Friday, April 30, 2010

it's that time again ---- for the Hop!!!!!

Crazy for Books is hosting the Friday Book Blogger Hop!   This was created to be a place " where book bloggers and readers can connect to find new blogs to read, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!  It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!  So, grab the logo, post about the Hop on your blog, and start PARTYING!!"     Doesn't that sound like fun????

Every week, I discover some new blogs to read and follow ---- so get hopping!!!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Transformations by Anne Sexton

I have followed up The Bell Jar with a book of poetry of Anne Sexton, a poet whose work I find both disturbing and compelling.    I had read a post about this book on Stuff as Dreams are Made Of, and was intrigued enough to interlibrary loan this book and give it a try.    And then I posted something from it on Teaser Tuesday.    Now, I have finished it, and while I don't see adding this to my personal collection, I'm definitely glad that I read the post about it, and then read through it, myself.  

If you look on Goodreads, the description reads: "These poem-stories are a strange retelling of seventeen Grimms fairy tales, including "Snow White," "Rumpelstiltskin," "Rapunzel," "The Twelve Dancing Princesses," "The Frog Prince," and "Red Riding Hood." Astonishingly, they are as wholly personal as Anne Sexton's most intimate poems. "Her metaphoric strength has never been greater -- really funny, among other things, a dark, dark laughter" (C.K. Williams). "

This is what I thought:   Strange, yes.  Darkly funny, yes.  Some of the poems I just read through quickly, butI lingered over others.   Snow White and Briar Rose were favorites, although I really like the teaser I posted, which came from Iron Hans.    I think some of these poems make more sense if the reader is familiar with Grimm's tales (if you are only familiar with the Disney versions of some of these, watch out!), but they really are a re-telling.   So, it's hard to know what to expect -- the best I can say is: read with an open mind and don't try to fit what Sexton writes into what you know of a story.    The drawings by Barbara Swan really add an interesting element to the poems, as well, especially for Rapunzel.   

If you are already a fan of Anne Sexton's poetry, I'd definitely recommend this book, especially because of the drawings in it.   If you're not familiar with Anne's work, I'm not sure if this is the best place to start, but it's definitely a great illustration of her intimate writing style.   And for the reader looking for re-tellings of fairy tales?  A great read.

 This book fulfills one of my challenges: Bart's Bookshelf - 2010 Reading Challenge - for category #4 (Bad Bloggers). 

Giveaway !!!!

I realized the other day that I have 46 followers on this blog.  Now, that might not seem like a lot -- especially compared to some blogs who have 300+ followers, but I'm grateful that anyone reads what I'm writing about here.   :)

So, in honor of Spring, and the number 46 ( a nice, even number), I've decided to give away a few books!   No real rules necessary --- I don't need you to post about this on your blog, tweet, wave a banner in the air....   just maybe leave me a little comment to say hi.   Isn't that easy?    Today's Thursday, so I'll leave this open until Sunday and use a randomizer to pick the winner.

In the package so far......  a copy of Ironside, a Modern Faery's Tale by Holly Black and an ARC of Violet Wings by Victoria Hanley, along with some nice bookmarks.   And, I might just add in another book or two by Sunday !!!   

Links and pictures courtesy of GoodReads

Challenge Catch-up

I've been meaning to post about how I've been making my way through the challenges that I signed up for.....  and have finally gathered my thoughts!   So far, I've made a little headway, but realized I need to step it up a little.   And from now on, I think I'll note which challenge for which book when I post originally, instead of playing catch-up!   :)

Flashback Challenge:  I have read one from each category ---
1. Re-read a favorite book from your childhood -- The Moon Ribbon by Jane Yolen
2. Re-read a book assigned to you in high school -- The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
3. Re-read a book you loved as an adult -- The Robber Bride by Margaret Atwood

Chunkster Challenge:  I have been able to read one so far, but have a few more planned.   Shalador's Lady by Anne Bishop, weighing in at 476 pages (fulfilling the challenge of reading a book of 450 pages or more).    I chose the category of "Do These Books Make My Butt Look Big?" to commit to 4 of them.    (yikes!)

