Friday, December 31, 2010

Three More Mini Reviews

Book: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney
Genre: MG
Rating: A-
For: Fun
From: Christmas present (Toto's!)

A fast, fun quick read as expected, but sadly, I didn't laugh out loud near as much as I did with the previous books. I think there was more potty type humor in this one, which isn't funny to me, and less of the "Oh My Gosh, that's soooo right!!!" stuff. But it's still fun to see what Greg is up to now and all the craziness he gets himself into, silly boy.

Bottom line: It was fun.

Book: The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Genre: Literary Fiction
Rating: A-
For: Fun
From: I have no idea it's been so long! Some used book sale somewhere I bet

This one is about girl and her family, and the street they live on. Very short little chapters which show us the observations this girl has about all her neighbors. Interesting, cool writing which I really quite enjoyed.

Bottom line: I enjoyed it a lot.

Book: Savvy by Ingrid Law
Genre: MG Fantasy
Rating: A
For: Fun
From: Bought at the book fair.

I've been wanting to read this one for quite awhile now it seems, so it feels good to have finally fit it in. And once again, it was just as fun as everyone said it would be. It's the story about Mibs and her family, and how they get a savvy or special power/talent when they turn13 years old. Mibs is about to have her birthday and can't wait to see what her savvy is. Meanwhile, her dad gets in an accident, and all she wants is to get to him to hopefully help him. That takes her, and her friends, on quite the wild ride. I LOVED the writing style, loved it.

Bottom line: Hmm..... LOVED it! :)

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Three Mini Reviews

If you've been keeping up, you may know that I've gone on a recent reading blitz to get to 100 books for the year. And it's actually been going quite well! It may actually happen... maybe.

Anyway, instead of doing real reviews on these recent books, I thought I'd do the mini version. Which is more than the extreme mini reviews, but less than the regular. Make sense?

Book: The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren by Wendy Toliver
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: B+
For: Fun, and to Support Local Authors
From: Bought it.

A very fluff sort of read about a girl who goes from plain Jane-ish to knock dead gorgeous when she turns 16. She also has powers, and can manipulate people into doing whatever she wants them to do. But she learns, of course, that this is not really very rewarding in the end, and that liked for herself is a much better thing.

Bottom line: I enjoyed it.

Book: The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
Genre: MG Historical Fiction
Rating: A
For: Fun
From: Bought it at the book fair.

This is the fabulous story of a boy who is forced to spend time with his teacher on Wednesday afternoons while the rest of his classmates go to their various religious activities. The projects she comes up with and the things he learns are priceless. Set to the backdrop of the Vietnam War and hippy movement, this is a wonderful look the influence of teachers. Also, the importance of parents in a kid's life. Sheesh, this kid has some crappy parents. That really hit a nerve for me.

Bottom line: I loved it!

Book: The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
Genre: YA
Rating: A
For: Fun and Support Local Authors
From: Bought it!

Yet another poignant, sad, frustrating, gut-wrenching, terrifying look at what life may/might/is like in a polygamous group. A young girl is chosen to be the seventh wife of one of the leaders. She refuses to go. She tries to run away. Her family is threatened. The boy she loves disappears. It's a sad sad story. It's very similar to Hidden Wives, which I read awhile back, but without the jabs at a certain religion!

Bottom line: I loved the writing. The story, it's too hard a subject to really "love" if you know what I mean.

More mini reviews to come! Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Airing Grievances

As I understand it, there's a special day set aside for the airing of grievances. I learned this over at Trisha's (Hey Lady!) blog the other day. I think I missed the real special day but, as she said, it's a perfect time, anytime during the holidays because no one is reading blogs anyway, right? Which means you can say whatever you want! And it sounded like such a healthy, cleansing thing to do, I just had to give it a try!

So here, in no particular order, is a list of things that BUG me:

  • Getting a new laptop for Christmas but having no time to play with it!
  • Ditto for the pile of books.
  • Going to yet another funeral for a cousin, 38 years old, who went to sleep one night (the weekend before Christmas) and just didn't wake up.
  • Having to install updates on the brand new laptop, only the third time I've even turned it on! What's up with that!?
  • The fact (and you KNOW it's a fact) that all the food that's yummy is bad for you and all the food that's yucky is good for you. I don't get it. Something is wrong with this picture.
  • Getting old.
  • Headaches, stomachaches, foot aches, teeth aches, back aches, neck aches, knee aches, etc. 
  • Being too fat for my snow pants, so if I plan on going tubing on Saturday, I have to go buy new ones!
  • Actually, being too fat for ALL my pants is really starting to get on my nerves.
  • Spam comments on my blog.
  • No comments on my blog!
  • The sound of World of Warcraft...oh, that really really bugs me! :)
  • When the cat jumps up on the counter and licks the butter.
  • Clothes full of static! UGH, it's awful!
  • Kids that sit behind you in a movie, then kick your chair the whole time.
  • Being late
  • Losing things.
  • Getting sick.
  • The YouTube police (you know, the ones that silence your movies if you use a certain song. Don't they know it's free advertising? I don't get it.)
Whew. It appears I could go on and on... and on. But what a great feeling to get it all out! So tell me, what bugs YOU?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Sunday Salon: Christmas Report

Wow, what a Christmas it's been! First of all, we had a busy Christmas Eve preparing for our family to be at our house for the evening's celebrations. It was crazy and hectic, but fun.

Then yesterday we had a bit of the morning to ourselves, opening presents. The second that was done, we got a call from our son who is serving an LDS mission in Ohio, so we talked to him for an hour. Ah man, it was AWESOME to hear his laugh! Can't wait to see him again in five months!

Then about 1/2 hour after that, my parents, grandparents and a couple of siblings arrived for brunch. That was yummy. They hung out for awhile, watched Toy Story 3 and then went on to another sister's house. The grandparents stayed here since that sister had chicken pox at her house.

Meanwhile, the in laws arrived for more present exchanging and then it was dinner time. The grandparents said, "But didn't we just barely eat??? I'm so not hungry!" (It had actually been about six hours since brunch by then!)

Once that was over, the in laws went out one door, the parents came in the other to retrieve the grandparents, and they were on their way. By that time it was 8:00 p.m.! Whew! What a day!

And finally I had time to sit down and play with my new laptop! Yes, my very very own computer! It's the strangest concept and will take me awhile to get used to the idea! I'm so excited!

Of course, then there are the books. Wow, there's a bunch of new books that I'm very much looking forward to reading. Here's a stack picture of all the books the whole family received:

And here's the closer up view so you can actually see what they are so I don't have to type them all in!

A special thanks to Angie from Texas for the Calpurnia Tate book and The Memory Bank! I will love them! And if you visit here, please comment with a link to your blog so I can come visit you! :)

As for the actual reading I've been doing towards my lofty goal? Yes, I've managed to finish a couple. The Secret Life of a Teenage Siren by Wendy Toliver. Fun, but the very definition of fluffy. The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt and yes you guys were right, it was wonderful. And now I'm in the middle of The Chosen Ones by Carol Lynch Williams which is quite gut wrenching.

And now, how am I supposed to pick from the above stack what to read next? I'm in a very big overwhelmed state here!

How about you? Did you have a wonderful weekend with your families? Are you now overwhelmed with new books to read? Are you finding time to enjoy and relax, or does the fast pace never seem to let up?

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Book Club Report: What We Thought of The Guernsey Book

Oh, man I'm tired of typing the title and authors of this book! So when I say the Guernsey book, we'll just all know that I'm talking about this book:

So last week, we had book club and discussed this book. Nearly everyone read, finished and liked it! I was very pleased with that outcome. (Last time not very many finished. The time before, we had both likes and dislikes, etc.)

Some general reactions:
  • Many people thought they would not like the letter format, but pretty much everyone ended up liking it in the end.
  • We found that the character of Elizabeth, though she wasn't a letter writer, and actually present during the story, was definitely the driving force of the whole plot and existence of the story itself.
  • We enjoyed seeing/reading/getting to know all the different voices presented in the story through their letters.
  • We agreed that the first dude Juliet liked and thought was for her, was not so nice.
  • We agreed that Dawsey WAS nice!
  • We loved learning about a part of the world we weren't previously familiar with.
Yes, I think it was across the board a book everyone enjoyed this time around!

Next up for January, When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Advent Tour: How The Grinch Stole Christmas

Ever since I can remember, Dr. Suess' Grinch story has been one of my favorites. I love how awful he was, and then how quickly and simply he changed to be the nice guy. I love the message that Christmas is not about ribbons, tags, packages and bags. That Christmas doesn't come from a store, but perhaps means a little bit more. I love how the Whos handled their Christmas morning surprise. It's awesome.

When I was a kid, this version of the the story was on TV every year and I loved it!

When I got to be a little bit older, I would make my brothers and sisters (if you'll remember, I'm the oldest of nine kids) act the story out for part of our Christmas Eve celebration. I had a blast with the details. The props, the organization, the costumes, everything. One year, my dad filmed us with his silent camera. I've managed to find that video (which we digitized several years ago) and have had some fun with it. At the time of this filming, there were "only" seven kids, with my little sister,who really was just two, starring in the Cindy Lou Who role. My third brother, who was nearly 12 at the time,played the Grinch. Luckily, I am the narrator and am not on camera!

.......and here's where I would have embedded that video, but sadly, I've had several issues with it, which though I feel like ranting about, I won't go into right now! Anyway, I wish I would have kept up the tradition of acting out this story with my own kids, but it didn't happen. That's how it goes with some things I suppose.

What is your favorite Christmas story?

Be sure to check out the other stops on the Virtual Advent Tour!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Reading Plans: 100 or Bust!

It's the 20th of the month and I have yet to finish a book for December! That is just, just, weird! And so things really must change for these next two weeks if I'm to make it to 100!

First off, should I care about that 100 number so much? I feel silly caring, but still, somehow I do, a little bit. So last night, I made a plan. My plan is to read short easy fluffy books so I can fit in a bunch before the year ends!

That's not to say I'm forgetting about my two big books that I've been working on all month, no, I will still read them too, but I'm going to fit in some short fluffs somehow, in addition!

So I dug through my piles and hauled out these (actually some of these aren't very fluffy, but they are short):

The Secret of Life of a Teenage Siren by Wendy Toliver
The Wednesday Wars by Gary Schmidt
Freshman for President by Ally Condie
The Chosen One by Carol Lynch Williams
The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros

Plus I expect to get a few for Christmas that I should easily devour shortly thereafter.

So what do you think? Can I read/finish nine books in the next two weeks? Should I even try? Do I care? Do you care? Are numbers silly? Or fun? 

Wish me luck!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Random on a Saturday!

The other day I had a kissing post. Did you come tell me your thoughts yet? I had LOTS of questions! As part of that post, I'd thought about posting a video clip of one of the BEST KISSES EVER... but changed my mind and just did the picture instead. Since many of you mentioned that very same scene, I've decided to go ahead and post it now, just because, you know you want to watch it over and over and over again!

Last night, we went to see Kurt Bestor who does an awesome Christmas show here every year. I've been wanting to go for so long and finally made it happen this year. Part of the reason I had to make it happen was because this year his special guest was Jason Castro and you all know (I think you do anyway) how I feel about him! Anyway, I was hoping to find some clips of these concerts, but alas, no luck. But here's what the music sounds like:

And his signature song, done at every concert (beware, chill alert):

The other day I think I missed Jane Austen's birthday. HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you Jane! I love your stories! Thanks for writing them!

Okay, well. I'm off to go shopping some more I think. Yes. It's really not quite done yet. Soon, though.
Very very soon.

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Classics Circuit: The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope

Book: The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope
Genre: Classic
Rating: A so far
For: The Classics Circuit
From: I bought it!

I've been wanting to read this book every since I saw the trailer for it advertising it's PBS's Masterpiece Classic series before some other movie I happened to be watching. This summer I found the book on a bargain rack somewhere, so I snatched it up, and then just a month later, Anthony Trollope is visiting The Classics Circuit! So of course I had to participate and try my hardest to read this book!

Well, it's not the best time of year to do this that's for sure. At this point I'm half way through, on page 385 and really really enjoying it. Though I haven't quite finished it, I can give you a run down on what's going on so far, and I think if you love these soap opera-ish type classic books, you'll hopefully want to give this one a try.

At the center of everything, we have a  40-something single mom and her two kids, Felix about 23-ish and Hetta about 18 or so. She dots on Felix and spoils him rotten. Felix is bottom line a complete slime bucket. He gambles compulsively and smooches everything he can off his mom to the point that they are now both completely bankrupt. In order to solve this problem, his mom has encouraged him to win the heart of and marry the heiress, Marie. (Whose dad by the way, is also a mastermind swindler and that's why they are so rich!) So, Felix does this easily, because he is drop dead gorgeous and Marie is head over heels. Felix couldn't care less about her, but goes along with the plan for the sake of the money.

Meanwhile, he is having fling with a country girl, Ruby, who lives nearby the manor that his cousin, Roger owns, and which Felix is set to inherit unless Roger marries. Roger, of course wants to marry Hetta, Felix's sister, but Hetta instead loves Paul, Roger's friend (and also mixed up in the raunchy deals headed by Marie's dad.) Roger can't stand Felix and will do anything to ruin him. Ruby, meanwhile, is supposed to marry John Crumb, but when she is nearly forced to, she runs away to live with her aunt and hang out with Felix, even though he is just about ready to elope with Marie. You see Marie's dad wants her to marry Lord something or other and has claimed to disinherit her if she does otherwise. Of course she feels he won't really do this, and will do anything to marry beautiful Felix.

So, back to Ruby her aunt has boarder named Mrs. Hurtle. She is an American widow with a sordid past. She and Paul, (previously mentioned above,) have a history and in fact Paul has promised to marry her! But then he finds out about her shady past and gets rather nervous, and besides he is actually in love with Hetta, if you remember. So he is trying to get out it, but Mrs. Hurtle is one beautiful seductress and boy oh boy is Paul ever in deep trouble! Poor poor Paul!

Doesn't that all just sound like a blast!!? I can't wait to see how it all turns out and who will end up with whom and what sort of major trouble they all get in!

Now if only I could find the time to read!

This is only the second book I've read by Anthony Trollope. I read The Eustace Diamonds way back when (which I later found out it was part of series and gasp, I was out of order!) But it's interesting that I hadn't even heard of him until just a few years ago. Where was he during my high school life? Not one thing did my teachers say about him! I think he deserves a little more credit than that! He is very similar to Charles Dickens though much easier to understand. I would also put him the category of Elizabeth Gaskell and company. I will definitely be on the look out for more by him and will try to become a little more Anthony Trollope savvy.

He has a website, so click on over if you'd like to learn more!

For other participants in the tour and to see all the great books everyone read and reported on, click here now.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Let's Talk About Kissing!

This post has been percolating in my head for awhile and I think it's time I just get it out there!

So the other week when I was reading North of Beautiful and there was this awesome kissing scene, it made me wonder what, to me, makes it awesome. And on the other hand, what I think makes a scene not so awesome. Which, of course, made me wonder what you, my fellow book lovers, look for in a kissing scene.

The reason I loved this particular scene so much is first of all, the build up, and the anticipation of the characters. You know they'd both been dying for it, but had held off until the perfect moment. Also, I loved it because it was so simple and sweet, yet so deeply passionate at the same time. You know the kind of kiss I'm talking about here?  I wish I could quote that scene to you but there's two problems, the book is back at the library and it's way too much of spoiler. So you'll just have to go and read it yourself!

Other thing that I like are unexpected kisses, those ones that come out of nowhere and surprise the heck out of the characters! And most likely the readers too. So fun when that happens.

The setting is always fun too. In Secondhand Charm, the setting for the kiss is totally insane, and very cool. When Julie Berry came to our library and talked, she mentioned that writing this kissing scene freaked her out. She didn't have one in her first book (The Amaranth Enchantment) but then got lots of letters from fan girls saying they needed it! So in Secondhand Charm, she had to psych herself up for the kissing scene and then hope it come over nicely and not overly done, or too gross, or too creepy, or whatever she was worried about. As for me, I loved the scene she created and hope she continues to fight her fear of the kisses for future books!

That made me wonder if some other authors have issues with their kissing scenes. Maybe they get themselves too immersed in the story and it feels too real, or too awkward, or too wrong, making them really hard to write. I wonder how it goes for them. I wonder the difference between girl and guy authors... if they approach the whole kissing thing differently. I've not really analyzed this much, but I may have to now pay a little more attention.

Stuff that bugs me about the kissing thing is when it happens too soon, and all the fun of anticipating it happening is over. And then once it happens, it's ALWAYS happening so then it becomes old news. Some books just have way too much kissing going on, don't you think?

But then again, there are books that don't have enough and that too also bugs me! My biggest beef about Pride and Prejudice is "where's the kiss????" I want it said in plain words that it happened, not just allude to the fact that it probably happened! Sheesh. Many of the novels from this time period have this problem. I guess they had a hang about the kissing scenes, but I would love know how they would have described them.

Also I'm bugged if there's too much information, and you know what I mean, or not enough, for instance, "and then they kissed." Let's find a happy medium between those two places!

So now I want to know, how do you like your kissing scenes?
Sweet and simple or hot and heavy?
Few in number or all over the place all the time?
Do you feel they are necessary to make you satisfied with the development of a relationship?
Or would you rather there be no kissing at all?
Do you think there's a difference between how guys write them versus how girls do?
What are some of your favorite kissing scenes? 

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Extreme Mini Reviews from My 2003 Top Ten

A few months ago when I was reading some huge books, therefore finishing nothing and therefore having nothing to review, I decided to do a  flash back post by way of extreme mini reviews.

Since I find myself in that very same situation again, I decided it was time again to revisit the past!

Here are my top ten favorite books that I read in 2003, with their short blurbs:

John Adams by David McCullough: I loved this book! It's long, yes, but oh so fascinating, especially the relationship between John and Abigail. The things they endured are incredible. I found myself thinking about them all the time throughout by day while reading this book. 

Six Wives of Henry VIII by Alison Weir: Ah, Henry VIII! What a crazy man! This book is so much fun and goes into wonderful detail about him and all the wives. I loved it. I think the year after I read it, I did a book review for my mom's book club and created quite a fun presentation on this book. I felt like I knew these stories inside and out!

Nicholas Nickleby by Charles Dickens: I think this was one of those times that I wanted to watch the movie so I read the book first, or I read the book then had to find the movie... can't remember for sure, but it's another fun romp of a story such as only Charles Dickens can write. 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling: I'm sure we bought this the day it came out and read it in a sitting or two. I can't even remember for sure, but what else could I do but love it! All the stories sort of run together in my head now though, so I can't remember what I specifically thought of this particular book. 

The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkein: This must have been during the time the movies were coming out. I think I've said before that I hadn't read these books until then, so I picked them up and then read them all between the first and second movie. I think I started this one instantly after finishing the second book because of it's insane cliff hanger. Anyway, of course, these books are awesome and classic and in a league of their own.

East of Eden by John Steinbeck: A re-read that year probably because Oprah picked it? Yes, I think so. I read it for the first time in high school. Whoa that was an eye opener of a read at that time! So when I re-read it, I knew a little more what to expect. But on a the second time around, I obviously loved it all over again.

Life of Pi by Yann Martel: I must have heard the buzz on this one and picked it up not too long after. I had no clue what it was about and when I started reading it, and there was this kid, and a boat accident, and him being stranded with a tiger I thought, what have I done? But then wow, I could not put it down, and then the end, my jaw dropped and I was blown away. Loved this book. Unlike anything I'd read up to that point. 

The Davinci Code by Dan Brown: Yes, I was caught up in all the buzz of this one too. But I did find the historical stuff and speculation all quite fascinating. And it was a page turner if nothing else. A fun read.

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke: During this time, I wasn't reading a whole lot of YA, like I do now. Times have changed. So it's cool that one made it on my top ten list that year. I love Cornelia Funke and will read anything by her, so that's how this one came to be on my list. It's a fun story of a bunch of homeless kids and their adventures with magic and fantasy thrown in the mix. I need to re-read to remember the details!

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd: My guess is this one I read with an online book club, because otherwise I doubt I would have picked it up. It's a wonderful coming of age story with fascinating relationships and lots of sadness too. Great book. The movie they made from it a year or so ago isn't bad either.

Have you read and loved any of these books? 

Monday, December 13, 2010

A Look Back on My Reading Experiences from 2010

Here's something I saw over at Persnickety Snark's the other day. I think she was thinking only YA when she did her survey... and perhaps she was thinking only books from 2010. But I wanted to ponder all my reading from the year 2010 (not just newly released books, and not any particular genre) and fill it out accordingly.

Best Book: I can't pick just one best book, and so you'll just have to stay tuned for a later post when I do my top ten of the year!

Worst Book: I don't do worst books. But a couple of books I started but didn't finish were: The Demon's Lexicon and City of Bones.... and I think I need to try again on these two!

Most Disappointing Book: Beatrice and Virgil by Yann Martel, this wasn't even close to the awesomeness that was Life of Pi

Most Surprising Book: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert, I avoided it for years because I thought I would hate it, and guess what, I didn't.

The Book Most Recommended to Others: The Book Thief, The Maze Runner and The Hunger Games

Best Series Discovered: The Queen's Thief by Megan Whalen Turner and The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

Favorite New Authors Discovered: Neal Shusterman, Michael Perry, Justin Cronin, Megan Whalen Turner, Becca Wilhite, Ally Condie, Sydney Salter (not necessary new authors, but new to me this year)

Most Hilarious Read: Coop by Michael Perry (I would also say most thought provoking)

Most Thrilling, Unputdownable Book: The Passage by Justin Cronin

Most Anticipated Book: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Favorite Cover: oh man there's too many....I loved the covers of Warbreaker, The Queen's Thief, Rules of Attraction, The Replacement, Matched, Bright Blue Miracle... just to name a few

Most Memorable Character: Perrin from The Wheel of Time, Antsy from The Schwa, and of course Gen from the Queen's Thief

Most Beautifully-Written Book: North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Book That Had the Greatest Impact On You: The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell, wow it's powerful

Book you Can't Believe you Waited Until 2010 to Read: Bleak House by Charles Dickens

New Favorite Book Blog You Discovered: Polishing Mud Balls by Ibeeeg (Deanna)

Favorite Review You Wrote: The Passage by Justin Cronin

Best Discussion on Your Blog: True or False: 90% of Everything is Crap!

Most Thought-Provoking Review or Discussion on Another Blog: oh man, I can't think of specific ones at the moment. But there's always some great discussions going on over at The Zen Leaf (now I'm remembering she created quite a discussion when she talked about some books she hasn't read, remember that one?) and at Age 30+... and at Angieville's.  ... just to name a few.

Best Book Event You Participated in During 2010: Probably the most recent Teen Festival at the Provo Library where Scott Westerfeld came, but I really especially love our Utah blogger get togethers too.

Best Moment of Book Blogging in 2010: When all the people who couldn't go to BEA rallied together and created the first ever Armchair BEA blogging event. That was fun!

Best Bookish Discovery of 2010:  This year, I discovered that I really love read a longs and buddy reads. Anyone want to read something with me next year? Let's do it!

How about you? What books (or blog posts) would you plug into these categories?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The Sunday Salon: A Weekly Recap

First of all, let me just say right off the bat that there is absolutely no reading to report on at all. I'm still working on the two biggies that I talked about last week. I'm enjoying them both, it's just that, you know, life is a little busy right now and there's really no reading down time. When I try to read at night, I fall asleep. So, yeah, I'm making a little progress on them, but not much. I have a feeling this next week will be just as bad. The week of Christmas though? (And the week after.) I seriously hope I can do some big time reading then.  And if so, perhaps there's just a slim chance I can make it to that 100 book mark. We'll see.

But I did want to come on today to say thanks for all the wonderful comments the other day on my audio vs music post. I loved all your input! And I'm glad to know I still have some readers out there reading! (Sometimes you wonder, you know.) Anyway, so in case you didn't see my final comment and decision, here's my plan. I loved the idea of trying out an audio book on a re-read (because sometimes I have re-reading issues too!) and on a small book. So I'm hoping to find one for When You Reach Me that's coming up in January for book club, and see what I think.

I also realized after someone's comment (I forget who now) that you CAN do both. I've always been one to shout about the fact that you can do both books and TV... so why not audio books and music? Same thing, right? Well, we'll see. I'm going to try fitting it in as my treadmill book. I'll let you know how it goes.

Another thing, thanks to Angie from Texas who sent me a book blogger holiday swap package! It sounds so intriguing (lots of rattling going on in there!) but I'm saving it for the big day. I love having that to look forward to on Christmas Day. So I'll be back to report on that later... and hopefully have a link to her blog, since all I have right now is a name! Fun fun stuff.

Other random tidbits:
- Santa came to our Christmas party last night and brought me The Canadian Tenor Christmas cd... awesome!
- On the other hand, I bought Adam Lambert's Acoustic Live songs.... also awesome!
- Looking forward to Amazing Race's finale tonight. Rooting for Clair and Brook.
- I might almost be done Christmas shopping. Might. Almost.
- Today it feels like spring. Nice, but not, if you know what I mean.

And finally, what the family is reading:

Mr. Stuey: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (you know, the one that's coming! My husband decided he needed to see what the big deal was!)
JJ: The Aeneid by Virgil
Moder: Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Toto: The Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'dell

Friday, December 10, 2010

In Which Randomness Ensues Again

So last night in the middle of the night at my normal wide-awake time, I thought of a bunch of random things to report, and now it will be interesting to see if I can remember any of them!

First of all, I haven't told you yet about participating in Ally Condie's second book launch party for Matched this past week. Yes, she had two, one at the bookstore and one at the library. (And hey did you hear she is debuting at #5 on The List? Awesome!)So I went so she could sign a copy that I plan on giving away as a Christmas present this year. I said hi to Jenni Elyse there, and of course Heather from Fire and Ice, who I see pretty much at every book event there is! With her camera of course! And I just like, flew out of the house with no fixing up of myself at all! Next book event, I'm going to remember that Heather will be there with her camera without fail and I will need to be prepared!

Yes, she took pictures both with her camera, and one for me with my new phone:

While there, we heard straight from the horse's library director's mouth that Markus Zusak is coming! March 26th! Perhaps I've mentioned this already!? :) But... when he said it, I wanted to say "YES!" with a fist pump, or cheer or clap or jump up and down or something... but everyone else just sat there... and I was a little cowed and so I just sat there with them.

Speaking of my new phone, I have a beef with it. You see, they tell you about all the cool and wonderful things you can do with these phones, and all the apps and all the games and all the web fun and how you won't be able to live without it ever again... but they forget to tell you that if you actually USE it and DO all this stuff, that your battery will be dead in a matter of hours and suddenly, guess what? You find yourself living without it. And it's not like I'm constantly using it either.. just checking in now and then. So, yeah. I'm bugged.

Speaking of bugged, I had a dream last night (when I actually was sleeping!) where the room I was in was filled with all sorts of insects. Creepy. Wonder what it means?

Back to the phone, here's some footage I took the other day of Moder singing with his choir. The phone can't zoom in so you'll just have to guess which one he is:

Speaking of Christmas, have your parties started? Ours starts tonight with the church party, and guess what? I'm not in charge! I have been for the past two years and it has been one of the biggest stresses of the year for me... but tonight, I just get to go and enjoy! Then tomorrow we have two more parties, one in the morning, one in the evening. Actually, it should be kinda fun... I hope.....

Speaking of parties and Christmas, who's got time to read? Not me that's for sure, and it's making me a little bit crazy.

Speaking of crazy, my kids love these two crazy guys on YouTube. In fact, they can quote all their stuff now and to me, when the guys do it, it's not that funny, but when the kids do it, I giggle and giggle. Can you relate?

Here's Charlie, my favorite (sheesh could this kid be any cuter?):

And here's Julian, who is sometimes funny and sometimes just plain weird:

Oh my, that's a lot of really really random stuff. I bet there's more, but I really have to go now! Really really.

Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Character Connection: Ebenezer Scrooge

I really wanted to highlight a character again today for Jen's Character Connection, because for some reason, I love writing these posts on characters, but of course, nothing was coming to mind this time. Then I thought of this one:

Ebenezer Scrooge 
from A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Now here's a character that has created quite the bad reputation for himself! Granted, he is one of the meanest, crustiest, greediest, orneriest guys in literature. Yet, in the end, we sometimes forget the great turn around he makes.... that change of heart that many people could benefit by if they understand fully the message of this story, which for me is contained in this wonderful quote:

"I will honor Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all year long."

Too bad he is not remembered for that one, but instead for "Bah! Humbug!"

There's been many many portrayals of Scrooge over the years, and I've seen very few of them. The one that usually comes to my mind when I think of him is the Alastair Sim versions done in 1951. (Here's the clip I wanted to show, but of course I can't embed it this time, so if you want to see which one I'm talking about, click on over to YouTube!) Watching this movie must have been the first time I'd even heard of this story.

So what's your feeling about Scrooge? Do you think he deserves to be remembered as the bad guy? Or do you think we should focus more often on the change he made? And finally, what/who is your favorite portrayal of Ebenezer Scrooge?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Audio Books vs. Music


One of the goals I listed the other day is to perhaps try an audio book this coming year. That is, if I can overcome my hang ups with them, which I think I've mentioned once or twice, but I don't think I've ever lamented in full on a post. So hear me out and maybe someone can help me overcome or compromise or something.

First of all, I'm worried that if I listen to a book, my mind will still continue to wander on to all the other things I'm thinking about for that day. I'm afraid I won't get immersed like I do when I'm reading. I'm afraid the lack of the visual of actually looking at the words will cause me to not really retain what's being said.

Now many times when I sit down to read, I'll end up falling asleep, so this is normal.  But if I actually sit down to listen to a book, I'm quite positive I'll fall asleep, but now, the words will go on and on and on and I'll miss what's happening, where as if I'm reading and I fall asleep, the words stop!

That being said, I doubt I'd ever sit down to listen to a book, because obviously the whole point of audio books is to multi-task, right? So, I've thought of all the places/times/situations where I could see myself listening to an audio book, and all those times are when I need, really NEED, music.

-- cleaning the house/doing dishes... I seriously can't do it without blasting something.
-- in the car... love my music in the car... this is where my best stereo system is located!
-- while crafting... if I ever craft anymore, I need some sort of sound....this is when I sometimes listen to podcasts, but even then I'm missing the music.
-- folding clothes... not music here, but TV.... this is the time when I catch up on missed shows.
-- exercising... yep, music makes this bearable. However, I usually am reading at the same time. I can see this as a time when perhaps I could forgo music and just listen to a book... maybe
-- while blogging... yep, nearly always there's music going on

So why would I even want to try an audio book if I have all these problems with it? Mostly because I see that  those who do are able to fit in way more books, and sometimes it seems that you get a  lot out of them and that the experience really is quite rewarding.

