Monday, September 14, 2009

In A Reading Rut

Ugh, so for the past two weeks I've been in a sort of reading rut. I was incredibly excited about starting a book that's been sitting on my bookshelf for about a year now: The Stolen Child by Kieth Donohue.

While the book is decent enough and there are parts that I have genuinely enjoyed so far...overall, this particular reading experience has been lacking. I don't find myself looking forward to picking up the book to continue reading. I think it's mostly because there are parts that are just slow moving and kind of boring, which is unfortunate because the premise is really interesting.

Now, I bet I know what you're thinking. Why don't I just stop reading the book and start a new one?

Because I have issues. lol. I am one of those people who can't not finish a book, even if I dislike it (although there have been a few exceptions: Little Earthquakes and Macbeth are examples.) It bothers me if I don't finish what I start (it took me 3 months before I finally gave up on Little Earthquakes!) and I'm always hoping that maybe the book will get better if I just read a little bit further...

I'm unsure whether I'll finish the book or not. Perhaps I might just put it aside for a while and pick it up later. I just hate wasting valuable reading time not enjoying a book and then not reading at all because I'm not looking forward to picking up the book again.

What do you all do when there's a book you're reading and not able to get into? How far do you read to give it a chance? And am I the only one who has a hard time abandoning a book?

Monday, September 7, 2009

Review: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Title: Catching Fire
Author: Suzanne Collins
Publisher: Scholastic
Publication Date: September 1, 2009
Genre: Young Adult, SciFi/Fantasy, Dystopian

Summary (from book flap - SPOILERS FOR THE HUNGER GAMES): Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned hsi back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.

Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely conivnced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.

Review: The wait for this book was almost unbearable. September 1st could not come soon enough. I was horrified when I realized that the closest bookstore to my house did not open until 9am, meaning I'd have to wait until I got out of work to hold a copy of the book in my hands! But the wait was worth every single second.

Catching Fire does not disappoint and is just as engrossing as The Hunger Games, with a mix of action and violence that will keep the reader on the edge of their seat throughout the novel. Collins does a great job at fleshing out her characters and giving them depth. I felt like I knew Katniss and Peeta and the residents of District 12. It's as if they were my own friends and family. There's nothing I love more than being so completely invested in such a vast set of characters. There are certain characters to whom I become emotionally attached. I've tried to explain this to other people but so far all I've gotten is a bunch of "Are you crazy?" looks. But this is one of those books.

I love the strength of these characters. Katniss is independent, strong-willed and has such a sense of compassion for those around her. It is characters like this that I am thankful for; because I hope that when I have children, they will have great characters in books to look up to.

If you have not read The Hunger Games please run, do not walk, to the nearest bookstore/library to get a copy. If you have read The Hunger Games, well, what are you waiting for? Go pick up Catching Fire!

Now if I could just be patient for the third book in the Trilogy...a feat I don't think I'll be able to accomplish ;)

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly book meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • 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 their book to their TBR list if they like your teasers.
My Teasers:

"Between the covers, a book can be a sin. I have spent many hours in such a waking dream, and once having learned how to read, I could not imagine my life otherwise."

~ p. 102, The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue

Monday, August 31, 2009

Award Time!

First, I need to apologize for the incredible lateness of this post. I fully intended to do this much sooner, but between work and some family issues I've been away from the computer for a while. I'm hoping to rectify that this week and get back on track!

I'd like to express my thanks to the people that passed along these awards to me. It astonishes me that a) I received any awards at all and b) People are interested enough to actually read my new blog. It's been great getting to find so many other people with a similar interest and passion in books and reading =)

Jenny from TakeMeAway gave me The Zombie Chicken Award!

Zombie Chicken Award

The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all.

1. Alaine at Queen of Happy Endings
2. Lisa at Book Blab
3. Mandy at Edge of Seventeen
4. Nikola at Nikola's Book Blog
5. J. Kaye at J. Kaye's Book Blog

I also received the Your Blog Rocks! award from Jenny at TakeMeAway and Lisa at Book Blab!

