Thursday, September 29, 2011

Banned Book Week

In celebration of Banned Book Week, I’ve decided to re-read my favorite childhood book, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume. I was nine or ten when I read it for the first time and it changed my life. Really.

Here’s a list of Top Banned/Challenged Books -- the ones I’ve read are in bold:
The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Color Purple by Alice Walker

Ulysses by James Joyce
Beloved by Toni Morrison
The Lord of the Flies by William Golding
1984 by George Orwell

Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
Animal Farm by George Orwell
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Native Son by Richard Wright
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey
Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway
The Call of the Wild by Jack London
Go Tell it on the Mountain by James Baldwin
All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
Lady Chatterley's Lover by D.H. Lawrence
A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
The Awakening by Kate Chopin
In Cold Blood by Truman Capote
The Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie
Sophie's Choice by William Styron
Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence
Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
A Separate Peace by John Knowles
Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence
The Naked and the Dead by Norman Mailer
Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
Rabbit, Run by John Updike


Some of my favorites:
Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer 
Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

For more info:
http://www.ala.org/ala/issuesadvocacy/banned/bannedbooksweek/index.cfm

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Devil's Bones by Jefferson Bass

Jefferson Bass, aka Jon Jefferson and Bill Bass, seamlessly combines several flame-inspired mysteries into one. 
 
Dr. Bill Brockton is called in to investigate a murder involving a fiery car accident. He’s also trying to understand why a crematorium has failed to complete it’s assigned jobs. Adding fuel to the fire, ex-medical examiner, Garland Hamilton, Dr. Brockton’s incredibly violent but brilliant arch-enemy, has escaped custody and no ones knows where he is. Can Bill solve these red-hot mysteries and still keep himself out of the clutches of the devilishly evil Dr. Hamilton?

The Devil’s Bone may very well be my favorite in this series so far. It’s a quick-paced, very enjoyable book. I’m really looking forward to reading the next book, Bones of Betrayal.

5 Diamonds


Monday, August 29, 2011

Flesh and Bone by Jefferson Bass

Another literary powerhouse by the fantastic writing duo, Jon Jefferson and Bill Bass, aka Jefferson Bass.

Dr. Brockton has made a lot of friends over the years due to his work in cutting-edge forensic science. He’s also made a lot of enemies. When one of his worst enemies kills one of his best friends, and tries to set him up for the murder, Dr. Brockton must rely on the few friends he has left to help clear his name.

I loved Flesh and Bone, just like I loved the first book in this series, Carved In Bone. The easy-going, yet technical tone/voice used by Jefferson Bass for his main character Bill Brockton is comforting and at the same time intellectual stimulating. These books draw you in and don’t let go until the last page is turned.

4 1/2 Diamonds

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Angel of Darkness by Caleb Carr

Like most second books in a series, this novel was not quite as good as the first. (Just last month I finished Jeffrey Deaver’s The Coffin Dancer, which I felt was not nearly as good as The Bone Collector -- see review here.) But The Angel of Darkness came close.

I, unlike some reviewers, liked the way Mr. Carr gave this book another “voice”, namely young Stevie. I enjoyed his unsophisticated point-of-view, which I found refreshing after John Moore’s high-strung narration in The Alienist. Stevie was one of my favorite characters in the first book, so I may be biased.
If and when Mr. Carr ever writes the next story in this series, I hope he continues to let another player narrate, especially if it’s Sara Howard. I’d love to read a good thriller led by her!

I didn’t think that this plot was as strong as the first book. We found out who the suspect was very early in the story, then the rest was just building a case against her. I’m not a big fan of courtroom dramas, so this part did not really appeal to me. The Alienist was all about hunting down the killer, which I think is much more exciting.

As a stand-alone novel, The Angel of Darkness was great -- much better than others I have read. If I didn’t have The Alienist to compare it to, I would probably give this one 5 diamonds.

One other complaint -- when is Caleb Carr going to write number three?! :)

4 Diamonds



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Book Blog Tour for Justice by Karen Robards

I’ve never read anything by Karen Robards before, and while I usually get embarrassed by gratuitous romance novels, I only blushed a couple of times while reading her newest thriller, Justice.

Although I didn’t think the characters or the plot were the most believable, I did find Jess and Mark to be likable and I was hoping all would work out well for our heroine and her buff bodyguard.

