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30 November 2011

All I Want For Christmas: Winter Wishlist - Sign up!

Hi there! I can't believe it's already December. I am already so behind on my Christmas shopping. Having trouble finding the perfect gift for the book lover in your life? Well sign up for Read Now Sleep Later's seasonal meme and post your wishlist, gift ideas for books lovers and more. 

For more details, go to http://bit.ly/wntrwish11 and please sign up! I'd love to see what everyone is hoping to get under the tree and what your gift ideas are. 

Sign-up starts now, meme starts on December 6. Happy holidays!

Krazy Kleypas Reading Challenge 2012

Hi, everyone! I am signing up for my first official reading challenge (here on the blog at least). I am joining Under The Covers' fantastic Krazy Kleypas Reading Challenge 2012. I recently read my first Lisa Kleypas novel and loved it. I am official a convert to Ms. Kleypas and what better way to feed my addiction than to challenge myself to read more of her books?

Here are the rules (taken from UTC):

1. The Krazy Kleypas Reading Challenge runs from January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012. You can join at anytime during the year. This is a 2012 challenge, so books read before then will not count to your progress.

2. Pick whichever category you like! You can get your feet wet and just do 1-3 books or develop a full blown obsession and try and read them all! You can change your mind at any time, if 1-3 books is not enough feel free to go on to the next category.

3. Re-reads are acceptable.

4. Readers without blogs can still participate! Keep track of your progress with Goodreads, Shelfari or LibraryThing.

I am going to start off slow and commit to the second level of the challenge right now. That might change through the year but I want this to be something reasonable for me.

Category Two
Komfy with Kleypas
4-8 Books

List of books I plan to read:
Seduce Me At Sunrise (The Hathaways #2)
Tempt Me At Twilight (The Hathaways #3)
Married By Morning (The Hathaways #4)
Love In The Afternoon (The Hathaways #5)
Sugar Daddy (Travises #1)
Blue-Eyed Devil (Travises #2)
Smooth Talking Stranger (Travises #3)

I think the problem now is waiting until January to start. Keep an out out next year on the blog for updates on the challenge. If you want to find out more or sign up, please visit the Under The Covers post about it here. :)

 thuy would like some pie. to find out if she got some, follow her on twitter @fishgirl182

29 November 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (6) - Books On My TBR List For Winter

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme created by the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish. To sign up or find out more about it, visit the Top Ten Tuesday page. This week's topic is Top Ten Books On My TBR List For Winter. This will be a mix of new books releasing in the winter but also books I've had in  my TBR pile that I want to read over winter break.

1. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern - Yes, this came out awhile ago but it's been sitting on my shelf unread. I am hoping to get to it soon.

2. The Traitor And The Tunnel by Y.S. Lee - I love Lee's Agency series and I can't wait to get back into it with the third book in the series. Love me some James!

3. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen - I love the cover for this book and the premise sounds great. This one can't come out fast enough.

4. Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater - I am woefully behind in my Maggie reading.

5. My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland - I bought this the second it came out but I still haven't read it.

6. Obisidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout - I managed to get this one from Netgalley last week during their flash output on the site. I have heard lots of good things about this one and can't wait to read it.

7. Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent - Another book that's been out for awhile that I haven't read yet. I really want to read this one.

8. Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin - How awesome does this book look? I can't wait!

9. Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson - I just got this book and have been dying to read it ever since it came out.

10. The Demon Lover by Juliet Dark - A good friend of mine just started this and is loving it. I got it from Netgalley awhile back but haven't read it yet. I am moving it up in the queue.

thuy just made her first html table in this post and feels pretty good about it. you can see what else she's up to on twitter @fishgirl182

27 November 2011

In My Mailbox (9) - Turkey Edition

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It gives book bloggers the chance to share what they’ve bought/borrowed/received!

Is everyone recovered from their food comas yet? Hmm, maybe not. Well grab a piece of pie and come take a look at the books I received this week.


Half-Blood by Jennifer L. Armentrout (Kindle) - I have heard great things about Armentrout and this book. It was only $3.99 on kindle and I could not resist.

Almost Perfect (Fool's Gold #2) & Finding Perfect (Fool's Gold #3) by Susan Mallery - I just read the first book in this series and enjoyed it. Found the next two for $1 each at the used book store.

Seduce Me At Sunrise (The Hathaways #2) by Lisa Kleypas - Also found this for $1 at the used book store. Checked out the first one from the library and thought it was great. Glad I picked this one up.

Near Witch by Victoria Schwab - This is another one from the used bookstore - only $2. I've seen it around the blogosphere and am interested in reading it.

For Review

New Girl by Paige Harbison (via Netgalley) - This is supposed to be based on Rebecca, which I've never read. But I have seen the movie and I liked it a lot. I may have to read Rebecca before reading this one.

Long Lankin by Lindsey Barraclough (via Netgalley) - I don't know much about this one but it sounded scary. A story of "murder, witchcraft and revenge." Sign me up!


Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways #1) by Lisa Kleypas - I bought the second book at the used bookstore last week and wanted to read the first book beforehand. So glad I did, too, because Lisa Kleypas is made of awesome. Review coming.

Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams at Home by Jeni Britton Bauer - Lovely artisan ice cream flavors. Think basil, plum and salted caramel. I have an ice cream maker that I need to use more. These recipes look delicious!

Follow Thuy on twitter @fishgirl182

26 November 2011

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later - Review

Sweet Valley Confidential: Ten Years Later by Francine Pascal
Publication date: 29 March 2011 by St. Martin's Press
ISBN 10/13: 0312667574 | 978-0312667573

Adult Contemporary Fiction
Keywords: Contemporary, revenge, romance, realistic, siblings, high school
Format: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

From goodreads:

Now with this striking new adult novel from author and creator Francine Pascal, millions of devoted fans can finally return to the idyllic Sweet Valley, home of the phenomenally successful book series and franchise. Iconic and beloved identical twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield are back and all grown up, dealing with the complicated adult world of love, careers, betrayal, and sisterhood.

Thuy's review:

Let me begin by staying that I didn't have very high expectations for this book. I picked it up mostly for nostalgia's sake. Like many, I was a fan of the original Sweet Valley High series. I felt like I grew up with the Wakefield sisters and, when I saw Sweet Valley Confidential at the library, I couldn't resist the chance to find out where their lives had taken them.

The books begins 10 years after high school and we find Jessica and Elizabeth estranged from each other. 8 months earlier, Jessica commits the "ultimate betrayal" and Liz is still trying to cope with it. 10 years hasn't done much for the twins. Jessica, older but not wiser, is still in Sweet Valley and is much the same, hanging out with the same high school friends, who she still doesn't like very much and who don’t seem to like her much either. She’s still shallow, though we do get to see a more vulnerable side to her than usual. The book is told from both Jess and Liz’s points of views. Jess' narrative was littered with a ridiculous amount of so's and like's and I was grating my teeth whenever it was time for one of her segments. I felt like I was listening to Clueless, but not in an ironic way. Liz has left Sweet Valley to move to NYC and is working as a journalist for a small theater publication. Unfortunately, she has changed. After the incident with Jessica, she has become bitter and resentful. She spends most of the book brooding and thinking of ways to get back at her twin. The kind, sweet Elizabeth from high school is gone and has been replaced with someone I don’t recognize.

When the situation between Liz and Jess is finally resolved, it's very anti-climactic. Most of the book is spent going over the history and details of the betrayal and Liz and Jess' feelings about it only to have the whole thing resolved in few pages. I was expecting something bigger - a fight, a scene, anything really, but the whole thing sort of fizzles. But maybe this is where Liz hasn't changed, as she always forgave her twin much too easily.

I was also extremely disappointed in the futures of the other SVH alums. Lila Fowler is still superficial and snobby and is the original frenemy. Winston Egbert has become a total jerk. Liz’s former best friend Enid is mean and unlikeable. Todd, bless him, is still as bland as he was in high school. The only saving grace is Bruce Patman who, while in high school was the poster boy for conceited jock, manages to become a decent person. I was rolling my eyes at the epilogue that included what had happened to some of the other, lesser SVH characters. It felt like Pascal didn't know these characters or her audience at all.

This book doesn't do any justice to Sweet Valley High. If you were or are a fan of the original series, I would skip this and keep your fond childhood memories intact.

Visit the author online at www.sweetvalleytenyearslater.com and follow @SVConfidential on Twitter

24 November 2011

Giving Thanks

in front of shakespeare and company in paris
I'm not very good at these types of posts so I am going to try to keep it brief. This Thanksgiving I am thankful for many things. Of course, my wonderful family. We've had some trying times this year but I love them to death and am so glad to have them in my life (even if they do drive me insane sometimes).

I am also thankful for my wonderful friends. Extra big hugs to frootjoos and kimberlybuggie, two wonderful bloggers and friends in real life. Besides just having books in common, these ladies are fantastic friends who never fail to make me laugh and who are always up for a crazy adventure. Thanks, frootjoos, for inviting me to blog with you. It's opened up a whole new world and I am excited to see what the next year brings.

I am also very thankful to all of the wonderful authors, publishers, bloggers and readers I've met and interacted with this past year. You've all enriched my world and given me a giant reading pile! 

I hope everyone has a safe holiday. I plan to eat a lot of mom's home cooking, read in bed, and see Hugo. What are your Thanksgiving weekend plans?

thuy will be eating homemade pho and yarn shopping on her break. you can follow her random tweets @fishgirl182

23 November 2011

Winner: Lord of the Abyss Giveaway

Thanks to everyone who entered our giveaway. We had a great time reading about people's favorite fairy tales. I didn't count but it looks like Beauty and the Beast was the most popular. Alright - time for the winner. And the winner is (insert drum roll)..........

Amel Armeliana

Congratulations, Amel! (imagine confetti and hand clapping) An email has been sent to you. Please get in contact with us ASAP so we can get your book out to you. To everyone else who entered, thanks again. If you haven't already, go pick up a copy of Lord of the Abyss, which should be in stores now. If you have no idea what this book is about, check out the review here to see why you must read this book. We have more giveaways coming up on the blog so keep checking in. We'll love you even more if you comment on stuff.  :) Bye for now!

thuy would like to be eating pie right now. check her tweets to see what kind of pie @fishgirl182

22 November 2011

Top Ten Tuesday (5) - Authors I'd Want To Share A Turkey Leg With

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme created by the folks over at The Broke and the Bookish. To sign up or find out more about it, visit the Top Ten Tuesday page. This week's topic is Top Ten Authors I'd Love To Have At My Thanksgiving Feast. To make it easier on myself I am choosing only from living authors.

10. Maggie Stiefvater (Shiver series, The Scorpio Races) - I've seen Maggie speak a couple of times now and she is always fun and full of energy. I think it'd be a blast to hang out with her. Plus she can make her November cakes for dessert

9. David Sedaris (Holidays On Ice, Me Talk Pretty One Day) - David Sedaris is hilarious and would keep everyone in stitches all night long.

8. Kevin Smith (Tough Sh*t: Life Advice from a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good) - Kevin Smith's the type of guy who can talk to anyone about anything. Smart, funny and outspoken, I think Kevin would make a great addition to the party.

7. Max Brooks (The Zombie Survival Handbook, World War Z) - The man knows how to survive the zombie apocalypse. A very useful guest to have at any party.

6. Nora Roberts (In Death series - as JD Robb; about a million other books) - I think I'd just want to see her in person and ask her how the heck she writes all those books. And give her a hug for writing the In Death series.

5. Suzanne Collins (Hunger Games trilogy) - Ooh I could talk Hunger Games with Suzanne and see what she has planned next.

4. Nalini Singh (Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunters series) - I am sort of obsessed with Nalini Singh right now. If she came to dinner I would ask her what she had planned for my favorite characters in her books.

3. Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse series) - I have heard Charlaine speak before and she is just sweet, fun, funny and she writes books that I love. She's definitely on the invite list.

2. Neil Gaiman (Coraline, American Gods, Sandman) - Neil Gaiman is just awesome. Love his books and it would be awesome to have a chat with him. Plus, he might bring his wife, Amanda Palmer.

1. J.K. Rowling (HARRY POTTER) - I don't think this needs any explanation. I would probably go all fangirl on J.K. but hopefully I'd be able to pull it together long enough to tell her how much I LOVE the HP books.

That's my top 10. Who would you invite over?
say "twee!"

You can follow Thuy online at Twitter @fishgirl182

20 November 2011

In My Mailbox (8)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It gives book bloggers the chance to share what they’ve bought/borrowed/received!

This was a pretty good week for me. I managed to only buy one small novella. Netgalley continues to feed my addiction. I think I will be signing up for Netgalley January so I will read more of these awesome books that I've gotten from them.


Unlocked (Turner #1.5) by Courtney Milan (novella - already read)

For Review

The Heart of a Killer by Jaci Burton (via Netgalley) - Very excited about this one. I am a fan of Jaci Burton and this one looks pretty interesting.

Holiday Kisses: A Holiday Romance Collection by Various (via Netgalley) - Christmas themed romance. Cover's pretty cheesy but this looks fun.

Immortal Rider by Larissa Ione (via Netgalley) - I almost fell out of my chair when I saw this on NG. I am a big fan of Larissa's Demonica series and am loving the new series as well. I am very excited to read this one.

The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson - Finally got this via eMedia library loan.

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green - I've never read a John Green book. This needs to be rectified immediately.

Chasing Perfect (Fool's Gold #1) by Susan Mallery - I picked this up while browsing the somewhat sad shelves of the romance section at the library. I've seen Mallery's name around but have never read any of her books. Realistic romance is hit and miss for me but I thought I'd give this one a chance.


How To Knit A Love Song by Rachael Herron (signed) - I am a fan of Rachael Herron's Cypress Hollow series and managed to win a signed copy of the first book. This means that I'll be doing a giveaway for my gently read, unsigned copy. Read this awhile ago but never posted a review. Will be putting it up soon along with the giveaway.
Thanks to Knitted Wit for this one!

Don't lie now. Who went to see Breaking Dawn at midnight on Thursday?

Follow Thuy on twitter @fishgirl182

18 November 2011

Happy Haul-idays from Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books is hosting another awesome year of Happy Haul-idays. One lucky blogger will will $500 worth of Chronicle books. But that's not all. In the holiday spirit, Chronicle will also be giving away $500 to a lucky blog commenter on the winning blog as well as $500 of books to the charity of the blogger's choice. For more info or to enter, please go HERE. What a wonderfully generous promotion from Chronicle. One of my fave publishers of fantastic-ly beautiful books, I could not pass up this opportunity to spread the holiday cheer. 

If I win, the charity I'd donate to would be Friends of the Burbank Library. I love going to the library and know that they would definitely appreciate a donation. They haven't gotten any new crafty/cookbooks in awhile and I think these books would be an excellent addition. So please take a look at my haul list and let me know what you think. Remember, one lucky commenter can win the same haul.

These veer heavily in the crafty/food category. I love making things, both to wear and use and to eat - and Chronicle has an awesome selection of books that fit into these categories.  

  • Flour - I've actually checked out this book from the library and have made several things from it. Love Chang's style and the recipes are delicious. I would love a copy of my own.
  • Plenty - I have heard very good things about this book and that cover is divine.
  • Hand Forged Doughnuts - I love doughnuts and have only recently begun exploring making my own. This books like like a good start.

  • Amy Butler's Style Stitches - I've been a fan of Amy Butler's for awhile now. Love her handbag patterns and have been wanting this book for awhile.
  • Whip Up Mini Quilts - So many friends have had babies this year and I think these mini quilts would make awesome presents.
  • Cake Pops - Bakerella has the cutest website and her cake pops always looks gorgeous. I would love to give them a try.

  • The Liberty Book of Home Sewing - How did I not know that Liberty came out with their own sewing book? I love their fabrics even though I can't afford them. I was one of those people who was camped in front of Target the morning the Liberty of London collection was released.
  • Quilting Bee - I rally want to start quilting and I love the look of the designs in this book.
  • A Life In Stitches by Rachael Herron - I am a fan of Rachae's blog, Yarnagogo, and her Cypress Hollow romance books (reviews coming!) and am very interested in reading her biography/memoir of sorts.
  • Yoshitomo Nara: The Complete Works - I LOVE Yoshitomo Nara. 'Nuff said.
  • The Lonesome Puppy by Yoshitomo Nara - A Nara picture book? How can I resist?
Well that's my list. It adds up to a nifty $497.19. Who ever said I don't know how to budget?  Please comment and let me know what you think of my list. Remember, if I win, one lucky commenter on this post will win as well.

say "twee!"

Follow more of Thuy's random thoughts on Twitter @fishgirl182