Saturday, October 9, 2010

October 9, 2010-Dewey Read-A-Thon

Well, today is the Dewey Read-A-Thon hosted at
It's currently hour 7 and I have read two books so far. I will be doing a final post sometime tomorrow with lists on both of my blogs.

Good luck and Good Reading to anyone else who is participating and now, back to reading!!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

The rumors of my demise have been greatly exagerated!

Hello everyone,

Well, it has been some time hasn't it? Let's just say that life got interesting (family, teeth (yuck), etc.) for a few weeks and then school started and this semester is INTENSE (work wise). I think I have all my ducks in a row now and will be back in earnest next week.

Most of my postings will be to my other blog as I have been reading Advance Reading Copies of books that I have received (sadly, I'm way behind on them also). I plan on reading an ARC and then a 1001 book, so you should see something from me in this blog next week.

If anyone is interested the classes which are eating most of my time right now are:

Beginning Classification: Not just learning how to list books,but learning the language of classification, yikes! Actually, it's not that hard, just a little scary.

Information Literacy: This highly debated topic (just what is "literacy"?) is actually very interesting and the class delves into the topic of how to teach the art of searching and other basic computer/information tools to others.

Children's Literature, ages 5 to 8: I LOVE this class as it looks at the psychological and sociological issues surrounding children's lit. Very interesting.

I am going to be lazy and basically use the same post for both of my blogs. So you don't have to look in two places today. Any future posts will be blog specific. I hope all of my readers had a great Summer and are enjoying the coming Fall!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 20, 2010

HEART OF DARKNESS by Joseph Conrad
This is the tale of Charles Marlowe, who is currently working as a ferryboat captain in the depths of Africa. The story of Marlowe's attempt to get Kurtz, an ivory trader, back to the mainland is told by an unnamed narrator to other's on a journey into the 'heart of darkness' that is the African Congo.

I have another reading group blog which has been going over the pros and cons of this book for quite a while. It appears that there are those who think it could easily be one of the top ten books every written, others think it doesn't even belong on a 'list'. I have to admit that I am with the latter group. While I can see the 'coming of age' 'cautionary tale' draw that this story could hold, I just didn't think I could 'feel' the point. It may be a girl/guy thing as the majority of people I have spoken to who like this book happen to be male. Maybe it is the arc of falling into degradation that I don't like. I like cautionary tales to have a point and I honestly saw none within this story. One of the lines for which this book is most remembered aptly sums up my final impression as I finished; "The horror! The horror!".

If you have read this tale and believe my review to be out of line, please post a reply as I would like to know what people who love this story have to say.

I also reread a tale that I loved.

This iconic story of man wanting to be God. Tells that tale of a shipwrecked Englishman, Edward Prendick, who finds himself lost in a world of rewritten beings of Dr. Moreau's medicine.

Written within the times of anti-vivisection leagues and Darwinism's beginnings this book is another cautionary tale, albeit one with strong moral implications. The very idea of changing beings to fit ones own needs is extremely scary, especially today when the change to 'make the perfect baby' actually exists. I think this tale still speaks loudly today as a warning that we should not mess with what already exists. As an aside, I am not a very religious person, so God does not play a big part in my conclusion, I think that humans believe they are much bigger and better than they actually might be and messing around with mother nature is not a very good idea.

Well, I am off to Comic Con tomorrow and will be posting updates daily (if I'm not too exhausted) of what I see as far as literature is concerned in my "other books" blog. I also have a few advance reading copies of books to read and review which should show up in the next week or so.

Until next time, Good Night and Good Reading!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

July 3, 2010

SLOW MAN by J.M.Coetzee
Paul Rayment is a man who likes to live on his own and get around town by himself on his trusty bicycle. That all changes one day when someone hit him while he is riding and he loses a leg. After the accident he is assigned a nurse, Marijana (who's name caused my much grief as it slowed me down every time I read it, trying NOT to say Marijuana in my head)who brings new meaning to Paul's life and helps him learn to live and love again.

Coetzee also adds a character from one of his other novels, Elizabeth Costello, who plays a vital role in Paul's rebirth.

I had read SLOW MAN before and I have to admit that I liked it better the second time through. This is actually a sort of 'coming of age' story for those of us no longer in out teens. It proves that even those who are very stuck in their ways, can change even when life is at least 1/2 over.

All of the other books I have read are not on 'the list' and can be found on my other blog. I think I become a sort of slow woman during the summer, what with the heat and all, but I am going to head towards air-conditioned environments so that I can get back into my reading.

This brings me to:

25 books read
976 to go!

Until next time, Good Night and Good Reading!

