Saturday, November 30, 2013

Book Review of 'The Phantom Tollbooth' By Norton Juster

The Phantom Tollbooth
This was an exceedingly clever book.
Milo is a boy who finds joy in nothing, who is bored with everything, and who can't understand the purpose of learning. Then one day, there is a large package in his room. He opens it and assembles a tollbooth. Because he had nothing better to do, he drives his little car into it, and the adventure begins. This is an adventure through the kingdom called Wisdom. In this kingdom are many places. His quest begins in Dictionopolis, the city of words. It is ruled by king Azaz. All things here have to do with words, such as people selling words, or eating words, or saying words for their dinner. For example, if you said pork, honey, and ice cream, that would be your dinner, but if you said therefore, because, and why?, that would be your dinner. Hopefully your word choices would taste good! My favorite characters resided in the kingdom. They were Azaz's five cabinet members. They all had a way of saying things, if you said hello, they might reply:
Greetings!
Salutations!
Good day!
And so on and so forth. in this kingdom Milo learns that to restore the kingdom he must rescue the beautiful princesses - Rhyme and Reason. And so he starts his perilous journey. It was very interesting, something different happening on every turn. And so clever. The Mathematician (Azaz's brother who rules Digitopolis, the kingdom of words.)has a staff (which is a pencil) that he can use to multiply things (Like himself) or subtract things (Like a pot of soup from a table). There is the island of conclusions that you get to by making assumptions and jumping (Jumping to conclusions! See what I mean about wordplay?)
Milo learned one of the most valuable lessons a person can learn. He learned the value of knowledge and understanding, thanks to his experiences in Wisdom, both good and bad. Though Milo, in the beginning, isn't the happiest character, you still are interested in his story and you root for him, he is a likable character.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Spoilers or no Spoilers...that is the Question

      What do you think bout spoilers? Do you enjoy them and ask for them, or do you steer clear of them, avoiding such reviews?
       Personally, I don't like spoilers. I tend avoid those reviews. I have a friend you doesn't mind them, though I refuse to tell her what happens. I was talking to her once, and she starts listing all the characters who die in a certain book! I wasn't very happy about it.
       For a while, every book I read I would read the first few pages and then I would flip to the back and read the last two. I finished very few books when I did that. I didn't want to read them because I knew the ending, and I didn't care as much about what happened in the middle.
      That I why I don't like them.
       But some people do like them, perhaps because the suspense is gone? Not being one of these people I can't give their reasons.
       I was wondering though, what are your opinions? Do you enjoy the spoilers or not, and why?

Friday, November 22, 2013

Review 'The Inheritance' By Louisa May Alcott

This is Louisa May Alcott's first novel, written at the age of seventeen. Among the short stories, plays and poems she wrote in her teens, she apparently also succeeded in a entire book. I haven't read Little Women, as unfortunate as that sounds, though I do have a copy of the book. I tend to pick up shorter stories to read first, which is why this was read first.
This book is a romance, and a very sweet one. It is about a young lady named Edith, who serves as a governess (Though practically the same age) to Lady Amy. She is well loved, though very poor, and in the beginning of the book she is not allowed to socialize or take part in any of the home events unless specifically asked to. Edith is a sweet girl, gentle and innocent. She is loved by all members of the household - except for the unmarried Lady Ida. Edith is despised by Lady Ida, for Edith is still young and beautiful, despite her lowly birth, and Lady Ida is growing less beautiful everyday, and is jealous of Edith, and how she attracts more potential suitors. Ida's hatred grows stronger when Lord Percy visits, and when he is drawn to Edith. When Edith does something incredibly brave, she is welcome to events, and treated as a daughter.
This story focuses on Edith, and her relationship with Lord Percy, as well as the other characters n the story. Many different things happen to Edith, but she always manages to show bravery and respect. She would be a magnificent role model for little girls.
It would be hard to find a main conflict in this book, since so many things happen to poor Edith, and all because of the horrid Lady Ida. Somehow, even though Lady Ida treats Edith so terribly, she isn't that character that you hate, in fact, you can almost pity her.
The characters were likable, and the plot as nowhere near dull. Though it wasn't what I would call fast paced, it was definitely engaging.


For more reviews visit my Goodreads. Don't forget to follow!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

My absence and a discovery....

      I apologize for my exceptionally lengthy absence from the blogosphere, I just haven't had many subjects or books to review.
      I've discovered that I am no good at reading challenges. No good at all. I took part in the Bout of Books, and read no books that week. I took part in Austen in August, and only read half of a Novella. Both were very unproductive, as you can tell. I'll get very excited, but when the time comes for the challenge, I have no desire to read. I'm still hoping that I'll be able to achieve my goal of 50 classics in five years. I still think that I am capable of this one. :) Hopefully I'll start reading some of the classics soon. Frankenstein sounds nice right now....
      Like most of you I'm sure, I enjoy reading a wide variety of books. Recently however, I have been reading a lot of middle grade books, or very easy books that are on a 3 grade reading level. I checked out some Magic Tree House books from the library today. I thought of them because I went to a bookstore and there was a display of them. 
      What do you all like to read? Does the type of books vary, or do you have one certain genre? Have you ever taken part in a reading challenge, how did it work for you?
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Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Bout of Books, Day 1 progress

      Yesterday was the first day of the Bout of books read-a-thon! I was busy, so I didn't read a whole lot, but I did work on two books. I read about 50 pages and listened to about an hour of an audiobook. I haven't planned what books I want to read this week, because when I do that I don't actually want to read them when the time comes. I'll just read whatever I'm in the mood for, and right now, that would be fairy tales.

Followers are welcome! If you want to follow through, email, there is a link on the right-hand side.

Bout of Books

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Shannon Hale

      Shannon Hale is an author that I really enjoy, since most of her books are fairytale based. She has recently wrote a new book, also based on fairytales, and you can read two free e-books to get a taste of it. At under 10 pages, they are short stories. Shannon also is having her adult book, Austenland (which I haven't read) made into a movie. For more information on that, click on this link to a movie website : http://www.sonyclassics.com/austenland/site/

For more on the book, go here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/248483.Austenland

Don't forget to follow my blog (or Goodreads )!

 
My Reviews ~
 
 
Ever After High: Raven Queen's StoryRating: Three Stars


      I read Apple White's Story before I read this one, and this one made more sense. Raven Queen is the daughter of the Evil Queen, and she will soon have to commit herself to becoming the next Evil Queen in the fairy tale. When I read Apple White's Story, I didn't fully understand that in Shannon Hale's fairytale world, the children of the fairytale characters that we know and love will grow up and take their parents places. I found this story interesting, and I look forward to reading more in the series of these short stories.

Ever After High: Apple White's Story Rating: Two Stars
     This was a cute story and I read it within five minutes. It was about Snow White's daughter, Apple, and her excitement to start in a school before starting her own fairytale. In this story it told about how Apple would become a very good Snow White, which confused me a bit. I guess it will make more sense if I read Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends.

 


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon

    

      The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 19th and runs through Sunday, August 25th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 8.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. - From the Bout of Books team

      Wow, I am joining my third reading challenge, I feel accomplished! Bout of Books is a week long read-a-thon taking place August 19th to August 25th. I'm looking forward to participating! You can join, and here is the signup
        I am going to try to read five books in that week, I am going to be rather busy. 
 
Bout of Books

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Austen in August?

      I have joined Austen in August! This month, I will be reading as many Jane Austen books as possible. Biographies, Audiobooks, Juvenilia, , and contemporary versions or sequels also count.
      I will be trying to post many Jane Austen related things as well as reviews of the books. I have found seven books on my shelves that I can read for this event, though I doubt I can finish them all. If you want to sign up for this event you can, even though it is a bit late, here is the link to the event's host: austen-in-august-2013-sign-up-post
     Here we go!

AustenInAugustRBR-Button

Monday, July 29, 2013

Hardcovers Vs Paperbacks...

       I was reading a new hardcover book today, and the book jacket was bothering me.
      I decided to blog about my opinions about Paperbacks Vs Hardbacks. Whether I want a book in hardback or paperback really defers with the width of said book. I usually like hardcovers better, but I don't like the book jackets. I always take them off when I'm reading the book. The jackets also can get damaged easily, torn or wet. Paperbacks can also have their covers damaged easily which is, in my opinion, worse. If a paperback's cover tears off, there is nothing left protecting the pages inside.
      Hardbacks are much more durable than paperbacks, but they are heavier. Paperbacks are much better for transportation, since they weigh a significant amount less than a book with a hard cover. You can also bend these in half when your reading, so you can only see one page, if that's something you like to do with books.
      I love hard covers for books 200 pages or over. Paperbacks are my preferred form for novellas. If I want to bring books along with me on vacation, I'll use my Kindle. However, my ultimate favorite is when you can find a hardcover book without a book jacket. One with the image imprinted on the cover. It won't get damaged as easily as a paperback or a jacket. Plus, I love the way the cover feels when I rub my hand over it.
     What is your preference? I'd love to know!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Mini Book Review: Cinderella is Evil ~ Jamie Campbell

Cinderella is Evil Rating: 5 Stars

From Goodreads:
      History is told from one person’s perspective. Sometimes they don’t get it right.
      Ugly Stepsister Anna has wrongly been accused of being mean and evil. Now it is time she got the opportunity to tell her side of the story.
      With Cinderella so perfect and wonderful, it is no wonder Anna feels ugly in comparison. Dealing with bullies, a grumpy mother and the death of her step-father, Anna is at her wits end.
      When the Prince’s ball approaches, Anna is told she must find a husband to save the family fortune. Attending with her sisters, the sulky Prince Charming only has eyes for Cinderella.
      With the burden of being the only one to unite her step-sister with the Prince, will Anna act as cupid? Or will she protect Cinderella from the arrogant Charming?
      A charming twist to the story of Cinderella, told completely from the point of view of the Ugly Step-Sister.


My Review:
      I found this free on the kindle. The title doesn't match the sweet story inside the cover. I usually wouldn't have looked at something called Cinderella is Evil, but since this is a retelling of a fairytale, I went ahead and looked at it.
      This is a short story told from the point of view of one a Cinderella's stepsisters. In this version of the story, they are trying to be kind to Cinderella, but she is determined that they are wicked. Her stepsister, Anna, struggles to decide whether Prince Charming is good enough to wed Cinderella.
      In this fairytale, everybody gets their happy ending and lives Happily Ever After.


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Sunday, June 30, 2013

Mini Books Reiews ~ Princess School


Princess SchoolSeries Rating : 3 Stars


      This series is sweet and simple. The viewpoint will switch from the main princess's point of view to a different point of view every other chapter. They teach about the importance of friends, family, forgiveness and bravery. The girls may become jealous of each other, they may become angry, but they will eventually apologize. They are forgiven and the girls band together to help sort out whatever problem was being dealt with in that book. It can be a bit slow for older readers, which is why I rated it 3 stars, but for younger children who are new readers, it is the perfect series for creating avid readers.

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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Mini Book Review : Maelyn ~ By: Anita Valle

Maelyn (The Nine Princesses Novellas, #1) Rating: 4 Stars

From Goodreads:
      The king returned home and presented his astonished queen with not one, but nine baby girls. “One from each kingdom I visited,” said the king. “They are orphans.” The queen wept joyously at the row of cradles, each bearing a sleeping infant. After bestowing a kiss on each child’s forehead she said, “Now they are princesses.”
      Book 1: Maelyn was not born a princess. The king found her as a child, the lone survivor of a poor village slaughtered by the Red Fever. Suddenly she became a princess of Runa Realm, the first of nine orphans adopted by the king.

      By her eighteenth year, Maelyn rules over Runa and a family of nine sisters. But some call the princesses frauds and imposters, a handful of urchins raised into royalty. Even Uncle Jarrod, the High King of Grunwold, seems determined to prove that Maelyn no longer deserves to be a princess. With a family losing faith in her, and a kingdom growing dangerously hostile, even Maelyn begins to wonder if she is truly a real princess. And if her riches will turn to rags once again….
      The Nine Princesses Novellas is a series that chronicles the adventures of an unconventional family of princesses, the struggles they face in a kingdom often hostile to their humble origins, and the day-to-day dramas of nine young women whose personalities often clash like swords. Fans of Gail Carson Levine and Shannon Hale would enjoy this young-adult series. Recommended for ages 12 and up. For more information go to
www.anitavalleart.com





My Review:

I downloaded this free book on the kindle and finished it that same night (in about an hour). It's a very sweet book, a quick and easy read. I am very much looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

You can download the book here: http://www.amazon.com/Maelyn-Nine-Princesses-Novellas-ebook/dp/B008GGB8OW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1371749226&sr=8-1&keywords=maelyn


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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Mini Book Reviews ~ Peter and the Starcatchers By: Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry

      I've realized that I have a lot of book reviews that are only a few sentences and not long enough to have a blog post by themselves. I do, however want to share these reviews with you, so I came up with an idea.
      I am going to start taking these reviews and putting them in their own section. Each review will have its own page, because I am going to give more information on the book than just my review.

Peter and the Starcatchers (Peter and the Starcatchers, #1) From Goodreads :
      Don't even think of starting this book unless you're sitting in a comfortable chair and have lots of time. A fast-paced, impossible-to-put-down adventure awaits as the young orphan Peter and his mates are dispatched to an island ruled by the evil King Zarboff. They set sail aboard the Never Land, a ship carrying a precious and mysterious trunk in its cargo hold, and the journey quickly becomes fraught with excitement and danger.
       Discover richly developed characters in the sweet but sophisticated Molly, the scary but familiar Black Stache, and the fearless Peter. Treacherous battles with pirates, foreboding thunderstorms at sea, and evocative writing immerses the reader in a story that slowly and finally reveals the secrets and mysteries of the beloved Peter Pan




The Review :

      That was great. Intriguing and easy to read. Relaxing at times and exciting the whole time. With such a bittersweet ending.


Rating:  4 Stars

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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Book Review ~ Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte ~ Well that was Interesting

      I've been reading other blogs, and I am going to slightly change the way I do reviews. I am going to add my rating, and possibly a few other things at a later date.

Wuthering Heights Rating: 5 Stars


       Well that was interesting. Having only read Austen in the past and knowing nothing of Wuthering Heights, I was expecting something more light-hearted than this.
       The blurb on the back of my copy of the book said that Wuthering Heights was the story of two childhood friends who grow up to be soul-mates. I suppose it is, but its ..... darker, than that. I will tell my thoughts the best I can, but I don't want to give any spoilers away for those of you who have yet to read it.
       If you want to feel a connection with the characters you read about, or if you want to like the characters in your books, then this isn't the story for you. The majority of these characters are not in the least likable, and since there are only a handful of people needed in the plot, this leaves one or two remotely pleasant characters. Heathcliff is violent and practically the definition of evil, Linton is cranky and demanding, Catherine is selfish and disobedient, and Cathy disregards any advice given to her. The few likable characters are Nellie Dean, the maid from whose point of view the story is told. Mr. Lockwood is O.K, but mainly because he is hardly in the story. I suppose you may be able to like Cathy.
      Heathcliff was bent on revenge against Edgar Linton, the reason for this I cannot say, for that would be a spoiler. Heathcliff goes to extreme lengths to get what he wants. He cares for nobody but himself.
       I was expecting Wuthering Heights to be told in the 3rd person, but it is not.
It starts off from Mr. Lockwood's point of view; he is visiting the home of Cathy. He meets Heathcliff, and, on discovering his terrible temper, asks Nellie Dean for Heathcliff's story. The majority of the rest of the book is told from Nellie's perspective, with a few breaks when Nellie has to leave and you hear Lockwood's thoughts on what Nellie has told so far.
       There is a lot of death. Approximately half the characters die. In all likelihood you won't be attached to any of them, so this may not be a problem.
            The author reused many names, and more often than not, one character's last name would be the first name of another. I saw that many people complained about this being confusing, and in all honesty I was confused in the beginning as well. Soon enough, however, characters begin to be killed off. When this happens there is only one character left with the name. Dead characters are mentioned, and you can tell when the person mentioned is dead by who is talking about them and in what manner they are doing so. After reading, names become less of a problem.

