Friday, October 30, 2009

Giveaway - Catching Fire T-Shirt and Mockingjay Pin

Thanks to the folks at, I won a nice Catching Fire prize pack (read my review here), including a commemorative T-shirt and pin.  In an effort to get the word out about my blog, I'm offering up the shirt and pin as a giveaway on November 15th!  The shirt is a medium youth size, not a standard medium.

Here are the contest rules:
  • Entries accepted until 11:59pm on Saturday, November 14th
  • Open to U.S. addresses only
  • Make sure your posted comment includes your email address so that I can contact you on Sunday the 15th.  Should you win, you'll have 48 hours to respond before I pick another winner.

Ways to earn entries:
  • Leave a comment with your email (1 point)
  • Follow the blog by clicking on the Google "Follow" button on my sidebar (2 points)
  • Follow the blog on Networked Blogs (1 point)
  • Follow me (@LHartness) on Twitter (1 point)
  • Tweet about this giveaway on Twitter; be sure to use @LHartness and the website URL in your post (You may use this shorter URL: ). You may do this once a day between now and November 14 (2 points per day, notify me each day that you tweet)
  • Blog about the giveaway, and be sure to give me your URL (2 points)
And just as a reminder, this giveaway is for the shirt and pin only.  I do not have a copy of the book to give away at this time.  However, if I receive one I will certainly host a giveaway for that as well!

Good luck!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Giveaways - Ending this week, enter soon!

You've only got a few more days left, but if you'd like to enter to win a free copy of Dan Brown's The Lost Symbol, head on over to The Book Resort!  Here's the link:

You have until midnight on October 31 to enter. 

Next, Booking Mama is offering a copy of Sara Angelini's The Trials of the Honorable F. Darcy.  Julie wants to know what your favorite Jane Austen novel is, and the deadline for this giveaway is Friday, October 30th at 11:59 p.m.

Here's the link:

Good luck to all!

Massive Giveaway!

Head on over to  to enter their massive, multi-winner giveaway!  You get your choice of books from their stash and can even make suggestions for other books as well!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

New Discovery: Find book sales in your area!

Are you looking for the latest book sale in your area?  There's a new website devoted to listing book sales from around the country.  Listings are free for Friends of the Library organizations and other non-profit groups, and those are the best sales to attend!

Pass the word, and check out the site!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Book Review: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Not too long ago I saw a movie trailer for the upcoming Lightning Thief, coming to theaters in February 2010. Knowing it was based on a YA book, I thought I'd check it out.  Unfortunately, while I'm looking forward to the movie, I wasn't as enamored with the book as I thought I'd be.

The Lightning Thief is written in the first person, from the vantage point of Percy Jackson, young 6th grader in New York.  Over the course of the story he discovers that he's actually the son of the Greek god Poseidon.  His mortal mother has always kept this fact from him and has taken great measures to keep him safe from Poseidon's enemies.  Percy is eventually drawn into a fantastic, mythological-yet-real world of Classic gods and monsters, taking on a quest to prevent a massive war amongst the gods.

While many fantasy tales take on familiar themes that have been told time and again throughout the course of history, I found this one to be a little too derivative.  The similarities to the Harry Potter books were so many I eventually quit counting them all.  I almost felt like this author was simply telling his own Potter story and just changing a few of the basic tenants around.  Like Harry, Percy was informed several years into his life that he was special.  The notion of half-blood people (one parent "normal", the other wizard/god) is an important point in both novels.  Harry and Percy have been living with one or more guardians who despise them. Both boys go off to a special school/camp for kids like themselves. There they train and learn the lessons of being who they are.  There are separate houses dividing up the students into separate types of groups.  Harry's got a magic wand, Percy has a magic sword.  Both boys fight beings that would normally be too overwhelming for their abilities and they overcome.  I could go on , but the point is made.

However, unlike Potter, this story wasn't able to get me to suspend disbelief in the reality of the tale.  I can believe there's a Hogwarts School of Wizardry.  I can believe there's a magical land of Oz and that Superman can fly.  These stories have a way of getting me to believe their realities within the confines of their stories.  But for some reason, I frequently was drawn out of the story in Thief and just couldn't accept its premises. Monsters in the St. Louis Arch? The entrance to Olympus in New York and the entrance to the underworld in California?  Riordan gives reasons for these locations, but I still couldn't buy it as a reader.

