Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

So before I went to class, I promised you all a Halloween treat - and here it is: a spooky story I wrote in the fourth grade for a journal we had to keep for school.  My teacher commented that it is a good Halloween story, and I'm going to agree with her and share it with you guys (you should be able to make the image larger by clicking on it)! XD

And check out this awesome skeleton I drew on the opposite page to go with the story, lol:

I have since learned that arms and legs don't quite do this, and that is likely not a representation of the torso that my osteology professor would accept in my lab book. lol.  But I guess I thought at the time that this was adequately creepy for the story.

Have you ever written a story or a poem for Halloween?  If you have it posted anywhere, feel free to share a link in the comments!  I hope everyone is having a safe and fun evening, no matter how you celebrate!  And if you don't celebrate at all, I hope you're having a good night, too.

Edited to add some photos!  Colleen's Costumes of Halloweens Past!  Ones I found photos of, anyway...

Winding Down October

It's Halloween, which means October is very close to being over.  Which means it's time for a wrap-up post!

This month, I participated in the Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge, hosted by Marie at Ramblings of a Daydreamer.  Basically, to participate, you just had to read and post a review of at least three paranormal-themed books throughout the month of October.  And bonus, there is to be a giveaway once the challenge has officially closed!  Anyway, for this challenge, I read:  Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling, The Becoming by Jeanne C. Stein, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters and Jane Austen, and The Better To Hold You by Alisa Sheckley.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Good Morning, Good Night

I'm not normally one for posting more than once a day, but as I have a couple other things to post tomorrow - Halloween! - I wanted to get this one up tonight.  From 31 October until 4 November, my school (The University of Texas at Arlington) is participating in Endangered Languages Week by hosting some really great events featuring Native American, African and Polynesian languages.  I'm a student in the linguistics department, so I'm already helping as a volunteer but I wanted to do a little something of my own as well, here on the blog, to help raise awareness of language endangerment and appreciation for language diversity.  Language is a big part of cultural identity, and each language provides unique ways of expressing unique worldviews - and yet, according to National  Geographic's project Enduring Voices, a language effectively dies about every 14 days. Some communities have language revitalization programs in place, but not all.  When a language has died along with its last speakers, the world loses that community's perspective and becomes a little less diverse, a little less beautiful.  Because a part of what makes our planet beautiful and interesting is its diversity.

Anyway, enough with the lecture and on to the book I wanted to share with you all!

The Better To Hold You

The Better To Hold You by Alisa Sheckley is the first of Sheckley's books about Abra Barrow.  Abra is a veterinarian living in Manhattan, studying at the Animal Medical Institute, a teaching hospital.  Her husband just got back from spending the summer in Romania, researching the myth of Unwolves for an article he's writing, but Abra notices Hunter has changed since she last saw him.  He didn't write to her much while he was away, and he isn't very forthcoming about what happened to him there, but she understands enough to realize their marriage may be in trouble.  He wants to move into his family's old home in the small town of Northside, and Abra decides to make the move with him, to try and save their marriage.  But she soon finds out that life in this small town is going to be anything but quiet or simple, and when their closest neighbor turns out to be an intriguing stranger who showed up at the Institute one day, she discovers that her situation with her husband is much more complicated than what she ever could have imagined.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Follow Friday #5

Another week, another Follow Friday, hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee!  Follow Friday is such a great, fun way to connect with other bloggers.  And each week, our co-hosts each feature one other blog!  This week's features are:  Reading in the Corner and In Which Ems Reviews Books!  So go check them out. :)

Each week, we are also given a fun little question to answer!  This week's question is...
If you could have dinner with your favourite book character, who would you eat with and what would you serve?
This is such an easy question for me:  I would eat with Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter.  I really love Luna!  She's so comfortable with her quirkiness, and I find that kind of self-confidence very admirable, especially in someone so young.  When you're a teenager, there is so much pressure to fit in with whatever group you want to be associated with, but Luna doesn't seem to have those kinds of worries at all.  So while I'm probably more like Hermione, I would totally want to be best friends with Luna, too.