So what do you experienced audio book people think? Would I have to give up music to listen to a book? Can I figure out a time to listen that I haven't thought of already? When do you find is the best time to listen, and what are you doing while listening? What about the distractions while listening, other people/kids talking to and bugging you? Is that harder with an audio book? Are you able to fit in audio books because you aren't a music person? Do you have to be one or the other or can you be both?

And if you too haven't tried audio books, why not? Do you have these same hang ups?

I'd love to know what you think!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Weekly Geeks 2010.39: Reading Plans for 2011

This week's Weekly Geek question asks what our reading plans for next year are, and what challenges we might participate in and/or host.

So here's the thing, I really love challenges. I think they are so fun... but it appears that I am a much more spontaneous reader then I originally thought. I like working from lists, which is what a challenge basically is, and I usually pick challenges that include books I figure I'll be reading anyway, but still, somehow, I rarely actually finish them! Other things always crop up that bump the challenge books to the side where they are totally forgotten.

So this year, unless there's something that completely entices me, my challenge participation will be much smaller.  Instead, I think I'd rather have more general goals which will hopefully allow for the spontaneity.

Here's what I'm thinking:

** I really enjoyed the handful of read alongs I did last year, and I hope to be able to keep that up and join them at a moment's notice. This includes both online and off.

** I want to still participate in a few, just a few, blog tours including the Classics Circuit.

** I want to be able to read and review a small amount of ARCs, catch up with the ones I've got and then still be able to accept a few here and there, but definitely not have this be the bulk of my reading.

** I want to keep up better with the new books that are coming out and causing buzz, and not just the YA ones, but the ones for big people too!

** That being said, I also want to be sure that I'm reading a lot of classics.

** I want to continue with some series that I've started, and retry some that I've abandoned.

** I will for sure keep reading local authors... and I'd like to reintroduce Printz Award winners back into the line up.

** It doesn't really matter to me exactly how many books I read, but that nice round 100 number is sure fun to aim for.

** I may be really crazy and actually try an audio book next year! (Stay tuned for a post about my hang ups with this. Maybe you can convince me I can do it!)

** Even though I probably won't join a specific challenge for this, I will still be working toward reading all the unread books that have sat on my shelf forever.

Which is all to say that basically, I'll just keep doing what I've been doing!

I'm a little worried that forgoing most challenges will make me feel like a party pooper though. That's probably while I'll still end up reading along with Carl's popular challenges, so I can be part of the party! Or any other popular challenge that suddenly appears!

So anyway. I'm thinking that's a start for next year's reading goals. What plans do you have?

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Sunday Salon: Various and Sundry Reports

I was going to skip the whole Sunday Salon post today because there's not much reading to report, but I decided I just can't help rambling on to whoever is out there reading. Lucky you!

So this week I started The Fires of Heaven... on with the Wheel of Time quest! So. Much. Fun! I'm about 150 pages in and so far we've just picked up Min's story a bit, and have established that Rand is rallying with the Aiel people and is dealing with being surrounded, and I mean SURROUNDED by tons of women! It cracks me up.

I'm also about 150 pages into The Way We Live Now and I think I'd enjoy it more if it was just the soap opera stuff and less of the corrupt business stuff, but since that's what this book is about, I'll get it all! Here's hoping I can finish in time for a scheduled tour stop in a  couple of weeks. Hopefully I won't be too distracted by Rand and his friends to loss my focus! I don't know why I always end up reading to Big Fat Books at the same time and all during Christmas responsibilities!

In other news, I'm having fun figuring out apps for my new phone. Any suggestions? I'm so clueless, so you need to tell me what I can't live without! I've started playing the Four Square game if you have idea what that is. I think I'll be the mayer of the library by the end of the week, which is only appropriate, don't you think? :)

And that's pretty much all I'm reading at the moment.

But I have seen some movies:

Tangled: Wonderfully fun! A new take on Rapunzel. So funny and cute and just, perfect. With such a smoldering leading guy! Ha! I love it.

Harry Potter: I enjoyed it a lot! There were some slow spots, but some pretty exciting spots too. The controversial naked scene was a little, no, a lot weird, but nothing to freak out about. The ending was a great cliff hanger and I'm not happy we have to wait so long to finish it all up! (Did I report on this one already? I'm having a feeling of deja vu.)

The Backup Plan: We rented it on a whim, mostly because it has Alex O'Loughlin in it... but it was the stupidest movie I've seen in a long long time! Ugh. So so dumb. Oh, well.

Eat, Pray, Love: I thought this one was pretty well done, though it seemed long and I wondered if it would ever end.

I've got some TV to talk about too:

Survivor: Wow! What craziness is going on there! It's been fun this season, though I'm still not really routing for anyone in particular. I just decided this week that it will be fun to cheer on Fabio though. Go Fabio!!

Amazing Race: All my favorites have been eliminated, so for now, I'm backing the home shopping girl team. They are, well the blonde one anyway, is fun to watch. She is the very definition of spunk.

The Vampire Diaries: I melted when Damon poured his heart out to Elena then wiped her memory! Melted I tell you! Jeremy is currently in second place with the melting scenes for me now. Not sure about him and Bonnie, but wow, he smolders, speaking of smoldering. And aren't we always....

And that's pretty much all I'm watching these days, which is quite a short list compared to past seasons.

Now, it's time to go decorate the tree I suppose. I did a whole post about that tradition a few years ago for the advent tour, so if you want to know all the details about how I'll be spending my evening, you can click on  over and check that out.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Review: North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley

Book: North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley
Genre: YA Romance
Rating: A
For: Fun
From: The library

When I found myself guiltily browsing at the library the other day, this one jumped out at me just because of all the wonderful things I remember hearing about it awhile back. When I posted it on my library loot that day, the reactions for this book was overwhelming positive to the point that I knew it would NOT go back unread and that it needed to be bumped up to top priority in the stack.

Well, and I'm so glad I did! I loved it just like you all said I would! It's another one of those lovely books about inner beauty, the importance of liking who you are and being yourself and an over all pep talk in the self image department.

The story is about a very beautiful girl named Terra, physically perfect in every way except one, she has  a port wine stain birthmark on her check. She's tried all sorts of things to get rid of it, to no avail. As much grief as that causes her, she has even worse family problems. Her dad is emotionally abusive, her mother has withdrawn, and her brothers have virtually run away. It's all quite a mess and basically extremely depressing.

Then one day, as she and her mom are driving , they literally run into Jacob and his mom. Both of these people end up being their saving grace in a way that's really quite fascinating to watch. Jacob is one of those "real" boys that I love to love. He opens her eyes to what's really important and he's just awesome.

Besides that, he teaches her all about geocaching! We used to geocache a lot at our house, but have lately fallen out of the routine. I really miss it. This book made me remember what was so fun about the hobby. It also made me want to visit China, which is not often high on my travel wish list.

The writing is wonderful too. Very poetic and beautiful. Beautiful to the point of tears at times.

Bottom line: I loved it!

To learn more about author Justina Chen Headley, read her blog here.

Other reviews:

Melissa's Book Shelf
One Librarian's Book Reviews
Write Meg!
The Bluestocking Society
Miss Remmers' Review
... and tons of others. I'm thinking I'm nearly the last one to read this!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

A Bit of Me(Me): C is for Cookie!

Today's question over at There's a Book for this getting to know you meme is:

What is your favorite cookie?

Hello? Are you kidding me? Well, I'm not going to analyze this question over much because it actually is a simple one, even though truthfully, it could get quite involving. So I'm just going to tell you the first thing that comes to mind.

My favorite "every day" cookie is by far the all American Chocolate Chip Cookie! We make them a lot at our house (by a lot I mean once or twice a month... it would be more if I could eat cookies without guilt.) I've experimented with different recipes and find that there are for sure some that work better than others. We make them only with butter these days and have found that this recipe from All is truly awesome.

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons hot water
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
Cream together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Dissolve baking soda in hot water. Add to batter along with salt. Stir in flour, chocolate chips, and nuts. Drop by large spoonfuls onto ungreased pans.
Bake for about 10 minutes in the preheated oven, or until edges are nicely browned.

For my favorite "Christmas" cookie the honor goes to what we call Hello Dolly Cookies at our house. Many of you probably know them as Magic Bars. I'm not sure how this became a Christmas cookie for us, but my mom just always made them then, so I carried on the tradition. The smell of these baking says Christmas to me just as much as pine, cinnamon, peppermint and all the other regular Christmas scents. 

Here's the recipe if you are interested:

1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 (14 ounce) can EAGLE BRAND® Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups semisweet chocolate morsels
1 1/3 cups flaked coconut
1 cup chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees for glass dish). Coat 13x9-inch baking pan with no-stick cooking spray.
Combine graham cracker crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Pour sweetened condensed milk evenly over crumb mixture. Layer evenly with chocolate chips, coconut and nuts. Press down firmly with a fork.
Bake 25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. Cut into bars or diamonds. Store covered at room temperature.
Note: I'm not fond of nuts in recipes and leave them out of everything. However, if you leave them out of this one, it won't work. And I love them no less despite the fact that they have to have the nuts! I chop them really really fine, and it does the trick.

What's your favorite cookie? Write a post and link up over at There's a Book.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Wake Up! Wake Up!

This week, I've had lots of ideas on things to post about and questions to ask and points to ponder, yet no time or energy or space (I just can't write stuff when people are hanging over my shoulder!) to do them. So hopefully something will change and maybe those ideas will show up sooner or later!

Meanwhile we're stuck with all the same old boring stuff. Which is not good because everyone around here, including myself, seems especially sleepy lately. We need a shot of blog adrenalin! Any suggestions on what that should be?

One thing.... I don't think I gave NEAR enough attention and blog screen time to a piece of news that I just sort of mentioned in passing awhile back. And that is:

Markus Zusak is coming!!!

In March! To the "other" library! Yes, I'm just a teeny tiny bit excited about this. I need to figure out a strategy to make sure I'm there. I need to plan and prepare what I'll say at the infamous signing table. I get all shaky just thinking about that part. I need to make sure I have all the books ready to be signed. (My Book Thief copy is so hashed, I'm thinking of buying a good new hard back copy.)

And of course there's the new book to look forward to, Bridge of Clay. Ah, I can't wait! Anyone else excited about this one? I'm sure it will be awesome.

Seriously, I didn't think he'd ever come to our little neck of the woods. But as of now, it looks like it just may happen after all. I hope you bear with me as I'll probably end up doing a count down.

One more thing. It's Friday, so we need some music so here's another one of my favorite Christmas songs for you (hint: this song is best blasted as loud as you can on the best speakers you have!) Love it!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Review: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld

Book: Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
Genre: YA, Steampunk
Rating: B+
For: Fun
From: I bought it, yep.

I'm really enjoying this series about an alternate WWI. This book continues the adventures of Alek and Deryn as they get themselves mixed up in all sorts of trouble surrounding the political intrigue of this war. As was established in the first book, Leviathan, Alek is a "clanker" meaning he relies machines. Deryn, however, is a Darwinist, meaning she mostly believes in the "beasties" that have been created to do the work of machines. It's all very fascinating stuff really, especially the beastie stuff.

Anyway, Deryn now knows all of Alek's secrets, but he does NOT know hers. This bugged me. I was really disappointed the big reveal did not happen yet. Dang, is that a spoiler? But yeah, hello. I think it's time he knows!!

For the most part, I really enjoyed this second book. It had moments were it dragged a bit for me. My eyes have a tendency to glaze over at all the machine descriptions. It's a good thing there are pictures, or else I really wouldn't be able to get it. Love the pictures! Deryn is an awesome character. Spunk to the nines. And at the end, there's a beastie to fall in love with even. That thingh as a sense of humor like you wouldn't believe. It's really quite a hoot and I look forward to the next book just to see what happens with it and how it fits into to the overall scheme of things. Oh, and to see how Alek takes the big secret and all. Maybe even to see how this particular WWI ends.

Bottom line: I liked it quite a lot.

Other Reviews:

One Librarian's Book Reviews
Bart's Bookshelf
The Zen Leaf
Piling On the Books
Fyrefly's Book Blog

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

What I Read in November

Eh, it was not such a great month this month, which makes me sad, because November is one of my favorites. But yeah, life (or death as the case may be) happens and sometimes reading takes a back seat. This list actually looks better than the month really was... most of these were really fast easy books that I just read last week during the Thanksgiving break. 

