Wednesday, April 01, 2015

A to Z Challenge - A

Books This Book Blogger Owns...and Will.Read.Soon!


The Art of Racing In the Rain

Garth Stein



A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story of family, love, loyalty, and hope--a captivating look at the wonders and absurdities of human life . . . as only a dog could tell it.
 (Amazon)



I was actually really excited about this one when I got it. Then, my kitty passed over the summer and despite trying to start it a couple of times, I just haven't been able to get there. But I will!



Singing to a Bulldog: From Happy Days to Hollywood Director, and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me There - Williams

Title: Singing to a Bulldog: From Happy Days to Hollywood Director, and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me There


Author: Anson Williams
PublishedGenre: Memoir
Rating
3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Book Source: 
 I received this book from the publisher, Simon and Schuster free of cost, in exchange for an honest review.

 
Recommended if you like: Celebrity Memoirs, The 1970's, Television


 

What Its About:  
Anson Williams grew up in 1950's California with a judgmental, demanding father. It was not long until they both discovered that Anson would not likely be everything for which his father had always hoped.  He was clumsy, not particularly smart, and most of all not much of an artist like his dad. 

As a teenager, Williams took on a part time job at a local department store and quickly found the father figure for whom he was desperately searching. His boss, an older, African American gentleman, became his mentor and friend offering him lessons he would carry for the rest of his life. Those random and valuable lessons, would lead Williams to find his place in the world and encourage him to become a successful actor, director and ultimately, an entrepreneur

In this entertaining memoir, Williams shares those lessons and the stories of how they effected his life, including his years on the hit 1970's television show Happy Days, acting for Steven Speilberg, dating a presidents daughter, being complimented by Sammy David Jr. and his volunteer work.







The Bottom Line: 
Cute and entertaining, but not earth shattering. The lessons he shares truly are valuable though. Will appeal to multiple generations due to his long and busy career.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday Tunes - 03/31/15

A good lyric is like a great book...

Alabaster Box
Cece Winans, Artist
Dr. Janice Sjostrand, Writer








The room grew still
As she made her way to Jesus
She stumbles through the tears that made her blind
She felt such pain
Some spoke in anger
Heard folks whisper
There's no place here for her kind
Still on she came
Through the shame that flushed her face
Until at last, she knelt before his feet
And though she spoke no words
Everything she said was heard
As she poured her love for the Master
From her box of alabaster


[Refrain]


And I've come to pour
My praise on Him
Like oil from Mary's alabaster box
Don't be angry if I wash his feet with my tears
And I dry them with my hair
You weren't there the night He found me
You did not feel what I felt
When he wrapped his love all around me and
You don't know the cost of the oil
In my alabaster box



I can't forget the way life used to be
I was a prisoner to the sin that had me bound
And I spent my days 
Poured my life without measure
Into a little treasure box
I'd thought I'd found
Until the day when Jesus came to me
And healed my soul
With the wonder of His touch
So now I'm giving back to Him
All the praise He's worthy of
I've been forgiven 
And that's why
I love Him so much



[Refrain]


And I've come to pour
My praise on Him
Like oil from Mary's alabaster box
Don't be angry if I wash his feet with my tears
And dry them with my hair (my hair)
You weren't there the night Jesus found me
You did not feel what I felt 
When He wrapped his loving arms around me and
You don't know the cost of the oil
Oh, you don't know the cost of my praise
You don't know the cost of the oil

In my alabaster box


Monday, March 30, 2015

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Sunday Salon - 03/29/15



If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links. The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba the Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog, showcase books and things we have received and share news about what is coming up on our blog for the week ahead.

Life:

Hi all! I can't believe it's Sunday already. Weekends just fly by too quickly!

This was my last week working both departments half time at work. Starting next week, I go down to only one afternoon a week in the old department. That may actually give me a chance to be productive in the new job, rather than constantly running catch up! Next week is looking to be a busy one.

The last couple of days have been smelling springy... I was all psyched and ready for some nicer weather. Then yesterday, it snowed again! We didn't get any real accumulation, but..seriously Mother Nature?! Seriously?



Kitties are awesome as usual. They continue to play and snuggle and be adorable. I post to the Facebook page regularly, so if you haven't checked it out (and you're actually interested, of course) you should!

