Kooky Kickin' Kids

literati_rain66 Saturday, July 7, 2012
You've probably thought it. I know I have. It's weird to have a children's book review right next to a paranormal romance review.

I started LLL to review books I read. I thought of it as an eclectic book blog, where any book I read could be reviewed. That's still true, but I've decided to dedicate another blog to the kids stuff. They deserve their own spot. I expect to be increasing the number of kiddie books I read since my kids are getting more interested and our library is close and well-stocked.

I kept looking at our Pug In A Truck review right next to my review for Shadowfever and my brain just kept telling me that was weird. Because it is. So as I was leaving the library today with my very excited Beanie, I decided I should probably bite the bullet and make a sister site. Thus, Literati's Literary Kids was born. Go give it some love!! It has zero followers and that's just unsat! (As my husband would say. We normal people say unsatisfactory.)

In all seriousness though, I'm super excited to have a place for our children's book reviews. And I'm super excited to have this blog be a little more concentrated. It's truly MY blog now. :)

Hope you're all doing well and reading something spectacular!!

Really Ravishing Review (The Calling)

literati_rain66 Friday, July 6, 2012 ,
Title: The Calling
Author: Kelley Armstrong
Publisher: Harper

(From the back cover of the review copy)
In The Calling, the sizzling second book in the Darkness Rising trilogy, #1 New York Times bestselling author Kelley Armstrong pumps up the romance, danger, and suspense that left readers of The Gathering clamoring for more. 

Maya and her friends have been forced to flee from their homes during a forest fire they suspect was deliberately set. Then they're kidnapped, and after a chilling helicopter crash, they find themselves lost in the Vancouver Island wilderness. But Maya has a secret. She can run faster, climb higher, and see better than nearly anyone else. It's part of who she really is- and it has something to do with the mysterious paw-print birthmark on her hip. Yet as Maya and her friends face unforeseen dangers, it becomes clear that she's not the only one in their close-knit group with something to hide. If they're going to survive, they'll need all their extraordinary abilities to help them get back home.


Loved it! Much more satisfying to me as a reader than The Gathering was. (You can read my mini review of The Gathering here.)

The Calling picks up right where we left off in The Gathering, rising into the air in the helicopter, escaping the forest fire. And like Maya and her friends, you never catch a break from the action. There's no rest for the escapees, and there's no shortage of excitement. Yay!

Secrets are uncovered surrounding Serena's death, Salmon Creek, Maya's past, and even the teens she's on the run with. Nothing is as it seems.

We even see some flickers of a possible romance. The romance we all WANT to happen, even though our dear Maya is totally blind at the moment. It's okay though, I understand. I was the same way at her age. But she had better figure it out!!

I love Maya, I love Daniel, I love the suspense. But what I really, truly love about the Darkness Rising trilogy is that it's a sister series to the Darkest Powers series. The ties and connections to the DP series is what gives the DR trilogy that extra spark and intrigue that keeps me on my toes. I've not come across many (any?) other books that do that. And it's totally awesome.

It really felt like one story, not smaller stories about the same characters divided into different books. The storyteller is simply taking a breath.

The downside to that, however, is that it's nearly impossible to see the plot. It's a lot of action, moving from one harrowing experience to the next, but really.... something seems to be missing. The mystery surrounding the kidnappers isn't much of a mystery. We know what they're after, why, and who they are. We're waiting for the characters to catch up with us and figure out what they are themselves. And while we wait, they run. I'm a little sad that the story relies so much on the scene-to-scene action, and not on a Big Mystery or complicated plot.

And if that romance we all want is going to happen, things need to speed up a lot in the last book. I hope it does. :-/

I adore Kelley, and I adore her work. But I'm crossing my fingers for the last book. It's going to have to be six kinds of awesome to balance out the rest if the trilogy and make this all worth it.

4 of 5 stars.

Only One Opinion (Shadowfever)

literati_rain66 Sunday, July 1, 2012 ,
Title: Shadowfever
Author: Karen Marie Moning
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Place in series: #5, final book

I somehow managed to NOT review any of the other Fever series books. I'm not sure how that happened. Life just gets ahead of you sometimes. But I'm here to talk a bit about Shadowfever, the final book in the Fever series.

First and foremost, this review will be spoilery to the other books in the Fever series. It's too difficult to review it without doing so, I apologize. The whole series carries my recommendation though, so if you enjoy paranormal romance, stories about the Fae, and spunky female MCs, you should probably go buy Darkfever, book 1 in the series.

Mac's world took a devastating turn at the end of Dreamfever. What a cliffhanger that was! Her protector, lover, and savior, the man who boldly proclaimed he would always be there to protect Mac, is no more. She's stuck in the Silvers, lost, with no hope and a bleak, Barrons-less future before her. Her grief knows no bounds. When the beast was slayed, so was Mac's heart. The grief that consumes her soon turns to something more: a single-minded, blind desperation to unmake the world... and make a new world where everything is perfect. Alina alive, Barrons alive, living with her parents, not a care in the world, everything pretty and pink. In order to do that, she must find it -The Book- before any of the others hunting it do, and she will do anything, anything, to find it and use it first.

Good gravy. Shadowfever was nothing like I expected. It was so much more! And yet, it was possibly too much. So much happened, I'm still trying to process it and wrap my head around it all. It could easily have been made into two books. So many emotional traumas and world-flips happened, combined with the non-stop action and plot twisting- it was a bit overwhelming.

~ I loved the non-stop action and I loved the plot twisting! Nothing was as it seemed. Everything I thought I knew I was forced to reexamine. What a ride!

