Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Reading Nook - In Progess

Since my son moved out, my daughter and I switched rooms. I now, finally, have the Master Bedroom.  Therefore there is much more room to play with.  My kids had 2 bookcases from Ikea in their room.  The backs fell off.  A backless bookcase doesn't work too well in a kids room, but it is fine for me (for now). I have arranged the books by genre so they will be easy to find.  But it is a bigger job than I anticipated.  I painted the wall in that corner, but I am not done with the room. That will take about a month to complete.

The chair is an old guy, and I mean OLD.  The chair is 50 years old.  My parents had this chair before my brother was born.  I have a slip cover over it because it is in sorry shape.  I am planning to get a new one, but there is a small problem.  My doorway is only 28 inches wide and there is a wall on either side of the door, so there is no angling the chair in. It has to be able to go straight in.  Narrow comfortable chairs are not easy to find, so I'm holding on to this one for now.

I also need a table and reading lamp.  All in good time.

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Cuckoo's Calling

I won this book in a Goodreads Giveaway. I was super excited. I am not a big mystery or thriller person, but I thought I’d give this one a go. This is definitely a set-up book. The fact that there will be others make it easier to understand why it is so slow. In this novel we get to learn a lot about Cormoran Strike’s character and motivations. I enjoyed this book and the twists it took, however, I was able to figure out who did it about 200 pages in, which for me is unusual. So I would say the book is predictable and not that special in the genre. However, it is well written, entertaining and there is good character development. I have high hopes that this series will get better and better with every book

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Fantasy Project: 101 Books in 10 Years

The list was compiled by Bella (formerly of A Bibliophile’s Bookshelf), who currently blogs at A Prairie Girl Reads, and Jo (Ink & Paper) when they held a mammoth poll in 2009 inviting readers to nominate their favorite fantasy books. The list is compiled of all the books nominated and voted for (813 total) in order by number of votes. The challenge started out with a year long format and then I changed it to a perpetual challenge. In both instances, books could be read from the top 101 or the entire list of 813.
Below are the guidelines for this revamped challenge. I hope you will join me!
The guidelines for The Fantasy Project
  • Read 101 fantasy books from the list of 101, or the entire list of 813, in 10 years (access the lists at the top of the blog).
  • choose 101 fantasy books from the list (due to the large amount of urban/paranormal fantasy titles on the list, I have made this exception–26 titles can be titles that are not on the list, i.e. newer releases that came out after the list was compiled, more books of a high fantasy nature, etc.) To break it down…75 titles from the list and 26 that are not on the list = 101 books total.
  • you can read other books in a series in which the first book, or other books in the series, appears on the list, to complete the challenge
  • post your list on your blog
  • choose your completion goal date ten years in the future and make note of it with your list of titles (like this:  reading goal–101 books  goal dates–August 20, 2013 – August 20, 2023)
  • come back here and post the link to your list in the linky below
  • write a review on the book when finished and link it to the title in your list 
  • there are pages at the top of the blog that link to spreadsheets where you can list/link up your reviews
  • there is a members list page, where I will list your name, blog, goal date, and link to your list
  • there is a “introduce yourself” page for members
  • when you have completed the challenge, come add your link to the Completed Challenges page
  • If you happen to host a read-a-long, or an event or challenge surrounding one of the titles on your list, post about it at this PAGE
  • I will try to have periodic group check-ins too
  • grab the button from sidebar
A few more important details
  • this challenge can be crossed over with any other challenges
  • your link in the linky below must lead to your list, not just your main blog address. Any links that are blog links only will be deleted
  • the list must be made in advance. The idea is to work toward reading fantasy you may have been otherwise neglecting and/or the fantasy titles/authors you love. However, the list does not have to be set in stone. You can change out titles as the mood suits you.
  • every 2 – 3 months we will have what we’ll call the Wheel of Fortune (borrowing from The Classics Club classics spin idea) where you make a list of 15 books from your list (i.e. 5 you’re dreading, 5 you can’t wait for, 5 favorites or rereads–yes, rereads are okay OR 5 urban fantasy, 5 high fantasy, 5 by the same author…the list is pretty much up to you). On a predetermined date, I will randomly draw (random.org) a number from 1 – 15 and the number that’s chosen will be the book you read from your list of fifteen.
  • our Twitter hashtag is #101FantasyProject
  • Addendum:  If you finish the 101 books before the ten years is up, come back and make another list and reset your ten year time limit!

