This month I read:
1. Devil's Cub~ Georgette Heyer
2. Frederica~ Georgette Heyer
3. The Untamed Bride~ Stephanie Laurens
4. Quatrain~ Sharon Shinn.
5. Divine Misdemeanors~ Laurell K. Hamilton
6. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo~ Steig Larsson
ETA: 7. These Old Shades~ Georgette Heyer
I can't believe it has taken me so long to read Georgette Heyer, as much as I love traditional regencies. She's wonderful & I'm rapidly glomming the new Sourcebooks Casablanca qp size releases. Untamed Bride is a wonderful Laurens, kind of a historical romantic suspense. I plan to read the rest of the series. Sharon Shinn's book is a collection of short stories, each one set in one of her worlds. They're all quite good. The one set in Samaria finally convinced me to read that group. I've bought them all at the UBS. The LKH is fine, as far as it goes. It's an episode in Los Angeles, wherein Merry & her crew must solve a mystery & Merry must learn a little more the role of a ruler, as opposed to simply being the heir. Less carefree and more responsability and more choices between what she personally wants and what id best for the group or for Faerie as a whole. I read the Steig Larsson book earlier this fall, but forgot to list it.
These Old Shades is paired with Devil's Cub, I read them in reverse order (which I don't recommend, as subtle interactions are lost if you are unfamiliar with the characters). They do stand alone though, if you're interested in reading them. TOS made me cry & therefore earns an automatic place on my keeper shelves.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
This month I read:
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Below are a few books I'm looking forward to hunting down next year. I'm quite sure the to be bought list will grow significantly as the year progresses, but as of now this is it. List is linked to author's sites.
1. Rebels and Lovers~ Linnea Sinclair February
2. The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms~ N.K. Jesmin March
3. Except the Queen~ Jane Yolen & Midori Snyder February
4. Shalador's Lady~ Anne Bishop March
5. Foiled~ Jane Yolen April Graphic novel about a teenage girl fencer!! How cool is that?!!
6. Naamah's Curse~ Jacqueline Carey June
7. Dark Peril~ Christine Feehan September
8. Cryoburn~ Lois McMaster Bujold No date available yet, possibly November This is a Miles book.
9. A Kiss at Midnight~ Eloisa James No month listed Described as a Cinderella theme
10-12. The Black Cobra Quartet~ Stephanie Laurens February, July & end of the year First title is The Elusive Bride
13. The Chalice of Blood~ Peter Tremayne July, UK release
Both Scott Westerfeld and Juliet Marillier are writing new books. Marillier's title is said to be Seer of Sevenwaters formerly Song of the Island, I couldn't find a pub date for it though. Westerfeld's new book is supposed to be titled Behemoth, second in the trilogy that began with Leviathan, and is currently being worked on.
Saturday, December 26, 2009
Listed below are what I've managed to read between 1 October and November 30, none of which are reviewed or listed in the archives. I hope to slowly work my way through them and review them, but am not overly hopeful that I will be able to achieve this in any timely fashion.
1. What Remains of Heaven~ C.S. Harris
2. The Taming of the Duke~ Eloisa James
3. Kiss Me Annabel~ Eloisa James
4. On the Way to the Wedding~ Julia Quinn
5. Desperate Duchesses~ Eloisa James
6. The Disdainful Marquis~ Edith Layton
7. The Abandoned Bride~ Edith Layton
8. The Untamed Bride~ Edith Layton
Friday, December 25, 2009
The angel Gabriel from heaven came, his wings as drifted snow, his eyes as flame;
"All hail," said he, "thou lowly maiden Mary, mostly highly favored lady", gloria!
"For know a blessed Mother thou shalt be, all generations laud and honor thee, thy Son shall be Emmanuel, by seers foretold,most highly favored lady," gloria!
Then gently Mary meekly bowed her head, "To me be as it pleaseth God," she said, "my soul shall laud and magnify his holy name." Most highly favored ,lady, gloria!
Of her Emmanuel, the Christ, was born in Behtlehem, all on a Christmas morn, "Most highly favored lady," gloria!
This is the text of a Basque hymn, one of my favorites, that our church plays during Advent although it is also appropriate for the Annunciation (March 25th). The painting is La Vierge au Lys by William-Adolphe Bouguereau. I love to hear it at this time of year.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
May God grant you the light in Christmas,
Which is Faith;
The warmth of Christmas,
Which is Love;
The radiance of Christmas,
Which is Purity;
The righteousness of Christmas,
Which is Justice;
The belief in Christmas,
Which is Truth;
The all of Christmas,
Which is Christ.
Found on the website of the Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn Photo is from an album posted by fwz on Webshots
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Click the link in the title above to go to the Dear Author page with the list on it. Often the discussions are well worth reading, no matter how long they are. Below I copied & pasted the list, bolded titles I've read, italicized titles I own but haven't read yet. I almost never read contemporaries, so that always colors my numbers. If my tallies are correct, I've read 17 and own another 12. What are your numbers?
1. To Have and to Hold by Patricia Gaffney
2. For My Lady’s Heart by Laura Kinsale
3. Black Silk by Judith Ivory
4. Naked in Death by J.D Robb
5. My Reckless Heart by Jo Goodman
5. The Dream Hunter by Laura Kinsale
5. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
8. The Windflower by Laura London/Tom and Sharon Curtis
8. Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
10. Delicious by Sherry Thomas
10. Forbidden by Susan Johnson
10. The Shadow and the Star by Laura Kinsale
10. Wild at Heart by Patricia Gaffney
14. Beast by Judith Ivory
14. False Colors by Alex Beecroft
14. Mistress of the Art of Death by Ariana Franklin
14. The Changeling Bride by Lisa Cach
14. Dance by Judy Cuevas
19. Heart Of The West by Penelope Williamson
19. Practice to Deceive by Patricia Veryan
19. Reforming Lord Ragsdale by Carla Kelly
19. Tatiana And Alexander by Paulina Simons
19. The Bride Fair by Cheryl Reavis
19. The Outsider by Penelope Williamson
19. Uneven by Anah Crow
19. Bad Girl by Michelle Jaffe
19. Archangel by Sharon Shinn
19. The Smoke Thief by Shana Abe
29. As You Desire by Connie Brockway
29. Night in Eden by Candice Proctor
29. Fallen from Grace by Laura Leone
29. Seize the Fire by Laura Kinsale
29. Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie
29. Crooked Hearts by Patricia Gaffney
35. Bound by Your Touch by Meredith Duran
35. Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas
35. The Duke’s Wager by Edith Layton
35. Dream Man by Linda Howard
35. Ember by Bettie Sharpe
35. Mirrors and Mistakes by Kathleen Gilles Seidel
35. The Dream Thief by Shana Abe
35. It Had To Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
35. Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie
35. Morning Glory by LaVyrle Spencer
35. Spring Fancy by LaVyrle Spencer
35. A Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh
35. Again by Kathleen Gilles Seidel
35. Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught
35. Company of Swans by Eva Ibbotson
35. His Lordship’s Mistress by Joan Wolf
35. One Good Turn by Carla Kelly
35. Shattered Rainbows by Mary Jo Putney
35. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
35. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey
55. Lady’s Choice by Jayne Ann Krentz
55. Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale
55. Natural Law by Joey Hill
55. Not Quite a Husband by Sherry Thomas
55. Out of the Blue by Sally Mandel
55. The Passions of Emma by Penelope Williamson
55. Written on Your Skin by Meredith Duran
55. A Kingdom of Dreams by Judith McNaught
55. A Man to Slay Dragons by Meagan McKinney
55. Beloved Lord by Mallory Burgess
55. Butterfly Tattoo by Deidre Knight
55. Dearly Beloved by Mary Jo Putney
55. Devonshire by Lynne Connolly
55. Don’t Forget to Smile by Kathleen Gilles Seidel
55. Dream A Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
55. Dreaming of You by Lisa Kleypas
55. Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran
55. Fireflower by Edith Layton
55. George and the Virgin by Lisa Cach
55. Jovah’s Angel by Sharon Shinn
55. Lady Gallant by Suzanne Robinson
55. Lily by Patricia Gaffney
55. Lion’s Bride by Iris Johanson
55. Mr. Impossible by Loretta Chase
55. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
55. Over the Edge by Suzanne Brockmann
55. Pure Sin by Susan Johnson
55. Scandal by Amanda Quick
55. Scandal by Carolyn Jewel
55. The Dominant Blonde by Alisa Kwitney
55. The Slightest Provocation by Pam Rosenthal
55. To Love a Dark Lord by Anne Stuart
55. Untie My Heart by Judith Ivory
55. Warprize by Elizabeth Vaughan
55. Wild Sweet Ecstasy by Jo Goodman
55. Wildest Hearts by Jayne Ann Krentz
55. The Reluctant Heiress/Magic Flutes by Eva Ibbotson
55. “A House East of Regent Street” by Pam Rosenthal (novella in the anthology Strangers in the Night)
55. A Place to Call Home by Deborah Smith
55. Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens
55. Heart Throb by Suzanne Brockmann
55. If Wishes Were Horses by Curtiss Ann Matlock
55. Lady Elizabeth’s Comet by Sheila Simonson
55. Rejar by Dara Joy
55. Weaver Takes a Wife by Sheri Cobb South
100. Beyond Breathless by Kathleen O’Reilly
Posted by Bookwormom at 5:00 AM
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
According to the Guardian newspaper, Beatrix Potter's Peter Rabbit series is being released with all new animation in 2011. The article says the new cartoons will be released around the world & all new merchandise will accompany it. Read all about it here.
