Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
So here is my confession: If I were a writer, which I'm not, I'd choose to be a Jodi Picoult. I mean seriously people...would you rather write books that people love to read and make the best seller lists for weeks and sell tons of copies, thereby making you a very rich person - or would you rather read a book that a few college professors read and deem of literary value? Maybe if I were a writer, I would feel differently. And of course there is always the option of being both "literary" and popular. But I think popular authors frequently get shafted because they aren't technically the best. And when I'm looking for a book to push my mind, I'm not going to be turning to Jodi Picoult. But there's a reason the woman is on the top of the best seller lists and it's because her stories are fun to read. So I say "bah" to all you literary types who don't understand the draw of "bubblegum" pleasure reading. Jodi Picoult is laughing at you as she rolls in her piles of money.
Monday, April 26, 2010
Have I mentioned that we're buying a house? We close on Thursday and I can't wait. I'm still trying to decide if I want to make a google page to show off my DIY projects or if I want to start a DIY blog. What do you guys think?
I hope to post my review of Jodi Picoult's new book House Rules tomorrow - I'm almost done - and my thoughts on popular fiction.
Friday, April 23, 2010
And here is where I get to the fun part. I've got a copy to give away. Those of you who participate in the Spring Book Challenge on the Nest know that I've written about a bazillion times about how I will never read a baseball book and I'm skipping that whole challenge. Well, I lied. This is pretty much the cutest baseball book ever. It is about four sisters of marrying age in turn of the century America whose lives are turned upside down when a baseball team (The Bridegrooms) come to town. I think you can pretty much guess where the plot is headed from there...
But it's about baseball! I can count it for SBC! And since I'm so thrilled to be able to use it, I'm giving away a copy - and thrilled that I can actually recommend this one to readers! Leave a comment and I'll choose a winner in a few days!
Book was furnished by the publisher and can be found at http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/catalog.php?isbn=9781601421371
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Ok, I'm trying something new today, and hopefully my favorite publishing company (http://waterbrookmultnomah.com/) won't mind too much. They were kind enough to provide this book for my review (even though I'm late publishing - sorry!!) I've had a crazy weekend, but here we go. As much as I've loved everything else sent to my by the publisher, I cannot in good conscience recommend this one. It's about a woman who has lost her memory and has no clues to her identity other than a necklace and a business card for a Crisis Care Center. She goes to the center and realizes that she looks just like the owner's wife - who was murdered three years before. Interesting, if not completely original, premise, but I have to be honest guys, I am annoyed by the writing. It fits into the "inspriational" genre (read Christian) and it reads, at least to me, like the agenda for the book was chosen and the book was written around that - and not very well.
Right now my biggest pet peeve is the way the female character interjects prayers into her conversations randomly (and out loud). I pray and I pray out loud sometimes, but not usually right in the middle of a conversation with another person - and I can't say that I know anyone else who does the same. Anyway, regardless of the writing, I feel bad because I love the publisher and I've enjoyed every other book they've sent me. I don't feel bad for not liking the book, but I feel bad because they also sent me a giveaway copy and I can't really write a whole post about how I didn't like a book and then try to give it away, right?
So for this giveaway, here's what I'm thinking: I'll give the book another chance to be reviewed on my blog by someone who might have a different opinion. Would any of my sweet readers be interested in winning a copy of the book, writing a review, and guest posting it on my blog? My grandmother, who reads inspirational fiction exclusively, will be getting my personal copy and I'm going to try to get her to write a guest review for me too! Leave a comment if you're interested in guest writing on my blog!
For those of you who are interested, more information about the book can be found at:
Friday, April 16, 2010
Can I just say that Pennywise is now in the running for my all-time favorite villain? I've always loved the character of Iago in Othello and I think my love for Pennywise comes from the same place. The idea of a villain who doesn't have a reason for being evil, wasn't abused as a child, and isn't portrayed with any sympathy can be thrilling. In an epic story like IT, the whole evil for the sake of being evil really works well I think. It certainly builds up the whole battle of good vs. evil in a way that isn't possible with a sympathetic villain.
