Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Salon (11/30/08)

I haven't done any blogging this week, as I've been at my parents house eating and playing the Wii. I did finish 3 books this week: The Liars Club, Friday Night Lights, and Definitely Dead, but I haven't written review for them yet. Look for those sometime soon.

I was going to hit the road this morning, but decided to opt for a late night drive. Hopefully, the traffic won't be too ridiculous. And by that, I mean I hope the traffic will be moving faster than completely stopped. I would download a new audiobook but I forgot my iPod cord thingy so I can't transfer it to the iPod.

Anyway, I'm about to crank out The Devil's Highway, which I have to read for class on Tuesday. It is the last book I have to read for the class. Then I have a week to write a 3000 word paper on Jon Krakauer, the only prompt given is to write something that proves I'm familiar with his work. So that will take up some valuable reading time. BUT, then I'll be free to read as much as I want for a solid month before the next semester starts!

I hope everyone had a great holiday and if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a great week anyway. :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Mailbox Monday


Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at the Printed Page:

It was a slower week but I did receive:

Jenny Green's Killer Junior Year from Mini Book Expo
The Misadventures of Oliver Booth from Julie at FSB

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Salon (11/23/08)

Well, this week has been a different kind of reading week. The week felt so long and unproductive, but when I look back, I realize I finished 3 books.

If you are one of the few that read my blog, you know that I had a rough week last week. This week was a little better, time always helps.

In my zeal to read a bunch of books this month I've started so many that I've had a hard time closing them out. I did manage to finish Outliers and you can see my review here. I also started two new books and finished them ahead of the others I have been reading: Dead to the World and Dead as a Doornail, by Charlaine Harris. You can see my reviews here and here, respectively.

I'm still working on Drood, but I've made some good progress. I've got about 200 pages to go. I had to start rereading The Liar's Club, which I used for my Teaser Tuesday, and start Friday Night Lights, for class. I have to have these 2 read by Tuesday, so at least I know I'll finish something this week! My last book for class is The Devil's Highway, so I will have to start that soon as well.

I also have a big paper I have to write about a nonfiction author due in a few weeks. I think I'm going to write about Jon Krakauer because he is an AMAZING nonfiction writer and I've read 3 of his books already.

On the burner I still have The Heretic's Daughter and The Omnivore's Dilemma. Both of which I am dying to dedicate more time to. I've been having this recurring "nightmare" where I realize that I've been skipping my English class because I forgot about it but still attending a science class. And in the dream I'm all upset because I can't remember why I haven't gone to the class nor can I find out what I've missed or what I need for the next class. It is a stressful dream!!! I guess I'm having anxiety over all these unfinished books. :)

I also joined another challenge, which makes like 2000 I've started. I may not be able to do them all, I don't typically read in such a structured way, but I will smash this one: 2009 Young Adult Reading Challenge.

But my most exciting news is that I just ordered a TON of books from bn.com---and I didn't even have to pay for them!!! I used a gift card I received for my birthday and a $100 gift card I received for a rewards payment on my credit card. (I only had to spend thousands of dollars to get it---oops.)

Here's what I've ordered:
  • Blood and Chocolate
  • Fledgling
  • The Hunger Games
  • The Likeness
  • Skin Hunger
  • Cute Overload 2009 page a day calendar (not a book, but still way exciting)
  • Creepers
  • The Amulet of Samarkand
  • Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
  • Definitely Dead
  • All Together Dead
  • From Dead to Worse
All for a little over $125. Not too shabby. Now I just need to get my reading self in order.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Review: Outliers

Outliers: The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell

Stats:

Published by: Little, Brown, & Company
Pages: 320
ISBN-13: 9780316017923
Genre: General Nonfiction

Synopsis:

Gladwell attempts to explain the untold reasons why successful people become successful.

