Monthly Archives: September 2012

Feature & Follow Friday (14)

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.
trans Feature & Follow #113
The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!
How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools — keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them “hi” in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!
What sets this Hop apart from others, is our Feature. Each week we will showcase a Featured Blogger, from all different genres and areas. Who is our Feature today? Find out below. Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy. How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to WordPress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don’t have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be followed.
Question:

What is the BIGGEST word you’ve seen used in a book lately – that made you stop and look it up? Might as well leave the definition & book too.


Answer:

I’m sorry to say that I rarely look up words while I read. If I see a word I don’t know I skim over it and try to figure it out with the context of the sentence. It’s not that big of a deal for me.

What do you think?

Review: Lizzy Speare and the Curse of the Tomb

Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb (Lizzy Speare #1)
By Ally Malinenko
Published by Antenna Press
Published in 2012
EBook, 214 pages
Middle Grade Fantasy

 

From Goodreads: 

MEET LIZZY SPEARE…          a normal twelve year old girl with a talent for writing, who has a very not normal family secret. And when Lizzy’s father vanishes, that secret will change her life in ways unimagined ways. (Spoiler Alert! It turns out that Lizzy, or Elizabeth S. Speare, is the last living descendent of William Shakespeare. Shhh! Don’t tell anybody!)

 

Then Lizzy and her best friend Sammy are kidnapped, awakening in the faraway land of Manhattan. Their host is Jonathan Muse, whose job is to protect Lizzy from becoming the latest victim in a family feud nearly five hundred years old. Could that be why the mysterious, eye patch-wearing Dmitri Marlowe is after her? (Spoiler Alert 2 – he’s the last living descendent of Christopher Marlowe, a friend and rival of Shakespeare’s. But keep it to yourself!) Is Marlow after Lizzy’s family fortune rumored to be kept in Shakespeare’s tomb? Does he seek artistic immortality? Or Revenge (with a capital R) for a death long, long ago? 

In a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, Lizzy and Sammy are thrust into the realm of the mythical and fantastic – from satyrs and Cyclopses to Middle Eastern cab drivers and Brooklyn hipsters – in what is truly “an improbably fiction” as the Bard himself once wrote.
I found Lizzy Speare by Ally Malinenko to be very Potteresque. Instead of witches and wizards, Lizzy Speare has literary and mythical characters. It’s a fun tale of self-discovery, revenge and adventure.
Lizzy is a very likeable character that, along with Sammy, basically goes on a Shakespearian goose chase to find her father. Malinenko uses Shakespeare’s quotes as clues. Younger children may not recognize all the literary references; but, it’s a fun way to learn. I expect this is the author’s way of introducing Shakespeare to preteens. Lizzy can be very insecure at times; but, what twelve year old isn’t? She has to process a lot of change in her life, much like Harry Potter. She is introduced to a new world that she thought didn’t and couldn’t exist.
Dmitri Marlowe is a nasty little villain. You never know what to expect from him, even whether to trust him or not. One minute he is fairly likeable but then, in a split second, his is a vicious, vindictive little man. I call him little because what grown man would go after a little girl? The reasons for his hatred are really not known. It is more than just literary and financial envy. I would have liked more information about the underlying feud between the Shakespeares and the Marlowes. Malinenko uses the mystery more as a cliff-hanger for the next book than plot development.
Jonathan is an interesting character. He’s another character you don’t know whether to trust or not. He shrouds himself with Shakespeare secrecy. I found that to be a little irritating. He knows all the deep dark secrets but doesn’t tell Lizzy, even if it could help her understand her new life. He keeps saying that everything he does is to protect Lizzy. I’m sure if I believe. I think he has a hidden agenda, or at least it appears that he does.
Overall, I believe that Lizzy Speare will be a fun read for middle grade kids. It will introduce some great literary characters to them and hopefully will get them to read more Shakespeare.
KinxsBookNookScore4

 

Throwback Thursday (14): The Diary of a Young Girl

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.
It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.
You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.
My Throwback Thursday:

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank
Published in 1947

Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank’s remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit. In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the “Secret Annex” of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death. In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short.


