Saturday, June 30, 2007

EnnaVic's selections

1. Anne of Green Gables - L.M. Montgomery.
My mother once, and only once, suggested that I was named after the fictional Anne. I also have freckles and felt much the same about them as a child as Anne does! And like her I was a bit of a rough and tumble type girl. To my great regret I didn't get her gorgeous hair to go with the freckles though. (F)

2. Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K. Jerome.
At the moment my life seems consumed by boats, with the America's Cup being raced, quite different from the boat in this book mind you. I have 3 kids and we read to them every night - this book was one I was read as a child and I remember it very fondly. I have plans to read it to my kids in the next year or so. (NF)

3. The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd.
I grew up in an urban family that made it's own soap (the very traditional way with lye and rendered fat off meat) and bread, and had a vege garden as well as growing 15+ types of fruit (on a 1/4 acre section), as well as having a beehive or two for honey. One day I will have a beehive as well, although since the varroa mite made it to New Zealand this is much more problematic than it used to be. This book is really there mostly because of the title and it is one I have wanted to read for a while. (F)

4. Penguin History of New Zealand - Michael King.
Michael King died in a car accident not long after this was published and I don't think knew how completely well received it was. I am a New Zealander and belong nowhere else in the world. I have an interest in our history and this book has been on my to read list for a long time. (NF)

5. Baden-Powell by Tim Jeal - The definitive biography of Baden-Powell the man who founded Scouting and Guiding. I am a guide leader and have been for around 20 years. I have read this biography before but not for a while, but remember it as a warts and all version of B-P's life, and as I would prefer to read an honest account about a real individual, rather than one about a man set on a pedestal, I want to read it again. Even with his quirks he was a remarkable man and his legacy has impacted on my life in a huge way. Next year is the 100th anniversary of Guiding in New Zealand so it seems like a good time to re-visit. (NF)


Just for interest - other books I considered:

Scoop - Evelyn Waugh

Under the Mountain - Maurice Gee

In search of Van Gogh - Kenneth Wilkie

Tulip fever- Deborah Moggach

Walter: The Story of a Rat - Barbara Wersba

The Mysterious Benedict Society - Trenton Lee Stewart

The Court of the Last Tsar: Pomp, Power and Pageantry in the Reign of Nicholas II - Greg King

Why We Get Sick: The New Science of Darwinian Medicine by Randolph M. Nesse and George C. Williams

Valentina's choices

The neverending story by Michael Ende (f)
The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (f)
Fairies, real encounters with little people by Janet Bord (nf)
A room of one's own by Virginia woolf (nf)
The tiger in the well by Philip Pullman (f)

Here I've posted why I chose these books
---> something about me challenge

Jill's Reading List

I had quite a hard time deciding on which books to read for this challenge. Congratulations to the group for posting such wonderful novels. I am new to challenges and do not know many members yet; I am looking forward to gaining some insight into your personalities!

Here are my "main" picks plus some "alternates" for this challenge:


1) Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (Alyson, Lucca) - I plan on reading Geraldine Brook's March for the Book Awards Challenge, but I wanted to brush up on the girls before I do.
2) Breakfast at Tiffany's by Truman Capote (Lucca) - A great excuse to finally read Capote!
3) A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini (SheReads-Diane) - This book is burning a hole on my bookshelf. I must get to it soon!
4) The Red Tent by Anita Diamante (Sarah Miller) - I always wanted to read this book - I am beginning to enjoy Biblical Fiction.
5) Chocolat by Joanne Harris (Chasida, Margo) - I loved Five Quarters of an Orange, and I loved this movie, and I love chocolate! I can't believe I haven't read this book.
6) Blindness by Jose Saramago (Vasilly) - I share a lot of reading tastes with Vasilly, and she lists this one as one of her favorites - plus I can use it for the Book Awards Challenge.

1) The Archivist's Story by Travis Holland (Alyson) - This sounds like an intriguing story though I will wait for more reader reviews before I commit to reading.
2) I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles (Soleil) - I enjoyed reading some of Philippa Gregory's Tudor stories and thought this would be a nice addition.
3) The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella (Margo) - Kinsella's books are perfect after reading deep, complicated fiction - perfect for the poolside!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Library Lady's Reading Choices

1. Northern Lights; Donnelly (shereads-Diane)
2. I Am the Messenger; Zusak (Jill)
3. A Walk in the Woods; Bryson (Wendy)
4. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn; Smith (Dewey)
5. East of Eden; Steinbeck (Vasilly)

Dewey's reading choices

My reading choices:

I made my choices earlier this month, because I realized that with so many books on my list so far, I just had to draw the line and stop adding to it, no matter how tempting other people's picks might be! If I finish these early, though, I will go through the lists again and pick more. I also started reading early and have read a couple already.

1. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomer.(Tiny Little Librarian): How could I not have read this already? HOW? (Finished: review here.) I've got the second book from the library already!

2. So Many Books, So Little Time by Sara Nelson (also Definitely! I have been dying to read this. (This is my next book to read.)

3. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby (Athena): Probably. If I can mooch it. It's been on my wishlist a while. I like Hornby; he's not one of my favorite-favorites, but I try to read all his books.

4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Kristin). Finished: review here.

5. Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm by Kate Douglas Wiggin (Stephanie) I read this as a kid, but I don't really remember it, so I'll reread it.

6. Oh My Goth by Gena Showalter (also Stephanie): This sounds like a really fun YA book.

7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (Suey): I saw this available at DailyLit, so I might reread it that way.

8. Luncheon of the Boating Party by Susan Vreeland (3M): Definitely -- on my TBR list anyway.

9. The Five Gifts of Illness (Dana): I hadn't heard of this before, but I think I should read it.

10. The End of Faith by Sam Harris (Judith's pick). I've had this on my TBR pile for a while.

11. Chocolat by Joanne Harris (Chasida). I love this movie and have no idea why I've never read the book!

12. Stick Kid by Peter Holwitz (JMC's pick). Finished: review here. JMC: I've seen a couple people say they want to read this, and at least one blogger mentioned buying it!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Bonnie's reading choices

I haven't seen anyone post their reading choices here, but it seems like a good idea, so I'll start. Here are my picks, naming the person in parentheses who said it's "something about me."

My choices:
1. The Seven Daughters of Eve ~ by Bryan Sykes (Chris)
2. Place Last Seen ~ by Charlotte McGuinn Freeman (Wendy)
3. Einstein's Dreams ~ by Alan Lightman (Raidergirl3)
4. The Memory Keeper's Daughter ~ by Kim Edwards (3M)
5. The Tortilla Curtain ~ by T.C. Boyle (Dewey)
6. Sixpence House: Lost in a Town of Books ~ by Paul Collins (in memory of Nattie)

7. Luncheon of the Boating Party ~ by Susan Vreeland (3M)
8. A Thousand Splendid Suns ~ by Khaled Hosseini (Diane)
9. The Happy Room ~ by Catherine Palmer (Twiga)
10. The Time Traveler's Wife ~ by Audrey Niffenegger (Dewey)
11. The End of Faith ~ by Sam Harris (Judith)
12. Demon Haunted World ~ by Carl Sagan (Kookiejar)

This challenge lasts five months, August through December, so I chose five books. The sixth book on my list is for Nattie, one she chose to tell us something about herself; but Nattie died young, leaving behind two small children. Cancer took her before the challenge got underway, but some of us are reading books she chose, doing it in memory of Nattie.

If you have read any of these books, please tell me what you thought of them. Thumbs up? Or thumbs down?

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Alyson's Selections

Here are my five:

1. The Archivist's Story, by Travis Holland. This book is just out, and I haven't actually read it yet. But I am studying to be an archivist, so I thought it would be a good choice. I love book that have librarians or archaeologists or historians having adventures. As someone who studies those fields, I can only hope that I get to experience such things.

2. Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae, by Steven Pressfield. I am an ancient history nerd, and the Battle of Thermopylae is my favorite battle. When I studied abroad in Greece, I visited the place where the battle took place...and totally geeked out.

3. Great Books, by David Denby. When I was having a hard time trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life after college, my professors in the history department gave me this book to remind me what it is that I love about academia. It gave me a new perspective towards books I've read numerous times. It's one I will revisit again, as it helped remind me of the different ways the same piece of literature can speak to us.

4. The Iliad, by Homer. This is my favorite book of all time. It shows the best and worst of all of us. While I strive to be Hector who balances work (the war) and family, and tries to do the honorable thing, I can understand how Achilles desires being remembered. Plus, it has some of the most beautiful words in all of literature (see scenes with Andromache and Hector as well as Priam's speech to Achilles at the end).

5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. This is one of the first "great books" I read, as a young girl in elementary school, and one that I have read and re-read. I love Jo March. I respect her ambition, creativity, and stubborn-ness and think I share those qualities. She taught me at an early age that girls can strive for anything, and with hard work may just achieve their dreams, but also that making mistakes is a greath path to understanding and educating oneself.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Faith's List

Grimm’s Grimmest, by Brothers Grimm, Wilhelm Carl Grimm, Jacob Ludwig Carl Grimm, Gracy Arah Dockray (Illustrator) Maria M. Tatar (Introduction). There’s a part of me that still somehow expects life to be like a fairy tale. Even though there’s all the sucky unfairness of everything, somehow there’s got to be a happy ending. The good people get rewarded, the bad guys get their just desserts, and everyone lives happily ever after. Grimm’s Grimmest contains some of the darkest of Grimms’ fairy tales, and is a satisfying read.

Uglies, Scott Westerfeld. I love dystopian fantasies, and this is an excellent representation of its kind. I cannot deny that if someone were to give me the opportunity to become earth-shakingly beautiful, I’d want to take it. And if it were to come at the expense of my brains, would the offer still be so tempting? Knowing that fact, it would not. But the people in this world don’t know it.

Fahrenheit 451, Ray Bradbury. I have spoken out for years about book banning. I am vehemently opposed to censorship. The situation described in this book is like my worst nightmare. I’ve given copies of this book away as door prizes at my banned book parties. If I had to be a portion of a book, I could easily be the Miller’s Tale from The Canterbury Tales.

The Canterbury Tales, Geoffrey Chaucer, Nevill Coghill (Translator). I’m passionate about Geoffrey Chaucer and everything I’ve been able to lay my hands on by him. I particularly love The Canterbury Tales. They range from sublimely pure to delightfully bawdy to revoltingly filthy. If you haven’t read them, you’re depriving yourself a delectable treat.

Adopted Jane, Helen Fern Daringer, Kate Seredy (Illustrator). This is a book that I first read as a child. I don’t remember if I found it at the library or if I had my own copy; if I did have my own copy, it didn’t survive. Only my fondest memories did. I loved how this girl was so plucky, so hungry for love, and so worthy of love that two different families wanted to adopt her. I loved how she made the right choice. I like the book so much that when I found it in the Orange County Library when I was in my mid-20s, I wanted to steal it. But I was honourable and just checked it out, read it for nostalgia’s sake, and returned it. I was rewarded by finding it in a Goodwill for 20 cents a year later.

Janet's Books

Here are some titles that represent who I am or who I'd like to be.

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I'd like to be as innocent as Scout, as ethical as Atticus, and as loyal as Jem.

Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
My dogs are such an important part of my world and it became legendary that I would read this book to my 7th grade class and the person sitting closest to me at the end would have to finish for me.

Durable Goods by Elizabeth Berg
Rumors of Peace by Ella Leffland
My Last Days as Roy Rogers by Pat Cunningham Devoto
These are girls who in one way or another touched my memory.

None of these really show me as a wife, mother, or teacher but they show "something about me."

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Lucca's list :

1. The French Lieutenant’s Woman by John Fowles – Eerily, this is because I think I can be Sarah. But that aside, this one’s a clever book. It’s like a curious cocktail that made me chuckle, bite my lip in melancholy, and pause now and again with furrows on my forehead.

2. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth – Because I want to fall in love this way, though not under the circumstances. And I loved the way the verses lulled me.

3. Breakfast At Tiffany’s by Truman Capote – There’s a bit of Golightly in me. And it’s not limited to the cat.

4. The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro - I wonder if the ending would've been different had I been Miss Kenton.

5. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott – I still go back to the book to battle my blues. I still go back to the little wisdoms in it.

Becky Rech's Five--also known as SheReads

The books I chose to speak for me...

Inkheart by Cornelia Funke--Because I love to read and find the idea of reading characters in and out of books fascinating.

Northern Light by Jennerifer Donnelly--Because I like historical fiction and Mattie, the main character in this book is a strong female character that struggles with what is expected of her as a female and what she really wants to do. I struggle a lot with what is expected of me as a woman from our society, yet, I want to be that perfect woman who likes to cook, clean and take care of the house for my family.

Dairy Queen by Catherine Murdock--Because this story takes place in Wisconsin which is where I grew-up and settled. It is a funny story about girl, D.J., who loves football (which I can't say that I do) and pushes the limits of what a girl should do. D.J. takes care of her family farm before she takes care of herself. I found the book funny and moving.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini--Because the Afghanistan and Pakistan have fascinated me recently. I have read a couple fiction books recently and went to the movie A Mighty Heart. This week I am also looking forward to hearing Kahled Hosseini speak. I have developed a hobby of catching some of my favorite authors at bookstores. I think it gives a reader a special window into why they wrote a book and it always amazing to hear an author read from his or her book.

Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer--Because it fascinated me when I read it this spring. I can't imagine being in Miranda's situation, but I sure didn't find it so far fetched that I can't imagine it happening here and now.

**As I am sure you noticed that most of these books are young adult books. I work at a high school and seem to read a lot of books that are YA and fewer and fewer adult books.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Beachreader's "Something About Me" Reading Challenge Book List

Could it have been any more difficult to choose these books? From a dozen books, I finally narrowed it down to five:

The Winthrop Woman by Anya Seton
Dakota: A Spiritual Geography by Kathleen Norris
Folly by Laurie King
Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Sea Glass by Anita Shreve

but the others, gleaned from my bookshelves, are going on my TBR pile to be read sooner than later. Thanks, Lisa for this challenge!

Diane's List

  • Sea Glass; Anita Shreve (FIC)
  • Nantucket Nights; Erin Hilderbrand (FIC)
  • Charred Souls; Trena Cole (NF)
  • The Art of Mending; Eliz Berg (FIC)
  • How Reading Changed My Life; Quindlan (NF)
  • Why Men Never Remember & Why Women Never Forget; Legato (NF)
  • The Inn at Lake Devine; Eleanor Lipman (FIC)
  • The Loop; Joe Coomer (FIC)
  • An Inconvenient Wife; Megan Chance (FIC)
  • Feline Mystique; Cleo Simon (NF)

Friday, June 22, 2007

Want to join?

Hey there. Just wanted to say that several people have asked to join, and I have sent them invitations, but they have not accepted them. If you are someone who has asked to join and hasn't gotten an invitation to this blog, make sure that your spam filter isn't throwing away the invitation to join! If you need another invitation, comment on this post and I'll do it again!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Another Question...

I love this challenge so much that I've already started to read the books I had planned for this challenge. I keep replacing them, but I keep reading those too. Should I keep replacing them, while I wait for August to come around? Can I also count the books that I've started reading already for this challenge? Also, do re-reads count? Here's my list that I had planned. In bold are the ones that I've read in the last week or two, in pink are the ones that I'm reading now.

The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Tale of Despereaux by Kate Dicamillo
Leave me alone I'm reading by Maureen Corrigan
Chocolat by Joann Harris

My alternates:
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak
Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
Gift from the Sea by Anne Marrow Lindbergh
Why I wore lipstick to my mastectomy by Geralyn Lucas


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Five about me, Sarah Miller

Strangely enough, I didn't have a hard time chosing my five books. Picking just five favorites is a misery, but somehow, chooisng five books that say something about me is much simpler.


Zel, by Donna Jo NapoliIt's no secret I love Donna Jo Napoli's books. Her writing sounds like the voice in my head, and that's all you need to know. This is the one I read first, which makes it more or less my de facto favorite.

The Red Tent, by Anita Diamant

This is the type of story I love best -- strong characters, strong relationships, and terrific writing. I'm also fascinated by books that dig into the nooks and crannies of well-known stories and bring out something new. There are definitely some similarities in theme between this book and Zel. That's no coincidence.

The Giver, by Lois Lowry

The Giver gets the award for Book that Most Amazes Me. The premise itself astounds me, and then to top that off, she went and wrote it so well. Oh, and for the record, I believe in happy endings....

The View from Saturday, by E.L. Konigsburg

I honestly can't tell you exactly what it is that makes me love this book so much. The way everything fits together appeals to me - -how with the characters and the story itself, the whole is equal to more than the sum of the parts. I also love the haven these kids create for themselves.

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, by Robert Fulghum

It seems to me I discovered Fulghum sometime around middle school, and I've read and re-read him ever since. This is where I learned to find the little flecks of happiness and magic in everyday life. (Come to think of it, Fulghum probably has a lot to do with the way I see the conclusion of The Giver!)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Soleil from Jehara

Okay, I have finally narrowed my list down to the following five:

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath-I love Plath's poetry. And her prose writing is just as good. She was the first poet I discovered in high school. It was "Mirror" that touched me and I have been a fan ever since. I can relate to her struggles. Her depression, her suicide attempts. She was smart and brilliant and literary and while I will not go so far as to say I am brilliant, I am literary and very intelligent.

The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler-Theatre is my life. Eve Ensler is one of my heroes. She has used made this play into a vehicle for raising money and awareness with her ultimate goal being to stop violence against women and girls. I directed and produced this in college as part of the VDAY college campaign and that's when I realized that I could use my art to help people. And that is what my best friend and I have been doing ever since we started our theatre company. We donate proceeds from each show to SafeHaven of Tarrant County and right now we are working on a piece about the Juarez murders and will donate our proceeds to an organization that we are working with that is based in Juarez.

