Friday, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year! (and to new reading resolutions)

First off, I want to wish everybody who is reading this a happy new year and that hopefully things will be better for you and yours for the coming year.  Of course nobody knows what the future holds, but I suppose one can hope that things will be better, if only slightly.

Onto my reading resolutions.  I make both general and reading resolutions each year and hopefully try to hold true to it.  And as usual, I fall short.  But I hope with this entry I can get my reading goals accomplished as much as possible.

My first one is to read 50 books for the year.  This has be a resolution that I have had for the past 4 years and have fallen short every year.   I managed to read at least 38 books this year, which for me is actually quite a good number, considering I had times where I wasn't reading much or didn't read much at all or didn't feel like reading.

Related to my first goal, my second goal this year to read 15,000 pages.  I believe I got close one year, but this year I really want to see how close to that goal that I can get.  It does seem daunting to read that amount, but I read once that if you average about 45 pages a day, you can easily do it.

Thirdly, I want to decrease my TBR pile this year.  This seems to be a common goal for a lot of people, but I really want to get a number off the pile so I can enjoy the new selections that come along.

Fourthly, I want to read more of my own books rather than borrow more from the library.  This may not happen, but I certainly want to make sure that it does.   I also want to decrease the amount of books that I do purchase and only purchase books that I really want to own and to also to make sure that I support my local library system, other than through my late fees.

The sixth book resolution that I have for the coming year is to finish challenges that I have signed up for, including the read-a-longs that I am currently involved with.

Next, I would like to read through the Bible this year.  This is something that I have been wanting to do for years and for some reason I either start too late or I just don't do.  While this could be more of a personal goal, it is also a reading goal and as a Christian, I feel it is important to read the Bible on an consistent basis.

Lastly, I just want to enjoy reading for the sake of reading.  I often read a book because I feel the need to finish the book.  And often I do enjoy the book, but often I get bogged down in the details of the book that I can't just enjoy the book for what it is meant to be: entertainment.

Hope you and yours have a wonderful new year and I look forward to talking more about books and reading in the coming months.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Gift - Richard Paul Evans

Title: The Gift
Author: Richard Paul Evans
Pages: 335
Published: 2007
Genre: Christmas
Rating: 4/5

Nathan Hurst hated Christmas.  For the rest of the world it was a day of joy and celebration; for Nathan it was simply a reminder of the event that destroyed his childhood until a snowstorm, a cancelled flight, and an unexpected meeting with a young mother and her very special son would show him that Christmas is indeed the season of miracles.

Reason that I read this book: For the 2010 Holiday Reading Challenge and the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge


Thoughts: It was a nice diversion from the heavier material that I had been reading and took me a couple of days to finish.  I really enjoyed the book and was one of the better ones of his that I have read this Christmas season.  It was an interesting premise and I quite liked it.


Bottom line: Not disappointed by the book, in fact I was impressed more than I expected.  A lovely book.

A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, and The Cricket on the Hearth - Charles Dickens

Title: A Christmas Carol, The Chimes, and The Cricket on the Hearth
Author: Charles Dickens
Pages: 304 pages
Published: 2004
Genre: Classic, Christmas
Rating: 4/5

Generations of readers have been enchanted by Dickens’s A Christmas Carol—the most cheerful ghost story ever written, and the unforgettable tale of Ebenezer Scrooge’s moral regeneration. Written in just a few weeks, A Christmas Carol famously recounts the plight of Bob Cratchit, whose family finds joy even in poverty, and the transformation of his miserly boss Scrooge as he is visited by the ghosts of Christmas past, present, and future.

From Scrooge’s “Bah!” and “Humbug!” to Tiny Tim’s “God bless us every one!” A Christmas Carol shines with warmth, decency, kindness, humility, and the value of the holidays. But beneath its sentimental surface, A Christmas Carol offers another of Dickens’s sharply critical portraits of a brutal society, and an inspiring celebration of the possibility of spiritual, psychological, and social change.

This new volume collects Dickens’s three most renowned “Christmas Books,” including The Chimes, a New Year’s tale, and The Cricket on the Hearth, whose eponymous creature remains silent during sorrow and chirps amid happiness.


