Friday, September 30, 2011

Some things you don't pass up


I've been listening to The Night Circus on my commutes the last few trips here to Iowa City and I've been enjoying this book so very much! On a brief stroll through the bookstore here at the hospital the other day I had seen a copy on the New Relases shelf. Now that I've been here a couple days I was seriously missing this book. (and isn't Jim Dale just the bee's kness!!)

Hey! (I says to me) The books store has a copy, why don't you just go buy it and you can read from where you left off listening! (I mean it, I like this book!).

I held off for a bit, buuuut, then I couldn't find something for my daughter to read up at the patients library and the thought crossed my mind again, like a herd of buffalo! And there was no resisting.

So I traipsed down there and there it sat, all shiney and new and hardbacked. I almost didn't get it since I forgotten it was going to be hardback, being just released and all. But then... I saw the sticker...20% off, which made me take a step closer....and then.... I saw the other sticker!!

"Autographed Copy".

Snag.
Mine.

Now here I sit and I can't bring myself to read it. I mean really what if I hurt it? What if I fingerprint-smudge up all the pages and the dust jacket? Nope this is a keeper... but I do so want to read it. arggghhhh. dilemma!

I'm thrilled to have it however. And I'll love it..and pet it... and squeeze it...and hug it.... ;)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday Top Ten Tuesday - reReads


Top Ten Tuesday...hosted  graciously by our dear friends over at The Broke and the Bookish are asking this week what books we wanted to re-read...huh? OH..re-read yeah. Got it. Oh! You mean list them..now! Ok...

See I do have  few I can list because I have time when my attention span isn't the best and I find my mind can wander even when I'm reading something as easily as it can when I'm not doing anything.
 I know there were nuances I missed because I spaced off the meaning of the words I was reading!

I know sometimes my mind would wander off before I got to the end of a sentence. In my defense these ARE some complex sentences!! We're talking lots of commas and maybe even a semicolon! I do love the book, just want to read it when my mind is all with me...or sort of with me.

Hopefully when I get back into this book my brain will go 'Oh Yeah!' but right now it's all a blur. I've no idea. Seriously


So there are these books that may have not made the impression they should have and then there are those I read so long ago my old old mind has a hard time remembering details about what they were about.
 
 Dystopian, yeah I remember, but I want the details back!! I remember I loved this book. I remember it affected me. The plot has gotten a little fuzzy since Mr. Wooten's High School class (ironically in 1983). told ya I was old!

I really really need a refresher read on this one. It was just as long ago as 1984.

I read this in high school too. I know I loved it, but don't really remember what happens in it. For King fans...now that I know the tie in with The Dark Tower series I really really want to reread it!


And then there are those books that I didn't read really I SHOVED through to get to the end usually because I liked them and really really wanted to find out what happened or because I hated them and wanted to find out what happened....except the yucky ones I probably don't want to re-read.
 The writing was so beautiful I wanted to just read and read and read plus I had to know if he got to her! Now I want to go back and just sink into the prose like a heart broken teenage girl into a pint of Ben and Jerry's!

I think this was the first one I didn't read to my girls out loud so I had to read fast so they could read it next, plus I really wanted to know what happened and be back in the magical world again!

And then there are the loves, the ones I'd love to have time to revisit and see if I love them still like I loved them then.
I have such a soft spot in my heart for this book. I think it was the only book that ever made me realize there was a world out there weirder than mine and people dealt anyway.

It's my favorite book of all time. I adore post-apocalyptic because of it yet no other PA dystopian book has touched it. One of these days I will go back to it and re-read it. Wonder if I can get through the Lincoln tunnel scene without my heart pounding this time?

So those are my 10. There are others, like Little Women, Watership Down, The Wump World, every Harry Potter, but there are so many new loves out there to discover...that sounded bad, like I'm a lit nympho or something! ;)

My  next favorite thing to re-reading in the mean time is when I get to turn somebody on to one of my favorite books and have them love it too! Even better when its one of my girls.

Best yet is when it's both of them!! Which was true with the Dark Tower Series. We all love it, we all still talk about it and one of these days I think my youngest may just genetically engineer her own BillyBumbler (a dog size racoon/dog/cat looking animal that can talk - sort of - like a parrot but with purpose ...trust me they are wonderful!)

I'm sure you guys will remind me of some that will set my heart on fire with yearning to re-read when I go explore your lists!

