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Archive for December, 2010

Top Books of 2010

Posted by Caitie F on December 31, 2010

I am getting to this just in time! I finished my last book of the year today for a total of 110 book in 2010 – which is great for me! Instead of trying to figure out what my favorites were, I am looking at my spreadsheet and listing everything I gave a 10. It doesn’t mean they were all perfect, but they were all amazing reads! I have listed them in order read.

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett

It was my second book of the year and I am still telling people they should read it!  It was an excellent story with excellent writing. I am very excited about the movie!
2. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

I got this with a Christmas gift card last year and read it in a day. I could not put it down. I actually started writing my review WHILE I was reading it because I thought the first chapter was so fantastic.

3. Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

I read the first book last year and immediately loved Stargirl. Well, i think I loved her more in this book! I think educators and parents should read these books!

4. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by john Green and David Levithan

This was the first book I ever read by David Levithan and it made me want to read more by him. I thought it was a touching and beautiful story. I want to read more about Tiny!

5. If I Stay by Gayle Forman

I only waited so long to read it because the list at my library was long. I adored everything about this book. It made me think and started many long discussions with friends and family. I really look forward to the sequel

6. Catching Fire and Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

I loved the next two books so much. I lent them to four friends and ask everyone I meet if they have read the series yet!

7. Bliss by Lauren Myracle

This book showed me that Lauren Myracle is more than the ttyl series and can write an amazing paranormal and creepy book.

8. Speak by Lauren Halse Anderson

After reading about the controversy, I had to check out this book for myself. I am so glad I did. I wish it had been around when I was in high school, i would have given it to some girls in my class.

9. Not That Kind of Girl by Siobhan Vivian

I actually didn’t review one of my favorite books of the year! It was a great read and felt like it was realistic and was one of my most enjoyable reads of the year.

10. Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I didn’t review this one either, but so many people have and I agree with them. This is a beautiful, realistic romance. I fell in love with all of the imperfect and lovable characters. Anna may have been my favorite character of the year.

I can’t believe some of the most memorable books of the year weren’t on my list – but thinking about it, these really stood out on the whole!

What were your favorites this year?

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Posted in Blogging | 2 Comments »

2010 Reading Survey

Posted by Caitie F on December 30, 2010

I’m sure you may have seen this already, i know I have seen it several times and enjoyed reading what everyone has been saying!. This little survey is being hosted by Jamie over at The Perpetual Page-Turner.

1. Best book of 2010?
It is hard to just pick one, there were SO many great ones. I am going to go with The Duff by Kody Keplinger

2. Worst book of 2010?
I read one YA book that I couldn’t stand and was not for me at all – Perfect by Natasha Friend

3. Most Disappointing Book of 2010?
This book is disappointing because everyone else seems to love it. I have about 50 pages left, but Jane Eyre has not been my thing. I wanted to love it, but I just didn’t.

4. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2010?
It was The Help by Kathryn Stockett. I thought it was too hyped and couldn’t be that good – but it was!

5. Book you recommended to people most in 2010?
I recommended The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins to a ton of people this year. Four people have borrowed my copies of the books and I just gave the last two to my mom!

6. Best series you discovered in 2010?
Same as the last one, The Hunger Games was just fantastic!

7. Favorite new authors you discovered in 2010?
So many! My #1 was Elizabeth Eulberg. I raved about The Lonely Hearts Club and have recommended it to a lot of people and can’t wait to read her second book! I also found Sarah Ockler, Rae Mariz, and David Levithan!

8. Most hilarious read of 2010?
The Guinea Pig Diaries by AJ Jacobs. He always cracks me up!

9. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2010?
There were a few – all of the books in The Hunger Games, Matched, and If I Stay

10. Book you most anticipated in 2010?
Probably Anna and the French Kiss. I read a bunch of amazing reviews and finished it on Christmas and loved it!

11. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2010?
Probably Anna and the French Kiss. I thought it was a great cover that made me excited to read it.