2010 Reading Challenge at Bart's Bookshelf:  it's to read 2 books from a number of categories, and I realized I have read two from the first category (Young Adult):  This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeiffer and Bad Apple by Laura Ruby  and one from the second category of T.B.R. - Busy Woman Seeks Wife

Whew!   Now that I've done this, I realized I need a better system... so that's on my to-do list today.   :)


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

It's that time again!   Miz B over at Should be Reading hosts this wonderful weekly meme, where you:
  • 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 the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This week's teaser comes from a book of poetry I recently got through interlibrary loan:  Transformations by Anne Sexton (with illustrations by Barbara Swan)  (p. 51)

"I was the infector.
I was the poison breather.
I was a professional,
but you have saved me
from the awful babble
of that calling."

I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone is posting this week!   :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dead Streets by Tim Waggoner

Have I mentioned that the people over at Angry Robot books are just too cool?   I'm sure I've mentioned how much I like this publisher and how much I like their books......

I had posted a while back about Nekropolis by Tim Waggoner.  This is the first book featuring Matt Richter ("Matt Richter.  Private Eye.  Zombie.").    The folks at Angry Robot were kind enough to send me a copy of Dead Streets, the second book in the series, and I just finished it.....   yes, yes, this is a great book.   And I totally resent that I'm going to have to wait to get these into my library (we can only order US publications, and these are still British).....

Here's the summary, courtesy of Angry Robot Books: " Meet Matt Richter. Private eye. Zombie.
His mean streets are the city of the dead, the shadowy realm known as Nekropolis. In book one of the series, Richter battled werewolves, vampire lords and gigantic silverfish!
That was nothing to the trouble waiting for him on Nekropolis’ Dead Streets…  "

And here are my thoughts:   This might not sound like much, but this book, and the one before it, are seriously funny, and seriously good.   Waggoner has created a horrifying, yet entertaining, world called Nekropolis, where your very nightmares just might be living beings, and you never know just what's going to leap out from around a corner.   Matt Richter, isn't your average private dick.  He's a dead dick.  Ok -- just realized that might not have come out right.  Let's try this again.   Matthew Richter is a private eye who works in Nekropolis.  And he happens to be a zombie.  Who answers to no one.   Well, actually, in this book, I believe he answers to his girlfriend, half-vampire Devona, but you know what I mean: Matt's no one's average undead puppet, stumbling around looking for brains.   He's got street-smarts and tricks up his sleeves to help him solve some of the most heinous of crimes being committed in Nekropolis.   This time around, he's got a little help, not only from Devona, but from a few other friends, including some we met in the previous book.    In this story, Matt loses his head.  Literally.  And if that weren't injury enough, someone uses his body to commit a serious crime.  Now, he's got his head back on, but he's running out of time to figure out who the real criminal is.

As I said, this is one hell of a story.  There's so much creativity at work here, I don't know how it all fits within this book.  In addition to well-written main characters, the world of Nekropolis, a character unto itself, is simply amazing.   In this story, we encounter none other than Dr. Frankenstein -- and the scene where we meet him is just too funny.  "Henry escorted us deeper into the Foundry and before long, we began encountering other employees.  Some were merely odd - like the wild-haired, wild-eyes man in a white lab coat who kept telling a pop-eyed hunchback in a black cloak that his name was supposed to be pronounced 'Fronk-en-steen,' along with the handsome young man with curly black hair wearing a corset, fishnet stockings, 70s glam-rock boots, and far too much makeup."  (p. 124)  Am I the only one hearing "Time Warp" right now?  I don't think so.    And it just keeps getting better.   Tim Waggoner's a great storyteller -- and I can't wait to see what he comes up with next.

