Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
1. Castles in the Sand by Sally John
2. The Titan's Curse by Rick Riordan
3. Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan
4. Chicks with Sticks by Elizabeth Lenhard
5. Best Friends/Worst Enemies by Annie Bryant
If I'm feeling ambitious I may also get to:
The Problem Child by Michael Buckley
Fablehaven by Brandon Mull
Life, Libby, and the Pursuit of Happiness by Hope Lyda
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Fourteen year-old Martha has certainly not had the easiest life. Her dad isn't in the picture and her mom forces her to continuously move in with different boyfriends, while she maintains a strict alcoholic lifestyle. After getting out of yet another rehab, Martha's mom drags her to live with the newest man, Wayne, who unfortunately lives in a neighborhood where white girl Martha is the minority.
In her new school, Martha is immediately threatened by big, black girl and is pretty much terrified to even show up at the place. Nevertheless, Martha manages to make one or two friends and finds out she has a gift for playing the cello. Life turns out to be not so bad, until a horrible act of violence once again turns Martha's life completely upside-down.
This amazing book by Jeannine Garsee is not for the light-hearted and not for anyone yet to hit teenage status. It is filled with the reality of life on the so-called "wrong side of the tracks" and includes plenty of information about teenage sex, drug use, and gang violence. I really hope that doesn't scare readers away, because the book is simply amazing. I have to go see whether or not it has been nominated in the Young Adult Cybils category yet....if not, someone needs to do so!
Friday, October 26, 2007
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Monday, October 22, 2007
Being able to build a dog house for your dog is nice since a dog house is something that your dog will utilize. Other things like dog supplies needed and other dog items can be found over the internet.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Post Read-a-thon Survey
1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
Probably the last hour that I read. I only made it until about 1:30, which is quite late for me to be staying up. With only the dog to keep me company I fell asleep much too easily. I would have loved to have made the full 24 hours!
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
Any short enough to be finished in an hour or two. That's how I kept going. If you're looking for action, check out The Shadow Children series by Margaret Peterson Haddix or the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer, though that one is a bit long.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
The only suggestion I have is that possibly with the challenges, either make them all one hour long only, or all for the entirety of the Read-a-thon. Dewey did a good job of keeping track of which were one hours and which were whole challenge ones, but I often forgot to check back each hour and missed out on the shorter challenges.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
I loved the cheerleaders! They were such great motivators and it was awesome to go back to check my blog and see so many comments.
5. How many books did you read?
8 Total, though I started 2 additional.
6. What were the names of the books you read?
Quilts From Heaven by Lucinda Secrest McDowell
Violet Bing and the Grand House by Jennifer Paros
The Quail Club by Carolyn Marsden
The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor
Miracle Dog by Randy Grim
Dear Baby Girl by Jane Orcutt
Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
Here's Lily by Nancy Rue
I also started Finding Alice by Melody Carlson and These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon.
7. Which book did you enjoy most?
The Looking Glass Wars. It was fantastic!
8. Which did you enjoy least?
Violet Bing and the Grand House. I've heard lots of positive reviews about this book, but I really didn't like it.
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I will definitely participate again! Most likely I would be a reader again, though if something were to get in the way of that I would be a cheerleader.
I knew that once I lay down in bed to read, it was all over. I can't read in bed for more than 15 minutes without falling asleep and that's exactly what happened. I did, however, get about 15 pages into another book, These High, Green Hills by Jan Karon. So, here are my totals:
Total Books Read: 8
Total Pages Read: 1040
Total Time Spent Reading: About 12.5 hours
This was so much fun, I really had a blast doing it. Thanks again to the organizers and everyone who commented on my posts. You were great motivators! I can't wait to read everyone's reviews! Mine will start being posted today. And don't forget I'm giving away two books. One tonight (Kathy Herman) and one tomorrow night (Amy Grant). Leave me comments here and here to enter! Thanks again everyone!
I have been a reading machine the last 4 hours! I haven't really checked in, but I've been reading some other's blogs and trying to leave comments where I could. I've now finished Here's Lily by Nancy Rue, Quilts From Heaven by Lucinda Secrest McDowell, Violet Bing and the Grand House by Jennifer Paros, and The Quail Club by Carolyn Marsden. I'm also partially through Finding Alice by Melody Carlson, though only about 20 pages. That's not too bad! Plus I made dinner, ran out to buy a birthday card, and did a load of laundry. Yay me!! I hope everyone else is having fun too, though I'm sure a lot of you have gone to bed. I'm making my way there soon!
Total Books Read: 7
Total Pages Read: 1019
Total Time Read: about 12 hours
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Total Books Read: 4
Total Time Read: About 6 Hours
Total Pages Read: 625
This is seriously SO MUCH FUN!!! We need to do this like once a month! Hehe, if only! Anyways, I've finished Miracle Dog by Randy Grim and am about 100 pages into The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor. I'm going to put that one down for a bit and start another shorter book. I'm determined to finish it by the time the challenge is over, it's great so far! I also just took a break to browse some blogs and have lunch. I'll be starting my reading again shortly. Great job so far everyone!
Total Books Read: 3
Total Pages Read: 270
Time Spent Reading: about 4 hours
"They are beaten, they are battered, they are bruised.
They are caged, they are killed, they always seem to lose.
These precious dogs have often done no harm.
They can't help themselves, they look to us to keep them safe and warm.
How can we stand by letting sweet dogs die.
Their biggest challenge is simply to stay alive.
Adopt one, hug one, love one, do....
The biggest reward is that they will love you too..."
I never said I was a writer! There is a reason I like to read and not write! :-)
In the last 2 hours I read another book (and a challenge book at that), made breakfast, fed the animals, and walked the dog. The book, Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan wasn't very long, but I love the fact that I am completing so many TBRs already! And thanks for all the great cheerleading comments. You guys are awesome motivators! I'll definitely be doing some challenges soon as well.
Books Read: 2
Time Spent Reading: 1.5 hours
Total Pages: 165
It's about an hour into the read-a-thon and I've completed my first book The Field Guide by Tony Diterlizzi and Holly Black. As I said, I'm going to try and stick to shorter books in order to keep my attention span. I'll do all my reviews at the end of the challenge, probably over the next two days or so. I'll update every couple of hours. I hope everyone is enjoying themselves so far! A great excuse to sit around and read all day!
Books Completed: 1
Total time read: 1 hour
Total pages read: 107
Thursday, October 18, 2007
Many quotes in this book stood out to me, though one remains strongest in my mind and it was written in the introduction. Amy was describing a visit to Minnie Pearl, her daughter's namesake, where Minnie stated that the most important color in an artist's palette is black. Black adds depth to things, without black we would all be flat. Amy responds to this by saying "In our lives the darkest times, the days that are bleak and black, add depth to every other experience. Like the dark bits of color in a mosaic, they add the contrast and shadows that give beauty to the whole, but they are just a small part of the big picture." This quote had an immediate effect on me, simply because it is so very true. Parts of our lives are black and dreary. We are unhappy, the world seems to be falling down around us, but in the whole of our lives, that black just adds depth to the light. The good things in life wouldn't seem so good without the bad.
I also loved the inclusion of the song lyrics, especially some of those from the late eighties and early nineties. "Ask Me" has always been one of my favorite songs, but I haven't heard it in so long. Reading the lyrics reminded me just how powerful the song has always felt to me and how much soul is really in the words Amy Grant sings.
I am so glad I was chosen to review this book, as I loved it so much. Amy Grant can not only sing and bring me closer to the Lord with her voice, she can also write. I am going to cherish this book and read it again and again...not to mention give it to all of my friends for Christmas! Speaking of giving...I have one copy to giveaway, so leave a comment before Monday night and I'll pick a winner to get a copy!
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The first book, Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator is written by Jennifer Allison follows 14-year old Gilda, a girl convinced she has psychic abilities and loves to people watch. She somewhat rudely invites herself to San Francisco to spend the summer at her mother's cousin Lester's home. Once there, she finds herself befriending Lester's daughter Juliet, also 14, and the two of them pair up to solve the mystery of Juliet's Aunt's death years ago. The girls spend their time in a house they believe is full of ghosts, try to figure out a way to get into the house's tower, and learn about each other as they go. Though they originally believed they were incredibly different, by the end they aren't so sure.
Gilda Joyce was a great character, though some of the language was a bit "advanced" for some middle readers. Nothing horrible or disturbing, just mature. I would put this one at 10/12 and up. She has two additional books she is starring in, those being Gilda Joyce and the Ladies of the Lake and Gilda Joyce: The Ghost Sonata.
The second strong female book series I have enjoyed lately has been that starring Enola Holmes, much younger sister of the famous Sherlock Holmes. In her first installment, The Case of the Missing Marquess, Enola is stunned when her mother disappears without warning on Enola's birthday, leaving behind only a few gifts and no note. Her older brothers arrive to assist Enola is finding her mother and when they realize that may be more difficult than anticipated, her eldest brother arranges for Enola to be sent away to a boarding school. Extremely upset with the news, Enola decides to take the mystery of her mother's disappearance into her own hands, before she gets shipped off to school.
Though not as quirky as Gilda, Enola definitely is a strong character, with very quick wit.... nice for the time period this book takes place in. This is another great selection for middle readers that love mystery!
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
When Rue Kessler comes to town and takes a romantic interest in Ivy, she is happy to finally have found a male role model for Montana. Unfortunately, just when life is beginning to be good again, it is discovered that Rue is keeping a secret from Ivy, a secret that ultimately involves Montana. Ivy isn't sure who or what to believe anymore and simply wants to know the truth. She begins to think that maybe her faith in God has all been for nothing and that He is abandoning her once and for all. In order to get her faith back in check, Ivy must search for more answers about Rue, God, and herself.
This was another great novel by Kathy Herman and one that fans of her work will certainly enjoy. It's a nice mix of suspense, romance, and small town likability. I have 3 copies of the book to give away, so leave me a comment by Sunday night (10/21) to enter.!
Monday, October 15, 2007
When Naima decides to disguise herself as a boy and teach herself how to drive the rickshaw, she manages to crash the rickshaw, damaging the beauty of the cart and ruining all chances of her father continuing to gain new clients. Devastated, she again disguises herself as a boy and steals away to a new repair shop the next town over, hoping she can somehow earn money to help repair the damaged rickshaw. What she finds in the repair shop is surprising, heartwarming, and inspirational.
This short novel was fantastic and typical Mitali Perkins writing. Young girls can read this and feel empowered to do anything they want to do, no matter what that may be. The story is also accompanied by a few illustrations that not only add to the plot, but also allow the reader to view the work Naima can do. The book was really quite amazing.
Friday, October 12, 2007
1. Homecoming by Cynthia Voight
2. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
3. Tyrell by Coe Booth
4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
5. The Finnish Line by Linda Gerber
6. Girl Overboard by Aimee Ferris
7. The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
8. Harsh Pink by Melody Carlson
9. Moon White by Melody Carlson
10. This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
11. I Am David by Anne Holm
12. Zach's Lie by Roland Smith
Wednesday, October 10, 2007
The novel was a bit slow in the beginning, but picked up in pace and excitement towards the middle. The was very reminiscent of Jeanne DuPrau's City of Ember books, though I almost liked the setting in First Light better. It has been said that people can really survive surrounded by ice...so who knows if there really is a Gracehope out there! :-)
I was a little disappointed in this title, though I very much enjoyed it...it just wasn't quite as fabulous as everyone has said. I think that's why I would much rather read a book before so many other people get their hands on it, that way my view isn't skewed and I don't get my expectations too high! At any rate, I still enjoyed the book, it was well written and I look forward to seeing other works from this author. Another Fall Into Reading Challenge book completed!
The girls focus a lot of their time on typical teenage worries such as boyfriends, college, and money. When each girl is faced with difficult decisions, they lean on each other to make the right choices for themselves, rather than what the world seems to want from them. Each of the characters are very comparable to real girls and readers will be able to identify with at least one, if not all of the girls. I found myself in Birdie...always wanting to do what is right for my family, forgetting that my life was also about me. Other girls may find themselves in Leeda, where her mother controls her life and appearances are extremely important, or in Murphy who is just lost and trying to find her way.
