February 1st, 2010

amy poehler

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9. 5-Factor Fitness by Harley Pasternak - I know it's not a normal book someone would read but I was interested in it. I went to the gym because I had a free week pass and 2 free training sessions and the trainer said I should eat 5 small meals a day, so I found this book and read more on it. Not sure if I'm going to do it because I'm lazy...but it's good to know. It's better than all those other weird diety-fitnessy books like Atkins and stuff.
Vampire - Count Dracula in London

Books #3-5

3. Charlaine Harris, Dead Until Dark, 292 pages, Supernatural/Romance/Mystery, Paperback, 2001.

The first book of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and the inspiration for the HBO series True Blood, this book is a wonderful mix of mystery, supernatural, and romance. The plot is very similar to the first season of the TV show, featuring Sookie Stackhouse as a waitress with the disability of being able to read minds. Bill the vampire moves to town, and the reactions of the town folk are mixed – but Sookie finds him intriguing since she cannot read his mind; she can finally relax and not have to work so hard to keep the world out of her head. But when those who have been romantically linked with vampires start being murdered, Sookie’s life is in danger. There is character development throughout the book, the vampires are dark and dangerous, and the sex scenes are explicit. It’s an easy read, a pleasant mind candy book.

4. Charlaine Harris, Living Dead in Dallas, 291 pages, Supernatural/Romance/Mystery, Paperback, 2002.

The 2nd book in the series finds Sookie’s coworker murdered and Sookie attacked by a maenad as a message to Eric, sheriff of the local vampires, leading her to eventually go undercover to a very adult party to clear the local detective being framed. Also, Sookie is sent to Dallas, on loan to the vampires there to find who kidnapped one of their nest mates. While investigating, she is taken prisoner by the Fellowship of the Sun, an anti-vampire group, whose plan to have a fiery morning service is in jeopardy should her rescuers find her in time. Sookie’s relationship with Bill the vampire runs hot, very hot, to cold, while Eric tries so very hard to tempt her away. Vampire romance is a nice diversion.

5. Charlaine Harris, Club Dead, 292 pages, Supernatural/Romance/Mystery, Paperback, 2003.

Bill the vampire is missing, abducted, and it is up to Sookie to find him. Eric pulls a few strings, and she is the guest of the werewolf Alcide Herveaux in Jackson, Mississippi. It’s a covert mission, made all the harder by reports that Bill has been less than faithful as a boyfriend. As usual, Sookie finds all sorts of trouble, and is getting hurt way too often in service to vampires who don’t value her as more than an asset in their business affairs. Not as much sex as the other novels, since Sookie’s vampire lover is being tortured in another state, but Eric tries to remedy that. I can’t wait for the next book to see if Sookie and Bill come to an understanding. These books are kind of addicting.
El Corazon

77. The Talented Mr. Ripley

The Talented Mr. Ripley
by Patricia Highsmith

Started: January 30, 2010
Finished: February 1, 2010

I really enjoyed this thriller. I knew nothing about the plot going in so when the action finally started, it was a real surprise. My only complaint really has nothing to do with the book, it has to do with my not reading it till 50+ years after its publication. Because I knew that there were a number of sequels to this book, I knew that Ripley was going to survive. That took a little bit of the suspense out of reading it. 290 pages. Grade: A+
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Total # of Books Read in 2010: 77
Total # of Pages Read in 2010: 16,526
Stargate cake

5 books for January

1.Anthony, Piers Split Infinity Fantasy, 1987 pb reprint, my copy, reread. (375 pgs)
First in the Apprentice Adept series, where Proton, a world of science and Phaze, a world of magic, exist in parallel. In certain circumstances, people may cross from one world to the other. Stile, a serf employed as a jockey on Proton, finds he is able to cross to Phaze after a number of attempts are made on his life, however someone on Phaze is trying to kill him as well. It would be maybe 10 years since I last read this. I seem to remember I liked the first 3 books – the original trilogy – better than the last four. I really like the concept of the Game, played on Proton, which was why I decided to reread this. (Rating: 4.5/6)

2. The Bumper Book for Girls Collins, probably 1940s hb (110 pgs; 485 total)
I'm not keeping this one as there are no 'good' authors in it (i.e. I only recognised Irene Mossop). I don't actually remember reading it before. There are no school stories; only tropes such as an English girl goes to live in India and is kidnapped by black men, young girl aviatrix who pilots plane for injured brother to win over big companies, Mossop's Jacobite heroine, mysterious ice-skater, factual articles on Bonnie Prince Charlie and ice-skating, amateur girl detective, some poems and a humorous tale about a vicarage fete.
It's a victim of my 'one book out of the house for every one book coming in' policy for 2010, which I'm already behind on. I don't have the urge to have a complete set of these annuals, unlike numerous other things I seem to need to collect 'for completeness sake'. (2/6)

3.Matthew, Christopher When We Were Fifty Poetry, hb (106pgs; 591 total)
I'm not actually keeping this one either as I bought it as a present for a friend. She's not getting it until December and it came from Trash'n'treasure (i.e. it's used), so I have no compunction about reading it first. We always give each other a pile of pre-loved books.
Based on the works of A.A.Milne, these poems are at once new and familiar. Mostly funny, some subversive, some touching, I found myself remembering quite a few of the originals, thanks to the rhyme and meter. (4/6)

4.Matthew, Christopher Now We Are Sixty Poetry, hb (105 pgs, 696 total)
Same as above! It's got one based on 'Rice Pudding', (What is the matter with Radio Four?) and two on 'Hoppity'.

5.Baxter, Cynthia Dead Canaries Don't Sing Crime, pb (371 pgs, 1,067pgs)
Dr Jessica Popper is a vet turned sleuth. I got the impression while reading this it was the second book in the series, but apparently it's the first of eight with a ninth due this year. From the blurb:
The sun is barely up and the day is already going to the dogs. Literally. As Dr. Jessica Popper embarks on a house call to a local horse farm, her one-eyed Dalmatian, Lou, and her tailless Westie, Max, stumble upon something unexpected: a corpse half buried in the woods. As Max happily digs up the dead canary planted near the body, Jessie realizes that this corpse was clearly about to sing. But about what? Or whom? Enlisting the aid of her on-again, off-again lover, PI Nick Burby, Jess applies the stubbornness of a bloodhound and the agile moves of a cat to identify a menagerie of suspects...including one who wants her off the case badly enough to kill again.
Not bad, not bad at all. I picked the murderer before the end, probably when the reader was meant to, and mostly figured out why. I like the animal-related quotes at the beginning of each chapter. I wouldn't go out of my way to buy the rest of the series new, but if I saw them 2nd hand for a reasonable price, I'd pick them up. (4/6)
women, picasso, reading

6/50 The Road by Cormac McCarthy

 

   I am just getting around to reading this even though it has been on my bookshelf for a few years. I wanted to read the book before I saw the movie. What is it with movie producers these days, just making movies from good books? Can't they find an original story? Anyway....

This Book Is A Great Read! A post-apocalyptic journey story that feels mythic and poetic. McCarthy paints a bleak, dismal, eternally cold and gray world where a father and son are traveling the road to a destination unknown. They are pilgrims on a journey to salvation. It feels like a futuristic legend warning of our future. The author keeps throwing in big ideas that stop you for a moment while you contemplate what he might mean. My favorite line is "Where you've nothing else construct ceremonies out of air and breathe upon them." We make our own reality. This book make us think about that. Me, I need to go outside for some sunshine on my face.

6/5 stars!!
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Book 2 The Sandman Presents: The Dead Boy Detectives

The Sandman Presents: The Dead Boy Detectives by Ed Brubaker
Pages: 102

 

Synopsis

 This is actually a little background information on the Dead Boy Detectives.

Edwin Paine was murdered at his boarding school in 1916, after which he went to Hell, where he was stalked by an unseen menace through a long corridor for several decades. During the Seasons of Mist storyline, published in December 1990, Hell was emptied of its residents. As a result of this, the boarding school was overrun by the souls of its past teachers and pupils who have escaped Hell. Charles Rowland was the sole living student at the school during these events, as all the other students had gone home for the holidays. A few of the teachers who stayed behind were supervising him, but one by one they fell victim to various horrors. Paine aided Rowland in avoiding most of the dangers, such as a murderous gang of students. Ultimately, however, Rowland did not survive. He next appeared as a ghost and decided to forego going to the afterlife with Death in preference for prospective future adventures with Paine.

In the 2001 limited series Sandman Presents: Dead Boy Detectives the two ghosts investigate the mystery of why and how numerous corpses of homeless children had begun washing up on the shores of the Thames.

Edwin Paine and Charles Rowland are perhaps my two favorite characters from the Sandman universe. I enjoyed them in the Seasons of Mist graphic novel and have eagerly scoured bookshelves for their other limited adventures. Imagine my delight when I found a re-release of their stories from 2001. It’s a neat dynamic between the two, one boy from the early 1900s and the other near the end of the century. But they have much in common and play off one another well. I’m looking forward to finding the Childrens Crusade novels that in which they also appear.

Books completed: 2/50

Pages completed: 710/15,000
 


yomiko readman

January 2010 Reading List!

Books:

1. Cirque Du Freak 6: The Vampire Prince, by Darren Shan (208 pages)
2. Cirque Du Freak 7: Hunters of the Dusk, by Darren Shan (256 pages)
I can give or take the series, honestly. It's decently written with an interesting plot, but mostly fluff.

3. The Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins (374 pages)
A really awesome beginning to a utopia/dystopia implied postapocalyptic series. The characters are solid with definite goals and pasts that are weaved into it very well. Totally recommend.

4. Dayworld Rebel, by Philip Jose Farmer (256 pages)
Second in the series. Read the first ages ago and finally found this one at a used bookstore. Great read. Also postapocalyptic utopia/dystopia.

5. Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins (391 pages)
Second in the series started with The Hunger Games. Just as compelling as the first. Cannot wait for the next installment in August!

Total book pages: 1,485

Progress: 5/50

Next on my list: Leaves of Grass, The Crying of Lot 49, In Our Time, Storm Front, The Man with the Golden Torc


Comic books/Manga:
(doing this in part to force myself to read what I own)

1. The Boys Volume 5: Herogasm, by Garth Ennis (144 pages)
Good series. Really like the anti-hero aspects and the moral implications of superheroes. Definitely took an odd/disturbing turn in this one.

2. Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne: Volume 1 (176 pages)
3. Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne: Volume 2 (176 pages)
4. Kamikaze Kaito Jeanne: Volume 3 (200 pages)
Cute little series by Arina Tanemura. I really like her Full Moon wo Sagashite, so when I found this at a used bookstore I grabbed it. Reminds me of Saint Tail in a lot of ways.

Total comic book/manga pages: 696

Progress: 4/50

Next on my list: several Doctor Who comics, Dragon Knights, Hunter x Hunter, issues of Shonen Jump
did you know you could fly?

(no subject)

Book #5 -- Laura Kasischke, Feathered, 261 pages.

I don't even know how to describe this one. Best friends Michelle and Anne go to Cancun for Spring Break. Remember all those cautionary tales about the horrible things that can happen to innocent teen girls in a foreign country? This is one of those. But it's more than that too. It's about ancient dangerous things sleeping in the jungle, and the wilds of the human mind. *Very* different, but good.


Book #6 -- John Dryden, All For Love: A Tragedy, 106 pages.

Dryden's version of Antony and Cleopatra. It's frequently compared with Shakespeare's, which makes sense. They are somewhat similar in style, but Dryden seems to focus more on the internal and domestic conflicts of the characters, and the battles are something that not only take place off-stage, but are given very little thought or attention. It's a different angle to the story, but I liked it.


Book #7 -- S. Jones Rogan, The Daring Adventures of Penhaligon Brush, 229 pages.

This is an adorable story of the adventures of a pair of anthropromorphic foxes up against a dastardly tomcat, with a little help from a family of hedgehogs. A quick and fun read.


Progress toward goals: 32/365 = 8.8%

Books: 7/100 = 7.0%

Pages: 1726/30000 = 5.8%

2010 Book List

cross-posted to 50bookchallenge, 15000pages, and gwynraven
rose
  • slickmc

Books 9, 11 / 100

9. Gone with the Wind - Margaret Mitchell
          A classic.  Lots of racism, of course.  It's very much poor-us-we're-white-and-rich-and-educated-and-everyone-hates-us.  I was reading this at the same time as I was reading about Brown v. Board of Education, so it was particularly....amusing?  Not the right word, I know, but I definitely did laugh out loud at some of the more ridiculous racist comments.  It was just too over-the-top.
        That said, I really enjoyed this book.  Scarlett could get irritating, except that she can be kind of spunky and fun.  Rhett is the man.  I would marry him in a flat second if he were a real person.  Melanie is cool too, and not what I'd expected from what I'd heard about the book.  Not a milquetoast.

11. The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids - Alexandra Robbins
              A voyeuristic expose of all the crap these crazy high school kids get up to today.  Like eight classes in a seven period class day (they just have class during lunch), or a total of 17 AP classes in four years, or crying when they only get a 1580 (out of 1600) on the SAT.  
            I really felt like a rubbernecker at a car crash, despite the "advice" the author gives at the end of the book on how to change this behavior.  It was interesting, and somewhat informative, but it was the type of book you read when you want to be horrified by what other people and the government are capable of doing.
Jazzy Looking Around the Corner

January Reading List

1.  Knit Together:  Discover God's Pattern for Your Life by Debbie Macomber  This is the author's first non fiction book though she has written numerous romance and women's fiction books.  She tells the reader her personal story about when she was first starting out as a struggling writer trying to sell her first novel.  Each one has a purpose that God has designed us for and how we can determine our purpose in life.
2.  Love & Respect: The Love She Most Desires, the Respect He Desperately Needs by Emerson E. Eggerichs  This is a book that gives the biblical viewpoint of relationships and how men and women view things differently in a relationship.  The primary audience of this book is married couples though it can also be good for singles as well in how they relate to the opposite sex and how to keep a marriage going once they do get married.
3.  That Holiday Feeling by Debbie Macomber, Sheryl Woods and Robyn Carr This collection of holiday themed novellas showcase each of the writers talents.  In the first story the readers are reintroduced to one of the characters in the Manning series of books when she is grown up.  The daughter of one of her neighbors in her apartment building feels that she would make a good wife for her dad and a good mother to her.  In the second novella by Sheryl Woods two people are thrown together by chance by an older woman that they both know through her dying wish.  In the third novella by Robyn Carr puppies are used to bring two people together who knew each other when they were younger but they didn't notice each other then.
4.  The Pilgram Song by Gilbert Morris
5.  Her Patchwork Family by Lyn Cote  This is a sweet love story from Harlequin's Love Inspired Series about a young Quaker woman who inherits a mansion and she uses it to open up an orphanage.  She faces opposition from the residents of the town though on her first day in town she is a victim of theft by a juvenille offender.  She convinces the local judge to let the young boy to stay at her orphan's home as a part of his probation and to help her in changing the laws that will treat juvenille offenders different.  Tyrone Hawkins, the local judge is a widower who is still haunted by the Civil War and has a small child of his own.  He is upset when his little girl runs to Felicity and to her orphan home because she feels safe there.  He loves the caring way that Felicity has with his daughter though. 
6.  Fancy Pants by Cathy Marie Hake  In order to escape from an arranged marriage to a man who is more interested in her position and title than in her she travels to her Uncle's ranch out in the western United States dressed as a young man.  When she writes to her uncle he mistakenly thinks that she is a young man and not a young lady so he tells her that women are not welcome on his ranch other than the housekeeper and cook.  Timothy Creighton is Lady Sydney's uncle's right hand man on the ranch who tries to teach Lady Sydney how to be a man though he feels betrayed when he finds out that "Syd" is really a female and not a male.  He lets Sydney stay on the ranch while her uncle is away since they are kin anyway.  He is not interested in marriage after losing his wife and child to cholera several years ago though Lady Sydney does worm her way into his heart.  This is a hilarous comedy of errors with a Christian twist to it.
7.  Why the Nativity by David Jeremiah  This book describes 25 different reasons that we celebrate Christmas, one for each of the days of Advent.  It makes you think about different reasons that you may have never even thought of. 
8.  Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
9.  Bread Alone: A Novel by Judith R. Hendricks This is a chick lit book where the main character is a thirty one year old trophy wife whose husband dumps her for another woman that he works with since she had become dependent on him.  Wynter moves to Seattle, Washington from Los Angeles, California to begin her new life as a baker in a small bakery.  She starts to discover herself again and what she wants out of life.   She was a teacher of high school students before she had met and married her ex husband, so she knows that she doesn't want to have children since she didn't like teaching though her child freeness is a minor part of the book.  Throughout the book she rediscovers her passion for baking.
10.  Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell  This Pultizer Prize winning book is an epic tale of Scarlett O'Hara growing up before, during and after the Civil War.  She thinks that she is in love with her neighbor, Ashley Wilkes even though he marries his cousin.  She does however marry someone else who is one of the first causalities of the war.  The book details how she meets Rhett Butler and runs into him during different times in her life.  She comes to realize the truth about her love for Ashley by the end of the book after she endures tragedy.  This is a good depiction of the South in those times showing how even the slaves on the plantation had their own class system.  The way that Scarlett is treated by the upper class society for owning and running her own business is very different from today's society even though there are those who would look down on a young mother for working outside the home and enjoying it even today.  The attitude that they had towards widows was different than what you would expect since they didn't expect her to remarry even if she had children to raise.
we can

books for 2010

1. Bonk the curious coupling of science and sex/Mary Roach
I didn't like this book as much as I liked Stiff. It seemed much more about the people doing the research instead of the research itself and I get that researchers are also interesting but, I don't know, it just seemed a little wandering.

2. Stiff the curious lives of human cadavers/Mary Roach
This book is hilarious and now I wonder why I didn't read it 5 years ago like everyone else so I could talk to people about it.

3. Dead as a doornail : a Sookie Stackhouse novel/Charlaine Harris

4. Dead as a doornail : a Sookie Stackhouse novel/Charlaine Harris
I kind of hate these books. I love the show so I started reading them. The character of Sookie doesn't make any sense to me. This last book had no sex which is the only thing I look forward to. Okay I am being mean. They are getting a little better as they go. I will finish the series.



is that enough? i am not so good at reviewing things...
It's Me!

My February Reading List 2010


1.  The Sacrifice by Robert Whitlow.  -- Attorney Scott Ellis is defending Lester Garrison, a 16 yr old accused of opening gunfire on a Sunday afternoon church gathering.  At the same time, Scott's volunteer work at the local high school brings him into contact with Kay Wilson, an English teacher and former girlfriend.  Unknown to either of them, Catawba High School is not just a place of learning - its a battleground for an age-old struggle between good and evil.  On one side are praying stufents and a simple janitor with an extraordinary faith.  On the other side is a deeply troubled young man intent on mass destruction.  Caught in the middle, Scott and Kay learn that lasting victory will require the ultimate sacrifice.
2.  The Scarlet Pimpernel by Emmuska Orczy -- This is my "Blind Challenge".  I will pick one book a month that I have never heard anything about and read it.  I have heard of this book... just for the record.
3.  In His Dreams by Gail Gaymer Martin -- my guilty pleasure a christian romance novella. "Escape to beautiful Beaver island could be the answer to Marsha Sullivan's need for a fresh start.  Did God want her to love again?  The only thing she knew for sure was that being with Jeff and his daughter felt like family.
4.  The Priest by Francine Rivers -- One of five men who quietly changed eternity. His courage covered his brothers fear. His sacrifices atoned for the peoples sin. His voice carried the words... of God. Moses parted the Red Sea. But in his shadow stood a man who symbolizes forever our Great High Priest.

I am new to 50bookchallenge.  I love the way this book club is set up.  Have fun, read what you want, no pressure.  It makes for a great reading environment. =)  I've been interested in a book club but haven't found the right one.  I think this one will work great for me.

Book

♥ Book #5 :: Blue Bloods ♥

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Title: Blue Bloods
Author: Melissa De La Cruz
Copyright date: 2006
Publisher: Hyperion
How many pages: 302 pgs
How long it took me to read: 3 days
Category: Fiction
I learned about this book from: ONTD

This book was purchased at: HMV
This book is: terrible
Other books by this/these author(s): Blue Bloods series, The Au Pairs, The jet set series, Angels on Sunset Boulevard, The Lip Gloss jungle, etc...
Favorite characters: Bliss Llewellyn, Mimi Force
When and Where the story takes place: Manhattan, New York

Plot in a nutshell: When 15-year-olds Schuyler and Bliss find out that they are vampires, as are many of the city's elite, they learn what's behind some of their weird symptoms (such as Schuyler's blue veins, which form "an intricate pattern, visible under the skin's surface," or Bliss's cravings for raw meat), and that "nothing could kill vampires." But something is hunting them, even killing some, and Schuyler grows more determined to stop it, even as the Conclave, the vampire leaders, attempts to cover it up. Readers will recognize the character types here: Schuyler the outcast, Bliss the pretty new girl and Mimi the popular queen bee (who nurses a somewhat incestuous relationship with her equally gorgeous brother). Not many question are answered along the way, even for the start of a series. Still, it's hard to resist a book that combines expensive clothes, modeling jobs, blood-sucking and even diary entries from a Mayflower vampire. De la Cruz plants enough seeds (e.g., What does it mean that Schuyler's father is human? Will her mother come out of her coma? Who are the Silver Bloods, and is one of them hiding amongst the vampires?) to give readers a stake in what happens next.
Main characters: Schuyler Van Alen, Madeleine "Mimi" Force, Benjamin "Jack" Force, Bliss Llewelyn
What I liked best: Madeleine Force, Some parts really sucked me into the story.
What I liked least: Names are too outlandish. First chapter kind of sucked. The way the author revealed the first vampire was poorly written - just like most of the book. Namedrops seem so awkward. Author is terrible at trying to be mysterious. Schuyler's mom wouldn't be in a coma for fifteen years. Not enough description. Changes scenes so fast that I don't even know when it happens. Romance between Bliss and Dylan is so childish. If this book is written for 12 and up, why are there sexual references?? Schuyler's "misfit" act is tired, old and pathetic to read. Jokes are bland and unfunny. Author repeats words too closely to each other. Flashbacks are dumb. Oliver is a little bitch. The vampires light up like lite brites - and we thought sparkly vampires were bad! The storyline: Um, excuse me...what?? Vampire shapeshifter? Bitch, please. The name Schuyler. Two 15 year olds posing topless is not alright - vampire or not. Oh, the bad cliches! Ugh! The rushed way in which this was written!!

Overall rating: 100x NO!!! This book was so badly written, it made me want to tear my hair out...but at least I now know what not to do. :)
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