Friday, July 2, 2010

July 2, 2010

OK, I could give a long drawn out explanation as to my absence for the past couple of weeks...let's just say life has gotten "interesting". My husband has had a new job that has him on the computer all the time, but I should be able to get more than a couple of minutes tomorrow and promise to post all my new reads.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

June 24, 2010

Yes, I am still alive and reading. This week has been very busy and now I am in the midst of a 24 hour read-a-thon! I will have quite a few books to post tomorrow evening.

Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010

MIDDLESEX by Jeffrey Eugenides
Calliope (or Cal as 'he' now is known) was born and raised as a girl. Then suddenly something started to grow down below and Calliope realized something was very wrong. A story covers three generations, starting with Calliope's grandparents (who also happen to be brother and sister) who flee Smyrna, during a Turkish invasion, to America where they settle in Detroit and start a new life as husband and wife.

This wonderfully crafted story delves into many 'human' issues including who and why we love along with the great "Nature vs. Nuture" debate. The subject matter may be hard for some to swollow, but as someone who has known a hermaphordite this tale is told with honesty concerning what it means to be 'different'. Of the books I have read so far on this list I would have to say it is in my top five.

I am off to read a couple of 'non-list' books as they have holds and are due tomorrow. Normally, I would just check them back in and request them again, but both are titles I have been looking forward to reading: THE IMPERFECTIONISTS by Tom Rachman which has been getting very good buzz all over the web and Julia's KITCHEN WISDOM: ESSENTIAL TECHNIQUES AND RECIPES FROM A LIFETIME OF COOKING by Julia Child, what can I say, I have become a Julia fan ever since reading Julie and Julia! My reviews on both of these will post tomorrow on my other blog and then I'll be back for more '1001' reading!

So far: 24 Books Read
977 To Go!

Until next time, Good Night and Good Reading!

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 14, 2010

CITY OF GOD by E.L. Doctorow
This 'story' start with a bang, the big bang, and goes on to try to cover and novelist's return to writing, a Holocaust survivor's story, and a mystery involving thefts in a church and synagogue. If it sounds convoluted, it is and I wish I could say that the writer was able to mix all of these stories into an interesting read...he didn't. I hate to say it, but after reading the novel I couldn't really remember all of the details. I think there was too much going on and not enough of any one story to make the entire novel cohesive. I really do not know why this one is on "the list". I guess some might find the fragmentary style interesting, I just found it irritating.

23 Books Read
978 To Go!

Until next time, Good Night and Good Reading!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

June 9, 2010

THE LIFE OF PI by Yann Martell
Pi is a young boy living in India, while not being harassed at school he spends his free time in the zoo his father owns. Pi's father says he was born Hindi, but follows no structured religion, so Pi goes in search of enlightenment and finds things he like in Christianity, Hindu, and the Muslim faiths and joins them all. This brings trouble when all of the religious leaders wind up at Pi's house to tell his parent was a good (Christian, Muslim, and Hindi) he is. Pi sees no trouble in blending the faiths to seek enlightenment, but that is only the beginning of this wonderfully told "journey" tale. It is when Pi winds up shipwrecked on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger as his only companion that the story really starts.

I thoroughly enjoyed this tale which is along the lines of Homer's Odyssey in it's scope and weirdness. There are twists and turns that I never expected and that is hard to do with me. I loved the fact that Pi was able to see the good in many faiths and had no trouble aligning himself to those parts that spoke to his belief system. The tale of his 277 day journey on the lifeboat/raft is intriguing and almost impossible to describe. If you have not read Life of Pi, put it on your TBR pile!

I may be away from this blog for a couple of days while I read some books that are due back in the library due to holds, but I will be posting my musings on my other blog.

22 Books Read
979 to go!

Until next time, Good Night and Good Reading!

Monday, June 7, 2010

June 7, 2010

I have just posted my review of Hidden Wives on my other site
it was a page turner and if you are at all interested in what goes on behind the closed gates of fundamentalist societies this is the book for you.

I'm off to start on Life of Pi which I have wanted to read for some time, but just never got around to it.

Until next time, Good Night and Good Reading!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

June 6, 2010

THE SEA by John Banville

This is the story of a man who has just lost his wife to cancer. He returns to the seaside village that he visited as a young boy and thought of his first romance fill his mind. The story jumps from the past to the future and shows how we both grow and stay the same when it comes to love.

I have to admit that this is probably one of my least favorite reads so far. I cannot really put my finger on the reason why as the story held my interest, but for a book under 200 pages to take me over four days to read there has to be something missing. I think it was the characters, I just didn't connect to any of them, male or female. I guess it could just be the author, as thinking to my review of his other book, THE SHROUD, I also had trouble being connected to the characters.

I am currently reading a copy of a new book, HIDDEN WIVES by Claire Avery, which I received from the author. My comments will be up on my other blog in the next day or so. I am really enjoying this novel which looks at the lives of two young sisters in a fundamentalist religious community.

