Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Waiting On Wednesday 12.31.08

This is going up a little later than I intended, but I've been sick with a stomach flu and I had Cybils deliberations this afternoon. But without further ado, here's my last Waiting on Wednesday post for 2008:

The True Adventures of Charley Darwin by Carolyn Meyer

From "Young Charley Darwin hated school—he much preferred to be outside studying birds' eggs, feathers, and insects. And so, at the age of twenty-one, he boarded a ship called HMS Beagle and spent five thrilling but dangerous years sailing around the world, studying plant and animal life that was beyond anything he could have imagined.Here, just in time for Darwin's 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his groundbreaking On the Origin of Species, historical novelist Carolyn Meyer tells the story of his unconventional adventures. It's the story of a restless childhood, unrequited teenage love, and a passion for studying nature that was so great, Darwin would sacrifice everything to pursue it."

I have to admit, I'm guilty of wanting to read this one simply because I love the author. Carolyn Meyer is so awesome! As a Biology minor, I hear about Charles Darwin all the time, so I think it will be interesting to read another side of his story, and Meyer is sure to do a great job. Plus, don't you just love the way Harcourt does her covers? They have such a misty/historical quality to them.

The True Adventures of Charley Darwin will be released on January 1 (tomorrow!) and is available for pre-order on

Monday, December 29, 2008

Contest Monday: Win a copy of The Debs

As I mentioned earlier, it's time for our first Contest Monday! Yay! Today's prize is a free paperback copy of Susan McBride's The Debs.

About the book (from back cover): "The heat is on down South! Debutante season in Houston is under way, and four ultraprivileged girls await thier invitations from the illustrious Glass Slipper Club.

Laura Delacroix Bell: This trust-fund baby's size-fourteen figure doesn't stop her from attracting hot boys or the admiring eye of the GSC selection committee. But a salacious secret could take her out of hte running quicker than you can say 'Rosebud.'

Michelle "Mac" Mackenzie: She'd rather bury her nose in a book than embrace her deb destiny. But Mac's debut is her late mother's dream and her stepmother's obsession. If Mac doesn't bow out now, she may become the crankiest deb in Texas.

Ginger Fore: She hopes to wear her grandmother's vintage ball gown on her big presentation day. But when a mysterious college guy puts Ginger's deb eligibility in jeopardy, she may end up wearing an unflattering orange jumpsuit instead.

Jo Lynn Bidwill: A former beauty queen, she makes it her mission in life to take out the debu-trash. For now, Jo Lynn's sights are set on Laura Bell, and what she has in store for her bitter rival is anything but ladylike.

The Debs...high society doesn't get any lower than this."

How to enter: Send an email to shadyglade (AT) mail (DOT) com with the subject line "The Debs Contest" and include:
  • Your name
  • Your email adress
  • The correct subject line
  • If you post about the contest somewhere, let me know and get a free entry
Rules: The contest is open until Monday, January 5, 2009 when the new contest will be posted. The winner will be chosen by a random number generator. One free entry per person allowed. Post ab0ut the contest to earn extra contest entries. Questions? Post a comment or email and ask.

See? Simple right? So go ahead and enter right away. Good luck to everyone! I'll announce the contest winner on Tuesday, January 6th.

The Debs is also available for purchase from

A Blog Update

Hello everyone! I'm back. Well, sort of. I know I've been scarce lately. Things have been crazy with graduation and the holidays and moving back into the room my brother commandeered while I was off at school. Plus, I've been furiously trying to get through as many Cybils nominees as possible, as the deadline fast approaches. I know, last minute, but in my defense there were over 160 nominees in my category this year.

Anyway, I'm gong to try to get back in the swing of things. I have a lot more Waiting on Wednesday posts to put up, as well as about 50 book reviews (give or take) that are just waiting to be written. I'll get them up when I can!

But this post is also to announce (another) new feature. Starting this afternoon, I am announcing the addition of (drumroll please)....

Contest Mondays!

See, I've got all these books that I will never be able to read again, and some that haven't been read at all, and probably never will. So I'm going to be having a giveaway on Mondays to pass on all those new and gently used, wonderful books to other people who will have the chance to enjoy them. Why Monday? Well, Wednesdays are already scheduled, and lots of people already do giveaways on Friday. I wanted to be different, and I don't know about you, but I'd like a pick-me-up on Mondays! So it's going to be Monday afternoons for free books at the Shady Glade, and look for that post later today!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Waiting on Wednesday 12.10.08

So I'm busy studying for graduation, but I wanted to throw this up real quick. :-)

Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George

From "A tale of twelve princesses doomed to dance until dawn… Galen is a young soldier returning from war; Rose is one of twelve princesses condemned to dance each night for the King Under Stone. Together Galen and Rose will search for a way to break the curse that forces the princesses to dance at the midnight balls. All they need is one invisibility cloak, a black wool chain knit with enchanted silver needles, and that most critical ingredient of all—true love—to conquer their foes in the dark halls below. But malevolent forces are working against them above ground as well, and as cruel as the King Under Stone has seemed, his wrath is mere irritation compared to the evil that awaits Galen and Rose in the brighter world above.

Captivating from start to finish, Jessica Day George’s take on the Grimms’ tale The Twelve Dancing Princesses demonstrates yet again her mastery at spinning something entirely fresh out of a story you thought you knew."

Fairytale retelling? Twelve Dancing Princesses? I am so there! The cover alone makes me want to read it.

Princess of the Midnight Ball will be released on January 20, and is currently available for preorder on

Sunday, November 30, 2008

I expect to be away

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! I'm back from my vacation, and let me tell you, I needed it! :-)

I expect to be away for the next few weeks. I graduate college in two weeks (what? That's it? That's all there is? AHHHHHH!) and I'm still busy with the Cybils nominations. I might have time to throw a few posts up, but if you don't hear from me, that's where I am.

So until then, happy reading everyone!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Waiting On Wednesday: 11.26.08

The Trouble with Kings by Sherwood Smith

From "Princess Flian finds herself the unwilling object of desire of three royals. Is the one she wants a villainor a hero? Waking up in a strange place, Flian Elandersi at first doesnt know who she is. One wicked prince tells her she is secretly engaged to an even more wicked king who wants to marry her right away. But before that happens, yet another wicked prince crashes through a window on horseback to sweep her off her feet. Memory returns, and Flian realizes that all any of them seem to want is her considerable wealth, not her pleasant-but-ordinary self. She longs to escape the barracks-like, military atmosphere and return to civilization and her musical studies. Flian endures another abduction, this time in the middle of a poetry reading. Who is the villain? Prince Garian Herlesterlanguid, elegant, sarcastic? Prince Jaimhe of the dashing horsemanship? Or King Jason Szinzar, whose ambiguous warning might be a threat? Flian decides its time to throw off civilization and take action. The problem with action is that duels of wit turn into duels of steeland love can't be grabbed and galloped away."

The Trouble with Kingswill be released on December 29, and is available for preorder on

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Review: The Rumpelstiltskin Problem

The Rumpelstiltskin Problem by Vivian Vande Velde

Have you ever read the story Rumpelstiltskin and decided that it just didn’t make sense? When you think about it, there’s so many things that are just not rational. For example, why would a father claim his daughter could spin straw into gold. I mean, of all the things to spin, why straw? And why would a funny little man agree to spin a room full of gold in exchange for a tiny gold ring? Didn’t he have enough gold as it is? And what would he want with the Queen’s first born child?

This book attempts to answer this and many more questions by providing six different versions of what Rumpelstiltskin might have been. While staying true to the original, the author changes just one or two different elements of the story to see how it could affect the outcome. For example, what if Rumpelstiltskin was a woman? Or what if the miller’s daughter was really a fanatic trying her hardest to press a kind king into marriage? And what if the miller’s daughter fell in love with Rumpelstiltskin, who was really a generous and handsome elf?

While all of the stories are great, I think my favorite was “The Domovoi.” In this version, set in Russia, Rumpelstiltskin is a domovoi; a small, teddy-bear-like, magical creature responsible for keeping the people in the house it inhabits happy and safe. Rumpelstiltskin is the domovoi that lives in the king’s palace, so naturally he finds out when the miller’s daughter has been locked up with the order to spin straw into gold. I just love the writing here, and this is a prime example. Just remember that as a domovoi, it is Rumpelstiltskin’s responsibility to make sure everyone in the palace is happy and safe:

“ ‘The king wants me to spin this straw into gold,’ the girl said, gesturing to that whole big roomful of straw. She was crying so hard she began to hiccup.

‘Ooooh,’ Rumpelstiltskin said, impressed. ‘Such a clever pretty lady to know how to spin straw into gold.’ It had taken Rumpelstiltskin a good fifty years to learn how to spin straw into gold.

The girl stamped her foot, coming close to stamping on Rumpelstiltskin. ‘But I don’t know how to do it,’ she told him. ‘That’s the whole point. And the king is going to burn me at the stake in the morning.’

That didn’t sound happy or safe.”

I absolutely love retold fairy tales, and this one didn’t disappoint me at all. I loved the fun and often humorous writing style, and it takes a fair amount of talent to come up with six different versions of the same story. If you’re looking a fun and quick read, a collection of short stories, or just a book about one of your favorite fairytales, this is sure to please.

Shady Glade Rating: 9/10

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Waiting On Wednesday: 11.19.08

Belle: A Retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" by Cameron Dokey

I love the Once Upon a Time Series. So it's natural that I would be looking forward to this one.

From "Belle is convinced she has the wrong name, as she lacks her sisters' awe-inspiring beauty. So she withdraws from society, devoting her time to wood carving. Secretly, Belle longs to find the fabled Heartwood Tree. If carved by the right hands, the Heartwood will reveal the face of one's true love.

During a fierce storm, Belle's father stumbles upon the mysterious Heartwood -- and encounters a terrifying and lonely Beast. Now Belle must carve the Heartwood to save her father, and learn to see not with the eyes of her mind, but with the eyes of her heart. "

Belle: A Retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" will be released on November 25th, and is available for preorder on

Friday, November 14, 2008

Review: Montmorency

Montmorency: Thief, Liar, Gentleman by Eleanor Updale

Grievously injured after falling through a skylight while fleeing police, a man known simply a Prisoner 493 has gained a second chance at life. A young and ambitious doctor named Doctor Farcett is eager to try and repair 493’s body, using surgical methods that are revolutionary in Victorian medicine. Farcett succeeds in saving his life, and uses Prisoner 493 as his promotion to the other learned gentlemen of The Scientific Society.

It is there that 493 learns about Victorian London’s new sewer system, an organization that hatches a brilliant plan. Once he is finally released from jail, 493 sheds his life of petty thievery, determined to use the sewers to help him escape his formally dismal existence.