And I'd also like to add that Stephen King does an amazing job of potraying the epic battle between good and evil. He incorporates so much of the tradition behind the epic, but also manages to keep it fresh and original. All of the literary tradition is present, but the villain spends half the book dressed like a clown! (I have had a thing for creepy clowns ever since Killer Klowns from Outer Space). He also does a great job of wrapping things up. Not that the book just has a tidy, happy ending, but the things that were foreshadowed/hinted at from the beginning are cleared up by the end. In a book as long as IT (my copy was 1138 pgs) it would be easy to just let certain plot points just trail off (as seen in oh I don't know, Lost???) but he does such a good job of keeping it all together and uniting it under one theme.
So here is your chance to reply: what is it in your imagination that goes bump in the night? If you saw Pennywise, what would he look like to you?
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
All of these covers represent my two favorite parts of libraries: books and book lovers! And if you're not just looking for a pretty cover, but also an excellent book about books or librarians, here are a few of my five-start suggestions:
The Polysyllabic Spree and Housekeeping Vs. The Dirt both by Nick Hornby - selections from his book review columns in The Guardian.
Bizarre Books by Russell Ash - photos and cover quotes from unintentionally hilarious books
A Passion for Books by Harold Rabinowitz - a great collection of stories, essays, and lists about books
Bibliotherapy: The Girls' Guide to Books For Every Phase of Our Lives - just what it says - a fun and light read
The Book Lust series by Nancy Pearl - collections from her articles, plus she's my hero librarian
Don't forget to add your links!
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
The good news: the reason I didn't get any pictures was because I was so busy with students! Break the Rules night was a HUGE success! Each instructor talked it up in the classroom, so by the break time, all the students were really excited. I spent a good hour pouring punch and explaining our week-long scavenger hunt. I also had forms available for parents to fill out about a program our county provides that sends children a free book every month. So many parents were excited about that and signed up.
My favorite parts:
One student gave me a fist bump "for books"
Hearing a student say "Yay books!"
The excitement over the free books for kids program
Leaving last night and having a student call after me "Happy library day Miss Julie"
Tonight I've got another Break the Rules night planned and I'm going into our composition class to play a trivia game about famous library scenes from movies.
PS: Check out an awesome post on my good friend Heather's site!
Monday, April 12, 2010
Thursday, April 8, 2010
For this award, I will tell seven honest things about myself and then pass this on to seven other bloggers. Here we go:
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Since yesterday I did book covers that I didn't love, today I thought I'd start with favorite book covers - but only those that you've already read. Comment on the quality of the book as compared to the quality of the cover! Post your link below!
Love the book, love the cover, both made me laugh. Had the cover not been so much fun, I wouldn't have given the book a try. I think it helped that I've never really been a true Austen fan, and the humor of the book was similar to my sense of humor.
Rainbows and unicorns, need I say more? If you've never read McSweeney's, this is the time to start. This is a literal laugh out loud kind of book - maybe the funniest I've ever read.
This cover screams Alfred Hitchcock, suspense, creepiness to me. Unfortunately the book didn't deliver. But I still love the cover.
Add a link to your favorite book covers (that you've read!) to the comments section below!
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
This is a weekly meme hosted by The Book List. Today's list: Cover Disgust - three book covers that missed the mark.
Here are mine:
This cover turned me off to the book for a long time. I finally gave in and read it and I thought the book itself was as dull as the cover. It looks blah to me and it read blah to me.
I can't look at this cover and think of anything other than Cassandra from Dr. Who. It makes the book look stupid, which it's not.
I get why they chose the armadillo, but it really does nothing to make the book look appealing at all. There's nothing about this cover that makes me want to pick it up and see what it's about. If I weren't familiar with the author or the story or the book itself I'd pass right over it.
Monday, April 5, 2010
Luke plans to get a puppy within the next few years - leave a comment urging him to let me name the puppy Pennywise!
Saturday, April 3, 2010
I don't typically use my blog as a pulpit and don't plan on starting now, but Easter is special to me, so I included a few lines of my favorite songs:
Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living just because He lives
In Christ alone who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
Till on the cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the World by darkness slain
Till bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost it's grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