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

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

Monday, April 15, 2013


      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:

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.

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.