Saturday, December 31, 2011

Century Challenge


For this challenge, I had to chose a decade and read through the years! I decided to pick the 70s and ended up enjoying the books I read. (All except one actually, my original choice for 1972 was Watership Down and I just could not get through it which is rare for me!)

1970:The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
1971: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien
1972:Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
1973:Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
1974: The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
1975: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit
1976: Roots by Alex Haley
1977: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
1978:The World According to Garp by John Irving
1979: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Back to the Classics Challenge: COMPLETED!



Sarah from Sarah Reads too Much spoonsored this challenge with themes to chose from to endourage us to read some classics!


Banned Book: Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
Wartime (Civil War): Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
Pulitzer Prize: One of Ours by Willa Cather
Children's/Young Adult: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
19th Century: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
20th Century: Lord of the Flies by William H. Golding
21st Century: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
ReRead:The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

100+ Read challenge


Whew! I just made this one! And only because I noticed that I had misnumbered did I make it!


1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
2. The Pit and the Pendulum and Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe
3. The Girl who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allan
4. Bud Not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curits
5. Small Island by Andrea Levy
6. The Outsiders by S.E.Hinton
7. The Girl Who Kicked the Dragon's Nest by Steig Larsson
8. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
9. From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
10. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
11. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lundgren
12. GingerBread Cookie Murder by Joanne Fluke
13. Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl
14. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
15. One of Ours by Willa Cather
16. Room
by Emma Donoghue
17. The Kite Runner
18. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
19. Messenger by Lois Lowry
20. The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok
21. Little Bee by Chris Cleave
23. Freedom
by Jonathan Frazen
22. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
24. Shiloh by Phyllis Reynold Naylor
25. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
26. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kinsgsolver
27. Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
28. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow by Washington Irving
29. Shiloh Season by Phyllis Reynold Naylor
30. Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua
31. While I'm Falling by Laura Moriarty
32. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
33. Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
34. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
34 Secrets of Eden by Chris Bojhalian
36. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
37. The Nobodies Album by Caolyn Parkhurst
38. Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien
39. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
40. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
41. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
42. Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
43. Dirty Secret by Jessie Sholl
44.Saving Shiloh by Phyllis Reynold Naylor
45. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
46. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
47. If you Ask Me (which of course, you won't) by Betty White
48. Mrs. Kimble by Jennifer Haigh
49. Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy chevilar
50. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
51. The Reader by Bernhard Schilink
52. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
53. The House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
54. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
55. The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway
56. We Are All Welcome Here by Elizabeth Berg
57. Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
58. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

59. The Lost Hours by Karen White
60. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
61. The Virgin's Lover by Phillipa Gregory
62. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
63. Summer of my German Soldier by Bette Greene
64. Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
65. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
66. The Minpins by roald Dahl
67. The Enormous Crocodile by Roald Dahl

68. Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
69. The BFG by Roald Dahl
70. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kassey
71. Matilda by Roald Dahl
72. The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory

73. Boy by Roald Dahl
74. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
75. The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar by Roadl Dahl
76. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
77. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
78. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
79. Dracula by Bram Stoker

80. Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe
81. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
82. Matched by Ally Condle
83. Roots by Alex Haley
84. The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
85. The Wind in the Willows by Graheme Greene
86. The Quiet American by Graham Greene
87. Song of Solomon
by Toni Morrison
88. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
89. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
90.. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
91. The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
92. I Know why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
93. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
94. The Jungle Book I by Rudyard Kipling
95. The World According to Garp
by John Irving
96. I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
97. The Autobiography of Santa Claus

98. The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman
99. Uglies by Scott Westerfield

100. The Silver Boat by Luanne Rice
101. Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit













2011 Audiobook Challenge


For this challenge, I committed to Listening to 20 books and ended up listening to 37 books!


