Monday, April 27, 2009

The Shack

Author: William P. Young
Originally published : 2007
Length: 256
Personal Enjoyment Rating: 3/5
Amazon Rating: 4/5 (3,020 Customer Reviews)
Goodreads: 14,847 ratings, 3.75 average rating

When I was younger, in my teens and much of my twenties, I would staunchly avoid anything that was "in." If everyone was watching it, reading it, wearing it, I was not. Sadly, this meant no Simpsons. Now that I have realized the error of my ways, it's really difficult to catch up on twenty seasons of a brilliant show. All in the name of nonconformity.
As I've gotten old(er), I still don't wear anything even remotely stylish, but I do have more of a desire to share in some of the popular shows and books that ten years ago I would have snubbed. I've actually watched a few seasons of Survivor, cheered for contestants on American Idol (but never voted), and voraciously read The DaVinci Code in less than 24 hours. At jury duty recently, a conversation about Twilight came up among a group of women, and after a couple of hours, we were practically BFF's! In a society where individuals have become increasingly isolated, I think this is pretty cool. These things have the potential to bring us together, rather than tear us apart (unless there arises an Edward/Jacob debate, of course.)
All of this rambling is just a pretext to explain my desire to read The Shack. I saw it as No. 1 on the bestseller list. It caught my eye browsing at Sam's Club. Reviews popped up on blogs. I wanted in on the action! And so did the members of my book club.
As the back cover notes, "The Shack wrestles with the timeless question: "Where is God in a world so filled with unspeakable pain?" Mack has experienced that pain--his young daughter is kidnapped during a camping trip, and all that is found of her is a bloody dress in an abandoned shack. How could God let this happen? Well, Mack receives a note in his mailbox inviting him to the shack to "get together" with Papa (his wife's name for God) and find out the answer to that question.
I only gave myself a day to read this, but I still found myself stopping to ponder for several minutes at a time. While I felt pretty involved in the story, I didn't necessarily agree with everything he said. One member of the book club mentioned that she thought whether a reader liked the book or not depended on whether the ideas put forth "rang true" for the individual. For a couple of people there, it did not ring true at all. I felt like certain parts were very powerful (Chapter 11-Here Come Da Judge) and others just interesting perspectives. The Godhead is presented in such an unusual way. I think those of conservative faiths may find it somewhat sacrilegious, and those without much religious faith may find it silly.
I didn't know the background of the publication of this book until I read an article on Wikipedia. Young originally wrote it as a Christmas gift for his children to share with them his beliefs, and had no intention of publishing it. This makes me appreciate the book a little more, because you don't get the idea that he's trying to push his way of thinking on anyone; he's just sharing his own treasured beliefs and obviously a lot of time spent pondering.

I usually try to keep my posts short, but this has been an incredibly long and rambling post . If you've actually read all of it, I think you deserve an award! I'm just going to post it without looking too closely at it, or else I might end up erasing it all and writing a seven-word review.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman
Originally published : 2008
Length: 320
Awards: Newbery Medal
Personal Enjoyment Rating: 4.5/5
Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 (194 Customer Reviews)
Goodreads: 6,792 ratings, 4.26 average rating

When I first heard about the premise of this book--a toddler who is orphaned after his family is murdered spends his childhood being raised in a cemetery by the dearly departed--it sounded a bit off the wall to me, and I wasn't sure if I would like it. I had read Stardust and Coraline by Gaiman, and I liked the two, but wasn't completely blown away, but impressed enough to want to read more of his works. After a long wait, I finally managed to get a copy from the library. (Oh, if only I had grabbed it before it won the Newbery!)
After being completely terrified reading the first few pages, I got carried away by this tale of Nobody Owens and the various individuals--whether alive, dead, or somewhere in between--who care for him and teach him about the realities of life and death. For me it is mostly a story about compassion, made even more powerful by the contrasting evil elements throughout. I loved the perfect balance between humor and darkness. The narrative takes some unexpected turns that I did find "off the wall," but they didn't detract from my enjoyment and satisfaction. There are a few unanswered questions in the end, but this usually doesn't bother me. I suppose I should just spit it out: I LOVED IT!
I have to confess that I was completely ignorant that Gaiman was inspired by Kipling's The Jungle Book until after reading it. I would like to read it again with that in mind. It may give me a whole new perspective. I have read that the audio, narrated by Gaiman himself, is excellent.

