Friday, April 30

Book Review: Molly Withers and the Golden Tree

Title: Molly Withers and the Golden Tree

Author: Kent Allan Rees

Pages: 247

Summary: Molly an Charlie live very ordinary lives. But everything changes when they meet a talking moose, catch a Pinleton Dimple fair, escape from Craggly's haunted cemetery and embark on an incredible journey to the enchanted golden tree!

Molly and Charlie face countless dangers along the way, but that's not all - they have discovered a great Secret! In the end, Molly must solve an ancient riddle or the Golden Tree and its Magic will be lost forever!

My Rating: 8/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This was a wonderful little book, with a sweet heroine, and a very powerful message, “believe in your dreams and you shall have them.” It was a great introduction to what I’m sure is going to be a well loved series. The book had a fun, magical feel to it, and a well written story, that kept the readers interest throughout the book. I doubt when a young reader reads this book that they’d be bored. It is a book that is hard to put down, and I can see children devouring the book until the end (and perhaps some adults who are still young at heart.)

The magic/fantasy element isn’t the same as it is in other book in the same genre, but I still found it hard to put down. You still see some very interesting (and evil) characters or creatures throughout the book, in a fairy tale land, but it appears to be more of a magical realism with a fantasy twist, than pure fantasy. The author did a fantastic job at setting up the scenes, I loved the graveyard scene and I’m sure for the young readers who read the book, that it will be a frightful/exciting scene to read - I’m sure the young (and the young at heart) will be gripping the book anxiously trying to find out what happens, in fact I’m sure that this will happen throughout most of the book.

This is a children’s book, so I went in with the mindset of a young reader, or as close to one as I can get, and looking back, it’s a fun book. The best part is I think it’s one of those books that parents and children can read together and enjoy as a family. I remember when I was young and my mom read the Hobbit to me and how excited I was to find out what happens next, how I loved the characters and hated to see something bad happen to them (even Gollum). This is one of those books, I can see children begging their parents to tell them what happens next in the book, and perhaps sneaking a peak to find out for themselves.

I don’t think I have anything negative to say about the book, the only issue for me is it is a children’s book, so although it was a fun read I couldn’t connect to the characters very well and similar issues I find with reading children or young adult books. Fun to read, often fun characters, but I just find it hard to either connect to the characters or some parts just don’t hit me, like the way I think the author intended. Which isn’t a big issue, because I think that for those who are in the age range of the book (11 - 15ish?), will love the book. And many adult YA fans, will also enjoy it. I’m just a bit of sporadic children’s lit/ya lit reader, some I like some I don’t. This I liked a lot - and highly recommend it, but just putting it out there for those who don’t normally read this genre, still worth checking out, but I know there are many readers out there who are picky about their books like me! The only other issue I had was the ending - it wasn’t a bad ending, it was a great ending, but now I want more, and there isn’t currently anything to give me the answers I want! Bah! But overall a great book!

Would I recommend it to read: Yes, to both the young, and young at heart, I think this is a book worth reading.

What to read next: Hmm. I'd say the Hobbit. Just because I think this is a great book for parents to read with their children, and that's how the Hobbit was originally introduced to me. And if you haven't tried Harry Potter yet, it's a good book to try. Oh and Wrinkle in Time.

Challenges: Read ‘n’ Review, Pages Read, 1st in a Series, 10/10 Challenge, 100+ Challenge,
A - Z Challenge, Canadian Reading Challenge III, Countdown Challenge, Fantasy Challenge,
RYOB Challenge, What’s in a Name III? Challenge

Monday, April 26

Book Review: Surfacing

Title: Surfacing

Author: Margaret Atwood

Pages: 195

Summary: Powerful and in many ways frightening, Surfacing, Margaret Atwood's second novel, is one woman's haunting quest for her own self.

A nameless woman in her late twenties, the narrator travels to the island cabin in desolate northern Quebec were she spent her childhood to search for her missing father. In the course of a few painful days, the truth about her own life surfaces, the experience made all the more lonely by the company of three friends - her current lover and another couple - who are unaware of the process moving within her.

First published to international accaim in 1972, Surfacing helped established Atwood's stature as one of the most important writers of contemporary literature.

