Saturday, February 28, 2009

Review: Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke

Book: Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: A-
For: Fun

So, if you've been following my blog at all in recent weeks, you'll know that this book gave me grief in the beginning because of its slow start. But perhaps, it was just my state of mind, which, has been a bit distracted this month with various different life intrusions. So, I'm curious, for those who have read it, if you felt the same way? Or was it really just me?

The book takes place for the most part, in Inkworld, where we left Meggie and Mo at the end of Book Two: Inkspell. Dustfinger's fate is left hanging and Farid and Meggie appear to be together and in love. Orpheus is causing everyone grief by writing and then reading strange things into the story that Fenoglio is really supposed to be in charge of, but refuses to because he's lost all desire to write! Mo is hoping to save the whole kingdom from the Adderhead and all his cohorts and ends up finding help some unlikely places.

Wow, it's hard to talk about this book without spoilers, especially for book 1 and 2!

Anyway, I ended up enjoying the book just fine. The second half was much faster and the final bit was very engaging actually. Lots of action, and stress and anxious moments. My only other complaint, besides the slow start, was how it jumped from viewpoint to viewpoint every chapter. There's lots of people in lots of different places, and we have to follow them all! Yet there were some I just wanted to stick with a little more than others!

I continue to love the premise of this book... a book about how the story takes over and the characters began to behave in unexpected ways and the author gives up hope on ever regaining control. And how the reader of the story ends up IN the story and becomes a major character that the author also never expected. I love that! Wonderful stuff!

Read it, wait, read the whole trilogy!

Other Reviews:

Children's Book Reviews and Then Some (a review on the whole trilogy)

February Recap

It's been a slow month. I've had too many life distractions I think, that darn life! But here's what I did manage:

The Wednesday Letters by Jason Wright: An older couple dies, and when the kids come for the funeral they discover a stash of letters their dad wrote to their mom every Wednesday since they were married.

The Hunt for Dark Infinity by James Dashner: Tick and his friends must stop Mr. Chou's latest invention from destroy all the realities.

The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper: Will learns that he has amazing powers and goes on a quest to stop The Dark from taking over.

All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy: John Grady Cole and his buddy head to Mexico for an adventure and get a bit more than they bargained for.

Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke: Meggie, Mo and all their friends both from this world and Inkworld come together in a grand finale in order to suppress the rising evil powers that be.

Hopefully I can manage more than five in March!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Josh Groban!

Yes, it's his birthday today and you know I can't let it go by un-noticed, because of course, what a perfect opportunity for me to once again, shout out about my fanaticism! :)

So I've decided to see if any of you are Josh fans, and share a "name that Josh tune" video I did nearly two years ago, set to some fun pictures taken by either me or my husband.

Let me know if you can name any songs. Or if you can't which one jumps out at you as a possible favorite.

And Happy Birthday Josh! Here's to many many more singing years!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Collectibles

Hardcover? Or paperback?
Illustrations? Or just text?
First editions? Or you don’t care?
Signed by the author? Or not?

If I were to collect books for their monetary value, I would say that yes, hardcover, illustrated, first editions, signed would be the way to go. (Except didn't I see somewhere that signed can sometimes weaken the value? Or maybe that's if it's personalized? So if you care about that stuff, you'd get it signed, but not have them write it to you?)

But, since I don't care about that stuff, I pretty much have a mixture of all of the above.

Hardcovers are nice, but harder to read. And once you start a series in hardcover, you feel you need to keep them all the same, right? Or maybe you started getting them in paperback, then it's a problem when the last of the series comes out and you want to buy it in hardcover? These are the stresses I have!

Illustrated versions of novels are cool, but I don't really have any.

First editions are cool I think only if you are a big-wig collector. I doubt any of my first editions will be worth something someday. Maybe in 500 years or so. I don't have any first editions from years past, though if I did get my hands on something like that, I would think it pretty cool.

Signed copies are cool. I love my signed copies, whether they be first editions or not, hardback or not. And who cares if personalized brings down it's monetary worth or not, it's worth more to me if it's personalized!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Life, the Universe and Everything!

This past weekend I went to a bunch of panels and classes at a local writers convention called Life, the Universe and Everything (LTUE). This particular event has been happening for 25 plus years and it was only last year I discovered it. It's free, it's close, and they have tons of authors hanging out and classes and many other fun things I don't even know about. (Can someone tell me what "filking" is?)

