Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

Whoops! This is similar to the one I did last night but different enough that I'll also do this one! For some reason the numbers aren't showing up when I copy it here :(

For this week's Tuesday Thingers, I've copied the list of the most-challenged books of the 1990s straight from the ALA website. I've highlighted the ones I've read. Highlight what you've read, and italicize what you have in your LT library.

Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
Forever by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple by Alice Walker
Sex by Madonna
Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
The Witches by Roald Dahl
The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
The Goats by Brock Cole
Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
Blubber by Judy Blume
Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
Final Exit by Derek Humphry
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman by Paul Zindel
Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
Deenie by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
Cujo by Stephen King
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
Ordinary People by Judith Guest
American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
Fade by Robert Cormier
Guess What? by Mem Fox
The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Native Son by Richard Wright
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
Jack by A.M. Homes
Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
Carrie by Stephen King
Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets by Norma Klein
Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
The Dead Zone by Stephen King
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts by Howard Stern
Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford (why was this banned!)
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education by Jenny Davis
The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Monday, September 29, 2008

Banned Books Week- Meme

I found this over at S. Krishna's Books who found it over at Reading in Appalachia.
The list is the 115 most banned books. (Oooh). You are supposed to bold the ones you have read, italicize the ones you have read part of (good call, on meme's like this there are always some i've only partially read) and star the ones you own!

1. The Bible
2. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
4. The Koran* *
5. Arabian Nights
6. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
7. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
8. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
9. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
10. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
11. The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli**
12. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
13. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank**
14. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert**
15. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
16. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
17. Dracula by Bram Stoker
18. Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
19. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
20. Essays by Michel de Montaigne
21. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
22. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
23. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy
24. Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
25. Ulysses by James Joyce
26. Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
27. Animal Farm by George Orwell**
28. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
29. Candide by Voltaire
30. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
31. Analects by Confucius
32. Dubliners by James Joyce
33. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
34. Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
35. Red and the Black by Stendhal
36. Das Capital by Karl Marx
37. Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
38. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
39. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
40. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
41. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser**
42. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
43. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
44. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
45. Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
46. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
47. Diary by Samuel Pepys
48. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
49. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy
50. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury**
51. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
52. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
53. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey**
54. Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
55. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
56. Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
57. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
58. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger**
59. Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
60. Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
61. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe**
62. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
63. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
64. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
65. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou**
66. Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
67. Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
68. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
69. The Talmud
70. Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
71. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson (I hated this book when I was little, hated it!
72. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
73. American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
74. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
75. A Separate Peace by John Knowles**
76. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
77. Red Pony by John Steinbeck
78. Popol Vuh
79. Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
80. Satyricon by Petronius
81. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (anyone know why this was banned?)
82. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
83. Black Boy by Richard Wright
84. Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
85. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
86. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
87. Metaphysics by Aristotle
88. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder**
89. Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
90. Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
91. Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
92. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
93. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
94. Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin**
95. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
96. Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
97. General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
98. Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
99. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
100. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
101. Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
102. Émile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
103. Nana by Émile Zola
104. Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
105. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
106. Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
107. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
108. Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
109. Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
110. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes** (This book startled me in junior high)
111. Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
112. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling**
113. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
114. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle
115. The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatly Snyder

A Mixture of Frailties by Robertson Davies

A Mixture of Frailties opens at the funeral of Mrs. Bridgetower. During the reading of her will, her son, best friend and others are told they are to form a committee to find a young women to fund that will get an education in the arts with the money Mrs Bridgetower has left behind. Her son with get just about nothing but the responsibility to maintain her home as the property of the trust.

Once a young lady is found, Monica Gall, it switches over to her narrative. Monica is a singer and is sent abroad to England to study with several different people. This story is about her experience abroad over the next few years. A Mixture of Frailties is the third in The Salterton Trilogy but I had no problems reading it as a stand alone book.

I loved this book. I will admit that it took several weeks to get through for some reason, but I adored it nonetheless. It's hilarious in a nonchalant way. That's just the way it is. A wealth of humor comes from the cast of different characters that Monica encounters and the situations that arise. It was a refreshing piece of literature. It seems everything I read these days you don't have to think much about and could read half asleep. This book is rich with description and humor is found in every situation which I liked very much.

I liked the character of Monica and identified with the point in life she was in. With this opportunity she grows, changes and finds out who the person she is to become is. All the secondary characters were well flushed out and meaningful to the story.

5/5 Stars
I read this book for the Blog A Penguin Classic Blog.
Review copy provided by publisher

What book have you read recently with a great cast of characters?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Meme: Blogging Changed My Life

Carrie of Books and Movies tagged me for this meme. I'm so horrible I didn't even realized it until just now! I was tagged to write about 5 specific ways blogging has affected me, either positively or negatively.

So let's see. According to my blogger profile I've had this blog since June 2005! I remember I was taking a summer college course or two that summer and wanted to try something new. There weren't many people around that summer and I thought it would be fun. Until about April of this year it was a random blog that I randomly posted on. A few friends read it at first but then eventually I don't think anyone was reading it. I myself loved reading blogs, I used to read a lot of art/design and craft blogs but around April I started reading book blogs and more specifically ya book blogs. The community seemed so awesome I decided to start blogging again but this time with more of a focus and more consistently. 

