Saturday, May 29, 2010

A New Way

If you didn't have a chance to read either Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet or The Murderer's Daughters we're extending it through June. With summer upon us a lot of us will be busy doing summer-y things.

July and August's book will either be American Gods by Neil Gaiman or The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I keep changing my mind on how I want to run this book club. I want people to read along in their own time, but even I don't always find time to read the book of the month with all the other titles I have waiting on my shelf for me to read! So, for June we'll read either of last months titles! Be sure to vote for the July/August book!! It's up now!! If there are any suggestions  for September/October please leave them here in the comment area!

If you plan to buy any of the books we suggest on here please use our links to amazon.com as we'll get credit for it! As I posted before we'd like to use anything we earn through advertising for a giveaway for our readers!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Did you choose Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet?

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
by Jamie Ford
•What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?


•What specific themes did the author emphasize throughout the novel? What do you think he or she is trying to get across to the reader?

•Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or someone you know?

•How do characters change or evolve throughout the course of the story? What events trigger such changes?

•In what ways do the events in the books reveal evidence of the author's world view?

•Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?

Did you choose The Murderer's Daughters?


The Murderer's Daughters
by R.S. Meyers
•What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?

•What specific themes did the author emphasize throughout the novel? What do you think he or she is trying to get across to the reader?

•Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or someone you know?

•How do characters change or evolve throughout the course of the story? What events trigger such changes?

•In what ways do the events in the books reveal evidence of the author's world view?

•Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes ~ A Book Review

Dammit,’ she realized. ‘I think I’m having a nervous breakdown.’ Hot-shot magazine editor Lisa Edwards’ career is destined for high-rise New York when suddenly she’s diverted to low-rise Dublin. But what can she do about it? Ashling Kennedy, Lisa’s super-organized assistant, worries about everything from her lack of waist to the lack of men in her life. She’s even anxious about of a little bit of raw fish … Clodagh Kelly is Ashling’s best friend and has her prince, her beautiful kids and a lovely house – everything in fact that Ashling ever wanted. She should be – yet, she’s not – happy.

A novel that is perfect for when you are lounging around this summer. It's my first Marian Keyes novel and I have to say I enjoyed it. For the first time I was guessing who was going to end up with who. In most novels the romances are obvious. Which works for some novels as it's not the main focus of the story. It also looked further into why the characters tended to behave how they did. How their up bringing has made them who they were. One of the characters rebelling against it and another being in denial about it. It made the characters seem more real. Which I like my fictional characters to have a bit of believability and depth. All in all I would say it's a nice easy read and I would recommend it to anyone looking to relax and unwind! Oh and I also like how the title of the book is a bit of a mystery until you get towards the end! So Sweet!!  

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baby Names Inspired by Twilight

Write exactly that in google and you'll get lots of articles popping up telling you that the Twilight series has inspired people to name their babies Isabella, Jacob, Edward, Cullen, Esme and so on. Whenever I read these things I think 'yeah yeah sure', but today at Rhyme Time in our local library I met 2 Edwards, 1 Isabella, and 1 Jasper. All of them were under a year old.
People said JK Rowlings Harry Potter didn't inspire names as much as Twilight has, but really is that a shocker? I mean Harry? Ron? Hermione? Although you could go with Arthur, Molly, Bill, Charlie, Fred and George, but to me those are all pretty traditional names to start with.
Would you name your kid(s) after your favorite character either in a book, movie, or TV Show? I can't really talk as one of my daughters names is a Disney princess and the other happens to come from a popular TV show in the early 2000's!
Click here and here for some links to articles about inspired baby names.

Monday, May 24, 2010

After keeping us waiting for a century, Mark Twain will finally reveal all
The great American writer left instructions not to publish his autobiography until 100 years after his death, which is now
By Guy Adams in Los Angeles
Sunday, 23 May 2010


Exactly a century after rumours of his death turned out to be entirely accurate, one of Mark Twain's dying wishes is at last coming true: an extensive, outspoken and revelatory autobiography which he devoted the last decade of his life to writing is finally going to be published.
The creator of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn and some of the most frequently misquoted catchphrases in the English language left behind 5,000 unedited pages of memoirs when he died in 1910, together with handwritten notes saying that he did not want them to hit bookshops for at least a century.

