Wednesday, September 30

Book Review: The Patriot


Title: The Patriot 

Author: Stephan Molstad (adapted from the screenplay)

Pages: 297

Summary: In Tyranny's Fire A Hero Is Forged

In Britain's American colonies, the cry goes out for freedom as the air from Lexington to the Carolinas burns hot with powder smoke and cannon fire. But Benjamin Martin has had his fill of war. A veteran of the fierce French and Indian conflict, he has renounced fighting forever, retiring to his South Carolina farm to raise his motherless children in peace.

Now the war has found his hiding place, bringing its senseless cruelty back into his life and destroying what he holds most dear. And Benjamin Martin must take up arms to fight again--to lead a makeshift army of brave farmers and craftsmen against a relentless, overwhelming enemy--in the blessed cause of liberty...and blood vengeance.

My Rating: 6.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This is one of those SUPER rare cases where the movie is better then the book. But in this case, the movie came first, the book came second. And the book is an excellent version of the book; the author did a great job of adapting the film into book form. It just wasn’t the same as the movie, which is a favourite of mine, and a movie I’ve watched multiple times (I’m a big Jason Isaacs fan)

What I liked about the book was that we got a better glimpse at the characters, and there were parts in the book, that weren’t in the movie (or maybe they were just deleted from the final cut). But I was happy to see more into some of the characters personalities and characterizations, that aren’t shown in the movie.

What I didn’t like about the book was the battle scenes weren’t as well done. They were almost dull, for battle scenes, and weren’t described as in-depth as they were in the movie. Also Tavington’s character just wasn’t as fun in the book to read as he was to watch, and that one of the best parts of the movie, is his character and his wickedness. He was still a nasty piece of work in the book, but something from the deliverance was missing.

Overall, although it was an excellent adaptation, it still had that something extra missing from the book.

On an unrelated note, I didn’t even know this book existed. I was trying to find a replacement book for one of my War Time Fiction options in the 999 Challenge. And I was just looking for a book that had similar themes or ideas to the movie Patriot, and ended up finding the book version, so I was happy I managed to find it.


Would I recommend it to read: If you liked the movie, or Revolutionary war time fiction then yes. Otherwise, I'd stay away from it.

What to read next: If you like screenplay adaptations, I'd say find other screenplay adaptations. I'd also recommend books that take place during the revolutionary war.

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge, A - Z Challenge, Fall into Reading Challenge


Book Review: Robinson Crusoe


Title: Robinson Crusoe

Author: Daniel Defoe

Pages: 288

Summary: Daniel Defoe relates the tale of an English sailor marooned on a desert island for nearly three decades. An ordinary man struggling to survive in extraordinary circumstances, Robinson Crusoe wrestles with fate and the nature of God.


My Rating: 4/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Going into this book, I expected something different than what I got. I expected something a lot more interesting, especially for the fact there’s a shipwreck and a man stranded on an island, striving to survive. I mean, it’s the original survivor book, the original Castaway, but there are only so many pages I can read about drying grapes into raisins, growing corn and hunting or raising goats. It gets rather repetitive after awhile to the point I grew so bored I was hopping for something outrageous and completely unlikely like a bear attack, just to add something, interesting to the story. I also found the narrative style doesn’t add much to the story, it to was rather dry. The book also has a lot of elements of racism and ignorance of other cultures, which is bothersome, but it’s also something where you have to conceder the fact that during this time period, that’s what they were taught and what was the norm, still doesn’t make it any better to read, but it’s a major element in the story.

Although I couldn’t connect to the character on this level, he did go on a spiritual journey, which I think a lot of readers could appreciate. This spiritual journey was well written, it’s execution was boring for me, but the author did do a fantastic job at bring the character through his journey, and building the character’s personality and development were also well don, just the execution of it was dull for me. Not my favourite of books, but still willing to give Defoe another chance.

Would I recommend it to read: I personally didn't like the book. But I think if you are someone who likes books that take the character through a bit of a spiritual and developmental journey, they could really enjoy and appreciate the books.

What to read next: Swiss Family Robinson

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge, Fall into Reading Challenge,YA Challenge


Thursday, September 24

Book Review: Cranford


Title:  Cranford

Author: Elizabeth Gaskell

Pages: 160

Summary: Elizabeth Gaskell’s comic portrait of early Victorian life in a country town describes with poignant with the uneventful lives if its lady-like inhabitants, offering an ironic commentary on the separate spheres and diverse experiences of men and women. As the external world necessarily impinges even on Cranford, the unlikely juxtapositions of old and new brought about by the pace of change are also explored: the effects of Victorian commerce and imperial expansion co-exist with the survival of the customs and habits of thought from much earlier times.

