Tag Archives: reading

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Happy Wednesday, November 13, Folks!

I haven’t posted a weekly in a while so here goes! Every week Jill at Breaking the Spine hosts ‘Waiting on’ Wednesday. Instead of talking about books that are soon-to-be released I think I will talk about books already on my shelf that I’m looking forward to starting or finishing.

1. Graceling – This book has been staring me in the face for months now – I really want to know how good it is and delve into the world of fantasy this Christmas.

2. The Book Thief I’ve heard so many wonderful things about this one. It’s coming out as a movie soon so Lauren gave me a copy to read… I am ashamed to say I haven’t even started it yet! Sooooooon.

3. Eragon When I book-binged this summer and purchased 15 books in 2 weeks – this was one of them. The entire Inheritance series costs $60 so even though my intention is to read them all, I only bought Eragon and I really want to read it!

4. Sula This Nobel Prize winning novel by Toni Morrison was assigned for my American Lit class. I’ve started it, but we don’t begin analyzing it until next week so I hope to finish this one by Sunday! Such a beautifully written novel.

5. Handmaid’s Tale Margaret Atwood’s novel is on my book list for January 2014 for my Canadian Literature class. I’m pretty curious as to what discussion will come out of this novel in our class.

 

Which books are you looking forward to reading in the coming weeks/New Year? Loop it back.

S

 

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What a surprise! I had no idea this was even a thing until I was nominated by my dear friend Lauren @ Books, Tea & Me. First, a little background on this award and what I must do to formally accept it.

The purpose of this award is to recognize emerging bloggers and also to encourage people to visit and interact with other bloggers. There are a few rules to accepting the award.

• Each nominee must link back to the person who nominated them.
• Answer the 10 questions which are given to you by the nominator.
• Nominate 10 other bloggers for this award who have less than 200 followers.
• Create 10 questions for your nominees to answer.
• Let the nominees know that they have been nominated by going to their blog and notifying them.

Nominator’s Questions

1. Is there a book that you tell people you’ve read but honestly have not?
B is going to hate me for this one – but I actually have never finished reading Under the Dome by Stephen King… so I’m not sure how the TV show ends or what the dome is all about. Sorry baby!

2.  If you could trade places with any famous person for one day, who would it be?
I would love to spend an evening listening and watching Ella Fitzgerald sing on stage. I don’t know names, but whoever had the chance to listen to her amazing talent for an evening.

3. What is your most frustrating book-related pet peeve?
I can’t stand it when there are multiple, two or three-page chapter. Please, just stay focused long enough to get something out!

4. If you could change one event in the history of fiction, what would it be?
I wish they hadn’t made Harry Potter books into movies. I can’t even remember how I used to picture Harry and his friends before Daniel Radcliffe was cast as HP.

5. What is your guilty pleasure?
I smoke the occasionally joint – why? Because I can and I like it ^_^

6. Which is your favorite season?
I love spring, but here in Calgary we usually have winter right up to the day before Stampede starts in July. This year Fall has been beautiful, there’s something magical about seeing everything shut down for Winter. I’ll say Fall 🙂

7. Which fictional character do you relate to?
Not from a book – but I feel like Monica Gellar (Friends) and I are kindred spirits. I’m anal and everyone I love knows it and accepts it. Ultimately all we want is to be successful in a career, get married, have babies, and live a beautifully structured life.

8. If you had to choose one genre (like world building, emotional realistic) to be stuck reading your entire life, which would it be?
This is a tough question… I think I’d go with historical fiction. Revolution, The Girl You Left Behind, Sarah’s Key, etc. All fantastic reads and I’m always on the hunt for more!

9. Name five books you’d recommend to turn one into a book- lover.
City of Bones, Me Before You, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, Revolution, and, 1984 (this last one is a heavy read, but a classic that is so intriguing it’ll turn any ‘non-reader’ into a lover of literature!!)

10. If you could be anyone from The Hunger Games except for Katniss, who would you be?
Oh boy.. probably Effie Trinket. Although she drives you crazy, you can’t help but admire her upbeat attitude towards everything. Plus she dresses in such a neat way 🙂

This next part was really tough! There are so many people I’d love to nominate for this award. To accept the award simply follow the steps listed above – my questions for you are below 🙂  Afterthought: I’m going to leave some blank so I can nominate some later this year or next.

My nominations ❤

1. Liza @ Classy Cat Books – this blog is impressive! Liza has reviewed at least 30 books since I started following her blog and every review is insightful and informative.

2. Helen – Helen has been a friend of the family for a long time now and even though I’m sure she has more than 200 followers I wanted to spread the love 🙂

3. Mo @ Mo_Books – I recently started following Mo’s blog. I love how involved in the book community she is. I should follow her lead and get more involved in discussions around the interwebs.

4. The lovelies @ Casual Readers – I was looking for a book club blog to follow for a long time. They started as a group on Goodreads and now I’m hoping to hop into that group and join them on their casual reading adventures! Ps. There ain’t nothing casual about how much these guys read.. wowza!

5. Kayla @ The Thousand Lives – Girl, you’ve probably been nominated 1000 times but you’re seriously one of my favourite bloggers. Super sweet and such a great writer!

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Questions for those nominated…

1. If you could live in the setting of one novel, which one would you choose?

2. You must choose three things to take to a deserted island – what would you take?

3. What is your most prized possession?

4. If you could go back in time and relive one memory, what would it be?

5. What is your favourite song?

6. Who is your best friend? What is he/she like?

7. Where was the last place you went on vacation?

8. Who would you most want to sit down and have dinner with?

9. Why did you start blogging?

10. When is your birthday? (just because I probably didn’t know until now…!)

Now I must go and spread the love and let the lovelies know I think they’re blogs are Liebster worthy!

S

Wednesday (Morning)

Good Morning Everyone,

I’m writing from my first class of the day – American Lit from 1945 to present. It’s just about to start, but I wanted to post something quickly to say hi and kind of explain where I’m at with blogging right now.

Everything takes a back seat when compared to school. My classes come first this year and I’m pushing so hard to become an English major – my gpa needs to be as close to perfect as possible. Whilst this means excelling at school and putting my social life low on my priority list, I realize that it’s only for 4 months and that it is totally worth it. Hopefully in a few weeks I’ll have my schedule down and I’ll be able to balance things out – but for right now I have to give myself time to settle into school.

That being said, I am still reading (mainly for school) but because my courses are mostly based around critical analyses of the works, I will be updating my Goodreads with my personal responses to many of the pieces.

I hope you all don’t drift away – I’m really too attached  to this blog to leave it alone for too long. Hope to keep seeing all of your wonderful posts 🙂

 

S

School :D

You probably can’t tell but I am so excited that classes start today (for me on the 9th). I’m going down to campus just to see familiar faces, and walk amongst the buzz of students. There’s nothing quite like the first day of school. I wish I had this passion for academia back in Jr. High or High School, but I suppose there are some things you grow into.

You may have noticed I have been struggling to get through the fourth book of The Mortal Instrument series. I’ve been busier than ever for two weeks now and I just haven’t felt like reading this one. I don’t have the burning desire, to pick it up and finish it, like I had with the first one. I’ve been telling myself to just get on and finish it, but then last night I reviewed the course outline for one of my English classes – American Literature from 1945 – Present. On the reading list? In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, Sula by Toni Morrison, and The Road by Cormac McCarthy. Have you read any of these books? Did you enjoy them? I’ve got to go and purchase Capote’s book because the course outline menacingly says ‘read prologue thoroughly before Monday’s class – if you do not read it, do not come.’ I’m going to love this prof…

It’s sad that my YA books must take the shelf for a few months, but I’m so excited to open my mind as a reader. I think it will be good for me to discuss the books I’m reading in school on this blog. I’ll probably get more discussion out of you wonderful people than the dunces in my class. Hm…too negative too soon?

