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June, 2009

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Teaser Tuesday

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009

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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 for today:

“I was always seeking such moments, clinging to them feverishly when they arrived, never fully embracing an accomplishment unless it had been acknowledged and appreciated by him first. I suppose most people seek out parental approval, but I often think that a performer’s thirst for this praise is even more heightened – perhaps unquenchable.”

From Take your Shirt Off and Cry, Nancy Balbirer (ARC)

Manic Monday

Monday, June 8th, 2009

Well, today is just flying by, what with crazy work demands, a doctor’s appointment, and the unveiling of the new iPhone 3G S (you can’t tell I’ve been bouncing in my seat for this one, can you?). I’ve been watching the brain waves flit around like hummingbirds, and haven’t settled on anything particularly bookish to talk about today. So, a few questions for you all (err, both? *grin*).

ponder

What got you started blogging?

What’s your favorite thing about it?

What’s your least favorite thing about it?

If you could have one thing magically happen with regard to your blog, what would it be?

I’ll comment with my answers in a bit; looking forward to yours!

Happy endings

Saturday, June 6th, 2009

This guest post by Marisa de los Santos over at Planet Books was great. I think all too often, readers are considered “less than” or “not to be taken seriously” for tending towards books that make them feel good. And why shouldn’t they stick with happy endings if that’s what makes them… happy?

Where do you fall on the feel-good book spectrum? Read nothing but, avoid them like the plague, read them but they’re guilty pleasures?

This postcard appeared on this week’s Postsecret – appropriate, don’t you think?

ipods

Nom, nom, nom, BOOKS!

Friday, June 5th, 2009

I wasn’t sure what I was going to post today until I came across this blog: Cake Wrecks – When professional cakes go horribly, hilariously wrong. If the spelling, grammar, and other word-related mistakes don’t crack you up like they do me, at least take a look at this post (from my birthday, coincidentally) full of cakes that look like books or scenes from books!

My personal favorite, for sentimental reasons:

poky puppy cake

Have you ever had a bookish cake? Which of these would be the best choice for you, as a kid or now?

Happy Friday, everyone!

Booking through Thursday

Thursday, June 4th, 2009

Grabbed from Devourerofbooks (Jen) and also seen on Shhh I’m Reading and Undercover Book Lover, today’s question about “Sticky Books” was both harder and easier to answer than I anticipated. Harder in that I had to will myself not to look at my LibraryThing catalog to make sure I wasn’t missing anything important, and easier because I was able to come up with all fifteen in seven minutes.

“This can be a quick one. Don’t take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you’ve read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes.”

Click to read my list, but not before writing your own! Click to continue »

Reading Roundup

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

And here we are, ready to review the week in books. It’s been a big week for both starts and finishes, and one of the titles holds a place near and dear to me so it gets a bit more air time, as it were. Trust me, it is deserving.

The Last Olympian, Rick Riordan

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I hate to end a series read on a sour note, but I think I found this to be the least inspired of the books in the Percy Jackson series. A big part of that may simply be that I read it after reading so many other YA fantasy series, and some of the premises are typical to the genre. However, I did feel as though a few key points were a bit too reminiscent of those in a certain very popular series about a certain other protagonist coming of age and facing a final battle.
I can only imagine that creating characters and prose that grow with your readers is something for which few adults have a natural talent. That being said, I enjoyed these books immensely for what they were: easy, engaging reads, with simple but well turned out plots, with characters to whom most readers can relate on some level. I may pick up others of Riordan’s novels to see if his adult books are as vastly superior writing-wise as Brandon Sanderson’s adult novels are in comparison to Alcatraz.

Herland, Charlotte Perkins Gilman

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I first read Gilman’s short story, “The Yellow Wallpaper,” and was captivated by it, and by her. Herland, the story of three young men who find themselves in a country that has been devoid of males for some two thousand years, is nearly a century old and still strikingly applicable in modern day society. It’s only a hundred and forty-some pages in the Dover Thrift, and a swift read – highly recommended for anyone with an anthropological/sociological bent, or feminist/women’s activism interests.

