Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Love Hexagon

I just finished The Love Hexagon. I actually quite enjoyed this book. Once I got into it, it just breezed past. Which, in my opinion, makes for a good book. I liked it better than Sutcliffe's other book, Are you Experienced. I thought the characters were more realistic and funny. (Even if some of them did annoy me a bit… that’s to be expected.) The dialogue was also witty and sharp. All and all, a quick fun read.

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Worst Noel

I finished two more books: The Worst Noel and American Dreams.

The Worst Noel

Honestly this book bored me. I thought this was going to be a funny book that I could read around the holidays. All it turned out to be was annoying. A few of the stories were midly funny, but the rest I just felt like the authors were trying way to hard to make you laugh. I was hoping for something similar to Holidays on Ice, by David Sedairs (which I LOVED), but this was a far cry from that.


American Dreams -- Sappahire

I really liked this book. I reminded me a lot of "A Piece of Cake" (which I think I still like better). I was very raw, emotional, sexually charged, and honest. I realize that many people might be uncomfortable about some of the topics in this book (incest, rape, lesbianism, sexism) but I find the stuff not only fascinating, but real.

Sapphire is truly gifted. She knows how to get deep within the reader and rattle perceptions of African Americans as well as women. This work was a eye-opening glimpse into the lives of people many of us would like sooner to forget or put out of our minds

Monday, December 10, 2007

Polysyllabic Spree and Anthropology

I finished two more books. The Polysyllabic Spree by Nick Hornby and Anthropology by Dan Rhodes.

Honestly, I just couldn't handle this book . I thought Hornsby was cocky and completely obnoxious. He just rambled and rambled about most books I had never heard of. (Now granted, he is British, so a lot of the books he yapped about may have just been published over there.. but still). He acts like he knows everything there is to know about the book word. He named dropped like crazy. I just couldn't deal with this book at all.... sorry.

Anthropology was a mildly entertaining little book. The idea itself was quite amusing -- little tiny stories all 101 words about girlfriends. Some stories I found hilarious (Pumpkin) while others were annoying. But, so it goes. The names of most of the women in the book I thought quite odd, but it really added to the charm of the book. It was a nice little 3 hour read.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Beautiful Things Heaven Bears

I really thought I was going to enjoy this book. I am usually very interested in immigrant experience type stuff and anything to do with Washington, DC.
I made it about 3/4 of the way through the book before I gave up. I got to that point where you are just reading the pages, but not really reading the pages, you know? It started off really well, but got really choppy as things went along. The character development I thought was pretty poor, which is disappointing because the characters had real potential I thought. I got bored. I didn't care about the characters. The main character I thought was a bit of a wimp. His friends had potential, but I felt like they never went anywhere. I thought this book was a bit disappointing. I did however enjoy his depiction of Washington, DC. I thought it was true and accurate for the most part. So it goes.....

Monday, November 26, 2007

Bunny Tales

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I had recently finished Playground by Jennifer Saginor and wasn't very impressed, as it didn't really give me very much info I was seeking. I find the Playboy Mansion and the whole stigma around it fascinating.

I thought this book was well written and very honest. St. James really got to the nitty gritty of things and it was appreciated. I think she touched on almost every subject someone who was interested in this lifestyle and the Playboy Mansion could have wanted to know about. The sex (real details), the cat fights, the celebrities, the money, the plastic surgery and a great insight into Hugh Hefner himself.

At times I thought St. James was a little contradictory, but for the most part I really enjoyed her tell all. I think many people may be surprised about what life really is like as on of the "Girlfriends" vs. what it appears to be on TV. St. James herself is very well educated and I thought I had good view of the world, and for her to write this book I thought it very bold. Good for her for telling it how it was, even if it put a negative light on Hefner and the whole facade. I somehow doubt that someone a less cultured would have the guts or the interest to write something similar.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Books in Bulk?

I was reading in the New Yorker last night about how Strand's Bookstore offers Books-by-the-Foot service, which provides ready-made libraries for private homes, stores and movie sets.

Apparently you can choose from three different options; "Bargain Books," a random selection of hardbacks, which is the cheapest at ten dollars per foot of shelf space. For thirty dollars, you can customize the color. For seventy-five dollars, you can get a "leather-looking" library, which is "often mistaken for leather."

They apparently get most of their business from movie sets and the like, but recently they have been getting lots of inquires from celebrity types. These people come in and say they want so many books this color or this size for their shelves.

ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?! These people can't even pick out their own fucking books? I can't believe it. How lazy can someone be! One of my favorite things to do when I visit someone's home for the first time is to check out their bookshelves. I think it says a lot about someone. This whole "book-by-the-foot" thing is so bogus. It totally blows this out of the water. So basically when you go into these people's houses you aren't getting a good idea of that specific person's tastes and interests, but that of someone who works at the Strand's bookstore who picked them out. Urgh. I find it disgusting. (And you can also guarantee that these people haven't read one single book on these shelves.) I think the whole point of having a library or even a bookshelf in your house is NOT to show off how intelligent you want people to think you are. But to display your tastes and interests. That's what makes it interesting.

