Monday, June 30, 2008

CHALLENGE: What an Animal!

Kristi at Passion for the Page is hosting her first challenge. It looks easy enough once I checked my pile of books around here. Do you like animals?

1. Read at least 6 books that have any of these requirements:
a. an animal in the title of the book
b. an animal on the cover of the book
c. an animal that plays a major role in the book
d. a main character that is or turns into an animal (define that however you'd like ;>)).

2. The animal can be any type of animal (real or fictitious)--dog, cat, monkey, wolf, snake, insect, hedgehog, aardvark...dragons, mermaids, centaurs, fairies, get the idea...
3. Challenge runs from July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009. You can still sign up after July 1st as long as you can get 6 books read by June 30th ;>).
4. Books can be fiction or nonfiction.
5. You may make a list of books at the beginning of the challenge or just list them as you find them.
6. Books may be swapped out at anytime (assuming you made a list to begin with).
7. Crossover books with other challenges is permitted and encouraged.
8. You don't have to blog or write a review, but you can if you want to.
9. Sign up with Mr. Linky below. Please sign up with the specific post announcing the challenge if you are a blogger. If you do not blog, sign up with your name and leave the URL field blank. Thanks!
10. Have fun!!

I'm looking at:
1. The Camel Bookmobile by Masha Hamilton
2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
3. The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
4. Crow Lake by Mary Lawson
5. Maus 1 & II by Art Speigelman
6. Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson

Sunday, June 29, 2008

BOOK EVENT: Meet the Author

It was the LM Montgomery Institute Convention this weekend, with a large emphasis on the 100th anniversary of the publication of Anne of Green Gables. There are a lot of events surrounding the anniversary here on Prince Edward Island. A colleague of mine is acting in The Nine Lives of Lucy Maud that is playing this summer at the Georgetown Theater; I am hoping to finally get to see Anne & Gilbert, the Musical after several summers.

One of the more controversial events has been the publication of Before Green Gables by Budge Wilson. Well, somewhat controversial. I haven't read the book yet, and I wasn't sure if I wanted to. Ever since that last Anne movie, where she was running around the trenches of Europe during World War I, many fans like myself have been very wary of 'adaptations.' Don't mess with LM's original stuff! However, this time, the family of LM and a publisher contacted writer Budge Wilson to see if she was interested in writing a prequel.

She spoke of this dilemma herself today at a Author Reading today at Confederation Center. There were only about 20 of us there, braving the driving rain on beautiful PEI. Wilson was still gracious and wonderful, and we all got a chance to get a book signed if we wanted, and after a short reading, she took questions. She said her biggest question was 'Would LM approve of someone else writing this prequel?" And while she emphatically thought No, after thinking about it for a while, the bug got in her head and she really wanted to write it. There was contact with the heirs of LM to keep everything within their 'scope of imagination' as they take protecting Anne very seriously. (Although, I have to wonder why they ever let the province put Anne on our license plates?)

So, while many fans have their back up, I am open to reading it. Wilson is a great children's writer, and I have seen some favorable reviews. Someone on my google reader really liked it, but unfortunately I can't find that review now. It was good enough that it made me put the book on my mental TBR. I don't usually buy hardcover books as soon as they come out, but the chance to buy it and then get it signed was too good to pass up. I quite enjoyed Mrs Wilson today and her somewhat meandering talk. Her enthusiasm and respect for the history of Anne came through. I don't think I will reread Anne this year, I've read her so many times, but I am looking forward to the prequel. I particularly like how this edition looks so similar to the original Anne book of 1908.

BOOK: Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

Heart-Shaped Box by Joe Hill

notable books 2007, Heard it Through the Grapevine

Great suspenseful thriller and winner of the Bram Stoker Award 2007 for a first novel.

Jude Coyne, an aging heavy rocker collects young girlfriends and occult-ish items, so when he sees a ghost for sale on an E-Bay type site, he snaps it up. Bad decision. The book follows the ramifications of their interactions. It's hard to describe a good horror novel, because what makes it so good is the way the author takes you into an unbelievable world so perfectly and gradually that all of a sudden it has happened and you can't put it down and you can't look away and you don't want to know but you have to know. Hill has done this. It's like a great Stephen King novel. The kind where you wish it had been 2oo pages shorter but it was still very good. This is the one that is 200 pages shorter but still as good. Hill takes such a risk of comparison by writing a novel like his father would, but he pulls it off.

