Friday, June 29, 2007
Stephanie Plum is new to the bounty hunting business, and she is on a steep learning curve trying to bring in Morelli, a cop accused of murder who has jumped bail. The novel follows Stephanie as she tries to bring in Morelli, but she goes way back with him, and you can feel the heat on every page. (I have a crush on Morelli already.) There is a lot more humor in the mystery than I expected and it means I will be looking for the next book in the series. I enjoy a mystery with humor; it balances all the blood and bombs and guns. I love how this series has catching titles: One for the Money, Two for the Dough, Three to get Deadly, ... The thirteenth book has just been released and I've been noticing reviews already.
First book of summer vacation.
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
I really enjoyed this book, although it started to drag for me near the end. I have been surprised at how some aspects of these dystopian novels have predicted the way societies have evolved. This novel focused on the consumerism, DNA manipulation, and drug use that are certainly issues today, and this was originally published in 1932. As a society, we are looking for a soma, a cure-all to prevent any bad feelings or pain. Commercials teach our children that any pain ( Extra Strength) or discomfort (Tum, Ta tum tum) needs to be eliminated and we have just the thing for you!
I liked how Shakespeare is used to represent all the emotions and feelings that have been eliminated in the Fordian world, and the explanation of how all diseases, including old age and death, have been eliminated by science. This novel will give you plenty to think about.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
Zlata was eleven when she began writing in her diary. Soon after, was broke out in Sarajevo. The entries in her diary change from homework, music and friends, to cities being bombed, no water or electricity, and keeping track of family and friends as they flee or are killed. Even visiting relatives across town is dangerous due to the snipers and bombing. The entries continue for two years as Sarajevo is destroyed and Zlata's life becomes smaller and smaller. Nothing to do, nothing to eat, nowhere to go.
As a book, this was OK. Written by an eleven year old, telling about her life, it was rather repetitive. However, the book is still very powerful in giving an insider and child's view of living through a war zone. Not pretty. She is compared to Anne Frank, and she herself talks about being like Anne so from the beginning there is an awareness of writing about war. About three quarters of the way through, her diary began to be published, and I found it so strange that the journalists would come to interview her, bring her some food and then leave. Zlata and her family were left to listen to the bombs and try to find food, water and heat. Eventually, Zlata's family was removed from Sarajevo and the war did eventually end. I know Canadian peace keepers spent a while in Sarajevo and I would like to read more about what happened there. The Serbs, Croats and Muslims were fighting, killing each other and this is where Slobodan Milosovic (almost convicted of war crimes) spread his good cheer. So much to learn about. This nonfiction challenge is just adding to my reading list.
Thursday, June 21, 2007
Since school is out for the summer (in most places, at least), here’s a school-themed question for the week:
Do you have any old school books? Did you keep yours from college? Old textbooks from garage sales? Old workbooks from classes gone by?
How about your old notes, exams, papers? Do you save them? Or have they long since gone to the great Locker-in-the-sky?
I sure do have some old textbooks, down in the basement, in a box, that hasn't been opened in years, but has been dutifully moved several times. I even have a box of my brother-in-law's old accounting textbooks. He's supposed to come get them. huh?
The best part of the box of textbooks, is that my husband and I were both chemistry majors, so we have TWO of every book. Organic, inorganic, phys chem, biochem, everything. We keep meaning to get rid of all these books.
I do, however, use my old calculus book, as I now teach it in high school and it was an excellent reference. I keep mine at home and took my husband's to school. We also still have our Norton Anthologies, and we took different courses, so we have two different anthologies, which is actually excellent.
I believe I kept a few exemplar examples of old assignments, and on the occasions I clean, I find them, remember them longingly, and repack them for the next trip down memory lane. Of course I've started saving some of my kids stuff. But there are three of them, and the
[I am actually, at this minute, cleaning out my classroom, and hopefully, throwing out mountains of paper, when I am not distracted by this shiny computer and plans for lunch]
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
- The Plague by Albert Camus ( I read The Stranger and really enjoyed it)
- Monkfish Moon by Romesh Gunesekera ( I read The Reef)
- In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant ( I loved The Birth of Venus)
My alternate list includes, but not limited by:
- Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (I read Half of a Yellow Sun)
- The Boleyn Inheritance by Philipa Gregory ( Loved The Other Boleyn Girl)
- Number the Stars by Lois Lowry * a Something About Me choice (I read The Giver)
- something by Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper)
- The Lady in the Lake by Raymond Chandler (The Big Sleep)
- Miss Julia Takes Over by Ann B Ross (Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind)
- The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera ( I read Ignorance)
- another book by Orhan Pamuk ( I read Istanbul )
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Here's a better review than mine, which sums up the book excellently: a review
Saturday, June 16, 2007
also reviewed by Laura at reading reflections
Thursday, June 14, 2007
What book could you have done without? The Virgin Suicides didn't do it for me, partly because I loved Middlesex and it wasn't nearly as captivating.
Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again? Ironically, the only author I had read before was Eugenides. I plan to read another of Gunesekara, Adams, Barnes, and Chandler. I even have the books for each of these picked out.
If there were books you didn't finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren't worth it? I debated not finishing The Amber Spyglass, but I'm so glad I did because the ending was fantastic. Also, how could I not finish the third book in a trilogy?