1. Blogging has made me feel for the first time a part of a community of book lovers. I've never encountered any group of people that can identify with my love of books as much as you guys.

2. It's pulled me away from the tv at night if only for a little bit. If I didn't blog I'm pretty sure I'd spend the whole night in front of the tv. But now with blogging it's given me an outlet to also share my love or tv and movies!

3. Blogging has challenged me to read consistently (that and free time while riding the bus) if I haven't read any books in a long time I'd have nothing to say about them and this would probably just be a movie blog! 

4. Blogging has made me more social even if it's only through the computer. I can be very happy hanging out with myself but sometimes you should take a break from that. I really enjoy talking with you all, sharing stories and book/tv/movie recommendations!

5. I also think that blogging has given me an outlet to archive this period of my life. Imagine looking back in 20-30 years and reading tons of things you've talked about and thought about. I think that's awesome.

6. And oh, one more thing. Blogging has encouraged my bad habit of book buying! *smacks hand*

If you'd be interested in doing this meme consider yourself tagged! Put the link in the comments so I can come see!

How has blogging affected you?

PS That drawing has nothing to do with this. I just wanted to post an image with this. That's part of a zine I created entitled "Animals that Rule" and yes I mean as royalty. I crack myself up!

Squeal Worthy Covers

So I think I'm really strange. I see certain covers and they just don't leave my mind. I think about them way more than I should, it's like I have a crush on them or something! I'm not sure what it is exactly but let's see if we can't figure it out. 

Queen Geeks In Love- The Story Siren reviewed this book earlier this week. I had never seen this cover before but I love it. The image is great, I love feet shots and those tights! And the colors rock.

Pug Hill- Someone reviewed this recently. Was it you? I can't remember who. But the cover is so darn cute! Tiny little dogs and nice type treatment. Love it! Great color combination too.

Matrimony (paperback edition)- Now this is the paperback edition, the hardcover is pretty cool too. But I find myself thinking about this cover more. Once again great color palette but also, pretty sweet pair of girly shoes!

How to Be Single- Again, love the colors. Especially the pleats in the dress, that's awesome! I love the softness of the image.

Let It Snow- Now this one isn't perfect. I don't really like the present and how the title is much smaller then the SCREAMING author names. But I really like the green and white contrasting the red. 

So I guess I'm attracted to colors mostly but also beautiful photography. I  guess that's not surprising considering my background in design and photography. And yes, I do plan to read all of these... ! Marketing works! I've really enjoying all the different posts people have been doing that involve covers. My eyes just widen with excitement. Please keep it up! 

So what covers can't you get out of your head?

Saturday, September 27, 2008

This Week In Books Or So This Is What It's Like To Lose Control

So yeah... can't stop buying.

Monday: nothing

Tuesday: We Bought a Zoo arrives.

Wednesday: Perfect on Paper arrives from author Maria Murnane. Thank you! Miles From Nowhere and Oh, the Humanity! arrives.

Thursday: Another trip to the comic book store got me several new very very cute things! I got Johnny Boo: The Best Little Ghost In the World (very cute), Ojingogo (even cuter, much click here to see!), The New York Four and Janes in Love (both Minx graphic novels). The library sale was extra special this day, everything was 50 percent off! I picked up the Best American Short Stories of 1997, I collect these. I also got A Rumination of Cows, for giggles and Consumer Joe, I seem to remember getting a kick out of this in a bookstore some years ago.

Friday: I decided it wouldn't hurt to see if Barnes and Noble had Death by Latte and they did. Got it on my weekly morning treat run. The book is so little and bright and cute. I love the die cuts! Got home to find an ARC of Cycler from a bookmoocher. I really like this particular ARC, it has low-res cover art (the art work is fuzzy) the title design is different from the final and it has marking showing that the actual dust jacket will have a foil background. It's truly a working design, which I love to see!

Saturday: On Friday something came in the mail saying an envelope was trying to be delivered but needed delivery confirmation so I went and got it and it was the book, Falling Under from author Danielle Younge-Ullman . Thank you! I won this book through Author Buzz, a great way to find out about new books! Now this is where I lose total control... I went to a local used bookstore to just have a peek around, hadn't been there in months and I leave with The Tipping Point (which I've read and actually got from bookmooch once but the copy wasn't as nice as I liked so I got rid of it) Bloom (which I've read) and The Secret of Boys to add to my little collection of Hailey Abbott books.

So how about you, what did you buy or not buy this week? How are you book ban challenge participants doing, is it harder than you thought, easier than you thought? 

Friday, September 26, 2008

I HEART your blog!!

The Story Siren, The Boston Bibliophile, and S. Krishna's Books were all so kind to give me this very sweet award! I love you guys! Here's me nominating you right back! 

EDIT: Thanks also goes to Planet Books who also nominated me! Thank you! *waves*

EDIT 10/4/08: Thanks also goes to The Chick Manifesto for sharing the love! Love you guys!

1) Add the logo of the award to your blog 

2) Add a link to the person who awarded it to you 

3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs 

4) Add links to those blogs on your blog 

5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blogs! 

So let's see. I remember back in July nominating several blogs for an award so now is my chance to talk about some other great ones!

