Friday, December 31, 2010

Maybe I Will Set a Goal...

After reading an article about a YA book I read this past year, I've realized there are a great number of classical novels that I haven't read yet. So now I do have a goal in mind for next year. Each month of the year, I will read one book that I have had on my TBR for years that has great significance in the literary world. First up is...

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

This book has been nominated two different years in my book club, but it's never been a popular choice. I think I bought this book when the 1998 movie came out. It goes without saying that I am long over due to read this book!

What books fit this category on your TBR?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Hello, 2011!

Looking back at the past year, I have read almost 230 books. That is a LOT of books. I've been checking out how other bloggers have done this year, and I think I'm on the high end of some of the numbers I've seen. Honestly, I don't know how I managed doing it, and I've no idea if I can repeat it in 2011.

A lot of people are setting new reading goals for the New Year, but I don't do that. I don't want to disappoint myself if I can't make them, and I just want to keep reading FUN. If the last two years are any indication, I keep outdoing myself, and I'll probably be pretty close to 230 next year. Maybe over, maybe under...we shall see!

But to be fair, this year I've read a lot of YA titles, and those can be finished in just a few hours. I had a few carry-overs from the previous year, which boosted my numbers early in January. I will have to carry over a few books to 2011 just because one of them is an enormous brick, and the others I've just barely started.

So how did you all do this past year with your reading goals, if you have them? What's your "game plan" for 2011?

Monday, September 13, 2010

September Dollar Tree Bargain Find

I'm going to start a new feature on my underused blog that I hope you will all find interesting.

I live about a block away from a Dollar Tree and I have found that it's a good source for books. I'm an active swapper on and sometimes I want to play "Wish List Fairy" and share a brand new book with someone who's not expecting it! Brand new hardcovers for just a buck? You can't get much of a better deal than that.

Today was an unplanned trip while I was on my way to Chili's for lunch with my daughter and I decided to stop in since it is just a few buildings away from the restaurant. There were a lot of copies left from some of my previous purchases, but if I am patient enough I can almost always find something that looks interesting to me, or that might interest someone on paperback swap.

Why I want to read this: The cover really captured my attention. I love the feather floating on water and the sun shining through the clouds. I'm always happy to discover a stand-alone title that won't suck me into a series; I already read too many and there are still many more that I want to read.

What it's about:

From Publishers Weekly

Two worlds wrapped tight in gloomy gothic trappings vie for dominance in this engrossing, elaborately staged exploration of consciousness from O'Connell (The Skin Palace). Sweeney, an Ohio pharmacist, brings his comatose son, Danny, to the Peck Clinic, "a sandstone monster on fifty acres of private land near Quinsigamond's western border." Danny is all Sweeney lives for; he even studies the comic book Limbo, featuring a troupe of circus freaks led by the visionary Chick the chicken boy, for what his son may have imagined when his brain functioned normally. Like Stephen King in Richard Bachman mode, O'Connell digs for darkness as Chick and his companions, who inhabit the fantasy realm of Gehenna, encounter Dr. Lazarus Cole, "The Resurrectionist" (stoned to death only to walk again) and dread the inevitable showdown with their nemesis, "the mad doctor called Fliess," in his "enormous laboratory castle, the Black Iron Clinic." Meanwhile, in the real world, cultists kidnap Sweeney in hopes of using fluid from Danny's brain to transport them all to Gehenna. This strange brew is sure to enhance O'Connell's growing cult status.

I absolutely LOVE the idea of two worlds blurring into each other, and I'm a sucker for anything with a fantasy element. I can't wait to check out Jack O'Connell, and I hope now you want to as well!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Last Year vs. This Year

As of August 31st, I beat my reading count for last year. There are 4 more months in 2010 and I have surpassed my own expectations for the reading I would accomplish. I figured it would stay around the same number of books I read in 2009, but I will have exceeded that by a generous number come the end of the year.

I am eager to see what the final total will be for the whole year! Is it even going to be possible to beat that number in 2011? Looking back, I read nearly a book a day in January. That's crazy! How on earth did I find the time?

In 2011, I will have a 3-year-old. I'm not sure how different that will be from a 2-year-old, or how that might affect my reading. By next year, my daughter will be speaking in more complex sentences. She will be wanting to spend even more time outside. Chances are I will have to scale back on this fun endeavor, but I'm certainly going to enjoy it while it lasts.

How many books have you read this year?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

The Carrie Diaries Giveaway

Sex and the City is absolutely one of my favorite TV shows EVER, and I'm so excited for the new book by Candace Bushnell called The Carrie Diaries.

If you'd like an opportunity to win a free copy of this exciting new release, head on over to Daisy Chain Book Reviews to enter now:

The giveaway ends on May 28th, so hurry before it ends!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Getting LOST in a Good Story

You probably think I'm going to tell you about an amazing book, right? You're wrong. I'm going to tell you about amazing story-telling told in the form of a television show.

I finally gave in to a friend's insistence that I watch LOST and see for myself what has her so captivated. So just about 4 days ago now I began my own journey through the many seasons of LOST. I'm already on Season 2, and must admit that very little time has been devoted to sleeping, eating, and reading because of this show.

I wish I could remember where I was when the first episode aired. What was I doing instead of getting hooked on the show? What about it didn't appeal to me then that all of a sudden has now? Part of me thinks it was just the hype. EVERYONE was watching it. Well, "everyone" watches American Idol and I've never been fond of that show.

When I watch LOST, I analyze it much like I do when I read a novel. I pay attention to the characters, especially their dialogue, and I make predictions about what the next "page" will have in store for me. It's too soon to say if I am right about anything, but I was pleased with myself for some revelations that I watched today.

There are these two characters, Kate and Jack. They obviously are attracted to one another, but have some differences that might get in their way. Jack is the classic "hero", always wanting to fix things and solve problems. He was a reluctant hero at first, but has now grown into his role. Kate is a bit broken, and admires Jack. He is everything she wants to be, but doesn't know how to be. And then there's a third character, Sawyer. He outwardly displays all of his emotions (except for his obvious love for Kate) and Kate is both attracted to him yet repulsed by him.

All of this information about these characters was expertly portrayed through their words and body language. I loved analyzing them to death. I probably dream about them too.

So if I read less this month and someone out there is actually paying attention, you now know why. It's going to be a thin month for read books. If all television was as enticing as this piece of juicy fruit TV, I probably wouldn't spend my time reading ink on dead trees. :-)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sita: The Last Vampire

"Vampsita" has been my online handle for years in some form or another. Maybe you used to play MONOPOLY on and played against someone with the nickname "vampiresita". If you did, well, that was me. If you used to go into the WB chat rooms (which are now obsolete) and remember a "vampsita", well, that was me too.

Back when I was a pre-teen/teen, there was one vampire I loved more than any other: Sita. Nowadays, there are vampires by the thousands, it would seem. Go into any bookstore, browse the sci-fi/fantasy section and YA section, and you will be in vampire heaven. Vampires come and go from my book collection, but there is one who will always remain. Sita.

I can't tell you exactly why I love her so much, or any of Christopher Pike's books. I just do. So of course I am THRILLED that they have recently come back into publication and I was able to replace my very battered, yellowing paged copies with shiny new ones. I am even more over the moon to learn that "Weekend" and "Slumber Party" will soon be out in an omnibus. And my first-second favorite trilogy, too: "Remember Me".

It's a good day to be a Christopher Pike fan.

Princess Bookie has made my millenium by informing me that "The Last Vampire" is to be adapted into a feature film. After the disaster that was "Fall Into Darkness", I had little hope of ever seeing another of his books made into a movie. I have to wonder if whoever wrote the screenplay for that horrible TV film even bothered to read the book. And the ending, oh eww, the ending!!!!

I have very little love for the "Twilight" series, but I realize that Christopher Pike's triumphant return to bookshelves everywhere are due in part to the massive success of Ms. Meyer's beloved series. And so for that, I thank her.

And Christopher, wherever you are, welcome back!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Reading Habits

This year I have started out really strong with reading. I've stuck with reading one book at a time instead of 3 or 4, I've really focused on the reading, and I've already completely read 20 books this year.

I was averaging about 1 book a day just by reading only 1 book at a time. If I hadn't been so easily distracted by other books during 2009, I probably would have gotten more reading accomplished. I didn't have a focus. I didn't have a goal, really. This year I did: to read as many books as possible.

Even though I'm about to break my streak, I think I deserve a break. In the next few days, I need to read not 1, but 2, Pulitzer Prize winners. When reading books that have won awards like the National Book Award, Booker Prize, Pulitzer, etc., I've found that I often do not enjoy those books.

It's not that I hate Olive Kitteridge, because I don't. I'm just not in the right frame of mind to read this book right now. I've been having so much fun just reading whatever struck my fancy, knowing I would get through it in a day and move on to my next adventure. If this wasn't required reading for book club, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't still be reading Olive Kitteridge.

Olive Kitteridge isn't a poorly written book, in my opinion. I think I would compare it to Joyce's Dubliners. Which I absolutely hated. For the record, I just really don't like short stories. And Olive Kitteridge is compiled of 13 short stories. Each time one starts and ends, I feel like I've just completed a whole novel and I just want to move on to the next author that's calling out to me.

So it was fun while it lasted. Maybe I will try this again next month and see how it goes. Perhaps looking at the smaller picture is a better idea, and worry about the whole year at the end of the year as I'm looking back. I've already accomplished what I feel is a lot of reading in 1 month. I've read more than most people have read in the last year, 2 years, or even 3 years. Some, probably more.

I'll be starting Elphame's Choice next, by P.C. Cast, whose Goddess Summoning series I completely adore. She's also quite fun to chat with!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

2010 Book List

Currently Reading:
The Distant Hours

Greywalker (Greywalker, bk. 1)
by Kat Richardson 01/02/10
Mr. Darcy Broke My Heart
by Beth Pattillo 01/03/10
The Space Between Us
by Thrity Umrigar 01/03/10
Truly, Madly: A Lucy Valentine novel by Heather Webber 01/04/10
The Wives of Henry Oades by Johanna Moran 01/05/10
The Middle Place by Kelly Corrigan 01/06/10
Blue Bloods (bk. 1) by Melissa de la Cruz 01/07/10
The Perilous Road by William O. Steele 01/07/10
Nefertiti by Michelle Moran 01/10/10
Coraline by Neil Gaiman 01/10/10
Carpe Demon (bk. 1) by Julie Kenner 01/11/10
Bridget Jones: Edge of Reason by Helen Fielding 01/12/10
Santa Cruise by Mary and Carol Higgins Clark 01/12/10
Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang by Kate Wilhelm 01/13/10
Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George 01/14/10
Naked Nun by M.E. Gardner 01/15/10
Pieces of Happily Ever After by Irene Zutell 01/16/10
My Soul to Save by Rachel Vincent 01/18/10
Wish by Alexandra Bullen 01/20/10
Blue Moon (bk. 2) by Alyson Noel 01/21/10
Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout 01/24/10
The Shipping News by E. Annie Proulx 01/28/10

January: 22

Elphame's Choice by P.C. Cast 02/01/10
The Chick and the Dead (Pepper Daniels, bk. 2) by Casey Daniels 02/03/10
Airhead (Nikki, bk. 1) by Meg Cabot 02/05/10
The Opposite of Me by Sarah Pekkanen 02/06/10
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson, bk. 1) by Rick Riordan 02/08/10
Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin 02/09/10
A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick 02/10/10
Kitty Takes a Holiday by Carrie Vaughn 02/11/10
In the Cut by Susanna Moore 02/12/10
Succubus Dreams by Richelle Mead 02/13/10
Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange 02/15/10
Prey (Werecats, bk. 4) by Rachel Vincent 02/16/10
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith 02/18/10
Fatherland by Robert Harris 02/19/10
Poison Study (bk. 1)
by Maria V. Snyder 02/22/10
Heartache & Sin by Charles Soto 02/22/10
Jane Bites Back by Michael Thomas Ford 02/23/10

