Saturday, January 28, 2012

Review: Nickel and Dimed (audio book)

Author: Barbara Ehrenreich
Narrator: Christine McMurdo-Wallis
Publish date: 2001
Source: Library (audio book)
"Millions of Americans work for poverty-level wages, and one day Barbara Ehrenreich decided to join them. She was inspired in part by the rhetoric surrounding welfare reform, which promised that any job equals a better life. But how can anyone survive, let alone prosper, on $6 to $7 an hour? To find out, Ehrenreich moved from Florida to Maine to Minnesota, taking the cheapest lodgings available and accepting work as a waitress, hotel maid, house cleaner, nursing-home aide, and Wal-Mart salesperson. She soon discovered that even the "lowliest" occupations require exhausting mental and physical efforts. And one job is not enough; you need at least two if you intend to live indoors.

Nickel and Dimed reveals low-wage America in all its tenacity, anxiety, and surprising generosity -- a land of Big Boxes, fast food, and a thousand desperate strategies for survival. Instantly acclaimed for its insight, humor, and passion, this book is changing the way America perceives its working poor.

This was my very first audio book that I have listened to all the way through. I tried a couple fiction books over the summer, but found myself losing interest really quickly. I think with fiction, I like to go back and reread paragraphs a lot, but with nonfiction I can sometimes skim. I figured a nonfiction audio book might be similar to a really long This American Life or something, so I picked up Nickel and Dimed at the library. It was interesting, although frustrating.

First of all, I love the premise of the story. Undercover reporting like that can be really interesting and some parts of this were pretty intriguing. It is infuriating how little people are paid for certain jobs and Ehrenreich definitely exposed that. I also wasn't aware of things like people actually living in motels or cars instead of apartments. I know that sometimes I complain about my salary, but this book really opened my eyes to what other people go through and how good I actually have it. It's incredibly sad that some Americans work 7 days a week and/or 2 jobs just to make enough for rent, let alone food and other expenses.

That said, there were some parts that annoyed me. I wished Ehrenreich would have gone to at least one city that had a large public transit system, like Chicago or NYC. I know that those cities have a higher cost of living, but realistically, low income people live everywhere, including big cities. She rented a car in each city that she worked, so it would have been nice to compare the costs of car rental vs. metro. I also didn't agree with some of her lifestyle choices, like having smoked pot before applying for jobs that required a drug test. If you know you are going to apply for entry level jobs in the near future, why are you doing drugs (and spending money on them)? What an odd part of the story.

Nickel and Dimed was an interesting audio book to listen to, but I'm not sure that I'd recommend it to everyone. It was very interesting to become aware of some people's living situations and I'm glad I did, but I think Ehrenreich could have gone about her research more realistically.

If you've read it, what did you think? I'm definitely curious about other people's opinions.

Friday, January 27, 2012

TGIF: Buy or Borrow

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at G Reads! Each week, she proposes a question and recaps the week's posts. This week's question is:

Buy or Borrow: Where do your books come from? Bookstore? Library? Do you prefer to borrow or buy?

Most of mine come from the library, hands down. I am a huge library advocate and am even planning on starting my MLIS this year and hope to eventually work in a public library. I always tell my students to use the library because of FREE BOOKS/AUDIO BOOKS/MOVIES. The economy sucks and most people don't have a lot of money, so using the library seems like a no brainer.

I do buy used books, though, both for my classroom and for myself. I own a lot of used classics, but I typically only purchase new books if I am going to get them signed or I know I will love and reread them. I bought A Million Suns recently, because I knew I would love it (and am meeting Beth Revis at RT Teen Day in April!), and plan on buying Pandemonium when it comes out. Other than those few times, this girl on a public school teacher salary loves the library and thinks everyone should use it more!

Posts this week
Review: A Million Suns by Beth Revis
Top Ten Tuesday: Book Boyfriends

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Review: A Million Suns (Across the Universe #2)

Author: Beth Revis
Publish date: January 2012
Source: Purchased
"Godspeed was fueled by lies. Now it is ruled by chaos.

It's been three months since Amy was unplugged. The life she always knew is over. And everywhere she looks, she sees the walls of the spaceship Godspeed. But there may just be hope: Elder has assumed leadership of the ship. He's finally free to enact his vision - no more Phydus, no more lies.

But when Elder discovers shocking news about the ship, he and Amy race to discover the truth behind life on Godspeed. They must work together to unlock a puzzle that was set in motion hundreds of years earlier, unable to fight the romance that's growing between them and the chaos that threatens to tear them apart.

In book two of the Across the Universe trilogy, New York Times bestselling author Beth Revis mesmerizes us again with a brilliantly crafted mystery filled with action, suspense, romance, and deep philosophical questions. And this time it all builds to one mind-bending conclusion: They have to get off this ship.

I read the first book in this trilogy, A
cross the Universe, earlier this month and loved it! I wasn't sure what to expect, but I absolutely devoured it and couldn't wait to read this one, A Million Suns. It just came out on the 10th and I actually bought it, which is big for me. I loved it, as expected!

This book definitely does not suffer from second book syndrome that can sometimes plague trilogies. No filler here, just lots of action and plot twists like Across the Universe. Ms. Revis kept me guessing the whole time and I loved all the new information that kept popping up in each chapter. There was also some code breaking/scavenger hunt stuff, which I always love in books (even though I can never figure the clues out).

I still really liked the characters and one perk of this book is that we can see how everyone has grown since the events of Across the Universe. The setting of Godspeed is such a great place to show psychological changes among the characters and if you've read AtU, you know they are changing A LOT.

Reading over this review, it is very boring, but I don't know what else to say! I loved the book and cannot WAIT until Shades of Earth comes out next year. A Million Suns ends on somewhat of a cliffhanger and I MUST KNOW MORE! Definitely a must read series!

Friday, January 20, 2012

TGIF: Recommend It

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads! Each Friday, she proposes a question and recaps the week's posts. This week's question is:

Recommend it: Which book from the last 10 you've read would you recommend to a friend?

This is a timely question because as I was thinking about the last 10 I've read, I realized that I haven't really loved too many of them. BUT, of the last 10, 3 did stand out: Across the Universe, Unearthly, and Birthmarked. Unearthly was one of the best paranormals I've read so far, simply because it seemed more like a contemporary than a paranormal. Birthmarked had a really interesting premise that left me with a lot of questions, so I'm glad the second in the trilogy is already out.

Across the Universe was definitely my favorite of the bunch though. Fascinating concept, murder mystery, science fiction, but not overwhelmingly so that it was bogged down. I really loved it and am currently reading the sequel, A Million Suns. I can't wait to meet Beth Revis at RT Teen Day in April!

Posts this week
Review: Crossed by Ally Condie
Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Author: Mindy Kaling
Publish date: 2011
Source: Library (ebook)
"Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” 

Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

I've been looking forward to reading this ever since I found out Mindy Kaling was writing a book. She is hilarious on The Office and on Twitter and I, like most others who like her, feel like we could be best friends. This book was definitely proof of it.

This was a fun, quick read at only 222 pages (and pictures!). I read it over two nights, although could have easily done it in one if I didn't have that pesky job I needed to get sleep for. Damn work getting in the way of my reading! Anyway, the whole thing was really entertaining. I thought Mindy was funniest when she was talking about her childhood and her relationship with her close friends. Like I said, the whole thing just cemented the fact that I'd like to be BFF's with her.

The first two thirds of the book flowed really well, but the last third felt a bit forced. She includes some photos from her blackberry and a few essays just weren't as funny as the others. All in all though, very entertaining. I'd love to read more by Mindy and think I will definitely reread this one as an audio book!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Review: The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Author: Carrie Ryan
Publish date: 2009
Source: Purchased
"In Mary's world there are simple truths. The Sisterhood always knows best. The Guardians will protect and serve. The Unconsecrated will never relent. And you must always mind the fence that surrounds the village; the fence that protects the village from the Forest of Hands and Teeth. But, slowly, Mary’s truths are failing her. She’s learning things she never wanted to know about the Sisterhood and its secrets, and the Guardians and their power, and about the Unconsecrated and their relentlessness. When the fence is breached and her world is thrown into chaos, she must choose between her village and her future—between the one she loves and the one who loves her. And she must face the truth about the Forest of Hands and Teeth. Could there be life outside a world surrounded in so much death?"

Last fall I attended the Smart Chicks Kick It tour at their stop at Schuler's in Lansing. Carrie Ryan was there, along with 5 or 6 other authors. The Forest of Hands and Teeth was on my TBR list so I decided to purchase it and have her sign it. She is a super nice person, really friendly and funny, and I looked forward to reading her novel. I finally got around to it a few days ago. I didn't love it, but I liked it enough to continue with the trilogy.