The Chick Manifesto- This is a rather new blog. Amee (previously from the Ravenous Reader) and Taren talk about all sorts of things including books, tv shows and movies. They definitely talk about things I'm interesting in! They are very friendly, lots of great chats going on in the comments.

Melissa Walker's Blog- I love Melissa and her blog! Win-It Wednesday used to be my favorite day with all the great questions, I still like it, but now Cover Stories on Mondays is my favorite!! Each Monday Melissa shares the story of one author's cover and how it came to be. Pretty much the best thing ever! Melissa is very friendly and shares lots of great things on her blog!

Shooting Stars Mag- Shooting Stars Mag posted about all sorts of things including books, movies and music. If you can't tell those are some of my favorite things!!!

YA Fresh- Kelly and Tina (both YA authors) share a variety of things on their blog. Including interviews, giveaways and fun author things. They are so nice and make you feel welcome!

The Compulsive Reader- The Compulsive Reader is another great blogger. She posts anything from reviews to book of the month to author spotlights. I've emailed with her a few times, she's a great person to talk books with!

Bookshipper- Tina posts a great variety of reviews. Most recently I've enjoyed her series of Red Dress Ink reviews!

The Book Muncher- The Book Muncher mainly reviews young adult titles. But within the genre you will find great variety. She also posts interviews, and other great things! 

What I'm Watching This Fall Season or I Swear I Find Time to Read Too!

So yesterday, I had to squeal with joy over The Office. When in fact there are a lot of fall shows, new and returning that I enjoy/look forward to. Some of them haven't even started yet! When I named this blog Pop Culture Junkie I wasn't kidding! Every fall I carefully consult the Entertainment Weekly, Fall TV Preview Double Issue to map out my tv watching!

Let's see what we got here: 

Privileged (CW-Tuesdays-Season One) is a brand new show about a semi-recent college graduate that gets a job tutoring two not so into school teenage sisters. You'll recognize the star from the tv show Reba! I love that she wears Rocket Dogs!

One Tree Hill (CW-Mondays-Season Six) picked up right where the last season ended, several years in the future still. It's about a group of friends that went to high school together. I think I missed about a season and a half somewhere around Season Four so I need to go back and see what I missed. 

The Office (NBC-Thursdays-Season Five) also pretty much picks up where it left off last season. Pam's going away to art school (squeal). I loved the new friend character at school with her, he's from Mad Men (and The Devil Wears Prada). I got into The Office oh man maybe last summer or fall. Originally I watched the first episode or two and didn't get the humor. But once I got hooked onto it this time around I couldn't stop watching it. I guess my taste in humor has changed a lot! I've seen a season of the original Office and it's just as funny. 

America's Next Top Model (CW-Wednesdays- Cycle Eleven) Cycle Eleven already! I guess they move fast with two seasons a year. I've been watching this show since the beginning and my favorite part is the photo shoots. I have a minor in Photography so I'm all about the interesting set ups and compositions.

The Big Bang Theory (CBS-Mondays-Season Two) is a show about two nerds that live across the hall from a beautiful girl. One of the nerds has a huge crush on their neighbor.  I love the geek, nerd, dork humor!

Ugly Betty (ABC-Thursdays-Season Three) picks up in the fall (the season ended at the beginning of summer) So happy for DVRs, I was able to catch up and by winter of the first season was watching with everyone else. Looks like Betty is in for a lot of changes this year!

Do Not Disturb (FOX-Wednesdays-Season One) takes place in a hotel. I just love the idea of something taking place in a certain work location (The Office). I read something tonight saying it might be cancelled but I guess it is being denied currently. I guess we will see. I love shows like this that collect people from other hilarious short lived shows and bring them together!

How I Met Your Mother (CBS-Mondays-Season Four) is literally the story Ted, the main character, is telling his kids of how he met their mother. But really it's a show about a group of friends.  I started watching this show midway through Season 2 out of laziness, I had just graduated from college and didn't feel like doing anything so I watched tons of tv. This past spring I shot through all the episodes so I was up to date. This show is hilarious, makes me look forward to Mondays!

Mad Men (AMC-Sundays-Season Two) takes place in the advertising world of Manhattan in the early 1960s. The second season actually started in the summer so it's probably half way through already. I've been collecting this on my DVR and watching it in little spurts. I finished watching Season One on dvd the day before Season 2 premiered!

Gossip Girl (CW-Mondays-Season Two) is based on the popular teen book series by the same name. Because it was based on a book I've been watching this from the beginning, it's pretty fun. 

Pushing Daisies (ABC-Wednesdays-Season Two) is pretty much a fairy tale about a guy that can bring dead people back to life but only once and only for a very short period of time. After a very short first season because of the writer's strike I'm very excited for its return. It was my favorite new show last year! 

Desperate Housewives (ABC-Sundays-Season Five) is the story of the residents of Wisteria Lane. I started watching this at the very beginning. Me and several friends in college would always get together to watch it. I love the mystery aspect of the show. 

30 Rock (NBC-Thursdays-Season Three) takes place on the set of a show not unlike SNL, created by Tina Fey. I'm actually watching Season One right now on dvd and plan to be ready for the season premiere at the end of October. This is one of those shows I didn't start watching right away and didn't want to start in the middle of a season so now is my chance to catch up!