       These are a lot of negative aspects, yet I have rated the book 5 stars. This is because I enjoyed it. I loved it. It was a Gothic Romance, but the romance was of a darker sort, the type that ultimately destroyed the lovers.    
      This was a book as unique as its author, Emily. It was a literary masterpiece. It was amazing.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Few Favorite Authors.....

      I realize that I haven't posted in a while, so I apologize and I am giving you an update on everything.
      My friend just started a Health and Beauty blog, which you can find here: http://aprincessofreality.blogspot.com/
      She is likely the most fashion-minded person I know. I'd love if you would jump over and take a look at the blog.
      I wasn't able to complete the Classic Club Spin. The day before the deadline I realized that I was only half-way through the book. Not wanting to rush through it, I quit. On the upside, I finished Wuthering Heights, I will be posting a review soon.
      On to a few of my favorite authors, I have two to post about today; they both write fantasy.
      The first author is Jessica Day George. I have posted a review of her book Tuesdays in the Castle, which you can find here: http://ablogofthebooks.blogspot.com/2013/05/book-review-tuesdays-at-castle-by.html
      She has written two trilogies, Dragon Slippers and her Princess books, and is currently writing a series. Dragon Slippers is amazing! I have suggested it to two friends, and they both fell in love with the books. It's about Creel, whose aunt delivers her to a dragon, hoping for Creel to be rescued by the Lord's son. Creel frees herself and journeys to a town in hopes of becoming a dressmaker, wearing the shoes she acquired from the dragon. The shoes itch, and she hears voices of dragons, because of these shoes. Oh, I can't describe how fantastic these books are.
      Her other trilogy is based on fairy-tales. The first book, Princess of the Midnight Ball, focuses on Rose, the eldest of the twelve dancing princesses. It follows the storyline of the original fairy-tale (The Twelve Dancing Princesses). The second focuses on a middle sister, Poppy, whose fairytale is Cinderella, even though Cinderella is not Poppy herself. The last story is about the youngest sister. This book is a combination of Little Red Riding Hood and Robin Hood.
      For all you readers who aren't into fairy-tales and a bit of romance, I would suggest Eoin Colfer. Not every book he has written is fantasy, but his most well-known series, Artemis Fowl, is. Another all-time favorite.
      I suggest clicking the link and reading about the series yourself, as I often have trouble explaining these books. They are about the teenage Artemis Fowl. Criminal Mastermind and Millionaire. He wants his father back, and so captures a fairy, so he would be allowed a wish. I understand that I say this isn't a girly book, and then I start mentioning fairies. You need to understand that these are not the classic picture book fairies. They are high-tech mythological creatures, living underground. They have devices that render them nearly invisible, guns that don't kill, but stun, ways to erase a memory, ways to hypnotize among many other inventions.They have their own police system. The population  consist of centaurs, elves, dwarves, pixies, and more. When Artemis captures a fairy, it doesn't go as planned. This fairy was a police officer, and Artemis ends up with quite a bit of trouble when she goes missing from her world. This is a seven part series. It is also one of the few series in which I eagerly awaited the next installment.
      Who are some of your favorite authors? Please follow :) Au Revoir!
 
 
 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Free Audiobooks, Classic and YA!

      Today, I discovered (through another blogger), a fantastic website offering free e-books all summer long! This website offers a Classic book and a YA book each week.
 
 Here is a link to the list of this years books:
 
 
 
      The books are delivered to you through Overdrive Media Console. To be able to read books in the app, you must have an Adobe account. Overdrive is compatible with many things, including IPod/IPhone, Kindle, Mac, Windows, Android and more.  The Overdrive website has some 'How To' videos, and the app has a help section, which were helping me quite a bit. Have fun with summer listening!
 

 


Double Book Review ~ The Island Unknown and The Mystery of the Golden Pocketwatch ~ by Gary Henicke

      This was a good, quick read. I won the sequel to this novella, and the author was very kind and sent me this one as well.
      This book is about a boy named Peter, who makes a promise to his grandfather to find Island Unknown, a place from a bedtime story Peter used to hear.
       Peter doesn't leave for the island until a little over half-way through the book. This isn't a problem, because the early part of the story is necessary to the plot and is still very interesting. The book's plot moved quickly, and so there wasn't a slow part.
       Peter's relationship with his grandfather was very important, and was why he wanted to find the island so badly. Peter's father had died when Peter was very young, and his grandfather raised him as if he were Peter's father. They were very close, and multiple times in the book it refers to Peter's grandfather as being Peter's 'father'.
       At first I didn't like Peter's mother, she seemed always to be upset with Peter. This was because she was worried that Peter would disappear like his father in a quest for the Island. Later, she redeems herself by giving Peter permission to leave and telling him that she doesn't want them to always be mad at each other.
       A book of exploration, and I don't read these often, I had forgotten how much I liked them. A few times I would have liked a few more details or more description, but this did not effect the story, which was very good. Peter is a likable character who I enjoyed reading about. I hope the author will write more books in this series.

Link to the book on Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/Island-Gary-Henicke/dp/1477559981/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1369685962&sr=1-5&keywords=island+unknown

On Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15727228-island-unknown

       I love how this author writes shorter books, they are a nice change from the thick classics that I have been reading more recently. This is the sequel to Island Unknown, and this book is about Peter four years after the first story.
       In this book, Peter receives a package containing a watch that had belonged to his father, who had disappeared while on a search for Island Unknown. Peter's father had never been heard from after he started on his voyage. Peter goes on a quest to England to locate the sender of the watch. After he locates the man, he decides to discover if the man's claims about Peter's father's fate were true.
       I only have two negative things to say about this book. The first one is the lack of detail. There were a few parts of the book where I would have liked more detail or more description. The details were not necessary to the plot of this story, but would have helped me visualize the scenes and what the characters were doing.
       My other negative point is sentence structure. I am extremely sensitive to sentence variation. Most of the sentences either started with an -ly word, a name, or the word he. Though distracting at first, once you get into the story it isn't an issue.
       The story was pleasant, and something that would be nice to read on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate. The last 51 pages were my favorite, and I can't tell the reason without any spoilers. It was a great resolution to the problem of the story, and also very sweet.
       This could easily be a trilogy, and I think a third book would be a great addition to the series.

Amazon Link:http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Golden-Pocket-Watch-Exciting/dp/0615660568/ref=tag_dpp_lp_edpp_ttl_in

Goodreads Link:http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15738860-the-mystery-of-the-golden-pocket-watch



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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Classics Club Book Review: The Lifted Veil ~ George Eliot

This was the first book I've read by George Eliot, and I noticed that many people say that it wasn't the type of book that she normally wrote. I look forward to reading more George Eliot so as to do a comparison with this book.
      This is about a clairvoyant man who has a vision of a woman, who he later discovers is his brother's fiancĂ©.
      this book is written as if this man was writing the story of his life and you are reading it at a later date.
      It tells about his life and his various visions, and how he struggles with them. He begins to believe that his brother's fiancĂ© loves him more than his brother, but a later vision shows him that this is not true.
      There are multiple times that the narrator says that he is skipping to a later date, when key events happen, and this reinforces that it is being told to you as if you were in the same room as the main protagonist.
      The title, 'The Lifted Veil', refers to the 'veil' of the future, and how this man can see through it, as though it were lifted. The story is really only

Monday, May 13, 2013

The Classic Club Spin

      As some of you know, I joined the Classics Club, which means I have to read 50 classics in the next 5 years.
      The Classic Club created the Classics Spin to help you read some of the books on your list that you don't want to read as much as the others. You will make a list of twenty books and The Classics Club will pick a number and everyone has to read the book with that number by a certain date. I'm excited about this!
       ~~~~~~~~~~~~Classic Spin List~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
 
 
1:  The Brothers Karamazov
 
2: The Man in the Iron Mask
 
3: Middlemarch
 
4: Bleak House
 
5: Don Quixote
 
6: The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
 
7: The Mill on the Floss
 
8: The Phantom of the Opera
 
9: Frankenstein
 
10: From the Earth to the Moon
 
11: Mansfield Park
 
12: Jane Eyre
 
13:  Robinson Crusoe
 
14: Through the Looking Glass
 
15: The Diary of a Young Girl
 
16: The Last Man
 
17: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
 
18: Treasure Island
 
19: Dracula
 
20: Persuasion
 
Update: I am horrible at reading challenges. Maybe I will do this... eventually. :) It sounds fun!



Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Book Review: Tuesdays at the Castle ~ By Jessica Day George

      I am surprised that I haven't read this sooner, since it is written by Jessica Day George, one of my absolute favorite authors. With the sequel coming out, I decided that I must read it.
      This book is about Princess Cecelia, whose parents go missing and are presumed dead. Her home, the castle, is magical. It has a mind of its own, quite like 'Herbie the Lovebug'. It will create new rooms or corridors, just to have them vanish the next day. Rooms will be moved, and their size may change, according to how the castle feels about that person.
      I would have thought that a magic castle would be difficult to write about; that every problem would be solved by using the castle's magic. This was not the case. Jessica Day George did a fantastic job avoiding this escape route, and not once did I think that the characters got off easily.
      This was a very intriguing book, and not stressful. It kept me fully interested and not constantly checking my progress as I usually do.
      I wouldn't classify any of her books as romance, but some have more romance than others(all of her romance is perfectly wholesome and would be suitable for younger children). Tuesdays at the castle has no love story plot at all.
      I enjoyed the characters unique personalities. I am looking forward to reading the second book in the series. For me, there is nothing like picking up a new Jessica Day George story.
Here is the link to an interview of Jessica Day George about her new book: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ak9Z6B9AhOY



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Saturday, May 4, 2013

What is Classic Literature?

      When I think of Classic Literature, I think of old books written by people like Jane Austen, Bram Stoker, Mary Shelley, etc. However, some people may consider books that everybody has heard of as Classics, like The Hunger Games, Twilight, and Harry Potter. So what is a Classic, really?
      A Classic book is a book that had withstood the test of time. A book that people continue to enjoy years after it was published and it's author died. Their copyright has expired, and so they are printed by many different publishers.
      These books generally contain a sort of appeal to where it is read by a diverse group of people. It will also contain some artistic quality, be it a writing style different from most other books, or an especially engaging plot.
      Traditionally, Classic Novels were only fictional narratives. Recently, though, some graphic novels were shockingly referred to as 'Classics.'
       This term is truly ambiguous. This set of 'rules' is only the generally accepted definition of a novel. There are no official requirements, but since books like Harry Potter and Twilight have not had a chance to withstand the test of time, I do not think they can truly be considered classics.

