Monday, June 30, 2008

The Ultimate Mail Day or Why I'm Saying "Screw The Book Buying Ban"

I came home to a pile of awesome today! The mailman/FedEx person dropped off for me:

-Two bookmooch books- Coffee and Kung Fu (I saw this in the airport when it first came out and forgot about it until now) and The Man of My Dreams (Curtis Sittenfeld's Prep was pretty interesting so I thought I'd give this one a go)

- A mini-bound manuscript (they were out of arc's) of The Watercooler Effect (I love books like these... The Tipping Point, Freakanomics)

-Violet On the Runway, from Amazon (with its sequel and 3 other books coming in 2 other shipments, Can't wait to read these!!)

- A coupon to Best Buy, Half Price Books (foam at the mouth!) and a $20 voucher for Amazon!

I don't think I'll be able to top that for a long time!

Did you get anything super exciting in the mail today?

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Visit Booking Through Thursday to read more answers!

What, in your opinion, is the definition of a “reader.” A person who indiscriminately reads everything in sight? A person who reads BOOKS? A person who reads, period, no matter what it is? … Or, more specific? Like the specific person who’s reading something you wrote?

When I ask someone if they are a reader, what I'm really asking is if they read a book more than say 4 times a year. Sometimes people roll their eyes at me like "Duh, how could anyone not be a reader" and then others, get what I mean, and answer "No, not so much". For a lot of the past several years of my life I would answer "I used to be, and wish I could be more so." These days I can proudly answer "Yes, I read almost everyday!"

So to me a reader is someone that actively seeks out books to read, most than once every season change. They don't wait for someone to insist they read a book and do it so they will stop bothering them.

What do you consider a reader?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

Visit the Boston Bibliophile to join in!

Last week I asked what was the most popular book in your library- this week I'm going to ask about the most unpopular books you own. Do you have any unique books in your library- books only you have on LT? How many? Did you find cataloging information on your unique books, or did you hand-enter them? Do they fall into a particular category or categories, or are they a mix of different things? Have you ever looked at the "You and none other" feature on your statistics page, which shows books owned by only you and one other user? Ever made an LT friend by seeing what you share with only one other user?

I love this question! I have 79 items unique to my library. A lot of them are hand entered zines and mini comics. (I'm not even caught up entering those!) I've been slowly adding in covers for these, someday I hope to have covers for them all! Some things that aren't zines and comics: A Wild, Cold State by Debra Monroe, picked this up in a library sale a few years ago, haven't read it. An Americana Annual from my birth year from my grandparents, a few textbooks, a few photography collections, a book on tiki, a novel called Juno and Juliet (library sale) and most surprisingly, A New Dawn, the Twilight essay anthology I just recently read. Apparently no one knows about this... (I'll be reviewing it soon!) I think everything that wasn't a zine or comic I entered via it's ISBN number, so they exist, it's just that no one else seems to have them!

Now the you and none feature. I share 27 books/zines/comics with one other person. In several cases I share multiple things with one other person, mostly library comic collections or schools. I'm hoping that by me hand entering some of the comics and zines it made it easier for other people to add them as well. Some books I share with one other person? The best book ever, Wrongboy's History of the Earth, my friend bought this for me in the UK, the other owner actually struck up a conversation with me about it awhile back. Actually a lot of these books are ones I got on my trip to the UK a few years ago, exhibit companion books mostly. And some other random stuff!

What's your favorite book that no one has ever heard of?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Summer Reading Extravaganza Day One

Visit The Friendly Book Nook to Learn More!

Since I'm not actually going to be going to the beach this summer, but will be going to work I'm going to talk about a few of the things I plan to take along for my daily bus rides to work this summer!

David Sedaris's, When You Are Englufed In Flames looks to be a promising one. I've enjoyed what I have read of his previously. It will definitely wake me up with a good laugh in the morning. Plus I got to meet him about a week ago!

Leah Haye's all scratchboard graphic novel, Funeral of the Heart promises to be a creepy and quirky read.

