Friday, April 17, 2015

Kindle Craze

I received my first Kindle the day I left for Roatan. It has only been 2 weeks and I've went a little crazy. Or so I believe.

What I've added:

Have any suggestions on the free or cheap side for me?

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Review: Visiting the Sins - Melanie Denman

Book Title: Visiting the Sins by Melanie Denman
Category:  Adult Fiction, 244 pages
Genre: Women's fiction, Southern fiction
Publisher: Word Association Publishers
Release date: January 2015 (Second Edition)
Tour Company: iRead Book Tours

Book Description (from the book):
Set in the Bible Belt of Deep East Texas, Visiting the Sins is a darkly funny story about mothers and daughters, naked ambition, elusive redemption, and all the torment it's possible to inflict in the name of family.

Down through the decades, the lofty social aspirations of the feisty but perennially dissatisfied Wheeler women -- Pokey, the love-starved, pistol-packing matriarch; Rebanelle, the frosty former beauty queen turned church organist; and Curtis Jean, the backsliding gospel singer -- are exceeded only by their unfortunate taste in men and a seemingly boundless capacity for holding grudges. A legacy of feuding and scandal lurches from one generation to the next with tragic consequences that threaten to destroy everything the Wheeler women have sacrificed their souls to build.

My Thoughts:
Although there were a few spots I wanted to put the book down, I'm really glad I didn't especially towards the last 1/3 of the book. At that point, I started speed race reading in order to find out what happens. The book reminded me of a Steel Magnolias movie set with the various generations and relations of women characters. My favorite character was Pokey, the grandmother. Oh. My. God. She is hilarious! You never knew what was going to fly out of her mouth. Several times I was sitting in the pool reading and laughing out loud with other hostel guests looking at me strangely. Every time it was because of Pokey and her antics. I don't know if I'd want a grandmother like her but she sure would have made life interesting. You can see each generation of women trying to be the exact opposite of the previous generation because they dislike how their mother behaves. In addition to the Wheeler women, there are various female cousins and aunts thrown in. Makes for a good story.

The story is narrated by all the different females. Each chapter tells their viewpoint of the current happenings. It makes you think about how in your own life you can see the faults in someone else's relationship and/or life but it is difficult to see those faults in your own life. I think most females would enjoy this book.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Bloggers We Read: Trish @ Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity

Trish is a long time popular blogger who writes about pretty much anything and everything. Books, life, kids, work, crafts, food, etc. Her blog is a reflection of her life. Trish has recently started a new feature called Inspiration on Mondays. Definitely check out her blog.

Why did you start blogging? 
I started blogging in the spring of 2007 after I graduated from grad school, moved to a teeny tiny town in the middle of nowhere, and wanted an outlet to discuss books. I loved the bookish atmosphere, the camaraderie, and the challenges! It was the perfect mental escape/challenge.

Do people in your personal life know about your blog or is it your private spot?
In the past year or so I've started linking to certain posts on Facebook--this was a big step as I post some pretty personal things on my blog and I knew that my coworkers could potentially hop over. My blog was a "secret" for a long while but I don't hide it any longer. Though I don't always advertise the fact that I write a blog either. Funny how I can be more personal on my blog than in person! (I'm the same way!)

Do you have other blogs? If so, what are they?
Not anymore. I originally started with a blog dedicated entirely to books (Trish's Reading Nook) as well as a personal blog. Several years ago I decided to start over completely and combine both the bookish and the personal into one blog. That's when Love, Laughter, and a Touch of Insanity was born.

What are some blogs (bookish or not) people should check out that you enjoy?
This is so tough because I have cultivated a feed reader FULL of great blogs--mostly bookish but some others as well. (me too! There are just so many I want to read)

I love Old Red Barn Co for the gorgeous quilts and Dana's beautiful take on life.
Nose Graze is a great source for all things related to creating a great blog. (interviewed Ashley here)
Beth Fish Reads is a treasure trove of great bookish reviews and highlights. (interviewed Candace here)
And for food, Smitten Kitchen has the most delicious looking recipes. Mmmm!

Anything you would like to share about yourself, family, etc?
You could likely find out anything you wanted to know about me or my family on the blog--I tend to be an open book!

What do you do for a living?  Anything book related that the rest of us can be jealous about?
Sadly my job is not book related. I work in the commercial insurance world. It not terribly glamorous, but it's a field that keeps me on my toes! (yes it does, I was in that world at one point too.)

What are your childhood reading memories?
I've always been a bookworm for as long as I can remember! I was always the one with a book in hand or looking for books to browse.  Me as a kiddo on Christmas:

Trish Reading

What do you think of forcing students to read certain books especially the classics? Yes or No? Harmful or helpful to their reading life?
Meh. I was forced to read classics and sometimes I actually read the books I was assigned and sometimes I didn't. I've always been a reader so I don't know how this would have affected me if I wasn't a reader. I do think that allowing students to pick a book from a pool can be beneficial--it wasn't until I chose to read Wuthering Heights as a senior that I learned to really love literature.