 

S

waiting-wednesday

This week I decided to post my very first “Waiting On” Wednesday post which is hosted by the lovely Jill @ Breaking the Spine. I have a list of books that I’m looking forward to getting my hands on, so as each one gets closer to being released I’ll post a new WoW thread. My first can’t-wait-to-read book is…

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King

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Ever since reading The Shining, and being truly too scared to fall asleep at times, I’ve wondered what happened to innocent little Danny Torrance. On September 24th (and yes it is already on my Goodreads ‘to-read’ list) I’ll finally be able to get to know the adult now known as Dan. The following synopsis is straight from King’s website, found here.

On highways across America, a tribe of people called The True Knot travel in search of sustenance. They look harmless—mostly old, lots of polyester, and married to their RVs. But as Dan Torrance knows, and tween Abra Stone learns, The True Knot are quasi-immortal, living off the “steam” that children with the “shining” produce when they are slowly tortured to death.

Haunted by the inhabitants of the Overlook Hotel where he spent one horrific childhood year, Dan has been drifting for decades, desperate to shed his father’s legacy of despair, alcoholism, and violence. Finally, he settles in a New Hampshire town, an AA community that sustains him, and a job at a nursing home where his remnant “shining” power provides the crucial final comfort to the dying. Aided by a prescient cat, he becomes “Doctor Sleep.”

Then Dan meets the evanescent Abra Stone, and it is her spectacular gift, the brightest shining ever seen, that reignites Dan’s own demons and summons him to a battle for Abra’s soul and survival. This is an epic war between good and evil, a gory, glorious story that will thrill the millions of hyper-devoted readers of The Shining and wildly satisfy anyone new to the territory of this icon in the King canon.

Eep! How exciting!

S

Through the Years in Books

I’ve been working on this post for about two weeks now. I wanted to give everyone a brief history of myself as a reader, and an even briefer look at me as a person. How I’ve grown and overcome some tricky points in my childhood. How I’ve become the person I am today!

Here goes nothing…

My dad made it a priority to get me reading from a very young age. By three I was reading aloud every night with him and not long after that I was reading to him whilst he fell asleep on the bed next to me. My whole family helped me with my reading – it was something we used to bond with each other. One of the first Mervyn Mousebooks I remember reading was Mervyn the Mouse. It’s a cute book with two stories inside, all told in rhyme, about a field mouse who has his tale chopped off by a combine harvester and then must learn to deal with the taunting that follows. I wrote a paper on it last year for my Children’s Literature class and got to re-live the memories of me sitting with my granddad in his chair and reading the two stories in this little tattered book.

The next big event in books I remember was Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. It was first published when I was 7. My Primary 4 teacher, Mrs. Murray, sat us all down in a circle and began to read to us. I remember her holding the hardback version of the book and reading a chapter a day to us. After a few days I begged my parents to buy me my own copy so that I could read along with her, but I ended up finishing the book about a week later, well before Mrs. Murray had finished reading to the class. It changed my life. Every year from 1997 to 2000 I would await the next book hoping that it would not disappoint. And it never did. At this time in my life I was living in Scotland but had just found out that the next year my parents and I would be moving to Canada. In 2001, I went to see the first Harry PotterHP 1 movies in the cinema – it was the first time I’d ever seen a movie in IMAX and it was spectacular. The years that followed brought the last few years of the Harry Potter series and, of course, the movies that accompanied. Whilst I enjoyed the movies, I wish they had left them to the imagination of children. Now I can’t help but see Daniel Radcliffe in my head as HP.

During my HP years I read other things, of course, like the Josie Smith books (when I was between 6 and 10) and then I moved onto some of Jacqueline Smith’s books, which used humor and great friendships to battle tough subjects that teenagers may face (like abuse, friends turning on each other, sex, divorce, etc). I think because I was an only child, I had a lot more opportunities to read than some of my friends who had bigger families. I think of that as a blessing and a curse. Too much time on my hands meant that, yes, I did get to read a lot, but I also never learned how to interact with children my age and found myself not being able to relate to anything going on with my school friends.

