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"Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life." --Mark Twain

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Location: Columbus, Ohio, United States

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Booking Through Thursday


This week’s question is suggested by (blogless) JMutford:

Sometimes I find eccentric characters quirky and fun, other times I find them too unbelievable and annoying. What are some of the more outrageous characters you’ve read, and how do you feel about them?

I am not a book snob, I will read just about anything. I read on a blog the other day where a reader snubbed romances saying they were a waste of her time. I don't think someone who reads classics like The Count of Monte Cristo is any better than someone who reads the latest Bridget Jones. The important thing is that a person reads. I love period romances (those are usually the Fabio covered books) because of the history in them. I'm fascinated with Native American cultures and Cassie Edwards writes alot of novels featuring Native Americans, but the women in these books have to be the most annoying creatures on God's green earth. I probably read about 1 every other year because they drive me crazy. Many times I will scan through several pages instead of actually read them just to get past the inane banter of some of these stories.
Other times it's the quirkyness of the characters that I love. I love Grandma Mazur in the Stephanie Plum series. Ranger is completely unrealistic, but I love that about him. When I'm reading fiction books, I often want to be whisked away from the real world, so I enjoy reading characters who are a bit out there. Characters who are enjoyable is most important to me.


Friday, January 25, 2008

I found this on The Sleepy Reader's blog:

Eva's Reading Meme

Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

Anything by Jane Austen. I don't know why, but something about her books just turn me off. I can't even stand to watch trailors for the movies from her books. Everyone is excited by PBS rendering her books on TV and I quickly turn the channel. One day I will conquer this "fear".

If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?
I have too much of the real world. I want to laugh at the dinner table with Stephanie Plum, Joe and Ranger from Janet Evanovich's number series. Her mom would serve lasagna too, of course.

(Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave?
Most classics intrigue me, but also bore me to tears. It would be impossible to pick just one. I would just plant myself in the Classics section of a library and read until I fell over.

Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

Why lie? No matter how well-read you are, no one's read every book. Instead of discussing the book, I'd talk about why I want to read it and get the person's opinion on it.

As an addition to the last question, has there been a book that you really thought you had read, only to realise when you read a review about it/go to ‘reread’ it that you haven’t? Which book?

No, it's usually the opposite. I've picked up a book, gotten 1 or 2 chapters into it only to discover I've read it before.

You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (if you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead of personalise the VIP).

That's a tough one. I usually make my recommendations based on the individuals interests. If I had to pick just one, it would probably be The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran. It's a short, but fulfilling book. Easy to read and pleasing across genres.

A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

Latin. Sleepy Reader also choose Latin. I studied Latin all 4 years in high school and it not only helped with my English comprehension, it helped my reading most romance languages. So I will also be able to muddle through Spanish, French and the like.

A mischievious fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

I usually re-read The Prophet and Conversations with God every year anyways, so I pick either one of those.

I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)?

Since I usually have one of my 5 kiddos hanging on my hip, I can't browse the library shelves like I used to looking for new books to read. That's what I love reading blogs for, finding new books, discovering new authors, trying different venues.

That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. Is everything leatherbound? Is it full of first edition hardcovers? Pristine trade paperbacks? Perhaps a few favourite authors have inscribed their works? Go ahead-let your imagination run free.

I love that good fairy! My dream library would be a regular library with bean bag chairs and pillows in every aisle, so I can sit and peruse books. I actually prefer to semi-recline and read, not sit and read. This library would have a large number of Personal Readers (sort of like Personal Shoppers) who could keep and eye out for books they think I may enjoy reading. This is the most important part: this library would have a day care center where I can drop my kids off so I can browse in peace!


Thursday, January 24, 2008

Booking Through Thursday


What’s your favorite book that nobody else has heard of? You know, not Little Women or Huckleberry Finn, not the latest best-seller . . . whether they’ve read them or not, everybody “knows” those books. I’m talking about the best book that, when you tell people that you love it, they go, “Huh? Never heard of it?”

And, folks–Becca was nice enough to nominate Booking Through Thursday for a Blogger’s Choice Award–while you’re here, why don’t you head over and vote for us, too. Because, a vote for BTT is a vote for all of us who play each week!

Oh how I love this question. I have 3 books that I recommend to everyone when I get the chance. And rarely has anyone heard of them.

1. Your Pregnancy Week-by-Week By Glade Curtis
Everyone gets the What to Expect Books which are good, but I liked this book better because it broke it down into weekly segments and I love the pencil drawings of the developing fetus. The What to Expect books had pictures of mommy's growing belly, all I had to do was look down to see that, much rather see my little creation growing. I read and re-read this one with all 5 of my pregnancies.

2. The Prophet by Khalil Gibran
This is a short book that can be easily read in 1 sitting. I read it at least once a year. It's only a little over 100 pages, but it has more wisdom than books double its size. Words of wisdom in chapters about marriage, children, friendship, work, etc. Gibran said of this book: " I think I've never been without The Prophet since I first conceived the book back in Mount Lebanon. It seems to have been a part of me.... I kept the manuscript four years before I delivered it over to my publisher because I wanted to be sure, I wanted to be very sure, that every word of it was the very best I had to offer." And it is just that, the very best.

3. Conversations with God by Neale Donald Walsch
The premise is that this guy had an actual conversation with God where he asked God questions and God answered the questions. Now whether you believe these conversations really happened I think are unimportant. Once again it's the unconventional wisdom that grabbed me with this book. I also loved that "God" has a sense of humor.

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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

30DAYS meets the Church

I've never seen this show, but apparently this guy did 30 days not far from me. My church volunteers at the Free Store once a month and it's where I get alot of my books and where I do alot of my unbooking. I read faster than I can buy, so I frequent the library and the FreeStore. And it's nice to know the books I no longer need will go to a good cause.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

How much do reviews (good and bad) affect your choice of reading? If you see a bad review of a book you wanted to read, do you still read it? If you see a good review of a book you’re sure you won’t like, do you change your mind and give the book a try?

I will ignore a bad review, but I will look into a book if it gets a favorable review. The first thing I do is look at the books the reviewer has already read. If we have a few books in common, I'll then go to Amazon or Paperback Swap and read other reviews, then I'll go to the library and get the book. If there's any question, I know I won't be upset if it turns out I don't like it because I didn't lose any money on it.


Wednesday, January 16, 2008

1) Where did you begin 2007? With my ex-sis in law and her kids.

2) What was your status by Valentine's Day? Technically married, but single.

3) Were you in school (anytime this year)? Yeah, the school of hard knocks

4) How did you earn your money? Work and some undercover stuff. I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. You know how that goes.

5) Did you have to go to the hospital? I didn't have to, but that's my preferred method of childbirth.

6)Did you have any encounters with the police? Yeah, but it was part of the undercover stuff.

7) Where did you go on holidays? Bed.

8) What did you purchase that was over $1000? Nothing!

9) Do you know anybody who got married? Nope, thank goodness.

10) Did you know anybody who passed away? No.

12) Did you move anywhere? No, but I started to plan the move.

14) What concerts/shows did you go to? Only the ones put on by my kids in the living room.

15) Are you registered to vote? Most definitely

16) Who did you want to win Big Brother? I actually watched the show which I normally don't. I'm glad ol' girl and her dad won. He was a master at the game.

17) Where do you live now? Columbus, Ohio

18) Describe your birthday. It happened.

19) What's one thing you thought you'd never do but did in 2007? Forgive my husband.

20) What has been your favorite moment? Giving birth was definitely it.

21) What's something you learned about yourself? I can love my husband better from a distance.

22) Any new additions to your family? My sweet little girl, The Poet!

23.) What was your best month? July

24.) What music will you remember 2007 by? Alicia Keys and Soulja Boy because my kids had a heartattack whenever they came on the radio.

25) Who has been your best drinking buddy? I don't drink.

26)Make any new friends? Marie.

27) Have you made a New Years Resolution? No, I make New Life Resolutions all year long.

28) Favorite Night out? I have 5 kids. I don't go out.

29) Will you end this year with the same mate you started it with? Yes, I'm the best mate for me.

30) What are your plans for Christmas? Christmas 08? Spend it creating new traditions with my kids

31) What are your plans and hopes for 2008? To find a permanent position, new home, new car and continue loving and growing my kids.


