Friday, April 24, 2015

Juab Speech and Debate Nationals 2015

Hey Guys,

This past year I've been the new coach for Juab's Speech and Debate team. It's been such a great experience, these kids are fantastic and so talented.

Well, they are so fantastic that two of my students have qualified to attend the National Speech and Debate Tournament in Dallas, Texas this year and we want to help alleviate the cost of attendance as much as possible.

To such an end, I've created a gofundme account to hopefully raise some funds to help them attend Nationals this year.

If you are interested in donating, you can here:

Every little bit helps! Thank you so much!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That I'd Like to Own

I got this idea from and it originates from If you are interested in learning more about this weekly series click here.

Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That I'd Like To Own
  1. Clear Book Holder
  2. Map Bookshelves
  3.  Colossal Bookmarks
  4.  DFTBA Book Shirt
  5.  Papasan Chair
  6.  Attic Library
  7.  Moon Reader
  8. Cardboard Swirl Shelves here
  9.  Book Stairs
  10. Book Arch in the Garden
This was a little more difficult. Bookish things that aren't books that I'd like to own, but really, I only want books. But this was fun. Yay TTT!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Happy Thoughts: Goodreads Giveaways

BTW: It's actually really difficult to take a picture with a large hard bound novel, from any angle.

Anywho, I pretty much love and they have a nifty little program where you can enter to win giveaways for free books. There are literally hundreds of books. You have to pick and choose though, because a lot of them sound terrible.

However, there are some really great ones like books by the majestic Terry Pratchett, who is one of my favorite authors ever. 

And then sometimes, really great things happen to you and you win giveaways and Mondays become more bearable.

And you can be sure that I will let you know how good the book is!

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Unique Books I've Read (April 8)

I got this idea from and it originates from If you are interested in learning more about this weekly series click here.

Now, I'm a big fan of the odd, absurd and unusual, so this week's Top Ten is right up my alley. 

Top Ten Most Unique Books I've Read

  1. The Silent Gondoliers by William Goldman -- The legend of Luigi the master gondolier and aspiring singer. Very odd premise, but more beautiful each time I read it.
  2. Swords for Hire by Will Allen -- Not what you'd expect. Classic hero's journey but so, so funny and clever.
  3. A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness -- Strange dreamlike quality to story and writing is haunting. Odd, but one that you won't be able to stop talking about.
  4. The Sherwood Ring by Elizabeth Marie Pope -- American history meets a ghost story. Not scary but everything ties together in such a wonderfully unique way! One of my absolute favorites.
  5. The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery -- At first glance, there doesn't look like there is much that is unique about the story. But it was the only one of L.M. Montgomery novel's meant for an older audience. I love the heroine who defies tradition and her stuffy family. It's a novel about fulfilling your dreams and living life to the fullest. It's descriptions of nature stand out as some of the best descriptive writing I've ever read.
  6. Daddy Long Legs by Jean Webster -- A bildungsroman epistolary novel. Sweet, touching and funny, you will be hard pressed to find another like it.
  7. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende -- Completely original tale that invites the reader to become a part of the story. However, the second half does drag a bit. But the first half more than makes up for it.
  8. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride -- Unique supernatural powers, unique take on the supernatural genre and a snarky protagonist? Sign me up! 
  9. The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud -- The footnotes were the most unique part of this series. I remember being so impressed by the depth of the world that Stroud created and how interesting Bartimeaus was.
  10. The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman -- Literally anything that Neil Gaiman writes is unique with a capital U. The man is a master. Out of everything that I've read from him, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the most unique. It blends reality and fiction, nightmare and dreams. "It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark."
I liked this week's prompt. Uniqueness in books is something to be cherished and remembered, especially after I read the same paranormal-dystopian-love-triangle YA novel. Same story with different titles. What have been some of the most unique books you've come across?

Monday, April 7, 2014

#BooksWithBeddes: Reboot by Amy Tintera

Title: Reboot *link goes to my Goodreads review*
Author: Amy Tintera
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Ehhh, I don't know what it was about this one, but I didn't love it. I didn't hate it either, which was a bit of a relief. The premise was super interesting. After a devastating virus kills most of the population, a handful begin to rise again from the dead, "rebooted". However, these reboots are stronger, faster and less emotional. Sort of sociopathic clones. Anyways, the HARC is the domineering, controlling governmental agency designed to house these reboots and use them to capture criminals and clean up the streets. 

I couldn't get out of my head the idea of zombies, especially since one experiment makes some of the reboots go out of control and start tearing into people. I'm not a huge zombie fan, so that lessened my appreciation somewhat. The other part was just how unbelievable the central love story was. 

The protagonist, Wren 178, was dead for 178 mins before rebooting. The longer you are dead, the less human you are when you return. So it's really hard to identify with her emotionally when she is so dead on the inside. Except that she isn't. She still has feelings, even though she isn't supposed to have them? And then her love interest, Callum, still has all of his human emotions and he loves Wren for some inexplicable reason? I don't know. I like love stories to have a little more meat on the bones than "Oh she's pretty? I must like her then!"

Oh well. I did find there is a second book, I don't know if I'm super interested in finding out how it all ends though...

Sunday, April 6, 2014

#BooksWithBeddes: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor

Title: Days of Blood and Starlight *link goes to my Goodreads review*
Author: Laini Taylor
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

For someone who reads as much as I do, it's odd that such a big book gives me pause. A 300 pg book? Psh! Done in no time. Start creeping over 400 pages and suddenly, I have the hardest time maintaining interest enough to get started. Never mind that once I get started I get completely swept away. 

Well, most of the time. Days of Blood and Starlight is a different story. There is so much going on and so much at stake, that I had to stop after every couple of chapters to maintain my emotional balance. (I really get into books.)

The premise: Karou is one of the Chimaera, the half human-half creature race that are in open rebellion to the Seraphim, a race of angels with blazing wings. In the first book, she learns of a betrayal from someone close to her and in this second one, she must decide how far she is willing to take things in her need to avenge her race. 

This series takes an interesting look into the nature of war and the people who fight in it. Neither side is innocent, that much is painfully clear as the book goes on. But how do you stop fighting once you start? How do you answer someone's pain that you've caused? 

Days of Blood and Starlight is aptly named. Since it is war that they are involved in, there is so much death and blood. I am afraid that there could never be a movie because to do it right would be too gruesome for the silver screen. There is also the matter of the pain tithe for magic. Even though this concept is brutal, it makes so much sense. You can't get something from nothing (although that seems like the very purpose of magic) and in this world, to conduct any sort of magic, you need a reservoir of pain to purchase it. Cringeworthy, indeed, but it makes you think more about what is worth the pain. 

If you had the power to do anything you wanted, but at a cost, would you still do it?

Friday, April 4, 2014

Article Alert! "When Mindy Met, Well, Everyone..."

I came across this article on my newsreader iPad app, Zite. It's beautiful because you get to customize your feed and it will automatically bring you more stories with the stuff you like or are interested in. Of course, anything by Mindy Kaling, I'm a big fan of. 

Hence, this article by Alexandra Pusateri. Since I talked about my overwhelming love here, I think this article does an excellent job of summarizing The Mindy Project  and also pointing about what it does well.

"Instead of taking cues from some other female-driven television shows where women in leadership have to exude masculinity or coldness, The Mindy Project is a lesson to the contrary. Bubbly and quirky, Mindy can come off as ditzy to some viewers' eyes, but looking a bit deeper, there's a lot more to her. Sure, she's a pop culture aficionado, but she's also incredibly intelligent and quick-witted."

I think that is part of my fascination with Mindy Lahiri (the character on the show). Yes, she is a hot mess sometimes, but she is a highly educated, successful professional woman. So what if she loves reality TV? So what if she hates exercising and can't cook with anything beyond a microwave? She's realistic and I love that.

The article gives a shout-out to Adam Pally, who plays Dr. Peter Prentice. "When Dr. Peter Prentice (Adam Pally from the nixed Happy Endings) is hired to replace Franco's character, he brings a raunchy, bro vibe to the show to contrast Mindy — and it fits. Peter's single-guy take on dating, girls, and guy stuff adds a dimension to The MindyProject that makes everyone even more likable." Believe it or not, I love Peter's character on the show. He is a bit much too handle sometimes, but just roll your eyes and look for the times when he is completely charming. 

Anyways, I thought I would share. :)

Article link: