Saturday, January 31, 2009

January Favorites

I've been pretty horrible this month about posting reviews of the books and short stories I've read. So instead of posting multiple reviews, I'll just tell you about my three of my favorites. The majority of the books I've read this month were children's books.

The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin can be called nothing short of genius. How do you describe to a blind person the color yellow or blue? Cottin takes that question and describes each color: Thomas says that blue is the color of the sky when kites are flying and the sun is beating hot on his head. The layout of the book is very simple with every page black with white lettering. The raised illustrations are beautiful. Instead of just looking at the words and pictures, you can feel them The words are not only in English but also in Braille. I think this book is one everyone should read. My January pick for the Year of Reading Dangerously Challenge.



The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle by Jim Butcher. I read this for Laza's Graphic Novel Challenge. I just discovered Jim Butcher and his wonderful series, The Dresden Files, in December. Welcome to the Jungle is the first graphic novel in the series. There's a mauling in the zoo and wizard Harry Dresden is called in to solve the case. The police wants to call the mauling a "gorilla attack" but Harry knows that's not the truth. I read this in one setting. The one thing I didn't like is that after reading Storm Front and others in the series, I have in my mind my own version of how Harry looks.





Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groof came out this week. Already there are great blog reviews about this short story collection. Groff, if you don't know, is the author of The Monsters of Templeton. Curious I read one of the included stories, "Lucky Chow Fun". Readers who have read The Monster of Templeton will find the setting of the story, Templeton, familiar. This story about the consequences of apathy left me spellbound long after I finished reading it.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Dewey's Books February Mini-Challenge #1


There's not much about Dewey that I can say that has not been said already. Dewey, with her eclectic taste in books, was the ultimate book blogger. Almost daily on her site there was a new post: a discussion about an article or book, a meme, or a funny video to watch. Dewey wrote about books who subjects range from politics to feminism. She read graphic novels and award-winning books, young adult reads and poetry. Reading The Hidden Side of a Leaf left the reader with an even larger TBR pile then before you clicked on to her site.

Just the other day I visited her site for a quick couple of books to read for her challenge and left with pages of book titles. Her posts were honest, funny, and made writing look so easy.

Dewey embodied the spirit of blogging and helped bring our community closer together. She started Weekly's Geeks, the 24-Hour Read-a-thon, and the Bookworms Carnival. She always had something nice to say. encouraging comments that helped many of us continue blogging.

Dewey wasn't one to hoard books. (Unlike myself.) Usually when she finished reading a book, if it didn't belong to someone or she wasn't going to read it again, she held a giveaway. The frequency of her giveaways amazed me. She was so generous and winning a book from her made my day several times.

In the spirit of Dewey's generosity I've decided to give away eight books throughout the month of February. Two books every weekend starting on the 7Th. To be eligible read a book that Dewey reviewed. After reading it and writing a post, leave a link at the challenge's review site and on my mini-challenge posts. Remember to let me know your first and second preferences. Every Saturday I will use random.org to pick the two winners and every Sunday I will let you know the winners and the next two books. Remember only books read in February count.

This week's books are:

How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith. You can read my review here. It's a pretty good book for journal writers, about how to find more ways to be present in your life and at the same time give you ideas to fill your journal up with. This book is a paperback that's been read only once.


Away by Amy Bloom. To be honest I haven't had the time to read this epic story but everywhere I've looked there has not been a bad or mediocre review to be found. I know many bloggers have read this book and loved it. So I would rather give this book to a blogger who can give it a chance then let it sit any longer on my bookshelves. Away is a hardcover that's gently used.

One Book Meme

Taken from Eva.

One book you're currently reading: Farewell Navigator by Leni Zumas


One book that changed you life: What's Eating Gilbert Grape? by Peter Hedges. An honest portrayal of what depression looks like.


One book that you'll want on a deserted island: I'm going to have to think about this for a while


One book you've read more than once: East of Eden by John Steinbeck


One book you've never been able to finish: The World According to Garp by John Irving


One book that made you laugh: God Behaving Badly by Marie Phillips


One book that made you cry: The Geography of Love by Glenda Burgess. I have never cried so hard because of a book ever in my life.


One book you keep rereading: any book from the Harry Potter series


One book you've been meaning to read: A Language Older than Words by Derrick Jensen


One book you believe everyone should read: Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck

Finally,
Grab the nearest book. Open it to page 56. Find the fifth sentence.


"Eleanor had run into the convent thinking to fetch help, but once there, an overwhelming urge to write down what had happened overtook her."

from Tales of Burning Love by Louise Erdrich

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Not enough books

"Wear the old coat and buy the new book."
-Austin Phelps, (1881)


What I'm lusting for right now:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A book for journal writers


How to be an explorer of the world (2008)
Keri Smith
208 pages

When I was eleven years old my mother gave me a diary to write my thoughts in. It was small, white, and one of those diaries you're supposed to write in every day. I remember being in sixth grade and writing in that small book often about crushes, school, and family life. I don't know what made my mother give me a diary but I'm glad she did.

