Posts Tagged ‘ Mondays ’

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Sheila over at Book Journey hosts this wonderful meme, check it out!

The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone – If you have ever thought about having healthier eating habits that have a positive effect on both you and your environment, this is a great book to check out. It is definitely on the extreme end of diets (and by diets I mean the way you eat on a regular basis), but worth looking into. Silverstone has done her research and backs up her opinions with statistics she has uncovered. She makes some good arguments for eating local, fresh, organic, non-meat, non-dairy products. Which is all well and good for those who live in a locale that caters to farmers markets and has an ideal year-round growing season like sunny California. It’s also easier when you have money and time to spend on shopping and preparing fresh meals. I think there is a balance to be found between the severity of Silverstone’s stance and building a healthy diet that is based on choosing organic foods that are environmentally low-impact and more humane to animals. I think that this book is a great read for someone who wants to know more about healthy eating habits and is interested in learning more about the subject.

House Rules by Jodi Picoult – I really enjoyed this book. Picoult always pinpoints hot topics and pushes them to the forefront of her readers awareness. Her novel looks at an eighteen year old boy with Asperger’s and the family that has to deal with the symptoms of autism every day. As many of Picoult’s novels, its informative as well as an interesting read. I wish that it had a longer ending with a greater resolution, instead of the too perfect ending it had, but I still thoroughly enjoyed the novel.

Balancing Acts by Zoe Fishman – I first heard about this book from a review posted by Sheila at Book Journey. This book came at a great time for me. I had been reading a lot of heavy books with dark topics and this was the perfect antidote. Light and fluffy to the nth degree, this book is rooted in enlightenment and empowerment through yoga. Even wanting a book that was rooted in happiness, the characters and the dialogue swam in their own perfect self-realization beyond any realistic dialogue or scenarios. I still enjoyed it because, like I said, it was exactly what I needed a book to be.

Kick Ass by Mark Millar and John Romita Jr. – Warning! The link I posted here will connect you to the trailer of the movie based on this graphic novel. While the trailer is not as violent as the movie (from what I’ve heard, I haven’t seen it yet) or the graphic novel, if you don’t like gratuitous violence or cursing, then this link/movie/graphic novel is not for you!

The story line of the GN and the movie it spawned focuses on a nerdy teenager who decides it’s time for average joes such as himself to don the garb of a superhero and, well, kick some lowlife butt. Social networking has made this wannabe “hero” an overnight sensation and he attracts the attention of another superhero pair – Big Daddy and Hit Girl. The three of them carve a bloody path through the mafia, making the world a safer place for all. Expletives abound and the “superheroes” are not entirely super or heroes, looking out for their own gory gratification rather than a moral higher ground.

The premise of seeing what would happen when average guys (and girls) don a cape without any particular powers or particular moral integrity made for an interesting story, if not a gruesome one. I recommend it just for its uniqueness, brilliant illustrations and twisted plot. But, it is VERY violent and uses a lot of profanity, so be warned!

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s time again for It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted Sheila over at One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books. It’s a great way to start the week and read about what everyone else is reading! πŸ™‚

I’m still making my way through Monstrumulogist by Rick Yancey. I’ll post a review once I’ve finished. πŸ™‚

I just started listening to:

The Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink – This book opens with gripping mysteries that will keep readers enthralled throughout the book. A prophecy that’s rooting in old legends, unusual deaths, strange whispers in the night, and a sister that seems to have more secrets than truths. Zink’s tale is like sifting through layers of intrigue. She keeps readers guessing while she introduces new information that only seems to deepen the mysteries surrounding Lia and Alice, the main characters. A perfect book for the gloomy thunderstorms I’ve been enjoying on the East coast!

It’s a slow reading week for me, but a fun one!

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Ah, yes, it’s another beautiful Monday! Here on Runner Sami the topic of today is – It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? sponsored by the ever-fabulous Sheila over atΒ One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books.

