Sunday, January 31, 2010

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

Genre: classic, gothic romance, historical
FTC Disclosure: Bought along time ago in an unremembered bookstore...
Published: 1847
Pages: 488
Content: PG for adult themes
Reading Challenges: All About the Brontes Challenge, A to Z Challenge (Title J), Gilmore Girls Challenge

One Line Summary: Tragic, beautiful, and romantic, a classic!

I love this book! It's one of my all-time favorites. It resonated so well with me when I first read it as a teenager. How to be true to yourself, independent, and make the best of your life no matter the circumstances. And of course, the romance between Mr. Rochester and Jane was so beautiful. I wanted someone to love me like that one day!

I love how she was able to stand up for herself to Mrs. Reed her cruel aunt, the evil Mr. Brocklehurst, her self-righteous and controlling cousin St. John, and even her beloved Mr. Rochester when he would have her go against her moral fiber.

It was wonderful to learn more about Charlotte and her life and how much shows up in her novel. It made this reread even better!

Rating: 5/5

Friday, January 29, 2010

Things i LOVE Friday

Not being sick anymore

receiving blogger awards!

seeing Sherlock Holmes

scoring four points in my basketball game!

the X-files


Thursday, January 28, 2010

TV Thursday- Reality TV

I've been watching The Biggest Loser this year, my first year of actually watching this show, and it got me thinking about reality TV. I'm not a huge fan...I don't watch Survivor or any of the dating shows. The only ones I really love are the aforementioned and The Amazing Race. They seem more real to me, though, I know reality TV is never really with Survivor...really? They have camera crews everywhere and a medical helicopter to whisk them away should anything really serious happen. I guess it's about human drama that draws us in. Overall, not a hug fan except for these two.

And ones like The Bachelor are just so ridiculous and degrading to all involved, in my opinion. At least non reality TV doesn't make a claim to be realistic. So thus my displeasure with most of reality TV.

What about you, do you watch reality TV? If so, what ones? If you don't like reality TV why not?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Genre: historical fiction, romance, epistolary
FTC Disclosure: Bought from
Published: 2008
Pages: 274
Content: PG for adult themes and war imagery.
Reading Challenge: A to Z Challenge (Title G)

Summary: January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….

As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.

Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society’s members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
Thoughts: First was beautiful, fun, romantic, sad, hopeful, and captivating. This is my second epistolary novel and I love them. The authors weaved a beautiful story all from letters. Letters convey such a different feels so personal, like these people actually exist and we're sneaking in on their personal lives by reading their letters. It was like coming across some old letters of my grandmother's in the upstairs attic (don't have an attic, but you get the point!).

We learn all about Guernsey island during the German occupation of World War II. I'm sure I learned at some point that some part of England was occupied, but if I did it never stuck...I had no idea that these islands had been taken by Germany. It was a new experience for me to learn how some of our allies fared during the War. What makes it even more poignant is we learn about these experiences from people that we come to love and care about in the novel. So when they laugh, we laugh; when they cry, we cry.

If you haven't read this one, do! Pick it up! You won't be sorry!

Rating: 5/5!!!

Monday, January 25, 2010

5 Word Weekly Movie Wrap-up

10 Things I Hate About You (1999): Aussie boy tames the Kat!

Sherlock Holmes (2009): Buffed up Holmes and Watson!

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001): Legolas walks softly on snow.

 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002): Frodo bears fate of world.

The Gilmore Girls Season One (2000-2001): Mom, daughter are best friends.

Atonement (2007): One mistake costs two lives.

(500) Days of Summer (2009): Love is a journey to...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Genre: young adult
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from brother in law
Published: 1993
Pages: 208
Content: PG for adult themes.
Reading Challenges: 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge, A to Z Challenge (Author L)

I really wanted to like this one too...I enjoy the dystopia type society and what could be world. I was into this about the first 50 pages or so and then the rest of the book just left me feeling bleh. It's been done before and better with A Brave New World, 1984, and Fahrenheit 451. (with the first two, so I've been told, but with Fahrenheit definitely.)

I got the feeling throughout the last half of the book that she was telling me what was good and what was bad and how I should feel. Like with The Adoration of Jenna Fox I want these types of books to lay out the questions and themes without answering them for me.

I can see why people enjoy this book; it's horrific and kind of thrusts the creepiness and icky factor upon you with a sense of relief that you're sure glad your life isn't like this...but it just answered for me instead letting me answer for myself. I guess it's an OK read if you don't try to take too many things from it, but I know Lowry was trying to teach here and thus my displeasure.

