Best Books of 2008

So, this post is about the best books I read this year. Judging from my 'Books I've Read in 2008' list, I've read over 75 books...actually, far more than that cuz I didn't list every book I've read. In case you can't tell, I LOVE to, really. Like, when my family went on our family walking trips (I was in junior high/high school), I'd always bring a book with me to read while I walked. Like, I'd be absolute HEAVEN just losing myself in the world created by the author. I'm crazy about reading. I guess it's fitting that I become an author myself, right?

Anyway, I've read some really awesome books this year - the kind where, even after I've finished, I wonder about the characters or what would happen if... I've decided to list my top 25 books of the past year. This list is as varied as my taste in books. I have fantasy, romance, YA, middle grade, picture, etc. Without further ado, my fave books of 2008...

Top 30 Books (Not in any particular order)

  • Revenge of the Homecoming Queen (YA) by Stephanie Hale

  • Twisted Sisters (YA) by Stephanie Hale

  • The Samurai Girl series (YA) by Carrie Asai

  • It's Not About the Accent (YA) by Caridad Ferrer

  • Murder, Mayhem, and a Fine Man (Mystery/Romance) by Claudia Mair Burney

  • Skin (Thriller) by Ted Dekker
  • The Island (Mystery/Romance) by Heather Graham

  • The Uglies trilogy (YA/Sci Fi) by Scott Westerfeld

  • Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (YA) by Ally Carter

  • The Kayla Chronicles (MG/YA) by Sherri Winston

  • Braless in Wonderland (YA) by Debbie Reed Fischer

  • Lady in Waiting: Developing Your Love Relationships (Inspiration) by Jackie Kendall, Debby Jones

  • Lilah's List (Romance) by Robyn Amos

  • Kill Me First (Thriller) by Kate Morgenroth

  • The Squad: Killer Spirit & The Squad: Perfect Cover (YA) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

  • Rapunzel's Revenge (YA/Graphic Novel) by Shannon & Dean Hale

  • When the Black Girl Sings (YA) by Bil Wright

  • Oh.My.Gods. (YA) by Tera Lynn Childs

  • Airhead (YA) by Meg Cabot

  • Coming Undone (Romance) by Stephanie Tyler

  • The Pirates of Underwhere series (MG) by Bruce Hale

  • How to Salsa in a Sari (YA) by Dona Sarkar

  • A Guilty Affair (Romance) by Maureen Smith

  • Grafitti Girl (YA) by Kelly Parra

  • The Companions Quartet (MG) by Julia Golding

  • Platinum (YA) by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

  • Playing With Boys: A Novel (Chicklit/Romance) by Alisa Valdes-Rodriguez

  • Sofi Mendoza's Guide to Getting Lost in Mexico (YA) by Malin Alegria

  • Wicked Lovely (YA/Fantasy) by Melissa Marr

  • Tennis Anyone (Picture Book) by Shane Mcg

Looking at my TBR (To Be Read) list for next year, I see I'm going to have crazy fun reading. If you have any suggestions for good books to read, please feel free to make them. I'm always open to reading good books, no matter what the genre is. My fave genres, though, are Romance, YA, MG, picture book, Mystery, and Thriller/Suspense. Here's to happy reading in 2009!


Random Thoughts Thursday

Finally, back on least til I'm without a computer again. I've decided to get a pink Dell (still trying to figure out which Dell). Unfortunately, I won't be able to buy one til February. Why pink? Cuz it's different. Although the black laptops are business-y, they're just so...blah. I want color. Guess I'm reverting back to my childhood days when pink was my color, before I outgrew it. Anyway, that's what I'm getting. On to my thoughts...

The Holidays. It's the holiday season! Did I mention before how much I love this time of year (I'm sure I did, but I'm saying it again). Monday was Hanukkah, so, Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate it. Today is Christmas, so, Merry Christmas! Happy Kwanzaa (starts tomorrow). Did I miss one? If I did, forgive me. I celebrate Christmas, so I thank God for sending His Son here. Happy Birthday, Jesus! I love you!

James Bond. There's a rumor going around that P. Diddy wants to be the next Bond. You can look at his newest fragrance commercial & see that (his fragrances are AWESOME, btw). So, here's my take on this: while Diddy can dress like Bond & he may have that Bond swagger, I don't think he's Bond material. Just my opinion. First off, James Bond is supposed to be gorgeous and, to me, Diddy is not. I mean, come on. Sean Connery? Pierce Brosnan? Daniel Craig?