February: 17 Total: 39

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
by Seth Grahame-Smith 03/01/10
Dawn of the Dreadfuls by Steve Hockensmith 03/03/10
Hourglass (Evernight, bk. 3) by Claudia Gray 03/04/10
The Heretic's Daughter by Kathleen Kent 03/05/10
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke 03/06/10
Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston 03/07/10
Nanny Returns by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus 03/08/10
Sundays at Tiffany's by James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonnet 03/09/10
Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen 03/11/10
The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine 03/11/10
Being Nikki (Airhead, bk. 2) by Meg Cabot 03/12/10
The Silent Governess by Julie Klassen 03/15/10
Midnight Pearls by Debbie Viguie 03/15/10
Runaway (Airhead, bk. 3) by Meg Cabot 03/16/10
The Farthest-Away Mountain by Lynne Reid Banks 03/16/10
The Help by Kathryn Stockett 3/20/10
Last Breath (The Rayne Tour, bk. 2) by Brandilyn and Amberly Collins 3/21/10
Bitter is the New Black by Jen Lancaster 3/22/10
Making Toast by Roger Rosenblatt 3/23/10
Bulletproof Mascara by Bethany Maines 3/26/10
The Princess and the Hound by Mette Ivie Harrison 3/28/10
Austenland by Shannon Hale 3/28/10
Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie 3/30/10

March: 23 Total: 62

Peter and the Starcatchers by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson 4/01/10
The Lost Summer of Louisa May Alcott by Kelly O'Connor McNees 4/02/10
Destiny Kills (Myth and Magic, bk. 1) by Keri Arthur 4/02/10
The Killing of Mindi Quintana by Jeffrey A. Cohen 4/04/10
The Man Who Loved Pride & Prejudice by Abigail Reynolds 4/07/10
Shade by Jeri Smith-Ready 4/07/10
The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy 4/08/10
Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen 4/09/10
The Sea of Monsters (Percy Jackson, bk. 2) by Rick Riordan 4/10/10
Claire de Lune by Christine Johnson 4/11/10
Pants on Fire by Meg Cabot 4/11/10
Born to Run by Christopher McDougall 4/13/10
The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler 4/14/10
Shadowland (The Immortals, bk. 3) by Alyson Noel 4/15/10
The Cabinet of Wonders (The Kronos Chronicles, bk. 1) by Marie Kutkoski 4/15/10
The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood 4/17/10
The Diamond Secret by Suzanne Weyn 4/19/10
A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett 4/20/10
Revealers by Amanda Marrone 4/20/10
Stardust by Neil Gaiman 4/21/10
Iron Kissed (Mercedes Thompson, bk. 3) by Patricia Briggs 4/23/10
Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi 4/24/10
Graceling by Kristin Cashore 4/26/10
Holes by Louis Sachar 4/27/10
A Thousand Sisters by Lisa J. Shannon 4/28/10

April: 25 Total: 87

Between Two Kingdoms by Joe Boyd 5/03/10
The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall 5/12/10
Just Like Me, Only Better by Carol Snow 5/14/10
The Deadly Sister by Eliot Schrefer 5/17/10
Life After Yes by Aidan Donnelley Rowley 5/20/10
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson 5/23/10
As I Lay Dying by William Faulkner 5/23/10
Innocence by Jane Mendelsohn 5/23/10
The One That I Want by Allison Winn Scotch 5/24/10
Such a Pretty Fat by Jen Lancaster 5/26/10
Three Days to Dead by Kelly Meding 5/28/10
Bright Lights, Big Ass by Jen Lancaster 5/29/10
Insatiable by Meg Cabot 5/31/10