Thoughts:

Where to begin? Overall, I'd say this is an interesting book that is definitely worth reading, especially if you like nonfiction. Gladwell's basic premise is that successful people become successful because they take advantage of opportunities that are given to them---not because they are the smartest. And yes, I would generally agree with this. I thought there were some interesting examples of this: the hockey-player birthdays, the 10,000-hours factor, Chris Langdon... His break down of the failures of the pilots of the Korean plane crash was really interesting and pointed---I also thought the discussion of the effects of power-distance levels was really interesting. I almost wish he'd write a book about airline industry failures.

But here is my problem with the book: it is presented as fact, but it is not. He uses anecdotal evidence, which makes for a great story---which I enjoy, don't get me wrong---but does little to serve as evidence. He bases his claims on other's works, but has done no study himself. (I suppose this is typical of this type of book? I don't read enough of it to be sure.) In a quick read his "thesis" seems airtight, but I'm sure with closer scrutiny his arguments would break down. Also, the tone was not working for me---but this is a personal gripe with style. The "narrator" just seemed arrogant and a little too horrified by his own findings. Nothing he is arguing is really all that surprising to me, it is more of a reminder of the obvious (which is sometimes necessary). Successful people had help along the way! Successful people got lucky! Successful people had more opportunities! I mean isn't that why we have various government programs? To help those people that don't get those advantages? that aren't even in a place to get lucky?

But, despite that the book still makes some really good points: the nature of success is something worth thinking about.

*Edit: After some more thought, I realized that what Gladwell is trying to say is that we need to rethink how we structure the programs that help less fortunate people---that the current ways of thinking about how to help people be successful aren't based on the "common sense" he has pointed out. That even though his examples seem like common sense, reality is actually more complicated. This is definitely an argument I can get behind. So, who is going to write the book explaining how to restructure government programs? I'd like to read that.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5. Recommended.

Review: Dead as a Doornail

Dead as a Doornail
by Charlaine Harris

Stats:

Published by: Ace Books
Pages: 320
ISBN-13: 9780441013333
Genre: Vampire

Synopsis:

There is a sniper in town picking off shapeshifters and the local pack of werepanthers believe Jason to be the culprit. Sookie has to find out who is really responsible for the shootings before the werepanthers take action.

Thoughts:

Well as usual, I enjoyed this book. I read it in one day---starting at work and then finishing it up before bed. Again, I thought the dynamic between Sookie and Eric was interesting. Her relationship with Alcide is mighty complicated. I think it is interesting that for all the "men" interested in Sookie, the only ones she has given into have been Bill and Eric. My favorite scene is when Mickey attacks Sookie and Eric. Just picturing Eric's face and actions after being asked to sweep the floor clear of glass was priceless. Killer moment.

As I've complained before, the wrap-up of the overarching plot was weak. The shooter was predictable, even if you didn't catch the last twist completely---you'll probably suspect---and the Bon Temps police force will accept any explanation for a shooting, apparently. It will also be interesting to see how the story plays out in regards to Calvin Norris, who so obviously wants a piece of Sookie for himself, and the new Shreveport packmaster.

I've ordered the last three books, and I can't wait! Hopefully, I'll get them by Thanksgiving.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5.

Challenge: Countdown Challenge for year 2005.

2009 Young Adult Book Challenge

J. Kaye is hosting a YA reading challenge this year, and all I can say is YES!!! I am going to destroy this challenge!!! HA! I love YA books, I read sooo many this year.

Basically, you just have to read 12 YA books during the year. I'm going to follow Beth from Beth Fish Reads and list the authors I want to read from, because I'm pretty sure I'll read over 12 books. There are just way too many good YA series out there!


So here are some of the authors I want to read from (in order of when they come to my mind):

  • Scott Westerfeld
  • John Green
  • Cornelia Funke
  • Yann Martel
  • Joanne Dahme
  • Brandon Mull
  • Eoin Colfer
  • Garth Nix
Read List:

  1. The Hunger Games (1/5) (review)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Review: Dead to the World


Dead to the World
by Charlaine Harris

Stats:

Published by: Ace Books
Pages: 320
ISBN-13: 9780441012183
Genre: Vampire

Synopsis:

Sookie finds Eric naked and confused on the side of the road. He has lost his memory. Turns out he's been cursed by a coven of witches trying to take over all the supernatural groups in the area. Sookie ends up hiding Eric to protect him, while the weres, vamps, and supes join forces to oust the evil coven.

