Thursday, September 29, 2011

Book Blogger Hop: October 1-3

Book Blogger Hop

As Crazy For Books says:

Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTis an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!

This week's question is:

“In honor of Banned Books Week, what is your favorite “banned or frequently challenged book”?”
Click here for 2010-11 list in PDF format. You can also click HERE to view past years and choose from any of those titles!

My Answer:  Although there are so many excellent banned books, I have to select Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.  It's one of those books that just sucks the reader into the story, and even if a reader hasn't experienced the extreme bullying that Melinda did, I'm sure most can relate to her in some way. 


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee.  This was one of my all-time favorite novels in high school, and I was so sad to hear it was on the Banned list.  It's too great a novel to keep so many others from reading and learning from the story Lee created.  

What's your favorite banned book? ^_^

Monday, September 26, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books I Want to Reread

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a state that you don't have to worry about being deprived of more books as long as you're near a library.  This week's Top Ten is:

Top Ten Books I Want to Reread
(In no particular order)

1.  To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - Not only is this one of my favorite classics, but it's also on the most frequently challenged list of books.  This was one book I was very happy to read back in high school, and I look forward to reading it again soon.

2.  Colors in the Dreamweaver's Loom by Beth Hilgartner - It's hard to believe I read this back in middle school, and I really want to revisit Hilgartner's world that she created for this novel.  

3.  Full Moon City edited by Martin H. Greenberg - With it being nearly Halloween once more, I'm reminded of my first review on my blog, which was for this book.  It makes me nostalgic and wanting to read it once again.

4.  The Princess's Dragon by Susan Trombley - I was really fangirly with this book in my review, so I'd like to give it another read to see if I would still go as kooky over it as I did before.  Still, one can't help but get excited about dragons. 

5.  Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder - This was the first book by Snyder that I ever read and it is still my most favorite.  I need to make sure I have a cinnamon roll with me when I read it  again. 

6.  Tales from Watership Down by Richard Adams - Not unlike it's predecessor, Watership Down, this one is close to my heart, and I remember devouring the stories while my family was en route to visit my grandparents.  

7.  Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden - Lucky for me, we'll be reading this one in our library's book club next year.  I'm looking forward to seeing what the other club members will have to say about the story that I thought was so profound and amazing.

8.  Wolfsbane and Mistletoe by Charlaine Harris and Toni L. P. Kelner - It isn't Christmas without reading at least certain stories from this werewolf anthology.  Not anymore at least!  This year, I'm thinking of doing a holiday giveaway for this title.  Any objections? ^_^

9.  Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - Another favorite childhood classic, I'd really like to reread it not only for my own enjoyment, but so I might see the similarities and differences when I read Little Women and Werewolves.  

10.  A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - I really want to reread this classic so I might better appreciate the parts that I was either unable to understand or found tedious to the overall plot.  

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Celebrating an Innovative and Creative Thinker

I can't think of a single person who hasn't heard of at least one of Jim Henson's works, and it is fitting that Google is honoring what would have been Henson's 75th birthday today.  Henson was responsible for creating some of the most memorable characters that are still present within today's media.  With works such as Sesame Street, The Muppet Show, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and The Storyteller under his remarkable list of accomplishments, Henson is definitely still alive with all of his audience, both older and younger generations.

Jim Henson's Fantastic World at the Museum of Science 

Behind the Scenes of "Labyrinth"

The Storyteller

For more information about Jim Henson and his works please visit:

Jim Henson Legacy:
The Jim Henson Company:
The Jim Henson Company's Creature Shop:

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Manga Review: A Bride's Story Volume 1

Title:  A Bride's Story, Volume 1
Author:  Kaoru Mori
Genre:  Manga/Graphic Novel
Pages:  192
Publisher:  Yen Press
Summary:  Amir is twenty years old when she marries her husband, a boy named Karluk from a neighboring village.  Adjusting to life in a new household can be trying for any young bride, but Amir's husband is eight years her junior!  Amir was a strong, sophisticated hunter and horsewoman in her village, but though their villages were next to each other, their customs are very different.  As Amir introduces Karluk to the foods and pastimes that were popular among her comrades back home, the warmth she feels for her young husband grows.

The Dish:  The idea of marrying someone who is eight years your junior... seems like a lot to take in especially when you're moving away from all that you have known in your life.  However, considering the time and setting of the story, it was considered the norm for girls to be married at age fourteen or fifteen.  By those standards, the main character, Amir, is considered old at twenty years. 

While the story is about Amir joining the family of her young husband, most of the focus is on Karluk's family members and their day-to-day lives.  There is an immense change with the arrival of this new girl, but they take Amir's differences in stride without necessarily scolding her.  While there was definitely an air of surprise, both from Amir upon meeting her husband and from Karluk's family, the warmth that grows between Amir and the family definitely shows. 

