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Showing posts from January, 2012

Teaser Tuesday...Romping through the Highlands

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I'm trying to pick books that will be quick reads and that I can finish before I leave on vacation this weekend.  Having said that, this week's teaser comes from Jude Deveraux's The Duchess, one of the many books in the Montgomery series and NOT to be confused with the Keira Knightley film of the same name.

"She sat there for a long while, breathing the sweet, cool Scottish air and looking at the hills.  After a while she turned and saw that Trevelyan was staring at her.  He seemed able to read her thoughts, but she had no idea what he was thinking" (65).



This book started off really slow...thankfully it's started to pick up (100 pages in).  Now I have until Friday night to finish it, along with grading a massive stack of essays and poem responses.  Joy to my burning eyes ;)

Speaking Loudly by Staying Mute

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I picked up Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak at the Friends of the Library book sale over the holiday season (along with about 20 other waiting-to-be-explored worlds).  I've been contemplating reading this book for a long time after discussing it with my dear friend, Ashley, who had this as part of her required curriculum while teaching at a high school in the area.  I thought it sounded intriguing and horrific.  Honestly, I was shocked that the school board had approved this book for the curriculum, while some ban such books as The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, To Kill a Mockingbird,and Night (though, thankfully, not in Oregon).

Speak is a book filled with so much silence that has never been so deafening and loud.  Melinda, an incoming freshman, starts the year with zero friends and a terrible, debilitating secret...she was raped by an upperclassman over the summer.  Everyone at school knows her as a narc for calling the police during a party and proceed to make her life misera…

Teaser Tuesday...Back into Cassia's World

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I have to admit...I have been SUCH a blogging slacker these past few weeks.  I could blame this on the term starting up at the beginning of the month, but that's really not a good enough excuse (honestly).  I'm sitting here and I have three books that I've finished and need to post reviews for.  Those three books have been sitting next to my computer for nearly two weeks.  See what I mean?!  Terrible...just terrible. 

Anywho...enough of my slacker-tude.  It's Tuesday and we all know what that means:  Teaser!  I'm just about done with Steven Tyler's book, so this teaser comes from the book I'll be starting as soon as I finish that one, Allie Condie's Crossed, the sequel to Matched.

"Xander smiles and in the expression I see surprise and cunning and happiness all mingled there together.  I've surprised Xander--and myself.  I love Xander in ways that are perhaps more complicated than I first expected" (36).
I can't wait to see Cassia break…

Teaser Tuesday...Conversations with Steven Tyler

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I've finally picked up another book that will work for my A-Z Reading Challenge (the never ending reading challenge), Steven Tyler's Does The Noise in my Head Bother You?:  A Rock 'n' Roll Memoir.  This book has been in my closet for several months; it's one I picked up for next to nothing during the sad days of our local Borders liquidation.  So I figured that I would finally start it (fitting seeing as how he's the main guest on Ellen today...and AI will be starting tonight, I think) and offer up a teaser since it's Tuesday :)

"I love going out on that stage.  You come out of your dressing room, head down that gray cinder-block corridor with bodyguards and road manager flanking you, up a ramp, onto the stage, and there you are--twenty-five thousand Blue Army Aerosmith faithful out there waiting for you to light the fuse.  It's a high that I'm not sure ever goes away" (153).

What a ROCK GOD!

Breaking the Rules of the Match

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I loved, Loved, LOVED this book!  Ally Condie's Matched, the first in a trilogy, was absolutely phenomenal.  I can not recommend it more.  A young adult installation, Matched is set in a futuristic society where, basically, your entire life is mapped out for you by government officials, the Society.  There is no free choice or free will.  You dress alike.  You live alike.  Your career choice is made for you.  You stay the course to keep in the good graces of the leaders.

The story starts with Cassia Reyes on the day of her seventeenth birthday.  At the age of seventeen, all children, unless otherwise chosen, are "matched" with their ideal life-partner.  The government bases the choice on what will produce the strongest offspring.  At her matching ceremony she is surprised to find out that she already knows the person she's been matched with; an unlikely occurrence.  When she finally views her match card a few days later, something strange occurs and another face she …

Scotland's Brimming with Love

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Hands down, my favorite book in the 44 Scotland Street series so far!  Alexander McCall Smith's Love Over Scotland takes the reader back to those quirky characters on Scotland Street, as well as bringing in a few more to mix things up.  There is a lot that happens to each of the characters in this installation and all come out in a different place than they started.

Pat finally has a viable love interest...or two, though one might not be as honest as the other, and has started at the university studying Art History.  Domenica is off on her anthropological study of pirates in the South China Sea.  Angus is missing Domenica tremendously.  New character Antonia Collie, an old friend of Domenica's, is subletting her flat in Scotland Street while she's away.  Angus does not like this.  Poor Bertie has been forced into yet another extra-curricular activity; one that provides him with utmost embarrassment:  the Edinburgh Teen Symphony.  Embarrassing because Bertie is not a teenag…

Compromising in the Highlands

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Ah...another easy smut novel to breeze through.  Jude Deveraux's Highland Velvet was one of my 50 cent finds at the Friends of the Library book sale and I thoroughly enjoyed it.  One reason being that it was quick to get through (as all romance novels are) and another reason was because it was set in Scotland...I LOVE SCOTLAND!

Velvet follows the arranged marriage (or marriage for services rendered to the king) of Stephen Montgomery, a British aristocrat, and Bronwyn MacArran, a Scottish clan leader.  Of course these two don't see eye to eye at all.  For one thing, Stephen is convinced, before meeting Bronwyn, that she is absolutely hideous and Bronwyn is a very strong, independent woman who is used to being a leader of men.  These two butt heads from the very beginning and continue to argue despite the fact that they are falling deeply in love (obviously).  There are trials and tribulations added to their constant bickering, but this forced the two to rely on each other more t…

Love in Boonsboro

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I don't know what it is about books written by Nora Roberts (excluding her alter ego, JD Robb), but I love every single one of them!  It probably has a lot to do with the fact that they are easy to read, they keep you engaged, and they end happily.  Always pluses in my mind and a nice change from the books I normally pick up to read :)

Nora Roberts' The Next Always, the first book in her new Inn  Boonsboro trilogy, begins with the story of Clare and Beckett.  Beckett, his two brothers, and his mother have purchased a landmark building in their hometown of Boonsboro and are working to restore the building to its former glory.  Clare has moved back to Boonsboro after the death of her husband, who was killed in Iraq, with her three young sons.  Beckett and Clare grew up together and Beckett has always been in love with Clare, though he probably didn't classify it as love when he was younger.  As the two begin to form a deeper relationship, there are past issues that arise, in…

A Slice of Life in China's Cultural Revolution

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“I was carried away, swept along by the mighty stream of words pouring from the hundreds of pages. To me it was the ultimate book: once you had read it, neither your own life nor the world you lived in would ever look the same.”
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Dai Sijie's novel about General Mao's attempt at re-educating the youth of China by taking them from their families and placing them in rural areas, was a beautiful slice of Chinese life.  I had mixed feelings upon finishing this novel.  First, I loved how easy this book was to read.  It has a lovely flow that lends itself to quick sessions of concentration and interruptions.  Second, the story of Lou and the narrator's experience living and working on Phoenix Mountain is a heartwarming one of discovery, self-awareness, and lost innocence.  As a reader, you want to see how the story will turn out and what will happen next.  Sijie's portrayal of forbidden books and the lengths avid readers…

Teaser Tuesday...Speak No Evil

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I started Laurie Halse Anderson's Speak last night, a book that has become required reading in a lot of high schools across the country, and am quickly being sucked in to the encompassing silence and fear that permeates through the pages. This is a quick read...a heavy read...an important read for anyone.

"I feel like the Prince of Darkness has swept his cloak over the table.  The light dims.  I shiver.  Andy stands behind me to flirt with Emily" (90).

Learn from it!

Teaser Tuesday...Adventures in Arranged Marriages

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This week's teaser comes from Ally Condie's Matched, the first in a series!

"I smiled back.  There's no point telling her that I'm thinking about the wrong boy.  No, not the wrong boy.  Ky may be an Aberration but there's nothing about him that is defective.  It's our Government and their classification system and all their systems that are wrong.  Including the Matching System" (220).

I'm kind of excited for this read :)