Completion Date: August 21, 2023

0/101 done

* Not on original list
** Part of Series but not on original list

1 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
2 Tuck Everlasting - Natalie Babbitt *
3 The Door Within - Wayne Thomas Batson *
4 The Mists of Avalon - Marion Bradley
5 Story's End - Marissa Burt *
6 Ender’s Game - Orson Scott Card
7 Artemis Fowl - Eoin Colfer
8 Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox – Eoin Colfer
9 Artemis Fowl: The Eternity Code – Eoin Colfer
10 Artemis Fowl: The Lost Colony – Eoin Colfer
11 Artemis Fowl: The Arctic Incident – Eoin Colfer
12 Artemis Fowl: The Opal Deception – Eoin Colfer
13 Gregor the Overlander - Suzanne Collins
14 Gregor and the Mark of Secrets - Suzanne Collins
15 Gregor and the Code of Claw - Suzanne Collins
16 Gregor and the Prophecy of Bane - Suzanne Collins
17 Gregor and the Curse of the Warmbloods - Suzanne Collins
18 The Book of Lost Things - John Connolly
19 The Twelve - Justin Cronin *
20 Dreams Underfoot (Newford # 1) - Charles de Lint
21 The Blue Girl (Newford #15) - Charles de Lint **
22 Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell - Suzanna Clarke
23 Black: The Birth of Evil - Ted Dekker *
24 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens (reread)
25 Lord Foul's Bane (Thomas Covenant #1) - Stephen Donaldson
26 The Illearth War (Thomas Covenant #2) - Stephen Donaldson **
27 The Power that Preserves (Thomas Covenant #3) - Stephen Donaldson **
28 Battle of the Ampere - Richard Paul Evans *
29 Voyager - Diana Gabaldon
30 The Drums of Autumn - Diana Gabaldon
31 The Fiery Cross - Diana Gabaldon
32 A Breath of Snow and Ashes - Diana Gabaldon
33 Stardust - Neil Gaiman
34 Good Omens - Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett
35 Neverwhere - Neil Gaiman
36 The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman
37 Coraline - Neil Gaiman
38 American Gods - Neil Gaiman
39 Anansi Boys - Neil Gaiman
40 Pandemonium - Daryl Gregory
41 Heart Shaped Box - Joe Hill *
42 Horns - Joe Hill *
43 Lost Horizon - James Hilton
44 Assassin’s Apprentice - Robin Hobb
45 The Dark Tower - Stephen King
46 The Wastelands - Stephen King
47 Wizards and Glass - Stephen King
48 The Drawing of the Three - Stephen King
49 Song of Susannah - Stephen King
50 Wolves of the Calla - Stephen King
51 The Talisman - Stephen King / Peter Straub *
52 Wrinkle in Time - Madeline L'Engle
53 Demon: A Memoir - Tosca Lee *
54 Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis **
55 The Silver Chair - C.S. Lewis **
56 The Horse and His Boy - C.S. Lewis **
57 The Magician's Nephew - C.S. Lewis **
58 The Last Battle - C.S. Lewis **
59 The Power of Six - Pittacus Lore *
60 The Rise of Nine - Pittacus Lore *
61 The Cthulhu Mythos (Call of Cthulhu) - HP Lovecraft
62 Messenger - Lois Lowry *
63 Son - Lois Lowry *
64 Lilith - George MacDonald
65 At the Back of the North Wind - George MacDonald
66 Wicked - Gregory Maguire
67 Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister – Gregory Maguire
68 A Storm of Swords (Complete Book) - George R.R. Martin 
69 A Feast for Crows - George R.R. Martin 
70 A Dance With Dragons - George R.R. Martin
71 Evermore – Alyson Noel
72 Blue Moon – Alyson Noel
73 The Leftovers - Tom Perrotta *
74 Wings - Aprilynne Pike 
75 The Color of Magic (Discworld #1) - Terry Pratchett
76 Men at Arms (Discworld #15) - Terry Pratchett **
77 Going Postal (Discworld #33) - Terry Pratchett **
78 Northern Lights (The Golden Compass) – Philip Pullman
79 The Subtle Knife – Philip Pullman
80 The Amber Spyglass – Philip Pullman
81 Hollow City (Miss Peregrine #2) - Ransom Riggs *
82 The Lightning Thief – Rick Riordan
83 The Last Olympian – Rick Riordan
84 The Sea of Monsters – Rick Riordan
85 The Titan’s Curse – Rick Riordan
86 The Battle of the Labyrinth – Rick Riordan
87 Allegiant - Veronica Roth *
88 The Name of the Wind - Patrick Rothfuss
89 The Bone Season (Book 1) - Samantha Shannon *
90 The Bone Season Untitled (Book 2) - Samantha Shannon *
91 The Bone Season Untitled (Book 3) - Samantha Shannon *
92 Elsewhere - Will Shetterly *
93 The Amulet of Samarkand - Jonathan Stroud
94 The Golem's Eye - Jonathan Stroud
95 Ptolemy's Gate - Jonathan Stroud
96 The Ring of Soloman - Jonathan Stroud **
97 The Hobbit - JRR Tolken
98 The Time Machine - HG Wells
99 The Place of the Lion - Charles Williams
100 Descent Into Hell - Charles Williams *
101 The Eyes of the Dragon - Stephen King * 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Adventures of Funny the Amazing Fish-Bunny by Patrick Connolly