~ Mac is terrifying and stupid and brilliant and hilarious all in the span of a chapter or two. At times I wanted to slap her silly, I admit. And at others I thought she was pretty daft, but making progress so that was good. And she ended up okay, and that was important.

~The repressed feelings Mac has/had for Barrons are finally admitted to and accepted (can we all say hallelujah??).

~ We learn who was behind all the shenanigans.

~ Rowena gets to have her pie and eat it too.

~ SO much happens. It's... I don't know. Two books worth, at least.

~ Some places felt rushed, some felt like they went on forever just to torture me because it was really unimportant stuff. Or it was Mac thinking the same things over and over again.

~ There was an abundance of info-dumping. I understand that as the final book, it was expected to be full and to wrap up all the loose threads, but holy moly.

~ My heart was broken, mended, broken again, broken some more, patched up, and by then I was so lost and confused emotionally, I couldn't keep up.

~ Not all of the big plotsies were resolved. I was left feeling a bit unsatisfied. There were questions that I'd wanted answers to from the start, and I'm still asking them. I had to Google and see if Shadowfever was really the last book, I felt that cheated, even though I knew it was when I picked it up.

~ Mac and Barrons' relationship is whack. True, there are some issues there, but dude. It's a relationship. It's all well and good that Mac finally owned up to her feelings, but, uhm, what about him? He said some stuff, and they got down and dirty, but that's about it. Yeah, he's alpha male protector and big and beefy and masculine. But doesn't she deserve to see the tender side? I feel like he regressed, and thus even though they finally Became Something, it's all kind of.... blah.

And now I realize that it wasn't as good as I thought it was. Heh. I was going to give Shadowfever 4 stars when I started writing this, but now that my thoughts are written out, it's pretty plain that the cons outweigh the pros.

And so,

3 out of 5 stars.

(Aside: The series is fantastic. I absolutely recommend the series. And while you're at it, Shadowfever, because things happen and you need to know about them. Just be prepared for the onslaught.)


Really Ravishing Review (Hedgehog Bakes A Cake)

literati_rain66 Saturday, June 9, 2012 ,
Title: Hedgehog Bakes A Cake

Author: Maryann Macdonald
Illustrator: Lynn Munsinger
Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers, originally published by Gareth Stevens Publishing

Beanie's Reaction: Absolute adoration. Beanie and Goobie both love to help me in the kitchen, and he especially loves eggs and messes, so when Rabbit, Squirrel, and Owl all try to "help" Hedgehog bake his cake, he showed me where the eggs were and told me where the messes were. Interactive reading is awesome. :)

Goobie's Reaction: For a reluctant reader, he was very into Hedgehog Bakes a Cake. (insert hoots and hollers and confetti) As soon as I started reading he asked to bake a cake. He listened intently and commented right along with Beanie. Goobie even took the book afterward so he could look at it by himself. Success!

My reaction: I was thrilled that both boys enjoyed it, listened, and sat through the whole thing. I was even more thrilled with the story itself. Hedgehog just wants to bake a cake. But the poor hoggie gets some very unhelpful and undesired assistance. Squirrel, Owl, and Rabbit make a mess of his kitchen and essentially ruin his cake, but through it all he accepts their help. He knows they mean well. They all leave to get cleaned up, and while they are gone he cleans up the messes and fixes the cake. When everyone returns they all sit and enjoy the cake. Hedgehog's so called "helpers" say things like, "Aren't you glad I showed you how to do it?" and other such things. Hedgehog never once gets upset with them or tells them HE made the cake, thank you very much. Instead he just smiles, enjoys his friends' company, shares the cake, and says:

"Thank you for all your help," said Hedgehog. "Next time I will try to do it all by myself."

Isn't that fantastic? What a story of kindness. It was so nice to read a story that celebrated good behavior and kindness. And humbleness to boot! 

I have a feeling this is a book we will be checking out often. :)

Really Ravishing Review (Pug In A Truck)

literati_rain66 ,
Title: Pug In A Truck
Author: Nancy Coffelt
Illustrator: Nancy Coffelt
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Books for Children

Today was the kickoff of our library's summer reading program for kids. Goobie came with me, since Beanie was asleep. (Goobie is four, Beanie is two and still takes his afternoon nap) Goobie had a very nice time, although he was disappointed our new library doesn't have an elevator like our old one in North Carolina did. Despite that, he had a nice time meeting kids and playing with the puzzles and toys. I got both boys signed up, completed my library card registration process, and we got to looking! We checked out a few kid's books and Beanie was thrilled with our choices. One of the books we picked up today was Pug In A Truck, by Nancy Coffelt. That brings us to Beanie's and my review. :)

Beanie's reaction: ELMO!! (We have a pug. His name is Elmo.) Beanie happily sat and read Pug In A Truck with me. He loved the bright, simple illustrations and he loved that two of his favorite things were combined: Pugs and trucks. Beanie gives Pug In A Truck his full endorsement.

My reaction: Pug In A Truck was perfect for my two year old. It had bold, bright pictures and didn't drag along with big descriptions. I had to read quickly because Beanie was so excited to turn the page and see what "Elmo" would be doing next. It was an enjoyable read for both of us and was the perfect length for his toddler attention span. It used some terminology that neither of us was familiar with, but there was a Trucker Glossary in the back. When I read this book with Goobie I'm sure we'll utilize that, but Beanie really didn't care, which was just fine. I like that Pug In A Truck is an acceptable book for both of my kids.

Examples of terminology from the glossary:
Hammerdown - To go fast, step on it.
Double nickel - Fifty-five miles per hour, the speed limit.

Examples of terminology in the text:

"Now we're at a double nickel again and back in business."

