Archive for the 'Young Adult' Category

Science Tales

Thoughts stbydc Science Tales: Lies Hoaxes and Scams by Darryl Cunningham, Myriad Editions 2012, 174 pages

a COMIC book? I wouldn’t call it a Graphic Novel because it is not a novel. I’m so out of it on the comic/graphics genre take on books!

And, unfortunately, this book really can’t be praised for helping me figure out if I like this genre or not.

I’m going to say no.

I really have to admit that half way through I realized I was only reading the words and not appraising or appreciating (or even noticing) the illustrations.

Minus:  On a content note, I don’t feel that Cunningham really shared much of the science he was endorsing or refuting on his chapters of  Electroconvulsive Therapy, Homeopathy, Vaccinations, the Moon Hoax, Climate Change, Evolution, Chiropractic Medicine, and Science Denial.

Positive:  I don’t fault the book for attempting to inspire constructive thinking and consideration of the facts. It certainly encourages more research and shares what those sources might be.

So kudos for that.  It’s a quick read, too.

Do please read Debi’s review!

Rating: Two and 1/2 slices of pie. So round up to three.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Mockingjay

Thoughts mjbysc Mockingjay (Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins, Scholastic Press 2010, 390 pages eBook

QUALIFIES: The -ing category of What’s in a Name 8 and also the animal category. I’m going to count it for ING.

RATING:  Three slices of pie.

Lots of violence and still a sullen Katniss. She finally picks a team. Actually, I’m just glad this is (almost) over. Ready to see the movie and be able to say, “Done.”

If I had to pick a favorite, I would say the first one.

(Looks like I’m still in a mini-review mode. Don’t worry – am gathering lots of things to say about Sister Carrie!)

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Copyright © 2007-2015. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club. It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Still Here…

Hello,

I’ve missed you, my little blog…

IMG_3520 IMG_3524 IMG_3522  Newport RI.

You take a little unplanned break and then come back to find a new WordPress editor. Let’s see what happens. I can share a few thoughts on the books I’ve managed to read lately. I’ll tell you that my audiobook-listening has ground to a halt – but I can explain, I think. And just say howdy.

Plus send a big hearty welcome to SomeWhereInABook! I hope I can soon find a few past blog posts to re-link to, if that’s not too much to ask. (Specifically, the Gone Girl one…)

Um, where’s the SAVE-DRAFT button?!

Moving on, just keep going, right?

A Walk in the Woods awitwbybb by Bill Bryson – I liked it very much. Learned a lot about trees and flora and geology, too. Recommended.

 

Out of My Mind oommbysd by Sharon M Draper – Loaned to me from a friend, very apropos of my latest class for school. This is the story from the viewpoint of a 5th grader with cerebral palsy who is very smart but cannot communicate her smarts until she finds an Assistive Technology device that allows her a voice. The book has some very good points to share and perhaps some misses in the delivery and odd plot points. Read through the goodreads.com reviews for examples. I enjoyed meeting Melody and reminded again that we all want to belong and contribute. Respect.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy hhgttg by Douglas Adams is exactly what I feared it might be. Sadly, I feel too late to the introduction of it in my life with the story over-hyped for me to truly appreciate its brilliance. Overall, a fun read. 42 (And I think I should plug Jenn Thorson’s There Goes the Galaxy which I read last December and which (now I realize) obviously took inspiration from Adams and his famous book/series. I gave that 4 stars.)

And now, obviously, I recognize that I have been too long away from blabbing about books. I’ll try to do better with my next East Of Eden post. Whoops – that was probably due today?

Carry on. Toodles.

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I really can’t explain why I haven’t been in the mood to listen to a book. I’ve been BUSY? and got out of the habit. I’ll mow the lawn tomorrow, plug in to The Count of Monte Cristo and see if I remember much. I’ll let you know how it goes.

 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Books in the House

I thought I posted this! Oooops. I’m going through my post drafts.

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The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – FINALLY. And links well to my Bryson A Walk in the Woods (doh – hiking.)

James and the Giant Peach – gift from a friend, read and probably won’t review

Out of My Mind by Sharon M Draper – YA, loaned by a friend

Michael Chabon’s Pulitzer Winner The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay - Thanks Fizzy! I’m a bit intimidated, actually.