Since then I've kept diaries. Over the years those diaries have changed in size, shape, and purpose. Currently I write in large sketchbooks that can handle glue, paint, different kinds of pens, and whatever else I feel like using. My journal is more than just an account of my everyday life; it's a commonplace book filled with quotes, prayers, collages, blog entries, book reviews, lists, pictures, newspaper clippings, recipes. . . I've always thought of my journal as a field guide to my life. You can pick up any of the many journals I have and know who I was at that time.

So you can imagine my excitement when I found out about Keri Smith's latest book, How to Be An Explorer of the World. Keri, if you don't know, is the genius behind Wreck this Journal, a book that is suppose to help readers start or finish their journals with creative prompts. I bought How to be an explorer and decided to test it out. The goal of the book is to get you to notice your surroundings, savor the moment, and to focus on who you are.

Two of my favorite prompts were to describe in detail my favorite street and the library exploration prompt:

Choose a subject, theme, or item. Go to a library. Conduct research on your chosen item. Collect as many different materials as you can to display later, such as sketches, notes, drawings, and photos. . .

My problem with the book is that I didn't realize it's for beginners. A lot of the prompts are great but are things I've done many times before like the consumer prompt which asks for you to keep track of all the things you consume for a week. It's a great prompt for someone who hasn't used it before. Overall it's a great read and perfect for anyone who wishes to start journaling.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Salon: The Too Many Books Post


Good morning! The sun is just starting to come up here in Southern California. While the rest of the country was expecting Arctic weather, in SoCal the weather was in the late 80s. Then last week the rain came and it felt so good! Now it's the right atmosphere for winter reading.

My week has been really hectic. My oldest son's asthma has been acting up so his father, my mother, and I have been going back and forth, staying at home to take care of him this week. I got very little studying done, but I got some great reading in.

I read:
1. The Shiniest Jewel -Marian Henley. In their shoes & Graphic Novel challenges
2. Tuesday - David Weisner. Young readers challenge
3. How to be an explorer of the world - Keri Smith
4. Don't let the pigeon stay up late - Mo Willems. Young readers
5. A River of words - Jen Bryant. Young readers
6. The Man in the Picture - Susan Hill. NaJuReMoNoMo
7. The Book That Changed my Life. Dewey and Essay Reading Challenge
8. The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle - Jim Butcher. Graphic Novels Challenge

My favorite reads were The Shiniest Jewel, the suspenseful The Man in the Picture, and Welcome to the Jungle. If you're participating in my memoir challenge, In Their Shoes, I'm giving away The Shiniest Jewel. So enter to win it.

This post is entitled "Too many books" because I received some great books this week and bought too many. One of my book-related resolutions this year was to only buy a certain amount of books. I already went way over that, so to compromise I gave a lot of my unread books to my local library and giving more away by hosting a mini-challenge all of February for everyone participating in the Dewey's Books challenge.

With school and a lot of homework to catch up on this week, I plan to read only short stories and poetry for the next two weeks.

What are you reading this week?

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Weekly Geeks 2009-03: Classics

It feels so good to be back participating in Dewey's Weekly Geeks! This week's assignment:

1) How do you feel about classic literature? Are you intimidated by it? Love it? Not sure because you never actually tried it? Don't get why anyone reads anything else? Which classics, if any, have you truly loved? Which would you recommend for someone who has very little experience reading older books? Go all out, sell us on it!

3) Let's say you're vacationing with your dear cousin Myrtle, and she forgot to bring a book. The two of you venture into the hip independent bookstore around the corner, where she primly announces that she only reads classic literature. If you don't find her a book, she'll never let you get any reading done! What contemporary book/s with classic appeal would you pull off the shelf for her?

I have to admit that it's rare for me to read a classic for fun. Being an English major I get assigned to read them often and I usually hate assigned reading. Not because of the material but because it's assigned, there's a deadline and a several-hundred word required essay involved. . .

There are classics I love like To Kill A Mockingbird, East of Eden, Of Mice and Men, The Bluest Eye, and The Tempest. I have little experience reading classics but being a blogger, you can't help but want to read them after reading the great reviews of your blogging friends. So I have books by Austen, Bronte, Wells, Steinbeck, Hemingway, Eliot, and others on my TBR list and shelves.

My cousin wouldn't be named Myrtle but probably something starting with a "T" because my mother and many aunts were going through a "T" phase in the 1970s and '80s, so all seven or eight of us girls have names that sound alike. . . That's another story I'll tell you guys one day. But if my cousin wanted me to find her a book that I think have classical appeal it would be The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I read it two years ago and it is still the only book that had me talking to myself about the plot and characters when I wasn't reading it.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Fill-Ins


This is my first time participating in Friday Fill-ins!