Your Blog Rocks Award

I'd like to pass this along to:

1. Faye at Ramblings Of A Teenage Bookworm
2. April at Good Books & Good Wine
3. Natalie at The Book Inn
4. Rebrebs at Count Rebula's Concepts & Comments
5. Linda Ellen at Bambi Reads

And lastly, the Super Comments Award, which I received from Jenny at TakeMeAway

Super Comments Award

1. Linda Ellen at Bambi Reads
2. Faye at Ramblings Of A Teenage Bookworm
3. Krista at Life or Something Like It...
4. Alexia at Alexia's Books and Such
5. Jenny at TakeMeAway (Yup, I'm re-awarding it to you! lol ;-) )

Thanks again, everyone - These awards made my day! I hope everyone is having a great start to their week :)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Review: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Title: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Author: Stieg Larsson
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (Vintage)
Publication Date: June 23, 2009
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Summary (from back of book): Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo combines murder mystery, family saga, love story, and financial intrigue into a complex and atmospheric novel.

Harriet Vangar, a scion of one of Sweden's wealthiest families disappeared over forty years ago. All these years later, her aged uncle continues to seek the truth. He hires Mikael Blomkvist, a crusading journalist recently trapped by a libel voncition, to investigate. He is aided by the pierced and tattooed punk prodigy Lisbeth Salander. Together they tap into a vein of iniquity and corruption.

Review: I remember the first time I saw this book when I was browsing at the bookstore and initially didn't think much of it, only sparing a quick glance at the cover before I passed it by. It wasn't until a few months later that I took notice of the book for a second time and took a closer look before finally making my purchase.

Initially, the first 30 or so pages started off a little slow for me but very quickly picked up - boy, did it pick up! The worst thing about some crime novels is when you figure out the ending early on and I was a little skeptical that I wouldn't be engaged enough and that the novel would be predictable. I wondered whether the story would live up to all the hype I was hearing about it. Thankfully, my skepticism was unfounded. I became entranced by the unsolved murder of this young girl, Harriet, and the drama that surrounds the mystery.

I found myself wanting to know more about two of the main characters as I made my way through the novel. Their own history and storylines were just as compelling to read about as the murder investigation, which I found especially true of two of the main characters: Mikael Blomkvist and Lisbeth Salander

All in all, this was a fantastic book that was nothing like I expected or thought it would be. The content is, at times, extremely disturbing and keeps the reader on the edge of her (or his) seat. There were certain points in the story when I literally got chills while reading. It's wonderful to really not know what's going to happen when you turn the page and being just as shocked or astounded as the characters are. I can't wait to pick up the next book in the series: The Girl Who Played with Fire.

This is only the fourth book review I've written since I started my blog earlier this month and I've found myself being unsure of how much of the plot and characters to talk about without giving too much away that also doesn't just leave the review at, "I liked it!" or "I hated it!." For me, one of the best things when I'm reading a book is to make all the discoveries along with the characters and experience things with them. So, for now I've gone with a less is more approach. Hopefully I'll get the hang of this whole reviewing thing eventually!

This is also the first book I have completed for the Olympic Challenge - London 2012. 1 down...201 books to go! =)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Throwback Thursday

Throwback Thursday is a weekly event hosted by Jenny at TakeMeAway where we recognize those older older book you've always wanted to read, or one that you have read and love; maybe one from your childhood; or review an older book -- how about even a classic!

This week's throwback is:

Ramona Quimby, Age 8 by Beverly Cleary

Description from From the first day of third grade, when Ramona Quimby meets her eventual nemesis Yard Ape, life moves on at its usual wild pace--usual for the boisterous Ramona, that is. Soon she is accidentally squashing a raw egg into her hair at the school cafeteria, being forced to play Uncle Rat with her annoying young neighbor, and, worst of all, throwing up in her classroom. The responsibilities of an 8-year-old are sometimes daunting, especially in a family that is trying to squeak by while the father goes back to school. But Ramona is full of too much vim and vigor to ever be down for long.

