Monday, November 30, 2009

Rainbow Connection Challenge - COMPLETE

I was only going to join 2 more challenges but look for more than that cause I'm going challenge crazy.
This challenge is just cute.
Sue is hosting the Rainbow Connection Challenge at its own dedicated blog.
I'm joining at the Single Rainbow level (reading 7 books) by either Author (first or last name) or Title starting with R, O, Y, G, B, I and V (Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, and Violet) books.

This challenge is from January 1, 2010 to June 30, 2010.

R - Rampant - Diana Peterfreund
O - One for the Money - Janet Evanovich
Y - A Year Down Yonder - Richard Peck √
G - The Great Brain - John Fitzgerald +
B - Betsy-Tacy - Maud Hart Lovelace
- Into the Wild - Sarah Beth Durst
- Very LeFreak - Rachel Cohn

+cross with another challenge

COMPLETED 3/25/2010

What's in a Name? Challenge (3) - COMPLETE

 MOAR Challenges!  The What's in a Name Challenge is hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads and it looks so cool.  So here I go.

So here's how it works: Between January 1 and December 31, 2010, read one book in each of the following categories:

COMPLETED 6/23/2010

  1. A book with a food in the title: Donut Days - Lara Zielin +
  2. A book with a body of water in the title:  The Dead-Tossed Waves - Carrie Ryan
  3. A book with a title (queen, president) in the title: A Little Princess - Frances Hodgson Burnett *
  4. A book with a plant in the title: The Mystery at Lilac Inn - Carolyn Keene *+
  5. A book with a place name (city, country) in the title: Alive and Well in Prague, New York - Daphne Grab +
  6. A book with a music term in the title:  This Lullaby - Sarah Dessen

Other Things to Know
  • Books may be any form (audio, print, e-book).
  • Books may overlap other challenges.
  • Books may not overlap categories; you need a different book for each category.
  • Creativity for matching the categories is allowed.
  • You do not have to make a list of books before hand.
  • You do not have to read through the categories in any particular order.
  • There will be a single prize at the end of the challenge. Readers who complete the challenge and write up a wrap-up post (or wrap-up comment) are eligible. I'll figure out a way to make it international.

*cross over with another challenge
+ own

    Weekly Round-Up 11/30

    Weekly Round-Up is my wrap-up of last week's activities and includes what I'm reading this week and anything of interest plus From the Library, my weekly listing of what I've checked out from the library.

    This week I'm reading Random Magic (Soren), The Secret Hour (Westerfeld), and Eyes like Stars (Mantchev).  I'm listening to The Christmas Story (Shepherd) and Skipping Christmas (Grisham).

    Since last week I've finished A War of Gifts (Card) and Superior Saturday (Nix) on audio.

    From the Library is my weekly listing of what I checked out from the library this week.  I didn't actually check anything out last week which is good because maybe I can make some headway on what I do have checked out.

    Sunday, November 29, 2009

    Cover Comparsion - Lord Sunday


    The covers for Lord Sunday are out (due to be released stateside March 2010).  I really like the U.S. covers of all the books and I like Lord Sunday's a lot.  The U.S. and U.K. covers have who I imagine is Arthur in possession of the first 6 Keys and all three have him with wings.

    Saturday, November 28, 2009

    Superior Satuday (Keys to the Kingdom 6) (audio)

    Arthur Penhaligan has wrested five of the Keys from their immortal guardians, the Trustees of the Will. But gaining the Sixth Key poses a greater challenge than any he has faced before. Superior Saturday is not just one of the Trustees – she is also the oldest Denizen and the most powerful and knowledgeable sorcerer within the House. She has tens of thousands of sorcerers at her command, and she has been preparing her forces all along for the Will’s escape and the activities of the Rightful Heir.

    As Saturday’s schemes become evident, Arthur is beset on all sides. The House is being destroyed, and only the power of the Keys can hold back the tide of destruction. Arthur’s home city is under attack. His allies are unreliable. He can’t even get into the apparently impregnable Upper House . . . and even if he does, finding the Sixth Part of the Will and gaining the Sixth Key might not be enough to counter Saturday’s bid for ultimate power.

    On the sixth day, there was sorcery.


    Out of all the books this is the only one that I actually will call filler.  I say this because despite appearances not much really happens.  Arthur has to figure out how to get into the Upper House so he visits the Lower House and then the Border Sea.  The Raised Rats help him get into the Upper House and he figures out where Part Six of the Will is and rescues it.  Then he is forced into the Ram with Superior Saturday to assault the Incomparable Gardens where Sunday lives.  The thing is that Saturday had to have a book of her own or the series doesn't work, but the action only moves Arthur along and the significant events don't happen until about three-quarters of the way.

