Monday, September 25, 2006

Banned Books Week

It's that time of year again - Banned Books Week! Here is the list of the 100 most frequently challenged books from 1990 - 2000. The most frequently challenged books of the 21st century are:

1. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
2. The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
3. Alice series by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor
4. Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
5. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
6. Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers
7. It's Perfectly Normal by Robie Harris
8. Scary Stories series by Alvin Schwartz
9. Captain Underpants series by Dav Pilkey
10. Forever by Judy Blume

Take a look at some other statistics on the American Library Association website. I've read many of the books on the most frequently challenged lists and it's depressing to think that some kids may not have the opportunity to read these books - at least not until adulthood when they can make their own reading material choices.

On another note, I recently made a few purchases at and am eagerly awaiting their arrival.

Reading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write ThemReading Like a Writer: A Guide for People Who Love Books and for Those Who Want to Write Them by Francine Prose

The Emperor's ChildrenThe Emperor's Children by Claire Messud (I've heard great things about this one)

Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in BooksLeave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Books by Maureen Corrigan (After reading Danielle's recent post about this one I had to check it out for myself. I think the title says it all :)

The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop: A Memoir, A History
by Lewis Buzbee (Ok, this one I just had to have - no ifs, ands, or buts about it)

The IllusionistAnd finally, if you haven't already seen The Illusionist, go see it. My husband and I saw it last night and it is by far one of the best movies I have seen in a while. I loved everything about it - the time period, cinematography, music score, etc. Plus Edward Norton is pretty easy on the eyes :) It is based on a short story that I need to track down. Overall, I thought the movie was very well done.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Rocky Balboa (not the one you're thinking of) and other entertainment

You'll have to excuse my post today. I've included a picture of my cat Rocky (as in Rocky Balboa) for no other reason than I thought it was cute. If life were only that simple for all of us. When having a bad day (usually the result of our other cat Jack beating the crap out of him), Rocky just curls up in an old kitchen bowl he's recently claimed ownership of (he's made it clear that there is no chance in hell I am getting this bowl back) and burrows. Or he pees on the wall. I think the burrowing is cuter for obvious reasons. So there you have it. I apologize in advance for future pictures of Rocky and Jack you may see on this blog. This is what we childless people do - obsess over our pets. I usually try and keep this blog to book talk, but today I just couldn't help myself.

Now that I've gotten that out of the way, back to books. I've finished my first official review (although not posted yet) of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight and gave it a 5 out of 5. I loved it. Loved it. So for all of those bloggers that recommended it on your sites - thank you! I don't know that I would have come across it otherwise. I just got her newest one New Moon out of the library and am very much looking forward to it.

What I really wanted to post more than anything today was a negative review and the reception it received by the publisher who requested the review. The reviewer gave an honest critique after which she was bombarded with scathing emails from the publisher. You really have to read this - it is so appalling it is entertaining. Enjoy :)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Book reviews coming to a blog near you

It's been a busy week, hence no posts until now. Trying to take advantage of those last few days of summer weather. Kailana - here is that picture I have been promising you :) Just a small sample of what I bought at Barnes and Noble during their classics sale. I was there again yesterday, this time buying a copy of The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. I've been drooling over this one for weeks, so when I got my 46% membership discount as a promotion for the new Barnes and Noble Recommends, I finally broke down and bought my copy.

I haven't gotten very far with my Autumn Reading Challenge books, but I hope to remedy that soon. I did read a few stories from Gaskell's Gothic Tales, but that's about it. I need to get a move on though...I am now a proud reviewer for Curled Up with a Good Book and Front Street Reviews. Still waiting for my first shipment of books to arrive, but I'll be sure to add links to my reviews here once they are posted. Payment is in free books by the way, so if you are someone that doesn't mind writing up a few paragraphs on something you've just read, might want to send your samples their way. Both were quick to respond.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ask the librarians at the New Yorker

For those of you that read The New Yorker, you'll find Emdashes to be of interest. The head librarians at The New Yorker now have a monthly column where they answer all things New Yorker related. Anyone can submit questions - it's pretty nifty and a blog worth checking out.

I also read about LibriVox in the New York Times recently...I had mentioned public domain books in an earlier post. LibriVox is making audiobooks public domain and available for download with the help of volunteers. Volunteers can record a solo reading or read collaboratively with other volunteers, each person taking certain chapters. I haven't downloaded any yet but admit I am curious. I would imagine that it's hit or miss depending on how you like a person's reading style, but there are bound to be several readers involved with the project that you can enjoy listening to. Might make that morning commute a little more bearable!