August 29, 2009

BTT – “Fluff” books

Posted in BTT, memes at 10:06 am by reviewsonbooks

I’ve just realized a little late that I forgot to complete the Booking Through Thursday meme. So here it is, better late than never!

This week’s question is:

What’s the lightest, most “fluff” kind of book you’ve read recently?

I’m usually juggling two books at once, one from the large list of ARCs of which I receive one or two every few days, and one book from yet another large list of my own personal TBR books. Most recently both of my books happened to be on the fairly “fluffy” side, and took only one evening to read. The good thing is that both of them were quite cute, and were definitely one of those “feel good” books, the first filled with cute short stories telling tales of life issues, and the second one filled with quotes about life, songs and various other things related to Henson and his Muppets.

unclechestnut

The Inconvenient Adventures of Uncle Chestnut by Paul Nowak

kermitbook

It’s Not Easy Being Green: And Other Things To Consider by Jim Henson (and his muppet friends)

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August 20, 2009

BTT – Best Recent Read

Posted in BTT, memes at 10:05 am by reviewsonbooks

Today’s Booking Through Thursday question asks

What is the best book you’ve read recently?

Well, using the 5 star rating system that I use on goodreads.com as my reference point, the last book I read in my 2009 book list that I thought was worth of a 5 star rating would be, In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor. You can find my review of the book in my June post here

May 14, 2009

BTT – Book Gluttony

Posted in BTT, memes at 1:38 pm by reviewsonbooks

This week’s Booking Through Thursday question is:

Book Gluttony! Are your eyes bigger than your book belly? Do you have a habit of buying up books far quicker than you could possibly read them? Have you had to curb your book buying habits until you can catch up with yourself? Or are you a controlled buyer, only purchasing books when you have run out of things to read?

When I was working and had a little more extra money I was definitely a book glutton, especially discount books. My house was filled with books, a lot of them hidden under my bed in boxes for easy access for reading before I go to bed. I thought perhaps that since I’m not buying my books anymore that my pile of books would diminish, but then I realized that I could just go to the library and get them for free and ordering them online is seriously quick and easy. So the next thing I know I’ve got another pile of books that I want to read and yet another pile that came in and are sitting waiting to be read before I have to return them. Most recently I’ve also got an ever increasing pile of review books that are being sent to me and I can’t seem to stop and say “NO! I’ve got too many to review already” since some of the book summaries are rather intriguing. I’m thinking that enjoying a good book is actually an addiction or a curse because despite having tons of books in my house I still find myself at garage sales or in thrift stores searching through their piles of books. There’s nothing cooler than finding a good book, or a popular book and only paying a quarter for it!

May 1, 2009

BTT – Worse?

Posted in BTT, memes at 12:45 am by reviewsonbooks

Today’s BTT question is:

Which is worse?

Finding a book you love and then hating everything else you try by that author, or Reading a completely disappointing book by an author that you love?

For me, reading a completely disappointing book by one of my favorite authors is far worse than reading a good book and realizing the author just doesn’t do much for me other than that one book. Once I find an author that I enjoy, I want to learn more about them so I check out their website, maybe join their online fan club, and I try to read all of their books. Getting to know the author and enjoying their writing is wonderful, but if they start spitting out less than their best quality stories it’s very disappointing because I expect it to be as riveting as the others. Conversely if I find a new author, enjoy the book and start looking at their other works and decide I don’t like any of them, I am not as disappointed because I have not invested time in getting to know the author and reading all their books.

For example, I have been a big Stephen King fan since I was in grade school and I devoured all of his older stories and novels. I’m not exactly sure what happened but I was really disappointed in a few of his books, specifically the works he did in the mid to late 90’s. I was so annoyed by the novels that I stopped reading his works altogether for a few years and just recently started trying one of his newer novels. On the other hand, I read The Da Vinci Code, by Dan Brown and found the other book, Angels and Demons to be equally enjoyable but did not like any of his other novels. I honestly wasn’t too disappointed by this since I didn’t really get “close” to the author and invest time in learning about him.

April 23, 2009

BTT- symbolism?

Posted in BTT, memes at 5:08 am by reviewsonbooks

Today’s question from Booking Through Thursday is about symbolism. Here’s the question:

My husband is not an avid reader, and he used to get very frustrated in college when teachers would insist discussing symbolism in a literary work when there didn’t seem to him to be any. He felt that writers often just wrote the story for the story’s sake and other people read symbolism into it.

It does seem like modern fiction just “tells the story” without much symbolism. Is symbolism an older literary device, like excessive description, that is not used much any more? Do you think there was as much symbolism as English teachers seemed to think? What are some examples of symbolism from your reading?

I too had a horrible time starting in high school in those darn English classes where you would be subjected to read what I thought were strange boring books and delve into their deeper meaning supposedly uncovering the real truth and hidden meanings behind certain words, phrases or characters.

What I’ve learned and my opinion?

1. Some books have deeper meaning, some do not, and the best way to really say if it did have a bunch of symbolism in it is to ASK THE AUTHOR! I do truly think some authors did place some hidden meanings in some of their works but I also believe that some did not and were simply writing a tale, end of story.

2. I also learned that books are much better when reading  just for reading sake, (you know the FUN of it) rather than trying to spend hours delving into and tearing apart different meanings. People can spend countless of hours debating over what a book/character etc. truly means and no one is going to really win the argument, so why bother?