1. Oh, I am so behind in studying.

2. I need changes, big and little.

3. During today, I will try to squeeze in studying and homework with being a mom to a sick kid.

4. You poured out my coffee? Are you kidding me?

5. Right now I'll like to be invisible and on my couch, reading.

6. My coffee pot is my favorite gadget.

7. And as for this weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to doing my homework so I can have some free time. Tomorrow my plans include reading and homework, and Sunday I want to just read.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Booking Through Thursday

btt button

Since “Inspiration” is (or should) the theme this week … what is your reading inspired by?

I think my reading is inspired by the need to know about the lives of others, about what is going on in the world, and about human nature. I'm also inspired by the need to become better in expressing myself through words. I take in so much of what I read but with more important needs to address, kids, school, and life, I don't have the time to reflect as well as I can. Though I want to know more about the world, I rarely read non-fiction. I don't have the time.

Some of my favorite authors have helped me to look at familiar things in a different way; Steinbeck's East of Eden on the issue of free will and his Of Mice and Men on the importance of dreaming, the works of Barbara Kingsolver and Anne Lamott on being a mother, and others when it comes to things sacred and divine.

Currently my reading is also inspired by the need to earn good grades. Being a college student and taking classes ranging from anthropology to literature, library science to human sexuality, my reading includes the works of classic poets, manuals on how to serve difficult people in library settings, and also various religions.

I'm also inspired by book challenges, book reviews, and the many unread books on my bursting shelves.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Being a Bookaholic


Jessi at Casual Dread gave me another Premios Dardo award. I cannot say thank you enough. To receive it once is great, to receive the award twice in the same week is just awesome.This time instead of naming fifteen more blogs that I love, I want to just say thank you to everyone who visits this blog, whether you lurk or not.

****

I think the anxiety of school has caused me to drastically slow down my personal reading. So far this year I've read nineteen books, only one is an adult read. The rest are children's books, no young adult, no middle school books. *sigh* I have to learn how to better manage my time.

When I'm not studying for school or on twitter, I'm buying tons of books. So many that the only way I'm going to read all of them this year is if I don't check out any books from the library, receive any from Paperbackswap, and stop buying them. That's not going to happen. As of today I'm trying to read as many books as I can in time for my big giveaway starting Febuary 1st as part of my mini-challenge for the Dewey's Books Challenge. So if you haven't signed up already, I suggest you do so.

*****
Carrie's Essay Reading Challenge is the first challenge I finished this year. My goal was to read twenty essays this year and I surpassed that. Here are the first twenty essays that I read:

From Tin House Magazine
1. On Steinbeck's Travels with Charley - Tom Grimes
2. On Elain Dundy's The Dud Avocado - Elisa Albert
3. On Knut Hamusun's Hunger - Don Waters

From Powells Books Original Essays Feature
4. Mysteries in Plain Sight - Dara Horn
5. Still Knitting - Ann Hood
6. Taming the Wilderness - Ingrid Law

From The book that changed my life - Roxanne J. Cody
(I'm just giving you the name of the writer of the essay)

7. Dorothy Allison
8. Kate Atkinson
9. James Atlas
10. Robert Ballard
11. Gina Barreca
12 Nicholas A Bashanes
13. Graeme Base
14. Jeff Benedict
15. Elizabeth Berg
16. Amy Bloom
17. Harold Bloom
18. Lary Bloom
19. Chris Bohjalian
20. Da Chen

Thanks to Carrie for hosting this challenge.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mailbox Monday

I totally forgot today was Monday! Last week I didn't receive any reading materials in the mail but this week makes up for it thanks to Paperbackswap and Amazon.


























The books are Geraldine Brooks's People of the Book; Lullabies for little Criminals, which I found out about from Kimbofo months ago and it was on the 2008 shortlist for the Orange Prize; Tigerheart by Peter David, a retelling of Peter Pan; the latest issue of Tin House; Gods Behaving Badly from BookThirty (thanks!); This Common Secret by Susan Wicklund; Jeremy Fink and the Meaning of Life by Wendy Mass, a young adult read that sounds very promising; How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith; and Knockemstiff by Donald Ray Pollock, which is a collection of short stories that's been getting rave reviews.

Happy Readings!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Library Loot January 14-20

How did I forget about Eva and Alessandra's great meme? After waiting a long five days I went to my local library and picked up all the books on hold for my middle baby and myself. Never mind that I still haven't cracked open even one book from last weeks' Library Loot.

Since school started this week and a required reading of at least 200 pages a week, my personal reading has slowed to almost a complete stop. I'm trying though. If I can get in one hour a day to myself, I will be a very happy girl.






































Don't you just love the Trina Schart Hyman's cover for Little Red Riding Hood? I discovered this version of the fairy tale last year and fell in love with it. Little Red is beautiful. Happy readings!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Premio Darios Award

The great J. Kaye awarded me the Primo Darios Award! How cool is that? The Primo Award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in their effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.


The rules to follow are:

1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person that has granted the award and his or her blog link.

2) Pass the award to other 15 blogs that are worthy of this acknowledgment. Remember to contact each of them to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

Here are a few of my favorites. If I could list all of the blogs I love (and stalk) this post would be pages long.