"We get on the freeway and put the hammer down."

Of course there's more, but you get the idea. It was fun learning the meanings, even for someone as old as me! ;-)

We would both recommend this book.

Well Who Won? (ABEA)

literati_rain66 Friday, June 8, 2012 ,
As I don't really have any questions for today's Armchair BEA topic because all of my questions were answered in the Twitter parties, I will skip straight to the good stuff: Winners!!

The winner of giveaway 1, the book pack, is:


The winner of giveaway 2, the international only gift certificate, is:

Kim from A Dutchie on Books!

Congrats Kim and Stacy, and thanks to all who visited my blog and entered the giveaway. *hugs all around*

Winners, I will be emailing you shortly. Please respond ASAP!

Fun Fab Facts (ABEA)

literati_rain66 Thursday, June 7, 2012

Today's Armchair BEA topic is going beyond your blog; taking your writing elsewhere and possibly making some moolah from it. Or maybe just doing some freelance.

I have written outside of this blog, but nothing all that wow-worthy. I wrote an article for a parenting magazine once, freelance. I was asked to do it, I did it, not much more to tell. If asked, I'd do it again. If asked to write regularly, I would expect compensation, but the occasional article? I'm not worried about it.

I've written for other blogs, I've written poetry and stories and I technically have the start to a novel, but I've not made a penny and in all probability, won't. 

I blog because I want to. I want to talk about books and let people in on what books are must reads. If someone offered a partnership, I'd be okay with that. But my goal isn't money. I don't even email authors or publishers really. I have, once in particular, emailed an author and received an ARC for review. But I don't typically do that. I'm content reviewing the books I buy, find at the library, or books that other lovely people choose to give me. That's not to say I will never in the future email an author or a publisher and request something, but it's not my standard practice. I have no problem with the folks that do that, I just don't enjoy the blogger envy that can result, and I really don't enjoy flaunting my good fortune in others' faces. *shrug*

I'll go ahead and answer the second part of today's topic -Share a fun aspect about your blog or life that may be completely separate from books. 

Seeing as how this blog is all about books... I'll have to go with my life. ;-) Something fun- I have been going bonkers with LivingSocial lately. They have so many great deals in my area! (I promise, this isn't a LivingSocial ad!) I am SUPER excited about the gift I bought my hubby for his birthday and for the gift I bought myself. Hubs gets to try this crazy cool thing called a JetLev. Basically, he'll go to this resort place and they will teach him how to use this JetLev thing and he will wear a water jet pack on his back that will propel him 30 feet off the water. Is that cool or what? 

Credit: Splash News
Credit: Mobile Magazine

My gift to myself includes three visits to a SPA. *grin* Each visit will include a massage, a luminous facial, a hydra-derma fusion treatment, and a tanning session. Can we say heck yea? 

Credit: Planet Beach Contempo Spa

I also got tickets for the family to go to the Florida Aquarium. We love going to zoos and aquariums and things of that nature, so we are all pretty excited about that. 


I would say that all of those things are FUN. And none of them have anything at all to do with books or blogging! ;-) 

*ABEA graphic designed by Nina of Nina Reads.


Now Needing Noggins (ABEA)

literati_rain66 Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Today's Armchair BEA writing topic is: Share a "real life" book experience. The theme is connecting with bloggers and your community, and what kind of things you've done in real life as a result of book blogging.

Er, well, the thing is... I really have no good thing to write about! I'm an introvert! A hermit! A cave-dwelling fish with white eyes! I mean, sure, I go out. I have to. And I'm capable of small talk and polite talk and smiling and being friendly to passersby and the nice folks in line at the grocery store. But beyond that? PANIC. HEART PALPITATIONS. SWEATY PALMS. We're talking a seventh-grade-crush kind of reaction. The OMG I CAN'T EVEN SPEAK IN HIS PRESENCE OR I WILL SURELY DIE kind of deal. I am truly grateful for the people in real life that have gotten through to me and are in my life. They've worked hard to get there and I am ever grateful for their perseverance. Because I really, honestly suck at reaching out. Which brings me to the point- I've gone in to local bookstores on many occasions with a wonderful plan to chat them up and see what they might think of a scratch-my-back-and-I'll-scratch-yours kind of arrangement, but I just end up buying a book or two, smiling, and leaving. The really pathetic part is that some of the lads and lasses behind the counter are chatty and we discuss books and I have many perfecto openings that I am too chicken to take. I admit it. I'm a chicken. Bwaaakkk.

How do YOU do it? Do you have any kind of partnerships? Do you have any advice for a socially awkward chicken? I think part of my problem is I'm terrible at self-promotion. So many times other peoples' self-promo has turned me off from their blog/book/etc. I guess there's a classy way and an un-classy way and I typically see the latter. I really kind of hate it.

Another problem I have is that I don't even know what a partnership would do to help me or them. I have a very vague idea, but it's not enough to take to a bookstore owner or a publisher or even my cat to present. I know my cat would yawn and lick her paws, and I'm pretty sure the bookstore owners and publishers would do the same.

Any and all help is appreciated!

I have met some bloggers, yes, but not because of my book blog. I've met them through fansites. And they are fantastic people who also happen to be book bloggers. But I'd really love to expand and meet new bloggers and form  partnerships.

Hope you are having a fantastic ABEA!!

Boasting Bookish Bounty (ABEA)

literati_rain66 Tuesday, June 5, 2012 ,

Good day! Welcome to Literati's Literary Library! Today is GIVEAWAY DAY for Armchair BEA and I am hosting TWO giveaways right here on LLL. You do not have to be a registered participant of Armchair BEA to enter my giveaways, everyone is welcome!