Thoughts:

What I really like about this series is how although Bill was Sookie's first love the books do not concentrate on their love affair's ups and downs. It is a part of the story, but Sookie is the main character. I really liked the dynamic between her and Eric, it is good to see her branch out and get some experience. Also, I like they way Harris is expanding the supernatural world---although I do question why Sookie hasn't asked for more details about what is out there, since they are obviously gunning for her. It might be terrifying to find out---but better the devil you know, right?

Again, I think the strength of these books is the pace of their plots. There is never a slow moment, and I find myself not wanting to put the book down---I really want to know what happens next. The ending was a little weak after all the buildup. The battle seemed too easy. The endings always seem to just wrap up so neatly---which doesn't seem realistic given the crazy things that are happening.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5. I'd recommend this series to people looking for a light and fun read and fans of vampire books and supernatural-based mysteries. Also, I'd recommend reading the series in order.

Challenge: Countdown Challenge for year 2004.

Booking Through Thursday

Today's Booking Through Thursday:

Do you think reviewers are obligated to put up a good review of a book, even if they don’t like it? Have we come to a point where reviewers *need* to put up disclaimers to (hopefully) save themselves from being harassed by unhappy authors who get negative reviews?

Well, the short answer is no. Reviewers should never feel obligated to write a good review, if the reviewer thought the book was bad. Not every book that is published will suit every reader, and plenty of crap books are published all the time. And I don't really see anything wrong with pointing that out. It is important to be honest; however, there is no need to be disrespectful.

I have a tendency to read books that I am pretty sure I will like, and I usually do. Sometimes I will find fault with style or not be completely in love with it, and I'll say so. I just recently started this blog, and only recently started reading books that have been sent to me, so I haven't experienced any negative comments from authors. I'd probably be mad though if an author did that. I'd imagine that most if not all bloggers and reviewers aren't paid PR agents---I am just here to read and discuss and if I find fault with something, then I'll say that. No one is paying me to say nice things about these books.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays are hosted by MizB at Should be Reading.

There was a strange odor in the studio that day. On top of the regular head-opening string of turpentine and oil paints, I made out either lighter fluid or the charcoal starter Daddy always used to fire up the Weber grill.

Page 148 of the Liar's Club, by Mary Karr

Monday, November 17, 2008

Drood Giveaway Results

Looks like Liza won! I'll give her a week to respond to my email, otherwise it goes to the next random number. Thanks everyone for entering!

Musing Mondays

See other posts at Should Be Reading:

Today's is a short meme:


WHAT ARE YOU READING RIGHT NOW?

Too many things. Drood, Outliers, Dead to the World, The Omnivore's Dilemma, The Heretic's Daughter, The Liar's Club (a reread for class), and The Hound of the Baskerviles and the Secret Adversay on Daily Lit.

WHAT DID YOU RECENTLY FINISH READING, and WHAT DID YOU THINK OF IT?

I recently finished The Borden Tragedy a short graphic novel. Before that I read Twinke, Deconstructed.

WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WILL READ NEXT?

I'll be working on any of the above, but concentrating on finishing Drood and Outliers.

WILL YOU READ ANY HOLIDAY-THEMED BOOKS SOON?

I don't really seek out holiday-themed books. If I found one and could sneak it in, I guess I would.

Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia over at The Printed Page.

Lets see, this week I received:

Sarah's Key, by Tatiana De Rosnay from St. Martin's Press
This One is Mine, by Maria Semple from Hatchette
The Magician's Book, by Laura Miller from Hatchette

And from Paperbackswap:

The Arctic Incident (Artemis Fowl), by Erin Colfer
Artemis Fowl and the Eternity Code, by Erin Colfer
Eragon, Christopher Paloini
Shakespeare's Landlord, Charlaine Harris

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Salon

Well, it has been a tough week. I had a big paper due, which I put off and had to scramble to finish. And, I had a bad break up with my boyfriend, so it hasn't been a very productive reading week.

