Quote Number 2

September 15, 2008 at 7:21 am (Weekly Geeks)

“The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them.”
-Mark Twain

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The Official Book Blogger Appreciation Week Giveaway List

September 14, 2008 at 10:27 pm (Book Blogger Appreciation Week)

If you follow along for the festivities of BBAW at My Friend Amy, you will find many chances to win LOTS of goodies! Like what? Well have a look below. All of these things will be given away between September 15-19. There will be a huge variety of ways to win them and giveaways will be announced constantly throughout the week. So be sure to check in often!

A HUGE thank you to Hachette Book Group, Penguin Group USA, Harlequin, The B&B Media Group, Shera of SNS Blog Design, WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group, Catherine Delors, Pamela Binnings Ewen, Andromeda Romano-Lax, Ceceilia Dowdy, Sormag, Book Club Girl, Savvy Verse and Wit, Cafe of Dreams, Fashionista Piranha, and Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin’?.

Read on for the list:

Daily Raffles

Win a Book Club Girl Hostess Survival Kit!

Do you find it’s your turn to host book club and not only do you not know what to serve but you don’t know what books to offer up for the next month’s selection?! Let Book Club Girl come to your rescue with the Book Club Girl Hostess Survival Kit.

One lucky winner of the kit will receive:

  • A basket of cheese, crackers, cookies and wine for up to 12 people
  • 5 great book group books to vote on for your group’s next pick. And Book Club Girl will then donate 12 copies whichever book is chosen for your entire group to read.
  • 12 Book Club Girl mousepads to give out as party favors that night
  • 12 Book Club Girl bookmarks to mark everyone’s favorite passages
  • 12 Book Club Girl coasters to protect your coffee table from all those wine glasses!

TWO SORMAG Goody Bags containing books and more!

A Special Pamper Me Basket from Cafe of Dreams!

From Avon Foot Works:

  • Inflatable watermelon shaped foot tub
  • 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Cooling Foot Lotion
  • 3.4 FL oz Watermelon Exfoliating Foot Scrub
  • 12 count Watermelon Effervescent Foot Tablets
  • An ARC of So Long At The Fair by Christina Schwarz
  • A variety of Hot Chocolate and Tea mixes

A pre-made blog template from SNSDesign

A Subscription to Poetry Magazine from Savvy Verse and Wit

BOOKS

  • A is for Atticus by Lorilee Craker
  • A Tale Out of Luck by Willie Nelson with Mike Blakely
  • Acedia & Me by Kathleen Norris
  • After the Fire by Robin Gaby Fisher
  • An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination by Elizabeth McCracken
  • Beyond Belief by Josh Hamilton
  • Beyond the Night by Marlo Schalesky
  • Border Lass by Amanda Scott
  • Branding Only Works on Cattle by Jonathan Salem Baskin
  • by George by Wesley Stace
  • Cobain Unseen by Charles R. Cross
  • Confessions of a Contractor by Richard Murphy
  • Dead Boys by Richard Lange
  • Dewey by Vicki Myron
  • Doing Business in 21st Century India by Gunjan Bagla
  • Dream in Color by Congresswoman Linda Sánchez, Congresswoman Loretta Sánchez
  • Every Freaking! Day With Rachell Ray by Elizabeth Hilts
  • Exit Music by Ian Rankin
  • Fixing Hell By Col. (ret.) Larry C. James
  • Free Food for Millionaires by Min Jin Lee
  • Gunmetal Black by Daniel Serrano
  • Harlequin Titles: To Be Announced
  • He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not by Trish Ryan
  • He Loves Me! by Wayne Jacobson
  • Hollywood Crows by Joseph Wambaugh
  • How to Hear from God by Joyce Meyer
  • Hungry for More by Diana Holquist
  • Insatiable Desire by Rita Heron
  • Isolation by Travis Thrasher
  • John’s Quest by Cecelia Dowdy
  • Keep the Faith by Faith Evans
  • Knowing Right from Wrong by Thomas D. Williams
  • Launching a Leadership Revolution by Chris Brady, Orrin Woodward
  • Mike’s Election Guide by Michael Moore
  • Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors
  • Move On, Move Up by Paula White
  • Never Surrender by General Jerry Boykin
  • Pope John Paul II: An Intimate Life by Caroline Pigozzi
  • Pure by Rebecca St. James
  • Right Livelihoods by Rick Moody
  • Shoot the Moon by Billie Letts
  • Sisterchicks Go Brit! by Robin Jones Gunn
  • So You Don’t Want to Go to Church Anymore by Wayne Jacobson and Dave Coleman
  • Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley
  • The Almost Moon by Alice Sebold
  • The Book of Calamities by Peter Trachtenberg
  • The Book of Lies by Brad Meltzer
  • The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
  • The Gifted Gabaldon Sisters by Lorraine Lopez
  • The Heretic’s Daughter by Kathleen Kent
  • The Last Under-Cover: The True Story of an FBI Agent’s Dangerous Dance with Evil By Bob Hamer
  • The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks
  • The Miracle Girls by Anne Dayton and May Vanderbilt
  • The Moon in the Mango Tree by Pamela Binnings Ewen
  • The Rosary by Gary Jansen
  • The Shiniest Jewel by Marian Henley
  • The Smart One and the Pretty One by Claire LaZebnik
  • The Spanish Bow by Andromeda Romano-Lax
  • The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell
  • Trespassers Will Be Baptized by Elizabeth Emerson Hancock
  • Trunk Music by Michael Connelly
  • War as They Knew It by Michael Rosenberg
  • When Will There Be Good News by Kate Atkinson
  • Wild Boy: My Life with Duran Duran by Andy Taylor
  • With Endless Sight by Allison Pittman

Many other blogs are giving away books and prizes for BBAW as well! You can see the links to all of these giveaways here.

Interested in gaining entries into the daily raffles? POST this complete list on your blog WITH LINKS and you’ll earn two extra entries! Make sure you comment on this post at My Friend Amy to let her know you’ve posted the list.

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Weekly Geeks #17: A Quote a Day.

September 14, 2008 at 10:05 pm (Weekly Geeks)

For Weekly Geeks this week, we’re supposed to post a quote a day for a week, starting on the day we sign up. This is good… it’ll get me back in the habit of posting regularly.

I thought I’d start off with a quote from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (erm… by J.K. Rowling, but you all knew that).

“Well, obviously, she’s feeling very sad, because of Cedric dying. Then I expect she’s feeling confused because she liked Cedric and now she likes Harry, and she can’t work out who she likes best. Then she’ll be feeling guilty, thinking it’s an insult to Cedric’s memory to be kissing Harry at all, and she’ll be worrying about what everyone else might say about her if she starts going out with Harry. And she probably can’t work out what her feelings towards Harry are, anyway, because he was the one who was with Cedric when Cedric died, so that’s all very mixed up and painful. Oh, and she’s afraid she’s going to be thrown off the Ravenclaw Quidditch team because she’s been flying so badly.”

A slightly stunned silence greeted the end of this speech, then Ron said, “One person can’t feel all that at once, they’d explode.”

“Just because you’ve got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn’t mean we all have, ” said Hermione nastily, picking up her quill again.

I particularly like this quote because it illustrates – for those who have “the emotional range of a teaspoon” – what it is like to be caught up in a range of emotions all at once. Sometimes, I can feel overly emotional and overwhelmed by it all.

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It’s certainly uncontaminated by cheese….

August 11, 2008 at 10:38 pm (libraries)

Here in Seattle, we have an interesting library system.

For a couple of years, the libraries shut down twice a year, because they didn’t have enough money to operate. (Not really relevant to this post, but I got screamed at  – literally – by a librarian at the branch closest to my house because – and I quote – “You reserved too many books. We had to put them on a shelf of their own!” Well, excuse me. I’m out of school. You’re closed for over two weeks. What’s a girl like me supposed to do during a time like that?!?! But I’m getting off the point here.)

Then, a year or so later, they opened the brand new $165 MILLION dollar Central Library (the bonds approved by voters were approved only for building, not for, you know, RUNNING THE SYSTEM). The thing is pretty much a modern art piece. It’s cool to look at – once or twice. After that, it starts to look like an eyesore. Inside, it’s neat-o… until you actually go to look for a book.

For one thing, the non-fiction is housed in what they call “The book spirals”. These go up several floors, but rather than switch from floor to floor via an elevator or stairs, you do so by merely walking the spiral. It slowly goes up – around and around. (This, btw, is killer on my back. Great for wheelchairs, though.) This means, however, that getting from fiction to, say, the 800s in the nonfiction section is a PAIN. Oh, sure. There are elevators. And they’re confusing – what floor do I get out on? Once out, which way do I go?

The fiction section is housed on a floor which COULD be called the bottom, if you didn’t happen to notice the set of escalators that go down one more floor.The fiction section is, actually, pathetically small. It’s all a little too separated out. I have to figure out what section my book might possibly be in. Then, I can hope that it’s there: chances are, it isn’t. Chances are, you should have reserved that book and waited for it to come in.

But, there’s no lack of computers. TONS of computers, everywhere. Lots of comfy places to sit (and sleep – for some people, the Central library does double-duty as a day shelter).

Where are the books, though? I just ran across an article in The Stranger’s blog (the SLOG) that reminds me of why I don’t really use the library much. Why I’m willing to PAY to get my books, even though I work about a block and a half down from the library. Please read the comments on it, as well. Very interesting.

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I’m Y.A. and I’m O.K.

July 20, 2008 at 10:11 am (General, Young Adult)

There’s an article in the NY Times today called “I’m Y.A. and I’m O.K.” talking about the hazards of having a book labeled as Young Adult. As many of you know, I write YA reviews for the Paperspine blog. I sometimes have a difficult time deciding what is and what is not YA fiction. Some books that are considered YA, I read it and think “That was only YA if you’re thinking of ‘young’ adults as in an adult who is younger, like 18 – 22 or something.” Some “adult fiction” I wonder “Wait… why wasn’t this listed as YA?” Authors are afraid to be listed as YA because it hurts sales but, as mentioned in the NY Times article:

Many adults don’t realize how much the Y.A. genre has changed since their days of reading teenage romances and formulaic novels. “A lot of people have no idea that right now Y.A. is the Garden of Eden of literature,” said Sherman Alexie, whose first Y.A. novel, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” won the National Book Award for young people’s literature last year. Even the prestige of that award didn’t make him impervious to the stigma. “Some acquaintances felt I was dumbing down,” Alexie said in a phone interview. “One person asked me, ‘Wouldn’t you have rather won the National Book Award for an adult, serious work?’ I thought I’d been condescended to as an Indian — that was nothing compared to the condescension for writing Y.A.”

I have to say that some of the BEST books I’ve read have been YA books. In fact, some of the more popular books amongst book bloggers – and even non-book-blogging adults are YA – see also the Harry Potter books, the Twilight books, even The Book Thief.

I understand why they separate these books out as YA… sort of. But, it does sometimes make for a frustrating experience when I’m looking for a book – on two counts, actually. The first frustration is trying to figure out where my book might be. These things aren’t really “advertised” as young adult, so sometimes I’m in the “adult” section, get frustrated, go to some sort of “help desk” only to be told that the book is YA. The second frustration comes from the fact that, in a bookstore, I am a browser. I want all my fiction books to be in one place. Apparently, I’m an anomaly because most bookstores and libraries are set up with “romance” sections, “sci-fi” sections, “mystery” sections, and, yes, “young adult” sections. Very frustrating.

But, mostly, I’m curious about why there’s such a negative perception STILL about YA? And how do you define what IS and what ISN’T YA?

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Booking Through Thursday: Vacation Spots

July 17, 2008 at 12:15 pm (Booking Through Thursday, Memes) (, , )

btt2Today’s Booking Through Thursday questions:

Do you buy books while on vacation/holiday?

Do you have favorite bookstores that you only get to visit while away on a trip?

What/Where are they?

I actually don’t really go on vacation. To date, my husband and I have never been on a vacation together. I’m working on it, but it could be a while yet.

I do sometimes go visit my mother who lives, actually, not that far from us. We’re in Seattle, she’s in the suburbs. By car it is about half an hour. Because my hubby and I don’t own a car, we have to bus out there and usually bus back (though sometimes she or my sister, Danielle, will drive us back). The bus trip can take up to two and a half hours, depending on the day and the time. Generally, though, it only takes about an hour and a half to get to the transit center out there, where they pick us up (otherwise, it would take MUCH longer to get there – I’ve done it before and thanks, but no thanks). Still, if it is a holiday, or a day my mother is working the night shift, we often end up spending the night. This is usually decided last minute… so I always bring a book in my bag. Sometimes two. Or three. You can never have too many with you.

Don’t forget to get your entries in for my giveaway (a three-month membership to Paperspine).

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In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan

July 16, 2008 at 9:44 pm (Book Reviews)

I was surfing around the bookblogosphere today and came upon a review of In Defense of Food. I actually got this book a few months ago and read through it right away. This was back when I wasn’t “counting” non-fiction, so you won’t see it on my list during that time, though it’ll be there now. I have been reading it again because I keep being drawn back to this book.

The premise, simplified, is: Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants. 

Eat food. The author’s definition of food is basically “foods your grandparents would recognize” although, as mentioned in the Both Eyes review, most people now know what edamame is – but my mother’s grandmother would not have, so that definition doesn’t really work. I have to dispute that by saying that while my great grandmother may not have known that it was a soybean, she would have looked at it and thought “bean” as opposed to, say, Pop Rocks, which would have left her… confused. But it goes even deeper than that – nothing is quite what it used to be. For instance, “bread” may now be “healthy, whole grain, additive-free bread” or “baked pile of white chemicals”.

Not too much. A lot of Americans Westerners people have problems with this. Americans especially, I think. We’ve been taught to eat the biggest portion possible. Upsize for only fifty cents. An empty plate, not a satisfied stomach, means we’re done. And, generally, we eat as quickly as possible.

Mostly plants. Even in and amongst all of the diets and nutrition fads out there, most of them agree that plants are good for you. Especially leafy greens. (Personally, I LOVE fruit. Veggies are… okay. I like some of them but have me choose between, say, a salad or a pineapple and I will almost always choose the pineapple. Mmm. Pineapple…)

This book goes into so much more than that. It discusses how we arrived at the age of nutritionism and why eating based on nutrients may be misguided. How we’re no longer told “eat an orange” but “have vitamin C”.

By far, the most “controversial” statement in this book is that we should stop eating processed foods. Most people believe we should, as well, but this is a hard edict to follow. It’s more expensive to eat this way. When I went grocery shopping last weekend, I was trying to find cottage cheese that didn’t have anything added – no high fructose corn syrup, no gums of any sort, etc. It was quite difficult. And I live smack dab in the middle of the city.

Could you follow the advice of this book? Do you eat food, not too much, and mostly plants? If so, is it a struggle? If not, would you like to? How could you go about doing this?

This book really makes me think.

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Giving away a three-month subscription to Paperspine!

July 10, 2008 at 7:18 pm (Contests)

<cancelled due to lack of entries>

I did, however, want to leave this post up because of Dewey’s comments.

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42 Challenge

July 8, 2008 at 9:28 pm (42 Challenge) (, )

Becky has come up with a challenge that I am REALLY excited about. And since she says we can unofficially start now if we want, I will. What’s the challenge?

Your mission–if you choose to accept it–is to read, watch, listen, and review 42 sci-fi related items. (Items isn’t the best word, but how else would you define all that this challenge could involve). What’s acceptable? Practically everything: short stories, poetry (???), novellas, novels, episodes of TV shows, episodes of radio shows, movies, comic books, graphic novels, audio books, essays or articles about science fiction or science fiction writers, biographies of science fiction authors.

42challengebig

This appeals to my not-so-inner geek. I have “geek girl” written all over me (possibly, read also: “sci-fi geek”). Seriously. My Netflix membership helps out with that – I watch TONS of episodes of sci-fi shows on DVD. I just finished watching all 10 seasons of SG-1 (this was after watching all of Star Trek: The Next Generation and Stargate: Atlantis). I’m currently running through Battlestar Galactica. When I was little, I used to sneak out of bed at night to watch Star Trek: TNG. I’ve even been known to write fanfic. I am, in fact, so geeky that I even “lust after” the sci-fi guys and gals more than non-sci-fi people. Within even those constraints, I tend to go for the smarter, more geeky ones (with just a few exceptions).

And the new SGA (Stargate: Atlantis) season starts this coming Friday!! I’ve already got DVR set-up, though I’ll probably watch it “live” anyway. (Commercials do frustrate me, now that I’m used to just fast forwarding through them. Or, even better yet, watching the DVD version with NO commercials!!)

At any rate, this is a challenge that appeals to me on so many levels.

On that note, I’m off to my bedroom, where I will be watching more Battlestar Galactica.

—-

Keeping Track:

1.  Battlestar Galactica, Season 2 (Resistance): Cylon or no, I feel really bad for Boomer. She got the short end of the stick, I think. I’ve wondered what it would be like to know that you’re a machine and that there are some things you can’t control, but to still be able to feel like a human does. In addition, I really hate Tigh’s wife. I think this episode is an important one: we find out how many cylons are hidden within the fleet, thanks to Gaius and Boomer.

2. Stargate Atlantis, Season 5, Episode 1: I’m so glad Atlantis is back!! But… I’m really, really tired of the Teyla-baby storyline. There were parts in this episode that were so very, very touching. You can tell that the four main characters really care for each other. Since this is new, I don’t want to say too much, but… it’s good to have SGA back.

3. Hellboy 2: Good movie. I thought the tooth-fairies were cute. But again with all the baby crap. I did, however, really like the Elemental. The elves were interesting… and pretty. I’d say more, but again, since this is new, I’m trying to avoid spoilers.

4. I Was A Teenage Popsicle by Bev Katz Rosenbaum. I’ve posted a review at the Paperspine Blog.

5. Battlestar Galactica, Season 2 (The Farm): This has been one of the creepiest and most unsettling episodes for me. Though it explains a fair bit about Starbuck’s background, it hurt just to watch it.  And “The Farm” itself? Pretty scary. I could imagine something like that actually happening in the future – forced by the government, of course, not cylons.

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Two Giveaways

July 5, 2008 at 11:04 pm (Contests)

The Kool-aid Mom is giving away a Borders Gift Card on her blog, In the Shadow of Mt. TBR.

Dewey is giving away five future books on her blog The Hidden Side of a Leaf.

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