Saturday

Status... say what? (Jan. 09)


So, I decided instead of having my sidebar cramped up full of the challenges I'm in (since there are so many), I thought I might just do a post once at the end of each month to provide status on each. So here goes...

The Genre Challenge
(8/11) ends November 1, 2009

The 2009 Pub Challenge
(1/9) ends December 2009

A-Z Reading Challenge (titles only)
(8/26) ends December 2009

The Whitcoulls List
(2/5) ends November 15, 2009

Casual Classics Challenge
(0/4) ends December 2009

What's in a Name Challenge
(4/6) ends December 2009

100+ Reading Challenge
(16/100) ends December 2009

New Author Reading Challenge
(13/50) ends December 2009

2009 YA Challenge
(3/10) ends December 2009

Romance Reading Challenge
(4/5) ends December 2009

2nd Challenge
(2/12) ends December 2009

TBR Lite Challenge
(1/6) ends December 2009

Numbers Challenge
(0/5) ends August 1, 2009

Cornelia Funke Challenge
(3/4) ends March 1, 2009

Read Your Name Challenge
(2/7) ends December 2009

20 in 2009 Book Challenge
(16/20) ends December 2009

999 Challenge
(16/81) ends December 2009

Chick Lit Challenge
(3/10) ends December 2009

TBR Challenge
(4/12) ends December 2009

Outlander Challenge
(0/7) ends when An Echo in the Bone releases

Winter Reading Challenge
(7/8) ends March 20, 2009

eBook Reading Challenge
(6/10) ends December 2009

Books Into Movies Challenge
(4/8) ends December 2009

The Dream King Challenge
(0/3) ends December 2009

National Just Read More Novels Month
(16/10) ends TODAY

Buy 1 Book and Read it Challenge
(2/24) ends December 2009

9 for '09 Challenge
(2/9) ends December 2009

Just for the Love of It Challenge
(5/9) ends April 30, 2009

On the Porch Swing Challenge
(0/4) ends December 2009

Friday

The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke

Prosper and Bo are on the run from their aunt and uncle who want to separate the brothers by having the young Bo live with them while shipping the older Prosper off to boarding school. With hopes of staying together, they flee to the magical city of Venice where they are taken in by a mysterious boy who calls himself the "Thief Lord". With the help of their Thief Lord they are able to reside in an abandoned movie theater with other young runaways - who they consider family and the dilapidated theater a home. Along the way we also meet Victor Getz- the detective hired by Bo and Prosper’s aunt and uncle to help find the boys (and by far my favorite character).

This story was such a fun, action-filled, fast-paced adventure! I loved all the details and descriptions of Venice. The characters were full of wit and quite funny. The story itself is well-written has the perfect combination of magic, imagination, and reality.

For those of us who love adventure, twisty plots and witty characters - this is really a treat.

Thursday

Thursday Tunes (Wicked)

Thursday Tunes is once again being hosted by S.Krishna. This is a new Thursday meme that I really hope catches on because if there's one thing that I like just as much as reading it's music. So, on that note, I'd like to share one of my favorite soundtracks this week.

Yes, my music is just as diversified as my reading. I listen to a little bit of everything. One thing that I love are Broadway Show Tunes. I drag my hubby at least once a month to catch whatever Broadway show has travelled to our city. Needless to say we've seen many of them, but the one that I had to download the soundtrack to my iPod the moment the show was over and have been listening to since (yes, these are all songs that bring that happy smile to my face when it suddenly shuffles on - you know the one) is the Wicked Soundtrack.

This is a recording of the 2003 original Broadway cast featuring Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda and Idina Menzel as Elphaba. My favorites are Defying Gravity, Popular and For Good but there are really so many good one's on this CD (including The Wizard and I, Dancing Through Life, I'm Not That Girl, As Long As You're Mine) - I can really keep going with this :) I was able to find some of the songs on YouTube but they are performed live so the quality is not so good.

On a side note, if you've never actually seen Wicked - I recommend that you drop what you're doing this instant and buy tickets to the nearest show. It is WICKED-ly GOOD! and that's all I can say about that.

