Friday, October 31, 2008

Monthly Milestones

This month was a very good month for me book-wise!

Total books read this year: 49

Books Read in October: 15

Blog posts in October 39

Total Blog Posts: 51

Total books crossed off of TBR list: 25

Books crossed of of TBR list in October: 9

Books bought in October: 4

Average Rating of Books Reviewed: C+ (just a little over average)

Favorite Book(s) read in October: 1984 and Scheisshaus Luck

Titles of Books Read:

Franny and Zooey
The Book Thief
Westminster Abby
Howl and Other Poems
She’s All That (40)
Of Mice and Men
Alice in Wonderland
The Old Man and the Sea
Through the Looking Glass
The Uncommon Reader
Schiesshaus Luck
Pardon My French
Girl Overboard

I read the most books in one month than I ever have. Even if I elminated the 5 chicklits I read, it would still be my best total!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Book hodgepodge

For those of you who are Early Reviewers at Librarything, there is something you need to do.

Right now.

There are 2500 free downloads of the book In the Land of Invisible Women. It is a memoir of a female doctor in Saudi Arabia. It is really good and super interesting! This is my first book reading on a screen. It is going slower than usual, but I am enjoying the book immensely.

If you haven't signed up for Early Reviewers, now is a good time to sign up!

I'm now in the middle of three books right now. The only book I can get into is The Land of Invisible Women, and I can't carry that around with me since it is stuck on the computer.

I'm reading Cell by Stephen King and it is supposed to be all scary and horrible, but I think it's funny instead. It isn't suspenseful at all. I really need to crack down and try to read a chunk of it to see if it gets better. I'm going to be out of town having a blast this weekend, but that doesn't include books.

I'm also trying to read Anne of Green Gables. Its not going well either.

Booking Through Thursday: Conditions

Are you a spine breaker? Or a dog-earer? Do you expect to keep your books in pristine condition even after you have read them? Does watching other readers bend the cover all the way round make you flinch or squeal in pain?

I like my books in perfect condition, thank you very much.

Except, I will buy old books that have some wear and tear. I just don't want to be the one to do the damage...or see anyone else do it.

I hate it when people are reading a nice, brand new looking book and they have the cover folded back while they are reading it. ARRGGH.

Monday, October 27, 2008

A Visual Tour of My Reading

The books I have out of the library right now.

Books I am currently reading. Anne is a re-read and The Story is a yearlong study my church is doing until May, so don't expect a review for a while!

My TBR stack. Yes. That's all I have. These are books I eventually hope to work up the endurance to finish. They just sit on my shelf to motivate me. The only one I will be reading soon is The Hiding Place.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Classics List Predicaments

As I mentioned yesterday, I am working on a tentative list of Classics I will be reading this year. I plan to start in December and read one of these books per month. I've easily narrowed it down to fifteen books, but there are twelve months in a year. So, I need your input.

What books do you suggest on this list (or which ones do you suggest I take off of the list)?

I want to pick a book apprpriate for each month, like a longer book for the summer months, and an easier read for tough months like January (midterms) and September (first month of college). Which books would be best for each month?

On this list, I know I am going to read The Grapes of Wrath, A Christmas Carol (in December), and Wuthering Heights (for school).

I also need to read a Jane Austen Book. I really struggle with her. I have put Pride and Prejudice on the list because that seems to be her most popular, but that can change!

Here is my list:
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Alas, Babylon
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Brave New World
A Christmas Carol
The Grapes of Wrath
Oedipus Rex
Oliver Twist
Pride and Prejudice
The Taming of the Shrew
Wuthering Heights
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Gone With the Wind

Schiesshaus Luck by Pierre Berg

You may be thinking, "Yet another surviving the Holocaust memoir!"

However, I found this to be probably the best Holocaust Lit. I've ever read. Seriously, couldn't Oprah have waited to use this book for her book club instead of Elie Wiesel's Night?

In my time in the public school system, I have had my fair share of Holocaust lessons, books, and movies. I am fascinated by this horrific time, but after a while, each account of the Holocaust gets more and more stale.

Schiesshaus luck gave me a fresh perspective on the Holocaust, focusing mostly on the fact that Pierre survived because he was lucky. I found that many of his actions were very smart. His knowledge of several languages saved his life many times.

Pierre spent time in several consentration camps. He wasn't Jewish. This book is unique in that sense because most of Holocaust literature focuses on the Jews' side of the story. We sometimes forget that the Nazis persecuted homosexuals, gypsies, and people they just didn't like in the same way.

If you think you've heard everything you need to know about the Holocaust, you need to read this book. It will open your eyes yet again to the horros these people faced.

I give it an A.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Weekly Geeks #22

Step 1: Choose 3 Weekly Geeks, either from the Mr Linky below or from any of the Mr Linkies in any previous Weekly Geeks, and explore their archives. Try to choose at least one Weekly Geek you don’t know well.
Step 2: Looking through some of their oldest posts, find at least one that you really like from each of the three blogs.
Step 3: Write a post featuring these 3 bloggers, linking to the posts that you enjoyed, with a short blurb.
Step 4: Visit the WG #22 posts of two other Weekly Geeks from the Mr Linky below, and link to their posts at the bottom of yours.
Step 5: Come back and sign Mr Linky with the url to your specific WG #22 post, not just your general blog url.

Stop #1 Maree at this post: I have been thinking about my reading goals for this coming year. This year, it was to read actual literature that would make reading an actual experience, not just chick lit. This year I have decided that one of my goals will be to read at least one classic novel per month. I just figured I would go with the flow and pick whatever book sounds good that month, but this post made me realize that if I just go with the flow, I probably won't do it. So, look for my tentative 2009 classic novels list in the next few days! Such a simple post though but I overanalyze everything!

Her library let her take out 40 books because they were remodeling! I wonder how she got all them home! When I have an unusually large library stack, we have a blue tote bag with the library's name on it, and they always fit unless two of us get a whole bunch of books. Letting people take out mass amounts of books is what my library should have done when they moved into their new location over the summer a year ago. We were without a library for the summer so we had to order books online and have them sent to a teeny library in the next town over and pick up our books that came in once a week. BTW: Renay, I don't think you went overboard at all!

Stop 3: I can't link to the specific post, so here's Melody's blog: She posted this picture.

It's a water bridge! Oh my goodness that is soo cool!
In the sidebars of her blog, there are a few things that I have made a note to myself to check out, so thanks for those too!
I totally need to bloghop more often!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Booking Through Thursday...on a Friday.

“Name a favorite literary couple and tell me why they are a favorite. If you cannot choose just one, that is okay too. Name as many as you like–sometimes narrowing down a list can be extremely difficult and painful. Or maybe that’s just me.”

It is so cliche, but it is hands down Romeo and Juliet!

In ninth grade, we had to read this for our first Shakespeare in English and while everyone moaned and groaned I loved it! The play shows that love needs to be between the people actually in love, and not with anyone else.

But then when everyone died, it portrayed another idea into my ninth grade mind:

Love really really stinks.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

I had high hopes for this book, as the story sounds really cute, but the book failed to deliver.

The queen of England starts reading and neglecting her duties because of it.

Cute. Right?

In concept, yes, but I found the book to be boring. The first half was great, but just fizzled out at the end.

But now I am going to sound really silly. I found some intersting quotes from the book that could lead to good book discussion topics.

