Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (Oct. 30)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of 
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"Are you going to shoot him?" the old man wanted to know.
"I don't hardly ever get allowed to to shoot anybody," Lula told him.

From To the Nines by Janet Evanovich

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

How a book can be so heart breaking yet hilarious is beyond me but The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie manages to accomplish both wonderfully. I first heard of this book at a Banned Books Week reading at my local indie, Avid Bookshop. When the reader read the first chapter and I instantly thought this would be a great book. I was not wrong. 

The protagonist, Arnold, aka Junior, is a teen aged Spokane Native American. He was born with "too much water on the brain," looks a little odd, is smart, and has more ambition than most of the other people on his reservation. He's an artist and there are some amazing illustrations in this book by Ellen Forney. He just wants more out of life than many of the others seem to have settled for. He is constantly bullied. Before and after he makes the choice to go to school off the rez. He's bullied at his new school, until he stands up for himself. The book paints the picture of extreme poverty on the reservation and that Junior and his family lives in. (I'm always surprised when confronted with how awful the whole Native American population has been treated.)

Junior has to deal with several traumatic events the year he decides to go school off the rez. He loses his friends, nearly loses his tribe, he has three deaths within his family/close family friend circle. But he never gives up, even when it would be super easy to do so.

I thought it was really cool how much the coach's encouragement, "You can do it," meant to Junior. And Junior did mention how him and his dad rarely tell each other they love one another. I think this just goes to show that acknowledgement of love, caring, and even respect can mean to a person, especially a kid. (It really doesn't cost you anything to be nice and encouraging  ya know? That's just my two cents ;-)

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian has some of the best lines ever in a book. (See my Teaser Tuesday post here for one.) And here's another:

"'I used to think the world was broken down by tribes,' I said. 'By black and white. By Indian and white. But I know that isn't true. The world is only broken into two tribes: The people who are a**holes and the people who are not.'"

I know I say this about a lot of books but this has to be one of the best books I've read this year. It totally gets 5 out of 5 stars. This book just was the right mix of humor and sadness and left me with a good feeling of full circle-ness.
*Just keep in mind this is written from a 14 year old boys perspective and all that entails.* 

More info on The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian from Goodreads.

Also, great choice for this month, since October is ANTI-BULLYING PREVENTION AWARENESS month. I recommend checking out Lady Reader's Bookstuff and Uniquely Moi Books, both blogs have had great info, interviews, books and giveaways all month in honor of Anti-Bullying.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


I'm really just too excited not to share this! I have loved Charlaine Harris' Sookie Stackhouse novels for years now. It's really bitter sweet that the series is coming to an end and this will be the last book. I've had the chance to meet Ms. Harris on four occasions and I just love her. (See this post for a Charlaine Harris book signing earlier this year hubs and I attended.) Ms. Harris is Southern and gracious and sweet and funny. Anyways, this here's the cover for the final book, Dead Ever After due out May 7, 2013 per Ms. Harris' website.

Don't you just LOVE this cover!? 
I can't wait to have it in our collection!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays (Oct. 23)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading.
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

My teaser is from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie.  So far, it has managed to be both heart breaking and funny at the same time. It deals with the main character getting bullied a lot so it's a good choice for October, Anti-Bullying Month. 

My teaser: 

"I grabbed my book and opened it up.
I wanted to smell it.
Heck, I wanted to kiss it.
Yes, kiss it.
That's right, I am a book kisser.
Maybe that's kind of perverted or maybe it's 
just romantic and highly intelligent."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Book Signing: Lauren Conrad

This was possibly the oddest book signing I have ever been to and I've been to my fair share of book signings! First, Lauren was late getting there. The rumor was the airport lost her luggage and then she was stuff in traffic getting to the event. Then, once she was in the building, she ran through the store towards restroom, head down, not speaking to anyone, surrounded by security. Mind you all 500 or so of her adoring fans have been standing in line for about an hour. Once the event finally got under way, she didn't do a speech or talk or anything. You just go through the line, talk to her while she is signing your book (no personalization), and move on. The whole actual interaction lasted less than a minute. Oh, also. No photos once you got past a certain place in line. The employee literally made you put up your camera or phone. That's why my photos of Lauren are all so blurry or far away. And none with me posing actually with her.

I guess it's probably because Lauren Conrad is more of a celebrity than an author. But that's fine. I really liked her on "The Hills" and I actually enjoyed her book The Fame Game. I'm truly looking forward to reading book two, Starstruck.