I remember devouring through the Ramona Quimby books early on when I was in elementary school. The adventures and crazy predicaments that Ramona always managed to find herself in were incredibly entertaining. I definitely identified with aspects of Ramona and lived vicariously through her hijiinks on those rainy days when I stayed inside to read. It is certainly a book series that I hope my kids (when I have them) will enjoy just as much as I did. Plus, while I was typing up this post I was googling about the book and realized that they are making a movie! Ramona and Beezus. It's not set to be released until 2010, but it will be interesting to see one of my favorite children's books on the big screen.

Monday, August 17, 2009

It's Monday! What are you reading?

It's Monday! What are you reading? is a weekly event hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog that celebrates what we are reading for the week as well as books completed the previous week.

This week I am reading Stieg Larsson's novel The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - which I am completely and utterly enthralled by so far and I'm only 100 pages in!

Last week I finished Lord of the Flies by William Golding.

MASSIVE Giveaway at Princess Bookie's Blog

Cindy over at Princess Bookie is hosting an absolutely massive giveaway.

Check out all the books she has up for grabs:

1. Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick ARC
2. Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen ARC
3. Kiss of Life by Daniel Waters ARC
4. Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater ARC
5. Troy High by Shana Norris ARC
6. Love You Hate You Miss You by Elizabeth Scott ARC
7. Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn ARC
8. Lovestruck Summer by Melissa Walker
9. Death by Series by Linda Gerber (3 books total)
10. a 5 dollar giftcard from Walmart (you can buy yourself half of a book with it, lol)
11. 3 Sarah Dessen books ( Just Listen, This Lullaby, Someone Like You)
12. Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson
13. Fire By Kristin Cashmore ARC
14. Last but not least, I have some extra amazon cards, so I will also include a preorder for CATCHING FIRE BY SUZANNE COLLINS. It will be shipped to on or around Sept 1st (whenever they ship it)
AND a book of your choice (under $15.00 please and it can be a preorder as long as it comes out in September-so many good books get released)

How amazing is this contest? Head over to this post to enter and if you tell her where you heard about the contest you'll get an extra entry!

Friday, August 14, 2009

Friday Finds

MizB over at Should Be Reading is hosting a fun meme called Friday Finds: What great books did you hear about/discover this week?

My finds:

Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

Description from Amazon:
For Nora Grey, romance was not part of the plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how much her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch came along.

With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Nora is drawn to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure who to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is, and to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For Nora is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost her life.

Girl in the Arena by Lise Haines

Description from Amazon:
Lyn is a neo-gladiator’s daughter, through and through. Her mother has made a career out of marrying into the high-profile world of televised blood sport, and the rules of the Gladiator Sports Association are second nature to their family. Always lend ineffable confidence to the gladiator. Remind him constantly of his victories. And most importantly: Never leave the stadium when your father is dying. The rules help the family survive, but rules—and the GSA—can also turn against you. When a gifted young fighter kills Lyn’s seventh father, he also captures Lyn’s dowry bracelet, which means she must marry him... For fans of The Hunger Games and Fight Club, Lise Haines’ debut novel is a mesmerizing look at a world addicted to violence—a modern world that’s disturbingly easy to imagine.

Heck: Where the Bad Kids Go by Dale E. Basye

Description from B&N:
When Milton and Marlo Fauster die in a marshmallow-bear explosion, they get sent straight to Heck, an otherworldly reform school. Milton can understand why his kleptomaniac sister is here, but Milton is—or was—a
model citizen. Has a mistake been made? Not according to Bea “Elsa” Bubb, the Principal of Darkness. She doesn’t make mistakes. She personally sees to it that Heck—whether it be home ec class with Lizzie Borden, ethics with Richard Nixon, or gym with Blackbeard the pirate—is especially, well, heckish for the Fausters. Will Milton and Marlo find a way to escape? Or are they stuck here for all eternity, or until they turn eighteen, whichever comes

