Monday, August 31, 2009

What I'm Reading 8/31 + an award!

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.
Currently I'm reading Necropolis (Horowitz).  Next I'll read The Loud Silence of Francine Green (Cushman) followed by Beautiful Creatures (Garcia & Stohl), an ARC from Carrie at The Tome Traveller's Weblog (thanks!).
I'm listening to Necropolis (Horowitz) as well and I have no idea what will be next.  Maybe Gathering Blue (Lowry)? I'm not sure.

Since last week, I've finished Rumors (Godbersen), The Reformed Vampire Support Group (Jinks), and Nightrise (Horowitz, review coming soon).  On audio, I finished Enthusiasm (Shulman, review coming soon).

I also spent last weekend watching the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice.

In other news, Stacey at A Buckeye Girl Reads gave me the Humane Award: This award is to honor certain bloggers that are kindhearted individuals. They regularly take part in my blog and always leave the sweetest comments. If it wasn't for them, my site would just be an ordinary book review blog. Their blogs are also amazing and are tastefully done on a daily basis. I thank them and look forward to our growing friendship through the blog world.  Thanks Stacey!  I love her blog.  It is so pretty and she reads some great books and is very nice.  

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Graceling covers

So I did something stupid and had to retrieve a lot of pictures since I erased half of them. So I went to get the Graceling cover and found the paperback as well.
Hardcover (US)
Paperback (US)


I like them both, but the paperback is a really strong cover. What do you think?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Reformed Vampire Support Group

Nina and her support group are vampires. But not glamorous Hollywood vampires or anything. In fact being a vampire sucks with the nausea, the bleeding and the vomiting not to mention the physical weakness. So week after week, they meet to discuss their vampy problems and the temptations of human blood. But when one of them is slayed, Nina and her friend Dave enlist the others to find out who staked him, just in case they are coming for the rest of them.
And although I manage to get by, it's not as if my books are runaway bestsellers. I mean, it's not as if I'm Stephenie Meyer, or anything.  p.74
I've tried to read Catherine Jinks before and I couldn't get into Evil Genius. But this one is so good. It is a very different kind of vampire that Jinks has invented. Sure they can be killed by the conventional methods: sunlight, stakes, beheading. But that's about all these vampires have in common with the stereotypical vampire. In this book, the vampire are weak, fragile things prone to headaches, nausea & vomiting, hemorrhaging among other things. Vampirism is a disease and when you are bitten, you become infected (much like Peeps) only there are no superpowers that come along. So Nina and her group shuffle along during the night and "sleep" during the day with nothing to do but complain. Nina writes vampire novels and her main character is more along the lines of an Edward (or rather Alice) than a Nina. As much as I like the superpowered vampire, I also like this version too. It was a funny book and I laughed out loud several times. The image of these weak vampires trying to do anything more than lift a book was funny. They whine and complain a lot, but finally become pro-active when one of them is staked. And it's not even someone they like, but they are afraid this so called "slayer" will hunt them down next.

This book is also different since all the vampires are different ages. There's Nina who was "fanged" at 15, Dave 17, Bridget who's elderly, and the rest are all middle-aged so there's no super sexy 25 year old vampire. Nina talks about looking like she's 15 forever and how that effects her and how people treat her. It would be difficult looking that young forever. I wondered too what she was going to do when her mum died. Her mother is 76 (Nina's technically 51) so she still lives with her, but what will Nina do when her mother is gone. It's not discussed in the book, but I was thinking about it considering how much her mum does for her.

So anyway, not to sound all Reading Rainbow or anything, read if you like vampires or even if you don't. I'm pretty sure it's good either way.

Friday, August 28, 2009

The Alice in Wonderland Challenge - COMPLETE

I'm falling down a rabbit hole, ya'll! I have trouble resisting challenges, especially challenges about one of my all time favorites, Alice in Wonderland.
Jenny at Take Me Away is hosting the most excellent challenge (with prizes), The Alice in Wonderland Challenge and I am *sigh* joining. Curiouser and Curiouser.


  • Starts September 1, 2009 and goes through August 31, 2010
  • You can join any time during that time frame.
  • This challenge has two parts; you can decide at any time until the end if you would like to complete only the first part or both. However, prizes will only be awarded to those who complete both parts.
  • If you have already completed one of the tasks in the past 6 months you may count ONE towards this challenge.
  • Books may overlap with any other challenges.
  • Books may be read prior to publish date if you are able to obtain a copy. (Don't worry about the advantage someone has because everyone should have the same opportunity to complete the challenge at the same time).
  • When you've made the decision to play, post about the challenge and please link your icon to this post. It doesn't necessarily have to be the link on your sidebar if you put it there and are linking to your post, but at least on the picture when you post about this challenge.
Tasks: (Part 1)

Tasks: (Part 2)

From the Library 8/28

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

Only four books this week, one two of which I've already finished

The Reformed Vampire Support Group - Catherine Jinks (finished this one already, it was very good)
Think vampires are romantic, sexy, and powerful? Think again. Vampires are dead. And unless they want to end up staked, they have to give up fanging people, admit their addiction, join a support group, and reform themselves.
Nina Harrison, fanged at fifteen and still living with her mother, hates the Reformed Vampire Support Group meetings every Tuesday night. Even if she does appreciate Dave, who was in a punk band when he was alive, nothing exciting ever happens. That is, until one of group members is mysteriously destroyed by a silver bullet. With Nina (determined to prove that vamps aren't useless or weak) and Dave at the helm, the misfit vampires soon band together to track down the hunter, save a werewolf, and keep the world safe from the likes of themselves.

