Friday, January 30, 2009

Friday Finds: January 30

It's Friday Finds day again. The only time that I let myself add books to my wish list (other than when I am participating in group reads. I have a total of four finds this week.

I originally tried to post "The House at Sugar Beach" by Helene Cooper two weeks ago but something went wrong so, I deleted it. This is memoir. When Cooper was growing up in Liberian, her family was rich. They took in a foster child. But Liberia's government was overthrown and they fled, leaving the foster child behind. This is Cooper's story.

"The Gargoyle" by Andrew Davidson has been getting great review all over the booking blog world. I even heard a good review about it on a book podcast (I think it was Books on The Nightstand). So, I decided to add it to my list.

"Broken" by Daniel Clay was reviewed at The Book Zombie. The review sound very good and maybe like something I would not normally pick up for myself. So, it goes on the list.

As a child I can remember seee "The Neverending Story" by Michael Ende on television all the time. When I say it as a bargain movie a couple of years ago, I bought it and I never buy movies. I never really thought that it was based on a book. So, when I saw the book review over at Hey Lady! Whatcha Reading, I decided to tuck the information away for a later date. And this is the prefect time to use it.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Their Eyes Were Watch God by Zora Neale Hurston

Rating: 3 out of 5
Pages: 193
Genre: Fiction (Classic, African American)
Series: No
Publication Date: 1937

Synopsis (From Shelfari):
"Their Eyes Were Watching God", an American classic, is a luminous and haunting novel about Janie Crawford, a Southern black woman in the 1930s whose journey from a free-spirited girl to a woman of independence and substance has inspired writers and readers for close to seventy years.

This poetic, graceful love story, rooted in black folk traditions and steeped in mythic realism, celebrates, boldly and brilliantly, African-American culture and heritage. And in a powerful, mesmerizing narrative, it pays quiet tribute to a black woman, who, though constricted by the times, still demanded to be heard.

Review (contains spoilers):

Once again I am reviewing a book that is required high school reading for a lot of people. But was not for me. And while I was pleasantly surprised with "To Kill A Mockingbird", I don't have that same feeling with Ms. Hurston's novel. But isn't that how it goes with required high school reading? I am not saying that I hated it but I am rather indifferent to the whole novel.

First let me explain the novel to you (those of you that haven't read it). The synopsis is a little misleading (in my opinion). The story is about a black woman, Janie Crawford, who was raised by her grandmother (a former slave). Janie's grandmother had certain ideas about what a good life was and enforced those on Janie, who bowed to her wishes. That is just the first part of the book. The rest of the story is about Janie's journey through life trying to find herself. Sounds interesting doesn't it?

Now I have several issues with the book overall but I will start with the good. "Their Eyes Were Watching God" was a great depiction of the life of the main character and the struggle she (and other black women) had growing up in a post slavery world. You see some of the hardship and a little of the racism that occurred. Hurston used the black dialect as a literary tool to make her to keep with the time and place of the story and the economic status of her characters.

While the language is in keeping with the time of the story, it takes a little getting use to. When I first started reading the story I had to read the character's dialogue a couple of times to get what they were saying. After I got uses to it, it went smoothly.

The characters were flat. They were very one dimensional. The main character Janie never really changed. Her situation changed. The person she was living with changed. But she didn't. She just sort of followed where they lead her and became who they wanted her to be. Now I don't know if that says something of the women of her time or if Hurston was trying to convey a message. Whatever it was it left a lot to be desired. The other main character Tea Cake had a little more dimension to him and the story began to feel as if it was more about Tea Cake than Janie. When Janie married Sparks she became the docile, helpful house wife. When she married Tea Cake she sort of became his partner in crime, a traveling companion. But I never really felt any connection between the two. The characters never jumped off the page and made me feel for them or really care what was happening.

Another thing that I have issues with is the treatment of violence against women. In the story, both Joe (Janie's second husband) and Tea Cake strike Janie, for minor reasons. The story portrays this as a normal occurrence. The men in the story even joke about abusing their wives and such. This may have been "normal" or "acceptable" at the time. But for an African-American artist and a woman whose heyday was during the Harlem Renaissance, I think Hurston missed an opportunity to make some kind of social commentary. Or maybe she did by playing wife beating off as a causal occurrence between man and wife.