And one last word about Nekropolis.....  let's just think about what it's like from this little quote, shall we?   "I'd have asked for a lawyer, but it wouldn't have done any good.  There aren't any in Nekropolis.  As far as the Darkfolk are concerned, lawyers just slow down the swift course of justice.  Besides, they're too scary, even for Nekropolis."   (p. 152)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

This World We Live In by Susan Beth Pfeffer

I just finished this book last night and got sad enough that I picked up another book to read before I fell asleep (I was afraid I was going to have bad dreams).   This is the third book that Pfeffer has written which has characters dealing with the aftermath of a cataclysmic event: a meteor hitting the moon.   The first book, Life As We Knew It, has a main character named Miranda, who is living out in the country with her mom and brothers.   It's a wonderful book, written through Miranda's diary entries, and really brings home how awful an event like this would be --- and realistically, what might happen if the moon was bumped off balance.  The Dead and the Gone, the second book, has a main character, Alex, who is experiencing the same event, but who is living in New York City.   So, you get a completely different experience of the same event.   In this third book, both characters are brought together, but the story is again told through Miranda's diary entries.

I have read many other bloggers' reviews of this book, and I think some blogs really had interesting things to say.  Since I found my thoughts to be somewhat in line with theirs, and especially in light of the recent postings about plagiarizing book blog entries.....   check out The Compulsive Reader and Dog-Eared and Well-Read.    I think these bloggers not only gave good summaries, but I found I echoed some of their thoughts about the book, as well.

I had been waiting for this book, so in the meantime, I went back and re-read the first book, picked up the second book, and now have thoroughly saturated myself with the story.   I now also look at the moon with a new respect.   Admittedly, I had issues with some things in this last book, mostly the love story between Miranda and Alex, and a few other things (just how did Miranda's little band of people travel so quickly and safely??).   And sometimes, I didn't really like Miranda --- she starts out in the first book as a little sulky, and I figured she would have grown a little more by the third book --- and sometimes, between you and me, I wanted to smack her.    But overall, this was a satisfying read, and worth the wait.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!!!!

Jennifer over at Crazy for Books is hosting another Book Blogger Hop!   This is a great way to discover cool blogs -- and get discovered, too!   Every week, I find at least 2-3 new blogs to add to my reader and follow.    Honestly, this is one of the things I look forward to every Friday!!    The nice thing is, more people add their links over time, so I check on Friday, and then check again a day or so later -- and discover even more blogs!    Seriously cool.    :)

Hop on over and check it out!! 

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath -- revisiting

So, I was determined to go through my challenges and see what I needed to start working on, and keeping track of ..... and found one of them required that I re-read two books assigned when I was in high school.   Hmm..... actually found it hard to remember any (other than Of Mice and Men, which I didn't feel like revisiting).   But then I remembered my sophomore year English teacher giving each one of us a book to read -- they were different for each of us, and I'm not sure what motivated his choices.  He gave me The Bell Jar (I still don't know why -- perhaps my teenage angst was that obvious??).

So, a few days ago, I re-read this book.   While I actually like some of Sylvia Plath's poetry quite a bit, this book has always rubbed me a little the wrong way.  I found it funny how some parts of it came back to me very clearly, and other parts I didn't remember at all.    Overall, it's an interesting book (and a classic of sorts -- there's a good article in Wikipedia about it), but the main character, Esther, gets on my nerves.  I understand it's not really her fault  -- she's descending into mental illness.    But I've never cared for her, or been especially sympathetic -- when I read this book, I'm somewhat interested in the story, and what's going to happen to her .... but I don't really care that much.   And frankly, because she's disturbed, being inside Esther's head in this story is disturbing.  It makes me uncomfortable.   But that's not necessarily a bad thing -- I don't mind if a book does that because it means it's doing what it's supposed to do.    However, I don't think I'll be revisiting this story again any time soon -- I'd rather revisit some of Plath's poetry, instead.  

