Monthly Archives: September 2008

memoir of jane austen

Title: Memoir of Jane Austen
Author: James Edward Austen-Leigh
Finished: September 30
Pages: 352
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Year: 2008
ISBN: 0199540772

Genre: Non-fiction, memoir.

What do you think motivated the author to share his or her life story? James Edward Austen-Leigh is a distant relative of Jane Austen and I believe, much like he has said throughout the book, that his purpose was so people could know the real Jane Austen and share her more personal life and her journey in writing six very amazing books.

Share a favorite part of the book: My most favorite part of the book would probably be the never before published chapters from Persuasion and then a number of chapters from the last book Austen was writing before she died. It had no title and they weren’t even able to tell who the main focus was to be on, even though she had at least a dozen chapters completed.

How would you rate this book? Three and a half stars. 3.5/5

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Banned Books Week

Banned Books Week officially kicked off on Saturday, September 27 and goes through October 4.

Below is the complete ALA 100 Most Challenged Books from 1990-2000. Those I have read are in bold. Those in italics are books I currently own but have yet to read.

  1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
  2. Daddy’s Roommate by Michael Willhoite
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
  8. Forever by Judy Blume
  9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
  12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  15. It’s Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
  16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
  17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
  18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  19. Sex by Madonna
  20. Earth’s Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
  21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
  27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
  28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
  29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
  30. The Goats by Brock Cole
  31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
  32. Blubber by Judy Blume
  33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
  34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
  35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
  36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
  37. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
  38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  40. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Girls: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Daughters by Lynda Madaras
  41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
  46. Deenie by Judy Blume
  47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
  49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
  50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
  51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
  54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
  55. Cujo by Stephen King
  56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
  58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
  60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  61. What’s Happening to my Body? Book for Boys: A Growing-Up Guide for Parents & Sons by Lynda Madaras
  62. Are You There, God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
  64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
  65. Fade by Robert Cormier
  66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
  67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
  68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
  69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  71. Native Son by Richard Wright
  72. Women on Top: How Real Life Has Changed Women’s Fantasies by Nancy Friday
  73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
  74. Jack by A.M. Homes
  75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
  76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
  77. Carrie by Stephen King
  78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
  79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
  80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
  81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
  82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
  83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
  87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
  88. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Hanford
  89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
  90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
  91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
  93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
  94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
  95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
  97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
  98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
  100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

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Book Awards II

I didn’t participate last year but ran across this new challenge just recently. The goal is to read 10 books from August 1, 2008 – June 1, 2009. You have to choose from at least five different eligible award lists (ie Pulitzer, Agatha, etc).

Here’s a partial list I will be choosing from:

  • Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Alex Awards)
  • The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Alex Awards)
  • My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Alex Awards)
  • The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Alex Awards)
  • the Curious Incident of Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon (Costa/Whitbread)
  • Cold Mountain by Charles Frazier (National Book Award)
  • Atonement by Ian McEwan (National Book Critics’ Circle Award)
  • A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley (Pulitzer Prize)
  • Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (Nebula Award)

Completed Books in Challenge:

  1. My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult (Alex Awards) – SEPTEMBER
  2. Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen (Alex Awards) – OCTOBER
  3. A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah (Alex Awards) – OCTOBER
  4. B is for Burglar by Sue Grafton (Anthony Awards) – NOVEMBER
  5. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes (Nebula Award) – NOVEMBER
  6. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini (Alex Awards) – NOVEMBER
  7. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Hugo Award) – DECEMBER
  8. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey  Niffenegger (Alex Award) – DECEMBER
  9. Stiff by Mary Roach (Alex Award) – DECEMBER
  10. Middlesex (Pulitzer) – JANUARY

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Weekly Geeks #18.2

As  I said before, I was pretty caught up on everything when I joined Weekly Geeks but I’ve been spending a lot of time exploring my new challenges and groups.

The 24 Hour Read-A-Thon is coming up quickly so I’ve been trying to think hard about what books I want to read and how much I am planning on participating. A few book ideas are:

  • Away Laughing on a Fast Camel by Louise Rennison
  • Dancing in My Nuddy Pants by Louise Rennison
  • Cat and Mouse by James Patterson
  • Eight Tales of Terror by Edgar Allan Poe
  • Four Past Midnight by Stephen King
  • Journals by Kurt Cobain

Here is the status of my current challenges:

  • 888 Challenge (68/80 plus 6 extra credit books in finished categories)
  • 50 Book Challenge (75/50)
  • Dewey Decimal Challenge (30/1000 categories finished)
  • Library of Congress Challenge (20 categories finished)
  • A-Z Challenge (19 authors, 21 books)
  • 1,001 Books (38/1,001)
  • TBR Challenge (starting next year)

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Weekly Geeks #19

In preparation for the Weekly Geeks top books of 2008, we’re creating our lists of the best books we’ve read that were published in 2008.

I’ve read more than I thought and I enjoyed every single one. Here’s my list:

  • Wednesday Sisters by Meg Waite Clayton
  • The Wishing Year by Noelle Oxenhandler
  • Between Here and April by Deborah Copaken Kogan
  • Say Goodbye by Lisa Gardner
  • Stori Telling by Tori Spelling
  • 7th Heaven by James Patterson
  • Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown
  • Friday Night Knitting Club by Kate Jacobs
  • Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer
  • Sundays at Tiffany’s by James Patterson

I think of these Breaking Dawn was probably the best and most interesting. 7th Heaven was my quickest read from this list, like most James Patterson books. Each was very unique in it’s own way, and only two were non-fiction, which continues to prove that I read more general fiction than anything else.

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My Sister’s Keeper

Title: My Sister’s Keeper
Author: Jodi Picoult
Finished: September 26
Pages: 423
Publisher: Atria Books
Publish Year: 2004
ISBN:0743454529

Fiction or non-fiction? Fiction

What led you to pick up this book? It’s being made into a movie plus a lot of family and friends have read it and said what am amazing story it was. I couldn’t resit.

Plot summary: Anna, a 13 year old girl, is suing her parents for medical emancipation after they want her to donate her kidney to her dying sister. It’s not that she doesn’t love her sister and want her to live, it’s just that she doesn’t want her parents using her body only for medical purposes anymore, without her consent.

What did you like most about the book? Everything about the book is amazing. The strength of Anna to fight against her parents yet still love them is incredible. All the relationships and their development over the few days the book takes place is amazing as well.

Do you recommend this book? If you use a rating system, what’s your rating? Yes. I’d give it 5 stars. (5/5)

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Booking Through Thursday – Well, That Was Different

Question: What was the most unusual (for you) book you ever read? Either because the book itself was completely from out in left field somewhere, or was a genre you never read, or was the only book available on a long flight… whatever? What (not counting school textbooks, though literature read for classes counts) was furthest outside your usual comfort zone/familiar territory?

And, did you like it? Did it stretch your boundaries? Did you shut it with a shudder the instant you were done? Did it make you think? Have nightmares? Kick off a new obsession?

Answer: Off the top of my head, I think the most unusual book for me was Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I knew it was different, and that Hunter S. Thompson had a different feel for his writing because most of it came after drinking heavily or taking drugs. Fear and Loathing felt like I was on my first drug trip ever, sometimes hard to follow or figure out where he was going and often times I had to put it down and let my brain relax. He did an amazing job putting the reader right into the situation.

I tend to avoid books that don’t appeal to me or are outside my comfort zone because I don’t want to waste my time if I don’t end up enjoying it. I tend to read a lot of fiction (ie Patterson, King). I think the Harry Potter series was a first for me because it’s more science fiction/fantasy than I usually read and I’m not always fond of living in an alternate world that’s completely made up. I did end up enjoying it very much, very easy reads, which is why I don’t feel as hesitant now. I’m sure more adult science fiction/fantasy will be harder for me to pick up with everything else on my book list to read, but it doesn’t mean it’s out of the question anymore. But, like most Harry Potter fanatics, book four has been quietly sitting on my shelf since January when I finished book 3. I haven’t been sucked in yet.

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