With my MLIS degree complete and my first part-time real librarian position in high gear I find that my pleasure reading has gotten back on track. I figured now would be the time to get back to blogging. Let's hope I can keep on top of my books.
So with my trusty Pomeranian dog "Spike" stiill by my side I will continue the challenge to read 1001 books.
I shut down before the final questions were up for the end of the Dewey Read-A-Thon, so here are my answers. Also, my reviews are probably going to go up tomorrow as I have homework to get done today.
1. Which hour was most daunting for you? I'd have to say between hours of 15 to 18 when my reading slowed and I got very tired. But I got a second wind and made it to the 24th hour! 2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? For me any Harry Potter would keep me interested,even with their length. 3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? As this was my first "Dewey" I would have liked a little clearer idea of what was going on and how to post. The other read-a-thons I have been involved in you just posted to their site your updates. Maybe a 'newbie' page? 4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? I liked the hourly update on the site. 5. How many books did you read? Six 6. What were the names of the books you read? LAST NIGHT I SANG TO THE MONSTER by Benjamin Alire Saenz--239 pgs. THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY by Oscar Wilde--218 pgs. THE PEARL DIVER by Jeff Talarigo--240 pgs. THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by H.G. Wells--187 pgs. RUNNING THE BOOKS by Ari Steinberg--399 pgs. CLONE CODES by Patricia, Fredrick and John McKissack--177 pgs. 7. Which book did you enjoy most? I'd have to say THE PEARL DIVER, with RUNNING THE BOOKS coming in a close second. 8. Which did you enjoy least? Probably CLONE CODES as there was not enough meat to the story, but it is the beginning of a trilogy. 9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? Not a Cheerleader. 10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I would definately participate again and would be a reader.
OK, so I just realized that other than posting on the Dewey Read-A-Thon website I am supposed to be posting here. So here goes what I have done so far (please note that I will provide full reviews of the books read tomorrow).
LAST NIGHT I SANG TO THE MONSTER by Benjamin Alire Saenz This story about a young man learning to deal with the demons within and without was recommended to me by a librarian and well worth the time. 239 pgs.
THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY by Oscar Wilde The story of a man who has a portrait of himself which ages in place of him. This story brings up many ethical and sociological questions, I am glad to have finally read it through. 218 pgs.
This is one of the classics for my own 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die challenge at : http://roseanns1kbookchallenge.blogspot.com/ I am way behind on this blog, so I am glad to hopefully add a few during the read-a-thon.
THE PEARL DIVER by Jeff Talarigo The story of a girl in 1940's Japan who gets leporasy, is disowned by her family, and is sent to a lepor colony on an island. 240 pgs.
THE WAR OF THE WORLDS by H.G. Wells I had read this classic many years ago and had forgotten how frightening it actually is. Another of my 1001 down, YAY! 187 pgs.
So in 12 hours of reading I have completed 4 book and read a total of 884 pages.
I'll post an update in 6 hours.
1. What are you reading right now? I'm finishing some homework and then starting RUNNING THE BOOKS by Avi Steinberg 2. How many books have you read so far? Four 3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? There really isn't one title I like more than the rest. 4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? Just sending hubby out of the house, so he wouldn't bother me!5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? 6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? None really 7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope, it's working fine for me. 8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? Nothing, I am a Read-A-Thon pro. ;-) 9. Are you getting tired yet? Since it's just after 5pm here in sunny San Diego, no. 10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? I think short books is the best advice I can give. That way you don't get bored in the middle, there's something new on the way.
Well, I started getting tired around hour 15 and my reading slowed considerably. I even found myself reading the same paragraph over and over again. I really should have followed my own advise and not picked up a longer book. So I turned on my trusty Keurig Coffee Maker and made a huge mug of Wake-Up Call coffee and it made we stop rereading stuff, but I am much slower still. I am still going to try to make it to the end. I finally finished book five.
RUNNING THE BOOKS by Ari Steinberg A NF book about the life of a Prison Librarian. Pretty interesting. 399 pgs.