Nightrise - Anthony Horowitz (this series keeps getting better, can't wait to find out about the rest)(finished this one too)

The world is in great danger and only five kids can save it. But to do that, they must face off against some of the most powerful people in the world. Two of the five, Scott and Jamie, have always known they were different. Twins whose birth is shrouded in mystery, they've always been able to communicate with each other telepathically. Their supernatural talent has landed them no farther than a gig in a Z-grade sideshow in Reno, Nevada...until they garner the attention of a very scary clientele. Soon their lives are in jeopardy, with one of them trapped and one of them on the run.

Lessons from a Dead Girl - Jo Knowles (much more serious type of book but I've heard good things)

Leah Greene is dead. For Laine, knowing what really happened and the awful feeling that she is, in some way, responsible set her on a journey of painful self-discovery. Yes, she wished for this. She hated Leah that much. Hated her for all the times in the closet, when Leah made her do those things. They were just practicing, Leah said. But why did Leah choose her? Was she special, or just easy to control? And why didn’t Laine make it stop sooner? In the aftermath of the tragedy, Laine is left to explore the devastating lessons Leah taught her, find some meaning in them, and decide whether she can forgive Leah and, ultimately, herself.

Twenty Boy Summer - Sarah Ockler (another more serious book, but good things so...)
While on vacation in California, sixteen-year-old best girlfriends Anna and Frankie conspire to find a boy for Anna's first summer romance, but Anna harbors a painful secret that threatens their lighthearted plan and their friendship.

Beautifully written and emotionally honest, this is a debut novel that explores what it truly means to love someone and what it means to grieve, and ultimately, how to make the most of every single moment this world has to offer

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rumors: A Luxe Novel

The second installment of the Luxe novels finds New York society still mourning the loss of Elizabeth Holland, its former jewel. But rumors abound that Elizabeth is still alive as her body was never recovered from the river. Her younger sister, Diana is still fervently in love with Elizabeth's one-time fiance despite the fact that society would never allow them to marry. Henry returns her feelings but has no idea how to be with Diana without flying in the face of everyone. And Penelope Hayes has set her sights on marrying Henry and is willing to destroy anyone in her way. Who will survive the heiress' plots or is the bigger question who won't survive?

*trying to avoid spoilers if you haven't read the first one, highlight white areas to see them

Rumors was even better than The Luxe. At the end I was wishing for the next book. I NEED to know what happens next, NEED, I say. Anyway, the story moved along quickly and there was very little rehash of the first plot and it was subtly done when there was, which is nice in a sequel. I hate being bashed over the head with a summary of the first book in a series. (Remember Babysitter's Club & Sweet Valley anything where the summary of characters was almost verbatim book to book. I hate that.) I'm really liking Diana and Henry and poor Elizabeth. Their characters are developing nicely and I feel so bad for all of them. The ending was surprising and shocking. I really didn't see it coming, but I have a feeling that the next book, Envy, is going to be so great. I have a feeling that Elizabeth is going to be a force to be reckon with now that she is back. This series is so much better than Gossip Girl, the series it is most compared with and that it exceeds in most ways.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril Challenge IV - COMPLETE

It seems that I can't resist a challenge or at least this one. I'll go ahead and give it a try. This one comes from Carl at Stainless Steel Droppings. The R.I.P. IV challenges has several options but I'm going for:
Peril the Second:
Read Two books of any length, from any subgenre of scary stories that you choose

Dark Fantasy.

R.I.P. IV officially runs from September 1st through October 31st.
So this is what I think I'm going to read:

1. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies
2. Beautiful Creatures

Pride and Prejudice - BBC mini-series (Based on a Book)

Well, this weekend I spent some a lot of time and watch the classic 1995 BBC mini-series of Pride and Prejudice with Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle. Oddly, I had never seen the whole thing, just bits and pieces. It is the most comprehensive version I've seen. It is basically the whole book with few changes. I enjoyed it. Colin Firth makes a most excellent Darcy and Jennifer Ehle is fun as Elizabeth Bennett. The thing that bothered me is that Jane is suppose to be prettier than Elizabeth, but personally I don't find Susannah Harker nearly as pretty as Jennifer Ehle. And everyone looked so old for their characters, especially Lydia (Julia Sawalha and yes I know she was like 25 at the time). And that bothered me.

The scenery and houses were beautiful. And I love that they include everything just as described in the book. It's like the book gave to life. Everyone did a great job with their characters. The Bennett house was nicer than I had pictured and Mr. Collins was a little more oily. The costumes were wonderful. I love the dresses so much. It was a really pretty and authentic movie.

I enjoyed Anna Chancellor's Miss Bingley. Lydia didn't aggravate me nearly as much as she usually does. But near the end I wanted to shake Mrs. Bennett and make her shut up. Her screeching make my ears bleed a little, I swear.
Something I also found awkward was the ending. When they declare their love for each other, it was so matter of fact. Yes, I love you. Well, I love you. Let's walk on. I know that's what happens in the book. But I've been involved at this point for a long time, people, let's see some action, a kiss or something!

