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Top Ten Tuesday (er, Wednesday)

February 9, 2011 2 comments

Even though this was technically supposed to be put up yesterday, I couldn’t resist participating in this meme over at The Broke and The Bookish.  I love the topic this week!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a new top ten list complete with one of their blogger’s answers. Everyone is welcome to join. All they ask is that you link back to The Broke and the Bookish on your own Top Ten Tuesday post and sign Mister Linky at the bottom of their post to share with them and all those who are participating. If you don’t have a blog, just post your answers as a comment. Don’t worry if you can’t come up with ten every time, just post what you can!

The topic this week was: Top Ten Literary Figures You’d Name Your Children After.

(In no particular order…)

  1. Sunny from The Series of Unfortunate Events: Unfortunately, my husband’s family’s dog is named Sunny, so this will never fly.
  2. Jem from Clockwork Angel:I think this is a great nickname for James.  Much better than Jimmer.
  3. Atticus from To Kill a Mockingbird: Love it, but my husband would never go for it and it’s too close to my daughter’s name.
  4. Enna from Books of Bayern: I love this!!  I may actually use this if I can get my husband to go for it.  I love how unique it is, yet not hard to pronounce or spell.
  5. Archer from Fire: I love this for a little boy.  My husband would not.
  6. Ginny from Harry Potter: I love Ginny Weasley, and I think the name is really cute.  BUT, I really do NOT like the name Virginia, which Ginny is a nickname for.
  7. Zoey from The House of Night series: No real reason, just a cool name.
  8. Jane from Pride & Prejudice: This name is all over literature, and for a good reason, it’s classic and classy.
  9. Jace from The Mortal Instruments: I totally love this name, but I could never use it because I already have a nephew named Jace!
  10. Lily from Harry Potter: I think this name is lovely and beautiful, but it totally doesn’t work with my last name, so it’ll never happen.

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Categories: Meme, Nonsense

Friday Favorite: Favorite Memoir

November 12, 2010 1 comment

Let me say one thing about favorites.  I have a lot of them.  My husband always teases me that I don’t know the real meaning of the word “favorite.”  The truth is, I do know the definition, but I perhaps bestow the title of “my favorite” too liberally.  This is something I got from my mom, who never hesitates to call something a “favorite” if she likes it a lot in that moment.

So while something is my favorite whatever this week, it might not be next week or next month or next year.

Anyway.

Okay, it took me a while to come up with a category for this week, but I finally did.

Favorite Memoir.

I’ve chosen The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson.  This book came out a few years ago, and being a big Bill Bryson fan, I read it as soon as it did.

First of all, everything I’ve ever read by Bill Bryson is hilarious.  Laugh out loud funny.  Full of perfectly couched one-liners that I share with my husband.

The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid was no different.  I laughed and I cried (because I was laughing so hard).

It’s all about growing up in the fifties, and even though I didn’t grow up then, I can still appreciate the time period with all its wackiness and uncertainty.  I also think that no matter when you grew up, there are certain themes and rites in everyone’s childhood that make this book incredibly familiar to anyone who’s ever been a child.  Which is to say, all of us.

I love Bill Bryson.  He is probably one of my top five favorite authors of all time.  And he definitely is my favorite non-fiction writer.  If you haven’t read anything by Bill Bryson, you are totally missing out.  For some reason, I usually end up taking Bill Bryson books on trips, but why that is, I don’t know.  Maybe because he’s mostly a travel writer?

(Disclaimer: Bill Bryson does use occasional foul language in his books for all easily offended friends out there.  Personally, I hardly notice it, but I know that is a big thing for some people.)

Four and a half stars for being awesome.  I would actually probably give all Bill Bryson books a four and a half.  (Except for A Short History of Nearly Everything, which I would give a four only because it’s so dang long.)

Friday Favorite: Persuasion by Jane Austen

November 5, 2010 Leave a comment

This week’s Friday Favorite category is “Favorite Classic.”

I actually like quite a few classics, but I wanted to review one that is less popular or read, I guess.  So I’ve chosen Persuasion by Jane Austen.

I love all of Jane Austen’s novels, but Persuasion is probably my favorite (after Pride & Prejudice, of course).

Here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:

‘She had been forced into prudence in her youth, she learned romance as she grew older – the natural sequel of an unnatural beginning.’ Anne Elliot seems to have given up on present happiness and has resigned herself to living off her memories. More than seven years earlier she complied with duty: persuaded to view the match as imprudent and improper, she broke off her engagement to a naval captain with neither fortune, ancestry, nor prospects. However, when peacetime arrives and brings the Navy home, and Anne encounters Captain Wentworth once more, she starts to believe in second chances. Persuasion celebrates romantic constancy in an era of turbulent change. Written as the Napoleonic Wars were ending, the novel examines how a woman can at once remain faithful to her past and still move forward into the future.

