Saturday, December 27, 2008

999 Reading Challenge

I enjoyed participating in the 888 Reading Challenge, so I went looking for a challenge for 2009.

The 999 Library Thing Challenge is very similar - Read 9 books in each of 9 categories for 2009.

Here is my list of books. You will see that some categories have more than 9 books. It's easier just to list them all than to try to pick and choose now. My final choices will depend quite a bit on what is available to me from the library.

Nostalgia - Books I Read As a Child and want to Read Aloud to My Children
1.The Borrowers – Mary Norton
2.Edward, Hoppy and Joe – Robert Lawson
3.A Wrinkle in Time – Madeleine L'Engle
4.Five Little Peppers and How They Grew – Margaret Sidney
5.The Book of Three – Lloyd Alexander
6.Dragonsong – Anne McCaffrey
7.The Great Brain – John D. Fitzgerald
8.Soup – Robert Newton Peck
9.Encyclopedia Brown – Donald J. Sobol

Kindred Spirits - Books By Favorite Authors
1.An Echo in the Bone – Diana Gabaldon
2.The bodies left behind - Jeffery Deaver
3.Plum Spooky – Janet Evanovich
4.The Master of All Desires - Judith Merkle Riley
5.The Oracle Glass - Judith Merkle Riley
6.The Water Devil – Judith Merkle Riley
7.Mortal Danger – Ann Rule
8.Fatally Flaky – Diane Mott Davidson
9.Dead Time – Stephen White
10.Very Valentine – Adriana Trigiani

Vintage Volumes - Book Club Books (Rollicking Readers & Bella's Bookshelf)
1.Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
2.Animal Farm by George Orwell
3.Kidnapped by Robert Louis Stevenson
4.Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens
5.Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
6.Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
7.The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain
8.Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
9.To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
10.Dracula by Bram Stoker

9 and Counting - Titles with Numbers
1.Finger Lickin' Fifteen – Janet Evanovich
2.Nineteen Minutes – Jodi Picoult
3.One Tough Mother – Julie Ann Barnhill
4.A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khaled Hosseini
5.A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens
6.1900 House - Mark McCrum and Matthew Sturgis.
7.30 Days to Taming Your Tongue - Deborah Smith Pegues
8.7 Keys to Comprehension
9.Then There Were Five (The Melendy Quartet) - Elizabeth Enright

Screen Time - TV/Movie Tie-ins
1.North and South – Elizabeth Gaskell
2.The Martian Child: A Novel About a Single Father Adopting a Son - David Gerrold
3.P.S. I Love You - Cecelia Ahern
4.The Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien (3 titles)
5.The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
6.The Jane Austen Book Club - Karen Joy Fowler
7.The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
8.Georgiana: Duchess of Devonshire – Amanda Foreman (The Duchess)
9.Yes Man - Danny Wallace

Serendipity – Unplanned books I want to read
1.To be announced
2.To be announced
3.To be announced
4.To be announced
5.To be announced
6.To be announced
7.To be announced
8.To be announced
9.To be announced

Literacy - Non-fiction about Books, Writing, or Reading
1.Words Fail Me: What Everyone Who Writes Should Know About Writing – Patricia T. O'Conner
2.Books: A Memoir – Larry McMurtry
3.How to Write Irresistible Query Letters – Lisa Collier Cool
4.Book Smart - Jane Mallison
5.Book Lust – Nancy Pearl
6.1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die – Peter Ackroyd
7.Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting Your Romance Published - Julie Beard
8.How to Read a Book - Mortimer J. Adler & Charles Van Doren
9.On Writing – Stephen King
10.Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life – Anne Lamott
11.A Book Lover's Diary - Shelagh Wallace and Scott McKowen

Faith - Spiritual Life
1.Blue Like Jazz – Donald Miller
2.Sex God – Rob Bell
3.I'm Fine with God, It's Christians I Can't Stand – Bruce Bickel
4.The Barbarian Way : Unleash the Untamed Faith Within - Erwin Raphael McManus
5.Pagan Christianity: Exploring the Roots of Our Church Practices :: Frank Viola, George Barna
6.The Slumber of Christianity : Awakening a Passion for Heaven on Earth :: Ted Dekker
7.The Law of Rewards – Randy Alcorn
8.The Way of the Master – Ray Comfort
9.Reaching for the Invisible God – Philip Yancey
10.The Journey of Desire – John Eldredge
11.The Spontaneous Spread of Home-Discipleship Christianity – Henry Reyenger, Jr.

