Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Review: Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Book: Cranford by Elizabeth Gaskell

Genre: Classic

Rating: A-

I'm starting to think I start out my reviews the same every time, but it's true, I've been wanting to read this book forever. First, because I love Elizabeth Gaskell, and second because I heard they made a great movie from it. And you know, of course, that I have to read the book first, before watching the movie!

Anyway, this one was quite different from the other novels of hers that I've read. Those had very complicated, involved, soap opera-y plots. This one was much simpler, about a group of ladies who live in Cranford, and what they observe about the town and about each other. It's told through the eyes of a girl who grew up there, but moved away, yet comes back for frequent visits, and lets us know what's going on each time she visits. I was surprised we didn't get to know more about her as the book went on. She truly kept herself out of the main action for the most part.

Most of the action centers around Miss Matty, a spinster in the town. Some of my favorite parts, however, were when we got a glimpse into her childhood. I would have loved more elaboration on that. But this book wasn't about those details, it was about a glimpse, a taste, of the life these ladies led.

It was a very fun, enjoyable book to read. Very heart -warming and happily ever after-ish. And I learned a new word: bugbear which means a fault or "standing characteristic" a person has for which people constantly bug you about.... a character flaw perhaps. I love that word, bugbear. Our narrator thought her bugbear was indiscretion, but she proved otherwise.

Anyway, though it wasn't as involving as say Wives and Daughters, it was still a very fun and quaint book. Thanks, Heather J, for letting me participate in my first read along! Now I have only two Gaskell books left to read and I can say I've read them all, I think. Mary Barton is at the top of that list.

And a trailer for the movie that I hope to watch soon:

The Bookword Game: Now Voting!

The Bookword Game is back! This past week, over at An Adventure in Reading, readers have been thinking of a word to describe this definition:

What do you call an author that is one you know you can always count on for a good read? It can be for comfort, excitement, whatever - you know that author will deliver.

The suggestions:

Reliaread from Bibliotrist

Dependaread from Jan

Depend-a-thor from Melissa

Reliauthor from Melissa

Safe Author from Joy

Proven Author from Joy

Sound Author from Joy

AceAuthor from Bybee

Reliascribe from Megan

Time to vote! Be sure to come back next week to see which word wins... and then make suggestions on our new word. Thanks for playing!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

To Add or Not to Add: That is the Question

The current topic over at Kim's Blog Improvement Project is about how to keep our feeds and readers under control. I have no answers. Mine's extremely out of control. The only way to maintain any sort of handle on it is to use folders like crazy.

But, this sparked another question in my mind, one that I've been pondering since BBAW a few weeks ago when many of our readers exploded, and our "add subscription" buttons went spastic.

What I'm wondering is, what makes you decide to add a blog to your reader? Do you feel like adding every new blog you come across? Do you have some sort of mental check list you use before a blog "passes" the test to get added?

I find that I make a snap judgement on the new blogs I come across, which sort of freaks me out. (And I wonder if my own blog would pass my own snap judgement, you know? Or I wonder if I'm leaving out some really cool blogs.) So, for me, a lot of it is a gut feeling that I get as soon as I click onto a blog about whether or not we would have a chance of any sort of connection.

That being said, there are some things I quickly look for, and for the most part, they are things that can be discovered with a pretty quick glance at a blog. They are:

- a good mix between reviews, personal posts, discussion posts, and posts on the blogger's other interests

- a fun approachable voice (someone who isn't intimidating or puts on a "know it all" sort of vibe)

- clean, uncluttered looking, yet not blank and boring either. Colorful, but not busy.

- pictures, but not too many... a good mix between graphics and text

- a font big enough to read and a color that's easy on the eyes

- the possibility to have similar tastes so we lots to discuss ... AND the possibility to have plenty of differences so we can learn from each other

All blogs that I add to my reader, unless I'm totally sure about them, go into a "trial run" folder, where I'll give myself some time to read them, and see if I find myself coming back and back and back for more, before I add them to a more permanent folder. If I start to comment, and they actually comment back... that's a huge plus for getting assigned a permanent folder! It simply lets me know that a blogger wants to interact, and knows I'm there.

So what about you? Do you decide in a split second whether or not to hit that add button? What goes into that decision? Do you feel it's very arbitrary and a decision made way too fast? How many blogs do you allow yourself to add?

Yes, it's something to ponder, isn't it, this reader/feed/blog reading stress we've created for ourselves!

