Bloggers Recommend – August 2013

Bloggers Recommend – August 2013

Hey guys! I just wanted to let you all know that the latest edition of the Bloggers Recommend newsletter is out. If you don’t know, the monthly newsletter features recommendations of some of the best books being published in a given month. Next month’s newsletter features a variety of books from fiction and non-fiction to young adult reads. You can view the newsletter here. You can also subscribe to the newsletter.


Is it really that time of the year?

Is it really that time of the year?

Late this morning, Publishers Weekly (PW) released their list of the Best Books of 2012. It came at a perfect time since I’ve been thinking about my own reading this year. I’ve read some good books but most aren’t ones that I want to put in the hands of everyone I meet. It would be great (if not perfect), if I were able to find some amazing reads to end 2012 with a bang. After reading PW’s list, my tbr pile is about to grow.

I was happy to see books like The Round House by Louise Erdrich, This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz, and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain on the list. These three books have been read and loved by some of my favorite book bloggers. Also, they’re finalists for the National Book Award in Fiction.

A few more blogger favorites that made the list include The Brides of Rollrock Island by Margo Lanagan, Cinder by Marissa Meyers, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, and Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo.

I was kind of disappointed to see that I’ve read just a handful of the books listed. I do agree with the editors that Brides of Rollrock, Chuck Close Face Book, and No Crystal Stair by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson deserve to be on the list.

For those of you who have read the list, what do you think? Are there any books on it that you’re adding to your tbr list? Do you think it’s too early to start coming out with a “best of 2012” list?

Chunky Book Club and Indie Lit Awards Shortlist

Chunky Book Club and Indie Lit Awards Shortlist

The poll results are in! Four books stood out above the rest as this year’s picks for the Chunky Book Club. Here’s this year’s selection and reading schedule:

11/23/63 by Stephen King starts our first discussion in March.

The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna is a great way to start the summer in June.

Fall of Giants by Ken Follett will help readers welcome Autumn in.

From what I’ve read about Julie Orringer’s The Invisible Bridge, it’s the perfect way to end the year.

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to be a participant of the Chunkster Challenge to join us in the book club. So if any of these books look interesting to you, why not join us? The discussion posts will go up at the beginning of that particular month and discussions will start around the 15 th except in December when they will start on the 5th.

Indie Lit Awards

The short lists for the Indie Lit Awards have been announced!  The awards cover various genres from fiction to non-fiction to GLBTQ. After looking at the lists, there are so many books I’m interested in reading. The winners will be announced in several months.  Congratulations to the authors whose work made the list.

Summer reading and looking ahead

Summer reading and looking ahead

Summer is almost here by Leland

Yesterday was the last day of the semester and I can’t tell you how relieved I am. I love the excitement of a new semester with teachers that I usually haven’t had before on classes that I’ve been waiting to take. But the end of a semester brings its own share of excitement: the stacks of books that I can read without interruptions.  For the next four weeks I can read as much as I want while the kids are still in school. After that I can still read a lot but not as much since the kids will be home with me most of the summer.  So I feel a little (just a little) pressure to make every second of this time count.

Last night I started reading Sugar in My Bowl: Real Women Write about Real Sex edited by Erica Jong (June 2011). It’s a collection of essays , short stories, and even a comic from a variety of writers and artists about sex and love and everything that comes along with it. Note: This is not romance. Romance is talked about in the book but don’t think of romance novels or anything of the sort when you think about Sugar in My Bowl. Some of the authors featured in the collection include Rebecca Walker, Eve Ensler, and Julie Klam.  So far the writing is smart and funny. I love Jong’s introduction and how she admitted that most of the authors featured wouldn’t agree to be a part of the collection until their partners said yes. It made me think: would a male writer asked his partner if it was okay to be in a collection about sex?

