Monday, November 30, 2009

It's Monday! What are you reading? 11-30-09

Go to J. Kaye's book blog for more lists from fab bloggers.

Books I completed last week:
None! How sad. My reading list consisted of the newspaper, other people's blogs, Entertainment Weekly, Smithsonian Magazine, and O (all several weeks or months old).

My youngest son, who is an avid reader, fared much better because he had a four-day break and it's been so rainy that baseball was cancelled all weekend.
Pono's list of books read last week:
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie (for book club)
Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson (for school)
In Odd We Trust by Dean Koontz (graphic novel)
assorted Ravemaster by Hiro Mashima (manga)

Still reading:
Usagi Yojimbo by Stan Sakai (me)
Found by Margaret Haddix (me)
Tears of the Giraffe by Alexander McCall Smith (me)
King of the Mild Frontier by Chris Crutcher (Pono)

Have a wonderful week and hope to see your own lists.


Sunday, November 29, 2009

RYOB (Read Your Own Books) Challenge

Miz B is hosting several wonderful challenges for 2010 and I think I'll try this one.
The rules are simple:
  • Pick a number of books you’d like to read in one year
  • Choose those books from your OWN collection
  • Read them between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2010
And, that’s it!
Some other guidelines for this challenge:
  • Re-Reads are NOT allowed (the challenge is to get more of your own books read that have been sitting there waiting!)
  • Audiobooks & e-books ARE allowed
  • You do NOT need a blog to participate — you can leave comments on this post with your progress
I tend to buy books "just because" and then hope that one of my students or my sons will read them and give me their review. This year, I'm going to actually start tackling these unread books by committing to 25 books.

30 Books to Movies Challenge

Chase at The Bibliophile's Lounge is hosting his first challenge: 30 Books to Movies Challenge. Basically, for 2010 I'll read 30 books and their movie versions and blog about both of them. This is actually my 2nd challenge for 2010 and although I love to read working two jobs is sometimes overwhelming, but I do love a challenge. I think I'll get my youngest to help me since he is a voracious reader and will push me along.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

It's Monday! What are you reading 11-23-09

Thanks j.kaye for this wonderful meme - it's a great way to start off the week and refocus.
It's not actually Monday in Hawaii yet, but I've been traveling for  18 hours to get home to Hawaii from Philly today so I know that it's now 2 am in Philly, so most of the world is on Monday or pretty close to it. We've got about 2 hours left of Sunday.

Read this week:
The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith - my middle school students have a book club on the ning and this month's theme is mystery, so I read this. (It's not really a mystery)
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian by Sherman Alexie (listened to it on one of the 9 hour flights - Houston to Honolulu?)

? Not sure - I picked up a lot of books from NCTE but I had them shipped to Hawaii so I won't get them until next week. After standing in line for author signatures, there's a bunch of them I totally want to read, including Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld who did a 9 minute book talk and showed us his large portfolio of pictures from his new series. Simon Pulse, the publishers wouldn't even sell it at a discount at the exhibition hall, but I still bought it.

To read:
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
The Secret Story of Sonia Rodriguez by Alan Sitomer (three time teacher of the year - he still teaches full time and writes books - I need juggling tips from him)
We Were Here by Matt dela Pena

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The 39 Clues Book #6: In Too Deep

In Too Deep by Jude Watson continues the clue-finding adventures of the Cahill orphans - Amy and Dan. This is the second book penned by Jude Watson, the only female author in the series. The others are Rick Riordan (book 1 and the one with the outline of the series), Gordon Korman (book 2, my least favorite), Peter Lerangis (book 3 in Japan and the upcoming book 7), Patrick Carman (book 5 in Russia), and Watson (4 in Egypt and 6 in Australia and Java).

My review:
I think the fact that one of the characters dies pulled me through this book, but I enjoy the books that stay in one place (like 5) so that the authors can spend more time on the history and geography of the place. I think this one promised many things, like exposing a clue from Amelia Earhart or Darwin, but never really delivered on that. The fact that Amelia really didn't play a very big part in the clue just makes the cover more irritating for me. Oh well, it took up two days of my time, so no big deal. I will wait until February for #7.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Teaser Tuesday November 10, 2009


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!
There was no hint of cruelty on Isabel's face. That was the scariest thing of all. Just that same bright smile.

The 39 Clues, Book 6: In Too Deep by Jude Watson

Murder at Midnight

Murder at Midnight by Avi
Fabrizio, the new servant boy to Mangus the Magician is in serious trouble. A plot to overthrow the king has surfaced, and Mangus is the perfect scapegoat for a traitor lurking inside the castle walls. Fabrizio must help Mangus solve the mystery of the treasonous flyers before Fabrizio finds himself back on the streets.

Avi keeps the action moving along with witty dialogue, intrigue, murder, deceit and illusion.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Tenth Grade Bleeds

Tenth Grade Bleeds by Heather Brewer is the third book in the Chronicles of Vladimir Tod series.  Despite surviving the latest assassination attempt, and actually getting the girl, Vlad's drudge and best friend, Henry, is drifting away. It seems like everyone leaves Vlad, his parents, Henry, and even Otis. The only things he can't get away from are the vivid nightmares of torture and death.

Review I'm going to say this again: I like Vlad. There's something about his innocence and morality that are so refreshing. Even in the face of evil, he refuses to be a monster.

It's Monday! What are you reading 11-09-09

What are you reading on Mondays is sponsored by J. Kaye at J. Kaye's Book Blog

Our middle school book club is transitioning from our October "books with bite" theme to our November "who dunnit?" theme, so it's been an eclectic reading week what with trying to finish what I already started and trying to read as many new mystery books as I can get my hands on.

Read this week:
Cirque 2: The Vampire's Assistant by Darren Shan (review)
Cirque 3: Tunnels of Blood by Darren Shan (review)
Ninth Grade Slays: Chronicles of Vladimir Tod book #2 by Heather Brewer (review)
Tenth Grade Bleeds: Vladimir Tod book #3 by Heather Brewer
Midnight Magic by Avi
Murder at Midnight by Avi
Closed for the Season by Mary Downing Hahn
All the Lovely Bad Ones by Mary Downing Hahn
The Missing: Book 1: Found by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The 39 Clues Book Six: In Too Deep by Jude Watson
Next Up:
You've Got Blackmail by Rachel Wright

I'll be heading to NCTE in Philadelphia next week, so I'm hoping to meet authors and get book ideas there, so my next up column is a little sparse.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Ninth Grade Slays

Ninth Grade Slays: The Chronicles of Vladimir Tod by Heather Brewer is the second installment in the messed up life of half vampire Vladimir "Vlad" Tod. He had a date with his dream girl at the end of the last book, but since he was too chicken to kiss her, he's now too chicken to talk to her on the phone. His uncle Otis is sending him to Siberia to get vampire training, but no one wants to talk about the prophecy surrounding his birth. Could he really be the Pravus? Is that why he's being hunted again? And will he ever get up the nerve to talk to Meredith?

Poor, angst-ridden Vlad just can't seem to catch a break. Even though he is potentially the most powerful vampire ever, he still continues to be bullied by mere mortals and someone exposes him in the school paper. Vlad is likeable in his dorkiness.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Cirque du Freak #3: Tunnels of Blood

Cirque du Freak #3: Tunnels of Blood by Darren Shan

Darren and Evra, the snake boy, leave the Cirque and follow Mr. Crepsley on a mysterious mission. While the boys enjoy the city, Mr. Crepsley spends night after night on the town, however, when six bodies are found in an abandoned building with their blood drained out of them, Darren has to find and kill the monster, even if the monster is Crepsley.

The third book of Cirque du Freak is fast paced and easily devoured with a suspenseful climax that had me questioning Darren's motives. Will Darren ever see his love interest again? And seriously, while he's in the city, can't he get rid of that pirate costume?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Cirque du Freak #2: The Vampire's Assistant

Darren Shan's Vampire's Assistant is the sequel to A Living Nightmare. Darren, turned into a half vampire in order to save the life of his friend in the first book is the reluctant assistant of Larten Crepsley, vampire, and cirque du freak member. Darren explores his new powers as a half vampire, meets new friends at the cirque and desperately tries to retain his humanity by fighting the need to feed on human blood.
Fast paced and interesting, this is a great weekend read.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

39 Clues Live Webcast

Scholastic put on a wonderful webcast on the 39 Clues, and brings in 5 of the authors.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Women Unbound Challenge

This is another challenge, which is not always a good thing for me because I seem to be getting overwhelmingly busy but I can't resist this one.
1. It was started on Twitter, and this is tangible evidence of the power of Twitter
2. It's a year long, so that works with the rhythms of my work year.
3. It's about the power of women - FABULOUS
4. I can combine my interest in minority lit. with women's lit., with non-fiction and YA lit to create the list for this challenge

The Women Unbound challenge runs between now and November 2010 so that is a whole year to read any book that focuses on women and their issues.  Like I said, I want to combine minority lit with women's lit with YA lit as well as non-fiction so I have some possible titles, but I'd love to collect recommendations that will specifically appeal to YA readers.

Some that I think qualify and are interesting for YA readers, but I'm not adding because I already read them:

Non fiction:
She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martydom of Cassie Bernall by Misty Bernall (Columbine)
Soul Surfer: A True Story of Faith, Family and Fighting to Get Back on the Board by Bethany Hamilton, Sheryl Burk and Rick Bundschuh (Shark bite)
Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter by Adeline Yen Mah
Warriors Don't Cry by Melba Patillo Beals (Little Rock 9)

The Adoration of Jenna Fox  by Mary E. Pearson
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Skim by Mariko Tamaki (graphic)
Walk Two Moons by Sharon Creech
Before We Were Free by Julia Alvarez
Chiggers by Hope Larson

Any recommendations? The only definite so far is Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins


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