The catch is that it's all about Science Fiction and Fantasy. Not to say that's a bad thing, but that is pretty much what everyone is talking about, so you really have to be into that kind of thing. Also, it's mostly for aspiring writers, which, some days I feel like I am, and other days I really really don't. But, I go with the thought in mind that it can be for readers, and author groupies, and those who love to hear about the writing process regardless of their future writing intentions!

Some of the classes I ended up at:
  • a panel discussion on the difference between MG and YA... and between YA and Adult.
  • a panel discussion on podcasts and how they can help writers.
  • a panel discussion on science fiction and the movies
  • a panel discussion on how to write cool dialogue
  • a presentation on sound affects in the movies
  • a random panel discussion where they talked about what ever they felt like!
  • a panel discussion on copyright and the Internet

Some of the classes I wish I could have fit in:

  • writing romance
  • mythology
  • archaeology
  • and the main address by Tracy Hickman, "Creative Reading."

But the most fun was watching two live broadcasts of the podcast that I love, Writing Excuses. Theses dudes are like celebrities to me! They are so funny, and give lots of wonderful writing advice, which, as I said before, is interesting even if you don't plan on writing. It's fun to listen to them from a reader perspective.

Some of the new and new-to-me authors I learned about:

"Old" Favorites that were there:

Anyway, it was all very fun. I even got to hang out with Natasha from Maw Books for a bit too!

P.S. Don't forget to click on over to An Adventure in Reading to vote for the latest Bookword!

Midweek Morsels: Desserts!

Here's a bit of a unique dessert that I made the other day for book club. I was worried it was a little bit too unique and wondered if anyone would like it, but they really seemed to and I had one recipe request already, so I decided I might as well share it here. And once again, it's insanely easy!

Graham Cracker Marshmallow Squares

2 eggs
1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter or margarine
1 t. vanilla

Beat the eggs and the sugar in a saucepan. Add butter. Cook on low heat until thick and bubbly. Cool. Add vanilla.

While cooling, mash 30 squares of graham crackers. Add 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows. Also 1 cup nuts and 4 Tbs. coconut if desired.

Pour liquid over dry ingredients and mix. Press into a buttered 8x8 pan and chill. Dust powdered sugar on top, cut into squares and serve!

YA Romance Challenge: Completed!

Yes, I finished another challenge! This one, the YA Romance Challenge was very easy, in fact, I'm sure I've read twice this many YA romances, but here's the list I committed to at the beginning of the challenge with links to my reviews.

I would probably say my favorite for "serious" stuff was The Truth About Forever, but "for fun" stuff was It's a Mall World After All.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays: Fight!

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:

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 Elantris by Brandon Sanderson page 269:

"The corpse tumbled to the ground and Saolin saluted Raoden with his blade, shooting him a gap-toothed smile of reassurance. Then he spun around to face a group of wild-men charging down a nearby street toward them."

Weekly Geeks 2009.7: A Character Conversation

In this week's Weekly Geek installment, we have been encouraged to contact our favorite character and interview him or her.

Unfortunately, I've been having a bit of trouble with this task this week. First, I tried calling Heathcliff, but just my luck, his phone has been disconnected. I must say, I was actually quite relieved. I think it would have scared me to death to talk to him.

Then I tried to email Samwise Gamgee, but he so far, he hasn't answered back. Must be too busy handling all the problems that come up in The Shire.

My next idea was to try and get a hold some sort of bookish person, because perhaps they would be more willing to do an interview and might actually understand this book blogging fettish. I tried Hermione, but once again, no luck finding her.

Finally, I settled on Mary Bennet, you know, one of Elizabeth's younger sisters. She gets a bad wrap for the most part, so I thought I'd give her a chance to let us know what she's really all about! We were able to connect through chatting, and though she had to cut it short, I was able to ask her a couple of things:

Me: First of all, I've always been so curious as to what book you always have your nose in! We're all dying to know what you're reading!

Mary: Besides the lady's conduct books, of which I am very familiar as you may be aware, I am also fond of reading Evelina by Frances Burney, and Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne. And shhhh, do not tell anyone but of course I enjoy many Ann Radcliffe novels in addition!

Me: Oh, Evelina! I've read that it and yes it was pretty good. Ok, fess up now, what's your relationship like with Elizabeth?