My Rating: 7.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I really enjoyed my first experience with Elizabeth Gaskell’s novel, I went into it not sure what to expect from the author, but I have to say I was surprised. For one, it was a lot different then some of the other Victorian Literature/19th Century writing by women, because it focused less on the love affairs women have, need etc, and more on the life and times of spinsters in Cranford. At times, it was a bit humour, as the reader follows the spinsters and observe what they do. I’m not sure if Gaskell intended it to be a bit of a satire on how some women were during this time, or if it was meant more of something serious, but I enjoyed it nonetheless.

Even when the story itself is a little dry at times, her writing style makes up for it. If there is one thing I can appreciate in just about Victorian era writing, it’s the lovely, elegant writing style of the authors and/or voice of their narrators. It really makes a difference to a story, that at times moves slowly, when you have such beautiful writing to pull you through. I also like when the author writers as if they were sitting there talking to you in an engaging retelling of the story face to face, which is what it felt like at times in this book.

One criticism I have is that although I enjoyed reading about the characters, following throughout the story, not one stuck out and struck me. None of the characters were memorable. I found that the characters are very easy to forget about once you put the book down, so I wish there was something more there to them. The only character that stuck out for me was one who was on two or three pages, and that’s because they shared their last name with me (Mr. Dobson). Other then the lack of memorable characters or even characters that you wouldn’t forget about the second the page is turned; it was a nice read, with a beautiful writing style. (And, 9 months after joining the 18th-19th Century Women Writers Challenge, I finally read one book in that challenge!)

Would I recommend it to read: I would recommend this book to read. It’s a fairly light read, which can be humours at times, and it isn’t as dry as some similar novels out there (Wuthering Heights for example). It also isn’t one that’s heavy on the romance side of Victorian life, and focuses more on day to day life instead. What I want to know was whether or not Gaskell intended it to be a bit of a satirical outlook on society, social class etc. Anyone know?

What to read next: I personally want to investigate more of Elizabeth Gaskell's novels, North and South is one of them (I may save it for next year though). So that would be a place to start. Charlotte Bronte would also be a good choice.

Challenges: 18th/19th Century Women Writers Challenge, 100+ Challenge,
999 Challenge, A - Z Challenge, Fall into Reading Challenge


Monday, September 21

Mailbox Monday's




Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page

I got this at the end of the week, but BBAW kept me busy, so I thought I'd saved it until now, and post about the book I got in the mail.


Curse of the Tahiéra by Wendy Gillissen. Which looks very interesting and I'm hoping I'll have it read and reviewed by Mid-October. It looks like a great fantasy read, and I just peered into the prologue and I think I can expect a very engaging read. Thanks again to Wendy who sent this.






Book Review: The Hunger Games


Title: The Hunger Games

Author: Suzanne Collins

Pages: 384

Summary: Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.

My Rating: 9.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I finally, after seeing this book every where in the blogverse, decided to pick the book up. I haven’t had much luck with YA Fiction as of late, but I thought, why not give it a try, I enjoy dystopian literature, and everyone seems to love the book, it can’t hurt, right?
So, what do I think? Let’s just say I haven’t read a book in such a feverish frenzy as I divulge into a book to find what happens next, reading it in one sitting, since Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. It was just that good!

As I’ve said before the book was impossible to put down, as I read to find what would happen to Katniss and Peetra. The situation of the Hunger Games, children killing children and one survivor was disturbing, creepy but kept the reader engaged as they read on to find out if their favourite character would make it though to the next day.
In fact, the whole dystopian country they’re in is rather disturbing, and haunting. There seems to be a lot of unhappy people living there, who are unhappy with the “government’s” ability to run the country. I can see the seeds buried for future plot lines, and how some things might play out in up coming books, Collins has done a fantastic job, at creating this society and dystopian world.

I do admit the book starts off a little slow, but once the Hunger Games begin, it’s impossible to put the book down, as the reader is taken into the games with the characters, watching them strive for survival. Katniss is someone you’d want to be lost in the woods with, because she knows her stuff. Although, I like Peetra’s character more then her, she has a lot of “I’m not that smart/good/worthy” attitude to her, which bugs me a bit. Peetra, is one of those characters/friends anyone would want to have, and would go to the end of the earth for you. Kudos to the author for making a fantastic cast of characters, who you can’t help but want to root for (I really liked Rue too!)

The author’s writing style is good, she knows how to tell a thrilling story, without going overboard, and knows how to slow down, bring in romance etc at the right times, without making the book seem to formula. The book definitely has a bit of “formula” to how it’s written (like all thriller/YA Novels), but the author handles it well, and manages to make it more interesting then what you would typically see. You could kind of guess how it would end (although that could be because all the promotion/reviews and I support X badges around), but it’s still a fantastic read.

Overall, if you’re going to read the book, clear your day, because it will capture you up instantly, and you won’t be able to put it down. Collins is an author to watch out for; I think we can expect to see more great works for her. The Hunger Games is a fantastic, thrilling read, and I know the sequel is going to be just as good.