    We do find out Saturday's plan though.  She was the first Denizen made by the Architect and envies Lord Sunday high in the Imcomparable Gardens as she thinks that is where she belongs.  He taunts her with glimpses of the floor of the Gardens, further enraging her.  So she makes a plan to get the lower parts of the House to fall in order to reach the Gardens and defeat Sunday.  She doesn't seem really worried about Arthur, using him like a tool instead (well, until that last bit anyway).

    So most of this book is a set-up for the seventh book, Lord Sunday, which I can't wait for.  Hopefully, all the questions about Arthur and the Will and the Architect will be answered.

    Friday, November 27, 2009

    A War of Gifts: An Ender Story

    A short novella from the Enderverse focuses on Dink Meeker and the small act of giving a Sinterklaas present to one of his friends.  Little does he know that this is going to incite a war among the Battle School students.  Zeke Morgan comes from a fundamentalist Christian family.  His father preaches that everyone is full of sin and that is why they cannot hear the Lord's Word.  He "purifies" Zeke, but knows nothing of Zeke's phenomental metal abilities until the Fleet come for Zeke to bring him to Battle School.  There Zeke does his best to remain a pacifist, believing that God does not glory in war.  But when Dink leaves his friend a Sinterklass present as a token of friendship, Zeke takes it upon himself to turn this simple act and turn it into something bigger.  And Dink retaliates in return.  But Ender Wiggin seeks to create an understanding in the Battle School between Dink and Zeke and the conflict they have bought to it.

    One of my favorite books is Ender's Game.  And I love reading stories set in this world and getting to know more of Ender's world and his time spent in Battle School.  It's stories like this that add to the over-all story and later are alluded to in Ender in ExileA War of Gifts presents an excellent commentary on the true nature of religion and the religion that children will create around their parents and for their parents.  Zeke's struggle to become pure is interesting one since he was only taught he was impure by his father.  This leads to an incident where Ender can show what a great leader he is becoming, helping Zeke without Zeke really understand what is happening.

    Thursday, November 26, 2009

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I just want to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving (well, my U.S. followers anyway).  I hope you have a great day. 
    I hope everyone has something to be thankful for this time of year.

    I'm thankful for my husband, my little boy, my family, for having people to love and being loved by them.  I'm thankful for my life.

    cross posted with Annie, I Think

    Tuesday, November 24, 2009

    Teaser Tuesdays - Random Magic

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
    Grab your current read

    Open to a random page

    Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

    This amused me for some reason.

    One's gracious hosts are charming, dignified and soigné; a bit eccentric, perhaps, but that's only to be expected.
    Along the way, one has started to refer to oneself as "one," although no one knows precisely why.

    p.2 Random Magic  - Sasha Soren

    Monday, November 23, 2009

    Blog Tour - Random Magic

    I'm participating in the blog tour of

    Random Magic: When absent-minded Professor Random misplaces the main character from Alice in Wonderland, young Henry Witherspoon must book-jump to fetch Alice before chaos theory kicks in and the world vanishes. Along the way he meets Winnie Flapjack, a wit-cracking doodle witch with nothing to her name but a magic feather and a plan. Such as it is. Henry and Winnie brave the Dark Queen, whatwolves, pirates, Struths, and fluttersmoths, Priscilla and Charybdis, obnoxiously cheerful vampires, Baron Samedi, a nine-dimensional cat, and one perpetually inebriated Muse to rescue Alice and save the world by tea time.

    Check out the trailer here.

    There is a very cute quiz to find out what character you are:

    My Result: You are: Nevermore

    On the surface, you are: highly intelligent, introspective, sarcastic, mysterious, well-read, observant, pensive, good-natured, wildly attractive, occasionally mad, and completely amoral.

    Your secret side: You absolutely know more about everything than you let on.

    Weekly Round-Up 11/23

    Weekly Round-Up is my wrap-up of last week's activities and includes what I'm reading this week and anything of interest plus From the Library, my weekly listing of what I've checked out from the library.

    This week I'm reading The Secret Hour (Westerfeld) and  Eyes like Stars (Mantchev).  I'm listening to Superior Saturday (Nix).

    Since last week I've finished Blue Moon (Noel), Little Pierre (San Souci/Catrow) and, on audio, Lady Friday (Nix).  And I've posted the review for Foundling (Cornish).


    From Miss Cindy at a simple life and reading.  Thanks so much!! I really appreciate it.

    From the Library is my weekly listing of what I checked out from the library this week.

    Sunday, November 22, 2009

    Gidget (movie) (Based on a Book)

    Gidget is irrepressible tomboy who sees no reasons to hunt down boys and go on dates... until the day she is saved by Moondoggie, the gorgeous surfer.  Gidget is determined to learn how to surf and snag Moondoggie while she is at it.  But he only sees her as a little girl so Gidget sets out to change his mind.

