Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Month in Review - February

February I challenged myself to read from my Nook and try to avoid paper books. I think I did quite well. I finished reading Nachtstürm Castle: A Gothic Austen Novel by Emily C.A. Snyder and I really liked it. So if you happen to read this post and read Northanger Abbey I suggest you give this book a try. After reading it I'm now tempted to read The Mysteries of Udolpho, by Ann Radcliffe.

I got Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer and only got a few pages into it, it just wasn't capturing my attention. I'm not giving up on the book, I'm just putting it off for awhile. I'm going to try to pick it back up later this year to see if I can read it, (I really want to!).

This last week I got the newest J.D. Robb book in at the library so there was no putting off reading that for a week so I started and finished it in a few days and got back to The Apothecary's Daughter by Julie Klassen.

I read six ebooks this month:
and started the Apothecary's Daughter by Juile Klassen

I finished two regular books:
  • Nachtsturm Castle by Emily C. A. Snyder
  • Celebrity in Death by J.D. Robb

I Listened to two audio books:
  • Women, Food, and Good by Geneen Roth
  • Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen Degeneres
and started Texas! Chase by Sandra Brown

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Jane Austen Quote

I was cleaning out my gmail when I came across and email I sent to myself that contained a partial line from Jane's Juveniliastory Catharine or the Bower.
...for what after all is Youth and Beauty? Why in fact, it is nothing more than being Young and Handsome - and that It is a poor substitute for real worth & Merit;

I think it's great that we have examples of writing by any author that shows the changes they make to works while they are in the process of writing them. I happen to like the line she crossed out and wonder what her reasoning was for crossing it out.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Book (Movie) Trailer Thursday - A. LINCOLN: VAMPIRE HUNTER


I saw this over at EarlyWord and I have to say, I'm intrigued. I didn't read the book and I probably won't read the book but there is a good chance I'll go see the movie. Normally I like to read the book but I honestly have no desire to read this book. I read a one and a quarter of these mash-up books and just couldn't get into them.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February Book Club

For February our meeting fell on Valentine's Day. We all decided we would still meet and a suggestion came up that we read a Harlequin book. We decided that each of us would pick a different title based on our likes. We had a suspense, one with a Greek Billionaire, a baby mystery and cowboys. My pick was The Major and the Librarian by Nikki Benjamin.

For four years Major Sam Griffin had stayed away from Serenity, Texas, gruffly avoiding the fact that he was still heart-achingly in love with the woman who had almost married his brother.

Now home on leave, the devastatingly handsome pilot had to face beautiful Emma Dalton again. And though there was unmistakable yearning in her eyes, Sam could never put down the roots he knew the shy librarian so strongly craved. When Sam finally had the chance to win the heart of the woman he'd always loved, could he convince Emma that her home would always be where he was? (from Goodreads)

This book should only be like a 4 star, but because the librarian wasn't a stereotyped character it got that extra star! I really liked the story and the characters were all likable. I really loved that she wasn't the stereotyped stuffy librarian and she had to go through some transformation to get the guy, there were no Dewey jokes, or anything like that. She was a librarian, it was her job, it didn't define her! Nikki Benjamin rocks in my book because of that!

That's the review I wrote on Goodreads and I started to think to myself about why I rate books the way I do. Normally it's just how I felt at the end of reading the book, but that's not always a good rating of how the book stacked up to others I've read. As I reviewed this one I realized that there are 5 things I look for in a book.

  1. Characters - I need to feel a connection to the main characters.  I need to care enough about them to feel invested in the story.
  2. Plot - Simply, was it a good story?  Did I read everything or was I skimming along?
  3. Setting/Accuracy - If the book is set in Regency England is the language correct?  If referencing a certain historical even or person is it an accurate account? There's nothing more annoying that reading along and finding a mistake that with a little research could easily have been fixed.
  4. Genre - If I'm reading a romance, was there romance?  If I'm reading a mystery am I really intrigued or did I figure it out in the first chapter?
  5. That extra something - Does that story have an extra little something?  Is there a secondary character that makes my day, or a sub-storyline that adds a nice flare to the main storyline?  Just something that makes this story stand out. 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Trailer Thursday: Talking with My Mouth Full

Book Trailer of the Day: Talking with My Mouth Full
I found this book trailer in my Shelf Awareness newsletter on Feb. 2. It's for Gail Simmons' new book Talking with my Mouth Full: My Life as a Professional Eater. This book is going on my TBR list!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

In honor of Valentine's Day I'm going to share Captain Wentworth's letter today. I have great love for the Captain and an even greater love of this letter.

