Tag Archives: books

What’s on your bookshelf? #shelfie

What are you reading?

Today’s 24-hour Dewey read-a-thon is in full swing.
In honor of Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls at the Party roll call for shelfies, I bring you my #SmartGirlShelfie.

What's on your shelf?

What’s on your bookshelf? This is what’s on mine. Not pictured: All the books not on this shelf.

I enjoy Smart Girls via Google+ and sometimes YouTube but it’s always nice to see the things put out on the other channels. I like that there’s something different everywhere you go. Do you dare share a photo of your bookshelf?

I’m growing a tree + mini-review: The Life of Pi

The last picture I posted on my blog showed that I’m attempting to grow some things currently skewered and suspended by toothpicks in two glasses– which I hope will sprout any day now. If you guessed they were acorns well, no. They’re not acorns. If you guessed avocados then you’re right! I’m growing an avocado tree and I hear that it could take a few years.

I don’t see any difference from those photos to now but I’ll keep an eye out for a root or a shoot sneaking out of one of the pits. Have you ever tried to grow a tree? Did you ever end up with seeds that turned out to be duds? Time will tell how these turn out. Now, time for a mini book review.

Mini-review: The Life of Pi

Life of PiLife of Pi by Yann Martel

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I’ll try to keep this spoiler free of specific story details, but you may be slightly spoiled on plot devices used in the storyline. If you’re okay with that please continue.

I was in junior high when I first read the oh-so-memorable short story “The Lady or the Tiger.” I’ve since read and seen enough plots to recognize the familiar tailspin into ambiguity leading to the somewhat disappointing “This was all a hallucination/dream. Or WAS IT? dun dun dun…” that makes you roll your eyes.

I liked that “Life of Pi” was entertaining in the sense that enough was going on to keep me turning pages steadily for most of the book, although the story was a bit sad. Some of the conflicts even produced a visceral reaction which kept me up at nights reading for longer than intended so that I could finish the chapter.

What I didn’t like was at some point I realized that the reason I enjoyed this book as much as I did was because it felt like a mash-up of other stories I enjoyed. I was reminded of parts of the movie “Titanic”, the last episode of the tv show “Mash” (where Hawkeye yelled at the woman on the bus), the movie “The Sixth Sense” and “Robinson Crusoe”– the last one most likely because I haven’t seen “Cast Away”.

Overall I would recommend it for a reader who doesn’t get easily put off when reading about wild animal predation or descriptions of carrion in various states of decay. And lots of poop. Hey, when you’ve got a tiger in a small boat what else would you expect?

All that’s left for me to do now is to watch the movie but if it’s true to the book I’m not sure my stomach can handle it.

View all my reviews

This weekend’s awesomeness

This week's awesomeness

On February 1 in the 11 o’clock pm hour I happened to read this page!

I had what I like to call a NeverEnding Story moment. What is that you ask? It’s when you become aware that an element of the story you’re experiencing is happening at the exact day & time as the present.

This is not the first time that this has happened. My previous moment was when I happened to watch the movie “Singing in the Rain” on March 24.

Have you ever had a NeverEnding Story moment?

Goodreads Challenge update + mini-review: Start with Why

Goodreads Challenge (25/25)

Goodreads Challenge complete

Done and done. Today I reached my goal of reading 25 books in 2012.

The final book was Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (book #6). I am glad to have completed it over a month early, but it did cut into my NaNoWriMo start time. To keep my sanity through November I’ve decided to sit this year’s writing challenge out, however I won’t be completely absent from that world. I plan to lurk on the various NaNo sites and forums and watch my fellow writers zoom toward their goals. Who knows? I may even stop by a local write in.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo or NaBloPoMo?

Mini-review: Start with Why

Start with WhyStart with Why by Simon Sinek

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Start with Why” by Simon Sinek is an analysis of how visionary leaders are able to cultivate success and others are not. they do this by simply communicating the concept of why they believe what they do which draws others who believe the same thing to their cause. I enjoyed the first 65 pages or so, but then book seemed to start over and repeat the same thing (using the same examples). I would recommend this book for those who want to experience the concept in the author’s TED talk in a different way, but I tend to agree with Loy Machedo’s review.

View all my reviews

Writing progress update + mini-book review: Canadian Culinary Road Trip

This week in my spare time I read a book, made progress in a couple others, wrote a story synopsis and a poem, and got caught up on some video lectures for a class. More videos were just posted so I have to catch up all over again which negates my sense of accomplishment on that. Oh well.

In NaNo news I should be writing a lot more; throwing content toward my word count instead of here. The good news is that I am at least writing something. Hopefully the action will get the creativity flowing. With Daylight Saving Time ending tonight I’ll have one more hour in my day to make up the writing debt. Whether I remember to turn my clock back before I sleep is another issue. All those gentle reminders from several punctual and caring social media friends are helping that effort. Thanks, my friends.

