Monday, September 21, 2009

Clear Off Your Shelves Book Challenge

This is a challenge that is aimed at getting through those books that have been sitting on your shelves for months, even years! Any non-review books that are on your shelves and/or review copies that have been on your shelves for over six months. This means that recent review copies and library books are not eligible for this challenge! However, that doesn’t mean the book has to have been out for six months in order for the review copy to be eligible. Books you have purchased/traded for/etc. and are NOT review copies can be from anytime - even from during the challenge! Crossover with other challenges is welcomed, even encouraged!

When? This challenge will run from October 1, 2009 – November 30, 2009.

Where? S. Krishna’s Books! The sign-up post for the challenge will be posting today as well. Come back to post your review links – there will be links to everything you will need in my sidebar!

How? This challenge will work a little differently than other challenges. Instead of picking a set number of books to read during this time period, you will pick a percentage. This means that a certain percentage of the books you read during these two months will have to qualify for this challenge. For example, let’s say you pick 40% and you end up reading 10 books in October and November. 4 of those books would have to qualify for this challenge in order for you to complete it. I am setting a minimum percentage of 20%. As a result, there is no need to make a list of books prior to starting the challenge, though please feel free to do so if you want to! Your wrap-up post should have a list of the books you read for the challenge, though, so please do keep track of what you read!

There you have it folks. All the info you need to participate in Clear Off Your Shelves 2009! Don't forget to sign up here.

After I looked through my shelf and looked at my goal for 2009, I have 21 books that qualify for being over 6 months in my possession and I have 10 books to read to meet my 2009 goal. I could easily set my goal for 100% and meet it, but that doesn't sound like a challenge. I like numbers. I am going to set my goal at reading 5 books. You can still look at this as reading 100% if you want. I also look forward to the challenge of NOT re-reading the Twilight series until after November 1st.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Secrets

Secrets Secrets by Jude Deveraux


My rating: 2 of 5 stars
The thing I like about Jude Deveraux is that she puts just enough fantasy in her stories to remind me that things don't work like that in real life. This book was a fast and easy read.

This book had a mediocre story line. The plot went in every direction - except the direction that would have given the story an actual plot. The characters were great in that I was torn between hating them or wanting them to be my best friend. There were some great dialogue moments. But in the end the plot failed to deliver - in fact I'm not sure what the plot WAS. And the end of the story really wasn't, I found myself flipping pages wondering where the rest of my book was.

Pub. Date: May 2008

Synopsis: When Cassandra Madden was twelve years old, she fell in love with Jefferson Ames, a young man she met at one of her mother's business conferences. She was a lonely child, with a cold mother, and holding onto her love for Jeff helped her cope with her isolated life.
When she grew up, she went to college and even met a man she thought she'd marry, but Jeff was still in her head. She broke off her near engagement and went to Williamsburg, Virginia, where she secretly got herself a job as a nanny to the widowed Jeff's young child.

Even though Cassie was living in Jeff's house, seeing him every day, she still couldn't seem to get his attention. But then, one day, she heard shots coming from the mansion of Althea Fairmont, a woman the world called "the greatest living actress." Cassie ran to investigate and in an instant, her safe little life was turned upside down. She began to learn that all the people around her weren't who they claimed to be. Everyone had secrets, and until Cassie unraveled those secrets, there was no chance for happiness between her and Jeff.

Recommended Reading:
Summerhouse by Jude Deveraux

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Breaking Dawn (Second Reading)

Breaking Dawn (Twilight, #4) Breaking Dawn by Stephenie Meyer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars
The final book in the Twilight Saga brought out all of my emotions. I laughed, I cried, I raged, I felt the limitless bottom of depression... I felt the enduring possibility of love. Possibly the most amazing rollercoaster I have ever been on in a book.

I was frustrated through the third of the book that took the reader into Jacob's point of view. I love Bella's voice and it was difficult to leave for Jacob's bitterness, anger and shattered heart. It was necessary, after all, to understand the break that Bella had made, the healing that occured after. But it was still a relief to get back to Bella's voice. I thought I was going to become suicidal.

To say that this book (the whole series, truth be told) took over my emotions, my life, would be an exaggeration. Stephenie Meyer is a master story teller. None of her characters are half-done. The only flaw I found with this last book is that the plot wound up too neatly. I put the book down feeling complete, but that maybe it was a little too anti-climatic.

***Thoughts from second reading: I found the book a little less emotional the second time around. While SM's reasoning is flawless, I found more and more disappointment in the perfection of her happily ever after.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Grays

The Grays The Grays by Whitley Strieber


My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I started this book with mixed feelings. My friend Rhon had read the book and commented on it on her blog:

Good. Very easy to read, and you care about most of the characters. What's spooky is this quotation from the back cover: "Drawing from a lifetime of
research and his own experiences...". Spooky, because this is a book about
aliens coming to Earth in collusion with the US government. I was a big X-files
fan, don't get me wrong, but the idea that Strieber has written a fictional
account of the alien conspiracy, and he thinks he has insight into the alien
mind, is enough to creep me out. Also, a lot of the characters in the book are
very pro-alien, yet he starts the novel with kids being abducted, skinned with a
rusty kitchen knife, and then put back in their skins again. What's good about
that? Either they aren't here to hurt us, or they are. How do you argue it both
ways? Oh, shades of gray, ha ha! If you read this as a novel, you won't be
disappointed. If you read it as a revelation, or veiled truths, I don't think I
want to discuss the book with you.
Another friend had also read it and thought it was good. I researched a little too much into the author and was freaked out by his accounts of his own alien abduction.

Preconceptions aside, I found this book well-written in some places, poorly written in others. There was action, a love story and enough sci-fi to satisfy most readers.

Pub. Date: August 2006

Synopsis: For decades we have been occupied by a race of aliens known only as the Grays. Now after many years of experimentation with the human race, they are finally ready to begin their complete invasion and destruction of the human race.

Recommended Reading:
2012 : The War for Souls by Whitley Strieber
The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Deaf in America

Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture Deaf in America: Voices from a Culture by Carol A. Padden


My rating: 2 of 5 stars
This wasn't quite what I was looking for. The reading material was stiff and the terminology often difficult. It was an interesting read when I understood what was being talked about.

Synopsis: Written by authors who are themselves Deaf, this unique book illuminates the life and culture of Deaf people from the inside, through their everyday talk, their shared myths, their art and performances, and the lessons they teach one another. Padden and Humphries employ the capitalized "Deaf" to refer to deaf people who share a natural language--American Sign Language (ASL)--and a complex culture, historically created and actively transmitted across generations.

Signed languages have traditionally been considered to be simply sets of gestures rather than natural languages. This mistaken belief, fostered by hearing people's cultural views, has had tragic consequences for the education of deaf children; generations of children have attended schools in which they were forbidden to use a signed language. For Deaf people, as Padden and Humphries make clear, their signed language is life-giving, and is at the center of a rich cultural heritage.

The tension between Deaf people's views of themselves and the way the hearing world views them finds its way into their stories, which include tales about their origins and the characteristics they consider necessary for their existence and survival. Deaf in America includes folktales, accounts of old home movies, jokes, reminiscences, and translations of signed poems and modern signed performances. The authors introduce new material that has never before been published and also offer translations that capture as closely as possible the richness of the original material in ASL.

Deaf in America will be of great interest to those interested in culture and language as well as to Deaf people and those who work with deaf children and Deaf people.