My hubs went with me and we had a great day just hanging out with each other so that was pretty awesome. I think hubs was in it for the Starbucks! He did astutely observe that, "All the females in her are dressed like her!" And most were: their clothes (usually flowly, maybe sheer tops with colored skinny jeans), their impossibly high heels, their hair (long, ombre dark blonde with slight but perfect waves), their make up (heavy eye liner and either very nude or very bright lips).

Oh! And we saw Brian from the Backstreet Boys at P.F. Chang's when we got dinner. (I didn't bother him cause he was eating with his beautiful wife and adorable kid. And I wasn't sure it was him at first, although I did stare him down like a crazy person. I overheard a waiter and other customers talking about him once he left. He seemed cool enough to me.) So all in all it was a FABULOUS day! :)

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Review: The Fame Game

Like many of my female peers of similar age (and maybe some dudes, what do I know?), I spent much of my "studying time" during college watching "Laguna Beach" and  "The Hills" on MTV. It just seemed like those girls were living the life. They were beautiful, famous, rich, etc. I fairly quickly realized that their reality was not the same as mine, if you could call that reality at all. But I've always kind of had a soft spot for the girls, especially Lauren Conrad (LC). I know she wasn't all innocent but it always seemed like she was a pretty, nice girl who go the short end of the stick a lot. (On both shows she had crappy love interests and awful frienemies.)

Fast forward a few years, the shows are only playing in reruns now and Lauren is a fashion designer (yeah, ok she was in school for that) and an author (uh, what?!) That just didn't seem like a natural leap to me and was/is she even writing those books herself? So I resisted reading her books. I just thought it would surely be a waste of good reading time. 

But alas, I am fickle. I saw where Lauren would be doing a signing for her new book pretty near to me. I love author events and as aforementioned I always kind of secretly thought Lauren was cool. Once I decided I wanted to go to the signing I realized I'd have to buy at least one her books. I still was not thrilled with the book written by reality star part. My hubs knew I wanted to go nonetheless so he got me a copy of The Fame Game the day before the signing. I was all set, only thing left to do was read it.

I began reading when I was going to bed. I'll just read a little bit til I get sleepy I said to myself. If I like a book, I'm never good at reading just a page or two or even a chapter or two and putting a book down. I kid you not, I read the whole dadgum book, cover to cover in one sitting. The Fame Game is actually a pretty good book! Imagine that! I liked it even.

The same elements I love about reality TV were in The Fame Game with the added benefit of leading me to believe I was getting some kind of insider info. Ha! That's awesome, I totally dig that kind of thing! The Fame Game is a spin off series to Conrad's first series called L.A. Candy, which I have not read. The Fame Game follows four young female Hollywood hopefuls as they chase down their dreams of fame and fortune. Of course, drama ensues.

The "main" character is Madison, who is a revamped trailer park girl with family issues. Her rival is Carmen, who was born on the A-list thanks to her well connected parents. Gaby is the air-headed comic relief. And there's Kate, a Mid-Western signer song writer trying to make in the big city. There is the anticipated boy drama and jealously issues. But I think one of most surprising elements to The Fame Game was the willingness to address some big issues. It's not discussed too much but Gaby's eating disorder and obsession with cosmetic procedures is alluded to more than once. Madison's family issues include a sister that had to go to rehab, an alcoholic mother and ex-con father, who have recently resurfaced in her "perfect" life. 

I thought the story was actually very interesting. I caught myself thinking things like, "Oh snap!" and "Girl, don't do that!" And again I read the book in a matter of just a couple of hours which is a testament that I did in fact like what I was reading. The only thing I didn't really like, which I also find that I don't love about the shows, is that even after reading the whole book or watching the whole show nothing really "happened." Ya know? I guess it's just that feeling that things are left unresolved. I felt like it was a really good set up for something to happen, it just hasn't yet. Maybe that's just the disadvantage of reading a series. The next book, Starstruck, just came out so maybe we'll get a little further in that one.

I give The Fame Game 4 out of 5 stars. I just really surprised by how much I did like it. If you like catty drama in the same lines of "The Hills" TV show this may be a fun read for you too. I would say this book is for older teens to young adults, some language and themes may be mature for young readers.

More info on The Fame Game on Goodreads.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Audiobook Review: Hard Eight

Book Info on Goodreads

I really like Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. I've posted about several of her books (like Plum Lovin') and I have several more to go to catch up with the series so be prepared. :) It has been a little while since I have been on Stephanie kick. But I was craving a funny, light story. And life has kind of gotten in the way of actual reading lately so the audiobook is totally the ticket for me right now.