I'd recommend this as a book for the RIP III that might happen in the fall. Ghosts and festering wounds and vengeance all lead to a rip-roaring great spooky read. The rave review for the "I Heard it Through the Grapevine" challenge I remember was from kookiejar. Thanks for the suggestion.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

BOOK: American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

American Born Chinese by Gene Luen Yang

Graphic Novel Challenge

Jin Wang is having a hard time fitting in as the only Chinese-American at his high school.
The Monkey King, ruler of the monkeys in the world, is based on an old Chinese fable. The Monkey King wants to be king of all creatures, not just monkeys.
Chin-Kee is every stereotypical Chinese attribute you can imagine, all rolled up into one. He comes to visit his cousin Danny every year, and completely ruins Danny's life each time.

All three stories are interesting and compelling, and then they come together in the coolest way, with a moral of knowing and liking yourself above all else. There are plenty of other connections with Chinese fables and gods, and regular old teenage angst as well. The first graphic novel I read, Persepolis was all done in black and white, but this was in color and I liked the drawings. I'm not sure how many graphic novels I would ever read, but I did enjoy this one. I gave it to my friend who teaches high school English to see if she liked it. She's not sure yet about graphic novels and I thought this was a good one for her to try. This was a cool book, quick to read, and the winner of the 2007 Printz Honor book for Young Adults.

CHALLENGE: July Book blowout

Mrs S at Blue Archipelogo is hosting a summer Reading challenge called the July Book Blowout . Here's her rules:

  • The rules are simple - read as many books as you can between July 1 and 31 - and then by August 7 post a list of all of the books you read on your blog. Reviews are not required to take part.
  • How do I join in the fun?You can sign up any time between today and July 14 - just because I’m a bit slow to announce this!
  • To join you need to post about the Book Blowout on your blog - and set yourself a target number of books you will try to read - go on challenge yourself!
  • Use the Mr Linky below to link to that post so we can all see how many books you’re taking on in the Blowout
  • Post a list of the books you managed to read by the deadline of August 7 to complete the challenge
There are a few more guidelines at her blog, go check them out. I like the idea of not posting which books, just how many. My goal is to read 14 books. I've got a few chunksters and nonfiction that will slow me down so I'll keep it at my average number per month. I usually read more in the summer, so that should even things out.

I'll use this post to keep track of the books I read in July:
  1. Miss Julia Throws a Wedding - Ann B Ross
  2. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
  3. The Snack Thief - Andrea Camilleri
  4. The Night Watch - Sarah Waters
  5. The Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot
  6. Crow Lake - Mary Lawson
  7. Running With Scissors - Augusten Burroughs
  8. The Planets - Dava Sobel
  9. Maus I and II - Art Spiegelman
  10. A Fraction of the Whole - Steve Toltz
  11. Pretties - Scott Westerfeld
  12. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher - Kate Summerscale
  13. Things Fall Apart - Chinua Achebe
  14. The Birth House - Ami McKay

WEEKLY GEEKS: Challenge Updates (week #9)

Do you go to the new releases at the book store or the mark down table? Myself, I love a bargain. So I am going to take advantage of Dewey's mark down sale at the Graphics Novels Challenge. [Cue used-car salesman pitch] If you join now, you only have to read three, I said three, graphic novels. [end of commercial] I can do that in six months. I will read three graphic novels.

1. Maus I and Maus II - Art Spiegelman
2. The Borden Tragedy - Rick Geary
3. American Born Chinese - Gene Luen Yang
4. something else I can find at the library: Pedro and Me - Judd Winick

What else is new in my challenge situation? I've finished quite a few already:
Once Upon a Time II -done 5 just got done under the wire
novellas challenge - done 6
Canadian Book Challenge - done 13
Series Challenge - done 3 series completed,
Man Booker Challenge - done 6
Book Award Challenge - done 23
What's in a Name? - done 6
Austen Mini-Challenge - done 1 + 3 movies
YAC books - done 12
Themed Reading Challenge - done 8
Hometown Challenge -done 2
The Eponymous Challenge - done 4

Challenges I am close to finishing or working on:
Southern Reading Challenge 2008 May 15 - Aug 15 I've got 2/3 done, and Miss Julia is on order at the library. Maggie is the most awesomest hostess; Southern hospitality, y'all.

It's the End of the World - May - Sept 15, 2008 nothing done yet. 3 to read.

