Bloggiesta Day 3 – No Way It’s Almost Over?

Did you know that Pedro has a sister? Well, he does. But she doesn’t have a name like Pedro (Plan. Edit. Develop. Review. Organize.) does. Maybe we can brainstorm in the comments?

Bloggiesta Pinata

I am so, so, so thrilled with energy of Bloggiesta. It is amazing! The starting line post has almost 250 people signed in and Twitter is going nuts. I really enjoy watching everybody accomplish and learn so much. Seriously. It’s a little thrill when I see somebody learn something new that they didn’t know before or conquer some aspect of HTML.  Plus, you are listening to great music, and sharing fantastic food! What’s not to love about that?

Just a bit of housekeeping. I am really trying to visit and comment on everybody’s blogs. Do check to see if your name is in the blogroll in my sidebar for the shared RSS feed.  If it’s not, let me know, otherwise I’ll miss reading your posts.

Just a heads up though that if you are on Blogger and do not have the option to comment under a Name/URL then I am having a lot of trouble commenting. I’m logged into a different Google account during Bloggiesta than what I want to comment under. So I have been reading the posts but unable to comment. (As an aside, you may want to reevaluate how easy or not it is for people to comment on your blogs.Perhaps a future mini-challenge?)

Also, watch the blog today for two different posts going up.  One will be the prize list! Yay! The second will be the finish line post which will include an end-of-eventsurvey that I really, really, really would love for you to fill out.

Now back to the Bloggiesta! Is it really closing in on the end?  About 24 hours left! Make the most of it.


And as for Pedro’s sister’s name . . .

Bloggiesta Day 2 – What a Fiesta! How About Mexican Food?

Hola amigos! What a fiesta we are having! The starting line has gone crazy with all kinds of bloggers joining the fray! From the blog posts and Twitter chatter I’ve been reading, this fiesta is hopping!  Thank you for making it fantastic!


But right now Pedro is hungry!!  All this work has his tummy rumbling for some yummy Mexican recipes.  So in full fiesta spirit, I invite you to share your favorite Mexican recipe with us in the comments.  I’ll pick one lucky winner from the comments to receive one of our publisher sponsored prizes!

Don’t let me down now!

Mmmm . . . yummy.

Bloggiesta! Ready, Set . . . Let’s Fiesta!

Welcome to the 4th Edition (Wow! Can’t believe this is #4) of the Bloggiesta!  Led by none other than our awesome mascot . . .

Bloggiesta: Pedro


Plan.  Edit.  Develop.  Review.  Organize.

How to Party!

Bloggiesta begins now and runs  through Sunday the 23rd (technically the wee hours of Monday morning).  You can really start whenever you want within that time but official hours are 8am to 8am (wherever you are).  The hours spent on the challenge do NOT need to be in a row. Use the entire 72  hour time frame and see what you can do with it.  It’s your call as to how much you want to put into it.  But you have to put something into it or it’s not a challenge.

When you begin the Bloggiesta challenge, sign in with Mr. Linky (at the bottom of this post) and link directly to your Bloggiesta post. That will let me and everybody else that you have officially begun and we can go share our mariachi tunes and cheer you on.

If you have just discovered this challenge, it’s not to late to sign up.  Join us anytime!  (No need to sign up on the sign up post – just sign up with the Mr. Linky on this page. Just do me a favor and tell me in the comments you just signed up so I can add you to the shared feed & Twitter list.)

How many times (if any) you choose to update is up to you, but you should keep track of the hours spent on the challenge as well as the tasks you have completed.  I’m all for making it work for how you best work.  You do not need to write a new post for each mini-challenge completed, but do give your awesome hosts some link love.

On Sunday, I will post a finish line post. In a change from last year, you do not need to link up a Bloggiesta summary post.  Instead I will have a survey that I’d love to have you fill out so I can implement your feedback better into future Bloggiesta’s.

How To Connect With Other Bloggers

  • To connect with other Bloggiesta participants subscribe to the shared Bloggiesta RSS feed (this is different from the one we used in July).  The nice thing about this feed is that you’ll have everybody’s blog updates at your fingerprints.  Feel free to subscribe to your new favorite blogs and then unsubscribe from the shared RSS feed after the weekend. Please do visit some of your fellow bloggers!
  • New this year are quick links in my sidebar to the links I just listed above as well as the mini-challenges. You’ll also see in my sidebar a blogroll of all those who signed up for Bloggiesta.  If you see yourself not listed or have a correction, just let me know.


