All sorts of bookish adventures!

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As many of you know, I took a little break from blogging. Surprisingly, in that time away, I picked up a few new followers. Well, I’m back now, new friends and old, and I’ve changed my look, as you might have noticed. I love it!

Here’s some interesting (at least to me) background info on the look: I was directly inspired by the art print, “Someday, You’re Gonna” by Jordan Crane, which hangs in my kitchen. I wish I could commission Crane to do the artwork for my header, but what can I do? Use silly pictures of myself and the covers of a few of my favorite books, I guess.

Someday, You're Gonna by Jordan Crane

Anyways, back to the topic at hand. Since I have some new followers, and I’m returning after a long absence with a new drive, I thought I’d share some of my favorite posts that best reflect who I am as a blogger, and what you can expect to see here at Adventures in Borkdom. Many thanks to The Broke and the Bookish for providing the inspiration with today’s perfectly timed Top Ten Tuesday prompt!

1. Book Reviews

While I have been slacking in this area, a good chunk of Adventures in Borkdom is devoted to book reviews. When I put in the work, you can expect regular reviews on books of varying genres (I am a mood reader and like to read it all!) and I attempt to make these reviews as unbiased and professional as possible (when I might be biased, I make note of it in the review). I even created a rubric (feel free to use in your own reviews!) to make my methods of judgment transparent. Here are some examples of the positive review: Bleak House and The Waste Lands, the “meh” review: A Discovery of Witches, and the negative review: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.

When I don’t feel like putting in the work, you can expect posts full of mini-reviews: July Mini-Reviews

If you’re looking for more reviews, I post them up in the “Reviews” page at the top of the blog. *Coming Soon: Reviews organized by genre!*

2. Inspired Adventures

This is a new feature I started yesterday. It will appear twice a week (unless life gets in the way), and will center around a book I recently read, and an adventure or activity that I took part in that was directly inspired by the book. For example, after reading Hatchet, I took a hike in the mountains, and considered what aspects of the area would affect my survival if I were stranded there, à la Hatchet. Here is that post: Inspired Adventures: Hatchet and a Hike.

Upcoming Inspired Adventures include: Anne of Green Gables and Raspberry Cordial; The Return of the King and LARPing; and When You Are Engulfed in Flames and Quitting Smoking.

Check back on Thursday for this week’s second Inspired Adventure!

3. Bookish Featurettes

I enjoy writing posts on books that explore the various aspects of novels and reading in general. This is where I can really analyze certain literary/bookish areas without the limitations of a book review.

Some examples include:

4. Classic Authors: They’re Just Like Us!

These posts are biographical and discuss traits of a classic author that are surprisingly similar to either “us”, the everyday reader, or to the traits of modern-day popular authors. These ones are fun to read if you’re interested in a certain author, but don’t feel like getting bogged down by a long biography. I try to just give you the good stuff!

Examples:

Charles Dickens

Ernest Hemingway

J.R.R. Tolkien (posted over at Snobbery)

5. Fun Top Tens

Occasionally, I compile Top Ten lists that are connected to my reading preferences. I try to make these fun and somewhat informative. Typically, these directly derive from topics originating from the good folks at The Broke and the Bookish (like this post!).

A few of my favorites include:

Playing Hooky With Literary Characters

If Classics Were Set to Punk Rock

Oh Boy! It’s My Day to be a Girl! Here Are My Top Ten Book Boyfriends

The rest of my Top Tens can be found at the top of the blog in the page labeled “The Best”

6. Participation in Reading Challenges

This year, I signed up for a bunch of challenges. Not all of them have stuck (or, at least, I’m not attending to them right now), but I have seen a few of them through.