The way Hurston killed Tea Cake off was sort of morbid. How do you get the idea to kill someone off by first giving them rabies from a dog during a hurricane. Then having them become jealous, while having rabies, and trying to kill their wife (how is handy with a shot gun)? That is just crazy and off the wall.

This book really didn't catch me. It left me with a lot of questions (is that a good sign?) and just sort of feeling like "it's done, oh well".

Pros: Language, overall plot
Cons: Language, characters, violence

Overall Recommendation:

I would say if you haven't read it you should read it just to know what it is about. But overall it was like "Whatever"

1% Well Read (2 out of 12)
Library Challenge (2 out of 25)
Decades '09 (3 out of 9)
TBR Challenge (4 out of 12)
Round The World Passage (1 out of 18)

Other Reviews:
It's All About Me

If you have a review of this book or any other book reviewed on my site. Post a link to that review in the comment section so, I can link back to you.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Library Loot: January 28

Library Loot is a cousin to Mailbox Monday (just not on a specific day during the week). I found the concept over at A Striped Armchair. I don't buy books that often so this might end up being a regular feature. I try to go to the library only once every couple of weeks. But anyways.

This weeks loot is:

"The Gathering" by Ann Enright fits at least two challenges that I am doing this year. It is set in Ireland so it fits the Round The World Challenge. And I got it from the library so it fits the Library Challenge.

You can check out a portion of the book over at Google Books.

"The Journey Home: A Novel" by Olaf Olafsson also is a book that fits the Round The World Challenge and the Library Challenge. The story is set in Iceland.

I have heard a lot about "Uglies" by Scott Westerfeld from various books sites and really had no intention of actually reading it even though all the reviews have been mostly positive. But a group that I am involved in over at Good Reads, has this book as a group selection. They are actually reading the whole series. So, I decided to join. It fits two challenges: The Series Challenge and the Library Challenge.

The last book is "New Moon" by Stephanie Meyer. I have already read Twilight, I actually have read it twice. The first time was to see what all the hype was about and the second time was so that I could refresh my memory after watching the movie. I am not really a fan but since I start the series I might as well finish it (and it works for the Series Challenge).

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Teaser Tuesday: Their Eyes Were Watching God

TEASER TUESDAYS asks you to:
  • Grab your current read.
  • Let the book fall open to a random page.
  • Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
  • You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
  • Please avoid spoilers!

  • From "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston page 92.

    She almost apologized to the tenants the first time she collected the rents. Felt like a usurper.
    I have no idea what the word usurper means so I looked it up on the Merriam-Webster Dictionary Site. This following is cut and paste from that site.
    Main Entry: usurp
    Pronunciation: \yu̇-ˈsərp also -ˈzərp\
    Function: verb
    transitive verb
    a: to seize and hold (as office, place, or powers) in possession by force or without right <usurp a throne> b: to take or make use of without right <usurped the rights to her life story>2: to take the place of by or as if by force : supplant usurp careful judgment>
    intransitive verb
    to seize or exercise authority or possession wrongfully
    usur·pa·tion \ˌyü-sər-ˈpā-shən also ˌyü-zər-\ noun
    usurp·er \yu̇-ˈsər-pər also -ˈzər-\ noun

    Learn something new everyday.

    Saturday, January 24, 2009

    To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee

    Rating: 4 out of 5
    Pages: 281
    Genre: Fiction (Classic)
    Series: No
    Publication Date: 1960

    Synopsis (From Google Books):

    One of the best-loved stories of all time, To Kill a Mockingbird has been translated into more than forty languages, sold more than thirty million copies worldwide, served as the basis of an enormously popular motion picture, and was voted one of the best novels of the twentieth century by librarians across the country. A gripping, heart-wrenching, and wholly remarkable tale of coming-of-age in a South poisoned by virulent prejudice, it views a world of great beauty and savage inequities through the eyes of a young girl, as her father -- a crusading local lawyer -- risks everything to defend a black man unjustly accused of a terrible crime.


