End of Reading Year Countdown: #4 of 2007

By Stephenie Meyer

Twilight it was not, but I found Eclipse to still be quite thrilling. I just can’t get enough of the love triangle of Bella, Edward and Jacob.  Edward is so sexy with his smoldering, yet cold, aristocratic-ness.  And on MY, how hot is Jacob?  I think what I love most about these books is how it takes me back to all the turmoil of the teenage years…how you’ll just DIE without so-and-so, how you just won’t be able to LIVE without him/her…and remind me of just how GLAD I am that those years are long gone for me!  Of course, the whole dying-to-be-with-him is taken to a whole other level here with Bella and Edward.  And I have to admit though, I now find myself torn between Edward and Jacob more than ever.  Thank goodness I’m not Bella!  I’m looking forward to more of this series. 

End of Reading Year Countdown: #5 of 2007

anthony_bourdain3.jpgAnthony Bourdain

I’m going to cheat a bit (it won’t be the last time) and count two books here.  I read both Kitchen Confidential and A Cook’s Tour this year, both by Mr. Bourdain, and greatly enjoyed each.  Kitchen Confidential was a fascinating look at what goes on behind the scenes in the restaurant and what it takes to become a chef. 

Recently the Food Network began showing the series “A Cook’s Tour” again and it reminded me just how much I loved that books.  I love food and I love travel and A Cook’s Tour brings both together in such a great way. 

Which reminds me, as a side note, I read that Anthony quit smoking because of the birth of his daughter.  If you’ve read the books or seen the shows, surely you know he smoked like a freight train.  I’m so impressed that he quit!

2008 Short Story Challenge

rc400.jpgKate S., over at Kate’s Book Blog, has proposed a challenge to read more short stories next year.  As I was already planning out a list of short story authors I wanted to read next year, I’m definitely joining this one!  She has several different options with her challenge and I think I’m going to do option 3.  I will try to read 5 different author collections.  AND I’m going to try to do it from books I already own.  So, without further ado…my list!

  1. The Collected Stories of Eudora Welty
  2. Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories by Angela Carter
  3. The Collected Works of Flannery O’Connor
  4. Waifs and Strays by Charles de Lint
  5. The Collected Stories of Ernest Hemingway

Of course, I reserve the right to substitute at will 🙂  And who knows, I may add more! 

End of Reading Year Countdown: #6 of 2007

eatpray.jpgeat, pray, love by Elizabeth Gilbert

It wasn’t too long ago that I was singing the praises of this book.   Gilbert is such a fun and interesting woman.  Her travels to Italy will make you hungry.  Her travels to India will make you want to stay quiet and listen to the world around you.  And her travels to Indonesia will make you want to have fun and learn about yourself and discover new friends.  The book as a whole will make you want to travel and see the world.  As the subtitle says, it is about a woman’s search for everything and I think she finds it.

All I Want For Christmas…

Saw this on a livejournal blog and just had to steal…

For fun, and since it’s the holidays, list (in any order you want) ten things you want from any (fiction) book that you’ve read.

What can go on the list: Characters, character traits, objects that are NOT found in everyday life like brand names, character abilities, a specific world, anything is up for grabs. What can’t: Real world brand name stuff (Brand name dress worn by CHARACTER to prom/dance/wedding/special event = no. Scarlet’s dress that she made out of curtains? Yes. Ordinary Mercedes Benz owned by male character = no. Flying car = yes.).

Real people (Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth? No.) Have fun with it! Don’t forget to list the name of the book/series and a short comment on why that one.

Well, I could only think of eight, so…

Eight fictional things I want for Christmas

  1. That bag Hermione used in HP7 to store all their things.  It could hold all my books!  Although, woe to me if I lost it! 
  2. A Quick Quotes Quill.  From  various HP books.  It makes writing seem remarkably easy!
  3. Pemberley.  From Pride and Prejudice. Because it would come complete with Mr. Darcy.  Nuff said.
  4. Annabeth’s cap.  From Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson series.  It makes you invisible.  Would probably come in handy someday and it seems less cumbersome than Harry’s Invisibility cloak.
  5. The book “The Neverending Story” from The Neverending Story.  Coolest book ever!  If you’ve have only seen the movie, it is NOTHING nearly as good as the book.  And I really like that movie.  You must read the book though, if you are any kind of fan of the movie.
  6. A glass book from Glass Books of the Dream Eaters.  Oh come on, aren’t you the least bit curious?
  7. A vis bulla from Rises the Night, etc, by Colleen Gleason.  Cause they sound wicked cool.
  8. The Traveling Pants, from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares.  Jeans that look good on anybody?  Sounds good to me!

End of Reading Year Countdown: #7 of 2007

12203970.jpgThe Invention of Hugo Cabret
By Brian Selznick

This was one of the prettiest books I read all year.  And, for a kids book, it had a surprisingly serious story. 

Combining excellent narrative, beautiful illustration, and a high dose of imagination, Brian Selznick has created a bittersweet and touching story, among other things, a 12-year-old orphan, a heartbroken old man, a little bit of magic, and an automaton. 

Personally, I have never quite seen a book so stylistic and original.  As you open the book, you are invited to follow a young boy, Hugo Cabret, as he moves stealthly through a train station.  As you turn the pages, you are greated by a rising sun and soon flying through Paris until you land beside Hugo, and are immediately swept up into his story.  It has a movie feel to it as you move through the pictures.   Poor Hugo; he lost his beloved clock-maker father in a fire at the museum where he worked.  Because of that, he has to go live with his drunk uncle at the train-station, where he keeps all the clocks running.  Hugo becomes his apprentice; but soon he is doing all the work on his own.  Not long after he comes to live with his uncle, the man disappears, leaving Hugo alone and scared. 

Before his beloved father died, he found an automaton in the attic of the old museum.  While visiting the site, Hugo found the automaton, and smuggles it back to the train station.  I don’t want to give too much away to the story, for I want you to discover it for yourselves.  But what follows is a journey full of magic and rescue; for the orphan Hugo and the old man Papa Georges (from whom Hugo steals toys for parts for his automaton and also a real man, Georges Melies, who lived in France and whose life this book is loosely modeled around). 

Don’t be discouraged by the size, this 534 page tome is a fast read.  I started and finished it yesterday.  Of course, it didn’t hurt that I could not put it down.   And I will definitely reread it over and over again.  This novel is written for kids, but adults will find much to love in his heartwarming story of loss, love and redemption.

End of Reading Year Countdown: #8 of 2007

sin.gifSin in the Second City: Madams, Ministers, Playboys and the Battle for America’s Soul
By Karen Abbott

This was one of my biggest years for nonfiction, prior to this year I didn’t read much nonfiction. SitSC was one of my absolute favorite nonfiction reads of the year.  It didn’t hurt that I interviewed the author for Estella’s Revenge and found her to be absolutely fantastic.  I can’t wait to read her next book about Gypsy Rose Lee, it sounds equally fascinating.

 See my interview, review of the book, and the author’s website for more on this fantastic read.