1. The Well-Read Child
2. In Search of Giants
3. Things Mean A Lot
4. People Reading
5. Christine Kane
6. A Feminist Wife
7. A Striped Armchair
8. Jackets and Covers
9. 37 Days
10. Sophisticated Dorkiness
11. Maggie Reads
12. Stuff as Dreams are Made On
13. Noses in Books
14. Book:Thirty
15. Becky's Book Reviews


Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Library Loot!

Eva at A Striped Armchair came up with this great idea for bloggers to post what we checked out from the library every week. I think today's visit is the third one of the year and so far the best one.

After finishing The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy yesterday, I practically ran today back to the library to check out the second book in the series, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe. I had several lovely surprises waiting for me on the holds shelf.





The Homeschooling Book of Lists
(for my kids), The Dresden Files #1: Welcome to the Jungle graphic series (I'll find a challenge for it), One year to an organized life (part of my resolutions), Garden Spells (possible Well-Read Ladies February selection), Berlin: #1 City of Stones, Man's Search of Meaning (just in a weird mood), and plenty of books from the Babymouse series.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

More Challenges!!!

So you know that conversation we had a couple of days ago about me not joining any more challenges and if I did you would remind me? Well I just had to join one more challenge. It's just a small challenge really with not that many requirements. What? What's the challenge? Well, I joined Becky's year-long 42 Challenge.

The requirements? Here's what Becky said:

Your mission--if you choose to accept it--is to read, watch, listen, and review 42 sci-fi related items. (Items isn't the best word, but how else would you define all that this challenge could involve). What's acceptable? Practically everything: short stories, poetry (???), novellas, novels, episodes of TV shows, episodes of radio shows, movies, comic books, graphic novels, audio books, essays or articles about science fiction or science fiction writers, biographies of science fiction authors. This isn't quite as intimidating as it sounds. This is much more than a reading challenge. It would be intimidating (in all likelihood) to try to read that many books. But when you make each short story, each TV show episode count as individual items, then it is much more manageable I hope! (This challenge could be as easy as watching Season 1 and Season 2 of Stargate SG-1, for example.)

No lists are needed. Really. If you want to post about the challenge and talk about what you hope to get to that's fine, of course, but no one will hold you to it!

What's not to love about this challenge? I don't usually read science fiction but I still signed up. With kids, a full-time load starting in six days, and 23 other challenges, how hard can it be? I have the whole year and I just finished reading The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy for my first read. I'll post my review later this week. Until then, wish me luck!


Friday, January 2, 2009

Books in 2009

Books in blue are adult. Young adult is in green.The rest are children's, middle school, and young adult reads.

