Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Beach Bag Reads


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 That Should be in Your Beach Bag

1.  Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – Not only is this a wonderful story told between a boy and a girl who strive to be together despite a curse, but if it’s too hot at the beach, seeing the temperatures at the start of the chapters will hopefully cool you down.


2.  Dramacon by Svetlana Chmakova - There's nothing like drama wrapped up in a nice layer of comedy to have at the beach.  Plus the art is very unique and you've got to love Chmakova's characters.


3.  The Enchanted Forest Chronicles by Patricia Wrede - If you want to "get away from it all," try becoming a dragon's confidante and best friend.  The humor will keep you happily reading through all four books that compose this omnibus.


4.  The Nymph King by Gena Showalter - Yes, I had to get at least one ocean-based book in here.  Showalter knows how to blend drama, comedy, and action all in one nice package.


5.  Peter S. Beagle’s Immortal Unicorn – There are too many great stories in this collection not to include it.  If you can’t get your hands on The Last Unicorn, at least have this one in your beach bag.


6.  The Accidental Werewolf by Dakota Cassidy – Funny, light-hearted, and involving werewolves, this is one beach read you can enjoy by the pool or on the sand.



7.  The Cay by Theodore Taylor - What would beach bag reads be if there wasn’t a deserted island survival story?  The Cay was always one of my favorites, and it’s a fairly quick read, too.


8.  Beastly by Alex Flinn – Cute but arrogant guy getting his “just desserts” while also having to find his one true love in a state that most would consider abominable?  Sounds like a fairytale and a perfect addition to the beach bag. 


9.  Watership Down by Richard Adams – I have to take this one with me everywhere, it’s been a favorite novel for so long.  A group of rabbits leave their doomed home and embark on a perilous journey to find a new home.  It can be heavy reading, but you need at least one of those in a beach bag.


10.  Lauren Myracle’s Internet Girls Trilogy (ttyl, ttfn, l8r g8r) – Quick and hilarious reads, you won’t realize you’re done with the first book until just before you get to the back cover.  It’s a good idea to have all three because of the quick pace our girl trio sets.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Stanza Saturday (8)

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Stanza Saturday is a new weekly post to share poetry from either a home collection or from the library.  Find a book of poems, any poet will do, and open up to a random page and post the first poem you see.  If the poem is rather lengthy, feel free to post just the first stanza and be sure to include the poem's title, the book's title, and the poet. ^_^

This week's poem is:

 "Endless Grasses"
By Jessie Haas

We are galloping this sea of grass,
Sunrise to sunset, sunrise to sunset.
No sound but our breath,
No sound by our galloping.
No sound but the wind, and the tall grass shhhing.
The sky is broad and blue and endless.
Endless are the grasses.
We crossed new land where none had been before,
Land from the sea, land between the seas.
Now on and on the grass stretches.
On stretch the herds.
Mammoth and reindeer, bison and rhino,
And horses.
Our hooves beat the earth-drum.
Our voices speak.
Doe to her fawn.
Cow to her calf.
Mare to her foal.



What poem would you like to share today?

Special Side Dish: Be sure to check out the giveaway for Maria Snyder's Inside Out at I Just Wanna Sit Here and Read!



Friday, May 27, 2011

Book Blogger Hop Day: May 27-29

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:

 "What book-to-movie adaption have you most liked?  Which have you disliked?"

My Answer: This is a tough one, but if I have to choose, I'd say Memoirs of a Geisha is one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I've seen.  Even though the movie condensed the story, it kept enough of the novel to really show Sayuri's life in such a beautiful visual setting.  I was not at all happy with the movie adaptation of Blood and Chocolate.  It was as if the director threw out the original story and just kept the names of characters.  Even the setting was different, and it felt so very wrong I just couldn't get through the entire movie.  I would recommend that people either only read the book or watch the movie first then read the book.  



This week on Denim-Jacket Librarian Dishes:

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Dork Diaries - Tales from a Not So Fabulous Popstar


"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:


By Rachel Renee Russell
Publish Date: June 7, 2011 by Aladdin

From Amazon.com~
Since we first met Nikki Maxwell, she's been doing everything she can to keep everyone at school from learning the truth--that she's there on scholarship in exchange for her Dad working as the school's exterminator.  The last thing Nikki needs is having her friends and--worst case scenario--her crush, Brandon, associating her with the humongous roach on top of her Dad's van!  Now it looks like her secret could be about to come out, and Nikki's willing to go to any zany and wacky length to prevent that from happening.  The timing seems perfect when a major talent competition is announced with a school scholarship offered as the top prize.  Nikki loves to sing and dance and now she gets to have tons of fun with her friends while competing for a chance to free her Dad from his obligation!  (And free herself from all that potential damage to her reputation...)  Once again, hijinks and misunderstandings aplenty ensue, as well as more hilarious and heartwarming moments with all our favorite characters.

I've been eagerly awaiting this third installment of the Dork Diaries series ever since I read the first two books, Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life and Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Popular Party Girl.  Both books were wonderful examples of blended literature in which the author uses illustrations to help describe the story.  This is a series any girl can just sit back and enjoy as the comedy and melodrama ensue.  Plus, Russell's artstyle (which is also Nikki's) is adorable!

What are y'all waiting on this Wednesday?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books You Lied About


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:

*cue dramatic music*

Top Ten Books You Lied About

1.  Ivanhoe by Walter Scott - I wanted to impress one of my English teachers in high school, so when we had the intro assignment, I wrote Ivanhoe under "Books Read."  Ironically, I now own an edition from 1901 (That's 110 years old!) thanks to a nice family friend.  I don't think I'll be reading that delicate copy, but I might try to read one from the library. 

2.  Brave New World by Aldous Huxley - Even though it was on the reading assignments for both a high school class AND a college class, I got away with just skimming this book.  Honestly, that kind of dystopia was such a trip to yawnsville for me, no offense to anyone who enjoyed BNW.  It just wasn't my cup of tea.  

3.  Different Seasons by Stephen King - To be honest, I only read one of the novellas in this collection of 4 stories, namely "Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption."  Great story, but I didn't really feel the other novellas in this collection.  

4.  Jaws by Peter Benchley - I'm an amateur shark conservationist, and for many of us this novel is the publicity that sharks don't really need.  But I was still curious about the book and even more surprised to see just how small the novel is.  It's amazing how a 300 page book can create such a lengthy movie.  Then again, look at The Old Man and the Sea.

5.  Creature/White Shark by Peter Benchley - I fibbed about not reading this because so many of my friends thought it looked like a corny book.  Actually, I enjoyed it and appreciated Benchley for trying to undo some damage that Jaws did.  However, the film with Craig T. Nelson and Kim Cattrall left something to be desired.  

6.  Moby Dick by Herman Melville - It's not that I didn't read the novel...I just didn't read the unabridged version.  Have you ever tried to get through the actual novel?  I had trouble just staying awake through the first 25 pages, and I normally try to give a book 50 pages before deciding whether to give up.

As it turns out, I didn't lie about that many books!  6 is a good number, right?  And I look forward to seeing everyone's Top Ten Tuesday! ^_^ Enjoy BEA, my fellow bloggers, for those of you who are attending!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

In My Mailbox (6)


In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where bloggers post about all the books they have received whether in the mail, if we purchased it, or checked out from our local library.  Mind you, all of these books are from the last several weeks. ^_^


From Jill at The O.W.L. for the Easter Eggstravaganza giveaway:



Abandon by Meg Cabot


From Wandering Librarians for their giveaway:



A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness and book swag buttons


From Elizabeth at Silver's Reviews for her giveaway:



Dance Lessons by Aine Greaney


From Reading Lark for winning their Literary Lark Pursuit for March:



Tile Necklace made by Tevya
(Also, Reading Lark's stationary and envelope are both so very cute!)


From Amazon.com (with a giftcard from Reading Lark):




The Princess's Dragon by Susan Trombley

From Borders (with a coupon and Borders bucks):


Wolfsangel by M.D. Lachlan

From Half-Price Books (and both in pristine condition, too!):


The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

What arrived in your mailbox? ^_^

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Review: Ada Legend of a Healer


Title:  Ada Legend of a Healer
Author:  R.A. McDonald
Summary:  No sickness, no injuries, no pain, no limits.  If you had the power to heal, what would you do?  For fifteen-year-old Ada discovering that she can heal feels more like a curse than a gift.  When she learns of the mystery surrounding her mother's disappearance, and sees the indifference of so-called friends, she sets out for Paris to find her.  The power to heal protects her, but also has her hunted by a man who sees her as nothing more than his fountain of youth.  Ada realizes her true power is her will to survive, and that her only chance at freedom is to become the best at escaping.

**Disclaimer: A copy of the book was provided to me by the publisher, and I received no compensation in exchange for my honest review.**

The Dish:  Who wouldn't want to rid themselves of any and all sickness or heal any injury the moment after it happens?  To be free from such pitfalls as getting winded while running or healing muscles to help them grow stronger.  It would sound like a good deal to most people.  But for those with such abilities, like Ada, it is as much the dark side of the coin as it is the light especially when others want that skill for themselves alone.  No one should be forced to do something against their will, and Ada refuses to let anyone, even her aunt who is also a healer, tell her how she should use her gift.

At first I found it a little difficult to relate with Ada.  Granted, she has been shuffled around foster homes for most of her life, her mother disappeared when she was little, and she has the bizarre skill of being able to "see others' sickness."  That alone would probably make for a surly teenager.  Still sometimes her negative venting became a bit tiresome though I have to admit that trait adds to her realistic nature.

Ada also does a few things I thought were too risky given the situations she was in at the time, particularly when she was practicing her healing ability.  I know practice helps boost improvement, but doing so in a public place among a group of people wasn't the smartest thing to do.  I'll just chalk that up to her being a teenager and a novice when it comes to judgment.  It was a nice change to see her assisting those who at least helped her even if that in itself was a risk.

The supporting characters that were introduced once the story took Ada overseas were what really enabled her to grow as a person.  She had been denied real kindness for so long in her life, it was great to see Ada treated so well even by people she had only just met.  I really liked Madame Jardin and her willingness to give Ada a home in a strange country while she searched for her mother.  McDonald even adds hints of romance into Ada with the introduction of Daniel, a young man who instructs Ada in parkour, free running.  That was a unique touch as well since I haven't heard parkour used in another novel before, and McDonald was thinking outside the box with that addition.

Overall, the pacing was nice and steady, and I felt really drawn into the story.  There were some intense parts where I was on the edge of my seat while reading, and I have to say those parts added to the urgency I felt for Ada as she tried to stay one step ahead of those pursuing her as she searched for her mother.  Now, I just have one question for R.A. McDonald: When will the next part of Ada's story be ready for we readers???

Stanza Saturday (7)

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Stanza Saturday is a new weekly post to share poetry from either a home collection or from the library.  Find a book of poems, any poet will do, and open up to a random page and post the first poem you see.  If the poem is rather lengthy, feel free to post just the first stanza and be sure to include the poem's title, the book's title, and the poet. ^_^

This week's poem is:

"After Apple-Picking"
By Robert Frost

My long two-pointed ladder's sticking through a tree
Toward heaven still,
And there's a barrel that I didn't fill
Beside it, and there maybe two or three
Apples I didn't pick upon some bough.
But I am done with apple-picking now.
Essence of winter sleep is on the night,
The scent of apples: I am drowsing off.
I cannot rub the strangeness from my sight
I got from looking through a pane of glass
I skimmed this morning from the drinking trough
And held against the world of hoary grass.
It melted, and I let it fall and break.
But I was well
Upon my way to sleep before it fell,
And I could tell
What form my dreaming was about to take.
Magnified apples appear and disappear,
Stem end and blossom end,
And every fleck of russet showing clear.


What poem would you like to share today? ^_^

Friday, May 20, 2011

Book Blogger Hop Day: May 20-22

This week on Denim-Jacket Librarian Dishes:



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:

 "If you were given the chance to spend one day in a fictional world (from a book), which book would it be from and what would that place be?"

My Answer: I'd have to say Ixia or Sitia from Maria V. Snyder's Poison Study and Fire Study.  In that world you're able to learn magic, horseback riding is the main form of transportation, and the setting varies from snow-covered mountains to lush jungle.  It sounds simply beautiful, and if I could spend the day with Yelena, Valek, Janco, and Ari, that would be my dream fictional world.  ^_^

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Waiting On" Wednesday: Chasing the Moon



"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:


By A. Lee Martinez
Publish Date: May 25, 2011 by Orbit

From Publisher's Weekly~
A talking closet and a landlord who's "a bit of a nut" herald the beginning of the end of human civilization in Martinez's lighthearted tale.  When Diana moves into apartment 5, she accidentally becomes the caretaker of monstrous, ancient Vom the Hungering.  It doesn't seem all bad at first: the fridge is never empty, and she meets interesting neighbors.  But she also acquires the startling ability to straddle "multiple floors of reality" and see that the world is suddenly full of bizarre creatures and their squabbling cliques: "It's like high school, except instead of jocks versus nerds, it's the things who eat civilizations versus things who eat galaxies."  When Diana learns that Calvin, one of her monstrous new buddies, is planning to destroy the world, she must persuade her other bizarre friends to help head him off.  Martinez excels at off-the-wall storytelling that perfectly suits this cheerful apocalyptic fantasy.

When it comes to apocalyptic literature, there is nothing like turning it into a comedy.  A book featuring the end of the world doesn't have to take itself seriously in order to be entertainig, and I think this sounds like a hilarious book despite the threat to civilization.  I find it a bonus that Martinez is from Texas, and I look forward to reading this one once we get it for the collection. ^_^

What are y'all waiting on this Wednesday?

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Review: The Fire Inside: A Sidekicks Novel

Author: Raymond Rose
Summary: Ten years ago, Jack and Bruce barely survived a battle royale between good and evil that left half of their city destroyed. Over the years, they've drifted apart--their lives going separate paths. Now Bruce is back in town looking for Jack's help. Because what's about to happen is worse than anything they could imagine.
Disclaimer: A copy of the ebook was provided by the author, and I received no compensation for my honest review of this novel.

The Dish: It’s always interesting to find authors willing or brave enough to start out in two different genres at the same time. I had read Rose’s Better Together and enjoyed the warmth created by his charming, small-town setting and characters pulling together in a time of personal crisis. To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect with his second novel, but I found instead of warmth, there was an undercurrent of heat that flowed throughout The Fire Inside.

Meet Jack King, bookseller and part-time photographer...and former teen superhero sidekick, Sparks. After the great Battle between dozens of superheroes and villains, he along with many other heroes chose to disappear, allowing the public to think they had died alongside others. Ten years later, when his friend Bruce, former superhero Osprey, comes asking for his help, Jack is hesitant to join. Given that his power is one of destruction without proper control, it’s easy to see Jack’s reluctance to come out of retirement. But as Jack learns, when you’re a superhero it’s tough as nails to avoid your past forever.

With such a diverse cavalcade of heroes and villains, I’m sure Rose had his hands full keeping tabs on everyone involved, including the minor characters. Seeing the points of view of several key characters helped to move the plot in a fairly smooth manner that kept my curiosity piqued. I just had to know who was behind this great plot against the investigation of this “ragtag” team of superheroes. There were several clues that I thought helped in identifying the one responsible, but then Rose would throw in another question that made me second-guess my original assessment. Personally, I like those added elements in a story since they help keep the reader on their toes.

Although the pace did feel a bit slow in the first portion of the book, once the action started, it kept coming at a rapid pace. There were pauses in the storyline where breathing room was needed, and then it would pick right back up, making the story flow more naturally. I have to say my only question now is will Mr. Rose give his readers another story featuring these sidekicks-turned-hero? And how soon that will be.
 
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