Friday, October 31, 2008

Review: Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson (and a Happy Halloween video!)

Book: Suite Scarlett
Genre: YA Romance-ish
Rating: A-
For: YA Romance challenge, and for fun!

I'm trying to catch up on all Maureen Johnson's books. I've a couple left to go, but this is her latest, newest one. It's about Scarlett, and her family. They live in an old, funky hotel in the middle of New York City. As the summer begins and Scarlett thinks life couldn't get any more boring, they get a guest for which she ends up "working". This lady is very... interesting... and before she knows it, Scarlett is mixed up in a bunch of strange things. One thing is helping her brother, a struggling actor, get a job... sort of. So she's hanging out with this strange lady, making friends with her older brother's acting crowd, and then there's this guy too. Of course. And meanwhile her parents and sisters all have their various problems that need solving.

Fun book, but not one of my most favorites. Simple, enjoyable, cute and lots of funny moments. Just what I needed.

And now, a video for Halloween. One of my favorite songs from the Mannheim Steamroller Halloween album:

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sad Margo!

For those of you who are into John Green, Nerdfighters, Vlogbrothers and/or Paper Towns... just a note here to say my package finally arrived yesterday (the replacement one, not the original one) and I've got Sad Margo! I have no idea if this is good or bad... I was actually kind of hoping for Happy Margo, but I'm just glad to have any Margo at all!

Booking Through Thursday: Conditioning

Mariel suggested this week’s question.

Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?

I would say, in general, no! My husband would tend to disagree with that, because he thinks I ruin books. So he's much worse about the "how you hold a book" idea. He likes to think that after he's had a book, you can't tell it's been read. But books after I've had them, they look read.

So, depending on the way the book is made, the spine may look a little sad after I'm done and the cover doesn't lay flat anymore. But I never dog ear it! No, I don't expect to keep books in pristine condition, BUT I hate turning a new book into an old one! And yes, watching someone else bend the cover all the way around makes me cringe. Awful! However, sometimes I do it myself if the book is especially soft and pliable. Make sense?

If I have a new book that I absolutely love, I hate seeing it get all beat up. Example: My book of The Book Thief. I got it new for Christmas last year and since then, it's been through several people and in a couple of back pack situations, and it's not looking so new anymore. Makes me sad. I should really fork over money for a hard back version of that particular book!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Weekly Geeks #22: Archive Digging

The Weekly Geek assignment this time is to find three bloggers you don't know and search their archives and link to an interesting post you find there.

It was fun finding a "new to me" blogger and searching all (well, not all, but some) their posts! Here's the three that I've chosen to spotlight:

Megan at Leafing Through Life ranted way back at the beginning of this year in a post called "If life is a highway, could you point me to the nearest exit." I like rants. Rants make me feel like I'm friends with the person doing the ranting. But this rant ended with a really cool thing, which is that she got a comment by an author. To me, there's nothing more rewarding about book blogging then getting an author comment! So cool.

Darla D at Books and other thoughts has a lot of interesting blog posts and it was hard to choose. But finally, I decided on one called "What ARE Kids Reading?" which links to an interesting article listing kids' top twenty favorite books. Interesting stuff to ponder.

The Edgy Bunny at Books Are King has been doing a fun thing over the years in that he's telling about himself by doing what he calls and alphabiography... in other words he'll pick a letter and do a whole post on something about himself, or something he likes, which starts with that letter. I chose one from way back in January of 2007 where he lists the virtues of owning an iPod. Very fun! However, he's a rare Weekly Geek participant and I think we need to get him out more often. What a fun, quirky blog he has!

Ah, shoot, I think I'm going to have to add these guys to my Reader!

A couple other Weekly Geeks spotlights to check out:

American Bibliophile


Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Blog Tour Stop of The 19th Wife: Part Two

Welcome to Day Two of my part in the blog tour stop featuring The 19th Wife and its author, David Ebershoff! Yesterday, I gave you my take on this book, so be sure to check that out if you haven't done so already. But today, it's the author's turn to have a little word.

First a bit about him. I lifted this information directly from his website:

David Ebershoff is the author of three novels, The 19th Wife, Pasadena, and The Danish Girl, and a short-story collection, The Rose City. His fiction has won a number of awards, including the Rosenthal Foundation Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the Lambda Literary Award, and has been translated into ten languages to critical acclaim. Ebershoff has taught creative writing at New York University and Princeton and currently teaches in the graduate writing program at Columbia University. For many years he was the publishing director of the Modern Library and now is an editor-at-large at Random House. He lives in New York City.

October, for me, has been an absolutely insane month! So, I wasn't able to get this book, The 19th Wife, read until just last week. That means I wasn't able to get questions to David in a timely manner, so instead, I asked him if he would be willing to do a guest post. Of course he agreed and sent the following inspiring story back to me:

About a month after The 19th Wife was published, I got an email from a man who told me he had heard me on the radio talking about the book and was now reading it. I thanked him and told him I hoped he would enjoy it. I love to hear directly from readers, and when someone tells me he or she is reading the novel I try to imagine the page they are encountering at that moment and how they might be responding. So when I received this email, I stopped to wonder if this man was reading one of Ann Eliza’s sections or Jordan’s? Only a few days later the man sent me another email, telling me he had finished the book and how much it had meant to him. He said that he had grown up in a prominent LDS family with ancestors who had been close to both Joseph and Brigham. When he was a boy, the man said, he had always been very proud of his heritage. He loved his church and its culture and the community of friends it brought him. When he thought of his future, he said, he thought of his life within the Church’s embrace. When he was a young man, he told me, he realized he was gay. This led to a rapid and complete unraveling of his world. He was, he said, forced to leave the Church. As he put it, the Church turned its back on him and so he returned the favor. A rift developed between him and his family. He decided to leave Utah. Not only was he leaving behind the people he loved, he was leaving behind his entire world. For the next twenty years, this man and his family were out of touch. He proceeded with his life as if they no longer existed. And then he read The 19th Wife. He told me the book reminded him of the LDS Church’s unique culture and its special role in American history. He said the book helped him recognize the complexities of faith. Ultimately he said the book reminded him that all families are imperfect and that sometimes those imperfections are the sources of love. Inspired, the man called his family. He told me he had begun to reestablish a bond he had thought could never be repaired.

When I hear a story like this I am humbled. The man concluded his email by thanking me, but the truth is I owe him, and all my readers, the thanks. I recently heard the wonderful writer Aleksander Hemon say that writing is like reading in reverse. When he reads he feels like he is in a private conversation with the writer, and when he writes he is in private dialogue with the reader. Readers make that two-way conversation possible. Readers bring books to life. Yet if no one turns the page, the story is doomed to the coffin of its pages. And so to all of you, I send my many thanks.

David Ebershoff

Thank you so much, David, for that great story! It's been fun for me to participate in this blog tour and I wish you all best luck for this book and all the rest to come!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Review: The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

Book: The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff
Genre: Historical Fiction
Rating: A

A couple of months ago I was asked to be part of the blog tour for this book, The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff. As soon as I understood what it was about, I was instantly nervous. But, I decided that was okay and that I was up for the challenge!

Why would I be nervous you might ask? Being Mormon, and having polygamy in my family history, it hits a little close to home! But I was curious and wanted to see how the book handled this delicate yet interesting topic, and besides, I was interested as to how I would react.

First, a little summary of the book. It actually flips back and forth between two different stories and settings that happen to mesh a bit together in the end. One story is about one of the wives (perhaps his 19th) of Brigham Young, Ann Eliza Webb, her background and history and how, in the end, she divorces him and leaves the Mormon church. This part of the story was told using all sorts of documents, such as biographies, autobiographies, letters, speeches, songs, ads, school papers, etc. I loved this! However, it made me forget that I was reading a fictional novel and felt more like I was reading an actual historical account. But, it's important to keep in mind that this is fiction. The author explains this fact in detail in an author's note at the end of the book.

The second story takes place in the current day and follows the story of a young man, Jordan Scott, who years before had been kicked out of his polygamy family and FLDS (or Firsts as they are called in this book) community. His mom, who is also a 19th wife, has been accused of killing his dad... one of the leaders of their community. When he visits her and she says she didn't do it, he starts a quest to find out what really happened.