Home by Marilynn Robinson, because I was so impressed with Gilead. Purchased at an Independent Book Store Bargain Shelf “Previously Read”.

East of Eden – Readalong!!!

The Secret Life of Violet Grant – selected solely on loving the name/color Violet.

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More random stuff about books and reading:

I have pushed on with my audiobook of The Count of Monte Cristo and despite the. halting. odd intonations. of. the narrATOR! I am quite swept up in the story and even dreamed about Royalist vs Bonapartist ideology. Yikes, right?

“Oh the heartless scoundrels!  … Is the world filled with tigers and crocodiles?!”

I downloaded the audiobook for East of Eden. Ready to go!

A long time ago which I failed to note with my not quite established habit to secure a post-it note in the front cover of books loaned to me, MBR gave me Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods. I have dipped into it often but it never ‘took’. Finally, I left it at the treadmill and have been regularly reading as I walk the Weight Loss 2 setting (30 minutes, ~1.72 miles) and now I’m on a push to finish the damn thing. I’m on to the Massachusetts chapter, about 25% remains. Though I have heard it is SO FUNNY, I’m actually finding it quite sad. The Park Service has limited funds or misuses it, the aphids are eating the hemlocks, unsolved brutal murders…  I have no ambitions to hike the AT but I am inspired to visit Mt. Greylock in Mass.

Side note: yesterday, I read about his visit to Harper’s Ferry and, of course, the name John Brown was mentioned. That is more motivation or a clue to get McBride’s The Good Lord Bird. (If any of my family is reading this, think Christmas present.)

School started two days ago. I will be alternating between feeling successful that I finished a project on time and stressing about doing such  — over the next four weeks. Right now I’m on the happy side of that pendulum. I have nothing due for two days and it is only commenting/responding. I suppose I should read what will come after that…

I got me a new laptop! A Microsoft Lenovo ThinkPad just so I can practice on this style – nothing more embarrassing than to sit at somebody’s computer and not know how to work that crazy mouse. I need to be fluent in all kinds computers for my job. I’m excited to play with it. I will create a nutty picture doing my homework surrounded by a Macbook, a ThinkPad, two iPads and an iPhone just to search the internet. I’m SO prepared. Bring it on.

Also yesterday (yesterday was a kick ass day overall – did lots of good things), I read on Iris’ blog that she has exceeded the 100 book count on the list of 1001 Books to Read Before You Die and it occurred to me that I didn’t know MY count. According to my shelf in goodreads, I’m at 50. But that might not be all on the READ shelf, so I am astonished at 100+. Way to go!

OK, this was supposed to be a short update post. Gotta run.

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

Summer Reading REQUIRED

My High School has published the Summer Reading Lists. Prior to this year, only one book was required. They are now providing choices for each grade level.

I have read the BOLD titles (only 11 of 26!), ITALICIZED the ones I don’t know know anything about (and am shocked and appalled by this, so guess what? I need to read these before school starts in August), and have just started the audiobook of the title in blue. The titles in red are ones I know of but just haven’t read yet.

How many of these have you read?

NINTH
Secret Life of Bees
Sarah’s Key
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
Ellen Foster
Maus I
My Sister’s Keeper
The Alchemist
This Boys Life (author not given, assuming Tobias Wolf?)

TENTH
I am Malala
The Book Thief
The Help
The Silence of Our Friends
The Color of Water

ELEVENTH
11/22/63
Into the Wild
Glass Castle
We Were the Mulvaney’s
Snow Falling on Cedars
Bean Trees

TWELFTH
1984
Sold  (<–no idea which author…)
Brave New World
V is for Vendetta
The OxBow Incident
Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
The Submission (should I assume this is the Amy Waldman? which I *HAVE* heard of now that I look it up…)

Which should I begin next? I think I will read The Color of Water by James McBride since I have it in the house ready to go.
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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

YAY! It’s June

Hello, I could write some reviews – I do have a backlog, but thought I would just type up some stuff to post and call it good.

I had a fabulous May of reading and am proud to say I read 10 books. Or read five and listened to five. Yikes! FIVE AUDIOBOOKS in ONE MONTH!? Well, whuddya know. Only TWO were print books and the rest eBooks.

That is 74 hours listened…   1864 pages read (if I read 60 pg/hr = ~31 hours).

Wow.

In order of latest read:
Omnivore’s Dilemma / Michael Pollan (2006,16 hrs) **** Audio 39
A Good American / Alex George (2012,389) **** eB 38
A Survival Guide for Parenting Teens / Joani Geltman (2014,288) eB **** 37
We Were Liars / E.Lockhart (2014, 6’24”) Audio ** 36
The Yearling / Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings (1938,509) Classics/WiaN TB **** 35
Daughter of Smoke and Bone / Laini Taylor  (2011,12.5 hrs) Audio *** 34
The Delusions of Gender / Cordelia Fine (2010,338) NF eB **** 33
The Martian / Andy Weir (2012, 10’53”) *** Audio 32
Silver Sparrow / Tariya Jones (2011,340) TB ***** 31
The Sparrow/ Mary Doria Russell (1996, 15.5 hrs ) Audio, SciFi **** 30

Three were nonfiction. One was a READ-RIGHT-NOW-BEFORE-IT-GETS-SPOILED! which means I read it in the year published which is really a thing I’ve only recently been managing. I usually am not a bandwagon recently-released paying attention kind of reader. I did get in a few classics – The Yearling and what I assume will be a classic eventually, The Sparrow. Hey – both animals.

What is UP with The Yearling not being on the 1001 Books to Read Before You Die?!  Answer me, that.

I found many linking opportunities and coincidences in my readings this month; mostly associated with eating/nourishment/survival.

One fantasy. Two sciency / science fiction. Put Omnivore’s Dilemma in the ‘sciency’ category, too. Seven female authors, three male. Six were 4 star reads, one a 5 star because it suited ME perfectly. Two 3 star, and a two star that has been extremely highly rated elsewhere by smarter readers than me – but I let overhype/crazy-expectations get the better of the experience.

If you have ever read/reviewed The Fault in Our Stars, are you experiencing LOTS of traffic for that post? I am. In anticipation of the movie which I think is coming out this week. I know I am looking forward to it, too, but I will probably wait for it to be available for home-viewing.

I changed my header photo to a scene of an island in Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island. Not sure which island, though.

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Jill of Rhapsody Books has informed me that June 9 is Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day so I hope you all can benefit from this knowledge and on that day, have a pie celebration. Consider this advance notice and plan accordingly. IMG_2960 Thanks Jill for thinking of me!

I have enjoyed reading all the BEA posts though I have hesitated in commenting. Maybe I’m nostalgic. Maybe I want to go next year?

 

copleyl-1 June 15 is Lobster Day… photo-72 (Thanks Amy!)

And since, we started this post with the amazing announcement that I’ve been binge-ing on audiobooks, do know that I just downloaded Stephen King’s Mr. Mercedes (released YESTERDAY, PEOPLE.) and Maya Angelou narrating her I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. Shame that her death is what is prompting me to finally get to this. RIP

I am currently listening to The Good Earth even though it is not due for our book club discussion until late July. Another Pulitzer winner, I am pleased to say.  Did I read somewhere that JUNE is actually Audiobook Month? Well, I will have a few reviews to add anyway.

Anything pie-related or any fun reading experiences happening with you? Do tell.

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

 

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Thoughts dosabbylt by Laini Taylor, Hachette Audio 2011, 12.5 hours

Narrated by Khristine Hvam.

WHY this/now:  This was offered a few years ago as a book club choice but not selected. I had tbr’d it at that time but lately was craving an audio experience that was different from my standard fare. This won a BEST AUDIO Award so that was good enough for me. (Plus, if you are out of credits at Audible, this is reasonably priced – or was the day I bought it. I am all about the time per dollar.)

What’s it ABOUT: A young girl is studying art in Prague, she speaks many languages and has a family of sorts that she really can’t talk about. Her family isn’t human.

OK, to be spoilery, I might have to admit that I thought is was going in one direction and it surprised me. The first half of the book was fabulous! I was swept up into the world – great world-building, by the way. And I liked our girl Karou and loved her blue hair and the twinkle in her eye when she tells the truth knowing it will be accepted as not-truth.

But the second half had pieces that made me weary with too long mental rehash of thoughts and feelings. “Oh! I wish he would just kiss me, or do I? Is that what I want? I think I want him to kiss me but I don’t know, blah blah blah.”

Overall, I get why this is a hit and the audio narration was good. The story is new (to me?) and inventive. World-building and character descriptions were beautifully done.