Having said all that, I still enjoyed the story enough to finish the novel.  There were many chapters that ended with cliffhangers that compelled me to keep reading.  While I couldn't buy the premise of the story, I still wanted to know what happened.  Ultimately, I was entertained and I'm looking forward to seeing the movie as well.

Whether I'm going to read the other books in Riordan's series is a question I haven't answered yet.  I might give Book 2, The Sea of Monsters a shot, if for no other reason that I know it'll be a somewhat fun (if unbelievable) read.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pendragon's Banner - More Chances to Win!

Here's some more giveaways for Pendragon's Banner.  Check 'em out!

Enchanted by Josephine Blog:

Found Not Lost Blog:

He Followed Me Home...Can I Keep Him?


Book Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

A while back I became intrigued with Suzanne Collins' new books based on a Time magazine article.  I ran right out to my local public library and scooped up the hardback and the audio book of The Hunger Games to use in the car while driving (I spend many hours a week in my taxi/mininan).  It took me a few chapters to fully get my head into Collins' post-apocalyptic world, but once I did, I was hooked.  As you may or may not know, The Hunger Games ends with quite the cliffhanger.  Having forgotten that it was Book 1 of a trilogy, the last page left me almost in pain, wanting more.

I immediately went on to as many blogger websites as I could to enter to win a free copy (ARC, new, used, I didn't care!) of Book 2 in the series, Catching Fire.  After entering about 3 dozen sites, I managed to actually win a copy off of in their giveaway.  Thanks Joe!

The book came a few weeks later and I began reading it as soon as I could.  This time I didn't require a few chapters to get immersed in Collins' world.  It was full speed ahead, picking up the story from where it left off in Hunger Games.  While I finished this novel quicker than I finished most, it wasn't quite as intoxicating as Book 1.  I'm sure this is normal for the "middle child" of trilogies, so it was to be expected.  Still, I enjoyed the character development, plot and the new challenges faced by Katniss, Peeta and others.  There are some interesting reveals near the end of the book, but the cliffhanger isn't quite as torturous as the one in Hunger Games.  I'm definitely looking forward to Book 3, but I'm not squirming in my seat as I was last time.

If you enjoy Young Adult novels like Harry Potter and movies like Star Wars, this series might be for you.  While it is designed for the YA audience, I'm not sure when I'd let my boys (now age 4 and 9) get into it.  While there's no sex, there is an implication that a character has become pregnant by another competitor, and there's certainly a bit of violence.  This is the nature of the topic, as it's an arena competition wherein there can be only one (or two!) living victors.  While my elder son has the capacity to read at this level (and it's recommended for Grade 7 and up), I'll definitely wait until he's well into his teens before mentioning the series to him.  This is no Harry Potter.

Overall, an enjoyable read, and I eagerly await Book 3 in the series.  You'll certainly find me trolling the blogs, entering as many times as I can in hopes of winning that one, too.  Or at least putting it on my Wish List in hopes that it'll be a Birthday/Mom's Day/Christmas/Arbor Day gift!


Friday, October 16, 2009

Giveaway - Pendragon's Banner by Helen Hollick

Head on over to Passages to the Past to enter to win a free copy of Pendragon's Banner by Helen Hollick.  Here's Amy's post, just copied over.  In order to enter, go to:


 Giveaway: Pendragon's Banner by Helen Hollick

When it rains, it pours!!!  I have yet another giveaway, this time from my favorite publisher, Sourcebooks.  They are offering 1 copy of Pendragon's Banner (Book 2 of The Pendragon Banner trilogy) by Helen Hollick.

SYNOPSIS: Pendragon's Banner is the second book in Helen Hollick's exciting King Arthur trilogy, covering 459-465 A.D. This is not a fairy tale or fantasy. There is no Merlin, no sword in the stone, and no Lancelot. This is the most accurate Arthurian legend ever written, based on historical evidence and meticulous research.

At age twenty-four, King Arthur has the kingdom he fought so hard for and a new young family. But keeping the throne of Britain—and keeping his wife and three sons safe—proves far from easy. Two enemies in particular threaten everything that is dear to him: Winifred, Arthur's vindictive first wife, and Morgause, priestess of the Mother and malevolent Queen of the North. Both have royal ambitions of their own.

In this story of harsh battles, secret treasonous plots, and the life-threatening politics of early Britain's dark ages, author Helen Hollick boldly reintroduces King Arthur as you've never seen him before.

Read my review of The Kingmaking (Book 1)

Read my interview with Helen Hollick

Giveaway 411:

* Giveaway ends on October 28th. Winner will be announced on October 29th.

