My Secret Life

It's not as exciting as it sounds or as secret.

Books That Have Stayed with Me in Some way...

Christy’s Top List of Books That Have Stayed with Me in Some way…

12) Green Eggs & Ham—Seuss, come on! Taught me that silly can be great.

11) The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon—not my first Stephen King or last but I still think about this book.

10) Are you there God? It’s me Margaret—I can’t tell you how much I relied on re-reading this book throughout puberty!

9) The Telltale Heart—Poe. That is all.

8) She’s Come Undone—First time I cyber stalked an author. I just couldn’t believe a male author could write a female protagonist so well.

7) Lord of the Flies—Maybe it was because of Mr. Saggio, maybe how appropriate it was reading it in Jr. High. But in hindsight our teacher was leaving us a little clue about growing up & the hierarchy of living in the real world.

6) Me Before You—I have never, never, never cried like I cried reading this book. I still get choked up thinking about it. Supposedly a movie is in the works, can’t imagine Hollywood not fucking up perfection.

5) Game of Thrones—Best audio book ever. Converted me to obsessed with this series & listening to books in general.

4) Lover Awakened—Simply one of the most tortured heroes ever. If Zsadist can try, no reason why I can’t.

3) Jenny and the Cat Club—My obsession with these tails as a kid is what I blame on being a crazy cat lady of the future.

2) Outlander—Perfection. Everything I love in a book & didn’t know at the time! Sci-Fi, Action, Historical Fiction, Romance, Suspense!

1) East of Eden—This book changed my life. I cannot even enumerate the ways. Steinbeck is my favorite author ever.


In your status, list 10-12 books that have stayed with you in some way. Don’t take more than a few minutes and do not think too hard. They do not have to be the “right” books or great works of literature, just ones that have affected you in some way. Tag 10 friends including me so I can see your list…

#BookadayUK - Day 21

Reblogged from Abandoned by user:
Outlander - Diana Gabaldon

This prompt is a bit tough for two reasons: first, I don't voluntarily read stuff I think I'm going to hate (at least not since I graduated from law school), and I am pretty much total book slut - I like nearly all genres, classics and literary fiction. So, it is rare that I read a book I think I am going to hate, and if the book is well-written, I can usually find something about it to like.


I never intended to read Outlander, though. My thought process went something like: "well, it's time travel, about a hot Scottish dude, and, yeah, total cheesefest." One of my friends badgered me endlessly to read it, so, in a fit of "will you leave me alone if I try to read it" exasperation, she agreed that she would never darken my doorstep with discussions of Jamie Fraser again if I would read twenty pages past where Claire steps through the standing stones. Until that point, I didn't plan on finishing the book.  I started counting the pages, got totally absorbed, and the next time I looked up, I was at page 500. Now I am an unapologetic fan.




Who is looking forward to the Starz premiere. 

25 Books To Read If You Loved Divergent

Reblogged from Bookish Quotes:


  If you loved Divergent, you must try at leas one of these:


                                                 via BuzzFeed


30 Guilty Pleasure books

Great list of book suggestions that are awesome!  I've read a few on this list & have to agree, therefore I added another 10 or so to my TBR list!

Fire - Kristin Cashore Love this book! I think it was better than the first, Graceling. After having read some of the other reviews of this book, I am left feeling like we did not even read the same book. Some complained about periods, rape, incest, illegitimate children, sex outside of marriage like those things don't happen in today's society quite often & that the young readers this series is aimed at wouldn't normally be exposed to them. Really? First, those things weren't even a large part of the story, if you think they are, you've missed the point! Second, I felt this book spoke about & dealt with those "unpleasant" issues in a clear, precise, adult like way that made them less shameful. This is how young adults should be told & communicated with, particularly when those issues can be a powder keg of guilt & shame to the adult doing the talking. Which just highlights two of the important themes in this book & ones that I really liked. One, that we don't have to be ashamed of what we are or what made us who we are, we just are & there is joy & value in that. Love the quote, "..your unnatural beauty is natural. Nature is horrifying." Two, that women are in charge of their own sexuality. They are empowered to love who they want, refuse who they don't want, be proactive in using birth control or debating whether to be sterilized & never have children, or raise those children on their own. I think the most valuable lesson here is that women are in charge of their own sexuality regardless of what may have happened in the past, it does not negate their autonomy now.But the thing I loved most about this book? The slow (read whole book) build up of the romance between the two characters. They truly took their time getting to know each other, building a friendship, & then start to explore a possible romance. And in that time both characters change, grow, & learn more about themselves, thus making the final step all that much sweeter. This strikes me as so much more realistic & healthy than other y-a & romance type stories where the h/H fall into immediately lust, have sex quickly, & then are declaring their undying love all within days of meeting each other. In this book their relationships develops over months & almost a whole year. For a y-a book this seems a much more healthy & responsible way to show how to build a successful marriage & relationship. And it allowed me, the reader, to fall in love right along with them.
Vampires Are Forever - Lynsay Sands This is probably my least favorite of the Argeneau series so far, although Thomas has been a favorite character of mine. This story also had one of the best "mysteries" yet, with the disappearance of Marguerite & it wasn't completely resolved at the end of this book, but I believe her story is next so that's probably why the author couldn't reveal where she's been. I just couldn't get into Thomas' story & it seems he was written completely differently than he had in all the previous books. Although an explanation was given for him dropping his irreverent "surfer dude" type persona, it was weak & completely forgotten the minute it was explained why he been acting that way for 100? 200 years?? with some members of his family. It just seemed contrived & when Thomas lost the "dudes" it seems he lost anything remotely interesting about himself too. No more development regarding him secretly being a composer, etc. I liked Inez, but just really couldn't get into either one of these characters. Overall, I think the book felt rushed.

