*Le Sigh* It turns out that classics aren't popular at all. Why is there no love for the oldies but goodies? I think the answer is clear--people don't understand just how amazing Edmond Dantès
and Sherlock Holmes are. If they did, then last week's Triviadventure would've been the most highly entered one yet. Sadly, it was the least. However, I am very excited to say that Danielle R., a self-confessed classics lover, is the winner of the classic of her choosing!This week I went to the Borders funeral sale. Well, actually I went to the Borders sale three or four times. On the third time, I was ecstatic to find Bernard Beckett's Genesis
for $3.99 in hardback but when I went to the register, it ended up being $1.99. I think it is clear that I went back and bought several more copies. So, I will give away 2 this week for the trivia. For that, it's got to be US only. HOWEVER, I love my international buddies so you guys and gals can still enter and if you win, we'll figure a little summin' summin' out. Because Beckett is a Kiwi author, this week's trivia question will all be about New Zealand. (books and otherwise)
1) These comedians and musicians from New Zealand had their own show on HBO. The two of them basically play themeselves as a struggling NZ musical act in New York City.
2) This YA book features a storyline woven in with Maori lore. The author, Karen Healey, is a New Zealander, and the US cover features a white mask.
3) Keri Hulme penned this 1984 Booker Prize-winning work set in New Zealand. The main character's name is Kerewin Holmes.
4) What is the capital of New Zealand?
5) Despite being released in 1985, this Margaret Mahy book won the Phoenix Award in 2005. (I see this book on the YA shelves all the time and had no idea it was penned nearly 30 years ago!)
6) This paranormal author is of Indian descent but grew up in New Zealand. She's most famous for her Psy/Changeling series and her Guild Hunter series.
7) This New Zealander was the first to reach the summit of Everest with his companion, Nepalese Sherpa Tensing Norgay.
8) This New Zealand-born opera singer sang at the wedding of Charles & Diana. She is a well-known soprano and she started a foundation in her name to support young NZ musicians and singers.
9) This Kiwi YA author penned books including Lester, Red Cliff, Jolt, Home Boys, and Malcolm and Juliet. His newest release is entitled August.
10) Though this New Zealand movie director is much more famous for other movies, my favorite movie of his is definitely Dead Alive. ZOMBIE BABY!
This triviadventure is open until August 30th, 9pm PST. Two winners will be picked by www.random.org and I will notify them within 24 hours. Only trivia entries with all correct answers will be considered. You must be a follower to enter. Extra entries for comments, following on Twitter and/or Facebook, and spreading the word. If you have any questions, feel free to ask! (or write them in your trivia answers box) Good luck!
CONTEST CLOSED. Winners will be announced tomorrow.
READ-A-THON STARTING LINE POSTRead-a-Thon Goal: To read 10 books this week, including several I've had for review for *cough* a little bit too long.
Ideally, I would like to get a few of the reviews done this week as well but I am keeping notes on my Kindle or in my notebook for when I do sit down to write them. I have an overall goal for the year to review every book I read, at least to some extent. I was doing fabulously until the last few weeks and now I am about 8 or 9 reviews behind schedule. My secondary goal for this week will be to knock AT LEAST FOUR off the list. Will there be at least one picture or graph review? I'm almost positive that answer is yes. Books to Knock Out:
-->See my blog sidebar or a detailed post directly prior to this one. Other Books I’d Love to Get to: If I become some sort of superhuman and finish all 10 books on my list, I will likely revert to my sci-fi obsessed self and read the new Starfleet YA book, finish Survey Ship or Time Jump, or read some more of C-Dubs' work. (Connie Willis) How Much Time I Intend to Read
: As much as I can. Realistically, I'm hoping to finish a book a day and start about a quarter of the next one. Not entirely impossible. UPDATES
(I will keep updating this post throughout the week)
8/22What I read today: Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars
by Nick James, 20% of an e-version of Flat-Out Love
by Jessica Park on my Kindle, and I'm 40% through the audiobook of Looking for Alibrandi
by Melina Marchetta. I also read Kurt Vonnegut's Harrison Bergeron
online today. Total number of books I’ve read:
1 book, 1 short story Did I write any reviews?
No. Blah. But at least I'm keeping up with my reading schedule on Day One!
8/23 What I read today:
I finished Looking for Alibrandi
by Melina Marchetta and Always A Witch
by Carolyn MacCollough. Total number of books I’ve read:
Today, 2. Total: 3 novels, 1 short. Did I write any reviews?
8/24 What I read today:
Basically nothing. Meh. Total number of books I’ve read:
Still 3,1. Did I write any reviews?
Nope. Waste of space.
8/25 What I read today: Flat-Out Love
by Jessica Park, 25% of Gary D. Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars
. Total number of books I’ve read:
4 novels and 1 short story. Did I write any reviews?
8/26 What I read today:
Gary D. Schmidt's The Wednesday Wars
, 15% of Wild Magic
by Tamora Pierce. Total number of books I’ve read:
5 novels and 1 short story. Did I write any reviews?
8/27 What I read today: Wild Magic
by Tamora Pierce. I'm working on Uncommon Criminals
and The Probability of Miracles
. Total number of books I’ve read:
6,1. Did I write any reviews?
8/28 What I read today:
Only short stories. I finished Mark Twain's A Telephonic Conversation and Kurt Vonnegut's 2BOR2B. Total number of books I’ve read:
9 if I include short stories...and I'm going to since no one is checking up on me every day. So there. Did I write any reviews?
Ah! I wrote
Amanda over at On A Book Bender
is hosting a read-a-thon from August 22-28 and I feel like this is the perfect opportunity to light a fire under my ass and get me to finish all these books that are piling up. Pretty soon I will be living in a prison of books. Already, they are staring at me, judging me. So I'm going to try to finish 10 books during that time. 10 might seem like a lot but I have a rather large pile of half-finished books. Yikes. From now until the 28th, here is what I'm hoping to finish:
1) This is Shyness by Leanne Hall
A guy who howls. A girl on a mission to forget. In the suburb of Shyness, where the sun doesn’t rise and the border crackles with a strange energy, Wolfboy meets a stranger at the Diabetic Hotel. She tells him her name is Wildgirl, and she dares him to be her guide through the endless night. But then they are mugged by the sugar-crazed Kidds. And what plays out is moving, reckless...dangerous. There are things that can only be said in the dark. And one long night is time enough to change your life. (Goodreads)
2) Skyship Academy: The Pearl Wars by Nick James
A devastated Earth’s last hope is found in Pearls: small, mysterious orbs that fall from space, and are capable of supplying enough energy to power entire cities. Battling to control the Pearls are the Skyship dwellers—political dissidents who live in massive ships in the Earth’s stratosphere—and the corrupt Surface government. Jesse Fisher, a Skyship brat, and Cassius Stevenson, a young Surface operative, cross paths when they both venture into forbidden territory in pursuit of Pearls. Their chance encounter triggers an unexpected reaction, endowing each boy with remarkable—and dangerous—abilities that their respective governments would stop at nothing to possess. Enemies thrust together with a common goal, Jesse and Cassius make their way to the ruins of Seattle to uncover the truth about their new powers, the past they didn’t know they shared, and a shocking secret about the Pearls. (Goodreads)
3) The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder
Dry, sarcastic, sixteen-year-old Cam Cooper has spent the last seven years in and out hospitals. The last thing she wants to do in the short life she has left is move 1,500 miles away to Promise, Maine - a place known for the miraculous events that occur there. But it's undeniable that strange things happen in Promise: everlasting sunsets; purple dandelions; flamingoes in the frigid Atlantic; an elusive boy named Asher; and finally, a mysterious envelope containing a list of things for Cam to do before she dies. As Cam checks each item off the list, she finally learns to believe - in love, in herself, and even in miracles. A debut novel from an immensely talented new writer, The Probability of Miracles crackles with wit, romance and humor and will leave readers laughing and crying with each turn of the page. (Goodreads)