Review: Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Title: Lord of the Flies
Author: William Golding
Publisher: Riverhead Trade
Publication Date: This Edition: August 1997; Originally: 1954
Genre: Fiction, Dystopian

Summary (from back of book): Lord of the Flies is an adventure tale in its purest form, a thrilling and elegantly told account of a group of British schoolboys marooned on a tropical island. Alone in a world of uncharted possibilities, devoid of adult supervision or rules, the boys begin to forge their own society, their own rules, their own rituals. With this seemingly romantic premise, through the seemingly innocent acts of children, Golding exposes the duality of human nature itself - the dark, eternal divide between order and chaos, intellect and instinct, structure and savagery. The book's terrifying escalation of violence seems as inevitable as it is chilling. It engrosses, it challenges, and it reveals.

Review: This is one of those books that, once you read it you wonder why the heck you hadn't read it sooner. I had certainly heard of The Lord of the Flies - my brother actually had a beat up copy in high school that I'm not sure he ever read.

To put it succinctly, this starts out as an amazing tale of adventure that evolves into so much more than I imagined. It's fascinating to follow along with the group of boys who are stranded on an unknown island and what they go through while trying to survive. It really made me think about what I would do at that age in a similar situation - being young, no adults to tell you what to do, scary things in the forest that keep you awake at night, and deciding who is going to take the role of leader...and whether or not you'll listen to him.

And then there is the dissent and the violence. It is chilling. There were parts where I was reading and almost holding my breath because I felt like I was in the shoes of the character, terrified about what could happen next. Almost as if I were watching all the events unfold right in front of me.

In the words of Golding himself, "the theme is an attempt to trace the defect of society back to the defect of human nature."

If you are like me and have apparently been living under a rock all these years not having read this book, add it to your wishlist. In my opinion it is definitely worth it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Middle Grade Book Challenge

I love waking up in the morning and getting excited about books. That's what happened today. I'm supposed to be getting ready for work but I was taking some time to read through other people's book blogs and found this lovely challenge:

Linda Ellen at Bambi Reads is hosting the Middle Grade Book Challenge.

While I dutifully try to branch out and read a variety of books, I have a soft spot for children's literature - especially the books I remember reading when I was younger. I had told myself that since I just started this blog I wouldn't overwhelm myself with too many things all at once. Then I realized that being overwhelmed by books and reading couldn't possibly be a bad thing :)

Here are the guidelines for the challenge:

1. Anyone can join.

2. Read 12 middle grade novels (Challenge 1) or read 25 MG books (Challenge 2). You can read comics too, or listen to audio books. These can be in any language. You don't have to make a reading list now; you may select them as you go and you're free to make changes to your list.

3. The challenge begins September 1st, 2009 through August 31st, 2010.

4. You can join anytime between now and August 31st, 2010.

5. When you sign up with MckLinky on Linda Ellen's blog, you will be redirected to another page. Type in your name, followed by the name of your blog. [e.g.: Linda Ellen (Bambi Reads)]. Then type in your blog's URL. Please follow these instructions or your link will be removed.

That's it folks! I know there must be other people who love reading middle grade books as well. So if you do, go sign up!

  1. Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix
  2. Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Monday, August 10, 2009

Books Bought

Cindy from Cindy's Love of Books hosts a weekly (or whenever you buy books) meme where you list books you've recently bought.

I'm a bit of a book buying addict. It is extremely difficult, almost painful, to walk into a bookstore and not leave with at least one book. Because of this I have the tendency to buy books at a faster rate than I can read through all of them. This has resulted in quite a large TBR pile (I think at last count it was at 62. Not too bad.)

This week I had a gift card so I didn't feel so guilty about splurging a bit. I brought home two books:

Photobucket Photobucket

I have heard nothing but positive reviews about The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon and The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Now I just have to decide which one to read first!

The Olympic Challenge - London 2012

Katrina at Katrina's Reads is hosting The Olympic Challenge - London 2012 in an attempt to read books from the 202 participating countries in the Summer Olympic Games by July 27, 2012.