The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting – Ok, here’s my disclaimer before I review this book…As an aspiring author I am impressed by those who are able to not only write a book, but find an agent and get published. Derting is a first time author AND she already has the second book in the series slated to be released in 2011 by HarperTeen. But I really didn’t like the Body Finder. My main problem was that it seemed like Derting couldn’t make up her mind as to whether she wanted it to be a thriller or a romance. I think that you can have both intermingled will electric results (the Twilight series is a prime example), but this book doesn’t quite hit the mark. Because of that vein throughout this novel, I was left frustrated by a girl who is more intent on a boy than the fact there was a serial killer going around murdering girls that she knows. I’m hoping that Derting can find that perfect balance in her next novel because I do think that it’s a great premise for a series and one that could be very successful.

Monstrumulogist by Rick Yancey – I have to admit that this book has been languishing in my TBR pile for a while now. I’m finally starting it and am really excited about the premise of the book. The book is centered around a doctor who studies monsters and his apprentice, Will Henry. Yancey has written several previous books for adults and this YA novel won him the 2010 Printz Award. I’ve included the link to Yancey’s website for Monstrumulogist as it has a great trailer for the book and this delicious line – “Critically acclaimed author Rick Yancey has written a gothic tour de force that explores the darkest heart of man and monster and asks the question: When does a man become the very thing he hunts?” I’ll post a full review when I’m finished the book.

Happy readings! πŸ™‚

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is once again hosted by the fabulous Sheila over at One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books. Thanks, Sheila!

Sorry about my little blog hiatus this past week – I’m excited to start a new week off with such a fun meme. πŸ™‚

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

Dead-Tossed Waves by Carrie Ryan – Man, oh, man! Many have said how it is a difficult task to produce a well-written second novel that can stand up with the first. Well Carrie Ryan has shown us all how it can be done. And done very, very well. The novel opens with Gabry who we find out in the opening pages is Mary’s daughter. They live in the lighthouse where Mary found herself at the end of The Forest of Hands and Teeth in a village called Vista. Ryan spares us no amounts of agony, suspense, and conflicts as she takes Gabry and those closest to her through this suspenseful novel. Not only does Ryan capture the emotion and beauty of relationships but she reveals enough new twists and revelations in the post-apocalyptic world she’s created to keep her readers entranced to the very last page. I’m already looking forward to the inevitable third in the series!

The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag by Alan Bradley – If you haven’t been introduced to the delightful character of Flavia de Luce do yourself a favor and pick up the first book in the series – The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. This is the second in a series revolving around an eleven-year-old girl who has a passion for chemistry and, more specifically, poisons. She solves mysteries with wit, ingenuity, and aplomb. Bradley captures the nuances of being eleven while still making every detail in the plot resolution feasible. A must read!

The Eternals by Neil Gaiman – I absolutely love Gaiman’s works. He has such a creativity that he is able to span effortlessly between genres. While is Sandman series is probably is best known graphic novel work, when I saw his name on the cover of The Eternals I had to pick it up. Gaiman’s masterful storytelling once again shines as he tells the tale of immortals who have forgotten their past and need to remember their powers once again in order to save the world. The illustrations by John Romita Jr. are brilliant and only add to this delicious read.

I’m listening to:

Suite Scarlett by Maureen Johnson – A well-read book on cd Suite Scarlett is the story of Scarlett one of four children in a family who owns, and runs, a historic hotel in New York City. Filled with teenage emotional spins as well as an interesting plot lined with colorful characters, it was delightful to listen to making long drives fly by!

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr – A world of faeries and fey abound in Marr’s novel about Ashling a girl who has been blessed/cursed with the ability to see them walking with humans. When members of the Winter Court start giving her more attention that is normal, Ashling begins to worry about their intentions. Fraught with a conniving Winter Queen and a cast of devious faeries, Marr’s tale is captivating.

Hope your reading week is as much fun as mine is! Happy reading! πŸ™‚

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? brought to you in part by Sheila at One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books, the letter S and the number 8.

I love getting to know new people. It’s so interesting to find out what people like, don’t like – what makes them tick. I went out with some new friends last night to this coffee house in Princeton to hear this local band called Alfa play. The band was good, the atmosphere was chill and the conversation flowed like the coffee we drank. Both of the women I was with are big into YA lit, so we talked about books we liked, recommendations, and books to stay away from.

