Monday, February 28, 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays: I just HAD to have it!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. This week's edition made me giggle a little. The topic this week is:

The top ten books you just HAD to have but.. they're still sitting on your bookshelf.

My fiancee is amazed at how many books are on my shelf that I haven't read. It's not just that I haven't read them but some have been sitting there for years. Anyhow, I think every person reading this blog or every person participating in this post will have at LEAST 10 books to add to the list. Anyhow, here is mine:

1. The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb- I bought this book as soon as it came out in hardcover. I know most of you reading this are from the States but hardcover books here in Canada can cost up to $35 a book. I splurged because I just had to have it as Lamb is one of my favourite authors but alas I still haven't read it.

2. The Angel's Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon- I read Zafon's other book Shadow of the Wind and truely enjoyed it so when I got a gift card for Christmas I bought this book (again, in hardcover). That was December 2009 and it is still sitting there waiting to be read.

3. Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books- When I read the first book in this series and enjoyed it I went a little crazy and ordered all the remaining books in the series through Needless to say, I read 5 of them and got a little bored of them and I haven't returned to the remaining 7 books.

4. 2 Jennifer Lancaster books- I went to my favourite used book store in Toronto while I was visiting my sister one weekend. They have amazing books at just the right prices. While there I think I got 8 books and 3 of them were by Jen Lancaster who writes hilarious memoires. I have read one of them and I haven't read the other 2 this was in the summer and they're still on the shelf.

5. Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt- Again, I got this book during my shopping spree with my sister in Toronto. I have always wanted to read this book and was so excited to find this at BMV Bookstore. I had vowed to read this right away but I didn't and it's still on the shelf.

6. The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood- This was another hard cover purchase because she is one of my favourite authors. I didn't read this right away as I hadn't read Oryx and Crake at the time. I have since read Oryx and Crake but I still haven't read The Year of the Flood.

7. Think of a Number by John Verdun- This is on a bookshelf of sorts. I got this book when I first got my Kindle for my birthday in July. I went a bit nuts ordering e-books from Amazon with one-touch shopping. I still haven't read this but it is sitting on my Kindle taunting me saying "Read me, read me"

8. Ape House by Sara Gruen- I loved Water for Elephants and her other 2 books so I was excited to read this. Again, this was bought on my Kindle and I still haven't read it.

9. One Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger- As you guessed the next few have been Kindle books and this one is too. It's just too easy with the one touch shopping. You don't even have to leave your house to buy books anymore. Anyhow, I wanted it because I had read her other books (some good, some bad) and decided I needed this book. Still unread on the Kindle.

10. A Suitable Boy by Vikram Seth- I got this book from a used book store here in Ottawa. I had been looking at it for a while and decided this was the time I was going to read this mammoth of a book. That being said, every time I look at this book sitting on my shelf I keep thinking of how long it will take to read it and how uncomfortable it will be to physically read it. It's huge and chunky and quite heavy. I vow to read it one of these days :)

Anyhow, this is just a short list compared to my tbr pile. I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's responses.

Review: One Hundred Candles by Mara Purnhagen

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: February 15th, 2011
ISBN: 9780373210237
Pages: 218 pgs

My Rating: 4 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
It's taken a long time for me to feel like a normal teenager. But now that I'm settled in a new school, where people know me as more than Charlotte Silver of the infamous Silver family paranormal investigators, it feels like everything is falling into place. And what better way to be normal than to go on a date with a popular football star like Harris Abbott? After all, it's not as if Noah is anything more than a friend….

But my new life takes a disturbing turn when Harris brings me to a party and we play a game called One Hundred Candles. It seems like harmless, ghostly fun. Until spirits unleashed by the game start showing up at school. Now my friends and family are in very real danger, and the door that I've opened into another realm may yield deadly consequences.