My reaction to the book, as you may guess, was mixed. On one hand, I totally enjoyed the story. It is gripping and fascinating. The writing style drew me in and grabbed me right from the start. I liked the use of all the different mediums to tell the story of Ann Eliza. I loved the characters and cared about them and rooted for them. It was fan easy- to-read, even if it was long, page turner.

On the other hand, I squirmed as nearly every single controversial thing that's ever happened regarding the Mormon church was brought up. I hated seeing how Brigham Young was portrayed, though I do agree he had some major issues. I didn't like the stereotypical portrayal of current day Mormons being all "hick town." Though at least they are helpful and nice to Jordan and come across somewhat intelligently in the end.

Also, I could have done without the homosexual relationship and all the curse words. But that's just me I guess. And yes, it does give the reader a better connection to these particular characters and gives personality to their voice. But still.

Anyway, so there you have it. My honest and true reaction to this book! I loved the writing and the story... but the subject was hard, though interesting, for me to read.

As part of the blog tour, the author David Ebershoff, has agreed to do a guest post. That will be up tomorrow, so come back then and check it out!

For other reviews, see these previous stops on the tour:

Wednesday, Oct. 15th:
Maw Books
Friday, Oct. 17th:
Reading, ‘Riting, and Retirement
Monday, Oct. 20th:
She Is Too Fond Of Books
Tuesday, Oct. 21st:
Age 30 - A Year in Books
Thursday, Oct. 23rd:
A High and Hidden Place

Upcoming stops on the tour not to miss:

Tuesday, Oct. 28th:
Musings of a Bookish Kitty
Thursday, Oct. 30th:
Books on the Brain
Monday, Nov. 3rd:
The Cottage Nest
Tuesday, Nov. 4th:
B&B ex libris
Wednesday, Nov. 5th:
Thursday, Nov. 6th:
The Tome Traveller
Friday, Nov. 7th:
Educating Petunia
Monday, Nov. 10th:
The Literate Housewife
Wednesday, Nov. 12th:
Diary of an Eccentric
Friday, Nov. 14th:
Book Chase

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Sunday Salon: Random Tidbits

This morning, I finished reading Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson, a cute, fun YA novel. This book is now over a week overdue at the library. Sorry to whoever has it on hold after me! (Thus the reason I couldn't just renew it!) So, to the library I must go sometime tomorrow!

The rest of the day won't hold much reading time for me. Soon, we'll be off to church. Then, right after coming home we'll be heading to Grandma and Grandpa's house for dinner. Maybe I'll get a bit of reading time in as I drift off to sleep later.

But this week has been a fun reading week! I finally finished Brisingr and loved it. Then, in just a couple of days time, I read The 19th Wife, which is quite an accomplishment as it is over 500 pages long. But you'll have to come back tomorrow to hear all about that since I'm a blogtour stop for this book and author. In fact.... PLEASE come back tomorrow! And leave a comment! (How's that for a blatant beg?)

On the schedule for this week is Lavinia by Ursula K. LeGuin, which is for one of my F2F book groups this week. But first... I need to get my hands on a copy. I think I have that worked out though.

Oh, speaking of book club! This past week, we met at my house to discuss The Blue Castle. I had 14 people show up! Very cool. That was the biggest turnout we've had so far since I started the group 4 1/2 years ago. It was tons of fun.

Well enough rambling for one post. Happy Sunday everyone!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Lost: One Amazon Package!

If an Amazon package shows up in your mailbox with these two books in it:

Then can you please just send it my way! :)

Yeah. So, I ordered these books way back in August. And as some of you know, Paper Towns was just released last week, so I was so excited to finally get them sent out. I got the message from Amazon saying it was shipped on the 13th, and due to arrive the 20th. And they STILL aren't here!
And I'm watching and hearing all the Nerdfighters talking about Paper Towns and it's making me crazy that I don't have mine yet!

So I already emailed Amazon and they said they can send out a replacement package. So let's hope it works this time!

Meanwhile, if it ends up at your door, you'll know where it goes! :)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Review: Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

Book: Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: A
For: Fun!

