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Showing posts from January, 2012

The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne

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Title: The Scarlet Letter
Author: Nathaniel Hawthorne
Pages: 288
Published: 2009 (Originally published 1850)
Challenges: 2012 Library Challenge, 2012 Support Your Library Challenge, Back to the Classics 2012, 2012 Where You Are Reading, 2012 A Classics Challenge
Genre: Classics
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library
Rating: 3.5/5

A passionate young woman, her cowardly lover, and her aging, vengeful husband are the central characters in this stark drama of the conflict between passion and convention in the harsh world of seventeenth-century Boston.

Tremendously moving and rich in psychological insight, this tragic novel of sin and redemption addresses our Puritan past. Depicting the struggle between mind and heart, Hawthorne fashioned a masterpiece of American fiction. (via Goodreads)


Thoughts: This was a book I had been wanting to read for quite sometime due to just the fact of the nature of what it dealt with and because its a book that is referred to in many ways.  I think expecte…

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets - J.K. Rowling

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Title: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Author: J.K. Rowling
Pages: 366
Published: 2004 (originally published in 1998)
Challenges: 2012 Harry Potter Reading Challenge
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Edition: Paperback and audiobook
Source: Purchased and library
Rating: 5/5

Ever since Harry Potter had come home for the summer, the Dursleys were so mean and hideous that all Harry wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he's packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. 

And strike it does. For in Harry's second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor and a spirit who haunts the girls' bathroom. But then the real trouble begins--someone is turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid,…

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan. 30)

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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 is what I am planning on reading this week: 
11/22/63Anna KareninaHarry Potter and the Chamber of SecretsLes MiserablesThe Cat's TableThe GiftThe Great GatsbyThe HelpThe Marriage PlotThe Scarlet LetterWhat Alice Knew Here is what I reviewed this week:
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Musing Mondays (Jan. 30)

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Should be Reading asks this week:

How far along are you in your current read before you start thinking about what you’ll read next?
I don't think about my next read until I am finished my current read.  There are times that I do think ahead, but that is usually because I am on vacation.

Sunday Salon - Crazy, crazy, crazy

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It has been one of those weeks that has been fraught with a bit of drama and one of those weeks that I would like to forget and I am not going to mention it, as it the issue seems to be getting resolved. 

Funnily enough, the day before all my high drama on Thursday, was my best day in a number of weeks; this past Wednesday was pretty good and I had a very good day.

The snow has all but disappeared from the big snowfall that we had 2 weeks ago, except for the piles of snow that litter the parking lots and wherever there was snow piled up and now the rain is coming down and am looking forward to the days with sun that will likely be far and few between for the rest of the remaining winter.

In terms of reading, it wasn't very good for some reason; guess I got a little too focused on my personal issues and therefore got sidetracked with the reading aspect, that and I was busy most evenings this past week, except for Sunday and Thursday.  But I did have Friday off and managed to get …

Saturday Snapshot (Jan. 28)

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Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce @ AT Home With Books. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.  Took this photo with my iPhone as I was on my way to work a couple of weeks ago.  Thought it was interesting.

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone - J.K. Rowling

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Title: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
Author: J.K. Rowling
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Pages: 332
Published: 2004 (originally published in 1997)
Challenges: 2012 Harry Potter Reading Challenge
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Edition: Paperback and audiobook
Source: Purchased and library
Rating: 5/5

When a letter arrives for unhappy but ordinary Harry Potter, a decade-old secret is revealed to him. His parents were wizards, killed by a Dark Lord's curse when Harry was just a baby, and which he somehow survived. Escaping from his unbearable Muggle guardians to Hogwarts, a wizarding school brimming with ghosts and enchantments, Harry stumbles into a sinister adventure when he finds a three-headed dog guarding a room on the third floor. Then he hears of a missing stone with astonishing powers which could be valuable, dangerous, or both. (via blurb on book)

Thoughts: I read this book while listening to the audio at the same time and I while I had thought I had read …

TGIF: Buy or Burrow?