Anyway, it was good and I will watch it again one day when I have a lot of time on my hands. (Ha!) But is it bad that I prefer the 2005 version and that Darcy and Elizabeth more? Because I do. I kept making comparisons between the two while I was watching and the romance tension is more believable between Keira Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen. I like Colin Firth, but his Darcy does not invite the kind of yuminess that Matthew Macfadyen does with his bedroom eyes and earnestness. *sigh*

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays - Rumors

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

"He knew that she was out there, along the wall somewhere, surrounded by all those social harpies with their expectations and narrow definitions, with their fans and cutting remarks, with their meager hearts. She would be looking about her with a certain tremblinginnocence."
p. 388 Rumors: A Luxe Novel by Anna Godbersen

Monday, August 24, 2009

What I'm Reading 8/24 + an award!

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.
Since last week I've finished The Summoning (Armstrong), Between Mom and Jo (Peters), & James and the Giant Peach (Dahl). I abandoned The Possibilities of Sainthood (Freitas). I'm currently reading Rumors (Godbersen) and plan on reading The Reformed Vampire Support Group (Jinks) next (it remains to be seen because I didn't like her Evil Genius so hopefully this one will be better) followed by The Loud Silence of Francine Green (Cushman).

On audio I finished Evil Star (Horowitz) and started Enthusiasm (Shulman). Next I'll listen to Nightrise (Horowitz).

I also watched the 2005 Pride and Prejudice movie for Everything Austen.

In other news, Celi.a at the adventures of cecelia bedelia gave me the "Your Blog Rocks" award so thanks! I'm happy you think my blog rocks. I think you rock too!

So I'm going to give this to:

Stacey at A Buckeye Girl Reads (who is so very nice)
Kath at Bookworm Nation (blog is so pretty and I like the reviews)
Andrea at Buried in Books! (who has the most awesome first name ;) )
Jill at The O.W.L. (love the owls, so cute)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Abandoned - The Possiblities of Sainthood

From the book jacket:

Antonia Lucia Labella has two secrets: at fifteen, she’s still waiting for her first kiss, and she wants to be a saint. An official one. Seem strange? Well, to Antonia, saints are royalty, and she wants her chance at being a princess. All her life she’s kept company with these kings and queens of small favors, knowing exactly whom to pray to on every occasion. Unfortunately, the two events Antonia’s prayed for seem equally unlikely to happen. It’s not for lack of trying. For how long has she been hoping to gain the attention of the love of her life – the tall, dark, and so good-looking Andy Rotellini? Too long to mention. And every month for the last eight years, Antonia has sent a petition to the Vatican proposing a new patron saint and bravely offering herself for the post. So what if she’s not dead?
But as Antonia learns, in matters of the heart and sainthood, things are about as straightforward as wound-up linguini, and sometimes you need to recognize the signs.

This is a cute concept and I'm sure it is a cute book, but I could not get into it. I tried, but I was bored so I'm moving on. Maybe one day I'll come back to it, just not right now.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

James and the Giant Peach - Book/Movie Comparison (Based on a Book)

After his parent's are killed by a charging rhinoceros, James goes to live with his two detestable aunts. They beat him and treat him horribly. One day he meets an old man who gives him some magic things to make his life better but James trips and loses them. The next day, the old peach tree grow a giant peach and James' adventure begins as he rolls away in the giant peach with the company of some giant insects.

I'm a big Roald Dahl fan but oddly I'd never read James and the Giant Peach before. It was cute and had some nice insect lessons. The aunts are typical Dahl adults, abusive and stupid and they get theirs in the end (they are crushed by the giant peach). They weren't really in the book that long. It was a pretty straightforward adventure after that with a message about the usefulness of bugs. James and his friends encounter sharks and escape by tying a bunch of seagulls with webbing and flying off. Then they are attacked by "cloudmen" and escape from them and then get stuck on the Empire State Building in New York. I liked it although it's not my favorite Dahl book. I still like Matilda the best.

So one of the parts of the Take a Chance Challenge is to do a movie/book comparison so I watched the film version of James and the Giant Peach. It is a combination of live action and stop motion animation. The beginning and the end are live action. The aunts look so horrible and mean (they are) although they don't die like they do in the book. After the man gives James the crocodile tongues (the green things) and he goes into the peach, it becomes stop motion. All the insects look really cool. The story is about the same except that James is afraid of the rhino. There are no real sharks but one giant metal shark, but they trap the seagulls the same and fly high into the air. Instead of "cloudmen" they go somewhere cold and there are ghost pirates (one who looks like Jack Skellington), but they escape those and travel to New York. The aunts arrive in New York too and try to take James, but are prevented by the insects and taken away. I thought there'd be more songs since there are quite a few in the book, but there included some of them so it was cute. It was fairly faithful to the book and definitely had a Dahl feel to it. I liked it and so did my 2 year old so good job.

Friday, August 21, 2009

BBAW nomination!

So The Little Bookworm's been nominated for Best YA Blog which is so awesome and cool and nice and other adjectives. I appreciate it so much. It makes me feel all nice inside.
Here's the meme for those who didn't participate last year. This is going to be fun!