I, Elizabeth by Rosalind Miles-I love reading biographies and fictionalized biographical accounts of strong women. Elizabeth I is another one of my heroes. She was a strong and amazing woman. And I love how well the author fleshed out her life and gave her a voice. I could almost believe that I was reading Elizabeth's own words.

Weetzie Bat by Francesca Lia Block-She is one of my favorite authors and I can relate alot to Weetzie Bat. She is quirky and fun. The writing is lyrical and magical. And they eat wonderfully creative and fresh foods. All of that is me.

Le Petit Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery-This is one of the best books ever! I love France. I love the language. I love the people. I lived there for a bit. I miss it. I harbor a little French girl somewhere inside. And the story is amazing. I love the little drawings and the way the prince speaks about grownups. I still don't feel like a grownup and I have made some of the same observations he makes about them. And the book is available in English.

So there is my list. ;)

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

A Question...

After August 1st, how long does the challenge last? I have read every single person's list here and there are 18 books I want to read so far (and some I would want to read if I hadn't already, thank goodness I've already read many of them), and people still have a month and a half left to post more lists! If the reading part of the challenge only lasts a month, I need to narrow it down, but if it goes until the end of the year, I'm in fine shape. So, what is the deadline on the reading part?

Monday, June 11, 2007

Five Books About Booklogged

I know I've been slow in posting my selections for this challenge, but I had a hard time deciding. Here are the five books that tell something about me.

1. Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

I really like Lois Lowry, both as a person and an author. The other reason I chose this book is because my ancestor are from Denmark, which is the setting for this story.

2. The Tale of Despereaux: Being the Story of a Mouse, a Princess, Some Soup and a Spool of Thread by Kate diCamillo

Sometimes I feel the size of a mouse trying to conquer problems that are so much bigger than me. My tools seem silly and inefficient, sort of like Despereaux's needle and thread. And sometimes my goals are not realistic in the same way that Despereaux had his heart set on marrying the princess.

3. From the Corner of His Eye by Dean Koontz

Dean Koontz is my "chocolate" author. His books are like comfort food. When I pick up one of his books I feel like I'm "home". I know I'm going to being entertained and fully immersed.

This is one of my favorite of Koontz. He has a way of describing and defining good and evil. And I agree with his concepts in those regards. He helps us realize that we could be heading down one or the other path with the seemingly inconsequential decisions we make everyday.

4. The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

I have similar religious beliefs with those expressed by C.S. Lewis in The Screwtape Letters and The Chronicles of Narnia. I think this little book instructs us in the methods used by the devil to gain our souls through the exchange of letters from Screwtape and his Uncle Wormwood. Screwtape is apprenticing and Wormwood is instructing.

This book reminds me that there's a battle going on between good and evil. I need to be mindful of the voices and promptings to which I listen.

5. Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading by Maureen Corrigan

Mostly, I like the title on this book, although I did enjoy reading Corrigan's thoughts concerning some of the books she's read.

Sometimes in the evening I will pop up a bowl of popcorn and sit down to read. Everyone in the family knows that is not the time to disturb me - I'm reading.

I will have these books posted on my sidebar as well as the 5 books I'm going to read from other's lists. You can see them at A Reader's Journal. Look towards the bottom of the left sidebar.

JMC's Five

This challenge sounds like fun. I've already found some of the ones I want to read when the challenge starts. I'll be diligently working through the pile on the floor beside my bed so I can devote the time to this challenge come August first. Here's my list:
Beach Music by Pat Conroy
I chose this book because it is my absolute favorite book. I'm from the area in SC where it is set, and I feel that Conroy captures it perfectly. I love when you're reading a novel and can completely relate. I even recently wrote a post about it. Also check out another of my posts about the Cooper River Bridge. It's brief mention in the novel actually plays a large role throughout, because of what happened on it.

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Okay, I haven't read this book since high school, but I chose it because strangely enough, I do think about it quite a bit. Mainly because, while I would NEVER consider committing a crime, I do often think about if I DID want to commit the perfect crime, how would I go about it. It wouldn't be easy considering all the advances in forensic science. Just a little mental exercise you may want to try as you're standing in line behind that person with a full grocery cart in the 15 items or less lane.

Odd Thomas by Dean Koontz
I just recently re-discovered Dean Koontz. I didn't care much for his earlier work, where he is trying to channel Stephen King, because I don't usually like the supernatural intertwined into my murder mysteries, so I had given up on him. Then a few months ago, I picked up something else by him, and while it still had a little supernatural stuff going on, it was a compelling read. So I gave him another chance, and I am now enjoying his newer stuff, particularly the Odd Thomas trilogy, of which this is the first novel. I chose it here because of the dry sense of humor interspersed with non sequiturs in the dialogue of the characters. It's my sense of humor exactly, which is why it is so difficult to find anyone who understands just exactly what the hell I am talking about.

The Redhead Handbook by Cort Cass
I selected this book because I am a redhead. I hated my hair as a kid. I can still remember when I was elementary school age, being out in my yard and having high school boys ride by on their bikes yelling, "I'd rather be dead than be red on the head." Nice boys, they were. And I actually was a redheaded step-child. Anyway, now I love it. It is unusual. Other people want it. Other people have to dye their hair to get it (and it doesn't always turn out so well). There are songs written about it, there are books written about it, there are entire photo anthologies devoted to it. Now, being a redhead is great. Except for the sunburn. That part sucks.

And finally...
Stick Kid by Peter Holwitz
Yes, it is a children's book. But hey, it'll only take you a few minutes to complete one of the other people's books you are supposed to read. It's like a college crip-course. Easy "A." All that aside, there is actually a good reason why I chose this book. This is a fantastic children's book. I have children. Four of them. All girls. The stick kid in this book is a boy, but the sentiment is the same. It made me cry. It will make you cry. Unless you are cold and heartless.

And there you have it. After you read these books, you will know all there is to know about me. Except these things. And some others that I won't mention here or there, but maybe you'll find them in one of BookishJudith's five books: Postsecret. ;)

Sunday, June 10, 2007

My 5 books

I had a tough time coming up with my list because I can't remember everything I've read and I really wanted to choose books that 1) I've read 2) I liked 3) represented me. So without further ado, here is my list, in no particular order:
1. Beach Music by Pat Conroy. This is my all time favorite book and I have read it a few times. I chose it because like one of the characters, my father was a holocaust survivor, although I don't think I'm as messed up as the character is by this.

2. Chocolat by Joanne Harris. Chosen because I love chocolate!

3. Good Grief by Lolly Winston. I chose this book because like the main character I live in Silicon Valley and came because of my husband's job.

4. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. I chose this haunting book because I had a teenage daughter who died, but not as gruesomely as the main character in this book, thank God.

5. The World According to Garp by John Irving. Chosen because like Garp, I too harbor anxieties about my child's safety.

I will post this on my blog as well:

Friday, June 8, 2007

A death in our group

I just learned from Stephanie's blog that Natalie from Nattie Writes lost her battle with cancer yesterday. As Stephanie said, "She will be sorely missed. Please take a moment and pray for her son and daughter" (thanks for the correction).

Nattie's list of books is on our sidebar, but she won't be reading any of our books now. To learn something about [Nattie]: (1) re-read her book post describing her five choices, (2) read one of those five, (3) look at her blog, with her final posts dictated to her daddy, and (4) keep her in our thoughts and prayers today, as we lose one of our own. Nattie was only 33 years old.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Becky's List

Hi! My name is Becky from Becky's Book Reviews. I wanted to choose books that represented me and hadn't been chosen by another blogger. That way everyone would have more choices when it comes time to read books for the challenge.

These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder-- I haven't read this book in over ten years or so. But growing up I wanted to be Laura Ingalls Wilder. I wanted to teach. I wanted to write. I wanted to grow up and marry Almanzo. So this book, the one where she gets to teach and get married...made me very happy. (Juv F)

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith--I only discovered this about six months ago, but I so identified with Francie. (F)

"From that time on, the world was hers for the reading. She would never be lonely again, never miss the lack of intimate friends. Books became her friends and there was one for every mood. There was poetry for quiet companionship. There was adventure when she tired of quiet hours. There would be love stories when she came into adolescence and when she wanted to feel a closeness to someone she could read a biography. On that day when she first knew she could read, she made a vow to read one book a day as long as she lived." (166-167)

Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. How does this book represent me? Well, it is more the fact that it represents a huge transition in my life. I can almost divide my life into two halves...before Orson Scott Card...and after Orson Scott Card. And this was the book that started my love affair with science fiction. And my love for all things Card. Most of my "favorite" books are Card titles. Though I'll just list him once for this challenge. (F)

Anne of the Islands by L.M. Montgomery. I noticed that Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Windy Poplars were already on the list. I thought this would make a nice addition to those seeking to read the Anne books for the challenge. AND more importantly, the last few pages of this book alone make it one of the most romantic books ever. How could you not love Anne and Gilbert finally getting together???(F)

Persuasion by Jane Austen. I just love this one so. I love the heroine.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Blogging for *P*E*A*C*E* on June 6

Kelly's list [MyUtopia]

  1. The Secrets of a Fire King By Kim Edwards
  2. Seeing By Jose SARAMAGO
  3. Me talk pretty one day
  4. The Lake of dead Languages By Goodman
  5. A Transplanted Yooper by Tina Lonski.
  6. Alternate: Driving to Detroit
I picked these for various reasons. I chose these because of where I grew up. I enjoy, "Me talk pretty one day" because I always had such a hard time with languages. I also love politics and took part in politics at a very young age.
Click here to see this and other contest I am doing.

My Five

I had trouble narrowing it down to just five when I started to jot down possible books. So I tried for some variety. Lest these books appear a bit on the heavy side I hasten to add that I read copiously and incorporate a huge amount of "junk" or "light" reading into my lists, but when I cruised over a list of those books ( I did not find any that struck me as saying "something about me" - except that I enjoy junk reading.

The High Cost of Free Parking, by Donald Shoup. Why would anyone read about parking? And then recommend it? And then say it "says something about me"? The reasons: it's an excellent book that could change the way you look at how cities are built today; I recommend it because although it's heavy and full of charts it's actually easy to read and often funny; and what it says about me is that I spent over 20 years of my life as a city planner who was something of a parking nazi. This book, among other things, changed me.

PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives, by Frank Warren. A compilation of postcards from the famous blog. As I read through the whole book (which doesn't take long) I found that not only was I often amused or amazed at other people's secrets, but the cards also touched on part of my own past and some secrets of my own. When I started the book I wanted to send postcards there but couldn't think of any good secrets. By the time I was done I had several. Confession can be so liberating! Oh, the other thing: I have now taken to making my own postcards to send to others as thank you notes and expect to expand this idea.

Bait and Switch, by Barbara Ehrenreich. Hard on the heels of the amazing Nickel and Dimed, this book investigates what it's like to be middle-class or above and suddenly out of work. Ehrenreich again assumes the role to do the investigation. She is led to try out the many organizations that promise to give people the tools to find the higher-paid work they want, a gang of thieves more than happy to separate the not-yet-desperate from their dwindling funds. She finds just how difficult it is to get back into the workplace even when you do have the skills and the ability to present yourself well. Many myths are exploded here, quietly. I am among the middle class and I worked jobs like these. When I was young there were always jobs available for my talents. Now? Not nearly as many.

Because it is Bitter and Because it is My Heart, by Joyce Carol Oates. Not so much the circumstances as the feelings and the time. I felt a connection to the main character, Iris, not because I am much like her but because I too was shaped by my world and I grew up when she did. Oates captures what's inside as well as any other writer I read - and I read a lot. The story stayed with me long after I'd forgotten any details.

The End of Faith, by Sam Harris. Harris takes to task not only the fanatic religious zealots who threaten our world today, but the so-called "moderates" who practice what they consider "tolerance". Because it is religion, people feel they cannot criticize. Yet we wouldn't "tolerate" madmen who believe space aliens are coming and that they must therefore shoot people to make room for them (I'm making this part up, obviously). We have developed a blind eye when it comes to religions, cutting them slack and treading lightly when we should be asking the hard questions. I'm an atheist and I am therefore in a group of people that is hugely misunderstood and marginalized. I don't proselytize and I don't hold myself up as better than those who believe in a higher being. Given how entrenched religions are in this world it's easy to see why just the physical representations can make such belief convincing. My plea to this world is to make your religion, if you have one, yours personally and do not impose it on the rest of us.

My book review blog:

Monday, June 4, 2007

How to list

Now that I've been invited and have logged in I notice that I do not have the priviledge of editing the sidebar. Is this something that you do for us or am I missing something?

Margo's List

This looks like fun, so I have joined in :)

Chocolat by Joanne Harris - I chose this book as it’s a book that I really loved. I can relate to the main character in this book, having the same beliefs to her. I loved reading how she tried to be accepted by the community and I loved reading about the friendships she built. This book is about how Vianne Rocher moves to a French Town, opening a Chocolat shop opposite a Church. She has a hard time trying to convince the locals she means well.

Flowers in the Attic by Virginia Andrews - I have chosen this book, because I can relate to the children in this novel. Having to deal with a stepmother as I grew up, who unfortunately wasn't very kind to us. I could relate to what the children were going through. I've heard before that this book is based on true events, but I don't think it is. It's about how a mother moves her family to her mothers after her husband has died. Her mother hates her grandchildren and locks them away in the attic for years, hiding them, hoping to keep them a secret. The children are left to fend for themselves and are treated badly.

The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory - I chose this book, as I love reading about Mary Boleyn. In this book, Mary just wants to go home to Hever, away from court life and have a quiet life. I can relate to wanting to be at home with the children. This book is based on Historical events which have been put into a fiction novel. Mary Boleyn was one of Henry VIII's Lovers.

The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella - I chose this book as it was a book I really laughed at. It made me really happy one time when I was feeling unwell. It's my favourite Sophie Kinsella book, the character is a bit dizzy, & I have to admit I can be a bit dizzy myself! In this book, Samantha finds herself walking out of her job after making a career mistake and finds herself taking a job as a Housekeeper, except Samantha doesn't even know how to cook!

Shrine by James Herbert - I chose this book because it scared the socks off me! It gave me nightmares. When I was about 10 years old my mum let me watch The Exorcist, ever since I've had this thing about possession. It terrifies me lol. It's about a young girl (deaf-mute) who claims to be able to see a Lady who is the Immaculate Conception, it isn't long before people realize she isn't.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Jill(mrstreme)'s List

This is a very interesting challenge: to find books that describe you and your personality. After some reflection, here are the five books I've selected:

1) The March by E.L. Doctorow: Books about Georgia during the Civil War, especially during Yankee occupation, fascinate me. I read Gone With The Wind when I was 13, and since then, I have always been interested in this aspect of the Civil War (to the point that I attended college in Georgia and received an M.A. in history, specializing in Southern History). The March is a newer book that focuses on how Sherman's "March to the Sea" affected the Southern people (both black and white) and the Northern armies. The March is the 2005 winner of the NBCC award, so if you're doing the Book Awards Challenge - you can get two-for-one!

2) On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft by Stephen King: Oh the body parts I would give to have King's gift for storytelling and writing! This book discusses his creative process and gives an interesting back story to many of his novels. He also talks about the near-fatal accident that almost robbed us of one of our best writers. I selected this book because I am a wanna-be writer, and this particular autobiography is inspirational to me.

3) I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak: I love this story because it shows that we are all capable of doing wonderful things. The main character receives cryptic playing cards with clues written on them, and he's charged to do good deeds to designated strangers - the catch is that he doesn't know exactly what he's supposed to do. So he must observe and be creative. And figure it out, or else...

4) Five Quarters of an Orange by Joanne Harris: I picked this book because I thought it was an interesting coming-of-age tale. It's a story of a young girl's life during the German occupation of France. She befriends a German soldier and must sneak around to visit with him. She sneaks oranges into her house to set off her mother's migraines (which then puts poor Mom to bed) to rendezvous with her new friend. It's a wonderful story!

5) Christ The Lord by Anne Rice: This is a fictional account of Christ's childhood, as interpreted by Rice. I like how Rice theorizes Christ's boyish thoughts about the miracles he commits and the mystery of his birth. It's hard to think about Christ as a boy, especially because the man was so great. I want to stress that it's an interpretation, not a historical account. Rice is the essential storyteller, and if you liked her other novels, this one may be worth a consideration.

Friday, June 1, 2007

alisonwonderland's list

at first i had no clue what books i could pick that somehow represented me - and now i'm having a hard time keeping it to just five! these are the ones i've settled upon:
  • Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh
    one of the few books i've read over and over, this classic non-fiction book was given to me by my mother after i had graduated from college and taken a job in another state. the issues Lindbergh explores are just as pertinent to women today as it was when it was first published in 1955.

  • All of a Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
    i am the oldest in a family of seven daughters and no sons, so i grew up in an "all of a kind family" like the one in this novel. i also think this children's book, read to my sisters and me by our mom, was the beginning of my interest in the Jewish culture.

  • Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli
    i read this book a few years ago when it was required reading in my daughter's middle school English class. i immediately fell in love with this celebration of nonconformity. the girl called Stargirl is my hero!

  • Just Ella by Margaret Peterson Haddix
    this young adult novel is a spin on the Cinderella story that takes place after Ella has been whisked off to the castle by the prince and she finds that both he and life as a princess are not all she had hoped. as a feminist, i believe that, like Ella, girls need to find out who they are as individuals before they become somebody's wife.

  • Winter Wheat by Mildred Walker
    this classic novel is a recent discovery for me, and i decided to pick it partly because it's set in the Western United States - and i'm definitely a Western States girl. i also picked it because it is about a young woman growing up and figuring out who she is. (you can read my review of the book here.)
i guess there's a bit of a recurring theme there - but maybe that was the point!