Audrey, Wait! By Robin Benway is one of the most talked about new young adult books from this spring. And it has a pretty fantastic cover. It's the story of a girl who's ex-boyfriend writes a hit song about her and she can't get away from the limelight. I think? I haven't read it!

What can't you wait to read this summer?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Visit Booking Through Thursday to join in the fun!

Think about your favorite authors, your favorite books . . . what is it about them that makes you love them above all the other authors you’ve read? The stories? The characters? The way they appear to relish the taste of words on the tongue? The way they’re unafraid to show the nitty-gritty of life? How they sweep you off to a new, distant place? What is it about those books and authors that makes them resonate with you in ways that other, perfectly good books and authors do not?

This is a hard question. I would consider The Time Traveler's Wife and The Namesake two of my favorite books. I have only read them once each (though plan to read them again and again) and these are the only books I've read by these authors (unless you consider Audrey Niffenegger's graphic novel type books, that's a different ballgame to me). I do consider these two favorite authors. I've been waiting and waiting for Audrey's Niffenegger's new book that she's talked about on her website and hope to read all of Jhumpa Lahiri's books. I think what makes a book a favorite is when it bring all the different aspects a book can have together, plot, characters, emotion, writing style. All of it, it has to be epic! I enjoy a lot of books but for it to be a favorite I think it needs to be firing on all cylinders.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Eclipse by Stephenie Meyer

I never thought anything in the series would get better than Twilight. But I think this may have. I enjoyed Twilight for it's take on first love. New Moon was ok, necessary to the story but a little depressing for my taste, still better than a lot of other junk I've read. It had it's good moments (I couldn't put it down). And Eclipse wow, it brought back the story with all the power it could. I really really liked it. It took all the great elements from the first two books and added something I was crossing my fingers and toes for: more history about the characters! And now I can't wait for Breaking Dawn! You still have time to read the first three books in the series before Breaking Dawn comes out August 2nd. I suggest you start now!

Reading this series reminded me how very much I love series. They allow you to arrive in a much more complex and detailed world because each book just builds and builds the story. What's your favorite series?

5/5 Stars
Purchased by myself

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

What's the most popular book in your library? Have you read it? What did you think? How many users have it? What's the most popular book you don't have? How does a book's popularity figure into your decisions about what to read?

The most popular book in my library is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. 32,544 members have it. Yes I did read it. Time for a little story...Me and my sister started collecting the books around the time the fourth book came out and the buzz was to the extreme. It's the reason we bought the books, the hype. I remember sitting at home watching all the news about the Harry Potter release. We even ended up going to the midnight release two times. Also seeing the first movie before starting to read the series got me going! Usually that prevents me from reading the a book right away (after seeing the movie), gotta wait til it isn't fresh in my memory, but in this case it made me read it.

The most popular book I don't have is The Hobbit (at 21,235 people) It's number 8 on the list. I didn't like the first LOTR movie, so I really doubt I'll ever read any of the books.

As I talked about a little bit before I do let popularity influence my reading choices. I look at it this way, if I'm already interested in a book and it's getting rave reviews/lots of people reading it I consider that a good thing, if it doesn't I still might read it anyways. And on the flip side, if a book doesn't sound interesting, it usually still doesn't sound interesting even after people say it's worth checking out. Hype and popularity got me to read the Twilight series which I really enjoyed.

One more side note, do you guys have a lot of books in your library that you share with one other user or no one? I have a lot because of the manually entered zines I have. But I just counted and there are 26 books/zines I share with one other person. And some of those are 2-4 things with one other person. I think they are zine collections and libraries.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Library Book Sale or Why I Shouldn't Be Allowed Near Places That Sell Books for a Very Very Long Time

Day One:

There hadn't been a big book sale in my town since October. It was like Christmas. I left way too early but I was so excited I couldn't wait any longer. I didn't get to go the first day because of work :( I was the first one to enter, while at home sat about 200 books in my to be read pile (cringe). Everything is 50 cents to a 1.00.