21 Books Read
980 to go!

I will be back soon with another "1001" book, until then...

Good Night and Good Reading!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

June 5, 2010

I know it's been a few days since I have posted. I do have a book read from "the list", but with some overdue gardening and moving into my new space at the Antique Mall I have been exhausted and my back is not doing that great. I will post (hopefully later tonight) about my new read.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

May 30, 2010

THE MALTESE FALCON by Dashiell Hammett

This is the book that wrote the rules for the hard-boiled detective and the women that surround him. I have read quite a few "noir" type mysteries, but I will admit that I enjoyed this one more than most. Hammett's descriptions are juicy and rich and his character's are alive on the page. I would recommend this to anyone wanting to try out the genre as it is a classic. I will say that the mystery itself was not that interesting "in my opinion" but I wanted to know where the characters were going in the story and that kept me reading.

I managed to get started in my new space and now I can focus on reading a bit more than I was able to last week. Next I am going to read an advance reading copy that I got through Book Browse. My review will be on my other blog if you are interested. I will be back in a couple days with my next "1001" book.

20 Books Read
981 to go!!

Until then, Good Night and Good Reading!

Monday, May 24, 2010

May 24, 2010

The last couple of days have been a bit of a blur (without much reading, sign), but I am very excited... My hubby Jeff and I went to Carlsbad on Saturday to check out a used book store (Fahrenheit 451--check it out if you are in the area, great selection of used books) and while we were in "The Village" we stopped by our favorite Antique Mall (Carlsbad Village Art & Antique Mall) and saw a sign that they had dealer spaces available and we signed up!

I haven't really posted about it, but I sell books online and at SF Conventions (Pulps, SF, Horror, Mystery, and TV/Movie Tie-Ins mostly) and I have been wanting to go "brick & mortar" for some time now, but didn't want to invest the amount of time necessary for a store of my own with my MLIS in progress. This is going to be great because all I have to do is set up shop and they (the mall) does all the rest of the work. It's a little drive from where I live, but I love Carlsbad Village and this will give me an excuse to go there a couple of times a month. I also used to sell movie posters and other memorabilia, but my stuff has been languishing in storage and now it will see the light of day again. Anyway, the last couple of days I have been furiously working on my stock to get it ready for the "store" and haven't been reading much. Once this weekend is over everything should be in order and I will be back to reading.

Until next time, Good Night and Good reading!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

May 22, 2010


Foer tells the story of a fictional Jonathan who, with only a beaten up old photograph of his grandmother, tries to find the history of his family, most of whom perished in the Holocaust. Jonathan travels to the Ukraine and with the aid of Alexander, a young Ukraine who's English leaves much to be desired, begins the journey that will open up both his and Alexander's hearts and eyes.

Interspersed between the journey tale, is the story of Jonathan's ancestry. The magical realism here is very thick at times, but beautifully (and sometimes dirty and graphically) told.

I found this novel to be one that I often wanted to put down, but couldn't. I know that sounds bad, but in the end, my journey, like Jonathan's and Alexander's, was worth it.

As an aside, it was a lovely late Spring day yesterday, so I decided to head to La Jolla in the afternoon to read. As I lay on the grass with the Torry Pines as shade, I suddenly heard a rustling next to me. I turned and about a foot away was a seagull just staring at me. I dubbed him Harry and he stayed next to me for almost the full time I was at the cove. This added my own brand of "magical realism" to my reading experience.

So far, 19 Books Read
982 To Go

Until next time, Good Morning and Good Reading!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

May 20, 2010

No new books for this blog tonight. I am planning on going back and forth with books on "the list" to ones that are on my "to be read" list.

So I will be blogging away on my other site tonight. Take a look if you are interested. Should have another 1001 book to post about tomorrow.

Good Night and Good Reading!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

May 19, 2010

Migraine's gone and I finally finished another book on the list!

THE RED QUEEN by Margaret Drabble

There are two stories in this novel. The first half tells the tale of 18th Century Korean Princess Hyegyong who is betrothed to Prince Sado who turns out to be not only manic depressive, but a little insane. It is a little confusing as the Princess is telling her tale after her death (the author never really explains how).

The second half follows the story of Dr. Barbara Halliwell who is headed to modern South Korea for a conference. Before her trip she receives a package from containing Princess Hyegyong's memoir, which she did not order. She reads the story on the plane to Korea and then meets up with two men who accompany her on a journey to visit the palace where the Princess lived.

There are some connections between the two tales via the Princess' spirit/ghost which has "chosen" Dr. Halliwell to make her story known.

All in all, I enjoyed the second half much more than the first and wish that the first half had been much shorter. The author writes in a foreword that she is not a historian, so she shouldn't be judged as such, which I think is a cop-out.

