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Sunday, January 29, 2012

In My Mailbox - January 28, 2012



I am participating in this weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we share what books we received this week.


I received this softcover in my "real" mailbox, which I won in a giveaway hosted by Julie at A Tale of Many Reviews:

Grounds for Death: A Garden Plot Mystery
by Andrea Zanetti

Thanks again, Julie & Andrea!


 

I received this softcover in my "real" mailbox, which I won in a giveaway hosted by Bill at Azure Dwarf's Horde of SciFi & Fantasy: 

The Lens and the Looker
(The Verona Trilogy, Book #1)
by Lory S. Kaufman

Thanks again, Bill & Lory!




What did you get in your mailbox this week?

If you are also participating in the In My Mailbox meme, please leave me the link to your post so that I can drool over all your goodies!

If anyone has read either of these books yet, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

2012 NetGalley Reading Challenge

Hi, everyone! Time for another 2012 Reading Challenge!!


I always have good intentions, but I seem to do poorly on the NetGalley Read-A-Thons. I like this idea of an annual challenge! I think (hope!) I will have better success at it!

This challenge is being hosted by Emily at Red House Books.

Here are the details copied from Emily's blog:


2012 NetGalley Reading Challenge

I've been hosting NetGalley Month Read-A-Thons, held every three months in January, April. July and October for a while now and I thought - What better way to accompany these events then a

YEAR LONG CHALLENGE!

I'm a casual kind of gal so my 'rules' are very simple

1. Link up your blog below
Or wherever it is you post your NetGalley reviews

2. Pick a level:
I tried to come up with cute names for each level but failed miserably
So instead, each level gets a colored star :)

Blue Star - read 1-10 NetGalley Books in 2012
Green Star - read 11-20 NetGalley Books in 2012
Red Star - read 21-30 NetGalley Books in 2012
Gold Star - read 30+ NetGalley Books in 2012

3. Put my challenge button on your blog, if you want
code is to the right in my sidebar

4. Read the Books :)

5. Come back every month to share some reviews and visit other blogs participating!
Every month I'll have a linky up where you can post your NetGalley reviews


If you would like to join me in the challenge, click on the challenge badge at the beginning of this post. 

I am aiming for a Blue Star (read 1-10 NetGalley books in 2012)

I am going to keep track of my progress below:
  1. Everneath by Brodi Ashton (Everneath, Book 1) 
  2. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows (Newsoul, Book 1)

Spotlight Saturday: Guest Post and Giveaway with Thomas Thorpe, author of Patriote Peril

Hi, everyone!

Welcome to another edition of Spotlight Sunday at Darlene's Book Nook, where we feature authors and their books!

We will be joined today by Thomas Thorpe.



About Thomas:
Thomas Thorpe was the Project Manager of NASA’s highly successful Mars Global Surveyor Mission – a spacecraft that orbited Mars for nine years, returning two hundred thousand images of the planet and relaying pictures from the Mars Rovers. Mr. Thorpe has published six historical mystery thrillers of the Darmon Mystery series about a couple from Kent that solves international crimes during the 1830’s. These novels include: Message of the Pendant, The Forth Contention, Patriote Peril, Fair Wind to Bahia, Desperate Crossing and Without Redemption.

For more information about Thomas and his work, please visit him at: 




Welcome to Darlene's Book Nook, Thomas!

Thomas has written a guest post, so I will now turn the floor over to him!


Darmon Series
Guest Post by Thomas Thorpe

I write historical mystery thrillers set around the world in the first half of the nineteenth century, but I have a background in space exploration.

I grew up in North Hollywood, California reading science fiction. As an amateur astronomer, I built telescopes and spent many a cold night in Fraser Park taking pictures of nebulae, galaxies and comets. During summers while attending UCLA, I worked at NASA’s Manned Spacecraft Center with the original seven astronauts, Lowell Observatory and JPL. Upon graduation, I started employment at Eastman Kodak (Lunar Orbiter) before returning to the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena the day following man set foot on the moon. At JPL, I spent 38 years participating in the defining moments of Mars exploration by Mariner, Viking and Surveyor spacecraft. Ultimately, I managed the Mars Global Surveyor Mission through most of its ten-year operational life. I have published numerous science articles on Mars photometry and also taught astronomy in Glendale College’s extended day program for nearly forty years.

With a career in space exploration, you might wonder why I chose to write books of historical fiction rather than science fiction. It might simply be that many years in one field leads a person to other avenues of interest. A catalyst for my stories can be found in the novels by Jane Austen. Her vivid portrayals make it easy to imagine similar characters involved in more adventuresome activities such as murder mysteries of the period. The research required to create accurate settings is not unlike the practice in science, and typically, a year’s research is necessary to put mystery/thrillers into authentic historical periods for each country. And then, there are some similarities with space exploration. The difficulties facing characters surviving in a foreign country during the early 1800’s is not unlike landing on an alien planet.

Having chosen to write historical fiction, a big question was how to transition from writing objective science papers to writing prose in a genre of literature, how to build suspense, make characters come alive and develop a story. A suitable writing style requires considerable reading, advice in novel writing and practice, practice, practice, some of which included fan-fiction writing on the internet. Early papers can still be found in the archives of the Republic of Pemberly homepage.

Why this time period? Besides the Austen books, the era is interesting and turbulent. Nations struggled with self-government, having emerged from colonialism or repressive monarchies. Word of the French and American revolutions spread worldwide. Tensions flared between traditional royalists and young radicals who promoted new ideas of democracy to free themselves from repressive social classes. As a result, conspiracies abounded and murders were common.

Into the mix, are thrust the Darmons, who solve mysteries occurring worldwide in between 1820-1845. William and Elizabeth, her sister Emily and brother-in-law Charles and youngest sister, Victoria. They’re world traveling aristocrats whose money provides access, but encounters with other cultures make them “fish out of water.” The six novels of the Darmon Series are set in America, England, Egypt, Quebec, Brazil, Russia and India.

Creating manuscripts is of course only the beginning. Finding a publisher for a select audience may take as much time for a new writer as his novel. Research is the key to publishing any historical book and today's Internet provides a wealth of sources. Publication of my first book came from shopping it around along with the ten thousand other writers seeking publication in this country every day. The now defunct PortTown Publishing Company originally published the first four novels of the Darmon series. However, they went out of business in 2006. Consequently, Black Rose Writing has begun releasing the new series in reverse order, starting with the previously unpublished Book 6: Without Redemption (2009) set in India and Book 5: Desperate Crossing (2010) set in Russia of the 1840’s. Book 4: Fair Wind to Bahia came out on April 7th of last year.

After publication is secured, marketing begins. Prior to a book’s release, advance work includes setting up reviews, writing press releases, scheduling book signings, and seeking ways to create publicity. Agents and publicists can help, but chances are one has to work their way up the sales ladder to get noticed by major catalogs. Once a paperback is published, an author better be prepared to meet and greet over the following year.

In conclusion, let me say that historical events are often ignored when presented in textbooks. People sometimes think that our ancestors were primitive and uneducated because they lacked today's technology. Unless one experiences the reality of past circumstances through novels, their true relevance may be missed. This is the role of historical fiction. I hope the Darmon series enlightens readers to challenges of the time and gives a better appreciation of the choices made by our forbearers during their lives.



Thanks so much for joining us today, Thomas! 


Giveaway: 

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Patriote Peril.

This giveaway open worldwide. A Canada/US winner will have his/her choice of a paperback or e-book. An International winner will receive an e-book.
SYNOPSIS: 

Following the return of an empty carriage, Elizabeth Darmon begins a harrowing pursuit of her family's kidnappers. Alone, scared on the frontier of New Brunswick, she trails the kidnappers through deplorable conditions along the St. Lawrence River to Quebec City where she finds a woman posing as Elizabeth with another husband.

Near the scene of the abduction, her brother-in-law, Charles, recovers from a gunshot wound and is led to the Patriote Party's fanatical element of Reformers. He is swept into a rebellion, recruiting Americans at clandestine hunting lodges. Family members cross paths attempting to unravel conspiracy and murder before a tumultuous assault on the governor's palace.

Historically accurate events, non-stop suspense.



To enter the giveaway, you must complete the Rafflecopter entry form below.

This giveaway is open worldwide, and it will close on Saturday, February 4th at 12:01 AM EST.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

January Prompt for 2012 A Classics Challenge


Katherine at November's Autumn has created writing prompts for each month of the challenge. This month's focus will be on: The Author.

The classic that I read this month  is The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare, so my answers will relate to this author.

Who is the author? Elizabeth George Speare

What do they look like? 


When were they born? November 21, 1908 in Melrose, Massachusetts, United States.

Where did they live? United States. She lived her whole life in New England.

What are some of the other novels they've written?  The Sign of the Beaver (1983), Calico Captive (1957), The Bronze Bow (1961 and Winner of the 1962 Newbery Medal).

What is an interesting and random fact about their life? She discovered her gift of writing at the age of eight and began composing stories while still in high school. She received the Laura Ingalls Wilder Award for her distinguished and enduring contribution to children's literature in 1989. She died of an aortic aneurysm on November 15, 1994 in Tuscon, Arizona at the age of 85.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: White Is For Witching by Helen Oyeyemi


TITLE: White Is For Witching

AUTHOR: Helen Oyeyemi 
PUBLISHER: Hamish Hamilton CA (AHC)
DATE OF PUBLICATION: June 23, 2009 (first published May 1, 2009)
FORMAT: Hardcover, 224 pages
GENRE: Horror, Fantasy
ISBN:
978-0670068579

SYNOPSIS:
Miranda is at homehomesick, home sick ...”

As a child, Miranda Silver developed pica, a rare eating disorder that causes its victims to consume nonedible substances. The death of her mother when Miranda is sixteen exacerbates her condition; nothing, however, satisfies a strange hunger passed down through the women in her family. And then there’s the family house in Dover, England, converted to a bed-and-breakfast by Miranda’s father. Dover has long been known for its hostility toward outsiders. But the Silver House manifests a more conscious malice toward strangers, dispatching those visitors it despises. Enraged by the constant stream of foreign staff and guests, the house finally unleashes its most destructive power.

With distinct originality and grace, and an extraordinary gift for making the fantastic believable, Helen Oyeyemi spins the politics of family and nation into a riveting and unforgettable mystery.

MY REVIEW: 
 
I chose this book for the January Task of the 2012 Versatile Reading Challenge, which was to read a book by a Nigerian author. It won the 2010 Somerset Maugham Award.

This is quite possibly the oddest book that I have ever read!

The central character to the story is Miranda, an 18 year-old girl whose mother has recently passed away. She is a strange girl who is afflicted with pica, which her mother and grandmother suffered from as well.

The book has multiple narrators: Miranda, Eliot (Miranda’s twin brother), Ore (Miranda’s girlfriend whom she meets in college), and “the house.” I found the multiple narrations very confusing. There is no indication whatsoever when the book is switching narrators. Oftentimes, I thought Miranda would be narrating and then Miranda was mentioned in the third-person, so I knew that I was wrong and had to flip back into the story to figure out where the narration left off with Miranda and to try to figure out who now was speaking! I was really thrown when I realized that it was “the house” that was narrating parts of the book, because I thought that it couldn’t possibly be the house that was speaking!

I eventually figured out that the odd style of overlapping phrases was one visual cue to the change in narrators. This is an example of how it looks in the book:

"It looked so fine on
the mannequin 

proved very useful for me when Miranda, Luc and Eliot left for the airport."

Strange, isn't it?

I have read such high praise for Oyeyemi, and my expectations were high for this book. Unfortunately, the book fell flat for me. I kept reading, hoping that the plot would go somewhere, but it didn’t. With the genre labels of “horror” or “paranormal,” I was hoping for a scary or creepy story but this book did not deliver.

MY RATING: 1 star! I didn’t enjoy it at all. It wasn’t for me. 

This book qualifies as:

Waiting on Wednesday: Death Drops by Chrystle Fiedler

Hi, everyone!


"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Here is this week's pre-publication "can't-wait-to-read" selection:



TITLE: Death Drops
SERIES: A Natural Remedies Mystery, Book 1
AUTHOR: Chrystle Fiedler
PUBLISHER: Gallery Books
EXPECTED PUBLICATION DATE: February 21, 2012
FORMAT: Trade Paperback, 288 pages
GENRE: Mystery
ISBN: 978-1451643602

SYNOPSIS: 

Nature’s Way Market and Café sells healthy foods and natural cures for what ails you. But there is no cure for murder. . . . 
 
Even naturopathic doctors need a little stress relief—that’s why Willow McQuade, ND, takes a break to visit her Aunt Claire, owner of Nature’s Way Market and Café, on Long Island’s North Fork. But Willow’s serenity is shattered when she finds her aunt’s lifeless body on the market floor, a bottle of Mimulus lying nearby. Taken to calm one’s fear of misfortune, the flower essence clearly failed Aunt Claire . . . for her death was no accident. 
 
But who would want to kill her? The police soon zero in on Willow herself, who stands to inherit Claire’s business and the rights to a breakthrough anti-aging cream. Desperate to prove her innocence, Willow turns to former police officer Jackson Spade for help. Together they unearth a slew of suspects, each with something to gain by Claire’s unnatural demise. But as Willow gets closer to the truth, a killer waits to administer one final dose of death.


Author's website: http://chrystlefiedler.com/


This book ties in two loves of mine: cozy mysteries and naturopathy! I have been using naturopathic medicine for many years. It's a bit of a hobby of mine, and my home office has one wall devoted to naturopathic healing books! When I saw this new cozy mystery series, I just knew that I had to read it!


What are you waiting on? Please leave a comment in the section below. If you participate in this meme, please leave a link so I can visit your blog!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

BOOK REVIEW: Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask by Darlene Foster


TITLE: Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask

SERIES: Amanda, Book 1
AUTHOR: Darlene Foster 
PUBLISHER: ireadiwrite Publishing
DATE OF PUBLICATION: April 13, 2010 (first published 2009)
FORMAT: Paperback, 114 pages
GENRE: Juvenile Fiction
ISBN:
978-1926760360

SYNOPSIS:

Amanda Ross is an average twelve year old Canadian girl. So what is she doing thousands of kilometres from home in the United Arab Emirates? It's her own fault really, she wished for adventure and travel when she blew out those candles on her last birthday cake. Little did she know that a whole different world awaited her on the other side of the globe, one full of intrigue, mystery and folklore. A world with a beautiful princess, a dangerous desert and wonderful friends.

Join Amanda on her first adventure as she discovers the secrets behind The Perfume Flask.

MY REVIEW: 

I received this book for review from the author. I did not receive any compensation for my review, and the views expressed herein are my own.
 
I read this book aloud to my children. This is a chapter book that is recommended for ages 8-12. It is the first in a series about a 12 year-old Canadian girl named Amanda, whose adventures take her around the globe.

In Amanda in Arabia: The Perfume Flask, Amanda travels sans parents to visit her aunt and uncle in the United Arab Emirates. She meets a British girl, Leah, whose mother works with Amanda’s aunt and also lives in the same building. While out shopping with Leah, a merchant tells Amanda that he has something special for her and shows her a beautiful perfume flask which he says was owned by a princess. Later, Amanda’s uncle takes her to a camel ranch, where Amanda gets to ride a camel named Ali Baba. It turns out that both Ali Baba and the perfume flask were both owned by Princess Shamza, who needed to sell her possessions because she ran away from home after her father arranged her marriage to a wealthy older gentleman. Princess Shamza had already fallen in love with Mohammed, who worked for her father, and did not want to marry the man that her father had selected for her. Amanda helps to reunite Ali Baba with his mistress so that she and Mohammed can leave the country to marry.

I loved the cultural detail that Foster added to the story, which really drew me in. The topic of arranged marriages sparked further discussions with my elder daughter who is 9 years old.

As a parent, I would have rather seen the story take a different direction: Instead of Amanda helping Princess Shamza to run away with Mohammed, I would have rather seen Amanda act in some way as a liaison between the Princess and her father to help repair their relationship. I would have liked to have seen her father so overwhelmed in his sadness and grief at the loss of his beloved daughter that he would give anything, even call off the arranged marriage, to have his daughter back. I would have loved for her father to place his daughter’s happiness above all else and allow her to marry the boy she had already fallen in love with, despite the fact that he was of a lower social class. I could not tell my daughter that it was alright in these circumstances for the Princess to disobey her father and to run away to be with another boy! I struggled with the moral aspects of the story.

Overall, I did enjoy the story but feel that more could have been done with it given the seriousness of the subject matter. I would rather have seen the book extended with a more complex storyline that included some resolution to the familial strife. My 9 year-old also enjoyed the story but she, too, wanted to learn more about Princess Shamza’s future and was sad that the Princess felt that she had to leave her family in order to be happy.

I would be remiss if I failed to point out the gorgeous cover! I was immediately drawn to it when I saw it, and the photos wholly capture the cultural feel of the story.

MY RATING: 3 stars!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Winner of Elf Killers by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Hi, everyone!


The lucky winner of Elf Killers by Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps is:


Congratulations to Tiff P.! I have sent you an email, and you have 48 hours to claim your prize.

If any prize is not claimed within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to enter!

There is still time to enter these giveaways (just click on the badges below):

 



Winners of Mirror, Mirror by Majanka Verstraete

Hi, everyone!


The lucky winners of Mirror, Mirror by Majanka Verstraete are:


Congratulations to Deanna B., Mindy W., and Yto! I have sent each of you an email, and you have 48 hours to claim your prize.

If any prize is not claimed within 48 hours, a new winner will be drawn.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by to enter!

There is still time to enter these giveaways (just click on the badges below):

 



Sunday, January 22, 2012

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: Red Riding Hood by Sarah Blakley-Cartwright

NARRATOR: Erin Moon
PUBLISHER: Hachette Audio
DATE OF PUBLICATION: January 25, 2011

FORMAT: Unabridged Audiobook, 7 hours and 21 minutes
GENRE: Young Adult, Fantasy
ISBN:
978-1611138962

SYNOPSIS:

Valerie's sister was beautiful, kind, and sweet. Now she is dead. Henry, the handsome son of the blacksmith, tries to console Valerie, but her wild heart beats fast for another: the outcast woodcutter, Peter, who offers Valerie another life far from home.

After her sister's violent death, Valerie's world begins to spiral out of control. For generations, the werewolf has been kept at bay with a monthly sacrifice. But no one is safe. When an expert wolf hunter arrives, the villagers learn that the creature lives among them - it could be anyone in town.

It soon becomes clear that Valerie is the only one who can hear the voice of creature. The Wolf says she must surrender herself before the Blood Moon wanes...or everyone she loves will die.

