Thursday, June 17, 2010

Twilight Saga- The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner: An Eclipse Novella by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To my surprise, I actually liked this book. Maybe it was because I liked Bree and the story is interesting. I have a grudge against Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse so I wasn't expecting anything really great. The best part is that you can read it for free online at until July 5th. I like free things. They make me happy.

The characters and story made me want to keep reading. You find out a little more of what went on in Eclipse. I was surprised about how much Edward really knows in the end.

Because it is a novella she has to keep it short, so that made her cut down on her useless information that she had to include in all of the Twilight Saga. I don't care what Bella had for breakfast or what she made for dinner or that she is driving home in her truck (over and over and over again).

If you've read Eclipse, this is a great companion book.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

The Historian The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Elizabeth Kostova's The Historian is a search for the historic Dracula, based on Bram Stoker's Dracula, involving three generations connected through mysterious events.

Did I make it sound good? Good. Because it is.

The Historian is written in the style of Stoker's Dracula, through journal entries and letters. I think that's what makes it exciting. It lets the reader experience different details you wouldn't know otherwise.

I also recommend the audio book because the character's voices aren't annoying like some audio books I've heard.

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm a Slacker

I'm distracted this week. I have family visiting and internet that sometimes works. I'll be back to business next week. Keep reading!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry and Why Are Books So Offensive?

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by Mildred D. Taylor

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I absolutely loved this book when I read it as a kid and again when I had to read it for an English class. The characters are interesting and I especially loved Cassie. She's a bit naive but I love her spirit. The troubles that the family has is sometimes heart breaking.

Going back to the previous post on the ALA's Top 100 Banned/Challenged Books of 2000-2009, this book was number 66. I really don't understand what makes this book so offensive.

I was wondering recently, what is it about books that make some people so upset? Libraries provide a service by having a variety of books available to the public. They aren't forcing people to read something. It is the reader's option. I was also wondering if movie rental places have people challenge the movies they have for rent? You aren't forced to watch something, it's your choice and you are charged for it.

So what makes a book the "bad guy"? I don't think it can be generalized. My best guess is that certain topics challenge the way people think and they don't like it. I, personally, like to be challenged. I want to be able to experience new things when I read a book, like walking through a doorway into another world. It's the only real magic we have.

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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Most Challenged Books: 1990- 2009

 2010 Banned Books Week
September 25- October 2


Some of these surprised me the most:

3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, by Maya Angelou
5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, by Mark Twain
8. Bridge to Terabithia, by Katherine Paterson

Sex, by Madonna is even lower on the list (18) than these books. According to people that are "offended" by library books, Maya Angelou, Mark Twain, and Katherine Paterson are worse than Madonna. I don't get it. I know people have the right to challenge something, but loosen up!

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was first published in the US in 1885...... really, 1885! And it was still challenged between 1990 and 1999. That's over 100 years and it was STILL on the list.

It's ridiculous. Are any of your favorite books on the 90-99 list?

2000- 2009

13. Captain Underpants (series), by Dav Pilkey
 I can't believe Captain Underpants would be so offensive (insert poo joke).

Can we challenge the challenged books? Classic books are on these lists. Which is why, I suppose, they're classics. Catcher in the Rye, by J.D. Salinger (1951) is on both lists as a many others (To Kill a Mocking Bird; Of Mice and Men) changed they way people think and challenges us all to look inside ourselves.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Witches by Roald Dahl

The Witches The Witches by Roald Dahl

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was one of my favorite books as a kid and later, a favorite movie. It was first published in London in 1983. I read it in the 90's after watching the movie. Parts may have been a bit scary for me at the time (I was about 10) but I still remember how exciting this book was to me. A society of Witches that a kid/mouse sets out to expose? I couldn't have imagined anything better. I won't give away the ending for those who haven't yet read it, but it wasn't the happiest of endings. Still good but not the same as the movie. Overall, as a kid, it was quite magical (no pun intended).

I find it funny now that it is listed in the 1990- 1999 ALA's (American Library Association)Most Frequently Challenged Book list.

I guess it isn't surprising seeing as Harry Potter is on the 2000-2009 list. People must not like witches or wizards. It amazes me what appears on these lists, but I'll talk about that another time. Tomorrow maybe? Maybe.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Echoes by Ashley Vogel

Echoes Echoes by Ashley Vogel

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Echoes, the first young adult novel by Ashley Vogel is entertaining and exciting. What would you do if your mother was getting remarried, you have to move to another town (meaning a new school where you don't know anyone), you have two new step-brothers (one nice, one bratty) and on top of that, you have an aunt (who went missing before you were born) who wanted you and the guy you like to find her body?

Welcome to Alden. Claire has to move to Alden when her mom, Amelia, gets remarried. When Claire and Jerard are assigned by their teacher to do an essay about what happend to Fiona Kelly, Claire discovers that her aunt didn't die as a child like her mother told her.

The only problem I had with this book was the typos... a few, but I noticed. I'm really anal about grammar, so when I saw them I cringed. Other than that I loved it!

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