Giveaway 1:

The goods:
~Going Bovine, by Libba Bray (paperback)
~Beautiful Darkness, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (Signed paperback)
~Across the Universe, by Beth Revis (paperback)
~Looking for Alaska, by John Green

The deets:
~US and Canada only.
~Giveaway winner will be chosen Friday, June 8th. You've got all week to enter!
~Please fill out this FORM. You are only entered if you fill it out.

Giveaway 2:

The goods:
~A $20 gift certificate from The Book Depository

The deets:
~ Must NOT reside in the United States or Canada.
~ Please check and see if The Book Depository ships to your country prior to entering, as I would be very sad to give you a certificate that you couldn't use. THIS is the list, check it peeps!
~Winner will be chosen Friday, June 8th.
~ Please fill out this FORM. You are only entered if you fill it out.

*Graphic designed by Sarah of Puss Reboots.


Artfully Arranged Armchair (ABEA)

literati_rain66 Monday, June 4, 2012
Hello! Welcome to Literati's Literary Library! This week is all about Book Expo America... or for those of us unable to attend- Armchair BEA! To kick things off, everyone is doing a self-interview. Here's mine!

The folks in the Armchair Throne have given us all a list of questions and instructed us to answer five of them. My five:

1. What are you currently reading, or what is your favorite book you have read so far in 2012?
I'll answer both parts of that. I'm currently reading The Serpent's Shadow, by Rick Riordan, third book in the Kane Chronicles. Love Riordan! My favorite book so far this year? That's a tie between Black Heart, by Holly Black, or Lola and the Boy Next Door, by Stephanie Perkins.

2. What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?
I have a gargantuan list, but topping that list is the world of The Edge. The Broken, The Weird, The Edge, and all the places within. I adore the series (book one is The Edge) and the authors, Ilona and Gordon (Ilona Andrews is the name they write under).

Why? It's beyond weird and beyond fantastic. The agents from The Hand are super freaky alterations of people. They've got extra body parts that do unheard of things; they are modification personified. It's very detailed and there is so much thought and imagination that went into the creation of the world. You really, truly feel like you are a part of it. I could say that for any of Ilona and Gordon's books though.

3. Have your reading tasted changed since you started blogging? How?
Changed? Hm. I don't think they've made any dramatic change. Content and genre-wise, my tastes are the same.  A change I have noticed, however, is that I definitely am a more critical reader and I no longer have a problem putting a book down. When I started blogging I read every book I picked up, cover to cover, even if I wasn't loving it. I know better now. Time is precious and if that book doesn't work for me, maybe the next one will.

4. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
Easy peasy. Edgar Allen Poe. I'd like to imagine that it would be wildly creepy and morbid and not lack for entertainment. Or else I, the dinner guest would be ignored, or only politely included. But I'd rather we go with the first scenario. ;-)

5. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
Who am I? I am the Literati that lives in the Literary Library. I like alliterations. I enjoy going on walks with no time limit and my camera. I am a wife and mother and an avid popcorn consumer. I am an impulsive shopper and I've recently discovered that I find weeding to be a good outlet for frustration.

How long have I been blogging? Two years on this blog I think. Something like that. But blogging in general? Eleven years.

Why blogging? For this blog, it's because I love books. I love books like kids love bubbles. Like fish love water. Like aliens love probing. Like moths love flame. Well, hopefully with a better end result than those last two... but you get this gist. They help me cope with my life, with the people in my life, and with myself. They help me to understand others and see things from other points of view. They open my world. Through books I've learned that it's okay to feel how I do, to think as I do. I know that I'm not alone with my problems. They ground me and yet let me float high above and look down on the universe from astounding, shocking heights.

I've loved reading since I was not yet able to do it by myself. I remember begging my parents for just one more Berenstein Bears book at bedtime. Begging my dad for another chapter of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Waiting after class so I could test into reading college level fiction in the fourth grade - a fact I was not to disclose to my peers upon pain of removal of the privilege. I remember getting a tongue lashing from my mother after my brother tipped her off to me reading The Secret Garden in church. I remember getting extra chores when I'd promise to stop at the end of the chapter... only to read another couple of chapters of Redwall, Treasure Island, Kneeknock Rise, The Odyssey, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Island of the Blue Dolphins. Books have done so much for me. And I think it's only fair that I share that with everyone I possibly can, so that they too may benefit.


Holy moly. I sort of got going there, but hey, that's it! I'm done now, promise. ;-) I hope you enjoyed my interview with myself. I'm off to read some of yours!


Wonderfully Wacky Winner!

literati_rain66 Tuesday, May 8, 2012 , ,
Well folks, the results are in! Over the past few months I've had a trivia game/giveaway and as per the last few posts about it, it's over. Thank you to all of you who played my game! It's been fun!

Now, the winner!

Her loyalty paid off... Aine, you win the Big Box of Books! Congratulations!!


Really Ravishing Review (Lola and the Boy Next Door)

literati_rain66 Thursday, May 3, 2012 ,

Title: Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins

From the cover flap:
Lola Nolan doesn't believe in fashion... she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -more sparkly, more fun, more wild- the better. But even though Lola's style is outrageous, she's a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket -a gifted inventor- steps out from his twin sister's shadow and back into Lola's life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

If I had more time and a chair, I would probably have written my own synopsis, because that doesn't even begin to cover to awesomeness of this book.

I'll be honest with you, I didn't love Perkins' first book, Anna and the French Kiss. I liked it. But I wasn't grinning ear to ear at the end. I was expecting the same reaction from Lola and the Boy Next Door. Boy howdy, I did NOT have the same reaction. (Click the link and scroll to see my mini review of AatFK)

This is without a doubt the best love story I've read in a long, long time. I knew from the very first page what the bottom line ending of the book was going to be. You probably have already guessed it, simply from the title. And you're probably right. So why read the book, if you know the ending and can probably guess the general plot? The journey, and the emotions, and the joy you'll get from both. It's the story, not the bottom line ending that's important here. It's going back in time to your own first love and remembering the heartache and that inexplicable but totally real electric energy flowing between you and that special someone.

It's simple and it's beautiful and I adored it.

I loved the setting (San Fransisco in an old Victorian house on a street of Victorian houses) and the characters and the dialogue. It all just fell together and blended together into a sweet, hopeful story about love. I sympathized with Lola and her journey to find love, I've been there. We all have. And that's the beauty of it. It's not just Lola's story, but us as humans. Who doesn't remember those days as a teen, trying to fit into your own skin, trying to be comfortable and confident with who you are? And of course, trying to muddle through all those steeping emotions and figure out the truth of how you feel.

Let me also just say, at the risk of sounding like a parent, that I loved seeing a story where the teen respects and seeks the approval and trust of her parents. It was nice to see that. Honestly, I think most teens are like this. They just don't show up all that often in fiction.

5 of 5 stars.

Tricky Trivia Tuesday (#?)

literati_rain66 Tuesday, May 1, 2012 , ,

Well, as I stated in my last post, I've totally been falling short when it comes to blogging. Even at blogging my own giveaway trivia game. Talk about failtastic. So to cut myself some slack, I'm just going to do one big trivia ka-bang and call it done. I'm going to post a handful of trivia questions to make up for these past few weeks when I was supposed to post one and didn't. All you have to do it answer one of them correctly to get your name in the pot. Another reason I'm going to cut this game short, is that I originally said it would end in June. That's all well and good, but we will have just moved and probably won't have any of our stuff from the movers yet. So that plan died. How can I expect myself to mail books if I don't even have them? Yeah. I dunno either.

To keep it clear:
~ First person to get the answer on any one question gets their name in the pot.
~It goes without saying that if you are the second or third person to guess correctly, your name does not go in the pot.
~There are many questions, you may answer just one, or take a stab at all of them. Just make sure to make it clear which one you are answering. ;-)
~All of you that have been fantastic and have been playing my game already, your names are still entered, of course.

Now, for the questions!

1. Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry accepts students from what countries?

2. What is Melissa Marr's middle name?

3. What is the best selling nonfiction book of all time?

4. What author has sold more children's books than any other author?

5. Who is the world's best selling fiction writer?

6. What is the Caldecott award given for?

7. In the book The Wizard of Oz, what was the Munchkin's favorite color?

8. What was Stephen King's first published novel?

9. What popular YA author said, "The only way out of the labyrinth of suffering is to forgive."?

10. Where was Twilight character Esme Cullen originally from?

That's all folks! Remember, no search engines! Winners will be drawn next Tuesday, May 8th!

An Apologetic Apple

literati_rain66 Wednesday, April 25, 2012
I do declare. I owe you all an apology. Despite my excuses and promises to do better at blogging, I have failed you. As it turns out, I really have a lot on my plate. That, and I have no chair at my computer. And it's not all that much fun to spend an hour on my feet typing away. It's just the truth of it. I've not been all that inspired to blog lately, my energy is just sapped.

Life has gotten very busy and chaotic and stressful these past few months. We are living in a tiny apartment with no furniture to speak of, and my only "office" area is a corner of the counter in the kitchen, where my computer sits. It's really not conducive to well written reviews. Or anything really. It's only temporary, while my husband goes to school to change his job in the Coast Guard. We'll only be here a few more weeks, then we'll be moving to Clearwater, Florida.

And therein lies a lot of my current stress. We are not only moving, we are buying a house. (picture me PANICKING) Not only are we buying a flipping house, we are buying a flipping house without ever seeing it! Egads. We are insane. I mean, who does that?? We do, apparently. A lot of my time lately has been spent doing paperwork and errands and panicking. My poor husband has been going bonkers trying to balance kids and school and sleep and all the details of buying a house, not to mention the incredible amount of time he's spent on the phone lately. Our lender and realtor are very nice and helpful and they deserve an award for their prompt return calls.

Add to that, my kids. The Goob is four and his imagination has gone wild. And The Bean is so very, very two. He never stops moving, never stops getting into trouble. It's all I can do just to make sure I feed everyone most days. I have to do a bedtime limb count to make sure nobody lost anything during the course of our day. If tummies are full and all limbs are accounted for, I consider it a good day. Anything else -baths, brushed teeth, using the bathroom by myself... it's all just a perk if it happens.

I also just finished up school. I spent the last year doing a certificate program to help me on my way to being a pharmacy technician. I just finished everything up a week or so ago. Hallelujah! Next up is taking the PTCB, a national exam to get me my certification. I won't be doing that until after we've moved and are somewhat settled though.

All that said- It's been pretty busy. This hectic limbo-period won't last forever though, and I do hope to get back into blogging for real. I miss it. I miss YOU. I want to blog about books and be all awesome-nerdy with you guys. I really do! I'm hoping to be closer to some good book events in Florida so I can bring you exciting news and giveaways.

Until then, all I have to offer is sporadic reviews, my one big giveaway that is still going on (despite my lack of participation, expect a post about that soon), and maybe some more personal updates.

I hope you are all doing well, and I look forward to getting back in to blogging soon! :)



Tricky Trivia Tuesday (#7, #8)

literati_rain66 Tuesday, March 13, 2012 , ,
I'm feeling a little too much like Brittany Spears.