Diddy is not in the same league. Then, there's the smoothness...the umph that makes the man Bond. And the acting? Don't get me wrong. P Diddy was okay in Raisin in the Sun. Not dynamic...just okay. I admit, he does have a few Bond qualities, but, when I picture the first African American James Bond, I do not see Sean "P Diddy" Combs. I just don't.

You know who I do see? Will Smith. He's got it! He's the next James Bond - should they decide to add color to the Bond franchise. He's gorgeous, got a great body, smooth, an awesome actor, & gorgeous (I know I said that one already, but it's worth repeating). Think Bad Boys' Mike Lowry on a whole different level. That's James Bond. And he's a bankable star. Even in his worst movies, Will Smith still did well in the box office. Face it...I...I mean, people love Will Smith. They'd go see a Will Smith headliner before a P Diddy one (sorry, Diddy). I've casted my vote. Will Smith as the next James Bond. It's perfect - a match made in Hollywood heaven. Did I mention he's gorgeous?


Random Thoughts Thursday...On Saturday (again)

I SO need my own laptop! Can you say "perfect Christmas present"?

Living @ Home. My sis and I were having a discussion about the fact that we're grown - I'm 32 and she's 26 - and live with our parents. She's a little bummed about it. Me? I used to be bummed. More like embarrassed. Now, I'm not...well, not as much. I mean, yeah, I miss my independence, ALOT. I moved back January, 2007 cause I couldn't afford to be a full time doctoral student while living in a nice apartment on a substitute teacher salary. I tried and couldn't do it. Moving back in was the last thing I wanted to do, but I had no other choice. It was just smarter to live with my parents 'til I finish my doctorate program (next year, YAY!). So, I'm okay with it now. I think the fact that we're not just moochin' off my parents helps keep my attitude positive. There are grown children who sit around their parents' homes and do absolutely nothing. No offense, but I think that's just trifling. Can't do it. My sis and I have jobs, pay rent, help out with the food, etc. We help out around the house. We are planning on buying house & becoming roommates, but that's not til next year. So, yeah. I'm 32 and live with my parents. I think of it like this: I'm in good company. Jesus was 33 when he moved out his parents house to do what he was called for. :)

Songs I'm Really Feelin. Every time I hear these songs on the radio, I feel compelled to blast the radio and sing/dance along. I am absolutely FEELIN these songs. Now, just so you know, my taste in music is diverse. I listen to almost everything (can't really get into the heavy metal type). This list kind of reflects my taste. Here are 30 songs that get me moving:

  • Green Light by John Legend
  • Live Your Life by T.I. f/Rhianna - OMG, I'm really lovin this song!
  • Bust Your Windows by Jazmine Sullivan - okay so she's talking bout busting the windows of an ex's car. Clearly, I'm not like that...I just like the hip-hoppish tango track. Really.
  • I Need You Bad by Jazmine Sullivan
  • Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) by Beyonce
  • Magic by Robin Thicke
  • Flaws and All by Beyonce - This is a beautiful song.
  • Big Enough by Ayiesha Woods
  • Let It Rock by Kevin Rudolf
  • Corazon by Prima J
  • Addicted by Saving Abel
  • Cry for You by September
  • Keeps Gettin Better by Christina Aguilera
  • Te Mando Flores by Fonseca
  • When I Grow Up by The Pussycat Dolls
  • Miss Independent by NeYo - Lovin it!
  • American Boy by Estelle f/Kanye West
  • Gotas de Agua Dulce by Juanes
  • All Around Me by Flyleaf
  • Mercy by Duffy
  • Pegate by Ricky Martin
  • Jamas by Ricky Martin - Don't care what anyone says. I've loved Ricky Martin's music for a while. His song, La Copa de La Vida (The Cup of Life) actually hooked me on Latin/Spanish music.
  • Calabria 2008 by Enur f/Natasja
  • So What by Pink
  • Hot N Cold by Kate Perry
  • Burning Up by Jonas Brothers
  • Swagger Like Us by T.I. f/Kanye, Jay-Z, & Little Wayne
  • Set the World on Fire by Brit Nicole
  • Solo Para Ti by Camila: Actually, anything by Camila
  • Love Lockdown by Kanye West

So, these are actually a few of the songs. There were too many to name. When you get in my car, you'd see the different kind of radio stations I have programmed: Spanish, Contemporary Christian, Gospel, Hip Hop/R&B, Pop... What can I say? I'm crazy about music. I can't help it - it's in my blood (my dad's a musician).


