Saturday, November 28, 2009

42 Challenge
Challenge Completion

Hosted by Becky at the 42 Challenge Blog

My Original Post

What I Watched and Read
(Links are to my reviews.)
  1. Stargate: SG-1, Season 2, Episode 31, "Secrets"

  2. Stargate: SG-1, Season 2, Episode 32, "Bane"

  3. Stargate: SG-1, Season 2, Episodes 33 and 34,
    "The Tok'ra"

  4. Stargate: SG-1, Season 2, Episode 35, "Spirits"

  5. The Host by Stephenie Meyer

  6. The Accidental Time Machine by Joe Haldeman

  7. Stargate: SG-1, Season 2, Episode 36, "Touchstone"

  8. Stargate: SG-1, Season 2, Episode 37, "The Fifth Race"

  9. Stargate: SG-1, Season 2, Episode 38, "A Matter of Time"

  10. Stargate: SG-1, Season 2, Episode 39, "Holiday"

  11. Stargate: SG-1, Season 2, Episode 40, "Serpent's Song"

  12. Stargate: SG-1, Season 2, Episode 41, "One False Step"

  13. Stargate: SG-1, Season 2, Episode 42, "Show and Tell"

  14. Stargate: SG-1, Season 2, Episode 43, "1969"

  15. Stargate: SG-1, Season 2, Episode 44,
    "Out of Mind (Part 1)"

  16. Stargate: Atlantis, Season 4 (20 episodes)

  17. Stargate: SG-1, Season 3 (22 episodes)

  18. Stargate: SG-1, Season 4 (22 episodes)

  19. Stargate: SG-1, Season 5 (22 episodes)

  20. Stargate: SG-1, Season 6 (22 episodes)

  21. Stargate: SG-1, Season 7 (22 episodes)

  22. InterWorld by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reaves

  23. The House of the Scorpion by Nancy Farmer

  24. Stargate: SG-1, Season 8 (20 episodes)

  25. Stargate: SG-1, Season 9 (20 episodes)

  26. Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

  27. Stargate: SG-1, Season 10 (20 episodes)

  28. Stargate: The Ark of Truth

  29. Stargate: Continuum

  30. Sanctuary, Season 1 (13 episodes)

  31. WALL-E

  32. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

  33. Unwind by Neal Shusterman

  34. When You Reach Me by Rebecca Stead

  35. Stargate: Atlantis, Season 5 (20 episodes)

  36. Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

  37. FlashForward, Season 1 (9 episodes and counting)

  38. Stargate: Universe, Season 1 (9 episodes and counting)

  39. Sanctuary, Season 2 (7 episodes and counting)

  40. Star Trek (2009)

  41. V (2009 TV series), Season 1 (4 episodes and counting)

  42. Push (2009)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Book Awards Challenge III
Challenge Completion

5 months. 5 awards.

A big thank you to host 3M!

The five books I read for this challenge are as follows (with links to my reviews):

There are lots more award-winning books on my to-read list, so it's a good thing that Book Awards 4 will run from February 1 through December 1, 2010. I will be watching for more information on the challenge blog.

Worth by A. LaFaye

Published in 2004. 160 pages.
2005 Scott O'Dell Award.

Overall, I enjoyed this book, but neither I nor my fifth grade book group members thought it was "really good." I thought the character development was somewhat weak, but I enjoyed talking about some of the metaphors with the kids and I liked the happy, though ambiguous ending. I love historical fiction - and it was fun having the kids contrast the late 1800s with our day - but they were adamant that our next pick not be another historical fiction.


Rules by Cynthia Lord

Published in 2006. 200 pages.
2007 Newbery Honor Book.
2007 Schneider Family Book Award.

This year my son is in fifth grade, and I volunteered to be a "book club" leader in his classroom. The first pick for my group was Rules, the story of twelve-year-old Catherine who just wants a normal life, which is near impossible with an autistic brother and a family that revolves around his disability. Four fifth-graders and I were able to meet three times to discuss it. We all enjoyed it.