As for the food, I am no cook.  It took me a really long time to master hard-boiled eggs, and I still haven't quite gotten the hang of scrambled eggs.  I've also burned the heck out of many a frozen pizza.  There is only really one dish I'm capable of cooking "for real".  I'm not sure what Luna's cooking abilities are, but it wouldn't matter because you can bet we would be having our meal in the Great Hall.  Where I would be stuffing my freaking face with a sampling of all my favourite foods - the idea of a magical buffet appeals to me more than I would like to admit.  Crab legs, rice (any kind...all kinds?), cod, pasta alfredo with shrimp and scallops, chicken and dumplings, carrots in a butter glaze, cheese pizza and french fries, and more bread than a baker would know what to do with.  Bacon, chicken cooked in a variety of different ways, cornbread stuffing...and now I'm just making myself hungry again!  I think you get the picture, though. XD

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Zompocalypse Giveaway Hop

Trick or Treaters, welcome to my stop on the Zompocalypse Giveaway Hop! This hop is hosted by Paranormal Wastelands.

The giveaway will end on Halloween night, so get your goodie bags ready! I've picked out six books at The Book Depository for the winner to choose from (yes, that means this giveaway is open internationally)!

Good luck, and have fun hopping! There are bonus gift cards up for grabs as well, so check out as many of the Hop Stops as you can for a little extra treat!

So - the prize options - it's a Monster Mash!

Android Karenina by Ben H. Winters and Leo Tolstoy
Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith and Jane Austen
Jane Slayre by Sherri Browning Erwin and Charlotte Bronte
Little Women and Werewolves by Porter Grand and Louisa May Alcott
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith and Jane Austen


If you are not in the US, please be sure The Book Depository ships to your country! If not, you cannot be eligible for this giveaway. Sorry. :(

Winner will be contacted by email on 1 November! If you do not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected.

In My Mailbox #3

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi over at The Story Siren. I was trying to post this meme the same day each week, but it's coming a little late this time, because on Sunday I went to the Half Price Books Warehouse Clearance in Farmers Branch! HUGE thanks to follower Coren for giving me the heads up about this fantastic event! Basically, you walk in the door to the warehouse, and are handed a giant tote bag. The idea is you fill up the tote bag as much as possible, and you get the bag and its contents for $10 total. Need more bags? The deal applies to each bag you fill up. I only did one bag, though! I mostly got a TON of fantasy novels, and most of those are Dungeons & Dragons. There are so many, I'm not going to post them all here, but you will see them eventually! I found individual copies of R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf Trilogy books, and also an individual copy of The Crystal Shard, so I've swapped out cover images on my reviews for those books.

The non-fantasy books I got were: The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold; The Choice by Nicholas Sparks; The Second Summer of the Sisterhood by Ann Brashares; The Lake House by James Patterson; The Lost Symbol by Dan Brown and Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Halloween: Pagan Festival to Trick or Treat

Halloween: Pagan Festival to Trick or Treat is a non-fiction book by Mark Oxbrow, about the history of Halloween. He starts back in the Iron Age with the Celts, then progresses up to the modern day, discussing the holiday's beginnings as a celebration of the new season/new year, the holiday as a celebration of loved ones who have passed on, as the Catholic saints' day, and as our modern notion of a night where people get dressed up and children collect candy.

I finished this book last night, and I have to say, I was kind of glad to be done with it. Not that it was a terrible book, because it wasn't. Not exactly. It was extremely informative, but it wasn't quite what I was expecting. Oxbrow really does take us WAY back, and one goal of his in writing this book was to help dispel some of the myths surrounding the origin of Halloween. I think he presents enough information to convince someone that they've been misinformed of the beginnings of this holiday, but the bulk of the text is mainly quotes and excerpts from the sources he used; there is comparatively little of the author's own narrative. I would have liked to read more about what he had to say, rather than reading his sources and then his opinion on the passage quoted.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Follow Friday #4

Another week racked up, another Follow Friday to post! Follow My Book Blog Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Alison Can Read and Parajunkee! Visit their sites to join in the fun, and don't forget to check out this week's featured blogs - The Bursting Bookshelf and Book Savvy Babe.

This week's Follow Friday question is:

"What superhero is your alter-ego?"