* Open to US / Canada entries ONLY.

* For 5 additional entries sign up as a follower; if you already are a follower you will automatically get this.

* For another additional one entry: post, sidebar, facebook or twitter about this giveaway.

GOOD LUCK EVERYONE!   Remember-- to enter to win, go to:


And here's ANOTHER giveaway!  Check it out at Historially Obsessed

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Workout Review - 10 Minute Solution with Michelle Dozois

Once again faced with a busy schedule, I chose 10 Minute Solution: Carb & Calorie Burner as my workout DVD choice on Wednesday. Michelle Dozois presents, featuring 5 separate mini-workouts, all about 10 minutes in length. You have the option of doing as few or as many segments as you like.  There's even a programming feature wherein you can select which tracks you'd like to do in any particular order. Michelle is a fun and motivating instructor, prepping you for each move in a systematic way. None of the moves are overly technical, but it's also fun and challenging. I'm glad there's plenty of strength training mixed in with the cardio, so I don't have to do a separate weight training routine.

Here's the breakdown of the tracks:
  1. Slow & Steady Burn (9:51) - This one is great to do first, warming you up and then getting your heart rate up to training level.  The moves are fun and comfortable.
  2. Carb Killer (9:46) - If you enjoy the punching and kicking of kickboxing, this one's for you. A couple of moves were a bit challenging for me, but overall it was very doable and fun.
  3. Power Blast (9:47) - If you're ready to pump it up and really get your heart rate going, this is it. There's lots of plyometric moves, jumping and movement. It's fun, but a couple of times I had to modify the moves to keep up.
  4. Interval Burn (9:51) - This track is Bootcamp-inspired, which is not usually my thing.  But it was manageable.  One move (the Mountainclimber) is really tough for me, so I had to cheat a bit and get my tush in the air.  This one's good, but I'll have to work on it.
  5. Metabolism Booster (9:49) - Strength training is the main theme of this track.  Michelle uses moderate weights (I used 6lbs.) to build lean body mass to burn calories all day long. It's great to do at the end, as there's less full-body movement.
Be sure and do a little stretching after you're done, as there's not alot of time to fit that into each track.  There is some, but I needed a little more when I was done.

Because of time constraints, I did tracks 1, 2 & 4 on Wednesday and then 1, 3 & 5 on Thursday. These weren't long workouts, but I definitely broke a sweat and did my body some good. And it was fun!

Movie Review - The Proposal

Thanks to a free code from Blockbuster Express, I rented The Proposal tonight.  I wasn't expecting anything extraordinary, but I like Sandra Bullock and most romantic comedies.  This one turned out to be quite a dud. There was nothing unpredictable about it, the lead actors had little chemistry, and I had a hard time accepting Sandra as some kind of corporate dragon lady.  There was a ridiculous (and supposedly funny) strip tease scene that I just fast-forwarded on through. I think the thing that I most enjoyed about the movie was Sandra's corporate fashion style-- I loved the pencil dresses and her hair.  But that's not enough to recommend a movie. Don't accept this Proposal. Move on to something else.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Monday's (and Tuesday's!) Workout

Yesterday I didn't have alot of time to work out, but I needed something effective. I'd done the Firm's Power Half Hour once before and thought it would be a good choice for Monday.  Boy, was I right! It's a tough but fun routine that goes by in a flash. It's been months since my first run at it, and I clearly hadn't mastered the steps.  Since it's only 30 minutes, lead instructor Emily Welsh can't really take alot of time in transitioning between moves.  And for some odd reason, I felt like the music wasn't in sync with the steps during the first few minutes of the DVD. So needless to say, my performance yesterday could have been better. I got a good workout, but in missing some of the steps, I felt like it could have been better.

Today I was faced with the same time-crunch dilemma, so I did something I never do: The same DVD workout two days in a row! I've got hundreds of videos, so I try to do something different every time.  But I decided that I wanted to try to master those steps a little more!  So off we went, and I did much better this time!

Emily leads 2 other castmembers in a fast-paced, aerobic and strength training routine. She does a few minutes of warm-up, some cardio, then weights, alternating until the end when she does some core work before the cool-down.  It's a total-body mix. I was impressed with the standing abs work that we did-- very innovative and not like the usual crunches on the floor. Some of the cardio was a little too difficult for me, but castmember Kelsie Daniels always provided an easier option for us beginners.

Overall, this one's a good one and I hope to do even better on it the next time around-- but not tomorrow!