On that note, I'll leave you with a poem I've always gotten a kick out of:  Metaphors by Sylvia Plath (it's cleverly constructed once you really start paying attention to it)
I'm a riddle in nine syllables,
An elephant, a ponderous house,
A melon strolling on two tendrils.
O red fruit, ivory, fine timbers!
This loaf's big with its yeasty rising.
Money's new-minted in this fat purse.
I'm a means, a stage, a cow in calf.
I've eaten a bag of green apples,
Boarded the train there's no getting off.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Waiting on Wednesdays ---- a quick thank you!

I just wanted to post a little thank you to all of the bloggers who post a "Waiting on Wednesday" on their blog.    I really love reading all of these, because it helps me make sure that I'm top of the cool new books coming out --- and I can make sure I order them for our library's collection.   I'm always impressed by the new books that people know about  --- how do you all do that????!!      At any rate, I don't have a Waiting on Wednesday post, myself, but I wanted to do a little shout-out to everyone else who does ----- thank you!!!!!

and ok - what does this starfish have to do with anything?   Nothing!  He's just happy (and he has a nice cold pint behind him).    This little starfish goes just about everywhere I travel and lives for photo opportunities.    :)

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Teaser Tuesday !!!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading and it asks us to...
  • 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 the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser this week comes from Bite Me by Christopher Moore:    "But now I'm undead awesome.  I think with practice, I will make a super, super-villain, and really, I'm okay with that, because there won't be any student loans like there would have been with my other career choice of tragic romantic poet."    p. 179

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Busy Woman Seeks Wife

I'm been determined this week to get my challenges under control!!!   So, I dug out my lovely TBR list and randomly chose a book, which turned out to be Busy Woman Seeks Wife by Annie Sanders.   Lucky for me, our library had this book, so I plucked it off the shelf and brought it home for the evening.

Here's the summary (courtesy of GoodReads):  To a casual observer, Londoner Alex Hill is every inch the calm and collected executive of a global sportswear company. In reality, she's constantly frantic, with barely enough time to take out the trash. When her demanding mother, a 1960s style icon, has a bad fall and has to move in with her indefinitely, Alex realizes she needs someone more committed than a maid-what she needs is a wife. An ad in the local paper soon produces a young woman who seems both enthusiastic and capable. But something odd is definitely happening behind the scenes of Alex's new, perfectly ordered existence. Someone distinctly male is charming her mother as well as doing all the ironing. He's no one Alex would ordinarily ever notice, never mind date. But now she can't help wondering if her new "wife" could perhaps have husband potential...

Here are my thoughts:  This was a nice, light read, and I enjoyed the setting and the characters.   It was a little predictable, but sometimes, that's nice.  Kind of like a movie where you just know the love story will have a happy ending.  And it was just what I needed after reading Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee for book group.    But getting back to this book --- I actually liked all of the characters, which doesn't happen very often.   Alex is a little annoying, but it's easy to understand how she gets so stressed.  And her best friend, Saffron, felt like the kind of woman most of us know -- and could see being friends with.   Overall, a fun, light read.    And now, I can add it into my list of books for challenges.  Hopefully, I'll post Monday about those!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Teaser Tuesday !!!

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading and it asks us to...
  • 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 the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
This week's teaser comes from Angry Robot Books' Dead Streets by Tim Waggoner:

"The fire expanded, the flames stretching outward, rising upward, and then just as suddenly as they'd ignited, they extinguished, and where a moment before a teenage girl had been standing, now stood a seven-foot-tall, powerfully muscled, red-scaled demon.   Scorch's true form was that of an infernal monster from the old school: pointed ears, baleful yellow eyes, mouthful of wicked fangs, curling ram's horns, a row of serrated scales trailing along her spine, and a sinuous reptilian tale complete with an almost delicate little arrowhead shape at the tip."   p. 31

Monday, April 12, 2010

This Book is Overdue!!!

