Monday, June 30, 2008

Kicking Off the 4th

Every year our community puts on a huge 4th of July celebration. They always kick it off with a patriotic Sunday service which we've never attended until last night. That's because Glenn Beck was the keynote speaker, and we've been hearing so much about him that we just had to go see what he was all about!

The whole thing ended up being really quite fun. Hearing thousands of people saying the Pledge of Allegiance gets to me every time. They also had some wonderful patriotic songs going on, both band and singing. That was great too. Then finally Glenn Beck took the stage and wow... he is one powerful speaker. There's no falling asleep while he's talking that's for sure! He referred often to 9/11 which choked him up a bit, and to the signing of the Declaration of Independence. His whole message was one of trying to be more positive about our country. He said that we need to count on each other to make this country great and to do our part. He said that this country IS special and that we shouldn't get down on ourselves so much, because of all the problems it's going through. That we should hold our heads up high and get on with fixing things.

Anyway, it was fun and I'm glad we finally made the effort to go to this event. It was a great way to start this patriotic week!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

BOOK: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
GENRE: YA Romance

Having read
John Green's "other" book (the controversial Looking for Alaska) and having gotten myself addicted to his YouTube vlogs, I was majorly curious to see what I thought of this second book of his. (Soon he'll have a third book out too, Paper Towns.)

I'm happy to report that I liked it! I really, really liked it! And that's despite the language. Oh, John, why the language? Well, sometimes I could see the point. Other times, not so much. BUT... I did love the characters. I loved the premise. (A majorly smart kid, a prodigy even, gets dumped by his 19th Katherine. He feels sad, his friend takes him on a ride, they meet some interesting people, they learn about themselves.) I loved the cleverness, and uniqueness that I'm thinking is a John Green trait. I loved the lessons learned... the "moral of the story." (The main one being, at least what I got from it anyway, we matter because of our stories, so tell your story.)

In the end, I liked it much better than Looking for Alaska. But that's just me. For those of you who have read both, which one was your favorite?

Looking forward to the next book.

Review: Relocating Mia by Rebecca Lerwill

BOOK: Relocating Mia by Rebecca Lerwill
GENRE: Thriller/Suspense

I wanted to like this book more. My husband got it for me for Mother's Day simply based on the fact that the author was sitting there in the bookstore looking lost, lonely and in need of someone to sign a book for. So, continuing our quest to support the local authors, he bought it!

I had no idea what to expect from this book. It turned out to be quite the suspense thriller ride. It sort of reminded me of a Jason Bourne kind of thing. It's about this girl who works to help companies relocate. She ends up in Russia, unwittingly mixed up in a major mess of a covert operation. The guy she thinks is her new partner is actually an agent for this secret operation.

My problem with the whole thing? There was too much background info for the whole first half of the book. My eyes would start to glaze over and I'd start thinking about other things. Not a good sign for a thriller. The real action didn't start until way too late. Also, I didn't care enough about the characters. It makes me wonder what authors do to make a reader care or not. Just simple character development? More conversation? More getting into their head? I don't know. What do you think? What ever it is, some really have a knack for it and others seem to be missing something.

Also, I didn't like the crude parts, and the spicy language that was thrown in. I can always do without that.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Alphabet Meme

Okay, so I was tagged, sort of, by Julie at A Small Accomplishment to do this alphabet meme. It seems like I've done it before, but it's been awhile and I don't know if it was here or elsewhere, so here it goes again:

A- attached or single: quite attached

B-Best Friend: The Mr.

C-Cake or Pie: cake (chocolate)

D-Day: Tuesday... sheesh, I don't know, they all have their ups and downs

E- Essential Item: books and music, and Ibuprofen

F-Favorite Color: I like 'em all! I hate this question! I lean towards the cool colors I think.

G-Gummi Bears or Worms: bears for sure

H-Home Town: SLC

I-Indulgences: this silly computer

J-January or July: January (I was thinking the other day that July is, for me, like January often is for many people: long and oppressive and depressing.)

K-Kids: there's four them and I refer to them here by internet nicknames: Bud (18), JJ (16), Moder (13) and Toto (9)

L:Life is incomplete without: chocolate... and books... and music

M-Marriage Date: 8/18

N-Number of Siblings: I'm the oldest of 9 kids. That probably tells a lot about me right there! I have 5 brothers and 3 sisters.

O-Oranges or Apples: apples, I think

P-Phobias or Fears: something awful happening to my kids

Q-Quote: Outside of a dog, books are a man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.