12. Most memorable character in 2010?
Katniss! She freaking rocks.

13. Most beautifully written book in 2010?
This is a tough one, but I will say Going Bovine by Libba Bray

14. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2010?
Has to be Absolutely, Maybe by Lisa Yee because it made me look for YA with strong female characters and showed me what I want more of in YA.

15. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2010 to finally read?
There wasn’t really anything! The classics I read were great, but nothing really fits this question!

Posted in Blogging | 3 Comments »

Challenge Sign-Up: 2011 Original TBR

Posted by Caitie F on December 29, 2010

I know, I am doing TWO TBR challenges this year, but I really want to knock books off of my list! I did this one last year and loved it, so here I go again. For this one, I am only picking books that are ON my physical shelf and have been for over a year.

For this challenge you should…

** Pick 12 books – one for each month of the year – that you’ve been wanting to read (that have been on your “TBRead” list) for 6 months or longer, but haven’t gotten around to.

** OPTIONAL: Create a list of 12 “Alternates” (books you could substitute for your challenge books, given that a particular one doesn’t grab you at the time)

** Then, starting January 1, read one of these books from your list each month, endingDecember 31. )

y the end of the year you should’ve knocked 12 books off of your TBR list! (of course, if you’re anything like me, you’ll have added *at LEAST* 12 more to the ever-growing pile by then! LOL).

The good news is, though, that you’ll be making some progress! ;o)

Additional rules/guidelines for this challenge:

* the challenge is to read 12 TBR books in 12 months — you can read those all in one month if you want, or one a month, or however you wanna do it.
* you should have a list posted somewhere for others to see
you CANNOT change your list after January 1st, of the current year!!!
* you can create an Alternates list of MAXIMUM 12 books, if you want, in order to have options to choose from (you can read these in place of books on your original list).
* audiobooks and e-books ARE allowed
* re-reads are NOT allowed, as they aren’t TRUE “TBRs”
* you CAN overlap with other challenges

Main List

1. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
2. Youth in Revolt by C. D. Payne
3. Song of Susannah by Stephen King (read and reviewed)
4. 1776 by David McCullough
5. The Alienist by Caleb Carr
6. The Godfather by Mario Puzo
7. Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
8. Rant by Chuck Palahniuk
9. Little Green Men by Christopher Buckley
10. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
11. The Girl Who Stopped Swimming by Joshilyn Jackson
12. Pendragon The Merchant of Death by D. J. MacHale

Alternate List

1. Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
2. The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
3. True Story by Bill Maher
4. Fluke by Christopher Moore
5. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
6. Two for the Road by Jane and Michael Stern
7. In Their Own Words Contemporary American Playwrights Edited by David Savran
8. Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry
9. The Real Animal House by Chris Miller
10. JOB: A Comedy of Justice by Robert Heinlein
11. Jester by James Patterson
12.  Generation Dead by Daniel Waters

Posted in Challenges | 5 Comments »

Challenge Sign-Up: Haruki Murakami Challenge!

Posted by Caitie F on December 29, 2010

This challenge is being hosted by In Spring it is the Dawn and the goal is simple: Read books written by Haruki Murakami. I have read three of his books so far and loved them all, so I thought I would sign up!

I am going for

Sheep Man – Read 3 books

I am really looking forward to participating!

1. Norwegian Wood
2.
3. 

Posted in Challenges | 1 Comment »

Sunday Salon: A Day Late!

Posted by Caitie F on December 27, 2010

I am a day late on this one – it has been a busy weekend. We are in Ohio with my family still – our part of NJ got around 20 inches of snow so we are staying an extra day and a half and driving halfway tomorrow. It is Jason’s birthday, so I feel really badly that he has to drive during it, but there is a really good restaurant in the town we are staying in, so at least we will have that! We also won’t get to see a good friend of ours that is in town for a very short amount of time, so that is disappointing. I don’t like losing the hours at work – they are closed today and of course I didn’t bring my computer home so I can work there…oops.

