Sunday, August 31, 2008

This Month's Book Releases

I am a recent convert to Terry Pratchett's books. I have read a couple of his YA books that are part of his Discworld Series and have loved them. I can't wait to get my hands on his new book, Nation, which will be released on September 30th.

Other books I am looking forward to this month:

September 2

American Wife: A Novel by Curtis Sittenfeld

September 16

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory

September 22

One Fifth Avenue by Candice Bushnell

September 23

Untamed: A House of Night Novel by PC Cast and Kristin Cast

losing my knitting mojo?

For some reason, I just can't spend more than an hour here and there on my knitting.

Am I losing my knitting mojo?

I really hope not. I blame it on going back to work, and lack of interest in my current WIP's. The first week of school has come and gone. I can't complain too much. It went well. Seems like we have a nice group of kids this year. I am, however, already sick with my first cold of the school year. Don't know how that happened. Sucks.

Anyway, for those of you who aren't visiting the Reading Blog I thought I would share my August reads with you. Still really behind in reaching 100 for the year, but really, does it matter if I do?

Anyway, here they are. Some have links to my reviews if you are at all interested.

*Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert(aug)
Pretties by Curtis Westerfeld (aug)
*The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (aug)
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (aug)
*Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (aug)
* Holes by Louis Sachar (aug)
Uglies by Curtis Westerfeld (aug)
Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar (aug)
*The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (aug)

* Links to my reviews.

I promise some knitting content to come. I have another square finished for the RMBR blanket and maybe some progress on the little wee sock will be done soon.

Eat, Pray, Love-Book Review

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert

My review

rating: 3 of 5 stars
Elizabeth Gilbert's writing is like listening to a friend share her travels and experiences. I was taken in by all the wonderful people she met and the exciting adventure of it all. I lost the feeling a bit during the second part of the book, probably because I can't relate to that overpowering need for spiritual guidance. I can appreciate, however, how very important this time was for Liz. I have never been through a divorce or experienced such a deep depression so I feel that this book wasn't really for me. Still, I loved the beautiful imagery and the descriptions of the people she met. I enjoyed seeing the positive changes she goes through during this year of travel and self-discovery.

View all my reviews.


New Classics Challenge


I am all over this challenge.

Dark Fantasy.

My type of books. You too? Click on the button and see what this challenge is all about. I myself will be doing Peril the First. "Read Four books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose."

Starting tomorrow through Oct 31st.

So here is my list of possible reads:

The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritson
Frankenstein by Mary Shelly
Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
Broken by Kelley Armstrong
No Humans Involved by Kelley Armstrong
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Tithe by Holly Black
Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr
Specials by Scott Westerfeld

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

If you’re anything like me, one of your favorite reasons to read is for the story. Not for the character development and interaction. Not because of the descriptive, emotive powers of the writer. Not because of deep, literary meaning hidden beneath layers of metaphor. (Even though those are all good things.) No … it’s because you want to know what happens next? Or, um, is it just me?

You are not alone.

I am all about the story. That is probably why I read such a wide variety of books. YA, SciFi, Lit, Thrillers, Mysteries, even some Chic Lit once in a while. As long as the story grabs me I will read it. The one thing that will make me want to throw the book out the window is fake dialogue. I hate it when character conversations aren't realistic.

Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards 2008

The categories for the Book Blogger Appreciation Week Awards 2008 are:

Best General Book Blog
Best Kidlit Blog
Best Christian/Inspirational Fiction Blog
Best Literary Fiction Blog
Best Book Club Blog
Best Romance Blog
Best Thrillers/Mystery/Suspense Blog
Best Non-fiction Blog
Best Young Adult Lit Blog
Best Book/Publishing Industry Blog
Best Challenge Host
Best Community Builder
Best Cookbook Blog
Best History/Historical Fiction Blog
Best Design
Most Chatty
Most Concise
Most Eclectic Taste
Best Name for a Blog
Best Published Author Blog
Best Book published in 2008
Best Meme/Carnival/Event
Most Extravagant Giveaways
Best Book Community site

Just added:

Most Altruistic Blog
Funniest/Most Humorous Blog
Best Sci-fi/fantasy/horror/spec-fic blog
Best Commenter/commentator

Go vote if you haven't already!
Mine are in.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

On the Nightstand

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Housseini
Toxin by Robin Cook
The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz
Harsh Cry of the Heron by Lian Heron
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

This is the list of books that were on my night stand at the beginning of the month. Guess what? They are all still there. There are also new books that have been added to these.

