Friday, March 7, 2014

This Blog Has Moved

Well, I finally did it. 

I moved to Wordpress.

I've been thinking about this for a while now and finally decided that it had to be done. 

So, I invite to you to hop over to www.bookishlife.com and follow me there! 

I hope to see you soon. 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

I'm a Sucker for a Good Baseball Movie

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I was flipping through the TV the other night and cam across an old favorite of mine, The Sandlot. I remember watching this movie over and over as a kid. I honestly have no idea how many times I watched it.



Once I saw this on the TV, I had to sit and watch the whole thing. It was like I was completely sucked into the movie and after what felt like only 10 minutes, it was over. And I enjoyed every minute of it just as much as I did when I was 12.




Even now, as an adult, when I watch this movie, I still know nearly the whole thing by heart. I still laugh at Squints faking drowning to kiss Wendy Peffercorn. I still laugh when the boys all decide to take a chew. I still laugh when the boys play the other team of boys. I absolutely LOVE this movie.


But one thing about me is that I grew up in a baseball family. I grew up watching baseball in the summer. I started playing T-Ball before I was even in school. I played softball all the way through high school and even a little beyond. I played ball for the school team, then when school would let out for the summer, I would play on a summer team. I love this sport, and as a result, I also love just about all baseball/softball movies. The Sandlot is just one of many baseball movies that I will never get tired of.

So, if you're in the mood for some good baseball flicks, here are a few of my faves:
  • The Bad News Bears 
  • Bull Durham
  • Field of Dreams
  • A League of Their Own (another one of my FAVES)
  • Major League
  • Moneyball
  • The Natural
  • The Rookie
  • Rookie of the Year
  • The Scout
These are just a few that, personally, really like.

Do you have any favorite baseball movies? Or, are there any other sports movies that you love?

Tell me all about it! 

Monday, March 3, 2014

Scentsy March Scent and Warmer of the Month

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If you remember, I am a Scentsy Consultant. I love this company and everything I get always smells amazing and I love the way my house smells. Each month Scentsy offers a brand new scent and warmer of the month. And this is the warmer of the month for March. 


This warmer is so pretty and sleek! It would go well in just about any room. Also, the design on the front is a magnetized plate, and it just so happens that Scentsy sells lots more of these. So, if you decide you want to display a different design on your warmer, you can easily purchase another whenever you want. And as always, this warmer of the month is available at 10% off during the month of March!

However, the best thing about this month's special is that when you purchase this warmer of the month, Scentsy will automatically send you a second, FREE warmer! This is Scentsy's way of saying "Thank You" to everyone that has been a part of this company in the first ten years. How awesome is that? Buy the Warmer of the Month and get a second FREE warmer, AND it's 10% off? It just doesn't get any better than that! 

The lovely scent that accompanies this warmer for March is "Thank You." Soothing chamomile, lavender, and jasmine in sweet vanilla envelop in a warm embrace" This fantastic scent is also available for 10% off during the month of February.

 Just like every Scent and Warmer of the Month, this scent and this warmer are both lovely products and the deal that Scentsy is offering this month is AMAZING! So, be sure to take advantage of this discounted price while you can during the month of February. You can click here  or on either of the images in this post to shop and order. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or comment below.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Knots and Crosses By Ian Rankin

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Title: Knots and Crosses
Author: Ian Rankin
Published:1987
ISBN: 9780312536923

Goodreads SynopsisDetective John Rebus: His city is being terrorized by a baffling series of murders...and he's tied to a maniac by an invisible knot of blood. Once John Rebus served in Britain's elite SAS. Now he's an Edinburgh cop who hides from his memories, misses promotions and ignores a series of crank letters. But as the ghoulish killings mount and the tabloid headlines scream, Rebus cannot stop the feverish shrieks from within his own mind. Because he isn't just one cop trying to catch a killer, he's the man who's got all the pieces to the puzzle... 

Sara Says...

I originally heard about this book and series when the author appeared on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (which I absolutely love). In this interview the author discussed the release of the newest book in this series, the Inspector Rebus Series. At this point, there are nearly twenty books in this series. 

In the interview, the book they were discussing got my attention and I was interested enough to go looking for it online. It didn't take me long to discover that this was a new book in a very lengthy series, and to get to the most recent book being discussed, I would have to start from the beginning. So, I found the first book in the series, and placed my order. 

