Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesday Thingers

The question this week is, how many books do you have catalogued in your Librarything account? How do you decide what to include- everything you have, everything you've read- and are there things you leave off?

I currently have 178 books cataloged which is nowhere near what I own. I started adding all of the books I own and tagging them appropriately, although my tagging method to start is pathetic. I got about a quarter of the way through my books and just stopped. I couldn't keep up with chatting and entering my books! Joy over at Jlshall has inspired me to order a cuecat which I hope to do this evening. I also have to pay for my account as I will soon be at 200 books.

I include everything. I was originally using LT to keep track of what I read in a given year but have found so many books that I want to read I decided to just add those as well. I hope to tag those separately soon. I admit I have gotten rather lazy with my cataloging which is fine with me because the books aren't going anywhere!

I now can access my LT account on my phone which is very helpful when I am browsing the bookstores. That way I do not buy duplicate books which I have done from time to time.

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The Sunday Salon

The Sunday Salon.com

Good Sunday Morning and Happy Memorial Day weekend to my fellow US readers. This past week I finished The Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton and loved it! I will have a review up shortly.

Last night I started Black Wave by John and Jean Silverwood. This is an ER book that I received from Librarything. It is a true story based on the Silverwood's adventure at sea. I am only 50 pages into this and really don't know how I feel about it yet. John and Jean Silverwood had spent their youth around the sea and always knew they wanted to go back to it. One day, they packed up their four kids, who thought they were crazy, and set sail across the world. This is the story of what happened one fateful night that changed their lives forever.

Also on the agenda this week:

The Aviary Gate by Katie Hickman (ARC)
The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly (Bookclub)
Songs for the Missing by Stuart O'Nan (Barnes and Noble First Look club)
Comfort Food by Kate Jacobs (Sent by the publisher)

And of course, Middlemarch by George Eliot which is taking me forever to get through. I am only reading about 20 pages at a time so at this rate I will have it finished in August!

Today I will have the house to myself since my husband is golfing, yay! In between laundry, I will hopefully be making a dent in my ever growing tbr pile and writing a few reviews.

Have a great day reading!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Review of The Wednesday Sisters

The Wednesday Sisters

Meg Waite Clayton


Early Reviewer Edition

Kath, Frankie, Ally, Brett and Linda are The Wednesday Sisters. They met in a park in CA in the late 1960s and developed a close friendship which spans over 30 years. These 5 women couldn't be more different but soon realize that they share an affinity for literature and share a secret desire to write.

I really identified with Frankie. I am from Chicago and grew up in the 70s so I really appreciated all of the references to the Cubs and Northwestern University but more importantly I felt that the author really captured the Midwestern "mentality" of the era.

While reading I couldn't help but be reminded of all of the hardships my mom went through as a young woman in the 60s and 70s. She divorced when I was young and was an outcast at my Catholic Elementary School. I can see why Kath stuck it out! She was not able to go to college for the same reasons as Frankie.

There were times when I laughed out loud and had to hold back the tears while reading. Meg Waite Clayton really captured the bond that women have when they develop meaningful relationships and friendships. I can't wait to pass this book on to one of my Wednesday Sisters!

Click here to see more great reviews of The Wednesday Sisters. Edited to add that Meg Waite Clayton linked my review to her blog. Very exciting!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Review of Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov

Vladimir Nabokov

Finished May 13, 2008

Description: When it was published in 1955, Lolita immediately became a cause célèbre because of the freedom and sophistication with which it handled the unusual erotic predilections of its protagonist. But Vladimir Nabokov's wise, ironic, elegant masterpiece owes its stature as one of the twentieth century's novels of record not to the controversy its material aroused but to its author's use of that material to tell a love story almost shocking in its beauty and tenderness. Awe and exhilaration–along with heartbreak and mordant wit–abound in this account of the aging Humbert Humbert's obsessive, devouring, and doomed passion for the nymphet Dolores Haze. Lolita is also the story of a hypercivilized European colliding with the cheerful barbarism of postwar America, but most of all, it is a meditation on love–love as outrage and hallucination, madness and transformation.

This was the most disturbing book I have ever read. The story of an older man, Humbert Humbert's obsession and "love affair" with the 12 year old nymphet Dolores Haze. While the subject matter was grotesque the writing was beautiful. Nabokov first wrote Lolita in English which was not his native language (Russian). I have to admit that I actually laughed out loud in a few parts because of his sarcastic wit. When he asked, "why do these people guess so much and shave so little?"

This was the first book I have read for the 1% Challenge to read 10 books from 1001 Books to Read Before You Die. 1 down and 10 to go!

Thinging Through Tuesday or Um Wednesday

Hi everyone! My name is Erin, I am 35 years old, married with no kids (yet). I do have a little dog who you will see on my LT profile page. I travel for my job and am gone every week to one of eight states that I cover which is where I get most of my reading done.

I joined LT as a way to get organized and keep track of my library. I had no idea my joining LT would turn into a new obsession! I have not entered all of my books yet because I have been too busy joining groups and starting a book blog! I have met some great people on LT and have had many great recommendations.

This week I received my ER copy of The Wednesday Sisters which I started last night and had a hard time putting it down! I finished listening to Lolita today which was very disturbing. I will have a review up shortly. I am also reading Middlemarch for a group read on LT but have not gotten very far.

I look forward to getting to know everyone and will be posting links as soon as I have time. Have a great week!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Sunday Salon

Happy Mother's Day everyone! This will be a very short post today as it has not been a productive reading week. I gave up on listening to Outlander. I hope that this is one I will enjoy reading because I have read so many good things about it. I just did not like the narrator's voice!

I did manage to read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll. One of my coworkers is obsessed with Alice and having never read it I wanted to see what all of the fuss was about. I enjoyed it but still don't understand the obsession!

I am currently reading Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier. My mom recommended this to me after reading it for her book club. So far so good, I am not far enough in to really have an opinion yet. I started Middlemarch, got to Part II and have not picked it up again.

This will be a busy week for me work wise so I am not sure how much reading I will actually get done. I have a few Early Reviewer books I am waiting for and have to review so those will be moved up.

Short and sweet today. I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Sunday Salon

Good Morning! It finally feels like Spring in this part of the country. The sun is shining and my plants are starting to come alive again. Yay! On the agenda for today, Spring clean-up in the backyard, give the little dog a bath and laundry. I'll try to squeeze some reading time in there too!

This week I finished listening to World Without End, wow, what a book! I started listening to Outlander after reading so many wonderful things on Librarything and am very disappointed. My problem with this book is the narrator, Davina Porter. Her voice is slightly irritating me. I have only listened to two hours of this so I will give it another hour and then will give up listening to it. I have had this happen a few times where I just could not follow the narrator because of their voice but then read the book and loved it.

I finished reading Year of Wonder by Geraldine Brooks last night and am now a huge fan of hers. I might try to run out and buy March today. Her writing is beautiful. She takes such a tragic story and turns it into a story of survival and hope.

Last night I started The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde not knowing what to think based on the front caption of the book "Filled with clever wordplay, literary allusion and bibliowit, The Eyre Affair combines elements of Monty Python, Harry Potter, Stephen Hawking and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But its quirky charm is all its own." -The Wall Street Journal. I am not a fan of Monty Python, haven't read any Harry Potter (I know, I know, it's on the list), read one Stephen Hawking book several years ago and have never read any Buffy the Vampire Slayer books. So, what am I doing reading The Eyre Affair? I have no idea. I needed a change of pace from all of the historical fiction I have been reading lately and this fit the bill. I am only 50 pages in and am already sucked into it. Fforde is very clever indeed.

This week, thanks to Devourer of Books, I signed up for the Penguin Classics Blogging Challenge and will be getting The Laws of Manu by anonymous. I am pretty scared about this one! Penguin sends the book to you free of charge for committing to post a review within six weeks of receipt.

That's it for today. I hope you have a wonderful Sunday!

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Review of Year of Wonders

Year of Wonders
Geraldine Brooks

Finished May 3, 2008

When the plague rips through a village in England in 1665 it tests the strength of the town's people beyond our imagination. Anna Frith is 18, widowed and left with two young children when her boarder contracts the plague. This sparks the rampant spread of the disease and Anna's quest to survive.

The book spans one year 1665-1666 and is based on the true story of the devastation caused by the plague in the English village of Eyam. The village is quarantined from the outside world for one year to stop the spread of the disease. There were plenty of opportunities for Anna to give up everything but she carried on caring for the sick and dying. She formed and unlikely friendship with the rector's wife, Elinor. She watched her abusive, alcoholic father's demise and her step-mother lose her sanity.

Geraldine Brooks does a wonderful job with telling this story. Her writing is simply beautiful. I will add her other novels; March (2006 Pulitzer Prize Winner) and People of the Book to my TBR list.

1% Well Read Challenge

The challenge is to read 10 books from 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die list. You have from May 1, 2008 through February 28, 2009. I have slowly been working on this list so I was glad to see the challenge. To enter the challenge click here. You may change your list at any time. This is my first challenge! I actually have all of these books with the exception of The Shining on my shelf.

The 10 books I have selected:

1. Middlemarch - George Eliot
2. North and South - Elizabeth Gaskell
3. Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
4. Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
5. The Shining - Stephen King
6. The Poisonwood Bible -Barbara Kingsolver
7. Persuasion - Jane Austen
8. Never Let Me Go - Kazuo Ishiguro
9. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov finished 5/13/08
10. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Free Penguin Classics

Devourer of Books posted about the Penguin Classic giveaway for bloggers. All you have to do to enter is go to Penguin Classics. You simply enter your e-mail address, mailing address and create a user name and password. Penguin Classic then e-mails you with the book selection title. You agree to review the book 6 weeks from receipt of the book.

I will be receiving The Laws of Manu by Anonymous which was first translated into English in 1794. While this is not a book I would have selected myself I am excited about the opportunity to read something I would not have read otherwise.