Thursday, June 30, 2011

Booking Through Thursday

A weekly meme about books and reading
What’s the largest your personal library has ever been? What’s the greatest number of books you’ve ever owned at one time? (Estimates are fine.)
Is your collection NOW the biggest it’s ever been? Or have you down-sized?
What’s the fewest number of books you’ve ever owned (not counting your pre-reading years)?

It is hard for me to estimate how large my personal library is now and what it was at it's biggest. At one point I had two bookshelves full of books and that doesn't mean neatly stacked in a row. That means piled on top of the shelf, book stacked on top of books, books squeezed into every nook and cranny. Plus an entire box of my childhood books in the attic.

When I had my first child I had to figure out a new place to store them because our extra bedroom became the nursery. I got rid of as many as I could bare to part with so my collection became smaller. Of course, I then started added children's books to my collection so it as grown again.

We always had lots of books in our house growing up and I loved it. I want to provide the same for my children.

I know I have well over a hundred books but that is as about all I can say. And I'm sure I will donated more to the library and buy more. My book collection is constantly changing and I think that is a good thing.

Monday, June 27, 2011

The Help

The Help
by Kathryn Stockett

I kept hearing about this best seller and finally put it on hold at the Library a couple weeks ago. I figured it would take a while for me to get it because it was so popular so I was surprised when it was waiting for me at the library a week later. Of course I had checked out a couple other books thinking that it would be a month or longer before I got it. Luckily it didn't take long to read those other books so I was able to read this book before I had to return it. 

This book brought tears to my eyes. One of those moments when something amazing happens and you just feel like you know how the characters must feel. Not many books touch my heart and make feel so emotionally connected to the characters. I thought this was an amazing story.

It is told through the eyes of three different women, two black maids and one white women, living in Mississippi during the early 1960s. It tells the story of how their lives become intertwined as they join forces to bring what the life of a black maid is like to the masses. I learned about Civil Rights and segregation in school but I found this story to be even more eye opening. I honestly could not believe that someone would treat another human being in that manner.

I couldn't put this book down. Every free moment I found myself picking it up so I could read more. I really grew to love these three women. I know this story is fictional but I really grew attached to them and felt like I knew how they felt. They each brought a different perspective to the story. This is such a well written novel.

This is a great book and if you haven't read it yet you should take time to. This book is definitely worth your time!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Book Beginnings on Friday

Share the first line or two of the book you are currently reading and then if you feel so inclined share what your first impressions were and if you liked the sentence. Included the title and author so everyone knows what you are reading. Hosted by A Few More Pages.

The Help
by Kathryn Stockett

Here are the first 4 lines.

"Mae Mobley was born on an early Sunday morning in August, 1960. A church baby we like to call it. Taking care a white babies, that's what I do, along with all the cooking and the cleaning. I done raised seventeen kids in my lifetime. "

I was immediately intrigued by these first few lines. The first line made me interested in finding out more about Mae Mobley but once I read the next few lines I  realize that I was even more interested in finding out more about the person who raised her. It is clear that this is not a story about Mae Mobley and  I am excited to see where this story takes me. I really enjoy a good historical fiction, which is how I would categorize this book, and just from these first few lines I could tell this was going to be a very interesting read.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Booking through Thursday

A weekly meme about books and reading.

What, if any, kind of music do you listen to when you’re reading? (Given a choice, of course!)

I don't listen to music very often when I read. I don't have a type of music I listen to when I read. When I do my choice of music is often determined by my children. Many times I read when my son is watching his favorite TV show Mickey Mouse Clubhouse so any music I hear is from that.

Really I can read with just about any type of music on and I can even happily read while the TV is on especially if the show my husband is watching doesn't interest me very much. I still like spending time with him so I don't like to go hide in our bedroom just so that I can read in peace. I am really good at tuning the noise out.

When I was younger I sometimes wouldn't hear mom my ask me to do something. When I'm reading a really good book, I literally shut out the world and become immersed in what I am reading. I don't notice  the noise going on around me. 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Fablehaven Book 5: Keys to the Demon Prison

Fablehaven: Keys to the Demon Prison
By Brandon Mull

I was so excited to finish this series and I think that Brandon Mull has done a great job. I loved this book just as much as the other books in this series. I couldn't put it down. 
The final battle and ending left me satisfied and happy. Always a good thing when reading a series.

Another thing I really love about these books is the underlying lessons that these books teach kids about courage, trust and what it means to be good. 
I feel like it exemplifies those values that are really important for kids to learn and for adults to live. 
It teaches us to be true to ourselves, to be kind, to make wise and good decisions, to cherish our friends and family. 
The list could go on and on.

So my final thoughts about this book and this series is that these are some amazing books. Of course I love fantasy so I'm not surprised I love these books so much. They might be found in the children's section but I think they can entertain all ages. I can't wait to share with my kids when they get older. 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Book Beginnings on Friday

I thought this would be a fun Meme to participate in. The idea is to share the first line or two of the book you are currently reading and then if you feel so inclined share what your first impressions were and if you liked the sentence. Thanks to A Few More Pages for hosting this fun Meme.

Today mine comes from Fablehaven Book 5: Keys to the Demon Prison by Brandon Mull.

Here are the first couple lines:

"Seth knew he should not be here. His grandparents would be furious if they found out."

For those of you who have been reading my blog you know how much I have loved the first 4 books in this series. I was so excited to start this book to see how the story turns out. I thought this was the perfect opening for this book. It draws you right into the action of the story and of course, I just had to find out what kind of mischief Seth was getting into now.