Although I really cannot recommend this novel, I will admit that it made me want to read more about Korea and Confucianism as there were aspects of the story which made me want to know more about the country and its beliefs.

18 books (This one and Fingersmith added) read
983 to go

Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

May 18, 2010

Hi all,

Well, my first day of "summer" and I wake up with a migraine. I should have known as they tend to hit right after a lot of stress. So, I am still working on my next book, but promise that I will have it done and will post about it tomorrow.

I keep forgetting to mention this, but I had a very cool experience the other day.

I was heading to a restaurant when I saw a woman in a wheelchair in the street on the other side of the road with a German Shepherd excitedly pulling at a leash attached to the chair. I thought the dog was not a very good "helper", but as soon as the dog got her onto the sidewalk he immediately calmed down and walked straight ahead as if nothing was wrong.

I think we sometimes, underestimate the intelligence of our four-legged friends. I thought the dog was not doing his job, but that was exactly what he was doing. I wish I had some two-legged friends I could count on as much. I you have a "furry one" around your house, go and give him or her a hug!

Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

May 17, 2010

SCHOOL'S OUT FOR SUMMER!!!! I just finished my final paper about two hours ago and headed and was feeling a little stressed. So we headed out to Home Town Buffet and to my favorite de-stressing spot...Barnes & Noble!!! Only bought one book as I know I have much patiently waiting here at home to be read.

I am hoping to finish the one books on "the list" that I have slowly been completing while trying to finish up my school work. I think I will go to Balboa Park tomorrow (it's free museum Tuesday) and then lay out in the sun and read.

Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

May 11, 2010

I am finally back, but still finalizing both my final exam for one course and a research paper for another. If I don't blog for a few days, please keep coming back as I will be reading up a storm come next week.

Yesterday was fun for a little while as I suprised my monther with a birthday party in the senior center where she spends most weekdays. She turned 85 and was very proud of it. Everyone at the center said she was really down for most of the morning as she thought noone had remembered. Once the cake arrived, she was her bubbily self and very happy.

I actually did finish a book (I had to as there was a hold and I couldn't renew it).

FINGERSMITH by Sarah Waters is the tale of two young girls in Victorian England. The novel twist and turns, taking not only the character's, but also the reader on a roller-coaster of shifting truths so that nothing is as it seems. I love Victorian literature and the prose of Ms. Waters rings like something out of Dickens or Austin. Don't be afraid, there are also some very 21st Century themes which are very suprising in this tale of lies and deceipts. I highly reccomend this novel.

Well, I am back to finishing off my research and writing.

Until next time, Good Afternoon and Good Reading!

Friday, May 7, 2010

May 7, 2010

Sorry to say I don't have that much to report reading-wise as I just finished the assignment I have been slogging through for the past couple of weeks. Now all I have is a presentation tomorrow, a final exam, and a paper and I'll be able to devote quite a bit of time to books.

I actually made some time late last night to go see The Runaways which is the story of the first all-girl rock band in the 80's by the same name which Joan Jett got together. It was pretty good, I liked the music, but I really find it hard seeing these child actors grow up on screen (Dakota Fanning played the bands lead singer, Cherrie Curry). I hope she goes on to have a long career as she has always been a fine actress. Kristen Stewart was her normal, morbid, depressed self (sorry Twilight fans), but still put out a good performance as Joan Jett. I figure this will be on video soon and it's worth checking out.

So, tomorrow I plan on taking a 1/2 day off of study to read and should be reporting a new finished title.

Until then...Good Night and Good Reading!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

May 4, 2010

Sorry I haven't been around for a couple of days, but this assignment for my Information Retrieval class is driving me crazy. It's not that it is that difficult (although parts are), it's just so much in one package. Luckily I have my group of classmates to meet with and commisurate with on our progress.

I am reading, just not very quickly, and I should have a book to review in the next day or so.

Until next time, Good Night and Good Reading!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May 1, 2010

Happy May Day one and all! I am glad to report that I have finally recovered from my reading migraine and am ready to tell you about the books that gave me all the pain!

I started out with THE LIGHT OF DAY by Graham Swift which details a day in the life of a retired police detective turned private eye. I hate to say that it took a lot of resolve on my part to keep reading this novel as it was difficult to keep track of whether the action was current day or in the memories of the protagonist. I really did not like any of the characters and was glad when it was over. Oh well, I guess you can't like them all!

I then read FURY by Salman Rushdie. I have to admit that I have never read a Rushdie book, fiction or non-fiction, but after this novel I will definitely check them out. This tells the story of Malik Solanka who sees the base of all emotions in life as linked to fury. He believes that everything we do is because we have this hidden rage inside seeking its release. The story revolves around Malik's relationships with two women and how they alter his road in life. Replete with popular homages, many to Star Wars, this is a black-comedic novel with a heart.

The next book I read was THE SHROUD by John Banville. This tale revolves around Axel Vander, a life-long liar, who meet a young girl who threatens to reveal a lie that could change the rest his life. Axel is an old man, blind in one eye and has a leg that is almost useless. He takes the girl who he calls "Miss Nemesis" into his life and becomes emotionally involved. The girl changes how he see life and grow herself in the process. The novel is at times a bit slow, but overall I can see why it made the list as it shows how we are never too old to learn.

My next novel was IN THE FOREST by Edna O'Brien, a murder mystery set in the Irish countryside. A murdered, released from prison, returns to his home town to kill again for his own misguided reasons. The mystery is not the lead player in this novel, but the town folk and the town itself, who are lovingly depicted by Ms. O'Brien. I don't know if this story really belong on this type of list, but it was very well written.

I finished my "day" with THE MASTER by Colm Toibin. This novel is in the vein of THE HOURS in that it depicts the life of Henry James in a fictional setting. I would recommend that if you have not read any Henry James, do so first and then read this story as some of its intricacies will make more sense. I have read James and loved this fictional look at the man behind the stories.

If you want to read my final review of THE HUNGER GAMES go to my other blog at:

Well, what with the read-a-thon and my migraine I am painfully behind in one of my final assignments so I guess the next few days will be spent catching up. I do hope to read and will post as I can.

So far,
16 books read
985 to go

Until next time, Good Night and Good Reading!

Friday, April 30, 2010

April 30, 2010---Post Read-A-Thon PAIN!!

OK, so I stayed up all night reading and now I have a MIGRAINE!

I finished six books total, five of which are from "the list" as I want to give them the credit they deserve I will crawl back to be right now and post as soon as my head stops pounding. Oh the things we biblioholics endure for the love of books!

Full reviews and Read-A-Thon notes tomorrow.

Good Night and Good Reading!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Reading, reading, reading!!!

About 11 hours into my read-a-thon and have finished three books. I'll be posting review both on this blog and my other one tomorrow. I am hoping to finish about 7-8, so it's back to the books!

Good Night and Good Reading!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April 28, 2010

Yet another day of no reading, sigh.

I did manage to get my video presentation edited down for my final project in one class though. I also met with a group from another class to go over the "subject analysis" assignment that is currently eating my brain. I always thought that I would be a great indexer as I am soooo organized, but this class is making me feel pretty slow. I am so glad I have these computer friends to meet with, because even if we're still pretty confused after our meet-ups, at least we know we are not alone!

Tomorrow I have to really get going on it first thing in the morning as my 24 hour read-a-thon starts at noon! I hope to get quite a few books read, but my class will have to come first, wish me luck.

Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

April 27, 2010

Not much to report for today, except that I got full credit on my video final project, YAY!! I also wrote a review of the American Library Association for a class. Now all I have to do in the next couple of weeks is finish my final paper and a classification assignment which is driving me crazy. I thought this type of assignment would be easy, but it actually is very complicated.

I finished the YA novel I was reading and its review is on my other blog if you are interested. I'm taking a bit of a breather before Thursday when I have a 24 Read-A-Thon scheduled through a group I belong to on Good Reads. If you haven't checked out Good Reads yet, you really should, but beware, it will absorb quite a bit of your time.

I have been looking at other people's blogs and I see that mine is lacking in the bling category. I plan on figuring out how to add photos and other info once the semester is over so I can spiff up my site. Hey look, I figured out how to do it, guess I'm not that confused after all.

Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

April 25, 2010

I actually took a day of rest today and went out and about to a few stores as my husband and I are thinking about doing some camping this summer and need all of the associated gear. After we got home I crashed for a little while and have been absorbed with YouTube for the past couple of hours. I never should get on that site, because I start searching and the next time I look at the clock a couple of hours have passed!

I am in the middle of a YA novel by one of the author's at my Volunteer Breakfast on Friday. I will be posting on my other blog once I'm finished and will then return to my 1001 quest. Now, I really need to get some school work done.

Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

April 24, 2010

This post is going to be a short one as my brain is sore from finishing my final video project for one of my classes.

I finished THE STORY OF LUCY GAULT by William Trevor this morning. It is the story of an Irish lass in the 1920's who does not want to move from her seaside home and runs away. Lucy's one act of rebellion changes the course of many people's lives. I was surprised when I saw the photo of Trevor on the back cover as he looked like a wizend, Irish fisherman and his romantic sections were very sentimental, in fact, almost sappy. Guess that proves, you really cannot judge a book by it's cover.

This brings me to:

990 TO GO

Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!

Friday, April 23, 2010

April 23, 2010

I will be very glad when the semester is over. Don't get me wrong, I love my classes, but it seems like everything was plopped into the final few weeks.

