Wednesday, October 29, 2008

MEME: Tuesday Thingers

This week's question: Legacy libraries. With which legacy libraries do you share books? Tell us a little about a couple of them and what you share.
To find which books you share with Legacy Libraries, click on "Statistics" from either your profile or your home page; then click on "Legacy Libraries" in the second row of clickable choices.

I had no idea this feature was on LibraryThing and it's pretty cool. There is something wonky with the stats, because some books are showing as doubled. My most common book to share is probably Robinson Crusoe or Madame Bovary, which I haven't read yet. Some of the more interesting people I share with:

Carl Sandburg - I share 13 books.

Danilo Kiš - I share 4 books. I'm not sure who he is, but we had some unusual shares including:
Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Pedro Paramo by Juan RULFO
Noć by Élie WIESEL Night
Mi by Jevgenij ZAMJATIN We

Ernest Hemingway - I share 12 books.

Leonardo da Vinci I share none, but he only has 5 books in his library, in Italian or Latin, and there weren't a lot of books back then.

What books do you share with famous dead people?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

BLOGGING: It's Tuesday, where are you?

Where is reading taking you this day?
Today I am in Japan investigating a missing woman, the fiancee of my dead wife's cousin. (All That She Was Worth, Miyabe) There is a carnival that has just arrived in town with some interesting people working at it. I am still trying to work through Something Wicked This Way Comes, hopefully before Halloween.

Leave an answer in the comments, or post to your own blog. Have fun!

Monday, October 27, 2008

BOOK: The Borden Tragedy by Rick Geary

The Borden Tragedy by Rick Geary
A Treasury of Victorian Murder, Volume 3

graphic novel

I'm sure I've read a nonfiction account of the Lizzie Borden tale, because this was all very familiar. It was a slim volume, but I love that it is part of "A Treasury of Victorian Murder." Geary takes the account based on a found manuscript of an anonymous peer of Lizzie's. I read it pretty quickly, but it gave a nice visual, and presented a pretty balanced account of what might have happened. Nice map of the house and presentation of possible motives and alibis of several suspects. I think the best part is the back cover, where Lizzie is compared in many ways to OJ Simpson, as a sensational murder suspect.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

BOOK: Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer, 336 pages

RIP III challenge, end of the world challenge (I iknow it's long over)

I read a review of this book before I read it that suggested you have a good stretch of time available before you pick this up, because it would be very hard to put down. So true. I devoured this book in the past day. I also meant to read this for the End of the World Challenge, but it didn't come in to the library in time. It does fit the criteria for the RIP III though, and regardless of all the reading challenges I am trying to fit it into, it was just a great read.

Miranda is an ordinary teen, arguing with her Mom, dealing with her divorced parents, growing apart from her friends. As an asteroid is about to hit the moon one night, her biggest concern is that all her teachers have assigned a project based on this interesting night sky phenomenon. What nobody expected is the after effect of the moon being a bit closer to the earth: tsunamis, earthquakes, volcano eruptions. Survival becomes the name of the game, and Miranda's journal entries chronicle her changing life focus and how her family tries to survive.

A tremendous book, let's call it The Road -lite but no less powerful, just written with a different audience in mind. It was scary because life could change that quickly. Even the oil shortage and thinking about what would we do it there was no more oil? How would we heat our house and survive if some calamity were to happen? It is very easy to picture the changes that Miranda and her family are forced into. Pfeffer has written another companion novel (the dead and the gone) following another teen, this one in New York City, throughout the same event.

I'll be recommending this book to our school librarian.

also reviewed by tinylittlelibrarian, bookfool , stephanie , dewey, joy

Saturday, October 25, 2008

BOOK: The Night Country by Stewart O'Nan

The Night Country by Stewart O'Nan, 229 pages


What a great book to read for the RIP and just before Halloween. This was a spooky, melancholy book that takes place on Halloween night. It's the anniversary of a car accident that killed three teenagers from the small town of Avon in New England. The dead kids are narrating the story as they follow, when summoned, a survivor of the accident, Tim, Kyle's mom, whose son survived but is not the same at all, and finally, Brooks, the police officer first on the accident scene. These three are trying to deal with the aftermath of the accident.

I liked the way the 'ghosts' are portrayed, following the survivors around, not at all at rest, but watching out for their people. It was a very overall sad book. Not a crying sad, just a melancholy tone that builds and builds as some grief is dealt with and the anniversary looms. It became apparent that there was more to the accident than was originally believed, and that drives the story along, lurching and speeding like the car in the book. Tragic accidents change many lives for a long time.

Susan at Too many books wrote a wonderful review that made me run out and get this book. I've been wanting to read a book by O'Nan, and I'm looking forward to another by him. There was a Something Wicked This Way Comes vibe as I read this book, noticeable because I am reading it at the same time, and the book is dedicated to Ray Bradbury. A great book for Halloween.

reviewed by susan

Thursday, October 23, 2008

MEME: Booking Through Thursday: Coupling

Got this idea from Literary Feline during her recent contest:
“Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like–sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that’s just me.”