Mary: Oh bother, she is such a bore. I cannot comprehend why she gets such lavish attention. Upon my word, I hardly understand a thing she says most of the time! I must confess though, she is quite civil is to me, she and Jane both.

Me: And of course, we need to know what you think of Mr. Darcy.

Mary: I declare, what a prideful arrogant man that one is. When Lizzy married him, it seemed the whole of the world decided he was so wonderful and amiable after all. But not me. He turns his nose up at me, but no matter, I just turn mine back up at him.

Me: Have you come across any potential marriageable prospects for yourself?

Mary: Oh, yes! Wonderful news! Mr. Collins (you remember, our cousin?) as it turns out, has a another cousin on his mother's side who has been coming to call these past months. He is the most pleasant of men and I think he means to make me an offer when next he visits. I am so overjoyed, I may be inclined to faint!

Me: That is wonderful news indeed! I wish you all the best.

Mary: Oh, my sincere thanks to you! And now I must dash off to help poor Mrs. Bennet who has been stricken down with a dizzy spell of late. I have greatly enjoyed our little tete-a-tete.

Me: It has been very fun and I thank you for being so willing to chat a while!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lit Flicks Challenge Wrap-up

Wow! I finished a challenge! The Lit Flicks Challenge hosted by Jessica at The Bluestocking Society. The idea for this challenge was to read five books that have been made into movies, then watch at least two movies to go along with them. But of course, I wanted to watch all the movies that went with my books! I'm only missing one movie, but I'll get to that probably next weekend, after the challenge has officially ended.

Anyway, here's what I finished, with links to my reviews:

1. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (book review here, and a little movie review here.)

2. Jamaica Inn by Daphne du Maurier (both book and movie review


3. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (both book and movie review here... I also watched the recent Masterpiece Classic version and loved it! But never blogged about it.)

4. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper (book review here.)

5. All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (book review here and a movie mention here.)

Thanks a fun challenge Jessica! Let's do another soon!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Sunday Salon: Just Checking In

Now that Sunday is pretty much over, I guess I'll go ahead and check in!

What am I reading today? I'm making great progress on Inkdeath (after only what? a month of reading it now?) and could finish it if I wouldn't get computer distracted!

Also, yesterday I started Elantris by Brandon Sanderson and got a few chapters into it. So, once Inkdeath is done, it's going to all be Elantris!

Yesterday evening we watched All the Pretty Horses. I thought it was a fine movie. It stayed very very close to the book. I loved the music and will now be searching to see if I can find it somewhere. I loved the kid that played Jimmy, and Matt Damon played the lead dude, John Grady Cole, and he wasn't too bad either. :)

What the family is reading:

The Mr.: A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle
Bud: nothing
JJ: I have no idea at the moment
Moder: The 39 Clues: Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
Toto: Al Capone Does My Shirts by Gennifer Choldenko

A now, a little clip from All the Pretty Horses, which doesn't show much about the movie, well, nothing about the movie really, but has beautiful music, which sadly, is NOT from the movie, even though the movie DOES have it's own beautiful music. But here it is anyway:

P.S. Be sure to go make a suggestion for our new Bookword here. And don't forget to check out Weekly Geeks this week!

Review: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper

Review: The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: A-
For: Lit Flicks Challenge... and I think TBR? I forget.

Yes, I've been wanting to read this book for quite awhile. I got a bit discouraged when I realized it was the second in a series and I didn't have the first one nearby. But I was told it didn't matter, and that the first one was about different characters anyway. So, I did the big taboo and went ahead and read it!

This is the story of Will, a young boy in a big family, growing up in England. One day, just before his 11th birthday and Christmas, strange things begin to happen. First, the animals are acting weird. Then a guy in town gives him a strange little round ornament and told him to put it on his belt and never lose track of it. Besides that, it starts snowing like crazy, even though it normally never snows! By the next morning, the snow is really deep and when he looks outside, he discovers that the whole neighborhood has disappeared and all he can see are snow covered trees!

And so the adventure begins! Will slowly learns his destiny and who he really is. His mission in this book is to prevent the Dark from taking over. He has to accomplish several things, and get past many scary people before that can happen.

It's a wonderfully written book. But I found myself thinking throughout the whole thing, whether or not kids are able to understand it when they read it. The descriptions and concepts are all quite complex, to the point that I found it sometimes hard to follow. It's another one of those books that once you get into the flow and groove, things start making more sense.