    First, I'm a HUGE fan of old movies.  I love them.  And Gidget is one of my favorites.  I love Sandra Dee and how cute is she.  I love the clothes they wear and  James Darren is so very good looking.  He is the only one of the original cast to play his character through three movies.  There are two other movies from around this time, Gidget Goes Hawaiian with Deborah Walley (who is in one of my other favorite movies, Summer Magic with Hayley Mills)  and Gidget Goes to Rome with Cindy Carol who is my least favorite Gidget.  Gidget is very excitable and funny and innocent but only annoying in the Rome movie and that has a lot to do with the way Carol plays her. 

    Anyway, this was the first movie and one of the first "beach movies."  There are only two songs, both sung by Darren, so it doesn't really count as a musical.  It does always surprise me how much innuendo there is in old movies, but the humor is so clean compared to what we watch now, that it is just funny and cute.  The close ups during surfing scenes are laughable.  But it is a very fun movie.  I recently found out that Gidget is based on a book, one that apparently made a big impact on surf culture so I'm going to have to read that now.

    Saturday, November 21, 2009

    Little Pierre

    Little Pierre may be small, but he's got more marbles rolling round in his itty-bitty noggin than his four big, lazy brothers heaped together. Yet they just call him runt and ignore him. Course, when the good-for-nothing brothers flub their attempt to rescue a damsel in distress from the Swamp Ogre, it falls on Little Pierre to rescue them. Will this half-pint hero find out that his brothers were right all along--brains don't beat brawn?
    Robert D. San Souci and David Catrow, the creators of the acclaimed Cinderella Skeleton, serve up a Cajun-spiced Tom Thumb tale straight from the Louisiana bayou.

    While I don't usually review picture books, I just loved this one.  It is a Cajun version of Tom Thumb which is one of the reasons I had to have it for my boy.  I'm from Louisiana and live in the heart of Cajun country, if you didn't know, and so I like to get books that are from here or about here.  And also I love David Catrow's illustrations.  He has illustrated some of my other favorite picture books, including Take Me Out of the Bathtub.  Robert D. San Souci is the author and he does a pretty good job of  getting the language right although I don't know if people who have never heard a real Cajun accent will get it right.  I have a hard time with it and I'm from here!  But you have to be a real Cajun and have grown up with it to understand it.  Anyway, this was a very cute take on the Tom Thumb tale though I do wonder why it wasn't called T-Pierre instead of Little Pierre (if something is,like a boy, is small they are often called T, like T-boy means little boy).  Maybe to appeal to a wider audience?  I don't know.  But I was glad to have added this to the little man's book collection.

    Friday, November 20, 2009

    2010 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge - COMPLETE

    This is a challenge that I joined last year and liked so I'm joining again this year.  The 2010 Support Your Local Libray Reading Challenge hosted by J.Kaye's Book Blog.  There are levels this year and I'm joining at the Stepping It Up (Check out and read 75 library books) with the option to upgrade to the Super Size Me (Check out and read 100 library books).
    Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Young Reader – any book as long as it is checked out from the library count. Checked out like with a library card, not purchased at a library sale. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

    1.   The Midnight Twins - Jacelyn Mitchard
    2.   The Westing Game - Ellen Raskin
    3.   Envy - Anna Godbersen
    4 .  Splendor - Anna Godbersen
    5.   Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature - Robin Brande
    6.   Does This Make My Head Look Big - Randa Abdel-Fattah
    7.   And Another Thing - Eoin Colfer
    8 .  Nancy's Mysterious Letter - Carolyn Keene
    9.   The Mystery at Lilac Inn - Carolyn Keene
    10. The Extraordinary Adventures of Ordinary Basil - Wiley Miller
    11. Alice I Have Been - Melanie Benjamin
    12. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler - by E.L. Konigsburg
    13. Shades of Grey: The Road to High Saffron - Jasper Fforde
    14. Rampant - Diana Peterfreund
    15. Breathing Underwater - Alex Flinn
    16. Fire - Kristen Cashore
    17. Hush, Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick
    18. One for the Money - Janet Evanovich
    19. Heist Society - Ally Carter
    20. Going Bovine - Libba Bray
    21. Lord Sunday - Garth Nix
    22. Into the Wild - Sarah Beth Durst
    23. The Mermaid's Madness - Jim C. Hines
    24. Buddha Boy - Kathe Koja
    25. The Blonde of the Joke - Bennett Madison
    26. Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater
    27. Scarlett Fever - Maurenn Johnson
    28. Bones of Faerie - Jannie Lee Simner
    29. Liar Justine Larbalestier
    30. Anything but Typical Nora Raleigh Baskin
    31. The Demon's Lexicon Sara Rees Brennan
    32. Wicked Gregory Maguire
    33. The Year of the Flood Margaret Atwood
    34. This Lullaby Sarah Dessen
    35. The Witch's Guide to Cooking with Children Keith McGowan
    36. The Knife of Never Letting Go Patrick Ness
    37. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone J.K. Rowling
    38. This World We Live In Susan Beth Pfeffer
    39. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets J.K. Rowling
    40. The Maze Runner James Dashner
    41. Insatiable Meg Cabot
    42. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban J.K. Rowling
    43. Shadowland Alyson Noël
    44. The Girl with the Mermaid Hair Delia Ephron
    45. Incarceron Catherine Fisher
    46. Fairy Dust and the Quest for the Egg Gail Carson Levine
    47. Fairy Haven and the Quest for the Wand Gail Carson Levine
    48. Sleeping in Flame Jonathan Carroll
    49. Sisters Red Jackson Pearce
    50. Fairies and the Quest for Neverland Gail Carson Levine
    51. Gone Lisa McMann
    52. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire J.K. Rowling
    53. The Red Pyramid Rick Riordian
    54. Red Hood's Revenge Jim C. Hines
    55. Dylan and the Baby Doctor Sherryl Woods
    56. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix J.K. Rowling
    57. Blockade Billy Stephen King
    58. Poison Study Maria V. Snyder
    59. The Best Halloween Ever Barbara Robinson
    60. Inside Job by Connie Willis
    61. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince J.K. Rowling
    62. Shopgirl by Steven Martin
    63. The Education of Madeline by Beth Williamson
    64.  The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner by Stephenie Meyer

