Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 Wrap Up!

It's the last day of the year and I have had a great time reading and doing challenges this year. I started in June, so my accomplishments may not be as amazing as some of yours, but I'm happy with them. I plan to enjoy more challenges in 2010. This is how I shape up:

I read 42 books including starting to read the Bible in October.

Challenges completed:
Chronicles of Narnia Challenge (loved this one)
Fun in the Sun Challenge (this is the first challenge I signed up for)
Four-Month Challenge (didn't do as well as I could have - I'll do better with the next one)
Royal's Romance Reading Challenge (love romance novels)
Well-Rounded Challenge (this was easy to finish)
Book Thief Challenge (this was a fun one)
Christmas Reading Challenge (a good excuse to read Christmas books)

I participated in the following challenges, but didn't complete them. I did pretty well, though, considering I started in June:
Fall '09 Challenge - 6/15 books for 40% (the worst I did on challenges)
A to Z Challenge - Books - 21/26 books for 81% (not bad for 6 months)
A to Z Challenge - Authors - 20/26 books for 77%
Four-Month Challenge Part II - 40/250 points so far (doesn't end until Feb. 2010)

I'm planning on reading Harry Potter as soon as my daughter will let me get hold of her books - she has the whole collection in hardcover now. Pretty soon.

I'm looking forward to tomorrow so I can start reading for 2010 challenges!

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

A Christmas Gift by David Saperstein & James J. Rush

I have completed the Christmas Reading Challenge! I finished "A Christmas Gift" by David Saperstein and James J. Rush last evening. When I started the book, I wasn't sure I was going to like it because there were convicts and crimes involved, but it was okay. Not your warm & fuzzy Christmas novel, but okay just the same. It had a happy ending and the bad guys got caught. I would give it a 3 out 5 star rating. I wouldn't read it again and I probably wouldn't recommend it, but it was okay. It helped me complete my Christmas Reading Challenge!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

I'm baaaack and getting ready to take another break!

I'm back for now, but will be taking another break tomorrow, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day which leads to the weekend, so I'll be back on Monday, December 28th. My oldest daughter is home from graduate school after a long drive. She left the Virginians struggling to deal with the over 2 feet of snow that accumulated over the last few days and headed home where there is a mere couple of inches. My son visited yesterday to finalize the plans for our Christmas party - he's a chef and arranging the food for the party. My youngest daughter and my husband had their last day of school yesterday, so all is well here at our house. We will have our whole family together under one roof on Christmas Day. That gives me such a good feeling. Those of you with young children, those Christmases were fun times for us, but having my grown children together with us and wanting to carry on the traditions that we established over the years is wonderful! I love being with my family, so...have to go again. Have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Show the love you have for the ones you love.

See you after Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Let's Try This Again...

Okay, let's try this again. I'm posting this and then I'm off my blog until Monday morning...yikes! Can I do it? Can you do it? Even with all that snow in the Eastern US, find something to do with your family, READ A BOOK, bake cookies, go sledding and make snow angels. C'mon, I know you can do it.

I'll check in on Monday. Good Luck!

Monday, December 14, 2009

I'm baaaack and I found another challlllenge!

That didn't take long! I stayed away from blogging, but I couldn't stay away from my computer because I had to do some things for work. I know, I failed at being unplugged. *sigh*

So, this morning I found another challenge! A Time Travel Challenge! I love reading about time travel. It is my favorite thing to read about, especially if there is humor involved. How could there not be humor? About 15 years ago, I picked up a book entitled, "A Knight In Shining Armour" by Jude Deveraux. Until that point in TIME, I had never read a romance novel. After that, I was hooked not only on romance novels, but on time travel and on Jude Deveraux' books. I've also read the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and Lynn Kurland's time travel books. Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to find "Once Upon A Rose" by Judith O'Brien. A very good book.

All that said, I have to sign up for this challenge. I will commit to reading 6 time travel books, but I'll probably read more than that. I don't want to miss Christmas, but I would like to transport myself to January so that I could start reading for the 2010 Challenges! If you want to join me in signing up for this challenge visit At Home With Books and do it! Time is fleeting!

Saturday, December 12, 2009


So, I just remembered that I was supposed to be UNPLUGGED on Saturdays and Sundays in December! I'm going to go decorate the tree with my family! See you on Monday!

How many of you remembered??????

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Darling Daughters Reading Challenge

I've joined this challenge in honor of my own daughters. Tokemise of By Hook or By Book is hosting her very first challenge.

Here's what she says about it on her blog:

Name of Challenge: The Darling Daughters Reading Challenge

Dates: Today Dec. 8, 2009 to Oct. 3, 2010

Levels: Try to read at least one a month but there are no rules really, I'll keep it simple but if you read more than 12 you will be crowned Mother Superior and be entered into a special prize drawing at the close of the challenge.

Sign Up: For now just leave a comment for the post on her blog here and she will try to learn how to set up a Mr. Linky and/or a whole new blog just for this challenge.

A Contest: For anyone who likes to make buttons, make a button for this challenge and email it to tokemise at, if she picks your idea you will win a prize and of course get all the credit for your wonderful design!

So, add another challenge to your list and see how many "daughter" books you can read!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Look What Was In My Mailbox

Look what was in my mailbox!

I received my Secret Santa gift all the way from Los Angeles, California! How awesome! I've read two of Marisa de los Santos' books and really liked them. I can hardly wait to read this one.

