Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Breaking Night - Murray

Breaking Night: Urban slang for staying up, all night, until the sun rises

If anyone's childhood could be described as 'night', Liz Murray's could.  Born to drug addicted parents who, despite loving their daughters, were incapable of caring for them, Murray and her sister spent their childhoods just trying to survive, even begging or stealing food and sometimes eating nothing more than Chapstick. While Murray's sister thrived in school, utilizing it as an opportunity, Murray was picked on at school for being dirty, bug infested, skinny and unkempt.

Eventually, she stopped attending and found herself thrown into a group home for truancy. At her release, Murray took to the streets in order to avoid being returned to either school or the group home. She scraped by sleeping at friend's homes, on the subway, and pulling scams to earn a few dollars for food. She latched on to boyfriends who seemed able to help her survive, even when it was clear that they too were making choices that were not safe.

Things changed after Murray's mother died of AIDS.  Murray realized that she needed to take control of her life and make changes happen herself. A friend had mentioned an alternative school program where she might succeed, despite years of failure in a traditional school setting. Murray was turned down.  But she continued searching until she found an opportunity, a school that was more than a school. It was a family, of sorts. Though she had to hide her homeless status from them to avoid being returned to the system, she eventually turned eighteen and was able to admit her struggles. 

Her senior year, she was given the opportunity to visit Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She quickly decided that Harvard was the key to her future. She applied and, while first being wait-listed, wouldn't take no for an answer. But she never gave up.  She won a prestigious scholarship from the New York Times that would enable her to pay for the costs of attendance and did everything she could to make her dream a reality.

An exceptional memoir, written with total honesty and openness. A wonderful read for all.
4/5- Great. Push it on your friends and family.

HomeSchool Blogger

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 01/29/13

A great lyric is like a great book...

The Thunder Rolls
Garth Brooks, Artist
Pat Alger and Garth Brooks, Writers


Three thirty in the morning
Not a soul insight
The city's lookin' like a ghost town
On a moonless summer night
Raindrops on the windshield
There's a storm moving in
He's headin' back from somewhere
That he never should have been
And the thunder rolls
And the thunder rolls

Every light is burnin'
In a house across town
She's pacin' by the telephone
In her faded flannel gown
Askin' for miracle
Hopin' she's not right
Prayin' it's the weather
That's kept him out all night
And the thunder rolls
And the thunder rolls

The thunder rolls
And the lightnin' strikes
Another love grows cold
On a sleepless night
As the storm blows on
Out of control
Deep in her heart
The thunder rolls

She's waitin' by the window
When he pulls into the drive
She rushes out to hold him
Thankful he's alive
But on the wind and rain
A strange new perfume blows
And the lightnin' flashes in her eyes
And he knows that she knows
And the thunder rolls
And the thunder rolls

The thunder rolls
And the lightnin' strikes
Another love grows cold
On a sleepless night
As the storm blows on
Out of control
Deep in her heart
The thunder rolls 

[Additional verse in extended version only]

She runs back down the hallway
To the bedroom door
She reaches for the pistol
Kept in the dresser drawer
Tells the lady in the mirror
He won't do this again
Cause tonight will be the last time
She'll wonder where he's been

The thunder rolls
And the lightnin' strikes
Another love grows cold
On a sleepless night
As the storm blows on
Out of control
Deep in her heart
The thunder rolls 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Salon - 01/27/13

If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.


This week was a harsh return to reality! Last weekend, I was in the loovely Ireland. But we flew home Monday and I returned to work on Wednesday. It was wonderful to see my kitty (who survived fine, though not all the fish did...) and husband, but Ireland was absolutely awesome! If you want to read more about it, pop by Purely Vocals' blog to read our post!

Work is busy once again as the students are back.

I've agreed to produce another show at my theater, Steel Magnolias. I love the show, but I'm so tired with everything else... I'm just not sure where the energy (or time) is going to come from. But, once it's done, it will have been a great experience, I expect!

Reading wise, I didn't get much done while in Ireland, or on the plane for that matter. We were just too busy/wiped out. But I've got some reviews on the back burner and have read quite a bit since I've been back.

