Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays

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 people of Charles Town had fallen on hard times.  Coins were harder than ever to find, and the British government had passed laws preventing the use of paper currency in South Carolina.

~ p. 217, The Book of Negroes by Lawrence Hill

First Chapter - First Paragaph(s) - Tuesday Intros

This week's choice:
The Book of Neogroes by Lawrence Hill
Originally published January 2007

I seem to have trouble dying.  By all rights, I should not have lived this long.  But I still can smell trouble riding on any wind, just as surely as I could tell you whether it is a stew of chicken necks or pigs' feet bubbling in the iron pot on the fire.  And my ears still work just as good as a hound dog's.  People assume that just because you don't stand as straight as a sapling, you're deaf.  Or that your mind is like pumpkin mush.  The other day, when I was being led into a meeting with a bishop, one of the society ladies told another, "We must get this woman into Parliament soon.  Who know how much longer she'll be with us?" Half bent though I was, I dug my fingers into her ribs.  She let out a shriek and spun around to face me.  "Careful," I told her, " I may outlast you!"

Top Ten Books That Should Be In Your Beach Bag

The Broke and the Bookish is asking what top ten books should be in your beach bag.

1.  Harry Potter - Even though the books are YA, they are very engrossing books and take you to a place that basically doesn't exist.  And while the books get darker and heavier as the series moves on, they are very enjoyable. 

2. The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake -  I suppose it doesn't help that I read this book last summer, but how book read, it definitely felt like a summer read.  The language in the book is such that the words melt in your mouth as you read the book, almost like a popsicle does.

3. Along for the Ride - Just as any good summer book should be fairly light and fluffy, it should also be set either in a location that is sunny or near a beach, even if one isn't near a beach.  As one review on  Goodreads said, "Reading Sarah Dessen is like walking into an air-conditioned store after a hot, humid day in the sun. Reading Sarah Dessen is also like drinking an ice-cold smoothie after a long, harsh marathon. And finally, reading Sarah Dessen is like eating comfort food: you always know what you're going to get, a tasty, satisfying treat."  Which was what I felt when I read this book.  Even though it was set in summer, it felt like summer and is definitely a book I would put in a beach bag.  I suppose that its a good read and engrossing.

4. Jane Eyre - One of my favourite reads.  Its a book that I could definitely read anywhere and most definitely on the beach.  While the book takes far away from a beach, it has the feeling of a beach read; its fits all the notions of a beach read and allows one to get absorbed in the book.  And yes, I have read it on a beach.

5. Pride and Prejudice - The nice thing about Jane Austen is that her books are light enough that one can read it while on a beach vacation.  Its funny, lighthearted, but doesn't go off the deep end in terms of the frivolity that some chick lit books go to.

6. House Rules - I have read about 3/4 of the book and this definitely a beach read.  The book is one of those that one could, and probably have, find in an airport bookshop. While the book is deep enough, the book is also easy enough to read so that one can read brief snatches of it.

7. Hidden Places - One of my favourite books and if I had to pick something for an afternoon at the beach, this would be something I would consider taking with me.  The book is deep enough, but light enough that I could escape for an afternoon.

At this point I am grasping at straws as to what I would bring to the beach.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Sunday Salon - Not in the mood

The Sunday Salon.com Its funny what can get me in the mood to read,  but its also interesting what can get me in the mood to not read.  Several things can get me in a mood that I don't want to read anything:

• A Canucks win in the playoffs.  For me that's a strange one due to the fact that I am fairly big Canucks fan, but I suppose the fact that I am in such a good mood and am on Cloud 9 and therefore can't concentrate on reading

• A really bad Canucks loss anytime.  I am so hyper over the fact that they had a bad loss that I can't concentrate properly and am so wrapped up in the emotion that comes with a really bad loss, even if they make it a close game in.  For example, Game 3 in the Western Conference final I got so p---ed off due to some stupid moves by a player on the opposing team.  Even though I didn't exactly watch the game, I got so mad, that my concentration focused on other things and my mind went wacko.  Really bad losses tend to get me in a sour mood and therefore the concentration is broken.

• Focusing on things that I can't control and that I get obsessed about.  Its almost like I go into another zone and my focus is on that particular thing.  Whether it be bad or good, I just get into something and don't want to break away from it and not miss anything.

