Saturday, October 31, 2009

Stephen King Challenge Update

I had started this challenge a while back, but never really looked at what I've read and what I want to read. It dawned on me that I really need to see how far I've come and how far I have to go (which I know is far). I found a list of all his works and went through it, taking out unfinished works and early hard to find stuff.
Red = Read
Blue = Want to and will read
Green = Seen Movie (but have not read book, and probably will read soon rather than later)
Purple = Read Book and Seen Movie
Since the list is massive, I've only listed the books/movies that are on my radar at the moment. The other stuff is in the TBR in the distant future.
Richard Bachman's Published Books "Richard Bachman" is a pseudonym that King used until Bachman's true identity was discovered by fans, after which he only published one more Bachman novel.

1977 - Rage
1979 - The Long Walk
1981 - Road Work
1982 - The Running Man
1984 - Thinner
1996 - The Regulators
2007 - Blaze
1974 - Carrie
1975 - Salem's Lot
1977 - The Shining

1978 - The Stand
1979 - The Dead Zone
1980 - Firestarter
1981 - Cujo

1981 - Danse Macabre (nonfiction about horror)
1982 - Creepshow (comic book, illustrated by Bernie Wrightson)
1982 - Different Seasons (novellas)
1983 - Christine
1983 - Pet Sematary
1986 - It
1987 - Misery
1987 - The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three
1991 - Needful Things
1991 - The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands
1992 - Gerald's Game

1993 - Dolores Claiborne
1993 - Nightmares & Dreamscapes (stories)
1994 - Insomnia
1995 - Rose Madder

1996 - The Green Mile (originally published as a monthly serial consisting of six parts)
1996 - Desperation
1997 - The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
1999 - Storm of the Century
1999 - The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
1999 - Hearts in Atlantis
2000 - Secret Windows (non-fiction about writing)
2000 - On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (nonfiction autobiography)

2000 - Dreamcatcher
2003 - The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger (revised edition)
2003 - The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla
2004 - The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah
2004 - The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower

2008 - Duma Key
2008 - Just After Sunset
2009 - UR (e-novella available only on's Kindle)
2009 – Under The Dome
Pretty sad I know. I've only read 11 of his books so far, I've seen more movies! Pathetic. I have a job ahead of me. And to think, these are the ones I WANT to read.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Books To Read Before I Die Challenge - 2010

Bibliophile by The Sea is hosting a challenge. Books To Read Before I Die. I tend to read several classics during the year, but all of the classics listed here, I own. I haven't read them, they are collecting dust. No time like 2010 to get them read. The newer books are coming from the local library. So far the only audio book is "The Mill on the Floss", I've had that one on the iPod for a while.

Please visit the website for the rules.

I'll stick with just 10, that is a challenge for me. And I WILL read a Jane Austen book before I die!!!!

Tentative List
1. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
2. Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
3. Dracula – Bram Stoker
4. Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
5. The Woman in White – Wilkie Collins
6. The Hobbit – JRR Tolken
7. The Blind Assassin – Margaret Atwood
8. The Grapes of Wrath – John Steinbeck
9. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
10. The Mill on the Floss – George Eliot

Nanowrimo - 2009

This is scheduled to start at midnight on Sunday, November 1st. For those who start at midnight, and live in the States, they get an extra hour as we fall back. I'll be asleep, so it won't benefit me.

I will have to get a great deal done before November 13th, I'm going in for gall bladder surgery, so I will be laid up. However, if all goes well, it will be outpatient and I will be home that night. Hope to not be in too much pain, where I can type a few pages during my recovery.

Can't wait to start year #6. I hope to get to blog about it here on a regular basis.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Challenge Updates

Well it is almost the end of the month. Here is how my various challenges are going.

101 Memoirs/Autobiographies/Biographies
Part of my 101 books in 1,001 Days

1) Rage to Survive - Etta James
2) Wasted: A Memoir of Anorexia & Bulimia - Mayra Hornbacher
3) The Last Lecture - Randy Paucsh
4) The Year of Living Biblically - A.J. Jacobs
5) Einstein: His Life and Universe - Walter Isaacson
6) Have A Little Faith - Mitch Albom
7) Crossing Over - Ruth Irene Garrett

75 Book Challenge

I've read 66 books thus far. So that is 9 more to go. I plan to be there by mid-December, but we'll see.

2009 Support Your Local Library Reading Challenge. I only signed for 25 books, but I have gone beyond that. I think I'll up that number next year.

1. Daisy Miller - Henry James
2. 1001 Books for Every Mood - Hallie Ephron
3. The Rosary - Gary Jansen
4. A Short Guide to a Happy Life - Anna Quindlen
5. The Beach House - Jane Green
6. The Prodigal God - Timothy Keller
7. Being Perfect - Anna Quindlen
8. Showboat - Edna Ferber
9. I Never Promised You a Rose Garden - Joanne Greenberg
10. How Starbucks Saved My Life - Michael Gates Gill
11. Outlander (Book 1) - Diana Gabaldon
12. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
13. Lamb - Christopher Moore
14. Go Ask Alice - Anonymous
15. Turbulent Souls - Stephen Dubner
16. Shade's Children - Garth Nix
17. A Capatalist Romance - Ruth Brandon
18. Shade's Children - Garth Nix
19. A Capatalist Romance - Ruth Brandon
20. A Tale of Two Cities (audiobook - CD) - Charles Dickens
21. Summer (audiobook download) - Edith Wharton
22. Silas Marner (audiobook - CD) - George Eliott
23. Rage to Survive: The Etta James Story - Etta James & David Ritz
24. Waisted: A Memoir of Anorexia & Bulimia - Marya Hornbacher
25. The Third Jesus - Deepak Chopra
26. The Last Lecture - Randy Pausch
27. Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury
28. The Year of Living Biblically - A.J. Jacobs
29. Duma Key - Stephen King
30. Dead Man's Cell Phone - Sarah Ruhl
31. When The Heart Cries - Cindy Woodsmall
32. The Last Song - Nicholas Sparks
33. Have A Little Faith - Mitch Albom
34. Night Flight - Antoine de Saint-Exupery
35. The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate - Jacqueline Kelly
36. The Christmas List: A Novel - Richard Paul Evans
37. Crossing Over - Ruth Irene Garrett

