Monday, December 28, 2015

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater - January 2016 Chapter Breakdown


This month's theme is all about snowy locales, and the warm hearts that reside within them. As a reminder, we'll be reading Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater!

Below you'll find the chapter breakdown.


January 1st - Chapters 1 - 18
Discussion Post: January 9th


January 11th - Chapters 19-31
Discussion Post: January 16th


January 18th - Chapters 32-44
Discussion Post: January 23rd


January 25th - Chapters 45-67
Discussion Post: January 30th



As a reminder, it's perfectly fine to read ahead. This is just what we'll be discussing each week. The key is to remember to keep the spoilers to yourself! Different people read at different paces, and we don't want to ruin it for someone else.

Also, all discussion posts are open the entire month. So if you're a bit behind, feel free to join in whenever you're ready!

 

Friday, December 11, 2015

Choose January 2016's Book!

Okay ladies and gents, it's time to choose our book for January!

January's theme is all about snowy locales, and it's up to you to decide which one we'll visit. Below you'll find 4 books to choose from. You have until 8pm on 12/14 to vote.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | AbeBooks

Shiver (Wolves of Mercy Falls #1) by Maggie Stiefvater

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

YA Fiction - 416 pages






Amazon | Barnes & Noble | AbeBooks

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

West Hall, Vermont, has always been a town of strange disappearances and old legends. The most mysterious is that of Sara Harrison Shea, who, in 1908, was found dead in the field behind her house just months after the tragic death of her daughter.

Now, in present day, nineteen-year-old Ruthie lives in Sara’s farmhouse with her mother, Alice, and her younger sister. Alice has always insisted that they live off the grid, a decision that has weighty consequences when Ruthie wakes up one morning to find that Alice has vanished. In her search for clues, she is startled to find a copy of Sara Harrison Shea's diary hidden beneath the floorboards of her mother's bedroom. As Ruthie gets sucked into the historical mystery, she discovers that she’s not the only person looking for someone that they’ve lost. But she may be the only one who can stop history from repeating itself.

Adult Fiction - 400 pages




Amazon | Barnes & Noble | AbeBooks

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart--he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone--but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees.

This little girl, who calls herself Faina, seems to be a child of the woods. She hunts with a red fox at her side, skims lightly across the snow, and somehow survives alone in the Alaskan wilderness. As Jack and Mabel struggle to understand this child who could have stepped from the pages of a fairy tale, they come to love her as their own daughter. But in this beautiful, violent place things are rarely as they appear, and what they eventually learn about Faina will transform all of them.

Adult Fiction - 389 pages





Amazon | Barnes & Noble | AbeBooks

Breadcrumbs by Anne Ursu

Once upon a time, Hazel and Jack were best friends. But that was before he stopped talking to her and disappeared into a forest with a mysterious woman made of ice. Now it's up to Hazel to go in after him. Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen," Breadcrumbs is a stunningly original fairy tale of modern-day America, a dazzling ode to the power of fantasy, and a heartbreaking meditation on how growing up is as much a choice as it is something that happens to us.

In Breadcrumbs, Anne Ursu tells, in her one-of-a-kind voice, a story that brings together fifty years of children's literature in a tale as modern as it is timeless. Hazel's journey to come to terms with her evolving friendship with Jack will deeply resonate with young readers.

Middle Grade Fiction - 336 pages



Vote Now!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Monthly Theme List for 2016!

In an effort to get a jump on next year, as I'm planning on it being altogether amazing, I've compiled a list of all the themes we'll be tackling! See below.


January 2016 - Dashing Through The Snow
* Choose a book that is set in a snowy locale!

February 2016 - Swoon Worthy Protagonists
* Let's steam up February with some HOT protagonists! Yes, girl crushes are allowed.

March 2016 - Books About Books
* Is it set in a library? Is the protagonist an author? Let's read books about books!

April 2016 - Graphic Novels
* We are doing this! I know we skipped it last year. Stories aren't always just words.

