Friday, September 30, 2011

Follower Appreciation Extravaganza (700): Dystopian Giveaway

I'm really excited about the dystopian genre and it seems that it is a bug that is going around.  I've also noticed that everyone has experience with this genre but me.  Let's remedy that situation : )

The Prize: US winner: Mockingjay or Divergent; International Winner: A $5 gift card to Amazon, B&N, or The Book Depository.
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games, Book 3)  Divergent

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Friday Memes: Banned Book Love & Movies I Want

I'm hopping again!!  WhootWhoot!! I miss the hop sometimes and this weekend seemed like a good time to hop around the book blogger community and see what's going on.  Here goes.

Book Blogger Hop (Hosted by Crazy-for-Books):
“In honor of Banned Books Week, what is your favorite “banned or frequently challenged book”?”

Book Blogger HopSo I answered this question in my Why I Love Wednesday Post this week and my answer was The Hunger Games because it is fab-tastic and Ms. Collins is so talented.  It is amazing that she can take such a dark and disturbing situation and make readers like me giddy with excitement.

But I've talked about that.  Here are a few more titles that I love from the must read "banned/challenged" list.

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (banned for sexual content).  I heart Rosie the Elephant and who doesn't love grumpy old men?  Yes there was sexual content and explicit vocabulary BUT it wasn't the focus and it was imperative to the history.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (banned for sexual material and homosexual themes).  *sigh* Like really?  I don't even remember homosexual themes or sexual material but how you can possibly have THAT as a take-away after reading such an emotional and historically accurate book.  Shame on you!  I love Anne, her honesty, and her gutspah!  Her reality was so sad.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (banned because it is "soft-pornography" and glorifies drinking, cursing and premarital sex).  So this book was included in my curriculum when I was teaching.  If anything, I think it demonstrates the dangers of drinking.  But.  This is a difficult topic but an important one.  Sometimes I wonder if people read these books before opposing them.

So what's up... Do they only ban books that have an important message?

Follow Friday (Hosted by Parajunkee and Allison @ Allison Can Read): 
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?
I'm going to pick a book but go easy on me if it turns out to already have a movie.  I'm just not a movie person and I'm always surprised to find that a book I like is a movie and I've never heard about it.  I'm always out of the loop when it comes to movie.

My pick...

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Why I Love Wednesdays...Book from Banned Book List

Reflections of a Bookaholic

I am returning with my new feature... Why I love which takes place on Wednesdays. Today's proclamation of love concerns a book from the banned book list (found here)

Why I Love...The Hunger Games!!

Oh this was so easy.  Well first, if you haven't noticed, it's kind of dystopian week.  Since I have previously discussed my love for banned book, To Kill a Mockingbird, it was pretty easy to go with The Hunger Games this week (plus the dystopian thing).  Heads up... the dystopian themed giveaway goes up  on Friday :)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Double Reviews: Catching Fire & Mockingjay

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #2
Genre: Dystopian, YA
Pages: 391 pages (Hardback)
Source: Library

“Really, the combination of the scabs and the ointment looks hideous. I can't help enjoying his distress.
"Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in your life you haven't looked pretty?" I say.
"It must be. The sensation's completely new. How have you managed it all these years?" he asks.
"Just avoid mirrors. You'll forget about it," I say.
"Not if I keep looking at you," he says.”

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Series: The Hunger Games #3
Genre: Dytopian, YA
Pages: 398 (Hardback)
Source: Won in a Giveaway!
“You're still trying to protect me. Real or not real," he whispers.
"Real," I answer. "Because that's what you and I do, protect each other.”

Monday, September 26, 2011

Teaser Tuesdays: Divergent

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
    My Teaser: This week my teaser is from Divergent by Veronic Roth.  I'm not going to lie, I'm not in love with this book.  I really hope whatever everybody loves about it kicks in soon.

    "I have realized that part of being Dauntless is being willing to make things more difficult for yourself in order to be self-sufficient.  There's nothing especially brave about wandering dark streets with no flashlight, but we are not supposed to need help, even from light.  We are supposed to be capable of anything."

    Be sure to share a link to your teaser!

    Sunday, September 25, 2011

    Double Reviews: The City of Amber & The People of Sparks (Audiobooks)

    The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau
    Genre: Dystopian
    Series: Books of Ember #1
    Length: 7 hours and 6 minutes
    Narrator: Wendy Dillon
    Source: Library

    From Amazon:
    It is always night in the city of Ember. But there is no moon, no stars. The only light during the regular twelve hours of "day" comes from floodlamps that cast a yellowish glow over the streets of the city. Beyond are the pitch-black Unknown Regions, which no one has ever explored because an understanding of fire and electricity has been lost, and with it the idea of a Moveable Light. "Besides," they tell each other, "there is nowhere but here" Among the many other things the people of Ember have forgotten is their past and a direction for their future. For 250 years they have lived pleasantly, because there has been plenty of everything in the vast storerooms. But now there are more and more empty shelves--and more and more times when the lights flicker and go out, leaving them in terrifying blackness for long minutes. What will happen when the generator finally fails?
    Twelve-year-old Doon Harrow and Lina Mayfleet seem to be the only people who are worried. They have just been assigned their life jobs--Lina as a messenger, which leads her to knowledge of some unsettling secrets, and Doon as a Pipeworker, repairing the plumbing in the tunnels under the city where a river roars through the darkness. But when Lina finds a very old paper with enigmatic "Instructions for Egress," they use the advantages of their jobs to begin to puzzle out the frightening and dangerous way to the city of light of which Lina has dreamed.

    Saturday, September 24, 2011

    Friday, September 23, 2011

    Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop

    The American Library Association supports "the freedom to choose or the freedom to express one's opinions even if that opinion might be considered unorthodox or unpopular and stresses the importance of ensuring the availability of those viewpoints to all who wish to read them."

    This giveaway is hosted by I am a Reader, Not a Writer & I Read Banned Books to bring attention to books that others have challenged.  A challenge is an attempt to remove or restrict materials, based upon the objections of a person or group. A banning is the removal of those materials.

    The ALA points out that "challenges do not simply involve a person expressing a point of view; rather, they are an attempt to remove material from the curriculum or library, thereby restricting the access" to others.

    To find out more about banned books, check out the American Library's Association Page.

    Here are a few books that are frequently challenged:

    The Giveaway:

    Thursday, September 22, 2011

    Review: Sweet Destiny

    Sweet Destiny by Rochelle Alers
    Genre: Romance, African-American
    Pages: 223 (Ereader)
    Source: Net Galley

    An Eaton Summer Wedding

    No one gives her heart like an Eaton woman…

    A West Virginia mining community is a long way from Dr. Mia Eaton’s Dallas hometown. But trading in her designer duds for flannel and jeans isn’t such a major sacrifice. Not when the town has virile, off-the-charts-gorgeous Kenyon Chandler as their sheriff. Too bad he’s as arrogant as can be…until the night he’s injured in the line of duty.

    Ever since they met at her cousin Xavier’s wedding, Kenyon hasn’t been able to get Mia out of his mind. And once he’s under the sultry Southerner’s tender loving care, he knows he’s lost. Kenyon gives her six months before she hightails it back home for the pampered life she left behind. Unless he can convince her that they are each other’s sweet destiny…

    My Rating:

    My Review:

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011

    Follower Appreciation Extravaganza (600): Why I Love Wednesdays

    Reflections of a Bookaholic

    I am returning with my new feature... Why I love which takes place on Wednesdays. Today's proclamation of love concerns Why I Love Wednesdays!!  Crazy right?!  [You Can Write About Any Topic of Your Choosing]

    Why I Love...Why I Love Wednesdays

    This post is a bit different from normal.  I want to explain why I love this meme and also introduce the next giveaway for the follower appreciation extravaganza.

    I Love Why I Love Wednesdays because I get to hop around and see what some of my fellow bloggers love.  I love the nostalgic revisits to the past and the reminders about some of our amazing bookish finds.  I also appreciate all the bloggers and commentors who have stuck in there with me week after week.  I can't thank you enough.  I feel like I have gotten to know many of my fellow bloggers and I consider you my friends.  Though, I started this particular meme, I wouldn't have continued without my loyal participants.  My favorite part is the sharing.  There have been a few times when I thought I should abandon the meme but I have soo much fun each week.  Again, I thank you!

    Now for the giveaway!!

    Tuesday, September 20, 2011

    Teaser Tuesday: Mockingjay

    Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
      My Teaser: This week's teaser comes from Mockingjay.  I just couldn't help it.  Of course, the importance of this teaser means nothing if you haven't read the book BUT...

      So after, when he whispers, "You love me.  Real or not real?"
      I tell him, "Real."

      Be sure to share a link to your teaser!

      Monday, September 19, 2011

      Review: Taste of Salt

      Taste of Salt by Martha Southgate
      Genre: Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction
      Pages: 281 (Paperback)
      Source: Publisher Algonquin Books
      Author WebsiteTwitter | Facebook

      From the Back Cover:
      Josie Henderson is most at home in and around water, and as a senior-level black female scientists at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, she is practically alone in her field.  But in building this impressive life for herself, she has tried to shed the one thing she cannot: her family roots back in Cleveland.  When Tick, her brother and childhood ally against their alcoholic father, arrives on her doorstep fresh from rehab and teetering on teh edge of a relapse, Josie must finally face her family's past--and her own patterns of addiction.

