Monday, May 31, 2010

Prince of Persia

So I pretty much enjoyed the movie and a large part of that is the gorgeousness of the picture to the left. I have become quite the fan of Mr. Jake Gyllenhaal through watching and reading about his publicity for this film. Besides being incredibly good-looking, he seems really funny (such a good sport through all of the inane chatter) and humble (recognition of how lucky he is as a successful actor).

Now the movie itself was very predictable (I kept poking my sister and telling her what would happen next) but I think if you like Jerry Bruckheimer pictures, you will like this. (Also note to Jerry Bruckheimer, when are we getting the third National Treasure?)

Ky at Can't Find a Bookmark also appreciated Jake!

Anyway enjoy Jake's hotness!


On a more serious note, I want to wish everyone a peaceful Memorial Day! A little history nugget: I had always thought that Memorial Day originated in the aftermath of WWI, which is sort of true as it was expanded then but it actually comes from Decoration Days which honored the Union dead from the Civil War. I just learned that in my Civil War class this year and I wanted to share it. I really like holidays where we get to wave the US flag because, and I realize I'm very biased here, I think America has the most beautiful flag and I love to see us come together in recognition of our fallen.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Bible Babel

Bible Babel by Kristin Swenson
Harper, 2010
271 pages

Source: The library

Summary: An examination of the Bible, looking at the characters, places, and things as well as what it says and how it's been interpreted.

Thoughts: While I have been trying to read the Bible, there is still a lot I don't know so I appreciated this look at it. It is quite readable and while scholarly, it includes humor. I was particularly interested in the chapters situating the Bible in a historical context as history is my interest and I think it's especially important to remember that these events took place in a far different world from ours.

For me, the best chapter was discussing how the Bible can be used to support and condemn homosexuality, abortion, other controversial political issues. It was very respectful of both point of views and clarified many points to my mind.

The later chapters look at male and female characters, plants, and places. There was interesting information but at times it seemed to drag. A personal preference of mine is footnotes while this utilizes endnotes, meaning I had to keep a finger in that section while reading the actual text which was awkward.

Overall: 4.5/5. Very enjoyable; highly recommended!

Cover: It's hard to see in this picture but the little boxes are various pictures relating to Judaism and Christianity such as the Jesus Fish and the Star of David.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Murder on the Orient Express

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
Black Dog & Leventhal, 1934
266 pages
Mystery; Hercule Poirot

Source: The library

Summary: While traveling on the Orient Express, a murder is committed. As they are stuck in snow, the murderer must be one of the remaining passengers. Can Hercule Poirot use his little grey cells to deduce the murderer?

Thoughts: As you may know, I've been trying to read every AC novel and this is a better known one. And I thought it was pretty great! There are many many people to keep track of but I was able to form mental pictures of most of them which helped. I found Poirot less annoying in this book than in some of his others although I'm not sure why.

Originally I thought it was dragging on a bit as there is a chapter devoted to interviewing each suspect but the final (third) part unravels everything very quickly and lays out exactly how the murder was carried out. I was on the edge of my seat (okay, not literally), wondering who it could be. I had absolutely no idea but I loved the answer.

Overall: 4.5/5. Highly recommend it!

Cover: I think this is a really pretty blue.

Film: I haven't seen the film but I'm putting it toward the top of my list in the hopes that I can see it soon.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Ninth Daughter

The Ninth Daughter by Barbara Hamilton
Berkeley Publishing Group, 2009
359 pages
Historical; Mystery
1st in series

Source: The library

Summary: In 1773, Abigail Adams finds a dead woman in her friend's house and that friend missing. Then her husband is accused of having committed the crime. So Abigail sets out to discover the real murderer and find her friend again.

Thoughts: I picked this up because I love American history and Abigail Adams is one of my favorite historical figures. I didn't realize it was the first in a series until I got it home; I like to start with the first but for mysteries that isn't always necessary. But it didn't really feel like a first mystery to me because many of the characters (Abigail, John, and Sam Adams, Paul Revere) were already known to me and did not need to be introduced.

My biggest problem was the writing style as there were many times when I had to stop and reread sentences because either the sentence structure or the comma usage confused me. Because of that I'm not entirely sure I could explain all of the details of the murder. I also did not solve the mystery (*surprise*)

Pamela by Samuel Richardson is Abigail's favorite novel (historically accurate?) and its themes about women being used, maltreated, and generally considered unimportant were utilized to make parallels between the novel and the women Abigail sees.

I would have liked a historical note from the author explaining if the murders committed were inspired by a real life incident and also an examination of the Sons of Liberty's activities and the politics of the time. I also would have liked more interaction between Abigail and John because the scenes where they were together were so cute.

Overall: 3.5/5. I will keep in an eye out for other books in the series as I know the first book isn't always as good as the ones that follow.