Total so far--
Five Books Read 21 hours, 20 minutes reading 1,283 pages
Hour 24 END OF EVENT MEME
Well it's 4:24am according to my computer and I just finished my sixth book. I picked a YA title from my TBR stack as I wanted something a little easier to finish with. I think this is going to be it for me as I don't think I can get much done in half an hour.
CLONE CODES by Patricia, Fredrick and John McKissack Set in 2170 where clones and cyborgs are part of life. This story is about teenage Leanna who is running from a bounty hunter after her mother is caught for trying to treat clones as people. 1st novel of a trilogy. Pretty good. 177 pages.
So my final total are...
Book Read: 6
Time Spent Reading: 23 hours (taking off 25 minutes for sundry stuff. Note: I read while cooking and getting snacks--obsessive I know)
Total Pages Read: 1,460
I want to give a big THANK YOU to Trish and all her volunteers for hosting this Read-A-Thon and all of the Cheerleaders who kept us going!
It's been fun and now Good Night(Morning?) and Good Reading!!
Well, today is the Dewey Read-A-Thon hosted at http://24hourreadathon.com/ It's currently hour 7 and I have read two books so far. I will be doing a final post sometime tomorrow with lists on both of my blogs.
Good luck and Good Reading to anyone else who is participating and now, back to reading!!!
Well, I figured I was up and blogging again and then what happens? There is a lightning strike near my house and both my internet and phone (I have a bundled service) are out. My phone is still not running, but it looks like the internet is up again.
I am almost done with a 1001 book (THE PICTURE OF DORIAN GRAY) but I had to return a couple to the library due to holds, so I barreled through this one today and was very glad I did!
THE GRAVEYARD BOOK by Neil Gaiman Bod is not your ordinary boy. To begin with he lives in a graveyard, given 'full privilages' by the lady riding the white horse. When Bod (short for Nobody) was a baby, his parents were killed and he escaped by toddling off to the nearby graveyard. Once there he is 'met' by a lady, Mrs. Owens, who has resided within the graveyard ever since she died. Mrs. Owens, along with the rest of the graveyard's inhabitants know that they need to protect Bod from the man who killed his family and is still after him. The story covers all of Bod's childhood wherein he learns of all things graveyard (ghouls, witches, etc) and even attends school for a short time. He also meets a young girl and longs for life with those who breathe.
I have enjoyed Neil Gaiman ever since I laid my hands on the first issue of the SANDMAN comics. Gaiman draws you into his tales and makes you love things that you thought you would have and vice versa. This story is even better than CORALAINE and even though it is considered YA I highly reccomend it for all readers. If you do not already like Gaiman, I believe this book with make you a follower.
I am off to finish my 1001 book, but should be back soon. Until next time, GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD READING!
This dark and brooding book tells the timeless tale of Dracula from the perspective of Mina. Most of the story actually doesn't involve Dracula at all, but looks at what Mina's life is like as a Victorian young lady. This actually made the story more interesting for me. From her horrid boarding school to how she must marry in order to be a proper, young lady the romantic viewpoint of most Gothic novels is shattered within this tale. Dracula is NOT the romantic figure, but is still enigmatic to young Mina.
This is not your average vampire, romance story for it looks at the underbelly of the tale and it is definitely not pretty at times. I would recommend this book as an example that romance stories are not always what they seem.
A big thank you goes out to Doubleday Books who sent me this ARC for review. Due to my late review, this book is now available for purchase online and at Bookstores everywhere. Note: I was not compensated in any way for my written review of the novel.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A DOG MAKES by Dana Jennings
Let me begin by saying that I love, love, love this kind of book. You know what I mean, someone gets a pet who winds its way into its owner's hearts and changes their lives for the better (sappy I know). This book is another in the long line of stories about beloved pets who help their humans get through a tough situation.
This is the story of Bijou, who at 12 years of age helped both his father, Dana, and his brother, Owen get through some pretty serious illnesses with love and basic dog-ness. Using Zen-like wisdom (with every chapter being a lesson), Bijou teaches his people to live in the moment, the now of life, and most importantly, to not take everything so seriously.This is a short read, but one that will make you laugh, and look at life from a different perspective.