Two of these are

the horror- centric, annual Readers in Peril (RIP) Challenge, hosted by Stainless Steel Droppings

and

Charles Dickens Month, hosted by Fig and Thistle

7. Writings on Current Blogging Issues and/or My Views on Blogging

I don’t often dabble in blogging politics, but on occasion, I’ll come across an issue that I think needs addressing. Here’s a sample of what it looks like when I do:

When Blogging Gets You Down: A Letter to Bloggers (Big and Small)

I have also created a blogging manifesto, which pretty much spells out my views on blogging, and still holds true today: My Blogging Manifesto

8. “Best of” Lists

This shall be an annual event, and since I am only just approaching my one-year anniversary, I only have examples for 2011. Yet, you can expect to see daily posts, during the last week of 2012, that list my favorite books of 2012, broken down into genres. Here are two examples from last year:

Top Ten Books Read in 2011

Top Adult Contemporary and Young Adult Fiction Read in 2011

The rest of my “Best of” lists can be found at the top of my blog in the page labeled “The Best”

9. Readathons

I am a nut for readathons, particularly the big ones. This year, I took part in both of Dewey’s annual 24-hour readathons (held in October and April). I also held personal, impromptu readathons, which I chronicled on the blog.

Here are two posts reflecting my readathon participation:

October Read-a-Thon: And so it begins!

Post-It Readathon

10. The Person away from the Book

Finally, you will get to know the person that is separate from the books I read. Sometimes I write about what’s going on in my life:

She Was a Day Tripper…

Valentine’s Day?

A Slice of Crappy Life

and sometimes I feature the other interests and hobbies in my life:

Gaming:

TV

Movies

Cooking

———***——–

All of this, and writings I can’t foresee, will be featured here at Adventures in Borkdom. Obviously, if you want to know a bit more about me, the writer, check out my “About” page .

Thanks again for reading my blog and taking an interest in what I care about. I hope you enjoy what I put out there.


At this time of year, working at a year-round school is so freaking awesome (not so much in June and July, when other schools start vacation and I’m still working in the heat). I get my vacation separated into months throughout the year, with two weeks added on to Christmas vacation, and a whole month for Spring Break, and then one month in August. Now, a reminder for those who don’t know…teachers are technically not paid for vacation…we get ten months of pay every year, and that pay is split up amongst the twelve months for some teachers. This is why many teachers take a second job during vacation–summer school, independent contract work, etc. But, not me!

Every time I get a month off, I set personal goals to accomplish. Most are simply things I wish I had more time for, and I always set one for something that I’ve always been too chicken to do–a big goal. Last year, in April, I set the goal of reading as many books as possible, and ended up reading 28 and gained 10 pounds in the process! In August of last year, my big goal was starting a blog, and here I am! January of this year was the beginning of boxing and Muay Thai classes, which I am still taking four times a week! So, what are my goals for this Spring Break?

    1. Read at least two books per week! I think I can easily manage this one (except for The Canterbury Tales…I think that will be read concurrently throughout the month!) I’ll just be reading during the day while the husband is at work. Depending upon the difficulty of the books, I should be able to manage more than two per week!
    2. Write at least five posts per week! Again, I think I should be able to easily manage this, if not more. With all of the reading I’ll be doing, I’ll have a lot of reviews to write and post. Plus, there’s some really good television happening in April (Mad Men and Game of Thrones), so I’ll never run out of things to talk about!
    3. Just Dance video game WiiDrop five pounds–cut calories, run, bike, etc. Ugh. Despite my major sweat sessions doing boxing and Muay Thai for four hours per week, I have actually gained about six or seven pounds since January! I’m told that this is muscle, but this is ridiculous. I have never weighed so much in my life! So, it’s time to get all Dr. Phil and get real…time to cut calories and take more walks or ride my bike. Maybe I’ll also “Just Dance” it off. I just want to see if I can!
    4. Deep-clean the house! When I say “deep-clean”, I mean normal stuff that I’ve been putting off–dusting and sweeping, clean the bathrooms, pick up the clothes in the bedroom, shred the huge pile of stupid, unsolicited credit card applications, etc. I’ve become a terrible housekeeper!
    5. Sansa Lemon Cakes Recipe Game of Thrones

      Sansa's Lemon Cakes! (Man, she drives me nuts)

