Thursday, April 26, 2007

To Every Book There is a Season

Seasonal Reading

  1. Does what you read vary by the season? For instance, do you read different kinds of books in the summer than the winter?

    I don't think I deliberately choose different kinds of books by the season - mostly I just read whatever my book clubs are reading and whatever interests me - although I guess there is some difference during holidays and vacations.

  2. If so, do you break it down by genre, length of book, or ... ?

    During holidays like Christmas break and during vacation times, I usually will choose books that will really grab my attention, that are quick reads, that I won't want to put down. For example, after Christmas this past year, I read Michael Crichton's latest novel, and during one summer trip, I took whichever Harry Potter had just been released. Paperbacks are also good for traveling.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

What Be Your Nerd Type?
Your Result: Literature Nerd

Does sitting by a nice cozy fire, with a cup of hot tea/chocolate, and a book you can read for hours even when your eyes grow red and dry and you look sort of scary sitting there with your insomniac appearance? Then you fit this category perfectly! You love the power of the written word and it's eloquence; and you may like to read/write poetry or novels. You contribute to the smart people of today's society, however you can probably be overly-critical of works.

It's okay. I understand.

Science/Math Nerd
Social Nerd
Gamer/Computer Nerd
Anime Nerd
Artistic Nerd
Drama Nerd
What Be Your Nerd Type?
Quizzes for MySpace

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Spring Reading Thing
First Progress Report

Since we're one-third of the way through spring, I thought I'd make a progress report. Of the 25 books I previously listed, I've read just four - although I am almost finished with another. I've also read a book for one of the five "wild card" spots. If I'm really going to read 30 books by June 21, I'm going to have to pick up the pace. How are you doing on your list?

  • Chris Bohjalian - The Double Bind (2007)
  • Orson Scott Card - Sarah (2000)
  • Anita Diamant - The Red Tent (1997)
  • Kim Edwards - The Memory Keeper's Daughter (2005)
  • Lisa Gardner - Hide (2007)
  • Ken Grimwood - Replay (1986)
  • Shannon Hale - The Princess Academy (2005)
  • Ernest Hemingway - A Farewell to Arms (1929)
  • Jan Karon - In This Mountain (2002)
  • Kermit the Frog - Before You Leap (2006)
  • Sue Monk Kidd - Firstlight: Early Inspirational Writings (2006)
  • Sophie Kinsella - Shopaholic & Baby (2007)
  • John Lescroart - The Suspect (2007)
  • Gerald Lund - Fishers of Men (2000)
  • Gregory Maguire - Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (1999)
  • Betty Mahmoody - Not Without My Daughter (1987)
  • Stephenie Meyer - Twilight (2005)
  • Brandon Mull - Fablehaven (2006)
  • Christopher Paolini - Eragon (2003)
  • Michael Palmer - The Fifth Vial (2007)
  • Jodi Picoult - I still haven't decided which one to read.
  • Alexander McCall Smith - Tears of the Giraffe (2003)
  • Caroll Spinney - Wisdom of Big Bird (2003)
  • Lisa Unger - Beautiful Lies (2006)
  • Gloria Whelen - Listening for Lions (2005)
  • Stephen White - Dry Ice (2007)

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Guilty Pleasures

I can't remember where I first heard about Booking Through Thursday, but today I'm finally getting around to playing along!

'Fess Up!

Okay, there must be something you read that's a guilty pleasure . . . a Harlequin romance stashed under the mattress. A cheesy sci-fi book tucked in the back of the freezer. A celebrity biography, a phoned-in Western . . . something that you'd really rather not be spotted reading. Even just a novel if you're a die-hard non-fiction fan. Come on, confess. We won't hold it against you!

I consider much of what I read to be "guilty pleasure" or "escapism" reading. Enjoying a few minutes - or hours - of another "reality" is a relaxing, fun diversion! While I like to think that I still maintain some literary standards in my choices, among the authors whose work I adore without necessarily viewing it as great literature are the following (in alphabetical order):

Carol Higgins Clark
Mary Higgins Clark
Janet Evanovich
Lisa Gardner
Tess Gerritsen
Jan Karon
Sophie Kinsella
Parnell Hall
Michael Palmer
James Patterson
Nicholas Sparks

On the Waiting List

Note: I've cross-posted this from my "regular" blog where I frequently participate in Thursday Thirteen. Come visit me there too!