I have also found that editing a video is not as easy as it sounds. I does get to be fun once you get the hang on it though. I did one other video for a class called The Biology of Sex. For the extra credit assignment you had to pick a certain story about an animal's sexual behavior. I wound up with the African Elephant and made a sort of Mutual of Omaha video with me "travelling" to Africa (actually the San Diego Zoo) to explain the "biology" first-hand. This video is a little duller, but I am managing to get in a few funny spots to break the tension.

I also attended the Library Volunteer's Breakfast today. There were four YA novelists who spoke about their books and how they became writers. All of the ladies were interesting and funny. A local bookstore had copies of their books available for purchase and signing and of course I had to buy a few. I decided to start a new blog about the other books I read. I am very eclectic, but I have recently become obsessed with YA novels. I only wish they had been around when I was a teenager, sigh!

Amidst all this I was able to finish another book, GABRIEL'S GIFT by Hanif Kureishi, which tells the story of a young boy (Gabriel) in England who lives on the wrong side of the tracks and is trying to deal with his parent's break-up. The characters are not like your average protagonists, in fact, there are very few to like. Gabriel is a bit of a brat, his father is a low-life, and his mother is a drunk. What makes this novel unique is that, by the end of the book, the characters grow and change and you actually do care about what happens them. I don't know if I would recommend this novel as it is definitely not for everyone, but I can understand why it is on the list.

991 TO GO

Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

April 21, 2010

A very happy Spring morning to all. It's funny because while the week leading up to today has been warm and sunny, today is blustery and rainy. I love California weather!

The book finished for today is THE LAMBS OF LONDON by Peter Ackroyd. It tells the fictionalised story (based upon true event) of deception revolving around Shakespeare and a descent to madness in Victorian England. At first I thought the story was a bit dull, but as I read I found it to grow to quite a tight and entertaining mystery. If you know the history, the facts will be plain, but Ackroyd's prose makes this novel well worth the read. It has also lead me to want to read Ackroyd's biography of Shakespeare which tells the true tale.

I have so much to do this week that I am glad the weather is so gloomy. On my todo list is a final Classification list of terms, an answer to an essay question, a review of a peer, a Professional Association review, and some editing of a final project video. Who says a librarian's job is merely to "Shush!" customers and shelve books?

I also hope to start another of the 1001 books, so no more time to talk, until tomorrow...

992 TO GO

Good Morning and Good Reading!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

April 20, 2010

The last couple of days have been a blur as I finish some class assignments. I didn't post on Sunday figuring that I could just catch up on Monday, but then I had a long day of work and decided to just lay down for a little while last night and did not wake up until this morning. Oh well, ces't la vie!

Anyway, I haven't read too much in the last couple of days blogwise, but I did manage to finish YOUTH by J.M. Coetzee. I have read this author before and while I like his style, I am not in love with his stories. This one was a coming of age story of a young man from South Africa (apparently it is a continuation of BOYHOOD). I found the protagonist to be a little too chauvinistic for my taste. I liked the fact that he wanted to be an "artist", learning all there was to know about poetry and art, but I did not like his attitude that the only art comes from certain place. I guess that was what Coetzee was trying to show in his character's youth, but it just did not play well with me. Coetzee is a fine author, that puts the reader into his character's minds and lives, I guess I just didn't want to be in this particular life.

I will strive to keep up with my daily posts from now on, but with the last couple weeks of the semester ahead, I may lose a day or so here and there.

993 TO GO

Until tomorrow, Good Day and Good Reading!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

April 17, 2010

Ever have one of those wasted days? One where you have so many things planned and you somehow manage to get nothing done? Well, today was one of those for me. I started many projects, but everything seemed to fall apart.

The one thing I did manage to finish was my book for the day. Actually, it was my "fallback" so to speak after everything I tried to finish failed.

I think I may have been a little premature in saying that UNLESS by Carol Shields was not up to par to her Pulitzer novel. For now that I have completed it, there are many little turns of phrases that remain, which doesn't that often give how much I read. One comment that the protagonist makes:

"Novels help us turn down the volume of our own interior 'discourse', but unless they can provide an alternative, hopeful, course, they're just so much narrative crumble." (1st edition HB, 148-149)

This sentence spoke to me, especially given the day I had just endured, and I dwelt upon it for some time. I read so much, what is it that I am trying to "tune out" and I came to the conclusion that books, be they novels or non-fiction, take me away from the daily grind that is life and lead me to a place where they are all that matters. I am the type of person whose mind is constantly running in many directions at once, reading slows that down for me and becomes a sort of meditation where I only have to think about what I am reading for the time being. I don't now if I agree completely with the end of the quote because I am happy, most of the time, even after reading books that are mere "narrative crumble", sometimes that crumble is just what a reader needs to relax.