It’s a story about second chances, ultimately.  And whether or not to take them.  The power of persuasion is an obvious theme as Anne considers whose advice and feelings she should consider when making decisions.

I have read a lot of so-called “sequels” or spin-offs of Jane Austen, and one of my favorites is a series called Frederick Wentworth, Captain by Susan Kaye.  It’s Persuasion retold from Captain Wentworth’s perspective.  I really enjoyed it because, frankly, it’s nice to hear that men get as caught up in love as women do.  And that they worry about some of the same things.

Give Persuasion a read or a re-read, as the case may be.  You won’t be disappointed.

Love Jane Austen.  Love sweet, dutiful Anne Elliot.  Love totally swoon-worthy Captain Wentworth (check out the 2007 BBC film adaptation to see what I mean!).

Friday’s Fab Five & Book Blogger Hop

August 6, 2010 6 comments

I’ve got two reviews I’m working on, but for now…

1. Do you have any hidden talents?
I read really, really fast.  That’s about it.

2. Name one thing not many people know about you.
Not many people know that I was named after my great-grandfather, whose middle name was Ashley.  He died when I was about four years old.

3. Do you have any phobias?
I used to have a big fear of failure.  I would hyperventilate and have a bit of a mental breakdown.  I had a real problem with perfectionism.  That’s mostly gone now, but I’m still really afraid of letting people down.

4. What’s your favorite cartoon?
I don’t know if I could pick a favorite cartoon movie, because I really like all of the Pixar classics– Toy Story, Monsters, Inc., The Incredibles, Cars, etc.  When I was a kid I really liked a weird Saturday morning cartoon called Reboot.  (Anyone else remember that show?)

I do watch a lot of cartoons these days, but they’re my daughter’s favorite– Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Curious George and Clifford the Big Red Dog.

5. Do you have any nicknames?
Ashwey is obviously a nickname.  I got it from a boy that I knew in college.  That was in the days of AOL IM, and for some reason, we always chatted in baby talk.  A strange form of flirting, I guess.  Anyway, he started calling me Ashwey sort of as a joke.  But it stuck.

Some people call me Ash, and when they do, I actually really like it.  It makes me feel closer to people somehow.

Friday’s Fab Five is a weekly event hosted by Froggy at Froggarita’s Bookcase. She asks five questions, which could or could not be book related, so that bloggers and their readers can get to know each other better. Participating can be as simple as answering the questions in the comments for this post. Or, it can be as intense as answering the questions by commenting on her blog, commenting on my blog, and posting about the event on your own blog. The only rule is that you can’t use the same answer twice.

I’m hopping around on the Book Blogger Hop over at Crazy-For-Books.  The Hop is a way for book bloggers from all over to get to know each other and be introduced to bloggers they’ve never met (read) before!  Click the logo to find a (LONG) list of book bloggers you might like.

Book Blogger Hop

This week’s question is: Do you listen to music while you read?  If so, what are your favorite reading tunes?

I usually don’t listen to music while I read because I do most of my reading in bed between the hours of 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. with my husband asleep next to me.

But I like the idea of listening to music while I read.  I really like it when authors create playlists of music they think goes along with their books.  Stephenie Meyer has a playlist for each of her books and I’m slowly working on collecting all the songs for myself.  (She has good taste in music!)  Alyson Noël has done the same thing for the Immortals series.

When I’m working/reading on the computer, I am usually listening to stereomood.com.  It’s a web site that makes a playlist for you based on your activity or mood.  Check it out!

If you want some other good author playlists, check out Penguin’s “Plug Into Penguin” page.  (Say that five times fast!)

Categories: Meme

Friday’s Fab Five & Book Blogger Hop

July 30, 2010 5 comments

My review for Ink Exchange & Fragile Eternity will be coming tomorrow, but for now…

  1. What book is in your purse/car?
    The only books in my car are my two-year-old daughter’s, so they’re all made of cardboard and have pictures of Elmo or Buzz Lightyear in them.

  2. What book is in your bathroom?
    NO BOOKS IN THE BATHROOM!  Didn’t you see that episode of Seinfeld?  Uh uh, no way.  No books in the bathroom.  I don’t read in there anyway.  I don’t hang out in there that much.

  3. What book is nearest to your favorite chair?
    I don’t have a favorite chair, but the chair I’m in the most is the desk chair.  I’m in it right now, in fact.  And nearest me are my address book, and about a dozen of my husband’s scary scientific textbooks.  They’re ominous, heavy and expensive.  The Chanel No. 5 of textbooks.

  4. What book is nearest to your couch?
    Heist Society by Ally Carter.  That’s what I’m working on right now.  I’m somewhere around chapter six, I think.

