August 24, 2007

Must. See. This. Movie.

I just read this review in the Entertainment Weekly, and I MUST see this movie. I can't find it playing in my town, so I might have to wait for the DVD though.

August 23, 2007

BTT: Indoctrination

Booking Through Thursday time again - and I'm answering it on a Thursday!

When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.

The family story is that I taught myself to read at age 3, by memorizing Dr. Seuss books. I don't remember this; as far back as I can remember, I could read. As a child, we always had books in the house. My dad did not read very much, but my mom always had a book going, as did my grandmother (who lived with us) and they would trade books back and forth. They both enjoyed mysteries, which have never been my favorites, but I did read some of the same books they read, such as the James Herriot books. My mother never believed in telling me what I could and couldn't read: she figured if it was too difficult for me it would be boring and I would give up on my own. When I was in about 2nd grade, the school librarian wouldn't let me check out "Black Beauty" because she thought it would be too difficult. I told my mom, who went down to the school and told the librarian that I was to be allowed to check out anything I wished. They never hassled me again. And I loved "Black Beauty."

August 19, 2007

How to Be Lost - Amanda Eyre Ward

How does a family cope when a child disappears? This book deals with the aftermath of one daughter disappearing at age 5. Her sister, now an adult, begins a search for her, and what she finds is unexpected and affecting. I enjoyed this book a lot - her style reminds me a lot of Elizabeth Berg's style. Her characters are flawed and realistic, and their interactions seem natural. I'll be adding this author's other books to my "to find" list (as if I needed more on my pile to read).

August 17, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns- Khaled Hosseini

I was a little disappointed in this, after being impressed by The Kite Runner back when it came out. I found the characters too one-dimensional, and the plot too contrived to be believable. I would have liked more of the Afghanistan history, as it would have given more depth to the setting.

BTT: Monogamy

Booking Through Thursday time again!

One book at a time? Or more than one? If more, are they different types/genres? Or similar?

(We’re talking recreational reading, here—books for work or school don’t really count since they’re not optional.)

Definitely more than one at a time. I generally have a couple of fiction books going at once, although often in different genres (general fiction vs. science fiction, for example), as well as one or two nonfiction ones. I like to be able to pick up whatever I'm in the mood for at the time. As long as I don't wait too long before picking up a book I left in the middle I don't have trouble picking up where I left off. And sometimes, sadly, I just abandon a book halfway.

August 15, 2007

Book to Movie Challenge

This challenge should be fun! The Book to Movie challenge runs from September 1 - December 1,and my preliminary list is:

High Fidelity - Nick Hornby
The Painted Veil - W. Somerset Maugham
Out of Sight - Elmore Leonard

My alternate is The Hours by Michael Cunningham.

August 12, 2007

Unread Authors Challenge

Yay! A new challenge! The Unread Authors Challenge runs from September - February, so that should be plenty of time for me to read 6 books for it. My preliminary list is:

Angel's Town - Ralph Cintron
Reading Lolita in Tehran - Azar Nafisi
Wicked - Gregory Maguire
Switchcraft - Mary Castillo
Good Omens - Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett (this on is a two-fer; I haven't read either author)
The Guardians - Ana Castillo
High Fidelity - Nick Hornby (also for the Book to Movie Challenge)

August 10, 2007

BTT: Multiples

From Booking Through Thursday:

Do you have multiple copies of any of your books?
If so, why? Absent-mindedness? You love them that much? First Editions for the shelf, but paperbacks to read?
If not, why not? Not enough space? Not enough money? Too sensible to do something so foolish?

I do have multiple copies of several books, for various reasons. I have two copies of Stephen King's "The Stand," because I couldn't find my original copy and bought a replacement, then naturally found the original. Both are paperback.

There are a few books I have both the paperback (for easy portability) and the hardcover (for my permanent collection): WarDay by Whitley Streiber and James Kunetka. (The only type of book I like more than dystopian ones are post-nuclear ones). I have the hardcovers of all of the Harry Potters, and the paperback of the first three (I'll probably get the complete paperback set to give to my nephew.)

I also have several editions of "The Dark is Rising" series, because I can't seem to leave a copy if I find one in the used bookstore.

Finally, I have several copies of "Bellwether" by Connie Willis, because I love to give copies to my friends who haven't read it yet. I just love that book.

Sorry for the sparse posting: I started a new job this week, and I've just been exhausted when I got home. That should improve over the next few weeks. There are a bunch of challenges I want to start in September, so watch this space!

August 3, 2007

BTT: Letters! We get Letters!

From Booking Through Tuesday:

Have you ever written an author a fan letter?

Did you get an answer?

Did it spark a conversation? A meeting?

I have not written a fan letter to an author, although I have considered it. I read several author's blogs, but am too shy to even comment on those. Who am I to speak to them? As a child, I did send a fan letter to Bob Hope, and I have an autographed photo from him he sent in response. Why did I write to him? I have no idea. I also wrote to Melissa Gilbert, and she sent a letter and photo as well. As I recall, I was in 5th grade or so, and Little House on the Prairie was still on the air. So apparently TV played a bigger role in my life.

The Worst Hard Time - Timothy Egan

This is subtitled: The Untold Story of Those who Survived the Great American Dust Bowl.

This is the fascinating account of the Dust Bowl of the Thirties, told in the words of those who actually lived through it. The author obviously did extensive research and must have spent hours interviewing these people. Their stories are unforgettable and illuminated this era of history for me. It provided another angle on the New Deal legislation that I found helpful.

One quibble I have with the book is that it occasionally goes backward in time: One chapter will finish out 1935, then the next chapter will go back to 1934. I found this a bit confusing at times, and frustrating as well, because I wanted to know what happened next! Overall I found it quite engaging and enjoyable.

The Pesthouse - Jim Crace

I read about The Pesthouse at a hidden side of a leaf, and added it to my post-bar TBR list. I am a fan of dystopian fiction, and I was not disappointed by this one. I haven't read anything by Crace before, but I will add his other books to my pile to be read very soon.

This reminded me a lot of "The Road" by Cormac McCarthy, but I enjoyed this book much more. It was more hopeful and uplifting (while still being depressing enough to qualify as dystopian). The world was more recognizable as having once been our own, although we don't know what brought the pesthouse world to its present state. The characters were interesting, and human and flawed, and I worried about what would happen to them.

This is the story of a journey, and it ends the way many real-life journeys end.