Now do writers nowadays write with symbolism? I’m sure there are some authors who try to have symbolic characters or messages in their books but since I am not currently analyzing any of my reads for deeper meaning and I am thankfully not being subjected to attending a high school English class I cannot think up any particular authors. Perhaps when a modern book becomes a classic many years from now and children will be tortured into reading it, we will find out if there are any authors out there.

April 10, 2009

BTT #4 – Numbers Game

Posted in BTT, memes at 4:00 am by reviewsonbooks

Today’s Booking Through Thursday meme is a redo from long ago, but since I was not even a blogger back then, let alone a big meme fan like I am now, I am happy to take part in it’s resurfacing.

Some people read one book at a time. Some people have a number of them on the go at any given time, perhaps a reading in bed book, a breakfast table book, a bathroom book, and so on, which leads me to…

Are you currently reading more than one book?

Yes.
If so, how many books are you currently reading?

Three. Two are my “official” reads that were given to me to review, the third one is my “fun” book that I chose to read and review on my own.
Is this normal for you?

Ever since I stopped working full-time and going to school where all I did was read volumes of dry textbook material, I have picked up reading more than one book at a time for leisure purposes every now and then.  But now that I am reviewing books I find it my norm to read at least one official book and one fun book at a time.
Where do you keep your current reads?

Most of the time my reads lay on a cluttered nightstand – within easy reach of my bed where I do a lot of my reading, however, the books do travel a lot and make daily appearances on the sofa and in kitchen too.

April 3, 2009

BTT #3 – Libraries

Posted in BTT, memes at 10:07 am by reviewsonbooks

Today’s Booking Through Thursday question is a little late but here nonetheless:

I saw that National Library week is coming up in April, and that led to some questions. How often do you use your public library and how do you use it? Has the coffeehouse/bookstore replaced the library? Did you go to the library as a child? Do you have any particular memories of the library? Do you like sleek, modern, active libraries or the older, darker, quiet, cozy libraries?

lib

I use my local library quite often and am in there at least once weekly. When I was working/in school I mostly purchased my books from stores like Borders and I rented videos from various rental stores like Hollywood Video. Now that I’m not working, a few years ago I spent some time in the library and discovered that they carry recent movies to rent and I can also order my book/videos online ahead of time and have them all ready for me for pickup in one place. I was instantly hooked and save tons of money which is always a good thing!

As for the bookstore/coffeehouse replacing the library – I think at one point in the recent past stores like Borders did take over the library a bit because they offered convenient food and a place to read/relax, but now that the economic climate has changed there really has been a shift in the return to using the library. I can attest to this in my local libraries which always used to be busy, but now I’ve noticed more recently it is packed with not just students, but all sorts of people checking tons of videos out or just sitting and relaxing reading a book. Unfortunately, I also noticed that the libraries here must have lost some of their funding because they have severely shortened their operating hours and aren’t open all days of the week as they used to be, which is quite sad.

Yes, I went to the library often as a child with my grandmother and have many fond memories going there with her including sitting in bean bag chairs in the children’s section trying to pretend like I could actually read when I was quite young.

I have mixed feelings about modern versus older libraries. While the older ones do provide a wonderful atmosphere to spend some time exploring, I’ve noticed that most of the time these do not carry the latest videos or books that I am interested in or if they do they have a very limited supply and they’re always checked out. The two libraries I visit most often, one has been recently remodeled and the other was built in the past few years and while both of them are quite modern, neat looking, and contain a plethora of recent media, I am not as impressed by the atmosphere and cozy quotient as the older ones seem to have.

March 27, 2009

BTT- #2 best of worst books

Posted in BTT, memes at 1:50 am by reviewsonbooks

The opposite of last week’s question: “What’s the best ‘worst’ book you’ve ever read — the one you like despite some negative reviews or features?”

This is a great question, and even after looking at all the reviews I’ve been doing unofficially for the past year, I can’t find any books that were panned and thought to be awful, and I thought it was great. Most of the time I find something everyone is raving about and I think it stinks. I suppose reviews are important to me as a reader because now that I’m thinking about it, I usually pick my books based on the good reviews or the hype put out around it. I don’t hear much about bad books so perhaps they go unread and potentially undiscovered by me because there’s not as much hype around it being awful or otherwise.

I will have to keep this in mind and maybe who knows someday I’ll either think of an answer to this question or I’ll run into a supposedly bad book and think it rocks.

March 20, 2009

A Blog has gotta have a meme, right?

Posted in BTT, Chick Lit, memes at 1:09 am by reviewsonbooks

What’s a blog, whether it be plain news, a personal one, or a review site like this one , without spending some time having fun doing some memes?

So here’s my first meme for this blog, which I think is quite appropriate

btt2

Today’s question is:

How about, “What’s the worst ‘best’ book you’ve ever read — the one everyone says is so great, but you can’t figure out why?”4bl

satcI would have to say that unfortunately the worst two popular books I’ve ever read would be “Sex and the City” and the other book author Candace Bushnell put out entitled “4 Blondes.” I believe both books were on best sellers lists and of course as many you may already know, a series on the HBO channel was spawned from the SATC story. I am totally amazed ’til this day how much I disliked the books, and how many raves there were about it, enough to make a huge hit show based on it. I absolutely adored (and still love watching the reruns) the show, it was funny, sexy, the characters were outrageous all in their own ways, it couldn’t get any better, but the book, yuck! Thankfully HBO had other writers besdies Ms. Bushnell to do the show!