Thursday, December 31, 2009

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #14

Happy New Year's Eve
Today is the last day to read anything for your 2009 Reading Logs.  I know I've been trying to finish the books I'm working on so I don't have to carry them over to 2010.

Today's challenge is to think about all the books you've read that came out in 2009.  You have two choices.  You can either post your Top 9 of 2009 or choose 1 favorite book of 2009.

1 - Post your Top 9 of 2009 OR your 1 favorite book of 2009.
2 - Link your post here using Mr. Linky.

I've been posting my Top 9 of 2009 1 book a day since December 23rd. My #1 pick posted today.  But, so you don't have to go back look through all those posts, here is the entire list all in one place.  Of course, mine are all young adult titles.

1. SHIVER by Maggie Stiefvater (August 1, 2009)

2. FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan (March 10, 2009)

3. HATE LIST by Jennifer Brown (September 1, 2009)

4. WINTERGIRLS by Laurie Halse Anderson (March 19, 2009)

5. BEAUTIFUL CREATURES by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl (December 1, 2009)

6. COFFEEHOUSE ANGEL by Suzanne Selfors (August 21, 2009)

7. THE ASK AND THE ANSWER by Patrick Ness (September 8, 2009)

8. DULL BOY by Sarah Cross (May 14, 2009)

9. CANDOR by Pam Bachorz (September 22, 2009)

Activity #13 Winner

Congratulations to Scott from Hays Public Library Young Adult Department.
Scott - be sure to email me at with your mailing address and your book choice from the Prize List.

To everyone waiting for prizes - books are going to be in the mail in a couple of days.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Book Ideas From Activity #13

Thanks everyone.  I thought I'd share the book titles I received from all of you today.

Contemporary Fiction/Realistic Fiction

On the Jellicoe Road
A Map of the Known World
Monkey Island
So B. It
Thirteen Reasons Why
The Pact
An Abundance of Katherines
Someone Like You
The First Part Last
Pictures of Hollis Woods/Missing May/Borrowed Children
And Then Everything Unraveled
Something, Maybe
All Sarah Dessen´s books
Going Too Far
Finding Grace
Ballads of Suburbia
If I Stay
The Mother Daughter Book Club
My Sister's Keeper

Humorous Fiction

Mascot to the Rescue
The Espressologist
Something, Maybe
Going Bovine
An Abundance of Katherines
Equal Rites
No More Dead Dogs
Sick Puppy
Fly By Night
Bad Kitty
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
The Watsons Go To Birmingham
Absolutely Positively Not
Born to Rock
Georgia Nicolson Books
The True Meaning of Smekday
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
How to Steal a Car
Sloppy Firsts
Good Omens
Dream Factory

Thanks everyone.  I hope you are having fun.  We only have a few days left.

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #13

I need some help.

When I took a look at my 2009 Reading Log, I realized how little Realistic / Contemporary Fiction I actually read.  I'm drawn mostly to Fantasy. Another area I find difficult is Humorous Fiction.  My students at school always want funny books and I find it hard to recommend them since I haven't come across very many laugh-out-loud stories.

So, I'm going to ask for your help and in return give a prize to a randomly chosen person.  All you have to do is fill out the form below and give me a book suggestion.  You can give me a Contemporary / Realistic Fiction title or a Humorous Fiction title, but, please, if you can, give me one of each.

I'll choose one of you wonderful Holiday Break Reading Challenge Participants randomly for a prize.

Activity #12 Winner

We have 2 winners again today!  Congratulations to Pixie at PageTurners and Lucy at Delightful Reviews.

Pixie and Lucy - be sure to email me at with your address and choice from the Prize List.

Everyone have fun today!

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #12

Animals Animals Animals
We've had to deal with the after-effects of a blizzard for several days now.  It has really made me think about my poor little dog.  Ellie is 14-years-old and has always been an outside dog, but with this cold and snowy weather I've wanted so badly to bring her in the house.

I mean, look at that pretty, little face.  But, in the end, I didn't bring her in, thinking it might do more damage than good.  How would she handle the cold after she got used to the temperature of the house?  Plus, the poor thing, wouldn't know how to behave in the house.  She'd probably FREAK OUT.  

All this rambling leads me to our Activity.  Think back on all the books you've read dealing with animals.  What are your favorites.  You can choose one or more than one.  It doesn't matter to me.  BUT, please make these REAL animals.  No werewolves or other fantastical creatures.

1. On your blog, list the book cover(s) with author information.

2. Use Mr. Linky to link back to the Holiday Break Reading Challenge blog.

My choices are:

Now, it is your turn.