      Cook at least one Game of Thrones- A Clash of Kings-themed meal! Ah yes! This is a fun one! Last year, when Game of Thrones premiered on HBO, I got together with friends to watch, and I cooked Honeyed Chicken with potatoes and onions (like they serve in King’s Landing) and Sansa’s favorite–Lemon Cakes. Then, for a later episode, I made a true Dornish meal with pita, hummus, olives, rice, and chicken (I think?). I get all of my recipes from The Inn at the Crossroads, and this year, I want to make another GOT-themed meal. Maybe something they’d serve in the kitchens of Harrenhal…

    6. Go for at least one hike! I better do this one–I need some nature in my life!
    7. Do something special for my one-year anniversary with my husband. We got married during my Spring Break last year–April 12 in Reno. We need to do something for this occasion, since we both accidentally missed our other anniversary–the anniversary of our first date, which we have celebrated every year for the last five years. What to do though? Maybe a camping trip or a night in a hotel or something. I have no idea.
    8. The Canterbury Tales by ChaucerRead The Canterbury Tales! This one is long and difficult! I will be reading TCT in it’s original format (using the footnotes a lot!), so I’m anticipating a very slow rate of reading. Since it’s broken up into each traveler’s tale, I’ll probably set my goal for two tales per day. That way, I should be able to complete the text by the end of April. It’s a moral imperative that I do so! I have been wanting to read this for the last 12 years!
    9. Write a short story that I don’t want to throw in the trash! This is the big goal! I haven’t written a short story since college–ten years ago, to be exact. I want to see if I can write one complete short story that doesn’t make me want to puke! To do this, I have to do the next task as well.

My Writing SpaceStart writing in my office. Last summer, I turned our spare bedroom into my own personal writing office. All of my writing books are in there, I have a huge desk covered in quotes from my favorite writing texts, pictures of my heroes staring down at me from the wall (two pictures of Stephen King, hard at work on his own writing, as well as my signed picture of Felicia Day, who is one of the hardest-working creators I know of –she’s my lady-hero!) It’s all set up and ready for me, but because I don’t have a working laptop, I haven’t been working in there. But, for Christmas, I got a keyboard to go with my IPad, so I could turn that into a laptop. I need to start making that office work for me! This will have to happen!

So those are my ten goals for Spring Break! If you had a month off from your responsibilities, how would you spend it?


Tonight’s the night! Season 5 of Mad Men premieres on AMC at 9:00! Two hours!

While I haven’t had to wait as long as other fans (I only just started watching seasons 1-4 in November), I am still very excited to see what’s happening to my favorite characters!

So, today I will be gearing up for the premiere by watching some of my favorite episodes from the past seasons (all previous seasons are streaming on Netflix). These favorite episodes include:

-Warning: Don’t Click on These if You Haven’t Watched the Show–Synopses Contain Spoilers!-

“A Night to Remember” Season 2: Episode 8

“Six-Month Leave” Season 2: Episode 9

“Meditations in an Emergency” Season 2: Episode 13

“Out of Town”: Season 3: Episode 1

“My Old Kentucky Home”: Season 3: Episode 3

“The Grown-Ups”: Season 3: Episode 12

“Shut the Door. Have a Seat.” Season 3: Episode 13

And most, if not all, of Season 4 (definitely my all-time favorite episode “The Suitcase” and the finale).

Other Mad Men Links That Have Me All Worked Up!

While watching the last two episodes of The Walking Dead (also on AMC), I loved these Mad Men trailers that link up my two favorite shows! Check ’em out!

and my personal favorite

“and drinks like Hershel used to…” my favorite line!

Book Riot has posted a couple of bookish posts on Mad Men. First, there’s “Recommended Books for the Characters of MAD MEN”. Then, there’s also “Nonfiction for the Life and Times of MAD MEN“.

There’s a lot of reading being done on Mad Men. Flavorwire has compiled “The Definitive ‘Mad Men’ Reading List” for any fans who want to read along. Also, they’ve pulled together a 1966 playlist to act as soundtrack for this season. Check it out!

