Friday, August 31, 2007

August Recap

Here's what I read this August:

For my vampire fix:

The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason: a book and author I’ve been hearing a lot about from all you bloggers. This is the kind of vampire book I was looking for! Hopefully I can find the sequel one of these days!

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer: Enough already said on this book and author! Two thumbs up!

For my Markus Zusak obsession: As I mentioned the other day, after reading The Book Thief and I Am The Messenger, I decided I needed more from this author. He’s amazing.

Fighting Ruben Wolfe by Markus Zusak: The first book about Cameron Wolfe and his brother. In this one they decide to join a fighting ring to earn money. Ruben does great, but Cameron, not so great. However, he learns a lot about how he feels about his brother.

Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak: More on Cameron and Ruben. Ruben is popular and gets all the girls, while Cameron just dreams away. Eventually, he learns it’s not really about "getting" the girl as in acquiring... but "getting" as in understanding.
Two more to go.... I think. Then it’s just waiting for him to write more!

For Challenges and Groups

The Stand by Stephen King, read for both the TBR Challenge and the Something About Me Challenge.

Beneath a Marble Sky by John Shors: We read this over at the Historical Fiction group. I don’t think I ever took time to review it here, but add this to the list of another book I loved! This one about the building of the Taj Mahal in India, complete with a beautiful love story, and intense sibling rivalry. I’ve never really had the desire to visit India, but now....I do so I can see this building.

Ida Mae Tutweiler and the Traveling Tea Party by Ginnie Siena Bivona read for the "Something About Me" Challlenge.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Statistics

Booking Through Thursday

There was a widely bruited-about statistic reported last week, stating that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book last year. Clearly, we don’t fall into that category, but . . . how many of our friends do? Do you have friends/family who read as much as you do? Or are you the only person you know who has a serious reading habit?

When I saw this story in the paper, my mouth fell open, I stopped everything I was doing, and read the whole article. I guess I realized that there's lots of people who aren't "readers", but to not have read any book at all? It really blows me away.

To answer the question, I have lots of friends and family who read, but not too many who get into it quite as much as I do. They think I'm crazy when they hear me talking about joining this or that challenge, reading this blog or that blog, participating in various online AND face-to-face groups, having more than one book going at time, keeping track of what I read in a reading log .... stuff like that. And to have my very own blog about reading and books.... whoa! Now THAT'S really crazy!

But it's fun to be known as the crazy reader. So I've decided to embrace it and not be so shy about it like I used to be.

As for those people in my life who don't read.... hmmm.... I don't get them. Those people make me feel like I must not have anything else to do in my life, and then I start to get mad, so usually it's better to stay away from the reading/book topic with them!

But, there's not very many of those types, so for the most part.... it's all good. :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Catching Up on Markus Zusak books

Book: Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak
Rating: A-

Book: Fighting Ruben Wolfe by Markus Zusak
Rating: A

After reading The Book Thief, and The Messenger, I decided I needed to read all of this author's books. These two are sort of a series, along with Underdog.... I think. I'm still looking for Underdog.

They are about Cameron Wolfe and his brother, Ruben, and the interesting, but fantastic relationship that they have. These books are gritty and rough, but with a ton of heart and lots of amazing lessons to learn. I LOVE this Cameron character and am cheering for him with all I've got!

I also LOVE Markus Zusak and his writing style. So simple, yet powerful. Very hard to describe. But gritty, like I said. I will for sure be finding the rest of what he's written so far, and keeping my eye on whatever he sends our way in the future.

Here's a link to an interview he gave with Charlie Gibson about The Book Thief. See what you think:

Pulitzers I've Read So Far

Yes, I'm doing the Pulitzer Project... since I'd be doing it anyway, challenge or no challenge.

Here's what I posted over there as my progress so far:

1921 The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton: Loved it!

1922 Alice Adams by Booth Tarkington: Liked it pretty good.

1932 The Good Earth by Pearl S. Buck: One of my all favorite books!

1937 Gone With The Wind by Margaret Mitchell: Loved it. Read it YEARS ago.

1940 The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck: Another all time favorite book!

1961 To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee: Wow, this one needs a re-read big time!

1975 The Killer Angels Michael Shaara: Liked it a lot.

1986 Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry: Another liked it a lot book.

1988 Beloved by Toni Morrison: Hmmm... interesting book.

1992 A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley: Did NOT like it.

1999 The Hours by Michael Cunningham: This one is okay... a little weird.

2002 The Empire Falls by Richard Russo: Liked parts, didn’t like other parts.

2005 Gilead by Marianne Robinson: Liked it a lot.

In the line up to read this next year:

1972 Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner (currently reading)

1994 The Shipping News by Annie Proulx

2001 The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Just Checking In

It's a crazy week. I'm not reading much and not blogging much. Hopefully I'll be back to "normal" next week!

Monday, August 20, 2007

News Story on Eclipse

Just thought I'd share this in case you haven't seen it already:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Monogamy

Booking Through Thursday:

One book at a time? Or more than one? If more, are they different types/genres? Or similar?
(We’re talking recreational reading, here—books for work or school don’t really count since they’re not optional.)

More than one! Always! Well, almost always. Yes, usually they are different genres. Because it all depends on the mood, or the place of reading. You see, there is sometimes a car book, a couch book, or a going-to-bed book.
Or the book you pick up and end up reading a chapter or two just because you got sick of reading the main book you are trying to finish. So then that book is added to the line up accidently.

Perhaps you have a classic that you need to concentrate a bit on, but then later you have a YA novel you can pick up and read for a few minutes in between other activities which doesn't take much concentration. Or maybe a non-fiction in the morning, and a fantasy at night!

I have no problem at all reading many books at a time. I love it. How else is a person supposed to get through the lists and piles of books waiting their turn otherwise?

Review: The Stand by Stephen King

BOOK: The Stand by Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Rating: A-
Wow! I finally read a Stephen King book! (Not counting On Writing, which isn't your normal Stephen King book really.) I read this for two challenges: The TBR Challenge, and the Something About Me Challenge.....this one from's list.
I've kind of shied away from Stephen King, horror being not my thing. But I've heard so much about this particular book, and I got the feeling that if you ask, most Stephen King fans would count this as one of his best. So I was curious enough to check it out.
And what a story it is! Wow! But, I must say that I was getting too depressed by it and was glad to see it finally come to an end. It wore me out! The end of the world scenario depicted here seems like it could be so real. It's quite scary. There's a lot of political AND religious stuff that King is trying to say here that I couldn't even begin to list. But all very interesting.
There was lots of icky stuff too that maked me grimace and feel a bit squeamish, but that's to be expected in a so called horror book, right?
Anyway, I'm glad to have finally read it, but I must say that I'll probably give Stephen King a break for awhile!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mini-review: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Book: Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: A

Well, can you guess what I thought about this book? Of course I loved it! And ready for more!! Now I have to wait clear until NEXT August for book #4! What is it about these characters anyway? They just grab me and make me feel a part of their crazy world.

This third book in the Twilight series is the continuing story of Bella and Edward and Jacob. They have some major issues to figure out and choices to make. Bella is torn, Jacob is frustrated, and Edward is amazingly calm.

Can't wait to see what happens next!

I'm excited to talk to all my "real life" book friends about this series at my "real life" book club in September!

Other Reviews:

Kristina's Favorites

Two More Weeks!

Just going off the book topic here for a moment to say ONLY TWO WEEKS left until the concert! Yes, the one I've been looking forward to for months! Ah... so excited!

Here's a fun video I found today, set to one of my favorite songs, showing some great Josh personality:

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Multiples

Booking Through Thursday

Do you have multiple copies of any of your books?If so, why? Absent-mindedness? You love them that much? First Editions for the shelf, but paperbacks to read? If not, why not? Not enough space? Not enough money? Too sensible to do something so foolish?

There's a few, and I think mostly it's on accident. I think I have a copy of Dracula on it's own, and a copy of it coupled with Frankenstein or something. I bought a copy of Lord of the Rings, all 3 books in one, so that we didn't have to read my husband's battered old copies any more and worry about them falling apart. We have two copies of Where the Red Fern Grows, both sentimental to us having received and read them when we were kids, so we'll keep them!

But mostly if I find a double copy of something, off to Paperback Swap it goes!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

My "Eclipse" Story

So, if you've been reading here at all, you'll know that I've been quite looking forward to Stephenie Meyer's latest book, Eclipse, which was released yesterday. All summer long, I kept wondering if I should be pre-ordering it somewhere, or reserving it somewhere, or something. But I didn't. I figured it would be big, but not Harry Potter big, so I thought I'd find a book without problems.

Well, so they DID have midnight release parties, just like Harry Potter. But I didn't go. I was still trying to get home from a Rush concert at midnight, and we could have swung past the bookstore on the way, but I just thought, nah, I get one at Costco in the morning!

Morning comes, I'm tired, I'm slow, I don't get to Costco until 15 minutes after it opens. I walk to the book display, and there's no Eclipse anywhere. I find a book person there and say, "Ummmm... Eclipse?" She says, "Yeah, well, we had 60 copies and they were gone in the first 10 minutes!"

I thought, great! It's bigger than I thought it would be and now the story will be the same everywhere! My next place was Barnes and Noble. I knew they'd been doing big Eclipse promotions. I knew they'd be prepared for a crowd. So I go there. There's HUGE piles of Twilight and New Moon, but no Eclipse. Several other people are standing there with blank expressions just like me, starring at this pile. I'm thinking, Dang, I can't believe this! I walk away as the lady comes over to tell the other people the bad news. (Later I learn that they ordered 2000 copies, received 700 and sold them all at midnight.)

So now I'm bugged, really bugged. I can't wait TWO MORE WEEKS for this book! So, I call Borders while I'm driving away from B and N. When the guy answers I say, "So I guess you are sold out of Eclipse too?" He says, "Well, we still have some, but they'll be gone in an hour or two." I said, "AN HOUR? You think you have an hour?"

But I knew better, so I go straight to Borders, even though I only have 15 minutes until company is showing up at my house. At Borders, I see people walking out with the book! A good sign, but a bad one too! How many are left???

Anyway, they were just opening up their last box, and setting them out right on the floor and people were taking them as fast as they were setting them out. The guy said to us all, "You are lucky. These are the last ones!"

Yes, I felt lucky. I later learned from my friend who was also in quest of a book at the same time, and who called Borders right after I did, that they were suddenly telling people they were out. Wow, that was a fast hour, huh!?

So I got my book. Yeah! It reminded me of Harry Potter in the old days when it was first popular, about the third or fourth book I think, and you couldn't find one on the first day. Then they got smart and printed millions and billions of copies. I wonder if these books will hit that level. I doubt it, but maybe close? Hmmmm.... I guess we'll see since this isn't the last of the series yet.

Any other fans out there with similliar stories?

So anyway, now I should be reading it instead of on the computer. Later then!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Letters! We Get Letters! (Booking Through Thursday)

Booking Through Thursday

Have you ever written an author a fan letter?
Did you get an answer?
Did it spark a conversation? A meeting?
(And, sure, I suppose that e-mails DO count . . . but I’d say no to something like a message board on which the author happens to participate.)

I've thought about writing a letter many times, but never followed through with it. Too shy and chicken I guess. I really wish now I would have, especially back in the old days before email. And now that there is email, I think so many people send them things, that they don't really have time to respond personally to them all. Depending on their level of fame, though, I guess. Anyway, I need to just write someone something and see what happens.


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