Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Sisterhood Award!

Many thanks to Sarbear at My Life is an Effing Fairy Tale! for this lovely award:

Does this mean I need to find myself a pair of travelling pants?

I'm going to pass this one along to:

1. Eleni at /- LA FEMME READERS -/
2. Nina at J'adorehappyendings
3. Misty at Book Rat
4. Petty Witter at Pen and Paper
5. Juju from Tales of whimsy...
6. Melissa from My World
7. Pirate Penguin at Pirate Penguin's Reads

Review - Reincarnation

by Suzanne Weyn

I've read many non-fiction books on the topic of reincarnation, and some of the stories within them are as strange as (or stranger than) fiction. So maybe it's not any wonder that there are so few fiction books that deal with this topic. I've read a few, ranging from the good (Alison Baird's The Witches of Willowmere) to the absurd (Alyson Noël's Evermore) to the downright awful (Michael Kube-McDowell's Vectors). Suzanne Weyn's Reincarnation falls somewhere in the middle. It wasn't the best reincarnation novel I've ever read, but it certainly wasn't the worst.

From the beginning, before I knew anything about the story, I knew two things: first, that there would be a lot of death; and second, that the two characters would have a satisfactory ending. When you're writing about multiple lives, death is a given. After all, one has to die before they can be reborn. And as for the ending... well, if there's not going to be a satisfactory conclusion, then what's the point of this particular journey? (I guess you can get away with that kind of nonsense in literary fiction, but this is, after all, a young adult romance novel. Do you really expect it to end with, "And they both died and never saw each other again for all eternity"?)

The plot loosely revolves around emeralds. In the beginning, a young Cro-Magnon woman and a young Neanderthal man die while fighting over a chunk of emerald. This event sets the rest of the story in motion. The two reincarnate over and over again, meeting in each life and discovering an inexplicable attraction to one another, while encountering the green jewels that often (but not always) lead to their demise. It's difficult to talk about characters, because they went by different names throughout the book. They were fairly easy to keep track of, though, as the author assigned characteristics to each one early on, and those characteristics kept repeating. The young woman, for instance, injured her foot in ancient Egypt; from then on, when a character showed up who had foot or ankle problems, you knew which reincarnated character it was. (I did find this to be a little over-simplified, but for storytelling purposes, it worked.)

This was a quick read, but at times it felt a little rushed. The last section, especially, seemed a little too short (and convenient). Unfortunately, due to the nature of the story, there was really not enough time for the author to properly develop any of the characters... and so we had to rely on those external characteristics I mentioned earlier (the bum ankle, the headaches, the jaw problems, the redhead who always wears yellow). I wouldn't have minded if the book was a little longer, especially in some sections.

I did like how the author incorporated different cultural beliefs into the story. When a character died, they saw what their culture had conditioned them to see. The prehistoric people saw a great bird carrying the spirits of the dead; the ancient Greeks saw the River Styx and Elysium; those who were raised in Western Christian countries saw the pearly gates and the archangel Michael. It would have been even more interesting had these two characters reincarnated in other places around the world (but they were confined to the Mediterranean region, Europe, and the U.S.A.).

All in all, it was an entertaining and interesting read. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to anyone with an open mind who loves a good story.

Plot: 4/5
Characters: 3/5
Pace: 3/5
Writing: 3/5
Originality: 4/5

Overall: 3.4 out of 5

Favorite Fictional Character (3)

Today's favourite fictional character is not even human. He's "the little dog with a big imagination": Wishbone.

I fell in love with this series when it first aired on PBS, even though I was much older than the target audience. But when you combine classic literature with a cute Jack Russell Terrier who dresses up in costumes to play some of the most beloved characters in history... well, what's not to love?

"Wishbone" aired between 1995 and 2001. The eponymous dog lives with his owner, a young boy named Joe Talbot. Wishbone can talk (well, in his head... only the audience can hear him, of course), and his narration ties some of history's greatest works of literature together with the stories of Joe's everyday life in the town of Oakdale, Texas. I'm not sure exactly how this dog is supposed to know all of these famous stories, but he does. And the result is both entertaining and educational.

Wishbone imagines himself in all sorts of famous works -- everything from The Odyssey to Pride and Prejudice (in which he plays Mr. Darcy, of course). Half the fun was seeing the dog dressed up in some pretty elaborate costumes. But I think the series was intended as a way to encourage kids to read, and pick up books they might not even look at otherwise. While I question how many kids actually managed to read The Count of Monte Cristo after seeing the corresponding episode, at least they got an idea of the story... and perhaps they would go on to read the book when they were ready. (I read Shakespeare's The Tempest after seeing the episode "Shakespaw". Of course, then I couldn't shake the image in my head of Ariel with four legs and a tail.)

Only a few episodes are available on VHS and DVD, which is a shame. The classic works highlighted by the show are timeless, and kids today would probably still get a lot out of watching the series.

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

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays (7)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Today's Teaser:

Elijah reincarnated as John the Baptist and that means it was all clear for the messiah to come. I can accept that. Reincarnation is certainly not a new idea.

Okay, I say. Fair enough.

I'm definitely going to stop drinking so much, though.

~ page 130 - Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn

Of course, I'm kicking myself for missing those two questions...

Your result for The Commonly Confused Words Test...

English Genius

You scored 100% Beginner, 100% Intermediate, 93% Advanced, and 93% Expert!

You did so extremely well, even I can't find a word to describe your excellence! You have the uncommon intelligence necessary to understand things that most people don't. You have an extensive vocabulary, and you're not afraid to use it properly! Way to go!

Thank you so much for taking my test. I hope you enjoyed it!

For the complete Answer Key, visit my blog:

Take The Commonly Confused Words Test at HelloQuizzy

Monday, September 28, 2009

Monday's Question of the Day (5)

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

If you had to save one book from a fire, which one would it be?

My Answer: You know, I've thought about this for a while, and I can't come up with just one book. In fact, I don't think I'd save any books. It's not that I don't value them. It's just that all the books that I buy are just one of many. They're not one-of-a-kind, they're not old, and the books themselves are certainly not valuable. They can all be replaced.

That said, some books are important to certain people. This question reminded me of an incident that happened over the summer. An arsonist set a Sikh school on fire, and there was a holy book inside. Firefighters had told the worried onlookers not to be too hopeful because, after all, this was a big fire and the book was made of paper. A few minutes later, a firefighter came walking out with the holy book. It was unscathed... even though the building around it had burned. I felt so happy for those people; this book was obviously so important to them.

I think I can guess how they would have answered this question!

Award Time!

Thanks so much to Pirate Penguin at Pirate Penguin's Reads for this very pretty award!
This award is meant to pat on the back the ones paying particular attention to their blog presentation, and god knows some of them looks awesome! Of course none of them are pretty empty shells, so there's no shame to mention how nice their blogs are!

Here are the rules:
1. Post the award on your blog, with the name of the person who has granted the award, and his or her blog link.
2. Pass the award to 5 other blogs that your particularly like. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.
Here are five bloggers who have created blogs that are very easy on the eyes:

1. Jess at Bookworm Nation
2. Nely at All About {n}
3. Angiegirl at Angieville
4. Katrina at Bloody Bad
5. ParaJunkee at Parajunkee's View

Congrats to all!

Musing Mondays (7)

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

Do you keep a book wishlist, either on paper, Amazon/etc, or via a book database site (Shelfari, GoodReads, LibraryThing)? If yes, do you share this list with others (especially coming up to Christmas)?

I have a wishlist at, but it's not very up-to-date. I generally buy most of my own books, rather than having them bought for me, so I don't really have a public list. I do keep a sort of informal wishlist in my head, though, of books I'd like to read.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

E-book readers?

I'm considering getting an e-book reader, but I'm not sure if it's worth it. My piles of books are really getting to me, though; I can't look at them without feeling guilty for killing trees.

If you have an e-book reader, what kind do you have? Do you like it, or does it have so many problems that you tend to avoid using it?

Please keep in mind that I'm in Canada and we don't have access to the Kindle. (I guess Amazon figures that Americans are the only people on the planet who read. Hey... it's their loss; think of that giant untapped market of potential Kindle customers that they're ignoring!) The Sony Readers are available here, but I've seen mixed reviews; the glare issue seems to be a big problem. Does anyone have a Sony Reader? Or something else that's even better?

What would you recommend?

In My Mailbox (3)

This week I actually got some books! I went to Indigo in search of two books. Unfortunately, only one of them was in stock. Fortunately, I found some other goodies.

So I didn't find Crazy Beautiful. I guess I'll have to try again (I really want to read that one!). But I did find the other book I was looking for: Savvy by Ingrid Law. I just love the cover. It reminds me of a van Gogh painting... but not quite.

Then, since I was in the middle-grade section, I had a little browse. I found a book of short stories by Gail Carson Levine called The Fairy's Return. Since I enjoyed the author's other books (Ella Enchanted, The Two Princesses of Bamarre, and Fairest), I thought I might give this one a try. I'm not usually a fan of short stories, but I felt like I needed something short and easy to handle.

