Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 Challenge Done!!!!!

I have completed my revised challenge of reading 30 books this year. It was close at the end but I made it. Initially I chose 50 books but with work/life I had to make it a more realistic goal.
I participated in a few challenges and have read at least one book for each. I'm not sure if I'll do any this year but I'll definitely be reading as much as I can. 2011 has introduced me to the online book community and genres such as YA that I had no interest in before. For 2012 I'm looking forward to the Hunger Games movie (but more specifically the nail polish collection created as a homage to the series).
Images provided by GoodReads
So with that hope everyone had a great literary 2011 and wishing you all a 2012 with great reads.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

3 books in 23 days

The year is quickly coming to an end, as a result I had to alter my reading goal for the year from 50 to 30. Although I reduced it I'm pretty glad I even got to read one book. So can I read 3 books in 23 days? We'll see...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Since my last post I've read the following:

Read this for Banned Books Week

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
Book #1 in the Hunger Games Trilogy eagerly waiting to read the other two plus I can't wait for the movie.

The Survivor by Sean Slater
School shooting, Asian gangs, crime underworld etc. I received this as a participant in the 2011Mystery & Suspense Reading Challenge. Review is forthcoming.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D Salinger
Read this for Banned Books Week. Whenever a story is told from a teenagers point of view it's considered to raunchy and explicit, as if teens cannot express themselves. I didn't really like the main character, he was just too self absorbed.

Images provided by GoodReads

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Banned Books Week: Review- Go Ask Alice

Alice Could be anyone
Alice Could be someone you know
Alice Uses drugs
Alice Could be YOU!!!
With over a million copies in print, Go Ask Alice has become a classic of our time. This powerful real-life diary of a teenager's struggle with the seductive — often fatal — world of drugs and addiction tells the truth about drugs in strong and authentic voice. Tough and uncompromising, honest and disturbing — and even more poignant today — Go Ask Alice is page-turning and provocative reading.  Summary courtesy of Barnes and Noble; Image Good Reads

I enjoyed this book and it was a quick easy read. This is the type of YA subject matter I like; kids on drugs, kids gone bad, kids taking the wrong path and whether or not they find their way back or end up six-feet under. This book is on the challenged/banned books list because it's 'real' and it deals with a subject matter that kids in this day and age are exposed to and participate in on an everyday basis. If I was a teenager growing up in the 21st century and I read this stuff I would stay as far away from drugs as possible and avoid getting pregnant. That would probably make me unpopular but being on the outs maybe a good thing.

Format: Paperback , 224pp
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Young Adult

★★★★ Really liked it

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Review: Fallout

Hunter, Autumn, and Summer—three of Kristina Snow’s five children—live in different homes, with different guardians and different last names. They share only a predisposition for addiction and a host of troubled feelings toward the mother who barely knows them, a mother who has been riding with the monster, crank, for twenty years.
Hunter is nineteen, angry, getting by in college with a job at a radio station, a girlfriend he loves in the only way he knows how, and the occasional party. He's struggling to understand why his mother left him, when he unexpectedly meets his rapist father, and things get even more complicated. Autumn lives with her single aunt and alcoholic grandfather. When her aunt gets married, and the only family she’s ever known crumbles, Autumn’s compulsive habits lead her to drink. And the consequences of her decisions suggest that there’s more of Kristina in her than she’d like to believe. Summer doesn’t know about Hunter, Autumn, or their two youngest brothers, Donald and David. To her, family is only abuse at the hands of her father’s girlfriends and a slew of foster parents. Doubt and loneliness overwhelm her, and she, too, teeters on the edge of her mother’s notorious legacy. As each searches for real love and true family, they find themselves pulled toward the one person who links them together—Kristina, Bree, mother, addict. But it is in each other, and in themselves, that they find the trust, the courage, the hope to break the cycle. Told in three voices and punctuated by news articles chronicling the family’s story, FALLOUT is the stunning conclusion to the trilogy begun by CRANK and GLASS, and a testament to the harsh reality that addiction is never just one person’s problem. Image and Summary courtesy of GoodReads

My take: I found Fallout the third and final installment int he Crank series the most difficult to read. Reason being it no longer dealt with Kristina but that of her children and their lives and issues. I honestly wasn't interested in it and found myself bored page after page. Also I found the three stories difficult to follow as the only way one could tell they were reading about a different character was by the text font.

★ Didn't like it

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Review: Microterrors

Microterrors by Charles 'Tony' Hart, MBBS, BSc, PhD, FRCPCH, FRCPath is one of the world's leading experts on medical microbiology.
The hidden dangers surrounding us.Despite the confident strides of modern science, the threat of deadly unseen organisms such as viruses, bacteria and fungi still grip the imagination with their ferocious intensity. For instance, resistant strains of bacteria can now survive the strongest antibiotics and deadly new biological weapons are being cooked up in laboratories worldwide.