    COMPLETE 10.4.2010
    Going to continue counting anyway apparently

    Lady Friday (Keys to the Kingdom 5)(audio)

    Four of the seven Trustees have been defeated and their Keys taken, but for Arthur, the week is still getting worse. Suzy Blue and Fred Gold Numbers have been captured by the Piper, and his New Nithling army still controls most of the Great Maze. Superior Saturday is causing trouble wherever she can, including turning off all the elevators in the House and blocking the Front Door. Amidst all this trouble, Arthur must weigh an offer from Lady Friday that is either a cunning trap for the Rightful Heir or a golden opportunity he must seize - before he's beaten to it!

    On the fifth day, there was fear.

    Arthur continues his almost relunctact quest through the House, claiming the Keys and finding the Parts of the Will.  This time he is tricked into the Middle House by Lady Friday who claims she is abdicating her position in the House.  But Arthur must race the Piper and Superior Saturday's minions to claim the Fifth Key and he must also free the Fifth Part of the Will.  Sadly, I think that this is one of the filler books in this series.  Lady Friday never seems to poise a real threat and isn't even really present in this book.  Her vice is suppose to be Lust and I can see that, but addiction should be added to that given what she lust after (mortal feelings).  And the Will is much more bearable in this book.  While the book alternates between Arthur and Leaf, I was much less interested in Leaf's adventures this time, though she is an excellent character.

    Thursday, November 19, 2009

    World Religion Challenge 2010 - COMPLETE

    What's that you say?  Andrea, you are signing up for so many challenges, you ask.  Frankly, I'm an addict and they are all so very cool and I like to try different things.
    Anyway, Bibliofreak is hosting the World Religion Challenge 2010 and I'm joining up at the The Unshepherded Path (Also Known As: The Don't Tell Me What to Do Path): Read as many books as you would like about whatever religions you want because I'm a rebel.  I'd like to read something on what are "*technically* the only world religions, Buddhism, Christianity, and Islam" and then something else besides those.  I'll list as I go although I'm sure it will be mostly YA fiction and maybe a movie or something.
    The Challenge will run from Jan 1st 2010 to Dec 31st 2010.

    COMPLETED 3/27/2010

    1. Buddha Boy by Kathe Koja (Buddhism)
    2. Evolution, Me and Other Freaks of Nature - Robin Brande (Christianity)
    3. Does My Head Look Big in This? - Randa Abdel-Fattah (Islam)
    4. The Truth about My Bat Mitzvah - Nora Raleigh Baskin (Judaism) +

    + Own

    Blue Moon

    *spoilers if you haven't read Evermore* *also contains ranting*
    The sequel to Evermore finds Ever learning how to control her new immortal powers with her boyfriend, Damen.  She is enjoying her relationship and her new powers.  But when a new boy starts at school and Damen starts acting weird, Ever needs to find out what is going on and save Damen before it is too late for them all.
    "The lions are now lunching with lambs. p.101
    I'm going to be honest.  Is Ever an idiot?  I'm not kidding.  Damen starts acting like a total ass and she doesn't figure out they are broken up till p. 161.  Really? REALLY!!  "Which would be bad enough on its own, but having to hear the official breakup message delivered by Big Sheila instead of my boyfriend-" Gah!  But I guess it just sets up the ending where Ever demonstrates that she is beyond moronic and closer to brain dead when she believes effin Roman, who gives the crappiest villain speech, over the creepy twin.  I mean, the twins are creepy but why on earth would you listen to them over stupid  Roman who has been POISONING your boyfriend this whole time and controlling the mind of the student population.  Because that makes perfect sense.
    Also she always gives Ava a hard time and there is a lot of eye rolling and thinking it is all stupid and then whatever they are doing works and she is surprised.  You know, if that keeps happening Ever, then just shut up about it.  Maybe it is because she is a teenager and therefore has to think adults don't know anything.  I don't know, but just shut up, Ever.  Rant over, just had to get that out there.