The story was pretty intriguing and it was set to a good, page-turning pace. A nice, easy, enjoyable read.

3 Diamonds




(Received complimentary copy for review purposes only.)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Coffin Dancer by Jeffery Deaver

Am I the only person who's upset that Jeffery Deaver ended The Bone Collector with a “cliffhanger”, i.e. bomber, Carole Ganz (along with her young daughter, Pammy), blowing up the UN conference...and then NOTHING?

I started The Coffin Dancer thinking that it would continue where The Bone Collector left off, so you can imagine my disappointment when I realized that nothing was going to be resolved at all.
WTF?!

Other than that, The Coffin Dancer was a good, stand-alone thriller that kept me guessing until the very end. I'm looking forward to reading The Empty Chair (Lincoln Rhyme #3).

3 1/2 Diamonds

Friday, June 17, 2011

Friday Finds

I've been making a lot of repurposed paper art using discarded books for an upcoming exhibit that's part of the Central Coast Book and Author Festival in September.

Here's where I've been getting some of my inspiration from:

The Art of Paper Jewelry by Marthe Le Van



The Paper Jewelry Book by Jessica Wrobel


New Directions in Altered Books by Gabe Cyr


Paper Art: The Art of Sculpting with Paper by Michael G. LaFosse


Paper in Three Dimensions by Diane Maurer-Mathison

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Happy Bloomsday!

Today is my birthday -- yah -- as well as Bloomsday!

Here's a little bit of information about this internationally celebrated literary holiday.

From culture.wnyc.org:
James Joyce, author of the epic novel Ulysses, has amassed a following of epic proportions since his novel's 1922 publication. On Thursday, Joyce enthusiasts around the world will convene for Bloomsday, an annual celebration of the novelist and his work. Named after the book’s protagonist Leopold Bloom, Bloomsday has been taking place each year since 1954 on June 16, the single date on which the novel, set in Dublin, Ireland, takes place. This year, the 107th Bloomsday, holds particular significance for Joyce fans since it falls on Thursday, the same day the novel takes place.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Book Tour for The Mistress's Revenge

Although both Sally and Clive have partners and children, they embark on a five-year elicit love affair. When Clive ends the relationship, Sally doesn’t want to let go. She becomes so obsessed, she allows her whole life to crumble.

I couldn’t help but wonder if this was going to be just another formulaic female stalker novel, à la Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. Other than being told in the first person through Sally’s journal entries, would The Mistress’s Revenge have anything new to offer?

The writing was good, though sometimes confusing as Sally loses her grip, yet the story was intriguing enough that I found myself wanting to know how it ended. I have to admit I had a hard time connecting with the main character -- yeah, she had a pretty good sense-of-humor, but she was way too selfish for me to invest in/care about. But the book did have a twist surprise ending that I never saw coming, which is always a good thing, in my opinion.

This is Ms. Cohen’s first novel and her work has lots of potential. I just hope her next book has characters I actually like. A better title would be good too.

2 1/2 Diamonds


(Received complimentary copy for review purposes only.)

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Blood Work by Holly Tucker

Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution by Holly Tucker is meticulously researched and retold in a way that sucks the reader right in. While the subject matter is itself very interesting, the fabulous writing by Ms. Tucker raises it to an even more impressive level. With her extensive education and experience, I feel that there is no one better to bring us this true tale of life and death than Holly Tucker.

I very much enjoyed the religion versus science debate. With regards to the current stem-cell research controversy, it’s clear that the old adage is still true: Those that don’t learn from history are bound to repeat it. Often with seriously negative consequences.

Great surprise ending! I thought I knew what the outcome was going to be, but I admit I was fooled. I never would have guessed who the real culprit(s) was. And it was a happy ending of sorts. I was worried that Denis would be punished for trying to help others. Although Denis did want fame and fortune, he was able to affect others in a positive fashion, especially with his last, and greatest invention.

Even though some parts made me feel a little bit squeamish, this book is by no means gruesome -- just intriguing. Blood Work is a terrific read and should be considered a must for anyone interested in medical history.

4 ½ Diamonds


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following: 

· Grab your current read
· Open to a random page
· In a comment, share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
· BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
· Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers


Here's mine:


"It was several more weeks before he was able to return, and when he did he told her that he still hadn't broken up with Nola, on account of her mother's illness. What he did not say was that he could not bring himself to turn his back on a future with the heir to Upper Oaks estate."

