Monthly Archives: May 2013
So, nonfiction and I aren’t best friends. Sadly there isn’t even a section for it on my blog because it’s only once every few years I find one that I actually want/force myself to read. For me reading is an escape, so when I go to pick out a book to read I almost always pick up the nonfiction book…look at it…think “I should really read this,” then put it back down and grab something about dragons.
There have been a few nonfiction books I’ve really enjoyed, which does give me hope for others. (Two of them I read thinking there were fiction, so I was baffled when I realized they were nonfiction and I actually liked them.)
The first nonfiction book I remember reading and then re-reading multiple times as a kid was So Far From the Bamboo Grove by Yoko Kawashima Watkins. (This was a story I didn’t realize was nonfiction until this past year when I was shelving it at my library!) I still remember parts of the story and am trying to get my younger sister to read (no such luck) but I did recently purchase a used copy so I will be giving it a re-read in the future. It is a powerful story about Korean’s and Japanese after WWII ends. I remember being shocked and impressed with the female characters in the story for everything they had to survive through.
Another nonfiction I enjoyed (but didn’t realize was nonfiction until after I finished) was Marley and Me by John Grogan. This one actually brought me back into reading my freshmen year of college. It was one of those books I was excited to come home to and read at night. (And yes, the book is better.)
The most recent nonfiction book I’ve read was Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Familiy by Miep Gies and Alison Leslie Gold. I guess I also adore The Diary of Anne Frank, which is one read by most, but this story was so intriguing because it was told by Miep! The lady who helped hide the Franks. I listened to this book on audio and will probably give it another listen someday, because it was amazing (I am fascinated by how people lived during WWII).
I did also try listening to the Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks and it bored me to tears. I was really excited about it, but just couldn’t stick it out.
So do you have any nonfiction-that-read-like-fiction recommendations for me? I’d love to expand my horizons!
So it’s giveaway day on Armchair BEA…yay!!! And if you’ve been on my blog before you probably know that I think Lauren Willig is amazing. Soo, I’m going to be giving away a copy of her latest standalone book, The Ashford Affair. (Check out my review here.) Willig is a super awesome author. She’s great to her readers (she sent me a Christmas card with a book plate a few years ago when I e-mailed her about not being able to make it to any of her book signings because I live in the middle of nowhere!)and she writes amazing books : ) Plus I was so excited about this book coming out I accidentally bought 3 copies without realizing it, but now one of you will be lucky enough to win one!
- Must be over 16 years old.
- Must live in the US or Canada.
- A winner will be chosen at random on June 3rd and I will notify the winner by e-mail. Please respond to the e-mail within 48 hours so I don’t have to choose another winner 🙂
Despite the fact Rafflecopter doesn’t easily work with WordPress blogs…I’m using it anyways because I like it. So if you click on the link below where it says “Enter Here” a new page will just open with a Rafflecopter entry form to fill out. Good Luck!
Congratulations to the BookAttict on snagging The Ashford Affair! Thank you to all who participated !!
So, I’m relatively new to the whole blogging show, but so far (I think anywho) it’s been going great! At least it’s a TON of fun which I think is what matters the most. If you’re not having fun while you’re blogging, your blog will suffer. I love coming home and getting to write about books (after a day at work filled with only getting to look at them and sometimes, when I’m lucky, recommend them!). It’s also so cool when people and publishers contact you to help promote something of theirs or want you to review one of their books…and others respond to it after it’s posted! (It makes me feel special and happy…I’m easily amused : )
I guess to try and develop my blog my first step was to (of course since I’m a librarian) check out as many books as I could find on blogging and go from there. But after that I was on my own, so here are the top 5 things I’ve learned as I’ve started (starting) to develop my blog :
- Write in the style you’re comfortable with.
Then you’ll develop your own unique style. Whether that be formal and structured or more laid back with your personality at the heart of it.
- Visit others blogs and Interact!
It’s so important to go and see who else is out there and what is being talked about. You’ll discover hot meme’s, topics, different ways to post or format your layout. Plus, you get to meet so many awesome people!
- Make time for blogging.
Blogging is time consuming. So sometimes you just gotta make the time to do it. And sometimes you gotta take a break too and not feel bad about it. Planning would probably come in handy here, but I haven’t gotten that far yet…
- Don’t get discouraged!
Sometimes you’ll write posts that aren’t as popular as others and that’s okay. Just move on.
- Connect via social media and other great sites.
Now onto genre fiction….
I love a mix of genres, some more than others, and some I have no love for (respect yes, just not love).
I like to read a mix of YA and adult fantasy and paranormal, historical fiction, book club books, and then just some random ones I find with cool looking covers. The only things I don’t like to read are hardcore romances, westerns, most Christian fiction, and most of the books where the author’s name is larger than the actual title.
I am drawn to dragons, magic, and mythical creatures in the fantasy genre. Books like Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Eragon by Christopher Paolini, Sage’s Septimus Heap Magyk series, and the Beautiful Creatures series by Kami Garcia.