When I turned 13 I was living in Labrador, and struggling in school. I had found the move to be quite photo(10)a shock, and had a hard time settling in and making friends. My grade seven teacher, Mr. John Hicks, believed in me. Being the English teacher, John and his wife, Kathleen, who was the music teacher, helped me see the potential in my writing and my singing – two of my favourite things in life. I was cast in the school musical two years in a row, and I began writing in a diary. I’ve had about seven of them since. All bound in black leather with different scribbles on the front, usually in nail polish – weird? Over the years I’ve lost track of them (how terrifying) but I have the first one and the most recent few. Sometimes I’ll re-read just to remember how far I’ve come.

A book that sticks out for me during that time is Go Ask Alice. Whether the diary is real or not, I remember reading it and thinking: ‘Wow, Sarah. Your life is pretty chill compared to this girl’s.’ I then read other “dark” books similar to this one like It Happened to Nancy, also by Beatrice Sparks. Looking back I feel like these books are a bit weird to read and I probably wouldn’t read them now.

During my first school year in Calgary I read Homecoming by Cynthia Voigt, which turned out to be HomecomingByCynthiaVoigtone of the best books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. We discussed it so much in class that I couldn’t possibly read it again and just simply enjoy the story, which is a shame, but still.. Its on my ‘favourites’ list. My grandma visited Calgary this year for the first time and she borrowed it from my shelf a few days before she went home. I didn’t realize until later that she had written a card, apologizing for taking my book hostage, and had left it where the book used to sit. She loved Dicey and her family’s tale so much that she read the next couple in The Tillerman Series and sent them to me from across the pond!

I went through a long phase of not reading and focused on singing and musical theatre. I spent hours laying in a dark room listening to soundtracks of Chicago, Wicked, Rent, Spring Awakening, Phantom of the Opera, Cats. I wanted to sing on Broadway. That was my dream. Although I didn’t make it I did perform here in Calgary. A lot. With a group called Stagestruck – it was a good time in my life. I was happy and I had a group of friends who were my age and who had similar interests. Everything took a downward spiral when the time to decide what I wanted out of high school came. I left Stagestruck and sort of lost my grip on who I was.

But High School changed everything…

I followed the path of singing again and sang with the school choir and in the Performing Arts’ twilight1Chamber Choir, which I successfully auditioned for. Slowly I gained confidence and with that came a rekindled love affair with reading. I started reading Twilight – it was the first time since Harry Potter that I truly loved characters and cared about what happened to them. Edward became my biggest crush (other than Joel.. tall and dorky and musical, he was shocked when I told him, but it ended up being okay – we’re still friends!) and all I wanted was to continue reading all about Edward, Bella, and Jacob. Those books molded the way I looked at guys. I wanted someone strong, who was willing to love me against all odds and fight for me, if needed. A blend of Edward and Jacob, if you will.

In my mind I blur the time between The Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games. I always think they were one-right-after-the-other, but there was a substantial gap between the two. I didn’t read The Hunger Games until a friend of mine lent me her copy whilst we were lounging on a beach in Mexico. I have to say that after reading the first couple chapters I found it dull and boring. Eep! Oh no! The only reason I started it at all was because I had finished reading Sarah’s Key and The Help, and Elixir (which is actually a really good read) and I needed something to do so I wouldn’t just sleep away the sunny days. I put Hunger Games on a back burner until the summer of 2012. I was that person… The one that only reads the books because they heard the movie was coming out, and the trailer looked cool. After finishing it in a day, and after realizing that I had made a huge mistake, I continued to read the other two books and finished within a few days. Amaaaazzing! Obviously everyone has reviewed these books so I feel like I might as well not bother, but a quick word of advice to anyone who hasn’t read them yet. Please. Read them. After seeing the trailer yesterday when I went to see Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (movie review here), I can’t encourage you enough to read the books and love them before the movies taint your imagination.

