Monday Musings

August 13, 2012 Monday Musings 7

This week the Monday Musings question from Should Be Reading is the following: Do you snack while you read?  If so, what is your favorite reading snack?

I love to snack while I read, mostly, I think, because I like having something to do while I’m reading. My favorite is definitely chocolate covered raisins, but I’ve been trying to replace them with less excessively sugary snacks. Trail mix and fruit are some of my candidate favorite snacks 🙂

Do you snack when you read? And do you also have a hard time keeping it healthy?

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Bookends About The Book of Tomorrow

August 11, 2012 Uncategorized 5

Title: The Book of Tomorrow
Author: Cecelia Ahern
Source: from publisher for a TLC Book Tour
Rating: ★★★★☆
Review Summary: An intriguing and enjoyable mystery that raises a lot of interesting questions.

Here’s the plot as I knew it going into the story: Tamara’s dad dies, her mother withdraws deeply into her grief, and the previously wealthy mother and daughter most go live with poor relations to get by. While struggling to fit into her new life, Tamara finds a book, which every night reveals the events which will happen the next day.

Based on the description, I was nervous that this book would be very emotional, bordering on too angsty or too sad for me to enjoy. I’m not sure what drew me to read it any way, perhaps the intriguing premise and cover picture, but whatever it was, my instincts were good. Although there were certainly emotional and thought-provoking elements to the story, the story felt most like a really good mystery to me. Read more »

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Photography Friday

August 10, 2012 Photography Friday 2

Wow – now that I’m getting settled in Ithaca, I’m really enjoying the natural beauty. These are all pictures I took right outside my apartment and the campus is even more beautiful as well! I got extremely lucky with the lighting for the shots with boca.  I’d been thinking about going out to take pictures for a while and ended up outside at exactly the right time for the sun to be shining through the trees as it set. I can’t wait to get out and take some more 🙂

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Mirroring People in the 573’s

August 9, 2012 Uncategorized 1

Title: Mirroring People
Author: Marco Iacoboni
Source: library
Fun Fact: People who think about rabid soccer fans before general knowledge tests do worse than a control group, while people who think about professors before the test do better than the controls.
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Wow – this is some incredibly interesting and well explained research. I’d highly recommend this to pretty much anyone.

Mirror neurons are the part of our brain which allow is to interpret other’s emotions, predict their intentions when they begin an action, and probably enable our ability to communicate using language. In Mirroring People, Marco Iacoboni explains clearly and intelligently the cutting edge research on this fascinating part of our brain – research with which he was intimately involved. The basic premise of this work is that we use the same neurons to preform an action and when we watch other people perform an action. This lets us put ourselves in their shoes to better understand what they’re doing and why. Read more »

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Monday Musings

August 6, 2012 Monday Musings 2

This week the Monday Musings question from Should Be Reading is the following: What attracts you to a book blog? What puts you off in a book blog? Do you share personal stuff on your book blog?

These days I don’t often go looking for more book blogs to read, so the main way I find new blogs is through recommendations from bloggers I like already. I realize as a blogger, you don’t have a ton of control over that, but I think it’s a point in favor of networking 🙂 I also like organized book blogs, where reviews follow some typical format, possibly with a header or a footer containing a summary of the review. I don’t like reviews which begin with the summary taken directly from the book or which ramble too much about things other than the book. Another big turn off for me is  a blog with more than one or two memes. (I’m suddenly wondering if all book bloggers become this opinionated! I don’t think I’d have had a solid answer to this question when I started out.) I share a little personal info in non-book-review posts because that’s my preference for other blogs. I think it’s nice to share a little of yourself so we can get to know each other, but that’s why memes are nice. They’re a place to share information about ourselves without cluttering up a book review.

What do you look for or avoid in a blog? How do you feel about sharing personal info?

 

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And Now… Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming!

August 6, 2012 Uncategorized 2

Hello all! I’m moved in! And I have internet! Which is good because I was beginning to suffer from withdrawal. It’s amazing how many times in a day I have a question that can only be answered by the internet and also how quiet it can be without it! Ok, enough exclamation points. I just wanted to announce that as of today, things should be back to their regular schedule, including more frequent and more exciting photography Friday posts as I explore Ithaca. I hope you’ve all had a great week and I’m glad to be back 🙂

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Bookends About Pardonable Lies

July 29, 2012 Uncategorized 2

Title: Pardonable Lies
Author: Jacqueline Winspear
Source: library
Rating: ★★☆☆☆
Review Summary: A little more paranormal than I expected this series to get, which threw me, but also much more exciting and action-packed than previous books in the series.

Hello all! I’m currently recovering at my parents’ house in Ohio after the first leg of my move, before heading on to Ithaca on Tuesday, so it’s a great time to get this post up for the summer book club being hosted by Jessica of Quirky Bookworm. This is actually the third book in the Maisie Dobbs series (my review of the first is here) and like all of the books I’ve read so far (through the fourth in the series) it includes a case related to the aftermath of WWI as well as a case that makes Maisie think about her personal experiences in the war. Her first case is an odd one, as she is asked to prove that a man’s son did not survive the war. This leads to a more personal investigation, helping a friend learn about a brother lost in the war under mysterious circumstances. Read more »

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Six Wives in the 921’s

July 26, 2012 Uncategorized 1

Title: Six Wives: The Queens of Henry VIII
Author: David Starkey
Source: library
Fun Fact: The fates of Henry VIII’s wives were the following: divorced, beheaded, died in child birth, divorced, beheaded, and out-lived him (but probably would otherwise have been beheaded).
Rating: ★★★★★
Review Summary: Clear, well written, engaging without being overly dramatic, obviously well researched, and a lot of fun to read.

This book was really everything I look for in a non-fiction book about history. It was so engagingly written that it could have been non-fiction, but sources were all cited and deviations from accepted wisdom among Henry VIII scholars were mentioned. The story was presented chronologically, with a few, well integrated digressions to give us the history of each of Henry’s wives. Chapters were short and the introduction of new characters was kept to a minimum, creating a very lucid narrative. New characters were always given context, both in the writing and by some great family trees, and we were often reminded who recurring characters were. This made the massive amounts of information in this 880 page book fairly manageable. Read more »

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A Group Read Review – Leviathan Wakes

July 25, 2012 Uncategorized 1

Title: Leviathan Wakes
Author: James Corey
Source: library
Rating: ★★★☆☆
Review Summary: Very interesting premise, intriguing, and sometimes well written, but it didn’t really draw me in.

Typically classed as a space opera, Leviathan Wakes has a little bit of everything – action, horror, mystery, and of course science fiction. We alternate between two perspective, one a shuttle captain drawn into the mystery surrounding a deserted ship sending out a distress signal and the other a cop searching for a missing girl who we know was on the now deserted ship. This shuttle eventually leads them both to a secret some people are willing to “kill on an unfathomable scale for” – even if that means engineering a war. Read more »

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A Possible Interlude

July 24, 2012 Uncategorized 2

Hello all 🙂 This is just a quick notice that I’m moving out of my apartment this week and into my new one next week. I hope to schedule some posts in advance for you to enjoy while I’m dealing with life, but I’d like to apologize in advance if posts get a little erratic for a while!

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