My Rating: 7.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This book is difficult to review, partly because it was a challenging book to read. Don’t let the size of the book fool you, the book makes you’re mind stretch out and grab for answers, as you piece together what is happening to the main character and narrator (who is unnamed). Part of me understood the book, part of me didn’t. It is a book that needs to be read multiple times to fully understand it, but it was a good book, even with the difficulties I had with it.

One of the best aspects the book has is Atwood’s ability to make the reader want more. She only reveals little pieces of the secrets the character holds and the author holds on each page, so you are gripping the pages trying to understand what is going on in this complex novel. Part of me wants to say it is a play on civilization, what it is doing to itself (and has done in the past) and how we are destroying ourselves and each other on an emotional and psychological basis, along with the physical sense. And how humanity desperately tries to hold on to some sense of it self, and how some, grow inwards to avoid the harsh realities of the outside world but I’m still not entirely sure I got it. Which is both a good thing and bad thing about the book - you aren’t entirely sure you understood it all, but you enjoyed the point the author was making, assuming you figured out what the author was trying to tell you. Yes, it is one of those books. Atwood makes you think, which is what I love about her writing, her ability to tell you a story, and make you really think about what you’re reading and look for what you read in the real world. Either what could happen, what has happened or what is happening now, Atwood does a fantastic job at pulling in the happenings of the world and thrusting them at the reader.

The end really confused me on some levels. I can’t go into much detail because I’m unsure exactly what happened or why (and I don’t want to ruin anything for those who plan on reading the book.) And I only can guess on the reasons behind the ending. This is yet another book I think needs to be read in a book club, so you can get a bunch of different views and play on each others thoughts, and tries to understand everything. Overall I enjoyed the book, and was surprised of what I got out of it, but it did leave feeling that I didn’t quite fully understand it, which made me like it more.

Would I recommend it to read: This is a book I’d recommend to select readers, and would say you have to be in the right “mood” to read the book. This isn’t a book to pick up on a rainy day if you’re looking for something to snuggle up to. You don’t necessarily need to be in the mood to exercise you’re brain, but it isn’t a quick read. As for who, again I’d say if you like a challenge and trying something new go for it. But I know a lot of readers out there would likely get frustrated over it and give up.

What to read next: Edible Woman and in the Afterword (by Marie-Claire Blais) mentions Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad. I haven't read Lord Jim, but Conrad is also a challenge to read.

Challenges: Read ‘n’ Review, Pages Read, 10/10 Challenge, 100+ Challenge, A - Z Challenge, Canadian Reading Challenge, RYOB Challenge

In My Mail Box

Hello Bloggers, I have reviews coming don't worry! I just don't have time to write two reviews before work, or even one. But I hope to have them up by days end. Or at least one. For now, here's the contents of my mailbox books! I did a Vlog, because I'm really really, really excited about the one book. So excited, that I had to cut the video off, because I started rambbeling about the book and well, I looked crazy. So I didn't say a proper goodbye in it. You'll see what book it is in the video.

In My Mail Box is a weekly Meme hosted by Kristi of the Story Siren so if you wish to participate, just follow the link to her blog.

Books Mentioned:

Misstriss of Rome - Kate Quinn (LibraryThigns Early Reviewers Book)
Ya-Ya's in Bloom - Rebecca Wells(BookMooch)
Taming of the Shrew - William Shakespeare
Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortenson
1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die: Revised and Updated Edition (squeel!)

And that's it!

Sunday, April 25

Books That Followed Me Home 3

Hello everyone, here's another addition of "The Books that Followed me Home."

The Books that Followed me Home, is a meme I do on my blog, were I showcase all the books I have bought at the bookstore or used book store during the week (or two weeks). Since I claim they follow me home, I only list the books I physically went into the store to get. Or as I say, I was out minding my own business, and they just followed me home. You are welcome to participate if you wish, right now it's just a little thing I do for the fun of it, but if you have the same problem (and I know many of you probably do) just leave a link in the comments section.

Okay, so I didn't do this last week, but I've seen other bloggers do it for their blogs, so I should do the same, and actually list the books I showed, since they can go by fast when I talk about them and all that.

People mentioned : Rebecca Reid of Rebecca Reads - I was catching up on my feeds (finally), and she mentioned in her Library Loot/Friday Finds a book I found this week as well. So I mentioend her, because I thought it was neat, both of us were talking about/found the same book. When, until I found it, I've never even heard of it. So Hi!

Books Mentioned

1) Thirty Acres - Ringuet
2) Little Alters Everywhere - Rebecca Wells
3) Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood - Rebecca Wells
4) Tipperary - Frank Delaney
5) Liberty - Kimberly Iverson
6) Tales From Firozsha Baag -
7) Mister Pip - Lloyd Jones
8) Molly Withers and the Golden Tree - Kent Allen Rees
9) Feathered Serpent - Xu Xiaobin
10) Petals from the Sky - Mingmei Yip
11) Valmiki's Daughter - Shani Mootoo
12) And the Angels Sang -Lorina Stephens
13) Shadow Song - Loriana Stephens

Does anyone know a good way to make the videos smaller, without making the quality so bad? I need an in between save option of email video and standard video. If anyone has tips let me know. Now off to finish a few books.

Sunday, April 18

Book Review: The Guernsey and Potato Peel Pie Society

Title: The Guernsey and Potato Peel Pie Society

Author: Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Pages: 274

Summary: January 1946: Writer Juliet Ahston receives a letter from a stranger, a founding member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. And so begins a remarkable tale of the island of Guernsey during the German occupation, and a society as extraordinary as it's name.

My Rating: 9/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: This book has been on my TBR list since I first saw it around the blogverse last year. Its title caught my eye, the reviews were great, and it had an interesting cover. Yet something about it kept making me put it off. I finally got a copy from the library, forgot I had the copy until the notice came to say the book was due back, then bought my self a copy because I really wanted to read it, and it was a book for one of my challenges, where book choices were limited. Finally I read it. And I’m kicking myself (well, theoretically I am) for not reading it sooner. Fantastic book, with a very unusual way to write one, which made me enjoy it more than I ever though I would.

The book is written through a serious of letters and telegrams between the characters, so you never really get the whole story as to what happened to the characters, just brief glimpses and recaps from the characters point of view. Sometimes something that happened to a character is retold through a different character’s letters, so again there is the idea you don’t have the entire story. I thought this was a very clever method, because it gave the reader enough to want more and keep reading to find it, as well as let the reader fill in some of their own gaps. I also enjoyed how each character’s voice was carried out through each letter. Their personalities shined through, so the author(s) did a fantastic job at ensuring the correspondents between the characters, seemed real and not one dimensional or all having the same voice.

The characters also made the book. I was dying to find out more about Elizabeth, who’s a well loved character, by the other characters in the book. I found the whole idea behind how the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society came to be was brilliant, amusing and powerful. The group that came to this society were strong people, who fought through the German occupation, and never lost the light on a common interest. Juliet is also an amusing character, she had me laughing while reading her thoughts and opinions on the world and people around her, as well as books and book related issues (there was this one part, around page 16, where she mentioned bookstore owners and how the react to certain peoples tastes in books, that reminded myself of me and many other book lovers I know.)

The book had a bit of everything, parts that would make you laugh, parts that made you begging for more. And some emotional parts, as the reader learns how they people of Guernsey lived during the German occupation. Either way, it was a fantastic book. And I’m glad it followed me home. Had it been the library book copy, it may not have returned.

Would I recommend it to read: Oh yeah. If there is actually any of you out there who haven't read the book, I highly recommend you do. Wonderful story, and a great choice for any Bibliophile, Book Geek/Nerd/Lover.

What to read next: The Book Thief, Suite Fran├žaise, Thirteenth Tale

Challenges: Read 'n' Review Challenge, Pages Read Challenge, 10/10 Challenge,
100+ Challenge, Bibliophilic Challenge, Countdown Challenge,
Reading Western Europe Challenge, RYOB Challenge, What's in a Name Challenge,
Wish I Read That Challenge

Wednesday, April 14

Books That Followed Me Home

Okay, so here is this segment of "The Books that Followed Me Home." This time around I've tried something different, which is a Vlog. My first one. I lost a bit of quality because it was so big, but it's my first one. So I'm happy with it overall. I think it's the first time you've all probably seen me. So hi!

Shortly after this video was made, another book followed me home. It was "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows" (This is the library book I have due tomorrow, so I er allowed it to follow me home)
(had to edit the title, I left part of it out for the book. Opps!)