Oops, I did it again!

I got so busy last week that Tuesday passed me by with hardly a glance. To make up for it, it's another double question week. :)

If you're new to the game or just need a refresher, all the details about Trivia Tuesday and the BBoB giveaway are HERE. The rules are there too.

On to the good stuff!!

Tricky Trivia Tuesday question 1: What were the names of the four sisters in Lousia May Alcott's Little Women?

Tricky Trivia Tuesday question 2: In Little House on the Prarie, where does Pa Ingalls decide to move the Ingalls family? (town and state)

Good luck and thanks for playing!

Tricky Trivia Tuesday (#5, #6)

literati_rain66 Tuesday, February 28, 2012 , ,

Whoops! Looks like I missed a Tuesday! Last Tuesday I was busy showing my mother-in-law and grandmother-in-law around and enjoying their visit, so I completely spazzed on putting up a question. To make up for it, this week will have two questions. You can answer both, and whomever guesses correctly for one or both will get the respective entries into the Big Box of Books giveaway. :)

Don't forget to check out the details and rules HERE.

Tricky Trivia Tuesday question 1: "We'll send you a Hogwarts toilet seat." - Who says this to Ginny, in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone?

Tricky Trivia Tuesday question 2: Who wrote the following poem?

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow--
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand--
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep--while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?


Really Ravishing Review (The Fault in Our Stars)

literati_rain66 Saturday, February 25, 2012 ,
Hello there, what's this? A REVIEW!

First, I want to say that I'm a huge John Green fan. I mean, come on, who isn't? (If you answered, "Me", then I suggest you stop right now and go read one of his books. Because if you're not a fan, you clearly have not read a book by him.) Being a declared fan, I have to warn you that this review will be biased. He is an extremely talented writer, my favorite nerdfighter, and he graduated from Kenyon College. I went to elementary school on the same street that he honed his literary brilliance. I also ate in the same cafeteria on many occasions, know a number of the faculty, and generally used the campus as my own personal lounge. For all I know, I sold him Girl Scout cookies.

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green

Hazel is a normal 16 year old girl. She wants to make her parents happy. She likes to observe and offer her unique point of view on all things. She has stage IV thyroid cancer, complete with a mobile oxygen tank she has named "Philip." And she will die. Sooner rather than later.

I will admit I was apprehensive about reading TFiOS. Everyone I knew said it was a guaranteed tear jerker, but brilliant and moving and fantastic and inspirational. True, all. I don't make a habit of reading books that seem to be super depressing. Before its fame, I picked up The Hunger Games, read the synopsis, and set it back down. It sounded horribly depressing. On both accounts, I'm glad I muscled through the sadness and read the books.

The Fault in Our Stars was, in no exaggerated terms, phenomenal.

When I read the last of it and closed the book, I wasn't sure how I felt. The whole book had been amazing, but I just didn't know how I felt. I wanted more closure. But then, that's the whole point, isn't it? And it's the brilliance.

I continued not knowing my own feelings about it until I was discussing a cancer-ridden cousin of my mother-in-law's with said mother-in-law and my grandmother-in-law. This cousin's end seems near and we were discussing the whole thing, and the sadness. She has young children and a husband and no one knows what to do, how to help, what to feel. This made me instantly think of the book, so I brought it up. I explained the whole thing, how the characters dealt and related and lived their lives. How Hazel's chief worry was what would happen to her parents after she was pushing up daisies. Would they come together and be stronger, or become one of the more common couples that file for divorce not long after their child's death because they can't even look at each other, the pain is so great?

My mother-in-law is, of course, very distressed about her cousin. After I had said my piece about the book, we all just sat there, mulling. I offered to loan The Fault in Our Stars to her, and she gladly accepted. This, my friends, is the power of books. I have no doubt that this book will help my mother-in-law to understand better what her cousin might be feeling. Especially the worry her cousin is probably feeling about leaving her family to live on. How will they cope? I told her to read it and loan it to whomever she pleased.

I glanced (I say glanced because I didn't waste my time reading) at a negative review for TFiOS, saying that they couldn't believe that an author would choose to write about, of ALL THINGS, CANCER?!?! My thought was, why the flip not? GOOD FOR HIM, I thought. He's got GUMPTION, I thought. He is taking a "whisper" topic and talking about it in frank, normal, honest terms. This, I love. More people should do this.

It should come as no surprise then, that I give The Fault in Our Stars

5 out of 5 beautiful, faultless stars.

*second cover is not a published cover, it was made by Kaiasaurus on deviantart. I thought it was a lovely cover. :)


Bad Blogger Blues

literati_rain66 Friday, February 24, 2012
I'm not really blue. I just have been (and continue to be) a bad blogger. I am sorry. What have I been doing instead of writing those reviews?? I've been reading a lot... and

But I do have some reviews coming up. Really! I do! Things like The Fault in Our Stars, and The Name of the Star, and Crossed, to name a few. I know, you'll believe it when you see it. ;-)


Tricky Trivia Tuesday (#4)

literati_rain66 Tuesday, February 14, 2012 , ,

Hello again! Happy Valentine's Day to all you lovely folks! In honor of this day of death (You thought I was going to say love, didn't you?) we are going to have a Valentine's Day themed question.

Valentine's Day originated way back when to honor the many Christian martyrs named "Valentine." These include but are not limited to Valentine of Rome, Valentine of Terni, and the Valentine the Catholic Encyclopedia says was martyred in Africa with his companions. So in fact, it started because they were all killed. Saint Valentine's head was preserved and kept in the abbey of New Minster, Winchester and venerated. Delicious! (Might I suggest that for Valentine's Day next year you present your love with a beheaded tedddy bear? After all, it would be more historically accurate.) But HEY! It's not all doom and gloom. A very famous poet wrote a poem about "Valentines" in the 14th century. And you guys thought poetry wasn't important! ;) 

After that poem, it seems that we linked the unspecified Greco-Roman February holidays of fertility and love to Saint Valentine's Day. Voila! 