Review: The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

Book: The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart

Genre: YA

Rating: B

For: Fun

I wonder about this book every time I go to the book store, it's always seems to catch my eye. I have no idea why, but the other day when I saw it just sitting there at the library, I thought, okay fine, I'll read you!

So the list the Ruby makes in this book is at the suggestion of her therapist. She's going through some rough times and the therapist thinks that if she make a list of all the boys she's ever "dated" she might be able to sort out her feelings. So Ruby takes that a step further and makes a list of all the boys she's ever had any remote connection to at all.

The whole story is Ruby flashing back to remember the boys and the situations that brought them together while at the same time telling us the trauma she's been going through which causes her to need the therapist in the first place.

Kinda fun, but overall I just thought it was okay. It ended up that there was never really any point to it all, and it left me quite hanging. Maybe there's a sequel? I don't know. There's another one called The Boy Book, but I'm not sure it's a continuation of the story, or just a companion book.

Other Reviews:

Monday, September 28, 2009

Authors Pick Five: Kathleen McCleary

Kathleen McCleary, author of House and Home, picks five books most influential and important to her:

Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. I must have read this book at least fifty times, and that's not an exaggeration. Something about the way this family related to each other, about Jo's rebellion and creativity, just captured my imagination. I turn to it again and again.

A River Runs Through It, by Norman Maclean. The writing in this book was so spare and so simple yet so moving and eloquent that it's become the gold standard for me. And it addresses one of the universal questions: How do you help someone you love when they don't want to be helped?

Lonesome Dove, by Larry McMurty. I devoured this book in two days. Nobody writes dialogue better than Larry McMurtry, and in this book he also has unforgettable characters and a compelling plot. It's the book he was born to write, and I'm so glad he wrote it!

Return to Thrush Green, by Miss Read. I found this book in a giveaway pile at my office years ago, and took it home. I was captivated by the lush descriptions of the setting, in England's Cotswolds, and by the sweet explanations and acceptance of life's many cycles. The characters are quirky, the plot meanders along, and the book weasels its way into your heart.

The Plague and I, by Betty MacDonald, and A Walk Through the Woods by Bill Bryson. Because every once in a while we all need to laugh out loud while reading. Betty MacDonald manages to make a forced nine-month stay in a tuberculosis sanitarium funny, and Bryson's tale of hiking the Appalachias with his chubby companion is so hysterical that flight attendants will regard you suspiciously if you read this on a plane.

I was lucky enough to have Kathleen guest post on my blog last year during a blog tour of House and Home. You can also check out my review of the book at that same link. She recently celebrated the paperback release of her book.

Before House and Home, which is her first novel, Kathleen wrote for several newspapers and magazines as a freelance journalist. She is currently working on her next novel, which we are all very much looking forward to!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Sunday Salon: Bits of Bookish Business

I thought of tons of things I wanted to mention in a Sunday Salon blog post today, all while was unsuccessfully trying to sleep last night. Do you find yourself doing that? Thinking of blogging in the middle of the night? Drives me crazy!

And of course now I can't remember what any of those things were, but we'll give it a try.

--First off, I did want to mention Banned Books Week that's going on this week. I love banned books. They're always the best ones, you know. Some may have something a little squirmy in them, but it's those kinds of things that give you something to think about usually. Anyway, so I looked one of the lists, for banned and challenged classics, and some personal favorites on that list are: The Catcher in the Rye, The Grapes of Wrath, To Kill a Mockingbird, 1984, Charlotte's Web, Brave New World, Gone With The Wind, My Antonia, Howard's End, Rebecca, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy... just to name a few. And on it goes with current books also. So.Go read yourself a wonderful banned book this week!

--I've counted all the votes for my book club's upcoming reads. We'll be adding The Help, Bel Canto, Rebecca, North and South, The Guernsey Society, and a fairy tale book month to our schedule! I'm so excited! Almost all of these are book club sets from the library too. What a cool idea someone came up with!

--What I'm reading today: Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr. Finally! And you were all right, what an intense amazing crazy story. I've been waiting for this one to become available at the library forever it seems, and when it finally did this weekend, I dropped everything else, and read all yesterday, and just finished it a moment ago. Whew! What a ride.

--Hey, don't forget, the Bookword Game is back! Head on over to An Adventure in Reading to suggest the new word, then come and vote at a poll I'll have here this coming Wednesday. You remember the routine, right?

--Oh, and if you're reading this on a feed at the moment, click on over and let me know what you think of my new look. I'm trying to change things up a little anyway. Still not sure I've got what I set out to get, but getting closer anyway. If you're new to the blog, click on my new About link where I've listed some random info.... yeah... about me! :)

--I pondered present tense in a fun post this week. Guess what? Almost everyone says it bugs them, and that it throws off the flow and that it doesn't feel natural. Interesting. Makes me wonder why authors even want to use it. Click on over if you haven't had a chance yet and let me know what YOU think.

-- Okay. Well. I looks like a remembered a few of my thoughts. I'm sure there was more, but instead of wracking my brain to remember it all, I'm going to hit publish, and be off to watch The Amazing Race premier, while I staple 600 book fair fliers to go out to the kids this week!

Have a lovely week everyone and get lots of reading done!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pondering Present Tense

So here's something I've been thinking about for awhile. What's the deal with present tense these days? Have you noticed that there's more and more books using it? What do you think? Do you like present tense? Or does it bug you?

I've been trying to get my 14 year old son to read The Hunger Games. "You'd love it!" I said. He said, "Mom, I tried. It's in present tense. It give me a headache." "What?" I said. "You won't read this amazingly cool book, that I know you'll love, just because it's in present tense?" He went on to say that it bugged him so much that he couldn't concentrate on the story. He says, how can she be writing this while she's in the middle of it? He thinks of books as if the character were sitting down and writing it.

I said, well, present tense, especially in this story, makes you feel like you are right there in the middle of the action, right while it's happening! It's a way to make the reader feel much more a part of the story!

He shook his head and said, nope, he is not reading The Hunger Games. It makes me crazy. And to make it worse, I know he only read like a paragraph before giving up.

But then, I remembered the first time I was bugged by present tense. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt. (I'm sure that wasn't the first present tense book I read, just the first that really distracted me) Turns out, I loved that book. But I remember having to get over the present tense thing, and it took awhile. So I could sort of relate to what he was saying. Sometimes present tense is just weird, and throws off the flow, or something.

So, ever since that conversation with my son, I've been paying more attention and wow, there's a lot of books using present tense these days. Most recently for me, The Forest of Hands and Teeth, Sacred Hearts, and of course, Catching Fire. And while I notice it and think, oh, present tense... when I first start the book, I'm over that "this is weird" thing and can forget about it and enjoy the book regardless.

So, what do you think? Does present tense throw you off? Have you noticed it in more books recently? Any suggestion on how to get my kid to read a good book even if it's in present tense?

Oh, and by the way, he says he only likes books in first person too. But that's a subject for a different post.

P.S. Amanda from The Zen Leaf, also wondered about present tense as part of her Catching Fire review. Check it out!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Recent Sad

Booking Through Thursday: What’s the saddest book you’ve read recently?
(Is any body getting bored with this series of “recent” questions? Because I’m having fun!)

Looking back to last month:

Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow
The Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Vol. 1 by M. T. Anderson

This month:

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan
Sing Me To Sleep by Angela Morrison

All these deal with some very sad issues. But most of them are able to leave you feeling inspired anyway. This has made me realize though, that most of the books I read and like are sad in sort of way. Interesting.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Review: Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

Book: Sacred Hearts by Sarah Dunant

Genre: Historical Fiction

Rating: A-

For: ARC from Random House

I was so excited when this ARC showed up out of the blue in the mail for me this past summer! I was familiar with the author having read her book The Birth of Venus awhile back and totally enjoyed it. So finally, I've managed to fit this one in and get it read, even though it's been out now for a couple of months.

This is the story of life in a convent. It takes place in Italy in the 1500's. During that time, many girls were given up by their families to become a nun since they didn't have enough money for a dowry to marry them off.

We often think of girls choosing to become nuns, but in reality, there were many many who were forced into this life. This is the story of one such girl and of the experienced nun who befriends her. And what happens when the new girl begins to plan her escape.

This book really gives you the feel for convent life. The constant praying, all day and all night it seems, the boredom, the harshness of penance, the isolation from the world, the day to day survival. Yet, there's also a camaraderie, a sisterhood, a sense of purpose many of them have, and the way they all specialize in something they helps keep the convent running. This book reminded me a lot of Galileo's Daughter, another great book that portrays a lot about the life of a nun.

The story started out a bit slow for me, but really picked up once the conflict got going. I think I read the whole second half on Sunday and was completely into it.

I must say though, I think there should be a sequel! I'm really curious about what happens next!

Other reviews:

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Book Club Voting List

Here's what my F2F book club is voting on this week with the hope to find five books to add to our schedule January through May:

Book Club Set Possibilities

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

The Guernsey Literary....etc. etc. by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Rebecca by Daphne duMaurier

Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

New Book Possibilities

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

A Misc. Idea
A Fairy Tale Book Month were we read all or a combination of the following then contrast and compare:

Beauty by Robin McKinley (Beauty and the Beast retelling)
Beastly by Alex Flinn (Beauty and the Beast retelling)
Zel by Donna Jo Napoli (Rapunzel retelling)
Golden by Camron Dokey (Rapanzel retelling)

Hmmm.... I'm noticing that we didn't add any non-fiction to our possibilities this year. We usually have one or two at least.

I'm curious to know if you were part of the book club and could have three choices, what would they be?

Hopefully we'll have this all squared away in a week, with a complete and full schedule all planned. Fun!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday's Movie... make that movies...

It's a movie meme hosted by A Novel Menagerie. Click here to participate.

A few movies I've watched the last few weeks:

Chances Are
Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Cybill Shepherd, Ryan O'Neal, Mary Stuart Masterson
Rated: PG

We were flipping through the On Demand movies the other night, and when I saw this one listed I said to my daughter, you will LOVE this one!

It was everything I remembered. So cute, and funny, and heart warming. I adore Robert Downey Jr. in this movie (well, any movie I should say.) He can't get any cuter.

The premise: a couple is celebrating their first anniversary, the guy dies. He is distraught, so he jumps in the first body he can and is instantly reborn. Opps... they forgot to give him his "forgetting" inoculation! Flash forward 23 years. A young boy meets a girl, she takes him home to her family, then he starts remembering strange things!

I give this FIVE popcorns for sheer entertainment value.

A scene from the movie:

17 Again
Starring: Zac Efron, Leslie Mann, Matthew Perry
Rated: PG-13

I am not scared to admit that I love Zac Efron in this movie. The speech at the end... so so good. We rented this awhile back, even though we saw it in the theater, and watched it again. Then my daughter proceeded to watch it again... and again.. and again. Hmmm... I wonder.

Strangely, Chances Are and this movie have a lot in common. If you haven't seen this one, it's about a 40 something guy, nearly divorced from his wife, non-existent relationship with his kids, and he's rethinking his whole life. Maybe he should have done something different. Suddenly, he gets that chance. What will he do????

It has few squirmy moments. But I love the overall message of the movie. There's a great lesson to learn here.

I give this FOUR popcorns, it would have been five if the squirmy parts were left out.

The trailer:

Staring: Tom Cruise, Kenneth Branaugh
Rated: PG-13

This one is about one of several attempts at assassinating Hitler. It had me totally on the edge of my seat, even though we all know how it ends. (You do know that Hitler was not assassinated, right?) I hate that, knowing how it ends, yet hoping that perhaps you missed something in history!

Tom Cruise was great in the movie. Very dramatic and all. Great movie, though depressing and sad. So be prepared for that.

I give this FIVE popcorns for a well-made, intense, historical movie.

The trailer:

Have you seen any of these movies? What do you think? You agree or disagree? And if you haven't seen them, do you plan on it someday?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Sunday Salon: Giveaway Winner Announced!

So I did the thing and the winner of a signed, hard back copy of Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison is:

Nancye from Kentucky who blogs at Whatever It Takes!

Congratulations Nancye. I'll be sending you an email to get your address and will mail that book out tomorrow. I hope you love it! :) Read it, then come back and let me know what you think.

As part of the giveaway, I asked everyone what their taboo is.... something they should stay away from, but they just can't. I found it interesting that so many of us list some sort of food item as our taboo. Sad!!! But so true. Next on the list it appears is shopping, whether it be books, or the dollar store, or a certain store like Walmart and Target and Khols. Third on the list of most popular taboo is too much time on the computer. I relate!

Thanks everyone for participating.

Other bookish thoughts for this Sunday Salon:

** I got book club going again this week. I had a blast. Talked too much, but it was fun. I think I'll do a separate post on book club and let you know all the books we are trying to pick from for our upcoming schedule, just to see what you think.

