Sunday, October 20, 2013

How to win an election

I have to confess, as a blogger I have always loved city elections the most. Yea, they aren't as fun in terms of policy as state and federal elections where I can feed my inner wonk, but everyone loves a good train wreck. And candidates for city elections have a tendency to be walking train wrecks. Its the place where the ankle-biters, weirdos, nutcases, and the eccentric try their hand a politics. 

But since this is the holiday season, I feel like being generous so I'll tell you exactly “ How to win an election” in this town. This is a total freebie people. And don't worry, I'm not giving away the nuclear launch codes here. I'm just telling you what has worked for WINNING campaigns.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Utah Book Month- Blogger Spotlight!

It's time for my Utah Blogger Spotlight!  I have The Reading Fever... the blogger Penelope.   Let's learn about her shall we????

What books does The Reading Fever love?

 She reads many types of books, but especially love Urban Fantasy, Dystopia, and Historical Fiction (even better if any of them are combined).  She's a Hunger Games and A Song of Ice and Fire fanatic.

Why did she start blogging?

 The fever first caught hold when she was 18 and realized for the first time since Nancy Drew, that reading is fun...and addicting. From then on,  she experiences a constant stream of symptoms leading up to the final diagnosis. You know, the usual stuff: Increased heart rate, delusions, inability to function until done reading, loss of sleep, crying, etc.. she finally got around to thinking about these symptoms and decided that reading fever is a classifiable medical diagnosis. Probably the only diagnosis that is actually sought sane people, anyway. Thus, The Reading Fever was born; an outlet for her love of reading, and a way to keep her fever alive and burning. In the process of blogging about books, she hopes her readers will catch a little fever themselves.

What does her blog feature:

I found on her blog some fun features.  She interviews authors , some great reading challenges,  and what she calls fever inducers.   I know that she even went to BEA! I tried to reach out to her but I think she might be on a blog hiatus since June. If she gets back to me I will update this post.

Where to find the Reading Fever:  Twitter   facebook  blog

Classics Retold-OZ Month

Yeah I am excited about September!  I am participating in Classics Retold and I picked The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  So during the month I'll be reviewing and featuring different retellings of the classic, including the classic itself.

I plan on reviewing:

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Wicked the Broadway show
an Off to Oz giveaway hop where people participating in Classics Retold
Wizard of Oz movies
Wizard of Oz comic books by Marvel

Be on the lookout for all my Oz features next month!!

Classics Retold

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Harry Potter Moment of the Week- Favorite Class!

I am participating in Harry Potter moment of the week hosted by  Uncorked Thoughts .  Here is what we do:

This is a meme hosted Uncorked Thoughts.  The aim of this meme is to share with fellow bloggers a character, spell, chapter, object or quote from the books/ films/ J. K. Rowling herself or anything Potter related! I will be picking a topic within HP for us to focus on each week and then if anyone wants to take part feel free!  There is now a full list of the topics to come here.

Q. What is your favorite Hogwarts School's Subject?

A. My favorite subject is Divination! I love this class. I always hope that I would be good in this class. I love how they read cards, crystal balls, ruins. I would've really loved it if I was taught by a centaur too. Some students like Hermione thought the class was a joke. I always picture in my mind what Firenze's classroom would look like. How it seems like you are in a forest looking up at the sky. NEAT!!

 I would not want to be like Professor Trelawney though.. who only has one prophesy and then the rest of her life is a joke when it comes to divination.   I always feel bad for her.

What about you??  What is your favorite Hogwarts class??

American Gods by Neil Gaiman-Review

I listened to this audio book on another one of my roads trips.  This book is crazy.  I didn't even know what was going on half the time.  Here is the goodreads description: 

American Gods is Neil Gaiman's best and most ambitious novel yet, a scary, strange, and hallucinogenic road-trip story wrapped around a deep examination of the American spirit. Gaiman tackles everything from the onslaught of the information age to the meaning of death, but he doesn't sacrifice the razor-sharp plotting and narrative style he's been delivering since his Sandman days. 

Shadow gets out of prison early when his wife is killed in a car crash. At a loss, he takes up with a mysterious character called Wednesday, who is much more than he appears. In fact, Wednesday is an old god, once known as Odin the All-father, who is roaming America rounding up his forgotten fellows in preparation for an epic battle against the upstart deities of the Internet, credit cards, television, and all that is wired. Shadow agrees to help Wednesday, and they whirl through a psycho-spiritual storm that becomes all too real in its manifestations. For instance, Shadow's dead wife Laura keeps showing up, and not just as a ghost--the difficulty of their continuing relationship is by turns grim and darkly funny, just like the rest of the book. 

Armed only with some coin tricks and a sense of purpose, Shadow travels through, around, and underneath the visible surface of things, digging up all the powerful myths Americans brought with them in their journeys to this land as well as the ones that were already here. Shadow's road story is the heart of the novel, and it's here that Gaiman offers up the details that make this such a cinematic book--the distinctly American foods and diversions, the bizarre roadside attractions, the decrepit gods reduced to shell games and prostitution. "This is a bad land for Gods," says Shadow. 