Oh well, enough of the waxing philosophical. UNLESS tells the story of a writer who is writing a light comedy novel and her qualms and joys in doing the deed. It also follows the story of Reta Winters, her husband and three daughters, one of which has become homeless on purpose. The story also speaks to the acceptance of women. This may seem like a fluffy read, but in Shields' capable hands the story reads more like poetry than prose. Although she does wrap things up in a little too tight a bow at the end, I still was happy with the read.


Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!

Friday, April 16, 2010

April 16, 2010

After staying up very late into the morning, I woke up bright and early today with another headache, but by 11am I was much better and I managed to slog through my "Professional Resume" for my Management class.

I really thought this was going to be one of the easiest assignments. I mean I've written resumes before, but they were always for my previous life as an Auto Claims Adjuster (yuck). I started to write and hit a blank as I have very little experience in actual library jobs and I had to find things that I have done that would make me a viable candidate. All told it took me about 2 1/2 hrs to finish the job and then I had to get ready to make my weekly visit to mom.

We went out for Thai food and while I came home very happy in my tummy, I was too tired to finish the next book I am reading.

I am about 1/2 through UNLESS by Carol Shields, a happier read than the ones in the past couple of days. I was really looking forward to this one as I LOVE Shields' Pulitzer Prize Novel-THE STONE DIARIES which is also on the list. While I am liking this one, I am not enjoying it as much as I had expected, but I will wait until the end to give a final verdict.

By the way, if anyone is wondering how I am getting through these novels so fast, it is because I have happened upon some shorter novels. I don't think I will be quite as fast when Dickens and Tolstoy rolls around.

Until tomorrow, Good Night and Good Reading!

A little delay due to Netflix Upgrade, April 15, 2010

I received an email earlier this week that Netflix is now connected to WII for their down streaming movies and I decided to sign on. Unfortunately, yesterday as we tried to hook it up our router crashed (not sure if that's the right term) and I had no access to the Internet until this evening. It was worth it because we now have the streaming movies and TV programs in both the living room and bedroom! I love this program and highly recommend it as it is like having a video store in your home. Boy, I sound like a commercial.

Anyhow, I managed to get through two books in the last couple of days. I finished IN COLD BLOOD by Truman Capote on the 13th and was actually surprised that I liked it. I have thought about reading this story for quite a while, but since I generally don't like "real crime" novels I have put it off. I found Capote's writing to be very engaging. The story read like a novel, not true-crime, although I guess someone who likes that form of writing would enjoy this as it followed the story of two thugs who kill a family of 4 in a small Kansas town in 1959.

Capote actually is thought to have created this form of "novelistic journalism" and is a master at the job. He manages to work the minute details that make up a crime investigation into an interesting story that follows the details from the day before the murders to the ultimate end of the criminals. The gory details are there, but they are written with much respect and little actual gore. I highly recommend this novel.

On April 15 I re-read THE CURIOUS INCIDENT OF THE DOG IN THE NIGHT-TIME by Mark Haddon. I first read this story last year and it lost none of its charm in this reading. The story revolves around a young autistic boy who is obsessed with "maths" and his efforts to solve the mystery of a neighbor's dog who is killed by what he calls a gardening fork. I enjoyed the way Haddon gave this autistic child life and made the reader look differently at someone who they may have turned away from in real life. This book definitely fits within the 1001 as it makes a hero out of a character who would have been sideline at best in most novels.

Well, I have a resume to finish along with a peer review to complete for one of may classes. To say nothing of the research I need to do for a term paper in another one and the beginning of a video for a third. Yikes, this all has to be done in three weeks, but I'm doing very well so far, so I am not too afraid. Wish we luck!

I hope to find a short novel to read today so that I can keep up with this blog also. So I will check in tonight with my progress.

6 books read
995 to go

Until then, Good Night and Good Reading!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

April 13, 2010

I'm actually posting this a little late, but I couldn't get my husband off the computer. I guess he's brushing up on his PhotoShop skills and was completely engrossed in a tutorial.

I finished THE COLLECTOR by John Fowles today. I enjoyed this one very much as it not only looked into the mind of the "collector", but also the "collected" girl. The author writes from the 'collectors' viewpoint for the first portion of the story, then retells it again in the second section from the 'collected' girl's point of view. Then the third section is the finale, so to speak. It was an interesting way to present this type of story and, as I posted before, this novel is considered the first modern psychological thriller.

Fowles makes the reader go from liking to disliking both the collector and the girl which is something I enjoy in a story like this. It has echoes of Silence of the Lambs along with some hints of Stephen King's Misery. Another recommended read!

Well, I'm off to bed now. I wish I could say that I was reading some "nicer" material next, but IN COLD BLOOD is calling to me. Scary huh?

4 books read
997 to go

Good Night and Good Reading!