Tuesday

Ms. Hempel Chronicles by Sarah Shun-lien Bynum

Firstly, I want to start by saying that this was not what I thought it would be. I was expecting the memoir of an English teacher. The book has great reviews and therefore I thought "why not?" Sadly, it wasn’t something that caught my attention. I did read the whole book because it really pains me to actually stop reading something I’ve started - but there was just no point to this. Ms. Hempel is a seventh grade middle school teacher and with a refreshingly real voice gives several insightful thoughts about how teenagers and teachers think mixed in with some tangents about her personal life. She is at that verge where she is questioning everything she's doing with her life and how she is affecting the lives of the children she teaches. This was her quest to find herself - through these short, loosely-linked stories.

On a high note, the writing is beautiful and I can see where this would be a good read for a teacher.

But it just never hit a crescendo for me. I thought the plot meandered and was just too drawn out for me.

Monday

The Little Giant of Aberdeen County by Tiffany Baker

Truly Plaice is a larger than life character in every sense of the phrase. She is physically enormous and continues to grow and grow - not only in body but in character, soul and heart.

Truly was not born into a happy and easy life. For one, her mother dies after giving birth to her (she was big from the start). Several years later, her father passes away and leaves her sister Serena Jane and Truly at the hands of the local townsfolk, causing the two to be separated from each other. While Serena Jane goes to live at the local vicar’s house and is given anything her littler heart desires, Truly is sent to live at the Dyerson farm, where life is hard and tough and you have to work hard for what you want. Yet there was always a separation between both sisters - where Truly is large, sturdy, loyal and ugly (on the outside), Serena Jane is petite, beautiful, fragile, flighty and selfish.

Through Truly’s eyes, we are taken on a journey through her life where we meet the people who make lasting impressions on her soul and in our minds. First, there is Robert Morgan, the doctor/brother-in-law who torments Truly for most of his life. Then we meet Marcus, the smartest boy in town who stole Truly’s heart through letters while he was fighting for our country. We also meet Ms. Prissy Sparrow - the teacher who was the first to call Truly "Giant". Amelia, the true sister she finds and the family who took her in when she had no where else to go, who taught her to take life’s punches as they come but to be true to yourself at all times. Truly’s story and the relationship she forges with these people is truly unforgettable.

The magic, the sense of finding oneself through a lifetime of not fitting in anywhere, and coming to peace with that is quite brilliant! This was a charming, heartwarming story with a larger-than-life heroine that was a pleasure to read. I highly recommend it.

Friday

Life of Pi by Yann Martel

When Pi is sixteen, his family decides to emigrate from India to Canada aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. And there begins our adventure..

Although the story mostly revolves around Pi’s will to survive his 7 month long journey at sea, there are a lot of other thought-provoking elements. It contains elements of religion, philosophy, zoology, and biology.

With faith, this novel becomes all the more meaningful. It enables you to absorb the thoughts and emotion that Pi experiences. At the end of the book, when he presents two stories about what has happened to him, it is difficult to decide which of the two outcomes is true, and/or which of the two you prefer. I absolutely loved the ending of this book, it made me look at the story from a totally different perspective.

My favorite part were the instructions on how to dominate a Bengal tiger on a boat - this had me in stitches.

I will forewarn you though, it was a bit slow at first - but persevere and you will be awarded with a beautifully crafted and very vivid story of human nature and survival.

Thursday

Thursday Tunes (Sara Bareilles)

Thursday Tunes is a new meme being hosted by S.Krishna. Not only does she normally have a book review up a day but now she'll also be talking about music. Since I am a big music lover as well, I thought this would be a neat meme to also post about. So here it is:

My pick for my first Thursday Tunes is Sara Bareilles.

I'm sure you all recognize her grammy-nominated hit Love Song. But she has this spectacular CD. The whole thing is fantastic. There are two songs on it especially that I am in love with and listen to all the time. Over and over. I know, I'm spastic like that.


and Gravity (this song just totally blows me away). I LOVE IT!