Also found on the Guardian, for those of you who like to follow authors behaving badly, there has apparently been a huge troll fest over on Amazon involving an author named Candace Sams- who is apparently so upset she threatened to involve the FBI. Seriously. LOL I just can't imagine. Read all about it here.
On a personal note, I'll be posting more now that finals are over & grades are in. Updates coming soon, both family & reading lists.
Friday, December 11, 2009
I thought I'd participated more years than 2006, but the only other Advent post I can find is this one. Click link in the title above to go to Marg & Kailana's Advent blog. You'll find lots of other folks who're writing. The Tour is a great way to find other book blogs, often from all around the world. Head on over there & check it out. This year I find myself in a more contemplative frame of mind than usual. There has been a lot going on behind the scenes here Chez Bookwormom, other than the absolute dearth of posting here, and it has affected my mood.
In an effort to cheer myself up I decided that I would decorate using a snowman theme. I already have several acrylic snowmen cavorting across the top of Pianist's new piano. A skiier, a caroler, a nurse (to tend the skiier who always falls over), a penguin riding an ice cube, a couple of glass Christmas trees. Silly, fun little charms, really. I found glass snowmen ornaments with glittery orange carrot noses (cheap, too!) and one that has a long striped hat streaming above his head. I dug out some old snowflake placemats. I bought a large package of hard Christmas candies & poured them in a bowl, the Hubby was surprised- I rarely buy candy to keep in the house.
What else? I wrapped the back door in bright red Christmas paper & ribbons, now it looks like a giant present. I'd not done that for a few years. I put a new purple cloth under my advent wreath. I think I need a cinnamon broom, I saw one the other day in the craft store but skipped it. There's nothing like scent to cheer you up and bring back memories. I put a giant pink-freckled poinsettia on the dining room table. I made the kids hunt down the giant pinecone wreath buried up in the attic & its on the front door now.
I don't normally like to associate Christmas with more shopping, more stuff, more more more!!! but somehow this year a little retail therapy goes a long way towards lightening my mood. Sorry this post is a little down, but I can't help it. This is the only place I can 'let my hair down a little' so to speak & you guys just have to listen. I'm glad I stocked up on romances last month, maybe subconsciously I knew I was going to need a surefire pick me up this month.
Monday, November 23, 2009
This is the 1,000th post! Remember?? From ages & ages ago? Whoever posted comments between August 7th and the 1,000th post would get to pick two titles from a list of books. Never did I think it would take me so long to get to 1,000 posts, but here we are at last!
If anyone still wants them here's the deal: I'll mail them to you, including overseas. There are 10 titles so let's say three winners? Email me your list of two titles & your address & I'll mail them to you. In the event of duplicate choices, the email with the earliest date & timestamp gets top pick, runners up can email back and forth with me as to which ones you want.
Email me at: bookwormomsterATgmailDOTcom no later than Sunday 29 November 2009 at midnight Eastern time US.
I think they've all been reviewed and can be found in my archives.
The choices are:
1. Cybele's Secret- Juliet Marillier
2. Ruby's Slippers- Leanna Ellis
3. Certain Jeopardy- Struecker & Gansky
4. Rooftops of Tehran- Mahbod Seraji
5. Dirt: An American Campaign- Mark LaFlamme
6. Twenties Girl- Sophie Kinsella
7. Four Wives- Wendy Walker
8. Make Ahead Meals- Jane Doiron
9. The Book of Unholy Mischief- Elle Newmark
10. The Prince of Midnight- Laura Kinsale
This is a 1990 hardcover edition complete with Fabio. If you're a romance lover who admires Ms. Kinsale & you posted this one is in nearly pristine condition.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
On Sunday I mentioned the last few romances I've read & mentioned that I've bought some new books. Almost all were found at my UBS & unfortunately they'll have to wait until the end of the semester before I can read most of them. Still, I love seeing them on my shelves & am anticipating some light and delicious reading in December.
This Duchess of Mine~ Eloisa James Desperate Duchesses group
Duchess by Night~ Eloisa James Desperate Duchesses group
When the Duke Returns~ Eloisa James Desperate Duchesses group
A Duke of Her Own~ Eloisa James Desperate Duchesses group
The Taming of the Duke~ Eloisa James Essex Sisters group: Imogen's book
Pleasure for Pleasure~ Eloisa James Essex Sisters group: Josie's book
An Affair Before Christmas~ Eloisa James Desperate Duchesses group
Broken Wing~ Judith James A book I decided I wouldn't buy unless it came to the UBS. The reviews really put me on the fence, but it finally showed up so I bought it. *shrug*
Bride Enchanted~ Edith Layton Starting to collect backlist
To Love A Wicked Lord~Edith Layton See above
A Rogue's Proposal~ Stephanie Laurens A Cynster family member, it has been ages since I've read their books.
A Rake's Vow~ Stephanie Laurens See comment above. I stopped reading this series once Laurens was finished with the original family tree.
The Frenchman's Plain Jane Project~ Myrna MacKenzie HQN Romance #4123 October; I love the 'plain Jane' plotline
Picture Perfect Christmas~Melanie Schuster HQN/Kimani Love the plot- very unusual & the smile on the cover model?? Delicious
I'm intrigued by the Duke Of Villiers in the Desperate Duchesses group, but his character thread runs through the entire group so I bought most of them so I could learn just what a rogue he is! He sounds yummy & delicious & in need of the love of a good wooman, I must say. LOL :) I needed Imogen's book because Rafe & Imogen both needed to straighten up. Josie I don't really give a damn about but Mayne needed his own book & this is it. Soooo...I still read the original Cynsters by Laurens. After Traditional Regencies died I needed something to take their place, but starting on HQNs has taken me a very long time. I'm dipping my toes in the water with these.
Posted by Bookwormom at 6:00 AM
Monday, November 09, 2009
Sunday, November 08, 2009
Sort of. I've spent the last week devouring romances. Avoiding homework and papers due in favor of going on a book buying and reading binge. I've read the following:
1.The Untamed Bride~ Stephanie Laurens her newest book, will write it up in a day or two
2. On the Way to the Wedding~ Julia Quinn
3. Desperate Duchesses~ Eloisa James
4. Kiss Me Annabel~ Eloisa James
5. The Disdainful Marquis~ Edith Layton
6. The Abandoned Bride~ Edith Layton
Five and six are a Signet traditional Regency double. Ms. Layton is one of the classic, standard setting founders of the genre. Until this week I'd never read anything of hers & now I'm planning a raid on the UBS for her backlist.
Posted by Bookwormom at 11:12 PM
Monday, October 26, 2009
Last Monday (or Tuesday, I can't quite remember) Anime Queen, our teenage daughter, asked, "Which one of you is going out to Tiny College that Offers Japanese with me on Friday and Saturday?" Uh, what was that?? How long have you known about this road trip & not mentioned it to anyone?? Er.. since October 5th. Several dozen phone calls and a few last minute arrangements later, the trip was a go.
Also last week, more great news! Joy of joys, the Pianist has been given a new piano. A gift from a friend at church who is seriously ill and will be unable to play anymore. Can you guess what the only compatible day to pick up our new gift? Why Friday of course. The day daughter and I will be on the road. The older son called in sick and the younger one was exempted from school so they could help dad put the old piano in storage and the new one into the house.
I guess it all went well. I didn't hear any horror stories about moving the pianos or the joys of driving a small moving truck in heavy Friday traffic. No fingers or toes were accidentally crushed. The old one will be given away via Craigslist soon. I hope. At least it would be if one of us could remember to put the listing up.
