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As you might have noticed, I disappeared. This blog just wasn’t so much fun anymore, and blogging is just supposed to be fun. For a long time, I didn’t really blog, but I’ve decided to start again.

My new blogging venture is called “Me, Undivided,” named so because I’ve decided to write about everything I’m interested in, instead of separating my interests in different blogs. This is anything I’m into: technology, music, books, travel. All undivided. If you’re interested, check it out!

I know. It’s taken me forever to announce this, but my random number generator has decided that the winners of the two ARCs of the sixth Ranger’s Apprentice book are:

deltay

and

Cathy W.

Thanks for playing, guys! I’ve emailed the winners.

Check it out: Em (from Em’s Bookshelf) is giving away loads of completely awesome books, and you could be the winner. Enter here

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So lately, I’ve got this thing where I want books with a good romance and a good road trip, both important parts of the story. I’ve got books in mind with one or the other, but not many with both (at least, not both important/well done). So I’m turning to you guys, my well-read readers, for suggestions. Know any great romantic road trip books? 

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Bored? Then check out some of my comment threads. My favorites are on Twilight-related posts, such as my thoughts about the movie. Some gems from that one include:

i dont know why plp cant stand twilight.
i live breath and eat twilight. edward is hot!! get used to it

and then

for all those peaple out there who are dissing twilight shut up .i love Edward .twilight is amasing.

which is followed by

SHUT UP!!! TWILIGHT IS THE BEST!!!!!!! EDWARD IS HOT.

Or the incredibly long comments thread of my review of Breaking Dawn. My enjoyment-reading review. I read it again to make fun of it. Enjoyable both times. Anyway. Choice comments include:

In the end she made the same mistake as her Mother, however.
Got married right out of highschool and had a child.
And on top of the bite-me-vampire thing.!@
like srsly

and

This book was horrible. I don’t understand what people like about it. If this is a TEEN BOOK REVIEW, then I would have expected to see someone at least complaining about the bad morals of the story.

Ahh, but it’s not “crazy super religious morality review,” is it? I am not the morality police. People should read what they want to read.

I liked the book and I dont understand why are the so called true fans being all I hated it im taking it back i mean they are all entitled to their opinion but a true twilight fan will never disrespect Steph that way regardless if you liked the book or not.

also

4th book- THEBEST..
-They got married. good stuff
-they had sex ! hurraaay :) it was about time..
-She got PREGO , shockerrr.. but you alll loved it dont even deny it.
– she became a vampire.. you all wanted it to hppen :)

and then

 

so fact number one: EVERY GIRL DESERVES A EDWARD CULLEN (:

& fact number two: Somthing about twilight touched our hearts in some way.
(even if you hate the book)

Fact number three: I LOVE TWILIGHT SO EFFIN MUCH. Takes me like.. not even a day to read the books, (:

I disagree witht everyone is saying about oh I hate thid book and it was crap.

And I agree with everyone who loves it.

 

Hopefully that’s enough to entice you. It turns into all-out war sometimes, and don’t even get me started on the grammar and spelling and general level of intelligence. Not to say there aren’t smart, well-written comments, because there definitely are a few….but there are also a lot of hilariously stupid ones. 

Enjoy, as I suffer through my English homework.

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I was curious, so I thought I’d post a poll. I’d love it if you’d answer. 

My answer? The third one. Only if I feel like it. I generally don’t read books that I don’t really enjoy, because I figure for every book you read, you could be reading a thousand more books with that time. So why make that one book a crappy one?

(Side note: if you’ve gotten a less-than-gushing review from me, this should make you feel better. Even if I didn’t think your book was stellar, I still must have really enjoyed it to actually finish reading!).

Looking forward to the results.

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I am officially recruiting for guest blogs. If you’re an author or reviewer or anyone bookish (not just a reader, sorry), and you’d like to write a post for me on any topic pertaining to books or writing (specific books or in general–and if your topic isn’t bookish, talk to me anyway, it might still be awesome), send me an email with your idea! For authors–if I haven’t read your book, or if I don’t have it in one of my to-read stacks, see if you can get your publisher to send me a review copy. I’d prefer to be able to make some educated comments about the books of my guest blogging authors at some point (even if it’s after the guest blog), because this isn’t just a venue for bookish self-promotion. Also, it’d be great if you have a copy of one of your books or something to do a giveaway (but it’s not required). Thanks so much to any volunteers!

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I’ve been out and about on the internet lately, not just on this blog….

On ideas (thoughtful and less so):

I shared my exciting collegiate news.

I wrote about the first 15 or so songs to come up when I put my itunes on shuffle.

I shared 16 random things about myself.

I discussed a random (weird) act of kindness and cheer.

I talked about the Harry Potter Book Club.

On Wannabe World Traveller (note my British spelling): 

I discussed my tentative summer plans.

I summed up my recent trips to DC and Boston.

I made travel resolutions.

I reminisced about a trip I took along the canals of England in summer 2007.

Cheesy title, no? I just wanted to mention a couple of contests I’ve come across lately…

At Sharon Loves Books and Cats Blog, she’s giving away a copy of Carrie Ryan’s The Forest Of Hands And Teeth! Details here.

At Dog Fact #9, A.S. King has a cool contest going on–post a 10-word slice of pirate life or of dog life. You could win an ARC of Dust of 100 Dogs, which I for one can’t wait to read! Details here.