Nonfiction Five 2008 May 1 - Sep 30, 2008 2/5 done, but one per month is the schedule

Heard It Through the Grapevine May 1 - Nov 30, 2008 2/3 I started my last book here, and it is really good so far, so I'm just about done this challenge. Kookiejar raved about Heart Shaped Box. This was the easiest challenge, because based on my high quality reader friends, every book has been terrific!

342745 Ways to Herd Cats May 1 - Nov 30 2/3 done. One more to go. If I read Somethng Wicked This Way Comes, it will also be a 1950s for the decades challenge.

Orbis Terrarum Challenge April 1 - Dec 20, 2008 5/9 No problem here so far. I've liked this one a lot.

chunkster challenge 2 Jan - Dec 20, 2008 3/4. It will get done eventually.

A - Zed Author and Titles Challenge all year 2008 Titles: 23/26 woo hoo!
Authors: 19/26 this one is tougher

African Reading Challenge - all year 2008 4/6.

decades challenge - all year 2008 still have to read: 1990s, 60s, 50s, 30s, 20s, 10s.
I may have to join the Classics Challenge yet, since the books I'm missing would fit in nicely.

in their shoes - all year 2008 6/8. And I have a few on hand here.

Cardathon Challenge - all year 2008 8 read. essentially done, but I'd like to read a Card book. I just got Speaker for the Dead from the library for the summer.

notable books 2007 - all year 2008 6/8 Heart-Shaped Box goes here too.

In the Pub - all year 2008 8/8, I just finished Mudbound

mini-challenges 2008 11/12 just looking for a book event on PEI to attend. With the 100th anniversary of Anne of Green Gables, I should be able to find something here.

Science Book Challenge - all year 2008 1/3. I bought 2 physics books for the summer, also my Nonfiction 5 books.

888 challenge: 51/64 with 4 of the categories completely finished

I'm in 4 ongoing challenges: read the Pulitzers, read the Bookers, Around the World in 80 books and Booking around the States. My status:
Pulitzers: 8 read, none this year
Booker: 8 in total, 3 from this year
Around the World: 31 in total, 8 from this year
Booking the States: 17 total, 6 from this year

I haven't started any of these yet:
A Well-Rounded Challenge - July 1 - Dec 31, 2008
1% Well Read Challenge May1 '08 - Feb '09
Soup's On! April 1, 2008 - March 31, 2009
Book Awards Challenge II Aug 1 - June 1, 2009
2nd Canadian Book Challenge, Eh? starts July 1, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

BOOK: Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

Mudbound by Hillary Jordan

Southern Reading Challenge; pub in '08

My son just said to me, "Didn't you just start that book yesterday?" Always the sign of a good book, one that I just race through. I've been reading some good reviews of this one in the Southern Reading Challenge. It's a classic southern novel, tackling racist life in Mississippi just after the second world war. Told from several different points of view, two families - one black and one white, living on the same farm, deal with a terrible tragedy. Several characters, all likable in their own ways, narrate the action.

There's Laura. A city woman who married late, she loves her older husband, but with the return of Henry's younger charming brother from the war, she is forced to examine the decisions she has made.

Henry has a strong sense of family obligation. He tries to do the right thing, but living in the Mississippi Delta, racist behaviour is ingrained. He takes his hateful father in to live with his wife and children, even though Pappy makes everyone miserable. Henry just wants to own land, and be a farmer, but loyalty and proper behaviour is important too.

Florence is the wife of Hap, the black tenant farmer. She's a midwife who comes to help out Laura in the cabin. Her son Ronsel has just returned from the war, and he isn't fitting in on the farm.

Ronsel was a decorated soldier in an all black battalion and is having a hard time adjusting to his subservient role in town after the freeing life he was able to live in Europe. He and Jamie bond over their war memories and are able to forget the race differences, much to the consternation of all the families.

And Jamie. He is really the catalyst for much of the tension - with his father, his brother, his sister-in-law, and with Ronsel. Pappy never narrates, but the level of hatred I felt as I read about him made him a character unable to narrate.

There is much tackled in this novel, but it all flows so seamlessly, that it wasn't until I tried to write a summary that I realized how complex this was. Life in Mississippi before Dr King and the civil rights movement, the returning soldiers from war who are unable to fit back into their former life, and the different types of love within a family are the main ideas I noticed.

Thanks to Maggie for sending me the book! I won it in the Haiku contest of the Southern Reading Challenge for my haiku from The Secret Life of Bees. And it's autographed.

