ANNOUNCEMENT
After a lot of thought, I've decided to take a break from blogging for the foreseeable future. With my little C creeping its way back into my life and possible long term treatment now, I need to take a couple of things off my plate for the time being, and the blog is going to be one of those things. As it is, it felt like it was becoming more of a chore than anything else. I need my reading time to be more enjoyable right now, more of the escape that I really need, and what I don't need is the little voice in the back of my head telling me how many reviews I'm behind and trying to come up with what I need to say about the book.

I simply want to read.

I'll more than likely occasionally post on here what I've been reading, and if there is something that really blows my mind, I'll probably have more to say about it and may write up a proper post, but for right now, things are going to be very quiet around here.

As always, happy reading!
2017 edit
I will continue to blog according to my health and ability, and connecting my posts thru Goodreads, so please be patient if things get quiet around here again this year.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Libba Bray, how do I love thee? Going Bovine

Banned Books Week 2009 - Reading Your Rights showing at Schuler Books

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Tomorrow night, there is going to be a screening of the mini-documentary Reading Your Rights about a Denver bookstore's refusal to turn over purchase records to the police, followed by a discussion on Reader Rights! Hosted at Schuler Books at Eastwood Towne Center in Lansing, MI on, Thursday, October 1, 2009, from 7-8:30pm. (I totally stole this off Whitney's FB, but I thought it was worth mentioning! And she said I could!)

Also, Schuler Books (at least at Eastwood Towne Center, I don't know about Okemos) is taking donations right now for the ACLU and ABFFE. Now through the end of the week, if you tell your friendly Schuler Books cashier that you would like to make your purchase as a donation to the ACLU, they will donate 20% of your purchase amount. But you have to tell them! This is a very important step. No telling, no donating. That's just the way it is. So, tell them! Also, if you want to make a donation to the ABFFE, simply tell your friendly Schuler Books cashier how much you would like to make that donation for, and they will gladly tender that amount with your purchase. This is all happening through the end of this week, so hurry in to your local Schuler Books (and by local, I mean the one at Eastwood Towne Center) and buy some books and make a donation! I mean, honestly, who doesn't like books? And donating to a good cause just makes you all warm and fuzzy inside. Well, books do too, so it's really like a win-win situation here, folks!

54. And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole

#54

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Title: And Tango Makes Three
Authors: Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson, illustrated by Henry Cole
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 32
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 3/5 stars
Finished: 9-30-09

I recently attended a Banned Books Week Read-a-Thon, and was asked to read this small volume as part of the Read-a-Thon. The book is about the true story of two male penguins, Roy and Silo, who formed a six year relationship at the Central Park Zoo. When zoo keepers noticed them trying to hatch a rock as if it were an egg, the zoo keepers gave them the second egg from another pair to hatch, which they did successfully, raising the female, named Tango, as their own.

And Tango Makes Three is a simplified version of this story, to teach children that not all families are made up the same way. The accompanying illustrations were cute and went well with the tone of the story.

The book was banned for obvious reasons; gay penguins are going to pervert America's youth, you know. I think the story was well presented, showing that there is nothing wrong with gay parenting, and that if the penguins can do it, and do it well, that it really can't be all that bad, can it? A good book for parents, gay and straight alike, to read to their children, to help open their eyes at a young age to this fact and show there is nothing wrong with families that may be looked on as being "different."

Banned Books Week 2009 - Read-A-Thon at Schuler Books Tonight!

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There is going to be a Read-A-Thon hosted at Schuler Books at Eastwood Towne Center in Lansing, MI tonight, Wednesday, September 30, 2009, from 7-8:30pm.

"In honor of Banned Books Week, we’ll be holding a Read-A-Thon of frequently challenged books, and books that have been challenged in the state of Michigan over the past year. Demonstrate your right to read by joining us! We’ll be accepting donations for ABFFE, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression."

If you're in the area, stop on by to uphold that First Amendment!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Banned Books Week 2009

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A fun little meme that I picked up from The Boston Bibliophile.

This is a list of the top 100 most frequently challenged book as reported by the ALA from 1990-1999. Bold the ones you've read (I'm putting a * next to these), and italicize those that you are planning to read. And of course, if you have reviewed any, feel free to link!