Why did I pick this book? When I was fourteen, the same age  as Anne Frank, my mother handed me this book. At that age, I was a spoiled and snotty young girl. This book really opened my eyes of how a young girl, like myself, was trying to grow up during a horrific time. I have read The Diary of a Young Girl several times and each time it leaves a lasting mark on me. I know when my daughters turn fourteen I will have them read it as well.

Banned Book Week 2012 & Giveaway

Banned Book Week 2012

September 30, 2012 – October 6, 2012
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

I’m so excited to be participating in this year’s Banned Book Week. This event is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. In my opinion, there should be no such thing as a banned book. Everyone should have an opportunity to whatever book they want! Well, maybe not Fifty Shades of Gray. JUST KIDDING!!

I have a challenge for you! Here is the list of the Top Challenged/Banned Books of2011. My challenge is for you to pick one and read it. That’s it! I bet you’ve already read a bunch on the list. Try the challenge and leave me a comment. I would love to know what you picked!

Here’s my pick:

The Color of Earth by Kim Dong Hwa and Dong Hwa Kim

Published in 2003


First love is never easy.

Ehwa grows up helping her widowed mother run the local tavern, watching as their customers – both neighbors and strangers – look down on her mother for her single lifestyle. Their social status isolates Ehwa and her mother from the rest of the people in their quiet country village. But as she gets older and sees her mother fall in love again, Ehwa slowly begins to open up to the possibility of love in her life.

In the tradition of My Antonia and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, from the pen of the renowned Korean manwha creator Kim Dong Hwa, comes a trilogy about a girl coming of age, set in the vibrant, beautiful landscape of pastoral Korea.

Reasons for being banned are for nudity, sex education, sexually explicit, unsuited to age group.
Look for my review on October 4, 2012!

It’s Monday! What are you reading?! (12)

Welcome to It’s Monday! What Are You Reading! This is a great way to plan out your reading week and see what others are currently reading as well… you never know where that next “must read” book will come from! Hosted by Book Journey

Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb by Ally Maleninko

MEET LIZZY SPEARE…

…a normal twelve year old girl with a talent for writing, who has a very not normal family secret. And when Lizzy’s father vanishes, that secret will change her life in ways unimagined. (Spoiler Alert! It turns out that Lizzy, or Elizabeth S. Speare, is the last living descendant of William Shakespeare. Shhh! Don’t tell anybody!)

Then Lizzy and her best friend Sammy are kidnapped, awakening in the faraway land of Manhattan. Their host is Jonathan Muse, whose job is to protect Lizzy from becoming the latest victim in a family feud nearly five hundred years old. Could that be why the mysterious, eye patch-wearing Dmitri Marlowe is after her? (Spoiler Alert 2—he’s the last living descendant of Christopher Marlowe, a friend and rival of Shakespeare’s. But keep it to yourself!) Is Marlowe after Lizzy’s family fortune rumored to be kept in Shakespeare’s tomb? Does he seek artistic immortality? Or Revenge (with a capital R) for a death long, long ago?

In a dangerous game of cat-and-mouse, Lizzy and Sammy are thrust into the realm of the mythical and fantastic—from satyrs and Cyclopses to Middle Eastern cab drivers and Brooklyn hipsters—in what is truly “an improbable fiction” as the Bard himself once wrote.

I’m really enjoying this book. It is a lot fun. A great book for middle-graders. Review coming soon!

Feature & Follow Friday (13)

Gain new followers and make new friends with the Book Blogger Feature & Follow! If this is your first time here, welcome! You are about to make some new friends and gain new followers — but you have to know — the point of this hop is to follow other bloggers also. I follow you, you follow me.
trans Feature & Follow #113
The Feature & Follow is hosted by TWO hosts, Parajunkee of Parajunkee’s View and Alison of Alison Can Read. Each host will have their own Feature Blog and this way it’ll allow us to show off more new blogs!
How does this work? First you leave your name here on this post, (using the linky tools — keep scrolling!) then you create a post on your own blog that links back to this post (easiest way is to just grab the code under the #FF picture and put it in your post) and then you visit as many blogs as you can and tell them “hi” in their comments (on the post that has the #FF image). You follow them, they follow you. Win. Win. Just make sure to follow back if someone follows you!
What sets this Hop apart from others, is our Feature. Each week we will showcase a Featured Blogger, from all different genres and areas. Who is our Feature today? Find out below. Just remember it is required, if you participate, to follow our Features and you must follow the hosts (Parajunkee & Alison Can Read) as a courtesy. How do you follow someone? Well, if you have a preference, state it in your #FF post. A lot of blogs are transitioning to WordPress in which they do not have the luxury of GFC, so an RSS subscription is appreciated or if you choose an email subscription. If you don’t have GFC please state in your post how you would like to be followed.