Thursday night Anime Queen and I made it 'down the valley' to the tiny, picturesque town where her potential college is. Kids and parents have traveled from up and down the East Coast to be there so I feel less put out about AQ's lack of advance warning. I guess. She has totally fallen in love with it. I kind of wonder how much of a fit it'll be, but she can be stubborn and persistent when she wants to be, so we'll see.
I ended up driving all the way home Friday evening. I couldn't face spending the night alone in an economy hotel at a tiny crossroad beside the highway, so I drove 3+ hours home in pouring rain to spend the night in my own bed with my own sheets and my own hubby. Then I got up at 6 am Saturday morning and did it all over again. I don't care, it was worth the stress to be home in my own bed. However, I might have felt differently if I was psychic and knew ahead of time that it'd pour cats and dogs all the way down the valley and back again Saturday morning.
Of course, never mind the fact that I had a midterm to study for or a paper to do research for or a blog that is being seriously neglected. You know, teenagers think it's perfectly acceptable to drop and/or rearrange your entire life to accomodate them. Hubby's theory is that she miscalculated and thought that we'd automatically tell her 'no way, we can't go' because of the ridiculous time frame and get her off the hook. I don't know which one of us is right, but she ended up loving the place- which she told me she didn't expect.
We're back now and so far all is pretty much right with the world- that is to say, completely crazy and a total soap opera from start to finish. This particular storyline has to do with Pianist, but I'm too tired to tell that one today.
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Wednesday, October 21, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I guess the fact that I've posted all of three times in October versus roughly fourteen (which is still not great, BTW) in September qualifies me as a busy mom. So this was definitely the book for me to road test. Click the link in the title above to go to the book webpage. This review is part of a book tour sponsored by Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours. I received an ARC for this review.
TBH, I most likely would've purchased one of these from a bricks and mortar bookstore. I try very hard to be organized, and one of the keys is good tools to help you become and remain organized. This book is one of those tools. Funny observation- the dessert section is pretty early on in this book. To my way of thinking placing it there matches up pretty closely with how my days go sometimes- I just want to start with dessert and skip the main course entirely. IIRC Garfield agrees with me!
On a slightly more serious note, I appreciated the tips pages in the very front of the book the most. They helped keep me on track and out of the woods several times. The recipes themselves are as advertised: quick, familiar, and easy. Even your fussiest appetite will find something to love in here. Most of all the recipes use mainly pantry staples, which means no buying an unfamiliar ingredient that will then sit on your shelves unused. Which is always a plus nowadays with the economy being what it is.
Around my house the earliest bus pick up is 6:15 am. Obviously that means sleeping in until 5:45, racing through a shower and running out the door at 6:10. If I'm lucky this child remembers to grab the premade lunch & a quick yogurt or piece of fruit for breakfast. I tried some of Ms. Doiron's breakfast recipes, some of which can be 'bus stop friendly' or carpool friendly or what have you. Now, I tried them over the weekends, so we've yet to try and incorporate them into the am frenzy, but we're going to give it a try.
Another child despises standard breakfast fare and is known to eat hot chili or tuna salad in the morning before school. Make Ahead Meals came to the rescue for this child too, because the recipes I tried hold up quite well for reheating any leftovers the next morning. If you're lucky enough to have leftovers, that is. I don't always have those. The hubby is on a supervised diet, which the side dish and soup sections accommodated with only a few changes here and there.
Overall, Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms was a success for our house. The recipes are teen friendly (both to cook and to eat), fussy-eater friendly and sure to save your bacon in an emergency. Plan out a week's menu using this book, go to the grocery store and try it out. Ms. Doiron's book is a winner in the daily struggle to feed the kids and maintain some sanity.
Cover image found on Pump Up Your Book Promotion Virtual Book Tours
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Friday was spent standing on a pebbly spit beside a stream in the middle of the woods surrounded by twenty five high school seniors (17 years old). The kids were testing the stream water for: fecal choliform (eewwww!), organophosphates, nitrogen, dissolved oxygen, two temperature readings, turbidity (cloudiness) & some other stuff. The park ranger says the stream is the standard for purity in our area because it flows through both the park and the military base beside it, which means the land around it is protected from development & thus protected from pollution. The weather was chilly and drizzly, made worse by pouring rain the all the previous day.
Fortunately I was dressed warmly and I made sure I stayed dry so it was fun. I love the woods. One of the boys nearly fell face first off of a log into the water trying to take the upstream temperature. I have to be honest here and say I laughed, although it would've been a serious issue if he'd actually fallen in. Stupid kids are always afraid of not looking the part or whatever, so only one of them was dressed warmly- the rest of them were in t shirts or other thin shirts and sweatshirts, no warm jackets or (heaven forbid) raincoats. No hiking boots or wellies for their feet, sneakers all around. They all spent the entire morning whining about how cold it was & how they couldn't wait to get back to school because it was warm!!
Luckily the teachers ignored this & wandered around making sure they finished all of their experiments. She only had one parent chaperone (ie: me), so she had to ask one of the administrators to accompany us so she didn't have to cancel the whole thing. The park doesn't have the funding to support this type of event, so a nonprofit called The Alice Ferguson Foundation steps in to provide an extra resource teacher/biologist and all of the equipment the kids used for the experiment. It was really neat watching her lead the kids along to recognizing that all of the development they enjoy can damage the environment and thus the water they drink, bathe in and cook with.
It was a relaxing if chilly way to spend the morning watching the kids play in the water & realize that in science, as in many other things, one must follow the directions to get optimal results or else start all over. LOL :)
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Somehow I managed to catch a serious chest cold. Two days in bed, low grade fever for three days, went through two jumbo boxes of tissues and two packages of cough drops all by myself. Managed to worry everyone in my family, since I barely remember the last time I was so sick. I think the last time I got pneumonia- which was on Christmas Day when I had thirty people over for dinner- was nearly ten years ago. I'm generally a healthy person, thank heavens.
Anyhow, I had to get out of bed before I felt better to take an exam from a prof who refuses to allow test retakes. Then two days later I had to to turn in a paper to another prof who doesn't allow papers to be submitted via email (!!!!) the first time. So I ended up getting worse again & spent a few more days in bed. The hubby made some of the best ever chicken soup, which I've no doubt made me stronger sooner than I would have been otherwise.
Of course, college courses wait for no one and nothing short of the end of the world. Homework piled higher and higher- I was assigned another paper. If you please, "write a Socratic discussion between two Nobel Peace Prize winners with appropriate citations." Yes, folks you can just imagine how thrilled I was when I found out about that one. President Obama hadn't won when this was assigned. I also have to write a paper about the indigenous people of Sweden- the Sami, nomadic reindeer herders. That one's not due for another five weeks or so. I need to do some food history research for an 'ethnic food night' next week. You know the drill, give a 5 minute presentation & contribute a dish.
What about books you ask? I managed to finish Stieg Larsson's The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. That will be a buddy review with Kailana over at The Written World. A doorstopper, for sure. Worth the time though, especially if you like 'locked room' mysteries and can tolerate business and financial details.
Monday, October 05, 2009
Monday, September 28, 2009
Walter Dean Myers
In support of banned books week, I've decided to read A Mercy by Toni Morrison. Ms. Morrison has several titles that regularly show up on 'challenged' book lists. I've also decided to read one of the young adult titles, probably one that's shelved in my local branch since I need to go down there to pick up a title I ordered via ILL to do research on for a term paper. The branch is little, but I'm hoping to find a book by Walter Dean Myers, who has several titles that show up in challenge lists.
