Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday Thingers-03/31/09

Tuesday Thingers Question: What is your least-favorite book(s)? Is your least-favorite book listed in your LT library? If it is listed, do you have anything special in the tags or comments section? How have others rated your least-favorite book?

One of my least favorite books is listed in my Library and reviewed since it was an Early Reviewer book, the first one I ever received through the program. It was Any Given Doomsday and if you like you can find the review here. I wouldn't say it is the least favorite but it is the only one I have in my LT library. As far as others have rated it- pretty much the same. You can check out their ratings and reviews on the books page.

Wow, it has been over a month since I have participated in TT. Didn't realize it had been that long. Oops. :)

Tuesday Thinger is hosted by Wendy of Wendy's Book Corner

My Tuesday Tease

I haven't been getting much of anything done lately...knitting, reading or housework. Quite lazy. So I wasn't really sure what book to share with you all today. There are three in rotation right now. None really getting much reading time except for a few minutes here and there. (Not a good sign for April.)

Anyway, since I have been doing some iPhone Kindle reading I thought I would give you a little tease from the book I have up on there right now. The second of the Morgainville Vampire series by Rachel Caine. Vamps, boys, and girls in Goth ... makes for a fun read.

"Claire stood in the doorway, frozen with sudden dread. It looked like a room full of dead people. Worse-dead, drunk, horny people." The Dead Girl's Dance by Rachel Caine. 

Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Music filled 2009

I love Depeche Mode! They are my absolute favorite band ever. I have seen them in concert four times and will be seeing them for the fifth time in August. I have tickets for their SF concert in Mountain View. I cannot wait. Their new album releases in April. 

To make my waiting easier we have gotten tickets for the Nine Inch Nails concert here in Austin in May. Jane's Addiction will be opening for them. Woot!

And one more cool possible concert. I just read on Muse's website that they will be touring with U2 for some of their US concert dates this fall. How awesome would that be!? My fingers are crossed that one of those dates will be in Texas. Somewhere that I can get to. I suppose San Francisco would be okay.

Okay, I am done being a fangirl...for now. :) I leave you with DM's new single. Video is a bit strange. This is the first time I have seen it. Weird.

And one of my all time favorite songs! Enjoy.

2 years old

Oh no. I completely missed the day that my blog turned two. It was March 6th.
I can't believe I have had it that long. 

In honor of starting my third year, I bring you actual knitting content. Hooray!

I have been slowly but steadily working on my Embossed Leaves sock for Dewey's KAL.
I was hoping to have them done by now but unfortunately that has not been possible. No knitting mojo once again. Anyway, I have finished one sock which I have photographed to show you all that I have not given up completely. Here it is:

Isn't it lovely? I absolutely love the toe on this sock! So cute. 

Please excuse the bare foot. Had to show off the pedicure. :) It is a little chilly, though. Needs the other sock!

The other sock has been cast on. In fact, I have the cuff finished and should be starting on the lace pattern tonight. Hopefully I get through at least two repeats. Wish me luck. :)

Book Review- The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart
"I, Frankie Landau-Banks, hereby confess that I was the sole mastermind behind the mal-doings of the Loyal Order of the Basset Hounds. I take full responsibility for the disruptions caused by the Order-including the Library Lady, the Doggies in the Window, the Night of a Thousand Dogs, the Canned Beet Rebellion, and the abduction of the Guppy."

I had absolutely no idea what this book was going to be about when I purchased it. The back cover "letter" got me so intrigued, though, that I had to get it without knowing anything else. I had no clue what all that was about but I just had to find out. Turns out, all those mysterious sounding things were pretty cool and funny but the best thing about the book was Frankie.

Frankie, in her sophomore year at Alabaster Prep, has it all. The looks (thanks to a summer growth spurt), a Senior boyfriend and a great supportive roommate, but she wants more. Besides wanting to be accepted she wants to also be seen and respected for who she is. She is smart and resourceful, witty and well-versed and she sees herself as equals to her boyfriend and his friends and hates that they see her as someone to take care of.

I absolutely loved the tone of this book and the author's high level of language and literary references. (P.G. Wodehouse has quite an influence on Frankie.) There was no "dumbing down" of Lockhart's writing that you sometimes see in books for teens. I know what I was capable of reading as a teen and purposely sought out adult literature when I didn't find it in the YA books available back then. I am glad to see that E. Lockhart knows that teens are capable of reading at a higher level than some might think. I would have loved this book in high school and I am sure there are many now that do.