Reason that I read this book: I read it for a couple of Christmas reading challenges and for a reading challenge on Goodreads.  I also read it because it was the Christmas season and I wanted to read something with a Christmas theme.

Thoughts:  Overall, it is a very good collection of three of the five Christmas stories that Dickens wrote over a 5 or 6 year period in the 1840s.  I really enjoyed the first and the final stories, but for some reason the middle story didn't really capture my imagination.  Not that it is a wonderful story, but I just felt that The Chimes dragged a little bit and didn't seem to have the same sort of vibe that A Christmas Carol had.  I suppose it doesn't help that The Chimes isn't as well known as A Christmas Carol and the expectations were probably higher than I had for The Cricket on the Hearth.


Bottom Line: Overall, it is a good overview of 3 of the 5 Christmas stories and while it does include A Christmas Carol, which is important, I just felt that the expectations of the final stories were probably a little too high and that the writing for the second Christmas story wasn't exactly what I was expecting and the final story was nice and light and shorter than the previous two stories.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Kitchen House - Kathleen Grissom

Title: The Kitchen House
Author: Kathleen Grissom
Published: 2010
Pages: 384
Genre: Historical Fiction, Literary Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5

Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin.
Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction. Lavinia finds herself perilously straddling two very different worlds. When she is forced to make a choice, loyalties are brought into question, dangerous truths are laid bare, and lives are put at risk.

Reason that I read this book:  I read it for a challenge on Goodreads.  I had intended to read it in November, but got around to it this past month.

Thoughts:  The storyline and the writing are wonderful for most of the book and then for the last 30 pages, it seems to drop off.  Maybe I was expecting too much due to the amazing reviews that I have read about the book, but I honestly didn't like the ending of the book; felt that it was too rushed and there really was no closure as to what happened to the characters that I had spent almost 400 pages learning about.  Almost seemed as though Ms. Grissom was forced to end the book with the ending that the book had.  I was just a bit disappointed and had really hoped that the book had ended better than it had.  I suppose it didn't help that I needed to get the book done and return it to the library.

Bottom line:  While the first 350 pages are wonderful and the storytelling is really great, I found the last 30 was a bit lacking.  I really wanted to like the book at the end as much as I had at the beginning, but whatever the reason, I found the ending to be a bit rushed and there not being a lot of closure for the main characters that I had become attached to, especially Lavinia. 

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!



I'm no sympathizer with theives, but sometimes I feel bad for them for succumbing to a momentary lapse of judgment or, at least, of conscience.  Oftentimes they have bigger problems, an addiction or a bad debt.  Most disturbing are the sociopaths, unencumbered by conscience or guilt, just taking what they feel entitled to.  These people feel no remorse -- only rage at me for getting in their way.  In fact, they usually blame me for their problems.  In their twisted sense of reality, things were going pretty well until I showed up.
                   ~ p. 12, The Gift by Richard Paul Evans

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


Once I had learned o f Miss Martha's sorry circumstances, after I knew that she had asked for me, for Isabelle, I felt compelled to see her and to have her see me.  I grew convinced that if she saw me, she would become well again.
       ~p. 188, The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom

Monday, December 20, 2010

Maus 1 - Art Speigleman

Title: Maus 1: A Survivor's Tale: My father bleeds history
Author: Art Spiegleman
Published 1986
Pages: 159
Genre: Memoir, Non-fiction, Graphic Novels
Rating: 4/5

Maus is the story of Vladek Spiegelman, a Jewish survivor of Hitler's Europe, and his son, a cartoonist who tries to come to terms with his father, his father's terrifying story, and History itself. Its form, the cartoon (the Nazis are cats, the Jews mice), succeeds perfectly in shocking us out of any lingering sense of familiarity with the events described, approaching, as it does, the unspeakable through the diminutive.

Reason I read this book: Read this book because I am doing it for a few challenges on Goodreads.


Thoughts: I really liked it.  I hadn't read the book in 9 years and forgot how powerful the book is.  While it is a lot like Holocaust survivor stories, it isn't a lot like them.  There is an uniqueness that the story is told and how it is expressed.  It is a brilliant book.  I probably should read the second part of the book, but I have other books that I need to read.


Bottom Line:  It is an excellent book and coupled with Maus II, it is a very powerful story that probably wouldn't have been as quite as powerful if it had been written in prose form.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Revolution - Jennifer Donnelly

Title: Revolution
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Published: 2010
Pages: 472
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Rating: 4/5

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She's angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she's about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights' most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn't want-and couldn't escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine's diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There's comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal's antique pages-until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine's words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

Reason that I read this book:  I read the the book because I had heard a lot of praise about this book and when I read the blurb about the book, I was intrigued.

Thoughts: It was a really good book.  I wouldn't say great book, but it is really well written.  I like how the author intertwined the two stories and how they paralled each other.  Unlike some books in which they go back and forth, this was really well done and it was really worth the effort.   While some can get you invested in one storyline, the author had the ability to hook you into both of the stories, which is difficult to do, even though while in the midst of one, you were curious as to what was happening in the other storyline.

Bottom line: This book was really good and one of the best of the year.  It also really highlights where Young Adult literature has come and how sophisticated the stories have become in recent years.  Recommended.


Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A-Z Wednesday



A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Reading at the Beach.  To join in, visit her blog for the guidelines and leave your link in the comments.


The Complete Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Paperback; 352 pages
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Language: English
0375714839
9780375714832

Blurb:
Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming--both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.


My review can be found here.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

 It was during the First World War that a silent pilgrimage took its first steps with the borders of this country.  The fever rose without warning or notice or much in the way of understanding by those outside its reach.  It would not end until the 1970s and would set into motion changes in the North and South that no one, not even the people doing the leaving, could have imagined at the start of it or dreamed would take nearly a lifetime to play out.
            ~ p. 8&9, The Warmth of Other Suns by Isabel Wlkerson

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Literary Blog Hop

Literary Blog Hop

What is one of your literary pet peeves? Is there something that writers do that really sets your teeth on edge?  Be specific, and give examples if you can.

One thing that really sets me off is if the writing is bad and predictable.  Nothing sets me off if the writing is bad and it seems as though there is no flow to the story.  It feels like the author is trying to hard to get a story across or that the author is either really too interested in the subject and clearly doesn't have a sense for what the reader may think.  There is nothing like reading a book, or a section in a book, that feels tedious and unejoyable.  Another thing I have a pet peeve with is when an author goes on and on and on, when the point has already made several pages ago.  It feels like the author is trying to get a point across too much and at times makes me feel like not reading them again, even if they are a good writer.  I want a book to envelope me and take me away to another place, not make me so distracted by how boring the book has gotten that I want to throttle the book and chuck it across the room.  If an author can make their point in 50 less pages, then they should, not try and make some of the information filler, which often becomes redundant at some point.

Blog Hop


This week's question is:
 Do you have an under notice author that you think we should all know about?

David Bergen. He's a Canadian author that has written several books, including The Time Inbetween.  From what I have heard, the book is really good.


Book Blogger Hop

"What is the thing you like most about reading book blogs? Is it the reviews, author guest notes, articles, giveaways, or something else entirely?"

What I like is the fact that the reviews are of books that I probably would have never read.  I get to discover new books, books that I wouldn't thought about trying.

The Complete Persepolis - Marjane Satrapi

Title: The Complete Persepolis
Author: Marjane Satrapi
Published: 2007
Pages: 352
Genre: Graphic novels, memoir
Rating: 3/5

Persepolis is the story of Satrapi's unforgettable childhood and coming of age within a large and loving family in Tehran during the Islamic Revolution; of the contradictions between private life and public life in a country plagued by political upheaval; of her high school years in Vienna facing the trials of adolescence far from her family; of her homecoming--both sweet and terrible; and, finally, of her self-imposed exile from her beloved homeland. It is the chronicle of a girlhood and adolescence at once outrageous and familiar, a young life entwined with the history of her country yet filled with the universal trials and joys of growing up.


