Saturday, October 30, 2010

Books are easier to forgive

So in light of my new announcements, this weeks' Books are Easier to Forgive I got the following:

Skinny Italian by Teresa Giudice
The Tattoo Chronicles by Kat Von D
The Fledgling Handbook 101 by PC Cast
Just Listen by Sarah Dessen

and I also have an advanced reader's copy (ARC) that is on tour with my online book club called Mother's and Other Liars

I am hoping to have the Fledgling Handbook finished tonight, because as you know the House of Crack, I mean Night, books had me up way passed my bedtime until I was finished with the released copies. Then onward to the Skinny Italian!

Wow! Over 100!!

I don't know if anyone caught this, but I just surpassed my 100 books :)

All congrats will be accepted and appreciated! So I think I mentioned before that I am unofficially upping my goal to 125, I have a few books that I REALLY want to get done before the end of the year, such as The Count of Monte Cristo, (finish) Little Women, the rest of Matt's picks and a few other ones that I have been putting off.

I am going to keep up the momentum that I am on now, and what I mean by that is I am not going to revert back to Harry Potter and Twilight. I am enjoying the recommendations and I really like being able to talk about something other than Dementors.

A goal that I am setting for myself to get me through the rest of this year (other than another 25 books) is that since I just picked up the Skinny Italian, I am going to cook. I counted 58 recipes, but some of those are sauces, or pizza dough or whatever. So I am going to cook my way through this book between now and December 31st, somewhat like Julie from Julie and Julia. This is going to do two of many things for me. It will one, force me to start cooking more at home, because I would rather order a pizza than do the dishes, and two, force me to read an entire cook book, because I am FAMOUS for buying many many cookbooks and only using one recipe out of the book.

So here is to another goal. And I will be sharing my results right here on this blog because I really cannot start another one. Oh and I will be updating this blog with some of my baking adventures.

Oh! And I am also going to be updating once a week with the books that I got that week. A bunch of my blogger friends do a "In my Mailbox" but I am going to call mine "Books are easier to forgive" because I always get in trouble with the husband when I buy stuff, but he never gives me shit for buying books. Of course, if I don't buy any new books, I will not be updating that week.

And so there you go!

The Sookie Stackhouse series 1-10

Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Dead as a Doornail
Definitely Dead
All Together Dead
From Dead to Worse
Dead and Gone
Dead in the Family

By Charlaine Harris
All on audio

Grade C-

If you haven't heard of the Sookie Stackhouse books, you might be living under a rock. Not only is it a series in paper, it is also a huge series on HBO called True Blood. I will admit that I hadn't seen the show or paid much attention to everyone that had talked about the series. I knew about it, but really didn't want to get involved. Well I came across the entire 10 books on audio for free about two months ago, and said what the hell.....

So from what I hear, because I also haven't done any research on my own and since I don't really care I am not going to, so from what I hear, Sookie started before Twilight. Which is wonderful for Charlaine Harris, but completely makes me hate Stephenie Meyer even more. A short list of similarities, there is a mind reader, there are werewolves, there are vampires, there is a small love triangle thing between a werewolf and a vampire.....super lame Stephenie....super lame.

ANYWAY, I think the only character that I have read that was more annoying than Sookie, is Bella herself. Sookie is just sooooo soooo, stupid. The only thing that I like about Sookie is that she can survive without a man, particularly her vampire.

Now all the 10 stories are running together, I cannot tell you the main points individually for each book. What I can tell you is this, the story in each book builds and builds and builds then at around the 6.5/7th hour of each audio book (they are all about 9-10 hours long) something crazy happens, then everything dies down, and then about a half hour before it ends, there is a huge climax again, and then BAM! end of book. And the other part that really bothered me is that anyone and everyone that did something bad, whether it was spilling milk at the table or murdering 15,000 people, admits to it, how they did it, and why they did it every single time. And they admit to everything. It's really annoying because instead of the mystery being solved, all of a sudden someone is knocking on Sookie's door waiting to tell their life story.

The other thing that really bothered me about these books was the way Sookie talked. For instance, every time she mentioned her "word of the day calendar", I rolled my eyes. And there is a lot of sex in this series. And when I say a lot, I mean A LOT. And the sexy parts isn't what bothered me, but dude, Sookie is supposed to be something like 27 in the book and she would refer to a man's penis as his "Mr. Happy" ::barf::. Grow up Sook, grow up because you sound stupid, oh wait, it's because you are.

Now I never followed the show, and I was going to start, but I watched the first episode of season one, and was so freaking bored that I gave up. And Sookie in the show was equally as annoying as she was in the books. So there you go.

Maybe you're thinking right now, 'if she didn't like the books, why did she invest over 95 hours of listening time' and my answer to that is this, I was totally waiting for it to get better. I was waiting for Sookie to maybe go back to school or something and become smart. I don't know. I don't know why I invested so much time in these books. Either way, I can say now that I have read them and get passed it. And my life has not been changed in anyway.

Now it is the workings of the Sookie books that I am taking a vampire vacation for an unspecified amount of time. I just need a break, however, I did buy The Fledgling Handbook 101 by PC Cast while in waiting for book 9 of the House of Night books to be released.

In conclusion, some of you might like the Sookie books, I know many of you have. All I know is that I was bored and could care less when the next book comes out because I probably won't pick it up right away, if at all.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

The Hunger Games trilogy

Hunger Games
Catching Fire

By Suzanne Collins

Grade A+

Hunger Games was a book that I kept putting off and putting off. I would read post after post from my other blogger friends about this series and I was forced to overlook most of the posts because I didn't want to catch any spoilers. And then came the special day in my life about two weeks ago when I turned on the audio book, and was BLOWN AWAY. This series is incredible.

Hunger Games starts off introducing Katniss and her family who live in District 12. Each year, 2 children from each of the 12 districts are chosen to participate in the Hunger Games in which the children battle to the death until only one is living. Prim, Katniss' little sister, is chosen for the Games but Katniss volunteers to take her place. The rest of book one is her journey on the Games.

Catching Fire picks up right where Hunger Games leaves off and it had me sitting on the edge of my seat. Mockingjay picks up right where Catching Fire leaves off, and totally just blows you away. There were parts where I cried, parts where I was SO angry that I couldn't hardly see straight.


So in Hunger Games, the underlying love story is between Katniss and Peeta. Peeta announces to the Capital that he has been in love with Katniss for almost his whole life. Katniss is taken back by this because she never wanted to fall in love, and plays on the sympathies of the nation and acts like she too is in love with Peeta. When they come home, Gale, Katniss' childhood friend, expresses interest in her, leaving her completely torn. The decision on whom she wants to be with and who she can't survive without lies in Mockingjay. There is a part in Mockingjay where Katniss is in between sleep and awake and she hears Peeta and Gale talking about her and wondering which one of them she will choose ::coughEclipsecough:: but it was a nice underlying story

I just want to say that there are some truly terrifying sad and depressing parts in this book. There are some truly wonderful and jump up from your seat to shout HURRAY parts. There was one part towards the end of Mockingjay that literally made me sob like a little girl. It was so devastating, I really don't know how the author could leave it in.

But regardless, this series was flat out INCREDIBLE. You would be doing yourself a horrific disservice if you passed it up.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

The Thirteenth Tale

The Thirteenth Tale
By Diane Setterfield

432 pages
15 hours and 40 minutes

Grade A+

I had to start this book twice on audio because it was just a slow start. And the book in general is just a slow start, but if you can get into it, STICK WITH IT! This book is amazing, incredible, intriguing, suspenseful, everything that I look for in a book! Plus it's a book about a book, so that makes it even better. The writing is beautiful, the story is captivating....How many more adjectives can I use to describe this book?

So a quick overview, Margaret Lea is hired to write the biography of Vida Winter a reclusive author whom is also incredibly famous for her books. Many have tried to write the biography before, but she gives them false stories. Margaret has wonder if Vida is giving her the real story. As the interviews continue, Vida's health weakens, and Margaret is also forced to become a detective trying to find out if what Vida has told her to be true.

That is as simplistic overview as I can give, without giving away too much. Once you get into the story, there really is no turning back. The characters are so well developed, and captivating. The story had me holding my breath at times, something that only Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows and The Book Thief has been able to do. There were times when I simply could not do anything but listen to the narrators voice on my iPod willing her to speak faster so that I could know what was going to happen next. I will also say, that the narrator was incredible. There are two female narrators, and at first I didn't like it, but after I got used to it, I really liked it. The voice of Margaret....there was a certain sadness, even desperation in her voice that completely added to her character, and the voice of Vida was firm, definite, and cocky, but perfect for her.

I am disappointed in myself for putting this book off for so long. I really wished I would have read it sooner. However, I was also in such a book slump it was nice to stick this in the middle.

I will read this book again, and I will probably buy it in paperback too, just to have around. This book will also be placed in my top 5 favorite books this year, possibly bumping The Book Thief down to #2.

There is simply not enough I can say about this book other than just read it. If it's been on your To Be Read list, just pick it up, you will not be disappointed.