And then I spied something really cool: bargain-priced books. I always like a bargain. I hadn't heard of most of them. But in amongst the rather lame-sounding titles was one I had heard of: The Looking Glass Wars. And in hardcover for only $5.99! So I had to add that to my pile.

What was in your "mailbox" this week?

In My Mailbox was started by Kristi of The Story Siren.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Share-A-Book Saturday (4)

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 Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder.

Discovering two thought-provoking philosophical questions in her mailbox, Sophie enrolls in a correspondence course with a mysterious philosopher and begins to receive some equally unusual letters. (Product description from

What can I say about this one that won't give too much away? As the subtitle says, this is a novel about the history of philosophy. While that might sound boring, I certainly didn't find that to be the case. If anything, I got bogged down in the fictional part of the narrative (I ended up reading the last part quite a while after I'd started the book... but I'm glad I came back to it and finished it!). The philosophical bits were pretty fascinating, and I thought they were presented quite well; you don't need a master's degree to understand the concepts. Still, this is not exactly "light reading". If you're like me, you'll need time to put the book down and reflect on each new bit of information as it's presented. But it's still an enjoyable read, and a book I'd recommend to anyone who's interested in philosophical concepts.

Friday, September 25, 2009

In which I question the tackiness of book previews...

A few days ago, as I finished The Hollow, I noticed a preview at the back of the book. Now, that's not so unusual. I've seen previews for other books before; Alyson Noël's Immortals series has them, and some of Gail Carson Levine's books do as well. However, there was a difference. While the previews in the Immortals books and Levine's books were for other titles by those authors, the preview in The Hollow was for a book by a different author altogether.

My first thought was that it was just plain tacky. It's advertising, plain and simple. And I'm not used to seeing advertising in books. I'm sure you could argue that these previews are like movie trailers. But I think there's a difference. A movie is very much a collaborative effort, while a novel was created (more or less) by one person: the author. A book is supposed to be the author's time to shine. After many hours of work, their creation is finally released to the public.

But now we've got advertisements for other books inside of novels. It kind of seems like stealing the author's thunder. Even though I didn't enjoy The Hollow, I felt sorry for Jessica Verday after seeing that preview in the back of her book. Here's a debut author who's just released her first novel. It's quite an accomplishment. And yet, there's this subtle message sent by the inclusion of the preview that this novel is not quite enough on its own. At least, that's how I felt.

Jessica Verday appears to be quite a fan of the author whose preview appears in her book, and that may be why it was included. But what about another first-time author whose book gets a preview stuck into it... a preview by an author whose books they don't like? I can only imagine how annoyed, disgusted, and hurt I would be if I wrote a novel and the publisher decided to include an exerpt from, say, Stephenie Meyer's latest book.

From the publisher's point of view, previews are probably a good thing. But from the writer's point of view? I'm not sure how happy many of them would be with some other author's writing cluttering up what is supposed to be their creative work.

What do you think? Are previews for books by other authors a good idea? Or are they just tacky?

Friday Fill-Ins (7)

Friday Fill-Ins:

1. One week ago I was a week younger than I am today.

2. It was the 1980s when I was young.

3. Mama told me to call her "Mom"; so why did I just refer to her as "Mama"?

4. Me and you, you and me. That's the way it ought to be. Here I am, making rhymes. It's more fun than counting dimes.

5. Take your time when you're cleaning out your bellybutton; it's worth it.

6. Gas will pass!

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to reading, tomorrow my plans include watching TV and Sunday, I want to create a new system of taxonomy in Klingon!

Thursday Thunks (4)

1. Does soap or shampoo have to really lather up for you to feel that it cleaned thoroughly?

No, not really. But lather is fun.

2. Do you have a long-standing joke with someone that you still laugh about every time you talk to that person?


3. Share something that happened to you this past week that was unusual.

I'm pretty vanilla. Nothing unusual happened to me. (Sorry... I'm boring!)

4. If you dropped a purple crayon and a green crayon off a roof, which would melt faster in the sun?

I guess it would depend on which was darker and absorbed more sunlight (and therefore heat). Are we talking deep hunter green and lavender? Or mint green and royal violet?

5. You are standing in line (grocery store, bank, etc.), and someone gets in line behind you that stinks. The stink is so bad that people in line in front of you turn around and look to see if you are the one causing the stink. Do you cover your nose, hold your breath, breathe through your mouth or just get out of line altogether?