Both had read a book called Nothing by Janne Teller and both said to STAY AWAY FROM THE BOOK!!! While this normally makes me run to the closest library/bookstore/computer to find the book and read it, I think I may take their advice on this one. It has been compared by critiques as a modern day Lord of the Flies, but embraces existentialism to the extreme. A hopeless book with a “life is meaningless” attitude and no moral or redemptive quality, my friends said it was only depressing but was poorly written to boot. The odd twist to this tale is that it has been getting favorable reviews of high praise! I have not read it, but was intrigued not only by the vehement hatred of the book by my friends, but also that they talked about it at length which indicates that the book did resonate and isn’t that one of the goals of a well-written novel? For the author’s website and reviews click HERE.

This week I’m reading Going Bovine by Libba Bray. When I first picked the book up I wasn’t sure if I would like it – a garden gnome, a dwarf with a fro, a punk angel, and a kid with Mad Cow disesase? Sounds like either a recipe for disaster or the beginning of a horrible joke. But Bray manages to hit a perfect pitch that she carries throughout her lengthy novel. It’s a coming of age story told in a refreshing new way replete with undercurrents of Cervantes’ Don Quixote as the protagonist battles against trials and tribulations that he faces. A brilliant debut novel!

I’m listening to The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga on cd. The story so far is very good and starts in a familiar way – nerd boy gets picked on a lot in school, meets goth girl, both are loners, become friends, and so on. The twist that I appreciate is that both are nerdy not just in intelligence but also in their shared passion for comic books. I am also a big fan of comic books and love the references and the excitement felt with the characters get lost in their “happy place” of comics.

The only big downside to this book (and I have to try very hard not to stop listening as a result) is the narrator! If you are interested in this book – DO NOT LISTEN TO IT ON CD! The narrator, according to his bio, has done Hamlet and Macbeth and YOU CAN TELL. Argh. Here’s this nerdy kid telling his story with some blowhard reciting it with his over enunciations and rOlling vOwels – NOT very nerdy. He doesn’t change his voice for characters, clearly thinking his Shakespearean acting is enough to be a good audio book reader. It is especially frustrating having just listened to The Nation by Terry Pratchett on cd, which was so amazing it makes all other audio book narrations pale in comparision.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s that time again! It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is sponsored by Sheila at One Person’s Journey Through A World of Books. Thanks, Sheila!

I have had a wonderful reading week. The weather was sunny and warm and after a cold, snowy winter it made for a very welcome change. I grabbed my dog, my book, and a blanket and spent hours relaxing in a local park relaxing and reading.

This week I’m reading:

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver – A wonderful children’s librarian with whom I work brought in her ARC of Before I Fall when I mentioned that our library didn’t have any copies of it in our system (the audacity!). The story revolves around Sam, a senior in high school who dies in a tragic car accident only to wake up and repeat that same day over and over. When the book opened I was nervous that the story would drag and present nothing new to what seemed from the opening pages to be about a typical high school “mean girl” who realizes it’s not nice to be so mean. And while the novel does fall along those lines, Oliver tells Sam’s story in such a refreshing light that I was engulfed in her progression throughout the book. A great debut by an author I’m sure we will see much more from in the future!

And listening to:

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green – Colin is a child prodigy who just graduated high school, was dumped by K19 (his most recent Katherine girlfriend), and jumps in a car with his best friend Hassein to embark on a road trip. The narrator does an excellent job transitioning between the nuances of each characters eccentricities and highlighting Colin’s socially impaired quirks that I have been enjoying listening to the book very much. I read Looking for Alaska a few years ago and after reading other recommendations for Green’s second novel, decided to pick it up. Given my success with Green’s literary voice, I’m looking forward to reading his latest YA novel – Paper Hearts.

On deck to read:

Going Bovine by Libba Bray

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

The Astonishing Adventures of FanBoy and Goth Girl by Barry Lyga

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Sponsored by Sheila at One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books. Thanks, Sheila!

Ah, another Monday. I love Mondays because I get to check out what everyone else is reading and get some great book recommendations – fun, fun, fun! Another way to get book recommendations is working the circulation desk at the library. I have a pen and paper surreptitiously hidden under the check-out desk so that I can write down all the books that patrons are checking in and out that look interesting. It’s great! I’ve gotten some clutch reads both from the blogs on Mondays readings and through the library.

Here are a few that are sitting on the floor of my office waiting to be read:

Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr

Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves

All look like delicious reads and future subjects of my Monday reading blogs!