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TGIF is a weekly feature created and hosted by GReads! that re-caps the week’s posts and has different question each week.

This week's question: Buy or Borrow: Where do your books that you read come from? The bookstore? The library? Do you prefer to own a book, or have it on loan?

I mainly get my books from the library, mainly because I can't afford to buy all the books that I read over the course of the year.  I would prefer to own my books because I am a fairly slow reader and I like to take my time reading.   When I do buy, I go through ChaptersIndigo mainly because its really the only bookstore chain in the area (there aren't really any independent stores in the area) and also because they also allow me to purchase books through my debit card online, which I do more often when I purchase a book due to the fact that I get a better deal online and also because my local store doesn't really have the book that I want to read (sometimes I can get a really good deal in …

Library Loot: January 25 to February 1

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Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Here is what I picked up from the library this week:

Videos:
Upstairs Downstairs
Fourth season of The Big Bang Theory
Jane Eyre (the one that came out a few months ago)
Crazy Stupid Love
Maid in Manhattan

Books:
The Marriage Plot (ereader)
Catherine the Great : portrait of a woman
11/22/63 : a novel
Death comes to Pemberley
A thousand lives : the untold story of hope, deception, and survival at Jonestown

I don't know which of the 4 books that came in paper form I will read, but probably will read at least 11/22/63 and possibly Death comes to Pemberley.

Booking Through Thursday - Writing or Riveting?

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This week Booking Through Thursday asks:

What’s more important: Good writing? Or a good story?
(Of course, a book should have BOTH, but…)
For me it would be writing because that what makes the story riveting and can draw the reader in.  Of course the writing can be beautiful, but the story can be utter crap and that would then defeat the purpose.  But honestly, good writing can draw me in more into the story than a good story because its what I feel like makes it a good story.  How an author weaves their words and make you feel as though you are intruding on somebody's life for a moment is probably slightly more important than the story because its the words that make a good story, not the other way around.

What's on Your Nightstand - January 24

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I got the last three Harry Potter books, but I have started the series all over again.  I haven't had a lot of time to read, but somehow I have managed to fit in quite a bit this month.  I also completed my first ebook and really liked the experience (got an e-reader for Christmas from my parents) and have started my second ebook from the library.  I will still do most of my reading with paper books, as I don't have the resources to get more e-books.

I have also started a bunch of my bigger books and quite honestly I am finding them to be quite readable and found myself reading out of them more often than not.  I got a Shakespeare play completed in an afternoon and while it wasn't my favourite one, I really enjoyed it, even though I have seen it performed on stage and on the screen.

Reviews:
1. Little House on the Prairie
2. A Midsummer Night's Dream
3. Mini-Shopaholic

On my nightstand:
The Gift
What Alice Knew
The Great Gatsby
The Help
The Scarlet Letter
Anna Karenina *
Les …

A Winter's Respite Readathon (Jan 23 - 29) #WintersRespite

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It's time for another Read-a-thon!  A Winter's Respite Read-a-thon is being hosted by The True Book Addict and is starting tomorrow, Jan 23.  It will run through next Sunday, Jan 29.  I am really busy tomorrow, but depending on what happens throughout the week, I should be able to get quite a bit done, especially since I have quite the pile that I plan on tackling.

Here is what I plan on reading:
The Gift
What Alice Knew
The Great Gatsby
The Help
The Scarlet Letter
Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
The Cat's Table
Steve Jobs
The Marriage Plot


I realize that its quite a bit, but some of them should be fairly quick, like The Cat's Table and Harry Potter and Scarlet, if I spend the time reading them.  I do have most of Friday available to me to read and about 3 evenings are free of obligations and with shows basically going dark for about a week or two, I should have time to read quite a bit.


If you wish to join the discussion, you can find us …

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan. 23)

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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.

What I am reading:
The Gift
What Alice Knew
The Great Gatsby
The Help
The Scarlet Letter
Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
The Cat's Table
Steve Jobs
The Marriage Plot

What I finished:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (review will be up in late summer or early fall)
Mini-Shopaholic

I am hoping to cut down my reading pile and am not thinking of what to read next at this point.