I am proud to say that I own 1630 books currently (according to my Librarything Catalog and I picked every last one of the books out myself!

On a side note, this article did have a few interesting tidbits. It talks about with all the technology that is out there, they pick out books for movie sets, that have to be very careful. In the article is says, "Although prop books are meant to be seen and not read, they have to evoke a mise en scene, inside and out. For Indiana Jones, the filmmakers specified that the books cover such topics and paleontology, marine biology, and pre-Columbian society. They have to be in muted colors and predate 1957. With high-def, people can just freeze the film and say 'Oh, that's so inappropriate.'"

Instead of wasting time freezing movies and looking at the bookshelves, people should actually READ.

Okay end of rant for the day.

Playground by Jennifer Saginor

This book was mildly entertaining. The story was interesting enough, but in the end, I was pretty annoyed.

The constant name dropping and referring to of everything 80's got really old. It seemed that in very paragraph it was stated what 80's song was playing in the background or what 80's style of dress she was wearing. I got the point after the first 30 pages... but it just kept going. Like the reader was going to forget that this took place in the 80's. The name dropping of the countless celebrities also got old. We got it, thanks.

It was interesting however, that she ended up a bisexual. This made me wonder if this was more do to circumstance than anything else. After spending so much of you life around beautiful, naked women all the time, was that really a surprise? It was sad to read about how messed up her family, mainly her father, was. It made me a bit depressed.

Next up: Bunny Tales

I also would have liked to hear more about her life after starting college. She breezed through that in like 15 pages. I think more could have been done with this part of her life.

Anyhow, again, mildly entertaining, but nothing more.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

A Thousand Splendid Suns

I had very high hopes for this book. And for the most part they were met. (I still think I liked the Kite Runner more.)

That being said, this was a fantastic read. Hosseini is a very, very gifted storyteller. The plot was unbreakable. The character development was flawless. I really admire an author who can make a reader feel so much for their characters.

I also found it fascinating to learn about the Taliban from an insider's point of view; from the view of an Afghani. How at first they were very excited for the Taliban to come and how it really turned out. I didn't know much about Afghanistan and it's war history, so this book was an eye opening experience. It goes to show that the view point of most of the western word that all people from Afghanistan are evil horrible people is just not true.

As a change of pace, I liked that this story was told in the view point of women, whereas the Kite Runner was told from a man's. I thought that was a great choice. Being a woman, after reading the book, really made me reflect on my life and how lucky I am to have the freedom and choice that I do.

The one part I struggled with, was that at times when I wasn't paying close enough attention while reading, I tended to get confused between Laila and Miriam, especially when they referred to their past. But after a quick second I was able to think back and figure it out -- but it didn't always come naturally.

All in all -- a highly recommended book.

Up next: I am not sure.. I have to go home and look at the shelf.....

Monday, November 5, 2007


I just found out about this great website/organzation called EcoLibris. They will plant trees for every book you read. It's really interesting.


I found out about it after I mooched a book from one of the co-founders and she sent me an e-mail:

"Eco-Libris, a new green biz that I co-founded that lets book readers balance out the paper used for the books they read by planting trees. Our customers also receive a sticker made of recycled paper for every book they balance out saying "One Tree Planted for this Book" and can later display these stickers on their books' sleeves.

About 20 Million trees are cut down annually for virgin paper used for the production of books sold in the U.S. alone. What we want to do is to raise awareness to the destructive environmental impacts of using paper for the production of books and provide people with an affordable and easy way to do something about it.

We have partnered with three highly respected US and UK registered non-profit organizations that work in collaboration with local communities in developing countries to plant the trees. These trees are planted in high ecological and sustainable standards in Latin America and Africa, where de forestation is a crucial problem, and planting trees not only helps to fight climate change and conserve soil and water, but also benefits many local people, for whom these trees offer many benefits and an opportunity for a better future."

It sounds like a really great project! Check it out!

Monday, October 22, 2007


Since I left A Thousand Splendid Suns at my boyfriends house and I didn't feel like going to get it, I had to read something else this weekend

I just finished Grayson by Lynne Cox. This was a super quick read. Though, I am unsure how I feel about this book. The story was very interesting, though I felt like it may have been a bit exaggerated. It's hard to say. Cox wrote this book many years after the actual event happened. Because of this, I feel it may have been overly done in story form. And that being said, how could she possibly be remember so much about what happened in just a short three hours?

No matter, the story itself is incredible. Cox has a way with words that really make you feel like you a right there in the water, with her and the whale. What an experience it must have been. I have never been a swimmer, so I really have no clue how she was able to stay in the water and swim that long with the whale. I can't even imagine. But I guess that is what she was training to do....