Another big thanks to Doubleday for giving me the opportunity to read the galley of this book which is currently available online and at your local book store.
Well, it has been some time hasn't it? Let's just say that life got interesting (family, teeth (yuck), etc.) for a few weeks and then school started and this semester is INTENSE (work wise). I think I have all my ducks in a row now and will be back in earnest next week.
Most of my postings will be to my other blog as I have been reading Advance Reading Copies of books that I have received (sadly, I'm way behind on them also). I plan on reading an ARC and then a 1001 book, so you should see something from me in this blog next week.
If anyone is interested the classes which are eating most of my time right now are:
Beginning Classification: Not just learning how to list books,but learning the language of classification, yikes! Actually, it's not that hard, just a little scary.
Information Literacy: This highly debated topic (just what is "literacy"?) is actually very interesting and the class delves into the topic of how to teach the art of searching and other basic computer/information tools to others.
Children's Literature, ages 5 to 8: I LOVE this class as it looks at the psychological and sociological issues surrounding children's lit. Very interesting.
I am going to be lazy and basically use the same post for both of my blogs. So you don't have to look in two places today. Any future posts will be blog specific. I hope all of my readers had a great Summer and are enjoying the coming Fall!
Between family issues, getting a new tutoring job (YAY!) and the heat I have been lazy when it comes to my reading. I hope to begin anew as I always bring plenty of reading material to Comic Con (which begins this Wednesday) for my downtime between panels. There are a few books that I had finished quite a while ago, but just never got around to blogging about...
THE RUBY IN THE SMOKE by Philip Pullman This is the first in the Sally Lockhart mystery series from the man who wrote the Golden Compass trilogy (which I still have not read). Sally is an orphan in Victorian England who finds herself alone in the big city. She links up with some Actors and Stereographic photographers who help her to solve the mystery of her father's death. This novel blends action with Steampunk and a pretty good mystery. The characters are rich and very believable. I look forward to reading other installments of the series.
ENTHUSIASM by Polly Shulman I read a review of the author's newer book which is based upon the Grimm Fairy Tales and saw that this novel was a modern day YA excursion into Jane Austin love. The premise unfortunately, is much more interesting than the actual results. I found the characters to be two-dimensional and did not really connect with any one character (which is how I usually get into stories). I liked the fact that one of the girls became obsessed with a subject (in this case Austin) and then lived the lifestyle, unfortunately, the story did not draw me in and left me wanting. I am awaiting the new novel and hope it delivers where this novel did not.
SAVED-RESCUED ANIMALS AND THE LIVES THEY TRANSFORM by Karin Winegar & Judy Olausen This book is one that caught my eye as I was shelving at the library. I am a sucker for a good animal tale and am a strong proponent for rescuing animals. The stories in this book had me angry, laughing, and crying. From the two 3-legged Pyrenees who help older people transition to death, to a man who was brought back from the depths of depression by a young deer, this is a book that will tug at your heartstrings and make you look at animals in a different way. I am always amazed at the resilience of animals who can be abused to an inch of their lives and yet come back to trust and love. I wish we humans were as forgiving.
I've got a couple more to post, but I figured I would just do a few at a time. I also will give what info I can from Comic Con. I hope to try to get into some of the bigger panels this year, but it's always hit or miss.
OK, I could give a long drawn out explanation as to my absence for the past couple of weeks...let's just say life has gotten "interesting". My husband has had a new job that has him on the computer all the time, but I should be able to get more than a couple of minutes tomorrow and promise to post all my new reads.
Well we braved the midnight crowd yesterday to experience the 3-D version of the end of a Pixar Trilogy classic--TOY STORY 3.
Most of the favorites are still there (although some have been sold or thrown away), and there are even some new friends (including Barbie's 'friend' Ken and a porcupine who fancies himself a thespian). Andy is all grown up (well 17) and is going off to college. He has to choose what will go with him, what will be stored in the attic, and what goes in the garbage. Through an unfortunate accident, most of the toys wind up thrown away, but manage to get to "Sunnyside Day Care" which isn't that sunny for newly arrived toys. Much excitement ensues, with laughs and yes, a few tears, until everything is brought right in the end.