My goal for this Sunday is to take it easy and read. I'm currently in the middle of about 6 books. I'm going to try and finish Drood. I'm pretty far along, but it is a big book! It is totally worth it though. I also have a review I need to write and I'd like to read a few short stories.

I finally figured out how to get a third column on my blog and I changed the background. I also started a blog for my challenges at gimmemorechallenges.blogspot.com. It is still in the works right now as I figure out how best to organize it.

Happy reading everyone. :)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New Look

I've been playing around with the look of my blog and adding a third column. But I'm clearly no computer whiz. I managed to get the third column to move the right side, but I can't get them to line up right. If anyone knows how to fix this I could really use some help!


**Edit**

Well, after a little more fiddling with things I do not understand I managed to get it into this form, which I find acceptable for the time being. I'm actually kind of proud of myself. Not only do I not have an understanding the coding it takes to create these pages, but I also had to manipulate some numbers AND I managed not to blow up blogger. WHICH is really impressive!

I'm going to keep running lists of my challenges in the first bar and typical blog stuff in the second bar. Hopefully, that will satisfy me. Anymore complicated than what I just did will certainly cause my head to explode.

***Edit AGAIN***

Well, I decided to start a different blog to keep track of my challenges. It is just too much for one page and I'm not sophisticated enough to create pages off of this one. So please, check out my new challenge blog: Gimme More Challenges!!!

I'm still going to keep a running list of the books I read on this blog.

100+ Reading Challenge

Well I joined a 50 book challenge at goodreads this year and just destroyed it, so I'm going for 100 in 2009. It's a doable challenge for me and I'll probably go over, but I don't want to set the bar too high and then stress over it (which I will do, because even though I can't "get in trouble" I'll feel guilty!)

I'm not exactly sure how I'll go about posting these books. I'm going to try and make my blog three columns and list my challenges there...if not I guess I'll just come back to this post.

***Editor's Note (12/22): I did figure out how to get three columns and I will keep a running list of all the books I read in 2009 in the sidebar as opposed to updating this post over and over.

Unshelved Reading Challenge

Becky has started this challenge, here are the rules from her site:

Unshelved Reading Challenge
host: Becky of Becky's Book Reviews
dates: February 1, 2009 - June 1, 2009
books required: 3

Audio books welcome. Blog not required. Overlaps with other challenges allowed. Lists not required. But books must come from their archives. Remember, new books/strips are being added all the time.


Ok here are three possibilities:
  • The Stupidest Angel, Christoper Moore
  • The Tale of Despereaux, DiCamillo and Ering
  • A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Leguin

Booking Through Thursday


I’ve asked, in the past, about whether you more often buy your books, or get them from libraries. What I want to know today, is, WHY BUY?

Even if you are a die-hard fan of the public library system, I’m betting you have at least ONE permanent resident of your bookshelves in your house. I’m betting that no real book-lover can go through life without owning at least one book. So … why that one? What made you buy the books that you actually own, even though your usual preference is to borrow and return them?

If you usually buy your books, tell me why. Why buy instead of borrow? Why shell out your hard-earned dollars for something you could get for free?

Oh boy. I buy books because I love them. I can't help myself. I love the way a new book feels and smells. I also like being a mini library for my friends and coworkers. I do get books from the Library of Congress when I can't afford a book I want to read or for older books, but when I have money--it gets spent on books. It is often hard to get popular books from the LOC as all the other staffers want to check them out and they can keep them for like 30+ days.

It is kind of a bad habit, but I always tell my mom that a book addiction is better than a drug addiction. I just recently started using paperbackswap.com, but i almost feel like i spend more on postage than on books (which isn't really true, it just feels that way). In the end, I like books and I like spending my money on them--it makes me happy.