RATING:  THREE slices of blueberry pie.

Other REVIEWS:  Jill at Rhapsody Books (go see the list of awards this book was won!), the Book Bloggers Search Engine Results

 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

We Were Liars

Thoughts wwlbyel We Were Liars by e.Lockhart, Listening Library 2014, 6 hr 24 min Audio

Narrator:  Ariadne Meyers

 

DEFINITION:  “To fall flat” – To fail in the intended effect.

This fell flat for me. I’m tempted to give it only two slices of pie.

I was intrigued by a tweet:

Book Review – We Were Liars by | Outstanding book – read it before someone spoils the amazing ending!

And I suppose I could blame Jill who wrote a spoiler free review which you must read if you ARE curious: Rhapsody in Books

What we have here is a conundrum. Advice is to read it NOW before someone spoils it. BUT you should know that that is the intention of the marketing team – to build it up with BIG TWIST!  Don’t TELL ANYONE!!  hype hype hype – which I was trying to avoid. Unfortunately, I was too late – I became aware that this was the intent of the marketing and I must have gotten suspicious.Perhaps if I had immediately read the book after Michelle said to do so because that was the first time I was warned; not aware of the propaganda of the warning. I couldn’t help but see this title start popping up everywhere, ugh. I should have waited a few years or skipped it altogether.

On the other hand, if this does appeal to you, the audio seems to be a good way to experience it. I thought the narrator did a fine job (except do not expect a Massachusetts accent!!) and there are some goodreads reviews that state the written presentation/style was annoying – this can be avoided by listening. I think. Maybe.

I just didn’t feel a thing. At the time of the big twist/shock/reveal, I was just relieved that the book would soon be over. No, I didn’t see it coming. But I did go looking for reviews at the half way mark (kiss of death for me when I do this, I can’t help it! when a book is starting to annoy me, I go see what others thought — to see if I should keep reading…)

And so I found Nymeth’s THOUGHTFUL issue exploration: Things Mean a Lot(I didn’t read the spoiler part — but I read the comments.  Ooops.) Nymeth always brings such calm insightful intelligent considerations to her reviews and sadly, that is what makes me most sad about the story – that I missed the bigger truth that Nymeth caught: “a story of political awakening gone horribly wrong…

Truly!! Many MANY bloggers I admire and respect thought this an AMAZING stunner of a book!!  GO decide for yourself and than cry with me that I failed with it…

Somebody please tell me that I will like The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks better?

 

 

* New Englanders don’t say AUNT the way I did when I grew up:  like the insect ANT. They say it to rhyme with FONT and now after living here 10 years, I do, too! Every time I heard the narrator say “the Aunties”, I was distracted. “This is supposed to be set in Massachusetts…”

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Death of Bees

Thoughts tdobbylo The Death of Bees by Lisa O’Donnell, Harper Collins 2013, 320 pages. eBook

For my IRL Book Club.

FIRST Sentence: Izzy called me Marnie after her mother.

What’s it ABOUT: Before we read the sentence above, we are introduced to Marnie when she tells us it is Christmas Eve, that it is her 15th birthday and she just buried her parents in the backyard. So we know she must be a scrappy kid and now an orphan. We go on to hear her side of the story as well as her younger sister and also a bit – quite a bit – from the neighbor, Lenny, who takes the risk to care for the girls. It is not a pretty story – one of poverty and crime, drugs and “family gone wrong”, with menacing predators all around. There is hope but it is risky to reach for, or so Marnie believes.

What’s GOOD: Marnie is smart but does not have any examples of how being smart might save her. What she knows about life is to survive it but not how to escape and create something better. She is angry and has zero trust in adults unless they provide access to money. If she didn’t have her odd, musically-talented little sister to care for, she would likely be sunk. Nelly, the sister, craves love and is willing to take chances on those opportunities. I really liked Nelly. Marnie was a lot tougher and was angry with herself when she doubted and sensed her own fear.

“In the end I go to the garden and tell Izzy, she could never keep a secret before, but given her situation she’s great at keeping secrets. So is Gene, but then again always was.”

The tension is remarkable. Being cold in Scotland at the time, the parents have been buried in shallow graves — the dog next door is extremely curious what is under those flower bushes. Certainly has some funny moments but one knows it can’t end well.