    Good things about this book:  The pacing is really great and it doesn't bog down like Evermore did at the beginning.  Once Roman is introduced, the action starts moving and keeps going.  There are some great little mysteries set up like the twins and Ava and Riley and Summerland and I'm curious about what happens next.  Because Ever's obvious lack of intelligence, the premise for the next book is set up and now they have a problem to solve.  The writing is still a little too Twilight in places, but if there was less my perfect boyfriend, our love is so epic, that would be fixed.  I don't know ya'll.  It's like I liked it and it read really fast, but I was so insulted by Ever's profound stupidity that it made me like it less.  I will be reading the next one though so I guess that says something.

    BTW, her name is Ever Bloom.  Was that in the first book?  I don't remember and that is one of the stupidest names so I think I would have remembered.

    Wednesday, November 18, 2009

    2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge - COMPLETE

    So I'm joining the 2010 Young Adult Challenge from J. Kaye's Book Blog at the Stepping It Up YA Reading Challenge level – Read 50 Young Adult novels.

     Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

    1.   The Midnight Twins - Jacelyn Mitchard
    2.   Up All Night - various authors
    3.   Envy - Anna Godbersen
    4.   Splendor - Anna Godbersen
    5.   Nothing Pink - Mark Hardy
    6.   Very LeFreak - Rachel Cohn
    7.   Does This Make My Head Look Big? - Randa Abdel-Fattah
    8.   Sister of the Bride - Beverly Cleary
    9.   Rampant - Diana Peterfreund
    10. Breathing Underwater - Alex Flinn
    11. Fire - Kristen Cashore
    12. Hush, Hush - Becca Fitzpatrick
    13. Heist Society - Ally Carter
    14. Going Bovine - Libba Bray
    15. The Mermaid's Madness - Jim C. Hines
    16. The Dead-Tossed Waves - Carrie Ryan
    17. The Blonde of the Joke - Bennett Madison
    18. Perchance to Dream - Lisa Matchev
    19. Shiver - Maggie Stiefvater
    20. Will Grayson, Will Grayson - David Levithan and John Green
    21. Scarlett Fever - Maureen Johnson
    22. Bones of Faerie - Jannie Lee Simner
    23. Liar Justine Larbalestier
    24. 13 to Life Shannon Delany
    25. Leviathan Scott Westerfeld
    26. Alive and Well in Prague, New York Daphne Grab
    27. Beautiful Malice Rebecca James
    28. The Demon's Lexicon Sarah Rees Brennan
    29. This Lullaby Sarah Dessen
    30. Everlasting Angie Frazier
    31. A Golden Web Barbara Quick
    32. The Knife of Never Letting Go Patrick Ness
    33. Birthmarked Caragh O'Brien
    34. A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend Emily Horner
    35. Forgive My Fins  Tera Lynn Childs
    36. This World We Live In Susan Beth Pfeffer
    37. Donut Days Lara Zielin
    38. The Maze Runner James Dashner
    39. Angel Star Jennifer Murgia
    40. Sleepless Cyn Balog
    41. Nocturne L.D. Harkrader
    42. Shadowland Alyson Noël
    43. The Eternal Ones Kirsten Miller
    44. The Girl with the Mermaid Hair Delia Ephron
    45. Dark Flame Alyson Noël
    46. Incarceron Catherine Fisher
    47. Princess of Glass Jessica Day George
    48. Sisters Red Jackson Pearce
    49. Gone Lisa McMann
    50. Virgin Territory James Lecesne

    COMPLETED 8/12/2010



     Rossamünd had expected an exchange of words, of taunts or threats, but there was just this dreadful, pregnant, hesitation punctuated by the distant wailing of wounded, fleeing grinnlings. p.158

    Rossamünd is an orphan at Madam Opera's Estimable Marine Society for Foundling Boys and Girls where he was left as a baby.  when he reaches the right age, he is recruited into becoming a Lamplighter.  As he sets out on his journey, he is soon waylaid into many adventures in a world filled with terrible monsters and the people who slay them. 

    Filled with beautiful illustrations and a 100 page glossary, Foundling is the first of a series.  I was amazed by the world building that went into this book.  It is very extensive and the illustrations were equally good.  As I mentioned, in addition to the actual book, there is glossary as well as an appendix with maps and further illustrations done by the author.  The paperback cover shows some of the illustrative plates included throughout the book.