I thought this week's question looked familiar! I already answered this on literary feline's blog, and I won the contest. I won the book Out Stealing Horses, but more importantly, I had fun writing the post. I will link to it here: favorite literary couples

My update would say that Anne and Gilbert are by far, my favorite couple. I was pretty sure I'd think that after seeing the musical.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

BOOK: People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks

Fiction or non-fiction? Genre?
fiction, historical fiction

What led you to pick up this book?
2008 release, recommended/lent by a friend

Summarize the plot, but don't give away the ending!
Pretty ambitious novel here, based very loosely on a real event. The Sarajevo haggadah was an illuminated manuscript, a Jewish codex, discovered in the 1990s in a museum in Sarajevo. The story behind this ancient, beautiful book is imagined in reverse order, while Hanna Heath, a book conservator is brought in to examine and preserve the edition. Her life, and the haggadah are traced in alternating chapters.

What did you like most about the book?
The religious aspect. Christians, Jews and Muslims have lived together around the Mediterranean for hundreds of years. All three types of people were involved in the protection and survival and production of the haggadah. It lets us know that there is hope for out mutual survival.

The map on the inside cover. I love when a book has a map to follow along with.

What did you like least?
Each new time period required new characters and new situations. It was like starting 4 new books within the one. They were all good and interesting, but the continuity was not there, except with Hannah, who was in alternating chapters.

Some of the historical details, well detailed and researched, were a bit dry.

Have you read any other books by this author? What did you think of those books? No, but I would like to try the Pulitzer winning March, and also Year of Wonders.

What did you think of the main character?
Hannah was a bit prickly, but she had her reasons. The haggadah itself had a resilience, and survival quality that was inspiring.

Any other particularly interesting characters?
Lots along the way, each era and locale had positive parts. There were Nazis, Inquisitors, syphilis, the Venice Carnival, some great moments in history.

Share a quote from the book:
I seldom notice quotes from books.

Share a favorite scene from the book.
Hmm, every time and region had its good points. I could see this as a movie, as the historical periods would be fascinating, and the scenery in Sarajevo, Venice, Seville, and Australia would be amazing. Plus, every period had a near miss for the haggadah as it was nearly lost or destroyed but for the saving action of brave somebody.

What about the ending?
I liked the ending, although it seemed like a lot happened. Actually by the end, I was really enjoying the book as all the history came together.

Which of your readers are most likely to enjoy this book? Why?
Fans of historical fiction, people interested in Jewish history, fans of the Mediterranean region. Anyone who likes a good read. It somewhat reminded me of Rutherford's book London, where the characters change each chapter and there is one unifying element.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

MEME: Tuesday Thingers

Today's question: Series. Do you collect any series? Do you read series books? Fantasy? Mystery? Science fiction? Religious? Other genre? Do you use the series feature in LT to help you find new books or figure out what you might be missing from a series?

I was so excited when I noticed this as one of the columns in my librarything library. I love a series, and I love to read a series in order! I started with the Bobbsey Twins as a young child, read through Bruno and Boots, Ramona, and Fudge. I don't remember any series reading in high school but I later fell into mystery and detective series, like the 87th precinct by Ed McBain, Agatha Christie's wonderful mysteries and Brother Cadfael. Finding a prolific author like Anne Perry and her two Victorian detectives - Monk and Pitt, makes finding books at the library super easy. Most recently, it's been Miss Julia and the Shopaholic and the Shakespeare mysteries. And of course, Anne of Green Gables is part of a huge series, read and reread over and over again.

I do use the series feature to find what might be missing, or what book I found in the series - most recently the Hester Phyrnne series. My favorite is reading a new book, and then seeing that it is part of a series when I add it to LT. Thanks LT, I love this feature.

BLOGGING: It's Tuesday, where are you?

Congrats to all the readers and organizers and cheerleaders who participated in the 24 Hour Read-a-Thon. It looks like so much fun, but I don't know how much reading I'd ever get done. The online stuff that I watched, on and off, would be totally distracting to me if I was trying to read. The mini challenges and prizes available were amazing. I think I'm getting too old, because just like I consider before going out to a party, I have to think how much sleep I'd get and how I'd feel the next day. Plus, I let myself stay up way too late often enough, so the all night reading in the Read-a-thon wouldn't be that out of the ordinary. I do however, like to think of what books I'd read, and how many I would try to get through. Maybe next time!

I've recently completed my whirlwind tour of Europe and history in People of the Book, review to come. Now I am in the spooky season of reading. I am in New England, and some kids who were killed in a car accident appear to be back, haunting people. (The Night Country, Stewart O'Nan.) I read a review last week for this book by Susan and was intrigued. My library had it available so I snatched it up, just in time to add on to the RIP III. There are still 2 weeks left to Imbibe Peril.

Where is reading taking you today? Leave a comment, or post on your blog and come back and let us know.

