Friday, February 29, 2008

Even more...

Penguin Classics - J/K
1. Jacob's Room - Virginia Woolf
2. Jacques the Fatalist and His Master - Denis Diderot
3. Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4. Jazz Age Stories - F Scott Fitzgerald
5. The Jewish War - Flavius Josephus
6. Joseph Andrews/Shamela - Henry Fielding
7. Journey Without Maps - Graham Greene
8. JR - William Gaddis
9. Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
10. The Jugurthine War and the Conspiracy if Caitline - Sallust
11. Julius Caesar - William Shakespeare
12. The Jungle - Upton Sinclair
13. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling
14. Just-So Stories - Rudyard Kipling

1. Kenilworth - Walter Scott
2. Kidnapped - Robert Louis Steveson
3. Kim - Rudyard Kipling
4. King Harald's Saga - Snorri Sturluson
5. King John - William Shakespeare
6. King Lear - William Shakespeare
7. Kolyma Tales - Varlam Shalamov
8. The Kreutzer Sonata - Leo Tolstoy
9. Krishna: The Beautiful Legend of God - Anonymous
10. Kristin Lavransdatter - Sigrid Undset

The Legend of Sleepy Hollow - Washington Irving

the legend of sleepy hollow
washington irving
c. 1820
67 pages

Before I can really review this, I have to admit the somewhat embarrassing truth that somehow I missed the fact that this was a short story and not a novel. As such, you can imagine my surprise at the 67 page book I picked up from the library. Once I really thought about it, I realized I should have already known that this was just a short story. It's just a little ghost story, a legend. It even says so right in the title.

For what it was, I think I enjoyed it. I am not always one for ghost stories, but I loved the voice of the narrator, especially when he was giving descriptions of Ichabod Crane, or when he spoke of how incredible the food at the Van Tassel's party was.

I wish we had known a little more of Katrina, but I guess she wasn't really important to the story other than being the reason for the rivalry between Brom and Ichabod. I love that in the end, the narrator never comes out and says that Brom was really the Horseman, but you're pretty sure he was. I felt bad for Ichabod. Brom was an ass and I didn't think it was fair that he got to end up with Katrina.

I'm finding it a little difficult to really review such a short story. I don't really read a lot of short stories. It almost feels like there's not enough for me to really have an opinion on.


Friday fill in #1...

1. I'm looking forward to maybe starting my new job next week.
2. I don't handle too much free time very well.
3. Tuna is something I could eat every day.
4. Warmth and sunlight are essential.
5. New job here I come!
6. I want to get another tattoo(s).
7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to church and dinner with Girlfriend, tomorrow my plans include a trip to the San Diego Zoo and Sunday, I want to do some shopping!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Booking through thursday #3...

So, I kind of missed last week, so we're jumping back in with this week's question:

Who is your favorite female lead character? And why?

I am have been thinking about this for a while now before I posted and thought I would have a really hard time deciding. I went through all my favorite books looking at their female leads, and while they're all interesting and admirable in their own ways, I couldn't find a favorite. Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice, Sayuri in Memoirs of a Geisha, Aline Seward and Godith Adeny in One Corps Too Many, Lucie Manette in A Tale of Two Cities, Sara Howard in The Alienist, Cecilia and Briony Tallis in Atonement, all so diverse and well rounded and strong. But each one I have said to myself, "Well, I like her, but she's not my favorite." So I went to my bookshelf, looked at all the books on my shelf, and I have found her.

My favorite female lead character is Georgia Nicols from the "Georgia" books, a series of British young adult novels. These books are the personal diaries of Georgia as she muddles her way through every misadventure of life. I love her because, while most of the other women I mentioned are strong and intelligent and will struggle through all misfortunes with dignity, Georgia is a mess. She's insecure, she's sometimes lazy, she's always in some kind of mischief, she's superficial, she doesn't always know the answer, but she goes through life with a smile. No matter what happens, whether she's spying on her crush's girlfriend, or being expelled from school for hitting someone with a field hockey stick, or deciding to go to a costume party dressed as a stuffed olive, Georgia will make you laugh. I love her.