Reason that I read this book: I read this book because I had really enjoyed reading Blankets by Craig Thompson and also because I wanted to read another graphic novel (I am currently up to 4 with the completion of this book).


Thoughts: I felt that the first half was a little slow, as it dealt a lot with the political aspects of living in pre-revolutionary Iran and the war itself. The story from the time she left Iran for the first time till the end of the book had much more of a flow to it and was much better than the first half of the book.  It also helped that the second half of the story was more entertaining than the first half.

Bottom line: While it was an excellent book, I felt that the first half of the book was bogged down in the politics of pre-revolutionary and revolutionary Iran and not so much on the personal side of the story, like the second half of the book focused on.  If you are interested in graphic novels like Maus or Blankets, you should try the book out.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Grace - Richard Paul Evans

Title: Grace
Author: Richard Paul Evans
Published: 2008
Pages: 316
Genre: Christmas
Rating: 4/5

She was my first kiss. My first love. She was a little match girl who could see the future in the flame of a candle. She was a runaway who taught me more about life than anyone has before or since. And when she was gone my innocence left with her.

As I begin to write, a part of me feels as if I am awakening something best left dead and buried, or at least buried. We can bury the past, but it never really dies. The experience of that winter has grown on my soul like ivy climbing the outside of a home, growing until it begins to tear and tug at the brick and mortar.

I pray I can still get the story right. My memory, like my eyesight, has waned with age. Still, there are things that become clearer to me as I grow older. This much I know: too many things were kept secret in those days. Things that never should have been hidden. And things that should have.

Reason that I read this book: For the 2010 Holiday Reading Challenge and the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge

Thoughts:  I actually had started reading the book about a year ago and then quit.  I picked it up this Christmas and was floored by the powerfulness of the book.  Excellent read.

Bottom line: Probably one of the better books that I have read by Evans and only hope that I am not disappointed with my next read of his. 

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday has posted an interesting question:
Do you ever crave reading crappy books?

Not really.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A-Z Wednesday


Welcome to A-Z Wednesday!!

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Reading at the Beach.  To join in, visit her blog for the guidelines and leave your link in the comments.



The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans

Blurb:

Dear Reader,
When I was in seventh grade, my English teacher, Mrs. Johnson, gave our class the intriguing (if somewhat macabre) assignment of writing our own obituaries. Oddly, I don''t remember much of what I wrote about my life, but I do remember how I died: in first place on the final lap of the Daytona 500. At the time, I hadn''t considered writing as an occupation, a field with a remarkably low on-the-job casualty rate.

What intrigues me most about Mrs. Johnson''s assignment is the opportunity she gave us to confront our own legacy. How do we want to be remembered? That question has motivated our species since the beginning of time: from building pyramids to putting our names on skyscrapers.
As I began to write this book, I had two objectives: First, I wanted to explore what could happen if someone read their obituary before they died and saw, firsthand, what the world really thought of them.

Their legacy.

Second, I wanted to write a Christmas story of true redemption. One of my family''s holiday traditions is to see a local production of Charles Dickens''s A Christmas Carol. I don''t know how many times I''ve seen it (perhaps a dozen), but it still thrills me to see the change that comes over Ebenezer Scrooge as he transforms from a dull, tight-fisted miser into a penitent, "giddy-as-aschoolboy" man with love in his heart. I always leave the show with a smile on my face and a resolve to be a better person. That''s what I wanted to share with you, my dear readers, this Christmas -- a holiday tale to warm your season, your homes, and your hearts.

Merry Christmas

You can read my review here

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

The Phanton slowly, gravely, silently approached.  When it came near him, Scrooge bent down upon his knee; for in the very air through which the Spirit move it seemed to scatter gloom and mystery.
               ~ pg. 67, A Christmas Carol, The Chimes and The Cricket on the Hearth, by Charles Dickens

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Alice I Have Been - Melanie Benjamin

Title: Alice I Have Been
Author: Melanie Benjamin
Published: 2010
Pages: 345
Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Rating: 3.5/5

Alice Liddell Hargreaves’s life has been a richly woven tapestry: As a young woman, wife, mother, and widow, she’s experienced intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. But as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she knows that, to the world around her, she is and will always be only “Alice.” Her life was permanently dog-eared at one fateful moment in her tenth year–the golden summer day she urged a grown-up friend to write down one of his fanciful stories.