May 2016 - Middle Grade Magic
* May is all about amazing Middle Grade characters, and stories steeped in magic.

June 2016 - Road Trips
* Have a favorite book about a road trip? Here's your chance to share!

July 2016 - Independence
* A country, a family, a character. Anyone fighting for independence fits here.

August 2016 - The High Seas
* Arrrr mateys! We be choosing books about Pirates in August.

September 2016 - Banned Books
* So many books are banned every year, which is why we'll put them in the spotlight.

October 2016 - Haunted Houses/Cities
* Things get spooky in October, and we'll celebrate by visiting some haunted dwellings.

November 2016 - Novellas
* We'll slow things down in November, in preparation for the holidays, with a few shorter reads.

December 2016 - THE BIG HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY: TAKE 3!
* December is all about bonding, planning for the new year, and winning awesome stuff!


More information on how our monthly book choice is going to work next year, coming soon! 

Monday, November 30, 2015

2nd Annual Great Big Holiday Giveaway!

Well my darling bookworms, another year is winding down. 

Can you believe that we've been a book club for over a year now? I know, I'm tearing up too. It's all so lovely! Having others to share your passion with is amazing, and our bookish community is one of the best. It's why I love being your moderator.

To say thank you to all of you, I'm doing another holiday giveaway!


This year's giveaway is a brand new, shiny Amazon Fire Tablet!

Perfect for all of your reading, Netflix watching, and game playing needs. I thought I'd mix it up a bit this time. I hope you're all excited!

***

So how do you enter?

Here's the skinny.

All month long I'll be giving you opportunities to win entries into the raffle for this, starting today! The trick? You must watch our Facebook group for the questions/challenges/scavenger hunts daily. If you miss a day, that just means you miss an entry. Each entry challenge is open for 24 hours. (Until 8pm PST the next day.)

On December 31st I'll tally the entries, and let the random number generator pick a winner! Then  your Fire Tablet will ship straight to you, and you can cuddle it forever and always ;).

Ready for today's entry?

Step 1: Go to the NOVELLA NOVEMBER post.
Step 2: Leave a comment!

It can be an entry (which gains you points in the giveaway that ends tomorrow), or a comment on someone else's entry. Go interact!
 
That's it. You'll get one entry. Then check back in our FB group for another entry tomorrow.

Happy winning!

Saturday, November 28, 2015

2015 Winter Wonder Swap


ARE YOU READY? You'd better be, because it's time to swap again!

To start, please make sure you read the General Guidelines post. If you get to the end of the document and still have a burning question, email me or comment here! I'm always happy to help.


ON TO THE DETAILS!

This swap is Christmas themed, or Winter themed if that's better for you. I understand not everyone celebrates Christmas, so tweak it to whatever suits you. The theme is open to interpretation!

The following items are required in your package:
* One book of your choice. It can be Winter/Christmas themed... or not!
* One thing that edible. Cookies, candy, or even peanuts. It's all fair game.
One handmade item. That's right! You're going to make something. Make an ornament, knit a scarf, draw a picture. Your choice!
One bookmark. This can also be handmade, or store bought. Give your buddy something to help mark their place!
A note to your lovely swap partner.

Money Limit: 
Your box must contain items that add up to at least $20. Anything beyond that is your own personal choice, if you'd like to add extras. You may also add items that are not on the theme list if you so choose!
        * Some helpful hints:
                 - Check out dollar stores. You can get lots of fantastic and fun items there!
                 - Shop the dollar spot at local stores like Target or Walmart.
                 - Go thrift store hunting. This is perfectly okay! Just make sure the item is in good 
                    condition.
                    (A good rule of thumb is to think, "Would I want to receive this?")
                 - Re-gift something of yours (in good condition of course) that you think fits the box.
                 - Make something. It's cool to include something handmade. Again, just make sure it's 
                    something you'd like to receive yourself.

Shipping Information:
This swap is open to members with addresses located in the U.S. All delivery confirmation numbers must be in no later than December 19th. This also means your box should be shipped no later than this date. You must procure a delivery confirmation number when sending your package, and include it in the form located here. No delivery confirmation means you won't be eligible for future swaps.