BLOGGING: It's Tuesday, where are you?

Where is reading taking you today?

I am in 1950s Mississippi living on a Mudbound farm, and there are racial issues. There is an intenseness here, but I am flying through it. (Hillary Jordan)

I also just bought a ghost on Ebay. I think it will be delivered in a Heart-Shaped Box. (Joe Hill)

Summer is here finally! We graduated the grade 12s on Friday, and this week at school is cleaning, organizing, and professional development, and eating lunch out. It's such a big treat when usually I'm stogging a sandwich in while in the physics lab, or while on duty in the cafeteria, supervising 600 or so teenagers. Today I tried a new deli downtown, and had a curried chicken on rosemary focaicia bread, with a side green salad. MMmmmmmm.

Monday, June 23, 2008

BOOK: A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif

A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif

in the pub '08; Orbis Terrarum challenge:Pakistan; randomhouse review book

In 1988, a plane carrying the President of Pakistan crashed, killing the President - military dictator General Zia, some generals, and the American Ambassador, Arnold Raphel. This book looks at what may have caused the crash and the death of the General Zia.

I had to look up at wikipedia to see how much was true. And when I saw this picture of General Zia-ul-Haq, I can see where this story came from, because doesn't this face belongs in an amusing story? The crash of the plane was never explained, so Hanif writes this amusing look at army double-crossing and plots from an assortment of people with motive to assassinate the leader. I imagine leading a military coup and killing your predecessor is somewhat like marrying the man who cheated on his wife with you: eventually it will happen the other way. Cheaters cheat again, and someone will try to assassinate you.

There are many plot threads and characters and as usual I found it somewhat difficult to follow all that wasn't explicitly stated. Espionage stories can be tricky for me - I am that person in the theatre asking 'Who was that? Was that the husband? What just happened?' It doesn't lessen my enjoyment though. I just have a hard time keeping track of characters.

The setting of 1988 means the Afghan-Soviet war is still going on. The roles of the Pakistanis and Americans and the CIA are noted here, and OBL makes a cameo appearance at a party. Nice touch and a part of the absurdity present in the book.

This was a good book to use for the Orbis Terrarum because I feel I have a greater understanding of Pakistan. It was amusing, but when a book is described as 'very funny' it sets up a lot of expectations for the reader. It takes a while for the author to set up all the possible causes of the death, but by the end, it all comes together nicely. The book is mostly narrated by a young soldier, junior officer Shigri, intent on revenge for the death of his father.

(I'm not very good at summaries; my reviews are more impressions. Here's a summary if you like that sort of thing)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

LIST: EW top books from 1983 - 2008

It's the list from EW of the 100 most, something, books published since 1983. Maybe it's best book, maybe books that should be classic. I've read 27% of them, which isn't too shabby. I must be EW's demographic.
in red are the books I've read.
in blue are the books I have in the house already, waiting to be read.

1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)
2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
4. The Liars' Club, Mary Karr (1995)
5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988) Mar 14/09
18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
20. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)
22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)
24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)
25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)
26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001) Jan/09
30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
31. The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990)
32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
36. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)
41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)
47. World's Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)
48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)
51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)
53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)
58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)
62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)
66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004) Jan/09
71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004) Feb/09
86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)
90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
98. The Predators' Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)
99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)

Who's missing? I'd like to see at least one by Douglas Coupland, Stephen King. How about Pillers of the Earth by Follett? The Bone People by Hulme? Life of Pi by Martel? A Fine Balance by Mistry?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

BOOK: A Long Way Gone by Ishmael Beah

A Long Way Gone: memoirs of boy soldier by Ishmael Beah

African Reading Challenge: Sierra Leone; in their shoes; notable books challenge

I wanted to make sure that the author's picture was included with this review. His beautiful smile makes such a contrast to the life he has led. I remember seeing Beah on The Daily Show last year and wanting to read his memoirs of his life in Sierra Leone. However, the similarities between this book and The Cellist of Sarajevo are making me crave a much lighter book. Each of these books has been excellent, and worth while and I would recommend them, but the whole civil war with civilians in the crossfire while nobody does anything is beginning to make me ill. The idea that a group can decide it's alright to kill everyone is just so unfair. Where does all this hate come from?