Thanksgiving is tomorrow (happy early Thanksgiving!), and in honor of what I think of as the start of the holiday season (today, when the cooking starts), I thought I’d make a nice list of books to buy for others or beg for yourself for whatever winter gift-giving holiday you celebrate (or you can just buy them for yourself, if there is no holiday). These books have no common theme except they all rock and you should read them all.

image I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert is “a painfully honest, raw, heart-wrenching story about a mother who is running from guilt and a daughter who just wants to bring her home.” I loved it. It’s great for music lovers, and just people who enjoy a good book.

image The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is, in one word, awesome. It’s got something for everyone, and is definitely one of the best and most buzzed-about books of the year. If you haven’t read it yet, what are you waiting for?!

image Graceling by Kristin Cashore is another book that’s totally worthy of the buzz. It’s a fantasy with a strong heroine, great adventure, and interesting world. Buy this for fans of Tamora Pierce or Shannon Hale.

 

image The Spellman Files and Curse of the Spellmans, by Lisa Lutz, are fun mysteries that are great for either adults or teens looking for a hilarious, fun, but certainly not brain-killing read. They’re crazy and quirky, but still very relatable and real.

image The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart is “is a funny, bold, and irreverent novel sure to find many fans who are themselves not content with the established social order or the way the world sees them.” It is, in a word, brilliant, and it’s been out since the beginning of 2008, so if you haven’t yet read it–what is wrong with you?! If you have, remember to give it to the smart girls in your life who will appreciate Frankie.

image Good Enough by Paula Yoo is about a girl whose Korean parents put a lot of pressure on her to be perfect. Patti is a great character who’s easy to relate to, and Paula Yoo is a wonderful writer. This is an enjoyable read for anyone with a lot of pressure on them, whether self-imposed or from another source. Or, you know, just anyone who likes great books!

image Red: Teenage Girls In America Write On What Fires Up Their Lives Today, edited by Amy Goldwasser, is a book of personal essays by teenage girls in America, as the title suggests. There’s loads of fantastic stuff in here, and, yes, full disclosure, I am a contributor. It’s now out in paperback–easier on your wallet, and I love the new cover.

image Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six Word Memoirs By Writers Famous And Obscure is a book of six-word memoirs that will be enjoyable and relatable to just about anyone on your gift-giving list. One memoir is mine, too, so I certainly have a soft spot for this one!

And for the readers in your life, books aren’t the only appropriate gift–lots of teens would appreciate a magazine subscription to Teen Ink, too, which is a monthly magazine written by and for teens.

Which book are you buying for everyone on your list in an effort to spread the awesomeness? What are you begging for this holiday season? Leave your answers in the comments; I’m interested!

Our government is theoretically based on certain principles. Representative government is a big one. Surely you’ve heard the phrase “taxation without representation”–basically meaning, the government controlled people (in this case, their taxes) without giving them a voice in the government.

While every citizen over the age of 18 can now vote, there are a lot of people who still don’t have a voice, and we have to remember them. When you step into the voting booth, you’re not just deciding on the future of yourself and your fellow voters, but also of the millions of people all over the world who are affected by our government.

Children can’t vote (I’m not saying they should, it’s just an observation). Yet the government certainly affects them, through education, through what benefits their parents can receive, through healthcare (kids get sick, too!)–all of their lives are affected by the government. When you cast your vote, you have a responsibility to think about them.

Non-citizens who live in this country can’t vote. The road to citizenship is a long and difficult process. There are people who are very devoted to this country but can’t vote for themselves. There are people who have raised their families here. People who have lived here for decades. All unable to vote. Keep them in mind when you’re filling in bubbles, pressing buttons, or punching holes in a card.

People all over the world are affected by the actions of the American government. For an extreme example, take the citizens of Iraq. They’ve been as affected as anyone here by the actions of the Bush administration. When you step into the voting booth, the lives and freedoms of people across the globe are at stake. Unlike most of them, you have the ability to affect what happens in this election. Make the most of it.

This post is part of Blog The Vote. Check out the master list at Chasing Ray. All interesting thoughts, and all worth a read!

I’ve posted again on my YA For Obama blog. I hope you’ll check it out! This time, I wrote about Michelle Obama’s famous statement (“For the first time in my adult life, I am really proud of my country”) and patriotism. Read my thoughts here.

I think that voting is very important. Too many people complain, yet far too few of them use the ballot box to do so. They’d rather just whine and then sit at home on election day. In that vein, I have written a blog post at YA For Obama. Check it out here.

There are some things that I’m never sure where to post. Pretty much anything on this blog in the category “random thoughts,” for example, and quite a few things on my personal blog. I know more people read this blog (130 Google Reader subscribers as opposed to 4–I just checked), and these are opinions that I’d love to have others’ thoughts on, but I’m still not sure what belongs here and what doesn’t. Of course, I could make this strictly business and just post book reviews & the like, but I, personally, prefer book blogs with a bit of a personal stuff, too, you know, so it’s an actual person behind the blog and not a book reviewing robot. So I guess the question is–where would you rather see things like my thoughts on standardized testing, fiction, the internet, education, and travel? Where can I share my political opinions? News or thoughts about my writing?

Please comment if you have any helpful advice.

Check out this great giveaway at The Hidden Side of a Leaf. You could win a whole box of spooky books! How great is that? But hurry–this contest is only open until noon PST tomorrow (friday).

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