R-Reason to Smile: Josh Groban :)

S-Season: Fall for sure. I love everything about it.

T-Tag 3 Friends: I cringe at tagging... so I'll say what I always say... DO IT if you feel like it, if you're having one of those down blogging days and can't think of anything to say, then do it! (Let me know if you do so I don't miss it and can come comment.)

U-Unknown Fact About Me: When I was five, I kneeled on a needle. It hurt like crazy, but left only a little drop of blood. We didn't know what happened, so the dr. had to dig until he found the problem. Surprise! A needle!

V-Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animal: Who eats vegetables? Not me! Icky stuff! :)

W-Worst Habit: not eating vegetables?

X-Rays or Ultrasounds: I have no idea. Neither, because either way you're probably at the doctor's or the hospital and that can't be good.

Y-Your Favorite Food: Italian... and all desserts!

Z-Zodiac Sign: Scorpio

Booking Through Thursday: Definition

Booking Through Thursday

What, in your opinion, is the definition of a “reader.” A person who indiscriminately reads everything in sight? A person who reads BOOKS? A person who reads, period, no matter what it is? … Or, more specific? Like the specific person who’s reading something you wrote?

If someone were to say to me, "I'm a reader" it would make me think that they actively pursue the hobby of reading. They seek out things to read. They enjoy reading and make time to read. It wouldn't necessarily matter what they're reading, but that they want to read things and consciously find and look for things to read. If a person says to me "I don't have time to read" (and I hear this a lot) I would consider them to not be a reader, at least for that moment in their life. A reader reads, busy or not. Make sense? Or am I completely off?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Weekly Geeks #9: Challenges

This week's Weekly Geek assignment is to organize our challenges! Something I've been meaning to do anyway. So here goes:

2008 TBR Challenge: Last year's version of this challenge started it all, the blogging, the discovery of challenges, the connection with other book bloggers, etc. The idea with this challenge is to read 12 books in that year that's been sitting around, waiting their turn for awhile (at least six months.) Here's what I'm working on this year:

Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier
The Painted Veil by Somerset Maugham
Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
Eugenie Grandet by Balzac
Messenger by Lois Lowrey (done with this one but must not have officially reviewed it!)
Magyk by Angie Sage
Moloka'i by Alan Brennert
Quentins by Maeve Binchy

Book Awards II Challenge: The 2nd installment of this challenge. I failed miserably on the first one which is ending this month. I managed to read only four of the list of 12. So, I'm going to continue on with the challenge with some of my same books and try to get them read by next June!

Miracles on Maple Hill by Virginia Sorenson
The Twenty-one Balloons by William Pène du Bois
Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse
The March by E.L. Doctorow
All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay by Michael Chabon
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
To Say Nothing About the Dog by Connie Willis

Classics Challenge: This one runs from July to December this year. The idea is to read five classics with a bonus "new" classic thrown in. My list:

1. Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins (England)
2. Eugenie Grandet by Balzac (France)
3. Bleak House by Dickens (England)
4. The Little Prince by Saint Exupéry (France)
5. War and Peace by Tolstoy (Russia)

Bonus: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

YA Romance Challenge: A new one I just joined where you are challenged to read six YA romances from July through next February. Now this one I can handle!

1. The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen
2. Snow, Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George
3. It's a Mall World After All by Janette Rallison
4. Revenge of the Cheerleaders by Janette Rallison
5. Sweethearts by Sara Zarr
6. Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

The Pulitzer Project: Not really a normal challenge as it is a life-long reading goal... to read all the Pulitzer Prize novels! So... I'm working on it slowly.

I think that's it for now. So many of the challenges out there tempt me. Such fun ideas people come up with! But I'm learning that I'm not the best at the challenges and end up reading what moves me at the moment instead of stuff from my lists! Oh, well. That's okay too!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Ten Bookish Thoughts on Tuesday

1. I finished a book yesterday... An Abundance of Katherines. Review to come soon!

2. I won a contest over at Savvy Verse and Wit! Yeah! Another book in the mail for me!

3. I joined another challenge... sheesh. But it's YA Romance so it should be a cinch to accomplish.

4. I've decided going to author signings can be expensive! Especially if their books are still in hardback. Fun, but expensive!

5. Library Day today. I think today it's an art scavenger hunt for the teens, and bugs for the younger kids. Something like that anyway.

6. JJ (16 year old daughter) has piles of books to read, but what's she doing instead? Yep... re-reading all the Twilight series!