  1. Oma's Quilt by Paulette Bourgeois
  2. Babymouse #3: Beach Babe by Jennifer L. Holm
  3. A Bit More Bert - Allan Ahlberg
  4. Jessica - Kevin Henkes
  5. Owl and the Pussycat - Edward Lear
  6. Imaginary Menagerie - Julie Hoffstrand (Cybils)
  7. Baby face - Cynthia Rylant (Cybils)
  8. Big words for little people - Jamie Lee Curtis (Cybils)
  9. A visitor for bear - Bonny Becker
  10. Count with me - DK Publishing
  11. Goose and Duck - Jean Craighead George
  12. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  13. Splat the Cat - Rob Scotton
  14. There's a wolf at the door: five classic tales - Zoe B. Alley (Cybils)
  15. Where the wild things are - Maurice Sendak
  16. Ellington was not a street - Ntzake Shange
  17. A River of Words - Jen Bryant (Cybils)
  18. Don't let the pigeon stay up late - Mo Willems
  19. The Man in the Picture - Susan Hill
  20. How to be an explorer of the world - Keri Smith
  21. Tuesday - David Weisner
  22. The Shiniest - Marian Henley
  23. Welcome to the Jungle: The Dresden Files - Jim Butcher
  24. Babymouse #2 - Jennifer L. Holm
  25. Babymouse #4: Rock Star - Jennifer L. Holm
  26. The Black Book of Colors - Menena Cottin
  27. Little Red Riding Hood - Trina Schart Hyman
  28. Gods Behaving Badly - Marie Phillips
  29. Babymouse #7: Skater Girl - Jennifer L. Holm
  30. Stanley at the Sea - Linda Barry
  31. The Book that changed my life - Roxanne J. Coady (essays)
  32. Naked Mole Rat gets Dressed - Mo Willems
  33. Chester - Melanie Watt
  34. Chicken Feathers - Joy Crowley
  35. Chester's Back - Melanie Watt (Cybils)
  36. Fables 1: Legends in Exile - Bill Willingham
  37. Notes to Self - Samara O'Shea
  38. Fables Vol. 6 : Arabian Nights - Bill Willingham
  39. The Poet Slave of Cuba - Margarita Engle
  40. Daphne's Book - Mary Downing Hahn
  41. Ziggy's Blue Ribbon Day - Claudia Mills (Cybils)
  42. Potato Joe - Keith Baker
  43. A Couple of Boys Have the Best Week Ever - Marla Frazee (Cybils)
  44. A Child's Day - Ida Pearle
  45. Fables 2: Animal Farm - Bill Willingham
  46. The Big Green Pocketbook - Candice Ransom
  47. The Little Bit Scary People - Emily Jenkins
  48. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
  49. My Friend, the Starfinder - George Ella Lyon
  50. The House in the Night - Susan Marie Swanson
  51. The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery
  52. Bonsai - Alejandro Zambra
  53. Fables Vol. 3: Storybook Love - Bill Willingham
  54. The Rights of the Reader - Daniel Pennac
  55. Dinosaur vs Bedtime - Bob Shea
  56. Old Bear - Kevin Henkes
  57. The Octupus - Denys Cazet
  58. Bats at the Library- Brian Lies
  59. Wake up, Sun! - David L. Harrison
  60. Hansel and Gretel - Cynthia Rylant
  61. The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain - Peter Sis
  62. John, Paul, George, and Ben - Lane Smith
  63. How to heal a broken wing - Bob Graham
  64. Fat Cat - Margaret Read MacDonald
  65. A Good Day - Kevin Henkes
  66. Fables Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers - Bill Willingham
  67. Fables Vol. 6: Homelands - Bill Willingham
  68. Fables Vol. 8: Wolves - Bill Willingham
  69. Fables Vol. 9: Sons of Empire - Bill Willingham
  70. Fables Vol. 10: The Good Prince - Bill Willingham
  71. Fables Vol. 11: War and Pieces - Bill Willingham
  72. Someday - Eileen Spinelli
  73. Princess Peepers - Pam Calvert
  74. Hooray for Reading Day! - Margarey Cuyler
  75. Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai - Claire A. Nivola
  76. Winter Trees - Carole Gerber
  77. Peedie - Olivier Dunrea
  78. The Book of the Unknown: Tales of the Thirty-Six: Jonathon Keats
  79. New Socks - Bob Shea
  80. Hi! Fly Guy - Tedd Arnold
  81. The Gardener - Sarah Stewart
  82. The Library - Sarah Stewart
  83. Max and Ruby Play School - Rosemary Wells
  84. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble - William Steig
  85. Castle Waiting - Linda Medley
  86. The Teashop Girls - Laura Schaefer
  87. Mrs. McNosh Hangs up her Wash - Sarah Weeks
  88. Doubt: a parable by John Patrick Shanley
  89. Moxy Maxwell does not love Stuart Little - Peggy Gifford
  90. Are you ready to play outside? - Mo Willems
  91. Oscar and the Frog: A Book about Growing - Geoff Waring
  92. Without Blood - Alessandro Baricco
  93. The Plain Janes - Cecil Castellucci
  94. Todog/Underdog - Suzan-Lori Parks
  95. Pearl Barley and Charlie Parsley
  96. The Journey - Sarah Stewart
  97. The Money Tree - Sarah Stewart
  98. Houndsley and Catina by James Howe
  99. Emily - Michael Bedard
  100. Louise, the Adventures of a Chicken - Kate DiCamillo
  101. Pajama Day - Lynn Plourde

2009 Challenges

I have signed up for a crazy amount of challenges this year. My goal is to finish at least 60% of them by the end of the year. Books crossed out have been read. All challenges unless states otherwise are year-round. Wish me luck.

Personal Reading Challenges

  • I Suck at Challenges - post several updates a year on my progress with my challenges
  • To not buy another book until July. I can swap books as long as I don't buy the credits.

1. 100 Shots of Short. The goal is to read 100 short stories.

2. Essay Reading. 20 essays

3. A to Z (by author's last name)

  • A: Adams, Douglas
  • B: Becker, Bonnie
  • C: Crowley, Joy
  • D: Dickinson, Emily
  • E: Engle, Margarita
  • F: Frazee, Marla
  • G: Gifford, Peggy
  • H: Hyman, Trina Schmart
  • I
  • J
  • K
  • L: Leibovitz, Annie
  • M
  • N
  • O: O' Shea, Samara
  • P: Pearle, Ida
  • Q
  • R: Ransom, Candice
  • S: Smith, Keri
  • T
  • U
  • V
  • W: Weisner, David
  • X
  • Y
  • Z: Zambra, Alejandro

4. Young Adult (12 books)

  • Paper Towns - John Green
  • An Abundance of Katherines - John Green
  • Looking for Alaska - John Green
  • The Poet Slave of Cuba - Margarita Engle
  • Freak Show - James St. James
  • Eggs - Jerry Spinelli
  • Monster - Walter Dean Meyers
  • Tender Morsels - Margo Lanagan
  • Tigerheart - Peter David
  • The Teashop Girls - Laura Schaefer
  • The Plain Janes - Cecil Castellucci