The Forest of Hands and Teeth was my first foray in the world of zombies (literature-wise). I liked that the story started out in the middle of the action. Zombie themed entertainment seems to start out with one person getting infected, people trying to escape, ethical dilemmas, do I kill my mom now that she's infected, etc, but this didn't. That's not to say that they're aren't any dilemmas in the story, but it was nice to not trudge through the beginning of the time of zombies. The main character, Mary, does not know a life without zombies, or the Unconsecrated, as they are known.

The plot was fairly fast-paced, although it took me a while to get into it (despite being dropped right into action). Sometimes the writing style got a bit annoying, especially the present tense. For some reason that I can't quite identify, I think this novel would have been better in the past tense. There was also a lack of commas. I am a huge proponent of the Oxford comma and think everyone should use them. They were sadly lacking in this book.

Overall I enjoyed the story. There was a lot of action and I was never bored. I do, however, have a lot of unanswered questions that I hope are addressed in the sequels The Dead-Tossed Waves and The Dark and Hollow Places. I'm curious to see where the story goes and pleased that I don't have to wait a year to find out!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Review: Crossed (Matched #2)

Author: Ally Condie
Publish date: 2011
Source: Library (ebook)
"In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky - taken by the Society to his certain death - only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake.

Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander - who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart - change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.

I read Matched a while back and enjoyed it, although it was not in my favorites of the dystopians I read last year (Delirium, Divergent, and Birthmarked win that award). I was looking forward to read the sequel, despite mixed reviews. My library does ebook lending, so I grabbed it for my kindle Thursday night and read it over a couple days. When I finished, I was basically just...disappointed.

Even though I was overall disappointed, there were a couple things I enjoyed while reading. The first is definitely Condie's writing style. Like in Matched, the prose is rather poetic and enjoyable to read. There were also some plot points that were interesting enough to keep reading the book, like a certain character having a secret. It's mentioned early and I wanted to keep reading to find out what it was. Mentions of secrets will always keep me reading.

Unfortunately, the one word that comes to mind when I think of Crossed is boring. I was just bored through most of it, but not quite bored enough to DNF it. Everything seemed to move extremely slowly and even after finishing it, I'm not quite sure what the point of the novel was. Seemed to be just filler for book three, sadly. Another thing I didn't like was the dual narrative of both Cassia and Ky. Matched was only from Cassia's POV and I don't like that this one was different. I need my parallelism within a series! I can handle dual narratives if the style is distinct between the two, but they were exactly the same. I often forgot whose chapter it was and had to check for character names to remember.

At this point, I'm not sure if I'll read book three. This one was just not enough to continue my interest in Cassia's story and there are still many, many unanswered questions, some of which I think could have been addressed in Crossed. Thoughts?

Friday, January 13, 2012

TGIF: 2012 Must Reads

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads! Each week she proposes a question for her readers and recaps the week's posts. This week's question is:

2012 Must Reads: What books are at the top of your list to be read this year?

There are quite a few at the top of my list and most are sequels to fantastic books I read in 2011! I can't wait to read Pandemonium, Insurgent, Shine, and Clockwork Prince (which I own, but haven't read yet), among many others. 

Posts this week
Review: The Near Witch
Review: Across the Universe
Top Ten Tuesday: Authors I wish would write another book

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Review: The Near Witch

Author: Victoria Schwab
Publish date: 2011
Source: Library
"The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.

And there are no strangers in the town of Near.

These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.

But when an actual stranger—a boy who seems to fade like smoke—appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.

The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.

As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know—about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.

I don't remember hearing too much about this novel when it debuted in August, but I've seen it around the internet a bit lately and thought it sounded pretty interesting. The blurb on Goodreads makes it sound really compelling and mysterious, but I have to admit, the book did not live up to my expectations.

I definitely thought the best thing about The Near Witch was the writing. Ms. Schwab has quite a way with words and her writing was simply beautiful. It reminded me a little of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus in that it was really descriptive and I felt like I was there, living in Near. Everything was poetic and just flowed.

What I didn't enjoy about The Near Witch is that the story just seemed slow and somewhat repetitive. It seemed like every few scenes were the same thing and I sometimes felt like I was reading the same paragraphs over and over. The plot started picking up in the last 50 or so pages, but it ended in what I thought was an anticlimactic way that left me disappointed.