MY REVIEW:

I love fairy tale re-tellings, and this one did not disappoint. This version is based on the 2011 screenplay starring Amanda Seyfried, Gary Oldman, and Lukas Haas.

Each month, the villagers of Daggerhorn offer a sacrifice (such as a goat) to the werewolf to appease him. It is a small price to pay to keep the residents safe. That is, until the Blood Red Moon appears. Legend has it that any person who is bit by the werewolf during the four-day period that the Blood Red Moon appears will be turned into a werewolf. When the body count starts to rise, no one is safe!

This book kept me guessing at every turn! Just when I thought that I had it all figured out, then came another twist. Blakley-Cartwright did a wonderful job keeping me on my toes, and who wouldn’t fall for both Henry and Peter?! Their characters are wonderful, strong alpha males. Having one alpha male in a book is wonderful, but two – wow! Henry is the village’s prime bachelor, who comes from a wealthy family. Peter, on the other hand, is a lowly woodcutter. The lucky girl torn between the two men is, Valerie, a woodcutter’s daughter.

Some people may be put off by the book because there is no ending. I knew this going in, so it wasn’t a problem for me. You can go to the book’s website and download the extra chapter, or you can simply watch the movie to see how it all ends.

I never like to see the movie before reading the book, so I was careful not to watch any previews or movie trailers before reading the book. I actually didn’t even know which actors were featured in the movie until I looked it up to write this review. I can’t wait to see whether the movie lives up to the book!

This is my first narration by Moon, and I thought she did a great job. Her voice built up at the dramatic points, and the instrumental music accompaniment was a great enhancement!

MY RATING: 4 stars!! I really enjoyed it and recommend it to others who enjoy fairy tale re-tellings!

Thoughts on the movie: Gary Oldman was phenomenal, as always! He, alone, is worth the watch! Amanda Seyfried and Shiloh Fernandez as Valerie and Peter were great. I thought they had a lot of chemistry. Unfortunately, I didn't think Max Irons suited the role of Henry. Even though I knew what was going to happen in the movie, I still jumped! Fans of the book will enjoy the movie.

This book qualifies as:
#4 for my 2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge 
#2 for my 2012 Young Adult Audiobook Challenge
#2 for my 2012 Audio Book Challenge  

#1 for my 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
#1 of Category 4 for my 2012 Immortal Reading Challenge
Task #6 for my The Eclectic Reader 2012 Challenge  
#1 for my 2012 Fairy Tales Retold Challenge
Task #6 of the Book 2 Movie 2012 Challenge
#3 for my New Author Reading Challenge 2012
#1 for my Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2012
#3 for my 2012 Young Adult Reading Challenge
#4 for my Speculative Fiction Challenge 2012
Letter R for my A-Z Book Challenge 2012 
#1 for my 2012 Fairy Tale Challenge
Task #2 for my 2012 The Color Coded Reading Challenge
January's Task for my 2012 Rainbow Reading Challenge

View all my reviews

In My Mailbox - January 22, 2012


I am participating in this weekly meme hosted by The Story Siren, where we share what books we received this week.

I received these books in my "real" mailbox for review from the publisher:
 

Lothaire by Kresley Cole (Immortals After Dark, Book 12) [hardcover]
White Horse by Alex Adams [ARC]

Thanks again, Simon & Schuster Canada!


I received this softcover + swag (angel necklace) in my "real" mailbox, which I won in the Mid-Winters Eve Blog Hop giveaway hosted by the author:

(Heavenly, Book 1)
by Jennifer Laurens

Thanks again, Jennifer!




I won this e-book in a giveaway hosted by Jex at Everything and Nothing: 

The New Death and others
by James Hutchings

Thanks again, Jex & James!




What did you get in your mailbox this week?

If you are also participating in the In My Mailbox meme, please leave me the link to your post so that I can drool over all your goodies!

If anyone has read any of these books yet, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Amazon Best Books of 2011 Reading Challenge

Hi, everyone! Time for another 2012 Reading Challenge!!



There are lots of nice picks on this list that I want to read, so I couldn't resist!

This challenge is being hosted by Cassandra at Wickedly Delicious Tales.

Here are the details copied from Cassandra's blog:


Amazon Best Books of 2011 Reading Challenge

Objective:

Read books from Amazon's Best Books of 2011 list chosen by their editors. This challenges you to read a variety of genres. I've listed the books below, but you can also access it through Amazon HERE.


Levels:

Novice - 5 books
Competent - 10 books
Proficient - 15 books
Expert - 20+ books


Rules:

1) Challenge will run from 1 January 2012 to 31 December 2012.

2) I would recommend listing the books ahead of time, but this is not required. If you list your books ahead of time, then you are free to change them later.

3) Choose a level. You can move up levels anytime, but you cannot move down.

4) All book formats are accepted.

5) Challenge can crossover to other challenges.

6) Books must be read between the challenge dates.

7) You do not need a blog to join. You can use Goodreads, Amazon, or something similar to share your reviews and books read.

8) You can join anytime between now and 30 November 2012.

9) Add the link to your challenge post in Mr. Linky below.

10) Posts will be up at the beginning of each month for you to add your reviews to.


January Review Link Up
February Review Link Up - will post 2/1
March Review Link Up - will post 3/1
April Review Link Up - will post 4/1
May Review Link Up - will post 5/1
June Review Link Up - will post 6/1
July Review Link Up - will post 7/1
August Review Link Up - will post 8/1
September Review Link Up - will post 9/1
October Review Link Up - will post 10/1
November Review Link Up - will post 11/1
December Review Link Up - will post 12/1


The Books:

1) The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach
2) IQ84 by Haruki Murakami
3) What It Is Like To Go To War by Karl Marlantes
4) In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
5) The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides
6) Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
7) Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson
8) Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
9) Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchell Zuckoff
10) The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
11) The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
12) Bossypants by Tina Fey
13) Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
14) We the Animals by Justin Torres
15) Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer
16) The Lover's Dictionary by David Levithan
17) The Greater Journey by David McCullough
18) Lost Memory of Skin by Russel Banks
19) Maphead by Ken Jennings
20) The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
21) Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
22) A History of the World in 100 Objects by Neil MacGregor
23) Habibi by Craig Thompson
24) Malcolm X by Manning Marable
25) The Cat's Table by Michael Ondaatje
26) Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin
27) Townie by Andre Dubus III
28) The Oxford Companion to Beer by Horst Dornbusch
29) Catherine the Great by Robert K Massie
30) West of Here by Jonathan Evison
31) The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
32) The Forgotten Waltz by Anne Enright
33) The Submission by Amy Waldman
34) Willpower by Roy F Baumeister
35) Just My Type by Simon Garfield
36) The Empty Family by Colm Toibin
37) Mr. Fox by Helen Oyeyemi
38) Rules of Civility by Amor Towles
39) The Magician King by Lev Grossman
40) The Information by James Gleick
41) Alexander McQueen by Andrew Bolton
42) The Tragedy of Arthur by Arthur Phillips
43) The Great Sea by David Abulafia
44) Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
45) Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
46) Radioactivity by Marjorie Caroline Malley
47) Orientation by Daniel Orozco
48) Those Guys Have All the Fun by James A Miller
49) My Korean Deli by Ben Ryder Howe
50) Jacqueline Kennedy by Caroline Kennedy
51) Reamde by Neal Stephenson
52) Destiny of the Republic by Candice Millard
53) The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt
54) Nightwoods by Charles Frazier
55) Cain by Jose Saramago
56) Inheritance by Christopher Paolini
57) Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson
58) Swamplandia! by Karen Russell
59) The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
60) Carry Yourself Back to Me by Deborah Reed
61) The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson
62) 22 Britannia Road by Amanda Hodgkinson
63) Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach
64) Mister Wonderful by Daniel Clowes
65) In the Plex by Steven Levy
66) Galore by Michael Crummey
67) The Longest War by Peter L Bergen
68) Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks
69) The Family Fang by Kevin Wilson
70) River of Smoke by Amitav Ghosh
71) Incognito by David Eagleman
72) Onward by Howard Schultz
73) The Leftovers by Tom Perrotta
74) The Dovekeepers by Alice Hoffman
75) The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker
76) Blue Nights by Joan Didion
77) The Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown
78) A Dance With Dragons by George R R Martin
79) Endgame by Frank Brady
80) Physics of the Future by Michio Kaku
81) Fire Season by Philip Connors
82) Inside Scientology by Janet Reitman
83) The Buddha in the Attic by Julie Otsuka
84) Then Again by Diane Keaton
85) Feast Day of Fools by James Lee Burke
86) State of Wonder by Ann Patchett
87) Embassytown by China Mieville
88) I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Steve Earle
89) The Devil All the Time by Donald Ray Pollock
90) Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller
91) This Burns My Heart by Samuel Park
92) The Hidden Reality by Brian Greene
93) 11/22/63 by Stephen King
94) Confidence Men by Ron Suskind
95) Sister by Rosamund Lupton
96) Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
97) The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
98) Pulphead by John Jeremiah Sullivan
99) The Penguin Anthology of Twentieth-Century American Poetry by Rita Dove
100) Delirium by Lauren Oliver



I have only read 1 book on that list (Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor). I loved that book, and I recommend it to anyone who enjoys the paranormal genre.

If you would like to join me in the challenge, click on the challenge badge at the beginning of this post. 