Ready to join in?

Fill out THIS FORM completely to sign up. 

I'll match you with a swapping buddy and send out information as to who you will be mailing to. Please know I try to keep this a surprise, so you won't know who is mailing to you unless you specifically ask.

***Sign ups will be open until December 7th***

Late sign ups will not be accepted. I need that time to match people up and still give you ample time to go and do some shopping!


REMEMBER:

If you sign up, your are promising to send a package. Please make sure you can follow through! I never want anyone to end up without a box. Thanks!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Novella November - Post 2

It's that time!!!


Fall Leaves - Or Winter Snow
I suppose it depends on where you live? If you live in California, it's still kind of hot. And green. So... there's that.

Here's a recap of what you already know:

THE RULES
This post is open until December 1st. Between now and then, you can post as entries as you'd like!

To enter:
* Read a novella or a novelette.
* Stop by this post and write a 200 to 300 word blurb about why we should read it!
* Repeat!

Each blurb gains you an entry into the big giveaway at the end of the month! The winner will take home $30 worth of books from Book Depository!

THE UPDATES
Since work has been mad because of the upcoming holidays, I didn't put this up on time. So, to apologize and to make things interesting, here's how points will be awarded on this post:

3 points will be awarded to whomever posts a blurb for a novella that features CAKE in some way.
2 points will be awarded to whomever posts a blurb for a novella that features SOCKS in some way.

1 point will be awarded to all other blurbs.

The best part? You can convince me that your book does in fact deal with those items, whether they do or not. Be creative ;).

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Novella November has begun!

It's that time!!!


Novella November has begun, and this is post one.
(Yeah, I went there. Rhyming for the win!)

THE RULES
This post is open until November 14th. Between now and then, you can post as entries as you'd like!

To enter:
* Read a novella or a novelette.
* Stop by this post and write a 200 to 300 word blurb about why we should read it!
* Repeat!

Each blurb gains you an entry into the big giveaway at the end of the month! The winner will take home $30 worth of books from Book Depository!

Get reading!




Monday, November 2, 2015

Ghost Story - Discussion Post #4



Are you ready to wrap up this read?

This time around, we're discussing the last portion of PART III and the Epilogue.

==================================================================

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

* Let's have an open discussion about the ending! What did you think? Were you happy with the resolution? Did it feel to you like everything tied up well enough?

==================================================================

MODERATOR THOUGHTS

Well, I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised with the ending! I'll admit that I completely forgot about the first portion of this story, and so when things wrapped back around I was so impressed! Finally, some resolution. I really liked Don as a character, so the fact that he was the one to finish everything up felt really apt to me. The youngest, the fittest, maybe not the bravest but definitely willing to do whatever it took. The way this whole thing at at Don killed me, but I was thrilled that he tackled it head on.

Am I a bit devastated that so many of our main characters were lost to the madness? Of course. Sears James especially, because no matter how grumpy he may have been he was still Ricky's best friend. It broke my heart that Ricky had to go on without him. Still, it takes a special kind of person to sacrifice themselves for others, and so Sears went out with bang and not with a whimper. Good for him.

If I had to rate this book, I'd give it a 4. It was a slow burn, but the middle and the ending made it all worth it. I wouldn't quite put this on par with Stephen King, to be honest. I know a lot of people compare them. To me, Peter Straub is more reserved. Or at least in this story he was. Yes, there is violence. Yes, there is death. It's not quite on the same level though. It's a bit more palatable.


Monday, October 26, 2015

Ghost Story - Discussion Post #2 & #3



Sorry for the delay on this everyone! Does anyone else think that this book was a slow burn? Now I'm totally invested, but while I was sick it was hard to get settled. Enough about me though, let's discuss!

This time around, we're discussing PART II and the first 2 parts of PART III of this book.

==================================================================

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

* Now that we have more background information on our characters, what do you see as the purpose of The Chowder Society?