Audiobook image found at Barnes & Noble. Image of Walter Dean Myers found on Random House
Friday, September 25, 2009
From the ALA list (link in title above):
3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
17. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
34. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
36. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
45. Beloved by Toni Morrison
69. Native Son by Richard Wright
73. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
78. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
84. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
85. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Also written by authors of color & challenged frequently:
Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry by Mildred D. Taylor
American Indian Myths and Legends by Richard Erdoes and Alfonso Ortiz.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Banned books week rolls around again. This year it will be 26 Sept. through 3 Oct. Every year I promise myself I'll read one of the books on the list & post a review. I've yet to do that. :( This year isn't looking terribly promising for accomplishing that goal either. However, once again I will attempt this. I've not picked one yet, but I plan to read one of the most challenged books of
1. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
2. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
3. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
4. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
5. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
6. Ulysses by James Joyce
7. Beloved by Toni Morrison
8. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
9. 1984 by George Orwell
10. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
11. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
12. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
13. Charlotte's Web by E. B. White
14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
15. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
16. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
17. Animal Farm by George Orwell
18. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
19. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
20. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
21. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
22. Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne
23. Their Eyes are Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
24. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
25. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
26. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
27. Native Son by Richard Wright
28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
29. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
30. For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
31. On the Road by Jack Kerouac
32. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
33. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
34. To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
35. Portrait of a Lady by Henry James
36. Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
37. The World According to Garp by John Irving
38. All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
39. A Room with a View by E. M. Forster
40. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
41. Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally
42. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
43. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
44. Finnegans Wake by James Joyce
45. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
46. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf
47. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
48. Lady Chatterley's Lover by D. H. Lawrence
49. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
50. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
To see the entire list click here.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Victory is at hand for those in Philadelphia who love libraries. According to Consumerist.com the Philadelphia libraries will be able to remain open. Verified by an article in Library Journal. Link to LJ found in Consumerist article.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Yeah, nothing new happening here re: regular 'pleasure' reading. I'm behind the scheduled readings for my Tuesday class. The Monday night class textbook won't be in until this morning, despite the fact that tonight's the second class meeting. :( Plus I've a H1N1 research project due Thursday, but this time I'm a little ahead of the curve and have actually completed more than half of the assignment already.
Tomorrow ma chere maman will visit most of the day so I'd like to be ahead of the curve if possible so I can relax and enjoy her company. :)
Off to the mines. Have a great day! :)
Sunday, September 20, 2009
1. Long legs, crooked thighs, little head and no eyes.
2. Black we are but much admired; men seek for us til they are tired. We tire
the horse, but comfort man: Tell me this riddle if you can.
3. Flour of England, fruit of Spain, Met together in a shower of rain, put in a bag and tied round with a string, if you tell me this riddle I’ll give you a ring.
4. Old Mother Twitchett had but one eye, and long tail, which she let fly; and everytime she went over a gap she left a bit of her tail in a trap.
5. I’ve seen you where you never were, and where you never will be, and you in that same place, may still be seen by me.
6. As I went through the garden gap, who should I meet but Dick Red-Cap! A stick in his hand, a stone in his throat, if you tell me this riddle, I’ll give you a groat.
yrrech.6 rorrim ni noitcelfer .5 daerht dna eldeen .4 gniddup mulp .3 slaoc .2
Posted by Bookwormom at 12:05 AM
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
I first found Midnight Secretary via Smart Bitches. The author's name may also be found spelled Oumi and Oomi.Click title above for link to wiki page talking about this series. This is a josei manga (aimed at women)- click here for wiki page detailing what josei manga is and who it’s marketed towards. Originally published in Petit Comic magazine in Japan starting in 2006 and finishing in May of 2009, with 34 chapters and a few extras. It was serialized. I’m very grateful I found it near the end of its serialization. It would’ve been torture to wait weeks and months between chapters. This is the first manga I read and as a ‘newbie’ genre reader I had to get my daughter to explain some of the background and symbolism the genre comes with. If you are a new reader there are lots of resources out there on the internet to help you along.
Kaya Satozuka is what I think we here in the U.S. would call an executive secretary. She’s in her mid twenties and works for the Touma company. In the opening section Kaya has just been assigned to CEO Kyouhei Touma’s office as his only secretary. Not a prospect to be relished, since he goes through secretaries as others might use tissues. However, Kaya is no ordinary secretary either. Preternaturally organized and efficient, Kaya soon makes herself indispensible.
Kaya is a total workaholic, with little or no personal time. The only sticking point is that she’s frumpy. Dresses conservatively, wears glasses despite not needing them. Why this would be a problem given her competence otherwise I didn’t understand. Kyouhei complains about her unattractiveness at first although eventually he shuts up about it. Kyouhei is openly a womanizer, going so far as to instruct Kaya in scheduling and gifts to be given. Chasing Kaya off once in a while. He’s very open about it all- Kaya’s only his secretary after all. & really? Who cares what she thinks?
Everyone has a flaw though, and Kaya’s is curiosity. Eventually Kaya tires of juggling all these women for him. She wants to know just what the hell is going on with Kyouhei and his harem and all of the rules attached to their relationships. So what does she do? She sets him up for a fall by hiding during one of Kyouhei’s trysts. Is she prepared for what she’ll find out? What will the fallout be for her and for Kyouhei? Is everything really as it seems? Can Kaya balance work and her growing involvement with Kyouhei?
This was an eye opening introduction into the world of romantic, paranormal josei manga. The world created has unique features and Kaya has a viewpoint towards work and loyalty that I’ve never come across. Kyouhei is totally a type A dominant guy- will Kaya truly be able to tame him? Even just a little? Available to read here and here.
Image is copyrighted & is Tomu Ohmi's, from the series. This manga is currently scanlated onto these sites and is likely done illegally so far as I can tell. Yes, it's piracy and theft of copyrighted material and deprives the author of income. Yes, it's wrong. So far as I can tell it's not available in english anywhere at this time. If you have very strong feelings about supporting author's rights, fighting piracy etc. I recommend you find something else to read.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
This is an historical mystery set in ancient Roman controlled Britain. Ms. Downie is a new to me author, there are two other titles in this series. The next one is Terra Incognita and the newest is Persona non Grata. The Hubby and I listened to this as we road tripped from home to mid-coast Maine and back again. Medicus was released in March 2007 by Bloomsbury.
Gaius Ruso, the eponymous medicus (doctor) has arrived in the wild and uncivilized territory called Britannica. He’s divorced, childless, originally from the south of France, and has served in the emperor’s army in rather warmer climbs. Ruso is his father’s oldest son, thus inheritor of the estate upon his father’s recent death. However, due to his father’s financial house of cards Ruso is forced to serve in the army to keep the estate afloat and to fund the upkeep of a large passel of relatives. Ruso appears to be a capable and caring physician, short tempered in the face of unyielding bureaucracy especially when it interferes with the good care of those soldiers who are injured.
Newly arrived in town, Ruso is out exploring and getting small errands done when he rescues a young female slave who is injured and being maltreated by her owner. Eventually Ruso ends up buying her with his last pocket money so that she will get treatment. Besides, he and his roommate Valens live in a filthy bachelor hovel that could use a little cleanliness. First he has to hide her & treat her and get her healthy.
Via performing an autopsy on a drowning victim, Ruso begins to poke around town asking questions about a few missing or murdered prostitutes. The prevailing attitude in the garrison, and even among some of the natives, is: “Who cares about some missing whores, really? Don’t you have better things to do?”Meanwhile, the hospital bean counter is making Ruso’s life hell, Valens is taking off at critical moments, and the female slave isn’t as grateful or compliant as Ruso thought she ought to be. Imagine that? LOL
The critical thing to remember is that Ruso isn’t a detective, he’s a physician. That’s his worldview, his identity and the basis for all of his actions. What does this mean for the reader? It means that Ruso is slow and misses the obvious and is oblivious when suspicious things happen to him or others around him. Ms. Downie manages to find that delicate balance between shining a light on life in ancient Britain and not overwhelming the reader or the storyline.
As an audiobook, this worked quite well. The reader has a pleasant voice, although the accent made me wonder if a well traveled French military doctor would really have a British accent! Of course, I probably over think these things, so don’t mind me. Otherwise, we enjoyed this quite a bit. It’s funny, and some of the dialogue is very deft.
Image found on B & N
Monday, September 14, 2009
Listed in no particular order, those that have been reviewed are hyperlinked. Those that aren’t, will be reviewed ASAP and the links will be updated early in October.
1.Death Wore White~ Jim Kelly
2.20’s Girl~ Sophie Kinsella
3.Four Wives~ Wendy Walker
4.The Enchantment Emporium~ Tanya Huff
5.Medicus~ Ruth Downie
6. The Graveyard Book~ Neil Gaiman
7.Midnight Secretary~ Tomu Ohmi (josei manga)
8. Love Cruise~ Tomu Ohmi (josei manga)
1.Prince of Midnight~ Laura Kinsale
2.Driving Like Crazy~ P.J. O’Rourke
Sunday, September 13, 2009
by Oliver Wendell Holmes
I saw him once before
As he passed by the door
The pavement stones resound,
As he totters o’er the ground
With his cane.
They say that in his prime,
Ere the pruning-knife of Time
Cut him down,
Not a better man was found
By the Crier on his round
Through the town.
But now he walks the streets,
And he looks at all he meets
Sad and wan,
And he shakes his feeble head,
That it seems as if he said,
“They are gone.”