Then, for those of us planning to really celebrate the return of Mad Men, there’s tips and recipes for throwing a Mad Men premiere party. I think I might try out Joanie’s famous Ginger Snap and Roger Sterling’s Party Nuts!

Can you tell how excited I am? So excited! Just wait until you see how excited I am for the premiere of Game of ThronesI’m gonna be nuts!


Free air conditioning--all year long!

It’s another cold, wet, blustery day here in San Diego! One of the perks of being in San Diego is that there really isn’t any reason to have a high energy bill. The weather typically is moderate, so no need for AC in the summer and no need for heat in the winter. However, on days and nights like this, with a house full of wide door jambs and such, it’s not too different from camping. You can feel the wind blowing in right through the cracks of the walls! That makes for a chilly house (but great on a hot, windy summer day)! So, I’m all bundled up in the house in my robe, scarf, long johns, wool socks and sweater. We San Diegans can be wusses about temperature changes, I know! But, it would be ridiculous to try to heat up this old, drafty house with no insulation whatsoever. So, we bundle up!

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

So, the fanfare may commence…I finished The Wise Man’s Fear relatively early (9:00 p.m.) last night! It was so good! If you missed them, I wrote readathon posts on Friday and Saturday, each with reading updates and reflection (and silly videos). Today, I will write my review (to post tomorrow) and begin reading The Waste Lands in continuance of The Dark Tower Reading Challenge (and The Stephen King project). I also need to read a classic for March still, and while I was planning on reading The Forsyte Saga for this month, it’s a hefty book and March is almost over! So, I’m going to push that off until I have a lot of free reading time (Spring Break in April or summer vacation in August). Instead, I think my classic will be A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. My sister has urged me to read it, and the little bits I’ve skimmed while flipping through have shown it to be a very interesting book. So, I’m excited to start that up this week! I hope it counts for some of my challenges…

What else has been going on? Well, I’ve been having an internal debate on whether or not I should accept books for review. I’ve been getting approaches by authors about reading and reviewing their books, and I am skeptical to say the least. I don’t like being given something to read. It’s like someone throwing themself at you. I’m all about the chase. I want to find the perfect book for right now, and read it on my own time. Plus, I’m a horrible snob when it comes to what I read. It sounds pretentious, but I don’t read bad books. I just don’t. Or, if I do, I’m doing it on purpose. I can be in the mood for fluffy crap, but, even then, I seek it out. I seek my crap carefully. Plus, there’s the whole problem with my dislike of contemporary fiction. It’s a struggle for me to even read the Pulitzer winners for the Insatiable Booksluts’ Award-Winning Challenge, and those are award-winners!

So, after careful consideration, and the seeking out of advice from two book bloggers I greatly admire, and finally, after reading this article from the Los Angeles Review of Books, I have decided that I am not accepting books for review at this time. I will place this in my Contact page to avoid further consideration. I’ve just got too many good books of my own choosing to read, and I read enough sucky writing from my students–I don’t need to read potentially sucky books in my free time! So, if you’re looking for reviews of the newest upcoming novels, Adventures in Borkdom isn’t the place! Sorry!

Some really good news…Dewey’s Readathon is returning in April! I participated in my first Dewey back in October, and I had a blast! I read for the full 24 hours, ripped through 4.5 books, and participated in the challenges! If you’re looking for a good time, I urge you to sign up when the official linky becomes available (I’ll let you know when it does)! It could be a like a big fun sleepover, where we are all reading together and blogging and tweeting and rooting each other on! It could be so fun!!! It’ll take place April 21st, the third Saturday in April. Please, friends, set aside the date and sign up! IT COULD BE SO MUCH FUN!!!