She's just a girl with a piano - but she's the type to bring goosebumps when I hear her. I'm dying to see her live. Hopefully she'll head down to Miami on her next tour because I am SO there.

Let me know what you think about Sara and of course if you're interested in posting about your music interests and Thursday Tunes refer back to S.Krishna's site.


Booking Through Thursday

Since “Inspiration” is (or should) the theme this week … what is your reading inspired by?

This is so funny, my hubby and I were just discussing this just this past weekend. He asked me what makes you want to read? He being one that never picks up a book. In the past 10.5 years that I have been with this man, I've only seen him read one book and it was an audio version of the DaVinci Code. That's it! Nothing else! Ever!

I don't know what my inspiration persay is... but I will tell you that I love going into a book store and looking at the shelves and knowing that I've read half or all the books there. It's just such a good feeling to be able to say... "ooh, I read that!" I love being caught up in a good book. I feel learned (I'm not sure if that explains it) but it's just a feeling of accomplishment to read a book and know what it is about or being able to discuss it with someone who has read it too. If nothing else it makes me happy!

Not to mention I get fueled by this blog (having something to write about), reading all of your blogs and those nifty challenges I'm in also push me to read more and more - all these things inspire me to read.

Oh me! Oh my!



I got all these babies in the mail yesterday. I am so excited! I really wanted to take the day off today and just soak them all in and get some all-day reading done, but the dedicated worker in me gave me the guilt trip and here I am sitting behind my desk - ugh.

Carry on.

Current book-in-progress: Life of Pi
Current movie/tv obsession: Prince Caspian
iTunes Loop: Sober - P!nk

Tuesday

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

I picked this up on a whim and can say that there are not enough words to describe how wonderful this book really is. This is by far the best book I’ve read all year (I know we’re only in January - but it is one of the best books I’ve read in a really long time).

Set in England and the Channel island of Guernsey immediately following World War II, we meet Juliet Ashton (our protagonist and writer) who suddenly receives a letter from Dawsey Adams (Guernsey dweller) requesting some information on author, Charles Lamb. Thus begins a correspondence that leads her to discover the members of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and her next writing project/book. Through her letters with her new Guernsey acquaintances we get a feel for the German occupation of the Channel Islands during the five years of war.

The book is written in epistolary format which brought both levity and personalization to the German occupation of Guernsey. Considering the correspondence format, I was surprised at the character development. I fell in love with Dawsey, Isola, Sidney, Elizabeth, Kit - they were the true heart to this story and I also liked that it brought some humanity to the German soldiers as well.

I remarked to my husband that this book would make a marvelous film and after a quick Google search I was pleased to find out that the film rights have already been bought. I also sadly learned that author Mary Ann Shaffer passed away last February. Her illness caused her niece Annie Barrows to finish the book. I am in awe that this was Mary Anne’s first book.

This was a treat and a hands down MUST READ!

Sunday

Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch

Time of My Life was a bit reminiscent of Family Man, but I loved it anyway. This book is based on the question "What If?" I became totally engrossed with Jillian's story from the first page. When Jillian goes to her masseuse and has her chi unblocked, some very unexpected things happen. For one, she wakes up seven years earlier in bed, in her old apartment, and still in a relationship with her ex-boyfriend - no more husband, nor toddler, nor house in the suburbs. The best thing of it all, she remains with all the knowledge from her real life in the future... thus being able to avoid old arguments, get work done more efficiently and without the stress, be prepared for important life altering moments, etc. It was fun to see how every action had a reaction, thus changing her present and, of course, her future. More importantly though, it raised some very good points - like being true to yourself and not changing who you are or what you believe in for your partner, instead to compromise. As well as how important communication is in relationships. I was curious to see how things would turn out the second time around and will say that I had a tough time trying not to cheat and just look at the last couple of pages to see how it would end. All in all, this was very funny, thought-provoking and a joy to read. I highly recommend it.

Saturday

Awards

I recently received the Premios Dardos Award from my friend BethF over at Beth Fisth Reads.

This award acknowledges the values that every blogger shows in his or her effort to transmit cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values every day.