Knots and Crosses is the first book in the Inspector Rebus Series. This is a series of crime/detective novels. In this book the reader is introduced to John Rebus and his life as an inspector in Edinburgh. The reader learns that he has a troubled past and several aspects of his life are relatively unstable. 

In the end, I enjoyed this one. I haven't read a detective/mystery novel in a long time. I used to read a lot of them, but over time, I kind of drifted away from them. So, it was nice to go back to a good one that I enjoyed read. 

Pros: There were several things about this book that I really liked. To begin with, I loved the setting of this novel and the role it plays in the development of the plot. I love Scotland and I love Edinburgh. It is one of the most beautiful places I have ever had the pleasure to visit, and as a result, I am always naturally drawn to books and movies that are set there. To me, this adds a "realness" to the story. I also really like main characters that aren't your typical "good guys." Inspector Rebus is not a normal, run-of-the-mill good guy. He has demons from his past that still continue to haunt him as well as a few skeletons in his closet. But, for me, as a reader, these are the types of things that really draw me to a character. 


Cons: There were also a few aspects of this novel that were a little bit of a distraction as I was reading. Given, this book was written in the 80's, there are details that are no longer relevant. The references to technology and how it is used to conduct investigations are a bit dated. Also, there are moments of this book that feel very predictable. If you've read enough mysteries and detective stories, sometimes there are things that are to be expected and it can be pretty easy to see them coming. And, as a reader, I don't like to be able to tell what is going to happen next. 

Overall, this was an enjoyable quick read. I will probably continue to read my way through this series over time. I won't be marathoning through all of them to get caught up to the most recent books. This is the kind of easy series to jump into and enjoy. 

I would definitely recommend this book, and probably this series, to anyone who normally enjoys detective/crime mysteries. Also, I think this book could be enjoyed by other who enjoy the backdrop of the setting, even if this genre isn't their typical comfort zone. This could be an easy and comfortable way to ease into this type of reading.

Do you have any thoughts or comments about this series? Or even about any crime or detective series? Is there a particular series that your love or hate? I know this is a very popular genre and a lot of the time people have a lot to say whether they like these types of books or not. So, I would love to hear your ideas.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Throne of Glass Read-Along

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Unless you've been living under a rock, you have probably heard of Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. But, if you are like me, you may have heard a lot about it, but have never gotten around to reading it. Until now...


Lainey from gingerreadslainey is an amazing BookTuber. She has tons of great booky videos and she is behind this great idea for a read-along. I highly suggest you stop by her site and give some of her videos a look.

I'm super excited to read this one. Everything I have heard about this series is wonderful. So, jump in, read along, and join in the read-along on Twitter with the hashtag #ReadTOG

I would love to know your thoughts about this book and if you're joining in on the fun...

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Olympics Obsessed!

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Yay! It's time for the Olympics again! I don't know about you but I become obsessed and addicted every time the Olympics occur. It doesn't matter what it is, summer games, winter games, curling, gymnastics...I watch it all.

I get so into it all that everyone around me knows that is all I am thinking about for the duration of the games. I check the medal count web pages continually. I have an Olympics list on Twitter with the best tweeters for the events.

Personally, for the winter Olympics, I have a few favorite games and a few favorite athletes. My favorite events are figure skating...ALL of the figure skating, and snowboarding...ALL of the snowboarding. But, like I said, I'll watch all of them. I also enjoy some of the skiing and the speed skating.

When it come to athletes, of course I'm rooting for my fellow Americans, but there are a few athletes from other countries that I enjoy watching as well.

I adore Marissa Castelli and Simon Shnapir, skating as a pair for the American team. These two are so interesting and fun to watch.

I love the young Japanese figure skater, Yuzuru Hanyu. This is his first trip to the Olympics and he is amazing! If you get a chance to watch him, do it!
Another amazing skater is the Russian, Evgeny Plyushchenko. He skates so beautifully and precisely. He is a joy to watch.

Moving on to snowboarders...

I have a few of my favorites to share as well.

Of course, I love Shaun White! I LOVE Shaun White! He is probably one of my favorite winter Olympians, ever! I was super sad to hear that he dropped out of the new slopestyle event, but I guess I can understand if he wanted to focus his attention on the halfpipe. I am missing his long, red locks though!
I am also rooting for Shelly Gotlieb. She is the oldest woman competing in the new slopestyle snowboarding competition. She is 33. I am kind of hoping she will show some of these young gals up.
 Keep in mind, these are just a few of my favorite. I will be making a few more posts about the Olympics as the games continue and I will also continue to post about some more of my favorite athletes.