"...wonder my ma'am needed a travelling library when she had several of the stationary kind of her own..."

I'd love to have a private library, but then I would miss out on the excitement of waiting for books I order to come in to the library or being happy because I don't need to order a book because my library has it! I've already got my dream private library mapped out in my head, but I think my heart will always be with public libraries.

"had Her Majesty gone for another duff read...a novice reader that she was she might have been put off reading for good..."

I am definitely put off by boring books. If I am reading a boring book, I will stop or give it a few more chapters to get better. My patience is very thin with boring books.

"Pass the time?" said the Queen. "Books are not about passing the time. They're about other lives. Other worlds. Far from wanting time to pass, Sir Kevin, one just wishes one had more of it."

"One recipe for happiness is to have no sense of entitlement."

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Book Abundance

I have had books aplenty for the past two days!

I rarely buy books, and I usually buy books only for school. However, I bought four books yesterday! At the community college where I take a class twice a week, there was this random used book sale in the lobby! You could take as many books as you wanted and give whatever donation you wanted.

I had a five dollar bill in my purse. I thought it would be rude to ask for change when you give a donation, so I set out to get my money's worth.

I got:

The Pearl by John Steinbeck: creased a lot, but readable. I've read this book before. It was actually on my Christmas list. Score!

Hamlet by Shakespeare: Perfect condition. I will probably have to read this for school.

The Works of Thoreau: I will eventually want to read some of this or will have to for college. It's a nice hardback version and is right at home with my other pretty books. It's pretty old and the pages are thin like that of a Bible.

War and Peace: I figured, whenever I decide to read this it will take me so long that I won't be able to renew it from the library any more (they have a limit of 3 renewals), so it is a good thing that I have it. It looks like it used to have a dust cover, has some markings, and smells.

I actually have a TBR pile now!

I was going to go to the library's used book sale, but now I don't need to.

Some books finally came in to the library for me! The book I wanted for the read-a-thon STILL hasn't come in, Girl, 13! I have right now:

The Uncommon Reader
Schiesshaus Luck
Cell by Stephen King
Sister Bernadette's Barking Dog

I'm still waiting for many more books, like the Slaugherhouse-Five, Girl 13, Dewey, plus some chicklit I wanted for our cruise vacation Thanksgiving week.

I'm very happy.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Bloomability by Sharon Creech

I was a Sharon Creech fanatic when I was younger. I read every book of hers that they had at the library at least three times. It all started when we had to read Walk Two Moons for school in fifth grade.

I think I've read Walk Two Moons at least six times, but my favorite was Chasing Redbird. It's about a girl who goes out on her own into her woods for weeks uncovering a really old trail.

Most of Creech's books mentions another character from one of her other books, from Absolutely Normal Chaos and Walk Two Moons in Particular. I was deighted to see that the girl from Chasing Redbird was mentioned in Bloomability!

I had this book on my shelf ready to give away but my books still have not come into the library, so I needed something to read. I can now say my Sharon Creech experince is complete!

Like many of Creech's protaonists, one main struggle in the book is for Domenica (Dinnie) to find where she belongs. Her family switches locations very frequently and her older brother is in jail and her older sister got married and pregnant at sixteen. Her aunt and uncle take her in.

Her uncle got a job as the headmaster of a boarding school in Switzerland, which is where the story takes place. I loved this book because it takes place in Europe. Every time I read something like this it makes me want to visit Europe even more.

Although not Creech's best work, it's a cute read. If you haven't read anything by Sharon Creech, you definitely should!


Monday, October 20, 2008

Through the Looking Glass

This book was insane.

I'm going to do some research to see if Lewis Carroll was too.

It has no real storyline, conflict, resolution, or any of those things I have been told since first grade what makes a story.

Alice in Wonderland was a good choice for the read-a-thon. I read all of that and most of this during the read-a-thon, which is to a certain extent, a level of insanity.

I finished this book while sane, and it definitely wasn't as good as it was during the read-a-thon.

Guess an insane book needs to be appreciated during insanity.


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Read-a-Thon in Review

Reading: 354 minutes
Other: 120 minutes
Number of pages: 417 pages
What I've read: Finished of Mice and Men, one short story, Alice in Wonderland, The Old Man and the Sea
Total Mini-Challenges: 4
Audio Book minutes: 18

I could have finished Through the Looking Glass last night if I really tried but then I relized I couldn't understand a word of it. Yes, ten minuted into my last hour I shouted at my brother, "I don't know the meaning of THE any more!"

What a surprise when I came on after church today and found 8 comments waiting to be moderated!

As I promised, I am going to discuss what I would do differently next time.

I'd pick easier, more fun books. I picked 2 classic kid's lit, 2 literature, and one short story book. It took me so long to read each book because they were boring. I had a lot of fun seeing how much I could read in a day, but it would be more fun if my reading was fun.

Next time I want to make is past the 12 hour mark. I know I am not capable of staying awake 24 hours, much less reading that whole time. If the next read-a-thon starts at 8 am for me like it did this time, my reading schedule would be something like this for 24 hours.

8-10am Classic kid's lit
10am-4pm Serious literature like what I did this time
5-8pm short stories, plays, poetry, etc.
8-12 chick lit and really suspenseful books
12-8 graphic novels, easy childrens' books, anything that will keep me awake

I think next time I will plan to have more of a variety. Probably one book per two hours I plan to read, plus some more books to have on hand.

I would definitely change positions more. I stayed most of the day in my chair in my room then I really did not want to read any more. I switched to the couch and everything was okay again, then I switched to my bed.

I don't see how people could blog every 3 hours or so. Blogging every hour kept me sane! That's one thing I will keep the same for next time.

For now, I am already thinking about what books will be for next time.

And...I'll probably finish Through the Looking Glass today. It will be great because that will only be after I put the kids I am babysitting to bed...and they tire me out!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I was going to read another hour. I'm not.

I'm soo tired of reading.

And blogging.

I'll have a follow up post...sometime.

Hour 12

Time spent:Reading: 34 minutes
Between the covers:--Number of pages: 53
What I read: Through the Looking Glass
Down the hatch:--pumkin whoopie pie
Cumulatively:Reading: 354 minutes
Other (pet care, cooking, etc.): 120 minutes
Between the covers:--Number of pages: 417 pages--
What I've read: Finished of Mice and Men, one short story, Alice in Wonderland, The Old Man and the Sea
Total Mini-Challenges: 4
Audio Book minutes: 18

This is more of an end of the even survey since hour 13 will be my last entry...
Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
2. How many books have you read so far? 3
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? SLEEPING :]
4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? nope
5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?not as many as I thought I would. At least the time spent on interruptions is less than half of time spent reading!
6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? how stuff people told me about books to choose was right. I picked some really hard books. I feel so stupid. (That just made my sister laugh, who is READING OVER MY SHOULDER!)
7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? have a stilly nonofficial challenge for each hour, like take a walk, dance in your front yard, etc...just to make things interesting!
8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I'd do tons of things differently. I actually plan to do another post about that, so check back.
9. Are you getting tired yet?not sleepy tired, but tired of reading!
10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Readers, don't be afraid to take an hour off of reading to visit blogs and stuff. If you are tired of reading it's okay. Once you take an hour to do blog stuff, you'll be ready to read again!

It looks like I won't be able to finish Through the Looking Glass, although I'll be pretty close.

