Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year's Eve

I hope that you all have a safe and Happy New Year's Eve!!  See you next year!

2010 TBR Challenge

I've decided to sign up for a 2nd challenge for 2010. It's the 2010 Original TBR (To Be Read) challenge that is being hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.  Participants cannot change their lists, although they can have an alternate list, after December 31.

Here are the guidelines that she has set for this challenge (pulled from the Challenge website).

  • Pick 12 books – one for each month of the year - that you’ve been wanting to read (that have been on your “To Be Read” list) for 6 months or longer, but haven’t gotten around to.
  • OPTIONAL: Create a list of 12 “Alternates” (books you could substitute for your challenge books, given that a particular one doesn’t grab you at the time)
  • Then, starting January 1, read one of these books from your list each month, ending December 31.
  • the challenge is to read 12 TBR books in 12 months -- you can read those all in one month if you want, or one a month, or however you wanna do it
  • you need to have a list posted somewhere for others to see (even if it's in a comment here)
  • you CANNOT change your list after January 1st, 2010!!! 
  • you can create an Alternates list of MAXIMUM 12 books, if you want, in order to have options to choose from (you can read these in place of books on your original list).
  • audiobooks and e-books ARE allowed
  • re-reads are NOT allowed, as they aren't TRUE "TBRs"
  • you CAN overlap with other challenges
  • OPTIONAL: you can join the Yahoo! Group created for participants of the TBR Challenge, if you want to have a place to keep your list, or just to share with others about how you're doing! :)
The books I plan to read:
  1. Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes - Completed and reviewed - Jan. 23, 2010
  2. A National Party No More: The Conscience of a Conservative Democrat by Zell Miller - currently reading
  3. The Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs - Completed and reviewed - Feb. 10, 2010
  4. The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James - Completed and reviewed - April 10, 2010
  5. Flags of Our Fathers by James Bradley
  6. Treason by Don Brown - currently reading
  7. Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Márquez
  8. The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
  9. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
  10. The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
  11. The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  12. Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky - Completed and reviewed - Feb. 10, 2010
My alternate list of books to read:
  1. When Character was King: A Story of Ronald Reagan by P. Noonan
  2. Dispatches from the Edge by Anderson Cooper
  3. The Fate of Katherine Carr by Thomas H. Cook
  4. Dark Places by Gilliam Flynn
  5. The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti
  6. The Case of the Gilded Fly by Edmund Crispin
  7. Sashenka by Simon Montefiore
  8. Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
  9. The White Queen by Philippa Gregory
  10. The Billionaire's Vinegar by Benjamin Wallace
  11. Common Sense by Glenn Beck
  12. Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously by Julie Powell
I can't wait to get started on this challenge.

    Tuesday, December 29, 2009

    The Radical Leap

    I really enjoyed this book by Steve Farber and would definitely recommend it to friends, especially those in leadership positions. 

    I received this book as a gift and put it aside at first thinking that it wasn't my normal style and that I would never read it.  In 2008. I was looking for something to read and pulled it off of my shelf thinking that I would give it a try.  If I didn't like it, I could always put it down.  Once I started reading it, I couldn't put it down and had it read in one day.

    I I know that there is a follow-up to this called The Radical Edge and I am looking forward to reading that as well.

    Best Book Lists of 2009

    I've been looking on the internet and getting emails from some of the online retailers and here are some of the Best Books of 2009 lists that I've come across, in no particular order. 
    I'm going to be taking a look at these lists over the next couple of weeks to find books to add to my reading table in 2010.

    Monday, December 28, 2009

    Library Loot - December 28, 2009

    Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

    This is my first contribution to the Library Loot event.  I found this while reading a blog post on Devouter of Books.  I wish that I had known about this months ago!  I've been checking books out of the library like crazy since March.  I look forward to making more contributions in the future.

    The book that I currently have checked out of the library is Kindred in Death by J.D. Robb.  I started reading this series in March and liked it so much that as one book would come in at the library, I'd request the next one.

    I enjoyed this book and can't wait to see the next one.  It's been fun watching Eve developed through the series.  She has definitely grown and become more "accessible" since the first book.  In the beginning of the series, she never would have invited Louise to stay at the mansion the night before her wedding and to include the rest of the bridesmaids in the invitation.

    The plot of this book was interesting.  In some places, it was a bit predictable.  I missed having all of the main characters as involved as they have been in past stories.  I think that Peabody's character has grown a lot, but that she still has a way to go and I missed seeing that in this book. 

    I love Roarke!  He is one of my favorite characters in this series.  However, I feel that he is becoming too much a part of the EDD team and is losing some of what made him so lovable in the first place, his walking the line between legal and illegal and being just this side of legal.  I wish that he would go back to some of those things, or be less accessible to Eve because of work.  In some ways, I think that she is starting to take him and his abilities for granted.  Just my two cents on her dependency of him.  I really like them as a couple and think that they are excellent complements for each other. 

    I would recommend this book to other readers.

    Tuesday, December 22, 2009

    My 1st reading challenge

    I just signed up for my first reading challenge, the Flashback Challenge.  It's being co-hosted by Book Lust.

    Here is the link to the Flashback Challenge.  I'm going to participate at the Book Worm level - 3 books and will try to do their mini-challenge of:

    1. Re-read a favorite book from your childhood - Anne of Green Gables
    2. Re-read a book assigned to you in high school -
    3. Re-read a book you loved as an adult - The Da Vinci Code

    I'm going to have to think about what books I want to read for this challenge and will update this post soon.

    Updated January 1, 2010:  Well, I've decided on two of the three books which I'm going to reread for this challenge.  I've added them above in bold.  I still have to think of a book that I was assigned to read in high school.

    Sunday, December 20, 2009

    The Big Happy Holiday Book Giveaway

    I just saw this giveaway, The Big Happy Holiday Book Giveaway, on Linus's Blanket and wanted to share it with you.

     Each of the sets look very interesting, but I am really hoping that I get the Christmas set.  Happy Holidays!

    Songs for the Missing

    I had never read anything by Stewart O’Nan when this book was read by the Barnes & Noble First Look book club.  I knew that he had written other books though since I did some research on the author after I joined this book discussion.

    I really enjoyed reading, Songs for the Missing. I couldn't put this book down once I started.  I found that I was drawn into the lives the characters and I wanted to see what happened next to them.  There aren't many authors that are able to capture my attention and hold it the way that Stewart O'Nan did with this book.  I am going to have to add his other books to my reading table.

    *NOTE: I was able to review this book from a copy that I received through Barnes & Noble’s First Look book club.

    The Sister

    I was lucky to be a part of the Barnes & Noble First Look group that previewed Poppy Adams’ debut novel, The Sister.  It seemed that the group seemed to be split on whether they liked this book or not.  Below are my thoughts on The Sister.

    I got off to a slow start with this book and considered putting it down.  After I pressed on, I found myself caught up in Ms. Adams' debut novel.  Normally, I read books for their enjoyment factor and not necessarily with the aim of analyzing every action taken by the characters, I constantly found myself rethinking my opinions of Ginny and Vivi and how their lives evolved as they did.  I feel that Ms. Adams' does a very good job of weaving the sisters' memories of the past into their present lives.  I found it interesting to see how these two sisters view the same events in totally different ways.  As the story progresses, Ginny finds herself forced to rethink some of her earlier memories and these events impacted her life.  How might her life have been different if events had occurred differently?

    Ms. Adams' use of moths and how she interwove the moths with the behaviors of the family members was neatly done.  Some of her scientific descriptions about the moths and their development were a little too in depth for my tastes. 

    Ms. Adams' does not "spoon feed" the reader everything about this book, but makes you think.  If you don't like having everything handed to you, you will enjoy this book.  If you like to think and draw your own conclusions, this book is for you.

    *NOTE: I was able to review this book from a copy that I received through Barnes & Noble’s First Look book club.

    Barnes & Noble - First Look Book Club

    I have been trying to participate in Barnes & Noble’s First Look book club since it began.  I will admit that I am not always the best at posting on the Discussion boards nor have I participated in reading every book that the group has read, but I do love seeing books from new authors.  When possible, I am going to try to post my thoughts on the books that I get to read through this book club once the book has been published.

    Thursday, December 17, 2009

    My reading table

    I love reading and constantly have a pile of books on one of the end tables that I have either borrowed from the library, borrowed from someone or have purchased.  This stack of books varies in what it holds.  Sometimes, it is all romance.  Others it is all mystery and suspense.  And still other times, it is a mix of things.

    I read books, not to dissect them, though I did do some of that with the Harry Potter books towards the end, but for the enjoyment of reading.  Books are my escape from the things that would drive me crazy.

    This blog is going to be my thoughts about the books that I am reading.  Suggestions are always welcome, though it might take me a while to get to them.  I will also be posting my thoughts on books that I read a while back simply because I want to mention them.