As we were sitting in the theater we heard a boy who said he had just turned 18 and remembered seeing the first movie when we was 'a child' and seeing this film closes the door on childhood and made him feel like an adult. There were many sniffles from the row behind us which included many of these 17 to 18 year old 'adults'. I hope that they understand that being 'adult' doesn't necessarily mean you have to give up all you loved as a child (my husband's toy collection is proof of this).
I loved this movie and anyone who is an animation, but especially a Pixar fan, should go see it soon! I would recommend seeing it in 2-D rather than 3-D as there was not the impact as there was in a movie like UP. Be sure to stay through the entire credits as Pixar adds some funny ending scenes (which you will need after the final scene of the movie).
Nothing to report reading wise tonight, but I just got a copy of THE LIGHTNING THIEF which I have been wanting to read for some time now. Look for a review in a couple of days.
JULIA'S KITCHEN WISDOM by Julia Child More of a 'how-to' rather than an actual cookbook, this has been added to my 'must buy' list. Unlike her previous cookbooks, this tomb has the 21st Century cook in mind with time-saving hints and shortcuts.
Child covers everything from sauces to deserts and gives the reader hints that are easily translated to other recipes. This book is great for someone who has a good grasp of cooking and wants to spread their wings and try their own style using solid basic steps.
If you want to know how to do basically anything in the kitchen this book will help you along the way. Needless to say, I highly recommend this for any ones cookbook collection!
THE IMPERFECTIONISTS by Tom Rachman This 'small story' novel covers the lives of 11 people involved in producing an newspaper in Italy. Spanning over five decades this novel gives a glimpse of the people, stories, and prejudices involved in creating a paper.
I am torn in my review, for while I liked the snippets of stories, there were some that I really wanted to go on when they ended so abruptly. I also had some real trouble with the female characters as there were few to like. I do not know if this was meant to show how women were and are treated in this profession, or if it was a reflection of the author's inability to write a 'nice' woman (this usually isn't a problem with me, but I found myself thinking "why isn't there a woman to like here" far too often as I read). I think the story would have been better if the author had focused on many half of the characters and given them more time on the page. I see that many review blurbs say that the book needed to be read twice to really get the full impact, I don't know if this is actually a good thing.
On the positive side, I did like many of the snippets and wanted them to go on. Also, I liked the way the author brought everything together in the end, showing how every one's lives ended up. I also liked the peek into a world that I know very little about.
I read this book as there was plenty of talk around the web and in book reviews about it being a 'must read'. I am usually happy when I read books that I wouldn't have read if not for the hype. Do you listen to this kind of talk and what is the percentage of good vs bad experiences?
Until next time, Good Night and Good Reading!
Oops! Forgot to mention--going to see Toy Story 3 tonight (this is not the norm for me, usually the movie has to have the name Potter in the title to get me out at midnight). I have read so many good reviews of this movie, just hope Pixar lives up to its reputation!
Real quick post as I am still in a bit of pain--I'll expand on these later...
DAUGHTERS OF THE WITCHING HILL by Mary Sharrott A historical novel concerning the lives of a family of 'witches' in Jacobean England circa the 1580's. I liked the fact that the author began with more traditional "language" and then slowly brought it to 21st Century style. This resulted in bringing the reader into the time, but then relaxed so that the story could come through. I would recommend this title to anyone interested in the infamous Witch Trials.
STONES INTO SCHOOLS by Greg Mortenson This is a sequel to Mortenson's THREE CUPS OF TEA. He is now trying to build schools at the far reaches of Afghanistan's desert. I would have liked to have seen more about the students rather than the politics of actually building the schools. It was an interesting look into a culture that I know very little about. I love the fact that education is an important part of life, even in the most remote places. If you have read THREE CUPS OF TEA this is an OK sequel, if not read THREE CUPS in place of this one.
I'm working on "spiffing up" my site and may be adding and deleting in the next couple of weeks. What do you like to see on blogs (favorite sites, polls, links to books reviewed, etc.)?