Friday, April 26, 2013

The Classics Club


Classics Club Event Call – May & June

      I just joined the Classics Club. This means that I have pledged to read 50 new classic books within the next five years. I plan on having them finished before then, but I don't want to rush it with all the other books out there. This makes my end date April 26, 2018.
      I stumbled across this challenge when I was visiting Love at First Book. I then found some other people who had joined and thought that it would be a good challenge, and a way for me to write more book reviews.
      I will try to review most of the books on the list. Below is the list of books arranged in alphabetical order by author.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~The List~~~~~~~~~~~

  • Alcott, Louisa May ~ Little Women
  • Austen, Jane ~ Emma
  • Austen, Jane ~ Northanger Abbey
  • Austen, Jane ~ Persuasion
  • Austen, Jane ~ Sense and Sensibility
  • Austen, Jane ~ Mansfield Park
  • Bronte, Anne ~ The Tennant of Wildfell Hall
  • Bronte, Charlotte ~ Villette
  • Bronte, Charlotte ~ Jane Eyre
  • Bronte, Charlotte ~ The Professor
  • Cervantes ~ Don Quixote
  • Defoe, Daniel ~ Robinson Crusoe
  • Dickens, Charles ~ Oliver Twist
  • Dickens, Charles ~ Great Expectations
  • Dickens, Charles ~ David Copperfield
  • Dickens, Charles ~ The Pickwick Papers
  • Dickens, Charles ~ Bleak House
  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor ~ Crime and Punishment
  • Dostoevsky, Fyodor ~ The Brothers Karamazov
  • Dumas, Alexander ~ The  Man in the Iron Mask
  • Dumas, Alexander ~ The Count of Monte Cristo (I found an unabridged version! Woohoo!)
  • Eliot, George ~ Middlemarch
  • Eliot, George ~ The Mill on the Floss
  • Fitzgerald, F. Scott ~ The Great Gatsby
  • Frank, Anne ~The Diary of a Young Girl
  • Gaskell, Elizabeth ~ North and South
  • Hawthorne, Nathaniel ~ The Scarlet Letter
  • Leroux, Gaston ~ The Phantom of the Opera
  • Pyle, Howard ~ The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood
  • Shakespeare, William ~ Hamlet
  • Shakespeare, William ~ Romeo and Juliet
  • Shelley, Mary ~ The Last Man
  • Shelley, Mary ~ Frankenstein
  • Spyri, Johanna ~ Heidi
  • Stevenson, Robert Louis ~ Treasure Island
  • Stoker, Bram ~ Dracula
  • Stratton-Porter, Gene ~ A Girl of the Limberlost
  • Twain, Mark~ The Prince and the Pauper
  • Twain, Mark ~ A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court 
  • Verne, Jules ~ 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
  • Verne, Jules ~ From the Earth to the Moon
  • Verne, Jules ~ The Mysterious Island

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Reading Challenge ~ Classic Literature

     This summer I plan on reading a LOT of the classics. Currently, I am reading Wuthering Heights, by Emily Bronte.  Some of the other classics I plan on reading this summer are Jane Eyre, Dracula, Frankenstein, The Phantom of the Opera, and, if I have time, The Brothers Karamazov
      What are you planning on reading this summer? I challenge all of you to read at least two classic books this summer (It can be one you have already read). If you participate in this challenge, let me know how it went when summer ends!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Book Review of 'Escape from Mr. Lemocello's Library'

       I thoroughly enjoyed Escape from Mr. Lemocello's Library by Chris Grabenstein. It is full of puzzles and clues to a mystery. It also makes many references to modern books and websites as well as classic literature and it's authors.
       This book is about a group of children who win an essay contest and, as a reward, are granted early access to the town's new library. This library was designed by the rather eccentric, famed, game creator, Mr. Luigi Lemoncello. When they arrive at the library, however, they are told that they have a chance to participate in a new game, called 'Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library'. These children have 24 hours to find their way to a hidden exit in the library. The winner stars in Mr. Lemoncello's commercials.
       I enjoyed how the books switched viewpoints among the different teams, and the reader is able to have more clues to work the puzzle than the characters in the book have.
       I really enjoyed the book references in the story. The Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil. E. Frankweiler, Pseudonymous Bosch, Sherlock Holmes, and The Rats of Nimh  and others were mentioned. Having read any of these may have given the reader more hints. I found myself trying to figure out clues and rebuses before reading further to see what the characters actually thought about them.
       I am pleased that the characters who cheated, lied, or even those who were rough with the books and other contestants, were eliminated. In other books I have read, things like those go unpunished, and it upsets me because it teaches that lying and cheating is acceptable. Clearly, actions like those are not suitable in society.
            I am incredibly pleased I was able to read this before the publishing date, and I am looking forward to reading other titles by this author. Fans of literature everywhere would enjoy this fantastic book.

                                                                    Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library304 pages


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Monday, April 15, 2013

Facebook

      I have recently set up a Facebook page for A Blog of the Books. I will post book related photos, quotes, as well as alerts when I create new blog posts. I would appreciate if you would take the time to check it out and like it.

      Here is the link:

https://www.facebook.com/ABlogOfTheBooks?ref=stream

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Review of 'Ruby Redfort: Look into my Eyes' By Lauren Child

This book is about a 13 year old, supposed genius, girl who is recruited to help a secret agency stop a theft. Her name is Ruby Redfort.
      I didn't find her a genius, though that isn't much of an issue. The plot was not bad, it just wasn't as fast moving as I am used to. The issues I have with this book: her parents and her accidental stealing.
      Her parents were not intelligent, as stated in the book. They were kind, caring and rich, but not intelligent. Her parents were not portrayed well, and she fully kept what she was doing from them by continuous lies. I understand the reason was because it was a secret agency, but it didn't reflect well on Ruby.
      She stole from the agency. Not on purpose, but she did. The agency did know about it, but as Ruby didn't know that they knew, that fact doesn't matter. She stole a watch out of a guarded agency room that she was touring. She messed with it even though she had been told not to. She ended up leaving the room with it on because she couldn't put it back without being noticed. She then tried to return it by breaking into the room, and ended up stealing something else. I wouldn't have been upset about the stealing if she had been punished for it, but she wasn't. The watch saved her life, therefore she was rewarded for her theft.
      Her speech pattern was neither good nor bad, it was just incredibly modern. It bothered me in the beginning, though simply because I wasn't used to it.
      I am not completely set against this book, I did enjoy it, it is simply just not one I would read again. I do plan on reading the next one, though the main reason is because I enjoy the other characters in the story, especially the villains. I just do not like the main protagonist.

                                                     Look Into My Eyes (Ruby Redfort, #1)390 pages.

For more reviews visit my Goodreads. Don't forget to follow!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

HUGE, inexpensive book sale!

      Every year, I try to attend the Friends of the Library book sale. The spring sale is scheduled for April 20th through April 24th, 2013. They have thousands of books that have been donated by many people in the community. Though the price varies from book to book, the majority of them seem to be priced at
 50 cents or less.
      The books are divided into sections depending on genre (young adult, sci-fi / fantasy, classic, cookbooks, hobby books, etc.). There are large signs over each section that inform you of the genre of books placed in that section. Maps are also available for you to carry one around, if you would like.
      The sale continues for a few consecutive days. The first three days the books are the price that their stickers state. Prices range mostly from 25 cents to $4. Some books will not have stickers, these are 25 cents each, hardcovers included. Tuesday is half price day. The last day, Wednesday, all books are a dime each. I have gotten 16 books for about ten dollars before.
      There are volunteers at the sale who are constantly putting new books onto the shelves. If you are looking for a certain author, series, or book you can ask them if they have seen any. They may tell you where they have seen the book, if they have seen it, or they will let you know, by shouting out, if they have some in their carts. I have had people who overheard me ask for a book, and they pointed me in the right direction.
       Though the crowds are huge, the deals and enjoyment is completely worth the trip and the waiting in lines. I plan on going every chance possible.
        Here is the link to their website, with location and dates.  http://folacld.org/

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Review of 'The Candymakers' By Wendy Mass

      The Candymakers is one of my favorite books. It tells the story of four children who take a tour of their local candy factory, and then compete to create a new candy which will be reproduced and shipped around the world.
      Their are five parts, each from a different point of view. The last of these five is told from the same point of view as Part 1. Each of the characters is very different from the others. There is the candymaker's son, Logan, and there is Miles who is allergic to merry-go-rounds and the color pink, Daisy who lifts a fifty pound lump of taffy as if it is as light as a feather, and Philip, who is always scribbling in a secret notebook.
      This could be considered a mystery, except it is the type of mystery where you don't actually know what the mystery was until it is solved. This is easily a children's book, not in the least scary for young children. They would enjoy this story, as I currently do.
      I really enjoyed reading from each point of view. Each one solves mini mysteries that you had wondered about while reading other views. As soon as one mystery is solved, another will immediately present itself, so your curiosity continues.
      Great books for candy lovers, children, teens, and even adults looking for a fun, quick read! If you read this, I would love to know your thoughts!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Book Review 'The Mystery of the Missing Suitcase'

      This was one of the many books that I picked up at the book sale I had mentioned earlier. It was written by Florence Parry Heide and Sylvia Worth Van Cleif. I finished it in a day, and I was pleased with it. This was a good mystery story for children.
      The story starts when Dexter, the main character, is riding home on a bus. He talks to the lady sitting next to him who tells him that she thinks she is being followed by a man who wants to steal her money. When Dexter arrives back at his house, he realizes that he has the wrong suitcase. Soon he discovers that the suitcase he has belongs to the man who was following the lady, and his friends agree with him when he says that he believes the man to be a bank robber. The children look inside the suitcase, hoping for something that will tell them where the man is.
      I enjoyed how the three children, Jay, Dexter, and Cindy, were polite to all of the adults in the story, which is different from many books today. Dexter's older sister still behaved as you would imagine an older sister to behave like, but was still kind to the children. These children also involved Dexter's parents in their idea. They told them about the mystery instead of keeping it a secret from them.
      A simple example of something I liked, was that Dexter's parents went over to the neighbor's house to look at rosebushes. Many books don't include socializing like that.
      While seemingly written for a younger audience, teens and adults will also enjoy this quick, sweet book.

Booksale and Website!

I went to a 'garage sale' book sale two days ago, and it was fantastic. There were many books of  almost every genre, and at great prices. Mostly the books were 10 for $5, but occasionally some would be more expensive. I was able to acquire 16 books for only $10, I was given some for free. The man running the sale said that he tried to have the sales every other week.. If you have any interest in going to one of these sales, they are located in Spring Forest, which is off Millhopper Rd, in Gainesville, FL. There are yellow signs to follow. While I was there, the gentleman told me of a website that any fellow reader would enjoy. The website is called fantastic fiction. Fantastic Fiction is a database of thousands of authors.  You type an author's name into the search box and it will pull up a biography of the person. In addition to the biography there is a list of the author's books, arranged by series. The series are arranged from the first book to the last. The books are also arranged by type,  graphic novel, chapter book, novel, etc. Selecting the name of the book will show you places that you can buy it, as well as the book's price. The page will also show similar authors and books. I hope you all will enjoy this website and hopefully this sale as well.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Goodreads

       Goodreads is an amazing website for all book lovers. It is a place where you can keep track of the books you would like to read as well as books that you have read. You can do many more activities on this website, such as enter giveaways, like quotes, and play trivia quizzes.
      After creating a Goodreads account, the website will ask you to complete a few optional steps. This includes things such as choosing your favorite genres and rating books. Once officially on Goodreads, you are free to explore the website. When you rate 20 books the website will begin to give you book recommendations based on the books you have read as well as your favorite genres.
      If you decide you might like to read a book, you can press the 'Want to Read' button and it will add it to your 'To Read' shelf. You always have the option to delete books from any of your shelves. To access your bookshelves, all you have to do is press a button labeled 'My Books'.
      Giveaways, quotes, and quizzes are located underneath the 'Explore' tab. The giveaways are not fake, you will definitely receive your book if you win. I have won a giveaway before and received the book very quickly.
      If you choose to friend someone on Goodreads, you are subscribed to all their updates, such as when they add a new book or when they enter a giveaway. Many authors are on Goodreads, and you can become fans of them to subscribe to their blog posts as well as Goodreads updates. You can compare books on your list to books on theirs, and see their ratings compared to yours. You are able to suggest books to authors and friends.
      There are so many things to share about this website to share with you, but I will save them for a later post. I definitely suggest it to anyone who is an ardent reader or who enjoys any type of book.
      If you have any questions about the website, please comment them and I will do my best to help.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pride and Prejudice Movie Adaptations

      Usually when you read a book you love, you end up disliking the movie, because it is so different from the book. The reason I watched a Pride and Prejudice movie in the first place was because I was at a party and we all voted to watch it. We watched the one with Keira Knightley.
      As we all watched, my friend and I couldn't help but point out the differences to each other, and there were many. It was a very good, two hour long movie. It just wasn't like the book. While we watched it, my friend told me that she owned a longer version. She also informed me that her version was incredibly accurate.
      The first thing I did when I got home was look up Pride and Prejudice on YouTube. I was looking for the two hour version, since we were not able to finish it. Instead, I found a 1995 version with Colin Firth (the one my friend has). Since it said part 1 and the video was an hour long I figured that I may as well watch it.
      From the very first scene I knew that it would stay true to the book one hundred percent. I almost got up to grab the book, since they were quoting from it. I was planning on following along. You can find this on YouTube, there are six episodes. Some episodes you may be able to find in full, some may have parts to them. I absolutely love this version and plan on ordering one from Amazon. This version is about six hours long.
      For those of you who have Netflix, there is an adaptation on there. I don't particularly like this version. There is no real reason for that, other than I am not a fan of the costumes or of the actors and actresses that they chose. It is very accurate when compared to the book. This is also in episodes. To watch this whole thing is about five hours. In any case, I would definitely recommend reading the book before watching a movie adaptation.
Link to the 1995 version on YouTube:
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQSFmrkR-QA&list=PL3A59C0B9B8A77286

I also was able to find the 2 hour long one online for free, here is that link: http://www.4shared.com/video/_XC7Tmrz/PrideAndPrejudice2005.html

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Reading Festival

      Yesterday, I went to the Readfest festival in Ft Myers, FL. It was fantastic! The goal of the festival is to promote reading and library use, and all the funds they make from book sales are donated to the library. There are many different authors who will be signing books. There were adult, teen, and children authors. They sell books next to the signing tent, so if you do not own a book by a specific author you can pick it up at the festival. The authors have specific signing times, but will stay until their lines are empty, so if you are in line you will not miss the author! I had my books signed by Gail Carson Levine, one of my favorite authors. I also had a few books signed by Annie Barrows, an author I enjoyed in elementary school.
       There is a teen's area, which is slightly separated from the rest of the festival. In this area there are crafts, such as duct-tape lanyards and ear bud holders. This time there was Just Dance 2 for the Wii. The best part, in my opinion, was the free books. You are allowed to choose any free book to keep, and this includes advance reader's copies. 
       Young readers will also have a great time at the festival. There are crafts designed for young children, and they also are allowed to choose a free book. Of course, this free book is a children's book, not teen's book.
      It is not necessary to pack a lunch, as they do have food there (including funnel cakes, yum!)
      
      I had fourteen of my books signed, and I got a free advance reader's copy of Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library, which is in stores June 25. One of my new books, Andromeda's Turn, was written by Libby Svenson, who I also had a chance to meet, while she was in 7th grade. I haven't read this book yet, but it looks very promising. I hope some of you will consider attending this free festival in the future. Here is the link to the website: http://readfest.org/
Gail Carson Levine, author of Ella Enchanted, signing my eight book pile.
 
I also had my books signed by Annie Barrows, author of Ivy and Bean as well as The Magic Half.