Friday, June 22, 2007

My reading goal for 2007

Every year my reading goal is to read 52 books. Of course that is one book a year though I usually read around 75 books total. But for some reason this year, I decided to increase my goal by adding another 50 books. I absolutely love children's books, (young adult and picture books included,) so of course they count toward my goal. I also re-read a couple of my favorite books. It's only June and right now I'm reading book #100: The Killer's Tears by Anne-Laure Bondox. It's a young adult book about the relationship between a small boy named Paolo, the killer of his parents, Angel, and a stranger named Luis. I'm a couple of chapters into it and already I love it. It's a translation and the book won the Prix Sorcieres award in France. The Prix Sorcieres is the most prestigious award a children's book can win in that country. I found it on the American Library Association's website.

Half of the books I've read already are children's and the other half is adult's. So I think I'm going to expand my goal to 200 books. Yah! This has been such a good year for books. Well to me anyway. Since I'm participating in several book challenges, I've found so many good books that I probably would not have even bothered to read. I'm also glad that I'm a member of my Yahoo! book group, ANovel Challenge. It feels so good to be around other bookworms. Especially when their tastes are similar to yours. Even if their tastes are different, you still find good recommendations.

My 6 favorite adult books so far are (in no particular order):
The Woman in the Washington Zoo by Marjorie Williams
Raising a Reader by Jennie Nash
Around the House and in the garden by Dominique Browning
The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
the Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

My 6 favorite children books so far are:
Clementine by Sara Pennypacker
Duck and Goose by Tad Hills
The tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo
Olivia forms a band by Ian Falconer
I'm gonna like me by Jamie Lee Curtis
Nate the Great Series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Beautiful Lies

I finished Beautiful Lies by Lisa Unger early this morning, when insomnia had came and woke me up. I had picked Beautiful Lies up at my local library because it's the July pick for their book club. I put it on hold and wasn't even going to pick it up. But I did.
Beautiful Lies tells the story of Ridley Jones, a girl whose life is changed by subtle decisions. The decision to meet her ex-boyfriend one day, to save a child from being hit by a car... Soon a mysterious package shows up in her mailbox, asking her to question her identity and the trust she has in the people around her.
A compelling read that kept my attention even when I wanted to slap Ridley for being so naive at times. She's a solid character. Maybe because I come from a totally different background, but sometimes I couldn't feel for her. She cried so often in the book, I started to shake my head at it. She started to feel weak.
I never read mysteries. It's just not my thing, but I'm glad I gave this book a chance. Even with my problems with Ridley I still put the sequel, Sliver of Truth, on hold at my library. I hope the main character grows stronger in this next book.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Read-Aloud Handbook (6th ed.)

I've seen this book so many times at the library, but had never even bothered to pick it up. But for some reason last Saturday, I checked it out. I had no idea what I brought home that day. Jim Trelease first self-published The Read-Aloud Handbook in 1979. It has stayed in print since then, being updated five times. The Read-Aloud Handbook is a guide for parents, teachers, and anyone interested in the welfare of our children. The book shows so many different ways to get children reading, to install the love of reading in them, and also how to keep them reading. The book even has at the end of it, a book list on great books to read to kids at every different level.
It really opened my eyes. I never thought to include SSR (silent sustained reading) along with reading aloud to my children. This book has showed me what I was doing right with my kids (reading to them, taking them to the library, making sure they had books of their own,) and what I wasn't doing enough of (reading aloud to them.) The book gives you the dos and don'ts of reading aloud to your child. This is a book that I think is mandatory for every person who is in any way involved with children.

