Sunday, December 29, 2013

End Of 2013 Book Survey!

I have seen about 6 different blogs that have done this survey and I loved the questions so I figured I would do the survey as well! Hope you enjoy!

1. Best book you read in 2013?
Tiger's Destiny by Colleen Houck

2. Book you were excited about and thought you were going to love more but didn't?
Beowulf : I was so excited to read this book and have been holding off for quite some time but when I actually read it I thought it was just a bunch of jumbled chatter and left a lot unsaid which was sad.

3. Most surprising (in a good way) book of 2013?
What Do You Want To Do Before You Die by The Buried Life : Love love LOVED this book!

4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people the most in 2013?
Wake by Amanda Hocking

5. Best series you discovered in 2013?
The Daughter Of The Forest series by Juliet Marillier

6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013? 
Tammara Webber

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?
Six-Gun Snow White by Catherynne Valente : This book was in the Western section at the library and I loved it!

8. Most thrilling unputdownable book in 2013?
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

9. Book you read in 2013, that you are most likely to re-read next year? 
the Little Book Of Hindu Deities by Sanjay Patel  : This book was a gift from Skeletor last year and I love how cute the pictures are and also you learn while looking at the cuteness.

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare: I love all her covers for her books but the Infernal Devices series are by far my favorite!

11. Most memorable character from a book read in 2013?
Lucas from Easy by Tammara Webber : like anyone can forget the hottness!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho : I can't believe I waited this long to read this lovely book.

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho & What Do You Want To Do Before You Die by The Buried Life

14. Book that you can't believe you waited until 2013 to read?
Scott Pilgrim series by Bryan Lee O'Malley

15. What is your favorite quote from a book you read in 2013?
"Each day, in itself, brings with it an eternity" - The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

16. What is your shortest and longest books you read in 2013?
Shortes: My Brother's Book by Maurice Sendak
Longest: Daughter Of The Forest by Juliet Marillier

17. book that had a scene in it that had you reeling and dying to talk to somebody about it?
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare : I almost ruined the story for a friend because I wanted to talk about it so badly.

18. Favorite relationship from a book you read in 2013?
Will Herondale and Tessa Gray from Clockwork Princess : I have been waiting for those two to get together and I was so happy when they finally did!

19. Favorite book you read in 2013 from an author you've read previously? 
  Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

20. Best book you read in 2013 based soley on a recommendation from somebody else? 
Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

21. Genre you read most in 2013?

22. Newest fictional book crush from a book you read in 2013?
Peter Parker from Mary Jane by Judith O'Brien

23. Best 2013 debut you read?
What Do You Want To Do Before You Die by The Buried Life

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013? 
Italy from Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

25. Book that was the most fun to read in 2013?
Scott Pilgrim!

26. Book that made you cry/almost cry in 2013? 
Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare : I did cry :(

27. Book you read in 2013 that you think got overlooked this year or when it came out? 
The Search For Artemis by P.D. Griffith  : This book wasn't bad.

28. One book you didn't get to in 2013, but will be your number one priority in 2014?
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell  &
Dark Witch by Nora Roberts

29. Book you are most anticipating in 2014 (non-debut)? 
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

30. Which 2014 debut are you most anticipating? 
Breakable by Tammara Webber &
Stolen Songbird by Danielle I. Jensen

31. A series ending you are most anticipating in 2014?
The Watersong series by Amanda Hocking

I actually made my reading goal this year on Goodreads and I hope that next year will be even better! 

Friday, December 20, 2013

The History of Yule!!!

Yule is a religious festival observed by the historical Germanic peoples, later being absorbed and equated with the christian festival of Christmas. The celebration of Yule is thought to be connected to the Wild Hunt, the God Odin and the pagan Anglo Saxon Modranicht.
Yule was originally celebrated for two months starting around mid-November and going until early January. Haakon l of Norway is given credit for the Christianization of Norway as well as the rescheduling of the date of Yule to coincide with the Christian celebrations held at the time. When Haakon l arrived in Norway he was a Christian, but the land was still altogether heathen and the people retained their Pagan practices. Haakon hid his Christian beliefs to receive the help of the Great Chieftan's of the area. Eventually Haakon had a law passed that would make Yule celebrations take place at the same time as the Christian Christmas. At that time everyone was to have ale for the celebration with a measure of grain, or pay a fine.
In the original celebrations of Yule it was custom to sacrifice and all farmers were to come to the temple,bringing with them the food they needed while the feast lasted. All that attended the feast were to take par in the drinking of ale. A lot of livestock was sacrificed including horses, the blood was then smeared all over the walls of the temple and the men who attended. The meat from the sacrificed animals was then boiled for the feast in large kettles which hung over a large fire in the middle of the temple floor. The Chieftan then blessed the meat and toasts were made to the Gods.
Yule begins at sunset on December 20th and goes until January 1st.

How To Set Up A Yule Altar
Winter has begun so use colder colors such as blues,silvers,whites,and make sure to find ways to include greens and reds for the season. Dark greens are always good. For Candles use silver, gold, green, red, or white.
Yule is meant to celebrate the Suns return so make sure to add solar symbols to your table. It doesn't have to be a sun statue a simple shinny gold object to represent the sun works just fine, a yellow or gold candle would also work.
Now here is the fun part go crazy with the rest of the decor! You could add a Yule log, Yule tree, reindeer, antlers, holly, mistletoe, even a Santa! Have fun with your Yule altar. Feel free to also add an offering for the Gods.

Fun Facts About Yule/Christmas!
1. Mistletoe - Before the ritual of kissing under the mistletoe it was believed that mistletoe possessed life bestowing properties and was associated with fertility.
2. Yule Log - The Yule log was originally a whole tree, that was chosen and brought into the house with great ceremony. The largest end of the log would be lit from the remains of the previous year which had been stored away and slowly fed into the fire through the twelve days of Christmas.
3. Santa Clause - The 6th of December is Saint Nicholas day and was based off Saint Nicholas of Myra. Saint Nicholas of Myra was famous for his generosity.
Santa himself is also associated with supernatural occurrences like the Wild Hunt which is frequently attested as the God Odin.

I hope you learned at least one thing from my Yule entry :) I hope you and your family have a Merry Yule and Blessed Be!

Below is a picture of my Yule Altar!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Andrew's Brain by E.L. Doctorow BOOK REVIEW!!!

                                                              Amazon ** Barnes&Noble

Title: Andrew's Brain

Author: E.L. Doctorow

Publisher: Random House

This book is about a man named Andrew and the story follows Andrew through his life through stories that he tells to a doctor.
The story starts off with Andrew holding his infant daughter while standing in the snow in front of his ex wife's house. Andrew's just lost his wife and now broken hearted he is left with a small child. He doesn't know what to do, he loves his daughter but deep down he doesn't know what to do about taking care of a child. At his current state of mind he is not able to give his daughter the life she deserves and he knows one person who could. When Andrew was married to his first wife they had a child together but the child died young which led to the divorce. Now Andrew must beg for his first wife to take his new daughter and accept her as if she were hers.
No questions asked when the door was opened she took the baby and then Andrew was left alone. Depressed and alone Andrew is left with himself and his memories of his lost love.
Life alone is much different than being married and having a child. Andrew begins to bounce from job to job teaching. Moving from place to place meeting a whole lot of interesting people. Life seems like it is getting better until Andrew goes o work for the president which seems like an awesome job until things start to fall apart.


Thoughts: This book was really well written to the point were I finished the book even though shortly after starting the book I knew it wasn't really a book for me. What I didn't like about the book was mostly that the story itself was choppy and jumped from one thought to another which at times made it confusing. I also felt that the story was a bit to depressing and I hated how without warning the story just ended. The whole book left a lot unsaid but I do feel like I got something out of it. This author deserves a closer look none the less.

Quotes: "True happiness comes of not knowing how happy you are. It's an animal serenity, something between contentment and joy, a steadiness of the belonged self in the world."