Tuesday Thingers – Free People Read Freely

The 100 Most Frequently Challenged Books of 1990-2000

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For this week's Tuesday Thingers, Copy the below list of the most-challenged books of the 1990s straight from the ALA website. Highlight what you've read, and italicize what you have in your LT library.

I’ve highlighted both the books I’ve read and own (basically I’m too lazy to italicize today) lol

My total banned books 32 of 100 

  1. Scary Stories (Series) by Alvin Schwartz
  2. Daddy's Roommate by Michael Willhoite
  3. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
  4. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
  5. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  6. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
  7. Harry Potter (Series) by J.K. Rowling
  8. Forever by Judy Blume
  9. Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
  10. Alice (Series) by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
  11. Heather Has Two Mommies by Leslea Newman
  12. My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier
  13. The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
  14. The Giver by Lois Lowry
  15. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
  16. Goosebumps (Series) by R.L. Stine
  17. A Day No Pigs Would Die by Robert Newton Peck
  18. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  19. Sex by Madonna
  20. Earth's Children (Series) by Jean M. Auel
  21. The Great Gilly Hopkins by Katherine Paterson
  22. A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L'Engle
  23. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous
  24. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
  25. In the Night Kitchen by Maurice Sendak
  26. The Stupids (Series) by Harry Allard
  27. The Witches by Roald Dahl
  28. The New Joy of Gay Sex by Charles Silverstein
  29. Anastasia Krupnik (Series) by Lois Lowry
  30. The Goats by Brock Cole
  31. Kaffir Boy by Mark Mathabane
  32. Blubber by Judy Blume
  33. Killing Mr. Griffin by Lois Duncan
  34. Halloween ABC by Eve Merriam
  35. We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier
  36. Final Exit by Derek Humphry
  37. The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
  38. Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
  39. The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison
  40. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Girls by Lynda Madaras
  41. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
  42. Beloved by Toni Morrison
  43. The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton
  44. The Pigman by Paul Zindel
  45. Bumps in the Night by Harry Allard
  46. Deenie by Judy Blume
  47. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
  48. Annie on my Mind by Nancy Garden
  49. The Boy Who Lost His Face by Louis Sachar
  50. Cross Your Fingers, Spit in Your Hat by Alvin Schwartz
  51. A Light in the Attic by Shel Silverstein
  52. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
  53. Sleeping Beauty Trilogy by A.N. Roquelaure (Anne Rice)
  54. Asking About Sex and Growing Up by Joanna Cole
  55. Cujo by Stephen King
  56. James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl
  57. The Anarchist Cookbook by William Powell
  58. Boys and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  59. Ordinary People by Judith Guest
  60. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis
  61. What's Happening to my Body? Book for Boys by Lynda Madaras
  62. Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret by Judy Blume
  63. Crazy Lady by Jane Conly
  64. Athletic Shorts by Chris Crutcher
  65. Fade by Robert Cormier
  66. Guess What? by Mem Fox
  67. The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
  68. The Face on the Milk Carton by Caroline Cooney
  69. Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut
  70. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
  71. Native Son by Richard Wright
  72. Women on Top: How Real Life Changed Women's Fantasies by Nancy Friday
  73. Curses, Hexes and Spells by Daniel Cohen
  74. Jack by A.M. Homes
  75. Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo A. Anaya
  76. Where Did I Come From? by Peter Mayle
  77. Carrie by Stephen King
  78. Tiger Eyes by Judy Blume
  79. On My Honor by Marion Dane Bauer
  80. Arizona Kid by Ron Koertge
  81. Family Secrets by Norma Klein
  82. Mommy Laid An Egg by Babette Cole
  83. The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  84. The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain
  85. Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison
  86. Always Running by Luis Rodriguez
  87. Private Parts by Howard Stern
  88. Where's Waldo? by Martin Hanford
  89. Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene
  90. Little Black Sambo by Helen Bannerman
  91. Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher
  93. Sex Education by Jenny Davis
  94. The Drowning of Stephen Jones by Bette Greene
  95. Girls and Sex by Wardell Pomeroy
  96. How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell
  97. View from the Cherry Tree by Willo Davis Roberts
  98. The Headless Cupid by Zilpha Keatley Snyder
  99. The Terrorist by Caroline Cooney
  100. Jump Ship to Freedom by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier


© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Weekly Geeks #19 – Best of the Best 2008

weeklygeek picCompile your list of favourites. Please be sure that books you choose actually were published in 2008, or at the very earliest in the winter holiday season of 2007. Sometimes books that come out then are left out.

If you happen to see any non-WG bloggers making similar lists, please grab the url and come put it in Mr Linky for them. Let them know you’re doing that, please, in case they have some sort of objection; if they do, they can ask me to remove their link. I’ve already seen a couple favorites of 2008 posts, which is another reason I wanted to get started early.

Feel free to make changes to your list if you read something new in the next few weeks. After about October 25, I can’t guarantee your changes will be reflected in the master list. We’ll probably start compiling lists around then.

 

My list of favourites for 2008 is pretty small, as I did not read too many new released this year. But here are the four I believe are the best of what I’ve read:

 

gargoyle The Gargoyle

by Andrew Davidson

 

front porch prophet Front Porch Prophet 

by Raymond L. Atkins

 

yellowknife Yellowknife 

by Steve Zipp

 

art of racing in the rainArt Of Racing In The Rain

by Garth Stein

My reviews for the first three can be found by clicking on the book covers.



© 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

Weekly Geeks #18 Playing Catch (up) Summary

weekly geeks 1

So last week Dewey gave us an assignment that I was really needing – to catch up on anything book blog related that we were behind on. For me this involved finishing up the huge amount of reviews I had half-finished. I was partially successful on this task, I completed and posted 9 reviews that I’ve listed below. I also have a few that I have finished but saved in draft for a just-in-case day. My progress would have been much better had I not decided spur of the moment to renovate my blog design, but I’m very happy with the new look. Lots and lots of thanks to all the kind readers who complimented the new look!!

 

  • Year Of Secret Assignments - Jaclyn Moriarty Review Posted Here
  • The Green Beauty Guide - Julie Gabriel Review Posted Here
  • The Black Whole - Jackie Jones Review Posted Here
  • King Of Sword and Sky - CL Wilson Review Posted Here
  • Lala Pipo – Hideo Okuda Review Posted Here
  • YellowKnife – Steve Zipp Review Posted Here
  • The Whiskey Rebels – David Liss Review Posted Here
  • Crossed Bones – Jane Johnson Review Posted Here
  • Schooled – Anisha Lakhani Review Posted Here


  • © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

    Review – The Black Whole – Jacqueline M. Jones (editor)

    the black wholeSynopsis
    When tasting the broad range of flavours Jackie Jones has assembled got you in The Black Whole, remember that your tastes tomorrow will be much different than today’s. More than that, though, what you read here will alter you just a tad, so that tomorrow you might re-read with a totally different eye, with totally different taste buds.  Think of Secrets by Greg Rose and Tom Courtney’s Unless and bookends between which Jackie has placed rich reading experiences. After reading Shay Wells’ Mars Or Die, you will never think of EVA in quite the same way. Jackie’s own yarns (there are 3 of them) are guaranteed to twist your head around.  You’ll carry The Black Whole with you. You’ll return to read some of the stories a second time, wondering whether you “got it” right in the first read.