Oh, and on a side note. I absolutely love the cover of this book. The light blue of the envelope and the deep red of the seal wax - love it. 


YA Challenge

Monday Meme

I got this from Claire at kiss a cloud... a great meme for a Monday. 
And it fills up this space which usually is for books I have received. Alas, no books this past week. 

What time do you find the best time to read?

At night in bed.

What are you spending time reading right now?

Cry of Justice by Jason Pratt

What's the best book with time in the title you have read?

The Time Traveler's Wife

What is your favourite time (as in era) to read novels based in?

Present and Tudor England

What book could you read time and time again?

Harry Potter books

What recently published book do you think deserves to become a classic in time?

Bel Canto by Ann Patchett

What book has been your biggest waste of time?

Wow, is is really hard to think of one. I didn't enjoy Paradise Lost or Wuthering Heights but not sure I would say waste of time. More  recent? Not sure.

What big book would you recommend to others to spend time reading if they haven't?

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon

What's your favourite read of all time?

It is a toss up between many books. So hard to name just one. How about a few favorites.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

Who is your favourite author of all time?

Jane Austen


Sunday, March 29, 2009


Have you read much of his work? I have read some but seem to have missed quite a few. I realized this while checking out the listings on PBS Masterpiece Classics tonight. Little Dorrit was the movie tonight and I was amazed that I had never heard of it, let alone not read it. 

How did I miss this one? 

So, I am watching it right now. Couldn't not watch it. It is hard to pass up these BBC adaptations of the classics. Also, Matthew MacFadyen is in it. :)

As for the books I have read by Dickens, they are:

Great Expectations
A Tale of Two Cities
A Christmas Carol

That's it! I think I may have to add some Dickens to my Classics Challenge list.

What would you recommend?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

End of March Madness (Sunday Salon)

The Sunday Salon.com
It is hard to believe it is already nearing the end of March. The month has gone by so quickly. It has been a good month bookwise. I have read some really good books and have managed to get them all reviewed. Well, almost. I have one more to come.

March Books Read and Reviewed:

19. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
18. Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
17. The Gifted Galbadón Sisters by Lorraine López
16. Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer
15. Schooled by Anisha Lakhani
14. Sandry's Book by Tamora Pierce

Reviews to come:
21. Cry of Justice by Jason Pratt
20. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E.Lockhart 

You can disregard the numbers, they are just for me. Keeping track of the number of books read in 2009. I can't believe there are some who have already ready over 100 books! How is that possible? I thought 20 was pretty good. :)

How many books have you read so far this year?

Mo of Unmainstream Mom Reads has given me an award. It feels like yesterday when I got my very first Premio Dardos Award. Thanks so much, Mo! You should all go and check out the other blogs she awarded it to. There are some really great ones on that list.

This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.

The rules to follow are:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

It is so hard to pick a few from my long list of blogs I read so once I again I pass this on to everyone who Follows me and to those I Follow! you are all worthy of this award.

With the end of March comes the start of the Classics Reading Challenge hosted by Trish. I posted my list of books for this challenge a few weeks ago and now I must make a choice for what book to start with. I am thinking I will start right at the top and begin with The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer. I received my copy through Library Thing's Early Reviewers and feel I should read and get a review up soon. It is a very nice unabridged edition and I love the cover.

Which classic will you be reading in April?

The Reader, cont.

From the comments of my review post for The Reader:

Beth Kephart said...
Your 4 of 5 — given, in the end, for the language, the story, the themes, or all of this? I feel your thoughtfulness here, your mind still churning.

Mari said...
Beth- For all of it. This is definitely a book I will have to reread to get my thoughts on it fully realized. I am still thinking about it. You are so right about that. This was one of those books where I didn't want to give it a rating just yet.

I was thinking about this a bit more and realized that my review didn't really match my rating of 4/5, so I wanted to explain it a bit. As mentioned above, I was torn on whether or not to rate it but in the end 4/5 is the rating I think it deserves. Here is why.