Q: What hyped up book was worth all the fuss?
A: All Soul’s Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. I absolutely LOVED A Discovery of Witches and Shadow of Night. I can’t wait for the last installment!



Throwback Thursday (14): The Da Vinci Code

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by The Housework Can Wait and Never Too Fond of Books.
It’s the nature of book blogging to focus mainly on new releases, but there are thousands of great books out there that haven’t seen the “New Releases” shelf in years. We hope to be able to bring attention to some older titles that may not be at the top of the current bestseller list, but still deserve a spot in your To-Be-Read pile.
You don’t have to be a book blogger to participate! You can put up a Throwback Thursday post on your non-bookish blog; or if you don’t have a blog at all, just use the comments to tell us about a book you remember fondly.
My Throwback Thursday:

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
Published in 2003

An ingenious code hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci. A desperate race through the cathedrals and castles of Europe. An astonishing truth concealed for centuries . . . unveiled at last.

While in Paris, Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon is awakened by a phone call in the dead of the night. The elderly curator of the Louvre has been murdered inside the museum, his body covered in baffling symbols. As Langdon and gifted French cryptologist Sophie Neveu sort through the bizarre riddles, they are stunned to discover a trail of clues hidden in the works of Leonardo da Vinci—clues visible for all to see and yet ingeniously disguised by the painter.

Even more startling, the late curator was involved in the Priory of Sion—a secret society whose members included Sir Isaac Newton, Victor Hugo, and Da Vinci—and he guarded a breathtaking historical secret. Unless Langdon and Neveu can decipher the labyrinthine puzzle—while avoiding the faceless adversary who shadows their every move—the explosive, ancient truth will be lost forever.


I absolutely loved this book when it came out. I loved the subversiveness of the content and it made you think, “What if?” I haven’t seen the movie because I know I would be disappointed. It could never do the book justice.

WWW Wednesday (3)

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?
What I am currently reading:

The Accidental Don by Guy J. Tirondola

Locals in a small southern coastal village come to fear Don De Luca, the stranger who has settled among them, whom they wrongly surmise to be a mafia don. Don, a bar owner from Newark, on the run, falsely accused of stealing money from the mob, uses his new-found evil identity as a force for good, combating hatred, bigotry, superstition, and finally confronting the mob boss who has arrived to kill him. 
Don’s journey reveals that some men are born wicked, some men achieve wickedness, and some men have wickedness thrust upon them.




What I recently finished:


The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Brontë’s novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.

Here’s my review.


What I’m reading next:

Lizzy Speare and the Cursed Tomb (Lizzy Speare #1) by Ally Malinenko


MEET LIZZY SPEARE…

…a normal twelve year old girl with a talent for writing, who has a very not normal family secret. And when Lizzy’s father vanishes, that secret will change her life in ways unimagined. (Spoiler Alert! It turns out that Lizzy, or Elizabeth S. Speare, is the last living descendant of William Shakespeare. Shhh! Don’t tell anybody!


Review: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde (Thursday Next #1)
Published by Penguin Books
Released in 2001
Hardcover, 374 pages
Fantasy

 