After completing Peaches, a couple of weeks ago, I had to go out and get the sequel almost immediately. The first book was, in my opinion, the perfect "teen girl" novel and I had very high hopes for the second. These books are very reminiscent of Ann Brashares Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series and I think that is one reason I love them as much as I do. If you have a teen girl, know one, or just love young adults novels (like me!), then give these two novels a try. They won't disappoint!
Sunday, October 7, 2007
These are the top 106 books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users (as of today). As usual, bold what you have read, italicise that you started but couldn’t finish, and strike through what you couldn’t stand. Add an asterisk* to those you’ve read more than once. Underline those on your to-read list.
Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Crime and punishment
One hundred years of solitude
Life of Pi: a novel
The name of the rose
Pride and Prejudice
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
Reading Lolita in Tehran: a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury tales
The historian : a novel
A portrait of the artist as a young man
Love in the time of cholera
Brave new world
The Count of Monte Cristo
A clockwork orange
The once and future king
The grapes of wrath
The Poisonwood Bible : a novel
Angels & demons
The satanic verses
Sense and sensibility
The picture of Dorian Gray
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
To the lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
The amazing adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time
The sound and the fury
Angela’s ashes : a memoir
The god of small things
A people’s history of the United States : 1492-present
A confederacy of dunces
A short history of nearly everything
The unbearable lightness of being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novel
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an Inquiry into Values
In cold blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
The three musketeers
Saturday, October 6, 2007
Thursday, October 4, 2007
Drums, Girls, and Dangerous Pie was written by Jordan Sonnenblick and follows Steven Alper, a young man that loves playing the drums, loves looking at pretty girls (especially Renee), and really dislikes having a younger brother. 7 year old Jeffrey is almost half Steven's age, yet gets into twice as much trouble and is definitely twice as annoying. When Jeffrey is diagnosed with leukemia and proceeds to get very sick, Steven's entire life is turned upside down. His days are no longer filled with simple drum practices, homework, or girl chasing. They are filled with a sick little brother that loves him more than anything and expects him to be the brave one.
As the reader learns more about Jeffrey and Steven, we learn what a brotherly bond is truly about. We learn what true friendships are and what really matters in life. If this book had been written this year, it would be my number one choice for middle grade fiction. Unfortunately it was originally published in 2004, making it a few years too late! However long ago it was written, this was an amazing story, one that I would recommend over and over again to adults and children alike. It was funny, sad, and so real. If you're like me and are just being introduced to this book, RUN out and get it from a bookstore or a library. If you've read it before, go back and enjoy it again. You won't regret it.
Ivy Griffith made some horrible decisions in her life. When she was a teenager, she and her friends chose to do something that would have her living in fear and guilt for most of her life. Ivy ultimately runs away from her home and her parents, turning to drugs to ease her pain. When she returns to Phantom Hollow, many years later with her seven year old son, Montana, and a clean lifestyle, she is determined to set things straight with the people she has hurt over the years. Unfortunately, before she can bravely clear herself of her guilt, a tragedy strikes at her high school reunion, setting in motion the ultimate mystery.
Kathy Herman has this way about her, in which she can create characters that her reader can connect to, but spinning those characters into thrills and mysteries like no other. She also weaves great Christian values and Scripture into the stories, without being "preachy." I really love that most of her books are parts of series, that way I can keep up with the characters and still gets the thrills I love! If you've never tried Kathy Herman, I definitely recommend you giving it a try!
Tuesday, October 2, 2007
Julia attempts to reinvent herself and travels off to college to study engineering. While trying to learn who the true Julia is, as well as escape her difficult past, Julia only becomes more confused and ultimately makes a choice that alters her life forever. She escapes back to her grandmother's farm, Julia must grow into herself and reconnect with God, or risk losing herself for good.
Personally, it is very hard for me to connect with first time authors and their novels the way in which I've connected with After the Leaves Fall by Nicole Baart. The characters are so very real and I related to the plot and Julia's different situations very closely. I also grew up without a father after he passed away suddenly and was thrust into a life where I no longer knew myself. I absolutely loved this book and cherish it's story. There is so much more to this novel than a coming-of-age story or a healing story. This is a book filled with heart, soul, and love.
