R.I.P. IX



I welcome you to join us.
September 1st is right around the corner. It is time to begin.
Mystery.
Suspense.
Thriller.
Dark Fantasy.
Gothic.
Horror.
Supernatural.
Or anything sufficiently moody that shares a kinship with the above.
That is what embodies the stories, written and visual, that we celebrate with the R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril event.
As time has wound on I’ve honed this event down to two simple rules:
1. Have fun reading (and watching).2. Share that fun with others.


I'm so excited about the R.I.P. Challenge this year!  I'm going to do Peril the First  - read 4 books. I may also watch a movie on Halloween, although I'm not usually into "scary" movies.  I will also read some short stories from the book Spooky South.

Here's my list:

1.  Nine Coaches Waiting  by: Mary Stewart
2.  The Ocean at the End of the Lane  by: Neil Gaimon
3.  The Vanishing  by: Wendy Webb
4.  'Salem's Lot  by: Stephen King








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I Capture the Castle

I Capture the Castle
By: Dodie Smith
Published: 1948
# of pages: 343

Official description: 
I Capture the Castle tells the story of seventeen-year-old Cassandra and her family, who live in not-so-genteel poverty in a ramshackle old English castle. Here she strives, over six turbulent months, to hone her writing skills. She fills three notebooks with sharply funny yet poignant entries. Her journals candidly chronicle the great changes that take place within the castle's walls, and her own first descent into love. By the time she pens her final entry, she has "captured the castle"--and the heart of the reader--in one of literature's most enchanting entertainments.
My opinion:  I loved the first half of this book, but not the second half.  And I really didn't like how it ended.  Cassandra is an enchanting narrator and it is neat to watch her growing up throughout the book, which is written as her journal.  Her honest musings made me laugh at times and gave me great respect for her at other times.  However, she just isn't as fun after she grows up and I found the love story in the book to be predictable.

Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Great main character, halfway unique story and halfway not.  Didn't like the ending.

Other reviews:
Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.








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2013 Review



Sure enough, I didn't read as many books this year as I did last year since I wasn't reading while nursing, but I still managed to read more than in previous years. I read more non-fiction this year than I ever have before (not including school).  

Next year I'm hoping to read at least as many books as I did this year and will hopefully complete more challenges.

What's in a Name? 6  (finished 4 of 6)
The Dystopia Challenge  (finished 10 of 15)
50 States Challenge  (finished 14 of 50)
R.I.P. VIII  (completed 4 of 4)

# of books read:
60
Down from 75 in 2012, up from 39 in 2011, 30 in 2010, 28 in 2009, & 48 in 2008.  Down from 81 in 2007.

My favorites (in the order I read them):
A Storm of Swords  by: George R.R. Martin

Most recommended:

Least favorite:
Proof of Heaven  by: Eben Alexander

# of non-fiction:
10

Repeated authors:
Allie Condie (3) (Matched series)
Lauren DeStefano (2) (The Chemical Garden series)(Internment series)
Gillian Flynn (2)
Hugh Howey (2) (Wool series)
Marie Lu (2) (Legend series)
George R.R. Martin (2) (A Song of Ice and Fire series)
Kate Morton (2)

Dystopia Reading Challenge 2014




Rules
> The challenge will run from January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2014. Each month will have its own link form so you will be able to share your book reviews. You do not have to review the books you read to participate, but only those who read/reviewed at least one dystopian book will be able to participate in the giveaway (you can track your reading without the reviews with Goodreads, Shelfari etc.).
> Books that count in this challenge must include any form of post-apocalyptic theme (book sites like Goodreads are good sources of genre information). The books must be full-length.
> All formats allowed.
Rereads allowed (but not the same book five times in a year!).
It does not matter whether it's a series or a stand-alone book.
If you are participating, grab the challenge button from below and post it on you blog. You can also make a post with the header (the code is also below). Please include the link back to this post so others will be able to participate as well.
If you will participate, put the sign-up link to your blog post (about the challenge) or blog (for the button) directly into the linky below. Sign-ups will be open until December 15, 2014.
You do not have to list your books in advance, go and do as you please. Read as many as you want and whenever you want, as long as you have fun!
Info about the giveaway will be available in December 2014.
> Do not cheat with books of other themes/genres/topics because I do check!

Levels
Level 1Recruit (1 to 6 books)
Level 2Rebel (7 to 12 books)
Level 3Revolutionist (13 to 18 books)
Level 4Leader (19+ books)



I've decided to try for Level 2: Rebel

1.  Dust  by: Hugh Howey
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
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11.
12.








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What's in a Name? 2014



The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories:


A reference to time:  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time  by: Mark Haddon
A position of royalty:  His Majesty's Dragon  by: Naomi Novik
A number written in letters:  Ready Player One  by: Ernest Cline
A forename or names:  The Flight of Gemma Hardy  by: Margot Livesey
A type of element or weather:  Windhaven  by: George R.R. Martin & Lisa Tuttle


Extra information
  • Books can be any format (print, audio, ebook).
  • It’s preferred that the books don’t overlap with other challenges, but not a requirement at all.
  • Books cannot overlap categories (for instance my first example, Eleven Minutes, could be used for category 1 or 3 but not both).
  • Creativity for matching the categories is not only allowed, it’s encouraged!
  • You don’t have to make your list of books beforehand, you can choose them as you go.
  • You don’t have to read your chosen books in any particular order.