Christmas was good – whole family was here and it was good to see everyone. Not many bookish gifts – just a sewing book and a book called How to Sew a Button: And Other Things Your Grandmother Knew How to Do. I was hoping for a gift card, but didn’t get one. We are heading to a bookstore today anyway!

I will be getting together my best of 2010 list sometime today and posting it Dec 31st. I am looking forward to it!

Hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and is staying warm and safe.

Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Challenge Sign-Up: 2011 Book Blogger Recommendations

Posted by Caitie F on December 19, 2010

Yep, I am joining another challenge! This is hosted by Reading With Tequila.

The Rules:

  • Challenge will run January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011. Participants can join anytime throughout the challenge.
  • Create an intro post, linking back to this post.
  • Sign up with the MckLinky below. Please link to your challenge intro post, not your blog home page.
  • Chose your own books from the list. You can decide to read books only on the Top 25 list or from the entire recommendation list. You do not have to make a list of books before the challenge begins.
  • All forms of books acceptable (audiobooks, eBooks, etc.)
  • Rereads do not count towards the completion of the challenge. The challenge is about discovering books that are new to you.
  • You don’t need a blog to participate.
  • Reviews, while always appreciated, are not mandatory.

I am signing up for Level III – Read 15 books

I don’t have to make a list beforehand, but I want to read books that are already on my TBR list. Here are some I plan to read…

  1. Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen
  2. Paranormalcy – Kiersten White
  3. City of Bones – Cassandra Clare
  4. Darkfever – Karen Marie Moning
  5. The Jungle Book – Rudyard Kipling
  6. Clockwork Angel – Cassandra Clare
  7. A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
  8. Wake – Lisa McMann
  9. Crescendo – Becca Fitzpatrick
  10. Graceling – Kristin Cashore
  11. I Know This Much Is True – Wally Lamb
  12. Soulless – Gail Carriger
  13. Fallen – Lauren Kate
  14. Hush, Hush – Becca Fitzpatrick
  15. Halo – Alexandra Adornetto
  16. Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom
  17. The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova
  18. A Time To Kill – John Grisham
  19. Across the Universe – Beth Revis
  20. Anansi Boys – Neil Gaiman
  21. Emma – Jane Austen
  22. Mockingbird – Kathryn Erskine
  23. Nightshade – Andrea Cremer
  24. Youth in Revolt – C.D Payne
  25. Beautiful Creatures – Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  26. Torment – Lauren Kate
  27. A Midsummer Night’s Dream – William Shakespeare
  28. Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden

Posted in Challenges | Leave a Comment »

Call Me Mrs. Miracle by Debbie Macomber

Posted by Caitie F on December 17, 2010

Title: Call Me Mrs Miracle
Author: Debbie Macomber
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Mira
Year Publisher:  2010
ISBN: 0778328198
Rating: +++

Summary (from goodreads):

While working in the toy department of a family-run department store in NYC, Mrs. Miracle seizes the opportunity to connect Holly, who is searching for the perfect robot for her nephew, with Jake, the owner’s son.

Review:

I didn’t enjoy this book quite as much as I liked Christmas Letters. I was a little preachy to me, which is always the risk you run with Christmas books. Other than that though, it was a fun, light read.

What I DID like was that it was as not as predictable. I mean, you can easily figure out who the main romance is between, but there were some surprises and some small twists I was not expecting!

It made me want to take the train into NYC (if only it wasn’t so expensive!) and see the city in its lights and decorations.

If you are looking for a fun, light, and fast holiday read, you should check it out! It is a sequel, but you do not have to read the first book to enjoy this one, the only carry over character is Mrs. Miracle

Posted in Review | 2 Comments »

Challenge Sign-Up: The TwentyEleven Challenge

Posted by Caitie F on December 16, 2010

This is being hosted by Bart’s Bookshelf and looks like a lot of fun! i am trying to diversify in 2011, so it looks like a great opportunity! You don’t have to pick books right away, but I am going to lay out some of my plans so I can figure it out!

Rules

The requirement will be a total of  20 books from 11 categories, this means there will be a slight changes to the rules though.

Rather than read 2 books in every category, you will need to read a minimum of 1 and a max of 2 in each. (Essentially meaning you can choose one category where you only need to read one book.)

I’ve also decided to mix the categories up a little bit this time around, keeping some of the popular ones and throwing a few new ones in there to keep it fresh.

As always though, the categories are intended to be loose guidelines only, if you decide it fits, then it fits! ;)

The only other things I think you need to know are:

  • Each book can only qualify for one category.
  • Crossovers with other challenges are allowed.
  • Books read from 01/01/2011 to 31/12/2011 are eligible.

And the categories for TwentyEleven are:

  1. To YA or not YA…
    Tend to read more Young Adult than Adult Fiction books then read one or two adult fiction titles
  2. …With a Twist.
    This one focuses on sub-genres, read a lot of chick-lit, then try a paranormal romance! This is tough because I read such a wide variety. I have not read much LIterary Fiction in 2010, so that is what I will read for this one!
  3. Hot off the Presses.
    Read a book published in 2011. Across the Universe will be one!
  4. It Wasn’t Me! (aka Bad Bloggers*)
    Books in this category, should be ones you’ve picked up purely on the recommendation of another blogger count for this category (any reviews you post should also link to the post that convinced you give the book ago). I am always adding things to my TBR list from Amanda from The Zen Leaf, so I will make sure one is from her!
  5. Show it Who is Boss!
    Tackle that overflowing T.B.R. pile! Books for this category must be already residents of your bookshelves as of 1/12/10. 
  6. Bablefish.
    Read books that are translated from a language that is not your own.
  7. Will-Power? What Will-Power? (aka: The Henry Ward Beecher Memorial.)
    Bought a book NEW during 2011? Then it counts for this category. Second-hand books do not count for this one, but, for those on book-buying bans, books bought for you as gifts or won in a giveaway also count.
  8. Mind the Gap.
    Need just one more book to compete that duology/trilogy/series then read it for this one!
    Because not everyone reads a series in order, this is for the last book you need to read, not necessarily the last book in the series…I want these to be the Jessica Darling series and the Girl with A Dragon…
  9. Back in the Day.
    Re-read an old favourite or two for this category. Wait, a reread? I’ll try to make these non-Christmas
  10. Way Back When.
    Read books that were published before you were born for this one, whether that be the day before or 100 years prior!
  11. Slim-Pickings
    Got a novella you want to read? Then this one is the one for you! Any books between 90-150 pages count.

My Books

1. The Song of Susannah by Stephen King
1. Little Green Men by Christopher Buckley
2. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
2. Velva Jean Learns to Drive by Jennifer Niven
3. Across the Universe by Beth Revis
3. Where She Went by Gayle Forman
4. If You Follow Me by Malena Watrous
4. Pathfinder by Orson Scott Card
5. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
5. Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan
6. Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
6. Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
7. Bossypants by Tina Fey
7. The Magicians by Lev Grossman
8. Forever Princess by Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries Series)
8. Extras by Scott Westerfeld
9. Boys and Girls Together by William Goldman
9.
10. Peril at End House by Agatha Christie
10. The Mysterious Affair at Styles by Agatha Christie
11. We the Animals by Justin Torres
11.

Posted in Challenges | 10 Comments »

Inkdeath by Cornelia Funke

Posted by Caitie F on December 16, 2010

Title: Inkdeath
Author: Cornelia Funke
Hardcover: 682 pages
Publisher: Chicken House (Scholastic)
Year Publisher:  2008
ISBN: 043988286
Rating: ++

Summary (from goodreads):

Ever since the extraordinary events of Inkspell, when the enchanted book Inkheart drew Meggie and her father, Mo, into its chapters, life in the Inkworld has been more tragic than magical. Dustfinger is dead, having sacrificed his life for his apprentice’s, and now, under the rule of the evil Adderhead, the fairy-tale land is in bloody chaos, its characters far beyond the control of Fenoglio, their author. Facing the threat of eternal winter, Mo inks a dangerous deal with Death itself. There yet remains a faint hope of changing the cursed story—if only he can fills its pages fast enough.

Review:

The first book was by far the best in the series. I couldn’t help but be disappointed in this last book. Just like the second book, I was not as connected to the characters. Mostly, Meggie fell to the side too much in this book, and when she was around, she was a whining brat, not the Meggie I loved in Inkheart. She complained about Farid, even though she acted the same way as hit with her father. She complained about her father’s actions, even though she knew he would never let children die for him. She was not longer a protagonist or an interesting character, which was disappointing because I loved her at the beginning of the series.

This book also felt unnecessarily long. I am fine with books that are almost 700 pages if it all feel likes it should be there. There were just too many parts that felt like they were filler and just keeping the reader from finding out how the series ended.

I liked that we saw the perspective of so many characters. I usually enjoy seeing the story play out from many eyes. That said, this is what added to the unnecessary parts that felt like filler. We went to Orpheus’ perspective too many times. It would have been more interesting and exciting if we had not seen his actions or thoughts because then there would have been some suspense in the book.

It was an enjoyable end and I liked seeing how they defeated Adderhead, but I think there was too much plot and not enough thought given to the reader. It felt very self-indulgent, like Funke was actually acting like her villain Orpheus and basking in this world she could create.

It was a very disappointing end. I kind of wish that it hadn’t been a series and had only been Inkheart because the other two books did not live up to the first.

Did you read it? Did you think it worked better as a series? Let me know why in the comments, I would love someone to convince me I am wrong!

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Challenge Sign up: The 2011 TBR Pile Challenge

Posted by Caitie F on December 15, 2010

This challenge is being hosted by Room Beam Reader

The Goal:
To finally read 12 books from your “to be read” pile, within 12 months.

Specifics:

1. Each of these 12 books must have been on your bookshelf or “To Be Read” list for AT LEAST one full year. This means the book cannot have a publication date of 1/1/2010 or later. Caveat: Two (2) alternates are allowed, just in case one or two of the books end up in the “can’t get through” pile.

2. To be eligible, you must sign-up with Mr. Linky

3. Your list must be posted by Friday, December 31st, 2010.

4. Every person who successfully reads his/her 12 books and/or alternates (and who provides a working link to their list, which has links to the review locations) will be entered to win a $50 gift card from either Amazon.com or The Book Depository!

5.  There may be mini-challenge “check-ins” throughout 2011, to award and recognize those participants who are progressing through the challenge. Participants who are making equal progress to-date (6 books at the 6 month check-in, for example) could win a prize!

6. Crossovers from other challenges are totally acceptable, as long as you have never read the book before and it was published pre-2010!

*Note – You can edit your list through Dec. 31st. As of 1/1/2011, the posted list needs to be final. Also, you can read the books on your list in any order; they do not need to be read in the order you have them listed. 🙂

My list – to choose my list I went on my spreadsheet of books, figured out the ones that had been there for over a year and put them on random.org. They are all books I have been meaning to read for a while!

1. The innocent Man by John Grisham
2. Be Strong and Curvaceous by Shelley Adina
3. Sounds Like Crazy by Shana Mahaffey
4. Plan B by Jenny O’Connell
5. A Proud Taste for Scarlet and Miniver by E.L. Konigsburg
6. The Boyfriend List by E. Lockhart
7. 1921: The Great Novel of the Irish Civil War by Morgan Llywelyn
8. Hot Seat: Theater Criticism for the Ny Times 1980-1993 by Frank Rich
9. Parrot and Oliver in America by Peter Carey
10. The Corrections by Johnathan Frazen
11. Barefoot: A Novel by Elin Hilderbrand
12. Bergendorf Blondes by Plum Skyes

Alternates

1. A Countess Below Stairs by Eva Ibbotson
2. The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold

There are some tough books on that list…glad i have some just for fun too!

Posted in Uncategorized | 7 Comments »