Activity #11 Winner

Well, it was bound to happen again.  The Random Number Generator chose someone that has already won!  So, what does that mean?  It means we get to pick a second winner for this Activity's Prize.

Congratulations to Karen at Gig Harbor High School and Erica at The Book Cellar.

Karen and Erica - be sure to email me at with your prize choice from the Prize List.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Book Count Update

Today was the beginning of the last week of the Holiday Break Reading Challenge.  I had a pretty slow start, but I've finally hit my stride.  Today I finished my third book and started my fourth.  So, I thought I'd take this opportunity to let you know what I've read so far and give you a chance to do the same in the comments.

Book #1 - BONESHAKER by Cherie Priest

In the early days of the Civil War, rumors of gold in the frozen Klondike brought hordes of newcomers to the Pacific Northwest. Anxious to compete, Russian prospectors commissioned inventor Leviticus Blue to create a great machine that could mine through Alaska’s ice. Thus was Dr. Blue’s Incredible Bone-Shaking Drill Engine born.

But on its first test run the Boneshaker went terribly awry, destroying several blocks of downtown Seattle and unearthing a subterranean vein of blight gas that turned anyone who breathed it into the living dead.

Now it is sixteen years later, and a wall has been built to enclose the devastated and toxic city. Just beyond it lives Blue’s widow, Briar Wilkes. Life is hard with a ruined reputation and a teenaged boy to support, but she and Ezekiel are managing. Until Ezekiel undertakes a secret crusade to rewrite history.

His quest will take him under the wall and into a city teeming with ravenous undead, air pirates, criminal overlords, and heavily armed refugees. And only Briar can bring him out alive.

Book #2 - WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead

By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner.

But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper: 

I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.
I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.

The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late.
Book #3 - LOCKDOWN by Walter Dean Myers

Lockdown explores an unlikely friendship between fourteen-year-old Progress inmate Reese and a man he meets through his work program at a local senior citizens’ home. When Mr. Hooft is finally able to open up about his harrowing past, he gives Reese a way to reenvision his own future. Imbued with the realism and authenticity that have marked Myers’s prolific writing career, this story questions how complicated it can be to separate right from wrong while struggling for survival. 

Book #4 - RAGE by Julie Anne Peters (JUST STARTED TODAY)

Johanna is steadfast, patient, reliable; the go-to girl, the one everyone can count on. But always being there for others can’t give Johanna everything she needs—it can’t give her Reeve Hartt.

Reeve is fierce, beautiful, wounded, elusive; a flame that draws Johanna’s fluttering moth. Johanna is determined to get her, against all advice, and to help her, against all reason. But love isn’t always reasonable, right?

In the precarious place where attraction and need collide, a teenager experiences the dark side of a first love, and struggles to find her way into a new light.

What about you guys?  Leave a comment with your update.

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #11

2010 Challenges

There are several bloggers hosting Challenges this year.  I have already signed up for several and look forward to participating in them.

This Activity is designed to help you explore some of the many challenges available to you.

1.  Visit these blogs to read about some 2010 Challenges.
Look in the left side bar at YA Challenge, Library Challenge, 100+ Challenge, and 3 author specific challenges.

Look at the lower right sidebar for 1st in a Series Challenge, The 2nd Challenge, Audio Book Challenge, E-Book Challenge, Fantasy Challenge, Finish That Series Challenge, Historical Fiction Challenge, Romance Challenge, Winter Reading Challenge, and Wish I'd Read That Challenge.

Look at the lower right sidebar for Thriller and Suspense Reading Challenge, The Anita Blake Challenge, Speculative Fiction Challenge, and Typically British Reading Challenge.

Hosts Original TBR Challenge, TBR Lite, RYOB Challenge, Raved-Reads Challenge, Read 'n Review Challenge, and Vampire Challenge.

A Novel Challenge (informational blog about challenges)

Look at the right sidebar for Chick Lit Challenge, Medical Mysteries Challenge, Biblical Fiction Challenge, and Christian Non-Fiction Challenge.

Some Various Challenges:

Flashback Challenge (rereading)
TBR (To Be Read)

I'm sure I've missed some.  So, if you know of others just leave the link to them in the comments section of this post.

2.  Create a post on your blog about Challenges, either in general or specific to the ones you plan to join for 2010.

3.  Use Mr. Linky to link your post back to this one.

Here are the challenges I'm participating in so far.

Visit The Story Siren for more information about the challenge.
2. THE SECRET YEAR by Jennifer Hubbard
3. THE LINE by Teri Hall
4. BIRTHMARKED by Caragh M. O’Brien
5. THE BODY FINDER by Kimberly Derting
6. GUARDIAN OF THE DEAD by Karen Healey
7. THE NAUGHTY LIST by Suzanne Young
8. PARANORMALCY by Kiersten White
9. NIGHTSHADE by Andrea Cremer
10. MISTWOOD by Leah Cypess
11. SHADOW HILLS by Anastasia Hopcus
12. ALL UNQUIET THINGS by Anna Jarzab

I don't know what I'll be listening to yet.

I don't know what I'll be reading on my Nook yet.

I’m going to be a Bookworm and reread:
1. FREAK SHOW by James St. James
2. UGLIES by Scott Westerfeld

What about you guys?

Activity #10 Winner

Congratulations to Mrs. DeRaps at DeRaps Online Class.

Mrs. DeRaps, email me at with your address and the book you want from the Prize List.

Have fun with today's challenge everyone!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #10

Give A Shout Out

There are so many blogs on the Internet that it would be impossible to keep up with all of them.  So, your challenge is to: 

1 - Go to Google or one of your favorite search engines and find search for blogs that cater to your tastes.  Try to find at least 3 blogs to share.

2 - Keep track of their title, web address, and a short summary of what you like about it.   

3 - Post something on your blog about these blogs with the title I'd Like To Give A Shout Out To...

3 - Come back here and use Mr. Linky so we can visit your site and visit some of the blogs you've found.

You can visit my link to see an example post.

Activity #9 Winner

Congratulations to Kathy from Inside of a Dog

Kathy is the winner of the Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #9.

Kathy - email me at with your address and your book choice from the Prize List.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #9

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas Day.  I was surfing the Internet the other day and came across Unshelved, an online web comic about libraries.  I did a search of the archives for Christmas related content and came across this little gem.

If you'll notice, Christopher Moore is mentioned as the author of this comic.  I've two books by Christopher Moore, BLOODSUCKING FIENDS and YOU SUCK.

So, trusty Holiday Break Reading Challenge participants - here is your challenge.  You have two choices.  You need to create a post on your blog about one of two things.  
1 - You can feature Christopher Moore talking about books you've already read or ones you'd like to read
2 - You can go a totally different direction and create a post about books about ZOMBIES - either ones you've already read or ones you want to read.

I know, I know...this isn't really sticking to the Christmas spirit, but... oh well, maybe you'll win a prize.

EDIT: I had no idea THE STUPIDEST ANGEL was a real book.  I need to research better.

Be sure to link your post to this one using Mr. Linky.

Activity #8 Winner

Congratulations to Jill at The O.W.L.

She is the winner of Activity #8.

Jill, email me at with your address and the prize you want from the Prize List.

I can't wait to see the results of today's Activity!  

Friday, December 25, 2009

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #8 - Merry Christmas

Today is an easy one.  
Nothing to collect or compile.  
You simply need to follow a link and take a quiz about Christmas Literature and post your results in the comments of this post.
1 - Go here
2 - Take the quiz.
3 - Submit your answers.
4 - Copy and paste your results in the comments section of this post.
5 - Leave your email address in the post.
Good luck.  I hope your results are better than mine.
Here are my results:

God bless us, every one

You scored 6 out of a possible 15
Bah humbug! Your knowledge of Christmas literature is Scrooge-like in its sparsity.

Activity #7 Winner

Congratulations to Mandy from MandyCanRead.

Mandy, email me at with your choice from the Prize List.  The prize list was updated yesterday so there are even more books to choose from now.

Today's challenge isn't too bad guys!  It should take very long.  Good Luck!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #7

Best and Worst Book-to-Movie Adaptations

This Activity is completely and totally based on your opinion.

1 - You need to choose the BEST Book-to-Movie Adaptation you've seen and the WORST Book-to-Movie Adaptation you've seen.

2 - Post the pictures of the book cover next to the movie poster for each pair.

3 - Use Mr. Linky to link your post to the Holiday Break Reading Challenge Blog.

Here is my example:

Karin's BEST Book-to-Movie Adaptation

Karin's WORST Book-to-Movie Adaptation

Activity #6 Winner

Congratulations to Karen from Gig Harbor High School Library.  

She is the next participant that gets to choose a book from the Prize List.

Thanks to everyone who posted and good luck on today's activity.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #6

What's in a Name?

I've seen this challenge around for a couple of years and always wanted to participate. I think it is so clever. So, even though we won't read all of these books during our short Holiday Challenge, we can still put together the list.