4) All These Things I've Done by Gabrielle Zevin
In 2083, chocolate and coffee are illegal, paper is hard to find, water is carefully rationed, and New York City is rife with crime and poverty. And yet, for Anya Balanchine, the sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss, life is fairly routine. It consists of going to school, taking care of her siblings and her dying grandmother, trying to avoid falling in love with the new assistant D.A.'s son, and avoiding her loser ex-boyfriend. That is until her ex is accidently poisoned by the chocolate her family manufactures and the police think she's to blame. Suddenly, Anya finds herself thrust unwillingly into the spotlight--at school, in the news, and most importantly, within her mafia family. (Goodreads)
5) Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter
Katarina Bishop has worn a lot of labels in her short life life. Friend. Niece. Daughter. Thief. But for the last two months she’s simply been known as the girl who ran the crew that robbed the greatest museum in the world. That’s why Kat isn’t surprised when she’s asked to steal the infamous Cleopatra Emerald so it can be returned to its rightful owners. There are only three problems. First, the gem hasn’t been seen in public in thirty years. Second, since the fall of the Egyptian empire and the suicide of Cleopatra, no one who holds the emerald keeps it for long, and in Kat’s world, history almost always repeats itself. But it’s the third problem that makes Kat’s crew the most nervous and that is simply… the emerald is cursed. Kat might be in way over her head, but she’s not going down without a fight. After all she has her best friend—the gorgeous Hale—and the rest of her crew with her as they chase the Cleopatra around the globe, dodging curses, realizing that the same tricks and cons her family has used for centuries are useless this time. Which means, this time, Katarina Bishop is making up her own rules. (Goodreads)
6) Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park
Flat-Out Love is a warm and witty novel of family love and dysfunction, deep heartache and raw vulnerability, with a bit of mystery and one whopping, knock-you-to-your-knees romance. Something is seriously off in the Watkins home. And Julie Seagle, college freshman, small-town Ohio transplant, and the newest resident of this Boston house, is determined to get to the bottom of it. When Julie's off-campus housing falls through, her mother's old college roommate, Erin Watkins, invites her to move in. The parents, Erin and Roger, are welcoming, but emotionally distant and academically driven to eccentric extremes. The middle child, Matt, is an MIT tech geek with a sweet side ... and the social skills of a spool of USB cable. The youngest, Celeste, is a frighteningly bright but freakishly fastidious 13-year-old who hauls around a life-sized cardboard cutout of her oldest brother almost everywhere she goes. And there's that oldest brother, Finn: funny, gorgeous, smart, sensitive, almost emotionally available. Geographically? Definitely unavailable. That's because Finn is traveling the world and surfacing only for random Facebook chats, e-mails, and status updates. Before long, through late-night exchanges of disembodied text, he begins to stir something tender and silly and maybe even a little bit sexy in Julie's suddenly lonesome soul. To Julie, the emotionally scrambled members of the Watkins family add up to something that ... well ... doesn't quite add up. Not until she forces a buried secret to the surface, eliciting a dramatic confrontation that threatens to tear the fragile Watkins family apart, does she get her answer. (Goodreads)
7) Still Life with Brass Pole by Craig Machen
Craig is 16 when he returns from a drug-fueled visit with his dad in Miami to find his mom leaving town with her 23 year-old boyfriend. In the same moment, his dreams of settling down with his pregnant girlfriend are dashed when she is moved off to Texas by her parents. Left alone in small town Oklahoma, he embarks on a deranged, cross-country quest for a family of his own. STILL LIFE WITH BRASS POLE is Craig Machen’s funny, debauched and heartfelt memoir about young love and coming of age in the titillation business. And how a roaring White Knight Complex, an eccentric comedy club owner, and a trio of unpredictable striptease artists conspire to help him achieve his aims. (Goodreads)
