Tag Archives: sci-fi

New Year, New Reading List

Happy New Year, my friends! It’s hard to believe it’s already 2014 – I feel exceptionally old! I know I missed my initial post for this week’s reading, but my little bug came back, and I’ve been battling what I think to be The Dreaded Flu for the last week. This week we are reading I am Regina by Sally M. Keehn, which is technically a children’s book.

Image

I picked it anyway, because it is a beautiful piece of historical fiction about a young girl kidnapped by Native Americans in the late 18th Century American wilderness. That, and I haven’t read a youth fiction for his book challenge, yet! But more on that this weekend!

It’s time for the reveal of the January reading list. In honor of the New Year, the theme for January reading is “New.” I think I’ve assembled a pretty interesting group of books that will inspire us to keeping up with this reading challenge this month, and for the rest of 2014!

Jan. 5 – 11 – The White Queen – Philippa Gregory

Image

Okay, so this book isn’t technically (or in any way) “new,” having been published in 2009. But it is “new to me.” My sister actually got it as a Christmas present from our mother, but as she has already read it, she passed it on to me for a quick read before returning it to her ever expanding bookshelves (a girl after my own heart). I’m very excited to read this book, as I’ve heard wonderful things about it, and it was actually recommended to me by my friend Dee (hi, Dee!) back when I started my blog. With great reviews from my sister, I decided it was time to open this brand-spanking-new book, and give it a shot. It should prove to be a wonder work of historical fiction (my favorite, as I’m sure you know by now), and I always love a good, strong female lead.

 

Jan. 12 – 18 – How to Kill a Rock Star – Tiffanie DeBartolo

Image

I’m SO EXCITED to finally crack this book open. I actually won this book in an online drawing (I never win ANYTHING!), from an awesome book blog I follow, called The Book Bosses (thanks ladies!)… if you haven’t been to their site, you should check them out! This book actually came to me personally signed by the author (which makes it extra awesome!). When I opened it up, my friend Anna was with me and snatched it right out of my hands, singing DeBartolo’s praises for another novel she had written. With such praise for the author, I know this one will be a winner as well, and I can’t wait to dive in. The story is a contemporary romance (“contemporary” = new… and it is “new to me”), and while we all know I’m not a HUGE fan of romance novels, this one looks pretty promising!

 

Jan. 19 – 25 – Hero – Rhonda Byrne

Image

This book falls under the “new” requirements in two ways: it is the newest in the The Secret series (and was published in November of 2013), and is a New Age book. If you know nothing about The Secret, the books (Hero being #4) are about the power of the mind, and how self-affirmation can truly change your life. If you have Netflix (or YouTube), watch the documentary entitled The Secret to learn more about the power of suggestion! This book expands on The Secret, exploring how we can all be our truest selves and live our most fulfilling lives – simply by being our own heroes. This one might also inspire some New Years Resolutions, and help us all have a super successful 2014. I hope you’ll read along with me for this one!

 

Jan. 26 – Feb. 1 – Celtic Moon – Jan DeLima

Image

I’ll be honest – I picked up this book because I was struggling to pick a fourth book for the “New” theme for the month. I walked into the book store, walked over to the Sci-Fi section (in an attempt to put a different genre into our reading this month), and saw a “New in Science Fiction” section. On those shelves, I found Celtic Moon. The book was published in September, making it relatively new, and is the first in a series, called the Celtic Wolf series, so I thought that would count as “new” as well! I usually wouldn’t look toward this book, generally avoiding paperback sci-fi (and most sci-fi in general… I like the shows and the movies, not usually the books), but this is the whole point of the book challenge – pick up books I wouldn’t have read before.

So there it is – our reading list for January and our “New” theme for the month. I hope you’ll pick one (or more) to read along with me, and start off your 2014 reading list with something good! I look forward to some engaging discussions about these books, as I promote a “book club” type of atmosphere. Remember, I not only encourage, but LOVE, comments and reviews from my fellow readers! This blog isn’t about me telling you what I think, it’s about inspiring you to read (and inspiring me to stop being a Netflix addict and read more!), and talk about books!

I hope you all have a healthy, prosperous New Year! Happy Reading!