I like books that make you think. That leave you pondering what you have read days after closing the book. The writing in The Reader may seem distant but it serves a purpose. Michael can't seem to react to his own story, so it is left up to the reader. He never judges Hannah for what she did. Never questions her actions. He just states the facts of what happened and shares her recollections during the trials. The question she asks of the judge is the same question being asked of the reader, "What would you have done?"

This book grabbed a hold of me from the first page and I haven't been able to stop thinking about it since finishing it. It has some difficult subject matter, and yes, it was hard to feel sympathy for Hannah after you hear her history and role during the Holocaust and her affect on Michael's life, but the fact that this book was able to elicit feelings of anger, guilt and sympathy within me makes this a really great book in my eyes.

Book Review- The Reader by Bernard Schlink

The Reader The Reader by Bernhard Schlink

I have had a hard time writing this review for some reason. It was not a difficult read. Very straightforward writing and telling of the story. It is a very matter of fact recounting of what happened to Michael Berg after the day Hannah Schmitz helped him when he got sick walking home at the age of fifteen. You never really get into the head of Michael as he commences an affair with 30-something Hannah. And even when he finds her again years later while she is on trial for war crimes she committed as a guard at a concentration camp during WWII, he seems to have no feelings or emotions. He is numb.

There are so many parts to this book. So many different things to think about. The affair between an adult and teen. Illiteracy and its affects on those who try to hide it. The coming to terms of the actions of family and friends during WWII by the younger generation of Germans. I think the lack of emotion and judgement allows for the reader to have their own unique reactions to the story. Just reading through reviews on GoodReads you can see such a difference in opinion and reactions to the story.


Vote Earth!

Originally uploaded by Earth Hour Global

Will you be turning off your lights tonight?

Vote Earth!

Originally uploaded by Earth Hour Global

Will you be turning off your lights tonight?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Book Review- Glass Houses (Morganville Vampires) by Rachel Caine

Glass Houses (The Morganville Vampires, Book 1) Glass Houses by Rachel Caine

Claire Danvers is a college freshman at the age of sixteen and living in a dorm in Morganville, Texas where the other girls terrorize her and it doesn’t get any better off campus. Vampires make the college town their home and they have a very strong influence on all that live there. Claire tries to find refuge at the house of Michael Glass, an 18 year old with a secret, and his two roommates, Eve and Shane.

This is the first in the Morganville Vampire series and the minute I finished this I started reading the next book in the series. The cliffhanger at the end required immediate reading of the second. I had to know what was going to happen. Glass Houses got me completely hooked. The high school-ish feel was odd since it takes place on a college campus and the main character is supposed to be so smart but never really shows it. Still, it was good for some easy mindless reading. Definitely addictive.


YA Challenge
Serial Readers Challenge
eBook Reading Challenge

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

on an (unplanned) knitting break

This is where I was last week. The weeks before that-I have no excuse. I just haven't been knitting much lately. Not even in front of the TV, which is very odd for me. I just haven't felt like it. In fact, I didn't even take any knitting with me to California for Spring Break!

So, I apologize for my lack of knitting content. It will be back, I hope. I am determined to get my knitting mojo back. I am backlogged on WIPs and I have signed up for a KAL to knit a hat that I haven't started yet.

Sisterhood Award

Yvonne of Socrates Book Reviews has given me this really cool award. Thanks so much, Yvonne!

Here are the rules to spread the sisterhood spirit:

1. Put the logo on your blog or post.
2. Nominate up to 10 blogs which show great attitude and/or gratitude!
3. Be sure to link to your nominees within your post.
4. Let them know that they have received this award by commenting on their blog.
5. Remember to link to the person from whom you received your award.

I have been very blessed to receive so many awards lately that I would love to share it with everyone. Especially with every one of my "sister bloggers" right over there in my Followers widget. Also, if I Follow you...this is for you, too!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Another book for my "Currently Reading" list

I am sure you have noticed that my reading habit tends to have me reading more than one book at a time. I know I am not the only one, but I wanted to explain all the books over in my currently reading widget. There are four. I know, crazy, huh?

Well, one comes in daily increments over email that I read at rest time every day (or at least that was the plan) while I eat my lunch. One is on my iPhone that I only read when I am out of the house and in need of something to read. One (usually the bulkier or denser read) stays by my bed for nightly reading before I go to sleep. The fourth, usually an easily portable (paperback or small hardcover) and shorter in length book that can be read while relaxing in the bath or while eating and can be tossed in my bag whenever needed.

