30 September 2007

A Book that Didn't get Reviewed

Going back over my previous entries and realized i got one finished that i never posted about. I read Kushiel's Avatar by Jacqueline Carey. i did enjoy it i just read in in july/early august when my life started falling apart and it just slipped my mind completely. I've got Kushiel's Scion in my book box and plan on starting maybe in November after finishing up the RIP challenge.

28 September 2007

Booking through Thursday, A Day Late

I found this site while wandering through several other book blogs off of the Riping Yarns site list.

Buy a Friend a Book Week is October 1-7 (as well as the first weeks of January, April, and July). During this week, you’re encouraged to buy a friend a book for no good reason. Not for their birthday, not because it’s a holiday, not to cheer them up–just because it’s a book.

What book would you choose to give to a friend and why?

This is actually a hard one. Most of my friends aren't readers exactly and have pretty different tastes than mine. So anything i really like they wouldn't. I did buy the guy i am kinda separated from a book this week about personal finance, setting up a budget, savings because he really needs help on that front. I got it from TJ Maxx so i spent all of $5. I suppose for him i could also get him one of these relationship books i am thumbing through. Or possibly a graphic novel.

27 September 2007


Finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. It was quite good. Now i am feeling the need to go down to our Farmer's Market tomorrow! It is about how the author's family feeds themselves off local or home-grown food for a year. It reminded me strongly of The Omnivore's DIlemma by Michael Pollan, another wonderful book about food, where it comes from and what really goes into growing it.

I have to say that i know the teensiest amount about how food grows. really, other than knowing strawberries come in late spring and corn, watermelon and tomatoes basil in summer i don't have the faintest idea about what grows when. but i am really inspired to learn.

My Reading for the Rest of the Year

So this morning i am going over my groups, challenges, library on holds and other books i'm wanting to finish to figure out how much i need to read the rest of the year. I'm a little concerned i'm not going to finish! i have at this point:
  • 2 books left for RIP
  • 5 for Armchair Traveler Challenge
  • 1 a month for Fantasy Favorites Group
  • 1 a month for Classic Scifi Group
  • 1 a month for Thematic Classics Group
  • 3 in my queue at the library
  • 2 i have already from the library and am trying to finish
  • 5 books that i have either started recently or just bought that i want to get through

wow! that makes a total of 26 books to finish out the year. and that doesn't count any self-help/coping with relationships books that i will go through (i have 2 now). And i was wanting to reread Harry Potter! I guess HP is out for the foreseeable future. I figure i can at least squiggle in 2 of my other books to fit in the Thematic Classics Group. i'll probably miss out on one from both Classic Scifi and Fantasy Favorites as the library here doesn't have one of the upcoming reads for each. so that gets me down to 22. as there are 13 weeks left in the year starting September 30 that works out to 1.7 books per week. That doesn't sound so bad now. I did try to pick some less than 400 pagers for the Armchair Travel challenge and none of my in queue books are really fat.

But i do need to read more at work for sure if i want to get through all this! :)

26 September 2007

Another Challenge

So I joined another challenge. An attempt to work on my 1001 Books list. Also, as i was trying to come up with books for this i realized i had read The Maltese Falcon so i am up to 69 read. In the immortal words of Ted (Theodore) Logan: DUDE! So my new challenge is the Armchair Traveler challenge. As i NEED to get away but can't right now, i figure it might help.

As this one is for 6 books and ends December 31 (i am starting 3 months in) i am going to cheat a teeny tiny bit. Rebecca fits perfectly; Manderley is a driving character and the reason our heroine meets our hero. So it will be considered my first book for the challenge. The rest are:
  • On the Road by Jack Kerouac
  • Playing for Pizza by John Grisham
  • A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
  • Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
  • Arrow of God by Chinua Achebe
I am not normally a Grisham fan but since this one is football related i signed up for it at the library. I am 67th in line for one of 37 copies so it will probably be later in the year that i may get to it. I have wanted to read Kerouac for a while but just never got around to it. The Forster and Achebe i haven't heard of at all and i didn't get around to watching Memoirs of a Geisha so i am pretty open-minded on that one too.

Currently: adding another couple books to the library list now.

25 September 2007

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali

Read and really enjoyed this one, if you can say you enjoyed a book filled with the author's pain. I have seen Ali on Bill Maher several times and agreed with many of her views on women's rights and not allowing intolerance in the name of tolerance. Her personal story is so desperately sad, moving and in many ways inspiring. When i first started it i read about 2 chapters and put it down because i didn't think i could handle the "downer" with my own mental state being so off right now. But it kept coming back to me; i began reading it again and i felt so much for her as a person and her struggle to survive that it brought me out of my own funk a little bit, at least while i was reading. Highly recommended but not for the squeamish.

currently: at work, ugh!

22 September 2007

Number of Books

BTW, with finishing Rebecca i am now at 67 books done on the 1001 Books list. yay!


Finished my second RIP book, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. I haven't seen the movie but i knew the basic plot: guy remarries after his first "perfect" wife Rebecca dies and takes his very much younger new bride back to his huge English estate, where weird things start happening. Not a ghost story in the traditional sense but the whole book is haunted by the past. The author has a wonderful way of conveying mood and feelings. The narrator is very young and insecure. I was reading at work and got a call after a particularly good passage. I felt insecure and nervous on the call. I had to put the book down for a bit after that. I really enjoyed it and have put the Hitchcock film on my netflix list.