I'd probably get out of line. Then, when the stink remained, the other people would realize it wasn't me!

6. If you dropped your cell phone in the toilet, would you fish it out? If so, how much soap would you use to wash your hands afterwards?

I might fish it out, but I'd find something to put on my hands first. A plastic bag or something. And then I'd trash the phone. I couldn't bear to use it after that.

7. Sydney Australia dust storm! How long do you think it would take you to clean your house after that sort of dust storm?

That would depend on whether or not the windows had been open.

8. Do you think you can dance?

No. (If you'd asked me when I was eight, though, my answer probably would have been different.)

9. You are out to eat and someone across the room is staring at you. Do you get paranoid, try to ignore them, or go find out why they are staring at you?

I'd get paranoid and try to ignore them.

10. Come up with a crazy, wacky Thursday Thunk question.

If you could be a weather phenomenon (tornado, hurricane, drought, dust storm, etc.), what would you be, and why? What would you do with that power?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Booking Through Thursday (6)

Booking Through Thursday asks:

What’s the saddest book you’ve read recently?

I guess there are a couple of ways you could look at this question, depending on how you interpret the word "saddest". So for a couple of interpretations, here are a couple of answers:

The "saddest" book I've read recently was Blue Moon by Alyson Noel. It was "sad" as in "terrible". It's terribly discouraging to see such horribly written books get published and soar to the top of people's lists of favourites. It makes me sad to know that that is what is popular... when there are so many better writers out there who never get the credit they deserve.

The "saddest" book I've read was probably The Time Traveler's Wife (even though I didn't exactly read it recently). This book was "sad" as in "hand-me-that-box-of-tissues-because-I-can't-stop-crying". I don't think I actually cried when I read it, but then, I'm not much of a crier when it comes to fiction. (Real life, on the other hand, makes me cry all the time.)

What Kind of Reader Are You?

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Literate Good Citizen

You read to inform or entertain yourself, but you're not nerdy about it. You've read most major classics (in school) and you have a favorite genre or two.

Dedicated Reader

Book Snob

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

Fad Reader


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Word verification Balderdash (3)

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. Enjoy (with a cup of tea and some dockscub?):

alingran - noun - the lint produced by degrading velvet; commonly found in the bellybutton

- noun - a type of biscuit favoured by wharfmen

- exclamation - an expression most often used by nonathletic high school students

- verb - to move quickly away from something after being startled

- noun - an androgynous eel used in sushi

waliaedn - noun - a type of ululation that incorporates consonant sounds

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Which is better?

At the moment, I've got my reviews arranged by date. But I'm not sure if that's the way I want to go. If I'm going to change it, I'd better do so before the list gets too long.

So which way do you think works best: listing them alphabetically by author, alphabetically by title, or chronologically by review date?

Wishful Wednesdays (1)

Wishful Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

I went to the bookstore on Monday in search of a few books. I found all but one of the books I was looking for, and of course that was the one I wanted to read the most: Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted.

Why am I so eager to read this one? Well, I've heard mostly good reviews about it...

But, really, the main reason is because it's short. I can handle 208 pages, especially since it's a stand-alone book. After reading a 513-page, nearly plotless introduction to a trilogy... well, I'm kind of afraid of any book thicker than a deck of cards at the moment.

Favorite Fictional Character (2)

You remind me of the babe.
What babe?
The babe with the power.
What power?
The power of voodoo.
Who do?
You do.
Do what?
Remind me of the babe.

Labyrinth has been one of my favourite movies since I first saw it back in the late '80s. The fantasy world that the moviemakers created was unforgettable; just ask anyone who's seen the film. The characters were all so unique and individual that you could overlook the (at times) cheesy acting and just enjoy the beautiful world on the screen. Well, I guess the Bog of Eternal Stench wasn't that beautiful, but you get the idea.

When I was younger, I thought that Jareth the Goblin King was kind of creepy. He scared me. The bulge in his tight spandex pants scared me. But he was oddly enigmatic, too. Was it any wonder that Sarah was in danger of losing herself (and all she held dear) to him?

Of course, half of the charm of this character came from the actor who played him. There may have been more handsome actors who could have been cast, but David Bowie, with his rather fascinating looks, was just right for the role. Plus, he could sing. Labyrinth has some great music, and Bowie made the most of it. Who could forget the ballroom scene with its beautiful song that played as masked dancers swirled about in a crystal ball, all while the main character was in danger of falling victim to the Goblin King?

So Jareth is one of my favourite fictional characters. Now that I'm older, and he doesn't creep me out so much, I'm better able to appreciate how important he was to the story.