5. Steinbeck Mini-Challenge

  • The Grapes of Wrath
  • Winter of Our Discontent

6. Dewey's Books (6 books)

  • Looking for Alaska - John Green
  • Kockroach -Tyler Knox
  • Exit Wounds - Rutu Moran
  • Ismael - Daniel Quinn
  • Monster - Walter Dean Myers
  • The Color Purple - Alice Walker
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery
  • The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  • Gossamer - Lois Lowry
  • The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
  • Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie
  • Glacial Period - Nicolas De Crecy
  • Thirteen Moons - Charles Frazier
  • Bonk - Mary Roach
  • Life as we knew it - Susan Beth Pfeffer
  • The Book that Changed my Life - Roxanne J. Coady
  • The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint Exupery
  • The Saturdays - Elizabeth Enright
  • Freak Show - James St. James
  • People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks
  • The Plain Janes - C. Castellucci
  • The Secret of Lost Things - Sheridan Hay
  • We Need to Talk about Kevin - Lionel Shriver

7. Year of Reading Dangerously

  • The Black Book of Colors January
  • The Poet Slave of Cuba by Maragrita Engle February
  • Topdog/Underdog - Suzan-Lori Parks April
  • The Color Purple - Alice Walker
  • Her Blue Body Everything We Know - Alice Walker
  • The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  • This Blinding Absence of Light - Tahar Ben Jelloun

8. A Novel Group's Mini-Challenges

  1. Collection of short stories- The Book of the Unknown: Tales of the Thirty-Six - Jonathon Keats (4/7/19)
  2. Play: Topdog/Underdog - Suzan-Lori Parks (4/19/09)
  3. Nonfiction book: The Shiniest Jewel - Marian Henley
  4. Two essays:
  5. Book event:
  6. Library book: Notes to Self - Samara O' Shea
  7. New to you author:
  8. Donation: First Book.org in January
  9. Promote literacy: donated Flygirl by Sherrie L. Smith to local library
  10. Buddy read/Group discussion:
  11. Book or genre outside comfort zone:
  12. Classic:

9. Read Your Own Books (30 Books)

  • A River of Words - Jen Bryant
  • How to be an explorer of the world - Keri Smith
  • The Book that Changed my Life
  • The Shiniest Jewel - Marian Henley
  • Gods Behaving Badly- Marie Phillips
  • The Rights of the reader - Daniel Pennac
  • Without Blood - Alessandro Barrico

10. In Their Shoes

  • The Shiniest Jewel by Marian Henley
  • A River of Words - Jen Bryant
  • The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain - Peter Sis

11. Book Awards (10 award winners, from at least 5 different awards)

  • Looking for Alaska - John Green (Printz 2006)
  • The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman (Newbery 2009)
  • The Color Purple - Alice Walker (1983 Pulitzer and National Book Award)
  • Saturday - Ian McEwan (James Tait Black Memorial 2005)
  • Angels in America - Tony Kushner (1993 Pulitzer in Drama)
  • Castle Waiting - Linda Medley (1998 Eisner Award)
  • Topdog/Underdog - Suzan-Lori Parks (2002 Pultizer for Drama)
  • Beloved - Toni Morrison (1986 Pulitzer for Fiction)
  • Cockroach - Raw Hage (2008 Giller Prize)
  • This Blinding Absence of Light - Tahar Ben Jelloun (2004 Impac Dublin)
  • Out Stealing Horses - Per Petterson (2007 Impac Dublin)
  • various volumes from the Fables series - Bill Willingham (Eisner Award)
  • Doubt: a play by Patrick Shenely (Pulitzer for Drama)

12. Jewish Lit.

  • Angel of Forgetfulness - Steve Stern
  • The World to Come - Dara Horn
  • The Book of the Unknown: Tales of the Thirty-Six by Jonathon Keats
  • Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - Rachel Cohn

13. Unshelved Reading (Feb 1st - June 1st) 3 books req.

  1. Mouseguard: Fall 1152 - David Peterson
  2. The Lighting Thief - Rick Riordan
  3. The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
  4. The Confessions of Max Tivoli - Andre Sean Greer
  5. The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein

14. 9 Books for 2009

  • Free: The Shiniest Jewel -Marion Henley. Received it as an ARC.
  • Dusty
  • Used
  • Letter
  • Strange
  • Distance
  • Alive or Not
  • Cover

15. Year of Readers

  • Supporting 826National.org and First Book

16. Childhood Favourites

  • Daphne's Book - Mary Downing Hahn
  • Where the wild things are - Maurice Sendak
  • The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett


17. Graphic Novels (24 books required)

  1. The Shiniest Jewel - Marian Henley
  2. Fables Vol. 1: Legends in Exile - Bill Willingham
  3. Fables Vol. 7: Arabian Nights - Bill Willingham
  4. Fables Vol. 2: Animal Farm - Bill Willingham
  5. Fables Vol. 3: Storybook Love - Bill Willingham
  6. Fables Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers - Bill Willingham
  7. Fables Vol. 6: Homelands - Bill Willingham
  8. Fables Vol. 8: Wolves - Bill Willingham
  9. Fables Vol. 9: Sons of the Empire - Bill Willingham
  10. Fables Vol. 10: The Good Prince - Bill Willingham
  11. Faboles Vol. 11: War and Pieces - Bill Willingham
  12. The Plain Janes - Cecil Castellucci