The Other Mr. Darcy - Giveaways on more book blogs!

If you'd like more chances to win a copy of The Other Mr. Darcy, check out even MORE book blogs hosting giveaways that I found today!

And also on:

And another!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Today's Workout - Strong Bear

Since yesterday's workout was WHFN's Fast Cheetah, I did the recommended companion Strong Bear today.  While SB has less of the "fun" factor found in FC, it's quite effective and a perfect pairing.  The lead instructor is Keli Roberts, a renowned fitness professional originally from Australia.  Her accent and highly professional attitude contribute to the strength and confidence that she imbues.

The routine is almost 56 minutes, and you’ll need a 14” step, a tall dowel or chair, light weights (I used 4 lb), medium weights (I used 6 lb) and heavy weights (I used 8 & 10 lb). A floor mat/carpet would be good for the floor work, and she also recommends ankle weights if you need an additional challenge.

Increased challenges are not what I needed today!  While only 8 minutes are officially attributed to true cardio on the packaging, I had plenty of sweat and a rapid heart rate through much of this mostly strength training routine.  Many of my muscle groups were worked to exhaustion, and I had to modify the moves to keep up.  She frequently recommends modification and doesn’t project an expectation that everyone can do every move.  Many positions are new ones that I’ve never seen before and require decent effort in a short amount of time. I enjoy doing these new takes on old standards; it keeps it interesting.

My only quibble with Keli is that I wish she would give a bit more time during transitions.  I frequently had to rewind the DVD to get set up.  I also noticed several of her cast members having the same problem.  But with the convenience of DVD, this isn’t a big deal.  It also gives me a chance to pause and rehydrate.

Overall, a great workout that touches on every part of the body.  I’m ready for a nap!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Today's Workout - Fast Cheetah

After seeing myself on camera yesterday, I'm feeling particularly inspired to burn off some body fat as soon as possible!  That being said, it's been a crazy week and I wasn't in the mood to work out at all.  So, how can I combine a fun, effective workout that has little "dread factor"??  Go for a WHFN (Women's Health & Fitness Network) DVD!  Today I chose Fast Cheetah, which is based on a cousin Fast Cheetah workout done a few years ago by FitPrime.  I wasn't disappointed!

Lead instructor Heidi Tanner gets you warmed up, and then Kimberly Spreen takes over for quite a while.  Kim does a mix of cardio and strength training, using a 14" step and light (I used 4 lb.) weights.  The music is enjoyable and I definitely got a good sweat going.  Thankfully my kids interrupted me a few times so I could have an excuse to towel off!

Heidi returns to do pilates/yoga/core work.  She uses the 14" step and one yoga block.  Her segment was also challenging, but still very enjoyable.  She ends with a nice stretch, and I felt great after 48 minutes of Fast Cheetah!

For those of you who are fans of The Firm, you'll recognize Heidi Tanner (lead), Tamela Hastie (castmember), and other castmembers who've been in past Firm videos.

These videos are high quality and I always enjoy doing them.  And as a 38 year-old, I appreciate the fact that the women have real bodies and we don't spend a ton of time jumping around in class.  They have other effective ways of getting cardio in!  There are a few plyometrics, but nothing excessive.

Give Fast Cheetah a try, and for a companion routine, do Strong Bear at your next workout!

Rockin' Giveaway - Lady Vernon and Her Daughter

Check out the Historically Obsessed blog!  Lizzy's got a nice giveaway of Lady Vernon and Her Daughter. Here's the link:  Historically Obsessed  And I've copied a few details below:

Rockin' Giveaway Lady Veron and Her Daughter by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway

Hi all I have got a sweet giveaway for you all courtesy of Crown Publishing. The giveaway is for TEN copies of Lady Veron and Her Daughter by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway. It is a new historical fiction that is due to hit book store October 6Th in hardback.

Yes I did say TEN copies, crazy I know but I knew everyone would have a fairly good chance at winning a copy. The TEN winners will receive a hardback copy of this beautiful book. Sorry but this one is for the US & Canada only. Contest will end on October 9Th at midnight.

* For 1 entry leave me a comment with a way to contact you.
* For 2 entries follow my blog. If you already do, thanks, and please let me know in the comments. You're eligible for the extra entry as well.
* For 3 entries blog or tweet this giveaway to spread the word.

