Thursday, August 30, 2007

Booking Through Thursday-Stastics

Booking Through Thursday

There was a widely bruited-about statistic reported last week, stating that 1 in 4 Americans did not read a single book last year. Clearly, we don’t fall into that category, but . . . how many of our friends do? Do you have friends/family who read as much as you do? Or are you the only person you know who has a serious reading habit?

No one reads as much as I do. My sister will get a book every two months. Another sister reads mystery murders, about one a week. And Dean reads sci fi or fantasy, also about a book a week. But no one else reads the variety I do. Or as much as I do.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Next Reading List

I"m 4/5th's of the way through "The Executioner's Song". It's 1,000 pages and I've been on it a while, but I keep putting it down to read something else. Like "Crime and Punishment" for a book club. Or the entire Harry Potter series. But now it's the end of the month and both of my book clubs are starting new books. So I've got a new TBR list for September. So far I have "A Passage to India" for TheClassicsClub, "The Echo Maker" for Pulitzer_literature, "The Magician's Assistant" for the Unread Authors Challenge and "Empire Falls" for The BookAwardChallenge. And then there's "Don Quixote" for the Book of Great Books goal. That one looks to be a doozy.

And on top of that, I've began making the afghans I'm giving out at Christmas. I've made one and have three more to go. I'm also cross-stitching "Footprints" for my step-mother. Looks like house-cleaning will have to take a backseat.

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Alchemist

The Alchemist
by Paulo Coelho

Santiago is a young shepherd who is led to follow a dream. His dream is interpreted by an old Gypsy woman to mean he will find treasure buried under the Great Pyramids of Egypt. So he sells his sheep and sets out on a journey of self-discovery.

This is a simple story full of complex ideas. It's a wonderfully written, thought provoking book about following your instincts. "If you can concentrate always on the present, you'll be a happy man." Life is a journey...not a goal.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Booking Through Thursday-Indoctrination

Booking Through Thursday
When growing up did your family share your love of books? If so, did one person get you into reading? And, do you have any family-oriented memories with books and reading? (Family trips to bookstore, reading the same book as a sibling or parent, etc.)

My father was the big reader in my family. Unfortunately, while he was reading books like "The Young Lions" I was reading Harlequins. I'm afraid my love of (good) books came later in life.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Reading Poll

An Associated Press-Ipsos poll says the average person has read 7 books this year. That makes me 6 years ahead of everyone.

Monday, August 20, 2007

The Plague

"The Plague" by Albert Camus
1957 Nobel Prize Winner For Literature

The plague strikes Oran, in western Algeria, in the 1940's. Oran is a brown,dusty dismal city. Life is dull and predictable. It has no gardens or pigeons. It is baking hot in the summer and muddy in the winter. But on April 16th, with spring in the air, the rats begin to die. The first human dies on April 30th.

The local government is slow to react. Reality is only faced when the death toll hits 30 a day. The city is closed. The port is shut down. Gas, food and electricity are rationed. People are forced to stay where they are. Visitors cannot leave and residents cannot return home.

"The Plague" explores the emotional turmoil of the citizens, collectively and individually. People are slow to face the reality of the situation. Even with the death toll steadily increasing, they go about their daily life. The go to work. The congregate at cafes, bars and cinemas. And the mood swings from disbelief to panic. They go through a period of extravagance. Despair sets in for a while and eventually with time indifference sets in.

This is a book well worth reading. It's a calm, objective view of the ways in which the human race deals with what life throws at it.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Crime and Punishment

"Crime and Punishment" by Fyodor Dostoevsky

"Crime and Punishment" is the story of a murder committed by a young student. Raskolnikov has developed a theory that exceptional intelligence places a man above ordinary people. He puts this theory to the test by murdering an old woman. She was a greatly disliked pawnbroker. During the murder the victim's sister returns home and becomes another victim.

The novel then begins to explore a man's conscience. The people in Raskolnilov's life enable him to view his actions from several different aspects. It is a profoundly astute psychological probe of one man's journey from crime to redemption.

I read this with my Yahoo book club and I must admit I was intimidated in the beginning. Just the name Dostoevsky sounded overwhelming. But the book was easy to read. There were some slow sections, but not many. I think my next Russian book will be much easier to pick up. I've got "Anna Karenina" sitting on the shelf. Not feeling quite so intimidated by it.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Harry Potter Completed

Hot diggity!!! I finished the series before any secrets leaked. But I'm afraid I'm going through withdrawal now. I had already read the first book so my latest spree only involved the last six. I've been reading them at the expense of everything else so now I have 400 e-mails to catch up with.

Saturday, August 11, 2007


You Have Your PhD in Men

You understand men almost better than anyone.
You accept that guys are very different, and you read signals well.
Work what you know about men, and your relationships will be blissful.

Huh? Me? Somebody's got some splainin' to do.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Harry Potter Update

This is my new kitten, Daisy. She has been a serious obstacle to my attempt to read all of the Harry Potter books before I borrow "The Deadly Hollows" from my sister. I know if I didn't have something clawing the crap out of my ankles I would be finished with "The Half Blood Prince" by now. I try to keep my books clean and I usually try not to get blood on them.

BTW, Daisy was found at about the age of 10 to 14 days old. She was bottle fed and my niece named her. Now, she's around two months old and I'm sitting around waiting for her to grow enough to figure out if she really is a she. She already answers to Daisy. My family needs a cat genderer. Another niece has a female named Sylvester and my step-mother has a male named Phoebe. The cats don't care. I'm sure Daisy won't either.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

My Bookshelves

I finally got a digital camera. So, of course, I had to take pictures of my cats. Then my nephew. Finally, I got around to the bookshelves. This one is cookbook central. Along with cookbooks here are magazines and sections torn out of magazines neatly sorted onto folders. It's not a proper bookshelf. Just painted milk crates. I used to have them neatly arranged and corded together with ropes. It looked trés chic but it was a pain to clean.

More crates. This is my overflow.

This is the main bookcase. It's organized with the crime books on top. Next down is the books for the Book of Great Books. Under that is the books for my challenges and book clubs. Next to the bottom is magazines---Smithsonian and the most recent National Geographic. And on the bottom I have some of my nonfiction.

I'm not foolin' when I say I need another bookshelf.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Deep Freeze

"Deep Freeze" by Lisa Jackson

"Deep Freeze" is my last Blogroll Game book. I kinda liked it. It was a little big long (500 pages) to give too few clues about who the serial killer was. The red herrings were too obvious so you knew the actual perpetrator was someone seldom mentioned.

Jenna Hughes was a famous movie star who gave up Hollywood after her sister's death on a set. She takes her two daughters and moves to a small town in Oregon. And a "fan" begins killing women trying to make a wax museum of sorts out of the bodies in a process too complicated to get into here. Enter the predictable taciturn sheriff.

This was supposed to be one of those "romantic-suspense" mysteries, but the romance was very scanty. The murder plot was very suspenseful and kept me glued to the book. Jenna's teenage daughter was the typical rebellious teenager, but there was just a little too much rebellion. She was just so hateful I kept hoping she would wind up a victim.

And the end really pissed me off. In the last chapter, after the resolution, a child disappears. This is to set up the plot for the next book from the author. I mean really!!! One book at a time, please.