Beah starts the book as an eleven year old interested in rap, walking to his buddy's house with some friends. The rebels start attacking and this group of young boys end up living in the woods, trying to survive. They can't go home and there is no where else for them to go. Villagers are scared of them, the rebels and the army are all trying to kill them. Eventually they end up recruited and saved by the army, but with a price: they are now soldiers. I imagine he glosses over the worst of the atrocities, but there are still terrible descriptions of killing in this book. Just when I wasn't sure if I could read any more, UNICEF and some NGO's step in and get the boy soldiers to rehabilitation camps. Beah tells his story up to his escape from Sierra Leone to the United States.

I'm glad I read this book, I am glad that the UN is working to save these boys, I am glad that Beah survived and has written this book about his amazing life.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

BOOK: The Complete Fairy Tales by Oscar Wilde

The Complete Fairy Tales by Oscar Wilde

Once Upon a Time II challenge

The Importance of Being Ernest is a play I studied several times in university and I really enjoyed it. Last summer I read the highly lauded novel The Picture of Dorian Grey and found it too boring. One good and one bad. Fairy Tales is my deciding book and I'm leaning toward boring. There is nothing wrong with the stories, but I never became engrossed. I found the writing slightly dated but it wasn't too serious. Overall, just an OK read. I really think it is me though; the tales just didn't appeal to me.

It has taken me a month to finish this last book for the Once Upon a Time II Challenge. I finished the first half, a collection called The Happy Prince and then it took me until the deadline was looming to pick up The Pomegranate Stories. The Happy Prince includes the title story about a statue who gives his jewels to the poor people of his town; The Selfish Giant which was a story I first heard in one of those reader books my children have brought home in grade 1. And when I read back these summaries now, I like the stories. I haven't been able to pinpoint what disappointed me about the stories, but I would be put to sleep as I read each one. It's not as if I don't like short stories either, because I do. Maybe not being familiar with the stories first makes them seem strange as I'm not appreciating the repetitive quality.

Common themes to fairy tales include repetition of three, princesses and kings, ogres, connection with the magical world, dark themes. All the good stuff is here. I think I would appreciate them individually written in children's book. So it's not the story, it's the writing. I think my crush on Oscar is gone. I'm sure lots of people would like these stories so don't let my opinion here alter yours. The whole fairy tale genre has been hit or miss with me this challenge. I need to get back to my mysteries.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

BLOGGING: It's Tuesday, where are you?

Where is reading taking you this week?

I am still in Pakistan with a Case of Exploding Mangoes; very slowly visiting Sierra Leone because I don't really want to watch a boy turn into a soldier (a long way gone.) And since the library is reminding me about a book due in a few days, I am meeting a mind reading waitress named Sookie who is attracted to a vampire and I am trying to finish it soon. (Dead Until Dark)

I don't find it easy to have a few books on the go. I generally hope that one will draw me in and then take over. None of my books are doing that right now, but that has as much to do with my brain right now as anything. We are gearing up for high school graduation, and that is a lot of work getting the program ready. I have to concentrate so hard at school that my brain is fried when I get home.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

WEEKLY GEEKS: Catch Up On Reviews (week #6)

I'm not only catching up on reviews, I'm catching up on Weekly Geeks. I completely copied Kristi at Passion for the Page because like her, I am up to date on my reviews. I nearly always write my book reviews immediately after reading the book. I'm afraid if I got into the habit of not writing them as soon as I finished, that I would never get them done. I have a strong procrastination trait and have to trick myself into doing things so I don't put them off. My poor students have learned that I am not quick at evaluating and returning their work.

I made posts of the books I've read and reviewed, sorted alphabetically by title and author. It took me most of the week but I am pleased to have this organized now and it will never be such a big job again. I'll add this to my sidebar as well, so it will be easy for me to find.

Alphabetical by Author

Alphabetical by Title

WEEKLY GEEKS: Scavenger Hunt (week #8)

How fun! A scavenger hunt for week 8 of weekly geeks. I hope I am doing this correctly: I am going to the blogs of fellow weekly geekers and using the search feature to find posts containing these keywords, and then linking back here with the post that contains that word. The goal is to get the most keywords with the biggest variety of geeks, er, bloggers. I'm starting my post today and then I will update as I add more keywords.

No copying! right? It's a complete coincidence that the first ones I've done are the same as tiny little librarian's, which I didn't realize until I went to her blog to find a word and realized with horror I'd done the same first five blogs as she. How did that happen?