1) What has been one of the highlights of blogging for you?

I'd say people actually reading what I write and commenting on it and hopefully going out and reading some of the books I have recommended. Part of my mission in life as a librarian is to expose others to great books and get them reading.

2) What blogger has helped you out with your blog by answering questions, linking to you, or inspiring you?

Amanda at The Zen Leaf has been great, commenting on all my posts and has been so super nice.

and J. Kaye at J.Kaye's Book Blog had the first challenge I joined and the first meme I started posting (What Are You Reading Mondays?) so I think she is a thumbs up.

3) What one question do you have about BBAW that someone who participated last year could answer?

I don't really know. I mean, I guess what was it like last year? I'm really lame at stuff like this.

Evil Star (The Gatekeepers #2) (audio)

In an amazing turn of events, I didn't check any new books out from the library this week. Crazy, I know.

Spoiler if you haven't read the first one.

After his adventures in Lesser Malling and the discovery that he is one of five children who will stand against the Old Ones, evil creatures from long ago, Matt is living with Richard Cole. After a visit to the Nexus and the introduction of a secret diary with information on the Five and the Gates, Matt and Richard go to Peru. Ambushed, they are separated and Matt must find him and figure out the location of the second gate with the help of a new friend, Pedro who may be the person Matt needs to find.

Evil Star is the second in the Gatekeeper series after Raven's Gate. I switch from book to audio for this series for no particular reason. Simon Prebble is the narrator and he does a good job. He tries to vary the voices for the characters and does an okay job with that. He's British and I tend to listen to audio with British narrators for unknown reasons.

Anyway, it was a good book, a good second in a series. It certainly wasn't a filler, adding a lot of excitement and action. It pretty much gets started right away with Matt's visit to London and from then on was non-stop action. Horowitz is moving things right along and now I'm curious to what happens next. I'm wondering about the rest of the Five and their abilities. I liked the description of Peru and the background stuff. That was very interesting and gave me good visuals. So onto Nightrise, the next book in the series.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Between Mom and Jo

Nicholas has two moms, his biological mother and his other mom, Jo. He is happy having two mothers although he has to put up with teasing and bullying at school. But while his Mom is strict and high-strung, Jo is fun and willing to teach him all the life skills he needs. Then one day the unthinkable happens and his Mom and Jo break up. With his Mom angry at Jo, she won't let Nicholas see her. What happens to the child when a relationship goes sour and the other parent has no legal rights? Nicholas finds out with sad results.

THIS right here is how a book is written. I'm not kidding. This was one of the best books I've read in a very long time. I need to thank Amanda for the GLBT Challenge just so I could find and read this book. The characters were amazingly written and so three-dimensional. They were so real and Nick's sorrow and confusion were exactly right. I wanted to shake his Mom because she refused to see that Jo was important to him. They decided to have a baby together and went to a sperm bank. So Mom was legally tied to him but Jo never adopted him assuming that they would always be together. But when they broke up, his bio mom wouldn't let him see his other mom which is completely insane. If you raise a kid as your own then he is yours which is one of the topics that this book addresses. It's told in "highlights" of moments that explain Nick's life with his mothers so it addresses other issues that would come from a lesbian couple raising a child together.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pride and Prejudice - 2005 (Based on a Book)

I watched this one yesterday from about 1 pm to 8 pm. Yes, it took me 7 hours to finish a movie that is 2 hours long, but there was a lot going on. Anyway, I don't know why I'm telling you this, but kids and cars, you know? Something always needs to be fixed.

I won't summarize because it is Pride and Prejudice. I love this version. It is beautiful shot and the director made some interesting choices as far as lighting and location. It is definitely an abbreviated version with some supporting characters left out (Mr. & Mrs. Hurst, the Philips, etc) but they aren't really necessary. The location for some scenes were changed too. Darcy proposes outside by a lake instead of in the parsonage. Wickham is meet outside and they talk about his relationship with Darcy outside under a tree instead of at a party playing cards. I didn't have a problem with any of that. The only thing I questioned was why Lizzie was always staring in a mirror? I get that it showed passage of time, but I felt there was a deeper meaning than that.

The cast is perfect. I love Kiera Knightley's Lizzie, so proud and smart and quick-witted. And I love the little laugh when she first sees Pemberley. I love Matthew Macfadyen's Mr. Darcy. He is so awkward and delicious. Sigh. Rosamund Pike as Jane is so great. She is so beautiful and ethereal and sweet, like Jane ought to be. And I wanted to slap Lydia around a little. Jena Malone is good at playing annoying characters.

So all in all, a beautiful movie with a great cast. It skips a lot for time, but still retains the essence of Pride and Prejudice.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Teaser Tuesday - Between Mom and Jo

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

"Jo went to school with me every day for a week, though, and stood at the fence. I'd see her out the window during art, story time, snack time."

Between Mom and Jo by Julie Ann Peters

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Summoning (Darkest Powers #1)

Chloe is a typical teen. Her mother died when she was young and her father is always absent. When she is fifteen, she sees a ghost at her school and is sent to a group home for teens with mental problems. There she learns the secret of her powers and is introduced to the dangers of having her abilities. With a home of teens with some suspicious problems, Chloe must figure out what is going on.

