Showing posts from December, 2011

Top Ten Book Releases I'm Looking Forward to in 2012

There are always so many books that I look forward to reading.  I have about a zillion on my To-Read list and, honestly, the list continues to grow every single day.  Now, to add to that list, here are the ten books that are being released in 2012 that I am definitely looking forward to:

1. Though this is NOT the book cover (it hasn't been released yet), I am definitely looking forward to Pittacus Lore's The Rise of Nine Release:  August 2012
2. Again, no book cover released, but here's a map of the town where the trilogy takes place.  Nora Roberts The Last Boyfriend is the second in the Inn Boonsboro trilogy. Release:  May 2012
3. A retelling of Jane Eyre?  Sign me up! Margot Livesey's The Flight of Gemma Hardy sounds awesome! Release:  January 2012
4. This book sound fascinating and is set in my favorite era:  WWII.  Ramona Ausubel's No One is Here Except All of Us Release:  February 2012
5. Jenny Lawson's Let's Pretend This Never Happened sounds absolutely hilarious! R…

Top Ten Book Villains of 2011

Now this is probably the easiest post in this week long event.  Counting down my top ten villains is a piece of cake!  In descending order:

10.  Solomon from Red Riding Hood.  He's pious and such a hypocrite.  I hated him from the moment he appeared in the book.

9.  Precious Jones's Father, and Mother for that matter, from Push.  Truly atrocious people.  I think allowing your husband to perform such acts, or turning a blind eye to the situation, is equally as punishable as the acts themselves.  Despicable.

8.  Kronos and the Titans from Percy Jackson and the Last Olympian.  Gods bent on destroying the World...those definitely count as villains in my book.

7.  Lestat from Interview with the Vampire.  He's a selfish non-living being.  Very selfish. 

6.  The entire town of Martirio, Texas from Vernon God Little.  Jumping to conclusions and accusing innocent children of crimes they had nothing to do with is pretty villainous.  Yes?

5.  Ruth from Never Let Me Go.  She could giv…

Top Ten Book Boyfriends of 2011

This topic is hard for me because I haven't really fallen for many characters this year; at least characters that fit this category.  However, there are about five I can lump together to get something down on this list.  Here goes:

1.  Undoubtedly goes to Peeta from The Hunger Games.  He's amazing in all the right ways. 

2.  Joe Morelli from the Stephanie Plum series.  I love Joe so much more than Ranger.  He'd be my pick for sure :)

3.  Peter from Red Riding Hood.  He's dark, mysterious, and...broody. 

And that's pretty much it.  I feel like a failure in this post, but I've got nothing else.  It could possibly be due to the copious amounts of medication racing through my veins.  Damn you holiday cold!!!!

Top Ten Covers of 2011

Day two of the Top Ten event is dedicated to the loved covers that have come out throughout the year.  Now, according to the rules, just because I've chosen a cover does not mean I've actually read the book.  However, I am planning on reading all of these books at some point in the near future. goes!

1. Ransom Riggs' Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children 2. Patrick DeWitt's The Sisters Brothers 3. Daisy Goodwin's The American Heiress 4. Alice Hoffman's The Dovekeepers 5. Beth Revis' Across the Universe 6. Karen Russell's Swamplandia! 7. Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus 8. Tina Fey's Bossypants 9. Haruki Murakami's IQ84 10. Alexi Zentner's Touch And there you have it.  Look for tomorrow's installation of Top Ten Book Boyfriends!  Woohoo!

Teaser Tuesday...Spreading a Little Love over Scotland

It's Tuesday and that means it's time for a teaser!  Today's teaser comes from Alexander McCall Smith's Love Over Scotland, the third installation in the 44 Scotland Street series. 

"The pain from the scorpion sting seemed to have abated somewhat, and when she looked down at her left foot she saw that the swelling also seemed to have subsided.  She felt a strong surge of relief at this; obviously the scorpion was not too toxic, and she was not going to die, as she had feared earlier on" (218).

Oh the antics these characters manage to get themselves in to.  Good stuff.  Happy Tuesday everyone!

Top Ten Books of 2011

I find it so difficult to narrow books down into top 10 lists, but I've decided to participate in a wonderful event for this week which requires me to do just that.  Ugh!  Regardless, I will endeavor to be discerning and only list the ten that the post requires (though I could go on and on, I'm sure).    So, without further ado, here is my haggled-over list of the top ten books I've read in 2011.  Though not all of these books necessarily came out in 2011, I read each of them over the past year.

1.  Chris Bohjalian's Trans-Sister Radio...I loved this book from the moment I opened it.  It's provocative, thoughtful, and oh so controversial.  Great read!

2.  Julia Glass' Three Junes...This book stayed with me for months after I finished it.  Glass does a beautiful job at portraying each character and fully developing everything.  Brilliant.

3.  Kathryn Stockett's The Help...Um...HIGH-LARIOUS and heart-warming!  That's all.  I loved, loved, loved this book so …

Life on the Equator Sounds Not So Awesome...

This book sounded so promising.  Again, borrowed from a friend, I was looking forward to reading it.  However, I didn't enjoy it as much as I thought I would.  Yes, there are some entertaining events and some funny instances (I actually laughed out loud a few times), but overall it was a disappointment...for several reasons.

Sex Lives follows the South Pacific adventures of J. Maarten Troost and his girlfriend, Paige.  Paige gets a job working for the Kiribati government and Troost decides to hang onto Paige's coattails when she goes.  What follows is a historical analysis of the people of Tarawa and the island nations of Kiribati, in addition to Troost's adventures and misadventures of island life.  That's about it.

I think the main reason I disliked this book was because of the author.  Yeah.  He comes off as a complete pretentious ass.  Oh so you don't have to work.  Good for you.  Oh, you can turn your nose up at student loans and credit card bills.  Have a coo…

I Like My Coffee Black (Book #19)

Book number 19 in my ever-occurring, never-ending A-Z Reading Challenge is Alexander McCall Smith's Espresso Tales.  This is the second book in the 44 Scotland Street series and I have to say, though enjoyable, I didn't like it as much as the first in the series.

Espresso finds us back on Scotland Street with all of the previous characters, plus a few that are featured more prominently than in the previous book.  Most of the characters are still who they were in the first book, though some of them have had a few mishaps and setbacks.  Bruce is just as egotistical as ever, but there were instances in this book that knocked him down a peg or four.  I liked that fact (perhaps that's mean of me).  Pat is finally making a decision about her future and starting to voice her opinions and ideas to those she's surrounded by (Bruce mainly).  She also meets someone...kind of.  Domenica is still the voice of intuition and stories that prevails over the entire story.  Bertie is a ye…

Explosive Eighteen is Lacking a Spark

Oh Janet Evanovich...perhaps you should wrap up Stephanie's story OR finally make a few decisions about her character development (or lack thereof as of now).  I really wanted to like Explosive Eighteen.  I really did!  Unfortunately, it's more of the same ole shtick with a ho-hum plot.  We left Stephanie in a great place in the last book in the series:  going on a Hawaiian vacation with a mystery man.  Now, my hope was that the mystery man would be Morelli.  I wasn't let down in this case...kind of.  There was a really weird turnout to poor Stephanie's tropical vacation and she was hesitant to talk about why it was cut short and why there was a distinctive tan on her ring finger.  Say what?!  I won't give anything else away.

This installation of the Stephanie Plum series involves our heroine in an international jewel heist, a case of mistaken identity, and lending a hand to mortal enemies.  It also finds Stephanie, like always, trying to choose between Ranger and …

Why I Love...Trans-Sister Radio

It's that time of the week again when I go on and on about why I love something.  This week's post is about my favorite book read during 2011.  Now I could definitely dedicate this entire post to The Hunger Games because I absolutely loved that trilogy...a lot, but I think that I am going to go for something off the beaten path.  Because of that, my favorite book read in 2011 was Chris Bohjalian's Trans-Sister Radio.  This book was so amazing, heart-wrenching, and provocative.   

I posted a review of this book when I read it in March and have continued to think about it since then.  Bohjalian's gentle dealings with gender ideals and identity are handled so beautifully in this book that they, at times, leave the reader a little speechless.  The story-telling by each of the characters lends a gorgeous layering to the novel.  I honestly couldn't recommend this book more...or anything by Bohjalian for that matter.

Runners Up
~Kathryn Stockett's The Help
~Julia Glass…

Why I Love...TV and Movies

I'm notorious for believing that books are far superior to their TV and movie counterparts.  This is a known fact and, undoubtedly, true in nearly every single instance.  However, there are those rare occasions when TV shows and movies do a damn fine job at portraying the original print version; that's why this post is dedicated to my favorite show from a book and my favorite movie from a book (I couldn't pick just one).

It seems that there is a definite trend in today's newly developed shows.  That trend is taking popular books (mainly those geared toward young adults) and creating popular television shows from them.  Case in point:  The Vampire Diaries, Gossip Girl, Pretty Little Liars, and so on.  I can honestly say that I have heard great things about all of these shows, but I have yet to watch a single episode of any or read a single book.  On the other hand, there are three shows developed from books that I absolutely love (in descending order):

#3 HBO's…

Teaser Tuesday...Balzac Reminds Me of Van Wilder

So I realize that I was a complete slacker last week and didn't post a "Why I Love...Wednesday" or a book review (and I did finish two books!).  I'm going to remedy that this week...haha.  Regardless, it is Tuesday and it's times for a teaser.  This week's teaser comes from Dai Sijie's Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, which I am starting for one of my book clubs.

"Lou broke the silence. 'I expect they're books,' he said.  'The way you keep your suitcase locked up and hidden away is enough to betray your secret:  you've got a stash of forbidden books.'" (49).

I've had this book on my To-Read list for ages and am so glad that it was chosen for our selection this month.  Yay!

Teaser Tuesday...A Short History Lesson

And I'm finally home from proctoring my last final of the term AND participating in a massive Writing 115 grading session.  My brain is mush and I am in rare form.  It's a wonder I can even write a coherent sentence, let alone an entire post.  But, since it's Tuesday, a teaser is a must!  Today's blurb comes from Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything.  Thank you Wallace Books for this literary gem!!

"Perhaps nothing speaks more clearly of our psychological remoteness from the ocean depths than that the main expressed goal for oceanographers during International Geophysical Year, 1957/8, was to study 'the use of ocean depths for the dumping of radioactive wastes'.  This wasn't a secret assignment, you understand, but a proud public boast.  In fact, though it wasn't much publicized, by 1957/8 the dumping of radioactive wastes had already been going on, with a certain appalling vigour, for over a decade.  Since 1946, the United States…