Wednesday, November 30, 2011

WWW Wednesdays (Nov.30)

This is a weekly book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. 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 are you currently reading?
I am currently reading Little House on the Prairie and Steve Jobs


2.  What did you recently finish reading?
The Christmas Scrapbook and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire


3. What do you think you'll be reading next?
The Quiet Little Woman, A Plain & Fancy Christmas, and What Alice Knew.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What's on Your Nightstand - November 28

Much better month in terms of reading.  Seems that me reading a lot has to do with the frame of mind and not so much to do with the weather and also what I am reading.  I suppose it doesn't help that its the Christmas season and I tend to get tons of reading material at this time of year and hopefully I will read most of them.  But without further adieu, here is my list of reviewed books since my last post:

Reviews:

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
2. Captivity
3. Frankenstein
4. Little House in the Big Woods
5. The Wild Rose
6. The Christmas Scrapbook
7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

What I am currently reading:
• A Plain and fancy Christmas - Trying to get started on this book, but for some reason, I just can't.  Hopefully I can get around to reading it this week.

• What Alice Knew - Reading this for an online book discussion.  Sadly, I am really behind on this book and just need to sit down and read it.

• Steve Jobs - From the little I have read of the 600+ page book, it is a fairly easy read and quite fascinating.  Hopefully I can get around to it this week.

Sorry for the late post, but hopefully I will have the next post up on time.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mailbox Monday

November's host for Mailbox Monday is Marcia. Join in and share the new books which arrived for you last week.

This week I got in my mailbox:

I got them as the result of having to purchase books for family member for Christmas (I had to do 2 orders as I seemed to messed it up in terms of asking people at the right times for what they wanted to get from me for Christmas). I also like getting something for myself when I have to get something for somebody else.  I have looked at other books, but nothing else that I wanted to purchase.

Musing Mondays (Nov.28)

This week MizB at Should Be Reading asks:

Will you be buying books for the holidays, this year? If so, for whom, and why?


 Yes I will be doing so.  I will be purchasing books for my dad and my sister.  The reason being is that its a fairly inexpensive gift to give and I am looking forward to their reactions in about a month.  My mom is going to get something book related.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (Nov. 28)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a fun weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we share what we've read and reviewed over the past week and what we plan to read next.

This week was a better week of reading, but the weekend was basically a goner in terms of reading; combination of things prevented me from doing any sort of reading, one of which was the fact that I was watching the second season of The Office most of Saturday and Sunday and then watching the BC Lions win the 99th Grey Cup Championship (one of the oldest championship trophies in North America; think the Stanley Cup is older).  And by the end of the game, I really didn't feel like reading much.  Next week should be better, as I will be getting back into my regular routine and hopefully that also means my regular reading routine (I suppose my cold acting up over Saturday didn't help things either).


What I am reading: 
•  What Alice Knew 
•  A Plain and fancy Christmas
•  Little House on the Prairie - it should be a short read, or relatively so.
•  Safe Haven
•  Steve Jobs


What I recently completed:
The Christmas Scrapbook
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
A Charlie Brown Christmas (the video)

What is up next:
See list of what I am reading.

Sunday Salon - One of those weekends

It was one of those weekends in which nothing was read.  Oh, I read a few newspaper articles online and I went to the library on Saturday to pick up a book, but it was a weekend in which I basically read nothing.  I wanted to get things read, but for some reason I just couldn't.  Part of the reason was that I just came off a marathon read of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on Wednesday night (in addition to completing The Wild Rose earlier in the week), part of the reason was also that I spent a good portion of my weekend with my parents, part of the reason was that I was watching The Office (which for some reason I started to watch), and also partly because I was coming off a cold and this weekend for some reason it really hit me hard (fortunately its almost gone, as I am barely even coughing or sneezing and my nose is feeling much clearer than yesterday).  Next week should be better.

