Sunday, December 26, 2010

2011 Support Your Local Library Challenge

As a public library librarian, I feel I'm obligated to do this challenge! A great proportion of the books I read do come from the library where I work. It is being hosted by Jamie at Book Junkie's Bookshelf

The details are:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate. Just create a post for the challenge and link to your challenge post in the linky below.
--Non-Bloggers: Post your list of books in the comment section of the wrap-up post.
2. There are four levels to this challenge...Pick your poison
--The Mini – Check out and read 30 library books.
--"Fun" Size – Check out and read 40 library books.
--Jumbo Size – Check out and read 50 library books.
--Mega Size – Check out and read 51+ library books.
(Aim high. As long as you read 30 by the end of 2011, you are a winner.)
3. Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Young Reader – basically any book counts just as long as it is checked out from the library. Books MUST be checked out like with a library card, books purchased at a library DO NOT count.
4. No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.
5. Crossovers from other reading challenges count.
6. Challenge begins January 1st 2011 and goes thru December 31 2011.

For more information or to join, check out the challenge page

I am going to aim for Fun Size - 40 books

100 + Challenge 2011

There is 4 days left in 2010 and I am admitting defeat for the 100 + Reading Challenge for 2010. In total I've read 66 books this year. I will continue reading but there is no way I'll read 34 books before the end of the year!

In 2011 I will do the challenge again and aim to read more books than in 2010... 100 is more so I'll aim again for that! I'm still in 2 book clubs... and hopefully I'll be more diligent in reading the set books next year! This year the challenge is being hosted by Amy at My Overstuffed Bookshelf

The rules are
  • The goal is to read 100 or more books.
  • Anyone can join.
  • You don't need a blog to participate. Posting on GoodReads or wherever you post your reviews is good enough.
  • Audio, Re-reads, eBooks, YA, Manga, Graphic Novels, Library books, Novellas, Young Reader, Nonfiction – as long as the book has an ISBN or equivalent or can be purchased as such, the book counts.
  • What doesn't count: Individual short stories or individual books in the Bible.
  • No need to list your books in advance. You may select books as you go. Even if you list them now, you can change the list if needed.
  • Crossovers from other reading challenges count.
  • Books started before the January 1st do not count.
  • You can join at anytime.
Learn more and sign up by visiting the post about the challenge.

Friday, December 24, 2010

White Cat - Holly Black

About the Book
White Cat is about Cassel Sharpe. He is the youngest in a family of "workers" ie people who have the gift to magically affect people. Basically it's about how he isn't who he thought he was, he didn't do what he thought he did, and did what he never thought he could. I hope that doesn't give too much away!

My Thoughts

I think I read Ironside a couple of years ago and quite enjoyed it. When I saw Holly Black was starting a new series I was keen to read it. I didn't really know much about the book before I picked it up. Once I started it, I read it in two sittings. I was reluctant to put it down and it was only when I feel asleep that I did! I quite liked Cassel as a character. He was a good guy, but a bad guy as well. At least he thought he was. Lila was also a well drawn character. I didn't feel like the others - Philip, Barron, their mother and grandfather were quite well so drawn, but the book wasn't about them so it didn't matter so much. I liked the alternate universe that Holly created. Particularly the alternate Australian history where a large percent of the population is decendent from Workers who were transported as convicts. I can't wait to read the next in the series!

The Mercy of Thin Air - Ronlyn Domingue

Recently at my library, a staff member was pulling fiction books off the shelf that hadn't been borrowed for a year or two. This book was one of them, and it sounded interesting so I borrowed it.
About the Book
The book is narrated by Razi, who is killed in the first few pages and becomes a ghost. She narrates from the "in between" where she can watch the living. She never recovers from her first love - Andrew and spends much of the book wondering what happened to him. A young couple buy Andrew's old bookcase and she follows it to their house. Amy also never recovered from
her first love who was killed in a car crash. This has implications on her marriage when an old friend sends her a DVD with scenes of him in it.

My Thoughts
Sounds very Lovely bones ish doesn't it? Well it's not. I'm not sure how I felt about this book. I liked it enough to persevere, but I don't think it's left a lasting impression on me. Razi seemed very forward thinking for her day. She wanted to be a doctor and held sex education classes for the women of the neighbourhood. I always have problems with reading books like that. The author knows that now there is more equality in education, where as in the 1910s when the book is set it was very unusual. It's hard not to write period books without putting knowledge of the future in and it's hard to read them when they allow it to happen.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The People of the Book - Geraldine Brooks

Book Club selection for November 2010

About the book
This is the story of book conservationist, Hanna Heath and the book she goes to Bosnia to work on, a Haggadah. It is also the story of antisemitism in Europe from the 15th century until the present day.

My Thoughts
I first read this book when it came out in 2006, and quite enjoyed it. When I sat down to read it, it felt like I was returning to an old friend. I find the writing easy to read and was comforted by familiar surroundings. I don't remember how I felt about it at the time. The story still draws me in. As well as Hanna's story there is the story of the Haggaadah, starting from the second world war and moving backwards to when the drawings were first created in 1465. The relationship between Hanna and her mother is intriguing. There isn't a satisfying answer to why her mother behaved the way she did towards her daughter, and there is no resolution to the distance they have.

As the book is about the art work, and how unusual it is to have an illustrated Jewish text like this, I think the book meets the criteria for all four of the challenges I'm doing this year - the 100+ challenge, Art History Challenge, Aussie Challenge and Bibliophilic Challenge.