Monday, April 5

Book Review: A Thread of Sky

Title: A Thread of Sky

Author: Deanna Fei

Pages: 351

Summary: A thread of sky is the story of a family of women and the powerful thread that binds their lives. In following the paths chosen by six fiercely independent women, A Thread of Sky explores the terrain we must travel to recognize the strength and vulnerability of those closest to us. When her husband of thirty years is killed in a devastating accident, Irene Shen and her three daughters are set adrift. Nora, the eldest, retreats into her high-powered New York job and a troubled relationship. Kay, the headstrong middle child, escapes to China to learn the language and heritage of her parents. Sophie, the sensitive and artistic youngest, is trapped at home until college, increasingly estranged from her family - and herself. Terrified of being left alone with her grief, Irene plans a tour of mainland China’s must sees, reuniting three generations of women - her three daughters, her distant poet sister,, and her formidable eight-year old mother - in a desperate attempt to heal her fractured family.

If only it was so easy. Each woman arrives bearing secrets big and small, and as they travel - visiting untouched sections of the Great Wall and the seedy bars of Shanghai, the beautiful ancient temples and cold, modern shopping emporiums - they begin to wonder if they will ever find the China they seek, the one their family fled long ago.

Over days and miles they slowly find their way toward a new understanding of themselves, of one another and the vast complexity of their homeland, only to have their new bonds tested as never before when the darkest, most carefully guarded secret of all spirals to the surface and threatens to tear their family apart forever.

My Rating: 8.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I’m finding it hard to sum up this book, because it has so many layers, most of which I enjoyed until the end, it’s hard to figure out where to begin. This book is an excellent example of women’s fiction at it’s finest. The books characters are six women, all who are stubborn, complex women, who are trying to (or have tried to in the past) make a difference in the world around them. The book is a very character driven book, it spends most of the time building up information of the women’s lives, during the past both distant and moments before the big trip and it continues throughout the trip. The book takes time to focus on each of the women, their thoughts, their emotions and what has caused them to be the person they are during the trip (although it stays in a third person narrative the entire time). I loved this aspect of the book, because it created such complex characters, that the reader was really able to learn about, get to know and become attached to. But at the same time, I found it to be a little confusing at times, because there was no indication of when the author would switch to a different character. There was usually a page break or an end of the chapter, but sometimes even then it was hard to see who the author was speaking about. Overall, the characters are what made the book. There were two characters I just didn’t care for as much as the others (the aunt, Susan and the youngest sister, Sophie). But other than the two characters (and they didn’t really ruin anything in the book for me, I just didn’t connect to them) and the at times confusing narrative, there are very few things at fault with the book.

Another aspect of the book I enjoyed was the glimpses of the hardships Chinese-Americans experience, both in America and in China when they returned/visited. The author gave a very real glimpse at what they go through, and how they feel they have even more barriers to break through, not only because they are woman, but because they are Chinese woman, who have very horrible stereotypes placed on their heads. Even when the middle sister Kay, is in China learning more about her roots, she still doesn’t seem to fit in. She’s not Chinese enough to be considered a Native, but back in America she’s a Chinese-American, who even though she was born in the states, is constantly asked “where are you from?” The author did an incredible job at bring home the hardships many such as Kay and her family are faced with. The book really does focus on women, their lives, their attempts to break through barriers and step out of stereotypes placed on them. Wonderful book!

Would I recommend it to read: Highly recommend it to read! I think it's a great choice for the women unbound challenge, and if you enjoy Asian Literature (or maybe this might technially fall into Asian-American? Is there a difference?) it's also a great choice. Either way, I think it's a wonderful book, and an enjoyable read.

What to read next: Miss Chopsticks - Xinran

Challenges: Read 'n' Review, Pages Read, 10/10 Challenge, 100+ Challenge,
A - Z Challenge, Countdown Challenge, RYOB Challenge, Women Unbound Challenge

This is a LibraryThings Early Reviewers Book. The book debuts on April, 5 2010 (same date as the post)

Sunday, April 4

Book Review: The Postmistress

Title: The Postmistress

Author: Sarah Blake

Pages: 326

Summary: It is 1940. France has fallen. Bombs are dropping on London. And President Roosevelt is promising he won’t send our boys to fight in “foreign wars.”
But American radio gal Frankie Bard, the first woman to report from the Blitz in London, wants nothing more than t bring war home. Frankie’s radio dispatches crackle across the Atlantic Ocean, imploring listeners to pay attention - as the Nazi’s bomb London nightly, and Jewish refugees stream across Europe. Frankie is convinced that if she can just get the right story, it will wake Americans to action and they will join the fight.