More than a tourist in America, but not a native, Neil Gaiman offers an outside-in and inside-out perspective on the soul and spirituality of the country--our obsessions with money and power, our jumbled religious heritage and its societal outcomes, and the millennial decisions we face about what's real and what's not. 

OY! This book! So for me this book did not work. I wouldn't have even have finished it if I hadn't been on a long road trip and brought this audio book to listen to. I have read Gaiman before, Coraline, The Graveyard Book, Stardust, and Neverwhere. I enjoyed all of them. I have tried Sandman but didn't really like that one. I thought for sure I would enjoy this book. Everyone I know (well on goodreads) loves this book. It must've went straight over my head. I have to say it is a good thing I have read other books of his or this one would've turned me off from his writing. I have noticed for me some of his books are great and others are just well all over the place.

For me this book just had plot lines everywhere. One minute we are reading about some slaves that were sold and follow their story (I have no idea why) and the next minute we are following out main character Shadow around). Apparently, after reading a lot of reviews on this book there is a lot of deeper meaning to this book about America. Those types of books are not for me. I just want to read a story and not have to figure out what it is symbolizing. I thought this book was going to be more magical and have an epic battle of gods at the end. Nope none of that.

 One of the reasons I really wanted to get this book read was because of the rumors that it's going to be a 6 season series on HBO. I don't even see how this is going to be successful on there. I can't decide if it's because I was listening to it on audio and not reading it. Though I did listen to Under the Dome by Stephen King and thought that was fantastic.  After listening to this audio and reading all the reviews I feel a little... well dumb.  Like how did I not get out of this book what everyone else go out of it.

I don't know whether to recommend this to people or not.  Lots of people love it... I loathed it.  I am still confused about what I just read!!!

The crystal ball says: 

Thunder is booming!! Run inside and don't bother reading!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Project Disney- The Rescuers Down Under

I am participating in Project Disney hosted by Picture Me Reading!  Go to her blog to learn more about it and participate!

Project Disney: The plan is to tackle all of the Disney films, re-reading the classic stories and tales that inspired many of them and to look at how the changes the filmmakers made, the new elements they introduced and the essential elements they kept. We will, of course, be talking about the films as movies as well, saying why we enjoy them and what some of our favorite moments are, but our focus will be on looking at them as adaptations. For the films that are not drawn from any one work we’ll be looking at some of the possible literary influences that we see in the stories. 

This week's Project Disney is the follow up move to the Rescuers, called The Rescuers Down Under.  The Rescuers Down Under was made 12 years after the original film.  The books this movie is based off of is The Rescuers by Margery Sharp.  I am not sure if there is actually a book though about the mice going to Australia since I have only read the first book in the series.  So I won't have a book to compare the movie to in this edition of Project Disney.

One thing about this film is that unlike the first film in the series Bianca and and Bernard don't have as much screen time like in the first film.  I read that they don't make their first appearance until 18 minutes after the movie has started. I love though the romance between the two in this film.  It is funny and romantic!   In the Rescuers Down Under there are several other characters who get scenes.. including the villain McLeach.  I love the lizard in the film who is pretty hilarious!  This film follows a boy, Cody, who lives in the Outback and is captured by a poacher who wants Cody to show him where an eagle is that he wants to kill. 

A surprising factor about this movie is that there are no songs during the film.  That is just crazy to me when it comes to Disney films.  How odd it is too that Cody the main character doesn't use an Australian accent? (This reminds me of a movie I just watched Sharknado.. where the main character switches back and forth between an American accent and an Australian one.. ok just had to point that out). And speaking of .. well speaking.  Some animals speak and others don't!  Joanna and Marahute don't speak but other animals do.   I like that this Disney film has a message for it's young viewers.  The poacher for one shows how people will go out to just kill animals for their feathers (or fur).

This film did not do well at the box office.  It made 47 million there.  I am a little surprised at how little it made.  Overall I enjoyed this movie and think it's good I am hoping to read through the entire Rescuers book series. 

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Little Big Planet Karting - Video Game Review


Little BIG Planet Karting is a racing game based off the characters from the main game Little Big Planet.  This game is very similar to Mario Kart to me.  A few things are added though to make it stand out more.   As you race around you can pick up little award bubbles that you can use later to enhance your sackboy/sackgirl.  Decorate your house that you get to live or your kart that you drive.  Your cars can be tanks, bees, hovers, spaceships, and many more!

 This is the menu when you fix up your kart

The game is a little short to me.  You travel to 6 worlds and each world you race a different track and when you beat them you then unlock the next track.  

 This is one of the worlds you travel to

The music and the graphics are just as fun as the original Little Big Planet games.  Weapons can be fired at other racers which can really change your rank on the track.  This game is highly addictive and we want to finish it in one sitting.  You are able to use the Playstation Move but I am don't have it, and have never been interested in the Move. 

Overall I say this is a really fun racing game with lots to do.  I do wish there was more tracks to race on but there are enough side missions and things to collect that it is still really enjoyable. 

