Monthly Archives: August 2013

Plan of Attack…

Alright, fellow readers – tomorrow officially starts our 52 books in 52 weeks challenge with Ender’s Game! I hope you’re all as ready as I am.

I’m holding this book in my hands thinking, “This isn’t too thick. I can handle this in a week.” Then I think, “AHHH! Between full-time classes, juggling toddlers, and all the appointments and plans we have this week, HOW am I going to get this book done?! I’ve made promises I cannot keep!” To keep myself sane, I’ve decided to take a leaf out of Ender’s book (not literally, because the library will make me pay for it!), and plan my attack systematically.

Okay so… my (graciously borrowed) copy of Ender’s Game is 324 pages long (yup – I’m already breaking that “400+ pages” rule… I warned you!). If I want to read this book in a week, I can plan to read 54 pages a day, for six days – which leaves the last day for make up reading. Listen – things happen. Kids get sick (then I get sick), surprise plans pop up, or America’s Got Talent is on. Life gets in the way of reading, and preparing for that is one way I can complete my challenge without feeling guilty or stressing about reading an entire book on a Saturday. I can safely commit myself to 54 pages per day, and breaking it down to a manageable number helps me realize that this book WILL get finished in a week.

If the “54 pages per day” method doesn’t work for you, keep it simple and plan by the chapters. With the Introduction (which should never be skipped even though it isn’t numbered), there are 16 chapters in Ender’s Game. In one week, you can read 2-3 chapters each day and get the book done.

Whatever way you choose to read (pages/day, chapters/day, or “read until my brain explodes”), the most important thing is that you read – and enjoy reading.

So – if you are planning on reading along (and I hope you are), I hope you’re ready to tackle Ender’s Game with me. At the end of the week, I’ll be encouraging a “book club-ish” discussion, and I hope you’ll be participating. Today is the day to go to the library, order the ebook, or hit the used book store!

Thanks for reading along, and I look forward to our book discussion next week!

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New on my shelves…

I’m SO EXCITED to share with you all the newest edition to my bookshelves – the new collector’s edition “Harry Potter” books – with their new cover art!

Anyone who knows me knows that the “Harry Potter” books have been, and will always be, my favorite books. They were my “gateway books” – they introduced me, at a young age, to a love of reading, and the joys that come along with immersing yourself in a great book. My stepfather, Grant, brought me home my first copy of “The Sorcerer’s Stone” when I was 11, and I’ve been in love ever since. I grew up with “Harry Potter,” and now that I have children, I am happy I can share my love for the magical world with them.

Right now, at 4 and 3, they are much too young for the books, but they enjoy the movies, which we have watched over and over again. They even think my sister’s British roommate is Harry Potter (shout out to Tanya and James).

Being a (huge!) HP fan, when I heard new covers were being released, I pre-ordered! Sure, I already own the books, but not with the new art! The way I see it is there’s a new generation of Harry Potter fans in my house, so there needs to be a new generation of books for my little girls to read, enjoy and love when they are 11.

Of course this is totally relevant to the theme of books we’re reading this month – Books made into Movies or TV shows!

So, without further ado, I share with you Kazu Kibuishi’s new “Harry Potter” covers (ps – I apologize for the quality of the photos. They were taken with a cell phone… I’m waiting on a new battery for my camera, but I couldn’t wait to share these!):

The paperback books are in a lovely little box, with beautiful art. The spines of the books all match up to show a view of Hogwarts castle:

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The back of the collector’s box:

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The covers of the books… they’re all so beautiful!

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The back of each book has a picture from an important scene with (of course) Harry. They each also include an important quote from the book:

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Needless to say, I’m very, very excited about the new books on my shelves!

What were you’re “gateway books” that encouraged your love of reading?

 

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September Books!

September is Movie/TV month, meaning we will read books that have inspired movies or TV shows. Listed below are the books I’ll be reading this month.

Sept. 1 – 7Ender’s Game – Orson Scott Card

  • Ender’s Game is our first sci-fi selection, and the film adaptation will be coming to theaters this fall. I figured now’s the time to read this book, before it gets to theaters! The film looks like it’ll be great, but books are (usually) better. Read along with me so we can compare and contrast when the movie comes out! If you’re not a sci-fi fan, give Ender’s Game a shot – it might change your mind!