Bared to You (Crossfire Trilogy Series #1)

Bared to You - Sylvia Day original review on GR mysteriously disappeared sometime in the last couple months. Something to do with Amazon & that I did not like the book??? Here it is copy/pasted:Shame on Sylvia Day!!!Nothing pisses me off faster than a terrible ending to what was pretty much an intriguing book. Day just ended this at the end of a chapter! Right after two new conflicts reveal themselves to the main characters! Ummm...... HELLO! Forget a HEA (which is fine w me as long as there is a resolution & good explanation of loose ends)there's no ending at all!! No closure, no resolutions, no reveals, nothing!! Terrible, terrible, terrible! Shame on Day & her publisher for such a gross abuse of readers who spent 230+ pages getting emotionally involved w Eva & Gideon's issues with no ending!! I'm sorry but, just taking a shower & driving away in a limo for the night to avoid a confrontation w a major secondary character the heroine lives w is not an ending. Very disappointing! I will not be buying the second book, Day & publisher don't deserve it.Although this book is better written than 50 Shades of Grey & deals with similar issues, I would not recommend it. The author ends the book without resolving a single one of the conflicts & issues!! The book just stops at the end of a chapter!Christian Grey & Gideon do have a lot in common, handsome, rich business men who like to stalk their lady loves, not to mention a shared history of childhood sexual abuse. I did like how the abused is handled, explained, & the emphasis on needing to get professional help to get better. I know/love so many adult survivors - it was definitely very realistic & I like how it was treated w dignity for such a terrible subject. I just hope he isn't magically "cured" like happens in a lot of books. Cuz I can tell you from experience that crap doesn't happen! Sexual abuse affects every part of their lives forever.The more I reflected on the book though, it just made me more & more angry! It just left every loose end loose! So you have to buy the next book. It just quit @ the end of a chapter. No resolution for the Cary orgy, Cary's boyfriend, why Gideon's so effed up, why's his bro's a dick, how can 2 childhood sexual abuse survivors have a real relationship, etc!! Really pissed me off & I loved Gideon! I really felt for him & how much therapy he was gonna need before he got over/thru what happened to him.Basically, if you want any type of closure or resolution to Eva & Gideon's story you have to buy the 2nd book in the series, because not a single thing is explained in book 1. Shame on Sylvia Day!!
Their Eyes Were Watching God (Audio) - Zora Neale Hurston, Ruby Dee I love classics! What a treat listening to Hurston's writing narrated by Ruby Dee. She really does an amazing job bringing Janie's world to life. I'm so glad I listened to this on audiobook instead of reading it. I suspect I would have had a difficult time getting into the vernacular, since I kept starting & stopping reading this book, to be able to enjoy the true poetic lyricism of Hurston's writing. A must listen!! I have already gone back to relisten to the first 20 minutes of it to see what I may have missed. I can definitely see listening to this again. There are so many amazing poetic moments & quotes. In the first chapter, less than 30 minutes in, is one of the best descriptions of a girl on the cusp of becoming a woman & going thru puberty I have ever heard! Hurston somehow removes the self conscious awkwardness & leaves the wonder of a woman's body blossoming into adulthood.Some of my favorite quotes:"Love is lak de sea. It’s uh movin’ thing, but still and all, it takes its shape from de shore it meets, and it’s different with every shore.” “Even wid dem overhalls on, you show yo’ womanhood.”“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.” “Ships at a distance have every man's wish on board. For some they come in with the tide. For others they sail forever on the same horizon, never out of sight, never landing until the Watcher turns his eyes away in resignation, his dreams mocked to death by Time. That is the life of men. Now, women forget all those things they don't want to remember, and remember everything they don't want to forget. The dream is the truth. Then they act and do things accordingly.” “Janie looked down on him and felt a self-crushing love. So her soul crawled out from its hiding place.” “She was stretched on her back beneath the pear tree soaking in the alto chant of the visiting bees, the gold of the sun and the panting breath of the breeze when the inaudible voice of it all came to her. She saw a dust-bearing bee sink into the sanctum of a bloom; the thousand sister-calyxes arch to meet the love embrace and the ecstatic shiver of the tree from root to tiniest branch creaming in every blossom and frothing with delight.” “Oh to be a pear tree – any tree in bloom! With kissing bees singing of the beginning of the world!” "The kiss of his memory made pictures of love & light against the wall."
Lord of Scoundrels - Loretta Chase What a surprise! Well written & fully developed characters! I loved all the background given to the Hero in the story, usually that much detail is saved only for the woman & we are left guessing or given cursory explanations of the Hero's motivations. Although it was sad to read of such a young boy sorely abused, neglected, & bullied - it probably wasn't all that unusual in the time period. Also, I loved how the women in this book are the strong, independent, sexual, & modern thinking women rarely port raided even in contemporary books now.