I don't know that I really have an answer for this question, to be honest! I enjoy comic book heroes and the like, but as far as considering one of them as a possible alter-ego for myself, I really don't know. They are all pretty much my opposite! Very strong, confident, beautiful, talented. Like Red Sonja. Bitch is FIERCE. Though since she's more sword-wielding vigilante than superhero, I guess. Her superpower could be vindictiveness and the ability to wear tiny mail bikinis? An extreme sense of justice? But hell, even Squirrel Girl, then. Making friends with creatures is not easy! I try to make friends with every cat I see and sometimes squirrels, and let me tell you - it doesn't work a vast majority of the time. I think that's why my main avatar on WoW is a hunter with special talents in beast mastery. I just want to be friends with the animals, guys.

I also used to be really obsessed with the Powerpuff Girls and I also love the Sailor Scouts/Sailor Senshi, lol. Don't judge me!

Maybe I AM a superhero. By day, I am College Student - with the developing power to side human bones within a margin of error and the power to distinguish separate phonemes from their allophones with an adequate data set! Also the power to speak French rather poorly! The power to find a space in the front parking lot every day!

By evening and on the weekends I am The Recluse - with the powers to rearrange bookshelves and to escape from reality at will with a book or a computer game!

That, and I guess my avatars on WoW could be considered alter-egos of sorts.

So! Who's YOUR alter-ego?

Edit: I took a "What Superhero Are You" quiz, and it says I am the Invisible Girl from the Fantastic Four.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H. Winters (and Jane Austen) is a quirky and absurd rewrite of Austen's classic Sense and Sensibility. This novel is set in an alternate history - a mysterious and terrible event known as The Alteration has occurred. No one knows how or why The Alteration happened, but the result has made everyone's existence one of survival against marine and freshwater creatures. Austen's beloved characters go about the events laid out in the original work, but with the added mayhem of creature attacks!

I have to admit, I really did not expect to like this quite as well as I did. I expected to be amused, but I also thought I would probably turn up my nose at some parts, because Sense and Sensibility is one of my favourite novels. Those turned-up-nose parts did pop up here and there, during some questionable passages, such as Marianne picking her teeth with a fishbone and Elinor being so disgusted with the tentacled appearance of Colonel Brandon - I think Elinor would be a little more just in the beginning, even in her private thoughts.

Teaser Tuesday #4 - Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

Yes, it is Tuesday yet again - who's ready for a bit of a tease? I'm still reading Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters, so you get another little sneak into this one. Hope you like it!

"Glancing up in her shock, she was confronted with the strangest sight of all: Miss Steele was lacing up her whale-bone corset and there, on the small of her back, was etched a tattoo in scarlet ink; it was the cryptic five-pointed pattern, exactly as had appeared to Elinor so many times, in such darkly portentous fashion, since her arrival on Pestilent Isle."

So it turns out there is a little more than just a simple, absurd rewrite in this book! I'm intrigued; are you? Feel free to leave a link to your teaser in the comments! If you haven't played before, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Just open the book you're currently reading and post a couple of sentences as a teaser - careful not to include any spoilers, though!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Janitors, Street Vendors, and Activists

Janitors, Street Vendors, and Activists by Christian Zlolniski is an ethnography of Mexican immigrants in the Silicon Valley region of California. Dr. Zlolniski focuses on people living in a low-income neighborhood known as Santech. He starts off with discussion of his field methods and a general discussion about Mexican immigration to California. This lays a framework for the rest of the book, which will be about the lives of the Santech residents. Some of the topics covered (as stated by the chapter headings) are the sub-contracting of janitors in high-tech companies; the informal economy; family structure; and community politics. Names of individuals and of companies have been altered for the book.

I took Dr. Zlolniski's course last semester on the Anthropology of Migration, and this book was one of our assigned reading materials. It's written in very accessible language, though, so anyone should be able to pick this up and have no trouble reading; besides, there are graphs and tables included that make the data presented a little easier to look at. There are also some photos and a map, which is something I always love to see in a book.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

In My Mailbox #2

Another week has gone by, and that means it is time for another round of In My Mailbox, a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. It's kind of a show-and-tell of anything bookish you've bought/borrowed/won/received for review over the past week.