You don't have to read a novel per country, it could be a novel, essay, poetry, non-fiction, or graphic novel, just as long as the author is a citizen of that country.

Also, if you are having trouble finding authors from a certain country, it is acceptable to read a book about the country instead.

I'm fascinated by the idea of reading books by authors from different countries. While I try to branch out and do this on my own with what I read in general, it is something I don't do as often as I'd like and hopefully this challenge will motivate me to do so.

Here's the massive list of countries:

American Samoa
Antigua and Barbuda

Bosnia and Herzegovina
British Virgin Islands
Burkina Faso

Cape Verde
Cayman Islands
Central African Republic
Chinese Taipei
Cook Islands
Costa Rica
Cote d'lvoire
Czech Republic

Dominican Republic

El Salvador
Equatorial Guinea


Great Britain - Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling

Hong Kong



North Korea
South Korea


Marshall Islands

Netherlands Antilles
New Zealand


Papua New Guinea
Puerto Rico



Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
San Marino
Sao Tome and Principe
Saudi Arabia
Sierra Leone
Solomon Islands
South Africa
Sri Lanka
Sweden - The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Trinidad and Tobago

United Arab Emirates
United States - Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Virgin Islands



Saturday, August 8, 2009

Review: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Title: The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)
Author: Rick Riordan
Hyperion Books for Children/Miramax Books
Publication Date:
April 2006
Genre: Children's Fiction, Fantasy

Summary (from back of book): Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.

Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

Review: I remember first seeing this book when I was working at a bookstore while in graduate school. I was shelving in the kid's section and being drawn to take a look at the book because I thought the cover was interesting. I was intrigued by the summary on the back of the book but it was another couple of few years before I finally brought the book home. I loved the idea of using Greek Mythology as a main part of the story. It wasn't until I started reading that I realized how much I was utterly lacking in my knowledge of Greek gods. It was neat to uncover different stories along the way.

The Lightning Thief is chock full of adventure, action, betrayal (gasp!), friendship and family. I'll admit, there was about 50 pages in the first third or so of the book where I was getting a little bored. It's not that there wasn't action (there's loads of it throughout the story) but I just wasn't enjoying it as much. I came pretty close to putting the book down at one point as I was frustrated about having read quite a few books this year that I ended up not liking as much as I thought I would and was really hoping this one wouldn't fall into that category.

I took a break from the story for a few days before giving it another go. The rest of the book really picked up and I found myself rushing a bit through my morning routine before work so I would have time to read some of it before I left for the day. The action was heightened a bit and I couldn't help but keep turning pages because I couldn't wait to find out what happened next.

The Sea of Monsters is the next book in this series and I have already added it to my wishlist. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, so far, has proven to be a fun series for kids and adults alike. I'm looking forward to seeing where Percy's adventures take him next.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

$50 B&N Gift Card Giveaway!

Shauna over at Book Giveaways is giving away a $50 gift card to B&N. Go to this post to enter. Contest ends Tuesday, August 11th.

Nothing beats free gift cards to feed a book buying addiction :)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

My first challenge!

It seems I've stumbled upon my first reading challenge and it's of no surprise that it pertains to Harry Potter :)

My love for Harry Potter knows no bounds. I'm not joking, not even a little bit. Last month a friend and I planned our entire vacation to the UK around Harry Potter -- we camped out for 14 hours at the premiere (which included way too much rain and hail for my liking) and proceeded to visit every HP site we could find in London and Edinburgh.

Since the trip, I have actually been attempting to refrain from re-reading the series. Why would I do such an absurd thing, you ask? Because when I re-read HP (and it's usually all 7 in a row) I feel like I'm neglecting the other books on my shelf that have yet to be read.

Yes, I'm well aware that I might be a tad crazy. It's OK though, I embrace it!

Michelle from Galley Smith is hosting the Harry Potter Reading Challenge which has thankfully given me an excuse to succumb to my need to re-read the Harry Potter books! Here is the basic info for the challenge:

When: August 1, 2009 - July 31, 2010

What: Read (or listen to) all 7 books in the Harry Potter series
  1. Philosopher's Stone
  2. Chamber of Secrets
  3. Prisoner of Azkaban
  4. Goblet of Fire
  5. Order of the Phoenix
  6. Half-Blood Prince
  7. Deathly Hallows

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly book meme hosted by MizB over at Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • 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 their book to their TBR list if they like your teasers.
My Teasers:

"There was no way anybody would attack me, would they? I mean, Olympus had to have liability issues, right?"

~ p.119, The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Review: Mary Anne Saves the Day (BSC Graphix Series) by Ann M. Martin & Raina Telgemeier

Title: Mary Anne Saves the Day (BSC Graphix Series)
Author: Ann M. Martin and Raina Telgemeier
Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
Publication Date: September 1, 2007
Genre: Children's Graphic Novel

Summary (from back of book): When the Baby-Sitters Club girls get into a huge fight, Mary Anne is left to her own devices. She has to eat by herself in the school cafeteria, figure out how to make new friends, and deal with her overprotective father. But the worst thing to happen is a baby-sitting emergency where she can't turn to her friends for help!
Can Mary Anne solve all her problems and save the Baby-Sitters Club from falling apart?

Review: The Baby-sitter's Club books were one of my favorite book series growing up. I remember devouring the books when I was little and constantly begging my parents to go to the library so I could bring home another one. When I first heard that the BSC series was being made into graphic novel format I had two simultaneous reactions: "THAT'S AWESOME!!! I need to go to the bookstore to get this ASAP!!" and "Wait..what if they RUIN it?"

So I bit the bullet, picked up the first few and hoped for the best. I'm happy to report that I haven't been disappointed in the least. I think Mary Anne Saves the Day is probably my favorite of the three I've read so far (there are 4 in the graphic novel format.) The comic strip layout is an interesting and fresh way to read the series. Although it will never replace the original books, Raina Telgemeier manages to capture all the significant parts of the storyline through art in a way that sucked me in just like when I was reading the books as a kid.

I'm definitely looking forward to picking up the next installment: Claudia and Mean Janine. My only qualm is that there are no plans (that I know of, anyway) to continue with any more of the books in this graphic novel format.

Monday, August 3, 2009

The start of something new

I was fooling around online and came across some really interesting book challenges. I didn't even know there were that many challenges! I had only ever heard of the 50 Book Challenge.

While I doubt I'll be able to read 50 books in a year
I decided it might be fun to try some of the other challenges. I saw so many people with blogs dedicated to reading - how awesome is that?! - I thought it might help keep me motivated to actually finish the challenges if I started to keep one, too.

I've been reading through a bunch of these book blogs recently and have fallen in love with what I've found -- tons of people who are just as passionate about books as I am! This is something I haven't really found except with a few friends and my co-workers when I worked at a bookstore while in graduate school. I don't know how well I'll do with my attempt to write reviews of what I read, as this is not something I've done before. However, it seems like loads of fun and a more interesting way to track what I'm reading.

To start, I've backdated a few entries with the lists I've kept over the past couple of years of the books I've read. This way I'll have a copy somewhere in case the written one every gets lost :)

Books read in 2009

1. The Ersatz Elevator by Lemony Snicket (259 pgs)

2. Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis (223 pgs)

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (374 pgs)

4. The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Ernie Malik (210 pgs)

5. Stardust by Neil Gaiman (248 pgs)

6. Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult (405 pgs)

7. Such a Pretty Girl by Laura Wiess (212 pgs)

8. The Vile Village by Lemony Snicket (256 pgs)

9. Catalyst by Laurie Halse Anderson (231 pgs)

10. Handle with Care by Jodi Picoult (477 pgs)

11. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (288 pgs)

12. The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel: Kristy's Great Idea by Ann M. Martin/Raina Telgemeier (186 pgs)

13. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling (107 pgs)

14. Graceling by Kristin Cashore (471 pgs)

15. The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel: The Truth About Stacy by Ann M. Martin/Raina Telgemeier (141 pgs)

16. Vanishing Acts by Jodi Picoult (418 pgs)

17. The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen (166 pgs)

18. Tap and Gown by Diana Peterfreund (335 pgs)

19. The Baby-Sitters Club Graphic Novel: Mary Anne Saves the Day by Ann M. Martin/Raina Telgemeier (158 pgs)

20. The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan (375 pgs)

21. Lord of the Flies by William Golding (235 pgs)

22. The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (590 pgs)

23. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick ( 391 pgs)

24. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins ( 391 pgs)

25. Among the Hidden by Margaret Peterson Haddix (153 pgs)

26. The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue (319 pgs)

27. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (498 pgs)

28. Jumping Off Swings by Jo Knowles (230 pgs)

29. Harry Potter and the Philospher's Stone by J.K. Rowling (223 pgs)

Number of Books: 29
Number of Pages: 8570

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Books read in 2008

1. Pretending You Care: The Retail Employee Handbook by Norm Feuti (298 pgs)
2. Baby Proof by Emily Giffin (340 pgs)
3. Under the Rose by Diana Peterfreund (352 pgs)
4. Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult (346 pgs)
5. Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult (447 pgs)
6. Perfect Match by Jodi Picoult (353 pgs)
7. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry (215 pgs)
8. Messenger by Lois Lowry (169 pgs)
9. Equus by Peter Shaffer (110 pgs)
10. The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs (360 pgs)
11. Love the One You're With by Emily Giffin (342 pgs)
12. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis (189 pgs)
13. Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld (403 pgs)
14. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Perry Moore (225 pgs)
15. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (498 pgs)
16. New Moon by Stephenie Meyer (563 pgs)
17. Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (629 pgs)
18. Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (754 pgs)
19. Rites of Spring (Break) by Diana Peterfreund (354 pgs)
20. The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (162 pgs)
21. The Reptile Room by Lemony Snicket (190 pgs)
22. The Wide Window by Lemony Snicket (214 pgs)
23. The Miserable Mill by Lemony Snicket (194 pgs)
24. No One You Know by Michelle Richmond (305 pgs)
25. Schooled by Anisha Lakhani (344 pgs)
26. The Austere Academy by Lemony Snicket (221 pgs)
27. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (198 pgs)
28. Germinal by Emile Zola (484 pgs)

Number of Books: 28
Number of Pages: 9,259

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Books read in 2007

1. The Long Walk – Stephen King (384 pgs)
2. Salem Falls – Jodi Picoult (464 pgs)
3. The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (83 pgs)
4. Something Borrowed – Emily Giffin (352 pgs)
5. Atonement – Ian McEwan (368 pgs)
6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets – J.K. Rowling (341 pgs)
7. My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult (448 pgs)
8. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban – J.K. Rowling (435 pgs)
9. Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult (464 pgs)
10. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling (734 pgs)
11. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - J.K. Rowling (870 pgs)
12. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - J.K. Rowling (652 pgs)
13. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J.K. Rowling (759 pgs)
14. East of Eden - John Steinbeck (601 pgs)
15. The Tenth Circle - Jodi Picoult (416 pgs)
16. Something Blue - Emily Giffin (338 pgs)
17. Love Walked In - Marisa de los Santos (307 pgs)
18. The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (560 pgs)
19. Forever - Judy Blume (220 pgs)
20. Keeping Faith - Jodi Picoult (422 pgs)
21. Twilight - Stephenie Meyer (498 pgs)
22. New Moon - Stephenie Meyer (563 pgs)
23. Eclipse - Stephenie Meyer (629 pgs)
24. The Odd Sea - Frederick Reiken (214 pgs)
25. Secret Society Girl - Diana Peterfreund (291 pgs)

Total # of books: 25
Total # of pages: 11, 413