* What do you think of Don Wanderly, our new addition?

* Things are getting darker in Millburn. What's been the most chilling part of this novel for you?

* Do you think that any of the characters have changed? Is there anyone that you think is now showing their true colors? Do you have a new favorite?

* What do you think the inevitable end of this story will be?

==================================================================

MODERATOR THOUGHTS

So, let me say that the more we learn about our characters the darker this book gets. At first I wasn't sure why this was even called Ghost Story. I kept thinking that Peter Straub was holding out on us. Now? Well, I stand corrected. He was building things up, and it's been well worth the wait. I ramble though. The purpose of The Chowder Society, in my eyes, is to try to stay sane. These poor men. These poor, guilty and troubled men. They're banded together because they are the only ones that believe one another.

As for Don Wanderly, I'm not sure how I feel about him at this point. It's clear that he was the missing piece of the puzzle. He arrived, and suddenly things hit a downward spiral into madness. I think Don isn't even sure how he feels about himself. He knows that something mysterious happened to him, he knows that the paranormal has the ability to exist, I think he just isn't sure how he feels about all of that. How do you admit that to yourself?

Which brings me to the most chilling part of this whole novel, and that's the fact that this darkness is still unnamed. We're getting closer to the truth. Slowly things are being explained, and it's obvious that this same darkness has been in Millburn before. Still, it's hidden behind this sheet of the unknown. People have died, violence has happened, but I feel like there's a greater threat lurking in the shadows still!

I think Lewis, is probably the character that's changed the most. I know that he was always pegged as a "ladies man", but now we're finding out that he did it more for company than anything else. Now, as things get creepier, he's becoming less outgoing and more introspective. He's actually become the most interesting character to me because of that fact. We're discovering so much about his past!

So what's the ending going to be? I wish I knew. Yet, I don't. I can't wait to find out though!


Monday, October 19, 2015

Ghost Story - Discussion Post #1



Sorry for the delay on this everyone! Does anyone else think that this book was a slow burn? Now I'm totally invested, but while I was sick it was hard to get settled. Enough about me though, let's discuss!

This time around, we're discussing PART I of this book.

==================================================================

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

* What are your initial impressions of the characters in Ghost Story? Specifically, our Chowder Society?

* Do you have a character who stands out to you more than the others? One you connect with?

* Why do you think the Chowder Society exists as it does?

* What's one question that you still have at this point?

==================================================================

MODERATOR THOUGHTS

So, as I stated above, this book was a slow burn for me. At first, I wasn't sure how I felt about the Chowder Society. I think I took a quick glance at this old men who puttered around in their finery, and felt like I wasn't going to be able to connect with them. However, the second the first ghost story was told, I was smitten. What dark secrets were these men hiding? What caused them to be so terrified and frail? I had to find out.

In terms of a favorite character, I think Ricky probably fits the bill. He's just so eager for things to be still, and happy. He's still deeply in love with his wife, even though he knows she might stray. I think what really endears me to him though is how critical he is of himself. Ricky knows that he isn't perfect. He knows he's flawed, and he knows his friends are flawed. But he accepts it, and he does the best he can with what he has.

Which brings me to why the Chowder Society exists in the first place. All these men are obviously drawn together by something dark in their past, but more than that I think that they're drawn together by the fact that they understand one another at the deepest level. Their meetings have become cannon. They know one another's secrets, and quirks, and still are friends. What better place to share what ails you most, than with people who seem to understand you?

The one question I still have at the end of Part I is why Wanderly died in the first place. I know that's obvious, but come on. Mysterious circumstances, anyone? I hope I find out before the end.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

October Reading Breakdown - Ghost Story by Peter Straub

Discussion Weekend of 10/9 - Prologue through end of Part I

Discussion Weekend of 10/16 - Part II

Discussion Weekend of 10/23 - Section I and II of Part III

Discussion Weekend of 10/31 - Remainder of Part III + Epilogue


As a reminder, it's perfectly fine to read ahead. We all know that happens with particularly good books :). Just make sure that you come to discussions prepared to leave the spoilers behind.

Also, all discussions are open all month long! So even if you're behind, feel free to come and comment whenever you're ready. We'll be here to banter with you.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

It's time! The 2nd Annual Spooky Swap is here!


ARE YOU READY? It's time to swap!

To start, please make sure you read the General Guidelines post. If you get to the end of the document and still have a burning question, email me or comment here! I'm always happy to help.


ON TO THE DETAILS!

This swap is Halloween themed, or Fall themed if that's better for you. I understand not everyone celebrates Halloween and so please don't be worried that I'll run you off if you don't. The theme is open to interpretation!

The following items are required in your package:
* One Fall/Halloween item that is wearable (socks, gloves, beanies, earrings)
* One Fall/Halloween item that is edible (CANDY! Ahem...or something less sugary)
* One Fall/Halloween book 
* One Fall/Halloween themed item of your choice (think pumpkins, leaves, etc.)
* A note to your swap partner! 

Money Limit: 
Your box must contain items that add up to at least $20. Anything beyond that is your own personal choice, if you'd like to add extras. You may also add items that are not on the theme list if you so choose!
        * Some helpful hints:
                 - Check out dollar stores. You can get lots of fantastic and fun items there!
                 - Shop the dollar spot at local stores like Target or Walmart.
                 - Go thrift store hunting. This is perfectly okay! Just make sure the item is in good condition.
                    (A good rule of thumb is to think, "Would I want to receive this?")
                 - Re-gift something of yours (in good condition of course) that you think fits the box.
                 - Make something. It's cool to include something handmade. Again, just make sure it's something     
                    you'd like to receive yourself.

Shipping Information:
This swap is open to all our members, but please make sure to include if you are not located in the U.S. or, if you are in the U.S., whether you're willing to ship internationally. All delivery confirmation numbers must be in no later than October 25th. This also means your box should be shipped no later than this date. You must procure a delivery confirmation number when sending your package, and drop it in this form. No delivery confirmation means you won't be eligible for future swaps.


Ready to join in?

Fill out THIS FORM completely to sign up. 

I'll match you with a swapping buddy and send out information as to who you will be mailing to. Please know I try to keep this a surprise, so you won't know who is mailing to you unless you specifically ask.

***Sign ups will be open until October 5th***

Late sign ups will not be accepted. I need that time to match people up and still give you ample time to go and do some shopping!


REMEMBER:

If you sign up, your are promising to send a package. Please make sure you can follow through! I never want anyone to end up without a box. Thanks!

Monday, September 21, 2015

October's Book Pick!


Pumpkins. Black cats. Eerie sounds that snake their way through the night.

Yes, friends, it's almost the month of October. All Hallows Eve approaches, and this book club is prepared to celebrate with a thoroughly sinister read.

Are you ready to brave a well woven horror book? I certainly hope so, because that's exactly what we're going to tackle in the month of October!



In life, not every sin goes unpunished. 

GHOST STORY 


For four aging men in the terror-stricken town of Milburn, New York, an act inadvertently carried out in their youth has come back to haunt them. Now they are about to learn what happens to those who believe they can bury the past -- and get away with murder.

Peter Straub's classic bestseller is a work of "superb horror" (The Washington Post Book World) that, like any good ghost story, stands the test of time -- and conjures our darkest fears and nightmares.




This book has been out for quite a long while, so it shouldn't be too hard for all of you lovely people to borrow it from the library if you so choose. Otherwise, here are some places to get your copy, and get your scare on!

Amazon - New MMP ($7.19)
Book Depository - New Paperback ($7.18)


But wait... there's more... it's GIVEAWAY TIME!

To celebrate us being back in the swing of things, and to get some of you set to read this book with us, I'll be giving away a few copies of Ghost Story!

If 5 or less people enter, 1 will win.
If 6-8 people enter, 2 will win!
If (and let's be honest I'm hoping for this) more than 8 people enter? I'll give away 3 copies.