8/9) The Wednesday Wars and Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt (companion novels)
Wednesday Wars: While all his classmates are enjoying (?) religious instruction, seventh-grader Holling Hoodhood shares Wednesday afternoons with Mrs. Baker, his Camillo Junior High teacher. Not surprisingly, Holling lacks enthusiasm for mid-week appointments with an instructor who assigns him Shakespeare as out-of-class reading. Holling has other things on his mind besides English Renaissance drama. For his dad's sake, he's trying hard to stay out of trouble, but with hovering bullies and other impinging crises, that seems to be a full-time job. Fortunately, help arrives from an unexpected source. (Goodreads)
Okay For Now: As a fourteen-year-old who just moved to a new town, with no friends and a louse for an older brother, Doug Swieteck has all the stats stacked against him. So begins a coming-of-age masterwork full of equal parts comedy and tragedy from Newbery Honor winner Gary D. Schmidt. As Doug struggles to be more than the “skinny thug” that his teachers and the police think him to be, he finds an unlikely ally in Lil Spicer—a fiery young lady who “smelled like daisies would smell if they were growing in a big field under a clearing sky after a rain.” In Lil, Doug finds the strength to endure an abusive father, the suspicions of a whole town, and the return of his oldest brother, forever scarred, from Vietnam. Together, they find a safe haven in the local library, inspiration in learning about the plates of John James Audubon’s birds, and a hilarious adventure on a Broadway stage. In this stunning novel, Schmidt expertly weaves multiple themes of loss and recovery in a story teeming with distinctive, unusual characters and invaluable lessons about love, creativity, and survival. (Goodreads)
10) Always A Witch by Carolyn MacCollough
The adventures of Tam and Gabriel continue with more time travel, Talents, spy work, and of course, the evil Knights. Since the gripping conclusion of Once A Witch, Tamsin Greene has been haunted by her grandmother's prophecy that she will soon be forced to make a crucial decision—one so terrible that it could harm her family forever. When she discovers that her enemy, Alistair Knight, went back in time to Victorian-era New York in order to destroy her family, Tamsin is forced to follow him into the past. Stranded all alone in the nineteenth century, Tamsin soon finds herself disguised as a lady's maid in the terrifying mansion of the evil Knight family, avoiding the watchful eye of the vicious matron, La Spider, and fending off the advances of Liam Knight. As time runs out, both families square off in a thrilling display of magic. And to her horror, Tamsin finally understands the nature of her fateful choice. (Goodreads)
Phew. I am skeptical whether or not I can complete this lofty task but seeing as they are all YA books (for the most part), I think it is possible. I'll keep track on my sidebar and on Goodreads. Wish me luck! And if you want to participate, you can join at On A Book Bender
. Of course, you can always just challenge ME--but you should know that I WILL WIN. Huzzah!
Seriously, buy this book. It is so much fun.
Ready Player One
Author: Ernest Cline
Publication Date: 8/16/11
Blurb (GR):A world at stake.
A quest for the ultimate prize.
Are you ready?
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place.
Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets.
And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune—and remarkable power—to whoever can unlock them.
For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved—that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons. Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig.
And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle.
Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt—among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win
. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life—and love—in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape.