Microterrors explores these threats as well as humanity's greatest living rivals that have been on the planet far longer than we have. The introduction covers terms, definitions and a brief natural history, including the role of viruses in human evolution, as well as bioengineering and biological weapons. Microterrors then presents the truly terrifying rogues' gallery of invisible killers. Image and summary courtesy of B&
This is a well compiled visual catalog of viruses and bacteria that pose a threat to us in our daily lives. Microterrors are everywhere, in the air, water, soil, the things we eat, touch. EVERYWHERE!!!!! Whether you are a science buff or not you'll appreciate this book. It's a great coffee table piece.
Microterrors is divided into two sections: Viruses and Bacteria. Included in the introduction is an how to guide to aide in understaning the layout and icons accompanying each microorganism. For each there is a quick reference guide states origin, first identified, transmission, portals of entry and incubation period. Also included is a brief description, clinical feature, treatment and prevention. 
The pseudo-colored images are well done and beautiful. Microterrors are indeed beautiful and terrifying at the same time.

Rating: ★★★★★Awesome!!!!!
Publisher: Firefly Books
Pages: 192
Pub. Date: 2004

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Review: Princess in the Spotlight

Being a teenage girl with divorced parents is hard enough without discovering you're the heir apparent to a small European country, that you must have a bodyguard tailing you at all times, and that your paternal grandmother is determined to turn you into a proper princess. Mia Thermopolis faces all that and more during her year as a high school freshman, and she shares the trials and tribulations of her hilarious life inThe Princess Diaries. B&N review.

This was a very cute book. It was an easy read and at times I found myself actually wanting to know what will happen next. Mia is an awkward freshman, trying to stay sane and navigate her high school and by the way she's a princess too. I can't remember if I ever watched the 'Princess Diaries' and am not sure if there are anymore movies based on this series.
Great to read if you're looking for something light and fun.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Summer Book Haul

Spider Bones $5.99 @ Target. I'm a huge fan of Kathy and Bones which aires on FOX. The Alienist $0.99 @ the Salvation Army, ket words serial killer, turn of the century and profiling ( pre criminal minds). Need I say more, will be a good read.

 Both $1 each @ Ollies Bargain Outlet.

Traitor $0.25 @ Ollies and Light Before Day $1.12 @ Barnes and Noble.

 All $1 each except Gob's Grief $0.25 @ Ollies

 $0.25 @ Ollies

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

My second venture in to YA lit. Clockwork Angel was an enjoyable book and I'm not particularly into ghouls, demons, vampires etc. I found the story flowed except for towards the end where it slowed down a bit just became too wordy. Now onto the main characters Tess and Will. Shadow hunter Will is basically James Dean and a rebel without a cause but does he have a cause, is there something from his past that causes him to basically be a reckless fool? It's hinted to in this book, which is the first installment in the Infernal Devices series. How long do we have to wait to find out what is at the root of Will's internal struggle? At least until December when book two Clockwork Prince comes out.

Now for Tess, I did not like her at all. I found her character to be a huge nag, which exhausted me as if I were Jem coming off the 'stuff'. She needed to be more focused, once she found out Will's story that's all her mind was consumed with as was evident during one 'battle'. Here vampires and shadow hunters are fighting and all she's concerned about is why did Will leave his home and refused to see his parents when thy came to the Institute. OMG! this girl needed to focus her immaturity is so obvious and it made the book unbearable at times. This is one of the main reasons why I have avoided YA books; the immaturity. I hope she 'grows up' by the next book.
I also did not agree with this portion of the synopsis on the book jacket: "She soon finds herself fascinated by--and torn between--two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm's length...everyone, that is, but Tessa." This love triangle did not happen, Tess was not 'torn' between these two guy, her primary focus was on Will and although Jem had obvious feelings for her she didn't see him that way. I personally did not think this was the case. Well overall I did enjoy this book and intend to give the Mortal Instruments a read until Clockwork Prince comes out, I hope they do not disappoint.


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Mailbox Wednesday #4

This is a bit late but here's another what I got in my mailbox

The Book Thief and Fallout (#3 in the Crank series, I'm currently reading this but I just can't get into it as I did for the first two).

Both for challenges I'm participating in (1) Immigration and (2) Chinese Lit challenges. Currently reading Brooklyn (review to come)

Across The Universe was for last month's Chapters Book Club. It was a good read I thought I wouldn't enjoy it since it's YA but I did, I wonder if this will be a series because I want to know 'did they ever make it to CenturiEarth? 

