Friday, 30 September 2011

Blog Hop (4) and Follow Friday (2)

This weeks Book Blogger Hop is available here (and for those who don't know what it is, she explaines it as well!)

Book Blogger Hop

The question is: “In honor of Banned Books Week, what is your favorite “banned or frequently challenged book”?” Click here for 2010-11 list in PDF format. You can also click HERE to view past years and choose from any of those titles!

To be honest, I had to peruse the lists, because to my knowledge, we don't get a lot of books banned here in Canada. I remember having our 6th grade teacher read "Underground to Canada" out loud in class, and I would say that's probably banned in some places. When I was reading over the list, I was so surprised! Things like the 4th Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants book - seriously!! Some of them I wanted to pick for this just because I couldn't believe they were there! But, I eventually settled on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because that is my favorite book from my favorite series. As a side note, these lists make me want to punch out a lot of parents. Sorry if that offends you. I presume I will now find my blog on the Banned Blogs list, if such a think exists.

For my Follow Friday Fix, I went to this week and you can too by clicking here

This week's question is:

What book that hasn't been turned into a movie (yet) would you most like to see make it to the big screen, and who would you like cast as your favorite character?

This is a pretty tough question! I chose "How I Paid for College" by Marc Acito because it is a HILARIOUS book, and would make a great movie. There are quite a few characters in it, and its been awhile since I read it, but I'll do my best to cast it (also, you may need to adjust age a little bit, I sometimes forget that stars get older...)

Edward - Jay Baruchel
Paula - Selena Gomez
Kelly - Ashley Tisdale
Natie - Kevin McHale
Doug - Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Ziba - Megan Fox
Edward's father Al - Jon Hamm
Edward's Stepmother Dagmar - Gwyneth Paltrow

Thursday, 29 September 2011

The Best Giveaway I Have Seen Yet!!

Now, I know I haven't excactly "been around the block" when it comes to the book blogging world, but in my 6 months or so of reading them (and writing for 2) this is the best book giveaway I have come across!

Unabridged Anna's 500 Follower Giveaway!!

Now, I was hesitant to post a blog about this, because I WANT TO WIN!! so promoting it seems like I'm giving it away to someone else! But, greed is not sexy (haha) so I will be a good sport, take my entry for writing this blog, and encourage you to do the same!! Click here to take you to the giveaway!

Good Luck!! (but I still do hope I win!!)

I will perform a dance similar to this when I win

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Fall Into Reading 2011 Question 1

Last week I started the Fall Into Reading Challenge hosted by Callapidder Days (you can find the challenge here if you want to start). There is also weekly questions associated with this challenge that I plan to answer.

This week's question is:
How much do book reviews influence your decision to acquire and/or read a book?

This is a tough to decide, because I will often add books to my TBR list based on reviews of books I read on the blogs I follow. So if I read a negative review of a book I hadn't heard of before, I probably won't add it to my list, but if they review a book very positively, I probably will. But, with that said if I hear about a book from another source, maybe a recommendation from a friend, then a poor review of the book most likely would not deter me from reading it. So I think the answer is that it depends on whether or not I had already decided to read the book prior to reading a review for it. 

Also, as a little update on my progress, I'm still working on my first book for the challenge, which is Unbearable Lightness by Portia de Rossi. I'm pretty neutral about this book, so I'm looking forward to finishing it and moving on to the next one :)

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays (2)

Top Ten Books I Want To Reread

I chose the first 7 books because I had to read them for school, which puts a negative spin on everything, so I would like to reread them. Especially 1, 5, 6, & 7 because I enjoyed them at the time, so I would enjoy them even MORE now! Eight and 9 are books I love, they are just so long that it deters me from picking them up for a second go, and finally 10 is the book(s) that shaped my childhood, and turned me into the bookaholic I am today, so I couldn't possibly deny some of them a reread from time to time.

Also, I didn't like the way last weeks post looked with all the book covers strewn around, but when I was reading other peoples lists I didn't like that there weren't covers on some (because I didn't know some of them), so I'm trying something new this week that I saw on others, and that is to link the post to their goodreads page, so if you don't know it, its easier to figure out!
Let me know which you like better :)

Friday, 23 September 2011

Fall Into Reading 2011

This is a reading Challenge (my first to participate in) from Callapidder Days where you make a list of the books you would like to read this Fall (Sept. 23-Dec.21). I think this is a great way to get on track with my outrageous TBR list, and give me some sort of guidance as to what to pick up next! And I love lists. Obsessively.

I'm going to break this into 3 categories: 1) stand alone books 2) new series books 3) next book in a series I already read (just for organizational purposes)

Stand Alone Books
1) Unbearable Lightness - Portia de Rossi
2) Little Women - Louisa May Alcott
3) Bel Canto - Ann Patchett
4) The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd

5) Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
6) Let the Great World Spin - Colum McCann
7) The Guernsey Literary and Potato Society - Annie Barrows
8) The Color Purple - Alice Walker

New Series Books
9) Delirium - Lauren Oliver
10) Divergent - Veronica Roth
11) A Game of Thrones - George R.R. Martin
12) Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
13) Matched - Allie Condie

Next Book In A Series I Already Read
14) It Had To Be You - Janice Thompson (Wedding by Bella # 3)

15) ...And Then He Ate My Boy Entrances - Louise Rennison (Georgia Nicholson # 6)
16) Startled By His Furry Shorts- Louise Rennison (Georgia Nicholson # 7)
17) Love is a Many Trousered Thing - Louise Rennison (Georgia Nicholson # 8)
18) Stop in the Name of Pants! - Louise Rennison (Georgia Nicholson # 9)
19) Are These My Basoomas I See Before Me? - Louise Rennison (Georgia Nicholson # 10)

20) Club Dead - Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse #3)
21) Dead to the World - Charlaine Harris (Sookie Stackhouse #4)

22) James Potter and the Curse of the Gatekeeper - G. Norman Lippert

As ambitious as I would love to be, that's all I will add for now, so I don't end up being disappointed I couldn't finish. If I get near the end, I will add some more if I have to. I will label all my reviews with 'fall into reading' so you can find them easily :)

Blog Hop (3) and Follow Friday (1)

I missed the Blog Hop last week because my in-laws were in, and my blogging had to take a back seat to them, because I don't get to see them that often! Also, in my review of the past two Book Blog Hops, I noticed a lot of people doing the Follow Friday (hosted by parajunkee and AlisonCanRead) as well. I didn't realize I was going to love these meme's so much, so I held of doing another (I'm just a blogging newbie after all!) but now I'm going to join :)

For any other Newbie's, the Book Blog Hop is hosted by Crazy-for-Books and it's a fun way to meet other blogger's by simply answering a little (normally book-related) question, and then hopping around to see what everyone else has said!

Book Blogger Hop
This week's question is: not yet posted

The new meme I'm doing this week is Follow Friday, it is another question based meme, with the same sort of principle, except the folks at Parajunkee and AlisonCanRead also pick a blog to promote, which I think is pretty cool because sometimes people participate by answering the question, but not going around to other people's blogs.

Do you have a favorite series that you read over and over again? Tell us a bit about it and why you keep on revisiting it?

I used to reread books more frequently when I didn't have an ereader (it's too easy to connect and buy something new now), but I am still forever reading Summer Sisters by Judy Blume, and I have reread the shorter Harry Potter books a few times. I have so many books on my TBR list that rereading would take up too much time! Also, now that I have started blogging, I need to read new material to keep you updated on!

I really enjoy these meme's, so a BIG thank you to the hosts of these!!

Amazing Book Space

I couldn't help but share the amazing book/lounge area devoted to reading!! I'm wondering how much work it would be to get this put in my house! 
My only issue with it is, I would want to get some light installed in there too, as the wall I have in mind for it doesn't have great lightening. But look at the storage! All those shelves and a few drawers!
This is such an EXACT replica of what I want! I wonder how much the materials would be??

Thursday, 22 September 2011

Room - Emma Donoghue

Goodreads Summary: To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma as they learn and read and eat and sleep and play. At night, his Ma shuts him safely in the wardrobe, where he is meant to be asleep when Old Nick visits.

Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, one that relies on her young son's bravery and a lot of luck. What she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.
Told entirely in the language of the energetic, pragmatic five-year-old Jack, ROOM is a celebration of resilience and the limitless bond between parent and child, a brilliantly executed novel about what it means to journey from one world to another.

Why I Read This Book: This has been on my TBR list since I heard about it, but something else always got picked up instead. The receptionist at my work is a big reader as well, and we often compare book stuff and she had just finished reading this one, and she lent it to me. So, with the book actually in hand, it became my next book to read!

Review: I had a really hard time getting into this book because of the fact it was told from Jack's perspective. I had to reread sentences because they didn't make sense. But that is the only thing I didn't like about the book. The story was moving, and believable (while being totally unbelievable at the same time!) The mother's determination to raise Jack is beautiful. For what he lacks in socialization he makes up for in sheer brilliance. This is a great read, I just found the perspective difficult sometimes.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays

This is my first week participating in weekly feature from 'The Broke and the Bookish'. I have seen them on a lot of other people's blogs, and love reading them. I was going to participate in last weeks, but I thought the topic would take me too long and I didn't have a lot of time, but this week's topic is great - so I'll give it a try :)

Top Ten Books I Feel As Though Everyone Has Read But Me

1) Delirium - Lauren Oliver
2) Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
3) The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson
4) The Secret Garden - Francise Hodgeson Burnett

5)Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
6)Bumped - Megan McCafferty 
7)Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
8)Bridget Jones Diary - Helen Fielding

9)The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
10)Life of Pi - Yann Martel

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte

Goodreads Summary: When Catherine and Heathcliff’s childhood friendship grows into something so much more, what ensues is one of the greatest love stories of all time. Even as fate conspires against them and passion consumes them, nothing can keep Catherine and Heathcliff apart. Not even death… for their forbidden love is unlike any other.

Why I Read This Book: Every now and then I pick up one of the timeless classic novels to read. They aren't normally my favorite, but they normally make me feel more literacy educated, so I still feel benefited.

Review: This was an exceptionally hard book to get through. I really didn't like it. I'm surprised that this is considered a classic love story, because to me, love had nothing to do with it. Catherine and Heathcliff are both terrible characters. They are selfish, and mean, and rude. The theme seems more to be obsession than love, and it is so narcissistic it it is sickening. Everybody in the book is miserable, and the only half likeable character is Mr. Lockwood. I did not like this book. I didn't find it enjoyable to read whatsoever. I said in why I read this book that I am not normally a lover of classics, I find I have to concentrate harder on the style of language, and that takes away from the story (not that it is the books fault it was written a long time ago) but that could be some of the reason I didn't like this book. Also, it really irritated me knowing this is a "love story" while reading it, because it's not. It may be about two people who have/had a relationship, but almost nothing about it resembled love.


Saturday, 17 September 2011

The Hunger Games Trilogy

*warning, I am doing a review of all three books in the series, so there may be some small spoilers*

Book One: The Hunger Games

Goodreads Summary: In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. 

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

Why I Read this Book: I read this because it's extremely popular, to be honest. It was recommended 
by a friend, and I like the way the summary sounds, so I bought it as an e-book.

Review: I really liked this book a lot. It was fast paced, and exciting to read. I read a lot of the reviews (that didn't contain spoilers) before I read the book and I found, like with most series that take off, people either love it, or they hate it. I personally think the majority of people who 'hate' it just don't like that everyone else liked it, so they pretend not to so they feel cool (or else they wouldn't have put the same hateful review about the second two because they wouldn't have read them!!) But that's a little off topic.
Back to the book, it was very hard to put down, every chapter left you with a little bit of suspense. I don't always love when a book is totally in one persons perspective, but Katniss' ability to read people very well helps fill in some blanks. Katniss is a very strong lead character, she was very easy to like most of the time. However, I found myself relating more to Peeta in the story, but I liked them both. Their relationship was the main story of the book for me, with the Games being second. I love how there were so many issues in the book as well; hunger, political corruption, dehumanization and desensitization. It is a great book to be taught in school for these reasons.

Rating of Book One:

Book Two: Catching Fire

Goodreads Summary:Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark won the annual competition described in Hunger Games, but the aftermath leaves these victors with no sense of triumph. Instead, they have become the poster boys for a rebellion that they never planned to lead. That new, unwanted status puts them in the bull's-eye for merciless revenge by The Capitol. Catching Fire maintains the adrenaline rush of Suzanne Collins's series launch.

Why I Read this Book: Well, because I read The Hunger Games and loved it, and this one is next.

Review: At about half way through the book I didn't think it was going to live up to The Hunger Games. It was very, very similar as it got started, with the exception of the Quarter Quell surprise. There were a few moments that were exciting, but for the most part I felt like I was just being told the same stuff from the first novel. The relationship between Katniss, Gale, and Peeta is difficult to really get into. Katniss doesn't seem to actually care about either of them, she just wants to put them into a little place in her life where its convenient for her, and it makes her come off as very selfish, which I didn't really get a sense of in the first book. Unlike Bella from the Twilight series, Katniss doesn't love either of them, and it's kind of annoying. The novel begins to get more interesting when they arrive in the Capitol to get ready for the Quarter Quell. From here on the book is good, which made me give it the 5 star rating I do. But, if I had been reading these books when they came out I think the cliffhanger at the end would have made me want to beat my head against the wall. I was able to overlook it because I just picked up the third book right away. But, if I had to wait for it, I think it would have decreased my love for the book. You shouldn't end a novel with that, it's really unfair to your reader. This is definitely a 'middle' novel in the trilogy, and it reads like that too, with nothing being resolved, just more conflict and buildup to the next book.
But, all that being said, it really did like it, and I jumped right into Mockingjay as soon as I finished the Catching Fire.

Rating of Book Two:

Book Three: Mockingjay

Goodreads Summary: Young Katniss Everdeen has survived the dreaded Hunger Games not once, but twice, but even now she can find no relief. In fact, the dangers seem to be escalating: President Snow has declared an all-out war on Katniss, her family, her friends, and all the oppressed people of District 12. The thrill-packed final installment of Suzanne Collins' Hunger Games trilogy will keep young hearts pounding.

Review: I didn't bother with 'Why I Read This Book' as it is quite obvious. I didn't like this book as much as the first two, and it was for one glaring reason: people who had become very important to me in the story, such as Cinna and Finnick, did not get enough attention when they were killed. Especially Finnick. It was just, ok the mutts got him, move along. Katniss hardly even reflected upon his death at all. For all the whole series talks about how affected she was by Rue's death in book one, the complete disregard for other, just as important (to Katniss and the books) characters is terrible. Other than that, I thought the book was a bit slow for a lot of it. The battle scenes were a bit rushed, and the District 13 stuff was very drawn out. I liked the story line, and I was very pleased with the ending. I can't say too much more than that.


Total Trilogy Review:

I really liked this series a lot. I can't wait for the movie to come out in March 2012, I think it's going to be really good. I loved the story, and the underlying messages without.

Obviously I didn't love every single aspect of the novels, but that's okay. It was still a great series, and I would recommend it to almost anyone.

Overall Trilogy Rating: