Friday, September 18, 2009

Music, Reading System, Wait did you say Music?

I was forced to come home early yesterday (I use the word forced lightly he he he) because I have an upper respiratory thing going on. I love it when people see fit to share, it’s so kind. Aren’t you glad there is a computer separating you and I? I was able to finish my book, Rachel Caine’s second Morganville Vampire book, and slept for a while. I stayed home today hoping that more rest will the beat the crap out of this illness. I sound like a long time smoker when I talk, a.k.a. not pleasant.

I had meant to originally post Wednesday and then even last night, but between chaos raining supreme and getting sick it didn’t happen. Plus it gave me more time to brainstorm for my topic. Well as much brainstorming as you can do in a mental fog. :) Rather than a post about books (or a post 100% about books I should say), I’m posting about music.

For lack of a better word I’ve always been musically retarded. When I was young I took my queue from mum and dad. There influence included such “good old stuff” as: The Mamas and the Papas, Simon and Garfunkel, The B-52's, The Oak Ridge Boys, Linda Ronstadt, Van Morrison, The Jackson 5, and the list could continue for quite some time. They knew their music, still do.

Then there came the age when I was cut loose to explore my own tastes. I can’t remember how old I was, but I remember my first CD purchase was the Backstreet Boys’ second album. My mom had to preview it at the time to make sure it was appropriate for me to listen to. You have to understand she was new to the modern music scene just as I was. My sister and I use to have arguments all the time about who was better Backstreet Boys or ‘N Sync. Now we just sit and chuckle about how pathetic we were.

Unfortunately most of the music I listened to from there on out was heavily influenced by what every other young person was listening to. I didn’t make much of an effort to explore on my own. I was a willing follower.

Times are a changing! I’ve had an iPod for close to 2 years now and that leaves the largest music selection available to me at the tips of my fingers. I feel that my music tastes mature and expand everyday. Whether if its from listening to my many Pandora stations, reading blogs, talking to my coworker Tracy, or even my little brother. My iPod is a regular little diverse bugger. :)

Pandora opened a whole new music world to me. I could listen to it for hours if only it was free ALL the time. My current favorites, which have earned spots on my iPod, are: Mirah, Haley Bonar, Regina Spektor, and The Choir Practice. Believe it or not those all came from a single station on Pandora! I really enjoy that site, wish it was free all the time or that I didn’t use up my free monthly hours so fast.

Tracy recently set me up with Trapt’s These Walls and I’m utterly smitten with them. Don’t believe me, I blare that song every morning on the way to work. You should come along for the ride one morning. As soon as I can tear myself away from spending any available cash on books (too many new books keep coming out :)) I’ll probably buy one of their CDs.

I still listen to what’s hip and happening on the air waves, but I’m much picker. Most of it is nonsense to my ears. Of course I haven’t abandon the oldies and yes I still own all the Backstreet Boys’ CDs (althought I don’t think I have any of their songs on my Pod, I’ll have to check).

It just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t mention books. I don’t have any free books available. Boy I wish I did because I just got 3 brand spankin new books in the mail today.* However, I must move on to credit receiving titles. You might be asking yourself what in the world are you talking about Maddie? Well my sister developed this reading system that I have decided to follow. I figured I was being to flippant about what I read. Not really trying harder to read what is in my own library and has been sitting there for a quite a while. Here is her system:

Classic - 3 Free or 2 Free and 1 New book or Library book
Biography - 1 Free or 1 Library book
Newbery - 1 Free or 1 New book
To Read List - 2 Free or 1 Free and either 1 New book or 1 Library book
Inspirational - 2 Free or 1 Free and 1 Library book
School Book - 1 Free or 1 Library book
Owned For Over a Year - 1 Free book
Indiana Author - 1 Free book or 1 Library book
Started, But Never Finished - 2 Free books
Random Pick - 2 Free or 1 Free and 1 Library book

Well what do you think? Do you understand it? I’ll give you an example. I recently finished reading Daddy-Long-Legs (very good book by the way) by Jean Webster. Because it is a classic and on my 25 books to read before I’m 25 (a To Read List) I got the books awarded for those 2 categories. Which made for a total of 5 books. Only 2 of those could be library books, but because I had 3 library books that I really wanted to read Elyza said I could do a 2 for 1 deal. That the last library book would take away 2 points rather than 1. The book was the second Morganville Vampire book, The Dead Girls’ Dance by Rachel Caine. Now I’m reading a review book, Non-Fiction, that is good so far. However, what category does that fit into? I’ll have to ask Elyza.