Finally, I’ll be tuning in to tonight’s season finale of The Walking Dead! I was very happy when Shane died in the last episode (though, I wish it had been Carl who shot him. He could’ve done that when he was creeping around and saw Shane pointing a gun at his Dad. That would’ve been a huge turning point for Carl’s character! Of course, I’m assuming Carl was there to see the scene between Shane and Rick.), and I’m hoping to see some of Hershel’s red-shirt kids bite the big one tonight. And, if they’re not going to give T-Dog any sort of purpose, he could die too. If we played a drinking game where we drank everytime T-Dog appeared in an episode, we would be negative-drunk. He needs a purpose if he’s going to take up a valuable space on our survivor squad–there are too many stronger characters who could take his place! I’m crossing my fingers that one of those awesome characters will appear in tonight’s finale and set up an awesome new season in the Fall!

A rare sighting of T-Dog...

So, that’s what I’m up to. How ’bout you?


I stayed out a bit too late last night…one of those rare nights where I went out with friends. I got to dance to some of my favorite old tunes–The Smiths’ “Hang the DJ”, Blur’s “Girls and Boys”, Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart”. It was a good time, but now I’m a bit groggy. So, my readathon is off to a slow start!

The Wise Man's Fear by Patrick Rothfuss

But, as soon as I finish writing this, it will commence! I am going to finish The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss by the end of the weekend! I’m pretty excited because, yesterday, one of my commenters, The Other Watson, stated that the last 300 pages were his favorite, and that he read the final 200 in one sitting. So I’ve got some really good reading today!

I’m at page 767, so I have roughly 230 more pages left to read.

It’s a rainy day here in San Diego. I’ve got my favorite, comfy robe on. I have lit my Jane Austen candle for a good bookish scent. The couch is calling my name! I will check in here again in about two hours. Hopefully, I will have read at least 40 pages by then (the going is so slow with this book!).

Update 1:

Well, I didn’t start when I said I would. Not even close. I just started reading about 45 minutes ago. Before I started, I was emailing, commenting on blogs, reading blogs, and then I decided I wanted a fattening hot breakfast for this chilly wet day. So, my husband and I went to the local greasy spoon joint and each ordered a plate of chicken-fried steak, hashbrowns, eggs, and toast. It was delicious with a good cup of coffee.

Once I got home, I finally sat down and got to reading.  I did get close to 40 pages read, and I think this book is really about to kick into high gear. I think Kvothe is about to step up to the Adem people who have been training/threatening him. It’s hard to describe, but the last 40 pages have been like a classic ’80’s movie training montage, and now the Adem are threatening Kvothe, and when I stopped, it looks like Kvothe has had enough and is ready to get all Arcane on their asses! It’s gonna be good!

This montage is for Kvothe and readathoning me today!

I think I’m going to finish this book today! Even though I got a late start, it’s all good because my husband left for San Clemente a little while ago, and I think he’s going to spend the night up there. What that means is I get the whole house to myself to be a true readathoning bork!!! I can be in my own little world in the house with my book and not have to worry about anybody but me! Yes! So, I might make it a true readathon and be up late tonight reading–I really want to take advantage of this rare occasion.

So, it’s on! I will check in here in another couple of hours! How’s your reading going, friends?

Update #2: 

So, my prediction was wrong… but Kvothe has just gotten into a tussle with some ruffians. Pretty tuff, that Kvothe. I am at page 866 now, and I am fairly confident that I will finish this book tonight. No big deal if I don’t, but I’m going strong. I’m taking a short break right now to check in and make some dinner, but I plan to keep on reading through the evening. It’s still raining here, and I am still enjoying it.

For some reason, this theme song has been stuck in my head for the last 24 hours…To keep with this post’s ongoing sharing of song, I give you The Kids in the Hall theme!

Update #3

I have 20 pages left to go. Surely, I will be done within the hour. Well, that wasn’t so hard, now was it?

Denna, Kvothe’s love interest has just reappeared in the story. Earlier this week, I had planned and began to draft a character sketch of Denna. That didn’t happen, but now I’ll at least share what I think is the perfect love theme for Kvothe and Denna. It’s Candy’s Room by Bruce Springsteen.

Enjoy, and I’ll be back tomorrow, finished with The Wise Man’s Fear, and bubbling with excitement over the beginning of The Waste Lands by Stephen King. Good night!


I called in sick today. It’s a mental illness sick day–I need to not be in the classroom.

As I already wrote about, I received a pink slip on Tuesday.

Then, one of my students was put into handcuffs in the middle of my classroom, in the middle of my lesson on “Main Idea and Supporting Details”, in the middle of a student participating in discussion. This was uncomfortable for all of us, to say the least. Particularly because she is a classroom favorite–always participating, always smiling, always getting her work in on time. In short, she is ideal in the classroom. Apparently, she is less than ideal outside of the classroom. I have no idea what she was arrested for, and I have no idea why the vice principal decided that it would be appropriate to arrest her in the middle of my lesson, without even letting me know ahead of time, but let’s just say that it shook me up. Luckily, my classroom is full of pros, and my students continued on with the lesson as they led her out, continuing to raise their hands to contribute to our lesson. They blew my mind with how cool they were. And, at the end of the day, I received a letter from the student, apologizing for getting in trouble and getting arrested in the middle of my class. I certainly didn’t receive an apology from the two adults who participated in this disruptive scene. Grrr.

So, I’m mentally ill today. I will stay home today and begin what I think will be a readathon weekend.

The goal is to finish The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss this weekend. This is a 1000-page book, and I’m only at page 700, and I’ve been reading for 3 weeks now! Something must be done! I want to start reading The Forsyte Saga and The Waste Lands next week, so it has to be finished by Sunday.

Usually, when a book takes me this long, it can be assumed that I’m just not really into it. Let me be clear, this is a VERY GOOD BOOK! If the next 300 pages are consistent with previous 700, I will write a glowing review of this fantasy novel next week. Plot is excellent and fast-paced, the characters are very well-developed, lots of good themes going on, and I am just really enjoying it! But, for some reason, it is taking me forever to read! Maybe it’s because I keep falling asleep when I read it–not because it’s boring, but because I am exhausted!

So, I think I will do a readathon this weekend. Starting today! I will probably do updates on my progress and reflections on my reading throughout the days too. I need to go to Jiffy Lube, take a nap, and go to the gym tonight, but I should be able to read quite a bit throughout the day. Tomorrow should be wide open too.

If any of you have free time this weekend, maybe you’d be interested in readathoning with me? I always love company on these sorts of endeavors. Will you at least consider it? Either way, I hope you have a wonderful weekend! I will be updating here later on, throughout the day!

Reading Update #1:

I just finished getting an oil change at Jiffy Lube…whoo! 230 bucks with a few of the extras thrown in. I don’t know anything about cars, so I just space out when they talk about what needs to be changed or fixed and simply nod my head “yes”. A few of the suggestions I said “no” to, just to add in variety to the conversation. I really don’t know what the hell is going on! Ah well. I’m sure it was all necessary.

Meanwhile, I read 30 pages while sitting in the waiting room. Not much, but it’s pretty much par for the course with this book. I wonder what the word count is on this book. Am I just savoring every word, or am I just tired? All I know is my reading speed goes dowwwwwn when I read Rothfuss (I was pretty slow at reading The Name of the Wind as well, but that definitely had some less than thrilling parts).

The reading is good. Kvothe just took a journey to Stormwal, and is now seeing the Adem life for the first time (a stoic type of people who are trained in a sort of martial art and live as mercenaries). Pretty interesting…

I think I’m going to be asleep in the next two hours. Didn’t get much sleep last night. Will probably check in again in the afternoon!

Reading Update #2

Woke up about two hours ago from a good 2+ hour nap. Before falling asleep, I read another 20 pages of The Wise Man’s Fear, putting me at page 752. Not as far as I’d like, but I’ll have less to do tomorrow, so I should probably get more reading done.

In the meantime, I’ve really enjoyed the conversations that I’ve been having here on the blog today! Thanks so much for your comments and support! It’s really been a good recuperative day thanks to the reading and all of you!