The mossy marbles rest
On the lips that he has prest
In their bloom,
And the names he loved to hear
Have been carved for many a year
On the tomb.
My grandmamma has said-
Poor old lady, she is dead
That he had a Roman nose,
And his cheek was like a rose
In the snow.
But now his nose is thin,
And it rests upon his chin
Like a staff,
And a crook in his back
And a melancholy crack
In his laugh.
I know it is a sin
For me to sit and grin
At him here;
But the old three-cornered hat,
And the breeches, and all that,
Are so queer!
And if I should live to be
The last leaf upon the tree
In the spring,
Let smile as I do now,
At the old forsaken bough
Where I cling.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman
I listened to this in the audiobook version, cover opposite. Mr. Gaiman performs his book- incredibly well I might add. It truly was a performance as opposed to a simple reading. I highly recommend borrowing this version from your library even if you’ve read it. He’s that good. You won’t be sorry, I promise you. I’m probably going to buy this for my nephew for Christmas. The Graveyard Book was originally published by Harper Collins in September of 2008.
I love Neil Gaiman’s books. I’ve read most of his sci fi alternate reality titles aimed at adults. However, I’ve avoided most of the titles aimed at children. I don’t exactly have a reason, truth be told. I’m coming around to thinking that I need to add Mr. Gaiman to my (very short) list of authors whose work I need to read no matter what the plot is supposed to be, who it’s ‘aimed’ at, what type of fiction it’s categorized as. I should’ve known better than to skip it. I read children’s fiction and young adult lit. frequently and I’m well aware that these fields are full of highly talented authors who write smart, entertaining fiction for kids.
The plot is deceptively simple. An eighteen month old toddler happens to climb out of his crib and wander off exploring on the night his parents are murdered. Purely by happenstance he wanders into the graveyard near his home, in time to simultaneously be saved from the murderers and adopted by the graveyard residents once it becomes clear that this is what his mother’s ghost wants. After that the reader follows along as Bod grows up. Makes friends with his first live human. Watch him try to cope with a teacher he doesn’t like. Cringe as he falls in with the wrong crowd- literally. Bod learns the truth about what happened on that long ago night. He meets a person who I came to believe is the embodiment of the old poem “To see a fine lady upon a white horse; Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes, And she shall have music wherever she goes.”
A wonderful, unique story about a boy who survives and thrives against the fearsome odds arrayed against him from the very start of his life.
Friday, September 11, 2009
I'm sure there are people who won't believe this, but this is a DNF for me. PoM fell flat on its face because the plot hit a hurdle that up until now I hadn't realized I have. In this review, I will be discussing things that happen up to page 100 or so & I may reference things that are or would be spoilers. Consider yourself warned. My copy is a hardcover put out by Avon in 1990 and has Fabio on the cover. The cover pictured here is a Sourcebooks cover, according to Amazon.
Prince of Midnight is set in late 18th century France amid the revolution. Leigh Strachan is a young Englishwoman running around France disguised as young man. She's looking for a legendary highwayman whom she wants to teach her swordsmanship. Ms. Kinsale turns a typical plot on its head by making Leigh the one who burns for vengeance. S.T. Maitland, despite being disabled by severe vertigo and deafness in one ear, is the highwayman Leigh is looking for. Let's just say that Leigh is a tad surprised when she realizes that Maitland is indeed who she's looking for.
Now, I love to read about women in disguise as young men, women who seek vengeance for a wrong committed against them or those they love. I liked the topsy turvy aspect of Maitland being the one who falls head over heels in love, no matter how improbable I found it. The problem I ran up against is that Leigh's desire for revenge is based on religious persecution of her family. The abuses could have been made as a power grab or for revenge or any number of other reasons.
I did a little investigating & found out that there was religious persecution of certain individuals in England during this time period and possibly in the place mentioned. This is all fine. All fiction has grains of truth embedded within it. However, I am tired of reading books wherein the main character's personal problems are rooted in active persecution of that person or their loved ones by religious functionaries. It may well be true- I have no argument with that truth. I am simply tired of reading about it. I am tired of reading fictionalized accounts of the abuses of religious authorities. Why is it so hard to find fiction that reveals the good things faith does?
*Sigh* I chose not to finish PoM. There is already too much authentic, serious, faith based controversy in the news for me to be able to set this aside in the fiction I read.
ETA: Corrected author's name in the title. My apologies to all! :(
Thursday, September 10, 2009
The Guardian published an article discussing contemporary M&B romances- it's great stuff. Click title above to read it. The article's author also writes an extract for a romance, click here to read. Great stuff. I wish she'd write & submit it to them- I'd read it. :)
Monday, September 07, 2009
My first two weeks of classes has flown by! I can't believe it. Mostly because I also had to start prepping the kids for the beginning of school and it was our anniversary. My head is spinning so much I can barely remember my name. The kids are off for the first day tomorrow & our anniversary was this past Saturday. #22! Can you believe it? Neither can I.
That leaves school. It's intimidating to enter a classroom & realize that most of your classmates are young enough to be your children. :( Luckily for me the prof is a very genteel Southern lady who gives off what I call "nun vibes"-gentle and sweet looking on the outside yet very no nonsense when you scratch the surface. She wore the neatest raspberry colored suit the first day of class. Anyhow. The Husband bet me I couldn't keep my mouth shut even on the first day- I barely made it. What can I say? Idiots annoy me & teenagers who think they have the answer to it all are especially annoying. *shrug* I didn't have to whip out the mom voice until the second class, so I guess I won the bet. Problem is we can't remember the stakes. LOL :)
As for books I'm way way behind. What else is new? I have three books for the international relations class, one of which I'm supposed to have finished by Sept. 15th. Haven't read more than 75 pages out of 600+. LOL :) I can catch up pretty quickly- it's a Thomas Friedman, so it should go pretty fast once I really get going. Anime Queen somehow has me hooked on Fruits Basket. Why and how I really don't know, but FB has totally caught my attention. How much of a contest can there be, honestly- between T. Friedman and Fruits Basket?
So there you have it. My first two weeks of class, getting the kids prepped for school, our anniversary & remembering I have homework now. Very calm & quiet life I lead, huh?
Monday, August 31, 2009
Michele at Reader's Respite posted a link to this cool website that helps you find nearby library sales! Searchable by state and by date, you can sign up for reminder emails!! How fab is that! My bookshelves are pleading for mercy even as we sit here. LOL :)
Posted by Bookwormom at 12:00 AM
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Rumors are going around that Steven Spielberg has optioned the rights to Mr. Crichton's unfinished novel Pirate Latitudes. The Guardian has published a story with more details, click here. According to the article the book will be published in November.
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
I've signed up for two classes at our local community college. I took a computer class in the spring of '08 and I didn't do very well trying to juggle home and work and school along with a long commute. I've been out of the Supermom game for a while and it took a lot out of me. I enjoyed it though. So this time I'm taking international relations and 'culture and geography'. Should be interesting I think.
Post #975 in Giveaway
Monday, August 24, 2009
According to the Del Ray Newsletter, author Peter V Brett has signed a film adaptation deal for his book The Warded Man aka The Painted Man. The same group who makes the Resident Evil movie franchise has taken on Brett's book.
Images found on Random House and Fantastic Fiction.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Tanya Huff is a new to me Canadian author I found on the "fabulous new finds" shelves in my local library. This book was published this year by Daw. I searched for a book site for her without success, although she has a livejournal page, the title above links to a wiki page about her. ISFDB has a page for her. Ms. Huff has a huge list of work, none of which I'm familiar with- a condition many Canadian authors probably suffer with (ie: Americans being totally clueless about our good neighbors' literary work). I have managed to find one of her older works: titled Gate of Darkness, Circle of Light, which I look forward to reading sometime soon.
I have to say the title and cover sucked me right in- that the blurb sounded fascinating was a bonus. Ms. Huff has developed a detailed alternate reality version of Canada populated with well developed, articulate characters (in this case primarily women) who have what we would likely consider paranormal gifts. The Gale family is comprised almost entirely of women, the few directly related male members of the family are carefully portioned out to the other ladies 'to keep the bloodlines pure' according to the characters. Once I realized what that actually was, it squicked me out totally. Still does. Despite that Ms. Huff managed to pull me deeper into her story.