Here is what you need to do:

1 - Find a book title that fits in all of the following categories. If you read primarily young adult literature, then focus on young adult titles. If not, focus on adult. It doesn't matter.

2 - Be sure to list the author next to each title, just in case some of us want to read more about them.

3 - To be eligible for the prize you need to leave a comment on THIS POST with all of your book titles and authors.

4 - Leave your email address in your comment.

Here are the categories you need to find (you can't use the ones in the examples):

1. A book with a "profession" in its title. Examples might include: The Book Thief, The Island of Dr. Moreau, The Historian

2. A book with a "time of day" in its title. Examples might include:
Twilight,Four Past Midnight, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

3. A book with a "relative" in its title. Examples might include:
Eight Cousins, My Father's Dragon, The Daughter of Time

4. A book with a "body part" in its title. Examples might include:
The Bluest Eye, Bag of Bones, The Heart of Darkness

5. A book with a "building" in its title. Examples might include:
Uncle Tom's Cabin, Little House on the Prairie, The Looming Tower

6. A book with a "medical condition" in its title. Examples might include:
Insomnia, Coma, The Plague

7. A book with a "color" in its title. Examples might include: The Amber Spyglass, The Red Pony, Blue Blood

8. A book with an "animal" in its title. Examples might include:
The Hound of the Baskervilles, To Kill a Mockingbird, Julie of the Wolves

9. A book with a "first name" in its title. Examples might include:
Jane Eyre, the Harry Potter books, Anne of Green Gables

10. A book with a "place" in its title. Examples might include:
From Russia with Love, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Out of Africa

11. A book with a "weather event" in its title. Examples might include:
The Snows of Kilimanjaro, Red Storm Rising, Tornado Alley

12. A book with a "plant" in its title. Examples might include:
Where the Red Fern Grows, The Name of the Rose, Flowers for Algernon

Have Fun!

Activity #5 Winner

Congratulations to Nikki 

She is the winner of Activity #5.  

Nikki, please email me at to tell me what prize you want from the Prize List.  Be sure to include your mailing address in the email so I can get your package out to you as soon as possible.  

Good Luck today, everyone!  

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #5

I'm going to go easy on you guys today. Here is all you need to do:

1 - Pick up the book you are currently reading.

2 - Since it is December 22nd, turn to page 22 in your book.

3 - Count down to the 22nd line on the page. (If there is a partial word on the line you can leave it off.)

4 - Post a picture of your book cover along with the 22nd line from the 22nd page on your blog.

5 - Use Mr. Linky to link your post to the Holiday Break Reading Challenge blog.

Here is my example:

Page 22, Line 22

"...escaping the combs she'd used to hold it all aloft."

Activity #4 Winner

Congratulations to Mariana from Smart Girls Read.
She is the winner of the Holiday Break Reading Challenge #4.
Click HERE to see her entry.

Mariana, email me at with your choice from the Prize List. Anything not marked out is up for grabs.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Activity #3 Winner(s)

Well, it was bound to happen since we were using random number generator. We've had our first duplicate winner! Julie's name was the first one the picked. So, here is what I decided to do today and whenever this happens again. I'll give the prize to the first number chosen and then choose a second winner too. I think we'll have plenty of prizes. So, for Activity #3, here are our winners.

Julie at My Only Vice


So, girls - here is what you do. Look at the Prize List (link on the right sidebar) and choose something still available. I've been striking out the prizes as people have claimed them. Since there are two of you, give me a 1st and 2nd choice.

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #4

Today's challenge is taken from Stella Matutina's blog. Here is what you need to do:

1 - List the title and author of the book you are currently reading.

2 - Use any photo hosting site (Google Images, Flickr, Photobucket, FlickrCC, etc.) to find photos related to your book. "The image(s) you post need to have something to do with the book you're currently reading. You can post a painting or photograph that makes you think of the story or the characters, choose a few pictures that highlight some of the book's most important elements, or do a little of both. The only thing you can't do is just post the cover art and leave it at that, though you're welcome to include a cover image alongside your other selections." (Stella Matutina)

3 - Put a short description with each picture explaining what it means to the book.

Here is my example:

I'm reading THE BONESHAKER by Cherie Priest

It is a steampunk novel set in Seattle around the time of the Civil War.

After a terrible accident during the test run of an invention of a drilling machine that could uncover the gold under the Alaskan ice, a large part of Seattle was destroyed.