I picked up that fourth book yesterday since I found myself lacking one. The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart and I am loving it already. I can tell that Frankie is going to be a favorite character and I have only read a couple chapters.

So who is Frankie?

Here is a little info on her.

"Between May and September, she gained four inches and twenty pounds, all in the right places. Went from being a scrawny, awkward child with hands too big for her arms, a frizz of unruly brown fluff on her head, and a jaw so sharp it made Grandma Evelyn cluck about how 'When it comes to plastic surgery, it never hurts to do those things before college,' to being a curvaceous young woman with an offbeat look that boys found distinctly appealing." Page 5, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks by E. Lockhart.

Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Summer Reading in the mail

I have settled in a bit more since getting home yesterday. 

The clothes are unpacked and ready to be washed. The shower has been scrubbed until it shines and the held mail has been gone through. Books made their way to me while I was away and I was so excited to tear open the wrappings around two new books. Well, one new and one I have in an Anthology, but wanted in a small paperback capable of being stowed in a pocket of my backpack when I go to Bath this summer. 

Can you guess the book? The author, maybe?

A lovely BookMoocher sent me a copy of Persuasion by Jane Austen. A good choice, right? A good choice for Bath? Of course, Northanger Abbey is the one I think of when I think of Bath. I am reading an abridged version of Persuasion through DailyLit right now but have fallen behind by more than a week. I was doing so well. I am looking forward to reading through it properly, though.

This was not the only book I found in the mail and I just might be a teensy bit more excited about this one than the Austen one. It is my February Early Review book From LibraryThing.The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan! Check out this article for some info about the book. 

I may not be waiting until summer to read this one.

Book Review- The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters by Lorraine López

The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters by Lorraine López

The Gabaldón Sisters- Loretta, Bette, Rita and Sophia, all named after famous movie stars, lost their mother early in life and were taken care of by their father and their old, Pueblo housekeeper, Fermina. Upon her death, she leaves the girls with a gift which they don't discover until much later in their lives. They had always believed the gifts to be magical- the power to heal, to lie, to curse and to make others laugh when in fact, the gift she left them is so much more powerful and meaningful.

This is a beautiful story about family, secrets, lies, history and love. I really enjoyed the weaving of English and Spanish throughout the writing. It is so much like the way my family speaks that it was very comfortable to read.


AtoZ Challenge

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Reviews to come (Sunday Salon)

The Sunday Salon.com After a great but busy trip to California it is quite nice to be sitting at home.( I am ignoring my unpacked suitcase.) We had two very restful days in Big Sur which means lots of reading. I finished a couple books while there. I am also almost half way in on another and just today, on the plane home, I read almost all of The Reader. Only a few more chapters left. It was one I couldn't put down until we landed.

I know this week has been very quiet around here, but in the coming weeks there will be some reviews coming your way. 

Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
The Gifted Gabaldón Sisters by Lorraine López 
The Reader by Bernhard Schlinck.

Hope you all had a great week!

I am off to see what I missed this week. 653 unread posts in my Reader! Not sure I am going to get through all those. Wish me luck. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Book Review- Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code (Book 3) Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer

During Artemis Fowl's last heist before giving it all up to be a part of a normal family with his mother and returned father, his trusty bodyguard and friend, Butler, gets mortally wounded and the C-Cube, which has lots of stolen fairy technology within it, is taken by a Chicago mobster. Once again, Artemis must get help from Holly Short and the LEPrecon Unit to help save Butler and get back the cube. And the price for that help? Only his memory and perhaps everything that has changed him from the ruthless criminal mastermind he was to the much more humane and moral, yet still a genius, Artemis he is now.

The best of the bunch so far. I really enjoyed seeing the nicer side of Artemis. The journal entries were a nice new inclusion, sharing his thoughts about the change in his father after his recovery.


Serial Readers Challenge

I am also counting this one towards my own yearly challenge of reading a book by an Irish author during the month of March. Not exactly the same as the previous books I have read, but it still meets my own requirements. :)

Here are some of the other books I have read:

2008- In the Forest by Edna O'Brien (review)
2007- Oh, Play That Thing by Roddy Doyle
2006- A Star Called Henry by Roddy Doyle
2005- My Dream of You by Nuala O'Faolain

In 2003 we went to Ireland so there were a few more books read that year, I unfortunately can't remember them right now. I know one was an anthology of women authors. I also read The Princes of Ireland by Edward Rutherford as it was a gift that Christmas before along with the trip. I still need to get myself a copy of The Rebels of Ireland.

