March 24, 2008

2008 Challenges

At first I thought this would be silly but eh, if I don't complete it, so what. I guess that's not the right attitude to be entering these, but it is very late and I am short on words. These are simply main goals.

Jane Austen Challenge:
Goal: To read the following books so I may at last enjoy Emma Campbell Webster's Lost in Austen. It will be well-worth the award.
Mansfield Park

YA Series Starters:
The following are books I own that are in a series. For some of them, I already own the second book(!) so I really need to get these read.
Frank Beddor: The Looking Glass Wars
Rachel Caine: Glass Houses
Christopher Paolini: Eragon
Angie Sage: Magyk
Jonathan Stroud: The Amulet of Samarkand

Short Story Collections:
I own many of these in fantasy. I wish to complete reading one of them this year.

A Splinched Life

Daemon torn away, I haven't much had the desire to read these last two weeks. I also haven't been able to rid my head of the boy in Lyra's world of Philip Pullman's His Dark Materials who held onto a dead fish for dear life. So suddenly I lost such a dear one to me as my greatest companion, who was fit as could possibly be. He was everything to me. I was left feeling I could do nothing that I did before. Life moves, though, and all of me was forced to as well but for reading without him beside me.

I cannot imagine reading without his blondish-orange fur in arms reach where I can pet and stroke him as I read. Or the fact that his nose will never again rub my wrists while he tried to steer my attention away from whatever book I would be reading. No more purrs or smiles of satisfaction as I breaked from reading and rubbed his ears. No more walking with him over my shoulder through the house, or of him turning up from no where to sit on my lap when I had been feeling sad.

He will not test any new bookshelves nor jump around in them with his sister who is so lonely without him. Always they had been a set to mind, like ying and yang perhaps. There could never be one without the other. No Aloft without Aloof. They were a pair, and how could one be complete without the other? The balance would not exist. Aloft is feeling the splinching of her other half.

Half of me is also missing these last couple weeks and I won't get it back. Nothing can change it, though, so I either have to read and probably sob doing so for the first few attempts or not read at all. I miss books, I really do. Nothing like I miss him, of course.

I couldn't make sense of it but I see there are differnces, though why I had to loose him for those differences are so very nastily cruel. I am not a religious person, but I feel the need to scream and kick and shout and beat the damn freaking you-know-what out of someone. I want my baby back. He is gone, forever. Why did this have to happen?!

Still struggling to care enough to turn the front cover of a book and read.

March 7, 2008

Frances Hodgson Burnett: The Secret Garden

I wanted to read this book as soon as I finished reading The Little Princess. It took a while to get a copy because I got it from BookMooch, but I finally received it and just finished reading it last night.

As a kid I adored The Secret Garden movie. From the start of the book, I had it in mind and was able to notice some of the differences. I liked that the book began while Mary was still in her home in India. (I truthfully can't remember where the film began.) I felt it emphasized just how alone she was and had always been, something crucial to show the dramatic change she has during the course of the book because by the end she is quite happy and has friends. It's funny to compare the child that was at her uncle's the first morning who stiffly stood waiting for Martha to dress her versus the girl who wakes early, dresses herself, and runs out the door without anyone noticing her so she can slip into the garden.

I loved Martha's character and thought of the movie version even more so every time she was in a scene. Dickon was everything I thought he'd be based on the movie. It has been several years since I've seen the movie but one of the differences was in the character Mrs. Medlock. I just remembered her as being more of an unkind woman. I thought I remembered there being more disagreement to Colin's going outdoors. Perhaps that was Dr. Craven.

What is this book about? The title says it's about the garden, but that's if you take it without another meaning. What else could the garden be? Based on the reading, it felt like the story was changing from being about Mary to more so the garden, and then about Colin as well. By the end of the book, I noticed how less Mary seemed to be in the story and how more dominate Mr. Craven and his son were.

I was puzzled over the ending of the book because, from my having watched the movie so many times as a child, one of the parts I remembered most was Mary crying and running off upon Mr. Craven's return, and Mr. Craven and Colin joining her and they all sort of danced in a circle. I remember thinking it was because Mary had felt she was in trouble about the garden but once they joined her that it was not only okay, but that she no longer felt she wasn't part of a family but that she had her uncle and cousin for a family. This happy ending is not there in this book, but there is another that takes place in both the book and movie. I won't give away the ending so you'll just have to read it yourself.

March 5, 2008


This blog entry is all wrong for this blog (a few entries probably are) but as I've yet to create a blog less about books and because there may be a chance that certain people may read this, I'm going to post this here.

LibraryThing has been my favorite website ever since I discovered it. I love it very much and have made many friends on the site particularly in one group. When LT is down for those rare longer amounts of time such as now, I wish we'd had a website created allowing us to still chat up a storm as per usual.

I googled 'Hogwarts Express' and stared at the many trains that showed up as a result while ideas began to come to me. (On another tab right now is this one.) Because I'm all for sharing ideas and discussion before starting such a site, none can be used without contacting others in the group. *waves* Miss you guys!

The first thing I thought of is the obvious of providing a link to our group chatroom. The site should have a place where people can post so we can communite without the chatroom as well. This is with keeping in mind the average LTer cannot enter chatrooms while at work, where most LTers are when they go on LT. (Click here if your boss is coming. ;) Something I thought would be neat would be to have a list of blogs by our group members but only by those who are willing to share them.

Just checked the site again, and LT's homepage is loading and has a status message. Since it looks like it will work soon, I'm going to go ahead and end this entry to discuss in the right place.

ARC of The Host

While working last night I had the opportunity to see my co-worker who works for a publisher once more. There in her bag that she brought with her was an ARC of Stephenie Meyer's The Host. Lucky girl! She saw me looking at it and pulled it out of her bag, held it in front of me and asked if I wanted to touch it. I carefully reached out my right hand and lightly stroked the front cover before moving my hand away. I was so close to the book. I cannot wait till May 6th! The rest of my shift we discussed Meyer's Twilight series while getting our work done.

TBR Pile Soaring

On Sunday morning a small book sealed in plastic was handed to me after appearently being passed around the breakfast table. It had entered the house within a box of cereal. I was baffled over that. I thought it was supposed to be a joke that my family wanted me to have it, but they were serious. I became the owner of Tony DiTerlizzi and Holly Black's The Spiderwick Chronicles Great Escape, special edition of The Seeing Stone, Volume 3.

On Tuesday around noon the mail arrived. I immediately brought it into the house and sorted it. Not a moment after I sat down again, there was the sound of the mailbox opening again. Through the window I could see packages being placed in the mailbox, so I went out to fetch them. One of the three packages was addressed to me. I opened it to find the first two books in Rachel Craine's Morganville Vampires series, Glass Houses and The Dead Girl's Dance. My mooched books had arrived.

Tuesday evening found me wandering around a mall while waiting to be taken home because it seems no one wants me to walk outside at night. With a half hour to stall, I remembered that I hadn't bought the one book I would allow myself to buy after not buying any during February. From my game of walking through the book aisles in Target knowing I couldn't pick any books out, I knew exactly where to find the books I wanted. I went straight to them and picked three up continplating which to chose. In the end everything weighed down so that I picked Cornelia Funke's Inkheart. It was the cheapest, had the most pages, and the last book in the trilogy comes out later this spring.

My TBR pile now consists of 94 books. Better get reading.

March 4, 2008

Cannot Read, Urgh

I think my current book is being thought of rather poorly without it being it's fault. The beginning was great - I kept picturing scenes from the film version I saw as a child - but I've been having trouble reading it for the last several days. I hate how being down gets me behind on reading. I just can't seem to read more than a page or two lately. This book will sadly not get the good opinion it probably deserves. I feel bad for that, but I just can't read right now.

March 3, 2008

The Book Plan, or There and Back Again (I Hope Not!)

It's always difficult to have a book plan and follow through, but since late January I've been keeping to my plan: I've not bought any books.(1A)

Every week without fail I receive a book coupon through e-mail from Borders. (2A) I click the link to see the coupon and stare at it a bit. (2B) I then close it and get rid of the e-mail. (2C) Sometimes I give a friend the link so someone will be using the coupon, and it makes it a little easier for me to not use it. At the same time a guilt comes with that knowing it's like making this someone else's problem, and I decide to not link the coupon knowing their book spending habits are sometimes worse than mine had been. (2D)

Sometimes I get coupons from Barnes & Nobles and think, If I don't use this coupon, they won't send me anymore, so I have to use it. It's more difficult to get rid of these ones, and I click the link, read the two week away use-by date, and print it. Ugh. I usually misplace the coupon somewhere on my other desk after this, and since I hardly look there, I'm likely to forget it. Other times it stays in my mind saying use me! and I silently scream No, you can't make me! Sometimes I link these coupons to a friend, too. (3A)

I haven't been counting the cost of sending books out from BookMooch to others though I get books in exchange for it. It's very little to pay, people don't mooch from me much, and it's not that often that a book from my wishlist turns up in the system. (4A) I have limited my mooching from others to only from my country in order to save points, however. (I will always send out of country mooches - the extra points pays for the extra cost of first class air mail, in my opinion. (4B))

I walk through Target all the time. Sometimes I'm too early to work and browse there to waste time. I head to the stationary and office supply section, I go to the purse section, ... I (5A) go to the book section. I rush past the YA books (5B) then quickly walk down another book aisle (5C) before fleeing from the book section.

Sometimes I get bored or feel like something's missing and then I take a moment to think Oh yeah, it used to be normal for me to go in bookstores all the time. I think I should go to one so I can feel more restful and happy. Then I remember: my plan doesn't allow for books - I wouldn't get to buy any. (6A)

From the start I thought it would be an impossible book plan and thought I should reward myself every month. I have been good and if I keep being good I should still get to read, right? So I thought, What if I buy just one book a month? Well, I knew there would be the problem of what if I bought a book, and then gave in and ruined my plan with another! I decided this wouldn't do. I considered getting one book after each month that I stick to the plan. As I thought about it, I thought the price of one book if a hardcover is more steep than what I wanted to consider, but one measley used book? I changed my mind to $10 at a used bookstore after every month of non-book spending. (7A)

February is up, and I haven't gone to a bookstore yet. Turns out, my wallet can't afford it. Oh, well. In the meantime, I am continuing to not buy any books. (8A)


1A. I warn you if you read any further and are not a devoted book person, you're likely to think I am either crazy or that this is incredibly funny. Read on or no.

2A. Do the others matter? I think not!

2B. Which really means I keep it on the screen for up to two-in-a-half hours while using another tab. Every so often I open the tab with the coupon briefly, then go back to my other open tab.

2C. When I saw get rid of it, I mean put it in a file in my e-mail account. I put the coupon safely away in it's file before exiting the coupon tab. Who would ever delete a book coupon when it's still good? Keep this in mind because the term 'get rid of it' (re: book coupon) will come up again.

2D. January was bad. Bad, bad.

3A. I'm so sorry!

4A. The thought of even considering not getting books from BookMooch was too much to bear. I couldn't - no, I wouldn't not use it.

4B. This is bad. I should not send them out of country right now, right? But only three people have mooched from out of my country. / I would love the points! / Who'd mooch from me if I listed 'only to my country'? That's just mean. (No, I didn't mean that! I just feel more friendly by accepting mooches no matter where the moocher is from.)

5A. Darn it!

5B. Stop and glance at every book carefully checking for any I want, then rush away as quickly as possible.

5C. Though slow enough that I can see which books they have that I want ... and a week or two ago nearly fell because I picked up some books, read their backcovers, look at their prices, held them and debated, and almost fell by nearly getting a book or two by Phillipa Gregory.

6A. I'm not even going to begin thinking that I could just go and not get any. Who would stand a chance of not buying any books then? I would be setting myself up.

7A. Has this begun to sound defeating of the purpse to you yet?

8A. My BookMooch points have gotten awfully low - only one point left! ... I really, really want to read - urgh, *makes self not type any longer*.