Monday, October 20, 2008

BOOK: High Spirits by Robertson Davies

High Spirits by Robertson Davies

RIP III, 2nd Canadian Book Challenge

Short Story Monday:

I finished the last four stories in the collection in time for the RIP III. I am not going to review the last bunch individually. All the stories follow similar patterns, including all being about 10 pages long.

This was a nice group of ghost stories. I liked the theme, that Davies reads a ghost story every year at the Massey College Christmas party. And an important college would only have famous ghosts visits. The overall tone is amusing and wry and a probably satirical. I'm glad I picked up this book for the RIP, and read my first Robertson Davies.

"The King Enjoys His Own Again"
"The Xerox in the Lost Room"
"Einstein and the Little Lord"
"Offer of Immortality"

also reviewed by melanie

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

BOOK: Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor

Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, 144 pages

Book Awards II Challenge: Newbery 1992; books to movie challenge

A beagle follows Marty home one day, and soon a boy and his dog cannot be separated. Only, there are a few problems. One, the dog belongs to mean Judd Travers who abuses his dogs. Two, Marty's family can barely afford food for themsleves, let alone to feed a stray dog. As Marty tries to find a way to save Shiloh, he faces some ethical dilemmas. Is a lie of ommision as bad a an outright lie? Does the abuse of the dog not override the ownership of the dog? How far will Marty go to keep Shiloh?

This is a great little story for young readers and dog lovers. I know a little girl age 8 who I'm planning to pass this along to. She's a modern kid though, and this cover doesn't appeal to her at all. If it was the movie edition with a live action photo, she'd be all over it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BLOGGING: It's Tuesday, where are you?

It's election day here in Canada. That's all the politics I want to talk about today, but I will say that on PEI, we get about 70 - 80% turnout, probably lower for federal elections rather than provincial. Elections are very big here on Prince Edward Island. For my Canadian pals, who will recognize the leaders, here's a little clip from The Rick Mercer Report that had my children laughing:

Now, where are we reading? I just left China in the 1800s with the beautiful story of Snow Flower and the Secret Fan (Lisa See) . I am getting ready to travel Europe with the People of the Book very soon (Geraldine Brooks). Where is reading taking you today?
Feel free to answer in the comments, or on your blog.

Monday, October 13, 2008

BOOK: Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See, 253 pages

around the world: China

I wanted to read this one during the Olympics but everyone else must have had that idea as it was highly requested at my library the past month. Once I got the book, I read it in two days. I've never read anything set in China, or anything about this culture. The extent of my exposure to ancinet China would be the movie Mulan.

It's all about women, and women in Chinese culture. Set in the mid-1800s, Lily is writing down her life story. It focuses on nu shu, an ancient secret language that women used exclusively to communicate amongst themselves. As Lily looks back on the events of her life, we are shown a world that stayed pretty isolated for a long time. The description of the foot binding process will stay with me for a long time, but also the reason why and how proud they were of their tiny feet. The rituals and superstitions that guided a woman's day, and life, are explained, with emphasis on duty and honor. It is mostly though, about the friendship between Lily and Snow Flower beginning when they are chosen to be old sames at age seven, much like spouses were bartered and negotiated by the matchmaker.

It was a tough life for women, their honor bound up, in their feet, and in the sons produced. I was torn between being upset at the lack of choices they had, and admiration for the strength and power they did have within their female world. At six their feet were bound and they were confined to the upstairs quarters. They were passed to their husband's family and became the lowest in that house, honoring the male family and in laws, especially the mother in law. The mothers were so controlling and unaffectionate, that by the time a woman finally got to be powerful, i.e. the mother of a son who had married, they seemed to take all their life disappointments out on the women now below them. The men didn't really have a large role in the family - bring home the money and produce boys. And yet, the women had friendships, and did control many family decisions.

If you haven't read this one yet, and I can't have been the very last person, I would recommend it as a powerful story of female friendship, and an historical look into old China.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

WEEKLY GEEKS: Scavenger Hunt (week #21)

All right! We are having a Weekly Geek Scavenger Hunt, to look at other blogs and share information, and to determine the title and author of the following first lines of 100 books. The goal is not to get all 100 right and google the answers. NO! It is to work together and share our knowledge. So, if any of you know the answer to the majority of lines that I didn't know, help me out. Leave me a comment with some help. To check, I tried googling "first line of book I thought it might be" to see if I was right. Sometimes yes, but then I didn't get the right answer from that.

Dewey says: A couple rules:

1. If you think you might know the source of some first lines but aren’t positive, it’s ok to google them to double-check, as I said. But googling all of them is cheating! Googling any of them because you’re stumped is also cheating! Googling something like “first lines of books” and getting a bunch of answers in one place is also cheating! The point is to get lots of WG blog-hopping going on, and if someone googles all the lines and posts all the answers right away, then the fun is over. SADFACE.

2. I found all these lines at one website. If you happen upon that site (or a similar one) in your googling, please avert your eyes as soon as you realize it. And please don’t tell anyone else the url of the site. I feel a little unethical posting all the lines from that site here without linking to it, so I’ll be sure to cite my source in next week’s post, when I announce the winner.