Review copies

I’m also reading The White Woman on the Green Bicycle by Monique Roffey. The novel is about an English couple who have spent decades in Trinidad and their marriage in the midst of the country’s political unrest. It appeared on the Orange Prize for Fiction’s longlist along with Rosie Allison’s The Very Thought of You (July 2011). The Very Thought of You has been on my reading list since the beginning of the year when  Jill from The Magic Lasso shared an article about the book. Set during WWII the book is about a young girl, Anna, who’s  sent to the Yorkshire countryside to live with a childless couple. Anna ends up being a witness to an affair and the consequences of it. The book has received mixed reviews but I can’t wait to read it. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt is a book that I’ve read only positive things about. I don’t read westerns but if this book is half as good as the hype surrounding it and the cover, I know that I’m going to enjoy it.

From my tbr shelves and lists

I love reading stories by and about women so I’m looking forward to The Secret Lives of Bab Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin, Tillie Olsen’s classic short story collection Tell Me a Riddle, and The Girl who Fell From the Sky by Heidi W. Durrow.


Have you noticed that some of the best read-alongs are hosted during the summer?Allie over at A Literary Odyssey is hosting a read-along of The Iliad while the lovely Belleza is asking others to join her as she reads Margaret Atwood’s The Penelopiad that starts May 23rd, which is just a few days away. Atwood is an author that I’m pretty intimdated to read so I think The Penelopiad would be a great start. Of course there’s also my read-along  of Isabel Wilkerson’s The Warmth of Other Suns which will be going on throughout June. There’s also the Woman Warrior (Maxine Hong Kingston) read-along over at Feminist Classics. It seems like this is a book that everyone read in high school – except me. I plan on changing that.

And last but not least, what would a summer be like without re-reading a few favorite books? I first read Beloved by Toni Morrisonduring last year’s Christmas break and it was easily the best book of 2010. I can’t wait to read it all over again along with American Gods by Neil Gaiman. I plan on giving it a dual reading once again: in print and audio. Every time I even think about this book, I wonder if I should change my major back to anthropology.

So that’s a few books that I’m looking forward to reading over my summer break. What books are you looking forward to tackling this summer?

Review: Book Lust To Go by Nancy Pearl

Review: Book Lust To Go by Nancy Pearl

Book Lust to Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds, and Dreamers

Nancy Pearl

301 pages

Pub Year: 2010

Publisher: Sasquatch Books

Source: Library

I am not an enthusiastic traveler. Let me lay my cards on the table, clear the air, call a spade a spade, and make something perfectly clear. I am barely a traveler at all. . . 

After reading the first two books in Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust series, I have to say that Book Lust  to Go is a great addition. I picked this book up because I’m trying to move out of my reading comfort zone and would love some recommendations. I have a tendency to mostly read books set in the United States and written in English. I want to read more books translated from other languages, books written by authors of color, and/or set in someplace other than the United States. So far this year I’m doing pretty well with my goal but there’s always room for improvement.

In Book Lust to Go Pearl breaks down her recommendations by countries, American cities, and even modes of traveling. This is a great way to skim some sections, read deeper into others, or just go straight to the country you’re interested in reading more about.

I found books that other bloggers have already recommended to me like Mischa Berlinki’s Fieldwork, books that I was already aware of like the graphic novel The Photographer by Emmanuel Guibert, and books I didn’t know existed like Towards Another Summer by Janet Frame. Pearl includes books of most genres so now matter what your reading tastes are like, you should be able to find something that you want to read. The great thing about this book is that there’s an index in the back of authors’ names, titles, and countries. The bad thing about this book is that you’ll probably end up adding one hundred titles, if not more, to your tbr list.  When I finished reading this book, here’s what it looked like:

I ran out of post-its! This book was due back at my library days ago but I have so many titles to write down, that I’m late returning it. So if you want to expand your tbr list, you can’t go wrong reading any of the books in the Book Lust series. Highly recommended.

Thankfully Reading Weekend

Thankfully Reading Weekend

It’s that time of the year again! Time for  Thankfully Reading Weekend which is hosted by Jen from Devourer of Books, Candace from Beth Fish Reads, and Jenn from Jenn’s Bookshelves. The event officially starts this Friday but since the only homework that I have is to read a few articles and poems, I decided to start today!  I have a stack of books lined up for this week. I wanted to do something a little different, so instead of just showing you my stack I want to also give you an excerpt from one of the books I’m reading.


The Weird Sisters

Eleanor Brown

Publication Date: January 20, 2011

We came home because we were failures. We wouldn’t admit that, of course, not at first, not to ourselves, and certainly not to anyone else. We said we came home because our mother was ill, because we needed a break, a momentary pause before setting off for the Next Big Thing. But the truth was, we had failed, and rather than let anyone else know, we crafted careful excuses and alibis, and wrapped them around ourselves like a cloak to keep out the cold truth.

Isn’t that a great excerpt? Happy Thanksgiving!


Save the Date: That’s How I Blog Show

Save the Date: That’s How I Blog Show

On August 18th, I’ll be a guest on That’s How I Blog, a Blog Talk radio show hosted by Nicole from Linus’s Blanket. The show will start at 9 PM EST/6 PM PST. If you miss the show you can always listen it later.  We’ll be discussing books, blogging, and more. At the end of the show there’s the Twenty Minute Book Club where we’ll discuss the non-fiction book, The Other Wes Moore.

Hope you can join us!

One Question for Author Lauren Baratz-Logsted

One Question for Author Lauren Baratz-Logsted

I first found the books of Lauren Baratz-Logsted last year when a fellow blogger sent me a copy of Crazy Beautiful, a book I read and loved. Yesterday was the publication date of Lauren’s newest book, The Education of Bet. Set in 19th-century England, it’s the story of a young girl who switches places with a male cousin so she can attend school, a role that’s denied to girls at that time.

To help Lauren celebrate her latest publication date, I joined her one-question tour which is still going strong around the blogisphere.

One of the things I love about most of my favorite books is the beautiful language. I love marking up a book with post-its, underlining passages, or dog-earring pages just so I can go back and reread the words that made me laugh, think, or cry. So my one question for Lauren is:

What is one of your favorite passages from a book or short story?

Lauren’s answer:

This is not an easy question – there are so many! But in honor of the 50th anniversary of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird I’d have to say the part near the end where the narrator talks about the reclusive Boo Radley keeping a protective eye out for “his children” as the seasons change. The first time I read the book was 35 years ago and that time, and every time since, I’ve gotten choked up when I read that part. It’s been said that the highest form of charity is that which is done anonymously and to me that’s what Boo embodies: doing the right thing, not for praise or for public notice, but rather because it’s the right thing to do.

After reading Lauren’s great answer, I know I need to reread To Kill a Mockingbird. I do love the part that Lauren mentions.

Lauren’s next stop for her one-question tour will be over at Nomadreader where she’ll answer a question about her taste in books.

What’s one of your favorite literary passages? Why?

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp

The Creative Habit: Learn it and use it for life (2003)
Twyla Tharp
245 pages

I read The Creative Habit a few weeks ago and have been meaning to write something about this wonderful book.

I usually don’t read books about creativity and creative thinking. I prefer to read about the writing and reading experiences of others, but after reading about this book on another blog, I wanted to give it a try. Being a mom and a student, I sometimes feel like I need something different in my life. The Creative Habit gave me many ideas to use in not just my everyday life, but also when I blog.

The Creative Habit is choreographer Tharp’s manifesto on creativity. Divided into twelve chapters, each chapter deals with a different aspect of creativity and ends with exercises the author suggests readers use. Her topics range from finding a ritual to the different types of memory, from what a good idea looks like to being in a rut and failures. This isn’t a book designed just for artists but for everyone. One of the most surprising things I read is when Tharp talks about creativity being a habit, a discipline.

Turning something into a ritual eliminates the question, Why am I doing this? . . .The ritual erases the question of whether or not I like it. It’s also a friendly reminder I’m doing the right thing. (I’ve done it before. It was good. I’ll do it again.) We all have rituals in our day, whether we’re aware of them or not.

It made me realize that one of my morning rituals is to make a pot of coffee before I do anything else. Once it’s made I can sit down and do what is that’s needed for the day. Making a pot of coffee is my start to conquering the world around me.

I also noticed that throughout the book Tharp stresses that what works for one person may not work for another. There were exercises and suggestions that I took notes on and many that I didn’t bother with. I was talking about this book on Twitter with a fellow blogger when she stated that the number of physical exercises turned her off. I thought about that. There are exercises that involve the physical movement of the body. I’m not really a physical person though I understand that as a former dancer Tharp is. So those exercises I wasn’t really looking at.

My favorite chapter is definitely the chapter on “scratching”.

You can’t just dance or paint or write or sculpt. Those are just verbs. You need a tangible idea to get you going. The idea, however minuscule, is what turns the verb into a noun-paint into a painting, sculpt into sculpture, write into writing, dance into a dance.

Don’t you just love that? Scratching is a way of finding ideas to fuel your creativity. You can scratch by going through books or visiting different stores, by taking a walk, having a conversation, or traveling. Included in the chapter is tips to keep generating new ideas.

One of my favorite exercises from the book is entitled “reading archaelogically”. In the exercise, Tharp writes why she reads and various ways she read. One example is her suggestion to readers to conduct their own reading dig. A reading dig is when you take an author or subject and starting with the most recent of texts, read your way backwards to older texts. Along the way you take note of recurring themes and style, learning as you go.

Overall I had a great time reading this book. It gave me a lot of ideas when it comes to blogging and I’m glad I read it. Highly recommended.

Read-a-thon Pile

Read-a-thon Pile


Okay so we all know that I have a tendency to go overboard when it comes to books. Whether it’s my library loot, buying binges, or signing up for reading challenges, it always seems to be all or nothing. My current reading pool for the read-a-thon encompasses almost every genre and ranges from a mere 32 pages for many of my picture books to almost 500 pages for Margo Lanagan’s Tender Morsels. Maybe instead of thinking of this stack as just my read-a-thon picks, we should also think of it as my October/November even possibly December reads.

Plays I started reading plays during last year’s read-a-thon. I found so many wonderful playwrights that I’ve started slowly reading as many as I can especially Pulitzer prize-winning plays. Plays are usually no more than a hundred pages long and contain memorable characters and great settings. For the upcoming read-a-thon, here are a few plays I plan on reading that won the Pulitzer for Drama.

play row

I Am My Own Wife by Doug Wright. 2004 Pulitzer.
Wit by Margaret Edson. 1999 Pulitzer.
Angels in America by Tony Kushner. 1993 Pulitzer

not shown: August: Osage County by Tracy Letts.

Short Stories The great thing about reading short stories during the read-a-thon is that you can dip in and out of collections and still feel as though you’re accomplishing something.

row 2 short stories

The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven by Sherman Alexie.
Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros. I read this collection years ago and I think it’s really time for a re-read.
Dedicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff.

Graphic Novels

row 3 graphic novels

Britten and Brulightly by Hannah Berry.
Amulet 2: The Stonkeeper’s Curse by Kazu Kabuishi.
Maus by Art Spiegelman

Not shown: The Professor’s Daughter by Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert


row 4

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle
Tigerheart by Peter David
The Strain by Guillermo Del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Other Notables

row 6row 5

Peter and Max: A Fables Novel by Bill Willingham
Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby
The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle
A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliot

Books not shown:

Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan
B.P.R.D. series by Mike Mignola
Sprout by Dale Peck
Uglies by Scott Westerfield
The Year the Swallows Came Early by Kathryn Fitzmaurice
Little Brother by Cory Doctrow

You see how crazy I went? This is why I’m calling this pile my October-November-and-possibly-December pile. I have a ton of books on hold at the library that will be coming in sometime next week. I can’t wait for the read-a-thon to start but I’m not going to wait to start reading some of these great books.

Have you read any of these graet books? Which ones do you think I should save for the read-a-thon? Are there any that you think I should move to the top of the pile? Have you thought about what books you’re going to read for the big event?

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

Sea Change by Aimee Friedman

friedmanSea Change (2009)
Aimee Friedman
320 pages
Young Adult
Rating: Re-read


Miranda Merchant is ready to spend her summer interning at a museum in New York. But when her maternal grandmother Isadora dies, Miranda has to push her plans back and she and her mother travels to Silkie Island to take of Isadora’s estate. While there Miranda finds a strange book at the Mariner, her grandmother’s summer home. The book tells of the legend of the merman who once lived off the coast of the island. These mermen look normal but it’s when they’re fully in the water that you can see their true form.

While on the island Miranda meets Leo, a gorgeous and mysterious native who seems to be everything Miranda needs. But something tells Miranda that Leo is hiding a secret. Does it have to do with the merman legend?


What a great story! I was originally planning on waiting for the read-a-thon to read Sea Change. Last night I glanced through the book and ended up spending the next two hours reading. Miranda is a great character. She’s an intelligent and shy teenager who’s not really into dating and boys. She just tries to stay focused on her passion,which is science, and keep out of trouble. It’s when she meets Leo and also T.J. another boy, that she starts to understand what chemistry between two people feels like.

Friedman’s description of Silkie Island is so believable. I felt as if I was there. You can picture the setting so well, whether it was the Mariner or Fisherman’s Village.

If you’re participating in the upcoming read-a-thon and looking for a short but well-written story, look no further than Sea Change, a light tale about teenage love.

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

Last week I was recovering from the flu, so my reading has been going pretty slow. I’m feeling much better now so I’m hoping to read a lot this week.

Last week I read:

Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller. This was last week’s required reading for my English class.
Let’s Do Nothing by Tony Fucile (picture book) I heard great things about this book, read it, and loved it. My kids did too.

Right now I’m reading:

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Life, the Universe, and the Everything by Douglas Adams

Also on the list this week:
Howl by Allen Ginsberg (required reading)
The Arrival by Shaun Tan

So what are you reading this week?

Sunday Salon: Short Works Sunday

Sunday Salon: Short Works Sunday

sunday salon

This week my reading has been all over the place. Since last Sunday I’ve read essays, short stories, graphic novels, and children’s books but no novels. For the last couple of years I’ve been primarily a novel reader, forgoing short stories, poetry, and essays for longer works. Though I have many novels I need to read before they have to be returned to the library, I’m happy just picking up a book, opening up to an unread story or essay, and digging in. Because of this I’ve been on a plane with Barbara Kingsolver as she tried to fit reading short stories into her busy life in “What Good is a Story?”, watched a family sing during a family member’s execution in Margo Lanagan’s “Singing My Sister Down”, and listened as silence takes over a big city in Kevin Brockmeir’s “The Year of Silence”.

I’m falling in love again with short works.

So now I’m off to read more of the stories I’ve been missing. Below is a list of the collections I’ve been reading from. Take care and have a great week.


Do you read short stories? Who are some of your favorite short story writers? What are some of your favorite collections?

Essay Review: What Good Is a Story?

Essay Review: What Good Is a Story?


“What Good is a Story?”
from the essay collection, Small Wonder (2002)
written by Barbara Kingsolver

I have always wondered why short stories aren’t popular in modern America. We are such busy folks, you’d think we’d jump at the chance to have our literary wisdom served in doses that fit between taking the trash to the curb and waiting for the carpool. We should favor the short story and adore the poem. But we don’t. Short-story collections rarely sell half as well as novels; they are never blockbusters. They are hardly ever even block-denters. . .

This is the start of “What Good Is a Story?”, an essay by Barbara Kingsolver, detailing the three months she spent in 2000 as a guest editor for The Best American Short Stories series. Kingsolver had to read  125 short stories before she could pick the twenty best ones. In her essay, Kingsolver explains those hectic three months, why she loves short stories, and what reading means to her.

On reading during this hectic time,

. . . all of us have to work reading into our busy lives. The best tales can stand up to the challenge-and if anything can, it should be the genre of short fiction. . . If we lived in silent white rooms with no emergencies. . .we probably wouldn’t need fiction to help us explain the inexplicable, the storms at sea and deaths of too-young friends.

On choosing the stories that she did,

With a pile of stories on my lap I sat with this question, early on, and tried to divine for myself why was it that I loved a piece of fiction when I did, and the answer came to me quite clearly; I love it for what it tells me about life. I love fiction, strangely enough, for how true it is. If it can tell me something I didn’t already know, or maybe suspected but never framed quite that way, or never  before had sock me so divinely in the solar plexus, that was a story worth the read.