Swoon at Your Own Risk by Sydney Salter: It's summer and Polly has sworn off boys, if only they'd stop being everywhere! And if only a certain skateboarder didn't look so hot! 

The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (re-read): Edmund Dantes is framed, goes to prison, escapes, then spends years plotting and carrying out his revenge.

Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody: Elsbeth is named a misfit and is cast out to this remote settlement to work away from the rest of society.

White Cat by Holly Black: Cassel is trying to figure out what's really going on with his curse working family.

Wake by Lisa McMann: Janie must deal with the fact that she is forced into other people's dreams and what to do about the stuff she learns there.

Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld: Alek and Deryn's adventures continue during an alternate WWI, with much of the action taking place in Istanbul.

North of Beautiful by Jusinta Chen Headley: Terra has a birthmark on her face, so she makes up for it by trying to be perfect in everything else. 

Favorites: North of Beautiful was wonderful. I also really enjoyed White Cat and Wake.

Plans for December:

* read The Fires of Heaven, WoT book five. (Started the prologue last night!)
* read The Way We Live Now for the Classics Circuit
* try to read The Iliad for Really Old Classics
* The Glass Castle is STILL sitting there waiting for me!
* maybe continue with The Riddle, depending on mood
* read more of that library stack perhaps
* read new books from Christmas!

How'd your reading month go?

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Review: White Cat by Holly Black

Book: White Cat by Holly Black
Genre: YA SF
Rating: A
For: Fun
From: It was a gift!

This is a book I've just recently been hearing lots about (just opposite of what I was saying about Wake yesterday, which I've been hearing about forever.) And for once, I've been able to read it soon afterwards instead of waiting and waiting for a chance to get to it!

This book is the first of a series called The Curse Workers. It's about a society where many people have an ability to manipulate other people simply by touching them (through dreams, memories, emotions, etc.) This "curse work" has been outlawed and therefore, to help prevent the working of curses, everyone must wear gloves. (I'm still not sure how this particular law is enforced though.) Of course, there are those who disregard the law and insist on keeping up the practice which creates a whole new meaning to the mafia/con world.

We meet our main guy as he is just waking up from sleepwalking on the roof of his dorm. Cassel, as he is called (and a name that quite grew on me I must say) comes from a family of curse workers, yet he himself has no power of his own. This whole sleepwalking thing is quite suspicious to him and he wonders what's really going on. Is someone "working" him? And if so, why? And who?

Because of this particular incident, he is given a sort of leave of absence from school and he uses that week or so to begin solving this mystery, which appears to have a lot to do with his family and what they are really up to. And it may also have something to do with another terrible incident that happened in Cassel's past.... one that haunts his life relentlessly.

And what's up with the white cat? Well, you'll have to read it to find that out!

I really enjoyed this unique take on the whole paranormal/magic thing. I also enjoyed hearing the story from the guy's point of view. We need more of those out there! It's a fast-paced story, filled with several plot twists that for the most part I didn't see coming. I love it when that happens. Those, wait, what? moments! Great stuff.

Years ago I read Tithe by Holly Black and was not impressed at all. She redeemed herself for me with this one. It was much much more enjoyable.

Bottom line: I really liked it a lot!

Other reviews:

The Page Flipper
I'd So Rather be Reading
You've GOTTA Read This
Stella Matutina

More information about author Holly Black.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Review: Wake by Lisa McMann

Book: Wake by Lisa McMann
Genre: YA SF
Rating: A
For: Fun
From: The library

I've been wanting to read this one forever its seems. Nearly every time I go to the library, I check to see if it's in, and finally the other day, there were tons of them! So I knew it was finally time to read it.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to see what other people are dreaming? In this book, Janie knows all about it and she does NOT think it's very cool at all. In fact, it's basically become a curse, especially since she has no control over it and if she is in the vicinity of anyone dreaming, she is sucked right into their dream with them. Meanwhile, her physical body is paralyzed as if she's having an epileptic fit. Not fun and quite inconvenient to say the least.

And things get especially creepy when the guy she sorta kinda likes falls asleep nearby and she learns what he happens to be dreaming about. A little bit good and a lot bad.

I really enjoyed this whole dream idea. Quite an interesting concept. I also really liked the guy in this book, one of those shy, quite types who on the surface looks especially nerdy and needy, yet as it turns out, there's a whole lot more going on than what you can see. Love that!

Most likely I'll read the next one, called Fade, I believe. However, I'm a little worried because I think most of th allure of this story is the figuring out of things, and now that all the mystery is "solved" I'm not sure if the sequels will be as fun. If you've read them, let me know!

Bottom line: Totally enjoyed it. Couldn't put it down.

P.S. Beware the language in this one.

Other reviews:

Bookfoolery and Babble
There's a Book
Books Love Me
Sadie-Jean's Book Blog

And don't forget to check out author Lisa McMann's website here.

Review: Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody

Book: Obernewtyn by Isobelle Carmody
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: A-
For: Fun
From: The library

My friend Jenny has been loving this series lately, and so I decided I had to find out what it was all about. This first book is quite a small thing and I figured I could fit it in the line up quite easily and read it quickly. However, sad to say, it still took me awhile to read it. I think it was a mixture of what was going on in real life and because it was a little slow to start and took awhile to get into.  (Also, it may have to do with the fact that she started this book while a teenager.)

The premise of this book is that a long time ago in the history of this society, something happened called the Great White, a nuclear holocaust of some sort. Because of that event, many people have been tainted and have ended up with strange and unique gifts. These people are labeled misfits and are condemned to death or banishment.

One of the locations for banishment is Obernewtyn, a place from which no one has ever returned.

So as you may have guessed, this is where we go with our main character, Elspeth. Once there, she begins to uncover the secrets and corruption of this place. And from there, it all gets quite intriguing! In fact, I think I read most of the whole second half in one sitting. Not only that, I found myself wondering about the characters after finishing, which is always a good sign for wanting to continue with the series, don't you think? Yes. I will be finding out what happens to them.

Bottom line: I really enjoyed it.

Other Reviews:

Presenting Lenore
Bart's Bookshelf
Stainless Steel Droppings

What the author has to say about it:


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