mr. Armitage, I mean Mr. Thornton. 

4.    What are your first impressions of Mr. Thornton?

5.    Why is Margaret so indifferent to Mr. Thornton, but she can make friends with the Higgins? They are both Northern people and have different customs.

I think her expectations of Mr. Thornton are really high. She expects him to be like the gentlemen from the South and to behave accordingly. I feel like Bess is kind of like a charity case for Margaret. She feels like she should help them and befriend them. 
6.    Compare the two moms we've seen in the story.

I think Mrs. Thornton is full of herself and her son. She is very proud, and judges the Hale family very harshly. I think because her family has had to work so hard to get where they are makes her think the Hales are lazy and uppity. I also think she is scared Margaret will steal her son away.

I feel bad for Mrs. Hale. She was taken from everything she has ever known, and she is deathly ill. It would be hard. We don't know much about her character, but I think she is very supportive of her husband, even though things seem strained right now. 
I think both women want what is best for their children, and have an immense love for their children. 

I think Mrs. Thornton is made of tougher stuff than Mrs. Hale. If it came down to working for a living. Mrs. Thornton would do better. 

It is hard to compare because they have very different backgrounds and family dynamics.

7.    What differences are you seeing so far between the North and the South?

North & South directed by Brian Percival, TV Mini-Series, 2004) #elizabethgaskell #fanart
Life styles are very different. The South have large properties with a lot of greenery. The North live in closer quarters and in a more industrial town.

The South enjoy a more leisurely life and the North thrive on working.

The North has hotter men!

They have different customs. For instance, Margaret doesn't want to shake Mr. Thornton's hand because it just isn't done. 

8.    Do you think Mr. Hale was justified in leaving the church and his position?                                                                                               I think Mr. Hale did what he thought was right. He moved his family and left his position knowing how hard it would be, but he did it anyway. I admire him a little bit for that.
9.    What are your feelings on Frederick's situation?

We don't have much information about his mutiny, but his family thinks he was standing up for someone else, and that his captain needed to be taken down. If this is the case, I feel bad for Frederick. He can't come home. He can't see his family. It would be hard. I feel bad for Mrs. Hale. She can never see her son again. It would be hard. 

10.    What are your thoughts on the master and worker relationship?

I liked when the book talked about the masters and workers needing each other. One could not exist without the other. I think the relationship is far from perfect. I think the workers deserve better pay, but I understand that the masters can't always pay them well. I think the workers could have better situations though. 

Basically I think it comes down to money and station. In England, the master and worker/servant relation will always  be a delicate one. I've learned a lot about this relationship from Downton Abbey.


-    Jenni will be hosting a Twitter chat today at 6:00 PM MST. Follow and tweet using #NorthSouthRAL. I'm excited to chat with everyone about the story and Richard Armitage!

-    Chapters 19-35 will be discussed on January 20 here on my blog. 

-    Don't forget! We'll be watching the BBC mini-series Friday, February 6 at Suey's house! Let us know if you'd like to come. If you live far away, watch along with us and tweet! It's on Netflix!