So I finally finished this one somewhere across the California desert as we travelled to Disneyland. And then I slammed the book shut and moaned. ARRGGH!! NOW how long do we have to wait for the NEXT one? Things were just getting going! But now I can see why he had to add another book to his "trilogy"! This one is so long and yet there's so much more to do!

For a little sum up: This continues the story of Eragon and his dragon Saphira. It begins with the rescue of Roran's (Eragon's cousin) girlfriend, Katrina, which was quite the exciting little event. Then, Eragon ends up travelling all over Algaesia yet again. First to the dwarfs to help with a bit of a political situation there. Then back to the elves to learn some majorly interesting things along with finally getting a sword. THEN back to the main battle front where the quest to overthrow the evil Galbatorix continues.

I loved it all. I know there's some that hate Paolini's writing style, but I'm not one of them! I love it! I love the emotion and description. Some of the fights are so incredibly intense and graphically detailed you seriously feel like you are right there. (Did you catch the bit of warning there? The fight scenes are very graphic!) There's moments when I forgot to breathe.

My eyes did glaze over during some of the political discussion with the dwarfs and during the majorly detailed sword making description. But other than that, it all moved quickly and was all that I expected.

There did need to be more Arya though! Maybe in the next one?
I just found this fun interview with Christopher Paolini. If you're interested click here for that. And one thing cool about this video... it totally clears up how to say the title of this book, which I've heard many different ways. But... I think I'll believe Christopher himself!

Booking Through Thursday: Coupling

Monica suggested this one:
Got this idea from Literary Feline during her recent contest:

“Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like–sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that’s just me.”

Back when Literary Feline had her contest, I did a nice big blog post on literary couples, pictures and all! It was fun. I'll recap my favorites here:

I love the bantering between Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth.

I love the intensity between Edward and Bella.

I love the romance between Anjuli and Ash.

I love the innocence of Anne and Gilbert.

I love the drama between Heathcliff and Catherine.

I love the loyalty and long suffering between John and Abigail Adams.

I love the uniqueness of Beauty and the Beast.

I love the classic timelessness of Romeo and Juliet.

Anyway, there's just a few. I pretty much fall in love with every couple I read about.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Disney Report

Yes, we survived the Disneyland experience! It's been hard to get back into the routine... and I'm exhausted. BUT, it was all worth it. Here's a few highlights:

** riding all the big rides at least three times each... all together... as a family (well, except for California Screamin' which Toto refused to try)

** avoiding some of the long lines by having JJ sit in a wheelchair to save the wear and tear on her still healing knee that she blew out at dance a week or so ago.

** making the most of two entire days and one half a day at Disneyland! Non-stop running here and there until the bitter end!

** taking a day off of Disneyland to match our hands to the handprints of the stars in the sidewalk in Hollywood...

** .... and wading on the beach.
** visiting Grandma and Grandma both coming and going.

** reading in the car! And when it was dark, listening to a very fun, newly discovered podcast about books. (Check it out here: Books on the Nightstand)

** sleeping! Ah, we slept hard and heavy!

** eating! Ah, we ate tons too much! (Including at an In and Out Burger for our first time finally!)

** finally arriving home at straight up midnight after driving all day long! Whew!

Now, I've got to get reading. I have an over due book at the library... and blog tour stop next week! And book clubs coming up. And challenges running out. You know... the usual....

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Look Out Disneyland... We're Coming! (A Wahoo Wednesday)

I feel the need to Wahoo! a bit, so I'm stealing Bookfool's Wahoo Wednesday idea just for today. I hope she feels honored!

Wahoo for five day weekends!

Wahoo for procratination! I didn't buy the Disneyland tickets when I should have... then it was too late. So then I called AAA and they had a great deal, but were out of tickets. So I was going to drive to the next closest AAA and just before I took off to do that, the closer AAA called and said they got some in! And their deal was WAY better than the one I was about to do online, so we saved ourselves a handful!

Wahoo for sisters who are willing to babysit two delicate hermit crabs and a noisy bird! You know when you get pets, they are fun, but are a MAJOR pain if you want to go anywhere... and then you have to force them on other people. So I'm happy to have someone willing to deal with it!

