Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone Book Journey’s Harry Potter Re-Read

I finished book one of the series last night. Rather than give a review, because I feel like everyone definitely knows what this book is about by now, I thought I would give my thoughts on what I noticed with my first re-read through the book.

Have you ever noticed once you pick up a new hobby you suddenly see it in books, movies or shows that you otherwise didn’t notice it in before? That was definitely happening with me in this book. I picked up knitting in between the time I read this book last and I let a little squeal each time it popped up in the book. I of course could not have forgotten the Weasley sweaters but I forgot about Hagrid knitting on the train.

I suddenly have a new favorite character as well. I had somehow overlooked Professor McGonagall previously. I love her sass and how she deals with the students in the first book. I like to believe that if I had ever become a teacher I would have been like her.

The first book does an excellent job of setting up the atmosphere of Hogwarts and an introduction to some of the characters. I’m looking forward to completing the series this time through. Also feeling inspired to do some Harry Potter knits.

On Tap Tuesday:8-21-12

On Tap Tuesday is where I tell you what is on tap for me reading wise for the week.

I most recently read: Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. I’m unsure if I will write a review about this now or wait until after our book group discusses it. It was my first Vonnegut read and I’m definitely going to check out more.

What I’m currently reading: The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson and The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg.

I haven’t gotten very far into The Power of Habit yet but it definitely seemed interesting to me. The Girl Who Played with Fire was a slow start for me but it’s picked up and is now taking most of my attention.

So what’s on tap for you guys this week?

Publishers and Imprints: Opening My Eyes

So I have a confession. Before I started blogging and getting more into the book scene with twitter, podcasts, and blogs, I never really paid attention to publishing houses. I think I had some vague notion about some of the big ones like Random House and Penguin existing, but it was nothing I really paid much attention to or was a way that I searched out books. Back then I usually focused on searching out authors I had previously read and new that I liked or looking by genre. Now I’ve become much more aware of the many different publishing houses that exist and have even added it as a tool for searching out books. It’s by no means a definitive method, but I’ve come to realize that certain publishing houses tend to have published books that I am interested in or have a tendency to publish a certain theme, genre, or type of book that I’m interested in, so I tend to either look at their upcoming publishing lists or pay more attention to the books they are touting. As I said though this isn’t a definitive method. Every publishing house has certain gems of books and I am not advocating ignoring one publisher because they haven’t published something you’ve liked in the past. I’m just saying that I’ve realized that this is one tool you can use in you arsenal when searching for good reads. I also recommend following publishers on twitter or checking out their websites. Lots of useful information and even some fun to be had with both. So I also included imprints in the title of the post. That’s because I’m just now starting to realize that imprints exist. As you can imagine having not paid much attention to publishing houses before I had just thought that all of these company titles I saw on spines of books were independent houses. I’m realizing that might not always be true. And speaking of genres or certain themes of books, some publishing houses will have entire imprints devoted to publishing certain genres or types of books. Also a useful tool in the book search arsenal. So in a way yes, I have discovered a whole new world within the book community. It makes me wonder what other facets of the book world are out there that could be used to find books or enrich the reading experience.

Week in Review: May 25, 2012

Time for my week in review! I have to tell you all that I’ve had a rough week in my personal life. I found out this week that my program got funding cuts and that I will no longer have a job after June 29th. I have started j0b searching already and have a phone interview set up for today. Wish me luck!

Books I finished: When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Books I started: In the Woods by Tana French and When She Woke by Hillary Jordan

Plans for the next week: I think In the Woods is going to be one of my longer term reads. I’m enjoying going through it slowly. I’ve decided to start my first Toni Morrison book: Song of Solomon

Reviews I did this week: The Deep Zone by James M. Tabor

 

Hope you guys had great reading weeks. Have any book suggestions for me?

Starting an Online Book Club?

Good evening!

So I’ve been rolling around this idea in my head for a while and have mentioned it once or twice on twitter but I’ve finally decided that I wanted to make a post and see if there is any interest.

