Tuesday, July 31, 2007

July Recap

So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson
Sixpence House by Paul Collins
I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Possession, A Romance by A.S. Byatt
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
The Prism Moon and The Taker’s Key by Martine Bates Leavitt
Teen Idol and All American Girl by Meg Cabot
If You Can Talk, You Can Write by Joel Saltzman
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

...oh yeah... and one DNF.... Restoration by Rose Tremain. Giving up I am. Back to the library it goes!

Speaking of the library, I just got back with an armload of books, just in case I didn't have enough sitting here at home to last me through August! :)

Monday, July 30, 2007

A Week and a Day Left!

Just over a week left! I think I'm just about as excited about this book as I was about Harry. Just about!

Not A Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Book: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: A

If you've read it then you KNOW! If you haven't, than either you plan on reading soon and you don't want me to say ANYTHING about it, or you don't care about Harry and wouldn't read anything I have to say about it!

I read this one last weekend, got the book on Saturday morning (no midnight excursion for me!) and read some that day, some Sunday, but mostly on Monday and finished Monday night. Let me just say, I'm both happy and sad! And that I think JK did a great job! Wow, what a ride it's been.

Review: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

BOOK: A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: A, bordering on A+

This is my first official book read for the Something About Me Challenge. I know it's not quite August, when the challenge is supposed to start, but this book is due at the library this week, so I read it this weekend.... mostly all day Sunday and then dreamed about it all night last night!

Wow! What a painful, painful story! I knew it would be, but still, it's so hard to read about this stuff happening to the people in Afganistan. What great, strong women these characters were! I just want to cheer for them. This author sure knows how to write emotion. Great book!

Review: Possession, A Romance by A.S. Byatt

BOOK: Possession, A Romance by A.S. Byatt

Genre: Literary Fiction

Rating: B+

This is my first book completed for the Awards Challenge. It won the Man Booker Prize Award in 1990. I've looked forward to reading it for awhile and I'm happy to have finally done it. However, I was just a little bit disappointed. I thought it would be more.... hmmm... more.... I don't know.... page-turning, or quickly moving or something. It was actually quite slow. I liked the story, about two scholars each with a particular poet as their speciallty. One of them discovers that there may have been a link in the past with the lives of these two poets. So together, they investigate and unravel the mystery. All of it is done with journal entries, letters and poems from the these poets and people in their lives. I loved how she did this, except the poetry. I must admit...shhhhh.... that I skipped the really long poems! But other than that, it was really quite good. Amazing that stories this complicated can come out of someone's head! Amazing!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Blogging Tips Meme

Hey! Wow! I got tagged by Amy over at The Sleepy Reader. Now I have to come up with a blogging tip. Hmmmm...

-Start Copy-

It’s very simple. When this is passed on to you, copy the whole thing, skim the list and put a * star beside those that you like. (Check out especially the * starred ones.)

Add the next number (1. 2. 3. 4. 5., etc.) and write your own blogging tip for other bloggers. Try to make your tip general.

After that, tag 10 other people. Link love some friends!

Just think - if 10 people start this and the 10 people pass it on to another 10 people, you have 100 links already!

1. Look, read, and learn. *** http://www.neonscent.com/
2. Be EXCELLENT to each other. ** http://www.bushmackel.com/
3. Don’t let money change ya! * http://www.therandomforest.info/
4. Always reply to your comments. ****** http://chattiekat.com/
5. Link liberally — it keeps you and your friends afloat in the Sea of Technorati. ** http://chipsquips.com/
6. Don’t give up - persistence is fertile. ** http://www.velcro-city.co.uk/
7. Give link credit where credit is due. *** http://www.sfsignal.com/
8. Pictures say a thousand words and can usually add to any post. *** http://scifichick.com/
9. Visit all the bloggers that leave comments for you - it’s nice to know who is reading! *** http://stephaniesbooks.blogspot.com/
10. Thrown in something humorous occasionally, to keep things fun.** http://bonniesbooks.blogspot.com/
11. Make it easy for your readers - use tags and labels and keep it simple!* http://caribousmom.blogharbor.com
12. Memes are fun and a great way to get to know other bloggers! * http://thesleepyreader.wordpress.com
13. Don't be afraid to show your personality! http://sueysbooks.blogspot.com/

-End Copy-

Now the hardest part.... tagging more people to do this!