That story, a wild tale of rabbits, queens, and a precocious young child, becomes a sensation the world over. Its author, a shy, stuttering Oxford professor, does more than immortalize Alice–he changes her life forever. But even he cannot stop time, as much as he might like to. And as Alice’s childhood slips away, a peacetime of glittering balls and royal romances gives way to the urgent tide of war.

For Alice, the stakes could not be higher, for she is the mother of three grown sons, soldiers all. Yet even as she stands to lose everything she treasures, one part of her will always be the determined, undaunted Alice of the story, who discovered that life beyond the rabbit hole was an astonishing journey. 


Reason that I read this book:  I read it for a challenge through Goodreads and also cause I had heard through a podcast that it was something to read.

Thoughts:  It was certainly an interesting book.  I had never heard of Alice Liddell prior to reading this book nor had I heard that Lewis Carroll was the pen name for Charles Dodgson and that Dodgson had a thing for photographing little girls in very suggestive poses, poses that some have constituted to be child pornography.  I also didn't know that the story of Alice in Wonderland was based on her prior to reading the book.


But while that was very fascinating to read and to understand the nature of their relationship prior to the break that occurred when Alice was about 11 years old and how that affected Alice and her future relationships with Queen Victoria's youngest son, Prince Leopold and her eventual husband and three sons, two of whom were killed in WWI, I found that the middle section of the book, which focused on her relationship with Prince Leopold, was very dull.  It seemed  to drag at times and it felt like it was going to never end.  The first and last sections were wonderful, as they were quick and fairly easy to get through and they weren't exactly pulling any punches as to where they were headed, but the middle section just seemed to drag in the finer details, especially since much of what supposedly happened between Alice and Rev. Dodgson is very much speculative, as any evidence of the nature of their relationship has basically been destroyed.


Bottom Line: A solid book and an interesting read, especially if one doesn't know the history between the two of them.

Time to Relax read-a-thon

I've been a bad host. I can't seem to read today; almost like I can't get myself into a book today, or do much at all.  I hope you understand and I am really sorry.

Time to Relax read-a-thon

Good morning.  Hope you had a great sleep and are waiting to go.  I realize that this post is a little late.  I had a late night due to the fact that I watched TV a little too late last night.  Anyways, for those that have started, I hope you are snuggled with your favourite books somewhere in your home.   I am going to send some money to the local Christmas Bureau sometime this week and then the week before Christmas Bureau bring down something to their offices (probably a game of somesort).  Hope you are having fun.

2010 Virtual Advent Tour


My blog post is going to about a Christmas tradition that most years my family does.

I don't know when it started, but it was when I was a kid that my dad recorded an airing of the black&white version of the Alistair Sim version of A Christmas Carol.  It got to the point that the VHS tape that my dad had got a little warped and so he would try to tape it on Christmas Eve so that we could watch the movie on Christmas Day.  I don't know why it had to be the B&W version, but I guess one of the scenes was a little more creepier than in the colourized version and so it was the B&W version that we have watched.  My dad likes the scene with the third ghost so much that when he got a dark green housecoat one year, he mimicked the third ghost

One Christmas, about 5 or 6 years ago, I was in a local video/music store just looking around one afternoon and found a redone version of A Christmas Carol in B&W on DVD.  I let my dad record the B&W version that was playing on TV at around midnight on Christmas Day and he really enjoyed the surprise that was under the tree the next morning.   And almost every year since we have had the DVD, we have watched it.

Thank you for reading and I hope you and your families have a wonderful holiday season.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Literary Blog Hop

Literary Blog Hop

This week's question is:
What is your favorite poem and why?

I don't know why, but I like the poem Remember by Christina Rossetti.

I suppose it had something to do with the fact that it talks about moving on and not to be sad about one's passing.  While the poem is morbid in nature, it does have a rather positive spin on death.  Maybe it was due to the fact that I was getting out of William Butler Yeats phase and needed something a little more positive spin on things.  It was also just a poem that appealed to me in general.

Another poem I particularly like is Dylan Thomas' poem, Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.  I honestly don't know why I like, but probably because its one of the first pieces of poetry that I read that wasn't a typical romantic poem.  It sort of goes against of how poetry should be and expresses how many people really feel about death and that we try to fight death as much as possible and deny its existence for ourselves.

Blog Hop


Friday's question is....
What do you do besides reading/reviewing as a hobby?

I follow sports, mainly the NFL and the NHL.  I honestly don't know why I became such a sports junkie, but I think it had something to do with the fact that I was exposed to sports on a regular basis when I was quite young.  In fact, when I was in elementary school, I came home one day and told my mom that we had sung the "hockey song" in school that day.  My mom apparently was confused and eventually figured out that the "hockey song" was in fact the Canadian national anthem (I had probably heard it on a broadcast of Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday and just assumed it was the "hockey song").  My favourite teams?  From the NFL, I would have to say it is the Seattle Seahawks and from the NHL, it would be the Vancouver Canucks and the Montréal Canadiens.


Book Blogger Hop
"What very popular and hyped book in the blogosphere did you NOT enjoy and how did you feel about posting your review?

The book that was hyped a lot that I did NOT enjoy was The Big Short by Michael Lewis.  Part of the reason that I didn't like the book is that the book at times got a little too technical for my liking.  And while I understand why he needed to write the technical stuff on stocks, I felt it took away from the flow of the three stories that he was telling.   When I posted the review, I was glad to get the book done with.  Nothing against Mr. Lewis' writing, I just felt that he could have put an index at the back of the book, as there were things he mentioned later on in the book, that I had completely forgotten about and were clearly mentioned earlier in the book.

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday has posted an interesting question:
How about First Editions? Are they something special? Or “just another book” to you?

 I personally don't really care whether a book is a first edition or not, but then again, it depends on the book.  The most important thing about the book is whether I enjoy the book or not.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A-Z Wednesday


Welcome to A-Z Wednesday!!

  A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicki at Reading At The Beach. To join in, visit her blog for the guidelines and leave your link in a comment.

Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen

Blurb:
For eighteen years Fran Benedetto kept her secret, hid her bruises. She stayed with Bobby because she wanted her son to have a father, and because, in spite of everything, she loved him. Then one night, when she saw the look on her ten-year-old son's face, Fran finally made a choice-and ran for both their lives.
Now she is starting over in a city far from home, far from Bobby. In this place she uses a name that isn't hers, watches over her son, and tries to forget. For the woman who now calls herself Beth, every day is a chance to heal, to put together the pieces of her shattered self. And every day she waits for Bobby to catch up to her. Bobby always said he would never let her go, and despite the ingenuity of her escape, Fran Benedetto is certain of one thing: It is only a matter of time.

Finding Noel - Richard Paul Evans

Title: Finding Noel
Author: Richard Paul Evans
Published: 2006
Pages: 320 pages
Genre: Fiction, Christmas
Rating: 3/5

The Christmas season is supposed to be full of joy, but not for Mark Smart. Life had dealt him one blow after another until one snowy November night, when he finds a beautiful young woman who will change his life forever. Macy Wood has little memory of her birth parents, and memories she'd rather forget of her adopted home. A Christmas ornament inscribed with the word "Noel" is the only clue to the little sister she only vaguely remembers, a clue that will send her and Mark on a journey to reclaim her past, and her family.

Reason I read this book: For the 2010 Holiday Reading Challenge and the Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge


Thoughts: I had read this book about 4 years ago and actually liked it.  Now, I don't know if I like it as much.  I still enjoyed the story and read things I hadn't realized had happened in the book.  Still was an enjoyable read.


Bottom Line:  A lot like what the previous two books that I have read within the last few weeks of Evans and even though I read it a few years ago, I still enjoyed the book.  Nice departure from my regular fare.
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