R.I.P. IV (2009)

I opted to read 2 horror/scary books for this year's challenge, but have only managed to finish one. I'm in the middle of "The Thirteenth Tale", but that won't be finished by Saturday.

Duma Key by Stephen King was the only book I finished in time for this challenge. Which fits in nicely with the Stephen King/Richard Bachman challenge (ongoing).

Operation Actually Read Bible Challenge

This month I have not read from the Bible.
*slaps own wrist*

The next two months only find me doing 3 NEW challenges which overlap. My own Mini-Christmas Reading Challenge, Winter Reading Challenge and the Christmas Reading Challenge.

Still continue with the Library, 75 Books, Stephen King, 101/1,001 and Bible Challenges.

Booking Through Thursday

Something I’ve been thinking about lately: “What words/phrases in a blurb make a book irresistible? What words/phrases will make you put the book back down immediately?”

I'm a big fan of "true stories", so anything that mentions that, I will gobble up. Also I will pick up any book that talks about Spiritual Journey's, Angels and stuff like that. I will also read anything about Christmas.

What makes me put a book down faster than anything is the word "incest". I will pretty much give anything a chance, but that storyline bothers me.

Something else that makes me drop a book is anything that has to do with "The Old West" or "Gunslinging" (aside from the King books). I'm not terribly interested in that subject, I have watched some western movies but it has to be a very good one or have someone real handsome in it like Gary Cooper. LOL!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Library Loot

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Eva and Marg that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries!

Since I've just returned most of the Loot to the Library, I only have two books out at the moment.

Crossing Over: One Woman's Escape from Amish Life by Ruth Irene Garrett
This was going to be a Read-A-Thon book, but that fell through. So it is just going on the 75 books and Library Reading Challenge.

When the Morning Comes by Cindy Woodsmall

Now to be honest, I had to renew this one. I had so much loot the past two weeks, this one was pushed down the queue. Since no one was waiting for this one (but were waiting for the others) I waited to read it.

So I didn't take it out this week, but I did re-new it this week.

Midnight Kiss: The Toast of New Orleans
Starring Mario Lanza

This just arrived. yay!

A-Z Wednesday

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach

Welcome to A-Z Wednesday!!
To join, here's all you have to do:
Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.
1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link (amazon, barnes and noble etc.)

Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.(We all love comments, don't we?) Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.

This Week's Letter is "L"

The Little Prince (Le Petit Prince) by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Pages: 96

The Little Prince describes his journey from planet to planet, each tiny world populated by a single adult. It's a wonderfully inventive sequence, which evokes not only the great fairy tales but also such monuments of postmodern whimsy as Italo Calvino's Invisible Cities. And despite his tone of gentle bemusement, Saint-Exupéry pulls off some fine satiric touches, too. There's the king, for example, who commands the Little Prince to function as a one-man (or one-boy) judiciary:

I have good reason to believe that there is an old rat living somewhere on my planet. I hear him at night. You could judge that old rat. From time to time you will condemn him to death. That way his life will depend on your justice. But you'll pardon him each time for economy's sake. There's only one rat.

The author pokes similar fun at a businessman, a geographer, and a lamplighter, all of whom signify some futile aspect of adult existence. Yet his tale is ultimately a tender one--a heartfelt exposition of sadness and solitude, which never turns into Peter Pan-style treacle. Saint-Exupéry's drawings offer a handy rebuttal: they're fresh, funny, and like the book itself, rigorously truthful.

I am 42 years old and I read this book for the first time last month. I loved it, it was one of the best books I've read this year. I even reviewed it, that is how you know it did something to me. You can read that here if you wish and my interpretation of it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Busy's Christmas Reading Mini-Challenge


As I was surfing around some blogs I saw that somebody did a Winter Reading Challenge in 2008. I thought that would be a good challenge for me to try, of course I'd have to modify it as I'm in the midsts of many challenges. So, I think I'll attempt to read 5 Christmas themed books between November 1st and December 25th. I may actually read more, but I want to be successful at my mini-challenge.

Christmas Themed Books Read in 2009
1. A Treasury of Christmas Miracles - Karen Kingsbury
2. Skipping Christmas - John Grisham
* * * *

Since I don't want to be a spoil sport, I will also do an 'official' challenge. This one runs from November 26, 2009 - December 31, 2009
The Christmas Reading Challenge:
Hosted by The True Book Addict

will run from Thanksgiving Day, November 26 through New Year's Eve, December 31, 2009
you can choose 1 - 3 books...I know it seems a small amount, but it's a busy time of year and the challenge is only a little over a month.

These must be Christmas novels, books about Christmas lore or a book of Christmas short stories (sorry, no children's books, but YA novel is okay).