Warning: the following contains spoilers and is slightly PG-13. It's possible I could offend someone, I'm just saying.

First of all, I'd like to say that I did like this book and it was a fast read. The following will not convey that message at all but I did. Everyone else liked this book and had no complaints.

However, I call bullshit. The ending was ri-dic-u-lous. Yes, it was slightly shocking when her aunt turns in her in but not really. I'm also getting tired of "cliffhanger" endings. It seems everyone is doing that these days. Also who didn't figure out that everyone there was going to have powers of some kind and that the adults knew about the teens? If you didn't then you've never read this kind of book before. In fact it was pretty formulaic. Even Derek turning into a werewolf, I mean please. When he started having a fever, I was like Does he have a fever of a hundred and werewolf (shoutout) or what? and he did. I saw that coming before that anyway since his muscles were involuntarily rippling and he had "extra" abilities. I am a little suspicious of Simon and Rae. Someone there is up to no good, mark it.

I will admit that parts of it did give me the shivers especially when she is locked in that crawlspace. That just creeped me out although it did give me a Sabriel flashback so whatever. The real problem is the whole I have powers! no I don't! thing that Chloe goes through. It's in every freaking fantasy book now. Find. something. new. In fact, it reminded me of the Maximum Ride series crossed with the Old Kingdom series with a little Twilight for good measure. At least it wasn't about fairies.

See I told you it would sound like I didn't like it. Let me say something positive about it. It was well written and I liked Chloe. She was very feisty and it was cute how she tried to frame everything like it was movie. I don't trust the character Simon for some reason like I said but I liked Derek. He was a nice change from the normal flawless beautiful hero. The world building could use some work but then it is a series so there is time for that. I'm probably read the next one, but it's not on the top of my list or anything.

What I'm Reading 8/17

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.

Since last week I've finished Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris (Gallico), Another Kind of Cowboy (Juby), and The Summoning (Armstrong) (look for the review this afternoon). I started Rumors (Godbersen) but had to return it so I'm going to pick it back up as soon as I can. Now I'm reading Between Mom and Jo (Peters) and James and the Giant Peach (Dahl). I plan on reading The Book of Lost Things (Connelly) next.

I finished listening to The Calder Game (Balliett) and started Evil Star (Horowitz). After that I'm going to listen to Enthusiasm (Shulman).

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Calder Game (audio)

Calder Pillay loves to solve puzzles. When he goes to England on a trip with his father, he is intrigued by the giant Alexander Calder (his namesake) sculpture in the town square of the sleepy British town where they are staying. Then both the Calders disappear on the same day. Did the Calders leave together or did something happen to each separtely? And what was Calder working on when he disappeared? Calder's friends, Tommy & Petra, are brought over to help find Calder since they both know how he thinks. In this engaging little mystery, art and numbers are brought together to find a boy and a sculpture.

This is the third in a series about these three friends. Each book deals with some sort of art and another mystery where each is connected to each other. There are very intellectuall books without stuffing it down the reader's throat which is good considering they are for children. Hopefully children will become intrigued by the art in the books and get interested enough to look it up. I know I did.

The three main characters are very different from each other. Petra is a dreamy girl who loves words and to write. Tommy is a treasure finder and Calder is a math whiz who carries pentominos wherever he goes. They are very clever children, very interested in everything and I would say good role models for children.

Deidre Lovejoy is the narrator for this audio book and she does a good job. She is American and does a fairly good British accent. She's narrated the other books and I enjoy her voice.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Another Kind of Cowboy

Alex is gay and he knows this but no one else does. Alex loves horses and he is good with them and has a lot of natural talent. He rides Western-style to please his father but really wants to ride dressage, loving the precision and style of it. Alex is afraid to tell his father about both his sexuality and the dressage. He is a very introverted boy, afraid of doing the wrong thing, that people will think the wrong thing about him. His family is very dysfunctional. His mother left their family and his father lives in an RV in the driveway and is drunk about 95% of the time. His aunt lives in the house with him and his twin ninja-wannabe sisters. Finally when Alex meet Cleo O'Shea he is able to come out of his shell (pun intended) and realize that life is not about hiding what you are.

Cleo O'Shea accidentally let her parent's house get robbed. Since they are never around, they send to an equestrienne boarding school. She is a spoiled rich girl who is one of those girls that just assumes people like her or want to hang out with her. She has no concept of earning anything. But she has parents that don't pay any attention to her unless she is doing something negative. Without any direction in life, she falls easilty into the party girl mode. But when she meets Alex Ford, she realizes that sometimes you have to work for the good things in life.

I've had this book for a long time. I just had it. I didn't really know what it was about. It was by Susan Juby and so I figured it had to be good. (Read Alice, I Think) But when I was looking up books for the GLBT Challenge, this one was recommended and I was like Hey I own that, etc.

It was really good. So good that I wished I had read it earlier good but then I couldn't have used it for this challenge good. So good that I was a little teary (in a good way) at the end good. It was told from first person perspective on Cleo's part and third person on Alex's part. I'm not sure why. But it worked. Alex and Cleo are an odd pairing but in the end they help each other realize what is missing from their lives. There's a lot of horse talk but it's not overwhelming. If nothing else, it makes you want to look up dressage. That is some amazing stuff.