7. Toto (9 year old daughter) is discovering Judy Blume.

8. I'm not reading as many books so far this summer as I did last summer. What's up with that? (Maybe it's that War and Peace thing I'm working on?)

9. Do you ever wonder what someone like David Cook, our "intellectual" American Idol, reads for fun?

10. And finally a quote: "If you want to be good archaeologists, you've got to get out of the library more!"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Yet Another List! EW's Top 100 New Classics

I saw this list of the Top 100 New Classics in Entertainment Weekly this past week where “new classic” is defined as anything published since 1983.

The ones I have read are in blue, and the ones I’m planning on reading are in red.

1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
4. The Liars’ Club, Mary Karr (1995)
5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)1
5. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
16. The Handmaid’s Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)1
9. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
20. Bridget Jones’s Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)
22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)2
24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)
25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)
26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
31. The Things They Carried, Tim O’Brien (1990)
32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
36. Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)
41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)
47. World’s Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)
51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)
53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)
58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)
62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)
66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)
90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
98. The Predators’ Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)
99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)

Thanks to
Jessica at The Bluestocking Society where I first saw this and was reminded that I wanted to do this same thing and also Marg at Reading Adventures for posting it before that and where she first saw it! :)

Interesting list though. Many of them I haven't even heard of. Where have I been????

Friday, June 20, 2008

Weekly Geeks #8: Savenger Hunt

The theme this week has been a bit complicated for me. Fun, but complicated! If I'm understanding right, the idea is to find a blog (from the Weekly Geek participants) that has these keywords mentioned in it somewhere. Then we link to that post. And we don't just have the following list of words, but words that continue to be added by those playing. Whew! It could get to be a way long list, and a very nice exercise with the search function I'm thinking. Well, a game's a game, and it sounds fun to try playing anyway.

1. Prize for the most links: Subscription to Bookmarks: Hidden Side of a Leaf

2. youtube: Blue Archipelago

5. Buy a Friend a Book: Book Nut

6. BTT (or Booking Through Thursday): Tiny Little Reading Room

7. omnibus

8. Speculative fiction: Bell Literary Reflection

9. Short stories: Tip of the Iceberg

10. Ani Difranco (or just Ani)

11. Printz

12. Man Booker Prize (or just Booker): An Adventure in Reading

13. Newbery: Things Mean A Lot

14. Mother Talk: Adventures in Reading

17. glbt (or any other arrangement of those letters, or with a q in there)

18. fantasy: A Chain of Letters

19. film: That's The Book

20. giraffe

21. biography: Confuzzled Books

22. Geraldine Brooks: Age 30- A Year Of Books

23. graphic novels: Karin's Book Nook

24. classics: Just Add Books

26. Amelie

27. doo doo doo: Care's Online Book Club

28. 24 Hour Read-a-thon

29. etsy: The Bookworm

30. poetry: Out of the Blue

31. Bookmooch: Bookarama


34. Bookworms Carnival

36. Lost (must refer to the TV series)

37. Six Feet Under

38. ReadingAnimals (I’m featuring her because I feel bad that I can’t figure out how to comment at her blog.)

39. hedgehog

40. pregnant

41. nosebleed (or nose bleed)

42. 42 (No, that’s not a mistake; number 42 is to find the digit 42.): Small World Reads

43. herding cats: Puss Reboots

44. Django Reinhardt

45. A.S. Byatt

46. Homer(The next three are suggestions from my son.)

47. ROFL

48. cheezburger (must be spelled with Z!)

49. d20

OKAY!!! That's all I'm going to do for now. I'm officially giving up. I have not that much patience for searching and linking!

Seven Songs Music Meme

Here's a fun meme that I saw yesterday over on Kookie's Fraternity of Dreamers blog. Here's the idea:

“List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now, shaping your spring. Post these instructions in your blog along with your 7 songs. Then tag 7 other people to see what they're listening to.”

Some came right to mind, so I felt the need to participate and share! I'm always excited about a music game or post anyway. Consider yourself tagged if you are also in a music mood and would like to share seven of your current favorites! Let me know and I'll come and listen.

1. Viva La Vida by Coldplay: This song seems to be constantly going at our house these days. We first saw it advertised during the American Idol finale show and we all went... Whoa.. that's a pretty cool song! So, someone (teenage daughter I think) downloaded it and now we can all enjoy!

2. Teardrop by Massive Attack: I heard this one awhile back as a background to some YouTube video I was watching. I thought, "Hmmm... cool song." So I downloaded it and others in the house are now hooked and it also is being heard around here a lot these days.