1. Call me Ishmael. Moby Dick, Herman Melville

2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen

3. A screaming comes across the sky. Gravity's Rainbow, Thomas Pynchon (thanks Joanne, Book Zombie)

4. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez

5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. Lolita, Nabokov

6. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Anna Karinina, Tolstoy

7. riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. Finnigan's Wake, James Joyce (thanks Eva )

8. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. 1984, Orwell

9. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. A Tale of Two Cities, Dicens

10. I am an invisible man. The Invisible Man, Ellison

11. The Miss Lonelyhearts of the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in trouble?—Do-you-need-advice?—Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you) sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard. Miss Lonelyhearts, Nathaneal West (thanks Rachel)

12. You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Twain (thanks Eva )

13. Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested. The Trial, Kafka (thanks Eva, I thought this might be Kafka)

14. You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler. If On a Winter's Night a Traveler, Calvino

15. The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. Murphy, Samuel Beckett (thanks maree)

16. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. Catcher in the Rye, Salinger

17. Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo. The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce (thanks Rachel)

18. This is the saddest story I have ever heard. The Good Soldier by Ford Maddox Ford (from nymeth, via softdrink)

19. I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing;—that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;—and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost:—Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,—I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that, in which the reader is likely to see me. Tristram Shandy, Laurence Sterne (thanks Susan)

20. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. David Copperfield, Dickens

21. Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. Ulysses, James Joyce (thanks Rachel)

22. It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. Paul Clifford, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, (thanks softdrink.)

23. One summer afternoon Mrs. Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary. Crying of Lot 49, Thomas Pynchon (thanks Joanne, Book Zombie)

24. It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not. City of Glass, Paul Auster >(thanks Joanne, Book Zombie)

25. Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. The
Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner (thanks Rachel)

26. 124 was spiteful. Beloved, Toni Morrison (thanks Eva )

27. Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing. Don Quixote, Miguel de Ceventes (thanks ice dream )

28. Mother died today. The Outsider/Stranger, Camus

29. Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu. Waiting, Ha Jin (thanks maree)

30. The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. Neuromancer, William Gibson (thanks book zombie, joanne)

31. I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man. Notes from Underground, Fyodor Dostoevsky (thanks Megan)

32. Where now? Who now? When now? The Unnameable, Samuel Beckett (from penryn's friend Mary)

33. Once an angry man dragged his father along the ground through his own orchard. “Stop!” cried the groaning old man at last, “Stop! I did not drag my father beyond this tree.”

34. In a sense, I am Jacob Horner.

35. It was like so, but wasn’t.

36. —Money . . . in a voice that rustled.

37. Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. Mrs Dalloway, Woolf

38. All this happened, more or less. Slaugher-House Five, Vonnegut (thanks ice dream )

39. They shoot the white girl first. Paradise, Toni Morrison (thanks sprite)

40. For a long time, I went to bed early. Swann's Way, Marcel Proust (thanks Rachel)

41. The moment one learns English, complications set in.

42. Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.

43. I was the shadow of the waxwing slain / By the false azure in the windowpane; Pale Fire, Vladimir Nabokov (from Amanda at 5-Squared, via softdrink)

44. Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. Their Eyes Were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston (thanks penryn)

45. I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story. Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
(thanks Susan)

46. Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex’s admonition, against Allen’s angry assertion: another African amusement . . . anyhow, as all argued, an awesome African army assembled and arduously advanced against an African anthill, assiduously annihilating ant after ant, and afterward, Alex astonishingly accuses Albert as also accepting Africa’s antipodal ant annexation.
* surely someone remembers reading this! Is the whole book A words? Or does the next paragraph have all B words?

47. There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C S Lewis (thanks maree)

48. He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway

49. It was the day my grandmother exploded.

50. I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974. Middlesex, Eugenides

51. Elmer Gantry was drunk. Elmer Gantry, Sinclair Lewis

52. We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.

53. It was a pleasure to burn. Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury

54. A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead. End of the Affair, Graham Greene >(thanks Joanne, Book Zombie)

55. Having placed in my mouth sufficient bread for three minutes’ chewing, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression. At Swim-Two-Birds, Flann O'Brien (from Jacqui via bookzombie)

56. I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho’ not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call’d me. Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Dafoe

57. In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street.

58. Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress.
Middlemarch, George Eliot (thanks Eva )

59. It was love at first sight. Catch-22, Heller (thanks Rachel)

60. What if this young woman, who writes such bad poems, in competition with her husband, whose poems are equally bad, should stretch her remarkably long and well-made legs out before you, so that her skirt slips up to the tops of her stockings?

61. I have never begun a novel with more misgiving. The Razor’s Edge, W. Somerset Maughm (thanks Tammy)

62. Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person. Back When We Were Grownups, Anne Tyler (thank you Valerie by way of softdrink )

63. The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children’s games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up.

64. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald

65. You better not never tell nobody but God. The Color Purple, Alice Walker (thanks Eva )

66. “To be born again,” sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, “first you have to die.” The Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie (thanks to Eva via dreamybee)

67. It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York. The Bell Jar, Plath (thanks Katherine)

68. Most really pretty girls have pretty ugly feet, and so does Mindy Metalman, Lenore notices, all of a sudden. The Broom of the System, David Foster Wallace (thanks Joanne)

69. If I am out of my mind, it’s all right with me, thought Moses Herzog. Herzog, Saul Bellow (thanks rachel )

70. Francis Marion Tarwater’s uncle had been dead for only half a day when the boy got too drunk to finish digging his grave and a Negro named Buford Munson, who had come to get a jug filled, had to finish it and drag the body from the breakfast table where it was still sitting and bury it in a decent and Christian way, with the sign of its Saviour at the head of the grave and enough dirt on top to keep the dogs from digging it up. Three, Flannery O' Connor (from ladytink, via softdrink)

71. Granted: I am an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there’s a peephole in the door, and my keeper’s eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me. The Tin Drum, Gunter Grass (thanks to melydia)

72. When Dick Gibson was a little boy he was not Dick Gibson.

73. Hiram Clegg, together with his wife Emma and four friends of the faith from Randolph Junction, were summoned by the Spirit and Mrs. Clara Collins, widow of the beloved Nazarene preacher Ely Collins, to West Condon on the weekend of the eighteenth and nineteenth of April, there to await the End of the World.

74. She waited, Kate Croy, for her father to come in, but he kept her unconscionably, and there were moments at which she showed herself, in the glass over the mantel, a face positively pale with the irritation that had brought her to the point of going away without sight of him. The Wings of the Dove, Henry James (thanks tammy)

75. In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains. A Farewell to Arms, Hemingway (thanks Susan)

76. “Take my camel, dear,” said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass. The Towers of Trebizond, Rose Macaulay (from lethe)

77. He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull. Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad (thanks Susan although now I realize I have that book here to read and obviously haven't read it yet!)

78. The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. The Go-Between, LP Hartley (thanks Katherine)

79. On my naming day when I come 12 I gone front spear and kilt a wyld boar he parbly ben the las wyld pig on the Bundel Downs any how there hadnt ben none for a long time befor him nor I aint looking to see none agen. Riddley Walker, Russell Hoban (thanks to maree by way of softdrink)

80. Justice?—You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law.

81. Vaughan died yesterday in his last car-crash. Crash, JG Ballard (thanks Susan)

82. I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. I Capture the Castle, Dodie Smith (thanks softdrink)

83. “When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets,” Papa would say, “she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing.” Geek Love, Katherine Dunn (thanks softdrink)

84. In the last years of the Seventeenth Century there was to be found among the fops and fools of the London coffee-houses one rangy, gangling flitch called Ebenezer Cooke, more ambitious than talented, and yet more talented than prudent, who, like his friends-in-folly, all of whom were supposed to be educating at Oxford or Cambridge, had found the sound of Mother English more fun to game with than her sense to labor over, and so rather than applying himself to the pains of scholarship, had learned the knack of versifying, and ground out quires of couplets after the fashion of the day, afroth with Joves and Jupiters, aclang with jarring rhymes, and string-taut with similes stretched to the snapping-point.

85. When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon. Last Good Kiss, James Crumely >(thanks Joanne, Book Zombie)

86. It was just noon that Sunday morning when the sheriff reached the jail with Lucas Beauchamp though the whole town (the whole county too for that matter) had known since the night before that Lucas had killed a white man.

87. I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as “Claudius the Idiot,” or “That Claudius,” or “Claudius the Stammerer,” or “Clau-Clau-Claudius” or at best as “Poor Uncle Claudius,” am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the “golden predicament” from which I have never since become disentangled. I Claudius, Robert Graves (thanks maree)

88. Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I’ve come to learn, is women. Middle Passage, Charles Johnson (from yasmin)

89. I am an American, Chicago born—Chicago, that somber city—and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent. The Adventures of Augie March, Saul Bellow (thanks to caite by way of comments at Ali at worducopia)

90. The towers of Zenith aspired above the morning mist; austere towers of steel and cement and limestone, sturdy as cliffs and delicate as silver rods. Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis (thanks Susan)

91. I will tell you in a few words who I am: lover of the hummingbird that darts to the flower beyond the rotted sill where my feet are propped; lover of bright needlepoint and the bright stitching fingers of humorless old ladies bent to their sweet and infamous designs; lover of parasols made from the same puffy stuff as a young girl’s underdrawers; still lover of that small naval boat which somehow survived the distressing years of my life between her decks or in her pilothouse; and also lover of poor dear black Sonny, my mess boy, fellow victim and confidant, and of my wife and child. But most of all, lover of my harmless and sanguine self.