Mere Jack - C.S. Lewis
1.Mere Christianity – CS Lewis
2.Problem of Pain – CS Lewis
3.Til We Have Faces – CS Lewis
4.A Mind Awake – CS Lewis
5.The Four Loves – CS Lewis
6.The Great Divorce – CS Lewis
7.Out of the Silent Planet – CS Lewis
8.Perelandra - CS Lewis
9.That Hideous Strength - CS Lewis

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Husband, the Movie Star!


My husband shares his name with a movie star and sometimes I get silly questions about it! But now I can say,"YES, my husband is a movie star!" Well, it may be stretching the truth a bit, but he is onscreen for two seconds in the new DVD movie from Burns Family Studios - Pendragon: Sword of His Father.

Here's a screencap!

My son was also filmed as an extra in two scenes, but we didn't see him on the DVD. Maybe he ended up on the cutting room floor.

Booking Through Thursday - Winter Books

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No, no … this isn’t the question you’re probably expecting, that asks about your winter reading habits.

What I want to know today is … what are the most “wintery” books you can think of? The ones that almost embody Winter?

Well, my mind first goes to children's books.

The Big Snow by Berta Hader

Katy and the Big Snow by Virginia Lee Burton

The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Snow Treasure by Marie McSwigan











Grown up books that speak "Winter" to me? Hmmm.... I'll have to give that some thought!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Finished the 888 Reading Challenge!

The 888 Reading Challenge was to read 8 books each in 8 different categories in 2008. I finished today!

My categories changed a good deal as did many of the titles I chose initially. That was within the rules. I didn't use any overlaps. I also read a few books that didn't fit any of my categories.

Here are my 8 completed categories with the 8 books I read for each one. Following that are the additional 18 books I read. 8x8+18= 82 books so far in 2008. I still have a few days to increase that total. In both 2006 and 2007, I read 86 books.

Anyone up for the 999 Reading Challenge??

Books Published in 2008
1.The Secret Between Us – Barbara Delinsky 1-24-08
2.Firefly Lane – Kristin Hannah 5-18-08
3.The Broken Window – Jeffery Deaver 7-22-08
4.Breaking Dawn – Stephenie Meyer 8-7-08
5.Say Goodbye – Lisa Gardner 8-8-08
6.The Keepsake – Tess Gerritsen 9-20-08
7.Sweet Love – Sarah Strohmeyer 10-15-08
8.More Than It Hurts You – Darin Strauss 11-1-08


Books Recommended to me by others
1.Hide – Lisa Gardner (my mom) 2-2-08
2.Beauty - Robin McKinley (Marta) 2-23-08
3.Courting Trouble – Deeanne Gist (Mom) 7-13-08
4.13 Little Blue Envelopes – Maureen Johnson (blog) 8-12-08
5.Darcy's Story: Pride and Prejudice told from a whole new perspective – Janet Aylmer (Darlene) 8-18-08 (also fits Austen category, but not an overlap)
6.Seducing Mr. Darcy (Marla) 9-23-08
7.A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith (sister Janet) 10-13-08
8.Cook's Treasure – Jennifer Cooper (Jennifer) 12-9-08

Young Adult Fiction
1.ttyl – lauren myracle 1-2-08
2.Eclipse – Stephenie Meyer 1-7-08
3.ttfn – lauren myracle 1-14-08
4.Diary of a Wimpy Kid: a novel in cartoons – Jeff Kinney 2-24-08
5.Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules - Jeff Kinney 5-7-08
6.Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze – Elizabeth Enright 8-29-08
7.Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox - Eoin Colfer 10-29-08
8.From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler 11-22-08

Non-fiction
1.Lies Homeschooling Moms Believe – Todd Wilson 1-24-08
2.Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer 6-21-08
3.Cockatiels for Dummies 7-8-08
4.Eat This, Not That! 7-8-08
5.Threadbared – Kimberly Wrenn & Mary Watkins 4-26-08
6.The Butterfly Garden – Chip St. Clair 8-18-08
7.How Not To Look Old – Charla Krupp 8-29-08
8.Frontier House – Simon Shaw 12-13-08

Romance Novels
1.Let's Meet on Platform 8 – Carole Matthews 2-23-08
2.Love's Haven (Steeple Hill Love Inspired) – Catherine Palmer 2-27-08
3.Finding Hope (Steeple Hill Love Inspired) – Brenda Coulter 3-15-08
4.Finding Hope – Brenda Coulter 03-15-08
5.A Season of Forgiveness – Brenda Coulter 04-08-08
6.Strapless – Leigh Riker 6-1-08
7.The Dewey Decimal System of Love – Josephine Carr 8-10-08
8.Tumbling Through Time - Gwyn Cready 8-31-08