I am signing up for NOVICE LEVEL (READ 5 BOOKS).

I am going to keep track of my progress below (here are some of the ones that I want to read, and I will link up my reviews once I have completed them):

  1. Before I Go to Sleep by S J Watson
  2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
  3. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs\
  4. The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
  5. Delirium by Lauren Oliver

Perpetual Reading Challenge: The Stephen King Challenge

Hi, everyone! Time for another 2012 Reading Challenge, and this one is perpetual!


I probably own most of Stephen King's books except for the more recent ones, but I admit that I have read few.

I am going to join this perpetual challenge, which is being hosted by Michelle at The True Book Addict and Kate at Read 2 Review. They have set-up a blog dedicated to the challenge, which you can find by clicking on the challenge badge above.

Here are the details copied from Michelle's and Kate's blog:


As far as I could determine, there are no other Stephen King challenges (yearly or perpetual) going on now. I know that Book Geek blog was hosting a perpetual challenge at one time, but I checked her blog and she has not been active since January of 2011 (hope everything is okay with her). I'm assuming that the challenge is no longer active. If I'm mistaken, feel free to let me know.

So...my friend Kate and I (Read 2 Review) were talking about doing a project together and we decided to host a Stephen King reading challenge! Since Stephen King has such a huge list of books, we decided to make this a perpetual challenge. I know, I know...you're thinking "perpetual? I never get motivated to complete perpetual challenges." Well, don't worry. We are going to have mini-challenges throughout the year with prizes and we will also have read-a-longs during the year as well. Kate had the idea for our first read-a-long...to read Carrie during prom season. Clever, right?! As far as the mini-challenges go, the first one will begin at the official start of this challenge, which is February 1, 2012, and the prize will be a brand new hard cover copy of Stephen King's newest novel, 11/22/63! The mini-challenge schedule will work as follows:

Feb | March | April -- mini-challenge
May | June | July -- mini-challenge
Aug | Sept | Oct -- mini-challenge
Nov | Dec -- free months


*November and December are free/non-mini-challenge months due to most of us being so busy during the holiday season.

The first mini-challenge will be to read books within certain themes. You will choose three themes and read three books that will fit each of the themes during the three month mini-challenge period. If you complete the three themed reads, you will be entered in the giveaway for the book, 11/22/63. A bonus entry will be given to any person who reads a fourth book that fits within the fourth left over theme.


Examples:

Fantasy/Post-Apocalyptic
i.e. The Stand, any book from the Gunslinger series, Under the Dome, The Eyes of the Dragon, The Talisman (with Peter Straub), Black House (with Peter Straub), 11/22/63

Ghosts/Hauntings
i.e. The Shining, Bag of Bones, Duma Key, It, Insomnia

Creatures--supernatural (werewolves, vampires, demons/devils, zombies, etc.) or other type (animals, aliens, etc.)
i.e. Salem's Lot, Needful Things, Cycle of the Werewolf, The Eyes of the Dragon, Dreamcatcher, Pet Sematary, Cell, Cujo, It, The Tommyknockers

the mind--psychic, psychological, possession, abuse, etc.
i.e. Misery, The Green Mile, Dolores Claiborne, Rose Madder, Carrie, Gerald's Game, The Dark Half, The Dead Zone, Desperation, The Regulators

You can also earn a bonus entry if you read a book of King short stories. The books of short stories are clearly marked in the list of King works listed below in the footer of the blog.

To summarize:

Official start date is February 1, 2012 and lasts...forever! LOL! Stop when you've read all of King's books, could be two years from now, could be five years. Take a break any time or stop when you've had enough (although I'll never have enough of SK).

Choose three themes from the list and read one book within each theme during the three month mini-challenge period (Feb., March, April) to receive one entry in the giveaway.

For a bonus entry, choose one book in the left over theme and read it during the three month period.

You can also receive a bonus entry if you read a book of SK short stories (you do not have to read the fourth themed book to get this entry).

There will be a mini-challenge review page for you to link up your reviews. This will be the method we use to keep track of who completes the mini-challenge (and who earns the bonus entries). If you don't have a blog that you review books on, you can link to your reviews on Goodreads or leave your thoughts about the books in the comments (I will allow comments on the review page).

Giveaway rules: The winner will be chosen via random.org and must be a resident of the U.S. If the winner is not a U.S. resident, we will purchase the Stephen King book of your choice (under $10) from Better World Books (they ship free internationally) and have it shipped to you. This book will quite possibly be a gently used book.

The goal of this challenge is to, ultimately, read all of Stephen King's books.



If you want to join me in the challenge, just click on the challenge badge at the beginning of this post.

