Tuesday, September 30, 2008
It is a list of the 115 most banned books. The idea is to bold the ones you've read, italicize the ones you have read part of, and add ***'s next to the ones you own.
1. The Bible***
2. Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain***
3. Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes
4. The Koran
5. Arabian Nights
6. Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
7. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
8. Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
9. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne***
10. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
11. The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
12. Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe
13. Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
14. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert***
15. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
16. Les Misérables by Victor Hugo
17. Dracula by Bram Stoker
18. Autobiography by Benjamin Franklin
19. Tom Jones by Henry Fielding
20. Essays by Michel de Montaigne
21. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
22. History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
23. Tess of the D’Urbervilles by Thomas Hardy***
24. Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
25. Ulysses by James Joyce
26. Decameron by Giovanni Boccaccio
27. Animal Farm by George Orwell
28. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
29. Candide by Voltaire
30. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee***
31. Analects by Confucius
32. Dubliners by James Joyce
33. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
34. Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway
35. Red and the Black by Stendhal
36. Das Capital by Karl Marx
37. Flowers of Evil by Charles Baudelaire
38. Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
39. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
40. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley***
41. Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser
42. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell***
43. The Jungle by Upton Sinclair
44. All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
45. Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx
46. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
47. Diary by Samuel Pepys
48. The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
49. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy***
50. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
51. Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak
52. Critique of Pure Reason by Immanuel Kant
53. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
54. Praise of Folly by Desiderius Erasmus
55. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
56. Autobiography of Malcolm X by Malcolm X
57. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
58. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
59. Essay Concerning Human Understanding by John Locke
60. Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
61. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
62. One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
63. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
64. Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
65. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou***
66. Confessions by Jean Jacques Rousseau
67. Gargantua and Pantagruel by François Rabelais
68. Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes
69. The Talmud
70. Social Contract by Jean Jacques Rousseau
71. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
72. Women in Love by D. H. Lawrence
73. American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser
74. Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler
75. A Separate Peace by John Knowles
76. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath***
77. Red Pony by John Steinbeck
78. Popol Vuh
79. Affluent Society by John Kenneth Galbraith
80. Satyricon by Petronius
81. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl***
82. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
83. Black Boy by Richard Wright
84. Spirit of the Laws by Charles de Secondat Baron de Montesquieu
85. Slaughterhouse Five by Kurt Vonnegut
86. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
87. Metaphysics by Aristotle
88. Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder
89. Institutes of the Christian Religion by Jean Calvin
90. Steppenwolf by Hermann Hesse
91. Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
92. Sanctuary by William Faulkner
93. As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner
94. Black Like Me by John Howard Griffin
95. Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig
96. Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
97. General Introduction to Psychoanalysis by Sigmund Freud
98. Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood***
99. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Alexander Brown
100. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
101. Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman by Ernest J. Gaines
102. Émile Jean by Jacques Rousseau
103. Nana by Émile Zola
104. Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
105. Go Tell It on the Mountain by James Baldwin
106. Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn
107. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein
108. Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Peck
109. Ox-Bow Incident by Walter Van Tilburg Clark
110. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
111. Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume***
112. The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling***(times seven)
113. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare***
114. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle***
115. The Witches of Worm by Zilpha Keatly Snyder
Monday, September 29, 2008
rating: 3 of 5 stars
When Sapphire's father disappears, most people say he's been drowned, although the more vicious of the townspeople say he ran off with another woman. But neither Sapphy or her brother Conor believe either story. Raised on the coast of Cornwall, they have an intimate connection to the sea and her mysteries. Neither of them realizes quite how intimate. When Sapphire feels an irresistible call to the ocean, she must choose where her loyalties lie - to her Air family and the brother whom she adores, or to Ingo, whose power thrums in her veins.
When I stumbled upon it in a Paperback Swap, the premise of Ingo appealed to my YA-fantasy-genes. Unfortunately, the execution is a little weak. The characters are not fully described, so that when one of them (Sapphy, frequently) does something that shows a complexity of heart and mind, I wasn't quite sure how we'd gotten to that place. There are some really lovely moments, like Sapphire mentally connecting to a dolphin while riding it, or a conversation her brother Conor has with honeybees. There are also some awkward moments. Sapphire, frankly, drones on and on about her connection to the ocean, but when her mother's new boyfriend suggests Sapphire should have the dog she's always wanted, Sapphire rethinks her loyalty to Ingo.
Overall, this is a more mature and vivid, almost mystical, view of merpeople than, for example, The Tale of Emily Windsnap. It has the poignant sadness of the original version of "A Little Mermaid," and it reflects Dunmore's deep, abiding love and respect for the sea.
By the way, I found a particularly vile review on Amazon, and had to respond to it. The reviewer (from Georgia) warns that the contents of the book are junk and will cause the reader to go straight to hell. Why she's letting her children read books at all is beyond me, but in my response, I used the word "villipend"!!
Saturday, September 27, 2008
Here are the rules for those I'm tagging.
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag sixish people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know he or she has been tagged.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
Now for Six Random things about me:
1. I'm an alcohol lightweight. Two drinks and I'm making nonsensical jokes while my friends pretend not to know me.
2. I am a speed-reader; have been almost since birth.
3. I'm allergic to shrimp but not to iodine.
4. Because I went to so many different high schools (four in three years), there are entire periods of history I never learned and had to self-teach.
5. I'm a decent singer - what a choirmaster once called a bell-like mezzo-soprano, for all that I have no formal training.
6. I require a minimum of 9 hours of sleep a day, and usually have to sleep around 10-11 hours. Otherwise I will kill you. No, really.
I'm not actually going to tag anyone because I'm working on an refurbishment for this blog, so it will be under construction in the next few days. But I reserve the right to tag when it returns. Bwahahahahaha.
Monday, September 22, 2008
I love holding contests because I discover all sorts of new friends. Case in point, Alyce over at At Home With Books put me on the scent of the Fall Into Reading 2008 challenge over at Callapidder Days. It's a low pressure reading challenge that runs from September 22 through December 20.
So here are (some of) the books I plan to read before December 20:
1. Claiming Georgia Tate by Gigi Amateau
2. Tithe by Holly Black
3. Sea of Trolls by Nancy Farmer
4. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time by Mark Haddon
6. Mira Mirror by Mette Ivie Harrison
7. The Club Dumas by Arturo Pérez-Reverte
8. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
Sunday, September 21, 2008
by Suzanne Collins
rating: 5 of 5 stars
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Katniss is a 16-year-old girl living with her mother and younger sister in the poorest district of Panem, the remains of what used be the United States. Long ago the districts waged war on the Capitol and were defeated. As part of the surrender terms, each district agreed to send one boy and one girl to appear in an annual televised event called, "The Hunger Games." The terrain, rules, and level of audience participation may change but one thing is constant: kill or be killed. When Kat's sister is chosen by lottery, Kat steps up to go in her place.
Stunningly, bracingly fantastic, grotesque in its beauty, harsh and honest and breathtaking. I read it in two hours. Unforgettable and impossible to put down. Run, run, run and get your copy now.
OTHER REVIEWERS: Bart from Bart's Bookshelf, Melissa from Melissa's Bookshelf
Saturday, September 20, 2008
rating: 4 of 5 stars
I try not to read sequels as they come out. With the exception of every Harry Potter book (yes, I attended three of the midnight release parties) and Breaking Dawn (which I bought two weeks after it was released), I wait until an entire trilogy, quartet or series are released in paperback before starting the first one. Like the Faerie Wars or the Derkholm books. I mean, I’m a Tamora Pierce junkie, but I'm still waiting to start the Terrier series.
(Note on paperback v. hardback – it’s a preference thing. Yeah, hardbacks are more expensive, at first, but mostly they’re too cumbersome and unwieldy. I love the way a paperback nestles in my hands, bending slightly to my touch.)
A series of events ensued which resulted in my storming out of the house and to Target, just to get away from the insanity that surrounds my toddlers. I For escapist fiction, my choices were Eldest by Christopher Paolini or The Subtle Knife by Philip Pullman. I’ve read Eragon, but not The Golden Compass.
Yeah, I bought Eldest.
It went against my nature to do so, despite the fact that I bought it in paperback. But I figured that since the final book, Brisingr, was due within a few weeks (it was released today, September 20), I’d go ahead and read Eldest, even if it meant I bought Brisingr as a hardback.
And then DAMMIT if I didn’t find out too late that Brisingr is NOT the last book in the series – that there’s a fourth and final installment.
I’d read Eragon because I was keenly jealous of child-prodigy self-publisher Christopher Paolini. He began writing the book when he was 15, finished it when he was 19, and then self-published and marketed it before Knopf snatched it up. I was....ambivalent about Eragon. It was...okay.
When they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, I don’t think it was a blanket acceptance of plagiarism. By the time I read Eldest, I expected the familiar plots, the Middle Earth sounding names, the slightly stilted language, the Star-Wars-type rebellion. I even started making a list.
And those are just the words that sound the same. (Ra’zac=Nazgul, anyone?)
Paolini has grown leaps and bounds as a writer, however. His dialogue, which has always been decent, really shines in Eldest. Further, he’s successfully tackled the challenge of interweaving different story lines. His characterization has gotten much tighter, showing in the actions more than in too much description. The relationship between Eragon and Saphira continues to be endearing, showing Paolini's mature grasp of intimate friendship in a really delightful way.
Eldest continues the tale of Eragon, country-boy-turned-Dragon-Rider, who has joined forces with the rebel band to overthrow the evil Darth Vader….er, I mean, King Galbatorix. In addition to Eragon’s story, Paolini develops the story of Roran, Eragon’s cousin. Roran, another country boy, defends the village when the Ra’zac come looking for Eragon, and helps evacuate when it’s clear that’s the only choice left for the villagers. Their exodus story juxtaposes nicely with Eragon’s journey to Ellesme’ra to develop his magic under the tutelage of Obi-Wan Kenobi, er, Oromis.
I hate to admit it, but I really, really enjoyed Eldest. While I’m not going to any midnight release parties for Brisingr, I certainly will be buying it (in paperback. After the fourth book is released in paperback.) I love the Inheritance Cycle so far. It’s enchanting; while familiar, it’s escapism at its best.
It’s like the CW’s new show, Privileged. I want to hate it, but I just can’t. I mean, come on, Paolini was homeschooled. Every time I think of it a new geek joke springs to mind. (And I have the right to tell geek jokes, as I am one. And blonde jokes, as I am one – well, artificially, anyway)
But, as someone pointed out to me, Paolini has a legitimate “runnin’-with-the-big-boys”** contract. Complete with paycheck. And a pretty decent book in the process. Here’s hoping Brisingr continues the trend.
**and girls – my addition.
Friday, September 19, 2008
Trish from Hey Lady, Whatcha' Readin'? created the lovely image to the left, and Jennifer from The Literate Housewife Review worded the lovely thank-you text:
This summer, after book blogging was patronized in the mainstream media, Amy from My Friend Amy made a suggestion that we celebrate book blogging. From that idea, Book Blogger Appreciation Week was born. Many of us have participated in interviews, contests, give-aways, and through awards; but, this would never have happened were it not for the dream, perseverance, planning, hard work and dedication of Amy. This has been a wonderful week and as members of the Book Blogging community, in one voice we want to thank Amy for all that she has done.
Amy, you are truly the Queen of Book Bloggers and we love you!
Friday, September 12, 2008
I can't remember how I first discovered Jen Robinson's Book Page, but I quickly became a devotee. Jen reviews countless numbers of books for children, middle-grade and young adult, as well as rounds up kids' book news from around the blogosphere. After reading some reviews, I came to respect her opinions and suggestions.
And then, just when I thought I couldn't love her any more, she started a series called "Reviews That Made Me Want the Book" (RTMMWTB - listed below). These books quickly filled my Paperback Swap and Barnes & Noble wishlists, and some have eventually found it to my bookshelf.
In honor, then, of Jen, and BBAW, I'm holding a give-away. Choose the two titles from Jen's RTMMWTB series which most appeal to you, and list them in the comments. I will choose a name randomly on Friday, September 19 to receive the prize.
To get additional entries for the giveaway, you can do one or any of the following, as long as you come back here and tell me where I can find it:
1. put your two RTMMWTB titles in a post on your blog
2. go over and check out Jen's blog and leave a comment over there
3. post information about the In Search of Giants giveaway on your blog
4. go over and check out My Friend Amy's blog and leave a comment
5. recommend a book you haven't read but like because of the reviews.
DEADLINE: September 18.
PRIZE: I will purchase and have mailed to you any two books from any place on Jen's site. (That's a whole lotta choices.) Limit $25. Pre-orders okay for unreleased books. Book choices must be made by Monday, September 22.
Here's the "Reviews That Made Me Want the Book" series - enjoy!!
Bastille Day edition
A HUGE thank you to Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group USA, Harlequin, The B&B Media Group, Shera of SNS Blog Design, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, Catherine Delors, Pamela Binnings Ewen, Andromeda Romano-Lax, Ceceilia Dowdy, Sormag, Book Club Girl, Savvy Verse and Wit, Cafe of Dreams, Fashionista Piranha, and Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?.
Monday--Books and Chocolate sponsored by My Friend Amy and Hey Lady! Whatcha' Readin?
Tuesday--Books and Going Green sponsored by My Friend Amy
Wednesday--Books and Coffee sponsored by My Friend Amy
Thursday--Books and Charity sponsored by My Friend Amy and Fashionista Piranha
Friday--Books and Movies sponsored by My Friend Amy
Do you find it's your turn to host book club and not only do you not know what to serve but you don't know what books to offer up for the next month's selection?! Let Book Club Girl come to your rescue with the Book Club Girl Hostess Survival Kit.
One lucky winner of the kit will receive:
* A basket of cheese, crackers, cookies and wine for up to 12 people
* 5 great book group books to vote on for your group's next pick. And Book Club Girl will then donate 12 copies whichever book is chosen for your entire group to read.
* 12 Book Club Girl mousepads to give out as party favors that night
* 12 Book Club Girl bookmarks to mark everyone's favorite passages
* 12 Book Club Girl coasters to protect your coffee table from all those wine glasses!
TWO SORMAG Goody Bags containing books and more!
A Special Pamper Me Basket from Cafe of Dreams!
From Avon Foot Works
~ Inflatable watermelon shaped foot tub
~ 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Cooling Foot Lotion
~ 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Exfoliating Foot Scrub
~ 12 count Watermelon Effervescent Foot Tablets
~ An ARC of So Long At The Fair by Christina Schwarz
~ A variety of Hot Chocolate and Tea mixes
A pre-made blog template from SNSDesign!
A Subscription to Poetry Magazine from Savvy Verse and Wit!
Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors
The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen
The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax
John's Quest by Cecelia Dowdy
Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy
Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris
The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer
Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley
A Tale Out of Luck by Willie Nelson with Mike Blakely
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
Exit Music by Ian Rankin
The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik
Gunmetal Black by Daniel Serrano
Isolation by Travis Thrasher
The Miracle Girls by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
Every Freaking! Day With Rachell Ray by Elizabeth Hilts
Dewey by Vicki Myron
The Shiniest Jewel by Marian Henley
Keep the Faith by Faith Evans
The Book of Calamities by Peter Trachtenberg
A is for Atticus by Lorilee Craker
After the Fire by Robin Gaby Fisher
Mike's Election Guide by Michael Moore
War as They Knew It by Michael Rosenberg
Fixing Hell By Col. (ret.) Larry C. James
Wild Boy: My Life with Duran Duran by Andy Taylor
The Last Under-Cover: The True Story of an FBI Agent's Dangerous Dance with Evil By Bob Hamer
Border Lass by Amanda Scott
Insatiable Desire by Rita Heron
Hungry for More by Diana Holquist
Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
Trespassers Will Be Baptized by Elizabeth Emerson Hancock
He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Trish Ryan
Never Surrender by General Jerry Boykin
Dream in Color by Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, Congresswoman Loretta Sánchez
Beyond Belief by Josh Hamilton
Cobain Unseen by Charles R. Cross
Doing Business in 21st Century India by Gunjan Bagla
Branding Only Works on Cattle by Jonathan Salem Baskin
Launching a Leadership Revolution by Chris Brady, Orrin Woodward
How to Hear from God by Joyce Meyer
Knowing Right from Wrong by Thomas D. Williams
Pope John Paul II: An Intimate Life by Caroline Pigozzi
Pure by Rebecca St. James
He Loves Me! by Wayne Jacobson
So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman
Move On, Move Up by Paula White
The Rosary by Gary Jansen
Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
Right Livelihoods by Rick Moody
by George by Wesley Stace
The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
Trunk Music by Michael Connelly
Hollywood Crows by Joseph Wambaugh
Dead Boys by Richard Lange
The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez
Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn
Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky
With Endless Sight by Allison Pittman
Harlequin Titles: To Be Announced
Many other blogs are giving away books and prizes for BBAW as well! You can see the links to all of these giveaways here.
Interested in gaining entries into the daily raffles? Post this complete list on your blog with links and you'll earn two extra entries!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
Do real-world catastrophes such as 9/11 (and the bombs in Madrid, and the ones in London, and the war in Darfur, and … really, all the human-driven, mass loss-of-life events) affect what you choose to read?
And here is My Friend Amy's response.
I don't have a spare minute to answer the question for myself, but what do you all think?
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Voting starts tomorrow, so be sure to check it out over at My Friend Amy's blog.
In addition, the mastermind behind the awards, Amy, put out a call for help last week. She writes:
Ok, I'm just going to go for it.
Once again will you help me spread the word?
I need the following things:
1) A Graphic Designer
2) A Children's author
3) A horror and/or sci-fi and/or fantasy author
If you are one of these things, please contact me ASAP!
bookbloggerappreciationweekATgmailDOTcom or the contact form on the top of this blog!
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
rating: 3 of 5 stars
The Book that Changed People’s Lives
Consider, if you will, the following:
Blogs of People Who Loved The Road
Comments Inspired by The Road
“I had this book sitting untouched for several weeks , once I opened the book a whole new scary world opened up to me. My thoughts are still running wild after having finished the book. My heart still aches. No other book has left such an impact in my soul as this one. This book is very thought provoking, and dismal but leaves the reader with a glimpse of hope.”
Reviews of The Road
"[B]eyond the inherent technical difficulties of concocting the unthinkable, McCarthy has rendered a greater and more subtle story that makes The Road riveting." Boston Globe
"[O]nly now, with his devastating 10th novel, has [McCarthy] found the landscape perfectly matched to his cosmically bleak vision....[E]xtraordinarily lovely and sad...[a] masterpiece... (Grade: A)" Entertainment Weekl
"The setup may be simple, but the writing throughout is magnificent....McCarthy may have created a world where things are reduced to their essence, but he continually surprises by finding a way to strip them further." Chicago Sun-Times
A synopsis from an ardent admirer of The Road (the editor, I think):
"A man and his young son traverse a blasted American landscape, covered with "the ashes of the late world." The man can still remember the time before. The boy knows only this time. There is nothing for them but survival — they are "each other's world entire" — and the precious last vestiges of their own humanity. At once brutal and tender, despairing and rashly hopeful, spare of language and profoundly moving, The Road is a fierce and haunting meditation on the tenuous divide between civilization and savagery, and the essential, sometimes terrifying power of filial love. It is a masterpiece."
On to my own review:
I found this book ridiculously boring. Before you accuse me of being a brainless action-addict, know that one of my favorite books is Moby Dick, and that I could read endlessly about the whiteness of the whale. I’m also a fantasy/sci fi/speculative fiction nerd, so the possible future McCarthy paints doesn’t frighten me.
I finished this book because it won a Pulitzer. I kept thinking I would discover the reason it did. After finishing it, I’m pretty skeptical about the qualifications of the Pulitzer committee. It's akin to Zen and the Art of Motorcyle Maintenance, set in the book of Revelation in the Bible. Yawn.
But let me be honest. I haven’t given it much thought since. I can’t remember much except that the commas and apostrophes must have been on a Punctuation Guild strike, and that fully stocked bunkers after the apocalypse are awfully convenient.
My point is, there may be much of literary value to The Road, but I don’t really care what it is. Trust me, for a truly fantastic story about a dystopian future, do yourself a favor and read instead Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood.
OTHER REVIEWERS: Nymeth from Things Mean A Lot