“I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own than when you almost broke it, eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone, I think and plan. Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice when they would be lost on others. Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice, indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating, in F. W.

I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look, will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.”
― Jane Austen, Persuasion

Then today I read this article (I can't remember who shared it but thanks!) Valentine's Day: The 10 best love letters - Celebrate Valentine's Day with this rundown of passionate outpourings across the centuries, as chosen by Andrea Clarke, author and British Library curator from The Guardian

It includes shared love from Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Charlotte Bronte, and Oscar Wilde. My favorite is Elizabeth Barrett Browning's XLIII.

How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of everyday's
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints,--I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life!--and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

If only I could find a love like this. He would write me a letter like Captain Wentworth and I would reply with a poem like Elizabeth.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

#Superbookbowl for the Win

Shelf-Awareness is a newsletter/website that I love, it's all about books and the book industry. On Monday, after the Super Bowl, the following article was in the news letter. I loved it and just had to share it with those few people who read this blog.

There was another game going on last evening, too. It was the #Superbookbowl on Twitter, started by @MissLiberty, who kicked off with, "Garcia Marquez just sacked Vargas Llosa!" Others immediately chimed in. Some highlights of the game:

@peterdamien Harper Lee had that brilliant pass in the first quarter, but has remained on the bench for the rest of the game so far.

@AdamBertocci: As a New Yorker, I _should_ support my home team, but I scanned and found a cheaper team on Amazon.

@MissLiberty Man, George R. R. Martin takes a really long time before he throws the ball.

@allshiny Looks like Kafka just gave up. He's lying on his back waving his legs in the air...

@CrownPublishing: Flag on the field--Stieg Larsson called for unnecessary roughness

@EmperorFranzen @jenniferweiner and @jodipicoult are complaining about the coverage NBC is giving the male players. #yawn

@writer_not Orwell asserts that all quarterbacks are equal, but some are more equal than others.

@MissLiberty The Authors call a time out--Houellebecq is missing. Wait, hold on--they have located him. He was at the beer cart.

@EvilWylie "This game is extremely loud and incredibly close." --commentator Jonathan Safran Foer

@jefe23 Book of Eli
#Superbookbowl for the Win

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Blind Date with a Book

Last year I put together a book display called Blind Date with a Book.  I found the idea through another librarian's post and thought it was great.  Last year I wrapped 19 books and 15 books were checked out.  We asked that people reviewed the book but unfortunately only two people returned reviews.
Last year's books included:

  • In the Hot Zone by Kevin Sites
  • Night by Elie Wiesel
  • Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon by Daivd Michaels
  • Macbeth by Shakespear
  • A Million Little Pieces by James Frey
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel
  • An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore
  • Under the Dome by Stephen King
  • Lawless by Nora Roberts
  • The Sinatra Files by Tom Kuntz
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Dante Club by Matthew Pearl
  • Ford County by John Grisham
  • The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
  • The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
  • A Beautiful Mind by Sylvia Nasar
  • Hide & Seek by James Patterson
  • A Vintage Affair by Isabel Wolf
  • Gorgeous East by Robert Girardi
Most of these books were ones that I either had read or wanted to read. But I noticed people picked books based on sizes, Under the Dome sat on the shelf all month, it was just too big I guess.

I'm trying again this year!

The "rules" are the same.  You won't know what book you get until you check it out and we're asking you to review your date and let us know how it went.

These are the books I have wrapped right now, and if you can tell by the display, one book has already been checked out.  This year I tried to find books that all looked about average size.

  • Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand 
  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks 
  • Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison 
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • The Lover’s Knot by Clare O’Donohue 
  • The Measure of a Man by Sidney Poitier
  • Martin Luther King Jr. by Marshall Frady
  • Sleep with the Fishes by Brian M. Wiprud
  • Blockade Billy by Stephen King
I'll be wrapping more books as these get checked out.

Edit 2/6/13:
Since this post is still getting a lot of traffic click here for a list of newer displays

Friday, February 3, 2012

The Month Ahead - February

Here's what I have planned for this month:

This months Book Club pick is a Harlequin Romance. I'll be reading The Major and the Librarian by Nikki Benjamin.

I realized that I haven't touched my Nook in at least a month, possibly more. So for February I'm going to try to knock out some of the books that have been sitting on there unread for a long while. While that is my plan, I'll be finishing up Nachtstürm Castle: A Gothic Austen Novel by Emily C.A. Snyder and I just got Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. Otherwise it'll be all e-books starting with my book club pick.