18. Lost in Translation (6 books)

  • The girl with the dragon tattoo - Steig Larson
  • Living to tell the tale - Garbriel Garcia Marquez
  • Death with Interruptions - Jose Saramago
  • Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafron
  • After the Quake - Haruki Murakami
  • 40 Stories - Anton Chekhov
  • Perfume: The story of a murderer - Patrick Suskind
  • 2666 - Roberto Bolano
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery
  • The Little Prince - Antoine de Exupery
  • Out Stealing Horses - Per Petterson
  • Memory - Philippe Grimbert
  • Waiting for Godot - Samuel Beckett
  • The Lost Daughter - Elena Ferrante
  • Without Blood - Alessandro Barrico
  • The Black Book of Colors
  • The Butcher and Other Erotica - Alina Reyes
  • The Elementary Particles - Michael Houellebeccq
  • Bonsai - Alejandro Zambra
  • The Devil and Miss Prym - Paulo Coelho
  • The Savage Detectives - Roberto Bolano
  • The Rights of the Reader - Daniel Pennac

19. World Citizen

20. Dream King (Acolyte level: 3 works and 1 movie)

  • The Graveyard Book audio and book
  • Fragile Things
  • Neverwhere
  • Coraline the movie

21. Martel-Harper

22. 42 Challenge

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
  • Battleship Galactica Disc 1

23. Orbis Terrarum

  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery (France)
  • Bonsai - Alejandro Zambra (Chile)
  • The Rights of the Reader - Daniel Pennac (France)
  • Without Blood - Alessando Barrico


24. Classics Challenge (April 1- October 31, 2009) 4 Books

  • Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
  • Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie
  • ?
  • Moby Dick - Herman Melville
  • New Classic: Hunger Games -Suzanne Collins

25. Banned Books Challenge Feb. 22nd - June 30th

  • Annie on My Mind - Nancy Garden
  • The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
  • The House of the Spirits - Isabel Allende
  • Forever - Judy Blume
  • Stones from the River - Ursula Hegi
  • It - Stephen King
  • A Day No Pigs Would Die - Robert Peck
  • Beloved - Toni Morrison
  • The Lorax - Dr. Seuss
  • The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  • The Color Purple- Alice Walker
  • Harry Potter - J. K. Rowling
  • The Complete Grimm's Fairy Tales
  • Fahrenheit 451 - Ray Bradbury
  • Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany - John Irving

26. Spring Reading Challenge (ends March 20th - June 20th)

  1. Sweet Hearts - Melanie Rae Thon
  2. The Water Will Hold You: A Skeptic Learns to Pray - Lindsey Crittenden
  3. Unearned Pleasures - Ursula Hegi
  4. I am no one you know - Joyce Carol Oates
  5. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
  6. Tender Morsels - Margo Lanagan
  7. Delicate Edible Birds - Lauren Groff
  8. The Gargoyle - Andrew Davidson
  9. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafron
  10. Tales of Burning Love - Louise Erdrich
  11. Repair - C.K. Williams
  12. Sinners Welcome - Mary Karr
  13. Heliopolis - James Scudamore
  14. Nocturnes - John Conolly
  15. Cries of the Spirit - Marilyn Sewell
  16. The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter
  17. Lullabies for Little Criminals - Heather O'Neil
  18. Blue Highways - William Least Heat-Moon

27. Once Upon a Time Challenge (potential reads)

  1. Tender Morsels - Margo Lanagan
  2. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafron
  3. A Midsummer Night's Dream - Shakespeare
  4. The Dark Hills Divide - Patrick Carman
  5. The Book of the Unknown - Jonathon Keats
  6. Peter Pan - J.M. Barrie
  7. Tigerheart - Peter David
  8. Fables series - Bill Willingham
  9. The Bloody Chamber - Angela Carter
  10. Nights at the Circus - Angela Carter
  11. The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafron
  12. Nocturnes - John Connolly
  13. The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde
  14. A Curse Dark as Gold - Elizabeth C. Bunce
  15. Hansel and Gretel - Cynthia Rylant
  16. The War of the Worlds - H.G. Wells
  17. Perfume - Patrick Suskind
  18. Hansel and Gretel - Cynthia Rylant
  19. East - Edith Pattou
  20. Dandelion Wine - Ray Bardbury