Somewhere I read a review of Rules that said, "Parts are very funny while others are so real it hurts." I completely agree. Here are a few of my favorite passages:

As she reads, I think how useful a cloak that made me invisible would be right now. If I have one, I'd throw it over my head and run out the door and across the parking lot and the street, all the way through the waterfront park to the wharf, and board the first boat I saw going somewhere, anywhere else. [page 23]
I try to hold my hope down, but it keeps popping up again. [page 31] ... On the drive to the clinic, I try not to let my hopes run loose, but they rush with the water under the bridges. [page 41]
At a friend's house, everything is uncomplicated. No one drops toys in the fish tank, no one cares if the cellar door is open or closed, and no one shrieks unless there's a huge, hairy spider crawling up her arm. ... But the best part of being at a friend's house is I can be just me and put the sister part of me down. [page 89]

Rules certainly deserves its accolades as a Newbery Honor Book and as a recipient of a Schneider Family Book Award, which "honors an author or illustrator for the artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences."

Rules reminded me of Summer of the Swans by Betsy Byars, another book about a girl and her differently-abled brother, which I read and loved as a child and which was the 1971 Newbery Award Winner.

For more information about Rules, check out the discussion guide on Lord's website.


Friday, November 13, 2009

Salt Lake County Library's Reader's Choice

Twice a year the staff of the Salt Lake County Library display their current book favorites for patrons to read and enjoy. Library patrons rate the "Reader's Choice" nominees they read, and the votes determine a winner.

The Shape of Mercy
was the Salt Lake County Library's Reader's Choice winner for July-October 2009 - both county-wide and at my branch. County-wide, the second place pick was a tie between Casting Spells and The School of Essential Ingredients, and the third place was The Lover's Knot. At my branch, the second place pick was The Help, and the third place was The School of Essential Ingredients.

The only one of these "Reader's Choice" picks that I've already read is The School of Essential Ingredients, and I reviewed it here. Have you read any of them?

All the winners going back to 1991 are here. Among the winners that I've read and enjoyed are these:

Monday, November 09, 2009

Keeping the Moon by Sarah Dessen

Published in 1999. 228 pages.

Keeping the Moon is the fourth of Sarah Dessen's books that I've read. I enjoyed the quirky characters. I think Just Listen is still my favorite though.

Dessen talks about writing Keeping the Moon - and the impact that the book still has on her - on her website.


Saturday, November 07, 2009

Women Unbound Reading Challenge

November 1, 2009, to November 30, 2010
Challenge Blog

Co-hosted by Aarti, Care, and Eva

Participants in this challenge are encouraged to read nonfiction and fiction books related to "women’s studies."

According to a Wikipedia entry, women's studies is an interdisciplinary academic field devoted to topics concerning women, feminism, gender, and politics. It often includes feminist theory, women's history, women's fiction, women's health, feminist art, feminist psychoanalysis, and the feminist and gender studies-influenced practice of most of the humanities and social sciences.

There are three levels for readers:
  • Philogynist: Read at least two books, including at least one nonfiction.

  • Bluestocking: Read at least five books, including at least two nonfiction.

  • Suffragette: Read at least eight books, including at least three nonfiction.

I'm planning to read as a "suffragette." Here are some of the many books I'm considering:

  • 33 Things Every Girl Should Know About Women's History: From Suffragettes to Skirt Lengths to the E.R.A. by Tonya Bolden

  • America's Women: 400 Years of Dolls, Drudges, Helpmates, and Heroines by Gail Collins

  • The Curse of the Good Girl: Raising Authentic Girls with Courage and Confidence by Rachel Simmons

  • Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak

  • No Turning Back: The History of Feminism and the Future of Women by Estelle Freedman

  • Pink Think: Becoming a Woman in Many Uneasy Lessons by Lynn Peril

  • Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi

  • Reviving Ophelia: Saving the Selves of Adolescent Girls by Mary Pipher

  • The Silent Passage by Gail Sheehy

  • Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang

  • A novel by Margaret Atwood

  • A novel by Natsuo Kirino

  • The 19th Wife by David Ebershoff

  • American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld

  • The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
    by E. Lockhart

  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett

  • The Kayla Chronicles by Sherri Winston

  • The Pull of the Moon by Elizabeth Berg

  • Sister Wife by Shelley Hrdlitschka

  • The Whale Rider by Witi Ihimaera