Sunday, March 31, 2013

Mailbox Monday - April 1


Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their homes during the past week. Mailbox Monday, for April, is being hosted by MariReads.

I was at Chapters a little over a week ago. I didn't post this last week because the individual hosting last week's Mailbox wasn't up when I expected it and so I missed it.  But in any case, I held it over until this week.  Here is what I purchased:


I have heard good things about it and it has been on my TBR pile for about a year or so.  I hope to read this one during the summer months.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Booking Through Thursday - Rating


This week, Booking Through Thursday asks:

Movies have a rating system to help guide the consumer weed out adult/violent/inappropriate kinds of films. Video games do, too. Do you think BOOKS should have a ratings system?

Flat out, no. Reason being is that books are so subjective in regards to the content material that is found inbetween the covers of a book.  What one person may find objectionable may not be objectionable to another person.  And its a rather arbitrary way of evaluating books.  And in a way it promotes censorship, especially among young readers who are trying to expand what they read and are exploring books that deal with more mature topics as they move up in their reading abilities.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Dewy's April 2013 Read-a-Thon


Its that time of year again!  This is a read-a-thon that I always look forward to.  Most times I have only been able to make approximately 12 hours, but the aim is always to read the full 24 hours.  And this time around is no exception.

I know what some of you are thinking that I am nuts to read the full 24 hours, but when you do a mixture of audio and print books, you will be able to get through it.  And you don't have to do the full 24 hours, only the hours that you think you will be able to complete.  This past October I maybe got in about 18 hours of reading and most of that was during a road trip from Kamloops, BC to Edmonton, Alta. to see my sister.

If you think you can do even some of it, there is a place to sign up on their main page here (http://24hourreadathon.com/2013/03/26/the-april-2013-read-a-thon-is-almost-here/).  If you wish to, you can join me (yes I am planning on getting up really early on Saturday morning to start reading).  I hope you can join me.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Top Ten Books I recommend the most

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish, where book bloggers share their Top Ten lists on everything bookish.  This week its the top ten books I recommend the most to other readers.

This is the sort of list that evolves over time and new books are added to this list and because the books that I recommend are dependent on the person that I am recommending it to.  But here are some staples that I will likely always recommend to readers.

1) The Daring Game by Kit Pearson - great for middle school readers (grade 5-8) and is also set at an all-girls boarding school.

2) The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi - read this about the same time when I read The Daring Game and is really a great read for middle school readers.   It is also an award winner and it is a book that adults would like as well.

3) Guests of War trilogy by Kit Pearson - for the same group of readers as above.  It was one of the first "series" that I read and really liked the fact that it talked about the Guests of War during World War II that were brought to Canada after the start of World War II.

4) A Handful of Time by Kit Pearson - Same group of readers as above.  I went through a Kit Pearson phase when I was in grade 6 or 7.  This one deals with a 12-year-old girl who spends the summer with her mother's family in Alberta and discovers an old watch that transports her to the summer that her mom was twelve.

5) Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte - Probably my favourite classic.  I first read the book when I was in Grade 8 and just loved the story.  I don't know why but I connected with the story in a way that I haven't in other books.

6) A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens - read this in my Grade 11 English class and despite the complaints of my classmates, I felt that it was a pretty good book and I quite enjoyed it to the point that I reread the book a few years later when I was in university.

7) Possession by A.S. Byatt - Read this book after I saw the movie adaptation of the book.  And I recall just being enthralled by the story that I thought that some of the characters were actually real.

8) All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque - First read it for my Grade 12 English class and really didn't see the point of the book until I read it for a university History course that basically dealt with WWI. 

9) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - read this for my Grade 10 English class and for the first time really enjoyed a class-assigned book.  I really liked the historical aspect of the book.

10) The Help by Kathryn Stockett - When I read the book last year, I was reading the book because of the hype and because of the movie.  And trust me, it was the one book that really did live up to the hype of the book. 

Honorable mention:
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo - I know that it is a long book but honestly the payoff is worth it and truly worthy of its epic status.  Its only in this section because I only finished the book a few months ago and have yet to formulate where it is in my books that I would recommend.