    Review
    I would like to send out my thanks to Curt and Jackie from Down In The Country Press for giving me the opportunity to read and express my thoughts of The Black Whole.

    When reading a short story collection, the reader never really knows what they are getting into. With shorts rather than novels, the reader can esperience an infinity of topics, emotions and worlds. Taking a quick glance at The Black Whole leaves a reader with a feeling of wonder, this is a gorgeously designed book with a front cover that the above picture cannot do justice to. I admit that I found myself contemplating the image on the front many times throughout my reading, it was almost hypnotic. But what drew me to this collection initially was this small blurb on the front cover:

    A collection of new thoughts in short-story form by new writers to appease for a moment your mind’s quest for an out-of-common experience.

    That is exactly what I look for in a collection of short stories. I want stories that are original and thought-provoking. And I got just that with The Black Whole.

    Contained within The Black Whole you will find twenty-five short-stories, including some poetry as well. These stories encompass a world of subjects and none are similar, however Jackie Jones has managed to compile and present them in a way that makes each story flow unto one another in a very pleasing way. Although these stories could be read in any order, the journey I chose was straight through to the end, and that seemed to add power to each individual with The Black Whole.

    There are far too many stories for me to highlight here in a review, although all deserve recognition. Here are my thoughts on the stories which really stood out to me.

    The Angel And The Vampire  by W.D. Wilcox is a beautifully written and chilling story of a writer who is dying, searching for the perfect ending and perhaps going crazy along the way. “A whip of lightning cracked and scarred the skin of the night. The townspeople were frightened, but took it as an omen of the woman’s guilt.” Upon finishing this story I really had to take a minute and consider my own life and just what makes it my own. Are we the masters of our own destiny? And if not who is?

    Jackie Jones’ The Better Half is best read late at night, curled under the covers of your bed, with only a flickering candle to light the pages. But keep your eyes open and watch the person sleeping soundly beside you, or maybe you better not. “When I had finished screaming, I checked her out. Part of my mind told me to call 911. Part was ringing out old nursery rhymes…” This story works perfectly as a scary tale but is also very effective in providing a thoughtful contemplation about ‘who’ we are, and whether the ‘who’ we are today is the same ‘who’ we were yesterday.

    Jeremy Zoss has found an great way to breathe life into the zombie genre in the story The Maze. At just two pages long Zoss has given us a story that not only perfectly captured the horror and anxiety of facing the undead, but also given us a look at the depths to which out society can fall when the power is in the hands of so few. “It has to be the right way. After torturous minutes, John emerged from the clouded passage into a larger room.”

    I’ve often wondered when and how the earth will strike back as humans and punish us for our parasitic ways. We have taken for granted and nearly destroyed what keeps us alive. Bruce Bretthauer examines a similar topic in the story Spiked! Morphed into a coming of age tale, with mystery and fantasy this story is a wonderful look at how people can be caretakers of our planet. “Days flashed through my memory as I sank my hand deeper into the log, the warmth of sunlight, wind, rain, night and day, the endless repetitive cycle of life. I felt the twinges of the disease that began to kill it.”

    The Quiet Of The Green is another eco-friendly story of wonder. What would happen if mother nature decided the way to regain health and respect was to infiltrate the very race that threatens her? “Being the foundation upon which is to be built the travels of a young girl into the depths of a tribe’s beginning.” The initial build up of this story makes a person feel uncomfortable as you wonder just what is going on, there is weirdness afoot and surely something bad must happen soon. However Curt Akin takes these malicious feeling intentions and weaves a beautiful story of awakening and renewal. But one cannot help but wonder what our future would hold if this fiction were to play out in real life. Are these independent motives or merely puppet strings that have been ingrained within us.

    The Black Whole is the best kind of short-story collection. The type that uses so few words, but provokes within the reader numerous questions that are at once thought-provoking, but in the end unanswerable. Seeking the answers to these mysteries can only lead us into our own Black Whole.

    About The Author
    Jacqueline M. Jones (aka Jackie) was born with a silver story in her mouth – oops scratch that – stories to tell; and it’s a good thing. for at age 12, she was presented with a baby brother, a baby brother to raise. Fortunately, baby brother fit well into the role of lover-of-fantasies, good listener, and good friend. Jackie works daily with words, as an editor. She was architect of the best selling The Best Of Novel Advice by Jeanne Marie Childe. Jackie has three children, seven grandchildren, a retired racing greyhound and a long-haired Chihuahua, who rules. She shares her life with her soul mate of 16 years.

    Published by Down In The Country Press



    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

    Review – Schooled by Anisha Lakhani

    schooledSynopsis
    When Anna Taggert lands a teaching job at an elite private school on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, her dreams of chalk boards and lesson plans are quickly dashed by the grim realities of her small pay check. It’s not easy to overlook the fact that tuition for each of your students exceeds your annual salary or that your students dress better than you do, but this earnest young Ivy League graduate does her best.
    And then comes the discovery that the papers she grades are not the work of her seventh graders, but of their high-priced tutors. Before long, Anna too is lured into a world where paying for the best that money can buy takes on a whole new meaning. Enticed by the prospect of earning more in an hour than she takes home in a day, Anna becomes a teacher by day and a tutor by night, joining the ranks of those who secretly do the homework of the children of affluence. A delicious debut based on the author’s experiences as a tutor while teaching at one of Manhattan’s top private schools, Schooled presents a shocking picture of an underground economy that is altering the landscape of education in every way. This dazzling exposĂ© lays bare the tutoring industry in a way only an insider can. Welcome to Schooled, where even homework has a price.
    Review
    When I first stumbled across a site promoting Schooled I thought this would be a fantastic book for me. Chick lit is one of my favourite genres when I just want to kick back and enjoy a quick read. I especially enjoy chick lit novels that do not deal exclusively with romance: Nanny Dairies, Save Karyn, anything by Sarah Mlynowski etc. So a book that deals with an upper class private school teacher who decides to start tutoring rich, snobby brats on the side really appealed to me. Unlike many others who enjoyed this book, I found this book to be a mediocre addition to the genre.
    In my opinion, teachers, whether they be from private or public schools, are some of the most influential people our children will be exposed to. Therefore I believe teachers should teach because they love to teach, not because they want to make a good salary or wear the latest fashions. So right away I was turned off by Anna’s behaviour in the book, I would be appalled to know that she was responsible for the education of anyone’s child. Seeing how the parents weren’t concerned over their children's achievements was eye-opening, but knowing that a teacher was willing to go along with their cheating in order to make a few dollars was worse.
    All of this would have been alright had the novel concluded in such a way that I honestly believed Anna to have learned something and become a better person. Sadly I do not believe this. Knowing also that this book is based on the authors own personal experiences, leads me to suppose that the purpose of this book was to make a little more money at the expense of her students.
    Aside from my not liking the subject and how it was handled, I also found aspects of the writing style to be flawed. While I understand that chick lit is not meant to be of a high literary standard, I do expect the writers to pay some attention to character development. In Schooled, the only character that is close to complete is Anna herself. Other secondary characters, such as the students and parents seem to have been created using a Stepford style cookie cutter. There are no signs of individual personality evident, which could easily have been improved had effort been diverted from the logo-dropping that became pretty annoying by a quarter of the way through. Dolce & Gabbana, Gucci, Prada, Valentino etc. etc. etc. Me, I like my nifty $10 purse from Wally-World. But then again I’m not a private school teacher trying to keep up with the Jones’s whose kids I teach.
    My final thoughts on Schooled would be that while it wasn’t a terrible novel, it did have some shortcomings that annoyed me enough that I didn’t enjoy my reading at all.
    About The Author
    Until 2006 Anisha Lakhani taught English at the Dalton School on Manhattan’s Upper East Side where she also chaired the Middle School English Department. Ms. Lakhani received both her B.A. and her M.A. degrees from Columbia University. She lives in Manhattan with her husband and their beloved shitzu, Harold Moscowitz.
    Author Website
    Published by Hyperion

    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

    Review – The Green Beauty Guide by Julie Gabriel

    Green Beauty Guide Synopsis

    The promise of beauty is as close as the drugstore aisle—shampoo that gives your hair more body, lotions that smooth away wrinkles, makeup that makes your skin look flawless, and potions that take it all off again. But while conventional products say they'll make you more beautiful, they contain toxins and preservatives that are both bad for the environment and bad for your body—including synthetic fragrances, petrochemicals, and even formaldehyde. In the end, they damage your natural vitality and good looks. Fortunately, fashion writer, nutritionist, and beauty maven Julie Gabriel helps you find the true path to natural, healthy, green beauty. She helps you decipher labels on every cosmetic product you pick up and avoid toxic and damaging chemicals with her detailed Toxic Ingredients List. You'll learn valuable tips on what your skin really needs to be healthy, glowing, and youthful.  Julie goes one-step further—and shows you how to make your own beauty products that feed your skin, save your bank account, and are healthy for your body and the environment, such as: • Cleansing creams and oils • toners • facials • under eye circle remedies • anti-aging serums • lip balms • scrubs • exfoliators • clay and cleansing masks • moisturizers • acne treatments • makeup remover • teeth whiteners • shampoos, conditioners • fragrances • sun protection • bug repellents • baby products • and much more!

    With her friendly, thorough, and helpful advice; fabulous beauty recipes; product recommendations and ratings; Toxic Ingredients List; and a complete appendix of online resources, Julie Gabriel gives you all the information you need to go green without going broke and become a more natural, healthy, and beautiful you.

    Review

    As I have entered into my thirties, I have started paying more attention to how my skin looks and how my skin reacts to certain products. Seeing those first inklings of wrinkles and wondering whether I may have caused them by my indifferent attitude towards sunscreen and moisturizers led me to find a new system for making my skin healthier. Along the way I ran into many high-end products that created disastrous rashes and irritations, not to mention the damage they do to your wallet. Much of the undesired results I’ve blames on the incredible amounts of chemicals found in beauty supplies these days. Additives, chemicals and things I couldn’t begin to pronounce are being added to products we are supposed to use in order to make our skin look beautiful and natural.

    Reading Julie Gabriel’s The Green Beauty Guide, will help to create a beauty regime containing all-natural and non-toxic ingredients. Throughout this guide you will also learn many facts regarding exactly what your skin needs to remain healthy. A solid emphasis is also made on health care and being friendly to the environment, as many store bought products contain things that are very damaging to our eco-system, not to mention the crazy amounts of non-biodegradable packaging these products come in.

    So, The Green Beauty Guide is an invaluable tool to help learn about our beauty habits, but now that we know how to be healthy and beautiful, how do we go about getting these healthy, natural products? We make them! Included within The Green Beauty Guide are lots of wonderful and easy recipes to create your own products at home. I decided to test out some of these recipes for myself and was enormously happy with the results.

    I like to use a facial scrub once or twice a week, but the store bought ones often leave my face and neck feeling sensitive and looking blotchy. So I tried out Julie’s recipe for Sugar Mommy Scrub. It took me less than 5 minutes to make and used 4 ingredients that I already had lying around the house. The results were wonderful – a gentle feeling scrub that left no abrasive rashing and held a lovely aroma.

    My son, who is fifteen years old, is a huge athlete. The mix of his age and the constant sweating from playing sports, he is plagued by breakouts in his forehead region. We have tried many of the available acne fighters (clearasil, pan-oxyl, etc) but these all dry out his skin, leave burning or irritation and also don’t work in clearing up the pimples. So I enlisted my son as a guinea pig to try out Julie’s Tea Tree Healing Oil. The recipe calls for 4 types of oils/essentials that I found at the local health store and cost less than $15. All you need do is mix together in a bottle and you have 5 ounces of acne fighter. My son applied the Tea Tree Healing Oil twice a day, and after a week the results were positive. Although the pimples did not instantly disappear the redness and swelling minimized greatly. Now in the second week of use, it appears that the breakouts are not returning. He does have the occasional zit, but nothing like before. He has asked that I continue making this oil for him to use as a preventative measure against future breakouts!

    Overall I am completely satisfied with The Green Beauty Guide and I’m looking forward to trying out quite a few more of the deliciously helpful recipes found inside.

    About The Author

    Julie Gabriel is a registered nutrition specialist (RHN) educated at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrtion. She is in the process of launching her own organic skin care line called Petite Marie Organics. She has been writing and editing fashion and beauty for fifteen years and has worked with CNN’s Style, Harper’s Bazaar and numerous women’s magazines.

    Green Beauty Guide Website

    Published by HCI Books



    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

    Review – King of Sword and Sky by C.L. Wilson

    king of sword and sky Synopsis
    King of Sword and Sky is Book 3 of the Tairen Soul series. Returning to the Fading Lands with his Celierian truemate, Rain discovers a dissension among the most powerful members of his own council. As the Eld plot their next deadly strike, Ellysetta struggles to master her powerful magic and discover how to save the tairen, while Rain confronts open challenge to his rule and prepares to lead the Fey army to war. Previous entries in the series are Book 1 - Lord of the Fading Lands and Book 2 - Lady of Light and Shadows.
    Review
    Many people may at first glance assume King Of Sword and Sky is just another book in the romantic-fantasy genre, but they would be mistaken. This series is first and foremost adventure story of epic proportions. Although there is some romance involved, it is not the main focus of this story, instead it is used as a way to emphasize the story. There is also mystery, suspense and magical action galore to be found in this story.
    Tairen, tairen, soaring high
    Undisputed king of sky
    Which great god did fearless chance
    To cast thy bold magnificence?
    C.L. Wilson has created a staggeringly vibrant world populated with all manner of fantastical beings, including elves, fey and wizard mages, with the main race being the Tairens. The main characters Ellie and Rain develop even more stronger personalities as their story continues on in this third novel and Wilson displays astounding creativity and imagination in creating a world that is more complex than any other fantasy realms brought to life through books.
    The Fading Lands
    Shrouded behind an impenetrable curtain of magic known as the Faering Mists, the Fading Lands are home to the Fey, a race of legendary, fiercely powerful immortals.
    Also called the Shining Folk for their incomparable beauty and the faint luminosity of their pale skin, the Fey are champions of Light who throughout the millennia have willingly sacrificed themselves again and again to defeat the forces of darkness in the World. Their greatest enemies are the followers of Seledorn, God of Shadows, chief among them the dark-souled Mages of Eld.
    The Fey used to mingle freely with other races, but after the devastation of the Mage Wars, they returned to the Fading Lands, erected the Faering Mists, and withdrew from the World.
    Now darkness is rising again in the land of their greatest enemy, and it is time for the Fey to enter the World once more.
    This review is shorter than I woud like and doesn’t come close to expressing how wonderful this series is, but there is so much going on with these books plotwise that it would be difficult to add more without spoilers. The Tairen Soul series is one that I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys the complexities involved in fantasy epics such as Lord Of The Rings or any of the sagas by Terry Brooks. King Of Sword and Sky is a sensational story of good versus evil.
    About The Author
    C.L. Wilson is an award winning debut author of a new cross-genre series that combines sword and sorcery fantasy with lush romance. Her first book is being released in two back-to-back volumes in October and November 2007 as lead titles of Dorchester Publishing's Leisure Books imprint. Ms. Wilson graduated cum laude from Georgia State University. She holds a Bachelors Degree in English, Creative Writing. Before selling her first book, she worked as a marketing manager, a technical trainer, and a marketing product manager for high tech companies.
    She is a member of Romance Writers of America and currently serves on the Board of her local chapter, Tampa Area Romance Authors.
    Author Website
    Published by Leisure

    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

    Review - Year Of Secret Assignments by Jaclyn Moriarty

    year of secret assignments Synopsis
    In The Year of Secret Assignments, a tenth grade English teacher attempts to unite feuding schools by launching a pen-pal project. Best friends Cassie, Emily and Lydia initiate the correspondence, and are answered by Matthew, Charlie and Seb. Emily and Lydia are more than pleased with their matches, but quiet Cassie has a frightening experience with Matthew. When Lydia and Emily discover that Matthew has threatened their fragile friend, the Ashbury girls close ranks, declaring an all-out war on the Brookfield boys. Soon, the couples are caught up in everything from car-jacking and lock-picking, to undercover spying and identity theft.
    Review
    What would be the best way to calm an ongoing rivalry between the Ashbury and Brookfield schools? The English teachers from these schools think pen-palling will fix everything. But not without a bit of excitement and mystery thrown in along the way.
    The Year Of Secret Assignments is such an enjoyable read. The story of the six pen pals is told through emails, letters, diaries and school notices, alternating from all the perspectives. This creates a very unique and interesting plot, that keeps the reader engaged throughout. I literally read this book in one sitting, because of the letter format every chapter leaves you with a cliff-hanger feeling. However I found that reading this book quickly was entertaining as the story itself moves along at a speedy pace.
    You would think that a book written in this style with 6 main narratives would be confusing at times, however Moriarty has given each character such a unique personality that you start to be able to tell them apart by their writing style alone. Each character, with the exception of one Brookfield boy, is highly likable and the reader is easily pulled into their individual stories.
    The Year Of Secret Assignments contains many hilarious incidents and ongoing dialogues between the pen pals, but it also examines some serious issues that teenagers may have to deal with. One such issue involves a girl who is having problems since her father’s death, and her two best friends who need to support her but don’t know how.  This novel is a terrifically fun read with the added bonus of having realistic teens who seem to mature throughout the course of the novel.
    About The Author
    Jaclyn Moriarty lives in Australia.
    Jaclyn's young-adult novels, Feeling Sorry for Celia and The Year of Secret Assignments, are both international bestsellers.
    Author Website
    Published by Scholastic Paperbacks

    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

    Review - Lala Pipo by Hideo Okuda

    Lala Pipo

    Synopsis

    “This sleazy novel is not recommendable for ladies or gentlemen.”

    So reads the jacket of the Japanese edition of this collection of six dark, interrelated, tragicomic chapters dealing with themes of desire, inadequacy, and failure, using the underbelly of sex as its canvas. As misheard by one of the characters, “a lot of people,” is “Lala Pipo.”

    Lala Pipo is an ingenius tapestry of absurdity, whose cast of unlikable characters cross the line of good taste that even those who have crossed the line cannot help but notice. Each act pushes the envelope past the one preceding it. It’s like an episode of Seinfeld directed by Bob Guccione, all the story elements cleverly weaving together, taking the reader from shock to gut-busting hilarity with each tale. The main difference: these losers are X-rated.

    Lala Pipo is being made into a feature film to be released in Japan in 2009.

    Review

    Well I have to agree with the book’s cover quote, this book is sleazy. It’s also not a book to read if you are looking for something uplifting or happy. The themes this book explores are all related to hopelessness and the helplessness that follows. The characters in this novel may have been good people at some point, but life, society and other people have dragged them down into a depraved existence.

    Lalo Pipp is separated into six short stories involving related characters (although unknown to one another), and builds to a explosive coming together of coincidences and misery. There are no likable characters to be found here, but their horrible lives and the disastrous decisions are what keep the plot moving and the reader ensnared.

    I What A Fool Believes A self-exiled writer who is obsessed with masturbating to sounds of sex he hears coming from his upstairs neighbours apartment.

    II Get Up, Stand Up The story of the upstairs neighbour who is a talent scout for hostess clubs, now has to find a mother/daughter ensemble for a porn shoot.

    III Light My Fire The mother half of the group who lives in a garbage infested home and steals her neighbours hate mail for thrills.

    IV Gimme Shelter A Karaoke Bar employee, and writer of the hate mail, who finds his workplace turning into a whorehouse.

    V I Shall Be Released This follows the story of a writer of erotic novels who goes undercover to the Karaoke bar to escape mid-life frustrations.

    VI Good Vibrations This chapter wraps up all the stories and ends the novel. 

    While Lala Pipo is definitely not for everyone and does contain a lot of disturbing things, it does present a valid representation of the way in which society has created a self-involved way of life. None of the characters seem to be aware of the world and people which surround them. Although the subject matter of Lala Pipo is not attractive, I did find the narrative and dialogue to be quite engaging.

    About The Author

    Hideo Okuda was born in 1959. His first novel was published in 1998 after he worked as a magazine editor, planner, and copywriter. He is now one of the most popular author of entertainment novels in Japan, known for his comical portrayals of people at all levels of society.

    Published by Vertical Inc.



    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

    Review – Yellowknife by Steve Zipp

    yellowknife Synopsis

    WELCOME TO THE MYSTERIOUS NORTH

    People come here for the damndest reasons.  Something to do with the North Pole, maybe.  It attracts them, I think.  Like, there's metal filings in their heads or something.

    A penniless drifter, a businessman obsessed by bones, an artist with a baseball bat, a fallen academic who lives at the dump, a biologist with a son named after a fungus, a native man older than Canada, a Mounty with a jaw of steel.

    He dropped several boxes of ammo into his pocket, little plastic containers with sliding lids, the shells lined up like tiny lead soldiers waiting to do their duty.  He contained an impulse to throw back his head and howl.

    Our Lady of the Lake Trout, the Paradox of the Ravens, the Ice Road Cafe, the Mosquito Research Institute. Y2K and the birth of Nunavut.  A legend, a myth, a mystery.


    Review

    First off, a huge shout out to thank Steve Zipp, author of Yellowknife, for offering a copy of his novel to me for the 2nd Canadian Book Challenge eh? I totally respect and feel thankful to authors who place their trust (and their paper babies) into the hands of book bloggers.

    Now let’s get onto the book eh? So I’m Canadian, so is Steve and his book is also Canadian, being set in the Canadian city of Yellowknife. But the Canada found within this novel is definitely not the Canada I’m used to. I never would have guessed just how different my area of Canada could be from another, but not in a bad way! After reading the fantastic descriptions of this city I am all for a vacation to experience the wonders of Yellowknife for myself.

    I won’t even kid myself into thinking I can discuss the plot of Yellowknife to the degree of justice it deserves. If you skipped past the synopsis above, go back up and take a peek. Okay so now that everyone is clear on the plotline(s) let me tell you what a fantastic job the author did of combining together a few convoluted scenarios featuring a cast of utterly unforgettable characters into a mesmerizing tale of a town that comes to life with vivid details.

    The characters that populate this novel were lovable in their realistic humanity. They all have problems, from being ambushed by a buffalo to having to sleep in a basement office under your desk. One of the most endearing qualities of the characters is that they seem to be life-losers, always on the losing team but forever going to bat. As a reader, you really start to cheer these guys on, hoping that just once that might hit a home run.

    But no matter how great the characters and storyline are, the truly outstanding aspect of Yellowknife is the writing. As with a car, it can be sleek and gorgeous but the unseen engine underneath is what powers it. This book has an engine that could give a Nascar racer a run for his money. Steve Zipp clearly has a way with words, but his eye for detail helps this immensely. The descriptions found here are startlingly lifelike and add a down-home quality to the town and inhabitants he has created.

    I highly recommend Yellowknife for everyone. A fantastic mix of mystery, action, humour and bureaucratic satire, with a twist of bizarre thrown in for good measure. If you are a fan of Twin Peaks, Northern Exposure or Men In Trees I think you will find Yellowknife a captivating and enjoyable read.

     

    About The Author

    Steve Zipp spent many years in the North, his work taking him from Baffin Island to the Mackenzie Mountains, the Arctic coast to the Mackenzie Bison Sanctuary.

    He's battled mosquitoes and overflow and frozen water pipes.  He's banded ducks and tagged polar bears, participated in aerial caribou surveys, chowed down on seal and walrus, endured raven-induced blackouts, and enjoyed many other pleasures of northern life. 

    Excerpts from Yellowknife have appeared in Lichen and Pottersfield Portfolio.  Other writings by the author have appeared in On Spec and Prairie Fire.

    Author Website

    Published by Res Telluris



    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

    Tuesday Thingers – This is bat country.

    tuesday thingersToday's Question: Favourite Authors. Who do you have named in your LT account as favourite authors? Why did you choose them? How many people share your choices? Can you share a picture of one of them?

     

    It actually took me about twenty minutes to figure out exactly where to find the author stats, imagine my feeling of dummy-ness when I realized it was right there on the main profile page. I can tell this is going to be a week where Friday can’t come soon enough!

    As you probably guessed, this isn’t an LT feature I’ve used very much. I do have a few authors listed as favourites, some are authors I have read and loved for many years and others I had added to have easy access to series/new book info. Below are some photos I love of Hunter S. Thompson (RIP)

     

       16491866-16491868-large 16491852-16491854-large

    Hunter Thompson press pass-thumbhunter_rolling_stone

    8569eaa513497b3f4e4e6bebca714eda



    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

    Review - The Tenth Gift by Jane Johnson

    Note: This novel is known as Crossed Bones (UK) Tenth Gift (USA)


    tenth giftcrossed bones Synopsis

    In an expensive London restaurant Julia Lovat receives a gift that will change her life. It appears to be a book of exquisite 17th-century embroidery patterns but on closer examination Julia finds it also contains faint diary entries. In these, Cat Tregenna, an embroideress, tells how she and others were stolen out of a Cornish church in 1625 by Muslim pirates and taken on a brutal voyage to Morocco to be auctioned off as slaves.
    Captivated by this dramatic discovery, Julia sets off to North Africa to determine the authenticity of the book and to uncover more of Cat's story. There, in the company of a charismatic Moroccan guide, amid the sultry heat, the spice markets, and exotic ruins, Julia discovers buried secrets. And in Morocco - just as Cat did before her - she loses her heart.
    Almost 400 years apart, the stories of the two women converge in an extraordinary and haunting manner that will make readers wonder - is history fated to repeat itself?

    Review

    Crossed Bones is told from the perspectives of both Julia and Cat. Separated by hundreds of years these two narratives intertwine to tell an exciting story. Crossed Bones tells these two stories in alternating sections, but they mesh together in a way that makes the plot move at a good pace and with only the necessary details revealed. Pirates, embroidery, Moroccan slave trade and adultery – this story has plenty to keep you interested.

    The characters, Julia and Cat, left me feeling disappointed however, while I was very captivated by their experiences, the characters themselves were quite unappealing to me. It would be hard to explain my particular dislikes of Julia and Cat without giving away spoilers, but with Cat it has to do with her actions and how she rationalized (or didn’t) her choices. With Julia, I just didn’t like her, she came across as selfish and petty. I did not find myself empathizing with either of the main characters.

    Along with characters I could not relate to, the dialogue also felt somehow stunted. I did not like the flow of dialogue between characters, and some of it felt like it would not translate well to actual speech. Plot and descriptions found in Crossed Bones however was very strong. Although the plots were set in different times and places they both came together to create a fully functioning story. Descriptions were also especially strong in this book, the author lays out a vivid look at the contrasting landscapes of Britain and Morocco.

    Overall a good story, but not one that I will go back to anytime soon, I will however take a look at other works by this author as I did enjoy the key points of the novel. The following passage taken from Chapter One of Crossed Bones, illustrates an aspect of the novel that I enjoyed greatly – the inter-connectedness of people and things throughout time.

    ‘There are only two or three human stories, and they go on repeating themselves as fiercely as if they have never happened before, like larks that have been singing the same five notes for thousands of years.'

    About The Author

    Jane Johnson is from Cornwall and has worked in the book industry for 20 years, as a bookseller, publisher and writer.

    She was responsible for publishing the works of JRR Tolkien during the 1980s and 1990s and worked on Peter Jackson's Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, spending many months in New Zealand with cast and crew. Under the pseudonym of Jude Fisher she wrote three bestselling Visual Companions to the films. She has also written several books for children.

    In 2005 she was in Morocco researching the story of a distant family member who was abducted from a Cornish church in 1625 by Barbary pirates and sold into slavery in North Africa (which formed the basis for Crossed Bones / The Tenth Gift), when a near-fatal climbing incident caused her to rethink her future.

    She returned home, gave up her office job in London, sold her flat and shipped the contents to Morocco. In October she married her own 'Berber pirate' and now they split their time between Cornwall and a village in the Anti-Atlas Mountains.

    Author Website

    Published by Crown



    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

    Review – Whiskey Rebels by David Liss

    whiskey rebelsSynopsis

    Ethan Saunders, once among General Washington's most valued spies, now lives in disgrace, haunting the taverns of Philadelphia. An accusation of treason has long since cost him his reputation and his beloved fiancé, Cynthia Pearson, but at his most desperate moment he is recruited for an unlikely task - finding Cynthia's missing husband. To help her, Saunders must serve his old enemy, Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton, who is engaged in a bitter power struggle with political rival Thomas Jefferson over the fragile young nation's first real financial institution: the Bank of the United States.
    Meanwhile, Joan Maycott is a young woman married to another Revolutionary War veteran. With the new states unable to support their ex-soldiers, the Maycotts make a desperate gamble: trade the chance of future payment for the hope of a better life on the western Pennsylvania frontier. There, amid hardship and deprivation, they find unlikely friendship and a chance for prosperity with a new method of distilling whiskey. But on an isolated frontier, whiskey is more than a drink; it is currency and power, and the Maycotts' success attracts the brutal attention of men in Hamilton's orbit, men who threaten to destroy all Joan holds dear.
    As their causes intertwine, Joan and Saunders - both patriots in their own way - find themselves on opposing sides of a daring scheme that will forever change their lives and their new country.

    Review

    The Whiskey Rebels is a fictionalized account based upon actual historical happenings. My problem with this review is that I am lacking any knowledge of these events, so whether they are accurate or not I cannot say. I can however say that The Whiskey Rebels is a very entertaining read. Part history, part mystery and part political espionage, I think that this novel will appeal to many different readers.

    The story is narrated chapter by chapter in turns by the two main characters, Ethan Saunders and Joan Maycott. While they both have separate stories to tell, they will both come together to create a wholly intriguing tale. I did prefer the narrative of Ethan Saunders because his dialogue and character seemed much more developed. He is dealing with serious issues, but his is told with dashes of humour, which I found to be a charmingly human touch. Joan Maycott’s character is a great representation of a strong, powerful women who will let nothing stand in her way, but her character did not have the depth that Ethan possessed.

    The Whiskey Rebels is a very engaging story, with a twisty-turny plot that leads you down many paths along the way. The gigantic cast of secondary characters, which includes such historical figures as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, is also appealing, if a bit hard to keep track of. The one thing I enjoyed most from this novel, is not to do with story or character, but with the writing. David Liss has an amazing way with descriptive writing.

    Upon another settee was a couple of some fifty years apiece, handsomely if uninterestingly appointed. The man was a bit on the short side, and plagued with that curious sort of fat which accumulates only in the belly, the rest of his body remaining gaunt, so that he appeared great with child. His gray haired lady, attired in a modest black gown, had pleasing features and must have been acceptably comely some thirty years earlier; probably not so, ten years later.

    While reading the above passage I had a crystal clear image of the couple mentioned. These vivid descriptions are found throughout the novel and provide lots of inner eye candy for the reader. Overall I found The Whiskey Rebels an enjoyable experience, however there were times when my interest ebbed, especially during the explanations of economic/financial issues. 

    About The Author

    David Liss is the author of four novels, with more on the way. David is currently at work on a stand-alone historical novel set in 1790's Philadelphia and New York, due in bookstores in early 2008, as well other projects including another instalment in the Benjamin Weaver series. Born in New Jersey and raised in Florida, David is, in fact, a one-time encyclopaedia salesman. He received his B.A. from Syracuse University, an M.A. from Georgia State University and his M.Phil from Columbia University, where he left his dissertation unfinished to pursue his writing career. David lives in San Antonio with his wife and children.

    Author Website

    Published by Random House



    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

    The Sunday Salon - Randomness

    So I am supposed to be catching up on reviews, in order to complete my Weekly Geeks assignment this week. But ... what do I do instead? I decide to re-vamp my blog instead. Please excuse the mess, I hope to have everything the way I want it, nice and tidy sometime this week. Obviously I've not been doing any reading this Sunday, so for my Salon post I have grabbed this nifty little questionnaire from Randomness.

    random Sunday Salon

    Let's Talk About Books

     

  • Name a few of your favourite books. The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson, Front Porch Prophet by Raymond Atkins, Geek Love by Katherine Dunn, The Stand by Stephen King, Naked Lunch by William Burroughs
    • Is there an author that you don't like, yet so many people seem to love? James Patterson, Sophie Kinsella, JK Rowling
      • Name a book to film that you really like. Name one you think was done poorly. BEST - Alice in Wonderland, Apocalypse Now, The Outsiders WORST - I Am Legend
        • Where do you buy your books? Mostly Chapters/Indigo and used bookshops
          • What genre do you read the most? Right now I've been bouncing around genres, but overall I have read more books from paranormal/horror category (my guilty pleasure is cheap 80's paperback horror)
            • What genre do you dislike? I really don't like historical romance written in the Harlequin style.
              • Is there a book that has changed your life? I would have to say that it would be the first book I ever read / had read to me. No idea what it would have been but I have loved books as long as I can remember so it must have been a great book.
                • Have you ever met an author? What author would you like to meet? I have met some local authors that wrote local interest non-fiction. If I could meet any author I would choose William Shakespeare. That's not gonna happen any time soon (I hope) but I think he was probably one of the greatest minds in literary history. His grasp of human behaviour was so amazing that I think just people-watching with him in a cafe would be the experience of a lifetime.


                  • © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

                    Weekly Geeks #18 – Playing Catch (up)

                    weekly geeks 1
                    This week Dewey has given us just the assignment I need - catch up on… something.
                    It can be anyhthing related to your book blogging - …challenges …organizing your sidebar… updating lists… making links…bloghopping… your TBR pile… your library books… updating your blogroll… updating your reader… ???

                    Since I had already updated my challenges last week, I think what I will do for this assignment is catch up on all the unwritten or partially written reviews I have sitting in my drafts folder. The following are the list I will be working with this week. 22 reviews in 7 days – durrr – at least have have my basic ideas written out, it’s just a matter of polishing them up a bit.
                    • Book Thief - Markus Zusak
                    • Life As We Knew It - Susan Beth Pfeffer
                    • Isabel Burning - Donna Lynch
                    • Freezer Burn - Joe R Lansdale
                    • Go Go Girls of The Apocalypse – Victor Gischler
                    • Year Of Secret Assignments - Jaclyn Moriarty Review Posted Here
                    • Time Travellers Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
                    • Art Of Racing In The Rain – Garth Stein
                    • Passenger – Ronald Damien Malfi
                    • No One Belongs Here More Than You – Miranda July
                    • We Have Always Lived In The Castle – Shirley Jackson
                    • Dark Delicacies 2 – Jeff Gelb
                    • Once Bitten, Twice Shy – Jeniffer Rardin
                    • Looking For Alaska – John Green
                    • Fables Volumes 1-4
                    • The Shack – William P. Young
                    • The Green Beauty Guide - Julie Gabriel Review Posted Here 
                    • Schooled - Anisha Lakhani Review Posted Here 
                    • The Black Whole - Jackie Jones Review Posted Here
                    • King Of Sword and Sky - CL Wilson Review Posted Here
                    • Guernica – Dave Boling
                    • Lala Pipo – Hideo Okuda Review Posted Here
                    • YellowKnife – Steve Zipp Review Posted Here
                    • The Whiskey Rebels – David Liss Review Posted Here
                    • Crossed Bones – Jane Johnson Review Posted Here
                    Maybe I will do some of them as normal reviews and some of them using Dewey's awesome Book Review Questionnaire – I used it when writing a review for Crooked Little Vein and it was very refreshing and fun.
                    So I have a questions for everyone, what type of review is your favourite to read? Do you prefer traditional or different types (Q And A’s, Haiku Review, One sentence review, etc.) Do you have a certain review style that you are more comfortable with using when writing or does it depend on the book? I would love to hear everyone's thoughts on this :)


                    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

                    WG #17 Quotes Day 6

                    2004_0220Image0006 

                    A dog has the soul of a philosopher. 
                    - Plato 

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                    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

                    WG #17 Quotes Day 5

                    Ever consider what dogs must think of us? I mean, here we come back from the grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth!
                    ~ Anne Tyler
                     


                    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

                    WG #17 Quotes Day 4

                    IMG_0376223

                     

                     

                    The most

                    affectionate

                    creature in

                    the world is

                    a wet dog. 

                    ~Ambrose Bierce

                     



                    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

                    Review - Watching July by Christine Hart

                    watching julySynopsis

                    Sixteen-year-old July MacKenzie can hardly recognize her own life anymore. A few months ago, she was enjoying her urban lifestyle in Vancouver, going to school, hanging out with the same old friends she'd had for years. Now, when she steps out her back door, the only evidence of human existence she sees is an empty road, stretching off in the distance to nowhere.
                    It all happened so fast! Her mom was killed in a hit and run accident, and before she knew it Marie, her other parent, had sold the house, packed up and moved them out into the Interior. How could she leave everything behind like that? July could never make new friends. She'd never get used to the dark nights of the countryside. And she'd never, ever, stop missing her birth mom as long as she lived!

                    But then July meets the boy down the road. Surprised to find herself falling in love and making friends at school, she starts to see the possibility of building a new life. But mysterious events soon make it clear that her new world is still very connected to her past. When it is revealed that her mother's death was not what it seemed, July must face some shocking discoveries that quickly gain a momentum that spirals out of control.

                    In Watching July, author Christine Hart brings her readers into the innermost feelings, fears and joys of a contemporary teen. In the face of loss, relocation and the challenges of growing up, July gains the courage to move on from her past and confront the dangers in her present. July's struggle to find a strong voice will resonate in the hearts and minds of today's youth.


                    Review


                    July Mackenzie was an average, happy teenaged girl, who enjoyed life, got along well with her family and had good friends at a school she liked. However, the day her mother was killed in an automobile accident would change her forever. After her mother’s death, July’s step-mom (her biological mother’s partner) packed them up and moved them to a small town in the British Columbia Interior, where they could start over and try to re-build a life together.
                    This element of the story is what brings about enormous amounts of trouble for July. First she was dealing with her mother’s passing, but now she must also face a new home where she knows
                    no one, a new school – which for teens is so hard – and the loneliness of being separated from her friends. Add to this the pressure of making new friends with kids who may consider her an outsider, being that she is from a big city. Also the judgements she may receive from people because of growing up within a same-sex family. It’s amazing that July survives as well as she has, with only mild depression and anxiety.
                    Eventually things settle down for July as she finds a few close friends and begins a relationship with the most sought after boy in town. But the good times don’t last long, as July starts being plagued by terrifying nightmares that strike a paranoia within her that compels her to investigate the details of her mother’s accident.

                    Watching July is a very engaging story with wonderful use of suspense, the many plot twists keep this book interesting even with some predictability. Most of the characters are well developed with their own distinct appeal, however some of the secondary characters seemed unimportant to the story as a whole. The relationships between characters were strong and
                    mostly realistic, although some of the dialogue did not translate well and felt slightly awkward. Overall, I enjoyed Watching July, but felt it needed a bit more polish.

                    About The Author

                    Christine Hart lives in Victoria, BC. Hart, who is a communications specialist, has also done freelance writing for newspapers, magazines, websites and corporations. Watching July is her first novel.

                    Author Website

                    Published by Sumach Press

                    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

                    WG #17 Quotes Day 3

                    From the dog's point of view, his master is an elongated and abnormally cunning dog.  ~Mabel Louise Robinson

                     

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                    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

                    BBAW – Spread The Blogger Love

                    BookBloggerButton Today is the first day of Book Blogger Appreciation Week. Many blogs have been nominated, votes were cast and now the winners will be announced during the Awards Presentations. There are many exciting things going on this week, including the Book Blog Readers Contest and lots of BBAW giveaways. Throughout the week there will also be some activities and assignments for BBAW participants to take part in and blog about.


                    My Friend Amy has assigned this great idea to kick off the week:

                    To get us started...you may have noticed that the blogs you love best and appreciate didn't make the list of nominations! So today is your chance to thank them. Write a post thanking or highlighting the book blogs you love to read (be sure to link to them!)


                    Naida’s blog The Bookworm is one of my favourite blogs. Her book reviews are always a pleasure to read. Naida also participates in the Weekly Geeks and her entries are interesting and fun. Take a peek at her blog and make sure you visit her Etsy shop Naida’s Crochet, where you can find beautiful hand-made scarves, hats and more. My personal favourite is Lucius the Sock Monkey!

                    il_fullxfull.33490051


                    Capture

                    Icedream at Reading In Appalachia is another blogger who gives terrific opinions and insights into her reading. Just try not to get lost daydreaming while looking at her beautiful blog header! Icedream is also a regular contributor to the Tuesday Thingers and her answers are always interesting. Icedream has terrific giveaways, an eclectic taste in books and I love reading the wonderful comments she leaves on my blog.


                    superniqAllesandra can be found at Out Of The Blue, where you can find lots of entertaining thoughts about books and reading. Something I discovered at Allesandra’s website that was extremely interesting to me is her posts about languages and the ways we learn them. She is also a contributor to 3 other book related blogs: Read The Nobels, I Heard It Through The Grapevine and YA Romance Challenge.


                    Maree’s book blog Just Add Books (what a fantastic title eh?) is another favourite of mine. Just last week Maree geeked it up with me and we interviewed one another about a books (Space and The Gargoyle) Maree gave me some terrific questions and answers! She is a fantastic reviewer, whose blog is so much fun to read. And who can forget about Merlin?!? Merlin and books

                    Also for this weeks geekery Maree is treating us to a quote a day about cats, with some utterly adorable pictures to accompany them. (If I end up at the SPCA this week I blame Maree lol)




                    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

                    WG #17 - Quotes Day 2

                    97160019 

                    It's not the size of the dog in the fight,
                    it's the size of the fight in the dog.
                    - Mark Twain

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                    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

                    The Sunday Salon - Challenged by Challenges

                    I've decided to take part in The Genre Challenge which begins November 1st. It looks like a terrific way to expand beyond my normal reading genres and try out some new stuff. All the details are below, with a link to the site where you can join!

                    Genre Challengegenre challenge

                    Hosted by Bookworms and Tea Lovers

                    The goal:
                    To read one book in the following genres: crime fiction, detective fiction, mystery fiction, horror fiction, thriller fiction, romance fiction, science fiction, action/adventure fiction, fantasy fiction, realistic fiction, historical fiction, and western fiction. Specific definitions of these genres can be found in this post.

                    There are three options:
                    A: Read 10 books, drop genre you read most and one of your choice
                    B: Read 11 books, drop the genre you read the most
                    C: Read 12 books

                    The rules:
                    -You may not read more than 1 book per genre.
                    -All books must be read within the challenge period.
                    -No crossovers within challenge, each genre has a separate book.
                    -Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
                    -Audio books are allowed, graphic novels are not.
                    -You may make a list of books, but that’s not mandatory and you can change your picks at any time before or during the challenge.

                    A~ZReadingChallenge

                    My A-Z Reading challenge is going pretty smoothly, although I really need to get my TBRs organized since I have read quite a few books that I've already covered letters for - lol.

                    I'm officially half done this challenge with 26 books read of 52!

                    2456928072_52e0779c22

                    My Canadian Book Challenge Eh? progress is not so great so far. Again because I don't consider how a book fits into my challenges before I begin reading.