** BBAW was fun, as I mentioned in another post. I've added a bunch to my reader. Some very fun looking blogs! My favorite parts of BBAW this time: the blog talk radio show, the post by Raych that I totally loved, the attention Natasha gave Utah bloggers, remembering Dewey, and all the general fun blogging activity! Let's do it again next year. Amy, are you up to it?

** Last week was cool too because I got a huge pile of really fun YA books from the library (Catalyst, Octavian Nothing Vol.2, Chalice, Love Peace and Baby Ducks, So Yesterday and The Boyfriend List) and a box from Amazon (The Help, The Actor and the Housewife, Forest Born, The Vampire Diaries) and an ARC from Random House (Last Night in Twisted River by John Irving) and a book from won from Amanda (Hollywood is Like High School with Money) and... I think that's about it. I'm so anxious to read them all that I'm giving my self a panic attack!!

** Meanwhile, I'm still working away on Sacred Hearts and Cranford. Both of which I really should be reading right now instead of blogging. You know how it goes.

Well, I'm thinking I could ramble on and on, but instead of doing that, I'll just hit the button and get this winner information out there! And then go read. :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009.26: Burnout? A BBAW Evaluation....

This week for Weekly Geeks we are asked if after the fabulous, crazy week last week that we called BBAW, do we feel blogger overload? And why do we even put ourselves through this blogging business? In fact unfinishedperson even goes on to say: Why? Why? Why? :)

I feel tired, but not burned out. Actually, I feel quite a bit enthused, and pumped up and ready to commit to a bigger and better blogging experience! Hmmm... maybe it won't last very long, but that's how I feel after this past week.

I started the week a bit sad. It seemed like every blog but mine was at least nominated for one of the awards. BUT... then the love-fest of last Monday happened, and I decided that even if I'm not nominated for anything, there's still people out there who enjoy coming here to read, and that's really all that matters.

And even though we all say we are in it just for ourselves, or to simply get the word out about books, or to keep track of lists, it's still been fun this week to see the little stat numbers go up. Welcome to all you new readers, and I hope you keep coming back!

I'm looking forward to trying new things with the blog. Fixing that ugly header, possibly changing up my whole color scheme, updating the blog roll, adding to the features. I hope to participate in the readathon this year, and to participate in many other events that are being talked about here and there.

I'm happy that after two and a half years, this is all still fun. So in answer to the question above... Why? Why why why? That's it... because it's fun. It's an outlet I need. It's a community I love. It's a worthwhile endeavor. It makes me happy, and I plan to keep right on "soldiering on!"

Friday, September 18, 2009

BBAW: Goals and Stuff

What I like and what I'd change:

  • I like Authors Pick Five, Suey's Top Tens, and the Bookword Game. I hope to expand on them further.

  • I like the Printz Project and I want to do more with that. I also have another challenge idea that I will ponder forever before I act on it.

  • I hate my header and want to update big time.

  • By next year, I hope to still have blogging enthusiasm, and I hope even more people are reading and commenting.

That's more than 50 words, huh?

Thanks for a great BBAW everyone! Congrats to all the award winners! Check out Natasha's (Maw Books) post about creating friendships through blogging! And don't forget to enter my giveaway, today's the last day!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Booking Through Thursday: Recent Enjoyable

What’s the most enjoyable, most fun, most just-darn-entertaining book you’ve read recently?

Um... all of them! :)
I just finished a marathon read of Max by James Patterson. It's the fifth book of the fun Maximum Ride series. I totally enjoyed it. Much much better than the fourth book in the series which was too much in-your-face environmentally preachy. This one, just a little bit, but not over the top. I enjoyed the Max/Fang tension. Very fun. Review to come later.
Reminder: tomorrow is the last day to enter my Taken by Storm giveaway.

BBAW: The Wonderful Book Blogger Buzz

Today's task for BBAW is to talk about a book that we read because of a book blogger.

Um.... I can't do it! It's because I can't really name a specific blogger to a specific book. How it works with me is I suddenly realize that there's a book that everyone seems to be talking about. Once that happens, THEN I think, hmmmm.... I better read this. I'm sure there are some that I read because of one blogger, but for the most part, it's a combined effort on everyone's part.

That's the Book Blogger Buzz working... and I have read many many books because of this buzz.

So I went through my list of books read so far this year and here's what books I read because of the Book Blogger Buzz (with links to my review):

The Reluctant Widow by Georgette Heyer: never even heard of Heyer before the buzz around here

Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison: okay so I CAN name a specific blogger on this one, Susan at Bloggin' Bout Books said, "If you want an ARC of this, check here." So I did and now I have a new favorite author!

The Moon Below by Barbara Bickmore: I kept seeing this on many people's list of favorites

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian by Sherman Alexie: one I wouldn't ever have known about but for bloggers

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Burrows: all the fault of Books on the Nightstand podcast

Marked by PC Cast and Kristen Cast: Given to me for the Blogger Christmas Exchange by Ruthie

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: many of you talked about this one

Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson: wow, you all raved

Beach Trip by Cathy Holton: TLC Book Tour

And Only to Deceive by Tasha Alexander: recommended to my book club by Tricia at Library Queue

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart: seems like a bunch of you read this all about the same time

The Road by Cormac McCarthy: Well, Oprah recommended first, but I doubt I would have read it except for all the amazing reviews from book bloggers

The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Vol.1 by M.T. Anderson: this one was read totally because of John Green's rave review

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan: I would have never picked this one up except for the BUZZ

Keep it up people! I love what you recommend!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Authors Pick Five: David Ebershoff

David Ebershoff, author of The 19th Wife, picks these five books as those most important or influential to him:

The Odyssey (Robert Fagles translation)
Wuthering Heights
The Scarlet Letter
The Grapes of Wrath

I reviewed David's book, The 19th Wife, last year when it first came out. As part of participating in that blog tour, he also did a guest post on my blog. Recently, this book has been making a big buzz in the book world again as it has come out in paperback. If you are interested in early Mormon history, you really should read this book.

Other books that David Ebershoff has published include The Danish Girl, The Rose City and Pasadena.

BBAW Reading Meme

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?Laying the book flat open?

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?


Hard copy or audiobooks?

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?


If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?

What are you currently reading?

What is the last book you bought?

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?


Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?

How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Book: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Genre: YA Dystopian

Rating: A

For: Because I HAD too! :)

So, it's BBAW this week. But I still wanted to keep up with some of my "normal" stuff, and I decided I've waited long enough to say my thoughts on this book. Hopefully, if you wanted to read it, you've done so by now. If not, then you can ignore my post, just like I ignored all the reviews that were done before I was able to read the book! But I'll do my best to keep it spoiler free.

Still, I think saying what I thought spoils things a bit for anyone still waiting to read it. So beware!

I had no problem getting my hands on the book the first day it was released. I wondered if I would, but it was there. So I read all afternoon. Took a break. Read all evening. Then read all the next morning. I tried so hard to make it last, and not have it be over with so fast, but there's just no way.

Five or so chapters in, there were tears already. I thought, oh great! Here we go!

A few chapters after that, there was a unexpected "you've got to be kidding! " moment. One those, times where you need to shut the book and remember to breathe.

Yes, I loved it. I loved it just as much as The Hunger Games. There were many unexpected moments. I did want to see more of Gale. I just really think he needs some screen (page?) time to show us what he's made of. I think he is every bit as cool as Peeta, but Peeta has been able to reveal much more about himself.

So as far as what team am I? The jury is still out!

The ending? Crap!! We have to wait a whole other year??? It's insane what these authors/publishers... whoever... do to us!

Anyway, I think it's a fabulous story with engaging, emotional grabbing writing, and I love it.

As anyone read Suzanne Collins other series, for middle graders? Just wondering if that's as good, and if my 11 year old daughter would like it.

I'm not going to list other reviews here because you can pretty much find a review on any blog you frequent. Besides I'm feeling very much lazy tonight anyway!

A Trailer for ONLY Team Jacob Types

This movie is looking better and better.....

The Twilight Saga: New Moon 'Meet Jacob Black' Preview in HD

BBAW Interview: Brittanie from A Book Lover

Time for a BBAW Interview! I was paired up with Brittanie from A Book Lover. She is a challenge addict (sound familiar?) and especially loves Christian fiction. According to her profile, she also likes cats, pens, windy trees, baking and family. Great list! We also have in common our love of Jane Austen.

Here are the questions I had for her. Check out her blog for the questions she asked me (and man, some were HARD!)

1. What motivated you to start a book blog and what keeps you going at it?

I had a Xanga blog first and used it mostly to blog about my life but I loved books and reading. As I visited more blogs I saw the Christian Fiction Blog Alliance and joined. I had just graduated with my BS and actually had more time to read. Posting reviews with the CFBA got me started sharing about the books I read and it grew from there. I switched to a Google blog for easier updating etc.

2. What are some of the favorite books you've read and blogged about so far this year?

Breach of Trust by Diann Mills
Miss Match by Sara Mills
The Moment Between by Nicole Baart
Stealing Home by Allison Pittman
Eye for an Eye by Irene Hannon
Just Between You and Me by Jenny B. Jones
Ends of the Earth by Tim Downs

3. I see from you blog side bar that you are involved in lots of challenges. Which one is your favorite and why?

My favorite reading challenges are the Fall Into Reading and Spring Reading Challenges hosted by Katrina at Callapidder Days

4. What do you do in "real life"?

My day job is in a Physical Therapy office checking in patients, answering the phone, setting up appointments, verifying insurance(harder than it sounds), Filing papers, pulling charts, etc.

5. What other things do you enjoying doing besides reading and blogging?

I like to watch some TV shows like Monk, The Closer, House MD, Jon and Kate Plus Eight, Cake Boss.

6. One of my favorite questions: Describe your perfect day.

My perfect day would be a day where I could read all day with breaks to check email, update my blog, read other blogs, eat, and pet the cats. :)

7. If you could invite four authors to dinner, living or dead, who would they be?

Jane Austen, Dee Henderson, Susan May Warren, and Jenny B. Jones

8. If you could read yourself into any story or book, which one would it be?

I think it would be cool to be written into the O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson.

9. Most of the authors you've listed on your blog's side bar are new to me. Pick one of your favorites and tell me about him/her.

Irene Hannon is a known Christian Fiction author mainly for romance. She is now writing suspense novels too and they are great. She brings her romantic touch to them in a perfect but not heavy way.

10. What are your five favorite books of all time?

I cannot answer this question without adding series. The O'Malley Series by Dee Henderson, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Canopy by Angela Hunt, The Hawk and the Jewel by Lori Wick

I don't know about you, but I've learned about a whole slew of new authors to check out. Not to mention another book blogger to add to the Reader! Thanks for dropping by and getting to know Brittanie today.

Monday, September 14, 2009

BBAW: My Favorite Bloggers You May Not Know

Congrats to all those blogs who were nominated for an award, and then who were shortlisted for an award, and then who actually WON the award! Way to go. You are all wonderful.

But there's TONS of blogs out there who are also wonderful that you may not know about. A few I'd like to share with you are:

Britt at Confessions of a Book Habitue: Britt, one of our beloved Utah book bloggers, just makes me laugh. (Recently she commented that I too, made her smile, so now we are all happy!) She is very blunt and to the point in her reviews, which I completely appreciate. Not only that, but her enthusiasm is extremely catching and I end wanting to add everything she reviews to my list. Go check out her blog!

Michelle at Fluttering Butterflies: She's "an American living in England" and tells a fun story about how all that come to happen. She posts some stinkin' cute pictures of her kids, and often does posts with very thought-provoking questions. Recently, she posted about battling negative thoughts which I can totally totally relate too. Go check out her blog!

Melissa at One Librarian's Book Reviews: Another Utah blogger whose blog I read before our latest party, but have been keeping up with even better since. She's very quiet, I decided perhaps even more so than me! We didn't talk at our party because we were glued to our chairs, BUT next party, shy or not, we will! :) As part of her reviews, she rates the content of violence, language, mrg (mature romantic garbage) which I absolutely love! Recently, she blogged about Why Twitter? and guess what, she now Twitters! Go check out her blog!

Kristina at Kristina's Favorites: One of my favorites for quite awhile now. She has a fun weekly feature called Midweek Morsels where on Wednesday we share a fun recipe. I've been neglecting this so bad lately, mostly because I haven't been cooking anything fun at all. BORING around here! But it's great to see what delicious things she's got going. She also has a New Moon countdown on her blog at the moment, so we know she's one of "those" Twilight fans. :) I just have a feeling that we could be great friends in-real-life. Go check out her blog!

Chantele at Always Something to Read: We seem to always be reading the same books and so I love to see what she thinks about them. She is very involved in all the challenges and even finishes them! Her most recent review was Catching Fire, where guess what? She is mad to have to wait forever for book 3!! She also declares herself totally Team Peeta. Go check out her blog!

And there's many more where they came from! It stresses me out to think about all the undiscovered blogs out there that I just know I would love to connect with. Perhaps I'll find a few during this BBAW event!


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