1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
2. The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allan
3. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lundgren
4. Gingerbread Cookie Mystery by Joanne Fluke
5. 20,000 Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne
6. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
7.
Freedom by Jonathan Frazer
8. The Poisonwood Bible
by Barbara Kingsolver
9. Rip Van Winkle
by Washington Irving
10. Sleepy Hollow
by Washington Irving
11.
While I'm Falling by Laura Moriarty
12. Every Last One
by Anna Quindlan
13. Secrets of Eden
by Chris Bojhalian
14.
The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst
15. The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls
16. Jane Eyre
by Charlotte Bronte
17. Uncle Tom's Cabin
by Harriet Beecher Stowe
18. Wicked by Gregory Maguire
19. We are all Welcome Here
by Elizabeth Berg
20. The Silver Boat by Luanne Rice



21. Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
22. Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
23. Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
24. The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
25. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
26. A Clockwork Orange by anthony Burgess
27. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff

28. Dracula by Bram Stoker
29. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
30. The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
31. The Quiet American by Graham Greene
32. The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke
33. The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams
34. The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen
35. The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
36. Jungle Book I by Rudyard Kipling

37. The Autobiography of Santa Claus









What's in A Name 4


Since I'm all about themes, this one was a good one for me and I have to say that I enjoyed all the books a I read-it got some TBRs off my list! I will definitely be participating again in 2012

Number: The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
Jewel or Gem: Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier
Size: Small Island by Andrea Levy
Travel or Movement: While I'm Falling by Laura Moriarty
Evil: Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Life Stage: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die Challenge

For this challenge, I committed to reading 16+ books and actually ended up reading 24 books! I plan to participate in this challenge again and continue to read some more of these great books!

1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
2. The Pit and the Pendulum by Edgar Allan Poe
3. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
4. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
5. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
6. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
7. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
8. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
9. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
10. The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
11. Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
12. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
13. The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne
14. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
15. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
16. One flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kassey

17. Dracula by Bram Stoker
18. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
19. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
20. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
21. The Quiet American by Graham Greene
22. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
23. The World According to Garp by John Irving
24. Pippi Longstocking by Astrid Lundgren

Wordsworth Classics Reading Challenge-Completed


Lynossa from Deranged Book Lovers sponsored the Wordsworth Classics Challenge in which we read novels that are Wordsworth classics. I commotted to reading 5-8 books and actually read 11! Yeah me!

1. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
2. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
3. 20,000 Leagues under the Sea by Jules Verne
4. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
5. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
6. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
7. Dracula by Bram Stoker
8. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

9. Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
10. The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graheme
11.The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain


Memorable Memoirs Challenge-COMPLETED (somewhat)

Melissa from The Betty and Boo Chronicles hosted the Memorable Memoirs Challenge this year. I committed to reading 10 and actually ended up reading 9!

1. The Memory Palace by Mira Bartok
2. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
3. Dirty Secret by Jessie Sholl
4. If You Ask Me (which of course, you won't) by Betty White
5. Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe
6. Boy: Tales from Childhood by Roald Dahl
7. Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
8. Roots by Alex Haley
9. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

2nd Annual Book Survey

I've seen this on many book blogs and like the way it sums up the years' reading!

1. Best Book You Read In 2011?

I couldn't chose just one! I would have to say: Room by Emma Donoghue, The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown and The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins


2. Most Disappointing Book/Book You Wish You Loved More Than You Did?

Because I so loved the Traveling Pants series, I had high hopes for Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares but it did not live up to my expectations


3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2011?

I was mildly interested in reading it and it turned out to be great: Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe


4. Book you recommended to people most in 2011?

Without a doubt, Room and The Hunger Games series. Also Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua for my mom friends.


5. Best series you discovered in 2011?

Obviously The Hunger Games!


6. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2011?

I read a lot of classics for the first time; the "new" authors I discovered were: Willa Cather, Toni Morrison, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. I enjoyed Willa Cather so much that I'm planning to participate in a reading challenge that features reading one of her books each month in 2012!


7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

I was surprised at how much I enjoyed 20,000 leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne


8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2011?

Room and The Hunger Games series


9. Book you most anticipated in 2011?

I had heard so much about these two: Room and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother


10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2011?


There are two:




11. Most memorable character in 2011?

There were a few: Jack from Room; Griet from Girl with a Pearl Earring, and Katniss from The Hunger Games


12. Most beautifully written book read in 2011?

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke


13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2011?

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother by Amy Chua


14. Book you can't believe you waited UNTIL 2011 to finally read?

Because I read a lot of classics for the first time this year, the list includes: The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, Lord of the Flies by William Golding, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott, House of the Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne, and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.