From Goodreads:
Welcome to a surreal version of Great Britain, circa 1985, where time travel is routine, cloning is a reality (dodos are the resurrected pet of choice), and literature is the taken very, very seriously. England is a virtual police state where an aunt can get lost (literally) in a Wordsworth poem, militant Baconians heckle performances of Hamlet, and forging Byronic verse is a punishable offense. All this is business as usual for Thursday Next, renowned Special Operative in literary detection, until someone begins kidnapping characters from works of literature. When Jane Eyre is plucked from the pages of Bronte’s novel, Thursday must track down the villain and enter the novel herself to avert a heinous act of literary homicide.
Wow! What a strange ride! Jasper Fforde has created an intriguing and unique world in The Eyre Affair where classic literature rules the lives of the population and literary characters come to life. This was a really interesting read and I enjoyed the characters, especially Thursday Next. There is plenty action, a little bit of romance and a bit of humor as well.
Thursday Next is a SpecOps agent in SO-27, LiteraTecs. Her job is to investigate literary mishaps. She is a really good character who is thrown into a diabolical plot of literary ransom. Her favorite book is Jane Eyre and she finds herself having to protect England’s most beloved character, Jane Eyre, from serious harm. She is tough and extremely intelligent. She is a wonderful adversary for the villain, Acheron Hades. She also has an interesting relationship with Mr. Rochester. One of things I really enjoyed was that Fforde found a way for all his characters to coexist without it feeling awkward or too far-fetched.
Acheron Hades is truly a diabolical character. He is the archetype villain. There were many times that I envisioned him with a black sinister mustache and him twirling it while cackling. At one point he was actually monologueing about his devious plots. I wish there was more background on his character. After I finished reading this book, I had a few unanswered questions about his character. How did he receive his strange powers? Why is silver such a big deal? Why did he become so evil?
One of my favorite parts of the book is the performance of Richard III. In our world, we have Rocky Horror Picture Show and in Fforde’s world, it’s Richard III. How fun is that? It was so funny and creative how he had the audience participating just like Rocky Horror, including people dressing up as the characters and the crazy audience responses. I would definitely go see Richard III if it was performed that way. Fun! Fun!
There is a little bit of romance running through the book. It wasn’t a main theme; it was more of a side plot to distract Thursday from her mission of capturing Hades. I don’t think the romance aspect was really developed that well. I really didn’t care that much if Thursday had a romantic happy ending or not. I wasn’t that connected to the side of the story.
My biggest issue with this book was the world-building aspect of it. From the beginning, I felt like I had been thrown into a world with no explanation. I like the hows and whys; where I want background and detail of an alternate world. However, overall, I found this world fun and entertaining. I definitely want to read the other books in the series.

 

Stacking the Shelves (10)

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

From Dutton Books Contest:

The Giving Quilt by Jennifer Chiaverini

“Why do you give?” asks Master Quilter Sylvia Bergstrom Compson Cooper in The Giving Quilt, the New York Timesbestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini’s artful, inspiring novel that imagines what good would come from practicing the holiday spirit each and every day of the year.

At Elm Creek Manor, the week after Thanksgiving is “Quiltsgiving,” a time to commence a season of generosity. From near and far, quilters and aspiring quilters—a librarian, a teacher, a college student, and a quilt-shop clerk among them—gather for a special winter session of quilt camp, to make quilts for Project Linus. (In real life, Chiaverini has long been active in this charitable organization, dedicated to providing handmade quilts and blankets to children in need.)

Each quilter, ever mindful that many of her neighbors, friends, and family members are struggling through difficult times, uses her creative gifts to alleviate their collective burden. As the week unfolds, the quilters respond to Sylvia’s provocative question in ways as varied as the life experiences that drew them to Elm Creek Manor. Love and comfort are sewn into the warm, bright, beautiful quilts they stitch, and their stories collectively consider the strength of human connection and its rich rewards.

Featuring not only well-loved characters but also intriguing newcomers,The Giving Quilt will remind us all: Giving from the heart blesses the giver as much as the recipient, and while giving may not always be easy, it is always worthwhile.

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October Selection

Categories

Currently Reading

Kendal's bookshelf: currently-reading


goodreads.com

TBR

Kendal's to-read book montage

The Gods of Heavenly Punishment
Where Are the Dinos?
Lydia Bennet's Story: A Sequel to Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
Cold Blooded
Bristol House
My Notorious Life: A Novel
Moms Who Drink and Swear: True Tales of Loving My Kids While Losing My Mind
Long Live the King
To Be Queen: A Novel of the Early Life of Eleanor of Aquitaine
Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore
Bad News for a Ghost
The Next Pendragon
Caroline Bingley
My Beloved World
Royal Mistress
My Dear Sophy
The Wild Girl
To Marry an English Lord: Or How Anglomania Really Got Started
Hades: Lord of the Dead
The Man Who Loved Jane Austen


Kendal's favorite books »

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