90210 (CW-Tuesdays-Season One) is a remake of the original. I never saw the original but I'm liking this new version so someday I may have to go back and watch the original. 

There are other shows I know I'll catch on dvd like Chuck, Samantha Who, Private Practice etc but a girl can only watch so much during the actual season! 

Now this doesn't even cover my favorite shows of all time. A lot of my favorite shows have either ended or been cancelled in the past several years... that's a whole different post! As you can tell I like tv! 

So do you watch any of these shows? What show am I missing that I should be watching? Do you buy your favorite tv shows on DVD? Do you use a DVR recorder? 

Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Office Season Premiere!

*SQUEAL* Who watched The Office Season Premiere tonight? I need someone to chat with about this! I was expecting a half an hour episode and was totally surprised for a full hour! I don't want to spoil it for anyone, but near the end there.... YAY!!!!!

It's my plan to watch 30 Rock Season's One and Two by the time it premieres the end of October right after The Office. I've watched about 7 episodes so far and it's hilarious. Tina Fey is a genius.

I'm thinking I might have to go into more detail about the Fall Season at a later point.. but what are you guys watching? 

Booking Through Thursday!

What was the most unusual (for you) book you ever read? Either because the book itself was completely from out in left field somewhere, or was a genre you never read, or was the only book available on a long flight… whatever? What (not counting school textbooks, though literature read for classes counts) was furthest outside your usual comfort zone/familiar territory?
And, did you like it? Did it stretch your boundaries? Did you shut it with a shudder the instant you were done? Did it make you think? Have nightmares? Kick off a new obsession?

I flipped through my handy reading list.. I've had it since about 5th grade so that should cover most everything unusual I've read. I settled on Kissing in Manhattan. 

I think at the time, a few years ago I found the collection of short stories, Kissing in Manhattan pretty unusual. Click that link to read the amazon info, I'd write a review but I haven't read this book in a few years. 

I think this book was the beginning of my love of short stories. It weaves together a series of stories that somehow are related. There are definitely creepy aspects to some of the stories but I just loved it. 

It was sort of a new door opening, I loved this book so much. I can't even remember where or why I picked it up to read it. But I'm very glad I did. 

I guess I don't usually read too much outside of my comfort zone, I usually can tell from a synopsis if I'm going to enjoy something or not. 

If anyone is interesting... me and I think two other people have copies available on bookmooch. I picked up an extra copy at a book sale a few months ago, I just couldn't bare to let it sit there! I feel like this book is a hidden gem, or maybe it's just me! 

What book have you read that launched a love for a new genre of books or was the last straw before you banished the genre from your life?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Fall Into Reading 2008 Challenge

I was inspired to join my first challenge, the Fall Into Reading 2008 Challenge thanks to S. Krishna! She mentioned it was her first challenge and how she had never joined any before because it's hard to read books on a whim when you're part of a challenge! I agree with her, this one seems very flexible. I couldn't help but start the mental list in my mind so I decided to join in too!

Here's my list:
3. The Wordy Shipmates gave up on after 80 pgs this rarely happens!
10. The Grift

I definitely hope to read more than these 13 books over the next 3 months but this is what I'm thinking I'll focus on first of all. I'm sure others will sneak their way in! 

Are you doing this challenge? 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

Today's Question: Favorite Authors. Who do you have named in your LT account as favorite authors? Why did you choose them? How many people share your choices? Can you share a picture of one of them?

Listed as my favorite authors on Librarything are: Anne Brashares, Daniel Clowes, Roald Dahl, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Malcolm Gladwell, Jhumpa Lahiri, Audrey Niffenegger, J. K. Rowling, Adrian Tomine (pictured), Chris Ware

I picked Anne Brashares because I love the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, Daniel Clowes for Ghost World and Ice Haven among other graphic novels, Roald Dahl for Matilda and The Witches, F. Scott Fitzgerald for The Great Gatsby, Malcolm Gladwell for The Tipping Point and Blink, Jhumpa Lahairi for The Namesake, Audrey Niffenegger for The Time Traveler's Wife, J.K. Rowling for the Harry Potter Series, Adrian Tomine for his comics Optic Nerve, and Chris Ware for Acme Novelty Library #18.

I share a ton of favorites with others, with one user I share 5: Daniel Clowes, Roald Dahl, Audrey Niffenegger, Adrian Tomine, Chris Ware. I see a pattern of three cartoonists/illustrators/graphic novelists.

I haven't updated my favorite authors probably since a year or so ago. But that's ok they are still my favorites, I should just probably add some.

Do we share any favorites?

You may notice I'm posting this rather early in the day for me. I got myself a half day at work, I'm off to get some cavities filled :(

Monday, September 22, 2008

Lookalikes 10

These really look nothing alike but I like the idea behind them. These make some beautiful covers. I really can't pick a favorite, can you? 

Sunday, September 21, 2008

The Richest Season by Maryann McFadden

Joanna's husband has received yet another promotion. That means they will have to move their life once more. And before they can discuss it her husband, Paul is off on another business trip. Both of their children are out of the house now so Joanne spends most of her time alone. Joanna decides she just can't handle it anymore and leaves while Paul is still out of town. Joanna finds herself in Pawleys Island, South Carolina, she finds work as a part-time live-in care taken for an older woman named Grace.