28. Diversity Rocks

  1. The Black Book of Colors - Menena Cottin (Latino author)
  2. The Poet Slave of Cuba - Margarita Engle (Cuban author)
  3. Ellington was not a street- Ntzake Shange (Black author)
  4. The Elegance of the Hedgehog - Muriel Barbery (French)
  5. The Rights of the Reader - Daniel Pennac (French)
  6. Bonsai - Alejandro Zambra (Chilean)
  7. The Wall: Growing up behind the Iron Curtain - Peter Sis (Czech)
  8. The Book of the Unknown: Tales of the Unknown - Jonathon Keats (Jewish)
  9. Topdog/Underdog - Suzan-Lori Parks

29. Herding Cats Challenge April 1,2009 - December 31, 2009

  1. Tender Morsels - Margo Lanagan (Nymeth)
  2. The Secret of Lost Things - Sheridan Hay (3m & Puss Reboots)
  3. Tortilla Flat - John Steinbeck (Becky)
  4. The Housekeeper and the Professor - Yoko Ogawa (3m)
  5. Beat the Reaper - (Raidergirl3)
  6. We have always lived in the castle - Shirley Jackson (Mem)
  7. Norwegian Wood - Haruki Murakami (Chris)
  8. Life as we know it - (Raidergirl3)
  9. Danny the Champion of the World - Roald Dahl (?)
  10. This Blinding Absence of Light - Tahar Ben Jalloun (Raidergirl3)
  11. The Library at Night - Alberto Manguel (Gavin)
  12. The Merchant and the Alchemist's Gate - Ted Chiang (Gavin)


"I Suck At Challenges" Challenge!

I love this challenge already! As Chris stated,
I always wanted to host a reading challenge but never had a topic in mind. Of course, I realized that my track record with challenges is less than stellar. What a really need is a challenge to complete my challenges! So I invented The I Suck at Challenges Challenge. It's rather tongue in cheek but it might keep some of you challenges on the path to actually completing one or two. Lord knows there's enough challenges starting up now to tempt you all.

My category:

The 12 Steppers
(Aka "I can stop whenever I want.")
There's a challenge. You see it. Your palms start to sweat. Mr Linky mocks you. You try to stop yourself but it's too late. You've committed yourself to Books That Start With Q Challenge and you know you'll do it again when the next challenge comes along. The only thing is, how are you ever going to complete them all? Sound like you? Then you are a 12 Stepper. No program is going to help you though; you're addicted.

The rules are to list every challenge that you've signed up for. Chris will periodically call on participants to tell her their progress. She's also going to have giveaways.

My challenges:

1. The A to Z Challenge
2. A Novel Group's Mini-Challenge
3. Young Adult Challenge
4. Year of Reading Dangerously
5. Read Your Own Books
6. Book Awards
7. Diversity Rocks
8. In Their Shoes
9. Jewish Literature (I don't think I officially signed up for this.)
10. John Steinbeck Mini-Challenge
11. Lambda Challenge
12. Unshelved Reading Challenge
13. 9 Books for 2009
14 Childhood Favourites
15. Graphic Novel Challenge
16. Dewey's Books
17. Lost in Translation
18. World Citizen
19. Essay Reading
20. Year of Readers
21. 100 shots of short story reading
22. Dream King
23. Martel-Harper
24. 42 Challenge

Okay I think that's it but if you know I signed up for a challenge and it's not here, please let me know.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A-Z Challenge

Okay, this is my last reading challenge I swear! If you even think I'm contemplating signing up for another one, I want you to twitter me or leave a comment reminding me "no more challenges." Please. It's your fault that I'm signing up for this challenge anyway. Yes, you. I can't see you but I know you're there. I've seen so many of my fellow bloggers sign up for the A-to-Z Challenge that I had to join! It was the wise J. Kaye who said "We only live once. Why not go out with a mess of book challenges?" The perfect advice.

So I signed up for the A to Z Challenge hosted by Becky. My plan is to do options A and E. Option A is to read authors A to Z while option E is to read 26 alphabet books. I'm going to be as flexible as possible with this challenge but below is my default list.

Auslander, Shaolam
Bondoux, Anne Laure
Carroll, Jonathon
Dickinson, Emily
Exupery, Antoine de
Ferrante, Elena
Green, John
Hill, Susan
Irving, John
July, Miranda
Knox, Elizabeth
Larsson, Steig
Monzo, Quin
Niffenegger, Audrey
Olafsson, Olaf
Packer, ZZ
Queen, Carol
Rushdie, Salman
Saramago, Jose
Tademy, Lalita
Umrigan, Thrity N.
Venneman, Kevin
Willingham, Bill
X, Malcolm
Yenne, Bill
Zambra, Alejandro

Booking Through Thursday - Happy New Year!!


Happy New Year!!

So . . . any Reading Resolutions? Say, specific books to read? A plan to read more _ _ _? Anything at all?

Yesterday afternoon I went to the library and found so many wonderful books waiting for me. This morning I plan on starting Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain. After that I have:

Tithe by Holly Black
The Man in the Picture by Susan Hill
Death with Interruptions - Jose Saramago
Looking for Alaska by John Green
An exact replica of a figment of my imagination by Elizabeth McCracken

My reading resolution is to read more books by minority authors and others from foreign countries. Happy New Year!