30 November 2009

Penultimate Update on 2009 Challenges

as of 11/30
Total: 139

Non-fiction: 34
Library: 95 (i signed up for the 50 book challenge at the 2009 Support Your Local Library Challenge so i'm done)
Graphic novels: 30

Science Book Challenge:3/3 i am done!
YA Challenge: 12/12 DONE!
OUaT3: 5/5 also done!
RIP IV Challenge: 4/4 Done!

29 November 2009

YA Challenge 2010

A possible Young Adult Challenge list for 2010. I know that the list isn't required but here are 12 i'd like to read. If there were a 20 book level i'd do that, but i think i'll just do the mini YA Challenge.
  • Looking for Alaska by John Green
  • The Rules of Survival by Nancy Werlin
  • Slam by Nick Hornby
  • Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman
  • Feed by MT Anderson
  • Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman
  • The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer
  • Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • Small Steps by Louis Sachar
  • The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
  • Heaven Eyes by David Almond
  • Kit's Wilderness by David Almond
of course i know i'll read some not on this list, as well as probably do more than the 12. Hooray for reading!

27 November 2009

I'll be rereading Tolkein

OK, i'm officially signing up for challenges now! i mean, it is almost December right? Anyway, i'll be joining the Lord of the Rings Readalong, hosted by Eva, Maree, Jenny and Teresa at Shelf Love and the Literary Omnivore. a book a month, including The Hobbit, to read through April. Yay!

25 November 2009

Link Dump

Ok, here i go!

Jerk! I can't believe the governor used the excuse "a year isn't long enough to override next of kin" but apparently as long as you've ran to Vegas and gotten that piece of paper it doesn't matter how long you've known each other. Which is crazy. Check out the personal story that prompted the legislation. Awful, especially the part about the fact that these guys had done everything they were supposed to: wills, living wills, powers of attorney.

B told me about this when we saw a little baby meteor on Saturday night. I didn't quite believe it was so bright until i saw the video. Damn!

Donate $5 to Scarleteen. Sex positive sex ed for all!

How i feel about Stupak too.

I've got all my shots. so should you!

The program has closed temporarily but if you are on Paperbackswap you may want to donate a credit or two to a needy school for books!

I hope everyone travels safely this weekend, whether you are going near or far. I'll be driving 10 hours Wednesday from Nashville to Louisiana! I will be visiting with my family.

24 November 2009

2 Volumes of The Walking Dead, a Question.

I am really digging the zombie thing running rampant in books right now. I tore through 2 volumes of The Walking Dead tonight and will be checking out McKay's shortly to see about picking up another few. Both get 5's from me.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 1: Days Gone Bye by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore begins with a normal, everyday shootout between a couple small town cops and an escaped prisoner. Rick, who is the hero of this tale, gets shot, then wakes up in a hospital. This next scene is straight out of 28 Days Later, so i wonder which came out first. Finding the hospital abandoned, except for a few zombies, he stumbles out and goes looking for his family.

The Walking Dead, Vol. 2: Miles Behind Us by Robert Kirkman, Charlie Adlard, and Cliff Rathburn takes up just a few hours after the last book ends. The story turns more toward group dynamics and we find out what's happening as the group breaks camp and travels away from Atlanta.

As for the question, it relates to the fact that i'm doing IComLeavWe this month. Hosted over on Stirrup Queens, you comment on 5 blogs every day for a week, as well as respond to one who's commented on yours. There are a good many blogs on the list that deal with infertility, having kids, parenting and adoption. i'm learning a lot as none of those topics are anything i know about. so what do mfi, PCOS and IUI stand for? I know what IVF/IF stand for and have figured out what TTC means. as for the others, i'm really just curious honestly, so thanks!

22 November 2009

Weekly Geeks 43

When i first started this post, i was wondering if i could even get to 10 books published in 2009 that i would recommend. the couple i could think of off the top of my head wouldn't be on my top of the year list but i wondered about including them since i needed a full 10. Then i decided that i didn't need to recommend by default and felt that whatever number i came up with would be good enough. So here is my list, with category and the rating i gave the book out of 7.

The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins- non-fiction, science/biology, 7
The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan- fiction, horror/thriller, 5
The Bride's Farewell by Meg Rosoff-fiction, historical, 5
Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne, non-fiction, science/biology, 7
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins- fiction, young adult, 6
The Manual of Detection by Jedediah Berry- fiction, mystery, fantasy, 6

I've got the new Stephen King from the library and it has been getting awesome reviews. so that may end up on here as well. I can't believe how many i've read this year that came out in December of 2008 that i can't add to this list! oh well.

21 November 2009



Early this morning, or late last night, i finished reading Origins: Fourteen Billion Years of Cosmic Evolution by Neil deGrasse Tyson and Donald Goldsmith. I liked it. I feel bad because i read parts at work or while i was rather tired and know i would have learned more fully awake and alert. It is very good. I've read a lot of Carl Sagan and Tyson really reminds me of Sagan. He's trying to explain what we've learned about the universe in just a few hundred pages. Plenty of the info is relatively new, things we've discovered since 1990, and plenty doesn't make natural sense because the information is so far out of what we see everyday. Published in 2004, it mentions the Cassini-Huygens probe as a future source of data, so now i want to look that up and read some more. Tyson also disses mass media a few times, talking about how various giant discoveries don't make a nightly newscast. a 5 from me.

Switching subjects, is it not weird to others that we are already looking at next year's challenge lists? How about the fact that i've been making my YA Challenge list for about a month now? so strange. I don't want to do more than i did this year, when i had approximately 14 total challenges i worked on. Of course, some were all year and others were only for a few months. I know i am not going to do the TBR challenge next year as i've failed so miserably at it the last 2 years. I just saw on Bart's Bookshelf the 2010 Challenge so i think i'll sign up for that one. And the Science Book Challenge, and Classics or 1%, and etc, etc, etc....wow. And i'm working on a weekly geeks post for the best of published in 2009 books. I can't believe we can count the rest of 2009 in just a few weeks.

19 November 2009

BTT for 11/19

I am really having a bit of trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that it is a week until Thanksgiving. I worry about my perception of time and whether i'm wasting all of mine.

so, an interesting question for BTT today!

Yes. There are definitely authors that write today that i feel people will be reading in 100 years. I think that, just as people today read Austen and the Bronte's for a view of Georgian and Victorian England, people a couple hundred years from now will read books from our times to understand our view of life. While i don't know if Dan Brown, Stephenie Meyers, Nicholas Sparks, or Patricia Cornwell will still be read, I bet Stephen King, Haruki Murakami, Toni Morrison and JK Rowling will still be picked up.

I also think we have a bit of a weird perspective. Will reading for pure entertainment last? after all, the novel really has only been around a few hundred years anyway. Music and Drama both have much longer histories and have really proven themselves to be timeless. No one says "will people still be listening to music in 100 years" for a reason.

I also read Jack of Fables Vol. 2: Jack of Hearts by a whole bunch of people today. I don't know if i will continue. Jack is such a total jerk and a guy at work told me if i don't like him now i won't like him any better. so, i give this one a 4. we do find out why the Snow Queen became a villian though in the Jack Frost backstory.

17 November 2009

Reading Fun

I finished the last of Nick Hornby's Believer column compilations, Housekeeping vs The Dirt. It is weird to have read the last columns before these middle ones. These cover the same sorts of things: Books Bought vs Books Read, enjoying lowbrow literature, not making yourself work to enjoy a book. There's less soccer and more international politics. another 6!

on another note, sometime in the last few days my counter rolled over 16,000! thanks! Thanks for dropping by, reading and commenting or even just going away again. I appreciate it and writing this blog so far has been fun and educational! hopefully next time i hit a milestone i'll notice a little faster.

16 November 2009

The Greatest Show on Earth

I finished another science book. The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins is another evolution book. Another very good one. It is longer and more detailed than the Coyne book, so in a way i think i'd start with the Why Evolution is True if you aren't at all science inclined. Dawkins' book is fascinating and i learned much from it.

here's an extremely informative quote.
Natural selections is the differential survival of successful genes rather than
the alternative, less successful genes in gene pools. Natural selection
doesn't choose genes directly. Instead it chooses their proxies,
individual bodies; and those individuals are chosen--obviously and automatically
and without deliberative intervention--by whether they survive to reproduce
copies of the very same genes. A gene's survival is intimately bound up with the survival of the bodies that it helps to build, because it rides inside those bodies, and dies with them.

Makes sense doesn't it! Dawkins goes into many things beyond fossil evidence like the distribution of animal types throughout the world, molecular and DNA evidence, and embryology. Overall, i highly recommend this book, a 7.

13 November 2009

More P&P

I just finished up the BBC Pride and Prejudice last night.

ok, so yeah, this one is better than the new theatrical version. you get, of course, so much more of the story since it is about twice as long. that means you get more of the characters you don't like too (Lydia and Mrs. Bennett) but more of the ones you enjoy (Elizabeth and Jane, Mr. Darcy). I really liked this movie as well and it's on my wishlist now too! another 7 from me!

and happy Friday the 13th!

12 November 2009

BTT for 11/12

Have i answered something like this? or was i discussing it with B?

Suggested by JM:
“Life is too short to read bad books.” I’d always heard that, but I still read books through until the end no matter how bad they were because I had this sense of obligation.
That is, until this week when I tried (really tried) to read a book that is utterly boring and unrealistic. I had to stop reading.
Do you read everything all the way through or do you feel life really is too short to read bad books?