More reviews:
1More Chapter
The Hidden Side of a Leaf
My Two Blessings
Maw Books Blog
Bookshelves of Doom
Rob Around Books
Stainless Steel Droppings
Fyrefly's Book Blog
Bart's Bookshelf
As usual, I need more bookshelves
The Movieholic and Bibliophile's Blog
Penny's Pages
Biblio Addict

I know I have read some great reviews about The Graveyard Book other than these that I can't find right now. Please send me a link if you have a review!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The Children of Hurin

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Edited by: Christopher Tolkien
Originally published : 2007
Length: 320 pages
Personal Enjoyment Rating: 4/5
Amazon Rating: 4/5 (288 Customer Reviews)
Goodreads: 2,480 ratings, 3.78 average rating

In the past I've experimented with four-word reviews and seven-word reviews. Well, a two-word review kept popping into my head while I read this one:

Fate sucks.

Just ask Turin and Nienor, the children of the the stalwart Hurin, who refuses to submit when captured by the evil Morgoth. Morgoth answers Hurin's mockery with a curse upon his offspring: "The shadow of my thought shall lie upon them wherever they go, and my hate shall pursue them to the ends of the world." Wherever they go, evil will arise. . .

And that's what the story is about--the dark fate that Turin cannot escape, no matter how many times he changes his name (which is, like, six times.) His inability to avoid hurting those he loves the most. His efforts to avenge his missing father, only to play right into the hands of Morgoth. A tragedy worthy of the Greeks, The Children of Hurin is the antithesis of the "feel-good" novel.

The big question concerning this posthumous work of Tolkien's is of course whether or not you need to be a fan of The Lord of the Rings to appreciate it. As a fan of both the series and movies, I would say yes. The experience of getting another glimpse of Middle Earth, aided by the stunning illustrations of Stan Lee, carried me through sometimes stiff writing, and the excess of names, place-names and foreboding adages. I can't imagine finding much satisfaction without having been a part of Tolkien's world before, and having a desire to "escape" there if only for a brief time. I do get the impression from the introductory commentary that I would have appreciated it even more if I had read The Silmarillion. Another one to add to my TBR list.

My notes, mostly just chapter summaries, can be found here.

Other thoughts:
Book Nook Club
The Wertzone
Stainless Steel Droppings
Jule's Book Reviews

If you've reviewed this, let me know and I'll add the link!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Read With Kids Challenge

For some reason I can't get the button to work, so click here to join:

Discover the joy of reading with kids.

This looks like a great event! Jut log in how many minutes you read with children and have the chance to win prizes. Win-win all the way!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Readathon: End of Event Questions and Stats

My kids stats make mine look pretty wimpy:
Me: 477
Them: 956
Of course there are four of them and only one of me, but I'm happy that they participated. My oldest daughter read all of Blue is for Nightmares, and said it was very scary, and my son read all of The Battle of the Labyrinth, loved it, and wants to read the next one when he can.

Adding all of our minutes, we come to a grand total of
So we'll be donating $30.00 to Action Against Hunger.
It doesn't seem like much, but every drop in the bucket counts

The breakdown:
Mental State:
I slept about six hours last night, but I'm still feeling a little groggy today
Calorie consumption status: Don't ask
Cumulative number of pages read by me: 477
Cumulative number of pages read by kids: 956
Cumulative read-aloud pages: 38 (When the other kids leave, hopefully we'll do more)
Pages read by guests: 43
Titles of Book(s)read:
Finished The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Started Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
Kids reading: The Battle of the Labyrinth, Blue is for Nightmares, The Talented Clementine; Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy, picture books.

The end of event meme:
1. Which hour was most daunting for you? All of them after the fifth hour! I was just so tired all day. Last time I didn't get tired until maybe the 22nd hour.
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency was perfect.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? Nope, it was great as it was.
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? It just seemed very organized and I appreciated that. I didn't even try to Twitter, but it sounded like fun for those who did.
5. How many books did you read? Only 2, and a little bit of another.
6. What were the names of the books you read? The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency , Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
7. Which book did you enjoy most? Hard to pick
8. Which did you enjoy least? Liked them both.
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders? N/A
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? I will read and cheerlead!

Good night? Good morning?

I have to go to bed now. I don't want to, but because of what I have going on tomorrow I have to. I'll post the final numbers tomorrow! It's been fun. Good luck to those of you going the distance!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Readathon End of Hour 17

I have developed a fear of Google Reader--over 500 posts behind. I'm finding I want to do the challenges but just can't exert the mental effort--even for an Amazon gift card.