I don’t know about you, but that is very true for me. I don’t want to read anything predictable or something that I already know. Many of the books I’ve read lately have uncovered to me lives I don’t usually think about. Reading this essay reminded why I picked up this book the very first time. I enjoy Kingsolver’s writing. It’s accessible and tells me something that I knew but couldn’t put into words myself about reading.

I won’t give you any more quotes but if you’ve enjoyed any of Kingsolver’s other works, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this amazing collection of essays. Or if you haven’t read Kingsolver before but enjoy a mixture of the personal and the political, this book may be for you.

Other books you may enjoy:
A Broom of One’s Own: Words on Writing, Housecleaning & Life by Nancy Peacock

Currently reading: Three Bags Full

Currently reading: Three Bags Full


Three Bags Full: A Sheep Detective Story (2005)
Leonie Swann
Translated from the German by Anthea Bell
344 pages
Flying Dolphin Press

This is what I’m reading right now and it’s one of the funniest books of 2009 so far. When shepherd George Glenn is murdered, it’s his flock of sheep that comes to the rescue to try and find the killer. Three Bags Full is different from anything I’ve ever read. The sheep are great characters. There’s nineteen sheep in all and every one have a personality very different from the others. With Miss Maple, the smartest sheep, Mopple the Whale who can remember anything you tell him to and is always hungry, and Sir Ritchfield, the lead ram, the flock set off to try and understand humans and their ways while finding out who murdered George.

There are plenty of literary references such as Othello, the black ram with a mysterious past, Melmoth the Wanderer, and more. The reader figures out what happens along with the sheep and the sheep’s observations keeps the reader wanting more. I’ve spent most of my free time this week reading this book. I can’t believe this is Swann’s first and only book out right now.

Maple knew them all; she had seen the younger sheep grow up; she herself had grown up with the older sheep. When she was still a lamb the escapades of Ritchfield and his twin, Melmoth, had kept the flock all agog. It was so long since Ritchfield last mentioned him that Maple had thought he’d forgotten him. Now she felt uneasy. The air was perfect: a cool wind blew off the sea, the meadow was fragrant. All the same, the whole place suddenly smelled of death, new death and old, almost forgotten death. Maple began to graze.

Sunday Salon: Breaking All the Rules

Sunday Salon: Breaking All the Rules

This month has been very bookish despite the fact that fall semester has started for me out here in California. So even though I have almost no spare time to read that hasn’t stopped me from acquiring books in any way that I can. Which really sucks since just last Saturday I signed up for J. Kaye’s Ban-on-Spending Book Challenge. The premise of the challenge is not to spend another dime on books until you read the books you already own that are on your TBR list. I tried, I really did. But within a couple of days I had books in my mailbox from Paperbackswap and Amazon. Having a $1 bookstore just down the street from where I live doesn’t help matters either. Every single book in the store is only one dollar and you can always find great finds.

Friday I promised my younger siblings and my kids that if they behaved well while we were school shopping, I would take them to our local $1 bookstore. Mind you, I forgot all about the the ban on spending. We went in and I came out with seven books for myself, which brings this month’s total of books bought or traded to 26, a record for me. But can I really complain when I acquired Munro, Welty, Lutz, Smith, O’Brien, Hoffman, and the many other book covers you see throughout this post for one dollar each or for free? You will hear no complaints from me.

I felt guilty for about three seconds before hugging my new books protectively and pushing the thought out of my mind. I’ll try the challenge again September 1st. Not a day before.

Too bad none of the books fit into any of the challenges I signed up for this week: Lambda Challenge and Carl V’s 3rd annual Readers Imbibing Peril (R.I.P.) Challenge. The Lambda Challenge is an ongoing challenge based on the Lambda Literary Foundation awards. Every year the foundation gives out awards to celebrate gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender literature. Since this is a genre I totally forgot about, I’m in. I have no idea what I’m going to read yet.