After a few extremely successful jewelry thefts, 493 takes up residence as Montmorency, a highly refined gentleman who has taken rooms at the Meriman hotel in downtown London. By nights he still acts as Scarper, his manservant and accomplice in crime, still using the sewers to brilliantly execute his plan. But Montmorency’s new life is proving to be filled with it’s own set of difficulties, and it will only take one mistake for both of his lives to come crashing down around him.

Although it seems to have a simple appearance on the surface, Montmorency was nevertheless an enjoyable book. The narration is provided by alternatively following Scarper and Montmorency, a fact that I enjoyed, but may confuse younger readers. The plot manages to drop several surprises throughout the context of the book, enough to keep it moving at a pace that is still interesting while still exploring the setting fully. I enjoyed the thief-turned-gentleman idea, and I will definitely be picking up the sequels (when I get time anyway!).

Shady Glade Rating: 8/10

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Waiting On Wednesday: 11.12.08

I've seen this feature on a few blogs, although Teen Book Review was the first I noticed it on. The idea is to feature a book that is scheduled to be released in the coming months every Wednesday. And since I seem to be a helpless bibliophile, this is an exercise right up my alley. Here's my first pick, and you can expect more of these as time goes on. :-)

The Tales of Beedle the Bard
by J. K. Rowling

Might as well start this feature off with a bang. I don't think I really have to explain what this book is; it's pretty much pervaded the internet already. Even if it isn't strictly a Harry Potter book, I am eager to return to the world of one of my favorite series.

The Tales of Beedle the Bard
is available for pre-order from

Monday, November 10, 2008

Blogger Secret Santa

How cool is this? You can sign up to do a Secret Santa swap for Christmas with other book bloggers. The Hidden Side of a Leaf is helping to coordinate the 2nd annual Book Bloggers Christmas Swap, and you can sign up to participate. It's as simple as sending an email in and saying you'll participate. The gifts don't have to be expensive either, which is great for my poor college student budget. Full details can be found at the original post.

I think this sounds like fun. I'm participating! What a good way to spread Christmas cheer to our online friends. And doesn't the banner just make you want to run out and start buying Christmas presents? I think it's time for a little holiday shopping...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Weekly Geeks: Author Spotlight

So I've been seeing this things called Weekly Geeks around the net (Becky introduced me to it) for awhile now, but I've never brought myself to particpate. When I saw how easy this week's post was, though, I really didn't have an excuse to not particpate. So I'm jumping in! We'll see how much of a habit this becomes... Weekly Geeks is hosted by The Hidden Side of a Leaf, where you can find this week's other participants.

Weekly Geeks #24: Author Spotlight
Directions: 1. Choose a writer you like. 2. Using resources such as Wikipedia, the author’s website, whatever you can find, make a list of interesting facts about the author.

So here goes. I've decided to spotlight Clare B. Dunkle, since her book The Hollow Kingdom
is one of my absolute favorites.
  • Her first four books were written as letters to her daughters who were (at that time) attending a German boarding school.
  • She studied Russian literature in college and graduated in three years!
  • Her newest book, The Sky Inside
    , has a sequel due out next year, and is a nominated title for this year's Cybils awards.
  • Read my review of The Hollow Kingdom here
And here's a slideshow of all her books currently in print:

Friday, November 07, 2008

Crummy Weather

We've having ugly weather today. It seems to be spitting. Yes, you read that right, the sky is spitting. It's not rainging, it's not snowing, but it's kinda misting, but not really. It's spitting.

So I'm going to go curl up on the couch with a book and some homework. I want to post a Cybils update soon, so keep an eye out for that. But right now, it's time to hide from the weather...

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Don't Forget to Vote!

As we hit (about) the mid-way point of the day, please don't forget to vote. This is the one opportunity to participate in the process of democracy. If you haven't registered, show up to your local polling place anyway. Many times they can get you registered on the spot if you've been a resident for 30 days.

It doesn't matter if you are in the minority of an issue. Even if you don't expect to win, you can make a mark for what you support. I know it can be intimidating to run into others who don't agree with you. I can testify that most of my online friends strongly disagree with me in all things political. But that's okay, because I can agree to disagree. We're still friends.

So make your voice be heard. Vote. It will be the best thing you do today.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Poetry Friday: The Raven

Since today is Halloween, I thought this was appropriate. And we just covered Poe last week in my American Lit class, so it was on my mind. I wouldn't be surprised if several people turn this one in, but there you go. This is a great one to read aloud, I love the alliteration. Happy Halloween everyone!

"The Raven" by Edgar Allan Poe
Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered weak and weary,
Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore,
While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door.`
'Tis some visitor,' I muttered, `tapping at my chamber door -
Only this, and nothing more.'

Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December,
And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor.
Eagerly I wished the morrow; - vainly I had sought to borrow
From my books surcease of sorrow - sorrow for the lost Lenore -
For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Nameless here for evermore.

And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain
Thrilled me - filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before;
So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating
`'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door -
Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door; -
This it is, and nothing more,'

Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer,
`Sir,' said I, `or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore;
But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping,
And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door,
That I scarce was sure I heard you' - here I opened wide the door; -
Darkness there, and nothing more.

Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing,
Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before
But the silence was unbroken, and the darkness gave no token,
And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, `Lenore!'
This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, `Lenore!'
Merely this and nothing more.

Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning,
Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before.
`Surely,' said I, `surely that is something at my window lattice;
Let me see then, what threat is, and this mystery explore -
Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore; -
'Tis the wind and nothing more!'

Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter,
In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore.
Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he;
But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door -
Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door -
Perched, and sat, and nothing more.

Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling,
By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore,
`Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou,' I said, `art sure no craven.
Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the nightly shore -
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

Much I marvelled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly,
Though its answer little meaning - little relevancy bore;
For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being
Ever yet was blessed with seeing bird above his chamber door -
Bird or beast above the sculptured bust above his chamber door,
With such name as `Nevermore.'

But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only,
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour.
Nothing further then he uttered - not a feather then he fluttered -
Till I scarcely more than muttered `Other friends have flown before -
On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before.'
Then the bird said, `Nevermore.'

Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken,
`Doubtless,' said I, `what it utters is its only stock and store,
Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful disaster
Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore -
Till the dirges of his hope that melancholy burden bore
Of "Never-nevermore."'

But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling,
Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird and bust and door;
Then, upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking
Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore -
What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt, and ominous bird of yore
Meant in croaking `Nevermore.'

This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing
To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core;
This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining
On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamp-light gloated o'er,
But whose velvet violet lining with the lamp-light gloating o'er,
She shall press, ah, nevermore!

Then, methought, the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer
Swung by Seraphim whose foot-falls tinkled on the tufted floor.
`Wretch,' I cried, `thy God hath lent thee - by these angels he has sent thee
Respite - respite and nepenthe from thy memories of Lenore!
Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe, and forget this lost Lenore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil! -
Whether tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore,
Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted -
On this home by horror haunted - tell me truly, I implore -
Is there - is there balm in Gilead? - tell me - tell me, I implore!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Prophet!' said I, `thing of evil! - prophet still, if bird or devil!
By that Heaven that bends above us - by that God we both adore -
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn,
It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels named Lenore -
Clasp a rare and radiant maiden, whom the angels named Lenore?
'Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

`Be that word our sign of parting, bird or fiend!' I shrieked upstarting -
`Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore!
Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken!
Leave my loneliness unbroken! - quit the bust above my door!
Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!'
Quoth the raven, `Nevermore.'

And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door;
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming,
And the lamp-light o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted - nevermore!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Poetry Friday: Excelsior

Believe it or not, I'm spending most of the day today grading papers. So I came across a paper on this poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. Excelsior is Latin for "ever upward." So as I move ever upward through the stack of papers and grades, I hope you enjoy this poem.

"Excelsior" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
The shades of night were falling fast,
As through an Alpine village passed
A youth, who bore, 'mid snow and ice,
A banner with the strange device,

His brow was sad; his eye beneath,
Flashed like a falchion from its sheath,
And like a silver clarion rung
The accents of that unknown tongue,

In happy homes he saw the light
Of household fires gleam warm and bright;
Above, the spectral glaciers shone,
And from his lips escaped a groan,

"Try not the Pass!" the old man said:
"Dark lowers the tempest overhead,
The roaring torrent is deep and wide!
And loud that clarion voice replied,

"Oh stay," the maiden said, "and rest
Thy weary head upon this breast!"
A tear stood in his bright blue eye, B
ut still he answered, with a sigh,

"Beware the pine-tree's withered branch!
Beware the awful avalanche!"
This was the peasant's last Good-night,
A voice replied, far up the height,

At break of day, as heavenward
The pious monks of Saint Bernard
Uttered the oft-repeated prayer,
A voice cried through the startled air,

A traveller, by the faithful hound,
Half-buried in the snow was found,
Still grasping in his hand of ice
That banner with the strange device,

There in the twilight cold and gray,
Lifeless, but beautiful, he lay,
And from the sky, serene and far,
A voice fell, like a falling star,

Monday, October 13, 2008

I'm Gone

Hey everyone!

Just a quick note to let you know I'll be away from my blog (and the internet) for a few days. I'm going on an internship expedition with my school so I hopefully actually get a job when I graduate....

Anyway, don't forget, Cybils nominations end soon!

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Slight Political Diversion

I try to avoid discussing politics on this blog, but I am going to make an exception in this case. For those of you who don't want to go into this, you are welcome to come back later.

For everyone who is a California resident, chances are that you have heard of Proposition 8. Some of you may have noticed the link in my sidebar,, that deals with this very issue. I believe in the divine inspiration that marraige is meant to be between a man and a woman, and that changing this definition will have serious consquences on the rights of freedom of speech and freedom of association.

Please understand that I do not support this measure as a means of discriminating against same-sex couples. What every person chooses to believe is thier own right, even if I myself do not believe in it. I completely support these couple having full econmic benefits of a married couple. But I do not support the change of the definition of marriage.

For those of you who would like to understand more about my feelings on this matter, you can see a video put out to members of my church that describes it much more eloquently than I. I will be voting Yes on Proposition 8, because I feel it is the morally right action to take. This is a matter in which I believe strongly. The important thing is that you vote, that you make your voice be heard.

Please feel free to comment, but I want to post this reminder. I do not tolerate swearing or name calling on in any comments on any of my posts. If you disagree and wish to post about it, that is fine, but do it in a respectful manner. I will delete comments with inappropriate material if I have to. Please keep it respectful folks. That's all I ask.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

You Know I Have To Post This...

I can't believe that I'm the first person to post this, so my blog reader must be having issues again. Anyway, in the rare chance you haven't seen the Twilight trailer that came out today yet, here's your chance. This one will load much faster than the one on the offical site.