7 out of 10

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday- Blogging Life Easier

Top Ten Things That Will Make Blogging Easier!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish in which book bloggers are given a topic and asked to make a corresponding list of their top ten books.  I don't always participate in Top Ten Tuesday but this week is a topic I love to find out more about!

1.  Goodreads! This is an amazing resource for all of us readers.  I love goodreads.  I run two groups on there and discover new books that way. I use goodreads for the book description in all my reviews and the picture I use for the book cover.  Thank you goodreads!

2. Rafflecopter I have only held two giveaways on my blog (I don't do giveaways to get followers) and both times I used Rafllecopter.  I saw it used on other blogs and it is so easy for giveaways and it's FREE!  

3.  inlinkz I recently am hosting my first giveaway hop Off to OZ (sign up if you are interested in joining the hop).  I looked around and tried to use Mr. Linky like I see a lot of blogs use but it turns out you need a paying membership. inlinkz is FREE and easy to use!!

4.  Bloglovin.. I like Feedly.  But I really like Bloglovin.  Since I am used to GFC on blogger, Bloglovin helps me to know how many people are following me.  I know some bloggers say the number of followers you have is just that .. a number.  But I like to know how many people are actually interested in my blog.  Bloglovin gives me that number. 

5.  Pixlr has made blogging easier for me.  It helps me make pictures better.  I do have photoshop but am a little lazy to go and learn it.  My husband uses it all the time though and I got tired of asking him to always help me out.  I used it to make my banner for my Off to Oz giveaway and other buttons for my OZ month here.  

6.  Other blogs have helped me out along the way.  I have a section on my blog that links up to links from other blogs that have shown me how to do things.  I have these links on my blog to help you guys out.. I take NO credit for the stuff listed so I hope those blogs don't mind that I link them up.  Find help here

7. Library honestly I couldn't be a book blogger without my library.  I could never afford everything I read so therefore I am there at least once a week.  Plus I don't feel bad if I don't get a book read since it is free (do you see a theme with my list??? FREE???).  Seriously.. use your library.

8. Amazon Prime.  If I do order a book.. this is how I do it.  It's cheap and free two day shipping.  When I had my giveaway my winner was so happy to get the book so fast and I was happy because it was FREE shipping.  FREE!   Of course there is also Media Mail from the US Post Office so always remember to ask for that shipping rate if you are mailing a book. 

9. Memes and networking... a lot of people might not like this but memes I think really help bloggers find bloggers.  I have found several blogs to follow through this meme here.  Participate in them but don't participate in only memes.  Only do the ones you really care about too.  Comment on other blogs and really get to visiting their blogs. 

10.  no Captcha! Please!  This makes blogging so much easier when you don't have it turned on.  Really it isn't that necessary.  There is even a challenge for this that you can check out:

The Book Wheel
Hope these help all bloggers out there. Now I am going to check out your blogs to find out some tips for myself!

Looking to read a young adult book with someone???

As some of you know who follow me I moderate the Young Adult Book Club on goodreads.. I have been the moderator for about 6 years now!  We are a fun book club so if you want to discuss books stop on by and meet new readers.  It's time to vote for our book club pick so if you would like to read long stop on by.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Every Day by David Levithan -Review

This month's Young Adult Book Club's pick is every day by David Levithan.  I really enjoyed this book and thought it was unique and different.  Here is the goodreads description:

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl. There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere. It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day. 

I love when my book club picks a stand alone book.  We have so many series that we read so I am glad when I don't start a new one.  This book was good.  I liked the story, I thought it was a different.  It's about a boy A, who wakes up everyday in a new body.  He never tries to change that person's life whose body he takes over.  He just lives their life.  One day while in a teen's life, he meets the boys girlfriend Rhiannon and falls in love.  He now wants to try to actually meet her and tell her the truth.  That he is the same guy she knows just in a different body everyday.  This is a good way for Levithan to teach us some lessons about looks in people.  Not only looks but lessons about gender and sexuality.  Though I did find the book preachy at some points. 

The book is neat.. we get to live a life in the day of many different people.  See how the other side lives.  It reminded me a little of how I always like to go in other people's houses and see how the decorate.  We get to see how over weight kids are treated, a suicidal girl, happy people... all kinds of people.  I loved this.

Spoiler: This book is leaves too much up in the air.  We never really know what happens to the characters or what is in the last emails mentioned in the book.  Which bothers me since we got to read all the previous ones. A gets to the end of the of the book and then he decides he is going to just keep doing what he has been doing all along?????? Such a let down of an ending.  I wonder... if Rhiannon and A were adults would they have been able to make the body-jumping work in a relationship with each other?  Really since they were 16 that would've only been two more years.  End spoiler

I don't know... I liked this book but it falls flat at the very end.. it's just so abrupt. I guess it's one of those books where we are supposed to come up with the ending in our own minds.  I don't mind that , but I do mind if there is a big plot hole.

The crystal ball says:

Fog is coming.....  in the middle of the road on this book!