Mental State:
Could I be getting a second wind? It's coming. . . it's coming. . . Wait--false alarm.
Calorie consumption status: Super stuffed by eating candy to stay awake.
Distractions: Getting kids into bed, watching Lego space ship launch, setting up camp chair out back to escape loud movie music and Rock Band.
Cumulative number of pages read by me: 362
Cumulative number of pages read by kids: 673
Cumulative read-aloud pages: 38
Pages read by guests: 43
Titles of Book(s)read:
Finished The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Started Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
Kids reading: The Battle of the Labyrinth, Blue is for Nightmares, The Talented Clementine; Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy, picture books, Star Wars: New Jedi Order, Conquest.

Readathon End of Hour Thirteen

I had so much more stamina last time!

Mental State:
UUUUUUUUUHHHHHHHHHH... It took me about five minutes to figure out what hour this was.
Calorie consumption status: 13 gazillion and my husband just went to get the pizza.
Distractions: Getting better.
Cumulative number of pages read by me: 328
Cumulative number of pages read by kids: 252
Cumulative read-aloud pages: 16 (When the other kids leave, hopefully we'll do more)
Pages read by guests: 43
Titles of Book(s)read:
Finished The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Started Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy
Kids reading: The Battle of the Labyrinth, Blue is for Nightmares, The Talented Clementine; Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy, picture books.

Mid-Event Survey

1. What are you reading right now? Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy

2. How many books have you read so far? Only 1 complete--The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? Hunger Games, if I can make it!

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day? No, but maybe I should have! My husband got home at around hour 11, and I've gone from 8 kids in the house to 4. I'm all set now!

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? I've had a lot, but I expected that. Maybe next time I should go to a hotel!

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Not too much. Last year I was surprised at how much time the challenges and visiting took up, but that part was really fun. So I expected it this time (but haven't been able to do so much.)

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year? I think it's been awesome. Can't think of any suggestions.

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year? I think next year I will sign up as a cheerleader. I'm not really sure why I didn't this time. Brainlessness.

9. Are you getting tired yet? I'm way tired! I'm having some allergy problems that are making me feel even more groggy. I feel like my eyes are about to swell shut!

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered? Just go with the flow. Even if I don't read as much as I would like, I'm still reading more than I would get to on an average day!

Readathon End of Hour Ten

I'm just not able to squeeze in many of the challenges because of all that's going on here. Hopefully things will look up. My youngest has been really reading a lot, which is awesome, but she likes to talk to me about everything, so I'm not getting in too much! I've lost my oldest to Smallville on DVD and Pirates of the Caribbean. Her book didn't come in the mail on time, and my attempts to get her something good at the library were futile. Here's our progress:

Mental State: I keep drifting off!!! Nooooo!!! It's so early! Typing skills starting to suffer.
Calorie consumption status: More Spinach Artichoke dip with tortilla chips. Hey, it has veggies, alright!
Distractions: Cute daughter, hungry kids, phone calls
Cumulative number of pages read by me: 257
Cumulative number of pages read by kids: 118
Cumulative read-aloud pages: 16 (When the other kids leave, hopefully we'll do more)
Pages read by guests: 43
Titles of Book(s)read:
Continuing The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency. Loving it!!
Kids reading: The Talented Clementine; Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy, picture books.

Readathon End of Hour Seven

I have unexpected guests (little ones)! We're counting their pages towards our charity. Mostly though, they're watching movies and playing Legos. But they did a little reading. Here's how we're doing:

Mental State:
A little frustrated that I can't read as much as I want to, but I remember that from last time. It's all good.
Calorie consumption status: Jalapeno Jack with crackers, Spinach Artichoke dip with tortilla chips
Distractions: I'm watching three extra kids for a friend, had to pick up daughter from campout, hear about how the campout was, a few phone calls.
Cumulative number of pages read by me: 161
Cumulative number of pages read by kids: 75
Cumulative read-aloud pages: 16
Pages read by guests: 43
Titles of Book(s)read:
Started The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency
Kids reading: The Talented Clementine; Sammy Keyes and the Sisters of Mercy, a few picture books.

I haven't counted how many blogs I've visited, but maybe 50? I always say I'm only going to visit for 10 minutes an hour, but then I do more! It sounds like everyone is doing great!