What’s NOT so good: It is not a book of butterflies and daisies.

It is always a risky move to make the people you want to cheer for be characters with ugly behaviors but the author somehow succeeds in this. She provides a subtle hope that ‘bad’ people can rise above their poor decisions and change for the good. Some do, some do not, some we may never know. This book has few sentimental waverings, nor is it harshly cynical. This isn’t a criticism so my heading for this paragraph is misleading. I suspect the grittiness is what drove my friend to decide to not finish it. I spent some time trying to figure out what it was the HL found so objectionable and I think it was too dark. I’m thinking that she can’t abide child abuse and the situations like what Marnie and Nelly have to endure. And that’s OK: it aint pretty – just sayin’.

The LitLovers site for this book (the cover links to it) has Discussion Questions which I considered* answering for this post. Let’s discuss the title. The death of honeybees becomes a question and concern for Nelly but her sister Marnie can’t answer it and finally tells her the blunt sad truth that “no one knows!” and to SHUT UP about it. Nelly hates when she can’t get an answer for her questions; Marnie prefers to forget and endure. But Nelly knows this is one more example that the world just doesn’t care. I think the author is telling us that we/people/governments/whoever-is-in-charge don’t have a clue what to do nor how to deal with poverty. Shouldn’t someone figure this out? We are not doing a good job of helping our children.

FINAL thoughts: I liked the telling of this story. It is brutal and unique.

RATING:  Better than a three-slicer and not outstanding enough to be a five. That leaves me with four slices of pie.

Other REVIEWS: Judith at Leeswamme’s Blog has an excellent description of plot, the Literary Feline agrees that “It is dark and at times gritty”, AND  is very good (She also provides excellent plot), Caribousmom can’t quite recommend it and says it is “just too dark and left me feeling disheartened rather than hopeful.” Farmlane Books calls it a strange book, that it provoked strong reactions and she “Recommend(s) to book clubs who’d like an animated discussion!

I think this might be our best book club book discussion yet this year, based on the reviews I have read.  I heartily recommend you click the links above if you are interested in this story.

 

“Birds keep chirping and music keeps playing. Life continues as another life ebbs away.

We have seen death before, Marnie and I, a mountain of ice melting over time, drops of water freezing at your core reminding you every day of that which has vanished, but the despair we know today is a sadness sailing sorrow through every bone and knuckle.”

 

fourpie

* And then I remembered that this blog is supposed to be FUN.

 

 

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Radleys

Thoughts tradbymh The Radleys  by Matt Haig, Free Press 2010, 285 pages, eBook/Kindle

“Irresistible… Full of clever turns… darkly hilarious spins… Even if you’re suffering from vampire fatigue, you’ll find The Radleys is a fun, fresh contribution to the genre.”   — Associated Press

Nancy the BookFool told me about this one. She tells me about a lot of great books but sometimes the stars align and I immediately get a book in my hands and read it before I really even know what its about. I obviously missed something here. Or my memory got wiped clean along the way. I think I downloaded because I recognized the author name from Twitter. I had ZERO idea this was about vampires until I was a page or two into it.

Guess that doesn’t say much about my discernment skills but might say a whole bunch about the persuasion powers of the Fool. (OK, I will tell you what happened. I saw her review, read the title of it and that Matt Haig wrote it and so I immediately went to goodreads or maybe even Amazon and bought it. I never read Nancy’s thoughts until just before writing this post. Though, I must have seen that she didn’t hate it? Hmmm. Anyway…)

A family drama, a romance or two. Bad choices (on the part of the adults) and lots of well-done teenage angst about deciding “who am I?”  I loved the thoughts of the kids but not so much the mother. I didn’t ‘get’ her and her motivations. I did like the dad. Full of humor and fast-paced plotting. I recommend for a fun quick read.

BUT THE KICKER!??!  I swear this is set in the very same spot in England that Georgette Heyer’s Venetia was set!  So that was just… ODD. And somewhat disorienting. And cool – I love the coincidences that pop up between book choices.

Do you like the cover? I do. Which I never really looked at until I finished because it was an eBook. Another quibble I have about eBooks – they hide the copyright page.

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Copyright © 2007-2014. Care’s Online Book Club. All rights reserved. This post was originally posted by Care from Care’s Online Book Club.  It should not be reproduced without express written permission.

I prefer pi.

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