Tuesday, December 31, 2013

It's My Blogoversary & Giveaway!

Four years ago today, a few hours earlier than it is now, I decided to do a little something more with my love for reading. Reading got me through my awkward pre-teen years when we moved to a new city, and I had to start at a new school in the middle of the school year.  Everyone already had their cliques and friends by this point and I found that I never really fit in anywhere.  But I could lose myself in the pages of a book and there I always felt welcome. Years later, I thought I’d share my continued love for reading and my thoughts about the books I read, because really…owning over 1000 books…I really just wanted to lavish others in the greatness that is loving books. And although my reviews might not be as articulate or as brilliant and intelligent as my fellow bloggers, I still love sharing my excitement and joy over books.

Along the way I have met a wonderful bunch of people. Maybe not always face to face, but through social media we have become connected by our love of books. Amazing authors and even more amazing bloggers have helped me along the way and I am eternally grateful. 

I had a great reading year this year, and I made my goal of 100 books!

In honor of my Blogoversary I’m having a giveaway!! One winner can choose any one of the books that I read in 2013, you can find my list HERE. There are also my 2013 Twelve Days of Christmas posts for another look at the books that I really loved this year.

So here it is:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sarah's Top Ten Lists of 2013

Well it's that time again; we usher out the year of 2013 and ring in a new year and a clean slate for 2014.

2013 was a year that brought lots of accomplishments and also a lot of despair. From the Birth of the next King, to the death of a political legend, but we all can't forget what made 2013 what it was.

So here are a few top ten lists to end the year of 2013:

Top Ten Books of 2013

1. Life After Life by Kate Atkinson
2. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
3. The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith
4. The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
5. Joyland by Stephen King
6. Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld
7. The 5th Wave by Rick Yancy
8. Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
9. And The Mountain Echoed by Khaled Hosseini
10. Hunted by Karen Robards

Top Ten Movies of 2013

1. Monsters University
2. Despicable Me 2
3. Iron Man 3
4. Star Trek: Into Darkness
5. Before Midnight
6. The Worlds End
7. Enders Game
8. After Earth
9. Olympus Has Fallen
10. The Wolverine

Top Ten News Stories in Canada of 2013

1. Alberta Floods
2. The Lac Magentic Rail Disaster
3. The Senate Scandal
4. Fracking in the Atlantic Provinces
5. Rob Ford's Crack Addiction
6. Rob Ford's Lying in Council
7. Rob Ford's removal of Power
8. Rob Ford's Media Circus
9. Rob Ford's Bobble heads
10. Rob Ford

Top Ten Weather of 2013

1. Alberta Floods
2. Toronto's Torrential Rains
3. Bumper Crops in Alberta
4. More Flooding in Canada
5. Restoration of Global Water Levels
6. Prairie Winter that never really ended
7. Oklahoma Tornado Disaster
8. Ontario's Ice Storm
9. Winds in Scotland
10. Colorado's 1000 year flood

Top Ten Idiots of 2013

1. Rob Ford (Crack Addiction)
2. Doug Ford (Being Rob Ford's Brother)
3. Miley Cyrus (Twerking in front of Kids...NM, just leave it as TWERK'd)
4. Justin Bieber (Most Annoying Canadian)
5. Canada's Senate (Sheer Stupidity)
6. Barack Obama (Obamacare....more like Obamacrap)
7. Urban Planet (West Ed Mall for playing a song during christmas in public glorifying child sex)
8. Robin Thicke (Blurred lines...more like Blurred Creative thinking)
9. Seth McFarlane (for killing Brian the Dog from Family Guy)
10. Mark Zuckerberg (For creating Facebook)

Top Ten Most Eaten Foods in Canada of 2013

1. Sushi
2. Mac & Cheese
3. Big Mac
4. Pizza
5. Bacon
6. Hot Dogs
7. Chicken McNuggets
8. Spaghetti
9. Oh Henry Chocolate Bars
10. Cheddar Cheese

Top Ten Most Watched Cartoons of 2013

1. My Little Pony
2. Looney Toons
3. Phineas & Ferb
4. SpongeBob Square Pants
5. Transformers
6. Powerpuff Girls
7. Adventure Time
8. Winx Club
9. The Simpsons
10. Family Guy