-The Reservoir by John Milliken Thompson, p. 167/168 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

More Blogger.com/Google problems

Hi everyone!

I've been having a lot of problems with my Blogger.com/Google account the past two days (shades of Friday the 13th).

While I've been able to log in and make posts to my blog, for some reason I have not been able to make comments.

I can't comment on my own posts or on anyone else's blog. I simple cannot make any comments of any kind. Bummer!

I've contact Blogger support and I'm waiting to hear back from them.

I just wanted to let you all know that I'm not being anti-social on purpose. I've tried several times to comment on your blogs and to comment back to all of you on my blog, but it won't let me. :(

Is anyone else having any problems?

Book Blog Tour for The Tender Mercy of Roses

Sad, sweet and suspenseful, The Tender Mercy of Roses by Anna Michaels is an enjoyable, touching story of family loyalty. It’s also a cautionary tales of what bad things can happen when people take that type of loyalty way too far. 

Anna Michaels is a pseudonym for Peggy Webb, author of the Southern Cousins Mystery series. She paint a beautiful landscape with her words and carries the reader along smoothly through this unusual crime thriller. But Ms. Michaels used, what I felt was, an excess of metaphors. While most of them were creative and
colorful, two or three per paragraph is overkill.

Also, I wish Pony had not been quite so idolized. Other than her mangling of the English language, Pony is an absolutely perfect person. This made it hard for me to find her character believable. We’re all flawed -- it would have made for a better story if Pony had had some realistic flaws too.

The other players -- Jo Beth, Sam, Titus, even the cheerleading Maggie -- were well thought out and convincing. I was really pulling for all of them, hoping that everything would work out okay and that they could solve the murder without destroying their own lives.

All in all, I found The Tender Mercy of Roses to be a great book. Ms. Michaels can really spin a magical webb (sic) that will snare you and hold you until the last page is read!
4 Diamonds


(Received complimentary copy for review purposes only.)

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:  

· Grab your current read
· Open to a random page
· In a comment, share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
· BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
· Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers


Here's mine:


The paragraph concludes, "Perhaps the bag may furnish a clue to the mystery girl found in the reservoir." How can they leap to such a conclusion, Tommie wonders.

-The Reservoir by John Milliken Thompson, p. 76


 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:   

· Grab your current read
· Open to a random page
· In a comment, share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
· BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
· Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers


Here's mine:


"My mother's friendships and their impotance to her affected all of us growing up. From the way she lived her life it was clear that the honoring of female relationships in our home was high on the value system."

What Did I Do Wrong? by Liz Pryor, p. 140

Book Blog Tour for Long Drive Home

Glen Bauer writes a letter to his daughter, asking her for forgiveness. But Glen’s not even sure he deserves it. You see, Glen killed a man. He didn’t intend to, but accidents do happen…

Long Drive Home by Will Allison is an incredibly tortured narrative told in the first person from Glen’s point of view. It’s the type of tense and emotional story that stays with you long after the last page has been read.

Mr. Allison explores a very uncomfortable subject. In all honesty, the tragically pivotal moment in this book could happen to any of us. None of us are perfect. One little slip, one single lapse in judgment can change a person’s life forever, sometimes for the worse.

Long Drive Home tells the tale of a man, running from his guilt and hoping to find absolution at the end of the road. Does he find it? Sorry -- no spoilers here!
3 ½ Diamonds


(Received complimentary copy for review purposes only.)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Book Blog Tour for In Stitches

Although I rarely read memoirs and I’ve never read one pertaining to medical careers, In Stitches by Dr. Anthony Youn sounded too good too pass up. I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed.

Even those of us with absolutely no medical knowledge are guaranteed to enjoy his tales of boyhood, med school and internship, plus a little romance too (eventually -- lol).

Not only is Dr. Young a wonderful writer, he unpretentiously sets an excellent example to live by. With hard work, sacrifice, determination and a good sense of humor, anyone can achieve their goals and succeed in life.

Heartwarming and very relatable, this touchingly funny book really did leave me "in stitches"!

4 Diamonds



(Received complimentary copy for review purposes only.)

In the Woods by Tara French

While I wouldn’t call it a page-turner, because it was somewhat slow at times, I was drawn into this story and I needed to know how it ended.