Alysha Gale is twenty four, newly unemployed and has been summoned across Canada by a mysterious letter mailed to her by her grandmother that opens: "If you're reading this I'm dead.." or something close to that. Allie has to go to her grandmother's antique shop and figure out what's happening. No one is totally sure if grandmother is dead or not, so Allie and her favorite cousin and their childhood friend Michael are ordered to figure out exactly what's going on. After that it's nonstop action: leprechauns, gates that allow powerful beasts into the mortal realm, mysterious spelled cell phones, baked goods that have spells and charms baked right in. Let's not forget the seventh son of a seventh son and yummy delicious bad guys that have this romance reader wishing the bad guys had books all their own.
I really enjoyed The Enchantment Emporium. I felt like I was dropped into a fully developed world, as opposed to enduring lots of world building. I'm hopeful Ms. Huff will write more books set in this world, preferably with more on stage action by the bad guys!
This is post #973 for those of you keeping track of my 1,000 post giveaway
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
I found this book by happy coincidence. I read about it via the Guardian book section and made a note of it, less than ten days later it was listed on our library 'new acquisitions' email. So I requested it- first one on the list! Here in the US this is a 2009 release from St. Martin's. It's a police procedural and puzzle mystery set in contemporary England. More on the procedural and characterization and less purely puzzle, but that element is still there. It is, in a word fabulous- go & read it.
Peter Shaw is a youngish veteran police officer (10 years) in a small British coastal town. His partner is George Valentine, who is significantly nearer to retirement age. George and Peter's father, Jack, were disgraced twelve years earlier. An event which led to Jack's premature death a year later and the near total ruination of George's career. Peter and George are on the beach looking for illegal barrels of toxic waste when the stumble upon a body in an inflatable boat rocking in the surf, shortly afterward they find a line of stranded vehicles most of which contain annoyed passengers- except for one, which contains a very dead passenger. The weather is prated on endlessly, blizzard conditions. Remember that, will you?
Peter is the kind of person who enters his father's profession to try and understand him better. He's also the kind of person who marries a woman the exact opposite of one his parents would approve of- a trait that endeared him to me, lol. :) Peter, naturally, feels compelled to revisit the scene of his father's last case and quizzes George about it. George is having some trouble adjusting to being ordered about by a stripling and doesn't seem inclined to change his methodology to make Peter's working life easier, not that he should anyway. George is a widower who has his routines that do nothing to hide his loneliness or rootlessness. He knows policing though, and Peter does well to remember that.
Despite being slow to start, once Mr. Kelly has a head of steam there's no stopping the momentum of his story. It's nicely balanced between figuring out the murders and exploring the personality and methodology and private lives of Peter and George. I'm hopeful that the next book moves a little quicker in the beginning since there is groundwork laid. Mr. Kelly has another series featuring sleuth Philip Dryden, the most recent one of which was released in paperback in September of 2008.
Posted by Bookwormom at 12:05 AM
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
By Genevieve Taggard
Marcia and I went over the curve,
Eating our way down
Jewels of strawberries we didn't deserve,
Eating our way down,
Til our hands were sticky, and our lips painted.
And over us the hot day fainted,
And we saw snakes,
And got scratched,
And a lust came over for the red unmatched
Small buds of berries,
Till we lay down-
Eating our way down-
And rolled in the berries like two little dogs,
In the late gold.
And gnats hummed,
And it was cold,
And home we went, home without a berry,
Painted red and brown,
Eating our way down.
Friday, August 14, 2009
I stole this idea from Kailana at The Written Word. Books I've read are bolded. 34 of those. Titles I own but haven't read are italicized. 6 of these.
1. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
2. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
3. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
4. Bridget Jones's Diary by Helen Fielding
5. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
6. Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
7. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
8. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
9. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg
10. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
11. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
12. Life of Pi, by Yann Martel
13. The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
14. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
15. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
16. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
17. Bel Canto by Ann Patchett
18. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
19. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
20. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
21. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
22. The Bean Trees by Barbara Kingsolver
23. The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith
24. The World According to Garp by John Irving
25. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
26. The Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy
27. Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel
28. The Princess Bride by William Goldman
29. The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler
30. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer
31. A Confederacy of Dunces, by John Kennedy Toole
32. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
33. The Red Tent by Anita Diamant
34. Beach Music by Pat Conroy
35. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
36. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
37. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
38. Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
39. The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
40. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
41. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
42. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
43. Interview with the Vampire by Anne Rice
44. Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier
45. Empire Falls by Richard Russo
46. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes
47. The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas
48. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues by Tom Robbins
49. I Know This Much Is True by Wally Lamb
50. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
51. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
52. The Stand by Stephen King
53. She's Come Undone by Wally Lamb
54. Dune by Frank Herbert
55. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows
56. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
57. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
58. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
59. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
60. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
61. Animal Dreams by Barbara Kingsolver
62. Jaws by Peter Benchley
63. Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
64. Angle of Repose by Wallace Stegner
65. Snow Falling on Cedars by David Guterson
66. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
67. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
68. Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut
69. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
70. The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
71. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
72. The Hunt for Red October by Tom Clancy
73. Cold Sassy Tree by Olive Ann Burns
74. The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
74. Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe
76. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
77. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
78. The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher
79. Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
80. Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett
81. Cannery Row by John Steinbeck
82. The Pilot's Wife by Anita Shreve [tie]
83. All the Pretty Horses, by Cormac McCarthy
84. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
85. The Little Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery
86. The Road by Cormac McCarthy
87. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich
88. Shogun by James Clavell
89. Dracula by Bram Stoker
90. The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera
91. Presumed Innocent by Scott Turow
92. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger
93. The Secret History by Donna Tartt
94. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
95. Summer Sisters by Judy Blume
96. The Shining by Stephen King
97. How Stella Got Her Groove Back by Terry McMillan
98. Lamb by Christopher Moore
99. Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen
100. Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Posted by Bookwormom at 10:57 AM
Thursday, August 13, 2009
In a vain attempt to either: a) cut down in book spending b) take all of the best library books home so no one else can read them or c) increase my guilt at lack of reading by looking at my enormous library pile or possibly d) all of the above, I have approximately 25 titles checked out from the library.
I'm currently reading 2:
Death Wore White by Jim Kelly
The End of Overeating by David Kessler
I have 2 more on request and just received an email saying the one I wanted most is available for pick up:
Mastered by Love by Stephanie Laurens
This is post #968 for those readers interested in participating in my 1000 post giveaway, click here for information. If you would like to be entered in the giveaway please leave a comment on any post starting with the August 7th announcement and ending with the 1000th post.
Monday, August 10, 2009
Ms. Walker is a new to me author published by St. Martin's Griffin. Full disclosure: I received this title as an ARC from Phenix Publicity for the purpose of this review. This title sparked much conversation between the Hubby and myself, with different reactions from both of us. It would be a fabulous title for a book discussion group.
This is a story of four women who start off the story playing in the shallow end of life's pool and end up in the deep end. How they went from shallow to deep and how they rescued themselves (most of them anyway) and each other. Superficially Four Wives is centralized around planning a charity fundraiser. However, IMO Four Wives is actually a character study of these women, their marriages & the superficiality that infects them all to one degree or another.
There is Janie the Barbie wife, who has all of the fabulous and perfect Barbie accoutrements (house, kids, car, trainer, servants, plastic surgery, husband), except maybe she doesn't love her husband anymore and sex with him is icky now. Ooops. Then there's Marie, a Harvard trained lawyer who gave up an exciting & thriving career in New York City to live the suburban lifestyle she was supposed to want. Poor Marie didn't realize just how much suburban living would suck the vitality out of her. Love is the doctor's wife, but she's too stressed, too anxious, too guilt ridden to truly enjoy her children, her husband or the storybook life she's created. But what is she hiding? Last is Gayle, the old line New York family member, wealthy in her own right. She's everyone's guiding light. Gayle is way too much of a control freak, way too reserved to throw her social weight and influence around too much. So- what is Gayle keeping at bay with all of those pills she takes?
These women, these characters, provoked very strong reactions. The conversations between Hubby and I were animated and thought provoking. Ms. Walker paints true to life people and places them in a complex social and moral situation and then stirs the pot, leaving the reader to eagerly devour the pages wondering just how will everything fall into place at the end. The dynamic of one woman who makes a moral judgement that may have serious repercussions throughout her life is placed alongside another woman who is so self absorbed that she doesn't consider anything other than what she wants and how to get it. Alternatively there are women who play out life scripts written for them when they were children. Which ones of these ladies will triumph?
One quote stood out for me at the end, a quote that I think is representative of the novel as a whole. In my book it's on page 353:
"She had done a lot of thinking about the state of affairs between men and women and the attempts they made to share one life, one home. Was there ever really harmony without one person's submission?"
All I can say is wow. Four Wives is wonderful: thought provoking, conversation stirring, exciting. My hubby has borrowed it and plans to read it. If he wants to write a review I will post it and link the two reviews. Ms. Walker has another book out titled Social Lives which comes out September 1st. Run out and buy or borrow Four Wives, you won't be sorry.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
Twenties Girl is my very first Sophie Kinsella book. I know, I know I must be the very last woman on earth who hasn't read the Shopaholic series. I've been living under a rock reading other stuff, I guess. I will be up front and say I received an ARC from Random House for the purpose of this review. Link to Ms. Kinsella's site in the title above. Honestly, I probably wouldn't have picked this up on my own- and I would've missed a fabulous, funny book.
Twenties Girl is the story of two young women, Lara and Sadie, who have opposite temperments using their individual strengths and weaknesses to help the other cope with and transcend the vagaries of life. That sounds very serious, but truly Ms. Kinsella has a deft touch for comic yet true to life situations that would curl your hair if it was you, but are somehow hilarious when it happens to someone else. In a way I think this is also Lara's coming of age tale. By helping Sadie Lara must let go of preconceived notions and castles in the air and learn to be assertive and cope with life as it is, not life as she wishes it would be. For Sadie's part, well- she needs to learn to put others' needs ahead of her own, to be more forgiving.
Lara Lington is a mid twenties age Londoner who gave up her job to open an executive search firm with her 'best friend' Natalie. Lara's problems result from impulsivity and a pronounced tendency to be chameleon-like in the face of even the barest criticism. Sadie is Lara's long ignored elderly aunt. Rather, Sadie's ghost is haunting Lara. In her own mind, at her death Sadie is twenty three. At the height of her beauty and happiness, feeling as though she's at the top of the world. Except she's actually one hundred five. And very dead. Sadie wants Lara to find her favorite necklace and she threatens to haunt Lara until and unless she finds the necklace and returns it to Sadie.
Lara and Sadie are hilarious and heartbreaking. I found Sadie the more compelling character despite the book's primary focus on Lara's arc. Sadie manages to prod, drag and hound Lara into clarity of purpose and determination via Sadie's compelling need for a missing art deco dragonfly necklace. Throw in a smarmy coffee chain magnate uncle and his family, parents who know something's wrong but who won't corner Lara into honesty and the reader has a mixture of plot and character that are sure to keep you laughing as you devour the story.
Laughter's a formidable weapon in Ms. Kinsella's arsenal as she leads readers into a superficially shallow, fun storyline that has at it heart, a compelling narrative about family, love, and self respect. Full of fun anecdotes about life in the roaring twenties I loved reading about, Twenties Girl makes for a laugh out loud, "oh no she didn't" kind of read sure to make you smile.
P.S. The funeral at the end was a unique and touching tribute to Sadie! Just the right send off, I think.
Image found on Random House Library.
Friday, August 07, 2009
This post makes my 965th post, in celebration of my up coming 1,000th post I've decided to give away books I've recently reviewed to commmenters who leave a brief "hi there" in the comments. I'm willing to ship overseas as long as you're patient enough to wait for regular mail not airmail. Winners will be able to choose any two titles from the following list, which I plan to amend with more titles as time goes by. I'll chose enough winners to get through the list, at the moment it's 3 but will rise as I read more. Whichever winners contact me first via email get first pick, I'll use the timestamp on the email to decide who get which ones. :)
Questions?? Email me: bookwormomster AT gmail DOT com
All books reviewed & listed in my archives except as noted.
1. Cybele's Secret- Juliet Marillier (hardcover) review pending
2. Ruby's Slippers- Leanna Ellis
3. Certain Jeopardy- Struecker & Gansky
4. Rooftops of Tehran- Mahbod Seraji
5. Dirt: An American Campaign Mark LaFlamme
6. Twenties Girl- Sophie Kinsella
7. Four Wives Wendy Walker
Hardly read anything this month, truth be told. Well, hardly finished anything. The "reading mojo" as CindyS calls it seems to have gone on vacation. Which really annoys me since I've tons of great books around here begging to be read, but I've a shorter reading attention span than a two year old who needs a nap.:(
1.The Book of Unholy Mischief; Elle Newmark
Both explained in post
1. Iron Angel, Alan Campbell
2. Trading in Danger; Elizabeth Moon
Read earlier this year, but somehow forgotten in the monthly synopses, neither reviewed:
The Shadow Queen~ Anne Bishop~ Fantasy
Midnight Secretary~ Tomu Ohmi~ Josei Manga, click here for definition
Reviews for these coming soon. I hope.
Thursday, August 06, 2009
According to the NYT, Sony is slashing prices on their ebooks & is also introducing new, less expensive readers. Good news for those of you waiting for prices to fall before making the jump over to ebooks. Link in title.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
According to the Guardian (link in title above) M & B is redoing cover styles across their lines to emulate their 70's era look. Kinda neat, huh? I'm not sure how to find the new covers on their website, but click here for the site. I don't read much HQN/M&B, so maybe someone else out there figure out how to find the new covers?
From now until 9 August readers can nominate books for the Guardian's Not the Booker Prize contest. Rules listed here. Prize is a mug. Sounds like tremendous fun. I'm off to hunt up a possible entry. I desperately need more mugs. LOL :)
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
Vacation was fabulous. Just the Hubby & I. No kids, no animals. No worries. Or at least nothing worth fretting over while we were gone. You know, it was the first time we'd gone away alone in...five years. Maybe four. Can't remember. That was only a long weekend. This time we took a whole week. What luxury- an entire week. Needless to say I didn't read anything. No newspapers, no magazines, no books, nothing. Honestly, I can't say I missed it either. Yes, I'm shocked too. But really- I left most of my life behind for a week & I enjoyed it. Now that I'm back, though, I'm refreshed & ready to go. Maybe. HAHAHAHA :)
Posted by Bookwormom at 8:13 PM
Sunday, August 02, 2009
I meant to do my work today-
But a brown bird sang in the apple tree,
And a butterfly flitted across the field,
And all the leaves were calling me.
And the wind went sighing over the land
Tossing the grasses to and fro,
And a rainbow held out its shining hand-
So what could I do but laugh and go?
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Ms. Jane Aiken Hodge, well known UK romance author, died in her home last month. It sounds like an understandably painful moment in her family life, I hope the issues revolving around her method of death are resolved favorably n her family's best interest. I've not read any of her work myself, but her name comes up occasionally in online discussions. Her writing life was prolific & I'm sure her fans will miss her. Link in title above to article referencing her death, click here for wiki article about her life and work. Her family certainly had their share of writing gifts, her sister is children's writer Joan Aiken.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
According to The Guardian a literary expert specializing in PG Wodehouse and Arthur Conan Doyle has discovered four new short plays written by PG Wodehouse and a collaborator approximately one hundred years ago. I dearly hope they will be collected together and published, I would love to have them! Direct link to article in title above.
Posted by Bookwormom at 12:00 PM
Monday, July 27, 2009
Romance author Teresa Medeiros has written a lovely post about why she writes and reads romances. The post is on her group website Squawk Radio, and is titled 'Teresa Says it Loud and Says it Proud'. Smart Bitches, Trashy Books site co-owner Candy takes time out from law school madness to mull Ms. Medeiros' arguments. Candy doesn't pop up much anymore, obviously, due to her schedule, so go & read what she has to say before she submerges again into the depths of law school insanity.
My favorite quotes from Ms. Medeiros:
"..In a society gutted by cynicism, we have found the courage to stand up and proclaim that hope isn’t corny, love isn’t an antiquated fantasy, and dreams can come true for women still willing to strive for them.
Probably the most subversive thing we dare to do is to make the woman the hero of her own story..
Our heroines don’t just “stand by their men”, they “stand up to them.” And guess what—their men love it! We celebrate both a woman’s softness and her strength and introduce her to a man capable of recognizing the value of both.."
Sunday, July 26, 2009
At evening when the lamp is lit,
Around the fire my parents sit;
They sit at home and talk and sing,
And do not play at anything.
Now, with my little gun I crawl
All in the dark along the wall,
And follow round the forest track
Away behind the sofa back.
There, in the night, where none can spy,
All in my hunter's camp I lie,
And play at books that I have read
Till it is time to go to bed.
These are the hills, these are the woods,
These are my starry solitudes;
And there the river by whose brink
The roaring lions come to drink.
I see the others far away.
As if in firelit camp they lay,
And I, like to an Indian scout,
Around their party prowl about.