Would I recommend it to read: HELL YES! 'Scuse my language. But this book is just so good! Read it! Read it now! You won't be disappointed, and it doesn't take long to read (I think I read it in about 5 hours or less). Just a warning, the book will make you want to run out and get the second.... make sure it's available, because I'm on the wait list at the library, and I'm number 28! for 12 books! Grr!

What to read next: Catching Fire, the sequel to The Hunger Games. The Giver.

Challenges: 1st in a Series, 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge, YA Challenge


Book Review: One Hundred Years of Solitude


Title: One Hundred Years of Solitude

Author: Gabriel García Márquez

Pages: 448

Summary: The story follows 100 years in the life of Macondo, a village founded by José Arcadio Buendía and occupied by descendants all sporting variations on their progenitor's name: his sons, José Arcadio and Aureliano, and grandsons, Aureliano José, Aureliano Segundo, and José Arcadio Segundo. Then there are the women--the two Úrsulas, a handful of Remedios, Fernanda, and Pilar--who struggle to remain grounded even as their menfolk build castles in the air. If it is possible for a novel to be highly comic and deeply tragic at the same time, then One Hundred Years of Solitude does the trick. Civil war rages throughout, hearts break, dreams shatter, and lives are lost, yet the effect is literary pentimento, with sorrow's outlines bleeding through the vibrant colors of García Márquez's magical realism. Consider, for example, the ghost of Prudencio Aguilar, whom José Arcadio Buendía has killed in a fight. So lonely is the man's shade that it haunts Buendía's house, searching anxiously for water with which to clean its wound. Buendía's wife, Úrsula, is so moved that "the next time she saw the dead man uncovering the pots on the stove she understood what he was looking for, and from then on she placed water jugs all about the house."

My Rating: 7.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: Although I enjoyed the book, and Gabriel García Márquez’s has beautiful writing, I don’t think the book is amazing as it’s hyped up to be. Worth reading? Yes! But it’s not as amazing as I expected it to be, it really didn’t live up to the hype or praise everyone has given it.

The writing style is beautiful, if the writing wasn’t as good as it was, I probably would have given up on the book, because, the story it self is rather boring at times. This is a book where you need to have patience, because it takes a while for anything to happen. I enjoyed reading about the characters and following them through there lives, but no character really hit me as memorable, and the characters are easy to forget once you finish the book. But it was enjoyable enough to watch the family though the generations grow and see how their lives play out, but I think that was mainly due to the writing style.

The writing style in the book flows so well, and lyrically, that it makes it hard to give up on the story, even if it was boring, because the author was so talented, and I think I’ll probably like some of his other books a lot more, where more events or there is more substance to the stories.

Would I recommend it to read: I’d probably recommend it to read, especially if you love beautiful, flowing and lyrical writing styles. But if you like books where a lot of “excitement happens” and are turned off of books that are slow moving, then it’s not going to be for you.

What to read next: I'd say check out other books by the author, I've had my eyes on Autumn of the Patriarch for a while now. Also The Stone Diaries and A Good House have similarities, in that they follow the characters over a period of time.

Challenges: 1% Well Read Challenge, 100+ Challenge


Award





Blogs that receive the Let’s Be Friends Award are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers.


1) Amanda from the Zen Leaf
2) Jeane from DogEar Diary
3) Nymeth of Things Mean a Lot
4) S. Krishnao from S. Krishna's Books
5) Rebecca from Lost in Books
6) WitchBaby from WitchBaby's Journal
7) Cindy of Cindy Love's Books
8) Alea from Pop Culture Junkie
9) Amy from My Friend Amy (also THANKS! for a fantastic BBAW, you did a great job!)





Sunday, September 20

Book Review Anthem


Title: Anthem

Author: Ayn Rand

Pages: 105

Summary: Anthem has long been hailed as one of Ayn Rand's classic novels, and a clear predecessor to her later masterpieces, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. In Anthem, Rand examines a frightening future in which individuals have no name, no independence, and no values. Equality 7-2521 lives in the dark ages of the future where all decisions are made by committee, all people live in collectives, and all traces of individualism have been wiped out. Despite such a restrictive environment, the spark of individual thought and freedom still burns in him--a passion which he has been taught to call sinful. In a purely egalitarian world, Equality 7-2521 dares to stand apart from the herd--to think and choose for himself, to discover electricity, and to love the woman of his choice. Now he has been marked for death for committing the ultimate sin. In a world where the great "we" reign supreme, he has rediscovered the lost and holy word--"I."