New Books by Favorite Authors
1.T is for Trespass – Sue Grafton 1-11-08
2.Plum Lucky – Janet Evanovich 1-20-08
3.Candy Cane Murder – Joanne Fluke 1-19-08
4.Charley's Web – Joy Fielding 04-12-08
5.Carrot Cake Murder – Joanne Fluke 4/23/08
6.Sleeping Doll – Jeffrey Deaver 4/29/08
7.Fearless Fourteen – Janet Evanovich 6/28/08
8.Buckingham Palace Gardens (Thomas Pitt Mysteries) – Anne Perry 12-22-08

Christian Novels
1.The Martyr's Song – Ted Dekker 1-1-08
2.Brothers – Angela Elwell Hunt 2-4-08
3.Claire Knows Best – Tracey Bateman 04-05-08
4.I Love Claire – Tracey Bateman 04-18-08
5.Scarlet Thread – Francine Rivers 5/5/08
6.Doesn't She Look Natural – Angela Elwell Hunt 5-12-08
7.Journey – Angela Elwell Hunt 7-8-08
8.Northpointe Chalet (The Austen Series) – Debra White Smith 12-21-08

Jane Austen novels (and related books)
1.Austenland – Shannon Hale 2-10-08 (recommended by Christy, but not an overlap)
2.Pride and Prejudice 3-16-08
3.Making of Pride & Prejudice – Sue Birtwhistle & Susie Conklin 4-30-08
4.Emma 6-18-08
5.Persuasion 7-12-08
6.Mansfield Park 9-14-08
7.Northanger Abbey 10-23-08
8.Jane Austen for Dummies - Joan Elizabeth Klingel Ray 11-13-08
9.Sense & Sensibility 12-7-08

END OF CHALLENGE!!!

Books on Writing or Reading (read only 6 books)
1.Dear Genius: The Letters of Ursula Nordstrom – Ursula Nordstrom 1-20-08
2.How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author – Janet Evanovich 11-18-08
3.The Well-fed Writer – Peter Bowerman 2-8-08
4.Careers for Bookworms - Marjorie Eberts and Margaret Gisler 3-22-08
5.Back for Seconds – Peter Bowerman 6-22-08
6.No Plot? No Problem! - Chris Baty 11-28-08

No Category
1.Drums of Autumn – Diana Gabaldon 1-31-08
2.Twilight – Stephenie Meyer 7-28-08
3.New Moon – Stephenie Meyer 8-2-08
4.Finding God in Lord of the Rings – Kurt Bruner & Jim Ware 8-30-08
5.The Memory Keeper's Daughter – Kim Edwards 1-29-08
6.Alone – Lisa Gardner 2-12-08
7.The Almost Moon – Alice Sebold 3-2-08
8.Kill The Messenger – Tami Hoag 4-15-08
9.The Survivor's Club – Lisa Gardner 4-20-08
10.Vivaldi's Virgins – Barbara Quick 6-18-08
11.Lean Mean Thirteen – Janet Evanovich 6-19-08
12.The Princess Bride – William Goldman 6-20-08

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Generosity

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Do you give books as gifts?

Yes.

To everyone? Or only to select people?

Always to my children, sometimes to other people too. Even my husband, who isn't a "reader" by any stretch of the imagination.

How do you feel about receiving books as gifts?

In theory, I think it's great! In practice, I've often recieved books I have no interest in reading or have already read. I haven't made a practice of returning books, so they sit on the shelf or eventually get resold.

Booking Through Thursday - Treat

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What is the best book you ever bought for yourself?

I bought The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon for myself - brand new in hardcover.

And, why? What made it the best? What made it so special?

I don't often buy brand new (prefer used) and almost never hardcover fiction. I had read the first four books in the series and had to run out and buy the new one as soon as it came out. Made a special trip, paid full price. Enjoyed the book immensely!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Movie Viewing Update

Wow, haven't posted much here lately. I've seen Bolt (LOVED it!) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (LOVED Keanu) in the theaters and plan to write reviews of both of those, when I can find the time.

Movies I've seen for the first time on DVD include:
John Tucker Must Die - not as awful as I assumed it would be
Journey to the Center of the Earth - Ditto
Sense & Sensibility (1995) - Excellent! Be sure to watch the deleted scenes!
Possession - Pretty good
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer - Not too bad!
Get Smart - LOVED IT! Hilarious!

And I've seen these on DVD, but had already seen them in the theater:
Mamma Mia
The Dark Knight
Wall-E

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - Time is of the Essence

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1. Do you get to read as much as you WANT to read? (I’m guessing #1 is an easy question for everyone?)

No, I do not. However, I make time for reading anyway. I almost always read while I eat. (I can hear the gasps of horror now!) And sometimes I read far into the night.

2. If you had (magically) more time to read–what would you read? Something educational? Classic? Comfort Reading? Escapism? Magazines?

If I had more time to read, I'd read everything and anything. Staring at my bedroom bookshelf, I said to my husband the other night, "I don't ever think I'll get to read all those books!" I do make time for reading 60-100 books a year, plus magazines, but I could easily read twice that many and still never read everything I'd like to read. I'm getting more selective, now that I realize my time for reading is inevitably limited.


Thursday, December 04, 2008

Booking Through Thursday - 5 for Favorites

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1. Do you have a favorite author?

I have several! Janet Evanovich, Ted Dekker, J.R.R. Tolkien, Jeffery Deaver, to name just a few. But for this meme, I'll choose Diana Gabaldon.

2. Have you read everything he or she has written?

No. After reading the first book in the Lord John series, I chose not to read the rest because I am not comfortable with that character's lifestyle choices. He is a character in the Outlander series and his character plays a major role, but was important to the plot. I didn't like him enough to read a spinoff series based on him.

3. Did you LIKE everything?

Everything that I read I liked except as detailed above. I love Outlander best, though. But all of the books in the Outlander series are compelling and absorbing. There are six now and she is writing the seventh.

4. How about a least favorite author?

Wow, that's hard. I don't tend to read books I don't enjoy. I hesitate to name names. I have avoided reading Harry Potter. How's that?

5. An author you wanted to like, but didn’t?

I really wanted to like the Shop-aholic books by Sophie Kinsella, and it wasn't really the writing that turned me off, per se. I just couldn't identify with Becky, the main character. She is shallow and places a high priority on fashion and that just isn't me. I did really like one other book by Kinsella - Can You Keep a Secret? For some reason, that one really resonated with me. Enough that I own a copy. And I only keep fiction that I really really like.

OK, that didn't really answer the question, did it? Let's try again.

I wanted to like Margaret Atwood. I really did. I read The Handmaiden's Tale. And, well... It wasn't all that. Not my cup of tea, as my mom said about a different book recently. It's been five years, so I really couldn't elaborate on that, but I haven't looked for anything else written by her and that should say it all, since I usually read everything I can find by a good author.

Now, it's your turn! Blog your answers, or email them out! Or just leave them in the comments. If you do the meme, I'd love to know about it and read your answers!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

November Reads

Just four books in November, but that's ok, since I wrote a book in November too! LOL

More Than It Hurts You
by Darin Strauss
11/01/08 - Good - Fiction
A doctor suspects a young mother is hurting her baby.
This was a thoughtful sort of novel and it didn't end the way I expected.

Jane Austen for Dummies by Joan Elizabeth Klingel Ray
11/13/08 - Excellent - Non-fiction
If you've ever tried to read Austen and gotten confused about historical details or customs of the time, this is the book for you!
Conversational in tone and very readable, this guide answered ALL the questions I had – and some I didn't realize I had! The only issue I had is that it revealed some of the plot points in Sense & Sensibility, the only Austen novel I hadn't yet read. So, if spoilers bother you, read the novels first and then get the book. Then you'll want to re-read them all over again!

How I Write: Secrets of a Bestselling Author by Janet Evanovich
11/18/08 - Excellent - Non-fiction
Janet shares tips and tricks on writing – my second read-through of this book. Very practical and easy to read.
I love Janet's writing and this book is so practical.

No Plot? No Problem!: A Low-Stress, High-Velocity Guide to Writing a Novel in 30 Days by Chris Baty
11/28/08 - Excellent - Non-fiction
How to write a novel in 30 days
I didn't think I would learn anything from reading this since I won NaNoWriMo last year, but my friend read it and recommended it. Very helpful tips, amusing anecdotes, encouraging words, and more! I also highly recommend it for anyone wanting to write a novel in a month or less.

WHAT ARE YOU READING??? Leave me a comment!