Book reviews:
1. The Wild Rose
2. The Christmas Scrapbook
3. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Movie reviews:
1. A Charlie Brown Christmas

Thankfully Reading - Wrap up post



I was really bad this weekend; I didn't read one book this weekend.  Part of it was the fact that I was not feeling well, part of it was that my dad was in town and spent Saturday evening and Sunday with him, part of it was that I was really into the second season of The Office, and part of the reason was that I had just gotten off of reading/listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in about 3 or 4 days.  While I realize that I did commit myself to reading this weekend, it just didn't work out and honestly, I feel bad.  But I do realize that life happens and that not everything we plan for happens the way that we want it to.  Hopefully I will be able to participate more fully next year and hopefully there will be another reading week/weekend coming up soon.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Fall into Reading 2011 - Update #4

The last couple of weeks have been very productive, at least in terms of getting books done and I am getting closer to my goal of 50 books read.  I managed to pass what I read last year by 3 (I read 38) and judging by what I have lined up to be read for the next few weeks, I will likely get to my goal of 50 books.  I have managed to get past my goal of reading 15,000 pages (which I barely accomplished about 5 years ago) and will probably increase the amount that I want to read by about 10,000 pages.

Right now I seem to be in a bit of a lull, especially since I haven't been feeling well this past week, but since I am on the upswing, I should back in fine reading form this coming week.

See you in a couple of weeks.

Reviews:
1. Rebel Angels
2. The Wild Rose
3. The Christmas Scrapbook
4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Thankfully Reading Weekend 2011: The Kickoff



Can't believe its already time for this.  As for what I planning on reading, I am planning on reading on reading A Plain and Fancy Christmas and Safe Haven.  Both are fairly light and easy to read. I will probably also read the Steve Jobs biography and get some of that done and get What Alice Knew completed as well. I probably will start off with A Plain and Fancy Christmas.  I will be reading print, but I may do an audiobook at some point this weekend, especially since the one that I have is only about 6 hours.

As for updates, I will probably post something tomorrow and Sunday morning, with a wrap-up post on Monday.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling

Title: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4)
Author: J.K. Rowling
Pages: 636
Published: 2000
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult
Rating: 5/5

It is the summer holidays, and one night Harry Potter wakes up with his scar burning. He has had a strange dream, one that he can't help worrying about...until a timely invitation from Ron Weasley arrives: to nothing less than the Quidditch World Cup!

Soon Harry is reunited with Ron and Hermione and gasping at the thrills of an international Quidditch match. But then something horrible happens which casts a shadow over everybody, and Harry in particular... (via Goodreads)


Thoughts: This is my first re-read of this book (I have re-read the first three books a number of times that I have forgotten how many times I have actually forgotten how much I have re-read those three) and it was the first time that I listened to the audio version of the book (listened to it as I read the book) and I have to say that from my limited experience with audiobooks, that the reader for the Harry Potter books is one of the best that I have heard.  That aside, this book is probably not my favourite one of the series, but it does definitely set up the action for the final 3 books and is definitely more darker than the previous 3, which always had something light-hearted mixed in with the books, but you can start to see the shift in which Lord Voldermort is going to play a bigger role in the series and a bigger role in Harry, Ron, and Hermoine's lives from this point on.

Overall, the writing was really good for the age group targeted (10+) and because I slowed down and read it while I listened to the audio, I noticed things that I hadn't noticed before, like the fact that the S.P.E.W. storyline seemed to be dropped by the 3/4 mark of the book (which explains why that storyline doesn't appear in the movie).  And quite honestly by that point, I was more interested in the primary action of the Triwizard Tournament rather than whatever Hermione was trying to do for the house-elves, even if it was admiral thing on her part.  I also noticed the storyline of Hagrid's in which Dumbledore asked him to go and do something top secret over the summer, which is explained in the next novel.  The storytelling by Rowling is very good and the book does jump off from the end of the third book and by the end you can see that its going to get a lot darker before things start to clear up in the wizard world.  Highly recommended and can't wait to reread Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.

A Charlie Brown Christmas

Title: A Charlie Brown Christmas
Author: Charles Schulz
Running Time: 26 min.

Thoughts: I have watched this a number times, at least I did when I was when I was a kid.  But a number of years had passed until I watched it again a couple years ago.  While it is a simple message, in that we need to find the true meaning of Christmas and not focus on the commercial aspects of Christmas as much as we do.  Overall its a great little film that one can pull out year after year and the meaning won't be lost.

Booking Through Thursday - Thankful

Booking Through Thursday asks this week:

What book or author are you most thankful to have discovered?
Have you read everything they’ve written? Reread them?
Why do you appreciate them so much?
 The book that I am most thankful for to have discovered would be Jane Eyre.  The reason being is that it introduced me to the world of classics and also made me realized that those of us who have been put down or cast aside by somebody can make a life for themselves.  While I haven't read everything by Charlotte Bronte, but I have reread Jane Eyre a few times.  I appreciate the book so much is because it is so well written.  And quite honestly its a very good story.

The author that I am most thankful for is Jane Austen.  I haven't read everything that they have written, but I have read a number of her works, even a couple of rereads and have discovered a few new favourites among them.   I appreciate her so much because she writes life as it is, or at least a more idealized version of what life is like; she captures the human spirit very well and understands that life can be messy and not forgiving at times.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Christmas Scrapbook: A Harmony Story - Philip Gulley

Title: The Christmas Scrapbook: A Harmony Story
Author: Philip Gulley
Pages: 96
Published: 2005
Genre: Christmas fiction
Rating: 3/5

Sam Gardner admits that his history as a gift giver is abysmal. Determined to redeem himself, he has enrolled in a scrapbooking class. His artistic enterprise, however, ends in disaster. Meanwhile, wife Barbara sees through his lame ruse of a Wednesday night "men's group," but suspecting the worst, she begins to search for a romantic rival.Sam Gardner admits that his history as a gift giver is abysmal. Determined to redeem himself, he has enrolled in a scrapbooking class. His artistic enterprise, however, ends in disaster. Meanwhile, wife Barbara sees through his lame ruse of a Wednesday night "men's group," but suspecting the worst, she begins to search for a romantic rival.

Thoughts: Nice enjoyable read for Christmas.  Thought that the story was a little too quick for my liking and that the story could have been fleshed out a little more.

WWW Wednesdays (Nov.23)

This is a weekly book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. 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 are you currently reading?
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

2. What did you currently finish reading?
The Wild Rose

3. What do you think you'll be reading next?
What Alice Knew, Steve Jobs, and A Plain and Fancy Christmas.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

First Chapter - First Paragaph(s) - Tuesday Intros


This weeks choice
Originally published July, 2000


The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it the 'the Riddle House', even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there.  It stood on a hill overlooking the village, some of its windows boarded, tiles missing from its roof, and ivy spreading unchecked over its face.  Once a fine-looking manor, and easily the largest and grandest building for miles around, the Riddle House was now damp, derelict and unoccupied.
Would you continue reading?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays (Nov. 22)

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!

 Karkaroff beckoned forwards one of his students.  As the boy passed, Harry caught a glimpse of a prominent, curved nose and thick black eyebrows.  He didn't need the punch on the arm Ron gave him, or the hiss in his ear, to recognise that profile.
'Harry - it's Krum!'


~ p. 218, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Musing Mondays (Nov. 21)

This week MizB at Should Be Reading asks:

How do you decide to read a book by an author you haven’t read before? What sort of recommendations count most highly in making that decision?

 Interesting question.  I look at what people say on sites like Goodreads, various bookstores, what the podcasts that I listen to (Books On the Nightstand, Bookrageous, and The New York Times Book Review) are saying about the book, and also what various bloggers are saying about the book.  It also helps if the book catches my attention as I scroll through the various book blogs that come to my Google reader. In other words, if I see a book constantly popping up on blogs (ie The Night Circus), I am going to be probably more interested than if its a book that only shows up once or twice.