Blogging:
Friday I took part in Trish's A Day In A Life challenge. It was kind of cool posting as my day went on. If you read those posts, thanks for playing along! And if you commented, even more thanks!! I did end up making Trisha's chocolate, pretzel thingys....delicious!! As you can tell by the corner of the picture, I couldn't even wait to take the picture before digging in.



It's been a pretty good week blog wise. Not only did I post several days, I also prepared a good number of my A to Z Challenge posts for April. I've done this challenge a couple of years in a row now, but this year my posts are actually book themed...

          It's all about the books, 'bout the books, no movies! Ha!

I've also got several of my pending book reviews prepared and ready to post over the next few weeks (Wednesday is my new review day, as I generally only read about a book a week).

A friend of mine loaned me a new book this week, which she loved, so I started reading that this weekend. But as always, you'll have to come back tomorrow to find out what it is!

Have a great week everyone!

S

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sarturday Savings - 03/28/15


**DEAL OF THE WEEK**




Regular price = $11.49 for twin pack (singles $7.29 each)

Sale: spend $10 get $5.00 extra care bucks

Stacked with $0.50 coupon

Final cost $3.00 each






Friday, March 27, 2015

A Day In The Life - Friday, March 27th, 2015 - Live Feed...(kinda)


Trish at Love, Laughter, and Insanity is hosting a fun event today — she asked book bloggers to record a day’s activities and share them.



My "A Day In The Life" post if "live feed" (kinda). 
I will blog my day today, Friday March 27th, 2015 as my day unfolds... 
Busy or slow, good or bad...this is it folks. REAL LIFE!



5:00: Left work and headed home. Called hubby to tell him I was on the way, and he told me he forgot he had an errand to run, no hurry. We decided I should stop and get the Chinese food and eat when o was ready.

5:45: Because I wasn't in a hurry, I popped by the library looking for CDs. Forced myself not to take any books home, even though it was killing me. Went to pick up the Chinese food and was able to read my current book, Moloka'i, while waiting...I should read at restaurants more often, my focus was awesome! 

6:22:  Got home, said hello to the kitties and then separated the laundry (not a clue why I felt this should be done before eating). Then, ate: chicken lo mein, scallion pancakes, chicken cashew. Yummy! Put the rest into a warm oven to keep for hubby. He should be surprised.

7:15: More blogging and way too much Facebook. Fed the kitties.

8:20: Started a load of laundry, cleaned the litter boxes, and put the clean dishes away (I try to do some of the house duties Friday night, otherwise I spend my whole weekend cleaning...and that sucks!), then promptly rewarded myself with some Ben and Jerry's pistachio ice cream!

Snuggled with the kitties..they took turns loving on me.

8:30: Hubby got home finally, got some dinner and retreated to the man-cave to watch Big Bang Theory reruns. I opted for TiVo'd Trisha's Southern Cooking, which reminds me that I have to make more of her peanut butter, chocolate, and pretzel stick bars, SOOO GOOD! Maybe this weekend.

9:20: Watching the kitties play, so much fun! Going to read for a while.

12:00:  Finished laundry, heading to bed.











A Day In The Life - Friday, March 27th, 2015 - Live Feed...(kinda)


Trish at Love, Laughter, and Insanity is hosting a fun event today — she asked book bloggers to record a day’s activities and share them.


Continued...


12:10: Still no word from hubby...either he has not gotten the email or he has accepted his fate of either staying late at work on Friday, or sitting in his car in the rain until I get home. Lunch: num, num.

12:20: (Sitting at my desk contemplating how much I appreciate Pandora, it keeps me sane at work,..) Cell phone rings. Expect its hubby, but no. Its... "Florida". Decide I don't want to speak with Florida today and send it directly to voice mail.

12:30: Time to change departments. How many times have you ever left a job and found yourself in a new job, fully responsible for maintaining BOTH jobs for months?! Only at my company!  Oh well, today is my last day being split "50/50". Starting next week I will only be in the old department one afternoon a week.  So...pack up my desk, laptop, bags, etc. Clean up for the weekend. Coat on and leave my building, trudge down "the hill" to another building, and find a spot in a conference room where I can plug in and work.