If you haven't takin a tour to Grand Canyon yet, then you might want to go with the grand canyon helicopter tours. You can have your family an unforgettable vacation while in the grand canyon lodging. Take a tour to the Grand Canyon if you ever have the chance!
Monday, October 1, 2007
The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson, features Cameryn, a 17 year old wanna-be forensic detective that gets hired as an assistant to her father, the small town coroner. Cameryn is incredibly smart and reads all kinds of books about forensics, giving her a good leg up in the science world. However, she isn't quite prepared for actually seeing death firsthand, pretty much losing it at her first scene. Cameryn is determined to prove to her father and all the other skeptics in town, that she really can do her job and do it well. She has the true chance to prove herself when one of her close friends is murdered and it is though to be the job of the famed serial murderer, "The Christopher Killer." Cameryn must allow her self to separate from the emotional aspect of the case in order to solve the murder of her friend.
Again, a great mystery book for teens that love CSI or shows like that. This one doesn't have a whole lot of gore, though the scenes are described with pretty great detail, tastefully. I enjoyed it!
8 Jodi Picoult Books:
-Songs of the Humpback Whale
-Harvesting the Heart
8 Luanne Rice Books
-The Secret Hour
-The Perfect Summer
8 Re-Reads from My Shelves
-The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
-A Bend in the Road by Nicholas Sparks
-The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks
-Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
-The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
-Black and Blue by Anna Quindlen
-The Observatory by Emily Grayson
-The Gazebo by Emily Grayson
8 Christian Young Adult Books
-Deep Green by Melody Carlson
-Torch Red by Melody Carlson
-Becoming Me by Melody Carlson
-It's My Life by Melody Carlson
-Who I Am by Melody Carlson
-Only You, Sierra by Robin Jones Gunn
-In Your Dreams by Robin Jones Gunn
-Don't You Wish by Robin Jones Gunn
8 Children's Classic Books
-The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett
-A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
-Heidi by Johanna Spyri
-A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith
-The Voyages of Dr. Doolittle by Hugh Lofting
-The Wizard of Oz by Frank Baum
-Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
-Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert O'Brien
8 Historical Fiction Books
-The Bread Winner by Arvella Whitmore
-Bridge to America by Linda Glaser
-Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
-Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
-The Staircase by Ann Rinaldi
-The Avion My Uncle Flew by Cyrus Fisher
-Across Five Aprils by Irene Hunt
-Little Men by Louisa May Alcott
8 Newbery Honor Books
-Olive's Ocean by Kevin Henkes
-Our Only May Amelia by Jennifer Holm
-Home Was Here by Joan Bauer
-Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath
-The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
-The Hundred Penny Box by Sharon Bell Mathis
-Catherine Called Birdy by Karen Cushman
-A Corner of the Universe by Ann M. Martin
8 Fantasy Books
-The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
-The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
-The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
-The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis
-The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
-The Star of Kazan by Eva Ibbotson
-Landon Snow and the Auctor's Riddle by R.K. Mortenson
-A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle
Whistling in the Dark by Lesley Kagan
Bones to Ashes by Kathy Reiches
Magyk by Angie Sage
Inkspell by Cornelia Funke (audiobook)
Tanglewreck by Jeanette Winterson
Defect by Will Weaver
Summer Promise by Robin Jones Gunn
A Whisper and a Wish by Robin Jones Gunn
Yours Forever by Robin Jones Gunn
Before I Wake by Robert Wiersema
The Misadventures of Maude March by Audrey Couloumbis
The Yada Yada Prayer Group Gets Tough by Neta Jackson
In Grandma's Attic by Arleta Richardson
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Specials by Scott Westerfeld
Once Upon a Quinceneara by Julia Alverez
Peaches by Jodi Lynn Anderson
Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney
The Dark Hills Divide by Patrick Carmen
Wait for Me by An Na
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes
At Home in Mitford by Jan Karon
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Crossroads by Nancy Moser
Private Peaceful by Michael Morpurgo
After the Leaves Fall by Nicole Baart
Born to Rule by Kathryn Lasky
Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson