Monday, November 30, 2009

What are you reading on Mondays? (3)

This event, hosted at J. Kaye's Book Blog, is designed to list the books you finished last week, the books you are currently reading, and the books you want to finish this coming week.

Finished this past week:

The Dust of 100 Dogs
by A. S. King
My review is here.

Currently reading:

Memories of the Afterlife
edited by Michael Newton

To be read (or at least started) this week:

I really don't know what (if anything) I want to read this week. I want to get through Memories of the Afterlife, so maybe I'll concentrate on that. I'm almost done!

Monday's Question of the Day (13)

Monday's Question of the Day is hosted by Eleni at /-LA FEMME READERS-/

What's a great book you love, but don't like the cover of?

My Answer:
Usually, there will be an edition of a book that I love that has a decent cover. An example:

Fire and Hemlock

Pretty UK cover that makes sense!


Fugly US cover that makes no sense!
Who the heck is that old dude?

For some truly heinous covers, I suggest checking out Judge a Book by its Cover. They've found some doozies!

Musing Mondays (15)

Musing Mondays is hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page...

How does your reading (or your blogging) fare in the holiday months? Do you read more or less? Do you have to actively make time to read?

I don't think there's that much of a difference. I'm not extra busy during the holiday months, and I do most of my reading before bed (so it's not like a family turkey dinner is going to get in the way).

As for blogging, I tend to blog right through the holidays. I have no life.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Review - The Dust of 100 Dogs

The Dust of 100 Dogs
by A. S. King

I got off to a slow start with this one, and I almost gave up on it. But I'm sure glad I didn't. It turned out to be a terrific read!

300 years ago, the feared pirate Emer Morrisey was cursed with the dust of 100 dogs, forcing her to live 100 lives in canine form before she could be human again and reclaim her plundered treasure. Reborn as Saffron Adams, a seemingly normal teenager from the U.S.A., she casts aside her frustratingly selfish family and heads to Jamaica in search of what she lost in the past.

There's not much more I can say without giving too much of the plot away. But I did really enjoy this one. There was adventure, a touch of history, romance, and revenge. The story is told from three alternating perspectives: Emer's in the 1600s (third person), Fred's in 1990s Jamaica (third person), and Saffron's in 1990s America (first person). Interspersed with these narratives are little sections about dogs and their behaviour, information presumably gleaned from Saffron's past lives in canine form. At first, all this jumping around kind of threw me. The book starts off in the 1600s, then goes to the 1970s and '80s, then bounces back to the 1600s in Paris, then further back to Emer's life in Ireland before jumping into the main part of the narrative when Emer becomes a pirate. I'm not sure that I liked all that time travel, but I'm not sure how else it could have been done.

The only real question that I still have in my mind after reading the book is why Saffron identified more strongly with Emer than with her dog lives. Part of the curse was that she retained all her memories. In the present, Saffron often imagines gory fates for people who annoy her: gouging out their eyes, slicing them to ribbons, keelhauling them... obviously very piratey things. But it left me wondering. If she had lived all those lives as dogs in between, and retained all those memories, why wasn't her instinct in these gory daydreams to tear people's throats out or pee on their leg? Actually, I'm still not sure if the whole dog thing was anything more than a cute little plot device; other than forcing Emer to live as a dog, it wasn't really relevant in any other way (that I could see).

There is an interesting interview in the back of the book (in my edition, anyway) with the author and Leila from bookshelves of doom in which they discuss the nature of young adult literature. I was thinking about this as I was reading the book. What exactly is a "young adult" book? Most of the books I've read recently in that category have been pretty chaste, sweet, and appropriate even for the tweens who might be reading them. This book, on the other hand, is on the opposite end of the spectrum. There is a fair amount of violence, some of it graphic (the first paragraph has Emer cutting out someone's eyeball and rolling it in the sand). There are instances of foul language (foul enough to be bleeped on network TV, anyway). And there is also a rape scene. These things don't bother me, and I know that some teens (and even some children) have already been exposed to such things. However, I might be hesitant about recommending this book to a young teenager. What is "young adult"? Anyone between the ages of 13 and 21? I think the industry needs a better definition.

Anyway, this is definitely a book I'd recommend to older teens (as well as adults). I enjoyed the story, and it was pretty different from anything I'd ever read before.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 4/5
Pace: 4/5
Writing: 4/5
Originality: 4/5

Overall: 4 out of 5

Let's Make Limericks! (1)

I felt like doing something different this week. I've always enjoyed the challenge of writing limericks, and I thought it might be fun to try writing them about the books I've been reading (or have read, or am going to read). So I thought, why not make a meme out of it?

Here are the rules:
  1. Every weekend (yes, this is flexible... choose Saturday or Sunday!), pick a book. It can be one that you're currently reading, one that you've finished, or one that's in your TBR pile.
  2. Write a limerick about the book (click on the link if you're unclear on the limerick format).
  3. Try not to include spoilers!
Who's up for the challenge? If you decide to do this, please link back to my site and leave a comment on this post. I can't wait to see what everybody comes up with!

Here's mine for this week. I'm still reading The Dust of 100 Dogs by A. S. King, and this is what I came up with:
In spite of her parents' strong pleas,
She wanted to take to the seas
To recover her loot
From that first mate galoot
Who had cursed her and given her fleas.

Share-A-Book Saturday (13)

This is something I found over on Just Another Book Addict =), and I thought I'd do my own. There are so many great books out there that get overlooked (especially if they've been out for a while)!

Every Saturday, you share (recommend) a book, preferably one that you haven't reviewed yet. It's just a way to get other books out into the blogging world. This is NOT a review.

Today I'm going to recommend The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer.

Matteo Alacrán was not born; he was harvested. His DNA came from El Patrón, lord of a country called Opium -- a strip of poppy fields lying between the United States and what was once called Mexico. Matt's first cell split and divided inside a petri dish. Then he was placed in the womb of a cow, where he continued the miraculous journey from embryo to fetus to baby. He is a boy now, but most consider him a monster -- except for El Patrón. El Patrón loves Matt as he loves himself, because Matt is himself.

As Matt struggles to understand his existence, he is threatened by a sinister cast of characters, including El Patrón's power-hungry family, and he is surrounded by a dangerous army of bodyguards. Escape is the only chance Matt has to survive. But escape from the Alacrán estate is no guarantee of freedom, because Matt is marked by his difference in ways he doesn't even suspect. (Product description from

I read this book after enjoying two of Nancy Farmer's other books (A Girl Named Disaster and The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, both of which are set in Africa). This book is set along the border of the United States and Mexico in the not-too-distant future. It's probably classed as science fiction, but the technology isn't that far-fetched... which makes the book a little scary. Opium is pretty much a dystopia... especially for people like Matt.

I found myself thinking about this book and its characters long after I'd finished reading it. The descriptions were vivid; I could almost imagine being in Opium among the fields and fields of drug poppies. Matt is an interesting character, too. As a clone, he was conceived for one purpose only: to provide spare parts for his "father". How he fights back against a fate that seems set in stone makes for a good story.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mama! Mama!!!

This really has nothing to do with books, but I came across it today and got a good giggle out of it.


Friday Fill-Ins (16)

Friday Fill-Ins:

1. Wait! Wait, don't forget to flush.

2. He was followed at once by a gaggle of screaming fangirls, each one clutching at a tattered copy of a book that had obviously been places where no book was ever intended to go.

3. The trouble is that crazy people never realize that they're crazy.

4. I wish I could put my neighbours in a cannon and fire them many miles away.

5. With a faint pop, his shoulder dislocated for the umpteenth time.

6. Sunshine creates spaces that are shadowy and ominous. Funny, isn't it?

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching something besides reruns, tomorrow my plans include trying to find something to do and Sunday, I want to write a boll weevil cookbook (for boll weevils... not about how to cook them)!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Word verification Balderdash (12)

This fun meme is hosted by Sheila over at One Persons Journey through a world of Books.
This is the weekly meme where anyone who wishes to play along can take those crazy word verifications they have had over the past week and apply a fake definition to them (much like how you play the board game Balderdash).

Here are this week's words. Happy Thanksgiving, and enjoy the family maraisin:

maraisin - noun - an activity performed by many members of a family (often on holidays) that involves hoisting an overweight matriarch from her easy chair

matorbo - noun - a rotund matador; often, matorbos are paired with obese bulls for a more fair fight

nonacs - plural noun - buildings that have no air conditioning

orapping - noun - a form of inner-city rap that evolved in the villages of Ireland; orapping is often accompanied by the uillean pipes and a bodhrán or two

reatch - verb - to reach down your throat with a long object to trigger the gag reflex

vitato - noun - a type of potato, known for its vibrant flavour, that is used to make a 100-proof wine

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Favorite Fictional Character (9)

This week's favourite character is one I've known for a long time. More than 20 years, actually. Her name is Ramona Geraldine Quimby, and if you haven't yet met her, you don't know what fun you're missing.

Ramona is a character in a series of children's books by Beverly Cleary. She made her first appearance in the 1950s as the pesky younger sister of Beezus Quimby in the books about Beezus's friend, Henry Huggins. Later, Cleary wrote a whole series based around Ramona and her immediate family. Those books (in order) are:

Beezus and Ramona
Ramona the Pest
Ramona the Brave
Ramona and Her Father
Ramona and Her Mother
Ramona Quimby, Age 8
Ramona Forever
Ramona's World

(You can actually buy the whole series as a set, which is pretty darn cool. This might have to go on my wish list!)

Ramona grows up throughout the series. She starts out at age 4 in the first book and turns 10 in the last one. I read most of these books when I was around 7 or 8, so I could really relate to the scrapes that Ramona got herself into and how she felt about what was going on around her.

A TV series based on the books was made in the late 1980s, starring Sarah Polley in the title role. I always thought these stories would make a cute movie, and I guess someone else thought the same thing. In searching for links for this post, I found out that there will be a movie called Ramona and Beezus, due for release in 2010. Hopefully, this will lead more kids to these delightful books.

The Favorite Fictional Character meme was started by Ryan G. at Wordsmithonia.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Musing Mondays (14)

Musing Mondays is hosted by Rebecca at Just One More Page...

What books did you read while in school? Were there any that you particular liked, or even hated? Did any become lifelong favourites?

What books did I read in school? Heh... writing out that list could take all day! I'm not sure my memory is up to the task, either.

I remember reading Cue for Treason and Word to Caesar (both by Geoffrey Trease) in grade 7, and I really enjoyed both of those. Actually, we were reading Word to Caesar when the year ended, and I was enjoying it so much that I asked to keep the book for a few more days so I could finish it! Yeah... I was kind of a book geek.

In high school, I don't know if I particularly enjoyed much. I sort of liked Henrik Ibsen's play, A Doll's House. Really, though, I hated most of what we were forced to read in high school... from Ernest Hemingway's The Sun Also Rises (bullfights and sulky men with no... manly bits) to Charles Dickens's Great Expectations (crazy old ladies in flaming wedding dresses) to the Theban plays by Sophocles (incest and eye-gouging). Whoever designs those curricula needs some therapy, I think.

In university, I encountered my absolute favourite and least favourite "forced-reading" books in one class. My favourite was Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. My least favourite was Henry Fielding's Joseph Andrews (and the less said about that one, the better).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Share-A-Book Saturday (12)

This is something I found over on Just Another Book Addict =), and I thought I'd do my own. There are so many great books out there that get overlooked (especially if they've been out for a while)!

Every Saturday, you share (recommend) a book, preferably one that you haven't reviewed yet. It's just a way to get other books out into the blogging world. This is NOT a review.

Today I'm going to recommend The Raging Quiet by Sherryl Jordan.

Marnie comes to the remote fishing hamlet of Torcurra as the reluctant bride of Isake Isherwood, a lord of her parents' farm. But two days later, while thatching the roof, Isake falls to his death. Marnie's only kindness comes from Father Brannan, the village priest, and Raver, the strange mad boy whose incoherent cries belie his gentle heart. Taking him in one windy night, Marnie makes a startling discovery: Raver is not mad but deaf.

Determined to communicate with the boy whom Marnie now calls Raven, she invents a system of hand-words. Raven learns quickly and has soon all but shed his madness. Yet while Marnie and Raven forge a deep bond, the villagers, already suspicious of Marnie's role in Isake's death, see his transformation as the result of witchcraft. Even as Marnie's and Raven's bond turns to love, and as they uncover the mysterious value of their cottage, Marnie is forced into a witchcraft trial where the test of the iron bar will determine her fate.

Set in the times when magic was a force to be reckoned with, The Raging Quiet is the epic saga of a remarkable woman whose only crime is being different.
(Product description from

While I'm not sure if I would call this book an "epic saga", it is a really good tale about two people who might not fit in with the world around them, but who find love, understanding, and acceptance with each other.

I was never quite sure if this was supposed to be fantasy or historical fiction. I couldn't quite place the time period, and the village of Torcurra is most certainly fictional. But the villagers are "good" Christian folk who don't think twice about trying to whip the devils out of people they deem to be crazy, witch hunts seem commonplace, and one of the main characters is a priest... so there are some definite similarities with the real world of centuries ago. Ultimately, though, it doesn't really matter. The story is about the characters, and there are some good ones. Marnie is an independent young woman with a kind heart. Raven is deaf and struggling to fit in in a world where everybody assumes he's mad. I loved the interaction between the two, especially as Marnie was trying to teach Raven how to communicate.

I'd recommend this book to readers who enjoy young adult fiction, fantasy, historical fiction, and/or romance. If you're really curious, you can read an excerpt from the first part of the book here.

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Moon may be new, but the hype is getting old...

Judging by the posts showing up in my subscriptions this morning, I think a good 25% of the bloggers I follow are giggly Twi-hards.

I'm having more fun reading the reviews of movie reviewers like Roger Ebert (who doesn't seem to like New Moon very much). And for once, I think I'd have to agree with the Vatican:

"This theme of vampires in Twilight combines a mixture of excesses that, as ever, is aimed at young people and gives a heavy esoteric element. ... This film is nothing more than a moral vacuum with a deviant message and as such should be of concern."

I can't speak about the movie, but that certainly applies to the books. Just because nobody has sex doesn't mean a movie or book is "moral". I'm not sure exactly what the Vatican is referring to there, though. Is it the shallow emphasis on shiny cars and physical perfection? Is it the violence? Or is it the old men who hang around in places where they'll have access to underage kids? Hmmm...

Friday Fill-Ins (15)

Friday Fill-Ins:

1. We need more shampoo. Honestly... is someone drinking the stuff?

2. I saw pictures of my friend's new puppy and it made me smile.

3. If you want me, you'll have to come and find me.

4. It's because I said so.

5. Massachusetts has a proposed 5% sales tax on elective cosmetic surgery; I think they must first carefully define what "elective" is so that people who might truly need cosmetic surgery aren't unfairly taxed.

6. Everyone on their best behaviour makes for a happy holiday.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to washing my hair with a decent amount of shampoo, tomorrow my plans include thinking and Sunday, I want to enchant all the ride-on animals outside the grocery store so that they really can run!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Booking Through Thursday (12)

Booking Through Thursday asks:

Today’s question was suggested by Barbara:

Do you think any current author is of the same caliber as Dickens, Austen, Bronte, or any of the classic authors? If so, who, and why do you think so? If not, why not? What books from this era might be read 100 years from now?

Same caliber as Dickens, Austen, Brontë, or other classic authors? That's a tough question, because those folks weren't really of the same caliber even amongst the group of "classics authors". Some were more prolific, some were more wordy, some were more accessible, and some are only considered "classic authors" because their books are old (not because they're particularly appealing). If we're going by the ability to use proper grammar and spelling, then I'd have to say no; today's authors could learn a thing or two (or more) from yesterday's authors.

As for what people will be reading 100 years from now, I can only hope it's not the Twilight series (unless it's for some psychology class about the weirdness of the Twi-hard phenomenon). I think people might still be reading Harry Potter, simply because it was such a big deal and captured so many people's imaginations (and got them reading).

It would be nice to see award-winning books being read 100 years from now, too. Some of them aren't as popular as the bestsellers... but popular doesn't always mean good.

Thursday Thunks (11)

1. If you won a brand new house in a Dream House Giveaway would you move into it, sell it to pay the taxes and make a profit, rent it out or give it to a family member/friend who might need it?

I don't think there'd be any taxes on it here (Canadians don't have taxes on lottery winnings). Well, there'd be property taxes, of course. So... I think I might live in it for a year (or as long as I could afford the property tax), and then sell it and use the money to build my dream home (which would probably be a lot smaller and a lot more practical).

2. Are you good at billards?

I might be. I've never really tried playing.

3. Does anyone on the planet really want to see Levi Johnston naked in Playgirl (other than when Bristol Palin did)?

I'm sure some people are attracted to attention whores and want to see them naked. I'm not one of them, though.

4. Is your phone ringing right now?

No, but my ears are. Darn tinnitus.

5. Do you think man has eaten or tried to eat every type of animal on the face of the earth at one point or another? If not, what don't you think man has tried?

I doubt man has tried everything. We're discovering new species every day. That said, probably the only animals man hasn't tried are the ones he hasn't found yet.

6. The new movie Avatar has been showing sneak peeks and been hyped to the max. Will you see it?

Is that about little icons that people use on Internet forums? Seriously... if it's been hyped that much, why do I not even know what you're talking about?

7. If a slightly bigger fish eats a small fish, then a bigger fish immediately eats that one, then an even bigger fish immediately eats that fish and then finally a huge fish eats the one that just ate that fish and it gets caught by you... how many meals will you have from that one fish?

Depends on how big the first fish was. (This reminds me of turducken. How many meals do you get from one of those?)

8. If you had an appointment with the doctor and all the plants in the office were dead, would you still see the doctor?

I thought this read, "If you had an appointment in which the doctor and all the plants in the office were dead, would you still see the doctor?" In that case, no. But if just the plants are dead, I wouldn't care. That's more of a reflection on the office manager's gardening skills, isn't it?

9. Have you ever seen the number 666 in a dream?

I don't think so. It wouldn't mean anything to me, anyway.

10. "At 20 years of age the will reigns, at 30 the wit, at 40 the judgment."~ Benjamin Franklin
So what happens at 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100?

At 50, the pocketbook reigns...
at 60, the wanderlust...
at 70, the pharmaceuticals...
at 80, the guilt trips...
at 90, the bladder...
at 100, the DNR.

11. Would you want your phone number to be (area code) 123-4567?

No. Because people would always be dialing your number just to see if it was real!

Word verification Balderdash (11)

This fun meme is hosted by Sheila over at One Persons Journey through a world of Books.
This is the weekly meme where anyone who wishes to play along can take those crazy word verifications they have had over the past week and apply a fake definition to them (much like how you play the board game Balderdash).

Here are this week's words:

burfbabl - noun - a baby's gurgly giggle that is often accompanied
by the contents of its stomach

forudde - noun - a type of embarrassment-induced redness that appears on the forehead (as opposed to a blush, which usually appears on the cheeks and neck)

humstrom - noun - a strange, low-frequency noise that is generated by a maelstrom

nultions - plural noun - nutritious foodstuffs that can be packed into a very small area, thus making them ideal for camping trips; trail mix can be considered a nultion

psymolog - noun - a written account of instances of psymo, which is the ability to physically multiply physical objects using only the mind

sonman - noun - the male offspring of another male; see also sonwoman, daughterman, and daughterwoman

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


But you know what? I don't really want to pay $259 for an e-book reader. And when the Kindle editions are more expensive (in some cases) than the actual book... well, what's the point?

I think my reading tastes are a little too eclectic for an e-book reader right now. Maybe once retailers start offering all books as digital books... then we'll see. (I don't think any of the non-fiction stuff I've bought recently was available in Kindle format. So I'd still have to buy those books in paper!)

Top 10 TV Couples

I thought I'd take a stab at this meme that's been making the rounds. I saw it on Angieville, but who knows where it started...

Here are my Top 10 TV Couples:

10. Homer & Marge Simpson
The Simpsons (1989-present)

We've been watching them for 20 years now, and they're instantly recognizable as one of TV's most famous couples.

I can't say that I'd be as forgiving as Marge. She's put up with an awful lot over the years... from Homer's alcoholism to his ridiculous ineptitude that really should have nuked Springfield by now. But they still care for each other, even after being married all these years.

9. Sydney Bristow & Michael Vaughn
Alias (2001-2006)

I always wanted these two, a CIA agent and her handler, to get together. There was quite a bit of sexual tension between them... which, as it turned out, was far more interesting than their actual chemistry once they got together. Oh, well.

8. Cliff & Clair Huxtable
The Cosby Show (1984-1992)

I just loved this show, period. Cliff's interactions with his wife and kids were just fantastic. This is probably the sitcom I remember most fondly from my childhood. Cliff and Clair were great parents, teaching their kids valuable lessons without being too heavy-handed. And they loved each other, too. That much was obvious. Great show, great acting, great TV couple.

7. Hiro Nakamura & Charlie Andrews
Heroes (2006-present)

This was a short-lived coupling, but a very sweet one. Charlie is a waitress that Hiro meets at a diner in Texas. She has a power: memorization. Unfortunately, this ultimately cuts the friendship short when Charlie is murdered for her gift.

6. Rick Castle & Kate Beckett
Castle (2009-present)

This is a newer TV couple, but already one that I enjoy watching. I can't ever see these two getting together (without the show jumping the shark), but the interplay between them is interesting and entertaining. She's a no-nonsense police detective. He's a novelist who's shadowing her for research purposes. Even though he usually makes a nuisance of himself, the case ends up getting solved (and it's often thanks to Castle's insights, gleaned from years of thinking like a murderer while writing his books). They make a good team.

5. Niles Crane & Daphne Moon
Frasier (1993-2004)

If you were like me, you wanted to cry right along with Niles when Daphne got engaged to Donny. Right from the beginning, Niles was smitten with Daphne, and his feelings only grew as the seasons went on.

Niles and Daphne did eventually get together and, surprisingly, it worked. Whether it was the writing, the characters, or the actors, when these two finally got hitched, you were happy for them.

4. Mike Hannigan & Phoebe Buffay
Friends (1994-2004)

I know most people would probably pick Ross & Rachel or Monica & Chandler when they think of couples on Friends. But Phoebe and Mike were my favourite. I loved the unconventional way they met. And I loved how Mike liked Phoebe because of her weirdness... not in spite of it. It gives all of us less-than-normal people hope.

3. Juliet Burke & James "Sawyer" Ford
Lost (2004-2010)

Because I'm putting these two together, you might assume that I want Jack and Kate to get together, too. I guess so, but I don't find their on-again/off-again romance very interesting. The Juliet/Sawyer dynamic, on the other hand, feels much more real to me. I have no idea if this relationship is definitively kaput or not (with all the twists and turns in Lost, you never know)... but I sure hope that last season's finale didn't spell the end of "Suliet".

2. Beth Turner & Mick St. John
Moonlight (2007-2008)

This was one of my favourite shows of the 2007-2008 season. It was a pity this cheesy, campy (but fun) show didn't last longer. Mick St. John is a vampire (a relatively young one... I think he was in his 80s) who is also a private investigator. Beth is a human who works for an online news outlet. Their paths eventually cross because of a murder case. Beth doesn't find out about what Mick is until a few episodes into the series, and I loved her reaction. After getting over the initial shock, she was almost giddy with curiosity... and Mick was pretty willing to explain things to her (none of this "I'm so depressed about being a vampire that I'm going to be emo for the next 200 years" nonsense).

I think this relationship only would have gotten more interesting. Unfortunately, all we can do is speculate (unless some exec wants to give Moonlight another go; Alex O'Laughlin's new series sucks -- and not in a vampirey way -- so he'll probably be free for such a project soon).

1. Ned & Charlotte "Chuck" Charles
Pushing Daisies (2007-2009)

Yet another victim of network execs who don't know a good thing when they see it, Pushing Daisies introduced us to Ned (I don't think he has a last name... does he?) and his childhood sweetheart, Charlotte Charles (who goes by "Chuck"). These two managed to make a relationship work, even though they couldn't touch each other or Chuck would die... again.

Everything about this show was sweet... from the visuals to Ned's occupation as a piemaker to the romance. At least the two seasons are available on DVD so we can fall in love with one of TV's cutest couples all over again.

2010 Young Adult Reading Challenge

I've never done a challenge before because I read pretty slowly and I never think I can manage to get through enough books. But since I read almost exclusively YA books (in fiction, anyway), I thought I'd give this challenge a try. It's hosted by J. Kaye at J. Kaye's Book Blog and runs from January 1st to December 31st 2010. I'm going to start with The Mini YA Reading Challenge – Read 12 Young Adult novels (and if I find that I'm going to finish that way too early, I'll upgrade later).

Here we go! This list is subject to change. A ladybug () will sit next to the title when I've finished a book:

1. The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong

2. The Summoning by Kelley Armstrong

3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

4. The Explosionist by Jenny Davidson

5. Dream Spinner by Bonnie Dobkin

6. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

7. Darklight by Lesley Livingston

8. Tiger Moon by Antonia Michaelis

9. Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

10. Dreaming Anastasia by Joy Preble

11. Prophecy of Days - Book One: The Daykeeper's Grimoire by Christy Raedeke

12. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

Total progress:

12 / 12 books. 100% done!

Wednesday Writing (2)

Wednesday Writing is a meme that was started by Tashi at Taste Life Twice.
Wednesday Writing: You come here Wednesdays and I'll give you a few words to write on or a picture to write about. You interpret the picture as you like. But there are a couple catches.
  1. You must include the 2-3 words I choose or write about the picture I post.
  2. You must tell a story.
  3. You can't write more than 100 words.
This week's words are: cocoa, Chapstick, and hollow. And here's what I came up with:
Usually, buying herself a new lipstick or some glittery eyeshadow cheered her up. But that day, not even cocoa-flavoured lip balm could help fill the hollow in her chest. Maybe retail therapy never had been the answer.

She sighed, applied another layer of Chapstick to her tear-blistered lips, and slunk past the life-sized display, trying very hard not to punch the grinning cardboard model in the head.
Eh... I was bored. Maybe that's not really a true story as much as it is a teaser... but it has me wondering why this person is in such a bad mood!

Wishful Wednesdays (2)

Wishful Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

I just found out about this one recently. It's been released, but I haven't actually gone looking for it in the bookstore yet. The book I'm wishing for? Evidence of Angels by Suza Scalora:


I've read The Fairies, and I have a copy of The Witches and Wizards of Oberin. The books are a pleasure to look at. There are no deep stories or earth-shattering revelations (at least, not in those two books), but I don't think that's the point. The beauty of the photographs is what makes Scalora's books special.

I can't wait to see what's in between the covers of this one!