Monday, June 18, 2007

The end of I am the Messenger

I just love this book. I finished it yesterday and I was so happy. I am the Messenger is such a great story. I don't know where a young author like Markus Zusak get his ideas from, but they are so fulfilling and real. Honestly I'm kind of shock that this book was in the young adult section, but it's not worse than some of the movies and music videos that are out for the young nowadays, and at least the book has a message. The ending wasn't what I expected. I think the ending would have happened, but not as fast as it did. It should have been different. I recommended it to everyone.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I am the messenger

I love this book! I fell in love at the first sentence: The gunman is useless. Then it goes on: I know it. He knows it. The whole bank knows it.
I was going to save this book for the Seconds Challenge that starts in October. You read more books by the new authors you've discovered while reading for your (probably) many challenges. It's also one of my alternates for the Something about Me Challenge. But I couldn't help it. I had to start. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak was just so great, I had to read more by him. I opened I am the Messenger yesterday out of curiousity. Now I'm in love.
So I'm off to finish reading this fantastic book that I really don't want to end. If I keep this up I'm not going to have any books to read for the S.A. M. challenge.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Dear Mr. Henshaw

A couple hours ago I finished reading Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Clearly for the Newberry Challenge. Dear Mr. Henshaw is basically the coming-of-age story of Leigh, a boy whose parents went through a divorce, forcing him and his mother to move to a new neighborhood. Leigh is also writing to his favorite author Mr. Henshaw and trying to figure out who is stealing his lunch every day, while dealing with his feelings about his parents and the breakup of their marriage. This is a pretty good book. Throughout the book the reader can see Leigh's development as he comes to his own conclusion about his relationship with his dad.
Two books down and three more to go for the Newberry Challenge. I think I will start on The Time Traveler's Wife for my summer reading and something about me challenges.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Newberry Challenge

Before I find that hat, I better post what I'm going to read for the Newberry Challenge that I just signed up for today.

Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Clearly
Missing May by Cynthis Rylant
Holes by Louis Sachar
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo (done)
The Higher Power of Lucky by Susan Patron
Penny from Heaven by Jennifer Holm

Alternate: The Giver by Lois Lowry

The Tale of Despereaux

This is my newest favorite book! The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo is a book about a mouse, a princess named Pea, a rat, and a slow-witted girl. This is such a great book. I started the book this morning only to be finished a couple of hours later. I was reading it for the Newberry challenge and also the Something about me challenge. Thanks Booklogged for suggesting it.

Big Fish

Months ago I saw the movie Big Fish based on the novel by Daniel Wallace. I absolutely loved the movie, so I decided to read the book. Hum... This was one of the few times where the movie was better than the book. Don't get me wrong Big Fish is a good book, but it is not great. I expected more and did not get it. Just like the movie, Big Fish is about a son trying to get to know his father, but all his father is willing to tell him is stories, myths about what happened in his own life. Some of my favorite chapters are "The day he was born," "The girl in the river," "The day he left Ashland," and "The old lady and the eye," the story of a witch and her glass eye that can tell you your future. It's the story in the movie that is my main reason for reading the book. The problem with the book at times is that it seems repetitive. Overall, I'm glad I read the book though.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Something about me Reading Challenge

The Something about Me Reading Challenge is a reading challenged from Lisa (BreakingtheFourthWall.) This challenge is such a good one. Participants choose up to five books that represent them and tell why. The others look at the different lists and choose the books they want to read. I love reading everyone's reasons for choosing the books that they think represent them. I was also on Wendy's blog, Caribousmom, and I'm also going to copy her a little. So below are the books that I plan on reading for the challenge with the possible alternates and the ones I'm going to read after.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (I picked this one off of Dewy's list and it's also a book I've been wanting to read for such a long time.
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova (A book in the life...)
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby (Athena)
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (I ended up reading this early, so now I have to pick another book. Got it off of Stephanie's list.)
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo (It's also on my list for the Newberry Challenge. Booklogged's list.)
Leave me alone I'm reading by Maureen Corrigan (Booklogged)
Chocolat by Joanne Harris (Chasida's and Margo's lists. Read it before and I absolutely love it! Harris's descriptions of the food and bakery is still stuck in my mind after all these years.)