I've noticed that most of the blogs that I'm a big fan of have already been awarded but I still want to say that I enjoy reading each and every single one of your blogs and am constantly stalking your sites for more reviews and recommendations. Thanks for keeping my workday entertained and also making getting fired a possibility. =D

I also received the Butterfly Award from Ms. Ulat Buku over at Ulat Buku in the City. Thanks so much for my award. It makes me happy to receive them and thanks for dropping by every once in a while to comment.

So here are my nominees for both awards. I'm sure most of you have already received these awards but I just wanted to give you a shout out anyway and know that I appreciate reading your spectacular blogs.

Thursday

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke

Inkspell holds all the love of books, magic, and adventure that Inkheart did. What a fantastical sequel. In this one, Meggie, Mo, Resa and Farid are actually in the Inkworld. With them, we travel the Wayless Woods, see the Castle of Night, meet the Adderhead, the Laughing Prince (Prince of Sighs) and even Cosimo the Fair.

For some reason it took me a while to get into it and I struggled with the first 100 pages or so, but once it got going I couldn’t put it down. I liked the budding romance between Meggie and Farid. All the new characters introduced made the story all the more enjoyable. With a new nemesis and some of the old one’s being back, Inkspell takes us to a higher and more dangerous level. The ending was a bit sad (why did it have to be my favorite character?) - but I have high hopes that Inkdeath will turn it all around and wrap it up to my satisfaction. :D

Wednesday

Just for the Love of It Reading Challenge 2009


The Challenge Rules:
- Only books that I just can't wait to read.
- Only accept ARC/Publisher copies that I'm really interested in.
- My only deadlines will be for book tours.
- I'm NEVER "behind".
- My list is just for me... and I can change it however I want to!

(although not everything really pertains to my reading (i.e. I don't really get ARC's nor do I have book deadlines/tours) I thought this would be fun. Especially since I buy books every week or so.
For now I'm only giving myself a list of 6 books, but I'm sure I'll keep adding.

Tuesday

Secret Vampire by L.J. Smith

When Poppy is diagnosed with terminal cancer who does she turn to for support in coping with her fate? None other than her secret vampire BFF - James, who can actually save her by converting her. This was a very cute, PG rated, YA book that I devoured in about 2 hours time (while at work *snickers*). It's a teen vampire romance drama, with all the cliches/ trimmings. But other than that, it is a great guilty pleasure read. One thing that I did find new and refreshing was that vampirism had a scientific explanation in this story. It wasn’t just about " I VANT TO SUCK YOUR BLOOD". This is the intro story to the Night World series by L.J. Smith.

I found this little gem through one of J.Kaye’s posts. Amazon.com has a limited time free e-book version of it being offered that I couldn’t help getting caught up in right away.

Monday

Book Awards II Challenge Wrap-Up


Yes, you read that right. I am finally done with the Book Awards II Challenge, and let me tell you that it was so much fun to do! I actually got out of my comfort zone and read some books that normally wouldn't appeal to me and I can honestly say I was not disappointed.

Here is my list w/ reviews linked to each title:

1- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon (2003 Whitbread Book of the Year Award) (completed - 1/07/09)
2- The Gathering - Anne Enright (2007 Man Booker Prize) (completed 10/29/08)
3- The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson (2006 Glass Key Award) (completed 12/12/08)
4- Dead Until Dark - Charlaine Harris (Anthony Award for Best Paperback Original 2001) (completed 10/15/08)
5- Doubt: A Parable - John Patrick Shanley (2005 Pulitzer Prize) (completed 12/27/08)
6- Blindness - José Saramago (1998 Nobel Prize) (completed 1/11/09)
7- The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz (2008 Pulitzer Prize) (completed 11/6/08)
8- The End of the Alphabet - C.S. Richardson (2007 Alcuin Award) (completed 10/22/08)
9- Inkheart - Cornelia Funke (2004 Book Sense Children's Literature Award) (completed 12/17/08)
10- The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants - Ann Brashares (2004 YRCA Award) (completed - 11/13/08)

My initial post is here. Now off to work on the other 25 or so challenges that I'm also signed up for =D

Happy Reading!