Grace has a secret, she's dying and doesn't want her family to know, she hires Joanna to help me make it to the end of her life. Joanna commits to six months and doesn't know Grace's secret. Paul shows up to try and take Joanna hope and she refuses. Is this the end of their family?

I really liked this book. I think alternating viewpoints can do wonders for a story. This story would not have worked from one person's perspective, we get to see the story through Joanna, Grace, and Paul's eyes. I think the only character I had trouble identifying with was Grace, because I am so far removed from her life and what she is going through. I really liked seeing the transformation of both Joanna and Paul after this separation, not knowing if they could get back together or if they had to move on.

Pawleys Island sounds beautiful. It made me want to go to the beach immediately, I don't think there is a better place to read this than at the beach, to bad I'm nowhere near one. I also really liked the turtle watch group that Joanna joins, sitting in the middle of the night waiting to see if the baby turtles will hatch and make a run for the ocean.

I though this was a well rounded story, I really had no idea how it was going to end or where it was going to go. I really liked the ending, I think I got a little teary eyed! I loved how this story weaved together and all the wonderful characters.

4.5/5 Stars
ARC provided by publisher

What's your favorite book that takes place near the beach?

Anatomy of A Boyfriend by Daria Snadowsky

It's the day after Christmas, Senior Year. Dominique is at a football game with her best friend, Amy at Amy's high school. Dominique has her eyes set on college and becoming a doctor. She heads over to use the bathroom and takes a dive right into the grass. She's helped up by a cute boy, Wes. This encounter evolves into a relationship between the two of them. It starts innocently, trying to figure out who Wes is in the yearbook. Shooting him an email and instant messaging. Then they are hanging out in a group and then hanging out alone, soon enough they are in a physical relationship and they are about to go off to college....

I absolutely loved this book. I was reading another book, having a hard time zooming through it (I'm still reading it) and I thought I'd pick this up and read a chapter or two to see what I was in for. I read it straight through, well straight through for me. Started it on a Sunday and had it done by the time I was off the bus Monday morning.

The story line is simple but I love that. It's the exploration between this first relationship for two people. It explores what happens when kids leave home and start college, how things are bound to change no matter if you want them to or not. I love the progression of their relationship, nothing happens for months and the bam, it's really serious all of a sudden.

I liked the use of instant messaging and emails. It's very true to the times of how people start friendships and relationships. It's a innocent non-threatening way to get to know someone.
I've yet to read Forever by Judy Blume but definitely need to get to it soon. If it's anything like this book I'm in for another treat.

I think high school kids and parents should read this one along with A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl. They touch on different aspects of teen relationships and I think they make a great pair. I cannot wait to see what Snadowsky comes up with next! And I cannot say enough good things about this book, it was an absolute pleasure to read!

Anatomy of A Boyfriend is released in paperback this Tuesday, September 23rd!
5/5 Stars
Review copy provided by author

What do you think about the use of emails and instant messages in books?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

This Week In Books Or It Could Have Been Worse

Average week, nothing too crazy!

Monday: Frenemies arrived from a lovely bookmoocher that reserved this copy for me!

Tuesday: Loose Girl arrives. It was a LibraryThing Early Reviewer's book from May. I guess part of the first shipment went MIA so the publisher was kind enough to resend to those of us who never received copies!

Wednesday: Along with the newspaper this morning a copy of The Summoning was found! I won this over at Book Room Reviews! Thank you Tracy!

Thursday: My weekly library bookstore sale turned up The Solomon Sisters Wise Up, which I read a little about earlier this week and The J.A.P. Chronicles which I remember checking out from the library a few years ago and never reading! Together those were $1.50! Came home to The Book Thief from a bookmoocher!

Friday: Took an earlier morning bus because of a time shift in bus schedules and popped over to the Barnes and Noble. My jaw dropped when in the bargain section I found The Sixties by Richard Avedon. It's a great book of his photography from the 1960s. I remember looking at this book in college, checking it out from the library. I only paid 12.99 for it!!!!!! Probably less than a 1/4 of it's regular price and I'm not talking about the retail price of +$100. I don't think this book is even in print anymore! I was in shock! Went to Borders that evening to use my birthday coupon and $5 in Borders Bucks. I picked up Fourth Comings which I need to read ASAP!

Saturday: Nothing! I went back to Borders with a friend but left with nothing! 

I'll be filling my laptop with tunes for my ipod this weekend and trying to find some more room for books. What are you up to this weekend? 

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Booking Through Thursday!

Autumn is starting (here in the US, anyway), and kids are heading back to school–does the changing season change your reading habits? Less time? More? Are you just in the mood for different kinds of books than you were over the summer?

Yay for Autumn! Autumn and Spring are my favorite seasons! When I was in school I read far less during the school year, besides required reading I don't think I really had time to read anything else. During breaks I would read up a storm though. Now that I'm out of school the seasons don't really change a thing for me. I don't think the season always reflect in what I'm reading. But sometimes I try and match up a book say about Christmas time with the Christmas season. I did want to read this short story collection, Fireworks, this summer but didn't get a chance. So I may hold off for warmer weather or I may just read it when I feel like it!