2:08: Despite breaking for lunch, never actually ate. Worked out well as the old department was having an event and had ordered food. Unfortunately, the caterer screwed up and thought the event was tomorrow. The new Admin, handled it well and they manged to get us pasta, chicken and rice meal with salad and rolls only about an hour late. We dealt with it and the students helped entertain the guests until all was ready. Food was pretty good (scampi saved for tomorrow's lunch).

2:45:  Have a 3:00 meeting with one of my new PI's (faculty), must find a place to sit and use a phone...

3:20:  Went quicker than I expected. Answering emails and solving grant issues until I can sneak out to hurry home to let hubby in the house.  Blah, blah, blah (work stuff)

Chinese food for dinner, hubby says.




More to come!






A Day In The Life - Friday, March 27th, 2015 - Live Feed...(kinda)


Trish at Love, Laughter, and Insanity is hosting a fun event today — she asked book bloggers to record a day’s activities and share them.



My "A Day In The Life" post if "live feed" (kinda). 
I will blog my day today, Friday March 27th, 2015 as my day unfolds... 
Busy or slow, good or bad...this is it folks. REAL LIFE!



6:27: Woke up having to go to the bathroom. Decided to flush the toilet to wake hubby, as he sometimes doesn't wake up until I do and then we have to fight over the bathroom. Flush...

6:32: Back in bed, realize that hubby is getting up late today so that he can leave at the same time as me and lock the doors as he lost his house keys yesterday and he needs mine to make copies during lunch. Oops.

6:55: Hubby is up and showering. That's good.

7:14: Hubby is starting his car. That's good.... Wait, wha?!  Get up and remind hubby that he is leaving with me. He says (I kid you not...) "...But I have your keys, I'll be able to get in later." Remind hubby that, yes, he will be able to get in later...especially if I never lock the doors because he's got my keys (did I mention this man is a MENSA member?!)  Insert dumb look and laughter. I recall that he made copies of the lower lock keys recently and, if there's an extra, he can take one of those and I'll only lock that lock. We agree and hubby heads off to work.

7:00: Back to bed for a few minutes.

7:20: Get up and feed the kitties, as always, shower while they eat and get dressed. Feed the fish, pack my lunch and ready to leave for work. Huh, early today.

8:10: Locking up, check key in lower lock and...the new key copy doesn't work!. Call hubby, twice, to see if he tested his key. No answer. Lock the top lock, for which I now have the only key, as I want to be sure someone can get in tonight!

8:30: Arrive at work, no one is in yet. Settle in and email hubby that the door is locked and he will have to wait for me in his car to get in. Eat breakfast as I settle in and check emails.

8:45: Get to work answering emails and solving issues for upcoming grant applications...

Blah, blah, blah (work stuff)

11:30: Grab a little lunch, left over shrimp scampi and blog a bit...


More to come!








Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The Book Thief - Zusak

Title: The Book Thief


Author: Markus Zusak
PublishedGenre: Fiction
Rating
5/5- Excellent. Keep it, treasure it, reread it.

Book Source: Borrowed from the library

 
Recommended if you like: YA Fiction, Stories of the holocaust, Sad stories


 

What Its About:  
I must be the very last person to read this book. So, there is not much I can say that hasn't already been said. But for those who may not be followers of book blogs...

Death, the only reliable character in young Liesel Meminger's life, narrates her story of survival in 1930's Nazi Germany. After watching her little brother die en route, she is left alone with foster parents, who she eventually comes to love dearly. She struggles to make a new life in a small town near Munich, making friends and stealing to supplement their meager resources.

It is not too long until Leisel discovers that sometimes books are as fulfilling and nourishing as a scrap of bread or an extra apple. After her foster father teaches her to read, she finds herself sharing her new treasures with neighbors and friends, including the Jewish refugee her family has hidden in the basement, all who desperately need a little extra fulfillment during the difficult  and horrible time.








The Bottom Line: 
Heartbreaking...and so very fulfilling. Like a five course meal!

You must read this if you have not.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesday Tunes - 03/24/15

A good lyric is like a great book...

There Goes My Life 
Kenny Chesney, Artist
Wendell Mobley and Neil Thrasher, Writers









All he could think about was I'm too young for this.
Got my whole life ahead.
Hell I'm just a kid myself.
How'm I gonna raise one.



All he could see were his dreams goin' up in smoke.

So much for ditchin' this town and hangin' out on the coast.

Oh well, those plans are long gone.