Meanwhile, in Franklin, Massachusetts, as small town on Cape Cod, Iris James here’s Frankie’s broadcasts and knows it’s just a matter of time before the war arrives on Franklin shores. In Charge of the town’s mail, Iris believes it’s her job to deliver and keep people’s secrets, passing along the news that letters carry. And one secret she keeps are her feelings for Harry Vale, the town mechanic, who inspects the ocean’s daily, searching in vain for German U-Boats he is certain will come. Two single people in midlife, Iris and Harry long ago gave up hope of ever being in love, yet the find themselves unexpectedly drawn toward each other.
Listening to Frankie as well are Will and Emma Fitch, the town’s doctor and his new wife, both trying to escape fragile childhoods and forge a brighter future. When Will follows Frankie’s siren all into war, Emma’s worst fears are realized. Promising to return in six months, Will goes to London to offer his help, and the lives of the three women entwine.

Alternating between America still cocooned in its inability to grasp the danger at hand and a Europe being torn apart by war, The Postmistress gives us two women who find themselves unable to deliver the news, and a third woman desperately waiting for news yet afraid to hear it.

My Rating: 9/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: I’ve wanted to read this book since I first saw it as one of the books on LTER, but I never got a copy, so I anxiously awaited it to be published, and then waited even longer for the copy to be available at the library. And it was worth the wait in fact, it will probably be added to my own personal collection in the very near future.

I have to say I was expecting something a little different than what I got, especially considering the beginning part of the book, but I think the way the book turned out in the end was far better than what I thought it would be.
For the most part though, I found the character of the postmistress, was a bit dull and not very inspirational like I think the author intended her to. Her and Emma were the only issues I had with the book. Iris, the postmistress I found to be not a very likable character. And I found her to be portrayed very differently than what the summary described her to be. I didn’t really like her from the first few minutes she appeared in the book, and it continued throughout the entire book. I was expecting a stronger character in the mans world, than what I got. Emma was a bit to clingy and weak emotionally. She depended on everyone else far to much in order to survive. But even though I didn’t like these two characters that much, it didn’t take away from the book, or ruin the story for me, because there was such powerful message in the end, and a fantastic character who I adore.

Frankie Bard is a strong and powerful woman, reporting in the middle of London, during the Blitz, as she tries to knock the message that there’s a war going on, and America needs to wake up and help. Her experiences were both powerful and sad, and I thought the author did a beautiful job at writing these parts, and conveying an eye-opening look at the experience those who were hit by the war versus those who sat and didn’t really take any of it in. I also found her determination to be inspiring, and even in the last part of the book, I still found her character to be a very intriguing person, until the end.

A well written book, that was hard to put down and very emotional at times. Overall a fantastic read. Also, I think the cover of the book is one of my favourites, it's so simple, but so pretty.

Would I recommend it to read:Yes. If you're a WWII fiction buff or enjoy a book about strong women, trying to get a message across to the public who just won't here it, this is a good book for you. And if you don't like those genres, it's still a worthy book to read.

What to read next: The Cellist of Sarajevo, The Book Thief

Challenges: Read 'n' Review, Pages Read, 10/10 Challenge, 100+ Challenge,
Countdown Challenge, Historical Fiction Challenge, Support Your Library Challenge,
Wish I Read That Challenge, Women Unbound

Saturday, April 3

Books that Followed Me Home

Okay so this will likely be a re-accuring post title in the blog, because I'm always buying books and decided that this will be a neat new way to showcase them when I do buy them, from bookstores, used-book stores, or where ever I happen to pick the book book up. This is just something I'm doing on my own, but if you also have the same problem as me, and books just follow you home when you're out and about, feel free to post a link of any books you bought er followed you home. (I personally am honoured these books chose me to call their new home. Although my poor book shelves are bursting. I now have 328 books, and one is on the way in the mail. Sorry bookshelves!)

Today after I got a cute little hair cut, then went on my way to the used bookstores, I made a quick pitstop at the mall. Mainly to buy bus tickets and to use the washroom. I didn't mean to stop in the book store, honestly I didn't, but Coles (Part of indigo/chapters a book store similar to Barns n Nobles in Canada) was on my way, so I slipped in. And two books followed me home. I also got a new Irewards card, which just gives me deals on books when I buy them brand new and save money!