15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2011?

I don't keep track...

16. Book That You Read In 2011 That Would Be Most Likely To Reread In 2012?

The Hunger Games series, without a doubt. I';d also like to read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer with my son.


17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother almost got thrown across the room multiple times and Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult had some moments that made me crazy! Both were great though!

Celebrate the Author challenge-COMPLETED

Lu from Lu's Rants and Raves sponsored the Celebrate the Author Challenge, in which we read a book each month by an author born in that particular month.

Here's what I read:

January: Edgar Allan Poe: The Pit and the Pendulum and Other Tales
Lewis Carroll: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Jules Verne: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

March: Lois Lowry: Gathering Blue; Messenger

April: Washington Irving: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow; Rip Van Winkle

May: Arthur Conan Doyle: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

June: Harriett Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom's Cabin

July: Nathaniel Hawthorne: The Scarlet Letter; The House of Seven Gables
E.B. White: Trumpet of the Swan
Ernest Hemingway: The Old Man and the Sea

August: Mary Shelley: Frankenstein

September: Roald Dahl: Revolting Rhymes; The Minpins; The Enormous Crocodile; BFG; Matilda; Boy; The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar

October: Oscar Wilde: The Picture of Dorian Gray; The Selfish Giant

November: Mark Twain: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer

December: Rudyard Kipling: The Jungle Book




Fall Into Reading Challenge-(somewhat) completed

Katrina from Callapidder Days sponsored the Fall into Reading Challenge that ran from September 23, 2011 through December 21, 2011 for all of us to list the books we were planning to read through the fall.

Obviously, I'm a little late posting the wrap-up post!

My plan in participating in this was to complete the rest of the challenges I had signed up for.

The Century Challenge

I completed the 4 books I wanted to finish to complete this challenge: Roots, Song of Solomon, The World According to Garp, and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.

Wordsworth Classics Challenge
I read The Wind in the Willows and Gulliver's Travels but not Moll Flanders. thankfully I did read Dracula for a read-along and it turned out to be a Wordsworth Classic so I did finish this challnege.

Celebrate the Author Challenge
I finsihed the three needed to complete this challenge, also: The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, and The Jungle Book

Memorable Memoirs Challenge
I committed to reading 10 and of the three I planned to read, I only read I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.

A-Z challenge
I had high hopes of finishing this one, too! Alas, I only read the "Q" selection but not "X", "Y", "Z". If I were to do this one again, I think I would start with those letters so I wouldn't be scrambling so much at the end!

As I already said, I did Read Dracula for A Literary Odyssey's October Read-A-Long.

I didn't get to any of the "extras" I had listed but I plan to read them next year.

A to Z Challenge


I tried to read my way through the alphabet by Title and ran out of time for "X", "Y" and "Z". If I were to do this again, I think I start with those letters.

A: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
B: Bud, not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis
C: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
D: Dirty Secret by Jessie Sholl
E: Every Last One by Anna Quindlen
F: Freedom by Jonathan Frazen
G: The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allan
H: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I: If you ask me (which of course, you won't) by Betty White
J: Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
K: The Kite Runner
L: Lord of the Flies by William Golding
M: Messenger by Lois Lowry
N: The Nobodies Album by Carolyn Parkhurst
O: Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
P: The Pit and the Pendulum and Other Tales by Edgar Allan Poe
Q: The Quiet American by Graham Greene
R: Rip Van Winkle by Washington Irving
S: Small Island by Andrea Levy
T: Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White
U: Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
V: The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides
W: While I'm Falling by Laura Moriarty
X:
Y:
Z:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

WWW Wednesday

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

*don't be too impressed when you see how much I've read; this covers three weeks!

Currently Reading:


The Autobiography of Santa Claus
I've read mixed reviews about this one but wanted to read something Christmas-y. I'm really enjoying it and even Tucker 's enjoyed the parts he's listened to with me, as well!

The Probable Future by Alice Hoffman
I put this "on-hold" while I read about Santa. It's my second book by her and I think I'm liking it more than the first one I read!

I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
I read this every year...one of my very favorite books!


Recently finished:

The World According to Garp by John Irving
This was my last book for The Century Challenge and also counted for the 1001 Books You Must Read challenge. This is the first time I've read anything by Irving and I really liked it! I'm just sorry I waited so long this year to finally read it!

The Peach Keeper
by Sarah Addison Allen
this was a nice easy listen....

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
this was my last book for the Memorable Memoirs challenge. It was okay, nothing really spectacular, though, which was disappointing.

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
Another easy read that I really enjoyed...maybe one of my favorite books for the year!

The Jungle Books, Part I by Rudyard Kipling
I listened to this for the Celebrate the Author challenge and honestly, other than the stories that actually pertained to The Jungle Book and of course, Rikki-Tikki-Tavi (one of my favorites), this book didn't really do much for me.


Coming Up
:

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

Uglies by Scott Westenfield





Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WWW Wednesday

MizB of Should Be Reading sponsors this weekly event so we can share what we're reading!

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently reading:

The Peach Keeper by Sarah Addison Allen

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou


Recently finished:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George speare


Coming Up:

The World According to Garp by John Irving

The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown





















Thursday, November 10, 2011

WWW Wednesday

Currently Reading:

The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke


Recently Finished:

Matched by Ally Condie
I picked this up on a whim at my son's book fair and ended up loving it! It's the story of a girl in a future society where they are matched with their life mate at the age of 17. It's another YA dystopian book and I really enjoyed it; can't wait to read the next one!

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman
I had heard good things about this book and having never read anything by Hoffman, I was curious. It's the story of a garden and the strange things that grow there over hundreds of years and the people who live in the same small town. It was interesting to have a story centered around one specific area and the stories of the people over a couple of hundred years.


The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
I read this for the Wordsworth Classics Challenge with my son. I received it as a gift when I was 8 and had never read it so I figured it was probably time to read it! lol

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift
I read this for two challenges: the Wordsworth Classics Challenge and 1001 Books You Must Read. I found it a little wordy but overall it was pretty food.

Roots by Alex Haley
This was my 1976 choice for The Century Challenge. This took me forever but I am so glad I persevered and made it through. I thought the ending seemed a little rushed...it took over 600 pages to get from the 1700s to the emancipation of the slaves and it fast-forwarded to present times. But I did really enjoy it and got very wrapped in the story of all the characters.

The Quiet American by Graham Greene
I read this as my "Q" choice for the A to Z Challenge and also for the 1001 Book You Must Read Challenge.

Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
This was my 1977 choice for The Century Challenge and I loved every page of it! This is only the the 2nd book I have read of hers and I will be reading more!

Coming Up:

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays


Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


My teaser this week is from Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison:

Milkman refused to look. Perspiration collected in the small of his back and ran out of his armpit down his side. But the fear was gone. He lay there as still as the morning light and sucked the world's energy up into his own will. And willed her dead. Either she will kill me or she will drop dead. Either I am to live in this world on my terms or I will die out of it. If I am to live in it, than I want her dead. One or the other. Me or her. Choose.

~Song of Solomon, pg. 143

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WWW Wednesday

MizB of Should Be Reading sponsors this weekly event so we can share what we're reading!

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading:

Roots by Alex Haley
Less than 100 pages to go!

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graheme
Reading with my son...

Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift


Recently Finished:

Dracula by Bram Stoker
I read this as part of a Read-Along sponsored by Ally of A Literary Odyssey and am glad I finally took the time to read it, particularly in October!


Coming Up Next:

Matched by Ally Condle

The Red Garden by Alice Hoffman

Friday, October 21, 2011

Group Read: Dracula


Allie from A Literary Odyssey is sponsoring a Group Read of Dracula.

This is one of those books I've always meant to read so I was excited to read to especially since I read both Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde for the first time this year. And reading it in October? Bonus!

It did not disappoint! I was immediately drawn into the story as Dracula invites unwitting Jonathan to his castle and will not let him leave. And that's only the beginning of the fun!

Of all the characters, I especially enjoyed Mina and her strong-willed personality, determination, and devotion to Jonathan. I Liked that the book wasn't all doom and gloom and that everyone wasn't killed in the end.

All in all, I have to say it was an enjoyable read and I would re-read it again in the future!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WWW Wednesdays


MizB of Should Be Reading sponsors this weekly event so we can share what we're reading!

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading:

Dracula by Bram Stoker

Roots by Alex Haley

The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Graheme


Recently Finished:

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
I read this for 3 challenges: Wordsworth Classics, Celebrate the Author, and 1001 Books You Must Read. It's the story of a handsome young man who has his portrait painted and finds that the portrait ages but he does not. It takes place over many years and he still looks the same age as he was when the portrait was painted. It presents some interesting ideas such as what would you do, how would you act if you knew that you would never age. Also had some tones of Edgar Allan Poe.


Coming Up:

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WWW Wednesdays


MizB of Should Be Reading sponsors this weekly event so we can share what we're reading!

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?


There may seem to be a lot because I haven't done this for a few weeks.


Currently Reading:

Roots by Alex Haley
I told you this would take me awhile; I just haven't had a lot of time to read! I have passed the halfway point though!

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
This is my October choice for the Celebrate the Author challenge; I thought I should get started on it so that's also cut into my time reading Roots.

Dracula by Bram Stoker
I had a hard time getting into it at first but I am wholeheartedly enjoying this one!


Recently Finished:

Cleopatra by Stacy Schiff
I read this for the Memorable Memoirs Challenge. I have been intrigued by this since it came out amid all the great reviews. Not knowing anything about Cleopatra, I was excited to read it and was not disappointed!

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
I read this for the 1001 Books You Must Read Challenge. This definitely ranks right up there with one of the strangest books I have read in awhile. I am glad I listened to it on audio because I think I would have gotten lost in the language if I read it in actual book-form. Having said all that, once I got beyond the strangeness of the language and got into the story, I did enjoy it!

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More Stories by Roald Dahl
I read this with my 9 yo son. It was the last book I read for the Celebrate the Author challenge for the month of September. It was a collection of short stories that varied from a hidden treasure to a man who cheats at cards(I'm oversimplifying). The stories were all good.

The Selfish Giant by Oscar Wilde
I read this for the Celebrate the Author challenge. I was looking through one of those books that is a compilation of "children's literature" from my childhood and found a short story by Oscar Wilde!

Coming Up:

Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

The Wind in the Willows by Graheme Greene (with my son)

Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Book Review: Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbit


Bookish Ardour has sponsored The Century Challenge this year. The books selected will be decided by publication year and have to be read in order from the time period chosen.

I've decided to participate at the Decade level which means I read 10 books from one decade.




I rea
d this for my "1975" choice.

From Wikipedia:
Winnie Foster comes from a well-bred, clean, healthy, straight-laced family who keep her locked away behind a four- foot iron fence that surrounds their home. They are the oldest family in the town, and own the surrounding woods. When running away from her confinement and into the woods one morning, she finds a beautiful tree from which a spring of water pours, with a teenage boy, who is almost a young man drinking from it. This discovery leads her to learn of a boy named Jesse Tuck and the rest of his family (Mae Tuck, Angus Tuck, and his brother Miles), who are immortal as a result of drinking from this spring eighty-seven years earlier.

My Thoughts: I have been curious about this book for a long time because my maiden name is Tucker which means my son has also been curious as that is his name! We listened to this on a road trip and it didn;t disappoint! We enjoyed the mystery of how Winnie figures out what the Tuck's family secret is and her delight in discovering that they have figured out how to live forever but then her realization that this may not be a good thing. I think we all take life itself for granted at some point, that we are invincible, but when faced with the option of living forever, is that something we would want? Added to that is the factor that this family was "stuck" if you will, at the age at which they first drank from the spring. An interesting book and very thought-provoking.

Book Review: The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier


Bookish Ardour has sponsored The Century Challenge this year. The books selected will be decided by publication year and have to be read in order from the time period chosen.

I've decided to participate at the Decade level which means I read 10 books from one decade.




I read
this for my "1974" choice.