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Book Review: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

This week we tackled the second of our November’s “Month of Travel” reading, and this week we picked up Douglas Adams’ sci-fi comedy, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

Image

To my friends who have been recommending this book to me for years on end – my greatest apologies that it took a book challenge for me to believe you. What an amazingly funny book!!!! I have always been a fan of British humor (and a huge fan of British sci-fi… as in “Doctor Who”), so I don’t why it’s taken so long for me to give in and pick this one up. Adams writes with such dry humor and an overabundance of wit, and I found myself literally laughing out loud while reading this. My poor husband was subjected to totally out of context aloud readings of things he couldn’t possibly understand, while trying to decipher what I was saying through all the giggles.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy follows three main characters – Arthur Dent (England Native and Earthling), Ford Prefect (Galactic Hitchhiker and content editor of the book), and the book, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, which contains tips and tricks for galactic hitchhikers wanting to see the galaxy while spending very little money. The guide makes appearances by offering hilarious entries about various locations around the galaxy, including Earth’s entry… “Mostly Harmless.” Ford Prefect has been stranded on Earth for 15 years, and at the moment of its destruction, grabs a pint at the pub, and rescues poor Arthur Dent. Arthur witnesses the destruction of his planet with little emotion, and joins Ford on a dangerous trip hitching rides across the galaxy.

To avoid any spoilers, I’ll just say Ford and Arthur run into some very strange creatures, some familiar (to us Earthlings), and some impossible! Adams creates a great cast of comedic characters, from the flighty Ford, to the adaptable Arthur, a few alien races, and even the manic depressive robot, Marvin. Arthur experiences a very improbable few days throughout the book, one that promises to keep you entertained (and possibly exhausted, if you’re Arthur). This book is smartly written, full of laughs, and endlessly exciting!

This book was a much welcome break after the tedium of Letters From Amelia last week. The book kept me laughing, but I was a little disappointed at how abruptly it ended. I guess that’s why there’s four more stories, which possibly (?) follow Arthur and Ford, and the Guide, as they make their way across the galaxy. I hope I’ll have the opportunity to fit the second book into my reading challenge, but I might just need to play catch up next September when my challenge ends.

I hope you read along with me this week! I couldn’t stop laughing out loud, and had a hard time putting this one down. It’s tough not to move onto the next book, but I have both homework and housework to catch up on! What did you think about this book?!

So long, and thanks for all the fish!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Week 11 Reading: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”

This week we begin our 11th book for the reading challenge (it has gone by pretty fast, huh?!), and the second week of November’s “Month of Travel” theme. I’m finding it hard to believe we’re 10 days into November, and find myself getting anxious about the oncoming holiday season!

This week’s reading is a sci-fi/comedy by Douglas Adams called The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. The book is the first of three in his Hitchhiker’s trilogy, which take readers traveling around the universe (just because I said “travel,” doesn’t mean I only intended to travel around Earth this month!).

Image

I am really looking forward to this book! It was recommended to me by my friend Shannon (hey, Shannon!!), and I’ve heard nothing but good things about this series from a lot of my friends. Shannon is already 1 for 1 in the “book recommendation” department, having suggested I read “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter” in October (which I really enjoyed). I have been told a few times over the last few years by a good friend, Sam, to pick up this book… I should probably have listened a while ago, because everything Sam recommends (or already loves), I have loved (hey hey hey, Sam!!). I have seen the Hitchhiker’s Guide movie, but it’s been years, and I’m looking forward to approaching the book with not much memory of the movie (it’s always better to read the book first… I think we can all agree on that fact).

If you head off to the library or the book store to grab this one, don’t be concerned with the size. I was SUPER intimidated when I went by the library to find this book and found a GIGANTIC volume. Little did I know, later copies of this book is published as a collection, all three novels in the series making up one big book, entitled The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. For this week’s challenge we are only reading the first book, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Who knows – we might be inspired to read Book 2 and 3 later on in the book challenge this year!

I hope you’re reading along this week! This should prove to be a good one!

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Ender’s Game Review

Well – I managed it! One book in one week – only 51 more (is as many weeks) to go!

Don’t worry – this review contains very few spoilers, so if you’re inspired to read the book, the storyline won’t be ruined for you.