    There probably are very few Americans that have not a least heard about Harper Lee's "To Kill A Mockingbird". I don't recall when I first heard about this book but I remember hearing about it some point in my life. It wasn't required reading for me in high school and since I was not one to voluntarily read classics in high school this book got overlooked.

    I feel robbed. My high school English teachers felt that it was more important to assign such boring books as "Ethan Frome" but left "To Kill A Mockingbird" out, shame on them. I am not going to classify this book as a page turner, but it was almost there. The last 100 or so pages I couldn't stop reading.

    The story is told in first person and the narrator is a young child by the name of Scout. Now, there are so many directions that Lee could have taken with her creation of Scout. But she decided that she would be highly advanced for a child (in the book she is between the ages of 6 and 8), and this is good. Because the reader get not only to see how Scout develops but also gets a look into her thought process and how she tackles some of the complicated adult issues she has to face. Sometimes I forgot that this story was being told through the eyes of a child.

    The language in the story was both simple and complex. Every now and than Lee would through in a SAT word (at least that was what I called them in high school) but they were perfectly in context with the story and did not distract from the flow. In fact they helped illustrated and remind the reader that Scout is a child.

    Now to the storyline. Even though this book was published in the 1960's and takes place in the 1930's the subject matter is still relevant to today. The struggle for equality in legal system, prejudice, and class. All these issues come up in the book and Lee handles them well, maybe because she does it from the unbias eyes of a child.

    This book as been criticized for the use of the "N" word but I think that it is appropriate because first it is a historical fiction novel and second that was reality back in the time frame of the story. The only time that my eyebrow raised was when I reached the following passage on page 118:

    "The warm bittersweet smell of clean Negro welcomed us as we entered the churchyard..."
    I have no idea what that means. Bittersweet smell and clean.... I am lost. But otherwise a solid well written book.

    Characters, Subject Matter, Language

    Overall Recommendation:
    You haven't read it, yet? What's taking you so long? Check it out at the library or buy it.


    Decades '09 (2 out of 9)
    TBR Challenge (3 out of 12)
    The Pulitzer Projects (1 out of 5)
    1% Well Read (1 out of 11)

    Pulitzer Prize (Fiction, 1961)
    National Book Award finalist (Fiction, 1961)

    Also, if you have a review of this book or any other book reviewed on my site. Post a link to that review in the comment section so, I can link back to you.

    Entertainment Weekly's 100 New Classics

    Why catching up on my blog reading I came over this interesting list over at A Reader's Journal. Now I don't plan to read all these books (at least not now) but I thought that it would be interesting to keep around. Maybe next year, I will make it a personal challenge to read about 10 or so books on this list every year until I complete it.

    All the books that I have read have been crossed out. Books in Red I plan to read this year. Books in Blue are on my TBR list.

    Now on to the list:

    1. The Road , Cormac McCarthy (2006)
    2. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, J.K. Rowling (2000)
    3. Beloved, Toni Morrison (1987)
    4. The Liars' Club, Mary Karr (1995)
    5. American Pastoral, Philip Roth (1997)
    6. Mystic River, Dennis Lehane (2001)
    7. Maus, Art Spiegelman (1986/1991)
    8. Selected Stories, Alice Munro (1996)
    9. Cold Mountain, Charles Frazier (1997)
    10. The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle, Haruki Murakami (1997)
    11. Into Thin Air, Jon Krakauer (1997)
    12. Blindness, José Saramago (1998)
    13. Watchmen, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (1986-87)
    14. Black Water, Joyce Carol Oates (1992)
    15. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers (2000)
    16. The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood (1986)
    17. Love in the Time of Cholera, Gabriel García Márquez (1988)
    18. Rabbit at Rest, John Updike (1990)
    19. On Beauty, Zadie Smith (2005)
    20. Bridget Jones's Diary, Helen Fielding (1998)
    21. On Writing, Stephen King (2000)
    22. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Junot Díaz (2007)
    23. The Ghost Road, Pat Barker (1996)
    24. Lonesome Dove, Larry McMurtry (1985)
    25. The Joy Luck Club, Amy Tan (1989)
    26. Neuromancer, William Gibson (1984)
    27. Possession, A.S. Byatt (1990)
    28. Naked, David Sedaris (1997)
    29. Bel Canto, Anne Patchett (2001)
    30. Case Histories, Kate Atkinson (2004)
    31. The Things They Carried, Tim O'Brien (1990)
    32. Parting the Waters, Taylor Branch (1988)
    33. The Year of Magical Thinking, Joan Didion (2005)
    34. The Lovely Bones, Alice Sebold (2002)
    35. The Line of Beauty, Alan Hollinghurst (2004)
    36. Angela's Ashes, Frank McCourt (1996)
    37. Persepolis, Marjane Satrapi (2003)
    38. Birds of America, Lorrie Moore (1998)
    39. Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri (2000)
    40. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman (1995-2000)
    41. The House on Mango Street, Sandra Cisneros (1984)
    42. LaBrava, Elmore Leonard (1983)
    43. Borrowed Time, Paul Monette (1988)
    44. Praying for Sheetrock, Melissa Fay Greene (1991)
    45. Eva Luna, Isabel Allende (1988)
    46. Sandman, Neil Gaiman (1988-1996)
    47. World's Fair, E.L. Doctorow (1985)
    48. The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)
    49. Clockers, Richard Price (1992)
    50. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen (2001)
    51. The Journalist and the Murderer, Janet Malcom (1990)
    52. Waiting to Exhale, Terry McMillan (1992)
    53. The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Michael Chabon (2000)
    54. Jimmy Corrigan, Chris Ware (2000)
    55. The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls (2006)
    56. The Night Manager, John le Carré (1993)
    57. The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe (1987)
    58. Drop City, TC Boyle (2003)
    59. Krik? Krak! Edwidge Danticat (1995)
    60. Nickel & Dimed, Barbara Ehrenreich (2001)
    61. Money, Martin Amis (1985)
    62. Last Train To Memphis, Peter Guralnick (1994)
    63. Pastoralia, George Saunders (2000)
    64. Underworld, Don DeLillo (1997)
    65. The Giver, Lois Lowry (1993)
    66. A Supposedly Fun Thing I’ll Never Do Again, David Foster Wallace (1997)
    67. The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini (2003)
    68. Fun Home, Alison Bechdel (2006)
    69. Secret History, Donna Tartt (1992)
    70. Cloud Atlas, David Mitchell (2004)
    71. The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down, Ann Fadiman (1997)
    72. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon (2003)
    73. A Prayer for Owen Meany, John Irving (1989)
    74. Friday Night Lights, H.G. Bissinger (1990)
    75. Cathedral, Raymond Carver (1983)
    76. A Sight for Sore Eyes, Ruth Rendell (1998)
    77. The Remains of the Day, Kazuo Ishiguro (1989)
    78. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert (2006)
    79. The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell (2000)
    80. Bright Lights, Big City, Jay McInerney (1984)
    81. Backlash, Susan Faludi (1991)
    82. Atonement, Ian McEwan (2002)
    83. The Stone Diaries, Carol Shields (1994)
    84. Holes, Louis Sachar (1998)
    85. Gilead, Marilynne Robinson (2004)
    86. And the Band Played On, Randy Shilts (1987)
    87. The Ruins, Scott Smith (2006)
    88. High Fidelity, Nick Hornby (1995)
    89. Close Range, Annie Proulx (1999)
    90. Comfort Me With Apples, Ruth Reichl (2001)
    91. Random Family, Adrian Nicole LeBlanc (2003)
    92. Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow (1987)
    93. A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley (1991)
    94. Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser (2001)
    95. Kaaterskill Falls, Allegra Goodman (1998)
    96. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown (2003)
    97. Jesus’ Son, Denis Johnson (1992)
    98. The Predators' Ball, Connie Bruck (1988)
    99. Practical Magic, Alice Hoffman (1995)
    100. America (the Book), Jon Stewart/Daily Show (2004)

    Friday, January 23, 2009

    Friday Finds: January 23

    Last Friday I had problems posting one of my books so I will do it this Friday instead. This week I bring you a total of three finds. Two I found on the blogasphere and one at starbucks.

    From Starbucks:

    "The House at Sugar Beach: A Memoir" by Helene Cooper. The first thing that caught my eye about this books was the color and the photo on the front. I than read the back and it sounded interesting. I should have read a few pages but I was ready to leave and didn't have time. In fact I should have bought the book.