Sounds like a nice contest!  Head on over to Historically Obsessed to win. You've got until October 9th!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Movie Review - The Brothers Bloom

While I'd never want to be a victim of a con game, I love con movies.  Ocean's 11, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and the like.  If you enjoy them as I do, check out The Brothers Bloom, recently released on DVD.  It didn't make a huge splash at the box office, but no matter.  It's quirky, funny, poignant, sad and sweet at the same time.  Mark Ruffalo, Adrien Brody and Rachel Weisz are a great team and weave quite a tale. I also enjoyed the performance of the virtually mute Bang Bang, played by Rinko Kikuchi.  She provided much comic relief and was hysterical in her own quiet way.

The movie got a PG-13, easily explainable by (I think) one incidence of an F-bomb, and two characters sleep together (although it's not really shown).  And there's some blood, from mostly fake wounds during their nefarious con jobs.  So, not exactly for my parents and young kids, but certainly fine for adult con-movie fans.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Other Mr. Darcy - Giveaway on

Here's another giveaway opportunity for The Other Mr. Darcy, found on

Plus a nice article by author Monica Fairview.  You have until 5pm on October 9th, 2009.  Happy entering!

Giveaway - The Other Mr. Darcy

I love what I call "Jane Austen Spinoff Novels".  These are books that are sequels, prequels and otherwise speculations on the characters in Jane Austen stories.  Here's another opportunity to win a copy of a spinoff, The Other Mr. Darcy, found at My Victorian Books:

And to read about the featured book in an earlier post on My Victorian Books, I've copied it below:

The Other Mr. Darcy / Review

Author: Monica Fairview
Paperback: 368 pages
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark (October 2009)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 140222513X

My Review:

Caroline Bingley is overwhelmed and heartbroken over the marriage of Fitzwilliam Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett. But soon, at a very awkward moment, a mysterious gentleman enters her life--Mr. Darcy's cousin from America. Tension immediately follows between the two as Caroline shows contempt for her American acquaintance. Although, Robert Darcy falls in love with Caroline, their worlds are very different and far apart.

This book is so elegantly written, the reader would think they are reading Jane Austen. I knew from the very beginning this was going to be an excellent book and I wasn't disappointed.


Again, here's the link to the contest, and an interview with Monica Fairview, author.

Book Review: A Million Miles in a Thousand Years by Donald Miller

A few years ago, a college student I was meeting with recommended a little book called Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller. Her opinion of it was so high, I picked up a copy and gave it a try. I've never gobbled up a nonfiction book so fast. Donald's perception of the human and Christian experience was riveting and resonant with many of my own beliefs (some of which had been unspoken).

Flash forward about 6 years, and I've been given the opportunity to receive an Advanced Reader Copy (ARC) of Miller's latest book, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. I'd been following Donald on Twitter for some time and have noted his writing-in-progress tweets with some anticipation. So my ARC from the Vine Program was a truly appreciated.

While I didn't take in Million Miles as ravenously as Jazz, I still enjoyed it. Miller perceives our lives as individual story lines, all flowing in the great Story that God is telling. We are not mere spectators to God's narrative, we are all participants. The question is, what kind of story are we going to tell? The world aches for good stories to witness, good stories to repeat to others. And of course, the best and most interesting stories are ones that have obstacles to surmount, challenges to overcome.

While on some level I agree with Miller on this point, on another it's hard to swallow. I've had a measure of pain in my life, and while no one would call my story a tragic one, there have been times when I've questioned why God has put me in the particular storyline He's written. It's very hard to accept the "pain makes life more interesting" notion when you're in the middle of a quagmire.

Having said that, I've had days when I've positively resonated with God's purpose for my life, days when the joy was so great I could almost hear it. It is in those times that I've felt a part of a greater story, and one in which I love to have this role. I only hope and pray that when I look back during the epilogue, that I, those around me and the Father above will have enjoyed what they've witnessed. As Miller discusses, it's a long climb up the mountain, but the view from above will be so glorious.

For more information on Donald Miller, go to or follow him on Twitter (donmilleris)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Book Giveaway!! Lady Vernon and Her Daughter

Check out this book giveaway, found on the reading blog Passages to the Past:

Passages to the Past TO ENTER!!

MassiveMassive Giveaway! 10 copy giveaway of Lady Vernon and Her Daughter: A Novel of Jane Austen's Lady Susan

Courtesy of the unbelievably generous Crown Publishing, Passages to the Past has 10 copies of Lady Vernon and Her Daughter: A Novel of Jane Austen's Susan by Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway!!

Who loves ya baby?  Crown Publishing and me, that's who!!!

SYNOPSIS:  Jane Austen’s novella Lady Susan was written during the same period as another novella called Elinor and Marianne–which was later revised and expanded to become Sense and Sensibility. Unfortunately for readers, Lady Susan did not enjoy the same treatment by its author and was left abandoned and forgotten by all but the most diligent Austen scholars. Until now.

In Lady Vernon and Her Daughter, Jane Rubino and Caitlen Rubino-Bradway have taken Austen’s original novella and transformed it into a vivid and richly developed novel of love lost and found–and the complex relationships between women, men, and money in Regency England.

Lady Vernon and her daughter, Frederica, are left penniless and without a home after the death of Sir Frederick Vernon, Susan’s husband. Frederick’s brother and heir, Charles Vernon, like so many others of his time, has forgotten his promises to look after the women, and despite their fervent hopes to the contrary, does nothing to financially support Lady Vernon and Frederica.

When the ladies, left without another option, bravely arrive at Charles’s home to confront him about his treatment of his family, they are faced with Charles’s indifference, his wife Catherine’s distrustful animosity, and a flood of rumors that threaten to undo them all. Will Lady Vernon and Frederica find love and happiness–and financial security–or will their hopes be dashed with their lost fortune?

With wit and warmth reminiscent of Austen’s greatest works, Lady Vernon and Her Daughter brings to vivid life a time and place where a woman’s security is at the mercy of an entail, where love is hindered by misunderstanding, where marriage can never be entirely isolated from money, yet where romance somehow carries the day.

Giveaway 411: 

YOU MUST GO TO Passages to the Past TO ENTER!!

* Giveaway ends on October 16th. Winner will be announced on October 17th.
* Open to US entries ONLY.
* For 5 additional entries sign up as a follower; if you already are a follower you will automatically get this.
* For another additional one entry: post, sidebar, facebook or twitter about this giveaway.


Today's Workout - Your Personal Best with Elle

I'm what you would call a "vidiot".  I love using exercise videos for my workouts, and I have a few hundred of them.  Since variety is great for the body, I rarely do the same video more than once or twice a year.  Today's workout is called Your Personal Best with Elle Macpherson (90's supermodel) and Karen Voight (fitness instructor).  It was released in 1995 and is only available on VHS in the United States.  I typically do this one on Satudays; it's 54 minutes and is set in the beautiful Hawaiian islands.  Distributed by Disney's Buena Vista Home Video, the production values are high and the cinematography is great.  As a 90's girl, I still enjoy the now-dated music (Inxs, Sting, Matthew Wilder) and don't mind the aging fashions.  There's a good mix of cardio, strength training and a nice 5-minute stretch at the end.  There are 8 segments, shifting to different locations throughout the islands. The only equipment you need are comfy shoes and workout clothes, hand weights, and a chair or bench.  Elle is clearly no fitness expert, so it's good to have Karen on board.  Both ladies have different body types, and of course they're both inspirational to have on screen.  This isn't one of my favorite workouts, but when I do it once a year, I always enjoy it.

The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

Recently I read a Time magazine article on Suzanne Collins' novel, The Hunger Games, which intrigued me enough to pick up a copy at my local public library. It wasn't long before I was plowing through the book with great enthusiasm. Although I knew the book to be the first in a series, I was terribly disappointed when it ended with a cliffhanger. I couldn't wait to read the second volume, Catching Fire, released about a month ago. My library didn't have a copy of the book, so I began entering as many contests as I could to win a free copy. Things being tight these days, I couldn't afford to splurge on a new book. Fortunately, after entering dozens of times, I managed to win a free copy from I'm now eagerly awaiting the arrival of the book and Catching Fire promotional items.

The Hunger Games is set in a type of post-apocalyptic world, a genre I've never been particularly attracted to. But Collins' tale of the reluctant heroine Katniss was exciting and eventually drew me in. Katniss' efforts to survive within the world of the Hunger Games were realistic as well as fantastical. I look forward to seeing what happens to her and cohort Peeta in the next installment.

A New Blog - The Calico Critic

This fall I discovered the world of book bloggers. I've really enjoyed reading the postings of fellow book readers and thought I'd join in on the fun. I also enjoy music and movies, so as the title suggests, there will be a little bit of this and a little bit of that reviewed here. The title also refers to my beloved calico cat, Callie, born in the summer of 1995. We love her more every year.

And after reading my blog, if you feel I might enjoy a particular book, movie or musician, please feel free to fill me in! I love new discoveries.

Enjoy, Calico readers!


Related Posts with Thumbnails