To enter, leave a comment stating the last horror themed book, movie, or even event that you experienced, and a little bit about how you liked it! That's it. You're entered.

*hugs and happy reading*


Sunday, September 20, 2015

We're Back!


Cue the epic music, and break out the champagne! We're back!!!

As most of you may remember, we left this blog behind to give BookLikes a shot as a book blog forum. I figured we'd give it a few months, and then reassess the situation. As it turns out, I've missed our blog home! I understand a lot of you weren't ready to make the commitment for a new account on a new site, and I'm okay with that! I'm ready for us to be back here, where everyone is happy.

Stay tuned for more announcements this week!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Discussion Post #3 - Eat, Play, Lust by Tawna Fenske


It's Saturday, and that means (hopefully) relaxation and reading! It's my hope you've had a little bit of down time today :). I also really hope that you're all ready to discuss this next novella!

==================================================================

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

* This was a quick, steamy read. What did you think about our main characters? Do you feel they were well fleshed out for a novella length story?

* What are your feelings on Cami's reasons for eating healthy foods? Do you think it was a good jumping off point for these characters?

* Steamy scenes: let's talk sex. Yay, or nay on the heat level? 

==================================================================

MODERATOR THOUGHTS

So, full disclosure, I have a big crush on Entangled books. Their authors are wonderful people, the editors do a wonderful job, and the stories are pretty much always a ton of fun. I might be a little biased because of how many I've read :). That being said, novellas are a tricky terrain for me. They're so short that it's hard to really develop characters. So I wasn't surprised that Cami and Paul were only slightly fleshed out. I did like their backgrounds, especially Paul's chef background, though.

Now as for Cami's reason for not wanting Paul to know her "dark secret", I was a little annoyed. I'll be honest. The story itself is super sweet, and these two definitely have some chemistry. I just couldn't get over the fact that Cami's food issues were such a big deal for her. Still, it did make a nice entrance for Paul's expertise to bring these two together. So I'll forgive it. Maybe I'm just too much a foodie to understand anyone being nervous about food. Ha!

Sex scenes? I'd say these rate right around a 5 on the "HOT ALERT" scale. They were very tame, but also sensual at the same time. It's tough to make sparks fly between two characters without a lot of extra pages, but I think the author definitely achieved that. These two had some major passion, and I give points to that.

Overall rating? I'd say it's a 4 from this reader! Short, sweet, and now I want some tater tots.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Discussion Post - Mile 81 by Stephen King


Hope your weekend is going great so far! If you've read Mile 81 by Stephen King this weekend, it's probably filled with a little bit of creep factor. Are you ready to chat? I hope so!

==================================================================

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS:

Let's have an open discussion about this one, since it's so short. Are you a fan of Stephen King? Are you a fan or horror in general? Share with us what you liked, and didn't like about this book!

Bonus points if you can name on other SK book that you just totally love!

==================================================================

MODERATOR THOUGHTS:

So, I'm fairly biased when it comes to Stephen King. Sure, there are a few books he's written that I thought totally missed the mark. For the most part though, he shines as one of my all time favorite authors. He's a master at building tension, at creating that horrible unease in the pit of your stomach, and of bringing things to life that you didn't even know you were afraid of. I'm a fan of the horror genre, and SK fits snugly into that box for me.

That being said, a lot of his newer short stories have kind of failed to impress me. While Mile 81 wasn't a bad short story, it was definitely less than what I expected it to be. The bizarre makes a debut in King novels a lot. I'm used to weird, and mainly unexplained, things happening. For me though, this particular event was just too weird for words. That, and I wanted some type of closure. Any type of closure. So, I was a little disappointed.

What are your thoughts?


Sunday, February 8, 2015

Member Rewards Shelf Update - Some Eye Candy



I'm still working on the particulars of the member rewards program, but here's some eye candy to tide you over! The basic premise is, you participate... you get free books to read. They'll be a mix of books that I've purchased for you, books I've received via publishers and read already, and books that are ARCs (Advanced Reader Copies) and need a new home.

Look at all the goodies so far!