* * * *

Winter Reading Challenge
Hosted by
Book In Hand

So I was looking through my blog list today and the person I got the original idea for the Winter Reading Challenge is doing it again this year, so I also joined that. It all fits together so nicely. If you would also like to join this one, please go to Book in Hand: Winter Reading Challenge.
The rules of this one
The Winter Holiday Reading Challenge will last from November 1, 2009 to January 31, 2010.
The theme for this challenge is Winter Holidays. The books that you choose to read must have a storyline that includes celebrating a winter holiday, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's, etc. (However the holidays are not limited to just these examples.)
You may choose the number of books you wish to read and a reading list is optional.
Read the complete rules on the website listed above.

1. A Treasury of Christmas Miracles - Karen Kingsbury
2. Skipping Christmas - John Grisham

Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain - Book Review

Finding Purpose Beyond Our Pain
Uncover the Hidden Potential in Life's Most Common Struggles
by Paul Meier M.D. and David Livingstone Henderson M.D.

The title of the introduction chapter is entitled: The Light Beyond Our Seven Universal Struggles. Each subsequent chapter deals with the struggles that all human beings experience such as loneliness, failure and loss. Each chapter shares biblical truths that are designed to help us see the light in the darkness of our despair.

Psychiatrists Paul Meier and David Henderson share stories of people who have experienced struggles that are relatable to anyone. They illustrate, with various biblical versus and truths how our suffering is not necessarily a bad thing or that it is meant to punish us for our sins.

The idea of this book is not a new one. I have read many books over the years that break down life and build it back up again using bible quotes and truths. What I liked about reading this book is that it was relevant to the time we are living in. References to recent tragedies allowed their message to be attainable by using our knowledge of these events. I did find this to be a pleasant read, it was not overly simplified but it wasn’t so biblically dense that the average person would not get the message.

Although I think anyone could take something away from this book, I would recommend this particular book to people who are experiencing struggles that they do not know how to handle. Sometimes we don’t know where to turn, especially when suffering is something we are not familiar with. People tell us to turn to the Bible, but they don’t tell us exactly where to look and why. This book helps lift that extra burden during a time when we can’t handle anymore pain.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Final Update

Well I have failed at the Read-A-Thon. I had too much to do and couldn't get any legs on it. I managed to read 1 1/2 books. It was the perfect rainy day to read, but my life got in the way and these were things that I couldn't not do.

I hope next time to have a calmer schedule

Congratulations to those who managed to get some good reading in.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Update #1

It is 12:37pm and I've only finished one book. The Well by Mildred Taylor, it is a short book, only 92 pages. In the midst of trying to read this, I did laundry, went to a meeting and took my daughter to Basketball practice. I didn't even think I'd get that far. Taking a little break at the moment. Hope everyone is doing well.

The Well was a book my mother gave to my son years and years ago. It is about an African American family who has the only working well in town. All neighbors, black & white alike come to get water. But there is that one family that causes trouble, and they have to deal with them.

Next book I'll read is Crossing Over by Ruth Irene Garrett.

24 Hour Read-A-Thon - October 24, 2009

I am typing this on October 15th and post dating it to post automatically at 8:00am EASTERN TIME on October 24th. I will probably not log in at 8:00am, I will just start reading.

This is my first attempt at a Read-A-Thon, and I know I won't last 24 hours, there is no way.

My hope is to do at least 12 hours in total, if not more.
I will update as often as possible. The post below this explains my woes for today. The day I thought was mostly mine has turned into a monster.
I cannot stay up for the 24 hours. I have to sing in Church on Sunday and sing for the Archbishop of NYC on Monday, so I really can't fool around with being too tired.

Expect maybe 4 or 5 updates today, but I hope to do more.
Good Luck Everyone!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Read-A-Thon Woes

I'm going to participate in this if it kills me.

I already knew about a birthday party my daughter was going to, I had factored the travel time in for that, however, the other day I found out she had basketball practice as well, from 10am - 12pm. Not a big deal, her school is just down the block, and I can go home for the 2 hours. Last night I saw the coach and he just matteroffactly told me..."Oh by the way, there is a parents/teachers/coach meeting on Saturday at 11am in the auditorium, before practice which has now moved to 12 - 2pm.


So now they are squeezing my day. She gets home from practice at 2pm, has to shower and dress and we have to be at the birthday girls house by 4pm (It is a surprise party so no late-comers).

How many good hours does this leave me? 8am - 10:45am. 12:15pm - 1:45pm. 2:15pm - 3:30pm and if I'm allowed to leave the party (I can read on the bus to and from) 4:30pm - 8:30pm. (read on the bus again) 10:00pm - midnight. That is if I'm not dead tired by then.

That is only about 10 or 11 hours out of a 24 hour day that I am 'free'. This doesn't include the laundry I have to do.

Good grief, why can't people understand that I have READING PLANS!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Read-A-Thon Books

I went through my bookshelf and pulled out the books I will attempt to read for the read-a-thon. Some were on my original list, while others are some old forgotten books that I found buried.

The bottom book is Crossing Over from the library. The rest of the books I own. Some were bought from the library, some I've had for years.

There are 8 books here and still 2 on the Kindle. I'll be excited if I read 4 of them!

The Christmas List: A Novel by Richard Paul Evans

O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!

The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans was released this month. As usual, I got his book way too early for Christmas reading, but I read it anyway, as it is due back in 2 weeks.

Before I read the book, I automatically thought that it was an updated version of A Christmas Carol. But actually, it seems to be based more on the Robert Burns poem "To A Louse, On Seeing One On A Lady's Bonnet At Church" . Which I've quoted above and put it in its entirety below.

Jim Kier has the rare gift of reading his obituary. We are all curious about what would be said about us after we are dead. We all hope nice things; however, Kier learns that he has left a trail of misery in his path. Can he repair the damage he has made?