The Hunger Games Trilogy, I'm so excited to read these before the movie comes out.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Review: Glass

Glass is the second installment in the Crank series and it follows the life of the now full blown addict Kristina a.k.a Bree. Kristina's life has more than spiraled out of control, she has no connection with her son Hunter (she eventually gave custody to her parents), ruined the relationship with her family especially her mother. She's gone from petty peddler to mid-level dealer, was homeless to living with her dealer and taking care of his kids. This is a scary look at how drug addiction consumes a person, it's all they live for and disregard everything else around them. 
A well written cautionary tale.

Glass: 681 pages (Book 2 in the Crank trilogy)
Pub. Date: 2007
Audience: Young Adult
★★★★  Really liked it

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Mailbox Wednesday #3

A mystery themed haul from Ebay, I got 12 books plus 2 bonus ones for $5.99 including shipping. This lot consists of Agatha Christie, Murder She Wrote, C.F Roe, Mary Daheim and Alice Kimberly. I have so many good books to read.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mystery & Suspense Challenge 2011

Just signed up for this challenge because it's on probably what's my favorite genre. This challenge Book Chick City's 2011 Mystery-Suspense-Reading Challenge from January to December 2011 and requires that one reads a minimum of 12 mystery & suspense novels in 2011. I know I'm going to really enjoy this one, and it's worth checking out.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mailbox Wednesday #2

A primarily Chic Lit haul from Ebay, I got 21 books for $13 including shipping (one seller). 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Review: Crank

Ellen Hopkins has an interesting way of writing, 'Crank' is structured like a long poem. I am not a fan of poetry and browsing the blogs and YT videos had no hint of the way the book was structured. I was pleasantly surprised it was easy to read and did not distract one from the story which I found quite gripping. Although at some points throughout the story  I got confused as to which direction to read across or up or down but you'll be able to figure it out. 
I don't usually read young adult books but this was a good one and I'm eager to get to the rest in the series. These are the types of books that parents should read because it shows how easy kids get, use and abuse drugs and the consequences that ensue. 
The main character Kristina was the typical 'good girl' until an ill-fated visit to her father and a sniff to impress a boy. We all know where the story goes from there, drugs, alcohol, more drugs, failing in school, being assaulted, becoming a drug dealer and towards the end of the book she finds out she's pregnant. What will she do? keep the baby? drop out of school? more importantly will she quit drugs?

Crank: 537 pages (Book 1 in the Crank trilogy)
Pub. Date: October 2004
Audience: Young Adult
★★★★  Really liked it

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Review: If You Have To Cry......

All hail the queen of 'tell it like it is'. Is there anyone on this planet who does not know or love Kelly Cutrone? It's like saying you've never heard of Oprah. I first saw Kelly Cutrone on an episode of The Hills and instantly wanted her to be my fairy godmother. Next she appeared on The City and then on her own show Kell on Earth. This show got me through the writing of my PhD dissertation, I get inspired to push on and get the task done.

"One of the few movers-and shakers who seems to have an enlightened grip on both the dark and light side of the business she navigates with such self-possession.... Clear, concise, to the point, and abrasively, wonderfully honest. 
Kelly Cutrone has long been mentoring women on how to make it in one of the most competitive industries in the world. She has kicked people out of fashion shows, forced some of reality television's shiny stars to fire their friends, and built her own company one of the most powerful PR firms in the fashion business from the ground up. Through it all, she has refused to be anything but herself.
Kelly writes in her trademark, no-bullshit style, combining personal and professional stories to share her secrets for success without selling out. Let's face it: this is a different world than the one in which our mothers grew up, and Kelly has created a real girl's guide to making it in today's world. Offering a wake-up call to women everywhere, she challenges us to stop the dogged pursuit of the perfect life and discover who we are and what we really want. Then she shows us how to go out there and get it. Much of our culture teaches us to muzzle our inner voice and follow the crowd; Kelly enables us to stop pretending and start truly living." courtesy of Barnes and Noble.

I can't wait for her next book 'Normal Get's You Nowhere'  which debuts on May 3rd 2011.

★★★★★ An Awesome must read!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011


I received these two books from my PhD advisor when I had my thesis defense last November.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mailbox Wednesday #1

Which should I read next? 
I intended to read Clockwork Angel next but after browsing through Front Row I intrigued. I admire Anna Wintour ever since watching September Issue. 

                                                                (from Ebay $5.99 including shipping)

Trying to expand my horizons by delving into the super popular YA genre (from Barnes and Noble $21 for the three books).

Also from Barnes and Noble for $16 and some cents. I got Water for Elephants because of my love for elephants and my quest to get books with the word elephant in the title.