Top Ten Characters I’d Want With Me On A Deserted Island

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Photograph by Ronald Saunders, modified under CC BY-SA 2.0. 1. Mark Watney from The Martian by Andy Weir Watney survived solitude on MARS, MacGyver-style. I'd feel much better having someone like him along on a deserted island, ready to handle anything that came our way, even with limited supplies. 2. Allan Karlsson from The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson I love vodka. Allan loves vodka even more, and no matter where in the world he is, he always seems to find some. Plus, he's full of great stories. 3. The alien who took the form of Professor Andrew Martin from The Humans by…

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Top Ten Blogging Confessions

Top Ten Blogging Confessions 1. I don't use a star rating system on my blog, because I'm afraid it would overshadow what I have to say about the book. But I admit, I find star ratings handy on sites such as Goodreads or Amazon, and I use them as a starting place when deciding whether or not to look further into a book. 2. I tend to get stuck in an adjective rut, overusing the same few again and again, so I regularly use a thesaurus. I've been known to spend an embarrassing amount of time searching for the adjective, the one which perfectly reflects how I feel. 3. Reading chunksters causes me to fall behind on blog posts. I don't…

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Armchair BEA: Interview with Kate Barber, Book Artist

A musician friend of mine (Hi, Patrick!) came through town a few weeks ago, and I had the opportunity to get to know his wife a bit better. Kate just finished up a degree in something I think most (if not all) of us book lovers will find absolutely fascinating: Book Arts. Visit Kate Barber's website to see stunning examples of her work. You can also visit her blog, Between the Pages, which is chock full of photos and descriptions of some of the processes involved in creating books. Today we are free to choose our own topic for Armchair BEA, so I asked Kate if I could interview her with all many of the questions I had swimming about in my…

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Armchair BEA: Beyond the Borders

Design by Amber of Shelf NotesIt’s time to step outside your comfort zone, outside your borders, or outside of your own country or culture. Tell us about the books that transported you to a different world, taught you about a different culture, and/or helped you step into the shoes of someone different from you. What impacted you the most about this book? What books would you recommend to others who are ready or not ready to step over the line? In essence, let’s start the conversation about diversity and keep it going! To me, reading diversely means being brought into the experiences of characters who are different from me, whether that difference is one of race, culture, or even socioeconomic status.…

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Armchair BEA: Novellas & Short Stories Recommendations

Design by Amber of Shelf NotesToday we're giving love to those little stories in our lives. These are my recommendations for short story collections and novellas by genre. I'm a huge fan of shorts, so I got a little carried away when working on this topic. (Also, I promise I don't work for CCLaP or anything! They just publish a lot of short works, and I've enjoyed everything I've read so far). I've divided my recommendations into three categories: coming of age literary fiction, sci-fi and speculative fiction, and quirky reads with elements of surrealism and magical realism.Adé: A Love Story by Rebecca Walker - American & Swahili Muslim fall in loveWomen Float by Maureen Foley - complex female relationshipsfour sparks…

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Bout of Books 10 Wrap Up

My goals for Bout of Books 10 were:- Read. A lot.- Participate in at least one Twitter chat- Participate in at least one challenge- Find a new-to-me blog to followI had a fantastic readathon! I read 1,225 pages and finished 6 books (don't be too impressed, there were novellas thrown in to the mix). I participated in three Twitter chats, a bunch of challenges, and I started following shoutame reads.Here are the books I completed last week:If I had to pick a favorite from the week, it would be The Unfinished Child, hands down.As for my current read, I'm about halfway through The Year She Left Us by Kathryn Ma. After that, I'll probably start The Sixteenth of June by Maya…

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Bout of Books 10 Challenge: Spell It Out

This challenge is hosted by kimberlyfaye reads. Use the first letter in any book you’ve read or want to read to spell out a word. You can choose first name, initials, your birthday month, or your zodiac sign.This challenge ended up being a lot of fun! I originally wanted to use books by my favorite author. Unfortunately, I was missing a couple of letters when I tried to do this in English. When I switched to the Japanese titles, it was easy peasy! Here's my name spelled out in Haruki Murakami titles:

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Bout of Books 10 Challenge: Books You’re Looking Forward To

This challenge is being hosted by Shannon at River City Reading. The challenge is quite simple: create a list of titles you're looking forward to reading. They can be upcoming titles in a specific season, titles that have been on your shelves, it's up to you!I'm looking forward to these three music-related non-fiction titles:Violins of Hope by James A. GrymesThe Late Starters Orchestra by Ari L. GoldmanThe Day I Almost Destroyed the Boston Symphony by John Sant'AmbrogioAs well as these three novels:2 A.M. at The Cat's Pajamas by Marie-Helene BertinoWorld of Trouble: The Last Policeman Book III by Ben H. WintersColorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

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Pensacola Flood Damage: Let’s Help Open Books

Most of you probably heard on the news that we had a huge storm Tuesday night here in Pensacola, with flooding in many areas of the city. Last week I posted about a wonderful not-for-profit bookstore in town, Open Books, a prison book project. They are completely volunteer; no one there gets paid. 100% of their proceeds go to sending books free of charge to prisoners throughout the state of Florida.Open Books had extensive damage to the store. They lost close to 3,000 books. The photos below were shared on their Facebook page:Right now they are cleaning up and drying things out. What they really need right now is money. They will be needing to replace bookshelves, their computer, making…

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