It also helps if its a genre that I usually read.  So if its paranormal YA, I am probably not going to read it, but if the book is constantly showing up various blogs and talked about in various publications and podcasts, I may just consider picking up.  I also try to make sure that I read the description of the book to see if its something that I may be interested in.   


But honestly, more often than not, its the description of the book that usually makes me want to go and read a book, as I have loved books that not a lot of people like and I have not liked books that a lot of people have liked.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Nov. 21)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a fun weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey where we share what we've read and reviewed over the past week and what we plan to read next.

This week wasn't great in terms of reading, as for most of it I was feeling awful and when I got home from work, I couldn't get myself to do any reading for long periods of time, at least until Saturday and Sunday, where I spent most of my time reading and sitting on the couch, hoping that my poor nose would somehow unclog itself (which it has thanks to Advil Cold and Flu and I can finally smell again).  I also spent the better part of the early morning hours on Saturday and Sunday because (a) I got engrossed in the book I was reading and (b) I just couldn't get to sleep due to either too much caffeine from the tea I drank on Friday or the clogged nose from Saturday.  But I did manage to get a book done on Sunday afternoon.

What I am reading:
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - I am also listening to the audio version of the book and finding Jim Dale very engaging, although some of the voices for some of the characters aren't how I imagined them due to the movies, but overall I really enjoy the audio version.


What Alice Knew - reading this for Tuesday Book Talk, although I am horribly behind.


What I recently completed: 
The Wild Rose - This is the third and final book in the Tea Rose trilogy.


What is up next:
• Due to The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge and due to the fact that the Christmas books that I have signed out, I don't know exactly what I will be reading, but this week I will be working on The Christmas Scrapbook and A Plain and Fancy Christmas this coming week, in addition to a few others, including the Steve Jobs biography by Walter Isaacson.

What are you reading this week?

The Wild Rose - Jennifer Donnelly

Title: The Wild Rose (The Tea Rose #3)
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Pages: 623
Published: 2011
Genre: Historical fiction
Rating: 3.5/5

The Wild Rose is a part of the sweeping, multi-generational saga that began with The Tea Rose and continued with The Winter Rose. It is London, 1914. World War I looms on the horizon, women are fighting for the right to vote, and explorers are pushing the limits of endurance in the most forbidding corners of the earth. (via Amazon.com)

Thoughts: It was a good end to the Tea Rose trilogy that started with The Tea Rose.  The overall plot of the story was really good and was quite fascinating and intriguing and was a really good read, but it seemed that the ending really didn't really have any sort of thought to it.  It almost seems as though there were too many loose ends that were left and too many things that I was left wondering about as the book ended.  Would have loved to see more of the relationship between Willa and Seamus develop more in the later half of the book or even some sort of epilogue as to what happened to the characters that I have grown to love over the past few months, unless she is planning something else with these characters.  It was amazing to see the amount of research that she did in order to write these amazing books; the research really paid off with an amazing trilogy.

If you have read the previous two books in the series, I would recommend the read as it brings some closure to the Finnegan clan that readers have come to love.  Hope to see something from her in the near future.



15006 / 15000 pages. 100% done!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Sunday Salon - Me and Apple

For as long as I can remember, I have had a love affair with Apple computers.  In large part this was due to the fact that my dad would often bring home an Apple computer to do his report cards at home during the evenings and weekends.  Often I would work on All The Right Type or I would play a solitaire game that was on this:
While there wasn't internet access on it, it was a way for me to explore something outside my normal childhood activities, including lots of reading, especially when I was sent to my room for bad behaviour (which according to my mom later on, wasn't really a punishment).  I even remember typing out a few pages of my Babysitter Club books because I thought I was going to be a author.  But mainly I probably did it because I was bored and what happened was that I became a really good typer (my typing speed is somewhere between 45 and 50 wpm).  But the time my mom brought the one for her library (my mom is a teacher librarian by training and hence I was in libraries from the time I was a little one, at least from the time I was about 4 or 5) was one the family has never forgotten, well, my sister probably doesn't remember, but my parents sure do!