He attempts just that. He has compiled a short list of the people he hurt the most. As he attempts to make amends, he learns the extent of how much he has destroyed people’s lives…and not all of them are scars that can be seen. During this process, he learns that his original intent was misguided. He has an epiphany that he set out to make amends so he would feel better, but when things don’t go as planned, he re-assesses his motives.

The only part that hinted on A Christmas Carol would be the epilogue, where we got to see how Kier’s life had changed, and how he had changed the lives of others.

I don’t wish to give away too much of the story, it is a must read. I cried throughout most of this book.

Although this isn’t a ‘Feel Good Warm and Fuzzy’ Christmas book, it isn’t as depressing as last years offering “Grace”. This book actually has a message of hope and the power of forgiveness.

Very nice ‘fairy tale’, just like A Christmas Carol, and just like A Christmas Carol, we all are not so naive, that we would think someone so profoundly evil, would change overnight; or at all.

And though this doesn’t revolve around Christmas, the book ends on Christmas Day. It takes place during the Christmas Season, although very little mention of it is made in this book, just little references here and there.

"To A Louse, On Seeing One On A Lady's Bonnet At Church"
is a 1786 Scots language poem by Robert Burns.

Burns original
O wad some Pow'r the giftie gie us
To see oursels as others see us!
It wad frae mony a blunder free us,
An' foolish notion!

Standard English translation
And would some Power the small gift give us
To see ourselves as others see us!
It would from many a blunder free us,
And foolish notion!

In this poem the narrator notices an upper class lady in church, with a louse that is roving, unnoticed, around in her bonnet. The poet chastises the louse for not realising how important his host is, and then reflects that, to a louse, we are all equal prey, and that we would be disabused of our pretensions if we were to see ourselves through each others' eyes.

A-Z Wednesday

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach

Welcome to A-Z Wednesday!!
To join, here's all you have to do:
Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.
1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link (amazon, barnes and noble etc.)

Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.(We all love comments, don't we?) Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.

This Week's Letter is "K"

The Kingdom Hall No More - by Daniel Chamberlayne

Freshman author Daniel Chamberlayne discuss his 16 years experiences growing up as a Jehovah Witness and attending the Kingdom Hall in Hollis, Queens, New York. Daniel discusses all his activities in the kingdom hall and what led up to getting baptized with no choice of his own and what led up to getting "disfellowshipped' and "shunned" from the organization and how Daniel is living now since his departure of the Jehovah Witnesses in 1990.

Daniel is a fellow New Yorker. I 'met' him on Goodreads. He was pimping his book. I bought a copy and found it fascinating. To learn the inner workings of the religion from the point of view of someone who has been disfellowshipped really gave me something to think about.

Although I was fascinated by the content, I will say that:
1) This is a self-published (self edited) book therefore;
2) It is in need of copy editing (spelling, grammar and readability). In the first few chapters I found many spelling and grammatical errors, and the language was freshman and used an inordinate amount of regional slang.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Read the Book First

Yesterday on one of my groups, there was a discussion about how one should read the book before watching the movie. We were talking about how people don't read anymore, and the reason is that they make a lot of books into movies. I thought about this and realized, that although I watch a lot of movies, sometimes the movie prompts me to read the book. For me it goes both ways, if the story is interesting when I read it, I usually want to see the visual, so I will seek out the movie version no matter how old it is. If the movie interests me, I'll seek out the book to see if they left anything out (which they usually do).

I went through my list to see the ratio of book-movie / movie-book I had. For the list of Read Book 1st, I've put movies I also have that I haven't watched but plan to shortly.

Read Book 1st
Showboat - Edna Farber (Movie 1951)
Silas Marner - George Eliot (Movie 1985)
Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (Movie 1949)
Something Wicked This Way Comes - Ray Bradbury (Movie 1983)
The Little Prince - Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Movie 1974)
Harry Potter (4-6) - JK Rowling (Movie 2005/2007/2009)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers - JRR Tolken (Movie 2002)
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King - JRR Tolken (Movie 2003)
Dreamcatcher - Stephen King (Movie 2003)
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini (Movie 2007)
The Good Earth - Pearl S. Buck (Movie 1937)
The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards (Movie 2008)
The Way of the Peaceful Warrior - Dan Millman (Movie 2006)
The World According to Garp - John Irving (Movie 1982)
The Fountainhead - Ayn Rand (Movie 1949)
The Devil Wears Prada - Lauren Weisberger (Movie 2006)
The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kid (Movie 2008)
Permanent Midnight - Jerry Stahl (Movie 1998)
Ethan Frome - Edith Wharton (Movie 1993)
Running With Scissors - Augusten Burroughs (Movie 2006)
The Green Mile - Stephen King (Movie 1999)
Angela's Ashes - Frank McCourt (Movie 1999)
Conversations With God - Donald Walsch (Movie 2006)
Mozart & The Whale - Jerry & mary Newport (Movie 2005)
The Davinci Code - Dan Brown (Movie 2006)

Watched Movie 1st
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee (Movie 1962)
Lolita -Vladimir Nabokov (Movie 1962/1997)
Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell (Movie 1939)
Harry Potter (1-3) - JK Rowling (Movie 2001/2002/2004)
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring - JRR Tolken (Movie 2001)
Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion Witch and the Wardrobe - CS Lewis (Movie 2005)
Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian - CS Lewis (Movie 2008)
Carrie - Stephen King (Movie 1976)
Frankenstein - Mary Shelley (Movie 1994)
A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (Movie - various yrs)
The Freedom Writers - S. Levitt, S. Dubner (Movie 2007)
The Christmas Box - Richard Paul Evans (Movie 1995)
The Five People You Meet in Heaven - Mitch Albom (Movie 2004)
Breakfast at Tiffany's - Truman Capote (Movie 1961)
The Hotel New Hampshire - John Irving (Movie 1984)
A Series of Unfortunate Events - Lemony Snicket (Movie 2004)

The ratio is 27:18. Which I don't think is bad at all.