It's a fun book, and I hope to read more of the series when I get a chance. I'm still trying to get a hold of the movie, "The Seeker," to watch as part of the Lit Flicks Challenge, but it could be awhile yet. But in the meantime, here's the trailer (which I can tell already they've made Will older and set the whole thing in modern times, but still it looks fun):

Other reviews:

Friday, February 20, 2009

Review: All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

Book: All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy
Genre: Lit. Fiction
Rating: A
For: Lit Flicks Challenge and Awards Challenge (National Book Award 1992)

I went into this book knowing absolutely nothing, except for the fact that the author is well-known for his book The Road. I came out of the book with the idea that this author has a very unique writing style, one of those styles that you have to kinda of get into the grove and flow before you start feeling it. Know what I mean?

Luckily for me, I got in the groove and ended up really liking this book.

Basically, this is the story of John Grady Cole (LOVE that name!) who, along with his buddy, decides to take off from his home in Texas and head to Mexico, just to see what would happen I think. Along they way, they meet another kid whose story they never really learn, but he adds some excitement to their life in a big way! They end up at a big horse ranch, and make quite an impression on everyone with their horse wrangling abilities. Of course, before long a girl gets involved in it all and then things get really messy. Poor poor John Grady Cole!

Even though the writing style was quite unemotional, plain and blunt, and even a bit stream-of-conscious at times, I still totally connected to this dude, and cared about what happened to him. However, this book may not be for everyone. I stumbled upon the reviews about it over at Goodreads and wow, people are all over the board with it!

Anyway, I've rented the movie from the library, and hope to get to that this weekend, so stay tuned for that mini-review.

Other reviews:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Midweek Morsels: Enchilada Casserole

I'm a day late... again... but I'm sharing a Midweek Morsels recipe anyway! This week, Kristina is asking for casseroles! And I'm calling enchiladas a casserole!

Easy Bean and Rice Enchiladas

1 can tomato soup

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can enchilada sauce
1 cup cooked rice
1 can refried beans
grated cheddar cheese
flour tortillas

Heat soups and enchilada sauce. Layer each tortilla with beans, rice, cheese, and soup mixture. Roll up and put in casserole dish. Put remaining soup mixture and cheese on top. Cook for 45 min. at 350 degrees.

Booking Through Thursday: Storage

Booking Through Thursday

This week’s question is suggested by Kat:
I recently got new bookshelves for my room, and I’m just loving them. Spent the afternoon putting up my books and sharing it on my blog . One of my friends asked a question and I thought it would be a great BTT question. So from Tina & myself, we’d like to know “How do you arrange your books on your shelves? Is it by author, by genre, or you just put it where it falls on?”

If I could organize my books like I wanted, I would put them in author order, within genres. I've tried to do that on my shelves in our basement, but they get very messed up very fast. I have several shelves of a classics section, a YA/MG section, a picture book section, several shelves for old school books, a non-fiction section, and the really messy section is the current literary fiction shelves where I've just been throwing and shoving things on because I've run out of room. What I need, is more shelves!

On my shelves in my room, I try to organize all my TBR piles. I've tried to bunch challenge books together and old TBRs in one spot, then new TBRs in another spot. Then once they are read, they get put on yet another shelf until I decide to purge and take all the "done" books downstairs. This system REALLY doesn't last long and ends up with the "throw-it-on-anywhere" system really fast. Right now, there are stacks everywhere and it's starting to get harder to find what I'm looking for. It's time for a purge right now I'd say!

On the shelves in the living room, I have one shelf of really really old books, like the ones my grandparents have given me from their childhood days. Then, there's a couple of shelves of church books, one shelf for souvenir books, a shelf for pretty hardback books, and a shelf for signed copies of all kinds of books. I still have a couple of random unorganized shelves there too. But this particular book shelf I try harder to keep looking unmessy, though sometimes it still doesn't work.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Bookword Game: Voting Results and a New Word

The votes are in! And we have a very clear-cut winner!

Question: What do you call a book that everyone else loved, but that you hated?

Answer: RecommenDUD!!!!

Congratulations to Suziqoregon at Whimpulsive for the winning suggestion.

(For those interested in statistics, RecommenDUD got 49% of the vote, or 39 votes out of the 79 total votes.)