3. Awake by Josh Groban: I'm always and forever obsessed with Josh Groban and all his songs. Lately, it's been mostly about the live versions that recently came out (of the concert I was actually at last summer, remember?) So here's an example of one of those songs. This song is the one his album and tour were named after, and this was his very last song of the concert. I love it!

4. Over the Rainbow by Jason Castro: Our American Idol obsession is not lessening by any means at this house! In fact, it is gearing up since we get to go see the Top 10 in less than a month. Also, we are missing our boys (we all have a different favorite) and so they are all being blasted from various rooms in the house and from the car every time we go anywhere. For me, it's hard to pick a favorite Jason Castro song, but here's the one HE likes the best.

5. Don't Fade Away by Dead Can Dance: I learned about this group at a library presentation last summer and this is one of my favorites by them. Very haunting, clear, beautiful sound.

6. Miss You by Enrique Igelesias: I love this song for dancing around the house and cleaning and getting motivated! I was completely obsessed with it awhile back, and though that's waned just a touch, I still love to blast it from time to time. See if it makes you want to dance too.

7. Sky High by Jigsaw: This one is making a come back on my Ipod and in the car! I LOVE this song from the past and like to blast it and sing along and have wonderful memories of the 70's.

So, I guess I have to stop at seven! Let me know if you listen to any of them and which ones you liked and/or hated! And let me know if you decide to play along and I'll come see what songs YOU are loving right now!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Flavor

Booking Through Thursday

Think about your favorite authors, your favorite books . . . what is it about them that makes you love them above all the other authors you’ve read? The stories? The characters? The way they appear to relish the taste of words on the tongue? The way they’re unafraid to show the nitty-gritty of life? How they sweep you off to a new, distant place? What is it about those books and authors that makes them resonate with you in ways that other, perfectly good books and authors do not?

I like different authors for all the above mentioned reasons. For some, it's about the words themselves. For others, it's the stories and the characters. Some examples:

Markus Zusak:
I've never seen someone use words like he can. Normal, simple, plain words become something amazing when he gets a hold of them!

Stephenie Meyer:
She has a way of completely immersing us, the readers, into the lives of her characters. Her writing is simple, but somehow, she manages to still get us all wrapped up in her stories.

Wilkie Collins:
He also has a way with words, but he uses them to be witty and funny. Very witty and funny in fact. Throw in all the complicated plots and soap opera-ish-ness, and his books become wonderful! I'm surprised he's not more well-known.

Khaled Hosseini:
I love the way he can grab our emotions and pull us into the story and into a culture with which most of us aren't too familiar.

J.K. Rowling:
With her, it's the ability to create a completely magical world that seems real and possible. That, and all the great characters of course.

Jane Austen:
All of it. Her way with words, her fun characters and those fabulous stories!

Well, it's another one of those times I could go on and on. So, I'll stop now!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Review: Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George

BOOK: Dragon Slippers by Jessica Day George
GENRE: YA Fantasy
I've been meaning to get to this book by a local-ish author for a long time. But because she came yesterday and talked to the kids in our library's summer program, I finally managed it!
It's a fun story about a girl who is "sacrificed" to the dragons, but finds out that the dragons really are kinda cool. She ends up with a pair of shoes that are more than they appear which ends up bringing on all kinds of trouble.
I especially liked this book because of the way the dragons were portrayed. They are smart, majestic, quirky, powerful, and vulnerable.
All in all, a fun book. I look forward to the sequel, Dragon Flight.

Review: The Last Lecture

BOOK: The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch

GENRE: Non-fiction


I've always a been a bit leery of reading these types of books where someone is dying and then revealing all their death bed advice or whatever. But I had a feeling this one would be a bit different after having seen a glimpse of him on Oprah. So, I bought it for my son as part of his graduation present, hoping it would give him some words to live by.

He's read the first few chapters, but of course, I stole it and have now read the whole thing. Very easy reading done in just a few short increments.

I liked it because it was very straight forward about what this guy feels is important about life. And yes, it made me sad in places, but for the most part, it just made me want to be a better person, which is the whole point anyway.

Some tidbits I got from it:

  • you can achieve your childhood dreams
  • life is about people, not things
  • brick walls are there for a reason
  • time is all you have
  • don't waste time complaining
  • stop thinking about what others are thinking
  • learn to work with a group
  • cliches are true
  • take risks
  • write thank you notes
  • be prepared
  • tell the truth
  • keep in touch with your inner child
  • it doesn't hurt to ask
  • decide now, are you Tigger or Eyeore?