I pulled some books from my bookshelf downstairs to read for the Classics Challenge... Frankenstein by Mary Shelly and The Dubliners by James Joyce. I also won a copy of Violet in Private by Melissa Walker. Just went to the library today, too. Picked up Pretties by Scott Westerfeld, The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritson and The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.

Reading now: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Read in August (so far):

*The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong (aug)
The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart (aug)
*Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (aug)
* Holes by Louis Sachar (aug)
Uglies by Curtis Westerfeld (aug)
Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar (aug)
*The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (aug)

* Links to my reviews.

So, what's on your nightstand?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Summoning- Book Review

Chloe Saunders is like any other 15 year old, focused on friends, school and boys. However, this all changes when she wakes up one morning and discovers she can see ghosts and they want to talk to her.

Chloe is sent to a home for troubled teens after her school finds her screaming that she is seeing dead people and is subsequently diagnosed with schizophrenia. At the home she meets other teens with troubles of their own. Having read many of her other books, it was fun to figure out who/what these other kids are.

Kelley Armstrong, the author of The Women of the Otherworld Series (which is one of my favorites), has written her first YA novel about a girl discovering she is a necromancer and also about other's supernatural abilities. She has given us another very strong female protagonist and one that teens can identify with, to a point.

This book is a mix of The Sixth Sense and Girl, Interrupted. If you liked those movies you will like this book. Entertaining, frightening. Don't read it at night alone if you scare easily.


Thursday, August 21, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

What is your earliest memory of a library? Who took you? Do you have you any funny/odd memories of the library?

We didn't live too far from our library in the small town I grew up in. We used to walk there a lot, especially in the summer when we craved the cold water from the water fountain, the AC, and the comfort of books all around us. My mom was definitely the first person that ever took me. She was always checking out books for me and my sisters. The library also had a great kids program. Readings, arts and crafts. That sort of thing. As I got older, my older sister, our next door neighbor and I would spend hours perusing the stacks and magazines. We would take our finds to the far back corner next to the floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked the playground. We would sit and read, talk and laugh, and sometimes play checkers. The best days were when it rained.

Breaking Dawn- Book Review

So, I have to admit it. I read everyone's reviews (even the ones with spoilers) before reading. I just couldn't help myself. I think knowing what I was in for really helped me enjoy the read much better. I didn't have my own expectations of how the series should end to worry about. I was a little scared, though, that I wouldn't enjoy it after reading some negative reviews but I did. I liked it. I couldn't put it down, actually. Especially during the first book. (It is broken up into 3 books.) I read that in one night until 2:30am even though I had to get up at 6:30am for work the next day.

I know most everyone has read this already, but I am going to try and limit myself on spoilers. For those of you who may not have heard about this book (there may be a few, you never know), this is the fourth book in the young adult vampire series by Stephenie Meyer. Twilight was the first. The story centers around Bella Swan and how she meets and falls in love with Edward Cullen, the gorgeous boy in her new high school who just happens to be a vampire. The love, hardache and danger that befalls this unlikely couple is chronicled in the subsequent books, New Moon and Eclipse. Breaking Dawn tidies up all the loose ends and brings the story to an end.

Even after seeing all the reviews, positive and negative, I enjoyed reading the book. I was surprised with some story elements, I called it on others. I was happy with some aspects of the ending, but was also disappointed a little. I really liked the change in narrator in the second book. Bella's personality seemed off a bit throughout the whole book, not quite the same as in the other books. ( A conscious choice I wonder? A way to show maturity to explain Bella's choices?) I wanted more of her humor and sarcasm, less of her Edward obsessive thoughts. Perhaps that is why I enjoyed Book 2 so much. It was fun to see Bella's life and experiences from a different perspective.

I wasn't thrilled with the overly happy ending for everyone. But just because it is not the way I might have liked to see the book end it doesn't mean that it was the wrong way to go. There is nothing wrong with wanting a happy ending, but I would have liked just a little more action before Bella got hers. I really wanted to see a battle take place between the Volturi and the clans. All these great gifts and defenses amongst the vampires and we didn't get to see the results of their use. A friend of mine said that perhaps Meyer was trying to make a statement. That violence isn't always the answer. That we should find ways to avoid wars and conflicts. I don't know.

Anyway, fun read.

I saw some possible open endings that could be written about at another date. Some Jacob centered books to come, you think?


Twilight is still the best of the four for me, but I think this one was better than Eclipse.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

sleep deprivation

Actual knitting content!

Can you believe it?

Well, a little any way.

one unfinished sockblanket square #1

I still have only one unfinished sock, but I now have a finished blanket square! I have a bit more to go. :)

It's good to be home. I only wish I didn't have to be getting up early and going to work. I am feeling a bit sleep deprived. Olympics doesn't help with that, or reading Breaking Dawn.

For those of you who may have worried, Joey let us in the house when we got home. In fact, she was very happy to have us home.


Now she won't get off of us. I think she is afraid we might leave again.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Books, books and more books

I am finally reading Breaking Dawn! I got my friend's copy last night. Stayed up until 2:30am reading despite knowing that I had to get up early for my first day back at work today. I am about half way through.

Got a couple books in the mail today. I won them back earlier this month but have been out of town all of August until yesterday.
Thanks, Liviana for my copy of Violet in Private by Melissa Walker and thanks also to The Compulsive Reader for my signed copy of The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong.

Thank you, thank you!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Book Blogger Appreciation Week

Head on over to My Friend Amy's Blog to participate in her Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Just click on the button and head on over for more info.

"Book Blogger Appreciation Week: Acknowledging the hard work of book bloggers and their growing impact on book marketing and their essential contribution to book buzz in general, I am excited to announce the first Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Think of it as a retreat for book bloggers and a chance for us to totally nerd out over books together. And of course, shower each other with love and appreciation."

Friday, August 15, 2008

Holes- Book Review

I bought this book years ago when the movie came out but never actually read it. Haven't seen the movie yet, either.

It is the story of Stanley Yelnats, a young boy who always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. It is this problem that gets him sent to Camp Green Lake. With the other boys he meets there, he begins his daily routine of digging holes.

It was hard to see where this could go. Boys digging holes in a dry lake bed? I wasn't sure it would keep me interested, but once I figure out that the Warden was actually looking for some thing out there, and staredt seeing the connections to Stanley and the back story, it became harder and harder to put it down.

Wonderful book, and a definite must read for kids and adults.


New Classics Challenge

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Are there any particular worlds in books where you’d like to live? Or where you certainly would NOT want to live? What about authors? If you were a character, who would you trust to write your life?

I am a bit late with my answer this week. I am out if town so getting time on my laptop is difficult. It will most likely be the same next week, too.

So, I am going to go with the first part of the question, a world in books where I would like to live.

Definitely, the Harry Potter world. I know, I am an adult but that just makes it all the more appealing.

I want to be at Hogwart's learning magic and riding on broomsticks. I want to eat some Bertie Bott's All Flavour Beans and drink Butterbeer. I want to ride on the back of Buckbeak and take a bath in the Prefect's bath.

Doesn't that sound much better than having to be a grown-up? At least for a little awhile.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

whiskers on wednesday

Poor little kitty is home all alone right now.

Her evil mommy and daddy have gone off to enjoy the cooler weather in CA and left her by herself.

Bad, bad mommy and daddy.

We left her food and water and many of her favorite little balls to play with. We left our bed made and accessible for her sleeping needs. We have her favorite friend visiting her while we are away.

So how is she doing?

Here is the message I got yesterday from said friend:

Jojo has decided she likes me better. You are no longer welcome in her home. :)

I'm innocent

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

not much in the way of knitting

Urg, That was supposed to be turned. Oh well. :)

I am in California visiting friends and family until the 17th. I have been here since Thursday. As you can imagine, not much knitting has been done. Just this little ankle sock has been started. I am using some left over Tofutsies I had. I did bring along the clapotis and some yarn to knit squares for a friend's blanket. Maybe more will get done when I am away from SF and in Fresno insead.

By the way, while in Fresno, my internet access will be minimal.

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Thirteenth Tale- Book Review

I finished the book at 2:30 am this morning. I couldn't put it down when I went to bed last night. I had to know how the story ended. The funny thing is is that is what the book is about. Story endings.

Vida Winter is a a famous best selling author. She has written her last book, is dying and is finally ready to share her own story. The person she picks, Margaret Lea, a bookworm, antique books seller and minor biographer, has misgivings. Ms. Winters has "given nineteen different versions of your life story to journalists in the last two years alone." This time, however, she will tell the truth. The truth, the real story of who she is and where she came from, is an amazing story of secrets, family, ghosts.

This was a great book. It was hard to put down once I got started. The characters are intriguing and the story Vida Winter's shares is horrific and sad, and surprising in the end.

"Do you know the feeling when you start reading a new book before the membrane of the last one has had time to close behind you? You leave the previous book with ideas and themes–characters even–caught in the fibers of your clothes, and when you open the new book, they are still with you"

These characters will be with me for awhile.


Classics Challenge

Sunday, August 3, 2008

on my nightstand

Found this today. Kind of a cool idea. Post the books you have on your nightstand each month. This will be a little hard to do today since I am not at home but I think I can remember most of what's there.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Housseini
Toxin by Robin Cook
The Eyes of Darkness by Dean Koontz
Harsh Cry of the Heron by Lian Heron
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
The Book of the Dead by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child
The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank
The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. Le Guin

Saturday, August 2, 2008

another contest

or two.

Go over quickly because it ends tomorrow.
Liviana is giving away three fantastic fashion forward books for Fashion Week. Go to her blog In Bed With Books for a chance to win Violet in Private, The Elite, and How I Found The Perfect Dress.

Thanks, Liviana, for letting me know about it. :)

Also, I know I really want to read The Gargoyle (amazon link a few posts below). If you do too, head on over to Bookish Ruth's for a chance to win a copy.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Change of Heart contest

Head on over to Peeking Between the Pages for your chance to win a copy of Jodi Picoult's book, Change of Heart.
Jodi Picoult has such a wonderful way of weaving controversial subjects into a highly entertaining, thought-provoking read and this one is no different.

swap gift surprise

This is what I found in the mail yesterday:

Spew Swap gift cable detail

Lovely, isn't it.

My Swap Partner did an awesome job. I love it. It is perfect. :)

Book Releases

Melissa Walker's new book in the Violet series comes out this Tuesday, August 5th. I have heard really great things about this young adult series and the first book,Violet by Design is sitting on my bedside table at home. I, unfortunately, was unable to bring it with me to CA.

Other books being released this month that I am excited about:

Breaking Dawn: The Twilight Saga, Book 4 (Little, Brown, $22.99) by Stephanie Meyer

The Gargoyle (Doubleday, $25.95) by Andrew Davidson
Foreign Body (Penguin, $25.95) by Robin Cook

Mike's Election Guide 2008 (Grand Central, $13.99) by Michael Moore

Devil Bones (Simon & Schuster, $25.95) by Kathy Reichs