      My Rating:
      My Review:

      Sunday, September 18, 2011

      Follower Appreciation Extravaganza (500): Diversity in Novels

      I LOVE seeing minorities as major characters in novels.  People of color are finding a place as main characters in more and more novels and I definitely think that is something to celebrate.  AND not all novels featuring people of color are depressing (hooray!).  I really enjoyed some of the books that I had a chance to read and review that spotlighted diverse backgrounds.  Before I was reading books like 32 candles, I read books like Corregidora and Getting Mother's Body.  These are very different reads but all important.  LOVES it!!

      So let's do a giveaway!

      Friday, September 16, 2011

      Follower Appreciation Extravaganza (400): Wishlist Giveaway

      I don't know about everyone else, but I have a huge outrageous wishlist.  

      The Prize:  One book from your wishlist ($15 maximum)

      Thursday, September 15, 2011

      Review: The Postmistress

      The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
      Genre: Historical Fiction, WW II novel
      Pages: 336 (ebook)
      Source: Purchased

      From Amazon:
      Those who carry the truth sometimes bear a terrible weight...

      It is 1940. France has fallen. Bombs are dropping on London. And President Roosevelt is promising he won't send our boys to fight in "foreign wars."

      But American radio gal Frankie Bard, the first woman to report from the Blitz in London, wants nothing more than to bring the war home. Frankie's radio dispatches crackle across the Atlantic ocean, imploring listeners to pay attention--as the Nazis bomb London nightly, and Jewish refugees stream across Europe. Frankie is convinced that if she can just get the right story, it will wake Americans to action and they will join the fight.

      Meanwhile, in Franklin, Massachusetts, a small town on Cape Cod, Iris James hears Frankie's broadcasts and knows that it is only a matter of time before the war arrives on Franklin's shores. In charge of the town's mail, Iris believes that her job is to deliver and keep people's secrets, passing along the news that letters carry. And one secret she keeps are her feelings for Harry Vale, the town mechanic, who inspects the ocean daily, searching in vain for German U-boats he is certain will come. Two single people in midlife, Iris and Harry long ago gave up hope of ever being in love, yet they find themselves unexpectedly drawn toward each other.

      Listening to Frankie as well are Will and Emma Fitch, the town's doctor and his new wife, both trying to escape a fragile childhood and forge a brighter future. When Will follow's Frankie's siren call into the war, Emma's worst fears are realized. Promising to return in six months, Will goes to London to offer his help, and the lives of the three women entwine.

      Alternating between an America still cocooned in its inability to grasp the danger at hand and a Europe being torn apart by war, The Postmistress gives us two women who find themselves unable to deliver the news, and a third woman desperately waiting for news yet afraid to hear it.

      My Rating:

      Wednesday, September 14, 2011

      Why I Love Wednesdays... Underrated Authors

      Reflections of a Bookaholic

      I am returning with my new feature... Why I love which takes place on Wednesdays. Today's proclamation of love concerns Underrated Authors

      Why I Love...Pam Jenoff and Jenna Blum

      So I picked this topic and I'm not even sure what it means.  Do I pick an upcoming author?  Or an author that I love and just want to talk about?  Who can't I choose?  Can an author be underrated if they are published and sell books?  Oh the confusion.  I should think a little more before choosing these topics (I don't pick them be fair).  I don't exactly have a favorite author and I'm not sure I am in the know to pick an underrated author because I don't know who is highly rated.

      Tuesday, September 13, 2011

      Teaser Tuesday: The Bronze Horseman

      Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

      My Teaser: This teaser is from The Bronze Horseman.  Guess what? It's set during WWII.  Whoot!!  Whoot!!  I always start this book and then stop to let a review request.  I've heard so many good things that it is like I'm just looking for an excuse.  I'm kind of nervous to read it.  I hope I like it.
      The Bronze Horseman

      "Why did we spend two days fighting when we could have been doing this?" "That wasn't fighting, Tatiasha. That was foreplay." 

      Anyone can play along!

      Monday, September 12, 2011

      Mini-Review: The Diplomat's Wife

      The Diplomat's Wife by Pam Jenoff
      Sequel to The Kommandant's Girl (Review here)
      Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII, Romance
      Pages: 360 (paperback)
      Source: Personal collection
      How have I been lucky enough to come here, to be alive, when so many others are not? I should have died. But I am here.

      My Rating:
      Quick-Thoughts:  WWII meets romance and eye-spy.
      I loved this book! This romance set during World War II is another story about perseverance, hardships, and hope. We see a bit (a lot) of romance, a bit of espionage, and lots of well-developed characters. Though it is a sequel to The Kommandant's Girl, it stands alone quite well.  While there are sad moments, it isn't depressing.  In fact, I think there are fewer sad moments than other novels set during WWII.  The ending is unrealistic and does the whole bow-tieing thing, but I didn't mind at all. Here's an inspiring story, with great characters, and exceptional writing.  Read this if you enjoy novels set during World War II and a bit of adventure.
      09 10