How about you, do your reading habits change with the seasons? 

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Lookalikes 9

Different images, similar look. I personally like the first cover, Empress of the World. I'm all about close up photography but I also like how The Comeback Season puts the story into a instant setting. What's your vote?

Update 5/3/10 Thanks to Laina for suggesting Caleb & Kate and Little Willow for suggesting I Heart You, You Haunt Me!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

Today's Question: Have you ever added a quote to the quotation field in common knowledge? What's a quote you particularly like from a book, one that you know by heart?

No I haven't added a quote. I haven't actually really looked into the common knowledge features on Librarything. I'm looking at them now and it's actually an interesting group of information! Dedication, first words, important places etc. I'll definitely have to look at these more often! I could see myself someday sitting down and filling in a bunch of info just for fun!

Has anyone contributed information to the LibraryThing common knowledge? What's your favorite common knowledge feature?

Anyhow, I've always liked the first few lines of The Great Gatsby. "In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind every since. "Whenever you feel like criticizing anyone," he told me, "just remember that all the people in this world haven't had the advantages that you've had."

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Shiniest Jewel by Marian Henley

The Shiniest Jewel is the true story of Marian Henley's journey through adoption, love, and loss, told in the graphic novel format.

Marian has a serious boyfriend, that she isn't ready to marry. She is about to turn 50 and decides she wants more than anything a child so she turns to adoption. We go along on her journey through disappointment and also happiness. At the same time she's trying to adopt a child her father is slowly dying. She fears she will be out of the country during her father's last days. This is a beautiful story of life and death and everything in between.

What a great story that is only complimented by the graphic novel format. Seeing the author's work right there in front of your eyes instead of just reading about it is wonderful. Henley has a very simple illustration style, basically line drawings yet the emotion is there. A person has to be very brave to tell such a personal story such as this.

Like the Heartbreak Diet, The Shiniest Jewel would be a great place to start for someone hesitant about graphic novels. It's a very approachable story!

4/5 Stars
ARC provided by publisher

Have you ever read a graphic novel? If so, what's your favorite?

BBAW: A Few of My Favorite Blogs (that were not nominated)

I registered for Book Blogger Appreciation Week at just about the last second so I may not be totally up to speed as to what's going on. I discovered that today's task is to talk about and thank some of your favorite blogs that were not nominated for a Award this week. So let's see!

Reviewer X- I love Steph and her blog! She writes really insightful and detailed reviews. 

The Compulsive Reader- She reviews books, features authors and tons of other fun things! This is one of the first blogs I started reading when I became reinterested in young adult literature.

The Book Vault- Dominique posts tons of great reviews. She also just recently finished up a really awesome contest for her birthday that involved solving riddles across the blogosphere.

YA Fresh- They have great reviews and conversations about YA. They are also very friendly!

Melissa Walker's Blog- Melissa is so friendly! She writes about all sorts of great things including YA. Her feature Cover Stories makes me look forward to Mondays!

Now this is just a sampling. If I listed everyone I loved I wouldn't be able to go to bed tonight and then how would I get any work done tomorrow! 

Check out other blogger's thank-yous here!

Who do you love to visit on the web?

American Wife ARC Giveaway Winner!

Thanks to everyone that entered my second giveaway!

Random.org has picked Janel!


I have emailed you so please email me back with your contact information so I can send the book to you!

I asked those who entered to tell me their most anticipated fall book, here are the suggestions I got!

Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
Brisingr by Christopher Paolini
Testimony by Anita Shreve
Fire by Katherine Neville
Hail to the Chef by Julie Hyzy
the latest edition to the Artemis Fowl series
book 3 in the Big Time series by Jennifer Estep, Jinx
The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory
"The Graveyard Book" By Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean
Neal Stephenson's new novel "Anathem"
JK Rowling's Tales of Beedle the Bard
Back To Life by Kristin Billerbeck
"Sweetheart" by Chelsea Caine
The 19th Wife
Against Medical Advice by James Patterson
A dance of Dragons
Let It Snow
Home Comforts by Marilynne Robinson
Up in Smokes by Katie MacAlister
Untamed by PC Cast and Kristin Cast
The Brass Verdict by Michael Connelly
No Rest for the Wiccan by Madelyn Alt
Swallowing Darkness by Laurell K. Hamilton
Living with the Dead by Kelley Armstrong
Knight's Fork by Rowena Cherry
The third in Anna Godbersen's The Luxe series
Time is a River by Mary Alice Monroe
Annie Proulx's new collection, Fine Just the Way It Is
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead
Extreme Measures by Vince Flynn
"All I Want for Christmas Is a Vampire"
Cross Country by James Patterson
F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack series
The Hour I First Believed by E. Annie Proulx

Thanks again to everyone that entered and helped promote this giveaway!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

This Week In Books Or Not Bad For My Birthday Week, Well Except For That Amazon Order I Placed Last Night

It looks like my book intake is sort of averaging out to around 7 books a week. I guess it could be worse.