Musing Mondays (Jan. 23)

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Should be Reading asks this week:

Why do you think that the Young Adult genre is so popular with even the adult readers? Do you read YA books, yourself?

I think that YA is popular, even with adult readers because the writing is much better than it was when we were young adults and the genre is so varied.   I think it started with the Harry Potter books that made the YA genre popular with adults and its just grown from there.

Yes, I do read YA and I quite enjoy them and enjoy them more than I did when I was in the target market.

Sunday Salon - It's amazing

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It's amazing when one's life basically is going to the dogs that one can find time to read, but when one's mind is distracted its a different story.  This week has been a little crazy due to the fact that I have had some health issues crop up (its not anything huge, but am trying to figure out what it is at the moment) and how that can make things go off kilter.  But somehow I was able to manage to get two books done over the week.  Its also amazing how the mind can be distracted by such a little thing, when there is a bit of uncertainty.

I was able to start and complete the latest Shopaholic book, which was nice to get the mind off of things, finish HP and the Deathly Hallows, and start a couple of more books that I have been wanting to read.  I didn't get a lot of reading done due to the fact that my mind was elsewhere for most of the week, but I am hoping that next week is a bit more productive.

Books completed:
1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (review will …

Mini-Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella

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Title: Mini-Shopaholic (Shopaholic #6)
Author: Sophie Kinsella
Size: 2173 KB
Published: 2010
Challenges: Support Your Library
Genre: Chick-lit, Contemporary
Edition: ebook
Source: Library download
Rating: 2.5/5


Sophie Kinsella has dazzled readers with her irresistible Shopaholic novels—sensational international bestsellers that have garnered millions of devoted fans and catapulted her into the first rank of contemporary storytellers. Now her beloved heroine Becky Brandon (née Bloomwood) returns in a hilarious tale of married life, toddlerhood, and the perils of trying to give a fabulous surprise party—on a budget!

Becky Brandon thought motherhood would be a breeze and that having a daughter was a dream come true: a shopping friend for life! But it’s trickier than she thought. Two-year-old Minnie has a quite different approach to shopping.

Minnie creates havoc everywhere she goes, from Harrods to her own christening. Her favorite word is “Mine!” and she’s even trying to get…

Saturday Snapshot (Jan. 21)

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Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce @ AT Home With Books. Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online. Took this photo from my deck after I got up on Monday morning.  And yes I did go to work that morning.


Blog Blackout

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I am going on a blog blackout from 8 am to 8 pm Eastern tomorrow (Wednesday) to support those on Wordpress and other sites that are going to be supporting the blog/internet blackout  tomorrow.  That means no memes, no book reviews, etc.  And yes, I know that I have periods in which I don't blog, but this is because I don't like the fact that there is even a chance that I might be affected by putting up something that might infringe on my ability to put up an effective blog, that I know lots of people have come read.  I realize that its just a drop in the bucket, but sometimes a drop in the bucket is all that is needed for change.

Hope to see you in about 16 hours or so.

First Chapter - First Paragaph(s) - Tuesday Intros (Jan.17)

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This weeks choice:



The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Mae Mobley was born on a early Sunday morning in August 1960.  A church baby we like to call it.  Taking care a white babies, that's what I do, along with all the cooking and the cleaning.  I done raised seventeen kids in my lifetime.  I know how to get them babies to sleep, stop crying, and go in the toilet bowl before they mamas even get out a bed in the morning.
Would you continue reading?

Teaser Tuesdays (Jan. 17)

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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!

By the next Monday, the leaves on that mimosa tree have turned black like it burned instead of froze.  I come in the kitchen ready to tell her how many days we have left, but Miss Celia's staring at that tree, hating it with her eyes the same way she hates the stove.  She's pale, won't eat anything I put in front of her.


~ p.157, The Help by Kathryn Stockett













It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan.16)

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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.