All in all, very inspiring. Click HERE for more info and to see the lecture itself.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Ten Thought Tuesday (TTT): Bookish Edition

Ten random bookish thoughts for this Tuesday day:

1. I finished a book last night and a book this morning. Reviews to come!

2. We are seeing an author (Jessica Day George) at the library today! I love listening to authors no matter who they are or what they write.

3. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be Stephenie Meyer? One day, you wake up and write a down your cool, but bizarre dream, and the next day you wake up and have celebrity/rock star status. It's got to be weird.

4. I am so anxious for the third book of the Eragon (Inheritance) series. Eldest ended with such a jaw dropping surprise (for me anyway) that it feels like it's been forever until this next book. Anyone else so ready for this one? End of September and we can learn more about the saga!

5. I've been enjoying the podcast Twilight Series Theories. These ladies crack me up!

6. I let my kids join Goodreads. It appears to be a really good motivator for them to read and finish books. (I've decided I like that one more than LibraryThing... so far anyway.)

7. Speaking of authors, (I was somewhere up there, wasn't I?) I saw one at Costco sitting there with his book to sign, and nobody was talking to him. It made me sad, but I was too shy to do anything about it. Besides, the book was one I didn't want (some financial thing.) Sad, huh.

8. I read like a 100 pages in War and Peace this past week! I know... amazing!

9. I miss book club during the summer.

10. This week's Weekly Geeks is fun, but a real time killer!

So, what bookish thoughts are YOU having this lovely Tuesday?

Monday, June 16, 2008

Givaway Promotion

Here's some giveaways I've seen around just today:

Serena at Savvy Verse and Wit is celebrating her blogiversary with three different things to giveway, all them very cool. All you have to do is go comment!

Natasha at Maw Books is celebrating Stephenie Meyer by giving away a bunch (like ALL) of her books and other Twilight type goodies. Amazing contest, you have to go check it out.

Susan at West of Mars has a fun book to give away, just because she likes the book and wants to!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Clubbing

Booking Through Thursday

A combo of two suggestions by: Heidi and by litlove

Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (ot, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?

Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience?

I participate in two F2F book clubs. They each have a completely different way of choosing books.

It's very simple for one of them. Members take turns being in charge of a month, and that month they'll pick a pick, and then have the meeting at their house. The month before, they'll let us know what book we'll be reading. Sometimes they'll come to that meeting with library book club sets to pass out to us!

In my other group (the one I head up), it's a bit more random. We'll all throw out suggestions. Sometimes I can tell if a suggestion seems well received right off, so that goes right on our list. Sometimes everyone is too quiet to say how they are feeling about the suggestions, so lately I've been having them vote through email. Then the top vote getters go on the list. Often, we'll choose our books from what the library has available in their book club sets. Other times it's just what we've been hearing lots about and want to read. I like to get the list of upcoming books scheduled quite a bit in advance so everyone has a good long time to get a hold of the book. Also, if we are doing library book club sets, those need to be put on hold months in advance.

As for the second part of the question, for me, reading books for a book club doesn't really make me appreciate the book any differently. I may pay attention to the details more so I can throw things out in the discussion, but other than that, the overall reading experience is the same!

(An interesting observation, in reading a few answers so far this morning, I'm surprised at how many of my book bloggin' buddies don't participate in a book club. Hmmmm......)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Little Breaking Dawn

Just a little note to say that yesterday, while at Costco, I picked up the special latest version of Eclipse... you know... the one with Chapter One of Breaking Dawn in the back! Yes, I walked around Costco and read that chapter. Then put the book back of course! Shhhh.... you know you've done it too!

So, have you read it yet? What'd you think? Does August seem like a LONG way away? Have you pre-ordered the book? Or are you taking your chances that first day and just trying to find it somewhere? Or maybe you're of the "who the heck cares" crowd?

And for some more movie excitement, here's a complete scene (which I first saw over at Maw Books) from Twilight that got my heart pounding pretty quick. So just in case you haven't seen it around yet, here you go:

Weekly Geeks #7: Photo Week

Part of the cool window from the library I go to the most.

Here's my secondary library, housed in a restored building from the old college campus.

This weeks Weekly Geek assignment is to post photos... anything we wanted around a "bookish" theme. Above are my two libraries, below you'll see some book piles and a couple of reading spots:

Here's my main book storage spot in the house, in the downstairs family room. It's getting to be quite overflowing. I do try to organize it somewhat with classics together, kids books together, etc.