Cover/Title: I honestly did not understand the title until I typed it today although it is explained.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Girls Gone Wise

Girls Gone Wise in a World Gone Wild by Mary A Kassian
Moody Publishers, 2010
350 pages
Christian; Inspirational

Source: I signed up for NetGalley and this was the first book I received! So I read it on my computer through Adobe Digital Editions.

Summary: Examining today's culture, Kassian challenges the prevailing notion of womanhood offering up a Biblical viewpoint and challenging the reader to bring herself more in line with God's Word.

Thoughts: I didn't know anything about this book when I was browsing Netgalley but I thought it could be interesting so I requested it and started reading it. It took me longer than I thought because a. I was reading it on my computer because I don't have an e-reader and b. I also did the interactive worksheets, which got me deeper into the text but also slowed me down (more on that later).

The guidepost for this book is Proverbs 7 which outlines the kind of women we should not aspire to be like. There are twenty points of contrast such as speech, clothing, and attitude where the "wild woman" is described in comparison to a "wise woman" using a mix of Biblical verses and modern examples.

The worksheets were very helpful (they can be downloaded at the website) and I received a lot from them. They challenged me in the areas where I lack and affirmed me in the areas where I've had success.

I thought Kassian was a bit harsh on the feminist movement and was also somewhat homophobic although that is not a large part. For me, those were outweighed by the interaction of the worksheets and the engaging writing style.

Overall: 4 out 5. I am thinking of recommending this to some of my friends who like to read.

Cover: I like the colors-unfortunately the version I read was all black and white so no pretty colors :-(

Other: If you would like more information, check out the website, which has a lot of cool resources.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

DWTS Finale/Glee

DWTS: If you follow my twitter (and if not, why don't you? I'm @bookworm1858) you may have noticed that I was rooting for Evan (or #teamevanna). Thus I was displeased with the finale. Someone else captured my feelings perfectly: @G_RANTHot935 OMG Nicole wins DWTS!!! WHAT AN UPSET!!!!! She should dance for a living!!!...wait a sec. Because she is a professional dancer and she minored in dance in college. On the bright side, I can now swear off DWTS which is great because it is a gigantic time suck. And that is not an empty threat because I have skipped seasons before AND I am in the coveted 18-49 age range that advertisers love. Also anger at judges and producers for general suckiness.

Luckily Glee was amazing!!!! It had Bad Romance, which is only one of my favorite songs, and awesome Kurt, my favorite character.

  • Opinionated voiceover-cheeky!
  • Vampires-why does the principal believe they exist?!
  • THEATRICALITY-did you pick up the theme? I thought it was even more obvious than the very obvious Dream theme last week
  • I don't see why Lady Gaga is so definitely only for girls; I know guys who like her songs
  • Puck, Mike, Matt, and Finn were all on the football team; why is Finn the only one getting picked on?
  • Did everyone wear their Gaga costume/Kiss outfit all week? Wouldn't that be uncomfortable? Wouldn't they get dirty/smelly? What was the timeframe for this?
  • So women are just inherently awesome sewers who can make amazing clothes overnight?
  • Burt-my family hearts Mike O'Malley (we've actually been fans since Yes, Dear) and I'm was so happy to see Burt stand up for his son and Mike O'Malley just be amazing. I bawled during that scene-it was so powerful.
  • The crazy pink eyelashes on Quinn!
  • No Jesse :-( Absence of hotness makes me sad
  • While there wasn't a lot of Will (Yay!), it appeared as if he observed those two bullying football players and didn't step in! I know teachers are supposed to do that! Or did he arrive late to the scene? I still feel like he witnessed something he would have to report.
  • No Sue :-( but no Emma :-) and Terri next week :-)
1. Funny Girl-Shelby
2. Bad Romance-Glee Girls and Kurt
3. Shout It Out Loud-Glee Guys minus Kurt
4. Beth-Glee Guys Minus Kurt
5. Poker Face-Rachel and Shelby

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Fat Cat

Fat Cat by Robin Brande
Alfred A Knopf, 2009
327 pages
YA; Contemporary

Source: Checked out of my local library

Summary: Cat loves science so when she receives the chance to take an advanced science class, she wants to do her best (and beat former best friend Matt). But her project can also help her transform herself, through weight loss and eventually within herself.

Thoughts: I think the main reason I liked this book was because of the great relationship between Cat and her best friend Amanda. They are so supportive of each other and it is exactly the kind of relationship I wanted with someone when I was in high school. They each recognize their own strengths and cheer on the other's. I loved reading that. And while her parents weren't a big part of the book, they were largely supportive of her and they weren't completely neglectful in other ways.

I enjoyed reading about her experiment although I'm not sure about the scientificness of all of it (that is totally a word!) And it takes a detour in to dealing with boys.

There are five main boys; one is Cat's brother and one is Amanda's boyfriend but the other three are potential love interests for Cat. It's pretty obvious who she will end up with but her difficulties in navigating male-female romantic interaction were funny.

Overall: 4.5/5. I was very pleased with this book and I especially loved the friendship.

Cover: I love the purple but I'm not a huge fan of the cover.

Casting: I see "Matt" from Glee as Matt in this book, solely because of the name.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I received this award from Jessica at A Fanatic's Book Blog. Thank you so much!

7 Things About Me:
1. I love old movies especially those with Cary Grant.
2. I love Boy Meets World-especially episodes with good Cory-Topanga interaction.
3. My favorite book is Pride and Prejudice.
4. I name my teddy bears after presidents; hopefully someday I'll have bears for each of the presidents I like.
5. I love Broadway musicals; my favorite is Guys and Dolls (although I cannot recommend the movie)
6. While Cary Grant is my all-time favorite movie star, I currently have a big crush on Jake Gyllenhaal.
7. I think about time travel a lot. Not in how a person might accomplish it, but where I would travel if I could (I think it's because I'm a history major).

Glee Concert

So I wanted to write up a complete list of what I noticed at the Glee concert; I attended the 2pm matinee at the Gibson Amphitheatre in Universal City on May 22. Some background: the concert tour is as if the glee club is on tour thus everyone performed in character.

I got there very early and thus had the opportunity to watch the two large screens showing quotes and screen captures from the show (obviously Sue had most of the quotes but they also had good ones from other characters) and listen to songs from the soundtracks although I don't think they played any which were in the concert.

The show started quite promptly (probably about 2:03 or so) with The LXD (The Legion of Extraordinary Dancers) featuring Glee's Harry Shum, Jr. Their dancing was met with applause but quite frankly, I really just wanted to see and hear Glee. They finished about 2:25.

At 2:55 (Yes, almost an hour after the time the show was supposed to start!), some Cheerios! started walking through the aisles handing out barf bags with WMHS; this was explained when the monitors showed Sue explaining how the show made her want to barf and she wanted us to be ready. It panned out to show Mr. Schue sitting next to her and then it went to the first song:
1. Don't Stop Believing-starting with the original six but then welcoming the others
2. My Life Would Suck Without You-featuring Kurt's Single Ladies dance to enthusiastic cheers as well as Quinn's Say a Littler Prayer dance
3. Push It-
Video Interlude
4. Don't Rain on My Parade-with Rachel coming out of the audience and actually walking around quite a bit.
5. Beautiful- Mercedes alone on stage (very dramatic)
6. Sweet Caroline-Puck with guitar (sawoon!) and audience singalong (also Cory on drums)
7. The Boy Is Mine-Love!
8. The Lady is a Tramp-Puck started and was joined by Mercedes and Santana
Music Interlude
9. Defying Gravity-Kurt and Rachel duetting (So beautiful); they hug at the end setting up...
10. Bust Your Windows-with the car (with unbusted windows) and scantily dressed Cheerios!
Music Interlude
11. Bad Romance-amazing! A huge crowd-pleaser!
12. Dancing with Myself-Artie and I believe Matt, Brittany, and Mike danced.
13. It's My Life/Confessions-So good. In the context of the show I couldn't decide which mash-up was better, but seeing it live makes me definitely choose the boys
14. Halo/Walking on Sunshine-the girls had really pretty yellow dresses though
Video Interlude-Sue introduced Vocal Adrenaline
15. Rehab
16. Mercy
Kurt and Brittany Interlude referencing their hookup from last episode and giving the stagehands time to set up the mattresses for...
17. Jump
Music Interlude
18. Faithfully-a song we haven't heard yet
19. Any Way You Want It/Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'
Music Interlude
20. Like a Prayer-sadly cut but Kurt was totally amazing on his lines and he went over and kissed Mercedes again
Hello-with Jonathan Groff (!) making a possibly surprise appearance (I haven't read about him performing at any of the other shows)
True Colors-Yay-Tina gets the spotlight
Somebody to Love-so good!

Ended about 4:10-15, meaning about a seventy-five/eighty minute show.

Favorite Parts:
+Basically everything Kurt did! Kurt and Puck were definitely the two crowd favorites (and Kurt is my favorite character).

+My three favorite songs were edited to be much shorter: Bad Romance, Like a Prayer, and Somebody to Love (not sure if others were as well). Not sure about rationale for that.
+Not that this is their fault but I think the songs which haven't been released yet would have gone over better if we had seen them in the context of the show.
+It would have been cool to have the lyrics on the middle screen which was used for the opening of Bad Romance and part of Sweet Caroline
+I wish that Quinn, Finn, and Puck had been used more. I also would have liked to see Brittany sing more but she was super busy dancing and she also had several comedy bits so she was probably plenty busy.

Has anyone else seen the show? Were my notes interesting/helpful for those who haven't?

Sunday, May 23, 2010


Heaven by Lisa Miller
Harper, 2010
248 pages

Source: From my local library

Summary: An examination of Western civilization's interaction with the concept of "heaven" particularly through the lens of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Thoughts: I enjoyed this book a lot. I liked seeing how notions of heaven evolved throughout the centuries to address the concerns of people (for example, the domestic idea of heaven as a place where we are reunited with family really only comes from the past two centuries). And I liked seeing how people throughout time have grappled with these questions. They're big and I think they're important but they can also seem overwhelming and difficult.

Personally I waver on what heaven is like. I believe in it but whether it's a giant library (my favorite) or an eternity worshipping God or something else, I'm not entirely sure.

My favorite story is from the Muslim tradition where in heaven a man's good works are stacked up high as a mountain but they are outweighed by one single gift from God to the man. I think that's very beautiful and so true; God's grace to us overwhelms anything we can do. I find that very humbling and spiritually satisfying.

Another thing I like is that Miller mentions how increasingly people believe that other people can make it to heaven even if they believe something different. I find that positive that even with all the conflict here, people still want other people saved for eternity.

Overall: 4 out of 5. Good job exploring this topic and sparking my imagination about it. It also gave me some titles to add to my list!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


Dream On
  • I loved that NPH was on this episode-he was fantastic and he helped make up for the fact that Will was a focus of this episode (I really don't like Will).
  • Artie's storyline-I didn't really like the fantasy sequence, the song or the angles which were too busy for my taste
  • I'm excited for Rachel to meet her mom but I'm still afraid that it's some plot of Shelby's where she either knew Rachel's dads or her real mom and is pretending in order to exploit Rachel and destroy her before Regionals.
  • Again while I loved NPH, there isn't that much from the episode that I want to talk about.
  • Also I will be seeing the Glee Concert this weekend; I hope to post (maybe with some pictures!) early next week
1. Piano Man-Bryan and Will
2. Dream On-Bryan and Will
3. Safety Dance-Artie
4. I Dreamed a Dream-Shelby and Rachel
5. Dream a Little Dream-Artie

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Unwritten Rule

The Unwritten Rule by Elizabeth Scott
Simon Pulse, 2010
210 pages
YA; Contemporary

Summary: Meet Sarah. Sarah's best friend is Brianna. Sarah likes Ryan. Brianna's boyfriend is Ryan. Problems? Another story from YA author extraordinaire Elizabeth Scott.


Thoughts: I adore Elizabeth Scott (especially because I've gotten my sister to read some of Scott's books thus sparing my sister several hours of the dreck she usually reads) but I didn't really like this one. It was well-written and in some ways I could identify with Sarah. For example I loved her parents and I am psyched to see a healthy parent/child relationship in a YA book because that is rare. I liked Sarah's feelings for Ryan; they seemed very real.

But I'm just not a fan of girl likes her best friend's boyfriend. First it's so so so wrong. Second it makes me think of two of my friends who have dated total losers and I think, how could we ever like the same guy? Luckily my friends with boyfriends are with nice guys now but still not anybody I'd like.

I also felt the friend was cliche mean. Sarah is a doormat who exists to need Brianna. When that relationship shifts, she flips out. It is very honest to have it end with them unreconciled but I wish that it had been clearer that Sarah would have friends beyond Ryan because people need friends, not just romantic partners.

Overall: 3.5/5. Well-written as usual by Scott but not a fan of the basic plot.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Body in the Library

The Body in the Library by Agatha Christie
Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, 1941
191 pages
Miss Marple

Summary: A woman's body is found in the library of Miss Marple's neighbors. Can she solve this mix of hotel workers, show business, and simple country folk and clear the neighbors's good name?

Thoughts: I actually figured out part of the murder! Not who and not why but part of the how! I'm so excited and that accounts partly for my enjoyment of this book in preference to yesterday's Murder at the Vicarage. Another part is its shorter length which meant there was less time for boring village conversations and getting to the point much faster. I would definitely recommend this mystery as an introduction to Miss Marple and I love the pink cover of the new edition.

Overall: 4 out of 5-largely because I figured out part of the murder.

Have finished 18 AC out of 81 in my personal AC challenge!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Murder at the Vicarage

Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
288 pages
The First Miss Marple!

Summary: Introduction of Miss Marple as she solves the murder of the despised Colonel Protheroe.

Thoughts: I have read a few other Miss Marples and I definitely prefer her to Poirot; I'm not really sure why. I love when she brings in references to events that don't seem to have any significance to the story. I really liked the characters and while I didn't solve the mystery I did not establish an attachment toward her/him as I have done in other mysteries. The vicar, who narrates, is quite likeable. And of course we get to meet Miss Marple.

Overall: 3.5/5 The story starts out fine but it falters toward the end. Of course I will continue to read all of the Christies.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Espressologist

The Espressologist by Kristina Springer
Farrar, Straus, Giroux, 2009
184 pages
YA; Contemporary

Summary: Jane has been working at a coffee shop and studying people for months and she has developed the ability to match people based on their drink choices. Then her manager finds out and uses her for a promotion. Can she find love for herself, her best friend Em, and her new friend Cam?

Thoughts: I read this really fast because it's not long and it's not a difficult read in any way. It is very fluffy which is what I was in the mood for. There is not much to the characters. I mostly liked Jane although she was completely oblivious to her romantic feelings. She's also a little mean for my taste. The other characters in the book are barely developed.

It is also very predictable-absolutely nothing that happened surprised me except for one little thing. Jane has been skipping classes for several weeks because she thinks that as it is her senior year and she applied early decision to her college of choice, school doesn't matter. And nothing happens to her! Note this takes place in November/December so it's not even really senioritis because that can't happen until you know for sure where you've been accepted. Why isn't the school calling about her missing classes? My school was a stickler for that!

Overall: 3.5/5. Nice light fluff but nothing outstanding.

Cover: At first I thought I really liked the cover but now I'm somewhat creeped out by the girl. I love the font and the cup of coffee is cute but she's weird.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Road to Wigan Pier

The Road to Wigan Pier by George Orwell
Harcourt Books, 1958
Originally published 1937
232 pages

Did you know George Orwell was a pen name? I didn't until I looked up his wikipedia page prior to my class discussing this book.

Summary: Orwell investigated conditions for the working class and it turned into a discussion about socialism.

Thoughts: There are some very vivid examples in this book such as the coal miner whose black thumb print covers the bread and the statement that middle class children are told that the working classes smell, basically from birth. This creates conditions where those who might be sympathetic to socialism and would benefit more from it than from capitalism look down on the socialists. The language used also pushes people away. It's especially remarkable because the book opens with a letter from the people distributing the book, disclaiming some of the attitudes expressed. It definitely encourages me to get started on reading "1984."

Overall: 4/5. I prefer his fiction but this is very readable and raises some interesting issues.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Rivershead Books, 2002
511 pages
Historical Fiction; Romance

I only ended up reading about 200 pages which includes Part I and part of Part II partly because I ran out of time and had to return it to the library and partly because I didn't like it that much. Sue, the narrator of Part I, is not particularly likeable in my opinion and the Victorian area is not one of my favorites (unless it's the aristocracy/royals). I may try to read this again in the fall but for now I will let it go.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Summer Goals

While it is not technically summer yet, I feel like it is because I have finished my semester. Thus I want to write up my goals for this time period.

Hopefully 5 books a week although this depends on what kind of job I can procure.
-1 Faith book a week, whether it's a commentary, a retelling of a Biblical book, Inspirational fiction, etc.
-1 Agatha Christie a week-my library is well stocked with her books and I own a few myself
-1 History book a week, to get ideas for what I might write a thesis about
-1 YA book a week, I have quite the list
-1 book I own a week, I have a lot I want to get through

I also hope to read The Tenant of Wildfell Hall to complete my Brontë challenge and Thud to further my Terry Pratchett challenge [Both books I already own]. I have started several series and I hope to move forward in them (Tasha Alexander's Lady Emily mysteries, Moira J. Moore's Hero series, Elizabeth Peters' Amelia Peabody mysteries, etc). I also want to reread all the Jane Austen books-it's been a while.

I also hope to continue posting and continue reading other blogs and I am contemplating a giveaway although I have not sorted out all of the logistics of that yet.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Some Girls Are

Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers
St. Martin's Press, 2009
246 pages
YA; Contemporary

This ended up being my 100th book that I finished this year-yay me!

Summary: Regina used to have everything until one night when her best friend's boyfriend tries to rape her and gossip turns it into consensual. That best friend is queen bee and plans to destroy her.

Thoughts: What an appalling story! I'm so thankful for my high school experience, sucky as it was. At least I had friends and nobody picked on me; I'm not even sure we had a mean girl hierarchy. The other thing I didn't like is the awful adults. I know I have a good relationship with my parents and I know many people aren't as lucky but surely most adults are more perceptive than Regina's parents, the parents of the other kids, and the teachers at the school.

It's a brutal book to read. Every page I was on edge waiting for Anna and another girl Kara to strike. There were only brief respites before the next incident. The "friendship" that these girls are contented with baffles me. Even though they will stab each other in the back, not listen to each other, not trust each other, and ice each other, they still call themselves friends. How does this happen? Why do some people do that?

Regina is not a nice character but I was able to feel for her. Almost everything she has done to her, she had done to someone else so in some ways it's like retribution. She is fortunate enough to make a friend with Michael, a guy who had been tortured by the mean girls before. I liked Michael-that's about all I have to say about him.

Overall: 4/5. While the story has a few problems, I appreciated the style and was caught up in it.

Cover: I do not like the cover; it turned me off and kept me from picking this book up earlier. I do like the color contrast though.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

DWTS Week 8/Glee

I don't really feel like talking about this; I predicted Niecy would leave. I was rooting for Evan! I have a quibble-I hate when the producers force gimmicks on the dancers and then the judges score down for that. Producers and judges-coordinate!

  • I missed Jesse this week; I think Jonathan Groff is mega-hot and super talented!
  • I enjoyed that this episode focused on the students instead of stupid Will or any of the other teachers but I am looking forward to NPH next week!
  • Jessie's Girl! Only one of my most favorite songs!
  • Rose's Turn from Gypsy which is my second favorite musical although I've never been able to see it live :-( I've seen the movie (Not recommended except for Natalie Wood's The Strip scene) and I have the recordings (Ethel, Angela, Roz, Tyne, Bette, Bernadette, and Patti) but I would love to see it live, of course! How about Patti Lupone for Kurt's grandmother or aunt?
  • I would still love to see more Quinn but I liked her scene with Mercedes and I think she has a bigger story in a few episodes; plus we find out she's been living with Puck all this time! But no bacon for her is one of the saddest things I've ever heard (didn't they show his family eating pork? Am I thinking of another show?)
  • Only four more episodes! Although I'm seeing the concert tour so I will post about that (I honestly can't remember when I'm going except that it's an LA concert)

1. The Climb-Rachel; I'm counting this because I've seen it on youtube.
2. Jessie's Girl-Finn-I've loved this song for a long time and I've been full on obsessed with it since "13 Going On 30." I don't know if Jesse was named that specifically so this song could be used but I fully applaud that decision if it was.
3. The Lady is a Tramp-Puck and Mercedes; I liked this much more once I saw it performed with the jazz band but I still prefer Frank's rendition.
4. Pink Houses-Kurt; just including this because Kurt's voice is used so differently
5. The Boy Is Mine-Mercedes and Santana; Love!
6. Rose's Turn-Kurt; I loved that he switched back in to blue clothes (which I believe is what Rose traditionally wears during this scene) and it had the "Kurt" sign!!!!
7. One-New Directions; I was not familiar with this song but I like it and I'm obsessed with the way Lea Michele (Rachel) says "law"

Bottom-line: One of the strongest episodes, music and story wise!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Taken By Storm

Taken by Storm by Angela Morrison
Razorbill, 2009
291 pages
YA; Contemporary

Summary: Michael is devastated after the death of his parents in a hurricane which somehow he survived. He is sent to live with his grandmother in a small town in Washington where he meets Leecie, Mormon Ice Queen. They are drawn to each other but face conflicts due to her religious beliefs and his depression from his parents' death.

Thoughts: The first thing I read in this book was a poem, which terrified me that this book might be in verse. I've read books like that before but it's not my favorite way. Instead it's told through a combination of poems, journaling and online chatting. The poems are written by Leecie and I don't think much of them-they're very obvious.

I alternated between disliking Michael and disliking Leecie. As they draw closer together, Michael is a stereotypical stupid boy who can't differentiate between physical and emotional intimacy and love. And he complains a lot about how she won't sleep him and thus that means she doesn't love him. Idiot! Leecie is annoying with her believing that she is the only thing that can save him (does Leecie consider herself a Christian? Cos that makes me even more angry) and her planning to give up all of her dreams in order to be with him.

I also hated her school-what is wrong with Leecie's classmates? They pick on her because she's "frigid." Is everyone else at that school having sex? What kind of high school is it?! Mine was nothing like that.

I guess I liked Gran and Leecie's parents although they are not used very much. I liked Michael's name. It was an easy read and I liked the ending although I don't want to spoil it for you.

Overall: 3/5. I thought I would be writing a much more positive review of this but it turns out I liked it less than I thought. I really disliked the main characteristic of each of the main characters (Michael is a pig who only wants sex; Leecie is an idiot who wants to give up her dreams for him).

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Resenting the Hero

Resenting the Hero by Moira J Moore
Ace Books, 2006
285 pages
1st in Series

Summary: Dunleavy or Lee has been training to be a Shield her whole life. All she wants is to be bonded with a nice reliable Source. Instead she gets Lord Shintaro Karish (Taro), the Stallion of Triple S. They are assigned to the most high profile area in the land where an inexplicable disaster strikes down all of the other Pairs. Lee and Taro must work together to

Thoughts: I was really excited about this; I'd seen good reviews and I liked the covers of the series (yes, I judge books by their covers-so do you probably!) I mostly liked the characters and there was a fair bit of humor. I enjoyed the world created by Moore and I was interested in the mystery behind this. Karish is a Source which means he can channel the tremendous forces such as earthquakes and tornadoes which afflict the world and Lee is a Shield which means she protects him from dying as he does that. I definitely see potential for this story to grow and develop in the next books. But overall it just seemed really choppy, like characters would change from chapter to chapter and tone inexplicably shifted. This definitely hurt my enjoyment of the story.

Lee was a little annoying admittedly; she carries enormous guilt for something that is not her fault and she is awfully prejudiced toward Taro. Taro is very charming and I liked seeing his efforts to prove himself as an ordinary Source rather than as a Lord. Their interactions together were my favorite part.

There is a mystery here-what is up with that force that strikes down all of the other pairs? But it is weird, is the best way I can describe it. I don't want to spoil it for anyone but that was definitely the part I had the most trouble with.

Overall: 3.5/5. While I was disappointed, I still plan to try to read the rest of the series as soon as I can get them.

Cover: Cute. I don't feel it accurately portrays the plot of the novel although it is relevant, if that makes sense.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Flirting with Disaster

Flirting With Disaster by Rhonda Stapleton
Simon Pulse, 2010
227 pages
Contemporary YA
2nd in trilogy

Summary: Felicity returns as a cupid with her magic PDA! This time she decides to try to fix her friend Andy up which results in Andy ditching her friends for her boyfriend. Felicity also gets tantalizingly close to her longtime crush Derek but only as friends.

Thoughts: Again Felicity manages to mess up and she seems unashamed at not reading the instructions for her job. Yes they might be difficult to read but it's her job and she should actually read them. The drama in this book revolves around her friend Andy being set up by Felicity and basically ditching her for the boy. I am so against that but Felicity is soooo annoying that I almost can't blame Andy.

I do really like her interactions with Derek; I find her quite likeable in those scenes and I'm excited to see what happens with them in the next book. I don't want to spoil what happens but their scenes are the best!

Overall: 3/5. I am not loving these books as much as I thought I would but I still want to read the third to find out more.

Cover: I think I like this cover more than the other because I prefer the colors; I do hate her boots though.

Review of first book: Stupid Cupid

Sunday, May 9, 2010

This Book is Overdue!

This Book is Overdue by Marilyn Johnson
HarperCollins, 2010
252 pages

Summary: An examination into the changing world of librarians: whether they are still relevant, what they can offer for the future, and how libraries are still necessary in the age of Google.

Thoughts: I saw several reviews of this and thought it sounded like a fun read so I checked it out and I read it fairly quickly. It took me a while to get in to it but once I did, I loved it.

First I am thinking about maybe getting a master's in library and information science to possibly become a librarian or something with information. I still have a little bit of time but I'm seriously considering it.

Second, I loved the parts where she discusses some of her favorite library blogs; unfortunately that added a ton of websites to my already jam-packed google reader. But I think they will be very interesting.

And third I found the writing style very engaging; Johnson is definitely passionate about this topic and it was a joy to read. If you are wondering if we still need librarians when we have the internet, check this out!

Overall: 4 out of 5. I will definitely be looking for Johnson's previous book, The Dead Beat.

Cover: I love the cover with a librarian as a superhero-so true!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Book Sale Stash!

After reading about library book sales from April at Good Food and Good Wine, I was inspired and it was just my luck that a library near me (within walking distance because at college I don't have a car) was having one last weekend. I didn't do as well as she has but I got some good stuff, which I will hopefully be reading this summer!

Talking About Genesis-Looking at the book of Genesis in a variety of ways; I'm hoping to read some good spiritual books this summer and this looks like it will be one of them.
Desire of the Everlasting Hills by Thomas Cahill-A look at the life of Jesus

Four Lord Peter Wimsey Novels by Dorothy L Sayers-Although I didn't like The Nine Tailors, I still want to try the other stories because I enjoy hanging out with Lord Peter and Bunter.
The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly-I have no idea what this is about but I think the cover is beautiful so I will give it a try.
Chicken Soup for the Sister's Soul-I have a sister and I usually enjoy this series.

Heir Apparent by Vivian Vande Velde-I've read this before and I loved it; happy to have my own copy.
The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Stroud-I've also read this before but I want to read it again; first in series
Nicola and the Viscount by Meg Cabot-While I prefer Victoria and the Rogue, I'm happy to pick this up cheap to work toward completing my Meg Cabot collection; I also prefer this cover to the current one
A Room with a View by EM Forster-I've seen the recent adaptation of this (Not the Merchant and Ivory one) and I would like to read the actual story
Germinal by Emile Zola-I'm going to give him another chance

That's what I got! Thanks for the inspiration, April!

[Pictures taken by me; Links to Amazon if you wish to find out more or purchase the book yourself]

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday Night Lights!

Just a reminder that Friday Night Lights returns to NBC tonight Friday May 7 at 8/7c. This is the best show on TV you're not watching. You don't have to like football to enjoy it (I hate high school football); all you need is to enjoy good characters and you're book people so I know you do. Check it out!

DWTS Week 7/Glee

-Evan and Anna got the first perfect score of the season-take that Nicole! I really do love this pair and I'm rooting for them. I'm fairly confident they'll be in the top three so we still have more awesomeness to come from them.
-I predicted Niecy would go home but my mom said Pam and Pam it was (she's really good at this, she can almost always predict who's going home and who was the murderer/criminal on TV shows/movies-it's super annoying when she correctly says "s/he did it" when you've only watched fifteen minutes of a show)

Glee-"Bad Reputation"
  • Will is totally a slut/whore/whatever word you want to use. He's a character who is supposed to be a nice guy but the writers tell us that rather than show us that, consequently it's less than effective; he's definitely my least favorite character.
  • I loved getting to see Sue and her sister although it made me miss my sister (*Hugs*)
  • Boo Molly Shannon! I'm not a fan of her, I don't think she adds anything, and we don't need new characters when the characters we already know are hardly used.
  • Olivia Newton-John? Random!
  • U Can't Touch This in the library? Random but awesome-why the heck they decided to do this is beyond me.
  • Return of Puck and Quinn (not together)
  • Jesse's heartbreak! I love Jonathan Groff-can he stay forever?
  • Run Joey Run-I love story songs (this one makes me think of Leader of the Pack and Teen Angel which leads me to ask, must a story song include someone dying at the end?)
1. Ice Ice Baby-Will; Dear Glee Writers, Please stop having Matthew Morrison rap; it is not as amusing as you think it is. Sincerely, Gleeks Everywhere (or maybe it's just me)
2. U Can't Touch This-Artie
3. Physical-Sue and Olivia Newton John
4. Run Joey Run-Rachel, Puck, Jesse, and Finn; what a bizarre song although I was obsessed with it last week and continuing in to this one without understanding the context.
5. Total Eclipse of the Heart-Rachel, Finn, Puck, and Jesse-awesome ballet scenes and more Jesse hotness!

What did you think?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc, 2003
Originally published 1847
258 pages
Classic; "Love" story

Summary: The classic tale of Cathy and Heathcliff on the wild moors.

Thoughts: I read this as part of the Brontë challenge and also because I had never read it before. It was a struggle to finish it but I am finally done (and just in time because it is due at the library soon!)

When I first tried to read this, I had difficulty with the framing device used. It starts with a tenant meeting Heathcliff and then is told from the perspective of a gossipy servant who watched all that happened. I suppose I prefer a more traditional method of telling a story.

The other big problem I have is that none of the characters are likeable. They are all awful people who seem to enjoy hurting others, being accommodating to spoiled brats, being spoiled brats, being selfish, etc. Why would anyone choose to write a story about people with basically no redeeming qualities? I've never met anybody that awful and fiction ought to have some basis in reality.

The biggest problem I have is with Heathcliff. Anybody who finds him romantic has either watched film versions too much or has some serious psychological problems because he is a character I find almost pure evil. His legitimate grudges (toward Earnshaw, Linton, and Cathy) are pursued needlessly against the second generation so that almost every page features the reverberations of a selfish, cruel person who cares naught for anyone or anything beyond himself. I cannot see any love in his heart even as he professes it for Cathy (And I do not like that everyone keeps having the same name.)

Also what's up with the moors? I'm not sure this covers everything I hated about this book but it will have to suffice.

Overall: 1 out of 5. Simply awful.

Also a cute cartoon about the Brontë sisters.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Scholastic, 2009
390 pages
Contemporary; Paranormal Romance; YA

Summary: Grace lives in cold Minnesota and has watched the wolves for years, especially one wolf with yellow eyes. Sam has in turn watched Grace, waiting for his brief times as a human. Now they are meeting and falling in love and confronting the impossibility of their situation.

My Thoughts: I wasn't too sure about this book at first (I don't really like paranormal) but I mostly liked it. It is beautifully written and I definitely enjoyed it. The descriptions of sight and smell were especially useful to forming atmosphere and helping this reader become involved in the world.

There were a few questions I had about the wolves which do get answered although it took a little too long for my taste. I also liked reading about her parents-I mean they were awful parents but they were interesting and I liked the comparisons of her parents to Sam's pack and how they influenced the characters to be who they were.

I did have two problems. One is that it somewhat reminded me of Twilight (not a compliment coming from me) in that there was so much time spent with them just talking about how much they loved each other and not much happening. Luckily Stiefvater is a much better writer so a. there were not just repeated pages of how beautiful Sam is and b. the plot moved much better. The other problem is how Grace basically dumped her friends when Sam came in to her life. I hate when that happens in books/movies/TV. Grace is very independent but her friends were nice people not frenemies so I wished she had made more of an effort with them.

Warning: Lately I've only had time to read while I eat and chapter 33 of this book is not suitable for that. It was a brutal look at one incident in Sam's early life. There is also a brief sex scene, not graphic.

Overall: 4 out of 5-excited for the sequel, Linger! And I want to read more of Maggie Stiefvater's writing.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

April Stats

Well my reading dropped off at the end of the month due to my classwork but overall I feel I had a pretty good month! I'm SO close to 100 books and I think I will reach that maybe halfway through May (how is it already May?)

Number of Books Read: 28-my best month yet!
Favorite: House Rules by Jodi Picoult
Least Favorite: Love Off Limits by Whitney Lyles and Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Longest: House Rules
Shortest: In Bluebeard's Castle by George Steiner (for class)

Total Books Read This Year: 96
Total Pages Read This Year: 31,623

Plans for May: I have six books checked out for fun and I will be posting summer goals halfway through this month.

Challenge Updates:
-Another book (finally) done for the Brontë challenge. One more to go; I'm planning to go with Anne or a movie because I need a break after Wuthering Heights.

I'll be officially back on May 5 with a review of Shiver! Can't wait to see what's going on in the blogosphere!
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