This week I am still listening to The Nation by Terry Pratchett. I think that it’s one of the best, if not the best, audio book I’ve ever listened to. I can’t think of the narrator’s name right now, but he is amazing! He adds such a wonderful flavor to an already great novel that pushes the book to an even higher level of excellence.

I’m finished reading The Summoning by Kelly Armstrong during the week, devouring it in a couple of days. So of course I picked up the second in the series – The Awakening – and am on the waiting list for The Reckoning which is set to release April 6. These are the first three, of hopefully many more, in the Darkest Powers series.

I didn’t know until I started reading The Summoning and telling everyone how good it was that I learned that Armstrong is the well-loved author of the Otherworld series. From what I read the two series have parallels in that they both deal with strong female protagonists and center around individuals with supernatural powers. Chloe is the protagonist the Darkest Powers series and when she starts seeing ghosts, she gets thrown into an institution. At first she thinks she’s supposed to be finding a cure for her delusions but as she spends more time at the institution Chloe uncovers many more mysteries that lead her to believe her visions might be real. It’s a gripping first novel that lays a gleaming path of tension and intrigue all the way to the second in the series.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s that time again! It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? hosted by Sheila and her blog One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books.

This week I found an amazing YA lit blog called Mundie Moms that directed me to some delicious YA novels. Most are from new authors and have been very inspirational in the writing of my own YA novel. I do tend to lean toward fantasy YA lit as that is the genre in which I am writing, but I also appreciate any lit that is well-crafted. I have learned a lot from these authors, their blogs and blogs that they like. These are wonderful resources for any author providing forums for book discussions as well a platform for book reviews Β – helpful to authors and readers alike! I would recommend checking out the websites of your favorite authors as they often offer helpful suggestions to writers as well as links to other great blogs and resources for the literature lover.

Meridian by Amber Kizer – The only problem I have with this book is that it was over way too soon! Kizer pulled me in to her story with an intriguing plot – protagonist is half angel, I won’t give the rest away – and wonderful tensions and mysteries. Meridian showcases what it’s like to be different and have society turn on you because of those differences. A must read for any YA lit lover!

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan – I just started this book and already I don’t want it to end. The plot centers around a young girl who’s entire existence has been spent in a village run by the Sisterhood – a rigid group of God-fearing women – and the Guardians – protectors of the village. Ryan wastes no time throwing her readers into the gut-wretching emotions that Mary, the protagonist, experiences in the first few chapters. All her life she’s been protected by these seeming benevolent leaders from what lays outside the fence, but nothing is ever what it seems. This story will wrap you up and leave you breathless and wanting more.

Stay tuned for more reviews and the exciting journey of writing my first YA novel! πŸ™‚

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

It’s time for Β – It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? sponsored by Sheila in her blog One Person’s Journey Through a World of Books. Thanks, Sheila!

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl – I’m about three fourths of the way through this well crafted novel and am thoroughly enjoying it thus far. It centers around a boy named Ethan in high school who’s life in a small southern town is mundane until a new girl moves into it. Mystery surrounds this girl, Lena, who attracts Ethan’s attention and draws him into an adventure he never dreamed existed. The book was reviewed and recommended by Alissa in her blog Alissa Grosso – Thanks! It’s a wonderful read for anyone who loves to get lost in a tale of passion and intrigue. πŸ™‚

Little Brother by Cory Doctrow– Another interesting book blogged about by Alissa. It starts with the bombing of the Brooklyn Bridge in San Francisco by a group of terrorists. Beginning fast paced action scenes are used to catch the reader’s attention and pull you into the story. I’m listened to this book on cd and I think that something is lost between reading it myself and having it read to me. I’m only a little over halfway finished and the story line is mired in tech jargon and the author’s statements against BIG GOVERNMENT. Maybe this wouldn’t come across as much if I were reading it on my own as I know a lot of people who loved this book and highly recommended it.

Che: A Graphic Biography by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colon – Yet another wonderful graphic novel! I didn’t know much about Che and decided this was a great way to learn about the man behind the revolutions. The illustrations are colorful and captivating and the writing contains both narrative and dialogue that help to keep the story moving at a brisk pace. Reading about history has never been this fun!