*EDIT* Okay, I fixed the link now. Enjoy

Reflections on Cybils Nominations

As you may know, the Cybils nominations are now open until October 15th. Since I'm on the panel this year, I pay a little more attention to the process than most people. It's been interesting to watch the process, although granted I'm paying more attention to the Fantasy panel, since that's the one I'm on.

In the past days I have noticed few things I'm surprised to see. First of all, we've gotten way more nominations for ineligible books this time around than previous year. I've noticed a lot more self-published titles too, though this is good since I like seeing every book get its chance.

That being said, there are a few books that I'm surprised haven't been nominated. Based on some of the reviews I've read around, I expected a few titles to be on there that aren't there yet. These include Cybele's Secret, The Crimson Thread: A Retelling of "Rumpelstiltskin", The 39 Clues (The Maze of Bones, Book 1), and The Quest Begins (Seekers, Book 1) as well some others. It will be interesting to see if any of those end up on the list by October 15th...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Speaking of Nominations...

Thanks to TadMack over at Finding Wonderland for the laugh. And you know, Einstein has great advice. You should listen to him...

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Don't Forget to Nominate!

If you haven't already, head over to the Cybils to nominate your favorite books. There's just a few rules you need to keep in mind:
  1. One nomination per person per category
  2. Books must be first published in 2008
  3. Bilingual books are okay, as long as one of the languages is English
  4. A book only needs to be nominated once

Nominations are only open until October 15th, so make sure you head over there and get it done right away. Remember, the number of nominations for one book doesn't matter. So if you're favorite book has been nominated already, choose something else. You can get more of your favorites nominated that way. :-)

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I made it!

Yay! I'm on the Cybils Science Fiction and Fantasy panel. I'll be honest, I was afraid I might not make it this year. There's a lot more writers and librarians and "experts" out there now, and I'm still just little old me. :-) But I am truly excited, I get to work with some excellent bloggers, a lot of who's blogs I read quite frequently already! I'm so excited to work with all of you! Here's the complete panel:

Laini Taylor Growing Wings
Charlotte Taylor Charlotte's Library
Alyssa Feller The Shady Glade (YAY!)
Em Em's Bookshelf
Lynette The Puck in the Midden
Tizrah Price The Compulsive Reader
Amanda Blau Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs

Tasha Saecker Kids Lit
Anne Boles Levy The Cybils
Erin Miss Erin
Eisha Prather Seven Impossible Things Before Breakfast
Tanita Davis Finding Wonderland, Readers' Rants

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Reminder: Watch tonight!

Sorry I didn't post this earlier! Don't forget to watch the Shadow in the North on Masterpiece Mystery! tonight. I'll be posting a recap later, and I want someone to know what I'm talking about. :-)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Off Topic

Not much time to blog at the moment. I have three papers staring me down right now that are due on Monday. But I figured I'd share this cute little thought with you:

Why can't I get one of these in the mail?

I'll try to be back soon. I've got big plans for the blog (including about 30 posts in draft) I just need to find time to work on it!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Poetry Friday: Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband

So as I mentioned last week, I had the oppertunity to go to a concert of one of my favorite groups, Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband. Although I knew most of the songs they did, there was one in particular from their new CD that struck me. So here's my entry for Poetry Friday:

"All I Need" by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband
I've been to new york city central park
then headed out to upstate lake champlain
crossed up to montreal and heard a band playing mandolins
while we were standing in the rain
I've seen castle walls and waterfalls
and bridges spanning over Venetian waterways
backpack summer drifting through the mountains
filled with European hostel stays

but all I need is you, here, falling in my arms
and me, there, subject to your charms
and I don't know if I have ever felt this way before
all I need is you

I've sailed out in the San Francisco Bay
And I've seen fireworks light up the night
I've Eaten dinner with good friends
Authentic Mexican patio dining in the moonlight
I've Spent days skiing sunny powdered peaks
And hiking up to Zions where the angels land
I've Dropped off cliffs into the crystal blue
And I've set up tents on golden sand

but all I need is you, here, falling in my arms
and me, there, subject to your charms
and I don't know if I have ever felt this way before
all I need is you

I've been all over the rocky mountains
Splashed in England's Hyde Park fountains
Seen Denali rising up at three A.M.
Watched the wind blow through the red wood forest
Heard the tabernacle chorus
singing songs like angels do in heaven

but all I need is you, here, falling in my arms
and me, there, subject to your charms
and I don't know if I have ever felt this way before
all I need is you

Of course, the lyrics are great, but it is the music combined with the lyrics that make the song so wonderful. I was able to find a sample of the song so you can get an idea of how it sounds:

Of course, you can buy the whole CD from too:

I may come back to Ryan Shupe later. It really is a cool band. You should check it out.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Ruby in the Smoke

If I had been thinking, I would have posted about this earlier so I could get some comments. Hopefully, some of you were lucky enough to catch the Masterpiece Mystery! adaptation of The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman.

I never really liked the His Dark Materials books, and I say that fully prepared to now receive a beating from literature lovers everywhere. But I loved the Sally Lockheart Mysteries. Sally, Jim, Adelaide, and Frederick remain some of my favorite literary characters. So I was ecstatic when I heard that Masterpiece made a movie out of the first book.

I loved the movie. Loved it. I wish it could have been a little longer, but other than that I don't have any complaints. It has been about six years since I read the book, which turned out really great for me, since I remembered enough details to know the ending, but not how the action arrived at that point. The soundtrack was amazing, and the acting was terrific. And now I'm going to go all girly on you by saying this: Frederick is totally swoon-worthy. But in all seriousness, the action drew me in like crazy. I'm going to have to go back and read the book now, but I hope it won't ruin how much I liked the movie.