I love to read! My principle source of books is the library. Because I feel a sense of urgency to read the books I check out of the library - so as to avoid those pesky fines - books from other sources often sit for some time before I get to them. These are some of the books that are waiting for me.

Thirteen Books on My Bedside Table

  1. Into the Forest by Jean Hegland
    My mom read this and passed it along to me. I don't even know what it is about.

  2. A Virtuous Woman by Kaye Gibbons
    Another book passed to me by my mom. I loved Gibbons' Ellen Foster, but I didn't like Divining Women, so I've not felt compelled to get to this one.

  3. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
    I've read this previously - many years ago - but I keep thinking I'd like to read it again around Easter and ponder on the symbolism. It hasn't happened yet.

  4. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy
    This was the pick in one of my book clubs two or so years ago, and my mom lent me her copy. The classics aren't usually my favorite choices, and when I realized I'd be out of town during the book club meeting, I didn't even try to read it.

  5. The Secret Circle by Dona Schenker
    This young people's novel belongs to Jelly Bean, and I've been intending to read it for several years.

  6. Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith
    My mom lent me this one after our book club read The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency - which I absolutely loved. I did put Tears of the Giraffe on my Spring Reading Thing list so I'd have some incentive to get it read.

  7. An Unquiet Mind: A Memoir of Moods and Madness by Kay Redfield Jamison
    Another one my mom read and passed along.

  8. These is My Words: The Diary of Sarah Agnes Prine, 1881-1901 by Nancy E. Turner
    This one belongs to my mom too, and I borrowed it when it was chosen in one of my book clubs. I got about halfway through - but I couldn't attend the meeting so I abandoned it.

  9. Ordaining Women: Culture and Conflict in Religious Organizations by Mark Chaves
    My friend Laraine picked this one up at a used bookstore and passed it along to me.

  10. C. S. Lewis: The Man and His Message by Andrew C. Skinner and Robert L. Millet
    This was a Christmas gift from my mom a few years ago.

  11. Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Pipher, Ph.D.
    I've read bits and pieces of this one over the last ten years - and I've used some of Pipher's ideas in presentations I've done - but sometime I'd like to read it straight through.

  12. Dark Assassin by Anne Perry
    Perry is a favorite author of mine, but I usually get her books from the library. I bought this one a year ago when I had a chance to hear her speak, so that I'd have something for her to sign.

  13. The View from Saturday by E. L. Konigsburg
    This 1997 Newbery Medal Winner belongs to Jelly Bean too. I was on a Konigsburg reading spree a couple years ago and read many of the books she'd written in the period since I'd read (and loved!) Jennifer, Hecate, Macbeth, William McKinley, and Me, Elizabeth and From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler as a child. Because we own this one, I didn't get to it - but one day I will.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Before You Leap: A Frog's-Eye View of Life's Greatest Lessons
by Kermit the Frog

Published in 2006. 224 pages.

I heard about Before You Leap from Melessa, who is a big Muppets fan. As she said, "What's not to love?"

I didn't put this one on my Spring Reading Thing list, but I had picked it up at the library and I just kept opening it up and reading a few more pages until, all of a sudden, I was finished with it! So I'm going to count it as one of my five "wild card" picks.

Here are two highlights of the book ...

In the chapter titled "The Seven Dreams of Highly Effective Amphibians", I found this bit of advice:

You must look deep inside your heart and ask what you really want. If your immediate answer is "dessert," you probably missed your heart and went directly to your stomach.

And I loved this quote in the chapter titled "Love Amphibian Style":

Love is a gift. Don't ask for the receipt!


Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Fifth Vial by Michael Palmer

Published in 2007. 372 pages.

I've read all of Michael Palmer's medical thrillers and enjoyed them all. This one, despite a bit of a slow beginning, was no exception.

In the afterword, Palmer says this:

My goal in writing suspense is first and foremost to entertain my readers and to transport them, however transiently, from the stresses and cares of their lives to the highly stylized world of the novel. My secondary goals are to inform and to present, without resolution, issues of social and ethical importance.

He goes on to discuss organ donation and "the importance of [our] participate in an act that [he] feel[s] defines humility and righteousness." I am an organ donor, as is my sixteen-year-old daughter. If you aren't already an organ donor, I hope you'll consider it too. For more information, see OrganDonor.Gov. Utahns can sign up here.


Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Not Without My Daughter by Betty Mahmoody

Written with William Hoffer. Published in 1987. 420 pages.