    From Other Blogs:

    "Heretic Queen: Novel" by Michelle Moran, I found out about will browsing reviews over at

    Thursday, January 22, 2009

    Inspiration: Booking Through Thursday (01/22/2009)

    Booking Through Thursday Ask:
    Since “Inspiration” is (or should) the theme this week … what is your reading inspired by?

    My reading list is not inspired by much. Just different recommendations from people or things that I saw that looked good.

    But I am inspired to read because when I was younger, I couldn't read that while. In fact my reading was so bad that in the second grade I use to have to leave my class and go to the first grade class during their reading time. I did not catch up until I was in the fourth grade. But that experience had a positive influence on my love for reading now.

    Also, my reading is inspired by my grandmother. I lived with her through most of my life and she felt that my difficultly reading was more due to a lack of interest and opportunity. So, she always brought home books that she thought that I should read. I hated most of her selections until she brought "The Boxcar Children" series through the mail. I loved them and would wait for them to arrive.

    So, thank you Gwen.

    Wednesday, January 21, 2009

    The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan

    Rating: 3.5 out of 5
    Pages: 332
    Genre: Fiction (Chinese American)
    Series: No
    Publication Date: 1989

    Synopsis (From ):
    A stunning literary achievement, The Joy Luck Club explores the tender and tenacious bond between four daughters and their mothers. The daughters know one side of their mothers, but they don't know about their earlier never-spoken of lives in China. The mothers want love and obedience from their daughters, but they don't know the gifts that the daughters keep to themselves. Heartwarming and bittersweet, this is a novel for mother, daughters, and those that love them.

    in December I did a review on "The House on Mango Street" by Sandra Cisneros. These two book don't really compare in anyway but in style. They are both vignette. The author chooses to show the reader little snips of the characters life. While "The House on Mango Street" was told for the point of view of one character, "The Joy Luck Club" combines the lives of 8 women (4 mothers and their daughters) masterfully.

    There is no real main character in this story all the characters (and their stories) are equally important and equally engaging. While the book was not a page turner, I did care what happen to all the characters. It was very intriguing to know how all the mothers came to America and how their experiences shaped how the raised each of their perspective daughters. For the daughters it was more interesting to watch them try to navigate being Chinese and American. I did not get the feeling in the book that the mothers ever wanted to fit into American culture and that they did not really what their children to either. They wanted them to have Chinese values with American opportunity. While the daughters just wanted to be Chinese.

    At times I felt myself siding with the daughters because to me it seemed that the mothers had no understanding of who their daughters were. It appeared that the mothers just wanted them to be obey all their wishing, sacrificing their own. I don't know if Tan did this on purpose but I is kind of confusing. Because some of the mothers hardship seems to come from just obeying and not thinking. And these women (the mothers) than expect their daughters to do the same thing.

    What I really like about this book was the style that it was written in sometimes it was like reading a fairy tale (almost "Like Water for Chocolate") but more realistic. The imaginary was beautiful and caught my imagination quickly. I kept having this thought that I would love to see this as a foreign film where the whole thing has to be translated. I know that there is a movie, I even saw it years ago. But I don't remember the movie being as vivid as the book.

    Another positive with this book is that with the daughters Tan was able to portray the idea of what it is like to grow up as a second generation immigrant. In this case not quite American but not quite Chinese. The daughters have to struggle with what their mother are trying to teach them about being Chinese, which often comes out like riddles, and what they think the should know about being American. The mothers and daughters struggle with this battle between being Chinese and being American. Almost like they can't do both.

    One of the negatives I had was that the mothers sometimes came for as stereotypes. I think this is sometimes a problem when people of color try to write books that not only speak to their experience and culture but will also appeal to a wider audience.

    Imagery, Characters, Stories, Internal Conflict
    Stereotype Like Characters

    Overall Recommendation:
    This wasn't a page turner for me but I would recommend it to anyone. It was a nice beautifully written that is fairly quick and easy to read.