In fact, I think I will go read some more of the book right now!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Booking Through Thursday

With the advent (and growing popularity) of eBooks, I’m seeing more and more articles about how much “better” they can be, because they have the option to be interactive … videos, music, glossaries … all sorts of little extra goodies to help “enhance” your reading experience, rather like listening to the Director’s commentary on a DVD of your favorite movie.
How do you feel about that possibility? Does it excite you in a cutting-edge kind of way? Or does it chill you to the bone because that’s not what reading is ABOUT?

I truly think that some people will be very excited about all these new possibilities. Everyone is looking for the latest tech toys to use. I can see this actually getting more people interested in reading who might otherwise not make the time in their schedule or who are not normally big readers.

For me I don't know if I would even use the extra goodies that might be added. I don't need my books to be more interactive. I love reading because I get to use my imagination, because for me books create a whole new world for me to explore.

Even on DVD's I often don't watch any of the extras unless something really special catches my eye. I am sure the same would hold true with books. I wouldn't watch or use the "extras" unless something about the book really peaked my interest.

Of course I read mostly fiction so I could see non-fiction books or maybe even historical fictions having interesting interactive options. You could learn more about the place or the time period, etc.

And I have to say I absolutely love my Kindle. It is so easy to transport, it is lightweight, I can read anywhere with it and I can find almost any book at the the tip of my fingers. I also love that I can  download the classics for free. For me it is just as enjoyable as reading a real book. I don't use any of it's extra features though but someday I may...

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


by Daphne Du Maurier

My good friend Kirstin suggested this book to me.  She said it was a suspenseful story that she didn't want to put down.

She also mentioned that it had also been made into a movie that she was looking forward to watching. So I got onto the library website to look it up and discovered that it was a Hitchcock film. Now I was doubly intrigued!

I love Alfred Hitchcock. Really, he is one of the all time greatest directors, especially of suspense and psychological thrillers.

I definitely found this book to be very suspenseful and a good read. The story was interesting and I just had to know what the real story behind Rebecca's death was. 

It did seem to take a long time for any real action to start. It started to get really intriguing around chapter 13.  

There is a ton of description in this novel. I found myself skimming paragraphs of elaborate descriptions of gardens and so forth to get back to the plot. Which I wouldn't say necessarily is a bad thing since I do the same thing with Tolkien and I ♥ Lord of the Rings! Seriously, I could write an entire post about how many pages of just description it takes him to describe a forest in Fellowship of the Ring. *I know I'm not the only one who feels this way*

Anyway, I did get a little bored with all the description but overall the story was a good suspenseful tale. I can't wait to check out the movie now.

Does anyone else think the Cover makes it look like a romance novel? If my friend hadn't suggested this book to me I would never have picked it of the self. I think the cover does not convey what the story is all about very well. Which just goes to prove never judge a book by its cover.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Rock and Roll and Animals

Punk Farm
by Jarrett J. Krosoczka

This was a fun book about a group of animals who put on a rock show after the farmer goes to bed. Really fun to read and my son loved it. The ending is great.

Betsy Who Cried Wolf
by Gail Carson Levine
illustrated by Scott Nash

We've all heard of the Boy who cried wolf. This is a fun twist where the wolf attempts to trick the young shepherd so he can capture her sheep. The pictures are fun. My son like to point out the wolf hiding on the pages. I thought this was a cute story with funny little tidbits like a river named Soakenwetz.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sorcery and Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot

Sorcery & Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot
by Patricia C Wrede, Caroline Stevermer

My Aunt Cindy just recently became a reviewer for Squeaky Clean Reads so I decided to check the website out and see what kinds of books she had reviewed.

There were a couple books she reviewed that caught my eye and this was one of them. In her review she described this book as a cross between Jane Austin and Harry Potter, so of course I was immediately intrigued.

This was a delightful story to read. I'm surprised I have never heard of this book before  since it was written in 1988. I am glad that it was brought to my attention because it is a great book.

This is a charming tale about two cousins who write to each other over a summer about there ongoing adventures. The story is set in Victorian times but most of the action in this book revolves around magic and wizards.  I loved all the different characters and surprisingly liked the format of the book. I was a little worried I wouldn't like a book written in letter format but I really enjoyed it. 

One of the most intriguing things about this book is that it started as a letter game between two friends. They exchanged letters as if they were these characters, one writing as Cecelia and one writing as Kate, but did not tell each other where they were going with the plot. At the end of six months they realized they had created a novel out of their game. 

I am glad that these two Authors decided to have a Letter Game because the story that came out of it is a really fun book. I couldn't put it down. I just had to know what was going to happen to these two cousins. I love books set in this time era, there is just something endearing about this setting. They are just so romantic and there is always some charming gentlemen involved. This book is no exception plus there is some magic thrown into the mix.

If you love Jane Austin and Harry Potter you should definitely check this book out. I certainly enjoyed reading it.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Summer Reading

Signed up my three year old today for our Library's summer reading Program. He gets a sticker for every five books he reads and prizes along the way.  There are 15 spots total so that makes 75 books to get through this summer. I'm probably more excited about it then he is.

For the older kids the program keeps track of the hours they read instead of tracking the number of books they read. They get a sticker for every hour they read.

I think I will join the fun too. 75 hours of reading in 3 months..... could be difficult with two young kids to keep entertained. We shall see how much I actually accomplish.

Have you set a summer reading goal for you and your family?

Check out your local library and see if they have a summer reading program your kids can enjoy.
Or create your own goals and chart to keep track of your progress.

Barnes and Noble has a summer reading program for kids grade 1 - 6. They earn a free book if they read 8 books. Check it out.

Now get reading!