Lessons from the Fat-o-sphere, Kate Harding and Marianne Kirby

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Marianne Kirby has been a LiveJournal friend of mine for several years, since I saw a photo shoot of her with long braids, a lacy black bra and panties set, a couple of fresh limes, and a coy smile. Doesn’t sound like a big deal (unless you have a citrus fetish), but here’s what really got me – she was fat. Not like, a little pudgy. Fat, like 5’4″, and three hundred pounds. Fat like me.

And she was HOT.

If that weren’t enough, she was also quirky, funny, and damn smart. After following her writing for a while, I knew it wouldn’t be long before she got a book deal if that’s what she wanted, and the result is every bit as good as her LiveJournal and her fat activist blog, The Rotund, led me to believe it would be.

The first few chapters of the book are full of true laugh-out-loud moments. If you’re familiar with either Kate’s or Marianne’s online personality, you can often tell whose words you’re reading. It’s like sitting down for a late lunch with your best girlfriends, with pitchers of margaritas kept full at all times.
Like that same late lunch where, once a few margaritas have been thrown back and the lighthearted catching up is out of the way, you get into the real nitty gritty of what’s going on in your lives, the book takes a turn for the more intense in the last third or so. I felt truly overwhelmed by much of what was discussed in the last few chapters in particular, and upon finishing, I wanted to go immediately back and begin again, annotating as I went.

This is not just an anti-diet book. This is not just a fat-positive book. This is not just a feminist book. This is a couple of best friends whispering everything you need to hear about your value as a person, in black and white in front of your face. You know that scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams’s character says “It’s not your fault,” over and over and OVER until Will finally breaks down? That’s what this book is like. Highly recommended for anyone who has ever suffered from low self-image or self-worth because of body image issues. Otherwise known as “everyone.”

The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster

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I read this in my youth, but didn’t appreciate it as fully as I did this time around. The wordplay is so much fun, and some of the descriptive passages are just wonderful. So many great characters – the Everpresent Wordsnatcher was my favorite, I think – and quirky adventures. I highly recommend this to anyone who is experiencing a reading rut; it’s a good funk breaker!

Oliver Twist, Charles Dickens

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It’s so bittersweet when I discover an author I should have met so very long ago: wonderful to have found him now, but all those years NOT reading Dickens, WASTED!

OK, maybe that’s a bit dramatic, but really, I was in love with the language of this book from the very first sentence, far more than the story. I could – and probably will – read Dickens forever without tiring of his prose. The humor, what I would call “snark” today, is brilliant, and the descriptions of those moments in life which we all experience but can never quite capture – he does capture them, in such a way that makes you nod and say, “Yes! That’s exactly how it is!”

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For books started this week, we’ve got Brandon Sanderson’s The Well of Ascension, book two in the Mistborn Trilogy; Susan Collins’s The Hunger Games, a Battle Royale/Lord of the Flies esque story; Magic Kingdom for Sale – SOLD!, the first book in Terry Brooks’s Landover series; and Arthur Conan Doyle’s A Study in Scarlet, my new e-read, as I’ve completed Oliver Twist.

How about you?

For love of words

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2009

“The higher they went, the darker it became, though it wasn’t the darkness of night, but rather more like a mixture of lurking shadows and evil intentions which oozed from the slimy moss-covered cliffs and blotted out the light. A cruel wind shrieked through the rocks and the air was thick and heavy, as if it had been used several times before.” — The Phantom Tollbooth

Sentences like these are the reason I love language so very much. Care to share a brilliantly crafted sentence or two from your latest read?

New words in the OED

Monday, June 1st, 2009

This article lists fifteen words recently added to the Oxford English Dictionary, courtesy of the entertainment, business, and social networking worlds. It was really only a matter of time before “muggle” made it in there, but I’m pleasantly surprised by the addition of “grrl” and “lookism” – as well as their definitions. “Meatspace” always makes me laugh, and look! now it’s a real word! But “bouncebackability?” “Riffage?” I feel like entries like this will cause language, rather than fashion or music (um, hammer pants? Disco?) to be the snicker-worthy mark of our generation:  “They needed a word for THAT?”

What do you think of the list? What words do you see being added in the next couple of years?