Despite a tad of arrogance, the book was a very touching portrait of man and how it can interact with wild animals

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Falling Man

I tried with this book. I really did. I couldn't finish. I just didn't care anymore. For one, the use of pronouns in this book drove me crazy! Half the time I just spent trying to figure out which He or She DeLillo was referring to. The basic story line was okay. A family intertwined after the events of 9/11. The story line was a bit hard to follow at times. A couple brought back together, a couple torn apart. A child scared and making up ideas of what actually happened, or not believing what actually happened. In the end, I just gave up. I didn't care about the characters anymore. I liked Windows on the World or Extremely Loud and Incredibly close much more.

Next up:

A Thousand Splendid Suns

Monday, October 8, 2007

Desert Dawn

I just finished Desert Dawn by Waris Dirie

What a beautiful, touching story. I work with Somali refugees on a daily basis, so I found this story particularly interesting. I was able to connect with a lot of the traditions and ways of thinking in this book after working with my students. I was able to pick out some of the Somali words in the story and apply it back to my work. Some of the words I even recognized.

Living in an area with a high population of African immigrants, the information about the drug Khat was useful, because I learned not only is an issue in Somalia, but it is becoming an issue here in our city with all of the refugees.

This book was very powerful. Her traveling experiences were incredible. I can't imagine trying to get half way across the world to try and find my mother and family in such a war-torn country and not even knowing if I would be allowed to enter the country, yet safely. I am looking forward to reading Dirie's previous book about how she was able to escape Somalia and become a U.N. Ambassador as well as a super model. It sounds fascinating. Her work against Female Genital Mutilation is also to be commended, though I wish there would have been more about this in the story.

The writing in this book was decent, but not perfect. It was obvious that Dirie is not a native English speaker, but that was part of the charm of the book for me.

For those of you wondering, I tried to finish Rumspringa -- but got bored. It was just so repititve. I also started House of Leaves -- but got totally lost about 70 pages into. I tried to follow what was happening... but no luck. Maybe I will try again later.

Next up: Falling Man by Don DeLillo.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

I finished Snow Flower and the Secret Fan over the weekend. This book was thoroughly absorbing. I have always been interested in Chinese literature, especially footbinding. I do however consider this a "girly" book. The theme of the book wraps around two women and their inner worlds. I, being a woman, found it fascinating. Though, I found it strange that the husbands’ names were never mentioned (except once Lily calls her husband by his name) and we never find out the names of Lily or Snow Flower's sons. It goes to show how women were valued in that time and in that society.

The writing was very crisp and clear. It was easy and absorbing to read. I didn't want to put it down, as I always wanted to know what was going to happen. The emotion in the writing was beautiful. It tore at the heartstrings and was actually quite sad in the end.

Beautiful, beautiful book.

Next up:


Monday, September 10, 2007

Dogs Who Found Me

I just finished Dogs Who Found Me by Ken Foster. This was a quick read. If you love dogs, you will enjoy this book. You really understand how the author feels about his dogs and the dogs he just seems to randomly find. Foster is very honesty and realistic about his and other people's relationships with dogs. The stories were sweet and touching. It makes me angry to read about all these people who are able to just abandon dogs. It also made me wonder now if I starting paying more attention I might see more lost dogs. People can be so selfish sometimes. It wasn't the most exciting thing I have read lately, but I enjoyed it.

I did start The Known World, but after 30 pages, I had absolutely NO IDEA what was happening. I couldn't keep the family trees and bloodlines straight. It was definitely one of those books you really really have to pay attention to while you are reading. I couldn't do it. Maybe I will pick it up again some other time.

Next Up:

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See. (I am already LOVING this book!)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Julie and Julia

I finished Julie and Julia. (#9)I found this book quite annoying to be honest. I found the writing style overly wordy and hard to get through. I found the author to be pretentious and a little snobby. How on earth did she have enough money to buy all of these crazy ingredients all the time, even though she was a temp? (Which was made quite clear through out the book). I also thought she assumed a lot. There seem to be a lot of skills necessary to complete such a project and somehow magically Julie knew all of them. Now, I am a cooking novice here and I just didn't quite understand all the techniques she was talking about half the time. I didn't realize it was a requirement.

Her endless ranting about her friends and "bleaders" was just plain obnoxious. Who cares about your friend Isabel or Sally or whats-her-name. Sometimes I found this book more to be about her weirdo friends than cooking. And then all of a sudden national newspapers and TV shows start calling? All because of this cooking blog? Hummm.. not sure I buy it. To me it just seemed she was bragging about it and made me dislike her even more.

But kudos to her for completing her goal. I always like to see and hear about people who follow through on things.


I also finished a Breath of Fresh Air. (#41) This book wasn't quite what I was expecting. It was mostly an Indian love story. But that doesn't mean I am discounting it. It was beautifully written and laid out. I liked how there was a bit of mystery to it. I loved how real the characters were. They were all very human. The author did a fantastic job of building the novella up.

I enjoyed very much the switching points of view so the reader was able to get a clear concise picture of what was happening, and not just who was initially perceived to be the main character, Anjali.

I also appreciated all of the Indian history that was thrown into the mix; The Bhopal Gas tragedy (which I honestly knew nothing about, but now thankfully I am reading up on) as well as Indira Ghandi's murder.

At first I thought I was going to be disappointed, but in the end I was not at all. Though I thought the ending was a bit lackluster.


Next up: The Known World

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A Piece of Cake

I finished A Piece of Cake last night.

This was an extremely compelling look in to the life of a woman who as see and done it all.

Want to know how to obtain and smoke crack? Read this book

Want to know how to join a gang in the drop of a hat? Read this book

Want to learn about every kind of illegal drug there is out there? Read this book

What to learn how to rip of furniture rental stores? Read this book

What to learn how easy it is for an 11 year old to become a prostitute? Read this book

Want to learn about how easy it is for an 11 year old orphan to fall through the cracks in the system? Read this book?

Want to learn how fake a resume and how NOT to keep a job? Read this book.

There were a few things I grappled with in this book. The biggest; if in fact "Cup", (as she is affectionately called through out the book) was in fact drunk, high and stoned for all most 15 years straight how on earth was she able to remember her life events so vividly? Enough so, to write over 300 pages about this time period in her life remembering names of people, places, streets, drugs with such detail that it seemed to be happening now? It was really quite odd. I would assume that anyone who spent that much time in another world or blacked out wouldn't remember anything. Although, there is rarely a mention of any actual dates in the book.

I found this book on one note completely and utterly disturbing. A portrait of how such a young girl struck by tragedy could feel through the cracks in a system that is supposedly there to help children and so quickly at that. How is it possible that this happened? How could no one believe the abuse? Is this system we have in place really that horrible?

I also found this book very hopeful. If one person really wants to take charge of their life and stays determined they can change their life around. I found my self cheering for Cup in the end. It left me with a warm feeling inside. After everything she had been through, she was able to pull herself out of it and live a productive life. There are so many people in the world who either choose a way in life Cup didn't or, who are unable to get out. This book shows it doesn't have to be that way.

Next up: Julie and Julia -- Julie Powell

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Noodle Maker

Finished The Noodle Maker over the weekend. It was just okay for me. I have been wanting to learn more about the cultural revolution in China and Asian Literature interests me. I think that my lack of knowledge on the subject hurt me when reading this book. I feel like there was a lot that went over my head. I didn't know what the "Open Door Policy" was while reading it. I could take a guess I suppose, but once I looked it up things make a bit more sense.

The stories were interesting enough, if not strange. I loved the Old Writer and the Blood Donor. I thought they were great characters. I also like how all the stories were tied together slightly by the mentioning of previous characters in the book.

All in all, it was just okay for me.

Next Up:

A Piece of Cake by Cupcake Brown.

Monday, July 30, 2007


I finished The First Verse (sort of) on Thursday.

I was really hoping that this book would be me all excited like the Secret History did. I was sadly disappointed. The characters were a bit lack-luster for me and I really started to just not care about them. I got bored. I also didn't find it very realistic. At first the basic idea is intriguing -- using random excerpts from books to answer questions, but then it just all fell apart for me. The author could have totally made it extraordinary, but it just imploded on itself. The book just dragged on and I kept saying to myself just hurry up already! Sadly I gave up around page 200. I don't even care what happened next...


Then however I picked up Sickened by Julie Gregory.

I finished this book in a day and half. It was fascinating. Granted the writing style was pretty simple but also eloquent. I was amazed by the story. I love memoirs and this was no different. I just grimaced when Julie described some of the procedures she had to go through. I find it hard to believe that someone could do these things to their child. I wanted to cry when Julie went back after recovering only to find out her mom was doing it again to new children. I recently logged on to Julie Gregory's website searching for an update on the case against her mother, but was disappointed when there was nothing there. But in the end I found the book a very satisfying read.

Next Up: The Noodle Maker

Thursday, July 26, 2007

One Year

On August 8th it will be one year since I started my goal. Accordingly, I should have read 36.5 books by then. I am currently finishing book 34. Not have half bad. If wouldn't have picked a couple of pretty long books I might have been exactly on target. I am okay with where I am at. If I keep it up, I will finish right on time.

I am about 100 pages from finishing The First Verse. It's okay. Nothing to get too excited about. I was hoping it would be more similar to The Secret History. I mean it is actually pretty similar, but it isn't getting me as excited. I should be finished shortly.

In other news, because I like projects and organizing so much, (yes, I know I am obsessive) I have decided to categorize all of my books into 25 categories. (On librarything I have more tags than that). I am going to go through ALL of my books and mark them accordingly. (Partly because my landlord is making our building clean out the basement and label all of our stuff or she will throw it out. So this gives me a chance to go through all my boxes of books down there). I might have trouble putting all the books into these categories, but I am going to try. Each book is going to be allowed up to two categories. They are as follows:

1. Memoirs
2. Classics
3. Middle Eastern Lit
4. Asian Lit
5. Latino Lit
6. Travel
7. Current Fiction/21st Century Lit
8. Beatles
9. Southwestern Lit
10. Outdoor/Nature
11. Poetry/Drama
12. African American Lit
13. Chick Lit
14. Holocaust
15. Animals/Pets
16. Misc. Non-Fiction
17. Teen/Children
18. Humor
19. Teaching/Education
20. Books/Reading
21. African Lit
22. Reference
23. 9/11 and Katrina (I know, strange grouping them together, but it was all I could think of)
24. History
25. 20th Century Lit (I know this will probably over-lap with #7 a bit)

We will see how it goes....

Monday, July 16, 2007

Burned Alive

I found the prose very simple (no surprise since the author herself was illiterate until she was able to move to Europe and that it was translated, I am guessing from French). With that said, it didn't detract from the horrific, yet moving story.

I found Souad probably one of the most courageous women I have ever encountered. I know personally that I probably wouldn't have been able to survive what she went though, especially at such a young age. Hats of to Jaquline who was also very courageous and brave in dealing with this situation. It's people like her who are the true heroes in this world.

I still find it hard to grasp that these terrible, awful things are happening in this world that we live in. That crimes like these are still acceptable. How is this possible? There are so many people in the world who are oblivious to the fact that these things are still happening. It makes me very sad.

Next up: The First Verse -- Berry McCrea

Thursday, July 12, 2007


I thought I was very much going to enjoy this book. I loved the whole first section on Lincoln. There were so many great facts and tidbits that I just had to underline. Then once I hit the whole Garfield section I just got so bored. Maybe because I couldn't care less about Garfield (sorry) or maybe I was just burnt out on Vowell's writing style. Sometimes I found it very pompus. Other times quite funny. I was annoyed how she spoke of her "phobias" so often...isn't that a bit more information than we all wanted to know? Maybe some day I will pick it up again.

Next up:

Burned Alive -- Souad

Sunday, July 8, 2007

What is the What

Okay-- Dave Eggers always seems to impress me. What is the What was fantastic! I loved it. I really plan on doing some research on Valentino after I figured out that yes, he is a really person. I wonder how he feels about the final version of the book. I know he states in the introduction that yes, it's a fictional work it is based on his life. I am just a curious person. I wonder how many of the events in the book really took place and how many were made up by Eggers for the story. (even though I am sure things very similar happened.) Because I personally work with refugees on a daily basis I found this book even more fascinating. It makes me wonder more about some of the things my students have been through. I also wonder how Eggers met Valentino in the first place and how it came about that he would be the once to write this story. Anyhow, I loved the story, I loved the writing style and how it was laid it. Fantastic all around.

Next up:

Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Still Alive

No, I am not dead. What is the What is just taking me a little while. (I mean it is just short of 500 pages, what did you expect?)

This book is quite interesting. Thought I was disappointed when I was on's website and they had an article about "What is Angelina Jolie reading?" and I clicked on it and it was What is the What. Figures!!

Anyhow, back to the book. I wonder how Dave Eggers was able to get all this information. It is actually a fiction account, but does Valentino actually really exisit out there under some other name? And if so, how close is this to the actual truth? I realize that is not the point, but I am curious. So many of the "Lost Boys" stories must be so similar that I wonder if this is just a general account of many stories Eggers had heard about or on particular story.

Anyhow I am throughly enjoying this book. I am about 300 pages in. I hope to finish it over the next two weeks.

Monday, June 4, 2007

On a roll..

The Bookseller of Kabul was an excellent, excellent read! I loved it. The writing style was suprub and I loved the story line. It was great getting a different view point from different memebers of the family each chapter. It ceses to amaze me how people of different parts of the world live in such different ways and believe such different things.

Anyhow.. this book comes highly recommended!

Next up:

What is the What -- Dave Eggers

Monday, May 21, 2007

On a winning streak...

Finished The Reader over the weekend. I was actually impressed. It had many of the themes I like in books; books, reading, the holocaust, a good plot. It had some nice twists and turns. At times I wished the pace was a little faster. But in the end, I was satified.

Next up:

The Bookseller of Kabul.

I actually picked the book because I thought it might take me a while to get through. I am leaving for a trip in 2 days and I was looking for something that would tide me over until I got back. To my surprise, I might actually finish it before we leave. (Not that that is a bad thing!) But I am totally loving this book. More on it later....

Monday, May 14, 2007


Finished The Keeper of the Lime Rock. Honestly, it bored me. I mean, yea it's cool a woman ran this lighthouse and rescued all these people. I just didn't think it was such a big deal. I do understand that back in that time period it was a big deal, but not now. I guess I should try and see the historical value of it. But the book was pretty dry. Eh.. so it goes...