I got:

Blue Bloods (One of the first places I looked was the YA section, didn't have much and then I found this! In the romance section. YA is my new book passion)

Carolina Moon (The synopsis sounded good, I guess I didn't read it all the way through though, so hopefully this will be good. The cover is pretty ugly, but it's still in print so that's a good sign)

Why We Buy (A friend or two had to read this in college and it sounded really good to me)

Assassination Vacation (Not sure I want to necessarily read about assassinations but I've read such good things about Sarah Vowell I definitely want to give it a shot, love her covers too)

The Alchemist (Friend recommended this)

The Bean Trees (Friend recommended this)

PS I love You (Read this a few years ago and liked it, it's a mass market paperback, let's see how long I can hold onto it before swapping it out for a trade paperback)

Slaughterhouse Five (I've been meaning to read this for awhile now)

(and a few things for my sister)

Day Two:
This is where it gets embarrassing/buying things I really shouldn't. Darn dollar a bag!

So I will just give you a number: 14 books I shouldn't have bought. Oh +3 I found in the upstairs regular library sale.

Do you go to library sales? Do you end up buying things you really shouldn't or do you only buy a few choice books you really want? How do you control yourself?

Admit One: A Journey into Film by Emmett James

To me my love and books and movies were always separate. There weren't many movies about books nor books about movies. When I heard about Emmett James's book, Admit One: A Journey into Film I knew the gap had been bridged. I knew I had to read it.

Emmett's memoir starts with his early memories of visiting the cinema with his family. He doesn't remember much of the movie (he falls asleep) but remembers the affect it has on his brother. Each chapter is framed by a different movie and gives a little synopsis. The first half of his book explores Emmett's love of movies as a viewer and the second half explores it as a participant. He moves to LA and starts to work. I loved how it hits movies from two sides. I could relate to the viewer side but had always wanted to hear about the participants side. I wish this jump between the two different parts had been bridged with just a little more detail (he seems to go from a young teenager to a 20-something like that) but maybe that's just me.

I was also pleasantly surprised to hear he went to school for graphic design for a spell. The chapter about retouching was so funny to me.

All in all, I love books, movies, and memoirs so to me this was just a great idea for a book. Peeking into something I don't believe i ever had, has been a great joy.

Thank you to Lisa Roe, Online Book Publicist for the review copy.

3.5/5 Stars

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Book Readings and Signings: David Sedaris

It had been my goal for a few years now to be able to go to a book signing and I finally did it! Mr David Sedaris read from his new book When You Are Engulfed In Flames and then signed books. Boy was it exciting! He is so hilarious it could brighten anyone's afternoon! He's gotten pretty well known but was such a nice man signing multiple copies for people.

I wasn't sure what to expect as far as lines so I got there about an hour early. It was at a Borders so they used their colored wristband system that they also use for midnight book releases. I ended up in the third group. All in all it was everything I hoped for. I hope I can go to another one soon. I wish I knew a website to check to find out about upcoming events. I just happened to see a sign at my own Borders for the event.

Have you gone to a book signing or reading? What was it like?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Lookalikes 4

I've had my mind on this one for a few years or so and finally remembered to compare the two to see what i found. Not the same photo but a similar composition. 

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday

Have you ever been a member of a book club? How did your group choose (ot, if you haven’t been, what do you think is the best way to choose) the next book and who would lead discussion?
Do you feel more or less likely to appreciate books if you are obliged to read them for book groups rather than choosing them of your own free will? Does knowing they are going to be read as part of a group affect the reading experience?

Book Clubs. How I've always wanted to belong to one. I've come close but not all the way yet!

At one point in college about ten of us decided to try and read a book together. We threw out ideas and voted via facebook. Ended up picking The Time Traveler's Wife. The school year ended and we never found a time to get together and discuss it. I think about half the people finished before the year was up but the other's weren't done. I did hear that most people really did enjoy it, including myself. It's just a shame we never actually got to meet, I'm so glad I got to read that book though I really love it.

I've also read the same book at the same time as a friend before but we never actually sat down and discussed it. We more just talked about it casually on and off.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

Visit the Boston Bibliophile to learn more!

