Tuesday, December 28, 2010

5 Favorite Adult Novels Read in 2010, In No Particular Order

Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby

Annie is in a relationship with Duncan a music snob, especially when it concerns reclusive singer Tucker Crowe. When her relationship with Duncan starts to crumble Annie starts to form a life of her own and oddly enough stumbles into an e-mail correspondence with Tucker. I'm looking forward to reading more of Nick Hornby's books.

The Spellman Files by Lisa Lutz

Isabelle Spellman narrates the adventures of her kooky family of private investigators. This is for fans of Harriet the Spy or Veronica Mars.

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

Flavia de luce is a precocious 11 year old growing up in a small English village in 1950. Early one morning she finds a body in the cucmber patch and makes it mission to solve the murder.

Push by Sapphire

This is an inspirational story about the importance of literacy and education. Before I started reading I assumed the focus of the story was abuse. I love the first person narrative because you experience first hand the improvement in Precious's grammar, writing, and sense of self.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

This book was from the "Yes I have a degree in English and no I haven't read it" list. I love this book. I read slowly because I wanted to spend as much time in Maycomb as possible. From now on I will go forth and preach the gospel of Harper Lee.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

2011 Debut Author Challenge

I haven't tried a reading challenge in some time, so here goes nothing! The goal is to read 12 2011 debut authors of middle grade or YA fiction. I will most likely stick with YA since it is the age group I work with. Thanks to the Story Siren for hosting this challenge. Click the button for more information!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Shade by Jeri-Smith Ready

I read this because I love Melissa Marr and Jeri Smith-Ready was on the Smart Girl's Kick It Tour with her. Since I was going to hear her speak I thought I'd read one of her books before I went. Sixteen years ago there was a Shift in the world. Everyone born after the Shift can see and interact with ghosts and those born before cannot. Aura was born the day of the Shift and works in her aunt's law firm which is very pro ghosts rights. She has been in a relationship with Logan for about a year when he suddenly dies. Death may end a physical relationship between them but since she is a post-shifter he is still in her life. Things get a little more intersting when Aura is teamed with cute new Scottish student Zachary on a big project she's doing exploring what made the Shift happen. And Logan's parents hire Aura's aunt to head up a wrongful death suit, which may reveal some private information on Logan and Aura's last night together, hoping that it will help him move on to the afterlife and not become a bitter Earthbound Shade. There's also the small matter of the government being interested in Aura due to her birth date. This book does a good job of setting out the rules of what ghosts can and can't do. It is also grounded in the reality of high school by having all the gossip that happens when a teen dies suddenly. Of course there's always the question of when is it too soon to move on, but it's more interesting when the deceased party is still hanging around. I'm looking forward to book two next spring.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr

I really enjoyed Wicked Lovely and thought it was about time I read it's companion book. Ink Exchange has some of the same characters as its predecessor but the story focuses on new characters. Leslie has been trying to avoid her brother and his drug dealer friends. She hasn't even told her best friends the entire truth about how bad things have been at home. In order to reclaim her life and her bodyLeslie saves up to get a tattoo. The tattoo she chooses however has dangerous repercussions and will tie her to one of the dark faerie court. Ink Exchange is darker than Wicked Lovely. I like that most of the characters are not good or bad, but have facets. I will definitely read the next book, Fragile Eternity, which is a sequel to Wicked Lovely. I'm super excited that I'm going to Cincinnati this weekend to see Melissa Marr and several other teen paranormal fiction authors!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

White Cat by Holly Black

I was a little disappointed when I read the description of White Cat and saw nothing about faeries. I love faeries and I love the way Holly Black writes about faeries so I wanted more. Then I read White Cat and I was no longer disappointed. What a fantastic world she has woven into our own. Much like mutants are every day citizens in X-Men, curse workers are in this story. Everyone wears gloves because workers need to make contact with skin in order to perform a charm. Workers can change your memory, change your feelings, or even kill you. White Cat focuses on Cassel, the only non-worker in his family. Cassel wakes one night teetering near the edge of the roof on his boarding school dorm following a white cat. His subsequent suspension sends him home and leads to all kinds of family trouble. This is a suspenseful crime story that just so happens to have magic in it. I eagerly await book two, Red Glove due out Aprill 2011.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Football and Romance

I was reading the latest Romantic Times and noticed an article on a new series from Kimani Press, which is an imprint of Harlequin. Harlequin has a series of novels that revolve around NASCAR so I wasn't too surprised to see a series involving football. I don't read many romance novels, but I love football. I was super excited to see the author of the first two football themed romances, Farrah Rochon, is Brian Robiskie's cousin! Brian played for The Ohio State Buckeyes and is currently playing for the Browns. I hope Kimani uses this imformation to market her books in Ohio. It might seem silly, but it will probably get the books a second glance from people who might not normally read romance. I know I plan on purchasing the first two for our library's collection.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Blood Price by Tanya Huff

I read this because a good friend loves this series. I've also seen several episodes of Blood Ties, the Canadian tv show based on this series, and enjoyed them. Vickie Nelson was a decorated homicide detective in Toronto before her degenerating eyesight forced her out at age 30. Refusing to take a desk job, she quit and opened her own PI office. When murder victims across the city are found with their throats ripped out newspapers begin blaming vampires. Vickie is hired by a victim's girlfriend and while investigating meets an actual vampire. Henry Fitzroy, the bastard son of Henry VIII, wants to stop the murders and remove the media spotlight from the undead. It was nice to read a vampire novel that doesn't revolve around a romantic couple. The reader knows who is behind the murders so it definitely falls into the thriller category rather than mystery. It's also fun to see Vickie working and arguing with her former partner Mike while figuring out how to work a homicide without police backup. Vickie working the daytime angles while Henry works the after hours shift makes them a great pair. I will definitely read the second book.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Get Ready For More Blog

I have signed up for the Ultimate Blog Challenge! Thanks to Ama at Get Booked for posting the info!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

A new program and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

The library is starting a new night book club called Books Unbound which will be meeting at different bars and restaurants around town. We want to reach residents who don't come in the library by bringing a program to them. Since our potential members aren't coming to us, we wanted to pick a book available in paperback. We also wanted to pick a best seller, something that would be super easy to get from your local bookstore. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo fit the requirements perfectly. Found guilty of libel, economic journalist Mikael Blomkvist temporarily steps down from his position at a Swedish magazine. A retired businessman Henrik Vanger hires Mikael to sift through evidence in the forty odd year old investigation into the disappearance of his niece Harriet. The large Vanger family has plenty much of dirt for Mikael to sift through. He finds help from security specialist Lisbeth Salander, a young woman who has recently had trauma of her own.
I do not typically read crime novels. There are some absolute brutal scenes that had my stomach in knots. The novel moves at a swift pace and I'm glad we chose this for book club because I'm not sure I would have read it otherwise. I look forward to reading the Larsson's other two novels.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Magician's Nephew

I saw Eclipse this weekend and one of the trailers* I got to see was for Voyage of the Dawn Treader. This made me want to reread the book, which made me want to read the entire Narnia series, etc. I have not read the entire series so I started with the book my particular box set has labeled as 1. I knew this was the last Narnia book C. S. Lewis wrote and I knew it was a prequel to the series. That was it. I was pleased to discover a fun origin story. I love a good origin story. And this was it. We got the origin of Narnia, the White Witch, even the lamp post and the wardrobe. I did think the Christian tones were a bit heavy handed in one particular chapter of this one. The last chapter though won me over and made me smile and sigh!

*I also saw a trailer for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows so I suspect I will be revisiting that series as well before November. Oooh, and a trailer for Red. Need to put that graphic novel on hold!

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

When she was bad she was horrid

Yes, I am the librarian who doesn't read. That is an exageration. I have read three books this year. I've been in a very scattered brain space (I'll blame the house buying and moving) and reading, even brain candy, takes a level of concentration I've been lacking. I have managed to read three books. They are:

Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
A friend of mine has told me repeatedly to read Nick Hornby, he is fabulous, I will love him, blah blah blah blah blah. She was so right! This was the first book I managed to finish this year and I love it. The focus on music helped keep me on track. I know music snobs like Duncan. Every time he thought Annie wasn't smart enough to be listening to and formulating opinions on Tucker Crowe's music I wanted to beat him about the head with a tambourine. The ages might be off but the whole time I read this I pictured Annie as Gwen from Torchwood and Duncan as Roy from The IT Crowd. I will definitely recommend this to my music geek teens, especially during Teen Read Week. (It's a music theme! Yes!)

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson

I've read Maureen Johnson's blog for several years (see the rat hammock post) and it has made be giggle until I cry. Also, she is John & Hank Green's secret sister (see Nerdfighters). Yet this is the first of her books I've read. I MUST READ MORE! Scarlett's somewhat eccentric family own a money pit of a hotel in New York City. An even more eccentric guest employs Scarlett as her personal assistant. Hijinks ensue.

Going Bovine by Libba Bray won the Printz Award this year. I haven't read last year's yet and did not like the winner before that. I'm very glad I read this one. Slacker Cameron finds out he is dying of mad cow disease. Or is he? While in the hospital he receives a visit from a hyper pink winged angel named Dulcie who tells him his disease stems from Dr. X's time traveling and sends him on an epic road trip. Is he actually on a paranormal venture, or is he still in the hospital, hallucinating?
That's all thus far for 2010. Hopefully my reading will pick up when some of my other commitments are over. Onward and upward!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

If I were to sign up for the Once Upon a Time Challenge

If I did sign up for the challenge, I would pick these books:

Fantasy - The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker by Leanna Renee Hieber

Folklore - Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

Mythology - The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Fairy Tale - Penelope by Marilyn Kaye

Monday, March 08, 2010

My Name is Alice, I Live in a Palace

I saw Alice in Wonderland this weekend in 3-D. I quite liked it. A lot. Let me say, I'm a huge Tim Burton fan and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is my favorite book. I would rather have a well told brand new story using the Wonderland characters than an unsatisfying film that attempted to stay true to the original. One of the things that displeased me so much about the 1999 made for tv movie was the caterpillar declaring, and I'm paraphrasing, Everything has a purpose. Even in Wonderland. No, in fact it doesn't. Tim Burton is the perfect director to embrace the madness and nonsense of Wonderland. I thought he did a good job of mixing elements of Wonderland and it's sequel, Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. I also like the subtlety of the 3-D. It gave a beautiful film dimension rather than having images fly out at you in a kitschy manner. Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter was like a child borne of Jack Sparrow and Willy Wonka. I can't wait to see it again, although my second viewing will not be 3-D.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

This weekend I...

* Went to see The Shanghei Hitmen, a pretty great cover band a friend of mine plays with
* Made four cards at my first ever class at Archiver's with N. Super fun, I will take more classes
* Enjoyed watching bits of the Olympics
* Worked
* Taught myself to crochet. Looking forward to a more comprehensive lesson next Sunday with M. Not from James Bond. But she could be.

Looking forward to...
*My renewal meeting at church tomorrow
*House inspection Tuesday
*Book club at the library Wednesday
*RCBP on Saturday

I must buy my brother a birthday card and Home Depot gift card which will be late. If it weren't late though, he might worry about me. He's turning 45!

Now I'm off to find my camera case!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Christians Who Give Jesus a Bad Name

I am just catching up on this month's episodes of The Daily Show on Hulu and saw a clip of Brit Hume talking about Tiger Woods several weeks ago. He made the comment that Tiger is a Buddhist and Brit isn't sure that Buddhism offers the forgiveness that Christianity offers.

Brit, sweetheart, you are a journalist. LOOK IT THE FUCK UP! The only reason you don't know if Buddhism offers forgiveness is because you choose to remain ignorant about faiths other than your own.

The next day when he was being interviewed by Bill O'Reilly, Brit said that the mention of Jesus name causes all Hell to break loose. It isn't the mention of His name. It is your insistence that everyone must believe in Jesus as the son of God and that they must believe in Him the same way you do. I believe in Jesus and I'm kind of offended on His behalf. Nobody gives Him a bad wrap like his followers.

It makes me think of one of my favorite hymns. "They will know we are Christians by our love." Not "They will know we are Christians because we will tell them and then badger them until they are too." Perhaps Christianity and Jesus will be taken more seriously by others when Christians who are in the public eye begin to act their faith.