Image

This week’s reading was Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Game – a captivating science fiction novel about a young boy who defies all odds in an attempt to save the world. Andrew “Ender” Wiggins is 6 years old when the book begins, and he is hand selected to attend the prestigious Battle School – a school that aims at training the world’s elite troops, officers and commanders. We know – although Ender does not – that he has been selected to follow in the footsteps of the “greatest commander” from an intergalactic war, and is promoted as the possible savior of Earth and humankind. Ender comes up against many difficulties – training at the Battle School, the treatment from his teachers and fellow students – but his biggest trial is his own self doubt, and the limitations he places upon himself.

Armed with nothing more than his own drive to succeed (and an ample amount of brains and intuition), Ender rises through the ranks of the Battle School, mastering (beyond anyone’s expectations) every task thrown his way. Ender is graduated early from the Battle School, and sent to Command School, where he is being shaped to lead the International Fleet in their long-standing war with an alien race. Ender’s innate leadership abilities – coupled with his superior and unorthodox battle tactics – lead to him become the greatest tool the I.F. has ever seen.

Card’s story is captivating, surprising, and frightening at times. It’s easy to forget that Ender and his peers at the Battle School (as well as his plotting genius siblings back home) are only children, and young children at that. All their experiences, all their emotions, and the lives they are fated to lead are inconceivable and incomprehensible to those of us who experienced a childhood. Ender is not only expected to shoulder the great responsibility of being a troop (complete with the knowledge that he must take life), he is being asked to command others to not only take life, but sacrifice their own. The reader sees a young boy struggling with and against his nature – he is a genius, a superior tactician, and has the ability to save the world, and yet he is still a child, with the desire to be kind and innocent.

I loved this book – it was a fantastic way to start off my reading challenge! The story was easy (and enjoyable) to read, and I found myself being sucked into Ender’s life – sympathizing with his fears, his sorrow, his anger, and his excitements. The political backdrop of Card’s novel – the war between worlds, as well as the tension between allied countries on the planet – is exceptionally interesting, and contributes an underlying tension in Ender’s life. The first half of the book sees Ender at the Battle School – this was my favorite part of the novel. Watching Ender battle other students in the battle room, his teachers in the classroom, and his own nature, made Ender a character that a reader could not only sympathize with, but care about. This portion of the book was interesting, exciting, funny at times, and terrifying at others. The second half of the book, particularly right after Ender leaves Battle School, drags a bit, but the story turns around to be exciting and dramatic. A surprising plot twist left my jaw dropped as a read and re-read the climax of Card’s novel.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a great story. While I may enjoy sci-fi movies and TV shows, I’m not really a fan of sci-fi books (I prefer historical fiction and fantasy). I only chose this book because I am looking forward to the movie, but I am so happy I did choose it! Now, I know some people are going to look at this review and say, “sounds interesting, but sci-fi isn’t really my thing” – Ender’s Game will change your mind, I promise!

Your turn – if you read Ender’s Game with me (or have read it in the past), please comment with your thoughts on Card’s novel. Remember, I’m trying to promote a “book club” kind of atmosphere, and would love to hear your thoughts and feelings – even if you disagree 100% with my assessment. If you are curious about my feelings on something specific – just ask.

7 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Today is the day!

Well folks, today is the official start of the 52 books in 52 weeks challenge! It’ll be an interesting week as I try to juggle two different doctors appointments, my schoolwork, my children (and their schoolwork), two toddler ballet classes and a holiday weekend (where generally nothing productive gets accomplished). This week will help me discover where reading fits into my daily life – and will help me rekindle my passion for books!

If you’re following along, I hope you enjoy Ender’s Game – I have a feeling that I will!

Image

If you’re not reading Ender’s Game with me, I hope you’ll consider going over to my “This Month’s Books” page and picking another one of this month’s books to read. We have a good variety of different genres on the list – historical fiction, classic literature, crime fiction, and even some classic horror – so there should be SOMETHING that gets your interest. HOWEVER, please consider picking one of the books you normally wouldn’t have read; that’s the idea of this challenge – to introduce readers to new genres and authors.

Good luck in your reading! I hope you’ll join in for a book discussion in a few days!

4 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized