Friday, June 29, 2012

Bella vs. Buffy

This was too good not to share:

Thursday, June 28, 2012

What to read this summer

Not sure what summer reads to pick up? Then check out this wickedly cool chart for some suggestions.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cover Love

Here are the two books I just received from Amazon for my soon-to-be vacation reads. Soooo excited!

1. A Summer in Europe by Marilyn Brant
Here's the description: On her thirtieth birthday, Gwendolyn Reese receives an unexpected present from her widowed Aunt Bea: a grand tour of Europe in the company of Bea's Sudoku and Mah-jongg Club. The prospect isn't entirely appealing. But when the gift she is expecting -- an engagement ring from her boyfriend -- doesn't materialize, Gwen decides to go. At first, Gwen approaches the trip as if it's the math homework she assigns her students, diligently checking monuments off her must-see list. But amid the bougainvillea and stunning vistas of southern Italy, something changes. Gwen begins to live in the moment: skipping down stone staircases in Capri, running her fingers over a glacier in view of the Matterhorn, racing through the Louvre, and taste-testing pastries at a Marseilles cafe. Revelling in every new experience -- especially her attraction to a charismatic British physics professor -- Gwen discovers that the ancient wonders around her are nothing compared to the renaissance unfolding within...

First, this is the prettiest cover EVER! I'm such a sucker for a beautiful landscape and then you add the mountains, the water, and EUROPE and there was no question I had to read this book. I know I'm going to like it too. One of my absolute best friends was also my roommate during our study abroad and, together, we have traveled all over. From pints of Strongbow in England to world famous chocolate in Belgium, the Eiffel Tower in France to a wine tasting tour through Italy, we've hit it all. I can't claim I found this book but once it was brought my attention I knew I'd not only read it but that we'd read it together. And that's exactly what we're doing. It's a chance to connect with an old friend, relive our one amazing semester in Europe, and have our very own long distance book club. It's going to be great, and if you don't have a summer read picked out the I invite you to read along too. There will be a review forthcoming with lots of opportunity for you to add your own angle to the conversation.

2. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah 
Here's the description:In the turbulent summer of 1974, Kate Mularkey has accepted her place at the bottom of the eighth-grade social food chain. Then, to her amazement, the “coolest girl in the world” moves in across the street and wants to be her friend. Tully Hart seems to have it all---beauty, brains, ambition. On the surface they are as opposite as two people can be: Kate, doomed to be forever uncool, with a loving family who mortifies her at every turn. Tully, steeped in glamour and mystery, but with a secret that is destroying her. They make a pact to be best friends forever; by summer’s end they’ve become TullyandKate. Inseparable.

So begins Kristin Hannah’s magnificent new novel. Spanning more than three decades and playing out across the ever-changing face of the Pacific Northwest, Firefly Lane is the poignant, powerful story of two women and the friendship that becomes the bulkhead of their lives.

From the beginning, Tully is desperate to prove her worth to the world. Abandoned by her mother at an early age, she longs to be loved unconditionally. In the glittering, big-hair era of the eighties, she looks to men to fill the void in her soul. But in the buttoned-down nineties, it is television news that captivates her. She will follow her own blind ambition to New York and around the globe, finding fame and success . . . and loneliness. 

Kate knows early on that her life will be nothing special. Throughout college, she pretends to be driven by a need for success, but all she really wants is to fall in love and have children and live an ordinary life. In her own quiet way, Kate is as driven as Tully. What she doesn’t know is how being a wife and mother will change her . . . how she’ll lose sight of who she once was, and what she once wanted. And how much she’ll envy her famous best friend. . . .
For thirty years, Tully and Kate buoy each other through life, weathering the storms of friendship---jealousy, anger, hurt, resentment. They think they’ve survived it all until a single act of betrayal tears them apart . . . and puts their courage and friendship to the ultimate test.

I'm a little late to the party with this one. It's already a NYT bestseller and apparently I know tons of people who have read--and adored--this novel. When seeking some new reads this title was repeated again and again. So, there was only one logical thing to do: move it up on my TBR list stat and that's exactly what I've done. There's something truly special about a book that transcends so much time with the same characters--it's like we're growing up alongside them. It creates a richer reading experience (at least as far as the characterization is concerned) and I can't wait!

What books are you dying to get your hands on this summer?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

WTF Wednesday

Keeping up with the blog has been harder than usual lately. Time seems to have sped up and there just simply isn't enough of it. WTF? Doesn't the sun know I have more stuff to do?! These are the times I wish I were a vampire and didn't need sleep and when I just feel like doing this:

If you don't recognize the clip, it's from Garden State, one of my absolute favorite movies. This idea, however, of just screaming out into the dark abyss or across the ocean or on a mountain top isn't something new. It's been recycled and yet we all identify, don't we? We all have our WTF Wednesdays as well as our WTF weeks where we just want to scream.

Sometimes that scream gets bottled up into something else, some other distraction. Right now, for me, that's the Insanity Workout (supposedly the hardest workout available on DVD) because, apparently, I'm insane and also online book buying (thank you Amazon!):*

The first is burning off all that crazed energy and the second is offering that wonderful, blissful escape. I'm trying to wait until my upcoming beach vacation but I'm sooooo excited to get my hands on some new, fabulous reads because, well, I'm a bibliophile through and through. And, really, there's nothing better at the end of a crazy day, week, month, hour, you name it, than a great book. Well, maybe a great book with a nice glass of wine :-)

What have been your WTF moments lately and how do you deal?

*Stay tuned: on Friday I reveal my cover loves and my new book buys.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Breaking Dawn Part 2 Trailer Released

Did you guys see this?

I can't help it. I'm excited. Don't lie, you are too (at least a little).

Monday, June 11, 2012

BEA Conference

If you're like me, then all last week you followed the blog posts and tweets about BEA (Book Expo America Conference) but from your arm chair seat. I ADORE Jennifer Weiner who recently gave a keynote speech followed by a Q & A and I just had to share:

Friday, June 1, 2012

Dear Me....

A writer friend of mine just did a post about what she'd say to her twenty something year old self. I love this idea and have seen it similarly done with YA writers to their teen selves.

For me, the two biggest differences between where I was in my teens or early twenties versus now is that I feel like I've finally arrived. My younger self was always trying to prepare for life. It was always about what the next step was going to be whether it was getting into college or finding a first job or what city to live in or if I'd ever get married. But, now, all of those nagging questions have been answered. I found a city I love (DC), a great job with people I adore, and I did find the guy after all.

I'm not sure when it happened but somewhere along the way from 20 to 30 I stopped picking away at the pieces of me and started celebrating all of me. I became comfortable and confident and, now, I feel completely at peace. Finally, all that prep work is done. I'm living my life--and I'm loving it.

So here's my letter to my twenty something year old self (which could also very well be a note to my teen self too).

Dear Twenty Something Self,

1. STOP freaking out about how things will turnout and just live. Because it WILL all work out. The job. The boy. All of it. Just not at all how or when you thought. But trust me. When you get there you'll know and it's good. Really good.

2. Enjoy your metabolism. Enough said.

3. Never apologize for who you are or what you want.

4. ALWAYS remember Henry Ford's advice, "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right."

5. Start reading YA sooner!

6. Start writing fiction sooner. Yes, fiction.

7. Do not dye your hair yourself. Just trust me on this one.

8. Take less money if it means more happiness. (You do this by the way! Good choice.)

9. Keep drinking wine and dancing barefoot. It keeps you sane.

31-year-old (*gasp*) Sarah