What I am reading:
The Gift
What Alice Knew
The Great Gatsby
The Help
The Scarlet Letter
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
Anna Karenina
Les Miserables

What I recently finished:
A Midsummer Night's Dream


What is up next:
East of Eden
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

I am hoping that I am going to get a few more of the books on the what I am reading list done this coming week.


Musing Mondays (Jan.16)

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This week Should be Reading asks:

What devices --if any-- do you read books on? Do you find it enjoyable, or still somewhat bothersome? Or: If you only read the print books, why haven't you chosen to read on any devices?


I got a Kobo Vox for Christmas and have just started to read off of that, but the primarily mode for reading for me is definitely is my print books.  One reason is that I am worried that I am going to leave my Vox somewhere.  Another reason is that the paper versions of books are almost exactly the same price as that as the price for the e-book, at least that is the case for Chapters.  Thirdly, I can borrow more paper copies of a book through my library than I can e-books, which is limited to five vs. the 60 paper copies that I could borrow.   There is the small issue that I don't have a credit card in order to purchase an e-book and I need to ask Chapters or Coles what to do if I don't have a credit card.


Hope everybody has a good Monday!



Sunday Salon - A bit of an update

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I realize that I haven't done this in a couple of weeks, but I didn't really think I had anything worth publishing, but in any case here we go.

I have been quite busy reading books, especially this weekend in which I have gotten quite a bit of reading done, especially on the readalong challenges, in which I had fallen behind on, slightly.  Also I have had times in which I haven't read or felt like reading these past two weeks, but for some strange reason I got the bug this weekend and just have mainly sat and read a number of books.  While I haven't finished anything of note, other than A Midsummer Night's Dream, I have managed to get a number of books closer to completion and have managed to get certain sections of books done.  But I am hoping to have some more books completed in the coming days.

Reviews:
1.  Little House on the Prairie
2. A Midsummer Night's Dream

Library Loot: January 11 – 17

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Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Marg from The Adventures of an Intrepid Reader that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Haven't done this in a while, but here I go.  Since I am restricting myself to picking up books on the weekends, even though I don't have a heavy week day schedule,  I am going to be posting this on Saturday afternoon or evening, depending on when I have gone to the library.

Here is what I picked up:

From Surrey Public Library (SPL):
• Steve Jobs by Walter Issacson

From Fraser Valley Regional Library (FVRL):
• Season 3 of Castle
• When Harry Met Sally
• The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje
• House of Secrets by Tracie Peterson

A Midsummer Night's Dream - William Shakespeare

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Title: A Midsummer Night's Dream
Author: William Shakespeare
Size: 66 KB (copy used on Goodreads had 256 pages)
Published: 2009 (First published 1595)
Challenges: Reading Shakespeare: a play a month in 2012
Genre: Drama, Classics, Shakespeare
Edition: ebook
Source: Free download
Rating: 3/5

Shakespeare's intertwined love polygons begin to get complicated from the start--Demetrius and Lysander both want Hermia but she only has eyes for Lysander. Bad news is, Hermia's father wants Demetrius for a son-in-law. On the outside is Helena, whose unreturned love burns hot for Demetrius. Hermia and Lysander plan to flee from the city under cover of darkness but are pursued by an enraged Demetrius (who is himself pursued by an enraptured Helena). In the forest, unbeknownst to the mortals, Oberon and Titania (King and Queen of the faeries) are having a spat over a servant boy. The plot twists up when Oberon's head mischief-maker, Puck, runs loose with a flower which caus…

Saturday Snapshot (Jan. 14)

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Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Alyce @ AT Home With Books.

Photos can be old or new, and be of any subject as long as they are clean and appropriate for all eyes to see. How much detail you give in the caption is entirely up to you. Please don't post random photos that you find online.

 Took this photo this past week as the sun was lowering in the sky.  I hadn't seen the sun do this for quite a few months, as it has been grey for a large portion of that time.  The photo was taken about 3:30 pm and the sun left the wall within the half-hour.

Bout of books 3.0

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This is a sticky post and if you want updates, please scroll down.  Thank you.