Readathon End of Hour Four

Mental State: Still going strong!
Calorie consumption status: Had leftover spaghetti for breakfast
Distractions: Kids are up now, phone call
Cumulative number of pages read by me: 77
Cumulative number of pages read by kids: 27
Cumulative read-aloud pages: 16
Titles of Book(s)read:
Listened to The Eye of The World by Robert Jordan (I picked up a copy of the book to keep track of how many pages it was worth.) while making Spinach-Artichoke Dip for crockpot and did a little cleaning.
Read Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle's Magic out loud
Kids reading: The Talented Clementine; Little Pig, Biddle Pig

Readathon Hour 2 Report

Wow! The time is flying! Here's my progress:

Mental State: Bright-eyed and bushy tailed!!
Calorie consumption status: So far only hot chocolate.
Distractions: Random stopwatch alarm going off repeatedly (have no idea how to turn it off. Hid it in the garage.) Daughter's alarm clock going off (She's not even here.) Allergies. I think I'm allergic to the fifty-year-old book I'm reading.
Cumulative number of pages read by me: 50
Cumulative number of pages read by kids: The two who are here are still sleeping, other two will join in when they get back from campouts.
Titles of Book(s)read: Immortal Wife by Irving Stone. This is my "have-to" reading. I'm going to a book club for this book Tuesday night, and just started it last night. It's entertaining, but not a fast read.

Hour 1 Meme

Three facts about me:

I like to read (duh! Sorry but I can't think fast and I need to get back to reading!)

I love the musical Les Miserables.

I love The Office.

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?11

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)? No goals--just however much I get to. I would like to visit everyone, but since there are so many participants, that may not be possible!

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time? Just take it easy and have a great time!

Good Morning, Read-a-thoners!!!

It's 5 a.m. here. I got about 5 hours of sleep last night, but I'm up now with the tea kettle whistling for my hot cocoa. Time to get reading! I'll update every couple of hours.
Happy reading!

Monday, April 13, 2009

24-Hour Readathon!!!

It's almost here! I'm so happy that I have no commitments the day of the Read-a-thon, but I do have some things going on the next day that require at least a little bit of sleep the night before, so for me it will be more of a 19 hour Read-a-thon. I have about six hours of meetings on Sunday in which I have to interact with people, and it could be scary if I've only slept for an hour!

This is a family event for us. The kids don't read the whole time, but they have fun reading a little bit more than usual and having snacks. I'm going to stop my own reading every once in a while and read out loud from at least one Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle book. A friend of mine loaned me a boxed set ages ago, and I would like to return it to her someday soon! I've got a Melody Carlson book coming for my fourteen-year-old daughter from Amazon. My 12-year-old son would like to read The Battle of the Labyrinth (Percy Jackson #4) if we can get our hands on a copy. My 9-year-old is planning to read her third Sammy Keyes book (we love these!). And my 7-year-old is going to have a box of pictures books on hand, and may read a little Junie B. Jones. I guess my husband's job is to hold down the fort while we read. Maybe he can fan me and feed me grapes!

I have been too busy to put together a collection of books for me to choose from for that day. I know I've got Hunger Games and Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy from the library anxiously waiting for me to open them. (Gary D. Schmidt's Wednesday Wars was my favorite pick from the last read-a-thon.) Hopefully I'll have time later on this week to pick out more.

The kids were in charge of deciding which charity to donate to, and they picked Action Against Hunger. We're going to pledge 2 cents per page read. Ironically, we will probably be eating a lot of snacks while reading. We'll just have to be extra grateful for every bite while thinking of those who have so much less.

Happy reading to those of you who are participating! This is such a great way to remember Dewey and her contributions to this great community of book lovers. I hope to visit a lot of other blogs as part of the fun. See you Saturday! (5 a.m. for me!)

Friday, April 10, 2009

The Printz Project

Suey from It's All About Books and Jessica from The Bluestocking Society have launched a perpetual challenge site for reading and reviewing Printz Award books. I love a few challenges with no time limits!

Here's the list of Michael L. Printz Winners & Honor Books. The ones I have read I'll put in bold, with a link if I have reviewed it:

Jellicoe Road, by Melina Marchetta
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation; Volume II: The Kingdom on the Waves, by M.T. Anderson
The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, by E. Lockhart
Nation, by Terry Pratchett
Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan

The White Darkness, by Geraldine McCaughrean
Dreamquake: Book Two of the Dreamhunter Duet, by Elizabeth Knox
One Whole and Perfect Day, by Judith Clarke
Repossessed, by A.M. Jenkins
Your Own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath, by Stephanie Hemphill

American Born Chinese, by Gene Luen Yang
The Astonishing Life of Octavian Nothing, Traitor to the Nation; Volume I: The Pox Party, by M.T. Anderson
An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green
Surrender, by Sonya Hartnett
The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak

Looking for Alaska, by John Green
Black Juice, by Margo Lanagan
I Am the Messenger, by Markus Zusak
John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth, a Photographic Biography, by Elizabeth Partridge
A Wreath for Emmett Till, by Marilyn Nelson

how i live now, by Meg Rosoff
Airborn, by Kenneth Oppel
Chanda’s Secrets, by Allan Stratton
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy, by Gary D. Schmidt

The First Part Last, by Angela Johnson
A Northern Light, by Jennifer Donnelly
Keesha’s House, by Helen Frost
Fat Kid Rules the World, by K.L. Going
The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things, by Carolyn Mackler

Postcards from No Man’s Land, by Aidan Chambers
The House of the Scorpion, by Nancy Farmer
My Heartbeat, by Garret Freymann-Weyr
Hole in My Life, by Jack Gantos

A Step From Heaven, by An Na
The Ropemaker, by Peter Dickinson
Heart to Heart: New Poems Inspired by Twentieth-Century American Art, by Jan Greenberg
Abrams Freewill, by Chris Lynch
True Believer, by Virginia Euwer Wolff

Kit’s Wilderness, by David Almond
Many Stones, by Carolyn Coman
The Body of Christopher Creed, by Carol Plum-Ucci
Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging: Confessions of Georgia Nicolson, by Louise Rennison
Stuck in Neutral, by Terry Trueman

Monster, by Walter Dean Myers
Skellig, by David Almond
Speak, by Laurie Halse Anderson
Hard Love, by Ellen Wittlinger

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Book Thief (Reread)

Author: Markus Zusak
Originally published : 2006
Length: 552 pages
Awards: Printz Honor Book Award, National Jewish Book Award,
Book Sense Book of the Year Award for Children's Literature
Personal Enjoyment Rating: 5/5

Amazon Rating: 4.5/5 (537 Customer Reviews)
Goodreads: 19,585 ratings, 4.52 average rating

If you've read this already, you'll understand the format! Whether you've read it or not, you'll probably detect a bit of gushing:

It takes a little while to get used to the rhythm of the writing and to get used to the narration by death, but KEEP GOING. It will all be worth it.

All five members of my book club enjoyed this book.

“A human doesn't have a heart like mine. The human heart is a line, whereas my own is a circle, and I have the endless ability to be in the right place at the right time...Humans, if nothing else, have the good sense to die.” (Death speaking)

Genius: a person endowed with transcendent mental superiority

Markus Zusak = Genius

Read slowly and savor each word.

I have notes on The Book Thief here in which I gush even more.

Since I didn't really say much about the book, here are some other reviews of The Book Thief:

Maw Books Blog
In the Shadow of Mt. TBR
Five Minutes for Books
The Bluestocking Society
Trish's Reading Nook
Becky's Book Reviews
Rebecca Reads
The Hidden Side of a Leaf
What KT Reads
Bloggin' Bout Books
The Library Queue
Things Mean a Lot
Jules' Book Reviews

I'm sure I'm missing a ton of reviews--if you have one, give me the link!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pulitzer Prize Winners

Rose City Reader is inviting anyone who is working on reading all of the Pulitzer Prize winners to add a link to a page with her progress. If you'd like to add yours, visit here. I haven't read very many (in bold) , but there are a lot of these I hope to get to soon:

2008 - The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Diaz)
2007 - The Road (McCarthy)
2006 - March (Brooks)
2005 - Gilead (Robinson)
2004 - The Known World (Jones)
2003 - Middlesex (Eugenides)
2002 - Empire Falls (Russo)
2001 - The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay (Chabon)
2000 - The Interpreter of Maladies (Lahiri)
1999 - The Hours (Cunningham)
1998 - American Pastoral (Roth)
1997 - Martin Dressler: The Tale of an American Dreamer (Millhauser)
1996 - Independence Day (Ford)
1995 - The Stone Diaries (Shields)
1994 - The Shipping News (Proulx)
1993 - A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain (Butler)
1992 - A Thousand Acres (Smiley)
1991 - Rabbit at Rest (Updike)
1990 - The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (Hijuelos)
1989 - Breathing Lessons (Tyler)
1988 - Beloved (Morrison)
1987 - A Summons to Memphis (Taylor)
1986 - Lonesome Dove (McMurtry)
1985 - Foreign Affairs (Lurie)
1984 - Ironweed (Kennedy)
1983 - The Color Purple (Walker)
1982 - Rabbit is Rich (Updike)
1981 - A Confederacy of Dunces (Toole)
1980 - The Executioner’s Song (Mailer)
1979 - The Stories of John Cheever (Cheever)
1978 - Elbow Room (McPherson)
1977 - None given
1976 - Humboldt’s Gift (Bellow)
1975 - The Killer Angels (Shaara)
1974 - None given
1973 - The Optimist’s Daughter (Welty)
1972 - Angle of Repose (Stegner)
1971 - None given
1970 - Collected Stories by Jean Stafford (Stafford)
1969 - House Made of Dawn (Momaday)
1968 - The Confessions of Nat Turner (Styron)
1967 - The Fixer (Malamud)
1966 - Collected Stories by Katherine Anne Porter (Porter)
1965 - The Keepers Of the House (Grau)
1964 - None given
1963 - The Reivers (Faulkner)
1962 - The Edge of Sadness (Edwin O’Connor)
1961 - To Kill a Mockingbird (Lee)
1960 - Advise and Consent (Drury)
1959 - The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters (Taylor)
1958 - A Death in the Family (Agee)
1957 - None
1956 - Andersonville (Kantor)
1955 - A Fable (Faulkner)
1954 - None
1953 - The Old Man and the Sea (Hemingway)
1952 - The Caine Mutiny (Wouk)
1951 - The Town (Richter)
1950 - The Way West (Guthrie)
1949 - Guard of Honor (Cozzens)
1948 - Tales of the South Pacific (Michener)
1947 - All the King’s Men (Warren)
1946 - None
1945 - Bell for Adano (Hersey)
1944 - Journey in the Dark (Flavin)
1943 - Dragon’s Teeth I (Sinclair)
1942 - In This Our Life (Glasgow)
1941 - None
1940 - The Grapes of Wrath (Steinbeck)
1939 - The Yearling (Rawlings)
1938 - The Late George Apley (Marquand)
1937 - Gone with the Wind (Mitchell)
1936 - Honey in the Horn (Davis)
1935 - Now in November (Johnson)
1934 - Lamb in His Bosom (Miller)
1933 - The Store (Stribling)
1932 - The Good Earth (Buck)
1931 - Years of Grace (Barnes)
1930 - Laughing Boy (Lafarge)
1929 - Scarlet Sister Mary (Peterkin)
1928 - The Bridge of San Luis Rey (Wilder)
1927 - Early Autumn (Bromfield)
1926 - Arrowsmith (Lewis)
1925 - So Big (Ferber)
1924 - The Able McLauglins (Wilson)
1923 - One of Ours (Cather)
1922 - Alice Adams (Tarkington)
1921 - The Age of Innocence (Wharton)
1920 - None
1919 - The Magnificent Ambersons (Tarkington)
1918 - His Family (Poole)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Brit Lit Chick Flicks, etc.

From North and South based on Elizabeth Gaskell's novel of the same name--my very favorite!

I definitely have reviews to get to, but I thought I would share one of my obsessions--Brit Lit Chick Flicks. I have this on the sidebar of another blog to keep track of the ones I've seen, but I thought I would share it here as well. I've seen these over quite a few years, and not all are technically Brit Lit--some are period pieces of another time or place.
I have by the title in parenthesis the year it was made, since often there is more than one production of a particular title, and then my rating; and they should all have links to imdb:

The Remains of the Day (1993) 5/5
Howards End (1992) 4.5/5
Wuthering Heights (1992) 3.5/5
Mansfield Park (1999) 4/5
David Copperfield (1999) 5/5
Pride and Prejudice (2005) 5/5
Pride and Prejudice (1995) 5/5
Sense and Sensibility (1995) 5/5
Jane Eyre (2006) 4/5
Jane Eyre (1996) 4.5/5
Jane Eyre (1997) 3/5
Persuasion (1995) 3/5
Oliver Twist (2005) 4/5
Tess (1980) 3/5
Return of the Native (1994) 3/5
The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) 5/5
Ivanhoe (1997) 4/5
The Woodlanders (1997) 4.5/5
Tristan and Isolde (2006) 4/5
The American (1998) 4/5

