Book Reviews by Today, I Read…

A Continuous Book Review and Vocabulary Assignment

April 17

Comments: 4

Giveaway: Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion

by Ann-Katrina

Warm Bodies coverI mentioned it last month, but now the time has finally arrived. I’m giving away a copy of Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies, a twisted and surprisingly poignant zombie love story. Trust me, this is a book you want to read.

Marion uses excellent, sometimes poetic and often hilarious, prose to tell the story of ‘R’, a zombie trying to make sense of his existence. When he eats the brain of a man named Perry, he begins to experience Perry’s memories. Part of those memories include Perry’s girlfriend Julie. ‘R’ subsequently saves Julie and what happens next is an inexplicable connection that will have you glued to the pages.

Well, enough gushing about the book, on to the giveaway details. Rather than have the standard “leave a comment” to enter, I’m mixing things up a bit. For this giveaway, I’d like you to write a zombie haiku!

Yep. You read right. A zombie haiku. To enter, leave a comment with your haiku below.

In case you aren’t sure what a haiku is, it’s a short poem consisting of 3 lines. The first line contains 5 syllables, the second 7 syllables, and the final 5 syllables. Your haiku can be poignant or funny, gross or silly, just have fun with it. No profanity, please. Or, if you absolutely must include a profane word for effect, euphemize it. (Example: s**t.) Thanks.

This giveaway will run until 11:59PM EST April 26, 2011. You can enter as many haikus as you can write (however, duplicate or obviously spam haikus will not be eligible). For extra entries, you can also tweet about this giveaway or blog about it—just make sure to come back and leave a comment with a link to your tweet or blog post.

All entrants must use a legitimate email address (otherwise they’ll be no way to contact you if you win). If you do not have a website or blog, leave the space for a URL blank.

To finish up, there are a couple stipulations: You must be at least 13 years old to enter and the giveaway is open to those with a U.S. mailing address. And if you have any questions, just ask.

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October 9

Comments: 2

Quiet, Read-a-Thon, NaNoWriMo, and Changes

by Ann-Katrina

Solitary Bench It’s been quiet around here.

Had an unscheduled hiatus due to some familial duties. I’ve still been reading though (and updating my 2010 reading list if you’re curious), just haven’t been blogging about it.

Slowly things are getting back to normal so the blogging should pick up soon.

I had planned to do the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon this year—even had a book pool filled with books perfect for this Halloween season picked out—but I’d thought it was tomorrow. Turns out I was wrong and it was today. To all those officially participating in the read-a-thon, I’m there with you in spirit, reading unofficially. Press on, have fun, read lots. :)

For the infinitely curious, here’s a small sampling of my planned pool:

Soulstice, The Devouring Book 2Tales from the Odyssey Book 2Solitary by Travis ThrasherEmpty by Suzanne WeynThe Thief Lord by Cornelia FunkeOne Across, Two Down / The Face of Trespass / Make Death Love Me by Ruth Rendell

Plus a few short stories thrown in for good measure, selected from Nightmares & Dreamscapes by Stephen King.

NaNoWriMo 2010 ParticipantAnd can you believe it’s October already? That means NaNoWriMo is less than a month away. I thought about whether I’d like to participate this year, and the answer is of course yes. It’s simply too hard to resist.

Although I’ve been feeling the creative juices lately, I hadn’t been writing as much. I’d jot a quick note here or there, or a sentence or two, but nothing serious. Instead I’ve been working mainly on short stories or outlines for longer stories. NaNoWriMo will give me an opportunity to take one of those seedling ideas and transform it into a shitty first draft.

Again I plan to use the Liquid Story Binder software. (Jesse might even give the same 50% discount throughout the month of November that he did last year, so if you haven’t already, it’s time to set your sights on it.) Although I have a fairly good system worked out for new novels, I’m planning to tweak that system to incorporate more Builders (which I absolutely love for writing short stories).

But, for the non-writerly types, I plan to keep this blog mainly about books and my readings and other musings and keep all my writing and NaNoWriMo stuff to my actual writing blog (which is in sore need of an update or three).

Finally, this has been clunking around in my head for some time now, but I’m planning a number of changes around the blog. The first of which might be the design. Although I’ve grown quite fond of it, I think it’s about time to change the look, especially since I’m planning to expand the blog a bit.

Which brings me to my second point: I’m planning to expand the blog a bit. Right now I have a sidebar which lists the books I’m “currently” reading and books which I’ve “recently” read, but they’re dreadfully out of date. Rather than fight with them every so often, I plan to move the “currently” reading section to its own page where I’ll just list my entire TBR pile. I’ll keep the recently read section and update it periodically.