• When I am in TV series mood.  When I get into this mode, I can't seem to do anything else for that matter.  I even forget about my online life and just concentrate on whatever tv series I am watching at that moment.  Nothing else really matters at the time.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Literary Blog Hop

Literary Blog Hop

This week The Blue Bookcase asks:
Tell about one author that you love and why his or her writing is unique. Please be specific.

This is a loaded question, as I could probably tell you why I love reading, but I don't know if I can put the specifics into the answer like some of the other responses that I have read.  But if I have to, I suppose I will give it the old college try.  Here I go...

One author that I love is Jane Austen.  I realize that is a cop-out due to the fact there are a lot of readers who like her and it may sound cheesy, but I really do like her.  One reason that I like her is that for a single woman of her era, she is insightful into human relationships and it seems that her insight is quite good.  She also does it with a humanity that a reader in the 21st century can understand, along with humor and grace that makes her books readable.

I realize that I didn't exactly go into detail and specifics as to why I love Jane Austen, but I tried my best.  Once again, I apologize.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My other passion

As those that read this blog on a regular basis, you know that I have a passion for all things reading and books; it was something that was instilled in me at an early age and something that has carried on for about 30 years.

But there is something else that I am equally passionate about and even though I have only followed them on a regular basis for the past 17 years, they would be considered to be my second passion in life.  They have caused me great consternation at times, but also they have caused great joy and great anticipation.  They have caused me great heartache and made me wonder why I even bother follow them at times and have made me to lose sleep on a number of nights wondering if they will ever live up to my expectations.  Well, not just my expectations, but they are probably largely responsible for my nails never to really grow to a length that I would like (there are other reasons as well too, but they are the main reason).

They are the never ending soap opera at times, especially when things are going really bad and the light at the end of the tunnel seems to never appear.  With a book, I know there will be a beginning, a middle and end.  With this one, I know the beginning, but I don't know where the middle is nor do I know where the end will be and nor do I want to know what the ending will be.  Its a never ending story of sorts.

If you haven't guessed by know, my other passion is a sports team that is 4 wins away from its first league championship.  It has been to the league championship 2 other times, the last one being 17 years ago.  So before I sign off, I will say this:  Go Canucks Go.

WWW… Wednesdays!

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions...

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you'll be reading next?

My answers:
1.  What am I currently reading?
Same books as last week.  I have added Twilight's Serenade to the pile, but only in spurts.

 2. What have I recently finished reading?
Nothing.  I haven't gotten anything done for about a month and a half, which coincides with not only the NHL playoffs, but also the fact that I am currently reading multiple books at the moment and trying to finish Outlander.

3.  What do you think you'll reading next?
No clue.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

First Chapter - First Paragaph(s) - Tuesday Intros

This week's choice:
Outlander by Gabaldon 
October 9, 2001- Doubleday
 It wasn't a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.  Mrs. Baird's was like a thousand other Highland bed-and-breakfast establishments in 1945; clean and quiet, with fading floral wallpaper, gleaming floors, and a coin-operated hot-water geyser in the lavatory.  Mrs. Baird herself was squat and easygoing, and made no objection to Frank lining her tiny rose-sprigged parlor with the dozens of books and papers with which he always traveled.

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 wasn't a very likely place for disappearances, at least at first glance.  Mrs. Baird's was like a thousand other Highland bed-and-breakfast establishments in 1945; clean and quiet, with fading floral wallpaper, gleaming floors, and a coin-operated hot-water geyser in the lavatory.

~ p. 3, Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

What's on Your Nightstand

Saw this come through my email this afternoon and I thought that I would give this a try.

I didn't finish anything this month, as I know that the Canucks playoff run has taken a huge portion of my time, but I have been reading off and on throughout the month.  I also know that it is due to the fact that I am reading multiple books at once, which I realize is a stupid habit, but I can do it, especially when the books are very different in their tone, etc.

So if you must know what is on my nightstand that I am reading, they are:
• Outlander - this book finally grabbed me at around the 250 page mark and the book just seems to be going by really quickly right now

• A Love to Last Forever - my easy read.  I realize that I have known disdain for Christian romance fiction, but it is so addicting that I can't help but read the genre.  Also Tracie Peterson is a pretty good writer and I have like some of her books in the past.

• War & Peace - my year-long read.  The book can be a little dull at times and I am going through that section right now.

• The Book of Negroes - If the title isn't familiar to you, you may have seen it with the title Someone Knows my Name, especially if you live in the US, NZ, and Australia (Canada and the UK have it published under the original title).  I have had this book for about 2 years and had yet to crack it open and once I get a stretch going in this book, I can get a huge chunk done.  While it may seem that its a quick and easy read, its actually more engrossing than anything and that's why I can read 30-40 pages at a time of this book.

As for what I am going to read this coming month, I really have no clue.  I probably will continue with the same books and probably start The Book Thief.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mailbox Monday

This is my first Mailbox Monday and the book I purchased this past weekend didn't come through the mail, but bought it through a local store.  I purchased What Happened to Goodbye.  I am a huge fan of Sarah Dessen, even though her books aren't necessarily in my demographic age, but I really like her style and its the perfect book for some summer reading.

I had been wanting to get this book ever since I had heard a new book would be out this spring.  Hope its as good as the others that I have read by her.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Blog Hop

Follow Friday asks this week: Its circle time. Time for us to open up and share.  Can you tell FIVE quirky habits or things about you?
• I read while playing the alphabet game.  I started it over 10 years ago and its just become habit.  Its slow, but at least I can get my way through books.
• I always put on close captioning when watching TV, when possible.  Live programming I tend to take it off or when the cc are not the way I want them to be.  Same thing goes for movies.
• I sign out way too many books than I can possibly read/handle.
• I like to listen to the radio in order to get to sleep
• I can't really watch kissing scenes in movies.

Book Blogger Hop

This week Crazy for Books asks: If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world  (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?

Honestly I don't know what fictional world I would choose.  I have entered so many worlds that I couldn't just pick one.  But if I had to pick one, I would probably would want to enter the world that Jane Austen's characters exist in.  I realize that many of places actually do exist in the book, or have their actual equivalent, but I would love to enter a world in which people went to parties and had nice clothes.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday asks this question: What do you think of censoring books BECAUSE of their intended age? Say, books too “old” for your kids to read?

Since I don't have kids, I have to do this hypothetically.  I wouldn't allow my kids to read books that would be deemed too old, especially if the content in the book was something that was geared for a 16 year old and the reader was under 14 or 15.  I wouldn't want my kids to be exposed to material that potentially they couldn't understand, especially if there are sexual references in the book.  And especially if the book has adult issues that come up in the book.  I suppose the best thing a parent could do would be to have some guidelines as to what can be and can't be read rather than a complete ban.

WWW… Wednesdays!

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions...

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you'll be reading next?

My answers: 
What are you currently reading?  I am currently reading quite a bit, but mainly I am reading Outlander by Diana Gabaldon, The Book of Negroes: a novel by Lawrence Hill, and War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy.

What did you recently finish reading? Nothing.  I haven't finished a book in about a month.

What do you think you'll be reading next? Probably one of the numerous books that I have borrowed from the library.  More likely will be reading the newest Shopaholic book, Mini Shopaholic.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top Ten Minor Characters

I don't know if I can think of 10 minor characters, but I'll do my best.

1. Mrs. Fairfax from Jane Eyre.  She was really the first adult that took an interest in Jane and had a real impact on how she viewed others.

2. Bessy from North and South.  Even though I have only viewed the mini series that came out a few years ago, she came across as the first true friend that Margaret makes when her family moves to Milton.

3. Mr. Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. Is the voice of reason in the book, even though at times he isn't the voice of reason.

4. Snape from the Harry Potter series.  Even though he isn't beloved like most of the teacher's in the series, he is the one that acts the most nobly of the teachers.

5. Richard Mason from Jane Eyre. His coming heralds the disclosure of the secret of Mr. Rochester.

6. St. John Rivers from Jane Eyre.  Even though Jane comes to care for him, his wanting her to do something other than what she wants to do reveals Jane's feelings for Mr. Rochester.

7. Charlotte Lucas from Pride and Prejudice.  She seems to be Lizzie's sounding board in the first bit of the book and allows her to think more clearly about her feelings for Mr. Darcy.

8. Mr. Collins from Pride and Prejudice. Sort of the elephant in the room.  The Bennet family knows that their family estate is to be entailed on him when Mr. Bennet dies and therefore is the impetus for the family getting their daughters marrying.

9.  Miss Edmuds from Bridge to Terabithia.  She is the teacher that Jesse admires and takes him to the Smithsonian Musuem, which leads to Leslie's death.

10. Helen Burns from Jane Eyre.  Jane's first true friend and the only person that Jane can trust at Lowood School.

Let me know what you think.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Teen Readers

I just watched an interesting segment on CBC's The National that said that reading amongst teens is up about 40%.  I can't recall the amount of years that they did the survey over, but it was at least the last 10 years.  Part of the reason that they cited in the report was the fact that YA fiction has taken on more of an adult tone and deals more of what teens and pre-teens are going through and is much more realistic than the teen and tween books that I read growing up.  No Babysitters Club and Sweet Valley Twins for these kids.  Even I have noticed it while working in an elementary school library.  The books seem to be more complex than what I grew up with and I hope that these teen readers continue to read into their adult years.

Blog Hop

Follow Friday asks this week: What is the most emotional scene in a book that you have read lately?

If you mean lately, within the last few months, than I would have to say the final third of Unbroken by Laura Hilenbrand.  It was the most amazing emotional journey that I went on.  It was not only gripping, but it was also so emotionally wrenching that I still remember it 4 months later.  I can never recall crying as hard as I had when I read those final chapters.

Book Blogger Hop

This week Crazy for Books asks: Are you going to Book Expo America (BEA) and/or the Book Blogger Convention (BBC) this year?

Simple answer: no.  If they were being held in Seattle, I would consider it.  I don't make enough money to consider going and I would have to make it a priority through out the year in order to go.

Literary Blog Hop

Literary Blog Hop

This weeks question:  What books have you read that have been hyped as literary and, in your opinion, were not?

Personally I felt that A Visit from the Goon Squad was not literary and should have categorized as being a collection of short stories.  I realize that I might get some flack for this choice, but from my perspective, the book had no continuity and no flow to the book.  It seemed to me to be a bunch of stories that were loosely connected to each other. 


Finally its back!  More later :)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Books Recommended

This week its Top Ten Books Recommended at The Broke and the Bookish

Here are mine:

1) Pride and Prejudice - First read this book after the BBC mini-series came out and I loved it.  When I hadn't read it for over a decade, I fell in love with it again.  Now that I am reading it once again, I am finally admiring Austen's genius.

2) Jane Eyre - Read this book when I was in grade 8 and its one that I have loved and revisited since.  And especially in my adult years, I have really come admire the book.

3) East of Eden - Read this book back when Oprah used this as one of her book selections a number of years ago and really enjoyed it.  Read it again a few years later and really caught the nuances of the book and really appreciated its grandeur.

4) The Robber Bride - My first truly adult novel that I read when I was 15.  This book allowed me to journey into a world that I had previously avoided and when I first read this book, I really couldn't turn back.  It was a turning point in my reading life.

5) Alias Grace - It was shortly after reading The Robber Bride that I read this book and was just mesmerized by Atwood's storytelling.  I suppose it didn't hurt that it had a historical element and made me further intrigued about the story of Grace Marks.

6)  The Root Cellar - This book has stayed with me for a long time, even though I haven't read it in quite sometime.  Just the notion of going back in time is romantic enough, but the fact that it goes to a period in which so much has been written about in American history intrigued me even more.  I guess it started a love affair with the American Civil War that really hasn't abated and only seems to continue.

7) A Handful of Time - As with The Root Cellar, it got me at a time when I was just coming out of reading books, such as The Babysitters Club, and even now as an adult reader, I found the book just as interesting as when I first read it as a tween.  Loved the notion of going back to a different time, but this time to learn more about a mom the main character barely knew.

8) A Tale of Two Cities - While my grade 11 English classmates were rolling their eyes while reading this book, I was really enjoying it.  I am so glad that my english teacher put this on the reading list.

9) Jacob Have I loved - Read  this in grade 7 when I was looking for something to read in a brand-new school library and I wasn't disappointed.  Had the books I was looking for been available, I would have read that one instead, but because the school librarian had put the book in the collection, I was able to turn from the books that I was comfortable with to books that I would be challenged with.

10) All Quiet on the Western Front - I first read this book in my grade 12 English class and really didn't see the point of the book, but my first History class that I took at the university level had this in the syllabus and I groaned at the thought.  But once I was able to understand the historical context of the book, I enjoyed the book and respect the message that Remarque is trying to get across.

I apologize if I did the meme wrong; its my first one.  Have a good day :)
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