If you want the chance to see the movie, The Ruby in the Smoke is available on right now. And tune in next Sunday, because they're doing The Shadow in the North, which honestly was my favorite book in the trilogy (Though The Tin Princess was my favorite. But that's technically a "companion book").

If you really want a taste of the movie, you can look it up on YouTube. I'm not going to post it because of copyright issues. So you can see it there. But you didn't hear that from me!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Kid Lit Conference

So I was going to participate in Poetry Friday today, but I had a huge paper get shunted onto me. Don't you just love college (just one more semester, just one more semester, just one more semester...) I don't have time to create the post I wanted to, so it will just have to wait until next week.

In other news, if you're going to be at the Children's and Young Adult Literature conference in Rexburg, ID tomorrow, let me know. I'd love to meet my readers in person, and I'll be there.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Graphic Designer needed

Anyone know where I can get a logo made? I don't have a big budget, so it needs to be relatively cheap. Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

National Book Festival

Hey readers! I had this emailed to me today, so I figured I'd pass it on. If you live in the area, go check it out!

My name is Allegra Poggio and I’m getting in touch with you on behalf of the Library of Congress and its upcoming, eighth annual National Book Festival. It’s a great opportunity to meet in-person and interact with some of the nation’s best-selling authors, illustrators and poets, both at the event and online. This year, the festival is providing several online resources that are great for educational purposes!

This free event, featuring over 70 award-winning authors, attracts over 100,000 book lovers of all ages to the National Mall in Washington, DC to celebrate the joys of reading and lifelong literacy.

Sponsored by the Library of Congress and hosted by First Lady Laura Bush, this year the Festival will take place rain or shine Saturday, September 27th 2008 from 10:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. on The National Mall (Between 3rd and 7thstreets) in Washington, DC. Additional details on the festival are housed here:

Authors, illustrators and poets will interact with festival-goers at seven themed pavilions such as the Children pavilion. The Children’s pavilion will feature several participating authors, including Doreen Cronin & Besty Lewin, who will sign books and give readings from their works.

In addition to the DC festivities, the Library is offering a variety of ways for people around the country to participate in the event online:

-The National Book Festival Young Readers’ Online Toolkit, features information about National Book Festival authors who write for children and teens, podcasts of their readings, teaching tools and activities for kids. This resource shows educators, parents and children how they can host their own book festival.
-Online chats hosted by featuring a select group of Festival authors. These live text-based discussions will take place throughout September leading up to the Festival at, where participants can submit questions and comments any time before or during the live chat.
-Podcasts, also available on iTunes, featuring interviews with some of the award-winning authors participating in the 2008 National Book Festival.

For additional details about participating authors, illustrators and poets please visit,

Monday, September 15, 2008

And the Winners Are...

The winners of the comment contest are...

Ms. Yingling, Robin_Titan and Becky (Of Becky's Book Reivews). Congrats to the winners! Email me at shadyglade (AT) mail (DOT) com with your top 4 picks from my bookmooch inventory and I'll get you your prize right away!

Thank you to everyone who entered. And don't stop leaving comments now the contest is over. I still love comments. :-)

Sunday, September 14, 2008

One more day...

So I'm tallying up the entries for the comment contest. Look for a post tomorrow to see who won!

Until then, I'll be back soon.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

I'm Back

Well, if you've been paying attention to this blog, you will recognize the fact that I didn't exactly keep up with it like I mentioned in my last few posts. In fact, my blogiversary was earlier this week, and I'm sure you were expecting a post then

So this is what happened. While travelling back to Idaho to go to school for my last semester, I was involved in a very bad car accident. I rolled my car, pretty much totaled it, and landed myself a brief hospital visit. But don't worry, I'm doing okay. Surprisingly well, actually. Always wear your seat belt! It's what saved my life.

Anyway, I'm back and read to jump in again. I'm going to start tallying up comments for the contest, and I'll be announcing winners soon. Stay tuned!

Friday, August 29, 2008

An Update on Review Policy

One thing I’ve noticed lately in the blogosphere is that the number people receiving ever increasing amounts of review copies is rising. Or at least the number of posts about the subject is rising. Which is great for me, since I thought I was the only one facing this problem. Every day a new book (or two) lands on my doorstep, and I have had to endure endless teasing from my family because of it.

But this isn’t just about me complaining that I have too many books. The problem is, I simply don’t have time to read all of those books. And let’s face it, I don’t really want to either. Even in a perfect world where I would have unlimited time for reading everything I wanted, not every book will appeal to every person.

So I’m starting a new page rule. I’m going through all my books and giving away a great deal of them that I think that I will never read. So if you aren’t hooked up to Bookmooch, now would be a good time to do that. :-) I am also starting a 50 page rule. If a book doesn’t grab me by 50 pages in, I’m going to put it down and move onto something else. I love reading, and especially reviwing and blogging about my books, but this is a volunteer hobby, not a full time job.

Believe it or not, this was actually a hard decision for me to make. I have a lot of authors contact me personally looking for reviews for their books, and it’s hard for me to tell them no. So to combat this, I’ve decided to start a new section for the blog. It’s going to be called the book feature. These will be book I have not read (or didn’t finish), but still want to get the word out about so people can give them a chance. These posts will usually consist of a short plot summary (usually from the book itself or, a picture of the cover, and a link(s) to where you can find your own copy. Since I haven’t read these, I won’t be putting any comments in the posts about the book, but simply give them their time in the spotlight.

So there you go. I hope to get started on those soon. And if you’d like to skip over them, dear readers, that’s fine too. I’m just trying to find a way to give every book a chance. Just because I don’t like it doesn’t mean someone will. Don’t worry, I’ll still be doing regular reviews, and I’ll try not to make the features overpower the reviews.
I’d love to hear what you think about the new system. Anyone else come up with a good solution to this problem?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's Time for the Cybils!

The Cybils are back for 2008 with a new logo and looking for new contributors. There's a long list of requirements this year, so make sure you read through the whole post before signing up. Now if you have a mind to, head over there and check it out.

What do you read after Twilight? & Contest!

Hello there, book fans! I'm back from my summer job, and it's time to get blogging again. Woot!

Sorry about that. I just got excited. :-) Guess what? My two-year anniversary is coming up next month, and I think I'll celebrate by giving away a whole bunch of books! Especially with review copies I've been flooded with lately. But more about that later. Essentially, anyone who comments one any post from now until September 10th will be entered to win free books. Simple, right? Of course, posting about the contest (and sending me a link) will help your chances too. Please make these thoughtful comments, as opposed to just "I want a book" or similar.

So here's something to kick around for you. Even though I've been back a few days, I've been re-losing myself in the Twilight series while I track down a copy of Breaking Dawn (too broke to afford books...ahhhh!). Hence the few days extra disappearance. But now I have a dilemma. Despite the piles and piles of books currently waiting to be read, I can't seem to find a Twilight substitute. Nothing has that same blend of romance and supernatural that I've come to love.

Anyone got ideas for Twilight withdrawals?

Monday, August 04, 2008

Just Checking In

Well, as usual, work is keeping me really busy lately. But I figured I'd just check in really quick. Since a couple things have happened anyway. Well, most of this will be old news to most of you anyway.

First of all, I bought of two copies of Breaking Dawn Saturday. Even though I haven't even read Eclipse yet (well, I've started it). I was at Wal Mart to buy groceries and there it was for only 14 bucks. I knew my roommates wanted it, so I grabbed two copies. You should have seen the fight for them when I got home. But to my chagrin, it was cheaper online from See look:

Guess it's a good thing I haven't bought my own copy yet.

In other news, Harry Potter fans have something to rejoice about. I'm sure you've heard of this too, but Amazon is releasing the infamous Tales of Beedle the Bard from the last Harry Potter book at the beginning of December. They're offering a good price if you pre-order it, plus it benefits charity too. I'm excited about this, even if it isn't strictly Harry-related. Kinda reminds me of those textbooks they released a few years ago:

Anyway, that's it for me right now. Have a great time reading for those of you who just got your hands on Breaking Dawn!

Sunday, July 20, 2008


This is another one I found at Becky's Book Reviews.

Here's the rules:
1. Go to and look up a bunch of your favorite movies.
2. Post three or four official IMDB "Plot Keywords" for each.
3. You guys guess the movies (no looking them up!)

So here goes. I'll post the answers in about a week, so you can go ahead and guess. Leave me a comment to let me know what you think they are!

1. Shopping Montage. Alternate Dimension. Singing. Rescue.
2. Costume Drama. Marriage Proposal. Piano. Dancing.
3. Curse. Sword Fight. Parrot. Anti Hero (ooh, big word...).
4. Old Lady. Arranged Marriage. Cliff. Evil Prince.
5. Evil Empire. Saga. Princess. Bar Fight.
6. Robbery. Sword Fight. Revenge. California.
7. Mask. Secret Door. Ballroom. Diva.
8. Throne. Unicorn. Betrayal. Professor.
9. FBI. Library of Congress. Grandfather. Car Chase.
10. Teenage Boy. North Africa. Sleepwalking. Brother Brother Relationship.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Random Movie Clip: The West Wing, Part 3

Here's what happens when someone takes a little bit too much of thier pain medication. This is the last clip, and I hope you enjoyed this little random jaunt into the world of TV!

If you've decided to check out The West Wing more in-depth, don't forget it's available for you to buy on DVD. The best place to look is

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Random Movie Clip: The West Wing, Part 2

Today we have a clip for you from the Thanksgiving episode from Season 3. President Bartlet has decided to call the Butterball turkey hotline, with some hilarious results. ..

Join me again tomorrow for our last West Wing clip.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Random Movie Clip: The West Wing, Part 1

So for today's random movie clip, we're going to dive into one of my favorite TV shows, The West Wing. I was introduced to this series by my government teacher during my senior year of high school, and I love it. The political stuff is interesting, although sometimes it goes over my head, but what I really enjoy is the characters and the great sense of humor that shows up throughout the series. So for today's clip, here's the beginning of an episode where the group is naming a new nominee to the Supreme Court. My favorite part is the very end. You'll see why....

Of course, The West Wing is no longer on TV (although sometimes they do run some episodes on Bravo) but you can find all seven seasons on DVD. Look for more West Wing clips in the next few days too. :-)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Photo Meme

I got this one from Miss Erin. I won't tag anyone, but it's fun, so try it!

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into flickr search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd’s mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush/hero?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One word to describe you.
12. Your flickr name. (I don't have one, so I used one of my internet usernames.)