This is my second post for In My Mailbox, and I've seen that many bloggers have made their own buttons for the meme, and I decided to do the same. I found the photo on Google Images, from a website called NV Fingerprinting. I just added the text on top and cropped the photo a bit to make it a shorter height.

Anyway! On to the books. :)

The first thing I received in the mail this past week was another RAK gift! Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith. A big thanks to Tena over at The Crazy Book Slut! Random Acts of Kindness is a fantastic event hosted by Book Soulmates - go check it out, if you haven't already! This is the second item I've received so far from my wishlist, and I've sent out a couple things this month so far as well. It's a lot of fun! I was so excited when I opened this and saw that Tena had tied a little string around the book, like an old-fashioned brown-paper package. It was really cute! I wish I'd thought to take a photo. As you can see from my sidebar, I'm currently reading Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters, and so far it's pretty interesting, so I can't wait to read this one!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Lovely, Love My Family

So I'm sure all of you (at least all of you in the US - I'm not sure where else this show airs) who have small children or who are around small children are aware of the television show on Nick Jr, Yo Gabba Gabba! For those of you who are not familiar with it, it's a show with a crazy looking guy and a bunch of crazy looking monster things (and what looks like also a robot), and they teach kids stuff. They also feature contemporary musical acts, which is what I think is really cool and unique about this show - they've featured some of my own favourite groups, and I bet if you look up who all has performed in a guest spot on this show, you'll find some of your favourites as well!

Anyway, my niece (who will be two in April) freakin' LOVES this show. I asked my sister-in-law to describe it for me, and apparently it is really wack-a-doodle (this is a word my phonology professor uses a lot; thought I'd try it out, lol) to watch. Here is part of what she had to say:

(sister-in-law): they have music in every ep but it's not all music
(sister-in-law): they dance a lot and show kids riding around on giant wind up snails wearing elton john glasses and beaver teeth etc
(sister-in-law): and i'm not making this up

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Teaser Tuesday #3 - Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

It's Teaser Tuesday! Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. Just pick up whatever book you're currently reading, open to a random page, and post a teaser quote from that page. Be careful not to post any spoilers, though! Generally, you should try to post at least two sentences, but I know many of us post a little more than that to get a really good teaser quote.

Mine today is from Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Ben H. Winters. I just started reading this yesterday, and so far it's pretty hilarious. I know there seem to be two camps when it comes to these quirky adaptations of classic novels - you either love them or you hate them - but I'm finding it hysterical, and I know it's meant to be funny and not a serious rewrite, so I'm leaning more towards loving them.

"The ship, its mainsail flapping uselessly, yawed heavily to port. The Dashwoods clutched each other in fear as a vast mouth appeared at the waterline, opening wide to display two jagged rows of razor-sharp fangs, which rose from the water and chomped down effortlessly on the bosun's mate."

Feel free to link to your own Teaser in the comments, or if you don't have a blog, post your teaser below instead!

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Becoming

The Becoming by Jeanne C. Stein is the first book in the Anna Strong Chronicles. Anna is a young woman who, to the dismay of her parents, has quit her teaching job and begun an exciting career as a bounty hunter. She and her partner, David (a former professional football player), are about to bring in their latest bounty when it all goes horribly wrong - the man gets the better of David (a stunning first) and then attacks Anna. Waking up in the hospital a couple of days later, she has no idea yet that her life has changed irrevocably. Her doctor, Avery, senses the changes, though and takes her under his wing - he's a vampire too, after all, but much older and more experienced. Good thing, too, since not long after her release from the hospital, it seems the tables have turned and she's the one now being pursued by someone or something. The things she holds dearest in her life are being threatened, and Anna must learn quickly what she is now capable of, if she's going to stop whoever it is.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

In My Mailbox

Happy Sunday, everyone! My parents and I were going to have the second part of a yard sale today, but it's raining outside, so that is being postponed. I'm glad for the rain, though!

Anyway, I'm really excited because I get to do my first In My Mailbox post today! In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren - it's about sharing any books you've received in the past week, and it's fun to see what everyone else is getting, too. :) You don't have to have gotten them in the mail, though - if you bought them, borrowed them, etc., that's fine too.