Monday: Nothing

Tuesday: Body Surfing arrives from a bookmoocher

Wednesday: Me and Mr. Darcy arrives from a bookmoocher

Thursday: Weekly Library Sale trip gets me Running In Heels for 25 cents! A birthday trip to the comic book store finds me with Senses: Sequential Art Anthology and two comics by Liz Prince, Will You Still Love Me If I Wet The Bed? and Delayed Replays. Man I love the comic book store!

Friday: nothing

Saturday: A signed copy of It's All About Us arrives. Which I actually just won this past Monday from the YA Fresh blog! Thanks Kelly!

Have you read any of these? What did you get this week?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Booking Through Thursday!

Today is the 7th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. I know that not all of you who read are in the U.S., but still, it’s vital that none of us who are decent people forget the scope of disaster that a few, evil people can cause–anywhere in the world. It’s not about religion, it’s not about politics, it’s about the acknowledgment that humans should try to work together, not tear each other apart, even when they disagree.
So, feeling my way to a question here … Terrorists aren’t just movie villains any more. Do real-world catastrophes such as 9/11 (and the bombs in Madrid, and the ones in London, and the war in Darfur, and … really, all the human-driven, mass loss-of-life events) affect what you choose to read? Personally, I used to enjoy reading Tom Clancy, but haven’t been able to stomach his fight-terrorist kinds of books since.
And, does the reality of that kind of heartless, vicious attack–which happen on smaller scales ALL the time–change the way you feel about villains in the books you read? Are they scarier? Or more two-dimensional and cookie-cutter in the face of the things you see on the news?

I guess I really never liked books with bad guys/villains. Sometimes they are okay but I don't normally read books like that. I guess I watch movies with bad guys more often, because really, what movie doesn't have a bad guy these days!

I don't like movies with terrorists, it's usually a very stereotypical terrorist and it just makes me upset. There have been some movies recently about people suspected of being terrorists because of their ethnicity etc. I haven't actually seen the movies so I'm not sure if they are or are not. I think the movie that I'm thinking of is Rendition? Does that sound right? That might be ok to watch.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Guest Review @ J. Kaye's Book Blog

J. Kaye gave me the exciting opportunity to be a guest reviewer over on her blog for the book The Liar's Diary by Patry Francis. Check out my review here. She's a wonderful blogger so if you haven't visited her site you really should, you will be fast friends.

Though the book wasn't really my thing it was definitely a fun experience. I forgot how thrillers can get you to turn the pages!

The book is also up for raffle so click over there to enter!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

Today's question: Awards. Do you follow any particular book awards? Do you ever choose books based on awards? What award-winning books do you have? (Off the top of your head only- no need to look this up- it would take all day!) What's your favorite award-winning book?

I guess I've never paid too much attention to them. I remember when I was a kid I think I knew a few of the award winners for the children's awards. I love to read the Entertainment Weekly Best of the Year issue and it always has the best books of the year. I don't think I've ever read anything just because it won an award though. I do try and eventually watch all the Academy Award nominated films unless it's something that looks really awful. I'll read award lists and also the best of blah blah blah lists. I think it would be fun to read  selections off of a list, say as a challenge. But I already have tons of books to read so maybe another time! ;) Favorite award winning book? No idea! Did the Great Gatsby win anything?

Do you have a favorite award winning book? 

Sunday, September 07, 2008

The Necklace by Cheryl Jarvis

The Necklace: thirteen women and the experiment that transformed their lives is the true story of a group of women that joined together to purchase and share a beautiful and expensive diamond necklace. For the most part they all realized it was about more then a necklace. It was about a group friendship, sharing experiences and helping one another. The necklace rotated from month to month between the women with exceptions for special events as well.

This was not always an easy experience, the women went through arguments and disagreements about the necklace and how it should be used in several cases. But the necklace really did bring these women together and in the process helped their community.

I really enjoyed this book. I can't help compare it to the Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants book series in the fact that a group of women/girls share an object that brings them closer together. I also liked the idea that women that were almost polar opposites could come together and set aside differences to be part of the group.

For the most part I like how the book worked, featuring one women for each chapter, mini biographies of their lives and how they interacted with the group. I just wish each chapter was written more from each of their points of view more so than quotes sprinkled into a narration about them. I think it would have been more powerful it it all came right from their mouths. I do realize to link all the women together and keep the story moving their had to be a higher narration though.

I really liked Priscilla Van Gundy, who only joined because her husband asked that the women allow her to join when they bought the necklace from him. She didn't want to at first and then eventually realized she should give it a try and had a most wonderful experience. I really liked seeing how all the women knew each other and how they ended up being in the group.

I also was very pleased to see they did more with the necklace than just wear it, they had several fundraising events and also got great joy out of sharing the necklace with people they encountered in their everyday life. The people that got the chance to wear it were so excited and there are even testimonials of their experiences with the necklace!

This is a wonderful feel-good book about women that enhanced each others lives and helped their community in the process. I'm less than half their age but I still enjoyed it and could identify with it.

4/5 Stars
ARC provided by publisher

W. Trailer

After reading American Wife this looks much more interesting. I really doubt I would have made an effort to see this before reading American Wife. If nothing else I'll get it through netflix.

Will you go see this?