My Rating: 7.75/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This book was a quick read, but it was still very heavy on themes of finding ones self, an individual, in a collective society. This society has no need for “I” or “me”, it’s only “we”, even when a person is taking about themselves. Which can throw you off a bit, when you first read the book, but once you get used to that, it’s a hard book to put down.
I really enjoyed following Equality 7-2521, as we followed him through as he slowly comes to terms that he is a person, an individual and not part of a community of people.

Rand’s writing captures the reader easily, although, because this is written as a collection of thoughts from Equality 7-2521, rather then a story, the writing can be a little, jumbled, almost like jumbled thoughts, which is what I think the author intended, but it’s hard to get a good grasp on her writing style this way. I would have liked to see a bit more of her style, but the way it was written worked for the book, as you peeped into the characters head, and were able to experience/read his thought process as he examined himself as a community of people, or “we”, to finding himself as an individual.

It was very different and usual read. A lot of philosophical and psychological issues in here, so it makes it hard to review without getting into that, but it was a good book in the dystopian genre, on how collective societies and the oppression some face within them.

Would I recommend it to read: I’d recommend the book, but I think a lot of people may not like the book, just because it’s very heavy on philosophical/psychological examination of the self. It’s not a book that is a light read. It’s a short book, so it doesn’t take long to read it, but it’s a book that is heavy on what you take out of it, and a book that makes you think. It’s a great book for a book club, where you can debate what you’ve read after, but for the most part I’d say it’s worth reading, but may not be for everyone.

What to read next: The Giver (for YA Fans), Brave New World,

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge



Book Review: The Notebook


Title: The Notebook

Author: Nicolas Sparks

Pages: 239

Summary: A story in an old notebook is read to an elderly woman by a sad stranger. It is the story of Noah and Allie, who fell in love but were kept apart for many years. As the stranger reads, it becomes clear that he is engaged in a desperate struggle to reach the woman who no longer remembers her past.


My Rating: 7/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I’ve heard a lot about this book, because of the movie. So many people talked about how amazing the movie was. I have watched parts of the movie, and thought it was alright, very sad, but alright. And I feel the same way about the book,, a little sad, but a good book. Nicolas Sparks is a good author, in that the heart and soul of his characters are shown on the pages (to watch Noah try to recapture Allie’s memory is heartbreaking). It’s very sad to read, as Noah hopes his wife may remember some piece of him. Great job on the author’s part here, I think he captured the emotional response of those who have a family member with Alzheimer's very well, it’s a sad thing for anyone to have to go through or watch, but you can really feel the pain Noah does when he’s talking about his wife.

Issues I have with the book are, you don’t really see how this love develops. You find out they are madly in love, you find out that they got married, lived a happy life and now they’re in a retirement home. But you don’t get to see how the love developed (although you do in the movie). But in the book, it can be a little unconvincing that the couple are so in love, because you really don’t get to dig deep into their relationship and see that love. The book would have been better if you could see how the romance played out in more in-depth explanation.

For the most part it was a good read, but it’s more of a rainy day read the anything else. I think I will check out more of the author’s work, just so I can get a better hold on what his writing is like, but overall not a bad read.

Would I recommend it to read: The book wasn’t impressive as I thought it would be. If you like romance books, I think you might enjoy the book. But it’s not a book big on my recommendation list.

What to read next: PS, I Love You, The Time Traveller's Wife

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, Chick Lit Challenge


Friday, September 18

BBAW Day Five Meme: Love & Goals



Hopefully this week you’ve been visiting a bunch of new book blogs and maybe noticing some things about them you’d like to try yourself.  Or maybe you’ve just had some ideas for improvements to your blog you’d like to put into place or new ideas for content.  But there’s also probably something you really love about your blog, too, something you’re really proud of.  It’s time to show off!  Tell us and this is really important, in 50 words or less what you love best about your blog!  And then in 50 words or less where you want your blog to be by the next BBAW!  Ready?  GO!

Okay, so I may go over 50 words, but that what I do. I'll keep it short.

What I love about my blog - my layout, I love it. I didn't create it (I wish I had the HTML/CSS etc expertise to do something like this) but I love it nonetheless. I also love being able to share my love for reading, books, book nerdiness with others and meet people who have the same love for books and sharing reviews.

Goals for the next year? Hmm, I'd love to have my own domain name. That would be nice. Bigger collection of books. And try to participate more in the community and comment more with others. I haven't been doing that as much as I'd like.

And there you have it, it's over all ready. My reader exploded twice (but only twice) I found some great new blogs and look forward to reading their reviews soon, and still managed to read a book or two . All in all, good week book/book blogging wise. Thanks for a great week all!

Thursday, September 17

Book Review: The Thirteenth Tale


Title: Thirteenth Tale

Author: Diane Setterfield

Pages: 416

Summary: Biographer Margaret Lea returns one night to her apartment above her father's antiquarian bookshop. On her steps she finds a letter. It is a hand-written request from one of Britain’s most prolific and well-loved novelists. Vida Winter, gravely ill, wants to recount her life story before it is too late, and she wants Margaret to be the one to capture her history. The request takes Margaret by surprise–she doesn’t know the author, nor has she read any of Miss Winter’s dozens of novels.