This week I got a copy of Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr from the also lovely Arianne, through Random Acts of Kindness (hosted by Book Soulmates)!

Wicked Lovely is gorgeous, and I am so excited to read it, so a BIG thanks to Arianne! The only other books I got this week came from my university's library, and they're all for a couple of research projects I'm doing for my phonology class - so I'm thinking those would not be so interesting. :P

What's in your mailbox? Let me know in the comments, and feel free to post a link to your In My Mailbox as well!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Follow Friday #3

It's time once again for Follow My Book Blog Friday, hosted by Rachel at Parajunkee's View and Alison over at Alison Can Read! Check out their pages and this week's featured blogs: Jagged Edge Reviews and A Neverending Fantasy!

This week's Follow Friday question is:

"If you could pick one character in a book, movie or television show to swap places with, who would it be?"
My immediate response, since I just finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is Hermione Granger. I already relate to her in a lot of ways, so it's an easy pick for me - frizzy hair, nose in a book, can't keep her mouth shut in class most of the time...she's sometimes a bit more bossy than I am, though. I was asked to be Hermione at work one year around Halloween, back when I was in high school and worked in a gift shop at Six Flags theme park.

I was introduced to Twilight when a former co-worker mentioned that I reminded her of Bella. I was curious enough to read the book, haha, and I do see elements of myself in her as well. Introverted, pale, a little awkward and a bit of a klutz. I don't know if I would want to BE her, though. Blood doesn't bother me, and the idea of a love that really does last forever is very appealing to me, of course, but I don't know. I've seen the other movies, but maybe I need to read the rest of the books before I could say whether or not I'd mind switching places with her. My favourite character from the series, though, is Alice. Some of you, if you have seen the not-thumbnail version of my profile picture, may or may not have recognized the choker I'm wearing as a retail replica of hers.

I would switch places with Elizabeth Bennet, Emma Woodhouse, Anne Elliot or Marianne Dashwood in half a heartbeat. Mr Darcy, Mr Knightley, Captain Wentworth or Colonel Brandon? Yes, please.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


So, a while back I was browsing the bargain section of Barnes and Noble's website when I came across Regulus, the Latin translation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's classic children's book Le Petit Prince. I am such a fan-girl for this book that it's become something of an obsession to me, in that I collect it in any translation I can find. If I happen upon any other items related to the story, I'll snap those up too, if I can. I absolutely love the story and the characters (especially the fox), so of course I was beyond thrilled to find this - and on a discount, to boot!

The very first review I posted on this blog was for this book, and anytime I'm at a bookstore, I comb the foreign language and children's shelves hoping against hope for a translation I haven't already got. My collection so far now consists of the original French; a set of four board books; and translations in English, German and Latin. I saw a graphic novel at Borders when the location near me was having its closing sale, but when I went back with money, it was no longer there. :(

Do you have any bookish collections? Tell me about it in the comments!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Today I finished re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling, the first in the Harry Potter fame train. I know very few people who have not yet read these books, so I'm not entirely sure what to say about it, but I'm going to try very hard not to accidentally give away any spoilers!

Harry is a ten-year-old boy who has lived almost his whole life with his relatives - the Dursleys - who treat him like a second-class citizen. His bedroom is a cupboard underneath the stairs. He only has his cousin Dudley's old clothes to wear (even though they are much too large for him). And his aunt and uncle are constantly punishing him for strange things that he couldn't possibly be responsible for. On his eleventh birthday, however, his whole life changes. On his eleventh birthday, Harry finds out he's a wizard.

In Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, we follow Harry through his first year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry makes his first real friends (back home, kids were too scared of Dudley's bullying to hang around with him), and their experience is anything but ordinary, even for a wizard school. Shit is about to go down, but none of the teachers Harry and his friends have told believe them. Time is running out, so they take matters into their own hands. The Sorting Hat clearly didn't put these three in Gryffindor House for nothing.

Teaser Tuesday #2 - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

It's another Teaser Tuesday here in the blogosphere! For those who may not know, Teaser Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by Should Be Reading. Just grab the book you're currently reading, flip to a random page, and post a teaser quote from that page - careful not to use any spoilers, though!