If you have never heard of these books, I absolutely recommend checking them out. The first is titled Angus, Thongs, and Full Frontal Snogging. From there it gets a little confusing as they changed a lot of the titles for release in the US. And not like Harry Potter where the title is basically the same except for one word, I mean drastically different. For example in the US, the second book is called On the Bright Side, I'm Now the Girlfriend of a Sex God but in England it's called It's Okay, I'm Wearing Really Big Knickers. Weird. But despite this oddity, these book are hilarious and everyone should read them.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe - Fannie Flagg

fried green tomatoes at the whistle stop cafe
fannie flagg
c. 1987
395 pages

*may contain spoilers*

This book was a little hard for me to read since I grew up loving the movie so much. I still watch it all the time, especially when I'm upset about something. It's one of those movies that makes anything seem better. As long as I have Ruth and Idgie, I'll be okay.

I think what irritated me, was the lack of structure. Now, that's not entirely the right word, but what I mean is, in the movie you have two stories: the story of Evelyn and Mrs. Threadgoode, and the story that Mrs. Threadgoode is telling Evelyn, that of Ruth and Idgie. Both stories go in a straight line. In the book, however, there are so many other elements. It really is like talking to a little old lady and listening to her stories of how it used to be. Things don't really go in chronological order. We kind of forget about one story and jump to another. And I got irritated because while it was fun to read the stories about when Idgie brought Miss Fancy, the elephant, over to see Naughty Bird, or about when Stump and Peggy got together, I wanted the story of Idgie and Ruth and the murder of Frank Bennet.

Had I not grown up loving this movie, I probably would have enjoyed this book a lot more. But I came into it expecting one thing and got something different.


Monday, February 18, 2008


Penguin Classics - I
1. The Idiot - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
2. Idylls of the King - Alfred Tennyson
3. If Not Now, When? - Primo Levi
4. The Illiad - Homer
5. The Imitation of Christ - Thomas A Kempis
6. The Importance of Being Earnest - Oscar Wilde
7. In Dubious Battle - John Steinbeck
8. In the Land of Time - Alfred Dunsany
9. In Patagonia - Bruce Chatwin
10. In the Shadow of Young Girls in Flower - Marcel Proust
11. In the South Seas - Robert Louis Stevenson
12. The Inheritance - Louisa May Alcott
13. The Innocents Abroad - Mark Twain
14. The Island of Dr. Moreau - HG Wells
15. Italian Food - Elizabeth David
16. Italian Hours - Henry James
17. Ivanhoe - Walter Scott

Saturday, February 16, 2008

And more...

Penguin Classics - H
1. Hamlet - William Shakespeare
2. The Hand of Ethelberta - Thomas Hardy
3. A Harlot High and Low - Honore de Balzac
4. Hard Times - Charles Dickens
5. A Hazard of New Fortunes - William Dean Howells
6. He Knew He Was Right - Anthony Trollope
7. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
8. The Heart of the Matter - Graham Greene
9. The Heart of Midlothian - Walter Scott
10. Heartbreak House - George Bernard Shaw
11. Hedda Gabler - Henrik Ibsen
12. Henderson the Rain King - Saul Bellow
13. Henry IV - William Shakespeare
14. Henry V - William Shakespeare
15. Henry VI - William Shakespeare
16. Henry VIII- William Shakespeare
17. The Heptameron - Marguerite de Navarre
18. Heracles - Euripides
19. Herland, the Yellow Wall-Paper, and Selected Writings - Charlotte Perkins Gilman
20. A Hero of Our Times - Mikhail Lermontov
21. Heroides - Ovid
22. Herzog - Saul Bellow
23. History of the Thirteen - Honore de Balzac
24. The History of Tom Jones - Henry Fielding
25. Home of the Gentry - Ivan Turgenev
26. Homeric Hymns - Homer
27. Hound of the Baskervilles - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
28. The House Behind the Cedars - Charles W. Chesnutt
29. The House of the Dead - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
30. The House of Mirth - Edith Wharton
31. The House of Seven Gables - Nathaniel Hawthorne
32. How Much Land Does a Man Need - Leo Tolstoy
33. Howards End - EM Foster
34. Hrafnkel's Saga - Anonymous
35. Humbolt's Gift - Saul Bellow
36. Hunger - Knut Hamsun
37. Hungry Hearts - Anzia Yezierska
38. The Hunting of the Snark - Lewis Carroll

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Booking through thursday #2...

Have you ever fallen out of love with a favorite author? Was the last book you read by the author so bad, you broke up with them and haven’t read their work since? Could they ever lure you back?

I don't think I've ever really fallen out of love with an author. There have definitely been books that I've disliked, but if I had previously enjoyed a book by a specific author then shouldn't I give them the benefit of the doubt and read a little more before I just write them off? For example, I fell in love with Ian McEwan after reading Atonement. I couldn't wait to read others by him. And so at the end of last year I bought and read The Cement Garden. And I really didn't enjoy it. But due to my love of Atonement, I can't wait to try another.

I will say that if I don't like the FIRST book I try by a certain author, it will take a lot to get me to try another.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

LA Confidential - James Ellroy

la confidential
james ellroy
c. 1990
496 pages

*may contain spoilers*

Read this book for both the Chunkster Challenge and 100 Greatest Novels (see sidebar for both). I had started it once before, but hadn't even gotten past the prologue. This time, by about half way through, I realized I couldn't put it down. I brought it with me everywhere I went.

I love cop shows, Law and Order, Numbers, etc. But I've never been one to READ cop stories. This is a first. And while I completely engrossed in the story and the characters, I got really confused sometimes. I think this will have to be one that I reread at some point. I need to make a character chart to keep track of everybody, how everyone's connected and who knows what.

I was so mad at the ending. While reading, I fell in love with Jack Vincennes, even more so when I looked up the movie and saw he was played by Kevin Spacey, which is somewhat odd seeing as I never knew I was such a Kevin Spacey fan. I think I've only seen two of him movies all the way through (American Beauty and Superman Returns, in case anyone was wondering). Apparently he has made quite an impression on me. ANYWAY. I was so mad when he died. However, one of them had to go, I guess. My vote was for Bud, but seeing as Ed and Jack were the ones who had a secret in their past that showed them not quite the hero they were supposed to be, he was let go. And I guess you knew it would happen to Jack and not Ed. He got his absolution, divulging his secret to Ed and Karen, and both forgave him. And as soon as he put that Hawaiian shirt on underneath his clothes, you knew he was a goner.

I hated that they didn't get Dudley, too. Jack died and they couldn't get Dudley.


Monday, February 11, 2008

And we're back...

Penguin Classics - G
1. The Gambler, Bobok, a Nasty Story - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
2. The Garden Party - Katherine Mansfield
3. Gargantua and Pantagruel - Francois Rabelais
4. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, but Gentlemen Marry Brunettes - Anita Loos
5. The Gilded Age - Mark Twain
6. God's Trombones - James Weldon Johnson
7. The Gods Will Have Blood - Anatole France
8. The Golden Ass - Apuleius
9. The Golden Bowl - Henry James
10. The Golden Days - Cao Xueqin
11. The Good Apprentice - Iris Murdoch
12. The Good Soldier - Ford Madox Ford
13. The Good Soldier Svejk and His Fortunes in the World War - Jaroslav Hasek
14. Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners - John Bunyan
15. The Grandissimes - George Washington Cable
16. The Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
17. Gravity's Rainbow - Thomas Pynchon
18. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
19. The Guermantes Way - Marcel Proust
20. The Guide - RK Narayan
21. Gulliver's Travels - Jonathan Swift
22. Gunnar's Daughter - Sigrid Undset
23. Guy Mannering - Walter Scott

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Booking through thursday #1...

A weekly questionnaire found on Booking Through Thursday...

Okay, even I can’t read ALL the time, so I’m guessing that you folks might voluntarily shut the covers from time to time as well… What else do you do with your leisure to pass the time? Walk the dog? Knit? Run marathons? Construct grandfather clocks? Collect eggshells?