Carl’s R.I.P. Challenge is one of my favorite challenges. Every year I count down to fall and the chance to sign up and read as many scary stories as I can. I’m a chicken so I read more mysteries than thrillers. Because my list of potential reads is long, I won’t list it here. You can read it here though.

This week I managed to finish three books and a couple of essays. Housekeeping vs. the Dirt by Nick Hornby is a collection of essays about the books he’s read for The Believer magazine. The collection is smart and funny, a great collection for any book lover’s shelf. I’ve read several books by Hornby including About a Boy, How to be Good, The Polysyllabic Spree, and currently High Fidelity. You cannot go wrong reading Hornby.

The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg was this month’s re-read. It’s a pretty simple story about a woman named Nan who leaves her husband, home, and life as she knows it to figure out who she is and what she wants. Along the way she talks to strangers who are almost always women to see how their own lives turned out and are they living the life they want. Written as letters to Nan’s husband and also as diary entries, the book is a quick and enjoyable read.
Also read this week was Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by the Pearl Poet. This was required reading for my British Lit class, but I’m glad I read it. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is thought to have been written in the 14th-century by an anonymous writer. It’s about a mysterious, huge, green knight coming to King Arthur’s court to challenge any knight to a game he had in mind: he would let them strike a blow to him with his large, scary axe in exhange that in one year and a day that same knight will find him and stand a blow from the green knight. There’s a lot of embrassment because no one was stupid enough to volunteer. Arthur ended up volunteering and before he could strike a blow to the green knight, his cousin Sir Gawain, offered to take Arthur’s place. Gawain cuts the knight’s head off thinking that would be the end of the game only for the green knight to pick up his rolling head, tell Gawain who he was and the name of his manor, before riding on his large green horse with his head in his hands. The rest of the poem had to do with Gawain’s journey and what happens. I have to thank my professor for requiring this and holding my class’s hands through this. For a minute I thought about changing my major from English to accounting.

Yesterday I started reading Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer. I was kind of wary about reading it since every book after Twilight hasn’t been as fulfilling. But Breaking Dawn is proving to be as much of a page-turner as the three books before it. I plan on finishing this morning so I can start on my many pages of homework. I’ll post my review later on this week.

Okay this post is so long. So I’m off to drink too much coffee and read while shouting at Bella to quit being so selfish. Have a great week.

Happy Book Day!

Happy Book Day!

No, it’s not really book day but yesterday was the best day ever for books. I received through the mail eight books. About two weeks ago my comment about a book was picked for Powell’s books ‘Daily Dose’. I won a $60 virtual credit which I spent in less than an hour. The books I picked are:

1. The Gathering – Anne Enright (fiction)
2. Fragile Things – Neil Gaiman (a favorite of mine thanks to last year’s R.I.P. 2 challenge)
3. Nights at the Circus – Angela Carter (magic realism)
4. The Stolen Child – Keith Donohue (magic realism)
5. Betwen Trapezes – Gail Blanke (self-help)
6. Cries of the Spirit – Marilyn Sewell (poetry)
7. Courage and Craft – Barbara Abercrombie (writing)
8. The End of the Alphabet – Cs Richardson

My eighth book I received from paperbackswap. Now I just have to find some time to set aside to read.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

Right now I am reading The Book Thief by Markus Zukas. I have heard nothing but great reviews about this book. But I’m scared all the reviews might hype the book up too much. Has anyone ever had that problem? I’m loving the book so far.

Summer Reading Challenge Change

Summer Reading Challenge Change

I’m a moody reader. What I read has to fit my mood or I won’t be able to get into the book. So I went to the library tonight and picked up a few that caught my eye. So now I’m changing my summer reading challenge list.

To kill a mockingbird by Harper Lee
The Stolen Child by Keith Donohue
The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck
The Book Thief by Markus Zukas
Cloudstreet by Tim Winton
A Separate Peace by John Knowles

alternate:Honeymoon with my brother by Franz Wisner

So now I’m happy. I’m off to read.

I need help!

I need help!

I’m upset. I just cannot keep interest in a book right now. I have no idea what’s going on. But I am addicted to signing up for challenges. I’ve joined many. Maybe I need to read a short story or two.