    Decades '09 (1 out of 9)
    TBR Challenge (2 out of 12)

    ALA Best Books for Young Adults
    Commonwealth Club of California Book Awards (Sliver)

    Also, if you have a review of this book or any other book reviewed on my site. Post a link to that review in the comment section so, I can link back to you.

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    Friday Finds: Janurary 16

    It has been quite sometime since I have done a Friday Find and my wish list and TBR pile are thanking me. But now that I am back, it is time to add more books.

    "House of Dance" by Beth Kephart is a young adult book I believe. I found it while reading a review on the book at Becky's Book Review. It sounds like a very heart warming story. And it caught my interest when I first read the review. I don't read many young adult books. So, when I see something interesting I try to take note of it.

    "Flygirl" by Sherri L. Smith is another book that I found at Becky's Book Review. Thank you Becky for all the great book recommendation. It caught my eye because it is about a black woman who wants to be a pilot in an era were it was hard for women to be pilots periods. It is also a historical fiction book and I kind of like those, sometimes. So, why not?

    "Drinking Coffee Elsewhere" by ZZ Packer was recommended to me by someone at Shelfari (link takes you to google books). It is a collection of short stories. I have not read short stories in like forever. I have read the description of some of the stories and they all seem interesting (I need to find a new word besides interesting). So, I have added it to my TBR List (aka bottomless pit of books).

    Tuesday, January 13, 2009

    The Support Your Local Library Challenge

    The Official Website: J. Kaye's Book Blog
    The Rules:
    You all know what a supporter of the library my family and I are. What better way to pay homage than by having a reading challenge in 2009? Since we are all different, there will be three sizes of challenges.

    ** The first is to read 12 books from your local library in 2009.
    ** The second is to read 25 books from your local library in 2009.
    ** The third is to read 50 books from your local library in 2009.

    You decide which one of the three challenges is best for you.

    Here are the guidelines:

    1) You can join anytime as long as you don’t start reading your books prior to 2009.

    2) This challenge is for 2009 only. The last day to have all your books read is December 31, 2009.

    3) You can join anytime between now and December 31, 2009.

    4) When you sign up under Mr. Linky, list the direct link to your post where your library books will be listed. If you list just your blog’s URL, it will be removed. If you don’t have a blog, leave the URL blank.

    6) Our goal is to read 12, 25, or 50 books checkout from our local library in 2009. Please decide which when you sign up and don’t change it.

    7) These can be audios, downloads, children’s, YA. As long as it’s a book, format and target age group does not matter.

    My Goal: 25 Books
    My List:
    1) The Awakening by LA Banks (Review)
    2) Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (Review)
    3) The Brief Wonderous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz (Review)
    4) The Journey Home:A Novel by Olaf Olafsson (Review)
    5) Talking to the Dead by Helen Dunmore ( Review)
    6) New Moon by Stephenie Meyer ( Review)
    7) The Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger (Review)
    8) The Age of Innocence by Edith Whatron (Review)
    9) Rebecca by Daphne Du Mauier (Review)
    10) The Hunted by LA Banks ( Review)
    11) Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer (Review)
    12) The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Review)
    13) Anne Frank: Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank (Review)
    14) Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence (Review)
    15) Chocolat by Joanne Harris (Review)
    16) The Bitten by LA Banks
    17) Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer (Review)
    18) Imago by Octavia E. Butler
    19) The Forbidden by LA Banks
    20) Don't Move by Margaret Mazzantini
    21) Thirteen Reason Why by Jay Asher (Review)
    22) Uglies by Scott Westerfeld (Review)
    23) Pretties by Scott Westerfeld (Review)
    24) Specials by Scott Westerfeld (Review)
    25) Extras by Scott Westerfeld (Review)

    Monday, January 12, 2009

    Butterfly Award

    Bunnitaz over at Worth Reading It? has presented me with my first ever award, The Butterfly Award. I am so excited. And would like to thank her for pass it along to me.

    This is a meme award to be passed on.
    The rules are:
    1. Post the logo on your blog
    2. Add link to the person who awarded it to you
    3. Award up to 10 blogs
    4. Add links to those blogs in your award post
    5. Leave a message for awardee on their blog

    My picks:

    Nexgrl @ Truly Ghetto Library Tales
    Alice @ Hello, My Name is Alice

    That's it, not because I don't go to any other blogs but all the blogs that I frequent have gotten the award already. Or at least I think they have.