May: 13 Total: 100

My Name is Memory by Ann Brashares 6/02/10
Briar Rose by Jane Yolen 6/02/10
The Mermaid Summer by Mollie Hunter 6/02/10
Fragile Eternity (Wicked Lovely, bk. 3) by Melissa Marr 6/03/10
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks 6/04/10
Immortal by Gillian Shields 6/05/10
Second Glance by Jodi Picoult 6/07/10
Life of Pi by Yann Martel 6/08/10
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen 6/08/10
Starlighter (Dragons of Starlight, bk. 1) by Bryan Davis 6/09/10
Beautiful Malice by Rebecca James 6/10/10
Dedication by Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus 6/11/10
Succubus Heat (Georgina Kincaid, bk. 4) by Richelle Mead 6/14/10
The Reincarnationist (The Reincarnationist, bk. 1) by M.J. Rose 6/15/10
Personal Demon (Women of the Otherworld, bk. 8) by Kelley Armstrong 6/18/10
The Memory Sisters by Alice Hoffman 6/19/10
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows 6/21/10
Shift (Werecats, bk. 5) by Rachel Vincent 6/24/10
Archangel (Samaria, bk. 1) by Sharon Shinn 6/24/10
Red Azalea by Anchee Min 6/26/10
Jekel Loves Hyde by Beth Fantaskey 6/27/10

June: 21 Total: 121

Bonobo Handshake by Vanessa Woods 7/01/10
I Now Pronounce You Someone Else by Erin McCahan 7/02/10
After the Fall by Kylie Ladd 7/07/10
Living with the Dead (Women of the Otherworld, bk. 9) 7/09/10
Fallen Vol. I by Thomas E. Sniegoski 7/12/10
Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman 7/15/10
The Memorist (The Reincarnationist, bk. 2) by M.J. Rose 7/16/10
Forget You by Jennifer Echols 7/18/10
And One Last Thing... by Molly Harper 7/19/10
Cheat the Grave (Sign of the Zodiac, bk. 5) by Vicki Pettersson 7/22/10
The Hypnotist (The Reincarnationist, bk. 3) by M.J. Rose 7/22/10
Alexis: My True Story by Alexis Singer 7/23/10
Hidden Wives by Claire Avery 7/24/10
Once Dead, Twice Shy (Madison Avery, bk. 1) by Kim Harrison 7/25/10
Saving Juliet by Suzanne Selfors 7/27/10
Learning to Lose by David Trueba 7/28/10
Darkfever (Fever, bk. 1) by Karen Marie Moning 7/31/10

July: 17 Total: 138

Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger 8/04/10
The Book of Unholy Mischief by Elle Newmark 8/07/10
Waking the Witch (The Otherworld series, bk. 11) by Kelley Armstrong 8/09/10
Out of the Shadows by Joanne Rendell 8/11/10
The Princess and the Bear by Mette Ivie Harrison 8/12/10
One Season of Sunshine by Julia London 8/15/10
The Double Bind by Chris Bohjalian 8/18/10
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher 8/18/10
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick 8/20/10
Half Broke Horses by Jeannette Walls 8/22/10
Coming Home by Mariah Stewart 8/24/10
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins 8/25/10
Succubus Shadows by Richelle Mead 8/27/10
Masquerade by Melissa de la Cruz 8/29/10
In the Woods by Tana French 8/29/10
Dracula in Love by Karen Essex 8/30/10
Princess of Glass by Jessica Day George 8/31/10