I spent a lot of this hour with earplugs in. The only place I haven't read today is my bed, which is near where some noisy computer game playing is going on...

Hour 11

Time spent:
Reading: 19 minutes
Between the covers:--Number of pages: 26
What I read: The Old Man and the Sea
Down the hatch:--honey nut breaded chicken with BBQ sauce and garlic noodle shells and water
Cumulatively:Reading: 320 minutes
Other (pet care, cooking, etc.): 120 minutes
Between the covers:--Number of pages: 383 pages--
What I've read: Finished of Mice and Men, one short story, Alice in Wonderland, The Old Man and the Sea
Total Mini-Challenges: 3
Audio Book minutes: 18

I moved all of my bedding down to my new "bedroom" in the family/computer room, so that took me a while. Then we had dinner, so I didn't get to read much this hour. I did finish The Old Man and the Sea though.

I was not impressed.

At all.

I'm sure if I was reading it in English Class, I would have some really in depht analysis of it but I'm too creepy right now to even care that I don't remember the ending. I finished it like 5 minutes ago.

Two more hours for me. I hope to finish Through the Looking Glass, which will be tough since I have to entertain my sister until bedtime.

I can't do the mini challenge because it is dark outside. Really dark.

Read-a-Thon hour 10

Time spent:
Reading: 24 minutes
Between the covers:--
Number of pages: 45
What I read: The Old Man and the Sea and Through the Looking Glass
Down the hatch:--nothing
Cumulatively:Reading: 301 minutes
Other (pet care, cooking, etc.): 90 minutes
Between the covers:--
Number of pages: 357 pages--
What I've read: Finished of Mice and Men, one short story, Alice in Wonderland
Total Mini-Challenges: 3
Audio Book minutes: 18

The Alice books always boost my pages read!

I'm already planning what I'm going to no next time. I made some serious mistakes in my book choices this time.

Read-a-Thon Hour 9

Time spent:

Reading: 30 minutes

Between the covers:--
Number of pages: 34 pages
What I read: The Old Man and the Sea
Down the hatch:--a decaf cup of constant comment tea with sugar, milk, and a cinnamon stick. It's like eating one of those oranges with the cloves stuck in it!

Cumulatively:Reading: 277 minutes
Other (pet care, cooking, etc.): 90 minutes

Between the covers:--
Number of pages: 312 pages--
What I've read: Finished of Mice and Men, one short story, Alice in Wonderland
Total Mini-Challenges: 3
Audio Book minutes: 18

This hour I will be loading the dishwasher. I usually loathe this, but today it's FANTABULASTIC!!
I spent about 15 minutes playing a computer game with my brother. Thank you baby brother for keeping your big sister somewhat sane!
I also forgot to give Alice in Wonderland a rating. Guess that reflects my rating, which is a C.
For now, I'm trying to find some book bloggers that I have read before but forgot about until now but I really want to read about.
Do you know anyone who did the Read-A-Thon in a previous year that read from a hotel room with a friend?
PS: Last hour's cheerleading posts were the best yet! Thanks you guys!

Read-a-Thon Hour 8


Time spent:
Reading: 28 minutes

Between the covers:--
Number of pages: 43 pages
What I read: Alice in Wonderland and The Old Man and the Sea
Down the hatch:--nothing

Reading: 247 minutes
Other (pet care, cooking, etc.): 80
Between the covers:--Number of pages: 278 pages--
What I've read: Finished of Mice and Men, one short story, Alice in Wonderland
Total Mini-Challenges: 3
Audio Book minutes: 18

I finished Alice in Wonderland then decided that I never want to read again.

Then I ordered books from the library off the internet.

That took me a while, but I needed the break. Then I spent a good while reading The Old Man and the Sea. I hate how it has no chapters or page breaks! argh!

I need cheesecake or something to make me really giddily happy. Is giddily a word?

Still no luck on finding the Calvin and Hobbes books...

These blogging breaks are the only things keeping that are me sane!

Read-a-Thon Hour 7

I'm going to stop timing my blogging. Really, it's not a blog-a-thon. It's a read a thon.

Yeah, I'm getting a little grumpy.

Time spent:
Reading: 23 minutes

Between the covers:--Number of pages: 48 pages
What I read: Alice in Wonderland
Down the hatch:--I licked the beater of pumpkin glob batter and am eating animal crackers

Reading: 219 minutes
Other (pet care, cooking, etc.): 50 minutes
Between the covers:--Number of pages: 235 pages--

What I've read: Finished of Mice and Men and one short story
Total Mini-Challenges: 3
Audio Book minutes: 18

I'm one chapter away from finishing Alice in Wonderland! I don't think I'll read Through the Looking Glass right away. I'm kind of tired of Alice. The Lost Lady is realy boring me right now, so my only hope is The Old Man and the Sea. We'll SEA how it goes.

Oh my. I'm glad I'm not staying up for the whole thing...

On that note, I'm over halfway done!

Read-a-Thon Hour 6

This has been a really good hour! I got a lot of reading done, got a babysitting job, spent a few minutes laughing over a funny podcast, got a free audiobook for my ipod of Huckleberry Finn (the first 4 chapters at least).
By the way, this is what I think the Cheshire Cat looks like

I did a hodgepodge of things but none of them were distractions really! :D

Time spent:
Reading: 27 minutes
On computer (blogging, commenting/cheering, mini-challenges): 15 minutes
Between the covers:--Number of pages: 44 pages
What I read: Alice in Wonderland and The Lost Lady
Down the hatch:--nothing

Reading: 159 minutes
On computer (blogging, commenting/cheering, mini-challenges): 140 minutes
Other (pet care, cooking, etc.): 45 minutes
Between the covers:--Number of pages: 187 pages--
What I've read: Finished of Mice and Men and one short story
Total Mini-Challenges: 3
Audio Book minutes: 8

I'm enjoying Alice in Wonderland right now because it's completely mindless. It's wacky and I really do not feel like thinking right now. I realized how many skits from ZOOM (the second time it came out) came from Alice in Wonderland?

Remember ZOOM?

Read-a-Thon Hour 5

Since last post:

Time spent: Reading: 25 minutes
On computer (blogging, commenting/cheering, mini-challenges): 10 minutes

Between the covers:--
Number of pages: 47 pages
What I read: Alice in Wonderland
Down the hatch:--tuna salad on flatbread with lemonade. I make a mean tuna salad!

Reading: 132 minutes
On computer (blogging, commenting/cheering, mini-challenges): 127 minutes
Other (pet care, cooking, etc.): about 32 minutes or so.
Between the covers:--Number of pages: 143 pages!--
What I've read: Finished of Mice and Men and one short story
Total Mini-Challenges: 3

Wow I beat the 100 page mark! I got the sudden urge to read some Calvin and Hobbes and went to search for my dad's collection of Calvin and Hobbes books but couldn't find any. I'll be trying again this hour. I've checked into itunes audiobooks on podcasts and I think I found something. I'll have to grab my ipod to download it and see.

Thanks to the people who commented answering my questions! This hour was much better. If the audiobook works out, I think I'll go outside and play in the leaves with my brother and sister. They have a pile taller than my 9 year old sister out there, seriously. I'm about to go see.

Hour's early...

I'm already tired of reading. I've been on blogs and stuff most of this hour. I need some help from you guys, so please comment if you could help me out!