My alternates: I'm such a moody reader. I have to have alternates.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl (Maryanne)
I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak (Jill. I love, as you already know, The Book Thief. Since this is on my TBR list, might as well read it now.)
Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Girl from the Sea by Anne Marrow Lindbergh
Why I wore lipstick to my mastectomy by Geralyn Lucas

Sunday, June 10, 2007

The end of the 48 hour challenge

I failed this challenge. I should have known I wouldn't be able to participate. Today is my youngest baby's second birthday. So between running around for the party, cooking, and buying him something, I barely got any reading done. I started Grace (eventually) by Anne Lamott, but being the moody reader that I am, I put it down. Maybe I'll read some of Lamott's earlier writings later this week. I really don't feel like reading right now. I'm off to light the candle on my baby's cake and wish him a happy birthday.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

The end of The Book Thief

I finished The Book Thief! Oh my God, I didn't think I would. I was so scared of the ending. I found out that the ending was what I pictured for the main character, Liesel. I'm so happy. I was kind of weary when so many members of my book group ANovel Challenge said that they were weeping at different parts. So I tried to be strong even though one page in the middle of the book had me trying so hard not to cry while riding the city bus to school. Toward the very end I hadn't really cried, until this one part... I'm not going to give the book away at all, but I sobbed for a while. I guess it was out of happiness.

The Book Thief is such a great book. It's so simple, but it pulls you along without you even realizing that you are turning the pages. I will read anything that Markus Zusak writes.

48 Hour challenge

I don't know what's wrong with my blog right now. I already posted an entry about the 48hour challenge, but to no avail. What is going on? Okay, I signed up for the challenge. My hours started yesterday afternoon at 4 p.m. until Sunday afternoon at 4 p.m. Okay, so I'm off to read. I love this challenge!!

Friday, June 8, 2007

48 Hour Challenge

Why did I have to find out about another challenge. This one is the 48 hour challenge. It starts today and for 48 hours you read as much as you can. You pick your own 48 hours but couldn't start earlier than 7 a.m. this morning and end no later than 7am Monday. So my hours are going to be from 3:30 this afternoon until 3:30 Sunday afternoon. I can't wait! I'm off to read and blog almost all weekend!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

More Book Thief

I have less than fifty pages of The Book Thief left and I have to admit, I might not finish it. I've heard of fellow readers who don't finish books because they don't want the story to end. I used to think they were weird. So let me apologize: I'm sorry and I totally understand now. I don't want the story to end. Not at all. The Book Thief is such a great book. I love every main character: Liesel, Max, Hans Huberman, Rosa Huberman, Rudy, and even Death. I'm scared the ending will be so sad for Liesel. I feel like if I don't read the end, I'm sheltering her from even more of the bad things in the world. By not reading it I can write my own ending to her story. Don't all readers do that though? Make their own ending to a story whether they have read it all or not?

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The Book Thief

Right now I am reading The Book Thief by Markus Zukas. I have heard nothing but great reviews about this book. But I'm scared all the reviews might hype the book up too much. Has anyone ever had that problem? I'm loving the book so far.

Monday, June 4, 2007

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This is such a great book. I should have read this years ago. I'm glad that I've finally have. What can I really say about this classic that hasn't already been said? It's moving, funny, touching, heartbreaking... Does it ever seem like a miracle to you when you read good writing? I would read some fantastic passage and then have to put the book down and look around to see where I was physically at in the world. Mentally, I wasn't here: I was in the Maycomb, Alabama; walking down Main Street with Scout, Dill, and Jem, running to meet Atticus as he made his way home from his office, huffed with Scout over Aunt Alexandra, my body and soul shaking at the injustice willingly done to Tom Robinson and so many unnamed people, and trying not to cry over the fate of Tom and the sadness I felt over Boo Radley and his life.

This book is so simple and the characters so complex. But you understand them. This is one of my top 3 books.