Late one night while pondering whether to accept the task of recording Miss Winter’s personal story, Margaret begins to read her father’s rare copy of Miss Winter’s Thirteen Tales of Change and Desperation. She is spellbound by the stories and confused when she realizes the book only contains twelve stories. Where is the thirteenth tale? Intrigued, Margaret agrees to meet Miss Winter and act as her biographer.
As Vida Winter unfolds her story, she shares with Margaret the dark family secrets that she has long kept hidden as she remembers her days at Angelfield, the now burnt-out estate that was her childhood home. Margaret carefully records Miss Winter’s account and finds herself more and more deeply immersed in the strange and troubling story. In the end, both women have to confront their pasts and the weight of family secrets. As well as the ghosts that haunt them still.

My Rating: 4.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This book was everywhere I went for the past year (or more?). I was always immediately drawn to the cover, because it was so beautiful and always debated picking up a copy of the book and giving it a home. But I never did. Finally I borrowed it from a library, and I’m glad I never gave it a home because I didn’t like this book much at all. It started out very slow and boring for me. The main character was very bothersome, although I did like her love for books and the author’s portrayal of a person’s love for books, for the most part the character Margaret annoyed the hell out of me. She was very, I want to say Mary-Sue like at times. She was constantly interfering with the story, to the point it ruined it for me.

Vida Winter’s story about her life was what kept me reading, and the book did pull me in at this point. Any part when she told her story, of the twins, and her life, I loved and really enjoyed, but I still cringed every time Margaret came along, gave her input to her self on what she thinks is happening. Were the “show don’t tell” aspect of writing is thrown out the window. So many times, parts of the mystery side of the book you can guess at, and can be predictable at times, are given away because Margaret “figures it out”. It took the fun out of guessing for the yourself as the reader, then later finding out when Vida goes on with the story. One of the biggest flaws of this book was Margaret’s character constantly interfering with everything, doing her own investigations, and ruining Vida’s story. It was like watching a movie and the person next to you shouts out what will happen, even though the scene is already building up to the answer, they blurt it out, the suspense is gone and it becomes a big let down then thee story starts to become redundant, because you already know what the answer is, and you don’t care for the extra fill ins anymore, because the build up to it was what you wanted.

Would I recommend it to read: I personally didn’t like the story, but I think a lot of people out there would. There is a good aspect of suspense, although it was ruined for me, those who really like all types of ghost stories, mystery, thriller, suspense etc, would enjoy the book. I like some of these genre’s in books, but just not the way it was handled here. But I do think a lot of thriller/ mystery fans would enjoy the book.

My final issue of the book is it became a little soap operaish in the big revelation on how certain characters are connected to each other that you’ve meet throughput the book. The whole ghost aspect REALLY bugged me to. Especially Margaret’s “twin ghost” I didn’t get that at all, it added no depth to her character, and the very end of the book was stupid, stupid stupid! I nearly though the damn book across the room at that point. The hint at a ghost is one thing. Her looking into a bloody mirror and taking a picture because it’s the ghost of her twin? WTF? Honey! That’s your reflection! I just didn’t get the twin part on and why it was so important, why she was suddenly seeing the twin ghost. To me, it seemed that Margaret having a twin at birth, was thrown in there as a plot device the content editors forgot to get rid of because it was never developed or explained properly. Okay, so if Margaret wasn’t in the book, the story would have been a lot better for me. Because I loved digging into Vida’s past, and finding out who she really was, that was great. If the story was just that, and Margaret kept her mouth shut, the story likely would have likely been an 8.

What to read next: I'm not sure, not sure at all. On LibraryThing to books I saw that it recommended were Water for Elephants and The Historian. Both are in my TBR/Wishlist pile, but haven't read them my self. If you liked thillers, two I enjoyed, but aren't really anywhere related to this were Missing Monday by Mathew Costello and Going East by Mathew D'Acona.

Challenges: 100+ Challenge


BBAW Day Four Meme: Thanks for Introducing Me to This Book!

Today's meme/post for BBAW is to talk about a book we found through another person's book blog, that because of the recommendation, we had to pick it up and read it, and loved it even more.




Although I can't remember which blog or who introduced me to what book. There are a few books that I've found during my time in the book blogging world, that I had to pick up and read. One of them being

The Diplomat's Wife by Pam Jenoff. I saw countless reviews for this book, and finally I nabbed it up from the library. (Not only was it a book that looked really good, but it would solve the "J Author" in the A - Z Challenge gap.) I couldn't put the book down, and have since bought the prequel to the book.You can see My Review Here.




I've also decided to pick up the Hunger Games although I haven't read the book yet, it looks promising.



Wednesday, September 16

BBAW Day Three Meme: Reading Habbits


I'm really late at this, but do to personal reasons, I haven't had time today to do any BBAW stuff. I'm trying to get to the interviews now, but its late and today has been a bad day for me, so sorry if I cant get to all of the memes. Some that I've read are really good, and are so similar to me. (Glad I'm not the only erm anal about books blogger out there.)

So here's this weeks meme: Today’s it’s all about the creativity.  We have this fabulous reading meme for you below and all you have to do?  Pick ONE or answer them all in as few words as possible!  Be creative, have fun, stand out!  That’s all!
Since I like to ramble, I may break the rules.... a tad...

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?
I do snack sometimes, usually chocolate or no name all dressed chips. But usually I stop and break to snack. I do like to drink a coffee, tea or water or some other drink though (although there have been times when I've had to re-warm my coffee or tea several times, because I got to invested in what I was reading, and forgot it was there.)

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

GASP! The idea absolutely horrifies me. I hate when people write in books. Especially library books! HUGE pet peeve. I dont like writing in my own books (text books were the exception) but if someone else writes in a book the OWN fine.. It bugs me, and it makes me cringe and wonder how dare a person commit such an act and graffiti all over a book. But they own it so they can destroy it. But when someone writes in a library book, it makes me want to hunt the person down and smack them with the book. Although, I once wrote in a book, but I hated the book with a firey passion. And even though it was a fictional book it was for school (Confessions of a Shopaholic........)

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?Laying the book flat open?
 I usually use a bookmark I have a collection of them of about 30. I have a habbit of grabbing one when I buy books from the Chapters. Because I usually started reading the book at the starbucks, and clearly needed a book mark. sometimes lay it flat open.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?  
Mainly Fiction although I do want to read more non-fiction.,

Hard copy or audiobooks?
Looks to bookshelves stacked with around 280+ books..... Hard copy. 

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?
Usually to the end of chapters. Unless I fall asleep or something distractions me. Or its a book that doesnt have chapters. Glares at Robinson Crusoe.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?
Sometimes. 

What are you currently reading?
Robinson Crusoe, One Hundred Years of Solitude, Crown of Swords.

What is the last book you bought?
I can't remember. Its been a while. I want to say Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe, The Illaid by Homer and another classical book. There was a deal at the book store..... hmmm

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?
I always have multiple ones on the go.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?
I like to read in my parents sun room, where they have an electrical fire place that makes the room all cozy,

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?
I like both.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?
Irene Nemivosky(sp? sorry so tired), The Wheel of Time Series.... theres so much more but, I'm just so tired..... augh!)


How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)
Organize my fictional books by authors last name, and books by same author a sub-organized by title and/or series number. Non-Fictional books are organized by there Dewey numbers, or as close as I can get them. Most non-fictoin are just in some of the more generalized categories or a close estimation of the dewey number or one I found on LibraryThings, since I'm to lazy to figure out what the number would actually be (although good practice for me, since I'm a Library Technician)

Tuesday, September 15

BBAW Day Two Meme: Interview Swap

It's day two of BBAW and I've been busy, investigating new blogs, although mostly I've added blogs to my feeds and people to my Twitter. (BookwormJules, in case you want to know).  Today's event for BBAW is to have an interview swap, and I interviewed Jordan of Inside the Mind. This was the first time I came across her blog, so I got to explore her blog and get to know her at the same time. Here's what she had to say in the interview;

1) What made you want to start blogging? How long have you done it? What is your favourite/least favourite part of blogging?
Well the way that I started is actually kind of ironic. I was looking around the web for a book, when I came across all these book bloggers. I wasn't sure at first, but eventually people started reading it and I got more interested. I have always loved to read but never thought about writing my thoughts about the books. I have only been blogging since March of this year. I would have done it sooner but like I said I never realized that it was even out there. My favorite part about blogging would probably meeting and discussing this with all the other bloggers, and my least favorite thing would be, well sometimes writing the reviews. I dont like to sound like I am rambling and sometimes that is how it comes off as. I am trying to do better about writing my reviews though.


2) What are some of your favourite genres and what are some of your least favourite?
My favorite genre... well that would probably be almost anything Young Adult. I read some adult books too but most of the time just YA. My least favorite... hmm thats a hard one. There aren't many that I don't like. I am not a harlequin person :) I won two harlequin novels at my family reunion this last year, and I will probably never get around to reading them, they just sound too cheesy.


3) Who is your favourite author?
My favorite author, again this is kinda hard. Right now I dont have one in particular but some of the ones I like most include Anna Godbersen, Kelley Armstrong, P.C. & Kristin Cast, Stephenie Meyer, and Natasha Friend.




4) Has blogging, visiting others blogs, and/or other review sites changed your reading comfort zones, outlooks on a particular genre, or author?

Not really, I still like to the same kinds of books that I always have, but blogging has shown me many books that I never thought I would have picked up. I would have just skimmed over them on a shelf.


5) Do you participate in any reading challenges? Do you have a favourite your are currently participated in, or participated in the past? Are there challenges you wish to participate in, but don’t have time to?
Right now I am participating in the YA Challenge and the 1st in a Series Challenge. I don't think either one of them is my favorite, though. The only other challenge that I can think of that I don't have time to participate in is the 100+ Challenge. I would love to read 100 books or more in a year but I dont think that I could do it. I could read about three books a week if I really tried but I usually average one a week. I am trying to boost that up to at least two though.


6) Do you use other social networking book related sites such as LibraryThing or Twitter to keep in touch with blogger friends, blogging groups or book groups?
Yes, I have a Goodreads, Shelfari, Myspace, and Twitter account to keep up with other bloggers. You can find the link to most of them in my sidebar.


7) Have you ever though of joining a book club, either online or within your community why or why not. Or if you are in one, what’s your favourite part?
I dont think I have ever really thought about it. There is one at my local library but it is only for little kids, and where I live, there isn't much of anything. I like to be able to read whatever whenever and I guess I just thought I wouldn't be able to do that. I might later on in the future but right now I don't have much interest in joining one.


8) What is your favourite part about book blogging?
My favorite part about blogging is meeting other bloggers and putting my opinions about books out there and seeing how some agree and others have the complete opposite opinion.

Thanks for the interview, and good look with your blog and your reviews. Keep on reading!

Monday, September 14

BBAW Day One Meme!: Blogger Love


What book blogs mean something to you?  Who are your most trusted sources for recommendations, your greatest help, the blogger you turn to for a laugh or to vent?  Whose writing do you admire or who introduced you to a whole new genre you didn’t know about?  We want to hear all about them…because we want to know them too!  Please share about the blogs we haven’t had a chance to meet via BBAW and let the party begin! (
 http://bookbloggerappreciationweek.com/
Okay, wow. This is going to be a big post, where I'm highlighting some of my favourite blogs, but here's a way to say yes I love your blog, your reviews, and YES I do read them, even if I cant always comment (I always mean to, and I star and save ones I want to comment on, but then I get side tracked and two weeks later, I realize I forgot.) So finally, here's away to day. Your Blog ROCKS! Rocks my book reading socks!

There's no particular order in these, and there are likely blogs you've all visted before, but hopefully there's some you haven't

Some of the very first people I "met" when I first started book blogging. All lovely blogs. And The Zen Leaf in particular is one I comment on, and read. Since we often read similar books, and sometimes have similar tastes.

Okay so all of these are great blogs, always putting out great reviews, I always see them around on other blogs, and just genreally, have fantastic blogs, and a love for books like myself, if you haven't checked them out, then do so. There's plenty more but I'll be here for days. Not to mention, had a brain fart this morning, and deleted the post, instead of posting it. Opps! (I blame lack of coffee!)

Friday, September 11

Library Loot Sept 9 - 15th

Library Loot is a weekly event that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library hosted by Eva and Marg.

So today I walked down to the library, the second library thats in walking distance to my house, but one I dont go to alot because it's about a 35 minute walk away (the other super small, neighbourhood one is about ten minutes). Anyways I looked through the catalogued and saw they had a bunch of books I needed for challenges.



Boo
ks Checked Out Today

Robinson Crusoe - Daniel Defoe
From Who the Bell Tolls - Ernest Hemingway
A Room With a View - E.M Forester
Tall Grass - Sandra Dallas
Anthem - Ayn Rand
The GoodDoctor - Damon Galgut (Which I picked up on a whim, caught my eye as I was leaving to the check out counter)








Books Checked out from Previous Weeks
Sophies Choice - William Styron
Hunger Games - Suzanne Collins
One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabrial Garcia Marquez










Returned Books
I ended up returning 3 books. Only read the Notebook, because the other two didn't seem to be for me. I read a few random passage and knew they'd be one of those books, that I'd force my self to finish. And although I have no problem giving reviews to books I dislike, challenges need to be wrapped up and, so many books need to be read. I can always go back to them :)

The Notebook -Nicolas Sparks
Traitors Kiss - Gerald Seymor
Bookends - Jane Green








Friday, September 4

An Award

Okay, so I'm a little late in doing this, but I just kept getting side tracked and told my self, later tonight. Well, it's about time I did this. First of all THANKS to J. Kaye from J. Kaye's Book Blog, I feel bad for not thanking her sooner, but time got away from, so a big shout out to her, and if you haven't seen her blog, check it out!



The point of this award is to, pass this on to other bloggers who have awarded you in the past, so I'll do just that!

1) NotNessie
2) Tutu/Tina
3) DeSeRt RoSe
4) Arielle
5) Helen
6) Amanda

Book Review: Fifth Life of the Cat Woman

Title: The Fifth Life of the Cat Woman

Author: Kathleen Dexter

Pages: 258

Summary: The CatWoman is on her fifth life. She has survived witch hunts, ignorance, and poverty. Now, she seeks refuge amidst the company of fifty cats on her own private oasis, a mirage. But when a stranger named Angelo enters her isolated world, Kat is force to face fear. Sweetly and subtly, Angelo courts and coaxes her back into the real world, convincing her to become a teacher of history. And Kat, all to ready to embrace this new struggle, galls hopefully in love with life, with teaching and with Angelo.

But when tragedy strikes and the prejudice that sparked the witch hunts of her past resurface what will become of the woman who is “too liked by cats?”

My Rating: 9.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: First of all, the summery on the back of the book, in no way does this book justice. Nor does it come close to what this story is really about. The reason why I picked up the book was because it talked about a “Cat lady” who has fifty (50) cats, and it amused me. But it turned out to be so much more than that.

First of all, there are a lot of magical elements to the book. Least of all a woman who is half cat, and is cursed/blessed with the gift of nine lives, but she isn’t the only one in the book who has the gift. Another gift she has is the ability to create beautiful mirages, which is her current safe haven, and currently has the company of fifty cats. One of the important parts of the book is the life lessons she is able to teacher her students, which makes the book have a lot of depth, something the summery, neglected to really tell, but something I think it should. Because Kat ends up teaching her students a lot of important lessons, and its more than just history, but lessons on life, friendship and how actions, friends and words can change it.

Second of all, while my only real problem of the book was the “romance” between Angelo and Kat, it wasn’t as the summery portrays. It was less obvious to the characters, but obvious to the reader, from the second they meet, the readers knows they’d end up together in the end. But it wasn’t Angelo “courting” her as the summery portrayed, it was more of a very valuable friendship, at least in my eyes, to begin with. My issue with it was the romance was the general formatic one, you find in a lot of books. So my only real issue with the book is the romance, and the summary.

The magical elements/fantasy twist in the book I stated above is about a woman who is half cat, and has nine lives, fascinated me and it is something I’ve never really read before in my adventures in fantasy. It is a more original story in the genre, although I’m sure there is more out there that are similar to this. But it was a fun read where I enjoyed stepping into Kat’s world, as she creeps out of her shell, and into the real world. The author has down a wonderful job at telling a story and giving only enough information of Kat’s past lives, to make the reader want more, and make the reader wonder if the other lives the CatWoman has will also have novels written about them. I’m torn whether or not I actually want books of her other lives, or if what I’ve learned in the book is enough, which to me, tells how well written the book is. On one side you really want to know and get a better glimpse at her other lives, on the other hand, you can use your imagination, and create the image your self.

Characterization was well done, especially for the cats. The cats too, live nine lives and communicate with Kat. They are able to talk to her in sorts, and give her guidance, wisdom, and demand tuna. Actually, for the most part, the cats provide a lot of humour in the book, because even though they help Kat through her hardships, they are still cats. Who don’t like to be disturbed when they sleep, like tuna and have a bit of an attitude problem. The author managed to capture the mind set of a cat perfectly, and if a cat could talk, it would probably look something similar to those cats in the book. The human characters were also well done, some a little eccentric and odd, but most of the characters you really cared for, and certain events near the end of the book shocked me. I actually couldn’t believe what happened to one character, that was a good twist, I’m not happy about it, but it was a good twist. It’s one of those ones you don’t expect, don’t want, and want to throw the book across the room in anger, but it is needed in the book. Either way, the characters were the types you are able to get invested in, and wish the best for. The writing style was also well done, some nice descriptions in it, and a good narrative when telling the story. The writing style definitely pulled me into the book, and the book was a hard one to put down.

Overall it was a wonderful book, with a unique story in the fantasy/magical realism genre, which I found in the bargain bin at my local Chapters, which has a lot of depth and a story I think a lot of readers would enjoy.


Would I recommend it to read: Yes, definitely. I was unsure how much I would like the book when I picked it up. It looked interesting and different from the summary on the back, but it was in the bargain bin, and I’ve found little reviews on the book. But it ended up being such a wonderful and fun book. It shows you that even the bargain books, the forgotten books, and the lesser known books are just as good and sometimes better, then the more popular books out there. And if you’re looking for a fantasy book, that’s different then what’s been out there in the past few years, this is one for you.

What to read next: I'm really stuck on this one. I can't think of a book to recommend. I'd say search around for book in the magical realism genre, if you enjoyed this book, and see what you can find.

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge, A - Z Challenge, RYOB Challenge