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Where Are You Reading 2014



I'm a geographer and a bookworm, so I'm super excited about this challenge!

How to get started

Set up a map under Google Maps (optional).  It is easy to do!  Every time you read a book in 2014, upload a cover picture to Picasa Web Albums (there may be other sites to use, feel free to use what works best for you).

ANDREA'S MAP









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What challenges are you participating in?

Let me know the challenge name and give me the link if you can!








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Dark Places

Dark Places
By: Gillian Flynn

Challenge:  RIP VIII

Published: 2009

# of pages:  345

Official description:
"I have a meanness inside me, real as an organ."

Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.
The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club… and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.
As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer.

My opinion:  I couldn't put this book down!  I was afraid it would be too sad or gruesome for me since it is about a family that is murdered, but while it was a little graphic, it wasn't too much.  I also didn't think I'd like the character Libby after reading the first chapter, but I ended up really liking and respecting her.  Not only was this a good mystery, it was also very thought provoking on the subjects of peer pressure (especially in high school) and on raising children.  Patty, the mother, was doing the hardest job there is, on top of being a single working mother, and it was sad reading about her depression while raising 4 kids.

I recommend this to lovers of mystery and also to anyone looking for a well written novel that is a good pace.  It does have some language, but not as much as one of Flynn's other novels, Gone Girl.


Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Well written, likable main character, good pace, good mystery / a little graphic with bad language

Other reviews:
S. Krishna's Books

Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.








The Lake

The Lake
By:  AnnaLisa Grant

Series:  The Lake

Published:  2013

# of pages:  306

Official description:

At 17, Layla Weston is already starting over. Having lost both her parents and grandparents, and with nowhere else to go, Layla is moving from Florida to a small town in North Carolina to live with the only family she has left: her estranged uncle and aunt. The last five years of Layla’s life were spent appeasing her less- than-loving grandmother, followed by being her grandfather’s caretaker. Growing old before her time, Layla lost her identity, she must learn how to allow herself to be loved and cared for once again. Life takes an unexpected turn when Layla meets Will Meyer. His breathtaking good looks are enough to catch her eye, but his sincerity and passion are everything she needs to find the strength and confidence she lost — and lead her into love. When tragedy once again strikes Layla’s life, her hope is all but completely crushed. Through it all, Layla learns what it means to truly love and be loved.
My opinion:  These days I don't often read young adult books that take place in modern times unless it's a fantasy or sci-fi.  I know AnnaLisa Grant and so when she published her first book, I bought it.  I was excited about the story and I wasn't disappointed!  This review is written many months since reading the book, but the story has stayed in my mind and I can't wait to read the other books in the series (maybe I'll get those for my birthday!?).

The writing style and story are definitely written for young adults, but adults can very well enjoy it too.  Like I said before, the story is interesting and sticks with the reader long after the book is over.


Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Interesting, great characters, often has a young adult feel to the writing

Other reviews:
Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.








Ashes on the Waves

Ashes on the Waves
By: Mary Lindsey

Challenge: RIP VIII

Published: 2013

# of pages: 373

Official description:

Liam MacGregor is cursed. Haunted by the wails of fantastical Bean Sidhes and labeled a demon by the villagers of Dòchas, Liam has accepted that things will never get better for him—until a wealthy heiress named Annabel Leighton arrives on the island and Liam’s fate is changed forever.
With Anna, Liam finally finds the happiness he has always been denied; but, the violent, mythical Otherworlders, who inhabit the island and the sea around it, have other plans. They make awager on the couple’s love, testing its strength through a series of cruel obstacles. But the tragedies draw Liam and Anna even closer. Frustrated, the creatures put the couple through one last trial—and this time it’s not only their love that’s in danger of being destroyed.
Based on Edgar Allan Poe’s chilling poem, "Annabel Lee," Mary Lindsey creates a frighteningly beautiful gothic novel that glorifies the power of true love.

My opinion:  I think this will be included in my list of favorite books this year!  If you enjoy young adult fantasy, I highly recommend this.  It's such a sweet love story and I love the parallel with Poe's poem "Annabel Lee."  I also looked forward to the beginning of each chapter, where there were excerpts from Poe's works.

The only reason this isn't 5 stars is because it did move a little slowly at times.  I wish the murder mystery had started up a little earlier in the novel.


Why I gave this book 4/5 stars:  Unique fantasy, sweet love story, likable characters, a little slow, and - in parts - a little "too young adult."

Other reviews:
Have you reviewed this? Let me know and I'd be happy to post yours as well.








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About Me

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Wife, mother, bookworm.
This is a place where you can read reviews of books, find lists, see pictures, discover links, and learn about what reading challenges I'm a part of.

Library

Andrea's bookshelf

Julie of the WolvesIsland of the Blue DolphinsAbhorsenHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's StoneMagic StudyThe Host

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Annual Goal

2014 Reading Challenge

2014 Reading Challenge
Andrea has read 1 book toward her goal of 70 books.
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