Is Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass two different books? I always see them in one volume together?
Is there a place online I can listen to books for free without having to download anything?

In the meantime, Here are some pictures of reading-realted things I've been meaning to post on my read-a-thon-blogs. All of my pictures are on the other computer, which is my brother's. He's off now.

This is what my Alice in Wonderland book belongs to. These are my prettiest books!

My reading chair!

Since last post:
Time spent: Reading: 7 minutes

On computer (blogging, commenting/cheering, mini-challenges): 47 minutes
Between the covers:--Number of pages: 11 pages

What I read: Alice in Wonderland
Down the hatch:--nothing
Other: nothing
Cumulatively:Reading: 107 minutes
On computer (blogging, commenting/cheering, mini-challenges): 117 minutes. Now my blogging time is more than my reading time!
Other (pet care, cooking, etc.): 24 minutes
Between the covers:--Number of pages: 96 pages--
What I've read: Finished of Mice and Men and one short story
Total Mini-Challenges: 3

Read-a-Thon Hour 3

Since last post:

Time spent: Reading: 25 minutes

On computer (blogging, commenting/cheering, mini-challenges): 23 minutes

Between the covers:--Number of pages: 26 pages

What I read: finished of Mice and Men and read a short story of Guy de Maupassant's

Down the hatch:--a half cup of coffee with cinnamon steusel coffee creamer

Other: the rest of the time I was unloading the dishwasher, shooting the laundry, and being told to clean the steps, and trying to read in French, which didn't work out.

Cumulatively:Reading: 100 minutes

On computer (blogging, commenting/cheering, mini-challenges): 35 minutes. It seems waaay more than that!

Other (pet care, cooking, etc.): 24 minutes

Between the covers:--Number of pages: 85 pages--

What I've read: Finished of Mice and Men and one short story

Total Mini-Challenges: 3

This hour was the worst so far. I have a feeling they will only get worse from here on out. We are rearranging our whole house and we are beginning today's moving of furniture. All of my own chores are done, but my dad just told me that they will probably need me to help with furniture.

Finishing of Mice and Men was really great for me! Third time's a charm! That's how many times I've taken it out of the library. I've finally finished it. I'm giving it a D-. I have loved what I've read of Steinbeck but this was just bad all around!

Here is what I've posted about my third Mini Challenge:

"My native lanuage is English, but I attempted French. After studying if for my fifth year now. my reading skills are seriously lacking. I read from Guy de Maupassant’s Les Meilleurs Contes/Best Short Stories: A Dual language book. I read the story The Piece of String in English mostly, but tried some in French. I’ve read other Maupassant stories in both French and English, but this story used a lot of vocabulary I didn’t know and was a bad story, even in English!"

So all around, this hour's reading has been really bad. I feel like reading something stupid like Captian Underpants right now!

OH! I wanted to do this! Here's a cheer-out for the cheerleaders! There are over a hundred readers and only 14 or so cheerleaders! I'm so glad I'm not one of you guys!

Read a Thon hour 2

I'm stealing Debi's template this time! (

Since last post:
Time spent: Reading: 28 minutes

On computer (blogging, commenting/cheering, mini-challenges): 12 minutes. I'm posting the time I spent total on hour one stuff. next time will be hour 2 since I'm not done yet! I'm not sure how exactly the timing thing works but I'm just going with the flow.

Between the covers:--Number of pages: 31 pages

What I read: read more Of Mice and Men and The Lost lady

Down the hatch:--Food: one homeade belgian waffle (deforsted then toasted again) with syrup and orange juice

Other: 10 minutes eating and getting dresses

Reading: 75 minutes

--On computer (blogging, commenting/cheering, mini-challenges): 12 minutes plus what I'm doing now--

Other (pet care, cooking, etc.): 10 minutes

Between the covers:--Number of pages: 59 pages

--What I've read: finishing up Of Mice and Men and Started The Lost lady

Down the hatch: waffle and orange juice

For the mini challenge, I donated 400 grains of rice.

I visited all three readers of the hour and left a comment on one. I also visited everyone in my RSS feed that had updated since I had left.

I think I made a mistake on what books to pick out. I need some fun, lighthearted reading right now. I don't have any except for stuff I've read a million times on my self before.

Read-a-Thon Hour 1

Title of book(s) read since last update: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck and The Lost Lady by Willa Cather
Number of books read since you started:0 completed
Pages read since last update:48
Running total of pages read since you started:48
Amount of time spent reading since last update: 47 minutes. Roughly a page a minute!
Running total of time spent reading since you started: 47 minutes
Mini-challenges completed:
Other participants you’ve visited: Dewey is the only one on my feed that has updated so far! I'll be finding a few people I've never ever visited before after this post though
Prize you’ve won: 0

Mini Challenge:
Where are you reading from today? My house, plus anywhere I go with my family. I may be reading in the car or at Grammy's house. Who knows?
3 facts about me
I am allergic to horses.
I can't sing and type at the same time.
I hate the summer, but love winter!
How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours? 5. Plus other books on my shelf, which isn't much!
Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? 300 pages or 3 books.
If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time? my first time!

I woke up an hour earlier than I usually do on Saturdays so I could read. I read for 47 minutes staright. I started with Of Mice and Men but got tired of it then switched. I read the first 30 pages of it yesterday so I could make sure I got into it. I hope by this time nest hour I will be done with it.

I am still in my pjs and have not eaten yet, so that is what I will be doing next. I think I'll spend some time on my popason chair reading and trying to force my cat to sit on my lap. Probably in vain though because he is NOT a lap cat. I need a lap cat when I read!

Friday, October 17, 2008


Extreme Makover Home Edition is in my town this week!

I'd MUCH rather stalk Ty Pennington now than do the read-a-thon! :P

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Booking through Thursday and Read-aThon Preparations

Read-a-Thon Preparations:

I haven't been in the mood for readin the past two days. I've tries reading three different books and I just can't. I'm in a reading slump. Hopefully I'll be back to normal for the Read-a-Thon! Except for two chapters of Frankstein, I haven't read anything today. TBR list has grown a lot today!

My last remaining book, Girl, 13, is not even in transit at the library yet. Which means I will not have it in time for Saturday :( I think the person before me lost it!

I made these form thingies that will make it easier for me to keep track of how long a read/blog and how many pages I read. I've planned what I'm going to have for lunch on Saturday even.

To make sure I finish Of Mice and Men during the Read-a-Thon, I will start reading some of it tomorrow.

Can you tell I'm excited?

Booking Through Thursday:

Another thing that shows I have too much time. I'm now doing Weekly Geeks and now Booking Thtough Thursday! This week is a book survey like I did about a week ago.

