Sunday, January 31, 2010

BOOK: The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald

The Bookshop by Penelope Fitzgerald, 123 pages

Bibliophilic Challenge; Booker shortlist 1979

Very short novella about a woman, in 1959 England, who decides to open a bookshop, to ensure "that she existed in her own right". She had lived in the small town for almost ten years, after her husband had died. Ah, but small towns are fickle things, and she encounters some obstacles that she really can't do much about. It's a bit of a sad story, with some interesting characters, and a peek at a life in a different time and place.

The writing is what stands out, because the words are used carefully, and describe a place and people very well, and are used sparingly. Florence isn't the book lover that you'd hope for in a book about a bookshop, but there is a reference to Lolita, as she has to decide if she will carry the book, if it is okay to sell in the small town. However, the book is just too short to get attached to any characters. It's an okay read for me, with a few surprises along the way.

Some lines I noticed and particularly liked:

She drank some of the champagne, and the smaller worries of the day seemed to stream upwards as tiny pinpricks through the golden mouthfuls and to break harmlessly and vanish. p21

She would have liked to have been instrumental in passing some law which would entail that he would never be unhappy again. p47

The teapot basked in front of it, the room grew close, and the difference in age between Christine and Florence seemed less, as though they were no more than two stages of the same woman's life. p65

also reviewed by:
Robin at A Fondness for Reading
Jodie at Estella's Revenge
Susan at You Can Never Have Too Many Books
Eva at A Striped Armchair

I managed 9 novels this January, I really thought I could make it to ten. This year I blame reading a big chunk of The Woman in White, but not finishing it, and since I had started The Jade Peony in December, I couldn't count it either. I had fun though, trying to get the pretty gold badge. The books read in January for NaJuReMoNoMo include:

1. Poppy Shakespeare - Clare Allan
2. Crossfire - Miyuke Miyabe
3. Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
4. Snow Angels - James Thompson
5. Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley
6. The Incident Report - Martha Baillie
7. I am Morgan Le Fay - Nancy Springer
8. The Spellman Files - Lisa Lutz
9. The Bookshop - Penelope Fitzgerald

Saturday, January 30, 2010

BOOK: The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz, 447 pages

Book Awards IV: Alex Award 2008; new author challenge

If you grew up in a house where both your parents were private investigators, I imagine your sense of' appropriate behaviour' would be a little off. Especially if you started working in the family business as a teenager, learning the ins and outs of surveillance, and having no sense of privacy. Izzy Spellman was that person, and at twenty-eight, still lives at home and works for the family. This is one messed up, but hilarious, family.

Izzy narrates the story, which has a bit of a mystery, but also tells the dysfunctional wars that develop within her family. New boyfriend for Izzy, one that mom hasn't set up with a lawyer? Put him under surveillance to look for any bad habits. Crazy stuff like that. Izzy's siblings, older brother David, is a perfect lawyer type, but his dysfunction shows as he continually 'negotiates' with everyone, subtle forms of blackmail or coercion. Younger sister Rae, a PI in the making, is a recreational surveillanceer, following random people instead of doing her homework. The steps she takes to get out of summer camp are crazy.

To summarize: lots of fun, with a dash of mystery, and interesting characters which I've only hinted at. This book won the Alex Award, which is given to books that can crossover between Young Adult and adult novels. There are two more books about the crazy Spellman family, The Curse of the Spellmans and Revenge of the Spellmans.

also reviewed by:
joy at thoughts of joy
shelf elf
kristi at passion for the page

Friday, January 29, 2010

BOOK: I am Morgan Le Fay by Nancy Springer

I am Morgan Le Fay by Nancy Springer,227 pages
a tale from Camelot

Young Adult Challenge; New Author Challenge

I knew very little about the legend of Camelot - I recognize some names and I've seen Monty Python's Search for the Holy Grail. From what I gather, this book looks at the beginning of King Arthur and the story of his half-sister Morgan. I was by times enchanted and by times bored, as fantasy is not my usual reading and I don't always 'get' it all. However, it was readable (and short) and I can see the appeal of Camelot.

Much of the book takes place at Avalon, before Arthur is crowned, and I like the power that the women had there, and it made me more interested in reading the classic book The Mists of Avalon. Springer has written several other books about the Camelot era. I am also very interested in reading Springer's other series, Enola Holmes, sister of Sherlock Holmes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

GAME: The Bookword Game

I'd like to read Revolutionary Road, but it's been screen-plagued by Leo diCaprio and Kate Winslett, (although Leo can screen plague my books any time, ba dum dum.) Thanks to Julie, I can say now this. Her word was the winning entry in this week's edition of The Bookword Game.

Screen-plagued is the word to describe the situation where you are reading a book, and you end up being able to only picture the character as the actor that portrays that character.

Next up: suggestions for a book that makes you want to travel to the location of the setting.

Leave suggestions in the comments for the next week. Think on it, mull it over, and see what we can come up with. Suey will have a vote next week. Deadline for nominations is next Wednesday, so don't leave it too late!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

BOOK: The Incident Report by Martha Baillie

The Incident Report by Martha Baillie, 197 pages

Bibliophilic Challenge; Giller Longlist 2009

This quiet book snuck up on me and was a delightful little read. Miriam, a librarian in a downtown Toronto library, writes her reports, 144 in all, that chronicle her lonely life, and events from the library. Lots of interesting characters, many seemingly disturbed or maybe just a little off, cause Miriam to refer often to the Manual for Conduct for Encounters with Difficult Patrons. (As an aside, more jobs should have manuals like that!)

Miriam's narrative voice was controlled, and careful, and hints as the way she tries to control her life. Gradually, the reports begin to include more of her sad past, and the more hopeful present. The writing was lyrical and poetic, and the fact that so much happened, spoken and unspoken, is surprising to me, after the fact. I am amazed, really, at how much story happened in such a short time, so many vivid characters described, and how much Miriam said by not saying it.

I'm making this the first entry in the Bibliophilic challenge, though while not strictly about books, it is about libraries and librarians, which is about reading. As a bonus, it's epistolary, a favorite style of writing. It certainly isn't going to cause anyone to decide to be a librarian - it's made me think about all the people in society who use the library.

also reviewed by:
melwyk the indextrious Reader

BOOK: Snow Angels by James Thompson

Snow Angels by James Thompson, 264 pages

Early Reviewer book (first one I've won in almost 1.5 years!)

North of the Arctic Circle in Lapland, we meet Inspector Vaara who has been assigned a murder case - a local Somalian actress has been brutally stabbed and left in a snow bank. Life is pretty depressing in Finland during kaamos, the annual dark time, with all the drinking and suicides, but this murder rocks even the toughest cop. Is it a hate crime?

I love reading mysteries set in other countries - people are really all the same everywhere, murdering each other for greed, money, and hate, but I get to see another part of the world at the same time. This detective is at a good place in his life after an early divorce- his new American wife is pregnant, but is beginning to have some culture shock issues. His family is still all around and as he investigates further, we learn more about his past, and the drowning of his sister. Lots of angst and pain.

I thought this was a great mystery series beginning, and I'd read another one. I enjoyed getting to know Inspector Vaara as he explained Finland.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

BOOK: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, 292 pages

What's in a Name3?: food in title; Book Awards IV(Dagger Debut)

A great new mystery series, (The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag is to be released March 9, 2010) Flavia de Luce is a smart-thinking, 11 year old, evil younger sister narrator. Set in the 1950s, that wonderful time after the war when Britain is in upheaval, reassessing class systems and hanging on to the old gentry label. Flavia comes from a family with a named house, a father who appears not to have to work, and some servants in the house. She is free to wreck havoc on her older sisters and experiment in the chemistry lab in the attic. Oh, yes, there is some chemistry love in this book.