Friday, August 14, 2009

From the Library 8/14

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

Slow week but that's good since I need to get caught up on the books I have checked out. I'm trying to read The Summoning (Armstrong) and Rumors (Godbersen) before Monday. Wish me luck on that one. Anyway...

Between Mom and Jo - Julie Ann Peters (for the GLBT Challenge)
Nicholas Nathaniel Thomas Tyler has four first names and two mothers. As the only child in his class with gay parents, he endures the taunts and prejudices of classmates and adults over the years as best he can, drawing reassurance and strength from his parents. Challenges nearly overwhelm him, though, when their relationship ends; Jo moves out, and Nick, now a teenager, is left with Erin, his birth mother. Peters captures the voice of an adolescent sorting through the memories of his childhood in poignant prose that rings with truth. As Nick develops from a boy to a young man, he must address his own sexuality, his ties to his family, and his need to assert his individuality. This novel is a timely exploration of the struggles faced by same-sex couples and their children, and while the issues are significant, the story is never overwhelmed by them. Because Jo lacks biological or legal relationship to Nick, he can be cut off from her with no recourse, which makes his experience slightly different from that of other children of divorcing parents.

Enthusiasm (audio) - Polly Shulman, writer; Jennifer Ikeda, narrator (for the Everything Austen Challenge)
Julie's best friend, Ashleigh, is an enthusiast. Julie never knows what new obsession will catch Ashleigh's fancy, but she does know she's likely to be drawn into the madness.

Ashleigh's latest craze is Julie's own passion, Pride and Prejudice. But Ashleigh can't just appreciate it as a great read; she insists on emulating the novel's heroines, in speech, dress, and the most important element of all—finding True Love. And so Julie finds herself with Ashleigh, dressed in vintage frocks, sneaking into a dance at the local all-boys prep school, where they discover some likely candidates.

The problem with Ashleigh's craze this time, however, is that there is only one Mr. Darcy. So when the girls get a part in the boys' school musical, what follows is naturally equal parts comedy and romance, as a series of misinterpreted—and missed—signals, dating mishaps, and awkward incidents make Julie wonder if she has the heart for True Love.

Love, Cajun Style - Diane Les Becquets (I've been meaning to read this for a long time but I'm suspicious of writers who write about Louisiana without actually being from here. It makes me nervous.)

It’s the summer before Lucy’s senior year in high school, and life in her sleepy Louisiana town is about to be turned upside down. Her mama’s flirting with the dark stranger who runs the art gallery, her best friends Mary Jordan and Evie have boys on the brain, the drama teacher is sparking some powerful (if very, very wrong) feelings in Lucy, and a new boy has moved to town—Dewey, whose gentle ways captivate her. With everyone, including herself, so embroiled in affairs of the heart, it is any wonder the town of Sweetbay is fixin’ to have itself one sweltering summer?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mrs. 'Arris Goes to Paris

After seeing a Dior at one of her client's houses, Mrs. Harris or 'Arris as she says, a London char(cleaning)woman decides that she must have something so wonderful for herself. So after scrimping and saving, she goes to Paris and the House of Dior to get an original for herself. The good heart of Mrs. 'Arris changes the people around her and she ends up with more than just a dress.

This was my Random Bestseller (1959 although it was written in 1958) from the Take a Chance Challenge. And I'm glad it was! This was such a delightful little book. I love how plucky and determined Mrs. 'Arris was and how she changed people's lives just by being herself. While I don't understand the drive to have a Dior dress, I can understand wanting something of beauty beyond yourself and your own little world. It seems that there are more books about Mrs. 'Arris and I think I'm going to read them. I think I can count this part of the challenge a success!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Haly is a clerk to Libyrarian Selene in the Libyrinth, a vast library containing just about every book ever written. Haly is unique though since she can hear the books talk, they read themselves to her. When she is taken by the Eradicants, an illiterate people who believe words are murdered once they are written down, she is thought to be their Redeemer, the one who can unite the Word and the Song. In their city, Haly realizes the truth of her world's history and must convince the Eradicants of it before they destroy her beloved Libyrinth.

Okay, seriously, a young adult science fiction book about librarians, how was I not going to love it? It was really good. The chapters alternate between Haly and her friend, Clauda, one of the servents in the Libyrinth. In the end, it comes down to the two of them to save the Libyrinth and all the books contain therein. The world was really well built and I got excellent visuals from the descriptions. I was a little confused about the origins of Haly, but since, it turns out, this is a trilogy (of course it is! Everything is nowadays) I'm sure to get more background on her and on the world in general. I would definitely recommend this book and say give it a try. It's about librarians! Don't get put off by the science fiction aspect, though, if that's not your thing. It's not very sciencey, mostly it's just awesome.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Much Ado about Shakespeare Challenge - My list - COMPLETE

For my part in my Much Ado about Shakespeare Challenge, I've put together a list of mostly adaptions or alternate points of view books.

1. Ophelia (Lisa M. Klein)
2. Something Rotten (Alan M. Gratz)
3.The Taming of the Shrew and 10 Things I Hate about You (1999)
4. Something Wicked (Alan M. Gratz)
5. The Wednesday Wars (Gary D. Schmidt)
6. Eyes Like Stars (Lisa Matchev)

Much Ado about Shakespeare Challenge

I've been inspired by Saving Juliet and Much Ado about Nothing (the movie). I thought it would be fun to do a Shakespeare Challenge.