In addition to your individual tasks, there are also mini-challenges which will help us learn more about blogging and hopefully stretch us a bit.  All the challenges will be up for the duration of the Bloggiesta, so you have the entire weekend to peruse and complete them.  You don’t have to do them all, nor may they all appeal to you, but for each one that you do complete with a comment on their post, your name will be entered for a giveaway.

We have eight new mini-challenges this year!


Flashback Mini-Challenges

Because the skills that we learn build on each other, it would be remiss of me to not also link to the mini-challenges which we covered in the first three Bloggiesta editions.  Feel free to check out the wealth of information found in these posts.  And yes, upon completion of these challenges, leave the host a comment, and I’ll pick prize winners from the comment sections.


There are prizes!  But wait for a separate post for the reveal.  You are eligible for Bloggiesta prizes simply by participating!  That’s it!  There will also be winners chosen from those who complete the mini-challenges and leave a comment on the hosts post.

Start the Fiesta!

Link to your starting line post so everybody else knows you’ve got a fiesta going on at your place!


Have a fantastic fiesta!

When I’m Not Reading . . .

. . . I am not home.

First, there was Christmas spent in California at my in-laws home. We had a great time.  Erica Perl, author of Chicken Butt!, sent my boys a talking chicken. They loved it so much that they stole my camera to take many photos of it.

I also think we watched this show probably about twenty times:

After our Christmas vacation, we promptly set off for the funeral of my husband’s grandfather.   And at the age of 92, he had lived a life that we all were proud of.  My fondest memory of Grandpa is his marrying me and my husband.  I will always remember how proud I was that he was able to do that for us.

My husband’s family is from Hawaii and the best part about attending the funeral was seeing Grandma, Aunties, Uncles, cousins, and new babies that we haven’t seen in years in addition to more time with Taylor’s parents and sisters.   Because we don’t often get the chance to travel to Hawaii, we made the most of it and stayed for 11 days.  We also ate out every meal.  Mmmm . . . yummy.

The wonderful sunny break from our Utah winter weather made me want to never come home.


And people, I seriously have the cutest kids ever.

See what I’m talking about?

Sad to leave Hawaii and on our way to the airport, we realized that we left this at Grandma’s house and my oldest boy cried:

I think I have read a total of about 20 pages so far into January. But honestly? Who cares!

Now that I am back home to an empty fridge I have my sights on the grocery store to pick up Mexican food and snacks for tomorrow’s Bloggiesta.  Can you believe it’s tomorrow?  Must make up for all of my time offline and get this fiesta started!

2010 Reading Report

I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I really wanted to post my 2010 reading totals this year.  For one, it will be glaringly clear that my blogging mojo was off for most of the entire year.  I mean seriously, I’ve hardly reviewed anything this year.  The blog has been pretty pathetic lately.  But yet reading – my reading has not been pathetic.  I’m still reading just as much and read a lot of awesome (and a few not so awesome books)!


  1. The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall
  2. Promise Me by Richard Paul Evans
  3. War on the Margins by Libby Cone
  4. Guest House by Barbara Richardson
  5. The Eden Hunter by Skip Horak
  6. The Lotus Eaters by Tatjana Soli
  7. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  8. Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro
  9. The Tricking of Freya by Christina Sunley
  10. The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan
  11. The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
  12. Conjugal Love by Alberto Moravia
  13. The Gendarme by Mark Mustian
  14. Mr. Monster by Dan Wells
  15. In the Woods by Tana French
  16. Unformed Landscape by Peter Stamm
  17. The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
  18. Sea Escape by Lynne Griffen
  19. Love Begins in Winter: Stories by Simon Van Booy
  20. How Dolly Parton Saved My Life by Charlotte Connors
  21. The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien
  22. That Old Cape Magic by Richard Russo
  23. The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
  24. The Threadbare Heart by Jennie Nash
  25. Get Lucky by Katherine Center
  26. The Birth House by Ami McKay
  27. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
  28. Gabriel’s Story by David Anthony Durham
  29. A Circle of Souls by Preetham Grandhi
  30. Recovering Charles by Jason Wright
  31. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult
  32. The Last Will of Moriah Leahy by Therese Walsh
  33. I Am Not a Serial Killer by Dan Wells
  34. Room by Emma Donoghue