Shanghai Girls by Lisa See - a book I wasn't thinking about buying, but I've been wanting to read it, but wasn't planning on buying it right away, I just thought I'd get to it when I did, but it was on for 20% off. So I decided why not?

Bitten by Kelly Armstrong - Also a book I wasn't planing on buying, I've been wanting to read her books for a while, especially considering she'll be coming to Polaris (a Sci-Fi convention/nerd fest I might go to). And if she is there, and I'm there, I should probably have some knowledge of her books. So I bought this one, to give it a try. And I found out she'll be coming to one of the other Coles bookstores in a few weeks in my home town!

The I made my way downtown to the used bookstores, visiting two of the bookstores that are down there. And I came home with 7 more books. 9 books in total followed me home today. (Again, bookshelves I'm sorry!)

Here's the books that followed me home. Or I suppose I can say I rescued them.

3) Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier - I loved Triteen Moons, and read the first chapter of this last year, but then I forgot I had it and the library demanded it back. Along with the late fees. So now I own this, and it should be a good read.

4) Adam Bede by George Eliot - This book I grabbed to fill a spot for the George Eliot challenge I'm in, in case I don't get a chance to read Middlemarch, I now have two of her shorter books to read.

5) The Pathfinders by James Fenimore Cooper - Apprently this is book THREE in the Leatherstocking Tales (The Last of the Mohicans being book two. Five tales in all. So now I own books two and three, and will have to find/borrow book One. I never knew The Last of the Mohicans was even part of a series. But apparently it is.

6) Life on the Mississippi - Mark Twain - This is a memior/non-fictional book by Mark Twain, but this bookstore had it in with the fictional. I didn't realize it myself until I looked it up at home on LibraryThing. (Which IMO the used bookstore should do, as the have Soul Mountain, by Gao Xingjian with the "X" authors, but Gao is his actual last name. The library has it filed right, but the bookstore doesn't.) Either way, I found this book and thought it be interesting to read, something different than his more young adult related books.

7) We by Eugene Zamiatan - This book I had been waiting for for a long time. Especially considering that only one person before me had the book, and when I went to see online it said the book was due back March 12, 2010. And of course it was way past that. So when I saw it on the bookshelf of the used bookstore, I had to grab it. No more waiting! So of course the person finally returned the book and the book is now on it's way to the hold shelf for me. Oh well.

8) Nights Below Station Street and 9) For Those Who Hunt the Wounded Down by David Adam Richards - I was browsing through the Canadian Lit section at the second bookstore, also my favourite, where I came close to buying a leather bound copy of Three of Charles Dickens books, but I'm pretty sure Amazon has a sale for the same copy brand new, so I'll check it out there first. Anyways I saw these two books by Richards, and remember having "Evening Snow Will Bring Such Peace" although I haven't read it yet. When reading the back of the covers of the two books listed above, I realized the book I had sitting on my shelf at home was book two in a trilogy! And I had one and three in my hands, so of course I allowed the books to follow me home. Again this was the case of having a book and no clue it was part of a series. This trilogy sounds like a good read so I can't wait.

And that's all the books that followed me home this week. I came close to bring home Book two in the Wrinkle in Time Series and a few other books. And there's a good chance that leather bound charles dickens book may come live with me. Having the used bookstore across the street from the bus stop and work is a bad, bad idea. And next segment of this, because lets face it, its me and I love books, probably won't be as long, I'm tired and trying to wake my self up. So far not working.

March Wrap-Up!

It's April already? Time flies nowadays for me. 3 Months done, and I still have a mountain of challenges to complete! Opps! Sadly this month was not a good reading month for me, partially because of some family issues which I sort of mentioned on an earlier post this month, and I want to thank everyone for their well wishes and thoughts. I can't go into details about what's happening (well at least on here) but its been stressful. Things are starting to improve, but it's slow. Also work keeps me busy, so by the time I get home I'm tired, hungry and usually veg out in front of the TV even thought there is nothing in particular on TV. April will be different! It' sunny and warm out, so that helps when wanting to curl up with a book, under a tree.