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Review: The Keepers: A Wizard Named Nell

The Keepers: A Wizard Named Nell by Jackie French Koller

Eldearth is a land divided. Many years ago the evil Lord Graieconn rebelled against his brother, forever diving the land between dark and light. Now, a thousand years later the Imperial Wizard, Keeper of the Light, is dying and darkness is creeping across the land. If a new apprentice is not found soon, the Keeper will die and Graieconn and his forces will control the land. Time is running out, and quickly. Many young men have undertaken the Apprentice Quest and failed. A prophecy has guaranteed the appearance of a new Imperial Wizard, but will one come forward before it is too late?

Princess Arenelle (Nell for short) of Xandria has just turned 11, the age of magic. Rather than being shipped off to Madame Sofia’s Academy of Magic to start her Witch training, she decides to undertake the quest. Her father expressly forbids the action since no woman has ever been an Imperial Wizard. Determined to save her failing land Nell switches clothes with a boy named Owen and sends him to school in her place.

Nell soon learns the quest is not an easy one. Wandering the land in order to find the Palace of Light, home of the Keeper, is a difficult task. As Nell travels with her demi-dragon Minna, she meets new friends and finds new enemies. As she grows closer to her goal she becomes more and more convinced that Eldearth is in bad shape. Nell is close, but will she complete the quest and become the first female Keeper?

Behind the wonderful story is a deeper message of doing what you feel is right, even in the face of great adversity. Nell’s determined and fiery personality is sure to win over any reader, although many of the adult characters can be somewhat two-dimensional. Koller has crafted a new and exciting fantasy world in Eldearth, and the history of the peoples is fully developed.

With a delightful cast of witches, wizards, dragons and other magical creatures, A Wizard Named Nell is sure to be a hit with young fantasy lovers. Older readers will enjoy it too, especially if they can easily overlook the more shallow characters. The book ends in a cliffhanger, so be sure to follow the rest of the story in The Wizard's Apprentice and The Wizard's Scepter. Welcome to the land of Eldearth!

Shady Glade Rating: 7/10

*Please note* This was originally posted off-site. Clicking on the below link will take you to the full body of my review found at

Click here to read the original review.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

An Important Announcement

I just completed a guest post on my brother's blog. Please go and read it! Or better yet, just go and check out his bl0g and leave a comment. He's trying to spread the word and having a hard time of it. So tell your friends, your family, your coworkers.... um.... whatever! Or just go look at it. If you think it's cool, make sure you comment, because he LOVES comments.

By the way, I'm very proud of my post. It took 2 hours to write. Phew!

Random Movie Clip: Night at the Museum

Yes, it's that time again. Here's a clip from one of my favorite movies, Night at the Museum. Larry is a night guard at the Musuem of Natural History. The cool thing is, everything in the Museum comes to life at night. Larry's been having a bit of trouble with Attila the Hun, and here's his attempt to finally make peace with the guy...

Of course, Night at the Museum is available from That's where I got my copy, since you can get really good deals on DVD by checking the used copies. If you haven't seen it yet, you need to at least rent this movie. It's a good one!

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Review: Half Human

Half-human edited by Bruce Coville

This collection of short stories is entirely unique. Containing nine short stories by some of the leading fantasy YA writers (including Tamora Pierce, Bruce Coville, Nancy Springer, and Jane Yolen) this book explores people that are not quite human, and animals that are not fully animals. You’ll find the expected selkie, mermaid, and boy with wings stories. But what about a princess who is half-dragon? Or a tree that has become human, but is still a tree at heart? An absolutely amazing variety is contained in these pages. The characters are torn between the situations, appearances, and emotions of two worlds and must learn how to find their place. I must admit that the illustrations for the stories are a little strange, but the stories are absolutely magical. So don’t let the creepy Photoshop pages stop you! A great collection, featuring a wide range of stories and viewpoints. Not to be missed!

Shady Glade Rating: 8/10

Friday, June 27, 2008

Shuffling Meme

Well, as most of you know, work has kept me busy lately, and this blog has been sort of neglected in the process. So I've built up a couple of memes along the way. So look for a few of these to be slipped in along the way.

This one I happened to see on Becky's Book Reviews.
  1. Open your iTunes library or iPod (or MP3 player or whatever you have)
  2. Put it on shuffle
  3. Press play
  4. For every question, type the song that’s playing
  5. When you go to a new question, press the next button
  6. Don’t lie and pretend you're cool…
Like Becky, I'm going to ignore any audio book tracks. I'm warning you, I have a lot strange stuff on my iPod...

Opening Credits
"They Can't Take That Away From Me" from Crazy for You

Waking Up
"A Real Fine Place to Start" by Sara Evans (No, I didn't cheat!)

First Day of School
"Bradenburg Concerto" by Bach

Falling in Love
"The Medallion Calls" from Pirates of the Caribbean

Breaking Up
"You'll Never Walk Alone" by the Tabernacle Choir

"Under the Sea" from Little Mermaid on Broadway

Life’s OK
"Would You Love Me" by Ryan Shupe and the Rubberband

Mental Breakdown
"Dear Old Shiz" from Wicked

"Love to Love You" by The Corrs

"Chasing Cars" by Snow Patrol

Getting Back Together
"Over the Rainbow" from The Wizard of Oz

"Don't Blink" by Kenny Chesney

Birth of a Child
"No One Mourns the Wicked" from Wicked

Final Battle
"Evacuating London" from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Death Scene
"Linus and Lucy" by Vince Guaraldi (Okay, that's going to sound a little weird)

Funeral Song
"For Good" from Wicked

End Credits
"IllumiNations" from the EPCOT at Walt Disney World

So there you have it. I'm not going to tag anyone (since this is so old) but feel free to participate if you haven't done it!