92. He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad. Scaramouche, Rafael Sabatini (from Lana via Megan)

93. Psychics can see the color of time it’s blue.

94. In the town, there were two mutes and they were always together. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, Carson McCullers

95. Once upon a time two or three weeks ago, a rather stubborn and determined middle-aged man decided to record for posterity, exactly as it happened, word by word and step by step, the story of another man for indeed what is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal, a somewhat paranoiac fellow unmarried, unattached, and quite irresponsible, who had decided to lock himself in a room a furnished room with a private bath, cooking facilities, a bed, a table, and at least one chair, in New York City, for a year 365 days to be precise, to write the story of another person—a shy young man about of 19 years old—who, after the war the Second World War, had come to America the land of opportunities from France under the sponsorship of his uncle—a journalist, fluent in five languages—who himself had come to America from Europe Poland it seems, though this was not clearly established sometime during the war after a series of rather gruesome adventures, and who, at the end of the war, wrote to the father his cousin by marriage of the young man whom he considered as a nephew, curious to know if he the father and his family had survived the German occupation, and indeed was deeply saddened to learn, in a letter from the young man—a long and touching letter written in English, not by the young man, however, who did not know a damn word of English, but by a good friend of his who had studied English in school—that his parents both his father and mother and his two sisters one older and the other younger than he had been deported they were Jewish to a German concentration camp Auschwitz probably and never returned, no doubt having been exterminated deliberately X * X * X * X, and that, therefore, the young man who was now an orphan, a displaced person, who, during the war, had managed to escape deportation by working very hard on a farm in Southern France, would be happy and grateful to be given the opportunity to come to America that great country he had heard so much about and yet knew so little about to start a new life, possibly go to school, learn a trade, and become a good, loyal citizen.

96. Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space. Cat's Eye, Margaret Atwood (thanks Susan)

97. He—for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it—was in the act of slicing at the head of a Moor which swung from the rafters. Orlando, Virginia Woolf (thanks dreamybee)

98. High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of 1969, two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of 1200 miles per hour. Changing Places, David Lodge (from penryn, via softdrink)

99. They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did. The Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys (thanks Rachel)

100. The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. The Red Badge of Courage, Crane (thanks ice dream )

So, which obvious ones did I miss?

Monday update: sofdrink at fizzy thoughts has been working really hard to organize these quotes and getting people's ideas. I've been copying from her mostly, since at this point, I just need the list complete. There are still about 30 to get. Anyone?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

BOOK: When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson

When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson , 348 pages

2nds Challenge, Random House review book

Jackson Brodie, previous detective from Case Histories and One Good Turn, is back for Kate Atkinson's newest novel. The title hints at the bad news following some characters that permeates this page turner. There are some desperately sad people in this book, and as several stories overlap and intersect they prove Jackson's line near the end of the book, 'A coincidence is just an explanation waiting to happen.'

This story is more straight forward than One Good Turn. Atkinson takes some time to weave several characters and stories together, and then the twists started that had me rapidly turning the pages to see how it would end. Great characters and plot twists and humor and suspense.

Reggie Chase, sixteen but looks younger, is a nanny for Dr Joanne Hunter's baby. Reggie spends her time avoiding her no good brother, trying to get her high school degree, and being followed by bad luck. I wanted to hug her and cheer her on the whole time.
Dr Hunter's husband is having some business cash flow issues and then Dr Hunter herself goes missing.
Joanne Mason was six years old when her family was butchered by a serial killer, only she and her novelist father survived. The killer, Andrew Decker, is about to be released from prison after thirty years in jail.
Louise Monroe, Detective Chief Inspector in Scotland, has moved on from her attraction to Jackson in the last book, but hasn't stopped thinking about him (who could?) She is still a strong protector of women and the baddest ass cop around.
Jackson Brodie, he used to be a policeman. He always has to look for a missing woman; he can't turn that mystery down.

Once a train wreck is added to this assortment of characters, lives get intertwined and some blood is shed. I liked how so many nursery rhymes were woven into the writing, and pop references are flying everywhere. I'm sure I missed a lot, not being a British native, but I was able to identify many. The ending was a little vague but as hopeful as could be expected for these sad, sad people. Louise and Jackson are terrific characters, full of angst and both are the typical lone-wolf cop with commitment issues. Hopefully, they will be back to another book.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

BLOGGING: It's Tuesday, where are you?

I hab a cold. My dose is stuffed and my ears are plubbed. Yuck. I spent the weekend on the couch with Miss Julia, enjoying a comforting book without straining my head too much. A little reading, a little nap, a little reading, blow my nose. You get the drill. Quality tissue cannot be appreciated until you blow your nose every ten minutes.
Today, I am just beginning to wonder When There will be Good News in the English countryside. I am assuming there will be a murder and Jackson Brodie will be called in to investigate, but I am not that far into it yet. (Kate Atkinson)
If I am out and about and waiting somewhere for a lunch or for a ringette practise to end, I am finding Something Wicked This Way Came, and it looks like a circus is coming to town. Perfect for the Halloween season so far. (Ray Bradbury)
Where is reading taking you today? Play along in the comments or in your journal, and post back here. And you! Over there! You, lurking there quietly. Why not play along this week? It's fun to see where everyone is, and the more that play the merrier.