Today's question is about tags- do you tag? How do you tag? How do you feel about tagging- do you think it would be better to have standardized tags, like libraries have standardized subject headings, or do you like the individualized nature of tagging? What are your top 5 tags and what do they say about your collection or your reading habits?

I do tag! I don't believe I started doing it right when I joined Librarything but for awhile now I've done it like clockwork once I get a good number of new books into my library I tag them all.

I tag everything from the genre of book, to how much I paid for it (if it was really really cheap), to if it's an ARC to when I read it or if I haven't read it. I also write where I bought a book in the comments box if I remember.

I think I would like to have a set of standarized tags applied once a book was entered but also have the choice to edit them myself or add to them. I think that would be nice.

Top Five Tags: (man this first one is horrible!)
1. TBR (185) (I need to stop buying and read these darn things!)
2. Fiction (163) (Fiction that isn't Chick Lit or Young Adult Fiction)
3.Reference (97) (Something that isn't meant to be read straight through, a lot of art/design books)
4. Collection (93) (Anything from short stories to Artist Books to Comic Anthologies)
5.Comics (76) (these range from graphic novels to small little self published comics)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

A Bad Boy Can Be Good For A Girl By Tanya Lee Stone

Written in verse, three girls encounter the same bad boy. Using a library copy of Judy Blume's Forever, all the girls that have been used by this boy leave messages to each other, sharing their experiences.

When I saw all these reviews saying this should be required reading I wasn't so sure about that... After reading this, I think it should be required reading for girls, boys, grownups, parents, everyone! What a powerful piece in such a slim package. I think it's one great life lesson. I hadn't heard of this book until it was mentioned as a giveaway on a blog and I looked into it. It's a shame it isn't more widely recognized.

Though the book teaches a powerful lesson it's still very fun to read. I really enjoyed it. I had never read anything I liked in verse, probably because it was all school related. But this book is very easily digestible. Makes me want to seek out other books in the same format.

I also really like the cover. It's perfect, the image, the doodles, the handwritten title. I could do without the boy's stubble. There's something about the image being so close-up that makes it distracting.

4.5/5 Stars
Purchased by myself

What book have you read that shares a powerful life lesson in a enjoyable way?

Friday, June 06, 2008

Adrian Tomine's New, New Yorker Cover

For anyone not familar with Adrian Tomine, he's a ultra talented graphic novelist/cartoonist. He publishes the comic Optic Nerve, who's last three issues were turned into Shortcomings, the book which has done pretty well in the mainstream market I believe . He also does several New Yorker covers a year. Definitely one of my favorites.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Booking Through Thursday

Visit Booking Through Thursday to join in!

Have your book-tastes changed over the years? More fiction? Less? Books that are darker and more serious? Lighter and more frivolous? Challenging? Easy? How-to books over novels? Mysteries over Romance?

I don't think my tastes have changed they have evolved. I read in waves. For awhile chick lit, then memoirs, then graphic novels, and most recently young adult literature. I don't think I've dropped a particular category, I've just added more. It's not all strictly one genre I read at a time, but you can definitely tell what genre I'm into by looking at my reading list and what I buy!

I've never read much that's considered serious, except for in school so there is probably less of that now and more FUN stuff! I usually don't like dark and depressing books. I never considered myself a nonfiction reader, but if you consider memoirs nonfiction, I guess I read it now.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Tuesday Thingers!

Visit the Boston Bibliophile for more info!

Why did you choose to open and maintain an LT account? Do you/did you use other online cataloging/social networking sites, like GoodReads or Shelfari? Do you use more than one? Are they different or do they serve different purposes?

I joined Librarything about 2 years ago. I must have been searching for something to help catalog my books. I don't know how else i would have found it. I actually just found something to catalog my movies as well (it's not as good as Librarything though) I think I probably found the website, squealed and sat down and started entering my books, it's totally my kind of thing.

I didn't find out about GoodReads or Shelfari probably until a year later (maybe they didn't exist then). 

I tried GoodReads because my friend invited me, but it seemed too much like an application on facebook that I don't even like that much. It didn't seem worth it to me to maintain my Librarything account and that as well, I think I still have a profile there though.