In honor of all the men who were killed because of their religion and a poem, I present you with this:

Now, to the question!

Tricky Trivia Tuesday Question: Who is the famous poet that wrote the historic poem speaking of "Valentines"?

No search engines! Click HERE for the rules and details of Trivia Tuesday. Happy guessing!

Tricky Trivia Tuesday (#3)

literati_rain66 Tuesday, February 7, 2012 , ,

Tricky Trivia Tuesday is an ongoing trivia game/contest here at Literati's Literary Library. Click HERE for the details and rules! :) (please read the rules before playing!)

This week we are doing a question in honor of Charles Dickens. Today is his (or rather, would be his) 200th birthday! 

Tricky Trivia Tuesday Question: What was Charles Dickens' first serialized novel?

Remember, no search engines! The first person to answer correctly gets their name entered into the Big Box of Books giveaway! Good luck! 

Share Spectacular Stories

literati_rain66 Wednesday, February 1, 2012
I just wanted to make sure you all knew about this fantastic thing going on- World Book Night. Sign ups have been extended until February 6th, so make sure you check it out!

On April 23rd givers all over the US will be running around giving out BOOKS to non or light readers. Isn't that AWESOME?! All you have to do to be a giver is sign up, pick up a box of 20 special World Book Night editions of the book you selected and pass them around. Brilliant.

Twenty books... that must be expensive! Nope. It's FREE. You just sign up, pick up your books, and give them to people who really need them. So really, you have no reason not to do this. Go, my loves! Go spread those spectacular stories!!

The list of books you can choose from:
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian - Sherman Alexie
Wintergirls - Laurie Halse Anderson
I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
Friday Night Lights - H. G. Bissinger
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz
Kindred - Octavia Butler
Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
Little Bee - Chris Cleave
The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
Blood Work - Michael Connelly
Because of Winn Dixie - Kate DiCamillo
Zeitoun - Dave Eggers
Peace Like a River - Leif Enger
A Reliable Wife - Robert Goolrick
Q is for Quarry - Sue Grafton
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
The Stand - Stephen King
The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
The History of Love - Nicole Krauss
The Namesake - Jhumpa Lahiri
The Things They Carried - Tim O'Brien
Bel Canto - Ann Patchett
My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson
The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot
Just Kids - Patti Smith
The Glass Castle - Jeannette Walls
The Book Thief - Markus Zusak

You get to pick your top three choices of book to give out, and they will do their best to accommodate. (So you're giving out twenty copies of the same book) (And they're free!!!)

Sign me up! I want to give out books!

Tricky Trivia Tuesday (#2)

literati_rain66 Tuesday, January 31, 2012 , ,

Tricky Trivia Tuesday is an on-going trivia game here at Literati's Literary Library. Click here to read the rules and contest details!

Since last week's question was easy, I went with a more difficult question. Good luck!

Tricky Trivia Tuesday Question: Who did A.A. Milne, author of Winnie the Pooh, use as inspiration for the character "Christopher Robin"?

Remember, no search engines!

First person to answer correctly gets their name entered in the Big Box of Books giveaway!

Tricky Trivia Tuesday (#1)

literati_rain66 Tuesday, January 24, 2012 ,

Hello and welcome to the very first Tricky Trivia Tuesday!! For the complete list of rules and to find out what exactly this Trivia Tuesday thing is about, click HERE.

Since this is the first one, we'll start with an easy question.

Tricky Trivia Tuesday Question: In Rick Riordan's Heros of Olympus series, what is Percy's sword named?

First person to answer correctly gets their name entered in the BBoB giveaway!!

Tricky Trivia Tuesday

What's this? A new feature? Why yes it is! 

What is Trivia Tuesday? 

Each week (or as close to that as I can manage) I will post a new trivia question.

You, my lovely readers, then post a comment with your answer, name, and email.

The first person to get the correct answer then gets their name entered into my Big Box of Books giveaway.

The drawing will be held at the end of June.

What will be in the Big Box of Books? It's a surprise! And by that I mean I have no idea. :-p It will be an eclectic mix of genres, maybe some ARCs, maybe some new releases, maybe some classics... who knows! As I find books to put in the box, I will update the list of books. (There will be some books not listed... what fun is it if you know everything you're getting??)

~ US and Canada only.
~ You may guess as many times as you'd like, but you cannot double post or put two of your answers into one comment. In other words, you post one answer per comment, and before you can post another guess, you must wait for someone else to guess.
~ You do not have to participate in every Trivia Tuesday to be entered to win, but the more you play the more chances you have of getting your name in the drawing!
~ No cheating! Googling the answer is cheating. No search engines allowed. You must know the answer off the top of your head, or at least think you do. ;-) Play fair guys!

Big Box of Books current listing:
Real Vampires Have Curves, by Gerry Bartlett
Carolina Moon, by Nora Roberts (used)
The Goblin Wood, by Hilari Bell
Looking for Alaska, by John Green


Really Ravishing Review (Carolina Moon)

literati_rain66 Wednesday, January 18, 2012 , ,

Title: Carolina Moon
Author: Nora Roberts

Well, I thought Carolina Moon was okay. I picked it up at the Salvation Army for two reasons: 1) It was Nora Roberts and I was in the mood for her work. 2) It was set in South Carolina, and being newly transferred to North Carolina, I thought it would be fun to read a book set near here.

