Sunday, August 26, 2007


Ok so I came across the themed reading challenge and I really would like to participate. I keep thinking about how I would like to join. Do I read all YA books, all Newberrys I have not read, books about vampires (just cause I am really excited to read Eclipse), books with a dog as an important/integral character, or even a set of books in a series. The opportunities are endless and I am not sure where I want to head. I keep waiting for the perfect opportunity to pop up and show itself. I am leaning towards doing the series with a dog as an integral character. I will go with that for now and read 4 of the following books:

1. Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls
2. Fifty Acres and a Poodle by Jeanne Laskas (not sure this has a dog as an integral character)
3. Lost and Found by Jacqeline Sheehan
4. A Good Dog by Jon Katz
5. Walking in circles before lying down : a novel by Merrill Markoe
6. From Baghdad, with love : a Marine, the war, and a dog named Lava
by Jay Kopelman
7. Sight hound : a novel by Pam Houston
8. A dog year : twelve months, four dogs, and me by Jon Katz
9. Dog is my co-pilot by BARK Editors
10. Tails from the bark side by Brian Kilcommons

Ok, I know there are so many to pick from, but I didn't have 4 in mind that I wanted to read so when I did my research all of these came up. I will have to narrow it down later.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Charlie Bone

I am on my 6th Charlie Bone book. I love to hear what is happening in this crazy boy's life, but I wonder if it is every going to end. It isn't like Harry Potter where I know when and what to expect. I think I started reading these books because of Harry Potter. Someone suggested them if I liked Harry Potter. And I do like Charlie Bone. All of the books are very interesting and full of adventure. The children at Bloor's Academy where Charlie goes to school are all unique and easy to like. In this particular installment, Charlie is finally happy to have found his father, but the person who saved is father is now in danger. There are new sparks of evil appearing around every corner and Charlie is having a hard time deciding who is really on his side. In the end Charlie's friends, who are always there for him, and even some new friends are there for him again in order to do everything good he can do. One of the reasons I like Charlie and I think one of the reasons people compare Charlie Bone to Harry Potter is because of their quest for goodness. Both boys are not doing everything perfectly and may often get in trouble, but in the end are doing the "right" thing.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A book survey!

Ok so I am on mysapce and am addicted to the little surveys everyone fills out. This may have been the last place I expected to find more surveys, but here they are! And I can't resist them here either.

What are you reading right now? Right now I am reading the most recent Charlie Bone, The City of Ember, and Dear Mr. Henshaw.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that? I have some more books to read for my classroom and I really would like to read Eclipse by Stephanie Meyer, plus there are about 5 books from the library sitting on the counter waiting patiently to be opened.

What magazines do you have in your bathroom right now? Glamour, Oprah and scrapbook magazines

What’s the worst thing you were ever forced to read? textbooks

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about everyone? I recommend My Sister's keeper to a lot of people and Harry Potter of course.

Admit it, the librarians at your library know you on a first name basis, don’t they? No but I do know my account number by heart.

Is there a book you absolutely love, but for some reason, people never think it sounds interesting, or maybe they read it and don’t like it at all?
Um...maybe House of the Scorpion, but most of the time I make too many recommendations to notice.

Do you read books while you eat? While you bathe? While you watch movies or TV? While you listen to music? While you’re on the computer? While you’re having sex? While you’re driving? Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, not often, not yet and yes.

When you were little, did other children tease you about your reading habits? No I don't think so. I read and get teased much more now.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was so good you couldn't put it down? Um...I tried to stay up for Deathly Hallows, but couldn't do it and there was one that I really liked recently, but I don't remember which one foul!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Grimm Sisters

One of my students gave me a book to read. I have so many others to read, but her enthusiasm for this particular book was enough to make me start reading. Once I started I couldn't stop. Although Sabrina and Daphne are orphans when we meet them, which is something I feel is a bit overdone, they are easy to like and care about. The young Daphne compliments her bitter older sister with a youthful joy which is refreshing. The story quickly moves from one dramatic event to the other, keeping you wondering what crazy thing will happen next and there are enough plot questions imbeded in the story to keep the mind going at all moments. I enjoy Daphne much more than her older sister and love how easily she attaches to her crazy grandmother. I love her positive outlook on people and events and her willingness to do whatever she can for those she loves. Even though Sabrina is a bit pessimistic, she has good reason. She keeps this fairy tale story grounded and more believable.

We meet these girls as they are on their way to yet another foster home. Sabrina is nervous about living with her supposed grandmother, and becomes even more so when she first meets her. She suspects all kinds of terrible things about her, especially when she has them investigating giants. It takes her a while to have faith in her grandmother, but when the truth is looking her in the face she can't help but believe. And when her grandmother is taken from them, they do everything they can to get her back. The girls find themselves scrambling around in a town of fairy tale characters befriending some and fighting against others as they try to rescue their new family.

I enjoy the mix of fiction and fairy tale of this story and can understand how Michael Buckley has made a series with a great set of main characters to play with. I haven't actually finished the story so I am unsure if the girls actually find their grandmother or not or if they have enough faith in her to stay with her. You will have to read the book to find out just as I will. And my guess is that it will be worth it. I am already looking forward to reading the next one. I will move on to some other things before that, but eventually I will get there.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Newbie fever

I am not sure if it is because I am fairly new to the blogging world but I am enjoying looking at every one's blog so much. I have mainly been checking out the other people that are a part of the "Something about Me" reading challenge. I fear that even though I intended this blog to be about books it will end up being about much more. I visited The Rech Times and loved how She Read's is doing a self portrait of herself every single day of the year. Wow!! Since this year has been a pretty rough one for me and considering I have a milestone birthday coming up next year I thought this would be a great way to document "The end of the 20's" and take a snapshot of myself. I absolutely love pictures! I might even love them more than books, so this would be great, but I am not sure I can do the once a day thing so I am going to shoot for once a week. Thanks for being so inspiring!