I'm in the middle of a few right now so not sure if fiction or nonfiction will end up next on here.

Currently: watching South Carolina at LSU.

16 September 2007

Sense and Sensibility

Finished the Jane Austen novel. I had read Pride and Prejudice long ago (maybe for school?) and liked it so picked Sense and Sensibility for a group read.

I really liked it. A very sweet and innocent story. Fluffy. i don't normally like or read chick lit but since this is classic chick lit i gave it a try. The modern stuff is filled with neurotic, OCD women who can't stop talking about themselves. I don't feel anything like that at all so i don't identify with that.

Austen's themes are universal: love, family, searching for happiness. certainly some things that speak to me right now with my messed up personal life. I really loved the sisters; my only sister is 18 years younger than i so i don't have that kind of close "sisterly" relationship like the book describes. But when i was younger i did want a sister to talk to (rather than stinky old brothers lol) and imagined if i did we'd have a relationship like this novel describes.

currently: watching San Diego perform terribly. hopefully we'll come back in the second half

14 September 2007

Book Questionnaire I Ripped From Another Site

What are you reading right now? Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen, A Meeting at Corvallis by S.M. Stirling

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that? Yes! Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, The Fifth Head of Cerberus by Gene Wolfe, and Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now? I don't read in the bathroom; i am not in there long enough. I only subscribe to Entertainment Weekly and Skeptic.

What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read? I hated The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzergerald.

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone? Right now i am rec'ing The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan and the George R.R. Martin A Song of Ice and Fire series

Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they? I would say no, mainly because we have self-checkout in nashville and the hold shelves are also self service. They probably would if i had to talk to them everytime i checked out though.

Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all? I have more the opposite problem, there are plenty of things others pimp that i don't like. Like The DaVinci Code. The idea/general storyline was ok but it was terribly written and poorly plotted.

Do you read books while you do other things? Cooking frequently i will, specifically if i am in a "continuous stir" phase of something.

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits? No, but i did get my best friend by reading: i was a new kid, freshman in a new high school and eating lunch by myself. My best friend and her boyfriend saw me reading, figured i must be interesting because i didn't look like i gave a shit what anyone else thought, and came sat down with me. we are still friends 17 years later.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn’t put it down? Probably Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

08 September 2007

Spoilery Review of A Turn of the Screw

Went in Davis Kidd yesterday, mainly just to kill time because it was just 12:30 and there was no way i was going to try to go in Panera for lunch until at least 1:15. Anyway, i was digging through the bargain bin when i found Henry James' A Turn of the Screw for just 2.99. There was a big rack of about 40 odd titles that were sort of "thrift classics" that started out at just 4.95 anyway. as i was going to read this for RIP i snatched it up but couldn't remember which of the rest may have been on my 1001 Books list so didn't end up spending too much cash. I should probably keep a list of a dozen or so with me to snag some on super discount when this happens!

I didn't realize it was a short story. either a long short story or a really short novella. Either way i ripped through about 30 pages during my lunch and the rest yesterday evening. Very Enjoyable. A governess is in charge of 2 kids at a country home in England. Their parents are dead and their uncle is not around. The governess discovers there are 2 ghosts who want to off the kids so the ghosts can keep them, but the kids are not scared, they are fascinated. Very good mood building and quite creepy. It did have the sort of weird narrator structure that a lot of Victorian horror/mystery seems to use. The first narrator is listening to a story being read by a second person who knew the person the events happened to. Sort of made it a bit urban legendy. Also, apparently Victorians of all ages are terribly prone to heart attacks. I personally would have preffered the death to be a little more dramatic, like someone jumping out a window due to the ghosts, rather than just randomly fall over. I am sure it was more dramatic to those who read it when released.

I will definitely read the other short stories in the book. I enjoyed this one a lot. It actually reminded me of the last story in Stephen King's Different Seasons called The Breathing Method. Not in what the stories were about but in structure, tone, and narrator.

Picking up Rebecca from the library today so will probably start that soon, as well as work on Sense and Sensibility for another group.

currently: in need of a shower.

05 September 2007

Another RIP post

I won a book! WOOHOO! I rarely win anything (last things was a foot tall statue of Yoda made of Legos, a very long story) but i won a book for joining in with this challenge. I need to really get started on one of my books soon. :)

I had said i would explain why i picked those 4. I recently got the book 1001 Books to Read Before You Die and after tallying up i have just read 65. UGH! I really figured i'd have done at least 100. So i am working on a getting some cleared from that list. The 4 books for this challenge are straight from the list, basically the first 4 i recognized as horror. Fun and excitement.

Have a new blog on which i am working on my personal issues. Anyone interested can check out Melanie's Game.

currently: cooking, to take my mind off things.

02 September 2007

Harry Potter

I actually read Deathly Hallows within 4 days of release, i just wasn't able to post about it until now.

I absolutely loved it! Though i know which bits will be cut during the movie i felt it was a damn good read. I began crying in the lead up to the Battle of Hogwarts and didn't stop until i closed the cover. I felt so strongly for Harry throughout but the maturity and the bravery he showed towards the end were amazing.

I have to say my plan was to read this and then reread the series back to back. Haven't quite managed that but i have reread Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone. The biggest thing i noticed is how much the reading level of the books has increased. They aren't just longer as you get later in the series, they become so much more complex stylistically and are at higher reading difficulty.

am about halfway through Chamber of Secrets so i'll try to finish that one up soon.