Graduated and heading for University…1174628_10153155963175364_754860065_n

As strange as it is to admit, I haven’t come all that far since high school. I’m not really close to finishing University, although I’ve finally figured out what I’d like to study, but that’s okay. Some days I get extremely frustrated with myself and think about where I could be. But whats the point in that? I am where I am, and the only choices I have are ones regarding tomorrow and the next day. I’m excited to be writing and reading again. As you can see, with this blog I plan to read so much that I forget whether I’m a shadowhunter or a young girl learning her, or just a girl who loves to blog and who is going to university and planning her future. Whatever the future holds I’m looking forward and upward.

Thanks for reading 🙂

Sidenote: I just gave B the link to this blog.. I hope he still loves me after reading it all [insert nervous laughter here]

S

BBAA (Book Buying Addictions Anonymous)

Hi. My name is Sarah and it has been 6 1/2 hours since I last purchased a book.

ImageAgh! I saw this one on sale today and had to buy it. I blame B. He asked me if I wanted to meander through the tall shelves of Chapters with his hand in mine and a Starbucks in the other. How could I say no?

I had to pick this one up after hearing people describe it as ‘the book to start your addiction with fantasy’ Again, how could I say no? Every time I find myself with a few extra dollars to my name I try to see what I can get to add to my ever-growing library. I can’t wait to have a house with floor to ceiling bookcases in one room.

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I hope everyone had as good a weekend as I did.

S

A to Z Bookish Survey

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After seeing this survey pop up on many of my favourite blogs (Liza, Lauren, and, from the survey creator herself, Jamie) I decided to give it a try.

Author you’ve read the most books from:

Jacqueline Wilson: My entire childhood was shaped by her books. I just finished going through Goodreads checking them all off as ‘read’ its surprising how many I remember and want to re-read.

Best Sequel Ever: 

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire. Even though it took me a long time to get into this book, I believe it is one of the most well thought out books ever written.

Currently Reading:

City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Oh I’m a plain Jane. Usually water as I’m trying to not drink my limited calories away!

E-reader or Physical Book?

I still have yet to finish a book on an e-reader. Its just such a struggle considering I bought the kobo before it came with a back light…

20130828-152732.jpg  Yes, I rented the Inheritance trilogy with the hope that I would finish it on my kobo, and yes. That is a book light clipped to the top of my beloved little e-reader.

 Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

I would have had mad crush vibes for Edward Cullen. I know what you’re thinking.. but I honestly fell in love when I read those books. I was happy when he was around and miserable when he left. Plus he’s super sexy and a vampire (I’m not a fan of Robert Pattinson and I imagine Edward completely different in my head – but isn’t that always the case?)

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

City of Bones – I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I bought this last week, but my goodness I’m glad I invested. It’s such a great beginning to a riveting series. As you can see from the last few updates to my page I’m steam-rolling through these books.

Hidden Gem Book:

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes created a novel that captured my heart and ultimately brought me to tears. I’ve never been so moved by words on a page. Read my review here.

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

When I was introduced to the world of book blogging by my friend, Lauren. Her blog has inspired me to create something that I’m proud of and I wake up every morning looking forward to blogging.

Just Finished:

City of Ashes: Book two of The Mortal Instruments.

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I’m not really closed to any specific genre as my opinion on books is similar to that of music. Good books come in many styles and genres. Sometimes one author can create a few spectacular books amidst a sea of crap… I won’t name names.. you know who you are.

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Longest Book You’ve Read:

Under the Dome by Stephen King. Although, from memory, I would’ve said it was A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry – I remember it taking a long time to read!

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Major book hangover because of:

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes. This book..

Number of Bookcases You Own:

3! Two in my room and one in the living room filled with mine and my parents books 🙂

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

1984 by George Orwell. Beautifully tragic. This novel was one of the first books I remember getting into debates with my Dad over!

Preferred Place To Read:

In bed or on the couch in the non-tv living room!