Thanks to everyone that voted and supported our first installment of The Bookword Game!

Now, on to the next bookword! After much pondering which bookish situation needs to be defined next, I've decided to ask:

What do we call a book that nearly every time you turn the page, you check to see which page you're on? Perhaps you feel like you are making no progress and you keep checking to make sure those page numbers are really going up. Or perhaps you are extremely anxious to get to the end and you are keeping a mental page countdown going. So, what should we call a book like that? The book where you are always aware of what page you're on.

Comment with your suggestions! Voting will take place next week at Raidergirl3's blog, An Adventure in Reading.

Thanks everyone for playing along!

Review: The Hunt for Dark Infinity by James Dashner

Book: The Hunt for Dark Infinity (The 13th Reality Book 2) by James Dashner

Genre: YA SF/Fantasy

Rating: A

For: Fun

First a story. Did I ever tell you about how I got a hold of this book? I don't think so because it's a bit embarrassing. As you know, a month or so ago, we went to the Utah Book Bloggers Bash hosted by Natasha (Maw Books Blog.) And Mr. James Dashner was kind enough to participate in our little shindig, which we all thought was quite exciting.

Then at one point during the party, he brought out a little stack of books, ARCs of this #2 book and one copy of the first 13th Reality book, then handed them to Natasha and told her to deal with it! My eyes lit up and she noticed. I begged, I pleaded. I even played the "my son is a huge fan" card (which is totally true, he is.) Lucky for me, it worked and she handed me a copy! THEN, everyone else drew for who would get the other books. My husband was so embarrassed at my obnoxious behavior! But then, it all ended well when James Dashner got everyone's email and told them he'd send them all a copy! So in the end, I didn't have to feel too bad. But seriously, I don't think any of them had read the first book yet even. (Am I right guys?) Anyway, hopefully they don't hate me too bad.

So back to the book. Both my son and I have now read it. It comes out just next week, so I figure we at least owe Mr. Dashner Dude a review.

Quick Summary: In the first book, Tick gets a bunch of letters, all with riddles that he must solve, in order to prove himself worthy to be a Realitant and become a member of this elite group that keeps track of and protects all the different Realities. (For my review on that book click

This 2nd book picks up at the end of a boring summer (especially after all the excitement of the first book) with Tick and his new friends waiting to hear from Master George, the head of the Realitants. They are anxious for their next mission. When it comes, of course things go wrong and suddenly, they are off on an adventure that is making no sense to them. It's like they are being tested all over again. What could be going on?

Meanwhile, back at the headquarters, their other friend, Sato, gets sent on his own scary adventure, complete with an amazing, breath-taking chase scene. Then there's Master George who, along with his eclectic group of Realitants, is trying to figure out exactly what's going on because things are all a bit confusing. And then also, we learn much more about the villains, both the new one and the old one.

The book is full of heart-pounding chase scenes, many explosions and destruction galore! There's also lots of riddles to solve, just like in the first book. I'm lousy at the riddles. Good thing the kids in the book seem to always figure them out!

Bottom line, I totally enjoyed it! I think even better than the first book. It's extremely fast-paced with never a slow moment. There's more character development, with back stories on many of them. I really hope we get to hear more about Mistress Jane in future books, especially. Well, I'm quite sure that's going to happen!
I wanted my 14 year old son, who's been reading James Dashner's books from the very beginning, to share his feelings about this book too. He gets very nervous about these things, so we just did it interview style.

Me: So, what's this book about anyway?

Him: It's about these kids who go into different dimensions called Realities and they have to protect the Realities from the bad guys. It's cool because it's all based on the idea of quantum physics.

Me: Did you like it? And if so, why.

Him: Yes, I liked it a lot because it has a fast pace. I liked the storyline, it has lots of good twists and curves, and in a way, it's even somewhat realistic. The characters are great and have really unique personalities.

Me: Who's your favorite character?

Him: Paul, one of Tick's friends, is my favorite character because he's funny.

Me: What did you think about the villains?

Him: They were good and mean. But, at one point I did feel sorry for Mistress Jane. She was even trying to help Tick, I think.

Me: What was your favorite scene?

Him: It was when Sato was getting chased by the crazy people, trying to get back to the elevator. There was no way I could have put the book down then.