My Goals
to get Les Miserables started and read at least the first 25 pagesto get most of The Scarlet Letter completedto read A Midsummer's Night's Dreamto complete at least two of the books that I have been reading since 2011to complete HP and the Deathly Hallowsto start AnnaKarenina and complete the first sectionto get half of The Help completed by Sundaycomplete The Great Gatsby and post my answers to the questions posted here.
Books To Read
The Scarlet LetterA Midsummer's Night's DreamLes MiserablesThe Great GatsbyThe HelpHarry Potter and the Deathly HallowsAnna Karenina

Monday: Didn't read much; read maybe about 40 pages.  I read a couple of chapters out of Harry Potter and read a chapter out of The Scarlet Letter and that was it.  I was just a little too jumpy.  Hopefully I can get some more of the of the other books read as well.

Tuesday: Read a lot more today, as I read a bunch out of…

Booking Through Thrusday - Interview, Part 2

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Booking Through Thursday asks this week:

1. What’s your favorite time of day to read?      My favourite time of the day to read is during the afternoon, due to the fact that I am not focused on making dinner or watching a movie or a TV show or don't have an evening activity.  If I don't have anything up, I sometimes do read during the evening, usually during hockey game.

2. Do you read during breakfast? (Assuming you eat breakfast.)  No, unless you count reading the newspaper online before going to work.  But typically I will watch a news show before heading off to work.

3. What’s your favorite breakfast food? (Noting that breakfast foods can be eaten any time of day.)  My favourite breakfast food is scrambled eggs, toast, hashbrowns, sausages.

4. How many hours a day would you say you read?  I probably read typically about 3 hours a day, but there are days I don't open anything.

5. Do you read more or less now than you did, say, 10 years ago?Its really hard to say, b…

WWW Wednesdays (Jan. 11)

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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?
The Gift
What Alice Knew
The Great Gatsby
The Help
The Scarlet Letter
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

2. What did you recently finish reading?
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (re-reading and reviewing later this year)

3. What do you think you'll be reading next?
Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
East of Eden
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
A Midsummer's Night's Dream

2011 Christmas Spirit Wrap-up Post

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Based on the goals that I had posted, I fell short, but only by one on each one.  I consider that not to be a total failure, but I was a little disappointed.  But when I take into consideration that I got really engrossed with Order of the Phoenix for the last few weeks of December, then its a success.   Next year, I probably will plan a little better and try to get as many books read by December, so as to enjoy a little Christmas reading before the holidays.  Here are the reviews for the movies and books that I did manage to complete (you can click on the titles for a review):

Movies:
1. A Charlie Brown Christmas
2. Disney's A Christmas Carol
3. A Christmas Story
4. Love Actually

Books:
1. The Christmas Scrapbook: A Harmony Story
2. Lost December: a novel
3. The Quiet Little Woman : a Christmas story 
4. The Christmas Wedding


Yes, I will participate next year and am already looking forward to it already.

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (Jan.9)

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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.


I apologize for not doing it last week; I was tired and still recovering from being up really late the night before.  Didn't get anything reviewed this past week, but I am including the latest review that I had between this posting and my last one on Dec. 26


What I am reading:
The Gift
What Alice Knew
The Great Gatsby
The Help
The Scarlet Letter
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

What I recently finished:
Little House on the Prairie
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (no review; one will be up later this spring)
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (no review; one will be up later this summer)

What is up next:
Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
East of Eden
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone
A Midsummer's Night's Dream


Musing Mondays (Jan.9)

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This weeks posting asks:

Are there any “raved reads” –books that everyone seems to be talking about– that you’re hoping to get read this year, yourself? What books are they, and why are you hoping to read them? Is it because you want to say you’ve read it? Or, would you have chosen to read it, even if you’d discovered it yourself, and no one was raving about it?


I am hoping to read The Hunger Games and The Help.  The reason that I wanting to read The Hunger Games is not only a lot of people have said amazing things about, but also because the movie is going to be released in March.  And the reason for The Help is basically the same, at least from what I have heard and have been wanting to read it for at least a few months.  I am also hoping to read 11/22/63 this coming year; I have heard nothing but good things about the book.