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Archive for the ‘Bella Reads’ Category

Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb12: celebrating the successes of 2012, honoring the challenges of 2012, and planting the seeds for a rich and rewarding 2013. December is the perfect time to reflect on the year that has passed and start to manifest dreams for the new year.

Day 9What was the best book you read in 2012, and why?

9361589-1The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern was one of the best books I’ve ever read, period.

It’s a sweeping, dark, gothic novel about a fantastical, moving circus called Le Cirque des Rêves, which is announced only by the tents that fill the skyline of whichever city they’ve set up in and which disappears without notice just as quickly. What makes this circus unique is that it’s open only at night and the acts aren’t slights of hand or what we think of as magic, but actual feats of supernatural skill completed as a competition behind the scenes.

The characters are richly drawn, the plot is seductive, and the writing is phenomenal. I liked the book so much that I assigned it to my students as outside reading. Most of them loved it as much as I did.

Go pick it up, you’ll only be sorry once it ends and you don’t have more pages to read.

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FMM: Bookworms

(Don’t forget to enter my bra giveaway before tonight’s deadline!)

This weekend flew by again, didn’t it? The time change is always an adjustment for a few days, but I am really looking forward to the longer hours of sunlight. This weekend I had to proctor the SAT, which always shortens my weekend considerably, but the extra money is nice to have, so it’s a tradeoff.

Since we had one less hour yesterday, I was bound and determined to get everything accomplished, so I hit the ground running and started my errands right away. No lounging with coffee and the news as I usually do. I got everything done and then some, as evidenced in my clean and organized closets: (click on any photo to enlarge)

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I can’t explain how nice it is to be able to see all of my shoes again, and to have them all matched up.  Not to mention that the top shelf of the closet has clothes that are folded, and not just tossed up there.
20120312-101443.jpgOver the past week and through this weekend I also spent some time making a few small changes to my diet. I’ve completely given up creamer in my coffee, which is a major step for me. Even though I was using sugar free Coffeemate, I know all those spoonfuls added up. Plus, what is “non-dairy” creamer? Lots of chemicals that my body just doesn’t need. Speaking of chemicals, I also made the decision to give up Crystal Light, which I was drinking by the pitcher every day. Sure, it helped me get my water in, but doesn’t it amount to the same thing as diet soda? It has aspartame, too, and if it’s not good in diet drinks, it’s not good in my water, either. So from here on out, my water is going to be flavored with lemon, cucumber, and decaf tea. The other thing I decided was that it was time for me to use up all of the food I’ve been stockpiling in the cabinet. I had quite a few Medifast shakes, drinks, and bars in the garage that I need to use. Same thing with the Bariatric Choice soups, pastas, and bars. I’m going to incorporate them into my daily meals, not eat them exclusively. That way, I won’t get stuck in a food rut, but I also won’t waste food. (Although the Medifast takes some getting used to, and I’m having some stomach issues with it, so I may end up throwing it out, because it’s not really worth it).
It’s time for FMM, though, so let’s get on with it, shall we?

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If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: www.alltheweigh.com so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts.  Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Bookworms 

  1. How often do you read for pleasure?  I always have a book or two going at once.  I read every single day for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Are you currently reading a book?  If so, which one?  I’m reading You Don’t Sweat Much for a Fat Girl: Observations on Life from the Shallow End of the Pool by Celia Rivenbark.
  3. Do you subscribe to any magazines and/or newspapers?  I used to subscribe to a TON of magazines, but in today’s digital age, I’ve cut down to getting paper copies of just Self and Eating Well.
  4. Do you prefer reading traditional books or using an e-reader?  I always thought I’d hate digital books, but I have to say, I’m a convert.  I buy e-books almost exclusively now.  The only exception is if it’s an author that I really love that I want to add to my vast collection of books on my bookshelf.
  5. How often do you go to the bookstore?  I never go to the bookstore anymore.  I used to go to Borders all the time, but then they closed, and it’s so much more convenient for me to buy my books on Amazon or get them from the library.  Though I will say, if I’m out shopping near an independent bookstore, I will always pop in.
  6. Do you read at the gym? Absolutely not.  It slows down my pace on the machine and prevents me from fully understanding what I’m reading.  Lose-lose.  Music is much better for my workouts.
  7. Have you ever been a member of a book club?  I used to be the head of a book club, but we disbanded after about a year.  I do love being in one, though.  Maybe we could start a virtual book club?
  8. Do you wear glasses when you read? I don’t really need to…yet.
  9. Has anyone read the Hunger Games? I have read it, even though the genre is far from my norm.   At first I was staying far from it, because I hate jumping on the bandwagon of books, but then my friend gave it to me, so I HAD to read it, and I’m glad I did.  :)  I was captivated by the vivid descriptions and some of the character development.  I will say that the first book in the series was the best.  Book 3 felt very rushed and somewhat lacking.
  10. What is your favorite thing about reading?  There’s nothing I don’t love about reading.  The quiet, the escape, the learning…I have been an avid reader since I first learned to read.  Since it’s also my job (teaching English), I guess that’s a good thing.

Now it’s your turn to share. Don’t forget to go back to Kenlie’s blog to link up in the comments!

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Bella Reads is going to be an occasional series on this blog. I’m an avid reader and usually have a few books going at once, but Bella Reads will focus on those books that I think are spectacular, and worth recommending.To see everything I’m reading, become my friend on Goodreads.com.

I discovered Therese Walsh through a Facebook writers’ giveaway, and although I didn’t win, I was drawn to her novel based purely on its title.  It drew me in, just as the novel did, once I turned the first page.

I loved this book! One of the few in recent memory that earned 5 stars from me. I like to think of myself as a discerning reader who isn’t easily impressed, so 5 stars isn’t an accolade I give freely.  I enjoy most books that I read because I don’t buy books I don’t think I’m going to like, but I don’t LOVE many.  This is one of the ones that captured my attention from the start.

Smart, suspenseful, and romantic, Last Will tells the story of the bond between twins and what happens when that sisterhood is threatened. Moira and Maeve Leahy share a secret language and can feel each others emotions and physical states, but they couldn’t be more different; their mother made sure of that.  Teenage jealousy takes a wild turn in this novel and no one’s life will be the same again.

Vivid imagery, strong character development and a plot with just enough twists & turns to keep the reader highly engaged, Last Will is beautifully written. Throughout my reading of the book I was impressed with Walsh’s diction, metaphors, and overall tone. Again and again I imagined what it would be like to visit Castine or I reminisced about my time in Rome.  She definitely knows how to set a scene, hold your attention, and make you wish the book would never end.

Therese Walsh is a gifted writer. I highly recommend this novel. You won’t be disappointed.

Want to know what else I’m reading? See below…

On the bookshelf:

What’s your latest “must read” book?

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