My Review:
Well, it's taken me quite some time to write this review. I started this book on the plane home from Barbados and I finished the book on the plane home from Barbados. Like the first book in Purnhagen's series, I could not put this book down. I really enjoy a good ghost story and this book didn't disappoint. I was very lucky to have received this book from NetGalley. As I said in my review of Past Midnight, I really relate to the main character in this book. This book added another layer to Charlotte's character; she caught in the middle of her parents fighting. Again, while in high school my parents split up and I remember almost feeling relieved because I wouldn't have to deal with their constant arguing anymore. In this novel, Charlotte is frustrated with the way her parents are acting throughout a good portion of the novel. Again all this is to say that I related to Charlotte in a new way. I have to admit that the ghost story of this book wasn't as intriguing as in the first novel. I don't want to give too much away but I had figured out a good part of the mystery to the story. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy the mystery of the book but I had it figured out pretty quickly for the most part. There was an added twist at the end and I hadn't figured that out. Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. I would definitely recommend any book written by Mara Purnhagen. Her writing flows really well and her characters are endearing.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

In My Mailbox: The Long Overdue Edition (12)

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristi at The Story Siren. I haven't done one of these in quite some time because I'm on a bit of a book buying ban. I have waaaayyyyy too many to read here at home, to the point where it is getting a little ridiculous. Anyhow, here is what I got this week:

From the Good Reads First Reads program I got:
-The Cypress House by Michael Koryta- The picture doesn't do it justice but the cover of this book is beautiful. It's shiny and reminiscent of Nightshade by Andrea Cremer

The rest of the books I got for my Kindle:
-Left Neglected by Lisa Genova- I loved Still Alice so I can't wait to read this one.
-Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly- I have heard nothing but good things about this book and I've been wanting it for a while.
-A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness- This book came out not too long ago and looks great.
-The Water Wars by Cameron Stracher- Again, this has been getting a lot of good hype over the blogosphere so I thought I'd give it a try.

Well this is what I got in my mailbox this week. What did you get in yours?

Friday, February 25, 2011

Book Blogger Hop: What is in a Name?

Book Blogger Hop
This is a weekly meme posted by Crazy for Books (just click the link to visit the blog). This week's question is:

Do you ever wish you would have named your blog something different?

To be honest with you, not really. I have only been blogging for a few months but I like the title of my blog. I had originally started blogging over a year ago but didn't put up too many posts before I abandoned the project for quite some time. Then my blog was called something like Bookworm but when I decided to seriously start blogging I changed the name to Feeling a Little Bookish and changed the design of my blog. Again, as I say I was not really active in the blogging community before and I had only posted a few reviews.
I do see a lot of blogs with the word bookish in it but I like it. I mean we are blogging about reading.

I hope that answered the questions coherently because I feel like my brain just might be mush after the last 2 days. I taught French to 6 different classes today and I feel like I have been running around like a crazy person. After my vacation I am finding it hard to get back into the swing of things. Lucky for me, a few more weeks and then it's March Break. I also plan on getting my act together when it comes to this blog. My posts have been a bit irratic and I hope to remedy that. Anyhow, Happy Friday, enjoy the weekend and I hope you are curled up with an amazing book.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Waiting on Wednesday: Sing You Home

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Eleni at Breaking the Spine. Here is my pick this week:

Sing you Home by Jodi Picoult
(Summary from Good Reads)
Zoe Baxter has spent ten years trying to get pregnant, and after multiple miscarriages and infertility issues, it looks like her dream is about to come true – she is seven months pregnant. But a terrible turn of events leads to a nightmare – one that takes away the baby she has already fallen for; and breaks apart her marriage to Max. In the aftermath, she throws herself into her career as a music therapist – using music clinically to soothe burn victims in a hospital; to help Alzheimer’s patients connect with the present; to provide solace for hospice patients. When Vanessa – a guidance counselor -- asks her to work with a suicidal teen, their relationship moves from business to friendship and then, to Zoe’s surprise, blossoms into love. When Zoe allows herself to start thinking of having a family, again, she remembers that there are still frozen embryos that were never used by herself and Max.

Meanwhile, Max has found peace at the bottom of a bottle – until he is redeemed by an evangelical church, whose charismatic pastor – Clive Lincoln – has vowed to fight the “homosexual agenda” that has threatened traditional family values in America. But this mission becomes personal for Max, when Zoe and her same-sex partner say they want permission to raise his unborn child.