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

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Does anyone know...

... the name of a book or series of books about a teenage girl whose boyfriend was a ghost? I remember reading one of the books years ago, and I'm trying to remember the title (or author... or even the characters' names), but I'm drawing a blank.

The girl was living, but the guy was a ghost. He hung around her house (often in her bedroom), and I don't think the girl was sure why he was there (I don't remember if he even knew).

And while I'm asking, does anyone know the name of the book about a group of kids with wings who end up in a sort of group home? It's probably about 10 years old... so it's not Aprilynne Pike's Wings.

Do these ring a bell with anyone?


The mystery is partially solved. Thanks to Alex at A Flight of Minds for suggesting the Mediator series by Meg Cabot. I think that was the series I had in mind about the girl and her ghostly guy friend.

See, I knew someone would know what book I was talking about! :)

Edit again:

The mystery is solved! I used Amazon's advanced search and found the kids-with-wings book (guess I should have done that in the first place... but I didn't realize you could search by keyword!). It's called Growing Wings by Laurel Winter.

You know how sometimes certain books stay with you and you don't really know why? This was one of those books. It wasn't that I really loved it or anything... but I guess there was just something about it that was memorable.

Review - The Hollow

The Hollow (The Hollow #1)
by Jessica Verday
Date: 2009
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Reading level: YA
Book type: prose novel
Pages: 513
Format: hardcover
Source: Indigo

A love like no other...

When Abbey's best friend, Kristen, vanishes at the bridge near Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, everyone else is all too quick to accept that Kristen is dead...and rumors fly that her death was no accident. Abbey goes through the motions of mourning her best friend, but privately, she refuses to believe that Kristen is really gone. Then she meets Caspian, the gorgeous and mysterious boy who shows up out of nowhere at Kristen's funeral and keeps reappearing in Abbey's life. Caspian clearly has secrets of his own, but he's the only person who makes Abbey feel normal again...but also special.

Just when Abbey starts to feel that she might survive all this, she learns a secret that makes her question everything she thought she knew about her best friend. How could Kristen have kept silent about so much? And could this secret have led to her death? As Abbey struggles to understand Kristen's betrayal, she uncovers a frightening truth that nearly unravels her - one that will challenge her emerging love for Caspian, as well as her own sanity.

(synopsis from Goodreads)

I'm disappointed. Very, very disappointed.

I wanted to like this book. I really did. I'd read (mostly) good reviews, so I thought this would be a good book to spend my money on. In all honesty, though, I feel cheated. Cheated out of my time, and cheated out of my money. That'll teach me to buy hardcovers when I'm only getting a 10% discount.

The title turned out to be appropriate. For me, the book was hollow. There just wasn't much in it. When I read the first few pages, I breathed a sigh of relief. The prose was grammatically correct, and the writing style was nice. So I settled into reading what I thought would be an intriguing story...

I understand (now) that this book is the first of a trilogy. Unfortunately, that's not made clear on the cover. A big "Book One of the Hollow Trilogy" on the front would have been nice. Because, as it is, The Hollow can not stand on its own. At all. In fact, this is one of the first books I've read where the first book in a trilogy or series is nothing but a placeholder. Usually, that doesn't happen until the second book.

By the time I'd gotten about a third of the way through the book and nothing of significance had happened, I was almost ready to give up. But I kept going, hoping for a payoff of some sort. I'd heard there was a twist or revelation, so I wanted to find out what that was. Unfortunately, that meant slogging through more than 400 pages of long-winded prose that was desperately in need of an editor. Take, for example, this little nugget from page 366 (I remembered it because of its ridiculousness):

I put my hands to the ground and pushed myself up to my feet.

Aside from giving me the mental image of a toddler trying to stand and take her first steps, the author took fourteen words to say what could easily have been said in three:

I stood up.

Now imagine 513 pages of that kind of writing...

I was pretty annoyed by the time I finished the book. Characters and storylines were introduced but never followed up on. We never got any resolution to Kristen and the mysterious "D.", and Ben and the whole science fair storyline just seemed like filler. The rude guy in the ice cream store... well, I thought he was significant, but he wasn't mentioned again. And what about the shiny thing in the river? Either the author has never heard of Chekhov's gun, or she's planning on resolving these elements in future books. The problem is that there's not enough story here for a trilogy. There was barely enough story for this first book; 400 pages could have been cut, and you still would have gotten the gist.

As for the big twist, I'd guessed that pretty early on, and ended up reading the rest of the book with that idea in my head. So when the big revelation came, it wasn't a shock. In fact, my reaction was more along the lines of disbelief. That was the big twist? That was what all of this was leading up to? I had to read over 450 pages to get to that?

The story didn't really start to pick up until page 460, and then too much was thrown in at once, which made the book seem rather ending-heavy. I blew through the last 50 or so pages, because stuff was actually happening. But then, just as things were getting going, the book ended.

After reading 513 pages, I want to come away feeling like I've read a good story or spent time with some interesting characters. In this case, however, I thought the story wasn't meaty enough and the characters were weak. Ultimately, the payoff was too little. I have no desire to read the next book, even if we do get some answers.

But if the second book in this trilogy is anything like the first, we'll have to sit through another massive tome before finding anything out... because I suspect that we're not going to get our answers until the very end of the third book.

Plot: 1/5
Characters: 2/5
Pace: 0/5
Writing: 2/5
Originality: 3/5

Overall: 1.6 out of 5

Teaser Tuesdays (6)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Today's Teaser:

Unlike any normal hurricane, Fish's birthday storm had started without warning. One minute, my brother was tearing paper from presents in our backyard near the beach; the next minute, both Fish and the afternoon sky went a funny and fearsome shade of gray.

~ page 2 - Savvy by Ingrid Law

Monday, September 21, 2009

Monday's Question of the Day (4)

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

What book has made you look at life in a different light?

My Answer: I can't really think of a fictional book that has made me look at life in a different light. I do read non-fiction, though, and some of those books have definitely altered my perspective on things. I can think of one in particular that really blew my mind when I read it and made me think of things in ways I might not have considered otherwise.

That book is The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot:
Today nearly everyone is familiar with holograms, three-dimensional images projected into space with the aid of a laser. Now, two of the world's most eminent thinkers -- University of London physicists David Bohm, a former protege of Einstein's and one of the world's most respected quantum physicists, and Stanford neurophysiologist Karl Pribram, one of the architects of our modern understanding of the brain -- believe that the universe itself may be a giant hologram, quite literally a kind of image or construct created, at least in part, by the human mind. This remarkable new way of looking at the universe explains not only many of the unsolved puzzles of physics, but also such mysterious occurrences as telepathy, out-of-body and near death experiences, "lucid" dreams, and even religious and mystical experiences such as feelings of cosmic unity and miraculous healings. (Product description from
Cool, right? This book has so many amazing, interesting anecdotes and stories (along with some truly mind-bending ideas about holographic theory and the nature of the universe).

Musing Mondays (6)

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

Do you listen to music while reading? Does this change if you’re reading in or out of your house? Do you have a preference of music for such occasions?

Oh, heck no! I can't listen to music while I'm reading. My brain can't handle two inputs like that at the same time. I end up listening to the music and my eyes just skim over the page without my brain registering anything about what I'm reading. Or, if I try really hard, I can grasp the story... but then I end up tuning out the music. So what's the point?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Share-A-Book Saturday (3)

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 Wren to the Rescue by Sherwood Smith.

All her life Wren has hoped for an adventure. Now she has one - with a kidnapped princess, a handsome prince, and a magician. What does it matter if the princess is only Tess, her best friend from the orphanage; if the prince is a youngest son with no chance of becoming king; and the magician is an apprentice? Wren leads the other three over mountains and past killing spells, fighting battles along the way. But then she finds herself up against some shape-changing magic that may end her life as a human forever! (Product description from

I read Wren to the Rescue years ago, back when I was among the intended target audience. I absolutely loved it! I got completely caught up with the characters and the story, and I was inspired to start writing my own fantasy novel. While that never went anywhere, and I ended up moving on to other series before the sequels (two of them) were released, Wren to the Rescue stayed with me as one of the books that helped introduce me to (and give me an appreciation for) the fantasy genre.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Firsts (1)

The first line can make or break a reader’s interest. Just how well did the author pull you in to the story with their first sentence? To participate in this weekly book meme is extremely easy.

  • Grab the book you are currently reading and open to the first page.
  • Write down the first sentence in the first paragraph.
  • Create a blog post with this information. (Make sure to include the title & author of the book you are using. Even an ISBN helps!)
  • Did this first sentence help draw you into the story? Why or why not?
I'm still reading The Hollow by Jessica Verday. The book begins with this sentence:
It was funny.
Actually, it wasn't funny. It wasn't funny at all. The scene takes place at a memorial service/funeral/viewing (I'm still not sure what it was supposed to be). The second sentence actually sets the scene a little better.

Yes, I realize that "funny" in this instance means "strange". But this book often uses ten words when three would suffice, so the use of inexact words doesn't really surprise me. (I will, of course, expand on this when I actually review the book.)

The first sentence did not help draw me into the story. In fact, a couple hundred pages of sentences have not helped to draw me into the story. I'm more than halfway through the book, and I'm beginning to wonder if there even is a story.

So this first line is not really apt. The scene wasn't funny, the book is not funny, and the time I feel like I'm wasting is definitely not funny.

Funny, isn't it?

Friday Fill-Ins (6)

Friday Fill-Ins:

1. My car is bright purple and can fly (because it only exists in my imagination).

2. Question #3 is coming up next.

3. Lately, things seem repetitive.

4. My brain is one of my favorite 'hiding' places.

5. What happened is not that important; you can't change the past.

6. Nothing is not impossible! Or maybe something is possible. I don't know. I'm confused now.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching TV, tomorrow my plans include juicing my creativity and Sunday, I want to learn how to read osmotically by pressing my forehead against books (because it's got to be faster than the old-fashioned way)!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Word verification Balderdash (2)

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 (all nouns this time... oh, well):

ausicle - noun - a term used to describe a tourist from Australia who complains that they're cold whenever the temperature dips below 25 degrees Celsius

ebran - noun - something that is seen online that is so disturbing, it has a laxative effect

fangundo - noun - a ballroom-style dance developed by vampires for vampires

orabbi - noun - an Irish Jewish spiritual leader

sestroo - noun - a group of six bipedal marsupials

uncytorm - noun - a cellular process wherein mitochondria disappear on the quantum level, leading to the implosion of the entire cell in a flash of cyan light

Thursday Thunks (3)

1. My daughter (aka Demon #1) informed me the other day that her hugs were worth a million dollars. Would you give up hugs - giving and receiving - for the rest of your life, for a million dollars?

Considering it's been years since I actually gave or received a hug, this would not be that big of a sacrifice for me. And I could definitely use the money.

2.Have you ever been bitten by a member of the canine family?

Yes, I've been nipped, but I don't think it was intentional. My finger was between teeth and treat.

3. What is your favorite color of jeans?

Uh... blue?

4. What is something that has changed in public schools that you wish was the norm when you were in school?

I wish there had been Photoshop courses. Back when I was in school, our "computer graphics" course involved drawing straight lines in a CAD program by entering coordinates. (And I know there were better drawing programs out there, because I'd been using PCPaint and Dr. Halo for years.)

5. What is your news source?

The evening news.

6. What sort of people do you think read your blog?

Literate ones.

7. If I told you that I had a headache, you would say..........???

No... I'd probably say, ",,,,,,,,,,"

8. You go to a buffet style restaurant, what is the first food you put on your plate?

Samosas... if they have them.

9. If you were stranded on a desert island.... no, we aren't asking that again. Lets put a twist into this. Would you volunteer to be dropped off on a desert island, to be picked up in a month? And you don't get to bring those 3 items, either.

Sure. At least it would be nice and quiet.

10. When the sun sets, what are you usually doing?

Watching my answer to #5.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Favorite Fictional Character (1)

I have a lot of favourite fictional characters. But the one I'm going to start with is a certain vampire. He's handsome, protective, hates being a vampire, and doesn't like to drink fresh human blood.

No, I'm not talking about Edward Cullen. I'm talking about Mick St. John, the cute vamp from the short-lived but highly entertaining TV series, "Moonlight".

Aside from being eye candy, Mick St. John is interesting. He doesn't spend decades pathetically hanging around high schools in the hopes of getting a girlfriend. He's a private investigator. Along with his human friend, Beth, who's a reporter for an Internet news service, he solves crimes, rescues people in need, and helps keep the streets safe from criminals... of both the human and vampire varieties.

In Mick's world, vampires look pretty much like humans... until they go all vampy. Then their fangs appear and their eyes turn white (or whatever colour those cheesy contact lenses are supposed to be). Watching the actors ham it up, baring their fangs and snarling, is bound to make you smile (even if that wasn't the intent).

Oh, and the best part about these vampires? They don't sparkle!

Yes, I'll take Mick St. John over Edward Cullen any day.

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

Wednesday Writing (1)

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: tears, sweet, and friendship. And here's what I came up with:
Only his tears, sweet against her lips, gave her any indication that something was wrong.

"Stop," he said.

She did. Abruptly. Reluctantly.

He shook his head. "I don't want to ruin what we have."

With a grunt, she pulled away and folded her arms. "We don't have anything."

"We have friendship."

She raised one eyebrow in a familiar expression that made his heart sink.

"Not anymore," she said.
By my count, that's 68 words. Well, at least I didn't go over. Is this kind of writing considered an extreme form of flash fiction?

BBAW - You and Your Reading Habits

Today it’s all about the creativity. We have this fabulous reading meme for you below and all you have to do? Pick ONE or answer them all in as few words as possible! Be creative, have fun, stand out! That’s all!

Do you snack while you read? If so, favorite reading snack?

I don't snack and read.

Do you tend to mark your books as you read, or does the idea of writing in books horrify you?

I don't mark my books.

How do you keep your place while reading a book? Bookmark? Dog-ears?

I use a bookmark.

Laying the book flat open?

On occasion, yes. I'm bad.

Fiction, Non-fiction, or both?


Hard copy or audiobooks?

I prefer hard copy.

Are you a person who tends to read to the end of chapters, or are you able to put a book down at any point?

I stop when I'm tired.

If you come across an unfamiliar word, do you stop to look it up right away?

Only if I'm reading online.

What are you currently reading?

The Hollow by Jessica Verday

What is the last book you bought?

Reincarnation by Suzanne Weyn

Are you the type of person that only reads one book at a time or can you read more than one at a time?

I can read multiple books.

Do you have a favorite time of day and/or place to read?

In bed, before bed.

Do you prefer series books or stand alone books?

I'm starting to prefer stand-alones.

Is there a specific book or author that you find yourself recommending over and over?


How do you organize your books? (By genre, title, author’s last name, etc.?)

By genre, author, then title.

"Waiting On" Wednesday (1)

"Waiting On" Wednesday is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

There's only one book I'm really waiting for at the moment. This one:

I think I must be the only book blogger out there who hasn't read it. If I haven't commented on your reviews of it, it's because I've been skipping them. I'm afraid of spoilers!

Only a few more weeks to go...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays (5)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.

Today's Teaser:

My white tunic was very plain among the jesters and their bells, the wizards and their staffs, the fairies and their jewels, fragile shoulders rising from beds of ribbon and gauze. But my costume hid more secrets than theirs.

~ page 46 - The Folk Keeper by Franny Billingsley

Monday, September 14, 2009

Monday's Question of the Day (3)

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

I can't really think of a book question today, so as I was watching MTV, this came to mind, what's your favorite music video right now?

My Answer: Right now, I don't watch music videos. I can't even remember when I last watched one in its entirety.

As a child of the '80s, one of my favourites was (and perhaps always will be) the video for "Take on Me" by a-ha. It was innovative when it was released, and it's still awesome, twenty-five years later.

(Trying to find a decent version on YouTube was harder than you'd think. A bit of the end is cut off, but you get the idea.)

Musing Mondays (5)

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

Do you find yourself forming trends in your reading? Is this a conscious act, influenced by either your own interests or current publishing fads?

In the past, I'd have to say there were trends. Of course, I used to read a lot more books. It's kind of difficult to notice trends when you only get through one or two books in a month.

Those trends, however, are not really based on the current fad. It might appear that way at the moment, what with all the fantasy/paranormal YA romance stuff I've been reading, but that's just where my interests lie. I've always liked those sorts of books. I don't read something just because it's popular; it has to interest me to make me pick it up... and actually finish it.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another Award!

Thanks to Melissa at My World for the My Top Blog Commenters Award!

I'm actually not that great with comments, being a bit gun-shy after a really bad online experience. I really should comment more on all the lovely book blogs I read; I know it's nice when people know that others care about what they have to say.

My blog doesn't get a whole lot of comments, but there are a few kind people who are very definitely in the running for this award. So I'm going to pass this along to:
Juju from Tales of whimsy...
Sarbear from My Life is an Effing Fairy Tale!
and... I'm also going to pass it right back to Melissa at My World, since she's one of my super commenters!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

You Know You're Following Too Many Blogs When...

... you've been bombarded with the New Moon trailer at least twenty times in one day.

Okay, okay... People are excited. I get that. I'd be excited, too... if I liked the book.

At least the Volturi look like real vampires and not just pale, constipated supermodels.

And yes, I probably will see New Moon. Just not in the theatre on opening day. Parts of it were filmed around here, so I'm curious to see if I'll be able to recognize anything. (It's always a little worrisome when they change filming locations halfway through a series. Sometimes it's really obvious that it's not the same place. I wonder what they'll do for the high school... and the houses. The Cullen house was pretty distinctive. I wonder how they got around that!)