If you aren't familiar with the series, Stephanie Plum is a bounty hunter. Only she's really bad at being a bounty hunter. She has bad luck with cars and break-ins at her apartment. She has a crazy, hilarious grandma. And has the affection of two super hot guys.

***Spoiler to follow: If you have not yet read Hard Eight 
and plan to please stop reading now. 
This is too good to ruin.***

As you have probably gathered at this point I enjoyed Hard Eight. The narrator of the audiobook did an excellent job. She changed her voice for each character and really made the book come to life. And oh. my. gosh. Stephanie and Ranger finally get together. Wow. That's all there is to say about that.

I've noticed many people complain about how the Stephanie books are "always the same." These are mystery books in a series. I'm not sure how much variation people are looking for but I think these books are great when I'm in the mood for them. Yes, there are a lot things that are similar to the books. And there are certain lines you can almost bet on being in each book of the series. But I'd like to suggest that this is why they are so popular. It's kind of like McDonald's. You know the food is going to be exactly the same every time you go. You can count on it. No, it may not be gourmet but sometimes it hits the spot and at those times it's sooo good! (This is in no way a insult, I like Mickey D's and I really like Stephanie Plum!)

This book is an adult-geared read. I give it 4 out of 5 stars. I recommend the whole series so far! I've already started listening to the next Plum novel, To the Nines!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Colony East Cover Reveal

Colony East
by Scott Cramer
available June 2013

I like the look of Colony EastI know 
I can't wait to read it!

Here's the link to my Review of
The Toucan Trilogy, Book One 

Free Kindle Version of Book One
Night of the Purple Moon 
is available on  
Oct 17/18! YaY!!

Find Author Scott Cramer on Facebook!

Monday, October 15, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays (Oct.16)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. 
Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week I'm listening to Hard Eight 
by Janet Evanovich.
It's very funny and I have giggled out loud quite a bit.
Photo and more info from Goodreads.

My Teaser: 

'"You can't wash away death cooties," he said. 
"Once they're on your couch, they're they to stay."'

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Deity Trailer and Apollyon Cover Reveal

Y'all. You know how much I love Jennifer L. Armentrout's work. I just love, love, love her action packed stories with hot guys and strong female characters. I have read Deity and I can assure you this is probably the best book out of the Covenant series thus far. I'll have my review up later this month but y'all you don't want to miss this book or series for that matter! Book one is called Half-Blood and book two is Pure. They are young adult novels with steamy tension. You should totes pick up these books ASAP! Anyways, so today we have the book trailer for Deity and the cover reveal for Apollyon, which is way pretty! I can't wait to have that beauty in my collection! (Please note my excitement with my over usage of the exclamation point!!)

Deity (The third book in the Covenant Series)
Available in both print and digital version on Nov. 6, 2012

Barnes and Noble

Official Deity Book Trailer

Did you read an ARC of Deity and been dying to get your hands on Elixir, the novella told in Aiden’s POV and picks up right after the end of Deity? Well, you don’t have to wait any longer. The free novella is available now. DO NOT read Elixir if you have not read Deity. It will spoil Deity for you and not to mention, you will have no idea what is going on.
Elixir will be available in print. Kindle, and Nook formats on November 27, 2012.
Click HERE to read Elixir.
And we’re super excited to share the cover for the 4th book in the Covenant Series, Apollyon, which is due out April 2013.

Check out Jennifer L. Armentrout on the following sites:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Audiobook Review: Bossypants

I am not one usually for memoirs or biography type books but I am a Tina Fey fan. I wouldn't say I'm a die hard fan but she was on Saturday Night Live when I first started watching it. I had a big crush on Jimmy Fallon so I had to watch Tina too when I'd get my Jimmy fix during Weekend Update. ;-) So, I've seen her book Bossypants around for a while now and I was always somewhat interested but just didn't get around to reading it. When finally I got my audible.com account, I had another free token or whatever they call it and Bossypants was there for the amount I had and the rest is history as they say. It's happy coincident, if you will. 