Saturday, September 06, 2008

This Week In Books Or Face It I Can't Not Buy Books

Monday: nothing

Tuesday: Rain Song arc came from a fellow blogger, we did a trade, very fun indeed! I also got Why I'm Like This from a Bookmoocher.

Wednesday: nothing

Thursday: This is where I went wrong or right ;) Had a busy week at work so I figured what better way to enjoy the end of the week then I stroll to the library. I picked up Perfect From Now On, which looks to be a memoir about indie music and Interesting Monsters, a collection of short stories. Also The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney and Prom Dates From Hell which were two books I had come across a few weeks ago. I went back to get them the next week and they were gone and I didn't see them last week either, I figured they got purchased but it appears they just got moved around. I was so excited to find both of them! And Prom Dates From Hell is even signed!

Saturday: On Chesil Beach arrived from a Bookmoocher. It's a practically brand new paperback copy. I think the paperback edition was only recently released how cool is that? I've gotten a lot of unbelievable things from Bookmooch!

What's the coolest thing you got from Bookmooch?

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Booking Through Thursday!

I was looking through books yesterday at the shops and saw all the Twilight books, which I know basically nothing about. What I do know is that I’m beginning to feel like I’m the *only* person who knows nothing about them.
Despite being almost broke and trying to save money, I almost bought the expensive book (Australian book prices are often completely nutty) just because I felt the need to be ‘up’ on what everyone else was reading.
Have you ever felt pressured to read something because ‘everyone else’ was reading it? Have you ever given in and read the book(s) in question or do you resist? If you are a reviewer, etc, do you feel it’s your duty to keep up on current trends?

I've talked about this before I think but this is how I view this. If a book sounds sort of interesting to me and lots of people start talking about how great it is, or it gets critical praise, I'll continue to think it's worth my time and maybe buy it a little sooner then if I alone thought it looked interesting. If a book gets a lot of hype that doesn't interest me it still doesn't interest me after all the hype. If I don't want to read it no one is going to pressure me into it, unless of course it was required for school or something! I like to look at these things as extra excuses to read something I want to. It's a good thing! For example, I just read the whole Twilight series over the last few months. I vaguely remember seeing the books in stores in the past and then all of a sudden I started reading all these reviews and thought oh that looks interesting (wasn't sure about the vampires) until finally I decided I'd buy the first one and try it out. Glad I did! I'd never pick up something that I felt I had to read because it was a bestseller, maybe read about it so I knew what it was but not read the book, but who knows my tastes are always shifting, someday something I thought looked horrible could turn into something amazing!

As far as current trends as a blogger, I only read and blog about the genres I enjoy or things I'm willing to try out to expand my own horizons. I guess I'm not really sure what the trends are, if you asked me I'd say young adult literature is super hot right now, much more so than when I was a teenager so I'm glad to be reading literature from that trend. I gotta get all the young adult literature I missed as a teen! I hope that it isn't just a trend and continues on so young adults and young adults at heart can always read YA!

What do you consider a hot trend in literature right now?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

Today's question: Members who have your books. Do you ever look at this feature? Do you use it to make LT friends, or compare notes? There are three tabs- weighted, raw, and recent. "Weighted," which means "weighted by book obscurity and library size" is probably the least self-explanatory of the three, whereas "raw" and "recent" are more so. Do you get any kind of use out of this feature?

I actually used to use this feature all the time, probably the most of all the features. I'd click people's profiles and see what we had in common and then look at books in their libraries that I wasn't familiar with. I don't know why but I don't do that nearly as much anymore. I don't think the "recent" one was there when I used to look at it all the time, that doesn't ring a bell. Is that new?

What's your favorite librarything feature?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Say Hello To My Little Friend!

Well I finally did it! I got my new computer after talking about it for almost a year! 

My old one was one I got free from college because it was past it's "refresh" date when I graduated. We paid like crazy for it until then though! We had to get a laptop from the school when we went there (it was requirement that I was fine with!) and after two years got a brand new one through the refresh program. Ever since I graduated about a year and a half ago it's crashed every few months and it got very very hot while using it.

What kind of computers do you guys blog on?

This Year In Movies: August

This month was a little better than the last two but not by much!

Drillbit Taylor- sort of funny, pretty much what i expected.

Charlie Bartlett- better than I expected!

Flowers In the Attic- darn right crazy.

Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam- This was a rather sweet Bollywood movie, I liked the ending, for the longest time it didn't seem it would go the way it did but I'm glad it did

2007 Academy Award Nominated Short Films- there are some great films in here and at least one that made not too much sense to me

Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2- great sequel to the first movie. I think they condensed the three books into this pretty smoothly

Smart People- this was pretty great. Ellen Page had a great character.

The House Bunny- just what you would expect but fun none the less

Meet Bill- Sort of a random movie but I liked seeing the evolution of Bill.

Queen Sized- this stars the girl from Hairspray, it's definitely made for tv. It was a nice movie even though it talks about depressing subject matter.

Square Pegs Complete Series- I had been waiting to watch this ever since I heard about it on VH1's I love the 80s a few years ago. Wow was this fun to watch!

Into the Wild- I knew it would be depressing based on what I knew about the book and it was.

Here's an episode of Square Pegs condensed down to 5 minutes!

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