  5. What book is nearest to your bed?
    Uglies by Scott Westerfeld.  It’s our book club book for this month, and I was going to re-read it.  I just haven’t been able to bring myself to do it yet.  I’ll probably get to it next though, because book club is on Thursday…

Friday’s Fab Five is a weekly event hosted by Froggy at Froggarita’s Bookcase. She asks five questions, which could or could not be book related, so that bloggers and their readers can get to know each other better. Participating can be as simple as answering the questions in the comments for this post. Or, it can be as intense as answering the questions by commenting on her blog, commenting on my blog, and posting about the event on your own blog. The only rule is that you can’t use the same answer twice.

I’ve also jumped in on the Book Blogger Hop over at Crazy-For-Books.  The Hop is a way for book bloggers from all over to get to know each other and be introduced to bloggers they’ve never met (read) before!

Book Blogger Hop

This week’s question is: Who is your favorite new-to-you author so far this year?

My answer is, hands down, Sarah Addison Allen.  I love her!  I stumbled upon her so randomly this year, and quickly read all three of her novels.  And I really liked them all!  I can’t really call what she writes “urban fantasy” because all of her books take place in rural/suburban North Carolina, but she has just slight elements of fantasy in very real situations.  And somehow… I just believe it.  I believe that apples can show you the most significant event in your life, that books can show up right when you need them and that wallpaper in a teenage girl’s bedroom can spontaneously change.  Why not?

I just finished The Sugar Queen, and will definitely be writing a review about it later this week.

Until then, happy reading!

Categories: Meme

Friday’s Fab Five

July 23, 2010 6 comments
An update on what I’m reading is coming tomorrow, so for today…


1. What new author have you discovered this year that is now on your auto buy list?
Well, this year I’ve found Kristin Cashore, Sarah Addison Allen, Jessica Day George and Sarah MacLean.  Sarah MacLean has written only one book (The Season) so far, but I LOVE LOVE LOVED it, so I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out for anything else from her.

2. What author you have yet to read although you have most of their books in your TBR (to be read)?
Elizabeth Aston.  She writes books based on characters (or descendants of characters) from Pride & Prejudice.  I just haven’t it made it there yet, and there are so many that I don’t know where to begin or if they should be read in a certain order or anything.

3. What book do you regret giving/loaning to a friend that you never got back or got back in a bad condition?
Recently, my copy of Pretties got pretty water-logged when I lent it to a friend of mine, but she was gracious and offered to buy me a new copy.  Other than that, I think I’ve only had a book come back damaged once, and it was only slight.  I don’t really care too much because ultimately, books are just things and my friends are way more important to me than my stuff is.

4. A favorite author that you read no matter what genre she/he writes?
Bill Bryson.  He’s hilarious no matter what the subject.  He has written travel books, a memoir, history books, even a really long science book that took me three years to finish (but it was hilarious all along the way).  I can’t wait for his new book to come out in September. If you haven’t read Bill Bryson, you’re missing out!

5. A favorite book you go back to time and again and won’t get rid of?
Pride and Prejudice, of course.  Also, probably the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling, and the Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare.  But Pride & Prejudice is my favorite of all-time.  I practically have it memorized.


Friday’s Fab Five is a weekly event hosted by Froggy at Froggarita’s Bookcase. She asks five questions, which could or could not be book related, so that bloggers and their readers can get to know each other better. Participating can be as simple as answering the questions in the comments for this post. Or, it can be as intense as answering the questions by commenting on her blog, commenting on my blog, and posting about the event on your own blog. The only rule is that you can’t use the same answer twice.
Categories: Meme

Friday’s Fab Five

July 16, 2010 1 comment

My review for Wicked Lovely is coming soon, but for now…

Here are this week’s questions:

  1. If you could be an animal, what would you be and why?
    Probably a bird of some kind.  I love heights, and I really love flying (in airplanes), so I think flying with wings would be awesome.
  2. If you could have any super power, what would you choose?
    The ability to always say the exactly right thing at the right time.
  3. If you were a character in a book, who would you choose to be?
    Elizabeth Bennet.  Because she gets to live at Pemberley.  With Mr. Darcy. 🙂
  4. What is one food you could never give up?
    Bread, of any kind.
  5. What is one food you never want to eat again?
    Again?  Implying that I’ve eaten it before?  Mushrooms, probably.  Or shrimp, I don’t really care for shrimp.
Friday’s Fab Five is a weekly event hosted by Froggy at Froggarita’s Bookcase. She asks five questions, which could or could not be book related, so that bloggers and their readers can get to know each other better. Participating can be as simple as answering the questions in the comments for this post. Or, it can be as intense as answering the questions by commenting on her blog, commenting on my blog, and posting about the event on your own blog. The only rule is that you can’t use the same answer twice.
Categories: Meme, Nonsense