Friday, May 31, 2013

Books, books and books

Just popping in to say that I just spent 50 freakin' dollars on books this afternoon. Currently I'm reading Jodi Picoult's Nineteen Minutes on my Nook but I will be heading into the sun via my backyard, my parents' community pool and the beach and those places just aren't Nook-friendly. How do you people with e-books keep the sand and/or water from destroying those things? Anyways, it'll be nice to have a regular book in my hands this summer. My summer reading list is as follows:

The Program by Suzanne Young
One For The Money by Janet Evanovich
A Stolen Life by Jaycee Dugard
Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky (not bought yet) 
Chesapeake by James Michener
*A new book being sent by author, Nancy Klann-Moren, called The Clock of Life*
The Feud: The Hatfields and McCoys: The True Story by Dean King (haven't bought it yet)
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
Red Rain by R.L. Stine (although this one might take a while)
The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman

And somehow I have to try and keep up with my book club's picks although I admit I am skipping this month's book, The Princess Bride, since I've seen the movie and really want to get into other books. 

It's summertime and 5 weeks till I have a week off to lay on the beach in Rodanthe! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Top Ten Top Moments in Harry Potter series

I’ve done it! Yesterday, I finished the final Harry Potter book. About this time last year, I joined a book club and met several awesome girls. Three are mentioned here  – Kate @ Midnight Book Girl, Kim @ On theWings of Books and Steph @ The Fake Steph Dot Com – and one of the first things they asked me was “You have read Harry Potter, right?” No was the wrong answer. I had obviously heard that these were amazing books but I thought “Eh, just kid stuff. I majored in English for goodness sake!” 

Then I read the first book. “Very cute!” I told Kim. She was glad I thought it was cute but I also got the feeling she wanted me to feel something else. Okay, second book – I got hooked. The third book was exceptional and on and on I went. It took me about a year to finish the series and I really want to thank my book club girls for making me telling me to read them. I found a glorious world with dear friends and frightening adventures, a lot of love and food (pumpkin juice!!!!) and the best series I have ever read…

Shoot, meant to mention that Top Ten Tuesdays are hosted by The Broke and the Bookish...So without further ado, my favorite moments in the Harry Potter series…

10.) Professor Umbridge – this kitty-loving bitch was one of my worst nightmares. The weird thing is that I had a French teacher in high school who was almost as bad. It was a great moment with George and Fred set off the fireworks that sped up her departure from Hogwart’s. The film version of Professor Umbridge was just as I imagined in the book. Great casting.

9.) Ron receives a Howler. I laughed a lot while reading this and even more so while watching the film. The look on Ron’s face and the humiliation after being yelled at by his mother were priceless. I imagine my mother wishes she could send me Howlers.

8.) The first day – from meeting Hagrid to the awkward stares from classmates to the overall magic, this is what makes Harry Potter a good comfort read for anyone – children and adults.

7.) Romance (Harry/Ginny, Ron/Hermione, Lupin/Tonks) – it’s subtle but strong – my favorite couple, even though we didn’t get to know much about how they fell in love, was Lupin and Tonks. The fact that they left behind a son and died together was a truly sad moment though.

6.) Dobby – I want a house elf!

5.) Neville Longbottom’s parents’ history. I had nightmares about dementors for several nights after that.

4.) Aunt Marge gets blown away – Never say anything negative about Harry’s parents. Rich bitch got what she deserved.

3.) Mrs. Weasley versus Bellatrix. Damn, don’t mess with Mama Bear. Who else shouted Hooray! when Molly Weasley struck down Bellatrix. “You will never touch our children again!”

2.) Harry's final talk with Dumbledore - Although I'm still confused as to what bloody infant Voldemort meant, the final conversation with Dumbledore was a great moment. "Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it."

1.) Understanding Snape: After collecting Snape's tears and pouring them into the Pensieve, Harry comes to understand Snape and his unrequited love for his mother, Lily. That sold me on everything about the series.

Thank you Harry Potter. Thank you, J.K. Rowling. Thank you, book club girls! What a wonderful adventure it was…

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this is Top Ten Tuesday: This week is 
Top Ten Books Dealing With Tough Subjects

Before I begin my top ten list, I've got to say that I have slacked off big time on my reading. With super busy times at work proofreading, a lot of games on my iPhone and many family and social engagements, I have just not made reading a priority and that's changing ASAP. I did finish Speak last week and thought it was very well done so we'll start off the list with that one.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Tough Subject: Rape

A Child Called "It" by Dave Pelzer
Tough Subject: Extreme Child Abuse

Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks
Tough Subject: Addiction

Night by Elie Wiesel
Tough Subject: War and Genocide

A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown
Tough Subjects: Death, Addiction, Rape, Childhood Abuse, Prostitution

Sickened: The Memoir of a Munchausen by Proxy Chilldhood by Julie Gregory
Tough Subject: Childhood Abuse/Munchausen by Proxy

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky
Tough Subjects: Mental Illness, Abuse, Homophobia, Peer Pressure

Black Boy by Richard Wright
Tough Subjects: Racism, Homelessness

A Question of Power by Bessie Head
Tough Subject: Mental Illness from the point of view of someone with the disease

Forever by Judy Blume
Tough Subject: (not really tough I guess in comparison but...) Losing Virginity

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, this week's list is Top Ten Books When You Need Something Light & Fun

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

This is a straight-up comfort read and one I will likely be taking to the beach this year. Magical, innocent, sweet, funny and warm

Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Witty Bryson gets in some great descriptions of his trek through the mountains but also has many laugh-out-loud moments

Lamb by Christopher Moore

Jesus as a kid and his best friend, Biff. One of the funniest – if not the funniest – books I’ve ever read

Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

Simple writing, goofy love story but that’s what light reading is all about…right? ;)

Summer Sisters by Judy Blume

Perfect beach read and Blume is always charming

To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

A little more on the classic side but a great read for the summer; sparks up nostalgia

My Uncle Oswald and/or James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

One is innocent and sweet and the other is trashy and adult – either one is perfect for a quick read

Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding

I wish she would write more. It’s silly, it’s fun and I breezed through this in a couple of days back in my college years

Christopher Pike books -
especially ones that I read as a teenager

Nothing is more “Katie at the beach” than a good old scary story by Christopher Pike; I spent many summers at the beach as a teen curled up with one of these after a day of sunning and teenage angst

Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes

Story of my life in a children’s book

Honorable Mentions: Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle series, Little House on the Prairie, The Thornbirds, The Help, all Bill Bryson books

Now – who has some good summer beach reads for me when I head down to Rodanthe in July?

Monday, May 6, 2013

Speak: A Review

It has been a long time since I've reviewed a book (unfortunately work life has become a major issue lately) but this one, I have to say something about. When I first heard about this book, it was my hairdresser who mentioned it. She said it was geared towards teens but definitely a books adults should read as well. I had no idea what she meant until I was about a quarter of a way into the book. 

I have six nieces - ages 22, 18, 18, 15, 14 and 8. The 18-year-old and the 14-year-old are heading to college and high school respectively and I would say that they should read this book but I'll leave that up to their mother to decide. 

Melinda Sordino used to be popular. She was just starting high school and had a group of friends including BFF Rachel/Rachelle. Then one summer party changed everything and she is now hated and ostracized by everyone. She loses her voice, figuratively, even with her own parents. Where she does find her voice is in art class. Using the tools at her disposal, she creates a symbol of pain using leftover turkey bones from a ruined Thanksgiving dinner. She also finds solace in an old janitor's closet at school where she works on her art project - a tree - and where she finally finds her voice again to SPEAK and be heard.

If this isn't required reading in high school, it should be.