    Beyond that, the story itself is pretty good.  I was a little overwhelmed by all the new language and the world setting.  Everything seems to have a new word and it was a bit much at first.  But once I got use to it and made use of the glossary, it was fine.  Foundling is a straight up adventure travel fantasy.  Among one of things that happens to him, Rossamünd meets Europe, a fulgar, a monster fighter who can control lightening.  Europe is fairly badass and awesome although morally ambiguous.  I would like more on her and her background.  Hopefully that will be explored in the next books.  Rossamünd is both horrified and fascinated by her as any boy would be.  It is a fairly non-violent book despite the context and the cover art, but some of the content is a little gruesome, especially after Europe joins the plot.  Rossamünd himself is a brave though awestruck child having been sheltered from the world in his orphanage.  His main quirk is having a girl's name and he can tell a lot from the way people react to his name.  Although a mystery is set up about his origins and a tantalizing hint is given at the end.

    So despite my rocky start, I am very intrigued by this series and am highly impressed by the art and the work that obviously went into the writing.

    Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    Teaser Tuesdays - Blue Moon

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
    Grab your current read

    Open to a random page

    Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

    Just one long one today

    I insert my earbuds and crank up the volume, allowing the noise to bar everything but the swirling rainbow of auras and the few disembodied spirits floating about (which, despite my narrowed focus, really are right in front of me).

    p.58 Blue Moon Alyson Noël

    Monday, November 16, 2009

    Weekly Round-Up 11/16

    What are you reading Mondays? is a meme hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog.
    Check out J.Kaye's Book Blog for what others are reading.
    This week I'm reading Blue Moon (Noël) and Eyes like Stars (Mantchev) and I'm listening to Lady Friday and Superior Saturday (Nix).

    Since last week I've finished Foundling (Cornish) and that's it.  I posted the reviews for Wake, Fade (McMann), Drowned Wednesday and Sir Thursday (Nix) and Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case (Nix) as well as the 1985 musical Alice in Wonderland.

    From the Library is my weekly listing of what I checked out from the library this week.  Lots of Christmas books this time, preparing for my favorite time of year.
    Also did anyone know that Gidget was based on a book?  I love that movie so much, the original one with Sandra Dee. 

    Gidget - Frederick Kohner
    Sacred Scars - Kathleen Duey
    Skipping Christmas - John Grisham, read by Dennis Boutsikaris
    The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (audio) - Barbara Robinson, read by Elaine Stritch
    A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
    Superior Saturday (audio) - Garth Nix, read by Allan Corduner
    The Midnighters: The Secret Hour - Scott Westerfeld
    A War of Gifts: An Ender Story - Orson Scott Card

    Sunday, November 15, 2009

    GLBT Challenge 2010 - COMPLETE

    I'm joining the GLBT Challenge again for 2010.  I had such a great experience the last time.  I don't know what I'm going to read yet, but I'm joining at the Pink Triangle Level: Read 8 books with the possibility of moving up to the Rainbow Level: Read 12 or more books.

    COMPLETED 9/23/2010

    My list:

    1.  Nothing Pink - Mark Hardy
    2. Very LeFreak - Rachel Cohn
    3. The Blonde of the Joke - Bennett Madison
    4. Frost Moon - Anthony Francis
    5. Will Grayson, Will Grayson - David Levithan and John Green
    6. Wicked - Gregory Maguire
    7. A Love Story Starring My Dead Best Friend - Emily Horner
    8. My Invented Life - Lauren Bjorkman

    From this list:
    Twelve Long Months - Brian Malloy +
    Will Grayson, Will Grayson - David Levithan/John Green
    Gravel Queen - Tea Benduhn
    Of All the Stupid Things  - Alexandra Diaz
    The Blonde of the Joke - Bennett Madison
    Empress of the World -  Sara Ryan

    Wicked - Gregory Maguire
    Even Cowgirls get the Blues - Tom Robbins +

    The Bermudez Triangle - Maureen Johnson

    Belmondo Style - Adam Berlin

    Rainbow Boys - Alex Sanchez

    Naomi and Ely's No Kiss List - Rachel Cohen and David Leviathan

    Down to the Bone - Mayra Lazara Dole

    The Straight Road to Kylie - Nico Medina

    Hero - Perry Moore (I've read this before and it was very good. It's about a gay superhero.)

