#BoutofBooks 23 – Day 4

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 20th and runs through Sunday, August 26th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 23 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Apparently I was wrong about Wednesday being the worst reading day this week. I was too busy to read anything yesterday. I love my job, but I’m really glad today is Friday!
  • Time Read: 0 minutes
  • Pages Read: 0
  • Books Finished: 0
  • Total Number of Books Read: 0

#FitReaders Check-In

  • This check-in is for August 17th – 23rd.
  • I didn’t workout on Thursday thanks to hurting my back. I’ve been walking a lot more than I’m used to and carrying a backpack to and from work. So, unlike previous times when I threw out my back and wound up stuck on the couch for nearly a week or more at a time, this time my back is just achy and I’m having to take it easy.
  • If you have a FitBit, you can find me HERE.
  • Workouts: 5/6
  • Steps: 42,859
  • Miles: 17.77
  • Total Miles: 464.51
  • Active Minutes: 345/210

#BoutofBooks 23 – Day 2

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 20th and runs through Sunday, August 26th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 23 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Yesterday was even more busy for me than Monday. I got a little bit of reading in, mostly during my commute, but not much.
  • Time Read: 1 hour 3 minutes
  • Pages Read: 74
  • Books Finished: 0
  • Total Number of Books Read: 0

#FitReaders Check-In

  • This check-in is for April 20th – 26th.
  • If you have a FitBit, you can find me HERE.


  • Steps: 31,520/56,000
  • Miles: 12.95/25
  • Total Miles: 238.24
  • Active Minutes: 232/210
  • Total Money Donated: $0.66/$5.00

#FitReaders Check-In

  • This check-in is for January 12th – 18th.
  • I got a little off track this week, and I’m blaming the weather.
  • I did manage to do some of the resistance band exercises this week.  I did enough to realize I need a different program.  So, I looked through my fitness stuff from when I was doing Real Appeal, and I’m going to start incorporating some of those ideas this weekend to see what works.
  • If you have a FitBit, you can find me HERE.


  • Steps: 20,452/30,000
  • Miles: 8.39/15
  • Total Miles: 29.68
  • Active Minutes: 74/210
  • Total Money Donated: $0.09/$5.00

First Book of the Year 2016!

First Book

Sheila over at Book Journey wants to know what we’ll be reading as our first book of the new year.  When I signed up, my first book of 2016 was going to the be The Portable Dorothy Parker.  However, I just finished A Breath of Snow and Ashes by Diana Gabaldon, and as I knew would happen, I wanted to jump right into reading the next book in the Outlander series.  So, I’m bringing in the new year with An Echo in the Bone!

2015-12-31 21.17.24

Happy New Year, Everyone!


The Ultimate Harry Potter Tag and Link Up

Harry Potter books giphy

Since I was recently tagged by Alice @ The Geeky Burrow, in place of a discussion post specific to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, this month is about all things Harry Potter.  Do you have a Harry Potter related post?  Be sure to join the linky below!  Every month I’ll feature at least one.


Favorite book?


My favorite book of the series is the one that started it all, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  Not only does Harry find out he’s a wizard, but he’s got the wonderful opportunity to go to Hogwarts, and that means getting away from the Dursleys for most of the year.  I also love when Harry meets Hagrid for the first time, the scene when he learns to fly and then uses his newfound skill to stop Draco, and when he and Ron go to save Hermione from the troll.



Your least favorite book?


That’s an excellent question.  I don’t know the answer.  While I remember most of the first book, even before I started my re-reading adventure, I have difficulty remembering what happened when and what was changed in the movies.  It’s been over a decade since I first read the series, and I’ve only just finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.  So, for right now, out of the four I’ve re-read, my least favorite is Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.  However, that’s only because I question how realistic Harry’s character is in this book, having come from an abusive and neglectful family.

Favorite movie?

HP movie 1

The first movie, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone”.  I love it for the same reasons that I love the first book, but it’s also my favorite because it was my introduction to Harry Potter.  When it came out, I had no idea it was based on a famous book series (I was in my 20s at the time).  I didn’t know anything about it at all, but I saw a lot of kids running around wearing robes and carrying wands and I (a lover of all things Fantasy) was curious.  I saw the trailer and HAD to see the movie.  When I found out about the books, I immediately bought the first one, and I’ve been hooked on all things Harry Potter ever since.


Least favorite movie?

Deathly Hallows 1 Deathly Hallows 2

“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows” Part 1 and 2, but only because it was a LONG time before I got the chance to see them and by then I had forgotten most of what had happened in the book.  I’ll be doing a marathon at some point after I finish the books, so this answer will probably change.

Favorite quote?

“When in doubt, go to the library.” – Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

HP library

I did a post all about my favorite Harry Potter quotes.

Favorite Weasley?

Fred and George

Fred and George.  Yes, I know, that’s two Weasleys, and I’m sure twins hate it when they’re lumped together like they’re the same person, but there’s no way either of them would have been the people they were without the other.

Favorite female character?

Hermione.  Duh.


Favorite villain?

Bellatrix Lestrange.  I love her name, her craziness, and her complete lack of morality.  I’ve always loved villains that fit the Chaotic Evil alignment, though.


Favorite male character?

Hagrid.  Who wouldn’t love to raise a baby dragon?!


Favorite professor?

Professor McGonagall.  She is not a woman to be trifled with, but she is always fair, and she can transfigure into a cat.



A. Wash Snape’s hair or B. Spend a day listening to Lockhart rant about himself.

B.  There’s no way I’m getting anywhere near that hair.  With Lockhart, I can let my mind wander and think about other stuff while he’s rambling on about all his “achievements.”

Duel A. An elated Bellatrix, or B. An angry Molly

A.  I’d fight crazy over a pissed off redhead any day.

Travel to Hogwarts via A. Hogwarts Express or B. Flying car

A.  I’ve never been on a long-distance train, and I’d much rather sit and enjoy some magical treats and a book on my way to school than make that long drive/flight.

A. Kiss Voldemort or B. Give Umbridge a bubble bath

A. I’m going to assume I can just give him a quick peck on the cheek, and there’s no way to unsee a naked Umbridge. *shiver-cringe*

A. Ride a Hippogriff or B. Ride a Firebolt

B. Animals can sometimes be predictable.  I’d much rather be in control of a flying broom and be to blame for my own injuries than at the mercy of a Hippogriff while in the air.


Is there a character who you felt differently about in the movies VS books?

No, not from any of the books and movies that I actually remember.  Perhaps that will change as I re-read and rewatch the movies.

Is there a movie you preferred instead of the book?

No.  Though the movies are fantastic and exceptionally well done in comparison to most book to movie adaptations, the books are still better.

Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?

Richard Harris.  R.I.P.

Your top thing (person or event) which wasn’t included in the movie that annoyed you most?

I have no idea because I don’t remember.

If you could remake any of the Potter movies, which would it be?

Again, I have no idea.  I need to rewatch them.


Which house was your first gut feeling you’d be a part of?

You might belong in Gryffindor,
Where dwell the brave at heart,
Their daring, nerve and chivalry
Set Gryffindors apart

Which house were you sorted into on Pottermore (or another sorting quiz)?

Gryffindor 🙂

Which class would be your favorite?


Which spell do you think would be most useful to learn?

“Accio,” so when I’m doing research or looking for a particular book, I can just summon the title I want.

Which character at Hogwarts do you think would be your instant best friend?

Hermione, of course.


If you could own one of the three Hallows, which would it be?

The Cloak of Invisibility.

Is there any aspect of the books you’d want to change? This can be a character, an event, anything.

I want to say no, but I really wish Sirius hadn’t been killed.  That’s a scene I’ll never forget.  I had to stop reading and cry out the feels.

Favorite Marauder?

Remus Lupin, a.k.a. “Moony.”


If you could bring one character back to life, which would it be?

Sirius.  See above question about what I would change.

Hallows or Horcruxes?


I hereby tag:

This month’s featured post is from Brenda @ The Daily Mayo.  She did a comparison of the book and movie versions of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

Do you have a Harry Potter related post?  Add it to the linky!



Call for Recommendations: New Orleans

Ursuline St from River Levee French Quarter
Image: Infrogmation of New Orleans

I’m ridiculously excited!  The Boyfriend and I are going to New Orleans in September for our 2nd anniversary!  What is even better is that, since he has already been there, but I haven’t, he’s making the plans.  So far, I know that we’re staying in an old hotel full of antique furniture, and our room will have a private balcony overlooking the French Quarter.  We will also be going on a couple different tours, but he hasn’t worked out the details for those yet.

The Boyfriend has requested that I bring along several audiobooks for us to listen to during the long drive.  That’s where I need your help.  I want to listen to and read books set in New Orleans, or Louisiana in general.  However, with the exception of many of Anne Rice’s books and the “Sookie Stackhouse” series, I’m at a loss for what to read.  So, regardless of genre, what would you recommend?

I will try to find your recommendations at the library, and before the Boyfriend and I head off on our trip, I’ll let you all know what books I’ll be taking with me.

Friday’s Fairy Tales: Rapunzel

Rapunzel - Ihave3kids
Image: Ihave3kids

The fairy tale “Rapunzel” comes from one of the stories of the Saints.  During the 3rd century AD, a wealthy merchant in Asia Minor loved his daughter so much that he forbade her to have any suitors.  He locked her in a tower whenever he traveled.  She converted to Christianity and prayed so loudly when she was in the tower that her prayers were heard throughout the town.  The merchant, informed of her actions, took her before the Roman proconsul who insisted she be beheaded or the father would have to forfeit his fortune if she refused to give up her newfound faith.  The father decapitated her but was then killed by a lightning strike.  She became the martyr, Saint Barbara.

The version of the story the Grimm’s were told was thought to be a folktale, but as it turns out, was actually written by Giambattista Basile in 1637.  It was rewritten by a French aristocrat, Charlotte Rose de Caumont de la Force in 1697.  The 1697 version was translated into German by J.C.F. Shulz, but the Grimm brothers were unaware of this fact.

In the Grimm version, which is almost identical to the Shulz translation, Rapunzel lets her hair down for a prince to climb into her tower and ends up pregnant.  The witch chops off Rapunzel’s hair and magically transports her far away, where she lives as a beggar with no money, no home, and a baby.  The witch lures the prince up into the tower and then pushes him from the window.  Some thorn bushes break his fall, but also blind him.  However, as with most fairy tales, there’s still a happy ending for the two lovers.

If you want to read a more modern version of this classic fairy tale, check out the following books (all links are to Goodreads):


Sunday’s Sundries: Fifth Dimension Books

Sundries - Dominic Hartnett
Image: Dominic Hartnett

Last night was the Boyfriend’s and my weekly date night.  On our way to a cafe that has the best fries I’ve ever tasted in my life, we came across a bookmobile called Fifth Dimension Books.  They specialize in Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Weird Tales, which are exactly the kind of books the Boyfriend and I both love to read.  I can’t buy any books, but most bookstores carry more than just books, and so we got on the bus to check it out.

As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best local bookseller I’ve come across in Austin, TX.  The boyfriend bought a “Big Damn Heroes” pin (for those who don’t know, it’s a “Firefly” reference), a book for him, and two books for me.  One of the books he got me was a surprise (he didn’t tell me he was buying me a book). It’s a hardcover edition of The Immortal Prince by Jennifer Fallon.  The other was one he let me pick out because it was a “Blind Date with a Book”.

2015-07-12 13.49.16

I’ve seen the “Blind Date with a Book” idea in libraries, but I’ve never seen it in a bookstore of any kind.  I’m very pleased with this idea, especially when I know I’m getting a book in a genre I enjoy, but it’s likely to be a book I wouldn’t normally take off the shelf.  It allows me to stretch just a little out of my comfort zone, but not so much that I risk abandoning the book.  The book I got is Primary Inversion by Catherine Asaro.  Not only is this book written by a woman, but also a physicist!  While female authors aren’t in any way outside my comfort zone, I read much more Fantasy than Sci-Fi.  This book is one I would have never thought of looking at to see if I’d be interested.  The blurb and praise on the back of the book make me think this will definitely be something I’ll like, and I’m looking forward to reading it.

I will be going back to Fifth Dimension Books.  I want to get one of their t-shirts, but I’m also going to be a regular customer after this year’s No Book Buying Challenge.  They’ll be my first stop whenever I have book money.