BTW I'm giving away a free copy of Drood, by Dan Simmons. Sign up on this post.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veteran's Day

Today is Veteran's Day, and I feel like I can't get through the day without saying something about it. This year I have two people in my immediate family that I am honoring (along with many other friends and extended family): my father, who is a Vietnam veteran and my boyfriend, who is an Iraq War veteran. All I can really say is thank you for doing what had to be done, for protecting our nation and fulfilling the duty that you were called to do. For all the mixed feelings I have about the war we are in now, hearing my boyfriend's stories (he served before we started dating) has opened up my eyes in many ways. He has made me fully appreciate what those boys and men go through on a day to day basis. And it is terrifying, brave, and amazing. So thank you.

Teaser Tuesdays

Today's Teaser:

You must remember, Dear Reader, the context of our times: science was making huge strides in understanding the underlying and interrelated energies and fluids such as magnetism and electricity. The flow and control of mesmeric fluid common to all living things, but especially to the human mind and body, seemed to Dickens to be as scientific and as demonstrable as that which Faraday had shown when he generated electricity with a magnet.

From Drood by Dan Simmons, page 178.

I actually just received a second copy by accident yesterday in the mail, so I'm going to give it away! YAY! So just leave a comment with your email, so I can contact you and I'll choose a winner at the end of the week. If you commit to reading and reviewing within two months, I'll give you a second entry and I'll send it out of the US if necessary. I'll post a link to your blog or post your review here.

I'm about 250 pages in right now, and I am really enjoying it, so hopefully someone else will too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Mailbox Monday

Here's what I got this week:

From BN.com (purchased with a birthday giftcard):
  • Dead to the World, Charlaine Harris
  • Dead as Doornail, Charlaine Harris
  • The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing Kingdom of the Waves, M.T. Anderson
From Paperbackswap.com:
  • Life of Pi, Yann Martel
  • My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult
  • The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Gary Shteyngart
  • Sabriel, Garth Nix
From Hatchette:
  • Little Giant of Aberdeen County, Tiffany Baker
Whew! Now if I could just bring myself to finish my papers, then I could get to reading these books.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Review: Twinkie, Deconstructed


See my review of Twinkie, Deconstructed at the Books About Food Challenge Blog.

This is my first book out of six completed for this challenge.
Up next is The Omnivore's Dilemma, by Micheal Pollan.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What's in a Name Challenge

So I had decided a while ago to sign up for this challenge and even decided what I was going to read, but then I forgot to post about it. Oops. So here's my post.

Read the full rules from Annie's challenge site. Here's a breakdown:

The challenge runs throughout 2009 and I have to read 6 books with the following in the title: profession, time of day, relative, body part, building, medical condition.

Here are my possibles:
  • Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (profession)
  • The Yiddish Policeman's Union (profession)
  • Night (Time of day)
  • When We Were Orphans (Relative)
  • My Sister's Keeper (Relative)
  • A Mighty Heart (Body part)
  • House of Spirits (Building)
  • House of Mirth (Building)
  • Warm Springs (Building--Warm Springs is FDR's polio facility)
  • My Lobotomy (Medical Condition)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Review: Club Dead

Club Dead
by Charlaine Harris

Stats:

Published by: Ace Books
Pages: 272
ISBN-13: 9780441010516
Genre: Vampire

Synopsis: When Bill is kidnapped by Mississippi vampires, Sookie finds out that Bill has betrayed her. But instead of leaving him she finds herself traveling to Jackson with a werewolf and Bill's boss Eric to save him from his abductors.

Thoughts: The review at bn.com says that this book suffers from "weak editing and a disjointed plot, it reads like a bad Harlequin Romance." I have to say I don't agree. I couldn't put this one down. I read a third of it in line waiting to vote. It made the wait go by very quickly. I wouldn't describe this as high literature, but who is expecting it to be? It is entertaining. Yes, there are cheeseball moments and some kind of silly sex scenes, but none of it seems out of place or ridiculous. Charlaine has created an interesting world with vampires, shapeshifters, and telepaths.