I have always been a curious sort.  I was the one who tumbled down in her walker in her grandfather's place down a steep set of stairs. I was the one who would end up in strange places and have the cops called after her when she was lost in Ottawa when she was 12 (true story; family never lets me forget it).  And I was the one who lost the data for my mom's library.   Back in the before libraries and other organizations had servers, one had to back up the data on things called floppy discs.  There were big ones that were the size of a CD case and gradually over time they had ones that were the size of wallets.  I don't know what happened, but I know I got curious and I started to poke around my mom's library catalogue and before I knew it, my mom's library catalogue was gone from the computer.  While she did have it backed up on several discs, my dad managed to find the catalogue in some far off corner of the hard drive.

The reason that I tell this tale is because not due to the fact that I have owned 5 computers (2 of which were/are laptops) and 3 iPod nanos (one I stepped on the screen and the other I replaced a couple years ago) and love anything Apple (I get emails from the about new products coming out).  While I don't own an iPhone, I know I would love it just as much as I have any of the other products that I have had, including the Apple Plus that I took to Bible school over a decade ago (I had the only computer on my floor; in fact I was probably one of the only female students who had a computer in her dorm room!), but because I finally got my hands on a library copy of the new Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs.  And from what I can ascertain from glancing through it, its probably going to be a much better book than iWoz that I read about 5 years ago.

No reviews this week.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Category

Booking through Thursday asks this week:
   
Of the books you own, what’s the biggest category/genre?
Is this also the category that you actually read the most?
Probably the biggest category/genre that I own would probably be literary.  I would like to say that it is the category that I do read the most often, but probably I read more outside where I am comfortable reading as I tend to borrow/read a wide variety of books from my local public library.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

WWW Wednesdays (Nov. 16)

This is a weekly book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. 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 are you currently reading?
I am mainly reading What Alice Knew, The Wild Rose, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.

2.  What did you recently finish reading?
I recently finished reading Rebel Angels.  You can view the review here.


3. What do you think you'll be reading next?
Not sure specifically what I'll be reading, but probably be reading something Christmas related.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Top Ten Unread Books on Melissa's Bookshelf

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish, where book bloggers share their Top Ten lists on everything bookish. 

 

1.  My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult - I have had heard that this book is amazing and still I haven't read it.

 

2.  The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas - Several people that I know have read this book and really love it.  But for me its still on my TBR list

 

3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - I read half of the book for a book club meeting a few years ago and I haven't gotten around to completing it.  Looks like I will have to start this book over again in order to get the full scope of the book.

 

4. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy - I wanted to read this book a number of years ago and I thought that this year would be the year and yes you guessed it, I haven't gotten around to it.

 

5. North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell - After viewing the BBC miniseries for the first time a number of years ago, I really wanted to read the book, but like the rest on my list, just haven't gotten around to the book.

 

6. New York by Edward Rutherford - When I first heard about this book a couple of years ago, I went out and bought the hard back of the book.  I managed to read half of the book, but another book took up my time and I didn't go back to reading the book.  Fortunately, its a book that you can pick up sort of midstream and don't have to start at the beginning again.

 

7. The Passage by Justin Cronin - I bought this book primarily because it was on sale and I could get it for about $13 (that's an amazing price for hardcover that has just come out).  I do plan on reading it, its just a matter of when.

 

8. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo - I started reading this book back in 1993 and have never completed it. I don't even know where I left off that I am going to have to start this one all over again.

 

9.  The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood - My sister bought me this book back for Christmas 2001 and its been sitting on the shelf ever since.

 

10. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield -  I have heard so many good things about this book and I still haven't opened it and started to read it.