Me: Could you figure out the riddles?
Him: I figured out one of them, sort of. The one in the smelly reality. The others were pretty hard I thought.

And now, instead of doing the customary author interview, I just thought I'd post a couple of fun tidbits I've learned about James Dashner from reading his blog:
  • He has another book coming out this year called The Maze Runner. It sounds wonderful!
  • He loved The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.... and The Hunger Games.
  • He refuses to watch movie trailers... but loves movies.
  • He graduated from high school in 1991.
  • He grew up in Florida.
  • He's a fan of The Office, and Lost.
  • He likes to ski and takes amazing snow pictures while out there.
  • He's a big sports fan.
  • He's married with four kids.
  • He quit his day job in the summer and has been full-time authoring ever since!

So be excited this book comes out next week! Get it! You'll love it, but especially (and to quote Marty McFly) your kids are gonna love it!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Blog Post Bingo and Tuesday Stuff

Hey look! What'dya know? I won the Blog Post Bingo Game! Now that makes all the posting last week worth it, right? I get to spend $10 at Amazon, and I think I'll be buying this:

Next up for Blog Improvement is to do some basic blogging updates such as the About Me page, the blogroll, contact info, picture, etc. Much of this stuff I've been doing already, but there's always more to work on.


It's Tuesday! Where am I? Back to Inkworld! Yep, and it's much more exciting this time.

Okay, another one from Inkdeath, page 423:

"The happiness in her voice moved him, and he wondered, not for the first time, how it was that the book that had told him so much about fire-elves and giants said so little about the Adderhead's daughter. To Fenoglio, Violante had been only a minor character, an ugly, unhappy little girl, nothing more."

Be sure to visit tomorrow and leave suggestions for our new word in The Bookword Game!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Sunday Salon: What a Week!

It's been a fun week for me around here. I feel like I've been posting a ton. That's mostly due to my attempt at all the different kinds of posts for Blog Post Bingo. Hopefully it was as fun for you as it was for me, and not too overly annoying.

The Bookword Game made it's debut on my blog this week, with the voting of "what we should call a book that everyone else loves, but you hate." Thank you to everyone that's dropped by to vote! If you haven't yet, you still have a couple of days. We'll announce the winner, and open the floor for suggestions for the new word on Wednesday.

I finished a couple of books this past week. The Dark is Rising by Susan Cooper and The Hunt for Dark Infinity by James Dashner. Reviews to come this week. I need to watch The Seeker now, to go along with my Lit Flicks challenge project, but I'm finding it hard to get a hold of. The library status on it says "claimed returned." Not a good thing for me I'm thinking.

And today I plan on concentrating on All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy. Strange, different writing, but surprisingly engaging at the same time. If I finish it, maybe I'll try Inkdeath some more. But I'm also dying to dive into all those
book fair books I bought!

Okay, well. I think that's about it for my book life. My other life? Well, we'll leave that all for another day.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009.6: What's in a Name?

The Weekly Geeks assignment this week is to explore the names of some of our favorite characters and share what we've learned and if it seems to fit the character's... well... character!

After some pondering, here's a few I've come up with:

Anjuli: the heroine from The Far Pavilions by M.M. Kaye... one of my favorite books and a name I remember thinking was so pretty. I looked it up and it means "gift to God" in Hindi. Perfect for this character I'm thinking.

Tess: of Tess of the D'urbervilles (Thomas Hardy) fame. Looking this up, I've learned that it's a nickname for Teresa, an English name meaning "late summer." Once again, I think this fits the character quite well. Poor Tess.

Molly: from Wives and Daughters by Elizabeth Gaskell. This is a nickname for Mary... interesting. And Mary (English) means "wished-for child" according to this site anyway. Hmmm... don't know that this has much to do with our Molly. What do you think?

I'm having more trouble with the male character names. I keep thinking of the made up ones!

Well, how about:

Collin: from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. Another English name, this one meaning "victorious people." And, once again, it's a actually a nickname for Nicolas. Is Collin victorious in his particular story? I would say, yes. Sure!

Edward: I couldn't resist! An old English name meaning "wealth protector." Interesting. It would make more sense for Twilight purposes if it meant just plain old protector. Another interesting tidbit from my research.... it says this: "This name was popular earlier in the 20th century, then fell off in usage, but has begun making a comeback in recent years." Got a kick out of that.