As a character, Amir doesn't seem to say as much as Karluk's family, but I really like her.  She is a brave young woman not only because of leaving her village and family behind to join Karluk's family, since that is proper during the time period, but mostly because she is considered an "old maiden."  Within this time, there were little options for older girls when it came to marriage, and for Amir to settle for a husband that is eight years younger, that shows a lot of her courage and lack of hubris.  Karluk is a kind boy who does accept his older wife, but there is a slight sense of hesitance on his part.  He does show concern for Amir when she goes on a rather lengthy rabbit-hunting excursion, but he is also amazed at what skills his wife possesses.  Perhaps his hesitance is due in part to intimidation not only because Amir is an older woman but because of her skills.  I look forward to seeing how their relationship grows in the next volume.

In the way of visuals, Mori's art can be described in one word: gorgeous.  Not all manga artists choose to go with a more detailed style, so it's refreshing to see one creating whole worlds in their story.  The settings are breathtaking and very realistic, and the people are diverse both in facial features as well as attire.  Mori often used a series of wordless panels to convey parts of the story, doing so flawlessly without breaking the overall volume.  Overall, A Bride's Story Volume 1 was a beautiful and warm introduction to our main characters, and I will be on the lookout for Volume 2, which is scheduled to be released in the US on October 25th.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Awake at Dawn by C.C. Hunter

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

This week's "Waiting On" Wednesday selection is:

Publish Date: October 11, 2011, by St. Martin's Griffin


Now that she's settled in at Shadow Falls Camp, Kylie Galen's determined to discover the extent of her supernatural abilities.  But with a ghost insisting someone Kylie loves is about to die, a rogue vampire on a murdering rampage, and her sixth sense telling her someone is watching her, Kylie's quest for answers is quickly put on hold.

To make matters worse, just when she's about to give her heart to Derek, a half-fairy, he starts pulling away.  When Lucas, a werewolf with whom Kylie shares a secret past, returns, Kylie feels more conflicted than ever.  Her weekend with her mom should have been the break Kylie needs, but it turns out to be her breaking point.  Someone from the dark side of the supernatural world has plans for Kylie--and it'll take all her resources to get back to Shadow Falls alive...

I'm so happy about Awake at Dawn being released soon, and just in time for Halloween!  Born at Midnight was a great introduction to Hunter's supernatural world and I enjoyed it thoroughly as seen by my review.  It will be interesting to see how much Kylie will learn within this next chapter of her story.  With all of these happenings though, I wonder just how much she'll be able to learn.  We'll just have to wait and see!  

What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books I Feel As Though Everyone Has Read But Me

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a state that you don't have to worry about being deprived of more books as long as you're near a library.  This week's Top Ten is:

Top Ten Books I Feel As Though Everyone Has Read But Me
(Yes, I am a sucker for YA Lit.)

1. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins - With the third book in the series being released next year, I'm kind of behind with this one.  I've seen it reviewed on many blogs and then in a lot of the Half-Price Books stores, so it's really just a matter of sitting down and reading it.  

2. The Iron King by Julie Kagawa - This one is huge among the blogosphere, and even some of the newest bloggers are digging into this one.  I haven't read too many books featuring fae as the main (if only) supernatural being, but I have hopes for this one being a good introduction.  

3. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher - I really want to read this one simply because I want to hear Clay and Hannah's stories.  In reading the reviews from many of my fellow bloggers, it's one of those books you have to be in the right frame of mind to read.

4. Wings by Aprilynne Pike - I guess this one kind of goes with The Iron King in that so many have read it, yet I've pushed it back.  I actually have it in ebook format and haven't been using my Kobo too much lately, which I'll probably change soon. 
5. Waterfall by Lisa Tawn Bergren - I also have this one in ebook format and not reading on my Kobo has probably stalled me on reading a few popular ebooks.
6. Oh. My. Gods. by Tera Lynn Childs - Since I'm getting into my Greek mythology groove again, I plan on remedying the fact that I haven't read this one or it's sequel, Goddess Boot Camp, yet.  The Austin Teen Book Festival's going to be a huge help in that regard. 

7. The Darkest Powers Trilogy by Kelley Armstrong - For the longest time, I thought Armstrong only wrote adult paranormal fantasy books.  Now that I've found this trilogy, it seems as though people have either read it already or are snatching the books up.

8. Prom by Laurie Halse Anderson - So far I've only read Speak by Anderson, so I'd like to see how she does humor in her books with this title.  

9. Shine by Lauren Myracle - This one kind of goes in the same vein as Thirteen Reasons Why, but I know I want to read it, and I definitely will. 

10. Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs - Maybe I've head off on this one because I haven't gotten into mermaid literature.  That's not to say the story doesn't intrigue me... it just intrigued a lot of other readers before. 

Friday, September 16, 2011

Book Blogger Hop: Sept 16-18

Book Blogger Hop

As Crazy For Books says:

Book Blogger Hop is a place just for book bloggers and readers to connect and share our love of the written word! This weekly BOOK PARTis an awesome opportunity for book bloggers to connect with other book lovers, make new friends, support each other, and generally just share our love of books!

This week's question is:

“As a book blogger, how do you introduce yourself in your profile?”

My Answer: My profile is kept short and simple without getting too specific. As a librarian, I find it's a good idea to read within almost all genres, so I keep an open mind when it comes to most books. There are some genres that I tend to read more often, such as YA Literature and Paranormal/Fantasy, but I do like to see what other books are out there that might draw my interest. I find it fascinating to read others' profiles to get to know their tastes in reading, and I've found some great blogging friends because of that. 

How do you introduce yourself in your blogging profile?

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Review: The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter

Title:  The Goddess Test
Author:  Aimee Carter
Genre:  Young Adult
Pages:  293
Publisher:  Harlequin Teen
Summary:  It's always been just Kate and her mom--and her mother is dying.  Her last wish?  To move back to her childhood home.  So Kate's going to start at a new school with no friends, no other family and the fear her mother won't live past the fall.  Then she meets Henry.  Dark.  Tortured.  And mesmerizing.  He claims to be Hades, god of the Underworld--and if she accepts his bargain, he'll keep her mother alive while Kate tries to pass seven tests.  Kate is sure he's crazy--until she sees him bring a girl back from the dead.  Now saving her mother seems crazily possible.  If she succeeds, she'll become Henry's future bride, and a goddess.  If she fails...

The Dish:  My name is DJL, I am a Greek mythology geek... and I enjoyed The Goddess Test.  Now, I've seen quite a few negative opinions regarding this take on the Greek gods.  While I believe every reader is entitled to their opinion I also think those who criticize Carter are missing out on the story.  There is a level of artistic licence that some authors choose to take when writing books that involve mythology, supernatural beings, etc.  Carter chose to portray Zeus, Hades, Demeter, et al in a manner that would typically be considered "out of character."  But I don't believe it was a bad portrayal, just different and at the same time rather enjoyable.

Overall, I enjoyed the story Carter chose to tell using her representations of the Greek deities.  The characters were interesting and for the most part likable, though there were a few brow-raising moments while reading.  I understand Kate was most likely in a vulnerable state due to her mother's condition, but to suddenly call the girl who tried to abandon you stranded in the dark of night your best friend?  That's a bit of a stretch in the believeability department.

Henry was sometimes a confusing character being distant during one part of the story and then showing more care and concern for Kate's safety.  But it didn't feel consistent.  It was as though he kept flip-flopping around.  I'm unsure if this was due to the deity he was representing in the story or just showing a mood-changing male lead character.  It was sometimes difficult to tell whether he was supposed to be an emotional male character or showing the multiple sides of the god of the Underworld.  In spite of this confuzzling demeanor of his, I did like Henry, and I hope to get to know him more in Goddess Interrupted.

Despite my frustrations with Henry and my slight disbelief in some of Kate's actions, I did like The Goddess Test.  This is not the myth of "Hades and Persephone," not even a different rendition of the famous myth.  So I think if readers keep that in mind while also keeping an open mind about the unique portrayal of such famous Greek deities (as well as how the test "relates" to them, though I won't spoil it for other readers), I believe they will enjoy the overall story.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books I Read Because of Another Blogger

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, a state that you don't have to worry about being deprived of more books as long as you're near a library.  This week's Top Ten is:

Top Ten Books I Read Because of Another Blogger
(In No Particular Order)

1. Abandon by Meg Cabot - Definitely have Karen over at Books Beside My Bed to thank for this recommendation.  And it's my first book by Meg Cabot, too!

2. Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier - Although I can't remember which blog it was that I first saw this one on, I have to thank so many other bloggers for making my inner Pandora curious.

3. Flawless by Lara Chapman - It was on an IMM at YA Litwit that first introduced me to this novel, and I'm so glad of it especially since the author's from my state. :)

4. Born at Midnight by C.C. Hunter - I can't remember where I first saw this title, so I'll thank all the bloggers out there that have read and enjoyed this title from another Texan author. 

5. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White - So many bloggers were going on about this one, and I think Karen nudged me into reading it mostly because of Evie's sense of humor. 

6. Rival by Sara Bennett Wealer - Definitely credit this to Number One Novels, and I'm happy about reading it.  I should really loan it to my best friend from high school. 

7. Intertwined by Gena Showalter - This one was already on my radar simply because I adore Gena Showalter, but having read several great reviews helped push me into buying and reading it. 

8. Dust City by Robert Paul Weston - Actually, I found out about this one at Borders, and I just loved the cover.  I had to share it with some of my werewolf-loving bloggers, and the review at Lupines and Lunatics spurred me into reading it.

9. Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder - As before, I always credit this one to Karen shoving it in my hands and saying "Read it."  And I never get tired of telling that story because I wound up reading it in one night. 

10. The Goddess Test by Aimee Carter - Another title that I saw circling the blogsophere, and I'll be posting my review sometime this week. 
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