In the historical fiction genre I zone in on WWII, the Underground Railroad, and English History. My favorites are; Gilt by Katherine Longshore, The Secrets of Mary Bowser by Lois Leveen, the Pink Carnation series by Lauren Willig, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
Check out one of my earlier Top Ten Tuesday’s on words or topics that make me instantly make me pick up a book for some more recommendations on books in these genres : )
What are some ways you’ve developed your log? What are some of your favorite genres or books within your favorite genres?
So I saw this over on Turn the Page Reviews and Pages Unbound and I just had to join in on the fun! This is for all of us who can’t make it to BookExpo America (BEA), but want to do something fun anywho. Today is for introductions!
1. Please tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you? How long have you been blogging? Why did you get into blogging?
Hello! I’m Steph and I’ve been blogging for about 3 months now. I started blogging because even though I work in a library sometimes it isn’t possible to share your real opinions about books with everyone nor is it possible to meet people with the same taste or enthusiasm in them. And now since I work in such a small town at such a tiny library, I work alone for the most part so there’s really no co-workers to discuss books with either. So I started blogging to connect with others who share the same love and joy and to be able to really share my true feelings about the books I read.
2. Tell us one non-book-related thing that everyone reading your blog may not know about you.
It’s my 24th birthday today! And I’m marrying a DJ even though I don’t dance : )
3. If you could eat dinner with any author or character, who would it be and why?
Hmm…well I’ll be obvious and say J.K. Rowling. There is so much she could teach you! It would be incredible to spend time with her even if it was just dinner. I love her : )
4. What is your favorite part about the book blogging community?
I love connecting with people you would never meet or talk to otherwise. Plus you get to share your real opinions without feeling bad about it or getting judged for it. It’s so fun!
5. What literary location would you most like to visit? Why?
Well, this is kinda cheating because I’ve already visited it, but I would like to visit it again; The British Library. It is wonderful! I spent hours there looking around at some of the amazing treasures they had on display and could spend sooo much longer there! (Here are some of my notes from visiting: “We saw a bunch of original manuscripts and papers written by Lewis Carrol, Jane Austen, The Beatles, Sylvia Plath (pretty handwriting), (possibly) Shakespeare, Wordsworth (messy writing, which surprised me), Chalotte Bronte (elegant). We also saw the Magna Carta (not that cool), the Gutenberg Bible, tons of illuminated works, and some of Freud’s and DaVinci’s own handwritten notes.”) If you’re ever in London you NEED to visit the British Library.
So now you know a little more about me! Let me know if you’re participating too!
Top Ten Quotes From Books I’ve Read Thus Far
Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish
I love finding quotes worth saving and remembering within books. It’s like finding buried treasure. Every time you recall the quote it’ll bring a smile to your face or a tear to your eye for some reason or other. And they can mean completely different things to everyone. It’s wonderful! So here are 10 of my favorite quotes (not all of them of course… I don’t really have a ranking system and they speak to me differently at different times):
People say strange things, the boy thought. Sometimes it’s better to be with the sheep, who don’t say anything. And better still to be alone with one’s books. They tell their incredible stories at the time when you want to hear them. But when you’re talking to people they say some things that are so strange that you don’t know how to continue the conversation.
“Did you ever notice that all machines are made for some reason?” he asked Isabelle. “They are built to make you laugh, like the mouse here, or tell the time, like clocks, or to fill you with wonder, like the automaton. Maybe that’s why a broken machine always makes me a little sad, because it isn’t able to do what it was meant to do.
“You know, machines never have any extra parts. They have the exact same number and type of parts they need. So I figure if the entire world is a big machine, I have to be here for some reason. And that means you have to be here for some reason too.”
…and never forget that until the day when God deigns to unveil the future to mankind, all human wisdom is contained in these two words: ‘wait’ and ‘hope’.
It was a gloomy prospect, and all that she could do was to throw a mist over it, and hope when the mist cleared away, she could see something else.
Even if times got bad, he would never again deny himself the possibility that the future might be happy even if the present was painful. He would allow himself dreams.
Hope can be a powerful force. Maybe there’s no actual magic in it, but when you know what you hope for most and hold it like a light within you, you can make things happen, almost like magic.
You get older and you learn there is one sentence just four worlds long and if you can say it to yourself it offers more comfort than almost any other. It goes like this… Ready ” “Ready.” “At least I tried.”
“Do I have to talk to insane people?”
“You’re a librarian now. I’m afraid it’s mandatory.”
“It had flaws, but what does that matter when it comes to matters of the heart? We love what we love. Reason does not enter into it. In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.”
Stacking the Shelves hosted by Tynga’s Reviews
So this is my first time participating in this meme. I’ve seen it all over so figured I’d give it a try since I have sooo many books I’ve recently acquired : ) This is my “intended” June reading list. Of course there will be a whole slug of junior fiction in there too with trying to figure out what in the world to do for upcoming kid’s book clubs in the fall (if you have any great suggestions send ‘em my way!)
The Storm Protocol by Iain Cosgrove
I received this copy from the author and I’m very excited to dive into it. Click on the title to see the description on Amazon.com.
And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseni
I’ve waited years for another book from Hosseni to come out…and it’s here! It’s finally here!
The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon
Since I’m really into fairy tales, I was really excited when I was able to get this one through NetGalley.
Rose Under Fire by Elisabeth Wein
Okay, I know I haven’t read Code Name Verity yet, but it is sitting on my shelf. And I do know I’m going to love it and this book looks just as good! Again thank you NetGalley….
Stoker’s Manuscript by Royce Prouty
I got this one through LibraryThing Early Reviewers and I’m really excited to read it. I’ve been looking for something kinda like Kostova’s The Historian for a looong time now…
Fearless by Cornelia Funke
A sequel from one of my favorite authors ever!
The Golem and the Jinni
I loved the title and the cover is super cool. No idea what it is about, but I checked it out based on those facts so we will see.
Pure by Julianna Baggot
I hear this is amazing, but it hasn’t been super popular at the library, so I want to read it so I can (hopefully) recommend it to dystopian fans.
Pandemonium by Lauren Oliver
Another sequel, but I’m afraid to read it until I have the third one in hand too…
House of Secrets by Chris Columbus and Ned Vizzini
Chris Columbus directed Harry Potter. It’s gotta be good, right?
Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker by Jennifer Chiaverini
I’m fascinated by this time period and the author is popular with my patrons, but I would not read any of her other books. So hopefully I’ll see what all the “rage” is about…
So I have a TON to read in June…but I am very excited about each and every one of them!
Are you reading any on my list? If not what are you reading this coming month??
I judge books by their covers. If I don’t know the author, the cover is extremely important along with the title of course. Since I love how much a great cover can do for books, I really didn’t want to miss out on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday so I’ve made it Top Ten Thursday : )Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish. So here are my top ten favorite covers of books I’ve read:
The Emerald Atlas by John Stephens
I pre-ordered this book solely based on the cover and fell in love with the magical series.
Magyk by Angie Sage
I only picked this book up because of the cover and the series is amazing too.
The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman
Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke
Purple is my favorite color and the detail on the cover picture is sooo pretty.
Aviary Gate by Katie Hickman
Bought this book purely because of the beautiful cover when I was visiting Hay on Wye in Wales (one of the coolest towns ever btw!)
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Don’t like circuses, but this cover is by far one of my favorite covers of all time. Gorgeous and I would totally go to that circus!
The Alchemyst by Michael Scott
Another series I read purely based on the cover and I wasn’t disappointed.
The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
I entered a giveaway for this one based on the cover and it is a super neat story. The sequel is coming out in the next few months and I can NOT wait for it!
Museum of Thieves by Lian Tanner
Picked this one up while shelving because of how interesting the cover looked. An adventure waiting to happen…and it sure was!
Italian version of Cinder by Marissa Meyer
I want to own this version of Cinder soooo bad even if I can’t read it because the cover is sooo incredible.
So I’ve been away from my computer for days…My excuse; Dan Brown (and Summer Reading Program madness blurgh :S ). I know a lot of people are giving horrible reviews of this book, but, honestly, I loved it. Dan Brown is one of the few popular “niche” writers I enjoy reading. Sure his writing is pretty formulaic and you can tell it is definitely a “Dan Brown book,” but they are fun and I find them to be interesting because of how they make me think about the world while I’m reading them. Yes, I know the ideas in his books take real facts and then put them into extraordinary circumstances, but having books based in facts is a cool idea. (I love researching the facts in his books just to “double-check” them and see what really is out there.) Plus, the descriptions in a few of his books, especially the Langdon series, make me add places to my “Need to Travel to List” (Paris, Turkey, Italy…the list is never-ending). Ok, enough defending Dan Brown, he is far richer than me so I don’t feel too bad for him I just don’t want people thinking this book is terrible just because some people want to rant about how horrible it is he has another book out.
Anywho, Inferno was far better than the last book in the series, Lost Symbol , which I quite honestly detested (mainly for one reason which I won’t state here because it is a major spoiler). Inferno centers around Dante and his famous work The Divine Comedy, a madman with an overzealous belief in overpopulation, and some very interesting characters. Having never read the entire Divine Comedy (and not liking what I tried to read in college a few years ago) I was skeptical of this one, but a thorough understanding of Dante and Hell is not necessary as Brown, of course, provides plenty of facts about the writer, the literature, the time period, and all kinds of other fun stuff. The story moves along quickly like all of Brown’s other novels, making it hard to find a place to stop reading for the night. Plus, having read all of Dan Brown’s other books before, I honestly did not guess the ending to this one!
So, yes I do admit to enjoying Dan Brown books : )
Did you like this book? Are you a fan of Dan Brown? Are there any formulaic or niche writer’s you enjoy reading?