Friday, August 31, 2012

Sluttin' it up with some books

Okay so my friends, Kate @ Midnight Book Girl and Kim @ On the Wings of Books read more than one book at a time. My husband does too - sometimes. As I mentioned in an earlier post, I've always read only one at a time and felt like I was cheating on said book if I picked up another. Hence, the term "book slut".

So I'm going to get rid of my pruddish ways for the next month and try it. I've got three books I want to read - all of which are very different. For book club, I'm reading The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. I've read the first 4 pages and it's so very weird and confusing but I shall keep going. The second is for Kate @ Midnight Book Girl's Stephen King Fall Read-a-long - Carrie by Stephen King (which is a re-read for me but a classic!) Finally, a comfort read of Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. See? All very different books. So here I go to slut it up with some books this month. Hooray for Slutty September.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Plain Truth

Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult

Four years ago, I was dating a man who was from a little place called Mount Joy, Pennsylvania. As things got more serious, he took me to visit his family and we spent time in Lancaster and even saw a glimpse of Paradise, PA from a steam-engine tourist train. Rustic, quiet, seemingly lifeless little place with lots o' corn, Paradise is the backdrop to Plain Truth.

A brash female lawyer (is there any other kind?), named Ellie, comes to visit her aunt for a vacation of sorts. The aunt was once Amish but was shunned from the family for marrying an Englishman, however she still remained in some form of contact with her sister who lived just a few farms over. In a formulated coincidence by the author, an Amish teenager, Katie, has a baby and shortly after, the baby is found murdered. Smack in the middle of Ellie’s vacation, she becomes Katie's attorney and during a bail hearing, she has to promise to stay on Katie's parents' farm for the duration of the trail in order for Katie to post bail and return home. This was a little contrived but anyway...

The mystery/legal drama is well written and IS a page turner (I read it on Dramamine driving up to PA for a family visit with the guy I had dated four years ago – now he’s my husband). The relationship between Ellie and Katie is strained because Katie insists for half of the book that she didn't have a kid and then tells other lies that would have made me slap her repeatedly. There are a couple of side stories. One involves a ghost that has no purpose other than to be something that Katie can talk about with her "baby daddy". Then, there is Katie's brother, the collegiate Jacob, shunned from his family for going to college. And then,  Ellie has a little romance too with an old lover, who happens to be a clinical psychologist that is called in to work Katie's case. Coincidences run like crazy in this book. As do lies.

I liked this book despite some flaws, including a very quickly wrapped-up ending that left me with a load of questions or at least, a feeling of "That was it?". I also found that I wanted to learn more about the Amish since the author didn't really have time to flesh that out with what was going on with the murdered infant and all. Overall, I enjoyed this book and next time we head over to Pennsylvania, I'll be booking an Amish tour for us and secretly wondering if there is a pregnant teen hiding around the corner.

Book Rating: Oh!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Hosted by The Broke and Bookish: Top Ten Bookish Confessions (Anything! You dog ear, you hated a book but said you loved it, you have $500 library fines...anything goes!)

1.) I'm messy with books. I have so many bookmarks but I keep losing them. Some of my favorite books have been dog-earred so much that they are falling apart and my African Lit books that I studied over in college have pizza stains on every chapter. Hence, I am a little frightened of borrowing anyone's books. Hint to fellow book buddies.

2.) Although I was an English major, I have not read some classics that I am so embarassed about that I'm not even going to mention them here (okay, one: I never read The Grapes of Wrath).

3.) I have piles of books in my family room that are not on bookcases.

4.) My husband has more books than me. Of course he saved his Hardy Boys books from childhood, a ton of books on trains and math (he's odd) and he's been alive 14 years longer than I.

5.) I love my Nook more than actual books - mainly due to #3.

6.) I tend to collect copies of my favorites if they are on sale (I have a few Jane Eyres, a couple copies of The Thornbirds and way too much Shakespeare).

7.) I kept my annotated college books (these are actually shelved).

8.) I have self-help books from different stages of my life (some of which I have actually read).

9.) I have a hard time reading more than one book at a time. I like to be investing in the story while I'm reading it and I feel like I'm cheating on the other book if I pick up another. (aka book slut)

10.) I don't have my books organized very well and there are many books on cats that people have given me over the years. I guess because I have two cats? In any case, people, stop giving me books about cats!


Monday, August 27, 2012

Quick Survey from Broke and Bookish

1.) The book I'm currently reading:
Plain Truth by Jodi Picoult: Set in Lancaster, PA among the Amish, I picked this one for my trip up to Mount Joy, PA this weekend for a family thing. Next time we go up, I'm going to try and schedule a tour of an Amish farm. It's a mystery of sorts and a case of murder. Review should be up soon.

2.) The last book I finished: Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Working my way slowly through these for the very first time.

3.) The next book I want to read: Oh dear, I should say the next Harry Potter and it probably will be but I have some others that I want to get to too.

4.) The last book I bought: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

5.) The last book I was given: Hmmm, it's been a while. Maybe The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo? I haven't gotten to that one yet either.

Friday, August 24, 2012

TGIF is a weekly meme to re-cap the week’s posts & to propose a question for our followers. It is run by Ginger at GReads.
This Friday's Question:

Back to School Reading: Which books would you like to see 
in today's high school Literature classrooms? 

Wow! Great question from GReads! Considering I was a student English teacher for a very short time in our local high schools, I feel like I could say a lot on this subject. We all know the standard books that we were forced to read (and I still love these books but a lot of folks hated them):
The Scarlet Letter
Mary Shelley's Frankenstein
Tale of Two Cities
The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
The Crucible
The Great Gatsby

But it's now 2012 and not the early 90s like when I was in high school. I'm not saying we should throw out copies of 50 Shades of Gray or anything (and geez, with that writing, you could actually lose IQ points). However, there is more to the literary world than just the classics and when you are in high school, you want a good story, so here goes...

Per my friend, Kim at On The Wings of Books, I am stealing her idea of The Help. What a great way to learn about the 60s, prejudism, bigotry and race relations while enjoying a story and some "chocolate pie."

Others that I like:

Any of Bill Bryson's books - kids can learn about different countries, traveling and still be entertained.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (is this being taught anywhere? It should be)

The Book Thief (this WWII piece of fiction may be taught in schools but if it isn't, it most definitely should be read and discussed at length, along with Night by Elie Wiesel)

Go Ask Alice (I think this was banned when I was in high school but it should be a must-read for students to wake them up to the horrors of addiction)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

From Reading in Winter, a challenge has been extended as part of the Bout of Books read-a-thon which I am loving. I have finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire and am starting on Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix now. Moving on, here's the challenge:

Name the perfect book for each season of the year! The book can either have the name of the season in the title, or — and this is the preferred way! — the book can take place in that specific season.





Monday, August 13, 2012

Okay, had to add Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire to my readathon list because I didn't get to it this weekend.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal.  It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 13th and runs through Sunday, August 19th in whatever time zone you are in.  Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. ~ Template from Bout of Books.

My Goals and UPDATES*

  • To participate in my very first read-a-thon. I'm a read-a-thon virgin. Be kind.
  • To interact with other bloggers.
  • To read more than usual.
  • To read at LEAST 2 of the below. ALMOST MADE IT - Those Harry Potter books are kinda long. Looking forward to the next read-a-thon. Thanks to Bout of Books and Kim @ On the Wings of Books for getting me involved.

Books to Read

UPDATE: 8/16/12 - I was going to try for Fat Girl next but after reading the first 50 pages, I'm not into it. I thought it would be more funny than depressing and I figured I could relate to this girl but I can't so...DRUM ROLL...RIMSHOT...Going on to 5thh Harry Potter book in lieu of the ones I had below. It's 676 pages on my NOOK so I don't know if I'll finish it by Sunday at midnight but I'll try. :)
  • Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire COMPLETED
  • Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix PART OF IT
  • Born on the Fourth of July by Ron Kovic
  • The Story of My Life by Helen Keller
  • Dark Summit: The True Story of Everest's Most Controversial Season by Nick Heil
  • Fat Girl by Judith Moore
Here's hoping I don't have a week of family junk or crazy stuff next week.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Just a quick note to say that I am still trying to figure out how to "follow" some people, how to use linky things, widgets, gadgets, etc. If you have left a comment, I've tried to "follow" your blog but I might not have. Hopefully I'll figure all this out at some point
~ Katie @ KT's Reading Rainbow

Friday, August 3, 2012

When a book goes “viral” (Hunger Games, Fifty Shades, Twilight), do you rush out to read it like everyone else, even if it’s not in your typical genre?

It usually has to be something that interests me for me to go out and get it right away. When 50 Shades came out, I did buy the first one immediately, read it and then said "Nope" to the other two although somehow I managed to get a copy of the third in the series which is shoved in a closet somewhere. However, when the Harry Potter series came out, I didn't buy them, read them, ponder them or anything. And finally - thanks to my friends, Kate and Kim, I have started reading them and am in the middle of the 3rd book. I also scoffed at reading The Hunger Games series until enough people told me they were really that good but I caved in- AND LOVED - that series as well. Now, I am on where I can get recommendations from friends and strangers alike and now I actually listen to people and read book blogs. I guess I have matured (somewhat).

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Top Ten Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With For 24 Hours

Hosted by the awesome, this week's topic is Top Ten Characters I'd Like to Switch Places with for 24 hours. And since I'm still in a relatively slow reading funk (although Harry Potter has me back in its clutches), let's tackle this subject...

1.) Ramona Quimby - Beverly Cleary's pint-sized elementary school student with an active imagination and mischievous spirit - I would love to be her for a day.

2.) Nancy Drew - The all-around good girl next door, who solves mysteries, while always having a bit of flirtatious fun near the end of each book. My mystery book would probably be "The Mystery of the Weird Smell in the Fridge".

3.) Bridget Jones - Okay, for my single days, I essentially was her, but without the smoking hot men, the city of London or the insanely weird mother.

4.) Scarlet O'Hara - Oh, the South, the jealousy, the bitchiness, all those husbands and, of course, Rhett. Fiddle dee dee indeed.

5.) Bill Bryson in any of his travel books - Whether on the Appalachian Trail or in Australia's outback, this man (not actually a character) fascinates his readers with his travels and the hilarious situations in which he finds himself.

6.) Meggie Cleary of The Thorn Birds - Growing up under the wing of Father Ralph de Bricassart, the ambitious priest, then later falling in love with him and having an affair amongst the blazing New Zealand backdrop sounds like something I'd like. Anything to be near Ralph.

7.) Laura Ingalls - Ah, to be living in the little house on the prairie...although I could do without the diphteria and random blindness.

8.) Charlie Bucket - Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I get a damn candy warehouse with free Oompa Loompas and a freaky boat to boot? Sign me up.

9.) Harry Potter - Magic, being famous among my peers, rockin' out at Hogwarts? Yeh, I could do that.

10.) Beth March of Little Women - Yeh, I know she dies (sorry for the spoiler but c'mon) but she was a shy homebody...and who wouldn't want to live at Orchard House?