The challenge runs from September 1, 2009 - April 26, 2009 (Shakespeare's Birthday). Read 6 of any Shakespeare's works or any book inspired by a Shakespeare play. You can also watch any movie from or inspired by a Shakespeare play. ETA: You can also review plays that you see in a theater as well.

Feel free to take the logo here. If you twitter, please use the hashtag #muchado.

Need some suggestions, check here or here for movies and books check here or here. These lists are intended as inspiration and are by no means comprehensive.

Sign up here with Mr. Linky below. Please post a link to your challenge post. I will have a separate post for reviews starting in September.  The post for reviews is here.

If Mr. Linky is not working, respond in the comments with your information.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What I'm Reading + a zombie award

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 finished Raven's Gate (Horowitz), Saving Juliet (Selfors), and Libyrinth (North). I started Mrs. 'Arris goes to Paris (Gallico) for the Take a Chance Challenge. After that I plan on reading Another Kind of Cowboy(Juby) for the GLBT Challenge.
On audio I finished Skin Hunger (Duey) and The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (Lockhart) and started The Calder Game (Balliett). I plan on starting Evil Star(Horowitz), the second in the Gatekeeper series soon too.

In other news, Amanda at The Zen Leaf gave me the ultra-cool Zombie Chicken Award. Thanks Amanda!

The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken - excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words. As a recipient of this world-renowned award, you now have the task of passing it on to at least 5 other worthy bloggers. Do not risk the wrath of the zombie chickens by choosing unwisely or not choosing at all..

So I'm going to pass this on to the following blogs:

1. Leslie at That Chick That Reads
2. Celi.a at adventures of cecelia bedelia
4. Ashley at Books Obsession
5. Tiffany at Letters, Words, Thoughts, Ideas, Stories...

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Skin Hunger (Audio)

Sadima lives in a world where magic is outlawed and the country is ruled by a king. But she has a magic all her own, she can hear animals talk. One day she meets Franklin who works for a young nobleman and who invites her to the city. After the death of her father, she goes and finds that they are working on finding the lost magic.

Centuries later, Hahp lives in a world where magicians are revered. He has no particular magic skill but as the second son of a most hated father, he is sent to the magicians to learn magic. But only one student can graduate and the methods of teaching are most cruel indeed.

First, let me say that I listened to this on a Playaway. If you've never seen one or used one, they are portable little audiobooks the size of an mp3 player. They are most cool and enable me to save room on my player for music and they are very easy to use. Luckily my local library lends them out. Andy Paris is the narrator and he does an excellent job although he varies his speaking speed something and sometimes it is too slow. But he has a nice clear voice and he was easy to listen too.

Anyway, I liked this book although it was horrifying what they do to those poor boys. I'm really wondering how the story of Hahp and the story of Sadima tie into together. I guess I have to read the next book. Somiss, the nobleman, is insane and terrifying. Sadima is awesome and Franklin is pitiful. In the end I was ready for it to be over, but I wish there had been more answers. It ended on a crazy cliffhanger.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks (Audio)

Frankie attends Alabaster Preparatory, an elite school for both old and new money alike. She begins dating Matthew Livingston, one of the most popular senior boys, her sophomore year. Matthew is a member of the school's most secret male society and Frankie wants in. Underestimated by the boys and tired of being "adorable," she makes it her mission to become the brains behind the brawn.

I've now read everything by E. Lockhart with the exception of Fly on the Wall. And I've enjoyed everything I've read. She writes such smart, witty, and real girls. Frankie is an amazing girl even I felt like smacking her now and then. She lives in a world of privilege but doesn't want to accept the status quo and won't let herself become regulate to being one of the girlfriends or just a cute girl. She wants to be powerful and recognized for her intelligence. I admire the way she went about getting what she wanted and recognize that ambition in myself. Not to the point of Frankie, but still that need to be the one in charge, to be the controller. The boys I recognize from school and from friends, boys who just are without needing to try. The way they effortlessly exist while the girls have to watch what they say or how they act lest someone assign a label to them. I think that is what Frankie is looking for, to be herself without being labeled.

Tanya Eby is the narrator and she does an excellent job. At first I thought that she read too quickly, but later realized it was tailored to the scence. Her voice is pleasant and she makes everything Frankie does seem natural and intelligent.

And the Winner is...

And the winner of the Treasure Map of Boys ARC is:

Thanks everyone who entered.

Friday, August 7, 2009

From the Library 7/7 + Books I Bought + an award!

rom the Library is my Friday listing of what I checked out from the library this week.This week I'm also including two books that I bought (so rare) in the listing.

And Kristen at Bookworming in the 21st Century gave me an award. Thanks Kristen! She has a wonderful book blog that is very pretty. And she reads some great books too. She also has some great giveaways going on.
The Lemonade Award is a feel good award that shows great attitude or gratitude.

Now onto the books:

Books I Bought:

Libyrinth - Pearl North (the book I'm reading now and it is goooood. It is about a librarian on another planet and the cover is awesome. How could I not buy it?)

In her debut novel, Pearl North takes readers centuries into the future, to a forgotten colony of Earth where technology masquerades as magic and wars are fought over books.