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

From The Hunger Games:
” ‘Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?’ And he said, ‘Because when he sings…even the birds stop to listen.’ ” – Peeta explaining to Katniss when he first fell in love with her.

Reading Regret:

Casual Vacancy by JK Rowling.. just so bad. Does anyone have a review of them liking it?!

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

MORTAL INSTRUMENTS! As previously stated, I am halfway through the third book and I started on three days ago. My review of City of Bones can be found here!

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, 1984, Me Before You.

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Loving everything to do with Twilight. I’d still love to visit Forks and re-read the first book on a little bay window bench whilst it rains outside. *dreams*

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. This is the long-awaited sequel to The Shining and I’m really excited.

Worst Bookish Habit:

I tend to leave books lying around, so they get dirty, bent, and ripped – but that’s what makes my book collection unique I suppose!

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

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My extremely bright copy of Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess!

Your latest book purchase:

It was a bulk buy!  1- Box set of City of Bones, Ashes & Glass; 2 – City of Fallen Angels; 3 – Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close; 4 – Eragon.

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

City of Ashes – I decided to read it from about 10am until about 4am… *yawn* So worth it.

*phew* This was fun, but a lot of work! Not only did it force me to put my thinking cap on, but I had to finally add all the books I’ve read to my goodreads account – oh boy!
S

Review: City of Bones – Cassandra Clare

I actually had no idea these books were being turned into movies.. I know, I live under a rock. But last Friday I made a quick stop at Chapters and bought a few random books – City of Bones was one of them. Once I had started reading I thought to myself, ‘shit… I’m going to have to go and buy the rest of this series!’ So that’s what I did yesterday. The lady behind the counter was so lovely as she exchanged my already 90% read copy of City of Bones for the box set* which included City of Ashes and City of Glass. I also picked up City of Fallen Angels… YES I’m addicted okay? Don’t judge me. This week is going to be a Mortal Instruments king of week (I might even go see the movie…!)

*Just an FYI – The box set at Chapters is 50% off right now.. it’s $22.00 for the first 3 books! So if you were planning on owning them – go get ’em!

I’m going to structure my reviews better now so they’re easier to understand and therefore easier for me to form intelligent(ish) sentences.

Summary: City of Bones begins by introducing Clary, a normal teenager living in NYC, to the world of shadowhunters. She meets Jace, a tall, beautiful, blonde guy covered in weird shiny tattoos. Immediately she is plunged into the world her mother has tried to keep her away from since she was born. And what of her mother? The woman who raised her vanishes at the hand of Valentine, who Clary learns is an shadow hunter turned evil. Clary teams up with Jace and the others at the Institute to find the hidden Mortal Cup before Valentine does. As Entertainment Weekly says on the cover, “Prepare to be hooked.”

Review: And hooked I was. As soon as I started reading about Clary (okay.. after I got used to all the weird names) I was so curious as to how this would all play out. So much happened in the first two chapters that there was no way I could put it down! While the storyline has similarities to Harry Potter, with its too-powerful, too-evil, overlord in the background and Twilight, with its love triangles, werewolves and vampires, Clare has managed to create a completely new and riveting fantasty/adventure series. I felt the same emotions as Clary all the way through the book. Confused and upset over the disappearance of her mother. Angry at Luke for abandoning her in her time of need. More and more, I fell in love with Jace as the pages went by. HOLY CRAP I was so disappointed when she finds out Jace is her brother.. wtf why! I don’t understand that at all. It ruined everything!!!!

Everything about this story is captivating. From the characters, their relationships with each other, the twists and turns of the plots, the vivid settings of each scene. Clare describes everything so clearly that you can’t help but visualize Hodge’s Greenhouse, or Magnus’ warehouse apartment, or the Hotel Dumort. I’m actually really looking forward to the movie to see how they portray it all and if my mind’s eye matches with the director’s.

Would I recommend? Heeeeelll yes. Its such a great read! I would recommend it to anyone above the age of 10.

Have you read this book too? Did you review it on your blog? Post a link so I can check it out! I want to know what you all thought!!

 

S