Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy Canada Day!


Before I go to bed, I wanted to wish everybody a Happy Canada Day. 

Booking Through Thursday - Size Matters


This week Booking Through Thursday asks:


What’s the largest your personal library has ever been? What’s the greatest number of books you’ve ever owned at one time? (Estimates are fine.)
Is your collection NOW the biggest it’s ever been? Or have you down-sized?
What’s the fewest number of books you’ve ever owned (not counting your pre-reading years)?

To answer truthfully, my collection is probably the biggest it has been, even though I did go through it when I moved a couple of years ago.  Seems I can't stop buying books, but I am very judicious and particular in what I do buy and tend borrow more.  The largest my personal library has been has probably been about 300; the fewest probably around 25.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

WWW… Wednesdays!

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading.

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

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers:
• What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading House Arrest and Twilight's Serenade.

• What did you recently finish reading?
I currently finished reading The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks.

• What do you think you'll read next?
Probably will finish House Rules, but I really don't know what I will read afterwards.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What's on your Nightstand - June 2011

What's On Your Nightstand is hosted by 5 Minutes for Books.

This month I did manage to finish a few books, but in the same breath, I did start a few more books.

Here is what I did finish:
Morning's Refrain
The Book of Negroes
The God who is There
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

And here is what I currently am reading

• House Arrest - recommendation from Books on the Nightstand, but I am having a little difficulty reading it.  I suppose its that I like one of the two main characters and I can't get enough of her and the author seems to like concentrate on the secondary characters more than the one character that I do like.  Its an interesting book and worth checking out.

• Twilight's Serenade - my light read this month.  I am finding the book to be rather poorly written and full of cliches more than anything and have considered putting the book down and returning it to the library.  In otherwords, I am not really enjoying the book, but am intent on finishing the book.

Due to my book club and other things that have come into my life and my lack of reading while at home, I have only really read these  two books this past month. I suppose reading fanfiction before I go to sleep hasn't helped either.  Hopefully it changes in July.

The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks - Rebecca Skloot

Title: The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Author: Rebecca Skloot
Published: 2010
Pages: 396
Genre: Non-fiction
Rating: 4/5

Who, you might ask, is Henrietta Lacks (1920-1951) and why is she the subject of a book? On the surface, this short-lived African American Virginian seems an unlikely candidate for immortality. The most remarkable thing about her, some might argue, is that she had five children during her thirty-one years on earth. Actually, we all owe Ms. Lacks a great debt and some of us owe her our lives. As Rebecca Skloot tells us in this riveting human story, Henrietta was the involuntary donor of cells from her cancerous tumors that have been cultured to create an immortal cell line for medical research. These so-called HeLa cells have not only generated billions of dollars for the medical industry; they have helped uncover secrets of cancers, viruses, fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping. (via Goodreads)


Thoughts: I found this book very fascinating and thought it really should be mandatory for anybody who has been effected by any sort of research that has been done on HeLa cells.  Honestly I had never even heard of HeLa cells before I had read the book and now that I ask people if they know what HeLa cells are, very few people know about them, and yet most everybody has been affected by the research on them in some way.  I would highly recommend this book on so many levels because it not only deals with the reasons behind the HeLa cells, but also everything that ensued as a result of the research on HeLa cells.  A very fascinating read.



7664 / 15000 pages. 51% done!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Salon - Journalist responsibilty

This past week was a bad week for me other Canucks fans.  Not only did the Canucks get out scored by the Bruins this week, some morons decided that it was time to trash the city again for several hours. But then the comments/articles about the Canucks being dirty, divers, etc came out and it, for a better lack of a word, pissed me off.  Granted most of the media covering the Stanley Cup Finals were from out east and hadn't exactly watched a lot of Canucks games, but when you call out players and say that they basically don't deserve the captaincy, etc., then maybe you should question your own integrity.  I understand that journalists have their own biases when they go and write/say something, they bring their biases with them.  But when you, as a journalist, go out and deliberately show your biases, you have no right calling yourself a journalist, whether it be through radio, print, TV, or the internet.  Sure you can bring your passion and your interests and I may disagree with your opinions, but don't come out and blantely disregard the talent of individual athletes nor their passion.  Sure they may break down and are pissed off when they don't win the championship trophy, but don't say they are weaklings because they break down.  Remember they are human and that you would probably do the same; they have worked hard to come to this place.

Also, when you go and dis a team, do so in an ethical way.  Don't go and do what Dan Tercer of 630 CHED in Edmonton did the day after the Canucks lost the SCF.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

FYI

I know by now a lot of you have seen the footage from Vancouver of the riot that ensued last night after last night's loss or have at least heard of it, but trust me, the people that were causing the destruction were not Vancouverites, but were instead people from other places who are professionals and saw an opportunity to tarnish what was otherwise a wonderful season for the team.  The city doesn't condone this sort of behaviour and it was tarnish by bullies (they targeted chain stores/banks in general).  Don't let the images of a few stupid people ruin your image of a city that hosted the Olympics about a year and a half ago.  These weren't true Canucks fans.

Tuesday, June 14, 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!

 On January 29, 1951, David Lacks sat behind the wheel of his old Buick, watching the rain fall.  He was parked under a towering tree outside John Hopkins Hospital with three of his children - two still in diapers - waiting for their mother, Henrietta.  A few minutes earlier she'd jumped out of the car, pulled her jacked over her head, and scurried into the hospital, past the "colored"bathroom, the only one she was allowed to use.


~ pg. 13, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, by Rebecca Skloot.

First Chapter - First Paragaph(s) - Tuesday Intros


This weeks choice:
OriginallyPublished February 2, 2010

There's a photo on my wall of a woman I've never met, its left corner torn and patched together with tape.  She looks straight into the camera and smiles, hands on hips, dress suit neatly press, lips painted deep red.. It's the late 1940s and she hasn't yet reached the age of thirty.  Her light brown skin is smooth, her eyes still young and playful, oblivious to the tumor growing inside her - a tumor that would leave her five children motherless and change the future of medicine.  Beneath the photo, a caption says her name "Henrietta Lacks, Helen Lane or Helen Larson."

Monday, June 13, 2011

The God who is there - D.A. Carson

Title: The God who is there: finding your place in God's story
Author: D.A. Carson
Published: 2010
Pages: 240
Genre: Nonfiction, Christian literature
Rating: 3/5

It can no longer be assumed that most people--or even most Christians--have a basic understanding of the Bible. Many don't know the difference between the Old and New Testament, and even the more well-known biblical figures are often misunderstood. It is getting harder to talk about Jesus accurately and compellingly because listeners have no proper context with which to understand God's story of redemption. In this basic introduction to faith, D. A. Carson takes seekers, new Christians, and small groups through the big story of Scripture. He helps readers to know what they believe and why they believe it. The companion leader's guide helps evangelistic study groups, small groups, and Sunday school classes make the best use of this book in group settings. (via Goodreads)


Thoughts: Interesting book; there were portions of the book that were a little dry, but overall it gave a good perspective on things and really made me think about my faith in a different light.  The reason that I read this book was for a bible study group.


7268 / 15000 pages. 48% done! 

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill

Title: The Book of Negroes (international title: Someone Knows My Name)
Author: Lawrence Hill
Published: 2007
Pages: 486
Genre: Literary Fiction, Historical Fiction
Rating: 5/5

Abducted as an 11-year-old child from her village in West Africa and forced to walk for months to the sea in a coffle - a string of slaves - Aminata Diallo is sent to live as a slave in South Carolina. But years later, she forges her way to freedom, serving the British in the Revolutionary War and registering her name in the historic "Book of Negroes." This book, an actual document, provides a short but immensely revealing record of freed Loyalist slaves who requested permission to leave the US for resettlement in Nova Scotia, only to find that the haven they sought was steeped in an oppression all of its own. Aminata's eventual return to Sierra Leone - passing ships carrying thousands of slaves bound for America - is an engrossing account of an obscure but important chapter in history that saw 1,200 former slaves embark on a harrowing back-to-Africa odyssey. (via Goodreads)


Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book.  I hadn't expected for a book that was so dense to be such a page turner.  I found it to be very eloquent and spoke to the true nature of the slave trade that existed over two hundred years ago.  The words seemed to melt into my soul like a plate of really good food.  I think what was fascinating about the book is that the main character seemed to avoid death, but never seemed to avoid tragedy.  An excellent read.



7028 / 15000 pages. 47% done!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Sunday Salon - Glad its a new week

I am so glad that a new week is starting; last week was one to forget.  It was also a week that I am still recovering from.  Its not that it ended badly; it ended great, its just that for most of the week I was wandering through a fog.  It was a week I hope to forget very soon and hope to in the next few days.

It started off  ok, but Monday went downhill quickly and resulted in a few nights of very little sleep that I am still recovering from.  I suppose it didn't help that my favourite team suffered two very lousy losses and for where I live, there was nothing but talk of the two lousy losses (the team lost 8-1 on Monday and then 4-0 on Wednesday), but Friday's 1-0 win helped to make the week end on a better note and finishing a book helped with it all.  Saturday was a tad crazy and I am looking forward to having Sunday to myself and to just chill out in my apartment for most of the day, as I am really tired and can barely keep my eyes open...

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Own or Borrow?


This week Booking through Thursday asks:
   All things being equal (money, space, etc.), would you rather own copies of the books you read? Or borrow them?

Interesting question.  Personally, I would probably borrow the books I read primarily because it takes me so long to get around to the books that I actually do own and because unless I really want to own the book, I would just rather borrow.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Salon - Summer Reading

The Sunday Salon.com  
Since a lot of people are putting up their summer reading lists or where they plan on doing their summer reading, I thought I might as well, especially since summer decided to arrive this year and completely skip spring for some reason.

I don't know what it is about the summer, but I find it the easiest time of year to get a lot of reading done.  Whether it be the good weather, the amount of time that one likely will have, or just the fact that its brighter, I much more easier to get my reading done during the summer months. It may also have to do with the fact that one is more likely to be in a  good mood to do some reading and to do a lot of it for stretches at a time.  I find that I am more likely to be in a good mood in order to do reading, versus the winter months, where I feel like reading is more of a chore than anything and that I have to force myself to get any reading done.  Its not that I don't read during the fall and the winter, I do, but I just feel that I am more likely to do some serious reading during the summer months. And by serious reading, I mean reading that is done with a purpose and an intent and an enjoyment.  What do you think?

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Morning's Refrain - Tracie Peterson

Title: Morning's Refrain
Author: Tracie Peterson
Published: 2010
Pages: 368
Genre: Fiction, Historical fiction, Christian fiction
Rating: 2.5/5

As dark family secrets threaten the tranquility of the life he's come to love, Dalton Bjorklund must make difficult choices about the future. To complicate matters, Phoebe Robbins falls into his life quite literally when Dalton rescues her after she falls overboard in the Sitka Harbor. He quickly loses his heart.

But Dalton is not the only one who decides to seek Phoebe's attentions--his best friend, Yuri, decides to court her when Dalton must travel from Sitka. But when Dalton realizes the depth of his love for Phoebe and returns, the two friends find that their battle for Phoebe's affection is only the start of the problems that face them. (via Goodreads)



Thoughts: I enjoyed the first half of the book, but for then on end the book seemed to fall into the old cliche that are Christian romance book. I would have liked to see Dalton not have as much spine as he had towards Marston and him fight his demons a little more than it be so very cliched that the good Christian finds a way to stand up to Marston. For the most part I really like Tracie's books, but this one was a big whatever. I would have liked to see Phoebe and Dalton's relationship evolve over a period of time rather over the course of what amounted to a six month courtship. Could this book be any more cliched? Will read the last book in the series, but I am hoping that the writing will be better.



6542 / 15000 pages. 44% done!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Reviews

Booking Through Thursday this week asks:

Do you read book reviews? Who do you trust? Do they affect your reading habits? Your buying habits?

Not necessarily do I read book reviews.  If I do read them, its because the book is interesting enough that I am considering reading them.  I usually go by what other readers have said and while that is not exactly something I would recommend for everybody, it works for me.  I find that one can gauge a little more accurately how people, readers, are enjoying a particular book, but that sometimes can be misleading, as I have picked up books either through the library or the bookstore thinking that I am going to like this particular book and then not ending up liking it.  I suppose they do affect my reading habits, as the people that put up the reviews, whether they be professionals or amateurs like myself, are saying that this is an excellent book and that this is a book that shouldn't be touched, even though what one reader likes, another may not like.  I have picked up books/bought books that I have heard a lot about whether through the news or book podcasts and have had glowing reviews about said book.
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