What about you? Do you love watching the Olympics like I do? What event is your favorite? Do you have a favorite athlete?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

What's Out This Week

There are tons of new books coming out this week, but these are a few that I am most excited about. 

 


 Title: Cress
Author: Marissa Meyer
Release Date: February 4, 2014
ISBN: 9780312642976

Let's talk about Cress for a little bit. This is the third book in The Lunar Chronicles, the first two being Cinder and Scarlett. This is a series of fairy tale retellings set in the future. After hearing all about Cinder on BookTube, last fall I finally gave in and read it and...I loved it. So, I am all about this series now. If you haven't read it, I strongly encourage you to give it a shot.  


Title: Ignite Me
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Release Date: February 4, 2014
ISBN: 9780062085573

This is the third book in the Shatter Me series by Taherah Mafi, following Shatter Me and Unravel Me. This series follows Juliette, who is able to harm people through her touch. There are also two novellas in this series that fall after the first and second book in the series. The novellas, "Destroy Me" and "Fracture Me," add more depth and insight into the story and characters that isn't available in the main novels of the series. This is a really interesting series that is high on my recommendation list.

 Title: Twisted Sisters
Author: Jen Lancaster
Release Date: February 4, 2014
ISBN: 9780451239655

Let me just say, if you aren't reading Jen Lancaster, you are missing out. I absolutely love Jen Lancaster and I always eagerly await her next release. She is amazingly witty and clever and continuously makes me giggle and truly laugh out loud. She is absolutely genuine and sincere in her writing. She started out blogging and writing memoir, but this is her publication in the fiction world. I am super excited about this book. And I'm looking forward to reading all about the sisters and their relationship in this new novel.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Scentsy February Warmer and Scent of the Month

If you remember, I am a Scentsy Consultant. I love this company and everything I get always smells amazing and I love the way my house smells.

Each month Scentsy offers a brand new scent and warmer of the month. And this is the warmer of the month for February.


Isn't this guy cute? His name is Chantecler and he is available for 10% off during the month of February. According to Scentsy "The rustic charm of the French countryside is captured in beautiful white ceramic."

The lovely scent that accompanies this warmer for February is Sparkling Citrus Pear. "Sweet nashi pear enlivened by citrus zest and bright lemon verbena." This fantasic scent is also available for 10% off during the month of February.


This scent and this warmer are both lovely products. Be sure to take advantage of this discounted price while you can during the month of February. You can click here to shop and order. If you have any questions, please feel free to email me or comment below.



Friday, January 31, 2014

Lexicon by Max Barry

 


Title: Lexicon
Author: Max Barry
Published: 2013
ISBN: 9781594205385

Goodreads Synopsis:  At an exclusive school somewhere outside of Arlington, Virginia, students aren't taught history, geography, or mathematics--at least not in the usual ways. Instead, they are taught to persuade. Here the art of coercion has been raised to a science. Students harness the hidden power of language to manipulate the mind and learn to break down individuals by psychographic markers in order to take control of their thoughts. The very best will graduate as "poets", adept wielders of language who belong to a nameless organization that is as influential as it is secretive.

Whip-smart orphan Emily Ruff is making a living running a three-card Monte game on the streets of San Francisco when she attracts the attention of the organization's recruiters. She is flown across the country for the school's strange and rigorous entrance exams, where, once admitted, she will be taught the fundamentals of persuasion by Bronte, Eliot, and Lowell--who have adopted the names of famous poets to conceal their true identities. For in the organization, nothing is more dangerous than revealing who you are: Poets must never expose their feelings lest they be manipulated. Emily becomes the school's most talented prodigy until she makes a catastrophic mistake: She falls in love.

Meanwhile, a seemingly innocent man named Wil Jamieson is brutally ambushed by two strange men in an airport bathroom. Although he has no recollection of anything they claim he's done, it turns out Wil is the key to a secret war between rival factions of poets and is quickly caught in their increasingly deadly crossfire. Pursued relentlessly by people with powers he can barely comprehend and protected by the very man who first attacked him, Wil discovers that everything he thought he knew about his past was fiction. In order to survive, must journey to the toxically decimated town of Broken Hill, Australia, to discover who he is and why an entire town was blown off the map.

As the two narratives converge, the shocking work of the poets is fully revealed, the body count rises, and the world crashes toward a Tower of Babel event which would leave all language meaningless. Max Barry's most spellbinding and ambitious novel yet, Lexicon is a brilliant thriller that explores language, power, identity, and our capacity to love--whatever the cost.