I wouldn't recommend this book, or series, to someone looking for literary fiction. This is commerical fiction, it is pure entertainment. The plot moves and the book reads quickly.

Ranking: 4 out of 5.

Challenges: Countdown Challenge for year 2003

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Review: An Abundance of Katherines


An Abundance of Katherines
by John Green

Stats:

Published by: Penguin Group
Pages: 256
ISBN-13: 9780525476887
Genre: YA

Synopsis: Colin Singleton, former child prodigy, has been dumped for the nineteenth time by a Katherine. To help him recover, his friend Hassan takes him on a road trip. And since all road trips must end some where, their trip ends in rural Tennessee where Colin must face the truth about himself and what really matters.

Thoughts: This book reminded me somewhat of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, mainly because of the use of silly footnotes, but also in the irreverent tone. (But not the overall tone, this is much lighter fare.) It is all over the top: the characters, the plot, the language...but it works for me. The relationships are still believable, the dialogue rings true, and Colin's eventual insights into himself are genuine. On top of it all, the book is a total crack-up. I was laughing from start to finish. The recurring joke that got me every time was "dingleberries." And if you want to know why, you have to read, because I won't do it justice.

Rating: 5 out of 5. Read it. I couldn't put it down.

Challenges: Countdown Challenge for year 2006

Review: Living Dead in Dallas

Living Dead in Dallas
by Charlaine Harris

Stats:

Published by: Ace Books
Pages: 272
ISBN-13: 9780441009237
Genre: Vampire (At least I think it has become it's own genre)

Synopsis: Sookie is compelled by Eric to go to Dallas to help track down a missing vampire. Sookie must face a fanatical religious cult, with the help of a few shapeshifters, to save an unknown vampire, and herself.

Thoughts: Oh, after this book I am so sold on this series. First of all, because the storyline felt inventive to me. The story took us out of Bon Temps and seeking trouble, and therefore avoiding the "Jessica Fletcher running accidentally into a murder" syndrome. Bill played a lesser role in this book; Sookie had to solve this problem--she doesn't have to rely wholy on Bill. I think that is why I like her character so much. It is not like Bella from the Twilight series who is a damsel in distress figure that always needs saving. Sookie often needs saving, but can still manage to make her way out of a crisis, even if she is a little worse for the wear.

The plot is paced well and had me hooked from the beginning. I'm really enjoying Eric's larger role. Some of his lines really bust me up. Also, learning more about shifters and Weres was a nice addition.

Rating: 4 out of 5. I'm totally addicted.

Challenges: Countdown Challenge for year 2002.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Mailbox Monday

Oh man, I was all sad because I didn't have any books to list for Mailbox Monday, but then I came home and checked the mail.

Here's what I got:

  • Outliers: The Story of Sucess, Malcom Gladwell
  • The Heretic's Daughter, Kathleen Kent (I'm excited about this one, I've been reading a lot of good reviews from everyone.)
  • Life After Genius, M. Ann Jacoby
  • Cobain Unseen, Charles R. Cross
I also received Drood, by Dan Simmons last week. And I received Brisinger, which I won from The Bluestocking Guide.

Needless to say, after a heinous commute home from work, these books cheered me up!

The Countdown Challenge


I think I have a problem. I can't stop joining challenges. I'm joining the Countdown Challenge over at 1morechapter. Here are the rules:









  1. The goal of this challenge is to read the number of books first published in a given year that corresponds to the last digit of each year in the 2000s — 9 books from 2009, 8 books from 2008, etc. The total number of books required, therefore, is 45.
  2. This challenge lasts from 8/8/08 through 9/9/09. Yes, it is retroactive to August 8th!
  3. Crossovers with other challenges are allowed and your lists may change at any time.


My list isn't 100% complete, but it is almost there. I almost feel like I'm cheating, since it is retroactive, I've already read about 15 out of the 45.