1. (THE PRIZE. Did you find it?) dewey theprizeisasubscriptiontoBookmarksmagazines
2. youtube bybee naked without books
3. war joystory (interestingly, this word was in a post about peace)
4. Sunday Salon wendy Caribou's mom
5. Buy a Friend a Book Megan leafing through life
6. BTT (or Booking Through Thursday) JC Montgomery the biblio brat
7. omnibus eva a striped armchair (I'm still not sure what an omnibus is?)
8. Speculative fiction nymeth things mean a lot
9. Short stories Trish at Trish's Reading Nook
10. Ani Difranco (or just Ani) stephanie the Written World (I am totally cheating on this one. It came up as Ani the lead character in The Goose Girl. Who is Ani Difranco, and what geek wrote something about her???)
11. Printz tinylittle librarian
12. Man Booker Prize (or just Booker) katrina
13. Newbery suey
14. Mother Talk dewey
15. interview Aaron that's the book!
16. history guatami tripathy
17. glbt pussreboots
18. fantasy chris stuff as dreams are made of
19. film Rhinoa's Ramblings (I couldn't get the individual post link)
20. giraffe florinda the 3 R's
21. biography MOG's Book Blog
22. Geraldine Brooks heather age 30
23. graphic novels chain letters
24. classics katherine a girl walks into a bookstore
25. faerie Valentina's Room
26. Amelie tanabata I was expecting something about the movie, which is excellent BTW.
27. doo doo doo debi 3 posts, each with a (Scooby) Doo
28. 24 Hour Read-a-thon confuzzled books
29. etsy chris at book-a-rama (Check out Caper Chris's stuff too)
30. poetry maree just add books
31. Bookmooch somer
32. allessandra out of the blue
33. R.E.M.
34. Bookworms Carnival the Armenian Odar
35. library susan just books
36. Lost (must refer to the TV series) j at jellyjules
37. Six Feet Under Jackie literary escapism
38. ReadingAnimals (I’m featuring her because I feel bad that I can’t figure out how to comment at her blog.) here
39. hedgehog
40. pregnant Nadia the bookworm
41. nosebleed (or nose bleed) andi tripping towards lucidity
42. 42 (No, that’s not a mistake; number 42 is to find the digit 42.) becky's books
43. herding cats renay bottle of shine
44. Django Reinhardt
45. A.S. Byatt melissa the book nut
46. Homer(The next three are suggestions from my son.) adventures in reading in review of Penelopiad
47. ROFL
48. cheezburger (must be spelled with Z!) terri b tip of the iceberg
49. d20
50. 50.-?: Each participant gets to put one keyword in the comments, so keep coming back to check on them if you’re trying for the prize!
50. Little Critter
51. translated Melody's reading corner
52. dumpster
53. Orson Scott Card stephanie confessions of a book aholic
54. tite kubo
55. pavement jenclair book garden
56. magic realism teddyrose so many precious books
57. search susan you can never have too many books
58. nerdfighter(s)

LIST: Alphabetical Books, by Title

Titles Alphabetical

28 Stories of AIDS in Africa by Stephanie Nolen
84 Charing Cross Road by Helen Hanff

American Gods - Neil Gaiman
Among the Shadows by LM Montgomery
Assasination Vacation by Sarah Vowell
Arthur & George by Julian Barnes
The Amber Spyglass by Philip Pullman
Atonement by Ian McEwen
Alentejo Blue - Monica Ali
Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Ladvik
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz -Mordecai Richler
All in Together Girls - Kate Sutherland
The Awakening - Kate Chopin
American Born Chinese - Gene Luen Yang
The Art of Mending - Elizabeth Berg
The Age of Persuasion - Terry O'Reilly & Mike Tennant
The Ask and the Answer - Patrick Ness

Bridge to Terabithia, Katherine Paterson
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
The Boy Who Lost his Face by Louis Sachar
The Blind Assassin - Maragaret Atwood
The Bone People - Keri Hulme
Bloodletting and Miraculous Cures -Vincent Lam
The Baron in the Trees - Italo Calvino
Booked to Die by John Dunning
The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak
Beauty by Robin McKinley
Black Swan Green - David Mitchell
a boy of good breeding - Miriam Toews
The Bleeding Dusk by Colleen Gleason
Brainiac - Ken Jennings
Before Green Gables - Budge Wilson
The Birth House - Ami McKay
The Bridal Wreath (Kristen Lavendatter) - Sigrid Undset
The Bookshop, Penelope Fitzgerald
Broken For You - Stephanie Kallos
The Book of Negroes - Lawrence Hill
Bethlehem Road - Anne Perry
The Brontes Went to Woolworths - Rachel Ferguson

Christmas Tree by David Adam Richards
The Cricket on the Hearth by Cahrles Dickens
A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas
A Christmas Memory by Truman Capote
The Christmas Thief by Mary Higgins Clark
A Confederacy of Dunces: John Kennedy Toule
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
The Chatham School Affair - Thomas C Cook
Cloud of Bone - Bernice Morgan
The Case of the Missing Books by Iam Sansom
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Call of the Wild - Jack London
The Cellist of Sarajevo - Steven Galloway
A Case of Exploding Mangoes - Moahmmed Hanif
Crow Lake - Mary Lawson
Crossfire - Miyuke Miyabe
Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
Cutting for Stone - Abraham Verghese
The Cruelest Month - Louise Penny

The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris
Dead Cold - Louise Penny
Deloume Road - Matthew Hooton

Ender's Game - Orson Scott Card
Everything's Eventual by Stephen King
The Echo Maker - Richard Powers
Elizabeth Costello - JM Coetzee
Ex-Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things by Carolyn Mackler
Eleanor Rigby - Douglas Coupland
The End of East - Jen Sookfong Lee
Every Last One - Anna Quindlen

Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler
Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler by EL Konisburg
Fighting Ruben Wolfe - Markus Zusak
A Fraction of the Whole - Steve Toltz
Foreign Affairs - Alison Lurie

Good Omens - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett
Gods and Monsters by Christopher Bram
The Gun Seller, Hugh Laurie
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Galileo's Daughter by Dava Sobel
Good Intentions by Joy Fielding
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
The Gathering by Anne Enright
The God of Small Things - Arundhati Roy
The Goose Girl - Shannon Hale
Gods Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips
Good to a Fault - Marina Endicott
Girl in Hyacinth Blue - Susan Vreeland
The Green Mill Murder - Kerry Greenwood
The Girls - Lori Lansens

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
His Dark Materials Trilogy - Philip Pullman
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Hound of the Baskervilles, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
History of the World in 10.5 Chapters by Julian Barnes
House of Meeting - Martin Amis
Half of a Yellow Sun - Chimamanda Ngozi Aldichie
Housekeeping vs the Dirt by Nick Hornby
Hockey Dreams - David Adams Richard
How to be a Canadian - Will and Ian Ferguson
Heart-Shaped Box - Joe Hill
Hotel du Lac - Anita Brookner
Hypothermia - Arnaldur Indridason
How I Live Now - Meg Rosoff

Irish Stories for Christmas by John B Keane
The Indian in the Cupboard, Lynn Reid Banks
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Istanbul: Memories and the City - Orhan Pamuk
In the Country of Men - Hisham Matar
Ignorance - Milan Kundera
I Am the Messenger - Markus Zukas
The Inuk Mountie Adventure - Eric Wilson
Ishmael - Daniel Quinn
The Interloper - Antoine Wilson
The Invention of Hugo Cabret - Brian Selznick
I Feel Bad About My Neck - Nora Ephron
The Incident Report - Martha Baillie
Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri

Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
The Jane Austen Book Club - Karen Joy Fowler

Killer Swell by Jeff Shelby
The Kalihari School of Typing for Men - Alexander McCall Smith
Kitchen - Banana Yoshimoto
The Knife of Never Letting Go - Patrick Ness

The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Lolita - Vladimir Nabakov
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis
Life and Times of Michael K by JM Coetzee
A Lesson Before Dying - Ernest J Gaines
The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid by Bill Bryson
Lorelei by Lori Derby Bingley
The Lost Salt Gift of Blood -Alistair MacLeod
Latitudes of Melt - Joan Clark
A Long Way Gone - Ishmael Beah
Let it Snow - John Green, Lauren Myracle, Maureen Johnson
Lamb - Christopher Moore
A Little Yellow Dog - Walter Mosley

My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
Mercy by Jodi Picoult
Monkfish Moon by Romesh Gunesekera
The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
Murder on a Girl's Night Out by Anne George
Miss Julia Speaks Her Mind: Ann B. Ross
Miss Julia Takes Over - Ann B Ross
Miss Julia Throws a Wedding - Ann B Ross
Maniac Magee - Jerry Spinelli
Mister Pip - Lloyd Jones
Mudbound - Hillary Jordan
Maus I and II - Art Spiegelman
Major Pettigrew's Last Stand - Helen Simonson
The Missing Ink - Karen E. Olson
Maisie Dobbs - Jacqueline Winspear
Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont - Elizabeth Taylor
Motorcycles & Sweetgrass - Drew Hayden Taylor