August: 17 Total: 155

Home Again by Mariah Stewart 9/02/10
Stiltsville by Susanna Daniel 9/04/10
The Better Part of Darkness by Kelly Gay 9/06/10
Dexter in the Dark by Jeff Lindsay 9/07/10
The Darkest Edge of Dawn by Kelly Gay 9/08/10
Stash by David Klein 9/08/10
The Making of a Gentleman by Shana Galen 9/10/10
The Last to Die by Kate Brady 9/12/10
The Pact: A Love Story by Jodi Picoult 9/12/10
My Lost Daughter by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg 9/16/10
Meet Me in Manhattan by Judith Arnold 9/18/10
Faefever by Karen Marie Moning 9/20/10
Shadow Kiss by Richelle Mead 9/21/10
Dexter is Delicious by Jeff Lindsay 9/25/10
The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton 9/25/10
Forever Lily by Beth Nonte Russell 9/27/10
Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Picoult 9/29/10
The Lost Dogs by Jim Gorant 9/30/10

September: 19 Total: 173

Mistress of Rome by Kate Quinn 10/05/10
Enchanting the Lady by Kathryne Kennedy 10/07/10
I Remember You by Harriet Evans 10/08/10
Tombs of Endearment by Casey Daniels 10/09/10
Heart with Joy by Steve Cushman 10/10/10
Masquerade by Nancy Moser 10/12/10
The Dead Zone by Stephen King 10/12/10
Once a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough 10/13/10
Once in a Full Moon by Ellen Schreiber 10/14/10
Afterlife by Claudia Gray 10/15/10
Queen of Babble Gets Hitched by Meg Cabot 10/17/10
Hunger by Jackie Morse Kessler 10/18/10
Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis 10/18/10
Angelfire by Courtney Allison Moulton 10/22/10
What Alice Knew by Paula Marantz Cohen 10/23/10
Waiter Rant by Steve Dublanica 10/24/10
The Lipstick Laws by Amy Holder 10/25/10
The Other Side of the Island by Allegra Goodman 10/26/10
The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate 10/28/10
Dark Flame by Alyson Noel 10/29/10
Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella 10/30/10
Always a Witch by Carolyn MacCullough 10/31/10

October: 22 Total: 195

Heidegger's Glasses
by Thaisa Frank 11/03/10
The Emerald Talisman by Brenda Pandos 11/04/10
Dating Mr. December by Phillipa Ashley 11/05/10
Dark Divine by Bree Dispain 11/06/10
Promise Me by Richard Paul Evans 11/07/10
The Frog Princess by E.D. Baker 11/07/10
The Girl Who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson 11/12/10
Night Star by Alyson Noel 11/12/10
Trickster's Girl by Hilari Bell 11/15/10
A Kiss in Time by Alex Flinn 11/17/10
The Icing on the Cake by Alison Kent 11/19/10
The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley 11/19/10
Thirst No. 1 by Christopher Pike 11/21/10
Empty by Suzanne Weyn 11/21/10
When Harry Met Molly by Kieran Kramer 11/28/10
Dreamfever by Karen Marie Moning 11/29/10
The New York Regional Mormon Halloween Singles Dance by Elna Baker 11/30/10

November: 17 Total: 212

The Naked Gardener by LB Gschwandtner 12/05/10
Under the Mercy Trees by Heather Newton 12/05/10
The Secret Society of the Pink Crystal Ball by Risa Green 12/07/10
Matched by Ally Condie 12/08/10
Wings by Aprilynne Pike 12/09/10
Just One Wish by Janette Rallison 12/09/10
Blood Promise by Richelle Mead 12/15/10
StarCrossed by Elizabeth C. Bunce 12/17/10
Spirit Bound by Richelle Mead 12/20/10
The Road by Cormac McCarthy 12/22/10
Radiance by Alyson Noel 12/23/10
The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson 12/24/10
Fairy Tale by Cyn Balog 12/25/10
Demon Princess: Reign or Shine by Michelle Rowen 12/26/10
Juliet by Anne Fortier 12/26/10
Dark Parties by Sara Grant 12/28/10
This Side of Crazy by Kimmie Thomas 12/28/10
Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand 12/31/10

December: 18 Total: 230