I want to start an online book club. I live in a small area and don’t have many book friends so starting a real life one seems like a daunting task. Those that are already started at the libraries usually meet at inconvenient times for me. Plus I already know that so many of you are awesome and I really want to talk more about books with you. Plus, what’s better than being able to show up to book club in your pj’s and being able to drink wine without worrying about driving home (trust me I won’t judge).

So here’s the basic idea, I’d like to limit the number of people in the club to 8 people plus me, mainly because I want to use google+ hangout as the “meeting place” for our book group. We would meet and chat about a chosen book once a month in a google+ hangout but hopefully we will get a good group together that will like to chat on twitter or by e-mail in between book club meetings.  I’m hoping that we can do this during the evening time (depending on the time we could do weeknight or weekend evening).

That being said I want to try to organize a fun and friendly group. I want everyone to feel free to express opinions about the book but I don’t want people to insult other members. We can establish more solid guidelines once we see if there are people actually interested.

 

So those are the basics of my idea. Anyone interested? Leave a comment on the blog or contact me through e-mail or twitter!

Where Do You Go for Book Recommendations?

Do you have that one friend that always gives you the scoop on the newest read? Or do you depend on your book group to keep you in the know?

I would love to have those kinds of resources for book recommendations, but unfortunately, I don’t have any reading friends, much less a book group. I have a few friends that read here and there, but they aren’t near the book addict that I am!

So that left me to finding my own resources for book recommendations. The best resources that I’ve found so far have been podcasts, twitter and BookPage.

I feel that podcasts have filled the need most effectively because not only do I get great recommendations I also get the feel of having book friends. My two favorites are Books on the Nightstand and Bookrageous . Both podcasts are very well done and make you feel like you are listening to a group of friends talk about the books they love. Great resource to find new books that are coming out and occasional information about the industry. My TBR pile always grows by leaps and bounds after every epsidoe. Definitely give them a listen.

As for Twitter I recommend following favorite authors, people from blogs and podcasts you like as well as publishing houses. Many libraries are also now on twitter. This is one of the best ways to hear the buzz on the newest releases as well as getting information about giveaways. Some publishing houses will also do special promotions for advanced reader copies of upcoming books. Twitter is also a good way to start conversations about books with people all over the world with similar tastes and with different views.

One of my last resources is BookPage. You may be familiar with this title from you local library. Most libraries carry free copies of this magazine that is loaded with book recommendations and reviews for a variety of genres. They also have a website full of great information and you can sign up there for them to e-mail you daily recommendations. They are also someone else that you can follow on twitter!

So now that I’ve given you my sources for book recommendations, what are some of yours?

On Tap Tuesdays 1-10-12 and I Think I Have a Problem

Hello everyone! Happy Tuesday. On Tap Tuesdays are my weekly posts about what I plan on reading for the week.

 

On Tap for this week:

 

The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman –  This is the first book I’m reading off my list for the 2012 TBR Challenge! 

Domestic Violets by Matthew Norman – I have this in audiobook form and I haven’t been able to get into it yet, I may end up switching to an ebook  for this one.

 

As for my problem. I was listening to a book podcast the other day and realized something. I really don’t have a favorite author anymore. I don’t have that author that I immediately want to have their book that’s newly published. The only thing that has came close lately is wanting a book that is next in a series because I enjoy the series, not exactly the author. Anyone else have that problem? Who is/are your favorite author(s)?

I haven’t always been this way, I did have a favorite author or two a few years ago, but after several disappointments they have fell out of favor with me. Maybe I need to go on a reading adventures to find new favorites?

On Tap Tuesday 12-13-11/Mini Review

Hello everyone! How’s everyone doing with the holidays quickly approaching? I know that I totally over committed myself and still have presents to make. Wish me luck!

 

So on tap for this week:

I’m going to really dive into The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier. Read a few pages of this already and it looks to be interesting.

Going to hopefully finish up Packing for Mars by Mary Roach while I do some Christmas crafting.