[Chorus:]

And he said,

There goes my life.

There goes my future, my everything.

Might as well kiss it all good-bye.

There goes my life.......




A couple years of up all night and a few thousand diapers later.

That mistake he thought he made covers up the refrigerator.

Oh yeah..........he loves that little girl.




Momma's waiting to tuck her in,

As she fumbles up those stairs.

She smiles back at him dragging that teddy bear.

Sleep tight, blue eyes and bouncin' curls.




[Chorus:]

He smiles.....

There goes my life.

There goes my future, my everything.

I love you, daddy good-night.

There goes my life.




She had that Honda loaded down.

With Abercrombie clothes and 15 pairs of shoes and his American Express.

He checked the oil and slammed the hood, said you're good to go.

She hugged them both and headed off to the West Coast.




[Chorus:]

And he cried,

There goes my life.

There goes my future, my everything.

I love you.

Baby good-bye.




There goes my life.

There goes my life.

Baby good-bye.

Monday, March 23, 2015

A to Z Challenge 2015 Theme Reveal


It's time to let everyone know what your theme is for the 2015 A to Z Blogging Challenge...

And here I am, jumping in again, even though I haven't been super good about posting lately. But, it's all about positive thinking, right?!?! So here we go.

This year, I decided that I should stick with the book theme on my book blog. Ya think!? So I will be blogging the alphabet of books currently in my home (or in a very few desperate cases on my TBR, but not yet owned list) that I want and plan to read any day now....yep, real soon...um, yeh gonna get to them.Real.Soon.

Hope you join me to find out what is sitting around my house.


You can find the list for all those participating in the Theme reveal on this list.


Saturday, March 21, 2015

Saturday Savings - 03/21/15


**DEAL OF THE WEEK**



Regular price = $5.49 each, Sale price = 2/$6 x 5 = $15.00

Stacked two $1 manufacturers coupons = $13.00 for six...

Stacked with an additional $5 extra care buck received!

Cost $7.00 for or $1.34 each! Great price!

BUT WAIT...remember those extra care bucks from last week?!?

Paid $9.50 with ECB...

THEY PAID ME $2.50 to take them out of the store!!!!







Friday, March 20, 2015

February 2015 ReCap




February 2015
Figured I better get this one in before April arrives!! 



This month I read: 
1. Ham: Slices of a Life (Sam Harris)

2. Singing To A Bulldog (Anson Williams)
3. Landlines (Rainbow Rowell)


In numbers:
Total Read: 3

YTD: 6
Adult: 3
YA/children's: 0
Abandoned: 0


Favorite Book(s) of the Month: 

Ham: Slices of a Life (Sam Harris)


Challenges Update:
 

2015 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 
Books to read 2015: 50
7aBooks read in 2015: 6
Books remaining: 44




 

Books to read 2015: 23
Books read in 2015: 1
Books remaining: 22





Books to read 2015: 25
Books read in 2015: 4
Books remaining: 21











Letters to read 2015: 26
Letters read in 2015: 4
Books remaining: 22
 

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Ham: Slices of a Life - Harris

Title: Ham: Slices of a Life


Author: Sam Harris
PublishedGenre: Memoir
Rating
3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Book Source: Purchased

 
Recommended if you like: Memoirs, Music, Celebrities


 

What Its About:  
Many of you may remember that show Star Search from the 80's? If you do, you likely remember Sam Harris, the show's first winner and "star".

Well, Harris has gone on to a very active and busy career in the arts, performing on Broadway (filling in for Donny Osmond) and recording multiple albums. He is also a [somewhat] new father and husband.

In this memoir, Harris offer sixteen anecdotes from his life including growing up gay in a small town, his stint subbing for Donny Osmond in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, his front-row seat at close personal friend Liza Minelli's wedding (and his honest opinion of the groom), and his take on the "Queen of Soul" Aretha Franklin (hint: it's honest, though kind, but not complementary). He also opens up about his experiences becoming a father and his struggles connecting with his son and how that has changed his life.






The Bottom Line: 
This is a wonderful, funny read if you are a fan or if you have an interest in celebrity memoirs. If anything, the book leaves too much out and you are left wanting more, more, more. Even if you aren't a fan, its a pretty entertaining read, but not perhaps quite as meaningful.

Well worth the read!