What's On Your Nightstand (Mar. 26)

I haven't done this since September mainly because I have forgotten about this, but I will try to get this up more often and therefore a bit more completed.

Up until yesterday, March isn't going great.  I got two books completed and can't really seem to finish anything that I have started.  But I am hoping that April will be a bit better, considering two of the books that I am currently reading are library books and not books that have long loans lengths on them and that I am planning on reading much more in the coming weeks.

At the moment I am reading Crime & Punishment and War & Peace for readalongs and have started reading The Accursed and The Chaperone, both of which are only two week loans.  I also have Moon over Manifest and The Whole Truth out that I hope to get completed in the coming weeks, both of which are early YA books and should be completed within a few days of reading them straight.

Here are the books that I have completed during this month:
1) The Giver by Lois Lowry (review)
2) Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson (review)

Here's hoping April is better.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Spring Reading Thing 2013


Due to life getting in the way, Katrina from  Callapidder Days isn't hosting this reading challenge, but Sandra from Musings of a Book Addict has stepped into make sure that it is up and running.

Its stress free and while there is a time limit, March 20 to June 20, there is no limit on the number of books that you need to read for the challenge.  All you have to do is make a starter list of books that you wish to read or finish during the time period.  There is more information here: http://www.themusingsofabookaddict.com/2013/03/spring-reading-thing-start-reading.html

I hope you will be able to join me.

Here is my starter list of books:
1) War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy 
2) Crime and Punishment by  Fyodor Dostoyevsky
3) The Accursed by Joyce Carole Oates
4) The Chaperone by Laura Moriarty
5) A Red Herring without Mustard by Alan Bradley
6) To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
7) The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
8) The Help by Kathryn Stockard

I should be able to finish most of these (minus War & Peace, which is a year long read) during the time period stated.

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Mar. 25)


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme that is hosted by Shelia at Book Journey, in which we share what we've read and reviewed and what we plan on reading in the coming week.

What I have reviewed:
1) Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson (review)

What I am planning on reading this week:
• Crime and Punishment
• War and Peace

• The Accursed
• The Chaperone

What's up next: 
I am not really sure, but probably January First.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sunday Salon - Lack of books completion is making me frustrated

I am feeling frustrated due to the fact that I can't seem to finish many books.  Of course it is the result of the fact that I went through about two months of feeling blue and not really myself and the fact that I just couldn't get myself to read for long stretches of time.  I think the primary reason that I am feeling this sort of frustration is that I was able to get a lot of reading done in the first 4 months of 2012, but this year I just can't seem to finish anything at the moment.  Maybe its due to the fact that the readalong for Crime and Punishment is really going longer than it probably ought to go (at least I think it is; it could be completed within two months instead of three) and that I am feeling deluged by the books that I requested in the final months of 2012 finally coming through from the library.  Maybe I should just plod along and find something relatively easy to read and maybe focus on one or two books instead of trying to read many at one time.  Or maybe I should just spend a day reading and not try to do other things.  Or maybe I should find a book or two that take my imagination away.  Who knows what I should do, but nonetheless I shouldn't be so hard on myself and let where the chips lay.

But I can say that I probably getting to a place that I will be completing books at a better rate.

Review:
1) Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson (review)

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

WWW Wednesdays (Mar. 20)

This is a weekly meme hosted by Miz B at Should be Reading.  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 be reading next?


Answers:
1) What are you currently reading?
Too much. But I am likely going to be focusing on a couple of library books I picked up recently (I don't want to get off the couch as I typed this), Crime and Punishment, and War & Peace.  I will probably read a bit of Outlander and possibly something else.

2) What did you recently finish reading?
Titanic: Voices from the Disaster by Deborah Hopkinson (review)

3) What do you think you'll be reading next?
Probably either Moon over Manifest or The Whole Truth or whatever I pick up from Chapters in the coming days.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Titanic: Voices from the Disaster - Deborah Hopkinson

Title: Titanic: Voices from the Disaster
Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Pages: 304
Published: 2012
Genre: Non-fiction, History, Young Adult
Challenges: None
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Public Library

Description:  Deborah Hopkinson weaves together the voices and stories of real TITANIC survivors and witnesses to the disaster -- from the stewardess Violet Jessop to Captain Arthur Rostron of the CARPATHIA, who came to the rescue of the sinking ship. Packed with heartstopping action, devastating drama, fascinating historical details, loads of archival photographs on almost every page, and quotes from primary sources. (via Goodreads.com)

Thoughts:  The book was well presented in that you got a real sense of what the ship was like from the view of a first-class, second-class, and third-class passenger. And they also included the viewpoints of the crew that survived that fateful night.  I wouldn't describe this book as being heartstopping myself, but if you didn't have a lot of knowledge about the disaster, you might.  I particuarly liked the fact that the author provided biographies of the survivors and that she provided plenty of source material after telling the story and also incorporating some of that material into the main story as well and it made it an  enjoyable read.  

Bottom line:  This is a good introductory book on the subject and is clearly intended for younger readers. It doesn't really seem to go into much depth, but with the number of personal stories that are imbedded throughout the book, it does make the story a bit more palatable to a more discerning reader and she also provides an extensive bibliography of material that one can read, if one does wish to read more on the topic.  I would probably recommend this book to those who are in middle school and those adults who have an interest in the disaster but have little or no knowledge on the disaster.  Its a good jumping off point to more extensive study on the subject, if one wants to go in that direction.

Rating:  3.725/5

Pages for 2013: 3619

Friday, March 15, 2013

Importing Google Reader feed into Bloglovin

Some of you probably woke up to the news that Google Reader is going out of service and I know that there are a few of you who do use the service.    But there is a reader that can allow you to read the posts on continuing basis without interruption and its called bloglovin'.  Norther Belle Diaries has provided an excellent tutorial for you to use to make sure that you can continue to read your blogs.  You can find it here: http://www.northernbellediaries.com/2013/03/importing-google-reader-feed-to.html

Hope you have a good day :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Top Ten Books on my Spring TBR list


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and Bookish, where book bloggers share their Top Ten lists on everything bookish.  This week its the top ten books that are going to make it on my Spring TBR list.

1) The Whole Truth by Kit Pearson - I have been wanting to get to this book since this winter.

2) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky (part of a readalong)

3) The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey  

4) The Help by Kathryn Stockett

5) The Herring without the Mustard by Alan Bradley

6) The Guernesy Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

7) The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

8)  North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

9) The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer

10) War & Peace by Leo Tolstoy (part of a year long readalong)

Happy reading :)

Teaser Tuesdays (Mar. 12)

Teaser Tuesday is a bookish meme hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.  Anybody can play along!  Just do the following:

* Grab your current read
* Open to a random page
* Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

At the beginning of July, during a spell of exceptionally hot weather, towards evening, a certain young man came down on to the street from the little room he rented from some tenants in S--- Lane and slowly, almost hesitantly, set off  towards K-----n bridge.

~ p. 5, Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Mailbox Monday - March 11


Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their homes during the past week. Mailbox Monday, for March, is being hosted by Chaotic Compendiums.

Kobo was having a sale and went through the titles that were being offered for sale and chose one.  Here is what I chose:


Its on my device but who knows when I will get around to it.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (Mar. 11)


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme that is hosted by Shelia at Book Journey, in which we share what we've read and reviewed and what we plan on reading in the coming week.

What I have reviewed this week:
1) The Giver by Lois Lowry (review)

What I am reading this week:
• Crime and Punishment
• War and Peace

• Titanic: Voices from the Disaster
• Outlander


What's up next:
Nothing really

Musing Mondays (Mar. 11)

This week, Miz B at Should Be Reading asks:

Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or somebody else and why you chose that/those book(s).

I recently bought Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  I bought because I had borrowed the book from the library electronically but when I saw that Kobo was having a sale and that particular book was included in the sale, I couldn't help but purchase it.

Sunday Salon - A rather lazy day

I realize that this is slightly late, but where I am its still Sunday.  Today has been somewhat lazy; part of its due to the changing of clocks overnight and part of its due to the fact that the last couple of days I have done a lot of running around for my bookclub meeting yesterday afternoon and I think a part of is that I am just purely exhausted and didn't realize until today.

That being said, I really didn't get much completed in the past week, although I seem to be keep plugging away at reading Crime & Punishment, which seems to just get darker and darker as the book moves on and therefore makes me more and more depressed.  I understand the need to read these sort of books, but sometimes I wish that readalongs choices would be books that are a little happier.  I understand that its the darker books that seem to get the most discussion, but it just seems that the more I read classic lit, the more depressed I get.

But while I had a lazy day, it doesn't mean that nothing was accomplished.  There were some things that needed to be replaced in my place and weren't working well at this point in time.  And while that was good to replace it all, by the time I got home, I just felt tired and at the moment, I just want to curl up with a book and watch the upcoming Canucks game.

Reviews:
1) The Giver by Lois Lowry (review)

The Giver - Lois Lowry

Title: The Giver
Author: Lois Lowry
Pages: 179
Published: 1994 (first published 1993)
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopia, Fiction
Challenges: None
Edition: Paperback
Source: Library

Description: In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy.  (via Goodreads.com)

Thoughts:  I really liked this particular book club read.  It sparked a lot of discussion during out group meeting on a variety of topics that are presented throughout the book.  While I was reading the book, I realized that actually I had only read about a quarter of the book shortly after the book came out.  Maybe it was the disjointy nature of the book that put me off to the book in general at the time when it had first came out and maybe it was also the fact that I wasn't that used to dystopic literature in general. But whatever the reason I gave up on the book the first time around, I found it to be a book that was quite enjoyable but also a book that could provide English high school classes with plenty of discussion. Highly recommended.

Bottom line:  While this book is geared to grade 5 students, I would probably wait in giving this to grade 5 students, unless they can handle the more adult-like material that is explored in the book and probably would like to see students pick up the book around grade 6 or 7.

Rating: 4.5/5

Pages for 2013: 3315

Friday, March 8, 2013

Book Blogger Hop: March 8th - 14th




The Book Blogger Hop has moved to the Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer.  I hope you are able to join me.

This week, Billy asks:


What is your favourite book set in a different country than the one that you live in?

I have a lot of favourite books that are set in different countries other than the one that I live in, but I would have say that I would have to choose Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte would be my favourite and I love the description of the moor that Jane ends up at after she leaves Thornfield Hall.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

It's Monday! What Are You Reading (Mar. 4)


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a fun weekly meme that is hosted by Shelia at Book Journey, in which we share what we've read and reviewed and what we plan on reading in the coming week.

What I have reviewed this week:
Nothing

What I am reading this week:
• The Giver
• Crime and Punishment
• War and Peace

• Titanic: Voices from the Disaster
• Outlander

What's up next:
Nothing at the moment.

Musing Mondays (Mar. 4)

This week, Miz B at Should Be Reading asks:

Tell us what you are reading right now - what do you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what are you (or, aren't) enjoying it?

One of the books that I am reading right now is Outlander.  I have tried to read this book a number of times and for some reason I just can't get into the book.  There is something that keeps drawing me to the book but for some reason I just can't get into the storyline; I am hoping that I can this coming week, but I really don't know with my bookclub coming up on the weekend, but I will see.  Maybe I need to just go to Starbucks and read for a couple of hours out of it.

Sunday Salon - February review

For such a short month, I was able to get quite a bit accomplished, the least of which was actually having the motivation to read again.  I know for some of you that may seem like such a huge accomplishment, but when you feel blue for about six weeks and there doesn't seem anyway out of it, its huge.

For what seemed such a lousy month, I managed to get 4 books completed and a number of books under way for the two readalongs that they are associated with.  I know that some of you managed to a lot of books completed during this month, but to me 4 seems huge, at least this year.  I think this time last year I got like 6 or 7 books completed.  I realize that this is super short, but I really need to get some reading done.

Reviews:

Nothing this week.
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