2009 (4 out of 9 completed)
  1. The Believers, Zoe Heller (10/15/2008)
  2. Drood, Dan Simmons (12/18/2008) (review)
  3. The Little Giant of Aberdeen County, Tiffany Baker (12/26) (review)
  4. A Reliable Wife, Robert Goolrick (12/31/2008) (review)
  • A Fortunate Age
  • Fool, Christopher Moore
  • The Last Olympian, Rick Riordan
  • The Unholy Book of Mischief
  • Shades of Grey, Jasper Fforde
2008 (8 books completed)
  1. Battle of the Labyrinth, Rick Riordan (8/13/2008)
  2. The Magician, Michael Scott (9/4/2008)
  3. The Maze of Bones, Rick Riordan (10/26/2008) (review)
  4. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman (10/30/2008) (review)
  5. From Dead to Worse, Charlaine Harris (12/2/2008) (review)
  6. Heretic's Daughter, Kathleen Kent (12/4/2008) (review)
  7. Creepers, Joanne Dahme (12/6/2008) (review)
  8. Life After Genius (12/20/2008)
2007 (6 out of 7 completed)
  1. The Titan's Curse, Rick Riordan (8/11/2008)
  2. The Red Shoe, Ursula Dubosarsky (8/29/2008)
  3. The Alchemyst, Michael Scott (8/29/2008)
  4. Eclipse, Stephanie Meyer (9/2/2008)
  5. All Together Dead Charlaine Harris (12/1/2008) (review)
  6. Fablehaven: Rise of the Evening Star (12/7) (review)
2006 (5 out of 6 completed)
  1. The Sea of Monsters, Rick Riordan (8/10/2008)
  2. Good Omens, Neil Gaiman (8/24/2008)
  3. Fablehaven, Brandon Mull (9/14/2008)
  4. An Abundance of Katherines, John Green (11/2/2008) (review)
  5. Definitely Dead, Charlaine Harris (11/27/2008) (review)
2005 (2 out of 5 completed)
  1. Dead as a Doornail, Charlaine Harris (11/20/2008) (review)
  2. Shakespeare's Landlord (12/10/2008) (review)
  • Uglies, Scott Westerfeld
  • Pretties, Scott Westerfeld
  • Inkspell, Cornelia Funke
2004 (1 out of 4 completed)
  1. Dead to the World, Charlaine Harris (11/18/2008) (review)
  • Gilead, Marilynne Robinson
  • My Sister's Keeper, Jodi Picoult
  • The Looking Glass Wars, Frank Beddor
2003 (1 out of 3 books)
  1. Club Dead, Charlaine Harris (11/4/2008) (review)
  2. Inkheart, Cornelia Funke (1/4/2009) (review)
  • The Russian Debutante's Handbook, Gary Shteyngart
2002 (1 out of 2 completed)
  1. Living Dead in Dallas, Charlaine Harris (10/31/2008) (review)
  • Life of Pi, Yann Martel
2001 (1 book completed)
  1. Dead Until Dark, Charlaine Harris (9/29/2008)

*updated 12/22/2008: 27 out of 45 complete
*updated 12/26/2008: 28 out of 45 complete
*updated 12/31/2008: 29 out of 45 complete
*updated 1/5/2008: 30 complete

Musing Mondays

Today’s MUSING MONDAYS post is about boys and reading…

Do you know of any young boys who do not like to read? Why do you think boys so often don’t? What can we do to encourage them to read more? So, what do you think? How do you encourage young boys to read more, or how would you? And, if you have a differing opinion, let’s hear it!

I don't know many young boys, and I don't really know their reading habits anyway. But I can say that my dad is not a big reader, but he will read Tom Clancy books and he read a few of the Harry Potter books. He reads the paper everyday and also reads political blogs. So even though he's not reading books, he still gets some reading in. My boyfriend, as I've said before, doesn't like to read. He doesn't get much enjoyment out of it, and sees it as a task. I guess it just has to do with priorities and taste. He likes science and math, I like reading and writing. I don't even try to encourage him, he's stuck in his ways. Maybe if he had stumbled upon "that book" when he was a little younger, it would be different.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Salon

I fared a little better this week, and finished up Great Plains, The Maze of Bones, The Graveyard Book, and Living Dead in Dallas. Check out my October Wrap-Up.