Click here for the full article.
Picture taken from here.

Lost Book Club

Anyone who has watched Lost will know that books were a big part of the first 3 seasons. These are the books that are either physically seen, mostly being read by Sawyer, or talked about between the characters. The writers have also commented in the extras that some of these titles influenced the show. Such as The Third Policeman, talked about in season 2, after mentioned on Lost the sales of the book in the following three weeks equalled what it had sold in the preceding six years. This is the official list from the ABC website. Coming soon Rory Gilmore's Book List :0)

LOST BOOK CLUB
The numbers represent the season and episode it appeared

Season One:
Island 101/221 ~Aldous Huxley
Walden Two 101 ~B.F. Skinner
Alice in Wonderland 102 ~Lewis Carroll
Heart of Darkness 102/116 ~Joseph Conrad
Watership Down 102/106 ~Richard Adams
Lord of the Flies 115/209 ~William Golding
A Wrinkle in Time 116 ~Madeline L’Engle
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone 117 ~J.K. Rowling
Memoirs of a Geisha 121 ~Arthur Golden

Season 2
Bluebeard 202 ~Charles Perrault
An Egg Workout: Exercises in Arrhythmia Interpretation 203 ~Jane Huff
Dirty Work 203 ~Stuart Woods
High Hand 203 ~Gary Phillips
Rainbow Six 203 ~Tom Clancy
The Third Policeman 203 ~Flann O’Brien
The Turn of the Screw 203 ~Henry James
After all these Years 209 ~Susan Isaacs
Hindsights: The Wisdom and Breakthroughs of Remarkable People 209 ~Guy Kawasaki
An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge 213 ~Ambrose Bierce
Bad Twin 213/220 ~Gary Troup
Bonjour Babar 214 ~Jean de Brunhoff
Lancelot 215 ~Walker Percy
The Brothers Karamazov 215 ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Are You there God? It’s me Margaret 216 ~Judy Blume
Musset: Poesies Completes, Tome 1 219 ~Alfred de Musset
Little Red Ridinghood 220 ~Brothers Grimm
Our Mutual Friend 223 ~Charles Dickens

Lost Season Three
A Tale of Two Cities 301 ~Charles Dickens
Carrie 301 ~Stephen King
Of Mice and Men 304 ~John Steinbeck
A Brief History of Time 307 ~Stephen Hawking
Laughter in the Dark 308 ~Vladimir Nabokov
Stranger in a Strange Land 309 ~Robert A. Heinlein
The Fountainhead 312 ~Ayn Rand
Evil Under the Sun 314 ~Agatha Christie
Jurassic Park 314 ~Michael Crichton
Catch-22 317 ~Joseph Heller
The Oath 320 ~John Lescroant
Afro-Asian World: A Cultural Understanding 320 ~Edward Kolevzon
The Coalwood Way 320 ~Homer Hicklam
The Stone Leopard 320 or 322 ~Colin Forbes
Through the Looking Glass 322 ~Lewis Carroll

Lost Season Four
On the Road 403 ~Jack Kerouac
The Invention of Morel 404 ~Adolfo Bioy Caseres
Valis 404 ~Philip K. Dick
Slaughterhouse Five 405 ~Kurt Vonnegut
Survivors of the Chancellor 407 ~Jules Verne

PS One book that the creators mentioned they had read that influenced the show, but that is not listed here, as it didn't appear on the show is Stephen King's The Stand.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Between the Assassinations by Aravind Adiga


Between the Assassinations is a very compelling book full of short stories depicting the every day life of people who live in the fictional town of Kittur. It doesn't read like a collection of short stories. Mainly because it's not about one persons life struggles but of a towns. It's the struggles of people trying to make it in the world. People who can't seem to catch a break. People who are caught up in something they can't control. I would recommend this!

Aravind Adiga winner of Man Booker Prize 2008 with his debut novel The White Tiger has done it again with Between the Assassinations.
To see my review of The White Tiger click here. That review was written when we used to write the review in the comments area as not to give anything away! So, click on comments to get the review! :0)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Stacy Recommends ~The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
             
This ingenious fantasy centeres around Milo, a bored ten-year-old who comes home to find a large toy tollbooth sitting in his room. Joining forces with a watchdog named Tock, Milo drives through the tollbooth's gates and begins a memorable journey. He meets such characters as the foolish, yet lovable Humbug, the Mathemagician, and the not-so-wicked "Which," Faintly Macabre, who gives Milo the "impossible" mission of returning two princesses to the Kingdom of Wisdom...

Stacy Says: This book has now been added to my top five/four favorites list. I believe that this book should be read by children and adults across the land. It is filled with adventure and life. I have few words to describe the way I feel about this book besides the fact that everyone should read this book.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

We Want to knoW Whatcha Reading noW??
(used to Wordless Wednesday, but seeing as we're a blog based on words it can't be wordless)

Lisa Recommends ~Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton

If you are a fan of Pirates of the Caribbean and Michael Crichton and gore and adventure then you must read this book! I have enjoyed all of the books I have read by Michael Crichton. Timeline makes my top 5 books of all time and Jurassic Park would make my top 20! The way it is different is it doesn't have the same science background. Most of his books have something to do with the way the humans are advancing themselves etc...
Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton
Synopsis: From one of the best-loved authors of all time comes an irresistible adventure of swashbuckling pirates in the New World, a classic story of treasure and betrayal.
The Caribbean, 1665. A remote colony of the English Crown, the island of Jamaica holds out against the vast supremacy of the Spanish empire. Port Royal, its capital, is a cutthroat town of taverns, grog shops, and bawdy houses.
In this steamy climate there's a living to be made, a living that can end swiftly by disease—or by dagger. For Captain Charles Hunter, gold in Spanish hands is gold for the taking, and the law of the land rests with those ruthless enough to make it.
Word in port is that the galleon El Trinidad, fresh from New Spain, is awaiting repairs in a nearby harbor. Heavily fortified, the impregnable harbor is guarded by the bloodthirsty Cazalla, a favorite commander of the Spanish king himself. With backing from a powerful ally, Hunter assembles a crew of ruffians to infiltrate the enemy outpost and commandeer El Trinidad, along with its fortune in Spanish gold. The raid is as perilous as the bloodiest tales of island legend, and Hunter will lose more than one man before he even sets foot on foreign shores, where dense jungle and the firepower of Spanish infantry stand between him and the treasure. . . .


The story is a short easy read as it was found after his death in 2008 so who knows how he would have changed it. Don't worry  it is a full story with action and adventure around every corner. What I like best is it doesn't romanticise pirates.

http://www.crichton-official.com/ go here to find out more about Michael Crichton!!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Stacy Recommends The Last Song by Nicolas Sparks

The Last Song by Nicolas Sparks

Seventeen year-old Veronica “Ronnie” Miller’s life was turned upside-down when her parents divorced and her father moved from New York City to Wilmington, North Carolina. Three years later, she remains angry and alienated from her parents, especially her father… until her mother decides it would be in everyone’s best interest if she spent the summer in Wilmington with him. Ronnie’s father, a former concert pianist and teacher, is living a quiet life in the beach town, immersed in creating a work of art that will become the centerpiece of a local church. The tale that unfolds is an unforgettable story about love in its myriad forms – first love, the love between parents and children – that demonstrates, as only a Nicholas Sparks novel can, the many ways that deeply felt relationships can break our hearts… and heal them.

My opinion.....
I really enjoyed this book, yes there was a cheesy love story but I thought the book was more about Ronnie and her dad, Steve. Which to me is great since I have not read many books that focus on father/daughter relationships unless it's a corrupt relationship. Reading Nicholas Sparks you expect to cry a little, which I did when I read this book. I also loved the way this book used music. Music is a huge part of this book and I think that music reaches out to people in many different ways, which I enjoyed how music was present and absent from this book all at the same time. I am a little disappointed that there is a movie coming out, starring Miley Cyrus of all people. I will more than likely not be seeing this movie.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!!

Here are some books for mothers!!

~What Mothers Do Especially When It Looks Like Nothing by Naomi Stadlen
~How Not to be a Perfect Mother by Libby Purves
~Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou
~The Mother-Daughter Book Club by Heather Vogel Frederick
~The Yummy Mummy by Polly Williams
~Every Day is Mother's Day by Hilary Mantel
~Confessions of a Bad Mother by Stephanie Calman
~The Yummy Mummy's Survival Guide and A Spoonful of Sugar by Liz Fraser


Please keep the list going if you have any other great books about mothers!! Just add them in on the comments page!!