In the last couple of years, so much of my time was focused on work. I was serving with AmeriCorps*NCCC (kind of a domestic Peace Corps) and was working all the time, doing all sorts of national service and volunteer work. But I guess that's not really leisure...

I love movies. I wish I had a chance to go to the theater more, but I don't always have the money or the opportunity. Or the company. I can't stand going to the movies by myself. Since I can't always be at the theater, I have an extensive DVD collection, although recently I think I own more TV shows on DVD than movies.

My TV Show DVDs:

ER - seasons 1-4
- full series
Gilmore Girls - full series
The OC - season 1 (which I'm slightly ashamed of, but love anyway)
That 70's Show - seasons 1-2
The West Wing - seasons 1-4

Next I want to start collecting Happy Days.

Other than that, I have some small hobbies. I like to cross stitch. Despite being almost 23, I like to color. I have an extensive collection of very nice Dover coloring books, which no one else is allowed to color in, only me. Both of these, I generally do while watching movies. I used to be a performer. I used to sing and do ballet. I still sing all the time, but haven't had the opportunity to perform with either of these talents since high school ended. I like to write. I have a few screenplays in the works, mostly adaptations of some of my favorite books or stories. I'm starting to learn to like tennis.

Hmmm...that's a lot more information than anyone probably wanted...

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Book meme found on Softdrink's blog...

Rules: 1. Pick up the nearest book (of at least 123 pages).
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next three sentences.
5. Tag five people.

From LA Confidential, by James Ellroy: "And if the coons doused their paws in perfume to foil a paraffin test, we can thank Jack for that - he gave that little piece of information to 'Badge of Honor'. Ed, are you up for this?" Ed's stomach jumped.


Friday, February 1, 2008

Persuasion - Jane Austen

jane austen
c. 1818
189 pages

*may contain spoilers*

My first book read for the Decades Challenge (see sidebar)! Kind of exciting, I've now officially started two of my four challenges.

This is now the third Jane Austen book I have completed. I've read Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility on previous occasions, and I believe Persuasion had the least hold on me. I got bored reading it. I knew going into it that it was going to be a very mild, gentle book, a comedy of manners without a lot of action, but even so I remember enjoying the quiet conversations and exchanges in the other two novels so much better. Even with the fairly simple theme of poor girls trying to make a good match, there was humor and interest and character development. And there wasn't in this one. Even with Anne and Captain Wentworth, I was disappointed. There was nothing that made me interested in them.

I do find it interesting to see how many similar twists there are in each book. Something has happened to make the girls in the family poor. There is always one gentlemen who we think is either in love or engaged to someone, though he really is not. There is always one gentleman, such as Captain Benwick or Colonel Brandon that we either dislike or think very little of who turns out to be one of the best gentleman. And there is always one gentleman who everyone thinks extremely highly of, is everyone's favorite (and causes great jealousy for another, quieter gentleman) who turns out to have an extremely sordid past.

Not bad, but definitely not my favorite.


To be young at heart...

Yes, it's true. I have found another book challenge to be a part of. This time, the 2008 Heart of a Child Challenge found at Becky's Book Reviews. Considering I only read like eighteen books last year, the fact that I keep finding and joining challenges could be laughable, but I think even if I don't complete everything I sign up for, at least I tried.

Anyway, the rules for this challenge are fairly flexible which is super nice. Just choose 3-6 books to read between February 1st and July 14th. Books should all be rereads, ones read and loved by you when you were a child (so, up until you were 18). Since I've got a lot on my plate at the moment (reading wise) and really should be spending my time job hunting instead of reading (it's hard to pay rent when one is unemployed!) I have chosen only three books.

My List:

Dealing With Dragons - Patricia C. Wrede
The Last Silk Dress - Ann Rinaldi
Treasure Island - Robert Louis Stevenson

All three are books I loved as a child. The Last Silk Dress introduced me to my favorite genre of historical fiction, and Treasure Island has been my favorite book since I was ten (though I haven't read it in a few years, I currently own seven copies). It will be a lot of fun to go back and reread these books that began my love of reading.