                    So of the 13 books needed to complete this challenge I've read 4!

                    ripthree200For the RIP III Challenge I chose to read 4 scary stories. Not doing so badly on this one, but I haven't read anything from my initial book list. Durrr...

                    Halfway done this one! I've read 2 of the 4 spooky stories!

                    lt 75

                    My first and biggest challenge of the year is complete! Wooot!

                    Over at LibraryThing, I had seen a 75 book challenge, and I had to join. At first I thought that the goal of reading 75 books in a year would be tough ... but I made it with lots of time to spare.

                    So far in 2008 I have read 82 books. But now that I reached my goal, I have decided to go for 100 - I don't think it will be that hard as I only need 18 more books within the next 3 and a half months.

                    Overall I don't think I'm doing too bad with my challenges, I just need to remember when I'm looking at my TBR mountain that I should consider which books will go towards a challenge and which ones won't.

                    Happy Sunday everyone! And if you have a second, tell me whether you are participating in any reading challenges this year. Any advice or hints you have for staying organized would be greatly, gigantically appreciated :)



                    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

                    WG #17 - Quotes Day 1

                    weekly geeks 3 This week’s activity is: A Quote a Day.

                    You may want to come up with a theme, such as favorite passages from books, author quotes, political quotes, quotes about books or reading, humorous quotes, whatever. Or you may not want a theme at all; maybe you just want to gather up seven assorted quotes that appeal to you. You may want to start each of your posts of the week with a quote, or you may want to give quotes posts of their own in addition to your regular posts. It’s all up to you!

                    For this weeks Weekly Geeks, I have decided to combine two of the most important things in my life - my love of reading and my dogs. So everyday this week I will present a quote about dogs from a famous author (and I will also sneak in some photos of my beloved pooches - Suki & Raimi)

                    To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden where doing nothing was not boring - it was peace. ~ Milan Kundera

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                    © 2008-2010 Joanne Mosher of The Book Zombie. All rights reserved.

                    Official BBAW Giveaway List

                    The Official BBAW Giveaway List

                    If you follow along for the festivities of BBAW at My Friend Amy, you will find many chances to win LOTS of goodies! Like what? Well have a look below. All of these things will be given away between September 15-19. There will be a huge variety of ways to win them and giveaways will be announced constantly throughout the week. So be sure to check in often!


                    A HUGE thank you to Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group USA, Harlequin, The B&B Media Group, Shera of SNS Blog Design, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, Catherine Delors, Pamela Binnings Ewen, Andromeda Romano-Lax, Ceceilia Dowdy, Sormag, Book Club Girl, Savvy Verse and Wit, Cafe of Dreams, Fashionista Piranha, and Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'?.  


                    Daily Raffles:
                    Monday--Books and Chocolate sponsored by My Friend Amy and Hey Lady! Whatcha' Readin?
                    Tuesday--Books and Going Green sponsored by My Friend Amy
                    Wednesday--Books and Coffee sponsored by My Friend Amy
                    Thursday--Books and Charity sponsored by My Friend Amy and Fashionista Piranha
                    Friday--Books and Movies sponsored by My Friend Amy


                    Win a Book Club Girl Hostess Survival Kit!
                    Do you find it's your turn to host book club and not only do you not know what to serve but you don't know what books to offer up for the next month's selection?! Let Book Club Girl come to your rescue with the Book Club Girl Hostess Survival Kit.
                    One lucky winner of the kit will receive:
                    * A basket of cheese, crackers, cookies and wine for up to 12 people
                    * 5 great book group books to vote on for your group's next pick. And Book Club Girl will then donate 12 copies whichever book is chosen for your entire group to read.
                    * 12 Book Club Girl mousepads to give out as party favors that night
                    * 12 Book Club Girl bookmarks to mark everyone's favorite passages
                    * 12 Book Club Girl coasters to protect your coffee table from all those wine glasses!


                    TWO SORMAG Goody Bags containing books and more!


                    A Special Pamper Me Basket from Cafe of Dreams!
                    From Avon Foot Works
                    ~ Inflatable watermelon shaped foot tub
                    ~ 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Cooling Foot Lotion
                    ~ 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Exfoliating Foot Scrub
                    ~ 12 count Watermelon Effervescent Foot Tablets
                    ~ An ARC of So Long At The Fair by Christina Schwarz
                    ~ A variety of Hot Chocolate and Tea mixes


                    A pre-made blog template from SNSDesign!


                    A Subscription to Poetry Magazine from Savvy Verse and Wit!


                    BOOKS
                    Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors
                    The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen
                    The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax
                    John's Quest by Cecelia Dowdy
                    Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy
                    Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris
                    The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
                    The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
                    The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer
                    Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley
                    A Tale Out of Luck by Willie Nelson with Mike Blakely
                    The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent
                    When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
                    An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
                    Exit Music by Ian Rankin
                    The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik
                    Gunmetal Black by Daniel Serrano
                    Isolation by Travis Thrasher
                    The Miracle Girls by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
                    Every Freaking! Day With Rachell Ray by Elizabeth Hilts
                    Dewey by Vicki Myron
                    The Shiniest Jewel by Marian Henley
                    Keep the Faith by Faith Evans
                    The Book of Calamities by Peter Trachtenberg
                    A is for Atticus by Lorilee Craker
                    After the Fire by Robin Gaby Fisher
                    Mike's Election Guide by Michael Moore
                    War as They Knew It by Michael Rosenberg
                    Fixing Hell By Col. (ret.) Larry C. James
                    Wild Boy: My Life with Duran Duran by Andy Taylor
                    The Last Under-Cover: The True Story of an FBI Agent's Dangerous Dance with Evil By Bob Hamer
                    Border Lass by Amanda Scott
                    Insatiable Desire by Rita Heron
                    Hungry for More by Diana Holquist
                    Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
                    Trespassers Will Be Baptized by Elizabeth Emerson Hancock
                    He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Trish Ryan
                    Never Surrender by General Jerry Boykin
                    Dream in Color by Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, Congresswoman Loretta Sánchez
                    Beyond Belief by Josh Hamilton
                    Cobain Unseen by Charles R. Cross
                    Doing Business in 21st Century India by Gunjan Bagla
                    Branding Only Works on Cattle by Jonathan Salem Baskin
                    Launching a Leadership Revolution by Chris Brady, Orrin Woodward
                    How to Hear from God by Joyce Meyer
                    Knowing Right from Wrong by Thomas D. Williams
                    Pope John Paul II: An Intimate Life by Caroline Pigozzi
                    Pure by Rebecca St. James
                    He Loves Me! by Wayne Jacobson
                    So You Don't Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman
                    Move On, Move Up by Paula White
                    The Rosary by Gary Jansen
                    Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
                    The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
                    Right Livelihoods by Rick Moody
                    by George by Wesley Stace
                    The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
                    Trunk Music by Michael Connelly
                    Hollywood Crows by Joseph Wambaugh
                    Dead Boys by Richard Lange
                    The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez
                    Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn
                    Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky
                    With Endless Sight by Allison Pittman
                    Harlequin Titles: To Be Announced


                    Many other blogs are giving away books and prizes for BBAW as well! You can see the links to all of these giveaways here.


                    Interested in gaining entries into the daily raffles? Post this complete list on your blog with links and you'll earn two extra entries!

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