Daniel Deronda (2002) 5/5
North and South (2004) 5/5
Middlemarch (1994) 5/5
Falling for a Dancer (1998) 4.5/5
Elizabeth I: The Virgin Queen (2005) 4/5
Vanity Fair (1998) 4.5/5
Henry VIII(2003) 4/5
Napoleon (2002) 4/5
Wives and Daughters (1999) 4.5/5
Emma (1996, Gwyneth) 4.5/5
Emma (1996, Kate) 4/5
The Way We Live Now (2001) 4.5/5
The Forsyte Saga (2002) 4.5/5
The Great Gatsby (2000) 3/5
Great Expectations (1998) 3/5
Under the Greenwood Tree (2006) 4/5
The Mayor of Casterbridge (2001) 4/5
The Painted Veil (2006) 5/5
The House of Mirth (2000) 4/5
Dr. Zhivago (2002) 3.5/5
Bleak House (2005) 5/5
Victoria and Albert (2001) 3/5
Becoming Jane (2007) 5/5
Amazing Grace (2006) 4/5
Aristocrats (1999) 2/5
Elizabeth: The Golden Age (2007) 4/5
The Other Boleyn Girl (2008) 4/5
Nicholas Nickleby (2002) 4/5
Northanger Abbey (2007) 3/5

Does anyone else have this same obsession? Which are your favorite Brit Lit Chick Flicks/period pieces? I'm always looking for good ones.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Read Together 2009

Jennifer of Snapshot is hosting the Read Together Event. Here's a little bit of a description from her blog:

Read Together is a challenge to use reading as a way to connect with your kids. I am inviting each of you to set a specific goal in regards to reading with your child(ren).

And what's a challenge without prizes? We will have at least two. I have been offered a really great book for review called What to Read When: The Books and Stories to Read with Your Child--and All the Best Times to Read Them. For another reader I will purchase your next read-aloud book -- anything up to $2o that is available at amazon.

So--think of a concrete goal that you can fulfill in the month of April. You can spread the word on your own sites if you want. Then on April 1, I'll have a Mr. Linky here where you can link up your post stating your goal. The last week of April, I'll have another Linky for you to post your goals (and perhaps just for fun, a goal for next month).

For more info and sign-ups, click here.

Here are my goals for the month for each of my children:

7-year-old daughter: I've been reading her one book everyday, and she's been reading one book to me. We'll bump it up to two each, maybe at two different times of day so she doesn't get to wiggly.

9-year-old daughter: We read together every night--she reads one page, and I read one page. Right now we're reading Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man, so I think we'll just continue with that.

12-year-old son: I think I'm done reading out loud to him, so we're going to read Larklight at the same time and then talk about it and write a post about it sometime in April.

14-year-old daughter: I get quite the look when I suggest she and I read the same book. I told her I would read anything she picked, and she just laughed wickedly and hasn't picked anything. All the more reason to savor the excitement of the younger ones. We have both read the Uglies series and Twilight, so I don't know what the big deal is. Whatever!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Twittering and Blogging

I've been stretching my brain a little this evening:

I've joined Twitter. To be honest my main motivation was so that I could get extra entries for give-aways!! If you are a Tweeter (or whatever you call it--I don't know the proper jargon as of yet), I invite you to follow--you can just click on the little bird to the left. I don't think the hosts of giveaways are going to think much of my tweeting if I only have a few followers! Oh, I should mention that now that I'm on, I think it's pretty cool. I will probably update thoughts on what I'm reading, and who knows what else. I don't know exactly what I'm doing yet, but it doesn't seem too hard. And if you don't want to follow me on Twitter, that's alright--I'm just happy you have visited me here!

I also started a new blog, No Such Thing as a Free Lunch, dedicated to posting about giveaways that I have entered and celebrations over free or really cheap things I might acquire. This may be a passing phase, but I've done a fair amount of entering into book giveaways as well as a few non-literary ones lately. I'm particularly drawn to cleaning product giveaways, which is shocking if you could see the state of my house right now. So if you want updates on some contests out there, you can visit and become a follower or subscribe. Again, I am shamelessly trying to boost my chances in giveaways. (I really wanted to win Galway Bay in one of the gazillion contests for it, but no such luck!)
I've only got one post up so far which is for the National Poetry Month Giveaway at Drey's Library. Six poetry books!