Young Adult Fiction

  1. Delirium by Lauren Oliver
  2. Vintage Veronica by Erica S. Perl
  3. Trapped by Ronda Gibb Hinrichsen
  4. The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  5. The Mockingbirds by Daisy Whitney
  6. Hush by Eishes Chayil
  7. The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhard
  8. The Scorch Trials by James Dashner
  9. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
  10. Glimpse by Carol  Lynch Williams
  11. Dangerous Neighbors by Beth Kephart
  12. Three Quarters Dead by Richard Peck
  13. Yummy by G. Neri
  14. Forge by Laurie Halse Anderson
  15. Scars by Cheryl Rainfield
  16. Grace by Elizabeth Scott
  17. The Heart is Not a Size by Beth Kephart
  18. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
  19. After Tupac & D Foster by Jacqueline Woodson
  20. Calamity Jack by Shannon and Dean Hale, Illustrated by Nathan Hale
  21. The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis
  22. Bifocal by Deborah Ellis and Eric Walters
  23. Liar by Justine Larbalestier
  24. The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
  25. Uglies by Scott Westerfield
  26. Pretties by Scott Westerfield
  27. Specials by Scott Westerfield
  28. The Surrender Tree, Poems of Cuba’s Struggle for Freedom by Margarita Engle
  29. Mare’s War by Tanita S. Davis
  30. Artichoke’s Heart by Suzanne Supplee
  31. Keep Sweet by Michelle Dominguez Green
  32. Keesha’s House by Helen Frost
  33. The Ring by Bobbie Pyron
  34. Split by Swati Avasthi
  35. Three Rivers Rising by Jame Richards
  36. Matched by Ally Condie
  37. Bamboo People by Mitali Perkins
  38. Beautiful by Amy Reed
  39. The Blonde of the Joke by Bennett Madison

Middle Readers

  1. Countdown by Deborah Wiles
  2. Annexed by Sharon Dogar
  3. Palace Beautiful by Sarah Deford Williams
  4. Zora and Me by Victoria Bond and
  5. The Limit by Kristen Landon
  6. The Fantastic  Secret of Owen Jester
  7. Bink and Gollie by Kate KiCamillo
  8. Hashbrown Winters and the Mashimoto Madness by Frank L. Cole
  9. Grease Town by Ann Towell
  10. The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon
  11. Leaving Gee’s Bend by Irene Latham
  12. All the Broken Pieces by Ann Burg
  13. All Alone by Claire Huchet Bishop
  14. Dovey Coe by Frances O’Roark Dowell
  15. Witness by Karen Hesse
  16. Year of No Rain by Alice Mead
  17. Emma-Jean Lazarus Fell Out of a Tree by Lauren Tarshis
  18. 42 Miles by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer
  19. When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr
  20. Heart of a Shepherd by Rosanne Parry
  21. The Battle of the Red Hot Pepper Weenies and Other Warped and Creepy Tales by David Lubar
  22. Captain Nobody by Dean Pitchford
  23. Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything in It by Sundee Tucker Frazier
  24. Operation Yes by Sara Holmes
  25. The Door in the Wall by Marguerite De Angeli
  26. When Zachary Beaver Came to Town by Kimberly Willis Holt
  27. The Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars
  28. My Brother the Dog by Kim Williams-Justesen
  29. In Grandpa’s House by Philip Sendak
  30. Frankie Pickle and the Closet of Doom by Frank Wright
  31. Romana Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Clearly
  32. A Fine White Dust by Cynthia Rylant
  33. Clementine, Friend of the Week by Sara Pennypacker
  34. Trackers by Patrick Carmen
  35. Boom by Mark Haddon
  36. Tales from a Not So Popular Party Girl by Rachel Renee Russell
  37. Cracker, The Best Dog in Vietnam by Cynthia Kadohata