So, when my nurse comes for me,
Home I return across the sea,
And go to bed with backward looks
At my dear land of storybooks.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
According to Essence Magazine, link in title above, author E Lynn Harris has died. My condolences to his family and his fans. Mr. Harris is one of those authors who were perennially on my 'need to read someday' list. My bucket reading list, so to speak. Now he's gone & I'm sad that we'll only have the eleven fiction titles, one memoir & an anthology already published (list here). Next time I'm in a bookstore or the library, whichever comes first, I'll buy one of his books. No more procrastinating. Another author always on my TBB list, Eric Jerome Dickey. Gonna find one of his books too. ASAP.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Couldn't finish Alan Campbell's Iron Angel, mostly related to other problems in the previous book. Specifically, the timing and pacing continued to worsen, primary characters introduced in the previous novel were shunted aside in favor of a whole new issue. In truth I wonder if some of the problem isn't editing. If the parts had been organized differently the flow would've been better & I would've happily stuck with the story no matter what. An altered focus, different pacing. Unfortunately none of those things happened. I'm very regretful, truth be told. I really really liked Scar Night & I had high hopes for this one but I simply couldn't keep wading. From all accounts online, the third one has its fair share of problems all its own too, so I think I'm gonna pass. However, Mr. Campbell is permanently on my list of authors to watch.
Trading in Danger by Elizabeth Moon suffered from..I don't know. Just general waning interest. Lack of being a female Miles Vorkosigan. Actually, what I plan to do in this case is borrow another one in the series a little further along to see if I like them better. Why? Because there would be nothing better than a girl trader sailing across space having adventures. We'll see how it goes.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
1. Generously built woman jumping up and down along the side of a road barely wearing a bikini. A small bikini. lol :)
2. People wearing various furry costumes: gorilla, pink rabbit, yellow & red something or other & chickens.
3. Fans in Barcelona waving bits of yellow paper all along the route in their region.
4. Inflatable kangaroos & flamingos wearing straw hats & sunglasses. Also small stuffed Camargue bulls.
5. Male fan wearing a knight's costume & waving a sword & shield.
6. Group of fans wearing green shorts & neon yellow wigs running alongside the cyclists & cheering.
7. Cowboy in full "old west" riding outfit, including lariat & hat, riding a western saddle & holding in his stirrup a huge flag streaming behind him.
8. Man, why is is almost always a man??? wearing a red spandex outfit-not AT ALL flattering- with a purple cape & yellow wig.
9. "The Devil", an older man with mostly white hair who wears a red and black outfit & carries a trident. This man is a tradition & has been seen at every TDF for years and years.
10. A European version of what my husband & I call 'drunken bubba syndrome', bubba being Southern American slang, click here for in depth explanation. A fat, shirtless, tanned man wearing shorts hanging off of his genitalia & exposing his butt cheeks holding a canned beverage and jumping up & down in the grass so vigorously I was afraid I was about to see all of his equipment.
11. Always amazes me how much some people can pack into tiny cars: tents, folding tables, folding chairs, tarpaulins, costume paraphenalia, flags, beverages.
12. Speaking of tents, some of my favorite tv shots are of the mini tent villages that spring up in the smallest verges along the roads. Adorable colorful tents sprout like bright mushrooms & disappear just as soon as the Tour goes by.
13. Living near & regularly traveling along one of the busiest interstate highways in the US, I thought that mostly Americans and Canadians were obsessed with recreational vehicles (RVs), aka camper vans or caravans. Images & terms found here, if you're unsure what I'm nattering on about. I'm completely out of the loop though, because apparently Europeans love them too. Complete with satellite tv dishes. LOL :) However, there are hoards of them along the TDF route.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
All I can say is yummy. From beginning to end: yummy. Elle Newmark's newest book is an historical thriller wrapped in a delicious disguise as a tour of a 15th century Venetian kitchen. I was invited to review this novel by Pump Up Your Book Promotion and received a (signed!!yay!!) review copy. The image here is of the audiobook, but the cover is the same. Via Simon & Schuster. I spent most of this book hungry. I warned you. lol :) If you are a fan of Ariana Franklin's work, this is definitely one to try.
The plot is deceptively simple: the Doge's chef rescues a near starving street urchin named Luciano & makes him the chef's apprentice. Luciano, along with most of Venice, becomes obsessed with a fabled book that is rumored to have recipes not only for making gold, but for immortality itself. And wealthy Venetians want it. The apprenticeship is a huge opportunity for an uneducated bastard who'd been on the streets of Venice since he was five. Hints are placed carefully so that soon you realize there is significantly more happening to this story than you thought there would be. Venice herself, that grand lady, as well as the food, the cuisine, and most especially her politics are all characters who play a part.
Adjective upon adjective wells up in my mind when thinking about The Book of Unholy Mischief. Lush, sensual and decadent are only three of them. Feast for the senses, 'purple prose' for epicures, to use a romance cliche in the best sense of the phrase. The relationships are complicated by lust, greed, curiosity, furtiveness, revenge and the need for secrecy. Knowledge is power. Venetians, running a shipping empire, know this more than others. For some the quest drives them ever higher, ever onward. But who will pay the price?
The narrative is nonlinear and Ms. Newmark leads the reader along by the stomach, which is entirely pleasant, I assure you. There are a few words and phrases in Italian (also French and Spanish) which are translated at the author's website, here. I realize this review is short, but in my defense I have to say I honestly found very little to critique in The Book of Unholy Mischief, indeed very little to quibble over. For me this is a book to savor much like a ripe peach- sweet, intense, full of delicious juices and you're sorry when it's done. Like homegrown tomatoes, Ms. Newmark's book is the best of the bunch. Is that enough food metaphors for you? This is a book I would have purchased on my own- run out and buy one yourself. It's worth it's weight in ripe peaches! Or homegrown tomatoes. lol :)
PS~ Ms. Newmark has a blog where she discusses book signing in Venice and her age as well as a video walking tour. Click here.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
College Student has been visiting this week, so I've been visiting with him as opposed to blogging and reading. Sorry for the lack of posts. :) Am also incredibly behind with my reading schedule! Gotta buckle down & get moving.
Yesterday's schedule: Taking the Pianist out to camp in Shenandoah then taking College Student back to his digs at Grandmere's. Then off to visit the Outlaws (lol) so Hubby can talk to his aunt & uncle. Uncle has very serious form of cancer & wants someone to translate "doctor-speak" into Plain English. My heart goes out to them, he was a farmer for years & farmers are thought to have higher incidences of certain cancers.
In the beginning, God created the
Heavens and the Earth and populated
the Earth with broccoli, cauliflower and
spinach, green and yellow and
red vegetables of all kinds, so Man and
Woman would live long and healthy
Then using God's great gifts,
Satan created Ben and Jerry's
Ice Cream and Krispy Creme
Donuts. And Satan said, "You
want chocolate with that?"
And Man said, "Yes!" and
Woman said, "and as long as
you're at it, add some
sprinkles." And they gained
10 pounds. And Satan smiled.
And God created the
healthful yogurt that
Woman might keep the
figure that Man found so
fair. And Satan brought
forth white flour from the
wheat, and sugar from the
cane and combined them.
And Woman went from
size 6 to size 14.
So God said, "Try my fresh green
salad." And Satan presented
buttery croutons and garlic toast
on the side.
And Man and Woman unfastened
their belts following the repast.
God then said, "I have sent you heart
healthy vegetables and olive oil in
which to cook them." And Satan
brought forth deep fried fish and
chicken-fried steak so big it needed its
own platter. And Man gained more
weight and his cholesterol went through
the roof. God then created a light, fluffy
white cake, named it "Angel Food
Cake," and said, "It is good." Satan then
created chocolate cake and named it
God then brought forth
running shoes so that His
children might lose those extra
pounds. And Satan gave cable
TV with a remote control so
Man would not have to toil
changing the channels. And
Man and Woman laughed and
cried before the flickering blue
light and gained pounds.
Then God brought forth the potato,
naturally low in fat and brimming
with nutrition. And Satan peeled off
the healthful skin and sliced the
starchy center into chips and deep-
fried them. And Man gained pounds.
God then gave lean beef so that Man
might consume fewer calories and still
satisfy his appetite. And Satan created
McDonald's and its
99-cent double cheeseburger. Then said,
"You want fries with that?" And Man
replied, "Yes! And super size them!"
And Satan said, "It is good." And Man
went into cardiac arrest.
God sighed and created
quadruple bypass surgery.
Then Satan created HMOs.
Found in my inbox this week. Don't know original source.