What was the last book you bought?
East of Eden. That was a loong time ago. I never buy books.
Name a book you have read MORE than once
Does My Head Look Big in This?
Has a book ever fundamentally changed the way you see life? If yes, what was it?
Other than the Bible, no.
How do you choose a book? eg. by cover design and summary, recommendations or reviews
I have a huge TBR list. I just choose whichever one sounds best. I get most of these books from reviews on blogs and from Rory's Book Club.
Do you prefer Fiction or Non-Fiction?
What’s more important in a novel - beautiful writing or a gripping plot?
gripping plot. If the book is boring, I won't read it.
Most loved/memorable character (character/book)
Hard one! The first one that came to mind for me was Hassan from The Kite Runner

Which book or books can be found on your nightstand at the moment?
The Purpose Driven Life, The Story, and my Bible. Just my devotional books...
What was the last book you’ve read, and when was it?
I finished She's All That on Tuesday
Have you ever given up on a book half way in?
tons of times!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Read-a-Thon Resolutions

I thought I'd put up my own guidelines for the Read-a-Thon. I'm not reading for 24 hours because I'm still a teenager and will probably have to be pulled away from my reading to do the dishes, entertain my little sister, or go places with my family.
My parents want to go hiking this weekend. Please don't let it be Saturday! This leads me to resolution #1.
If I am unable to participate in Saturday, October 18, I will have my own personal read-a-thon at a later date, as soon as possible (with the same resolutions).
I am really excited! I ordered books from the library as soon as I signed up. Then, once I got them, I realized I hadn't ordered ant to read until then. Instead of one trip to the library every two weeks, I've had 2 just in the past week, and hopefully another to pick up my last remaining book. Please, oh, please let it come in on time!
The books in my reading pile are:
Best Short Stories/Les Meilleurs Contes: A Dual Language Book by Guy de Maupassant. (I read that a mini challenge last year was to read in aother language. I just want to be prepared! Plus, If I get tired of reading, reading it's hard for me to read in French, so it will feel more like an extra credit assignment!)
The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway (My first Hemingway other than a short lived attempt to read one of his short stories.)
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck (I resolve to finish this book at all costs this weekend. This is the third time I have checked this book out of the library and I still haven't read it yet!)
A Lost Lady by Willa Cather (I read O Pioneers for a school project and I liked it. I wanted to give 'ole Willa another go.)
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (I can't bear to take this book out of the house. It's a nice clothbound book from a set of children's classics that belonged to my mom. I'm still wondering if this is two seperate books, though.
Girl, 13 (If it comes in time from the library!)
It's definitely not as many books as everyone else! I guess because I'm the one of the only ones that can't go hibernate with a book all day and have nobody get angry :P
I will blog 13 hours, regardless of if I post it on time or if I read at all that hour.
I will wake up when the read-a-thon starts and read for an hour in bed before doing anything! (There! I've already got one hour under my belt!)
I will finish 2 books and/or 300 pages.
I will time how much I read/blog.
I will not watch Gilmore Girls during the read-a-thon. (Seriously. I've been watching 2-3 episodes daily for a few days now. I have way too much time on my hands.)
I will participate in at least 3 mini challenges.
The number of comments I get from cheerleaders will be the minimum number of blogs I will look at that hour. (I can let them cumulate through hours if I want to spend a whole hour reading then a whole hour blogging ot something like that.)
If I read three books (not counting my short stories book) during the read-a-thon, I will allow myself to read chick lit for the rest of the month with no guilt. I am two books away from beating my highest number of books read in one month.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

She's All That and Howl and Other Poems

I don't feel like writing any reviews. I finished Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg and another chicklit, She's All That by Kristin Billerbeck.

I read Howl because Jess in Gilmore Girls has read it a bajillion times. Rory has read it too. I understand why Jess likes it so much. It's very Jess in the I-hate-the-world sort of way!

She's All That is chicklit. That's all. I'm in a BIG chicklit mood lately. It's okay though. I've read four chicklits this year. It's not a majority of my reading any more.

Funny how all the girls in chicklit are hopeless with guys but always some dude gets all charming that they never noticed before.

SO not real life. I need some chicklit with no happy endings :P

Monday, October 13, 2008

Weekly Geeks #21

My first Weekly Geek! Ones with a * are ones I got by myself)

So far these have helped me:

1. Call me Ishmael. Moby Dick by Herman Melville

2. It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen*

3. A screaming comes across the sky. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon

4. Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice. One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcie Marquez

5. Lolita, light of my life, fire of my loins. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov*

6. Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

7. riverrun, past Eve and Adam’s, from swerve of shore to bend of bay, brings us by a commodius vicus of recirculation back to Howth Castle and Environs. Finnegan's Wake by James Joyce

8. It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. 1984 by George Orwell*

9. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens*

10. I am an invisible man. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

11. The Miss Lonelyhearts of the New York Post-Dispatch (Are you in trouble?—Do-you-need-advice?—Write-to-Miss-Lonelyhearts-and-she-will-help-you) sat at his desk and stared at a piece of white cardboard. Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West

12. You don’t know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain’t no matter.The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain*

13. Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested. The Trial by Franz Kafka

14. You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler. If on a winter’s night a traveler by Italo Calvino

15. The sun shone, having no alternative, on the nothing new. Murphy by Samuel Beckett

16. If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger*

17. Once upon a time and a very good time it was there was a moocow coming down along the road and this moocow that was coming down along the road met a nicens little boy named baby tuckoo. The Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce

18. This is the saddest story I have ever heard.

19. I wish either my father or my mother, or indeed both of them, as they were in duty both equally bound to it, had minded what they were about when they begot me; had they duly considered how much depended upon what they were then doing;—that not only the production of a rational Being was concerned in it, but that possibly the happy formation and temperature of his body, perhaps his genius and the very cast of his mind;—and, for aught they knew to the contrary, even the fortunes of his whole house might take their turn from the humours and dispositions which were then uppermost:—Had they duly weighed and considered all this, and proceeded accordingly,—I am verily persuaded I should have made a quite different figure in the world, from that, in which the reader is likely to see me. Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne

20. Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

21. Stately, plump Buck Mulligan came from the stairhead, bearing a bowl of lather on which a mirror and a razor lay crossed. Ulysses by James Joyce

22. It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents, except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the house-tops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness. Paul Clifford by Edward Bulwer-Lytton

23. One summer afternoon Mrs. Oedipa Maas came home from a Tupperware party whose hostess had put perhaps too much kirsch in the fondue to find that she, Oedipa, had been named executor, or she supposed executrix, of the estate of one Pierce Inverarity, a California real estate mogul who had once lost two million dollars in his spare time but still had assets numerous and tangled enough to make the job of sorting it all out more than honorary. The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon

24. It was a wrong number that started it, the telephone ringing three times in the dead of night, and the voice on the other end asking for someone he was not. City Of Glass by Paul Auster

25. Through the fence, between the curling flower spaces, I could see them hitting. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner

26. 124 was spiteful. Beloved by Toni Morrison

27. Somewhere in la Mancha, in a place whose name I do not care to remember, a gentleman lived not long ago, one of those who has a lance and ancient shield on a shelf and keeps a skinny nag and a greyhound for racing. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes

28. Mother died today. The Stranger by Albert Camus

29. Every summer Lin Kong returned to Goose Village to divorce his wife, Shuyu. Waiting by Ha Jin

30. The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel. Neuromancer by William Gibson

31. I am a sick man . . . I am a spiteful man.

32. Where now? Who now? When now?

33. Once an angry man dragged his father along the ground through his own orchard. “Stop!” cried the groaning old man at last, “Stop! I did not drag my father beyond this tree.”

34. In a sense, I am Jacob Horner.

35. It was like so, but wasn’t.

36. —Money . . . in a voice that rustled.

37. Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself. Mrs. Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

38. All this happened, more or less. Slaughterhouse-five by Kurt Vonnegut

39. They shoot the white girl first.

40. For a long time, I went to bed early. Swann’s Way by Marcel Proust

41. The moment one learns English, complications set in.

42. Dr. Weiss, at forty, knew that her life had been ruined by literature.

43. I was the shadow of the waxwing slain / By the false azure in the windowpane; Pale Fire by Vladimir Nabokov

44. Ships at a distance have every man’s wish on board. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston

45. I had the story, bit by bit, from various people, and, as generally happens in such cases, each time it was a different story. Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton

46. Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex’s admonition, against Allen’s angry assertion: another African amusement . . . anyhow, as all argued, an awesome African army assembled and arduously advanced against an African anthill, assiduously annihilating ant after ant, and afterward, Alex astonishingly accuses Albert as also accepting Africa’s antipodal ant annexation.

47. There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis

48. He was an old man who fished alone in a skiff in the Gulf Stream and he had gone eighty-four days now without taking a fish. The Old Man and the Sea, Hemingway

49. It was the day my grandmother exploded.

50. I was born twice: first, as a baby girl, on a remarkably smogless Detroit day in January of 1960; and then again, as a teenage boy, in an emergency room near Petoskey, Michigan, in August of 1974. Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides

51. Elmer Gantry was drunk. Elmer Gantry, Sinclair Lewis

52. We started dying before the snow, and like the snow, we continued to fall.

53. It was a pleasure to burn. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

54. A story has no beginning or end; arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead. End Of The Affair by Graham Greene

55. Having placed in my mouth sufficient bread for three minutes’ chewing, I withdrew my powers of sensual perception and retired into the privacy of my mind, my eyes and face assuming a vacant and preoccupied expression.

56. I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho’ not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call’d me. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

57. In the beginning, sometimes I left messages in the street.

58. Miss Brooke had that kind of beauty which seems to be thrown into relief by poor dress. Middlemarch by George Eliot

59. It was love at first sight. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

60. What if this young woman, who writes such bad poems, in competition with her husband, whose poems are equally bad, should stretch her remarkably long and well-made legs out before you, so that her skirt slips up to the tops of her stockings?

61. I have never begun a novel with more misgiving.

62. Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered she had turned into the wrong person. Back When We Were Grownups by Anne Tyler

63. The human race, to which so many of my readers belong, has been playing at children’s games from the beginning, and will probably do it till the end, which is a nuisance for the few people who grow up.

64. In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I’ve been turning over in my mind ever since. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

65. You better not never tell nobody but God. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

66. “To be born again,” sang Gibreel Farishta tumbling from the heavens, “first you have to die.” Satanic Verses by Salman Rushdie*

67. It was a queer, sultry summer, the summer they electrocuted the Rosenbergs, and I didn’t know what I was doing in New York. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

68. Most really pretty girls have pretty ugly feet, and so does Mindy Metalman, Lenore notices, all of a sudden.

69. If I am out of my mind, it’s all right with me, thought Moses Herzog. Herzog by Saul Bellow

70. Francis Marion Tarwater’s uncle had been dead for only half a day when the boy got too drunk to finish digging his grave and a Negro named Buford Munson, who had come to get a jug filled, had to finish it and drag the body from the breakfast table where it was still sitting and bury it in a decent and Christian way, with the sign of its Saviour at the head of the grave and enough dirt on top to keep the dogs from digging it up.

71. Granted: I am an inmate of a mental hospital; my keeper is watching me, he never lets me out of his sight; there’s a peephole in the door, and my keeper’s eye is the shade of brown that can never see through a blue-eyed type like me. The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass

72. When Dick Gibson was a little boy he was not Dick Gibson.

73. Hiram Clegg, together with his wife Emma and four friends of the faith from Randolph Junction, were summoned by the Spirit and Mrs. Clara Collins, widow of the beloved Nazarene preacher Ely Collins, to West Condon on the weekend of the eighteenth and nineteenth of April, there to await the End of the World.

74. She waited, Kate Croy, for her father to come in, but he kept her unconscionably, and there were moments at which she showed herself, in the glass over the mantel, a face positively pale with the irritation that had brought her to the point of going away without sight of him. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James

75. In the late summer of that year we lived in a house in a village that looked across the river and the plain to the mountains. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway

76. “Take my camel, dear,” said my Aunt Dot, as she climbed down from this animal on her return from High Mass. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

77. He was an inch, perhaps two, under six feet, powerfully built, and he advanced straight at you with a slight stoop of the shoulders, head forward, and a fixed from-under stare which made you think of a charging bull. Lord Jim by Joseph Conrad

78. The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there. The Go-Between by L. P. Hartley

79. On my naming day when I come 12 I gone front spear and kilt a wyld boar he parbly ben the las wyld pig on the Bundel Downs any how there hadnt ben none for a long time befor him nor I aint looking to see none agen. Riddley Walker by Russell Hoban

80. Justice?—You get justice in the next world, in this world you have the law.

81. Vaughan died yesterday in his last car-crash. Crash by J. G. Ballard

82. I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

83. “When your mama was the geek, my dreamlets,” Papa would say, “she made the nipping off of noggins such a crystal mystery that the hens themselves yearned toward her, waltzing around her, hypnotized with longing.” Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

84. In the last years of the Seventeenth Century there was to be found among the fops and fools of the London coffee-houses one rangy, gangling flitch called Ebenezer Cooke, more ambitious than talented, and yet more talented than prudent, who, like his friends-in-folly, all of whom were supposed to be educating at Oxford or Cambridge, had found the sound of Mother English more fun to game with than her sense to labor over, and so rather than applying himself to the pains of scholarship, had learned the knack of versifying, and ground out quires of couplets after the fashion of the day, afroth with Joves and Jupiters, aclang with jarring rhymes, and string-taut with similes stretched to the snapping-point.

85. When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon. Last Good Kiss by James Crumley

86. It was just noon that Sunday morning when the sheriff reached the jail with Lucas Beauchamp though the whole town (the whole county too for that matter) had known since the night before that Lucas had killed a white man.

87. I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as “Claudius the Idiot,” or “That Claudius,” or “Claudius the Stammerer,” or “Clau-Clau-Claudius” or at best as “Poor Uncle Claudius,” am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach the fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the “golden predicament” from which I have never since become disentangled. I, Claudius by Robert Graves

88. Of all the things that drive men to sea, the most common disaster, I’ve come to learn, is women.

89. I am an American, Chicago born—Chicago, that somber city—and go at things as I have taught myself, free-style, and will make the record in my own way: first to knock, first admitted; sometimes an innocent knock, sometimes a not so innocent. The Adventures of Augie March by Saul Bellow

90. The towers of Zenith aspired above the morning mist; austere towers of steel and cement and limestone, sturdy as cliffs and delicate as silver rods. Babbitt by Sinclair Lewis

91. I will tell you in a few words who I am: lover of the hummingbird that darts to the flower beyond the rotted sill where my feet are propped; lover of bright needlepoint and the bright stitching fingers of humorless old ladies bent to their sweet and infamous designs; lover of parasols made from the same puffy stuff as a young girl’s underdrawers; still lover of that small naval boat which somehow survived the distressing years of my life between her decks or in her pilothouse; and also lover of poor dear black Sonny, my mess boy, fellow victim and confidant, and of my wife and child. But most of all, lover of my harmless and sanguine self.