Summary from Wikipedia:

When acting headmaster Brother Leon overextends his ambition by committing the students to sell twice as many boxes of chocolates at twice the price in the annual school chocolate sale, he reaches out to Archie and The Vigils to lend support for the effort. Archie is seduced by the promise of having the headmaster's implicit support for the group, and agrees. As if exulting in the potential of his power, Archie assigns Jerry to refuse to sell any chocolate for ten days. Jerry complies with the group, but then persists in his refusal to sell even after the ten days have passed. Both Brother Leon and The Vigils are incensed by Jerry's resistance, which threatens their ability to control the student body.

Jerry's refusal to take part is seen by many peers as heroic, but at Brother Leon's insistence The Vigils put their full force behind the chocolate sale, and in doing so set Jerry up as a villain to be harassed and bullied. Jerry is haunted by prank calls and his locker and possessions are vandalized. Archie enlists the school bully Emile Janza to brutally attack Jerry, but Jerry maintains his defiance. In a final show of power, Archie and The Vigils concoct a final event for the chocolate sale: a boxing match between Jerry and Emile in which each student chooses which blows will be laid by combatants. The match is halted by Brother Jacques, but not before Jerry is brutally beaten by Emile. Floating in and out of consciousness, Jerry says to his only friend, Goubert, that there was no way to win and that he should have just gone along with what everyone wanted him to do. Though Archie is caught and confronted by Brother Jacques, Brother Leon intervenes on Archie's behalf, implying that the next year Archie's power will be sustained by this new headmaster.

My Thoughts:

I have to admit that I struggled with one...maybe it was because I have heard so much about it, that it's a classic, that many high school students have read this; I don't know. But I just didn't get all the hype about it. I get the idea of good vs evil displayed by Jerry defying the school but who's good and who's evil? At some point, I wondered what was the big deal? It's a chocolate sale, for goodness sake. While I liked the idea of someone standing up for what they believe in, doing what they think is right, this book just wasn't for me , I guess. Without giving anything away, the ending had a "Lord of the Flies" feel to it that I wasn't crazy about and it all seemed very rushed at the end like there was a time-limit. Not one of my favorite reads...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I'm still plugging along with Roots by Alex Haley. Here's my teaser:

"Kunta's reverie was interrupted by a terrible sound. He stopped in his tracks. No, it was impossible! But there was no mistake; it was the baying of hounds."
~from Roots: The Saga of an American Family by Alex Haley, p. 261

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall Into Reading Challenge


Katrina from Callapidder Days is sponsoring the Fall into Reading Challenge that runs from September 23, 2011 through December 21, 2011 for all of us to list the books we still are planning to read through the fall1

Out of the 9 challenges I signed up for, I have completed 4. (now to write the reviews!)Which means I have a few books to go on 5 different challenges! In no particular order, here's what's coming up for me:

The Century Challenge
I have completed books published in 1970-1975 and am currently reading Roots, which was published in 1976. Coming up are:
1977: Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
1978: The World According to Garp by John Irving
1979: The Hitchhikers Guide to the Universe by Douglas Adams

Wordsworth Classics Challenge
I have completed 5 of the 8 that I committed to. Coming up for this challenge are:
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame
Gulliver's Travels by Jonathan Swift


Celebrate the Author Challenge
For this challenge, you read a book(s) by an author born in the particular month. coming up:
October: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
November: The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
December: The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

Memorable Memoirs Challenge
I committed to reading 10. I have three more to go after Roots:
Mennonite in a Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
Twain biography

A-Z challenge
I'm down to the most difficult letters. But here's what I'm looking at:
Q: The Quiet American by Graham Greene
X: Xisle by Steve Augarde
Y: You Know When the Men Are Gone by Siobhan Fallon
Z: Zorba the Greek by Niko Kazantzakis

I am also planning to read Dracula for the A Literary Odyssey's October Read-A-long.

There are a few others I would like to read if I can get to:
Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger
Tess of the D'Urbanvilles by Thomas Hardy
Unbroken by Laura Hildebrand
Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

WWW Wednesday

MizB of Should Be Reading sponsors this weekly event so we can share what we're reading!

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading:


The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More Tales by Roald Dahl (with my son-we'll finish this one tonight)

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Roots by Alex Haley
This may take me awhile ;)

Recently Finished:

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
I read this as my for the Back to the Classics Challenge. It is the story of a young girl during WWII in Germany who begins to steal the books the Nazis are burning but it is so much more. told from the perspective of Death (yes you read that right), the narration took some getting used to. I really enjoyed this one and can't say enough good things about it!

Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl
I read this for two challenges: the Celebrate the Author challenge and Memorable Memoirs. The last of my Dahl books for this challenge which I suppose seemed appropriate. It's the autobiography of Dahl and wow, did he live a crazy life. He details experiences that you can recognize in his books!



Coming Up:

Dracula by Bram Stoker
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
My teaser this week is from Roots by Alex Haley:

"Kunta knew not to let anyone, especially his mother, even suspect what he dreamed of. He felt certain that not only would Binta disapprove, but she would also probably forbid his ever mentioning it again, and that would mean Omoro would never know how desperately Kunta hoped he could go. So Kunta knew that his only hope lay in asking Fa himself--if he could ever catch him alone."
~from Roots, p.75

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

WWW Wednesday










Currently Reading:

Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar by Roald Dahl (with my son)

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak


Finished:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kessey
I read this for the 1001 Book You Must Read Challenge. I have been wanting to read it for years and I'm glad I finally took the time to! Next I'm going to watch the movie-I can't wait to see Jack Nicholson in it!

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory
This the story of Margaret Beaufort, the mother of King Henry VII and her fight to make sure her son takes the throne. It also features the murder of the princes in the tower and I have acquired the book by Alison Weir and plan to read that after Roots. As usual I enjoy anything by Philippa Gregory.

Matilda by Roald Dahl
I read this for the Celebrate the Author challenge. I was going to read this with my son but he had already read in school last year. I love the movie and I really loved the book too! Cute story!


Coming Up:

Roots by Alex Haley

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I am reading books by Roald Dahl this month for the Celebrate the Author challenge.

"Another thing. She resented being told constantly that she was ignorant and stupid when she knew she wasn't. The anger inside her went on boiling and boiling, and as she lay in bed that night she made a decision. She decided that every time her father or her mother was beastly to her, she would get back in some way or another."
~from Matilda by Roald Dahl

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

WWW Wednesday


To play along just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

This covers two weeks time as I was without power for a week due to Hurricane Irene!


Currently Reading:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory


Recently Finished:

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult
This one was powerful on so many levels and I found myself frustrated, happy, sad all at the same time. It's the story of a woman who's marriage falls apart after some particlularly trying times (don't want to give anything away) and her struggle to build a new life and identity. If you like Jodi Picoult, you need to read this!

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
I read this for 3 challenges: 1001 Books You Must Read, Celebrate the Author, and Wordsworth Classics. First of all, I always thought the monster was Frankenstein but that is actually the name of the creator. Really good book and just sorry I waited so long to read it.

The Enoumous Crocodile/The Minipins by Roald Dahl
I read these with my son for the Celebrate the Author challenge for this month. There were short stories and were probably the most "normal" stories I've read by Dahl! Both are really good and highly recommended!


Dreams of Joy by Lisa See
I really enjoyed Snowflower and the Secret Fan and Shanghai Girls by See so I was quick to grab this one at the library. what I didn't realize is that is the continuation of Shanghai Girls, the story of the daughter of one of the girls and her struggle to find out who she is. Another really good one!


Coming Up:

The Book Thief

Matilda by Roald Dahl (with my son)

Death and the Virgin Queen by Chris Skidmore

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
Here's mine:

"...I am interested, however, that the doctor at the work farm added this statement: 'Don't overlook the possibility that this man might be feigning psychosis to escape the drudgery of the work farm'. He looks up at McMurphy. "And what about that, Mr. McMurphy?"

~from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WWW Wednesdays


To participate, just answer the following three questions:

~What are you reading now?

~What did you recently finish reading?

~What do you think you'll read next?

I didn't get to post last week so this covers two weeks' time.

Currently Reading:

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult


Recently Finished:

Summer of my German Soldier by Bette Greene
I read this as my "1973" choice for The Century Challenge and really liked it. Taking place during WWII, it's the story of a teenage Jewish girl who's town is "chosen" to have German POWs stay in a camp there. One of them escapes and as she befriends him she learns that people are not always what they appear to be. A great story!

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
I read this as my "1974" choice for The Century Challenge and I'm not sure why but I wasn't terribly impressed. I know that some people have read this in high school or college and praised it highly. It's the story of a boy in a private school who refuses to participate in the annual chocolate sale with almost a Lord of the Flies feel to it, even with the grown-ups around. I just didn't get it.

The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory
This is the story of Queen Elizabeth I, who was thought to be a virgin and her rumored lover Sir Robert Dudley. The only thing that stood between them and getting married was his wife Amy Dudley. when she is found dead, there is much suspicion cast upon both Robert and the Queen. I was disappointed that it took so long to get to the point of the book but right after I finished I found Death and the Virgin Queen in my book club written by a different author which looks interesting. I ordered it and can't wait to get it!

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
This is the story of the girls from the Traveling Pants, 10 years later. While I wasn't thrilled about how it started, it really came around and I was pleased with the ending.


Coming Up:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kassey

Dreams of Joy by Lisa See

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

I haven't done this in awhile so I thought I'd join in this week.

My teaser:
His words had a strange effect upon me. I compassionated him and sometimes felt a wish to console him, but when I looked upon him, when I saw the filthy mass that moved and talked, my heart sickened and my feelings were altered to those of horror and hatred.

~Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WWW Wednesday


To play along, just answer the follwoing three questions:

1. What are you currently reading?

2. What did you recently finish reading?

3. What do you think you'll read next?



Currently Reading:

The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory
I found this one to be a little awkward to read in public and after some strange looks at soccer practice, picked up The Lost Hours. Now I'm 100 pages away from finishing this and loving it!




Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares
I started listening to this before vacation and obviously didn't listen while on vacation. I wasn't really thrilled with how it started but I've been told it gets better so I am sticking with it!




Recently Finished:

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babit
I read this as my "1975" choice for The Century Challenge. We listened to it on our way to visit friends in MA. Since my son's name is Tucker, he was interested in it because of the title but we both quickly got wrapped up in the story of the Tuck family who never ages.

The Lost Hours by Karen White
Like I said above, I picked this up because it was awkward to read the Virgin's Lover in public. It has been on my TBR (and my shelf) for a couple of month and I really enjoyed it. It's about a woman who realizes after she dies that her grandmother had a story to tell and her regret in not listening to the story while her grandmother was alive. This really struck home with me as I work with the elderly and always wish I could know more about the lives they lived. Usually by the time I meet them, they're are pretty advanced with dementia.


Coming Up:

Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult

The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier




Tuesday, August 2, 2011

WWW Wednesdays


To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?



Currently Reading:


The Virgin's Lover by Philippa Gregory

Sisterhood Everlasting by Ann Brashares


Recently Finished:

:

The Scarlet Letter
by Nathaniel Hawthorne
I read this as my "re-read" for the Back to the Classics Challenge, the celebrate the Author challenge, and the 1001 Books You Must Read challenge. I am so glad I re-read this book as adult after having "read" it in high school. Clearly I didn't pay too much attention to it back then and once again, I found myself loving Hawthorne's writing.

The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White (with my son)
I read this for the Celebrate the Author challenge and as my "T" choice for A-Z challenge. I've been wanting to read some his books with my son and he really enjoyed this one of a swan who is different trying to make his way in the world.

We Are All Welcome Here
by Elizabeth Berg
I loved this one about a young girl who's mom had polio and is paralyzed from the waist down. Her mother's determination to raise her daughter despite this is amazing and is based on a true story. Highly recommend this one!

The Silver Boat by Luanne Rice
Another author I love! I have to be honest, I had a hard time getting into this one at first but I was eventually drawn into the story of three sisters dealing with their mother's death by trying to find out what happened to their father, who had sailed to Ireland when they were children, never to be heard from again.

Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe
I could not put this one down! Maybe it's the voyeur side of me (probably since I love People Magazine!), but I enjoyed the inside look at the 80s and the stories of who Rob Lowe grew up with (among them, Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez, Sean Penn). It was a good story of how a "bad boy" found himself and happiness in the crazy world that is Hollywood. I also added The Outsiders and The Hotel New Hampshire to my Netflix queue (How did I miss these?!)


Coming Up:


Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene

Sing You Home
by Jodi Picoult