Gilbert: from Anne of Green Gables of course. It's an old French name meaning "bright promise." I think that fits our Gilbert perfectly!

Fun little exercise! But I think the thing I learned the most is that I have a hard time remembering character names from all the books I've read!

Review: The Wednesday Letters by Jason Wright

Book: The Wednesday Letters by Jason Wright
Genre: Lit. Fiction
Rating: B+
For: F2F Book Club (the other one)

I was happy this book was chosen for book club this month. I've heard quite a bit about it and it seemed like it would be a fun, easy read. Which it was. And I did enjoy it, but I kept just wanting more! Like it barely scratched the surface of what could have been. Or something.

The story begins with the death of the aging parents. The three kids gather for the funeral, and in the process of the preparations, they discover letters that their dad wrote to their mom every Wednesday since the day they were married. Very cool, huh? It also explores the troubles and problems each of the kids have been dealing with over the last few years. Meanwhile, as they go through the letters, there's quite a big secret that comes out.

So I enjoyed it. But I really wanted it to explore the relationships more. There's the one son who's come back to face his ex-girlfriend, and I wanted much more about their relationship and their past. And the letters were fun, but it still seemed to just barely touch on the parents' relationship. I kept wishing the whole time for it to dig much deeper.

Still, all in all, I liked it fine.

Hmmm, I seem to be way more critical lately, haven't I? What's up with that?

Friday, February 13, 2009

Blog Post Bingo Wrap-Up

Here's my wrap-up post for the Blog Improvement Blog Post Bingo game. Remember, the idea was to post the following 10 kinds of blogs during these past two weeks. Here's the list complete with my links:

1. A Link Post: Author Blogs

2. A Short Post: My Weekly Geeks Book Cover post... short on words, but long on pictures. Oh, there's another one that's quite short, Introducing the Bookword Game.

3. A List Post: My Book Fair Loot post

4. An Opinion Post: Fiction vs. Non

6. A How-to Post: How to Run a Book Fair

8. A Review Post: Review of The Princess and the Hound

9. A Definition Post: 19th Century Words Defined

10: FREE SPACE: any kind of post, NOT the same as any above: How about A Recipe post?

I must say, this was quite fun! A brain stretch here and there, but that's part of the fun. Thanks for a great idea Kim. I loved it! :)

Happy Friday the 13th everyone! Stay safe!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Authors Talking

Suggested by Barbara H.:
A comment on someone else’s BTT question this week inspired this question:
Do you read any author’s blogs? If so, are you looking for information on their next project? On the author personally? Something else?

I read many many author blogs. Too many. I can't keep up. And I'm always adding to the list. It's the same old story. Too many blogs, not enough time.

I read them mostly to learn about them personally. And to follow them through the steps of publication, if they share, which mostly they do. It's very fun to feel like you are a part of the whole process and to cheer for them and celebrate with them as things happen, even if they never even know you exist.

Some of my favorite ones are:

Some others I read now and then:

And I wish, oh I wish, that Markus Zusak would start blogging! Does anyone know if he does and maybe I'm just unlucky in my search? The only thing I've found is this, but nothing that points to an actual blog.

Anyway, there's many more that I've stumbled upon but haven't stuck with for very long. Let me know if I'm missing an amazing one that I should be reading! And let me know if you click on one of these that I've shared and what you think of it.

19th Century Words Defined

So, I have this cool book called What Jane Austen Ate and Charles Dickens Knew by Daniel Pool. It's very fun for learning about the life and times of all things Victorian/Regency especially where books and authors are concerned. So, I thought it would be fun, (for my Blog Post Bingo definition post of course), to share with you some of the terms in the glossary that jump out at me:

apoplexy: a stroke

barouche: a four wheel fancy carriage with a fold-up hood at the back and with two inside seats facing each other

bespeak: to order something, like a dinner. Also, to ask a favor.

boot: a place in the coach where luggage was put

brougham: the all purpose everyday vehicle

chandler: Originally, a man who dealt in candles. Later, the corner grocer in poor neighborhoods.

crown: a coin worth five shillings

dowager: the name given to a widow of rank

esquire: a title conferring no rights or privileges, but simply an intangible sort of dignity . After awhile, anyone who wanted to seem respectable, used it.

farthing: a coin worth one quarter of a penny

garret: an attic

macintosh: rubberized waterproof clothing. Slow to take on because it smelled bad.