First Chapter - First Paragaph(s) - Tuesday Intros

This weeks choice
The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly
Originally published July 25, 2011

Did all English girls make love like a man?  Or was it only this one?
       Max von Brandt, a German Mountaineer, wonder this as he stroked the hair out of the face of the young woman lying next to him in the dark.  He'd been with many women.  Soft, pliant women, who clung to him after ward, extorting promises and endearments.  This woman wasn't soft, and neither was her lovemaking.  It was hard and quick and without preliminaries.  And when it was over, as it was now, she would turn away, curl into herself, and sleep.

Would you continue reading?

Teaser Tuesdays (Nov.15)

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!


Seamie stood stock still, emotions ripping through him like a howling arctic wind.  He felt sorrow and anger for what she'd done to him, to them.  Pity and guilt for what had happened to her.  And love.  Most of all, he felt love.


~ p. 164, The Wild Rose by Jennifer Donnelly

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Musing Mondays (Nov.14)

This week MizB at Should Be Reading asks:

Are you currently collecting any authors? Why? 
Do you have all of their books? If not, why not? 
Did you buy all the books in the collection at the same time, or did you buy a book here, a book there? Have you actually read all of the collection? If not, why not?

I am collecting an author.  I guess I am collecting Sarah Dessen's books because I really like her writing and for some reason her books speak to me.  I have do have all of her books and am looking forward to at some point reading her latest book.

Sunday Salon - Looking forward

I know that the majority of the people are going to be a little mad that I would even dare mention it, but I am looking forward to Christmas.  Yes, I am looking to the egg nog and the other food that comes with the season, but I am also looking forward to seeing the faces of my family as they open their gifts that I have purchased for them.

If you are wondering why I said this, its because I did my shopping for them this weekend.  I am so glad that Chapters has the option of purchasing books online with one's debit card, at least if you are member of one of Canada's five major banks.  It also makes purchasing books a little too easy and therefore very tempting, but it sure makes Christmas shopping that much easier (and I also get a little something for myself while I am at it).

Its not that I don't enjoy going to the mall and look at the various things that are available, its just that I don't like the hassle of going from store to store or going to a larger store in another community.  I like to get my Christmas shopping out of the way as soon as I can and if it means that I do it Remembrance Day long weekend and I do it online, it makes enjoying the rest of the season that much more.  I just don't like the crowds that come with going to a brick and mortar store (and its surprising that with the advent of online shopping in the past 15 years, that people still go to physical stores to get things; its almost like the internet has become a place where people look and compare before they purchase something).  I want to go to Starbucks and get a drink and read a book (if I can find a spot to read) and just relax and not have to deal with the crowds that I know that are going to be there.

Anyways, I hope you have a relaxing Sunday, however you plan on spending it and hopefully you can relax on your Sunday as best your can.

Before I forget, remember that the Bag of Bones readalong starts today.  Hope you can join!

Reviews:
1. Rebel Angels

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Rebel Angels - Libba Bray

Title: Rebel Angels
Author: Libba Bray
Pages: 548
Published: 2006 (first published 2005)
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Historical fiction
Rating: 4/5

Gemma Doyle is looking forward to a holiday from Spence Academy-spending time with her friends in the city, attending balls in fancy gowns with plunging necklines, and dallying with the handsome Lord Denby. Yet amid these distractions, her visions intensify-visions of three girls dressed in white, to whom something horrific has happened that only the realms can explain.

The lure is strong, and soon Gemma, Felicity, and Ann are turning flowers into butterflies in the enchanted world that Gemma takes them to. To the girls'' great joy, their beloved Pippa is there as well, eager to complete their circle of friendship.

But all is not well in the realms-or out. Kartik is back, desperately insisting to Gemma that she must bind the magic, lest colossal disaster befall her. Gemma is willing to comply, for this would bring her face-to-face with her late mother''s greatest friend, now Gemma''s foe-Circe. Until Circe is destroyed, Gemma cannot live out her destiny. But finding Circe proves a most perilous task. . . . (via ChaptersIndigo.ca)



Thoughts: I really enjoyed this one.  The book had a good pace throughout the book and there wasn't exactly anything wanting for a little action.  There were a few moments in which I got a little freaked out (aka scared) and had to put the book down and read something that was a little less freakish.  Overall it was a pretty good book and would recommend it older young adult readers (those probably those 15 years and above) and those not afraid of things getting a little frightening.




14383 / 15000 pages. 96% done!

Thankfully Reading Weekend, 2011 Edition



Jenn's Bookshelves is hosting the 2011 edition of the Thankfully Reading Weekend.

The details are located on the website and I hope that you will carve out some time during the weekend to participate.  You can sign up on the site and look at the details for the reading weekend there.  Hope to see you there.

I don't know how much I will get done, as my dad is in town that weekend, but I will try to get something done during the weekend.

Friday, November 11, 2011

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly 
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

~ John McCrae, 1915


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - E-volution


Booking Through Thursday asks this week:
     E-readers like the Kindle and iPad are sweeping the nation … do you have one? Do you like it? Do   you find it changes your reading/buying habits? If you don’t have one, do you plan to?

I don't have one at the present time, but I am planning to get one within the next year or so, but I will still read traditional books.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

WWW Wednesdays (Nov.9)

This is a weekly book meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading. 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 almost done reading Rebel Angels and I have started What Alice Knew and The Wild Rose

What did you recently finish reading?
Nothing this week.

What do you think you'll be reading next?
No clue, but I need to start reading Bag of Bones for the read-a-long hosted at Castle Macabre and I need to start reading Crime and Punishment, as I know that my book club will be meeting sometime soon and I need to get it started, but Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is beckoning me as is The Night Strangers.  But I also do need to get Lady of the Rivers started; maybe next week.   With a long weekend upcoming, it looks like I will be spending a lot of time reading…

First Chapter - First Paragaph(s) - Tuesday Intros

This week's choice:
What Alice Knew by Paula Marantz Cohen
Originally published August 5, 2010

Henry James was drunk.
     The room in where he was dining looked familiar, but he could not place it.  There was an oak sideboard, elaborately carved, and a cupboard containing a collection of fine porcelains.  The plate was bone china, the silver heavy and apparently old.  There was a landscape (was it Corot?) near the door, a set of prints (Rowlandson?) on the side wall, and a portrait by someone of talent over the mantel.  It was a good house, though how good was a matter of whether the portrait was by van Dyck of an esteemed ancestor or by Sargent of a more contemporary personage  (he was too bleary-eyed to look), and whether the silver had been passed down or purchased secondhand.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays (Nov.8)

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!

 Henry James was drunk.
     The room in where he was dining looked familiar, but he could not place it.  There was an oak sideboard, elaborately carved, and a cupboard containing a collection of fine porcelains.  The plate was bone china, the silver heavy and apparently old.  There was a landscape (was it Corot?) near the door, a set of prints (Rowlandson?) on the side wall, and a portrait by someone of talent over the mantel.  It was a good house, though how good was a matter of whether the portrait was by van Dyck of an esteemed ancestor or by Sargent of a more contemporary personage  (he was too bleary-eyed to look), and whether the silver had been passed down or purchased secondhand.
                                    ~p. 1, What Alice Knew by Paula Marantz Cohen.

The Christmas Spirit Reading Challenge 2011

I know its getting closer to Christmas when the Christmas reading challenges start popping up and this one I have been looking forward to for the last week.

Here are the details:
Challenge will run from Monday, November 21, 2011 through Friday, January 6, 2011 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany).

Cross over with other challenges is totally permitted AND encouraged!
These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore, a book of Christmas short stories or poems, books about Christmas crafts, and for the first time...a children's Christmas books level!

Visit this POST for a list of new Christmas books for 2011.  Two books I highly recommend for this season that I have read and reviewed...The Christmas Village by Melissa Ann Goodwin and The Reindeer Keeper by Barbara Briggs Ward (click the titles to read my reviews).

Levels:
  • --Candy Cane:  read 1 book
  • --Mistletoe:  read 2-4 books
  • --Christmas Tree:  read 5 or 6 books (this is the fanatic level...LOL!)
             