I am one who will stop reading a book if i don't feel like it. I've got about a half-dozen books, like Stranger in a Strange Land and The Historian, that i've read some of yet i just haven't finished them. I just have so many others that i'd rather read if i'm disinterested. I just took The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo back to the library as i just didn't feel like finishing it yet. So i will stop in the middle of reading a book.

There are exceptions though. It took me 3 tries to read On The Road by Kerouac and I had to finish it on audio. The only reason i kept trying was because it was a classic, on the 1001 list and other "best books" list. I kept expecting something to somehow get better, that i must be missing something and that if i kept up i'd "get" it. Even when i decided it wasn't going to improve, I felt like i had to get through it, just to mark it off my list. The other exception would be if someone gives me a book to read, either as a recommendation or a present, i'm going to really try to read it, and finish it, even if i have to go back and tell the person it wasn't necessarily one i liked.

how about you?

10 November 2009

So, i fail!

I've been having the toughest time going the daily blogging thing this time. Partly it is because work has been absolutely insanely busy and work is where i tend to get some reading done. I also frequently update my blog from work as well so being busy means i can't do that either. I've been going out sometimes after work which means then i'm sleeping later too. and for personal mood reasons i haven't felt like reading or blogging. This past weekend i was personally very busy with other things and got nothing accomplished besides paying a few bills. so, i have bowed out of NaBloPoMo this time. oh well, that makes me 2 for 3 at succeeding.

The one thing i did do, on my way to pick up my dog from R's, was stop by McKays. I ended up grabbing 4 graphic novels and 2 books for a total of $25. I did read a couple of my new graphic novels over the weekend.

Serenity: Those Left Behind by Joss Whedon, Will Conrad and Laura Marin is a bit of filler. It is short, short, short. The art is very pretty but there isn't much to the story. We see why Shepard left the ship and see Mal and crew drop off Inara. a little space adventure to bridge the show and the movie, only for completists. a 4.
Jack of Fables, Vol 1: The (nearly) Great Escape by Bill Willingham, Mathew Sturgis, Tony Akins and Andrew Pepoy (whew!) starts up literally seconds after Jack walks out of the Fables series. He's hitchhiking down the highway when a hot girl in a black van suggests strongly that Jack take a ride with her. She has two "bagmen", literally animated bags, that help her corral Jack. He tries to escape but ends up killing himself in a major traffic accident. Luckily for him, due to his new fame from his movies, Jack wakes from the dead a few days later. Unluckily, he's already been captured and sent to the Golden Boughs Retirement Village, where Revise, the evil overlord, holds Fables until the world forgets them and they can be destroyed. He's got something against magic. So, of course, Jack stages a breakout.

overall though, I didn't like this one as much as Fables. Jack is an ass! He's so annoying, and sarcastic, and mean spirited. I get why he treats Goldilocks poorly but he's pretty rough with everyone. I'll keep up the series as i can get them from the library but i don't know that i would buy any more. a 4 as well.

06 November 2009

Pride and Prejudice

I watched the 2005 version of Pride and Prejudice last night. Very pretty but I thought the music was way overdone. Jena Malone had Lydia just right, the woman who played Jane was lovely, Bingley and Mr. Wickham and the Bennett parents were great too.

So, the big two. Keira Knightly has some very prominent collarbones. I kept looking at that. on the movie itself, she is a good actress and she conveys her feelings and thoughts so well with her expressions. Matthew Macfadyen plays Mr. Darcy, very stoic and British stiff-upper lip type. and, of course, tall, dark and handsome.

So this one is a 7, counts for the Everything Austen Challenge, and is now on my wishlist for Christmas.

05 November 2009

BTT for 11/4

It's All About Me

Which do you prefer? Biographies written about someone? Or Autobiographies written by the actual person (and/or ghost-writer)?

I am really not sure. I've read some of each and i really don't know that i've had a preference. i know that is a cop out but that's how i feel.

04 November 2009

Breaking Dawn

So i liked this one much more than Eclipse! I finished up Breaking Dawn on my last break at work tonight.

ok, yeah, there were some really silly bits that i won't go into because they are certainly spoilery. Really silly. Seriously, when we switched to Jacob's chapters i felt certain the book would be hurled across the room when i finished it. However, later developments redeemed the story.

so yeah, this one gets a 5.

03 November 2009

01 November 2009

November 1st!

Happy All Saint's Day everyone!

I decided to do NaBloPoMo again for the real month. Yay!

so, last night i hung out with my friend C. She's D's girlfriend but D was out of town. I made eggplant parmesan, which was quite good. We watched two bleh movies, the new version of Last House on the Left, which was better than Surveillance. I figured out Surveillance about 30 minutes in and it is one where you really don't like any character but the little 10 year old girl. I really would say if you like horror you'd like Last House on the Left but skip the other movie.

one post down, 29 to go!