Sept. 8 – 14 Serena – Ron Rash

  • Serena is a historical fiction novel set in 1920s North Carolina (hey – that’s where I live!) The film adaptation will be hitting theaters Oct. 31, and will be staring the fabulous Jennifer Lawrence (of The Hunger Games and Silver Linings Playbook fame). Oh yea, and Bradley Cooper. Join me in enjoying some lovely historical fiction.

Sept. 15 – 21 – The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald

  • I’m sure we all read this book in high school, but how many of us have picked it up since then? The movie came out this summer – to very mixed reviews. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’d like a refresher on the book before I commit myself to the movie. The book is the first classic we will be reading. Sometimes it’s nice to see an old book through new eyes!

Sept. 22 – 28 Darkly Dreaming Dexter – Jeff Lindsay

  • This fall brings around the end of the “Dexter” TV series on Showtime (if you haven’t watched it, you NEED TO!) The series was actually inspired and adapted from Jeff Lindsay’s crime fiction Darkly Dreaming Dexter – the first of 5 in the Dexter series. I have been a fan of the show since it’s beginning (and am very sad to see it go), but I’d like to see the difference between the show and the books. This book will also help get us into the mood for our October theme – Halloween!

Our September to October Crossover will combine a book that has been made into a movie

Sept. 29 – Oct. 5 – Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

  • Shelley’s classic horror novel has been adapted into dozens of different movies, and her monster has been played by everyone from Boris Karloff to Robert De Niro. In 2014, Aaron Eckhart will don the bolts in “I, Frankenstein” (the verdict is still out on that one…). What better way to start off our Halloween month than with the real story?!

 

So there you have it, folks. Our first five books are selected. I hope you have enough time to hit the library, head to the used book store, or order your ebooks. I hope you’ll choose one (or more) to read with me. Remember, the point of this challenge is to read books you’d never have read before, so try to get out of your literary comfort zone.

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my Year in (book) Reviews

I’m so very excited to be starting this blog, following my year through reading. The goal is one book per week, for the year. Pretty crazy, right? I know. Let me tell you why I thought all this insanity up.

In 2012, I read 23 books. While many avid readers would scoff at this number, I was pretty proud of that tally – that’s about two books a month. With my lifestyle (stay at home mom to two toddlers, full time college student), I don’t have much time for personal reading – my English major makes up most of my reading time. When I actually have some “downtime,” I prefer spending it vegging out in front of the television. Once upon a time that time was spent reading, and it kind of breaks my heart to realize that so far, in 2013, I have read 2 1/2 books. Yes, my friends, two-and-a-half-books … pretty pathetic by any standards, but really pathetic when you call yourself a “reader.” So, I created this challenge to encourage myself to read!

I have set a few ground rules:

  • No books shorter than 400 pages. I can guarantee this rule will be broken, but only for good reasons (ie: a great, shorter book comes my way, or the dreaded finals week);
  • School books don’t count (otherwise this blog would be obsolete);
  • Series will not dominate my reading – if I DO read a series, it will be spread out over the year, so you don’t have to suffer through reviews for books you don’t like;
  • Nothing “trendy” – you’ve read enough of those reviews (looking at you, “young adult”);
  • I will not bore you with one genre – we’ll be tackling them all (even the ones I hate to read);
  • I will humbly and happily take book recommendations, advice and criticism. I’m a firm believer in the idea that literature is a subjective art form, and no one opinion is right or wrong. If you hate what I have to say – let me know! I love friendly book debates, and appreciate differing opinions. You may have seen something I did not!
  • I will not allow reading to become a chore. This task isn’t to make me (or you) feel like I am forced to read. This blog will be fun, light hearted, and enjoyable, otherwise it’s not worth our time;
  • I will encourage read alongs, and hope you will be inspired to hit the library with me.

I hope you will join me in my literary adventure. Remember, no matter how busy you are, or how much time you give to other people, you need to dedicate time for yourself (this is, of course, the woman who dedicates 99.999% of her time to her kids and school speaking). Why not spend your “you” time with me?

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