Monday, October 6, 2008

BOOK: Miss Julia Hits the Road by Ann B Ross

Miss Julia Hits the Road by Ann B Ross, 339 pages

series challenge

Apple crisp in the fall. Macaroni and cheese casserole on a winter day. Bread pudding any time. Comfort foods are not necessarily meant to be high cuisine, but they are tasty and reliable and bring back great memories of childhood. Miss Julia is a comfort read as I can usually fill a day with a book and enjoy some time in North Carolina with characters I know and enjoy. No earth shattering literature here, just a 'Southern comedy of manners', as I learn what outfit would be suitable for a motorcycle Poker Run, how a yard should be kept clean, and what topics are suitable for discussion in mixed company (not labor or Viagra type medication.)

Miss Julia continues to grow and thrive on her own after the death of her husband, Wesley Lloyd Springer. She is realizing some of the choices she missed out on during her marriage, and getting closer to Sam, in a romantic manner. That is one slow moving courtship. All the great characters are back - JP Pickins, Hazel Marie and Little Lloyd, Lillian, Binkie and Coleman, and Sam.

Best scene - Miss Julia convincing Emma Sue Ledbetter to enter a poker Run motorcycle event; and Miss Julia having to get changed out of her dress to ride a motorcycle as well.

SHORT STORY MONDAY: High Spirits by Robertson Davies

High Spirits by Robertson Davies

reviews continued... one more week should finish the book.

"The Cat That Went to Trinity"
A medical biophysics student named Frank Einstein builds a cat.... get it?Nice homage to Frankenstein.

"The Ugly Spectre of Sexism"
Women are admitted to Massey College and a battle of the sexes between ghosts occurs. Some stories are less memorable than others. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the battle of the sexes in the 1970s.

"The Pit Whence Ye Are Digged"
1974 and the anniversaries of the births and deaths of famous poets and politicians has everyone at a dinner transported back in time to 1774 to see what and who their ancestors were.

"The Perils of the Double Sign"
The genie is let out of the bottle and maybe some wishes are granted. Some political commentary on the NDP and the Conservatives is thrown in for fun, timely during this election season.

"Conversations With the Little Table"
William Lyon Mackenzie King is back with his spirits, our famous Prime Minister who was into mysticism and speaking to spirits. Davies puts himself in all of the stories as they are his experiences at the college and the haunting that occurs.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

WEEKLY GEEKS: Top Books Published in 2008 (week # 20)

Dewey says:
This week, let’s see if we can get our readers to help us come up with our one big top books of 2008 list. The more contributors we have, the more accurately our final list will reflect the book blogosphere’s opinions.

How to:
1. Please post about the project in your blog, asking your readers to make their own lists. Please refer them to
Weekly Geeks #19 for the details.

2. You can tell your readers that next week I’ll be giving away another box of 11 books from Hachette. ONLY bloggers who have made a top books of 2008 list will be eligible to enter. That means you, too, of course! By the way, I also have two other giveaways going on right now, one that’s open until the 6th and one that’s open until the 8th. Just in case you want to enter those.

3. Your readers who make lists should go back to Weekly Geeks #19 to leave their urls in the Mr Linky by October 11th. I’m not even going to put a Mr Linky in today’s post just because I don’t want the urls left in more than one place. That might confuse me and my wonderful helpers, Renay and Jackie. The url in the WG #19 post counts as an entry for the Hachette box of books, so if you already left your url there, you’re all set.

4. Every time one of your readers leaves a comment on the Weekly Geeks #19 post saying they heard about the top books of 2008 project from you, you get a bonus entry in the drawing.

I've made my list already, but I have a couple more I'm reading soon, hopefully before Oct 25th, so they can make the best of list this year, if they make it. I won one of those Hachette Box of Books and they are awesome. This one looks like it is timely for the election.

I'm not sure if I have any readers who aren't Weekly Geeks, but I'll post this regardless. I accidently published this before I meant to, so it's already on the google reader, but I'm not going to publish it again until Sunday.

Here's the books published in 2008 that I really want to read. I've seen them on other people's Top in '08 list, and I wish I had read already:
1. People of the Book -Geraldine Brooks*
2. When Will There Be Good News?- Kate Atkinson*
3. Heart and Soul - Maeve Binchy*
4. The Wednesday Sisters - Meg Waite Clayton
5. Songs for the Missing - Stewart O'Nan
6. That Potato Peel Book
7. The Sister - Poppy Adams*

*I have the book here, or just about

Saturday, October 4, 2008

BOOK: Who Killed Palomino Molero? by Mario Vargas Llosa

Who Killed Palomino Molero? by Mario Vargas Llosa, 150 pages

around the world reading: Peru

While browsing the library aisles for V authors, I found this little mystery set in Peru, 1950s. I am going to finish that A - Zed reading challenge this year! For those readers who like a short little mystery, this would be perfect for the 24 Hour read-a-thon, also for a peek at Peruvian life. As a part of my reading around the world, I am looking for mysteries when I can, a favorite genre but from other worldly points of view.

Two local Guardia police investigate the brutal torture and murder of a member of the local Air Force base. The deceased was from the local area, and I didn't completely understand the nuances of the class structure in Peru, in regards to locals, Air Force, and the town folk, but it was easy to see who was considered the lower level society. The police were not well supported, for example, they didn't have a vehicle, and had to walk or use the local taxi driver to get to places.

This isn't very long, so the mystery is not that complicated, but it was well written, and slowly more facts came out. There was nice balance between the police and their lives, the locals and their interactions, and the suspects. It's a stand-alone mystery from what I can see, which is too bad, because I would have liked to read another mystery with Lt Silva and Officer Lituma.

Friday, October 3, 2008

BOOK: A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews

A Complicated Kindness by Miriam Toews, 246 pages

2nd Canadian Book Challenge; 2nds Challenge (I read A Boy of Good Breeding); Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction

Nomi Nickel, Mennonite girl, trying to deal with her family falling apart. Her mother and sister have left the town, and Nomi is left with her father in their small, ultra religious community. Not a lot happens here, just a very sad little girl with her thoughts.

I found reading this book was like listening to a song in a minor key - it was very depressing, and the tone just kept getting more and more ominous. It's a testament to the writing that I was made to feel that way, progressively sadder and sadder. Poor Nomi with usual teenage problems about self and place in the world, compounded by abandonment by her mother and only sibling, and trying to hold her father together and deal with her change of faith. Toews writes well, but I have heard mixed reviews of this book. It may have won the Canada Reads in 2006, but I preferred her other novel, A Boy of Good Breeding, a quirkier read.

Thursday, October 2, 2008


What, in your opinion, is the best book that you haven’t liked? Mind you, I don’t mean your most-hated book–oh, no. I mean the most accomplished, skilled, well-written, impressive book that you just simply didn’t like.
Like, for movies–I can acknowledge that Citizen Kane is a tour de force and is all sorts of wonderful, cinematically speaking, but . . . I just don’t like it. I find it impressive and quite an accomplishment, but it’s not my cup of tea.
So . . . what book (or books) is your Citizen Kane?

Perhaps the whole Toni Morrison oeuvre? I don't like her stories, I don't connect with her writing, and yet she's won the Nobel prize for writing, and Oprah loves her novels. I remember watching an Oprah book club for Song of Solomon and the members were so moved, and profoundly affected, and I was just "Huh?"

Also, Lolita by Nabokov. I read the annotated edition, and the layers and allusions and parallels in that novel were enough to make a whole other novel. It was well written, in that every word was selected for a reason, and had an important function. I don't like to work that hard for my reading. I could never decide if I liked the book, because it was well written, but without all the notes, I would have missed so much, even pertinent plot points.

Some writers, the ones that readers connect with, write the way that matches their brain, the way their brain thinks. I think of Nick Hornby and Ken Jennings for example, as writers that I just nod the whole time I am reading. Others maybe don't like or connect with their reading, but it just matches the way my brain processes information. Writers I don't get must have their brain wired differently than mine or vice versa. That's why other readers will like them - their wiring matches.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

CHALLENGE: Genre Challenge

samantha at bookworms and tea lovers is hosting this fun looking challenge, with a variety of genres to choose books from.

November 1, 2008 – November 1, 2009

The goal: To read one book in the following genres.
Here's a list of potential reads, all subject to change.

crime fiction - drop
detective fiction - Voices - Arnaldur Indridason Dec 22/08
mystery fiction - Three Bags Full -Leonie Swann Jan 27/09
horror fiction - Lisey's Story - Stephen King Dec 30/08
thriller fiction - Too Close to Home - Linwood Barclay, Nov 11/08
romance fiction - Heart and Soul - Maeve Binchy, Dec 11/08
science fiction - The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau 02/23
action/adventure fiction - Gentlemen of the Road - Michael Chabon, Nov 29/08
fantasy fiction - Book of 1000 Days by Shannon Hale Jan 13/09
realistic fiction - drop
historical fiction -Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende Feb 6/09
western fiction - Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon Hale Jun 21/09

Specific definitions of these genres can be found in this post.

There are three options if you want to join:
A: Read 10 books, drop the genre you read the most and one of your own choosing
B: Read 11 books, drop the genre you read the most
C: Read 12 books

I think I'll do A, dropping my most usual read - realistic fiction, and also crime fiction. That leaves 10 books to read, a reasonable number for a challenge.

CHALLENGE: Non Fiction Five 2008 Update

I finished this one with a week to spare, but it felt rushed. Some nonfiction can take so long to read, especially when I'm trying to learn something at the same time. Thanks to Joy for hosting this one, I looked forward to picking some NF, which I don't do often enough. I liked all these books, and would easily recommend any of them.