Saturday, November 28, 2009

Recommended for Young Readers

By the Banks of Plum Creek by Laura Ingalls Wilder

Ever since I was young, I've loved the Little House books. I loved the way Laura Ingalls wrote, I loved her descriptions of hay and sugary candy and paper dolls. Of the entire Little House series, this book was my favorite. I still have the original books I bought when I was young, scraping together the money to buy these paperbacks to read over and over. I daresay, I was good to my books because they're still in fantastic shape, with only yellowed edges from age. But Plum Creek is where Laura gets even with Nellie Olsen, she and her family live in a Hobbit-like home, where locusts eat up their crop, and where Laura and her sister splashed through the clear little creek near their house. I always liked to imagine myself as Laura, running free and mussing my dress (even though I wore pants).

A delightful read for children and one that they will revisit throughout their lives - just like so many of us have.

Notes from the playlist: "Half Acre" by Hem

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Recommeded for Everyone

2,001 Things to Do Before You Die by Dane Sherwood

Now, I know it sounds slightly morbid, but curiosity piqued and I had to sneak a peek at this book. I bought it not long after. Really, it's quite funny since there are soooo many different things you can mark off. That's all it is; a list of 2,001 things you can do, each with a box beside it for you to check. Some are easy, like baking a massive cookie (which I actually have yet to do) while others are downright impossible - as a woman, I cannot grow a beard, much less shave it off. Still, there are plenty of fun, interesting, and downright bizarre things for you to do or be inspired to try (I really want to try milking a cow).

This book may seem a bit hard to get, but you can usually find it in B&N's bargain section.

As of right now (and I've just marked off another square), I've done 207 things. (yes, I just counted them)

Notes from the playlist: "If Today was Your Last Day" by Nickelback

Friday, November 20, 2009

Just Cracked Open

Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett

Though I have to say that I was mightily disappointed with American Gods, I wasn't about to let that stop me in my Neil Gaiman fun quest. So this book was next in the lineup. I've only gotten about 20 or so pages into it, but already I'm having a great time. It reminds me a little of Douglas Adams in terms of how it's written. I was hoping for a good time too, though I think I owe that to Pratchett and his craziness (crazy in a good way, mind you). Here's to hoping for plenty more good times ahead...

**Finished! Read the Epinions review here!

Notes from the playlist: "Hear Me" by Shaun Davey

Monday, November 16, 2009

Recommended for Those with Literary, Romantic, or Jane Austin Interests

Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter

I actually discovered this book through a customer. She was the one who asked me to find it and, lucky her, we had a copy in the store. She said her friend had read it and suggested it. Later on, I looked up some information about it...for myself. After reading the blurb, I decided it was a book I should read. Which I did (several months later). Though admittedly, it's a predictable book, it's still fun. Set in present day New York, the heroine Emily heads off to England for a Jane Austin tour, where she actually meets the dashing Mr. Darcy and learns a thing or two about herself...and men. Oh, and did I mention there's a guy named Spike in this story? Hard to go wrong with a good-looking guy named Spike.

Read the Epinions review here!

Notes from the playlist: "Dawn" by Dario Marianelli

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Just Finished (and Highly Recommended)

Voluntary Madness by Norah Vincent

I'd already read Self-Made Man and in that book Norah Vincent mentions that all her work had led her to a bit of a breakdown. She then visited an institution, and after only 4 days, realized what her next project had to be. It became this book, in which she visits three different mental institutions; public, private, and altnerative medicine, and reveals to readers what she finds. Her discoveries are incredibly engrossing. It was hard to stop reading. She also lends her thoughts and even gives us a very candid look into her own mental health and issues. Though she said she set out to show that the system was broken, she realized many different things, that blame lies with more than one person, and that there are ways to heal - it's just a very difficult path.

Notes from the playlist: "Macedonian Morning" by Bill Whelan

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Currently Reading

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Every day it seemed I'd end up in the fantasy/science fiction section of the store, fixing and adjusting books. Facing out here, reshelving there. I'd always linger around a handful of them, thinking, "I ought to read this." Neil Gaiman's books were some of them.

Finally I got my hands on American Gods and am now in the middle of it. It's a slow, but interesting book. I'm waiting for something major to go down. After all, there's a storm coming. A clash of the gods, old and new. And poor protagonist Shadow is right in the middle of it. He's a regular guy...or at least he's supposed to be. I doubt it. First off, he's named Shadow. C'mon. Second, he keeps having very strange dreams. Third, everyone and their grandma is out to get the guy. I'm pretty sure he's important and will do something awesome in the end. Though I am getting a little impatient, it's more because I want things to move along more because I have other books I need to read and thusfar Shadow's just hiding out in a small, quaint town getting groceries and talking to the townsfolk about mundane things.

I loved Coraline. Waiting for this one to really capture me though.

Notes on the playlist: "Beauty and the Beast" (the Angela Lansbury version)

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Whoops! I completely forgot to mention this. Last month I reviewed Stephanie Garber's amazing book Caraval for the web blog I curre...