As a “reward” for myself, I’ll post my full poem once I catch up on my word count.
LA Local wrimos
How’s your Nano novel coming along? There’s a write-in at the South Bay Pavilion’s Panera Breads on Sunday, Nov. 6, from 4:00PM – 7:00PM.

Here’s the first stanza as a teaser:

Picking Pumpkins

For rows and rows they stretch
Round in shape, some tall and lean
All shades of orange hues
Anticipating Halloween
Wedged between husks of corn
Listing from side to side
A chilly breeze whips ’round
A truck bed fit for a hay ride…

More to come next time.

Mini-book review: Canadian Culinary Road Trip

Canadian Culinary Road TripCanadian Culinary Road Trip by Isabel Fonte

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I picked up this book a few years ago at a book fair and finally got around to re-reading this as I was looking for some new recipe ideas. This book is a virtual road trip with some wonderful photos of the Canadian landscape along with places of interest with regional recipes from across the country. I’ve tried a couple of the recipes and highly recommend the “cream of carrot soup” and the “rappie pie”- (a sort of Shepherd’s pie) dishes.

View all my reviews

Highlight of the week

Angels Post-Game Fireworks


This week has been a rush, in a good way. I started reading a book series (Jeeves, by P.G. Wodehouse) capped the week by seeing Pirates of the Caribbean again, this time in IMAX 3D, and attended my first Angels game.
diamond from my seat

Angels vs. Braves

Today was a recovery/baking day. Tomorrow morning I am going on a hike and then doing something else fun in the afternoon.  To view more highlights, check my Flickr page.

Hope to have more visuals soon.

Social reading update + sites of the week

I joined Goodreads a few months ago to keep track of my reviews, other books I’ve read or wanted to read, and to keep tabs on what my peeps are reading. For months after I signed up I’ve only had one book listed. I received weekly e-mails saying (paraphrased), “*So-and-so* has read/added 3 books this week and you’ve added nothing of literary value.” Well, that may have been true but it wasn’t very fun to belong to a site that told me that I’m the least well-read out of my buddies week after week. So over the holiday I deleted my one book and unsubscribed from their stupid e-mail list I logged in and added some things I’ve read throughout the last year. There’s some actual content on my page now including a few reviews so hooray for that. My updated site can be found at goodreads.com/madelinewright.

If 2010 was the year of working on my fitness, 2011 is the year of writing. I do plan to stick with the not so random feats of fitness and work in some 10K, variable distance triathlons and other fun. Now I’ll be more inclined to write about them. To make room for that I’ve moved my monthly desktop wallpaper feature to my tumblog because that platform is better to showcase images and other short posts, IMO. But the downside is that Tumblr has had a lot of downtime lately, which is why I’m staying put on WP for my other content.

This week I came across a few links of note.

1) 2011 Blue Print from Suze Orman A month-by-month Financial Planning Guide to improve finances this year.

2) FoodPress The WordPress destination for food blogs. Lots of time was spent here as soon as I clicked on it so I thought this one was worth passing along.

3) //dailypost.wordpress.com/ The site that kicked off my 2011 goal to post something every week. It’s not too late to join if you’re so inclined.

That’s all for now. Try not to get hit by any dead birds falling from the sky. Especially if you’re in the southern US or Sweden.

and now the reading list for March

Resolution: exercise more (creativity)

Though I want to say the novel is one of my favorite book formats, I don't recall reading a paper novel in years. I mentioned paper novel because my latest were read to me via audio books. That sounds crazy considering I attempt to write a novel every year for National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and my goal is to get them published and printed in paperback format. If I really write for myself (i.e. create stories that I'd like to read), then why do I want so badly to get my work put into a format I don't really consume?

I'd like to think it's not because I'm a vain person. Theoretically wouldn't it be the same to print my work as a .PDF and just make it available for download? After all, I'd still be getting my creative ideas out there, right?  Emotionally and financially, no. It's not the same. There's something special to being able to hold a physical copy of my book that's for sale either in a bookstore or online with fancy options like one business day delivery.

With this literary arsenal I feel more prepared to jump into the editing process for my novels, so that they may actually see the light of day. I'm over halfway through with and really liking the top book, How to Tell a Story by Peter Rubie and Gary Provost. It's very much like taking an intensive course on creative writing with plenty of examples of successful stories that we know from classic books, movies, and even screenplays.

I've got a lot to read this month but after digesting this knowledge base it'll be a lot easier to move forward in the creative writing process.

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Fit and Awesome

Running, Outdoors, Gluten Free, and Healthy Living Tips.

WordCamp Los Angeles 2017

September 29, 2017 – October 1, 2017

A Panda and a Book

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I love this place

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children's, middle grade, and young adult book reviews and other writing

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Content Creation, Curation and Distribution in a Web 2.0 World

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Exploring the ins and outs of the publishing industry

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It's going to happen. Gotta find something to do until then.