Night, Elie Wiesel
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman
Never Let Me Go by Kazou Ishiguro
Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn
Never Have Your Dog Stuffed - Alan Alda
The Night Watch - Sarah Waters
The Nine Lives of Charlotte Taylor - Sally Armstrong
The Number Devil - Hans Magnus Enzenburger
Nellie McClung - Charlotte Gray
Nikolski - Nicolas Dickner
Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List - Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

O Pioneers!, Willa Cather
One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
Other Colors by Orhan Pamuk
One Good Turn - Kate Atkinson
The Other Boleyn Girl - Philippa Gregory
On the Water - HM van den Brink
The Outcast by Sadie Jones
Out Backward (also released as God's Own Country)- Ross Raisin

A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde
The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Partners in Crime, Agatha Christie
The Princess of Burundi by Kjell Eriksson
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Pedro Paramo - Juan Rulfo
Persepolis 1 and 2 - Marjane Satrapi
Princess Academy - Shannon Hale
The Princess Diaries - Meg Cabot
The Planets - Dava Sobel
Pretties - Scott Westerfeld
Poppy Shakespeare - Clare Allan
Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Prophesy of the Sisters - Michelle Zink
Paper Towns - John Green

Quite a Year for Plums - Bailey White
The Quirks and Quarks Guide to Space - Jim Lebans
Q's Legacy - Helene Hanff

The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason
Rises the Night by Colleen Gleason
The Road by Cormac McCarthy
Restless by William Boyd
Reef by Romesh Gunesekera
The Remains of the Day by Kazou Ishiguro
Reading Lolita in Tehran -Azar Nafisi
The Ravine by Paul Quarrington
Remember Me? by Sophie Kinsella
Running With Scissors - Augusten Burroughs
Red Mandarin Dress - Qiu Xiaolong
The Rehearsal - Eleanor Catton

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde, Robert Louis Stevenson
The Stranger, Albert Camus
Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris
Shakespeare's Champion by Charlaine Harris
Shakespeare's Christmas by Charlaine Harris
Shakespeare's Trollop - Charlaine Harris
Shakespeare's Counsellor - Charlaine Harris
The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman
Silence of the Grave by Arnaldur Indridason
Shadow Family - Miyuki Miyabe
The Shape of Water - Andrea Camilleri
The Swallows of Kabul - Yasmina Khadra
The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
So Long, Jackie Robinson by Nancy Russell
Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Stardust - Neil Gaiman
Shopaholic and Baby - Sophie Kinsella
The Snack Thief - Andrea Camilleri
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher -Kate Summerscale
The Stone Diaries - Carol Shields
Small Wars - Sadie Jones
Sky Burial - Xinran
Special Topics in Calamity Physics - Marrisha Pessl
Souvenir of Canada - Douglas Coupland
Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley
The Spellman Files - Lisa Lutz
She Got Up Off the Couch - Haven Kimmel
Sacred Cows - Karen E. Olson
The Swimming Pool - Holly LeCraw
Shades of Grey - Jasper Fforde

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Seterfield
The Translator by Leila Aboulela
This Blinding Absence of Light by Tahar Ben Jelloun
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
The Terra Cotta Dog - Andrea Camilleri
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith
The Tenth Gift - Jane Johnson
Through Black Spruce - Joseph Boyden
The Tale of Hill Top Farm - Susan Wittig Albert
Truth - Peter Temple
A Tangled Web - LM Montgomery

Uglies by Scott Westerfield
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides
Veronika Decides to Die - Paulo Coehlo
Vegan Virgin Valentine - Carolyn Mackler
Vinyl Cafe Diaries - Stuart McLean
Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre

A Wrinkle in Time, Madelaine L'Engle
We Need to Talk About Kevin - Lionel Shriver
Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
Wife of the Gods - Kwei Quartey
Why Shoot a Butler? - Georgette Heyer
We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson
The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins

The Year of Secret Assignments - Jaclyn Moriarty
Yellowknife - Steve Zipp
Zlato's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajavo
Zombie - Joyce Carol Oates
Zel - Donna Jo Napoli
Z for Zachariah - Robert C O'Brien