Some may be shocked to see the absence of Jane Austen books on my list. I have never read a Jane Austen novel. I've seen all of her movies and most of the adaptations. Though I love Period Pieces and Jane Austen movies, I can honestly say I do not think I'd enjoy the book. However, I do have P&P and S&S at home, so I am not opposed to giving it a go.

There are also plenty of movies I have seen that I have not read the book yet. Movies such as Bram Stokers Dracula, Wuthering Heights & Jane Eyre. However, they are shortlisted.

There are also books I've read, and enjoyed, but when I tried to watch the movie, I just couldn't. Two that come to mind are A Tale of Two Cities & The House of Mirth.

And then there are the books that I've tried to read because the movie was good, and I wanted more, One of these books were A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving. I saw the movie Simon Birch AND I heard Irving read from this story live at Radio City Music Hall (NYC). I just had to read the book. I read maybe three chapters and gave up, it was not my cup of tea...I don't understand that one.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Borders' 100 Favourite Books of All Time

Got this from Tiny Little Reading Room who got it from someone else.

I guess Borders asked customers to vote for their favourite books, and this list is the result. I've bolded the ones I've read and in Blue are the ones I'd like to read. Those in Red I have tried to read and gave up for one reason or another.

Pride & Prejudice – Jane Austen
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
Lord of the Rings – JRR Tolkien
My Sister’s Keeper – Jodi Picoult
Twilight – Stephenie Meyer
Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone – JK Rowling
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
Book Thief – Markus Zusak
1984 – George Orwell
Magician – Raymond E Feist
Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
Bronze Horseman – Paullina Simmons
Shantaram: A Novel – Gregory David Roberts
Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell
Power of One – Bryce Courtenay
The Davinci Code – Dan Brown
Angels & Demons – Dan Brown
Alchemist – Coelho
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Cloudstreet – Tim Winton
Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Anne of Green Gables – LM Montgomery
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
Holy Bible
The Hobbit – JRR Tolkien
Life of Pi – Yann Martel
Fortunate Life – AB Facey
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll
Cross Stitch – Diana Gabaladon
Fine Balance – Rohinton Mistry
Child Called It – Dave Pelzer
Mao’s Last Dancer – Li Cunxin
Tomorrow, When The War Began – John Marsden
Angela’s Ashes – Frank McCourt
Dune – Frank Herbert
Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger
Great Gatsby – F Scott Fitzgerald
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
April Fool’s Day – Bryce Courtenay
Pillars of the Earth – Ken Follett
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer – Patrick Suskind
Ice Station – Matthew Reilly
Shadow of the Wind – Ruiz Zaf
Briefer History of Time – by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow
Eragon – Christopher Paolini
Little Women – Louisa May Alcott
Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom
Persuasion – Jane Austen
Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Atonement – Ian McEwan
Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Animal Farm – George Orwell
Clockwork Orange: Play With Music – Anthony Burgess
Little Prince & Letter to a Hostage
Charlie & the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl
Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe – CS Lewis
Love in the Time of Cholera – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Really Short History of Everything – Bill Bryson
Crime & Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Lion Called Christian – Anthony Bourke
God of Small Things – Arundhati Roy
Tully – Paullina Simons
Time to Kill – John Grisham
Marley & Me – John Grogan
A Suitable Boy – Vikram Seth
Count of Monte Cristo – Alexandre Dumas
American Gods – Neil Gaiman

Road – Cormac McCarthy
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
In Turkey I am Beautiful – Brendan Shanahan
Breath – Tim Winton
Jessica – Bryce Courtenay
Animalia – Graeme Base
Secret History – Donna Tartt
Godfather – Mario Puzo
Interview with the Vampire – Anne Rice
Girl With The Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson
Stand – Stephen King

Bridget Jones' Diary – Helen Fielding
New Earth: Create A Better Life – Eckhart Tolle
Seven Ancient Wonders – Matthew Reilly
Wild Swans: Three Daughts of China – Jung Chang
The Notebook – Nicholas Sparks
American Psycho – Bret Easton Ellis
The Belgariad – David Eddings
Captain Corelli’s Mandolin – Louis De Bernieres
Looking for Alibrandi – Melina Marchetta
PS I Love You – Celia Ahern
Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
Thorn Birds – Colleen McCullough
Confederacy of Dunces – John Kennedy Toole
Good Omens – Neil Gaiman & Terry Pratchett
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas – Hunter S Thompson
Chocolat – Joanne Harris
The Princess Bride – William Goldman
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

Malcolm McDowell Hit or Miss

I want to preface by saying I am a Malcolm McDowell fan. Have been since I saw "A Clockwork Orange" many, many years ago.
I finally got around to seeing two of his first films. if... (1968) his first feature film, and O Lucky Man (1973) which was based on an idea that he had.

if.... an alegory tale, is centered around a boys private boarding school in England. Malcolm's character, Michael (Mick) Travis, was one of the older, rebellious boys, who along with his mates, seek revenge on the school and the establishment in general. Themes of homosexuality, corporal punishment and extreame violence run through this movie.

If I was to say that I 'Got It', I would be lying. I got parts of it, most of it went over my head. I think this is because 1) it took place in 1960s England and 2) I don't often get dark British humour, despite my anglophilia. To say that Malcolm was brill in this would be a stretch, he put forth a great effort, but I will forgive him, as he was still cutting his teeth.

I only give if... 3 out of 5 stars. It wouldn't be fair for me to grade it lower, as I said, I didn't get it. I'm sure Brits understand everything that was symbolized here.
O Lucky Man was made five years later. And I will start by saying that I liked this one much more. Based on an idea by McDowell, his character Michael (Mick) Travis is a coffee sales man in England. I want to also say, I'm not sure if this is supposed to be the same Mick Travis from if...,
but if that was the case, this character was more likeable. I liked him from the start.
He was brill in this for sure. Everything about this movie was wonderful. Mick starts out as a coffee sales man in England, and through his ambition and general likability he works his way up the coffee chain and branches out to other fields. He has the luck of the Irish, but what do they say "What goes up, must come down". And when Mick comes down, he falls hard. But then he picks himself up again, and falls down again, and picks himself up get the picture.

McDowell's acting has improved from his first movie until this one. He was flawless and this movie was a lot of fun. It is satire, and dark, and I got most of it. I recommend this film. But I would say that although it is not a pre-requisite to watch if... first, it might help.

Besides, who can resist Malcolm in a white suit. Him and his white suits, gotta love it.
I give O Lucky Man 4 out of 5 stars.

What are you reading on Mondays?

A weekly event hosted by J. Kaye’s Book Blog to discuss your reading week ~ the books you've read and those you plan on reading in the coming week.

Currently Reading: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate
by Jacqueline Kelly
Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult

I have been reading more young adult fiction lately, I guess I think my brain needs a rest from the serious stuff.

I am more than half way through this, and it seems charming enough. Not sure what the plot is though, or if there is one.

Calpurnia is a nearly 12 year old female who is the middle child (the only girl) of 7 siblings. She is coming of age in Texas in the year 1899 where corsets and 'coming out' are the norm. Calpurnia wants none of it, she fancies herself a naturalist and loves bugs, plants and her grandfather, who is also a Scientist of some sort.

Friday, October 16, 2009

What's on Tap for Halloween Watching?

The past two years I have started my own ritual of watching horror movies during the month of October. I generally do not watch them throughout the year unless they are Blockbusters. I cram them all in this month. I never get to watch all that are on my list. Here is what is on tap, but I'm probably only going to watch about 15 or so of them. I've only read one of them (Frankenstein), and although the movie started out much like the book, it didn't really follow it toward the end.

The ones marked in red, I have watched so far.

1. Salem's Lot (1979)
2. Frankenstein: The True Story (1973)
3. Trick 'r Treat (2008)
4. Drag Me To Hell (2009)
5. Last House on the Left (2009)
6. Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983)
7. Ghost Story (1981)
8. The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)
9. A Haunting in Connecticut (2002)
10. A Haunting in Georgia (2008)
11. Quarantine (2008)

12. The Woman in Black (1989)
13. Beetlejuice (1988)
14. The Haunting of Molly Hartley (2008)

16. White Zombie (1932)
17. I Walked With A Zombie (1943)
18. Black Moon (1934)
29. Tales of Terror (1962)
20. Mr. Sardonicus (1961)
21. The Tingler (1959)
22. 13 Ghosts (1960)
23. The Old Dark House (1932)
24. The Corpse Vanishes (1942)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Booking Through Thursday

We’re moving in a couple weeks (the first time since I was 9 years old), and I’ve been going through my library of 3000+ books, choosing the books that I could bear to part with and NOT have to pack to move. Which made me wonder…

When’s the last time you weeded out your library? Do you regularly keep it pared down to your reading essentials? Or does it blossom into something out of control the minute you turn your back, like a garden after a Spring rain?

Or do you simply not get rid of books? At all? (This would have described me for most of my life, by the way.)

And–when you DO weed out books from your collection (assuming that you do) …what do you do with them? Throw them away (gasp)? Donate them to a charity or used bookstore? SELL them to a used bookstore? Trade them on Paperback Book Swap or some other exchange program?

I have a huge problem parting with my books. I joined 'bookcrossing' so I can part with them and feel good about it, but I have yet to leave a book lying around. If anything, I pick up books that others leave lying around. There is someone in my apartment building who leaves books in the lobby for others to take. Guess who is the first one there?

I don't think I've ever really weeded. The last time I got rid of any books was when my 2nd husband and I split. I got rid of all of his books. I have never taken them to the library for donation, or the Salvation Army for that matter. I haven't counted how many books I have, but let's say it is close to, if not over 3,000. I have one huge book shelf that is overstuffed, one small one, one rolling cart, books in boxes.

Want to take a peak? OK, you've been warned. This is just about 1/3 of what I own.

My SHELVES from Hell

I have since fixed them up slightly, so it isn't such a mess, but I didn't get rid of anything.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Read-A-Thon-Pile


The Well: David's Story by Mildred Taylor (96 pages)

The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (182 Pages) Reading on Kindle

The Time Machine by H.G. Wells (~144 Pages) Reading on Kindle

Cut by Patricia McCormick (160 Pages)

No Plot, No Problem by Chris Baty (176 Pages)
Just in time for Nano-need to re-read, it's been a few years.

Crossing Over: One Woman's Escape from Amish Life by Ruth Irene Garrett (208 pages)
Thanks to It's Just Me Wendy for bringing this to my attention. It is in the library waiting for me, so I'll have it in time for the 24th.

Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupery (96 Pages)
Was going to wait to read for this, but have already read it, so I'm removing it from the list. It was a long train ride this morning!!

I am sure this list will grow by October 24th. As of now, these are the only ones I could think of. I'll have to raid my TBR pile and my son's bookshelf.

NanoWriMo 2009

This will be year #6 for me. My first journey into Nanowrimo was way back in 2004. I learned of it by accident. I was surfing around for writing contest and came across The Nanwrimo Website. It was only a few days before it was due to start.
Nanowrimo is a 'movement' where crazy people like myself will write (a novel) 50,000 words in 30 days (November 1 - 30). Most novels are more than 50,000 words, but this number will certainly get you started.

I've won all six years, but it wasn't easy, especially since in the states we have Thanksgiving in November. But it is a great thing for writers to do, and it is a lot of fun. The forum on the Nanowrimo website is very active before, during and after Nanowrimo (Nano for short). You can get ideas, encouragement or just spend time procrastinating. If anyone is crazy enough to join, please do, you won't regret it.

Every year by the end of November I say "Never again, I'm out next year", and every October I'm right back on the site, planning my next novel.

I will be keeping track of it here. Sometimes I post it in my mainsteam blog, but I don't have one, so since writing and reading go hand in hand, you guys will have to suffer. But it will be OK, I promise, I don't overload my blog with Nano stuff.

This year, I have my idea, my title and my characters, but I am unsure of what genre this will fall into. It is either Romance or Mainstream, I think it will develop as I write.

Right now my biggest concern is my banner....LOL! The things that matter!

Yes, the title of my novel is "Without Issue". The idea is still floating around in my brain about how exactly to proceed with this. But there are 18 days left before start date. I have always got it together before then, and managed to hold it together for the past six years, so why should this year be any different?

Waiting on Wednesday

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Under the Dome by Stephen King
November 10, 2009
Product Description

On an entirely normal, beautiful fall day in Chester's Mill, Maine, the town is inexplicably and suddenly sealed off from the rest of the world by an invisible force field. Planes crash into it and fall from the sky in flaming wreckage, a gardener's hand is severed as "the dome" comes down on it, people running errands in the neighboring town are divided from their families, and cars explode on impact. No one can fathom what this barrier is, where it came from, and when -- or if -- it will go away.

Dale Barbara, Iraq vet and now a short-order cook, finds himself teamed with a few intrepid citizens -- town newspaper owner Julia Shumway, a physician's assistant at the hospital, a select-woman, and three brave kids. Against them stands Big Jim Rennie, a politician who will stop at nothing -- even murder -- to hold the reins of power, and his son, who is keeping a horrible secret in a dark pantry. But their main adversary is the Dome itself. Because time isn't just short. It's running out.
At 1088 pages and a hardcover, I hope they release this for Kindle!!

A-Z Wednesday

A-Z Wednesday is hosted by Vicky of Reading at the Beach

Welcome to A-Z Wednesday!!
To join, here's all you have to do:
Go to your stack of books and find one whose title starts with the letter of the week.
1~ a photo of the book
2~ title and synopsis
3~ link (amazon, barnes and noble etc.)

Be sure to visit other participants to see what book they have posted and leave them a comment.(We all love comments, don't we?) Who knows? You may find your next "favorite" book.

This Week's Letter is "J"


My first one since starting this meme.

Jemima J by Jane Green
384 pages
ISBN-10: 0767905180

"If I had one wish in all the world, I wouldn't wish to win the lottery. Nor would I wish for true love. No, if I had one wish I would wish to have a model's figure, probably Cindy Crawford's, and I would extend that wish into having and keeping a model's figure, no matter what I eat."

Jemima Jones is overweight. About 98 pounds overweight. Treated like a maid by her thin social-climbing roommates, and lorded over by the beautiful Geraldine (less talented but better paid) at the Kilburn Herald, Jemima's only consolation is food. Add to this her passion for her charming, sexy, and unobtainable colleague Ben, and Jemima knows her life is in need of a serious change. When she meets Brad, an eligible California hunk, over the Internet, Jemima has the perfect opportunity to reinvent herself--as JJ, the slim, beautiful, gym-obsessed glamour girl of her dreams. But when her long-distance Romeo demands that they meet, she must conquer her food addiction to become the bone-thin model of her e-mails-- no small feat.

4.5 / 5 stars for me.

*NOTE* If I don't leave a comment in your blog, I'm not ignoring you. I cannot leave comments in blogger if there is no pop out window or seperate page. My job blocks the feature if the comments are embedded. I try to log in when I get home to get everyone, but sometimes I can't. I appreciate all the comments. Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Library Borrows for this week

I think I over did it with the library borrows. But when they come in after being in my queue for so long, I have to go get them. I can't renew most of them because the queue is so long. So I'll be very busy reading all of these over the next month.

Night Flight by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

In this gripping novel, Saint-Exupéry tells about the brave men who piloted night mail planes from Patagonia, Chile, and Paraguay to Argentina in the early days of commercial aviation.

After reading "The Little Prince" I wanted to know what else he wrote. There are actually a few other books out there, and I believe they all revolve around aviation. This will be a quick read, about 80 pages.

The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate by Jacqueline Kelly

A charming and inventive story of a child struggling to find her identity at the turn of the 20th century. As the only girl in an uppercrust Texas family of seven children, Calpurnia, 11, is expected to enter young womanhood with all its trappings of tight corsets, cookery, and handiwork. Unlike other girls her age, Callie is most content when observing and collecting scientific specimens with her grandfather. Bemoaning her lack of formal knowledge, he surreptitiously gives her a copy of The Origin of Species and Callie begins her exploration of the scientific method and evolution, eventually happening upon the possible discovery of a new plant species. Callie's mother, believing that a diet of Darwin, Dickens, and her grandfather's influence will make Callie dissatisfied with life, sets her on a path of cooking lessons, handiwork improvement, and an eventual debut into society.

Callie's confusion and despair over her changing life will resonate with girls who feel different or are outsiders in their own society. Callie is a charming, inquisitive protagonist; a joyous, bright, and thoughtful creation. The conclusion encompasses bewilderment, excitement, and humor as the dawn of a new century approaches. Several scenes, including a younger brother's despair over his turkeys intended for the Thanksgiving table and Callie's heartache over receiving The Science of Housewifery as a Christmas gift, mix gentle humor and pathos to great effect. The book ends with uncertainty over Callie's future.

Loved the cover, that is what attracted me to it. It is also a children's book, but after reading they synopsis, I had to read it. It sounds charming indeed. As of today there is a perfect 5 star rating on Amazon.

When Morning Comes (Sisters of the Quilt: Book 2) by Cindy Woodsmall

Her relationship with fiancé Paul Waddell in tatters, Hannah Lapp has fled her secluded Old Order Amish community in hopes of finding a new home in Ohio with her shunned aunt. Hampered by limited education and hiding her true identity, Hannah struggles to navigate the confusing world of the Englischers.

Back in Owl’s Perch, Pennsylvania, Paul is wracked with regret over his treatment of Hannah. Fearing for her safety, he tries to convince Hannah’s remaining allies–brother Luke, best friend Mary, and loyal Matthew Esh–to help search for his love. Hannah’s father, however, remains steadfastly convinced of her sinful behavior. His blindness to his family’s pain extends to her sister, Sarah, who shows signs of increasing instability.

Convinced her former life is irreparably destroyed, Hannah finds purpose and solace in life with her aunt and in a growing friendship with Englischer Martin Palmer. Will the countless opportunities in her new life persuade Hannah that her place is amongst the Englischers — or will she give in to her heart’s call to return home and face her past?

I recently finished When the Heart Cries (Sisters of the Quilt: Book 1) by Cindy Woodsmall, and I loved it. The library has all 3 books in this series, however, book 2 only came in large print. Pah! Well I'm not going to let that stop me. The good thing is, I won't need to put on my glasses when reading this one.

Currently Reading:
Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom

What if our beliefs were not what divided us, but what pulled us together?
In Have a Little Faith, Mitch Albom offers a beautifully written story of a remarkable eight year journey between two worlds – two men, two faiths, two communities – that will inspire readers everywhere.
Have A Little Faith begins with an unusual request: an 82-year-old rabbi from Albom’s old hometown asks him to deliver his eulogy.
Feeling unworthy, Albom insists on understanding the man better, which throws him back into a world of faith he’d left years ago. Meanwhile, closer to his current home, Albom becomes involved with a Detroit pastor – a reformed drug dealer and convict – who preaches to the poor and homeless in a decaying church with a hole in its roof.

Moving between their worlds, Christian and Jewish, African-American and white, impoverished and well-to-do, Mitch observes how these very different men employ faith similarly in fighting for survival: the older, suburban rabbi, embracing it as death approaches; the younger, inner-city pastor relying on it to keep himself and his church afloat.

I've read a few Albom books and I've enjoyed them, this is his latest effort. I've started it and I'm enjoying it very much. Should be done with this by the end of the week if not sooner.

Waiting in the library as I write this:
The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans

Real-estate mogul James Kier, who gets the chance to read his obituary—before he dies. What he discovers unnerves him as the death notice portrays a ruthless, friendless man. James decides to make amends to the many people he's hurt over the years.

Suspiciously sounds like A Christmas Carol, but we will see. I wasn't thrilled with Evans' book last year, too depressing, I'm hoping this years offering will be more joyous. I got this early, I was expecting it for November, but it came out on October 6th, and the queue is quite long, so I'm going to have to read it this month. come to think of it, last year's book "Grace" , I got in October as well. Look for my review on this one.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thinking on Christmas Reading

Last year I read three Christmas Themed Books.


First time in all my years that I read Charles Dickens: A Christmas Carol. I've seen it on TV enough, I know the story by heart, but it was a joy to read. I read a Richard Paul Evans book every Christmas, I've been doing that for 3 years now, I discovered him in 2006.

This year I will read The Christmas List by Richard Paul Evans, if I can get my hands on a copy.


I was not too thrilled with last years Christmas book from Richard Paul Evans: Grace. I thought it was dark and not at all a 'FEEL GOOD' Christmas read.

But I forgave him since he introduced me to another book entitled The Christmas Sweater by Glenn Beck. Yes that's right, That Glenn Beck. I didn't know what to expect, but this book was so sweet, touching and I loved it. I don't think he can repeat a story with such emotion. This was based on his childhood, and I was impressed. So if you haven't read it, don't let the name throw you, go ahead, it is great.

This is another book I have in my library queue, although it also has not gotten into circulation yet, well it will be released on October 1, 2009, so I hope by December 2009, the library will have it.

From Amazon
A beautiful patchwork of four novellas about love and joy at Christmastime by best selling author Catherine Palmer. These four novellas were previously published in four anthologies—A Victorian Christmas Quilt, A Victorian Christmas Tea, A Victorian Christmas Cottage, and A Victorian Christmas Keepsake. Return to a time when life was uncomplicated, faith was sincere … and love was a gift to be cherished forever. Includes author’s favorite holiday recipes.

With all the other anthologies, I can keep busy with them until this is released.