It is rare when one gets to read a book that is both an excellent teaching tool in the academic sense as well as the morality sense. “The Adventures of Funny, the Amazing Fish-Bunny” is one of those books. Patrick Connolly takes the reader on a journey of Funny, the offspring of a father who is a trout and a mother who is a bunny. Of course this makes him different from his peers, and he becomes a victim of bullying. Through the help of a caring teacher, Funny is able to find he has a special talent and that it is his differences that make him extraordinary.

Wrapped inside this morality tale, the reader will find some basic and practical music applications. The story demonstrates the correct way to breathe while singing in order to obtain the best sound. The book also teaches some key information on scales and octaves. Mr. Connolly does this beautifully, and any child will be able to understand and apply it.

It is an easy to read book with some challenging words that will help build a child’s vocabulary. This brings even more of an educational flair to the book without beating us over the head. The discussion topics at the end of the book are broken down into various sections and can be discussed individually or as a whole. The topics include cultural differences, hidden talents and bullying. The fantastic colorful illustrations by Martin Casey are fantastic.

Any child will find something to love about this book.

Mr. C (aka Patrick Connolly) was raised in Dublin, Ireland, where his original singing talent was discovered by his first grade teacher, Mrs. O' Rahilly. After traveling the world's biggest stages with the Riverdance phenomenon, he has found his true home working with the children of Saint Raymond's Parish and Elementary School in the Bronx. He hopes in some way he can discover and encourage the special talents of his children as his own talent once was.

Please visit his website for more information.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Catch Up

No I didn’t fall into the abyss, I am still here.  I have just been super busy.  I started school in June, and will be going for the next 2 to 3 years non stop.  I’m on break for August, but start up right after Labor Day.  I had 2 English classes and got A’s.  I am in the adult program, so there are adults 21 and older in the class.  But it my class, they tend to be 30 and older (more like 40 and older) so I was not out of place.  However, it was very sad to see that a lot of these people didn’t write well.  This had me thinking back to when I started college in my 20s.  I had to start with a Remedial English class (remedial math too).  I didn’t know an adverb from an adjective. Mainly because I hated high school, didn’t read and could care less.  However, 20 years of living and reading helped me place into the intermediate level of English in this new school. However, that class doesn’t start until September, so I had to take 2 basic English classes for the summer.  The teacher of one of the classes had to ‘dumb’ it down because his work was too advanced for the majority of the class. 
My son moved out, so my daughter and I are switching bedrooms.  I will finally have my Master Bedroom.  And yes…there will be a reading nook. I have one now, but it really is just a chair in the corner with a reading lamp. The room is so tiny.
My laptop died, so I lost my lists of books and movies that I had been working on since 2006.  I decided not to start a new one.  But I have them documented elsewhere.
These are the more interesting books I’ve read from March until now:
Whistling Past the Graveyard – Susan Crandall
The Gods of Gotham – Lyndsay Faye
All Woman and Springtime – Brandon Jones
Heft – Liz Moore
Me Before You – Jojo Moyes
My Beloved World – Sonia Sotomayor
I’ve reached my goal of 60 books for the year  I’m not going to increase it because I’m not sure how many more books I’ll be able to read while I’m in school. I estimate maybe 10 more, but I don’t want to risk not finishing.
My next book to read will be “The Cukoo’s Calling” by Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling). I won it in a goodreads giveaway.  I’ve had it for a few weeks, but I’m currently reading “The Shining” by Stephen King and “The Son” by Philipp Meyer; both which are pretty sizable.  I wanted to read some big books in August while I am on break.  I think after “The Cukoo’s Calling”, I will read smaller books.  Just so I can feel like I’m accomplishing something.