Friday, June 25, 2010

Top Ten Picks: Favorite Writers

Top ten picks is a weekly meme hosted by Random Ramblings where each week a new topic is chosen to pick your ten ten favorites from. This weeks top ten: Favorite writers. :)
There are so many brilliant writers out there, and to choose a favorite would be so hard for me, but I could pick ten in no particular order so here it goes.

1. A. A. Milne
Well he popped into my head rather randomly but really he is one of my favorites. Even now I love to read the Winnie the Pooh stories, they make me laugh, and there are wonderful little lessons to learn from the animals in the Hundred Acre Woods, like accepting your friends for how they are in "In Which Tigger is Unbounced" and blind prejudice against things we don't understand in "In Which Kanga and baby Roo Come to the Forest, and Piglet has a Bath." which are both two of my favorites. Like Dr. Suess's stories, A. A. Milne's aren't just for children.

2. Jane Austen
Well here she is! You we're expecting her right. ;) Anyway I must say I never truly appreciated Jane Austen until after I read Emma and Persuasion two of my favorite by her. I read P&P and S&S when I was younger and although I liked them I never really loved them, not like I love Emma and Persuasion now. Maybe I'll revisit P&P and S&S with my new found love for classics and appreciate them like I should.

3. L.M. Montgomery
You can read all about my love for her in this post. Really I can not begin to explain just how happy this author makes me when I read her books.

4. Ellen Raskin
I love this author because not only does she write mind-boggling mysteries for Young Adults and Middle graders, but because she actually leaves clues all through the book so that you can solve it right along with the characters. I mean, truthfully I've never succeeded in solving any of her stories before they were done, but looking back through them I saw that I could have. This author is really not to be missed. My two favorite novels of hers are The Westing Game and The Mysterious Disappearance of Leon(I mean Noel).

5. Agatha Christie
I have always loved mysteries but there are three authors I knew I had to read to really call myself a mystery fan. One was Arthur Conan Doyle, the other was Edgar Allen Poe and the third was the queen of crime herself Agatha Christie. She is absolutely brilliant. I read The Body in the Library and The Mysterious Affair at Styles, but after And Then There Were None I was hooked on this ladies novels.

6. Dianna Wynne Jones
I have already mentioned probably about a million times how much I enjoy DWJ's novels. They are wonderful examples of great british fantasy. She also writes some science fiction too. My three favorite novels by her are Charmed Life, Howl's Moving Castle, and The Game.

7. Elizabeth Gaskell
My friend Katherine over at A Love for Literature introduced me to this brilliant writer. I am reading Wives and Daughters right now, and am absolutely loving it. She has a wonderful style of writing, you just float into her books without realizing it. I have bought The Cranford Chronicles and am very interested in reading more of her work.

8. Beverly Cleary
I grew up on a healthy diet of Ramona, Henry Huggins, and Ralph S. Mouse. I loved every one of the books I read by Beverly Cleary, I really related to Ramona. -_-; But really she wrote some of the funniest, most touching books, ever written for children and I will definitely be saving her works for my future children. Also I can relate to Beverly Cleary as a writer because she wrote in her autobiography how she struggles with describing things and I also struggle with the same thing.
9. Frances Hodgson Burnett
The Secret Garden, A Little Princess,
two of the most influential books I have ever read. Taking experiences from her own life, FHB wrote wonderful stories about forgiveness, the power of love, and new beginnings, that can be appreciated by readers no matter what their age. Sarah Crewe and Mary Lennox are really two of the strongest female characters ever written, and who even now I look up to.

10. Rick Riordan
AHHH! This was such a good top ten picks and there are still so many authors I love!!! But I thought I'd end with one of my favorite modern day writers Rick Riordan. He is a really brilliant and imaginative writer, and it's too bad The Percy Jackson movie didn't live up to it's potential. I really love that series, and read the first book in the 39 clue's series which was cute. I can't wait to read The Kane Chronicles as well, I picked up the 1st book in the series for my b-day. :) Also can this guy name a chapter or what?! I am looking forward to the future books this man will write, because I think he's got a really great style.

Book Blogger Hop: June 25-28, 2010

It's another fabulous week to join the book blogger hop over at Crazy-For-Books!!! If your a new book blogger, or old book blogger hop on over to Crazy-For-Books and add your blog to the hop! It's a great way to meet other book bloggers and find blogs you will enjoy! So what are you waiting for!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Musing Mondays (June 21)

Musing Mondays is a weekly meme hosted by Mizb at Should Be Reading. This week's question: Name your top 2-3 favorite genres (the ones you read most from).

My top 3 favorite genre's to read would be:
#1. Mysteries, I absolutely love mysteries as anyone who has been following this blog from the beginning probably know. I love Agatha Christie, Dorothy L. Sayers, Arthur Conan Doyle, Rex Stout, and Emily Brightwell's Victorian Murder Mysteries.
#2. Definitely classic's, I'm reading so many right now, and I've developed a good mind for them. When I was younger they were pretty hard for me to read but now, they are as easy to read as a regular modern day novel. Some of my favorites are of course Jane Austen's novels, Little Women, Oliver Twist, and Wuthering Heights.
#3. My 3rd favorite genre is Science Fiction, I haven't read as much of this genre as the others but I am working on it. Some of my favorite's are Jule's Verne's Novels, H.G. Well's stories, A Wind in the Door by Madeleine L' Engle, and Interworld by Neil Gaiman and Micheal Reaves.

Enchanted Glass: A book review

Title: Enchanted Glass

Author: Diana Wynne Jones

Genre: Fantasy

Reading Level: 12 and up

Summary: Aidan Cain has had the worst week of his life. His gran died, he was sent to a foster home, and now malicious beings are stalking him. There is one person Gran told Aidan to go to if he ever got into trouble—a powerful sorcerer who lives at Melstone House.

But when Aidan arrives on the doorstep, he finds that the sorcerer's grandson, Andrew, has inherited the house. The good news is that Aidan can tell immediately that Andrew's brimming with magic, too—and so is everyone else at Melstone. The bad news is that Andrew doesn't remember anything his grandfather taught him. Chaos is swiftly rising, and he has no idea how to control it. A sinister neighbor is stealing power from the land, magic is leaking between realms . . . and it's only a matter of time before the Stalkers find Aidan.

If Aidan and Andrew can harness their own magics, they may be able to help each other. But can they do it before the entire countryside comes apart at the seams?

My Review: I got this book out of the library because it's Diana Wynne Jone's latest book and I have always been a fan of hers. She is a wonderful writer, she creates very funny and interesting characters. This book had a large cast of characters. I liked how the main character was a middle aged man which I think is an interesting main character for a MG novel. Although sometimes I confused the names of the characters since most of them started with the same letter or we're exactly the same, since for some reason where this book was set everyone in the village was named Stock. Which was confusing yet funny. All of the characters were interesting yet not her most memorable ones. The plot wasn't her finest. It was pretty basic, there weren't as many amazing revelations at the end like the usual books she writes but then every author likes to break out of their usual MO once in a while. I liked the use of fairy lore in it, and there were many funny scenes and plenty of magic. So basically this wasn't her finest work but still a nice easy read.

Content: There was actually quite a lot of questionable material for a usual DWJ book. There were references to a lot of swearing, a failed seduction and a girl who is talked about as being rather promiscuous and using drugs and alcohol.

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Recommend: To fans of DWJ's books, and to fans of light fantasy.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Musing Mondays (June 14)

Musing Mondays is hosted by MizB at Should be Reading.

This week's question: Who in your family (both immediate & extended) are readers, and who are not?

In my immediate family, everyone is a reader. Though some are more avid then others. My Mother is probably the 2nd biggest reader in my family including me. She read's spiritual books, and she like's to read fantasy for light reading. My sister read's mostly just on the weekends. She loves historical fiction. My brother read's philosophical books. My father like's reading non-fiction books about history and Egyptian culture. In my extended family, I have a godmother who reads spiritual books like my mother and I have two cousin's who enjoy horror and thriller novels.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Awards Ceremony: Part 2

I've been so late with passing on the awards I've received. I always get so flustered because their are so many deserving people and I can only give it to a certain amount. *sigh* The rules are I have to list 5 random thing's about myself and award 5 people.
1. I don't like gray day's when the clouds are just hanging ominously over you but I love when it rains!!!
2. I now officially understand classic's. Before I read them and enjoyed them, but a good majority of the time they confused me, with the old fashioned way of writing. I no longer have that problem and have become increasingly fond of classic's.
3. I want to own a houseboat, a trailer, and travel the world in them.
4. One of my life goals right now is to be ginger. I'm still working on that.
5. I love the number 5. >_<

And Now I pass on the Stylish Blogger Award to (in no particular order):

Introverted Jen at The Introverted Reader.
Jillian at Random Ramblings.
Irena at This Miss Loves to Read.
Whitney at She Is Too Fond of Books.
And last but certainly not least YS Princess's Idea's, Resources, and Reviews.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Larklight: A Book Review

Title: Larklight: A Rousing Tale of Dauntless Pluck in the Farthest Reaches of Space AKA: The Revenge of the White Spiders! or To Saturn's Rings and Back!

Author: Philip Reeve

Genre: Steampunk :D

Reading Level: 9 and up

Arthur (Art) Mumby and his irritating sister Myrtle live with their father in a huge and rambling house called Larklight…that just happens to be traveling through outer space. When a visitor called Mr. Webster arrives for a visit, it is far from an innocent social call. Before long Art and Myrtle are off on an adventure to the furthest reaches of space, where they will do battle with evil forces in order to save each other—and the known universe.

My Review: This reminded me a bit of a light hearted episode of Doctor Who. Which coming from me is a huge compliment. Probably the reason it reminds me of Doctor Who is because they're both that a legitimate reason? Do all British sci-fi books/movies/tv shows have a similar feel? I'm not sure. But I did enjoy this book. It was very zany, and very fun. I wouldn't actually say any of the characters we're memorable, because most of them I did not care for. I liked Art well enough and his narration throughout the story was very humorous. His sister Myrtle got on my nerves and I wouldn't have minded seeing her chucked out of an aether ship. But the real gem would have to be the story because I thought it was fantastic. I loved their travel's through space, and learning about all the different creatures, and how they worked their aether ships. Mr. Reeve's creates some really interesting alien life forms, one of my favorites being the changeling tree's.
Since this book is set in the mid 1800 it's very funny how Mr. Reeve's captures the thinking of that time period. There was an undertone of prejudice coming from some of the characters toward alien life forms and way of life, and British empires need to civilize the creatures they considered savage. Those part's struck a cord in my brain, I've noticed in a good majority of modern historical fiction I've read the main characters are always so forward thinking and without prejudice, and it always felt a bit false, even though I know not everyone was prejudice back then. Also, what's with spiders? Why must they always be evil?!! I personally love spiders. Anyway it was a fun ride, and I really think Hollywood should consider this in their future line up of books into movies.
Content: Bleeped out bad words. That was somewhat humorous.
Rating: 4 star's out of 5
Recommend: For young steampunk and sci-fi fans, and anyone who likes British humor.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

WWW Wednesdays (June 9)

WWW Wednesdays are hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading.

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions…

* What are you currently reading?
* What did you recently finish reading?
* What do you think you’ll read next?

My answers:

What are you currently reading? I'm reading "Wives and Daughter" by Elizabeth Gaskell and for light reading "Larklight" by Philip Reeve.

What did you recently finish reading? "The Time Machine" by H.G. Wells.

What do you think you’ll read next? I would like to read "Daniel Deronda" by George Eliot and "Half Moon Investigations" by Eoin Colfer

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

1st in a Serie's Challenge

I have entered into a new challenge. This one just intrigued me so much plus I love the button for it!! It is hosted by Alaine over at Royal Reviews. If you are interested in joining click on the link, or the button which also has the link.
As so many of us love reading our series this one gives you the chance to include them in your challenges. As with all our other challenges there are various levels from the Curious to the Obsessed. If you start out at the Curious level and find yourself on the Addicted level then just change you post accordingly.

Challenge Guidelines:
1. Anyone can join. You don't need a blog to participate.
--Non-Bloggers: Include your information in the comment section.

2. There are four levels:

-- Curious– Read 3 novels that are first in a series.

-- Fascinated – Read 6 novels that are first in a series. (I will start with this.)

-- Addicted – Read 12 novels that are first in a series.

-- Obsessed – Read 20 novels that are first in a series.

3. Any genre counts.

4. You can list your books in advance or just put them in a wrap up post. If you list them, feel free to change them as the mood takes you.

5. Challenge begins January 1st thru December, 2010.

Teaser Tuesday

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Grab your current read
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
  • Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
" 'Mr. Gibson, I daresay you'll be surprised, I'm sure I am at-at what I want to say; but I think it's the part of an honorable man, as you said yourself, sir, a year or two ago, to-to speak to the father first, and as you, sir, stand in the place of a father to Miss Kirkpatrick, I should like to express my feelings, my hopes, or perhaps I should say wishes, in short-'
'Miss Kirkpatrick?' said Mr. Gibson, a good deal surprised."
--Wives and Daughter by Elizabeth Gaskell

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Time Machine: A Book Review

Title: The Time Machine

Author: H.G. Wells

Genre: Science Fiction

Reading Level: 12 and up

A man, referred to only as the Time Traveler, tell's the incredible story about his journey into the future to the year 802,701, where he meet's the childlike future human's Eloi and the fearsome Morlock's who steal his time machine trapping him in their strange world.

My Review: After all that's been going on in this present day world (oil spill's to name one)I'm not sure I picked such a great time to read this novel. It just left me feeling terribly depressed about the future. Not that it wasn't significant, it definitely was. H.G. Wells is a great writer and story teller. The dystopian world of the Eloi and Morlock's, is very chilling to read about. The outcome of humanity make's you think about where we're headed in life. It was good, but the tone of the novel was too dark for me to love it. Especially the end. I was also scared by the 1960 movie, and I've never seen the 2002 remake but I'm sure it would scare me too.
Content: disturbing subjects and violence
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Recommend: For dystopian and science fiction fans

Friday, June 4, 2010

Book Blogger Hop June 4-7, 2010

Yeah for the Book blogger hop!!!! I'm glad to be joining in it again after a two week hiatus, because it was my birthday and I was terribly busy and didn't have time to post. Anyway the book blogger hop is a great meme hosted by Crazy-For-Books where book bloggers can find other book bloggers and support them, and have a lot of fun finding new blog's about books. So join in on all the fun and put up your link at Crazy-For-Books.

TopTenPicks: Female Characters You Admire

Top Ten Picks is a meme hosted by Random Ramblings where she post's just about that -- her top 10 picks! Every week, there will be a different and specific topic given. You can then choose 10 of your picks from that given category, create the list, and post them up on your blog!
For this week, the topic is on: Female Characters You Admire. It can be for any reason at all.
I saw this meme over at her blog and really wanted to join in. I only got around to it today. >_<

1. Anne Shirley
Let me just put it this way: I don't think I'd like to live in a world where L.M. Montgomery never wrote about that ever dramatic but always lovable red-head. I think this is where I first got my obsession's with red hair from. I've loved this series ever since I was a little girl, because I could relate to Anne Shirley. My mom always said I was a lot like her. No book series can calm me and make me feel more at home then this one can, and it's all because I like so many girl's have found a kindred spirit in Anne.