Ok, I give up! Everyone I read has already been tagged! Well, it least everyone I flipped to just now really fast to see, and so, I'm running away from the tagging part. If you are reaidng this and haven't done it yet but you'd like to then, consider yourself tagged!

Friday, July 20, 2007

Review: Sixpence House by Paul Collins

Book: Sixpence House by Paul Collins
Genre: Non-fiction... a book about books!
Rating: A

Another book recently read that I loved! It had everything. Fun little book loving stories, writer thoughts and experiences, and tons of great glimpses of living in Britain.

The author, his wife, and their little boy decided to move to this small town on the border of Wales and England. The town has 1500 people, and 40 bookstores! Cool! They join life there while looking for a house, hoping to stay permanently, maybe even buying the Sixpence House. (Don't you love how all the houses have names here?)

Anyway, fun stories and observations that I totally devoured. Great stuff.

(This one read as part of my pre-Something About Me Challenge, and in memory of Nattie.)

Review: I Am The Messenger

Book: I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
Genre: YA- ish.... I wouldn't call it YA myself though
Rating: A
I've decided I'll have to read all this guy has written. I think there's some stuff he wrote before Book Thief fame. He's incredible! An amazing way with words! Though I wish he'd stay away from so many cuss words. Despite that, I loved it. He's got some powerful messages to get out to us I guess. (Ha, messages!)
This book is about a 19 year old kid who is sort of wandering through life, not really accomplishing much, when he suddenly starts getting these clues in the mail (and other ways). He has to figure out what to do with the clues, and soon, his life starts being a bit more meaningful.
For me, it was about helping people, looking outside yourself for a change, seeing what's going on around you, and doing small things that make a big difference. Great story.
But to put this book in the teen section? I'm not so sure about that. Maybe for quite older teens.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Wild About Harry

Booking Through Thursday

Okay, love him or loathe him, you’d have to live under a rock not to know that J.K. Rowling’s final Harry Potter book, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, comes out on Saturday…

Are you going to read it?

If so, right away? Or just, you know, eventually, when you get around to it?

Are you attending any of the midnight parties?

If you’re not going to read it, why not?

And, for the record… what do you think? Will Harry survive the series? What are you most looking forward to?

Yes, I'm reading it! Yes, right away! (Well, not the middle of the night, but Saturday day.)

No, I won't be going to midnight parties. I did that once, for book five, and that was enough for me. I'll just calmly go to Coscto Saturday morning, first thing, then come home and read!

Yes, I think Harry will survive. But I'm worried about who will NOT. Scary. I'm really looking forward to finding out where Snape stands. I'm convinced he's a good guy. The romantic in me wants Harry and Ginny to be together too, so I'm anxious to find out how that goes.

I'm very excited! I wish Saturday would hurry up and get here!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Missing Michael

Deviating from books a bit today to say I'm sad to NOT be seeing Michael Buble tonight.... so this video will just have to do instead:

Thursday, July 12, 2007

A Little ChitChat on Recent Books I've Read (in other words... not really a review)

I have actually finished a few books in the last couple days. Here's what I thought:

So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson. I really like books about books, but this one was just okay for me. I don't know why really, just that she had a funny attitude or something. Some chapters I agreed with her quite a bit and others I just didn't get. Anyway, I've heard about this book for so long, it's nice to have finally read it. I have some other books about books in line, so I'm curious to see what my reaction will be for them. Rating: B+

If You Can Talk, You Can Write by Joel Saltzman. I just randomly found this book at the library sale and so grabbed it up. I've just been reading it here and there over the last couple of months, and really enjoyed it. It's quite the blunt pep talk for getting in gear and writing, no excuses accepted! Rating: A

The Prism Moon by Martine Leavitt. The 2nd in the little fantasy series that I've been working on. I enjoyed the book, but it was a little "out there", just enough that I didn't understand it fully, I don't think. Rating: B+

Teen Idol by Meg Cabot. I don't know... there's just something about Meg Cabot that grabs me. I really enjoy her teen books and get sucked in until I'm done. This one was about a girl at school that is everyone's friend, and she is able to smooth over everyone's problems. But then a teen heart throb comes to do research for a movie part at their school, and makes her look at things in a different way. I got a kick out of it! Rating: A

Books I'm working on:

Restoration by Rose Tremain. This one is for the Historical Fiction group. But so far, I'm not too excited about it. A couple or three chapters in and it just seems to be about an obnoxious dude that I'm not really liking too much. Hmmm... I hope to give it more of a chance, but we'll see.

Possession by A.S. Byatt. This one is taking quite a bit of concentration, which, sometimes lately, I can't seem to find! But I will NOT give up on this one and will finish!

I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak. I just got this one from the library after waiting in quite a hold line, so I'm going to read it fast and let it go to the next one. So far, I'm quite shocked at the language in it... especially for a book in the teen section. Sheesh. I'll not be letting my daughter read it anytime soon. Anyway, so far I liked The Book Thief much better, but then again, I just barely started this one, so we'll see what I think by the end!

All-American Girl by Meg Cabot. Yes, another one. That's because JJ checked out both of these books recently and so they are sitting there, and so... I read them! Not liking this one as good as Teen Idol though.... but still lots of fun.

End of chitchat for today!

Booking Through Thursday: Celluloid... and the Great ____ Novel

Today's Question:

1. In your opinion, what is the best translation of a book to a movie?
2. The worst?
3. Had you read the book before seeing the movie, and did that make a difference? (Personally, all other things being equal, I usually prefer whichever I was introduced to first.)

And, by all means, expand this to as long a list as you like. I’m notoriously awful myself at narrowing down to one favorite ANYTHING. So, feel free to list as many “good” or “bad” movie-from-books as you like. (Heaven knows that’s what I’ll be doing….)

1. I think one of the best books to movies is the Colin Firth movie of Pride and Prejudice. They pretty much follow that book exactly, dialogue and everything. I also really liked the Holes movie. And the Lord of the Rings movies have been pretty good too!

2. The recent movie Eragon did a pretty lousy job. I needed more character development and they skimmed over some pretty important stuff.

3. I always try to read the book first. I'd rather know what's happening in a movie, than have the book spoiled. But I'm sure having read the books first does make a difference in how you judge the movie.


Last week's question that I forgot to do:

What with yesterday being the Fourth of July and all, I’m feeling a little patriotic, and so have a simple question:What, in your opinion, is the (mythical) Great American Novel? At least to date. A “classic,” or a current one–either would be fine. Mark Twain? J.D. Salinger? F. Scott Fitzgerald? Stephen King? Laura Ingalls Wilder?

It doesn’t have to be your favorite book, mind you. “Citizen Kane” may be the “best” film, and I concede its merits, but it’s not my favorite. You don’t have to love something to know that it’s good.

This is a very very hard question! But the first book that came to my head was Grapes of Wrath by Steinbeck.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Something About Me Challenge: Final List (I hope)

I know I picked too many, but some are cross overs from other challenges, and some I'll read anyway, challenge or not, so might as well add it, right?

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See (Juli)
The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishigiro (Lucca)
A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (Diane)
Sea Glass by Anita Shreeve (Beachreader and Library Lady)
The Petit Prince by Antoine De Saint Exupery (Soleil)
The March by E.L. Doctorow (Jill)
The Stand by Stephen King (A Book in the Life)
Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel (Maryanne)
Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin (Stephanie)
The Writing Life by Annie Dillard (Megan)
Ida Mae Tutweiler and the Traveling Tea Party by Ginnie Siena Bivona (Lynne)
Evening Class by Maeve Binchy (Raidergirl)
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter by Kim Edwards (3M)
Tracon by Paul McElroy (Lisa)

I can't wait to get going!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

What the Kids Are Reading!

I thought it would be fun to do a little highlight on the kids and what they're reading.....

Bud: age nearly 18 (WHAT!!?? No way!) He's having trouble lately getting into a book. But he's recently decided to finish reading, once and for all, the Ender's Shadow series by Orson Scott Card. He read and loved all the Ender's Game books, but sort of ran out of steam when it came to this companion series, so hopefully, he'll really do it.

He's a huge fan of Catcher in the Rye ( a book I haven't even read yet and am feeling a major need to now for sure!) and raved and raved about after reading it last year... something he read all on his own, not even a school assignment!

He's followed along with all the Harry Potter books, though instead of taking a day or two to read it (like some of the rest of us) he takes a slow couple of weeks. I made him read Twilight recently, too, and he said... "It was okay." Gasp! Just okay? Well... it is kind of a girl's book I guess!

JJ: age 15 1/2. Now here's the kid after my own heart! She can read a book in one sitting and we share and read together many, many YA books, mainly fantasies and romances. Most recently, we've both read a couple of Meg Cabot books (I think I'm addicted to her) and the Maximum Ride series. She also LOVES the Pendragon series, the Alex Rider series, and anything by Lurlene McDaniel. Luckily, she'll still be gone on her dance tour (she left today) when Harry Potter comes out and so we won't have to fight for the book. We will, however, have a major problem when it comes to Eclipse a few weeks later! I've been trying to talk her into Little Women, or Anne of Green Gables, or Jane Eyre.... but so far... no luck.

Moder: age 12. Boy #2 is also having a problem getting into and loving a book. We've gone through our stashes and he's hauled quite the pile to his room to try. But I think it overwhelms him. Like JJ, he also loves the Pendragon series and a series called The Grey Griffins, which starts with the book The Revenge of the Shadow King. I know there's TONS of books out there that he would love if only he'd sit and just start one of them!

Toto: age 8. She is really taking off on the reading thing, but her problem is she can't still still long enough and has too many other things going on in her head! But, she is eating up the Magic Tree House series, and recently finished The Bad Beginning of Unfortunate Events fame and went right on to the the next book! She read and loved Junie B. Jones, but is over that now! She also read all the books about her American Girl doll, Kirsten. Maybe next year I'll introduce her to the Babysitter's Club books... these are the ones that turned JJ into a major reader.

So.... those of you with kids... what fun books are they reading this summer?

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Recap of June Books

Zorro by Isabel Allende. Rating: A
Maximum Ride: Saving the World and Other Extreme Sports by James Patterson. Rating: A
The Quilter's Apprentice by Jennifer Chiaverini. Rating: B+
The Dragon's Tapestry by Martine Bates (Leavitt). Rating: A

The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud. Rating: A
Austenland by Shannon Hale. Rating: A-
Papa Married a Mormon by John D. Fitzgerald. Rating: A
Heck Superhero by Martine Leavitt. Rating A-
Keturah and Lord Death by Martine Leavitt. Rating: A
The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreeve. Rating: A-
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson. Rating: A-
The Lost City of Faar by D.J. MacHale. Rating: B
Pale Immortal by Anne Frasier. Rating: B+

Now if I could just get going for July. I seem to be in a small slump.

Mini Review: Zorro by Isabel Allende

Book: Zorro by Isabel Allende

Rating: A

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

I knew before I started that I'd love this book! I actually put off reading it because I didn't want the anticipation of reading it to be over. But, oh, well. Now it's read and I can say that yep, I loved it. I love the author's style, I love the subject, I love the history.

Of course, I'm thinking it's fairly obvious that this book is all about Zorro... his boyhood, his coming of age, his adventures, and how he becomes the masked hero. There's lots of history thrown in too about early California, Spain, Napoleon, etc.

I've read Allende's book "Daughter of Fortune" and loved that too, so now I'm looking forward to reading even more by her. She's great!

P.S. This was my 7th book for the TBR Challenge.


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