mute: a person hired to come to a funeral and mourn

paddock: a horse pasture

plate: silverware

pomade: perfumed hair ointment made partly from apples

press: a cupboard or closet for storing clothes

rounders: a game like baseball

stile: a set of steps through or over a fence, which a human could use, but not the sheep

sugarplum: a roundish piece of flavored candy made mostly of sugar

turnkey: a jailer

Twelfth Night: January 5, the night before the twelfth day after Christmas, on which day Christmas festivities traditionally ended. January 6 was Epiphany.

waistcoat: a vest

weeds: mourning garments

yeoman: small independent farmer

You know.... I love this stuff!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Midweek Morsels: Comfort Food

I decided today that I felt in the mood to make bread to go with dinner tonight. Then I realized there really isn't a more perfect comfort food than homemade bread. So I'm sharing our family recipe:

Grandma's White Bread

3 cups warm water
1/4 cup sugar
2 Tbs. yeast
4 cups flour

Dissolve yeast and sugar in water. Then add flour. Beat until smooth. Let it sit for 1 hour.

3 cups milk, scalded

4 Tbs. sugar
2 Tbs. salt
6 Tbs. shortening

Mix together and let cool until lukewarm.

Stir yeast mixture down, and add to milk mixture. Then add 8 to 10 more cups of flour. Knead for about 10 minutes. Let rise until double in bulk. Shape into five loaves. Let rise again. Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

I haven't made this forever, so wish me luck!

Be sure to come visit Kristina's blog today and share your favorite comfort food!

The Bookword Game: Time to Vote!

The first installment of The Bookword Game is well underway! Thank you everyone for your great suggestions over at An Adventure in Reading . We really appreciate so many of you participating.

As a reminder, here is the definition of the bookword we are currently attempting to create:

"What do you call a book that everyone else loves, but you hate? Everyone is raving about it, but you just don't get it."

Raidergirl3 and I have pondered the list and have chosen our top favorites. Here are the bookwords that made the cut:

A Bafflebook - submitted by

A Blue Cheese Book - submitted by
Farm Lane Books

A "Twilight Zone" Book - submitted by
Chris at Book-a-rama

A RecommenDUD - submitted by
SuziQoregon at Wimpulsive

A "That's it?" Book - submitted by

A NIMHO Book (where NIMHO stands for Not In My Humble Opinion)- submitted by John Mutford at The Book Mine Set

A "Huh?" Book - submitted by Beth Fish Reads

A BADwagon Book - submitted by Julie at A Small Accomplishment

And now it's time to vote! Please use the embedded poll to cast your vote. (Hopefully this works. At the time of this writing, I can't tell!) Comments are welcome too, but we'll tally the winner from what the official poll says. We'll leave the poll open through Monday, then announce the winner on Wednesday here at It's All About Books. Also at that time, I'll give the next book situation that we think needs a word, and take suggestions for a week. Then we'll vote on that new bookword the next week at An Adventure in Reading.

Get it? Whew, I hope so! :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Fiction vs. Non: An Opinion Post

As part of the Blog Post Bingo quest some of us have been working on these past two weeks, I must write an opinion post. This is a very hard one for me, as I'm not the most opinionated person, at least I don't think I am! So I've been struggling with what to write about. I debated arguing the fact that I think the Grammy's are fixed, but I have nothing to base that on. Besides, it would be nice to try and figure out an opinion I have on something book related.

Then I was reminded about a sort of book argument I had with my husband awhile back. He thinks fiction and specifically fantasy, is a waste of time. He feels that non-fiction is the only type of books a person can read and still learn something. (However, sometimes I think he takes this stand just to get me all riled up. Yep, it works!)

So, then of course I start freaking out about how all reading is learning, even if it's fantasy. And that no matter what we read, we are learning something. And that even if the whole purpose of reading is to escape the real world and live for a time in a fantasy one, that's okay. And I know that non-fiction is really great for learning, and I wish I could fit more of it in, but as for me, I tend to crave the fictional, (sometimes realistic, sometimes non,) stories to immerse myself in and forget about the current world and all its too real problems.

So, there's my opinion, simple as it is. How about you? Do you see the benefit of reading fiction, even fantasy? Or do you think that non-fiction is the only way to learn from a book?


Related Posts with Thumbnails