Next up: The Reader by Bernhard Schlink. I am a taken off by the fact it was an Oprah book.. but I will live. (After all, she did pick my favorite book of all time as one of her books.. so not all her choices can be THAT bad, right?)

Monday, May 7, 2007


Finished over the weekend Windows on the World. This book is giving me nightmares. It a fictional story about what happened during the 102 minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center in the restaurant called Windows on the World on the 107th floor. I am a bit fascinated by 9/11 so that is what triggered me to read this book. I never really thought about some of the events in such depth before. It's really a bit heart wrenching to think about all these people who were in the restaurant and literally trapped until either they burned to death, suffocated or the tower feel. They were up there for over an hour and half. Yes, I realize it's fiction, but I bet the story is actually quite real. (Though of course we would never know, as no one in the restaurant survived.)


Currently reading:

Keeper of the Lime Rock by Lenore Skomal. It's about Ida Lewis, who was the first woman to be awarded the American Cross of Honor for her heroic effort in saving lives. I am about 60 pages in.. it's interesting. I said I was going to read more non-fiction so here we go. It's a short little book and I should be finished in a day or two.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007


Just finished Why New Orleans Matters. At first, I didn't think I was going to like this book. I thought the author was pretty arrogant and annoying. But then the book grew on me and I really started to get the feel for the New Orleans that he felt. It must be a great joy to love a city so much. In the end, I thought it was a very well written love story.
I thought the book would focus more on Katrina, but it didn't really unil the last 60 pages or so. I thought I would be disappointed by this, but I wasn't. I thought, in the end, the book was laid out beautifully.

Apparently I am in a disaster book book phase:

Next up (or should say already reading)

Windows on the World by Frederic Beigbeder

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Still Alive

No, I am not dead! It seems there has been a bit of a stall in my reading. I started reading The Screwtape Letters and I knew about 10 pages into it that it wasn't for me. I couldn't take it. (Usually I try as hard as I can to finish a book.. but this one wasn't happening). Then I picked up Alentejo Blue by Monica Ali. What a strange book. The first two chapters were really confusing and then the third chapter I liked, but then the next it was different characters and things were boring again. I put it down. I was getting no where. I might pick it up again, but doubtful. (I then totalled my car so I had to put reading on hold for a little bit.)

At this point in my life, why waste time reading books that I just don't like? I got so many freaking books on my selves that it's not worth it to me...

So I have now moved on to Why New Orleans Matters by Tom Piazza. It's interesting. Hurricane Katrina fascinates me. I have never been to New Orleans and I wish I had been before. But this book wants to make me visit, even now, badly. Should be finished shortly.

Also the find of the day! I got a brand new (hardcover) copy of The Emperor's Children by Clarie Messud at the thrift store for 99 cents! (I have wanted this book for a while and there are like 75 people who have it on their wish list on bookswapping...) Yay!

Sunday, April 8, 2007


Finished dark by Kenji Jasper. It took me longer than expected. I think this was due to the fact that the climax book(for me) took place 20 pages into the book. After that it was just follow up. The premise was good, and the characters was alright. I think some of the language was outdated. (This book was written in 1997, 10 years ago. The author tried to write in a more slang tone.). One thing I thought was that of course when the narrator was chatting with his friends he has that "slang" type tone, but of course when he was just narrating, all the slang disappeared. I haven't had quite enough time to analize what, if anything, this means, but I found it interesting. Plus, at the end of the story, we don't know what Thai is going to do. Ho-hum I guess....

Next Up:

The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Crooks I tell you!

As many of you know, I am into bookswapping online. This means that I list books that I don't want for people to "mooch" from me. I send the books and then I get points to pick books that I do want off the site. It's really awesome, actually.

So currently, to send a paperback book in the US it's costs $1.59. Not bad considering. It costs $2.07 to send a hardcover book.

I was just doing some investigation on this new price increase that the post office is starting on May 14.

What a bunch of crooks!!

As of May 14, it will cost me $2.13 to mail a paperback book. That's an increase of 54 cents! I can't believe it. For people like me who mail 25 books at a time that's something like $13 more dollars than I am paying now! (So lets just say I mailed 25 paperback books. It now costs me $39.75. On May 14, it will cost me $53.25!) I think that's unacceptable.

Urrgh.. now I am pissed off....

Come May, it might be time for me to stop swapping for a while, or at least down-size my inventory. It's not like I don't have enough books to read.. but still!

On another note, I was recently given a hard time about the amount of fiction books I read. I admit, it tends to be most of what I read. Looking at my trends, I decided that I would try to read a non-fiction book every third book. So two fiction, one non-fiction. This means I have to re-adjust my 101 books. I will update that soon. (Memoirs will also count as non-fiction)

Also, Dark is going well. Not totally what I expected, but good. Should be finished soon.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Change of opinion?

I finished John yesterday. It must say, it wasn't quite what I expected. I admire Cynthia for writing this book. I don't think there are many people in the world that would have the courage to say bad things about John Lennon. Granted, I don't think the book was written to bring him or his legacy down. She had every right to write and say the things she did. I do believe she is often a forgotten member of the Beatles making, especially in the early days. At times I felt sad for her. The things she had to put up with being the wife of such a famous man. It didn't really change my perception of John, but there were things that I found that were just cruel on his part. Maybe it's part of the fame, I don't know. She lead a very interesting life. I found it unsettling though, the last line in book was something to the effect that if she would have known what as teenager, falling for John Lennon would entail, she would have turned and run the other way. It just seems like she really regrets what has happened in her life. That made me sad.

One person of who my perception changed was Yoko. I had no idea that she perused him as much as she did. She was an evil woman in my opinion. To Cynthia and especially to Julian. Even to this day. I realize that this book was written from the perspective of a scorned ex-wife, but still I tend to believe most of what is said. I am not sure how Yoko can justify the way she treated (or even treats) John's first son. It's horrible. Anyhow, this book was good. It was a great change of pace and I enjoyed a new perspective on the Beatles history which has always fascinated me.

Next up:

Dark by Kenji Jasper

Thursday, March 22, 2007

More British Slang for Me!

Done with A Spot of Bother. It was enjoyable, but not terribly exciting. It wasn't a great follow-up after The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time which I loved so much. The character development was pretty great at least. I really liked how each little "sub-chapter" was told by a different family member. The book was a long, so the way it was broken up was nice for me. All in all, I would give it 6 and half stars. All the British sland and termonolgy was quite fun, though.

Next up:

John by Cynthia Lennon. I figure it was time for a little non-fiction. And in case anyone didn't know already, I am a bit of a Beatles freak. I am looking forward to this read.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

More things found in books....

Today someone from bookmooch requested my copy of Beloved by Toni Morrison. I am not even sure where I got this book, I think from a box of random books at a garage sale I bought.

Anyhow, as I was getting it ready to go I found two copies of this picture inside the book:

Aren't they cute!? There is a date stamp on the back from 11/16/2004. I wonder what their names are...

I think I might seriously start a blog just for things I find in books!

On another note, A Spot of Bother is quite interesting. It wasn't what I thought it would be, but interesting. I am having a good time learning all the British slang that I don't hear often around here. The story line is good, the character development is good. It flows. I like the lay out, as it's divided up into nice little sections. Makes for smooth reading..... I have to admit, I am not enjoying it as much as The Curious Dog, but it's alright. Should be finished shortly.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Mildly Entertaining...

Just finished Are You Experienced? It was mildly entertaining. It kept my interest and was a fast read. I just kept wishing that Dave would just kick the crap out of Liz. He didn't have enough guts for me. He was a bit of a whiner. And I really hated the character of Liz. I just kept waiting for him to just let her have it, but he never did.

The other characters we met along the way were much more believable. And even more funny. I had a tough time (me being American and all) figuring out the currency denominations. I don't have any clue how much a rupee is in American dollars, but I got the jest.

There was far too much whining happening the whole entire story, which at times just made me roll my eyes. I mean, honestly, just leave the damn place if you are having just a horrible time, you know? *sigh* But this book does have me wanting to use British words like "Bullocks" in every day speech just for the heck of it...

Next up:

A Spot of Bother by Mark Haddon. I LOVED The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.. so I thought I would give this a try!

Monday, February 26, 2007

More Dave Eggers

I just love Dave Eggers. He is easily become one of my top favorite authors. I just finished How Are We Hungry. I admit, many of the stories were a bit strage... (per usual for Eggers). His stories often times don't stay with you, but the characters do. By far, my favorite story in this collection was "Up the Mountain Coming Down Slowly" (also the longest story in the collection). Maybe it's because I am an outdoor girl at heart and I love mountain climbing stuff, but this was just an incredable story! Now I can't wait to read What is the What (coming soon from bookswapping...)

Up next:

Are You Experienced by William Sutcliffe.

This book will go by fast, I can already tell!

Monday, February 19, 2007

Umm.. Yea...

So I had to put down The Thin Place. I just wasn't getting it. The first 3 pages were good and then all of a sudden it was taken dramatically off course and 40 pages later, still hadn't come back. I don't get it. Where is this story going? It was all quite random.. and I got bored.... maybe another time..

So now I am into How Are We Hungry bu Dave Eggers. Much better. I think Eggers has offically jolted himself into my top 6 authors....

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Things Found In Books.....

This morning, I found two bording passes from Minneapolis to Paris in a book. The date was September 23. It didn't state the year, though they look to be at least 8 years old possibly.

I am thinking to starting a new blog, to be titled, "Things Found in Books" or something similar. I always seem to find all kinds of things in the books I pick up. (including $25! see my last post!)

Seeing those bording passes made me wonder about where this book had been, who went on this trip to Paris, why they were going.... it's fun to think about....
Finshed My Moral Enemy. I just love Willa Cather. She has a very simplistic writing style, but always manages to give her characters so much depth. It's wonderful....

New Goal: Read all of Cather's books that I haven't yet...

Currently Reading:

The Thin Place

Monday, February 12, 2007

Currently Reading....

So now that I got that horrible book away from me, I am currently read:

My Moral Enemy -- Willa Cather


A Thousand-Mile Walk to the Gulf -- John Muir

So far both are mildly entertaining and I will be finished shortly....

Saturday, February 10, 2007

My lucky day!

Finished Hotel of the Saints. It was painful. I didn't like it. The stories were just pointless and had no structure or solid foundation. Urgh...

Here is my story for the day:

I received this book from bookmooch last week. When I got it I was pretty disappointed because it was not the book I wanted. It was a really old copy of the book that I had wanted. So I threw it in my swapping pile and thought maybe I would swap it back out.

Well today I was organizing my swapping pile and I picked up the book and thought that maybe I would keep it, because I didn't actually have a copy of this book in my library. I started half-heartedly reading it and flipping through it and then $25 dollars fell out of the book!! I couldn't believe it! $25 dollars is a lot of money to a poor person. It made up for it not being the right copy of the book!


Monday, February 5, 2007

Next up.......

So I have started reading Hotel of the Saints by Ursula Hegi

So far, I am not too impressed. The stories are a little strange. I am only about 5 stories, but they are just wierd to me. (Usually I like wierd, trust me). The one stories, "A perfumed woman" (I think), I had high hopes for, but the ending was so boring and didn't tie anything up. I almost wanted to stop reading right then, but I continued my way along, hoping it would get better. We will see how this ends up.....

Saturday, February 3, 2007


Finished Lucky tonight. I am glad I picked it back up. I really got back into the story line once I started reading again. What I can't believe is that it is all true! I was amazed. It's quite the story. At times it was a little wordy and there was too much explanation of certain things, but once I got past that and used to the style, it went pretty smoothly. Good read.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Library Thing (new obession)

According to Library Thing I own 1063 books. (Give or take, I don't think I have entered them all just quite yet.. I suppose it will be somewhere around 1100 when I am finished!)

Check out My Library .

If you ever wanna borrow a book just let me know.. or if you have recommendations!

Yay for books! I think my apartment is going to cave in on me soon.......

What a strange little book....

Finished Mr. Muo's Traveling Couch over the weekend. What a strange little book! I felt like I was struggling my way through it at times, only to look up and notice that 30 pages had passed by. It was wordy at times, but it was okay. I truely was interested in it because I LOVED Balzac and the Chinese Seamstress. This book didn't measure up for me, but it was alright. It was a strange little book for me. That's about all I have to say about it.....

Next up:

Lucky. (I am already 85 pages in. At some point I put it down, but after some great words from a friend on livejournal, I thought I would give it another try).

I am also working my way through Black Wings, Blind Angels by Sapphaire. It's a book of poetry, which for me is unusual for me, but I love Sapphaire so I thought I would give it a try.

Saturday, January 20, 2007


A current look at my nightstand:

This makes me happy!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Not so great...

Well I took both books on vacation and pretty much got no where. I discovered on the plane there that I somehow have already read Buying a Fishing Rod for my Grandfather. So then I started Educationg Esme, and well, it sucks. I couldn't handle it. I thought since I had really enjoyed Freedom Writers, this might be similar. Not really. I couldn't stand the writing style... so it goes.

So in San Diego I bought (yes, I actually paid full price for) Mr. Muo's Travelling Couch. So far so good....

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

2007 begins with a bang!

What a great start to 2007. The Kite Runner was a wonderfully satifying read. Loved it.

I also finished today Peel My Love Like an Onion, by Ana Castillo. I had started it previously and put it down. I painfully finished it today. Urgh. It just wasn't great. I got bored, even though I was able to follow the story. This was my first attempt by Castillo and now I am afraid to try anything else...

I am leaving for vacation today and am bringing the following two books. I should hopefully finish both easily on the plane ride.

Monday, January 8, 2007

Kite Runner

Wow. This book is amazing! Who knew? I admit, I had gotten to the point where I was hoping the story was actually going somewhere. I was thinking, this isn't it, is it? But of course it wasn't. It was like the book knew I was at the point, because all of a sudden it blew up again and I couldn't put it down. The character development is phenomenal. The story line has great depth and twists that pull me in.

I also admit I knew very little about Afghanistan and it's history. This book presents it's modern history quite brilliantly I think. It puts into perspective a lot of things that maybe people in this country didn't know about the Taliban. Very, very interesting.

I should be finished soon.