Category Archives: Books

I’ve neglected this blog for like a month now.  I started a new job over a month ago and its a 40 minute commute to and fro.  So by the time I get home around 5 or 6, I’m tired and just want to unwind, maybe go out with a friend for dinner or just curl up with a good book.  Writing at night is isolated to the hours of 9pm or later, when I’m ready for bed.  I adore my job and I’m slowly finding the balance between work and still doing other things.  Responsibilities, what a concept.


Kiss and Blog

Onto nerdier news.  I’m still working through my 100 books in a year goal.  I posted my July update and finished another book today bringing my total books read to 54.  Can I read 46 books in 4 months while working a fulltime job and staying busy with other stuff?  Of course I can, I work well under pressure 🙂



Since I’ve been off, I’ve had more time for gaming in the past two weeks and some after school.  I was adamantly playing Wario Woods and even got up to level 70.  Then I spent around 10-15 hours trying to get to level 75.  It’s been filed away for another day and I decided to navigate my way through Final Fantasy II.

Around this time last year I picked up and quickly made my way through FF2.  I ended up getting stuck in Deist cave and gave up.  I made my way through it the other night and now my party is really overpowered.  My party all has their HP between 3700-4200 and even the hard bosses are going down within two turns.


Final Fantasy 2′s leveling system has gaundered mixed opinions, but personally I love it.  I’m over halfway (maybe 3/4ths) of the way through Final Fantasy II and its been a really fun old school RPG.  It’s not my favorite game in the RPG (not in the top 5), but its still a solid RPG that should be played if only for its quirky leveling up system.  I think the leveling up system in Final Fantasy 2 is actually one of my favorites in any RPG-it took a risk in the early days of RPG’s and it works.



Other Nerd Blurbs

  • I went to a casual play Magic the Gathering night earlier this week.  I had built a red and green deck with burn spells on the fly and I was surprised at how well it did.  Now I’m working on a slivers deck.

  • I went back and reread an old manga series I loved when I was a teenager called Kare First Love.  Reading it as an adult, I realize its not as good as I remember.  In fact, its nothing special…

  • I ran by a local thrift store last weekend and while I was in the book section, happened to look up at the CDs to find Final Fantasy VII.  After looking closer, I realized there were several RPG’s!  I ended up walking away with the games above for only $15!


Healthy Nerd?

Oh…right the other part of this blog.  Lets see, I exercise regularly, eat lots of fruits and veggies and surprisingly haven’t turned into a peach.  Really, I’m eating them way too much if that’s possible.


On twitter the other night, a blogger I follow said that she was compling a summer reading list. I’m a huge reader (and studying to be a Library Media Specialist) so it gave me inspiration to create my own list.  I have a huge list of books that I want to read and went through picking out the books I’ve been dying to read the most.  I have a personal goal to read 30 books this year and these books are sure to be great candidates.


Son of Neptune by Rick Riordan

I am in love with Rick Riordan’s series about Greek and Egyptian Gods & Goddesses.  I read The Lost Hero earlier this year after I rushed through Percy Jackson and the Olympians series.  All the characters from the original book make a reappearance and the series has a side story that focuses on finding Percy, our main hero, from the first book series that dives into the world of Gods and Goddesses.  Rick Riordan has given the reader more than ample interest in learning who Jason is and adds Roman Gods to the formula


The Throne of Fire by Rick Riordan

The sequel to The Red Pyramid, see my notes below on the third book in the Kanes Chronicles series.  I actually checked this book out at one time, but was unable to get to it before it was due.  Summers here which means I’ll finally be able to check it out and finish it.


The Serpents Shadow by Rick Riordan

I read The Red Pyramid a while back and it was good.  I’m not as big of a fan of this series as The Olympian hero books, but it’s a young adult series that I’m happy to follow.  This is the third book in the series, so I’ll be reading this one after “The Throne of Fire”.  That way I can stop looking so longingly at the bookstore at it.


photo7 1024x1024 Book Giveaway: Where We Belong by Emily Giffin

Where we Belong-by Emily Giffin

Until another blogger mentioned it recently, I had completely forgotten about “Where We Belong”.  I stumbled across Emily Giffin two years ago nad after finishing “Baby Proof” I quickly read through all of her books.  Her plots are straight-forward and easy to digest, meaning they’re incredible light reads.  July 24th needs to hurry up!


The Landry News

Mr. Landry by Andrew Clements

I was an art substitute recently and I have a habit of seeing what books are on a teachers bookshelf for reference when a student says they have nothing to read so I can recommend titles. This teacher didn’t have a lot of books, which is why this one jumped out at me.  Reading that the synopsis was about a girl who could potentially get her teacher fired because he was boring/didn’t do anything intrigued me.  It’ll be a short read, but seeing who the author is, I have no dobut I won’t love it.


Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever by Jeff Kinney

I LOVE the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series and the only reason I haven’t read the newest one is because…its always checked out in the library and on a huge waitlist.  Luckily, the library is doing inventory now, so I predict sneaking over there in the near future and reaidng it in one sitting.  The newest book, The Third Wheel, was recently announced too.  I need to buy these books while I’m at it.  If you haven’t read this series and have ANY touch of adolscence in you, read it.  Asap.


Tiger’s Quest by Colleen Houck

I snagged this book after seeing it on the shelf of a teacher I subbed for for a week.  I was intrigued with the plot and stalked the library until a kid returned it (I do this a lot.  Creeper.)  I read it on the beach and while it wasn’t the best fantasy book I’ve read, it certainly had me interested in the next book.  It follows Indian culture and there were little things I picked up on from prior knowledge, but most of what I learned was new.  It sparked a new interest in India’s culture and I’m anxious not only to read the next book because it’ll be good, but for culture of India 101 part 2.



The Horrible s/Blood Curdling Series by Terry Deary

I’m looking for any of the books in this wonderful fact filled, comical British book series.  The author has went through several cultures/societies including Aztec, Egyptian and Victorians to give readers a ton of history in a very entertaining way.  I’m dying to find more books having read Awful Aztecs.  I still remember everything from the books too, so if you know someone who loves history and appreciates history being broken down, you might want to recommend them this series.


With the Light Vol. 6 by Keiko Tobe

I can’t say enough about how much I love this series.  My mom ordered the fifth book for me for Easter (out of print) and now I’m more than ready to drop the $18 to get the next volume.  It’s given me a lot of inspiration for the field I want to go into along with Librarian-working with Special Needs kids.  I’ve raved enough about this series. You need to go buy it.


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The Unicorn Chronicles: Dark Whispers by Bruce Coville

I swear, I will read books other than Young Adult fiction this year.  I actually first picked up this series when I was in Middle School.  I tried tracking down the next few books, but just never got around to it.  The second book, Song of the Wanderer, is actually one of my favorite books.  Dark Whispers is a book I’ve been wanting to read for years now and would fufill a childhood in a way.  Especially since the author has released two other titles in the series.


More Reads;

Keep Holding on by Susane Colasanti

Rules by Cynthia Lord

The Strange Case of Origami Yoda by Tom Angleberger

Somebody Else’s Kids by Torey Hayden

So Much Closer by Susane Colasanti

Threeish years ago I stumbled across a series called “With the Light: Raising an Autistic Child.”  Its a big manga too, all 8 volumes clock in at around 500 or more pages each.  It tells the story of the Azuma family whose first son is born autistic and the struggles they go through raising him in a society that doesn’t quite understand what autism is.  Its a journey of struggles, joys, confusion and one that grows increasingly complex as time moves on.

I recently received the fifth volume as an Easter gift (would you believe the fifth and sixth book are out of print?) and currently I’m reading through this amazing series.  As an educator, I think it should be on the shelves of every teacher who has a student with Autism.  It is a resoruce that adults and children can read and find enjoyment and a wealth of knowledge within.  The books also include further resources and Keiko Tobe was a genius in writing this.  Its heartbreaking to know she died in a car crash after completed the 8th (13th in Japan) volume.



I can’t describe in words how much I love this series.  My career at the moment is as a substitute teacher and I am reguarlly in a special education classroom.  I have had the wonderful opportunity to work with two students  and have a friend, who have Autism.  Reading this books has given me a cultural look at Autism as well as a better understanding of life once students go home.  Because the thing about working with kids all day, is that you think about them and spend late hours looking up more things for them.  That being said, read at least the first book in this wonderful series, you will only find ‘the light’


Autism Facts

  • intellectually, those with Autism have average to above average IQ’s
  • Autism is comorbid with intellectual disability (40%)
  • 1 in 88 children will be born with Autism.
  • Boys have a 1:54 chance of having autism
  • Boys are 4 times more likely to be born with autism
  • 10 million children worldwide have been diagnosed with Autism

Here we are almost a month later without a post.  It was not my intention as I had not forgotten Healthly Nerdy Girl, but instead my not even 3 month old Sony Vaio’s motherboard decided to die.  Its been in shop for the past two weeks and its looking like the maximum 3-4 week period is going to happen.  Plus Sony forgot to include my recovery disks which has been the biggest hassle.  I’m so grateful that my mom is allowing me to use her mini-dell as I would be lost without it.


100 books in a Year Challenge;

January 2012


Keeping up with my goal to read 100 books this year, February wasn’t my strongest month due to the fact I only finished 4 books (one I started February 29th and finished two days later).  I’m only counting actual novels/young adult books, but Febraury was childrens book month for me as I read at least 20 over the course of the month (some of which I annotated in fact).  Here’s what I read this month which brings my total books up to 15;











12) The Haunted Flute and Other Japanese Stories by Warwick Goble (5/5)

I love folklore and for the longest time I’ve been looking for a good collection of several Japanese stories.  The Haunted Flute presents several classic tales, but adds in several that readers may not be as familiar with.  The writing style and presentation are very attractive and for fans of folklore (especially Japanese), this is the best collection I have found.


13) Millicent Min, Girl Genius by Lisa Yee (5/5)

I grabbed this book initially as part of a research assignment for one of my classes.  I highly enjoyed this book and Millicent was a very refreshing character.  The plot isn’t your typical young adult book and there’s a lot of good feel in the pages.  Millicent in a great character adn I was very fond of her.  This book shows an extraordinary girl who is true to herself and others.  Its a quick read, but a highly enjoyable one.


red pyramid

14) The Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan (4/5)

I love Egyptian mythology, so this book was more my style that his series based on Greek Mythology.  I thought Riordan did a great job with this series and I’m excited to read the continuing tales of Sadie and Carter.  There was nothing I really disliked with this series, but for as good as it was, it still has some room to continue growing.


15) The Demigod Files by Rick Riordan (3/5)

It was just ok.  I wasn’t really crazy about it, but it was a decent read for fans of the Percy Jackson series.  It was nice to see side stories about characters like Nico and Percy, but if you’re not a fan of the series, you won’t enjoy this one.


Hopefully March will involve more reading as I work towards my goal to read 100 books in a year.  I’m not reading anything at the moment do to having so much reading related to classes, but I’m doing better than this time last year (3 books between January-March as I was student teaching).


What was the best book you read in February?

I have been reading manga for the past 6 years and as a result my tastes have changed and evolved.  I first started off with Inu-Yasha and the glory days of Tokyopop and obsessed over shojo beat when it premiered around the same time.  Even after Shojobeat went out of business, I still stuck to their stories and expanded into Yen Press’ series and navigated online to read unlicensed series.  I was going into student teaching and I found it harder to identify with characters in high school.  Then, I discovered manga targeted towards a ‘Josei’ audience and I was hooked.  One series I’ve had my eye on is “Butterflies, Flowers” and after wanting to read it for 2 years I finally had the chance to read it.


Butterflies, Flowers Vol. 1

Yuki Yoshihara

Shojo Beat Manga


From the first volume we are introduced to our two main characters, Choko and Domoto.  Choko is the daughter of a formally aristocratic family, whose business failed when she was a young girl.  At the age of 20, she interviews for a position at a real estate and gets the job.  The trouble starts from the interview with her boss, Domoto, who decides to train her personally.  As fate would have it, he is actually the long lost servant to Choko.  Having had ‘loving’ feelings towards him, the two enter into an interesting relationship


If I can associate a feeling with Butterflies, flowers it would be ‘familiar’.  The plot for the most part seemed predictable and felt familiar to the veteran manga reader.  Choko is the stereotypical ‘clumsy’ office girl (honestly, how can so many manga characters make so many mistakes and not be fired?) While Domoto is the typical skirt chaser (before Choko steps in) and cycles between loving and cruel.  He is bipolar and the reader is left wondering who he really is.  Towards the end of the volume we see another side of Choko and the whole character scheme is really bipolar.  On the plus side, the supporting cast is very enjoyable and offers life in the pages.


When I first picked up Butterflies, Flowers, I was expecting something ‘heavier’ in terms of stories.  What I read was ‘light and fluffy’.  This isn’t a bad thing by any means, just not what I expected.  The art style, simple and inviting, fit the tone of the story, though since there are eight volumes, I predict this pacing will change.  The story itself followed a predictable pattern and yes, a rival is introduced in this volume.  A lot of things happen in this first volume and it feels too fast with not enough details and the distinct feeling you’ve been here before.  It feels like a high school drama set in the office world, only the characters aren’t quite there yet.


There is a good bit of potential here, but Yuki Yoshihara doesn’t give us as much of a foundation and she’s capable of.  I will be sticking around for volume 2 in belief that things will pick up and make this a unique story, but I’m not rushing just yet to the store to pick up the next volume.



+Art style and story mesh well together

+Side characters




+Main character bipolarity

+Too ‘light’ and feels like a high school drama


This is my first post here and it plays off my book nerdiness/bookworm habit.  For the past three years I have set a goal to read 100 books in a year.  I was really close this past year after reading 98 books (I was two short!)  The year before I think I hit 70.  This will be the year I read 100 books, guaranteed.  I do set rules with my reading;

  • Must be 120+ pages if young adult
  • No manga or children’s books (excluding anthologies)
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid books count (text mostly with images), no comic-books (foxtrot, Big Nate)

I keep track of my readings on goodreads.  It helps me to label books for later and in order to find books later on a particular subject.  I still like the system the school I work at uses, Alexandria.  This month I read 11 books. This time last year I had read 2-3 since I was student teaching and the idea of having freetime (even over the weekend!) was a joke.  Plus I wanted to spend what time I had with friends. It helps too being in a children’s literature class and having a job that requires reading (at the school teachers have to read with kids at least 15 minutes), therefore I am a happy bookworm 😉


1. Percy Jackson of the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I loved the first book even more the second time around 🙂  Its a light read and while it does tackle dark elements, the reader doesn’t feel it so much.  In my book that’s a huge plus!

2. Percy Jackson of the Olympians: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

This is probably my favorite book in the series.  I loved the focus on ‘destiny’ vs. deciding on your own path.  Seeing Annabeth and Percy work together was another plus 😉

3. Percy Jackson of the Olympians: The Titans Curse by Rick Riordan

Each book in this series is unique and introduces characters or takes them away.  This book particularly did a lot of character introduces and taking away (not necessarily dying mind you). My favorite character is also introduces in this book 😉

4. Percy Jackson of the Olympians: The Battle of the Labyrinth by Rick Riordan

What an adventuresome book (is that a word?)  Another great entry into the series, though I did have one qualm with this book in that the pacing seemed a bit sporadic.  It was hard to keep track of where they were in the labyrinth (or just in general).  I felt the need for a picture a couple times just to get my mental barrings.

5. Percy Jackson of the Olympians: The Last Olympian by Rick Riordan

Worst book ever…because it was the ending!  A lot gets wrapped up and its pretty much solid action.  With Olympus fall?  What does the prophecy mean?  Will Percy and his friends live or die?  A solid conclusion, but sadly still a conclusion, I mean set-up to the next series 😉

6. The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan

I plowed through this one.  It stars 3 new characters, one of which having a particularly interesting connection to a character from the previous series.  We don’t learn a lot about the main character (we’re just as confused about you as you are about you Jason!)  On a side note…I don’t like Leo.  His attitude stinks to be frank and I didn’t like that the author used a ‘weak’ plot device to make him special.

7. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 3: The Last Straw by Jeff Kinney

FINALLY this was in at the library.  How sad I have to fit middlers for their books 😛  I enjoyed it, though it wasn’t really memorable because I can’t remember what happened without consulting Wikipedia. I love these books and if you know a kid who doesn’t like to read, give them these books.  I need to make a database of books for kids who hate reading to read…

8. Diary of a Wimpy Kid 4: Dog Days by Jeff Kinney

This is my favorite book in the series so far.  It also shows a lot of Gregs development as he is succeeding in making a lot of mistakes middle schoolers make (not thinking, acting rash, pushing friends away, arrogance) still you love the guy.  There are times I have to slap my head and wonder what Greg is thinking, but I find myself doing it a lot with young adult books.  The joys of being a knowledgeable adult 😉

9. The Heretic Queen by Michelle Moran

Loved loved loved this book!  When it comes to history, Egypt has always been one of my biggest fascinations.  This book focuses on Ramses II and his Royal Wife Nefaratri.  Nefaratri overcomes a lot and Michele has brilliantly pieced together this work and clearly has done her research!  Read this if you like Egyptian history.

10. Cleopatra’s Daughter by Michelle Moran

I had to struggle through this book.  Which was disappointing considering how much I loved “The Heretic Queen”.  Just couldn’t get into it.  Still, Moran once again succeeds at being an excellent researcher that makes this just as much a cultural read as a story.

11. The Family Under the Bridge by Natalie Carlson

I breezed through this one in about twenty minutes.  I wasn’t crazy about it, though the message was good.


Fellow viewers!  Have you read anything good this past month?