I know some people really loved this novel, but it just wasn't for me. If you've read it, what did you think?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday 1/10

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is:

Top ten authors I wish would write another book

This was surprisingly difficult to figure out! I could only come up with eight.

1. JK Rowling: Before Pottermore came out, my stepdad and I were discussing what the big announcement might be and we decided that JKR could charge ANYTHING for her next book and we'd all buy it. She could charge $100 and we would all buy a copy. She can do no wrong.

2. Laura Ingalls Wilder: I know she published quite a few books in her lifetime but she left behind some manuscripts when she died, including what became The First Four Years. I wish she could have edited that one more and written more about her fascinating life!

3. Harper Lee: To Kill a Mockingbird was her only published book and I only wonder what else she might have written since TKAM was so amazing.

4. Jane Austen: The world could always use more Jane :)

5. Curtis Sittenfeld: I really enjoyed Prep and American Wife; hoping she writes more.

6. Erin Morgenstern: I enjoyed The Night Circus and would love to read more of her beautiful writing.

7. Tina Fey: Bossypants cracked me up and I can't wait for more from this hilarious lady!

8. Stieg Larsson: I'm sad that he died before completing the Millennium books; who knows what else he would have come up with?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Review: Across the Universe

Author: Beth Revis
Publish date: 2011
Source: Library
"Seventeen-year-old Amy joins her parents as frozen cargo aboard the vast spaceship Godspeed and expects to awaken on a new planet, three hundred years in the future. Never could she have known that her frozen slumber would come to an end fifty years too soon and that she would be thrust into the brave new world of a spaceship that lives by its own rules.

Amy quickly realizes that her awakening was no mere computer malfunction. Someone - one of the few thousand inhabitants of the spaceship - tried to kill her. And if Amy doesn't do something soon, her parents will be next.

Now, Amy must race to unlock Godspeed's hidden secrets. But out of her list of murder suspects, there's only one who matters: Elder, the future leader of the ship and the love she could never have seen coming.

I think this is one of the first real science fiction books I've read, honestly. I've watched sci-fi TV shows, but this is probably the first book I've delved into since I normally lean toward fantasy. I really liked it and am glad I decided to give it a shot.

Across the Universe is definitely a page turner. It seemed like each chapter held new information about the ship or its inhabitants, plus it was a dual narrated book, so the reader learns new things from both Amy and Elder. Ms. Revis created a pretty interesting world, especially with how the ship ran itself: the Feeders, scientists, frozen people, etc. You know right from the beginning that there is something crazy going on and it was quite a journey to uncover all the secrets. 

The blurb from Goodreads above and on the back over the cover is a little misleading, however. It appears that they try to sell the book as a science fiction/murder mystery/romance combination, but I was pleasantly surprised with the lack of romance. It did not overshadow the larger story at all, which I was afraid of. I'm sure there will be more romance in the next two books, but I thought Ms. Revis balanced everything really well in this one.

All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this book (with the exception of Amy referring to her father as "Daddy." Ugh.). I found the world fascinating and character potential intriguing, so I am really looking forward to reading A Million Suns when it comes out next week. I may even buy it for myself instead of waiting for the library, which would be a big step for me since I am usually pretty frugal, but hey, books are pretty necessary, right?

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Review: Unearthly

Author: Cynthia Hand
Publish date: 2011
Source: Purchased
"Clara Gardner has recently learned that she's part angel. Having angel blood run through her veins not only makes her smarter, stronger, and faster than humans (a word, she realizes, that no longer applies to her), but it means she has apurpose, something she was put on this earth to do. Figuring out what that is, though, isn't easy.

Her visions of a raging forest fire and an alluring stranger lead her to a new school in a new town. When she meets Christian, who turns out to be the boy of her dreams (literally), everything seems to fall into place—and out of place at the same time. Because there's another guy, Tucker, who appeals to Clara's less angelic side.

As Clara tries to find her way in a world she no longer understands, she encounters unseen dangers and choices she never thought she'd have to make—between honesty and deceit, love and duty, good and evil. When the fire from her vision finally ignites, will Clara be ready to face her destiny?

I'll be the first person to admit that I am very wary of paranormal novels. I think I am prejudiced partly because of my dislike of Twilight and partly because there is so much paranormal out there. However, I've been seeing love for Hallowed, Unearthly's sequel, lately, and since this one is only 99 cents for Kindle right now, I decided to give it a shot. Unearthly ended up being a quick, fun read and exceeded my expectations for paranormal.