    Are We There Yet? - David Levithan

    How I Paid for College - Marc Acito

    + Own

    Alice in Wonderland 1985 (Based on a Book)

    Once a long time ago, I discovered this little movie series.  It contains both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and was originally a made for TV movie.  A cohesive element was added to the story, making Alice's goal is to grow up enough to join the adults at teatime.  In the first part, she follows the White Rabbit down the hole and the story precedes as the book goes with Alice learning little lessons from everyone.  It's an all star cast throughout so there are some great performances, but my favorite is Sammy Davis Jr. as the Caterpillar singing "You are Old, Father William."  I love that part.
    The second movie is Through the Looking Glass which basically follows the book again, but with Alice being chased by the Jabberwocky who is created by her fears.  It has even more great performances, although I love Carol Channing's White Queen singing "Jam Tomorrow."  And I love the ending with all the Kings and Queens of the story singing together.  If you've never seen it, I recommended it as it is very cute and has some really great songs.

    Cast list here.

    Saturday, November 14, 2009

    Nicholas Sayre and the Creature in the Case

    *spoilers for any of the Abhorsen books if you haven't read those first*

    In this novella, Nicholas is still recovering from his possession by Orannis, the Ninth Bright Shiner.  He is brought his uncle, the Chief Minister, to a secret facility studying the Old Kingdom.  All Nicholas wants to do is return to the Old Kingdom and Lirael so he agrees to answer any questions the researcher might have.  But when a dangerous creature escapes, Nicholas does all he can to stop it before it reaches the Wall and the Old Kingdom.

    "Who would not fear the power of the Nine Bright Shiners, highest of the high?"

    I loved all of the Abhorsen series so when I found out about the short novella that continued the story of Nicholas Sayre, I really wanted to read it.  There is very little of Lirael and the Old Kingdom as all the action takes place in Ancelstierre, the non-magical part of this world that Nix has created.  But it was nice to see what became of Nicholas.  He was one of my favorite characters.  Even though it is short, it is amazing how well developed all the characters and the world are, but I guess that this is because the world has been explored at length in three full novels.  It was an action packed adventure with all the hallmarks of this series.  I wish there would have been more Lirael, but it was good to explore more of Nicholas' character.

    Friday, November 13, 2009

    Wake and Fade (Wake #1 & 2)

    Ever since she was eight years old, Janie has been pulled into other people's dreams.  She has no control over it and it takes a physical and mental toll on her.  Mostly she does her best to avoid sleeping people.  But one day she falls into a very disturbing dream and becomes involved with a loner boy at her school.

    I actually read both books in one day.  They are fairly short and written in a choppy style in short chapters.  I really liked Wake.  It is an interesting concept, the ability to dream others' dreams, but, of course, Janie doesn't have a choice.  Anytime anyone is dreaming near her she is sucked in while her physical body becomes paralyzed.  She is a very sympathetic character with a poor homelife, but she works hard and tries her best.  I wasn't sure about Cabel at first, but his homelife is even worse and he became one of my favorites.  I liked the twist with him and the direction that the series is going in with the mysteries.

    *spoilers if you haven't read Wake*
    Janie is doing much better dealing with her ability to dream with other people.  She is learning to control the dreams but the physical toll is still steep.  Her relationship with Cabel is still strong.  When the police chief asks her to get involved with a possible sexual predator at school, Janie agrees despite Cabel's objections.  But soon she gets in over her head.  Meanwhile, she is also learning the consequences of her abilities and it is very bad.

    I actually think I liked Fade better.  The characters are less woe and more comfortable.  And even though the mystery to be solved was gross and weird, it was a good one, adding a nice mixture of danger to the story.  Janie and Cabel are even better in Fade and I love their relationship.  They are good for each other, but I never really got their "conflict."  So I'm assuming that the next book is going to be even better and I can't wait to read it.

    Thursday, November 12, 2009

    Sir Thursday (Keys to the Kingdom 4)(audio)

    From the book jacket:
    Following their adventures in the Border Sea, Arthur and Leaf head for home. But only Leaf gets through the Front Door. Arthur is blocked because someone . . . or something . . . has assumed his identity and is taking over his life. Before Arthur can take action, he is drafted by Sir Thursday and forced to join the Glorious Army of the Architect. While Leaf tries to banish Arthur's doppelganger on earth, Arthur must survive his basic training, avoid getting posted to the Front and work out how he can free Part Four of the Will....

    On the fourth day, there was war.

    It's rare for a long  series to maintain a great storyline through the whole thing.  A Series of Unfortunate Events suffers from this, at 13 books not all of them are great, but the Keys to the Kingdom holds up really well.  Sir Thursday, though good, is not my favorite of all of them.  Maybe because Sir Thursday's sin  is wrath and the Will's virtue is justice and I find both Sir Thursday and Part Four of the Will to be really annoying.  I do like the exploration of the military mind and the different results of following orders despite common sense or because of it.

    This is also the book where the point of view switches between Arthur and Leaf.  On my first reading, I wasn't too fond of that, but recognized that there was no other way to get the story across.  It didn't bother me this time though and I enjoyed Leaf's adventures with the Skinless Boy.  The ending is a little abrupt which will be the hallmark of the rest of the series from here on out, but there is at least some closure by the end and a great lead-in for Lady Friday.

