Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Library Loot: November 27 to December 3

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!
I am feeling a little nostalgic right now looking at that opening paragraph. You see, I have been hosting Library Loot for just under 4 and a half years. Initially I was co-hosting with Eva from A Striped Armchair and later with Claire from The Captive Reader and I think in all that time I have maybe missed posting a half a dozen times, if that. Given that I was actually participating before that, it is probably longer.

I have recently been thinking though, that it is time to make some changes. Whilst I still imagine that I will be participating in Library Loot, it is time for me to step aside from co-hosting. Claire is intending to continue with Library Loot and so she is looking for someone to help by hosting the LL post every second week.

I can promise you that it is pretty painless most of the time, so if you think that you may be interested then get in contact with Claire before December 12.

I will continue to host for the rest of the year, or until a new co-host is found, whichever comes earlier. Just in case this happens quickly I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has posted Library Loot and visited me as part of the meme.

Here's what I got from the library this week:

The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon by Alexander McCall Smith - Latest book in the No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series

Looking for Alibrandi by Melina Marchetta - My journey through Melina Marchetta's backlist continues with this, her first book.

The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta - Yes again. I am currently listening to this audiobook for the third time in a few months and yet I still cry. So good!

In Falling Snow by Mary-Rose MacColl - Reloot.

Bella's Wishlist by Emily Forbes - The next book in the Sydney Harbor Hospital medical romance series.

Share your loot by adding your link to Mr Linky below:

Monday, November 25, 2013

Announcing the 2013 Virtual Advent Tour

Merry Christmas!

There are a few ways that I know that Christmas is on it's way. First, I start having those 'for Christmas can I have ....' conversations with the boy (actually those start pretty much straight after his birthday in September), the decorations go up in the shops and it is time to start preparing for the Virtual Advent tour for this year!

A couple of days ago, Kelly  from The Written World and I announced that the sign ups for 2013 Virtual Advent Tour are open! This is going to be the eighth year that Kelly and I have co-hosted the tour where we invite people to share their holiday memories, recipes, traditions etc with us all, even for those of you who don't celebrate Christmas (we would love to hear what you do for the holidays). We have a separate blog for sign ups, buttons, and the daily posts talking about where the stops will be! We hope that lots of you decide to sign up and join in on the fun this year. If you would like to have a look at some of the posts in previous years, you will be able to find some links here I can't wait to once again visit all the participants and see what everyone comes up with to share with us all!

You can also follow us on Twitter @VirtualAdvent

Over the last couple of years I have collected Christmassy quotes as I have found them through the year and so I will be posting them throughout the month. For some reason though I haven't found as many as usual this year. Or it could be that I wasn't as diligent at saving them as I normally am! Either way, there will be some quotes at least. 

In an exciting new addition to the tour this year, we are teaming up with the lovely ladies at The Estella Society to bring a photo a day style challenge to the tour! I used to be good at participating in these challenges but not so much lately. I do like looking at everyone elses pictures too though so we will see if I am inspired to post something for everyday during December!

The Advent Tour has become a huge part of my build up to Christmas each year, helping to get me just a little bit excited about the holidays, and I love reading about everyone's traditions, favourite food, music and films!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Library Loot: November 20 to 26

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!
Forgive me fellow library looters for I have been a bad co-host. It has been 3 weeks since my last LL post, and I even missed hosting Mr Linky last week. This does mean that I have a quite a few library books to share with you this week.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz - a while ago now I went to an event where there was lots of alcohol consumed, lots of conversations had and a bit of a headache the next day. One of those conversations with one friend that I don't see all that often was about this book and how good it is. It is something of a wonder that I actually remembered that conversation enough to put in a request for this book.

Hate is Such a Strong Word by Sarah Ayoub - Bree recently reviewed this book and loved it. We talked about it one day when we were catching up so I requested it from the library.

Outback Dreams by Rachael Johns - I was meant to be getting an ARC of this one but it never turned up so requested it from the library instead.

I Kissed an Earl by Julie Anne Long - The next Pennyroyal Green book

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I had requested a couple of Neil Gaiman books but they had taken forever to come in. This is the second of those books.

A Bitter Taste by Annie Hauxwell - We read the first book in the Catherine Berlin series for book club last month. This is the second book.