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One
is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut—part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner,
and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.Review:
This book is nostalgia porn. If you grew up in the 80s, enjoy video games, or go crazy for popular culture, you will devour this one. I was supposed to be reading this with a friend but I couldn’t stop. I read the beginning and thought, “what’s the big deal with everyone’s obsession?” Then Ernest Cline got his meat hooks into me and I read it while I was making dinner, while I was eating dinner, and then afterward until I’d finished it. I think I am just a few years shy of this books prime audience but I can see how it will appeal to most of my fellow geeks friends. Ready Player One
is set in a future where we have depleted our resources to the point where many people lives in Stacks, which are basically just trailer homes piled 20+ high and many people struggle to make ends meet. Wade Watts, the protagonist, attends school in OASIS like many of his peers. OASIS, an online world created by James Halliday contains thousands of different worlds, including copies of many famous sci-fi verses—I’m sure you could spend most of your time in Sunnydale or on Dune if you wanted to. In a very Westing Game
move, Halliday leaves his entire $250 billion fortune to the player who can find the Easter egg hidden in OASIS. The book is set five years after his death and no player has gotten even one step closer to figuring out Halliday’s mystery. And the kicker? Halliday’s obsession, besides video games, was the 1980s. All the kids and adults alike are well-versed in all things 1980s from fashion to music to games to computers. These characters know more about the 1980s than most people who lived through it.
Wade Watts has spent years playing through all of Halliday’s favorite games and songs trying to figure out the first step. When Wade figures out the first move, his name shoots to the top of a previously empty high-scorers list and the world goes into a frenzy. The entire rest of the book follows Wade and his fellow contestants through the game in their attempts to reach the goal first. It seems like every person in the world is up against each other—especially the “gunters” (egg hunters) and the “sixers.” (Corporately-sponsored hunters who want to take over the OASIS for monetary gain, so-called because their avatar names begin with the number 6) My adrenaline ran high for the whole book. In fact, I actually kept speaking to Wade aloud. “Wade, what the hell are you doing? You are past the first gate! Pull your head out of your ass and stop spending your time at dance parties!” “Art3mis is so much smarter than you, Wade!” Wade’s fellow gunters include his long-time online crush, Art3mis and his BFF Aech (pronounced like the letter H). They were seriously awesome side characters with distinct personalities, which I especially enjoyed considering I have several friends on Goodreads whom I’ve never met in real life but I feel like I know pretty well. (you guys better not be lying to me!) My experience with WoW and Second Life is pretty minimal…well, I did
once try Second Life but it mostly consisted of my friends and I goofing around and then accidentally wandering into an orgy and getting yelled at. Anyway, my point is that people quest all the time and talk to the same people regularly online. They have distinct personalities. I’m so happy that Ernest Cline was able to capture the personalities so well when the characters were only together outside of OASIS for limited amounts of time.
As someone who has spent probably entire weeks of her life playing video games, this book feels a bit like validation. SEE, NERD! YOUR TIME SPENT COLLECTING RUPEES WASN’T FOR NOTHING!
Thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for providing me with a copy of this highly addictive and fun read!
I want this entire series of cloth-bound Penguin Classics. Somebody buy them for me!!
To be honest, I'm a bit nervous that not as many people will enter to win a book that is a classic. That usually means that they are available as free ebooks. But I KNOW that there are a few of you out there that want a copy of an old favorite or a future potential favorite, right? RIGHT? So, without further adieu, let's get to the trivia. The winner may choose a book from the correct answers as the prize.1) The author of this book is considered an iconic member of the Beat generation. Lesser known than his On The Road, this work is about a mountain climbing trip.2) This character has so many short stories written about him that there are two huge volumes. He lives as 221b Baker Street.
(I hope you pick this book if you win:))3)
This well-known children's classic has been made into more movies than almost any other I can think of. It also spawned a series of books. It was originally published in 1900 and illustrated by W.W. Denslow.4)This Dickens novel was made into an 8-hour Masterpiece Theatre show featuring Gillian Anderson. (*hums X-Files theme song*) There is a character named
Sir Leicester Dedlock.5) This epic is usually the go-to book that people say they aim to read at some point in their life. It is more than 1,300 pages and the original Russian title is
Война и мир. 6) This book's author only ever wrote one book. She was friends with Truman Capote. The themes of the Southern gothic novel are racial injustice and the destruction of innocence.7)This F. Scott Fitzgerald work, published in 1925, showcases the lavish lifestyle of some characters on Long Island and is narrated by Nick Carraway.8)
This one is one of my ultimate favorites. What, you don't know it already? It is set primarily in France and is the ultimate tale of exacting revenge on your enemies. Characters include Luigi Vampa and Monsieur Villefort.9) Ben Barnes recently played the title character in a movie of this book. It is Oscar Wilde's only published novel.10)
This is a sweeping story of tangled passions and the rare courage of a group of people in Atlanta during the time of Civil War. It won the Pulitzer in 1937 and the author wrote it while recovering from an auto accident.This Triviadventure, back to the usual, will be open for one week and will close for entries at 9pm PST on Tuesday, August
23rd. It is open anywhere that The Book Depository
ships. Extra entries for spreading the word and bringing more people into my web of nonsense. You must be a follower to enter. Comment on this blog entry and that will be another entry. Good luck!Here's a sample tweet to use:
Tuesday Triviadventures: Enter to win a classic book by answering some trivia questions at... http://t.co/pQ6Rly5
A Pocketful of Eyes
Author: Lili Wilkinson
Publication Date: 5/16/11
Publisher: Allen & Unwin
Bee is in her element volunteering in the taxidermy department at the Museum-but her summer job turns out to be full of surprises including: A dead body in the Red Rotunda. A mysterious Museum benefactor. A large stuffed tiger in the catacombs. A handsome boy with a fascination for unusual animal mating habits. And a pocket full of glass eyes. Can Bee sift through the clues and discover if her colleague committed suicide or if there's a murderer in their midst?
The Best American Poetry 2011
Editors: Kevin Young (installment), David Lehman (series)
Publication Date: 9/20/11
The latest installment of the yearly anthology of contemporary American poetry that has achieved brand-name status in the literary world.Review:
I thought for a long time about whether I wanted to review this or if I had the capacity to do so. I feel like there are hordes of poetry fans and critical readers who are waiting in the wings to tell me I’m an idiot and that I don’t understand poetry. Anthologies are always hit and miss for people--it’s near impossible to something meaningful to every reader but this collection had enough poems that truly hit it out of the park for me that I felt I should at least write something about it. Is this the definitive collection of the best poems of the year? I really couldn’t say; I am no authority. I’ll leave that to other people to debate and just speak to my reading experience. Thankfully, David Lehman discusses this point in his foreword. The plethora of quotations in the first half of the foreword made it a choppy read for me but I am ecstatic to say that the part I enjoyed most about it was the last few paragraphs that Mr. Lehman wrote which summarized his own feelings on anthologizing poems, the wherewithal of poetry, and the structure and organization of the collection and all while devoid of quotes. It came as quite a surprise to me that this anthology is organized alphabetically. I read the foreword and introduction after the collection and didn’t notice (and constantly wondered about) the connective thread. I'm happy to finally know. Kevin Young, who selected the poems for this work, manages quite a feat in his introduction—he made me want to reread every poem in the book with his discussion and
he compared the comeback of the sonnet to the much-hyped and awaited return of the McRib sandwich. Bravo, Mr. Young.
My favorite poems are the ones that punch you in the gut in the fewest number of stanzas possible. Tell me in a two pages or less or my eyes will start to glaze over and my mind will start wandering. I read three or four of these poems every few nights before I went to sleep and some I read over and over and over. It is truly a gift to be able to evoke emotions with your words in such a brief format. I must admit that a few of them made me tear up, but the same number dazzled me with their humor and cleverness. For example, Rachel Wetzsteon’s Time Pieces
features short haiku stanzas, each a clever play on a heading about the passage of time: “Intermission Time
/Guilty admission:/this plunge from art to life’s a/painful transition.” Or “Just give it time
/Though I frankly feel/better, there’s nothing sadder/than starting to heal.” (emphasis my own to differentiate headings) For some reason, I am always drawn to poems about loss. I was touched by Yusef Komunyakaa’s A Voice on an Answering Machine
, in which he writes of a woman lost but whose voice still remains as a reminder and similarly moved by Gretchen Steele Pratt’s, To my father on the anniversary of his death.
I think the common thread for me will always be personal memories. We all like to make that connection with other people and wait patiently for those a-ha moments in literature when writers fascinate us with their perfect statements.
I have to admit that I laughed out loud during Erin Belieu’s, When at a Certain Party in NYC
…clearly we’ve met some similar people in our travels. (and felt unhip at times) And I was quite surprised, as several of my reader friends may be, that both Sherman Alexie
and Julianna Baggott
have poems in this collection. I only mention these two specifically as I was familiar with their names before reading their biographical sections. I particularly enjoyed (as much as you can enjoy) Alexie’s Valediction,
which goes back to my death-related poem obsession. He writes, “Yes, my sad acquaintance, each dark time is/Indistinguishable from the other dark times./Yesterday is as relentless as tomorrow.” Makes you really want to go to sleep, eh? A few of my other favorites were Eric Pankey’s Cogitatio Mortis
(“After awhile, each room is a waiting room.”), James Longenbach’s Snow
and Jane Hirschfield’s extremely short The Cloudy Vase,
which captures optimism in just four lines.
Because each poem is such a singular experience, I could obviously ramble about this anthology for ages. Some were better than others to me and many poems I enjoyed were left out of this review for the sake of brevity. This was my first experience with The Best American Poetry
series and it won’t be my last. I’ll just leave you with just one more quote, from James Richardson’s “Even More Aphorisms and Ten-Second Essays from Vectors 3.0
,” “What is more yours than what you always hold back?”
Thanks to the publisher and Simon & Schuster’s Galley Grab
program for reminding me how amazing poetry can be and for a larger collection of favorite quotations.
Win an ARC of Bloodlines!
So this week I was a bit lazy and didn't post a Triviadventure on Tuesday. Last week's winner was Gonza B. He picked Connie Willis' The Doomsday Book
as his prize. So Bloodlines
, the beginning of Richelle Mead's Vampire Academy
spinoff series, comes out on the 23rd of this month. Let's make this quick. I'll give my ARC to the winner of this week's Triviadventure. It's the 13th today and I'll run it until Wednesday night, 9 pm (PST). I'll mail it out priority mail the next day so whoever wins will still have it a day or two before it comes out. I'll leave it open international, but I'll send it slow mail if anyone outside the US wins. As usual, you can win extra entries by spreading the word. And since Bloodlines is paranormal, that's the subject of this week's trivia questions. (only 4 questions because I am drowning in books to read)1)
This is the first book in a series by L.J. Smith that was adapted into a television show on the CW channel. The story follows Elena and two brothers, Stefan and Damon.2)
*Sigh* Oh Barrons. This is the finale to the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning. The Fever series involves just about every paranormal creature possible and is set in Ireland.3)
This sixth book in Jim Butcher's Dresden Files series opens up with Harry and Thomas rescuing a litter of pups from a group of demon gorillas. Yep, you read that correctly.4)
This Sookie Stackhouse series book is arguably the best of the bunch because Eric has amnesia in it. (Hint: It is the fourth book)CONTEST CLOSED. The winner is Kim from Baggins Book Blabber! Congratulations
All Seated on the Ground
Author: Connie Willis
Publication Date: 11/26/07
The aliens have landed! The aliens have landed! But instead of shooting death rays, taking over the planet and carrying off Earthwomen, they've just been standing there for months on end, glaring like a disapproving relative. And now it's nearly Christmas, and the commission assigned to establish communications is at their wits' end. They've resorted to taking the aliens to Broncos games, lighting displays, and shopping malls, in the hope they'll respond to something!
And they do, but in a way nobody ever expected, and Meg, the commission, and an overworked choir director find themselves suddenly caught up in an intergalactic mess involving Christmas carols, scented candles, seventh-grade girls, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Meg's Aunt Judith, Victoria's Secret, and Handel's Messiah.