Rating: 2/5

The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson

Genre: young adult
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from library
Published: 2008
Pages: (Hardback) 266
Content: PG for adult themes.
Reading Challenges: 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge, A to Z Challenge (author P)

Summary: Who is Jenna Fox?

Seventeen-year-old Jenna has been told that is her name. She has just awoken from a year-long coma, and she's still recovering from the terrible accident that caused it. Her parents show her home movies of her life, her memories, but she has no recollection. Is she really the same girl she sees on the screen?

Little by little, Jenna begins to remember. Along with the memories come questions—questions no one wants to answer for her. What really happened after the accident?

This was loaded with lots of themes on what it is to be human, life, religion, souls, and the ethics of science and how it can add to or take away our lives.

Pearson explores the issues and ideas pretty well throughout the book with Jenna and those around her, but her ending ruined it for me. She ended up telling us what was right, what was the best choice.

Let us decide for ourselves, make us think, but don't tell us what to think or feel.

Rating: 2/5

Thursday, January 21, 2010

TV Thursday- TV on DVD

What TV shows do you own? Are there any shows that aren't on DVD yet that you want?

I think TV on DVD is the greatest thing since sliced bread! I'm slowly gathering my favorite shows of old and new onto my DVD shelf!!!

I have all of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the X-Files. I really want all of the Star Trek and its respective spin-offs eventually. I am collecting as I go...Bones, Fringe, House, Medium, and Numbers...

I just never imagined as a kid I would one day be able to own those special shows on DVD! Yes, definitely the greatest thing since sliced bread!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Wondrous Words Wednesday

Wondrous Words Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Bermudaonion's Weblog where we share new (to us) words that we’ve encountered in our reading.  If you want to play along, grab the button, and join the fun!  (Don’t forget to leave a link in the comments if you’re participating.)

From Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

1. p.138 " haughty a reliance, on the power of other qualities, intrinsic or adventitious, to atone for the lack of..."

Not inherent but added extrinsically.
ORIGIN: From Latin adventīcius, foreign, from adventus, arrival

2. p.140 "I have plenty of faults of my own: I know it, and I don't wish to palliate them.

To relieve or lessen without curing; mitigate; alleviate.
ORIGIN: 1540–50; from Latin palliātus cloaked, covered.

3. p.142 "Now, when any vicious simpleton excites my disgust by his paltry ribaldry..."

Vulgar, lewdly humorous language or joking or an instance of it.
ORIGIN: 1300–50; From Middle English ribaudrie from Old French.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa

Genre: contemporary fiction, Japanese
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from library
Published: 2003 
Pages: 180
Content: PG for adult themes.
Reading Challenge: A to Z (by author O)

A housekeeper goes to work for an elderly man whose memory resets to 1975 after 80 minutes. The professor has a gazillion notes on his suit to help him remember or at least know about things that have happened, such as the most important note he sees every morning: Memory lasts only 80 minutes.

He's a professor of mathematics and as such he only relates to the world through numbers. The housekeeper tries to relate to the professor by learning about his world of numbers and Ogawa lets us begin our own math journey along with the housekeeper, complete with equations and real world connections.

How does the housekeeper and her son form a relationship with the professor when he can never remember them the next day? Ogawa explores what it really means to love others and how we hold onto those relationships even when it seems impossible to do so.

There are so many layers to this novel and many will find their own treasures here.

Rating: 4/5

Monday, January 18, 2010

Monday Movie Meme- Appreciation

Feature Presentation...

Hosted by Molly and Andy at The Bumbles Blog

This week is all about movies that took you a few more viewings to appreciate, whether it was because the movies were so layered with meaning it took a few times to unlayer them or maybe it took a few viewings to actually enjoy the film and I find its meaning.

This was a toughy for me. Some of the ones that have been mentioned like Pulp Fiction or Usual Suspects I've only seen once so I can't use those....or maybe one of those movies that you thought you'd like but didn't think you'd love so much that you'd watch consistently every day for a week...

1. Tommy Boy (1995): I hated this movie the first time I saw it. I don't really know why; I just can't remember, but someone convinced me to get it another go and I just cracked up the whole time and is now a classic of comedy for me. Classic lines such as: "Does this tie make me look fat?" "No. You're face does."