Also, I’ll be starting up a Comment Rewards program. Basically, I have a ton of books which need new loving homes. Some I’ll inevitably donate, but I figure my readers might enjoy some of them. So I’ll set up a comments rewards bookshelf where I’ll select a commenter at random once every couple of weeks to choose a book from the shelf.

All commenters are eligible (as long as a valid email address was provided during commenting), past or present or future. More comments equal more chances to be chosen. That’s it. Assuming all goes well, it will become a long term feature of the blog. I’ll make a formal announcement post when I’m rolling out with it.

And that…is the update.

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April 21

Comments: 15

[CLOSED] Giveaway: Morpheus Road: The Light by D. J. MacHale

by Ann-Katrina

This post will be sticky until the contest is over. Scroll down to read the new stuff. :)

Morpheus Road: The Light In my recent review of Morpheus Road: The Light by D. J. MacHale, I basically gushed. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to gush about a horror novel. And thanks to the wonderful book fairies at Simon & Schuster, I’m able to giveaway 5 copies of the finished book. (Hooray for book fairies!!)

The last few giveaways I’ve held, I’ve asked you to help me create a story, but this time around, I’m going to be different…

One common thread throughout this book was fear, complete and utter.

Imagine for a moment that there was an entity which could climb inside your head and make you believe the most heinous things are happening all around you. What would you see? What is that deep dark fear lurking in the outer reaches of your mind?

To enter the giveaway, all you need to do is leave a comment answering the question above. If you’d like extra entries, there’s a couple ways you can do it:

  • Follow me on Twitter +1
  • Tweet about the giveaway (include a link to your tweet in the comments) +2
  • Add a link to the giveaway in your sidebar +2
  • Blog about the giveaway +3
  • Become a confirmed newsletter subscriber +3
  • Leave a comment on the Morpheus Road: The Light review +1
    (No spammy comments please. Spamminess of comments measured at my sole discretion.)

Entrants must be at least 13 years old. The contest is open only to residents of the U.S. and Canada. (My apologies to my international readers, but I’m limited by the publisher’s shipping restrictions.) The contest is open until 12 Midnight EST on Sunday May 16th, 2010. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email me.

15 Comments, add yours...

March 22

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More Padded Journal Goodness

by Ann-Katrina

Last week I had an opportunity to make a couple more padded journals. They were quick and helped to calm my nerves. (And more conservative than my previous creations.)

Blue Padded Journal White and Green Pattern Padded Journal

The blue one I made for my sister and the white with green stripes, I made for Belle (aka Ms. Bookish).

If you’d like me to make a padded journal for you, there’s still time to enter the giveaway. :)

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March 12

Comments: 11

[CLOSED] Giveaway: Padded Journals (Are A Lot Like Padded Cells)

by Ann-Katrina

I collect journals. I have at least a hundred. And, generally, I don’t even write in them. (It’s a sickness, I know.) So, one would think the last thing I needed was a project involving more journals. But that’s precisely what’s happened.

In some roundabout way, I landed on a YouTube video of Raven-Symone making a padded journal.

And that was the beginning of the end, because it was also when I remembered I had a bunch of fabric left over from my wannabe fashion designer and plenty of glue sticks and ribbon from my crafty diva phases.

So far I’ve already made two journals (and they were a hoot), with plenty more in the works.

Padded Journals & Fabric
You can click on the picture for a ginormous view

I’ve been using the first journal (the black & white leopard print) as my everyday random thoughts journal and the second (the orange plaid) as my random book notes and grocery list journal.

Frankly, I have no idea what I could use the remaining journals I plan to create for. In that vein, I thought I’d reach out to you. Maybe you could use one to pen the next great memoir. Just don’t forget me when you become rich and famous and have a movie made out of your life.

If you’d like me to make you a padded journal, just leave me a quick comment. In two weeks, I’ll select two* people randomly to choose the desired fabric and ribbon and I’ll get to gluin’. Yes, international readers may partake in the fun. :)

I can’t take all the credit for this idea, though. It was a post over at Ms. Bookish that got the wheels turning. I offered to make one for Belle, fully expecting her to laugh at me, but she said she was serious about wanting one and then I thought, I wonder if anyone else would be interested in receiving a padded journal.

(*I’d love to make and send a journal to everyone who asks for one, but I do have budgetary constraints. Sorry.)

11 Comments, add yours...


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