Friday, March 30, 2012

Love My Indie with Libby from libbysbookblog

Love My Indie is a feature where fellow bloggers, readers, and authors tell me about their favorite independent bookstores. I love the feeling I get when I go into an independent bookstore - like it is filled with hidden treasures just waiting for me to find them.

Showing some Indie Love today is:

Libby from libbysbookblog

"On a cold windswept street, this was a warm, cheerful place with a big stove in winter, tables and shelves of books, new books in the window, and photographs on the wall of famous writers both dead and living. The photographs all looked like snapshots and even the dead writers looked as though they had really been alive."
-Ernest Hemingway, "Shakespeare and Company," A Moveable Feast

Sylvia Beach was an American living in Paris. She opened the Shakespeare and Company bookstore and soon the American ex-pat writers who had come to Europe for the First World War and then had stayed on in Paris - the Lost Generation - made her store their hang out.  I read Hemingway's, "A Moveable Feast," which I have quoted above, a few years ago.  The book illustrates how kind and helpful Sylvia Beach was to the aspiring writers.  She let them have books on credit or on loan; she would help them get published; AND I found out through my internet research for this article that she actually published James Joyce’s "Ulysses."  (As you know "Ulysses" is considered to be a masterpiece and many think that it is among the best books of all time.) 

After the Second World War, George Whitman took over the store.  He continued to nurture a different lost generation.  It was the time of the beatniks and he was friends with Allen Ginsberg and Gregory Corso. He would let them sleep in the writers room.

I am trying to make a several points here.  The first is that indie bookstores are run by people passionate ENOUGH about writers and writing to sink their time, money, brains, and hearts into these shops.  They are not franchise owners looking for a business opportunity or college students looking for a part-time job.  This is their vocation.  You could argue that some of the franchise owners and employees of the chains are also very passionate about books, and I would not show them any disrespect by arguing with you.

I would just bring up my second point, which is owner of an independent store has the latitude to nurture writers, readers and relationships that a franchisee might not have.  Sylvia Beach PUBLISHED Joyce's book.  George Whitman COOKED for them in the back of the shop.  Sylvia Beach EXTENDED CREDIT.  A franchisee is limited by his contract in what he can and cannot do.  An indie is flexible.

That flexibility and ability to respond personally to customers brings me to my third point.  Lately, I have been blogging about the independent food movement (See my posts on "Food Rebels , Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart Cookin' Mamas"" and The Heirloom Life Gardener") I am behind this movement for several reasons, and you can read those posts if you are interested.  But, one of the reasons is that Big Food is putting food decisions in the hands of fewer and fewer companies.  We are becoming limited by what they choose to produce.  Could the same be said of Big Bookstores??  Are we putting our literary choices in the hands of fewer and fewer people?  What might be the result of this?  Think about it.  Sylvia Beach published "Ulysses."  She HAD to because no one else would touch it - it was scandalous.

My final point is a plug for all my fellow book bloggers.  As the indies become fewer, we book bloggers are in some ways stepping into the void.  We are providing that personal support for writers - even if it is virtual, its there.  And, I think that it means a lot to them.  The READERS of the world are like Sylvia Beach and George Whitman.  They/we have an important role in providing emotional support and financial (through book sales) support to writers. 

Libby thank you so much for sharing your thoughts on independent bookstores and their owners and the roles they play for authors and readers.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring Fever

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This meme was created because they are particularly fond of lists. I am too so that is why I am participating this week.

 Spring Fever: Top Ten Books I'd Play Hooky With

I'll admit that I've taken a day off from work, went to work late, or left a few a hours early because there was a book I wanted to read, a chapter I had to finish or a story that I couldn't stop thinking about and I wanted to know what happened next. So this week's topic was fun for me to compile. Here are a collection of books that I would love to play hooky with.

1. Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Why is this one still just hanging out on my shelf? If I played hooky, 
it would be the first one I pick up.

2. Rules of Attraction by Simone Elkeles

3. The Edumacation of Jay Baker by Jay Clark
I hear this one is really funny and lately I've needed some laughs in my life.

4. The One That I Want by Jennifer Echols
Because I love Jennifer's books. That is all.

5. Queen of Kentucky by Alecia Whitaker
Our latest book club pick.

6. Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen

7. Thumped by Megan McCafferty 
When I finally have a copy of this book in my hands, it's on!! I may actually take the day off to read this one.

8. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn
I've wanted to reread this one for a long time but instead I just keep watching the movie over and over again.

9.  Cupcake by Rachel Cohn
I want to finish this series just so I can start it all over again.

10. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
I would spend the day reading the book and watching the movie. 
But not necessarily in that order.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Blog Tour: Forgiving Trinity

At seventeen, Trinity McCabe has already made enough mistakes to fill a lifetime. Especially the one where she got high, drove a car, and almost killed a dog. And then let her friend Aidan take the blame.

She’s clean now and desperate to fix the messes she’s made, but first she’s going to have to get out of her pajamas.

As Trinity struggles to stop sleepwalking through life, she faces the painful, tingling sensation of waking up. It’s sometimes embarrassing (she really didn’t want to have lunch with Aidan’s mom), sometimes terrifying (group therapy is beyond intimidating), and sometimes, amazingly enough, pretty romantic (who’d have though Aidan would be such a great kisser?)

Trin is lucky, though—luckier than she deserves, she’s sure—and she doesn’t travel this road alone. Her family, her therapist, and her new friends are all pulling for her. And it turns out, some of them have made pretty big mistakes, too.

But before she can embrace her new life completely, Trinity has to be forgiven by the one person who is holding out the hardest: herself. It’s not easy changing everything, especially when you don’t think you deserve a second chance. Trinity might make an even bigger mess of things before she figures that out.
When the smoke clears on her latest disaster, will anyone still be standing there?

Tour Details

The Forgiving Trinity Blog Tour starts today. The tour is hosted by Letters Inside Out with over 35 stops. There will be author guest posts, reviews and plenty of giveaways. Liz will be stopping by here on April 6th to share her favorite independent bookstore.

AND during the entire blog tour, there is a tour wide giveaway with 6 PRIZES. This giveaway will be U.S. only. To enter for a chance to will, just fill out the Rafflecopter (found below the schedule).

Here is the Tour Schedule:

3/26 Fire Star Books - Guest Post
Respiring Thoughts - Review

Insightful Minds - Review & Author Interview
Reading in Winter - Review
Addicted to Books - Guest Post from Trinity

A Diary of a Book Addict - Review & Character Interview w/ Trinity
Nose in a Book - Guest Post

Book Briefs - Review
A Written Rhapsody - Guest post

Kindle Fever - Guest post
Reviewing Shelf - Review
It's a PenPal World - Review & Author Interview

Rondo of a Possible World - Guest Post
Nose in a Book - Review 
(Love of Books) - Guest Post

Sweeping Me - Guest Post
Kindle Fever - Review

Catch The Lune - Top Ten
Simply Infatuated - Review & Character Interview w/ Aidan

Catch The Lune - Review
A Tale of Many Reviews - Author Interview
The Book Barbies - Guest Post

Actin' Up With Books - Guest Post
A Daydreamer's Thoughts - Review
Addicted to Books - Review

Forbidden Passions - Review
A Book & A Latte - Guest Post

A Daydreamer's Thoughts - Guest PostReviewing Shelf - Author Interview
Zodiac Book Reviews - Review

Nyx Book Reviews - Guest Post
Never Too Fond of Books - Review

My Shelf Confessions Guest post
Reading in Winter - Author Interview
Seeing Night - Review

Ed and Em's Reviews - Review & Author Interview
My Life With Books - Guest Post

Establishing a Book Budget. Finally.

It's finally happened. I've decided that it is time that I start budgeting my money for books. My new bookshelves are filling up too quickly but my wallet isn't. I don't do well with book buying bans (usually results in a book-buying binge), but I do thrive with setting goals and having a reward system.

Here is my plan:
  • Start each month with a $15.00 book allowance
  • Add $5.00 to my budget for each book read
  • Books received and read for review do not count toward earnings
  • I cannot spend more than the allowance + earnings
  • Money not spent during the month does not carry over to the next month
My hope is that I will have more money in my wallet and my TBR pile will begin to get smaller and smaller.

I'm curious to know how other people budget for their book purchases. Do you have an allowance each month? Does anyone else work on award system too? Do you find that you sometimes overspend and have to ban yourself from making book purchased for periods of time? I'd really like to know. So let me know in the comments. Thanks!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

In My Mailbox (64)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by Kristi at The Story Siren which showcases the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Out of Reach

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:

Out of Reach
by Carrie Arcos
Published by Simon Pulse
Publication Date:  October 16, 2012

When Micah disappears from home, his sister Rachel decides to secretly take matters into her own hands. Armed with Micah's best friend Tyler, she travels from the hazy, lazy suburbs of Southern California to the seedy side of San Diego's beach communities following the clues that Micah left behind. As each lead arrives at a dead end, she is left to piece together the puzzle that is her brother's life. And the sketchy characters Rachel and Tyler encounter make Rachel wonder if she can reach Micah before it’s too late. (from Goodreads)

I found out about this one from Kristi at The Story Siren's Books to Pine For. A book about siblings always grabs my attention and then being set in San Diego is a plus. The cover may have something to do with my desire to read it too. The girl lying on her side is becoming a bit overdone, but for now, it still makes me want to pick it up and see what it's all about.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand

by Cynthia Hand
Published by Harper Teen
Available: January 17, 2012
Pages: 403
Source: Borrowed from friend

For months Clara Gardner trained to face the fire from her visions, but she wasn't prepared for the choice she had to make that day. And in the aftermath, she discovered that nothing about being part angel is as straightforward as she thought. 

Now, torn between her love for Tucker and her complicated feelings about the roles she and Christian seem destined to play in a world that is both dangerous and beautiful, Clara struggles with a shocking revelation: Someone she loves will die in a matter of months. With her future uncertain, the only thing Clara knows for sure is that the fire was just the beginning. 

In this compelling sequel to "Unearthly," Cynthia Hand captures the joy of first love, the anguish of loss, and the confusion of becoming who you are. (from Goodreads)

Some Quick Thoughts:

I am so glad that I continued reading this series Unearthly left me with too many unanswered questions which frustrated me and made me not want to pick this one up. At least for a while. But something in the back of my mind kept nagging at me. I wanted to know what was going to happen to Clara. What really is her purpose? And why was her mom keeping so many secrets. So not all of these were answered, but I was left very satisfied. The story was great. There was more action and drama. I wish there would have been more interactions between Clara and her friends like in Unearthly, but the story didn't really allow for that as much. I understand why.

I'm so glad that I didn't wait too long to read this sequel. Unfortunately that just means I will have to wait even longer to find out how Clara's story continues.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

In My Mailbox (63)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme run by Kristi at The Story Siren which showcases the books that have been delivered to our mailbox or doorstep or directly into our hot little hands.

For Review:
ARC tour hosted by the author

Hallowed by Cynthia Hand
from Lisa at Lisa's Gadget 'n Book World

I must say this was another great week in books. I'm so happy to have a finished copy of Ordinary Beauty by Laura Wiess. I received an ARC last year, but I had to have a finished copy. I was also excited to receive my copy of Wanderlove which came out this week. I started reading the review copy from NetGalley, but I like the feel of holding an actual book so I decided just to wait until my copy came to read it. I think I will read it after I finish my current read (Perfect by Ellen Hopkins). 

I'm so happy that Lisa let me borrow Hallowed. I was anxious to find out what happened with Clara, Tucker, and Christian. I was definitely more interested in reading this story than Unearthly which was a previous book club pick. Maybe because I had too many unanswered questions. I hope that the rest of the ladies will read Hallowed too so we can dish on everything that happened. Until then, there I'll have some of my thoughts about the book posted on here tomorrow.

I've had two great weeks in books. So good that I think I need to hold off on purchasing any more this month. I have to save up for all of the ones I want that are released next month! And there are a few!

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Friday Five

The Friday Five

I haven't posted a Friday Five in a really long time. I think I stopped after starting my Love My Indie feature, but guest posts for that are sporadic, so I think I will alternate in The Friday Five every once and again. My initial inspiration for this came from Sarah Dessen's posts when I read her blog like most people read the daily paper. Here is what I want to share with you from this week:

1. Megan McCafferty's sequel to Bumped, Thumped is coming out April 24th. This may not be new news or even big news. But guess what is? She has released the FIRST FORTY PAGES on her site. GO HERE to get a sneak peak.

2. I've officially started my countdown to Shine by Jeri Smith-Ready. Maybe you noticed the countdown widget to the right. It will be out May 1, 2012 and like many other readers who are dying to find out what happens with Aura and Zachary and their mysterious connection, I have already pre-ordered it. And get this, it's going to be signed by Jeri!! She is offering signed copies of Shine when it is pre-ordered from Constellation Books - her local independent bookstore.

3. Speaking of independent bookstores, I am looking for a few bloggers to write a guest post for Love My Indie. I want to know about your favorite independent bookstores. I visited Quail Ridge Books a few weeks ago for Lauren Oliver's book tour for Pandemonium. I learned of the bookstore because of a Love My Indie guest post. It was a great store - well worth the 3 and half hour drive. Of course Lauren Oliver had something to do with it too! So if you are interested in participating in Love My Indie, just fill out this form.

4. I've signed up for some events in the coming weeks and months. First is the Forgiving Trinity Blog Tour hosted by Letters Inside Out. The tour begins March 26 and there will be over 35 stops featuring reviews, author guest posts and giveaways. Forgiving Trinity author Liz Reinhardt will be stopping by here in April 6th.

I'm also participating in the Spring Blog Carnival hosted by Lori at Pure Imagination, Candace from Candace's Book Blog and Angela from Reading Angel. The Spring Blog Carnival is May 7th-13th.I hosted the Karaoke Booth last year (check it out) and will again this year. I'm planning to giveaway some music themed books and I need some suggestions/requests. Please provide some of your favorite young adult music themed books in the comments below. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist,  I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone, and The Disenchantments are just a few examples.

5. I recently reviewed Freshman Year and Other Unnatural Disasters by Meredith Zeitlin. If you missed it, you can read it here. Meredith Zeitlin is funny and so are her cats. Watch this!

TGIF: Social Networking

TGIF is hosted by Ginger at GReads! Each week she proposes a question to her readers.

This week's question:  

Social Networking: Do you use Twitter or Facebook to promote your blog?  How has it benefited your book blogging experience? If not, how do you promote your blog? Share your twitter handle and/or Facebook link!

I use Twitter to help promote my blog. I use it to share my reviews and giveaways and tell people what books I am currently reading. I also use it to "talk" to other bloggers. As a result of following some tweets and tweeting about the book signing for Incarnate by Jodi Meadows, I was able to meet some bloggers who where there too. Tweeting each other and becoming familiar through that medium helped eliminate some of my shyness when meeting new people.

By tweeting about my giveaways, it helps bring readers to my blog, but sometimes tweeting about them can seem like spam to my followers resulting in losing them as a follower. I try to limit those tweets and I ask for a retweet if possible.

I've found some bloggers and authors to write guest posts for my Love My Indie feature through Twitter. Sometimes it drums up some interest. Not so much lately.

I don't have a Facebook account for my blog and right now I don't plan to create one. I'm already on Goodreads, Random Buzzers, and Twitter - and that is all the social media I can handle right now.

If you want to follow me on Twitter, you can @ActinUpwb - that's Actin' Up with Books, not Actin' Up with Boys as @VTGrad2X likes to think!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

And the Winner Is . . .

The Winner Is . . .

She has won my Lunar Love Giveaway -Moonlight and Oranges by Elise Stephens
(winner has been contacted by email and accepted giveaway prize)

There were 82 entries and using, number 13 was selected. Congratulations Ricki! Thanks to everyone who stopped by my blog and entered.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Waiting on Wednesday: Dear Teen Me

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection is:


Dear Teen Me
ed. by Miranda Kenneally and E. Kristin Anderson
Published by Zest Books
Publication Date: November 16, 2012

Dear Teen Me includes advice from over 70 YA authors (including Lauren Oliver, Ellen Hopkins, and Nancy Holder, to name a few) to their teenage selves. The letters cover a wide range of topics, including physical abuse, body issues, bullying, friendship, love, and enough insecurities to fill an auditorium. So pick a page, and find out which of your favorite authors had a really bad first kiss? Who found true love at 18? Who wishes he’d had more fun in high school instead of studying so hard? Some authors write diary entries, some write letters, and a few graphic novelists turn their stories into visual art. And whether you hang out with the theater kids, the band geeks, the bad boys, the loners, the class presidents, the delinquents, the jocks, or the nerds, you’ll find friends--and a lot of familiar faces--in the course of Dear Teen Me.(from Amazon)

I had a different Waiting on Wednesday scheduled for today, but as soon as I saw the cover reveal for Dear Teen Me, I HAD to change it. When I first found out about one of my favorite sites becoming a book, I was so happy. I love reading and rereading all of the author letters written to their teen selves. I've found so many new and upcoming authors from the site and hope to one day have the opportunity to read more of their writing. Add this book to your wish lists, TBR piles, and maybe even tell some friends about it. Until then, visit Dear Teen Me at and see what it is all about!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Spotlight On and Giveaway: Trail of the Spellmans

Trail of the Spellmans
by Lisa Lutz
Published by Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: February 28, 2012

The fifth installment in the New York Times bestselling series by Lisa Lutz, featuring the fearless private investigator Izzy Spellman and her quirky, yet endearing, family of sleuths.

For the first time in Spellman history, Isabel Spellman, PI, might be the most normal member of her family. Mom has taken on an outrageous assortment of extracurricular activities—with no apparent motive. Dad has a secret. Izzy's brother and sister are at war—for no apparent reason. And her niece keeps saying "banana" even though she hates bananas.

That's not to say that Izzy isn't without her own troubles. Her boyfriend, Henry Stone, keeps wanting "to talk," a prospect Isabel evades by going out with her new drinking buddy, none other than Gertrude Stone, Henry's mother.

Things aren't any simpler on the business side of Spellman Investigations. First, Rae is hired to follow a girl, only to fake the surveillance reports. Then a math professor hires Izzy to watch his immaculate apartment while he unravels like a bad formula. And as the questions pile up, Izzy won't stop hunting for the answers—even when they threaten to shatter both the business and the family.

Simon and Schuster has generously offered a copy of Trail of the Spellmans to giveaway. For a chance to win a copy, just follow the rules below and fill out the form. An extra entry can be earned by visiting Lisa's website at

Giveaway Rules
 Must be at least 16 yrs or older
Open to US addresses only
Following is NOT required
To Enter fill out the form below
Contest ends March 26th 2012 11:59 EST
One Winner will be selected using


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