One of the main things I liked about Unearthly was that for the majority of the novel, it didn't feel like a paranormal. The main character, Clara, deals with some very normal teenage girl things, along with becoming more mature as an angel, but the paranormal aspects weren't overwhelming and didn't detract from the main theme: following the rules vs. following your heart. It was also great to see a parent with a large role in the story, which is often overlooked in YA for convenience's sake. The setting was cool too; I'd love to take a vacation to Jackson Hole and ski down some mountains!

Another reason I liked the book is that there was no insta-love! between the main characters. Clara and her guys actually developed relationships and had to deal with conflicts within them. I feel like I see insta-love! way too often in books, especially YA, so it was nice to see something more realistic. I'll definitely be reading Hallowed when it comes out later this month. Looking forward to another fun read!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday 1/3

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is: Top Ten Books I'm Excited To Read in 2012

So many books to choose from! I feel like a lot of the books I read were the first in a trilogy with the second one coming out in 2012, so here goes!

1. Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver: I LOVED Delirium and cannot WAIT for Pandy. So so so excited!

2. Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready: Can't wait for the last book in the Shade series! I read the first two a few months ago and really liked them, much more than I thought.

3. Insurgent by Veronica Roth: Divergent was so crazy and heart-pounding...hope for more of the same in book #2!

4. Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare: I actually have not read Clockwork Prince yet, but I read and loved Clockwork Angel. I know I'll be itching for Princess soon!

5. Shadows by Ilsa J. Bick: Book 2 in the Ashes trilogy. Should be good!

6. Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins: New Stephanie Perkins. Enough said. ETA: This is now a 2013 release, but it deserves to stay on here!

7. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer 2 by Michelle Hodkin: Loved that book and so curious about everything.

8. Shatter Me 2 by Tahereh Mafi: Shatter Me was surprisingly excellent and ended on an intriguing note. I must know what happens next!

9. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson: Book 2 in the Shades of London series, sequel to The Name of the Star. Creepy and intriguing, so I can't wait to read more!

10. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: NOT a sequel but John Green only writes amazing books!

Monday, January 2, 2012

Review: Revolution

Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publish date: 2010
Source: Purchased
"BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

I have heard only good things about this book throughout the blogging world and even though I didn't love A Northern Light, I still decided to try Revolution. I went to the Borders Corporate Headquarters sale during the fall and picked up about 10 books, this one included. I kept putting it off, then when I finished When She Woke, I decided that I NEEDED to read this one, just to stop putting it off. I liked it, but just like A Northern Light, I didn't like it as much as everyone else.

One thing I particularly enjoyed about this book was learning more about the French Revolution and French history in general. Andi travels to Paris with her father and does a lot of research about a musician from that time period, so it was really interesting to learn more about an aspect of history that I know very little of. I love learning new facts while reading historical fiction. Plus, Andi goes to a library there and gets to handle real historical documents, which made me dork out a bit. Ok, a lot. I am jealous of a character.

I found the plot to be fairly slow-paced for the first two thirds of the novel. I wasn't sure what to expect, but there was not a lot of action until the end. While reading, I was kind of cranky about that, but after I finished it, I realized that this isn't the kind of book that needs a lot of action. I'm not sure how to classify it, since it's contemporary, but contains lots of historical fiction. Jennifer Donnelly wove together the different complex aspects of the plot well and I appreciate everything now that I'm finished, if that makes sense. Like I said, I didn't love it as much as others, but I definitely liked it. Recommended for those who like historical fiction.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012 Reading & Blogging Goals

Reading Goals!
1. READ!! My number one goal is really to just read, read, read. I got into a slump in September 2010 when I started my first teaching job. As any teacher will tell you, the first year is BRUTAL and I could do nothing other than work or sleep. Over the summer, I started reading again and have learned how to work it into my schedule.

2. Read 100 books. I think I read about 50 this year, but only a few before June. I hope I can easily do 100.

3. Participate in the Back to the Classics Challenge. Check out my choices here.

Blogging goals!
1. Post 2-3 reviews per week and participate in 1-2 memes. I enjoy the memes, but want reviews to be the main focus.

2. Get to know other blogs and bloggers. There are tons of great blogs out there that I haven't discovered and I'd really like to read more and interact with bloggers.

3. Enjoy it! Remember that I created my blog for myself and that if it ever seems like a contest or a chore, take a step back.