    Wednesday, November 11, 2009

    Drowned Wednesday (Keys to the Kingdom 3) (audio)

    Book jacket:
    Everyone is after Arthur Penhaligon. Strange pirates. Shadowy creatures. And Drowned Wednesday, whose gluttony threatens both her world and Arthur's. With his unlimited imagination and thrilling storytelling, Garth Nix has created a character and a world that become even more compelling with each book. As Arthur gets closer to the heart of his quest, the suspense and mystery grow more and more intense. . . .

    On the third day, there were pirates.

    First off, let me say that Drowned Wednesday is one of my favorite in the Keys to the Kingdom series.  I love the cover for some reason, all the blues and Arthur on the bed and the whale and ship.  It all looks so mysterious.  I always love the character of Drowned Wednesday and what has happened to her.  I guess it is because she is a more sympathetic Trustee than any of the others.  I like the sea and sailing aspect of this book and the pirates too, of course.  I love how the Parts of the Will embody a virtue but also how annoying they are without something to temper their fervor such as Part Three, who embodies Faith.

    More and more of the mythology and mystery to the House and the Architect is revealed although just enough to tantalize.  And Arthur is becoming a stronger, more decisive character.  This is probably an influence of his adventures as well as his contact with the Keys.  Leaf has a more active role in this one though not as much as the other books.  And Suzy is a treat as always.

    Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Teaser Tuesday - Foundling

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along!
    Grab your current read

    Open to a random page

    Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page

    People were only ever marked with a monster-blood tattoo if they had fought and slain a nicker.  The image of the fallen beast was pricked into the victor's skin with the dead monster's own blood.

    p. 21 Monster Blood Tattoo Book One: Foundling by D.M. Cornish

    Monday, November 9, 2009

    Weekly Round-Up 11/9 now including From the Library

    What are you reading Mondays? is a meme hosted by J. Kaye's Book Blog.
    Check out J.Kaye's Book Blog for what others are reading.
    This week I'm reading Eyes like Stars (Mantchev) and Foundling (Cornish).  I'm listening to Lady Friday (Nix).

    Since last week I finished Kiss of Life (Waters), Wake and Fade (McMann) (both of which I read on Friday) and audio, I finished Drowned Wednesday and Sir Thursday (Nix).

    Last week was Once Upon a Week so I posted Beastly (Flinn), Rapunzel's Revenge (Hale), and Fairest (Levine).

    Sunday, November 8, 2009

    Christmas Reading Challenge - COMPLETE

    I love Christmas books and I have a couple I read every year so I'm joining The Christmas Reading Challenge hosted by The True Book Addict.

    The Christmas Reading Challenge:

    • will run from Thanksgiving Day, November 26 through New Year's Eve, December 31, 2009
    • you can choose 1 - 3 books...I know it seems a small amount, but it's a busy time of year and the challenge is only a little over a month.
    • These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore or a book of Christmas short stories (sorry, no children's books, but YA novel is okay).
    My list:

    1. A War of Gifts by Orson Scott Card
    2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickins (read it every year)
    3. Skipping Christmas by John Grisham (listen to it every year)
    4. Let It Snow by John Green, Lauren Myracle, and Maureen Johnson

    Saturday, November 7, 2009

    Kiss of Life (Generation Dead #2)

    *spoilers if you haven't read Generation Dead*

    From the book jacket:
    The phenomenon that's been sweeping the country seems to be here to stay. Not only are the teenagers who have come back from their graves still here, but newlydeads are being unearthed all the time. While scientists look for answers and politicians take their stands, the undead population of Oakville have banded together in a group they're calling the Sons of Romero, hoping to find solidarity in segregation.

    Phoebe Kendall may be alive, but she feels just as lost and alone as her dead friends. Just when she reconciled herself to having feelings for a zombie -- her Homecoming date Tommy Williams -- her friend Adam is murdered taking a bullet that was meant for her. Things get even more confusing when Adam comes back from the grave. Now she has romantic interest in two dead boys; one who saved her life, and one she can't seem to live without.

    While I liked this book and the previous one, I won't say that I was truly wow'd by the whole thing.  It's a great idea to equate the struggles of the undead to modern day civil rights struggles to make it more timely and have a greater impact.  But I felt like I was being hit over the head with it.  Although I do appreciate that this book was much less about Phoebe and more about the actual undead teenagers.  There were several points of view explained: Phoebe, Adam, Tak and Pete and it broke up the action and gave more insight to what was happening around the story.  It's great see the motive of the "villain" of the book, but the road Pete is going down is going to end in tragedy, I can tell.  And, while I like Phoebe, it was nice to have less of her.  I think the more interesting issue is what is going to happened to the zombie kids and how far everyone is going to end up from the beginning.