2. The Fugitive (1993): This one looked like an awesome flick when it first came out with Harrison Ford on the run...little did I know that I would become obsessed with said flick. I think I dragged my family to this show (or made them take me since I was only 13 at the time) to watch a gazillion times in the theater. I remember telling my mom: "I think this is its last week, let's go see it one last time." My mom rolled her eyes, sighed and said: "Ok, this is the last time!" Plus we get those awesome one liners from Tommy Lee Jones such as: "I don't bargain." or Harrison Ford: "I didn't kill my wife." Tommy Lee: "I don't care!"

3. Silverado (1985): This was the film my ninth grade English teacher focused on to teach us a bit about film. We ended up going to the local theater afterward on a film trip to see it. This where I learned all about cue dots up on the right corner of the screen and I still notice them in every film I see at the theater....anyway, I chose this one because I thought I would hate it since it's a western and I'm not a big western fan, but I was blown out of the water with all of the performances in this one. It's an all-star cast and nobody disappoints. Kevin Costner actually looks like he's enjoying himself and having fun in this film! He smiles and smiles a lot. So it's one I keep around and always seem to enjoy more and more after each viewing!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

MLK & Black History Month Mini Reading Challenge

I would like to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Black History month by reading some related materials.

My list includes: 

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson

As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight...for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.

I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr. by Michael Eric Dyson

Dyson peels away the superficial image of King the man to reveal a complex human being whose work was far from finished or totally understood. "In the last thirty years we have trapped King in romantic images or frozen his legacy in worship," he writes. "I seek to rescue King from his admirers and deliver him from his foes." To that end, Dyson takes aim at neoconservatives like Shelby Steele, who spin King's multiracial dreams into a right-wing call to end affirmative action, and goes after black militants who thought King was "soft" and overlooked the power of his "black radical Christianity." He also criticizes the government's co-opting of King's philosophy in a holiday, as well as what he calls the King family's well-meaning, but destructive, attempts to protect King's legacy. Dyson forces us to accept King for all of his faults--including plagiarism and womanizing--but more importantly allows us to see a real human being who rose to the height of humanity. --Eugene Holley, Jr.

Yes, I am co opting the holiday of Martin Luther and Black History month for my own nefarious ends. But that's why I'm reading this book, to help open up my eyes and see King as he was and how he would want to be remembered.

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs

This autobiographical account by a former slave is one of the few extant narratives written by a woman. Written and published in 1861, it delivers a powerful portrayal of the brutality of slave life. Jacobs speaks frankly of her master's abuse and her eventual escape, in a tale of dauntless spirit and faith.

A Testament of Hope: The Essential Writings and Speeches of Martin Luther King, Jr. Edited by James M. Washington

I may add a few more, but for now this is a good start...granted I won't be able to read all of the writings of Martin Luther King, Jr. but I hope to get a good sampling in!

This challenge is really for myself to keep me motivated and accountable and a place to ramble about my discoveries...but feel free to join in if you want to and grab the button and link back here. This will run through til the end of February! Wish me luck!

Books by Author


Books by Title

Adoration of Jenna Fox, The by Mary Pearson (2/5) 
Affinity Bridge, The by George Mann (2/5) 

Break No Bones by Kathy Reichs (3/5)

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler (2/5)




Forest of Hands and Teeth, The by Carrie Ryan (4/5)
Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe by Fannie Flagg (4/5) 

Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, The by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows (4/5)

Hunger Games, The by Suzanne Collins (4/5)
Hush by Donna Napoli (2/5)  

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs (4/5)

Intimations of Austen by Jane Greensmith (5/5)
I May Not Get There With You: The True Martin Luther King, Jr. by Michael Eric Dyson (4/5)

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (5/5)
Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford (2/5)
Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (5/5)




Mark, The by Jen Nadol (4/5)
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange (3/5)
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins (3/5) 

Never Slow Dance With a Zombie by E. Van Lowe (4/5)
North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell (4/5)
North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley (5/5) 

Only Milo by Barry Smith (4/5)

Private Diary of Mr. Darcy, The by Maya Slater (2/5)


Relentless by Dean Koontz (3/5)

Remarkably Jane: Notable Quotations on Jane Austen by Jennifer Adams (4/5)

Rude Awakenings of a Jane Austen Addict by Laurie Viera Rigler (3/5)

Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow (3/5)
Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George (5/5)
Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, The by Alan Bradley (3.5/5)
Sworn to Silence by Linda Castillo (3/5) 

Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (3/5)

Violet Wings by Victoria Hanley (3/5)


Saturday, January 16, 2010

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest

Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Steampunk, sci-fi, alternate history
Published: 2009
Pages: 414
FTC Disclosure: bought from Dragons and Fairytales
Content: PG-13 for zombie violence and some mild swearing with no f-bombs

This book was fantastic! I was hooked from the start with images of Seattle walled up and streaming with zombies and a zombie-turning gas, airships and air pirates and the Civil War going on forever in the East. Even the ink on the page is in a sepia type ink so it makes you feel even more apart of the world she has created.