Review: The Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins

Title: The Hunger Games

Author:  Suzanne Collins

Pages: 374

Why I Read This Book: Oh I’d seen so many reviews and the movie was starting to get talked up more and more and comparisons were being made that I couldn’t relate to not having read The Hunger Games and some of my blog friends had it listed in their all time favorites, so I had to go see what all the fuss was about. And I was in a spot where I needed to dead on escapism.

Rating: 3.5/5

Synopsis From Goodreads: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

My Review/Opinion: So I’m betting the rating I gave this comes as a bit of surprise. I’m sure most of my friends would have expected me to like it more than this. But I had issues with it…but lets do this ‘positive sandwiching style’ shall we?

( I had a hard time writing this review. My emotions toward the book still cloud my analysis of it. I hope I mange to convey my disappointment is a non-threatening way.  If not, chalk it up to raw emotions, not that I’m a prude… deal?)

The Hunger Games was the very definition of escapism when I most needed it. The world that Suzanne Collins devised for her story was amazing and believable! I loved the Muttation, especially calling them Mutts. I loved the district system and the behavior of the Capitol. That seemed very, eerily believable! I loved the black market and the defiance to go where they were told not to. Katniss, Gale, Peeta, Prim, etc… I thought about them when I wasn’t reading and wondered what would happen next.

But there was a reason I wanted to know what happened next, it is because I was not thrilled with the premise of the hunger games themselves. And I desperately hoped there would be transcendence from all the tributes. I had, in essence, a more triumphant plot in mind as I read. And as that plot didn’t materialize (I’m trying to vague to avoid spoilers) one by one, I became more frustrated with the book overall. And when that began to happen I became more critical of the writing. It had appeared flat and to the younger of young adult  despite the violence being more to the adult of the young adult and that bothered me. I know lots of folks like the simple straightforward story, but this was some bare bones telling. Prose was not a description I would attribute to it…and I love prose. Then the characters started flattening out for me. Mostly though my problem was with the ‘games’.

I will say straight up that I believe the plot I had hoped for does (or may) come to pass in subsequent books in the series…I’ve not read them, but you know what... I do plan to. I’m into the story enough to want to see if it comes to pass like I hope, to see what the heck Katniss does. Her character was very interesting and I enjoyed the nuances as they arose and look forward to seeing how some of the cliffhangers play out. 

And since one of the reasons I read this book was for some escapism, I’d have to say it achieved a 5 star rating in that respect!

On Goodreads I gave The Hunger Games 4 stars I chose to round up because there are good features to the book, because there are interesting ideas to be explored and  intriguing characters to get to know

Maybe having a teen daughter fighting for her life against cancer makes me a little more sensitive to the blasé attitude toward loss of life better yet waste of life. Or maybe I should be incensed and the more so because so few are too.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - tattling on myself

So it's Tuesday again and I'm happy to be able to once again join in
Top Ten Tuesday! Graciously hosted each week by the fine folks at The Broke and the Bookish


I don't have a lot of time, or to be honest energy, this week. My daughter is still in the hospital for her last round of chemo but she had to go and scare us and ended up in ICU for a night. All is well now and I'm so looking forward to life getting back to normal in the near future....sooo ...normal for me is Top Ten Tuesday...

and this weeks topic is top ten books I'm the only one on the face of the planet who hasn't read this...

I know! I know!! 
BUT! I went a bought a copy last night because I was in dire need of escapism and this fit the bill... I got to page 95 before I couldn't hold my eyes open any longer!

A few others but I think they all pale in comparison to how far behind the curve I am with the Hunger Games...
2.

 I do own a copy though.

3.
I own a copy of this too.

 4.
And yes I own a GWTW copy too...started it once but had to read for school

5.
You guessed it... I actually JUST picked up a copy a couple of weeks ago.

6.
You know what... I have no business buying books!! really!!

7.
I promise right here and right now...the next challenge I enter will be 'read your own books' challenge

8.
I'm not even going to say it!!

9.
ANY Janet Evanovich
*whistles and looks guiltily around*

10. shew!

I DO NOT own a copy of this.... I don't think...I have some penguin classics and I guess I should double check...BUT to the best of my knowledge, this one isn't on my shelf. ;)

How about you guys??

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blogging Boosts

Today’s Topic
The world of blogging is continually changing. Share 3 things you are essential tried and true practices for every blogger and 1-3 new trends or tools you’ve adapted recently or would like to in the future.

I'm not sure I've developed 3 tried and true practices but here are somethings I do like to incorporate.
 1.  Comment sincerely on other blogs - really, when I do a hop I look for something I can honestly relate to or that really struck me to comment on. It's what I like in comments so I figure it may be what other's appreciate.