Did you come across a book or two on other participants' lists that you're planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones? I'm sure I did, but I can't remember where I got them or from whom. I've been making such a big list of books to read, I think I'm in denial from where they came from.
What did you learn -- about anything -- through this challenge? Maybe you learned something about yourself or your reading style, maybe you learned not to pick so many nonfiction books for a challenge, maybe you learned something from a book you read. Whatever it is, share! I learned I only like to commit to one book per month for a challenge, and I wouldn't pick a trilogy again, because what if you don't like it?
What was the best part of the Spring Reading Thing? the pretty button!!
Would you be interested in participating in another reading challenge this fall? oh probably!
Any other thoughts, impressions, or comments. Thanks a lot Katrina, you were a great hostess
Do you cheat and peek ahead at the end of your books? Or do you resolutely read in sequence, as the author intended?
And, if you don’t peek, do you ever feel tempted?
Once upon a time, I would have said "never". But I've gotten older, and I must confess that I can not say never. It is not often, but the reasons are varied. NEVER in a mystery. But if I'm feeling really icky about a character and their chance to survive, I might peek to see if I can see their name in a glance at the end. I guess I've never read the end, just taken quick glances to see if I can see a name and that they will survive until the end.
The only book I read the last few pages of, actually read, was On the Road by Jack Kerouac because I couldn' t stand it. I wanted to see if anything actually happened, but alas, still the same boring stuff. So I stopped reading it. Both things were very hard to do: read the end, and stop reading.
I'm not morally opposed to peeking, I would certainly eat my cookies before supper, but I don't do it often.
Saturday, June 9, 2007
Charley is a mentally retarded aldult chosen for experimental surgery to make him a genius. Previously only experimented on animals, Algernon the mouse was the most successful trial. Against the ethics of science today, the surgery is done on Charley without seeing how Algernon ends up, or what the long term effects of the operation are. Charley becomes smarter, intellectually very quickly and the book is about how he has to grow emotionally as well. As he deals with his past life, the reader is left to wonder how much better off he was after the surgery. Algernon begins to fail and Charley is left to see his future.
So many issues are brought up I can see why this is a high school novel. I read it very quickly and would recommend it. As Charley begins to see his life with his increased intelligence, your heart just breaks for him. Banned, I imagine, due to Charley's increased sexual awareness and the references to his affairs.
Thursday, June 7, 2007
Which Anne of Green Gables character are you?
You are most like Anne Shirley. You love to day dream, read romance novels, and TALK! Yet, you are starving for love and attention, that is, till you come to Green Gables and meet Matthew, Marilla, and Mrs. Lynde.
Take this quiz!
Almost everyone can name at least one author that you would love just ONE more book from. Either because they’re dead, not being published any more, not writing more, not producing new work for whatever reason . . . or they’ve aged and aren’t writing to their old standards any more . . . For whatever reason, there just hasn’t been anything new (or worth reading) of theirs and isn’t likely to be.
If you could have just ONE more book from an author you love . . . a book that would be as good any of their best (while we’re dreaming) . . . something that would round out a series, or finish their last work, or just be something NEW . . . Who would the author be, and why? Jane Austen? Shakespeare? Laurie Colwin? Kurt Vonnegut?
Isn't there a prequel that's been written for Anne of Green Gables? Of Anne's life before she came to PEI? If that had been written by LM Montgomery that would be so excellent.
My first thought was Montgomery, and then I thought of Maeve Binchy, because I really love her books; similar in many ways to Montgomery, not surprisingly. Now that I've covered my bases, and answered several authors, I'll change my mind and pick Harper Lee. To Kill a Mockingbird is such a great book, it's too bad she never wrote anymore. She's still alive, but never published another book. The literary world is at a loss for that.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
Julia Springer is a recent widow, and she discovers her late husband's infidelity when his mistress drops off his son at her door and asks her to take care of Little Lloyd. Poor Julia has to deal with this shocking revelation in her small southern town, with its standards and 'southernness', which I am getting a feel for even after just one book. Complicating the situation is the minister across the street who feels he/his church should have the money Miss Julia inherited. Miss Julia led a sheltered, simple life before her husband died, and she learns to think for herself, act herself, and look after herself and the assorted characters in her life. She grows up a lot in this book, even though she is in her sixties, and while everything gets resolved, Julia still has a way to go. I will look for the next book in this series, especially when I need a nice, light, enjoyable, nothing to get worked up about, book.
Sunday, June 3, 2007
Friday, June 1, 2007
Total Books Read: 9
Books Read for Once Upon a Time Challenge: 4, and completed!
Books Read for Banned Book Challenge: 1
Books Read for Spring Reading Thing: 1, and completed!
Books Read for Reading Across Borders: 2
Books Read for the Dystopian Challenge: 0
Books Read for Chunkster Challenge: 2, and completed!
Books Read for top 50_books challenge: 2.5
Books Read for Something About Me Challenge that hasn't really started yet: 1
Books Read for NonFiction Five: 1
New Authors that I want to read again: Capote, Adichie, Picoult
Best books: Half a Yellow Sun, Good Omens, My Sister's Keeper
Best Scary Book: Coraline
Funniest Book: Good Omens
My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
Good Omens - Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
The Amber Spyglass - Philip Pullman
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Swallows of Kabul - Yasmina Khadra
In Cold Blood - Truman Capote
A Man Without a Country - Kurt Vonnegut
Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Coraline - Neil Gaiman