Actually, that's the title of the newest book I got from the library:  This Book is Overdue: How Librarians and Cybrarians Can Save Us All by Marilyn Johnson.     Here's the summary (courtesy of Goodreads): This Book Is Overdue! is a romp through the ranks of information professionals and a revelation for readers burned out on the clichÉs and stereotyping of librarians. Blunt and obscenely funny bloggers spill their stories in these pages, as do a tattooed, hard-partying children's librarian; a fresh-scrubbed Catholic couple who teach missionaries to use computers; a blue-haired radical who uses her smartphone to help guide street protestors; a plethora of voluptuous avatars and cybrarians; the quiet, law-abiding librarians gagged by the FBI; and a boxing archivist. These are just a few of the visionaries Johnson captures here, pragmatic idealists who fuse the tools of the digital age with their love for the written word and the enduring values of free speech, open access, and scout-badge-quality assistance to anyone in need. 

What I thought:  As a Librarian (yes, with a capital L), I had been looking forward to this book after hearing a lot about it from librarian blogs and colleagues.  Definitely wasn't disappointed.  Marilyn Johnson really loves librarians, and gives insight into a world that many people have no idea exist.    I think the above summary really gives a great description of what's in here --- but your reaction to this book might be different if you're not a librarian.  If you're not a librarian, you'll learn all about the people who find the information, manage the information, and provide access --- there's so much more than books going on at the library!   And if you're a librarian --- you're going to feel all kinds of happy reading this book.  At least I did.  I grew up thinking librarians were awesome, and I'm honored to know librarians, and be a librarian myself.   This is a great book.   I'm buying myself a copy, and just might find a few more to give as gifts.   :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Book Blogger Hop!!

I missed this yesterday, so this is my third post today -- whew!!!!    However, I've discovered some great blogs through the hop, and I've had some people find me, as well.    So, as befits someone who lives with four bunnies in the house, without further ado --- I'm hopping!!

Hop on over, yourself, to Crazy for Books and see who else is on the list --- I guarantee you'll discover some fun and amazing blogs!   


I logged on today, and discovered I have reached 40 followers!    That might not sound like such a big number ....   but when I started blogging, I didn't think anyone would really read what I was posting.    

Yippee!!!   I do believe this will be just the occasion to have some kind of giveaway (after all, everyone else seems to have a giveaway of some sort!) !!

Stay tuned -- I'm sure I can come up with something......    I'm thinking a book and a bookmark....    :)

And thank you, everyone who has clicked on that lovely little "follow" button --- you rock!!!!!!

Shalador's Lady by Anne Bishop

Summary (courtesy of Goodreads):  For years the Shalador people suffered the cruelties of the corrupt Queens who ruled them, forbidding their traditions, punishing those who dared show defiance, and forcing many more into hiding. And even though the refugees found sanctuary in Dena Nehele, they have never been able to call it home.  
   Now that Dena Nehele has been cleansed of tainted Blood, the Rose-Jeweled Queen, Lady Cassidy, makes it her duty to restore the land and prove her ability to rule. She knows that undertaking this task will require all her heart and courage as she summons the untested power within her, a power capable of consuming her if she cannot control it.
       And even if Lady Cassidy survives her trial by fire, other dangers await. For the Black Widows see visions within their tangled webs that something is coming that will change the land—and Lady Cassidy—forever… 

 And here's what I thought:  I've been reading this series for a long time, so I had been looking forward to this book, which continues the story started in The Shadow Queen.    This is a story that really makes sense only if you're familiar with the series, and read The Shadow Queen --- otherwise, you're going to be thrown into a story where things don't necessarily make sense, and you won't recognize any of the recurring characters.   However, as I said, I've been reading this series since the beginning --- so there was some familiar territory here in this story.   I don't want to give anything away about the story, so I thought I'd focus on the overall series, instead.   Anne Bishop has created a really interesting world here, where there is magic and power given to those who wear different color (and level) jewels, a chart of which is at the beginning of each book.  The darker the jewel, the more powerful it is.   And it's not just people who have jewels --- animals can have them, too.   I really like that Bishop adds this, because it makes the stories so much richer when the animals (with their voices, and viewpoints) interact with the people.    In this particular book, there are dogs (Scelties), who are intelligent, and funny, and very integral to the story.
One of the things I enjoy when I read Anne Bishop's books is that I get to revisit not only familiar settings, but familiar characters.   Characters in the first book reappear throughout the rest of the series, so it's like visiting a place you've been before, hanging out with people you've known for years.  In this story, there was a point where two characters appear to threaten some people (very bad people --- you're happy that they are being threatened), and it's characters I knew from the other stories.  I actually let out a laugh when I was reading this part ---- I felt like Anne Bishop just knew that would be the happy recognition a reader of her series would have.   Actually, it was like an inside joke.  And I really liked that.    I wouldn't say that this series is serious reading, but definitely entertaining, fantastical, and fun.    If you've never read any Anne Bishop, you'll want to start at the beginning, with Daughter of the Blood.  

And where did I get this book?  The library, naturally!  

Thursday, April 8, 2010

More Awards!!!

Beautiful Whitney over at She is Too Fond of Books (love that blog title!!!)  has graciously bestowed upon me two awards -- The Beautiful Blogger Award and the Honest Scrap Award!  I have been enjoying reading her blog, and I do believe this calls for a celebration -- I think a piece of cake after work will be just the thing!

For the Honest Scrap Award, I need to list ten facts about myself, and pass this award on to ten other bloggers.     Ten Honest Things:

1.  I love the alchemy of baking (some might call it chemistry, but to me, it's more magical).
2.  I have seen Neil Gaiman at various appearances 6 different times and have been lucky enough to have him sign some of my books.
3.  I was raised on classical music and jazz, but developed an interest in a wide range of music -- and admit to occasionally indulging in industrial and goth music.
4.  Echoing the sentiments of Whitney, my worst subject in school also was math.  I panicked when I had to take the GRE and basically just relied on what I could remember from high school math to get through it.
5.  I have five tattoos.   The last one I got was a gothic butterfly when I finished grad school.
6.  I love napping.
7.  In another life, I'd want to be a member of Cirque du Soleil.
8.  My favorite time of year is the Fall, especially October.
9.  I used to think that I was alone in having a reading addiction, but thanks to the discovery of book blogs, I know I'm not the only one.
10.  I really don't like talking about myself that much --- this was hard!!   :)

I'm passing these awards along to:

A Reading Kabocha
Book Rat
Eating Y.A. Books
Floor to Ceiling Books
Girls Without a Bookshelf
I'm a Lit-Bitch, Baby
Jawas Read Too
My Boyfriend Lives in a Book
The Library Lurker
Welcome to Midnight Glance


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Teaser Tuesday!

Another Tuesday, another book to share ---   Teaser Tuesday is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should be Reading and it asks us to...
  • 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 the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week's teaser comes from Changeless by Gail Carriger:  "Alexia looked up with a smile.  Female voices were rare about Woolsey Castle, but this was one of the commonly heard ones.  As ghosts went, Formerly Merriway was an amenable one, and Alexia had grown fond of her over the last few months."    p. 73 

Monday, April 5, 2010

Bad Apple by Laura Ruby

Summary (courtesy of  Junior Tola Riley doesn’t care what people say about her. She knows her ever-changing hair color and goth clothes make her an easy target. Whatever. But the latest rumor is different.... The entire school believes she had an affair with her art teacher. The rumors may be a lie, but the fallout is all too real. Will Tola finally stand up for the truth? 

I had an opportunity to hear Laura Ruby speak last year, and I had never read her books  --- but she was so interesting, and so funny, and her books, especially this one, sounded so good, that I ordered 3 of her titles for our library.    And then I finally remembered that I wanted to read this book, so I checked it out from the library on Friday and promptly whipped through it over the weekend.

The story is pretty gripping; after all, you keep wondering if Tola's actually had something going on with her teacher or not.    At the beginning of each chapter, there are testimonial-type paragraphs from other characters in the book, as if they were giving little statements to the press.   These people include the accused art teacher, Tola's sister, and a particularly nasty girl at her school.   I thought these little statements were an interesting addition, because it's Tola telling her story throughout the book, and these statements gave insight into her from the viewpoint of other people.      

I really enjoyed Ruby's writing, which I felt was fluid and snarky (yes, sometimes at the same time) ---  Tola's a character I found compelling.   She's got a different view of the world, drawing from fairy tales and her own art to make her way through not only her school life, but her home life, as well.   I found her to be refreshing, and the kind of girl I wouldn't have minded being friends with when I was in high school.  She's sensitive, but sarcastic --- example:  "We sit down at the table.  For our Thanksgiving dinner, we are serving the dessicated monster turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green-bean casserole, cranberries from a can, biscuits from a can, and barely suppressed rage."     I love that last part.

So the question is..... whether you like Tola or not, did she actually fool around with the art teacher?  I'm not telling .....    pick this book up and find out for yourself!   

Friday, April 2, 2010

Just can't resist another challenge.......

Like I need another challenge to keep track of, right?  I had already determined that this weekend, I was going to sit down and write down which books I've read and which fit into the various challenge categories.....    and then I saw a little posting over at Reading Extensively, which talked about The Hogwarts Reading Challenge 2010.      Gotta do it.

Stay tuned -- I'll be posting about it, putting up the button, etc etc etc.    I have already started planning what I can read .... and just got sorted by the sorting hat into .....  Ravenclaw!!!  

And if you're up for a challenge, visit the link above ---- who knows which house you'll be reading to earn points for ?!  

Hop to it!!!

Ye Gods!   It's Friday already --- how did that happen?    Time again to check out the Book Blogger Hop, a great thing started by Crazy For Books.     This is a great way to discover new blogs, and also have people discover your own blog.   And it's fun!!!!      I spend time on Friday now just looking around, finding new blogs to add to my Reader, and to follow.     Come on and join the party!!!   :)   

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Give a librarian a book and.......

I've been meaning to post, but frankly, the last 3 books I read didn't really inspire me, so I've been thinking about what to write about.....      and then I re-read an article in Booklist that had caught my eye.    Will Manley's got a quote right in the middle of the page "Have you ever received a book for a gift that changed your life?  I'd say it's rare.  Giving a librarian a book is a gamble.  Chances are the librarian already has the book or has checked it out at the library or doesn't like the book and is insulted by the assumption that he would like the book."    (Booklist, March 1, 2010, p. 35)

This caught my eye because it reminds me of what often happens when I'm in a bookstore, browsing (with or without husband in tow).   I have a tendency to look around and start thinking: Got it, ordered it, saw it, read it, read a review, got it, etc.   And then, something shiny catches my eye, like a fancy new book cover I've only seen online.   My husband sometimes gets frustrated by me, because it's hard now for me to go into a store and actually buy myself anything.    And I understand that:  because I handle various parts of our library's collection, I'm reading reviews, making notes, and ordering things all the time.   And, when it arrives at the library, I tend to grab things because I've been looking forward to reading them.     And --- because it doesn't cost me anything to check out the books from the library, and I'm frugal anyway, I only buy books for myself if I've read them and just have to have them (I usually mark these as "Want" in LibraryThing to remind myself).   And then, I tend to buy used copies.

At any rate, my husband says it isn't as much fun as it used to be to take me to a bookstore, although he concedes that used bookstores are still a lot of fun for both of us.   And if he wants to buy me something for my birthday, he knows where to find my wishlist.   But he knows better than to just pick something new and shiny up and wrap it up as a gift for me.    But it made me wonder --- what do you think about giving books to other people?   Do you give books that you love and hope they'll love them, too?    Just curious.......
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