Here is a list of the complete works of Stephen King:

  1. 1960 - People, Places, And Things - Volume 1 (limited edition with Chris Chelsey)
  2. 1964 - The Star Invaders (limited edition)
  3. 1974 – Carrie
  4. 1975 - Salem's Lot
  5. 1977 - The Shining
  6. 1977 – Rage (as Richard Bachman)
  7. 1978 - Night Shift (stories)
  8. 1978 - The Stand
  9. 1979 - The Dead Zone
  10. 1979 - The Long Walk (as Richard Bachman)
  11. 1980 – Firestarter
  12. 1981 – Cujo
  13. 1981 - Road Work (as Richard Bachman)
  14. 1981 - Danse Macabre (nonfiction about horror)
  15. 1981 – Roadwork
  16. 1982 - Creepshow (comic book, illustrated by Bernie Wrightson)
  17. 1982 - The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger review posted 10/10/2012
  18. 1982 - The Running Man (as Richard Bachman)
  19. 1982 - Different Seasons (novellas)
  20. 1983 – Christine
  21. 1983 - Pet Sematary
  22. 1983 - Cycle of the Werewolf
  23. 1984 - The Talisman (written with Peter Straub)
  24. 1984 – Thinner (as Richard Bachman)
  25. 1985 - Skeleton Crew (stories)
  26. 1985 - The Bachman Books (novel collection)
  27. 1986 – It
  28. 1987 - The Eyes of the Dragon
  29. 1987 – Misery
  30. 1987 - The Dark Tower II: The Drawing of the Three
  31. 1988 - The Tommyknockers
  32. 1988 - Nightmares in the Sky (Photo book with text by King)
  33. 1988 - Dark Visions
  34. 1989 - The Dark Half
  35. 1989 - Dolan's Cadillac (limited edition)
  36. 1989 - My Pretty Pony (limited edition)
  37. 1990 - The Stand: The Complete and Uncut Edition
  38. 1990 - Four Past Midnight (stories)
  39. 1991 - Needful Things
  40. 1991 - The Dark Tower III: The Waste Lands
  41. 1992 - Gerald's Game
  42. 1993 - Dolores Claiborne
  43. 1993 - Nightmares and Dreamscapes (stories)
  44. 1994 – Insomnia
  45. 1995 - Rose Madder
  46. 1995 - Umney's Last Case
  47. 1996 - The Green Mile (originally published as a monthly serial consisting of six parts: The Two Dead Girls, The Mouse on the Mile, Coffey's Hands, The Bad Death of Eduard Delacroix, Night Journey, and Coffey on the Mile)
  48. 1996 – Desperation
  49. 1996 - The Regulators (as Richard Bachman)
  50. 1997 - Six Stories (stories)
  51. 1997 - The Dark Tower IV: Wizard and Glass
  52. 1998 - Bag of Bones
  53. 1999 - Storm of the Century
  54. 1999 - The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon
  55. 1999 - The New Lieutenant's Rap (limited edition)
  56. 1999 - Hearts in Atlantis
  57. 1999 - Blood and Smoke (audio book)
  58. 2000 - Riding the Bullet (electronically published novella)
  59. 2000 - The Plant (electronically published)
  60. 2000 - Secret Windows
  61. 2000 - On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (non-fiction autobiography)
  62. 2000 – Dreamcatcher
  63. 2001 - Black House (written with Peter Straub)
  64. 2002 - From a Buick 8
  65. 2002 - Everything's Eventual: 14 Dark Tales
  66. 2003 - The Dark Tower I: The Gunslinger (revised edition)
  67. 2003 - The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla
  68. 2004 - The Dark Tower VI: Song of Susannah
  69. 2004 - The Dark Tower VII: The Dark Tower
  70. 2004 - Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season
  71. 2005 - The Colorado Kid
  72. 2006 - The Secretary of Dreams
  73. 2006 – Cell
  74. 2006 - Lisey's Story
  75. 2007 – Blaze (as Richard Bachman)
  76. 2008 - Duma Key
  77. 2008 - Just After Sunset
  78. 2009 - Stephen King Goes to the Movies
  79. 2009 - The Little Sisters of Eluria (limited edition)
  80. 2009 - "Graduation Afternoon" (in PostScripts)
  81. 2009 - "Throttle" (in He is Legend)
  82. 2009 - UR (e-novella available only on Amazon.com's Kindle)
  83. 2009 - Under the Dome
  84. 2009 - "A Good Marriage"
  85. 2009 - "Big Driver"
  86. 2009 - "1922"
  87. 2009 - "Fair Extension"
  88. 2010 - Blockade Billy
  89. 2010 - Full Dark, No Stars
  90. 2011 - The Chronicles of Harris Burdick
  91. 2011 - "The Dune"
  92. 2011 - 11/22/63

I am linking up my reviews as I go:
  1. The Gunslinger by Stephen King (The Dark Tower, Book 1)
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