Blindness by José Saramago

Firstly, I want to start by saying that this was one of the scariest books that I have ever read.

A city is hit by an epidemic of "white blindness" which spares no one. Authorities begin by quarantining the blind to an empty mental hospital, but there the criminal element holds everyone captive, stealing food rations and raping women. There is one eyewitness to this nightmare who guides seven strangers. I really liked the way that nobody in the story had a name (i.e.: the doctor, the doctor’s wife, the girl with the dark glasses, the man with the black eyepatch, the thief, the first blind man, the boy with the squint, etc.)... a blind person doesn’t need a name they are only a voice.

The writing style was a bit hard for me at first - there is no use of quotations throughout the whole story so it was a bit difficult to distinguish who was speaking- but I caught on quickly enough.

Saramago has a profound way of getting into the depths of human psychology. I found it to be difficult at times, but very thought provoking. What would you do? The world can no longer function as we know it and we are down to living in the streets and scavenging for food. It is an amazing look at humanity, kindness, and pure despair. I was addicted!

Friday

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler

This was such a fun and witty novel. In short, Jane Austen meets Quantum Leap. Courtney Stone (hip, modern, LA girl) wakes up as Miss Jane Mansfield in Regency England -in none other than Jane Austen’s time! It’s funny because I myself have wondered a time or two (or three) what it would be like to live in one of my favorite novels. Well, I’m sure there is nothing fun about the lack of plumbing, or body odor!, or anesthesia?!? for that matter. Yes, when you look at it that way, I am sure there is nothing romantic about living in another era. But nonetheless, Courtney makes the best of it, making friends, finding a love interest in Mr. Edgeworth and eventually coming to terms with "if you’re given lemons, make lemonade." =)

This was a nice, easy read. There are plenty of references to Pride and Prejudice along with several similar circumstances that you can also associate with Austen’s novels. I loved that Jane Austen herself had a cameo appearance (which was hilarious)! Lots of fun for fans of Austen's literary brilliance and a clear tribute.

Once again, I would like to send a shout-out to Jennifer at bookclubgirl and Laurie Viera Rigler for hosting the giveaway that allowed me to win this autographed copy. Thanks so much ladies - it was a pleasure to read.

Thursday

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon

Christopher Boone has one goal and that is to find out who the murderer of a neighborhood dog (Wellington) is. Although his search is for a dog-murderer, Christopher's quest ultimately uncovers some very important family secrets along the way.

It was fascinating to be able to read thru the point-of-view of an 11 year old child with autism - it definitely made for a compelling read. I loved reading about all the quirks (i.e. his hate of anything yellow or brown, his pain at being touched, how a certain amount of red cars or yellow cars would determine how his day went, how doing "maths" calms him down, etc.). Along the way, you also learn about his daily interactions with his father, teachers and neighbors.

This story provides great insight to those who want to understand what autism is. Most books revolve around people who care for an autistic person and I found this to be a fresh and profound view of living with autism. It was a quick and enjoyable read and an altogether great experience for the insight it provides.

Tuesday

Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts

Novalee Nation is seventeen and seven months pregnant when the father of her child abandons her at a Walmart halfway across the nation from anyone she knows. The story of Novalie's life is so beautiful - she overcomes so many obstacles (from being abandoned by her mother as a child to living and giving birth in a Walmart, etc.) yet always looks on the brighter side. She goes through the good, bad, and ugly. I laughed and I cried. It just goes to show that friends can be just as much your family as those who are blood-related to you, sometimes they are even more so. Through Novalee the reader is introduced to a variety of lovable and eccentric characters who teach her that home truly is Where the Heart Is.

Monday

9 for 09 Challenge

RULES
- Open to anyone, whether you have a blog or not!
- No need to register or to announce what you are going to read.
- Start in any category that you wish.
- 3 books from this reading challenge can be used in other reading challenges.
- Just post in the comment section.
- The genre of the books can be ANYTHING (fiction or non-fiction), but it must be decent(because you have to write reviews about the books).
- Other reading materials (graphic novels, poetry, museum catalogs, art books, zines etc.) are OK.
- The book must already be in your bookcase or storage area.
- The Challenge starts 12/27/08 to 12/27/09. (I hate to begin anything on January 1st).
- You can post starting on 12/27/08.
- Format of work can be paper, audio, or electronic

These are the NINE categories to celebrate 2009! See the above tabs for details.

1 Long
2 Free
4 Used
5 Letter
6 Strange
7 Distance
8 Alive or Not
9 Cover

I couldn't help myself. This challenge has such great categories that it was something I just HAD to do!

Buy 1 Book and Read It Challenge

1) The first option is to simply buy one book and read it. The book you buy and read should be a book you have chosen for yourself for pleasure. It should not be work related and books read to your children do not count.

2) The second option is to buy one book a month and read it. I am asking that those of you who will probably already have one book read by January 2 choose this option. Books can be on your other challenge lists, it is only necessary that you buy them and read them!

The challenge will end December 31, 2009. I will post a Mr. Linky for reviews on January 1st. If you plan to join in, please leave a comment and please consider spreading the word about this challenge...especially among your non-bookish friends. At the conclusion of the chalenge, I will draw a winner from each pool of participants to win a 10 dollar Amazon gift card.

I'm going with the second option. I buy books all the time so this should be simple enough for me.

JANUARY
The Little Giant of Aberdeen County - Tiffany Baker (completed 1/26/09)
Ms. Hempel Chronicles - Sarah Shun-lien Bynum (completed 1/27/09)
FEBRUARY
Playing with the Grown-Ups - Sophie Dahl (completed 2/24/09)
M is for Magic - Neil Gaiman (completed 2/25/09)
MARCH
Handle with Care - Jodi Picoult (completed 3/17/09)
Nineteen Minutes - Jodi Picoult (completed 3/28/09)
APRIL
Shoot the Moon - Billie Letts (completed 4/04/09)
The Forgotten Garden - Kate Morton (completed 4/30/09)
MAY

National Just Read More Novels Month

1. Only Novels Count. This means no non-fiction books, memoirs, short stories, essay collections, or books based on internet memes like LOLcats. The judge is out on graphic novels. It's your call.
2. Memoirs Don’t Count. Even if they are fictional. And especially if they are fake memoirs about the Holocaust.
3. It Can’t Be A Novel You Have Already Read. Expand your horizons. Try some new authors.
4. You Must Start At The Beginning. If the book is on your nightstand, you have to start over. We are looking at January 1 to January 31. That is 31 days. We are on a deadline.
Have Fun. This a lark. You wouldn't be reading if you didn't enjoy it.

To learn more, click on the button for site and details. My goal is to read 10 books.

Because I'm Awesome

I just wanted to share that I recently won these two books through giveaways

and

So I'd like to take the time to thank Jennifer at book club girl for Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict and Michele at A Reader's Respite for Matrimony. I'm so excited and check my mail every day hoping that they've arrived.

Carry on.

Current book-in-progress: Where the Heart Is
Current movie/tv obsession: Tropic Thunder
iTunes Loop: Beautiful - Akon

Sunday

The Wednesday Letters by Jason F. Wright

This is such a feel-good book. This is the story of three siblings who come home in order to bury their parents. They find boxes and boxes of letters written by their father to their mother every Wednesday for the past 39 years of their marriage - Wednesday Letters. This is the legacy left to these grieving children and in these letters they find truths, forgiveness and love.

I will say there was a time or two where I was actually sobbing - but I'm a sucker for a love story. It was a very sweet story with some twists at the end that you didn't see coming. I liked the ending and I especially liked that the Epilogue was in an evelope at the back of the book. I thought that was so fitting and mainly why I bought the book to begin with. I originally bought this book before Chrismtas Jars and hadn't had the opportunity to read it before - but can I say that I really like Mr. Wright's books. His writing is simple and I really like that. I can't wait to make a trip to the bookstore and get his newest title - Recoving Charles. Not to mention, he also took the time to actually comment on my blog. What an honor!