I'm currently re-reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K.Rowling. It's probably kind of pointless to post a teaser of this (or even to post a review, as I will likely be doing this evening, since I've only a couple chapters left). But! I know there are SOME people out there who have not read any of these books, and maybe they will stumble across this and give it a go. And maybe I'll tease some of you into re-reading. :P Anyway, here goes:

" 'Good luck, Harry Potter,' said Firenze. 'The planets have been read wrongly before now, even by centaurs. I hope this is one of those times.'

He turned and cantered back into the depths of the forest, leaving Harry shivering behind him. "

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Versatile Blogger Award

Today I received my first blog award! Thanks so much to Niina over at For the Love of Reading for giving this to me! For being so new on the blog circuit, this really means a lot to me!

When receiving this award, there are just a few things you do next:

1. Thank and link the blogger who nominated you (this seems like it would go without saying, though!)
2. Share seven random facts about yourself.
3. Spread the love! Pass the award on to five other bloggers. Make sure to contact and congratulate them!

This is such a nice way to let a fellow blogger know you think they're doing a good job. :)

Giveaway Winners!

It's 2 October, and that means it's time to announce the winner for each of my giveaways! Winners were randomly selected using So here we go!

The winner of the It's My Birthday! Giveaway is:

Shannon, at Books Devoured!

And the winner of my Banned Books Giveaway is:

Rebecca, at Bending the Spine!

Congratulations to both of you, and a big thank you to everyone who entered! It means a lot to me that I not only had enough followers to host my first giveaways so quickly, but that enough of you entered to make them both successful! Thank you all, and I really look forward to hosting more giveaways in the future. So for the rest of you who did not win this time, maybe you'll get the next one! I know that this month has a LOT of fantastic blog events, so there will be plenty of chances for everyone to pick up some great loot, whether it be here at Les Livres or somewhere else. :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Happy October!

I don't know about you, but October is my favourite month! And even if it's not yours, it can still be a lot of fun - to celebrate the season coming into its full glory and to celebrate one of the best holidays of the year, I'm participating in some great blog events this month! I'm posting to give you all a heads up so you can check them out if you haven't yet, but may want to participate as well. :)

First, Random Acts of Kindness, hosted by the lovely ladies at Book Soulmates. RAK is SUCH a great idea, so if you are not already signed up to participate, I think you should! Basically, you submit your name, email, and a link to your wishlist (and your blog URL if you have one), and can list a top 5 from your wishlist as well. You can brighten someone's day by sending them something from their wishlist, and you just may get some items from yours!

Next up here is the 2011 Spooktacular October Paranormal Reading Challenge, hosted by Marie at Ramblings of a Daydreamer. She's using a fairly loose definition of "paranormal" here for the purposes of the challenge, so it doesn't have to be just ghosts, vampires, and werewolves...anything spooky will do, so you can feel free to include your faeries, mermaids, and aliens too! All you have to do is read and review at least three books falling under this category between 1 October and 31 October.

There's a bonus to participating, too - a giveaway at the end of the challenge! This will be my first reading challenge, so I hope I manage to make it, haha.

There is also the Zompocalypse 2011 Halloween Hop, hosted by Paranormal Wastelands. This sounds like it is going to be a TON of fun, and I am really looking forward to the 28th so it can start! I will be participating by hosting a Trick or Treat Giveaway for the hop. There will be many others, so make sure to stay tuned! So far, it looks like 37 other bloggers are signed up to participate, and the form is up on the page, so if you haven't already, and you want to participate, go check it out and sign up!

I haven't worked out yet exactly what I'm going to do for this giveaway, but regardless, the whole thing sounds like it will be a blast.

I also want to take this moment to remind everyone that tonight at midnight, entries will be closed for my Banned Books Giveaway and my It's My Birthday! Giveaway. If you want to be considered, make sure you get your entry in today, because I will be randomly selecting and announcing the winner for both giveaways tomorrow, 2 October. Good luck to everyone who has entered so far! If you win, but do not respond within 48 hours of my email to you, a new winner will be selected for that particular giveaway.

Are you doing anything fun for your blog this month? If you don't have a blog, are you doing anything special for October, in general? Reading anything creepy?