92. He was born with a gift of laughter and a sense that the world was mad.

93. Psychics can see the color of time it’s blue.

94. In the town, there were two mutes and they
were always together. The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

95. Once upon a time two or three weeks ago, a rather stubborn and determined middle-aged man decided to record for posterity, exactly as it happened, word by word and step by step, the story of another man for indeed what is great in man is that he is a bridge and not a goal, a somewhat paranoiac fellow unmarried, unattached, and quite irresponsible, who had decided to lock himself in a room a furnished room with a private bath, cooking facilities, a bed, a table, and at least one chair, in New York City, for a year 365 days to be precise, to write the story of another person—a shy young man about of 19 years old—who, after the war the Second World War, had come to America the land of opportunities from France under the sponsorship of his uncle—a journalist, fluent in five languages—who himself had come to America from Europe Poland it seems, though this was not clearly established sometime during the war after a series of rather gruesome adventures, and who, at the end of the war, wrote to the father his cousin by marriage of the young man whom he considered as a nephew, curious to know if he the father and his family had survived the German occupation, and indeed was deeply saddened to learn, in a letter from the young man—a long and touching letter written in English, not by the young man, however, who did not know a damn word of English, but by a good friend of his who had studied English in school—that his parents both his father and mother and his two sisters one older and the other younger than he had been deported they were Jewish to a German concentration camp Auschwitz probably and never returned, no doubt having been exterminated deliberately X * X * X * X, and that, therefore, the young man who was now an orphan, a displaced person, who, during the war, had managed to escape deportation by working very hard on a farm in Southern France, would be happy and grateful to be given the opportunity to come to America that great country he had heard so much about and yet knew so little about to start a new life, possibly go to school, learn a trade, and become a good, loyal citizen.

96. Time is not a line but a dimension, like the dimensions of space. Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood

97. He—for there could be no doubt of his sex, though the fashion of the time did something to disguise it—was in the act of slicing at the head of a Moor which swung from the rafters. Orlando: a Biography by Virginia Woolf

98. High, high above the North Pole, on the first day of 1969, two professors of English Literature approached each other at a combined velocity of 1200 miles per hour. Changing Places by David Lodge

99. They say when trouble comes close ranks, and so the white people did. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys

100. The cold passed reluctantly from the earth, and the retiring fogs revealed an army stretched out on the hills, resting. The Red Badge of Courage by Stephen Crane

Saturday, October 11, 2008

1984 by George Orwell (spoilers)

I thought this book would be required reading for this year's AP English class, but it's not. So, I decided to read it on my own. I've heard that it is not the BEST book ever, but is one everyone should try to read once.

I'm glad I did. The first half of the book was really slow and discouraged me, but I finished! I agree with the people that have said that it is not the best book ever but everyone should read it. It was kind of confusing for me, but made me think. I am putting this book on my Christmas list so I can pick it up to reread some other time. I feel that even though I got a lot out of 1984, I could still pick it apart a little more.

The slogan for The Party in 1984 really caught me off guard. I'm not one of those crazy politically paranoid people, but I wondered if, at certain points, if America believed or believes one of the three phrases, "War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength." I have very strong political beliefs, but this is a book blog, so I won't bore you with them.

This book made me feel extremely lucky. I never think any country will become like Oceania in 1984, but parts of it exist or have existed already, such as censorship of books, lack of religious freedom, etc..

I didn't realy expect happy ending. This is not a happy book. It ends with Winston saying he loves Big Brother, the thing he was fighting to hate throughout the whole book. Winston was brainwashed to love The Party. The ending wasn't disappointing to me, though. Throughout the book, Orwell makes the reader agree with The Party without the reader even noticing. Big Brother brainwashes the reader too in a way. The Party isn't the antagonist any more, Winston is. Instead of rooting for Winston, we see that the happy ending was for The Party.

Winston hated Julia at first. Then, he loved her.

Winston hated Big Brother. Then, he loved him.

This book really freaked me out. It bored me at some points, but in others I couldn't put it down. 1984 has a little bit of everything.

For that, I give it a B.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Westminster Abby by Micol Ostow

Yeah, so I lied.

I finished a book, but not 1984.

I've been really working at reading 1984. Some things about it I like, but it's definitely not a page turner. I really want to read this book, but it's really dragging me down.

I started another book to make things a little more excited.'s chick lit. It took me less than 24 hours to read, but was a welcome change. I read the another book in the SASS series, Getting the Boot, this July and enjoyed it. I'd love to be able to study abroad! I just found out there are more books in the series. I'm going to have to disobey my own rules and read them. I love to travel and one of my dreams is to live in France sometime.

Unlike Getting the Boot, Westminster Abby focused less on teenage popularity drama and focused more on Abby finding independence and herself. It was sweet, and easy read, and kept me entertained for a while.

Abby's parents send her to London to study abroad to get her away from her cheating boyfriend James. They are really overprotective and think she shouldn't be dating yet. They don't let her get out much and are really nosy about everything. In London, Abby learns to do things on her own and lives a little.

That's pretty much it.

The initial purpose of me getting this book was for the Read-A-Thon, but I was desperate. I'll have enough books though since I do not plan to read for the full 24 hours.

I'm in a major chick lit mood though. Does anyone have any suggestions of quick, fun, easy reads that aren't ALL about dysfunctional families and idiot boyfriends?

I'm chainging my rating system, by the way. I'm getting crazy with fraction ratings, so I'll do letter grades, like I get in school.

This one gets a B. I don't think you can really mess up a chick lit book.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Reading Survey

1. Do you remember learning to read? How old were you? I can't really remember a time where I couldn't read. I remember the first book I read on my own was One Fish, Two Fish, and my first "chapter book" was a book based on the Full House TV show.
2. What do you find most challenging to read? Sci-Fi. It makes no sense to me. I want things to be believeable and realistic. The Hichhiker's Guide to the Galaxy was difficult for me, and I suppose Frankenstein will be once I get around to reading that!
3. What are your library habits? It's more like a lifestyle! I never buy books, so the library is my life support! My library has a good selection, but I usually order books from other libraries that mine doesn't have. Then, when I go to pick those up, I pick out the books I want at my library. I do this once every two weeks or so.
4. Have your library habits changed since you were younger? Yes, during the summer we would go to the library at lest 1-2 times a week. I'd get a huge stack of books that I knew I would like, many of them would be re-reads. Now, I go to the library about once every two weeks and get whatever books sound good. I hardly ever re-read things now. I take out as many books as I want, and if I don't read it, it doesn't matter. My mom tells me when we go to a buffet to eat not to feel bad if you don't finish a plateful of food if I don't like it. I can always go back for another plate. I sort of view the library in this way too.
5. How has blogging changed your reading life? I just started blogging, but the internet in general has really changed my reading habits. I read more. I read less chick lit, and I think about WHY I like/dislike the book instead of just saying what I think. Finishing a book is more of a celebration now because I have to update this blog, te Visual Bookshelf on facebook, and post it on Rory's Book Club.
6. What percentage of your books do you get from: New book stores, second hand book stores, the library, online exchange sites, online retailers, other? I get 97% of books from the library. The other 3% (probably less than that) come from Half Price Books, Borders, or Barnes and Noble for school. It's usually Half Price Books unless they don't have it.
7. How often do you read a book and NOT review it in your blog? What are your reasons for not blogging about books? Well, so far, I have blogged about every book I have read since creating this blog. I plan to keep that up.
8. What are your pet peeves about ways people abuse books? Dogearing pages? Reading in the bath? I hate it if people mark books in any way. A book should be read at least twice before it has any creases or tears. But, I love it when I buy a secondhand book or borrow a book from the library and someone left what they were using for a bookmark in the book! It's so cool!
9. Do you ever read for pleasure at work?Do I ever read for pleasure at work? I do read at school, especially if the class is boring or if I know what the teacher is lecturing on anyway. I finished a book recently while sitting in a class!
10. When you give people books as gifts, how do you decide what to give them? I don't give people boosk as gifts. I'm broke, so I mostly give handmade gifts.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Ghost of Books Past: Forever Liesl by Charmian Carr

While reading the Book Thief, I thought about my Aunt Liesel a lot, and her namesake, Liesl from The Sound of Music. Years ago, my aunt gave me Forever Liesl: A Memoir of The Sound of Music for Christmas. I've read it several times, and each time something pops out at me.