I still shivered with joy whenever I thought of the rainy autumn day that Chemistry had fallen into my life. .... I cheered aloud when I read that a woman, Madame Curie, had discovered radium..... When I found the precise instructions were given for formulating these compounds, I was in seventh heaven. (page 7) Fear not readers, there isn't that much chemistry in the story, but there was just enough for my chem geek love.

Flavia is at the perfect age, eleven, free to roam around, smart enough to think, brave enough to ask questions and butt in to places, and young enough not to know any better. The mystery was solid, clues given here and there, but it was the interactions with the sisters and setting that I really enjoyed, plus extras about stamps, and magic. I'd read the next Flavia mystery; she's quite a character.

I made it to five, the silver level, and there are still a few days left in January. How high can I make it?

more rave reviews:
geranium cat's bookshelf
lesley's booknook
eva at A Striped Armchair
charley at bending bookshelves
alison at piling on the books
carl at Stainless Steel Droppings
nicola at Back to Books
joy atThoughts of Joy
chris at book-a-rama

BLOGGING: It's Tuesday, Where Are You?

Voting is very close in the Bookword Game this week, so head on over and give you opinion. By Wednesday sometime, I'll post results and offer a new word.

I am in 1950s England, trying to solve a mystery, and annoy my older sister's at the same time and study chemistry in my lab in the attic. (The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, Alan Bradley)

I am also filling out reports in a library - lots of interesting characters. (The Incident Report, Martha Baillie)

Where is reading taking you today? Leave a comment, write a post, spread the word.

Monday, January 25, 2010

CHALLENGE: 2010 Global Reading Challenge

I was looking at the Global Challenge and trying to have resolve, when I thought What about trying the 2010 Global Challenge, and making them all mysteries? I just copied that idea from Kerri at Mysteries in Paradise. The Global Challenge sign up is here. There are links to investigate with crime series set around the world at the host site.

The Medium Challenge
Read two novels from each of these continents in the course of 2010:
Books listed are ideas, finished books will be linked to a review, or bolded.

The Full Cupboard of Life - Alexander McCall Smith (Botswana) 07/22
Thirteen Hours - Deon Meyer (South Africa) 10/30

Crossfire - Miyuke Miyabe (Japan) 01/10
Red Mandarin Dress - Qiu Xiaolong (China) 03/05

The Green Mill Murder - Kerry Greenwood (Australia) 03/26
Vintage Murder - Ngaio Marsh (New Zealand) 05/20

Snow Angels - James Thompson (Finland) 1/27
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson (Sweden) 03/22
Paper Moon - Andrea Camilleri (Italy) 4/12
Tainted Blood - Arnuldar Indridason (Iceland) 6/28

North America (incl Central America)
The Missing Ink - Karen E Olson (US - Las Vegas) 04/10
Dead Cold - Louise Penny (Canada - Quebec) 02/07

South America
The Silence of the Rain - Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza (Brazil) 08/12
Alone in the Crowd - Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza (Brazil) 11/24
Buried Strangers - Leighton Gage (Brazil)

Try to find novels from twelve different countries or states. read 12/12

Sunday, January 24, 2010

BOOK: Tales from Shakespeare by Marcia Williams

Tales from Shakespeare by Marcia Williams, 36 pages

graphic novels (children's comic); Four Month Challenge: a book about/by Shakespeare

I'll confess, I'm not much of a Shakespeare fan. I studied some plays in high school, and I didn't hate them, (my favorite Shakespeare story is Cue for Treason, a great story about life in Shakespeare's time, kind of like the movie Shakespeare in Love) but I am decidedly unaffected by the plays. I do feel a bit of a lacking in my reading history however. I picked up this children's comic version to fill in some gaps. This wonderful book is just the thing for slackers like me who want to read the plays with out actually reading the plays. Six plays are presented here, over a couple of double spread pages each - Romeo and Juliet, The Winter's Tale, MacBeth, Hamlet, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Julius Caesar.

There are three parts to each play - the story or plot is told under the pictures, actual Shakespeare words are used in the pictures, spoken by the actors, and the spectators are seen around the edges of each story. Queen Elizabeth I and Will Shakespeare are present at most of the plays, with the rich people seated near the top of the page and the peons at the bottom, planning when to throw their tomatoes. It was a humorous, nice touch, and led a historical feel to the plays.

I really liked that the famous lines are included for each play when possible, but the plot is told in regular English. I read Romeo and Juliet and MacBeth in high school, yet I only remembered the bare essentials of the plays. As much as I'd like to like A Midsummer's Night Dream, since it plays such a pivotal role in one of my favorite movies, Dead Poets' Society, it didn't appeal to me, even here in cartoons. I would be interested in seeing movie versions of Julius Caesar, The Winter's Tale and Hamlet, the stories that I enjoyed the most. I tried to read the book to my daughter, thinking she'd follow along with comic pictures, but she wandered off during the first tale. Oh, well. The only quibble I had was that the character drawings were not easy to differentiate between, and with so many unfamiliar names and such a short format, it would have helped to have more differences between the characters' appearances.

MEME: Crime Fiction Alphabet

Mysteries in Paradise hosts a weekly meme on mystery authors and books, highlighting a different letter each week. Beginning January 25, 2010, posts with the letter O, for author first or last name or book title are being collected here.

O is for Karen E Olson
Karen Olson is the author of two mystery series: the Annie Seymour mysteries, which includes
  • Sacred Cows
  • Secondhand Smoke
  • Dead of the Day
  • Shot Girl
and her new Tattoo Shop Mysteries, which includes:
  • The Missing Ink
  • Pretty in Ink (to be released March 2 in pb, but I've already read some good reviews)
I came late to the Annie Seymour mysteries, and have only read Sacred Cows (my review), but it was everything I thought the Stephanie Plum books were supposed to be, with humor, and love interests, and a messy lead character - literally and also in her life. I'm on the lookout for the next couple in the series.

I haven't read her new Tattoo Shop mysteries, but her fans are loving this new series set in Las Vegas. Both series feature women who, while not detectives, are drawn in murders to solve. Annie Seymour was a reporter and Brett Kavanaugh is a tattoo artist. I must put that on my wishlist, both books.

Karen is also a blogger, and is active online. She is very accessible, and often stops by to readers who review her books.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

GAME: The Bookword Game

Have you seen Sherlock Holmes? Have you read the book? Will Robert Downey Jr be Sherlock Holmes in your mind next time you read some Arthur Conan Doyle? I prefer to read the book before seeing the movie of most adaptations (natch), but sometimes the movie is in release or at least promotion before I read the book, and then it's too late to picture any characters. I know only pictured Brad Pitt and Ed Norton in the Fight Club, even though I hadn't seen the movie yet.

Suey had the players come up with a word to describe the situation where you are reading a book, and you end up being able to only picture the character as the actor that portrays that character.

Come on over to my blog and vote on the nominees:

casted book suggested by raidergirl3
Star Lit suggested by Julie
Screen Plagued suggested by Julie
Gone Hollywood suggested by Sherry
Results, here, next week, and a new word to think about.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

BLOGGING: It's Tuesday! Where are You?

Don't forget, suggestions at Suey's for the book that's been cast even before you read it. I'll have a poll here late on Wednesday.

Speaking of Suey, she had a big de-lurker day, and I am going to do it too. It's officially De-Lurking Day here at An Adventure in Reading. Are you lurking here? Why not take a minute today and de-lurk? Just let us know what you are reading and where in the world that is. If you want to say were you physically are, that's fine too. If you have a blog, leave a link for me to come by and say hi!

I am in Finland, investigating a murder. It's dark, and dreary, and disturbing. A perfect book! (Snow Angels by James Thompson)

Where in the world is reading taking you today? Leave a comment, write a post, spread the word.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

BOOK: Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, 307 pages

Orange January (shortlist 2004); 20-10 challenge (set in Africa); Colourful Challenge

Adichie is a Nigerian writer, and is often compared to the famous Nigerian writer, Chinua Achebe, as a voice of modern Africa. And perhaps, in her first novel, she is paying homage to Achebe's famous novel, Things Fall Apart, with the opening line -

Things started to fall apart at home when my brother, Jaja, did not go to communion and Papa flung his heavy missal across the room and broke the figurines on the etagere.

Other similarities are the theme of Christian missionaries and the conflict between new beliefs and old. Purple Hibiscus examines the relationships within one family, led by an extremely devout, well-off man, a leader of the community. However, his family life is not nice, and his controlling, violent ways cause repercussions. The family dynamics is set against a coup in Nigeria, and the rebellion against the totalitarian rule. Once his two teenagers spend some time in the city with his sister, they are exposed to a freedom that will change everything.

I knew very little about this book, other than I had enjoyed Adichie's other book, Half of a Yellow Sun. The beginning was a little slow, and I wasn't liking the characters. However, once I read the back cover and realized where the book was headed, I kept reading and then enjoyed the story. The aunt, Ifeoma, was a great character, a strong woman with strong convictions to do the right thing. This book wasn't as strong as Half a Yellow Sun, but it certainly shows Adichie's promise. For readers interested in African life, and for a book with many layers and messages - about government, church, traditions, and love, this is a worthwhile read.

Third book read! More details here, but if you read a novel or more, you too can post this snazzy badge on your blog. Next up, Winner 5X. I would so love to get the gold 10X badge, but I fear that final exams in January, and sports tournaments every weekend will conspire against me. My job that pays the bills and my talented sports-minded children interfere with my reading plans!

CHALLENGE: 2010 Bibliophilic Books Challenge

There is a challenge blog here.
The challenge begins on January 1, 2010 and ends on December 31, 2010.
You must sign up for the challenge by January 31st, 2010.

There are three levels to pick from:

  • Bookworm: Read three books

  • Litlover: Read six books

  • Bibliomaniac: Read twelve books

  • Possible books to read:
    • The Bookseller of Kabul (in library)
    • The Book of Lost Things, John Connolly
    • Possession, AS Byatt (in library, 555 p)
    • The Well of Lost Plots, Fforde (own it)
    • Inkspell, Funke (own it)
    • The Library at Night, Manguel (in library, 373 p)
    • The Haunted Bookshop (in library 289 p)
    • The Man Who Loved Books Too Much (in library 274 p)
    • The Angel's Game, Ruiz Zafon (in library, 531 p)
    • Talking About Detective Fiction, PD James (in library, 198 pages)
    • whatever catches my eye
    Books Read:
    1. The Incident Report - Martha Baillie 01/27
    2. The Bookshop, Penelope Lively 01/31
    3. The Tenth Gift, Jane Johnson 02/17
    4. Q's Legacy, Helene Hanff 04/03
    5. The Professor and the Madman (The Surgeon of Crowthorne)- Simon Winchester 07/30
    6. What is Stephen Harper Reading, Yann Martel 11/22

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    BLOGGING: It's Tuesday, Where Are You?

    There is a poll up at suey's for voting on the latest Bookword Game. Head on over and make a decision. There'll be another word looking for suggestions later this week at Sueys.

    When I'm not chasing that Woman in White, by Wilkie Collins, I'm in Glen St Mary's and the surrounding area, living amongst the neighbours of Anne Shirley Blythe and her family. Prince Edward Island is a wonderful place to visit, and live! (The Blythes are Quoted, LM Montgomery)

    Where is reading taking you? Leave a comment, write a post, spread the word.

    Monday, January 11, 2010

    CHALLENGE: Twenty Ten Challenge

    Bart hosts here
    • Read 2 books from each category, making a requirement of 20 books total.
    • The categories are intended to be loose guidelines only, if you decide it fits, then it fits. (Apart from those marked **)
    • Categories marked with ** have tighter rules, and these must be followed.
    • Each book can only qualify for one category.
    • Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
    • Books read from 01/01/2010 to 31/12/2010 are eligible.
    Running total: 20/20!
    1. Young Adult
    2. T.B.R. already owned before 2010
    3. Shiny & New bought new in 2010
    4. **Bad Blogger’s recommended by other bloggers, provide the link
    • The Unnamed, by Joshua Ferris recc'd by Hey Lady! Trish 03/19
    • One Day by David Nicholls, recc'd by Pam of Sidewalk Shoes 08/08
    5. Charity bought at charity(my library sale)
    6. New in 2010 newly published
    7. Older Than You published before my date of birth
    8. Win! Win! for another challenge
    9. Who Are You Again? never heard of the author before
    10. Up to You! Books Set in Africa
    • And done! thanks for a great challenge. Books are linked to their review, if there is one. I've tried to free myself from the obligation of reviewing every book I read. I just review the books I feel like I have something to really say about.

    Sunday, January 10, 2010

    MEME: Crime Fiction Alphabet

    Mysteries in Paradise hosts a weekly meme on mystery authors and books, highlighting a different letter each week. Beginning January 11, 2010, posts with the letter M, for author first or last name or book title are being collected here. This is my first week participating, and I'm going for the double M:

    M is for Miyuki Miyabe

    Miyuki Miyabe is one of Japan's most popular contemporary writers. She writes mysteries, science fiction, and fantasy novels. Only 6 of her books have been translated into English, the most famous being the mystery All She Was Worth. I've read three of her mysteries now, and I've enjoyed all of them, including the most recent, Crossfire, a Christmas present, review below.

    my reviews of
    Shadow Family
    All She Was Worth

    Crossfire by Miyuki Miyabe, 404 pages
    translated by Deborah Stuhr Iwabuchi and Anna Husson Isozaki

    Japanese Literature Challenge

    Sometimes noncombatants get caught in the crossfire.

    The back cover describes this as Death Wish meets Firestarter, and Miyabe includes a nice reference to Stephen King within the novel. Detective Chikako Ishizu of the Tokyo Arson division is called in to investigate the death by fire of some local hoodlums. In the parallel story, Junko is on a mission to avenge crimes and mete out justice. She has pyrokinesis, the ability to start fires with her mind. Adding the touch of paranormal activity makes this mystery just a little different and intriguing.

    The story is told from these two perspectives, and deals with finding justice, from the police and from a societal point of view. Both women deal with their role. There are several other interesting characters, some great twists and turns in the plot, and a look at a dark side of Japan.
    Miyabe makes some statements about vengeance and punishments, and whose role it is, much like she does in her other books. (Shadow Family made comments about credit and consumers.) Who gets to decide what the punishment is? Who decides how evil a person is and who deserves to die?

    Thanks to tanabata who sent me this wonderful book from Japan for the Blogger Holiday Swap, it made it all the more special to read it.

    Tuesday, January 5, 2010

    BLOGGING: It's Tuesday, Where are You?

    First Where are You? of 2010. Everyone still playing?

    Still another day or so to leave a suggestion on the latest Bookword Game - What do we call a book that we start reading this year, and finish next year? Suey will have a poll up later in the week.

    In reading, I am investigating a strange phenomenon in 1850s England, into the Woman in White who is wandering around. (The Woman in White, Wilkie Collins)

    Where is reading taking you today? Leave a comment, write a post, spread the word.

    Sunday, January 3, 2010

    BOOK: Poppy Shakespeare by Clare Allan

    Poppy Shakespeare by Clare Allan, 341 pages

    TBR Lite; Orange January (shortlist, new author 2007)

    I first heard of Poppy Shakespeare in Shakespeare Wrote for Money, one of Nick Hornby's essay books, and I made note. Several years later, it's my first complete book of 2010, to kick off Orange January.

    It's a look into the mental illness world in England. I think it makes lots of statements about who belongs in institutions, what exactly makes someone crazy, the decisions made within the mental illness infrastructure. The story is narrated by N, a product of the system she proudly proclaims, starting when Poppy Shakespeare enters their Institution, the Dorothy Fish day center. N and Poppy are Dribblers, not as serious as the Flops, who are inpatient, while the Dribblers live on their own and spend time in the center. There is always a hierarchy.