I'm planning on joining the upcoming A to Z April Challenge, as I did last year...but think I will focus on pictures using my new camera. Should be fun. But I better start creating posts now!

Have a great week!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Saturday Snapshot - 01/26/13

To participate in the Saturday Snapshot meme post a photo that you (or a friend or family member) have taken then leave a direct link to your post in the Mister Linky at the host's site: At Home With Books. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don’t post random photos that you find online...

A little (pre- St. Patrick's Day) Irish fun with a few pics taken from Purely Vocals' weekend performing at the Shannonside Winter Music Festival.

To hear more about the Ireland trip, check out Purely Vocals' Blog post...

Our loovely hotel...

Local stores, cool Europe shot.

The Bunratty Castle, one of the locations where we sang...

Vicki and The Mill Bar event t-shirt - with us performing Sunday @ 4:00pm!

Friday, January 25, 2013

A to Z Challenge 2013 - uh...maybe not...yes...yes!

I visited to the A to Z April Challenge website today, to sign up.  It was already full and closed!

My disappointment is overshadowed only by my relief.

It was a lot of work last year! HA!

I had a great idea about posting photos taken with my new camera, forcing myself to learn how to use it. Maybe I'll do it anyway, just to motivate myself to use my new toy and build some photography skills...

Update... So I got a couple comments that the list that is currently up was from last year! This year's list is opening up in a few days.  Guess that means that I better start taking some pictures...

Update x 2... I've signed up! I am on the hook for 26 presentable photos as....uh...I don't know yet. But I will figure it out!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Riggs

Jacob's grandfather has always told him stories of monsters and peculiar children, offering what has to be fake photographs from his childhood. As Jacob ages, he assumes the stories are meant to entertain and scare him.  But when his grandfather is viciously killed, Jacob learns that perhaps there's more to these stories than expected. And when he informs his family, and ultimately his shrink, that there was a real-live monster at the death, they decide that perhaps Jacob needs a vacation.

They send him off to a small island off the coast of Wales to visit the site of  Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children where his grandfather grew up.  Hoping that Jacob will discover that his grandfather was just imaginative (read, crazy), they can not imagine that not only were his grandfather's stories true, but Jacob is peculiar in his own way.  Ransom Riggs shares Jacob's struggle to accept both his grandfather and himself in this young adult fantasy.

Quite the entertaining, spine-tingling novel for young adults, which adults will enjoy as well.  Enjoyed the ride, despite not really being into the whole monster/fantasy thing.

Unfortunately, the end never really tied up all the loose ends and it was ultimately obvious that the book was one big lead up guessed it, more books. I am not at all a fan of series, was very disappointed and felt cheated.

But it was fun until that point anyway.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Fyrefly's Book Blog
Books YA Love
Katies Book Blog

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 01/22/13

A great lyric is like a great book...

The Babysitter’s Here
Dar Williams, Artist, Writer

Tonight was just great, she taught us the sign for peace
Now she's made us some popcorn, we've turned out the lights
And we're watching movies
I don't understand and she tries to explain
How a spaceship is riding through somebody's brain
And there's blood and guts and oh

She's the best one that we've ever had
She sits on her hair and she's tall as my dad
And she tie-dyed my shirt and she pierced her own ear
And it's peace, man, cool, yeah, the babysitter's here.

Her boyfriend is Tom, but we call him the King of Romance.
He wears an American flag on the butt of his ripped up pants
and will they get married with kids of their own?
He says, "Not if she's going to college we won't"
And he kisses her, oh...
(Someday I'll have a boyfriend just like that.)

She's the best one that we've ever had
She sits on her hair and she's tall as my dad
And she got mad at dinner when Tom drank a beer
But peace, man, cool, hey, the babysitter's here.

And we all went to see her go dance at the high school
We made her a big card
And she told us that she'd be the unicorn wearing the pink
leotard, and
There she was leaping up just like she said
With a sparkling horn coming out of her head
And she's oh, oh, oh, oh
(I can't wait to give her the card, I can't wait to give her the card. She's the best one)

(OK, so the play was called "The Unicorn" and she was the
unicorn so that means that the star was my babysitter.)