Random Thoughts Thursday...on Saturday

I know I'm 2 days late; couldn't be helped; didn't have computer access, hence, my Random Thoughts post on Saturday. Oh the day when I'll be able to afford my own laptop (soon, I'm for Christmas, maybe)! Anyway, on to my thoughts - which, really, I haven't thought much about anything but work and my dissertation. Here are the few extra thoughts I've had:

Obama 'Haters'. Oh how I wish people would stop 'hatin' on Obama. For those who don't know, a hater is A person that simply cannot be happy for another person's success. So rather than be happy they make a point of exposing a flaw in that person ( Newsflash: HE WON! He's gonna be our 44th president. The people of America have spoken. Sheesh! Leave the man alone. People need to focus on how to make America even better rather than how to stop the next pres from being pres. I guess I can look at this from a positive angle: All this opposition will only make PRESIDENT Obama and his family stronger & Lord knows this country needs someone strong....

December. YAY, IT'S DECEMBER!!!! December is my favorite month. I LOVE this time of year. It's's's's magical. The decorations, the caroling, the giving...I love it all. And it's Jesus' birthday (the celebrated day, at least). It's the best. I'm like a big kid during this time.

I remember when I was younger, we used to go caroling in the neighborhoods (before people started getting all freaked out about the whole religion thing). I loved doing it, and I miss it. My sis and I were just talking about how & where we can sing carols without offending people. Our neighborhood has a mixture of religions. On one corner, we have a Muslim mosque. Across the street from that, a 7th Day Adventist church is being built. Our church (Christian...Baptist) is next to the Adventist church and next to ours is another Baptist church. That doesn't include the 2 Baptist churches right around the corner, the other Muslim mosque down the street, and the Jehovah's Witness church about 2 minutes away. I'm not sure we can go caroling without offending anyone. And you can't carol without songs like Silent Night, Joy to the World, and O Holy Night...all talking about Jesus. Maybe we can carol at a children's hospital - spread a little Christmas cheer. I don't know. All I do know is THIS IS MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE TIME OF THE YEAR! Happy holidays to EVERYONE.


NaNoWriMo Wrap-Up

So, yesterday was the last day of NaNoWriMo. Unfortunately, I didn't make it to the 50K word mark (more like 5,871), but I'm okay with it - *sniff* - really, I am. I don't like losing, but whatever. I still have the same excitement over this book now as I did when I first started planning it. At least now, I don't have to stress of "OMG! Must make it to 50K" bombarding me. I can actually take my time. I think the stress of my dissertation hindered me. I know one thing: I will NOT have the dissertation problem next year (God-willing). I will be done! With the dissertation, I mean. Anyway, last week, I posted the synopsis and a small excerpt of Who's Got Tha Moves. Today, I'm posting my cast of characters (wanted to post my soundtrack, but it's not working right now).

Cast of Characters

In my novel notebook, I have pics of other characters (both major and minor). Of course, I'm only posting characters who are very important to the novel.

Jordin Sparks as Treasure Davis
Treasure is my main character. She's the oldest of 4 girls...a typical first born: focused, organized, etc. Up until recently, Treasure was satisfied with the way her life was going - all she did was go to school, go to work, go to church, and go home (no social life). She's shy and dislikes being in groups or crowds. Treasure has been dancing since she was 3. Trying out for Who's Got Tha Moves takes Treasure way out of her comfort zone.
Jennifer Freeman as Maya Nuñez
Maya is Treasure's bff. She's more outspoken than Treasure...not shy at all.
Bow Wow as Q
Treasure's crush; a year older than Treasure
Gus Carr: Gio Morales
Contestant on WGTM; Treasure's dance partner for competition; develops feelings for her.
Adriana Lima as Zoe Dobson
Treasure's main competition on WGTM

So, that's it. My cast of main characters. There are more people (the WGTM hosts, main judge, and contestants). These are the people I see when I'm writing the novel...the ones I visualize. Didn't get to do character bios this time. Who knows, after the novel is developed more (with a possibility of representation and/or publication), I can go more into details. :)