Additional levels:
  • --Fa La La La Films:  watch a bunch or a few Christmas movies...it's up to you!
  • --Visions of Sugar Plums: read books with your children this season and share what you read
*the additional levels are optional, you still must complete one of the main reading levels above
The most important rule?  Have fun!!!

For more information and to sign-up, please see this post.
 
I am going to aim for the Christmas Tree level and will also be doing Fa La La La Films, of which I will probably watch about 5 or 6 films.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Musing Mondays (Nov.7)

Can't believe that it is November already and that we are already basically a week into the month!

Anyways onto this weeks question.  MizB at Should Be Reading asks

Other than for school, do you read books to learn how to do something? What was/were the topic(s)?

I do read books that allow me to learn of new things, whether they be of restaurants that I had never heard of before, of an individual who contributed to science, even though she didn't know of it, of why our homes look the way they do and why the function that they do, or it be about why people left certain areas to go elsewhere.  Its a constant process of learning and finding what one is interested in learning about.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Sunday Salon - Edging closer

It is hard to believe that in about 2 months time, it will be a new year.  And even though we still have about 8 weeks left and there's a lot of time for things to happen, there has been a lot that has happened this past year, not only in terms of world events, but also in terms of my own  personal life.  Its sometimes hard to sit back and have the time to really reflect on what has happened over the course of the year, but when one has really has the chance to, especially this close to the end of a calendar year, one should. 

As we speak, I am one book away from equaling the same number of books that I read last year.  Granted a few of the books that I finished early in January, I started in late December, but still they were finished this, so I digress. But I don't know I will get to my goal of 50 books read, which I have wanted to do for a number of years.  I have almost read 15,000 pages (I am under 2,000 pages left), which I haven't achieved in a number of years.  Granted I did read a number of books that were 500+, but still I read them, but there is a strong likelyhood that I will achieve that goal.

As I think about the type of books that I have read, there has been a wide variety, with a large portion being fiction.  I have read more non-fiction than in previous years.

But there still is 8 weeks to the end of the year and a lot can happen in that time.  Hope you have a good Sunday.

Reviews:
1. Frankenstein
2. Little House in the Big Woods

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fall in Reading 2011 - Update #3

This was by far the most productive two weeks that I have had.  I have been reading on a more regular basis (yay!) and I managed to complete 4 books (yay!).  Okay 2 were of books that I was almost complete, one was a short book and one was a fairly easy read.  But still I finished 4 books.  I am almost finished another (wished I had gotten this book done a few days ago), but it will be done within the next couple of days.

Hope you all have a great weekend and I will talk to you in a couple of weeks.

Book Reviews:

1. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
2. Captivity
3. Frankenstein
4. Little House in the Big Woods

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Blog Hop



The question this week is:
We want to see what you look like! Take a pic with you and your current read!

Here is what I look like and my current read:

Literary Blog Hop: November 3-6

Literary Blog Hop


This month The Blue Bookcase asks:

To what extent do you analyze literature? Are you more analytical in your reading if you know you're going to review the book? Is analysis useful in helping you understand and appreciate literature, or does it detract from your readerly experience? 

I think I tend to over analyze literature and tends to detract from any sort of readerly experience.  I experienced this recently with The Night Circus.  Now I had issues with the format of the book to start with, but I did find that I was over analyzing it as I was reading the book, hoping to find something in it that I clearly wasn't and was making my reading experience with the book not a good one.  Its not that I don't enjoy reading, I do.  But I find that I tend to over analyze and therefore it affects how I end up viewing the book, unless of course I get the book done quickly and out of the way.  It seems that I can't just sit down and read a book and enjoy it and therefore get something out of it and therefore I am back in the vicious cycle that I didn't want to be in. 

When I don't over analyze a book, I seem to get the most of the book and can therefore make a better assessment of the book.  Its a vicious cycle, isn't it? 
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