Haly is a Libyrarian, one of a group of people dedicated to preserving and protecting the knowledge passed down from the Ancients and stored in the endless maze of books known as the Libyrinth. But Haly has a secret: The books speak to her.

When the threat of the rival Eradicants drives her from her home, Haly learns that things are not all she thinks they are. Taken prisoner by the Eradicants, who believe the written word to be evil, she sees the world through their eyes and comes to understand that they are not the book-burning monsters that she has known her entire life.

Eyes like Stars - Lisa Mantchev (I've heard great things and the cover is so pretty.)
All her world's a stage.

Beatrice Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater. She is not an orphan, but she has no parents. She knows every part, but has no lines of her own. Until now. Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the characters of every place ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book—an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family—and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever know

From the Library:

Foundling - D.M. Cornish (I liked the cover and it sounded interesting. This is what happen when I browse at the library. I end up with more than I intended.)
Set in the world of the Half-Continent—a land of tri-corner hats and flintlock pistols—the Monster Blood Tattoo trilogy is a world of predatory monsters, chemical potions and surgically altered people. Foundling begins the journey of Rossamund, a boy with a girl's name, who is just about to begin a dangerous life in the service of the Emperor. What starts as a simple journey is threatened by encounters with monsters—and people, who may be worse. Learning who to trust and who to fear is neither easy nor without its perils, and Rossamund must choose his path carefully.

Generation Dead - Daniel Waters (I've heard great things about this and wanted to read a while ago but never got around to it.)
All over the country, a strange phenomenon is occurring. Some teenagers who die aren't staying dead. Termed "living impaired" or "differently biotic," they are doing their best to fit into a society that doesn't want them. Fitting in is hard enough when you don't have the look or attitude, but when almost everyone else is alive and you're not, it's close to impossible. The kids at Oakdale High don't want to take classes or eat in the cafeteria next to someone who isn't breathing. And there are no laws to protect the differently biotic from the people who want them to disappear - for good. With her pale skin and goth wardrobe, Phoebe has never run with the popular crowd. But on one can believe it when she falls for Tommy Williams, the leader of the dead kids. Not her best friend, Margi, whose fear of the differently biotic is deeply rooted in guilt over the past. And especially not her neighbor, Adam, the star of the football team. Recently, Adam has realized that his feelings for Phoebe run much deeper than just friendship. He would do anything for her; but what if protecting Tommy is the one thing that would make her happy?
Sorcery & Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot - Patricia C. Wrede & Caroline Stevermer (I've read this before but I want to finish the series so I'm starting over. And I have a thing for titles with long subtitles.)
A great deal is happening in London and the country this season. For starters, there's the witch who tried to poison Kate at the Royal College of Wizards. There's also the man who seems to be spying on Cecelia. (Though he's not doing a very good job of it--so just what are his intentions?) And then there's Oliver. Ever since he was turned into a tree, he hasn't bothered to tell anyone where he is. Clearly, magic is a deadly and dangerous business. And the girls might be in fear for their lives . . . if only they weren't having so much fun!

Girl, Going on 17: Pants on Fire - Sue Limb (Another series I started but didn't finish except I don't want to start over on this one, same vein as Georgia Nicholson.)

It's never fun when a great summer comes to an end.

Particularly when one argues with one’s adorable, but grossly insensitive, boyfriend the night before school starts. It’s such a terrible fight, Jess doesn’t know—are they broken up? Should she apologize? Too bad Jess is spending all her time in detention and can’t talk to Fred to figure it out. A
sadistic new English teacher has decided Jess needs an attitude adjustment, and Jess can’t seem to stop making terrible mistakes. When she ends up pantless in her own backyard, Jess is left to ask herself: Where did she go wrong? And what can be done to make it up to Fred and salvage this horrible, horrible year?
Bad Twin -Gary Troup (I love Lost a whole whole lot so I'm going to give this a try.)

Paul Artisan, P.I. is a new version of an old breed - a righter of wrongs, someone driven to get to the bottom of things. Too bad his usual cases are of the boring malpractice and fraud variety. Until now. His new gig turns on the disappearance of one of a pair of twins, adult scions of a rich but tragedy-prone family. The missing twin - a charismatic poster-boy for irresponsibility - has spent his life daring people to hate him, punishing himself endlessly for his screw-ups and misdeeds. The other twin - Artisan's client - is dutiful and resentful in equal measure, bewildered that his "other half" could have turned out so badly, and wracked by guilt at his inability to reform him. He has a more practical reason, as well, for wanting his brother found: their crazy father, in failing health and with guilty secrets of his own, will not divide the family fortune until both siblings are accounted for. But it isn't just a fortune that's at stake here. Truth itself is up for grabs, as the detective's discoveries seem to challenge everything we think we know about identity, and human nature, and family. As Artisan journeys across the globe to track down the bad twin, he seems to have moved into a mirror-world where friends and enemies have a way of looking very much alike. The P.I. may have his long-awaited chance to put his courage and ideals to the test, but if he doesn't get to the bottom of this case soon, it could very well cost him his life. Troup's long-awaited Bad Twin is a suspenseful novel that touches on many powerful themes, including the consequence of vengeance, the power of redemption, and where to turn when all seems lost.