The Reader by Bernard Schlink

The Reader is the story of a young man's association with an older woman. It is the story of how relationships can affect and eventually structure our lives. Michael Berg (15 y/o) meats Hanna (36 y/o) and has a short but life-changing affair with her. Years later, he is a witness to her trial for crimes commited during the Holocaust.

Not for the squeamish, this book hits hard and will stay with you later. To oversimplify it, it comes down to one step affecting the next and the subsequent deterioration of moral structure.

I like the way it ruminates on the mixed feelings of guilt, enlightenment, culpability and self-righteousness of Germany’s second generation following the generation that perpetrated the Holocaust.

Friday

The Dream King Challenge

- Dream King Challenge will run from 1 January 2009 - 31 December 2009.
- You can join at any time during the year.
- This is a partial list of Neil's works that I've compiled. Use it to help you choose your level of participation.

There are four different levels:
Neophyte: Read one work and watch one movie
Acolyte: Read three works (from three different categories) and watch one movie
Devotee: Read six works (from six different categories) and watch one movie
Zealot: Read twelve works (from at least six different categories) and watch one movie

There will also be mini-challenges (with prizes!) and other fun activities during the year. Re-reads are okay - I'm sure a lot of us have already read a few of Neil's books before. This challenge can (and will!) overlap with other challenges.

Acolyte Level:
1 M is for Magic - Neil Gaiman (completed 2/25/09)
2 Stardust - Neil Gaiman (completed 3/22/09)
3 Neverwhere

Christmas Jars by Jason F. Wright

Keep some tissues on hand for this one. This was such a beautiful, poignant story with such a heart-warming message. This is the story of Hope - Hope Saunders that is. Hope is a journalist with one goal - to get one of her stories on the front page of her newspaper. On one fateful Christmas Eve, her home is burglarized and through her grief and anger she finds a bit of happiness - someone has left a jar on her porch filled to the brim with money. And thus, the story commences.

It is amazing how we do not realize what an infinite effect we can have on other peoples lives with small random acts of kindness. This story was so inspiring that we now have our own Christmas Jar. This is a quick read that is life-altering. Don’t miss this one!

Disquiet by Julia Leigh

Disquiet was such a sad and haunting story. It is the story of Olivia, (referred to mostly as "the woman" throughout the book). She has left her abusive husband and takes her two children to her mothers chateau in France. There is also the story of Marcus (Olivia’s brother) and his wife Sophie - they have just returned from the hospital with an infant that was stillborn. The hospital gave them the infant so that they could "get to know her" prior to the burial. I really enjoyed Ms. Leigh’s journalistic style throughout the story. Her sentences and paragraphs were short yet she chose the appropriate words to describe the scenery and emotions without overly doing it. I did feel somewhat unsatisfied throughout the novel. There were certain areas that were not entirely expressed - where you just had to somewhat piece together what was going on. I also did not get very attached to the characters as I felt that they were holding back or kept at a distance. Other than that, the title says it all, tragic, disturbing, but mostly, disquieting.

Thursday

Upcoming Blog Tours


March 31, 2012


I've Gone Nuckin' Futs!

(hehe)

Here is an overview of all the challenges I've joined that commence today!

By clicking on each challenge you can see my initial entries with the list of books I'll be reading and/or challenge info.

1 2009 Read and Review Challenge
2 A-Z Challenge
3 The 2009 Pub Challenge
4 The Whitcoulls List
5 Casual Classics Challenge
6 What's in a Name Challenge
7 100+ Reading Challenge
8 New Author Challenge
9 Themed Reading Challenge
10 2009 YA Challenge
11 Romance Reading Challenge
12 2nds Challenge
13 TBR Lite Challenge
14 Numbers Challenge
15 Read Your Name Challenge
16 20 in 2009
17 999 Challenge
18 Chick Lit Challenge
19 2009 TBR Challenge
20 Outlander Challenge
21 2009 eBook Reading Challenge
22 Books into Movies Challenge

What was I thinking! I am completely out of control and challenge CRAZY.

I'm starting this instant.

Giveaways


To enter giveaway, click here
Ends 3/16/12

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