Well I’m headed to catch some Z’s and hopefully get better. Have a great day!

* New books: Hunting Grounds by Patricia Briggs, Academy 7 by Anne Osterlund, and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bookstore, Teaching, Waiting on Wednesday (WoW) = Book Teaser from author Maggie Stiefvater

My last posted I ended with the abrupt news (not much details sorry) that I’m opening a bookstore with my sister. Things are progressing and the worry I feel everyday sometimes feels like a plague taking over my body. I hate worrying, but damn if I’m not good at. My mom and sister are going to pick the keys up today, I’m stuck being bored at work. Elyza and I have to pick paint colors. Let me rephrase that, Elyza and I have to AGREE on colors. She wants the shop to be painted with Nanny McPhee colors (have you seen the movie? Lots of color!). I’m more into earth tones, quaint, colors that breathe silence. I’m interested to see who wins this battle or how we’ll mange to combine our tastes. (I should post a picture of our bedroom so you can see how different we are.) I have briefly discussed with my mom postponing opening until either later in October or early November. Not quite feeling ready to open in a little more than 3 weeks. So is it killing you yet? Do you want to know the shop name? Maybe I should make you suffer some more. Oh alright I tell you already, stop whining! J (Drum roll please!) Pete & Freddy’s Pages Aplenty. For those of you who don’t live in Indiana and aren’t crazy enough to drive long distances to bookstores we do plan to sell books online at various places. In the distant future, very distant, we may have our own website for this. Don’t worry I’m sure I’ll let you know.

I haven’t brought this up to my mom, but I’m considering offering to teach my brothers Creative Writing class. She was going to pay someone, but that person hasn’t gotten back to her yet. Plus I love writing and I always want to be more a part of my mom’s homeschooling stuff. The only thing is balancing everything and convincing her I can. Work, bookstore, bookstore, bookstore, me time, and bookstore. Ahhhh, craziness! I’m currently compiling a list of writing projects for my brothers to present to her. A. David, is a very gifted writer (he has a blog, only 3 posts so far, but I really enjoy reading it). Reece well he is hard to motivate, but I can feel, when I read his stuff I feel like he has something there just waiting to burst. I know you’re probably asking, “Maddie what makes you think you’re the one for this task?” It is more for selfish reasons truly. I love writing and miss it so much. Maybe this would give me my own personal motivation to not give up on writing. I’d really like to get closer to my brothers as well.

Okay and now what you’re really here for, Waiting on Wednesdays. I haven’t posted anything for awhile for this, but today I have a really great book for it. I can’t wait to read it. I also have a Teaser from the author. The book is Ballad by Maggie Stiefvater. I first came across Maggie’s books when I saw a book trailer for her book Shiver. At the time the book wasn’t out and I hadn’t read anything by her. I went to the library and luckily they had a copy of her book Lament. I had to wait on Elyza to read it first, but finally did read it. I’ve never been the fairy reading type really. I like fantasy, don’t get me wrong just haven’t had much contact with fairies in my reading adventures. I’m ‘Waiting on Wednesday’ for Ballad because it is sort of the sequel to Lament. I liked the first book. It had me laughing and thoroughly intrigued with the outcome of the characters. I always enjoy getting to read an authors first book. There is something so fresh and exciting about their first book. Ballad is about one of the characters from Lament that was not a main character. Anyways I’m sure you’re ready for me to stop chattering on about it and move on to the Teaser.

This is a teaser from Maggie Stiefvater's BALLAD, a novel involving homicidal faeries and kissing that's coming out October 1st.

He turned towards me. For a long moment, he stood facing me. I was held, anchored to the ground – not by his music, which still called and pushed against the music already in my head and said grow rise follow – but by his strangeness. By his fingers, spread over the ground, holding something into the earth, by his shoulders, squared in a way that spoke of strength and unknowability, and most of all, by the great, thorny antlers that grew from his head, spanning the sky like branches.

Then he was gone, and I missed his going in the instant that the sun fell off the edge of the hill, abandoning the world to twilight.

Buy it here. Enter the contest at Maggie's blog here or here.

You can also see a really cool book trailer for Ballad (with bagpipes!) on her blog post here.

-Waiting on Wednesday's was not my own creation. I get it from another blog I read, The Magic of Ink. Thanks!

Okay that's enough for now, I need to go home. Have a great evening everyone!
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