 2.   Go blog hopping on my own. The followers block is a great place to randomly find other blogs and ways to connect.
So are challenges and their participant lists. Which is one of my tried and true favorites!!
 


3. See now I'm stuck...not sure I have a third.. I utilize a template for reviews. I try to post consistently, but that doesn't always happen and ...I write from the heart about what I like and what I don't and
I'm impressed every day with the quality of your blogs! You blow my socks off!

What would I like to try

1. More Twitter - but I have a hard time keeping up with it. Probably could use some tips and tricks there!
I don't use facebook but that's because my r/l friends are there - so are some professional contacts and since I'm contemplating a career change, maybe not the best place to be advertising that.

  2. More arc reviews. - I'm getting the hang of it, but don't always have a lot of time right this second to read arc's in a timely enough manner to be effective. In the future though I'd like to do more of this.

3. Real Life contacts - here's a question...I'm forming a relationship with a library and encouraging book talks and workshops there and I want to attend more book festivals etc. ...Is it stupid or laughable to have a business card for my blog?? I would especially like one with a QR code on it!! Does anyone else do that?

I'm so bummed BBAW is almost over...but fear not... I appreciate you guys not only this week but every single day!!!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

BBAW Blogging changed me bookishly

We have no blogs without books! Today’s topic explores that even more!
Book bloggers blog because we love reading. Has book blogging changed the way you read? Have you discovered books you never would have apart from book blogging? How has book blogging affected your book acquisition habits? Have you made new connections with other readers because of book blogging? Choose any one of these topics and share your thoughts today!
 
My original blog happened to feature books after I read something good, I didn't review every book but I did have a 'now reading' widget on my sidebar...then I ran across a couple other book bloggers, that was the gateway to the book blogging community and it wasn't long before I had to separate my 'like and home' blog from my book blog.

And then my TBR pile grew like like an anthill near a molasses factory! (I hear that's really fast).
I credit challenges for this more than anything. They give me great suggestions but also make me go out and look for things that fit the topics and thats a lot of fun and you find some cool books that way too!
Here are just a few of the books I wouldn't have read if it hadn't been for book blogging:




Books have basically gone from a passionate hobby in my life to mainstream and high priority and my passion.

Oh and since I started book blogging I've decided to go back to school. So basically, blogging didn't just change my reading...it changed my LIFE!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Revisit - You Deserve Nothing - Alexander Maksik

It's day two of Book Blogger Appreciation Week! Today's scheduled topic is blogger interviews however I was simply couldn't  guarantee the time to give to this one so I'm more of a spectator today, which is fine by me and I am really looking forward to all the insider info we get to find out about our fellow bookish-folk!

In the mean time, I'd like to do a post revisit in celebration of the September 15th release of Alexander Maksik's book You Deserve Nothing. And watch out! This is going to be a name you hear more than once! :)


I gave it 4.5 of 5 stars :)
Synopsis From Goodreads:
Set in an international high school in Paris, YOU DESERVE NOTHING is told in three voices: that of Will, a charismatic young teacher who brings ideas alive in the classroom in a way that profoundly affects his students; Gilad, one of Will's students who has grown up behind compound walls in places like Dakar and Dubai, and for whom Paris and Will's senior seminar are the first heady tastes of freedom; and Marie, the beautiful, vulnerable senior with whom, unbeknowst to Gilad, Will is having an illicit affair. Utterly compelling, brilliantly written, YOU DESERVE NOTHING is a captivating tale about teachers and students, of moral uncertainties and the coming of adulthood. It heralds the arrival of a brilliant new voice in fiction.
My Review:

I didn’t have any preconceived  notions about this book going into it. I’d read the synopsis and heard what my daughter had had to say about it. And we differed on our ultimate impression of the book - mostly over the importance of the character Gilad.  I actually liked it more than I thought I would in some ways yet less in others. 

 The writing was amazing:  tight and beautiful, the flow seamless. It caught my attention on the first page. It appealed to the perceived ‘unique’ in all of us. Brought out those feelings that so many people have but everyone thinks they are the only ones. That relateability becomes like a secret club of relief and Maksik included me in that club in many of his characters!!
 
 I didn’t expect the, how shall I say, descriptive sex scenes. (hence the 4.5 rather than 5 stars) And I think I didn’t because I had a hard time finding a genre where I felt this story fit. Literary is where I’d end up with it. But so much of it could have leaned to the Young Adult. The writing was reminiscent of John Green. The subject matter was more mature and despite being set in a high school, had a much more college air to it. Then again…. It is set in Europe which may be the point. 
 