 

Mini Review:

I finished Storm Front by Jim Butcher this morning. I’m definitely going to read more books in this series (most of which is conveniently sitting on my bookshelf thanks to the fiancee) .

This is Jim Butcher’s first book in his Harry Dresden series. Harry Dresden is a slightly down on his luck wizard who advertises his service in a private investigator manner. This is no way a lucrative business for him. He struggles to pay the bills and fields frequent prank calls and the occasional are you serious questions to his proclaimed wizardry. He supplements his income from a few consulting jobs from the police. Our story opens with him getting a call from a potential costumer setting up a meeting for later in the day and then immediately getting a call for a police consultation. Being hard up for money Dresden accepts both and is put on a time crunch to fulfill both obligations. He heads to the crime scene to do his police consultation and finds a gruesome murder scene. Obviously done with magic, but to figure out how, he will have to delve into some black magic that could get him in to more trouble than it’s worth. After a mishap on his rush back to his office to get to his second meeting on time ( I’ll let you find that out on your own) he meets with a wife who wants Dresden to find her missing husband. Not really Dresden’s thing, but she’s willing to pay money up front, she seems a bit cautious and knowledgeable about wizards, so maybe there is something there.

 

This is pretty much the opening to our story. It continues with everything that is possible to go wrong does. You kind of have to feel sorry for Dresden he can’t seem to catch a break. I really enjoyed seeing two of my favorite genres, who done it mystery and fantasy, mixed together. This isn’t your psychic medium finding clues to the murder. This is spells, fairies, trolls, etc. causing havoc in the normal world and Dresden is just trying to control it. A quick read and definitely worth a try if you are interested in crime and fantasy.

 

2012 TBR Pile Challenge

I’ve decided to sign up for the 2012 TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Roofbeam Reader.

You have to pick 12 books from your TBR pile that have to have been published prior to January 1, 2011. You also pick two alternate books in case one of the books you picked you just can’t get through. You have to post your list ahead of time and link it to Roof Beam Reader’s post. You can get more information about the challenge by clicking the image above.

Here’s my list:

1. The Sweetness at the Bottom of The Pie by Alan Bradley

2. Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand by Helen Simonson

3. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake

4. Northanger Abbey by Jane Austin

5. The Housekeeper and The Professor by Yoko Ogwa

6. The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst

7. Ghostwalk by Rebecca Stott

8. The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

9. The Poe Shadow by Matthew Pearl

10. The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian

11. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

12. The Cookbook Collector by Allegra Goodman

Two Back Ups: The Eleventh Plague by John S. Marr, John Baldwin

Dark Angels by Karleen Koen

Looks to be a pretty decent list to me. Hopefully the challenges I have signed up for will keep me motivated through out the year and hopefully I’ll get some galleys to review in there as well! This is my first year that I’ve signed up for any challenges so I’m excited! What challenges are you signing up for next year?

On Tap Tuesday 12-6-11

So I had grand plans for today. I woke up to a rainy dreary day and I thought: Perfect day for reading and knitting! I really wanted to try to finish Storm Front by Jim Butcher before I wrote my post. I’m loving that book so much! I’m thrilled I have 5 or 6 more books from the series waiting for me on the shelf!

 

So did any of that get done? No. The dog escaped from the fenced in yard yet again, had to go find him and then spent the next hour or so moving is lead around trying to find the optimal place to place him in the fence and away from escape places. Then I found a job I wanted to apply for (I’m currently job searching) so I spent half an hour writing the cover letter and then an hour and a half fussing with the printer because it was printing all streaks. Lovely.

 

So what’s on tap for this week?

I would love to finish Storm Front by Jim Butcher.

I just started listening to Packing for Mars by Mary Roach Narrated by Sandra Burr.

If I finish Storm Front I will work on Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese and then maybe pick The Illumination by Kevin Brockmeier back up.

 

This doesn’t seem to be a good reading season for me so far, especially since I got the bright idea to knit presents for most of the people on my list. Please stop me next year if I decide to do that again, okay? Hope everyone else’s reading is going better than mine. Send me reading mojo!

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