SING YOU HOME explores what it means to be gay in today’s world, and how reproductive science has outstripped the legal system. Are embryos people or property? What challenges do same-sex couples face when it comes to marriage and adoption? What happens when religion and sexual orientation – two issues that are supposed to be justice-blind – enter the courtroom? And most importantly, what constitutes a “traditional family” in today’s day and age?

This book sounds AMAZING!! It will probably follow the same pattern as her other books but what a topic! I took a Gay Literature class in university and it was one of the best classes I ever took. I love looking at these kind of issues. The issue of paternity/maternity is also quite controversial. I can't wait til this book comes out March 1, 2011. I guess I won't have to wait too long.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Review: Past Midnight by Mara Purnhagen

Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Publishing Date: September 1rst, 2010
ISBN: 9780373210206
Pages: 216 pgs

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
Let me set the record straight. My name is Charlotte Silver and I'm not one of those paranormal-obsessed freaks you see on TV…no, those would be my parents, who have their own ghost-hunting reality show. And while I'm usually roped into the behind-the-scenes work, it turns out that I haven't gone unnoticed. Something happened on my parents' research trip in Charleston—and now I'm being stalked by some truly frightening other beings. Trying to fit into a new school and keeping my parents' creepy occupation a secret from my friends—and potential boyfriends—is hard enough without having angry spirits whispering in my ear. All I ever wanted was to be normal, but with ghosts of my past and present colliding, now I just want to make it out of high school alive…

My Review:
I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. I originally purchased this book for my Kindle because I received the second novel in this series from NetGalley for review and I am so glad that I did. I wasn`t sure what to expect as the last couple of YA books I have read had been a bit disappointing. I started reading this book on my last day in Barbados and it didn`t take me very long to be drawn into Charlotte`s world. I have always preferred a good ghost story to vampires, zombies, werewolves or angels and this story didn`t disappoint. I could completely relate to Charlotte as I moved cities and high schools halfway through grade 12 (at the time here in Ontario we went up to grade 13 so that meant I only had a year and half left to graduate). I moved for completely different reasons than Charlotte. I can`t say that it was because my parents were doing something cool like hunting for ghosts but I have to say that it is quite intimidating coming into a new school when people have already established and kept friendships for many years. I had also been a bit of a nerd or geek (not sure which one I would qualify as) and I had definitely been made of in the past. I was quite thankful to find an amazing group of friends; friends who I am still to this day close with. I have digressed a bit from the review but all that is to say that I can relate to Charlotte and I think that made me enjoy the book even more. While the story centers on ghosts, both emotional ghosts from the past and also the spooky kind that haunt houses, I never felt that anything was forced. The ghosts just sort of flowed into the narrative of the story and it didn`t seem out of the ordinary or over the top. Overall I give this book 4.5 stars out of 5 and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a fun read.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Review: Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton

Publisher: HarperCollins
Publishing Date: February 15th, 2011
ISBN: 9780062002327
Pages: 464 pgs

My Rating: 2.5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
This debut, the first novel in a trilogy, is achingly romantic, terrifying, and filled with blistering action.

When seventeen-year-old Ellie starts seeing reapers - monstrous creatures who devour humans and send their souls to Hell - she finds herself on the front lines of a supernatural war between archangels and the Fallen and faced with the possible destruction of her soul.

A mysterious boy named Will reveals she is the reincarnation of an ancient warrior, the only one capable of wielding swords of angelfire to fight the reapers, and he is an immortal sworn to protect her in battle. Now that Ellie's powers have been awakened, a powerful reaper called Bastian has come forward to challenge her. He has employed a fierce assassin to eliminate her - an assassin who has already killed her once.

While balancing her dwindling social life and reaper-hunting duties, she and Will discover Bastian is searching for a dormant creature believed to be a true soul reaper. Bastian plans to use this weapon to ignite the End of Days and to destroy Ellie's soul, ending her rebirth cycle forever. Now, she must face an army of Bastian's most frightening reapers, prevent the soul reaper from consuming her soul, and uncover the secrets of her past lives - including truths that may be too frightening to remember.

My Review:
Well I have to say I was disappointed by this book. There has been a lot of hype for this book and when I was given a chance to read this book through NetGalley I was pretty excited. The summary sounded great with a different take on an angel story. When I first started reading the novel I found it to be intriguing but the more and more I read I began to lose interest. I found that a lot of the novel is dialogue based and oftentimes I found the dialogue to be a bit boring. There was always a cookie cutter response for every question. Don't get me wrong there were some things that I liked about the novel. I found that the premise of the novel was quite good. The idea of reapers and reincarnation was an original take on angel mythology. There were also parts that made me laugh, such as the state of Ellie's poor car. The thing that bothered me, I guess, is the fact that this book has hit on so many of the same themes as other books and perhaps I was just looking for something a little different. The romance between a teenage girl and her guardian/mentor figure has been done before many times. There was also the theme of trying to fit in with both the real world and also the paranormal world that seems just a bit overdone these days. I know I may get some flack for this review as it this books seems to be garnering tonnes of positive feedback; however I have vowed to stay true to myself and give my honest opinion of the book. That being said, just because Angelfire was not my cup of tea I can see the appeal for many other readers. Why not pick up a copy and see for yourselves?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry
Publishing Date: March 27th, 2007
ISBN: 9781416914280
Pages: 485 pages

My Rating: 3 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder - much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing - not even a smear of blood - to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy?

This is Clary's first meeting with the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the earth of demons. It's also her first encounter with Jace, a Shadowhunter who looks a little like an angel and acts a lot like a jerk. Within twenty-four hours Clary is pulled into Jace's world with a vengeance, when her mother disappears and Clary herself is attacked by a demon. But why would demons be interested in ordinary mundanes like Clary and her mother? And how did Clary suddenly get the Sight? The Shadowhunters would like to know....

Exotic and gritty, exhilarating and utterly gripping, Cassandra Clare's ferociously entertaining fantasy takes readers on a wild ride that they will never want to end.

My Review:
Well I started off really enjoying this novel. I liked Clary's character and I also enjoyed reading about Simon. I have to admit I had high hopes for this book and it could be due to the hype that this series has been getting. That being said, I felt a bit disappointed by the book. That is not to say that I didn't enjoy it because I did but I found myself getting bored at parts. I don't know what it was. I don't know if it was because I had read quite a bit of paranormal type books recently or if it was the fact that I had been reading a lot of YA recently. I really did want to love this book but in the end I didn't. I am finding that I really enjoy a character, like Clary at the beginning of a book and then all the new paranormal lifestyle is introduced and then for some reason I lose interest a bit in that character. This was the case in this book. I lost a bit of interest in the middle of the book but by the end of the novel I started regaining that interest. I will definitely be reading the other books in this series. I enjoy Clare's writing style and as I stated before it could have just been my state of mind when reading this novel. I was impressed with the twist in this novel. I am usually pretty good at figuring out the twists before they happen and I have to admit I didn't see all of them in this book. It will be interesting to see what happens later on in the series. Overall, I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Top Ten Tuesdays: Love Stories

Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's edition is the top ten love stories found in our favourite books. I have taken a bit of a twist on this. I will be including romantic love in this list but I will also feature some other sorts of love as well. Here is my list:

1. Daniel and Sophia from My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares
Daniel keeps reincarnating and he remembers every lifetime. In each lifetime he encounters Sophia and falls in love over and over again. I really enjoyed this book and if you haven't read it you should.

2. Anna and Kate from My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult
These two sisters were a constant source of support for eachother. Anna gave up pieces of herself to help Kate in her illness. Kate wants to forego surgery in order to give Anna a better life. In the end Anna makes the ultimate sacrifice. This book is a great familial love story.

3. Elizabeth Bennett and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
You can't really have a list of great love stories without having these two on the list. I also don't think there is much explanation needed for this entry.

4. Scott and Ramona from the Scott Pilgrim series by Bryan Lee O'Malley
Scott battles all seven of Ramona's evil exes in order to win her over.