Monday, April 12, 2010

April 12, 2010

Hi anyone who's listening! Well, not much "fun" reading today and my migraine reared its ugly head for most of the morning and I then had two assignments I had to complete for my classes.

I am about half-way through THE COLLECTOR and all I can say is WOW! I find it amazing that this was written back in the 60's when there was hardly any news about this type of person in the media. I'll give a full review when I finish the book (and I will) tomorrow.

Until then, Good Night and Good Reading!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

April 11, 2010

It's day four and I spent most of it in bed trying to beat a sick migraine. I hate these things which I inherited from my mother. Luckily, hers ended when she hit menopause, so I have that to look forward to.

Didn't get any reading or studying done today, but that won't stop me as I am headed out to my trusty SDSU library for a few hours of late night research. I actually did get started on another novel last night, THE COLLECTOR by John Fowles which is supposed to be the first modern "psychological thriller novel". I am about 50 pages in and it does not disappoint as it reminds me of Silence of the Lambs in London.

I'll report on the rest of the story tomorrow.

For now, Good Night and Good Reading!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

A lazy Saturday...

I actually spent most of today catching up on my DVR programs and reading as my husband was fighting a headache most of the day and we couldn't do the reorganization we had planned. I love days like this while they are happening, but when the day is done and I look around at what I didn't do it makes me irritated. Luckily, there is always tomorrow, to quote a certain southern belle.

I have two books to add to my finished list and I thoroughly enjoyed them both.

First I read THE PRIME OF MISS JEAN BRODIE by Muriel Spark. Having seen and enjoyed the movie many times I was really looking forward to reading what the movie had left out. I was not disappointed. Sparks is able to breathe life and spunk into this wonderful woman who in her prime saw as her main goal to make her "girls" the best they could be.

I wish that I had had a teacher like Miss Brodie growing up who thought about what there was to living life after school, rather than just learning through books. I did have one teacher, Annie Krill, who taught acting through the Old Globe ROP program here in San Diego, who was probably closest to Miss Brodie in teaching style and class. I loved the way she made us feel like we were already adults and ready to take on the world. Just as Miss Brodie saw her girls as the "creme de la creme," Annie Krill made us believe that we could do anything we set our hearts to.

I then picked up a decidedly darker book: A DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH by Alexander Solzhenitsyn which is as it title suggest an actual day in the life of a prisoner, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, in a gulag in Stalinist Russia. Known to his wardens as S-854 Ivan lives a bleak day of gruelling cold, little food, and hard labor. Given the content one would think that is would be a boring read, unless there was lots of action, there wasn't, but I found that only a small portion which detailed the building of a wall with mortar dragged a bit. The rest of this short novel was a very interesting look into the life of someone who was serving a ten year sentence for a crime he didn't really commit.

As a side note, this particular book is better read in one or two sittings as it is like a single day diary with no chapter breaks. Being a mere 159 pages this is not too difficult to do.

Well, that's it for today. I have to do some research and study tomorrow, so I don't know if I will complete any books, but I will definitely check in with my status.

So I've read three books with only 998 to go!

Good Night and Good Reading!

Friday, April 9, 2010

One down a thousand to go...

I was able to get through NORTHANGER ABBEY by Jane Austin in one night, which is my normal reading speed (about a book a day). I loved getting back to language that takes an entire paragraph to discuss the weather that morning. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but it sure is mine.

I have always loved this story as it shows what Austin was like in her beginning days. All of the talk about novels and women and trying to make it look like what she was doing had meaning. It is sad to think that she never really knew exactly how a large a literary figure she would become, and with only six books. Actually, I believe they have found a seventh, but I haven't read it yet.

I think I will read a newer novel next, but not sure what. Tune in tomorrow and I'll tell you what I decided upon. As for now...

Good Night and Good Reading!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day One, let's get reading

Well here we go, I've got a meeting for one of my MLIS classes tonight and I bet I will be very frustrated afterwards, so I will begin with one my favorite classic authors, Jane Austin, and her shortest tale NORTHANGER ABBEY.

I guess a description of what an MLIS actually is might be in order. It is a Masters of Library and Information Science. A big title for librarian...yes you do need a Master's degree in order to be a full-fledged librarian. That is because, as I am painfully finding out, a librarian's job is not just to shush patrons and shelve books. No, today a librarian must be on the cutting edge of research technology, has to be able to catalog and index book and journals (not as easy as it sounds) and he or she has to manage library staff. I am currently pulling my hair out with three courses (not for the weak of heart) Info & Society (a history of library science), Info Retrieval (a database design course which is currently making me cross-eyed) and Info Organization & Management (a class looking at how documents are made findable within a database).

I am going to try to post every morning with what I have read the previous day and an account of where I am in my quest. I decided at this point not to set a time goal for finishing, but I would like to be almost done by the time I finish my degree in two years.

Good Afternoon and Good Reading!!