Happy Mother's Day to all the Mothers and Grandmothers out there!!!

Calling All Book Worms!!

http://www.bookarmy.com/
I just found this fun website!! It's sorta like what we're doing here except on a much more professional and wider scale. I believe it's being backed by publishers. You basically sign on and type in the title of the book and you can rate or review it. Then you can ask for it to suggest other titles that are similar. Needless to say I had fun looking around on it! It does look like it's catered to Europe more then the US. But I don't think it matters much if you aren't purchasing books off the site. I love books!! ;0)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest


The Girl Who Played with Fire and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest By Stieg Larrson

The last two books of the Millennium trilogy. The first book Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is a stand alone book. There are things that are foreshadowed and used in the last one, but for the most part the book ends. These two go together and it isn't concluded until the end of the Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest. Even then I feel like the author had intended to write more stories about his heroine Lisbeth Salander. It's a shame he's gone. I just literally went on to wikipedia and discovered he did indeed plan on more books. He had a rough draft for the 4th book along with synopsis for the 5th and 6th books. It said he had a total of 10 books for the series. To read more about Stieg Larsson click here.

I really really enjoyed the first book, but these two even though very enjoyable were a bit more slow. And the translation was a bit worse. There were stand alone sentences that had no subject and I wasn't exactly sure how to read it and see how it fit. It wasn't often, but when noticeable very annoying. I would still recommend these, especially if you like the first one. You learn so much more about what makes Salander tick. I would also recommend reading them before the movie comes out in December this year. I could go on and on about how I hate how all books are turned into films these days, but I won't do that here at the moment!
Over all you get to see a different side of Lisbeth Salander and you get to see Mikal Blomkist at his best! Then on top of it you get to see how government can be easily corrupted and how the little guys can make a difference. Throw in a cat-mouse chase and murder and it's a perfect mystery crime thriller!
I would love to hear if anyone else liked these books as well!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Finally!!!

Normally I would have announced the book of the month by now, but I wasn't sure which one to choose. I didn't vote and I normally don't in case of a tie. This time I'm really stumped as I want to read both eventually. So, I'm not really concerned which book wins. Therefore I'm announcing that both books have won! At the end of the month I will post some general discussion questions and you can answer/discuss them accordingly. With one or two questions directed at the specific titles. So, our books of the month are Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford and The Murderer's Daughters by Randy Susan Meyers. I hope I have time to read them both!! :0)
Just a note to everyone I am still deciding on what two books to vote on for June. So, instead of telling me a book title tell me what mood you are in. Do you want something funny? non-fiction maybe? a classic? romance? mystery? Just give me something I can work with! ;0) Also just another side note that if you are planning on purchasing your book of choice please consider clicking on the links and buying from amazon! As I posted previously any thing we make will be used as a prize in a competition we set for our followers!

Company of Liars by Karen Maitland

Company of Liars by Karen Maitland
I picked this up at a charity shop and wasn't sure what to think at first. It says 'a novel of the plague' but it's not really about the plague. It's a story that takes place during the plague. In the back they had book club questions and one them asked if the story would have worked had it been set any other time. I think not because even though the plague wasn't the main focus it gave the right atmosphere. The 14th century was a time where religion and myth were intertwined and that is essential to the novel. The company of liars is a group of 9 travelers. The main character Camelot, a young pregnant couple on the run, a conjuror, a pair of musicians, a storyteller, a midwife, and a young girl who reads the ruins. Together they are trying to out run the plague. Thinking if they keep moving they will escape it, but there is something more dark traveling with them then the plague. By the title of the book you know all of them are lying about something. Some of them are obvious and others not so much. But thats the fun and mystery of this book. I would recommend it if you like a bit of history mixed with myth and mystery. I think I'd read Karen Maitlands newer title The Owl Killers about a group of witches in the same time period. Very enjoyable read!!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Monday, May 3, 2010

Lisa Recommends...Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout:

I don’t want to review this book, as I don’t want to give anything away, so I'm just telling you to read it. It’s one of those books that make you think. It’s short stories that make up one novel and I would be surprised if you couldn’t relate to at least one of them. I think you should just read it!

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