You Don't Even Know by Sue Lawson - I didn't get this from my usual source but it is still from a library so I am counting it! I read this one a couple of nights ago and thought it was very good.

Jasper Jones by Craig Silvey - our last book club read for the year.

Claire has Mr Linky this week so head over to share you loot links.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Salon: Check ...1...2

Is this thing on?

So, it has been a couple of weeks since I blogged. Wait, that sounds a little like a bloggers anonymous confession but if there is one thing that I haven't been in the last few weeks it is addicted to blogging.

I am in a bit of a strange headspace at the moment, not only in relation to blogging but that is part of it. I am actually not sure exactly what is going on in there. For example. this week I bought a dress. I don't do dresses normally, and I especially don't go to the shop and buy a dress when I don't have somewhere to wear it! And now I am stuck wondering where the heck I am going to wear this dress that I have now paid good money for! Not sure if mentally I am just preparing for changes in my life even if I don't necessarily know what they might be or what. It kind of ties in with some things that are happening at work too. Maybe it is a mentally getting ready for the holidays thing or something. Who knows!

Speaking of holidays, if you are interested in the Virtual Advent tour it is happening this year. Look out for the sign up details in the next week or so. I think we are still looking for someone to make a button for the Virtual Advent tour so if you can help let me know. I also need one for next year's Historical Fiction Reading Challenge so any help with that would be gratefully accepted too!

As well as not blogging, I am also finding odd things happening in my reading. I would have said that I am not a very seasonal reader but I am beginning to see  that every couple of years in November I seem to crave reading contemporary romances. I am sure that it has something to do with being alone still after all this time but I am alone all year round and I can normally intersperse the romances with other reads, but not at this point in my reading cycle!

On my ereader I am reading a book that I am really enjoying, but I have been reading it for the best part of 3 weeks, and it was a book I was supposed to have reviewed 3 weeks ago too. When I am reading it, I am liking it a lot but as soon as I put it down, that's it, I won't necessarily pick it up for another week or more! Another example of my odd headspace... I am several books behind on updating my Books spreadsheets. And I forgot to put up this week's Library Loot post. Neither of those things have ever happened before! Very unusual behaviour for me. It's all a bit confusing really.

Anyway, here's what I read in October. There's is still a fair number of books read, but if you take the three audiobooks out it isn't quite as much as normal. And yes, I know it is a bit weird seeing one audiobook on the list twice but honestly, I loved that book soo much. In fact, if you counted all the bigts that I listened to multiple times rather than from beginning to end you would probably get another whole book read. Now I am thinking that maybe I should reborrow that audiobook again.....maybe.

No Place Like Home by Caroline Overington 4/5 (AWWC)
A Clash of Kings by George R R Martin 4/5 (audiobook)
The Longing by Candice Bruce 4.5/5 (AWWC)
Weak at the Knees by Jo Kessel 3.5/5
The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta 5/5 (audiobook) (AWWC)
Colossus: The Four Emperors by David Blixt 3.5/5
The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta 5/5 (audiobook/reread)
Lady Luck's Map of Vegas by Barbara Samuels 3.5/5
Leave Me Breathless by Cherrie Lynn 4/5 (reread)
Banquet of Lies by Michelle Diener 4/5 (AWWC)
Holding out for a Hero by Amy Andrews 4/5 (AWWC)
Rumor Has It by Jill Shalvis 4.5/5
One Sweet Ride by Jaci Burton 3.5/5
Sydney Harbor Hospital: Luca's Bad Girl by Amy Andrews 4/5 (AWWC)

In terms of challenges, several of the books I have read count for the Australian Women Writers Challenge (AWWC) and I have highlighted them above. In addition, The Longing counts towards my participation in the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge too.

Now that I have started a post, it seems that I can't stop writing, and I haven't even mentioned my afternoon at the Untitled festival which is hosted by one of the library systems here. The session I attended today featured Graeme Simsion, author of The Rosie Project, Paddy O'Reilly who wrote A Fine Colour of Rust and Lesley Jorgensen, author of Cat and Fiddle. I will try and post about this next week as it was a very enjoyable session.

Currently Reading

A Divided Inheritance by Deborah Swift, listening to A Storm of Swords by George R R Martin

Up Next

No idea. I should probably check my library account and see what is due next.