I really liked that Bossypants is narrated by Ms. Tina Fey, herself. She is a very funny lady and think this just added to the audiobook experience. She tells stories from different parts of her life, it was like hearing stories from a friend. She didn't leave out any awkward moments. From embarrassing encounters with the opposite sex to less than desirable jobs, it's all in there. Also, just so you know, I waited too long to write this review to remember very many details from Bossypants. (Bad reviewer I know!) But in addition to all the funnies, Tina did speak to be a strong, female leader in a traditionally male world (both in tv and comedy). She talked about the struggles she has with being a working mom, including whether or not to have another kid to feeling guilty over not spending enough time with the one she has. 

Bossypants is cool because that even though Tina is a super famous and wildly successful in my eyes, she still has normal, everyday type struggles. In her hilarious, sarcastic way Tina reminds us that celebs are human too. Bossypants kept me giggling. Very enjoyable. I give this audiobook 4 out of 5 stars.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays (Oct.9)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week my teaser is from The Childe by C.A. Kunz.
They heard the trapdoor open and watched 
as a figure came down the tunnel. 
The three girls emerged from the shadows, 
their clothes torn and stained with blood.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Review: Plum Lovin'

I read Plum Lovin' because I needed a reading change of pace. I wanted something easy, short, and funny and I was not disappointed!

Plum Lovin' is a Between-the-Numbers Stephanie Plum novel and is number 12.5 in the series. I've only read up to number seven so there were a few references I didn't get. I prefer to read series in order but I wasn't too lost by reading ahead this time. It's still the same old Stephanie and the gang with a new character for me, Diesel. Who is a lot like Ranger (if you are familiar with the series), but not really. Stephanie's boyfriend, Morelli, says, "They both run in the fast lane with their lights off," Plum Lovin' page 113.  (How does that Stephanie Plum get so many hot suitors?!) This novel is based around Valentine's Day and even though it was a bit cheesy it was cute to see Stephanie play cupid. 

Grandma Mazur was hilarious in this one! That woman is such a hoot and keeps me reading these books! I was reading this in a down moment at work and giggling so hard people were asking me what was laughing at. If you haven't read any of the Plum novels then you just can't understand the hilarity that is Grandma Mazur.

I felt Plum Lovin' was very enjoyable. It was a quick read and I felt refreshed after reading it. I give is 4 out of 5 stars. I am so looking forward to reading through the rest of this series.

More info on Plum Lovin' from Goodreads.

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Wow. This book. I read it one sitting. Granted it is short, only about 211 pages. But it is really good. It is uniquely written in a series of letters, addressed "Dear Friend," almost like diary entries. It made me literally laugh out loud in some parts and cry in earnest in others. Since this is Banned Book Week, this book is an excellence choice. It has been on the challenged book list several times and I understand why, there is teen aged drinking, sex, drug use, and homosexuality. BUT that being said, I think it perfectly captures the feelings that I know I had when I was a teen, heck sometimes still experience even though I didn't/don't participate in those types of actives. That feeling of loneliness in a crowd of people that should be your peers. The feeling of not having friends and being willing to do just about anything to gain one, much less many. I think we just need to realize that people in general, especially teens are dealing with some, if not, many of the issues presented in this book. Being an adult, you realize that it is a passing phase of life but when you are going through it hurts and those pains are REAL.  I really don't like reading sad books but if they are wonderfully written then they have the potential for becoming the best books.

"We accept the love we think we deserve."
In action. Signing books and 
posters for us fans!

Hubs and I had the chance to attend a screening of the movie version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower with the author of the book/screenwriter and director Stephen Chbosky. The movie is AMAZING! I think it is awesome that Chbosky was able to play such a major role in the book to movie adaptation. That rarely happens but he did it wonderfully. I think the movie was a little lighter than the book. Obviously some scenes couldn't be in the movie because of time and flow constraints but I think all the important parts were included. This is just a really good coming of age movie (and book) and I totally recommend them both!

“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.”

Stephen answering fan questions after the movie.

I was so excited to get to go to this event, I really didn't plan well and I forgot to take notes. But I remember Stephen saying something like, it was important to do a movie like Perks because you can be sitting in the movie theater and know that the people beside you, in front of you, and behind you are all experience the same emotions you are while watching the movie. The point being you are not alone. Most of us have felt the way you are feeling. Especially for teens, I think this is important to realize. He said as you get older you forget how big things feel when you are younger. Once you are older you can see how things do work out, but it is important for parents to try to remember what that was like.

Stephen did say that he working on another book, YaY!!

“He's a wallflower. You see things. 
You keep quiet about them. And you understand."
Signed book!

If you a person who has ever experienced the feeling of loneliness and not fitting in please read the book or at least see the movie! I give this book (and movie) 5 out of 5 stars. I totally recommend it.

Other bloggers I like that encouraged me to read this book:

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Trailer Thursday (Double Time!)

A Double Trailer reveal for you today! They both look awesome!

Trailer Reveal!  Here it is, the trailer for Luminosity:

My name is Beatrice. When I was born, I was blessed with the Sight. I was immediately removed from my parents and enrolled in the Institution. At the age of twelve, I had my first true vision, earning my raven’s wings. And when I turned seventeen, one of my visions came true. Things haven’t been the same since.
The Institution depends on me to keep the City safe from our enemy, the Dreamcatchers, but I’m finding it harder to do while keeping a secret from everyone, including my best friend Gabe. It is a secret that could put us all in danger. A secret that could kill me and everyone close to me.
But the enemy has been coming to me in my dreams, and I think I’m falling in love with him. He says they’re coming. He says they’re angry. And I think I’ve already helped them win.

About The Author

Stephanie Thomas has been writing ever since she could put letters together to form words. When she was a small child, she would present her mother and father with self-made newspapers filled up with make believe stories and pictures. Her love for writing followed her all throughout her schooling, where she entered and won writing contests of all sorts. Stephanie decided to become an English teacher and completed her B.A. at The Pennsylvania State University. While teaching, she later went on to get her Master’s in writing from The Johns Hopkins University. She completed her very first manuscript during her graduate studies, and by the end of the program, she had completed two more. Stephanie is quick to tell anyone that she’s a born and raised Philadelphian, and her heart will always belong there. She moved to Baltimore with her husband, and they’ve been living there for the last five years with their doggie, Sailor, and their rabbit, Buns (aka “T Sizzle).

Here is the second book in today's double trailer reveal - Gravity by Melissa West.

Here is the trailer!  

In the future, only one rule will matter:

Don’t. Ever. Peek.

Seventeen-year-old Ari Alexander just broke that rule and saw the last person she expected hovering above her bed — arrogant Jackson Locke, the most popular boy in her school. She expects instant execution or some kind of freak alien punishment, but instead, Jackson issues a challenge: help him, or everyone on Earth will die.

Ari knows she should report him, but everything about Jackson makes her question what she’s been taught about his kind. And against her instincts, she’s falling for him. But Ari isn’t just any girl, and Jackson wants more than her attention. She’s a military legacy who’s been trained by her father and exposed to war strategies and societal information no one can know — especially an alien spy, like Jackson. Giving Jackson the information he needs will betray her father and her country, but keeping silent will start a war.

About the Author

Melissa lives in a tiny suburb of Atlanta, GA with her husband and daughter. She pretends to like yoga, actually likes shoes, and could not live without coffee. Her writing heroes include greats like Jane Austen and Madeleine L'Engle.

She holds a B.A. in Communication Studies and an M.S. in Graphic Communication, both from Clemson University. Yeah, her blood runs orange.

GRAVITY is her first book.

Where you can find Melissa-

AND...here's a link from Entangled Publishing for 
giveaway for eArcs for both books!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Banned Book Review: More Scary Stories

I can not even tell you how much I loved the Scary Stories books by Alvin Schwartz when I was kid. When I was first looking at books for Banned Book Week I was surprised that one of my beloved childhood books was at the top of the boards for challenged books. I had forgotten exactly what this collection of stories were all about but I remembered LOVING them. I began searching my personal library for any of the series I could find, and behold, I have found one beat-up, much loved copy of More Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, author Alvin Schwartz and illustrated by Stephen Gammell.