Briar Wilkes and her son live on the Outskirts of the walled up Seattle and struggling to make a living...see it was her husband Dr. Blue that created the Boneshaker that caused the terrible destruction to Seattle and the people within. But her son Zeke wants to know more about his father and maybe even to clear his name so he sneaks inside the wall one night hoping to find the evidence he needs. Things never go as planned and it's up to his mother Briar to rescue him.

And of course, along the way they meet all sorts of characters good and bad and zombies. The book starts with Briar and Zeke together and once they get separated a different chapter is devoted to each and leads us up to where they's pretty clever.

It's an intriguing story whether or not you are a sci-fi's fast and engrossing and enjoyed every minute of it! Cherie Priest, I want more!

Rating: 5/5!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Things i LOVE Friday

Hosted by Midnight Cowgirl at The Fashion Planner!

Boneshaker by Cherie Priest


cough drops


free family babysitters

the Internet

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Reading Level: Young Adult 
Genre: paranormal, romance
Pages: audio book format
FTC Disclosure: borrowed from library
Rating: 3/5
Content: One implied sex scene, just a few swear words, no f-bombs
Reading Challenges: A to Z Challenge (author-M), 2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge

For years, Grace has watched the wolves in the woods behind her house. One yellow-eyed wolf--her wolf--is a chilling presence she can't seem to live without. Meanwhile, Sam has lived two lives: In winter, the frozen woods, the protection of the pack, and the silent company of a fearless girl. In summer, a few precious months of being human . . . until the cold makes him shift back again.

Now, Grace meets a yellow-eyed boy whose familiarity takes her breath away. It's her wolf. It has to be. But as winter nears, Sam must fight to stay human--or risk losing himself, and Grace, forever.

My Take:  I went back and forth on this one throughout...two stars...2 and a half...then back to two. I thought it was all right, overall I enjoyed it, but it wasn't my favorite. It took awhile to get to the plot. It started off with Grace and Sam just mooning over each other without a lot of action. The series is about give me some action, a plot.

The action never got too exciting, though, which was really disappointing. Just when you thought it was going to get good, it ended way too fast; it was very anti-climatic.

Grace and Sam seemed a bit too obsessed with each other...but compared to Twilight they were pretty normal! So there were a few cheesy lines to each other, but the author did manage to create a feeling of coldness throughout the book so that's pretty impressive.

Also Grace didn't go catatonic after she thought she lost Sam...she still had a life with school and friends, etc...unlike another certain character I know...

But it felt like another Twilight knockoff and why do YA novels have to get rid of the parents? They are either dead, took off, or just uninvolved and/or clueless. Well, Grace's padres are both uninvolved and clueless and Sam's tried to kill him....

But it was relatively clean and pretty well-written and the ending makes me want to pick up the next in the series.

A note about the audio book version: I thought it was done pretty well, the actors were great, but the voice for Sam was too old. He sounded in his mid to late thirties when Sam is supposed to be a teenager so that was a bit annoying...just a heads up!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Monday Movie Meme and 5 Word Weekly Movie Wrap-up

Feature Presentation...

Hosted by the Molly and Andy @The Bumbles Blog
This week is all about MONSTERS, whether they be good or they be bad ones!

1. Legend (1985): One of my faves as a kid...with the evil devil played by Tim Curry!

2. Jaws (1975): Sharks have always freaked me out!

3. Evolution (2001): Crazy microbe aliens that turn anyplace into their own livable eco-system!

4. Monster Squad (1987): All of the old horror classics come to live in this one!

5 Word Weekly Movie Wrap-up

1. French Kiss (1995): "...You...make my ass twitch..."

2.Tommy Boy (1995): funny, hilarious..."are you talking?"

3. Music Within (2007): American Disabilities Act becomes law! 
(This was filmed at Portland State University while I was attending there...there's a scene at the beginning of the movie where the main character is in a blue suit and walking across the lawn to his car...the building on the far right was where I was in class at that same moment this scene was being filmed! The camera crew kept yelling at us to get out of window....but we didn' can't see us but we're there in the window of the second story!)

4. Sense and Sensibility (1995): Hugh Grant, Alan Rickman, Hotties!

5. Sahara (2005): Steve Zahn, awesomest sidekick ever!