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Oh my gosh, I have no idea what story some of these other reviewers were reading. This is a pretty short work and I had to take a nap in the middle of it. No, seriously, I had to--I was totally falling asleep.
Here are a few reasons you might want to read this:
1. You know every Christmas carol and know all the lyrics.
2. You go apeshit over choral music.
3. You really enjoy reading about humans trying to communicate with aliens...and can deal with when you're reading about Christmas carols and choral music the whole time.
4. You like satire and social commentary...enough to get over those aforementioned things.
5. You want to read all of Connie Willis' work.
I still enjoy Willis' sense of humor. She makes me laugh but there were really only a few hilarious moments in All Seated on the Ground. (there were two) However, I still adore Connie Willis and I will keep truckin' through all of her kooky stories.
Lola and the Boy Next Door
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Date: 9/29/11
Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion, she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit -- more sparkly, more fun, more wild -- the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.
When Cricket -- a gifted inventor -- steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door. Review:Did you read Anna and the French Kiss?:
A.YES, I loved it!
B.YES, it was okay.
C.YES, and I didn’t like it.
D.NO, but I intend to.
E.NO, it’s not for me.
If you picked A, B, or D, please proceed to review #1.
If you picked C or E, please proceed to review #2.
__________________________________________________ Review #1:
LOVE! This book is fun, fun, fun (til her daddy takes the T-bird away). It has a very similar feeling to its companion novel Anna and the French Kiss
—a teenage girl who already has a boyfriend falls for a guy who seems practically perfect in every way, except his family doesn’t appreciate him as much as they should. The current boyfriend is sort of a douchebag and plays in a band and the protag is quirky. The main character in this one, Delores (Lola) Nolan, lives with her two dads in San Francisco. (Remember that show ‘My Two Dads’? I totally forgot about it until this moment) She loves fashion and spends a ton of her time designing and sewing costumes and putting together all sorts of crazy outfits. In the first few pages, Lola sees a moving truck and I think it is no spoiler who is moving in NEXT DOOR-- her love interest. (see: title of the book) Cricket Bell is tall, stylish, and always inventing all sorts of things. His family’s been on the move a lot because his sister is a world-class figure skater and her career dominates the family. Lola’s never gotten along with Calliope but she got along fine (*winkwinknudgenudge*) with Cricket before they moved away two years prior. That is, except for the last day she saw him. Now he’s back and it is reconciliation time. There’s only one boyfriend standing in the way.
Lola frustrated me a bit because several of her problems are self-inflicted. I know it isn’t always the easy thing to do but if you are dating someone and totally have the hots for someone else, you are a huge d-bag if you don’t break it off. Sure, the other person’s feelings will be hurt but no one likes looking like a fool after the fact. I did like Lola as a character but I wish/ed that she would man up, stop leading Cricket on, and be a better friend to Lindsay.
Anna and St. Clair make much more of an appearance than I thought they would. They actual show up throughout the entire novel and it was a plus and minus situation for me. I was happy to see characters I knew but I have probably read 100 books since Anna and I no longer remembered the details of their true love always and forever relationship so their constant togetherness was a bit off-putting to me. Like those newish couples who are always PDAing all over the place.
I’m a pretty huge sucker for boy next door stories. Or really any situation where someone awesome has been under the protag’s nose for years. I hope I am not making it sound like I hated this book. I was annoyed with Lola quite a bit but I really LOVED most of this book. And you know what made this book even better for me? That my friends sent it to me with their comments written in it. I absolutely adored reading their thoughts and adding my own for people later on the tour list.
I really enjoyed this and will keep reading anything Stephanie Perkins writes…but a little more than a little of me wants to see how she handles something other than this storyline.
Thank you so, so much Arlene for sharing your copy with me! Review #2:
You probably won’t like this book. Move along, nothing to see here.