Nora did me well with both her setting and with her mystery-romance. I enjoyed reading Carolina Moon.  A few minor things that I was less than enthralled with, but a lot that I enjoyed. Here are the deets...

Abused and beaten by her father throughout her childhood, Tory escapes to NYC and makes a life for herself. But her life in the city is simply a shield from her past, and as she matures she realizes that to truly live for herself, she must go back to Progress, the her childhood home, and face her past. There's a lot more in Progress than memories of her cruel father though. Her girlhood friend, Hope, was raped and murded when the girls were merely eight years old.

Determined to face her past and find peace, Tory returns to Progress to set up a shop and live her life. Complications arise when her father returns to rough her up, and another rape and murder take place in the town. What began has a journey of self-restoration quickly becomes a hunt to find the killer(s) that haunt the town.

Liked: Tory. She was a tough little thing. She was easy to sympathize, empathize, and relate with. If you are in the mood for a "she rises above" story, you'll enjoy reading about Tory. She's strong and stubborn and adorably fierce.

Cade. Okay, who doesn't love a totally capable Southern organic-cotton farmer? Seriously. Smart, forward-thinking, and hello tan and muscled. (Confession: I honestly don't give two hoots about the physical description of these fictional guys. But I know most of you do. So I do these for you. All for you.) Cade is warm and patient and totally unwilling to let Tory back out on everything.

The supporting characters. The other POVs were a nice change of pace and I really loved getting to know Faith.

Didn't like as much: For a little while in the middle I wasn't pleased with the pacing of the romance. It felt too quick, and I had a hard time believing Cade was really THAT smitten with her and would have that much unwavering dedication to unlocking the mystery of Tory.

I had the type of ending pegged from the first quarter of the book. I knew exactly what twists she'd throw in. And she did. Kind of bummed about that. But I didn't know the exact details, so that was a plus.

All told, it was an enjoyable read.

4 out of 5 stars.

My Magnificent Mailbox #32

literati_rain66 Sunday, January 15, 2012

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme put on by The Story Siren.

These past few months I have gotten:

From the Salvation Army:
Carolina Moon, by Nora Roberts

From Sandy over at Scribing Shadows:
Naked City, Anthology

From Andrea over at Aine's Realm:
Trust Me, by Rachel Hawthorne
Elphame's Choice, by P.C. Cast
Stardust, by Neil Gaiman
Changeling, by Delia Sherman
Odd and the Frost Giants, by Neil Gaiman
The Phantom Limb, by William Sleator and Anne Monticone
Whip It, by Shauna Cross
The Selchie's Seed, by Shuliamith Oppenheim
Priscilla the Great, by Sybil Nelson
The Robe of Skulls, by Vivian French
Blood Lite, Anthology

From Wal-Mart:
Clockwork Prince, by Cassandra Clare
Crossed, by Ally Condie
The Son of Neptune, by Rick Riordan
Beautiful Chaos, by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

From Ollie's:
The Spiderwick Chronicles, by Holly Black and Toni DiTerlizzi
Cryer's Cross, by Lisa McMann

From The Recycled Reader Used Bookstore:
Midnight Bayou, by Nora Roberts
Sea Swept, by Nora Roberts
Rising Tides, by  Nora Roberts
Inner Harbor, by Nora Roberts
Chesapeake Blue, by Nora Roberts
Postmortem, by Patricia Cornwell
Body of Evidence, by Patricia Cornwell

From Page After Page bookstore:
Invisible Monsters, by Chuck Palahniuk
Lover Avenged, by J.R. Ward

From the library:
Perfect, by Sara Shepard
Saving Francesca, by Melina Marchetta

From Market Street Bookshop:
Uncommon Criminals, by Ally Carter
Shadowspell, by Jenna Black

Expect a much smaller IMM next Sunday. This was a backlog of all the books I've gotten since I left Nantucket. What did you guys get?


Literati's Lacking Loyalty

literati_rain66 Friday, January 13, 2012
HI! I've missed you all!! You may (or may not) be wondering where I've been. Well, I'll tell you. Life has been crazy. So crazy, that I haven't done any blogging of any sort. I've barely kept up on social sites, and I've only been able to Tweet because my phone has Twitter. But I'm baaaack!

What have I been doing?

~ August 2011: Moved off the island of Nantucket. We put all our stuff -furniture, toys, everything we own- into storage, and the boys and I headed off to Ohio. My husband stayed on Cape Cod for Air School. It was a tough time for all of us, but the boys and I enjoyed seeing family folks that we hadn't seen in a long time.

~ December 2011: My husband finished his school early and came to Ohio to spend Christmas with us. Then, on the 28th, we packed up the cars and made our way down to Elizabeth City, North Carolina. We spent a few days getting settled in -which, by the way, doesn't take all that long when all you have is clothes, toys, and a few bare necessities- and exploring before the hubs had to report for his next school. He is currently training to be an Avionics Electronics Engineer.

And that brings us to now. We're in E-City for 6 months, and then we will be stationed somewhere else. (And we'll finally have all our stuff back! My oldest son saw a couch in a store and looked longingly at it, saying, "Ohhh. A COUCH!!" Sad, I know.) I admit I'm very much looking forward to having a dining room table... plates... a couch... a bed... dressers.... It's a little annoying having all our clean clothes folded in stacks on the floor. In the meantime, we're enjoying the adventure. And so far, I love E-City. It's fun and they have everything. The library is sadly lacking, but I just saw a used book store the other day, and I can't wait to go!!

I will do my best to get some reviews and giveaways up soon! It's nice to be back!