Ms. French occasionally becomes lost in reflection -- I didn’t really need to know the main character’s every single thought -- it made for a really long book. And, since it’s written by a woman, but is being told from a man’s view point, it didn’t always seem realistic. Do men really think like that?!
Other than that though, I found
In the Woods to be a compelling, easy-to-read thriller, with lots of intriguing twists and turns. 

In the Woods solves one mystery, but leaves another unresolved. I can see how this would annoy some readers. I am holding out hope that Adam (Rob) Ryan’s story will be explained in Tara French’s next book The Likeness.

3 ½ Diamonds

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the 13th

As most of you already know, Blogger.com had some major problems yesterday, which is still affecting some of us today.

Typical Friday the 13th! :(

My last WWW Wednesday and book review for In the Woods by Tara French were both deleted and have not be restored...yet.

I apologize to everyone who commented on those two posts. The comments have also been deleted, of course.

I will be reposting the book review tomorrow, but I'm afraid my WWW Wednesday is gone forever.

I'm still hoping that Blogger.com will come through and restore my posts.

For more info about the outage, please click HERE.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:   

· Grab your current read
· Open to a random page
· In a comment, share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
· BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
· Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

Here's mine:


"Jo Beth stood deep in the shadows, knowing they hadn't recognized her yet, watching while they puzzled over a corpse in the middle of nowhere covered with roses.
What she ought to do was go inside and lock her door, but she couldn't make herself leave while that poor, defenseless girl was out there, lying so still and cold on the ground."

-The Tender Mercy of Roses by Anna Michaels

Monday, May 9, 2011

Book Blog Tour for The Butterfly's Daughter

A voyage of self-discovery, The Butterfly’s Daughter is a beautiful story of family and friendship and the love and strength they inspire within us.

Just as a butterfly grows and changes, so does the main character, Luz, as she travels south, along the Monarch’s migration route, with her grandmother’s ashes. With the help of her new friends, Luz makes it to her ancestral homeland and meets the family she never knew. The discovery of her real history is life changing; the last stage of her transformation.

Wonderfully written by the best-selling author, Mary Alice Monroe, this book has an unforgettable feel to it. The characters are genuine, the settings are descriptive, the dialog is believable. The Butterfly’s Daughter is a pleasantly heartwarming, and surprisingly quick, read!
4 Diamonds


(Received complimentary copy for review purposes only.)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Finds


Happy Children's Book Week!

Originally started in 1919, Children's Book Week encourages children to enjoy new authors and books, and is celebrated in schools, libraries, homes, and bookstores during a selected week each May. During this event, celebrate children's literature with storytelling, parties, author and illustrator appearances, and other literacy events in your school and community. As part of the celebration, children are invited to help select the top children's book of the year by voting online or at their school or library.

 Here are a few of mine and my daughter’s favorite children’s books:

Shimmeree by Stephen Cosgrove




 Tikki Tikki Tembo by Arlene Mosel



 Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Essential Pépin by Jacques Pépin

Exactly what you would expect from the consummate French gourmet chef, the incredibly likeable Jacques Pépin.

Starting with a brief history of his early years in the culinary industry and ending with a DVD showing simple cooking techniques and tips, this great treasure trove of fast and easy French haute-cuisine is exceptional.

Essential Pépin is broken down into chapters that cover the entire spectrum of edible delights, including soups, salads, breads, seafood, meats, vegetables and several different kinds of desserts. I particularly enjoyed the garlic soup, mushroom-stuffed potato pancakes, clams on a half-shell with cold horseradish-vinegar sauce, corned beef pot-au-feu and the apple fritters.

I also really liked the illustrations, which Jacques drew himself!

This is a fun cookbook that can be referenced again and again. Essential Pépin is a must for foodies everywhere!

5 Diamonds

(Received complimentary copy for review purposes only.)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

WWW Wednesday

WWW is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions...
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you'll read next?
What are you currently reading? I am still reading Blood Work by Holly Tucker and In The Woods by Tara French. My book group on Goodreads is discussing Blood Work next month -- I can't wait to see what the other members thought of it!





What did you recently finish reading? I just finished Jacques Pépin's Essential Pépin. This is his latest and greatest of all his cookbooks and I loved it. I'll be posting my review tomorrow.