5. Ma and Jack from Room by Emma Donaghue
I just finished this book and I was impressed with the relationship with Ma and Jack. Even though Jack is a product of rape Ma takes great care of him and the love between them is appararent from the very first page.

6. Dexter and Emma from One Day by David Nicholls
Again, I just finished this book for our February book club meeting. I couldn't put this book down. It took a long time for Emma and Dexter to get their act together but it was obvious they were in love with eachother from their first encounter.

7. Henry and Clare from The Time Travellers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Again, most people have read this and it is quite obvious why these two are on the list.

8. Lena and Alex from Delirium by Lauren Oliver
This book just came out but I really enjoyed it. These two overcame the obstacle of having their whole society against not only them but the idea of love. Excellent story!

9. Dominick and Thomas Birdsey from I Know This Much is True by Wally Lamb
These two characters are fraternal brothers, one of which has schitzofrenia. This book shows brotherly love. Dominick is constantly worried and taking care of his brother Thomas. I couldn't recommend this book enough.

10. Arjie and Shehan from Funny Boy by Shyam Selvadurai
Funny Boy is the story of a young boy who is struggling with his identity. Not only his sexual identity but also his cultural identity. The relationship between Arjie and Shehan may not be a great romantic love but it is the relationship that helps Arjie find his identity as a homosexual.

Anyhow, these are my picks. Hope you enjoy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Review: Temperature: Dead + Rising by Adam Santo

Publisher: CreateSpace
Publishing Date: September 25th, 2010
ISBN: 9781453658536
Pages: 192 pages

Rating: 4 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
Wickedly sardonic, this black fantasy for mature teen readers is first in a series of novels that features likeable members of the undead in a race to escape death. Dark, funny, and filled with suspense, Temperature: Dead and Rising by new author Adam Santo is a wildly creepy fantasy;and a corpse of a good time. When Sally Mertill is driving a carload of her friends back to Green Mountain Falls after visiting Pike's Peak they'll careen off the side of the mountain. With no guardrails it's not surprising there are no survivors. And yet within two days a not altogether bad fellow named Bocnic Drewings will call upon the metal drawer where her body awaits autopsy, open it, and lead her on the adventure of a lifetime;well, that's if she'd have survived the accident. The powers that be have chosen Sally to become undead and she's the only other person time eternal who's been given the power to raise the dead;and control them. When leaders of rival undead clans find out, they either want to control or destroy her, which makes Sally staying undead a bit of a challenge.

My Review:
I received this book from the GoodReads First Reads program and I am glad I did. This book is about a girl who becomes undead. She is helped by another undead Bocnic and they are on the run from a group, known as the Church, that wants to eliminate the undead. Throughout the book Santo introduces many paranormal characters including vampires and a yeti. Santo has a great writing style and I have to admit I finished this book quite quickly. That could have something to do with the fact that the book is quite short though. I know that the book is left open for a sequel but I felt that the author could have made this novel a bit longer. It seemed that just as I was getting into the book and then it was over. Not only was it over but it was over with a cliffhanger. I liked the character of Sally (the undead); she was self assured and strong. There is a scene where she jumps out of a moving vehicle (just after she finds out how she originally died). In this scene Sally just seems kick ass. She thinks that Bocnic is trying to hurt her so she throws herself out of the car. She is anything but meek although this could have been to her detriment but I found it to be a positive attribute. It shows us that from the get-go she is willing to fight for what she believes in. While this novel is, I suppose, considered to have paranormal elements to it, I don't feel that it is forced or in your face. Some novels in this genre go a bit too far and end up losing their characters for the sake of fantasy worlds. This is not the case for this novel. There are paranormal elements but Santo is able to keep the authenticity of this characters in the midst of this. Overall, I quite enjoyed this novel but I wish it would have been longer. I give this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesdays- A Much Needed Vacation

Here we are on the beach outside our villa... a little taste of heaven.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Review: Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publishing Date: June 2nd, 2007
ISBN: 9780316018586
Pages: 416 pages

Rating: 3.5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

Three women arrive at the local airport, observed by Josh, a Nantucket native home from college for the summer. Burdened with small children, unwieldy straw hats, and some obvious emotional issues, the women—two sisters and one friend—make their way to the sisters' tiny cottage, inherited from an aunt. They're all trying to escape from something: Melanie, after seven failed in-vitro attempts, learned her husband was having an affair, and then discovered she's pregnant; Brenda embarked on a passionate affair with an older student that got her fired from her prestigious job as a professor in New York; and her sister Vicki, mother to two small boys, has been diagnosed with lung cancer. Soon Josh is part of the chaotic household, acting as babysitter, confidant, and, eventually, lover.

My Review:
I got this book in the mail a few weeks ago as part of the Library Thing Santa Thing. This is my Secret Santa's favourite book and I have to say that while I really enjoyed reading this novel the characters sometimes really got on my nerves. Melanie, who is pregnant with her cheating husband's baby, spent most of the time wallowing in her pity and completely ignoring the fact that her best friend has lung cancer. I mean come on get out of your head for minute. I realize that finding out you're pregnant right after finding out your husband is a huge douche is pretty bad there are still some things to be thankful for. She also starts having an affair with someone who is 15 years younger than her while still being pregnant. I just wanted to yell at her. Vicki on the other hand is the sister who has 2 children and lung cancer. She decides to skip one of her chemo treatments and at the time I felt frustrated with her but I could see how that may happen. I've never undergone chemo but I'm sure you are downer than down. It would drain every ounce of energy from you and I can fully sympathize with not wanted to go to every chemo treatment. I did feel bad for the other sister, Brenda who had an affair with one of her college students who just happens to be one year older than her. She got fired for this affair and is in some legal trouble due to her temper. While she should have waited until her student wasn't her student anymore I do not feel that she deserved to be fired for this offence. As I said before I really enjoyed reading this novel. Hilderbrand writes really well and draws you into the story. You want to know more and more about the characters and what happens in the end. While some of the characters annoyed me I think that may have made me enjoy the book. It made me want to see how these characters would change over the course of the story. Overall I give this book 3.5 stars out of 5.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

What to Do, What to Do

I am writing this post in hopes that you, my lovely readers, can help me with my situation. I have signed up for several galleys at NetGalley but they are currently having some problems with Amazon and they have taken off the option to have the galley sent directly to your Kindle. There is the option of reading the book on my computer with Adobe Digital Editions; however this is quite inconvenient for me. I have a couple that are being published within the next month and I'd like to get started on them. Should I tough it out with the computer? Should I wait it out and hope that this gets fixed quickly? Or, should I just decline writing a review for these books? The thing is that some of them look quite interesting and I have been looking forward to reading them. I just worry that if I wait I will have a backlog of reading to do and then I won't be able to read anything from my own shelves either. Hmmm.... What do you think?

Friday, February 4, 2011

Friday Blog Hop Feb. 4th, 2011

Book Blogger Hop

This week's question is as follows:
What are you reading now and why are you reading it?

Well while I don't usually read more than one book at a time I am currently reading two YA books. Here they are:

Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough

I started reading this because I got an ARC of Always a Witch which the second book in this series. I figured I'd get a headstart and read the first in the series. I am a substitute teacher and I left this book at a school I was working at on Tuesday and knew I wouldn't be back there before today so I started a second book which is....

City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
I picked this book because I have heard so many good things about the series and it's been sitting on my shelf for a long time.
Well there it is for this week. Enjoy your weekend and Happy Reading!

A Little Vacation

Just wanted to let you all know out in blogger land that I will be off next week on a vacation. We are going to Barbados for a week and I can't wait. We leave tonight for Toronto and stay overnight then we are on our way to the sunny beach. I have set up a couple of pre-set posts so hopefully they go through and I will most likely have access to the internet while we're there. I will be posting some pictures when I get back. This is coming at a good time after a huge snow storm yesterday! Anyhow, hopefully everything goes off without a hitch in terms of travel. I will see ya back here in a week. Here is just a taste of where I'll be:

Maybe I should have posted this for Wordless Wednesdays :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Booking Through Thursday- Making it Real

Here is today's BTT question:

I am paraphrasing from a friend’s Facebook wall her question:

“How would a teen-age boy who is going to work with his hands ever use Literature of England in his work?”

The age-old “How am I going to use this in real life?” question. How would you answer it?

Well I have to say that as a teacher I am constantly being asked this question. It doesn't matter if it is for Math, Science, Social Studies or Language. I like to try to come up with real concrete examples for my students. I used to hate getting the "You just will. Now sit down and get to work" answer.

When it comes to reading/literature I do feel like you can teach so many lessons from books. As a substitute teacher I can teach anywhere from kindergarten to grade 6 but I have also taught grade 7 and 8 as well. I have to say that I have seen children's picture books used in the higher grades. They often have excellent character education hidden in their pages.

Take for example Madonna's book Mr Peabody's Apples. This book teaches a valueable lesson on gossip and how destructive it can be. This is good for all ages. I know that I have been caught up with gossip even at my age.

The same can be said not only for children's books but also for Middle Grade, Young Adult or Adult books. While some books are what I like to call mind candy there are others that really make you think about things in a different way. It can make you feel greatful for the life you may take for granted. It may make you come to terms with something major such as depression, death or sickness. At the very least you can build your vocabulary while reading. While reading a particularly long book you may even learn the value of patience. Not to mention there are many books out there that aren't fictional and therefore you may learn how to do something new with the help of a book or you may be able to learn about some new scientific process.

All this to say that reading and literature are important to personal growth and it does apply to the real world in so many ways.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Review: Never Suck on a Dead Man's Hand by Dana Kollmann

Publisher: Citadel
Publishing Date: February 1rst, 2007
ISBN: 9780806528229
Pages: 272 pages

My Rating: 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:
Step past the flashing lights into the true scene of the crime with Never Suck a Dead Man's Hand, a frank, unflinching, and unforgettable account of life as a crime scene investigator. Smart, sassy, and blessed--or cursed, depending on your point of view--with a stomach capable of working through the most horrific circumstances, Dana Kollmann details her true, unvarnished experiences as a CSI for the Baltimore County Police Department. Unlike the popular crime dramas proliferating on today's television networks, Kollmann's forensic tales forgo glitz for grit to show what really goes down once the yellow tape goes up.

With an informative, outspoken voice, Kollmann unveils the process and science of crime scene investigation in all its can't-take-your-eyes-away fascination. Whether explaining rigor mortis or the art of fingerprinting a stiff corpse on the side of the road, frantically brushing off a shower of roaches or pushing away a dead body, speeding to a horrific accident scene or cautiously entering a house of death, she shows what it's really like to work in the front lines as a forensics expert.

Vividly detailed and lightened by a disarming gallows humor, Dana Kollmann's true life-and-death experiences bring the sights, smells, and sounds of a crime scene alive as never before. She recounts stories that the cops and the CSI's usually leave on the field, far away from the delicate sensibilities of the average civilian--and forbidden from her family's dinner table. It's a strange world behind the yellow tape, and Never Suck a Dead Man's Hand offers a truly eye-opening perspective on the day-to-day life of a CSI.

My Review:
I really wanted to read more non-fiction this year and when I saw this book on a In My Mailbox vlog at In the Library of Lady Violet I just had to have it. I actually downloaded it for my Kindle right after seeing the vlog. Although Kollmann describes some pretty gruesome things she does it such a way that actually makes you laugh out loud. I couldn't put this book down. Kollman describes things like rotting decomposing bodies, what happens to a body once it's been enbalmed and the discomfort of any talk about bodily functions. This book is not for the squeamish but if you love the show CSI you will enjoy reading this. Kollmann makes it quite clear that being a real CSI is much different than the way it is portrayed in the media. She also explains how this is affecting judicial system in the United States. I guess most people think there should be more evidence and that it is easier to get than it actually is therefore more people are being acquited of crimes that are judged by a jury. I don't want to say much because I don't want to give much away but I would most definitely recommend going to pick this up as soon as you can. I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.