Sara Says...

I really enjoyed this book. This was interesting, unique, and fast-paced. The characters were appealing and complex. I went into this book with no real expectations, I had heard very little about it, so I didn't really know much about it.I'm glad this is how I began this book. I think it would have a different reaction if I had known a lot before I started reading. 

This book was full of great characters. Eliot and Emily are amazing and their relationship affects the story more than it seems on the surface. After I finished this novel and looked back, it was interesting to see just how important their relationship was from the beginning. 

I would eagerly and excitedly recommend this book to "booky"-type people. There are lots of literary references that make the story more interesting. Also, it is almost comic-book-like. The "poets" in this story have these powers with language that make them easily comparable to super-heroes and super-villains. 

Have you read this book? I would love to hear how other felt about this book and what characters you liked or hated the most. Please share in the comments...  




Friday, January 24, 2014

The Darkest Minds

Title: The Darkest Minds
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Published: 2012
ISBN: 9781423159322

The Darkest Minds the story of Ruby and other children with special abilities that have been collected by the government and placed in special camps. In this book, Ruby has escaped from the camp and run into other escapees who are looking for the mysterious "Slip Kid" who can supposedly help them all to get back in touch with their loved ones.

Ruby is the main character and the abilities she possesses are rare and she does not completely understand or control them. She is afraid of the harm she can do to others and this prevents her from completely opening up to other people. After she meets Liam, Su, and Chubs things begin to change.

For the most part, Ruby is an easy to follow protagonist who is understandably hurt and afraid, but from time to time her worries and concerns become redundant. After hearing the same thing repeatedly, it becomes a little difficult to sympathize.

Overall, my feelings for this novel were just kind of "ehh". This was an interesting and new approach to the dystopian YA genre. There are interesting and likable characters, specifically Liam. But, at times, the story itself becomes a little tedious. I think I may have had too high of expectations and had built up this book in my mind. After hearing rave reviews of this series for months now, I was expecting this book to knock my socks off. And, sadly, they are still comfortably on my feet.

 I think that this is a story that can appeal to lots of people, but specifically the people that are entirely into dystopian books and series. Also, YA fans would probably enjoy this series as well. There is a romantic element to the story, but this is not what drives the plot forward.

So, have you guys read this book or this series? Thoughts, comments, opinions....please share in the comments.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Bring Back My Bar, Janurary 2014

If you didn't know, twice a year Scentsy brings back 20 of their most popular retired scents. This happens in January and July each year.



Well, it is January and guess what, there are 20 awesome scents that are still avaialble for 11 more days. So, hop over and get them while you can.

This round of Bring Back My Bar includes the following scents:
  • Amber Road
  • Banana Nut Bread
  • Bubblegum
  • Cashmere 
  • Cranberry Mango
  • Cutie Pie Cupcake
  • Embers
  • Eucalyptus
  • Flower Shop
  • Fried Ice Cream
  • Grape Granita
  • Hazelnut Latte
  • Hemingway
  • Maui Mist
  • Mulberry Bush
  • Orange Dreamsicle (one of my faves)
  • Toasted Apple Butter
  • Watermelon Patch (another fave)
  • White Sands 
  • Wild Black Cherry
Remember, these are only available in January! Click HERE to shop and order. And feel free to email or comment with any questions.

Currently Reading

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Ch-Ch-Ch Changes

Some of you that have been around here for a while may be noticing a few changes. Thanks a ton to my friend Ricci for the great new blog design work she has done for me. Be sure to stop by her blog and say hello.

This blog has always been kind of a hodge-podge of whatever has been going on in my life. But, lately I have been feeling like I need to have more of a focus. It has been a long time since I was blogging on a regular schedule  and I really miss it. So, the plan now is to jump back in, but with more of a focus. Everything won't always be just about books and reading, but that's probably what I'm going to spend a lot of time talking about.

Books and reading have always been a big part of my life. I have been a huge reader for as long as I can remember. My education and career has even been built around a love for reading and literature. So, for me it only makes sense that this part of my life share this same interest.

Within the past year I have also discovered and become a part of the BookTubing community on Youtube. For being such an avid book fan, I cannot believe I had no idea that this great group of people existed. So, if you have a few minutes hop over to YouTube and take a look. There are some amazing funny book people over there.

I'm looking forward to a new start around here and I'm excited to share it all with you.