Top Ten Alphabet letters of 2013

1. A
2. B
3. C
4. D
5. E
6. F
7. G
8. H
9. I
10. J

Top Ten Places to Visit in Canada 2013

1. Victoria, BC
2. Montreal, QC
3. Niagara Falls, ON
4. Charlottetown, PEI
5. Edmonton, AB
6. Wasaga Beach, ON
7. Thunder Bay, ON
8. Penticton, BC
9. Banff, AB
10. Halifax, NS

Top Ten Places NOT to visit in Canada in 2013

1. Regina, SK
2. Saskatoon, SK
3. Yorkton, SK
4. Brandon, MB
5. Winnipeg, MB
6. Dryden, ON
7. Smithers, BC
8. Prince Rupert, BC
9. Terrace, BC
10. Toronto, ON

Top Ten Resolutions of 2013

1. Quit Smoking
2. Lose Weight/Exercising
3. Paying off Debt/Bills
4. Better job/Career Change
5. Make New Friends
6. Travel to new places
7. Start A Family
8. Pay Off Mortgage
9. Try something new
10. Donate to Charities

Top Ten Songs of 2013

1. Blurred Lines (Robin Thicke)
2. Can't Hold Us (Macklemore)
3. Royals (Lorde)
4. Thrift Shop (Macklemore)
5. Wake Me Up (Avicii)
6. Get Lucky (Daft Punk)
7. When I was your Man (Bruno Mars)
8. Wrecking Ball (Miley Cyrus)
9. Roar (Katy Perry)
10. We Can't Stop (Miley Cyrus)

Top Ten 911 stupid calls of 2013

1. “I'd like to speak to someone about renting a fire truck to block off a street for a party."
2. A caller phoned 911 to get their date’s contact information so they could confirm details of their plans.
3. A caller phoned 911 to report a missed newspaper delivery.
4. Caller asks 911 if they can get the 'OK' to drive in the HOV lane because “traffic is backed up and they are late for an important meeting.”
5. Caller dials 911 to activate voicemail on his cellphone.
6. “I threw my phone into the garbage can and can't get it out.”
7. Caller dials 911 to ask for a morning wake-up call.
8. Caller dials 911 to ask how to call the operator.
9. “Can an officer come over to tell my kids to go to bed?”
10. “My son won’t give me the remote control.”

Top Ten Cool Gadgets that were Crowdfunded of 2013

1. Piper Home Security (Make-shift home security)
2. Matterform Scanner (Consumer 3D Scanner)
3. Beddit (Sleep Monitor)
4. Oculus Rift (Hyper-reality 3d Game Visor)
5. Lifx (Wifi Lightbulbs)
6. 3D Doodler (3d Pen)
7. Canary Home Security (Smartphone Security)
8. Smart watches (Smartphones for your wrist)
9. Scanandu Scout (Medical Tricorder)
10. Form1 (3D Printers now capable of making GUNS right at home)

Anyways, there are a lot more top ten lists we can make for ushering out 2013, so here is to the new 2014! May your New Year start with change and may you change the new year as well.

Take care all,

Monday, December 30, 2013

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? (167)

Books I read over the last few weeks:
Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols
The Next Always by Nora Roberts
Once Dead, Twice Shy by Kim Harrison
The Stone Demon by Karen Mahoney
All We See & Seem by Tammy Blackwell

The book I’m reading now:
Coraline's often wondered what's behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her "other" parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.

Gaiman has delivered a wonderfully chilling novel, subtle yet intense on many levels. The line between pleasant and horrible is often blurred until what's what becomes suddenly clear, and like Coraline, we resist leaving this strange world until we're hooked. Unnerving drawings also cast a dark shadow over the book's eerie atmosphere, which is only heightened by simple, hair-raising text. Coraline is otherworldly storytelling at its best.

Books that spark my interest this week:
Crash by Lisa McMann
Witchlanders by Lena Coakley

Saturday, December 28, 2013

My Bookish Wants & Gots (71)

My Bookish Wants & Gots is a feature over at The Book Vixen. I list the books I want - which can be old, new, or upcoming releases - and the books I recently got.