 I actually tried Shelfari a few weeks ago, since I could easily import my books from a excel file, but it didn't like a lot of the ones I had manually entered into Librarything. It also listed all my books as read, which is so not true. It was kind of a pain in the butt to go through and fix that. I'm not sure if I'll keep using that or not. The books do look pretty on the shelves though. 

As I see it now, Librarything offers me what I need. Maybe if I feel like dorking it up and maintaining more I will but Librarything will always be my number one, I have a lifetime membership!

Monday, June 02, 2008

New Moon by Stephanie Meyer

I don't want to say too much about New Moon so as not to ruin it for anyone that hasn't read Twilight (because you should read Twilight!). So I'll try and keep it short and vague.

Let's see, I wish there was more vampire awesomeness, related to their powers and back story. I haven't read Eclipse yet so I'm crossing my fingers that these things will come up more in the last two books.

Bella got sort of depressingly pathetic during the middle part of the book.

My favorite parts of the books tend to be when the vampires are being their awesome and nurturing (Alice) selves.

I heard that this cover really has no meaning to Stephanie and that she doesn't really like it. What I want to know is how they were able to give her what she wants for the other covers but completely dropped the ball on this one. What changed that she had no say for this cover. Or is it that she just happened to like what they came up with for the others and she's never had a say to begin with? That really bugs me, I think authors should have more of a say. I also thing the designers should read the books before trying to design a cover, I know that's not always possible but I think it's important enough that an effort should be made to get them the manuscript or something.

2.5/5 Stars
Purchased by myself

What's your favorite book from the Twilight series? Are you going to go and pick up Breaking Dawn at midnight when it's released?

Lock and Key By Sarah Dessen

Ruby is abandoned by her mother. She thinks she can sail on through living alone until her 18th birthday until she is discovered by her landlords and is sent to live with her sister who she hasn't seen in 10 years.

This is my first book by Sarah Dessen and I rather enjoyed it. I saw the movie that two of her books was based on, How to Deal, and didn't exactly like it so I never tried out her books until now. But I'm glad I did. Lock and Key had a really nice theme of family, more specifically sisters. It also speaks about losing the hard shell that a lot of us walk around wearing from day to day.

I felt there were enough secondary characters to keep the story interesting but not so many that I started forgetting who was who. I especially liked Ruby's friend Olivia and her cousin Laney. The book is rather long but I read it pretty fast because the story was so great. Nothing too shocking happens, it's a quiet sort of story but none the less very worth the read. It's sort of a snippet of life sort of story.

I've heard that the next place to go would be Sarah Dessen's Just Listen so I hope to check that out sometime in the near future. What is your favorite Sarah Dessen book? Did you like the movie, How to Deal?

3.5/5 Stars
Purchased by myself

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Big Love = The Riches

Well not exactly. I just started watching The Riches yesterday and noticed it has some pretty big things in common with Big Love, at least in my opinion. Both families in Big Love and the Riches are hiding (or trying to hide) their true identities from their neighbors, coworkers, etc . Also with Big Love, it shares a very large extended family that won't let them escape their origins. They keep appearing in their new lives and this threatens to reveal who they really are.

Dexter also comes to mind when thinking about hiding someones true identity.

What are you going to watch this summer?

This Year In Movies: May

Nancy Drew-very cute
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly- painful to watch but worth it
PS I love you- different from the book but still enjoyable
$100 and a t-shirt-great information about the zine scene in portland
Over Her Dead Body-better than i expected
Tin Man-pretty good, i like how the story evolved
Chuck and Buck- his movies got better
Superbad-rewatch, so funny
The Good Night-didn't really like
Mad Money- really fun
No Reservations-carbon copy of mostly martha, yet still fun to watch
Dhoom- my first bollywood action movie, funny!
I Want Someone to Eat Cheese With- ok
Cloverfield- really liked, wanted more backstory on the monster
A Collection of Academy Award Nominated Short Films- some were really good, some were not
Dans Paris- kinda funny, ok
Iron Man-theatre- really liked this
Sex and the City-theatre - really good, i hoped it wouldn't suck
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