Scary Stories (Series), by Alvin Schwartz
Daddy’s Roommate, by Michael Willhoite
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
Of Mice and Men, by John Steinbeck
Forever, by Judy Blume
Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson *
Heather Has Two Mommies, by Leslea Newman
The Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger
The Giver, by Lois Lowry
My Brother Sam is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
It’s Perfectly Normal, by Robie Harris
Alice (Series), by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
Goosebumps (Series), by R.L. Stine
A Day No Pigs Would Die, by Robert Newton Peck
The Color Purple, by Alice Walker
Sex, by Madonna *
Earth’s Children (Series), by Jean M. Auel
The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson
In the Night Kitchen, by Maurice Sendak
The Witches, by Roald Dahl *
A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine L’Engle *
The New Joy of Gay Sex, by Charles Silverstein
Go Ask Alice, by Anonymous
The Goats, by Brock Cole
The Stupids (Series), by Harry Allard
Anastasia Krupnik (Series), by Lois Lowry
Final Exit, by Derek Humphry
Blubber, by Judy Blume
Halloween ABC, by Eve Merriam
Julie of the Wolves, by Jean Craighead George
Kaffir Boy, by Mark Mathabane
The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison *
What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters, by Lynda Madaras
Fallen Angels, by Walter Dean Myers
The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood *
The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton
The Pigman, by Paul Zindel
To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee
We All Fall Down, by Robert Cormier
Deenie, by Judy Blume
Flowers for Algernon, by Daniel Keyes
Annie on my Mind, by Nancy Garden
Beloved, by Toni Morrison
The Boy Who Lost His Face, by Louis Sachar
Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat, by Alvin Schwartz
Harry Potter (Series), by J.K. Rowling *
Cujo, by Stephen King *
James and the Giant Peach, by Roald Dahl *
A Light in the Attic, by Shel Silverstein *
Ordinary People, by Judith Guest
American Psycho, by Bret Easton Ellis
Brave New World, by Aldous Huxley
Sleeping Beauty Trilogy, by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice) *
Bumps in the Night, by Harry Allard
Asking About Sex and Growing Up, by Joanna Cole
What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons, by Lynda Madaras
The Anarchist Cookbook, by William Powell
Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret, by Judy Blume
Boys and Sex, by Wardell Pomeroy
Crazy Lady, by Jane Conly
Athletic Shorts, by Chris Crutcher
Killing Mr. Griffin, by Lois Duncan
Fade, by Robert Cormier
Guess What?, by Mem Fox
Slaughterhouse-Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
Lord of the Flies, by William Golding
Native Son by Richard Wright
Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies, by Nancy Friday
Curses, Hexes and Spells, by Daniel Cohen
On My Honor, by Marion Dane Bauer
The House of Spirits, by Isabel Allende
Jack, by A.M. Homes
Arizona Kid, by Ron Koertge
Family Secrets, by Norma Klein
Mommy Laid An Egg, by Babette Cole
Bless Me, Ultima, by Rudolfo A. Anaya
Where Did I Come From?, by Peter Mayle
The Face on the Milk Carton, by Caroline Cooney
Carrie, by Stephen King *
The Dead Zone, by Stephen King
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, by Mark Twain
Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison
Always Running, by Luis Rodriguez
Private Parts, by Howard Stern
Where’s Waldo?, by Martin Hanford *
Summer of My German Soldier, by Bette Greene
Tiger Eyes, by Judy Blume
Little Black Sambo, by Helen Bannerman
Pillars of the Earth, by Ken Follett
Running Loose, by Chris Crutcher
Sex Education, by Jenny Davis
Jumper, by Steven Gould
Christine, by Stephen King *
The Drowning of Stephen Jones, by Bette Greene
That Was Then, This is Now, by S.E. Hinton
Girls and Sex, by Wardell Pomeroy
The Wish Giver, by Bill Brittain
Jump Ship to Freedom, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Book release: Isis by Douglas Clegg

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Just a reminder, Douglas Clegg's Isis is being released today. You can read my review of the book here.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

53. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick

#53

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Title: Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 391
Format: ARC from publisher
Available: 10-13-09
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
Finished: 9-27-09

I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I received Hush, Hush. It's not a bad book, not by far, and it caught my interest enough to finish it in two days, but this is definitely a book geared more toward the Twilight series type of fan. This isn't meant as a slight to either Hush, Hush, Twilight or it's fan-base, it's just at the end of the book, I don't feel that I was that vested in any future developments with these characters (there is a sequel in the works, titled Crescendo).

Nora Grey is your typical, hardworking high school student who doesn't feel she has time for boys with her busy schedule. That is, until she meets the new, mysterious transfer, Patch. Patch is everything that Nora thinks should be dangerous in a boy: he's handsome, slightly cocky, very mysterious and knows exactly how to get under her skin. As they are forced to get to know one another through a Biology project, Nora begins to suspect that there may be something more to Patch that he's not letting on, something that may or may not be supernatural (if you look at the cover, it's the biggest clue to this part of the story). Nora ends up finding herself in danger and Patch comes to the rescue and saves her, cementing her love for him.

I felt that the back and forth, will they or won't they kiss that went on for the first 2/3 of the book was a little tedious after awhile. I know it's there to build the every rising sexual tension between the two characters, but honestly, after awhile I just wanted to scream, "Just get it over with already! You know you want to kiss him, just do it!" The end of the book had a decent enough twist to it, even though I more less had it worked out what was going on, I didn't have all the pieces in place. Like I said, this isn't a bad book, far from it; it's very well written and fast paced and for the most part, the characters are believable. I just think you need to be a fan of this particular genre of book, and I'm just not that fan. To those that are, though, I can honestly say I think I'd recommend this book to you.

Friday, September 25, 2009

52. Death Note, Volume 1 by Tsugumi Ohba (Story) & Takeshi Obata (Art)

#52

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Title: Death Note, Volume 1
Series: Death Note
Authors: Tsugumi Ohba (Story) & Takeshi Obata (Art)
Copyright: 2005
Pages: 195
Format: Paperback
Rating: 4/5 stars
Finished: 9-20-09

Light Yagami, ace student and top of national charts with his test scores, is bored with everything, but that changes one day when he discovers the Death Note of the shinigami (death god) Ryuk, who is equally bored with his existence and dropped his Death Note on purpose in the human world, just to entertain himself. When Light discovers the purpose of the Death Note, that by writing a person's name, the way they die and the time that they will die in the Death Note and that person will die in that manner, he decides to take it upon himself to rid the world of its criminals and force the world to be a better place. However, he quickly becomes deluded into thinking that he will be able to rule the world as Kira, the Savior; that he will be able to exact judgment on whomever he feels is unworthy of living.

Obviously, the world's police forces take notice of the growing number of deaths of the criminals, both imprisoned and free, and decide that Kira needs to be held responsible for the deaths of so many, even if they are criminals. The mysterious super-sleuth L, who has never shown his face to anyone, decides that he need to team up with the police to help them track down this killer. A fast-paced game of cat and mouse ensues as Kira and L try to discover more about each other, as neither have shown their faces, while Ryuk sits on the sidelines, enjoying his entertainment.

I find the story intriguing and the plot is original. This first installment moves along rather quickly, setting up the key characters and plot points, but given that the series is 13 volumes long, there will still be plenty of story to be told, so I don't feel that it was rushed for no reason; I think Tsugumi Ohba simply didn't want to waste a lot of time introducing the main characters. This is my first real experience with Manga in general, so for all I know all series are started like this.

The art is fresh and crisp, and it is not hard to follow at all, even with the story running backwards to Western eyes (the story reads from right to left). Printed entirely in black and white line art with some shading, Takeshi Obata's style lends itself perfectly to the pacing of the story. I'd be interested to see some more of his work sometime.

An intriguing and unique story told in a nice, clean presentation, I'm really interested to see where the story of Death Note goes from here.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Book release: Flawed Dogs, the Novel: The Shocking Raid on Westminster by Berkeley Breathed

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Just a reminder, Berkeley Breathed's Flawed Dogs, the Novel: The Shocking Raid on Westminster is released today. You can read my review of it here.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: Green Porno: A Book and Short Films by Isabella Rossellini


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that are eagerly anticipated.

My "can't-wait-to-read" selection for this week is:

Green Porno: A Book and Short Films by Isabella Rossellini

I've caught a couple of these shorts on YouTube before, and they are both hysterically funny and educational all at the same time. That, and I love Isabella Rossellini, so when I just found out that they were releasing a companion book and DVD for these short films, I knew what my WoW was going to be this week!

From Amazon:
"Deep down in the ocean, strange things happen, acts of love that are unfamiliar to the human eye: Anchovies mate in large orgies; shrimp strip down to get in the mood; starfish can do it two different ways; whales fight to make love.

Inspired by the wonderfully odd and humorous short films created by Isabella Rossellini and released on DVD for the first time, Green Porno offers a visually arresting and scientifically accurate look at the sex lives of marine animals and other creatures. This book will make you see the animal kingdom as you never have before."

Green Porno will be released on September 22, 2009 from HarperStudio.

Friday, September 11, 2009

51. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

#51

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Title: Catching Fire
Series: The Hunger Games, Book 2
Author(s): Suzanne Collins
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 400
Format: Hardcover
Rating: 5/5 stars
Finished: 9-10-09

Catching Fire, the Second Book of the Hunger Games takes every element from the first book and ups it all several notches. Katniss finds herself at the mercy of President Snow, torn between Gale and Peeta and ultimately placed into a situation she never thought she'd find herself in.

I want to go on and on about this story, but I fear that talking about anything from the story will give key plot points away. Collins proved herself able to create a decent cliffhanger with The Hunger Games, but left me feeling dumbfounded at the end of Catching Fire. I even found myself turning the last page, hoping maybe there would magically be more to the story; knowing that Collins wouldn't leave me hanging like this! Alas, there was nothing. Just an empty void of pages that will have to wait to be filled until the third book is released, hopefully sooner than later. (Are you listening, Suzanne Collins?)

I can honestly say that Collins has upped her writing ability with Catching Fire as well. There were a few scenes in The Hunger Games that I felt were a little awkward, but she seems to have overcome these flaws (few and far between that they were) and has written a very slick and streamlined story. Her characters are naturally growing with their story, and the story is moving along at a quick but not rushed pace.

I'd love to go into more detail with the book, but this book is all about the shock and surprise. I can say that if you enjoyed The Hunger Games, you certainly won't be disappointed in Catching Fire. The third book cannot be released quick enough!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

2009 Man Booker Shortlist Announced

The 2009 Man Booker Prize Shortlist has been announced. As usual, there isn't a single book on the list that I've even heard of.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Unbelievable

I can hardly believe that in the entire month of August, I only read one book. Granted, it was a very good book, but really, just one book? Something needs to change!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Waiting on Wednesday: And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that are eagerly anticipated.

My "can't-wait-to-read" selection for this week is:

And Another Thing... by Eoin Colfer

From Amazon:
"An Englishman's continuing search through space and time for a decent cup of tea...

Arthur Dent's accidental association with that wholly remarkable book, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, has not been entirely without incident.

Arthur has traveled the length, breadth, and depth of known, and unknown, space. He has stumbled forward and backward through time. He has been blown up, reassembled, cruelly imprisoned, horribly released, and colorfully insulted more than is strictly necessary. And of course Arthur Dent has comprehensively failed to grasp the meaning of life, the universe, and everything.

Arthur has finally made it home to Earth, but that does not mean he has escaped his fate.

Arthur's chances of getting his hands on a decent cuppa have evaporated rapidly, along with all the world's oceans. For no sooner has he touched down on the planet Earth than he finds out that it is about to be blown up . . . again. And Another Thing... is the rather unexpected, but very welcome, sixth installment of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series. It features a pantheon of unemployed gods, everyone's favorite renegade Galactic President, a lovestruck green alien, an irritating computer, and at least one very large slab of cheese. "



And Another Thing... will be released on October 12, 2009 from Hyperion.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Happy Birthday to Irish!!!

Friend and fellow blogger Irish will be celebrating her birthday this month, and in keeping, she's giving us a present. Just stop by her blog to enter into a contest to win a $32 Amazon gift certificate. Stop by her blog. She's always reading something fun!

And don't forget to wish her a Happy Birthday!!!