Here's a close up of my current book storage problem. We just went through my daughter's bedroom and took out all these books. There's no room on the shelf for them! What to do?!! And the overflow of the books just above, that's from cleaning another bedroom a few weeks ago!

Here's the "pretty" bookshelf with the "pretty" books. Mostly hardbooks and my favorite... old antique type books. But, we end piling other sorts of books here too and it's also overflowing and looking not so pretty.

My long-term TBR shelf... books to get to someday. Some sooner than others. This shelf I've shared before, but it's constantly changing.

... and my short-term TBR pile, books I hope to get to within the month!

The main reading spot (other than in bed)....

.... and what will soon become the reading spot! Our new chair. It just needs a floor lamp now. (And there's our big new huge bird cage behind it!)

Other Weekly Geek posts I enjoyed this week:

Karen's Book Nook
Katrina's Reads
Shelley Chain-Reader

Monday, June 9, 2008

Review: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

BOOK: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See
GENRE: Literary Fiction

After hearing about this book for so long, I've finally read it! And did I think it lived up to all the rave reviews people gave it? Yes! It was wonderful. Sad in parts, quite gut-wrenching actually, in parts, but at the same time so engrossing and detailed and intense.

This is the story of Lily, living in China in the 19th century. We learn in detail, about all the customs and rituals of this culture. We try to understand foot-binding, we try to understand the worth of the women. Lots of it is hard to understand. But one thing is certain, and that's the bond that Lily and her friend Snow Flower have and how they help each other through so many unbelievable things.

This was one of those books where I thought about the characters way into the night. I woke up thinking about them. I'm still thinking about them even though I finished the book days and days ago. I have a feeling it will be awhile before they're forgotten.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Trends

Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?

Wow, I think my reading trends have changed several times over the years. I blame it all on this abundance of online interaction. First, online book clubs, then challenges and blogging. Things are always changing!

I used to read mostly all classics, with a new-ish book thrown in here and there. Then, the new-ish books started rising to the surface and the classics have been neglected. Then, the YA books have recently nearly completely taken over! I'm having to tame them and hold them back!

As far as dark vs. light, and challenging vs. easy.... it's always been a bit of both, a pretty good balance there I'd say. But the balance between fiction and non-fiction is a no-contest. Non-fiction is losing big time. I have to concentrate on bringing non-fiction into my life.

To sum up, mostly I'm more willing now to reading anything than I used to be. And I find it fun to try and keep up with the constantly changing book world, exhausting though it may be!

P.S. In other news... my book club is featured today over at Lisa's Books on the Brain as part of her really cool series "In Praise of Book Clubs." Go check it out! :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

My Classics Challenge List

Here's what I plan on reading for this challenge, at least for now! Most of them overlap with my TBR challenge, ones I've been anxious to get to anyway.

I'm doing option 2 which means five books from at least two countries:

1. Man and Wife by Wilkie Collins (England)

2. Eugenie Grandet by Balzac (France)

3. Bleak House by Dickens (England)

4. The Little Prince by Saint Exupéry (France)

5. War and Peace by Tolstoy (Russia)

And for my bonus "future classic" book, I'm deciding between these four:

Water for Elephants

The Master

The Road


So... we'll see how that goes! I'm feeling a need to get back to some classics. It's been awhile.

Monday, June 2, 2008

May's Monthly Recap

Here's what I managed to devour this past month:

Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson: Our hero, Alcatraz, discovers he has an unusual magical power, and learns that the world he's been living is not what he's thought all this time. Rating: A-

No Talking by Andrew Clements: The 5th grade boys and girls have contest, who can go for two days without talking? In the end, they learn some interesting things about each other. Rating: A

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson: Vin is "rescued" from the streets by a powerful leader of a band a theives. She learns to master an amazingly cool magic system and ends up learning about friendship while plotting the overthrowing of the Lord Ruler. Rating: A

The Host by Stephenie Meyer: The soul, Wanderer, takes over Melanie's body, or does she? And whose side is she on anyway? The souls? Or the humans? Rating: A

Blessings by Anna Quindlen: A baby is left on the porch of the young gardner who works for a wealthy old lady. All their lives are changed. Rating: A-

Messenger by Lois Lowry: The worlds of Lowry's previous books (The Giver and Gathering Blue) come together in this climatic conclusion . Rating: B+

Peeps by Scott Westerfeld: Vampire hunting like you've never seen before! Rating: B+

The Key to the Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson: May and her two sisters deal with their father's death all in their own different ways. Rating:A-

Favorties of the month: The Host and Mistborn. Both wonderful stories!


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