You should watch the movie before you read this book. Then, after reading it, watch it again, noticing certain things like how Liesl has an ace bandage around one of her ankles in the gazebo scene.

The book is written by the woman who played Liesl in the movie. It talks about the original Von Trapp family, where the actors filmed on location, Julie Andrews, and lots more. It's a good, light read.

Spend a weekend dedicated to The Sound of Music. Watch the movie Friday night, read the book Saturday and Sunday so you can watch the movie Sunday night again :)

I love this book. It's not just because one of my favorite people in the world is named after Liesl. :)

4 / 5

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

For this review, I am going to use some of Dewey's Book Review Questionaire.

Fiction or non-fiction? Genre? Fiction, historical
What led you to pick up this book? A lot of people have read it in Rory's Book Club
Plot summary: Liesel lives with her foster parents near Munich Germany. Once she learns to read, she steals books to satisfy her habit and reads to other people as well, such as her neighbors during raids and the Jewish man her family is hiding.
What did you like most about the book? It's simplicity. It didn't have a whole bunch of subplots and flowery language. It was blunt.
What did you like least? It' s not very unified. It jumps around and sometimes things don't seem to have to do anything with each other.
What did you think of the writing style? I found it to be very appealing. It is a long book, but an easy read because it is so simple.
Have you read any other books by this author? What did you think of those books? No, I haven't. I am going to see what his other book is about thoug.
What did you think of the main character?The funny thing is that my Aunt's name is Liesel. It's a pretty unusual name. I couldn't help but think of her throughout the novel! Liesel seemed to me to be portrayed as pretty pathetic, like you were supposed to cry every time something bad happened to her.
What effect do the people in the book have on one another? They all know each other and influence each other. The characters are very well developed! I could picture writing this book in another format, like different points of view.
Any other particularly interesting characters? I just loved Hans!
Share a favorite scene from the book: Whenever Hans and Liesel would meet late at night to read after her nightmares.
What did you think of the ending?: I think it just kind of stopped. Although it did give a teeny bit of closure, I didn't like it. SPOILER: It's like the author kills everyone and then ends the book. I don't call that an ending.
Do you recommend this book? If you use a rating system, what’s your rating? I would reccoment it. I didn't find it as good as other people have, but it is still a good read. 3.5 / 5

Next up: 1984

Friday, October 3, 2008


I read about a Read-a-Thon over at Reader's Respite. Led by Dewey at The Hidden Side of a Leaf (, I thought it sounded super cool and decided to enter.

I know for sure I won't be able to read for 24 hours or even attempt to (I rewuire lots of sleep!), but I will try my hardest and read as much as I can on October 18. Since I'm still a teenager, there will be tons of distractions such as little siblings, calls to do the dishes, and...myspace.

I've already made my list of books I want to read. It is suggested that you read short books so you feel a sense of accomplishment to keep on reading. After reading Eva's Blog, I am really excited!

My list is:
Of Mice and Men
Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (does this count as one or two books?)
The Red Pony
Howl and Other Poems
The Little Prince
The Last Lecture
The Old Man and the Sea
Girl, 13

This is a lot of books, but I want to have some options. All but one of these books were already on my TBR list. The only one that isn't really short is 1984, and I'm not sure I'll be reading it for the read-a-thon, but I will definitely be reading it. As far as goals go, I don't have any except to read as much as I can.

I'm not quite sure how I will balance reading/blogging time with this, but make sure you stop by a few times on October 18 to see how I'm doing. Are you doing the read-a-thon? Have you ever done a read-a-thon? Any tips you want to give me? Comment here!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Blog of the Week

Ok, I have started The Book Thief my Markus Zusak and I realized it's going to be a while before I blog again. Hence, my idea to write a blog about a random blog I found each week, just to spice things up!

This week it is Kimbooktu at This blog isn't a blog about reviewing books, but unique ways to store them and more quirky things! They don't update very often, but they have enough content to keep anyone busy for a while.

PLUS: They have a long list of "Bookish Blogs" which I found useful since I couldn't find any book blogs I liked (as I talked about in an earlier post)!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Franny and Zooey


What a terrible, boring, wonderful little book.

I loved The Catcher in the Rye. Lots of people hate it. I can understand why now. Franny and Zooey is written just like it and is about whiny teenagers.

It got on my nerves.

However, instead of feeling that the characters were scum, I felt sorry for them. How Salinger italicized certain things made them seem even more stupid, but I still felt sorry for them because they were so stupid.

It shocked me how much of the book takes place in the bathroom! More than a quarter of it!

Basically, the plot of the book is that Franny's brother Zooey gives her a much-needed reality check. The reason I said the book was wonderful was because some of the things he said to her hit home. The most interesting thing happen at the beginning and end of the book. The rest is pretty dull.

This book is for anyone who thinks rituals mean being considered a religious person or for the person who thinks everyone is below them.

Due to how slow of a read it is, I had to give it a lower rating.

3 1/2 / 5

Next up:
I don't know. Either Frankenstein, re-reading Anne of Green Gables, 1984, or The Book Thief.

Banned Books

This was originally a response to, but it was too long!

of the ALA's most frequenly banned books, I have read:

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
The Giver by Lois Lowry
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
Lord of the Flies by William Golding
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell

Of these books, the only two I really found disgusting were The Giver and Lord of the Flies. I am not saying they should be banned, though. Lord of the Flies is still and important piece of literature. The Giver should only be assigned for school if the students are mature.

I think all libraries should have a designated teen or young adult section. In my library, my little sister, who is nine, can go and check out books like Are You There God, it's Me, Maragaret, one of the Alice books, or The Face on the Milk Carton. All of these books are fun reads for a 13 or 14 year old girl, but are innapropriate for a nine-year-old. In my library, they have a few of the Alice books in the adult section and a few in the children's section. It seems like they thought about moving them away from younger kids but stopped midway. This is the same for the Princess Diaries series.

No books should be banned for all people. I think some books should be forbidden for kids under 13 or so. Schools should take into consideration the maturity of the students before they choose required reading.

In sixth grade, we had just begun reading Tom Sawyer in English, but we had to stop because it had the "N" word in it. I remember thinking that everyone hears that word several times a day in the hallways! I still haven't gotten around to reading Tom Sawyer though. It has been the only book that I have been banned from reading, and it was because of one lousy word.

Many of the books on the list I have read and loved, or I plan to read. As I look back on the list of books I have read that are frequently banned, there is absolutely nothing wrong with many of them. The rest just have minor things that many people are exposed to anyway.