I probably spent less than an hour total rereading this book and reliving my childhood. Okay, so yes, the stories and drawings are kind of gross and gruesome but I still kind of loved them. There are mentions of vampires and ware animals, things I am still in to in 20 years later! (See stories "The Window" and "The Cat's Paw.") But there are also morals to the stories, which I'm sure I didn't bother to notice in my youth. Take the story called "Sounds" and "The Curse" for example. You learn you shouldn't break into houses that are not yours. There will be blood and someone might die. In the stories entitled, "Clinkity-Clink" and "The Cat in the Shopping Bag" you learn you shouldn't steal things. A ghost WILL haunt you to get her money back or you will end up toting around a dead cat in a bag, so it is best just not to take things that don't belong to you. In "The Drum" you learn you shouldn't listen to random little gypsy girls about being hateful to your mother because she will pack up and LEAVE you if you are too bad. No drum is worth loosing your mother.
Seriously though, reading these stories this many years later have given me a fresh perspective. I don't have children and I don't think I would want an extremely young child reading this but I think kids around 9 or 10 would get a kick out of it. (Depending on the child, of course!) People are allowed to have a difference of opinion. Just because you don't like something doesn't mean you should be able to take away my choice to read it. Parents are free to censor their own children but it is not your job to sensor everyone else's kids too. If you are concerned about it, YOU read it first and then you make the choice for YOUR child. Not for me or mine. I think parents should take an active role in parenting their own children. Lead by example. And don't make blanket judgements on things you really don't know about or haven't even read.
Which leads me to my last point, a HUGE thank you to my mom. As I looked over the frequently challenged book list, I realized I had read or owned many of the books and acquired many while I was still under her supervision. For example, More Scary Stories was purchased at book fair in elementary school. My mom always encouraged me to read. I don't know if she always liked what I read (or am reading to this day) but she does her best to understand my extreme love of reading. (She also is a reader and I love searching for books I think she will like when I'm on book buying excursions.) The thing is though, I didn't know there was such a thing as Banned Book Week and as a tribute to her parenting skills, I didn't know there was need for such a thing. So thanks again Mama for helping create the reading monster you have here today!

By the way, I'm totally giving More Scary Stories 5 out of 5 stars. Maybe it's nostalgia but this is a book I've managed to keep with me for over 20 years and I still enjoy it. That's gotta count for something! Also, it is pretty cool how at the end the author, Alvin Schwartz, includes his sources. He didn't just make up random stories, these are based, at least to a degree, in documented folklore. Similar stories have been told for hundreds of years in many different languages around the world. I think that's pretty awesome.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Teaser Tuesday (Oct. 2)

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

This week I am listening to the audio book,
Bossypants by Tina Fey.

So far, it has been very funny and I have enjoyed hearing her thoughts on being a successful woman in a leadership role. And I really like that it is narrated by Tina.

Here's the teaser:

"When I was thirteen I spent a weekend at the beach in Wildwood, New Jersey, with my teenage cousins Janet and Lori. In the space of thirty-six hours, they taught me everything I know about womanhood."

Monday, October 1, 2012

Banned Book Week

This week is the 30th anniversary of Banned Book Week. This is a celebration of books that have been challenged or banned in schools or libraries. I have never really thought of this being a problem. I don't have kids and maybe that's why it has never crossed my mind that a book would need to be banned. Books get challenged for all sorts of reasons including use of "offensive language," "sexually explicit" material, and being "unsuited for any age group." Books get challenged with good intentions and because people want to protect mostly children.

I personally think that this can be a problem. First, just because you have decided you don't think that a book is not appropriate that for you and your kids, doesn't mean that you should be able to take away from others. I want my future child, my husband, and myself to be well rounded and be able to read all kinds of different books.

Hubs made a good point, he said, "When you go and challenge a book in the library, not only are restricting the book from your kids, but also other kids and other adults. You are affecting every single patron of that library." Just something to think about before you try to ban a book from public access.

Second, if you are the parent, then be a parent. If you are worried about the content of a book, YOU read it first and make the choice for YOUR child if they can read it or not. In my experience the more you tell someone they can't do something, then the more they will want to do it. I would suggest, if you read something that don't agree with, then use it as a teachable moment. For example, it is not secret that I love Twilight. It has been on the challenged list several times. I concede that I wouldn't want my 13 year old daughter thinking it's okay for a hot boy to sneak into her room at night, like Edward does. I'd like to think instead of saying don't read Twilight I would explain why this was not okay and not as romantic as it might seem on the surface. (Uh, hello, stalker!)

Third, reading (almost) anything is better than reading nothing. Therefore, whatever it takes to get someone interested in reading is a good thing. And fourth, I think it is a shame to silence an idea, just because it doesn't match your idea. We should all get to decide for ourselves and our own families what is acceptable. There are so many great books, both classic and modern, on the challenged list. It's almost criminal to think these would not be accessible to people everywhere.

Some of my favorites from the banned/challenged lists:
Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Scary Stories (series), by Alvin Schwartz
Goosebumps (series), by R.L. Stine
The Hunger Games trilogy, by Suzanne Collins

Here is a list of list of frequently challenged classics.

Books banned/challenged in 2011.

Top 100 banned/challenged books from 2000-2009.

These are MY opinions. Feel free to disagree. I probably won't change my mind but I think it is important to hear all sides of an argument.