I'm still working on Twinkie, Deconstructed--it is interesting, just slow-going--and I started An Abundance of Katherines and The Omnivore's Dilemma. I'll probably focus on Katherines today and hopefully start Give and Take, which I recieved from Concord Free Press, and Drood, which I recieved from Miriam at Hatchette Books.

This week I'll also probably start Club Dead, Sookie's books are becoming my major guilty pleasure.

My boyfriend bought me a second bookshelf for my birthday and I finally got around to organizing. I split my books up between read and unread. It is pretty balanced considering I have close to 400 books. I also cleaned out some I just know I'm not going to read or won't read again and wouldn't recommend or lend, and I joined paperbackswap.com. I've sent out 5 books so far, but no one has approved my requests yet! Hopefully soon.

I also have to work on a report/project for my grad class. I decided to create a "reader's resource" of sorts for books that have food as a topic or theme. I'm excited about doing it, I just actually have to do it now.

Well I had better get started reading. :)

Saturday, November 1, 2008

October Wrap-Up

I only managed to read 10 books this month. Reading was a little slow for me this month because it was my birthday, I got really sick, and my bf was staying with me. Hopefully November will be more productive, but I still read some really great books and I started this blog.

Here's the list:

  1. Holes, Louis Sachar
  2. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Maya Angelou
  3. The Kiss, Kathryn Harrison
  4. The Believers, Zoe Heller (thanks to B&N First Look)
  5. Murder on the Orient Express, Agatha Cristie
  6. The Woman Warrior, Maxine Hong Kingston
  7. The Maze of Bones, Rick Riordan
  8. Great Plains, Ian Frazier
  9. The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
  10. Living Dead in Dallas, Charlaine Harris
I'm still working on these books:

  • Twinkie, Deconstructed, Steve Ettlinger (For Books About Food Challenge)
  • The Ominvore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan (For Books About Food Challenge)
  • An Abundance of Katharines, John Green
  • The Hound of the Baskervilles, Arthur Conan Doyle (on DailyLit)
  • The Secret Adversary, Agatha Cristie (on DailyLit)
I received Drood from Miriam at Hatchette Books and I'll probably start that soon. I also won Brisinger from Brooke over at The Bluestocking Guide. Thanks Brooke!!

I joined like 8,000 challenges, I won't list them here as they are all on the sidebar and all new.

The blogging community has welcomed me so throughly in the last two weeks, and I appreciate it so much!

Well-Seasoned Reader Challenge

Melissa at Book Nut is hosting the Well-Seasoned Reader challenge. Here are the rules:


Rule #1: The challenge runs from January 1 to March 31. (No cheating and starting before!)

Rule #2: You must read three books. After that, it's up to you how much you want to read.

Rule #3: The books must:
have a food name in the title
OR
be about cooking/eating
OR
have a place name in the title
OR
be about one (or more) person's travel experience
OR
be about a specific culture
OR
be by an author whose ethnicity is other than your own (see, I squeezed it in!)
I'll leave it up to you to choose how the three books you read fit the criteria.

Rule #4: They must be middle-grade on up, but can be either fiction or non-fiction.

The purpose, this winter, is to take yourself someplace out of the ordinary, to go on a literary trip, whether that be challenging your expectations, discovering a new place, or enjoying the experience of reading about good food, places, and people.


Since I am already doing the Books About Food Challenge, I'm not going to choose any books about food. Also, I'm going all nonfiction for this in an attempt to whittle down my ever-growing list of nonfiction. I'm going to try and cover all different categories. I've got four on the list that I'll chose from and hopefully I'll get them all.
  • Baghdad Without A Map, Tony Horwitz (Place/Travel)
  • American Shaolin, Matthew Polly (Culture)
  • Among Flowers, Jamaica Kincaid (Travel/Ethnicity)
  • The Mute's Soliloquy, Pramoedya Ananta Toer (Ethnicity)