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Break reading

I know I have been pretty scarce these past few days and unfortunately that is not going to change this week. I am heading our of town today. I am on Spring Break! Woohoo! Besides being busy with laundry and packing up the clothes I am trying to decide what books to take with me. I have a few books on the iPod Kindle, one close to being finished. I have been reading it every time I have a little time...at the doctor's office, in line at the post office, laying on the couch.

So, be expecting a review of Glass Houses by Rachel Caine soon. It is the first book in the Morganville Vampires series. I am also a few pages from finishing the third in the Artemis Fowl series. The Eternity Code by Eoin Colfer. Another review! March is turning out to be a much better reading month.

So, books to take with me to California.

I have the second book in the Morganville Vampires series and Red Mars by Kim Stanley Robinson in the iPod Kindle.

I also have Cry of Justice by Jason Pratt ready to go in my bag.

Not sure if I should take any more. Perhaps one more book. 
The Graveyard Book? An Obsolete Honor?

Not sure if I will get back on here much this week so if I don't..have a great week!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

eBook Challenge

I just can't seem to stay away from the challenges. Here is another one. Now that I have a few books on the iPhone I can actually join this one.

Here is my list:

1. Glass Houses by Rachel Caine
2. The Dead Girl's Dance (Morganville Vampire's Series) by Rachel Caine
3. Midnight Alley by Rachel Caine
5. Feast of Fools by Rachel Caine

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Booking Through Thursday-03/12/09

What book do you think should be made into a movie? And do you have any suggestions for the producers?

I really think Bel Canto by Ann Patchett would make a wonderful movie. Don't think it would be a blockbuster, but done well, it could win a few Oscars. Unfortunately, the director, that I think should direct it, is no longer available. Robert Altman passed away three years ago. Did you ever see Gosford Park? Amazing! This style of movie is exactly what I see Bel Canto: The Movie being.

Teach Play Learn

I have just started a new blog to chronicle my teaching experiences as a Pre K teacher. If you are interested, stop by and take a look:

Teach Play Learn

Teach Play Learn

I have just started a new blog to chronicle my teaching experiences as a Pre K teacher. If you are interested, stop by and take a look:

Teach Play Learn

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

It's Tuesday! Time for a tease.

Finally I get the chance to open up this book and start reading. 

If you remember, Jason Pratt stopped by last month for a guest post. I was supposed to have a review of the book the following week but unforeseen circumstances had kept the book out of my hands. Jason was kind enough to send me a signed copy which I now have the pleasure to read.

Here is a quick glimpse inside:

"I remember. I have failed in so many things, and most of my people do not know- or do not remember." page 12, Cry of Justice by Jason Pratt.

Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.
Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!

Monday, March 9, 2009

On the boob tube

Oh no! 

I am getting sucked into Dancing with the Stars once again. How does this happen every season? Every year at the end of it I think, never again, but here I am watching it. Well, the first half hour of it anyway. I am off to do a little dancing myself right now. It is being DVR'd though. 

It's not the only thing being recorded to watch later on.

Also on my list:

The Big Bang Theory
How I met Your Mother

No links right now, but they are to come. I am late!

eBook Purchased

Well, I may not have a Kindle but I do have an iPhone. 

I just downloaded the Kindle for iPhone app after reading Chris' review of it. I was kind of worried when I first went and looked it up last week and there were no reviews. I thought I would wait awhile before downloading it. Now, only a week later there are over 700 reviews and mostly positive. 

I also purchased a book. (I just couldn't wait.) Plus, I need easy to take with me reads for Spring Break. What did I get? Glass Houses by Rachel Caine. $4.79! Not bad. It was in the app in a matter of seconds. It looks great too. Easy on the eyes, easy to change pages. (I read through a few.)

There are some complaints about not being able to purchase the books right from the app but it is so simple to do it off of Amazon that I didn't really see it as a problem but I am sure it will be a feature soon enough. 

Have any of you tried it out yet?