Thank you, Secret Santa, thank you very much.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Take Another Change Challenge

Yes, I'm joining another one! This challenge just sounds so cool! I love challenges with prescriptions.

These are the basics: The challenge runs from January 1st to December 31, 2010. These are the participation levels: 1) A Small Gamble - complete 3 of the 12 challenges listed; 2) A Moderate Gamble - complete 6 of the 12 challenges listed; 3) Gambling It All - complete all 12 of the challenges listed. Each challenge you complete will earn you entries into a prize drawing at the end of the challenge. Completing all 12 challenges gives you 5 extra entries. See the challenges and all the sign-up information at the Find Your Next Book Here blog.

Friday, December 4, 2009

42 Challenge 2010

Okay, THIS is the last one...maybe. But, since 42 is the answer, I have to join this challenge. I really like science fiction, and romance, and historical fiction, and... Who knows, I may end up joining 42 Challenges! The rules for this one are easy. Here are some of the details about this challenge as put forth on the dedicated blog 42 Challenge:

42 Challenge (for 2010)
Officially starts January 1, 2010
Officially ends December 3, 2010

Your mission--if you choose to accept it--is to read, watch, listen, and (possibly) review 42 sci-fi related items.

What counts? Short stories, novellas, novels, radio show episodes, television show episodes, movies, graphic novels, comic books, audio books, essays about science fiction, biographies about sci-fi authors, etc. Adapted or abridged works are okay as well.

Keep an ongoing list of your 42 either on the 42 Challenge site (just leave your email address in the comments) or on your own site (just leave a link to your list in the comments). Your list doesn't have to include links to your reviews. But it can if you like. Reviews are not required.

If you want to join the challenge, leave a comment here.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Romance Reading Challenge

The Romance Reading Challenge - giving me an excuse to read romance novels! How can I pass that up? These are the rules as put forth on Royal Reviews blog:

Challenge Guidelines:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
--Non-Bloggers: Include your information in the comment section.

2. There are four levels:

-- Curious – Read 3 Romance Fiction novels.

-- Fascinated – Read 6 Romance Fiction novels.

-- Addicted – Read 12 Romance Fiction novels.

-- Obsessed – Read 20 Romance Fiction novels.

3. Any book format counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010. Only books started on January 1st count towards this challenge.

So there it is. I think I will do the "addicted" level - one book a month. I can handle that. Don't you think YOU can? Which genre do you favor? If you want to sign up, go to Royal Reviews blog.


My daughter says "Thanks" for all the good wishes she received from bloggers on the Virtual Advent Tour yesterday. This is a picture of her Dairy Queen cake. My son and future daughter-in-law came over for dinner. We had a nice celebration, then we all watched "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" on TV. DD says she had a very happy day which is what it's all about.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Virtual Advent Tour - December 2nd

Today is my youngest daughter's birthday - she is 18! When she was born so close to St. Nicholas' Day, I wanted to name her after him. I let her father pick her first name and I chose "Nichole" for her middle name. So, every year on St. Nicholas' Day, we celebrate her feast day. We set our shoes outside of our bedroom doors and hope that St. Nicholas will come and leave us a treat (of course, he always does).

Here is a poem I found about St. Nicholas - Santa Claus - from Ireland. We are also of Irish descent and I had the good fortune to visit there this past summer so finding this had special meaning for me.

The Bones of Santa Claus

Where lie the bones of Santa Claus
To what holy spot each pilgrim draws
Which crypt conceals his pious remains
Safe from the wild wind, snows and rains.

It's not in Rome his body lies
Or under Egypt's azure skies
Constantinople or Madrid
His reliquary and bones are hid.

That saint protector of the child
Whose relics pure lie undefiled
His casket safe within it's shrine
Where the shamrocks grow and rose entwine.

Devout wayfarer, cease your search
For in Kilkenny's ancient church
Saint Nicholas' sepulcher is found
Enshrined in Ireland's holy ground.

So traveler rest and pray a while
To the patron saint of orphaned child
Whose bones were brought to Ireland's shore
Safe from the Vandal, Hun and Moor.

Here lie the bones of Santa Claus
Secure beneath these marble floors
So gentle pilgrim, hear the call
And may Saint Nicholas bless you all.

An Irish St Nicholas Folk Tale

For more information about St. Nicholas and how people around the world celebrate his feast day, go to the St. Nicholas Center website. There are lots of interesting things there.

And, enjoy the rest of the Virtual Advent Tour!

Pages Read Challenge Season 2

This is a challenge that can't fail! You estimate the number of pages you will read in 2010 and then you READ! You can change your number as you go along, so you can set a low goal number, then if you pass it, you can change it. I'm in on this one.

Here are the rules as presented by Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic:

1) Pick a number of pages you'll be attempting to read in 2010. It doesn't matter whether your goal is 10,000 or 100,000. You can always up your number as we go along, so you don't need to go all up high with your page count.

2) Write a blog post about it in which you will keep track of your page count.

3) Comment here with your goal number and a link to your blog post (if you have a blog - otherwise, just leave a comment with your name and the goal number). I'll then add you to the list of participants below.

4) The challenge starts January 1, 2010 and ends December 31, 2010. Only pages read after the new year has begun count in for the challenge.

5) As usual: Have fun!

I'm figuring an average of 300 pages per book, 5 books a month (I know that's low compared to all you speed readers, but...), and 12 months per year = 18,000 pages. Wow! I'm going to set my goal for 20,000 pages!