But it's Saturday night I can't sleep and we're watching the news.
She says, "Do me a favor don't go with a guy who would make you choose."
And I don't understand and she tries to explain
And all that mascara runs down in her pain
'Cause she's leaving me, oh

You're the best one that we've ever had,
You sit on your hair and you're tall as my dad
And I'll make you a picture for college next year
So hush now, Peace man, the babysitter's here.
The best babysitters here.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance - Hyde

The one bright spot in Cinnie's life is her little brother Bill, until her grandparents decide that Cinnie's mother is not capable of taking care of him. Sadly that is true, her alcoholic mother never cared for Bill (or her for that matter).  Cinnie has always taken care of everyone else. But, with Bill gone, Cinnie is alone and she no longer has any reason to care for anything.

In The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance by Catherine Ryan Hyde, thirteen year old Cinnie faces demons far beyond her age. After the loss of her brother, she slips easily into the only example she knows...drinking to drown your sorrows. And, it is only with the help of new friends that Cinnie is able to discover that her only goal needs to be to care for herself.

Entertaining for a YA adult novel. Cinnie's need to be loved and her efforts to fulfill the missing adult role are very believable. Perhaps a little less believable in how quickly Cinnie goes from "troubled teenaged girl" to "full-blown alcoholic", but having never been in the situation perhaps I don't know enough. It just seems that Cinnie would likely have been better off with really good counseling (her AA sponsor Pat does an admirable job, with little training) rather than AA meetings, but that's just my opinion.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 01/15/13

A great lyric is like a great book...

In preparation of the folk festival ahead of me this week...

Carole King, Writer, Artist

My life has been a tapestry of rich and royal hue 
An everlasting vision of the ever changing view
A wondrous woven magic in bits of blue and gold
A tapestry to feel and see, impossible to hold

Once amid the soft silver sadness in the sky
There came a man of fortune, a drifter passing by
He wore a torn and tattered cloth around his leather hide
And a coat of many colors, yellow-green on either side

He moved with some uncertainty, as if he didn't know
Just what he was there for, or where he ought to go
Once he reached for something golden hanging from a tree
And his hand came down empty

Soon within my tapestry along the rutted road
He sat down on a river rock and turned into a toad
It seemed that he had fallen into someone's wicked spell
And I wept to see him suffer, though I didn't know him well

As I watched in sorrow, there suddenly appeared
A figure gray and ghostly beneath a flowing beard
In times of deepest darkness, I've seen him dressed in black
Now my tapestry's unraveling, he's come to take me back
He's come to take me back.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sunday Salon - 01/13/13

If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.


Another busy week. At work, we are preparing for classes to start next week, which they will have to do without me because I will be leaving for Ireland on Wednesday! 

I did a bit of shopping this weekend to prepare, toiletries, a makeup bag, dual volt hair dryer, etc. I'm very excited, but nervous too. Assuming no issues with the flight, we will arrive Thursday morning about 6:30am. We then have the day to sleep, relax, site see (read this...use my new camera as much as possible), and then enjoy a concert that evening. Friday will be filled with music events, and a couple 2-3 song sets. Saturday we have two 45 minute sets and Sunday an hour set opening for the weekend finale. A busy agenda, but sounds like fun!

I will have to spend the next couple days packing and preparing to go, mentally preparing to leave the kitty.  Hubby will be traveling himself next week, so I will fly in hours after he leaves... Which, if anyone recalls a year ago, will leave us in separate countries for our first wedding anniversary!   Oh well, you do what you've got to do sometimes for performance opportunities.  We'll celebrate when he gets back.

I hope to schedule some posts to hit while I am away, but will have to catch up on you all when I get back.

I just finished reading Breaking Night by Liz Murray this weekend, a good read but fairly heavy. I was looking for something light to get me through the next couple days, so I chose Kitty Cornered by Bob Tarte, cute, funny, light-hearted cat memoir. Perfect way to minimize my stress over the next couple days. Wish I could do the same for work!!

Oh well, hope everyone has a great week! 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Both of Us - O'Neal

He was the good-looking, award-nominated star of movies such as Love Story and Paper Moon. She was the all-American girl, whose flowing blonde locks and perfect body were immortalized in an unforgettable poster, and one of the stars of the popular 1970's detective drama Charlie's Angels. Together, they were one of Hollywood's best known and loved couples.

But Farrah Fawcett and Ryan O'Neal were also human. And despite a deep, deep love, their relationship was fallible. Both came with baggage, particularly Ryan who had two exes and three children (two of whom struggled with addiction, a fate that Fawcett and O'Neal's own son Redmond eventually faced).

In his memoir Both of Us: My Life With Farrah, Ryan O'Neal shares the story of how he found his soul mate, their struggle to build a life and family while living in the public eye, and ultimately how he lost that love, not once but twice.

One never knows what to expect when presented with an actor's memoir. Let's be honest, successful actors do not necessarily make successful writers. This book however is fairly well written though in a very chatty "now-where-was-I?" manner. My only complaint would be his oft-repeated comments on his "upcoming reality series with [his] daughter Tatum" (seriously, was the number of times he had to mentioned it written into his book contract?!).

The brutally honest openness that O'Neal offers not only in his interactions with Farrah but that of his struggle with his children's lives and his failures in raising them, as well as his realistic look at his short-lived success and efforts to revive his career are refreshing and draws the reader deeper into his story. Now in his seventies, he seems to be taking stock of his life while sharing the story of his own Love Story.  Both heartfelt and entertaining, this is a great read.

3/5- Good. Read it, have a good time and move on. Or not.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

Tuesday Tunes - 01/08/13

A great lyric is like a great book...

In keeping with the times, and since I still have not managed to get myself to the movies to see this...

On My Own
From Les Miserables
Composer Claude-Michel Schönberg, Libretto Alain Boublil

And now I'm all alone again nowhere to turn, no one to go to
without a home without a friend without a face to say hello to
And now the night is near
Now I can make believe he's here

Sometimes I walk alone at night, when everybody else is sleeping
I think of him and then I'm happy with the company I'm keeping
The city goes to bed
And I can live inside my head

On my own pretending he's beside me
All alone I walk with him till morning
Without him I feel his arms around me
And when I lose my way I close my eyes and he has found me

In the rain the pavement shines like silver
All the lights are misty in the river
In the darkness, the trees are full of starlight
And all I see is him and me forever and forever 

And I know it's only in my mind
That I'm talking to myself and not to him
And although I know that he is blind
Still I say, there's a way for us

I love him but when the night is over
He is gone, the river's just a river
Without him the world around me changes
The trees are bare and everywhere the streets are full of strangers

I love him but every day I'm learning
All my life I've only been pretending
Without me his world would go on turning
A world that's full of happiness that I have never known

I love him
I love him
I love him
But only on my own

Monday, January 07, 2013

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Salon Sunday - 01/06/13

If you are interested in other Salon posts, visit the Facebook page to get links.


This was a super busy work week, trying to catch up for holiday-vacation in just three days, I was glad when the weekend finally came! Back to work tomorrow for a full week of preparing for the spring semester at Tufts.  

Then next week is short as, believe it or not, I am flying out to Ireland in just ten short days!! That went quick!!  The PV gals are getting very excited, and have had a few extra rehearsals to get ready. We are, of course, ready...but always feel better with some practice under our belts!  The only negative is leaving my kitty for almost a week...I have never done that. Hubby will be with her, so she should be fine. But it still hurts my heart just thinking about it. I truly hope she thinks its just a short time and that it never crosses her mind that I have abandoned her (clearly, I am also hoping that all goes well and that I return safely!)

This past week I was actually able to catch up on some blogging, which was good, and finally discovered how to schedule posts ahead of time. How convenient! I will pre-schedule some posts in case I am unable to post while traveling.

I also got through a couple more books, so I am a bit behind on reviews which is unheard of for me given I read so slowly, but very nice!

Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2013

Challenge Guidelines:

  • Runs January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013 (books read prior to 1/1/2013 do not count towards the challenge). You can join at anytime. Sign up on The Book Vixen’s blog.
  • The goal is to outdo yourself by reading more books in 2013 than you did in 2012. See the different levels below and pick the one that works best for you. You can move up a level as often as you’d like but no moving down.
  • Books can be any format (bound, ebook, audio).
  • Novellas that are at least 100 pages in length, as well as full-length novels, will count for this reading challenge.
  • Re-reads and crossovers from other reading challenges are allowed.
  • Grab the reading challenge button and post this reading challenge on your blog to track your progress. Please include a link back to this sign-up post so others can join the reading challenge too. You do not have to be a book blogger to participate; you can track your progress on Goodreads or LibraryThing.

     Getting my heart rate up – Read 1–5 more books
     Out of breath – Read 6–10 more books
     Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more books
     I’m on fire! – Read 16+ more books

2012's challenge was very close, but I just ran out of time, I ended up three books shy of 2011's totals! So I'm back to give it another shot.

2012's total was (not including children's picture books) 47. My goal was an additional 11-15.

I think I will stick with that goal this year. 

Breaking a sweat - Read 11-15 more books

I may not succeed, but a girl's gotta have a goal, right?! And that is mine. Hopefully the year will be a bit less crazy (no plans to get married again or anything), so let's get to it!!


What's In A Name Challenge 2013

Challenge Guidelines:

Between January 1 and December 31, 2013, read one book in each of the following categories:

1. A book with up or down (or equivalent) in the title: Deep down True, The Girl Below, The Diva Digs up the Dirt 

2. A book with something you'd find in your kitchen in the title: Loose Lips Sink Ships, The Knife of Never Letting Go, Breadcrumbs
3. A book with a party or celebration in the title: A Feast for Crows, A Wedding in Haiti, Cocktail Hour under the Tree of Forgetfulness
4. A book with fire (or equivalent) in the title: Burning for Revenge, Fireworks over Toccoa, Catching Fire
5. A book with an emotion in the title: Baltimore Blues, Say You're Sorry, Dreams of Joy
6. A book with lost or found (or equivalent) in the title: The Book of Lost Fragrances, The World We Found, A Discovery of Witches

The book titles are just suggestions, you can read whatever book you want to fit the category.

Other Things to Know
Books may be any form (audio, print, e-book).
Books may overlap other challenges.
Books may not overlap categories; you need a different book for each category.
Creativity for matching the categories is not only allowed but encouraged.
You do not have to make a list of books before hand.
You do not have to read through the categories in any particular order.

Last year, I did a similar challenge...though I don't think it quite the same one. This year, I am hoping to once again be successful but reach a new group of friends while doing so! So, here I am! And I'm excited to get let's go!

Ebook Challenge 2013

Hosted by Workaday Reads, click here to sign up.

The 2013 Ebook Challenge. Encouraging readers to expand past just physical books to embrace ebooks in all forms, whether on Kindle, Kobo, computer, or any other reader.

Challenge Guidelines:
This challenge will run from Jan 1, 2013 – Dec 31, 2013.
Anyone can join, you don’t need to be a blogger. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to sign-up in the comments. You can post reviews to any book site (i.e. Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Goodreads, etc).
Any genre or length of book counts, as long as it is in ebook format.
You can plan your books in advance or as you read them.
When you sign up in the linky, put the direct link to your post about joining the E-Book Reading Challenge.
You can move up levels, but no moving down.
Sign-ups will be open until Dec 15, 2013, so feel free to join at any time throughout the year.

Floppy disk – 5 ebooks
CD – 10 ebooks
DVD – 25 ebooks
Memory stick – 50 ebooks
Hard drive – 75 ebooks
Server – 100 ebooks
Human brain – 150 ebooks

At the beginning of each month there will be a roundup post for you to add your reviews for that month. The linky will remain open for the remainder of the year, so if you forget, feel free go back and add them when you remember. 

Again, I was quite successful in last year's challenge. Though I got a slow start, and truly began to question if I would be successful, I finally purchased an iPad later in the year and instantly I was on the road to success. I am going to up my challenge this year and choose the 

DVD – 25 ebooks

option. I think this is reasonable, given the number of books I typically read year-wide. And here we go...

Library Books Reading Challege 2013

Library Books Reading Challenge

Hosted by Gina at Book Dragon's Lair

Our love of reading can be expensive! Not only are we purchasing books but we also need space to keep them. 

Challenge Guidelines:
choose a level - you may move up as needed, just not down.
check books out of the library
books may overlap with other challenges
any format allowed (print, ebook, audio)
reviews are not necessary but a list of books read is.
a blog is not necessary, just comment that you want to join in

board book - 3
picture book - 6
early reader - 9
chapter book - 12
middle grades - 18  

young adult - 24
adult - 36
just insert IV - 50

I'm back as 2012's challenge was a total success!

I am a library junkie (or, as I laughingly admit, I'm just too cheap to buy books) so I spend a lot of time at the library or perusing my iPad for good reads. Since I did so well in the 2012 challenge, I am giving it another go! This year, I am going to stay around the same number, given my total reading frequency and chose the

adult - 36 books

level, just enough to challege me but still leave room for ARC and such if they arise.

Let's go! 

A to Z Book Challenge 2013

Hosted by Lindsey at Babies, Books, and Beyond. 

Challenge Guidelines:
 Read 26 books starting with each letter of the alphabet.
From January 1st, 2013 until December 31st, 2013, you can join anytime.
A - Make a list now of 26 books, picking one for each letter of the alphabet. 
For example: A - Atonement B- Black Beauty C - The Count of Monte Cristo D - Dances with Dragons etc.

B - The lazy way (how I do it) : Make a list on your blog from A-Z. Throughout the year, as you go along, add the books you are reading to the list. Hope that by the end of the year you have read one book for each letter. Towards the end of the year, you can check and see which letters you are missing and find books to fit.

Note: Since it is really hard to find titles beginning with X, the letter X just needs to be in the title somewhere.
Bonus! Each month, others challenges will be added to this main challenge. It might to read a book with both A and Z in the title or to read a book with 3 words that all start with the same letter. Check the main site for more info.

I took part in last year's A to Z Challenge and actually was pretty successful. I got all the letters except Q and X (there was a book in my list that had an X in it, so technically, I just needed Q). But I am excited to give it another go! As before, I will be choosing

Option B - The Lazy Way 

as, quite frankly, I don't like being pinned down to what books I MUST read. I would rather find them as I go along.

So, with no further we go!

Friday, January 04, 2013

2012 End-of-Year Challenge Update

It was a year of success and failure, much like life I suppose.

To be fair, I got very close in the two challenges that I didn't complete but just plain ran out of time. Not so bad for a year that included a wedding, a reception six months later, and a huge increase in the gig-activity of Purely Vocals!

Ran out of time on this one, oh well...on to 2013!
Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 2012
(I choose not to include all children's picture books I read)
Challenge: Breaking a sweat – Read 11–15 more 
Books read in 2011: 50
Books read in 2012: 47
Books remaining: 14+ - FAILED!

This on was easy...I love my library! (or I'm too cheap to purchase books)
Support Your Local Library Challenge
Challenge:  Level 4 - Read 37+ library books
Books read: 41
Books Remaining: SUCCESS!!

Another easy one! I am hooked on memoirs.

Memorable Memoirs Reading Challenge 
Challenge:  Memoirist - 10+ memoirs
Books read: 23
Books remaining: SUCCESS!!

A slow start, but with the addition of an iPad this was an easy finish. E-Book Reading Challenge
Challenge:  The Mini E-Book Challenge – Read 5 E-Books
Books read: 12
Books remaining: SUCCESS!!

So close, but X and Q stumped me! I may try this one again as I already have a Q book picked out for next year.
A-Z Book Challenge 2012
Challenge:  B - The Lazy Way
Books read: 24
Books remaining: 2 - FAILED!

A - We the Animals; Awkward Family Photos
B - Alice Bliss; We Bought a Zoo
C - The Boxcar Childre; Cabin
D - Diary of a Player; Diaries & Daydreams
E - Extremely Close, Incredibly Loud
F - Following Atticus; F in Exams
G - The Golden Hat; Giant George
H - The Help; Hazel Creek; Heaven is Here
I - The Invisible Thread; I Got This
J - Waldo, the Jumping Dragon
K - Kisses from Katie
L - A Stolen Life
M - My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me
N - Ninety Days
O - Out of the Blue; The Orchard
P - The Puppy Diaries; Peak; Plain Truth; The Particular Sadness of Chocolate Cake
Q -
R - Rolling Pennies in the Dark
S - The Spiderwick Chronicles; Section 132
T - Trauma: My Life...
U - Up
V - Voices of the Dead; The Vow
W - When She Woke; Wonder; What Teachers Make
X -
Y - The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance Does this mean You'll See me Naked?
Z - Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats; In Zanesville

A little more difficult, but doable. Success is sweet.

What's in a Name Challenge
Names read: 6
Books remaining: Success!!
1. topographical feature (land formation): Hazel Creek; The Orchard
2. something you'd see in the sky: Out of the Blue; Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats; Peak
3. creepy crawly: The Spiderwick Chronicles; Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats
4. type of house: Cabin
5. something you'd carry in your pocket, purse, or backpack: Awkward Family Photos, Rolling Pennies in the Dar; Diary of a Player
6. something you'd find on a calendar: Ninety Days

Complete 2012 List*: 
*(This list contains children's books, but I did not use picture books towards my final count.)

  1. The Puppy Diaries
  2. Out of the Blue
  3. Awkward Family Photos
  4. Rolling Pennies in the Dark
  5. A Stolen Life
  6. Voices of the Dead
  7. When She Woke
  8. Hazel Creek
  9. The Help
  10. Wonder
  11. We the Animals
  12. The Golden Hat
  13. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
  14. The Orchard
  15. The Spiderwick Chronicles: Field Guide
  16. Heaven is Here
  17. The Boxcar Children: Book 1
  18. Following Atticus
  19. Circus
  20. Buster Keeps Warm
  21. Sorcerer's Apprentice
  22. Over and Over
  23. Dinosaur's Halloween
  24. Socks for Supper
  25. Dear Zoo
  26. Sometimes I Pretend
  27. Zipping, Zapping, Zooming Bats
  28. Peter Pan and Wendy
  29. Harry and The Lady Next Door
  30. In Zanesville
  31. One Fine Day
  32. Waldo, The Jumping Dragon
  33. Zoobilee Zoo: The Big Mess
  34. The Big Snow
  35. Sam and Lucy
  36. Go, Dog, Go
  37. The Wonder Book of Cottontails
  38. Clara Joins The Circus
  39. Wild Animals from Alligator to Zebra
  40. Miss Rumphius
  41. F in Exams
  42. Trauma: My Life as an Emergency Surgeon
  43. Diary of a Player
  44. Ninety Days
  45. What Teachers Make
  46. Up
  47. Section 132
  48. The Vow
  49. I Got This
  50. Peak
  51. Plain Truth
  52. The Invisible Thread
  53. Giant George
  54. Alice Bliss
  55. Cabin
  56. Daydreams & Diaries
  57. We Bought A Zoo
  58. Kisses from Katie
  59. My Boyfriend Wrote a Book About Me
  60. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake
  61. Three Happy Birthdays
  62. The Case of the Hungry Stranger
  63. Grandma and Grandpa Smith
  64. The Christmas Day Kitten
  65. Adrift
  66. Whatever Happens to Kittens
  67. The Sneeze
  68. Little Bunny Follows His Nose
  69. The Berenstain Bears and the Slumber Party
  70. The Night Before Christmas
  71. Does This Mean You'll See Me Naked?
  72. Both of Us
  73. A Father's Love
  74. The Year of My Miraculous Reappearance
  75. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
  76. Heads In process