2. Elizabeth Bennet
Again who doesn't admire Elizabeth Bennet. Elegent, charming, witty, strong willed, and one who can eventually be owned up to their mistakes. I've always admired Elizabeth Bennet, I've always wanted to be like her, but truthfully I think the only way I am like her is that I also can't embroider cushions, or play the pianoforte well. -_-;

3. Sophie Hatter

The reason I admire Sophie Hatter is because she is thrown into a lot of strange situation's against her will. But she never let's it get the better of her. She keep's moving forward even after being turned into a little old women and find's her inner strength along the way. Also she's the only one who can get the better of drama king Howl and that's pretty impressive in and of itself. I encourage anyone who has seen the movie and never read the book to read it, and vice-versa because I love them both.

4. Nancy Drew

Ah, Nancy Drew. Timeless, intrepid, Nancy Drew. I always wanted to be Nancy Drew. Running around, solving mysteries, having adventures, yes, that is the life I crave. Nancy is great because she is another strong female who never gives up. She uses her clever mind to outwit the bad guys, and learns new thing's along the way that will eventually help her solve a future mystery. Nancy Drew has changed a bit over the years (truthfully if you can believe it she was much more feistier in the original 1920 novels then she is today.) but she still appeals to girls with a sense of adventure.

5. Tabitha Ruth "Turtle" Wexler Okay so one of the main reason I like this character is because we share the 1st same name. Also because she kick's people who make her mad and I've sometimes felt like doing that to people who make me mad as well. I never have because well, I'm not sure I could live with the guilt afterward of hurting someone physically, and number two because I'd have gotten in trouble. -_-; Okay so maybe that isn't a terribly admirable quality. But actually the real reason I admire Turtle is because she always say's what's on her mind, she is not afraid of anyone or anything, she will stop at nothing to get what she want's and she's terribly clever. She understands the stock market and I think anyone who can do that is terribly clever.

6. Ananka Fishbein

This is another one of my ultimate favorite character's of all time. I really clicked with Ananka. She love's books, she is witty and adventurous, yet she had an underlying insecurity that she struggle's with. She meet's Kiki Strike, and Kiki help's her discover just what she is made out of. Ananka is also the child of two parents who believe a house should be covered from wall to wall with books. Kiki Strike is one of my favorite books and Ananka is one of the greatest narrators I have had the pleasure of reading.

7. Mary Lennox
Well, there are plenty of reason's to admire Mary Lennox. Here is a girl who was spoiled and unloved, who's parent's died, and who was then sent to live with an aloof uncle. Mary could have turned into quite a horrible person. But that's the wonderful thing about her. She didn't. She changed, she grew, from an unpleasant skinny child into a loving young lady who made a garden and the people around her grow in beauty and love. I didn't read this novel when I was young. But I loved it just the same. I feel anyone can learn from the amazing journey that is Mary Lennox's story.

8. Irene AdlerShe beat Sherlock Holme's at his own game. Need there be any other reason to admire her. ~_^ P.S. I haven't seen the movie version, I have only read the short story with her. But this was the only picture I could find.

9. Luna Lovegood
Luna is possibly one of the best characters to come out of Harry Potter, along with Neville but this is a girl questionnaire. I admire Luna because she is terribly true to herself. She does not try to impress people by being someone she's not. She has faced adversary and come out on top. She is an incurable optimist. She is trusting, and trustworthy. I have always liked Luna from the 1st moment she appeared in HP number 5. There's just something about her.

10. Jo March
Oh my gosh my last one. Well I wanted to make it a good one and I can't think of a better way than with Jo March. She is another female I'd like to be like. She is again strong willed, and loves her family most of all, and she want's to be a writer. She is definitely flawed, and doesn't like change, but learns a lot about herself and the people around her through it all. Haha when I started this meme I was afraid I couldn't finish it, but now I realize there were a lot of character's I admired and these 10 are definitely my favorite and have always been (for the most part) since I was little.

Again, if you would like to join in, all you have to do is:

1. Do a post, listing all your answers. You do not have to include pictures, descriptions, or explanations, but if you would like to do so, feel free! Then go over to Random Ramblings and post your post link in her Mr. Linky!!!