Wahoo also for a friend coming home for HER college break and willing to deal with the cat too!

Wahoo for gas prices coming down a bit so filling up the Suburban was a touch less painful.

Wahoo for TOO MANY books to take with me on the trip! First in line is The 19th Wife. After that comes Suite Scarlett and third on the list is The People of Sparks (City of Ember book two.) However, Brisingr is STILL not finished, and I had plans to get read fast today, then read it 'til done! Of course, that hasn't happened. So... maybe I'll just slip that in too!
Wahoo for Disneyland! The Happiest Place on Earth! Right? I hope right... I hope all goes smoothly and we have fun and not too many stressful moments occur.
So, adios one and all! 'Til next week!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Weekly Geeks #21: First Lines

For Weekly Geeks this week, Dewey has given us a huge list of 100 first lines and we are to post the ones we know. After that, we are supposed to go around other blogs and learn some of the ones we don't know.

I didn't know very many of them, but here are the ones I DID know:

1. Call me Ishmael. Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
4. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
6. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
9. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens

12. You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

16. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
20. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens
27. Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing. Don Quioxte by Cervantes

37. Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

48. He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

56. I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho’ not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call’d me. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

82. I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. I Capture The Castle by Dodie Smith
Click on the link above and see how many YOU can come up with!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Lit Flicks Challenge October Questions

I just realized I still needed to do the October Activity for the Lit Flicks challenge. I joined too late to do the September one, but I'm going to try and keep up on them for the rest of the challenge!

The questions:
-Which medium (book or film) is better at creeping you out?
- Do you have a favorite Halloween-ish book that you read every year or movie that you watch every year?
- What is your favorite scary movie adaptation?
- What is your favorite scary book that has been made into a movie?

I think movies for sure creep me out more than books. I can much easily read a scary book than watch a scary movie. Though, books DO creep me out! I remember being a little creeped about by The Historian awhile back... reading it while my husband was gone on a business trip and every thing! And I don't think I can handle some of the Stephen King books, as I've mentioned before.

My favorite kind of creepy movie is the subtle creepy. For example, I love The Others. Also, What Lies Beneath wigs me out every time.

No, I don't have a book or movie that I have to revisit every Halloween. But that would be a fun tradition to start!

A couple of my favorite scary movie adaptations are The Pit and the Pendulum, though I haven't seen that one in years. I'm pretty sure it was this version. Then there's Jaws, and The Shining.
Favorite scary book to movie? Hmmm... I'm drawing a blank right now and then as soon as I hit publish all the answers will come to me. I'm thinking the blank is because I don't read a whole lot of scary books!

Review: Jamaica Inn by Daphne duMaurier

Book: Jamaica Inn by Daphne duMaurier
Genre: Classic, Gothic
Rating: A-
For: R.I.P. III, Lit Flicks and TBR 2008

I thought this book was great! Though not as great as Rebecca. It was quite creepy and often surprisingly violent. There's some pretty rough guys in this story!

To summarize: It's about a girl, Mary, who comes to live with her aunt after her mother dies. Her aunt lives in a creepy lonely place called Jamaica Inn, located out in the middle of the desolate moors. She learns that there's quite the bad reputation surrounded this place and she decides to figure out what it is. Before she knows it, she's mixed up in the whole bad business herself! There's just a touch of romance, though I'm not sure I approved! The romantic hero is himself a pretty rough guy too!

So, as part of the Lit Flicks Challenge, I was supposed to watch the movie too. Years ago I watched a version of this with Jane Seymour in it. When I went to rent it this time, the Jane Seymour was only on tape and way too long. So instead I choose the old Alfred Hitchcock version which was on DVD and starred Maureen O'hara.

I'm quite the Alfred Hitchcock fan so I thought I'd like it fine. However, I tried to watch it last night and just couldn't get through it! It was AWFUL! In the first place, it was nothing like the book at all. I mean, not even close. Same characters was all, but everything else was not a thing like it! It made me crazy. Then, it was just too old. Too silly, too B movie-ish. Too boring. I wanted to fall asleep, and since there were other things I needed to do, I decided to give up instead. It was disappointing. I guess I need to find time to try the Jane Seymour one.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Sunday Salon: It's Crazy

It's been a crazy week... CRAZY I tell you!