I also came across a site that had all kinds of book related blogs and sites and I was like a kid in a candy I can't figure out where I saw it. As I search I have found that Trish has a good list on her site, but I don't think it was the one I say before.

Maybe I saw it the same place I saw another reading challenge about choosing books within a theme(actually I didn't see it there I just checked). I love that this challenge doesn't start until January. I have time to finish the challenges I am doing and think of some books that fit together in a theme. Right now I am thinking about books where people have self esteem issues. That covers a lot of books I think! I have always felt a little on the chunky side and I like to read about how people deal with those issues. That is why I chose The Earth, My Butt and Other Big Round Things for my About Me reading challenge. Anyway, it is just one idea. I could also do books that have dogs as an important character within the book. I love my dogs and have really enjoyed reading about other people's lives with their dogs. I will have to put some investigation into this challenge.

But as I browse I think that a lot of the people I am looking at all know one another. At lease in the blogging sense. I wonder do they like newcomers such as myself? Do they assume I will be here and gone quickly? I don't even know the answer to that question. I am sure enjoying myself at the moment and hope I am not barging in on anything.

Still browsing here off of Trish's site and found this one:Books.Lists.Life. My first thought was how beautiful her blog is. I love the deep red and creamy tan together. It just looks classy. Plus she had a great list of places she would rather be and I couldn't agree more. When I am working my list of places I would rather be looks something like this:
1. At the beach (any beach will do)
2. Watching a movie
3. Reading a book in the sunshine
4. Disneyland
5. Somewhere near the ocean where I can feel the cool breeze and hear the waves
6. On my dad's back porch
7. Taking my dogs for a swim
8. Eating sushi
10. On vacation (and taking pictures while I am at it)

So like I said, I think I will be adding a lot more to my blog besides my thoughts on books and reading in general. I started out calling myself The Book List and had to add And Many other Things to it because I know I won't be able to limit myself. It sure is exciting.....even if I am the only one who ever reads any of this.

Cause I am crazy

Ok, since no one who knows me reads my blog, no one knows I am a teacher. I just started my school year about a month ago and am only teaching reading and writing. I have about 8 books to read for my class and I keep finding these fun challenges to join. I have joined the "Something about me" challenge and now I am joining the Book to Movie challenge too. That makes a lot of books to read and I am feeling a bit crazy about it. Then I calm down and realize that I have a while to get it done. This challenge is especially fun because after reading I love to go to the movies. I tried to pick choices where I had neither read the book or watched the movie, but I had to cheat a little.

So here are my books that I am going to read for the Books to Movie challenge:

1. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
Everyone has been saying what a good book this is and it is sitting on my shelf. This gives me a great reason to read it. I didn't know it was a movie, but it is on the list.

2. Golden Compass (which will be a movie soon) by
Ever since I saw the previews for this movie I have wanted to read the book. I am a huge believer in the fact that books are always better than movies. I always try to read the book first so that is why this one is on my list.

3. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
I have heard great things about this movie and I think I will have to go watch the movie before I read the book since it might not still be in theatres by the time I can read the book. I will break my rule to read before watching on this one.

I am going to add another watch then read book on to here because saying that reminded me that I have never read the book The Neverending Story. I absolutely love the movie and didn't even know it was a book, but I have heard a lot of talk about it recently and think I must read the book too.

I just got done reading Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs and didn't even know it was a movie. Has got to be a crazy movie I am sure. Will have to look for that one on DVD.

After looking at the list I see there are more books to movies than I ever realized. Wow!! I had to resist the urge to put things like Because of Winn-Dixie, Bridge to Terabithia and Harry Potter on my list. I love all of these books and think that the directors did a great job with the movies, but I will always think they are a million times better in written form.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The curse of the series

I understand very well why books in a series are so "in" right now. I just finished Atherton, the house of power by Patrick Carman, which I had no idea was the beginning of another series, and now I am eagerly anticipating the arrival of the next of the series.

Books in a series, I have learned, work well when you attach yourself to the characters in a book. I think one of the big reasons Harry Potter is so popular is because JK Rowling created characters we wanted to love. Patrick Carmen does the same.

I was immediately addicted to Patrick Carman's last series (The Land of Elyon) because of the characters and the environment he creates. When I saw he had a new book out I quickly added it to my list of must reads.

Now that I am finished with the book, or maybe because I just finished reading The Giver, I found Atherton reminds me a lot of The Giver. I read another blog recently that had a hard time choosing a genre for The Giver, they called it social science fiction or dystopian/utopian fiction (depending on who you are I assume). Regardless, I would put these two books in the same category because they both have created an alternate universe, without leaving the "earth" we know as home behind.

Edgar is a young boy alone in his world, searching for something of which he does not know. We join him as he makes his journey throughout his world, always surprised at what he finds. As you read you want to help Edgar climb the walls and read the pages of his book. You want to be there for him when it seems he can't lean on anyone else. You understand why he is frustrated and want to comfort him in his loneliness. Patrick Carmen, as I believe he does best, creates a vivid and remarkable picture of the world of Atherton and all the people in it.

Even though this book is a children's book this story still raises questions about the environment, government, the limits on control those in power should have, and scientific discovery. I find that the more children's literature I read the more questions about life and possibilities are opened up for me. I think that by reading this book children can open their minds to the possibilities of tomorrow.