What do you think you'll read next? The Butterfly’s Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe. I'll be posting a review of this book as part of a blog tour on May 9th.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:   

· Grab your current read
· Open to a random page
· In a comment, share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
· BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
· Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

Here's mine:

"She recalled Abuela telling her that if you whispered your wish to a butterfly, then released it, the butterfly would carry your wish to the heavens. So with each butterfly release, she sent her love to her grandmother on the monarch's wings."


-The Butterfly's Daughter by Mary Alice Monroe, p. 149

Monday, May 2, 2011

LA Times Festival of Books (After)

I had an absolutely fabulous time at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books!

It was a hot, sunny Saturday on the beautiful USC campus, but the crowds were at full capacity.

We started the day by watching Jamie Lee Curtis promote her book, My Mommy Hung the Moon, on the children’s stage.

Then we moved on to see The Galloping Gourmet himself, the irrepressible Graham Kerr, discuss his newest book,  Growing At the Speed of Life, along with a cooking demonstration. 

Continuing on through the Hero section (comic books) and into the Arts & Culture area, we then had the pleasure of listening to a wonderful slam and spoken word poetry reading by Javon Johnson, a member of the USC staff.

 Some of my favorite booths were:

1. WriteGirl.org, a nonprofit organization for high school girls centered on the craft of creative writing and empowerment through self-expression.

2. Steamcrow.com, an indie design studio, run by Daniel and Dawna Davis, in Phoenix, Arizona.
 
3. C-SPAN Digital Bus.
 
4. Inner Traditions Bear & Company, a book publisher founded in 1975 and based in Rochester, Vermont.

5. The Ben & Jerry’s truck -- free Berry Voluntary ice cream! :)

I can't wait to go back next year!

Friday, April 29, 2011

LA Times Festival of Books (Before)

Well, I'm off to Los Angeles! I'll be picking up my BBB (best book buddy), Diana, in just a few hours, then we're headed to my mom's house down south.

Tomorrow we're all going to USC where they are having this year's LA Times Festival of Books.

My mother's been to the festival before, but it's the first time for Diana and I, so we're super excited!

I'll tell all about it when I get back on Monday. Until then, HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book Authors & Movie Cameos

I love it when authors make cameos in movies based on their own books. Juju over at Tales of Whimsy recently shared a cool tidbit about Sara Gruen’s cameo appearance in the new movie Water for Elephants.

Per BookPage: “Gruen and her entire family have cameos in the movie. Her big moment comes when Robert Pattinson (as Jacob) brushes past her during a tense scene with a runaway circus animal. “I’m the astonished woman watching an elephant [Rosie] steal produce!” she says.”

And according to The1stdaughter over at There’s A Book, Something Borrowed author, Emily Giffin, will be making a cameo in the new movie based on her book. Ms. Giffin will be sitting on a bench reading a book in one of the scenes with Rachel in it. How appropriate!

Here are a few more movies with author cameos:


Holes by Louis Sachar (Mr. Collingsworth, bald man who receives onion hair tonic from Sam)




Pet Cematary by Stephen King (minister at funeral)




Twilight by Stephanie Meyers (eating at a diner)




The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (plays the nurse in Dally's room)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Tuesday Teaser

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:   

· Grab your current read
· Open to a random page
· In a comment, share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
· BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
· Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

Here's mine:

“I wanted to wrap her up in soft blankets, stroke back her clotted hair, pull up a duvet of falling leaves and little animals‘ rustles. Leave her to sleep, sliding away forever down her secret underground river, while breathing seasons spun dandelions seeds and moon phases and snowflakes above her head.”


In The Woods by Tana French, p. 29-30

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Twilight Zone -- Book Episodes

I spent some time this weekend watching old episodes of The Twilight Zone on Netflix Instant. I've always loved the way this show would portray books in such a positive light. Well, maybe not the "cookbook" episode, but you know what I mean! Here are my three favorites, in no particular order:

1. Time Enough At Last (season 1, Episode 8)
Bespectacled bookworm Henry Bemis loves nothing more than reading. When a nuclear war leaves him the sole survivor, he happily plans to read books until he dies -- but fate writes him a surprise ending.



2. Obsolete Man (Season 2, Episode 29)
In a future totalitarian society, a librarian is declared obsolete and sentenced to death.



3. To Serve Man (Season 3, Episode 24)
An alien race comes to earth, promising peace and sharing technology. A linguist and his team set out to translate the alien's language, using a book whose title they deduce is "To Serve Man".

Saturday, April 23, 2011

The Big-Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano

The Big-Ass Book of Crafts by Mark Montano is as awesome and as edgy as it’s name! Full of fun, inexpensive, avant-garde arts and crafts, most are incredibly functional and easy-to-make.

My favorite projects are the ones that incorporate old, unwanted books for repurposing, such as framed silhouettes (p 9), a laminated chandelier (p. 72), decoupage plates (p.134), placemats (p. 215) and stitched note cards and envelopes (p. 306).

Mr. Montano even shows, with step-by-step instructions, how to make your own beautiful, personalized bound journal/notebook (p. 53).

Using this book as inspiration, I made a recycled rolled-book basket (p. 281) that I donated to my local library for their “monthly auction” -- it’s a fundraiser to help pay for a new, larger location and I thought that it would be a creative way to show my support.
4 Diamonds

Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Finds

Happy Earth Day, everyone!

Several books have been published recently (and not so recently) about our Earth and the destructive, planet-destroying patterns we humans have created. While I love scare tactics as much as the next person (although I do believe most of what is being discussed in those books), I’ve decided to focus on the positive.

We can all make a difference, if we just lend a hand! Here’s a few books I recommend:



The Lorax by Dr. Suess. Everyone’s favorite. I loved reading this book as a child, but I loved reading it to my child even more!



Earth (The Book) by Jon Stewart. If we’re all gonna go down in a ball of flames, we might as well go out laughing!
 


Walden by Henry David Thoreau. An instant classic when published in 1854, this is a must read for anyone who cares about the planet. As relevant today as it was back then!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Literary History of Death and Taxes

"In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
Most of us already know that Benjamin Franklin made this statement in The Works of Benjamin Franklin (1817).

But Daniel Defoe was actually the first to broach this subject in writing, having made the comment "Things as certain as death and taxes, can be more firmly believed." in his book The Political History of the Devil, which was originally printed in 1726.

Later, Margaret Mitchell brought the disheartening subject back to the forefront in her epic novel Gone with the Wind. "Death, taxes and childbirth! There's never any convenient time for any of them."

How profound. How acerbic. How utterly depressing!

WWW Wednesday

Unfortunately, this week's WWW is exactly the same as last week's WWW! I've been very busy and haven't made as much progress in my reading as I had hoped. But just in case you missed my post last week, view it HERE.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

· Grab your current read
·
Open to a random page
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In a comment, share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
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BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
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Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers

Here's mine:


"It had been in Montmor's academy the Huygens had topped Galileo. And now Montmor was more certain than ever that the scientific glory of France -- and his own reputation as ulitmate patron of knowledge -- would continue to be made within the wall of his palatial home."

-Blood Work: A Tale of Medicine and Murder in the Scientific Revolution by Holly Tucker, p. 86

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Finds

I "found" something a little bit different this week...

Bookmateä book covers are a great way to protect/travel with your books. They have two sizes that fit all standard paperbacks and they come in a variety of colors and patterns. Bookmateä book covers hold your books open, so you don’t have too -- great for treadmills, sunbathing and more. I love mine!


(I am in no way affiliated with Bookmateä -- I just really, really love mine!)


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Book Blog Tour for FINDING EMILIE

Because I really enjoy feminine literature and historical fiction, choosing to read and review Finding Emilie by Laurel Corona was a no-brainer for me.

The two young, main characters are quite endearing and the pre-French Revolution/Age of Enlightenment settings and situations are vividly described. I also thought the premise of the book was very intriguing -- who wouldn’t want to imagine an exciting life for a young lady known to have existed, but no one really knows anything about?

Friendship, romance and self-discovery are a few of the themes explored in Finding Emilie. Although Ms. Corona can be wordy with her writing and the story is sometimes confusing, there are no obvious grammatical errors and the syntax flows nicely.


The Meadowlark and Tom stories written by Lili included at the end of the book were a nice touch, though a few illustrations by Delphine would have made it better.


On a personal note, my nineteen-year-old daughter is a sophomore in college and she’s exactly the type of person who’d love Finding Emilie. I can’t wait to pass it on to her! 3 Diamonds

(Received complimentary copy for review purposes only.)