Friday, September 28, 2007

My F2F Book Club Schedule

Here's what we're pondering for our reading schedule this year:

October: Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell (this one is underway, so therefore is NOT in the pondering stage!)
November: Mallory's Oracle by Carol O'Connell
December: Skipping Christmas by John Grisham
January: Blink, The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcom Gladwell
February: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

March: 1776 by David McCullough
April: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
May: ?

Comments? Suggestions?

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Bunch of Mini-Reviews of Various YA Books!

So, you may remember awhile back I mentioned that I'm reading a pile of YA books in order to prepare for the book fair that I do over at the elementary school. So, I've been working on those, but haven't been posting on them. So here's a little run-down of what I've read so far:

Incantation by Alice Hoffman: a little, very quick-reading book about the religious unrest and Jewish perscution in Spain during the 1500's. It was a great insight into what happened there at this time, but somehow, the style made me just not really care about the characters. And it bugged me that I didn't care. Hmmm.... not sure exactly what it was about the writing, maybe just aloof, or something.

The Old Willis Place by Mary Downing Hahn: I really enjoyed this story about a couple of kids living on their own, when a new girl moves in next door and things start happening. It's a ghost story, with lots of chilling parts, but not TOO chilling, perfect for kids I'd say. Lots of twists and turns and surprises. Great story! And a great lesson learned at the end too.

Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney: My first book by this very popular teen author. (Well, she's not a teen but she writes for teens... but you know what I mean!) Anyway, at first I was turned off by the subject, but then I really got into it. It's about this kid who has to write a report for school about a disease and he ends up picking smallpox. He discovers an old medical book with an envelpe that has a smallpox scab in it. EWWWW!! Anyway, things get going crazy from there! It was quite the page turner and so I ended liking it after all.

Shadowland by Meg Cabot: The first book in the Mediator series. This one I read not necessarily for the book fair, but just for my own Meg Cabot fix of the month! What is it about her books that I love so much? Hmmm... anyway. This book starts the adventures of Suze and her new life in California. Her problem? She can see dead people... ghosts who are stuck here for some reason and her job is to help them solve whatever is causing them to be stuck and move them on to where they should be. There's a bunch more books to follow, so I' m guesssing she has many ghost problems to solve down the road. Now I just need to find that second book!

Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell: I'm still in the process of this one, but I can tell you already that I'm loving it! Of course it's because it's about King Authur, Lancelot, and company! This one told through the eyes of Elaine of Shalott in a very poetic, lyrical style. We see all the familiar characters portrayed a little differently, especially Gwynivere, who we are NOT sympathtic to at all this time. Anyway, I'm anxious to be done with the computer so I can go finish this one!

Igraine the Brave by Cornelia Funke: Also still working on this one, by one of my favorite authors. However, this story isn't grabbing me quite as much as her other stories. Not sure why, could be that I'm too distracted, could be that it's written for a much younger audience than some of her others, I think. But anyway, still a really cute story about a girl whose ambition it is to be a knight. And she has just begun an adventure that I'm guessing will help her in that endeavor!

Review: Sea Glass by Anita Shreve

Book: Sea Glass by Anita Shreve
Rating: A
Genre: Literary Fiction
For: Both the TBR Challenge and the Something About Me Challenge
I'm finally catching up on some Anita Shreve books! The first one, A Pilot's Wife, I liked so-so, but this one, I really liked. I cared about the characters, and loved how all their lives came together, and apart, at the end.
This story takes place just as the stock market crashes in 1929 and how all the different characters deal with this tradgedy and how their lives are affected. It also centers around the mill workers strike and how that fires them up and gives them something to live for, yet also makes a complete mess of their lives.
Anyway, it is a sad story, but still, I enjoyed it and I think that if I lived by a beach, I could really get into collecting sea glass!
I've got a couple more Anita Shreve books on my shelves waiting for me, and soon, I'll be getting to them!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Sunshine and Roses

The reverse of last week’s question:

Imagine that everything is going just swimmingly. The sun is shining, the birds are singing, and all’s right with the world. You’re practically bouncing from health and have money in your pocket. The kids are playing and laughing, the puppy is chewing in the cutest possible manner on an officially-sanctioned chew toy, and in between moments of laughter for pure joy, you pick up a book to read . . .

What is it?

Can I say the same book as last week? No?

Well, then. When things are happy, that's when I want to just get going and read EVERYTHING!! I pile all the books I'm anxious to get to around me on the bed, and I thumb through them all, feeling them, smelling them, reading the blurbs. And then whichever one calls to me the loudest, I start reading!

So I guess for happy times, there's no specific book (unless the answer is that same as last week!) and it's just that feeling of wanting to accomplish a lot and get reading like crazy and work on that never ending TBR pile!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Book Club Tomorrow.... My House!

So tomorrow the "neighborhood" book club (I need to think of a better name!)is gearing up for yet another fun year of reading! We'll be meeting here at my house and dicussing ALL THREE Twilight books. We are inviting the young teen girls in the neighborhood, and our daughters and new friends that haven't come before but are major Twilight fans. I'm so excited! We are going to have quite a housefull.

I'm planning on doing some trivia questions, sharing Stephenie Meyers FAQ answers from her website, playing some of her playlist music she's listed on her website, discussing the all important Edward vs. Jacob question, and eating lots of yummy snack junk food!

So, my question to you, my book blogging friends, is this: If you were coming to my Twilight book club tomorrow, what would you have to say about these books? What would your input be? Are you "thumbs up" or "down"? Are you pro-Edward or Jacob? Why do you think Stephenie Meyer is having such amazing success with these books? What's going on with that? What's her secret?

I'd love to know what you all think!

If we have time tomorrow night, we may even discuss Harry just a bit too. But I have a feeling Bella, Edward and Jacob will take over. I also hope to plan our upcoming reading year. I let you know what we decide.

Here's a video that's full of fun Twilight books quotes:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Author Blogs

I may be a bit slow, but I'm just now discovering some great author blogs! I love 'em! It's so fun to read about their normal lives and their writing processes and their journey through the publishing world. I'm learning that for me, the love of reading isn't just about the books themselves, but about the authors behind the books. I find it fascinating to compare the style of different authors and once I find a style I love, then to go out and read every book by that author. I think we're all that way. But having this added dimension of reading their blogs really adds to all that. I love it!

So what are some fun author blogs that you all have discovered? I've just recently added Meg Cabot and Scott Westerfeld to my line up. I've been reading Shannon Hale's for awhile, and Colleen Gleason's a bit.

So who else do I need to get added to my blog pile and start reading?

Friday, September 14, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Comfort Food

Booking Through Thursday

Okay . . . picture this (really) worst-case scenario: It’s cold and raining, your boyfriend/girlfriend has just dumped you, you’ve just been fired, the pile of unpaid bills is sky-high, your beloved pet has recently died, and you think you’re coming down with a cold. All you want to do (other than hiding under the covers) is to curl up with a good book, something warm and comforting that will make you feel better.

What do you read?

The first thing I thought of was Pride and Prejudice. I would want something happy, funny, familliar. I would also not mind reading Twilight, or parts of it, when I'm feeling bad. Really, any kind of nice, happy, romantic and brainless book would work!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Big Read

When I went to the library yesterday, I saw a table with a sign that said "Take Your Free Book." Free? Wow... I felt like asking someone, "Are you sure?"

But yep, our library is participating in the Big Read project and is giving away copies of the latest one, My Antonia by Willa Cather. I snatched one up in a hurry along with pamphets and other materials they had there to promote.

I left all happy with my free book thinking, "how cool is that?" I hope they continue on and that the program is succesfull for them. They are doing a TON of stuff geared around this book in the next month. I hope I can get to some of it.

How I'll Be Spending My Eveing.....

Going to see Muse tonight! Here's a little taste of what we're in for....

Do you think my eyes and ears can handle it? I'm excited..... and nervous. This is going to be a different kind of crowd than what I've been experiencing so far this summer! I may feel a little out of place! And as much as I love loud, I'm taking the ear plugs this time!

But wow.... you gotta love that guitar playing! Especially the bass!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

A Meme

Here's a recent meme that's been going around, one that made me think and think, so I figured I'd better join in!

If you could have super powers what would they be and what would you do with them? (Please feel free to be selfish, you do not have to save the world!) To just never get tired and always have a constant energy reserve!

Were you to find your self stranded on an island with a CD could happen...what would your top 10 bloggers island discs be?

All three Josh Groban cds
The Beatles #1s Album
Carpenters Greatest Hits
Pirates of the Caribbean Soundtrack (first movie)
Bateman Begins Soundtrack
The Secret Garden Broadway Show Soundtrack
Any Mannheim Steamroller Christmas cd
A compilation of Tchaikovsky’s greatest works

If you were a smell what would it be? The cool, fresh smell of the air after rain

What bird would you most like to be? A meadowlark, they seem so happy!

If you were a bird who's head would you poo on? Sheesh, I don’t know! Osama?

Are there any foods that your body craves? Chocolate. Chocolate. Chocolate.

What's your favourite time of year? Autumn, I love everything about this time of year!

What's your favourite time of day? Morning, after everyone else if off to school and work.

If a rest is as good as a change which would you choose? I’m sort of in the mood for a change! Ewww.... scarey!

If you could have a dinner party and invite any 5 people from the past or present who would they be? (Living or deceased.) Wow, I’ve so stressed on this question!

King Authur, so I can get the REAL story (I DO believe in him!) and if he can’t make, it he can send any one of his knights in his place!
Helen Keller, (but her interpreter doesn’t count) because she would be so inspiring to learn from!
Abigail Adams, because I think she is an amazing lady.
Mandy Patinkin, because I just think he’s cool.
And Josh Groban, of course, so he can sit at my piano and sing to me... I mean... to all of us!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Misc. Book Thoughts for the Day

What I'm thinking today, regarding books anyway:

  • I need to read one other Markus Zusak book.... Underdog. It's on Amazon for a mere $80! What's up with that? Out of print already? Rare, and collectible? Hmmmm.....
  • Like I mentioned in a previous post, I'm starting to gather a bunch of YA books to read over the next few weeks for the book fair. I hope I find some great ones!
  • Bud is getting off to a good start in his AP English class and has read Animal Farm, and The Lord of the Flies so far. Next up is Robinson Crusoe.
  • I'm so excited for my book club in a couple of weeks! We'll be talking about Stephenie Meyer's books and every one is buzzing! I hope to have a ton of people here.
  • When will the next Eragon and the next Inkheart books be out? I'm going to go crazy!
  • I decided to make good use of my Amazon Wishlist this coming holiday season, something I've not really done before. It will be interesting to see if it is beneficial. Do you think someone will buy me the Underdog book? I'm going to put a bunch of piano/music books on there too I think.

I guess that's all of my main book thoughts for today!

Have a great weekend people!

Review: Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

BOOK: The Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner

Rating: A

Genre: General Literary Fiction

For: both the Awards Challenge and the Pulitzer Challenge

Pulitzer Prize in 1972

I've had this book on my shelf for quite awhile now and it feels good to have finally read it! I must say, I really enjoyed it a lot! This story about a handicapped man writing his grandmother's history kept me totally interested all the way through. It's mostly about the grandma and her life in the late 1800's trying to make it the wild west with a man who has big dreams that never seem to get fulfilled. I thought her husband was great! But he did drive her crazy and in the end some not too good things happened. Then, the story would flip to the current time (1970) and we'd learn more about the guy writing about his grandma and the struggles and problems he is facing.

I've read one other Wallace Stegner (Crossing to Saftey) and totally enjoyed that too. I'll have to continue to add his books to my list!

Preparing for the Book Fair

The job I've had in the PTA for the past six years or so has been to head up the book fair. We usually do a Scholastic book fair and have a great time promoting it, doing book talks for the kids, and running it for two different weeks in during the year.

So, it's coming up again in October and we've been given the list of books that Scholastic will be pushing this time around. Today, I went to track down a few of them at the library. I wasn't very successful, but I did come home with these books:

Incantation by Alice Hoffman

Things Hoped For by Andrew Clements

The Old Willis Place by Mary Downing Han

Code Orange by Caroline B. Cooney

Ones I put on hold:

Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

Igraine the Brave by Cornelia FUnke

Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell

Paint the Wind by Pam Munoz Ryan

Rules by Cynthia Lord

The Homework Machine by Dan Cutman

Diary of a Whimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney

Flush by Carl Hiaasen

And now I just realized that Things Hoped For is a sequel so I need to go back for:

Things Not Seen by Andrew Clements

So, that should keep me busy for the next little bit!

It's kind of like my own little intense month-long book challenge... to read as many new-ish YA novels advertised by Sholastic Book Fairs as I can!

Anyone read any of these and have anything to say about them?

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Booking Through Thursday: Goldilocks

Booking Through Thursday

Okay, so the other day, a friend was commenting on my monthly reading list and asked when I found the time to read. In the ensuing discussion, she described herself as a “goldilocks” when it comes to reading–she needs to have everything juuuuuust right to be able to focus. This caught my attention because, first, I thought that was a charming way of describing the condition, but, two, while we’ve talked about our reading habits, this is an interesting wrinkle. I’d never really thought about it that way.

So, this is my question to you–are you a Goldilocks kind of reader?
Do you need the light just right, the background noise just so loud but not too loud, the chair just right, the distractions at a minimum?

Or can you open a book at any time and dip right in, whether it’s for twenty seconds, while waiting for the kettle to boil, or indefinitely, like while waiting interminably at the hospital–as long as the book is open in front of your nose, you’re happy to read?

If everything had to be just right, I'd get no reading done at all! So, no, I'm for sure not a Goldilocks reader and can read pretty much anywhere, anytime. The only time I CAN'T read, is if my mind is worried or stressed and can't concentrate. For instance, I have a hard time reading at the doctors office, because I'm usually too nervous... same with reading on a plane, it's hard for me to concentrate because I'm too nervous about flying, though I still do read there, I just have to have an "easy" book!


Related Posts with Thumbnails