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson
For the past five years, Hayley Kincaid and her father, Andy, have been on the road, never staying long in one place as he struggles to escape the demons that have tortured him since his return from Iraq. Now they are back in the town where he grew up so Hayley can attend school. Perhaps, for the first time, Hayley can have a normal life, put aside her own painful memories, even have a relationship with Finn, the hot guy who obviously likes her but is hiding secrets of his own.

Will being back home help Andy’s PTSD, or will his terrible memories drag him to the edge of hell, and drugs push him over? The Impossible Knife of Memory is Laurie Halse Anderson at her finest: compelling, surprising, and impossible to put down.

Legend by Marie Lu
What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic's highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country's most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths - until the day June's brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family's survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias's death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

Full of nonstop action, suspense, and romance, this novel is sure to move readers as much as it thrills.

Fragile Brilliance by Tammy Blackwell
Maggie McCray has worked her whole life for the opportunity to attend Sanders College. It’s her one chance at becoming a world-renowned artist, and she’s determined nothing will get in her way. But when a murder brings Maggie and her powers to the attention of the Alpha Pack and the tragically handsome Charlie Hagan, her carefully planned future hangs in jeopardy.

Charlie Hagan isn’t happy when the Alpha Female assigns him as Maggie McCray’s personal bodyguard. Just being near the Thaumaturgic threatens to unleash the primal instincts he’s been suppressing for so long. Charlie knows if the coyote is uncaged, then the person he’ll most need to protect Maggie from is himself.

Dangerous Refuge by Elizabeth Lowell
On the surface beautiful, quiet Shaye has little in common with dark, dangerous Tanner. He's a suspicious big city cop come home to the historic Davis family ranch to settle his uncle's estate. She's working for an environmental conservancy that acquires and protects old ranches-and she wants to preserve the Davis homestead.

When the suspicious death of Tanner's uncle at his ranch throws the two opposites together, tempers flare and sparks fly. While they have trouble seeing eye to eye, Shaye and Tanner agree on one thing: they need to uncover the truth.

Combining their unique skills-Shaye's low-key approach and local connections and Tanner's experience as a homicide detective-the unlikely pair share long nights in the pursuit of justice. Before they know it, the friction they generate turns to heat, igniting a burning love neither ever expected to find.

They believe passion this intense cannot last. But when Shaye becomes a killer's target, Tanner realizes he'd give up anything to protect her-including his life.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Forgotten Fridays (80)

I invite and welcome anyone interested to post their own Forgotten Friday and join in the fun! I feature a book that I have read and have forgotten how much I enjoyed it. Some books might recent reads and some might be older reads, but I hope this helps these (sometimes forgotten) books earn a spot on your own TBR pile!

The Target by Catherine Coulter
First Published: April 1998
Series: FBI Thriller
Hoping to escape unwanted celebrity in the aftermath of a notorious incident, Ramsey Hunt settles in the Rockies, determined to bury himself in the safety of a solitary existence. But his isolation is shattered when he stumbles upon a small girl unconscious in the high-altitude forest. When strangers pursue Ramsey to his private meadow in an attempt to kill him and the girl, he's mystified that anyone would wish her harm. And the child can't shed any light on the subject: she's mute.

Molly Santana, the girl's mother, catches up with Ramsey and her daughter, mistaking her daughter's savior for a kidnapper. But soon Ramsey's real role becomes clear. With the strangers in pursuit, the trio flee to Chicago for sanctuary. Even there, however, the child's enemies prove as relentless as their motives are baffling.

With an unexpected assist from FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock (last seen in The Maze), Molly and Ramsey begin to unravel the clues, and in the process they make an astonishing discovery as to the true nature of the target.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Thursday Thirteen (27)

Thursday Thirteen is a weekly meme with a simple theme: each Thursday you blog a list of 13 things. What kind of things? Any kind! Just come up with a list theme and run with it.
*All of my lists are in no particular order.*

Favorite Holiday Movies

1. Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas

2. Mickey’s Christmas Carol

3. Frosty the Snowman

4. Olive the Other Reindeer

5. Mickey’s Twice Upon A Christmas

6. A Muppet Family Christmas

7. Pluto’s Christmas Tree

8. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town

9. The Santa Clause

10. How the Grinch Stole Christmas

11. It’s a Wonderful Life

12. National Lampoons: Christmas Vacation

13. The Nightmare Before Christmas