  1. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah
  2. Raising a Reader by Jennie Nash
  3. A Family of Readers: The Book Lover’s Guide to Children’s and Young Adult Literature edited by Roger Sutton
  4. Seeds of Change by Jen Cullerton Johnson, Illustrated by Sonia Lynn Sadler (picture book)
  5. Church of Lies by Flora Jessop and Paul T. Brown
  6. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose
  7. Born on a Blue Day: Inside the Extraordinary Mind of an Autistic Savant by Daniel Tammet (memoir)
  8. The Year My Son and I Were Born: A Story of Down Syndrome, Motherhood, and Self-Discovery by Kathryn Lynard Soper (memoir)
  9. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer (memoir)
  10. Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change by Michelle Cook (picture book)
  11. The Blue Cotton Gown, A Midwife’s Memoir by Patricia Harman (memoir)
  12. My Bridges of Hope: Searching for Life and Love After Auschwitz by by Livia Bitton-Jackson (juvenile memoir)
  13. A Place to Hide: True Stories of Holocaust Rescues by Jayne Pettit (juvenile)
  14. Expecting Adam: A True Story of Birth, Rebirth and Everyday Magic by Martha Beck (memoir)
  15. It’s All Too Much, An Easy Plan For Living a Richer Life with Less Stuff by Peter Walsh (self-help)
  16. Shattered Silence, The Untold Story of a Serial Killer’s Daughter by Melissa G. Moore (memoir)
  17. Surviving the Angel of Death, The Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz by Eva Kor (memoir)

Picture Books

  1. Frankie Stein Starts School by Lola M Schaefer, Illustrated by Kevan Atteberry
  2. Broom, Zoom! by Caron Lee Cohen, Illustrated by Sergio Ruzzier
  3. Scaredy-Cat, Splat! by Rob Scotton
  4. Goodnight, Little Monster by Helen Ketteman, Illustrated by Bonnie Leick
  5. Ollie’s Halloween by Oliver Dunrea
  6. Hush, Baby Ghostling by Andrea Beaty, Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre
  7. Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott
  8. The Halloween Kid by Rhode Montijitten
  9. I Need My Monster by Amanda Noll, Illustrated by Howard McWilliams
  10. Bear in Underwear by Todd H. Doodler
  11. Dinosaur vs. Bedtime by Bob Shea
  12. Dinosaur vs. the Potty by Bob Shea
  13. The Potty Train by David Hochman and Ruth Kennison, Illustrated by Derek Anderson
  14. Higher! Higher! by Leslie Patricelli
  15. The Boss Baby by Marla Frazee
  16. The Can Man by Laura E. Williams, Illustrated by Craig Orback
  17. Me With You by Kristy Dempsey, Illustrated by Christopher Denise
  18. Billy Twitters and His Blue Whale Problem by Mac Barnett, Illustrated by Adam Rex
  19. The Hermit Crab by Carter Goodrich
  20. The Hair of Zoe Fleefenbacher Goes to School by Laurie Halse Anderson, Illustrated by Ard Hoyt
  21. Ned’s New Home by Kevin Tseng
  22. My Goldfish by Barroux
  23. First Come the Zebra by Lynne Barasch
  24. The Quiet Book by Deborah Underwood, Illustrated by Reneta Liwska
  25. The Legend of Ninja Cowboy Bear by David Bruins and Hilary Leung
  26. Is Your Buffalo Ready for Kindergarten? by Audrey Vernick, Illustrated by Daniel Jennewein
  27. Finding Lincoln by Ann Malaspina, Illustrated by Colin Bootman
  28. The Negro Speaks of Rivers by Langston Hughes, Illustrated by E.B. Lewis
  29. My People by Langston Hughes, Photographs by Charles R. Smith Jr.
  30. Ron’s Big Mission by Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden, Illustrated by Don Tate
  31. Our Children Can Soar: A Celebration of Rosa, Barack, and the Pioneers of Change by Michelle Cook
  32. We Are the Ship, The Story of Negro League Baseball by Kadir Nelson
  33. In the Garden by Peggy Collins
  34. Mouse Was Mad by Linda Urban and Illustrated by Henry Cole
  35. Ninety-Three in My Family by Erica S. Perl, Illustrated by Mike Lester
  36. Dogs on the Bed by Elizabeth Bluemle, Illustrated by Anne Wilsdorf
  37. Little Skink’s Tail by Janet Halfmann, Illustrated by Laurie Allen Klein
  38. Scaredy Squirrel at Night by Melanie Watt
  39. Firefighter Ted by Andrea Beaty and Pascal Lemaitr

I feel like I read some fantastic books this year. And if I get my butt in gear, maybe I’ll get a post about where I talk about the best of the best and the worst of the worst! But the best of the year?  Lonesome Dove. Ahh, loved it.

Oh – and if you’re a publisher or author expecting a review, you’ll still get one.