Trial by Desire (Hqn)

Trial by Desire - Courtney Milan Meh. Not sure what I didn't like about this book. The MCs just didn't seem to fit. I never connected with either of them & they didn't seem to have much chemistry. I actually liked Ned better & felt more for him in the 1st book in the series. It's never revealed why Kate has such strong feelings/passion for him. It's hinted at, from their meeting & courtship in the 1st book, but never revealed or explained. What does Kate see in him? Even their sex scenes fall flat, no pun intended! I think his serious mental health issues were glossed over & made light of to come to an easy solution for the couple to have their HEA. I was particularly discouraged that Ned's clinical depression was overcome by him just resolving to "power" thru it & remember it too will pass. Really?? Maybe Milan was just overly ambitious, I have to give her mad props for saddling her hero with such an unheard of & taboo affliction, particularly in a Regency Romance! But I think she bit off more than she could chew & then got lost in the mess she created.The only reason this isn't 1 star is Milan's excellent writing, her dialogue is witty, the internal dialogue creative, the villain diabolical, & setting well described without being redundant. Her heroines are always bucking the tends of a typical female of that time period in someway & each is creatively constructed which is so refreshing & empowering. Sadly, it's the relationship & MCs that are lacking. This is the first book of hers I didn't care for, I do love her writing usually, so i'll just chalk this one up to being a dud & continue reading her other works.Well, I guess I was able to describe all the reasons I didn't like this book after all.
Ready Player One - Ernest Cline

What a wonderful audiobook! Wil Wheaton does an amazing job narrating this. I love the creative story & being a child of the 80's myself, I really enjoyed the plethora of pop culture references. Indeed the whole premise of the book is based on it. I read another reviewer call this nostalgia porn, & if that's the case bring me more!!

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly - Anthony Bourdain This was a great book. I loved Tony's irreverent take on the food industry & his great story telling skills definetely showed. He narrated the audiobook himself, so it was wonderful hearing him pronounce all the french words for menu items & culinary techniques that I would have stumbled over & tried to phonetically sound out if I had to read the book. Also, it really brought to life all the insults, threats, & affectionate nicknames those kitchen employees regularly use. He made you feel like you had just become a "fly on the wall" of one of his kitchens.Only thing I wish he had included was his recovery. He speaks candidly of his decent into drug addiction, but barely hints as how & why he became sober & kicked a bad herion habit.I will certainly read his other books & now I'll prefer them in audio as well.
The Darkest Secret - Gena Showalter Ah, Showalter has redeemed herself with this book! I was disappointed in her previous book in this series, but this one, Amun's story, is now my favorite of the entire series! Can't wait for the next!
The Art of Racing in the Rain CD - Garth Stein Loved, loved, loved this audiobook! The narrator is perfect! I love the story being told thru the eyes of Enzo the family dog. The amazing insights he has & things he is witness to are amazing. This book made me laugh & of course, as any "dog" book is wont to do, made me cry. I found it particularly poignant as I too have an elderly, yellow dog suffering with the same affliction (arthritis) but with cataracts & deafness being added in. We also have a unique relationship, Buddy making it his purpose on this Earth to convince me I love dogs as much or more than I do cats. He has succeeded. Seeing Enzo's life thru his eyes, with his awareness of what is happening to him, well, it really brought these last years, months, moments of Buddy's life into sharp focus for me & makes me want to be a better "dog" mother with what time remains for us, for both of our sakes.
The Duchess War - Courtney Milan One of the best wedding nights written, next to Jamie & Claire!
The Darkest Lie - Gena Showalter This is probably my least favorite of this series, which is unfortunately since I was really looking forward to Gideon's (LIES) story. The heroine, well, she drove me crazy! I love 2/3's of the book, the big secret, the dialogue/Gideon speak, & how she slowly revealed the secret, but when Scarlet's world came crashing down she became a weak, whiny bitch. Totally out of character for her & I know one could argue its to show how rocked she was to her core by the "truth". But is the only option to dramatize that by making her annoying?? Really? Plus there were a few plot holes at the end, the most glaring one being that the big bad Goddess's "power" was such a concern once the "truth" is revealed, right up until the last fight scene. Where, conveniently, our hero & heroine forget to consider she may use it against Scarlet. Come on! It's the whole reason they didn't hunt down the Goddess to fight before. And, I just don't get the whole "we can't be together even though we're in love cuz eventually I'm going to get hurt & thus hurt you. So I have to leave you now, so that doesn't happen", huh?

2013 Reading Challenge

2013 Reading Challenge
Christy has read 125 books toward her goal of 150 books.