Friday, January 11, 2008

I refuse to check another book out of the library until I read the 36 I have sitting on my dining room table, and the 12 pending reserves I currently have. Must. Gain. Control.

I'm currently reading the Maximun Ride series by James Patterson. Patterson is one of my favorite authors, but I hesitated reading this because I don't like reading kids books. I have 5 kids, I only work part-time and most days I feel like all I do is kids and when I read I don't want kids. I grieve childhood books that I never read, like the Little House series and Charlotte's Web. I've tried to go back and read them, but I just can't do it. I have read the Harry Potter books (to see what all the hype was about), the Unfortunate Events series (still struggling with this one) and I read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory because I wanted to compare the book to the 2 movies, but that's it. I have to really be in the mood, or have a very specific reason for reading, otherwise I can't get into children or young adult books. I need adult situations.
Having said that I love Maximum Ride. I think Patterson is brillient. Some years ago my sister called me a told me that James Patterson was White. "Go on, girl. No way!" At this point, I had only read books without his picture. His portrayal of Alex Cross is so on point, I just assumed the man who wrote him is Black. As a Black woman I can always tell when a Black person is written by someone who isn't Black. Even if they get the feeling and emotions and all that jazz right, something is just "off". I can say the same for a man writing a female character. I was watching Law & Order: CI and the male detective, who is always very perceptive, commented about a victim putting her purse on the floor while she used the bathroom, and the female detective looked at him and shook her head. No matter how perceptive he is, he's not a woman and something will always just be "off". So I just knew my sister was wrong about Patterson. Went to the library and I'll be darned if a White man was not staring at me from the back of a Patterson. I immediately told my husband, who's response was, "Go on, girl. No way!" I produced the book to prove it. James Patterson is White! That is what makes a brilliant writer for me. I don't care if the writing is reminisant of Dickens, or full of profound insights like Camus, I just want to be able to completely relate to what I'm reading. And I want to find it hard to believe the opposite of whatever thought the author has put in my head.
I know that kids can't fly, but Max, Iggy, Fang, Gasman, Nudge and Angel are so well written that I believe them. I enjoyed the Harry Potter series, but I never stopped thinking of him as a fictional character. The story never becomes "real" to me. Max and his flock are "real". That's the difference between a good book and a favorite: I wanted to find out what happened to Harry, with Max and the gang I have to know.

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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

1. How did you come across your favorite author(s)? Recommended by a friend? Stumbled across at a bookstore? A book given to you as a gift?
My sister told me about James Patterson. She knows what kind of books I'm interested in and I get a lot of recommendations from her.
I've gotten a couple (Janet Evanovich and Sue Grafton) from TV interviews. They were were interesting and witty and I thought I would love to see how similar there writing style is to their personality. I was not disappointed.
I get other recommendations from the library. I want to work for a library when I grow up, those people are so full of book wisdom. When I want to break out of a slump, or while waiting for a favorite author to publish something new, I'll go to the library and tell the librarian who I normally read and always walk away with a list of new authors to try. And the books are free, so nothing money is lost if I hate it.

2. Was it love at first sight? Or did the love affair evolve over a long acquaintance?
It was love at first "read" with all of them. If I read someone new and don't like it, I very rarely will go back to them.

I'm always looking for new favorites. I reached my goal of 100 books last year (not so easy with 5 kids!), but I would be hard pressed to list 10 excellent books. I could tell you some of my favorites, but to name 10 extraordinary books? I don't know. So tell me about your favorite books and why. I want to add to my all-time favorite books list this year.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

What new books are you looking forward to most in 2008? Something new being published this year? Something you got as a gift for the holidays? Anything in particular that you’re planning to read in 2008 that you’re looking forward to? A classic, or maybe a best-seller from 2007 that you’re waiting to appear in paperback?

I am looking forward to the 2nd book in the new James Patterson series. And the sequel to The Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah.
I also aim to read some classics (new, old, young and adult) that I've never read before yet you feel like a schmuck for never reading them, such as Uncle Tom's Cabin, Jane Eyre, Invisible Man, Gone With the Wind, Harriet the Spy, The Jungle, The Bluest Eye, and many more.
I also want to re-read books that I love and learned from like Conversations with God, The Prophet and I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.