Bad earache for about three days now. Haven't had one of these since I was in my teens...OUCH!! Of all the remedies I have tried, heat seems to work the best, but I look funny with a steaming cup attached to my ear ;-(. Will try to post the two books I have managed to finish either later tonight or tomorrow.
HIDDEN WIVES by Claire Avery If you have ever wondered what might be happening behind the headline stories of polygamist cults, this is the book for you.
Sara and Rachel are sisters living in the "Blood of the Lamb" secret cult in Utah where a man cannot get into the highest level of heaven without having at least three wives. Rachel is a beautiful girl who has 17 men who want to be her husband and that does not ring well with her tyrannical father Abraham. Sara, the more studious of the sisters, is beginning to see the cult for what it is, but will not leave without Rachel who has faith in what she has been taught. Then Luke comes to town, a handsome boy who has no interest in belonging to the sect, but has quite a great interest in Rachel.
Loaded with prejudice against both women and people of color, this book at times made me very angry, but I did not feal these subjects overwhealmed the story. Given the fact that the authors both grew up in a Christian Fundamentalist community I also learned more about what goes on behind the gates of these closed societies.
While some may have trouble with the "happily ever after" ending, I found this a book I could not put down. You can check out the book which comes out June 8, 2010 at Amazon, BetterWorldBooks, and B&N.
Blockade Billy is a baseball catcher who's story has been erased from all sports records because of the dark secret in "Billy's" past.
While this short story has much of King's charm and wit, I did not get into it as much as past King offerings. If you are a baseball fan I am sure that you will enjoy the "old-time" baseball talk that permeates every page. I did however, enjoy the second offering included with the title story.
MORALITY is the tale of how far we will go for our loved ones, so that we can live the lives we want to live. Again, this was not really up to King's earlier short tales, but it had me going until the end (which left a little to be desired).
I always look forward to King novels and stories, but I have to admit that his recent tales have not been up to the standards of those in the past. I hope this is not a trend.
THE BLIND CONTESSA'S NEW MACHINE by Carey Wallace The real premise of this romantic story is the fact that Carolina realizes she is going blind right before her wedding day and while most do not believe her, Turri does and creates a writing machine (typewriter) which leads to a hidden romance and a love triangle that lasts a lifetime.
I should begin by saying that I generally stay away from romances, unless there is some paranormal aspect present, but I really enjoyed this story. The romance, while ever-present, does not overpower the trials that Carolina faces at dealing with blindness. I think that losing my sight is my (and probably most readers’) greatest fear and Ms. Wallace has Carolina face it with dignity and grace. I also love the idea that someone would create a way for his beloved to communicate when she no longer could write. Wallace also adds a depth to the characters which is not often seen in romance fair—there are undertones of deeper psychological torment throughout that made this a book I did not want to put down. Although the end leaves a little to be desired, I would say this is a good summer read.
I should say this is a book I got an ARC of from my account on Book Browse (a great site if you don't already know about it--http://www.bookbrowse.com/).
This tale of Gen the thief reads like the best of the Greek journey tales. Gen is taken out of prison by Magus with the promise that if he is able to obtain a great jewel for Magus' queen he will never see prison again. Gen's journey is interspersed with mythological tales which 'feel' like the real thing (although the author is very adamant that both the Greece-like setting and the myths are all from her own imagination). This Newbery Honor Book, although written for pre-teen to YA can easily jump the barrier to be enjoyed by adults.
This is one of the books I obtained at my volunteer's breakfast. I do not read much fantasy, but was enchanted by the author's wit and sense of humor that I had to get the first three stories. I look forward to reading the further adventures of Gen in the future.
The last couple of days have been a bit of a blur (without much reading, sign), but I am very excited... My hubby Jeff and I went to Carlsbad on Saturday to check out a used book store (Fahrenheit 451--check it out if you are in the area, great selection of used books) and while we were in "The Village" we stopped by our favorite Antique Mall (Carlsbad Village Art & Antique Mall) and saw a sign that they had dealer spaces available and we signed up!