    N is a lifer, who never wants to leave, and has trouble understanding why Poppy doesn't want to stay, but N is chosen to help Poppy get around the place. By having N narrate, all the facts that are presented must be examined carefully, and really, the reader must read between the lines. The dialogue is rough, and slang, but I had no problem following it. It is ultimately very sad amidst the humor, and makes you wonder who is crazy and who isn't.

    Weren't nobody else in the world, he said, not Astrid Arsewipe - couldn't argue with that - not Middle-Class Michael, not no one at all, alive or dead or both or neither, known as much about dribbling as I did. page 2

    BLOGGING: Question?

    Am I the only one with this problem? Continually mixing up two dissimilar books or authors, to the point I am a little shocked when I realize there are two different books or authors? Here are a few that come to my mind immediately. Having read none of these books, but seeing them on book lists, keeps me from having a sweet clue on the difference.

    Books and Authors I Get Mixed Up For No Good Reason:

    Kate Morton's The House at Riverton and

    Kate Grenville's The Secret River

    Obviously, the Kate's and both containing River have contributed to this problem

    The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley and

    Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

    Both with Sweet, and similar B words (bitter, bottom) and really long titles, and plain Anglo-Saxon names by the author.

    The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Kesai and

    Unaccustomed Earth by Jhumpa Lahiri

    Indian women names, and long vowel beginning words in the title.

    Do you have books or authors you get mixed up?

    Saturday, January 2, 2010


    You can win just by reading, check it out here. There are tons of badges and levels, and you just have to read novels.

    Starting with:
    1. Poppy Shakespeare - Clare Allan
    2. Crossfire - Miyuke Miyabe
    3. Purple Hibiscus - Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
    4. Snow Angels - James Thompson
    5. Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley
    6. The Incident Report - Martha Baillie
    7. I am Morgan Le Fay - Nancy Springer
    8. The Spellman Files - Lisa Lutz

    Friday, January 1, 2010

    CHALLENGE: Book Awards IV

    I've completed all the Book Awards Challenges that Michelle has hosted, I can't stop now.
    Book Awards 1 Challenge
    Book Awards 2 Challenge
    Book Awards 3 Challenge

    from January 1 through November 1, 2010. Sign-up at the Book Awards Reading Challenge blog, there are lists of all the prizes and winning books there for reference.

    This time, read 10 books from 10 different awards during January 1, 2010 through November 1, 2010. Yikes. We'll see how that goes. This is just an idea list of prizes and books, actual content may vary.

    1.Dagger Award (Debut 2009)
    Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie - Alan Bradley Jan 26/10

    2. Alex Award 2007
    The Spellman Files - Lisa Lutz Jan 31/10

    3. Agatha Awards 2007
    A Fatal Grace (Dead Cold), Louise Penny Feb6/10

    4. Pen/Hemingway 2000
    Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpra Lahiri Feb 12/10

    5. Governor General's for French to English Translation 2008
    Nikolski, Nicolas Dickner Feb 17/10

    6. Man Booker Prize 2003
    Vernon God Little 02/25

    7. Pulitzer Prize 1985
    Foreign Affairs, Alison Lurie Mar 2

    Eisner Award 2004
    Blankets, Craig Thompson Mar 8

    9. Commonwealth Prize 2008
    The Book of Negroes, Laurence Hill Mar 12

    10. Giller Prize 2008
    Through Black Spruce, Joseph Boyden Mar 17

    11. Miles Franklin Best Novel 2010
    Truth, Peter Temple Jun 12

    12. Newbery Prize 1939
    Thimble Summer, Elizabeth Enright

    Orange Prize
    Small Islands, Andrea Levy 2004

    The Tenderness of Wolves, Stef Penny 2006

    IMPAC Dublin
    Man Gone Down, Michael Thomas 2009

    Nobel Prize

    The Mistress of Husaby, Sigrid Undset