I don’t know how much more reading that I’ll get in today, as I am going to the gym in an hour, and then I’ll have to make something to eat when I get home, and, after that, apparently my husband and I are going out to drink and dance to Britpop at a local bar. All in the name of consoling a grieving friend who just lost her father. I do enjoy dancing though, so hopefully it will be a good time. However, I have a tendency to almost get in a fight at this bar with hipsters. Usually over something stupid, but this bar puts me in such a pugilistic state that I seriously think about using my fists on someone with cute bangs or a handlebar mustache. And I’ve never been in a fight (well, except the one in 6th grade, with a boy whom I beat in arm wrestling. But, that was more shoving and kicking. And I didn’t want to fight, but he wouldn’t let it go. It didn’t help that my sister Erika was egging us on.)! So, who knows how this night will go. With the luck I’ve had this week, I could be writing a post on Sunday about how I spent the night in jail after breaking a bottle of Jack Daniels over the head of some chick who snickered at my chucks (“that is so 2002.”).

I’ll be back to reading tomorrow if I’m not in jail! Have a good night!


Paging Miss Personality! There she is, smiling, waving, talking, and entertaining anyone in her orbit. Your baby is also ready to explore a bit more, so beware her impulse to touch (and taste) everything and anything within her reach (including dog biscuits and poop!). She’s probably able to bear weight on her legs when you hold her upright and may even be ready to hit the road, albeit at a crawl.

WhatToExpect.com

Well, somehow this milestone passed me by last Saturday, but Adventures in Borkdom turned six months old last week!

I don’t know about “Miss Personality”, but I do feel that I have grown more in my blogging and am ready to explore a bit. When I started blogging in August, I had no idea what I wanted to do, I just knew that I wanted to be writing regularly and that I loved books and wanted to meet other people who loved books as much as I do. That goal was certainly met, and now I have found that blogging is as important to me as teaching. I feel a real need to write and publish posts regularly.

Since I started, I have taken part in a few reading events (R.I.P.,Charles Dickens Month, and Dewey’s Readathon), signed up for A LOT of reading challenges (just check out the side bar to the right! and I just signed up for another!), and have pulled away from all the memes that constituted my blog at the beginning (except for Top Ten Tuesday, my favorite!). I’ve also made some amazing friends here–I really wasn’t expecting the level of camaraderie I feel for my fellow bloggers and I am thrilled that I am still meeting new people every week.

In short, I am so glad that I started blogging in August, and I am so glad that I have joined this amazing community of book lovers. I am honored to be a part of this group of passionate and intelligent readers and writers and I hope that I am contributing as much as I am taking in. Thank you Tris Hussey for writing your book on blogging, as that inspired it all, and now, here I am! And, of course, thanks to all of YOU for reading my blog and making this hobby so very, very rewarding.

Speaking of Rewarding…

Achievement Unlocked

My newest blogging/reading buddy SJ of Snobbery has given Adventures in Borkdom its first blogging award! Yes! Achievement unlocked!

So, I have been given the Liebster Award, a Circle of Excellence award for blogs with less than 200 followers. SJ was ultra-flattering in considering that I might have over 200 followers (I wish!) and yet gave it to me anyways. She also said some very nice things about my book reviews and their influence upon her reading interests.

Thanks so much SJ! I am flattered and honored if I have any influence on anyone’s reading interests.

So, now, I shall pass on this Liebster Award to a couple of other amazing blogs that may or may not have fewer than 200 followers (I have the same problem, SJ–I’m not sure who has less than 200!).

Coffee and a Book Chick: Seriously, I don’t know how many followers Natalie has (it could be a gazillion), but I know that I love reading her blog. She is really sinking her teeth into Stephen King this year (even going as far as hosting a challenge, which I am participating in) and I am enjoying reading her reviews on King’s masterpieces. She has also recently discovered a love for audiobooks, so I actively take note of her favorites, as I am trying to fit more audiobooks into my life. Finally, I enjoy her feature “A Walk About Town”, which features pictures and descriptions of where she lives. Hopefully, I will soon be posting my own “Walk About” featuring San Diego. You’re awesome, Natalie!

A Reader’s Pensieve: Kyle is a lovely young teacher from Michigan who reads and writes a lot! If you’re trying to find the next best young adult book, Kyle is your lady, as it seems that she has read and reviewed them all! Also, she has started a new feature on her blog titled “Former Favorites” which features a book or series that she loved when she was younger. I love these trips down memory lane as I am way into nostalgia! Finally, Kyle is just awesome, someone whom I love to engage with on Twitter and even send the occasional, extremely long, ranting email to. She’s one of my first blogging friends and I am so very grateful to know her.

Shhh… Mommy’s Blogging: I love when I get a new post from Jessica in my Google Reader because I’m never quite sure what I’m going to get, but I know I’m going to love it. Jessica has such an engaging voice in her writing that her posts feel as if I am sitting at a coffee shop with her, discussing whatever is on her mind. That could be a lot of things, from a wide array of current reads (young adult to contemporary to science to fantasy to science fiction…she’s all over the place in her reading!), to her 30 before 30 goals, to her disgust at common grammar mistakes (one of my all-time favorite posts!). Jessica is also pretty special to me because she is always rooting me on in my reading–when I was reading (and, at times, struggling with) The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, she kept up with me and encouraged me to keep going, through the entire experience. I’m so glad she did, as now I am reading The Wise Man’s Fear (book 2 in the series) and am loving it! And she is, of course, there with me now, rooting me on in my reading!

Tabula Rasa: I am very biased towards Priya because she has almost identical tastes in reading. She loves Harry Potter. She loves Stephen King. She loves Neil Gaiman. She loves Buffy the Vampire Slayer (not a book, but it says so much). Yet, recently, she’s been reading a lot of books that I’ve never even heard or thought of… a lot of German literature for German Literature Month. Going by her similar tastes, I’m guessing that I’ll have to check out some of these German titles simply if she recommends them. I’m pretty sure that I’ll enjoy them as well. It should also be mentioned that Priya was the first bookish friend I ever made here in the blogging world, and it’s been a while since I sung her praises. Priya, I still think you are just as wonderful as I did way back in September. Please keep up with your writing… I love it!

Cummings and Goings: Here is the obligatory non-book blog that is deserving of the Liebster. This isn’t the first time that Pat has been inducted into a Circle of Excellence, but it is the first time his writing has gotten some recognition. Book bloggers, meet Pat, a friend of mine who recently traveled around the world and wrote all about it on his blog. To say Pat is quirky is an understatement–as he traipsed across Morocco, France, Italy, India, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Australia, he got into some major hijinks and was brutally and seriously (I mean it’s all here, folks) honest in his writing. It should be noted that Pat is a huge fan of science fiction, Hall & Oates, and Jim Jams. If you’re looking for a high-flying adventure and exceptional writing that documents it, I recommend this blog. Come on guys–we’re readers, and Pat has a really good story to tell. But, you have to start at the beginning, as it is a story! I highly recommend this blog, and award it the Liebster for its story-telling excellence!

A Quick “What’s Going on with Me” Closure:

Lately, I’ve been a very good reader, devoting at least an hour a day to my reading of The Wise Man’s Fear. This book is highly addictive, and I definitely recommend the series. I’m thinking that I might write a character feature post on Kvothe (the main character) at some point this week.

Today, I will be watching a few episodes of Mad Men with my sister (we’re gearing up for the March 25 premiere of season 5) and then, later this evening, I will be tuning in for tonight’s episode of The Walking Dead. Shane’s gotta die soon, that’s all I’m going to say about that!

Have a wonderful week! Hopefully, I won’t be too sporadic in my posts here, and ideally I’ll have some sort of review to write later this week. Meanwhile, I will be announcing a giveaway today, so be on the lookout for that!