Friday, February 08, 2008

Oh, I just can't stop myself

So, as I’m sure you know, bloggers, specifically book bloggers, love reading challenges. The more challenges you are a part of, the more books you get to read. Theoretically, anyway. Truthfully, the more challenges you are a part of, you end up with more books that you want to read, but less time. At least that has always been my experience with them.

It’s a sad, vicious cycle and one I like participating in. I’ve already joined two challenges this year and while I’m going to be good and not “join” any more, I’ve found a couple that look really interesting.

The first is the First in a Series Challenge. I don’t think I really have to describe to you what this challenge is about, since it’s spelled out in the title. Joy is the same blogger running the Sweet and Simple YA challenge that I joined . I like this challenge, because it will force me to seek out new authors and new series.

So far, I think I have three “first books” lined up. Michelle Sagara West and her Cast in series (I read Cast in Secret, the first book, a few weeks ago and loved it). There is Jerri Smith-Ready and her Aspect of Crow series (first book there is Eye of Crow). There is also Philip Pullman’s mystery series about Sally Lockhart (first book in this series is The Ruby in the Smoke).

And while I’m not sure this will count (except, I’m not actually doing the challenge, so I can make it count), I am also planning on rereading Steven Brust’s Vladimir Taltos series. My younger brother introduced me to this series (and this author), for which I’ll be eternally grateful. Not that I’ll ever tell him that.

The other challenge is Annie’s What’s in a Name Challenge. The rules are to choose one book from each of the following categories:

1. A book with a color in its title.
2. A book with an animal in its title.
3. A book with a first name in its title.
4. A book with a place in its title.

5. A book with a weather event in its title.
6. A book with a plant in its title.

Looking at my above list, I see that The Ruby in the Smoke and Eye of Crow will work for this challenge too. And it’s not cheating; Annie said we could share books across challenges. Hmm, while I’m thinking about it, Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell will work for this challenge too.

I think it will be interesting to just keep track of how many books I read fall into one of the above six categories, I know I have some other books on hold at the library that will also work here.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008


Despite the fact that I can't seem to meet the challenges I set for myself, I usually do fairly well with challenges that other people create.

So, in addition to the 50 Book Challenge, I'll be doing the Chunky isn't always Bad challenge (one "chunky" book per quarter), starting with Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell (Yeah, so I haven't actually gotten around to starting that yet. I've read three other books though that qualify). I'll also be doing the Sweet and Simple challenge (read twelve young adult novels, one per month). I actually think I've already read a young adult book (January, I think), so yay! I'm off to a great start.


All right! I've read two young adult novels so far in 2008!

First was The Luxe, which I was sadly disappointed by. I wanted it to be more Gossip Girls-TV show, not boring characters who were stereotyped in the first chapter. You had the good-girl rich girl, the rebellious-rich girl, the scandalous-rich girl, the nice-guy rich guy, the bad-boy-with-heart rich boy, the poor boy, the poor girls, and the parents. I really, really thought this novel would be more fun, more engaging, but it wasn't. I see that there will be a sequel, but I'm going to pass.

Second was Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset Sisters, which was much more enjoyable. Cornelia is the only child of famous (and divorced) pianists, who spends her time either being ignored by her classmates, the pawn of her classmates' parents (who want to be introduced to her constantly touring mother), or alone in her room, reading her dictionaries. That all changes when Virginia Somerset moves in next door and proceeds to introduce Cornelia to the other Somerset sisters through Virginia's stories about their travels around the world. In the end, Cornelia doesn't only meet the world and the audacious Somerset sisters, but through Virginia's stories, she meets her mother, and finally, herself. This book was so much more engaging than The Luxe; I really got a sense of Cornelia's isolation from everyone and why she clung to words the way she does.

Third, well...I don't really have a list planned yet, but I think that I'll be reading The Ruby in the Smoke next. That's my tentative plan, anyway. Either way, March's book will be the first I'll link to and submit for the challenge.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Upcoming books I'm excited about

Mind the Gap: A Novel of the Hidden Cities by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon
This just sounds fascinating; I love the idea of hidden pockets and doorways that lead you somewhere you don't expect. And with ghosts and a setting in London, I don't think I can go wrong.

Cry Wolf by Patricia Briggs
Hmm, more Charles and Anna. Can't wait.

Grimspace by Ann Aguirre
This sounds intersting, kind of like Jumper.

Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle

Ink Exchange by Melissa Marr
I read the first book in this series and loved it, so I'm hopeful that this one will be as good.

The Host by Stephanie Meyer
I...yeah, I'll be honest. I'm reading this solely because I like the Twilight series so much.

Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer
The conclusion to the Twilight series.

The Outlaw Demon Wails by Kim Harrison
Hmm, more Rachel. Can't wait to find out what is going on in the demon world.

Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews.
I like Kate. I can't wait to see how much damage and trouble she can cause in this book.

Faefever by Karen Moning.
Oh, Mac. You try so hard to kick fae ass and not admit you're attracted to Barrons.

Embrace the Night by Karen Chance.
Heh, Cassie and Pritkin, on the run from the Circle, while trying to find a long lost book. If they both survive each other, it'll be a miracle.

oh, life

How you get away from me sometimes. Heh.

Right. So, after that absurdly long "hiatus" I just took, I'm back. Kinda. Sorta. Well, not to be coy, but there have been a lot of changes in my life this past year and blogging has fallen by the wayside. (I'll get to those later.) I'll do an actual post tonight, but I just wanted to get the ball rolling now.


So, I had goals for myself in 2007, and sadly, I don't think I met any of them. There was a list of twelve books I was going to read this past year, split fifty-fifty between non fiction and classics.

Still, looking over my notes from 2007, I did read five non fiction books, and if you add that to the one classical novel I read...hey! I read six books that weren't some form of fiction! (Yes, I know that classical novels can still be fiction, but work with me, ok?)

88 books, broken down as follows:

Non fiction: 5
Classical: 1
Short stories: 4
Science fiction: 2
Fiction: 32
Urban fantasy: 17
Young adult: 27