    Once again. Thank you, Bunnitaz

    The Awakening by LA Banks

    Rating: 4 out of 5 (Compared to other books in the series)
    Pages: 258
    Genre: Paranormal (Urban Fantasy)
    Series: Yes (Vampire Huntress Legend Book 2)
    Publication Date: 2004

    Synopsis (From Google Books):

    There is a vampire war brewing in the underworld and at the center of it all is Damali Richards, spoken word artist and Vampire Huntress. But she is not just any Vampire Huntress, she is the millenium Neteru. A woman so potentially powerful that the vampire world is about to invoke a bloody battle that threatens to spill over onto her streets in order to posses her. It's just a matter of who will get to her first. Fallon Nuit, a rogue vampire, is one of the most powerful Damali has ever encountered and he has allied himself with the deadly Amanrath demons in order to claim her. But the Vampire Council has plans for her as well. And now an unlikely variable has entered into the equation, an ex-lover now turned vampire with an agenda of his own. And she must risk trusting him once more if they are to survive.

    I have a feeling that I am being to become a paranormal book reader. Because of the last 6 books I have read 2 have been paranormal. And I thought that they were both excellent reads.

    For those of you who are unfamiliar with LA Banks she writes the tell of a master vampire hunter (I hate the term huntress) and her band of guardians. The cast is multi-culture and come from a wide variety of religious backgrounds, which is different from some of the other paranormal books that I have read. The main character, Damali Richards, is a young black woman coming in to her hunting abilities while trying to deal with a strong attract with a drug dealer, Carlos Rivera.

    I was really hesitant to read the first book in the series ("Minion") and found it to be really slow and uninteresting in the beginning but it picked up in the end. This book did not have the same problem. I was hooked from the start. I like how Banks provided a little bit of a reminder of what happened in the first book (not that I needed it). But even that had me hooked.

    In "The Awakening", Banks continues to build on the world that she has created, and it is very complex. Which is good and bad. It is good because it keeps the story moving forward and allows the reader to see the rules and guidelines that govern almost everything, good and evil. It is bad because it causes her to sit up situations that explain what is going on and why, that takes sometimes and subtracts from the action vibe that the story has.

    I find most of Banks character to be captivating, even the bad guys. You want to know their story and what is going to happen to them. She gives you little glimpses of pieces throughout the novel (probably so that you will read the next one), but just enough to keep the story rolling and your curiosity perked.

    I enjoy Banks witting and don't find that it is very difficult to read. It doesn't take much thought, its like watching an very good action more. You don't think you just absorbed the sences that she is sitting up for you. The only problem with her writing that I have is her use of slang not only in dialog but also in her sentence structure. It service the purpose of keeping with the stories settings but it also not only dates the story but her. I find some of the terms and actions of the characters to be out of date.

    Action and character development, complex fictional concepts
    Slang terms, complex fictional concepts

    Overall Recommendation:
    Read It but read the first book in the series first for background information.


    Series Readers Challenge (1 out of 15)
    TBR Challenge (1 out of 12)
    Library Challenge (1 out of 25)

    Also, if you have a review of this book or any other book reviewed on my site. Post a link to that review in the comment section so, I can link back to you.

    Sunday, January 11, 2009

    The Sunday Salon: First of the New Year

    For the most of last month (December) I was away from my computer visiting family in California. It is not that they don't have internet service but the computer that they have is old and slow. So, it was very tiresome to try and log on to the net to do basic things like check my email. But now I am back.

    Unfortunately, since I was gone so long my Google Reader had tons of unread blogs. I decided to mark most of them as read since there is no way that I could catch up with them. As, it is now I still have 171 to read.

    Now to the books. I did not reach my goal last month on reading 11 books in one month. I ended up working through most of the Christmas break. And to top it off I am getting a late start on the challenges that I signed up for in 2009.

    Here is a review of the book challenges that I am participating in (link will take you to my book list):

    Plans Reading for this Month:
    • The Awakening by LA Banks (started)
    • The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan
    • To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
    • Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
    • Beloved by Toni Morrison
    That's it for now happy reading.