There were predictable elements to this tryst story (you can’t really call it a love story) but sometimes life is predictable when it comes to these matters isn’t it? How many time have we seen a friend enter into a relationship and known it wasn’t going to go well, or been jealously happy for them because we knew it was a great match. So the fault doesn’t lay with the story, but rather Maksik’s story is a crystaline reflection of life and how it happens. For better or worse. 
 
I hope You Deserve Nothing has great success upon it’s release because it certainly deserves it. The characters are wonderful, I haven’t even touched on the fact that it’s not just Europe but PARIS for pete’s sake! This is going to be one NOT TO MISS! Watch for it. Get it. Read it! You won’t be sorry!

Monday, September 12, 2011

BBAW - Community



Monday's Topic
Community
While the awards are a fun part of BBAW, they can never accurately represent the depth and breadth of diversity in the book blogging community. Today you are encouraged to highlight a couple of bloggers that have made book blogging a unique experience for you. They can be your mentors, a blogger that encouraged you to try a different kind of book, opened your eyes to a new issue, made you laugh when you needed it, or left the first comment you ever got on your blog. Stay positive and give back to the people who make the community work for you!

Well my first response to this topic is to direct your attention to my blog roll on my sidebar. Each and every one of the blogs there have made an impact on me, each and every one has impressed me, and I'd love to get to know each and every one of the authors of these amazing blogs better!

I've gleaned a lot of blog knowledge from my consummate lurking addiction. I'm still trying to figure out a couple of the neat things I've seen done with color blocks etc. And I love the forwarding of strong opinions but hope those of you with opposite opinions can agree to disagree. I'd hate to see a community with such a wonderful commonality divided by anything.

There are a couple of bookish-folk out there whose path I cross more regularly and who I look forward to running into:

Anne @ My Head is Full of Books. Love her blog! She finds the coolest stuff and the 'look' of her blog is great too. Plus we are in the same age bracket AND she's a librarian (which is MY aspiration). We also have some life experiences in common (unfortunately right Anne) but its a strong bond and one I hope none of you join us in!! Because, frankly, it sucks! Anne however is amazing and I stand up and applaud her strength and remind her they are in my prayers!



These two are always a joy to visit!! First off their blog is so very well written! I can't help but love it, plus they almost always make me laugh! They find awesome books and I always enjoy their discussions! I wish I had time to join their challenge this time...OH plus their Hoosiers! Ok so I lived in Evansville which is clear at the other end of the state, and now I live in Iowa.... but still!

And my new found friend who never fails to comment for me and I hope I get to her blog with as much dedication is:

I love her story on how she got back into reading!! It goes to show that all books serve a purpose and I also love how her blog is written and we have a lot in common. So it's fun to rub elbows with bookish-folk that get you even is you are nearly 1000 miles away. She's a killer photographer and I love that she throws in Wordless Wednesdays! I'm very glad we've bumped into each other and I very much enjoy all her posts and more than that, I very much look forward to them! :)

There are so many others! I seriously, seriously would love to list everyone! And I could list a paragraph on WHY you are there too! You...yes YOU...make blogging worthwhile and make this community such an amazing corner of the blogosphere!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Yay! September 9th

I haven't done Follow my book blog Friday or Book Blogger Hop for a few weeks now, but thought I'd jump the bandwagon for a bit, looks like you guys are having a lot of fun up there ;)

Graciously Hosted by Parajunkee, this weekly meme is also a feature for other bloggers.  The feature blogger this week is 
Holjo (Pedantic Phooka) 

Who asks us: 
Q. Have you ever wanted a villain to win at the end of a story?  If so, which one??
At first I though not, but then I remembered James from Twilight, 

and yeah, I actually wish he would have won...but maybe that was only after seeing the movie cuz...hummana, hummana, hummana!! :)

Is hosted each week by the lady Jen over at Crazy For Books.  This time Lori at Loris Reading Corner brings us our question of the week.
“Many of us primarily read one genre of books, with others sprinkled in. If authors stopped writing that genre, what genre would you start reading? Or would you give up reading completely if you couldn’t read that genre anymore?”

Are you kidding me???  Give up reading completely?? STAY THIS MADNESS! (as Gandalf said)
Look at this... I mean really just look...how could you ever, ever, ever give any of this up. I mean, aren't you curious as it is? Don't you feel a desire to go roam the stacks? Heck Yeah!



 Can't wait to see what all of you have to say! I'll be hoppin and followin' all weekend as long as the lists were this week :)