For March, I only read three books. All of the books were novels. So not much to report for reading stats there. Here's the books I read this month. My favourite book of the month was "The Cellist of Sarajevo," but "Miss. Chopsticks" is also a book I really enjoyed. (Although it's an "X" author for the last name, I'm not using this book for X Author in my A - Z Challenge, because I have a different "X" author sitting in my TBR pile). The least favourite book was "Life of Pi" (I reviewed it yesterday, but posted it as a March date, I think. Either way it's for March reads, so hopefully I'm not confusing you all, as much as I'm confusing myself :)).

March Reads List

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway - 10/10
Miss. Chopsticks by Xinran - 8.5/10
Life of Pi by Yann Martel - 7.75

Current Challenge Progress

Because it was a bad reading month, it has also been a bad month for my challenges. Although I do have about six challenges that only need 1 or 2 more books to be read to finish them, so that makes me feel better. I should be able to finish most of those ones this month or by May.

I am bowing out of one challenge, which is the 52 Books in 52 Weeks. As much as I was enjoying the challenge and, I will have read 52 books by the end of the challenge, I missed a few weeks for March, and was unsure when I read what book etc. So I have to bow out.

Read 'n' Review - 28 Books
Pages Read - 7, 913/50,000

1st in a Series Challenge - 1/3
2nd's Challenge - 4/6
10/10 Challenge - 28/100
18th and 19th Century Women Writers - 1/3
100+ Challenge - 28/100
451 Reading Challenge - 0/7
A - Z Challenge - 21/52
All About the Brontes Challenge - 1/3
Bibilophilic Challenge - 1/6
Canadian Challenge the 3rd - 4/13
Centuries Challenge - 1/3
Chick Lit Challenge - 0/8
Chunkster Challenge - 0/4 (Starts Feb 1, 2010)
Countdown Challenge - 19/55
Decades Challenge - 2/10
Ebook Challenge - 0/6
Fantasy Challenge - 0/6
Flashback Challenge - 0/6(+?)
Finish that Series Challenge - 0/3 Series
Global Reading Challenge - 11/12
Historical Reading Challenge - 5/6
Jane Austen Challenge - 0/4
The Marple Poitot Holmes Challenge - 3/6
Random Reading Challenge - 0/9
Reading Through the Seasons Challenge - 1/4
Reading Western Europe Challenge - 4/12
RYOB Challenge - 4/50
Support Your Local Library Challenge - 24/50
TBR Lite Challenge - 0/6
A Tournament of Reading - 0/3
Typically British Challenge - 5/6
War Through the Generations: Vietnam - 1/5
What's in a Name? III - 3/6
Wish I Read That Challenge - 10/12
Women Unbound Challenge - 1/5

Mini Challenges

George Eliot Mini Challenge - 0/2
Elizabeth Glaskell Mini Challenge - 1/2
Leo Tolsty Mini Challenge - 0/2
French Revolution Challenge - 0/2
Wilkie Collins Challenge - 1/2

Link for all Mini Challenges Here

Completed Challenges 2/43

Incomplete/Bowed Out Challenges - 1/1 (of 44 Challenges I'm participating in, now participating 43.)

In other challenge news, 2 challenges have caught my eye, which I want to join. (I have such a problem I know. But one does go into 2011, so really it's only 1.5 challenges I'm joining....right?) I might finish a few up first, then join them. We'll see how things go.

Countries Visited this month.
China, Mexico, India, Belgium. Not bad! Here's a map of all the countries I visited through books.

visited 29 states (12.8%)
Create your own visited map of The World

Books that Followed me home!

7 Books followed me home or came into my mailbox!

I got my first LTER book this month (A Thread of Sky by Deanna Fei) which I will hopefully have read/reviewed by Monday night or Tuesday)

So here's a list of books this month that "followed me home"
1) A Thread of Sky - Deanna Fei (LTER, so technically it was a Mailbox read!)
2) The Outlander - Gil Adamson (Mailbox - I ordered it from
3) The Heart Specialist - Claire Holden Rothman (Mailbox, also came from

4) The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer (Used bookstore. Its an older edition, but not middle English. It's not modern english either. Kind of a mixture of shakespear and modern. But best I can find so far.)
5) Lady Oracle - Margaret Atwood - (Used Bookstore)
6) Anthony and Cleopatra - William Shakespeare (Used Bookstore)
7) Three Guineas - Virgina Woolf (Used Bookstore).

I now own (at the time of this post, I may be doing a used bookstore/bookstore journey today) 319 books.