I haven't really posted about it, but I sell books online and at SF Conventions (Pulps, SF, Horror, Mystery, and TV/Movie Tie-Ins mostly) and I have been wanting to go "brick & mortar" for some time now, but didn't want to invest the amount of time necessary for a store of my own with my MLIS in progress. This is going to be great because all I have to do is set up shop and they (the mall) does all the rest of the work. It's a little drive from where I live, but I love Carlsbad Village and this will give me an excuse to go there a couple of times a month. I also used to sell movie posters and other memorabilia, but my stuff has been languishing in storage and now it will see the light of day again. Anyway, the last couple of days I have been furiously working on my stock to get it ready for the "store" and haven't been reading much. Once this weekend is over everything should be in order and I will be back to reading.
Well, it's been a little while, but now with school out for summer (YAY!) I should be posting pretty regularly.
DOG BOY by Eva Hornung.
This tale of a boy raised by dogs follows the life of Romochka who at about six years of age leaves his home and follows a nursing mother dog back to her home. He is slowly accepted into the pack and lives a happy life for some time. However, after a few years he notices the mother dog "Mamochka" acting strangely towards him. She leaves the den only to return with a new human baby "puppy"!
The story is both charming and horrifying. Hornung delves into what make us "human" and winds up questioning, are we still not animals. I found the story riveting and although the ending was a bit abrupt, it is well worth the read.
Hello and a Happy Belated Mother's Day for all you moms out there!
I really am still around; however, my schoolwork has taken away most of my reading time. Rest assured that next week, after classes are over, I will be reading with fury and plan on reading one "1001" book and then a book from my massive "other books" list.
Happy May Day! I spent most of it recovering from the migraine I got from the Read-A-Thon which ended at noon on Friday. Note to self: Do NOT drink loads of highly caffeiniated coffee and not eat while reading mass quantities of books. Anyway, I think I have fully recovered and can now share my adventure.
I was able to finish six books, five of which will be reviewed on my other blog as they were on the 1001 must read books list.
The one "other book" I read was THE HUNGER GAMES by Suzanne Colliins and I am very glad I did.
The Hunger Games are a yearly event set in the near-future within what is left of the USA. Every child from the age of 12-17 has to participate in a drawing that chooses a boy and a girl from each of the 12 "zones" and they are sent to the game zone where the ultimate goal is to be the last living contestant. The action is intense without being gratuitous and the characters are very well-written. I look forward to the sequel with baited-breath!
If you don't read YA because you think it is just for kids, this would be a good choice to start you off.
If you do want to try out YA reads I would also highly reccomend THE BOOK THIEF by Marcus Zusak.
Well, I'm off to my other blog to note the five other worthy books that filled up my 24 hour reading binge.
I finished I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES by BARRIE SUMMY last night and thoroughly enjoyed the read. This is a YA story about a young girl who's dead mother, along with grandpa who's now a chubby wren,comes back to enlist her aid as a partner to solve a mystery involving the murder of rhinos at the San Diego Wild Animal Park. The girl, Sherrry (Sherlock) Holmes Baldwin is a worthy sucessor to Nancy Drew (which this story was originally intended to be). The novel is very funny and I am sure this series will be enthusiastically read by young and older readers alike.
This was one of the authors that I met at the Volunteer Breakfast last Friday. I was taken in by the story about her parents letting her read a "dessert" book after a "meat and potatoes" book was completed. Well, I like dessert and I will definitely read the entire yummy series!
So, I started this other blog "Roseann's 1001 Must Read Books Challenge" and then I thought, but I read other books that aren't on the list. The result of that thought is this new blog. I will post reviews and my thoughts on other reading that I do with books not on the 1001 list.
I went to a Volunteer's Breakfast today at my Public Library and there were four YA author's who spoke about their writings. At the end we were able to purchase copies of their novels and have them signed. Of course, I had to partake as I love supporting local authors (all live in San Diego) and I have recently become a YA addict.
I plan on starting one of the books this weekend and will give a full review once it is complete. I won't be posting here that often as I want to keep going with my other list. If you are interested, please follow me!