Blame that on the book fair, which happened this week. Add in my little 12 hours of part time work at the library, and that equals crazy. On the day that I didn't work at the library, I ended up doing book fair nearly all day. But, it after all was said and one, it was the best book fair we've ever had if the money taken in is any indication. So, high fives all around!

Anyway, that means though that not much else happened for me this week. Like reading. I continued with Brisingr as often as possible. I'm about half way through it (when I really should be done with it by now). So today, for the rest of my lovely Sunday, that's what I'll be doing. Along with watching Amazing Race. And maybe picking the pumpkins which we never managed to get to yesterday and now it's snowed on them. And maybe baking cookies which we always seem to do on a Sunday afternoon. Oh, and I rented a movie I wanted to watch... and then of course there's the nap too....

Another thing I'm blaming on the book fair is the fact that I am so behind in reading blogs! And that's just going to get worse because THIS week is fall break and we are heading out of town. To Disneyland actually! So... all those blogs you all keep writing will just keep piling up in my Reader. Some day, I'm going to get caught up! Yeah, right!

Last night, I took some kids and saw the movie The City of Ember. They did a pretty good job sticking to the book for the first half, but then it all fell apart the second half. I still enjoyed the movie just fine though. But it always makes me wonder why they change things around so much. I just don't get it. Oh, well.

My reading plans for this week, besides finish Brisingr, is to read The 19th Wife. I'm a blog tour stop on Friday the 24th... so really, I need to get this read ASAP!

I have a feeling the craziness is going to continue, even without the book fair!

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Why did no one tell me me the third Inkheart... Inkdeath... was out? How did I not know this? Where have I been? And here I've been dying for it for... years... or whenever Inkspell ended with it's troublesome cliff hanger! Well, I guess there's yet another book to add to the teetering pile.

By the way, I saw the trailer for Inkheart today. Looks pretty good I'd say. See for yourself:

Friday, October 10, 2008

Book Fair Books

Books I "talked up" at the book fair this week:

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban
Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn
Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Schooled by Gordon Korman
Elephant Run by Roland Smith
The Wimpy Kid Do it Yourself Book
Allie Finkle Rules for Girls: Moving Day by Meg Cabot
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis
Seekers: The Quest Begins by Erin Hunter
The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John
Listen by Stephanie S. Tolan
The Key to Rondo by Emily Rodda
The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau

Books I bought at the book fair this week:

Hive: The Higher Institute of Villanous Education by Mark Walden
Eggs by Jerry Spinelli
The Wimpy Kid Do It Yourself Book
Mia by Laurence Yep
The Mother Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick
Deep Down Popular by Phoebe Stone
Most of these I've never heard of.. they just looked interesting. Maybe someday I'll even read them!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Booking Through Thursday: Book Meme

Booking Through Thursday

I’ve seen this series of questions floating around the ‘net the last few days, and thought it looked like a good one for us!

What was the last book you bought?

Brisingr by Christopher Paolini.... I think.

Name a book you have read MORE than once

Pride and Prejudice, The Book Thief, Wives and Daughters, Twilight, Emma, Anna Karinina, East of Eden, The Grapes of Wrath, Great Expectations..... oh, did you say just one? And I was just getting started!

Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?

Sorry to say, not really. I'm shallow that way.

How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews

Covers are cool, but they're not how I pick a book to read! I go by a mixture of all the other three things listed. I don't think one of them stands out as the main reason for picking a book. Interesting.

Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?

Fiction for sure. Though there's plenty of non-fiction that I love too.

What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?

I think I'd have to say plot. But I sure enjoy beautiful writing too.

Most loved/memorable character (character/book)

There's just too many. I love 'em all!

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?

Brisingr, Jamaica Inn ( I haven't put it away yet), Man and Wife, War and Peace, Don't Know Much About Anything Else (which just came in the mail yesterday!), Suite Scarlett, 3 A.M. Epiphany, and The Blue Castle seems to be still hanging out on the nightstand too. On the floor is the 19th Wife, since there's no room on the nightstand at the moment!

What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?

Jamaica Inn by Daphne duMaurier... last weekend.

Have you ever given up on a book half way in?

Oh, yes. Many times. Most recently... A New Earth. In the past: Moby-Dick, The Wings of a Dove, The Idiot.... just to name a few.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Review: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

Book: The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery
Genre: Lit. Fiction
Rating: A
For: My F2F group

I didn't really know what to expect from this book. Of course I love Anne of Green Gables, but that was no guarantee I'd love this one, right? Well, maybe I had a pretty good idea.

I started reading it just because I needed to pick up something fast to read during all the waiting for kids I knew I had to do that day. By the end of that, I was hooked and couldn't put it down until it was done.

It's about Valency, an old old 29 year old maid. Everyone knows she is ugly, boring, and will never get married. Poor, poor Valency.

Then one day, she gets some news that changes her life. She decides she is sick of doing things the same old way, and how her mother and aunts think it should be done. She starts sticking up for herself and saying what she thinks. Everyone decides she's gone mad! It's wonderful!

And things just get better from there for old Valency. It made me want to say, "You go girl!"

It's all quite predictable (but even so, there were some things I never figured out) and sappy, but in a good old happy kind of way. Great book!
Other Reviews:

Teaser Tuesdays: No More Giggling

Teaser Tuesdays

Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

From page 335: Brisingr by Christopher Paolini

"King Orrin limped over to the soldier, raised the heavy ax with both hands, and, with a single blow, chopped off the soldier's head.

The giggling ceased."

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Little (Big?) Monday Quiz.....

.... because that's all I feel like at the moment!

This one stolen from Notes of a Book Dreamer.


A Buddy Holly song that starts with Peggy and ends with Sue... but that's NOT my name! :)


I cry a lot these days, but the very last time was probably a couple of days ago when I just felt too overwhelmed.


HATE it!


Not a big fan of lunch meat, but I usually go with turkey. Or bacon.


Four kids ages 19 to 9.


Interesting question, and I think I can say yes, thankfully.


Not a lot. A little maybe.


Nope, I lost them when I was three.


I don't think so. But maybe. No, I really doubt it.


Honey Bunches of Oats

No. I refuse to.


As in can I do a push up? No way!


Cookies and cream.... or anything really really chocolate-y.


Hmmm.... I don't know! Smile? Eyes? One of these probably.




As I always say, "too shy shy."


Those babies I used to have.... those kids that are growing up too too fast.


Please no. But do it on your own blog if you feel the urge.


Denim pants of course and my shoes are sort of pinkish tanish brownish grayish things.


I just had a bagel. What a nice healthy lunch, no? Oh, and a cookie. I made them yesterday.


Opps... wait... I forgot to put the music on! I hear the washing machine in the other room. Wait... let's see what music pops up first..... ARGGHHH.... it was Air Supply! I skipped it, now I'm listening to music from the movie Chocolat. Great stuff.




I have a gazillion of these: rain, baking cookies, cinnamon, pine trees, old books, new books, clean sheets, baking bread, clean babies.


My husband The Mr.


He didn't really send this, I just nabbed it, but yes, I find him very interesting... so yes, I like him! :)


Basketball perhaps, if the game is very exciting.


Mousy brown with some lightish highlights that are now fading.




Nope. Glasses.


Chicken smothered in cheese, bacon bits, and onions


Happy endings for sure.


We rented and watched Speed Racer over the weekend. Weird movie that was. Entertaining though.


Light blue.






Ice cream on a brownie then drenched in hot fudge sauce.


No one.




Brisingr by Christopher Paolini and I'm dying to get to it today.


Pocahontas! Sheesh.


Amazing Race


I got a gazillion of these too! Rain, kids walking in the door at night, babies laughing, bacon sizzling, birds in the morning, crickets in the night and Josh Groban singing anytime of the day!






Not really. I do lots of things not very well.


Utah, USA


Anyone who does this and sends a link in comments!


Just past 2:30 p.m. on a Monday afternoon

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The Sunday Salon: Welcome to Alagaesia

Happy Sunday Salon!

Today, whenever I get the chance to read, which I'm afraid won't be often, I plan on burying myself in the world created by Christopher Paolini. Yes, it's all Brisingr and Eragon and Saphira and Roran and Arya for me today. Last night and a bit this morning, I've managed just about 100 pages and so far I love it. This kid's way with words is amazing. Totally amazing. I look forward to the few moments I might manage to steal away and read today.

This coming week is the book fair that I help to make happen. All day Tuesday I'll be talking books with all the kids at the school. My part is to talk to the 4th through 6th grades about the books for "older" kids. My friend will do the younger kids. It makes the day much more doable to share the task. Then we open that afternoon and will be selling books also Wednesday evening and Thursday evening. It's a fun and crazy week. It's like having my own bookstore for a couple of days, however, real life continues to go on (including the new, real, job I'm still getting used to, and kid activities and a play I have tickets for that I forgot about, etc. etc.) which makes things very interesting.

This past week, book wise, I finished Jamaica Inn (loved it) and a went to a rousing F2F book club, after a summer break, where we hardly talked about books! It made me laugh. But we did figure out a who will host when and what books we'll read for the next couple of months.

Oh, also I won a drawing over at Susan's Bloggin' 'bout Books blog! It always amazes when that happens. But I'm very excited because the book sounds like a blast, it's called Don't Know Much About ... Anything Else by Kenneth C. Davis. Thanks Susan!

Also, I need to start preparing for another blog tour coming my way. I read a few pages of the book, The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff, and am already quite drawn into the story. I'm a little nervous about this one though! But it will be fun.

Well, here's hoping for a successful reading day. I wish you all luck likewise and have a wonderful, happy, peaceful Sunday!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Review: Elephant Run by Roland Smith

Book: Elephant Run by Roland Smith
Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Rating: A
For: Book Fair Preparation

This book started out a bit slow for me. I think there was too much background or something. Too much explanation, too much nature stuff.

BUT... then the action got going and it did a big turn around and ended up quite nail-biting! The story takes place during WWII. Nick's apartment building gets bombed in London, so his mom decides to send him to his dad who runs a teak plantation in Burma. Well, things in Burma aren't going so well either because the Japanese front is closing in. In fact, he would have been much better off staying in London. Of course, then he would have ended up missing the adventure of his life, for his life!

There are several references (not detailed descriptions) to beatings, POW situations, beheadings and such, so this is definitely a book for older kids. So, the slow start ended up to be a real page turner.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

September Recap

Here's what I read this past month:

Magyk by Angie Sage: Babies are switched in the night. Jenna ends up with the Heap family. Who is she really? And what happened to the Heap's baby?

Revenge of the Cheerleaders by Janette Rallison: A not-so-nice guy makes up mean songs about his girlfriend's sister, who's a cheerleader. She decides to beat him in an American Idol style contest.

The Loser's Guide to Life and Love by A.E. Cannon: Ed is stuck with the video store name tag "Sergio." He decides to pretend to be someone he's not when a cute girl comes into the store.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson: Bryson's adventures walking the Appalachian Trail.

Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix: A plane lands out of nowhere with 30 babies on board. What happened to them and where did they come from?

Deep and Dark and Dangerous by Mary Downing Hahn: Ali spends the summer with her aunt on at a lake resort and meets a very strange girl named Cissy.

Schooled by Gordon Korman: Cap has been raised by his hippie grandma. When she gets hurt, he has to go to regular school and he has to deal with the kids there, but more interestingly, they have to deal with him.

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson: Jenna wakes up from an accident with amnesia. Then the questions start flying. Who is she really?

A Crooked Kind of Perfect by Linda Urban: Zoe wants to play the piano, but has to settle for the organ instead.

The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery: Valency is an old maid with a newly found attitude about how she wants to live her life.

Elephant Run by Roland Smith: Nick is sent to his father's teak plantation in Burma to be safe from WWII bombing in London. It turns out that it's much more dangerous in Burma!

ARRGGHH! I can't pick a favorite this month! They were all great!


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