What suggestions or advice do you have for new bloggers?
Be yourself, don't give into the pressures or stresses, do what YOU want to do! (very true!)

What is your guilty secret pleasure?
Watching Law and Order SVU in bed with a glass of wine and a bowl of ice cream. (this sounds perfect)

Favorites Section:
Favorite Author: Changes depending on mood and day. Cormac McCarthy is the first to pop into my mind today.
Best All Time Book:Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathon Safran Foer

Blogging event/challenge: Dewey's 24-Hour Readathon--even though my attendance is hit or miss since the babes
Food: Tex-Mex (i.e. Margaritas and Chips with Salsa)
Drink: Coffee (with a glug of milk)
Tea or Coffee Drinker: Coffee
Dream vacation spot: Oh my gosh. Too many places! Somewhere that we can both relax and be adventurous.
TV show: That I've watched the longest--Law & Order:SVU. Not sure I'd call it a favorite, though? (I love this show)
Brad Pitt or Channing Tatum: Brad Pitt. Or Channing Tatum. Hmmm, tough call!
Summer or winter: Fall ;)

Thank you so much for participating!

You can follow Trish on:

The Bloggers We Read is a regular feature on The Things We Read
If you would like to have the spotlight shine on you, send me an email
or leave a comment.

Monday, April 13, 2015


Most readers are familiar enough with the Outlander series that I'm going to just bullet point a few of my thoughts regarding my latest reread of the immense tomb. This reread is my third time through the novel.

(some spoilers so read with caution)
  • I love the references that you only get if you've read more of the series such as Claire meeting Roger in Reverend Wakefield's home
  • I had forgotten the abuse Jamie suffered during this novel especially towards the end. I thought it happened in the second book when Claire was back in modern times. I realize these books are works of fiction but I can't help but think every time I read them that the characters are real. In which case, the pain and suffering Jamie endured is heartwretching especially the last bit when he is in prison with Randall. Ouch! and I'm not talking about the rape itself but the mallet and burns and mental abuse and everything else.
  • Jamie is an ideal man. If all men were like him, divorce would never happen.
  • Sometimes I want to smack Claire for all the trouble she gets herself into.
  • The love between Jamie and Claire and Janet and Ian makes me want to be in love (kinda).
  • Whenever I read a book in the series, it peaks my interest in botany and the type of medicines used in that era.
  • When I'm immersed in the world of Jamie and Claire, I never want to leave. I want the books to go on forever and ever. Thank goodness, there are several and each is hundreds of pages long.
  • STARZ series: I've only watched the first series via DVD. I think they have done a very good job of packing in a lot of the book. I don't understand why the producers added some scenes that weren't part of the book because the books are enormous and filled with stuff to put in the tv series. Oh well, I'm not in the film industry so what do I know. As long as the series mostly follows the book, I'm a happy camper.
I freaking love these books. Thank you Diana Gabaldon for writing them!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Links We Read and other daily stuff

  • Want to travel long term? This couple has the how to guide for it.
  • 5 things to know before you decide to write a book.

I left Mt. Hood during a snowstorm. The first storm the mountain received in weeks and weeks. The snow was almost all gone before that day. I've since learned it really hasn't stopped snowing there since I left. Guess what? I don't care because I'm in paradise.

I got my Kindle on the day I left. Thank goodness. I've went a little Kindle crazy. Cheap and free books are going to cause my virtual TBR pile to increase dramatically. I love being able to send PDF files to Kindle.

I can not tell you how much I love Roatan. It is beautiful. It is hot. It is super breezy. It is amazing.  The water is so clear like a pool. Prices are very similar to the States unfortunately so it is not a cheap destination in most respects. Housing or rentals are very reasonable. You can find some food at very cheap prices you just have to look local versus brand name. And of course, happy hour prices make drinking affordable.

More pictures to come. I have to be in a prime wifi spot to upload photos. Wifi is plentiful if you are in West End or West Bay. Most restaurants and bars will give you access.

Last Week:
  1. Finish TEFL
  2. Learn about adding Related Posts in Wordpress (I don't care for Zemanta, need to find another plug-in) (I've found EngageYa, JetPack, and LinkWithin. Any recommendations?)
  3. Learn what is Meta Description on Wordpress
  4. Buy contacts (will be back on my agenda for May)
  5. Write 4 travel posts
  6. Send out blogger interview requests
  7. Finish my moving to do list (about 6 more items)
  8. Fly to Roatan
  9. Lie on the beach with a book and watch the world go by (not difficult at all!)
This Week:
  1. Finish the above list except TEFL
  2. Continue working on my tan

  • My thought on my third reread of Outlander
  • The Bloggers We Read shines on Trish at Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity
  • Island Paradise
  • Review of Visiting the Sins (review book for iRead Book Tours)

Currently reading:

How was your week?
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