It didn't take long for the people of Seattle to realize, in addition to the destruction of the city, a terrible toxic gas was being released from the tunnels created by the drilling machine. The gas, called The Blight, created zombies.


Sixteen years later, Briar Wilkes, the widow of the inventor of the terrible machine, lives a life of hard work in a factory, attempting to raise her teenage son while living down the reputation her husband left behind, as well as her father. Zeke, Briar's son, is desperate to change the way people see his grandfather and goes into the dangerous part of the Seattle, forcing Briar to go in after him.

Steampunk Girl by nullalux.

There are flying machines in the story, but I haven't got to that part yet. I'm anxious to see what happens.

Now it is your turn. Use Mr. Linky to link to your own photo explanation of the book you are reading.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #2 Answers

Activity #2 Winner

Let's give a big round of applause to Dani from YA All The Way. She is the winner of the Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #2. She was 1 of 8 people with all correct answers for the 10 covers in the collage. I used Google Picasa, by the way, to create the collage. Dani's first choice from the Prize List is the autographed copy of LINGER. So, that is what she gets since it hasn't been taken yet. Congrats Dani!!!

There are still plenty of prizes left. I'll post Activity #4 tomorrow, along with the winner of Activity #3. Is everyone having fun? If so, leave a comment and say so.

Holiday Break Reading Activity #3

It's time to get your creative juices flowing. I've seen this challenge on several blogs during various read-a-thons. Here is a link to the one Bart's Bookshelf hosted.

Here is what I'm asking you to do:

1 - Choose 3 or 4 books from your bookshelf that, when put together, form a sentence.

2 - Take a picture of your books / sentence.

3 - Post you sentence and your picture on your blog.

4 - Use Mr. Linky to link to your post to the Holiday Break Reading Challenge Activity #3 post.

Don't spend too much time on this...BUT, make sure the sentence makes sense. Here is my example.

Winner will be announced on Monday, December 21, 2009.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Holiday Break Reading Activity #2

Okay everyone! Here is the challenge. To enter, you MUST fill out the Google Form below. This way, no one will see your response and use your answers. WINNER will be announced on Sunday.

Winner of Activity #1

Congratulations to JULIE at My Only Vice. Her number was randomly chosen using a random number. wouldn't load for me so I used a different one at Psychic Science.

So, what does JULIE need to do? She needs to go to the Prize List link on the right of the website and look at the available prizes. Then, she needs to email me at and tell me what she wants along with her mailing address. Congrats JULIE!

For those that didn't win, don't fret. I'm putting up Activity #2 in just a few minutes.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Today Is The Day - Holiday Break Reading Challenge Officially Starts

I hope everyone is getting excited and organized. Today, I got a Borders gift card from a student and after work I went straight to the book store. I picked up BONESHAKER by Cherie Priest.
As soon as I finish my current book, INSIDE OUT by Maria V. Snyder, I'll start BONESHAKER. It isn't YA, but I've been told it has some crossover appeal. AND, zombies!

What are you guys starting with for the Reading Challenge. Fill out Mr. Linky and follow these instructions:

Karin (Boneshaker by Cherie Priest)
[web link to the Amazon page for the book you are reading]

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Congratulations To Our Winner

The Reading Addict wins the autographed copy of CANDOR.

Be sure to stop by and tell her congratulations and remember, this is just the first of many prizes to come. Saturday will be the next announcement and in order to win, you need to enter Activity #1.

Reading Addict, be sure to email me your address so I can get your prize in the mail.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Holiday Break Reading Activity #1

We're getting close to the beginning of Holiday Break and I, for one, can't wait. Since we officially kick off on Friday and that is going to be a CRAZY, BUSY day for me, I decided to post our first Prize Winning Activity a day early.

I've seen this on a few other blogs, most recently on The Story Siren's.
Here are the directions: (Be sure to create your entry, post it on your blog, and come back and use Mr. Linky to link DIRECTLY to your Create a Cover Holiday Break Reading Challenge post.) Write a SHORT synopsis of what your book could be about based on your cover.

On Saturday, December 19th I will choose our first winner from the list of people signed up through Mr. Linky. Remember, your link needs to be DIRECTLY to the Create a Cover post.


1 – Go to “Fake Name Generator” or click

The name that appears is your author name.

2 – Go to “Random Word Generator” or click

The word listed under “Random Verb” is your title.

3 – Go to “FlickrCC” or click

Type your title into the search box. The first photo that contains a person is your cover.

4 – Use Picnik or similar to put it all together. Be sure to crop and/or zoom in.

5 – Post it to your site.

Check my Mr. Linky link to see my example.
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