Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

My local library held a “Book a Month” challenge last year. Last January, I grabbed the form, threw it on the fridge and sort of forgot about it after that. Basically, you just had to read at least one book a month (easy, peasy) and record them. Since I keep track of what I read on Goodreads.com, I wasn’t terribly worried about forgetting. The grand prize was an e-reader (of an undisclosed type). 

A few weeks ago, I saw the form and realized that I better get my butt in gear and fill it out. I’m so glad I did, because I got a call a few days ago saying that I won. Woohoo! Since I already have an e-reader, they said that they’d just furnish a giftcard in place of it. I got an email with this inside: 

I wish I had a picture of me to share with it, but this will just have to do for now! 
I was really excited about this (for obvious reasons), because of the “no-book buying” goal. Now I can buy a few e-books and not break my goal. 

Friday Five

It’s late, but now is the first time I’ve had the mental fortitude today to write this post. I apologize in advance for the glum mood I may portray.
1. I woke up this morning to find out that a girl who grew up with my husband and I died of liver failure. That sucked.
2. I had to sit in pointless meetings all day. That sucked more.
3. I found out today that my grad class for this semester (which was supposed to start next week) was cancelled. There’s absolutely nothing in my program that they are offering this semester that I haven’t already taken. So, it appears that I won’t be in grad school this semester after all. I’ll probably have to take 4 classes this summer now. This also sucks.
4. On top of that all I’m not feeling super fabulous. Blah.
5. I have great friends. They called a little while ago and called to see if they could kidnap me and take me to my happy place (the bookstore) and buy me coffee. I of course said yes. The laughs and smiles don’t end the pain, but they sure do help. I’m so thankful for the people I have in my life (in “real life” and my online girls, too.) Hug your people tight tonight, my friends.
And because I don’t like posts without pictures, I’ll throw in a bonus.
6. Last week, my friend Belinda and I were at the bookstore. A man walked in wearing a quite interesting outfit and she proceeded to discreetly elbow me until I noticed him. She was rather amused by it. Me? Not so much. I swear my dad totally has this same outfit. You don’t get the full effect from the picture, but I assure you it was epic. I give you my dad in 10 years:

New Year, New Goals

In December, I did a lot of thinking about whether or not I wanted to have any New Year’s Resolutions or not. I decided that I did need goals. I’m just not sure how many reading-related goals there will be. My husband and I are hoping for some big changes in our household this year (including getting healthy again, of course). I don’t know that I want reading to be something I am having to work for. That may change as the year goes on. I did set a few small goals, though.

1) There will be no buying of books in the Madame Bookworm household for the foreseeable future. I have too many sitting unread on my shelf and frankly, books are expensive. We have some bigger things we are trying to save for. While buying books is certainly fun, it’s not a necessity. (Gasp!)

2) I will try to stay caught up with reviews on the blog, but I will not let it become a burden or get in the way of my other big goals. Let’s face it: blogging is WAY more fun that hitting the gym. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really make for a very healthy bookworm, now does it?

3) I will try to read more Middle Grade lit. I have a deep love for YA, but I teach Middle Graders and I will likely be a librarian in an Elem/MS setting, so it’s important that I read it. Plus, I’ll be taking an Advanced Children’s Lit class this spring, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more of it here on the blog.

Okay reader friends, that’s all I have for now. What bookish goals did you set for yourself this year?

Friday five

Holy crap, is it Friday already? No bueno. (I’m on break or this would normally be MUY BUENO)

1. I’ve really been loving this Christmas break, but I’ve been lamenting over the fact that it may be my last one. I love teaching, but I’m just not sure how much longer I can do it in the current state of our education system. I just can’t stay with something I can’t support. That’s a whole other blog post that I won’t go into for now, though.

2. The past few days, my best friend from childhood came to stay. It’s been really fun having her around. We haven’t lived in the same town for over a decade, but it’s pretty easy to pick right up with her. Yesterday we were goofing around and taking some pictures for fun. Here is one for you:

3. I had a few library fines this week. I sort of feel like this makes me a terrible book nerd. On the other hand, it’s a little like making a small donation to the library. It’s for a good cause, right?

4. I can’t seem to finish any books lately. I’m so indecisive. I start reading one thing on my Nook and then I remember that I have a physical book that I need to read. Then, I have a new book I want to download. Someday, I’ll actually finish one. Maybe that’s why I’ve only finished 39 books this year. Oh yeah…working full time and being a full time grad student might have something to do with it.
5. I’m really struggling to find things to write this week. No lie, this took me like 45 minutes to complete because I’m so ADD this morning. So, I’ll leave you with the link to my Goodreads shelf for this year:

my 2011-reads shelf:

Oh happy day!

I know I’ve been delinquent as of late, other than posting a few holiday tidings and whatnot, but I’ve had good reason. My husband, who from this point forward shall be referred to as THE AWESOME HUSBAND (or Hottie McGinger as one of my good friends likes to call him), bought me a Nook Tablet for Christmas. He had already surprised me by replacing the lost diamond in my engagement ring (long story) with a bigger, sparklier one, so I wasn’t really expecting anything else. Then, a present magically appeared for me with this on it:

Best of 2011

2011 was a slow reading year for me. I started graduate school, which really left me a lot less time to just sit and veg with a book. You’d think studying to be a librarian would have the opposite effect, right? 

Here are my top 5 books for 2011 (in no specific order):

Anna and the French Kiss1. Anna and the French Kiss

Boarding School, English boys, romance. This book has it all. Be warned though: Etienne St. Clair may ruin all other fictional love interests for you for a while. 
In one word: SWOON!
2. Lola and the Boy Next Door
Oh, Cricket Bell… I forgive you for your less-than-stellar name. You still win the vote for Best Boy Next Door (this year, anyway). 
Divergent3. Divergent
Veronica Roth makes me feel highly inadequate as a writer/human being. She wrote this book before she even thought of graduating from college. What the heck was I doing when I was 21? Oh yeah…
Hourglass4. Hourglass
Emerson might be one of my new favorite female protagonists. I could so be her best friend. Sign me up for the next one in this series.
The Book Thief5. The Book Thief
I have no words that can do this book justice. It was hauntingly beautiful. I’m still trying to digest it all. 
It’s probably a good thing that Stephanie Perkins didn’t have any other novels published this year, or the other books wouldn’t have a chance. 
If I’m not careful, I may have to rename this blog something like “All Stephanie Perkins, All the time.” I don’t think I’m ready to reach that level of creepy stalker just quite yet. 
What were your favorite books of 2011?

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyous Kwanzaa, Happy Hanukkah, and a Rockin’ Festivus from Madame Bookworm & family to all my lovely readers!

I hope this holiday season finds you happy, healthy, and surrounded by tons of great books. That’s how I plan to spend it. 

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